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.


Terrible. I simply couldn't finish the episode. The camera work made me and my wife nauseous, as did the writing and acting. I had to comment that this is the worst Bones episode I have ever seen, or not as we simply couldn't stomach it. My wife made it to Angela and Bones initial soul conversation and I made it to the parents. Absolute rubbish.


I love Bones but could not bring myself to watch the full episode. The POV of the camera just made me dizzy and gave me a headache! Really disappointing as I hear it was a decent episode


Bones is one of my favorite shows because it always had a nice balance between mystery and character development. Sure there are sappy moments, but they usually are balanced with other elements. But every once in a while, an episode will have so much sentimentality it's almost vomit inducing. Tonight's show took that to a whole new level. This is the first episode I couldn't finish and likely will be one I never return to in the future. Awful Awful Awful


I disagree with comments that say the characters never talk to the remains-how would we know? It's from the point of view of the dead boy so that explains that aspect in this case. But there have been episodes where Brennan for one muses out loud about what happened to the victim. In "The Doctor in the Photo" she related to the victim so strongly that she was conversing in many scenes with the victim. Brennan also records her thoughts about the victim in many previous episodes and the remains don't stay on the platform, but various parts of the skeleton are moved to different parts of the Jeffersonian as Brennan or the other interns perform their procedures. So I don't think this episode was bad at all but creative, emotional, very interesting and not at all boring!


I have to agree with immortalfrieza. The forced perspective from the scull was an unnecessary, annoying gimmick. I also didn't appreciate the wasted time (I wonder how much althoghter, 2 minutes maybe... it seemed longer) watching swirls of smoke on the screen. No doubt it was a touching premise, but it could have been approached in a way that gave real insights into the characters. I was really looking forward to the 150th episode and this was disappointing. After too many "stand alone" episodes this year I'm beginning to wonder if and when the real season is going to get started....


Well not much makes me cry, this episode did. What a waste of life. The only thing boring was the comments. I must say I was glad to see more of Bones and Booth. Besides change is good. It's nice to be able to see something better than reality and kid shows. I been watching this show from the 1st season. Never missing a single episode. I can't say that about other shows. The only other show worth waiting for is Games of Thrones.


them so long to do it. The worst part is that they could have done things like usual and the episode would have still had the same emotional impact. Not to mention that annoying psychic poking her head in ever once in a while had absolutely TERRIBLE scenes, and still would have if the perspective was normal. This probably would have been a perfectly fine Bones episode if they hadn't done this skull perspective, but as it is it completely ruins the mood.


Just when I was starting to think Bones could do no wrong, that it would never have a bad episode, this one comes along. This is probably one of the most boring episodes of ANY show I have ever seen. The forced perspective of the kid's skull meant that they made the entire Bones cast act completely out of character, and they constantly made up ridiculous excuses to have it in every relevant scene. They almost NEVER talk to remains or discuss the victim in other episodes, nor do they carry the skull or any part of the remains anywhere outside the Jeffersonian, they stay right on the examination table where they belong. Not to mention that having the perspective of the skull means that the camera angles for the scenes (which greatly help the mood) are gone, and that there's quite a few lines of dialog between the characters that the viewer is missing out on. Once they went back to the old perspective in the last few minutes of the episode I noticed a marked improvement, too bad it took them so long to do it. The worst part is that they could have done things like usual and the episode would have still had the same emotional impact. I hope they never do this again, EVER.

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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.