Bones Review: Center Stage

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Finally, we've exhausted the "bonus" episodes that plagued the first half of Bones' season 8. Which means we can get down to the business of Bones and Booth being Bones and Booth. And with the promise that Pelant is returning, this second half promises not to disappoint.

"The Diamond in the Rough" and "The Archaeologist in the Cocoon" were an excellent pairing to welcome Bones back to Monday nights.

Seeley, Tempy Photo

This was a return to form for Booth and Bones. Slightly quirky but perfect partners, these two were at their best tonight. They were returned to their place as the center of the show. As the heart and soul.

Booth and Bones as entrants in a dance competition, revisiting their undercover personas of Buck and Wanda, was a fun way for them to solve the murder of the girl whose skeleton was found covered in crystals. (And that might have been the prettiest set of remains this show has ever seen!) Watching their ridiculous "moves" actually had me laughing once or twice. But the best part of their ruse wasn't their practicing and their crime-solving. It was their dance at the end.

These are two headstrong people, both capable of leading. And somehow over the course of eight seasons what we've found is that they work together. Not in the sense that they are partners and employed. They work together. Their dance at the end of "The Diamond in the Rough" was indicative of their relationship in so many ways. 

Booth tries to lead. Bones tries to take over. Booth pushes. She pushes back. And somewhere in the middle, they find a harmony so unique to the two of them that we know that this is the way it's supposed to be, no need for flourish or embellishment. 

Bones: Do I have to do anything special when it ends?
Booth: No.
Bones: Why not?
Booth: Because it's never gonna end, Bones. It's always gonna be just like this. Just like this. | permalink

Bones' highly competitive nature was a common theme between the two episodes, which bridged them together nicely. Her neuroses as a mother, specifically wondering whether or not Christine was hitting milestones appropriately, are all too easily understood by parents. Ultimately deciding that she wants to pass on the best parts of herself and not what she perceives to be the worst are easily relatable ideas as well. 

Her desire not to be upstaged by her protege and the fact that she had to be reminded that she's there to solve crimes was a nice tie-in to the evolution of Bones as a mother.

Bones wants to be a crime fighter. She also wants to discover new things. Tonight she struggled to give in to Edison regarding the latter desire, ultimately realizing that she can't do everything. She can't "win" everything. Similarly, Christine can't be first, or best, at everything. 

But the biggest development of the night wasn't Bones and her self-realization. It was Angela and her quest for beauty. 

We've actually seen this coming for weeks now. Angela has been growing discontent with the murder and crime-solving and has longed to return to her roots as an artist. Tonight she's making that happen with help from Hodgins and Cam who, citing budget cuts, has reduced her hours.

I understand Angela's need to do what she loves instead of give faces to victims. As she so aptly put it, she's "tired of all the ugliness" and longs to be a real artist again. (Her words, and more, are archived on the Bones quotes page.) 

Her role in "The Archaeologist in the Cocoon" reminded me of the time she gave faces to the slaves who had perished aboard the trade ship. That was the sort of artistry she signed on to do. Those are the parts of this job that make Angela most happy, it seems. 

What's most out of place about this arc to me is that Hodgins is wealthy. So wealthy that neither of them need to work. She doesn't have to remain employed by the Jeffersonian in any capacity unless she wants to work there, and no part of her indicated that this is a job she wants to be doing. Part of me wishes that what we'd seen tonight was Angela begin training a replacement via her own set of interns. Let her pass the torch instead of carry the mantle herself. 

Overall, tonight was a solid one for Bones and it gives me great hope that the back half of the season won't be as uneven as the front half was. I'm hopeful for cohesive story arcs and screen time dedicated to the central figures in this narrative - Booth and Bones - with the rest as their supporting cast.

What did you think of tonight's return of Bones? What are you hopeful for with the remainder of the season?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (22 Votes)

