Bones: Season Three
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Bones: Season Three

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This is certainly the era of the science geek. Once people who were fascinated by science were considered social outcasts; unable to form the usual relationships. Now that the geeks have inherited the earth things have changed. Science has become a popular topic in all walks of life. This is reflected in films and of course television. This trend has altered how we look at once standardized genres. One of the most affected is the most venerable of all TV show types; the crime drama. This type of show has been around since that glowing screen first took over the center of our living rooms. It usually had a private investigator or police detective who solved the crime of the week by searching for clues and using good old fashion shoe leather to track them down and bring the criminal to justice. In the current most popular crime shows this lone detective has been replaced by a team of scientist who use the forensic sciences to determine who; what, why and how of a crime. There was an early attempt at this back in 1976 with the series ‘Quincy, M.E.’ There a determined medical examiner used what was then top of the line scientific equipment and methods to solve crimes. Then the biggest franchise in this new type of show, the various ‘Crime Scene Investigator’ series came along. In response to this new direction the Fox network has devised an interesting and unique variation of the theme; ‘Bones’. It is more of a character drive show than the other ones and as such seems to connect with the audience on another level. It is really not intended to replace the audience’s love affair with the ‘CSI’ shows; instead it allows an entertaining alternative. Fox has been releasing full season sets on DVD for a couple of years now and they are currently up to season three. This is an innovated and creative series that is not really suitable for the younger family members but for the adults it is excellent.

The series is based on the life of a real forensic pathologist, Kathy Reichs who is also a successful author. In her books she writes about, naturally enough, a forensic pathologist named Temperance Brennan. In the series the roles are reversed as Brennan writers about Reichs. Playing the titular character is Emily Deschanel. She plays Brennan, better known by her FBI partner Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz), as ‘Bones’. Brennan is the lead scientist for a special department in the Jeffersonian Institute in Washington D.C. Also on her staff are Dr. Jack Hodgins (T.J. Thyne), Dr Zack Addy (Eric Millegan) and Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin). The boss overseeing this strange crew is Dr. Camille Saroyan (Tamara Taylor). Brennan is extremely intelligent, well into the genius level. Because of her side career as an author she is also very well off financially. Her one shortcoming is she is not very socially adept. She is able to have sexual partners, to the chagrin of Booth, but for Brennan that is just biological need not true emotional commitment. She knows a plethora about other cultures but is unaware of many pop culture references. Her FBI partner Booth is always trying to get her to loosen up and be more of a real person. He is a devoted Roman Catholic who gets annoyed by Brennan’s lack of religious conviction. While there is certainly some unspoken attraction between the pair neither wants a relationship with the other. Because of their constant bickering they are sent to a psychiatrist Dr. Lance Sweets (John Francis Daley) after the FBI management feels they need ‘couples counseling’. Sweets is young and often dismissed by both although Booth takes a certain joy in putting Sweets down. Hodgins is from an extremely wealthy family although he prefers to live a simple life. He is a conspiracy nut but as a professional there is no one better than him with trace evidence and insects found on the scene. Zack is even more socially backward than Brennen. He is painfully shy and follows Brennan around like a puppy. Over time he has become best friends with Hodgins. Angela is the only team member without an advance degree. She is an expert at artistic reconstructions of a face from a skull and is able to use a 3D display to recreate a crime. She is Brennan’s best friend and is always ready to lend a sympathetic shoulder. Angela is the heart and emotional core of the group. As of last season she and Hodins are engaged. The trouble that pops if is Angela is still legally married to a man she met in a tropic paradise.

This series is heavier in seasonal and series oriented story arcs. In the last season the team was after a cannibalistic serial killer called the Gorogon. He targeted members of secret societies like the Masons. He also always had one apprentice to help him out. The revelation of the last apprentice was the last season episode reveal. The series was interrupted by the Writer’s Strike but came back to finish off fifteen episodes for this season. Most of the crimes are a little more graphic than other crime shows. The reason is simple. Before Brennan and her people are called in the victim is usually little more than a skeleton. The criminals are the typical sort for this kind of show but the writers do give the stories a certain unique flair to make them seem fresh. There are also some very strange plot devices that I have never seen on a network show. One involved suspects that were involved in ‘pony play’ where women ride men dressed in saddles for sexual pleasure. This resulted in a heated debate between the anthological view of Brennan and the more straight laced Booth. There is usually a special Christmas episode for this series. Brennan sees the holiday as just another relic in society but for Booth it is a religious and wonderful day. Brennan’s father is in prison for murder and asks for Brennan to arrange for him to see her brother and his family for Christmas. Eventually she gives in to the holiday spirit. There is a wide assortment of killers on the loose but Brennan et al are always ready to use the most advanced scientific methods to get them.

This is a fun series; certainly one of the best around. It is the type of show that has just enough elements of the classic soap opera to keep you coming back but never going over the edge forgetting that the crime solving comes first. The cast here is perfect. Each act brings his or her character to life. With a show like this you start to feel that you know the characters. Fox has the third season out now but after watching it you just might want to start collecting them all.

Posted 11/10/08

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