BONES Recap: ‘The Bump in the Road’

April 9, 2012 by  

Hey, Bones fans! From dirty diapers to competitive couponing to love in the lab, this episode leaves much to be discussed, so let’s get to it.

THE CASE:

The Scene of the Crime: A vacationing family is traveling down the highway when they run over something and all their luggage falls off the top of their car. While gathering their things, they discover a mangled body. Brennan, Cam and Booth arrive to the scene and Brennan realizes the victim’s head is not with the body. At the lab, they determine her body was dragged by a semi-truck

The Victim: Barb, an extreme couponer. Her identity is not discovered until halfway through the episode. Known for getting vicious–especially when a good deal was on the line, Barb was competitive and disliked by local Field Market store employees Chad and Crystal.

Potential Suspects and Motives: Genevieve Shaw provides Booth with the information that a weigh station existed a mile past where Barb’s body was found. Considering her body suffered from dragging, they are able to determine which semi-truck she was stuck too. Booth and Brennan question the driver, and Brennan finds Barb’s head beneath the truck. GROSS!!!

Booth talks to Barb’s husband Dale who shows him the ‘spoils’ of Barb’s coupon victories, and he also questions Chad and Crystal, especially when Chad has footage of Crystal attacking Barb. Crystal insists she didn’t kill Barb–but that one of her couponing friends might have.

At the lab, Finn, Cam, Hodgins, Angela and Brennan work together to determine that cause of death occurred by a blow to the head before Barb was caught under the semi-truck. Meanwhile, Booth and Sweets check out the coupon club. They meet Rhonda Fitzsimmons, Barb’s couponing rival. Her coupon box fits the possible murder weapon, but when Booth brings her to the FBI building, she has an alibi in the form of a stack of receipts.

Shaw tells Booth that her alibi checks out and also tells him that while Barb was pinching pennies, Dale was racking up high credit card bills while taking other women out to dinner. Booth questions him, and he admits to cheating but insists he didn’t kill his wife.

The Verdict: When a bit of blood on the skull turns out to be purple ink, Brennan realizes she knows what the murder weapon was. She and Booth arrive to the supermarket, finding Chad with his purple pen and aluminum clipboard. Brennan finds a piece of bone fragment, and Booth arrests him. Remember the end of Passenger in the Oven, where it’s weird that B&B were flirting and bantering while the murdering kid sat a few rows back? This episode felt like that. Booth is carting Chad away, but he and Brennan still bantered about organic wipes and beer nuts. It’s another example of how callous the show has become toward its victims at times, and once again the writers gets away with case hijinks by creating a victim no one actually liked.

THE SQUINTS:

Most of the squint action in this episode revolved around Finn ‘keeping company’ with Cam’s daughter Michele. I’m not a Finn fan, though I did like him a lot better in this episode than in “Hot Dog in the Competition”. My favorite Finn line was when he described Baby Christine as “cuter than a junebug in a jumpsuit”. Well, yes, she is cute.

Cam’s character is often written very inconsistently and…well, unattractively, I guess is the right word. Here, she lies for Finn to get Lily off his back, and she is also unprofessional toward Finn when he starts dating Michele. She also is controlling toward Michele and her future, but props to Michele for standing up to Cam about it.

Hodgins and Angela also both had something to say about Finn and Michele, and they are pro-love, it seems. I like that they stood up to Cam about Finn’s ‘past’ (I really hope this is the last episode where THAT is brought up), and while working the case, I laughed when Angela teased Hodgins about pudding conspiracies. Hodgins does like pudding, so it worked.

I also liked the Angela moment with Brennan, when Brennan finds out that Angela has snuck Michael into the lab during the day. It was an honest moment between the two–they didn’t necessarily have the same opinions, but I felt no judgment from either of them.

Sweets was perfectly fine helping Booth with the case, and honorary squint Genevieve Shaw gets a mention here too. I particularly liked her scenes with Booth (as I always do), and it’s interesting to hear that she has a son of her own. I am not sure if that will come up at any other point this season, but it is interesting…that is for sure.

BOOTH & BRENNAN:

The episode began with B&B in their lovely (nice work, set design team!) home, getting ready for Brennan’s first day at work. Booth says that Christine (nice work, baby casting team!) winked at him, but Brennan says she’s not developed enough to do that voluntarily. Booth then suggests that she could be like Brennan, brilliant and crazy about him. Haha! I liked that. Brennan winks at him, and he winks back at her. When Brennan takes Christine, she also thinks the baby winked at her. Very cute all around.

