Bones Review: Center Stage

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Finally, we've exhausted the "bonus" episodes that plagued the first half of Bones' season 8. Which means we can get down to the business of Bones and Booth being Bones and Booth. And with the promise that Pelant is returning, this second half promises not to disappoint.

"The Diamond in the Rough" and "The Archaeologist in the Cocoon" were an excellent pairing to welcome Bones back to Monday nights.

Seeley, Tempy Photo

This was a return to form for Booth and Bones. Slightly quirky but perfect partners, these two were at their best tonight. They were returned to their place as the center of the show. As the heart and soul.

Booth and Bones as entrants in a dance competition, revisiting their undercover personas of Buck and Wanda, was a fun way for them to solve the murder of the girl whose skeleton was found covered in crystals. (And that might have been the prettiest set of remains this show has ever seen!) Watching their ridiculous "moves" actually had me laughing once or twice. But the best part of their ruse wasn't their practicing and their crime-solving. It was their dance at the end.

These are two headstrong people, both capable of leading. And somehow over the course of eight seasons what we've found is that they work together. Not in the sense that they are partners and employed. They work together. Their dance at the end of "The Diamond in the Rough" was indicative of their relationship in so many ways. 

Booth tries to lead. Bones tries to take over. Booth pushes. She pushes back. And somewhere in the middle, they find a harmony so unique to the two of them that we know that this is the way it's supposed to be, no need for flourish or embellishment. 

Bones: Do I have to do anything special when it ends?
Booth: No.
Bones: Why not?
Booth: Because it's never gonna end, Bones. It's always gonna be just like this. Just like this. | permalink

Bones' highly competitive nature was a common theme between the two episodes, which bridged them together nicely. Her neuroses as a mother, specifically wondering whether or not Christine was hitting milestones appropriately, are all too easily understood by parents. Ultimately deciding that she wants to pass on the best parts of herself and not what she perceives to be the worst are easily relatable ideas as well. 

Her desire not to be upstaged by her protege and the fact that she had to be reminded that she's there to solve crimes was a nice tie-in to the evolution of Bones as a mother.

Bones wants to be a crime fighter. She also wants to discover new things. Tonight she struggled to give in to Edison regarding the latter desire, ultimately realizing that she can't do everything. She can't "win" everything. Similarly, Christine can't be first, or best, at everything. 

But the biggest development of the night wasn't Bones and her self-realization. It was Angela and her quest for beauty. 

We've actually seen this coming for weeks now. Angela has been growing discontent with the murder and crime-solving and has longed to return to her roots as an artist. Tonight she's making that happen with help from Hodgins and Cam who, citing budget cuts, has reduced her hours.

I understand Angela's need to do what she loves instead of give faces to victims. As she so aptly put it, she's "tired of all the ugliness" and longs to be a real artist again. (Her words, and more, are archived on the Bones quotes page.) 

Her role in "The Archaeologist in the Cocoon" reminded me of the time she gave faces to the slaves who had perished aboard the trade ship. That was the sort of artistry she signed on to do. Those are the parts of this job that make Angela most happy, it seems. 

What's most out of place about this arc to me is that Hodgins is wealthy. So wealthy that neither of them need to work. She doesn't have to remain employed by the Jeffersonian in any capacity unless she wants to work there, and no part of her indicated that this is a job she wants to be doing. Part of me wishes that what we'd seen tonight was Angela begin training a replacement via her own set of interns. Let her pass the torch instead of carry the mantle herself. 

Overall, tonight was a solid one for Bones and it gives me great hope that the back half of the season won't be as uneven as the front half was. I'm hopeful for cohesive story arcs and screen time dedicated to the central figures in this narrative - Booth and Bones - with the rest as their supporting cast.

What did you think of tonight's return of Bones? What are you hopeful for with the remainder of the season?

The Diamond in the Rough Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (27 Votes)

Miranda Wicker was a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in 2017. Follow her on Twitter.

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Bones Season 8 Episode 10 Quotes

Angela: When we met I was an artist. I mean, imagine waking up one day and realizing that for years you haven't been doing anything close to what you love.
Bones: I can't imagine that. I have to do this. It's who I am.
Angela: So you're saying I'm not an artist. Not really.

Bones: You reconstruct the faces of murder victims as well as anyone in this country.
Angela: That's the most depressing thing that anybody has ever said to me.
Bones: I thought it was a compliment.