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Bones Review: War and Peace

by at . Comments

I used to really enjoy Bones. It was a show I looked forward to week after week. It was fresh and new. The characters drew me in. The cases were intriguing. What happened to that show?

After tonight, it's safe to say I'm back to feeling completely exhausted by the overly emotional manipulation that is Bones season 8. This series is rapidly becoming but a glimmer of its former glory.

Brennan and Booth on a Case

So far this season we've had tigers, children with debilitating illness, and the girl who was date-raped at a party. "The Survivor in the Soap" was another episode written to teach us more things about which we plebeians couldn't possibly already know. Children in Sierra Leone were forced to become soldiers during their Civil War and many of them immigrated to the United States to seek asylum after the war ended.

Let's be clear. I'm not attempting to minimize that piece of history. It was and is an atrocity played out against the most innocent among us and those most deserving of our protection: children.

But tonight's blast of pathos via the photographer's gallery and Brennan's snapshots was heavy-handed and unnecessary. And don't even get me started on Arastoo's outburst at Hodgins.

They were ways to show us images of what happened, as if saying that the victim in tonight's episode had been a child soldier in Sierra Leone wouldn't have been enough. Or saying "Look! We characters on Bones have been personally affected by this and we feel bad so you should too!"

I know, I know: show don't tell is the rule of television. However, not like this. Show us. Don't clobber us over the head with it. Give us a character we can connect with and feel, even if the character is deceased the whole time.

With the clunky handling of all of these After School Specials, I just keep thinking back to the case of the Amelia Rose. That was an episode that handled this sort of heavy story beautifully in a way that the episodes this season just haven't been able to do.

Tonight the case was so front-and-center that I was annoyed by it. The team was used as fodder for comic relief so that we weren't so bogged down by the devastation that we wanted to change the channel. Except I'd venture to say it didn't really work. 

Booth and Bones bickering over where to go on vacation felt unnecessarily silly. We know that Brennan likes to go on vacation to places where her skills as an anthropologist can be put to use. We know that Booth would prefer a place where they're getting away from death and destruction. Having them spar about which exotic locale would make the perfect vacation spot was somewhat inane, even if we did get a couple of good Bones quotes out of their exchanges.

None of us care that Cam and Arastoo are dating because none of us saw any sort of indication that it was coming at all way back when we learned about it last fall. This is only the third sight or mention of the two of them being together, so there's nothing about that relationship we can care about because we haven't seen it build. It just was. Is. Apparently will be.

What did you think of "The Survivor in the Soap?" Were you emotionally moved by the episode? Or just moved to change the channel? 

Review

Editor Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (129 Votes)

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

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@Sue:"...remotely possible that someone who actually has some power on that show MIGHT read the comments here, and take them to heart. Continual pandering by fanboys and girls will change nothing" THANK YOU! It's beyond ridiculous just how much the showrunners pander to the stans. I actually think their chemistry never recovered from the disaster that was season 6. The B&B disconnect with the introduction of the gf and then ED's RL pregnancy plus lazy writing and poor execution translated to the awkwardness we see on screen. And I actually think DB is the one with the problem, not ED. There's some glimmer of hope here and there (TJ and ED for me and a lot of B&B's 'bickering' scenes) but still, it's just an okay show now as opposed to the really good show I couldn't wait to tune into every week.

Sue ann

@ jen I will watch the season when the DVD's come out and I get them from the library. I like to have an idea of what is going to be on that menu. Also, there are reviewers and posters here whose opinions I respect, and I wish to read them. I do NOT answer to you, and if I find other programs more worth watching, and still wish to read and post here, I will do so. It is also remotely possible that someone who actually has some power on that show MIGHT read the comments here, and take them to heart. Continual pandering by fanboys and girls will change nothing. Alex Indigo is right. I commented about it at the time. The chemistry between Booth and Brennan crashed and burned at the same time that Emily Deschanel got married. It was astonishing and conspicuous.

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*From the beginning, he expected her to reveal almost everything to him while she got his backstory in bits and pieces over 8 years. Her response to the 'time travel' question should clue you in on who actually is the 'heart' person in that relationship.

