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Bones Review: Icing on the Cake

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A celebration of Christine's first birthday should have been sweet, but instead Bones Season 9 Episode 18 fell flat on just about every level.

Sometimes nothing in an episode really seems to fit and this was one of those times. Brennan's inability to process the importance of her child's first birthday was just icing on the cake.

The case of the week was rather irritating in how it combined the children's show with a woman's obsession for a man dressed in a carrot costume. In conjunction with Christine's birthday, it felt dirty to be associated with the timing of the case.

Planning a Party

UPDATE: When this review originally posted, I was thinking this was Christine's 1st birthday party, instead of her first birthday PARTY. Have you ever had a moment when your reading comprehension throws you off and you're certain everything you just read was true? I fell under a spell and Lilian pointed out in the comments what a grievous error I had made. So, thank you! 

Carrying on, It may seem as though I'm picking on Brennan, but Booth didn't really have an excellent idea for the party either. I'm with Brennan on this one.

Booth: Show one person who doesn't like a one man band.
Brennan: I'm sure many don't like them which is why they're such a rarity.

A one man band is about as exciting as a clown. My expectation was for Booth to show up in the instruments and for the kids to run away in fear. Maybe they would have had they actually been one year olds like I originally thought!.

It's easy to cut Brennan some slack because she has an interesting mind, but not having done any research on birthdays or children just because she herself didn't have parties growing up seems counter intuitive to her intelligence. She's inquisitive by nature so why is she always so uninformed when it comes to the everyday mundane things that should interest her because of her new life?

She's also very much beyond opening up her mouth to speak as she did to the carrot's brother when she told informed him his brother was dead and corn is not a vegetable. The inconsistencies in her character in episodes such as this one as compared to what she felt when she worked with the professor in Bones Season 9 episode 11 after his daughter died. 

Brennan's growth needs to be more consistent and not a necessary plot device when it feels like it might be humorous. By this point and after 9 years of working with emotionally stable and respectable people who have helped her see through their eyes how to treat others, a backward slide isn't cute.

The woman who startled Joe the carrot (who then died) and made the horrible decision to ditch his dead body because she didn't want people to think she was responsible for his death was also a sticking point for me because Brennan said she was responsible for his death. Was she really? Sure, she kind of stalked him and honked her horn but he stopped taking medication that kept him alive.

What the woman was responsible for was creating a cover-up for his accidental death. She didn't kill him outright and it wasn't nice of Brennan to make it appear as if she was. 

Finally, Clark writing a novel that contained some absolutely horrible writing in it only to find out it was published before his friends had to give him the bad news that it was truly awful was another unfunny storyline. I'm not exactly sure what the point of it was. I sincerely hope books submitted with writing that atrocious aren't often rewarded with publishing deals.

So what did you all think? Was I just in the wrong frame of mind? Was this a fun installment of Bones that celebrated Christine's life in a meaningful fashion? You can relive all of Christine's early years when you watch Bones online. Then have at it in the comments. 

Did you enjoy Christine's birthday party?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.2 / 5.0 (50 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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Sunnie is adorable, but was this really Christine's first birthday party? Or was there some lapse in time I wasn't aware of? Because she looks more like a three or four year old, definitely not a one year old.

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If I were as young as Christine, the one-man band probably would have scared the crap out of me! I once read an interesting article about Asperger's syndrome (a high-functioning autism)...it said that, while the show isn't saying one way or another, that her behavior and social skills are what it would look like. Same with Zach and with Sheldon from "Big Bang Theory". Again, that's not saying they *do* have it, but that's what someone on that spectrum would look like. That would explain a *lot*. And yes, she still is blunt about telling people their friend is dead, but I'm not sure there's any good way *to* say something like that.

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I didn't love the episode either. I totally agree with your point about Brennan's character inconsistencies. She had far more sensitivity in her tone of voice in the S1 pilot even if she was delivering the news with clinical terms and jargon. Brennan used to care so much about the victims and their families. She had so much depth as a character. She cared about people, she was just trying so hard not to show it. But now that she has allowed herself to trust in emotions, we should be seeing her emotional and empathetic side far more consistently. But what I see in stead is a flanderizing effect. Now they have intermittently reduced her to a cartoon character. I am starting to lose interest. I don't mind light and funny episodes but Brennan has never been shown to be that callous about delivering death news to a victim's family. I understood where she was coming from in terms of bdays though. As Sweets said she was trying to justify what happened to her by downplaying the significance of bdays which is a very human response. What struck me more was how much Booth was overcompensating for his insecurities to be a good father. He didn't want to pay attention to Sweet's suggestion to let Brennan help him plan the party because in the car scene he just told her to let him handle it. He was obsessed with doing something spectacular but that doesn't make a child feel anymore special than just getting attention from their parents. Even though he got bday parties as a kid and Brennan didn't, Brennan had the better father. Christine enjoyed a game of tag a lot more than she enjoyed the one man band. I wish sometimes they focussed on Booth learning that what he thinks is important is actually not. Superficial things like bouncy castles or one man bands aren't really important. Booth didn't want to disappoint Christine but she didn't even care about the one man band.

