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The Man on the Fairway is the fourteenth episode of the first season of Bones.


Brennan and Zach investigate a small jet crash that was carrying some Chinese diplomats and a woman. At the crash site, Brennan finds some bone fragments that do not belong to any of the passengers, but might belong to a man who has been missing for five years. Although ordered to work only on the diplomats, Brennan and her team go rogue to try to discover the identity of the extra bones.


Brennan and Zack are summoned to investigate a small plane crash on a golf course near Virginia Beach. Ian Dyson of the NTSB informs them that the private plane was a State Department flight. Brennan and Zack find that the bodies appear consistent with the composition of standard plane-crash victims…until Brennan unearths a femur fragment with no charring remains, indicating the victim was not aboard the flight.

Back at the lab Goodman informs the team that the NTSB has ruled the crash to be accidental. They are to concentrate solely on identifying a sixth passenger, as the manifest listed only five. Ignoring his orders, the team secretly begins reviewing the bone fragments from the mystery victim they believe was not involved in the crash. As Brennan gets Booth up to speed, they are confronted by Jesse Kane. Kane believes the un-charred bone fragments may belong to his father, Max Kane, who’s been missing five years. Though Brennan sympathizes with Jesse (due to the unsolved case of her parents’ disappearance), she refuses to discuss the details of the current case with him. In the Bone Room the team’s discoveries regarding the mystery victim point to a gruesome scenario: the victim was most likely frozen, dismembered, and then fed into a wood chipper. They also determine that the bone fragments are the same age and sex as Jesse’s father. Booth and Brennan narrow their search of suspects to a maintenance worker named Ray Sparks, who under interrogation produces a solid alibi: He was in jail during the time that Max disappeared.

The team retrieves a number of additional bones from the crash site, including a piece of finger with the nail still attached. Underneath the nail they discover polyurethane, indicative of a victim scraping at something before he died. A bone tumor on the finger also rules out Max Kane as the mystery victim, after reviewing his medical records.

The team reviews the case, and realizes Ray Sparks remains the only connection to the wood chipper. Returning to Ray’s house, they find a freezer with claw marks embedded in the lid, consistent with the polyurethane residue under the fingernail… which matches the DNA of Ray’s missing brother, Frank. The team convenes at Wong Foo’s, where Brennan asks Booth to review her parents’ file.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • Jesse Kane - Michael E. Rodgers
  • Karen Anderson - Christina Chambers
  • Ray Sparks - Michael Bowen
  • Ian Dyson - Shashawnee Hall
  • Eddie - Marc Raducci
  • Female Tech #1 - Dana Cuomo
  • Security Guard - Roderick L. McCarthy

Featured Music[]

  • "Nothing Left To Lose" - Mat Kearney
  • "Somewhere A Clock Is Ticking" - Snow Patrol
  • "Look After You" - The Fray
  • "How Do You Dream" - 9 Ball


  • Hodgins and Zack throwing the frozen pig through the wood chipper is the beginning of the long-standing plot line / joke of Hodgins conducting unorthodox (and often unapproved) experiments to not only collect data, but for the fun of it.
  • This woodchipper case closely resembles that of Helle and Richard Craft. Richard Craft murdered his wife Helle in their bedroom, then froze her body in their icebox in the garage. He then replaced the carpet all over their house and took his dead wife's body to a nearby river. There he dismembered her body with a chainsaw and ran the parts through a woodchipper he rented. Doctor Henry Lee was the lead forensic scientist on the case.
  • On a Manila folder, Brennan parents' names are listed as Matt and Christine. Later in the season, "Matt" becomes "Matthew". Christine's name remains constant. Bones even honors her mother's memory by naming her firstborn after her. This was because as it is revealed in season 1 finale that her parents were fugitives that had changed their names.