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Bones: The Complete Seventh Season(TV) (2011-2012)
Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) are back for more mystery, murder, and mayhem.
For more about Bones: The Complete Seventh Season and the Bones: The Complete Seventh Season Blu-ray release, see Bones: The Complete Seventh Season Blu-ray Review published by Casey Broadwater on October 16, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz, Tamara Taylor, John Francis Daley, Freddie Prinze, Jr., Ryan O'Neal
Directors: Ian Toynton, Dwight H. Little, Rob Hardy, Chad Lowe, David Duchovny, Caleb Deschanel
» See full cast & crew
Bones: The Complete Seventh Season Blu-ray Review
A short season that's too formulaic even for an episodic forensic procedural.
Reviewed by Casey Broadwater, October 16, 2012
The case of Bones' seventh season is a strange one. Due to star Emily Deschanel's real-life pregnancy—which was written into the show—the production run this year was shortened from the usual 20+ episodes to just thirteen. This doesn't necessarily change the murder-of-the-week nature of the series—which follows the clue-unraveling team at the Jeffersonian Institute Forensic Sciences Department—but with less time to further ongoing storylines and character developments, this season often feels rather weightless and inconsequential. Granted, the show has always been episodic by design—you could drop in pretty much anytime and be reasonably entertained without knowing anything about it—but given Bones' history of sharp writing, something seems slightly off in season seven. There's a distinct lack of tension here overall, despite some fine individual episodes. The main dramatic thrust this year is Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan's (Deschanel) impending childbirth and the various stresses and strains of her new romantic relationship with her partner, Special Agent Seely Booth (David Boreanaz), and—to be fair—the show does handle this transition to parenthood and a life together rather well. Otherwise, however, there's not much of interest that happens this season beyond the routine solving of gory crimes and the introduction of a new villain whose measly 2-episode arc doesn't have much substance. Read on for a quick overview of what to expect:
The Memories in the Shallow Grave: A female corpse is found mouldering in a paintball field—with a stab wound from the roof of her mouth up into her brain—but the mystery in the premiere episode isn't nearly as important as the growing pains we witness in the pregnant Bones' relationship with Booth, whose insecurities keep him from making rational choices about the couple's living arrangements.
The Hot Dog in the Competition: When a competitive eater is found half-eaten by rats in an apartment, the season's second episode introduces us to the new Jeffersonian intern, Finn Abernathy (Luke Kleintank), a brilliant southern hillbilly with a troubled past. City boy Dr. Hodgins can't stand the new kid at first, but of course they share a bonding moment and eventually become pals. Meanwhile, tensions are still high with Booth and Bones.
The Prince in the Plastic: A shrink-wrapped corpse found with a "Prince Charmington" doll—think Barbie's Ken— leads the Jeffersonian crew to investigate inside a toy company. Longtime squint Daisy (Carla Gallo) actually performs an autopsy on the doll—that's a first—while her boyfriend, the team psychological profiler Sweets (John Frances Daley), goes to take his marksmanship test, hoping to impress Booth and earn the right to carry a firearm.
The Male in the Mail: When goopy remains are found inside cardboard boxes in a post office's "dead letter" department—where undeliverable mail is sent to sit—the team looks into the employees of a Kinko's-style shipping store. Hodgins has fun separating the various constituents of the once-human sludge, but Booth has a rough day when his grandfather (Ralph Waite) drops by with some unexpected news.
The Twist in the Twister: There are always a few bigger-budgeted "spectacle" episodes each season, and this is one of them, sending the team to investigate the death of a storm chaser, which inevitably puts them right in the path of a CGI tornado. Relationship woes continue, with Bones accusing Booth of being overprotective, and new parents Angela (Michaela Conlin) and Hodgins wary of letting Angela's rockstar dad—ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, playing a fictionalized version of himself— babysit their kid.
The Crack in the Code: A severed spinal cord—complete with de-skinned human head—is found beneath a statue of Abraham Lincoln at a Washington D.C. museum. Written in blood on the statue? "Where's the rest of me?" Ah, so we've got a taunter here. Weirder still, tests reveal the blood comes from five different FBI agents. The prime suspect is smarmy computer hacker Christopher Pellant (Andrew Leeds)—"I'm not a criminal," he says, "I'm a hacktivist"—and you can expect him to return later in the season for the finale's manufactured crisis.
The Prisoner in the Pipe: A little girl being potty trained finds an unattached eyeball staring up at her from the toilet —yeah, she'll be in diapers for a while longer—and the Jeffersonian team discovers that the remains belong to an escaped convict. The extremely pregnant Bones refuses to sit out the case, and naturally the baby comes at the most inopportune time, with Booth delivering the kid—Christine Angela—in a barn owned by an agitated sommelier.
