Bones Season 2 Episode 1
“The Titan on the Tracks”
Air Date: August 30, 2006
The Titan on the Tracks brilliantly sets up the main themes for season two while following the death of a basketball player/tycoon and a U.S. Senator.
The Crime: We open on a rainy night with Booth and Brennan racing towards a crime scene where they encounter a burning car, a passenger train off the tracks, and Camille Saroyan, Brennan’s new boss and Booth’s ex-lover. The placement of the car on the tracks seems deliberate, probably suicide. Brennan says the body in the car had a lot of jewelry, was male, tall, and wore and ID bracelet of good quality gold. It’s slightly melted, too melted for a car fire…oh, and she can’t find the missing skull. Cam comes running to let Booth know they found three bodies in the first class car which makes it a homicide. One of them is a senator.
The Bodies on the Table: Brennan says the body is 6’7″ and with Booth’s help, identifies him as a possible basketball player. Hodgin’s puts that together with the initials on the ID bracelet, and they identify him as Warren Lynch, a famous former basketball player and CEO of Lynch Pin Industries. Cam ID’s the senator as Paula Davis.
The Evidence: Zack and Brennan say it wasn’t a suicide. The man was dead for several hours before the train hit him based upon bone evidence. There’s a photo from the carpool lane of Mr. Lynch on the afternoon of the accident, but no one saw him in the hours between. The SEC was about to leak charges against Lynch for shorting stock. With his death, someone stood to gain tens of millions of dollars. Bone density analysis suggests bone loss and drug use. Was Warren Lynch a heroine addict? There were also two types of glass found at the scene, car window glass and glass from jars. After a spam experiment, Hodgins and Zack find that jars of accelerant had been placed in the car to make it burn hotter and longer.
The Witnesses: Booth and Brennan talk to the Lynch’s wife. They learn the victim’s motto was “accidentally on purpose” and that he didn’t play by the rules. He and his wife were separating due to many infidelities. She sends them to Rick Turco, one of Lynch’s private investigators. Booth threatens to open up a drug investigation on Turco, but Turco says he doesn’t believe Lynch was a junkie. Warren Lynch brought him in to deal with a blackmailer that was probably more serious than a scorned girlfriend. Turco paid the blackmailer off three days before.
The Revelations: The Angelatron shows that the skull Zack pieced together belonged to a man whose face wasn’t that of Warren Lynch. Therefore, the body in the car isn’t him. Angela discovers faked dental records. The Angelatron also recreates the sequence of damage to victim’s body. This let’s us know that the corpse was forced into a jacket by two people. Pictures from the carpool lane expose Turco as being in the car in the next lane when Lynch was last seen. Therefore they conclude Turco was possibly the last person to see him.
Later, they find Warren Lynch in the hospital. He was thrown from a speeding car, unconscious, and badly beaten. The severe brain damage means that he won’t wake up and can’t ever tell them what happened. After Brennan stares at the dolphin belt buckle that was so important to her mother that her dad buried her with it, she realizes that in the hospital, Lynch still had his championship ring. He had to have been in on it.
The Verdict: They confront Turco, who of course denies everything, and blames the blackmailer. When Booth’s about to give up, Brennan tells him to try the “lying thing” and gives him the piece of information that makes Turco believe Lynch woke up. It works. The prosecutor tells them at most they can get Turco for ten years. She insults the Jeffersonian team when she implies their forensic work wasn’t good enough. However, Cam steps up to the plate, calling the team her “people” and puts the prosecutor in her place.
The Relationships: Throughout the episode, two themes that flow through all season two appear. Is Brennan’s Dad a good guy or a bad guy? Who is Cam and can she be an effective and accepted part of the gang?
Brennan struggles through the question about her father by talking to Booth. He takes her to meet the man who took out her mother’s killer and she’s upset because she thinks she’ll never know what happened. However, the murderer says to see McVicar’s death as a message from Max. This only confuses her more. If her dad took out a hit on a man isn’t he bad? Booth says maybe not.
He later takes her to her mother’s grave, where she awkwardly attempts to connect with her mother at his request, even though she believes that her mom is 100% dead and can’t hear her. She asks out loud whether her dad was a good man or a bad man. She says, “What’s the truth? Do I keep looking or let it go like he asked? Who’s he protecting himself? Or me and Russ?” Booth tells her the answers won’t come right away.
As far as Camille Saroyan is concerned, the episode shows us that she and Seeley Booth knew each other before and have a good friendship, but that she didn’t come back for him. She’s there for the job opportunity. It also makes clear that she’s a people person, as evidenced by the nicknames she gives the group (Zacaroni and Hodge Podge), and how quickly she learns what’s important to them. She asserts her authority over her team, but also let’s them know she has their back. While it takes Brennan most of the show to decide, in the end she finds Cam worthy of respect.