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Wow at the Booth-stans who came out after my comment. @traci: If you think that was 'pure chemistry', I suggest you re-watch seasons one and two. Also, I said intimacy ISN'T limited to as you put it, making googly eyes at each other (if they're even capable of that anymore). @move: Yes, because my wanting a show I love to retain it's former glory instead of putting out rubbish episodes automatically translates to me being selfish and wishing people of out jobs? Reaching much? Yes, with 'fans' like you, this show will go on for years as it continues to drop in quality. @carrie: Booth 'standing up for himself'? Really? Brennan has changed almost all of her principles upon which her character was based on in the earlier seasons. The retcon that the writers have been doing this season is purely for Booth's benefit so that they'll up getting married. What has he done or changed, besides 'living in sin' with her (that he's done before with other women, btw)? From the beginning, he expected her to reveal almost everything to him while she got his backstory in bits and pieces over 8 years. Her response to the 'time travel' question should clue you in on who actually is the 'heart' person in that relationship.

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I gotta LMAO at some Brennan fans who bitch about Booth standing up for himself with Brennan and bang on how faultless she is...Oh please......Brennan is a control freak and wants everything her way with regards to Christine and Booth's input. Any idea Booth has she bitch slaps him down; going to the zoo, getting a dog, going to the carousel, going on a family vacation, metorite mining....she dìdn't even invite him to go to the frakking baby scan last season. WTF....Plus she always has to remind Booth of how much smarter she is than him, when Booth is just as smart as her in his field. *now that.is frakking belittling*... So glad that Booth stands up for what he wants in their relationship and yet still finds a way to compromise or like in this ep goes along with Brennan's idea of a vacation that is suitable for both of them just cos it makes her happy... what makes her happy, makes him happy. ...guess the whiners and picky fans overlooked that part. *eyeroll*

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@alex_indigo By the by Bones can end for you anytime you want it to. Just stop watching it. Easy Nobody is making you watch it, stop whining about something that is your hands ..... It says alot about you that you want a show to end and effectively put hundreds of people out of a job just cos the series isn't going the way you want too. Selfish much?.... Let the millions of fans who do tune in and still love the show, enjoy it without your bitter party... Seriously.

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@alex_indigo oh please if you think Brennan and Booth are stilted and awkward then go watch The Twist in the Plot or The Shot in the Dark where they were loving and oozed pure chemistry. This ep wasn't about Booth and Brennan making googley eyes at each other or being lovey dovey. Not everything is about B&B moments esp in a serious case like this.

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*and that's simply not true at all. They used to sit closer when they were at the bar then they do in their own home. Everything is just so stilted and awkward. I also really don't like the continuing trend of Booth belittling Brennan's preferences. It's been going on for years, of course, but you'd think the number of times we've heard him say that he loves her for her and doesn't need her to change would mean something more if he actually you know, stops trying to make her feel small when she voices out her desires/suggestions? They can do so much better and I for one think that they haven't fully recovered from the disaster that was season six. We've had a couple of good episodes here and there over the last two years, but nowhere near as good as it used to be in its first two seasons. As much as it pains me to say this, I do hope that next season will be it's last (unless the writers get our of their own way).

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Another spot on review. As a long time fan of the show, I've been so disappointed this season. The writers are out of whack and it shows. Even the actors aren't performing up to par. As usual, Emily and TJ were reason enough to plough through this episode. The writing appeared stilted and yes, very heavy handed. I guess the reason why I'm ultimately disappointed is that this show used to be really, really good. I'd tune in and know that there wasn't a show like this anywhere else, with quality writing, superb acting and incredible chemistry. Now? The writing is ridiculous, the acting somewhat lacking and the chemistry? What chemistry? I've been griping about how much B&B DON'T act like a couple and it was glaringly obvious this episode. They used to be more comfortable around each other in the first two seasons of the show than they do now ffs! There are so many ways to show intimacy, like the touch on a shoulder or even on the back. HH has accused us fans of wanting 'porn', and that's simply not true at all. They used to sit closer when they were at the bar then they do in their own home. Everything is just so stilted and awkward. I also really don't like the continuing trend of Booth belittling Brennan's preferences. It's been going on for years, of course, but you'd think the number of times we've heard him say that he loves her for her and doesn't need her to change would mean something more if he actually you know, stops trying to make her feel small when she voices out her desires/suggestions? They can do so much better and I for one think that they haven't fully recovered from the disaster that was season six. We've had a couple of good episodes here and there over the last two years, but nowhere near as good as it used to be in its first two seasons. As much as it pains me to say this, I do hope that next season will be it's last (unless the writers get our of their own way).

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I think Arastoo is gorgeous, so anything that gives him screen time is fine by me! Maybe he and Cam should go on vacation with B&B so we can get beach shots of *both* beautiful men! There definitely isn't much chemistry there yet but who knows?

Bones Season 8 Episode 18 Quotes

Bones: I always enjoy learning something.
Booth: Well, how about learning how to have fun, Bones?

Booth: We haven't been away since Christine was born.
Bones: I have.
Booth: You were running away from the police.