Bones Wiki

The Girl with the Curl is the seventh episode of the second season of Bones.


The team investigate the death of a young beauty queen whose decomposed remains are discovered at a Washington, D.C. water filtration plant. Brianna's father is a suspect initially, but new clues lead Brennan and Booth to Brianna's dance school, where they glean key information. Meanwhile, Hodgins works up the nerve to ask Angela out on a date and after contemplating the pros and cons of dating a coworker, she agrees to go.


The team is particularly disgusted to find the corpse of a 9-year old girl, almost completely decomposed after three months in a huge interstate water supply maze. It's Brianna Swanson, a long missing top contestant in beauty pageants for children, whose mother Jackie Swanson was so obsessed with winning that she not only resorted to adult make-up (the reconstruction looked about age 30) but also excessive diet, teeth bleaching, dangerous doses of growth hormone and even deliberate mutilation by a permanent, ever-tighter corset.

There's a tape of Jackie furious at Brianna's refusal to keep competing half an hour before her disappearance. The father, Jackie's ex Dave Swanson, is a roof worker, fitting the bitumen traces of which were found on the corpse.

Zack finds traces of post-mortem abuse. Jackie's alibi and her claim that Brianna loved competing are confirmed, Brianna was mean, insulted and stole from fellow contestants.

Angela finally accepts to date Hodgkins, but only to get it out of their system, only...

Contestant Hailey's 17-year old brother Jeremy Farrell, who dresses 'emo', was seen lurking around and wears metal-tip shoes like Brianna was kicked with, but the wrong metal. The toxic place the body was in for two months until swept away by storms has a pageant medal, fitting a competitor's mother, ex-miss Kristen Mitchell, who might be eliminating rivals, but physically cannot be the abuser.

Closer examination of substance traces indicates another line of suspects or an accident...


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

Featured Music[]

  • "Shake Your Booty" by KC & The Sunshine Band
  • "Mona Lisa" by Grant Lee Phillips
  • "I Got Rhythm" by Ethel Merman


  • First episode in which Tamara Taylor is shown in the opening credits and listed as a series regular, as opposed to being listed as a guest star.
  • The hotel from which the girl is taken is called the Hyperion, which is the same name as the hotel used as the base of operations in the series Angel, also starring David Boreanaz.
  • The episode is primarily inspired by the JonBenet Ramsey case, the infamous murder of an iconic child beauty pageant queen which, to this day, is still unsolved after ruling out all possible suspects.
  • A character references Wanda Holloway, calling her the Texas cheerleader mom who took out her daughter's competition. Holloway tried to hire a hitman to kill the mother of her daughter's rival, not the rival herself, and no one was killed.
  • Booth sends Brennan to question the dance class children because he can't question them without a parent present. By instructing her to do so Booth is making her an "agent of the State" which subjects any information she collects subject to the same rules of evidence as Booth.

Cultural/Anthropological References[]


Pageant contestant: Is that a real skeleton?
Brennan: Yes, of a twelve-year old from the Bronze Age. These bones show she already had children.
Pageant contestant: What killed her?
Brennan: Having the children.
Haley: She should've waited to be married to have sex!
Pageant contestant: You said sex!

Pageant contestant: You have huge muscles!
Booth: Thanks.

Booth: You have a girlfriend?
Donna: He does. She looks exactly like him.
Booth: You real boyfriend and girlfriend?

Jeremy: You don't argue with a nine year old. You call each other names.

Saroyan: There were a lot of things I wasn't supposed to do as a kid, I still did them. I haven't changed much.

Zack: She has very nice symmetrical buttocks.
Booth: Well, yeah, I know that, but um, what's that got to do with anything?

Guard: How does feeling little girls solve a murder?
Brennan: One of them is the murderer.
Booth: Okay, look, I know that's hard to believe.
Guard: You know what? Its really not.

Previous Story:
The Girl in Suite 2103
Next Story:
The Woman in the Sand
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