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And Now Ladies and Gentlemen - A Recap McKayla Maroney Bones Episode

The long awaited McKayla Maroney episode of Bones has aired.

We learned the answer to so many questions. Was McKayla the murderer? Who was the murderer? What about the gymnastics?  Is that Zam on the beam? All these questions will be answered in this recap!



The episode starts off with a couple of weird Forensic Files obsessed parents. They have found a dead body in a park and they're standing near the body taking pictures. They're even creepy enough to take selfies with the body in the background. Sure, okay, let's take pictures and gawk instead of calling 911. Whatever. In their weird forensic investigation show obsessed way, they decide to put an umbrella over the body to protect it, because they learned on Forensic Files that a crime scene needs to be preserved. Did they not think that putting their shit there would compromise the scene? Of course, they're idiots and their plan back fires because lightning strikes the umbrella and the body is blown into a million pieces. Hence the title of the episode "A Spark in the Park".

Woohoo.

So then of course, FBI special agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) is called to the scene and his wife, the title character, Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan (Emily Deschanel) who are now married with a young daughter. They go out there with the bug guy, Dr. Jack Hodgins, (TJ Thyne) who picks up a bug and says it smells like cilantro and he tries to get David/Booth to smell it, but he's digested by it. The team examines the body. Cam, the boss of the Jeffersonian Legal/Medical lab looks a the body and thinks it's a pre-pubescent female but Bones/Emily looks at the skull and says, no this is a teenager, about 16-17. (Do you see where this is leading?). The two of them look at the bones and see remodeled fractures, and a current fractured tibia and a fractured growth plate (which is why they originally thought the victim was a tween).  Then, the team comes to the original conclusion that the parents killed her because and the girl was an abuse victim. Way to perpetuate the abused child stereotype of gymnasts, Fox. Thank you, Little Girls In Pretty Boxes.

Back at the set, cough, lab, the team (which is Bones, Hodgins, Cam and the intern of the week, Visiri) is cleaning the body and they need to have the body identified. Luckily, they find a locket with the body with pictures of the girl's parents. The idea is that their artist/computer whiz, Angela (Michaela Conlin) can take the facial features of the parents and come up with a composite of the victim. Since this is TV and also a fictional series, Angela does all of this and in about five minutes comes up with a positive identification. The victim is identified as a young girl named Amanda Watters who had been reported missing by her dad three days prior.

So now, Booth/David and Emily/Bones now have to go question the victim's father, Richard Schiff of the West Wing. He's a physicist and really brilliant. But Booth is still disgusted with him because he thinks that he abused his daughter and killed her and is more interested in physics equations. Bones takes pity on him because she sees that he's sad about his daughter and he's burying himself in work. We learn that his wife died a year prior and that his daughter had been the one taking care of him since her mother passed. Booth get's mad and says something to him and Schiff says his daughter was an elite gymnast. Later in a cafe, Booth, Bones and Dr. Lance Sweets, who is the FBI forensic psychologist on staff, are discussing the case. Bones is mad because Booth was being mean about the victim's Dad and she's pissed because she sees herself in him and she wants him to take more pity on the man. They talk some more about the new friends and since they had learned earlier in the episode that Amanda took online correspondence classes. They decide to pull the online records and crap like that and go to the gym.

So they go to the gym to question the coach and the athletes. They go into the gym and they see the girls practicing, actually they're really just warming up. Booth is amazed by what he sees. He sees a girl doing a spin on the balance beam and he says to Bones "that beam is barely wider than her foot!" Bones is apparently an expert on everything including gymnastics and she says "the balance beam requires a low center of gravity which is why most gymnasts are not very tall." While they're standing there, they spot the coach who went over to help a girl (whom I'm assuming Vanessa Zamarippa) that biffed it on her single fly away laid out uneven bars dismount.

The coach, Dennis spots them and flips out thinking they're gym parents and tells them to get their asses out of the door during warm ups. Booth shows the coach his badge and breaks the news that Amanda is dead. Very sad. Blah, blah, blah, he says she hadn't been coming in, and Bones asks if it was related to her injury and he says yes, he wanted her to rest it. He tells them she broke it over rotating a double pike and her best buddy McKayla or Ellie as her character is named, was spotting her and couldn't get her out of the pike in time. Of course they ask if they're competitive and the coach says Amanda and McKayla are ranked 1-2. He tells them Ellie/McKayla trains in the afternoon. He's offended by the fact that they think McKayla did it and tells them about three times that "she's a good girl" before they cut to the next scene.

So they go back to the gym that afternoon where they find McKayla/Ellie in a hot pink leotard. One detail they got right. McKayla's grand entrance on Bones is her doing a single layout tumbling pass. Bones and Bones are just marveled and in awe of  McKayla's single layout on the floor exercise.  She finishes with the busted wrist salute. Brilliant.

