There's an awkward tension between Booth and Brennan since they've been back together after Brennan's months in hiding. They're provided with a welcome distraction when a burned body is found in an oil drum under a bridge and they are called to the scene, but end up bickering as they investigate, both working too hard to prove themselves to each other after their time away.
The victim is identified from stents from heart surgery as Richard Bartlett, a high-powered and ruthless divorce lawyer for wealthy couples. He was stabbed in the neck with a fountain pen, and when Booth and Brennan visit his office, they find one of his pens missing, and his young secretary, Margot Sandoval, shredding documents... and traces of blood in the office.
There are no shortage of suspects, but suspicion falls on Gavin and Melanie Carmichael, who had a meeting scheduled with Bartlett on the night he was murdered; the shredded documents were the notes from that meeting. Another suspect is uncovered when the contents of Bartlett's stomach are identified. As Hodgins finds DNA that could lead to the identification of the true killer, Angela reconstructs the shredded documents and finds evidence of an unexpected affair that points the finger at yet more suspects.