Season 1 Episode 22

The Woman in Limbo

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM May 17, 2006 on FOX
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Brennan receives some bones that she must identify, but is stunned when she finds that the remains are those of her mother. Brennan is hit hard by this discovery, and understandably so, since she never knew what happened to her parents after they disappeared 15 years ago. An investigation is opened by Booth into the case, for the first time ever. Brennan is shocked with evidence that her parents might not be the people she thought they were, and she must come to grips with these new details from her parents' past as well as her own.moreless

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  • Great show just commenting to fix the review below mine.

    I just read the review below me and wanted to clear up some things. There was is not a discrepancy, I can see where she made the error. Nothing to be ashamed of cause it can be easily missed. Her reference to the times of 5 and 7 years as if they had just found the body. But the body has been in storage since before Dr. Brennan went to work for the lab. At the beginning her assistant (Zack) makes the comment that she (the mother) has been there longer than her(Dr. Brennen). I believe they use the year 1998 and since this starts in 2006 that adds 8 years to her age. So she would be 30ish.moreless
  • We find Bones's mother

    In this episode of Bones, the following happens. As Bones leaves for a court case, she sees the image of the skull which Angela has come up with and flips out. She then runs and gets the belongings found with the body and opens them on her desk. Inside she finds a belt with a dolphin on it and has a flash back, and when Booth goes to see Angela we realise what has happened.

    We learn from Booth that the image (and also the skull) belongs to Bones's mother. But wouldn't Angela know what her mother looks like; after all they have been friends for longer than Booth has worked with Bones. We soon learn that the bones and many others from the same site have been at the Jeffersonian since 1998, the same year that Bones started working there. After Bones goes home, that same night (at midnight) Booth goes round to see Bones. The next day, when booth digs deeper into their past, we learn that Bones's parents were using fakes names when she and her brother were born and were still using them when they disappeared. From evidence found we learn that her mother was still alive in 1993. Bones gets the shock of her life, when she sees her brother Russ entering the lab with Booth. When Booth digs deeper he learns that their parent's real names were Max and Ruth and that they are on a database for criminals. When Russ admits that he remembers having a different name as he was 7 years old we learn that he was called Kyle and Bones was actually called Joy. She then slaps him, shouts at him some more and then leaves the room. We learn that their parents were involved in bank robberies and during one big heist 2 people were killed. We soon learn that Bones's mother was having an affair and had planned to leave her father, until he found out and attacked her mother and her boyfriend. But Booth doesn't believe it. When they search his farm, they find the weapon that matches the wounds on her mother. He tells her that if she loses the evidence, then he will tell her the truth about what happened to her parents, but she tells him no and walks away.

    As the episode end we see Booth asking Bones f he can read her book before it goes out to the public and she tells him no. Then she drives him so that she can go and see her brother, Russ. They patch things up and hug. As we see all 3 of them heading back to her apartment, Booth find Bones's new book and sees that she has dedicated the book to him. When she hits her answer machines messages, we hear a message from her father begging her to stop looking for him, thus ending this brilliant first season of Bones.moreless
  • Total inconsistency with story line

    What have I missed? I've just watched an episode where Ryan O'Neil is her father. He's working at the Jeffersonian as a teacher. But, in the ep "The Woman in Limbo" the father is in hiding, was a serious crim and doesn't want her to find him. He seems like a sweet old guy, a bit of a sly old bugger, who's quite likeable...not at all like a guy begging his daughter not to follow him up because he's a crim in hiding. If someone could explain what it is that I've missed I'd be happy - thanks in advance.moreless
  • The bones of Brennan's mother are discovered, leading her to discover what really happened to her parents.

