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Bones Review: The Ultrasound and the Gluttony

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Bones ventured into the world of competitive eating last night, while introducing us to a new squintern and a new source of friction in what's become the "new normal" relationship of Booth and Brennan.

I'll get to Bones' huge baby news in a bit, but let me begin by saying that even after six-plus seasons, the episode titles ("The Hot Dog in the Competition") and gruesome bodies never cease to amuse.

This is because they're so elaborate, both physically and in terms of storyline. Tackling something such as the "Gluttony Games" is not an easy thing for writers to do with both humor and aplomb.

Bones does it, though, and if you made it through the first appearance of the python without losing your dinner, both the sight gags and thematic parallels with the characters' lives were well done.

Temps in the Lab

You wouldn't think an investigation into a dead eating champion could be so entertaining, but it absolutely was, beginning when "Jedi" sweets mistakenly believed the half-eaten victim was a prostitute.

Like the python, the woman (not a lot of us expected it to be a she) had a special talent for unhinging her jaw. Unlike the python, she used this to enter professional eating contests and win money.

In my college days, I experienced pizza eating contests for charity, and milk-chugging contests as a form of fraternity hazing. Neither ended well for the participants, but we were hardly professionals.

Leave it to Bones to find unusual arenas such as this and actually weave tight murder mysteries around them. The show may be procedural in its nature, but creativity saves it from becoming stale.

The case was solved, in no small part, with the aide of new squintern Finn.

He's an interesting one. Like a Southern-fried Doogie Howser, M.D., he completed high school and college by the time he turned 18 ... only he did so while spending three years in juvenile detention.

I liked Finn a lot. He's clearly a talented and friendly individual. What I didn't like as much was the seemingly obvious resistance he got from Hodgins, at least at the beginning, and from Caroline.

(Also, as much as I like Finn as a person and the way his troubled history was integrated into the storyline, the accent and colloquialisms were a bit overblown. He's from the south ... we get it.)

No doubt, having someone with a record on staff could impact the integrity of the lab, but he is "only" a squintern, and did this really not come up before he was hired and thrust into a big case?

Hodgins definitely has a humorous, wise-guy side, but it felt almost hostile here. There were some good lines in their early exchanges, to be sure, but it didn't feel like Hodgins to look down at him.

Once Finn was impressing Bones and the team with his skills and command of the English language (okay, maybe not the latter), would anyone care what he did? And how could Cam not know?

Fortunately, after the truth came about, Bones asked point blank whether his abusive stepfather is responsible for his interest in forensic sciences, and also if Finn was really involved in his death.

In this case, Brennan's ability to turn off the emotion and approach a complicated situation with honest bluntness was a huge asset, as he opened up to her, and closed the door on lingering doubts.

Other times, those traits of Brennan's aren't as helpful.

Seeley and Temperance

Booth found out that he and Temperance are having a girl at the same instant we did, which was classic Bones - she went to her ultrasound appointment alone, then didn't think to mention it.

"The baby growing inside my uterus? It has female genitalia." Hilarious as the delivery of this quote was, it's hard to believe that Brennan, despite the fact that she's Brennan, wouldn't think this through.

What made last week's Bones season premiere so good to me was that the dispute over their living arrangements let Bones be Bones within the context of her forever-changed relationship with Booth.

She's stubborn, but she's not aloof. How would she not know that Booth, like any expectant father in modern civilization, would want to be there for that or at least know about it immediately?

It felt forced, but was redeemed by David Boreanaz, who does such a terrific job with the nuances of his character. Booth treats her with patience, respect and love, even though they're so different.

His means of trying to make his point in a way she could actually understand was funny, too, asking her to put herself in his shoes. It didn't work out as planned immediately, but it was effective.

I like that he responds to these vintage Bones situations by trying to teach her, rather than just arguing at her. In the end, it won him an actual apology, and he did get a chance to see his daughter.

Thanks to the ultrasound DVD, Brennan earned a do-over and reminded us how much this thing they've got going (no matter how they arrived there) is working. If nothing else, it's got potential.

