BONES Recap: 'The Shot in the Dark' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

BONES Recap: ‘The Shot in the Dark’

February 11, 2013 by  

Hey, BONES Fans! Well, here it is, the much-anticipated “Shot in the Dark” episode. Not that any of us wants Brennan to be shot, but it certainly provides for an interesting storyline. Is it bad that the idea of Brennan getting shot made me really want to see Booth all tense and angsty and Boothy?  If that’s bad, I don’t want to be good. Speaking of good, let’s discuss the episode!


The Scene of the Crime: The episode begins at the lab, with Brennan and the team already working over a set of remains that appear to have been pushed from a bridge. The victim is still quite fleshy, and since it will be a few hours before the skeleton is ready to be examined, Brennan leaves the lab for the day, with the plan to come in later that night.

The episode flashes to Booth and Brennan at home with Christine. They have an argument when Booth suggests a family camping trip. Brennan counters that Christine won’t remember any of the trip, so why bother. When Booth gets angry and Brennan says she doesn’t want to fight in front of Christine, he uses her argument against her — that it doesn’t matter, since Christine won’t have any memory of the event. They argue further, Booth stating he wishes she were a little more spontaneous, causing Brennan to take him up on that by leaving to go back to the lab to work.

She works on the victim’s skeleton and also talks to a (seemingly regular) security guard, Hal Bennett. After she puts on some magnification glasses, she is shot and wounded while working.

The Victim: Thankfully Brennan, while a shooting victim, did not suffer fatal blows. Hal, the security guard, was also shot by the killer, however, and while Brennan recovers in the hospital, the rest of the team works together with Sweets and Agent Sparling to figure out who the killer was and what connection he had with Hal and their existing victim, who is determined to be Johannes Groot.

The Case Progression: Neither Brennan nor Hal have bullets nor exit wounds in their systems. The mystery stumps the surgeons, who manage to bring Brennan back after flatlining and the Jeffersonian team, who try to figure out how Brennan and Hal were shot. During Brennan’s experience, she sees (or visits/hallucinates, depending on your view) her deceased mother, Christine Brennan, in her childhood home.

Meanwhile, Sweets and Sparling check out Groot’s apartment for evidence. They find small confetti type paper, the result of a taser. The confetti had numbers on it, and the team is able to trace it back to Hal, leading them to believe that whoever shot at Brennan had reason to suspect she was going to reveal their identity. Hal’s death remains a mystery, especially because the security records from the Jeffersonian don’t show any strange activity. Booth, Sweets and Sparling question Jeffersonian employees who were in the building the night of the murder.

Hodgins suggests that the killer used an ice bullet — something that had never before been successful. He begins to test the theory, but comes up short. When Brennan has a strange reaction in the hospital to some strange blood in her system, Hodgins wonders if the killer used a frozen bullet of blood. These tests prove successful.

When Clark identifies flecks of wood and gold paint in Hal’s cranial remains, the team checks into some Jeffersonian antiquities. One employee has a set of tools, including a small, narrow tube object used as a weapon. Hodgins finds a small vat for cryogenics, and so Booth brings the man in for questioning.  He and his lawyer are smug, causing Booth to get very angry.

The Verdict: Brennan goes back into surgery to determine if the blood found in her system is a match for the blood found in Hal’s body. It is a match, and Booth tells her that the Jeffersonian employee has been arrested for Hal’s murder.


I really liked how the Jeffersonian team rallied together to solve this case. It wasn’t overly emotional, despite Brennan’s emergency, and I appreciate that. Some of my favorite moments:

  • Cam being in the OR when Brennan had her surgery and being able to tell Booth everything was going to be okay.
  • Clark telling Sweets that “Danger” is his middle name, only to follow up and admit that it’s really Thomas. Sweets’ “Your name’s Thomas Edison” was a perfect, deadpan line with fantastic delivery.
  • Angela visiting Brennan at the hospital.
  • Hodgins’ experiment and ultimate solution with the ice > blood bullets.

