Home » Basic » The Skull in the Desert (1×17)

The Skull in the Desert (1×17)

Written By: Jeff Rake

Directed by: Donna Deitch

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HODGINS: Who vacations in the desert? It’s like lunching at the dump.

The team has a body in the lab but get distracted by Angela’s vacation pictures.

ZACK: Who’s the guy?

HODGINS: Her boyfriend Kirk.

ZACK: Angela has a boyfriend?

BRENNAN: Every year for three weeks, Angela has a boyfriend and a vacation.

HODGINS: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Playing house in a post-boho rustic artist’s cabin in the desert with her overpaid pseudo-celebrity photographer boyfriend—that is not a vacation.

ANGELA: Hey, Brennan, could I talk to you in private, please?

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ANGELA: You’re gonna think I’m crazy.

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BRENNAN: What’s up? Boyfriend trouble?

ANGLEA: No, I, I’d just send it to you, but the sheriff won’t let me.

BRENNAN: Send what?

ANGELA: Somebody left a human skull in a box on the sheriff’s porch. He says it was probably a Navajo who respects the dead, but doesn’t want to get pulled into the whole white justice system. The thing is is that Kirk went out into the desert five days ago on a photo shoot, and he hasn’t come back. Nobody can find him or his guide.

BRENNAN: You think the skull’s Kirk’s?

ANGELA: No, no. Kirk’s always going out into the desert for days at a time.

BRENNAN: You’re really sending me mixed messages, Ange.

ANGELA: Yeah, well, I’m freaking out, I guess. I’m sorry. Look, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have called. Pretend I didn’t call. I’ll just, I’ll talk to you when Kirk gets back. Sorry.

Of course, Brennan rushes out to help her bestie anyway.

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GOODMAN: You’re taking a vacation in the desert with no notice?

HODGINS: I don’t get the attraction. I really don’t. Snakes, scorpions—

BRENNAN: It should only be for a few days.

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ANGELA: I mean, it’s not like I actually think that the skull is Kirk’s. But, I mean, if you could just look at it and just tell me it isn’t, then I could stop worrying about him being dead and just be mad at him for being a flaky artist.

ANGELA: You won’t get anything out here. We’re about a hundred miles past where Jesus lost his sandals.

BRENNAN: I assume that’s a way of saying we’re extremely isolated.

ANGELA: Yeah. That’s why we come out here every year. It’s like you stand still, and the whole universe just comes at you.

BRENNAN: At 110 degrees.

ANGELA: You know, Kirk was out with a good guide. Our friend Dahni. I mean, he said he’d be back. He said we’d go out for nachos and beer. And this is a man who’s serious about his beer.

ANGELA: Brennan, if you hug me and you be all caring it’s because you think Kirk is dead or because he was sleeping with Dahni.

BRENNAN: No, it’s because…I’m sorry that my friend is upset because someone she loves is missing.

ANGELA: All right. I can buy that.

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Brennan realizes its time to get help from her partner.

BOOTH: Okay. Booth.

BRENNAN: How far are you from Dulles?

BOOTH: As far as your office is from Dulles.

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BRENNAN: Why are you in my office?

BOOTH: I need your findings on the Richmond case. Listen, Zack, he won’t tell me where they are unless you give him permission.

BRENNAN: There’s a 9:15 flight to Denver. Then there’s an 11:35 flight to Santa Fe. You’ll have to run to make the connection.

BOOTH: Forget it.

BRENNAN: Booth, please. Angela’s boyfriend is missing, maybe dead. It—it took all of my charm—

BOOTH: All of your charm? Oh, boy.

BRENNAN: Just to get the sheriff to let me look at the skull. When I asked him to let me send the skull to the Jeffersonian he told me that I am not a cop and that I don’t have any jurisdiction.

BOOTH: Which is true. Okay, what, what do you want me to do?

BRENNAN: I want you to get federal on his ass.

Enter the tough FBI Agent:

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LOL

 

BRENNAN: What tougher questions can we ask without Angela being here?

BOOTH: Well, you know, things like, did her boyfriend run off with the model, guide, whatever.

BRENNAN: Angela and I discussed this. She said it couldn’t happen.

BOOTH: Okay, no offense to Angela, but she doesn’t even really know this guy. She’s only with him what, only three weeks out of the year?

BRENNAN: No offense to you, but you are a stodgy traditionalist when it comes to relationships, buddy.

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BOOTH: Stodgy? Stodgy? Okay, okay, here’s the deal—

BRENNAN: Yes, stodgy.

