Episode 4.08 : The Skull in the Sculpture

  • Bones
    • Episode Premiere : November 05, 2008
    • Distributor : Fox TV
    • Genre : Drama, Crime
    • Seasons : 4
    • Show Period : 2005 - 2017
    • Production Company: Far Field, Josephson Ent., 20th Century Fox TV
    • Official Site :

Cast and Crew

  • Director Allan Kroeker
  • Screenwriter Janet Lin
  • Main Cast
    • Emily Deschanel as Paint Throwing Fur-Activist,
    • David Boreanaz as Extra,
    • Michaela Conlin,
    • T.J. Thyne,
    • Tamara Taylor,
    • John Francis Daley,
    • John Boyd

  • Additional Cast
    • David Greenman,
    • Carla Gallo,
    • Nichole Hiltz,
    • Jonathan LaPaglia

The Story


CHUNKY and DUANE break into a junkyard to steal car parts. Chunky will spare no expense for his father's birthday. Once they've hopped the fence, they find a crushed car with an untouched golden side mirror. Chunky's father will love it. He pries it loose but Duane notices something. The car is bleeding. Upon closer inspection they realize it's not the car but the mangled corpse inside.

ANGELA meets SWEETS at a bar. She needs to talk about sex. She also needs a vodka straight up. "You just got divorced and broke up with your fiancee. It's totally understandable if you don't feel like sex." Angela does feel like sex but what are her options? She could sleep with Hodgins. That might not be the best idea but it's been six weeks. For Angela, that's a long time! Sweets believes that Angela could be hesitant to form a new connection with someone in order to protect herself from possible heartache. Angela realizes he's right. She is done shielding herself. She makes a toast. "To love and joy and sex!"

CAM, HODGINS, Angela and BRENNAN examine the crushed car and what they can see of the body inside. DAISY WICK stands by, trying to help. Her name came up in the rotation of students again and she is certainly not going to spoil her second chance. She answers all of Brennan's questions quickly and effectively, though her jokes aren't as well received. Cam is going to run a tox screen on the bodily fluids they are able to access. Booth is checking the junkyard's records to see who brought in the car. As Hodgins takes notes, Angela breaks some news to him: she is going to start dating. It's time. Brennan interrupts the awkward moment with news from Booth: he's discovered the owner of the car.

The car was crushed for B&B Enterprises, a company that also had five other cars crushed. Brennan wonders if that means more bodies. Booth sees a silver lining. "If this is mob-related and we bring down the big boys, we will sell the movie rights for a fortune!" Booth and Brennan make their way to the building through the dark streets. As they approach the doors, Booth chastises Bones for trying to go ahead of him. The person with the gun always goes first. Booth picks the lock and in they go. Crushed cars litter the floor of the warehouse. Booth and Brennan hear movement and HELEN BRIDENBECKER, a short woman with heavy make-up, appears. Booth trains his gun on her but Brennan notices something on the floor: blood.


An FBI Forensics Team scours every inch of the Bridenbecker Gallery while Booth and Brennan discuss the situation. The crushed cars are actually sculptures that sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Helen Bridenbecker informs Booth and Brennan that she has called her lawyer. If they so much as scratch one of GEOFFREY THORNE'S magnificent works of art, they'll pay for it. Literally. With money. Booth won't take her lip. They found blood all over the floor. Helen explains that it is pig's blood. One of the performance artists she hosted at the gallery uses pig's blood as a medium. Helen feels vindicated when FBI Techs report they found no bodies. ROXIE LYON approaches. She is Thorne's assistant. When she hears what's happened, Roxie becomes very upset. She rushes to Helen. "Do you think Geoffrey might have actually done it?" Apparently, Thorne was eager to find a way to become part of his art. Could this be a suicide? Brennan produces a photo of the body. She asks Helen and Roxie to look at the victim's ring. Roxie confirms that it belongs to Thorne. They know who their victim is. Helen is proud of Thorne's last act. Roxie does not share her enthusiasm. She tells Booth that Thorne argued with rival artist ANTON DELUCA at the gallery a few nights ago.

At the lab, Cam reviews the results of the victim's tox screen. Hodgins enters with the Jaws of Life. He could not be more excited to use them. Cam observes how eager he is. "It's not displaced sexual frustration," Hodgins insists. Cam reports that she found anti-anxiety medication, mood stabilizers, anti-psychotics, anti depressants and painkillers in Thorne's system. He may very well have killed himself. The only way to know for sure is to remove the remains.

Daisy and Angela watch from the sidelines as Hodgins approaches the car with the Jaws of Life. Before he can get to work, CAROLINE JULIAN appears with Helen and Roxie in tow. The Squints can't rip open the car. It has been declared an "historic piece of art" by a judge. The injunction is only temporary, but, in the meantime, they can't so much as scratch the sculpture. Hodgins is not happy. "It's a hard car shell with a gooey corpse filling." He is even more dejected when Roxie and Angela embrace each other. He's heard about Roxie. She's an old "friend" of Angela's from college.

