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The Crank in the Shaft is the sixth episode of the fourth season of Bones.


The remains of a despised office manager are discovered in an elevator shaft, and Booth and Brennan must figure out which employee killed her. After some investigating, they find that the manager had more than a fair share of complaints on file. Meanwhile, Angela and Hodgins try to make peace in the lab after their break-up.


It's just another day at the office. Employees file into the elevator and the ride to the 16th Floor begins. The colleagues discuss work related matters until an unpleasant smell interrupts their ride. They look around accusingly at each other when the elevator jerks to a stop. The lights go out and they begin to plummet. The elevator stops again forcing a ceiling panel loose. A decomposed leg, high heel still attached to the foot, falls to the floor. The workers cover their mouths and eyes in horror.

Brennan and Booth attend a session with Sweets. Brennan is barely paying attention, while Booth shakes his leg a mile a minute. Brennan can't take it anymore. She wants Sweets to stop talking and Booth to stop shaking. Booth is antsy because one of his coworkers died. Sweets and Brennan are ready to lend support until they find out Booth hated the guy. He just wants his desk chair. "Kelton had the best desk chair in the office building, all right. Lumbar support, cushioned arms, Macintosh oak finish." Booth says all the agents in his building want the chair. Sweets sees what's really going on. Booth wants a status symbol to make his coworkers jealous. Brennan agrees, "You want a throne." As Sweets tries to delve deeper into the psychology of Booth's desire, Booth's phone rings. They have a new case. Booth and Brennan take off leaving Sweets alone to ponder if his chair is good enough.

Booth and Brennan arrive on the scene. They navigate the crowd gathered in the lobby of the office building to find Cam, already inside the elevator examining the gruesome leg. The victim is female. When asked if there are more remains than just the leg, Cam points upward.

Brennan stands with Cam on top of the elevator car inside the shaft. They shine their flashlights. The walls are smeared with flesh, bone and blood. Though the remains are badly mutilated, Cam can tell that the victim was dead before she was placed in the shaft. Looking at the bones, Brennan can tell the body was dropped from a great height. Which leads them up to...

The office building's machine room. Booth, Brennan and Cam inspect the elevator's control system. The team wonders if the body could've been pushed into a small air vent that leads into the shaft. Booth finds a marijuana joint on the floor. Perhaps it will give them a DNA sample. Brennan isn't sure that will help. "Marijuana doesn't make you a killer." Booth thinks otherwise. "It makes you stupid."

At the lab, Hodgins looks for particulates on the victim's shredded clothing. Brennan's intern this time is the morose Colin Fisher. He wheels in bags of remains. Cam has determined that the victim died sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning but it's up to Fisher to determine cause of death. "Dr. Brennan left me with exactly 1,263 bone fragments, each one screaming pain, violence and hopelessness." He is a bit daunted by the task. Hodgins discovers a bow with natural brown hair among the remains, which Angela may need for her sketch. Cam wants Hodgins to bring it to her. He protests, but Cam insists.

Hodgins leaves as Fisher explains he used to work on a Suicide Hotline. "Were you for or against?" wonders Cam.

Hodgins finds Angela in her office, working on a facial reconstruction. He tries to give her the bow. Angela misunderstands, "We both decided it's over. I don't want any gifts." She blushes as he explains the bow was found with the victim. They talk about their relationship and conclude, that they are "two professionals." Working together is no problem. Hodgins leaves.

Cam and Fisher discuss the height from which the victim fell. By calculating the measurement of the elevator shaft and looking at impact fissures on the bone, they presume that the body was dropped from "the top floor or the machine room above it."

Booth and Brennan walk through the offices on the 16th Floor. Angela's sketch has helped confirm that the victim is Patty Hoyle, an employee of Ziff-Young. On their way to the company's front desk, they pass by several tiny cubicles. Booth can't imagine being confined to one. Christine Gertin answers the phone at the main desk, her polished blue fingernails quickly switching between all the different calls. When Booth shows his badge, she hangs up on everyone. Christine recognizes the photo of Patty right away. She immediately tells Chip Yap who announces the news to the entire office. Boss Gary Flannery approaches, wondering what's going on.

Booth and Brennan inspect Patty's desk. Gary tells them she was working late on Friday. She was a great office manager. Booth inquires about enemies she might have had. "Well, we all have to break a few eggs to make an omelette," Gary replies. What about marijuana? Ted Russo, another employee, was arrested for marijuana use last year. He's been clean since then but Booth and Brennan want to talk to him.