HODGINS: DNA results are in. The skull is definitely Kirk Persinger.

BRENNAN: Poor Angela.

BOOTH: I will call the F.B.I. office in Albuquerque and I will officially take over the investigation.

BRENNAN: I wouldn’t do that.

BOOTH: Why?

BRENNAN: Desert dwellers are very insular. Mongolians, Bedouins of the Sahara, the Himloa of Kanana. Good hosts, but extremely distrustful of outsiders.

BOOTH: Bones, this is the United State of America. It’s not Outer Mongolia.

BRENNAN: The only reason Sheriff Dawes talks to us at all is because we know Angela. Alex Joseph held a gun on us.

BOOTH: I admit I’ve met friendlier people.

BRENNAN: If a bunch of outsiders come in from Albuquerque, led by an outsider from D.C. I promise you, the people here will close ranks and shut up until we go away. Then they’ll take care of it in their own way.

BOOTH: Okay, who are you, Dr. Phil?

BRENNAN: Who’s Dr. Phil? Some kind of expert?

BOOTH: He likes to think so. Okay, look. I’ll take what you say under advisement. In the meantime, we need to go find out who supplied Kirk with his peyote.

BRENNAN: Well, how are we gonna do that?

BOOTH: Talk to his girlfriend.

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BRENNAN: I’m so sorry, Angela. We both are.

ANGELA: I knew it was Kirk. That’s why I called you. We have to find out what happened to Dahni.

ANGELA: Three weeks a year. I mean, fifteen weeks in total. You think that’s crazy.

BRENNAN: No. It’s not typical, that’s for sure. And if he was yours, 100% yours for three weeks a year, that’s, that’s more than I’ve ever had.

ANGELA: Kirk’s photographs show the world is a more beautiful place than it is. A better place. He made me feel like it was my real home, that I belonged there with him. He’s the guy I compare all other guys to. Now he’s gone and I feel like I can’t even breathe, sweetie. I can’t even take a breath. You think it’s possible that Dahni’s still out there? Could she still be alive?

BRENNAN: I don’t know. There’s no crime scene and we’re not even sure where the rest of Kirk’s remains are.

ANGELA: Well, I wanna help you look for her tomorrow.

BRENNAN: You sure?

ANGELA: Yeah: Dahni was our friend. I have to help find her. Please.

ANGELA: I love the desert. Or I used to.

BRENNAN: Nothing looks the way it should. Stuff that’s far away looks near, stuff that’s near looks far away.

ANGELA: Yeah, well, you can’t trust you eyes out here. Not your eyes alone. You know, Kirk said that if you stood still long enough, that the desert would actually speak to you. Show you some kind of truth.

BRENNAN: That ever happen to you?

ANGELA: No. But, he really believed that.

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BOOTH: Either of you two bring any water?

BRENNAN: Why? You worried?

BOOTH: Yeah.

ANGELA: About what?

BRENNAN: Because we are way past where Jesus lost his sandals.

BOOTH: And I don’t hear the truck anymore. Great.

BRENNAN: No cell phone service, no water. How long do you think we’ll survive out here if the sheriff doesn’t come back?

BOOTH: Three days max.

ANGELA: How far are we from the highway?

BOOTH: Five days minimum.

BRENNAN: I don’t like that math.

Say it with me guys, “But he likes watching her do the math”

booth-blizzard.png

They go out again later, and Angela senses something.

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BRENNAN: You all right?

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ANGELA: Dahni went that way.

BRENNAN: Okay.

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BRENNAN: Ready to go home?

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ANGELA: Yeah.

BRENNAN: You’re not coming back again, are you?

ANGELA: No. Never. He loved me.

BRENNAN: For three weeks a year.

ANGELA: No. He loved me all the time. I was the one who could only manage three weeks a year. I’m afraid that I—I’m just afraid that I don’t have a generous heart. I’m afraid that I won’t have the chance that I had with Kirk ever again.

BRENNAN: You will.

ANGELA: How can you be so sure?

BRENNAN: Because nothing in this universe happens just once, Angela. Nothing. Infinity goes in both directions. There is no unique event, no singular moment.

ANGELA: I don’t know what that means.

BRENNAN: It means you will get another chance.

ANGELA: You promise? From your heart?

BRENNAN: Better. From my head. And yes, Ange. I promise—

BRENNAN: From my heart. You will get another chance.

