Bones - Season 6, Episode 19 (Review)

Episode Summary

The title should have tipped me off. Bones titles are always "The X [preposition/conjunction] the Y." The episode started off with Booth and Brennan on a hydroplane skimming through the Florida Everglades, which are apparently the jurisdiction of the FBI. A body has been found, and Brennan immediately identifies it as a male in his 20s (no explanation as to how). There is an acrylic eye with a serial number on it, so Booth gets a positive ID before the opening credits. And that's when I knew I was in for an hour-long slog through spin-off territory.

The victim's name was Sam Nozak, and he worked as a security guard at a maritime history museum. The head curator, NevilleLambert Chaisson (maybe?), reported him missing a few days after security cameras caught Nozak on video taking a piece of nautical chart from a display case. The chart pinpoints the location where the (fictitious) Santa Esperanza sank in 1774. Sunken Spanish treasure is clearly a motive for murder.

Booth suggests they enlist the help of one of his colleagues from Iraq, Walter Sherman, nicknamed "The Finder" because he can track down anything you need. Sherman (played by Geoff Stults and seen here shirtless, which was the only good part of tonight's episode) has his own team of helpers: Leo Knox (Michael Clarke Duncan of Green Mile fame) and Ike Latulippe (Saffron Burrows, who sounds astoundingly like Russell Brand). They both apparently owe Sherman their lives. Leo talks a lot about jarnahula(?) and akashwani (because apparently he's Hindu?), and Ike makes annoying malapropisms (because apparently she's living in a Family Circus cartoon). Sherman goes to Nozak's house, takes off most of his clothes, and figures out what makes the guy tick while he drops a deuce in the dead man's toilet (seriously). He also has to make a lot of "thinking" or "Eureka!" faces that he can't pull off nearly as well as James Roday or Neil Patrick Harris (not a great one, but you know what I mean about Doogie's "thinking face").

Sherman and his Mod Squad track the chart fragment to a pawn shop, where they get information about Brittany Stevenson (Mini Anden, whose accent was definitely discernable), she of the "Do Not Resuscitate" tattoo. Sherman follows her back to a boat, the "Screw You" (IIRC), shares a kiss and is suddenly in love with her. He notices an antique sextant on the boat, but Brittany claims not to know what it is.

Back at the Jeffersonian - which isn't normal Jeffersonian set, or at least is lit really quite oddly - Brennan confirms for Sherman that the victim did indeed have health problems, as his mitral valve was nearly calcified. Additionally, three fingers were dislocated shortly before his death. Angela manages to reconstruct the map from the security camera footage. The navigator, Absalon Fidalgo, has noted the location of the Santa Esperanza as (N) 24ΒΊ 4' 8" / (W) 92ΒΊ 30' 6". Because of the Spanish phrase "Seguid vuestro jefe" (Follow your leader), Hodgins thinks the navigator was using St. Peter's Basilica in Rome as the prime meridian. The shipwreck would then be over near Key West.

Sherman goes to check out the coordinates and finds Brittany at the bottom of the ocean, dive equipment still on. He brings her body back to the Jeffersonian, where Saroyan finds the chart fragment and a human finger in her mouth. Sherman notices that the blood on the chart fragment has caused previously invisible icons to become visible: three nails. He asks a bishop friend, who says that the nails indicate Fidalgo was likely Jesuit and that Jesuits navigated based on a prime meridian at Copernicus' Observatory on Monte Mario. The Jeffersonian staff also comes to this realization, but later than Sherman does. He brings up the treasure and confronts NevilleLambert Chaisson - whose right hand is quite conspicuously bandaged. Sherman and his buds stuff Chaisson in a footlocker and dump him off on the side of some D.C. street while Brennan and Booth are walking along it. Sherman gives all the treasure to his bishop friend, save one Virgin Mary statue, the one Chaisson was oohing and aahing over.

Forensic Comments Ridiculous Things

  • Yeah, so... there was an eye with a serial number on it. Can't really screw that up.
  • Oh, right, and Brittany was killed, but she managed - while underwater without oxygen - to bite clean through someone's finger. Sure.
  • Chaisson is impressed by the Virgin figurine Sherman brings him and says that it proves it's the Santa Esperanza because it's 17th century in style. The Esperanza supposedly sank in 1744, which is the 18th century.
  • Why would Chaisson have needed an antique sextant to find the wreck? Modern GPS not good enough?
  • Anyone know if there exists an invisible ink that's revealed by bodily fluids (er, blood, semen, and breastmilk, which seem a motley combination)?
  • Anyone else know if the latitude and longitude on the chart are right? My google mapping for the coordinates gets me the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, but I don't know how to recenter to a different prime meridan.
  • I do have to admit that I did not know that charts reference water while maps reference land. That's actually good (if pedantic) information to have.
  • "Hogs got people teeth. I know a guy who got a set of dentures that way." - Random sheriff with undetermined accent
  • "I know someone who can do third degree polynomials in his head." - Brennan (I kind of wonder if I know someone who can - any of my CS friends read this?)
  • "G Man and Skeleton Babe!" - Ike

Forensic Mystery - F. There was absolutely no mystery as to who either of the victims was or what killed them.