The Bump in the Road: An "extreme couponer" is found dragged to death for miles underneath an 18-wheeler, Booth finds the ultimate fixer-upper for him and Bones to live in, and pathologist Camille (Tamara Taylor) can't take it when her daughter starts dating Finn the intern. One of the season's most prosaic episodes.
The Don't in the Do: There's a routine mystery here about a body in a landfill, but the real interest in this episode is that we get to see Bones feeling insecure, which is extremely rare. Specifically, she feels uncomfortably in her post-pregnancy body. Goaded on by Sweets, ever the romantic, Booth tries to make her feel better by buying her some lingerie.
The Warrior in the Wuss: This might be the only murder mystery ever where the key to the crime is a worm turd. Yes, entomologist Hodgins does a worm autopsy and uses its feces as a "Rosetta Stone" to help the Jefferson team decipher the death of a man found in the woods. Hodgins also gets in trouble with Camille for spending too much money on lab equipment, while Brennan and Booth deal with the return of Booth's bratty son from England.
The Family in the Feud: Bones offers up a new spin the Hatfields and the McCoys when the patriarch of a redneck clan is found dead in the woods. Meanwhile, Brennan has her own daddy issues as her father arrives to help take care of the new baby.
The Suit on the Set: My vote for the most entertaining episode of the season goes to "The Suit on the Set," in which Brennan and Booth travel out to Hollywood to consult on Bone of Contention, a Michael Bay-style film based on Bones' latest book about the Jeffersonian team. While on set, it's discovered that a prop corpse is the real deal, and later, we learn that Camille has her own embarrassing history in the movies.
The Past in the Present: Tech-savvy killer Christopher Pellant returns for the season finale to frame Bones for the murder of one of Brennan's friends. (Don't worry; it's no one from the main cast.) With all evidence pointing towards our heroine, she's forced to go into hiding until the truth can come out.
Bones: The Complete Seventh Season Blu-ray, Video Quality
If you've been keeping up with Bones' Blu-ray releases—at least from season five, when the show made the switch from 35mm to an all-digital workflow—then you'll know exactly what to expect from The Complete Seventh Season. That is, a 1080p/AVC image that's consistently well-defined and free from compression issues, encode glitches, or any other distractions. You might spot some slight spikes in noise during darker scenes—which is, for the most part, unavoidable—but you'd really have to nitpick to drum up any other complaints. Barring a few errant soft shots, the picture is usually scalpel- sharp, especially in closeups, where every stomach-churning detail of the show's characteristic rotting cadavers is offered up for minute inspection. Considering the gory content—or probably because of it—the series has an almost cheery, high-tech color palette, with bright lighting inside the Jeffersonian lab and a realistic but punched up aesthetic outside. Skin tones are stable, contrast is tight—with no crushing shadows or blown-out highlights—and the picture has a satisfying level of saturation. Overall, Bones is a fine-looking procedural, and it certainly stays that way in season seven.
Bones: The Complete Seventh Season Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Bones features a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround sound presentation that delivers—for the most part— exactly what you'd expect from a TV procedural: lots of chatting, some quiet ambience, and the occasional effects- heavy action sequence. Immersive? Not particularly. Engaging? Only in patches. But you can't say the mix doesn't get the job done. Clarity is strong, dynamic breath is broad enough—though don't expect much seat-rumbling subwoofer engagement— and the dialogue is always clean and easily understood. The effects may not be on par with summer blockbuster explosiveness, but you will hear helicopters zipping between channels, gunshots piercing through the rear speakers, and—in the The Twist in the Twister—loud blowing wind and debris being tossed through the soundfield. The show's music isn't its strong suite— it's a bit too dippy for my tastes—but it sounds decent enough here. Do note that the discs includes optional English SDH, Spanish, and French subtitles.
Bones: The Complete Seventh Season Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Bones: The Complete Seventh Season Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Your opinion of Bones: The Complete Seventh Season will rest on expectation. Simply want to see some gory remains and watch the Jeffersonian team unravel one murder after another? Then, yes, you'll be moderately entertained, as the corpses are as loveably disgusting as ever and the forensic work geeky and high tech. But this batch of 13 episodes doesn't offer much more. The short-shrifted season is low on dramatic tension and lower still on danger. As for the 3-disc Blu-ray set itself, the audio/video presentation is equivalent to last season's release—which is a good thing—and there are a few short, obligatory- feeling featurettes. I'd file this one under "for fans only."
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