Bones Theory

Top Five Tuesday: Best Case Scenario


Happy Tuesday! How are things around the world, Bones pals?

It’s time for another Top Five Tuesday, and no, this isn’t a list of what I’m wanting to have happen…it’s a list of my all time (or at least five all time!) favorite case scenarios, or…situations.

Some people in the world DO watch BONES for the cases only, and to that, I say, “what’s that like?” in a genuine tone. Does it make episodes more satisfying? Even so lately? I am not sure, but I’m curious. 

Having said that, here are some cases I love:

1. The Man in the Bear:

This episode seems to pop up fairly often whenever I’m listing any of my ‘bests’ when it comes to BONES eps, but it’s true always, I really love this one. Booth and Brennan outside the lab, quirky small-town suspects, great writing and a footchase. I love it.

"I authorize you as Justice of the Peace to stop talking about cannibalism while I eat lunch."


2. Yes, I’m also biased toward this episode for a few ‘Booth & me’ reasons, but I also love this case. The way the themes of family and foster care and justice are woven together works really well.

I love how even though Booth figures out who the killer was, Brennan is the one who talks to Kelly.

3. The Baby in the Bough

Two guys in love with Temperance Brennan


Once again, Booth and Brennan are on the road, but what I like most about this case is that it showcases some good character development for Brennan. Booth is sort of the steady in this one (though interestingly enough, he’s the one who suggests Andy go into temporary foster care), but that allows Brennan to be a little more emotional. It works. Sometimes the cases on BONES feature victims or suspects that are almost cartoonish, but in this episode, it’s a very real situation with very real people, and I like that more.

4. The Passenger in the Oven

I like that this case makes Booth and Brennan work for it a little bit. They always do work hard, sure, but this one took smarts and people skills and time management and the ability to use other resources in a way that other cases do not always require.

I love the way they have to communicate with the rest of the team, and I love when Caroline authorizes Booth with a warrant at the last minute, allowing him to make an arrest.

5. The X in the Files

Once again B&B are out of DC, so I guess at this point, I’m sensing a trend. But perhaps there’s merit there. I guess if B&B are out of ther physical element, the writers have to find ways to make them more in their other elements, if that makes sense. I like when they are together too, I must admit!

This episode also has intrigue as far as the killer, and I like that.

Okay, enough from me. How about you? Which cases are your faves? And why?

Peace, Love & Bones,



30 thoughts on “Top Five Tuesday: Best Case Scenario

  1. I like your list and I do like the cases when they work out of town. Here are the cases that I like:
    1. The Man In The Fallout Shelter – I thought it was so cool that they could find out who the killer was in such a Cold Case. I loved Brennan working so hard on Christmas Eve to find Ivy Gillespie and who didn’t think Booth was so cute when he was wasted after reacting to the drug.
    2. The Woman In The Sand – They started out looking for the killer of a DA and ended up also looking for the killer of a woman boxer. Angela finding out how she sustained her injuries was really neat.
    3. Mummy In The Maze – I mean really, mummies, Brennan dressed up as Wonder Woman and Booth dressed up as a Squint/Clark Kent, killer clowns, what else can I say.
    4. The Goop On The Girl – a poor guy answers a professional call and becomes the victim. I felt so sorry for his mother and loved that the gang went to his funeral. They gave him a voice when it looked like he was the bank robber and they gave him respect. Loved that.
    5. The X In The File – the whole case was just so fascinating, and the supporting characters in Rosswell were just as interesting as the regular cast. I just get a kick out of the MRI scene.

  2. I love all these cases too… and though I am not one who watches only for the cases, here are some of my other favorites.

    The Bodies in the Book- We have the bodies all killed theatrically, plus the conspiracy between Brennanites, plus Booth/Sully having a testosterone contest. Love it!!

