ant3520 final Essay

Submitted By William-Beach
Words: 2241
Pages: 9

William Beach
Final Paper

Bones: Forensic Anthropologist

For my final paper, I’ve decided to write about the pilot episode of Bones. In this

episode, the audience is introduced to Dr. Temperance Brennan, a forensic anthropologist

who is quirky, brutally honest, and super good at her job. She is called upon by agent

Booth of the FBI in order to solve a murder. Agent Booth knows how good Dr. Brennan

is at analyzing remains and has nicknamed Dr. Brennan “Bones.” After convincing her to

work under him, agent Booth takes Bones to a crime scene located at the bottom of a

pond. In order to investigate the sunken remains, Booth supplies a waterproof camera that

is fed under the boat and down into the depths. From above, Bones is able to watch a

video feed of remains that are wrapped up and weighted down to prevent the body from

floating while in the process of decomposition. Upon seeing this, she notes that the area

is a murder scene.

After the body is brought to the surface, Bones has a closer look at the bones of

the remains and estimates that the decedent was a female tennis player. Agent Booth

warily asks how she knows this information to which he is told by Bones’ assistant,

“Epiphysis fusion gives age, pelvic bone shape gives sex.” And to which Bones replies,

“Bursitis in the shoulder. Somebody this young…must be an athletic injury.” In the next

scene, the body is brought to a lab where Bones and her colleagues work. Here it is

determined that the body has been submerged for “one winter and two summers” by a

specialist who studies decomposition. He relays info to Bones that the body was

submersed in warm, microbial water and that bottom feeders like Koi and Black Carp fed on the tennis player. He also states that there are “three larval stages of trichoptera and

chironimidae.” All these variables played a catalytic role in the overall decomposition


The next scene depicts Bones carefully reconstructing fragmented cranial remains

left from the burial site using Elmer’s glue and facial tissue markers. When she is

finished, the camera shows that she has pieced the victim’s skull back together. In the

next lab scene, the computer technician explains that this reconstructed skull was used in

a computer program that accepts digital inputs and processes these variables into a 3D

hologram projection. Bones then explains to agent Booth that “her skull was badly

damaged. But racial indicators- cheekbone dimensions, nasal arch, occipital

measurement- suggest African-American.” Suddenly, a projection of the victim is cast

down from the ceiling for everyone standing watch. After a couple of adjustments to race

and facial tissue depth, agent Booth recognizes the decedent as Cleo Eller, a missing

person that he was previously assigned to find. The audience is then notified that Cleo

had had an affair with Washington D.C. Senator Bethlehem, while she was interning for

him prior to her death.

Following up identification of the victim, Bones and agent Booth visit the

decedent’s family and inform them of their findings. Upon learning this info, the father

and mother become distraught and demand an explanation as to how their daughter died.

Booth explains that they are in the middle of the investigation and nothing has been

determined. Bones then asks the parents what Cleo was wearing around her neck when

she died. It turns out that it was her father’s missing Bronze Star, awarded while he

served in the military. This furthers the leads for the investigation process into

determination of Cleo’s manner of death. The next day, Bones and her lab techs are

shown hovering over the bones of Cleo while they discuss their most recent findings.

Bones states, “There are stab marks here and odd markings on the distal phalanges.” To

which her colleague, Dr. Hodgins, replies that the victim was “in a nutshell, anxious,

depressed, and