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Bones

Bones Review: Joke's Over

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I thought last week was going to be the return to form for Bones, but it turns out I was wrong. (See what I did there? Except I'm not joking.)

"The But In The Joke" was the third of the four bonus episodes filmed during Bones Season 7 and it had me asking "Can the real Bones Season 8 please stand up?" Tonight felt as out of place as the rest of this season and as a series-long viewer, this is getting frustrating.

Stand-Up Comedian Booth

What has always set Bones apart from other crime-solving procedurals are the season-long story arcs, or partial-season arcs, that draw us to the characters. The case of the week is a backdrop for character development that's ongoing and not contained within one episode.

Because of the four standalone episodes to which we've been "treated" so far, we're not getting a whole lot of that development we've come to know and love from this show.

Sure, we spent part of the season learning about Sweets' love life. Yes, tonight Booth had a slightly more prominent role than he's had in previous weeks. But nearly all of the focus of this season has been on solving the (incredibly gross) case of the week, not on actually developing the characters.

Aside from seeing Booth crack wise at the open mic night, the one good thing to come out of tonight was Angela getting her groove back.

We've heard her murmurs of discontent this season, perhaps more loudly than in years past. She's sad for humanity and the world. Woe is her! She only has "excellent technique." She's growing tired of the gore.

Truth be told, so am I. Gross-out for gross-out's sake is...well, gross. I'll never be able to look at peanut butter the same way again and Fear Factor would probably like its bugs back.

Tonight's Zed character helped Angela see herself as an artist again and not just as Angela, Worker of the Jeffersonian Mega Computer. Furthermore, it helped Hodgins see her that way, too. This is a girl who craves adventure and excitement.

At first I thought the writers were angling towards a Hodgins-Angela split. I'm glad it was just a hiccup in their relationship, room for them to talk and grow. Growth is good. Breaking them up for the sake of creating drama would be very, very bad.

Aside from the Angela story, the episode just felt sort of "meh." I guess that's what happens when four episodes created to air outside of a regular season are dropped into a regular season. I could barely come up with lines to post in the Bones quotes archive because of how bizarrely out of place this episode felt. So far, the only standalone to work well this season has been "The Patriot in Purgatory."

The joke's over, writers. We want our show back.

What did you think of "The But In The Joke?" Are you as tired of the four "bonus" episodes as I am? 

Review

Editor Rating: 2.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (139 Votes)

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

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i have lost interest in bones since the marriage...the conflict and drama involved in not knowing until the series is over regarding their relationship was important i think...i didn't even really care,but i think the changes made for them to be a married with children couple ruined the show for me...i like all the actors as well,but something changed,enough so that i miss episodes and forget i forgot..not good...i am sure i am in the minority regarding this,but.....

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DeAnn, Angela isn't forced to work there. Her husband is mega rich and she is also rich in her own right from the money she's earned helping Brennan write her novels. It's just a poor story line, so indicative of this season.

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Wasn't intrigued by this episode. Only thing I enjoyed was seeing Bones laugh which she has done very little of in any season. It made her more human even if the jokes she "got" were not the same ones the regular population would like. Time for them to get back to the team examining bones and a more in-depth evil doer which takes more than one episode of twists and turns to solve. And every episode needs the superb southern lawyer lady who calls everyone Cher. She's a gem. Are the writers running out of ways to murder someone? Hope not. Want the series to continue.

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I thought this episode was okay. I didn't realize it was drop-in episode. I haven't been happy with this season. The gross stuff doesn't bother me. It's fake and it looks fake. I don't even mind that there isn't a murder arc. I miss B&B being together. I miss their conversations. I miss Bren's awkwardness and the way Booth helped her or comforted her. They're still cute together, but they're just rarely together. I disagree totally about Angela. A married woman/man should not kiss another man/woman and being frustrated with her situation, which is ridiculous, is no excuse. For heaven's sake, Hodgins if mega rich and she's rich from her portion of Bren's books. Why doesn't she just quit? It's not like Angela to whine around or Hodgins to not realize what she's going thru. Cam and Arastoo is still unfathomable to me. It's like HH or the writers will think we'll just go along with it because they wrote it. The writing used to be so intelligent. The characters were multi-layered. Where are their quirks? Booth once said, "What are we, the land of misfit toys?" Bren used to be firm with her squintterns but every time Fisher laughed at him inappropriately she just stared at him. I don't know this reviewer or her bias, but in terms of character development or lack thereof I agree with her.

