Bones Wiki
Bones Wiki

The Man in the Fallout Shelter is the ninth episode of the first season of Bones.


Brennan and her team are brought in to identify the body of a man found in a fallout shelter. While cutting into the bones of the man, Zach accidentally releases a deadly fungus, causing the team to be quarantined over Christmas.


It’s December 23rd, but it doesn't seem like it's almost Christmas at the Jeffersonian. Angela, dressed like an elf, is running after Brennan trying to get her to go with her to the company Christmas party. She says there will be a secret Santa gift exchange, but Brennan says she doesn’t like secret Santa and continues working with a skull. When she finally agrees on going, a voice is heard - it's Booth calling her name. Brennan looks at a file Booth gives her while Booth explains that a body was found in a fallout shelter from the 50's on federal property. The picture shows the skeleton with a revolver in his right hand, which is across his chest. Brennan tells Booth it's not a suicide despite the bullet in the head and the gun in the hand because there's no way he could shoot himself in the head and end up with his hand across his chest like that. She says that if he brings the skeleton in she will prove it's not a suicide. Booth responds by saying “Merry Christmas Bones!” He then whistles, calling in two FBI guys who come in carrying the remains.

Angela starts to complain about going to the party; so Brennan tells her to go ahead and she will meet her in a few minutes. She also asks Booth to escort Angela to the Christmas party and look after her. Booth says he can’t because he has to make some really important Christmas shopping. Angela says that it's not last minute until tomorrow and she drags him to the party.

Meanwhile Zack and Hodgins are on the other side of the lab testing a robot that Zack is working on which is supposed to follow voice commands, but when he tells it to stop it turns and when he tells it to turn it stops. Then Hodgins takes out a bottle containing a clear liquid - pure alcohol he's planning to put in the eggnog at the Christmas party. While examining the remains Brennan picks up something from one of the pockets of the victim’s coat. Booth comes in and asks her what she found. It's two one-way tickets to Paris from Pan Transit airlines, which according to Booth went out of business in the sixties. Brennan asks about the party and he replies, "That wasn’t a party, that was a Star Wars convention." She also shows Booth the bullet that was still in the skull. It’s from a 22-caliber, which matches the gun.

While they are talking, Brennan looks up to see Hodgins carrying a container in his hand with Zack following him. She asks if it's pure alcohol and Zack answers without hesitation, "Yes Dr. Brennan." She tells them about some previous 4th of July fiasco and how Dr. Goodman wouldn’t let them do it again. She asks Zack to clean the bones and Hodgins to look for insect evidence. Suddenly Angela appears wanting to make them all forget about the case and go to the party.

Moments later Zack and Hodgins are working with the remains, taking core samples from the bone. Hodgins takes his mask off to take a sip of eggnog while they work. All of a sudden an alarm starts going off and they run to the decontamination shower.

In another part of the lab everyone else is confused, and just when Booth asks what's going on Dr. Goodman replies, "Biological contamination." The door starts to close as Booth runs to it, but it shuts before he can get there. When Booth starts asking more questions Zack and Hodgins arrive with towels around their waists, still wet. Zack starts explaining how he was cutting the bones when the alarm went off and the rest of the team learns how Hodgins wasn’t following the autopsy protocol.

Everyone is gathered in front of a computer screen talking to the Head of the Jeffersonian (who is actually dressed as Santa) who tells them that the pathogen released by the bones was coccidiomycosis, the fungus responsible of Valley Fever, a disease that can manifest as pneumonia, meningitis, spontaneous abortion, or even cause death. Since Hodgins wasn’t wearing the mask he can be infected and contagious, so they will be put on quarantine.

Zack manages to put the bones in an isolation table with ultraviolet light so he can keep working on the bones without spore problems. He finds a woman's wedding band in the remains.

Out on the main room everyone is lined up while they're getting shots of a cocktail of medications as precaution for possible infection. They learn that it will be a couple of days before they know if they are infected; meaning that they will have to spend Christmas at the lab. Everyone starts blaming each other. Booth starts to hallucinate, which is one of the side effects of the drugs everyone was given.

