Bones: The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)
Directed by Chad Lowe et al
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 1080p AVC codec Running Time: 956 minutes
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English
Subtitles: SDH, Spanish, French, Portuguese
MSRP: $ 69.99
Release Date: October 5, 2010
Review Date: December 18, 2010
A half dozen or so years ago, there began a subtle change in the television series procedural. The serious criminology of the Law & Order shows along with the in-depth science severity in the three CSI franchise outings began to give way to lighter tones in both network and cable procedurals. Now with such mystery procedurals as Castle and The Mentalist on network television and White Collar, Psych, Burn Notice, Leverage, and The Closer scoring big ratings on cable, it’s never been hipper to be breezy and light in spirit while investigating a crime or pulling off a caper. Among those programs that have benefited from a more jovial approach to crime solving is Bones, one of network television’s premiere procedurals that mixes smart mystery plots with a brash, slick, and sexy team of investigators set on discovering the truth amid some of the most grisly murders imaginable.
Foremost to the success of Bones is the undeniably endearing chemistry between its two leading actors: David Boreanaz as crack FBI agent Seeley Booth and Emily Deschanel as genius forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan. The give and take between these two marvelous actors make even the weakest cases the team investigates a delight: he a take-no-prisoners ex-sniper with an aversion to cold logic and scientific doggerel and she somewhat lacking in social skills but with a brilliant mind and a childlike innocence in the face of sometimes unspeakable horror. She works at the Jeffersonian Institution in Washington, D.C., under the thumb of institute boss Dr. Camille Saroyan (Tamara Taylor). Under her are particulates expert Dr. Jack Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) and artist, IT guru, facial reconstructionist, and best friend Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin). Assisting on cases and also part of Booth and Brennan’s psychological team is young Dr. Lance Sweets (John Francis Daley) whose desire for respect and to be an accepted part of the team makes his continual efforts of overcompensation some reliable laugh-inducers.
With the removal of Brennan’s assistant Dr. Zack Addy (Eric Millegan) at the end of season three, the show continues with its round-robin carousel of six interns, all with unmistakable (and sometimes endearing, sometimes irritating) quirks and all introduced during season four. Repeating as the most appealing of the six who rotate throughout season five are Ryan Cartwright as Vincent Nigel-Murray, knowledgeable possessor of all-things trivial (which he shares freely much to the irritation of the entire lab), and the all-American, down-to-earth Wendell Bray (Michael Terry) whose normalcy in the midst of the lab’s overwhelming eccentricity has been a breath of fresh air for the show. Also part of the group are the sweet-natured Islamic Arastoo Vaziri (Pej Vahdat) and Joel David Moore’s comically nihilistic Colin Fisher. Among those who are least entertaining are Eugene Byrd as the super serious Clark Edison and Carla Gallo as the eternally chattering Daisy Wick (who continues to have a bumpy romantic relationship with Dr. Sweets).
Season five boasts a strong line-up of cases, some more light-hearted than others but all intensely watchable. Among the most delightful is an amusing X-Files-themed episode as the gang investigates a possible alien landing. There is also a very mysterious show where the crew must investigate remains without being told who they belong to. Upon close scrutiny, they come to believe they’re doing a new forensic probe of President John F. Kennedy’s bones. There is an incredibly moving episode involving the murder of a talented piano prodigy who just happens to be Amish (playing musical instruments is forbidden in their culture), and Booth’s slow recovery from his brain operation from season four means that his period of adjustment causes him moments of both personal doubt and a rekindling of his truly ardent feelings for Tempi which culminate in one of the series’ most emotionally powerful confrontations midway through the season, the show’s 100th episode directed by series star David Boreanaz. In fact, the interpersonal chemistry between Booth and Brennan during this entire season reaches its zenith in its sizzling sexiness and continues to leave fans of the show breathless in anticipation about their ultimate fate.