Ted munches on a peanut butter and fruit loop sandwich when Gary, Booth and Brennan appear. He is sorry to hear about Patty but he denies he smokes pot. "My eyes look like this cause I have allergies." Ted changes his story when Brennan reveals they can match his DNA to the cigarette paper from the joint they found in the machine room. Of course, he smokes. "What happened, Ted? Patty catch you, threaten to fire you and you killed her?" Ted is silent so Booth makes sure he knows why a jail cell is worse than a cubicle.

At the FBI, Booth interrogates Ted. He didn't like Patty but he didn't kill her. "She was the office manager, man, eyes always on me, you know." Booth produces a photograph of Patty's car with the word "BITCH" keyed into it. Ted denies involvement but Booth doesn't buy it. Ted was two weeks behind on his paperwork, he was smoking marijuana at work and he didn't like Patty. Booth asks for Ted's keys to compare to the marks on Patty's car. Ted hands them over, not sure what else to do.

Back at the Lab, Angela finds Brennan in her office. She needs advice about Hodgins. Their interactions have become awkward and "fraught with meaning." Brennan offers to fire Hodgins but that's not what Angela wants. Brennan is relieved. She didn't want that either. Brennan is eager to know if she helped. Angela lies. "Absolutely. Thanks." She leaves a proud Brennan alone.

Booth shows up at the lab and confronts Cam about her doctor's note. It states the medical reasons Booth needs the chair but "it makes me sound like an invalid." Booth can't pronounce half the words and it says he has a disease. Is this going to get him fired? Cam already sent the note to HR so it's too late. Booth walks away as Cam calls, "You're welcome."

Hodgins continues his work with the victim's clothing. Fisher interrupts him but he has no cause of death to report. Fisher asks for Hodgins' help. Hodgins is supposed to be his mentor, after all. They go over the facts. There is copier toner on the front and back of the victim's sweater. There are also various other chemicals, including blue food coloring, but Hodgins doesn't know if they are relevant.

Booth and Brennan walk through the halls of Ziff-Young. An analysis of Ted's keys proves he didn't key the car. Brennan observes that the cubicles afford a space where employees can focus on their tasks. Booth doesn't see cubicles as a positive thing.

In the copy room at Ziff-Young, the FBI finds dried toner and fabric threads from the victim's clothing. Brennan instructs them to send everything back to the lab, including a section of carpet that glows under the ALS light. Booth receives word that there was a threatening email on Patty's computer. He reads it to Brennan from his phone: "You self-entitled bitch. You are done playing with me. You'll pay. Trust me. Love and kisses, Dave."

Gary tells Booth and Brennan about Dave Farfield. He was fired last week after eight years of service. Patty brought the matter to his attention. "She told me that Dave was a problem, disruptive, not doing his work." Gary suddenly realizes what Booth and Brennan do: Dave could be the murderer.

At the FBI, Booth has a few questions for Dave Farfield. He and Patty didn't exactly get along. When Dave learns that Patty was murdered, he starts talking. He admits he keyed her car but he isn't a murderer. "She purposely parked across the line so I couldn't get into my space." He reported her to the parking guards. Patty retaliated. She had him fired. The whole office disliked Patty. "She docked Hamid's pay one time because he put too much half and half in his coffee. And then she had me reported for excessive use of the Internet and I was the IT guy!" Dave has an alibi. He was drinking with Chip until 8PM on the night of the murder. Then he went home and played games online.

Booth can check the log. Cam is quite pleased with Fisher's reconstruction of the skeleton. Fisher is not as happy. It is incomplete due to missing bone fragments. Cam tries to make Fisher smile but she has no luck. By examining the skeleton, Fisher can tell that the victim was stepped on. Cam deduces the stomping occurred post mortem. She needs a cause of death but Fisher is still unable to give one.

At the Royal Diner, Angela turns to Sweets for the advice Brennan couldn't give. Sweets wants Angela to get to the cause of her failed relationship by examining her past. He decides they should schedule twice weekly sessions. Angela isn't signing on for that. "If I'm shot by an arrow, I don't need to know where the arrow was made or what kind of bow it came from or even who it was who shot me. I just need to get it out of my chest." She knows what she needs to do.

Hodgins discovers another chemical on the victim's clothing. It's a bodily fluid so he brings it to Cam. As she puts the sample under a microscope, Hodgins wonders if his break-up with Angela has caused him to lose focus. Is he still as good at his job as he was before? After all, every time he looks at Angela he has all these thoughts... "Semen," announces Cam. Hodgins is taken aback. He doesn't think about that when he looks at Angela. Cam corrects him. The stain on the clothing is semen. Cam also found semen on the carpet from the copy room.

Back at Ziff-Young, Booth and Brennan look for Gary. Patty used Gary's credit card to order take-out when she stayed late on Friday. "Seems like pretty Patty was sleeping her way up the food chain." Brennan notes that Gary was married. If Patty threatened to expose their relationship, that could be a motive for killing her. They confront Gary, asking for information and a DNA sample. Faced by Booth and Brennan, he's not quite the fearless leader he should be.

