Bones 11×20 ‘The Stiff in the Cliff’: How to kill friends and cannibalize people

Source: FOX

We’re sticking with the ice theme this week, only this time it’s of the outdoor variety. It feels like, at some point, everyone at the Jeffersonian has been accused of murder, and this week it’s Clark’s turn, because the poor guy hasn’t been put through enough in the last few seasons. But if there’s one thing the squints are good at, it’s proving that one of their own is innocent against all odds.

As I’ve been mentioning quite a bit in recent weeks, I’ve been enjoying how this season has let the supporting cast share a little in the limelight, and in ‘Cliff’ both Clark and Cam got turns at bat. Beginning with the straight-laced anthropologist — because he was accused of murder, after all — in some ways it did feel like we’ve been to this well in the past. Yet, it was interesting to see how, unlike say Brennan or Booth who took matters into their own hands in the situation (remember that time she went on the run?), Clark did what, y’know, you’re supposed to do in the situation, and called for legal counsel first. It irked a little that everyone was accusing him of looking even guiltier by lawyering up, but in the end I think he was only doing what he’d been taught to in this job.

The other intriguing aspect to this was Brennan’s reaction to his being under investigation; I was a little worried that they were angling to make Brennan the bad guy for being too by-the-book and refusing to outright stand up for him regardless of where the evidence led them. However, I think she did exactly what Clark would have expected of her, because it’s the same thing he did for her back during the Pelant affair. She trained him to follow the evidence regardless of where it led, so that’s exactly where she went. It clearly wasn’t easy for her, as the interrogation scene demonstrated, but she had a duty to be above reproach in order to help him should the case go to trial. (Remember what happened to Zack? Exactly.)

Source: FOX

Source: FOX

Besides, it gave us yet another lovely moment between the two scientists after the case was solved. Clark is steadfast in his moral compass, to the point of being a kill-joy at times, but it also weighs heavily on him. I thought it was quite honorable of him to immediately tender his resignation to Brennan once the news of his youthful indiscretion(s) hit the news, because he felt he’d brought shame upon the Jeffersonian. (Which is his home, when it comes down to it, like it is the other squints’.)

Obviously Brennan would never accept it, either personally as a friend or professionally as his mentor, because he shouldn’t be punished for actions he did as a young kid infatuated with a superior who was clearly using him. (Hmm, Brennan has more in common with him than he knows.) I’ve loved how their friendship has developed in recent years, and I think that more and more, we’re seeing how they live by the same code, at their cores. Plus, who doesn’t want to give Clark a big ol’ hug, like Brennan did?

Cam strolled down memory lane too this week, thanks to a visit from (recast) sister Felicia, who we haven’t seen since season 2. Again, it seems like the writers are making the effort to deliberately call back to characters and moments from the past who haven’t been heard from in ages, but are still somehow important to the characters’ histories. I was particularly impressed with how they handled Felicia here, if only because we’ve gotten mere snippets about her over the years, and it’s hard to flesh out a character who’s only appeared on-screen once.

Source: FOX

Source: FOX

That being said, Felicia here did feel just as consistent with the Felicia we saw nearly a decade ago — the one who still held a grudge over her desecrated Barbie dolls and kissed her sister’s boyfriend just to get back at her for it — but definitely grown-up, too. (How great was that callback, though? Especially Brennan’s not-as-cool-as-she’d-like-us-to-believe reaction? Ah, the Jeffersonian family is a tad incestuous sometimes.) Felicia gave an air of still being slightly spoiled, but also genuinely caring of her big sister. I was curious if her overzealous planning of Cam’s wedding (can you believe we get to type that now?) was building up to some sort of crazy wannabe-Bridezilla scenario, but the reality of her just wanting to make Cam’s life as easy as possible was unexpectedly sweet.

Speaking of which — please tell me I wasn’t the only person who “awwed” when Cam finally tried on the pouffy wedding gown she’d been eying, over her sister’s practical (but stunning) choice? Admittedly, it was a little reminiscent of Brennan’s wedding gown search years ago, but if anyone deserves to have an over-the-top, classy wedding, it’s Dr. Saroyan. (Let Cam have nice things, Bones.) Maybe it’s because the show is obviously winding down, but I like that Cam’s on the road to getting her happy ending. It might be entirely traditional, but it’d hard to argue with a smile like the one she gave in that dress. Moreover, we got another classic Cam-rant, and that’s never unwelcome. (Have I mentioned lately how underrated Tamara Taylor is?)

Source: FOX

Source: FOX

Rounding up the main plots this week, I thought the Brennan-Booth family challenge of the week — figuring out what to tell Christine about sticking up for her friends — was a nice way to bridge both Cam and Clark’s stories. She is absolutely her parents’ daughter: defending her friends to bullies (like Booth told Parker all those years ago) with her big words (like her mom), but failing that, with her tackles (also like her mom).  Because that’s what Bones is all about: standing up for what is right, even when it isn’t easy.

One more closing remark: You’re telling me no one at the Jeffersonian realized the kid in the picture at the maybe-cannibalistic-explorers exhibit was Clark? And did anyone else chuckle at Lex Luthor being one of our suspects?

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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