Season 2 Episode 11

Judas on a Pole

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Dec 13, 2006 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
795 votes

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Episode Summary

Booth and Brennan are called to the scene where a man's body was found gutted, burned, and hung like a scarecrow on the roof of a Federal Building. Evidence left on the body re-opens a 30-year-old case and links back to Brennan's father. Meanwhile, Zack must defend his dissertation to obtain his doctorate, asking help from a colleague.moreless

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  • The episode that made me stop watching Bones.

    The addition of Cam at the beginning of the season was bad enough, especially with how controlling she was. Then, slowly but surely, they began destroying Zach. This was the episode where they basically ruined his character. I'm sorry, but how hard would it be to simply inform him he needed to clean up/dress up for court dates. His hair cut was AWFUL. Then there's the issue of Brennan's family. We learn that Russ has been lying to her for years, and her father is essentially a sociopath. He kills without remorse, yet we're supposed to respect him for that? Especially with the WAY he goes about it? This show went from being an interesting, quirky, forensic show, to crud in the space of one season. Great job producers and writers. Great job.moreless
  • This episode not only redefined the way I look at Tempe but, I think, will redefine how she looks at herself!

    State up front, I love this show. I will not miss it for anything and tonight's episode is the best example of why.

    The "A" storyline deals with the body found on the roof and the release of an innocent man. When they find the former FBI agent at the start, we should have known that things are going to get complicated. Especially when we learn it is the roof of the FBI office (don't they ever go up there?). Anyway, when Tempe's brother comes and things start threatening, we should have clued in to the fact that their father has something to do with the case. And when Booth lost his job, "crookedness" should have reared its head but didn't. The priest was trying to warn them but didn't get through. More about this in a minute.

    The "B" storyline is about turning a young man, Zack, from a geek who looks too young to a man. Defending a dissertation is challenging in itself, but for him to be trying to keep his job is added stress. The character is one -- I can't even remember his name most of the time -- but I think tonight we see a turning point for Zack too. He gets a new look and a permanent job.

    Okay -- back to Tempe. Tonight, Tempe has to really face the ghost from her past. After finding blood and thinking her brother is dead, she turns to Booth who, for once, has no power to protect her. When she goes to meet the priest, Booth has realized who it is and tries to reach her. Booth is scared for her because he thinks the priest, who in reality is her father, might be going to kill her or make her disappear. Instead, Tempe's father has something to give her which offers protection and gets Booth's job back. That last line that Ryan O'Neal says to Booth: "Take care of her" tells us so much. He sees what neither Booth or Tempe see -- that we care for each other.

    The final scene is telling. Tempe realizes that she will always be without a family yet Booth is there to point out that she does have a family -- the people at the institute and him. The celebration for the young doctor (Zack) is a family celebration. The news Booth has -- another body on he roof who died in the same manner -- is also telling. Tempe's father sends the message by killing Booth's boss that he will always be in the background taking care of Tempe.

    I'm really still digesting this episode. I have to say I think that Tempe and Booth both grew in their characters tonight. I like the make-over. And, I hate to admit it, the addition of Ryan O'Neal as Tempe's father is a wonderful casting coup and makes me remember how good he was in his movie roles.moreless
  • Brennan's father resurfaces, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake.

    Unusual opening, starting with the crime rather than the usual beginning of the investigation.

    This is a nasty case for Brennan. When her father ordered the hit on the man who killed his wife, it was still understandable. Here he deliberately, violently and publicly executes a man who was threatening his son. There's no happily ever after here, this isn't some misunderstood criminal who's a good father and deserves forgiveness – he's a cold-blooded killer and Brennan and Russ have to live with that, together with the knowledge that their father will continue to kill anyone who threatens them.

    One of the terms for a priest is 'father', the reunion with her father doesn't go exactly as planned. While it is touching, it forces Russ, Brennan and Booth to pick sides. Booth's feelings for Brennan stops him doing his job, stopping a killer. And another man dies. You can't pick your family.

    Angela does a great job on Zach's makeover, he looks very nice. They really have no right to pick on Zach about how to be an expert witness, have they forgotten just how bad Brennan is when she's testifying?!

    Great family episode, very emotional.moreless
  • An episode that clues us in on why Bones is the way she is. And we learn that her parents may have been more than they appeared.

