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The Graft in the Girl (1×20)

Written by: Greg Ball and Laura Wolner

Directed by: Sanford Bookstaver


BRENNAN: Why are we meeting Cullen here?

BOOTH: Because he’s the deputy director of the FBI and this is where he wants us to show it to him. OK, listen. About a month ago his daughter Amy was diagnosed with cancer. Meso…

BRENNAN: Mesothelioma. Lung cancer.

BOOTH: Exactly. So she’s not doing so well, so it’s a lot easier for us to come to him right now.


BOOTH: Huh, what?

BRENNAN: Nothing. It’s just that’s an extremely rare form of lung cancer—odd for someone Amy’s age to contract.

BOOTH: No, no, no. No probing, OK? Not to Cullen, not to his family. This will take five minutes. We go in, do the show and tell relating to the case and then we’re out of there. Is that clear?

BRENNAN: I think it’s peculiar.




BRENNAN: You have to admit…


CULLEN: Booth. Dr. Brennan. How appropriate, you two bickering in an adolescent wing.

BOOTH: Uh, sir, yes. Um, is it OK if we come in, sir?

CULLEN: What do you think, sweetheart?

AMY: Booth’s cool, most of the time.



ANGELA: Can I see your drawings? Wow. These are beautiful.

MRS. CULLEN: Our artist in the making.

AMY: Right now I’m doing landscapes. I’m really into this French dude Rousseau.

BRENNAN: She’s amazing.

MRS. CULLEN: Mm-hmmm. Amy’s been very brave this week. They’re trying an experimental viral chemotherapy, and we’re very optimistic.

BRENNAN: Since asbestos exposure is the primary way people contract mesothelioma…how do you think…How do you think Amy got it?


Booth is like, “I just told you no questions!!”


CULLEN: Oh, we don’t know, Dr. Brennan. The first place we looked after she was diagnosed was all her previous schools, the house we lived in…nothing.

BRENNAN: Has there been a history of illness?

MRS. CULLEN: Hardly. Apart from breaking her leg snowboarding a year ago I can’t remember the last time she was sick.

BRENNAN: How bad was the break?

CULLEN: Compound fracture, left tibia.

AMY: I was boarding with some friends and I…I hit a tree. Pretty dumb, huh?

BRENNAN: And that required surgery?

MRS. CULLEN: A bone graft.

BOOTH: I hate to drag these lovely squints back to the lab, but, you see, we have another case.

They go back to the lab, where something appears off in Amy’s scans.


ZACK: Amy Cullen’s file states the donor of the bone was 25 years old.

BRENNAN: Well, I don’t buy it.

ZACK: How old do you think the donor really was?

BRENNAN: Judging from the reduction in bone mass…at least sixty.


BRENNAN: Doctor, you performed Amy Cullen’s graft, correct?

DOCTOR: Yes, But I just do the procedure, Ms. Brennan.

BOOTH: Dr. Brennan.



DOCTOR: Well, those who can’t do, do research.



The squints realize the graft gave Amy Cullen cancer. 


BOOTH: But how do we know that it’s the bone that gave Amy cancer?

BRENNAN: Because of this. Magnify. The graft is riddled with cancer.

ZACK: Cancer consistent with morphology origin in the pleura, most likely mesothelioma.

BRENNAN: Whoever this is had terminal cancer. And no so does Amy.

ZACK: She went in for a broken leg and was poisoned.

ANGELA: She never even had a chance.

BRENNAN: Someone knew that bone was infected and they gave it to her anyway.

ZACK: This will kill Amy Cullen.

BOOTH: Well, in that case, it’s murder.

B&B brief Cullen on their findings.

BOOTH: The next step would be to find out where the graft came from and how it slipped through the system.

CULLEN: This is not FBI jurisdiction.

BOOTH: It’s a question of justice.


Brennan, Booth, America, Justice


CULLEN: Does this, in any way, change my daughter’s prognosis?


CULLEN: So she’s still gonna die of this cancer?


BRENNAN: Barring spontaneous remission the likelihood is significant.

CULLEN: The FBI’s not my personal police force. I appreciate what you discovered. Call Charlie Hammond, CDC. Tell him what happened…he’ll continue the investigation.


BRENNAN: So that’s it? Whoever did this to Amy Cullen just gets away.


BOOTH: No. What we do now is we find out a way to make this a legitimate FBI case.

BRENNAN: If one graft is infected, there’s no telling how many others are out there.

BOOTH: Geez, you know, I feel like I’m on a serial killer case just waiting for another victim to surface.

BRENNAN: You’re not far off. What if BioTech makes a habit of selling diseased parts?

BOOTH: Well, then it becomes FBI business if one of those tainted grafts is sold across state line…first we gotta find out if this tissue lab is servicing any other hospitals.

BRENNAN: See if they’ve killed anyone else.

BOOTH: Amy Cullen is not dead, Bones.

BRENNAN: I’m afraid there’s a degree of inevitability. Sorry.

At the hospital, Angela bonds with Amy over art.


AMY: How’d you do that?

ANGELA: Most of the time I restore and enhance old bones, so this is a lot more fun.

AMY: It’s hard, you know? One second I’m at school and I’m gonna be an artist and the next…My friends don’t know what to say. My parents are scared. Things change, I guess.

ANGELA: Yeah. Yeah, sometimes they do.

AMY: Angela? Is the Louvre just unbelievable?

ANGELA: It’s the most beautiful place you’ll ever see.

AMY: Maybe you can tell me about it sometime.

ANGELA: You’ll go there yourself. I know you will.


BOOTH: All right. Building manager says BioTech went belly-up two years ago. They couldn’t even pay their last month’s rent.

BRENNAN: What? Two years ago?

