[This is a review of Bones season 9, episode 13. There will be SPOILERS.]
Thus far, 2014 has not been a good year to be an intern on Bones. Last week, Clark (Eugene Byrd) was emotionally out of sorts after he and his long-time girlfriend went their separate ways. This week the story focuses on Wendall (Michael Grant Terry) and involves both an emotional and physical crisis.
Like Byrd, Terry is no stranger in the Bones universe. In fact, though he started in the fourth season and Byrd in the third, he’s appeared in 26 episodes to Byrd’s 24. The only guest star who has appeared more times, in fact, is Patricia Belcher as Caroline Julian, at 38 episodes. So there is more than a little history here and it shows both in the writing and the acting, allowing this to be a true character piece.
What distinguishes Wendall from the rest of the revolving host of Jeffersonian interns is that he’s the only one to connect with Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and the scientists, as well as Booth (David Boreanaz) and the FBI. He possesses the intellect to do his job well, along with the social acumen that allows him to come off more as “the guy next-door” versus “egghead.” He works in the lab with Brennan, but plays hockey with Booth. This makes the ripple effect that much greater.
As a result, we as the audience get to watch a very touching story unfold. First through Brennan’s trained eyes, then Cam’s (Tamara Taylor), then Booth’s and finally Wendall’s. By the time the aspiring forensic anthropologist is told that he has a rare type of bone cancer the stage is set and a pall of sadness hovers for the remainder of the hour. A pall lifted only slightly by Wendall’s decision to fight rather than flee the disease.
In the midst of their own grief, the team must also wade through the obligatory case of the week. It’s a fairly standard one, winnowing through the usual sort of suspects until the killer is found out. Among the choices were the shady manager who was robbing the victim, Colin (Charlie Worsham), blind, and the girl he was pining after from afar. Too used to men of an unsavory nature, his crush doesn’t believe him when he promises her two tickets to paradise on the first date. Unfortunately for Colin, one of those ex’s is jealous enough to kill. The highlight is Charlie Worsham’s dulcet voice accompanying this week’s music montage. The Bones producers regularly choose great music and this week is no exception, with country being the perfect genre to frame this story.
So what did you think? How did the characters’ grief affect you? Should they show the other main characters wrestling with their emotions as well? Will Wendall beat the odds or should we brace ourselves for the worst and watch as a fitting sendoff unfolds?
Bones returns next Friday with “The Master in the Slop” @8pm on Fox.