Internets, I love Bones. It replaced Criminal Minds as my favourite crime show right about the time CM did an episode about evil child-stealing gypsies, and bonus, there’s generally only one victim!
I love many, many things about this show, including interesting and improbable crimes, gender role trope inversion, the presence of women of colour (men of colour, not so much, but improving), the presence of women fullstop (it passes the Bechdel test in the first scene of the first episode), the fact that it is consistently funny, and lashings and lashings of Unresolved Sexual Tension.
Usually UST will make me stop watching a show after a season or two in frustration, but I am so in thrall to Bones that I have just finished Season Four. Which is where I am going to introduce you to the show via its most important asset; the marvelous characters.
Dr Temperance “Bones” Brennan
Brennan works at the “Jeffersonian” Institution as a forensic anthropologist who regularly consults with the FBI on baffling cases. She is an excellent shot! (no) And an excellent driver! (no) And a great martial artist! (yes!) But her best skill is being completely brilliant with bones and working out who killed someone from gruesomely mutilated remains.
Sadly, she is terrible with people, which is especially hilarious to me because she is also a bestselling fiction writer (about a crimefighting forensic anthropologist). I imagine her sitting there typing out an examination in detail and then trying to work out what the characters do. What do people do? And why? They are so irrational! And when you explain that their behaviour is irrational they get irrationally angry! And that is why she needs:
Special Agent Seeley Booth
Booth, or as everyone I know calls him, “FBI Agent Angel”, is an emotionally adept Army Ranger sniper turned FBI agent who really is an excellent shot. You can’t see it clearly, but the comic he’s reading in that tub is Green Lantern. This is entirely appropriate; Booth would probably like nothing more than to become an intergalactic space-cop, where he could protect the whole universe.
He regularly throws himself in the path of bullets, explosions and aggressive ice hockey players to protect his people. His people include the Jeffersonian folks, his family (especially son Parker), his FBI colleagues, and anyone he has enjoyed talking to for five minutes.
He has been in love with Brennan for at least three seasons now without doing anything about it and it is driving me insane. INSANE. It’s okay, honey, if you sleep with her you won’t lose your soul! The proof in that pudding is:
Dr Camille “Cam” Saroyan
But that is not why she applied for the job! No, she applied because she wanted access to the world’s best equipment and smartest lab rats. She got that. She also got the profound privilege of babysitting a bunch of people who regularly do things like push bodies made of spam off buildings or shoot dummies in the chest with cannons. Or have sex in the Egyptology storeroom.
She has come to like them very much, but if Cam puts her hands on her hips and smiles brilliantly at you with wide, wide eyes, it might be a good idea to freeze in place and not make any provoking motions. Frequently merrily inciting her ire is:
Dr Jack Hodgins
Hodgins is the bugs and slime guy, a scientist with degrees in biology, geology, and the one that’s about bugs but I always misspell as being about word origins. He is able to pinpoint time and location of death with awesome (if completely unrealistic) ease, and he regularly blows things up
for fun for science! Formerly a conspiracy theorist, now not so much for reasons we won’t go into, his specialties include sarcasm, suspicion of his enormous inherited wealth, and flirting with his ex-fiancee:
A brilliant artist and computer scientist, big-hearted Angela can sketch a face from a smashed skull or reconstruct a body and method of death in her hologram of Vastly Improbable But Entertaining Fabulousness. She’s Brennan’s best friend, and frequently winds up explaining the mysteries of human emotion to her.
That Booth and Brennan are obliviously in love has been clear and incredibly amusing to her from day one.
Also secretly assured that Booth and Brennan are MFEO is:
Dr Lance Sweets
Sweets is an FBI profiler/psychologist who joins the crew to fish around in Brennan’s brain after a case that she was personally involved in and stayed because he is adorable and basically made them adopt him. He has a traumatic childhood, longs to dig into the traumatic childhoods of Booth and Brennan, and ships them harder than anyone in the world, except me.
You guys, he just wants a mom and dad! Sadly, mom doesn’t believe in psychology and dad thinks he’s too young to shave, much less sit there and pry, prying boy. But he will PERSEVERE! Occasionally he is rewarded by a manly slug in the shoulder or a backhanded compliment of his skills, and then his face turns into one shiny lightbulb of joy.
So those are the Bones people.