Brennan gets a glimpse into her own life when the body of a brilliant and career-driven surgeon is found in a rough neighborhood with multiple fractures in her skull and no indication as to how or why she was there. While the team investigates the case objectively, Brennan struggles to separate her own life from the victim's as she perceives many parallels between them the more she learns about the victim's past. Meanwhile, evidence found at the crime scene brings the team closer to solving the case, but it's Brennan's unique perspective that propels her to retrace the final events of the victim's life. With the reassurance of a new friend and Jeffersonian security guard, Micah Leggat, Brennan makes a discovery about herself and learns a lesson about taking chances. Written by
The tree the victim was found under was stated as a "Cornus Florida", a flowering Dogwood tree, which it clearly is not. The long, thick trunk and the gathered branches higher on the tree are not traits of the dogwood tree. See more »
Bones's character is fleshed out, with mixed results.
I liked the attempt in this off-beat episode to go deeper into the character of Bones, with good thesping by Emily Deschanel providing the required stretch. Unfortunately, it falls short of classic status by cheating the audience in several ways.
The gimmick is to have Deschanel essentially play a dual role: the latest victim vaguely resembles her and she gradually becomes irrational (WAY out of character), identifying with the stiff in very self-destructive fashion. This permits the writers to cleverly comment on Bones' personality as developed over six seasons, and even delve explicitly into the series' basic premise, namely the unresolved sexual tension between Bones and co-star David Boreanz's character.
This all earns a big E for effort, but along the way too many corners are cut. We're presented with a photo of (I assume, correct me if I'm wrong) Deschanel as the victim, yet only she recognizes it as herself; the rest of the cast is bewildered at her "that's me!" reaction. A similar cheat is having the oft-played tape recordings (a phony gimmick) of the femme surgeon-victim spoken with Deschanel's voice and exact intonation.
Of course, we're supposed to assume that all this is taking place in Bones's head, though the episode is otherwise depicted realistically. At one point sleep deprivation is floated as a possible reason for her weird behavior. But I found it very difficult to sustain my natural willingness to believe the unbelievable (even with "Fringe" coming up next on the tube - a show which flaunts this!) given the episode's moving Bones so far (and so quickly) from her long-established personality.
No, this was not the fashionable "jump the shark" turning point in the series. But as intriguing as it was to watch, it represented a missed opportunity to actually delve into the depths of an all-too one-dimensional character (as usually presented week after week), falling back on gimmickry. Not surprising, because the most popular TV shows and movies of the last few years are all about gimmicks, not substance, and the fans eat it up.
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