There's always going to be friction as they adjust to their lives as parents-to-be, not to mention coupledom in general, but the characters are at once true to themselves and to each other. Bravo.

Despite a couple of minor complaints, I enjoyed "The Hot Dog in the Competition" a lot, and can't wait to see B-squared's relationship continue to evolve in the coming months. How about you?

What did you think of this week's Bones? Comment and tell us below!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (218 Votes)

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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This show's writing has become so bad I don't think I can watch any more. The continued display of Bones as someone that has no knowledge of anything outside her area of expertise has become comical. Each show has some sort of off the wall scenario, a carnival, a renaissance festival, jersey shore, and now eating contests. Now they've introduced a new character with a comically bad fake southern accent and gomer pyle homilies.

Amy-jackey

some people wanted brennan and booth together and now since they are people are bitching about it.

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This season Bones talks way too stiff or complicated!! I know she's a genius, but I watch alot of old shows during the week & really think they need to go back to the old way she came across as to the way she does now!! Now that Booth & Bones are together, a much softer & down to earth Bones will go along ways!! I'm afraid if the Bones stays the ways she is now..people are going dislike the show after awhile! Too many shows are being cut a short time after starting already & I would really miss the show!!

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Es muy confortante saber que Booth la entiende. Definitivamente a la serie la salvo que Emily quedara embarazada ya que todos nos estábamos cansando de que Booth y Brennan se unieran pero para separarse nuevamente. Ya era hora de que por fin estuvieran juntos.
David Boreanaz y Emily Deschanel son exelentes en su trabajo.
(Yo insisto que seria bueno ver las relaciones sexuales entre ellos). It is comforting to know that Booth understands. Definitely the series except that Emily became pregnant because we were all tired of Booth and Brennan to join but to separate again. It was time to finally be together.
Emily Deschanel David Boreanaz and are excellent in their work.
(I insist that it would be good to see sex between them).

Joyeful

@David - HAHAHAHA...nice call. Okay. I'm with everyone else who thinks that this was a little to asocial for Brennan. Over the past few seasons, they've consistently shown how much she has learned about human interaction from both Booth and Angela. So such a gross misstep for her is a little hard to swallow (snake/overeating pun intended). Booth, on the other hand, I can see controlling his temper. Brennan's not just his partner/unresolved-love-tension-recipient anymore, she's the mother of his unborn child. He knows he has to have more patience with her. I love the new intern, but agree that the southern schtick is a bit overdone. Caroline's point was valid, but Hodges being judgemental for no reason is TOTALLY out of character. I was hoping that they would have had some sort of explanation other than "he's a young'un" for that.

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Going to say this because I just know Joyful is going to say it lol
If they do this to Castle I am going to be SO pissed !!!!! I'm seriously and heavily invested in Castleas a hard core shipper :)
This is what you get when the leading actors are also producers.
Really I would have liked to see Booth raise merry hell about the sonogram. Nothing short of sure and certain death would have stopped me from seeing my son's first sonogram :) I was surprised that Booth didn't sit Bones down and firmly tell her "I want to be involved in every aspect of this baby's development." At least that would have left no room for doubt.
Even though I got flamed for it this season pretty much is turning out the way I predicted and they should wrap it up soonish.

