During its eight seasons on the air, Fox’s forensic science murder procedural Bones has evinced a particular fondness for serial killers. Howard Epps, Gormagon, the Gravedigger, Jacob Broadsky, and most recently, Christopher Pelant: all have fascinated the producers and writers of one of television’s quirkiest and most entertaining mystery series, but in the case of Christopher Pelant, the producers have perhaps indulged in too much of a good thing morphing their intelligent albeit unbalanced killer into an omniscient, omnipotent villain who has the whole world seemingly under his thumb. So irritating have his occasional insertions into the show become that fans have rebelled stating that his reign of terror has gone past the breaking point for their loyalty.
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 17 Hrs. 19 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-raykeep case with leaves
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Release Date: 10/08/2013
Aside from the Pelant (Andrew Leech) problem (who had three major episodes this season devoted to his machinations against the show’s cast and several others in which his activities bore serious repercussions they had to cope with), the show mostly stayed within the confines of its comfortable wheelhouse: solving grisly murders using the genius of forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel), her staff of selected interns (more on them later), her boss medical examiner Dr. Camille Saroyan (Tamara Taylor), particulates expert Dr. Jack Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) and artist, IT guru, facial reconstructionist, and best friend Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin), and the field expertise of crack FBI agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) and FBI profiler Dr. Lance Sweets (John Francis Daley). Though the cases are closed-ended and can pretty much be watched in any order, there are season-long story arcs with the personal lives of the various characters. Booth and Brennan are now a couple living together and raising their year old daughter. (The premiere episode finds Brennan returning to Washington, D.C., after three months on the lamb due to falsified evidence planted by Pelant in the season seven finale implicating her in a murder). Angela and Jack are also a couple raising their own child but now also in the crosshairs of Pelant (who infamously and impossibly drains Jack’s family trusts of multiple millions of dollars during one of the season’s most aggravating episodes).
The Production Rating: 4/5
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) who begins a love affair with boss Camille Saroyan this season and figures in one of the season’s most emotionally fraught cases and Joel David Moore’s comically nihilistic Colin Fisher who we learn this year does standup comedy in his off hours. The least entertaining continue to be Eugene Byrd as Dr. Clark Edison (who this season is involved in a couple of heated disputes with his mentor Dr. Brennan) and Carla Gallo as the eternally chattering and highly egotistical Daisy Wick (thankfully the writers have finally decided to call it a day with her involvement with Dr. Sweets). Finn Abernathy (Luke Kleintank), involved in a romantic relationship with Dr. Saroyan’s daughter, continues to bring down-home flavor to the forensics platform. Another new face showed up in an episode this season as an intern, Dr. Oliver Wells (Brian Klugman) whose genius I.Q. made him an anathema to others in the lab. It isn’t clear if he’ll make a return appearance in season nine.
Though most of the mysteries are fairly plotted and offer a reasonable number of suspects which allow the audience to play along in solving the crime, there were some unusual episodes this season that were slightly out of the ordinary for a procedural. The year’s most emotionally overwhelming episode involved five of the interns set up to solve the cold case mystery of a homeless man found a block away from the Pentagon twelve years earlier. Another episode was told from the point of view of a detached skull whose spirit hovered in the lab as the employees went about their work. An attack on Brennan that puts her in critical condition allows an episode for her to come into contact with her long dead mother while Booth’s long missing mother figures in another emotionally stirring show. Otherwise, the season offers up the return of Booth and Bones’ alter egos Buck and Wanda who enter a ballroom dance competition in order to solve a crime and Angela to take up roller derby in attempting to solve a case.
Here are the twenty-four episodes spread out over five Blu-ray disc in the season eight package:
1 – The Future in the Past
2 – The Partners in the Divorce
3 – The Gunk in the Garage
4 – The Tiger in the Tale
5 – The Method in the Madness
6 – The Patriot in the Purgatory (by far the best episode of the season)
7 – The Bod in the Pod
8 – The But in the Joke
9 – The Ghost in the Machine
10 – The Diamond in the Rough
11 – The Archaeologist in the Cocoon
12 – The Corpse on the Canopy
13 – The Twist in the Plot
14 – The Doll in the Derby
15 – The Shot in the Dark
16 – The Friend in Need
17 – The Fact in the Fiction
18 – The Survivor in the Soap
19 – The Doom in the Gloom
20 – The Blood from the Stones
21 – The Maiden in the Mushrooms
22 – The Party in the Pants
23 – The Pathos in the Pathogens
24 – The Secret in the Siege
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 transfers capture it beautifully in sharp, colorful detail with very natural flesh tones and excellent color reproduction. Unlike previous seasons, focus seems completely consistent this season, and black levels are very nicely realized. Overall, the series looks marvelous in these very appealing high definition transfers, one of the best being offered on Blu-ray. Each episode has been divided into 12 chapters.
Video Rating: 5/5 3D Rating: NA
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 or a restaurant 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.
Audio Rating: 4/5
Audio Commentary: the season premiere presents writers Hart Hanson (who also created the series) and Stephen Nathan and director Ian Toynton joking their way through a basically useless commentary track. They’re full of praise for their actors and crew, of course, but there is little behind-the-scenes information offered.
Special Features Rating: 3/5
Deleted Scenes (2:55, HD): three deleted scenes spread over three discs are presented
Dying to Know: Bones Answers Your Questions (9:00, HD): fan questions submitted to the show are answered by producer Stephen Nathan and various cast members.
Bare Bones: The Fandom-onium (1:59, HD): the cast selects two of the biggest fans of the show based on videos submitted via Facebook. The videos are shown.
Gag Reel (5:26, HD)
Despite the irksome continuation of the Christopher Pelant character (thankfully, his reign of terror will come to an end in season nine), Bones had a better than average season for its eighth year on the air. The characters are still fun and their mystery solving continues to hold the interest of many millions of fans. Recommended!
Overall Rating: 4/5
Reviewed By: Matt Hough
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