At the FBI, Gary claims that his relationship with Patty was strictly business. She used his credit card for work matters. Booth wonders how room service, massages and lingerie are business related. Gary has no choice but to come clean. He was selling surplus office supplies online. Patty found out and began to blackmail him. She wouldn't report him to corporate if he let her use his credit card. "Sneaky bitch," laments Gary. Brennan takes a sample of his DNA.

At the lab, Fisher works with a hole the size of the chute in the machine room. He demonstrates that the body was too big to have been stuffed down it. That means the body was dumped from the 16th Floor. Cam enters. The semen does not belong to Gary.

Angela approaches Hodgins as he works in the lab. She has to get something off her chest. She is glad they had a relationship. She won't pretend it didn't happen. "I'm not gonna hide any more and I'm not gonna walk on eggshells." The memories they made are important to her and she won't bury them. As she walks away, Hodgins is finally able to smile.

Booth and Brennan return to inspect the elevator doors on the 16th Floor. Brennan notices a pink box by Booth's feet: a package of cupcakes for the HR Officer. The battle for the chair is not over. There are no prints on the elevator doors. The cleaning crew wiped them away. Booth tries to pry the elevator doors open but it only budges a few inches. "Must've been someone that was stronger than you," Brennan teases. Booth can't accept this. Perhaps two people opened the door together.

Fisher and Cam determine a likely cause of death: a ruptured aneurysm. That would mean Patty's death was an accident yet someone disposed of the body as though it were a murder. Fisher is sure he is going to get fired for his shoddy work on the case. Before he begins one of his depressing rants, Cam suggests Prozac. Brennan appears and they tell her about the aneurysm. She takes a closer look at the skull and finds "two tiny punctures, approximately seven millimeters apart." After dusting fingerprint powder over the wound in question, Cam realizes what killed the victim: a staple.

Over a meal at the Royal Diner, Brennan explains that the staple caused "Miss Hoyle's pre-existing aneurysm to rupture." She also believes the stapler was thrown. Booth thinks the murder was accidental. "One doesn't usually use a stapler as a murder weapon. And they certainly couldn't have known that she had an aneurysm." Hodgins interrupts to tell them he discovered what the chemicals on the victim were: a Blue Hawaiian. The murderer stepped in the alcoholic drink and then on the victim. Dave was drinking that night but his alibi checks out. Brennan remembers that he was with another coworker, Chip.

Cam calls Booth and Brennan into the lab. According to specific DNA sequences, the semen is from a man of Asian descent. Since Chip is the only Asian man in the office (despite their being an Indian man in the office, and Indians can sometimes be considered Asians), he is looking more and more like the murderer.

Booth and Brennan confront Chip. They show him the murder weapon: a stapler found in the dumpster behind the building. It has Patty's blood on it. Chip folds. He was sleeping with Patty but wanted to end it. She wouldn't accept that. She threatened to report him for sexual harassment if he didn't stay in the relationship. He threw the stapler as she dialed Gary's number. He didn't mean to kill her so he opened the elevator doors and got rid of her. Booth needs a demonstration.

Booth and Brennan watch as Chip struggles to open the doors to the elevator shaft. "It must have been the adrenaline," suggests Chip. Booth cocks his gun to give Chip that extra boost of adrenaline. Chip tries again but it's no use. Brennan steps in to help him and the doors open enough. "Somebody had to have helped you hold the doors open while you kicked her down the shaft." Chip insists he worked alone. Brennan notices something inside the elevator. She picks out a piece of fingernail with blue nail polish. Chip looks defeated.

Christine sits with Brennan and Booth at the FBI, tears streaming down her face. She is grateful that Chip tried to save her. She comes clean for him. She and Chip were making love at the office. She thought they were alone but Patty came back and caught them. She was going to have them both fired. Christine threw the stapler. "I didn't mean to kill her. I just wanted to be with Chip." Booth puts a comforting hand on Christine as she sobs.

Brennan joins Booth in his office as he cleans his new chair. Booth thanks her for her help. Apparently, she made a call on his behalf. She didn't lie about his health though. "I just told them why I felt it was important for you to have it, that's all." Booth is an asset to the FBI. His qualities of courage, dedication and sensitivity are ones that other employees should mimic. To send a message that these qualities are valued, Booth should be rewarded with the chair. Booth sits back in his new chair and winces. The padding is a bit worn. However, he is not giving up the chair. He puts his feet on the desk and the chair sinks down until Booth is practically sitting on the floor. "The little up and down thingy is a little touchy."


Main Cast[]

Intern of the Week[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]


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