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TV Review: Bones – “The Plain in the Prodigy”

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It's so good to have a weekly installment of Bones again, although they've cut back this week on the Booth/Brennan situation and gone back to procedural story lines. The scattered bones of a teenager are found on railroad tracks and Brennan is pretty confused; from the appearance of the bones, the teenager must have lived centuries ago! However, if you watched the promo from last week or any preview since, you know that it's because the boy in question is Amish. So Booth and Brennan are off to Amish country, yay!

The duo are trying to figure out what happened to the handsome young teenager named Levi. His name pops up quickly as a missing person once Brennan figures out the Amish part. As they go to check out his village, they chat about the "backwards" lifestyle of the Amish. As expected, Booth doesn't get it, and Brennan does on a purely anthropological level. The grieving parents admit their son was on a special mission — basically when an Amish youth goes into the modern world to decide whether he/she wants to devote their life to their culture or stay outside. Levi went off with another boy, Joseph, but he'd been missing for quite some time. They find strange stones underneath his bed, which Booth decides to give to Sweets.

Yes, it's a little surprising Booth would jump to Sweets immediately, but despite his teasing of the young shrink he is starting to believe in his techniques. With good reason! Sweets only has to start fiddling with the rocks for a few minutes before realizing they're fake piano keys. Levi was a piano prodigy, but playing music is forbidden by the Amish. He left Joseph, who they find drugged out and partying, to follow his heart in music. He sneaked in to a conservatory to play the piano and met two students there, Karin and Tony. They were helping to coach him get into their prestigious art school.

As this is all going on, there are a few side story lines. Cam is worried about her new daughter/ward Michelle having sex for the first time. Clark is the intern of the week so it is required on the show that they all be inappropriate in front of him, so he can roll his eyes and sulk. He's my least favorite of the interns, personally. He may be professional but he doesn't have great chemistry with the cast, and then he makes this big deal about Brennan sending him out into the field to find parts of the skeleton. He tries to imply it might even be a racial thing, which is really not the case with Brennan; she just wants him to do his job and help solve a murder. I get they like to throw different personalities at the group to keep it interesting, but he can be a little too self-righteous. It's not as funny as they want it to be.

A red herring comes into the show by the name of Amos, an angry Amish boy who thought Levi was messing around with his sister. Levi was courting the girl but was considering leaving, and Amos went to confront him. Instead he listened to Levi play and gave his blessings. Aw. They figure out that Levi was pushed out of Karin's apartment, and that the keyboard was slammed down on his hands. Imagine Brennan's surprise – and all of ours – when it turns out Levi did it to himself. Did he want to have a reason not to keep playing? Did he think that would stop the longing in his heart for music? In any case, Karin leads them to think of a different motive: money.

And … this is the weird part. Booth figures out it was just this random kid in the dorms stealing from people who accidentally killed Levi. Ooookay. What about the throwing him on train tracks part? Just trying to make it look like a suicide apparently. We don't know anything about the murderer and it was all kind of anti-climatic. Then again this is one of the first times in the history of the show it wasn't one of the characters introduced throughout the episode. This was a random wrong time/wrong place kind of kill, which does happen in real life. Just rarely on TV.

Michelle and Cam bond over the sex issue, with Cam giving the standard "wait until you're ready and if the boy doesn't like it, he's not worth it" spiel. It's not a bad message, it's just one we've heard time and time again. Booth then threatens Michelle's boyfriend about treating her with respect, again somewhat of a cliche, but it's Booth and expected. He's too alpha male not to get in the middle. Booth and Brennan leave Levi's parents with a video of their son playing beautiful piano. The soundtrack for this episode was gorgeous — all that piano playing! Not a bad episode, but a slightly 'meh' one.

Best part of the episode: Sweets figuring out the piano thing instantly. Wish he got more screen time!

Worst part of the episode: Clark being a jackass to everyone. Again.

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About Chelsea Doyle

  • Brennan should get a new assistant for good later. Sweets and the piano was nice, since JFD has his own band, The DayPlanners? Performed on last season’s finale.

  • I agree Nancy, it’s about time Brennan just chooses one assistant. I liked the cycling interns last season, but it’s getting tired now.

    Yup! JFD is a great singer and pianist. I’d love to see him perform again on the show.