Bones Wiki

The Donor in the Drink is the third episode of the eleventh season of Bones.


On Brennan and Booth's first official day back at their respective positions at the Jeffersonian and the FBI, things get exciting when remains are found at a fish farm under suspicious conditions, prompting them to investigate. After it's discovered that someone harvested several of the victim's internal organs before he was dumped in the water, Angela tracks down the seller and buyer of the organs to try to uncover important details in the case. Meanwhile, Booth readjusts to his position back at the FBI and discovers Aubrey has taken over his old office; Hodgins pushes Angela to showcase her photography work; and Cam struggles with her decision to choose work over her relationship with Arastoo.


It is Brennan and Booth's first case after a six month absense from the FBI/Jeffersonian. They are called in when a body arrives at the lab after being discovered at a rainbow trout farm.

As Brennan, Saroyan, and Bray go over initial observations, they discover extensive tissue damage to the body, along with the fact that pieces of the mandible are missing. Hodgins explains that the fish farm the body was discovered at was breeding rainbow trout, which are carnivorous and would have caused the damage. What is confusing is that some of the internal organs were completely gone, while others were untouched. From there, Wendell and Brennan find the tip of a blade lodged in the victim's rib, and theorize that the victim was stabbed to death. The blade is given to Hodgins to identify.

Angela identifies the victim with a facial reconstruction, the victim as Lloyd Nesbit, an inventor whose most famous invention was an indestructable plastic mailbox in the 1990's. Nesbit's assistant, Tim Diffley reported him missing, so Aubrey and Booth visit Diffley at the workshop where the two inventors worked. Initally, they suspect Diffley, but the short conversation leads nowhere after Diffley insists that he did not kill his boss and mentor.

Back at the lab, Saroyan is marking the tissue damage to Nesbit's torso. The stab marks were done post-mortem, and with the blade Wendell found being indentified as a scalpel. Saroyan, Wendell, and Hodgins discover that the tissue damage is surgical incisions, made to remove the victim's organs. That explains the earlier confusion about the organs, and leads the team to start looking for potential black market organ harvesters. Angela does that research, searching through websites on the Dark Web to discover The Matchmaker. The Matchmaker recently sold organs that matched the organs missing from Nesbit's remains. Due to it being on the Dark Web, Angela is unable to track who the Matchmaker is. Aubrey decides to go undercover to set up a meeting with the Matchmaker in order to get her into custody.

Brennan brings a list of transplant patients to Booth, because the patients have been recently removed from the list. Their transplants matched the organs taken from Nesbit. It leads Booth to a specific person on the list, a parent of a patient who also had access to Nesbit's medical records. The suspect is Rodney Dale, who worked at the insurance company where Nesbit had coverage. Aubrey questions Dale, claiming that Dale picked Nesbit due to not only compatibility, but for financial gain. Purchasing a kidney on the black market was ultimately cheaper than waiting on the transplant list, since Dale's daughter's medical issues were putting him in debt. Not only would purchasing the kidney help his daughter, but selling the rest of Nesbit's organs would help his financial issues. Dale claims that he just purchased the kidney on the black market, and then refuses to tell Aubrey which doctor performed the surgery for his daughter.

Afterwards, Hodgins is able to recover the missing pieces of Nesbit's mandible. By forcing the rainbow trout he took from the fish farm to defecate, he is able to retrieve the pieces. Wendell helps, and brings up the disagreement Angela and Hodgins had earlier in the episode. Angela has started to practice photography, and Hodgins says that her work is incredible. Against her wishes, he sets up a photo show at the Founding Fathers and sent invitiations to friends, family, and art galleries. Angela demands that he cancels it, very upset with him. Wendell brings this up, trying to convince Hodgins to cancel it. Hodgins dismisses him, moving on to particulates found in a nick on one of Nesbit's ribs. The particulates are skin cells that do not belong to Nesbit.

