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The Man in the Morgue is the nineteenth episode of the first season of Bones.


Brennan takes a vacation down to New Orleans to help identify victims of Hurricane Katrina. While at her hotel, she wakes up the next morning bloody and beaten, with no memory of what happened. Booth comes down to try and help her figure out what happened. When the local medical examiner is found murdered, Brennan becomes the suspect. Their investigation leads them into the world of voodoo.


The episode opens with Dr. Brennan in New Orleans, where she is taking her vacation time to help identify victims of Hurricane Katrina some time after the event with the help of Mike Doyle and Dr. Graham Leger inside a temporary morgue set up within a church. Brennan begins to autopsy 'John Doe 361' who was found covered in mud with a small hole in the front of his skull. Detective Rose Harding and Dr. James Embry assist Brennan, hoping to discover whether the death was the result of the hurricane or foul play. James discovers something lodged in the victim's mouth and Brennan sends an orderly, Sam Potter, to X-ray John Doe 361. Following this, Graham Leger asks Brennan out on a date, which she says she will consider once she receives the results of the X-rays.

There is a flash on screen, and Brennan is seen lying on a bathroom floor soaked in blood, blood on her hands, and a gash on her forehead. She is disoriented as she tries to remember what happened but is only able to recover flashes. Brennan answers a phone call from the hotel clerk, who tells her that the bus to the airport is waiting. Having been told it was Thursday, Brennan is confused and wonders what happened to Wednesday.

At the hospital, Dr. Ryan Halloway notes that one of Brennan's ears has been ripped open and her mother's earring taken, yet Brennan still has no memory of such an event occurring. While Dr. Halloway sends off the blood samples on Brennan's clothes for analysis, Detective Harding arrives to interview Brennan. The only memory she has is of Dr. Leger asking her on a date.

Meanwhile, back at the lab, Angela Montenegro delivers the X-rays of John Doe 361 to Zack Addy so he can make an analysis of them. He calls Brennan and tells her that John Doe 361, who she does not recall, was 40 years old, of mixed race and was murdered.

Booth arrives and takes Brennan to a restaurant. They discuss the last thing she remembers - her pending date with Leger. After finding out from the restaurant owner, Peter LaSalle, that Brennan was at his restaurant on Tuesday night with Sam Potter, an orderly at the makeshift morgue who practices voodoo, they head to the morgue. At the morgue, Sam informs Brennan that they had spoken on Tuesday night about the object lodged in 361's mouth, which was voodoo in origin. Sam explains that voodoo is all about balance and that the hurricane, brought on by Secte Rouge, has destroyed the balance of New Orleans. He states that the objects found in the victim's mouth, black gum and a chicken foot, can only be found at a voodoo shop, which is run by a man called Richard Benoit.

At Benoit's shop, Booth shows Benoit the evidence found in the victim's mouth and Benoit informs him that it would be the work of Secte Rouge, as it is part of an evil spell. Upon looking at the list of those who had recently purchased the objects, Brennan noticed one name in particular: Dr. Graham Leger. Booth and Brennan head to Leger's home, where they find him crucified to a wall three feet off the ground with a mojo bag around his neck. The police soon arrive, and a doubtful Detective Harding interviews Brennan and Booth. As Brennan explains, Booth notices Brennan's missing earring underneath a table and pockets it without informing anyone.

At the morgue, Brennan discovers that John Doe 361's file is missing. Back at Brennan's hotel room, Booth notices a mojo bag on Brennan's bed full of seashells, flesh, a strip of leather, and a human tooth. At that moment, Harding bursts in and arrests Brennan, having found her blood at Leger's house. Brennan goes quietly and, despite Booth's protests, reveals incriminating evidence about herself.

At the police station, Brennan is interrogated by Detective Harding, Booth and attorney Caroline Julian enter to shut Brennan up before she convicts herself. Detective Harding leaves after Caroline informs her that Brennan will not be saying anything else. Sam Potter tells Booth and Brennan that the mojo bags are being left with Brennan to prolong her amnesia. They then find out that according to the results of the tox screen, Brennan had not been drugged.

