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The Change in the Game is the twenty third and final episode of the sixth season of Bones.


The unidentifiable and gruesome remains of a male bowler are found lodged in the automatic pinsetter of a bowling lane. Brennan's father, Max Keenan, is a member of the victim's bowling team, but currently sidelined with an injury. With no clear lead in the case, Booth and Brennan go undercover and join the very competitive bowling team in hopes of finding clues about the victim. Upon meeting the victim's teammates, including an arrogant 12-year-old bowling prodigy, it becomes apparent there could be many suspects in the case. Meanwhile, a very pregnant Angela anticipates her labor at any moment, but continues to work diligently via webcam to identify the murder weapon from the hospital.


A bratty kid at a bowling alley celebrates his birthday by whining and complaining. Just then, the pins drop to reveal a rotting, gruesome corpse. At the diner, Hodgins and Angela are having lunch and discussing the impending birth of their baby who might be born blind. Angela dumps hot sauce all over her food in an attempt to kick start labor. Hodgins has a bite and gasps because it's very, very spicy, but pregnant Angela doesn't seem to notice.

Bones and Booth arrive at the bowling alley and discover the place had been closed for the last 10 days for remodeling. The pin-setting mechanics have literally "ground up" most of the body. Back at the lab, Angela reconstructs the man's ruined shirt and discovers the name "Jeff," a member of a local bowling team. Turns out Bones' father, Max, is on the same team. At the diner, Bones and Booth interview Max, who can't believe buddy Jeff is dead. Max then reveals that he had a very "embarrassing physical event." Basically, he fell out of bed during sex and is now confined to a wheelchair. Max theorizes Jeff was killed by a poor loser because the victim was very boisterous. So Booth and Brennan decide to go undercover as bowlers.

At the bowling alley, a big tournament is occurring. The pair meets Hercules who flirts with Bones. Booth's first throw is a strike. They also meet lesbian Tina, elderly Alison, precocious girl Amber, and tournament director Todd, called The Raven. Finally, they are introduced to the shoe attendant, who clearly didn't like arrogant Jeff.

Back at the Jeffersonian, Hodgins discovers the victim had a broken nose and was dead before he was ground up in the pin machine. Suddenly, something rattles in the skull. They discover that Jeff's nose was broken so hard it dislodged pieces of his skull. The broken nose killed him. One bowling montage later, the team loses and Amber takes all its members to task. Max, meanwhile, notices Bones and Booth playing the "happy couple" and grins. Later, Hercules says Jeff's death was part of God's plan to put in a position to be a team hero. Dumb blond Blake, meanwhile, tells Booth he is the "heir apparent" to Jeff's best-bowler title. In other words, the suspects are piling up.

Back at the lab, Angela, Hodgins and Wendell examine a computer recreation of the skull and conclude something with "round edges" broke Jeff's nose. It could've been a bowling ball. Angela then begins to gasp. A distracted Hodgins doesn't seem too concerned. She screams at him that her water broke and to get the car.

Back at the alley, the tournament continues. Booth rolls a strike, then is informed by Alison that Blake is a car thief and compulsive joy rider. Jeff, meanwhile, restored cars. Bones is then caught examining Blake's bag with an ultraviolet pen light, looking for evidence. She lies and says she wanted to make sure the other team wasn't using baby powder to cheat. The tournament director enters and breaks up the argument. "Jeff got what he deserved and so does anyone else who cheats," the Raven says. Max then reveals Jeff super-glued the Raven's fingers into his bowling ball a few years back.

Back at the hospital, Angela screams through painful contractions while Wendell, via laptop, tries to ask her advice in solving the murder. Sweets, meanwhile, interviews the Raven about the "prank" which ruined his career. The Raven claims to have been bowling at a lanes where nobody knows him at the time of Jeff's murder. In the meantime, Wendell and Camille try to figure out Angela's complicated equipment with little success. He gets back on the laptop and Angela screams at him not to mess with her work space. Back at the alley, Booth wins a game by rolling a seven-ten split. Everybody celebrates but Bones. "It's simply improbable," she says.

Camille then calls with news: the murder weapon/bowling ball couldn't have weighed more than five pounds, perhaps a child's ball. Bones then looks over Amber's carefully kept bowling records and discovers a). the team usually bowls on lane 12 and b). a lot of difficult spares have been picked up there. Basically, someone recalibrated the pin settings so the pins are closer together, making it easier to bowl in that particular lane. Hodgins then calls, explaining bowling balls don't flake and a red flake was found on the victim. Hodgins tells them to look for a motorcycle helmet with red sparkles. Angela begins to push.

Back at the alley, Max tells Bones the shoe attendant rides a motorcycle. Sure enough, Bones spots the man's red helmet and uses her pen light to discover traces of blood. Booth then rips off his wig, announces he is an FBI agent and arrests the attendant. He was angry because the victim never washed his feet. He snapped because of this and the fact that his girlfriend left him for the Raven. Max hits him with his cane as he believes the attendant was going to run and Amber attacks him as she blames him for ruining her bowling average. A shocked Bones calls her a terrible child and swears that if she and Booth ever have kids they won't end up like Amber.

Back in the delivery room, Angela continues through her labor. Meanwhile, the entire team anxiously assembles in the waiting room. The baby is born and it's a boy. The doctor checks the newborn's eyes and his vision is perfect. Hodgins and Angela begin to cry. They hold their baby Michael. Bones then visits a worn-out Angela and gives her friend a stuffed bunny as a gift.

Later, Bones and Booth walk together until Bones stops. She tells Booth that she is pregnant and that he is the father. Booth is shocked and they both smile at each other.


Main Cast[]

Intern of the Week[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

Featured Music[]

  • "The Bowling Song" – Raffi
  • "Make You Feel My Love" – Adele


  • This is the second episode where a crime includes a bowling alley, the first being "The Superhero in the Alley".
  • Brennan's decision to gift baby Michael a bunny carries over from the episode "The Signs in the Silence", in which she and Booth decided to gift the new baby a stuffed animal after seeing the importance it held in the main suspect's memories.
  • Little Michael Stacatto Vincent Hodgins was named after Vincent Nigel-Murray, the intern killed in the previous episode.
  • At the end of the episode when Dr. Brennan informs Booth she was pregnant, she really was. This was the way they could write Emily Deschanel's pregnancy into the "Bones" storyline and not have to resort to the antics of past TV shows that would hide pregnancies using props or hiding the actress behind something so the "baby bump" wouldn't show.


Angela Montenegro: Hey, hey. Have I ever told you how... how wonderful your voice is? It's like hot tea and... and honey. Any child with a father with a voice like yours is just...
Hodgins: Have I ever told you how good you smell? And how soft your skin is? And how every time you take my hand, I feel your whole life vibrating with mine?

Booth: This "Thunderballs," that's the name of Bones' dad's bowling team. Oh God, I hope this is not another case where Max killed someone.
Sweets: I thought he promised not to do that anymore.

Brennan: I love going undercover! Who will I be?
Booth: You can be my girlfriend
Brennan: Fine! But if Angela goes into labor, we have to pick a fight so that I can be there to catch the baby.

Wendell: [pacing around the room] To break a nose, you need a very low force with a large mass, say around 30 Gs, or--no, no, no. Hmm...
Cam: This is like watching Michelle do her homework.

Blake Swenson: [about Amber] Kid was raised by wolves - until she killed and ate them all.

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