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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Bones: Season Four - Body Bag Edition
Bones: Season Four - Body Bag Edition
Fox // Unrated // October 6, 2009
List Price: $59.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted November 1, 2009 | E-mail the Author
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The Fourth Season

Bones' fourth is a blast. Like past seasons, it has a unique edge with its extraordinary cast. There are also plenty of plain old fun episodes. In short, season four is highly recommended. However, readers should be aware that this DVD set is incomplete. There are only twenty-two of twenty-six episodes included. The third season DVD release had included the first four episodes as a bonus feature. Unfortunately, these episodes were omitted from this DVD release. The point is that you need seasons three and four to have all twenty-six episodes. While it will not be an issue for fans, I would prefer having all the episodes in the same packaging. Nevertheless, season four is a lot of fun.

As earlier mentioned, the cast is a critical piece to the show's success. They have fun and attractive personalities. In general, the supporting characters are no different and tend to bring out the best in the main cast. Something different this season is a continual change of assistants. With Zack no longer in the lab, Brennan takes on different assistants to find the right one. They include Daisy Wick (Carla Gallo), Arastoo Vaziri (Pej Vahdat), Clark Edison (Eugene Byrd), Wendell Bray (Michael Grant Terry), Vincent Nigel Murray (Ryan Cartwright), Colin Fisher (Joel David Moore), and Scott Starett (Michael Badalucco). The rotation of characters turned out to be a great move. Each assistant brought a different personality, which in turn tweaked the cast dynamic and kept the season very fun in this regard.

There are a couple other minor character additions. "Fire in the Ice" introduces FBI agent Perotta (Marisa Coughlan) as the lead investigator when Booth is a potential suspect. She also appears in "The Princess and the Pear" as Brennan's partner. The episode "The Doctor in the Den" introduces another minor character. Cam's ex- is found murdered at the zoo. The case gets very personal for her and she adopts his daughter Michelle (Dana Davis), who is someone she used to very close too.

Beyond the stellar cast, there are a number of great episodes. The season begins with the thrilling two-part episode "Yanks in the U.K." (which is included with the season three DVD set, but still worth mentioning). Booth and Brennan go to the United Kingdom for a conference and are sidetracked by a crime fighting duo similar to them, a cop and a scientist. The contrast between the characters makes this episode really fun. It also gives the season an exciting boost, which is followed by twenty-four solid episodes.

"The Hero in the Hold" revisits the season two episode "Aliens In A Spaceship", where Brennan and Hodgins were buried alive by the grave digger. He kidnaps Booth and threatens to kill him in exchange for evidence pertaining to the FBI's open case. Brennan and the Jeffersonian team race against the clock to meet the demand without setting off any flags. Brennan also enlists Jared's help to expedite his brother's safe return. It is a thrilling episode and shows the passion and the closeness of the main cast for each other.

At the end of the season in "The Critic in the Cabernet" things get intense when Booth succumbs to a coma. Brennan makes a major life decision and enlists Booth's assistance. Simply how the entire cast carries their reactions to the odd request clearly highlight how great they are together. The situation is awkward and dramatic yet still funny. At the end, Booth enters a comatose state. While under a coma, Booth dreams about an alternative reality in "The End in the Beginning". In general, it is a pretty big way to end season four and sets up an interesting development for season five.

In addition to the mentioned episodes, the remainder of the season has a number of strong episodes. They include "The Perfect Pieces in the Purple Pond", the team investigates a headless body that requires Zack's help, "The Passenger in the Oven", Brennan and Booth race must solve a murder on an airplane before landing and losing jurisdiction in China, "Double Trouble in the Panhandle", Brennan and Booth go undercover at a circus with Sweets' help, "The Princess and the Pear", Brennan teams up with Perrota to investigate a murder at a sci-fi convention; Sweets goes undercover as a trekkie, and "The Girl in the Mask", a Japanese detective recruits Booth to help him unravel the disappearance of his sister.

Overall, Bones is a major success with its fourth season. The episodes continue to offer a fantastic mixture of drama, mystery, comedy, action, and intrigue. The storylines are never flimsy and continually offer engaging content. The cast is also topnotch and their performances and interactions give the series an edge that most shows fail to obtain. In short, Bones's fourth season is an intensely entertaining experience. It should not be missed.

Episode Guide

NOTE: This DVD set does not contain the complete fourth season. There were twenty-six episodes in the season and only twenty-two episodes (4-26) are included. The first four episodes were included as a "bonus" on the season three DVD set.

