Episode 6.17 : The Feet on the Beach

  • Bones
    • Episode Premiere : April 07, 2011
    • Distributor : Fox TV
    • Genre : Drama, Crime
    • Seasons : 6
    • Show Period : 2005 - 2017
    • Production Company: Far Field, Josephson Ent., 20th Century Fox TV
    • Official Site :

Cast and Crew

  • Director Emile Levisetti
  • Screenwriter Pat Charles
  • 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
    • Tiffany Hines,
    • Scott Lowell,
    • Joel McKinnon Millers,
    • Michael Lesley,
    • Hank Harris

The Story


In upstate New York, two border agents patrol their territory. While on their nightly stroll one of the agents trips over a pair of shoes. They shine their flashlights on human feet still in the shoes, along with many random bones and tendons scattered in the mud.

After mistakenly receiving her mail, Hodgins tells Angela that Michelle has been accepted into Columbia. However, they discover that Cam has gone behind Michelle's back and filled out the application without her knowledge. Hodgins expresses his disapproval to Cam but she is thrilled Michelle got in.

At the crime scene, there are eleven feet: six on the Canadian side and five on the American side. Brennan concludes that one set of the feet belongs to a male somewhere between 18 and 50 years old. Brennan says hello to Dr. Douglas Filmore, a Canadian podiatrist whose work Brennan has forcefully refuted. Dr. Filmore is experiencing paralysis to his right arm, which he mentions occurred after he read Brennan's article dismissing forensic podiatry, his field of study. Brennan wants to take the remains back to the Jeffersonian, but Dr. Filmore enacts a small bit of revenge: the six feet on the Canadian side must remain with him.


Hodgins tells Angela that Brennan has invited Dr. Filmore to the Lab to help with the case. It's the only way they can gain access to all the feet. Hodgins notices an odor coming from one of the boots. The boots would not smell if they'd been in the river. They will recover some of the DNA from the sweat inside the boot.

During their morning coffee, Booth and Sweets tell Brennan they believe her disapproval of Dr. Filmore is what caused his arm injury. Sweets believes Dr. Filmore suffers from a conversion disorder, which coverts stress into a physical symptom. Brennan is skeptical that her beliefs caused his problem.

At the Lab, Cam has determined that there are eight victims total. Hodgins has found spider mite silk that will be able to tell him the location of the murders. Dr. Filmore enters and has trouble balancing his work files and shaking hands with the team with his good arm. After an awkward conversation, he approaches the feet to begin his examination.

Sweets videoconferences with the Canadian Police Station. He questions Bernie Gillespie, whose smelly boots were found at the crime scene. Bernie escaped from Dorchester Mental Health Facility eight days ago and came across a new pair of shoes on the river shore. He traded his boots for a pair of shoes one of the victims was wearing. Sweets tells a bummed out Bernie he has to return the shoes.

Dr. Filmore and Brennan examine a pair of the Canadian feet. Brennan determines the victim died approximately two months ago. Dr. Filmore surprises her by noticing something she did not: this foot was cut off while the other feet disarticulated naturally. Angela enters to tell them that she searched the National Weather Service charts and determined that the feet came from the St. Regis River near the University of Hogansburg in New York. Brennan declares she knows exactly what happened and exits without further explanation.

Brennan calls Booth and tells him that the University of Hogansburg is a research facility for forensic anthropologists. They study the decomposition of bodies in many different environments at their body farm. The body farm flooded when the area was hit with heavy rain. Booth thinks that means the case is closed. Brennan informs him that the professor told her seven bodies washed away, but they have the feet of an eighth person.


Dr. Filmore has matched all the feet to their remains. Angela and Dr. Filmore further examine the victim. Hodgins brings in the shoes that Bernie, the mental health patient, had taken. They are luxury edition sneakers that retail for $2000. Dr. Filmore suggests they examine a 3D scan on the Angelatron of the foot and the retrieved shoe to establish if they are a match. Angela notices a serial number on the shoe that she should be able to match to the owner.

At the Diner, Michelle cries to Cam that she and Derrick have broken up. Michelle tells Cam that she cannot go to the same community college as him.

Brennan feels at home with all of the decomposing bodies at the body farm while Booth is revolted. They meet Professor Peter Simpkins and graduate student Norman Hayes, who are both honored to meet Brennan. She tells them about the murder and that she will need to examine the flooded area.

