'Bones' recap: Basketball fun descends into horror and terrorism

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"Bones" usually tries to keep it light, even when talking about disgusting murder. Unfortunately, murder is rarely a light subject. Couple that murder with terrorism -- as happens in "The Patriot in Purgatory" -- and even a story that begins with sports metaphors and silliness descends quickly into tears.

Inspired by Phil Jackson's biography of all things, Brennan ( Emily Deschanel) puts her squinterns to work identifying anonymous remains. They soon become obsessed with a nameless homeless man -- a man who was injured in the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon.

The team eventually identifies the remains as belonging to Tim Murphy, a troubled veteran. All of the male squinterns team up for the very first time to determine how Murphy died -- just 10 days after the terrorist attack.

First we believe the man was a homeless, friendless lunatic. Then we learn of his military past and the family he left behind. Eventually, Murphy's injuries lead the team to a surprising conclusion: The homeless veteran died -- slowly -- of injuries sustained as he saved three people from the rubble of the Pentagon.

A Few Random Musings and Lighten-the-Mood Quotations

  • It's easy to understand why the squinterns leaped to their conclusion, but is it so impossible that a homeless man could have died of something else on that day? Think about it: On September 11, 2001, people died in normal ways. Things like heart attacks and car accidents and cancer don't stop because of terrorism. TV relates everything to the big events, but most of life is smaller than that. But even a small tragedy remains a tragedy. A horrifying event like that terrorist attack simply magnifies tragedy and shares it with the world.
  • "We're a team!" -- Arastoo  "Yeah, but not really." -- Fisher
  • Never juggle a chainsaw. Let this be a lesson to us all.
  • "With Dr. Brennan, all the conventional rules of the universe become obsolete." -- Cam
  • If Superman were capable of heading into the early years of middle age and was an FBI agent instead of a superhero, Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) would indeed be a lot like Superman.
  • "This was not the work of religion. It was arrogance. It was hypocrisy. It was hate! Those horrible men who hijacked those planes hijacked my religion too." Wow. How the heck is it a lighthearted romantic comedy/procedural mystery like "Bones" that actually explained it the right way.
  • People do love to swap "where we were on 9/11" stories. Speaking of which, I was in a small town in eastern Africa that didn't have TV and only had sporadic radio reception. It took over an hour listening to the radio broadcasts to figure out what was going on. The first person I spoke to afterward was the Muslim headmaster of a local school. He was horrified.

Want to share a 9/11 story? Was this a good way to deal with the event? Have at it!
Photo/Video credit: FOX