    First of all, I loved this episode. It's one of those episodes that just fits, it wasn't a filler, it had a new character who will be involved in future episodes, and we got a look into the true feelings of Temperance Brennen. For a few seconds we see that sad little girl whose parents just left on Christmas one year and never came back. It clues us in on why she acts the way she does, why she prefers science over actual emotions. We even get some cute hugging scenes from Bones and Booth, showing how much she trusts him now. My favorite part has to be when they show Max burning the guy's body on the roof, with the song that plays, it just shows how good a scene the writers and directors of Bones can be. And the fact that Bones has a Father who basically says "Stay away from my kids or I'll hunt you down" is a weird way of saying "Sorry I abandoned you when you were a kid". A great episode making us appreciate Bones just a little more.moreless
  • this episode is awesome!

    I like this episode because its so sneaky, i really did not think that the father was the priest at first, i think they chose a really good actor, plus i love this show is awesome so yeah.... 10/10 in my opinion, i think it is kinda crappy for Brennen's brother to go with the father, which kinda screws over his family. I thought it was funny that they destroyed the lawyers car. the main thing i didn't like was Zack's 'transformation', who cares about looks if hes a genious right? but thats about it im just writing to get 100 words nowmoreless
David Boreanaz

David Boreanaz

Special Agent Seeley Booth

Emily Deschanel

Emily Deschanel

Dr. Temperance Brennan

Eric Millegan

Eric Millegan

Zack Addy

Michaela Conlin

Michaela Conlin

Angela Montenegro

T.J. Thyne

T.J. Thyne

Dr. Jack Hodgins

Tamara Taylor

Tamara Taylor

Dr. Camille Saroyan

Loren Dean

Loren Dean

Russ Brennan

Guest Star

Lou Beatty Jr.

Lou Beatty Jr.

Marvin Beckett

Guest Star

Ryan Cutrona

Ryan Cutrona

FBI Dep. Director Kirby

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (13)

    • This is the first episode when we see how the victim was killed (in this case burned) before the team discovers the remains.

    • When Brennan is talking to the priest and he tells her that her father came to see him to confess, she states that her family isn't Catholic. But in the Temperance Brennan novel series written by Kathy Reichs, from which her character is based, it is stated that she is Catholic.

    • Goof: While Booth calls Caroline Julian to ask her for her help with the sniper list, we can see that she has a fur on her steering wheel. After the camera cuts back to her, the fur has disappeared.

    • Although Brennan's father had drastically altered his appearance and aged 15 years since she'd seen him, she still should have been able to identify his voice, especially since she recognized his voice from the message he left on her answering machine in the last episode of season one (presumably only a few months earlier).

    • Goof: When Max kills and burns his first victim we are told by Booth that he also gutted him. But when the shot cut to him on fire there is no sign of any trauma - his shirt is even still tucked in.

    • When Russ is in Brennan's apartment talking to her about the girls and Booth enters with the file for Gus Harper, Booth hands over the list and it has Steve Beers' name on it. That's the name Vince McVicar went by in the Witness Protection Program.

    • Goof: When Booth is at Bones' house talking with her and Russ about their parents, he hands a list of bank robbers and their code names to Bones and then starts to put some pictures on the coffee table. The last two pictures are from Cook and Columbus. After Bones says "All named after explorers.", Russ points at two pictures and says "That's mom and dad." But we never saw Booth taking out Ruth Keenan's picture from the file. It just appeared from nowhere..
      And if you pay attention, you can see that when Booth is throwing the pictures on the table and is saying the third name, the camera angle changes to the table and there are more than three pictures there. Actually, five of them.
      And when Ruth Keenan's picture appears out of the blue, there are fewer pictures than before. Maybe two or three.
      Ruth Keenan aka Christine Brennan - Alias Fremont
      Max Keenan aka Matthew Brennan - Alias Columbus

    • When Dr. Brennan uses the phrase "Thank God" (referring to Russ being with their father), she clarifies that she only uses it as a figure of speech, clearing up any speculation audiences may have about her usage of this phrase in past episodes.

    • At the end, when the team is waiting for Cam to decide if she will hire Zack, in the far back there is an x-ray plate of an upper body. In the last quiet moment before Cam says yes to Zack the dark areas underneath the armpits form devil horns on Cam.

    • Goof: When Russ picks up his dad at the end, there is neither a bandage nor a wound where the bullet grazed his neck in the diner. And there wasn't enough time elapsed for it to heal. It just disappeared from one scene to the next.

    • Goof: At the end, when Cam agrees to hire Zack and Angela offers to buy him lunch, on the wide shot, Angela crosses her arms across her chest, then it cuts to a close up and she crosses them again, without having uncrossed them.