There were a couple of misses, like how Angela is the one who told Cam and Hodgins about Brennan’s recovery, but then Cam mentions Brennan’s statement that she felt cold at the bullet wound site (something Brennan had only told Booth a moment before), and I’m still not quite convinced by Sweets and Sparling. Won’t get into a Daisy comparison, but where I actually don’t mind Agent Sparling that much, the “banter” between Sweets and the FBI agent just did not work, in my opinion. It was too awkward. On the other hand, I did like the way he admitted to her that he thought every possible suspect seemed guilty. What a sweet sort of admission of affection for Brennan. And I liked when she told him his objectivity was compromised, which is true. What did you think? Are we supposed to care about their relationship?


Well, I definitely got my “Angsty Booth” wish, and it was as wonderful as I anticipated. David Boreanaz is so great at that part of Booth’s character (and God bless that suit tailor). One of my favorite moments was the scene when Brennan was being taken back into surgery for a second time. Booth’s face was tortured and loving, and Brennan’s was calm and reassuring, but also appreciative of his concern and love for her. It reminded me of the end scene in season 4’s “Critic in the Cabernet” — a nice flipped moment. Loved the soft kiss they shared as well.

I believe that B&B have arguments, and as far as fights go, this one seemed pretty realistic. But the idea that Brennan being shot needed to be more traumatic to either one of them because they’d had a fight that day seemed overkill (no pun intended). B&B could have a perfect moment and still feel as tortured if one or the other was shot. Every line like “we had a fight” that sort of piled on the guilt of one or the other was just mawkish, in my opinion. I’m glad it wasn’t taken so far that there was a lesson learned or anything like that, but it was still a little annoying.

As far as the Brennan scenes with her mother…I’m torn. I thought Christine Brennan was a very unlikable character — she was rude and negative toward Brennan in a way that just rubbed me wrong. I guess it’s possible that the writers wanted us to see Christine as a figment of Brennan’s imagination, meaning every character flaw that Christine pointed out in Brennan was actually her own self-judgment. If so, clever, but I am not convinced that was the intent.

I’m not sure if it was in the writing or the delivery or just in the fact that everyone else sort of seems to pale in comparison to Emily Deschanel’s (Brennan) subtle acting or what…but it didn’t quite work for me. The idea was good, and I very much liked the idea that Christine had told young Temperance to use her brain and not her heart — advice Brennan then took on for many, many years.

Emily Deschanel was amazing in those scenes, the controlled fear in Brennan, the analytical way Brennan understood what was happening to her (and that she didn’t have a bullet in her in “dream” world), and in the sadness she felt at the sight and memory of her mother. But I thought it was uncool of Christine Brennan to compare her leaving Brennan (and Russ) to Brennan being shot and (temporarily) taken from baby Christine.

On the other hand, the hospital scenes with Brennan, Booth and Max were very good. It was nice that Brennan and Booth didn’t fight over her flat-lining experiences but just had different opinions of what occurred, each one acceptable to the other.

Ryan O’Neal (Max) blew me out of the water with his portrayal of happy, concerned father and sad husband. The nuances in his reactions in those scenes can only come from a deep skillset, and I found myself smiling as tears ran down my face at his acting. Very well done!

My favorite moment in the entire episode was the look on Booth’s face as Brennan came out of her second surgery. It was perfect, and it’s just that look he gets when he loves her so much. I loved that Max quickly gave them some privacy. I liked the way Booth maneuvered her hospital bed to kiss her and that Brennan teased him about it as well.

There’s a lot more to discuss, and the comments are open. What did you like about this episode? What didn’t you like? Let’s discuss!

Filed under Bones


15 Responses to “BONES Recap: ‘The Shot in the Dark’”

  1. scout on February 11th, 2013 11:12 pm

    I like you Sarah, liked this episode very much. Most of it worked well.
    Cam/Booth great scene. Mad scientist jack at his best.
    So agree that the Swarling thing isn’t working–I hope that was the point.

    I didn’t have an issue with B&B fight as the set up. Yeah it worked to get booth to the Jeff just in time. But I took it to be a trigger for brennan thinking about being a mom and therefore needing to see her mom. IDK if that was the intent of the writer but that’s how I interpreted it.

    I was especially focused on bren/mom. Yes Christine did seem “distant”–and it was purposeful rather than simply flat acting. Why direct the actor to read a book during an exchange if not to convey distance?. Maybe that is what heaven is like or maybe that is simply Brennan’s subconsious idealized view of her mom as ephemeral??

