Episode 6.23 : The Change in the Game

  • Bones
    • Episode Premiere : May 19, 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 Ian Toynton
  • Screenwriter Hart Hanson, Stephen Nathan
  • 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

The Story


Birthday boy Justin is not enjoying his party at the bowling alley. He doesn't want to take turns. He wants to bowl now! He is the birthday boy! Justin changes his tune when a skeleton appears in the pinsetter. Maybe he'll behave just this once.

Angela and Hodgins have breakfast at the Diner. Angela douses her food in hot sauce hoping to induce labor. She wants Dr. Banno to check the baby's eyes right away. She needs to know as soon as possible what they could be facing. Hodgins comforts Angela as he tries some of the hot sauce. Angela can handle it but Hodgins starts to choke and gasp.

Booth and Brennan investigate at the Bowling Alley. There is an extreme amount of insect and maggot activity. The alley has been closed for ten days to resurface the floors. Behind the lanes, Brennan and Booth see the body smeared across bowling pins in the pinsetting machine. Brennan determines that the victim was dead before being ripped apart. She also notices defensive wounds. This man was murdered.


At the Lab, Wendell examines the pinsetter. He finds repetitive stress markers on the skeleton, which indicates the victim was a bowler. Angela confirms with her findings: the victim was wearing a bowling shirt with his name on it: Jeff Fowler. His team name was Thunderballs. Angela ponders some further ways she can induce labor: bumpy car ride or rollercoaster? Hodgins thinks she should stick with the hot sauce.

At the FBI, Sweets profiles Jeff Fowler, an accomplished bowler with many accolades. Booth stops listening when he sees that Jeff was a member of the Thunderballs. Max Keenan is also on that team. Could he be the murderer?

At the Diner, Max is in a wheelchair due to a sex related injury with his 36-year-old lady friend. He isn't the murderer but maybe he can help catch the killer. He explains that Jeff called himself "The Closer," while everyone else called him "The Gloater." Max doesn't think anyone on the team will talk to the FBI. They are all in the middle of a tournament. He knows that Booth is a bowler. They should go in undercover. Brennan and Booth are both on board. Max notices something different between the two of them. Why are they being so nice to each other?

At the Bowling Alley, Max arrives with Booth and Brennan, who are undercover as Buck and his fiancée, Wanda. He instructs them to act like a couple.


Max introduces 12-year-old bowling prodigy Amber Tremblay to Buck and Wanda. She disapproves of Booth's rented shoes so Max reminds her that Jeff Fowler also rented his shoes. Amber thinks the team is cursed: Jeff was killed and Max is injured. Amber is the only good player left. This offends Hercules Maldonado. He is a champion! Booth takes his turn to bowl and gets a strike.

As Brennan cheers, opposing team member Tina Winston tries to hit on her. Amber tells Tina to back off and she reminds Brennan not to fraternize with the other team. Alison Rose and Blake Swenson approach. They are all members of Strike Force!, a rival team. They also incur Amber's wrath. Tournament Director Tod Balacleets walks by, telling Booth he must sign in before the preliminaries can begin. Max reveals that everyone calls him "The Raven."

At the Lab, Hodgins examines red flakes that were embedded in the victim's skull. Wendell believes the extensive bone damage will make it difficult to determine cause of death. There is a fracture to the nasal bone but how could the victim die of a broken nose? Hodgins discovers a rattling in the skull. Wendell finds bone shards inside the head. Whatever hit the victim caused fragments from inside his skull to fly into his brain.

At the Bowling Alley, the tournament is in full swing. Amber is frustrated by her teammates but she is doing well and Booth is holding his own. Brennan sees Amber on her laptop. She is recording how well she is doing. At this rate, she'll soon be a world champion. However, Strike Force! wins and Amber stalks off to the video arcade.

Booth confers with Brennan and Max. He doesn't have a clear suspect yet. Max points out that Hercules Maldonado only made the team because Jeff died. Brennan talks to Hercules. How is it filling Jeff's shoes? Hercules has his own shoes. Jeff always rented. It was a superstition: he had lucky rental shoes, lucky lane #12 and a lucky beer mug. It was ridiculous. Hercules doesn't need superstition. He has God.

Alison flirts with Booth when Blake Swenson comes by. He points out that Alison is interested in him. She also liked Jeff Fowler. All the women did. With Jeff out of the way, Blake is going to be getting all the female attention around here.

At the Lab, the Squints try to determine what the murder weapon could be. Angela runs different options through the Angelatron, including a 2x4 and a hammer, while she continues to eat food drenched in hot sauce. They all realize the weapon has to be something with rounded edges. Angela's water breaks! Hodgins remains calm but Angela's screaming sends him running to get the car. Where are the keys?


