Bones Episode 8.09 The Ghost in the Machine
Bones Photo

Bones Episode 8.09 The Ghost in the Machine

Episode Premiere
Dec 3, 2012
Drama, Crime
Production Company
Far Field, Josephson Ent., 20th Century Fox TV
Official Site
Episode Premiere
Dec 3, 2012
Drama, Crime
2005 - 2017
Production Co
Far Field, Josephson Ent., 20th Century Fox TV
Fox TV
Official Site
Milan Cheylov
Hart Hanson
Main Cast
  • Emily Deschanel as Dr. Temperance 'Bones' Brennan
  • David Boreanaz as Special Agent Seeley Booth
  • Michaela Conlin
  • T.J. Thyne
  • Tamara Taylor
  • John Francis Daley
  • John Boyd
Additional Cast
  • Cameron DeFaria
  • Kathryn Winslow
  • James Austin Kerr


Hodgins finds the skull covered in wasps in an abandoned greenhouse. Booth and Brennan join the scene. Brennan notes that the victim died between four months and three and half years ago, Booth isn't impressed with that window of time. Booth urges Brennan to take a guess on the gender. Although Brennan is reluctant, she predicts the victim is a fourteen-year-old male. Hodgins, Brennan, and Booth feel for the youngster. Hodgins grabs soil samples and the skull and the gang heads for the lab.


Hodgins carries the skull into the lab. Angela's psychic, Avalon Harmonia, interrupts Hodgins who is speaking to the skull. Hodgins scolds Angela for bringing Avalon to the lab, but Avalon tells Hodgins that she heard the victim calling her. He has unfinished business that she needs to help him with. Cam and Brennan enter very displeased to see Avalon, not believing Avalon's theory. Angela takes Avalon to her office. The remains arrive on the platform. Brennan and Cam note the victim's remodeled wrists, elbows, patella, and coccyx. Hodgins finds a wasps' nest in the skull that can help find time of death. The group all being parents to a child, wants to get answers about the boy's death.

Angela grabs the skull from the platform and brings it into her office. She introduces herself to the victim and tells him that she supports Avalon's theory that he is still "here." She scans and lasers the skull determined to give him a face.

Brennan comes into Angela's office. Brennan refutes the theory of a soul lingering in limbo. Booth enters with the victim's shoes. Brennan tells Booth Angela's ghost theory, Booth believes in ghosts and in angels. Hodgins comes into the office to tell the group time of death was two years ago. The facial reconstruction is done and the face matches someone in the Missing Person's Database: Colin Gibson. Brennan urges everyone to concentrate on the science, but she breaks down after seeing the victim's innocent face. Everyone is shocked to see Brennan get emotional.


Hodgins talks to the skull and asks him if he really is haunting them. Cam interrupts Hodgins and asks what the results were from the wasps' nest. Cam seizes the opportunity to talk to the skull and asks him to tell her mother hello. Hodgins tells Cam that the wasps weren't subterranean: the body was left to decompose above ground. The body was then moved and buried a year later. Cam informs Hodgins that the victim's parents are coming to view the remains and she leaves to go prepare. Hodgins grabs the skull and puts it in the bath to clean it, feeling sorry for the victim and what he's going to miss out on.

Cam brings the skull into the Autopsy Room and lays it next to the rest of the victim's bones. Brennan notices a laceration on the victim's sternum. Sweets and Booth escort Colin's parents into the room. The parent's are destroyed seeing their son's bones. The parents talk about how athletic and popular their son was and thank the team for allowing them to come into the lab.


Brennan catalogs the victim's injury into her recorder. There are perimortem abrasions to the patellas and tibias, damage to the metacarpals, as well as a Colles' fractures that suggests the victim fell forward at a high speed. Brennan asks the victim questions intrigued by Angela's theory that Colin is watching her. Cam enters surprised to see Brennan talking to the victim. Brennan notices discoloration on the skull. Cam tells Brennan that Hodgins found a paint chip that he is running through the mass spec. Sweets enters the Bone Room with friends of the victim, Miranda Spedding and her boyfriend Shaun Whalen. The friends came to drop off his skateboard and an MP3 player that Miranda found in her locker that day the victim went missing.