Booth questions Anton DeLuca at his studio. DeLuca finds it funny that Thorne ended up crushed in one of his own works of art. The fight he had with Thorne was no big deal. They always fought whenever they saw each other. Brennan wonders why DeLuca doesn't try harder to appear innocent. Anton isn't going to play into that. He believes Thorne's girlfriend, Roxie, killed him. Thorne was leaving all of his money to her.

At the lab, Cam attempts to examine the body without disturbing the art. She inserts an endoscope into the vehicle. Daisy hovers over her, making comments. Cam has finally had enough. She hands the endoscope to an excited Daisy. "You won't be sorry," Daisy exclaims. As they work, Brennan dumps a bucketful of dermestid beetles into the car. "They'll strip the flesh off our victim in no time." Daisy succeeds at getting the endoscope into the car but there is too much flesh to gather any helpful data. They must wait for the beetles to do their work.

Booth questions Roxie at the FBI. Did she and Thorne ever sleep together in the four years she worked for him? Roxie's answer is no. She was his assistant, nothing more. Booth presses her about Thorne's drugs. Roxie filled his prescriptions and made sure he took them. He was clinically depressed and suicidal. Booth wonders why Thorne didn't leave her a message, a suicide note. Roxie admits that she's been wondering the same thing. Thorne did leave her something, however. Make that everything: nearly one million dollars. Roxie is shocked. Booth wants to know if this changes her answer. Did she sleep with him? Roxie still denies it. Didn't Angela tell them? She's a lesbian.


At the lab, Booth and Brennan speak with Angela. She confirms that Roxie is a lesbian. "At least she was when we were together." Angela and Roxie had a relationship for over a year. Booth suddenly has a problem forming complete sentences. Angela assures Brennan and Booth that Roxie could never kill anyone. They might have lost touch for a while but Roxie is still the same person. She's innocent. Plus, all signs point to suicide on this investigation. Angela walks away, upset.

Meanwhile, the beetles have finished their meal. The bones are clean and Daisy once again works the endoscope to examine them. She impresses Cam with her skills on the equipment. Brennan joins them and is also impressed by what Daisy has managed to discover. Perhaps Daisy may find a home at the Jeffersonian after all. Hodgins interrupts to report his findings. "The victim's clothing shows traces of calcium oxide, ferric oxide and magnesium oxide." He won't know what it means until he can get into the car. Caroline Julian finds the Squints to let them know they are in trouble. A judge heard about the beetles and he's not pleased with the way the Squints tried to circumvent the injunction. The Squints have been given two days to detect foul play. If they can't, the murderer will walk.

Roxie shows Angela around Thorne's studio. The two reminisce about school and their relationship. Roxie admits that Angela was her muse. She is only now getting her art together again for a possible exhibition. Roxie is worried. She could go to jail if Angela can't prove that Thorne committed suicide. Angela finds an old painting of herself, a nude, in Roxie's section of the studio. Helen wanted to buy the painting from Roxie but Roxie wouldn't sell. The happiest time in her life was when she painted this portrait. Angela and Roxie lock eyes. The moment is broken when Angela leaves hurriedly with an idea to prove Roxie's innocence.

At the lab, Angela watches as a metal scanning machine X-rays the crushed car. This will give Angela digital images of the bones inside. "You've found out how to show what bone damage came from the actual crushing of the car," Daisy says admiringly. With only 40 hours left, Angela hopes her idea works.

Angela presents her findings to Brennan and Booth. Booth watches in horror as the Angelator recreates Thorne being crushed. His body started in the trunk. "His bones sustained 88 fractures, all of which can be explained by the crushing in the car." Angela is relieved that she has proved the death a suicide but the Angelator has one more thing to add. There is an 89th fracture on the skull that was not caused by the car crushing. Thorne's death is officially a murder.


The judge has removed the injunction on the car since the Squints have proved that the car is a crime scene and not a piece of art. Hodgins finally gets to use the Jaws of Life. He pulls the car apart to reveal the victim's skull. As Brennan stresses the importance of being careful at this juncture, Daisy grabs the skull. It breaks into various pieces and scatters across the floor. Now, to prove that the 89th fracture was the lethal blow, Brennan will have to reconstruct the shattered skull. Daisy vows to help put it back together but Brennan wants to complete the task alone.

Booth and Angela drive to meet DeLuca. Placing the blame on Roxie did not clear him. It turns out that DeLuca has spent time in prison for forgery. Booth tells Angela that because of this new information, Roxie isn't the prime suspect anymore. This cheers Angela but she really wants to know what Booth thinks of her relationship with another woman. Booth supports her. If she had feelings for Roxie, that's all that matters.

