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The Boneless Bride in the River is the sixteenth episode of the second season of Bones.


A trunk, which was submersed for about eight days in a brook, contains a female body, which was boiled, had all bones removed and was sewn up again. Bones resumes her holiday, 'no bones, no Bones', boating with Sully who considers moving onto it permanently. Hair and a genetic disease indicate an Asian, about 20, immigrated- identified through the Homeland Security database as Li Ling Fan, on a fiancée visum, but her partner, Drew Harper, a fence specializing in Asian objects, says they mutually called off the wedding a month ago and escapes. Booth gets Bones who finds sinologist Professor Shi Jon Chen, who introduces them to old Mai Zhang, whose 40 year-old son is a candidate for minghun, an old Chinese tradition for bachelors of reburial with the bones of a posthumous 'bride'. Sully decides to buy the yacht, names it "Temperance" and asks Bones to take a sabbatical to sail a year with him in the Caribbean, even Booth advises to accept.


Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

Featured Music[]

  • "You" - Fisher


  • This is the first time that we see Bones and Booth holding a bone without gloves.
  • This is the first episode in which you see Booth wear his "Cocky" belt buckle.
  • This is the first time that Brennan refers to herself as "Bones", previously showing no affection for the name, she now accepts her nickname from her partner Seeley Booth.
  • Angela tells Dr. Brennan that she has worked every day since they have met, and that Dr. Brennan has never gone on vacation. This is untrue, because instead of going to Darfur, recently she went on vacation to North Carolina to reconnect with her brother. Brennan talks about it with Booth, on the car ride to the train wreck accident in the episode "The Titan on the Tracks".
  • Booth lists Brennan's former boyfriends before Sully in order:
    • "the physicist that couldn't tie his shoes."(Pete)
    • "the former professor that was jealous of your success."(Michael Stires)
    • "the guy that you found on the Internet and him being some kind of recruiter for a cult."(David Simmons)
    • "the guy who cut off his own brother's head because he thought he was possessed by a witch."(Will Hastings)

Anthropological/ Cultural References[]

  • Chinese Ghost Marriage
  • Bride buying
  • Chinese Death Rituals
    • Burying the body
    • Giving Gifts to the dead person
    • Giving the Money to the deadperson for good fortune

I don't know what that means[]

  • Booth makes reference to the movie Cast Away. He says that Sully will "end up shipwrecked on an island talking to a volleyball," just like the movies main character Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks).


  • Bones: "Doctor Saroyan said no bones, so know what that means? I'm back on vacation. No bones, no Bones. That... I was the second 'bones'."

Cam: "Very witty."

  • Bones: What do you want?
    Booth: Breakfast.
    Bones: I’m not hungry.
    Booth: Oh, come on, huh? What are ya gonna vomit when we come across one of those, uh, horrific cases?
    Bones: I don’t vomit.
  • Booth: Give it time, Bones, okay? Give it time. Everything happens eventually.
    Bones: Everything?
    Booth: All the stuff, okay, that you think never happens – it happens. You just gotta be ready for it.
  • Angela (speaking about William Chang and Li Ling Fan): They kinda go together.
    Cam: Because they're deceased?
    Angela: Yeah, but more than that. They are exactly the same level of hotness.
    Cam: Which is zero, because they're skeletons.

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