The Ghost in the Machine is the ninth episode of the eighth season of Bones.


The episode is in the point of view of the skull, first being found by Hodgins in a greenhouse. Bones makes the estimate that the remains are male, and in his teen years. Back at the Jeffersonian, Avalon comes in to attempt a reading on the skull because the skull was "calling her." Hodgins refuses to allow her to do a full reading and the skull is given to Angela to identify. Angela gives a proper introduction because she believes in Avalon and believes that his spirit is here watching. The body is identified as a 14-year-old boy named Colin. 

Hodgins receives evidence that Colin's body was moved, and also a paint chip. Colin's parents' request to see his remains, and said that he was popular, he had great friends, and they loved him. Colin's friends Miranda, Carl, and Shaun drop by to give over some evidence: Colin's skateboard and a mixtape Colin gave to Miranda. Hodgins discovers that the paint chip is from an El Camino, Booth gets a warrant for an El Camino, Brennan says that Colin's injuries are congruent to the car. Booth says that this specific El Camino was owned by Colin's father, and he is now a suspect. 

Brennan takes the skull home to examine and finds the spots on the skull that are lighter than the rest. The next day Brennan and Booth drive to a pump house that is possibly where Colin's body was first dumped. The pump house is abandoned, Brennan takes the skull inside to see if it is possible where the body was first dumped. The camera (Colin's POV) looks over to a spot in where three holes let the sunshine in. Brennan takes the skull to around that area and verifies that Colin was first dumped at the abandoned pump house, and Booth finds the missing hood ornament from Colin's father's car. 

The skull is back at the Jeffersonian. Angela, Dr.Saroyan, and Brennan are testing the possible scenarios. Colin died trying to car surf on his dad's car while one of his friends were driving, he fell being stabbed by the hood ornament. 

Booth and Sweets bring in Colin's friends Shaun, Miranda, and Carl, who also handed over the evidence. Colin's skull is "staring" at them to make them feel guilty. They review the evidence that Colin was surfing on his father's car and he fell while one of them was driving. They dumped Colin's body in the pump house and moved him months later to the greenhouse. Shaun feels guilty and begins to confess, but Carl tells Shaun not to confess. Shaun confesses that he was the one driving, Carl dared Colin to surf the car; when he fell off the car and died, they dumped his body at the pump house. Shaun said he saw nightmares of Colin, his head was leaning towards one side and he said that he was cold where he was left. So he moved the body to a greenhouse, which was warmer. 

Although the murder was solved, Avalon says that the spirit is still present, and that the murder wasn't what he needed to crossover. Angela and Brennan look over the mix tape that Colin made, at the end there is a loud screech that Angela said happens when the music is also on a webpage. The team bring in Miranda again to show her a recording that Colin made of his song for Miranda. Miranda realizes that Colin liked her but was too afraid to confess because she was three years older than him. The camera goes to Avalon (it is no longer in Colin's point of view) she sees past Miranda and sees Colin. Colin waves to Avalon and rides away on his skateboard. 


Main CastEdit

Guest CastEdit

Featured MusicEdit

  • "Think deep" - Coleman Hawkins
  • "Two of Us" - Supertramp (Sung by Colin)
  • "Hot Blooded" - Foreigner


The title of this episode most likely refers to Gilbert Ryle's description of the problem of Cartesian mind-body duality - the problem that appeared when Descartes theorized that humans could have a soul that was distinctly different from the physical body.

Booth calls Bones Temperance in this episode.

Bones entertains Christine with 'Dancing phalanges' something first used in Season 3, episode 12, The Baby in the Bough.

Previous Story:
The But in the Joke
Next Story:
The Diamond in the Rough
EpisodesSeason 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · 12
CharactersSeason 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · 12
CategoriesMain Characters ·  Relationships

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.