Bones Review: We Remember

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Is it just me... or did this not feel like the same Bones we've been watching for the past several episodes? Because this didn't feel like the same show. In fact, this felt like a return to the old Bones, pre-Christine maybe.

While "The Patriot in Purgatory" didn't do anything in the way of advancing the plot for this season, it was moving and engaging in a way the past few weeks haven't been, leaving me hopeful for what's to come.

Booth in Uniform

I have to admit that I went into tonight's episode a bit skeptical. Cam's preparation of the squinterns and the five of them practically tripping over one another to figure out the mystery of the remains on the table set a tone of silliness that was perpetuated by Bones channeling her inner basketball coach.

As we covered last week, Fisher isn't my favorite, and I anticipated another episode centering not on our main duo, but on the peripheral characters who flesh out the cast. Bones as "coach" felt out of character and borderline ridiculous, particularly when she handed out butt-slaps after assigning the squinterns the task of identifying the as-yet unidentified remains.

I understand the need for comic relief in the midst of tragedy, and I know that was the purpose of the basketball coach imitation, but after viewing the episode and looking at it as a whole, the comedic moments tonight felt unnecessary because of how purpose-driven this episode was with regards to uncovering both the identity of the man and how he died.

To me, this hour didn't feel like a tragedy. It felt like a tribute both to an infamous day in our nation's history and to the characters we know and love.

This was a perfect balance of the motivations of both the main and supporting cast. We were able to understand what inspired each of them to seek the identity of the homeless man and solve his death.

Booth saw a fellow soldier who deserved dignity, a man who died a hero. Brennan and the squinterns felt compelled to use their science to help those bones find rest. Cam was in New York on 9/11 and witnessed that horror firsthand. Angela is a sweet spirit and gentle soul who sees the dead as the people they were instead of bones on a table. Hodgins, who would ordinarily have a conspiracy theory at the ready, had none.

Booth's desire to carry out the mission of Tim Murphy was compelling, as was Bones' desire to give Booth what she knew he neede: -closure for a man whom he saw as a fellow soldier. This gave us that connection between Booth and Bones that seems to have been missing in the past few weeks.

As the squinterns had their heated moments and shared their stories of where they'd been, I found myself rapt and invested in hearing their tales. None of the characters tonight felt like caricatures. They all felt like friends.

Despite the fact that I'm a television reviewer, I'm also a spoiler-phobe. I usually go into episodes knowing only what's been released to the public.

I knew that tonight would be about September 11th, but I didn't know how much the episode would affect me. How it would gently force me to remember where I was and what I was doing that morning in 2001 when planes crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.

Many shows have tried to pay homage to 9/11 and few, I think, have done it in a way as nice as Bones did tonight. Bravo, Bones.

Did you think "The Patriot in Purgatory" was as well done as I did?


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (236 Votes)

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

Miranda wicker

@andrea--I totally understand your point about it not being actual sexual harassment. It was just...bizarre, I guess. To me. Perhaps not to you. And that's fine. Also, I'm not sure if your comment about Hodgins was directed at me or not, but I didn't say that Hodgins saying no one deserved to die was out of character. I simply acknowledged the fact that he had no conspiracy theories about 9/11.


case as a way to show support of "her team". Also, Hodgins saying "no one deserved to die.." wasn't out of character to me. Even the most paranoid conspiracy theorist can be moved by this terrible incident. Hodgins has come a long way since his angry intolerant days of earlier seasons!


I disagree about Bones slapping the interns on their butts being sexual harassment. Maybe it could be considered weird because she's a woman slapping the male interns butts, but there was no sexual intent on her part and it wasn't continued behavior which would then be harassment. She didn't see herself as "a woman" but just as "the coach" and to me, that's why she did what she did. When coaches slap their players on the butts is it sexual harassment or is it just what's done by coaches to acknowledge their player's teamwork? It's just an action that's accepted in the sports world. (It would be different if the intent was sexual). The interns are used to Brennan being so bold/blunt; she had Edison (I believe it was him) reenact a crime with her lying down and telling him to get on top of her, and then she got on his back and proceeded to reenact choking him, she point blank asked Wendell if he was attracted to older women, etc. She does this as part of her procedure and in this case part of her emulating a coach-so to me it was pretty funny. My husband who was watching too and is an athlete thought it was also funny, especially when she was pacing back and forth coaching her team in the manner of Phil Jackson. Also, when Hodgins said "no one deserved to die..", why is this considered out of character? Even the most paranoid conspiracy theorist can be emotionally touched by this terrible incident. Hodgins has come a long way since his angry intolerant days of earlier seasons!!


