Bones (2005–2017): Season 8, Episode 9 - The Ghost in the Machine - full transcript

A teenage corpse, later identified as Colin Gibson, is found reburied in a hothouse. A wasp-nest in his crane and rare birch material ultimately allow to Hodgins to provide hints for Booth to find his original burial place, a remote pump house. Colin was a fun-loving, enterprising, generally liked model student and individual athlete. The death cause seemingly renders his father a suspect, but no motive works out.

I don't know what
the hell to do with him.

Shut up!

I've got the skull here.

Can you do
something about the wasps?


Sorry, guys.

[spraying 1

[ Gasps, Coughs 1

Well, this skull is congruent with
the other bones we've uncovered.

One victim. That's good.

So, he was probably wrapped in that sleeping
bag and covered with a layer of dirt.

How were the remains found?

Real estate agent estimating this
place for resale and heard the wasps.

I need to take a closer look at the skull
if I'm going to determine sex and age.

So, what do you think-
man or woman?

I am uncomfortable defining sex
with just a skull, but-

Come on. Take a stab. I won't
write anything down. I promise.

It's between me and you.

Oh. Well.

You don't want to take
a stab in front of me?

I feel inhibited by my desire not to embarrass
myself in front of another scientist.

You should take that as a compliment.
what about him?

Well, we live together, and thus share the
same synergistic lack of inhibition...

which allows us to have sex
without being self-conscious.

That's very romantic, Bones.

Take a hike, bug boy.

Just go do some stuff
over there.

So, what do you think?
Go ahead.

Orbit shape-square.

Orbit size-small.

Placement in the skull-low.

These are extremely
telling morphometrics.

- Little hint, Bones.
- Just-


You said you wouldn't
write anything down.

I'm just writing down “morphometric”
so I can look it up later on.

I can be more definite
about age.


It's a kid?

Partial fusion of the distal
radius and the acromion.

A kid.

A kid? Oh, man.

How old?
Thirteen or 14.

Oh, I hate it when it's a kid.

Well, that's because you have a son yourself
and you can't help but draw the connection.

Same with me though,
with Parker.

Well, fortunately for me,
Christine is a girl...

and so the comparison
is not as close to home.

Christine's gonna be fine,
all right?

I feel a sudden desire
to hold her.

We will.

And you should call Parker.
I will. All right?

Hodgins, we should take soil
samples from beneath the remains.

The sleeping
bag might help us, but I doubt it.

It looks pretty common.

Gonna find out
what happened to you, kid.

What do you got there,
Dr. Hodgins?

Skull found in an abandoned greenhouse
out near the Triadelphia Reservoir.

That's a
nice field trip for you.

It's a kid.
Uh, sorry.

Now, I am gonna put you here
nice and steady, buddy.

Aw, Professor, I think it's a
good thing you're talking to him.

Avalon, what are you doing here?

I heard someone callin'.

Oh, please tell me
you mean by telephone.

No, honey, no such luck.

I heard him...


I know you hate that.

Avalon's a psychic, Hodgins.

She's not in control
of what she hears.

You can say that again. If I were,
you'd say nicer things to me.

Oh, he's listening.

Yeah, as you can see,
he hasn't got any ears.

He doesn't need any ears.

What-What do you think
that he wants exactly?

He's got unfinished business.

Makes sense, since he
was probably murdered.

I need five minutes to commune.

Okay. Come on. No.

This is a secure forensic
platform, all right?

Now, come on. Anyone asks,
you came to read Angie's palms.

I'm sorry, Avalon.

You know how Brennan feels about psychics.

And how Booth feels.
And also Sweets.

And Cam. I don't want
to seem unfriendly...

but this is not
a psychic platform.

Okay, we were just leaving.

I came to read Angela's palms.

So I heard.

We're gonna go now to do that.


The rest of the remains
were x-rayed.

Kind of small.

Yeah, Brennan says teenage
boy, 13 or 14. Oh.

Avalon says he's watching us.

In that case, no cursing.

Are the
X-rays in the system?

You'll find them filed
under John Doe A-07.

There's a fracture
to the cervical spine at C2.

Cause of death?

If he was still alive when his neck
fractured, it would have been fatal.

There's evidence
of older remodelings.