Angela is irritable as she suffers through contractions at the hospital. She tells Hodgins to shut up and calls the doctor names. Dr. Sherry Banno takes it all in stride. She leaves Hodgins to coach Angela. Wendell video chats them. He needs to ask Hodgins a question: how can he read the Mass Spectrometer results? Hodgins helps him, believing a bowling ball could be the murder weapon. Wendell also needs help operating the Angelatron. Angela tries to talk him through it but she has another contraction.

At the Bowling Alley, Booth bowls a gutter ball. His feet are killing him. It seems the shoes are rotting his feet. Alison appears, confessing that Blake is a car thief, a compulsive joy rider. Isn't it wonderful getting to meet new people? Booth recalls that Jeff Fowler restored cars. Perhaps they were enemies?

Brennan returns from a phone call. Wendell believes the murder weapon is a bowling ball. She pokes her ALS light into Blake's bag to see if there are traces of blood. Alison catches her and accusations of cheating are thrown left and right. The Raven intervenes: he is watching the Thunderballs. Max reveals that Jeff Fowler superglued The Raven's bowling ball to his hand some years ago. The Raven never competed again. Booth thinks they should have Sweets question him.

At the hospital, Angela is in a lot of pain but she doesn't want an epidural. Wendell is back over video chat. Angela tries to explain how to use her equipment but Wendell doesn't learn much over her pained explanation and Hodgins' screaming. He will figure it out alone.


At the FBI, Sweets and The Raven watch footage of the devastating superglue incident. It ended his career. The Raven deflects: he is a respected tournament director now. Sweets presses him. The Raven wanted to be a bowler. The Raven admits that he never trusted his release again and so couldn't bowl professionally. However, he doesn't consider his life ruined. He supervises twelve leagues. He has respect. He dates a woman with a step-kid who seems to like him. He also has an alibi: he was bowling at the Granville Lanes.

Wendell believes he finally has the Angelatron working. But when he tries to show Cam, a multitude of images appear on screen, one of which includes Angela and Hodgins getting dressed after a romp in her office. Wendell chats Angela again. Angela wonders if he hit "purge." She orders them away from her equipment.

At the Tournament, Booth bowls a 7-10 split. The other team is ecstatic. They are gonna win! Booth has to make this. He bowls and he knocks over BOTH PINS! Everyone cheers. Brennan wishes she could be happy but the move seems improbable.

At the Lab, Wendell uses good, old-fashioned paper and pencil to determine more information about the murder weapon. According to his calculations, the ball could not have weighed more than five pounds.

Brennan snoops on Amber's laptop at the Bowling Alley. If Buck and Wanda ever have a child, she will not turn out like Amber. Max thinks Brennan is taking her undercover role-playing a little too far. Amber's laptop shows that she improves month to month. There have been some very difficult splits made on lane 12. Amber could have tampered with the lane.

Booth gets a new pair of rental shoes from Malcolm, the manager. The Raven explains that Jeff Fowler never wore socks and his feet reeked. Everyone hated it. Booth probably got his old shoes. Brennan asks Malcolm how the pinsetters are calibrated. Malcolm explains that computers do it. Brennan surmises that someone got into the computer system and changed the settings so the pins set closer together. Fowler was a cheat! Wendell calls to let Brennan knows that a child's bowling ball was the murder weapon. Could Amber be the murderer?


Wendell conferences with Brennan and Hodgins. Hodgins informs them that bowling balls don't flake. They chip. Yet, he found flakes on the victim. The weapon is not a bowling ball. Hodgins has more information about the flakes: they are polyurethane that meets national traffic safety standards, meaning they're from a motorcycle helmet with red sparkles. The doctor lets Hodgins know it's time to push.

Max only knows one person who owns a motorcycle: Malcolm. Brennan shines her ALS light on the helmet. Blood. Malcolm confesses. Jeff never washed his feet. He gave Malcolm a fungus that caused all of his fingernails to fall out and his girlfriend left him for The Raven. He didn't even hit him very hard. Everyone agrees that Jeff was a bad guy. They want Booth to let Malcolm go. Amber screams and kicks Malcolm. He ruined everything!

At the hospital, Booth, Brennan, Cam, Wendell and Sweets linger in the Waiting Room. Brennan is lost in thought.

Meanwhile, the baby is almost here. Angela and Hodgins agree they are ready. They confess their love for each other. With one final push, Angela and Hodgins have a baby boy. They wait patiently as Dr. Banno checks the baby's eyes. His vision is fine. She places the baby in Angela's arms. They are a family.

Hodgins brings the baby out to the Waiting Room. He introduces Michael Staccato Vincent Hodgins. They all gather around to admire the baby. Brennan slips off to see Angela. She presents her friend with a stuffed bunny, which is also from Booth. Brennan asks about labor. Angela says it was wonderful. It was a dream.

Booth and Brennan walk along the street. Brennan marvels at their happiness. Shouldn't Angela and Hodgins be more apprehensive about having a baby? Booth tells her that having a baby is a good thing. Brennan decides to break some news: she's pregnant. Booth is the father.

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