    The Mummy in the Maze- The idea of bodies disguised as Halloween props was really cool to me. Plus, the costumes, and the snakes, and the jumping on Booth’s back…. Booth’s glasses…. yeah, I love this one too 🙂

    and Intern in the Incinerator- Zach and Hodgins throwing the body down the side of the building, Booth knowing Brennan’s password, the Gormogon fear and Smuggling/affair/suicide conspiracy… drinks at the end… possibly my favorite case episode…

  3. I agree with most of your choices, and ‘Baby in the Bough’ would have to be on my list, because of the character development. I think that Booth mentions the foster care issue, because he knows how attached to Andy, Bones is becoming.
    My next favorite episode is ‘Blackout in the Blizzard’, in that episode they had to rely on their old-fashioned skills. They needed to solve a case without all the bell and whistles, and I think this is one episode that goes back to the original roots of Bones.
    Next is “Woman in the Sand’. This is one that I liked because of how they were able to solve the case by watching how the fight took place. I like the idea that they could tell how the injuries to the victim occured.
    Next is also one your list ‘Body in the Shroud’. Seing Brennans foster care side added to the plot. I also liked how she stuck up for Kelly throughout the whole episode.
    Last but not least is ‘Salt in the Wounds. Although this isn’t one of my favorite episodes of all time, I like that Cam stood up to Brennan about rehydrating the body, because she knew it was the right thing to do to solve the case.

    • Kimerbly, your right. Black Out In The Blizzard was a terrific case and I would definitely include it in my top 10. So far, it is the best case in season 6 and the acting was just top notch.

  4. Great post!

    5 cases that immediately pop into my head…

    1. Woman at the Airport. I really like this whole ep – again they’re out of town! Interesting comment on plastic surgery and low self esteem, liked the dynamic between Booth and the call girl – he’s respectful and she’s surprised, which is quite sad. Great lab work too – shows how gruesome some plastic surgery is

    2. Boy in the Bush – always the case that jumps to mind whenever I’m thinking of ‘sad case’ Bones. I know every case is sad, but there is something about that one that breaks my heart. That young vulnerable boy, the brothers who want to stay together and how much the team is affected is all so sad.

    3. Killer in the concrete – love this one. Really interesting villains, gruesome deaths, the bounty hunter and how Booth remains steely and ballsy even during capture and torture.

    There are loads and loads of cases I love – Passenger in the Oven, Death in the Saddle, Woman in Limbo, Two bodies in the Lab, Woman in the Car – so many goodies!

  5. I love all of the episodes mentioned so far. I have never tried to pick a top 5 or top 10 or even a top 100 because it would be too painful I think! I seem to be able to find something great about every single episode and even every case. One of the many things I like about Bones. Looking forward to reading the responses to this post!

  6. I can’t really limit it to 5 but here are 5 of my favorite case related episodes.
    1. woman in the car
    2. man in the fallout shelter
    3. woman in limbo
    4. passenger in the oven
    5. girl with the curl
    I also like the on the road episodes especially the Las Vegas one. Also, the one with Alexis as the killer of the manny – forgot the name of that one, plain in the prodigy, baby in the bough, and the foster care one where Brennan hugs the boy – forgot the name of that one too… there are way too many to limit to 5.

  7. I think I’m with you on the “out of their element” thing. I adore their undercover episodes, where they are forced to shed their usual demeanors, and B & B have to deal with the vulnerability that brings.

    Boxing-Booth. HOT. Brennan’s dress. HOT. Booth’s reaction to Brennan’s dress. Priceless. Love the way she has to hang on himi and be a loving couple, very demonstrative. I love that Booth chose that dress for her.

    Circus-The outfits. Booth’s muscles :). Rocking the trailer. Brennan’s obvious love of the danger/trust of Booth’s abilities. Sweets’ reaction to Brennan’s overenjoyment of the knife throwing.

    High school reunion-Posing as a couple, again. Slow dancing to Seal. Goofy pic of Booth with the star.

    And they are just so surprisingly good at being a believeable couple :)! It is fun when others notice their obvious connection to each other…its not hard for them to get into their undercover characters 🙂

  8. Well, for crying out loud. It would help when I post for email that I actually click the appropriate box, too. Goshdarnit.

