Bones Review: Derby Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

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Now that we're in the back half of Bones season 8, I expected that the uneven story telling that plagued the front half would be over. Especially after coming off of four great episodes in a row. While tonight was a decent outing for Bones, though, it didn't live up to the expectations set by recent weeks.

Aside from references to Hodgins and Angela's newfound poverty, "The Doll in the Derby" almost could have been one of the "bonus" episodes we were handed earlier this season.

Roller Derby Photo

So that we'll end on a high note, let's get the bad out of the way first, shall we? 

The "Booth visits the hospital" story was, well, not my favorite. Booth raising money for the Children's Tumor Foundation to benefit children with neurofibromatosis felt as product placement-y as Bones crying over a dead tiger. And yes, I realize how awful this makes me sound. But I hope you'll let me explain before calling me soulless.

Something like this is completely in character for Booth. He's a great guy. He loves kids. He wants to make the world better. I can see the character organizing a charity event for sick children and wanting no credit for it. Booth doesn't want to be a hero even if he is a hero. It's one of the things I love about him. He's a good guy for the sake of being good, not because he desires recognition for being a good guy.

But (there's always a but, right?)...

This particular story began as purposefully misleading, came completely out of thin air, and was over-dramatized to the point of almost absurdity. 

First, we have Booth and Bones in the car. He says he has to go to the hospital and I'm thinking he's got a sick friend from the military that he's visiting, or a dying relative, (both of which are as out of the blue as the actual story). His phone call to Bones makes it sound that grave as well. Bones can't tell Angela so Angela assumes something is wrong with Booth and then Cam noses around and goes so far as to ask another doctor about what could be confidential patient information. All because Booth didn't want people to know what he was doing. 

It was just so clunky and overwrought with dramatics that it nearly undermined the entire point of spreading awareness about a debilitating and fairly common illness.

Here's how this story could have played out: Booth's good deeds for the organization are discovered somehow. Everyone keeps trying to say what a great thing it is and he keeps shrugging it off. The team all comes together to work his carnival to show him - and the children - their support. No heavy theatrics required. 

With that aside, I liked the rest of the episode. (And I do like kids! I promise!)

Wendell was back! Aside from Mr. Nigel Murray, Wendell has always been my favorite of the squinterns. He's down to earth and mostly humble, and also easy on the eyes. The conversation between he and Hodgins wherein Hodgins was accidentally reminded that Wendell and Angela are more than a little familiar with one another might have been one of the best interactions of the night. 

Hodgins: Posing naked for a hot art student. That is still a big regret of mine.
Wendell: Done it. Not a student though.
Hodgins: Really?
Wendell: I don't want to talk about this anymore. | permalink

Happy birthday, Wendell Bray! 

I can't roller skate at all, so the idea roller skating in a derby is fun and fascinating. When the previews for tonight's episode first rolled (see what I did there?), I was excited by the prospect of the story that could be told. That aspect of tonight didn't disappoint.

Even if Booth did say she was no good at it, seeing Angela get all dressed up to go undercover as a derby girl was fun and gave the character a chance to get out from behind her computer and live a little. She's been plagued by the gruesome nature of solving murders and, while this turned out to be a bloody venture for her, it put her in the midst of the action instead of recreating it behind the scenes.

I wouldn't hate it if Smackie Kennedy came out to play again. It could be a great outlet for Angela when she's had too much of the gloom and doom in the lab. And now that she and Hodgins are broke, the nightly tip-out of the entrance fees might help buy them some ramen!

Be sure to check out the Bones quotes page and then I'll see you in the comments.

What did you think of "The Doll In The Derby?" Do you think the hospital visitation story could've been better incorporated into the narrative? If you were in a roller derby, what would your name be? 


Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (120 Votes)

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


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Love the show. It was a bit hard to follow to start. It shouldn't have been a mystery about the hospital thing. Computers took Hodges money, computers can give it back. Way to go Anglea, is I had to put peoples skulls back togather every time, I'd need an out let too.


I think the kid thing was overdramatized. And Brennan constantly looked so sad, like if Booth was going to give a kidney or something. I didn't like that aspect of the show at all. I liked Angela getting a break from the lab. I also don't like the story line about Hodges losing his money, cause there is so much protection over that now, I can't believe he lost all money in all accounts. My derby name would be Ravielicious!


This was far from the best episode, but every week can't be a home run. However, since this is my absolute favorite show of all time, even a bad episode of Bones, is better than no episode of Bones! I thought all the secrecy was an overkill and anti-climatic, and Angela asking Booth for another kiss was inappropriate and out of character. I don't care how drunk she was or how much of a free spirit she is, she would not do that to her best friend. I also feel that Cam is a fairly private person and she also respects the privacy of others. It was wrong for her to pursue it even if her intentions were pure. Will I watch this episode again? Absolutely :D
My roller derby name would be: KATE EXPECTATIONS hahahaha, I crack myself up!


I thought it was a great show Ilike B&B the way the are togeather it had a lot of twist and turns I watch it again to see what I missed and when you look at a second time you see a lot more look again and see what you missed.


I thought the fist part about Booth and the hospital was a bit disjointed. I also thought that something (not good) is going on between Booth and Brennen.
I loved the fact that Wendall is back, I hope to stay. Angela's "side job" was great. It got Angela out of the lab and back into life.


The whole show was STUPID. I have not enjoyed this season as much as the previous.The whole story line of Hodges loosing all his money is really dumb.. First of all he couldn't function if he lost his moneyl He has been rich all his life. The kid thing did not work for me.


A just so episode,disconnected,, Booth story line did not make sense,especially with Brennan making it sound like it was life or death.I believe it would have been better if Booth mentioned that there was a fund raising carnivale for NF and who wants to help and at the end everyone at the carnivale helping.Cam, ethics please and respect for privacy!! obviously Booth must have been at hospital to support child undergoing brain surgery, why the secrecy,? and why out of the blue does this occur., but I still enjoy BONES, cannot wait for next installment. :0) SUPPORT NF PLEASE.


It seems David and Emily are at odds, they aren't seen at interviews together anymore and David did say he felt Em changing and he doesn't like having to kiss her all the time. It is showing in their work. I hope I'm wrong, I watch the show because of they are BFF's off the screen.


This was not the most exciting episode that the Bones program had. I have an additional comment on the total program. Why does Angela andd Hodges stay
poor, Can't they come up with some kind of way that Hodges gets his money back.It seems with the amount of money that was insinuated, that they should be able to get at least some of it back.As I remember, Hodges was the only one left of his family. This doesn't make sense that they should lose it all.

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Bones Season 8 Episode 14 Quotes

Angela: Hey, you fell in love with a wild woman, didn't you?
Hodgins: Yes, a beautiful wild woman.
Angela: And that's how I will remand. Because nobody screws with Smacky Kennedy.

Hodgins: Posing naked for a hot art student. That is still a big regret of mine.
Wendell: Done it. Not a student though.
Hodgins: Really?
Wendell: I don't want to talk about this anymore.