Bones Theory

The Ghost in the Machine: Post Episode Discussion


Hey, hey, hey! The comments are open to discuss this episode, the 150th episode of Bones of all time. As a fun note, this is officially the 500th Bones Theory post of all time!

Party Time

Party Time

I know that the end of this episode marks the beginning of a winter hiatus, which can often lead to wanting to talk about FUTURE eps, but please, no spoilers. But let’s talk The Ghost in the Machine. Likes/dislikes?


55 thoughts on “The Ghost in the Machine: Post Episode Discussion

  1. Congratulations, Sarah!! So cool that you have reached your own milestone in tandem!

    I liked this ep. I enjoyed watching the process (solving the murder) from a different angle. Lots of great moments between B & B. Hart Hanson continues to explore differing ways of telling his story and tonight was fun to watch, knowing it was a milestone.

  2. Very touching episode.
    Brennan crying. Booth calling her Temperance. Booth praying for the victim.
    The camera angles were interesting.
    “Every couple has a song”. Amazing!!
    Oh & “Dancing phalanges”
    I wish Avalon would have commented on B&B together! “My cards told me this would all work out eventually” would have been great.

    • “I wish Avalon would have commented on B&B together! “My cards told me this would all work out eventually” would have been great.”

      Such a good point! I didn’t think about that, but also would have LOVED it.

  3. I liked the uniqueness of the show. It was definitely a fascinating episode. I loved that Booth made Brennan a mixed tape knowing no one had never made one for her. I loved that Booth said a prayer for the child. I definitely liked the dance that our little family did at the end.

    I thought it was cute that Booth felt he had to distract Christine with lights because of the gross skull in the house. You just know he really hated having that skull in his living room.

  4. Loved the night-to-day transition scene and sporty Booth talking to Colin while giving him the soldier’s prayer before going for a run. It was so perfectly Booth, and that it was capped with him covering up the skull and still being slightly grossed out was great.

  5. Wait…the 500th post or the 501th post? 😀

    Loved this episode! It was just so sweet – and the camera wasn’t nearly as shaky as I had feared it might be after the sneaks.

    I call BS on Brennan not using the skull as a gender indicator but that is a very minor quibble.

  6. Happy 500th post Bones Theory!!!!

    It was definitely interesting, having it all from the skull’s viewpoint. I felt it a little strange that Brennan was so emotional in Angela’s office and that Booth used “Temperance” in front of the group. What do you all think? I know she’s a mom now, but did anyone think it was…well, overreaction is too strong a word…but maybe a bit much?

    Also, I know they were stretching it to put the interviews of people where the skull could view it, but the evidence the friends had should have been turned over to the police and not kept for 2 years/ Sweets letting them into the lab where the actual bones and evidence are, Brennan taking a skull home…but things like this are me being nit-picky I suppose.

    I did appreciate the Bones crew giving us something new and different. It’s probably fun for them to mix it up and do something like that. I think I need to sleep on it, and of course view the other comments!

  7. I was tentative at first. I’ll admit it. But I was oh, so wrong.

    Firstly, I need to commend the directing. WOW. Not an easy episode to tackle. The angles, the lighting, it all WORKED. I am still blown away.

    Secondly, the nostalgia. OH. OH. OH. The nostalgia. That is one of my favorite things about following a movie franchise or a television series. The throwbacks to old times they throw in that you wouldn’t understand if you hadn’t been along for the whole journey. It makes it feel very special:
    – Maybe it’s just because I love Cyndi Lauper, or about as much as I love Emily Deschanel singing Cyndi Lauper, but I was STOKED to see Avalon again.
    – Frontal lobes being underdeveloped
    – “I don’t know what that means.” Gets me EVERY TIME.
    – The door kick… subtle but I still count it.
    – Dancing phalanges!
    It all just makes me SO HAPPY. And I’m not ashamed to admit it!

    Brennan was awesome. She was very emotional at times, but was also very objective at others. It was a nice balance. It also wasn’t the kind of objectivity that makes you want to shake her a little. Do you know what I mean? It was just very Brennan. How she behaved while she worked reminded me very much of her speaking to the CDs in Doctor in the Photo, only not in a completely heartbreaking way. It was a nice reminder of how far we’ve come.

    Booth. Oh Booth. He gets so upset when it’s a kid. I love him even more every time. I also love the Flyers T-shirt, and did anyone else die a little when he was holding that beautiful baby? ALSO, ever since the moment they finally got together, I’ve been waiting on the edge of my seat to hear him call her Temperance. No, I don’t want it all the time. I just want it snuck in perfectly every now and then, like it was tonight.

