"Soccer Mom in the Mini-Van" is episode two of season three of Bones, the forensic drama television series loosely based on the novels and life of anthropologist Kathy Reichs.
This episode opens with a woman parking a mini-van that has a 'soccer mom' sticker on it. She parks up, gets out of the mini-van, throws away a coffee cup whilst watching some young girls playing football, gets back in, tucks an envelope away and starts driving off again. Then the vehicle explodes.
The Crime Scene
Booth and Brennan arrive on the scene. He is asking why she isn't taking advantage of the special visiting rights she has with her father (who is now in prison, after Booth arrested him in "Stargazer in a Puddle"). She says that she doesn't want to be treated differently. Brennan wants to take the entire van back to the Jeffersonian, against the wishes of the FBI bomb tech (for it certainly appears that the van was deliberately blown up), but she is pretty insistent, as the remains are coated liberally around the inside of the vehicle. Zack is back, having returned from Iraq in the previous episode, "Widow's Son in the Windshield" (an army psychiatrist having felt he was unfit for working with the military). When the technician from the FBI bomb unit turns up at the Jeffersonian, Hodgins gets a little struck on her.
The Victim is in Pieces - But Who are the Suspects?
The victim is unidentified at the moment, because there isn't enough left of the skull for Angela to reconstruct. The van is full of personal possessions, and it looks as if the woman was leaving her husband, the owner of the van. The husband, for he is the victim's husband, says that she was taking stuff for their daughter's new dorm room, not leaving him. So who would want to blow her up?
A Tattoo from the Dead Woman's Past
The dead woman has a homemade tattoo - one that indicates she belonged to a fairly violent student radical movement in the seventies. Two members of which went missing after the murder of a cop, and the FBI has been looking for them ever since. One, the woman, has now been found - blown up. She was apparently turning herself in to the authorities in four days, according to Caroline, and had a deal in which she would only get nine years. She apparently always maintained her innocence. The timing is a little coincidental. Her former partner might have a motive, as has the son of the policeman that was killed - as she wrote an apology to him. She was also shot as well, although not fatally. Her old boyfriend at the time of the policeman's murder seems the most likely suspect, as well as being still missing - and the dead woman may have actually been innocent of the murder. The agent who worked on the original case is Booth's mentor and he doesn't immediately appreciate Brennan. But is something more going on?
Personal Matters Again - Brennan and her Father
Brennan does meet with her father. The meetings do not quite go smoothly, but Max is trying. Although Brennan doesn't trust her father or believe that he isn't trying to con her in some way.
An Ongoing Puzzle
Angela is also working on the iconography they recovered from the previous episode.