Review: Bones – The Partners in the Divorce

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by Shawnie Kelly

After last week’s far-from-typical season eight premiere of Bones, it’s good to have Brennan, Booth, and the rest of the Jeffersonian crew back into their normal routines on last night’s episode. Though the departure from the everyday “mystery body – crime scene – multiple suspects – mystery solved” formula was enjoyable for a time, something about that formula is a comfortable kind of familiar for Bones fans, and a big reason we keep coming back for more!

If you missed it last night: SPOILERS AHEAD!

The episode begins with a couple of town drunks in a construction yard arguing about the recession and whether or not the Feds will be “instituting some Keynesian fiscal policy.” (This discussion of macroeconomics seems a little out of place considering the source, but I’ll move on). The two then come across a fire barrel smelling of chicken; they hope it’s dinner. Of course, we already know what it is… a body!

Cut to Brennan and Booth in their kitchen. She is cooking breakfast, something that Booth considers odd. Brennan explains that she had to learn to cook while she and the baby were on their own for three months. They share an awkward moment when Booth tries to kiss her and Brennan backs away. There’s clearly an odd tension developing between the two.

At the crime scene, the charred remains of this week’s unfortunate soul end up to be those of divorce lawyer Richard Bartlett. Brennan and Booth are unusually testy with each other and the others are beginning to notice. Brennan comments on the location of the body and what it means to the case, to which an irritated Booth notes that it’s his job to ask those questions. He encourages her to stick to forensics, and Bones — understandably perturbed — reminds Booth that she was a fugitive and has more “real life experience.” This prompts a standoff between the two and Booth angrily wraps up the crime scene.

The occupation of the victim leaves plenty of room for an interesting dynamic between the quarreling couple. Divorce is a theme throughout, and Brennan reminds Booth time and again that it’s a good thing they aren’t married. He seems offended, and of course Brennan doesn’t pick up on this. The case unravels and we’re left with the killer — or shall we say “killers” — a divorcing couple who was unable to pay their bill to Bartlett.

This episode is important because it’s setting the stage for an issue that is sure to come up throughout the season. Booth and Brennan are far from happily ever after, though she does apologize for pushing him away. Brennan tells him that she visited Sweets for a psychological analysis, admitting that something is wrong with her. Booth assures her that she’s fine, delivering the most memorable quote of the night: “We’re more than psychology.”

I appreciate the writers portraying their relationship in a real and relatable manner. And though he didn’t directly admit it, it seems that Booth is harboring some serious resentment over Brennan running off with their baby for three months without a word. While the episode ended with the two on good terms, the conflict is far from resolved and will certainly rear its ugly head again. But what did we expect? It took seven seasons for the two to answer the “will they, won’t they?” question; to expect smooth sailing at this point would be ludicrous. Will they be able to hold up through the rest of the season? That remains to be seen. Overall, the episode was a solid installment and certainly did its job of getting Bones back into the swing of things.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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