Later on, Hodgins and Zack are on sleeping bags on top of the examination tables and they start talking about how they were supposed to spend their Christmas. Hodgins was going to Quebec and Zack was supposed to be with his family in Michigan. In another room Booth is laying on the floor on his sleeping bag. Dr. Goodman is on a couch, also in his sleeping bag. Booth is still hallucinating and Dr. Goodman is trying to give him the scientific explanation of why he is seeing lights on the ceiling. Dr. Goodman then starts telling Booth how he's the spirit of Christmas in his house; he has a wife and two twin daughters (who are five years old) and shows a picture to Booth. Booth then tells Goodman that he has a four-year old son named Parker, and because his mother didn’t marry Booth his parental rights are limited.

In another office, both Angela and Bones are on sleeping bags on the floor. Angela is trying to get Brennan to help her make Christmas - decorations and a secret Santa gift exchange. Then Brennan gets up as she tells Angela that what she will do for Christmas is solve a murder.

Brennan is at the platform looking under a microscope when Booth arrives jumping and wearing Angela’s elf hat telling her that is after midnight - Christmas Eve day. He grabs a bench and sits down right next to her asking what she's looking at. She is studying traces of metals in the bones as he puts his elbows on the table and his face between his hands. He sadly says to Brennan, "You don’t seem too upset about missing Christmas," to which her reply is that the indications are that if Christ existed, he was born in late spring not in winter. Booth asks if she's the "Christmas killer" then tells her, "The truth is you hate Christmas so you just spout out all these facts and you ruin it for everyone else. Christmas is the perfect time to reexamine your standing with you know..." then he points up. He then leaves and Brennan gets back to what she was doing.

It’s Christmas Eve morning; Zack and Hodgins are coming down the stairs, and Booth is doing pull ups. He stops and joins them as they are walking over to Dr. Goodman. Angela joins them, telling them her plan about decorations and a secret Santa gift exchange with handmade gifts. They all welcome the idea. Booth asks if Brennan is participating and they all just say "uh uh." Booth starts asking about why Brennan is like that with Christmas and Angela fills him in, telling him that Brennan's parents disappeared just before Christmas when she was fifteen. Angela then changes the subject and tells everyone that they need a way to choose who will be their secret Santa. As the squints start thinking of some complicated ideas, Booth grabs a pencil and paper and starts writing. He tears the paper and puts it in a canister then holds it up and asks everyone to pick a name.

At the upper level of the lab, Booth is telling Brennan about Gil Atkins, a criminal, who built the fallout shelter. Then Brennan hands Booth a paper with the list of the contents of the skeleton's pockets. While reading, he starts telling her that he has Goodman for the secret Santa and he doesn’t know what to give him. She starts rambling about how gifts are a way for "asserting dominance in a group" and how she can’t get behind that fact. Finally she asks him to talk to Dr. Goodman about some coins they found in the pockets.

On another side of the lab, Hodgins, Angela, Zack, and Dr. Goodman are trying to see how they can decorate the place. Dr. Goodman says that for him and Booth "the decorations don’t make up for missing Christmas morning with the children." Hodgins, Angela and Zack stop what they were doing and start asking Goodman to replay what he has just said, leaving Goodman realize that none of them knew Booth was a father.

Goodman enters another lab area where Booth is looking at the belongings of victim. Booth has decided to help Brennan in the case, and Goodman starts looking the contents too. He tells Booth that he is an archeologist, so he's good with artifacts. Goodman takes some letters with female handwriting on them, and notices that instead of a signature there's just some kind of leaf.

Hodgins is walking with Brennan, talking about how the analysis confirmed that the victim had Valley Fever, and he tells her about how Booth has a kid. When Hodgins realizes that she didn’t know, he leaves, telling her "I wasn’t the one who told you."

