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Bones

Bones Review: The Perfect Crime

by at . Comments

Am I alone or does this season of Bones feel incredibly disconnected and unevenly told? Surely, I can't be the only one seeing this, right? Please tell me I'm not alone.

While there have been some standout episodes in Bones season 8, there have been far more installments where perhaps most of the script never should've made it out of the writer's room. 

"The Shot in the Dark?" It felt more like a shoot and a miss to me.

Shot in the Dark Photo

Tonight started out in a decent place and quickly devolved into something that only sort of resembles the show we love.

This season has been about seeing Booth and Bones as a couple instead of just partners, so their fight, while ridiculous and perhaps overblown, seemed normal. Couples don't agree all the time. They argue. Sometimes about things like one person being more spontaneous than the other. That totally happens. It felt like we were seeing a different side of the two of them than the typical, happy couple who gets along all the time. I can accept and even welcome that.

But the minute Bones stormed out the door in such an over-dramatic fashion, it was clear that the only purpose their fight served was as a way to get her back to the Jeffersonian and for Booth to come and find her on the floor of the bone room. That's it. And that's the point at which this episode took a nosedive.

I went into this episode knowing we would see Bones have conversations with her mother, and several of those are on the Bones quotes page. But I had no idea what those conversations would entail, or that the scenes would be so...flashy. I actually chuckled when Bones tore open the door to the living room and tumbled into the light. I don't think that was the writers' intended response at all.

I don't doubt that people who have near-death experiences walk away from said experiences changed people. I'm truly okay taking peoples' word for it that they have been changed by said experiences. But it felt like Christine said to Brennan, "Hey, you know? You can use your heart again instead of just your head. It's cool."

Actually, that's almost exactly what she said:

Christine: The advice I gave you back then, use your head, be rational, don't let your heart lead you, use your brain. That allowed you to survive, and it held true. But I have another piece of advice for you. It's time for you to find some of that little girl that you locked away so deep inside yourself.
Bones: Why?
Christine: Because it's not about surviving anymore. It's about flourishing. It's about living a full life. | permalink

Yes, we want Brennan to live a full life, to flourish. But Brennan would probably say that she has lived a full life and is flourishing. The rest of us would also say that over time and through her relationships with Angela, Booth, Christine, and everyone else at the Jeffersonian, Brennan has found parts of that girl she tucked away when her parents left so suddenly. 

While her parents' disappearance no doubt caused severe emotional trauma, I've always sort of assumed that Brennan was always overly rational and incredibly intelligent and didn't just become that way overnight. To hear her mother tell it, Brennan was just a normal, average teenager crushing on boys, planning her next outfit, and getting into trouble and then suddenly became a genius devoted to her studies and nothing else because her mother's last words were to use her brain instead of her heart.

I know she turned to books as a way to cope with her time in foster homes, but this episode just rewrote history.

I actually liked the science of this week's case. Hal, the security guard, and Brennan were both shot but no bullets were found upon examination. After Brennan described the wound as being cold, Hodgins posited that someone had figured out how to make and shoot frozen bullets, determining that they were made from blood after Brennan had a reaction to foreign antigens in her system. 

We also got the return of Agent Sparling and the reveal that shortly after breaking up with Daisy, she and Sweets went out a few times and slept together and he never called. I think there's potential for the two of them and I wouldn't mind seeing more of her. She's a likable enough character so far.

The major complaint with this episode - and it's an enormous complaint - is that it was and is an attempt to completely rewrite Brennan's character. It undoes everything we know and love about the rational side of Bones and flies in the face of all the small, subtle changes we've watched her make over 8 seasons all because she had a conversation with her mother while she flat-lined on a table in an operating room.

She'll suddenly become emotional and sentimental and while she as a character is capable of changing, this was arguably the worst way to bring about said changes. Because her late mother said so.

Dear Shark, Consider yourself jumped. Sincerely, Bones

What did you think of "The Shot In The Dark?" Do you think this was an attempt to rewrite Brennan's character or speed up her development? 

Review

Editor Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
  • 2.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (225 Votes)

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

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Awful religious nonsense.

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It was pure religious propaganda from FOX. It was awful! Good bye Bones!

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I have to go with weeksie21 - When I saw "Ghost in the Machine", I cringed. The beauty of this series is the science. To suddenly start throwing in supernatural heebie jeebies is insulting. If you want a show about spirit and heaven, go watch Shirley Maclaine. I enjoy Poe and Lovecraft and good ghost story as much as anyone. But I know it's just fiction, not science. I watch this show for the science. If it becomes a supernatural series, it will have lost its beauty.

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(Continued) positive development. The implication that Brennan's lack of religious faith is some kind of character flaw or a result of some kind of hole in Brennan's life is an insult to happy and well-adjusted non-religious fans of the show (including myself) who will now be changing the channel. Well, there's my rant. This used to be a show I would look forward to every week and was at one point my favorite show on TV. Now I intend to never watch another episode.

