Bones: The Patriot in Purgatory

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by Shawnie Kelly (@DearShawnie)

This week’s episode of Bones is a slight departure from the norm, and an excellent tribute in honor of Veteran’s Day. There is no murder and there is no crime scene — at least no recent crime scene. Another different aspect to the episode is that Brennan brought in all of her best interns! The interns are some of our favorite characters on the show, and it’s fun getting to see them all together at once.

The interns assemble at the lab in order to crack some cold cases. They walk into an archive of bones, literally, and begin selecting skulls, hands, teeth, femurs — any and all bones from past victims. The victim’s cases were closed before certain technology was invented, technology that makes identifying remains much easier. Immediately, they identify remains that are ten, twenty, and even one hundred years old. One case, however, gets too complicated for a simple I.D.; a homeless man, whose file declared the cause of injury to be assault-related, soon becomes the center of the entire episode.

He is identified as a Desert Storm veteran who served his country heroically, but also took the deaths of his comrades very hard. He came home from war and slowly took a turn for the worse, deserting his family and ending up on the streets. The interns look at his case from every perceivable angle, and are soon able to pinpoint that his injuries occurred ten days before the estimated time of death — they occurred on September 11, 2001. The team determines that not only was he at the Pentagon during the attack, he was a hero in the midst of the chaos, saving the lives of three people who were injured and trapped. His own injuries were too much for him to overcome. His cracked rib, sustained by flying debris from the plane’s collision, eventually punctured his lung and he bled out — for ten days.

The episode theme is centered around forgotten victims receiving justice. This homeless person was not just someone who had given up on life, but rather a wounded man — both physically and emotionally. He served his country and couldn’t handle the mental torment caused by the trauma he experienced in war. The team at the Jeffersonian is able to restore his honor by proving that he acted valiantly in his last days. His wife and son can now rest easier knowing that, though fallen, he was still a hero.

The episode is very well done. One light aspect to an otherwise heavy plot is how Brennan constantly brings up Phil Jackson. Jackson, ex- L.A. Lakers coach, is the inspiration behind bringing all of the interns back into the lab. Brennan is reading his book and decides that smart coaching and team work are the most efficient ways to bring out the best in everyone. The most memorable line of the night comes from Booth:

“After your coaching, Phil Jackson has nothing on you.”

Yes, Brennan brings in the best team, and in return they solve one of the most important cases they’ve ever been a part of.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


    2 Comments

  1. AmyNovember 13th, 2012 at 11:49 am

    This episode was so well done. I can’t think of another episode of Bones that has moved me like this one did. I’m sure that is because we all have an emotional tie to September 11th so this felt like a personal case to all of us. I’m also an Army brat so the fact that the victim was a solider and what he went through added to the emotional load.

    I think that this is the most vulnerable we’ve ever seen Temperance. I love that her relationship with Booth has changed her so much.

  2. ZoeNovember 13th, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    This episode reminded me why I enjoy this series as much as I do. It was so well done and tasteful, overall entertaining. It captured so many viewpoints, well done!

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