    Emily has very few equals on the screen with her so it’s sometimes hard to judge the ability of the other actors.
    I know some are conflicted because we have this image of Brennan as an awkward teen who didn’t fit in and yet Christine decribes an emotional and ‘Dreamy” Tempe. IDK I can see her trying to change herself to fit in as a 15 yr old. And certainly using her brain to protect her heart, remaining true to herself allowed her ‘to survive”. I personally don’t think it changes who I thought Brennan was or is.
    And I think the idea of wanting to see your mom one more time, to talk to her one more time–that rings so true doesn’t it?

    For me the theme of this episode was surviving vs living your life–what that will mean for brennan going forward remains to be seen doesn’t it.

    Also note–the artifact was of the Archangel Gabriel—–the messenger.

  2. E on February 12th, 2013 2:10 am

    I found te episode to be above average. I loved the parts with Brennan and her mom and with Max as well Those with Booth were good too. What did not wow me:

    Cam being in the OR
    Booth being alone at the hospital. I would expect Angel or Max to be there too before Cam being there.
    The case was boring,
    In earlier seasons they said Brennan watched her parents drive off and they even showed it, not them having a fight, her going to bed and never seeing them again.
    This episode made Brennan seem like a normal teenager and I never got that feeling in previous seasons. It seems like the writers change the character to fit the story they want to tell. No continuity.
    I expected more suspense. She was stable in minutes and it was a basic episode other than the mother scenes,
    Brennan flying out the door was just laughable and I do not think that wa the intent.
    The hug with her mother and th changing light was just strange. Not sure what that was.
    The whole Sweets and agent thing just bored me.

    In short, a good episode but not in my top ten or deserving of any awards,
    especially for sweeps. I know they can do better. I hope they show some gradual change in Brennan and not have her go backwards again.

  3. anon on February 12th, 2013 6:58 am

    IMO Panabaker really needs to go back to acting school pronto. I am embarrassed to watch her try and fail to act the FBI Agent role She is out of her depth on Bones. Please bring back Agent Jenny Shaw. Please..

  4. pam on February 12th, 2013 7:17 am

    Loved Booth. Loved Brennan. Loved Booth and Brennan together and everything that this ep highlighted about them as individuals and as a couple….Cam and Booth scene, pure awesomeness that is all……..The less said about Sweets and Sparling the better. Heavy eyeroll and cringe…..Panabaker really couldn’t act her way out of a shoebox, weak character, weak actress, imo….The main element of this ep for me was LOVE. Love from the past and the present. Love that can sustain and change you through the best and worst times. Plus Brennan saying that she felt that Booth was calling her back, imo to the world, to them pretty much sums it up for me that Booth is Brennan’s rock and tether to the real non squinty world…… their connection transcends everything… can you not love that!!!!!….David and Emily really were awesome in this ep, they shone!!!!

  5. Theresa on February 12th, 2013 9:21 am

    I think the idea of Booth and Brennan having a fight before she was shot (almost dying), was a correlation to her fight with her mother before she left (with Brennan never seeing her again). The point being that we need to treasure our loved ones while they are with us–perhaps eventually leading to a proposal of marriage from Brennan.

    And Brennan never watched her parents drive away. She watched her brother Russ drive away after her parents were already gone.

    And please, stop the Sweet’s hate! He is a part of the show and a part of the Bones “family”.

  6. Uncle Marty on February 12th, 2013 10:20 am

    Did anyone catch the fact that Clark showed up without anyone calling him in to inform him of what happened to Brennan? I think the show is setting Clark up to be something more than just a squint of the week. The writers made sure it was clear; it was Cam or Hodgins who asked the other who told Clark about Brennan being shot, and the response was something like, he just showed up here on his own.

  7. Nicole on February 12th, 2013 2:43 pm

    I don’t think you were suppose to be convinced by Sweets and Agent Sparling. They let it be known that they tried and the chemistry wasn’t there. No comparison, just didn’t work out….Awkward! There’s no relationship to care about.

    Just because you didn’t see Booth tell Cam doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. If you saw Brennan tell Booth, then Cam repeats what Brennan said…logic follows that Booth told Cam. I’m happy they didn’t use air time to show that information exchange.