Wrists, elbow,
cracked patella, coccyx.

A tough life.

What is it?
Oh, this-

This doesn't look
like soil in the skull.

I think-

I think this is
a wasps' nest. Hey.

This'll help us dial in time of death.

Well, Avalon says
that it's a boy.

I really hate it
when it's a kid.

His parents must be
in complete hell.

Unless Mom and Dad already know.

Oh, don't-don't say that.
It could have been an accident.

Getting buried in a
greenhouse is no accident.

Oh, God. Excuse me for not going
to the worst place first.

Long bones indicate that he was a
bit small for a 14-year-old male.

But muscle attachments
suggest he was fit.

Active, athletic.

That could explain
the pattern of old injuries.

Good. Why good?

It's better he hurt himself
daredeviling for the Internet...

than getting beat
by a drunk foster father.

I'm with you, okay? Not going
to the worst place first.


When can I get him
for a facial reconstruction?

After Hodgins removes the
wasp's nest from his cranium.

Hey, sorry for the-

it's a kid.
No need to apologize.

Are you kidding? I love it when
you hang on to your humanity.

Even if it means
I get yelled at.

When Angela
first started working here...

she had to have drinks and sex
just to forget the day.

Yeah. She still does
one of those things.

I'll bring him to your office.

You're thinking
that he's somebody's baby.

Yeah, I can't help it.

Ange, you gotta
make it a skull, not a boy.

Professional detachment.

It's my job to turn this skull
into an actual human being...

give him a face.

So, you try being detached.

Of course.
I'm sorry, Angie.

I'm gonna quit
giving you advice.


I'm Angela.

This is weird, but, uh...

I believe that if Avalon says
you're here, then you're here.


What I do is give you a face
and find out who you are.

It's Brennan who gives you a voice
and who finds out what happened.

Symmetrical features,
so you were cute.

You took care of your teeth, but
it looks like you ground them.

So you must have
been hiding your nervousness from others.

Maybe came off
as a little cocky, huh?

Got kind of
a crooked little grin?

Small for your age too.

Means you might have been putting
on a tough face for the world.

But I think there was
a bit of an artist in you.

I promise you, we will find out whatever
it is that you need finding out...

so that you can go home.

The notion of a soul, of a spirit
that transcends the body...

and time
and the laws of physics...

has been integral
to every single culture.

It is a myth
that transcends race.

It is an abiding tenet
of humanity.

So it's true.
Not in the least.

If you're done, I can remove
the excess tissue...

and take a closer look
at the bare bone.

So, these showed up during an
evidence sweep. Shoes?

Could be the victim's.
Size eight.

That's congruent with the size
of the victim's feet.

Hmm. Well, there's bloodstains
right on the soles there.

The wasps' nest from the skull
is over a year old.

Factor in the time it took
for the brain to decompose...

time of death is approximately
two years ago, in the autumn.

Is-Is this our boy?

Yeah. I'll compare that to the Missing
Persons reports from that time.

There is absolutely
no empirical evidence...

that ghosts or spirits
or the human soul exists.

There is no evidence that our consciousness
survives our corporeal death in any way.

Hey, hey.
We have a match here.

Look at that. Colin Gibson.

Oh, my God. Avalon kept saying
that she heard someone “Colin.”

No, she meant “calling.”

But still, wow, yeah,
that's got to make you think.

Okay, we are scientists. Let's concentrate
on the facts and the numbers and logic.

How about this number?
He's 14 years old.

- Oh!
- Oh, sweetie.

I'm sorry. It's okay to be
sad, Temperance, all right?

It's okay to cry.
It's all right.

It is sad.

It is sad.

You know, I've never seen Brennan
tear up for a victim before...

so, big ups there, Colin.

Most of us here, we separate
ourselves emotionally...

from people like you-
dead people.

Is Angie's psychic right, huh?

You watching us?

You haunting us all
till we solve your murder?

Hey, is it possible
that on some level...

Brennan could feel
your presence?

Who are you talking to?

Uh-it's just-
To Colin, the victim.

Just in case.

Avalon's accuracy is freaky.

Did you get anything
off the wasps' nest?

Yeah. Check this out.

Colin, if you see my mother on
the other side-Barbara, Babs-

please tell her that I'm fine
and that I'm hap-87% happy...

and that I love her very much.

