Episode 6.20 : The Pinocchio in the Planter

  • Bones
    • Episode Premiere : April 28, 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 Francois Velle
  • Screenwriter Keith Foglesong
  • 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

The Story


At a Community Center, a tweenage peeping tom balances on a planter as he peers into the women's locker room. But he doesn't get the show he wanted. One of the women spots him. She screams, startling the tween. He loses his balance and falls into the planter where he unearths a skeleton!

At the Diner, Sweets and Angela have breakfast. Sweets lauds Angela for creating new life. Angela thinks praise is fine but confides that Hodgins is overcompensating. He changes her shoes. Her phone rings but she ignores it. It's Hodgins. She just saw him and will see him later. Is something off between the two?

At the scene, Hodgins is distressed that Angela sent his call to voicemail. It only rang twice instead of six times. Booth reports that the planter is new while the nearby playground is a week old. Brennan determines the victim is a male in his forties. Booth finds an electronic key on the ground. Hodgins discovers multiple hookworms in the soil. Brennan explains that the victim defecated upon death, releasing the parasitic worms. Hodgins breaks out his measuring tape. Hookworms crawl at a rate of one foot per day. One of the hookworms traveled almost four inches, meaning the victim died 3 days, 8 hours and 45 minutes ago.


At the Lab, Wendell and Brennan examine the bones: the victim sustained a severe beating. There is blunt force trauma at the coronal suture and across the sagittal ridge, which is likely cause of death. Wendell is looking for more work so Brennan mentions that Cam needs extra help around the Lab. Wendell thanks her for the tip. Brennan finds an open fracture near the clavicle. She surmises that the murder weapon may have come into contact with the bone. Hodgins should swab for particulates. Angela arrives with information about the electronic key. It has a microchip that stores the owner's settings.

Sweets and Booth inspect the victim's lavish home. Angela pulled the address from the "smart key." Ross Dixon had been missing for four days. His wife left him last year and his kids are all grown. No one missed him. Booth gets "the vibe" from a box on the coffee table. Inside, they find the victim's advertising portfolio. He worked on many high profile ad campaigns. Booth says Dixon struck out on his own six months ago. Sweets knows something must have prompted the split from Francuzzi & Schess.

In the Autopsy Room, Cam squeezes stomach contents from the victim's small intestines. Wendell cheerfully asks for more hours at the Lab but Cam has decided to divide the hours among all the interns. Wendell pleads his case: he needs the hours because his financial situation is precarious. Cam sympathizes but she can only consider who would do the job best and all the interns are equally qualified. Defeated, Wendell turns to the case. Ross Dixon suffered nose breaks, a fractured left orbital socket and a hairline fracture near the right mental foramen. All were separate incidents that occurred in the past year.

Sweets tells Booth that the victim had his face broken four times. Booth discovered that Dixon filed assault charges for one of the incidents against Nicole Francuzzi, his former employer. Booth shows Sweets video from an advertising award show. Francuzzi attacks Dixon with the trophy they just won. Afterward, Dixon quit and filed charges against Francuzzi. She countered with her own suit, alleging that Dixon tried to sabotage her business. A judge ruled in Dixon's favor the day before the murder.


Nicole Francuzzi sits in the Interrogation Room. She insists she was justified in her actions because Dixon ruined the firm she built with her partner. She mentions that their creative director slugged Dixon too. Why did everyone hate this guy? About a year ago, Dixon started speaking his mind. He insulted everyone and Francuzzi lost six clients. She thinks Dixon developed a conscious. They advertised a toy that a child ended up choking on. The kid was fine but Dixon felt guilty. He joined a group to help him be more honest.

Sweets explains Radical Honesty to Booth and Brennan. It is a controversial notion popularized by an organization called the Honesty Policy. It can be aggressive because members say whatever they feel. Brennan sees no reason why telling the truth would be considered aggressive. Sweets thinks white lies play a crucial role in human interaction. Brennan counters: a world without lies would be efficient. She wonders if Booth has ever lied to her but he avoids the question.

At the Lab, Hodgins has the results from the trace on the clavicle. It was titanium. How can a murder weapon be made of something as light as titanium? Perhaps it isn't the murder weapon. Wendell found a gap near the clavicle with osteitis on either side of the bone. It is likely there was a titanium implant that was dislodged during the attack.

In order to find the implant, Hodgins uses his magnetic gloves to search the planter. He believes the victim was in a cult. Wendell doesn't think being radically honest is a cult. He thinks it is a good idea. In fact, he has some honesty for Hodgins. He is a strange guy. Really strange. Hodgins wants to be honest too. When Wendell was dating Angela, Hodgins planned Wendell's murder. This is good! Wendell wants to use his honesty on Cam.

At the Honesty Policy meeting, Burt Iverson stops Booth, Brennan and Sweets. Burt is an attorney. Can a lawyer really be honest? Booth says he wants to join the group but is startled when a clown walks in. Burt admits that nobody likes Toby Holcomb, the man in the clown suit. Burt thinks this is a great opportunity for Booth to express his true feelings. Booth admits that when he doesn't have clean underwear, he doesn't wear any. Everyone applauds. Booth changes the subject. Who had a problem with Dixon? Toby raises his hand. Dixon said his act sucked and Toby was with him on the night of the murder. He admits he is too cheap to hire a lawyer. Booth makes Brennan cuff the clown.


