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Bones Review: War and Peace

by at . Comments

I used to really enjoy Bones. It was a show I looked forward to week after week. It was fresh and new. The characters drew me in. The cases were intriguing. What happened to that show?

After tonight, it's safe to say I'm back to feeling completely exhausted by the overly emotional manipulation that is Bones season 8. This series is rapidly becoming but a glimmer of its former glory.

Brennan and Booth on a Case

So far this season we've had tigers, children with debilitating illness, and the girl who was date-raped at a party. "The Survivor in the Soap" was another episode written to teach us more things about which we plebeians couldn't possibly already know. Children in Sierra Leone were forced to become soldiers during their Civil War and many of them immigrated to the United States to seek asylum after the war ended.

Let's be clear. I'm not attempting to minimize that piece of history. It was and is an atrocity played out against the most innocent among us and those most deserving of our protection: children.

But tonight's blast of pathos via the photographer's gallery and Brennan's snapshots was heavy-handed and unnecessary. And don't even get me started on Arastoo's outburst at Hodgins.

They were ways to show us images of what happened, as if saying that the victim in tonight's episode had been a child soldier in Sierra Leone wouldn't have been enough. Or saying "Look! We characters on Bones have been personally affected by this and we feel bad so you should too!"

I know, I know: show don't tell is the rule of television. However, not like this. Show us. Don't clobber us over the head with it. Give us a character we can connect with and feel, even if the character is deceased the whole time.

With the clunky handling of all of these After School Specials, I just keep thinking back to the case of the Amelia Rose. That was an episode that handled this sort of heavy story beautifully in a way that the episodes this season just haven't been able to do.

Tonight the case was so front-and-center that I was annoyed by it. The team was used as fodder for comic relief so that we weren't so bogged down by the devastation that we wanted to change the channel. Except I'd venture to say it didn't really work. 

Booth and Bones bickering over where to go on vacation felt unnecessarily silly. We know that Brennan likes to go on vacation to places where her skills as an anthropologist can be put to use. We know that Booth would prefer a place where they're getting away from death and destruction. Having them spar about which exotic locale would make the perfect vacation spot was somewhat inane, even if we did get a couple of good Bones quotes out of their exchanges.

None of us care that Cam and Arastoo are dating because none of us saw any sort of indication that it was coming at all way back when we learned about it last fall. This is only the third sight or mention of the two of them being together, so there's nothing about that relationship we can care about because we haven't seen it build. It just was. Is. Apparently will be.

What did you think of "The Survivor in the Soap?" Were you emotionally moved by the episode? Or just moved to change the channel? 

Review

Editor Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (129 Votes)

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

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I fired Bones after that episode. Latest in what is apparently now a trend for them to preach at us how we should feel about issues they believe they are educating us on because we stupid tv audiences couldn't possibly already be aware of them.

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I'm TRYING to be loyal and hang in there, but every week, every episode makes it harder and harder..sigh. fingers crossed they'll recover in Season 9. I've seen shows come back from the brink before, maybe Bones is one of em.

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I still love this show and my husband & I look forward to watching it every week. We were worried that when Booth & Bones finally got together it wouldn't be as good but we think that made it even better. They are the yin & yang to each other and it's awesome to watch their live grow before our eyes. What they need to do is bring back the heat with Angela & Hodgins and definitely bring back Zack and please, please kill off Palant and get Hodgins lawyers and accountants on the ball to get his fortune back. What is up with that? We love all of the characters on this show and wish them all a long & happy career on Bones.

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Can't wait for the day I look up and see on TVnews
"Bones Cancelled.."
I don't watch it anymore either..

Sue ann

@ Alex Indigo You're welcome, and thanks back. That is why I still read the reviews and comments about shows I no longer watch ... You have summed up my qualms about Booth much better than I did. David Boreanaz is eye candy (although apparently he has other talents, being a good director one of them). And I have a sweet tooth for him, and have had, ever since Buffy. But with the loss of the chemistry between Deschanel and Boreanaz, and the addition of the seriously tiresome Sweets and the cartoonish Southern intern (Finn?), not even Hodgins and Caroline can save this one for me. Some shows (NCIS, NCIS: LA) get better as they go along. Some tank. Too bad. I have the DVD's for the earlier seasons, but if Zack is not in it, I seldom watch even an old episode. They've wrecked it.

