Series Review: Bones Season 1 (2005-2006)

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A friend and a work colleague and my sister told me that I would like watching Bones. With three solid recommendations I eventually just had to try it out. I am SO happy I did. I am travelling through the fourth season right now and I haven’t stopped watching at all.

Here is what happened 🙂

After returning from a “holiday” where workaholic Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) identified victims of genocide, she is stopped at the airport by Homeland Security. Not knowing who the man tailing her is, Brennan kicks his butt and is arrested. It turns out FBI agent Seely Booth (David Boreanaz) orchestrated her arrest because he needed to know when she would be back in the country and her lab co-workers at the Jeffersonian Institute wasn’t being very helpful with telling him when she might land. Temperance, who is known as Bones, finally agrees to help and she and Booth works to identify bones found in a lake. A working agreement is struck between the Jeffersonian and the FBI that makes Bones and Booth investigative partners.

Booth and Brennan are investigating a man that looks like a suicide bomber. The deceased was part of the Arab-American Friendship League and the President of the USA is upset that he is looking like a fool for trusting an extremist. The deceased’s wife insists she and her husband are lovers of peace and cooperation and the team try to find out why he is dead. The bomb reveals to be planted under his car and this eliminates the suicide bombing and makes it a murder case. Bones discover he and his brother shared some strange skin condition and tries to figure out if it was genetics or something else. They learn that the deceased’s brother is hiding that he is an extremist Muslim by pretending to be Christian and that he plans to suicide bomb a peace summit meeting, they rush to save the lives of the people at the meeting and Booth’s sniper abilities helps them save the day.

The next case takes them to an exclusive private school where children of important dignitaries attend under the strictest security measures. The son of Columbian diplomats is found hanging from a tree and Bones quickly establishes it wasn’t suicide. His mother insists that her son wouldn’t commit suicide that the miracle of him gaining hearing from a cochlear implant was a powerful moment and he wouldn’t commit suicide after something like that. Bones believes her because the evidence points to murder, and Booth has vindictive fun by not giving the snooty principal and his security manager the answer they want. Further investigation shows that the boy was involved in filming sex scenes and bribing sugar mommies at the school, and they find the killer through the videos.

Bones is upset that she needs to travel to Aurora to investigate a hand that was found in bear’s stomach. Looking at the remains, Bones deduces that the man was a victim of cannibalism and didn’t die from the bear attack. When the likeliest victim, a Native American Indian, is proved innocent, everyone in the town becomes a suspect. Brennan is very popular with the men in the small town and Booth dances with her to give her a break from all the unwanted popularity. Back at the lab Zack and Hodgins compete for a delivery employee’s attention but strangely enough Angela is the victor in that war.

A six year old boy’s bones are found murdered near a shopping mall and they find out that he is a boy that was reported missing a few days earlier. It turns out that his mother isn’t his biological parent and that she took him when she found his birthmother dead. She has two other foster kids as well and Bones gets emotionally attached to the case because she herself was a foster child. The murderer is found in the neighbourhood and Bones is very happy with Booth when he manages to get the charges against the mother dropped and the two foster children can remain with her because she is a good parent to them.

Brennan and Angela go out for a night on town and Brennan gets into a fight at a nightclub because she observes the culture in her usually direct and slightly offensive way. When a wall collapses and a skeleton is found underneath, Booth arrives and it becomes a crime scene. The victim is identified as a former DJ at the club, and his known rival and the club’s owner become suspects.

Howard Epps (Heath Freeman), a serial killer on death row, is days fromexecution. He and his lawyer, a woman who believes in justice, ask that his case gets investigated again by the man who put him in jail, Booth. Booth believes he is guilty and is reluctant, but agrees to take a look. There is just enough doubt to get him a delay on his death sentence. In the end they see that Epps is guilty and is just playing with them, but now he won’t get executed immediately. Booth is furious but unable to do anything. Bones breaks Epps’s wrist when he tries to touch her and it makes her and Booth feel a bit better.