    I also noticed we were Squint-less. But I’m not mad at it.

    Granted there were some inconsistencies. Bringing the skull home was weird. Letting the friends and family see the skeleton was weird. The car in the lab was weird. How they all talked to the skull (except it felt more normal for Angela) before accepting that he was still “around” was weird. The skull in the conference room, even to make a point, was weird. But I’m so happy with the rest of it that I’m willing to let it go.

    Other random moments that I loved:
    – “In that case, no cursing.” It wasn’t a funny episode, which of course is fine, but they still were able to keep it light when it needed to be.
    – “I love when you hang on to your humanity.”
    – Angela wanting to help Colin so that he can “go home.”
    – Hodgins realizing he’d never seen Brennan tear up over a victim.
    – Cam saying (well, telling Colin to tell her mom) that she is 87% happy. Makes me want to figure out what percent happy am I?
    – Hodgins describing life as a “glorious mess.”
    – Cam watching Brennan talk to Colin
    – How any insects involved in a case are referred to as “Hodgins’” I realize this happens constantly, it just really hit me this time around. It’s pretty adorable, a boy and his bugs.
    – “Brennan comes through. Given the opportunity she always rises to the occasion.”
    – “You made a foolish decision. I just wish it hadn’t killed you.” I felt this was very touching.

    Alright. I think I’m done. This one will keep me thinking, and definitely smiling, until next time. =)

  8. I thought it was really intimate and I loved that. The skull/ghost/spirit gettings to see people that we feel we know so well when they were alone and therefore a little less on their guard. I really really really enjoyed this episode. Michele

  9. oh gosh oh gosh I’m so in love with that last scene. She finally did “dancing phalanges” to Christine!! I’ve been waiting so long for that! And then to pair that with “Hot Blooded” and the cute baby and the kitchen dance party?! I’m on happy nostalgia overload right now.

    I loved this episode. I loved everyone talking to the skull and thought it was beautifully done. On a superficial note, I think it’ll lead to some great bloopers, because it has to be hard to keep a straight face when you’re all up in a camera lens. And plot-wise, I just thought it was really thought-provoking. Telling the story through the victim’s POV was a great way to recapture the team’s concern for every victim, which is such a fundamental part of the show. I thought everyone’s response was perfectly in character–I loved the way Angela leaned in close and explained everything so gently, and the fact that she said she gives victims a face and Brennan gives them a voice. I loved the way Hodgins just sort of rolled with it for Angela’s sake, and Cam scolded everyone but then bent down to ask about her mother (a callback to “The Headless Witch in the Woods”! As was the betula uber). I laughed out loud at the 87% happy comment. Someone’s been thinking this through.

    B&B had my favorite interactions with Colin. Booth and his soldier’s prayer had me swooning–that scene was VINTAGE Booth, from the Flyers t-shirt to the old-school Catholicism. I also loved the way he balanced (adorably) playing with Christine (the light!!) and scolding Brennan for bringing a nasty skull home. That scene was so comfortable. And I absolutely loved the way Brennan kept talking to Colin and blaming it on Angela. She claimed that she was doing it as a kind of experiment, but it was pretty obvious that the idea of Colin watching became real to her. I just thought it was wonderfully in character of her to be so sensitive but to mostly try to keep up her objective scientist face.

    I loved that Booth could tell from his interrogation that the dad didn’t do it (also, loved that the dad didn’t do it. Huge relief). I loved that Brennan trusted him on that. (Side note: Emily looked so pretty tonight!) I loved that, when they identified Colin as a young boy, she knew instinctively to tell him to call Parker and Booth knew instinctively to comfort her. She wanted to hold Christine! So cute. There was so much faith between them tonight. (Yep, I’m calling it faith.)

    I loved the end, how Angela went straight to Brennan for help and said that she always comes through. I got choked up when Miranda came in, even though I’d already called it. If I have any complaint with this episode, besides the weird foggy transitions, it would be that the song just wasn’t all that good. I really love a good acoustic guitar song, and I was expecting it to be really solid and accentuate the moment, but it was kind of just ordinary. Which is probably more realistic, given that he was only 14.