@ Miranda - Yes, moving episode. No, this is not a bad season at all -- but your pointing out Bones would never butt slap ... makes me consider that this is a Bones who is not the same character in season 1, for instance, who supposedly could make a 10 second phone call and a national security person interviewing Bones would be required to sit exactly where she was until government black suits came to gather and destroy all of her interview notes. This Bones has gone from misinterpreted the Guido tribe of New Jersey to watching cartoons with her baby and introducing herself NOT as the world's greatest living forensic anthropologist but as Booth's mate. Happily! And I like this Bones and this season fine!

Miranda wicker

@Kimber and @Randomcommenter--I actually made a note in my...uh...notes...that Brennan would never slap the butts of interns, even if she were playing coach, simply because it IS a form of sexual harassment. Is it a sexual advance? No. But it's an unwanted touch. Totally out of character even if she was immersed in the coaching mentality. And I'd forgotten about the slave ship episode until reading through your comments, but YES. That's what I love about Angela, y'all. She's the heart to Brennan's head, making them a fantastic balance.


AWESOME! AWESOME! AWESOME! All the way throughout! One of my new favorite Bones episodes! WOW! Just awesome! Need I say more?


yes, I agree with @serenity about the episode where they identified the remains of the slave ship passengers. I thought the butt slapping part was funny bc it was very "Bones" esque, when she goes for an idea or a concept she doesn't go halfway. I loved seeing all the squinterns together since they have have such different energies when they're on the show separately. I appreciated that each of them got there moment to say where they were on 9/11 & it helped flesh out their characters as well as contributing to the impact of the story. and the end, oh my gosh i was in tears. one of the best episodes of the show they've ever done.


I think people misunderstand the reason Bones upped the sometimes gross-out humor - and that's due to ratings. Especially when it moved away to stand alone from the sweet American Idol lead-in show runners and the writers had to change it up a lot to keep the show afloat in the rather hostile network TV ratings environment. Critical praise doesn't save shows on network TV, especially past 4 seasons/88 episodes (syndication), only ratings do. As for the episode... it left me speechless. The whole story about the examined was brilliant. They even managed to get in some that signature Bones humor all while staying in the character (only thing I found a bit over the top was the butt slapping of the interns due to sexual harassment laws). It really hit me upon the interview with the first pentagon survivor - after all this guy went through (backstory about his army buddies) he still saved them. Perhaps the best part is that managed to delicately balance the military vs. the examined.


As was the dialogue. This episode had me laughing, crying, and remembering; that is hard to fit in in a 45-minute span, but they did it, and it was terrific.
Love Bones, and Remember 9/11.


How to work together, and that opens the show up for new things down the road. On to Brennan's coaching. I don't think it was out of character. Yes, the subject was weird, but we all know when she fixates, she tries to relate everything to that topic. And tonight, it was just what this episode needed to balance out the case. I also felt for Bones, because she never let herself just break down and cry. She had to be strong. I think this was a good revelation episode for Brennan, and I hope to get more of that soon. I loved how they portrayed Tim, and I think the story arc about how he died was just amazing. It was sad, yet happy. That yes, maybe he couldn't save his three friends, but he got to save three other people, and now that is what he will be remembered for. Not that he was a homeless who got beaten to death, but he was a war hero who served his country, even when it cost him his life. I was very impressed with this episode, and give everyone a thumbs up. The acting was perfect, as was the dialogue. This episode had me laughing, crying, and remembering; that is a hard thing to do in a 45-minute span, but tonight, they did a terrific job.

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Bones Season 8 Episode 6 Quotes

Booth: I beat up bad guys, and I leap over things.
Sweets: You're describing Superman.
Booth: Exactly.

With Dr. Brennan, all the conventional rules of the universe become obsolete.