    • Zack's full name is: Zachary Uriah Addy

    • Goof: When FBI Dep. Director Kirby is burned on the pole at the end, he should have blood on him/his clothes. It is mentioned that the blood in Dr. Brennan's apartment was his, and with that much blood loss, it would be visible on his clothes and skin/body somewhere. Instead, his clothes are spotless, and there are also no visible wounds to cause the blood loss that he had.

  • QUOTES (44)

    • Brennan: (after seeing what she thinks is Russ' blood on the floor) Oh my God. Booth!
      Booth: What?
      Brennan: Russ ...
      Booth: All right, just take it easy, all right? We don't know that for sure.
      Brennan: (scared) That's too much blood. Nobody could survive tha- that much blood loss. Nobody. (she puts her face on Booth's shoulder and hugs him)
      Booth: (surprised) All right, okay. (hugs her back) It's all right.
      Brennan: Oh my God.

    • Booth: Call your brother and tell him to get out of the house. (Brennan gets the phone) Tell him to get out, now!
      Brennan: Why what's going on?
      Booth: Seconds after Caroline got this list, Kirby knew about it.
      Brennan: He's not answering, I don't understand, Booth.
      Booth: It's not us that Kirby is afraid of, it's your father. The only way to strike at him is to go through you or Russ. Kirby was the one that took a shot at Russ.
      Brennan: (with the phone to her ear) No answer.

    • Brennan: It's against the law, us not calling it a murder.
      Booth: It wasn't a murder, it was a blood stain.
      Brennan: That much blood? It's mur- it's murder.
      Booth: We call it in, next thing is we find ourselves under arrest.
      Brennan: That had to be Russ's blood.
      Booth: You got a sample, alright? We'll check the DNA at the lab. Until then, you know, who's the one that always says "don't jump to conclusions"?
      Brennan: Yeah, you're right. Thanks.

    • Russ: Me at work. Me and Amy. This is the day before yesterday. Dad was right. Someone's watching.
      Booth: This is worse than watching.
      Brennan: What do you mean?
      Booth: This is hunting.
      Russ: Hunting?
      Booth: As in kill. You see these right here? These are ranges. He's picking out a spot from which to shoot at you.
      Russ: So what do I do now?
      Brennan: The hunter's dead. The hunt is over, right?

    • Brennan: (upset) Columbus shot a man in the head, hung him from a pole, gutted him and set him on fire, and Columbus is our father.

    • Coulter: You know, you're very much like him.
      Brennan: I'm, I'm nothing like my father.
      Coulter: Black and white. The two of you always saw the world in black and white.

    • Brennan: Why didn't you tell me you had Father Coulter under surveillance?
      Booth: It is my job to find your dad and put him in prison.
      Brennan: And you don't think I'll help?
      Booth: What? He's your father. I really don't think I should have to ask you to help.
      Brennan: He abandoned me, Booth, and that's the best thing you can say about him.
      Booth: Your father lives by a certain code and part of that code is defending his family by whatever means necessary.
      Brennan: You mean killing people and setting their corpses on fire.
      Booth: Any means necessary sort of covers that.
      Brennan: You respect him?
      Booth: I'm just saying in his world he's a very honorable man.
      Brennan: That's ridiculous. There's only one world. It's this one.
      Booth: Would that be the one world where you're mad at me for trying to catch your father or the other world where you actually want him caught.
      Brennan: Neither.
      Booth: Well, you gotta pick one.
      Brennan: Either. Both.

    • Booth: Bones, I take a stand-up crook over a crooked cop any day of the week.

    • Russ: Tempe, Father Coulter has a message from dad.
      Coulter: It's a private message.
      Brennan: Come to my office.
      (Booth follows them but Father Coulter is about to close the door before Booth has entered the office)
      Russ: She's just gonna tell Agent Booth anyway, you might as well let him listen.

    • Max Keenan: (To Booth talking about Brennan) You take care of her!

    • Max Keenan: (To Brennan) Listen to me. If you find somebody that you can trust, you hang on to him. Remember that.

    • Booth: That's my boss's boss's boss.

    • Bones: (Hurt, almost to tears) You talked to Russ but not to me?
      Max Keenan: You know, to tell you the truth, you do, you do better without me and Russ does worse.

    • Father Coulter: Well, first I want to tell you that your brother is ... uh ... with his father.
      Bones: You mean, with God?
      Father Coulter: No, his earthly father, your father.
      Bones: Are you certain?
      Father Coulter: Saw it with my own eyes.
      Bones: (with sudden relief) Uh, Thank God, (quickly clarifying) which I use only as a figure of speech.