Throughout the episode, we find out that Booth used his FBI powers to do research on the daycare director, and Brennan keeps very close tabs on Christine, insisting on receiving a picture of her baby every hour. And as the episode ended, Brennan is holding her baby once again while she sleeps. Booth suggests putting her in the crib, but Brennan confesses she can’t. She missed Christine too much (very awesome stuff from Emily Deschanel there!) that day. Booth worries that maybe she’s gone back to work too quickly, but Brennan says no–the work she does is important, and she does it for Christine now, too. But she IS going to sneak her into the lab.

I liked when Booth said he was there for Brennan and for Christine too. If it feels too ‘partnerly’, it’s not necessarily a bad thing, I guess. B&B had a lot of fierce affection and protective instincts for one another as partners, so if that is what is happening now, then so be it. And I’m glad that the title of this episode, The Bump in the Road, had nothing to do with B&B.

Okay, enough from me. Thoughts from you? Did you like this case? How do you feel about Finn & Michele? Were you surprised by Shaw’s admission? And what are your thoughts on Brennan’s reaction to Christine, and Booth’s reaction to Brennan? There is more to discuss of course, and the comments are open! Sound off!

Filed under #1 featured, Bones

Comments

23 Responses to “BONES Recap: ‘The Bump in the Road’”

  1. Jillian on April 9th, 2012 10:26 pm

    Again. Sarah, I disagree with you about you think B&B are just partners. They are completely in love and just because they aren’t all over each other in every episode doesn’t mean they aren’t in love. They freakin’ get a full visual of each other in the shower and they flirt in front of the baby. The winking and “brilliant and crazy about me.” Loved the episode.

  2. 1mars on April 9th, 2012 10:43 pm

    I think Booth & Brennan are advancing their relationship/family at the exact correct rate. They are protective of each other and Christine, remembering when I had my baby, my feelings for my husband were not sexual but v. close/romantic. The Finn/Michelle romance is boring, more teenage angst, Michelle doesn’t seem to remember how much Cam does care for her and tries to protect her because she obviously cant make a rational decision when a cute guy comes around.

  3. Shep on April 9th, 2012 10:46 pm

    I can’t really agree on the partners thing either, I’m afraid. I will admit that the end, Brennan and Booth grocery shopping while they had the suspect in custody was a tad bit over the top, but I don’t think that’s a sign that the show has become callous. Yes, it did seem that no one liked the victim, but sometimes people are jerks. Do they deserve to die? No, but sometimes they do and the result is similar to what we saw here.

    I will say that the overall case itself seemed lacking, but my new found love for Finn Abernathy seems to have temporarily put me in a haze.

  4. Jillian on April 9th, 2012 10:57 pm

    @1mars I agree. I don’t have kids, but I think their interaction is very realistic with what’s happening in their relationship right now. They have a six week old baby. They are going to be crazy, romantically all over each other. Chances are, with a season 8 now, we will probably get episodes that are more focused on their sexual relationship when the baby is older, but not right now. They flirted in front of the baby and basically admitted that they get fill visual of each other in the shower! That’s more than enough for me right now.

  5. Owl on April 9th, 2012 11:16 pm

    The writers making the victims unlikable and therefore that explains away a lack of sympathy: YES. I’m really starting to get frustrated by it… because I know the Bones writers can do better. I also know that they can make a victim unlikable but the killer likable and more sympathetic, and therefore the emotional weight still carries. I wanted it to in this episode… but it didn’t. I think if the victim had been a parent coupon-ing to say, be able to feed her kids after crazy medical bills would have made her more sympathetic (and it would have fit with the overall parenthood B-plot theme of the episode). They went for the easy vs the right again.

    The fact that the victim died in my second hometown was interesting. Usually it’s misrepresented as a small town (which it’s not). The people weren’t as friendly, though.

    Special Agent Shaw made me happy. It was the first time I guess I understood her character. Eager-to-please characters get old fast for me (Daisy), but this explains her motivation, and I like that. I also respect her professionalism — it was a nice contrast to Angela hiding Michael (so cute!) that set a nice tone in the more “family” moments of the episode, especially the last scene.

    As for the young couple… I enjoy them (esp the bluegrass part).