The next day, Brennan brings the skull to Hodgins to examine the discoloration. Hodgins shows Brennan that the paint chip came from a 1987 Chevy El Camino. Brennan goes to tell Booth about the car so he can trace it. Hodgins tries to examine the skull, but is interrupted by Avalon visiting the lab again. She insists that she needs to talk to the victim, Hodgins begrudgingly agrees. Avalon talks to Colin and still can't figure out the reason of why he is still "here."


In the lab, Booth shows Brennan the El Camino. Brennan notes there is no bumper damage, which there should be since the victim got hit by a car, fell down, and broke his neck. Booth tells her that the owner of the vehicle is Colin's father and has to bring him in for questioning.

In Angela's office, Sweets and her look at Colin's social media webpage and listens to his mix tape that he made Miranda. Angela realizes that when a boy makes a mixed tape for a girl it usually means he likes her.

Hodgins shows Cam the results he found from the discoloration on the skull. A rare form of plant life caused it: Betula Uber. There was no sing of these trees near the greenhouse where the body was found, however, there is a cluster of trees that lead Hodgins to believe Colin's body was dumped within two miles of the trees.

Brennan heads for home with Colin's skull. Angela tells Brennan that the work can wait, but Brennan tells her that Booth doesn't like her working late and she finds the theory that Colin is watching her very motivating.

At Booth and Brennan's house, they listen to Colin's mix tape with Christine. Booth tells Brennan that during questioning with Colin's dad, he broke down, and that Booth's intuition tells him that the dad is not the murderer. The car was a project for father and son to work on together and the keys were in the tailpipe leaving it open for anyone to take. Booth grabs Christine's kaleidoscope and plays with her. Brennan realizes that the discoloration on the skull may be due to exposure of light over time. Booth and Brennan call it a night.

In the morning, Booth goes for an early jog. He visits Colin's skull and says a prayer for him before he heads out the door.

Booth and Brennan drive into work with the Colin's skull in the backseat. There is a shrieking sound on the tape that isn't music. Brennan notes there were no signs of scavenging on Colin's remains leading her to believe that they are looking for a man-made structure that allowed three rays of light in to hit the skull. Angela has compiled a list of structures for the couple to go look at. They stop at an abandoned warehouse.

They enter the warehouse looking for clues. Brennan notices three tiny holes in a nearby vent that would match the discoloration on the skull. Booth finds the hood ornament for Colin's father's car.


In Angela's office, Cam and Brennan watch Angela re-create possible scenarios of Colin's death. Brennan remembers what Sweets said about Colin being brave and wanting to impress his friends. Angela re-creates a scenario where Colin stands on the hood of the car, the driver breaks, and Colin falls forward breaking his neck, pelvis, and clavicle. It's a match. Cam leaves to go tell Booth.

In the FBI Conference Room, Booth, Sweets, and Brennan bring in Colin's friends including Miranda. Brennan explains how Colin died. Miranda asks Shaun as well as the others if they had anything to do with the stunt. Shaun admits he was driving the car. Miranda is distraught.

In Angela's office, Avalon tells Angela that Colin is still here. Angela is confused because the boys all confessed to the murder. Angela takes the skull into Brennan's office. Angela tells Brennan that Colin still has unfinished business, Brennan doesn't know what it could be but the only unsolved piece was the shrieking sound at the end of Colin's mix tape. Angela realizes that it's a webpage design that uploads when you play it.

The team, Avalon, and Miranda gather in Angela's office and watch a video of Colin. Colin professes his love for Miranda and sings her a song. Miranda as well as everyone in the room is touched by Colin's song. Finally, Colin's unfinished business has been taken care of. Avalon notices Colin watching the group in the distance. They wave to each other as Colin skateboards off into the unknown.

Back and Booth and Brennan's house, Booth shows Brennan the mix tape he made for her. The couple listens to "Hot Blooded" with Christine as they dance around the house together.