Bones Review: The Perfect Crime

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Am I alone or does this season of Bones feel incredibly disconnected and unevenly told? Surely, I can't be the only one seeing this, right? Please tell me I'm not alone.

While there have been some standout episodes in Bones season 8, there have been far more installments where perhaps most of the script never should've made it out of the writer's room. 

"The Shot in the Dark?" It felt more like a shoot and a miss to me.

Shot in the Dark Photo

Tonight started out in a decent place and quickly devolved into something that only sort of resembles the show we love.

This season has been about seeing Booth and Bones as a couple instead of just partners, so their fight, while ridiculous and perhaps overblown, seemed normal. Couples don't agree all the time. They argue. Sometimes about things like one person being more spontaneous than the other. That totally happens. It felt like we were seeing a different side of the two of them than the typical, happy couple who gets along all the time. I can accept and even welcome that.

But the minute Bones stormed out the door in such an over-dramatic fashion, it was clear that the only purpose their fight served was as a way to get her back to the Jeffersonian and for Booth to come and find her on the floor of the bone room. That's it. And that's the point at which this episode took a nosedive.

I went into this episode knowing we would see Bones have conversations with her mother, and several of those are on the Bones quotes page. But I had no idea what those conversations would entail, or that the scenes would be so...flashy. I actually chuckled when Bones tore open the door to the living room and tumbled into the light. I don't think that was the writers' intended response at all.

I don't doubt that people who have near-death experiences walk away from said experiences changed people. I'm truly okay taking peoples' word for it that they have been changed by said experiences. But it felt like Christine said to Brennan, "Hey, you know? You can use your heart again instead of just your head. It's cool."

Actually, that's almost exactly what she said:

Christine: The advice I gave you back then, use your head, be rational, don't let your heart lead you, use your brain. That allowed you to survive, and it held true. But I have another piece of advice for you. It's time for you to find some of that little girl that you locked away so deep inside yourself.
Bones: Why?
Christine: Because it's not about surviving anymore. It's about flourishing. It's about living a full life. | permalink

Yes, we want Brennan to live a full life, to flourish. But Brennan would probably say that she has lived a full life and is flourishing. The rest of us would also say that over time and through her relationships with Angela, Booth, Christine, and everyone else at the Jeffersonian, Brennan has found parts of that girl she tucked away when her parents left so suddenly. 

While her parents' disappearance no doubt caused severe emotional trauma, I've always sort of assumed that Brennan was always overly rational and incredibly intelligent and didn't just become that way overnight. To hear her mother tell it, Brennan was just a normal, average teenager crushing on boys, planning her next outfit, and getting into trouble and then suddenly became a genius devoted to her studies and nothing else because her mother's last words were to use her brain instead of her heart.

I know she turned to books as a way to cope with her time in foster homes, but this episode just rewrote history.

I actually liked the science of this week's case. Hal, the security guard, and Brennan were both shot but no bullets were found upon examination. After Brennan described the wound as being cold, Hodgins posited that someone had figured out how to make and shoot frozen bullets, determining that they were made from blood after Brennan had a reaction to foreign antigens in her system. 

We also got the return of Agent Sparling and the reveal that shortly after breaking up with Daisy, she and Sweets went out a few times and slept together and he never called. I think there's potential for the two of them and I wouldn't mind seeing more of her. She's a likable enough character so far.

The major complaint with this episode - and it's an enormous complaint - is that it was and is an attempt to completely rewrite Brennan's character. It undoes everything we know and love about the rational side of Bones and flies in the face of all the small, subtle changes we've watched her make over 8 seasons all because she had a conversation with her mother while she flat-lined on a table in an operating room.

She'll suddenly become emotional and sentimental and while she as a character is capable of changing, this was arguably the worst way to bring about said changes. Because her late mother said so.

Dear Shark, Consider yourself jumped. Sincerely, Bones

What did you think of "The Shot In The Dark?" Do you think this was an attempt to rewrite Brennan's character or speed up her development? 


Editor Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (226 Votes)

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


This episode was wonderful. I don't understand why you people think it isn't as good since they got together. I for one think it has made the show so much better. Last nights episode was beautiful. It gave us insights into why bones is the way she is,gave us some sweet moments between bones & max & showed us how deeply booth loves bones. If you think the show has gone down hill so much why do you continue to watch & berate it. Just dont watch. Apparently America doesnt agree with you since it's got great ratings & finished 2nd in the 8pm hr,1st in the 8:30 & had over 9mil viewers last night & is renewed for season 9!!


Too much Sweets!! Apart from that I enjoyed the show. I always like seeing Ryan O'Neal.


The spark is gone from the show. I liked it better when they wernt together. around the holidays other show are light and lively this one gets really serious. It was the same at Christmas. Two babies and not even a mention of the holidays. Same with valentines day. They need to lighten up


Texasgreatgrams, the point is Brennan's character would not react the way the writers portrayed her, and there is no such thing as an out of body experience (and she did not actually communicate with her mom because she would no longer exist). I can readily understand that you find difficulty following my reasoning, because it is reasoning and not magical thinking. As a former Christian who engaged in fasting at times I am quite familiar with very bizarre dreams so I think I can understand what is taking place in the so-called near death experience (because of the self induced bodily stress as well as psychological stress resulting from sustained periods of intense Bible reading and prayer).


Just a follow up comment to Christine Knight's comment. Why are you so threatened about Bones' "out of body experience"? We don't know what her follow up rational will be. I understand if you no longer want to watch this show, just find it difficult to comprehend your reasoning. To each, his own.


I really liked this episode which seems to put me in the minority. It was good to see Tempe experiencing a situation she can not rationally explain-interacting with her deceased Mom. I don't think this will completely change her world view, but could open her mind a little more to what Booth has been trying to help her see for years-there are things that happen in this life that can not be explained. Looking forward to the 2 parter coming up, starting next week.


I was extremely disappointed and insulted by what the writers did to Bones in this episode. The writers trivialized the rational explanation that so-called near death experiences are nothing more than a dreamlike neurophysiological phenomenon produced by a dying or severely stressed brain. They made of Bones a caricature of the critical thinking atheist. We are led to believe that the atheist is simply misguided and the real reason for her unbelief has a psychological basis in response to childhood trauma. Please!!! One of the main reasons I liked this show (now in the past tense) was because it had a main character that presented a positive image of an unbeliever, instead of the typical representations of the atheist who is so because there is something wrong with him/her. I AM NOW A FORMER VIEWER OF THE SHOW!


As I watched and enjoyed this episode, I knew I was in the minority. Atheist, religious fanatic, or something in between -- there are just some things beyond human understanding, and this is one way of settling one's own discomfort with not understanding. I feel Brennan has become closer to her mother since the day she identified the bones, and Max did say that he was the only one who knew that gift was stolen. You can believe me or not, but fearing that you'll lose the one you love can make the relationship stronger. When an outsider likes two people who like each other, it's pleasant to watch them grow.


I really enjoy this program.. I have gown to carwe for the complete cast like family. when they hurt.. I hurt...


Well I for one adored this episode. The love between B&B was so palpable it was simply wonderful to behold. I felt this way probably because I want to simply enjoy my favourite tv show as opposed to picking it apart scene by scene every week. What I am watching on a weekly basis is what I dreamed I might see but was sure the show wouldn't go long enough to actually witness 8 years ago. Just MHO of course!

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Bones Season 8 Episode 15 Quotes

Bones: I have to get back. I have a daughter.
Christine: I know how you feel. Once I had to leave my daughter behind too. I'm pretty sure it killed me.

[to Bones] You are still the most stubborn creature on God's green earth.