Bones says  it was "amazing" and Bones says "She's six feet off the ground!" While they're supposed to be talking about the dead girl, the coach chats with them and tells the pair McKayla took "six months to learn that skill" and broke three toes. When? In level 7? Ok. Bones tells McKayla she thinks she has a broken bone in her foot and McKayla just says "I know." Then she asks McKayla why she's not acting sadder over her friend dying. McKayla says they have a competition coming up and Amanda would have wanted it that way. They talk about the over rotated double pike and the coach walks off. When the coach's back is turned, McKayla goes back to the couple and tells them she didn't think Amanda was going to come back to the gym. She tells them she'd been "skipping physical therapy and going off with new friends and getting high." This is apparently enough to clear McKayla of any wrong doing, so then Bones and Booth leave and the camera focusses on McKayla taking a deep sigh.

 They find this drug dealer that was dealing a drug called Molly and they bring him in for questioning. This kid is the biggest idiot on the planet. When he's being questioned, at one point, Sweets asks the kid if he sold Amanda drugs and he actually says "Yes. But I'm not going to incriminate myself by telling you that." Again, the kid is an idiot. The point of the fifth amendment is that you do not say anything at all. Idiot. Whatever.

Booth and Sweets find a chick, Rachel that became friends with Amanda through their online school. This is the chick that is a fellow "prodigy" but she's not a gymnastics prodigy, she's a cello prodigy. She shows up with her arm and fingers bandaged up. Her parents are there, and her dad is the dad from Secret Life of the American Teenager. The team thinks that she might have killed Amanda, so they ask her what happened to her arm. The dad says she fell down the stairs after he hit her and the girl says the same thing. Booth and Sweets are just flabbergasted and disgusted. The mom and dad start talking and they say the girl came home high and said she'd wanted to quit the cello. They were pissed because they'd made a lot of sacrifices and worked two or three jobs a piece to finance their daughter's dream. The girl then says she and Amanda had made a pact to quit their respected activities. For Amanda, that was gymnastics.

Back in the lab, after examining the bones, the team finds some injuries to Amanda's neck and chest that suggest she was strangled to death and her attacker bent down on her chest with their knees. They run their fancy pants computer program and after some experimentation, they determine that Amanda had been strangled to death on top of a low beam.



 So now Booth and Bones must go back to the gym. Now that they have probable cause, they have a warrant and they can search the gym.

Bones examining the low beam with a UV light looking for bodily fluids. Oh and we see McKayla/Ellie again. She's standing with a group of fellow athletes who are watching the coach flip out while Bones discovers a big pool of dried vomit on the beam. She stands with her not impressed face and then Bones finds a piece of Amanda's tongue. Gross. McKayla breaks from the not impressed face to being horrified. And that is the end of McKayla's role.


They bring Coach Dennis to the FBI office to officially question him. So Booth plays his "I'm a big tough cop and I'm going to get you" act and accuses the coach of murdering Amanda because she wanted to quit. He still pleads his innocence. Then Booth asks why his security code was used to get into the gym after hours. The coach tells him the girls will sneak in to get extra practice in after hours. They all know his code, it's "triumph." Brilliant. Booth is confused and asks why the girls would want to practice extra after practicing six hours a day.



 We don't get an answer. He rants on about how Amanda was his number one gymnast and he has a lot of patience. Now that Coach Dennis has been ruled out, we are back in the lab where they are still searching Amanda's skeleton for clues. They discover that the injuries to the bones are uneven because the murderer was weaker with his or her left hand than their right. Dun dun DUN!

Back to the FBI building. The cello girl, Rachel and her parents are in the interrogation room with Booth and Bones and the parents are annoyed to be there and they make no secret about it. The dad thinks that they're accusing him because he's a guy.  The mom says "we already told you about my daughter's injuries."  They ask Rachel one more time about the injuries. The parents say there is nothing to talk about, but the girl get's a scared puppy look on her face. They tell the parents there is Amanda's DNA in Rachel's car. The parents say "they were friends!" Booth says, in her trunk. Bones grabs the girl's injured hand (way to manhandle an injured girl) and shines a UV light on her black and blue fingers and lo and behold there is vomit. Rachel breaks down and says that Amanda was her friend and really, her only friend. She starts to cry and bemoan about how they were both tired of being prodigies and they made a pact to quit. But Amanda did not keep her end of the deal which pissed cello girl off so she flew into a rage and wound up killing Amanda. Case closed.


Back at home, Bones is sitting in her kitchen pounding a glass of Merlot, thinking. Booth comes in and she tells him she feels sad about Amanda's professor dad and she feels like she can't reach out to him now that the case is over. Booth convinces her that she can, so Bones goes to visit the professor at his office, where he is working on a formula. Bones looks at it and she realizes that the professor is putting his daughter's life on the board with physics calculations, ice skating, the balance beam and then the trampoline. Bones tells the professor it's beautiful and that's the end of the episode.


So there you have it. McKayla is not guilty. A judge did not kill her and that definitely is Vanessa Zamarippa.

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