Bones

Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot

40
Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Sep 13, 2005 on FOX
8.8
out of 10
User Rating
1,022 votes
75

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
In the series premiere, Dr. Temperance Brennan (or "Bones" as she is often referred to as), a forensic anthropologist, is met with the task of uncovering the identity of a set of bones which have been deliberately hidden in a lake. However, after identifying the bones, imprisoning the murderer turns out to be a politically sticky business. Bones gets help from FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth, who convinces his boss to let Bones be his partner, since she's an expert in her field.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Sound start promising excellence to come.

    9.0
    This was a great way to go. Establishing character and giving hints to back story as well. Possible spoilers here.

    Our two main characters - FBI agent Seely Booth and forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan- have met before, as he is offering an olive branch to get her to work with him again. His boss is wary.

    Their partnership has tension, she is sometimes a bit of a smoking gun and doesn't have the people skills he has. He works intuitively, she is very rational, almost too rational. She loses him a promotion he wanted and thinks he is afraid of fingering their main suspect because he is a senator.



    He is revealed as someone who cares deeply for the murdered girl and is very sympathetic with her family. She is relatively cold, scientific and awkward.



    The lab team of squints are also fleshed out -the artist, Angela who is Brennan's best (and only) friend - Hodgins, bugs and slime man a conspiracy theorist - Zack Addy the brilliant, geeky assistant.



    Then too, we are given a feeling for the way this series might go. After the funeral Booth and Brennan engage in some light hearted banter which then turns into a very serious statement, initiated by him, of how he wants to put away at least as many murderers as the people he killed when he was a sniper. She will go along with that.



    If you get the DVD listen to the commentary for this episode which reveals how the producers and creator came to cast the main roles and the strengths they bring to the series.moreless
  • A great pilot!

    10
    In this episode of Bones, the following happens. We open this episode with Bones returning home and being stopped by Homeland Security in the airport. When they open her bag they find a skull inside of her bag. She is taken in for questioning. Then in walks Booth, he gets Bones let out. We soon learn that the whole thing was staged, so that Booth could ask Bones for help on a case. He tells her about the case he needs her help on and she agrees to go with him. Soon the bones are identified as that of a young girl named, Cleo Eller who was having an affair with a senator. We soon learn that Cleo was pregnant at the time of her murder. We also learn that Bones lost both of her parents when she was 15 years old as they both disappeared. Soon her killer is found and arrested. We end with her funeral, and a special moment between Bones and Booth.moreless
  • Meh, there's been better

    6.0
    Not great, not completely horrible. It seems to me that the scientific stuff doesn't reach the level of other shows, and all of it (as well as the rest of the show) was very rushed and had a feeling that it didn't know where it was going. I would definitely say that, with the exception of the two leads, the rest of the show should be recast. I suspect that a lot of characters will be dropped anyway, as tends to happen in shows like this. Three kooky assistants is one or two too many.



    And come on. The Jeffersonian? That's just lame. There was also a big goof right in the very first shot of the show. A plane flys in front of the Capitol building, and there's a caption that says "Dulles International Airport: Washington DC." Anyone who lives in this area knows that even if you were on top of the control tower at Dulles, you won't be able to see half way to the city. Interesting trade-off. Flights from Guatemala wouldn't fly into Reagan National, but the city isn't visible from Dulles.



    Nit-picking aside, David Borneaz is definitely the highlight of the show, and Emily Deschanel grew on me as the show went on.



    Decent, but it had better improve over the next couple episodes or I won't watch anymore.moreless
  • a really good ep to start the show

    8.5
    in this pilot of bones you get to know her alest part of her to start the show and what she does. and how she gets to work with the fbi agent to solve cases that has to do with by studying the bones of the body and who knew that can really tell alot from the bones. well i did but you who knew you can learn alot. this show for the start came out with a big ep about bones works with the fbi about a sticky politcal ep about women that worked with there person but no one knew what happen to her till her body was discoverd. this was a good ep and i liked the showmoreless
  • A slick, solid debut.

    9.0
    First time I watched this Pilot episode I considered it promising but not overwhelmingly so, but I recently watched it again, with the benefit of a few more series' viewing under my belt, and found much to admire. What impressed me most was the skillful manner in which the core characters and the show's chief premise was firmly established from the outset - and, excepting natural development over the succeeding years - has remained pretty consistent ever since.