In another part of the lab, Booth is on his cell phone taking notes in a pad while describing the victim to the grandson of the tailor that made the victim's suit (now known as Lionel, as the letters found in his contents were written to Lionel) hoping to find out his last name. Brennan arrives and he starts telling her about what he is doing. She starts asking about his son; Booth starts to answer, then is interrupted by the tailor’s grandson on the phone. Lionel Little is the victim's name. He picked up his suit, which was for his wedding, on November 7th, 1958, but never came back for his shirt like he was supposed to the next day.

Later on, everyone is gathered by an examination table eating Chinese food and talking about the case. Booths asks Dr. Goodman if he found anything of value in the letters. He says that the letters were written by a woman, who was pregnant; then starts with a hypothesis about her maybe wanting to get an abortion. Angela quickly says that is not a story for Christmas Eve. Brennan can't help herself and starts talking about how "the whole Christ myth" is based on an unwed mother. Booth asks her to stop referring at it as a "Christ myth" because there are people who believe it's true. Brennan starts to say, "Well, who besides you," then learns that everybody other than her believes in it (except Zack, who is a “rational imperialist” unless you are speaking to his mother - then he is Lutheran). Brennan then adds, "I can understand why you would be sensitive Booth, you have a child out of wedlock." Booth is visibly hurt by her comment.

Dr. Goodman changes the topic, focusing on the victim’s girlfriend again. From the letters, Dr. Goodman learned that the woman must have been African American; and because Lionel was Caucasian, the relationship was illegal at that time. Booth then understands the situation: they were running away, which is why there were two tickets to Paris, where in 1958 they could actually get married.

Family members start arriving to visit everyone in the lab. Goodman sees his wife and his two little twin girls. Hodgins gets to see his girlfriend. Angela sees her father. Zack's large family comes to visit. Booth gets to see his son Parker. Brennan is meanwhile standing somewhere in the background, seeing the others with their families, while she doesn't get a visit.

Back in Angela’s office, Brennan is watching a hologram that Angela made, which is a Christmas tree. They start talking about Angela’s plans for Christmas and at the end Angela tells Brennan, "I know your parents disappeared just before Christmas." With that said, Brennan starts telling Angela what happened on that Christmas with tears in her eyes. Booth arrives and stays in the doorway. She says that her brother, Russ, found their parents' gifts, so he decorated and put the gifts out for her, but when she woke up and didn’t see her parents she refused to open the presents until their parents were back. Russ felt like this was telling him he wasn't enough of a family. He then went out West to work, leaving her in foster care. After Brennan is finished with her story Booth tells her they have Lionel’s missing persons file and they go out to see it.

Booth, Brennan, and Dr. Goodman are sitting on the balcony with their feet hanging. Booth is reading the file to them. The victim is Lionel Little, born on May 19, 1934 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He worked as lease inspector for a company called Silver Petroleum, and had a coin collection. When he disappeared so did his collection. Years later the coins showed up in several cities and the sales were traced to Gil Atkins (the man who built the shelter), so he had to be the one who killed Lionel. According to the file the last woman who saw him was the cleaning lady, Ivy Gillespie. They realise that the leaf on the signature looks like an ivy leaf. Angela says she has to find Ivy so she can have closure, which is what Brennan never was able to get. Brennan, listening to her friend, goes to her office and starts making phone calls trying to locate Ivy Gillespie.

Finally, on Christmas morning, she finds Ivy’s granddaughter who gives her information on how to contact her. Booth enters Bones’ office, but then Angela comes in and calls him away. As he's leaving Brennan says, "I’m sorry you didn’t get Christmas morning with your little boy," and Booth says thanks.

At the holograph table everyone (minus Brennan) is together, and the Christmas tree appears with decorations and all the gifts they made are under it. Everyone wishes each other a Merry Christmas. Then everyone begins exchanging their handmade gifts. Hodgins made Angela a photograph of something gross magnified to look beautiful, Booth gave Dr. Goodman a bird made with paper; Zack received a sketch of his family from Angela, Goodman made Hodgins a jewelry box with a sacred scarab on top of it, and Zack gave Booth his robot so he could give it to his son as a present.