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


I liked a lot of the ideas explored by the review and agreed with many of them. The dance wasn't just to show Bones awkwardly trying to dance, but was very symbolic of the "dance" of B&B's relationship. Bones is a very strong-willed woman, and I like that about her, but she's learning that she's no longer alone, and she's having to learn how to live in relationship to Booth now, and not bulldoze her way through life. There is give and take in relationship, and when she catches onto it with Booth, their lives flow together in a beautiful way like their final dance. He knows life isn't easy with Bones because of that, but he loves and accepts her as she is, and helps her grow, even if it's not always pretty. The second episode was a nice combination because it showed Bones having to mature in relation to her protege Clark. She's learning that she doesn't always have to "win" to be acceptable. She can allow her protege to receive his due credit, and she can recognize even that a dead "colleague" deserves to receive just credit for his discovery without diminishing her stature as a professional by acknowledging it. I'm not sure where they are going with Angela, since her relationship with Bones is a valuable, tempering influence, and we don't want to lose that. But Angela needs a way to grow also, and perhaps this is a way to give her space for her character to continue to be true to herself as an artist outside her work in the lab. I will be interested to see how that works out on the series story lines. I am a little tired of how much they have let Sweets take on more of Booth's duties, and how that has diminished Booth's part of the story--David is so good, and I hate to lose a moment with him at all. I think David does really enjoy directing, so perhaps it's a way to allow him more time to do it, but I'm sad to see him have less time on screen, as someone commented. Things do change over time; otherwise the show gets stale, but I hope it grows in ways we can enjoy. I loved the episodes last night. The making out in the janitor's closet gave us a taste of B&B's ongoing cute relationship and a little romantic moment for them. I would like to see them work in a little more of that; I think we all love them and enjoy seeing bits of romance in the midst of the crimesolving to satisfy those of us who have shipper hearts for B&B. I'm sure it's a challenge to keep the show fresh and new after 8 seasons, and I hope they can succeed at that for a good while longer--I do love this show more than any other out there! I will hate to see it come to an end....

Beverly brooks

I think Angela should be given a way out to follow her first dream of being a real artist. But then I for one would be very sorry to see her leave unless they can someone else who is as good as her. I have noticed that in the last few episodes, she has remarked about all of the horror she must draw from.


I thought the end with Booth and Brennan dancing was that she can not dance but in their eyes they are beautiful.


I still like the show...excited that it's going to be picked up for another season, but these past few episodes Brennan has really been irritating..belittling Booth and her interns..doesn't see that Ange is need a friend at the moment..'s almost like she's gone back 10 steps.. Plus I don't like that Sweets is still living with them..that whole story line is just stupid..


I am glad that Hodgins is wealthy, but I think you miss the point. Sure, he can afford the kind of house to make Angela happy and that they could afford to take a year off and go to Paris. But taking joy in your work is more precious than the money. One of the best episodes for Angela was the time she created a virtual visit to the Louvre for a little girl who was dying and would never get there. That's an Angela thing. Hodgins is too smart to give up the work he loves best -- bugs, slime, and particulates. (You may have noticed that, when he's happy, he's not so much into the conspiracies stuff.) The story of the Homo sapiens-Neanderthal couple was especially good -- "the world's first hate crime."


Pelant is so ridiculous that if he comes back, I will have to skip those episodes.


This program seems to be "dancing" dangerously close to good-bye. I sat through the 1st episode and it reminded me of I love Lucy when no matter what Lucy did she was still the star and Ethel who was way better was on the sidelines????
Bones' dancing was ridiculous and completely denounces the fact that the woman is a super genius, who apparently is at a 0% when it comes to self awareness. Booth looks like he is worn out, somebody please help this show! and stop letting Lance talk so much! I didn't even stick around for the second hour.
And yes I also want to know if Angela is going to be written out.


Ang is beyond annoying, if she hates her job, just quit, stop whining, she a billionaire's wife, sure she can paint all she wants. A few cute scenes with B & B and the end made up for the whole ep, as it frequently does. What's with the lack of David Boreanaz in Cocoon? If he wants to cut back his scenes, as HH insinuated, does that mean he's no longer the lead? It's boring with Booth-lite, sorry.


I liked the dance ep a lot. But the 2nd ep? I was totally taken aback how Booth lite the ep was. There was 20min block were he did not have one scene. And over exposed Sweets was doing his job again, alone. WTF? What's going on with the writers this season, they are treating my fav character like crap.


Bones is getting more irritating at every episode. I do like the entire cast, but Bones herself gets on my nerves!

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Bones Season 8 Episode 10 Quotes

Angela: When we met I was an artist. I mean, imagine waking up one day and realizing that for years you haven't been doing anything close to what you love.
Bones: I can't imagine that. I have to do this. It's who I am.
Angela: So you're saying I'm not an artist. Not really.

Bones: You reconstruct the faces of murder victims as well as anyone in this country.
Angela: That's the most depressing thing that anybody has ever said to me.
Bones: I thought it was a compliment.