bones recap archaeologist cocoon clark fox 'Bones' recap: Worms, Neanderthals and peek a boo in 'The Archaeologist in the Cocoon'

Never cut open a giant cocoon containing a dead body. Worms will fall on your face.

Isn’t it great that we have a show like “Bones” to teach us these important lessons? And isn’t it great how episodes like “The Archaeologist in the Cocoon” can fully disgust us on multiple levels in under an hour?

Yes. Yes it is.

Not a Mothman

The “Bones” crime of the week concerns an Indiana Jones-like archaeologist named James Sutton. The unfortunate Sutton somehow managed to get himself lodged in a tree** and cocooned by an odd variety of worm that I truly hope to never, ever meet.

By the time Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) and Brennan (Emily Deschanel) find the man, he’s a barely recognizable white blob. Inside this blob, there is both a decaying body and a whole bunch of worms. These worms fall on Brennan’s face. I may never go near a tree again.

The cocoon and the worms are eventually removed (with crows), and the investigators eventually discover that Sutton bled out after his assailant severed an artery.

**NOTE: Did “Bones” ever explain how the archaeologist got into the tree in the first place? I mean, it’s not the most obvious place — or the easiest place, for that matter — to stash a body…

The Chechen connection

Sutton left behind some new research and a new wife, both fresh from Chechnya. The wife is devastated at the loss of her husband, who will never know their unborn child. The wife’s brother is less troubled by this. He is so untroubled that Booth (David Boreanaz) begins to think the man may have killed Sutton in order to restore honor to his traditional family.

On the research front, it turns out that Sutton made a major discovery while in Chechnya. He returned with the bones of a Neolithic family — a family that turns out to be a mixed marriage between homo sapiens and Neanderthal.

This is a big deal in archaeology.

Competition in science and peek-a-boo

A major theme throughout “The Archaeologist in the Cocoon” is competition. As we all knew, Brennan is awfully competitive. Whether it’s getting her baby daughter to play peek-a-boo or trying to steal Dr. Clark Edison’s (Eugene Byrd) thunder in Neolithic research, it’s hard for Brennan to not win.

But she deals with it. Mostly this is because she wants to be a good mother. The fact that Clark also manages to spot key archaeological clues probably helps too.


The Chechen brother-in-law turns out to be innocent. The Creationist collector who bought most of Sutton’s finds so that he could destroy them turns out to be aggravating, kind of stupid and innocent. The grieving wife is very innocent.

Who does that leave?

It turns out that Sutton’s publisher — a fan of pulpy pseudo-science books — is the killer. She was angry when the archaeologist chose to publish his big Neolithic find in a journal instead of in one of her books. So she killed him with a bookend. As you do.

People say interesting things on “Bones”

  • “She’s brilliant just like her dad… Mom.” — Booth
  • “Makes you long for a simple stabbing, doesn’t it?” — Cam
  • “Dr. Hodgins, could you please get the bugs off my eyes?” — Brennan
  • “He misspelled ‘Mayan…’ and ‘calendar.'” — Hodgins on Sutton’s apocalypse book
  • “At what age does a kid master peek-a-boo?” — Booth | “OK, gear change.” — Sweets
  • “Feed, my children! Feed!” — Hodgins to the crows
  • “Can we get back to the murder? It’s so much easier to deal with.” — Cam
  • “Can you believe she called him a caveman?” — Clark
  • “Hark! I bring thee meat which we thus shall feast upon!” — Hodgins, with dead bunny

Posted by:Laurel Brown