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December 21, 2014

Bones: The Verdict in the Story - VIDEO

by Richard Keller, posted May 6th 2008 1:06AM

(S03E13)"Friends don't let friends' fathers go to the electric chair." -- Angela, on why she wouldn't testify against Bones' dad

Doubt. A word that many of us use in some context at least once a day. We don't doubt it, we doubt it happened or, used in a positive manner, we prove that there isn't any doubt about it. In the legal world the word has a much more powerful connotation. Should a shred of doubt exist during a criminal trial, there is always that slim chance that the judge or jury will see past the crime of the defendant and rule in the opposite manner.

Sometimes, the physical evidence that the prosecution provides is the reason for doubt. Other times, it is the testimony of the witnesses that causes the judge or jury to think. Then, there are those times where doubt is seeded by the team of lawyers who are trying to get their client off.

Finally, there are those very rare occasions where the doubt is provided by the client's daughter. Guess which type of doubt was used in this week's episode of Bones?

What an interesting development in the case of Max Keenan. We all knew that he was the one who murder the Deputy FBI director -- heck, even the evidence (once the actual murder weapon was found) showed that Max was the killer. And, it seemed almost a certainty that he was going to find a spot on Death Row. Yet, Bones came through with a ploy that cast the smallest bit of doubt onto her father. It was enough for the jury to render a 'Not Guilty' verdict that set Max free.

The ploy was interesting: get the jury to believe that Bones could have potentially been the one performed the murder, disemboweled the corpse and lit it on fire. Look, we know Temperance, Booth knows Bones, and the Squints know Dr. Brennan. While she can be cold and analytical she is definitely not a Dexter. Yet, the jury didn't know that. And, with that tiny seed of doubt planted in their minds, the absolute guilt of Max Keenan wasn't as absolute any more.

She could probably thank Booth for giving her the idea in the first place. He was the one who told her that Max's story could be embellished (without perjuring herself) to the point where reasonable doubt could be established. Granted, he told Bones to shutdown her brain and use her heart as the motivator; however, this is Bones we're talking about. When has Temperance ever been able to totally shutdown her brain? If she did that for her father the results may not have been as positive.

This surprise (to some) ending was one of many strange and wonderful things that took place in this change-of-pace episode of Bones. It was almost a certainty that the weekly mystery element was going to be pushed aside for this pretty important event in Bones' life. No issues here, since Bones is one of those shows that can have an one-off episode without throwing the whole rhythm. It was actually refreshing to get away from some of the blood and gore that are common for this show.

Also interesting was the dynamic that this week's installment provided. Instead of Bones working together with Booth, her fellow Squints, and Sweets, she was working against them as they were all witnesses for the prosecution. Not willing witnesses, mind you, but expert witnesses nonetheless. The most unwilling of witnesses was Angela, who decided outright not to testify against Max. A decision that landed her in jail for the rest of the episode.

The best thing about this episode is that it featured the entire immediate and secondary members of the Bones family. In addition to the Squints, who had a different look to them outside of the lab, there was Max, Tempy's brother Russ, Caroline Julian in all of her grumpy glory, and even Ernie Hudson, reprising his role as David Barron.

Even Sweets had a bigger role than normal this week, and really exhibited some of his more immature tendencies by answering a number of questions with 'Totally.' It looks like Sweets will have a bigger role next season as he becomes a backup interrogator for Booth and Bones. Sweets is a good fit into the Bones cast and works well with Boot and Brennan. Plus, they like him.

Next time -- A veiled advertisement for American Idol wrapped around a murder mystery.

Was acquitting Max Keenan the right decision?
No. The man is a vigilante and should be put in jail.78 (19.2%)
Yes, as he was this was to defend his children.239 (58.7%)
Not too sure.90 (22.1%)

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16 Comments

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metz

I was really hoping they'd use this episode as a way to take the show in different direction for a while. I'm sorry but the character of Booth, as he has been written, would have been really pissed by the stunt Bones pulled in casting guilt toward herself. In fact he says as much on the stand when he says "That isn't heart." I was hoping they'd take that and pull a stunner and have Booth say he couldn't work with Bones any more if she was willing to twist the truth that much. I'm thinking that the writers really wanted to pull off something like this but the strike and the rearrangement of multiple episodes made it impossible. Next week they're right back into the formula.

The whole Bones family story line, which was so promising when it started, really dissolved into mush and sentimentality. I'm hoping they do more with Gormagon.

Sure, their were great scenes in this episode, but the resolution really rang false to how the characters have been written.

May 12 2008 at 7:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brennanlove

I agree with Cathy, Its just a tv show, a very entertaining tv show but a tv show none the less, also Bruce some of your 'factual/legal problems' were incorrect for example it would have been very stupid for the government to trial Brennan when they had already tried the case once and they wouldn't risk the money or the humiliation.
This is definantly the most beautifull ep i have seen yet.
The closing scene was another example of Emily Deschanel's brilliance.
Does anyone know if there is a single or album with the song fountain that played in the end scene?

May 09 2008 at 10:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Suetu

This is what I loved about Bones's ploy to get her father off: She's a novelist. She WOULD be able to plot out that twist.

Also, no one has mentioned that steamy look between Booth and Bones. God, they're good at that sexual tension!

May 07 2008 at 2:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Oreo

A TV show not following every damn lame and boring law?! Oh no!!!!

The episode was great fun to watch. I wouldn't have found him guilty either, the state didn't do a good job spelling out their case.

May 06 2008 at 5:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott Shively

I was kind of hoping for another "Grave Digger" episode this year but it doesn't look it is going to happen.

May 06 2008 at 2:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cathy

Wow Bruce, Im not sure how you can enjoy a show with all the analytical viewing you do. I guess if I was watching CNN i might do the same. However, since its a TV show made for enjoyment i watch to enjoy. I dont like some shows that have such glaring mistakes but since I am neither a lawyer or political science major these mistakes werent so obvious. I was so touched by the interactions of all the characters I was focused on that and not on the minor legal mistakes. I think this was one of my favorite shows. It really brought out all the characteristics of the group. I love all the cases they work on but to take this episode and show so much more than a mystery of the week i applaud the writers. Since the strike has been over i found that most shows i watch have been mediocre and hastily written but this episode was a stand out. I was truly touched by it.

May 06 2008 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
keithnl

As long as you play a sappy song at the end its okay to kill people.

May 06 2008 at 8:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to keithnl's comment
Chelle

THANK YOU!

SO RIGHT ON!

May 06 2008 at 9:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott

Am I the only one who is wondering about the oddly posed skeleton from the show opening?

May 06 2008 at 8:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Scott's comment
Gabi

No, I was too. It seemed like an interesting case.

May 06 2008 at 9:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jennifer

I laughed at that skeleton kinda the way Bones did. "Like, is it doing yoga?" Good fakeout for the start of the show.

May 06 2008 at 11:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard Keller

The 'Because' issue has been corrected.

Bruce, for all that is holy in this world I hope 'Bones' is not ripping off the horrible season two premiere of 'Psych'. I think this takes place in a karaoke bar rather than on a competition.

May 06 2008 at 7:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chester

Bruce why not tell us how you really feel about the episode!!!!

I think the worst error was by Richard Keller. Starting a sentence with "Because" I "doubt my English teacher would approve!!

May 06 2008 at 4:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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