BONES: THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEAOSN
MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
Emily Deschanel as DR. TEMPERENCE “BONES” BRENNAN
David Boreanaz as SPECIAL AGENT SEELEY BOOTH
Michaela Conlin as ANGELA MONTENEGRO
T.J. Thyne as DR. JACK HODGINS
Tamara Taylor as CR. CAMILLE SAROYAN
John Francis Daley as DR. LANCE SWEETS
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Created by: Hart Hanson
BY KEVIN CARR
While I never watched “Bones” in its earlier seasons, I have since gotten into the show on Blu-ray. It’s a basic procedural with a nice twist of coming from the forensic pathologist angle. Season 8 begins with Bones (Emily Deschanel) on the run with her father as a serial killer has framed her for murder. Booth (David Boreanaz) works to bring the killer to justice and clear Bones’ name.
Of course, like any good television series, this gets resolved in just a couple episodes but leaves plenty of loose ends to crop up later in the season (and, spoiler alert: they do). However, soon we’re back to the daily grind with the doctors at the Jeffersonian, solving crimes from a pile of flesh and bones.
This season sees Bones and Booth struggle to cement their relationship and deal with raising a child together. There are new challenges that we haven’t seen the characters go through in this light, including how to deal with a misbehaving toddler and the trials of expecting too much from your kids at such a young age. Adding to their stress is Dr. Sweets (John Francis Daley) breaking up with his girlfriend and moving in with them.
These play into the long-form development of the characters throughout the season, which for the most part work by adding that extra level of humanity to their lives. The character of Bones continues to be socially awkward, sometimes dipping into the realm of being just too naive, especially considering her years of experience with Booth and her co-workers. However, this does work for a laugh (even if it’s forced about half the time), and it doesn’t linger too long on her character.
There are some lower points to this season, but nothing out of character from previous ones. There’s still a level of preachiness and political correctness that seeps into the show, particularly when it comes to some of the parenting practices of Booth and Bones.
While my least favorite character on the show continues to be Angela (Michaela Conlin), she is marginalized more in this season, and that makes me happy. She does get the spotlight for her whining and prissy superior nature, but it was a relief to see the final outcome of that ultimately mean she would spend less time at the Jeffersonian (though still remain a main cast member, but you can’t win them all, I guess).
The best storylines are the ones that fit the formula the best. As cool as the ongoing danger of Pelant (Andrew Leeds), he just brings a level of intensity to the rest of the cast which causes their normally tongue-in-cheek delivery to evaporate. However, this is a common complaint I have with what I like to call “shit gets real” episodes on television series: they cause deviation from the standard, familiar and enjoyable behavior of the characters.
The other types of episodes I turn a cold shoulder to are the ones where the characters have to go undercover (which seems to work for Booth but reach a level of absurdity when Bones or Angela have to do it). Fortunately, there are not too many of these in the season. Like a comfortable jacket, most of “Bones: The Complete Eighth Season” is a welcome, familiar friend. (Now, if they can just stop re-using the caterwauling music from “Grey’s Anatomy,” I’ll be happy.)
The season 8 Blu-ray still has a nice selection of bonus features on it for such a late season. The five-disc set comes with deleted scenes and commentaries on select episodes. On the final disc, there’s two featurettes: “Dying to Know: Bones Answers Your Questions!” and “Bare Bones: Total Fandom-onium,” which features fan-made videos about the show. There’s also an enjoyably cute gag reel, which runs about five minutes.