Yet another discovery in my on-going effort to watch everything on television (well maybe not everything, but my list is quickly growing for this next television season), I discovered Bones during the early 2007 lull as some of my favorite shows went on break. Needing to fill the void I decided to back track and catch up on one of Fox’s more entertaining looking shows. Unlike the other shows on Fox I’d started to watch, Bones was not watched by any of my friends—in the opposite turn of events, I recommended Bones to the same people who thrust 24 upon me and, like me with 24, they were hooked.
Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanez), along with colleagues Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin), Dr. Zack Addy (Eric Millegan), Dr. Jack Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) and Dr. Camille Saroyan (Tamara Taylor), find themselves on the trail of a serial killer who discards his many victims’ remains off freeway overpasses. Brennan also must deal with the trial of her father for the murder of the Deputy Director of the FBI.
One of the most intriguing things about the show, to me, is that I know absolutely nothing about forensic anthropology, so whatever the show throws at my way I gobble up and don’t question the scientific reality of it all. I’m sure there are fact checkers all over the show, and Kathy Reichs, the real-life forensic anthropologist that the show is based loosely around, being a producer of the show no doubt adds credibility to it from the get go. Still, between the sometimes intense sequences and the hilarious ones, the series is never dull. In fact, like another mystery-style show I enjoy, Pysch, it is one of few mystery shows that I want to own on DVD. Even though the mystery isn’t as strong once it’s solved, seeing the characters interact with one another keeps the show fresh, even on repeat viewings.
For this shows third season, which was cut short by the writers’ strike (what wasn’t?), it took an interesting and genuinely shocking twist towards the end. Although the final episode of the season set itself up to remove the newly introduced psychiatrist Dr. Lance Sweets (John Francis Daley) as the fall-guy who had orchestrated the big “Gormogon” plot line that infused the entire third season’s story arc. Gormogon wasn’t the only mix-up this season, however, as the tensions between Booth and Brennan heated up and we also got to deal with the aftermath of her father’s return in the second season.
It’s rather strange to review this show now as we’re already well into the shows fourth season, as going back over this third season I’m surprised by how much actually transpired in it. I’ve already become so adjusted to the storyline of this current season that I was surprised by how much of this third season impacted what we’re now viewing. Sweets expanded role as the psychiatrist is hilarious and a lot of fun to watch and the removal of one of the key “squints” is rarely felt, although now that I look back at the fourth season I do notice a noticeably somber mood over the entire Jefferson lab. It’s also hard to focus solely on this third season as not are we, as previously mentioned, already into the fourth season but this DVD set also contains some of the early season four episodes, which would make sense why the price of this set isn’t different from past seasons and also as to why it was released so late in the TV show on DVD game (seriously, I think this may be the last 2007 TV season show to be released).
Still, I don’t want to spoil any elements of the season for those who wait to see this show on DVD. While the show doesn’t benefit from the format as, say, 24, it does still help to watch some of these episodes back to back, as with this season more than the previous two, we get connected storylines and clues from previous episodes coming into play. In particular the whole Gormogon thing was a complete head bender. Oh yes, and, of course, each of the individual mysteries of each episode were as well thought out and interesting as usual. I probably take it for granted by just how brilliantly this show is written, as I’ve never once felt that they could have done something better.
Overall whether it was the relationships between characters, the storyline of the season or just the wonderful load of witty quips between Booth and Brennan, this third season of Bones comes Highly Recommended.
The third season arrives in the usual slipcased enclosed collection of thin-paks as previous seasons, with four discs dedicated to the third season and a fifth disc containing episodes from this fourth season. Inserts include advertisements for other Fox productions, while menus for the set are simple and easy to navigate, with each episode getting its own sub-menu. Video and audio for this release is what we’ve come to expect from Fox, with a wonderful standard definition transfer accompanying each episode throughout he set and 5.1 audio to match. I have to admit the transfers are a bit of a letdown simply because I watched the majority of this season with its 720p broadcast, but they’re perfectly fine for home video consumption, especially since your average HDMI-capable DVD player upscales by default now.
A nice surprise throughout this set is the alternate versions of certain episodes. While this doesn’t always mean more footage (and in some cases the episode run time is actually less), there are slightly different segments to each of the episodes than what was originally broadcast. Unfortunately there’s no real reason given for the changes, as none of the episodes on this set contain audio commentaries. Still, for those who watched it during the original airing, it was interesting to try and see what was new or changed around.
Aside from the extended episodes, the remaining extras are on the first disc. Unfortunately there’s no “recap” extra here as with past seasons but there are some episode specific bits, albeit short. These bits are small director commentaries and are housed under the Director’s Takes (The Vault [2:49], Making of the Body [2:01], Car Crash Exploding Van [2:21], Squints [2:10], The Angelator [2:11]) area. As you can see they’re pretty short, but worth checking out if you enjoy the show. The only other extra on this first disc is a Gag Reel (5:23), which is thankfully of better quality (and longer length) than the last set. From the looks of things, the series would get more work done if Boreanez didn’t keep flubbing lines or mocking others—but then this gag reel wouldn’t be here for me to enjoy, so keep on flubbing, I say!
Overall this is a solid set and one worthy of placing next to the previous seasons. With the change up from past seasons and the inclusion of episodes from the current season, this set should be more than enough entertainment for those looking for a Bones fix. Recommended.
Bones – The Complete Third Season is now available on DVD.