Bones Season 1 Episode 1 “Pilot” (2005): 8 out of 10: In the pilot episode of Bones, we meet Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel), a highly skilled forensic anthropologist working at the Jeffersonian Institute in Washington D.C. Brennan, also known as “Bones” due to her expertise in the field, is approached by FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) for assistance in solving a high-profile case.
The episode begins with the discovery of a decomposed body found in a pond at Arlington National Cemetery. With the remains in a severely deteriorated state, Agent Booth enlists Dr. Brennan’s help to identify the victim and determine the cause of death. Initially hesitant, Brennan agrees to assist Booth on the condition that she becomes a full partner in the case, not just a consultant.
As Brennan and Booth begin their investigation, they form a reluctant partnership, bringing together their unique skill sets to uncover the truth. With the help of her team at the Jeffersonian, including forensic artist Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin), entomologist Dr. Jack Hodgins (T.J. Thyne), and lab assistant Zack Addy (Eric Millegan), Brennan pieces together the identity of the victim and the circumstances surrounding her death.
As the duo delves deeper into the case, they uncover a web of secrets and motives, leading them to the shocking truth about the victim’s life and her tragic demise. Along the way, Brennan and Booth navigate their complex relationship, marked by their differing personalities and methods but ultimately driven by their shared dedication to seeking justice for the victims.
The Good: Bones likes to do music montages in thier episodes. There are some later episodes where the tunes chosen are a little to on point. But the pilot episode actually has some nice adult contemporary to go with the visuals.
Not just do they name drop Scully and Mulder very early on and understandably so, Booth’s boss at the FBI literally looks like he came right out of an X-Files episode. Bones does a marvellous job with the Mulder/Scully chemistry and, in fact, over the seasons, surpasses it.
Like many pilot episodes, there’s a ton of exposition dump, but Bones does a pretty decent job of spreading it out and making it feel natural.
The Bad: One thing that Bones gets better at as time goes on but is really bad in the first three seasons is the blue screen in the driving and the blue screen when they’re supposed to be in Washington DC and this pilot episode is no exception. In addition, the Jeffersonian Institute has some very visible palm trees in the pilot episode that later ones either film around or remove with a bit of the old CGI magic.
The Ugly: The plot is of Chandra Levy. It’s a pretty good choice for your first Washington-based show, though not much of a mystery. The weakness in the mysteries is something that will haunt Bones on occasional episodes. Bones rocks when it comes to casting and interpersonal relationships. The mystery of the week part can definitely be hit or miss.
In Conclusion: The pilot episode of Bones sets the stage for the rest of the series, showcasing the dynamic partnership between Dr. Brennan and Agent Booth, as well as the critical role that forensic anthropology plays in solving the most challenging criminal cases. Solid average episode for the series gets the job done.