In a post on the r/Bones subreddit, u/dangerouslyaware began questioning the nature of the Jeffersonian Institute. In the post, this user brought up two notable moments in the latter part of the series. In season 8, episode 12 (“The Corpse on the Canopy”), Christopher Pelant (aka The Hacktivist) (Andrew Leeds) manages to completely drain the Jeffersonian Institute’s budget. In another scene, scientist Jack Hodgins (TJ Thyne) complains to Dr. Camille Saroyan (Tamara Taylor) that he can’t keep all of her technology due to lack of funding.
To this user, these scenes just don’t make much sense when applied to a research facility with such an interesting history. This user wrote: “Nothing changes after this episode? There are no budget cuts? Everyone stay relaxed? Do you keep experimenting? And indeed, are you hiring a new intern?” Interestingly, this user also pointed out another inconsistency. Three seasons before Pelant steals the group’s money, the staff is forced to fire three interns and blame it on “economy.” However, this story seems to ignore the Jeffersonian’s biggest benefactor, the Cantilever Group.
As a reminder, Cantilever Group is the Hodgins family company and the Jeffersonian’s primary funder. According to Hodgins, the group once had a higher gross national product than all of Europe. Needless to say, that’s a lot of money! Another user noted this fact and wrote that he was also confused by the way the Jeffersonian was funded. “I imagine there would be separate accounts and funds for the cantilever group that Hodgins didn’t actually own and couldn’t touch,” u/smaniby wrote, pointing to a number of logical issues given Hodgins direct access to such a considerable fortune had funds.
Understandably, this has prompted a number of people to ask about the Smithsonian’s actual budget.