Bones/A Boy in a Bush

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A Boy in a Bush
Bones-Episode-A Boy in a Bush.jpg
Season 1, Episode 5
Airdate November 8, 2005
Production Number 1AKY05
Written by Greg Ball &
Steve Blackman
Directed by Jesús S. Treviño
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A Boy in a Bush is the fifth episode of the first season of Bones.

Starring: Emily Deschanel (Dr. Temperance Brennan), David Boreanaz (FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth), Michaela Conlin (Angela Montenegro), Eric Millegan (Zack Addy), TJ Thyne (Dr. Jack Hodgins), Jonathan Adams (Dr. Daniel Goodman)

Guest Starring: Paul Butcher (Shawn Cook), Evan Ellingson (David Cook), Natacha Roi (Margaret Sanders), Michelle Anne Johnson (Sara Johnston), Paul Parducci (Capt. Kyle Henning), Kathleen M. Darcy (Ellie Nelson)

Co-Starring: John Sanchez (Child Advocate), Max Roeg (Skyler Nelson), Kirsten Severson (Lab Worker), Tiffany OíHara (Student #1), Ryan Churchill (Student #2),


Plot Overview

An anonymous call reports that the remains of a young child are in a neighborhood field. Using thermal imaging, the team finds the decomposing body of a young child, evidently the victim of blunt force trauma. The presence of removed clothing found near the scene suggests sexual assault and some odor suggests a chemical near the mouth. Angela creates an artistic reconstruction of the face which is matched to the missing poster of Charlie Sanders.

Confirming the death, they seek information about the circumstances from Charlie's mother Margaret. A single mother living from a trust fund, she is also a foster mother to Shawn and older brother David. Not finding any leads, Booth befriends the two boys and finds that Shawn and Charlie were alone at the mall while David was with his girlfriend and that it was the last time they saw Charlie.

The mall security cameras show that Charlie is beckoned by a person obscured from the camera's view, suggesting someone that he knew. They also find that the chemical found around his mouth contains a high concentration of fluoride. Additionally, while investigating the remains they find that Charlie has several telltale signs of scoliosis, specifically brittle bones and asymmetrical leg growth. The hereditary nature of these disabilities suggests that Margaret is not his biological mother. Confronting her, Margaret confesses that Charlie is really a boy named Nathan. Put under her foster care at a young age while his mother was dealing with drug charges, she was forced to give him back when the mother was cleared. Staying in contact with them afterwards, she found the mother dead of an overdose some time later and took Nathan as her own son when he fell through the cracks in the system. Technically a kidnapper, they have Shawn and David removed from her care.

Examination of the reflections in mall glass reveals the obscured figure to be Charlie's foster brother Shawn. Additionally, Bones makes the realization that the nature of the injury could more realistically be cause by crushing rather than blunt force. Simulating the injury, they determine that it was likely made by a 190 pound person kneeling on the boy's chest. Knowing that Shawn may have known who had taken Charlie, they try to talk to him. Bones is able to get through to him by relating her own experiences as a foster child. Promising to reunite Shawn with both his natural brother David and Margaret, the one foster parent they bonded with, Shawn passes along information that their neighbor had taken Shawn. An exterminator, the neighbor had Shawn help get Charlie alone and threatened to break up their foster family if he talked. Taking Charlie to a field, he was disturbed by passersby and knelt on Charlie to keep him quiet which caused the fatal crushing. The fluoride was from the insecticide he often worked around. He's also suspected to have a longer history of sexual assault in the area, including his son.


Arc Advancement



  • We find out that Bones was an orphan in the foster care system and that she had/has a brother.
  • We find out that Hodgins is wealthy whose family is head of the company that provides most of the funding for the Jeffersonian Institution. He is steadfastly against attending an official banquet as his family's acquaintances will cause an uproar at his unglamorous job.
  • Angela has a particularly tough time working on this case, probably because she approaches it from more of an artistic background rather than a dispassionate scientific one. She thinks quite seriously about quitting because of the morbid nature of the job, although Dr. Goodman's words of encouragement seem to help.
  • We find out Booth has a brother named Jared.



The Show

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

  • Bones mistakenly confuses actor Colin Farrell with comedian Will Ferrell. The fact that she knows Ferrell's name is a sly reference to the film Elf (2003), where Zooey Deschanel (the younger sister of Bones star Emily Deschanel) appears opposite Ferrell.
  • Don't know what that means: The Flintstones' Great Gazoo and Star Trek's Planet Vulcan.

Memorable Moments


  • Zack: What do we talk about?
Dr. Goodman: Your work, of course.
Angela: Zack's work consists of removing flesh from corpses. Hodgins dissects bugs that have been eating people's eyeballs.
Hodgins: Leave me out of it. I am not going.
Dr. Goodman: And how do you see your job?
Angela: I draw death masks
Dr. Goodman: Is that really how you see it?
Angela: Don't you?
Dr. Goodman: You are the best of us, Ms. Montenegro. You discern humanity in the wreck of a ruined human body. You give victims back their faces, their identities. You remind us all of why we are here in the first place: Because we treasure human life. (Angela hugs him) Oh, for god's sake!
Bones: What happened?
Zack: Apparently all Angela needed was to hear her job description in a deep African American tone.