“The Superhero in the Alley”
Written By: Elizabeth Benjamin
Directed by: James Whitmore Jr.
BOOTH: Okay. So did he jump, or was he pushed, Bones?
BRENNAN: That’s what we have to figure out. We can take the skeleton in. Give you a report, maybe after next week.
BOOTH: No you don’t have to solve the whole case. Just tell me if I’m looking at a murder. Maybe, you know, pull a quick I.D.?
BRENNAN: Don’t use your charm smile on me.
BOOTH: What? It’s a mark of respect. That’s all.
We find out it’s a young man with a comic book found on him at the scene.
BOOTH: It’s Warren Granger, age 17.
BRENNAN: 17, small for his age.
BOOTH: Yeah. Well, he was homeschooled. G.E.D. obtained last summer. Mother and stepfather reported him missing from this very block two months ago. Hey, listen. Bones, you know, if you want, uh, sit this part out, hey I know you got some ancient Chinese bones waiting.
BRENNAN: No. I’m on this now.
BRENNAN: Looks like every other house in the neighborhood.
BOOTH: Every family has its secrets, Bones.
Well, ain’t that the truth.
WARREN’S STEPFATHER: He was always by himself. No friends. No enemies. Spent all his time up here with his comic books and toys. He was a lonely kid. Died before he even had a life. I really thought he had just run away. We tried. Tried to get him out of this place into some kind of real life. I even got him a job at the bowling alley. But… he just spent all his money on this… stuff.
BOOTH: Unbelievable. It’s quite the collection of comic books.
BRENNAN: Hodgins said that the cellulose mass was a graphic novel. He sent it to Angela for analysis and recovery.
BOOTH: This is Batman number 127, featuring the hammer of the Thor. This is worth about 300 bucks.
BRENNAN: Booth, are you a nerd?
BOOTH: First of all, you mean “geek”. And no, I’m not. Okay? It’s quite normal for an American male to read comic books.
BRENNAN: I find it hard to believe you have anything in common with Warren Granger.
BOOTH: Oh, you mean isolated with an inner secret life? No. I’d say you were more like Warren.
Solid burn there, Booth. 10 points. lol
BRENNAN: Zack discovered some significant hairline parry fractures on the right and left ulnae. That’s arms.
BOOTH: I know ulna means forearm. I pay attention. I also know that parry fracture means that the kid fought back, Bones.
BRENNAN: Small stature, a geek, and he fought back.
BOOTH: Yeah. He also got thrown from a roof.
They find out that the victim was writing his own comics.
GOODMAN: As you know, being a writer yourself, Dr. Brennan, Warren Granger’s comic book could be infused with his real-life fears and conflicts.
BRENNAN: Especially in the case of an adolescent writer.
They go out into the field to talk to people who knew him.
BRENNAN: Do any of you people know Warren Granger?
Girl: Something happened to Warren, didn’t it?
ELLIS: Warren’s dead. He was murdered.
BOOTH: No. I never said anything about him being murdered. Neither did the press.
JEREMY: Well, obviously, if you’re the F.B.I., he was murdered. You guys don’t investigate people getting hit by a bus.
Meanwhile, the squints are learning more about the victim through his writing.
GOODMAN: Writer was in pain. And I don’t think it was purely the adolescent angst of the outsider. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it wasn’t mere psychological pain. He’s afraid of actual physical death.
ANGELA: Can you really pull all that information from a comic book?
GOODMAN: Absolutely. All writers reveal more of themselves than they intend on every page.
BOOTH: You know I gotta tell you, I never bought all that English 101 stuff. Sometimes a river is just a river.
BRENNAN: All due respect, but my writing, for example, is pure fiction.
GOODMAN: Dr.Brennan, I fear you reveal much more of your worldview in your writing than you realize.
BRENNAN: Such as?
GOODMAN: Such as “Archaeologists make good administrators because they enjoy tedium”.
ANGELA: Such as “Artists are doomed to a life of loneliness because they aren’t able to think beyond instant gratification”.
BOOTH: Such as, you know, F.B.I. guys are hot, and Angela here wants to have sex with me.
So much information being shared!!
Zack is reading comic books for the first time…
ZACK: Invulnerability, superstrength, heightened senses, telekinesis… I would love to have some of those powers.