    This has been chiefly due to tight writing, snappy dialogue, and some superb acting, most particularly from David Boreanaz. The pilot was no exception. There is instant tension between Agent Booth and the squints; a clash of different mindsets and worldviews. Dr Brennan is archly pedantic, emotionally wooden, intensely intellectual and super-focused; an exquisitely drawn character and played well by Emily Deschanel. Agent Booth (Boreanaz) is an archetypal rugged Alpha Male reliant on his gut instinct over empirical evidence, but his character is relieved by sardonic wit and a palpable sense of a powerful yet guarded emotional inner life.



    Typical of most Bones episodes, the case itself is less engaging than the characters inhabiting this storyworld. But the forensic investigations remain intriguing all the same. The identity of the killer was all too obvious. It is a preferred route in much US TV drama I feel, to shift 'criminal' blame away from a corrupt political onto one of his conniving minions instead.moreless
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

Jonathan Adams

Jonathan Adams

Dr. Daniel Goodman

Dominic Fumusa

Dominic Fumusa

Peter St. James

Guest Star

Katherine Ann McGregor

Katherine Ann McGregor

Mrs. Bethlehem

Guest Star

Chris Conner

Chris Conner

Oliver Laurier

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (12)

    • Dr. Brennan's second sentence to Booth is:
      "Don't call me Bones" (which becomes a running theme for the beginning of the series).

      Another catch phrase of hers is introduced in this episode: "I don't know what that means." She usually says this when someone makes a popular culture allusion or remark.

    • When Zack is taking photographs of the corpse, the video footage is clearly mirrored, as can be seen by the positions and letters on the patches on his jacket. Additionally, Zack is holding the camera lens with his right hand and shooting the photos with his left. Cameras are designed the opposite way.

    • Brennan says that the next closest forensic anthropologist after her is in Montreal. Montreal is where the original Bones novels are set.

    • In this episode and in many of the episodes after this, when Booth and Brennan are driving, Booth does not wear his seatbelt - only Brennan does.

    • Goof: When Brennan finally leaves the Jeffersonian to get back home, we see three shots of her: one crossing the Jeffersonian Park and two others in Washington streets. But while she is holding two bags in the first shot, one suddenly disappears and is not in the other two shots.

    • Goof: The long shot of the funeral appears to be a composite. It shows the rear of the Lincoln Memorial in the distance, with a row of trees leading up to the cemetery. But the Potomic River is immediately behind the Lincoln Memorial.

    • Goof: At the funeral Brennan walks over to the coffin and lays a rose on the right hand end of the coffin, on top of a few other roses. Later in the same scene, Cleo's parents lay roses down in the same spot, but there are no other roses there yet.

    • Goof: In the first post-credit scene, just as the music stops, Temperance is kneeling and holding a camera. The patch on her shoulder is reversed, showing the footage was flopped (mirrored).

    • Goof: The opening shot of Bones's plane getting in could not possibly have been Dulles International Airport, as was claimed. Dulles is located in Virginia, 26 miles west of Washington, D.C., and there is no view of the Capitol building from there. This is actually a shot of Reagan Washington Airport.

    • Goof: When Oliver does not want to hold pressure on Thompson's wound, Booth says "That guy bleeds to death, Bones will go on trial for attempted murder."
      If he bled to death, the charges would be murder or manslaughter, NOT "attempted" murder.

    • Goof: Thompson appears to be pouring gas all over the fish room. Gas fumes are extremely flammable. When Bones shoots, the flash from the gun would have sparked a fireball given as much gas as the guy was splashing around.

    • Goof: Right before Bones shoots Thompson, he pulls a lighter out of his left pants pocket with his left hand and lights it. But when they show the bullet hit his leg, his hand is near his pocket like he is reaching for the lighter. No lighter can be seen as he falls to the floor.

  • QUOTES (44)

    • DHS Officer: You were illegally transporting human remains ma'am. And you assaulted a Homeland Security agent.
      Bones: Look I'm sorry if I embarrassed you in front of your friends but next time you should identify yourself before attacking me.

    • Brennan: Those people deserved the truth.
      Booth: Their daughter was murdered; they deserved the kindness of a lie.

    • Booth: You're great at what you do but you don't solve murders ... guys like we do.

    • Cullen: So, you guaranteed a squint a field role in an active murder investigation?
      Booth: Yes sir.
      Cullen: The one that wrote the book?
      Booth: Yes sir.
      Cullen: I thought you said she wouldn't work with you anymore?
      Booth: Well, the last case we worked she provided a description of the murder weapon and the murderer, but I didn't give her much credence.
      Cullen: Why not?
      Booth: Because she did it by looking at the victim's autopsy x-rays.
      Cullen: Well, I wouldn't have given it much credence either.
      Booth: Turns out she was right on both. Plus the pond victim, (he hands the file to Cullen) Brennan gives me the victim's age, sex, and favorite sport.
      Cullen: Huh, which is?
      Booth: Tennis.
      Cullen: She's good.
      Booth: No, she's amazing. If the only way I can get her back on my side is to bring her out in the field, I'm willing.
      Cullen: Fine. She's on you. Take a squint out in the field, she's your responsibility.
      Booth: Yes sir.