Booth questions DeLuca at his studio. His bank account is not exactly empty. Where did the money come from? Angela notices that the brush strokes on DeLuca's paintings exactly match the strokes found on Thorne's sculptures. DeLuca must have painted Thorne's work. That's why they were arguing. DeLuca insists he didn't kill Thorne. Why would he put himself out of a job? Booth cuffs him.

Angela finds Brennan at the lab. Brennan is nearly done reconstructing Thorne's shattered skull. Angela is heartened that there is a new, viable suspect because she knows Roxie didn't do it. Brennan turns her attention to Angela. Could she still have romantic feelings for Roxie? Angela admits that she does but that doesn't matter. She hurt Roxie worse than she hurt Hodgins when she broke off their relationship in art school. She has no right to start something again. Brennan puts the last shard of skull into place and it's clear what the murder weapon was: a fire ax.


Back at the Bridenbecker Gallery, Booth gets another earful from Helen about damaging the art. The FBI Techs find human blood on the floor this time but it has been cleaned away with turpentine. They also commandeer the gallery's fire ax. Brennan asks for Booth's lighter for an experiment. She touches the open flame to the floor. The turpentine ignites and a trail of flames leads to the loading dock. Thorne was killed at the gallery and dragged along the trail of fire. With the turpentine burned away, the blood trace appears under a UV light. The pattern of spatter suggests that Thorne was rolled to the loading dock. His body was too heavy for his killer. Helen was home alone the night Thorne was murdered, which isn't a solid alibi but she has no motive. Only Roxie had motive and means.

Sweets and Angela have lunch at the bar. She's decided whom she wants to have sex with: Roxie. Sweets warns her to be careful. Roxie is going to be her rebound. Love will not be involved. Angela disagrees. "You have this bourgeois notion that in order for love to be real it has to be permanent." Angela has had multiple true loves. Sweets counters by saying that Angela does not want to commit. She always has a way to end each of her relationships. All Angela knows is that she doesn't want to do that to Roxie...again. Sweets suggests that Angela let Roxie decide. If Roxie wants the relationship fine, but if not, Angela has to accept that.

At the lab, Daisy seems to have recovered slightly from her skull debacle. She isn't winning any points with Hodgins though. Cam asks for a report on the ax. All traces of blood were wiped away but there was sweat on the handle. After learning the pH, Daisy realizes the murderer is a woman. They have to compare a sample of Roxie's sweat to the handle.


Sweets enters his office to find Cam waiting for him. He doesn't appreciate her barging in without an appointment. Cam asks his opinion about Daisy: how can Cam fire her? Daisy doesn't lack the necessary skills to be a part of the team. The Squints simply don't like her. Sweets tells Cam that he will deliver the news to Daisy. Cam is grateful. She tells him that they barge into his office wanting advice for a reason. He should be flattered.

At the lab, Hodgins shares his new findings with Brennan and Cam. Female sweat was found on the victim's clothing and on the ax. Upon further analysis, Hodgins found traces of other chemicals in the sweat. Cam recognizes the combination: they are medications that treat leukemia. She can also tell right away that based on these findings, Roxie is not the killer. "This drug here, busulfan - it causes highly visible skin discoloration." Roxie does not display signs of this. The three of them are happy to have cleared Roxie. Suddenly, Brennan gets quiet and hurries off. Hodgins realizes she knows who the murderer is.

At the FBI, Booth and Brennan interrogate Helen. She is tight-lipped even when Brennan and Booth present the evidence. Helen owns many of Thorne's pieces, all of which increased in price when the artist died. Her phone records prove that she'd been speaking with a cancer clinic in Mexico, one that she could not afford. Brennan asks her to remove her make-up. Helen refuses until Brennan tells her the cancer clinic was a scam. Their treatments would have only served to make her poor, not well. Helen breaks down. She takes a tissue and wipes her make-up away, revealing stained skin. Helen believes Booth and Brennan have tainted Thorne's legacy. Now, he will only be remembered as a murder victim, not the ultimate artist. Booth thinks Thorne wanted to live. Helen knows the feeling. "I guess none of us get what we want."

Angela meets Roxie at the Bridenbecker Gallery. She encourages her to use her new money and the art gallery to concentrate on her own pieces. That's not what Roxie wants to concentrate on right now. She leans in and gives Angela a passionate kiss.

At the lab, Booth, Brennan, Cam and Hodgins watch as Sweets approaches Daisy. How will he fire her? They all agree he will use logic to convince her she'd be better off somewhere else. Sweets bluntly tells Daisy she's fired again. Nobody likes her. However, he has some good news. They can go public with their relationship. Daisy is excited. "I thought we were being discreet cause you're a little bit ashamed of me." Sweets notices the others watching him so he kisses Daisy. Brennan, Booth, Cam and Hodgins are shocked. Who knew? Brennan doesn't think it will last. Sweets and Daisy have nothing in common. After all, Daisy is a woman of science and Sweets is a man of human emotion. Booth agrees. He steals a look at Brennan and she does the same when he turns away.






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