Booth and Brennan arrive at the Atlantic State University gymnasium where the chief of security leads them behind the bleachers. Chief Cutler explains to the partners how a student, Justine, opened the gym after a four-day weekend to discover a heap of maggot-infested bones.
Brennan discovers rats have been feasting on the body all weekend. While sifting through the mess, Booth recognizes Chief Cutler as Jack "Cutter" Cutler: the one-time college hoops star and Detroit Piston's draft pick. Two blown out knees took Cutler's life in another direction though. Brennan pulls a gold chain from the body and Booth and Cutler both recognize the "#11" chain as property of RJ Manning, ASU basketball star.
Brennan, Cam, Hodgins and Zack are in the lab examining the remains. The body has been squished like an accordion but Brennan knows it's wasn't the bleachers closing that killed RJ. The skull shows evidence of powdering and Hodgins and Zack go to work on reconstructing it. Dental records give the team confirmation. The body is indeed RJ Manning. Cam goes to inform the press while the squints get to work.
In the conference room, Booth and Brennan sit with Kamaria Manning, RJ's sister, and George Francis, an Atlantic State University volunteer. RJ and George got into a fight recently. But George doesn't blame the all star, seeing RJ was a twenty-year-old man and George treated him like a kid. He tells the partners they may want to speak with Dallas Verona, RJ's girlfriend and Coach Morse.
In the lab, Zack and Hodgins are trying to work a turkey carcass over a skull when Cam enters. They explain to her that crushing the turkey-covered skull against a heating grate will help determine whether the skull was crushed from repeated blows or if it was smashed by the force of the bleachers against the heating grate. They run the test and the messy results prove RJ was murdered.
Booth and Brennan are in the car and Booth offers his opinion of George Francis. He thinks the volunteer had a hidden agenda. RJ could have gone pro and would have brought in millions of dollars and given George plenty of opportunity to try and get his hands on some of it. The call comes in from the lab, confirming RJ's death was a murder.
Back in the ASU gym, Coach Morse addresses his team. He assigns Colby Page as RJ's replacement on the floor and asks the young man to lead the team in prayer. Along with the cheerleaders, Brennan and Booth watch on from the sidelines.
In the FBI conference room, the partners speak with Dallas Verona, ASU cheerleader and RJ Manning's girlfriend. She went home over the long weekend while RJ stayed on campus. Dallas says RJ felt bad about hitting George Francis but he never explained to her why he did it.
Back in the lab, Hodgins blends maggots found on RJ's body. The liquefied maggots will tell him if there were any foreign substances in RJ when he died. Cam enters to find her blender filled with bug juice.
In the ASU gym, Booth is shooting free throws while Brennan tries to convince him athletes are emotionally arrested in childhood. Booth takes offense to this, seeing as he's an athlete who only threw in the towel when his shoulder gave out. Booth leaves in a huff. Brennan picks up the basketball and takes a shot. Swish.
Outside the gym, the quarreling partners catch up with Colby Page and his fiancÃ©e, Celeste Cutler, the Chief's daughter. They want to speak with Colby because he's one of the few people to directly benefit from RJ's death. Colby says he went home over the weekend and Booth wants verification. And before he gives them anything else, Colby wants to speak with George Francis.
Cam arives in Angela's office with the tox results. And even though RJ reeked of bourbon, he tested negative for alcohol and sedatives. He came up positive for steroids though. Cam would like Angela to pass the information on to Hodgins. Angela reluctantly agrees.
Booth is back at ASU in Coach Morse's office. He tells the coach RJ was on steroids. Morse has a million dollar "conduct bonus" built into his coaching contract, giving him a million reasons to keep the steroid news from coming out. He tells Booth he has brain cancer, a gift from taking steroids. Coach Morse has about two years to live, so the money isn't quite enough incentive for him to kill. Booth believes him but needs to continue pursuing the steroids angle. The coach tells him not to worry about acquiring the warrant. Any player refusing to submit a urine sample is off the team.
Later, in the lab, the urine tests are in. Not one player has tested positive for steroids. But two of the samples come up positive for an antibiotic used to treat gonorrhea. And fluid found in RJ suggests he may have had the STD as well. The exact antibiotic level in the two samples tells Cam that a player with gonorrhea is covering for a player taking steroids.
Booth is in the interrogation room with Jimmy Fields and Ed Dekker. He tricks Jimmy into admitting to taking steroids. Booth tells the player he's going to go public with knowledge of his steroid use if Jimmy doesn't cooperate, and fess up to who provided him with the steroids.
Anglea approaches Cam in the lab. She isn't Hodgins assistant and doesn't want Cam treating her as such. Angela feels as if Cam crossed the line when asking her to relay messages to her boyfriend. Their relationship is a personal one and not office related. Cam responds by showing Angela the security footage of an occasion when Angela and Hodgins' personal relationship did become work-related... in the storage room. Cam's made her point.
Booth and Brennan find George Francis in the hall of ASU. Booth slams Francis against the wall, placing him under arrest for providing restricted substances to minors.
