Bones Review: When Three is Not Enough

Oops, they did it again.

And, in the spirit of Britney Spears, the writers keep prodding a formula that irritates with its repetitiveness as opposed to breaking new ground or offering any sort of reason to come back for more.

It’s as if they’ve fallen into some sort of pattern – one week an awkward relationship episode, the next a normal, crime solving, chemistry packed episode, which they follow up with a plot based on some pop culture reference that lands somewhere between vaguely and outright insulting.

This week, they’ve picked on the morbidly fascinating subject of sister wives. A man is murdered and left in a cornfield, and when Booth (David Boreanaz) and Bones (Emily Deschanel) begin to investigate, they discover the man has three wives. Not only are they polygamists, the three women are actually sisters in the genetic sense. Awkward. I can’t even go into the specifics of the ensuing discussions between the Booth and Bones without cringing at their stilted nature all over again, but suffice to say we get a lot of scientific arguments for polygamy from Bones until suddenly, at the end of the episode, she agrees with Booth that the deceased had been a bonehead (among other things) to think he could marry three sisters and keep everyone happy.

Not that I’m a proponent of polygamy (by any means – one spouse is certainly enough trouble for me), but as in the Jersey Shore episode, the way the writers treat the subject feels insulting and, even worse, like the pursuit of cheap laughs.

The thing is, laughing at people is mean. Good comedic writing makes us laugh with characters, a feat we know from experience Bones’ writers can accomplish, so when they pull poor quality stunts like this it makes them seem lazy.

Back to the case, though.

First they go with guns, since the victim was shot, and interview both the girls’ father (who claims to be at peace with his daughters’ choice) and a local opponent of polygamy who’s proven he’s willing to take the law into his own hands. Those leads take a backseat when they discover one of the sister wives had secretly filed for divorce after discovering their husband was cheating with a younger woman.

Once it’s determined the victim was being slowly poisoned (the number one method of homicide used by women), the investigation focused on the four women in his life. It turns out that one of the wives (a nurse) was poisoning him – but not to kill him. To spend more time with him.

That’s just…wrong. Not that most women aren’t looking for a way to spend a little more alone time with their man, but still. Don’t go getting any ideas.

In the end, it’s not the women at all, but their father. It seems he had come to terms (somewhat) with the idea of his daughters all being married to one man, but not with that one man cheating on all three of them. Or something. I can’t really believe I just typed that sentence.

In (underutilized) supporting cast news, Hannah (Katheryn Winnick) was again noticeably absent – though from the previews it does appear we’re back to the awkward relationship episode in the cycle next week, when Booth contemplates proposing. Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) and Angela (Michaela Conlin) have more sweet/sexy newly married expectant parent moments. They really are sort of adorable again. Cam (Tamara Taylor) is dating her daughter’s gynecologist (weird?) and is irritated by his inability to prioritize her over his patients. It’s nice to see Cam open up a bit, since she’s usually private about her own life and begging everyone else to follow her lead. I’m sorry to say that Sweets (John Francis Daley) wasn’t much of a factor this week either.

As a final point, I’m a little concerned that Booth is turning into a schizophrenic. A couple weeks ago he shot down Brennan’s profession of love, then tattled on her to Hannah, making it clear to anyone who would listen that he’d made his choice and intended to stick by it. Then the writers had him finish this week’s episode with the line “…you can love lots of people, but there’s always one person you love the most” while staring at Bones.

Excuse my abbreviated French, but WTF is that?

I guess we’ll have to wait and see. I’ll try to rustle up the will to care.

Season 6, Episode 12: The Sin in the Sisterhood (original air date Feb. 3, 2011)

For complete coverage of Bones, click here.

Bones airs Thursday nights at 9/8c on Fox.

Images courtesy of Fox and IMDbPro.


  1. Wow! Thank you for saying what I’ve been trying to say since last Thursday. Booth is either schizo or totally arrogant either way Brennan needs someone free to love her and has his head on right.

  2. Wow! Thank you for saying what I’ve been trying to say since last Thursday. Booth is either schizo or totally arrogant either way Brennan needs someone free to love her and has his head on right.

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