Thursday, December 14, 2006

Bones--Judas on a Pole

Tonight's recap/review is a bit shorter than usual. Boy, it's a hectic time of year...

I've been looking forward to this episode, largely because of David Duchovny's turn as director, but also because the story sounded promising, furthering the plot involving Brennan's parents, which hasn't been touched on much since the first episode of this season. And I thought this episode really delivered. Duchovny's direction was solid, with individual touches that put his fingerprints on the episode without being distracting, and the plot had a nice array of twists and turns, without being overly obvious.

With a bit of a departure from the norm, this week's episode opens with a depiction of the actual murder that will make up the case. A man is killed, hung on a pole, and set on fire in grisly fashion. As the evidence comes together, it appears that the murderer was none other than Brennan's father, Max.

The victim proves to be an FBI agent who was involved in a frame-up twenty years ago. Evidence is planted on his body in the form of a handwritten note inside his mouth, and it turns out Max robbed the bank where the evidence about the frame-up was being held in a safe deposit box. Max murdered Delaney because the FBI knows he knew about the frame, and have been threatening Brennan and her brother to keep him in line. He delivers a message to back off via an old friend, a Father Coulter (Ryan O'Neal).

Booth's sense of justice leads him to jump right on the case, which leads him to the conspiracy within the FBI. He is suspended for going over the heads of his bosses, and things get pretty hairy for him and Russ before it's all over. Turns out the Deputy Director who suspended Booth was also part of the conspiracy. It also turns out Father Coulter is not what he seems to be. The plot is nicely convoluted, with the twist not depending on the identity of the killer this time, but on other elements of the story.

In the B plot, Zack defends his dissertation to a panel of forensics folk, one of whom is played by Kathy Reichs. He wants to continue working at the Jeffersonian if he gets his doctorate, but Cam tells him his appearance doesn't make him a credible witness if he has to appear in court. Enter Angela, who performs a makeover. Of course, we knew Zack wouldn't be leaving the Squint Squad, but the way this plays out is charming without being overwrought or treacly, and gives Zack a nice little spotlight.

The Brennan plotline here is interesting, with Booth and Brennan taking unexpected but very in character stances toward Max. Brennan has softened a great deal toward her brother, and the growth in their relationship is nice to see. It was also nice to see Caroline again, from last season's "The Man in the Morgue." She's fun, and I love the way she makes Booth all twitchy.

One thing I really have to wonder about, though, is why didn't Brennan recognize her father's voice?

Booth: "I'll take a stand-up crook over a crooked cop any day."
Booth being more concerned about losing his car than about losing his job.
Placebo singing Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill at the end. Great song, great use of it in this ep.