The episode begins as a policeman drives through the city. He sees what he believes to be a homeless person in the alley, but when he investigates, it’s actually a bloodied young girl. She slashes at him with a bloody knife in her hand.
The next morning, Brennan and Booth discuss what to buy for Angela and Hodgins’ baby. Bones points out that she will be the only one without a child. Caroline enters the lab, telling the two of them that the bloody girl, who she called Jane Doe, is a ‘deaf mute,’ and that the blood does not belong to the girl.
A lawyer assigned to protect the girl refuses to let Brennan test the girl for her age and identity, which would lead them to the person missing so much blood. When she’s finally convinced, however, the young girl has other ideas. She struggles and tries to get away, and while Arastoo notes her distress, Brennan coldly reminds him to look at her as evidence. Meanwhile, Booth finds that the money from the girl’s pocket came from an ATM, as the serial numbers are sequential, and he notes that they could trace the bills to a specific ATM.
Later, Brennan grows impatient with the girl’s noncompliance. Sweets must pull Brennan aside to remind her of how she felt in foster care, to which she replies, “I wasn’t a potential murder suspect.” Sweets convinces her to rethink what she’s doing, pointing out that Jane Doe is terrified. Brennan gets the girl to hold her arm over an X-ray device as a compromise, and determines that she’s older than 13, but younger than 17. No missing minors fit Jane Doe’s description.
Camille calls with a report on the blood: it indicates a white male in his mid-forties. Booth uses the ATM’s photos to identify the man as Duval Price. Booth and Brennan subsequently head to the man’s apartment only to find blood on the floor, and the long-dead body of Duval Price.
At the diner, Sweets wonders why Jane Doe would kill Duval Price, but keep the weapon with her. Bones points out that the heavy door to the man’s apartment was splintered, something a young girl would never be able to do. She later watches a tape of Jane Doe signing in an interrogation, and picks up on the ‘dialect’ of her signing. She identifies it as a rural dialect, and Angela, who is experiencing minor labor pains, runs a check in her computer – she finds that the dialect comes from southern Pennsylvania. Angela also discovers a bus ticket among the crumpled papers found in the girl’s pocket, and Booth tracks it to a small Pennsylvanian town. Another scrap of paper came from the only hardware store in the town.
The couple that owns the hardware store identifies Jane Doe as ‘Amy,’ and explains that she’d run away before and come back. They express being unable to handle her; that the girl kicked them and fought with them. They seem anxious to reunite with their daughter.
In the lab, Hodgins finds that the fragments from the broken door don’t match the fibers found on Amy’s clothes, indicating that the door was already broken down when Amy entered. Camille then lets slip that Angela had a few contractions, panicking Hodgins and sending him running to his wife, who tells him that she didn’t want to worry him over it.
Later, Brennan takes another look at Amy’s X-rays, discovering signs of child abuse. She sits down with Amy and Grace, the social worker, to convince the girl to allow full X-rays. Brennan appeals to the girl through speech, while the social worker signs to her. “I know what you’ve been through,” Brennan says to her. “I know you’ve been abused.” Amy then points out that no one will believe her, and Brennan tells her that people may lie, but bones will always tell the truth. Brennan assures her that no one can say she’s lying. Finally, Amy agrees to the X-rays, and Brennan discovers that the evidence of abuse is horrific. Arastoo sadly says, “This girl was used as a punching bag.”
Caroline hands Amy’s parents a court order to keep them from their daughter, and the father vehemently denies doing anything wrong. Brennan then comes up with an idea and feels both of their noses, realizing that they don’t have the tell-tale signs of Amy’s condition, which is genetic. She concludes that they aren’t actually Amy’s parents.
Once the parents are in the interrogation room, Sweets pretends to be sympathetic with them, which gets the wife to admit to occasionally beating her to keep her in line. The husband grows increasingly angry and assaults his wife for admitting anything. Booth manages to take the man down.
Meanwhile, Brennan examines Duval Price’s bones. She recreates the situation so that the man falls on top of Amy, and she stabs him in the back. Brennan concludes that Amy was just defending herself. Hodgins also discovers something new: the shattered wood had swelled due to moisture, and that, according to the humidity from that night, the door was broken two hours after Price was killed. Angela says: “So someone else knocked down the door, saw Price, and just left him there.” Hodgins also found fibers from a flannel shirt.
