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The Pinocchio in the Planter is the twentieth episode of the sixth season of Bones.


The team identifies the remains of a successful ad man found in the grounds of a newly built community center playground. Upon inspecting the victim's home and interrogating his former partner and employer, Booth and Brennan discover that the victim burned bridges by adopting an aggressive attitude toward honesty and was a member of a radical honesty support group. Meanwhile, each of the team members attempts to adopt a more honest way of communicating that doesn't always lend itself to good relationships, and Angela urges Hodgins to confront the realities of their pregnancy.


In a community park, a teenager climbs a wall to get a look into the girl's locker room, but one of the girls spots him and makes him fall into the flowerbed. The impact unearths a dead body and the boy screamed.

Meanwhile, Angela and Sweets are eating breakfast at the diner. Angela tells him that Hodgins has been overprotective lately – she gets a call from him, but doesn't answer it. Sweets is sympathetic and says that they're dealing with a lot, but Angela cuts him off to claim that they're fine.

Booth and Brennan arrive at the crime scene to find Hodgins searching through the dirt; he find hookworms everywhere. The distance from the worms to the body indicates that the victim died three days ago.

Back at the lab, Wendell finds out that he didn't get a bartending job, and he confides in Brennan that he's "broke". A smart key found at the crime scene leads Booth and Sweets to the home of a wealthy man who has been missing for four days. His home is very large and covered in trophies from the man’s work in advertising.

Wendell goes to Cam, who is draining the victim's intestine into a bowl, to ask for extra hours, but she explained her plan to divide the hours equally among the interns. Wendell is disappointed, but he points out four fractures on the victim's skull. Booth and Brennan view a clip from an advertising awards show in which a woman, the man's former boss, Nicole Francuzzi, bashes the victim in the face with a trophy. They take Nicole to the interrogation room, but she denies being the killer, pointing out that she wasn't the only one who had a problem with Ross Dixon (the victim). She reveals that he turned cruel "out of nowhere", and that he caused them to lose six clients in only six months time. It turns out that Ross Dixon had joined a group to make him more honest. Sweets tells them that the "radical honesty" movement is controversial, and that it has a local presence.

Booth and Brennan go to the community park where the honesty meetings are held – the same park in which the body was found. They meet the lawyer Burt – the leader of the group. A clown comes up to them and admits that he had a problem with the victim because he insulted his act. Booth asks Bones to escort the man out because of his fear of clowns.

Wendell decides to follow the honesty group and tell his coworkers the truth at all times. Hodgins warns him that it might be a bad idea and demonstrates by telling him that while Wendell dated Angela he once planned Wendell's murder in great detail. Wendell is unphased however and decides to go be honest to Cam.

Sweets is the one to interrogate the clown, who admits that he was with the victim the night he died. The clown says that he watched a ballgame with Dixon and, after the man left, visited a prostitute. Dixon was apparently going out to dinner with someone that night, but the clown doesn't know who. In the diner, Bones wants to know when Booth has lied to her in the past, and Booth promises to give her an example upon solving the case.

Hodgins, who is also embracing the brutal honesty of the group, enters Angela's office and insults one of her paintings. Angela tells him that he's been a little underfoot; too cheerful. She wants to be more honest about the possibility of having a blind child, and she doesn’t like that Hodgins is just ignoring that fact. He apologizes, admitting that he worries far worse than he lets off. The two of them embrace.

Wendell also attempts to be honest with Cam, telling her that he should get the extra hours because he needs them. Cam agrees, much to Wendell's excitement. Hodgins arrives then with lab results: Dixon has a gourmet pizza the night he died. Dixon got in a fight with a waiter named Jonah, and it turns out that the waiter was the victim's son.

Booth interrogates Jonah and finds that Dixon drove his entire family away with his honesty. He admits that he overreacted when his father came into the pizza place, and that he went to his father's house after work. He didn't go inside, but he noticed a red convertible parked outside the house.

Hodgins then finds chips of wood in the body: Red Oak. Wendell says that it's an experimental, wooden bone implant. They wonder about it because titanium was also in the body. Angela concludes that the victim was struck with a titanium object.

Booth and Brennan find that the red convertible belongs to a married woman named Dorothy. Apparently, she was having an affair with the victim. Brennan notes that an affair isn't very honest – a contradiction to the honesty group's motto. She asks Dorothy why she was at the house the night the victim died. Dorothy, who was a member of the honesty group, asks for a lawyer and says nothing.

The lawyer that arrives to defend Dorothy is none other than another honesty group member, Burt. He says that Dorothy and Dixon were in a car accident months before, which damaged vertebrae. Brennan points at that an injury like that would make it difficult for Dorothy to bludgeon anyone. She asks for the X-rays to confirm.

At the park, Hodgins and Angela find that the monkey bars are covered in titanium paint. It turns out that the bars were assembled after Dixon's death, and that they were lying loose the night of the murder. When the X-rays of Dorothy arrive, they’re clearly from a Caucasian woman, while Dorothy is African American.

As it turns out, Dorothy wasn't injured in the car accident, but Burt planned to help her fake her injuries to get a big settlement. Dixon found out about the plan, and, being an honest person, was going to tell someone. Burt feared disbarment, so he killed the man. Brennan presents him the monkey bars pipe, which has his fingerprints on it.

In the end of the episode, Brennan and Booth have a drink together at the bar. Brennan demands that Booth live up to his earlier promise – to give her an example of when he has lied. Booth admits that he never told her how important her friendship was after his break-up with Hannah. It meant the world to him. They toast, and drink.


Main Cast[]

Intern of the Week[]

Guest Cast[]


  • The victim is in advertising and and has an ad in his home for slam bolt energy drinks which is the company that is featured in season 3 episode "The Man in the Mud".
  • Hankfurters, one of the clients in the victim's advertising portfolio, is an eating contest sponsor in season 7 episode "The Hot Dog in the Competition".


Dr. Brennan: Is it possible for a lawyer to be entirely honest?
Sweets: Well, a group dedicated to exploring the truth is likely to attract individuals who make a habit of lying on a daily basis.

Hodgins: Can I be honest with you?
Wendell: Yeah, go for it.
Hodgins: Okay. When you were going out with Angela, I once planned your murder in great detail.
Wendell: I appreciate your honesty! This is good, this is good.
Hodgins: Uh, I don't know about that. Feels a little creepy.

Wendell: Doctor Brennan, you may not know it, but you can be very abrasive.
Bones: Oh no, I'm well aware of it.

Camille: There's a new policy in the lab.
Bones: What's that?
:Camille: You are the only person allowed to be radically honest and that's only because I can't stop you.
Bones: Well that's too bad, I prefer everyone speak their minds.
Camille: I actually don't care what you prefer because this is my lab and I make the rules.

Camille: So the honest lawyer lied to us?

Booth: There's no such thing as an honest lawyer Bones.
Bones: As I suspected.

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