Bones Review: The Soul Transcends

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Miranda had to take the night off and asked if I could step in this week and review Bones.  "The Ghost in the Machine" made me grateful for the opportunity.

It's unusual for Bones to make me tear up. The sheer gore of the corpse scenes tends to make me cringe or turn away, but it's never brought me to tears. With the show's 150th episode, it went beyond the blood, bone, and science of death and explored the heart and soul.

A, B and C Photo

The entire episode was told from the viewpoint of a deceased 14 year old boy and although it's a gimmick I generally don't enjoy, it worked here.  From the view of the crow flying over the top of the greenhouse to Booth offering his battlefield prayer, I enjoyed the alternative perspective this format offered.

The fact that the victim was a kid shook everyone, moreso now that some of them have children of their own.  Even the unshakable Brennan felt the need to hold her daughter.

Avalon, Angela's psychic friend played by Cyndi Lauper came back to visit as she spoke with Colin's spirit that just wouldn't leave. I've always liked Avalon and was happy to have her make a return appearance here. 

The most compelling part of the episode was Brennan's willingness to discuss the possibility of a soul as she explained to Angela in this Bones quote…

Brennan: It's a myth that transcends race. It is an abiding tenet of humanity. | permalink

She still pointed out that there was no evidence of an afterlife but that didn't stop her from talking to Colin's remains as though he could hear her. 

Colin's death was a horrible, stupid accident.  He was a 14 year old daredevil looking to impress his friends. As a parent, the random reality of it made my stomach turn.

When Avalon told them that dying wasn't was made Colin sad, it seemed obvious what did.  When a teenage boy goes through the trouble of making a mix tape for a girl, all he wants in the world is for her to listen to it. 

But the best scene was at the end. Watching Booth and Brennan dance to their song with their daughter was just perfect.

I've always found that Bones can run hot and cold but this was definitely one of my two favorite episodes of the season.  The other being "The Patriot in the Purgatory."  If only every Bones could be as good as these two it could be one of my favorite shows once again.


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (207 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.


Yes, reviewer, I totally agree with you that this was one of the best episodes of Bones yet. Along with the Patriot episode, there were real moments of pathos and beauty and grieving here, and while I watched it with my 13 year old son, I cried right along with Brennan and Angela and when Cyndi Lauper's character told the spirit of that boy that he would have had an amazing life that made a difference, I sobbed out loud for the waste of a life cut short. I really felt the camera/skull effect as they all looked right at viewers as if we were the soul of that poor kid, was perfectly done, very respectful and emotional. I loved how caring each of the Jeffersonian's team were, and how each of them came to care enough for the kid that they wanted to find out what happened. Angela was especially wonderful telling his spirit that she would give him a face and Brennan would give him a voice. Brilliant, just brilliant.


the story line was fine, But the prospective view sucked. i will stop the dvr and not watch Bones if they do that again. i haven't missed an episode yet...i have never stayed with tv series like this one. it intrigue's my thought, but not if that prospective view is done again. i fast forwarded through most of the show....


Usually I'm put off by the gore of this show and avoid it. This week I did watch and LOVED it. Touching and sweet. Very nice job by all.

Miranda wicker

Thanks for covering for me, Christine!


Imagine dying and having your parents worried about you and staying by your body to make sure the girl that you had a crush on knows that you liked her even though she didn't like you back and had another boyfriend. Really really dumb.


Great episode and it brings to mind how often a person who is alive and wonders if a person who has passed does not hear what the living is saying or doing if they die in a rather strange way. I do. Creepy I know, but true.


Seriously? What episode did you people watch? This was an incredibly touching and moving episode that was both well done and have us an interesting new viewpoint. I can't believe so many people didn't like it. I could hardly pause it and teared up more than once. I say Well Done to the writers!


I too found it gimmicky. If they were indeed going for avant garde, they missed by a mile or more. I admit I'm not, and never have been, the biggest fan of this show. It is on our DVR list and the wife seems to enjoy it more than I. I find the entire cast of characters a bit grating and pretentious. I know that Temperance is supposed to be that way, but the rest seem to fit the bill as well. I prefer a good story to gimmicks and this episode was weak on story, then overshadowed by the clumsy, forced perspective. Lauper didn't help it any, at all.


Seeing it from the victims view was new, but the schickt is annoying. The fact it was an accidentmade sense, just a dunb kid. I also knew why the kid couldn't move on, the chick he loved. I rate this episode average but not great.


I had mixed feelings about this episode. I think they were trying to copy what " Ducky " Mallard on NCIS does when a corpse arrives in the morgue there.

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Bones Season 8 Episode 9 Quotes

It's better he hurt himself dare deviling for the internet than getting beat by a drunk foster father.


OK. Take a hike bug boy.