[ Typing 1 Wait a second.

I was just telling Colin that I thought
that the wasp was Sphex pensylvanicus

but, in fact, this is-
this is Vespula squamosa.

Which seems to hold
great meaning for you.

Squamosa is not a subterranean
or burrowing wasp.

Then how did they get
in the skull?

The victim was killed and left
to decompose above ground.

Th-The wasp built his nest in the
skull before Colin was buried.

So the body was moved?

After how long?
Eight months to a year.


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...

and romance...

and sex.

You'd 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.

Why are they insisting
upon seeing their child's bones?

All skeletons look alike
to the untrained eye.

We tell them it's their loved
one's remains. They believe us.

They have faith in us.

At first, I thought we should
go full-on scientific.

Full-on scientific?

Bones laid out anatomically on
a cold, stainless steel table.

Very antiseptic.

But then I thought,
“This is their son,” so-

So you decided to use a cloth, which
is more reminiscent of a shroud.

They should see that we have
reverence for their boy.

And he'll know we have
reverence for his parents.

Sweets feels that...

it is important
for you to know...

that the injury that Colin
sustained to his spine...

would have killed him instantly.

We love you, Colin.

We miss you so much.

In the Missing Persons report, on
the day that Colin disappeared...

you said that the day started
like every other day.

Was there anything
different at all?

It was-It was
just like every other day.

Colin ate breakfast while
we-packed up for work.

I just wish we'd taken the time.

I wish we'd all
sat down together.

Colin was a good student?

He was a very good student.

He excelled at sports too.

Junior varsity track...

swimming, wrestling.

Not really a team player,
our Colin.

No problems with anyone
at school or-

No. No.

When the Missing
Persons police asked questions...

they found that Colin
had lots of friends.

Yeah, everyone-
everyone liked him.

Good-bye, Colin.

We love you.

Perimortem abrasions
to both patellas and tibias.

These injuries happened
very close to time of death.

Damage to the metacarpals
and to the scaphoid and lunate.

Colles' fractures indicate the victim
fell forward at a high speed...

and attempted to break his fall
by extending his arms forward.

Yes, there is a hairline
fracture to the left clavicle...

supporting that scenario.

Note: Angela may
be able to estimate...

the height or speed
from which the victim fell.

You were moving fast.

Were you running away
from something?

There's a shallow vertical
gash to the sternum.

Did you fall on something sharp
before or after...

You snapped your neck?

Or were you attacked while
lying injured on the ground?

Perhaps you turned
onto your back...

and someone slashed down at you.

I lied when I said
that I knew you died instantly.

Sweets said that would be
kinder for your parents...

which is something
that Sweets is very good at.

That's interesting. Look.

What is that?

Areas of pale discoloration,
disparate in size...

but consistent in color.

Dr. Brennan, are you
speaking with the victim?

I'm intrigued
by Angela's idea...

of the victim watching me work.

For example, does it affect
my objectivity or focus?

That does not mean
that I think it is true.

Dr. Hodgins found this
in the filters...

after the victim's bones
were cleaned.

Is that a paint chip? Yes, Hodgins
ran it through the mass spec.

Dr. Saroyan, Dr. Brennan?

This is Miranda Spedding and Shaun
Whalen, friends of Colin Gibson's.


They shouldn't see Colin.

Uh, Miranda and Shaun
have something of Colin's.

They wanted to bring it
to the lab themselves.

Oh. Um-

Excuse me.

I'm going somewhere else...
to do something.

We're sorry for
the loss of your friend.

Two years.

You think you're used to it,
then they find Colin's body.

Um, this is- or was-
Colin's skateboard.

He left it at the skate park
the day before he disappeared.

Also, I found, um, this
slipped in my locker...

the day he didn't
show up at school.

It's a bunch of songs.
Colin was really into music.

To tell you the truth,
I, um-

I never had the heart to listen
to it after he went missing.

What do you
make of this, Dr. Hodgins?

These patches of discoloration?

Yes. Do you think your wasps
could have caused it?

Mmm, I don't think so.

It could be some kind
of chemical staining.

No. That would have left
physical evidence on the bone.

Yeah. Well, I'll take a look at the
cellular level with the S.E.M.