Zack calls Brennan with John Doe 361's real identity, and informs her that he was called Rene Mouton, who was the head of a voodoo church and had offered aid during Katrina but then disappeared. Sam Potter suggests that this is the work of a sorcerer from Secte Rouge, and Brennan agrees while Booth is disbelieving. They go to the cooler, where they find the freshly killed body of Mike Doyle, with the body of Rene Mouton. Brennan suspects Mike Doyle's girlfriend for his murder. Sam Potter scatters ashes across the body of Mouton, revealing an electrostatic charge, as some ashes stuck to the corpse more than others, revealing an emblem of a Cadillac Brougham, the car belonging to Richard Benoit. This instantly makes Brennan suspect his daughter, Eva, as the girlfriend, and thus the killer.

At Benoit's shop, they confront him, who leads them downstairs to their basement, where Eva was hiding. In the basement, they find Eva dead, her body thrown onto a large spike fixed on the wall. Brennan and Booth search the room and find Mouton's skull and the spike used on Mouton and Mike Doyle. Sam tells Brennan that the basement was the place of a dark sorcerer and that the spike on the wall was usually used for animal sacrifices. Brennan suddenly comes to the conclusion that it would be impossible for Eva to kill herself, as the room was only 12 feet wide, and she could not have been running fast enough to stab herself the way the body was.

Sam Potter accuses Richard Benoit of being the sorcerer and killer claiming that he killed his daughter so they would stop looking for the killer of Mouton. Brennan knows there must have been a struggle with him throwing Eva on the spike and tears Benoit's shirts open to reveal a freshly bandaged injury. Detective Harding arrests Benoit.

Once back in Washington D.C., Booth and Brennan tell Angela, Zack, and Hodgins about their case in New Orleans. They discuss voodoo, which Brennan refuses to believe in, but the others are uncertain, reminding her of her memory loss. Booth finally chooses the moment to reveal the earring that he had found and secretly taken at the murder scene. This pleases Brennan because it was her mother's earring and she is glad it has been returned to her, but also with the realization that Booth had protected her by hiding this evidence of her presence at the murder scene.


Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

Featured Music[]

Notes []

  • This episode marks the first appearance of Caroline Julian. However, according to The Parts in the Sum of the Whole, Dr. Brennan should have already met Caroline because it was Booth and Brennan's very first case and she appeared in that episode. 
  • The restaurant set that they are eating in, in New Orleans is the diner set that they start eating at in season 2.
  • Within this episode, Bones plays with a snake, in spite of it later being well established that she has an intense dislike of snakes.
  • The magic and spells that Hollywood and most people mistake for Voodoo is actually Hoodoo. Voodoo is merely a religion. There are 2 distinct types of voodoo practiced in New Orleans - Louisiana Voodoo and Haitian Voodoo. The two types of voodoo and their beliefs are inconsistent throughout the episode. Secte Rouge is a part of Haitian Voodoo. However, in Haitian Voodoo, gris-gris bags are used for good, not evil. Bokors are Haitian Voodoo sorcerers, however, bokors are not defined as "good" or "evil." This episode portrays all bokors as dark. Bokors are actually sorcerers for hire who can cast good or dark spells.
  • In this episode, everyone calls Miss Julian "Carolyn" using a soft i sound (e.g. hit, bit). Throughout the rest of the series, she is known as Caroline, but it is always pronounced with a hard i sound (e.g. kite, bite).


  • Caroline Julian: I need to talk with my client before she gives herself a lethal injection.
  • Booth: Jesus is not a zombie.
  • Bones: I've noticed that very few people are scary, once they've been poked in the eye.

I don't know what that means[]

  • Booth makes reference to Lord of The Rings when he says "then we throw the ring into the molten river..." Bones never directly says she doens't know what that means but she looks fairly confused after he says it.

Anthropological and Cultural References[]

  • Voodoo

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