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I used to like this show too and now I don't like it at all. I TRY to watch it on Hulu when it appears in my queue and there is nothing else to watch. Last night was no exception and I was determined to like the episode and hoped that I would. Nope, didn't happen. Bone's acting annoys me. She is whiny. The relationships at the Jeffersonian (is that where they work?) seem strange to me. Most work places don't allow relationships and here we have 3 office romances. I can't take the character of Angela seriously. And to be be completely nitpicky, I really hate Cam's new hairstyle. I'm bailing out and removing it from my queue.

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*What happened to that dynamic? They've reduced what used to be one of the strongest character on television to fit into what Booth sees as his ideal life. Argh, I could go on an on about this. I've loved this show since the pilot and while I'll love it for sentimental reasons, I really do hope someone will put it out of it's misery soon or that the showrunners will get a clue and PLEASE hire better writers! Sorry for going on and on, I have a lot feelz regarding this. Thanks for having a respectful discussion here. :)

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@Sue: Tbf, I've never really been much of a Booth fan since he's usually talking down to Brennan is condescending as eff! But the writers have hopped on their hard-on for DB/Booth really hard these past few years, depicting his as this almost flawfree, 'good' man who is an expert on all things while every episode ends with Brennan learning a lesson in life from this self-rigtheous moron. I tune in because at this point it's an 8-year bad habit and saddens me to say, I probably will go down with this ship considering how invested I've become in them. But the writers continued disregard for common sense and continuity and their ongoing quest to 'change' Brennan to fit this mould of the ideal relationship that Booth has always wanted is tired and very telling. She used to be this no-nonsense kickass independent character who had her own mind about everything, and yes, was obviously in love with Booth since late S1, while he was the charming heart guy who respected and cared for her. What happened to that dynamic? They've reduced what used to be one of the strongest character on television to fit into what Booth sees as his ideal life. Argh, I could go on an on about this. I've loved this show since the pilot and while I'll love it for sentimental reasons, I really do hope someone will put it out of it's misery soon or that the showrunners will get a clue and PLEASE hire better writers!

Sue ann

TWO: I don't know the ins and outs of Hodgins losing his fortune, but I have thought about it a lot since I read the review. It seems to me that it would be totally impossible for a man wealthy enough to be the major funding source of the Jeffersonian (season 1) to have so stupidly invested his money, or banked it, with such inadequate supervision, that he could be reduced to depending on his salary by one thief. Shark number 546, please move to the front of the line to be jumped. I used to love this show. That's what is so seriously dismaying.

Sue ann

@ Alex Indigo Due to a total lack of anything else to watch and a disinclination to read, I did see the first episode of this season. I was not overly impressed. Booth any more makes me hiss with dismay, when I see the last one minute of the show after turning to Fox to watch the next program. (The Following, no pun intended) Also, I see the commercials for the shows weekly. In my opinion, they have dumbed down and Catholic-ed up Booth to the point where I cannot see what Brennan sees in him, aside from the face and body any more. He sounds like a religious fool. I have no objection to him having his religious beliefs, but again, this show has become rather preachy, as numerous posters have mentioned, and in this case, preachy about religion. But it is possible to be Catholic and not sound like a childish moron, and Booth is not managing to do that. He has not moved beyond catechism class. A senior FBI agent should not be coloring so much through his religious beliefs. I don't know the ins and outs of Hodgins losing his fortune, but I have thought about it a lot since I read the review. It seems to me that it would be totally impossible for a man wealthy enough to be the major funding source of the Jeffersonian (season 1) to have so stupidly invested his money, or banked it, with such inadequate supervision, that he could be reduced to depending on his salary by one thief. Shark number 546, please move to the front of the line to be jumped. I used to love this show. That's what is so seriously dismaying.

Bones Season 8 Episode 18 Quotes

Bones: I always enjoy learning something.
Booth: Well, how about learning how to have fun, Bones?

Booth: We haven't been away since Christine was born.
Bones: I have.
Booth: You were running away from the police.