    • Brennan: So what do you do first? Do you do confront the senator?
      Booth: Listen. Bones...
      Brennan: Don't call me Bones.

    • Angela: Lenny Kravitz or Vanessa Williams?
      Brennan: I don't know what that means.

    • Booth: What can you tell me?
      Brennan: Not much. She was a young woman, probably between 18 and 22. Approximately five-foot three, race unknown, delicate features.
      Booth: That's all?
      Brennan: Tennis player.
      Booth: How do you get a pretty tennis player out of that yuck?

    • DHS Officer: Fine. She's all yours.
      Booth: (to Brennan) Okay let's grab your skull and let's vamoose.
      Brennan: What? That's it? She's all yours? Why did you stop me?
      Booth: What does it matter? You're free to go. Let's just grab your bags.
      Brennan: You set me up. (to the DHS Officer) You got a "hold for questioning request" from the FBI. Didn't you?
      DHS Officer: (smiles at Brennan) I love this [Brennan's] book.

    • Booth: You know, if it weren't for you, those people would have never known what happened to their daughter. It's gotta be worse than the truth.
      Brennan: I know exactly how the Ellers felt about Cleo. My parents disappeared when I was 15 and nobody knows what happened to them.
      Booth: Being a sniper, I took a lot of lives. What I'd like to do before I'm done is to try and catch at least that many murderers.
      Brennan: Please. You don't think there's some kind of cosmic balance sheet.
      (Booth looks hurt) I'd like to help you with that.

    • Booth: You know, you being a good shot, doing martial arts, it's all your way of dealing. I mean, who knows better than you how fragile life can be.
      Brennan: Maybe an Army Ranger sniper who became an FBI homicide investigator.

    • Angela: You must know about her family. Both parents vanished when she was 15? Probably counts as the real world.
      Booth: Yeah. I know the story. I've read the file. The cops never found out anything.
      Angela: Yeah. Brennan figures that if maybe somebody like her had been there.
      Booth: Well, for somebody who hates psychology she sure has a lot of it.

    • Booth: You ok?
      Brennan: Don't be nice to me after I got you in trouble.
      Booth: Your heart was in the right place.
      Brennan: No. I'm not a heart person, you're a heart person. I'm a brain person. You vouched for me.
      Booth: Forget it.
      Brennan: No, I won't.

    • Booth: Getting information out of alive people is a lot different than getting information out of a pile of bones. You have to offer up something of yourself first.
      Brennan: What exactly did you do in the military?
      Booth: You see? You see what you did right there Bones? You asked a personal question without offering anything personal in return, and since I'm not a skeleton, you get zilch. Sorry!

    • Angela: (Talking about Brennan's book) Who you captured perfectly is Booth. Buttoned down, but buckets of sexual confidence which I, for one, would love to tap.
      Zack: It's not right to discuss tapping asses in front of a soaker.

    • Brennan: I find you very condescending.
      Booth: Me? I'm condescending? I'm not the one who's gotta mention that she's got a doctorate every five min-
      Brennan: I am the one with the doctorate.
      Booth: Yeah, well, you know what? I'm the one with the badge and the gun, huh?

    • Brennan: That's the best you can do?
      Booth: (Innocently) What?
      Brennan: Getting homeland security to snatch me so you can stage a fake rescue.
      Booth: At least I picked you up at the airport.

    • Hodgins: Is it paranoia that Monica Lewinsky was a KGB trained sex agent mole?

    • Angela: Is the FBI gonna lay charges against Brennan?
      Hodgins: She only shot him in the leg... once.
      Booth: She didn't give him a warning. She just shot him... with alcohol on her breath.
      Dr. Goodman: It was her first shooting, you can't expect her to be perfect right out of the gate.
      Zack: How much warning did you give people before you sniped them?

    • Oliver: Will you sign my book?
      Brennan: (annoyed) Stalk me Oliver and I will kick your ass.

    • Booth: Temperance, partners share things. Builds trust.
      Brennan: Since when are we partners?
      Booth: I apologize for the assumption.

