Air Date 2/8/06
We open up with NEWS ANCHORS reporting on a horrific skeleton found dressed in a superhero costume. Cullen explains to Booth that media attention made government officials nervous so FBI is to take care of it before Halloween hits. It's now Booth's responsibility and he calls Bones in. Brennan arrives on the scene, investigates the victim's skeleton but unable to determine just yet whether it was suicide or murder.
Back in the lab, Zack determines the skeleton to be a boy in his teens. The cellulose they found on the body was the remains of a comic book. Cranial fractures suggest the boy was assaulted viciously before being dropped in an attempt to make it look like suicide.
Booth identifies the boy to be WARREN GRANGER - an underdeveloped kid who was reported missing two months before. They go to his apartment where they find the his mother and step-father - HELEN GRANGER and JOHN KELTNER. They find out that Warren was a lonely kid, a recluse "who died before he even had a life." He spent most of his time with his comic books, isolated within an inner secret life. Brennan gets a call from Zack and is informed that Warren has fractures which prove he fought his attacker. Brennan sits at Warren's desk, simulating what Warren might have done there and discovers after applying pencil to paper that Warren wrote long-hand with a pen. Booth finds a comic book with the superhero "Citizen 14" on the cover - he's wearing the same costume Warren had on at time of death.
Based on the reconstructions of Warren's graphic novel, the squint team hypothesizes about Warren's character and passion for graphic novels. Booth takes Brennan to Karma Comics, a lead tied to something Booth found in Warren's room. They meet STEW ELLIS, manager of the store, strangely perturbed by the news - he knew Warren peripherally, said he was a nice kid. Booth and Brennan hear music coming from the roof and go up to investigate. They find DOOMSDAY GROUP -- a team of costumed role-players, of which Warren was once a part. Warren's identity was Citizen 14; he "bugged out" two months ago and disappeared. The group learns that Warren is dead. ABIGAIL ZEALY - aka "Blue Minnow" has the biggest reaction to this news. It is clear to all that she was more than just Warren's "friend." Booth postulates that it's entirely possible these kids were delusional enough to have committed a crime without feeling like they did anything wrong.
At the Jeffersonian, Goodman examines Angela's reconstruction of Warren's graphic novel and concludes that the boy was clearly in pain. Angela and Goodman try to decipher Warren's psychology through the pages. Forensic evidence show no sign of drug use. Brennan takes a closer look at the body and finds a fractured vertebrae in Warren's neck. The victim's spine was severed as a result of stabbing.
In the second restored volume of Warren's graphic novel, Goodman and Angela discover the existence of a female presence - "The Opalescence" who Citizen 14 tries to rescue from a dark figure, "The Twisted." They wonder if these figures correlate to people in Warren's life.
At the FBI, Booth and Brennan interrogate Abigal aka "Blue Minnow." She tells them Warren had a girlfriend at the bowling alley he worked at and succeeds in exposing her own obsession for Warren. Booth and Bones doubt Abigail is the Opalescence in Warren's graphic novel but haven't ruled her out as a suspect.
At the Angelator, Brennan confirms Abigail couldn't have been the murderer: she wasn't big enough to do the job. They're looking for someone with substantially more height and weight. In the Lab, Zack and Hodgins find deterioration on cleaned bones that proves Warren was terminally ill before he was killed.
Booth and Brennan show up at Capital Bowl, a bowling alley where Warren worked. They meet TED MCGRUDER, Warren's boss, who thought he just up and left. His wife - LUCY, is shocked by the news of Warren's death. Meanwhile, Brennan sees the Doomsday Players enter, loud and belligerent. They trade glances. Booth asks Ted and Lucy about the girlfriend Abigail mentioned, but the McGruders say he never had one. Abigail was the only girl they knew of, and Warren frequently dodged her. Brennan gets a call from Zack and gets the news that Warren had leukemia and would have been dead by now if he weren't killed.
This type of news warrants another visit to Warren's parents, who incredibly, never found out about Warren's disease. Booth tells the mother that Warren was probably protecting her from the pain of knowing, a small lie to ease her grief which Brennan catches. In reality, Booth believes Warren was just a boy learning how to be a man, doing what he thought was right. This new scenario changes Warren's motivation altogether, from playing a victim to a hero: Warren must have gone out looking for a fight. Brennan suddenly lands on the fact that someone in Warren's life drew the comic books. As Zack reports that there's an extra piece of bone found on Warren's body, Angela reads the name of Warren's illustrator - it's Stew, manager of the comic store.
Second visit to Stew brings Booth a confession that finally takes them somewhere. Stew says he had an argument with Warren before he died, over merchandise.
"Merchandise?" Booth presses Stew, sensing another lie. Finally, Stew fesses up to having a sexual relationship with Abigail. She was obsessed with Warren although he didn't share her sentiment.
Back in the lab, Brennan and Zack examine the foreign bone, postulating that it could have belonged to his assailant. Brennan makes a bone slide to help determine sex and age of his murderer as Booth reveals what he's learned about Stew. Brennan concludes that the bone chip comes from a left arm - they're looking for someone who favors their left arm.
Brennan and Booth revisit the McGruders at the bowling alley. Based on body language, Bones construes that Lucy suffers from bruised ribs - the result of domestic abuse. But before they go charging in, they need hard forensic evidence to support their theory: Lucy may be Warren's "Opalescence" while Tim the wife-beater could be the "Twisted" Warren was trying to save her from.
From the bone slide, Zack makes the murderer a male in his thirties. They're still stumped by the murder weapon -- something sharp but not a knife. They compare Citizen 14's weapons to the victim's wound pattern... Suddenly, Booth has an idea to what the weapon might be.
In the car, Booth and Brennan find out that the McGruders have fled their home. They drive to Capital Bowls to investigate and find Ted scrubbing away incriminating evidence while yelling at his wife to "Shut up!" Booth asks Ted for the beveled, triangular, three-sided knife they use to clean out bowling balls. Lucy brings it out. Brennan takes a look; it could definitely be the murder weapon. Lucy is bewildered by all this; she still doesn't know her husband murdered Warren. To prove it, Brennan strikes Ted's left arm, doubling him over to reveal an old injury. He makes a move to strike back and Bones, moving quicker, flips him painfully allowing Booth to make his arrest. Back in the room with Lucy, we find out how it all went down. Lucy tells them that Warren saw Ted hit her once and tried to save her from him. Brennan says that Warren must have tried to stab Ted with the beveled knife and Ted retaliated.
At Warren's funeral, Booth and Brennan watch as Warren's Doomsday friends pay their respect. Angela has completed Warren's graphic novel and gives it to Lucy. In it, Angela has filled in Opalescence's last words to Citizen 14: "Thank You" as a tribute to Warren's heroism.