Forensics series are a dime a dozen these days. If one were to turn on any television station at any given time, they would be given the option of devoting their time to no less than 128 different shows about people investigating the deaths and disappearances of others — 125 of which aren’t at all good. And so, we have to embrace the few of ‘em that are out there that are actually good. But, as is always the case with a TV show that holds one’s prolonged interest on account of being superior in quality, the writers and producers of said first-rate program are constantly in jeopardy of committing that one, heinous, soulless sin: that of “jumping the shark.”
Sadly, it’s time for such a crime to happen for Bones — and there are two unambiguous happenings in Bones: The Complete Sixth Season to indicate such. For starters, we have a backdoor pilot for another series. Now, if you’re unfamiliar with the languid phenomenon of backdoor pilots, it’s when entirely new characters are introduced in an already-running series so that a “spin-off” series can be developed. In this case, we get to meet (most) of the cast for the upcoming show, The Finder with Geoff Stults and Michael Clarke Duncan (which is scheduled to premiere midseason 2012).
Normally when such an occurrence takes place, you can’t help but wonder how long the original show that this forthcoming “offshoot” emerged from will continue to last. In the case of Bones: The Complete Sixth Season, however, the show’s makers decided to go that extra mile to ensure that they will lose their faithful viewers; ending the season on such a laughably-horrendous note wherein (Spoiler!) our lead female protagonist, Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan (as played by actress/producer Emily Deschanel) announces she has successfully been injected with baby-batter by her cohort, FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz).
Had it have been Bones’ first child, I probably would not have cared as much. But no, the happy announcement at the conclusion of Bones: The Complete Sixth Season follows the birth of another baby-thing — one belonging to and begat by Brennan and Booth’s coworkers, Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin) and Dr. Jack Hodgins (T.J. Thyne). Now, when supporting characters reproduce onscreen, it’s no biggie: you don’t have to see the spawn crawling about every second then, do you? But no, such is not the case. These is the newly-conceived child of the main characters I’m lamenting about here.
And, as we all know, adding a kid into the fray of an adult-oriented series is like having a character named Beauregard “Beau” De LaBarre suddenly appear to make up for the absence of Vinnie Barbarino.
Oh, well, at least the rest of Bones: The Complete Sixth Season is pretty darn good.
We begin with a recap of the finale of Season Five, wherein all of our main characters depart for new lives away from their former stomping grounds, the Jeffersonian Institute — where they devote their time and fervent skills in determining the identity and downfall of various bags of skeletal remains discovered in the vicinity. It doesn’t take long for them to reunite, though — and they soon resume their duties in solving mysteries — to wit we as viewers are treated to a delightful host of stories such as the Season Six highlight “The Body and the Bounty,” wherein David Alan Grier (who is surprisingly tolerable for once) as a Bill Nye-esque TV host who wants Bones to guest star on his science show.
Additional focal points in Bones: The Complete Sixth Season include “The Shallow in the Deep,” in which the crew of specialists catalogue the bodily remains of a sunken slave ship — only to find a new skeleton in the mix — and “The Babe in the Bar,” where the oozing carcass of a young lass is found baked into the world’s largest chocolate bar (and which guest stars the great Wayne Knight). “The Doctor in the Photo” gives Emily Deschenal’s detached character a chance to see how others view her when she investigates the death of a similarly-natured genius. “The Blackout in the Blizzard” is that proverbial installment every show needs where its leads get trapped in a room (and is entertaining for that reason alone).
Bones: The Complete Sixth Season also introduces us to a rather unbecoming story arc which pits Booth against an old sniper colleague from the Army, Jacob Broadsky (Arnold Vosloo, desperately trying to fill in that void left by those Mummy movies), who first appears to wipe out another story arc, that of “The Gravedigger” before turning into the series’ main bad guy later on — taking out one of the show’s beloved quirky “squinterns” in the process.
Additional guest stars for this season include Ryan O’Neal (returning as Bones’ father), ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons (appearing once more as Angela’s paternal figure), Peter Paige, Scott Lowell (yup, that’s right: two cast members from Queer As Folk are in this season), Katheryn Winnick (as Booth’s journalist girlfriend) and even Leigh McCloskey (for reals).
Fox Home Entertainment’s Blu-ray release of Bones: The Complete Sixth Season presents all 23 episodes on four discs in a praiseworthy 1080p MPEG-4/AVC transfer. The season (which is described as the “Cradle to Grave Edition” on the cover) is presented in its original 1.78:1 broadcast ratio with an English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Optional English (SDH), French and Spanish subtitles are also included. Bonus materials include two audio commentaries from cast or crew, a couple of featurettes that dive into the making-of aspects of this season, a gag reel (which isn’t so hot), and finally, the pilot for the new AMC series The Killing starring Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman.
As I had stated before, Bones: The Complete Sixth Season has a few issues in terms of quality. Fortunately, those faults occur more towards the finish of the season, leaving room for plenty of enjoyment beforehand.
Or, to phrase it in a decidedly more brusque manner: embrace it — ‘cuz it just might not get any better after this.