    • Angela: Honey, you ever think that maybe you come off a little distant because you connect too much?
      Brennan: I hate psychology. It's a soft science.
      Angela: I know, but people are mostly soft.
      Brennan: Except for their bones.
      Angela: Yeah. You want some advice?
      Brennan: Glug-Glug Woohoo!
      Angela: Offer up a little bit of yourself every once in a while. Just, tell somebody something you're not completely certain you want them to know.

    • Brennan: What if Booth is right? What if I'm only good with bones and lousy with people?
      Angela: People like you.
      Brennan: I don't care if men like me.
      Angela: Oay, interesting, from people to men, but I'm sure it means nothing.
      Brennan: I hate psychology. My most meaningful relationships are with (laughs) dead people.

    • Hodgins: The Senator, ah, he is smart. He gets an intern pregnant, then murders her when it threatens his career, and he has the connections to get away with it.
      Brennan: (laughs) I hate it when you make paranoia plausible. It's like sliding off a cliff.

    • Booth: A case this big. The director is going to create a special investigation unit and if I line my ducks up in a row, I can maybe, head it up.
      Brennan: I don't know what that means but I think maybe I can be a duck.

    • Dr. Goodman: As a federally funded institution, the Jeffersonian must seize every opportunity to prove our worth to our friends in Congress. Which means I loan you out as I see fit, especially to federal agencies.
      Brennan: "Loan out" implies property Dr. Goodman, and the FBI will never respect mere property.
      Dr. Goodman: I do not view you as property, Dr. Brennan. You are one of the Jeffersonian's most valuable assets.
      Zack: An asset is, by definition, property.
      Dr. Goodman: What's the rule, Mr. Addy?
      Zack: You only converse with PhD's. You realize I'm halfway through two doctorates? Two halves make a whole so, mathematically speaking ...
      Dr. Goodman: Go polish a bone, Mr. Addy.

    • Booth: You know in my line of work, no clothes usually means sex crime.
      Brennan: In my line of work, it could also mean the victim favored natural fibers.
      Zack: Your suit for example, will outlast your bones by decades.

    • Booth: When did she die?
      Brennan: ehh.
      Zack: ehh.
      Booth: What does that even mean?
      Zack: It means wait until our bug and slime guy takes a look.

    • Brennan: (looking at the screen) What exactly am I supposed to be squinting at?
      Booth: Ahh, you know, it's like pornography. You'll know when you see it.

    • Booth: You know you're not the only forensic anthropologist in town.
      Brennan: (laughs) Yes I am. The next nearest is in Montreal. Parlez-vous français?

    • Angela: You know, diving head first in a pit of cadavers is no way to handle a messy breakup.
      Brennan: Angela, nothing Pete and I ever did was messy.
      Angela: (laughs) Then you were not doing the right thing.

    • Brennan: (seeing Angela flashing her chest to an airport worker who's ignoring her) Tell me you tried "excuse me" first.
      Angela: Ah Sweetie. Yes I did. Welcome home. Are you exhausted? Was Guatemala awful? Was it horribly backward?
      Brennan: And yet I was never reduced to flashing my boobs for information.
      Angela: Flashing for any fun reasons?

    • Brennan: It's not rational for you to choose the first day I'm back to reclaim your television.
      Pete: While you were away I thought a lot about why we broke up.
      Brennan: We fought all the time and don't like each other anymore.
      Pete: We fought because you were emotionally distant and cold but sexually speaking I think you'll agree...
      Brennan: You didn't come for your TV. You timed this for a booty call.

    • Brennan: (to Booth while he's driving) If you drive one more block I'm screaming "kidnap" out the window.

    • Zack: A good hypothesis withstands testing. That's what makes it a good hypothesis.

    • Angela: Can I, as the only normal person in this room, say…eww?

    • Booth: He's got no sense of discretion, that kid. Typical squint.
      Brennan: I don't know what that means.
      Booth: When cops get stuck we bring in people like you, ya know? Squints, you know, squint at things.
      Brennan: Oh you mean people with very high IQs and basic reasoning skills?

    • Booth: Bones identifies bodies for us.
      Brennan: Don't call me Bones and I do more than identify.

    • Goodman: Dr. Brennan, are you playing me?
      Brennan: You know I'm no good at that.
      Goodman: Hmm, thus far, but you have a disturbingly steep learning curve.

    • Booth: You expect me, a federal agent, to declare war on a United States senator based on your little holographic crystal ball?
      Brennan: It's not magic. It's a logical recreation of events based on evidence.

