The Doctor in the Photo is the ninth episode of the sixth season of Bones

Summary Edit

Brennan gets a glimpse into her own life when the body of a brilliant and career-driven surgeon is found in a rough neighborhood with multiple fractures in her skull and no indication as to how or why she was there. While the team investigates the case objectively, Brennan struggles to separate her own life from the victim's as she perceives many parallels between them the more she learns about the victim's past. Meanwhile, evidence found at the crime scene brings the team closer to solving the case, but it's Brennan's unique perspective that propels her to retrace the final events of the victim's life. With the reassurance of a new friend and Jeffersonian security guard, Micah Leggat, Brennan makes a discovery about herself and learns a lesson about taking chances.


A storm knocks over a tree in Woodland, revealing a woman's skeleton buried beneath it. Brennan is shown preparing a meal at her apartment for Booth, Angela, Hodgins and Hannah. During the meal, Brennan and Booth receive a call informing them of the body. When they get to the scene, Bones determines that the victim is a Caucasian woman and she is shocked to see the victim wearing the same dolphin ring that she herself wears.

Back at the lab, Bones asks Angela whether the victim reminds her of anyone; Angela responds by saying that the description Brennan gave could fit many people. Angela brushes off the dolphin ring, stating that many people like dolphins.

While studying the bones, Brennan determines that the victim was beaten to death due to fracturing along the bones. Talking to Hodgins, they establish a time of death: eleven months prior to the body's being discovered. Talking to Hannah and Booth at the Royal Diner, Bones tells the two what she has learnt. Hannah discovers who the person is by using the missing persons database. Brennan is incredulous when she finds out the woman, Dr. Lauren Eames, was a noted heart surgeon, the best on the East Coast, and yet no one continued persuing the case. Brennan repeatedly asks how someone so accomplished and prominent could have gone missing without more people knowing. People shrug and explain that the woman was single, with no family left behind to lead the search for her.

Brennan is troubled by this, but more troubled when she is given the woman's employee file from the hospital and sees her own picture in it. Shocked, she asks Booth if he recognizes the woman in the photo. He says she looks nice, but it's nobody he knows. Brennan leaves with the file and CDs containing Dr Eames' audio notes on her patients.

Unable to sleep that night, Brennan goes to the Jeffersonian to continue working. She runs into Micah, a night guard. She tells him that she is having difficulty staying objective on this case. He responds that she should perhaps not be objective this time. While cleaning and studying the victim's remains, Brennan listens to the audio CD and is stunned once more as she hears her own voice discussing the surgeon's patients. She asks Micah to listen and he agrees that it's strange; like listening to a voice from the grave. Brennan continues to push the matter, saying that it sounded exactly like her voice. Using his catchphrase - "ergo, ipso facto, Columbo, oreo" - Micah convinces Bones, at least partially, that just because the Doctor sounds like her, doesn't mean that it is her.

Booth and Brennan interview the hospital's helicopter pilot, Chris Markham, who seemed to know Lauren best. He said he figured Lauren just left for a new life in Africa or some other place. Bones asked whether Markham could ask any of Lauren's friends, however he told her that she had no friends that he knew of. Bones continues, telling Chris that Lauren was stabbed in the year before she died, shocking Booth who had not been told this detail. Chris also emits surprise, saying Lauren told him she broke a few ribs falling off her bicycle.

Chris says Lauren got into an argument with the father of one of her patients, whose last name he couldn't remember, although he knew that it started with a D. He says he doesn't understand why she wouldn't report it if someone stabbed her, and Booth hints that it may have been an incident of domestic violence. Chris says he asked Lauren out repeatedly, but she always turned him down, though he said he thought he recognized interest in her eyes.

Back at the lab, Bones continues to listen to the audio tapes, and hears Lauren talk about Sam Dworsky, an 8-year-old patient, who she believes could be the one Chris was talking about. Sweets walks in and says it's been brought to his attention that Brennan seems particularly distressed over this case. She shows him Lauren's photo and tells him she is exactly like her, and in fact, is her. Sweets says she's over-identifying with the victim as a brilliant scientist, unmarried with no children, consumed by her work. Meanwhile, Hodgins discovered a substance in the victim's head wound that shows she was bludgeoned with an item covered in a reflective surface. Bones and Booth meet with Dworsky's father, who says his son is doing fine now, no thanks to Dr. Eames. The father says the doctor refused to perform a heart transplant his son needed when a donor heart became available, because his son had a cold at the time. Brennan points out that it was a rational decision, to which Dworsky agrees, but says Dr. Eames was cold-hearted "like Antarctica." Brennan spots a large flashlight on the ground and picks it up, saying Dr. Eames was beaten to death with a similar object. Shocked, Booth says it is unlike her to casually pick up something which could be evidence.

Brennan goes back to listening to the audio recordings while taking molds of the skull, and begins to have a conversation with the victim. Dr. Eames "tells" Brennan that her biggest regret was not saying yes to Chris, the helicopter pilot. Dr. Eames goes on to describe a young patient who was brain dead and on life support, and says her attempts to get the family to donate his organs went unheeded. Micah walks into the Bone Room with a tray of biscuits, and tells her that in nine years, he has never heard her musing out loud. Bones admits that she was actually having a conversation. Micah tells her another story before leaving, prompting Bones to ask if he attends every lecture the Jeffersonian puts on. He states that he didn't get the job for the hours or healthcare.

At the cafe, Booth says Dworsky had a solid alibi during November, staying with his son in the hospital. He says the local police remember a woman matching Dr. Eames' description getting stabbed in that area of town by a local drug dealer. Hodgins comes in and says he discovered traces of opiates in the leaves of the tree above Eames' grave, meaning they must have come from her decomposing body. Brennan gets upset and leaves, sticking a bewildered Hodgins with the bill.