    • Booth: (Talking about Russ) I still make him nervous, don't I? (Pulls Bones out of her chair by the arm) Come on let's go.
      Bones: What...why do I always feel like you're abducting me? (hits him playfully on the arm)

    • Zack: (discussing his meeting with the dissertation committee) I rectified their erroneous assumptions concerning polyvinyl replication.
      Hodgins: You corrected them?
      Zack: Only when they were wrong.

    • Zack: I assume that the only way Booth can get his car back would be to solve the case on his own and we would help.

    • Asst. U.S. Attorney Julian: Task force; sniper training; seventies; duck. Got it.

    • Brennan: I wouldn't let anyone else call you a loser, Russ. What makes you think you're allowed?
      Russ: I love you too.

    • Hodgins: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, Marvin Beckett? Back in the 60's Marvin Beckett was a civil rights activist. He made his bones protesting African-American over representation in the Vietnam war. In '78 he was sent to prison for life.

    • Brennan: (looking around Delaney's apartment, talking to Booth) His place is much better than yours. Ten times better.
      Booth: I told you, he left public service. He makes, uh, more money than I.

    • Booth: He's a stoolie.
      Brennan: What, Zack?
      Booth: No, our victim, ya know? He's a rat, a snitch.
      Brennan: What makes you say that?
      Booth: His guts got spilled, alright? Ya know, spill your guts.

    • (Zack is defending his thesis in front of Brennan and other board members when Booth walks in.)
      Booth: Hey, Bones, come on. We've got a body. Went up like a Roman candle ... hey, Zack! How's it going?
      Zack: So far, they don't like me.
      Booth: Shocker. (to Brennan) Come on, let's go.
      Brennan: What? I'm in the middle of something.
      Booth: Well, you know, real life murder and mutilation versus academic clap-trap, no contest, sorry. (to the other board members) No offense.

    • (Booth and Brennan outside the diner. Inside all the squints are celebrating Zack getting hired)
      Booth: I'm sorry, that you had to go through it again, watching your family drive off, leaving you behind. I'm sorry.
      Brennan: My father is, is-
      Booth: He's your dad, and he loves you.
      Brennan: (close to tears) You know, I'm just...I'm just one of those people who doesn't get to be in a family.
      Booth: Listen, Bones, hey. There's more than one kind of family. (He looks at her with concern, holding her chin. They're having a moment when Zack knocks at the window and signals them to come in) Well, Zack got the job, right?
      Brennan: Come in and congratulate him.
      Booth: Nah, he's your squints, not my squints.
      Brennan: No, Booth! (takes him by the arm and drags him to the door) We are all of us your squints. Do me a favor and pat Zack on the shoulder with an open hand.

    • Dr. Brennan: (Dismissing Russ' warning that they are in danger) I spend half of my time with a sniper trained FBI agent, I feel safe.

    • Booth: Don't drink the Moroccan beer, it tastes like earwax.

    • Dr. Saroyan: This is going to turn out to be some freaky ritualistic thing, isn't it?
      Dr. Hodgins: Oh man, I hope so.

    • Dr. Hodgins: (To Booth) Dude, what you call being a conspiracy theorist, I call being well informed.

    • Booth: (After Hodgins has informed him of the letter about Marvin Beckett) Okay, who else knows about this?
      Hodgins: Us and you, that's it.
      Booth: Let's keep it that way.
      Hodgins: I've seen this movie, I get killed on the way home.
      Booth: Then don't go home.
      Hodgins: (As Booth walks away) You serious?

    • Dr. Hodgins: (To Zack after Dr. Saroyan comments on his "look") Truth hurts dude, learn from it and grow.

    • Asst. U.S. Attorney Julian: Hey, I'm ruining my career, I'm doing it my way, understand!

    • Booth: (talking about Zack) Is he gonna make it?
      Brennan: (talking about the corpse in front of them) No he's very dead.

    • Booth: (to Father Coulter) How do you accidentally blow up a train trestle?

    • Cam: Suspended is FBI speak for fired.

    • Cam: (to Zack) You look like a weekend fill-in at a college radio station.

    • Booth: Hey, let's go tell Bones
      Cam: I just saw her, she's on her way to see the priest.
      Booth: Why?
      Cam: He said he had something for her.
      Booth: No, she can't go places without me. Not when it's open season on Brennans.

    • Brennan: I wish you wouldn't keep letting me hug you when I get scared.
      Booth: Hey, I get scared...I'll hug you. We'll call it even.

    • Asst. U.S. Attorney Julian: Here's your list of snipers from the decade of disco. This time, I'm advising you: duck!
      Brennan: Anyone you know?
      Booth: Yeah, the ATF rep on the task force was a marine sniper, Robert Kirby.
      Brennan: FBI Deputy Director Robert Kirby? That just suspended you?