Sweets visits Dr. Filmore and extends an offer to help, but Dr. Filmore continues to be a polite Canadian and avoid confrontation. Angela calls Brennan with the results from the shoe's serial number. The victim is Dylan McEllroy, a graduate student at the University of Hogansburg.

Booth and Brennan visit the university campus and spot Ken Durham, Dylan's roommate, selling an expensive sneaker collection on the quad. Booth informs Ken that his roommate has been murdered and selling Dylan's sneaker collection sounds like a motive.


Booth and Brennan question Ken. Ken had been staying with his girlfriend and took the shoe collection when Dylan hadn't returned or paid the rent. Booth wonders where Dylan got all the money for the shoes, but Ken is tight lipped on telling Booth the source of Dylan's funds. Booth assumes it's from drugs. Booth's theory is confirmed back at the Lab, when Hodgins and Dr. Filmore discover pollen from marijuana plants on the victim.

Cam asks for Sweets' opinion on how she should approach Michelle about her new acceptance. However, Sweets refuses to discuss the situation after learning that Cam cheated. Sweets doesn't believe Cam is setting a strong example for Michelle.

Norman Hayes shows Booth and Brennan a map of the washed out area. They discuss Dylan: Norman didn't have warm feelings towards him. Booth wonders if Norman had a motive to kill Dylan, but Norman has been studying abroad and only returned a few weeks ago.

Dr. Filmore visits Sweets at the FBI. Sweets is sympathetic to Dr. Filmore's situation since Brennan routinely dismisses psychology. Sweets suggests Dr. Filmore confront Brennan and stand up for himself. Dr. Filmore considers Sweets advice to tell Brennan how he feels.

Brennan, Booth, and Norman search the body farm. Brennan spots a marijuana plant that has dead insects trapped in mite silk. Brennan sends Hodgins a picture of them on her phone. Brennan assumes that Dylan was killed here in his pot field. Norman tells them that Professor Simpkins inspects his students' areas daily. Therefore, he would have seen the marijuana plants.

ACT 5?

Booth confronts Professor Simpkins about Dylan's extracurricular activities on the farm. Simpkins admits he allowed Dylan to grow pot, in exchange for free product. Simpkins didn't want Booth to think he killed Dylan over pot so he didn't tell Booth the truth. Booth is suspicious of the professor.

At the Lab, Hodgins shows Angela all the bugs he identified in the mite silk. He found many bugs that are not usually attracted to dead bodies or marijuana. Hodgins decides to examine the bugs' stomach contents to see what food attracted them. Leaving Hodgins to it, Angela checks in on Dr. Filmore, who has discovered that Dylan was attacked by two different power tools after examining the feet further.

Booth and Brennan drive back to the body farm. On the drive, Booth pushes Brennan to apologize to Dr. Filmore and show some compassion towards him. Booth knows deep down Brennan is a good person and he urges her to show that to others.


Cam and Dr. Filmore watch Angela create a 3D animation of how the two blades severed the victim's feet. Dr. Filmore hypothesizes that the blades are somehow connected. One of the blades cut Dylan at the ankle causing him to fall and the other blade ran him over. Dr. Filmore reminds them that Hodgins found regular grass particulates. He concludes that the victim was killed by a riding lawnmower. Hodgins has learned that the insects ingested a bug food gel that caused them to swarm over the victim. The gel sped up the decomposition process, causing them to estimate an incorrect time of death. Cam realizes there was only one person who has an alibi for what they believed was time of death.

At the body farm, Booth and Brennan confront Norman and show him a receipt for two gallons of Gro-Fast bug food. Full of regret, Norman confesses to the murder. Dylan's pot farm destroyed Norman's thesis paper on decomposition in barren soil. When Norman discovered his unusable project, he got the lawn mower to cut the pot plants down. Dylan stood in front of his homemade crop and refused to move. Norman wouldn't back down either. Norman thought Dylan would move but he didn't.

After telling Michelle she was accepted to Columbia, Cam is proud of her daughter's decision. She isn't going to Columbia. She wants to work for a year, save money, and get into Columbia on her own terms. Michelle wants to be just like Cam.

Sweets says goodbye to Dr. Filmore at the Lab. Brennan approaches and Dr. Filmore takes a stand. Brennan has treated him unfairly. Brennan accepts this and praises him for his skill and expertise. She tells him how grateful and pleased she is to have worked with him. Dr. Filmore is surprised and realizes his right arm is functioning again.

Booth and Brennan go to the Founding Fathers to celebrate another closed case. Brennan showed her softer side towards Dr. Filmore and Booth is proud of what she did for him.

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