"The Patriot in Purgatory" is episode six of season eight of Bones, the forensic drama television series loosely based on the novels and life of anthropologist Kathy Reichs. In this episode, after watching basketball, Brennan conducts an experiment in teamwork.
Brennan Has Called All the Interns In
Fisher, Clark, Mr Vaziri, Wendell and Finn have all been called in together by Brennan for some reason, although they don't know why. Finn starts examining the remains, so the others join as well.
It's All About Teamwork
Brennan herself is in the diner with Booth. She has been thinking about teamwork after watching a basketball game the previous night. Booth felt she would appreciate basketball; he perhaps didn't think about how she would analyse it. She has read Phil Jackson's book (apparently a famous basketball coach) and has called in the interns as an experiment in teamwork and Phil Jackson's style of management (and Brennan starts using basketball terminology throughout the case).
Identify the Unidentified
The remains they were examining - according to Brennan, those of a foolish man who attempted to juggle a chainsaw - are not what she wants them to examine. She has something more challenging for them. She wants them to, instead, identify as many of the around 1,000 currently unidentified remains as possible - the Jeffersonian has recently digitised the missing persons database. As an experiment in teamwork, rather than under the constant threat of dismissal. The interns quickly decide this is a good idea. Although it gets off to an awkward start.
18 Victims Quickly Identified
The interns also get very competitive, and Mr Vaziri is the only one unable to initially identify a homeless man who was beaten to death and found in a parking garage in Washington. So he mentions the magic word 'conspiracy' and gets Hodgins to run remains through the mass spec. The interns rapidly identify 18 victims and Booth dumps the responsibility of notifying the families on Sweets.
A Still Unidentified Homeless Man
Of those 18, none have been identified by Mr Vaziri, and Brennan wants to know why. He is still waiting on results for his homeless man as he has got rather involved in the case. The victim also had a very old large calibre bullet wound. The police didn't care much, because he was homeless. Hodgins comes back with the mass spec results - the man was soaked in jet fuel. The police report was really poor, and the man died four days before the police found the body, even though they didn't list that.
The Man Was a Veteran
When Cam, Hodgins and Angela narrow down the day of death to September 21st, Mr Vaziri has what appears to be an epiphany, and gets the other interns involved. Clark also realises what Mr Vaziri is thinking; Fisher is not that interested. Until he works out what is going on. The man suffered an injury 10 days before he died, on September 11th, 2001. Near the Pentagon. The body seems to be that of an unidentified victim of the attack. Sweets suggests that the dead man may have been working with the attackers. There are also traces of uranium, and the U.S. military used depleted uranium shells during Desert Storm, around the time that the man was shot. Booth decides that the homeless man is ex-military.
How Did He Die?
The man is identified surprisingly quickly, and he was a veteran who had problems after the war, but how and why he died still need determining.
An Emotional Case
The case unsurprisingly stirs up strong emotions. Not just for Mr Vaziri (who makes a quite impressive speech), but for Cam, who was working in New York as a coroner when the attack happened, and the others too.
Bones - The Patriot in Purgatory Trailer