A woman is found in a fridge with signs of undergoing through torture and drugging. Booth immediately notices one of the deceased’s friends has a new fridge and he and his girlfriend is arrested. It is obvious they are guilty but they have a good defence team and Brennan is called to testify, something she is bad at because she can’t connect to the jury. Her former professor and lover, Michael, shows up and he and Brennan casually sleep together. She is unable to continue being his friend when he is the witness for the killers and he mocks her during the trial. The prosecutors manage to make Brennan appear human when they ask her why she became an anthropologist, to find her parents that went missing, on the stand, a tip Booth gave them. She is angry with Booth but at least justice prevails and the couple is arrested for their perverted fantasies.

The Man in the Fallout Shelter: A very old set of bones is found in a fallout shelter before Christmas and is sent to the Jeffersonian for identification. The entire team is quarantined after a fungus is released into the lab from the body, and it seems that everyone will be spending Christmas there. Brennan is the Christmas Grinch and no one knows why, but she tells Angela that her parents disappeared right before Christmas as a teen and she and her brother had a huge fight on Christmas day that made him put her into foster care. She sets out to identify the man and learns that he, a white man, had loved a black woman in a time where interracial marriages were illegal. He was murdered for his coin collection but kept the last, most valuable pieces hidden. After an outburst from Angela, Bones makes it her priority to find the elderly woman and let her know the man that she loved never deserted her. They find the now elderly lady and her granddaughter and tell them the news. The elderly lady thanks her for the coins means the deceased’s granddaughter is able to go to medical school. The episode ends with Bones finally opening the present her parents gave her that last Christmas.

The Woman at the Airport.

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Bones and Booth head to Los Angeles to investigate the remains of a young woman found scattered around the airport. Angela has trouble reconstructing the skull because the woman had so much plastic surgery done on her. The deceased’s boyfriend says she was beautiful but never at peace with how she looked, and though he is saddened by her death he is a suspect because he found out that she was a prostitute and very angry about it. They find the specialist who did the surgery and he is cleared of the suspect eventually. Booth and Brennan catches another prostitute who killed her friend because she thought the deceased had tried to steal her rich customer.

The Woman in the Car:

An agent from the State Department arrives at the Jeffersonian Institute to do security checks on the staff. Hodgins is offended when he learns that he isn’t perceived as a threat because he really wants to be perceived as dangerous. Overall, the lab staff just confuses the agent and she is eventually taken off her assignment when she asks Brennan classified information and Brennan makes the right call to the right person about it. During all that Booth and Brennan find a body of a woman in a car and signs that a child was kidnapped. They trace the victim and her son to Carl Decker, a man in witness protection against a weapons manufacturer that sent damaged goods to Iraq and Afghanistan and is subsequently responsible for soldiers’ death. Decker disappears and it is obvious he is looking for his son. He takes the CEO of the weapon’s manufacturer hostage but Brennan manages to calm him down with logic they both understand with their advanced minds. The boy’s finger is sent to the Jeffersonian with a warning to back off. Hodgins traces the general area where the boy is kept and Booth saves the boy and calms him down by using the safe word his father taught him.

The Superhero in the Alley

A decomposing corpse is found in an alley. Brennan establishes it as a teenage boy and he is marked as a comic book enthusiast in his superhero outfit. Booth and Brennan find a comic book store close by that is a place where fans meet and have some cosplay. The deceased, who was already dying of cancer, had his own series of books and character. They suspect the book store owner, who did the graphics for his novels, but he is proven innocent. Further investigation shows that the boy died protecting a woman he worked with when he tried to scare her husband. At his funeral, Booth honours the superhero by laying his Sniper pin on the boys’ casket.

The Woman in the Garden

Brennan and Booth investigate a dug up corpse that was found in the back of a gang member’s car. Another body turns up and it becomes a double homicide and Brennan finds the victims to be related. They investigate the wealthy employees of the victims and eventually find the killer.

