It seems like an unwritten rule that at some point every modern, one hour, scripted drama must shoot an episode documentary-style and after over 150 episodes in the can, tonight it's Bones' turn. Fortunately for viewers the episode is more about how the characters react to being filmed rather than having to suffer through much of the documentary-esque footage itself.
The cover story for "The Blood From the Stones" is that the Jeffersonian board of directors has decided that to woo potential donors they need a documentary showing what goes on in the lab during your average case. Perhaps this is because the Cantilever Group is lacking in funds after Hodgins' (TJ Thyne) run-in with Pelant (Andrew Leeds), but either way the board hires Andrew Jursic (Dave Thomas) - award-winning documentarian - to film the team. The board also requests that Clark (Eugene Byrd) help out in the lab to boost their image.
It's always good to have Byrd stop in on Bones as he has great on-screen chemistry with the rest of the cast. There is a relationship seven years in the making and it really pays off in the scenes where he and Emily Deschanel's Brennan square off against one another, and again later in the episode when they both agree they're in it for the pure science, not all of the other distractions. Come back any time, Eugene!
Tucked inside the bigger stories about donor documentaries and hunting down a cop-killer is a nice little visit to a diamond wholesale shop run by none other than Curtis Armstrong. The irony is laid on thick and heavy as the former Moonlighting co-star asks Booth (David Boreanaz) and Brennan about engagement rings only to have the couple haltingly define the kind of relationship they have. Brennan is quick to discard the term "boyfriend" for Booth as he's the father of her child, and she explains their agreement about marriage; and the fact that she doesn't think she'll ever propose to him. Booth hangs on the outskirts of the conversation, a knowing smile on his lips and adoration in his eyes. Armstrong's character, meanwhile, remains unfazed as if he's seen all of this before. Touché, Hart Hanson, touché.
As for the case, it's not the best but it's far from the worst. One noticeable difference in this season from the last several is the return of Booth as a cop. Sure, he's been there to interrogate witnesses and arrest the bad guys, but this season has been more action-packed on Booth's end and he's regained some of his hard-ass cop persona from the first two seasons. Last week he led a fully armed tac team into the doomsday commune and this time out he leans hard on a girl he thinks might've killed his fellow cop. Some of his best scenes are with Joe Dinco (Sherman Augustus), a lead Metro cop, as he tries to figure out whether there's corruption in the ranks or not. It's nice to see Boreanaz flex his acting muscles and prove he's got the rage to go from comforting the victim's widow toward the beginning of the episode to ripping her a new one when it's discovered she's killed the man who loved her.
Finally, the love bug apparently hasn't finished its work as US Attorney Caroline Julian (Patricia Belcher) is smitten something fierce with Andrew Jursic. And the attraction goes both ways, yielding an awkward scene between Cam (Tamara Taylor) and a curious Jursic which leads to a date between Jursic and Julian at the infamous Royal Diner. Tender scenes and Caroline Julian don't exactly go hand in hand but this couple, at least, is less unsettling than Caroline hitting on Booth.
As for the documentary, in the end it's likely to have had more of an affect on Brennan than on any potential donors. Watching herself in the raw footage is something of an eye-opener for her. If this season is a return to action for Booth, then for Brennan it's a journey of discovering how her actions and reactions affect those around her. Though Booth assures her that she is a likable person - and her love for him is no longer in doubt - a part of her knows this to be false based on the video evidence to the contrary. This emotional introspection might well pay off when Booth's mother comes on the scene in the season 8 finale.
Bones airs Mondays @8pm on Fox