During the interrogation, the drug dealer denies killing Dr. Eames but admits stabbing her. He said she wanted to buy drugs but was trying negotiate price, so he "gave her a poke" to get her to go away. Meanwhile, the tests on Eames' bones show she was not a habitual drug user. Brennan argues with Booth, even using Micah's fake Latin, that the doctor would never have been buying drugs. Booth asks why she is so upset, telling her that she is acting like she is being accused of taking drugs. Brennan immediately tries to cover how emotional she is, by admitting that she hasn't slept in several nights, and apologizes.

Back at the Jeffersonian, Brennan insists on finding out how the heroin got in the tree. After multiple theories on how the drugs got into the doctor and the tree, Hodgins tests the victims clothes. The test shows that Eames' clothes had traces of heroin on them. Brennan argues the result, telling the group that morphine is more likely, it was a false positive. When Cam asks why she would be buying heroin if she had access to morphine, Brennan angrily storms off.

That night while studying the victim's remains, Brennan asks why she bought heroin and who she was buying it for. She asks, "was that who hit you over the head?" The voice replies, "What makes you think I was hit over the head? There's more than one way to fracture a skull." Brennan takes a look at the x-rays and sees what she missed before, a slight compression fraction of the C4 vertebrae revealing that Dr. Eames fell and hit her head. Micah comes in and asks Brennan whether she had found anything new. Bones responds that she knows it wasn't a weapon, and that Dr. Eames was forcibly thrown. Micah tells the exhausted Brennan that she's required to go home, and that he has a cab waiting. He explains it in such a way that she understands. She asks him why she understands him so well, saying that when other people speak to her, she sometimes just hears noise. He tells her that he has worked at the institute so long, he "speaks the secret language."

Brennan meets with Sweets, who shares a profile of the victim he has worked on. He says the doctor was extremely controlling and hyper-rational as a way to manage the stress of her job and its frequent deaths. He proposes that she became extremely logical and shut herself emotionally, and the only way she could feel something was to engage in high-risk behaviour. Brennan questions how Sweets got to this conclusion, asking him whether he wants to stab her because she was now the one behaving rationally "just to feel something". Sweets tells her that she is not alone in this world, and this is one respect by which she and Dr. Eames were different.

Brennan goes back alone to meet with Chris, the helicopter pilot. He tells her a story, that on two occasions when they flew out on emergency situations, but didn't make it in time and the children died. He said Lauren opened the door to the helicopter when they were in the air and leaned out in a way that was almost daring him to tip it over, but instead he tipped it the other way so she fell back inside. He asks Brennan what she had to lose by giving him a chance, and she replies that it was her biggest regret, that she had nothing to lose. Chris is happy with that answer, and thanks her.

Talking to Micah back at the lab, he explains a study which turns the world upside down through the use of glasses, and after three days, the world is the right way around. Brennan returns to the audio recording one final time. She realizes that Dr. Eames was trying to convince the family of the brain dead boy to donate his heart to Sam Dworsky, and that is why she was in that neighbourhood in the middle of the night. She leaves the lab to go to Woodland, to meet with the family of the brain dead boy. When she gets to the middle of the street, she notices a chipped reflector mounted on the pavement. Bending down, she realizes that it is what Dr Eames hit her head on, when a car turns the corner and races toward her. Booth suddenly appears, and pushes her out of the way. Worried about her, he had followed her there.

Brennan tells Booth she realized what really happened. After failing to convince the boy's family that night, a dejected Dr. Eames bought heroin for the thrill and placed it in her pocket - she didn't buy it to use it. She was then struck by a car, as Brennan nearly was, and hit her head on the reflective bump. The driver buried her under the tree.

Relieved, Brennan tells Booth she is not like Dr. Eames as she realizes she can escape the same fate. In Booth's car, Bones begins to tell Booth that she knew Lauren died with regrets, because she never gave Chris a chance. She says she doesn't want to have the same regret. Bones tells Booth she made a mistake. Booth understands what she is saying, and looks away after she gives him a small, sad smile. He says he is with Hannah now, and she nods understandingly. He continues by saying that he loves her, that she wasn't just a replacement for what he couldn't have. Brennan hangs her head and sobs. She tells him, "I missed my chance," as the tears roll down her cheeks. She has to adjust, just like Booth did.

Back at the lab, Brennan takes another look at Dr. Eames' photo and sees a different face this time.


Main CastEdit

Guest CastEdit

Featured MusicEdit

  • "When I Fall" - Lizz Wright
  • "Happiness" - Oh Darling


  • Both Francis Capra (the drug dealer Anthony Truxton) and Enrico Colantoni (Micah Leggat) have starred in the short-lived but critically acclaimed TV show "Veronica Mars."
  • This is one of the only episodes (possibly the only one) in which the killer's identity is not revealed.
  • Fans have speculated that Micah is just a figment of Brennan's imagination. In the director's commentary, Hart Hanson neither confirms nor denys whether this is true.
  • Dr Eame's photo is not revealed until the end as the director's wanted to stay deeply rooted in Dr Brennan's perspective.
  • Throughout the episode, Dr Brennan's makeup gets less and less as she starts becoming more obsessed with the case.

I don't know what that meansEdit

When Angela asks, "What's the story, morning glory?"

  • She is referencing an Oasis album by the same name that came out in 1995; this album was their break out album, propelling them into the mainstream. It was best selling album (in the UK) of the decade. 


  • "People assume that when you’re alone, you must be lonely. Like most assumptions, it’s erroneus." Temperance Brennan
  • "Ergo. Ipso-facto. Colombo. Oreo." Micah Leggat
  • "We don't actually fear death. We fear that - no one will notice our absense. That we will disappear without a trace." Adit Gadh

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