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A Boy in a Tree (1×3)

Summary: Booth frantically tries to keep control over his job and life while the squints basically disrupt all of it. (Oh, also a fancy prep school kid is found in a tree and it appears to be suicide, except for it isn’t.)

We open up on Zach and his lady problems with Naomi from Paleontology (which sounds to me like Jake from State Farm lol). Naomi and Zach hooked up but she’s not talking to Zach anymore. Hodgela assists.

Zach: She said take a hint but when I asked ‘what hint?’ Naomi said if she told me what hint that it wouldn’t be a hint anymore it would be a statement. I understood the individual words but I do not comprehend her meaning.

Angela: Did you tell Naomi that?

Zach: Yes. She said ask your friends, if I have any.

Hodgins: Get out there and bring us home a case, buddy.

Poor Booth is stuck driving with his newly acquired squint squad to a crime scene, which he really regrets when Zach asks him for love advice:


Zach: Successful with woman, right? I mean they like you? If a woman said, to you, take a hint, what would that mean?

Booth: Could we just concentrate on the job?

Zach: You call after every sexual encounter, Right? Because that’s the good thing to do.

Booth: Look, this is a work mode. This is a work zone. Do not talk sex at work. All right, look, we’ve got about a forty-five minute drive. What do you say we pass it in quiet meditation.

[After arriving]

Zach: Can I talk now?

Booth: No.

Brennan: That’s not fair.

Booth: My car, my rules. Period.


Booth tries to reestablish dominance in his introduction…

Booth: FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth and a forensic anthropologist. 

…but they don’t let him…

Brennan: Dr. Temperance Brennan from the Jeffersonian institute. 

Zach: Plus one crack assistant.

Booth talks to the headmaster and sheriff about what they know and says,

Booth: Gentleman, give my forensic anthropologist some room.

Brennan: Your forensic anthropologist? 

Give it up Booth. LOL.

Booth: I want my own card. 

Brennan: Well, I want my own gun. 

Booth: Last time you had a gun you shot someone. 

Zach: He was a bad guy. 

You know when your coworkers are getting on your last nerve and you feel a migraine forming behind your eyes? And its only 9:30 am? Yeah, I’m getting that feeling from Booth right about now!

Booth: Let it go Bones, move on. 

Brennan: Don’t call me Bones!

Don’t worry, Dr. B, you’ll grow to love it. 🙂


Meanwhile, B&B are exasperating the others in the case:

Booth: Well, I would like to declare it a murder just to shake those little bast… 

Brennan: I’m not gonna declare it a murder so you can shake things up.  

Santana: [sighs] 

Goodman comes in with some science humor.

Santana: Look, you’re very experienced within your field with bones and such, right? Doesn’t your gut say suicide? 

Brennan: I don’t actually use my gut for that, Sir. 

Booth: She really, really doesn’t. 

Goodman: Like all of us at the Jeffersonian, Dr. Brennan prefers science to the digestive track. 

Booth: My gut says it stinks. 

Dr. Goodman: If he smells with his gut what does he use his nose for? 

Brennan: [laughs] 

I think at this point, Booth is regretting this whole partner thing very much… Early Brennan, though slow to understand social situations, is able to reason out Booth’s dislike for this fancy school.

Brennan: What’s with you and the private school? 

Booth: I thought we understood each other. 

Brennan: Oh it’s that bad? 

Booth: I don’t…I don’t like people who think they’re better than other people. 

Brennan: Some people ARE better than other people. 

Booth: All men are created equal either you believe that or you don’t. 

Brennan: Some people are smarter than others there’s no use being offended by the fact.                       

Booth: We tell them that their son was found dead. We’re looking into it. Sorry for your loss and we are. 

Brennan: What? 

Booth: Sorry for their loss. It’s sad. Try to remember that.

 Brennan: Uh, I’m not a sociopath. 

Booth: You’re bad with people, okay. No use being offended by the fact. 

Boom. Roasted. Good one, Booth.

Meanwhile, back at the lab, Hodgela is still helping Zach with his lady problem.


Zach: What did Naomi mean when she said take a hint? What did I do wrong? 

Hodgins: It’s not what you did wrong. It’s what you didn’t do. 

Zach: Where do you learn this stuff? 

Hodgins: There are some things you learn by doing… riding a bike, driving a car, pleasing a woman. 

Zach: I can’t ride a bike or drive a car. 

Hodgins: Or apparently please a woman. 

Zach: I need specific instructions, a list of techniques to implement or a sequence of moves. 

(Zach, read Brennan’s books!)

Hodgins: I’m not really the guy to talk to about that. 

Zach: Why not? You’ve slept with like, ten thousand women.

Oh, really?


Ok, yeah, I could buy that. lol

Hodgins: Because our relationship is all about what’s up here. What you need to do is talk to someone more earthy.

Gee, I wonder who he means?!

So mid-investigation, Booth introduces Brennan to Sid (RIP!) which is kind of a big deal…however, the rest of the squints trail in…

Booth: You know this is kinda my little getaway place. You know? 

They ignore him.

Booth: Please everyone. You know come on just sit down. 

Poor Boothy.

Back at the case, Brennan gives the deceased’s mom her most solemn vow.

Brennan: I promise you I will find out the truth. 

And Booth is learning you can’t keep Brennan out of the way out in the field:

Booth: Stay here. 

Brennan: Yeah right, that’s gonna happen. 


And she not-so-helpfully helps Booth question suspects:

Headmaster: Given your hostility. It’s time we bring in a lawyer to advise us.

Booth: Or you take my advice. If you don’t answer my questions, I’ll take you down to FBI headquarters in hand cuffs.

Brennan: He’ll do it. He doesn’t like you. 

And B&B are still feeling each other up. Out.

Brennan: You’re the least objective person I have ever met. 

Booth: Thank you. 

Brennan: It’s not a compliment. 


Back the lab, Zach is still struggling with Naomi but knows just the right “earthy” person to ask!

Zach: Sometime when you’re not busy, I wonder if I could ask you a few questions about sexual positions. 

Booth: If you even try, I will take out my gun and shoot you between the eyes. 

This is not Booth’s day.

But to make it worse, Brennan is not supporting his murder theory.

Brennan: This finding is congruent with suicide. 

Booth: I do not accept that. 

Brennan: It’s a fact; you can’t not accept a fact.  

Booth: Then you’ll stop my investigation. The school trying to cover up a murder and you’re helping them. 


But Angela steps in to talk it out with Brennan.

Angela: Honey, did you ever just believe something, despite the evidence, just know it was true? 

Brennan: No, I’ve hoped things. I will always know the difference between hope and fact. I’m the only one who cares about the truth of what Nestor’s life came to in the end. Good or bad, and I know the truth is more important than anything else. 

Angela: You know or you hope it’s true? 

Brennan: Suicide is the most rational, logical explanation. What I believe doesn’t matter. What makes me sad doesn’t matter. 

Angela gets real with Booth too:

Angela: That cynicism you affect Booth–it’s your way of hiding your deeply romantic nature. 

We find out that it was a fellow student who committed the murder, somehow getting the victim up in a tree by herself ????

Brennan: Nestor was going to go to the headmaster and expose you so you dosed him with Ketamine and hauled him up into the tree. The DNA traces in the rope will prove that. 

Brennan then tells the mom her son died doing the right thing, and Booth is pleased. When the partners are working together…. it works!


Back at Sid’s, Booth is hoping Sid will kick the squints out but he doesn’t. He still tries to exert some sort of ownership:


Booth: Okay fine, new rules that counter is mine. That booth is yours everything else around here alright, mine, alright, mine…M-I-N-E, mine.  

Brennan ignores him but reveals she is starting to notice something intriguing about him:


Brennan: I’ve been thinking about your whole ‘something stinks’ aptitude. I think you have a subconscious knack for reading body language, stress in the voice, other subtle but discernable indicators. It’s not mysterious but it is impressive and in the future, I will try to record it in an appropriate degree of objective worth. 


Booth: Thank you Temperance. Appreciate that. So, uh, what part of ‘this is mine’ did you not understand? Do I have to say it in Latin? 

LOL, Booth you are so much of a goner already and you don’t even know it yet.

Brennan: [Places a Jeffersonian ID on the bar] Abset invidia. (no offense)


Booth: Nice. 


…or maybe he DOES know he’s a goner already.



Episode trivia:

*Soon after this episode aired, Fox ordered a full season of Bones due to the fact that the first three episodes of the show consistently ranked #1 among key demographics in the Tuesday 8:00 p.m. timeslot.

*Toby Hemingway who plays Tucker Pattison went on to appear in 8 of the 13 episodes of the short-lived Bones spin-off The Finder (2012) .

*The episode was written and filmed prior to “The Man in the S.U.V“, which was aired as the series’ second episode.


5 thoughts on “A Boy in a Tree (1×3)

  1. I’ll be back but first thoughts:

    Rewatching this episode (and pretty much all the Vintage Bones episodes), I was struck by how ‘normal’ everyone is. There are shades of normal, obviously, but Zack and Brennan particularly stand out. Yes, they were eclectic and a bit quirky but they weren’t robotic, or completely unable to recognize normal human behavior. I’m not sure why those characters devolved so much but it’s jarring, especially in juxtaposition with S8 and S9.

  2. Agreed, MJ. I much prefer the “somewhat clueless but still able to reason and discern situations” version of Brennan. An anthropologist has to be able to understand the human experience on some level and I feel the later seasons took that away from her and made her just a lab rat.

    But I digress, it is nice to go back and see how these actors and characters started out and see the show start to really come together.

    Also, all the props in the world to Sarah of Bones Theory. This website thing is no joke and takes a lot of work! I appreciate her running that site for so long!!

  3. This is wonderful ❤ thank you!

    “Brennan: I’ve been thinking about your whole ‘something stinks’ aptitude. I think you have a subconscious knack for reading body language, stress in the voice, other subtle but discernable indicators. It’s not mysterious but it is impressive and in the future, I will try to record it in an appropriate degree of objective worth. ”

    Trust the gut baby! (S11 quote)

    • I just love that while she wasn’t ready to try a romantic relationship with Booth, she couldn’t help but be impressed with his work and wanted to learn from him. Kind of like her wanting his “stuff” for a baby. So she could BE with him without BEING with him. lol Brennan’s a smart girl 🙂

  4. “Yes, they were eclectic and a bit quirky but they weren’t robotic, or completely unable to recognize normal human behavior”

    Yes! Brennan was not robotic or clueless in the beginning. She was also for “kick-ass”, assaulting suspects with judo moves! Take them down!
    Season 1 had more funerals than any other season, and Brennan pays for one of them.
    So I confess, I did not watch this episode yet again, but I will.
    Love Booth in the blue shirt! Agree, bnb, “…or maybe he DOES know he’s a goner already.” Yes, I think he is!! He is on his way.

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