[This is a review for Bones season 9, episode 16. It contains SPOILERS.]
It's been a while, but at long last Bones is back on the air and returns to its familiar Monday night time slot. Also returning is guest star Freddie Prinze, Jr., whose character Danny was introduced in the season 9 premiere. The She's All That alum was barely on screen back in the fall, but here we have a chance to be properly introduced.
Characters like Danny are nice to see now and again when they're used to flesh out the leads' back-stories. In this case, Danny works for the CIA at present, but he and Booth (David Boreanaz) have a history together from their sniper days. They speak the same military shorthand, live by the same moral code, and apparently own the same high-grade special forces knife.
And yet, there's a palpable tension between the two. Whereas Booth went to the FBI, Danny's loyalties are to the CIA. Booth is interested in seeing justice served. Danny's more concerned about covering his own assets, especially when it comes to revealing just how close he and the victim were.
It's a good dynamic to watch play out, without having the writers pull the carpet out from under us and reveal Danny's in the same league with Broadsky (Arnold Vosloo). He's not; though he is his own brand of stupid at times and he needs to take Booth's advice and remember who his friends are next time. The closing scene where the pair reel in Johannessen (Chris Browning) and go in for the kill is spot on and begs for another FBI/CIA case down the road.
Meanwhile, on the personal front, Daisy (Carla Gallo) is the squintern of the week and is suffering a terrible case of nerves after failing her oral examinations. She also misses Sweets (John Francis Daley) and the sex, but he's not taking her back just yet.
The resolution is lukewarm, at best. The assertion that Brennan (Emily Deschanel) also failed her orals feels like a convenient way for her to empathize with her intern. Something she's been doing a lot of this season to the point that the plot device seems almost cliched. We get it guys: she's not a cold fish.
The main theme, though, of "The Source in the Sludge" is the value of human life. Brennan spends the episode wondering out loud about the literal value placed on her by her life insurance company. In the end, it costs her a tad bit more money and a sacrificing of pride.
Then there's the portrait we are given of Sari (Nazneen Contractor). Her life was valued both by her brother and Danny, albeit in different ways, but her videos leave a legacy of a woman true to her cause. And one willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice so that other women could know the freedom of empowerment. A timely message to send out at the start of Women's History Month.
Bones returns next Monday with "The Repo Man in the Septic Tank" @8pm on Fox.