"The Doctor in the Photo" is episode nine of season six of Bones, the forensic drama television series loosely based on the novels and life of anthropologist Kathy Reichs. In this episode, a skeleton is found buried beneath the tree and Brennan starts to closely identify with the victim.
The Skeleton in the Roots
During some heavy rain at night a tree uproots. In the exposed roots is a human skeleton. Brennan is hosting a dinner party, with Booth, Hannah, Hodgins and Angela when she and Booth get calls from their respective bosses.
There Are Similarities to Brennan?
Where the tree fell down is a very bad neighbourhood. The tree actually grew through the skeleton. The victim is quickly identified as being a rich white woman - and Cam points out she would have really stood out in the neighbourhood they are in. The victim hasn't been dead that long, and the entire tree needs carting back to the lab. The victim is also about the same height and weight as Brennan and is wearing a ring that she seems to recognise. The ring on the victim is a dolphin ring, just like Brennan's.
Nourishment for the Tree
Preliminary examination seems to show that the victim as beaten to death, which Cam says is appropriate to the neighbourhood, and has occupational markers that could mean she was a medical professional. According to Hodgins, the tree showed an unusual level of nourishment the previous winter. Hodgins narrows down the burial time to November.
The Victim Appears Identical to Brennan, At Least to Brennan Herself
Booth had not managed to identify the victim, but when Brennan mentions that she could have been a medical professional, Hannah finds a story of a surgeon who went missing and was never found. Single, with no children, only people at work could have missed her. The woman did not appear to have much of a personal life. Brennan is surprised that someone as skilled as the surgeon apparently was could disappear without a trace. Even though Booth doesn't see it, the victim appears identical to Brennan, in looks and in personal life. Which she finds disturbing. She is even more disturbed when she listens to a recording and the victim sounds like Brennan too. Is she seeing and hearing things that are not actually there?
The Case is Affecting Brennan
Months prior to her death, the victim had been stabbed but hadn't told anyone. Sweets believes that Brennan is over identifying with the victim. The case is certainly affecting Brennan more than usual, leading her to actually have conversations with the victim. She also spends quite a bit of time at night at the Jeffersonian talking to a security guard. It's still not clear what the woman was doing in the neighbourhood where she was found or who killed her and why. Brennan's personal identification with the victim does lead her to a revelation, about the case and her own life.