Bones Review: The Suitcase Case

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It's almost as if Brennan didn't nearly die last week on Bones, you guys. 

It's one thing not to mention Hodgins's lost fortune. I can buy that they wouldn't talk about their personal finances at work. But the central character back at work so soon? And no one so much as utters a "take it easy?"

With no mention of her near-death experience this week, or even residual weakness from having undergone two surgeries, and a reference to Michelle coming home for Christmas when summer is our next break, I have to wonder what's happening in the writers' room that there are so many continuity errors on Bones Season 8.

And yet, despite those errors, "The Friend in Need" managed to be a moving, Sweets-centric episode.

The Unhappy Truth

I know Sweets has his haters, and some of that disdain for the character is rightfully earned. He meddles. He takes the focus away from Booth and Bones. He's the annoying kid brother you just can't get rid of.

But the part of him that desperately wants to help others is sometimes rather endearing. 

During the questioning of the deceased victim's mother and neighbors, it was obvious that something was up with the teenage girl. She knew something and needed someone's help. Sweets knew it. I expected that she would have information about the boy's disappearance. I did not expect that she would tell Sweets that she had been date raped and that her mother - her own mother - had blamed her for it.

While I know that sort of thing happens every day, as a mother myself I, like Bones, cannot imagine doing nothing to bring my daughter's attacker to justice.

Sweets couldn't understand that either and saw a kindred spirit in the young girl. His opening up to her about his childhood in foster care was a sad and touching moment. His tale about being abused by his foster father "for sport" made me want to hug him. Even though he long ago exorcised his own demons, Sweets needed to find her attacker for himself as much as for her. 

The shared history of troubled childhoods is the common ground that brings Sweets, Bones and Booth together in the friendship they've developed, and there are times, like tonight, when this threesome is well-balanced. 

Booth and Bones are the power-duo, and yes, I prefer episodes where they are the central case-solvers. But occasionally, an episode like this occurs where I almost don't mind that they've taken the back seat to Sweets, allowing him his moment even though Booth had already figured out that the moving man's son was both the rapist and the murderer. Booth knew that Sweets needed to feel that he had avenged the young girl, so he gave Sweets the win, so to speak. 

It was a very "Booth" thing to do. It was also a very Bones thing to wonder if Booth had ever done the same to her and then immediately dismiss that as a possibility because of her superior intellect. Their banter was a light way to end an otherwise serious and somber hour.

Similarly, that was the intended purpose of the Cam/Michelle/Finn story tonight. It was a distraction that lightened the episode as a whole and really nothing more.

It's hard to criticize an episode that deals with the subject of rape and sheds light on the fact that not only do rapes occur all the time, many of them are unreported. So while I could spend time picking tonight apart, I won't. To do so would be an injustice to the topic, and there will always be more Bones to examine next week.

What did you think of "The Friend In Need?" Don't forget to check out the Bones quotes page and be sure to let me know what you thought of tonight's episode in the comments below.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (130 Votes)

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


When Booth got shot it got mentioned the next ep. When Booth had a brain tumor it was the b plot for many eps. When Angela broke up with Hodgins, Roxy and Wendell it got mentioned the next eps and for many after. When Booth was dating Hannah we heard about it for the bulk of S6 forgive me if I don't buy into the B.S. that is the leading lady got shot and nobody asked her once was it tough to be in the lab again was her well being ok...cos Bones can and does continunity, they dropped the ball in this ep, big time.


I need a really good Booth-centric episode. Something that will let us see great Booth character development and also affects B&B..........Cos I have enough of frakking Sweets b-plots this season. Enough already. Can't he go to shrink camp for a month or two? I need a break from him...


This ep was not aired or shot out of order. It was always intended to air after Shot in the Dark....Shot ep was filmed in mid Nov and Friend ep in Dec. Which makes the lack of continunity and follow through even worse ìmo


I like Sweets!


One of the things I really like about Bones is that each episode pretty much stands on its own but with the occasional continuing characters reappearing or the rare two-parter. There are some story lines that continue from episode to episode but this one not mentioning her near-death experience didn't bother me. As for Sweets, I like the character even though he sometimes does get on my nerves. The interns or lab assistants constantly changing gives each episode a different take because each one is so different. The only one I don't really care for is Sweets' ex-girlfriend. She gets on my last nerve when I am trying to watch a show for pure entertainment purposes. (Much like the poor development of the "Following" characters) Bones, Castle, and Justified are 3 shows that I really don't like to miss watching an episode.


The show has gotten so formulaic I actually was glad to get away from the Bones ("I am the smartest person in the world.") vs. Booth ("Oh yeah?") minuet. The story was OK and I liked the secondary story about honesty in dating.


Glad to have Finn back. I really like his character and I'd like to see more of him! It was a cute side story, having him caught between Michelle and her mom (his boss, no less!) I am getting a little tired of so much Sweets, though having him champion the little rape victim was good. I also enjoyed the repartee between B&B at the beginning and end! It was funny to see Bones wonder if Booth sometimes let her "win" and then dismiss it, while he just slyly grinned at her. We know he does, so it was funny to see Bones, for all her brilliance, unable to perceive that he does that because he is a magnanimous character.


Do TV shows really think that lovers, especially married ones, still call each other "Booth" or "Bones"? Or "Hodgins"? Or even "Castle" and "Beckett"?
It really bugs me although I understand iy s written fiction and not real world. Personally, I'd really be thrown if my wife called me by my last name especially on valentine's day or life-saving crisis.
Just sayin.....


Last I checked murder was a far more serious crime than rape so I can't see why the authorities would make a point of calling in the girl and her poor excuse of a mother and not the boy's loving mother to tell them they'd caught the man responsible for these crimes.


The episode lost something by being obviously aired out of order but I often watch reruns of shows so that wasn't such a big deal.
For once I didn't resent Sweets because, for once, his character was doing what his character should be doing: be a psychiatrist.
The storyline with Cam was just the right lighthearted touch although I have to say I can't fathom what kind of daughter(yes, I know she came late in Cam's life as a teen, but still)wouldn't tell her mom she was in town if only for the last day of her week-end visit.
The one glaring misstep in the episode was not having the murdered boy's mother back on at the end. While I understand the girl was also raped the night of the murder,not having both mothers there to find out the man who committed both crimes was caught felt off. It was as if they were saying that the only point in finding out the mover was the murderer was that it helped convict him as a rapist. Last I checked murder was a far more serious crime than rape so I can't see the authorities making a point of calling in the girl and that creepy mother of hers and not the loving mother of the boy to say they had their man.

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Bones Season 8 Episode 16 Quotes

Cam: Are you suggesting cause of death is stupidity?
Abernathy: Well, it wouldn't be the first time.

Booth: You're not always the smartest, Bones.
Bones: But I am.