Brennan is in her office when Booth comes in. She tells him that a penny found in Lionel's pocket is a very rare copper penny from 1943, of which only 12 are known, which is worth $100,000. Dr. Goodman then calls everyone together, as the results are in on whether or not they're safe to leave the lab. Everyone finds out they're safe and rejoices, but Brennan stays in the background. When Booth realizes this he stops and turns to her. She replies, "Go, go have Christmas. Wish your boy a Merry Christmas from me." Booth replies, "I’m at Wong Foo’s if you decide you want company. Merry Christmas Bones," then leaves.

Lisa Pearce and Ivy Gillespie, her grandmother, arrive at the lab. Brennan takes them to her office and starts explaining to them everything that happened. Ivy starts crying when she realizes that Lionel didn’t abandon her and that he was trying to keep his promise to travel to Paris with her. Brennan finds out that Lisa wants to be a doctor but she can’t afford college. As a present to Lisa, Bones gives her the penny she found in Lionel's pocket, which is worth $100,000.

Brennan arrives at Wong Foo’s where Booth is sitting at the bar; and she sits down by his side. She tells him how things went with Ivy, and he replies, "Who is the secret Santa now?". At that moment Parker arrives calling Booth. Booth picks him up, kisses him, and gives him his present. Booth then says goodbye to Bones and walks out with his son in his arms.

Brennan goes back to the lab and picks up a present and a card that she had kept in a secure box in her office and starts opening it. The gifts are from her parents. She smiles as tears fill her eyes.


Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Ivy Gillespie - Margaret Avery
  • Lisa Pearce - Christina Copeland
  • Mr. Addy - Bob Bouchard
  • Hal - Jim Ortlieb
  • SWAT officer - Dotan Baer

Featured Music[]

  • "Winter Wonderland" - Jewel
  • "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" - Tori Amos
  • "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow" - Brian Setzer


  • During Hodgins’s conversation with Brennen, the show made a mistake. Hodgins says, "Goodman doesn't get to see his family, Zack doesn't get to see his kids..." This is incorrect as Zack does not have kids but TJ Thyne misspoke.
  • Eric Millegan later stated that whilst filming the scene where everyone wakes up on the morning of Christmas Eve, he made it a goal to eat as much fruit as possible. This is why Zack continuously eats the fruit during the scene.


  • Angela: (pointing to Booth) You are going to kiss me under the mistletoe. On the lips. (turning to Zack and Hodgins) I might kiss you guys under the mistletoe, too. (Turning back to Booth and Brennen) Maybe even you, in a festive non-lesbian manner.
  • Hal: And be prepared for side effects.
    Brennan: Nausea, fever, insomnia?
    Hal: In very rare cases, euphoria, dream-state, mild hallucinations.
    Angela: I'll take that, please.
    Hal: Early symptoms mimic a common cold.
    Goodman: What if it manifests?
    Zack: First treatment protocol involves extremely painful injections into the base of the brain.
    Booth: You know what? I never realized how pretty all this...shiny stuff is.
    Hodgins: That is so not fair.
  • Booth: Bones! It's after midnight! Christmas Eve Day? Both an eve and a day? It's a Christmas miracle.
    Brennan: Still enjoying your medication, I see.
  • Brennan: I have something even better.
    Ivy: What could be better? You've given me back my life.

I don't know what that means[]

  • Angela: How am I going to enjoy this party knowing that my best friend in the whole world is in the lab, eyeball to eyeball with Skeletor?
    Brennan: Who?
  • Hodgins: Wow, was that a shot, because I apologized. I mean, Goodman doesn't get to see his family, Zach doesn't get to see his kids, Booth doesn't get to see his son. At least I'm an accidental Grinch, with all due respect, you're the grinch on purpose.
    Brennan: I have no idea what you're saying to me.
  • Booth: Christmas is the perfect time to reevaluate your standing with...(points upward)
Brennan: The helicopter pad?

External Links[]

Previous Story:
The Girl in the Fridge
Next Story:
The Woman at the Airport
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