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T.J. Thyne and Tamara Taylor.
Bones "The Widow's Son in the Windshield" (2007)
Season three of FOX television's police drama Bones (2005 - ) contains a multi-episode story arc about a cannibalistic serial killer, introduced in the season premier, "The Widow's Son in the Windshield".
A consistant theme in the episodes's titles is the phrasing "The [victim or perpetrator] in the [location]". In this instance, the widow's son refers to the Hiramic legend in masonic ritual while the windshield is where a skull is found embedded.
The series' principal characters, Booth and Brennan locate the serial killer's hideout in an abandoned bank vault containing a miscellany of esoteric objects. Brennan describes what she finds: "...pythagorean mathamatics, hebrew scriptures, gnosticism, Kabbalah, alchemy, druidism, astrology...." They also find an ancient Greek phrase [00:21;40] written on the back of the door, later translated as "will no one help the widow's son." [00:22:20]
Unremarked, a copy of Josiah Bowring's 1819 Master Mason tracing board is briefly seen in the background. [00:23:58]. An Entered Apprentice tracing board is also shown moments later.
Angela describes a large symbol-marked wheel and silver skeleton as "high mediaeval, Spanish, possibly Calabrian." Hodgins replies: "Whoa, whoa, twelfth century Calabrian? You know what that means? The Order of Alcántara. You people have no idea of the reach of the Illuminati, do you? Tell you what else, this old bank is an original vortex point on the triangular grid designed by the infamous architect of DC, Pierre Charles L'Enfant, not to mention, the way that the skeleton is displayed...."
His remarks are not taken seriously by the other characters, but later Booth comments on another skeleton: "His body was arranged in the same position as the silver skeleton. So, Hodgins, do you think that's a coincidence?"
Hodgins: "What? So suddenly you think my insane conspiracy ravings are legitimate?"
Brennan: "No."
Booth: "Yes."
Brennan: "...but obviously there are other insane people out there who have the same ravings, and we need your insight." [00:39:20]
Hodgins: "Alright. Both the body and the silver skeleton are in the attitude of what the ancient Greeks called pharmakós. It means scapegoat or sacrifice."
Booth: "So That's like what, that he's being pulled into the sky against his will?"
Brennan: "You mean, aliens?"
Hodgins, acknowledging Brennan's scepticism: "That's one definite possibility, yes. Also, the rapture. Now as I tried to tell you before, most secret societies have this figure deep in their origins, For freemasons, it's known as the widow's son." [00:40:00]
It is difficult to know where to start in listing the excesses of literary licence in this work of fiction. Calabria is in fact a region of southern Italy founded as a Greek colony — it is not Spanish. Although the Order of Alcántara is a catholic military order established in the twelfth century on the Iberian Peninsula (Spain), there is no reason to link it with the eighteenth century Illuminati. Architect Pierre Charles L'Enfant was designer of the Washington, DC streetplan and his employment was stormy and short-lived, but there was nothing particularly "infamous" about him. Pharmakós does translate as scapegoat but to translate it as sacrifice is wrong, and there is nothing historical that ascribes the word to a hands-raised, or any, posture.
The most important error though, is identifying a masonic call for assistance as something rooted in Freemasonry's origins, or having anything to do with scapegoats or sacrifice. The origins of the "grand hailing sign of distress" can be found in eighteenth century London and the development of modern masonic ritual.

Bones "The Widow's Son in the Windshield". Created by Hart Hanson for Fox Television. Executive producers Hart Hanson, Barry Josephson and Stephen Nathan. Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz, Michaela Conlin, Eric Millegan, T.J. Thyne, Tamara Taylor, Jonathan Adams. 43 min USA, English | Spanish, Colour. 25 September 2007 (Season 3 : Episode 1). See www.fox.com. Also see masonictraveler.blogspot.com.


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