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BOOTH: Well, Dawes and his deputies, they caught the counterfeiters. Dahni gave a statement saying that it was Kellogg who pulled the trigger on Kirk. Dahni knows that you saved her life. You pointed that helicopter in the right direction.

BRENNAN: Obviously, you subconsciously sifted through the rational facts of the case and processed the most likely scenario.

ANGELA: I’m sure that’s it.

BOOTH: Yeah, what else could it be?

ANGELA: Well it’s the only rational explanation.

BRENNAN: Are you guys making fun of me?

BOOTH: You know, let’s go back home, where there’s water, shelter, and living things. Come on!

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One of my favorite songs on Bones played while Angela looked for her friend in the desert:

‘Rain’ by Patty Griffin

It’s hard to listen to a hard, hard heart/

Beating close to mine/

Pounding up against the stone and steel/

Walls that I won’t climb

 

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12 thoughts on “The Skull in the Desert (1×17)

  1. I confess I did not rewatch this episode! Just not a fan of it. But…
    -I love the pic from Blizzard “Say it with me guys, “But he likes watching her do the math” 😘
    More math from Gamer-
    Booth: Alright, you don’t like the reasoning in my math,
    Brennan: I’ve realized recently that you use a different number system than I do. Like the Babylonians, which was Base-60. I don’t understand your system, but I can see that it works
    When Brennan gets knocked off the game immediately-
    “it’s the machine broke,” Brennan counters.
    “Maybe it’s your math,” Booth tells her, and Brennan sort of laughs.
    “It’s not my math.”
    Hahah, Love it!
    -Booth eating donuts, yum!
    -Again we see in the exchange between Brennan & Angela that in season 1, Brennan GETS IT!!
    -“Brennan: From my heart. You will get another chance.”

    Thanks bnb! Did you see my comment on the other thread?
    “I think when we are done with Season 1 episode study we should do each season picking out the best episodes to review! What do you think our fearless leader, bnb??!!!!”

    • Hey jmg. I’m at a work training thingie this week so its been crazy. So are you saying you don’t want to do every episode? I was thinking about doing it at least to maybe season 4, which I think we all generally agree are the best seasons. But I’m of course open to whatever the group consensus is!! What does everyone want to do?!

      • Personally I kind of like going through all the seasons in order. There is almost always something to take away from each episode, and there are only a few that I really wouldn’t want to ever watch again. Even the S6 Hannah episodes 😡 had some very important B&B moments, although I don’t care to ever see Booth/Hannah in bed again. Once was more than enough…lol.

        I’m really glad there are still some others who are willing to discuss Bones! Speaking of which, do you think RBay will ever rejoin this board? I miss her no-nonsense commentary.

        Just my two cents.

  2. From the 100 day of Bones site-
    https://100daysofbones.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/17-the-skull-in-the-desert/

    “But in the end, this episode is all about friendship. Hodgins is beginning to see the merit in being friends with Zack. Angela and Brennan share many good moments of friendship, and Booth treks out to the desert because Brennan asked him to. They are getting closer, all of them, together. And they are learning that in order to have something great, you have to give a little of yourself first.”

  3. I have to agree that this episode is the ‘friendship’/interpersonal relationship episode.
    Brennan and Angela….Brennan appreciating that Angela had such a rational relationship, that she only had to focus on 3 weeks a year. And Angela worrying whether her heart was big enough to love someone more….
    Some great foreshadowing there. Brennan is in the same place a few years later with Booth.

    And of course the end conversation when Brennan tells Angela that nothing happens just once….she’ll get another chance at love. Seems to be HH’s theme for the show, since Brennan and Booth were both gonna need more than one chance to get it right.

    A few cute jokes/moments….
    Booth laughing at the idea that Brennan tried to ‘charm’ the sheriff, then she ‘charms’ Booth a second later with her ‘get federal on his ass’ comment and he’s off to the desert without a second thought! LOL

    Then when B&B are outside the trailer waiting for the suspect and she says, maybe he’s getting away out the back door! LOL

    I also like when Booth says it’s too hot to go outside while Brennan changes and just closes his eyes….he doesn’t even turn his back!! LOL

    I also think it’s about the only time until the honeymoon that we see Booth in cargo pants….I like dressed down Booth every once and awhile!

