Bones: Season 6, Episode 9

The Doctor in the Photo (9 Dec. 2010)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Crime | Drama
8.8
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Ratings: 8.8/10 from 545 users  
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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... See full summary »

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Dr. Jack Hodgins (as TJ Thyne)
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Micah Leggat
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Mike Dworsky
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Dr. Adit Gadh
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Antony Truxton
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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 Fox Publicity

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9 December 2010 (USA)  »

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Enrico Colantoni and Francis Capra both starred in Veronica Mars. See more »

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The period is supposed to be October, yet the trees still have all their green leaves. See more »

Quotes

Micah Leggat: By the power invested in me by the Jeffersonian Institution, I declare you sleep deprived. There's a cab waiting to take you home to bed.
Dr. Temperance 'Bones' Brennan: Do you really have that power?
Micah Leggat: I saw a lecture with this New Age Guru type. Said the only power people exert on us is the power we allow them to exert.
Dr. Temperance 'Bones' Brennan: Well, it's incredibly stupid.
Micah Leggat: I agree. You wave a gun in my face, you've got power whether I like it or not.
Dr. Temperance 'Bones' Brennan: How - how come I understand every word you say? Always. I don't have that with anybody else. ...
[...]
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Bones's character is fleshed out, with mixed results.
10 December 2010 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

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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