Due to the real-life pregnancy of series star Emily Deschanel, only thirteen episodes of Bones were produced for the series’ seventh season. And yet, even with that limited output, the writers managed to squeeze a terrific amount of character development and add several new characters within the confines of this amusing and slick crime procedural. Season seven is one with many high points and very few lows.
Bones: The Complete Seventh Season (Blu-ray)
Directed by Dwight Little et al
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 1080p AVC codec
Running Time: 566 minutes
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English
Subtitles: SDH, French, Spanish
MSRP: $ 69.99
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Review Date: October 11, 2012
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. At the end of season six, the ante was upped when Booth and Brennan become lovers drawn together after years of unrequited passion for one another and with Brennan becoming pregnant. The seventh season’s first seven episodes have the very pregnant Temperance still working in the field investigating murder cases for the FBI through 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 role in interrogation of suspects has grown exponentially over the past couple of seasons. After the birth of their daughter, Temperance returns to the lab work for the remaining six episodes of the season but with her attention somewhat torn between work and her budding maternal fascination. She and Booth must also undergo some uncomfortable readjustments in their living arrangements all of which weaves in and out of the various cases under investigation.
The show continues with its round-robin carousel of six interns, all with unmistakable (and sometimes endearing, sometimes irritating) quirks. Repeating as the most appealing of the six who rotate throughout season six is the all-American, down-to-earth Wendell Bray (Michael Grant Terry) whose normalcy in the midst of the lab’s overwhelming eccentricity is always 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. The least entertaining continue to be Eugene Byrd as Clark Edison (who has reversed his aversion to gossipy insider information but remains one of the most off-putting of the interns) and Carla Gallo as the clueless, eternally chattering and highly egotistical Daisy Wick (who continues to have a syrupy romantic relationship with Dr. Sweets). With the murder last season of Vincent Nigel-Murray (Ryan Cartwright), a new intern was added this season: genius teenaged scientist (and straight from the sticks) Finn Abernathy (Luke Kleintank) who also begins a romantic relationship with Dr. Saroyan’s daughter.
With only thirteen episodes to play with, most of the cases are close-ended affairs with the discovery of the crime and its eventual resolution occurring within a single episode. These cases involve everything from storm trackers to a hillbilly feud, extreme couponers, competitive eaters, and a hairstylist with a large female clientele interested in more than his comb outs. Two episodes introduce and develop the season’s over-the-top villain (and a character who continues into season eight) – the serial killer Christopher Pelant (Andrew Leech). With a genius I.Q. and the competitive edge to always be a step or two ahead of the geniuses at the Jeffersonian, Pelant manages by the season finale to commit a crime whose evidence points to Temperance as the killer leading to a rather unsatisfying season-ending cliffhanger.
Here are the thirteen episodes contained on the three Blu-ray discs in this set:
1 – The Memories of the Shallow Grave
2 – The Hot Dog in the Competition
3 – The Prince in the Plastic
4 – The Male in the Mail
5 – The Twist in the Twister
6 – The Crack in the Code
7 – The Prisoner in the Pipe
8 – The Bump in the Road
9 – The Don’t in the Do
10 – The Warrior in the Wuss
11 – The Family in the Feud
12 – The Suit on the Set (the cleverest and funniest of the season's entreies)
13 – The Past in the Present
The program is presented in its television aspect ratio of 1.78:1 in 1080p transfers using the AVC codec. The show has a warm look to much of the cinematography, and the transfer captures it beautifully in sharp, colorful detail with very natural flesh tones. There are occasional soft scenes, and black levels aren’t always at their potentially deepest, but overall the series looks marvelous in these very appealing high definition transfers. 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 along with some explosions which offer some work for the subwoofer apart from the music. The episode “The Twist in the Twister” contains an impressive sound mix of an approaching tornado.
All of the video bonus features are presented in 1080p.
There are two deleted scenes: the one for episode #1 runs 1 minute while the one for episode #13 runs 1 ¼ minutes.
Creator Hart Hanson and producer Ian Toynton contribute an audio commentary for the season finale episode “The Past in the Present.” As in so many of these commentaries, the men are effusive in their praise of cast and crew and offer only a bit about the actual production of the episode. There are a few tidbits of behind-the-scenes information offered, but it’s not a very satisfying commentary.
“Creating ‘The Suit on the Set’” is a fun 11-minute featurette showing behind the scenes activity on the episode where Booth and Brennan meet their Hollywood counterparts as they solve a murder on the movie set of one of Brennan’s books being adapted for the screen. Producer Stephen Nathan, actors Scott Lowell and Tamara Taylor, and other members of the cast and crew comment on how much fun the episode was to produce.
“Bone of Contention: On the Red Carpet” features a goofy red carpet interview with Angela (Michaela Conlin) and Hodgins (T. J. Thyne) being interviewed at the Hollywood premiere of the movie from episode #12. This runs 3 ¼ minutes.
The season’s gag reel runs 4 minutes.
4/5 (not an average)
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, continues with an abbreviated seventh season with the promise of a very entertaining eighth one. The Blu-ray release is certainly the way to see the series on home video, and there are a few interesting bonus features thrown into the mix. Recommended!