‘Bones’ Season 8, Episode 13: Volcanoes and a Video
Bones regularly deals with the macabre, but rarely does it deal with the topic of death and its impact on those left behind.
However, “The Twist in the Plot” delves into the realm of “green” burials and death doulas, allowing each character the opportunity to dig a little deeper into their thoughts on what they want to leave behind. More specifically, it deals with three aspects of death that are fairly universal.
The first topic tackled by almost the entire main cast of characters is burial. Hodgins (TJ Thyne) wants to be shot up in space and into the sun, which is fairly similar to Cam’s (Tamara Taylor) desire to be cremated. Ever on the extreme side, Brennan (Emily Deschanel) has already prepared explicit instructions for her funeral which evolve from her being dismembered by hammers and fed to vultures to having her remains tossed into a volcano. This is because Booth (David Boreanaz) has always wanted to visit an active volcano and she figures it would make the perfect father/daughter trip for he and Christine. Booth, meanwhile, needs nothing more than a coffin and a priest.
If burial talk makes people uncomfortable, drawing up a last will and testament is even worse. The first victim uncovered in the shallow grave, Monica, is a client of the second victim, Rachel. Monica was suffering from a rapidly spreading lung cancer and as her death doula, one of her jobs involved helping to compose the dying woman’s last will and testament. This prompts a classic car conversation between Booth and Brennan on wills, revealing, to nobody’s surprise, that Brennan has composed a 312 page thesis on her last wishes, while Booth’s got his on a sticky note in his top drawer at work.
The theme flowing throughout, however, is the emotional impact death has on those it leaves behind. Monica’s death was painful for her husband Wes (Larry Dorf) on one level because he was losing her and on another because she was in so much pain before the end. This pain leads to her death being sped along by poisoning; though whether she poisoned herself or was rushed along to make room for Rachel – Wes’ new mistress – is left for the viewer to decide.
Case-wise, it’s Rachel’s death that has the most impact. The sad news brings her business partner and one-time lover, Akshay Mirza (Vic Sahay), to his knees and makes him so verklempt he’s unwilling to relinquish Brennan’s comforting hand. And her murder, combined with Monica’s accelerated death, nearly crushes Wes’ spirit with guilt. Though one can hardly feel sad for a man swapping the last moments of his wife’s life for tantric sex.
The third emotional death dealt with is the break-up between Sweets (John Francis Daley) and Daisy (Carla Gallo). Rarely does Bones return to previous stories, but when they do, there’s always a purpose. Here, it’s to live out the death of a relationship and address how one carries on when your ex is your co-worker. Both actors handle it well and infuse the correct amount of awkwardness and emotional fragility to make it believable. The scene between Cam and Daisy also stands out, allowing both women’s talents to shine beautifully.
No one, however, shines brighter than David Boreanaz. Throughout the episode, he shows Booth attempting to work out his feelings onto paper, but words aren’t his thing any more than social interaction is Brennan’s. His soliloquy on the couch, pouring his heart out to his baby daughter while his parter watches silently in the wings, is nothing short of gut-wrenching. And their subsequent embrace on the couch with the camcorder still rolling is proof that the chemistry between these two leads is still going strong.
Bones airs Mondays @8pm on Fox.