    I really liked Booth and Brennan just leaning against each other at the end. Body language speak volumes (especially with those two characters), and I’d have to say that I really love those moments — not that I didn’t before, but that “I feel comfortable with us” posture just speaks volumes, especially in characters that can be so physically… jumpy.

    Theme: easy vs right again. Young intern love, parenting, and hitting people on the head hard enough to make them hide under a truck, cheating on a spouse (anyone else sick of running into this as a motive on TV?)….

    Did I laugh? Yes. Baby poop revenge that isn’t revenge with nerdy parents is amazing. Did I cry? No… almost did when Finn talked to Cam about dating her daughter and at the very end when Brennan didn’t want to put her daughter down (so pretty, too!). Did I think? Given the fact that it’s taken me as long as it has to write this… yes, it did. Pretty good.

  6. ProfeJMarie (Janet Rundquist) on April 9th, 2012 11:46 pm

    I was a bit disappointed with the case on this one – maybe it was because I wasn’t pulled into the victim… but I didn’t feel sorry for the victim last week, either, and it was much more interesting. I honestly don’t necessarily need to try to put together clues in this show, but I like it when the evidence is interesting and the interrogations equally so. This case was simply… lacking.

    Have the sympathetic victims been fewer this season? I don’t actually remember… when it is balanced, I do like that. It’s possible that it might be imbalanced this season so far.

    Finn’s southern affectations were much more toned down this time, and I am ever so happy about that. Probably still too many colloquialisms, but at least the accent wasn’t as thick and I did like hearing him referring to Hodgins as Thurston again at one point. Fantastic nickname. The romantic storyline might have been a bit overdramatic… standing his ground in the end was good… better if he had pointed out that firing him for dating Cam’s daughter would have been unethical and inappropriate.

    Cam’s nervousness made sense. I didn’t like how she handled it and she was wrong, but I get it. It also, however much I dislike it, fits her character – consistent.

    Shaw was great. Love that new character.

    Adorableness in the first scene… and loved Brennan’s wink to show that she is, indeed, crazy about Booth. I thought everything about B/B worked well in this episode from beginning to end. This and the last episode, to me, have been their strongest of the season – where I actually DO feel that they are finally together, but still *them*.

  7. BB on April 10th, 2012 12:06 am

    It’s hard to root for Bones and Booth if they don’t root for the victims with the same intensity and compassion that they used to. That’s what hooked me in season 1, and for all the debates about Booth vs Bones, I’ve always liked that they shared this fundamental humanity (before Bones had to relearn all those lessons of course). But as the comments and review point out, the case is a perfunctory excuse now.

    And if the show is going to rely so heavily on the comedy part of the dramedy, it’s got to be actually funny.

  8. MAC on April 10th, 2012 3:38 am

    Did anyone else notice B&B’s sofas were switched during the episode. The blue was was on the right at the beginning of the show and the brown one was on the right at the end???

  9. Shrie on April 10th, 2012 4:49 am

    Sloppy editing if true on sofas.

    I don’t understand all this defensive explanation of what’s realistic in a relationship. I though BB was all about defying and exceeding the conventional relationship arc. Certainly as a narrative. I mean, paint drying is realistic, it’s not worth a storyline.

    I agree, if BB are romantically settled and happy, etc, whatever. But they really need to up their game on other parts of the show.

    I like TM in anything, since the godawful Waterworld to Veronica Mars. Hope she settles into a good show.

  10. BB&B on April 10th, 2012 5:34 am

    Next week’s promo- wacky lingerie shopping as glimpse into BB’s sex life?!
    WTF?!
    What is happening to this show? Seriously, is this a big FU to the mythic porn loving audience?

    Oy, now that’s a romance killer. I just hope it’s not as 2 1/2 Men as it looks right now.

  11. SueK on April 10th, 2012 10:26 am

    There were several “bumps” along the road in this episode. Over the years there have been many victims on the show that were not particularly likeable. In this case (take that both ways) there was not really enough information about the victim, so little I can’t even remember her name, to form any opinion either way. OK, the grocery store people didn’t like her, her husband was cheating and her coupon fanatic rival was PO’ed. Perhaps 30 seconds could have been spared to point out that the poor vic should be pitied for her pathetic obsession rather than implying she deserved what she got (where’s Sweets when you really need him?).

