We've got another poker-winnings episode this week on "Bones." Tamara Taylor must have won big against the writers, so they gave her the starring role in a tale of a dead ex-fiancé, a painful past, and a child she left behind.

A chewed up corpse is found in the tiger area of a wildlife park, which is apparently under federal jurisdiction. Or Booth just  jumps at any case that may involve monkeys. Anyway, the corpse wasn't killed by the tiger — he bled out after being beaten and then stabbed in the femoral artery. The body belonged to Dr. Andrew Welton, a surgeon. He apparently died during a hospital benefit at the animal park.  Cam is shocked: She knew him.

Cam's backstory
In fact, Cam had been engaged to Andrew about 10 years ago. She lived with him and his daughter, Michelle, for two years, when Michelle was between 4 and 6 years old. Cam loved Michelle like crazy, and she expects a welcome even though it's been a decade. But Michelle claims she doesn't know Cam, and wants nothing to do with her.

But when Cam checks up on Michelle later, it's a different story: Yeah, I remember you — and you suck! You told me you loved me, that we were a family, but then you just took off one day and I never saw you again! I looked for you every day! Why did you leave?

Cam confesses that Andrew cheated on her, often and with great vigor, even when they were engaged. Michelle isn't impressed — maybe you just weren't good enough for him. Maybe he would have settled down with the right woman. Cam's heart breaks again.

Brennan finds Cam mooning over a small ceramic cat, half a salt-and-pepper shaker set. When she left Andrew, she gave Michelle one of the shakers. When you miss me, she told her, look at this and know that I'll be thinking of you. Cam kept that shaker all these years, and she still looks at it.

After the murder is solved, Cam goes back to Michelle to ask her to come live with her. She puts the shaker on the table.  Michelle stares at it, then runs upstairs without a word. Cam cries silently and prepares to leave. Michelle reappears: She's got her shaker, and puts it on the table so it embraces its mate. She's kept it all these years, too, and she's never forgotten — or stopped loving — Cam. Sniffle!

The crime
But enough heartwarming domestic drama. We've got a crime to solve!

The investigation leads to the usual school of red herrings:

  • Dr. Bailey, the chief administrator of the hospital, who frequently argued with Andrew about policy matters.
  • Brandon Casey, who sued Andrew for malpractice after his wife died under his case. Andrew got a restraining order against Casey, but Casey was at the benefit. He claims was just there to apologize, and under hypnosis, he describes a woman he saw arguing with Andrew.
  • Diana Annenburg, a major donor to the hospital, who argued with Andrew at the benefit because he rejected her med-student son from the hospital's residency program. Bah! I expressed my disappointment, but I didn’t the man!
  • Richard, the son in question. He's looks like a good fit, because the team figures out that white particulates in the wound came from a disposable plastic knife, which was probably used to enlarge the wound so someone could tie off the femoral artery and prevent the good doctor from bleeding out. Yep — Andrew’s killer tried to save him. But Richard says he begged Andrew to reject him, so he could get away from his mother.
  • Dr. Bailey again, who also had the medical knowledge, plus she was having an affair with Andrew.

The murder weapon turns out to be a snake-handling pole. Mica-like flecks in the wound were actually snake scales. But they didn't come from any snakes in the reptile house — nope they came from a snakeskin handbag belonging to nurse Nancy Lauder. She, too, was sleeping with Andrew, and she didn't leave when she found out he was cheating — she beat him with a pointy stick, which cut the artery and killed him.

The Lab Rats

Yay, Clark NotZack is back! Brennan assured him that everyone would be strictly professional. Alas, Angela reacts to celibacy by drooling and hitting on everything within range, including Clark. Not! Professional! He squeaks. Eventually, he brings his partner, Nora, a gorgeous woman-studies professor and fellow vegan, into the lab to tell Angela to back off. Nora ends up freaking Clark out even more by suggesting that Angela get a vibrator. She also confirms that Clark is dynamite in the sack.

Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends

  • No Booth and Brennan moments this week, because the ep wasn't about them. They were supporting players in The Cam Show. Fortunately, the story was compelling enough — and Tamara Taylor was good enough — that I didn’t really miss them.
  • Cam reveals the cheating part of the story to Angela and Brennan. Brennan is curious that the cheating bothered Cam. "How many times do I have to tell that most people don't like to be cheated on?" Angela says. "The only people who don't mind have given up," Cam says. "Or are very, very rational and above those archaic notions of monogamy," Angela says quickly, looking significantly at Brennan. "Right," Cam says. "Yes, of course, I'm not quite evolved enough.”
  • Booth asks Brennan to forego her usual investigative role in this case, and let Cam do the legwork with him. Brennan grumbles:  She'll stay in the lab, and "you and Cam can rely on your statistically inaccurate guts to solve the case."
  • The hypnosis scene was an excuse to put an ostrich or emu behind Sweets. Why? Who knows! Apparently, someone thought Sweet + large flightless bird = comedy gold.
Posted by:Sarah Jersild