RogerBW's Blog

Bones season 10 17 December 2015

2014-2015, 22 episodes. Police procedural in the CSI mould: a team of forensic experts at the "Jeffersonian" consults for the FBI.

All right, this is basically a cop show that has little new to offer in its tenth year. And it's broadcast on the Fox network, which is even more sensitive than most about avoiding anything which might challenge its stupidest viewers (thus its terrible record with science fiction series). But in spite of that it manages to retain moments of charm.

I particularly admire the writers for having resolved the Unresolved Sexual Tension that was hanging over the two leads from day one, and moved on from it: by this point in the show they're married and have a child, and this is itself used as a source of joy and friction and the drama that was previously hanging from the will-they-or-won't-they. There is more to life than people dancing around whether to get into a relationship, and I'm pleased to see at least one show admitting this.

These episodes are mostly crime-of-the-week, but things do resonate: a death in episode one isn't completely forgotten in episode two, and when one of the principals runs into problems they're dealt with over multiple weeks rather than completely resolved within a single 42-minute slot (even if the "previously on Bones" recap makes it look simplistic and trite once it's done).

There are a couple of "special" episodes here: The 200th in the 10th, the last episode broadcast before the Christmas break, puts the chararacters into a Hitchcock-like suspense plot in 1950s Hollywood (similar in style to season 4's The End in the Beginning); this works rather well, with all the cast clearly having fun playing variants of their usual characters. The Murder in the Middle East is less successful, a bottle show with some of the principals trapped in Iran by a high-ranking politician and forced to solve a murder there.

The show was renewed for an eleventh season, but the final episode was written and filmed before that was confirmed, and would have served as an effective series finale. I applaud this new tendency among TV writers to have potentially satisfying endings when renewal is in doubt, and I hope it continues.

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