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After a season premier I really enjoyed and keep watching over and over "The Hotdog in the Competition" was a major letdown. The case for me was not really all that interesting or left me surprised at the "aha" moment. Mostly the interaction and closeness of Brennan and Booth was non existant. It really ticks me off when the writers make Brennan an uncaring, stubborn almost immovable character. After six years and counting and after all the teaching that she has received from Booth how could she willfully and deliberately not include him in a visit to the doctor when she is having a sonogram done, espcially knowing how good a father Booth will be (like chasing after him for his sperm in season four's The Critic in the Cabernet)and the fact that Booth was denied all of this with the mother of Parker. Another issue I have is the way in which they announced the gender of their baby. For Booth not to be the first person to know the sex of his baby is outrageous. The writers are making Brennan look like she is missing something mentally as opposed to being just out of touch with the way a relationship would work. I really don't think someone who was in the foster care system as a child would grow up to be someone who would not included their significant other in such important moments. I really wanted to be surprised by find out the gender of the baby at the time Brennan gives birth. It's interesting how Angela and Hodgins had such a build up to the birth of their baby with the eye problems so why couldn't something more creative have been the case for Brennan and Booth? They are the stars of the program aren't they? The viewing the video at the end didn't really make up for what Brennan did by not including Booth in the visit to the doctor or announcing to everyone else the gender of the baby.
I really like both ED and DB and it seems to me that the writers are pro DB making Booth so patient and blind in love with Brennan in an effort to make him heroic. In the real world I'm sure that he would be so ticked with Brennan (as he was in the season premiere)that he would be more overt in letting Brennan know just how angry he was. With respect to the new intern get rid of Opie Dopey the hick thing really does not work as an eccentricity. Also, stupid Cam should be fired for hiring a former juvenile delinquent. I really don't like the character of Cam and wouldn't trust her around any man. She not only had slept with Booth and wanted to fire Brennan way back in season two she also slept with Angela's ex. Not someone you want to have around. Oh maybe the writers are planning an affair between Cam and Opie! The writers and HH need to get it together and be more consistent with their writing or the fans will lose interest. It's bad enough that we had to suffer through season 6 until the departure of Hannah. That whole story line was just depressing and last Thursday episode was such a letdown after the season premiere.

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What he said..

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Booth needs a good friend to kick his a*ss right out of the second coma he is now suffering from. After watching EACH and EVERY episode of Bones every season, I feel that as a fan, I am qualified to say that Booth would have been more than pissed at Bones for the slap in the face over the sonogram. "You like color movies....." Really?? REALLY??? Booth should leave her. They don't love each other- he made a sperm donation in person, and now they satisfy the urge to have "intercourse" once in a while. Other than that, I see an Army Sniper, FBI Agent, arrogant at times person screwing a mentally ill science nerd. What the writers of this show has produced is a strong case of Brennan being mentally ill. No Joke. She is not the same character from any other season. Season six had a tiny redeeming factor of Bones waking up and realizing she missed the boat with Booth. Well, Booth needs to MISS this Boat, NOW. The off feeling true fans are getting from DB and ED is that they are not into or being true to these characters, they honestly look uncomfortable saying their lines at times. DB is sickeningly understanding in this episode?, when the first episode shows that he can have a temper when she doesn't include him in "Family" decisions or in this case event. The show is unbelievable at this point, and the ratings prove that I am not the only one not caring to watch this show next week. "I'm meeting with a financial adviser to set up a trust for daughter.......you have no money." Again, I repeat myself, Booth needs a best friend to come along and kick his rear end out of this relationship. The Booth that has been played out on the screen for six years would not take that slap in the face again,ever from her. And Angela.....OMG, saying "why do I even try". Because you are her best friend, and if I remember correctly, one that would have taken a bite out of Brennan's butt for crushing Booth continuously. I will echo a thought from another comment line at another site (YES there is plenty of negative buzz about this show now.) This show will not die from the Moonlighting Curse, it will die from the Bones Curse, the show that lied to the viewers that the couple got together and fell in love after learning about each other for six years , but had them treat each other like a pile of C_rap. Oh and by the way, Fox calls that entertainment. HH and SN, and DB and ED, you should be ashamed of yourself's allowing this to hit the screen on a crucial return of this show.

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I loved Finn. I don't know what it is but he just struck me as a much needed something. I love Bones as a show and I was never one the they jumped the shark band wagon. I think they are doing a really good job of playing everything out as true to both characters. And I think it is sort of funny that Cam has rules about babies in the lab but was so willing to give a chance to Finn who is barely an adult and has a checkered passed but I am glad she did. I'm on the Finn band wagon.

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