"Bones" The Crack in the Code (TV Episode 2012) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • A human spinal column was deposited at night at the Lincoln monument with a message taunting to find the rest. Its vertebrates were reassembled, forming a code Hodgins gets obsessed with solving. The blood on it stems from 5 FBI agents, who donated it at the Red Cross. Sweets and his profile help Booth identify suspects, notably brilliant hacker Christopher Pelant and the omnipresent newspaper reporter Ezra Krane. Another murder follows and a highly original diversion crime. Bones meanwhile accepts to stay home and seriously considers Booth's ideas for a new home.

  • A cryptic message penned in human blood is discovered at a national monument. As the Jeffersonian team embarks on a scavenger hunt to solve the case, they realize their tech-savvy suspect remains one step ahead of them. Meanwhile, Booth and Brennan search for the perfect home for their new family.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • A bossy supervisor (Lisa K. Wyatt) at a museum is training the staff to give tours. Suddenly, the mouths of the new hires drop in unison. Resting at the base of a statue of Lincoln is a bloody skull and spine. Written in blood on the statue: "Where is the rest of me?" A good question. CUT to Bones (Emily Deschanel) and Booth (David Boreanaz), who continue to argue over the perfect new house on their way to the crime scene. Later, Bones examines the spine and discovers it has been dissected and then reassembled in the incorrect order. "It seems the killer reassembled the vertebrae out of order on purpose," Bones says. "He's sending us a message."

    Back at the lab, Bones identifies the victim as a female in her early 20s. Wendell (Michael Grant Terry) enters the lab with more horrifying news: the blood on the statue is from five different people. Later, Booth investigates the museum's nighttime cleaning crew and discovers one. Sam (Bambadjan Bamba), has an extensive felony record. Sam is soon brought in for questioning. The man insists to be reformed, but agrees to show Booth the "blind spots" where one might hide in the museum from security cameras. Meanwhile, DNA results come back and identify five field agents from the Washington D.C. FBI office. Uh oh.

    Booth arrives at the Hoover building to find a desperate reporter, Ezra (Robert Cicchini), looking for a comment from Caroline (Patricia Belcher). Booth shoos away the man, but not before the journalist spills secret details of the case. Either there is a leak at the Jeffersonian or the killer is talking to the press. Booth then discovers the FBI agents are alive and well. The killer most likely obtained the men's blood from a recent FBI blood drive. Clearly, he wants the FBI to notice him.

    Back at the lab, Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) is practically pulling his hair out trying to solve the mystery of the vertebrae. "The code has to be simple," he says to Angela (Michaela Conlin). Why did the killer arrive the pieces in the order he did? Later, Booth discovers a laser sighter hidden inside a mint container. It was obviously assembled at home and used to temporarily blind the security cameras. "So we're looking for a tech savvy guy who hates the FBI," Caroline observes.

    One potential suspect is a computer hacker, Christopher (Andrew Leeds). Booth and Sweets (John Francis Daley) visit Christopher to discover he hasn't been past his front door in six weeks because he is under house arrest for hacking into government systems. Christopher wears an ankle monitor. "I'm not a criminal, I'm a hacktivist," the man says with a dislikable smile. He also mentions Ezra, desperate-for-a-story reporter, recently called to ask about the murder case. Back at the lab, Angela and Hodgins try to crack the vertebrae code. They isolate the vertebrae numbers and realize the string of numerals indicates an address -- the address to the Justice Department archive building.

    CUT to Bones and Sweets who pay a visit to the archive building. It isn't long before Booth spots blood on the floor ... and then body parts on a shelf. "That 'Where's the rest of me question?' I think we just answered it," Sweets says. He then goes through files found next to the remains. All of the files are of protected government informants with serious criminal records. Hmmm. Later, Caroline is FURIOUS because Ezra has found out about the remains in the FBI archive. Ezra claims to have a "source" on the inside. Sweets then enters with news: one of the informants in the file, Daniel, ran a real estate scam in which one of his victims committed suicide in front of h is daughter. That daughter is an IT specialist at a local hospital named Sophia (Alla Korot).

    Sophia has the motive and the technical expertise. Booth and Sweets visit the woman, who is still distraught. She says she knew Daniel was an FBI informant because she was informed by reporter Ezra. Booth then gets a call from Angela, who explains facial reconstruction has identified the victim as a Danish woman working as a house sitter. CUT to the house, where Booth and Sweets discover the hot tub filled with blood. "This is where he killed her," Booth notes. On a nearby fence, written in blood, is "This will not stop."

    CUT to the lab, where Wendell and Angela scan the victim's skeleton and run it through a program that suggests causes of death. But before the program can show them anything, the screen suddenly flashes and then goes dark. Has the Jeffersonian been hacked? It certainly has. Later, Angela explains the virus originated in her computer, so it had to come from something she uploaded. And the only thing she uploaded were the bone scans. "Are you telling me the virus came from the bones?" a disbelieving Camille asks. Believe it. Hodgins, meanwhile, has determined the woman was killed with a stick used by divers to repel sharks. The shock from the stick literally produced an explosion, explaining the scattered nature of the remains.

    Booth, meanwhile, brings in Ezra for questioning. "You've got nothing on me!" the reporter says. Spits Booth: "I don't think you have a source. I think you killed that girl to save your career!" Hours later, Booth is called to a new crime scene by Caroline. Turns out yet another body has been found -- this one hung from a flagpole and also killed with a "bang stick." Ezra. "Someone really didn't want Ezra Crane to reveal his source," Caroline notes.

    Then it gets really complicated. Turns out Ezra's body never made it back to the Jeffersonian because someone was able to manipulate the paperwork at multiple government sites and then declaring the body contained a deadly virus. It was immediately cremated. The team gets nervous. The killer is obviously a genius, capable of hacking into government databases and lines of communications and writing a computer virus onto bone. It must be Christopher, who is soon brought in for questioning. Of course, the cocky hacker explains his ankle monitor clearly gives him an alibi. 

    It's true. As Sweets explains, Christopher did it but there is no way he could have done it. It appears our favorite crime fighters have been outthought and outmaneuvered on this particular case. Still, Booth SWEARS to nail the hacker at some point. CUE a MONTAGE of the team furiously investigating every possible angle ... while Christopher uses household items to build his next dastardly device. The episode ends with Bones and Booth visiting their new home. It's a total wreck ... at least for the time being. "I can see the bones -- the bones of the house," Bones says. "I can imagine it whole." The pair embraces.

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