At the FBI, Hodgins confronts Sweets. What did Angela say to him? Sweets admits that something was on her mind but she wouldn't talk about it. Sweets thinks Hodgins need to ask Angela what she is withholding. Hodgins starts to consider radical honesty.

In the Interrogation Room, Toby admits the only reason he still gets hired is because he is cheaper than other clowns. Toby denies murdering Dixon. Dixon came over to watch the game with some other guys but everyone left around 5PM. Afterward, Toby had sex with a hooker. He remembers that Dixon was going out to dinner that night but he didn't ask with whom because he just didn't care. Toby only cares about himself.

At the Diner, Booth and Brennan discuss honesty. Brennan wants Booth to reveal an instance in which he has lied. Booth agrees to give her an example when the case is over. Brennan assures him she will not forget.

Meanwhile, Hodgins assaults Angela with honesty. He doesn't like her painting. He wants her to be honest too. She is reluctant to open up but finally confesses that she wants them to be more honest about what they could face with the baby. Angela can't pretend everything is fine. Hodgins reveals he is worried too but he thought he was helping. They embrace and make up.

Wendell chases after Cam. He tells her that Hodgins couldn't find the titanium implant but he did find some shards of what could be bone. Anyway, Wendell should have the job. He needs it the most and he has proven himself in the workplace. Cam doesn't think Wendell is perfect but she gives in. Hodgins arrives with the victim's stomach content results. Ross Dixon was eating truffle pizza.

Booth found out that Dixon dined at Ferrini's on the night of his death. It's the only place in town that serves truffle pizza. Dixon got into a fight with one of the waiters, Jonah Hinkle. Hinkle poured a beer over Dixon's head. Hinkle is also the victim's son.


Booth interrogates Jonah Hinkle. He and his father were not on speaking terms. Nothing Hinkle did was ever good enough. Dixon stopped paying for his schooling because he didn't think his son would ever graduate. Dixon drove his family away. Hinkle explains that Dixon came to see him to apologize. He never wanted to hurt his son but he meant what he said. Still, Hinkle regrets what he did. He didn't know it was the last time he would see his father. He tried to go to his house later that night but there was a smashed up car in the driveway and Dixon was arguing with a woman in a neck brace.

Wendell shows Brennan his microscopic examination of the bones. There are faint microfractures on the ribs in a diagonal pattern. Brennan confirms that this is an injury consistent with being the passenger in a car accident. It was caused by the seatbelt.

Hodgins tells Wendell that the shards from the planter are not bone. They're carbonized red oak. Angela points out something on the wood that looks like a nerve fiber. Wendell realizes that this is the bone implant. They are experimental but work better than titanium. If the bone implant was wood, the traces of titanium must be from the murder weapon. Back to square one.

Brennan and Booth review a photo of the smashed car. It belongs to Dorothy Emridge. Dixon was a passenger in the accident one month ago. Both Dixon and Dorothy refused medical treatment but later Dorothy claimed that she had severe neck injuries. The accident happened at 2AM and she's a married woman. Booth suspects an affair.

In the Conference Room, Dorothy Emridge admits she was in an accident with Dixon. They were also having an affair. But the honesty stops there. She wants her lawyer.


Booth and Brennan sit down with Dorothy and her lawyer, Burt Iverson. Dorothy and Burt met at an Honesty Policy meeting. He offered to represent her in her car accident suit. He tells her that Dorothy was filing for divorce. Her affair was not a motive for murder. She didn't hurt Ross. In fact, she couldn't have. She was too injured from her car accident. Brennan agrees that her injuries would have prevented her from beating someone to death. But she will need to see the X-rays to confirm.

At the Lab, Wendell extolls the benefits of honesty. Cam does not want to hear any more honesty. She wants manners. Hodgins and Angela video chat with the Squints from the Community Center playground. The monkey bars are coated with titanium dioxide paint. It was assembled right after the murder. The murderer hid the weapon in plain sight and it was built into the jungle gym.

Cam shows Brennan the X-rays from Dorothy Emridge. Brennan confirms that the neck injury would be debilitating but the X-ray does not belong to Dorothy Emridge. This is a Caucasian woman and Dorothy Emridge is African American. The honest lawyer lied.

Booth and Brennan tell Burt Iverson they know the X-rays don't belong to Dorothy. Burt promised Dorothy a big settlement if she played along. Dixon found out and wanted to tell the truth. He would've exposed Burt and Burt would have been disbarred. Burt denies it but Brennan has the titanium-coated pipe from the playground with his fingerprints.

At the Founding Fathers, Brennan wants the promised example of Booth's lie to her. When he broke up with Hannah, Booth never told Brennan how much it meant to him that she stuck by him. It wasn't a lie but it meant more to him than he let on. He lied by omission but to be fair, Brennan never asked. Why was it so hard to tell Brennan something she already knew? It's hard to explain but some things are better left unsaid.






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