  9. My favorite case/episode is usually the one I most recently watched! *lol*

    While Season 3 will always be my favorite in its entirety, in Season 4 so far, I think The Science in the Physicist is my favorite so far. The bouncing turkey – “any moron would know a frozen body will just bounce” – lots of funny lines. I giggled most of the way through it.

  10. Loving this post S (even if i disagree on the ‘two guys in love with T Brennan note 😉 I do love how Andy adores her though!).

    I admit i am struggling to think of my favourite cases episodes. I find it very difficult to seperate the case from everything else so i don’t know whether it’s the case i love or a moment in between the case…make sense?! LOL

    I can say that i do really enjoy the episodes where B/B are out of DC…Man in the Bear, Woman at the airport, Skull in the Desert, Woman in the Sand, Baby in the Bough…etc etc etc. I love them when they’re a bit out of their element. I think that’s when they truly come into their own!

  11. I’ll have to think about this one for a while. Like Laffers I find it hard to separate out favorite cases from favorite episodes.

    More later.

    And, YAY! The renewal for S7 is official.

    • Angelena, I just heard about the renewal also. Second the Yay.

      Fox Renews ‘Bones’ for Seventh Season – Hollywood Reporter

      ‘Bones’: David Boreanaz tweets news of Season 7 renewal – Zap2It News & Buzz

  12. See now, this isn’t fair! I feel like a deer in the headlights trying to think through a list of 100+ episodes when my mind has just gone completely blank. 😉

    There have already been a lot of good ones mentioned, but I will definitely second The Woman in Limbo and The Plain in the Prodigy (that case is just tragic).

    Off to peruse the episode list on the Fox Bones website now…

  13. There’s too many! To add to your splendid list, a few come to mind: Santa in the Slush, and not just because of the mistletoe. As everyone here knows, I love the Christmas episodes and this one with the reindeer kick, the guy’s magical apartment and the bird’s nest soup really fit the bill. Also Fallout Shelter (X-mas again!) because the personal stories of the characters were woven seamlessly with the case. Ditto for Harbingers because they fit the psychic so neatly into the plot. The episodes where the case affects the characters on a personal level always seem more satisfying, like Two Bodies in the Lab and Soldier on a Grave. And anything with serial killers; Epps and Gormogon and now Broadsky. I love a good villain!

    • Ooh yeah, I agree. For the most part, the serial killer cases have always been pretty solid. I would add the Gravedigger to your list as well maria.

      • Jeessh, how could I leave her off the list? Thanks-she was definitely on my mind too.

  14. Plain in the Prodigy!

    Can I just add here that I am consistently impressed with the casting of the guest characters on Bones–we’ve seen some really great performances from such a wide range of people — actors known and unknown– over the years!

  15. Bones renewed for season 7! Yippie!!

  16. Sarah, you already listed four of what I’d consider my favorite cases, so I’ll pick another five. 😉 In no particular order:

    1. Aliens in a Spaceship
    2. A Night at the Bones Museum
    3. The Woman in Limbo
    4. The Doctor in the Photo
    5. The Parts In the Sum of the Whole

  17. A few people have mentioned Doctor in the Photo…I think I’m going to need to rewatch that one, because its like the “coma dream” episode to me. The first time I watch the “coma dream” ep with my family, we were like, WTF is going on here, and we spent the whole time confused and trying to understand what they were doing. Upon re-watching, after I understood it being a dream, I totally got it and was able to look for what the characters were saying, doing, what does that mean in terms of how Booth/Brennan view them…it was much more enjoyable. The Doctor in the Photo, I confess, was completely weird to me. I didn’t understand why Brennan was acting so crazy, or that she was seeing this different, basically losing her mind…I didn’t know who the security guard was, if he was a murderer or something…I was lost. But listening to people praise it so, I think I need to give it another shot!

    Anyone have anything I should keep in mind as I re-watch? What should I look for? What do I need to know to understand it better?

    • If you keep in mind that she actually had put herself in the place of the doctor you will understand her breakdown better. She was seeing herself in the photo when she didn’t actually look very much like the doctor. This was a major clue that she was the Doctor in The Photo. No one knows for sure if the Security guard was a figment or real. Some people believed he was real some don’t’ but, he had nothing to do with the death of the doctor. As for the case, the doctor was run over in a hit and run, which was manslaughter/accidental death. It was a really good episode and in my top 10 list. Hope this helps you.

