Bones: Season 7
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Bones: Season 7

Television programming, like so many aspects of life, follow cycles. At one time each of the major networks will clamor to produce a cutting edge medical drama to the schedule. Then the focus of the audience will inexplicable shift and the new paradigm will be legal thrillers. The genre that has been in ascendance is the forensic crime mystery. Replacing the harden detective scouring the dank back alleys for clues has been replaced by learned scientist in starch white lab coats utilizing cutting edge technology to uncover the most miniscule specks of data possible to solve the crime bringing the heinous villain to justice. For seven years so far one of the leaders in this genre is a series broadcast on the Fox network, ‘Bones’’. One thing it is based on the life and imaginative literary works of a real life forensic anthropologist, Kathy Reichs, who is actively involved in the television series. The main character, Dr. Temperance Brennan’s the name of the character in Dr. Reichs’ novels, as well as the titular character on the series played by Emily Deschanel. In a wry twist the name of the character in her novels is Kathy Reichs. This Mobius like plot device is more than a nod to fans of the books or a plot contrivance; it is a successful way to leverage a proven set of characters and situations in a cleaver fashion. The drawback inherent in coming up with a smartly written, character driven series such as this is common to all shows but is more important in a case like this than usual. The quagmire is to retain the elements that contributed to the success of the series while altering it sufficiently to keep the show interesting. One change that is often implemented is to finally allow the sexual tension built up between the leading man and woman. The danger here is this frequently is the harbinger of doom and the ramp to jump the proverbial shark. Thankfully, the talented team behind this show appears to have dodged the bullet and remained on track.

At the conclusion of the previous season a particularly arduous case lead to Bone and her FBI partner, Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) having sex. As parents always warn their teenage children, it only takes one time; Bones is pregnant at the end of the season finale. The drastic change in the underlying construction of the series was Emily Deschanel's pregnancy and maternity leave. In a wise move the producers decided against the always transparent and insipid plot device of attempting to conceal the growing evidence of pregnancy. As it was the series was truncated to only 13 episodes, which is still a full season for many cable based shows. The overt attraction and constant flirting has been a staple of the series since its beginning. With this season the dynamic between all the characters have undergone significant revisions. The other romantic couple, Brennan’s best friend and the team’s reconstruction expert, Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin), had a son with her husband, Dr. Jack Hodgins (T.J. Thyne), the group’s forensic entomologist. Even their boss, Dr. Camille Saroyan (Tamara Taylor) is a parent having adopted a teenage daughter. This alters, in many respects, the scope of the target demographic. It now encompasses young adults starting their own families. Although several other popular forensic oriented series have included family members in the primary cast none have done so to this level of commitment to the story arc. The thin ice that this causes is to overly identify with the new baby elements foregoing the core aspects of the mystery and action. During the unfolding of this rebuilding season the series managed to balance things quite well. The series hits the ground running with a sprinkling of pregnancy jokes filtered through Brennan’s trademark analytical persona. Booth and Brennan are living together anticipating the child. The differences between the two become intensified because of the situation. Brennan is an agnostic, ruled in all ways but logic. Booth is a devote Roman Catholic who already has a son by a previous relationship. This difference in world view is compounded by a rather large discrepancy in their finances. Booth is a working man on a government salary. Besides sizable remuneration from the Jeffersonian Institution in line with her level of expertise, she is a millionaire several times over due to the popular franchise of ‘Kathy Reichs ’novels. These results in disagreements in finding new living arrangements and procuring the myriad of necessities required for a new baby. This was able to reach a significant portion of the population of two working parents with differences in earning capacity. In one episode concerning tornados Booth elicits Brennan’s ire by being overly protective forbidding her to go to a dangerous crime scene. That was not able to deter the head strong scientist one iota.

The foundation of ‘Bones ‘has always been the quirky circumstances surrounding the murder at hand. These offbeat details of the crime and the odd clues left behind allowed for a tongue in cheek humor that is exceptionally entertaining. It also pulled this show apart, and frequently, above, the pack. This season remained grounded and retained its admirable fan base. Among the crime scenes used here were a toy company executive found shrink wrapped, victim in a landfill dyed blue and a pair of rural families that have been engaging in a deadly feud for generations. Along the way some new recurring characters were introduced to assist in keeping the younger viewers watching. Special Agent Genny Shaw (Tina Major Special Agent Genny Shaw (Tina Majorino), is a fledgling FBI agent who wants Booth to mentor her and Bones adds to her collection of graduate student interns with Finn Abernathy (Luke Kleintank) as a rural ex-con with a brilliant mind. One case introduces a new arch villain whose insidious plots will bridge this season and the next. Christopher Pelant (Andrew Leeds) is a world class hacker with machinations that would put Niccolò Machiavelli to shame. His genius in electronic and computer technology is only matched by is gleeful perchance for evil.

Although a lot of changes occurred with this season it is a natural connection to the even more significant changes coming in the eight season, the transition went off without a hitch. The old elements were respected while several changes were introduced to help support the change in direction.

Deleted Scenes From The Memories In The Shallow Grave
Creating The Suit On The Set
Bone Of Contention: On The Red Carpet
Audio Commentary On The Past In The Present
Deleted Scene From The Past In The Present
Gag Reel

Posted 10/08/12

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