Bones Review: Joke's Over

at . Comments

I thought last week was going to be the return to form for Bones, but it turns out I was wrong. (See what I did there? Except I'm not joking.)

"The But In The Joke" was the third of the four bonus episodes filmed during Bones Season 7 and it had me asking "Can the real Bones Season 8 please stand up?" Tonight felt as out of place as the rest of this season and as a series-long viewer, this is getting frustrating.

Stand-Up Comedian Booth

What has always set Bones apart from other crime-solving procedurals are the season-long story arcs, or partial-season arcs, that draw us to the characters. The case of the week is a backdrop for character development that's ongoing and not contained within one episode.

Because of the four standalone episodes to which we've been "treated" so far, we're not getting a whole lot of that development we've come to know and love from this show.

Sure, we spent part of the season learning about Sweets' love life. Yes, tonight Booth had a slightly more prominent role than he's had in previous weeks. But nearly all of the focus of this season has been on solving the (incredibly gross) case of the week, not on actually developing the characters.

Aside from seeing Booth crack wise at the open mic night, the one good thing to come out of tonight was Angela getting her groove back.

We've heard her murmurs of discontent this season, perhaps more loudly than in years past. She's sad for humanity and the world. Woe is her! She only has "excellent technique." She's growing tired of the gore.

Truth be told, so am I. Gross-out for gross-out's sake is...well, gross. I'll never be able to look at peanut butter the same way again and Fear Factor would probably like its bugs back.

Tonight's Zed character helped Angela see herself as an artist again and not just as Angela, Worker of the Jeffersonian Mega Computer. Furthermore, it helped Hodgins see her that way, too. This is a girl who craves adventure and excitement.

At first I thought the writers were angling towards a Hodgins-Angela split. I'm glad it was just a hiccup in their relationship, room for them to talk and grow. Growth is good. Breaking them up for the sake of creating drama would be very, very bad.

Aside from the Angela story, the episode just felt sort of "meh." I guess that's what happens when four episodes created to air outside of a regular season are dropped into a regular season. I could barely come up with lines to post in the Bones quotes archive because of how bizarrely out of place this episode felt. So far, the only standalone to work well this season has been "The Patriot in Purgatory."

The joke's over, writers. We want our show back.

What did you think of "The But In The Joke?" Are you as tired of the four "bonus" episodes as I am? 


Editor Rating: 2.8 / 5.0
  • 2.8 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (139 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.


I understand a desire for episodes to have a fluid transitions throughout the season; I get the "Forest for the Trees" philosophy. That said, you're making a dangerous assumption that viewers will somehow lack the capacity to folllow a story line because they missed one week of the season's story line. Actually, I really don't want to invest my time and effort into following a story...I want to be entertained for 60 minutes (ok, 40 something after commercials but you get my drift). The more detailed the story line gets in this show the less believable I find the episodes, i.e. the storyline of the supergenius Christopher Pelant or the Grave Digger. I'm sorry, it's way too much and becomes overdone - a little like a 5th Harry Potter movie or the entire series of Twighlight movies. I became so focused on proving in each episode how it would be impossible for Pelant to do the things he does (same with Grave Digger) that I had trouble enjoying my 60 minutes. But if character development is a primary concern of yours you obviously looked past the growth in our understanding of what makes Angela tick through her interaction with the street artist and how it again helps strengthen her relationship with hodgins. I think one of the most fantastic ongoing stories in this show is how Hodgins would go to the end of the earth for Angela and how deeply devoted they are to each other. Also we saw an interesting side of Booth when he goes off script during his comedy routine and gets laughs - the portrayal of the "Steely Seely" in a comedic light is refreshing and well done. Since we're talking about things we don't like about the how I'll go there. This series "Jumped the Shark" when Bones got pregnant and she and Booth moved in together. The best part of this show (besides the quirkiness and straight forward responses from Bones) was always the sexual tension between Brennan and Booth, now I have a hollow feeling about both characters. Fortunately they have left enough of the frank retorts from Brennan to make the show enjoyable. I just have problems with her complete change of character from the time she leaves the Jeffersonian to when she arrives home. Once again, I do understand your need to see the "forest for the trees" but perhaps you shouldn't be so wrapped up into planning your forest that you forget to plant the trees. Why not just allow yourself to be entertained?


I don't think this episode was bad per se, but it wasn't that great. The only storyline it seemed to further was that of an increasingly unsatisfied Angela. I agree that separating Hodgela just for drama would be a disservice to the show. Been there, done that, I think twice. I did really enjoy Booth doing standup. His line about jail terms for murder vs perjury was great. Much better than anything Sweets came up with, as much as I enjoyed that circles are pointless. I hope the filler episodes are over. Let's get back to developing characters and story arcs.


One of the big problems I see right now is that they keep telling us Pelant is hanging over the season, but we have no feeling of that. They are working as a team to solve murders but they don't talk about Pelant. Season 3 - Gormagon was mentioned several times in other episodes. I love Bones but the four bonus eps have been somewhat EHH! I like them and some have been funny. I don't think the ick factor needs to be emphasized so much. Mr. Nathan must think it is important because that is what he is all about this season. I don't pretend to know much about writing for TV, but Hawaii 5-0 has really done a great job of getting their characters involved and I do miss that portion of Bones where they were working together. Booth was always at the Jeffersonian bugging Bones. I miss that. Sweets roll has been OK but I get tired of him and Fisher. Oh well. Love the show and will continue to support it.


Love the show, love the cast. Don't understand what people want.


I must have been watching a different episode with the same title .A fantastic episode .Extremely well written and performed .The nature of art and comedy and the differences displayed in both arenas .The case was also well done .Peanut butter to separate the two ...fantastic...One way out of a jam .The final scene with Brennan cracking up to Sweet's jokes (i also liked them )..just great .


Although I sort of agree about the bonus episodes being a bit disjointed in regards to the season, I think that this episode did have some good aspects. I really liked the opening scene with the artist falling onto the remains and the scenes in the lab with Zeb and the interns was so hilarious. I also "got" Angela's discontent with not really "doing" her art anymore-maybe she should start teaching art to children, that may help her feel that she's contributing to the world artistically. Also the end with Booth and Bones was pretty funny. Looking forward to the 150th episode; it looks like it'll be awesome!

Miranda wicker

@Neil--I can appreciate Bones gross factor. However, in these standalone episodes, the gross factor has been played up to mask the fact that nothing's really happening. Last week wasn't one of the four episodes and was a perfect dose of gross to pair with the actual storytelling.

Miranda wicker

@Neil--Yes, I've said in previous reviews that Fisher is my least favorite squintern. However, I didn't mention him a single time in this review, so no, this review is not biased by my dislike of that character.


And I'm sorry but someone who doesn't appreciate Bones' gross factor has no business watching this show.


I didn't find the episode bad at all. I think this reviewer is letting the fact that she doesn't like Fisher influence things a bit. Although I do agree, it was certainly not Bones' strongest hour, and I'm not a fan of the out of place "bonus" episodes. But I really think the review exagerated.

Tags: ,

Bones Season 8 Episode 8 Quotes

Bones: Now you don't have to unfold and refold a map.
Booth: Wait a second, I like maps. What's wrong with maps?
Bones: Well, maps cannot tell you the amount of traffic to expect en route to your destination. See? Now we can relax and talk about interesting things.
Booth: This is not how the cowboys settled this country.

Hodgins: Babe, I need your secret stash of peanut butter.
Angela: Hodgins, I bring in my peanut butter for a little comfort food every once in a while.