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.


Some parents suck. Fact. And unfortunately for Booth he has two parents who suck... Booth is an abused child and he has a way to deal with that until reality hits... How the show dealt with this abused family is realistic. And there will be people out there who can relate. Whether we like there actions or not... And I would advise anyone, including this reviewer, who thinks that a situation like this couldnt or doesnt happen, to get out of their protective bubble and do a little research... Sadly this kinda thing does happen to kids, abused kids now adults dealing with it, mothers/fathers making wrong choices, families estranged, selfish family reunions : it's happening right now... This was a brave ep too do, esp one making the mom ruthless in her pursuit of happiness and the son having his crushed. GOOD EP.


IMO. This reviewer has turned into a sourpuss. Everyweek it is the same ole whining and moaning. It is now tedious.... The reviews aren't even contructive anymore it is basically what I hate Bones list week in week out.... Time to find a new show love and TVFanatic to get a less jaded reviewer, because obviously this one aint working for you anymore. Man up and admit.


Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but what gets me are tv critics expecting everything under the sun to be written in a 45 minutes episode. Brennen was probably studying the rest of the women and the bouquet hit her, she wasn't reaching her hands out for it.


I got the opening and could see that. In a way Booth's mother was a hero for saving herself from her cruel and insane drunk husband -- and she did at least leave Booth with his grandfather (who was notably his father's father and not responsible for her life). I could see that he was glad for her and that they really could pretty much pick up where they left off. What was, and would have really and truly have been a problem, is that she went out and found a new undamaged family happily ever after, thus letting Booth know that she not only rejected her cruel husband, but her damaged kids in order to save herself (pretty much, to me, like the mother who drowned her kids because her boyfriend, representing her chance for happiness, didn't want any). She even played that card, telling Booth how she was entitled to happiness (and, what, screw her kids?). There are reasons for the reviewer to question how this was done.


The last time I looked this site was TVFanatic and not TVWithoutPity. Right? Well. I am getting sick and tired of the cynical and negative attitude poring out of nearly every other word towards Bones this season...


Unless you know that this ep was set up ONLY for Brennan to rethink marriage then please don't state things as fact....I who read spoilers and cast/crew interviews know that it was set up to explore Booth's past and dynamics with his family and will continue into S9.


Ending was a little cheesy ill admit. Next week looks interesting. To me it sounded like wendall was the one that got the virus. Sounded like him grunting lol

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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.