Quicklet on Bones: Season 1 (TV Show)

by Erin Martin

What's in the book?

Quicklets: Your reading sidekick!

    • Season 1 Summary
    • Episode-by-Episode Synopsis
    • Character List
    • Key Terms and Definitions
    • Major Themes and Symbols
    • Interesting Related Facts
    • Additional Reading



“What do you want me to do? Spit in my hand? We're Scully and Mulder.” – Agent Booth, “Pilot”

Everyone loves a good crime drama. There’s just something about impossibly hot forensics experts using computer programs (that run on magic) to solve brutal homicides that feels both enthralling and soothing. But what happens in TV World when the corpse in question is less of a pretty aspiring actress lying really, really still on a coroner’s slab, and more of a squishy pile of goop? That’s where Temperance Brennan, Seeley Booth, and the (impossibly hot) posse of forensic scientists at the fictional Jeffersonian Institute come in.

Fox’s Bones centers on the unlikely partnership of Temperance “Bones” Brennan (played by Emily Deschanel), a socially awkward forensic anthropologist at the Jeffersonian and part-time novelist, and Seeley Booth (played by David Boreanaz), a charismatic sniper-turned-FBI agent. Using Brennan’s talent for deduction in a very specific field, and Booth’s reassuring swagger and deadly aim with a firearm, the pair takes on Washington D.C.’s toughest cold or otherwise unsolvable murder cases with a little help from the scientific powerhouse (holographic visualizers!) at the Jeffersonian.


Erin Martin lives in San Francisco by way of West Texas, then Nashville, then Denver. She earned her BA in Creative Writing from Vanderbilt University, where she was Editor-in-Chief of The Vanderbilt Review. Throughout her college career, she worked in media, reading scripts and writing the most beautiful synopses ever skimmed over by a producer’s assistant’s assistant. After college, she taught high school English in Colorado through Teach For America, where she realized that writing things is more fun than teaching other people to write things, and adjusted her professional aspirations accordingly. Currently, she lives in San Francisco with her boyfriend, where she still invests a disproportionate amount of time and emotional energy into watching television. She blogs about where education and technology meet at bytingtheapple.com, and can be found on Twitter @erinavery.


Bones follows the adventures and unlikely partnership of Temperance Brennan, expert forensic anthropologist for the Jeffersonian Institute in Washington, D.C., and FBI Agent Seeley Booth, a former sniper bent on leveling the cosmic odds by catching murderers. Almost as readily evident as Brennan’s ability to take care of herself, thank you very much, is the fact that she is overcoming a dark past. Her parents disappeared when she was fifteen, leaving her and her older brother, Russ, to fend for themselves. They were never found–not even their bodies.

Fast-forward several years: Brennan is hugely successful in her career as a scientist and novelist, but almost robotic in the way she represses her emotions. She is hyper-rational, to the point that only her close team of scientists at the Jeffersonian even come close to understanding her. Brennan is content to let her work identifying unknown victims replace her own need for closure in her parents’ case. She is also just fine on her own, eschewing most relationships and pretending that feelings don’t exist. That is, until Booth arrives on the scene.

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