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Pilot (1×1)

We all remember Angela’s entry into the Bones world, right?


Well she is there to pick up the fiercest anthropologist ever from a mass grave, aka Brennan’s favorite vacation spot.

After being detained in the airport, our 2nd hero bursts onto the scene to “save” the good doctor…only she figures out he’s full of it and she isn’t having it!


The back-and-forth between them is pretty instantaneous (we don’t know about their prior history yet):

Brennan:  I find you very condescending.

Booth: Me!  I’m condescending.  I’m not the one who’s got to mention that she’s got a Doctorate every five minutes.


Booth agrees to give her participation in cases and we get some of our first Bones phrases:

Booth: What? Do you want me to spit in my hand?  We’re Scully and Mulder.

Brennan: I don’t know what that means.

I didn’t realize this until the rewatch, but apparently Brennan’s fierce look is a recent thing according to Zach…

Brennan: Hi Zach.

Zach: This eco-warrior look works for you. 

Brennan: Thanks.

Zach: Very action oriented.

Booth then introduces us to the idea of “Squints” in his own, Boothy way.

Brennan: What exactly am I supposed to be squinting at?

Booth: Oh you know, it’s like pornography, you’ll know it when you see it.

We start getting into case details, and then Brennan and our old pal Dr. Goodman are arguing over “lending her out” to the FBI, in which Brennan puts up her first fight about being considered property. Goodman thinks she’s trying to play him, but realizes that she can’t….yet. Though she has a “disturbingly steep learning curve”!!

The squints, meanwhile, are trying to figure out who they are in Brennan’s book.

Brennan:  No, No, No. You’re not in the book.

Zach: Sure he is!  We all are…

Brennan: No, none of you are in the book.  Those are fictitious characters based…

Zach: Point of clarification, I’m not a virgin.  Nowhere near in fact.

Angela:  Who you captured perfectly, is Booth.  Buttoned down but buckets of sexual confidence which, uh, I for one would love to tap.

Zack:  It’s not right to discuss tapping asses in front of a soaker.

Meanwhile, Booth is talking to Cullen about how awesome Brennan is:

Cullen:  She’s good.

Booth: Oh, she’s amazing.  If the only way I can get her back to my side is to bring her out in the field, I’m willing.

Oh, he’s willing alright. 30, 40, 50 years and two kids willing. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

We get a glimpse into the interesting background of Temperance Brennan and her parents, though that will be slightly in flux for awhile (she has a grandpa, then doesn’t have a grandpa and all that) but the glimpse is enough for Cullen to agree to her presence in the field.

Then Brennan intercepts a “booty call” from her ex, proving she does know what some things are in society.  The ex throws in a dash of orphan-blaming, and we get Brenan’s dislike for psychology which is mentioned quite often in the episode.

We dig more into the case, where we find out Hodgins’ conspiracy leanings.

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

Quickly, we find out Booth has his own work demons to sort through and rethinks letting her work with him in the field.

Booth: I know we talked about you coming out in the field and all…A case this big and the Director is going to create a special investigation and if I line all my ducks up in a row I could maybe, maybe I can head it up.

Brennan: I don’t know what that means but I think I could be a duck.

But our smart cookie Brennan isn’t having him go back on it!

Brennan: Well in that case, the Jeffersonian will be issuing a press release identifying the girl in the pond.

Booth: You do that, I’m a dead duck.  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.

After a few mentions of diatomaceous earth, we get Early Booth teaching Brennan how to interact with live people vs dead people:

Booth: You know, getting information out of live people is a lot different than getting information out of a pile of bones, you have to offer up something of yourself first.    

Concerned, Brennan taps Angela’s mind for clarification:

Brennan: What if Booth’s 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:  Okay, interesting leap from people to men but I’m sure it means nothing.

And Angela makes a great observation, which apparently the last crop of Bones writers never understood about Brennan’s character:

Angela: Honey, you ever think you come off kind of distant because you connect too much? 

Brennan: I hate psychology, it’s a soft science.

Angela:   I know but, people are mostly soft. Offer up a little bit of yourself every once and awhile.  Just… tell somebody something you’re not completely certain you want them to know.

Brennan: God!  That’s the second time I’ve received that advice.

The case progresses and we find that Brennan assaulting the Senator gets Booth kicked of being lead for the new unit.

B&B are starting to feel each other up….I mean OUT!

Booth: Come on Bones…You okay?

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.

Between Booth and Angela’s conversation about Brennan’s parents, and B&B’s intense shooting range convo, we find B&B have been looking into each other’s background. I find it hard to concentrate on what they say in this scene but pictures are worth a thousand words, so….


Booth begins with the “we’re partners” stuff and they figure out the case. Brennan shoots the suspect and Goodman zings with a great quote:

Goodman: It was her first shooting, you can’t expect it to be perfect right out of the gate.


Then we see the beginning of Booth/Zach tension:

Booth: She didn’t give him a warning.  She just shot him, with alcohol on her breath.

Zach:  How much warning did you give people before you sniped them?


Then we get some nice moments between B&B as he lets her know her book is a best seller and advises her financially:

Brennan: That’s good right!?! The New York Times with a bullet…

Booth: It means you’re rich, call your accountant.

Brennan: I don’t have an accountant.

Booth: Well, get one!

