Bones Review: We Remember

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Is it just me... or did this not feel like the same Bones we've been watching for the past several episodes? Because this didn't feel like the same show. In fact, this felt like a return to the old Bones, pre-Christine maybe.

While "The Patriot in Purgatory" didn't do anything in the way of advancing the plot for this season, it was moving and engaging in a way the past few weeks haven't been, leaving me hopeful for what's to come.

Booth in Uniform

I have to admit that I went into tonight's episode a bit skeptical. Cam's preparation of the squinterns and the five of them practically tripping over one another to figure out the mystery of the remains on the table set a tone of silliness that was perpetuated by Bones channeling her inner basketball coach.

As we covered last week, Fisher isn't my favorite, and I anticipated another episode centering not on our main duo, but on the peripheral characters who flesh out the cast. Bones as "coach" felt out of character and borderline ridiculous, particularly when she handed out butt-slaps after assigning the squinterns the task of identifying the as-yet unidentified remains.

I understand the need for comic relief in the midst of tragedy, and I know that was the purpose of the basketball coach imitation, but after viewing the episode and looking at it as a whole, the comedic moments tonight felt unnecessary because of how purpose-driven this episode was with regards to uncovering both the identity of the man and how he died.

To me, this hour didn't feel like a tragedy. It felt like a tribute both to an infamous day in our nation's history and to the characters we know and love.

This was a perfect balance of the motivations of both the main and supporting cast. We were able to understand what inspired each of them to seek the identity of the homeless man and solve his death.

Booth saw a fellow soldier who deserved dignity, a man who died a hero. Brennan and the squinterns felt compelled to use their science to help those bones find rest. Cam was in New York on 9/11 and witnessed that horror firsthand. Angela is a sweet spirit and gentle soul who sees the dead as the people they were instead of bones on a table. Hodgins, who would ordinarily have a conspiracy theory at the ready, had none.

Booth's desire to carry out the mission of Tim Murphy was compelling, as was Bones' desire to give Booth what she knew he neede: -closure for a man whom he saw as a fellow soldier. This gave us that connection between Booth and Bones that seems to have been missing in the past few weeks.

As the squinterns had their heated moments and shared their stories of where they'd been, I found myself rapt and invested in hearing their tales. None of the characters tonight felt like caricatures. They all felt like friends.

Despite the fact that I'm a television reviewer, I'm also a spoiler-phobe. I usually go into episodes knowing only what's been released to the public.

I knew that tonight would be about September 11th, but I didn't know how much the episode would affect me. How it would gently force me to remember where I was and what I was doing that morning in 2001 when planes crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.

Many shows have tried to pay homage to 9/11 and few, I think, have done it in a way as nice as Bones did tonight. Bravo, Bones.

Did you think "The Patriot in Purgatory" was as well done as I did?


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (236 Votes)

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


I thought last night's episode was Fantastic. It was by far the best episode to air this season. I thought it was amazingly done for the power of the topic! It was true to all the characters, especially Brennan and Booth. It was the Bones that I love to watch. But I also realize that it was not one taped in season 8, it was one of the 4 bonus episodes that was actually taped in season 7. This to me is what, I think, makes the difference. For whatever reason Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan have chosen a path this season that is not putting out the quality of shows that I, as a viewer, am use to. To me they have tried to turn Bones into a Darker Bones, an "Is Love Enough" season, as Nathan has stated. To me it feels like they are forcing the characters, and in part the actors, into situations and dialogue that is not true to the show or the characters. There is a reason that my 2 favorite episodes from this season, have been 2 of the 4 bonus episodes taped last season (the other 2 we have not aired yet). The actors are more in character, more themselves, they don't have the dark crap of this season hanging over them and the episode. The chemistry, banter if you will, is there between Booth and Brennan, the supporting characters have been, for the most part, just that supporting characters. They have been the characters that I know and love. Bones has been my favorite show on TV for years. Is it still my favorite? Honestly, I don't know. Will it still be my favorite at the end of the season? Right now that's hard to tell. What I can say is that I hope it will be, but unless we start to see more of the interaction that I know and love between all the characters.... A return to the type of episodes without these forced dark overtones.... Well, I will just have to wait and see.


This episode was so well written and acted that it left me with a longing to want to do something. If it can move us to action then maybe that was the purpose all along. Not to just recognize the problem but to be part of the solution. Bones is an exceptional program and the actors - all of them - the writers, producers, director need to know that this kind of show is so worthwhile. My father in law is a veteren and he gave everything in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Thanks for this wonderful episode.


Personally I am getting really cheesed off that we won't be getting Bones Season 8 here in the UK until early in the New Year. I have been a fan of the show since the pilot and despite it's ups and downs remain loyal and will continue to be so until the finale. I am really missing the show and am going to have to seek legal on line viewing. Why can't the show be available on iTunes or Netflix? I am also a 'Castle' fan, which also is not being aired here until March next year, but at least I can keep up to date with that show on iTunes the day after it is aired in the US.


It was a respectful commentary on what that day meant to many Americans ... and people all over the world. It seems so many personalities and levels of impact were represented. The performances, Booth, Bones, Camille, Hodgins ... and especially all the interns ... they were excellent in their sentiment and their delivery. Unlike some, I bought the basketball coach twist. Bones would watch a successful team ... read about what made it a success ... and try to hone a new skill from it. IT gave us a reason to have all those squints together. Bravo, Bones!


It was one of the very few TV programs or movies to ever make me cry. It was quite intense and brought back memories of that terrible day. I think the lighter parts were Bones's way of shifting her attention to the "coaching" and teamwork and away from emotional involvement in her actual work. I was glad to see her break down at the end. BONES is one of my favorite programs, but I agree this is one of the best episodes lately.


Great episode. I could have done without basketball coaching as a framework for what Brennan was doing, but her project is a good one: to go back over the evidence, now that there is more data available. The science was interesting. The drama of a homeless veteran who saved lives -- because that's what he was trained to do -- was excellent. So was the closure for his wife and son. Finally, we see the evolution of Brennan, which is healing for her. Very good.


LOVED this episode! It was outstanding!


I thought it was a great Veterans Day episode. The remains of a 9/11 victim, previously unknown, and his story. An American soldier, suffering from PTSD, seeking justice for his dead comrades, ends up giving his life for others during an attack. Truly, an exceptional episode of the show.


One thing about the sexual harassment concern: it doesn't matter what the employer's intent is. If the act is unwanted by the employee, if the act makes them uncomfortable, that can be considered sexual harassment. Obviously for a show like Bones, it's only meant as humor and as 'coach-like' behavior. They aren't meaning to delve into an actual story about sexual harassment. But it is important to point out that that behavior can be considered sexual harassment, because so many victims feel like it's their fault, like they 'misinterpreted' the behavior, when they have a right to not be touched.


This was one of the best episodes of Bones, ever. There are not enough words to describe my feelings, but being from a military family and having lost people on the horrendous day I can only say Thank You for such a moving show.

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Bones Season 8 Episode 6 Quotes

Booth: I beat up bad guys, and I leap over things.
Sweets: You're describing Superman.
Booth: Exactly.

With Dr. Brennan, all the conventional rules of the universe become obsolete.