Bones Recap: The Mutilation of the Master Manipulator

By Kitin Miranda | 2 years ago

Bones” Season 10 Episode 9 “The Mutilation of the Master Manipulator” aired on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. on FOX. In this episode, Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan (Emily Deschanel), FBI Agent James Aubrey (John Boyd) and the rest of the Jeffersonian team investigated the murder of a psychology professor on sabbatical. The victim's remains were found in various dumpsites as his body had been dismembered. Meanwhile, FBI Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) was benched for this particular case. He had to finish his traffic school exam, leaving Aubrey to work solo with Bones. While this was happening, Dr. Wendell Bray’s (Michael Grant Terry) clinical trials ended. He found himself in a quandary as to how to proceed with his budding relationship with a nurse from the trials. Read on to learn more about this episode.

At the beginning of this episode, Dr. Jack Hodgins (TJ Thyne) and Dr. Wendell Bray (Michael Terry Grant) were astonished at the fact that they had so little remains to work on. Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan (Emily Deschanel) then informed them that based on the remains that they did have, that the victim was a “Negroid male” whose height was around “six foot two”. Hodgins then informed them that he had a lot of particulates, such as “corn, salmon, chicken, and whole wheat flour”.  Dr. Camille Saroyan (Tamara Taylor) then told them that based on the DNA from the remains, they could not really pinpoint who the person was as he was not in the system. However, Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin), Hodgins’ wife, was able to create a map based on where the trash cans the remains had been found in were found, to help them narrow down their search.


Meanwhile, at the FBI headquarters, as Bones’ husband, FBI Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) was stuck to his desk. He had to finish his traffic school exam. Because of that, he decided to let FBI Agent James Aubrey (John Boyd) handle the case with Bones.

At the last area on Angela’s map, they were able to find the victim’s head. It had flown out of a trashcan, thanks to two boys who used the trashcans on their block to play bowling with them as the ball.

Back at the Jeffersonian, Cam informed Bones and Bray that more remains were coming in as more had just been found. Afterward, Cam asked Bray what his plans were to celebrate the fact that his clinical trials were ending that day. However, he did not really have anything planned. He then showed them that he had found what looked like stab wounds on the bones. He found “groove marks” that looked like the victim had been “dismembered by something.” He then went on to create a mold of the marks so that Hodgins would be able to pinpoint the murder weapon.

Angela then was able to give Cam the identity of the victim based on facial recognition, Professor Randall Fairbanks. He was a professor in psychology at Kenmore College, and had just started his sabbatical two weeks ago.

At Professor Fairbanks’ house, Bones became impressed with Aubrey. He had realized that the hydrangeas at the bottom row of the Professor’s hydrangea plants had changed color from blue to pink because of the high PH level of the blood that had been spilled all over the soil. They were then greeted by the Professor’s neighbor, Ms. Van Mertens (Miriam Flynn) and her friends. She told them that something strange was going on in the Professor’s house, as they used to hear “screams every night.” Bones then asked Ms. Von Mertens, an avid birdwatcher, to turn her camera on her birdhouses. They could comb through the footage to see if there was any sign of the killer on tape.

At the hospital, before Bray left to go back to work, he promised his nurse. He had grown fond of that they would meet up for lunch under the pretext of answering a “Customer Satisfaction Survey.”

Back at the Professor’s house, Hodgins was amazed at the amount of blood that was found in the soil. Aubrey then impressed him as he suggested to Hodgins that he could pinpoint the victim’s time of death by “calculating the conditions of the soil, and by calculation the absorption rate of the blood”. Hodgins then left him for a while as he and Bray went to the garage to investigate some more as Bray had found more traces of blood there. There, they discovered that at a certain area of the garage, there was a lot of tissues, blood, and bone fragments. They then discovered the Professor’s cat, Skinner. It had been trapped inside the garage cupboard. Aubrey then went over to them as he had just discovered a tablet. It featured a woman was screaming and begging for her life, as if she was being tortured.

Back at the FBI headquarters, Aubrey informed Booth that the video had been pre-recorded for an experiment. After interviewing the Professor’s grad student, Tabitha Coleman (Shanna Coleman), who was the grad student in the recording, Aubrey discovered that it the Professor had been running an experiment on blind obedience. In the experiment, each subject was to ask a particular question to a “test taker” in the opposite room. Each time that the test taker answered incorrectly, the subject would administer an electric shock, which grew stronger and stronger for each incorrect answer. Their research then showed that most of them administered enough shocks to actually kill someone. However, what they did not know was that they were not really torturing anyone, as the voice that they heard was Tabitha’s prerecorded voice. This caused the subjects to be a little bit resentful at what had been done to them. Some of them became traumatized to the point that the Professor had been sent threats via email.

Back at the Jeffersonian, Hodgins was having a difficult time pinpointing the time of death. It would help Angela narrow down the window in searching for the exact footage from the bird camera. Hodgins used his blood in the “blood pack.” Once the machine started, the blue hydrangeas would turn pink. However, the most that he got was six minutes, which was impossible, as the Professor had not been killed six minutes ago. However, Angela was able to discover that she had noticed a shadowy figure which had entered the Professor’s French doors.


