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Bones Recap: Episode 1.01, “Pilot”

Pilot

Angela is late to the airport, and the arrivals board is broken. She’s waiting for someone coming in from Guatemala. The counter attendant won’t help her, so the flashes him to get some attention. “Please tell me you tried “˜excuse me’ first,” comes a voice from behind her and it’s the person she’s waiting on: Dr. Temperance Brennan. Brennan and Angela catch up and info-dump about how she went to Guatemala to escape a bad breakup. In the middle of the info-dump, she pivots around and asks the large black man behind her why he’s following them and when one of the other guys with him goes to put a hand on her, she lays him out. Main guy IDs himself as Department of Homeland Security and he wants to see what’s in the bag. Ever obliging, Brennan hands it over and says “Boo!” as he pulls a skull out.
That’s our title character, ladies and gents. She’s Dr. Temperance Brennan, and she explains to DHS that she was in Guatemala identifying victims of genocide. DHS Officer thinks she’s a sociopath and reminds her that she was carrying an illegal object and assaulted a DHS officer. A nice looking guy in a suit enters room as Brennan apologizes for embarrassing the DHS officer and the demands to know what nice guy in a suit is doing here. The man, FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth explains (via info-dump) that Brennan is a famed anthropologist and author and that “Bones IDs bodies for us,” Brennan asks that he not call her that and the DHS officer says that she’s all his. “You got a hold for questioning request from the FBI, didn’t you?” Brennan questions. Sheepishly, the DHS agent admits that he loves her book. In the car back to DC, Booth asks a furious Brennan, “At least I picked you up at the airport.” She wants to know what he wants and he reveals that he has a corpse at Arlington. In the pond, not in a grave. Brennan doesn’t want to work with him and wants out of the car. “I find you very condescending.”  Booth snarks that she’s not the only forensic anthropologist in town, but she corrects him by reminding him that she is. She agrees to work with him but wants full participation in the case, including field work. Zach Addy, Brennan’s intern, is already at the scene. Booth thinks that Zach is a typical “squint,” a term which Brennan doesn’t understand. Booth explains that squints are people who take evidence and, you know, squint at it. Brenna asks, “You mean people with very high IQs and basic reasoning skills?” A camera is taken under the water and it shows a skeleton in a net. Brennan agrees this this is a crime scene and the remains are taken back to the Jeffersonian. Back at the museum, Bones stares at the … bones (there are a lot of these kind of montages in the first season). The remains are wrapped in PVC coated chicken wire and were weighted to sink. The victim is a young woman,  18-22,  5’3″, delicate features, tennis player (Brennan sees signs of bursitis). There’s no clothing; Booth thinks that leads to a sex crime, Brennan thinks it could be someone who prefers to wear natural fibers.

There’s a lot in this episode that qualifies as exposition, but it’s done in a really subtle way. We meet Jack Hodgins, the Bug and Slime guy, who determines that she died the spring before last, and also identifies some small bones that were mixed in with the remains as frog bones. The team of squints discuss their alternative characters in Brennan’s book. Zach refers to the remains as a “soaker” at one point and later, Brennan reminds him that she doesn’t like terms like that used as we head into another montage of Brennan piecing the skull back together late into the night. Meanwhile, Booth’s boss wants to know why Booth agreed to let a scientist into the field.He explains that Brennan didn’t like that he questioned her the first time they worked together. He wants to get her trust back, that’s why he agreed to let her in the field. At home, Brennan is sleeping when she hears footsteps and grabs her baseball bat, good girl! She smashes her tv which someone is stealing and it turns out that it’s just her ex, Peter. Quickly, she realizes that he didn’t come for his tv; he came for a booty call. He blames her lack of intimacy on her abandonment as a child and she, rightly, boots him out.

Back at the lab, Angela, the team’s forensic artist, fires up her magic machine that uses all the data the victim’s bones and comes up with a hologram of the victim (we know this because they neatly infodump it to Booth). Brennan thinks the victim looks familiar and Booth identifies her as Cleo Eller, a senate intern who was having an affair with a Senator and disappeared over a year earlier. It was Booth’s case and he wants Brennan off the case now. There’s too much for him to lose and he doesn’t want the squints messing it up. Brennan threatens to release the victim’s name to the press, killing the case for Booth. He rightly thinks he’s being blackmailed and he doesn’t like it, but lets Brennan stay on the case. One reason Cleo’s disappearance went unsolved for so long was because of a plethora of potential suspects. Cleo worked for Senator Alan Bethlehem and it was rumored that she was having an affair with him, her boyfriend Ken Thompson was Bethlehem’s aide. She also had a stalker, Oliver Laurier, whom she obtained a restraining order against shortly before she died. First things first, though, Booth wants to inform Cleo’s family. Cleo’s mother wants to know if she felt pain and Booth assures her that she didn’t see it coming. Brennan looks at Booth, wondering why he lied. He explains that they don’t want the truth; they want the comfort of a lie. She asks what he did in the military and he shuts down, explaining that she doesn’t get to ask personal questions without giving something of herself first.