BOOTH: Exactly. I mean, Amy Cullen’s graft was sold to Washington General twelve months ago.

BRENNAN: If BioTech doesn’t exist, who sold the diseased bone to the hospital?

They find out someone was using the name BioTech after it had gone under. They find other possible victims.

ZACK: Kelly DeMarco, age 32, dead of lung cancer two months ago.

BRENNAN: Take a biopsy of this ulna graft from Ms. DeMarco and compare it with the core sample from Amy’s leg.


BOOTH: Look, I spoke to DeMarco‘s husband. She, uh, had the accident, she had all the operations. You know, she never smoked a cigarette in her whole life only to die of lung cancer eight months ago.

ZACK: When your number’s up, I guess, right? I never understood that saying ‘when your number’s up.’ Numbers and equations are quantitative and predictable. Everyone knows when a number’s up.

BOOTH: How do you listen to this all day?

BRENNAN: I find intelligence soothing.

 They find out there was a victim in another state. This is good news for Booth.

HODGINS: Yeah. Why?

BOOTH: Cause it means that this fraud just crossed state lines and became a legitimate case for the FBI. Looks like I don’t have to use my sick days anymore, huh?

 Booth reports in to his boss.

BOOTH: …that makes it a multiple homicide case and since it’s not isolated to the district and the recipients are in multiple states…

CULLEN: This falls under FBI jurisdiction.

BOOTH: Yes, sir.

CULLEN: I should kick your ass.

BOOTH: Yeah.

CULLEN: What’d you do? Take sick time to work on this?

BOOTH: Yeah. Migraine.

CULLEN: Thanks, Booth. Catch the son of a bitch that did this to my daughter.

BOOTH: That’s absolutely my intention sir.

Brennan catches Amy up on the investigation.

AMY: Who would do a thing like that? If they knew they were sick, why make other people sick too?

BRENNAN: I don’t know. It’s terrible, but that’s what we’re trying to figure out.

AMY: So, if you take the bad grafts out will they be ok?

BRENNAN: Some of them.

AMY: But not me.


AMY: I want this out of me.

 Back in the field, B&B find out the mortician was involved in the graft scam.

BRENNAN: So I looked it up on the internet…you can get $10,000 for grafts on the black market these days.

BOOTH: Ten grand. Geez, my bones are worth more than that.

BRENNAN: What makes you so special?

BOOTH: Three glasses of milk a day, I work out and I eat right.

 Back in the lab, Booth is impatient.

BOOTH: Today, Zack, I need something today.

BRENNAN: Hey, don’t harass my assistant.

HODGINS: That’s right, that’s our job.

 They find out the assistant was in on the bone graft crime.

HODGINS: So the transplant assistant fancied herself a doctor?


BRENNAN: Not a doctor exactly but qualified enough to extricate bone grafts from a cadaver.

HODGINS: And what about BioTech Tissue Labs?

BRENNAN: Once it was a legitimate company…Combs kept it alive on the web and funneled the money into her own well-disguised bank account.

ANGELA: So where does that leave Amy?

BRENNAN: Same as where she started, just with answers…that’s all.

 Hodgins consoles Angela and gives her an idea of how she can help Amy.


ANGELA: Welcome to the Louvre.

AMY: I’m really there.

BOOTH: That’s amazing.

CULLEN: Is this your doing, Dr. Brennan?


BRENNAN: No, sir. It’s all Ms. Montenegro.

MRS. CULLEN: Thank you Angela.



*I love how Booth uses sick days to help his boss until he can find a legitimate reason for the FBI to be involved!

*It’s very nice how the squints , including Brennan, jump on the case without complaint.

*I love how Hodgins has always been the wind underneath Angela’s wings. He consoles her, advises her, is proud of her skills, encourages her to pursue her passions.

*Too bad we never got any more development on the Cullen side of things. But this was a very good episode. Showed how Bones is a crime procedural with heart.


5 thoughts on “The Graft in the Girl (1×20)

  1. If you saw on the random thread, I’d posted the link the real-life creeper who did this. I decided to google him and find out what ever became of him. Well, Dr. Brennan accurately predicted what would happen to him! Here is the link http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/09/nyregion/michael-mastromarino-dentist-guilty-in-organ-scheme-dies-at-49.html

    And this is what Brennan said to the suspect:
    BRENNAN: How do you feel, Ms. Combs? Have you been coughing at all? Do you feel a tightness in your chest?…the pharmacy downstairs told the FBI that he wrote you a script for an expectorant for a cough.

    ALEXANDRA: Well, there must be some mistake. He’d never…

    BRENNAN: You wrote that prescription yourself, didn’t you? I know what you’ve been doing with Martin…to Hastings and the others. See, if you’d finished medical school, you’d know. Bone dust is very dangerous if inhaled. When you were taking those grafts, I doubt you were wearing a mask. You’re sick Ms. Combs…and I, I don’t just mean in a mentally disturbed way.

    ALEXANDRA: This is ridiculous. You can’t prove anything.

    BRENNAN: We’re in a hospital. Why don’t we go get a chest x-ray and find out?

  2. I don’t watch this episode very much because it’s so sad. This is about as ‘dark’/sad as a Bones episode gets I think. These were the serious days of Bones. Good vs Bad with a dash of levity, the moment when Cullen calls B&B out on bickering in the adolescent wing!

    Cullen and Goodman were such good characters and we lost them for a crap character I will not name! LOL

    Interesting to read about the real life situation that was the basis for the story. So creepy that there are really evil people out there that can be so cruel.

  3. I usually don’t love “ripped from the headlines” episodes, because it’s just for the ratings and very sensational…but this one wasnt necessarily a story everyone had heard and it really seemed to be about bringing awareness and making it real to people, which is cool. I hate to watch it because of the sadness but I think they created a good episode.

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