5. The Perfect Pieces in the Purple Pond: The decapitated remains of a mentally disturbed science-fiction writer lead to a search for the man's head--and his killer.
6. The Crank in the Shaft: A gruesome discovery in an elevator shaft opens the case of a slain office manager with a lengthy list of disgruntled suspects.
7. The He in the She: When the top half of a skeleton surfaces in Chesapeake Bay, the evidence points to plastic surgery, gender-bending, and murder.
8. The Skill in the Sculpture: The mangled corpse of an artist is found crushed within one of his own sculptures, and the man's assistant, an old flame of Angela's, is the prime suspect.
9. The Con Man in the Meth Lab: The corpse of a man with a puzzling false identity is found during a state police training exercise. Meanwhile, Brennan goes on a date with Booth's younger brother.
10. The Passenger in the Oven: When a roasted body is found in an oven aboard a flight to China, passengers Brennan and Booth must race to find the killer before the plane lands.
11. The Bone that Blew: Brennan's father is hired to teach children at the Jeffersonian, but Brennan is exasperated when he becomes involved in an ongoing murder investigation.
12. Double Trouble in the Panhandle: Booth and Brennan go undercover as circus performers when a sandstorm unearths the skeletal remains of conjoined twin sisters along the Texas-Oklahoma border.
13. Fire in the Ice: Booth is a prime suspect when his hockey rival is found dead, and a beautiful, blonde FBI agent is assigned to the case.

14. The Hero in the Hold: While Brennan and Hodgins race to rescue Booth from the sinister clutches of a serial killer known as the Grave Digger, the kidnapped Booth is joined by a mysterious friend.
15. The Princess and the Pear: With Booth on bed rest, Agent Perotta joins Brennan and the Squints as they enter the realm of science fiction and fantasy to investigate the death of a convention worker.
16. The Bones That Foam: A mysterious substance oozing from a corpse puts the Jeffersonian on lockdown and leads Booth and Brennan to a used-car dealer, a strip club, and a murder. Meanwhile, Sweets schools Brennan in the art of interrogation.
17. The Salt in the Wounds: As Brennan and Booth investigate the death of a pregnant teenager, they uncover what appears to be a bizarre, high school pregnancy pact. Meanwhile, Angela's desire to live spontaneously leads to heartache.
18. The Doctor in the Den: The stakes become personal when the body of Cam's ex-fiance is discovered in the tiger habitat at a wildlife park.
19. The Science in the Physicist: A Garbage bag filled with human remains and laced with meteorite fragments leads Booth and Brennan to a scientific research institute. Meanwhile, Angela's dad, Billy F. Gibbons, is back with a vengeance!
20. The Cinderella in the Cardboard: The discovery of a woman's body at a recycling center sparks an investigation and leads Booth and Brennan to a surprising discovery about Sweets' girlfriend, Daisy.
21. Mayhem on a Cross: A human skeleton being used as a stage-prop costs Booth and Brennan headlong into the morbid, musical realm of death metal.
22. The Double Death of the Dearly Departed: Booth and Brennan resort to bodysnatching in order to investigate the death of one of their Jeffersonian colleagues.
23. The Girl in the Mask: East meets west as Brennan and Booth team up with a Japanese investigative duo to solve a bizarre decapitation case.
24. The Beaver in the Otter: Booth and Brennan go back to school to investigate when the body of a fraternity member is found inside a rival school's mascot costume. Meanwhile, Booth offers to help his brother find a job.
25. The Critic in the Cabernet: While investigating the murder of a famed wine connoisseur, Brennan surprises the team by announcing that she wants to have a baby.
26. The End in the Beginning: Nothing is what it appears to be when a dead body is discovered at a popular nightclub called The Lab.

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. The sound quality is top notch and delivers a strong an audible experience by taking advantage of the 5.1 setup. The dialogue is easy to hear over background music and sounds effects. There are subtitles in English, French, and Spanish.

Extras:

  • Extended Episodes: are included for "The Perfect Pieces in the Purple Pond", "The Doctor in the Den", and "The Girl in the Mask". The episodes can be viewed in the originally airing or extended versions.
  • Deleted Scenes: are included for episodes "The Skull in the Sculpture" and "The Passenger in the Oven".
  • Gag Reel (5:44): is a montage of goofs caught up tape while filming.
  • Androgyny: Playing Haru Tanaka (6:44): is a short featurette with Ally Maki, who played the sexless Dr. Haru Tanaka in the episode "The Girl in the Mask". She talks about her experience, character, the case, and so on.
  • Squints in Training (9:49): is a featurette about season four's rotating assistants. It stars Carla Gallo, Pej Vahdat, Eugene Byrd, Michael Grant Terry, Ryan Cartwright, and Joel David Moore. They first talk about their characters and continue with more discussion about their experiences, characters' roles on the show, episodes, and so on.

Final Thoughts:
Bones continues to be very successful in its fourth season. Its major strength comes from its stellar cast, who are amazing together. There is also a slight change with a rotation of supporting characters as different individuals work at the Jeffersonian as Brennan's assistant in lieu of Zack. The string of new characters brings out different characteristics in the casts' personalities, which make every situation that much more fun. In addition to the cast, the season four episodes continue to be strong with intrigue, mystery, drama, and action. Overall, this season set is a must for fans. However, the first four episodes are not included, as they were released as a "bonus feature" with the season three DVD set.

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