    Am I the only one who noticed nobody can do a damn thing by themselves in this episode? I mean, seriously, every single thing depends on Brennan. I think it's very unprofessional on the writer's part that everything depends on one person. Yes, I admit she's the protagonist and she's better than everyone else, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the others are all completely incompetent. Putting that aside, I still hated her for most of the episode. In the previous ep, she was a complete ass to Booth because he wasn't objective about the case. Now she's nowhere near objective when she deals with her mother's case, but that's all right. Now that it's her, the only person who's worth a damn in this show, that's not objective, that's not a problem anymore.

    The storyline in itself was good, but I just couldn't get over the bad writing. Oh, one more thing. Really bad actor for Brennan's brother. He's just really not good.moreless
  • Fantastic Episode!

    What a perfect series finale! There was nothing not to like about this episode. It started with Brennan in the office, getting whisked away by Booth (at least he tries to) for a court appointment, but everyone seems to want something from Bones. There is such a great dynamic in that scene and it's particularly funny to watch Booth trying to shield Bones with the file, or impatiently drumming her back. Oh and then there's David, too (her date from 1x16) telling her that he really likes her new novel. You can literally feel Booth's jealousy (both because David sees Bones and he got to read her novel). But all the humour disappears when they find out that they had Christine Brennan's (Bones' mother) remains in storage for a couple of years. Bones is devastated and Booth opens an official FBI investigation. Through the course of the case they find out that her parents (and Bones and her brother Russ too) live under assumed identities and find the murderer of Brennan's mother. There were a lot of really great character scenes,- The squints refusing to leave the lab until the murder is resolved, Booth being constantly concerned and showing up in the middle of the night at Brennan's door with takeout (twice), Bones getting closer to her brother again etc.

    Oh and how cute was it that Bones dedicated her second novel to Booth?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

Bob Rusch

Bob Rusch

Carnival Owner

Guest Star

Loren Dean

Loren Dean

Russ Brennan

Guest Star

Coby Ryan McLaughlin

Coby Ryan McLaughlin

David Simmons

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (9)

    • Brennan finds out about her real past.
      Brennan's real name is Joy Keenan.
      The rest of her family's names are as follows:
      Kyle Keenan aka Russ Brennan
      Ruth Keenan aka Christine Brennan
      Max Keenan aka Matthew Brennan

    • Brennan's new book manuscript that Booth sneaks a look at (and sees is dedicated to him) is "Cross Bones." That is also the title of Kathy Reichs' eighth book.

    • In Brennan's apartment, Booth discovers her manuscript and sees that the title "Bone Free," which he didn't like, has been crossed off. He opens to the dedication which reads: "This book is dedicated to my partner and friend, Special Agent Seeley Booth."

    • Russ Brennan states that Booth found him in Morehead City, NC. That's a 6-7 hour drive from the DC area, yet no one mentions Booth being gone for that length of time. Also, the end of the episode shows Brennan driving there and back in a single night.

    • Goof: In the flashbacks Brennan has of the night her parents disappeared, her parents are shown leaning out of the car waving goodbye. Yet in other episodes, past and future, whenever Brennan talks about the night her parents left, she says they left in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve and that her and Russ woke up to find them gone. So clearly, their parents didn't wave goodbye to them as shown in the flashbacks.

    • Goof: When Hodgens and Angela show Bones the enhanced movie stub of The Fugitive, the top date and their findings say 9/22/93, but the bottom of the stub says 4/22/93.

    • Goof: When the DNA from the blood in the car is being compared to the blood of Temperance and Russ, if you pause it while Bones is pointing out whose DNA is whose, you can tell that all three profiles (that of her, her mother, and her brother) are exactly the same.

    • Goof: While Hodgins shows Dr. Brennan the results of DNA from the blood he points out the samples as Brennan's mom as the first, the other person from the car as the second, Dr. Brennan as the third, and Russ as the fourth sample. However, when Brennan indicates them later in the scene she points out the first as her mother, second as herself, and the third sample as Russ.

    • The conversation between Booth and Brennan where they discuss the fact that her parents had false identities occurs around the 10-minute mark. During Emily Deschanel's close ups, after she has turned her back to him, David Boreanaz can be seen behind her. His head movements are discontinuous with his own close ups, making him look jerky,and his lips are slightly off what he is saying the second time.

