The Gamer in the Grease is the ninth episode of the fifth season of Bones.


A body is found in a grease truck, and Booth calls Brennan in to investigate. The two are randomly arguing about whether pastimes like chess and fishing should be considered sports or not. Meanwhile, Fisher tells Sweets and Hodgins that he scored movie tickets to the premiere of Avatar.

The victim has been bludgeoned and stabbed, and tossed into the grease while he was still alive. He might have been a mail carrier since his back shows signs of stress and his legs have dog bite marks. Booth finds that a mail carrier, Steve Rifton, was reported missing twelve days ago. Steve's wife says that he was also the high score record holder for an arcade video game called Punky Pong. Back at the lab, Fisher has submerged the body in beer so that the alcohol can break down the grease and the fat faster off the bones. He suggests to Hodgins and Sweets that they get in line at the movie theater so they can get good seats.

Tracking down others who participate in competitive videogaming, Brennan and Booth visit an autistic boy named Dougie Seeger, who is playing Punky Pong in the garage of the family home. Dougie's father (Keith) says that he caught Steve once watching his son playing in the garage, but he chased him off and filed a report with the police. Later, Angela explains competitive videogaming to Brennan, and how the records can only be broken on the actual cabinet machines. There are only around fifteen-hundred Punky Pong games in existence.

The team watches footage of Billy Gabel, the former record holder for Punky Pong who actually threatened Steve when he broke his old record. Sweets believes that Billy is so passionate about his record that he could be capable of murder. Then Sweets is asked to take over Fisher's place in line at the theater.

Sweets, Brennan and Booth go talk to Billy, who is still upset that Steve broke his record. He accuses the other man of cheating. But after he hears about Steve's death, he accuses the referee, Chris Ballinger. Chris accepted Steve's score as legit, but Chris now has a girlfriend who is trying for the same record. Meanwhile Hodgins goes to the movie line to replace Fisher. Fisher rushes back to the lab, and continues to study the body, but Cam wonders why he is out of breath. A blunt object was used to pummel at the victim's head, and there's also evidence of metal shavings in the victim's stab wounds. Cam wonders where Hodgins is.

Booth, Brennan and Sweets arrive at the arcade, looking for Chris. Chris tells them he's looking for Steve because the man reneged on a deal he made with him. The team informs him that Steve has died. Dierdre has just topped Steve's high score, but Brennan notes that there is evidence of blood on the Punky Pong game. She asks that it be taken back to the lab for analysis. Chris is interrogated, and he explains that they have to be careful with the machine since it's a part of gaming history. Kids play the game and get nosebleeds all the time from the excitement. Chris explains that he and Steve were business partners, and that he had no reason to kill him.

Sweets meets a girl in the Avatar line, who starts to shamelessly flirt with him. He tells her that he already has a girlfriend, but she proceeds to show off her tattoos, which are on her breasts, bascially flashing him. Hodgins discovers a peacock feather on the victim and then leaves the lab to take Sweets' place in line. Meanwhile, Angela and Cam watch video footage of Steve's record beating score, and of the final screen of the game, the "kill screen". The player has to stab the monkey in the final screen, and they notice that this is exactly the same way that Steve was stabbed. As Fisher looks at the videogame machine, he cuts his hand on the joystick, leaving behind metal shavings in his wound. Bones says that Billy had the same type of metal piping in his workshop when they visited him.

Booth serves a search warrant to Billy and they through through his belongings, and they find Dierdre (the girl from earlier) also there. She explains that Billy repairs machines and that she's there to get her game fixed. Bones discovers the same type of pipe which might have been used on Steve. Brennan discovers that Steve had hand injuries which would have prevented him from getting the high score. Hodgins is in the lab, trying to see if the pipe recovered from Billy's workshop could shatter and be used as a weapon. As he's flexing the pipe, Angela walks in and discovers the tattoo her father forced Hodgins to get of her. Angela is upset, but Hodgins explains why it's there. She tells him to get rid of the tattoo.

Sweets has to keep spurning the girl's advances, but when Fisher shows up to take his place, Sweets very gladly lets him. Fisher and the girl hit it off right away and enter their tent set up on the sidewalk.

Angela has created a computer program which goes through the entire Punky Pong game perfectly, but Brennan notices that the machine they have in the lab right now isn't the same machine in the footage with Steve breaking the record. Dougie might have helped him cheat. Steve used his own machine to break the record, not the one in the arcade. And then Hodgins reveals that the only place where blue peacocks could be found around the area is the local golf course.

Back in front of the theater, Sweets and Hodgins overhear Fisher and the girl getting together in the tent. Hodgins asks Sweets whether he's jealous of Fisher, but Sweets thinks that he's been in bed more times with Daisy than the 100 or so women that Fisher claims to have slept with. The theater doors open, and the pair decide not to tell Fisher about going in to see the movie because he's still busy.

Brennan and Booth go to talk to Dougie and his father again, and Booth sees that one of the golf clubs is missing from the bag. Keith confesses that he killed Steve after Steve taped Dougie beating the high score and took the credit.

Keith acted out of love for his son, since the game was one of the only things that Dougie ever loved. And Booth confesses to Brennan that he understands why a father would do that after someone broke his son's heart. Brennan points out that there's a flaw in Booth's reasoning. Since Dougie is autistic, he's not able get his heart broken. The pair end up playing a game of Punky Pong together with the machine in the lab.


Main CastEdit

Intern of the WeekEdit

Guest CastEdit

Featured MusicEdit

"The World Is..." - Matthew Ryan

"Rain Or Shine" - Matthew Perryman Jones


  • Sweets, Hodgins, and Fisher camp out in a theater line to see Avatar. Joel David Moore, who plays Fisher, played Norm Spellman in Avatar. As an in-joke, or ironic twist, Fisher misses the premiere while he's having sex in the tent as everyone else enters the theatre.
  • This episode is in great part inspired by the 2007 documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. The game in the documentary was the 1981 game Donkey Kong . The film shows the fierce competition that goes on for who gets the title of world champion. The film is presented in such a way as to show the organization behind the qualifying events as unreliable and corrupt. Billy Gabel's American-flag tie is reminiscent of the tie worn by real-life Billy Mitchell, one of the people who appear in The King of Kong.
  • When Angela shows Cam what she calls the "killscreen", it's not a killscreen at all. It's simply the end of the game. The fictional game in the episode seems to simply be almost impossible to win. This is not at all how a classic arcade game used to work. The games were relatively short and, once won, would start over, some times with an increased difficulty factor, most likely with the speed of the game increased. These games were not meant for professional gamers and were usually not tested for gigantic scores. With a huge score, or large level number, the software would incur a buffer overflow, causing some sort of bug in the game, rendering it unwinnable. In Donkey Kong, the killscreen makes the player character, Jumpman, die within seconds of starting the level. In Pac Man, the killscreen renders half the screen unplayable. The killscreen in the episode is nothing like that.

I don't know what that meansEdit


Fisher: "So he was beaten and stabbed. Somebody really went after this guy..."

Cam: "Those injuries didn't kill him. There's grease in all levels of the bronchi which means our victim was alive when he was tossed into the fat. Cause of death is drowning and cooking - or vice versa."

Fisher: "Saturated fats: They're a killer!"

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