    I was also confused by the fact that Booth used “it’s romantic” as his explanation for why he hasn’t made Brennan a mixed tape. Um, hello, Booth, you are super romantic to Brennan ALL THE TIME. Maybe he just meant that it’s a cliched, high school way to be romantic, and they’re usually more original about it. Which is true; I’m pretty sure most high school students wouldn’t swoon over Brainy Smurf figurines, but Booth makes it work.

    • I was also confused by the ‘it’s romantic’ comment. I think what Booth was trying to say was that Brennan might not appreciate the gesture because she isn’t really the gushy, sentimental romantic type. And then she made the comment about him being romantic. Then I guess that was some sort of a signal or a hint for Booth that its okay to make her one and she’ll appreciate that romantic side of him shown through a mixed tape.

  10. SYW & kelly- You two said perfectly what I was thinking! Thanks!

  11. I loved all the little things for the devoted fans. Hot Blooded, dancing phalanges, Booth calling her Temperance, I don’t know what that means. Other small things that may not mean a whole lot to the casual viewer, but mean a lot to us.

    Sure so many people in the lab and taking the skull home was weird, but you know what they did what they had to to make the episode work, and it didn’t bother me. And Brennan tearing up didn’t bother me either. All these years she’s been able to push these things aside(as she herself said), and she’s still learning how to deal with them. It all got dumped on her when she let Booth in and now they have a baby. That’s a lot to deal with, and I think it’ll take time for her to learn how to handle it. Plus it was their friends in the room with them. Coworkers as well, but friends. I’m sure Angela and Hodgins have seen them act couply quite a bit.

    Seeing Booth playing with the baby was so adorable! It makes me melt. He’s such a good dad.
    And hot blooded was amazing. The first time they did that they barely liked each other, and now they were dancing to their song in their home with their daughter. Too friggin cute. Loved this episode!

  12. I loved the comment about VINTAGE Booth, from the Flyers t-shirt to the old-school Catholicism. Had me swooning!! Please go on…..

  13. Congrats Sarah on your 500th BT Post! That’s great! Thrilled to see Avalon again, but I think she was terribly underused. I wanted to see her more involved as she was in Harbingers. Also missed her commenting on B&B as well. Pluses and minuses for me. Some good moments, but overall I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hoped.

  14. Hello… first time poster in here. Though, I’ve lurked for about a month now. I really loved this episode. I’ve always loved Bones, but never got the chance to all the eps in order. Thanks to Netflix I have now in the 3mos. It actually helped to watch GitM. It was weird at first with the camera stuff but after a few minutes I didn’t notice ‘cuz I involved with story so much. The BB were outstanding. Booth not looking off and directly at the camera was very moving to me. Also, when Angela was talking to Colin of how he seemed to and mentioned cocky so reminded of Booth. Especially so when the El camino in the when he’s walking and touches his cocky belt buckle briefly. Loved, loved, loved

  15. Oops….sorry for double posting ! In all my rambing , I forgot to give my love for Daddy Booth w/Christine and the light. Omg! Their song and the whole family dancin’ in kitchen! Hot Blooded! 🙂 🙂 YES! YES! YES!

    Ok… I’m stopping now. 🙂

  16. I was a bit of a “negative Nancy” yesterday so here are some things that I did like:

    *Brennan only wanting to share her crime scene thoughts with Booth since they weren’t based on evidence. Booth isn’t a scientist, plus she sleeps with him, so its OK! 🙂
    *Brennan being disappointed that Booth hasn’t tried making her a mix-tape…and then being really excited when he did.
    *B&B passing along Hot-Blooded dancing to the next generation.

    I still do have one lingering question: Why is Angela always in summer dresses? Everyone else will be wearing long sleeved-shirts, sweaters, etc…but I feel that she is always dressed for a much warmer climate that DC! Has anyone else noticed this? 🙂

    • Maybe all of her computers make her office really warm? I never really thought about it before but I work in IT so I can say that’s a definite occupational hazard. 🙂

    • I agree with your observation about Angela always being in summer dresses. I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed that! I chalk it up to them wanting to show off her
      beautiful, toned arms!

    • I always wonder about Angela’s, and sometimes Cams, wardrobe. They are always dressed for summer.

  17. I loved this, just loved it and that last scene with Booth and Brennan dancing to Hot Blooded with their baby was perfect. They are so happy. I think about how the 100th episode ended and where we are 50 episodes later and it’s just so cool to see them like this after so much pain. I am loving Brennan so much this season.