During lunch, both Bray and the nurse, Andie Roberts (Shalita Grant) enjoyed a romantic picnic lunch with each other in which they kissed. Because of this, for the rest of the day, Bray was in a very good mood.

Back at the Jeffersonian, more remains were delivered to them. However, Hodgins was not able to pinpoint the exact blade that was used to dismember the body as the blade was “much too common.” Thanks to that, they were able to discover that the victim had died because of multiple stab wounds. The blade went right through his chest, which “caused him to bleed out.” Angela was then able to cross reference the subjects in the video files of the experiment with the student database of the school. They then discovered that one subject, Alex Heck (Harvey Grant), had sent threatening emails to the Professor because after the experiment, he became a criminal. However, after Aubrey questioned him, they discovered that he had claimed that he did not kill the Professor.

The next day, Andie was elated about their relationship, but Bray, on the other hand, seemed a little bit worried that things were going too fast. He then decided to head to work, even if they had agreed that they would grab a bite to eat before he went to work.

At the Jeffersonian, Bones and Cam both noticed that he was a little bit distracted and down. However, he insisted that everything was fine. They then discovered that the victims had fractures in the ribs, and that he had had a bone graft done in the “lower part of the mandible.”

While Bray ran a DNA test on the lower mandible, Hodgins was able to give Angela the exact time of death- “eight days and fourteen hours ago.” He was able to solve why he wasn’t getting it right. It turned out that all that he had needed to do was to adjust the lighting to flicker on and off to simulate the changing of the days.

Bray then discovered that the Professor had gotten the bone graft in Brazil. He was parasailing with Victoria Andrews (Chastity Dotson), a graduate student who worked with the Professor before Tabitha came along. It turned out that a month later, “she got expelled after trashing the laboratory." It was the exact same time when the Professor had started dating Tabitha. It also turned out that she had become a garden art sculptor, and the saw that she used, and the particulates and shape of the puncture marks in the victim’s bones were a perfect match to one of her sculptures. After interrogating her, Aubrey discovered that the sculpture the Professor had gotten impaled on had been a gift from Victoria. And that she had been “driving to a craft fair” during the time that the Professor had been murdered.

Back at the Jeffersonian, Andie kept on texting Bray, and he kept on ignoring her texts. They then discovered, that a woman had bitten the Professor’s hand, as they found dental marks in his bones. After pulling up Victoria’s dental records, they discovered that it was not a match for Victoria. Then, as Booth was still doing the test, Bones suggested an answer to the test which she believed was correct. She got the surprise of her life when she learned that she was wrong. Meanwhile, Angela discovered, thanks to the bird camera footage, that Tabitha was the one who snuck into the Professor’s house, “two hours before he was killed.” His neighbors also remembered that they had been fighting that night.

After interrogating her, Aubrey learned that she had snuck into the Professor’s house in order to “spray her perfume in his bedroom” as she had been conducting and experiment on him. She wanted to see if spraying things that she wore, or that she smelled like, would make him more attentive to her. However, he had caught her doing that. They had fought as she had been “conducting a study without his approval.” However, she claimed that she did not kill him.

At the Jeffersonian, Andie confronted Bray about why he wasn’t answering her texts or calls. He then admitted to her that he was afraid of getting into a relationship, especially if his cancer came back. He could not bear the fact that she would get hurt. However, she told him that it did not matter to her as she viewed death as part of the natural cycle of life. They then reconciled and kissed. However, they were seen by Cam who called him as they had more work to do.

Based on the new remains that had just been delivered, they realized, based on the cut on the victim’s hand, and the particulates on the bones on the hand, that someone had been trying to poison the Professor’s cat, Skinner.

Bones then went over to the FBI headquarters in order to inform Booth of their discovery. When she got there, Booth was overjoyed as he had finally finished his exam. She then informed both Booth and Aubrey that she had discovered the bones of a Buicks Wren, an endangered bird, in Skinner’s stomach, thanks to the x-rays she had done. Suddenly, everything made sense to both Bones and Aubrey. Before Bones left Booth’s office, she congratulated him on picking a partner like Aubrey.

In the interrogation room, Aubrey and Bones confronted Ms. Von Mertens regarding the murder of Professor Randall. It turned out that she had tried to poison Skinner in order to protect the endangered Buicks Wren, which he had eaten. However, she was caught by the Professor, who had grabbed the can of cat food. In the struggle, she had bitten him and pushed him. When she pushed him, he accidentally got impaled by his garden sculpture, which caused him to die. In a panic, she had then used the saw she used to make birdhouses in order to dismember the body and then threw the body parts in different trash cans.

Back at home, Booth teased his wife about getting an answer wrong in his test, and pretended to arrest her for driving eighty-three kilometers once on an interstate.

And that was all for the recap of “Bones” Season 10 Episode 9 “The Mutilation of the Master Manipulator”. For more news, updates and recaps on “Bones” and other television shows, keep on following Movie News Guide (MNG).

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