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Bones Review: Like a Fingerprint in Your Pants

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Bones definitely did not mail this one in.

As its title implies, "The Male in the Mail" featured a dismembered dude who turned up in boxes in a D.C-area dead letter office, where all undeliverable parcels go to ... sit there. You learn something every week.

More significantly for Booth, he received some surprising, devastating news that brought out a side of him we rarely see, prompting Brennan to step up and become the supportive, comforting, level-headed partner he needed.

There's a sentence I never thought I'd write, but it's true, and it made for the best episode of Season 7 so far.

Booth and His Grandfather

While the first three installments helped set the tone for the new normal between Booth and Brennan and the shift in their relationship since "The Change in the Game," last night Bones really hit its stride.

It's not that Brennan's lovable weirdness and pregnancy were non-factors (two growing factors in particular certainly played a role last night), but viewers weren't hit over the head with it quite as overtly.

Instead, it was inherent. She's pregnant, this is how it is and what she does. Spend the evening naked? NBD. Point being, her issues didn't even matter when Booth was leveled by the stomach punch of losing his father.

She was his rock. When Booth understandably tried to repress his feelings and simply move on instead of coping with them head-on, Brennan - just as understandably - didn't know how to get through.

Until she did. By urging her distraught partner to remember the good times he and his dad shared, however rare or fleeting, she succeeded where even Pops couldn't. Their relationship will be better for it.

If Booth and Brennan are going to truly gel as a full-fledged couple, they can't just joke about pregnancy and argue about houses (not that there isn't a time and place for those things). It has to be deeper.

What we saw Thursday was a sign that it will be. The conclusion felt completely organic and poignantly illustrated how much our favorite Dynamic Duo loves each other, no matter how haphazard their courtship.

Their physical chemistry is still there, even in the third trimester, but this episode marked an important milestone at which the emotional connection reached a high water mark for our partners in crime solving.

Is it dusty in here? We now pause from this B-squared love fest to discuss the work of David Boreanaz individually. He was terrific at conveying Booth's anguish - even when the point was Booth trying not to.

Very Pregnant Brennan

He was bitter, mournful and melancholy all at the same time. Unwilling to forgive, but unable to forget. Quite a range of emotions to display credibly in 43 minutes, and a great night for Boreanaz as an actor.

Before Brennan gave him what no one else could, Booth was comforted somewhat by (or at least resigned to) the fact that his dad was still Pops' son, no matter how flawed an individual he was, and is now dead.

There's no taking back what he did, so it made sense to remember the bright spots and let go of his rage. Opening the box with his father's Purple Heart and the old keepsakes really drove this home for Seeley.

I doubt there's a fan who wasn't moved by Booth's handwritten Father's Day card, or by the look on his face when he thumbed through the box and realized that even his least favorite person still loved him.

Fun fact: Game 6 of the 1980 World Series did in fact take place at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, with the hometown Phillies winning the title. Living in Philly at the time? An 11-year-old David Boreanaz.

The episode also featured a number of fun guest stars, most notably Ralph Waite, who at 83 still turns in great appearances as Booth's grandpa and Gibbs' dad on NCIS (as TV progeny go, he hit the jackpot).

There was also the always-enjoyable Tina Majorino, who returned as Booth's FBI colleague Genny Shaw and ended up learning a valuable lesson from her idol at the bureau, even in his flustered state.

Booth impressed upon an eager Shaw that the true meaning of teamwork isn't delivering the final piece of the puzzle, but setting one's ego aside, and having someone's back through thick and thin.

This was an interesting side plot in that the vanity aspect to law enforcement isn't often explored, but clearly exists as it does everywhere else. Genny's heart was in the right place, for the wrong reason.

I also got a kick out of seeing former Boy Meets World star Ben Savage as a murder suspect (gotta love Bones' casting department) and enjoyed Eugene Byrd as squint Clark Edison in this episode.

The discussions of Brennan's chest were a bit overdone, but he's a great sidekick for Hodgins. Both seem to relish that lab partnership, and it's one that we'll hopefully get to see again before long.

Watching Hodgins and Clark absolutely loving life during the investigation made the case more fun to watch on a night when it could have been a complete afterthought, considering Seeley's turmoil.

The smoking gun(s)? A tape gun. And a bone fragment not belonging to the murder victim, and a pair of buns pressed against a copy machine, and some psychedelic mushrooms. Trippy stuff.

What did you think of this week's Bones? Comment on it below!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (254 Votes)

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

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Great review of an even greater episode!

Josie leeds

SueAnn: What went on there? Writers brain farted what they had already written. Common occurrence...although I am reasonably certain that even Temperance wouldn't choose to prance around nekkid in front of Pops...
Great episode with some really superb, nuanced writing and acting. Waite is such a perfect counterpoint for David/Seeley-no, that doesn't make Gibbs Seeleys' uncle....thank you, God........
Can't wait for the "baby" episode...my guess is that Seeley will need a doctor long before Temp does...

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I agree wholeheartedly with Lisa!

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loved the episode!!! it was great to see brennan being there for booth after all the years he's helped her through things, now it was her turn and she did great. david boreanaz's acting was amazing! he did a great job portraying the emotions. i loved the ending it made me cry watching it.love Bones hope the show continues for a long time :D

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Tonights show hit just the right note for me.I didn't have a good relationship with my parents and it made me remember.Love the show and watch all the reruns.The writers are coming around better then when it's new season started.There is fun and the all serious side.Loved seeing Ralph Waite

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I'm the kind of person who writes my own interpretations into what I'm watching. (E.g., "They're not saying that now, but remember when they said..." So I got a surprise this time. I was waiting for the usually empathetic Booth to say, "Pops, I'm sorry; he was your son." It was Brennan who understood it better. Good episode. I figured out the murder weapon because I've managed to cut myself on tape guns. Klutz!

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Wonderful episode. The ending made me tear up a bit. DB was great. Brennan's aching boobs scene was too much. Overall I loved it.

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One question- Does this make Gibbs Booth's uncle?

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Bones is back! That's how I feel. I felt completely cheated by the Season 6 ending, and subsequent fast-forwarding. And I wasn't that impressed with the first few episodes. But this....this was just perfect. Emotional, funny, awesome character portrayal. Booth and Bones at their best. I love this version of Bones, awkward but caring and genuinely concerned about those she loves. Now, add me to the list of fans begging for a flashback of the night they first got together. It doesn't have to be pornographic. But I want to see their first REAL kiss where they have both admitted their feelings. I want that AH YES FINALLY!!!! moment

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Last night's episode of"Bones"was everything you said it was,and then some!!I was so moved by the revelations inre Booth's father;the grandfather's last attempt at breaking through Seely's resentment and anger was very touching,and Angela's timely advice to Brennan showed her to be a rock-solid friend.As for"Bones"herself...Well!Who'da thunk it? Let's just say she showed true genius on this occasion! I had actually lost interest in this show for a while;it was almost by accident I caught last night's episode.Needless to say,it was one of the best"Bones"I've ever seen,and I'm glad I saw it(all the rest of the cast was great too!)-Peace!

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