"The Woman in the Sand" is episode eight of season two of Bones, the forensic drama series based on the books by Kathy Reichs.
Welcome to Las Vegas!
This episode opens in Las Vegas - a bit further afield than normal. 15 miles outside the city in the desert is the crime scene (no CSI: Crime Scene Investigation members on the scene though). There is a skeleton that is believed to be that of a federal prosecutor who has been missing for five years, just before starting a mob trial. Until now they had no leads, but a prostitute stated that she knew where the body was. Said prostitute is now dead, of cancer - this was a deathbed confession and apparently she was still terrified of those who killed the prosecutor.
A Skeleton in the Desert
Whilst examining the skeleton, which has been buried with no belongings, Brennan spots a circling vulture. Vultures go after carrion, and completely bare skeletons are well past the carrion stage. This leads them to another body that was dumped in the past week to ten days, and Brennan thinks that the same person buried both bodies.
Beaten to Death
The male victim is the missing prosecutor who was beaten to death with a baseball bat. The other victim is a woman, but has similar injuries. Brennan thinks it's the result of domestic abuse though. Her husband reported her missing two weeks ago. Brennan wants to return to the Jeffersonian, but Booth says they have found two bodies - what if there are more? So they are shipped back whilst they stay in Nevada. So, what could be the possible connection between what looks like a mob hit and what looks like domestic violence gone south? The husband seems far too obvious, even though he has a broken thumb.
The husband says he didn't hit her, and that he borrowed eight thousand from a loan shark just before his wife disappeared so that she could get breast implants. The broken thumb is for non payment of the now-ten thousand dollars he owes. Loan sharks do not have good interest rates. Booth is also not convinced that the woman's injuries came from domestic abuse. Also, there were no breast implants with the remains, so the money was for something else. Finding the loan shark means going to a casino - and Booth had a gambling problem.
The First Rule of Fight Club
The damage to the woman doesn't correlate to abuse, for she apparently hit back. Instead, they resemble boxing, and without gloves at that. It seems she may have been an ultimate fighter, which is legal, but the woman showed injuries that, if she was fighting legally (as legal ones wear protective equipment), she wouldn't have received. So, an underground fight club. The husband says that he didn't know she was fighting; her boxing license was revoked a year ago after her hearing problems were discovered.
The most likely cause of death now is an illegal fight in which she was accidentally killed. But why the link to the mob body dump? Unless the mob was running the illegal fight. In order to find out what happened, Booth and Brennan have to infiltrate the fight scene. Quite literally, as they go undercover. Something that Brennan possibly enjoys too much.
Despite everything, it doesn't seem that the death was necessarily a fight that went wrong.