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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Bones - The Complete Second Season
Bones - The Complete Second Season
Fox // Unrated // September 11, 2007
List Price: $59.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted September 16, 2007 | E-mail the Author
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The Second Season

Bones is a television series that first aired on the FOX Network in 2005. The series is a crime drama about an unlikely pair who work together to solve crime, Booth, an FBI agent who uses his gut and instinct, and Brennan, a forensic anthropologist who uses evidence and science, to solve cases. As such, Booth and Brennan work on cases that involves bodies that are burnt, decomposed, or destroyed beyond recognition. Joining them is Brennan's forensic team from the Jeffersonian Institute. The show is partly based upon the fictional novels written by Dr. Kathy Reichs. For more details about the series, refer to DVD Talk's review of season one.

In terms of quality, Bones' second season is not up to par with its first season. Personally, I really, really enjoyed season one. The second season takes a step back with some cast changes; consequently, it has a slightly different dynamic. The strong dynamic between Booth and Brennan is not as strong due to a new character. The fortunate new is that the show still remains to be pretty enjoyable with some strong episodes, as well as a few that come off as a little too generic.

The biggest change in season two is the addition of Dr. Camille Saroyan (Tamara Taylor). She comes to the Jeffersonian Institute as the new head of the forensics division. She replaces Dr. Goodman as Brennan's immediate supervisor. Unlike Goodman, Saroyan is hands on. She is a highly experienced forensic pathologist and is always more than willing to work on the gang's latest case. She also has a romantic history with Booth, which surfaces on more than one occasion this season. She makes for a decent addition to the show, but on the whole isn't a huge improvement. If anything, the introduction of her character lessens the strong chemistry between Booth and Brennan.

Another slight change that interferes with the Booth-Brennan relationship is reoccurring character FBI Agent Tim Sullivan (Eddie McClintock). Sullivan shows up in a few episodes and is a romantic interest for Brennan. Their relationship is an interesting development, but at the same time takes something away from Booth-Brennan. Still, the development that occurs is important to both Booth and Brennan's growth as individuals.

Other major developments include Angela and Hodgins coming to terms with the romantic chemistry between them, Zack completing his doctorate and becoming an official Jeffersonian employee, Booth's closure to his relationship with his ex-girlfriend and the father of his child Rebecca, and Booth dealing with his personal demons by means of psychiatrist Dr. Gordon Wyatt (Stephen Fry). These developments are focused on the characters and help develop them further. They are generally interesting and tie into some humorous moments.

As for exciting season two episodes, there are several. The best episodes have Booth and Brennan dealing with serial killer Howard Epps (Heath Freeman). In the season one episode "A Man On Death Row", Bones and Brennan went through a psychological game with a demented serial killer on death row. He manipulated them to prolong his execution. In season two, Epps resurfaces in "The Man In The Cell" and "The Blonde In The Game". Both of these episodes are very strong because they are heavily focused on Booth and Brennan.

"Aliens In A Spaceship" is another strong episode with the lives of Brennan and Hodgins on the line. Booth is handed a perplexing case dealing with highly skilled killer. The bodies of twin boys, who have been missing for five years, are found in a weird capsule. As the investigation proceeds, Booth and gang discover that the case is directly related to a hired killer known as the Grave Digger. The Grave Digger takes kidnapped victims and holds them for ransom. He has a strict modus operandi that he never falters from, which leaves little evidence for law enforcement to go on. After Brennan gets hot on his trail, she becomes his next target.

"Judas On A Pole" is a compelling episode that plays off of Brennan's family history. Booth and Brennan are called to the scene of a gruesome crime; an ex-FBI agent was murdered. The initial investigation leads to an old case, where an innocent man was put in jail for a murder he did not commit. Brennan's family line ties into the case, as her criminal father had a role in it. The case gets especially difficult when higher-ups in the FBI take away Booth's badge and gun. It is an enticing episode with political cover-ups, assassins, family drama, and more.

The season has other good episodes that include "The Bodies In The Book", Brennan's recent mystery/crime novel is a bestseller and a reality when someone copycats the murders to the last detail, "The Killer In the Concrete", Booth and Brennan investigate the skeletal remains found in a concrete expanse; to Brennan's dismay her criminal father provides help, "The Girl In Suite 2103", the suspect of Booth and Brennan's latest case has diplomatic immunity and the State Department flexes their muscles to keep them away, and "The Boy In The Shroud", Brennan takes a case involving a murdered foster care child to heart; while Saroyan butt heads with Brennan about her methods.

All in all, Bones' second season is a pretty strong and has several good episodes and a few weak ones. The excitement is not quite as strong as season one, which is partly due to a weakened dynamic between Booth and Brennan, as well as a new character who does not bring a whole lot to the table. In the end, fans of the series and those looking for a quality forensic-driven series with good character development will want to check out this season.