Ooh! Hey, in other news,
check this out.

Paint chip? Yeah. it's from
a 1987 Chevy El Camino.

I'll tell Booth, and the F.B.l.
can trace the vehicle.

What are these light areas
on your skull, buddy, hmm?

Dr. Hodgins!


Get ready for mystic weirdness.

Avalon, what-

Did Angie sign you in? Because I
doubt that Cam would allow this.

I need to talk to Colin.


He's really sad.


I'll tell you what.

I will go get a cup of coffee.

You have two minutes.

Do not touch.

Yes! ed 1

You were booked for a good life.

I see...

falling in love twice...

a son, two daughters.

Eh, don't worry
about those souls.

They'll find another way
into this world.

You know, not exactly
who they were gonna be.

Up, down...

triumphs, heartbreak.

No Nobel Prize, but-

but your death is a tragedy...

because you were gonna make
the world a better place.

And that's how it should be.

You're still here
after my beautiful speech.


I don't understand.

But I will.

I'll help you make the journey.

So, it's a 1987 Chevy El Camino
in this paint color.

There's three of 'em, but I
got the warrant for this one.

All right?
So, what do you think?

Well, no visible damage to
the bumper-

But you wouldn't
expect there to be.

Okay, but he got hit
by a car, right?

Well, the-the fracture
to Colin's pelvis...

is congruent with being
struck by an automobile...

but cause of death was the
fracture on his neck vertebra.

So he gets hit by a car, he falls
down and he breaks his neck.

This could very well explain
the gash on Colin's sternum-

if he were struck and then
fell across the hood.

So is this the car?
Yes, maybe, no?

You said there were three
vehicles matching this description?

Mm-hmm. But what's
special about this one?

Car's registered
to a Dr. Trevor Gibson.

Colin's dad?

We follow the facts, Booth.

We don't invest them
with emotions.

Look, I don't want Colin's dad
to be the bad guy, but-

But now you have to bring
him in for questioning.


An online personality
mirrors a physical personality...

but the mirror's
foggy and cracked.

That's a pretty poetic way of saying that we
might find a clue in Colin's social network.

A father doesn't suddenly kill
his son for no reason, right?

We might be able to find the
seeds of their conflict here.

Yeah, well, here are
Colin's photo albums.

Okay, that's a song from
Colin's mix tape to Miranda.

Huh. Yeah, and he looks pretty
happy with his parents here.

Even more telling is the fact that he
didn't remove them from his online life.


Yeah. Likes 'em then.

Maybe even proud of them.

Colin was a daredevil.

Interests, friends. I mean,
there's nothing suspicious here.

Colin made a mix tape
for Miranda, right?


Well, a boy makes
a mix tape for a girl?

Yeah, it was a very
eclectic mix of songs...

from a number of times
and genres.

Sweets, Colin had the hots
for an older girl.


Yeah. All of Colin's
friends were older.

You think Miranda knew
how he felt?

Well, she was 17
and he was 14...

so she probably thought
of him as a kid. Mmm.

And then what if
her boyfriend found out?

I mean, if high school
boyfriends killed every kid...

that had a crush
on their hot girlfriend...

the species would be dead
in half a generation.

So, what's your story?

You have some kind of secret life
away from your friends and family?

So, the discoloration on the
skull is not chemical in origin.

What is it?
A congenital aberration?

Some kind of condition
or syndrome?

I don't know. But we did catch
a break on the wasps' nest.

It is made of paper,
wood fiber, cellulose.

Very common
in indigenous plant life.

What's the break?

Betula uber; more commonly
known as the round-leaf birch.

Rare? It's rare enough that
there aren't any trees...

near the greenhouse
where Colin was found.

Now, a wasp will forage
approximately four times per day...

venturing a distance of maybe
two miles from the nest.

Closest concentration of the round-leaf
birch is a population of 40 trees here.

So Colin's body was dumped
for the first time...

within two miles of those trees?


- Hey, where are you going?
- Home.

Oh. What do you got there?

Oh. Why are you
taking Colin home?

Booth doesn't like it
when I stay here all night.

Well, what can't wait
until tomorrow?

You're the one that said,
“Pretend that Colin is watching.”

it's incredibly motivating.

