Bones Review: War and Peace

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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? 


Editor Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (130 Votes)

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

Avatar much negative povs in these reviews. Just asking for more balance, like I said there were good points in the episode too. Thanks for reading


Enjoyed the case. Enjoyed Booth and the guy from returning from S2 scenes. They have great chemistry together. Booth and Brennan bickering over a vacation was so them. And how cool would it be to see them on vacation and oops stumble across a dead body!! Booth interviewing the guy in the cab was great. Booth and Brennan sharing their war experiences was also insightful. Loved how Booth as both a man and FBI agent were getting some well deserved praise, Hodgins was OTT but funny but get a haircut!!! lol....Cam and Arastoo were the weakest link of the ep, I just don't buy them as a couple. And Arastoo has become so OTT as a character now that I wish he would just graduate already.!!! I would like to see Booth and Brennan home scenes mixed up a little, get out of the kitchen/lounge more but they are so darn cute they make up for it lol.... I think there was a lot of good in the episode and wish that the reviews here would be more balanced out with some positive points too and not just so much with the negative, It's getting tiresome tbh, just asking for a more balance, thanks for reading.


Said with all due respect, if Bones is such a letdown to you now, maybe see how you feel at the end of the season and if you still aren't feeling it, perhaps then pass reviewing onto someone who still actually likes the show and are invested. It would make life more fun for the reviewer and the reviewees imo ;)


I liked the ep very much. Do I think that it would of benefited not coming off the back of 2 other PSA heavy eps? Yes I do. That said, the cases are stronger than last season and give me these types of cases anyday than last seasons coupon cutting and hotdog eating cases, they truly were poor quality....


@sueann you don't watch Bones since S6 and yet you waste your time trolling Bones articles leaving comments? Get a life. You don't watch the current eps or series now therfore your comment is totally invalid on what the show is like at present... ..I know, I haven't watched Grays Anatomy in years but I will go and find their articles and complain it sucks cos they killed George!!! oh wait, I won't cos I have a life.


Booth and Brennan were the best thing about this ep. The writers need to stop concentrating on so many c plots and get back to what makes this show a success in the first place; Booth and Brennan, the center must hold

Sue ann

I was moved to quit watching after the appalling season six debacle, and I wish I had stopped watching when they should have stopped this show, in the airport, with Booth going off to war, and Bones going off to Makapucu, or where ever it was, at the end of season five. It has never recovered from the serious mistake that was Hannah, and in the long run, I think they should have done as McMillan and Wife did when Susan St. James was pregnant the first time. Don't mention it, pretend it is not happening, and carry on. It sounds like I am missing nothing. And Cam should be fired for an relationship with one of those interns, who work under her authority.


I'm moved to delete your URL from my bookmarks. There it goes .... ******


Have to agree, this season is heavy handed and uneven. I am tired on the producers trying to make me feel guilty for living in America, yes, I know that terrible things are happening in the world but I still dont need to be knocked over the head about it. I am not liking the Cam/Arastoo storyline. I don't see any chemistry between them, the inappropriateness of their relationship in the workplace is ridiculous. Talk about a hostile work environment for the other staff and interns, its a lawsuit waiting to happen. What is with Araastoo, he blows up in every ep that he is in. totally unattractive. Give me a reason to care about them, so far its not happening.


I agree wholeheartedly, I watch shows to be entertained, not to be preached upon. Of course shows can and should have a meaningful message but to twist that into blatant advertising and manipulation is just degrading. I don't know what happened to my show either, but this isn't it. And if it goes on like this I may just quit watching, why support something that is butchering what you loved?

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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.