    • Oliver: Did he kill Cleo?
      Booth: Yeah, he killed Cleo.
      Oliver: Okay. Then, I'm down with him bleeding to death.
      Booth: That guy bleeds to death, Bones will go on trial for attempted murder. You don't want that now, do you?
      Oliver: I wouldn't want that.
      Booth: No. Besides, you know, applying pressure, that can be very painful.
      (Oliver shuffles over to stop the bleeding)

    • Booth: What are you trying to do?
      Brennan: Blackmail you.
      Booth: Blackmail a federal agent.
      Brennan: Yes.
      Booth: I don't like it.
      Brennan: I'm fairly certain you're not supposed to.
      Booth: Fine. You're in.

    • Booth: What's it going to take?
      Brennan: Full participation in the case.
      Booth: Fine.
      Brennan: Not just lab work. Everything.
      Booth: What? You want me to spit in my hand? We're Scully and Mulder.
      Brennan: I don't know what that means.

    • DHS Officer: Most people in this situation, what they do, is sweat.
      Brennan: Guatemala. Genocide. How are you scary after that?

    • Booth: A decomposed corpse was found this morning at Arlington National Cemetery ...
      Brennan: Arlington National Cemetery is full of decomposed corpses. It's a cemetery.
      Booth: Yea but this one is your type of corpse, it wasn't in a casket.

  • NOTES (14)

    • Featured Music:
      "Collide" by Howie Day (as Brennan fits the pieces of the skull together)
      "Pain On Pain" by Feeder (as Brennan looks at the holograph, just before she has her "girl moment" with Angela)
      "Gone" by Thirteen Senses (at the funeral)
      "Busy Child" and "Roll It Up" by The Crystal Method

      (Syndicated and DVD releases made some changes to the songs, presumably because of licensing issues. On the season one DVD [Region 1] "Collide" is replaced with "Broken Bridge" by Daughter Darling. US syndication on some channels replaced "Pain on Pain" with "Stay For Life" by Andy Abraham.)

    • The outside shots of the building where Brennan and her team work, called "The Jeffersonian Institute" in the show, are actually shots of The Museum of Natural Sciences at the University of Southern California, according to the show's DVD commentary.

    • Most of the show is filmed in Los Angeles, California despite the fact that it's mainly set in Washington, D.C., where the fictional Jeffersonian Institution is located. The interiors of the Jeffersonian Institution were specially built on a large soundstage at the 20th Century Fox lot in Century City, California.

    • The show's theme song is simply titled "Bones Theme" and is written and performed by The Crystal Method. The band also created a full version of the song, titled "Bones Theme (DJ Corporate Remix)."

    • The scene at the beginning of the episode, where Bones gets taken into custody at the airport, was actually filmed in the Los Angeles Convention Center.

    • In the cast credits at the end of the episode, actress Naja Hill was credited as playing the character Cleo Hill, but the character is in fact named Cleo Eller, the murder victim.

    • Brennan's ex-boyfriend in this episode is named Pete, mirroring Tempe's ex-husband in Kathy Reichs' book series.

    • The main character's name in Brennan's book is Kathy Reichs, the real-life author that created the Temperance Brennan character and whose life inspires the show.

    • The house used for the Eller house is on the same block of houses as the house used to film Charmed.

    • David Boreanaz and T.J. Thyne have acted together in Angel before they started on Bones.

    • Third (or second) main role for David Boreanaz; he starred in both series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel as the character "Angel."

    • The audio commentary on the season 1 DVD for this episode is provided by Executive Producer Barry Josephson and Series Creator Hart Hanson.

    • The German episode title for this episode is "Die Frau im Teich," which means "The Woman In The Pond."

    • International Air Dates:
      Denmark: Tuesday February 7th, 2006 on TV3
      Norway: Thursday June 8th, 2006 on TV3
      Germany: Thursday October 19th, 2006 on RTL
      Belgium: Friday April 27th, 2007 on RTL-TVI

  • ALLUSIONS (3)

    • Bones: What exactly am I supposed to be squinting at?
      Booth: Ah, you know it's like pornography. You'll know it when you see it.

      This is a reference to Justice Potter Stewart, who during the obscenity case of Jacobellis v. Ohio (1964) said that hardcore pornography is hard to define, but "I know it when I see it."

    • Brennan: (responding to the fact that "she's not the only forensic anthropologist in town") Yes I am. The next nearest is in Montreal.

      This is a reference to the fact that the character Temperance Brennan in Kathy Reich's books (which the series is based on) though originally from North Carolina also works part time in Montreal. The real Kathy Reichs divides her time between academic duties at the Univ. of N. Carolina and duties in Quebec as well.

    • Booth: What, you want me to spit in my hand? We're Scully and Mulder.

      Booth is referring to Fox's show, The X-Files. Another FBI, female and male partnership.

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