As for the frightening cases, there is none more so than another appearance by fiend The Gravedigger (Deirdre Lovejoy) who, after kidnapping and almost destroying Brennan and Hodgins during season three and abducting Booth during season four, comes to her trial determined to beat the team at their own game. As for other shows, Booth’s brother Jared (Brendan Fehr) makes another appearance, this time with a fiancé, and Brennan’s father Max (Ryan O’Neal) is on hand again this year as well during the Christmas episode which also guest stars Emily Deschanel’s movie-star sister Zooey playing Tempi’s second cousin. Among the other notable guest stars who pop up during the season are Cyndi Lauper, Stephen Fry (making a return appearance as former shrink Gordon Gordon, now a chef), Dan Castellaneta, Ralph Waite, Robert Englund, and as new romantic interests for the stars, Rena Sofer and Diedrich Bader, though these relationships aren’t destined to last. Developments during the season finale split the team up completely. Though by the start of season six the team is pretty much reunited, there are some seismic shifts in feelings and relationships generated by this particular season ender.
Here are the twenty-two episodes contained on four discs in this Blu-ray set. The episodes with an asterisk (*) indicate shows which may be viewed in either televised or extended mode. Names in parentheses refer to the participants in that episode’s audio commentary:
1 – Harbingers in a Fountain
2 – The Bond in the Boot
3 – The Plain in the Prodigy
4 – The Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
5 – The Night at the Bones Museum
*6 – The Tough Man in the Tender Chicken
7 – The Dwarf in the Dirt
8 – The Foot in the Foreclosure
9 – The Gamer in the Grease
10 – The Goop on the Girl
*11 – The X in the File
12 – The Proof in the Pudding (Tamara Taylor, John Francis Daley, Michaela Conlin)
13 – The Dentist in the Ditch
14 – The Devil in the Details
15 – The Bones on the Blue Line
16 – The Parts in the Sum of the Whole
17 – The Death of the Queen Bee
18 – The Predator in the Pool
19 – The Rocker in the Rinse Cycle
20 – The Witch in the Wardrobe
21 – The Boy with the Answer
22 – The Beginning in the End (producers Hart Hanson, Steven Nathan, director Ian Toynton)
The episodes are framed at the widescreen television aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and are presented in 1080p using the AVC codec. Sharpness is mostly excellent with these transfers with only an occasional soft shot to spoil the otherwise crystal clarity and superb detail. Color is well presented and flesh tones especially are accurate and very appealing. Black levels are very good as well. Each episode has been divided into 12 chapters.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix uses music as the primary inhabitant of the front and rear surround channels, and yet it’s placed so masterfully that it seems to almost hover over the proceedings constantly and makes for a very ingratiating experience. There are occasional ambient sounds of voices in the lab and some whooshing sound effects with vehicles as they speed to crime scenes.
There are two audio commentaries (see names in list above). The actor-based conversation begins in a very light and chatty manner, but the trio quickly run out of things to talk about. John Francis Daley does his best to keep the ball rolling as they reminisce about their years together on the show. The producer-based commentary spends some of the running time talking details about the filming of the episode but takes way too much time praising everyone in sight.
“The 100th Episode” features cast and crew celebrating the production of the one hundreth episode of the show with star/director David Boreanaz calling the shots and both he and producer/creator Hart Hanson speaking briefly to the cast and crew at the wrap party. It runs 7 minutes in 1080p.
The show’s fifth season gag reel runs 4 ½ minutes in 1080p.
There are three deleted scenes which may be viewed separately or in one 3 ¾-minute grouping.
“The Bodies of Bones” introduces us to makeup artists Chris and Kevin Yegher who design and fashion the various bodies used in each episode. They discuss their craft, and we watch them work as cast members comment on their expertise. It runs 10 ¾ minutes in 1080p
“The Nunchuck Way” shows actors T. J. Thyne and Pej Vahdat working with stunt coordinator Chris Brewster on using nunchucks for a specific moment in one particular episode. It’s in 480i and runs 2 ¾ minutes.
There are 1080p promo trailers for the Fox-TV dramas, the FX series, Knight and Day, The A-Team, and Date Night.
4/5 (not an average)
Bones had a marvelously entertaining but also pivotal fifth season on the air,represented beautifully in this Blu-ray release. Though bonus features might have been more comprehensive, all are welcome. Highly recommended!