    • This episode did a nice job of expanding on the Angela/Brennan dynamic. I loved how Brennan rushed to help Angela when she called, and then Booth did the same when Brennan asked. Zach and Hodgins were holding down the lab together. You can see them all gelling as a team. I though the ending was nicely played too. Booth is casual clothes is always fun, and Brennan is wearing her anthropological best. 🙂

  4. This was not one of my favorites, tbh!

    Pros:
    – Development of Brennan/Angela relationship
    – Interesting insight into Zach’s role at the Jeffersonian…I miss Dr. Goodman. He was so fatherly…lol
    – Booth looked good in casual clothes (as many have mentioned

    Cons and weird things:
    – I had forgotten that this guy wanted to marry her.
    – Sorry, but wouldn’t that skull have been stinking to high heaven? The sheriff had it in a locked box under his desk…it still have flesh on it…yuck!!!
    – I loved seeing Booth be all Ranger-like with having everyone walk in different directions to find Danni, but it didn’t really make sense to search on foot in a vast desert
    – I didn’t love the scene where Angela sees Dani’s spirit pointing her in the right direction so they could find the body…just not buying that

    Favorite scene in this episode:

    ANGELA (Breaking.): I’m afraid that I-I’m just afraid that I don’t have a generous heart. I’m afraid that I won’t have the chance that I had with Kirk ever again.
    BRENNAN: You will.
    ANGELA: How can you be so sure?
    BRENNAN: Because nothing in this universe happens just once, Angela. Nothing. Infinity goes in both directions. There is no unique event, no singular moment.
    ANGELA (Shrugs and laughs.): I don’t know what that means.
    BRENNAN: It means you will get another chance.
    ANGELA: You promise? (Brennan lightly nods.)
    ANGELA: From your heart?
    BRENNAN: Better. From my head. And yes, Ange. I promise-

    I feel like there was so much foreshadowing in this one conversation…shades of later B&B…
    – “someone you’re meant to spend the rest of your life with…You just have to be open to see it”
    – “You believe that love is transcendent and eternal…I want to believe that too. Hey, you will…I promise. Someday you will”
    – I don’t have your kind of open heart.”
    – “I missed my chance”
    – “What if you let that person get away? That person’s not going anywhere.”

    Could HH have really been building all these things from S1? Inquiring minds want to know!

    • I didn’t love the Angela vision thing either, but its way better than the episode where they all talked to the skull and took it around with them everywhere….just IMO 🙂

      Also this was the first mention of a man obsessed with Angela! lol

      But I think my favorite part of the episode is the Rain song. I don’t know why but I’m obsessed with it. It’s one of only like three songs I’ve downloaded because I heard it on Bones.

      • Rain, by Patty Griffin? That is a beautiful song.

        I’m sorry we got away from the songs playing over scenes in the middle seasons of Bones. One nice thing those new guys did was try to resurrect that for the last couple of seasons.

  5. I feel like there was so much foreshadowing in this one conversation…shades of later B&B…
    – “someone you’re meant to spend the rest of your life with…You just have to be open to see it”
    – “You believe that love is transcendent and eternal…I want to believe that too. Hey, you will…I promise. Someday you will”
    – I don’t have your kind of open heart.”
    – “I missed my chance”
    – “What if you let that person get away? That person’s not going anywhere.”

    Could HH have really been building all these things from S1? Inquiring minds want to know!

    I wonder too Estella – if HH really had a vision that spanned all those episodes because the similarity is there for sure.
    The conversation between Goodman and Hodgins about Zach – needing to grow up and leave is very close to the Booth/Brennan conversation about him in s3 after he came back from Iraq. Booth telling her Zach needed to leave the nest.

    I agree about going episode by episode being interesting. There are some I won’t re-watch, but discussing the content is always fair game! LOL If nothing else it makes me go back and look at transcripts.

    Just looking at s1 here – Brennan was really progressing as was Booth with opening up.

  6. ^ I love those quotes. ❤

    “So are you saying you don’t want to do every episode? I was thinking about doing it at least to maybe season 4, which I think we all generally agree are the best seasons. But I’m of course open to whatever the group consensus is!! What does everyone want to do?!”

    Oh, that sounds great! I thought you were only doing Season 1 and that was it.
    But….I also LOVE season 5! It had, IMO, some of the best B&B moments. Starting with Harbingers where Booth admits he is in love with Brennan. Fixing Booth’s plumbing, Pops, Goop on the Girl!! Watching season 5 I thought B&B were going to get together. I Loved the 100th ep. and Queen Bee right after it.

    So, my vote would be to go through season 5 for sure. Season 6 also had the best & worst of Bones. Skip the worst, and the Hannah eps. except for Doctor.

    Season 7, Memories still makes my head explode!!! Maybe by the time we get to Season 7 we could vote on which eps. to cover.

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