Suddenly, Angela screams, indicating that she’s entering labor. Hodgins scrambles for his keys, but can’t seem to find them in his panic. Angela focuses on her breathing while her frantic husband scours the office.
Booth reports that there was a notepad found at the crime scene with Amy’s bus number and arrival time written on it. Phone records reveal that Mike, the ‘father,’ had called Price one hour before Amy’s arrival.
Meanwhile, Brennan is with Amy and she knows what has happened. She says that Mike couldn’t risk Amy telling anyone about the abuse, so he called his friend Price to kidnap her until he could get there. Amy grabbed the knife to protect herself, but accidentally stabbed the man in the back when he tried to subdue her. Mike arrived and broke the door, but found Price’s body and fled. Amy tells her that she couldn’t stand being beaten again – she signs “I killed a man” to Brennan, who is in tears by the end of her story.
Brennan then tells Amy that they believe she was kidnapped at three years old, and that Mike and his wife Denise aren’t her real parents. Amy asks: “So who am I?” in sign language, to which Brennan replies: “We will find out – together.” Later, Brennan recounts a story of her time in foster care; a sad story of holding onto pleasant memories. Amy says that she only remembers a stuffed bunny, which is not much to go on.
Brennan then requests to have one of Amy’s wisdom teeth pulled, explaining that the isotopes in the tooth could reveal where she came from. Amy agrees in hopes of finding her parents and the isotopes point Bones to California, specifically Los Angeles and then the San Fernando Valley. Using this information, Booth locates a missing person's report on a little girl from the area and the picture of the girl is of a young Amy. The young Amy even has the stuffed bunny that she remembered.
Angela and Hodgins are leaving the hospital without a child. Hodgins reveals that it was false labor, and says that he won’t panic next time. He promises to be her ‘rock.’
The episode ends with a reunion between Amy, whose real name is Samantha, and her weeping biological parents, who bring her a stuffed bunny, producing tears from all of them. Booth and Bones walk off and Booth explains that he punched Mike because his own father used to hit him but he needs to control those urges.
- Temperance Brennan - Emily Deschanel
- Seeley Booth - David Boreanaz
- Jack Hodgins - T.J Thyne
- Angela Montenegro - Michaela Conlin
- Camille Saroyan - Tamara Taylor
- Lance Sweets - John Francis Daley
Intern of the WeekEdit
- Arastoo Vaziri - Pej Vahdat
- Caroline Julian - Patricia Belcher
- Jane Doe/Amy Shenfield/Samantha Winslow - McKenzie Applegate
- Grace Meacham - Michelle Gardner
- Mike Shenfield - Sean O'Bryan
- Denise Shenfield - Pamela Gray
- Hugh Winslow - Matt Miller
- Celia Winslow - Julie Wittner
- Hodgins' vehicle isn't displaying the required front license plate in the scene after he and Angela leave the hospital.
- In this episode, Dr. Brennan reveals more about her experiences in foster care. She says that one of the families she lived with had a stuffed dog but admits that she was afraid of it because it used to be the family pet.
- Brennan is notoriously short-tempered with Amy, which is a marked difference from the season 2 episode The Boy in the Shroud, in which she consistently stuck up for Kelly, a murder suspect who was also under Child Protective Services. This could be because they initially thought the victim was dying from blood loss.
"Soft Shock" - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
- Dr. Brennan: Are you a scientist or a doctor?
- Grace Meacham: No, I'm an attorney.
- Dr. Brennan: Then let's agree that I won't give you legal advice, and you won't pretend to be a scientist.
- Booth: Tell you what: The only satisfaction I get is knowing what happens to people in prison who abuse kids.
- Hodgins: They were looking at me! I was crazy!
- Angela: Yeah, you did flip out a little.
- Hodgins: (laughs) Oh my god! I'm telling you, this is why nature invented false labor. Parents need a dry run.
- Angela: So next time you're not gonna tell the nurse to boil water?
- Hodgins: I can't believe I said that! I've clearly watched too many Westerns. No, next time, next time I will be fine.
- Angela: I am so big I could apply for statehood.
The Pinocchio in the Planter
The Hole in the Heart
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