Yeah, well, maybe you should
just pretend during the day.

Unfortunately, no. I have an
extremely vivid imagination.

Oh, Bones, what are you doing?

Something is bugging me.
Yeah, me too.

There's a human skull in our living room.

Oh, I'll get her.
I'll get her. Just-

I'm listening
to your mix tape because-

well, because Angela said that no one
had listened to it all the way through.

I find your musical taste

Perhaps you would've grown up
to be an ethnomusicologist.

Or been a normal kid
who played in a band.

What woke you up? I don't
believe it was me or Christine.

Colin's dad.

You know, when I was questioning
him, I think he realized...

I suspected him as the killer,
and he just-he fell apart.

What, emotionally?

Well, his arms and legs didn't fall off.
Yes, emotionally.

He just-He lost it, Bones.
He-He loved his son.

He didn't do it.
He didn't kill him.

That's your intuition?

Why didn't the victim's father
notice the missing hood ornament?

That was a project that he and
his son had been working on.

He hasn't removed the car cover
since his son went missing.

The keys are in the tailpipe.
Anyone could've taken that car.

Look at the light.

Look it. Ooh,
it's a pretty light, huh?

It's a lot prettier than that scary
skull that Mommy's carrying around.

The little bitty light.

It's a pretty light.

The discolored areas
on the skull...

could've been caused by
exposure to light over time.

Okay, that's great.
Can we go to bed now?


Okay. Come on.
Here we go.

Back to bed.

Come to his
assistance, all ye saints of God.

Meet him, all ye angels
of the Lord...

receiving his soul...

presenting it in the sight
of God Almighty. Amen.

That's a battlefield prayer,
but I'm mostly a soldier.

So it seems to fit.

This is more of Colin's music?

Yes, I believe it is
Senegalese in origin.

Oh! Man.

Uh, Hodgins marked off all
the areas where the wasps...

and the round-leaf birch

And then Angela compiled a list of
man-made structures in the area.

You're pretty sure we're
looking for a man-made structure?

There's no sign of scavenging
on Colin's remains.

He was protected from
animals and the elements.

A location where Colin's remains
were placed after he was killed...

but which allowed three rays
of light to hit his skull...

for several hours every day.

on a south-facing slope.

Just up here, there's some
kind of abandoned pump house.

Hodgins thought it matched
all the criteria.

Hey! Ah. Punk.

I loved the Ramones
when I was a kid.

I'll tell you what. I remember putting
“Blitzkrieg Bop” on a mix tape...

for this girl that I liked.

How come you've never
made me a mix tape?

Well, it's romantic, Bones.

That's right.
I'm not very romantic.

But you are.

Whoa! I doubt even Colin
thought that that was music.


This is us.

The pump house, right?

Check it out.

I don't know
what we're gonna find inside.

I'll bring the skull to compare it to
any markers we might find in there.


Should we get a warrant?

Definitely. Yeah.

Be careful coming in, all right?

What is all this stuff?

It's probably a place where
homeless people and kids hang out.

Oh, it's a match, Booth.

Look at this, huh?

It's the hood ornament
from Colin's father's car?

Colin's body was dumped here
after he was murdered.

I've been working on the sequence in
which Colin sustained his injuries.

Why is Colin here?

He's not.
I mean his skull.

I was seeing whether his teeth had
been loosened, but they haven't.

His pelvis was fractured, neck was
broken when striking the ground...

the hood ornament
gashes the chest...

damage to the hands
and clavicle...

and injuries
to the knees and shins.

Hmm. This scenario
doesn't explain the pelvis.

Or the gash to the chest.

What if he was struck
while kneeling?

That explains the knees.

But not the sternum.

From behind?

Pubic bone, hands and knees,
but no sternum or shins.

Yeah, but his teeth would've been
loosened, so not from behind.

Sweets said
that you were brave...

that you were trying
to impress the older kids.

By stealing his dad's car?

Angela, can you put Colin
standing on the hood of the car?

What, like he's surfing?

And then the
car will hit a bump.

Colin loses his balance.

Oh, the driver hit the brakes.
The car decelerates.

It was an accident.

The driver probably panicked
and hid the body.

I'll go tell Booth.

Adolescents suffer
diminished judgment...

because their frontal lobes
are underdeveloped.