Deann

I agree with the reviewer that it was a pretty ho-hum episode, and the best part of it was Angela and Hodgins, both together and separate, and Angela getting her artistic groove back, which is perfectly understandable since she is a sensitive artistic creative person forced to work in a gory environment and tehn go home with a husband who enjoys the finer aspects of giant hissing cockroaches...EEEWWW! I don't know how she has made it this far without wanting to run far, far away from all of it and just spend time with her muse, painting.(Though I do have to say, "rainbows and unicorns??" REALLY??) I did not find Booth at all funny, nor did I find Brennan funny when she laughed at the lame jokes.That it was all the fault of the fat kid was pretty lame, too.

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Zero character development
Zero serial killer story arc development
Zero darker season factor that was promised Fans such as me, will have major problems with continuously being told crap by the showrunners. If SN and HH state that this season's tone will be different, have a darker side, explore issues between the two most shipped characters Fox has had in a long while, then......that needs to have follow through. I understand that these were filler episodes, but a show that has it's best season numbers when it runs a serial killer arc can't run two episodes about it, put the lead character on the run for a cliff hanger, then forget about it and show zero continuity with in the first half of the season. Let's just pretend for a minute and give the benefit of the doubt to the show runner and think the filler stuff was just pillow stuffing til they find out if ED and DB would resign contracts. If that's the case- at least keep your main story are relevant. Cripes, man up! HH and SN.

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con't(Seriously, TVFanatic, why don't we get a word count like we did before to inform us we're over the limit?)
I also liked that Bones and Booth got plenty of airtime and Cam and especially Sweets were kept as supporting characters only.

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I didn't find this episode had any more gross aspects than usual for this show and that's kind of how I like it. Being a bit distracted by the grossness keeps the show from feeling too tragic for its comic aspects,for example in this episode, honestly the comedian was a jerk but to be brutally murdered because he stuck around to dump his girlfriend face to face rather than inform her once he was in NY as a real creep would is actually pretty sad.If not for the gross scenes at the start, I couldn't have enjoyed the scenes between Angela,Hodgins and the artist or those at the comedy club. They would feel inappropriate: who cares if you're not doing your 'great art' when, if you meet up with the wrong people, you could be bludgeoned to death for moving to where your performance could make you famous? Instead I was happy to see that aspect of Angela's like be explored so there's method to their madness. I also liked that Bones and Booth got plenty of airtime and Cam and especially Sweets were kept as supporting characters only.

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Lost some there..."a necessary bridge to B&B's new life together, showing these two independent souls learning how to live as a couple. I'm not sure what people really want now. Change is part of life. Over the many seasons of Bones, there have often been episodes not falling into a particular arc, so I don't quite get this obsession Miranda seems to have with staying inside the story arc. I am thoroughly enjoying this season. It's been unpredictable and quirky, and isn't that really the essence of Bones?

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I don't know-Bones has always sought to be out there with the "ick" factor, and it's not the only crime show that has a lot of "ick." It's something of a trademark of the show. I'm not at all upset with the break from the Pelant story arc--he creeps me out. I loved Booth doing stand up--I thought he was really funny when he got ticked off. And I thought this episode really did a great job of showing how routine life kind of cramps our "free-spirited" Angela, and her need to break out of the mold for a bit. I AM a little tired of Fisher--he's my least favorite too, but he did fit the storyline. My favorite part of the episode was at the end--we did get more of our B&B moments back, which I love. And I loved Bones' sense of humor about the Sweets' jokes. Emily was delightfully unfettered in her laughter and enjoyment, so at odds with Booth's different sense of humor about what is funny. Last season people were peeved over the baby storyline, which was a necessary bridge to B&B's new life together, showing these two independent souls learning how to live as a couple. I'm not sure what people really want now. Change is part of life. Over the many seasons of Bones, there have often been episodes not falling into a particular arc, so I don't quite get this obsession Miranda seems to have with staying inside the story arc. I am thoroughly enjoying this season. It's been unpredictable and quirky, and isn't that really the essence of Bones?

Bones Season 8 Episode 8 Quotes

Bones: Now you don't have to unfold and refold a map.
Booth: Wait a second, I like maps. What's wrong with maps?
Bones: Well, maps cannot tell you the amount of traffic to expect en route to your destination. See? Now we can relax and talk about interesting things.
Booth: This is not how the cowboys settled this country.

Hodgins: Babe, I need your secret stash of peanut butter.
Angela: Hodgins, I bring in my peanut butter for a little comfort food every once in a while.

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