    Enough of that. Both executive producers have stated, more that once, that the show will not devolve into all babies all the time. I am as much as shipper as anyone, but (like however) we have the opening teaser with BBB (cute), at least 4 conversations, with photos, about the day care center, one scene in the day care center, Brennan and Angela conversation about sneaking their babies into the lab, two more conversations about organic baby wipes, Agent Shaw’s revelation (although I really like her so I’ll give that a pass). Then BB grabbing wipes as they arrest the perp DuJour and the closing with Brennan vowing to sneak baby Bones into the lab. Add that with Finn and Michelle’s new found relationship, all of maybe two days old, and I guess something had to get short shrift. Too bad it was the case. I am beginning to empathize with the “old” Clark. Can we get some separation between personal and business?

    Perhaps, since this was the first episode after the introduction of BBB, the writers felt it necessary to focus attention on the new parents, their apprehension regarding the welfare of Christine and separation angst and things will (quickly one hopes) return to some semblance to normal.

  12. Jillian on April 10th, 2012 11:22 am

    @Shrie It was just explanation to why we didn’t see kissing in this episode. Also, the B story of this episode is supposed to be about B&B as parents and dealing with the baby and going back to work, so they aren’t just going to have them suck face randomly in the episode.

    @BB&B Booth goes shopping for lingerie because he’s trying to help Brennan get her confidence back. I can’t wait to see this. I think we are going to get a really sweet scene. And Hart also said that he wants to show a sex scene next season.

  13. B.L.T. on April 10th, 2012 12:15 pm

    I have ZERO desire to see a sex scene between BB, this season or next.
    I definitely don’t care about Bones’ underwear situation.

    Alas, I’m with BBB, based on track record, they’re going to go for cheap ‘look at us! off beat humor’ laughs. I’ll gladly come back next week and eat my words if not.

    Either that, or it’s going to be as boring as this week’s daycare subplot. I don’t care how realistic it is, loss of confidence after childbirth and lingerie shopping is boring. It’s like a corner blurb on Redbook called Tips on Spicing Things Up.

    Reminds of the Community quote from Britta:

    Jeff doesn’t need a girl who doesn’t wear underwear because Oprah told her it would spice things up. He needs a girl who doesn’t wear underwear because she hasn’t done laundry in 3 weeks. He’s been to flavor-country. They should retire the table we did it on.

    Except, the show is making Bones into the girl who listens to Oprah. When did the show decide to jumpstart Brennan’s middle age?
    I’d prefer BB having fun with late night paperwork, baby asleep, with their natural chemistry.

  14. Shrie on April 10th, 2012 12:40 pm

    I was talking about the general explanation for the “realism” of BB’s current relationship, but yes, I personally would include this week’s daycare subplot as something that’s realistic but dramatically unsatisfying.

    :) They really Britta’ed the BB romance. :)

    Thing is, I’ve loved the show and still never thought Bones was good at longer character arcs, way too many issues introduced and dropped and inconsistencies. (First and foremost the “evolution” of Brennan based on false retreaded characterization, and many many more). And it’s not like Bones gets dissected the way Mad Men or The Wire does. Rightly so, because it shouldn’t be held to those standards. (By standards, I mean just that, not an implied higher standard.)

    BUT, it’s always had a fun balance between quirky and sympathetic crimes. Plus, crazy chemistry that I hope wasn’t just UST. That’s what I loved and want more of. If we can get that back, Monday is such a good time slot for those coming off the intensity of the various Sunday night cable dramas.

  15. Shrie on April 10th, 2012 12:42 pm

    On a positive note, I think the special effects or visual effects team on Bones have been stellar through all the ups and downs. Really, really great job with the bodies and stuff. Don’t think they get enough credit (maybe they’re paid well?), but I’d bet it’s a large part of the show’s attraction.

  16. BB on April 10th, 2012 2:00 pm

    @shriev

    I understand you didn’t mean it as a diss! I know Bones itself has pride as a happy go lucky dramedy, so I don’t think it’s hating to point out the weak writing. I’d agree on weak character arcs.
    However, Bones has had great character moments, that added up to wonderful characters. And it still makes me sad to see B and B yucking it up over a crime where I never even got a sense of the victim. Apparently, victims are only props for the main cast now.

    Sad, along with House, it’s like the decline hits fans harder than casual viewers.

