"Bones" The Prince in the Plastic (TV Episode 2011) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • Toy company designer Debra Cortez's corpse is found at a dump site, decomposed inside plastic wrapping, with an equally crushed vintage copy of the company's top model, Prince Charmington. The team grills her brother Rick, who was fired from a menial job, her rival designer Lawrence Deighton, boyfriend-doll model Brock Vorback and the CEO Bianca Chiverton. Sweets is determined to earn an FBI gun license, which unleashes stressing attention; mainly from worried Booth and excited Daisy. Meanwhile young and soon-to-be parents wrestle with buying and assembling baby toys.

  • After the remains of a female toy company executive are found shrink-wrapped with a Prince Charmington doll, the company's CEO gives Booth and Sweets access to the company headquarters' highly classified prototype lab, where details of the victim's personal life begin to emerge. Meanwhile, Sweets, with the support of his girlfriend, squint Daisy Wick, prepares for his gun certification test despite Booth's opposition to Sweets carrying a weapon. Mom-to-be Brennan, wonders whether she will be a good mother and uses the case as a way to understand the importance of toys and playing with her child.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • A couple is hunting for antiques in a nasty dumping ground when a dislodged refrigerator comes tumbling down a hill. They dodge the appliance, which spills open to reveal a rotting corpse wrapped in shrink wrap. In unison, the couple SCREAMS!

    Cut to Booth (David Boreanaz), Bones (Emily Deschanel) and Sweets (John Francis Daley). The good doctor requests a gun. "I'm going to get certified to carry a weapon," Sweets says. He then tries to change the subject by bringing up the couple's living arrangement. "I want an acre of land and he wants something called a 'man cave,'" Bones comments. Back at the Jeffersonian, the crew examines the body inside the shrink wrap. Camille (Tamara Taylor) cuts holes in the shrink wrap and the body DRAINS out. "This is revolting, but kind of fun," Daisy (Carla Gallo) says. Bones determines the victim is a female -- one buried with a "Prince Charmington" doll of all things. Strange.

    Angela (Michaela Conlin) finds non-liquefied skin inside the plastic wrap that IDs the victim as Debbie Cortez. Booth is soon interviewing her brother, Rick (nm4757974), who explains their parents were killed in a plane crash when the victim was nine. Rick, now unemployed, used to work as a security guard at a toy company where his sister was a big executive. He claims not to know who would want to hurt his sister. B&B then head to the toy company, where exec Bianca gives them a tour and says Debbie developed hit after hit. Employee Lawrence (John Ross Bowie), on the other hand, hasn't had a best seller in years. He denies killing Debbie, though he admits he was jealous of her success. Lawrence then explains Debbie was surreptitiously texting and calling a mysterious someone. "Fishy" behavior, he says.

    Back at the Jeffersonian, Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) finds Prince Charmington's leg in the remains -- and it shows a chemical burn. "Something fused to the burn," he notes. Hodgins gets to work. CUT to Angela, who is trying to put together a complicated toy she bought for her baby. Neither brilliant scientist can make any sense of the directions. So they take a break to look at the victim's bone scan, which reveals very precise blows to the upper part of the body. "The injuries were all caused by one huge crushing blow," Bones notes. The murder weapon must have been HUGE. But what could it possibly be?

    Later, Booth and Daisy head to the toy company. Bianca (Morgan Fairchild) shows the pair where the company develops new products. Plastic wrap is everywhere. Booth then notices a heavy loading dock door ... and, using Daisy's black light, blood on the floor. Debbie was killed inside the toy products lab. CUT to Sweets practicing at the gun range. Daisy approaches and confesses she finds the armed and dangerous Sweets to be VERY sexy. Back at the lab, Hodgins finds a shard of the loading dock door in the victim, confirming the "murder weapon." Hodgins also finds evidence a common tire jack was used to break into the lab through the loading dock door. Perhaps Debbie was just in the wrong place at the wrong time when an intruder entered to steal toy prototypes?

    It gets more complicated. Daisy performs an autopsy on Prince Charmington and determines the doll's leg was pulled off during a struggle. She also notes the doll comes from the original run of the toys -- dating back some 40 years -- and is worth more than $10,000. Could be a motive. Angela examines Debbie's computer and finds a series of emails in which Debbie writes to someone demanding he/she return the stolen Prince Charmington. Angela traces the address -- it belongs to Debbie's brother.

    Booth and Sweets confront Rick. They search his truck and find vintage toys. Rick has been stealing historic items from the toy company all along and selling them to the highest bidders. Rick swears Debbie wasn't there when he broke into the factory. Booth then shows Rick the Prince Charmington doll. "This was Debbie's," Rick says. "This was the last thing mom gave her." He denies dropping a loading-dock door on his sister. "I loved her!" he yells. "She was all that I had!" Later, Booth returns home to find pregnant Bones on the couch. The two cuddle. "I'm not good playing with toys," Bones says. "What if I can't connect with our child?" Booth reassures his partner/baby mama.

    The next morning, Hodgins finds what might be DNA from the killer fused in the plastic wrap. Could be the case is about to break. Later, Sweets goes to the range to take his marksman test -- and is surprised to find Booth administering. CUE a montage of Sweets going through the course, shooting pop-up criminals. One of his shots ricochets off a metal target and HITS Sweets in the shoulder. Booth stops the test ...and tells Sweets he has passed. CUT to Camille, who does a search on the DNA found by Hodgins. It matches with a military man named Brock Vorback (Ryan Bittle). Daisy immediately recognizes the soldier as the man who plays Prince Charmington in all the toy advertisements.

    Booth and Sweets bring in Brock/Prince Charmington for questioning. He admits to having a secret affair with the victim, but denies having killed his GF. But what about the DNA? "Haven't you ever been scratched when you were making love?" Brock asks. Brock then explains Debbie was considering quitting the toy company and striking out on her own. Later, Hodgins finds the burn on the doll's leg originated from a car battery. He traces it back to a specific sports car with a battery near the trunk. The victim's leg might have been burned while being transferred in the trunk of a car.

    Who at the toy company has that particular car?

    Bianca. B&B search the woman's trunk and discover traces of the victim's blood. "Without Debbie, our stock would've taken a terrific hit," Bianca explains. She claims the door striking Debbie was an accident. Bones points out death would've taken time ... so Bianca must've stood there while Debbie expired. Bianca hangs her head.

    Case closed, but not the episode. Angela can't assemble the toy and concedes the "toy won." She then asks Bones to accompany her to the toy store. "You're going to need that stuff before you know it," Angela says. The two friends go toy shopping. Later, Booth returns home and Bones open fire with a toy gun that shoots foam bullets. "Our daughter's going to love this," she says. A fake gunfight ensues.

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