The Man on the Fairway

Bones and Zack investigate crash site where Chinese diplomats and an unidentified guest, possibly a prostitute, died. Bones find fragments of a person who wasn’t in the plane but on the ground during the crash. A private investigator, Jesse Kane (Michael E. Rogers) shows up and thinks it is his missing father who was on the ground. Bones connects to him because he is an orphan too, but it is obvious she is in a better place than him. It turns out to not be his father and he asks Brennan how she copes with someone not searching. Bones gives the documents of her parents’ disappearance to Booth so someone can start again.

Two bodies in the Lab

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Two bodies arrive at the Jeffersonian – one that appears to be a victim of a serial killer Booth searched for and another that might be James Cuguni, an old mob boss. Special Agent Jamie Kenton (Adam Baldwin), the Agent who worked on the mob case, arrives to assist the investigation. Bones ignores Booth’s suspicious warnings (and a bit of jealousy) and goes on a blind date with David Simmons (Coby Ryan McLaughlin), a man she met online. She is shot at before she can meet David and he is brought in for questioning but he seems innocent. It seems clear that Bones was shot at because of one of the highly volatile cases she is working on, and Booth vows not to leave her side until they catch who was responsible. He decides to spend the night on her couch to be by her side, but he ends up in hospital when her refrigerator door blows up in his face. Kenton promises to keep her safe but Booth realises what is happening – to distract Booth, Kenton made a victim appear like a serial killer case to shift his focus while the corrupt Kenton went and tried to either mislead or murder Bones. When he realised that she is way too clever to be distracted, he knew he had to kill her. He ties her up and nearly gives her the gruesome death his other victim suffers but the seriously injured Booth arrives and frees her.

Helen Bronson (Mary Mara), a documentary filmmaker, is found dead at the bottom of a shaft tunnel beneath Washington. Bones establishes Helen didn’t die from the fall. Brennan and Booth find an underground society. Their leader, Harold Overmeyer (Glenn Plummer) is an ex-soldier who can’t move on from what he saw in the war and who also holds himself responsible for the victim’s death. Booth and Brennan discover that the underground tunnels contain priceless treasure and that Helen was murdered because she discovered it and someone else wanted it. Booth and Brennan set to find who knew Helen had discovered the treasure and catch the killers trying to take the treasure, and afterwards they take Harold back to his underground friends and he is happy again.

The Skull in the Desert

Angela is on vacation with her photographer boyfriend in the desert. He goes missing and a skull arrives on the sheriff’s porch. Angela calls Brennan and she flies down to New Mexico and confirms the worst – that it is Angela’s boyfriend. Booth rocks up and Sheriff Dawes (James Parks) is upset about it but when he learns that his sister was with the photographer before he died he allows Booth to help with the investigation. A drug syndicate is uncovered and the team races against time to save the Sheriff’s sister while Angela deals with her boyfriend’s horrible death.

The man with the Bone

Booth brings to Brennan a 300 year old bone that may have belonged to Blackbeard. The team gets excited at the thought of pirates and treasures, and Hodgins is only too eager to dive down to collect samples. He befriends Dane McGinnis (Rodney Rowland), a site worker who shares his love for treasure. The team really gets excited when a skeleton is found at the site and they set to date the body. With all indications pointing towards their expected time period, everyone is excited. The body is stolen from the lab and all hell breaks loose. Bones is furious at what happened and wants the skeleton found. Dr. Goodman tracks the theft to a security guard and he is questioned. The bones were planted at the site and everyone is outraged. When their likeliest suspect is dead, they need to look at new avenues and Hodgins nearly pays the price.

Brennan wakes up in a bloody scene and can’t remember what happened to her. She is badly beaten and calls Booth to help her. He arrives in New Orleans and the voodoo priests tell her that Hurricane Katrina was caused by evil voodoo priests. The lab staff at the Jeffersonian calls her with results on a skeleton she can’t remember she sent and she knows it is a clue to her attack. Everything around her points to dark magic but even when Bones becomes a suspect for murder she refuses to believe it was supernatural. In the end her simple use of intellect helps her find the murderer.