ZACK: I- I don’t really know. Is it an odd desire?
BRENNAN: Why fantasize? You’re smart.
ZACK: In some ways my intelligence is a handicap. Well, for one thing, I’m weird. For another, I tend to make people feel stupid, and they resent me for it.
BRENNAN: I suspect it’s the same for superpowers.
ZACK: I’ll clean the bones and try to match a weapon to the damage done.
BRENNAN: Which will make you a real hero in a real world.
The following scene ought to remind you of a much more recent episode…
BOOTH: You smell that?
BRENNAN: Yes, I do.
BOOTH: You know what that is, Bones?
BRENNAN: Wax, popcorn. Feet, deodorant.
BOOTH: That, is America, Bones.
BRENNAN: Keep your bowling ball in the car?
BOOTH: Oh, you know, I figure we ask a few questions about Warren Granger, maybe bowl a few frames… You know, nothing like a little sport to, uh, take the edge off of-
BRENNAN: This is not a sport.
BOOTH: How do you figure?
BRENNAN: There’s no physical benefit. So it’s really like golf. It’s not a sport, it’s an activity.
BOOTH: You know, could you please, Bones maybe just for once try not to piss everyone off around you?
BRENNAN: Yeah. Sorry. Are you good at this… sport?
BOOTH: Well, my average was over 200, less than 2 opens per game. One match I had 211 strikes out of 431 shots. 29 opens in 39 games.
BRENNAN: What does that mean?
BOOTH: Means I won some bowling awards.
BRENNAN: I won the Marshall H. Dixon Award for my paper on George John Romanes and physiological selection.
BOOTH: My God, it’s like we lead parallel lives.
BRENNAN: You told her that her son didn’t tell her about being sick to make her feel better.
BRENNAN: You don’t really believe that.
BOOTH: People don’t actually do that.
BRENNAN: So you told her to make her feel better?
BRENNAN: So you just did what you said people don’t do. I wonder why he didn’t tell his mother.
BOOTH: Well, maybe he was all caught up in the romance of being a dying superhero. You know, adolescent angst, all that.
BRENNAN: What do you really think?
BOOTH: The truth is I think the boy was looking to be a man. All on his own without any help. He was doing the best that he could.
BRENNAN: Heroes don’t whine about being sick.
BOOTH: Something like that. Poor kid.
Brennan starts thinking on what Booth said earlier.
BRENNAN: You said before that Warren reminded you of me. You think I’m just like him, that he hid from life by immersing himself in a fantasy world where he fought crime. And I do the same thing, only I don’t have superpowers. I… I have science.
BOOTH: No, Bones. You do fight crime. It’s not a fantasy. As far as any normal person is concerned, you do have superpowers.
BRENNAN: You’re just saying that to me.
BOOTH: No, I don’t do that.
BRENNAN: Yes, you do. You lied to Warren Granger’s mother to make her feel better. That seems to be your superpower…This is an arm bone. Has anyone we’ve seen on this case been favoring her arm?
BOOTH: Not that I’ve noticed.
BRENNAN: That’s because you’re not an anthropologist… with superpowers.
BOOTH: Ha. That’s good.
They figure out who Warren was protecting and why.
BOOTH: That’s not that damsel part that matters. It’s the distress that appealed to the kid. You know? I mean, look. It wasn’t about the sex or the romance. It never was.
BRENNAN: He wanted to make a difference in the world before he died. I told you he was more like you than me.
B&B confront the married couple at the bowling alley. The wife defends her husband.
BRENNAN: Well, Warren was right-handed, so the wound would be on your husband’s left arm.
LUCY: Oh my God.
Brennan approaches Ted and hit his upper left arm with her elbow. A blood stain appears.
BOOTH: I got him. I got him. I got him. All right. Aw, hell, Bones. Looks like you opened up an old wound there. All right let’s go. You know what? You’re under arrest. I really hate a wife beater. I really do. Almost as much as I hate someone who kills a dying kid.
They speak to Lucy.
BRENNAN: Warren wanted to rescue you.
LUCY: Oh, my God.
BOOTH: He probably just wanted to intimidate your husband, stop him from attacking you.
Back to the cemetery, Booth approaches the casket. He takes off the Sharpshooter medal that was on his suit jacket and places it on the casket.
Angela finishes Warren’s comic.