Season 8 Episode 9

The Ghost in the Machine

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Dec 03, 2012 on FOX



  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • Brennan: (talking with the victim's skull) Adolescents suffer diminished judgment because their frontal lobes are under-developed. You made a foolish decision. I just wish it hadn't killed you.

    • Hodgins: (talking with the victim's skull) Your parents are coming, so let's clean you up. Fourteen years old. Man, life was just about to get interesting for you. Especially love, romance, and sex. You would have blundered around, making a mess of it like all of us, but in the end, oh, man, it's a glorious mess, and I'm truly sorry you're gonna miss out on it.

    • Hodgins: Avalon, what are you doing here?
      Avalon: I heard someone callin'.
      Hodgins: Oh, please tell me you mean by telephone.

    • Booth: So, what do you think? Man or woman?
      Brennan: I am uncomfortable defining sex with just a skull, but–
      Booth: Come on. Take a stab. I won't write anything down, I promise. It's between me and you.
      (Brennan looks at Hodgins.)
      Oh. Well…
      Hodgins: What? You don't want to take a stab in front of me?
      Brennan: I feel inhibited by my desire not to embarrass myself in front of another scientist.
      Booth: You should take that as a compliment.
      Hodgins: What about him?
      Brennan: Well, we live together, and thus share the same synergistic lack of inhibition, which allows us to have sex without being self-conscious.
      Booth: That's very romantic, Bones.

  • Notes

    • This episode is written and filmed as first person narrative à la Mash's "Point of View." In a September 5, 2012, press call with co-showrunner Stephen Nathan that previewed the upcoming eighth season, Hart Hanson called the episode "weird," "tricky," and "a challenge to put together." As part of publicity for the episode, Hanson granted an interview to the Hollywood Reporter (December 3, 2012) in which he detailed some of those challenges. Calling it one of "his most difficult experiences writing the show outside the season six death of Vincent Nigel-Murray," he says Stephen Nathan "had a hard time cutting it, and they had a tough time shooting it." Saying it was hard to get "out of the skull's point of view," he escaped the "stylistic corner" he'd painted himself into by sending the skull on "field trips" with the cast.

    • This is the last of four stand-alone "bonus" episodes to air. Ordered by Fox Network to make up for a shortened season seven caused by Emily Deschanel's pregnancy leave, the episodes were originally a possible "mini-season" for the summer according to a September 15, 2011, interview with Stephen Nathan. The network later decided to add them to season eight.

      In an interview for this episode with published December 3, 2012, Hart Hanson shares that this episode being a milestone was a "happy accident." He says the order for the standalone episodes meant creating stories that didn't fit into the Bones timeline, and "at first we were very, very cranky about that. Then we realized it gave us an advantage in that we could do stuff we hadn't done before."

    • Although the press release and various fan sites and journalists called this the 150th episode, it was the 151st by production code. It's possible while counting the episodes someone considered the two-part "Yanks in the UK" as one episode, which would explain the discrepancy. At the time of the "Yanks in the UK" broadcast, the press release labeled the two hours "Part 1" and "Part 2" and gave them separate broadcast numbers. The broadcasts themselves used two different production codes.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Canada: December 3rd, 2012 on Global
      Slovakia: April 10th, 2013 on JOJ

    • Additional Crew Credits: Jan DeWitt (Produced by), Kathy Reichs (Inspired by the Life of Forensic Anthropologist and Author), Rick Millikan (Casting by), Pamella Phillips (Make-Up Department Head), Bernie Gough (Hair Department Head), Katie Barnard (Insert Coordinator), Mike Grasso (Police Technical Advisor), Mark Marcum (Video Playback).

  • Allusions

    • First-Person Narrative:

      The entire episode is told from the point of view of the victim's skull, which is remarkably similar to M*A*S*H's "Point of View" (season seven, episode 10). That episode is told entirely in first-person viewpoint, through the eyes of a soldier who is wounded in battle. The wounded soldier can't speak because of a throat wound, but gets a good look at how the major characters interact and even share some private thoughts with him.