    While the victim’s POV sometimes got a little shaky and made me a bit dizzy, I really liked that they went for it and I think it worked very well for this one episode. Everything felt more intimate. Stylistically, it was a stunning episode, excellently acted and written to remind us these are the same people we fell in love with 150 episodes ago, but with new experiences that have touched them.

    • Yes, Mar! I loved seeing them so happy, esp. thinking about the 100th epp ending & most of season 6.
      I loved the comment that Booth doesn’t like her working late. This epp definitely reminded me of parts of Doctor.
      I find it amusing that some people are saying the camera shots made them feel a bit dizzy. Didn’t seem to bother me at all, & I tend to get motion sick.

  18. Did anyone else think of Doctor in the Photo when Brennan told Angela she was taking the skull home because Booth doesn’t like it when she works late? I DID!!!

  19. I have lots of differing thoughts around this episode that are swirling around in my head. I’ll try and pin them down as coherently as possible:

    The good:
    I like that they’re still trying new things. I’m sure the actors enjoyed the challenge and it made for an interesting episode.
    I like it when they are really empathetic towards the victim
    I loved seeing little BB&C moments at home – seeing them from Colin’s POV meant it felt like we were seeing them in a totally natural state. What they do when we’re not ‘there’ like in normal episodes
    Booth got to hold Christine – twice! He hardly ever gets to hold her so I liked seeing that
    My favourite scene of the whole episode was the transition from night-to-day at B&B’s. Seeing Booth come down alone in the morning all ready for his run (something we never get to see) and then him paying his respects was beautifully done.
    Hot blooded – cute
    Seeing B&B in the car from a new angle. Seeing them all from new angles. You don’t realise how familiar some things are until you suddenly see them differently. On a shallow level, I enjoyed seeing DB from different angles and perspectives 🙂

    The not-as-good (for me):
    No comment at all from Avalon on B&B being together now? Sad face.
    Brennan bursting into tears out of no-where. Normally if she breaks down, there is some build up.
    Booth calling her Temperance at a not particularly pivotal moment. I don’t want that to become a ‘thing’, I like that he never calls her that (mostly because I hate it as a name)
    Was it me or was Booth barely in this episode? He just wasn’t on screen much or had many lines. Didn’t like that.
    Didn’t make sense for Hodgins to say he’d never seen Brennan cry over a victim before – he definitely did in Memories in the Shallow Grave.
    Avalon didn’t really have much to do, which is odd.
    I might have missed it, but I didn’t hear much mention of the ‘odd noise’ at the end of the mix tape before the scene with Angela and Brennan in Brennan’s office. When was that mystery established?

    • I love when Booth calls her Temperance-I think it sounds beautiful. I also doubt it will become a “thing.”

      As far as Hodgins seeing Brennan cry in Memories in the Shallow Grave, that was hormones and not grief over the victim. That was his point. I also thought there was build up. She’d been trying not make it personal since they discovered at the greenhouse that it was an adolescent. She wanted to go home and hold Christine.

      Booth brings up the odd noise on the mix tape in the car with Brennan when all of a sudden there’s a high-pitch screeching on it.

      Agree about not having Avalon say she told them it’d all work out in the end.

      • I love it when Booth calls her Temperance. The only other people who call her that are her family. I know her mom calls her Temperance on the tape she left for her. Her dad mostly calls her Tempe…he may have called herTemperance a few times. Not sure about Russ.

        Mostly Booth will continue to call her Bones, I’m sure. When he does call her Temperance it’s usually oh so serious and just ummm ummm good.

    • I don’t want Booth to call her Temperance very often, but when it’s used very, VERY, VERY sparingly, I think it can be used to great effect. I thought it worked here.

      Brennan’s tears felt kind of sudden to me, which was not a character issue so much as a writing/editing one (Brennan always identifies most with the child victims, and now, solving what I think is the first child death since she had Christine, it makes sense for her to tear up. I just wish we could have seen more of her emotional build up to that moment).

      But as far as Booth’s comforting hug, that felt right on the money to me. It felt intentionally reminiscent of “The Woman in Limbo,” which, correct me if I’m wrong, might be the last time we’ve heard him call her “Temperance.” He only calls her by her first name when he’s taking charge, which is never in a controlling way; it’s protective. Calling her “Temperance” is Booth’s way of saying, “I got you.” I thought it fit here.

