“Instinct” showrunner Michael Rauch apologized on Monday for the apparent similarities between an episode of the CBS show and a story that aired on the Fox detective show “Bones” nearly nine years ago. Coincidences happen all the time, even for TV stories that track the murder of an Amish teen who moved to the city to pursue a career as a concert pianist, as the “Instinct” and “Bones” ones both somehow did.
Just reading the two synopses, it’s still possible to see how it could have been a coincidental mixup. But the Tumblr site OK Bones uploaded a crazy comparison of key scenes from both episodes, showing that these are eerily similar, down to the dialogue beats. (It’s pretty jarring to hear “Nice quilt, though!” even if Alan Cumming and David Boreanaz deliver the line differently.)
Context is still key, but when both shows point out how every small town has one piano teacher, it’s hard to see how at least part of this wasn’t intentional. (The “Instinct” episode aired on April 1 — maybe this was an April Fools’ Joke gone horribly awry?) And it’s not just the Amish storyline connection. The supercut also points out similarities in jokes and character interactions similar to a Season 4 episode of “Bones” that aired in 2008.
Even some of the differences here are kind of damning to “Instinct,” too. When the CBS show swaps in a pops favorite Vivaldi piece for a lesser-known Handel or popsicle sticks for black and white rocks, it dulls some of these details and makes Cumming’s Dr. Dylan Reinhart seem less of a genius than the show wants him to be.
As legions of Fox procedural fans wait to pore over future “Instinct” installments (Sunday’s episode follows a “murder case in Central Park when their investigation into a chemical attack on the subway is taken over by an FBI team led by Dylan’s estranged father, Roger”), watch the full supercut below: