Bones: The Ghost in the Machine

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by Shawnie Kelly (@DearShawnie)

Happy 150th episode, Bones! That’s right. Our favorite murder solving forensic anthropologists just turned one hundred and fifty. Don’t check my math on this one, you guys — unless you want to just agree up front that in the TV world, one episode equals one year. GO WITH IT. Sorry for yelling; math makes me do things that I’m not proud of.

This week isn’t our typical Bones in more ways than one. Cyndi Lauper is back in her guest-starring role as the lovably creepy psychic, Avalon. As we all know, Cyndi Lauper is awesome times one million. “Time After Time” got me through some tough situations growing up, like when Kelly Kapowski and Zack Morris split for the first time, among other tragedies. I’m always happy to see her. The return of Avalon (who speaks to departed spirits on the regular) is tied to a very interesting aspect of this episode. We see the entire case play out from a perspective we’ve never experienced before — the victim’s.

This week’s remains belong to one Colin Gibson, a popular teenage athlete with everything to live for. From the very beginning, we know this case is different. The opening scene depicts a hazy, muffled Brennan leaning over the body for inspection and the camera angle is odd. Soon, it becomes clear that we are not watching the investigation unfold as all the others have; we are listening in on Brennan and Booth’s discussion as though from a hiding place. Colin’s spirit is lingering throughout the case, and we experience everything as he is experiencing it. I’m not going to lie, I was a little creeped out by this and for some reason, couldn’t eat my dinner while I watched. I’m not a psychologist, so I cannot tell you why I reacted this way. Ask Sweets. What I can tell you is that it was different… which was probably their intention, seeing as how it was their 150th episode celebration.

Back to the lab we go. It’s discovered that Colin was killed by his father’s car, which throws everyone off because he seemed to have had a very healthy relationship with his parents. Not only was he close with his family, Colin had many friends and zero enemies. Who would want to kill him? The fact that his body is discovered buried in an old greenhouse leaves little doubt that foul play is involved. Avalon comes in periodically to talk with Colin the ghost and everyone seems to think this is totally normal. However, she doesn’t turn over any groundbreaking evidence through commune with the dead, but she does find out that he was in love… or would be in love had he lived… or something along those lines. The point is that psychics are apparently not that helpful in murder investigations after all. Bummer. It turns out that Colin wasn’t murdered at all. Rather, he was fooling around with his friends and “surfing” on top of the car when he slipped and fell. Don’t stand on top of moving cars, kids.

I really liked the change of pace this episode provided. Not only is the perspective different, we see a very different side of Brennan as well. She starts crying at the crime scene because the victim is a child — something motherhood has made her more sensitive toward. I like this side of Brennan and I hope it’s here to stay… right alongside of her logical analysis, of course. I was worried that we wouldn’t get the same kind of in-depth look at the investigation that we normally do because the body doesn’t usually leave the lab. This isn’t an issue most of the time, but since we were watching everything from “in” the body (figuratively speaking), it could have limited things. But it didn’t! They found creative ways to show things unfold. For instance, Brennan brings the skull home to inspect more closely. Creepytown, party of one.

I thought this episode worked, and it really made us feel for the victims that we normally don’t have any sort of emotional connection to. The 150th episode was a success! I hope we get one hundred and fifty more.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


    One Comment

  1. MarianaDecember 9th, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    I was also a little creeped out by the whole “seeing the case from the victim’s perspective” in the beginning, but it grew on me. It’s not the kind of thing you want on every episode, but since it’s their 150th, thought it was a nice touch. After all, how many victims got closure because of their work?
    Also, really love how they brought back details from the show’s history, like Booth’s army past, how Angie used to go out to have a drink after work to wind down, Booth and Brennan’s song, etc.
    And I’m with you, let’s see what they’re gonna do for ep. 300!

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