    • I think it helps to view the The Doctor in the Photo using the “the world turned upside down for three days” premise (this is based on a conversation Brennan and Micah, the security guard – think Clarence from It’s a Wonderful Life, had about 2/3 of the way through the episode).

      Basically Brennan over-identifies with the victim to the point where she sees and hears herself when she looks at and listens to the victim, for the three days that it takes her to solve the case (the world turns upside down). This is why when she looks at the victim’s picture at the end of the episode, she doesn’t see herself anymore (the world has turned right-side up again). It’s this over-identification (seeing what she could become) that leads to her breakthrough – basically that she doesn’t want to have any regrets – and culminates in her confession to Booth in the SUV.

      I don’t think it really matters whether Micah is real or not, but you do have to pay attention to a lot of what he says because I think it’s significant to understanding exactly what’s happening.

      You definitely can’t look at it as a regular case and you kind of have to suspend your sense of reality a little bit to really get it. But I do think it helps if you kind of frame it with that three days theory.

      • I, for one, hope Micah isn’t real. It means more to me if those words in actuality came from Brennan, and not someone else.

    • Thanks Lenora and Stephanie! I like your idea of framing it within the “3 days upside down” context and also the idea that Micah may or may not be real. I think that you might be onto something with that, Lenora, because thinking back on it, I’m thinking that he was not real. We’ve definitely had precendent on this show for seeing people who aren’t there, and yes, we know Booth was sick, but maybe Brennan hallucinated because she was under such stress. I mean, I was so confused because all of the sudden, Micah had become a main character, talking like old pals with Brennan, yet we’ve never seen him before or heard of him. Also, if I’m remembering right, he was only in scenes alone with Brennan, I don’t remember him interacting with any other characters. If so, awww another thing she and Booth have in common…they see fake people :).

      I can’t wait to see it again under the proper context and really listen for information and concentrate more on the B & B moments! I definitely became more of a fan of the “coma dream” the 2nd time around (although the Jersey Shore ep is still unforgivable!) haha

  18. OK, so now I’ve avoided working for a change by going over all the eps from S1-S5 to decide favorite cases. I think that one of the keys for favorite cases for me is cases where they don’t just solve the crime, but something more comes out of it. For example, although I didn’t look at S6, the Body and the Bounty would be an example where they solved the crime, but they also got to illuminate an important and poignant bit of history.

    Man in the Fallout Shelter — not because they solved the crime, but because they give Ivy her life back
    Graft in the Girl — although they can’t save Amy Cullen, they can save others; I also like that Angela helps to give Amy something to give her some happiness in the face of her tragedy
    He in the She — fascinating context and it gives the son’s life new meaning and direction
    NIght at the Bones Museum — because they clear Anok
    Woman in the Car — unlike most Bones eps, they save a life and, even better, the life of a child

    i also find something interesting in how they go about solving these particular cases.
    Man in the Fallout Shelter — the solution comes less from the science than from understanding who these people were and their context
    Graft in the Girl — the solution again comes more from the tracking down the various people and their motives and procedures
    He in the She — again, understanding the context of these people’s lives is what really allows them to solve the case
    Night at the Bones Museum — you have to love an ep where the science makes Brennan squee
    Woman in the Car — the science and the knowledge of how mercenaries operate dovetail so neatly here

  19. Well done Seels! I’m mighty impressed that you’ve managed to separate case from everything else to choose this top five. Me? Well, I’m looking at each of these eps and remembering my fave B&B exchange in each – especially No. 4…

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  21. The Man in the Morgue. I loved the darkness of this episode, and the voodoo themes.

    The Woman in the SUV. The end makes me cry every single time.

    The Epps arc: The Man on Death Row, The Blonde in the Game, and The Man in the Cell.

    The Gravedigger arc: The Aliens in the Spaceship, The Hero in the Hold, and The Boy with the Answer.

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