Episode Guide

1. The Titan On The Tracks: Brennan and Booth's investigation points to foul play when an apparent suicide causes a train to derail and kills a senator. And, Brennan receives some disturbing news about her mother's killer.
2. The Mother And Child In the Bay: When the year-old body of a pregnant newlywed is discovered in Delaware Bay, her abusive husband is the prime suspect.
3. The Boy In The Shroud: Brennan resents Cam's biased attitude toward the foster care system, and tensions flare as they investigate the murder of a teenage runaway.
4. The Blonde In The Game: A young girl's life is at stake when a convicted serial killer engages Brennan and Booth in a twisted game of cat and mouse.
5. The Truth In The Eye: After examining the gruesome remains of a partially dissolved body found at a construction site, Brennan and Booth uncover the shocking truth of the victim's double life.
6. The Girl In Suite 2103: A Colombian judicial attache appears to be the intended victim in the deadly bombing of an international drug trafficking conference.
7. The Girl With The Curl: While Brennan and Booth investigate the death of an infamous ten-year-old beauty queen, Angela worries that dating Hodgins could get complicated.
8. The Woman In The Sand: Booth steps into the ring when the trail of a killer leads Brennan and him into the brutal underground world of ultimate fighting.
9. Aliens In A Spaceship: Brennan and Hodgins are buried alive when they fall into the sinister clutches of a serial killer known as the Grave Digger.
10. The Headless Witch In The Woods: Brennan's instinct fails her when the violent death of a documentary filmmaker helps to fuel the legend of a headless witch who haunts a local forest.
11. Judas On A Pole: As a decades-old conspiracy unfolds, Brennan is horrified to learn that her father may be responsible for the grisly murder of a former FBI agent.

12. The Man In The Cell: Brennan's old nemesis, serial killer Howard Epps, escapes from prison and torments her with a string of macabre clues and a gruesome trail of mutilated corpses.
13. The Girl In The Gator: While Booth is forced to see a therapist, Brennan and her new partner investigate the wild case of a college student killer on her spring break.
14. The Man In The Mansion: As the team investigates the stabbing death of one of the Jeffersonian's wealthy benefactors, Hodgins conceals his personal connection to the victim. Meanwihle, Brennan's budding romance with Sully begins to blossom.
15. The Bodies In The Book: Truth meets fiction as a series of copycat murders appears to be modeled on scenarios from Brennan's latest novel.
16. The Boneless Bride In The River: Brennan's vacation with Sully is interrupted by a strange case involving a curious Chinese tradition and the death of a mail-order bride.
17. The Priest In The Churchyard: When a water main break at an historical cemetery unearths the victim of a recent murder, Brennan and Booth's constant bickering hinders their handling the case.
18. The Killer In The Concrete: On the anniversary of her mother's death, Brennan is conflicted when her fugitive father provides unwanted help in solving a murder and rescuing Booth from the clutches of a notorious mafioso.
19. Spaceman In A Crater: The mysterious death of an astronaut leads Brennan and Booth to an out-of-this-world conclusion. Hodgins, meanwhile, has an important question for Angela.
20. The Glowing Bones In The Old Stone House: It's food for thought when the stabbing death of a popular chef sparks an investigation.
21. Stargazer In A Puddle: While the team investigates a case involving the victim of a rare aging disease, Brennan's father reappears with a surprise from her past. Meanwhile, Hodgins and Angela anxiously prepare for their impending nuptials.

The DVD

Video:
The video in this release is given in anamorphic 1.78:1 ratio widescreen color. The picture quality is generally good with detail looking sharp and no issues with colors. However it does have a slight grain, which is more noticeable during darker scenes. There are also some minor traces of edge enhancement.

Audio:
The audio track in this release is in English 5.1 Dolby digital surround sound. There is also a dubbed track in Spanish 2.1 Dolby digital surround sound. The sound quality is top notch and delivers a strong an audible experience by taking advantage of the 5.1 setup (when applicable). The dialogue is easy to hear over background music and sounds effects.

There are also subtitles provided in English, French, and Spanish.

Extras:
Bones: Season Two special features include two audio commentaries, two featurettes, several deleted scenes with optional commentary, and a bloopers reel. Here is the breakdown of the extras:

  • Audio Commentaries: are included for two episodes. They include "The Glowing Bones In The Old Stone House" with Emily Deschanel, Caleb Deschanel, and Stephen Nathan, and "Stargazer In A Puddle" with Hart Hanson, Barry Josephson, and Stephen Nathan.
  • The Memories In The Season (16:20): is a featurette with cast and crew (Tamara Taylor, Eric Millegan, Michaela Conlin, Hart Hanson, David Boreanaz, TJ Thyne, Emily Deschanel, Ryan O'Neal, and Barry Josephson) talking about memorable moments from season two with episode clips. The discussion begins about the new character Dr. Saroyan. They continue to talk about specific episodes, character changes/developments, major storylines, fun moments, and more.
  • Visceral Effects: The Digital Illusions of Bones (13:18): is a featurette about the season two visual/special effects. The discussion begins with the cast complimenting the season two's great representations of bones. The topic of discussion quickly changes gear and focuses on the complex aspects for simulating zero gravity in "Spaceman In A Crater". It continues with the effects related to bones, bodies, bugs, settings, explosions, and Angela's reconstruction program. It stars TJ Thyne, Michaela Conlin, Tamara Taylor, David H. Jeffery, Hart Hanson, David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, Steve Beers, Stephen Nathan, Derek Bird, Manuela Schmidt DeSouza, Ryan O'Neal, Tamara Taylor, Kevin Browne, Barry Josephson, and Eric Millegan.
  • Deleted Scenes (8:06): are included with optional commentary by Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan. There are scenes for episodes "Mother And Child In The Bay", "The Girl In Suite 2103", "The Headless Witch In The Woods" (2 scenes), "The Man In The Cell", "The Girl In The Gator", "The Boneless Bride In The River", "The Priest In The Churchyard", and "The Killer In The Concrete".
  • Gag Reel (7:42): is a lengthy bloopers reel with the cast messing up their lines and acting goofy.

Final Thoughts:
The second season of television crime-drama Bones is another successful endeavor, although not quite as great as the show's first season. This season sees a weaker dynamic between its leading characters Booth and Brennan. For the most part, the season storylines and episodes are entertaining and engaging, but there are also a few episodes that come off as a little to generic. While the second season is not outstanding, it is still solid and should be more than enough fun for the fans.

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