"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Bones: Spaceman in a Crater

This episode opened with one of the most grisly crime scenes I've seen on TV. After watching many Bones and who knows how many CSI episodes, it takes a lot to shock me with a crime scene. The exploded spaceman in the crater was just enough to do it. Seriously, that was just gross. Kudos to the behind the scenes folks that put that together.

The exploded spaceman, who turned out to be Colonel Howard, did end up presenting an interesting case for the team to solve. The bone loss, due to demineralization (I hope I have that right, I have Booth's capacity for understanding what the squints are talking about) was an interesting twist. I liked that it kicked off the alien angle, because I'm fascinated with all of that stuff. It did bring up one small complaint with the episode.

Zack estimated how much time in space the subject would have had to account for the level of bone loss, or bone rot as Booth called it. They matched that up with the time that Colonel Howard had been up. That's all well and good, but it doesn't really jibe with Dr. Pascal's story about how well the bone replacement therapy was going. I would have preferred some confusion because Howard had been in space for long enough that there should have been more bone loss, leading to the revelation of the implant and the therapy. A small complaint though, because the rest of the mystery actually worked really well.

Commander Adams was an obvious suspect, for the simple reason that he was getting the spot vacated by Howard. However, when Bones pointed out to Booth that Howard could have seen some classified weapon, or any number of things, while up in space, it did cloud the situation. The fact that Nina Sanbourne came off as so cold and calculating helped in that regard. I could have gone along for a ride that found the National Space Agency taking Howard out because he was going to blow the whistle.

That possibility also presented a perfect opportunity for Jack (Hodges) to release a little of that inner paranoia. It's one of my favorite things about his character. You could just see him getting wound up when he started in about how they had to go repair the telescope, "again." I also liked his annoyance at how the aliens are grey, not green.

The Space Travel Coalition was another effective bit of misdirection. The fact that Howard was working for a guy that has been abducted multiple times, had an implant, had an implant taken out, etc. cast enough doubt on him, and the STC to float yet another possibility for what could have happened. It's also interesting, and perfectly in character, that Jack already has his seat reserved.

And speaking of Jack, what do you make of Angela's crazy proposal requirements? You had to feel for the guy. It was a very sweet moment, and he really laid it all out there, only to be told, "No." That's a tough situation, but I thought he handled it well. I don't understand her reasoning any more than Jack does, but I like the Angela/Jack relationship. They are good together and it adds a bit of an ongoing story to the episodes that otherwise usually stand on their own.

Another bit of the ongoing story that stuck out to me in this episode is the change in Bones. Her time with Booth has softened her edge somewhat, and it was shown by just how cold and calculating Zack is. Cam's bewilderment at how he could just completely ignore the person that Howard was in his eagerness to strip the flesh from his bones reminded me of just how off-putting some of Bones' actions were early in the series.

Overall, this was another really good episode. A good mystery for the team, some crazy Jack paranoia, and the exploded spaceman all added up.

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