- "I'm not a sociopath! I'm an anthropologist at the Jeffersonian."
- ―Doctor Brennan
Season 1, Episode 1
|Airdate||September 13th, 2005|
|Producer||Jim Chory; Hart Hanson; David H. Jeffery; Barry Josephson; Kathy Reichs; Jan DeWitt|
|Starring||Emily Deschanel; David Boreanaz; Michaela Conlin; Eric Millegan; TJ Thyne; Jonathan Adams|
|Next||"The Man in the SUV"|
"Pilot" is the premiere episode of the crime procedural television series Bones. It was directed by Greg Yaitanes and written by series creator Hart Hanson. It first aired on the FOX Network on September 13th, 2005. The series is inspired by the works of forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs, who is also the author of a series of novels from which the show is based. Bones stars Emily Deschanel as the brilliant, yet socially inept forensics anthropologist Doctor Temperance Brennan. She is partnered with FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth, played by David Boreanaz, and is based out of the fictional Jeffersonian Institute in Washington, D.C.. Seeley's nickname for Brennan is "Bones", due to her occupational proclivities and he refers to her team of specialists as "Squints". The other cast members on the series includes Brennan's team, which is played by Michaela Conlin, Eric Millegan and TJ Thyne in the respective roles of Angela Montenegro, Zack Addy and Doctor Jack Hodgins. The team's supervisor is Doctor Daniel Goodman played by Jonathan Adams.
Having just spent two months in Guatemala where she was identifying victims of genocide, renowned forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan returns to Washington, D.C., where she is immediately detained by an agent from Homeland Security for carrying a human skull in her bag. Upon the arrival of FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth, Brennan is released, which she finds odd and realizes that it was his ploy to get her to help him on an FBI case. She refuses to help until Booth promises her full participation in the case, which he reluctantly does.
At the crime scene, Brennan and Booth find human remains which were so thoroughly decomposed that only the bones remained. Brennan and her assistant, Zack Addy, determine the victim is a woman between 18 to 23 years old, and was a tennis player. Back at the Jeffersonian Institute, Brennan argues with her boss, Dr. Daniel Goodman, who feels no qualms about assigning her to work with other federal agencies without her permission.
Inside the Medico-Legal Lab of the Jeffersonian Institute, Brennan examines the victim's remains while her colleagues inquire about the resemblances between them and the characters in her new book, Bred in the Bone. Dr. Jack Hodgins, an entomologist, tells Brennan that the victim has been in the pond for more than two summers. Hodgins has also found small bone fragments in the silt, which he guesses are rana temporaria or simply, frog bones. Angela Montenegro, a forensic artist, uses a computer program she has developed, called the Angelator, to make a three dimensional holographic reconstruction of the skull, which Brennan reassembled. The identity of the victim is revealed to be Cleo Louise Eller, who was a missing senate intern and was rumored to have had an affair with Senator Alan Bethlehem.
Brennan wants to confront the Senator but Booth argues that the Senator is not the only suspect. The Senator's aide, Ken Thompson, was Cleo's boyfriend. There is also Cleo's stalker, Oliver Laurier. Booth tells Brennan that they have a major case and that FBI Deputy Director Cullen is going to want to set up a special unit to investigate, which means they are going to have do things by the book and wants her to stay at her lab. Brennan blackmails Booth until he agrees to let her come with him into the field.
Based on the particulates embedded in Cleo's skull, Hodgins determines that Cleo's skull may have been smashed by a sledgehammer on a cement floor and diatomaceous earth. By the distinctive damage done to her finger pads and the way the body was hidden, the team determines that the murderer had put a lot of effort into hiding the victim. Hodgins also reveals that Cleo was taking medicine for her depression, while Brennan realizes that the small bones found with Cleo's body are not frog bones but fetal ear bones, indicating Cleo Eller was pregnant.
Hodgins, a conspiracy theorist, convinces Brennan that they may never find the truth as Senator Bethlehem may have enough power to impede the investigation. Without telling Booth, Brennan decides to confront the Senator. Consequently, Deputy Director Cullen removes Booth from the case but Brennan refuses to give up. With the help of her fellow scientists, she uncovers that Cleo Eller's boyfriend Ken Thompson, had killed Cleo because he feared the scandal Cleo's pregnancy would cause and affect his career. 
Principal Cast Edit
|Emily Deschanel||Doctor Temperance "Bones" Brennan|
|David Boreanaz||Special Agent Seeley Booth|
|Michaela Conlin||Angela Montenegro|
|Eric Millegan||Zack Addy|
|TJ Thyne||Doctor Jack Hodgins|
|Jonathan Adams||Doctor Daniel Goodman|
Guest Stars Edit
|Sam Trammell||Ken Thompson|
|Chris Conner||Oliver Laurier|
|Larry Poindexter||Senator Bethlehem|
|Tyrees Allen||Ted Eller|
|Bonita Friedericy||Sharon Eller|
|Dominic Fumusa||Peter St. James|
|Dave Roberson||DHS Agent Bennett Gibson|
|Naja Hill||Cleo Eller|
|John Sterling Carter||FBI director|
|Katherine Ann McGregor||Mrs. Bethlehem|
|Damian T. Raven||Uniformed security|
|Yun Choi||FBI agent #1|
|Jeff Witzke||FBI agent #2|
|Mary Sue Perry||Customs agent|
|Billy Briggs||Airport clerk|
|John M. Jackson||FBI Deputy Director Sam Cullen|
|Shawn McDonald||Burns victm|
Notes & Trivia Edit
- Actor David Boreanaz is also known for playing the role of vampire superhero Angel on the eponymous WB Network television series Angel.
- Actress Emily Deschanel is also known for playing the role of Pam Asbury on the 2002 Stephen King miniseries Rose Red. She has also appeared in episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Providence and Crossing Jordan.
- Jonathan Adams is a series regular on Bones in season 1 only.
- Eric Millegan is a series regular on Bones from season 1 until midway through season 3.
- Actor Sam Trammell, who plays Ken Thompson in this episode, will go on to play a leading role in the HBO TV series True Blood as shape-shifting bartender Sam Merlotte.
- Actors John M. Jackson and Shawn McDonald are uncredited for their participation in this episode.