The Jeffersonian team is traumatized by Sweets's murder, but determined to do the late Lance justice by catching the killer. Booth takes charge with nerdy fellow FBI agent James Aubrey. They find his killer, a military vet, on a nearby roof, apparently fatally shot himself, but actually sneakily knife-stabbed to death, expertly. Blackmail in high DC circles keeps blocking their legal moves, almost driving Booth to illegal vengeance, but Hodgins thinks of a zoological model to chart the chain of blackmail since Hoover. Thus the FBI agents find evidence to sustain the hypothetical family tree of secrets-sustained super-scoundrels.
With Sweets having been killed in the previous episode, the episode begins with Booth and Brennan discussing his death, which Booth sees as his responsibility. Brennan reassures him and urges him to focus that emotion into finding his killers, when Christine joins them and asks to go to the park with Uncle Sweets and Daisy.
At the lab, the team with Clark and Daisy are examining Sweets' skeleton when Angela says she wish they'd never uncovered the conspiracy, to which Hodgins retorts that they have, and as such, must crush it's central nervous system. Brennan insists that doing so is impossible, as it's a non-sentient being, but Hodgins disagrees as it grows like any organism grows. Angela catches on and begins to map the DNA of the conspiracy.
When Booth and Aubrey find Kenneth Emory's body, the team examine his remains and find in addition to the gunshot received during Sweets' murder, his cause of death was a sliced artery, and that the killer used the gunshot's entry wound to hide the evidence of murder and to make sure he couldn't survive.
With Booth slipping further into darkness, he threatens Hugo Sanderson for information. He however hits a wall in the investigation, and Caroline tells him "it's how the world works". Brennan then later finds him stocking up on weaponry, leading to an argument about Booth's methods and motivations ending with Booth professing he just wants it all to be over.
Booth then tasks Aubrey with analyzing every possible connection between Sanderson and the FBI. Angela and Hodgins are able to pull etchings from some of Sweets' notes regarding Howard Cooper and Sanderson, from which they reveal connections also between Glen Durant, Efran Hadley, Sanderson, Emory and Jerold Norsky, amongst others. Angela also tracks down evidence of several conferences where Durant and Cooper were attendees.
Brennan finds Daisy examining Sweets' skeleton, and emotionally assists her in identifying markers from Sweets' life experiences, which reveal a history of playing Soccer, a fall from a treehouse, and years of playing the piano.
Booth then brings Durant in for question, where Durant recognizes a picture of Norsky. Booth promises to protect him, but when Booth pays another visit to Norsky, Norsky is very lucid and evasive. Booth then realizes that Norsky is either a co-conspirator or a victim of blackmail. Booth then reminds him that as an ex-FBI agent, he took an oath to protect the country, to which Norsky replies by insisting that he has always done so.
At the lab, Brennan and Clark examine Howard Cooper’s bone marrow and discover extraneous cells not linked to his leukemia. They figure that blood from the killer was accidentally injected into Cooper. Meanwhile, Aubrey, Angela, and Hodgins try to identify a missing link in the conspiracy DNA. Aubrey remembers Desmond Wilson, one of Hoover’s top aides. He retired a few months before the blackmail files were supposed to be destroyed and also died the same year as Howard Cooper. When Hodgins and Aubrey visit Wilson’s previous home, they find a long piece of wire. The team analyze it, finding that Hoover’s files were not destroyed.
Caroline tells Booth that Wilson’s house was owned by a property management group with ties to Sanderson, but it’s not enough to bring him in for questioning. Booth is annoyed and later works with Aubrey to try to find a connection between Sanderson and Wilson. They catch a break when Brennan notices that a picture of Wilson also includes Glen Durant as a child; he’s Wilson’s stepson. They just need to get some of his DNA to know whether or not he’s a match for Cooper’s killer.
Booth and Brennan visit Durant in a park where he proudly declares his innocence while also basically laying out his entire manifesto against democracy as a true patriot/disciple of J. Edgar Hoover. Booth punches him in the face and came away with enough blood to run a DNA report, getting what they need to pin Cooper’s death on Durant. But when they bring him in for questioning, his lawyer insisted he won’t answer anything, leading Booth to indicate he has blackmailed her as well. Brennan points out the evidence they have from Howard Cooper’s bone marrow, at which Durant becomes nervous, but Booth knows they need to find the original Hoover files to make sure Durant isn’t able to blackmail himself out of prison.
Booth pulls Brennan and Aubrey to look at Sweets’ notes, to examine the case from Sweets’ point of view. They realize that Durant, Norsky and Wilson all treated their version of patriotism as a religion, so it’s likely the files are located somewhere they considered to be holy. Booth wonders if they are in Hoover’s office, and when Aubrey points out that it doesn’t exist any longer, B&B share a knowing smile — the Jeffersonian has an exhibit on Hoover, and sure enough, all of the “office props” are real, actual documents.
With the case closed, the episode ends with the team joining Daisy to give Sweets a proper sendoff.
- Temperance Brennan - Emily Deschanel
- Seeley Booth - David Boreanaz
- Jack Hodgins - T.J Thyne
- Angela Montenegro - Michaela Conlin
- Camille Saroyan - Tamara Taylor
- James Aubrey - John Boyd
Intern of the Week
- Christine Booth - Sunnie Pelant
- Caroline Julian - Patricia Belcher
- Deputy Director Victor Stark - Sterling Macer Jr.
- Glen Durant - JD Cullum
- Hugo Sanderson - Sam Anderson
- Jerold Norsky - Rance Howard
- Linda Dugan - Shelley Robertson
- Susan Sprung - Susan Angelo
- John F. Kennedy - Ian Harris (Voiceover)
- FBI Tech - Laurence Leong
- During Sweets' funeral the group sing 'Coconut', (this is a song they also sang for Vincent Nigel-Murray on his funeral, after Brennan said that it was his favorite song, with Sweets saying it was also his "jam", so started singing it).
- This is the first episode in which John Boyd (who plays James Aubrey) is given credit in the opening sequence, as well as the first since The Santa in the Slush to not feature John Francis Daley in the opening sequence.
- The episode title is a pun on Lance Sweets's name, who had died in the previous episode.
- This is the first episode that John F. Kennedy has been mentioned since The Proof in the Pudding.
- Booth(to Brennan): "We have to do that, All right? He [Sweets] was family."
- Bones: Booth, you are the one who's running away! You're running away from everything you believe in! Why? Because it's not going the way you want it to? Because it's too difficult for you? What kind of man does that make you, huh? How will you face your God if you... kill an innocent man? Is your faith in him so weak? Your faith in... in me? You're a good man, Booth. Don't let them take that away! Because that really will be the death of you.
Booth: I just want this to stop. I want this to stop.
Bones: It will.
- Bones (at Sweets' ash scattering ceremony): But in a real sense. He's here. Sweets is a part of us. Our lives... who we all are at this moment, have been shaped by our relationships with Sweets. Well, each of us is like a delicate equation. And Sweets was the variable without which we wouldn't be who we are. I might not have married Booth. Or had Christine. Daisy certainly wouldn't be carrying his child. We are all who we are because we knew Sweets. So, I don't need a... a God to praise him or the universe he sprang from, because I loved him. I used to try and explain love, define it as the secretion of... chemicals and hormones. But I believe now, remembering Sweets, seeing what he left us, that love cannot be explained by... science or religion. It's beyond the mind, beyond reason. What I do know-- loving Sweets...loving each other, that's what makes life worthwhile. Right now... I don't need to know more than that. Which is embarrassing coming from an extremely intelligent, fact-based person like me.