  17. FB on April 10th, 2012 2:04 pm

    I only wish Stephen Nathan and the staff in the writers room put as much energy into writing a solid case as they do with coming up with disgusting ways to have a skeleton discovered. When they come up with Grossest Body Find first and then try to shoehorn a case around that, it shows, and the overall quality of the episode suffers. The whole package of Bones – the case, the squints – how they work together, how they actually gave a crap, and the chemistry between B&B is what got me hooked on this show, not just the Super Gross Body Find in the first 3 minutes and the customary B&B Special Moment in the last 3 minutes. The middle 37 minutes have to actually mean something too. At one point, Brennan actually gave a s***t about her victims – the “see a face on every skull” Brennan, who wanted to be a voice for them so they could have justice, and all that. Maybe these new writers on staff – Kevin Foglesong, Jonathan Collier, etc – would have cases that actually resonated with the audience if they started with that in mind.

  18. Phillip Martinez on April 10th, 2012 2:20 pm

    It was good episode. Not the greatest, but it was good. And also, my friend, dude has never seen an episode of Bones. Why? Because he’s busy, had time yesterday and saw the episode. He said that it was a good episode. He said it could’ve been better but he liked the characters more than the actual case. And that ending, it was nice. Very heartwarming.

  19. Snow on April 10th, 2012 2:52 pm

    “see a face on every skull” Brennan, who wanted to be a voice for them

    –> Dude, that ship has sailed so far it’s only coming back from the other direction.

    Seriously, they gave that part of Brennan up because for some unfathomable reason, the writers decided the only way for Brennan to “evolve” was to make her a pod Brennan who doesn’t empathize, isn’t human, and barely speaks English. Now everyone else can take turns teaching her the meaning of being human. Such is the Power of Romantic Love.
    I can see opening herself up to personal vulnerability as a character growth for Brennan, but will never accept the overall devolution.

    Plus, bonus baby makes family! Now BB really don’t need to care about victims, until the bad guy starts coming after their own again.

    Notable exception last season was the mute girl’s story.

  20. --- on April 10th, 2012 4:48 pm

    I blame Hannah. I’m serious. ;)
    Personally (and from observation, not alone), the show never satisfactorily resolved the plotline, and that’s when it started cranking up and flinging around all the other nonsense- zany comedy, lame sentimentality, secondary character focus, etc. Like the fallout from Zack/Gormagon, fans are just expected to move on. To diminishing returns.

    BB as new parents are about as revealing as any other new parents. As in, you’re not as interesting or insightful as you think you are. And that’s regardless of how much I support newborns and parents.

    Yup, Bones *Britta*ed the show. Britta’s the worst.

  21. Snow on April 10th, 2012 5:18 pm

    Forget Community, the show needs a serving of “I’ve made a huge mistake.”

  22. Vee on April 10th, 2012 6:35 pm

    I will still faithfully watch Bones, mostly for B&B, but this was a weak episode. I kind of figured it would be, as there was too much to set up and not too many episodes left to do it in. I find that the episodes now seem more dumbed down than they used to be and feel that instead of wit and nuance there are gimmicks and formulaic segues. And yes, there was a lot more intimacy shown between them that seems to be glossed over now. Not sex, but intimacy. Case was lousy, but writing has been weak, or at least inconsistent, for some time now. Best episodes seem to be when David directs and I don’t know why that is. Even in some of the Hannah episodes though there was more intimacy and awesome “looks” between B&B. The Finn and Michelle thing is much too fast moving and a bit silly. There won’t be any quotes from this one for me. Nothing like “What is that delicious smell?” or some pithy Hodgins line. Finn’s hokey talk is annoying too – if he got the education to do this job, he knows enough to cut that out in a professional environment, sorry. Let’s see what Parker appearing brings back to Booth, and maybe restoring hormone equilibrium will bring Brennan back her mojo.

  23. GreenLine on April 14th, 2012 10:45 am

    Weak case, Weak emotions for Booth and Bones yet. I did think that Bones showed some true feelings about missing the baby during the day, if she didn’t the hue and cry would be much greater. What is sad is the lack of “chat” about the show. Even the fan sites and fanfiction for Bones is off. With the viewer stats down by about a million (7.38 mil), I see a much more bigger issue concerning this show.

    It does seem to center around weak scripts and not allowing to have Booth and Bones show a steamy scene or two. I honestly could care less about Finn and Cam’s daughter forming a relationship when the two main characters can’t seem to have a normal relationship on the emotional level. By that, I mean normal as it can be with Bones’ hangups and beliefs. Even with those concerns being played out over the top, I have no feel for them being an actual couple. Finn is a great intern, but I am just not in need of so much back story on a new character.

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