The Graft in the Girl

FBI Deputy Director Sam Cullen’s daughter is dying from a form of lung cancer Brennan questions because it prevalent in older people. Investigation reveals that the bone graft she received came from a sick donor and that the company that supplied it has disappeared. More patients who received grafts from the same body are tested for cancer. Although it is too late for Cullen’s daughter, Booth and Bones search for the guilty parties and help the other patients with early detection. Angela does something beautiful and gives Cullen’s daughter a visual tour of the Louvre, something the young artist will never see now because of her cancer.

The Soldier on the Grave

A soldier’s grave is vandalised in what seems a protest suicide the day before he was supposed to be honoured. Bones finds that he was deceased was murdered and that he served in the same troupe as the soldier in the grave. Booth relieves a lot of horrors of his own time in the army and struggles to deal objectively with the case. They investigate the entire troupe and realise that something happened when they were in Iraq that is causing every person that was there to die. Bones manages to console Booth when he reveals some of the things he did in the army by listening to what Angela said that compassion and a simple touch is sometimes the only things that are needed to save a situation.

The Woman in Limbo

Bones is running around as usual, late for everything, when an image Angela created stops her in her tracks. It is her mother, and the devastated Bones insist that it is wrong. Booth opens a case and tries to console Bones. He fetches her estranged brother Russ (Lorean Dean) to help with the investigation. He tells Bones the truth – her parents changed their identities to get away from their lives as high class bank robbers. Russ works with Angela to create a sketch of a man his father pointed out as dangerous when he was a child – Vince McVickers, a man that was in a violent heist gang that turned witness to protect himself. Booth arrests him for carrying weapons and for killing Bones’ mother when they find a weapon that could have killed her. McVickers casts doubt on Max Brennan’s integrity by claiming it was him that killed her mother, not McVickers. The episode ends with a phone message from Max Brennan telling them to stop searching for him.

Rating: 6.5/10

I liked Bones Season One. It came through as a strong pilot and had everything needed to keep people watching. I felt drawn to it because obviously I love the lab side. The characters are strong and colourful and girl power rocks this show. I like Brennan’s unapologetic outlook on life and her confidence in what she believes in. She is so strong minded and she is such a good role model for girls.

Best episode: The Superhero in the alley, Two Bodies in the Lab, The Soldier on the Grave.

Worst episode: The Skull in the Desert. It should have been Angela’s shining moment but Michaela Conlin’s performance fell through.

What irritated me

Bones touching her hair with gloves on. That is DISGUSTING. Why don’t you just contaminate yourself and the bones already?!

The eating in the lab. YEUCH!

Michaela Conlin really is a mediocre actress. She does improve as the show progresses, but she is honestly not the cream of the crop.

The first bunch of episodes ends lamely. Sometimes the episode didn’t even have an obvious villain and end, and when they did there weren’t even arrests or anything.

The overtime these people gladly work

What I loved

The seriously beautiful lab. I would give a kidney to work in a place like that.

The way the characters interact reminds me of how people in the lab really talk to each other.

The characters are funny and intelligent and awkward. I love Hodgins’s short temper, paranoia and conspiracy theories, Angela’s sweet and kind nature, everything about Booth, Bones’ sarcasm, brains and social inadequacy, Zack’s nerdiness and awkwardness. I love how Dr. Goodman tries to manage them but ultimately accept they are experts and should be indulged.

The relationship between Bones and Booth. It is obvious from the start that there is something special between them and that it is inevitable that they end up together. I love how they learn to tolerate each other, and then understand each other and then move towards friendship at the end of season one.

Conclusion

Bones season one is worth the watch but the following seasons need more solid plotlines for the cases. Worth the watch, especially for the significantly more glamorised view of lab life.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

 

4 thoughts on “Series Review: Bones Season 1 (2005-2006)

  1. nice recaps Natasha. Haven’t seen any of those episodes in years, but your synopsis’ helped me reminisce. Love watching this show even after so many years

  2. Pingback: Series Review: Bones Season 2 | Life of this city girl

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