  • QUOTES (19)

    • Voice on Answering Machine: Temperance, you have to stop looking, y-you have to stop looking for me right now. This is bigger and worse than you know. Please, stop now.
      Booth: Who's that?
      Brennan: (sounding shaken) That was my father.

    • Booth: I need the room, guys.
      Zack: The whole lab? For what?!
      Hodgins: It's a cop way of saying, "Get lost!"

    • Brennan: Why are you letting me drive?
      Booth: It's a reward.
      Brennan: For what?
      Booth: For totally pissing off a hitman. (they both laugh) Oh, can I read your book?
      Brennan: After it's come out.
      Booth: Not before?
      Brennan: No.
      Booth: But, what? I let you drive.

    • Booth: I got a break on the DNA in the car.
      Brennan: You know who it is?
      Booth: Not exactly. See, it's a closed file. Whoever it is is in witness protection. I'll make a request but they're pretty tight over there.
      (Angela enters with a drawing)
      Angela: What if he had a face?
      Brennan: Who's that?
      Angela: Somebody your father pointed out to Russ when he was 7. Somebody he's still afraid of.
      Booth: Hey, you know what? I'm gonna play hardball with witness protection. If they don't cooperate I'm gonna put his face in the paper.
      Brennan: Wouldn't you get you in trouble for that?
      Booth: Well, we'll find out. (He takes the drawing and leaves)
      Angela: Sometimes he is just...hooh! (Brennan smiles and shakes her head at Angela) What?

    • Booth: I know what you've been thinking.
      Brennan: I doubt it.
      Booth: You've been thinking that your family is made up of liars and criminals, and that makes you feel lonely. (She looks at him and her look says that he's hit the nail on the head) There's a story here we don't know yet.
      Brennan: Like what?
      Booth: Bones, "don't know" means it's a mystery.
      Brennan: What were your parents like?
      Booth: Hoah, my dad, he drove Thuds and Phantoms in Vietnam. Those are fighter jets. After that he was a barber in Philadelphia. My mom, she wrote jingles, for a local advertising agency.
      Brennan: So they didn't go out at night, after you were asleep and robbed banks. (they look at each other for a while)
      Booth: Listen, Bones. You know, parents, they have secret lives. If they didn't they wouldn't be parents.

    • Booth: (to Angela) Why do you think that Bones asked her boyfriend to, you know, read her book and not me? You know, maybe, maybe because there was too much of me in the story. (pauses) Oh, she was embarrassed, you think? Maybe? Maybe...

    • (Brennan has just seen Russ and walks away upset. Booth runs after her)
      Booth: Hey, Bones. Come on. (she turns to face him)
      Brennan: (visibly shaken) My mother died of a subdural hematoma, bleeding in the brain.
      Booth: You wanna proceed rationally, correct?
      Brennan: Chances are the subdural hematoma was caused by a blow to the head.
      Booth: Great! You got the how, now let's get the who. You just told me that your mother was murdered. I mean, who better to help us than your brother?

    • Russ: Does Tempy really hate me that much?
      Angela: Russ, she loves you. It'd be easier if she hated you. Hate is a lot easier to deal with than love, especially disappointed love.

    • (toasting)
      Booth: To us.
      Russ: Whoever the hell we are.
      Bones: To what we're becoming.