After examining the marks on the rib, Angela and Saroyan discover that the weapon that made the nicks is not actually a weapon, but a trocar button. Those are used by morticians to close up holes during the embalming process. This leads the two believe that the surgeon who took Nesbit's organs is a mortician. Then, Saroyan gets the results on the skin cells. They belong to a victim of a driveby shooting, meaning that if they can find the mortician who handled the funeral, they can find the surgeon who took Nesbit's organs.

As Booth and Brennan go to the funeral home, Hodgins talks to Angela about the photo show. He apologizes, knowing that her photography is deeply personal and he shouldn't have put it on display without asking. He praises her work, which convinces Angela to go through with the photo show. She is still hesitant, but allows Hodgins to take the reins on it.

At the funeral home, Booth and Brennan talk to the mortician, Umberto Vargas. A funeral is currently going on, one with an open casket. Brennan catches a glimpse of the person inside, and sees that the deceased must have had his organs removed. (Rudely) she steps up to the casket and reveals Vargas as an organ harvester. He is taken into questioning with Aubrey, where it is revealed that Nesbit was dropped off with Vargas by a "trusted friend". Vargas was told that Nesbit had died in a car accident, so he was unaware of Nesbit's true death. When asked if he knew Nina Slocum, the Matchmaker, he lies. But there are phone records that say otherwise, so Vargas says he will talk if charges are dropped.  Aubrey says that that is not possible.

With the car accident aspect added, Wendell and Brennan look over the remains once again. Along with Hodgins' particulate matches, they conclude that Nesbit was killed by a car running him over. The car knocked him down, and then hit his jaw, fracturing it and killing him via internal bleeding. Assuming that Nina Slocum is the killer, they inspect her car. There is no visible damage to the car, but there is extensive blood in the trunk. 

Slocum is taken into questioning once again, where it is revealed that she grew up near the fish farm Nesbit was dumped at. She admits that dumped his body there after properly distributing his organs, but not to killing him. She says that someone else brought the body to her, and will not say who brought Nesbit to her in order to protect her reputation. 

Wendell and Brennan reexamine the mandible damage, and discover that the angle of impact is not consistent with a car bumper. With the use of the Angelatron, they run a simulation that matches the injuries. It was not Slocum's car that hit Nesbit, but instead the bumper guard that attaches to the front bumper. It had been removed from the car, and was used to hit Nesbit in the shins, then the jaw. While it is not a match for Slocum's car, or any part that could attach to her car, it is a match for Diffley.

On the guard was polish, a match for the jewelry polish Diffley had put a patent on on the day Nesbit was killed. Diffley says that Nesbit had hated the polish, but denies killing him with a bumper guard. Booth shows him a check for $30,000. The price of a kidney, which Diffley had donated because Nesbit had told him that it was necessary in order for Diffley to keep his job. He confesses to the murder then, saying it was an accident. Afterward, he gave the organs to Slocum, to make up for what he had done.

After solving the case, the team meets at the Founding Fathers for Angela's photography show. Her work is displayed, but the low turnout disappoints her. Besides her friends, she says that there is just "the homeless guy." However, on the list for silent auction is Sebastian Kohl, a famous photojournalist. While the rest of the names on the auction list are fakes from Wendell, Aubrey, Hodgins, and Saroyan, the four say that they did not put Kohl's name down. That "homeless guy" turns out to be Kohl, who compliments her work. He also asks for one her photos, surprising Angela. 


Main Cast[]

Intern of the Week[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

Featured Music[]

  • Langhorne Slim & The Law - "Put It Together"


  • Throughout the episode, Booth is seen arguing with the mortuary where Jared, his brother, was cremated. Jared's ashes have been lost and it angers him throughout the episode about it. Aubrey attempts to find the ashes, but instead finds a package containing marmalade. The ashes are ultimately discovered in baby Hank's room at home.
    • This is not the only conflict Booth faces. The second is his return to the FBI. Aubrey had taken his office, leaving Booth out at a desk in the open with the other agents. When Brennan asks if it's bothering him, Booth brushes it off. Brennan does not believe him, but lets it drop anyway. Towards the end of the episode, Aubrey gives up his office in order for Booth to move back in.