    • Father Coulter: I spent my whole life trying to turn Max's life to Jesus. He knows exactly one bible verse: Numbers 35:19.
      Booth: (reads from a bible) The revenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer: when he meeteth him, he shall slay him.
      Brennan: What does that mean?
      Booth: That's the law of the jungle.

    • Dep. Director Kirby: You're suspended without pay. (shuddering breath from Booth) Gun, ID, security card please.
      Booth: Sir, I am entitled to the reading of the charges against me.
      Dep. Director Kirby: The charges...against you...are that I was pissed upon from a very great height!

    • Zack: I read a book on body language. Apparently in our culture, when an older male lays an open hand on a younger male, it conveys approval. But if he bumps younger male with a closed fist, it conveys doubt. Dr. Grayson went like this...
      (Pats Brennan's shoulder with open hand 3 times)
      Zack: Not like this...
      (Hits Brennan's shoulder with a fist 3 times)
      Zack: Like this...
      (Pats Brennan's shoulder with open hand 3 times)
      Zack: Not like this...
      (Hits Brennan's shoulder with a fist 3 times. Brennan looking annoyed)
      Brennan: Dr. Grayson is elderly and arthritic. Perhaps he simply needed help getting to his feet like this...
      (Pushes down on Zack's shoulder 3 times)

    • Judge Kemper: You want to exhume the young FBI agent that Marvin Beckett murdered?
      Julian: That's correct, your honor.
      Judge Kemper: That is a big, noisy mess in the making.
      (a knock on the door, Judge Kemper signals for someone to come in)
      Booth: Uh, the FBI has credible evidence that the homicide case against Marvin Beckett was uh, manufactured.
      (Burridge walks in)
      Burridge: Assistant United States attorney Dan Burridge arguing against this writ, Judge Kemper.
      Judge Kemper: (confused) On behalf of ... ?
      Burridge: ... the FBI.
      Judge Kemper: (looking at Booth) I thought you were FBI.
      Booth: I am, your honor.
      Judge Kemper: I told you, a big, noisy mess.

    • Zack: Dr Grayson touched me with an open hand on the shoulder.
      Brennan: You mean inappropriately?

    • Brennan: I need a gun.
      Booth: No, you don't. Ya got me, I'm your gun.

  • NOTES (6)

    • In three different scenes throughout the episode the sound is compromised multiple times by feedback generated by electronic devices (for example, cell phones) near sound equipment. One such scene is when Brennan's father tells her and Booth to "back off."

    • Actor David Duchovny (who starred as Mulder on Fox's sci-fi cult hit The X-Files) directed this episode, which is interesting since Booth and Brennan's relationship has been compared to Mulder and Scully's relationship on The X-Files. Also, the episode deals with a government conspiracy, which is the main overarching theme of The X-Files.

    • International Air Dates:
      Denmark: March 20th, 2007 on TV3
      Spain: April 20th, 2007 on FOX TV Spain
      Belgium: November 2nd, 2007 on RTL-TVI
      Germany: November 8th, 2007 on RTL
      Australia: January 3rd, 2008 on 7
      Finland: July 18th, 2008 on Sub
      India: August 20th, 2008 on Star World

    • In the opening scenes, while Zack is being quizzed regarding his dissertation, Kathy Reichs (whose works this series is based on) herself is the blonde doctor on the panel.

    • Featured Music:
      "Sea Lion" by Sage Francis (during the opening scene)
      "Running up that hill" by Placebo (when Deputy Director Kirby is burning on the roof)

    • The opening and closing scenes where the FBI agents were murdered and burned were filmed atop the Hotel Rosslyn at 112 W. 5th Street, Los Angeles. The metal structure in the background is a massive sign that reads "The New Million Dollar Hotel, Hotel Rosslyn."


    • Booth: That's the Law of the Jungle.

      The Law of the Jungle is generally thought to mean "survival of the fittest." But the verse from Numbers more closely resembles "blood vengeance," allowing the family of a murder victim to kill the murderer. As an anthropologist, Brennan would have understood this concept no matter the form of English. Also, the fact that Brennan asks what the Numbers verse means is out of place because many tribal laws have the concept of blood vengeance and she is constantly applying anthropological concepts to our culture.

    • Title: Judas on a Pole

      This is an allusion to Judas Iscariot, one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus as portrayed in the Catholic and Christian religions, among others. He is the one who betrays Jesus, signifying the "betrayers" in this episode that burn on the pole.