You made a foolish decision.

I just wish
it hadn't killed you.

Thanks for coming in. I'm F.B.l.
Special Agent Seeley Booth.

You're all over 18, right?

All right. This here is
Dr. Temperance Brennan.

She figured out
how Colin Gibson died.

Colin was thrown from the
hood of his father's car.

His neck snapped
as he hit the ground.

Is that Colin's skull?

It feels like he's
looking at you, huh?

So, um, Colin
died in an accident?

Nah. A hidden body.
Definitely murder.

His body was hidden twice.

First in this pump house...

and then in this greenhouse.

So it's gotta be murder...

unless somebody else here
has a theory.

Great. Murder it is.

Booth, I have a theory.
What's that?

Colin dies in a stupid stunt.

You panic, hide the body.

- Then one of you sees his parents somewhere.
- At church?

You can't live with the guilt.

You're gonna go to the Gibsons,
tell them where to find him.

So which one of you
human beings has a conscience?

Hmm? Which one of you tough guys decided to
move Mr. Gibson's remains to the greenhouse?

Shaun, did you have anything
to do with this?

Please tell me you were the one that decided
to tell Mr. and Mrs. Gibson the truth.

Don't tell nobody nothing.
You shut up, Carl!

I am done listening to you.

It happened like she said.


I was driving.
You dared Colin, didn't you?

You knew that he would
do anything you said.

For a while I was okay.
I thought, “It was an accident.

We'll forget about it.” But-

You started having nightmares?

Colin just came
and stared at me.

His head broken,
flopping to one side...

saying he was cold
where we left him.

The greenhouse was better.
It was warm.

So all three boys confessed...

but the girl, Miranda-she
didn't know anything about it.

Colin is still here.

But we just solved
the mystery of his death.

Dying isn't what made him sad.

Okay. Um-

Just-Could you just
wait here one sec?

Where are you going?

Around here, when there
are impossible questions...

there's only one place to go
for the answers.

All right.
Sounds good.

Hey. Where you going
with Colin?

He's going to be cremated
first thing in the morning...

and I thought he should be gone
before that happens.

What do you mean “gone”?

Avalon says he's still here.

Oh, Angela, you're not gonna talk to Dr.
Brennan on the word of a psychic, are you?

Brennan comes through.

Given the opportunity, she
always rises to the occasion.

I don't understand.


Avalon says that Colin's
spirit is still here.

I don't know what that means.

It means that it was never
about finding his killer.

What is “it”?

Honey, do you think you could
just trust me here and help?

Angela, finding killers
is all that I do.

I know. I know you don't believe
in ghosts or spirits or souls.

But... Colin needs our help,
and I could use yours.

We've uncovered everything
there is to uncover, except-

Except what?

What was that noise at the
end of Colin's mix tape?

Oh, the loud-


It was a Web page design
ready to be uploaded to the Internet.

When you played it on an MP3
player, it just made a loud noise.

This is it, here.

And I know I must' seem
like a little kid...

but this is for you anyway.

If I believed
what you believe-

I might believe
this is the answer.

Good luck, kid.

Okay. 7
Everybody ready.

Hey, Miranda-Um, I have
something to tell you.

I know you're with Shaun,
and Shaun is totally sick.

And I know I must seem
like a little kid...

but this is for you anyway.

Okay. That's all.

I just-
felt like I was gonna die...

if I didn't tell you how I really feel.

Now you know.

Colin loved me?

I had no idea.
He never said anything.

He said it in that song.

Boys and their mix tapes, right?

You know, Colin skipped school that day
because he was afraid how you would react.

I would have never seen
this if it wasn't for you people.

I just wish I could tell him
that I got his message.

He knows.

Dancing phalanges!

Dancing phalanges!

Do you think it's too soon to learn
the periodic table of elements?

What, for you or for Christine?

Hydrogen, helium, lithium!

What is that?

This is your mix tape.

What? You made me a mix tape?

Mm-hmm. You know what? You're right.
I am the romantic one.

I find I think
that is very sweet.

Well, it starts with our song.
what? We have a song?

Every couple has a song.

Wait for it.

Right? Huh?

Okay, okay. Calm-
Here. All right.

What's that mean?