  8. Jillian on February 12th, 2013 5:37 pm

    A couple of things that didn’t work for me…
    -It really lacked on continuity with Brennan and last seeing Christine. In “The Man in the Fallout Shelter,” the last time she saw her and Max was when they were leaving to go Christmas shopping and they never came back. Not having a fight and then going to bed and they were gone.
    -I have mixed feelings about how Christine described Brennan before they abandoned her. She describes her as “dreamy,” being obsessed boys and smoking. I think it could fit into the awkward teenager we heard about in previous seasons…but then, part of me thinks it doesn’t fit in.
    -I thought it was weird that Cam was in the ER.
    -I thought the case was boring.

    I loved the B&B scenes!! The way he looked at her when she was going into surgery for a second surgery, that he stayed with her at the hospital (and he was out catching a murder the whole time when Hannah got shot) or the making out in the hospital bed. They were AMAZING. Some of the best B&B scenes ever. I loved the angsty Booth too.
    -I loved angsty Booth.

  9. Amanda Hansen on February 12th, 2013 5:45 pm

    Emily D is the best when she has to portray subtle nuances of a character. She does it with such ease that we don’t notice how good she is. David B is just wonderful to watch as he crafts Booth’s character. One thing I did like was baby Christine. Her reaction when her Mom leaves the house was really cute. HUH!!! where is she going DAD? Then when they get to the Jeffersonian her reaction was so sad. She knew her mom was hurt. That made me cry. Max was really good in this also. I loved the way he gave B&B time when Brennan indicated she needed to talk to Booth. One thing I wish we could have seen is the three of them together, and babies reaction to her mom. Not enough time. The Sweets Sparling thing is dead. YEAH. I believe they meant to do that myself. Hodgins–TJ is just so awesome in his role and delivers every time. The story line was good not great but good and I really thought we might see evidence that it was Pelant but it didn’t turn out that way. I was happy to see Booth take that dirt bag down a notch or two when he slammed him into the wall. Brennan and her mom scenes were interesting. Gives some depth and information into Bones and the way she looks at her life before losing her parents. Love the show and the actors. Thanks for all the comments.

  10. Jillian on February 12th, 2013 9:16 pm

    @Theresa She watched her parents drive away to go Christmas shopping and she never saw them again in “The Man in the Fallout Shelter.”

  11. andrea on February 13th, 2013 8:11 am

    The only “reason” I can think of as to why we originally “saw” Brennan’s “memory” of her parents driving away (Man in the Fallout Shelter), her saying that they left to go Christmas shopping and then in Shot in the Dark Brennan saying her fight with her mom was the last time she saw her parents-they were gone when she woke up, could be that memories don’t always occur in a linear fashion. Memories can be misinterpreted to have happened at different times in the past-in other words, we can remember situations differently than what actually happened especially if things happened around the same time. A traumatic experience-parents disappearing-can affect the “accuracy” of a memory as well imo.

  12. Jo on February 13th, 2013 2:29 pm

    I liked this episode. It was good to see them fight over a camping trip and Brennan’s reaction, it was realistic. Brennan over reacts when she thinks Booth feels she is a bad mother which he does not feel that way. They are going to have problems with them having such different points of view. The writers did it in a believable way.

    DB is in good shape, his muscled arms are goooood to look at.

  13. Ellen on February 15th, 2013 11:06 pm

    Sarah, just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading your review of “Shot in the Dark.” This season your reviews, though always spot on, seemed a little less “sharing” than previous seasons. It was wonderful to read more of your reactions to this episode which then let me compare my reactions to yours. Thanks

  14. Cindy on February 17th, 2013 11:06 pm

    Just watched “Shot” was out, of town, decent ep, better than most this season. Case interesting, fight was ridi, adult woman storming out in a snit just made no sense. More than a little bored with Booth always having to initiate the apologies, but whateva? Cam in operating room made no sense again, the scene b/t her Booth was very touching. Love how solid B & B are, they forget their minor arguments when faced with adversity. Bren talking to Mum didnt work for me nor did Sparkling/Swts investigating the crime & reminiscing about their failed love affair. If they want the Sweets hate to stop, they need to write him with a purpose besides hanging onto B & B either at home or professionally. I have to say I liked it, one of the better eps this season.

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