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

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bones: The Verdict in the Story

"Friends don't let friends' fathers go to the electric chair." -- Angela, on why she wouldn't testify against Bones' dad

Doubt. A word that many of I use in some context at least once a day. We don't doubt it, we doubt it happened or, used in a positive manner, we prove that there isn't any doubt about it. In the legal world the word has a much more powerful connotation. Should a shred of doubt exist during a criminal trial, there is always that slim chance that the judge or jury will see past the crime of the defendant and rule in the opposite manner.

Sometimes, the physical evidence that the prosecution provides is the reason for doubt. Other times, it is the testimony of the witnesses that causes the judge or jury to think. Then, there are those times where doubt is seeded by the team of lawyers who are trying to get their client off.

Finally, there are those very rare occasions where the doubt is provided by the client's daughter. Guess which type of doubt was used in this episode of Bones?

What an interesting development in the case of Max Keenan. I knew that he was the one who murder the Deputy FBI director -- heck, even the evidence (once the actual murder weapon was found) showed that Max was the killer. And, it seemed almost a certainty that he was going to find a spot on Death Row. Yet, Bones came through with a ploy that cast the smallest bit of doubt onto her father. It was enough for the jury to render a 'Not Guilty' verdict that set Max free.

The ploy was interesting: get the jury to believe that Bones could have potentially been the one performed the murder, disemboweled the corpse and lit it on fire. Look, I know Temperance, Booth knows Bones, and the Squints know Dr. Brennan. While she can be cold and analytical she is definitely not a Dexter. Yet, the jury didn't know that. And, with that tiny seed of doubt planted in their minds, the absolute guilt of Max Keenan wasn't as absolute any more.

She could probably thank Booth for giving her the idea in the first place. He was the one who told her that Max's story could be embellished (without perjuring herself) to the point where reasonable doubt could be established. Granted, he told Bones to shutdown her brain and use her heart as the motivator; however, this is Bones I'm talking about. When has Temperance ever been able to totally shutdown her brain? If she did that for her father, the results may not have been as positive.

This surprise ending was one of many strange and wonderful things that took place in this change-of-pace episode of Bones. It was almost a certainty that the weekly mystery element was going to be pushed aside for this pretty important event in Bones' life. No issues here, since Bones is one of those shows that can have an one-off episode without throwing the whole rhythm. It was actually refreshing to get away from some of the blood and gore that are common for this show.

Also interesting was the dynamic that this week's installment provided. Instead of Bones working together with Booth, her fellow Squints, and Sweets, she was working against them as they were all witnesses for the prosecution. Not willing witnesses, mind you, but expert witnesses nonetheless. The most unwilling of witnesses was Angela, who decided outright not to testify against Max. A decision that landed her in jail for the rest of the episode.

The best thing about this episode is that it featured the entire immediate and secondary members of the Bones family. In addition to the Squints, who had a different look to them outside of the lab, there was Max, Tempy's brother Russ, Caroline Julian in all of her grumpy glory, and even Ernie Hudson, reprising his role as David Barron.

Even Sweets had a bigger role than normal this week, and really exhibited some of his more immature tendencies by answering a number of questions with 'Totally.' It looks like Sweets will have a bigger role next season as he becomes a backup interrogator for Booth and Bones. Sweets is a good fit into the Bones cast and works well with Booth and Brennan. Plus, they like him.

No comments: