“Bones” — Season 4

By Jae-Ha Kim
Amazon.com

If the fourth season of Bones on DVD gets off to a slightly jumpy start, it’s because the first four episodes are missing. They were actually included as a bonus feature on the third season’s boxed set, in an effort to pad that truncated season.

(However, the Blu-ray version of the fourth season does include all 26 episodes, which originally aired during the 2008-2009 television season.) That said, there’s little else to gripe about with this collection. Like many shows revolving around murder, Bones is strewn with body parts–a displaced finger here, a falling leg there.

But the gross-out factor often is balanced with humor as Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and FBI special agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) try to figure out whodunit. Though some of the vignettes are on the weak side (a character deciding to become celibate, while another wants to start a family), the overall tone of the show is dead on. This season includes the addition of several new interns, who are vying to fill the spot left by Zack Addy (Eric Millegan). (It was revealed last season that Addy had been working as the apprentice for the serial killer known as Gormogon.)

Well developed and also a little eccentric, the interns can give as good as they get as they compete for the job and fit in well with the already established cast. The cases this season are diverse. One episode delves into the investigation of a pregnant teenage athlete’s death that seems to be part of a high school “pregnancy pact,” while another finds Brennan and Booth as passengers on a plane where a crisp, burnt body is discovered. And in another, Booth finds himself as the main suspect when a longtime rival is found dead.

The simmering chemistry between Brennan and Booth is never lost in the intrigue. Though many TV dramas use the “will they” or “won’t they” device to pique viewers’ interests, that scenario usually loses momentum by the second or third season. Thanks to some smart writing and sharp acting, this conceit hasn’t worn itself out yet on Bones. While the show hints that the two are destined to be together, that plot line isn’t exploited this season.

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