The squints discover that Cleo was on anti-nausea medications and anti-depressants at the time of her death and what the team thought were frog bones were actually fetal bones. Cleo was pregnant. Brennan confides to Angela that she worries that Booth is right; she’s no good with people. She understands bones better than living people. She knows that Cleo broke her wrist when she was a kid and got back on her bike before it healed. She knows that she fought back against her attacker, even though she was so depressed she could barely get out of bed. Angela suggests that maybe she’s distant because she connects too much if she lets herself. Echoing Booth’s advice from earlier, Angela suggests offering up a little of herself sometimes.

They visit the Senator and his aide advises him not to give a DNA sample until he speaks to his lawyer. Then, stupidly, he tosses his gum in a trash can, which Brennan retrieves. The aide tries to take it away and Brennan takes him down swiftly. Booth’s boss is pissed and informs Booth that he’s being taken off the case effective tomorrow. Brennan doesn’t want to let it rest, though; she feels bad for getting Booth in trouble, so they go roust, Oliver, Cleo’s stalker, to see if he has any clues. He explains that Cleo didn’t get the restraining order; Thompson did. He was actually Cleo’s good friend.

Brennan looks over the bones again and determines that Cleo was stabbed first, then her fingertips were removed, then her face was smashed with a hammer on a surface that had special particulates called diatomaceous earth in it. A military knife was used, casting suspicion on her father, and cellulose matching paper that her stalker distributed was found on her person, implicating him. Very devious. Booth doesn’t trust the magic hologram’s depiction of event, though. Brennan points out that it’s a logical series of events based on the evidence. Booth snarks that the squints don’t understand how things work in the real world and most of the team leaves. Angela stays and reminds Booth that Brennan has had her share of the real world: parents disappearing while she was a child, no one finding them ever. Booth finds Brennan blowing off steam in the target practice room. She’s done some research on him, too, and reveals that he was an ex-Army Ranger sniper in the Gulf. Bethlehem doesn’t seem like a killer to Booth; stalker Oliver does. He doesn’t trust the science and Brennan doesn’t trust his gut. Booth says that squints don’t solve murders, cops do. Brennan challenges him to prove it. Booth gets a warrant to search Bethlehem’s place to find the floor Cleo was killed on and it’s a media circus when they get there. Thompson reads the warrant and tells Brennan that they’re making a big mistake. Oliver is there, too, wanting Brennan to sign his book. “Stalk me, Oliver, and I’ll kick your ass.” They remove a hammer from the house, but Bethlehem says it’s not his. The floor isn’t a match, either. They’ve got nothing. Hodgins pulls out Oliver’s Book of Saints for guidance and a mention of a fishmonger makes Brennan remember that Oliver said Ken Thompson had fish! The diatomaceous earth is used in tropical fish tanks, too, and Thompson read the warrant, so Brennan has to hurry. She arrives at Thompson’s and sees him pouring gasoline all over his fish area. He threatens to burn the place down, with him in it. Brennan shoots him in the leg before he can. Stalker Oliver is there, too, and Booth arrives shortly. Brennan asks Oliver to apply pressure to Ken’s wound, but he’s down with him bleeding to death until Booth reminds him that applying pressure can hurt someone. Brennan doesn’t know why still … Booth says he was just trying to keep his job. A big scandal with a pregnant intern would have brought Bethlehem down and cost Thompson his fast track.

All the squints attend Cleo’s funeral. Booth explains to Brennan that he killed so many people as a sniper, he wants to try and put away at least as many murders as he killed. Brennan would like to help with that. Something tells me this is going to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

By Crystal Coleman

Florida girl living on the west coast. During the day, I consult in social media and community management. I have a really cute puppy (Elphaba) and a British husband (I keep him for his accent) as well as an unhealthy relationship with parentheses. http://thatgirlcrystal.com

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