Forensic Solution - A. There was an eye that gave them a positive ID, and the second victim was recognizable. Sooooo, forensics win?

Drama - D-. Sure, I like the Green Mile guy, and I wasn't too put off by his character, but Sherman and Ike are interminably annoying. And, well, this wasn't actually an episode of Bones.

Next week had better be half decent, or I may throw in the towel before the season is out.

Comments said…
Am a modest Bones fan and did like this episode possibly because it wasn't run of the mill Bones ( my goodness, she actually cries here) but something more akin to Burn Notice ( i.e. group fighting bad guys in Florida with 3 main characters - ex-government worker; gutsy, pretty, accomplished female; savvy, older, philosophical male). The female one has to work on her pronunciation though - optimist only has 3 syllables.
Anonymous said…
I agree. There better be a very good episode next, full of bones and squint stuff.
This was only a pilot for another serie. Thumbs down for this episode!
Tom said…
Since the Copernicus Observatory (CO) is East of the current Prime Meridian, you would subtract its angular offset (from the Prime) from the charted longitudinal position to find the actual location. If CO is 12 degrees east of prime then the actual location would be 12 east of the chart location.

The reason to use an ancient astrolabe or sextant rather than GPS, would be to try and duplicate the measuring inaccuracies that are inherent in those old charts.

With regard to the ship sinking in 1744 (18th century) and the "proof" being the 17th century style of the statue, could not the ship have been carrying a 44 year old statue. And really, did Spanish Catholic styles change all that much in only 44 years. We are not talking 1920 to 1960 here.

And what about Urine for the magic ink? Or lymphatic fluid? Or nasal secretions? Mighty picky ink if you ask me.

The Finger in the Larynx. Have you ever tried biting through living bone with your incisors or even bicuspids? What was not revealed was that only 3 days prior, Chaisson had that finger amputated in a chain saw accident and although it was successfully reattached, the tissue and bone had only begun to re-knit so it was fairly easy to bite through.

All in all, this was a GREAT EPISODE (to make fun of, that is).
@George - Ike's mispronunciation of words like "optimist" was a running joke/character theme in the episode. It annoyed me greatly.

@Tom - Thanks for your comments! Of course the ship could have had a 40-yr-old statue on it, but the curator seemed to think it was "proof" for some reason that it was the Esperanza. Seemed like a stretch. I wondered about the ink too - tried to figure out what blood, semen, and breastmilk have in common that urine and snot don't, but I didn't feel like it warranted looking it up or asking around.
Anonymous said…
When I watched this episode I knew the Forensics would most likely fail... There really weren't many...

What would be intesting would be if they identified the victem through a serial # for something, then when Brennan was looking for cause of death, and the victem was actually someone else... :D Obviously, I'm sick of serial #s...
Anonymous said…
did anyone else feel like it was just promotion for what will replace bones?
David B said…
Where have I seen the Neville Chaisson character before? It's bugging me and I can't find him in any plot synopses...was he from 24?
David B said…
Edit - turns out his name is Lambert Chaisson (the curator "who did it"). Played by Carlo Rota. Indeed from 24.
John said…
"Bones" of Contention

Given the inaccuracy of Navigation at the time, I very much doubt that even using the correct meridian you could just dive on a ship and find it easily.

James Cook still used the lunar distance method to determine Longitude on his first voyage (1768-71) it was not until his second voyage (1772-1775) did he use a Kendall copy of Harrison’s Chronometer. This new technology was initially so expensive (£400 in 1750, approximately 30% of the value of a ship) that very few ships carried chronometers.

I also think I saw the wooden remains of a ship out there with discernable writing. Wooden ships do not generally survive intact at the depths that you can scuba dive (at least if exposed to the water). There are amazing survivals but only where the low oxygen or other factors curtails the decay/degradation of the wood.
Jer-Bear said…
I ran into this page when trying to figure out what the heck was with this latest episode. I felt like I had been "Rick-Rolled" five minutes in.

Sherman was irritatingly suspicious. I stopped listening every time Leo would shout what I would take as scripture. The intensity of Ike's accent varied every time she was on screen. (Though maybe we find out her character is actually faking it.)

All that aside, the writing was terrible. The bishop's not so subtle introduction of Sherman's brain injury almost made me turn off my tele. (Don't get me wrong though, I did enjoy seeing Stults in his undies but we don't know the character well enough for that not to be seen as the tactless sex appeal scene.)

I really enjoyed your review and will definitely be checking back here for others!

Age & sex estimations of human remains can be reached a number of ways. Looking at only the skull, someone of Brennan's skill could reasonably determine sex by looking at a few cranial features. For approximate age she could look at dental eruption. Since this guy was in his 20's, his 3rd molars (wisdom teeth) may have been partially or fully erupted.
Unknown said…
good episode. but to me it seamed like they are setting it up for a spin off series with these new characters maybe called "The Finder"...
Anonymous said…
I can to third degree polynomials in my head. It's not that hard.
Shava said…
Came to the site looking for Rome/lead references, stumbled upon this, and had read this article:

which might be of interest, although it doesn't really quite answer your question. ;)

Popular Posts