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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Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (120 Votes)

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


Parts of this were an okay episode. I didn't mind the Booth-hospital thread. I thought he might be giving blood, or a pheresis donation, or even matching for bone marrow. That would be typical Booth. My only reservation to that is that I think Brennan would have joined him, and not just to hold his hand. The thread I didn't care for was the fuss about Wendell's birthday. I like Wendell -- he and Viziri are my favorite interns. But it was extraneous to all the other stuff that was going on; also I personally don't believe in bucket lists.


As far as the roller skating, this was fun and especially having Angela be the derby doll. I liked the fact that they used Angela and let her run with her questing for identity. I love Wendell and Hodgins together. They are really fun to watch as they banter back and forth. Cam was good in that she loves Seeley and wants to be a true friend. The introduction to NF certainly was different and I really think they could have handled the entire hospital thing better but I did not know a thing about NF and now I do. I am aware of it and will try to be better informed and let others know. As episodes go this was a 4 out of 5 for me. I love the fact that Brennan really is learning how to give Booth what he needs in support and allows him to be Booth and not criticize his beliefs. My roller derby name would be Smiley Wiley. Ha, ha, Moxie Girl you need to give us your name.


It was an awkward set up for Booth, however much in keeping with his character it is. I wish more had been made of the fact that he hasn't been to confession. For a man of such deep faith, I'm surprised that this is not tearing at him inside. This storyline of Hodgins and Angela being broke is odd to me. Doesn't he own the Cantilever group? How do they not have accounts in FDIC banks ($150k protected per account in those banks), or safety deposit boxes with money stashed or even overseas secure accounts in Switzerland or the Caymans? I'd expect a conspiracy theorist like Hodgins to have at least accounts accessible only by voice recognition and so on, and to horde cash. But I did love Wendell giving back the nude Angela painted of him with boxers added. Two thumbs up, Wendell. He's always been my favourite squintern too.

Miranda wicker

I feel like there's a comment missing here, but I'm not disagreeing with Booth not wanting attention for what he was doing. That makes sense for his character. He doesn't see himself as anything special or as the "great guy" the others see him as. @Samthwoo--I wondered how parents of children with NF would see last night's episode. It felt like a generic commercial to me instead of something informative and awareness-raising.


Next week looks intense! And as we have come to expect, I am confident #Bones will not disappoint! MoxieGirl44


Smacky Kennedy - FABULOUS NAME!!!! I was hoping the kiss was going to be because she was trying to stave off advances from another Derby Doll - trying to show that she really was into boys, not girls ... However, the request for a second kiss was hilarious! True Angela form. I do agree that the aura around the hospital visit was over-played, though very in character for Booth - something he would actually do. I would have loved to see him later talking with Brennan about it in bed, as in many of the great closing scenes we've had this season. I LOVED that Brennan could quote the bible verse. That reminds us that she is intelligent - has invested some time in researching faith - and that she understands how important Booth's faith is to him. I love Ms. Wicker's suggestion of having the team help out with the carnival! All episodes cannot be our favorite ... and they can't all be as intense as some of the other S8 episodes. We need this break, perhaps. Next week ... now that looks like a nail-biter and a tear-jerker. #Bones is sure not to disappoint. MoxieGirl44


I liked the episode! I knew nothing about this disease, so any info was helpful. This was something typical with Booth--he is a great guy and one who would want to keep his charitable deeds secret--he tries to live his faith. The conversation with Sweets about living with Bones outside of marriage would be an uncomfortable subject with him--he wants to do the right thing, but he's not going to press Bones; he'll just wait till she's ready for commitment. And he sure wouldn't want to discuss it with Sweets. I loved Bones' support of Booth and loyalty to him; she's learning how to live with this man. And Angie as a roller derby queen was very cute and entertaining. I thought it was a fun episode--true, not the most gripping ever, but fun and different. My derby name would be Roller Queen Robin!


Thanks for the quote @Michael -- that was the phrasing I remembered a little.


Welp seeing as Ihave a kid with nf, ep was not very informative. Just a basic rundown. Thought they would have given it more attention, but that's just me


Matthew 6:1-4 ESV / 100 helpful votes “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

@ Michael

Thanks, that verse was way more appropriate than changing 1 Corinthians 13:4.

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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.