[This is a review of Bones season 9, episode 10. There will be SPOILERS.]
Welcome to Friday nights, Bones fans. While last week was the introductory run, tonight's "The Mystery in the Meat" is the real thing. And you can't say that Fox isn't tempting viewers to give up their Friday nights and watch live with everything from catchy hashtags to the new "Fan Friday" video spots, on top of the "Bones Fan of the Week" feature. Last Friday also saw a 30% drop in the ratings, so they probably want to prevent that, too.
One thing that will help keep viewers is getting the continuity back on track. Where last week's double offering felt disjointed, this feels like it picks up right where the wedding and honeymoon left off.
In keeping with their characters, Booth (David Boreanaz) finds that being married makes his world seem brighter, whereas Brennan (Emily Deschanel) doesn't see that their lives have been radically altered - though her left hand is very much aware that change has occurred.
Again, no shocking revelations here, but instead their new marriage is used to explore another aspect of their relationship. Fans have been quite vocal throughout season 9 about the tension that sprang up between Booth and Angela (Michaela Conlin) in the opening episodes. The bachelorette party, body shots, and bar fight all point to a very nice scene between Booth and Angela where olive branches are extended and friendships are restored. And who can blame Ange for hugging him just a little bit longer?
Meanwhile, another olive branch is extended by cantankerous intern Oliver Wells (Brian Klugman) to Daisy Wick (Carla Gallo). The two spend most of the episode bickering and vying for attention from the senior staff. The irony is that while each views the other as annoying, they are oblivious to their own shortcomings.
Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) is the one who points this out to Wells, also noting that while Daisy has been - begrudgingly - accepted over the years, Wells has not. Wells acts like that doesn't burn, but in the end, he takes the fall for Daisy and proves he can be a team player when forced.
As for the case, it serves as a platform for a discussion on processed foods. Actually, it's less of a discussion and more of a public service announcement.
This isn't the first time Bones has expressed a vocal opinion on modern eating habits. Booth stands in as your average American consumer, Angela is the vegetarian and defender of animal rights, where Brennan lands somewhere in the middle. Even semi-regular Caroline Julian (Patricia Belcher) chimes in about buying organic.
With a show full of scientists, there's also plenty of opportunities for the writers to espouse stats about the artificial additives and GMOs. The talk never gets too heavy or too preachy though compared to other episodes they've done, and is balanced out with moments like Hodgins and Wells scarfing down a tube of bacon flavored lube. All in all it's an average episode with an average case plot and a few great character moments sprinkled here and there.
Bones will return in 2 weeks, on Friday, December 6th with, "The Spark in the Park" @8pm on Fox.