While Booth interrogates Francis, Brennan speaks with Chief Cutler in the observation room. Cutler tells Brennan, even though, his wife left him when his hoops career faded and all he has now is a pair of bad knees, he'd do it all again. Brennan does get it. Booth walks in, he does get it. Booth says Francis won't cop to providing steroids so he's going to plan B: convince Francis that if he doesn't confess to the steroids, he's confessing to murder.
In the lab, Hodgins shows Cam a cockroach leg covered in blue lipstick. The cockroach was found crawling through the lipstick on RJ Manning's body, but not on his lips.
Angela is watching the security footage of Hodgins and her when Cam enters. Angela is intrigued, proud of her work. Cam just wants her to keep the volume down.
Booth and Chief Cutler are in the interrogation room with Francis. Cutler thinks the fight between RJ and Francis started when Francis couldn't give RJ anymore steroids, angering the player. Cutler goes on to explain how if Francis doesn't fess up to the steroids, Booth is going to have to charge him with murder. Cutler paints the scenario. RJ came to Francis wanting to come clean to coach Morse and Francis killed him before he could do it. Francis, finally, admits to what the fight was about. The two of them had a deal. Francis would supply the kid with a car, an apartment, and support for his family. In return Francis would be entitled to a chunk of RJ's NBA income. And RJ tried to muscle his way out of the deal. Cutler is infuriated with Francis and Booth has to hold the Chief back.
In the lab, Cam tells Brennan about the saliva and pre-seminal fluid found in Mannings' shorts. There was no ejaculation present, which suggests RJ was killed while receiving oral sex. The cockroach points the squints to a woman with blue lipstick. The mucus discovered in RJ's hair tells them the couple must have been discovered behind the bleachers: the killer bashed in RJ's skull and the woman witnessed it.
Cam and Angela explain the new scenario to Zack. He points them to some crystalline deposits found in RJ's wrist. Its gonorrhea bacteria; possibly another gift from the blue-lipsticked girl. Seeing as Ed Dekker has the same strain of the disease, he may be able to help identify the girl.
Booth and Brennan walk through the ASU men's locker-room. They catch up with Ed while he's in the shower. All Ed is admitting to is peeing into a cup for Jimmy and he's having a hard time talking to the partners while he's naked and Brennan is there. After Brennan leaves, Ed admits he contracted the clap from his poli-sci tutor, Justine, the same Justine who discovered RJ's body.
On campus, Booth and Brennan speak with Justine. She starts crying and she admits to having gonorrhea. RJ gave the STD to her, then blew her off. Then she gave it to Ed as revenge. Booth wants a sample of her DNA, thinking she may have been the blue-lipsticked girl with RJ behind the bleachers. She throws her tear-soaked tissue at him, ripping a chunk of her hair out to go with it. She storms off in tears.
At the lab, Cam has news for Anglea. Justine's saliva didn't match that of the blue-lipsticked girl. Angela has tracked down the shade of lipstick. It's from a promotional line targeted at cheerleaders.
In the gym, the ASU cheerleaders practice, all of them adorned in blue lipstick. Chief Cutler shows up and all the girls have their mouths swabbed for DNA. Booth and Brennan stand in line with Dallas. She knows RJ was cheating on her and claims it wasn't her with him under the bleachers. Dallas breaks down.
Zack has finishes reconstructing the skull. He and Brennan look it over. They discover a marking, the number 25, most likely from a free weight, imprinted on the skull.
In the weight room, Booth, Brennan and Chief Cutler wait as a FBI Forensic Tech searches the weights with an ALS light. He quickly finds a 25 pound weight with blood splattering. They've got their murder weapon.
In the lab, Brennan, Booth and Cam walk and talk. The blood on the weight is definitely RJ's. And the saliva is a partial match from one of the cheerleaders, Celeste Cutler.
Booth and Brennan have Celeste and Colby in the interrogation room. They swab Colby to match his DNA to the spit found in RJ's hair. Colby's confused and swears he had nothing to do with RJ's death. Cam interrupts with a DNA match for the spit on RJ. She hands the partners a print-out. It looks as if only one of the current suspects is going to need a lawyer.
On the bleachers, in the gym, Booth and Brennan find Chief Cutler. He admits to everything. He walked in the gym and saw his daughter with RJ. She heard someone coming and took off and that's when Jack killed RJ. Cutler, now in tears, pulls a gun from his gym bag and raises it to his own head.
Booth wants to speak with Cutler alone, and Brennan leaves the two athletes. Booth tries to talk Jack out of killing himself. As Cutler readies to pull the trigger, Brennan appears from the side of the bleachers, wedging the web of her thumb and index finger into the hammer of the gun, affectively blocking the firing pin. She is able to grab the gun from the distraught man.
Booth and Brennan finish eating in the diner and they discuss "the jock mentality," how athletes take children's games too seriously. But Brennan doesn't see Booth as one of them. She thinks they pretend to be warriors. Booth is a warrior and he proves it daily.