While a normal US TV season lasts between 22 and 24 episodes, we only get 13 instalments of Bones – Season 7. The reason is that Emily Deschanel rudely decided to have a baby. While her being up the duff was written into the show, she gave birth partway through the season’s shooting schedule, and by the time she returned there was only time to make 13 episodes. It just goes to show how important she is to the series, as normally pregnant women getting written out of a show for a few episodes when it’s time to drop the sprog, but here things had to stop to make way for the appearance of Deschanel junior.
The result when Season was on TV was that things felt rather disjointed and all over the place, partly because episodes came on to television in stops and starts with huge gaps in-between. Thankfully gathered together on Blu-ray it has a much more cohesive feel. Indeed it turns out to be one of the more interconnected seasons of the show, due to the on-going story of Temperance Brennan’s pregnancy and birth, as well as her and FBI Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) dealing with their parenthood and complicated relationship.
However this is a murder mystery series, so it lives or dies on the deaths they have to investigate. Once more Temperance and her team of lab rats are called in to perform their own brand of forensics on gruesomely de-fleshed murder victims, finding the evidence in their bones that will convict the killers. Booth meanwhile continues his more traditional style of investigation, talking to the suspects and working out the motives.
The 13 episodes range from finding the murderer of a champion competitive eater whose corpse has been eaten by rats and a snake, to the mystery surrounding a spinal column found at Washington’s Lincoln memorial. Inevitably as Temperance gets more pregnant, she finds things more difficult, especially with her hormones all over the place and her mobility hampered. Once she’s given birth, she has a whole new set of challenges, finding motherhood difficult to juggle with her demanding job.
All through this, Temperance never loses her ridiculously rational approach to things, even if there are times when it stretches credulity that someone so fiendishly smart would be so oblivious to other people’s thoughts and feelings. The series also retains its humorous edge, so that although it contains some of US network TV’s grossest scenes (the props department seems to be in competition with itself as to how disgusting they can make a corpse look), it’s also one of the most jokey murder shows around, ensuring that despite the dark subject matter it never gets too miserable. Indeed it’s mainly just a lot of fun, with entertaining characters and plots that keep you hooked in for 45 minutes at a time.
There isn’t a huge amount in the way of special features, but what’s included is worth a look. There’s a featurette looking at the ‘The Suit On The Set’, which of all the Bones episodes over the years is the one that reaches closest to farce, with Brennan and Booth visiting the set of a movie based on one of Temperance’s books and getting caught up in a murder investigation whilst there. There’s also a look at the cast at a red carpet event, an audio commentary, a couple of deleted scenes and a gag reel. It’s a shame the features completely ignore Deschanel’s pregnancy, as it would have been nice to get her thoughts on having a baby and leading the cast of a TV show at the same time.
As you’d hope, there’s little to complain about on the picture quality front. The colours are bright with good contrast and nice, sharp clarity. There are occasional shots that are surprising grainy, but these are rare and mainly it looks very good on Blu-ray.
Overall Verdict: It’s shame we only get 13 episodes this time around (I hope Emily Deschanel’s baby feels guilty), but Bones is still one of the most entertaining shows on TV, this time with the added complication of the main two characters welcoming a child into the world.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac