Bones Season 11 Episode 20 Review: The Stiff in the Cliff

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Cases that involve the Jeffersonian employees can be either hit or miss.

"The Stiff in the Cliff" that was the focus of Bones Season 11 Episode 20 was a hit. 

While I'm skeptical of any reasoning that would have kept Dr. Clark Edison from putting such a prestigious and chat-worthy experience onto his resume, at least it made sense that someone studying as he was would have joined that type of archeological team.

One of Their Own - Bones

It was even fun how the case was introduced, with Brennan and Christine watching TV, even though mom and dad had already decided no TV on school nights.

Christine: What's cannibalize?
Brennan: Sweetheart, it's just when people eat other people.

Nobody can ever say Christine will be lacking in her education!

Considering Brennan ran out of the house like her pants were on fire in excitement after getting the call about being chosen to examine the remains, it made perfect sense that she would have stood up for Clark after it was all over. 

I think Clark's connection to that expedition raised his esteem a bit in her eyes. Sometimes she doesn't remember that her people have the same chances to do really cool things, too. 

There were a lot of suspects and only one was a well-known actor, so it was easy to strike him off the list right away. Bones has stopped doing what other shows do, which is automatically assigning the known entity as the guilty party.

Instead, they usually have an interesting story, and a wildcard is guilty. That was the case here. 

I can't imagine what Hazel must have been like back in school, because she was nothing special in the present day. Clark can certainly do better. And not just because she's a murderer!

Do you agree that a book about an expedition and the discovery of mummified remains wouldn't be interesting enough to sell books without the cannibalism angle?

When I was a little girl, the museum in Pittsburgh had a mummy (as I called it), which was really the mummified remains unwrapped. It was my favorite exhibit. I always ran there first and wished I knew more about the person and what their life had been like. 

Surely others are interested in that kind of thing, too.

It's great that Hodgins is dealing so well being in the chair now. Not so long ago not being able to get his chair into the hut at the Jeffersonian's exhibit of the expedition would have sent him over the edge. 

Instead, he was perfectly fine allowing Aubrey to go in for him, and later gave Cam great advice about communicating with her sister, something he wouldn't have learned if he hadn't been paralyzed.

It was so hard watching Cam and Felicia. At first, I couldn't figure out why looking at the bridal binder make Cam look like someone was sticking hot pins into her eyes.

Granted, Felicia was laying on the "I had to take time off for you" line a little too thick, and I knew something was up, but for some reason I thought they would have spoken a bit more before the day began.

When Cam walked out in that first dress, which was beautiful in a mother of the bride kind of way, it was so obvious she wanted to be a princess for her wedding. And that she was embarrassed about it.

The funny thing was the poofy dress she put on afterward wasn't even pretty, but Cam made it look pretty because she was so darn happy wearing it. And that's the thing, isn't it? That's what brides are supposed to do with all that tacky bridal gear. Shine right through it and in spite of it.

If all goes well, it's one day of your life. You will never do it again. It should be as special and absolutely smashing as you want it to be. It is NOT just another day to be decided in four hours or less.

Thank goodness Angela and Hodgins were there when Felicia came into the room to give support to Cam just in case she didn't have the confidence to go through with her discussion. The way Angela screwed up her face and said "really" or something similar in response to how Felicia thought Cam wanted her wedding was great.

Watching this entire episode reminded me of something. When I chatted with the Royal Pains cast recently, we talked about "blue skies" shows and how they make you feel good watching them.

Bones is a show about murder, gruesome, grisly murders. But it's rarely a downer. Instead, the characters are all close to each other, caring and compassionate about their cases and bring closure to families of the deceased. You tend to come away happier than you went in.

We need more shows like Bones on the air, not less, don't you think?

What did you think of the case? Did all the closeness between everyone make YOU feel good?

Don't forget, you can watch Bones online right here via TV Fanatic if you need to catch up.

The Stiff in the Cliff Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (103 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Bones Season 11 Episode 20 Quotes

Whoa. It looks like REI set up a torture chamber in here!


Christine: What's cannibalize?
Brennan: Sweetheart, it's just when people eat other people.