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Bones - 8.09 Ghost in the Machine - Recap/Review

Well, it's been a full week since Bones' 150th episode aired. In the tradition of doing something special, the team decided to show the perspective of the dead guy. In a break with usual 100th or 150th tradition, they went for dour instead of celebratory making for a slightly uncomfortable definitely sad episode. As much as I would love to love this episode and as much as I hate spouting things fro class in a recap, I have to agree with my English teacher in that the best tragedy is borne from humor and vice-versa. With very few highs, this episode was an unwelcome shift from tone. What follows are my intial impressions of the episode as I watched it opposed to now after I've had some time to think about it:

It starts with Hodgins having to remove a shed load of wasps from the remains. The episode starts from the body’s perspective. What an usual way to do an episode. There’s no way that the person is still alive because they only have a skull. Brennan doesn’t want to tell her theory as to whether their “body” is male or female in front of Hodgins because she doesn’t want to be professionally embarrassed but she’ll tell Booth. She postulates that it’s male but is certain that the skull is thirteen or fourteen. She theorizes that because the victim is a kid, that makes them all feel a certain worry for their kids and then starts having the need to hold Christine. Booth leans into the skull.

“We’re gonna find out what happened to you kid.”

Avalon, Angela’s physic comes in and tells Hodgins she heard the kid calling to her. She says he’s listening and that he had unfinished business. Don’t we all… She asks for five minutes to commune with the decedent and Hodgins refuses. As does Cam when she appears. The rest of the remains have been x-rayed and Hodgins relays what Avalon said about the kid listening. Cam says not to swear around the body. I resent that. I was swearing long before that, okay not a long time before that, but before that just the same. Brennan relays that he was fit and has a myriad of old injuries but that might be explained by his fitness and potentially daredevil ways. Angela is upset but she tries to get thru it.

Angela introduces herself to the skull which she admits it’s weird but she gives him a description of what everyone does at the Jeffersonian before telling him she thought he was probably cute, ground his teeth, and put on a tough face for others possibly because of his small size.

The wasp’s nest was over a year old and Hodgins analyses this with how long it would take for a brain to decompose and determines the boy died two years ago.

Colin Gibson. Avalon kept hearing someone ‘Colin’ or ‘calling’ as Hodgins points out. Booth notes he was fourteen and Brennan starts crying. It shows how far she’s come because when a similarly aged if not younger boy was killed as his prep school in season one, it was just business as usual but I think I prefer Brennan to treat all the victims the same.

Hodgins says he’s never seen Brennan tear up for a victim before. Was he not there when she was pregnant? Or is he discounting it because of the pregnancy hormones. He tells Colin he was lucky. Cam asks Colin to tell her mother she is “87% happy and I love her very much. Thanks.”

The victim was decomposed above ground for eight months to a year. Hodgins tells Colin life is a mess but he’s still sorry he missed out on it while cleaning him up before his parents arrive. Brennan wonders why an untrained person would want to see the skeleton as they all look the same without training. Cam tells her she put the bones on a shroud so that it would show reverence for the boy and his parents.

Booth asks about the day Colin disappeared. The parents tell him it was a routine day then says that Colin excelled at a number of sports but wasn’t really a team player. When the missing persons people asked questions, they found he had lots of friends.

Examining the bones, Brennan finds that Colin suffered fractures to his arms and clavicle from a fall during which he put his arms out to brace himself. She notes he was moving fast and asks if he was running ways from something. She asks if he fell on something sharp before or after he snapped his neck or if someone stabbed him. She admits she lied when she said he died instantly because Sweets asked her to. Cam is surprised to find another one of her underlings talking to the body.

Hodgins had found a paint chip with the body and Sweets brings two of his friends down with some evidence. Brennan excuses herself to go “Somewhere else to do something else.”

What the kids brought was Colin’s skateboard and a CD of his music he had given the girl. Brennan asks if the wasps could have caused some staining that did not permeate the bone and Hodgins tells her the paint chip belongs to an El Camino. Avalon walks in and asks to talk to Colin because he’s really sad. Hodgins lets her while he goes to get a cup of coffee.

Avalon tells Colin he was supposed to fall in love twice and have three children but not to worry about those souls because they’ll find another way into the world.

“Your death was a tragedy because you were going to make the world a better place.”

Avalon says she doesn’t understand why he’s still there after her beautiful speech but she will and she’ll help him make the journey.

The car was registered to Colin’s dad. Booth doesn’t want him to be the bad guy but now he has to bring him in. Sweets is all the sudden certain that he might find the clues to why his father might have wanted to kill him. Sweets says that it’s even more telling that he didn’t remove them from his social presence. Angela points out that Colin had the hots for an older girl.

“If every teenage boy killed people who had a crush on their hot girlfriend, the species would be dead in half a generation.”

Hodgins says that at most the wasps would have been within two miles of a concentration of trees. Brennan takes the skull home so that she can work on the case and Booth is not happy she had brought it home. Booth tells her that Colin’s father fell apart when he interrogated him not knowing that he was a suspect. He didn’t notice the missing hood ornament because he hasn’t worked on his car since Colin disappeared. Booth playing with a light prompts Brennan to think that the discoloration could have been caused by exposure to light.

In the morning, Booth gives Colin a battle field prayer. Brennan plays Colin’s music in the car; the type he collected not the type he played. The music starts messing up and they arrive at their destination. Booth kicks in the door of a house he admits they should probably get a warrant for but as the place is mostly abandoned, I doubt anyone would challenge their presents. Brennan finds a set of holes the wall that match the discoloration and Booth finds the hood ornament. They’re fairly certain that this is where Colin was stored.

Back at the lab, Angela had been working on the sequence Colin was killed. She had Colin in the lab to compare his injuries. Cam, Brennan, and Angela works on a couple of theories as to how he could have been hit by the car before Brennan remembers that he was trying to impress his older friends so maybe he was standing on the car when they hit a bump, he lost his balance, the driver slowed down, and the inadvertent killer stashed the body.

“It was an accident.”

B+B bring in the kid’s friends and place them in a room with the skull and declare that it’s murder unless somebody else has a theory. Sweets put forth that maybe it was an accident and somebody saw the parents somewhere so whoever decided to move the body so it would be found. The kids accuse someone and he confesses to it happening exactly as it described. He says the greenhouse was better because it was warm.

Angela later tells Avalon that the others confessed, but the girl didn’t know. But Colin is still there. Angela takes him from the lab so that he won’t be cremated. Or at least his spirit will have departed before he goes. Come on girls! Watch Supernatural, salt and burn. But Angela has a soul decides to talk to Brennan. She plays Brennan the track that was static on the MP3 because it was a video. They bring everyone in, including the girl, to play the track for her and that was his unfinished business. He glances at the faces of all those present a few times before settling on himself on the screen and then the girls.

“Colin loved me?”

The next shot of the episode is in the show’s usual format of showing everything and Colin is seen as a ghost. Avalon tells her that the kid already knows she got his message and he rides off on his stake board.

At the end Brennan asks if it’s too early to learn the periodic table of elements. And Booth gives her a mix tape starting with their song, which is of course, Hot Blooded.

Next episode: the long awaited episode of dance on January 14th

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