Bones Review: Mommy Dearest

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I'm calling it now. Bones proposes to Booth by the end of Bones season 8. After tonight's heavy-handed set-up, if she doesn't, I will be shocked. SHOCKED, I say. 

"The Party in the Pants" featured Booth's mother returning after a 24-year absence - and absolutely nothing about the way she showed up made much sense. Booth's mother's arrival was about as contrived a plot device as they come. 

Booth's Mother Visits

After receiving a call about a case, Booth walks into his office and who should be sitting there but Mommy Dearest, all these years after walking out on Seely and his brother and leaving them - her children - with their abusive, alcoholic father and the grandfather who raised them. And Booth harbors no resentment toward his mother for walking out and leaving them behind. She was just doing what she had to do.

So he welcomes her with open arms, gives her the address to his house and practically invites her to move in. After not seeing her for 24 years. 

Everyone except for Seely thinks this is more than a little bit weird. But not Seely. He's just thrilled to have his mom back in his life. 

On the one hand, I get it. He's an adult and he understands that she left and why she felt she had to leave to save herself. On the other hand, he's a parent who would not ever think of abandoning his own children, perhaps because he was abandoned himself, but still. 

Nothing about their early interactions rang true, in part because it seemed out of character for Booth to just welcome her back so easily. 

When Brennan asked Seely's mom point blank about how hard it must have been to walk away from her children, part of me cringed at the awkwardness of the situation, but the rest of me wanted to give her a high-five for being the one to ask the question. 

How was she able to do that? And why stay away for so long? Surely she's known that her son is an adult for many years now. At any time she could've come back into his life to build a real relationship with him. But she didn't.

Finally, their conversation on the park bench gave us some real emotion from Booth. The emotions that everyone else was looking for when his mother returned. 

She was getting remarried, to a man who has two children whom she helped to raise instead of her own children, and she wants Booth to...give her away at her wedding to this man?

After not being in his life for nearly two and a half decades she wants her son about whom she knows nothing to walk her down the aisle? That does not make sense at all in the least! Who does that?

Her request served purely as a way for Brennan to discuss religion and forgiveness with Booth to the point that he would forgive his mother so that she and Booth would later show up at the wedding where Brennan would go on to catch the bouquet.

Raise your hand if you think Brennan would ever willingly stand in the throng of single ladies at a wedding reception in order to catch a bouquet.

Maybe she did it for Booth and her new mother-in-law. Maybe. But really? She did it because the writers needed to put her in a wedding situation where she would catch the bouquet and then there would be more discussions of marriage. 

Booth's mother's return was a vehicle to get Bones to talk about marriage. That's it.

And it wasn't even a good vehicle. It was some kind of jalopy of a vehicle. Broken down on the side of the highway and in need of a good towing.  If Bones and Booth get married, I'm good with that. If they don't get married, I'm good with that, too.

But can we stop forcing the conversation in ways so completely inorganic to the issue of will they or won't they? Is that something we can make happen, writers? Because that'd be fantastic.

As to the case of the week, it's always a great day when Wendell Bray shows up in the lab. Of all the squinterns, he's my favorite. He's just so normal in comparison to the others.

The case this week let the team do what they do best.

Wendell assembled some bones. Angela worked her computer magic. Hodgins studied his particulates. Cam showed off her great arms and gave some pithy one-liners.

Cam: Either rats ate the rest of his underwear or I'd say our victim was a stripper. | permalink

All in a day's work, you know? 

There were funny, if unprofessional moments, in the lab, like Hodgins pretending to strip for Angela. Hodgins and Wendell reenacting how the victim was injured was also light and fun.

I even found the fact that Brennan did a paper on stripping in graduate school to be interesting. She's never really been one to shy away from sexuality, so the fact that she not only researched and wrote a paper about stripping but also attempted it herself seemed reasonable enough.

Overall, tonight's episode, despite the contrived nature of Booth's mother's return, was middle of the pack this season. It wasn't the best episode we've had, not by a long shot, but it also wasn't the worst.

What did you think of "The Party in the Pants?" Did you think Booth's mother's return was well done or too forced?


Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (148 Votes)

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


Booth's mother left her children for over 24 years and just walks back into his life. It makes me angry that she made no effort to see Booth and his brother and didn't even know how they were and she gets accepted back into his life. My response is that this whole episode was ridiculous. It is not ok to behave like that.


I thoroughly enjoyed last night's episode of Bones. The personal aspect in all respect overshadowed the case (which was interesting). David Boreanaz and Joanna Cassidy were outstanding. The scene between Booth and his mother in his office was so emotional and later when Bones uses religion and forgiveness to get through to Booth was a nice touch to the character of Brennan. It was nice to see Booth come around and walk his mother down the aisle (Brennan's impact on Booth is so underrated). It was cute seeing Brenan and Booth dancing and looking so happy at Booth's mother's wedding reception and even cuter that of all people to catch the bouquet it was Brennan. I hope that this might be a foreshadowing of Brennan asking Booth to marry her, whether it happens in the season finale or whether it happens in season 9. Excellent episode. Will rank up there with my favorite episode of season 8, The Patriot in Purgatory.


@Sara -- Joanna Cassidy, who's been around in TV and movies since the late 60's.


who is the actress playing Booth's mother?


I've never seen anyone (in real life) react to the absence of a parent for 24 years either at the beginning or the end, but then again its television where everything is resolved in 45 minutes. To come to a place where he could forgive her and join her at her wedding would've taken much more time, even TV time. The episode was ok, but somehow I feel that the stories are all over the place and it's not what it used to be.


Loved it. Glad Booth got his mother back. It was the same for Bones. Thanks for making Dr. Brennan more compationate and human. Look forward to seeing "Bones" every week.


Also? Family members do turn up out of blue for whatever reason and shake up your world and it is not in your control when they do so . It happens all the time. It is not contrived, it is actually realistic. I am actually wondering what world this reviewer lives in. The more I read this review the more holes it has in it than a piece of cheese.


@Annie - Take your own advice. If you don't like the weekly whinefest, don't read it.


Also David's.acting was just fantastic. Really fantastic. Of course that doesn't get mentioned in the review, where is the fun in being positive and praising? when there is so much bashing and what is wrong with the show hating to be done..*Snark*


I would've liked to see Booth a little more on the angry side at first..If my mom walked back into my life after being gone for 24 years..I don't think the first thing I would say was HI MOM! To me, she didn't seem all that sorry for leaving Booth and Jared with the man that threw her down a flight of stairs.. Just odd to me.. @ starkus..the ending was a bit cheesy.. I think they should've just left her out of the story...or maybe had her show up in Limbo or something... I just don't see how any mother could leave her child, esp knowing who she was leaving him with..and then go and raise another man's children

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Bones Season 8 Episode 22 Quotes

Cam: When did empowerment become stuffing dollar bills down a man's pants?
Bones: The 1970s. I already said that. You should pay closer attention.

Either rats ate the rest of his underwear or I'd say our victim was a stripper.