Bones 10×17 ‘The Lost in the Found’ and 10×18 ‘The Verdict in the Victims’: Double trouble

Source: FOX

It’s not every day we get two new episodes of Bones! Tonight, the show makes several allusions to Brennan’s size, discusses our squints’ futures, and tries to get a man off death row because they sent him there in the first place. All in a day’s work, right?

To be perfectly honest, I found ‘The Lost in the Found’ a bit of a hot mess. Let me clarify: I thought the case was fantastic, and not unlike writer Emily Silver’s previous effort in how it related the victim’s isolation to Brennan’s own history. However, I don’t think any B-story has ever made me as angry as tonight’s, and I’m including major upheavals like Sweets’ murder or Booth reneging on Brennan’s proposal in that pool.

I think what upset me the most is that the bones (no pun intended) of the story were poignant: Brennan is feeling the increasing burden of raising children in their tumultuous world, and is scared about what that means for her family. That is an incredibly rich mine to draw from, and I love exploring that. But I hated the implication: I’m sorry, but it makes absolutely no sense for a woman, especially one as educated in human anatomy as Brennan, not to realize she was pregnant earlier than she did. I understand that the writers were trying to go for a unique way to catch up Brennan’s pregnancy with Emily Deschanel’s, but it failed spectacularly here for me.

Source: FOX

Source: FOX

I realize that Brennan tends to go into denial mode when she’s overwhelmed, and that’s fine; I could have easily accepted a story in which Brennan tries to do too much despite her condition because she doesn’t want to deal with the fact that she’s bringing another person into her life who she could lose. Yet, Brennan ignoring her pregnancy for three months not only doesn’t jibe with her character, it creates a million more plot holes. If Brennan were pregnant all this time, it means she’s been doing things (e.g. drinking) she shouldn’t have been — which we know, because we’ve seen her and Booth doing them. It also means she hasn’t been to a doctor yet, because that would have immediately dated the pregnancy. Frankly, it makes it seem like there isn’t a single woman in the writer’s room, or that no one in that room has ever been around a pregnant woman.

Personally, it cast a pall over what is actually a very interesting dilemma for Brennan: I want to see her question the implications of raising a family when she and Booth are both in danger constantly, and is a thread I wished they’d brushed on more in season 7 when she had Christine. I like that she ultimately confronted that issue, and voiced her concerns, and my heart broke for her in that instant, because if any character deserves to worry about what the future holds, it’s Brennan (and Booth). I just didn’t care for the execution, and wish the writers had found a different way to address it, particularly as some of the comments by the other characters felt like borderline fat jokes. (We get it, pregnant women eat.)

Source: FOX

Source: FOX

However, the best part of the episode, to me, was watching Brennan identify with the victim. A lonely, brainy girl who is bullied by her classmates eventually ends up killing herself, and Brennan can relate all too well; it’s something I’ve been hoping to see for years, and I’m glad they went there. Emily Deschanel was fantastic in every one of those case scenes, and I could easily see shades of teenage Brennan emerging in her expressions. Brennan hasn’t had an easy life, and I like that she’s now able to share that pain, with Angela and with Booth. Add in a dash of helping Daisy cope with dating again (!), and this part of the episode was spot-on.

‘The Verdict in the Victims’ was bit more of an old-fashioned episode of Bones. The team races against the clock to free Alex Rockwell, the alleged killer from a few weeks ago. I knew immediately back then that he wasn’t the killer and taking the fall for his boss, Roger Flender, so I was happy to be vindicated in that. That being said, this is where some of the writing didn’t quite work for me, if only because again, the timeline was impossible. He’d been on death row for seven months (and presumably had been in prison and on trial before that), yet that was only a few episodes ago. I can buy that there was a time jump at some point, but then Daisy said in the previous episode that Sweets only died six months ago — which contradicts this. I can suspend disbelief to an extent — like that in the Bones world the justice system is swift and efficient and criminals are put on trial immediately, apparently — but I appreciate consistency within that universe, and this negated that.

Source: FOX

Source: FOX

In terms of the actual story, it was solid, but I can’t help but feel like it was a repeat of Howard Epps’ first episode in season 1, where he was also on death row and the team moved quickly to stay his execution. (Also: if you’re going to cast the wonderful Linda Lavin as a no-nonsense judge, for God’s sake, use her more!) Unlike the earlier episode, though, this time the man who was set free was not a murderer, which I suppose is a welcome reversal. As per usual, the discussion about the characters’ stances on the death penalty felt a tad preachy, but I also get that it’s a very pressing issue, particularly in the US. What I found most interesting, though, was Booth admitting that his position has changed, and he no longer believes in it, which is huge for him. I loved the subtle implication that he has changed his mind because of his time in prison earlier this season, and those are more of the consequences I want to see from his experience. Yes, the gambling is an obvious side-effect (which was on hold tonight), but I like seeing it crop up in less visible ways such as this. I give kudos to the writers for that, because it touches on how the imprisonment altered his world-view without Booth taking it out on everyone else. (Which I understand is another symptom of his PTSD — I just like seeing other facets of his development, too.)

Something else that surprised me tonight? Hodgins and Angela discussing their futures outside of the lab. Initially, I was a little unimpressed by the return of Angela’s dissatisfaction, only because it felt like another rehash of season 8, but then she admitted that she feels that way because of all the awful things that have happened in the last two seasons, and it made perfect sense. I got the eerie sensation that this is setting the characters up towards a series finale, which is particularly disturbing given that we don’t know if the show’s been renewed yet, but I appreciate, at least, that the writers are trying to tie up some loose ends in a way that fits the characters. (We should all be so lucky to have a Hodgins to buy us a Parisian hideaway.) I can’t wait to see how this turns out.

Source: FOX

Source: FOX

What did you think of tonight’s double-dose? Am I thinking about this way too hard?

is willing to talk about TV to anyone who will listen. She’s thought way too hard about her favorite shows, ever since her grade school days watching “Full House.” She likes to write a lot, about everything. She enjoys candlelight dinners and long walks on the beach… Whoops, wrong profile.

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