Bones Review: The Perfect Crime

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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? 


Editor Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (226 Votes)

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


Ye of little faith. I agree that it wasn't a stellar episode especially since, aside from the "floater" episodes, this season has been so solid. But don't you think you are jumping to conclusions thinking that she is going to change over night? You are talking about someone basically changing who they are. Those are some tough habits to break regardless if your revelation was seeing your dead mom. It was all a bit too much but I don't see her completely changing. I think her mom was just telling her to open up a bit more. It wasn't like she was telling her to become a emotional free spirit. Thats how I saw it. But who knows. I could be wrong.


That one agent lady that was with Sweet look like she could be in middle school


A clubhouse couldn't hold all the people who think this season is disjointed and subpar. But we all belong to the same club: What happened to Bones? Her mother's last words having such an impact on her, well, I can believe it. I know my mum's last words have stayed with and haunted me. I just wish that reveal hadn't been in such a contrived situation. I think they decided to push Bones' character development, trying to write her into wanting to get married, but this just seems odd. And what was with Cam in the OR? I don't blame Booth for the fight either. I just think they have both grown so much that they'd have tried to settle it more maturely than Bones storming out. Oh, and Bones, civilization is not based on a great deal of rational thought.


This was some extremely poor character development for Bomes. The writers take 7+ seasons worth of Bones being a atheist and rationalist and throw it out the window. Using a Deus Ex plot twist in a show is always a poor excuse for doing actual writing.


I completely agree. I hated this episode. I was hoping Pelant shot her just to add some substance into the story. I found myself only half paying attention because the episode was terrible.

Miranda wicker

@Serenity--I agree with that completely. Their fight was relevant until she walked out the door, which isn't something Brennan would have done, I think. Of course he's occasionally (or often) irritated by her hyper-rational personality, so seeing that was sort of refreshing. But seeing it used as a plot device made the argument feel stupid.


This episode....while interesting was kind of eh. I don't blame Booth for getting upset at the beginning of the episode. Brennan has come a long way but she still has a way of shooting down people's ideas/plans/wants based solely on scientific evidence.


I have to agree with the reviewer. I really enjoy this show but this season has been so clunky.. extra episodes from season 7, the outrageous scenes witht he kids from last episode, the ridiculous dialog cam had with the doctor, and now this episode, it just seems like they used this season to put as much product placement and random story ideas they had in motion just because.. frankly the only thing I'm looking forward to is more of the Pelant story, and hopes that this isn't a permanent decline for Bones. Do not worry, dear reviewer, you are not alone. Not as far as I'm concerned, at least.


i think they should speed up Brennan's character development.

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Bones Season 8 Episode 15 Quotes

Bones: I have to get back. I have a daughter.
Christine: I know how you feel. Once I had to leave my daughter behind too. I'm pretty sure it killed me.

[to Bones] You are still the most stubborn creature on God's green earth.