    • (Booth is desperately trying to get Brennan to court with everybody wanting something from her when David appears)
      David: Temperance.
      Brennan: David. (kisses him on the cheek) What are you doing here?
      Booth: (getting in between her and David) She has to get to court, so...
      David: Agent Booth. Nice to see you again, especially when I'm not in custody. Listen, I read your manuscript. (Booth looks shocked) I couldn't wait to tell you how great it is.
      Brennan: Thank you, really?
      Booth: You read her manuscript? (grabs it from David but Brennan snatches it back)
      David: Her second novel. Bone Free. Kind of like Born free, without the lions.
      Booth: Yuck on the title. Am I in it?
      Brennan: No!
      David: Definitely.
      Brennan: Uhhh...We have to get to court.
      David: Hope you have your original notes cause last time...
      (Brennan turns back around)
      Brennan: Told you Booth!
      Booth: No! Bones, we don't have the time. (Brennan's already turned to fetch her notes) Alright, listen, three minutes, I'll wait for you in the car. (to David) So, are you two?
      David: Yes, sorta. Is that a problem?
      Booth: Yeah, you know Bones is very literal, so in the future, no joke advice on court day.

    • CSI Technician: What kind of person could use this on a human being?
      Brennan: What kind of person could use this on a pig?

    • Brennan: You were 7 years old, Russ, old enough to remember. What-What is your real name? What is my real name?

    • Zack: Buttercup, if you sign off on these tissue markers, Angela can finish the facial reconstruction.
      Brennan: Why did you say Buttercup?
      Zack: I just thought Buttercup was amusing rhyming linguistically and this is the latest Jane Doe from Limbo.
      Booth: How about this for rhyming linguini, see you later alligator.

    • McVicar: Your father is a hard man Joy.
      Brennan: My name is Brennan. I'm Dr. (Brennan huffs, almost in tears) I'm Dr. Temperance Brennan. (McVicar walks out) I work at the Jeffersonian Institution. I'm a forensic anthropologist. I specialize in identif…, in identifying, in identifying people when nobody knows who they are. My father was a science teacher and my mother was a bookkeeper. My brother, I have a brother. I'm Dr. Temperance Brennan.
      Booth: I know who you are. Hey I know, it's okay. (Brennan hugs Booth) Shh, it's gonna be alright.

    • Brennan: (to Booth) If you keep bringing Chinese food in the middle of the night, we're both going to get fat.

    • Brennan: I worshipped him. You know? God, he was so cool. Everyone knew I was Russ Brennan's little sister. I wasn't cool or pretty, so being his sister ... . You know that game, Marco Polo? I'd be sitting in class, and I'd hear out the window, "Marco!" It'd be Russ, checking in on me and letting everyone know that I was his little sister.
      Angela: Did you "Polo"?
      Brennan: Yeah, sometimes it'd be the only word I said all day. "Polo." And then mom and dad disappeared and Russ took off. Suddenly, no one cared where I was. I miss that. Someone caring where I am all the time.

    • (While looking at the skull of a Jane Doe)
      Brennan: Tissue depth of the cheek bones and along the jawline looks a little deep to me but otherwise--
      Booth: (pulls Brennan away in a hurry) Outta limbo, back on Earth, and on our way to court. Thanks!

    • Dr. Goodman: (to Zack) Please don't refer to bone storage as "Limbo".

    • Booth: You got two ways to look at this. One is you score a private chat. The second one is you attack her and I'll drill you through the forehead.
      Vince: (handcuffed) How can I possibly attack her?
      Booth: I'll decide what is and isn't an attack, like, say, a hiccup.

  • NOTES (5)

    • Booth: I'm FBI. I know who you are.
      McVicar: Steve Beers, pig farmer.
      This bit of sarcasm is an in-joke. Steve Beers is one of the show's co-executive producers.

    • Featured Music:
      "As the Stars Fall Away" by Peter Himmelman (the second time Booth comes to Brennan's apartment after midnight to share Wong Foo's food)
      "New Girl Now" by Honeymoon Suite (in the background when Booth goes to see Russ at the amusement park)

    • We see Brennan's apartment three times in the season: in "Pilot," in "Two Bodies in the Lab," and in "The Woman in Limbo." However, every time, her apartment looks distinctly different.

    • Brennan's brother, Russ, is shown for the first time.

    • International Air Dates:
      Denmark: July 4th, 2006 on TV3
      Norway: Thursday November 9th, 2006 on TV3