Bones: The Shot in the Dark

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by Shawnie Kelly (@DearShawnie)

Bones is all kinds of crazy this episode! It starts as it always does, with a murder to solve. This week’s victim is Johannes Groot, who was killed and then thrown from a bridge to conceal the murder. While staying late in the lab working, a mysterious figure walks in and shoots Brennan with something. In surgery, Brennan’s heart stops beating twice and she experiences a dream of some sort. She is in her childhood home speaking with her mother.

I really like the change in pace of this episode. It’s not an ordinary case and we can feel the difference. As the team investigates who shot Brennan and killed Hal (a body guard who was working the late night shift), we can sense their desperation to discover who would harm their friend and why. We’re also seeing Booth in a new role — separated from the case entirely. He is usually heading up the investigation and this time he is by Brennan’s side. Booth is understandably frazzled and worried, but still remains the consummate protector of Brennan. When she is unsure about the visions she’s having, Booth reassures her and encourages her to keep an open mind and consider that maybe they aren’t just dreams. Maybe her mother really is speaking with her.

Despite Booth remaining faithfully by her side at the hospital, the beginning of the episode shows that they are indeed far from perfect. Just before Brennan left to go to the lab, they were fighting over their very different approaches to life. Booth wants to live spontaneously and Brennan is always very practical in her decision making. If something isn’t logical, she has nothing to do with it. Their differences are what make them strong as they balance each other out, but we also get to see what their struggles are.

As they dig deeper into the investigation, it becomes clear that Hal the security guard is more involved than they initially thought. Hal is the one who killed Groot, and whoever killed him and shot Brennan had a lot at stake should Groot’s murder be solved. Examining his remains, Camille discovers slivers of wood in Groot’s body; there are also flecks of gold paint. Hodgens tests the pieces and they are a match to a painting being restored right there at the Jeffersonian. One after another, things begin falling into place. As it turns out, the director of restoration at the Jeffersonian was involved in selling artwork on the black market. Hal was helping him steal the paintings and replace them with fakes. Groot was a client and the deal had gone sour. Hal killed Groot and the restorer/art thief killed Hal and attempted to kill Brennan in hopes of covering his tracks.

Overall, the episode is an entertaining one, albeit different. It’s odd seeing Brennan so vulnerable. Even when she was on the run, we know that she was always in complete control of the situation. She never lets her emotions get in the way of her practicality. It’s just who she is, but this week we see her truly helpless. When Brennan faces death head-on, we see that maybe she doesn’t have it all together all the time. The biggest take-away from this episode is how Brennan came to be the way she is now. Right before her mother left, they fought over a boy in Brennan’s life. Her mother accused her of changing herself to fit in and become more appealing. That was the last time they every spoke, so Brennan really took her mother’s words to heart. She now tends to only use her head… rarely her heart. I liked getting that inside glimpse into a complicated character.

Moving forward, it will be interesting to see whether or not Brennan takes her mother’s new advice to heart: using your brain and being practical is great, but sometimes you need that uninhibited, youthful heart with imagination and openness to every possibility.

Oh! On a lighter note, we have the return of FBI agent Olivia. I was beginning to think that she was just a one episode thing, but it looks like she might become more regular. With Sweets and Daisy getting some much needed closure last week, it’s convenient that Olivia is back in the picture now. However, she keeps calling him “Lance” which is weird. Yes, it’s his name, but he’s Sweets! I’ll keep my eye on this Sweets/Olivia situation. In the meantime, with this season of twists and turns, I’m happy to know that everyone made it out of one more episode safe and sound.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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