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(continued) that a relationship between the two would never actually last. The show would have been far better served by keeping the baby out altogether and keeping the relationship between Booth and Bones what it always was: a fun, slightly flirtatious friendship that was built on a fascination of the other person's point of view because of the differences, but always stayed professional. This show has succumbed to the shipper faction of the fan base who don't understand that Booth and Brennan NOT being together is what made the show interesting. But now the show is beyond repair, and has only worsened itself by bringing in a scene clearly intended to make Brennan, if only partially, abandon her rationality and science to accept, maybe even embrace, faith. This COMPLETELY destroys everything that Bones was for the first 7 seasons and is such a horrible attempt to rewrite a character that we love into something she's not that I don't see how anyone can see it as a positive development. The implication that Brennan's lack of religious faith is some kind of character flaw or a result of some kind of hole in Brennan's life is an insult to happy and well-adjusted non-religious fans of the show (including myself) who will now be changing the channel. Well, there's my rant. This used to be a show I would look forward to every week and was at one point my favorite show on TV. Now I intend to never watch another episode.

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I'm sorry, but this show has completely jumped the shark. From the moment Brennan revealed she was pregnant with Booth's baby, the show veered completely away from what made it brilliant for seven seasons and turned it into something cheep and ridiculous. The interplay between Booth, an emotional man of God and country, and Brennan, a rational woman of logic and science, made the show fascinating. These two looked a a case from completely different directions and therefore complimented each other so well from a professional work point of view as solving a case requires as many perspectives as possible. However, two people with such different perspectives and outlooks on life can never build a long-term relationship. True, long lasting love is based on companionship, not passion, and life-long companionship is reliant on a significant amount of overlap between the two personalities, with the differences being only superficial. The differences between Booth and Bones are so fundamental that a relationship between the two would never actually last. The show would have been far better served by keeping the baby out altogether and keeping the relationship between Booth and Bones what it always was: a fun, slightly flirtatious friendship that was built on a fascination of the other person's point of view because of the differences, but always stayed professional. This show has succumbed to the shipper faction of the fan base who don't understand that Booth and Brennan NOT being together is what made the show interesting. But now the show is beyond repair, and has only worsened itself by bringing in a scene clearly intended to make Brennan, if only partially, abandon her rationality and science to accept, maybe even embrace, faith. This COMPLETELY destroys everything that Bones was for the first 7 seasons and is such a horrible attempt to rewrite a character that we love into something she's not that I don't see how anyone can see it as a positive development. The implication that Brennan's lack of religious faith is some kind of character flaw or a result of some kind of hole in Brennan's life is an insult to happy and well-adjusted non-religious fans of the show (including myself) who will now be changing the channel. Well, there's my rant. This used to be a show I would look forward to every week and was at one point my favorite show on TV. Now I intend to never watch another episode.

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Love the show. I thought the bullet would be titiamin or water. Surprise through the whole show. Loved Brennan seeing her mother. It may answer some questions that have always bothered her. Everyone was great.

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I knew it. "Ghost in the Machine" was just the beginning. Verifying that, in the Bones universe, ghosts are as factually real as the psychic powers used to sense them. I was hoping that episode was just a fluke, a failed attempt at something different. This episode has confirmed that it was not. What the hell is going on with this show? This is supposed to be a show about scientists doing science, and Brennan's character being a believer in facts and evidence over faith in anything supernatural was central to this theme. This so-called epiphany goes against the very point of her character. More than that, as MatchooW pointed out, it blatantly perpetrates the worst misconceptions about atheists: That not believing is the result of something 'being wrong' with the person; that atheists are cold, emotionless people who live unfulfilled lives devoid of any kind of warmth or happiness; that Brennan's non-belief has somehow limited her in her life, despite the fact that she's one of the most renowned and successful experts in her field. In the end, this episode, like so many before it, but particularly "Ghost in the Machine," was nothing more than sloppy storytelling, lazy writing, and propaganda, plain and simple. And though I'm an atheist, I'm less offended by the (oh-so-common) prejudice against non-believers and more offended by the sheer absence of logical character behavior and progression. Get the fricken fairy tales out of this science show!

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Wow, you clearly are thinking too hard. I am a huge Bones fan. While this episode will not go in my top 10 of all times it will not go in the bottom 10 either. I was disappointed in several aspects of this one... starting with the "flying into the light". I too thought the writing was poor, like when Angela walked into Autopsy and said "she's awake" Cam said thank God and then three beats later said Brennan said it was cold whenshe was shot. HOw the Heck did she know? That frustrates me. Loved Booth and Sweets was good too!

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Bones dramatic opening of the door in to the light was suppose to be the afterlife hitting her right in the face after a life spent not believing in an afterlife. It HAD to be dramatic. I liked this episode. They're peeling back more layers of Bones than anyone, especially Bones herself, ever even knew existed. As for rewriting history....maybe Bones blocked out any memory of being 'a normal gawky teenage girl' after her parents left and she was thrust in to foster care. She retreated in to books and denied herself of that 'normal childhood'.