Brennan: Okay, how does that work?

So we already have some partner-y trust building here. Then, we get to the big deal…

Booth: You know, being a sniper I took, a lot of lives. What I’d like to do before I’m done is try and catch at least that many murderers.

Brennan: Please!  You don’t think there’s some kind of cosmic balance sheet… I’d like to help you with that.

And with that, they walk away. A show is born. Somehow they squeezed in so much characterization and backgrounds in one episode! But now we want to know more!! Who’da thunk we’d get TWELVE seasons with these adorable crime fighters!


What do you think about this Pilot? Even if it wasn’t the very first Bones episode that you’ve seen, as a Pilot, how does it stand up? Do you think by the end of the 12 seasons they addressed everything brought up in the Pilot properly?

**I’m still SQUEEING over David’s choice to give us that parallel walking away moment**


Riding boots and all. 🙂



12 thoughts on “Pilot (1×1)

  1. First of all, that was an excellent recap. I thought at first that I was reading one of Sarah’s!

    What I always remember about this episode is that scene in the gun range that’s always talked about as the moment the showrunners realized Emily was Temperance Brennan. I’ve read that DB was pushing for the actress who played the blonde detective he worked with on ‘Angel’ and I have to say, she didn’t have nearly the chemistry with DB that ED had. Obviously, Emily was the better choice!

    The second thing I always think of when I think of the pilot is a bit shallow but the lipstick Emily wore at the end was icky and not flattering at all. The makeup department really upped their game as they realized what a beautiful canvas they had in Emily Deschanel.

  2. The funny thing is that DB chose a lot of her lipstick/lip gloss colors after awhile. They mentioned it in an interview once. So we have him to thank for the improvement 🙂

  3. *lol* The man knows his lipstick.

    I also remember (from the pilot commentary?) that the “how much warning did you give when you sniped people” scene was the first scene shot, and that everyone’s head turning toward Zack in sync wasn’t rehearsed or in the script. It just happened that way, and was perfect. Because perfect cast is perfect. 🙂 Obviously a sign of good things to come.

    (I also want to apologize for the multiple versions of me posting. UK_MJ, MJ Bush, MJ, it’s all me. Sometimes I just have to keep trying log-ins until I get one that WordPress will accept. It’s very mercurial.)

  4. It’s nice to see the beginning! Make-up was definitely toned down back in the beginning. Zack was portrayed more normal then. In fact, when he comments on her wardrobe, he seems to be complimenting her with the vibe that he’s interested. I never really got that as the series progressed. Until of course in the opener of s12 when they played it that he might be jealous of Booth. Perhaps MP got that vibe when he watched the pilot as well?

    I never noticed before the conversation that Brennan and Angela had rushing through the airport. That Brennan had ‘run’ to wherever to escape a bad break-up, so they kept that true to form throughout the series.

  5. The “Be a cop” scene was the moment I was hooked on the show and wanted Booth and Brennan to become a couple. That was fastest I ever wanted to see two characters together.

  6. The ‘be a cop’ exchange definitely had sparks flying!!
    Another thought/comparison I had, Brennan had ‘to run’ after the relationship with Peter. She had to ‘run’ after Booth’s tumor AND after trying to cope with ‘not being a couple’ with Booth. But she never had to run after Sully – thus further demoting the importance of Sully to her. LOL

  7. Lol You are so right. I guess Boat Boy wasn’t as important as the season 12 writers wanted us to to think. A bad break up had more of impact than her one month relationship with Boat Boy did.

  8. HAAAAAA!! I also thought she was more upset that one date Will was a murderer than when boat boy left, guess he taught her not to date murderers 😉😉😉 (I always wanted boat boy to turn up dead but going by the S12 writers that would of elevated him to saint status….😒)

  9. This recap was wonderful!! 👏❤

    I shipped B&B from the very start and going by the events of 100th so did they! 💏

  10. I mean, the DB/ED combo is undeniable. Sometimes shows have to grow into that chemistry but man, not these two. It pushed the show to 12 seasons, which is hard to do in any decade but especially with modern TV. But you watch them heatedly debate up against the wall, and it’s not hard to see why we were hooked! (And Booth and his one good shot….mmmmmmmm)

  11. “What do you think about this Pilot?”
    I love the Pilot! Obviously so did Fox because they went with Bones.
    Love this scene also:
    Brennan: Zack said you wanted to see me.
    Booth: Something you don’t like to talk about : families. Temperance partners, they share things .Builds trust.
    Brennan: Since when are we partners?
    Booth: I apologize for the assumption.

    Season 7 Booth told Brennan “You are my parter, always” Kiss! How far they came since that scene!

    “The “Be a cop” scene was the moment I was hooked on the show and wanted Booth and Brennan to become a couple. That was fastest I ever wanted to see two characters together.”

    IKR!!!! Me too. B&B had incredible chemistry right from the beginning. But it took 6 seasons for them to be official and make a baby.

    “This recap was wonderful!! 👏❤
    I shipped B&B from the very start and going by the events of 100th so did they! 💏”

    Two Brennan quotes in the pilot we heard again-
    “Don’t call me Bones”
    “I hate psychology”

    ” But you watch them heatedly debate up against the wall, and it’s not hard to see why we were hooked!”

    Another against the wall scene! Lol “she wants him” the caption

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