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I have always been a loyal Bones fan. But I’ll be honest, I miss the Brennan we had in earlier seasons (1-4). I feel like they are trying so hard to use her character as comic relief now, that the emotional growth she had shown is all but gone.(Even though the show runners somehow believe she is growing) I had hoped that once her character had a child, we would see more of an evolution. But even in this most recent episode, her crass remarks and lack of tact not only made me cringe, but I see more eye rolling and frustrated looks coming from Booth. As it is, I don’t see what he sees in her now. You saw them grow together in earlier seasons and have those intimate revealing moments together, and now she just spouts so much mumbo jumbo in such a rigid way that I don’t see anything that really establishes that they really love each other. No flirting at the diner, no subtle touches or even lingering eye contact. There used to be a look of desire in Booth’s eyes when he was with Brennan. It was subtle, but profound. Now I feel like they tied the romance up with a wedding and are done nurturing it….I really hope they can re-establish it and bring back the more emotional and sensitive Brennan. The one that they all but forgot helped the homeless man, gained the trust and related to foster kids, built a bridge to help baby Andy’s town, wanted to save poor Ripley and who responded in kind to Booth’s Japanese friend with the missing sister.

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Bones doesn't understand the basics of her new life because she thinks such "irrational" things are worthless or not worth looking into when there's science to be done. She's grown a lot since the first season but I still see that sometimes.

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while i agree about the inconsistencies in brennan's character, I'll let it pass coz such things happen when you get new writers.not that thats an excuse...i did come up with an explanation for her blunt and matter of fact comments in this episode. while she normally makes an effort to be more sensitive, she is a naturally blunt person. here she wasnt really making an effort to be nice probably coz her mind was on christine's party and so whatever she said was perhaps coming out uncensored. i loved the party...im happy abt hw brennan handled clarks new book coming out. also happy abt wat finally happnd in that storyline, getting published despite being rubbish...so many rubbish books are published...i do hav a problem with one thing- this review...TV fanatic always gives Bones overly negative reviews. it wasnt the greatest episode, but it wasnt bad either, no where near as bad as you make it out to be...youve done this before as well, giving other Bones episodes negative reviews which were undeserved. and I hav pointed it out before as well. I suggest you ease up on the show...and if you hav something personal against it, please stop reviewing its episodes

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@ lisa

All of your abbreviations make your sentences difficult to intrpret and render what could potentially have been an intelligent comment totally unreadable.

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@ lisa

No offense, Lisa, but you obviously haven't been reading the reviews since I started covering the show in January. This is the first episode that didn't receive about 4 stars or above. I've consistently given it good reviews and the last episode received a lower rating by readers than I gave it. I don't mind generalization, because we all do it, but individuals write these posts and I don't think your comment fits how I've been covering the series.

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As much as I hate to agree with you because I generally love this show, you're absolutely right. I have been particularly annoyed with Bone's inconsistent growth. You are correct-she's highly intelligent and she's been at this 9 years, she's beyond these foolish interpersonal mistakes. It was funny in the beginning but now it's just out of character. Also, there was no heart in this ep. I felt no connection among the characters.

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@ hueyduey

What I don't like is that I am cheering for Brennan in one ep and then so disappointed the next, which makes me wonder if people don't share their notes about the character. I don't believe the Brennan I've been watching this season would have reacted as such. She did last week with the new intern because she felt threatened. In that situation it made sense. I have no doubt it will be better next week, but I can't artificially grade a lower ep high just for that. Thanks for reading!! :-)

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I too felt that the "Crime of the Week" was a bit banal, but did enjoy the quibbling between Christine's parents as to what kind, if any, birthday party their daughter should have. Booth has given Brennan "family roots" that were lacking in her childhood, for whatever reasons. Max's excuse was weak, given that he was a science teacher, and obviously living a somewhat public life. What harm would a birthday party have triggered? I did like that his recollection to Brennan about how much she loved to play tag as a child, was the impetus for her to open up to the idea of her daughter's birthday party, and I found the closing scene, with little Christine egging her parents into a game of tag endearing. We have all seen series that age young characters, sometimes too much, but the slight adjustment to what many of us consider Christine's chronological age, is acceptable, given that fact that now they want some active participation from the child actor portraying her, and the twins who shared the role previously are not at that coachable age. Plus we recall that there were some issues with their shared participation in the wedding episode, because the large assembly of actors and extras startled them. To that point all scenes with little Christine have been more "one-on-one" or rather, parents and child. The twins who portrayed Christine to this point were adorable, and the new young actor seems well prepared, with a bit more seasoning. I look forward to seeing more of her in future episodes.

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@ Linda

hi Linda, please correct me if i'm wrong but i thought that the twins are still playing Christine...In this episode, wasnt Christine played by Ali Hartman, the older twin.i know she looks different coz we havnt seen the twins in a long time, n also her hair is different n longer, but from the shape of her face n her smile, I concluded she was Ali. if u know otherwise, pls let me know the name of the new actress playing Christine

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@ lisa

The actress playing Christine was Sunnie Pelant. There is a photo of her with Emily Deschanel in front of the swings on her IMDB page.

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@ Carissa Pavlica

Pelant? Really???

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It was Christine's first birthday PARTY not first birthday.

Modwild
@ Lilian

Well thank you Lilian. THAT clears it up. Please accept my gratitude and see your name up above!

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wasn't the best episode for me. i too couldn't see why clarks book was going to be published when it didn't sound good at all. i was glad to see max again. some of the episode was good but some of it was flat. the tag at end was cute but maybe just me but christine seems to be growing bigger each time

Bones Season 9 Episode 18 Quotes

I've seen this movie. It doesn't end well for humanity.

Cam

We're here to inform you that your brother has been murdered and that corn is not a vegetable.

Brennan
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