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.


I also noticed that nothing was said about Brennan taking it easy, and Michelle's comment about Christmas,or Hodgins money problems, it made me wonder if this episode was really supposed to be aired in the fall instead. I'm not a Sweets fan, but it was nice to see a vunerable side of him. Looking forward to next week, seeing Brennan meet her match with the new genius squint.


I felt as if this episode was out of order, or written by someone who didn't know the storyline, until I remembered that Emily Deschanel was producer on this one. But it wasn't until her statement at the end that I realized why. Aside from being disgusted with the personnel of this particular story, I thought it was a good episode. I miss B&B as the central story -- not that Brennan was in top form this week -- but I tell myself they have other business to attend to.


Bones is my #1 TV Show, however, LESS of Sweets and MORE of Bones and Booth would be appreciated. Sweets is obnoxious and annoying, and he needs to move out of Bones and Booth's home and get a life. Glad to see Abnernathy back in the Lab. He and Wendell are my favorites. This Show is "Bones," not "Sweets". It is a little ridiculous when there are more scenes with Sweets than Booth and/or Bones.

Miranda wicker

I think I'm off my game, guys. Or the fact that there was an actual victim as a character in this story just pulled at me in a way the NF story line didn't since there weren't kids involved. Usually, I despise overt displays of pathos, but whether it was the girl or the fact that I'm a mom or that as a teacher I had a few teenagers confide this sort of thing in me, something about last night made me hate it less. I hope you'll all forgive me for letting my heart get the best of me. It happens to the best of us, right? To the point about Cam/Michelle/Finn getting equal screen time, that story existed solely to distract from the emotional heaviness of the rape victim story, so it didn't really rank in terms of importance last night.


eyeroll at the Sweets *pity party* going on in this ep....just ugh.

Sue ann

I agree with Jaime, and I will never forgive the character for that, either. He has done other such things, although never so protracted nor so egregious. People seem somewhat less than real to him. Lab rats. I despise Sweets.


Anytime I could feel a tad sorry for Sweets, I just recall the time he let Brennan think Booth was dead for two weeks. TWO WEEKS. For an experiment for his book or whateva the lame excuse was then.... Yeah. He deserves none of my pity.


It wasn't really a Sweets centric ep at all. Cam, Michelle and Finn had a plot just as much as Sweets....And I don't respond to balant manipulation writing for a character in order for me to like them. It didn't work. I still hate Sweets on many levels just like before.


Yet another meh ep of Bones. Do the writers even mind that they have central characters called Booth and Brennan? It use to be that the supporting characters got an ep now and again. Now? It's B&B that are lucky if they get an ep about them. FAIL. Season 8 you fail.


This is another one of the out-of-order eps that networks have been doing lately. That's why no mention of the other ep's aftershocks. They save cetain ones to play out of order on weeks that they can play with the schedule, like a holiday Monday.

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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.