Bones Review: Joke's Over

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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? 

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Editor Rating: 2.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (139 Votes)

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

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My comment is not about the four episodes, but rather about what the reviewer referred to as "grossness for the sake of grossness". (paraphrased). I had to stop watching this show a while back because it just got to be "too much"! I spent half the time with my hands over my eyes. And I loved the show..and miss watching it. If they would maybe just not make the scenes so graphic!! For those like me with weaker stomachs.

Miranda wicker

@Sarah--I agree completely. These should have been true bonus episodes and aired outside of the regular season as originally intended. This has really, really derailed season 8 for me.


What is up with them doing it this way? Isn't there enough of a story to not have to squish and mix the seasons? Seems like a complete disservice to the fans to cobble together mediocre stories and stick em anywhere. This whole first part of the year has been a complete waste of time.


Hopefully, next week will be better. And if it is not, at least next weeks's will be the last bonus episode.

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.