  20. If you look very closely at the scenes in the greenhouse, you can see that Brennan is trying to hold her emotions back. She mentions wanting to hold Christine and then tells Booth to call Parker. Then in the scene when she eventually does “break down”, I believe her babbling about no souls is just a cover up so she doesn’t have to really think about the victim. Then when Booth mentions the boy’s age, she cannot hold it in anymore. I have watched it at least five times!! Love this episode!

    • Exactly, it didn’t come out of nowhere. I think they’ve established that when Brennan gets excessively clinical it’s because she’s uncomfortable with something and is trying to hide behind her rational walls. Did anyone really believe her when she said she wasn’t as affected because Christine was a girl? I know I didn’t and neither did Booth. She was trying to distance herself from the situation, but she failed. Like you said, she admitted that she wanted to hold Christine and urged Booth to call Parker. That’s not someone who is detached and unaffected by the situation. By the time they finally confirmed his age, she couldn’t hold it anymore. Isn’t this exactly what she was telling Booth weeks ago? “I could avoid it all before I met you”. She can’t avoid those feelings anymore now that she has Booth and Christine in her life. By the way, she didn’t really “break down”, she merely started to tear up and when Booth offered comfort, she took it. Why wouldn’t she?

  21. Late to the party; just watched the episode last night. It’s wonderful seeing how the show is still willing to take risks and to experiment with other ways of doing things. It may not always succeed, but I thought this week’s episode was a great example of when it does. Like so many of you, I liked the “Temperance” part. I agree with kelly connolly that’s it’s his way of holding her together, especially when they’re out in public. It’s his way of getting her attention and of letting her know he’s there, and I loved that this was one of those moments when they shut out the rest of the world, even in front of a crowd. She can be herself when she’s with him, and it doesn’t matter what the other people may think. Like many, I wish Avalon had been used more, but they were trying to get everyone’s perspective, so she just did what she came to do-let the others know that the boy was still there, unable to move on.

    The end scene, what can you say. Booth and Brennan look so incredibly comfortable together as a couple, it really warms my heart. If you don’t get a massive love vibe from their moments together, it’s because you don’t want to see it. Fresh, unexpected, quirky-not bad after eight seasons on the air. And cogratulations, Sarah. It’s always a pleasure to read your posts.

  22. So I really enjoy keeping an eye out for the Royal Diner on other shows (it’s everywhere!). BUT I was just watching Ben and Kate (meh) and they were in the diner set, and it had been completely changed. This wasn’t like a “we’re going to let another show borrow our set so let’s hide the pictures of the hockey players” change. This was like new booths, new wallpaper, new window decals, new counter, everything. And now I’m really terrified that Ben and Kate stole the diner. I just tried scanning through The Bod in the Pod–which I think is the most recent non-bonus episode from this season?–and didn’t find any diner scenes. Someone calm me down and/or wallow in the panic with me!!

    • Wow I hope they didn’t steal our Diner. Hopefully it’s just a matter of changing the set back and problem solved. I love that Diner. We’ve had really great conversations there.

  23. Random thought:
    Is it just me, or does Brennan seem like the type who is never tired and never sick?

    • Except for Doctor in the Photo, I guess you’re right! You know, that might make a good episode. We’ve seen Booth held up with tooth pain and back pain…maybe Brennan gets the flu sometime and has to still solve a case? That would be interesting to see how she deals with something like that!

      • It would be interesting to see how she handled being sick and how Booth handled her being sick.

      • Lenora, great point. If Brennan was ill, or seriously ill, Booth might fall apart…or maybe become hyper-focused soldier Booth that gets shizz done.Hm. Either way, I’d like to see it!

    • It could be an interesting episode if done creatively, but I don’t feel like I NEED to see it, because Brennan’s pregnancy was pretty much an indicator of how I think they’d both respond. Booth would hover and worry and Brennan would alternate between insisting that she’s fine and can go on as normal, or occasionally giving in, accepting advice, and hanging back. All in all, my brain tells me that this COULD be awesome but would more likely just result in less B&B crimesolving time. And probably more Sweets crimesolving. And as much as I love baby duck, I wouldn’t say that this season needs more Sweets-centric stories.

    • The Boy with the Answer and The Doctor in the Photo are the only two episodes where she seemed really weary – and it almost scared me because that’s so not like her. I do kinda agree that we could very well predict what would happen if Brennan got sick based on when she was pregnant. I’d probably still be amused, though.

      I guess since they did the tired parents with Hodgela they didn’t feel the need to repeat for B&B. Brennan has always been shown to work almost endlessly, not paying that much attention to food or sleep.

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