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Bones - The Purging of the Pundit - Review

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No trust, no trust, no trust.

That's the major takeaway from this week's episode of Bones, which sent the Jeffersonian and FBI teams back to doing what they do best - solving the murder of the week.

Booth's stint in prison, along with the death of a former partner, has him keeping Brennan and new FBI agent Aubrey at a distance; not sleeping by his wife's side, walking into a dangerous situation without someone who can have his back, and (according to Brennan) avoiding church. Booth brushes off these allegations, choosing instead to focus on the facts of the case, so I guess this review is going to have to follow suit...

This week's victim was a radio host who ran a politically conservative talk show alongside a liberal co-host (aka punching bag) and a hyper-rich man's man of a producer. From the very first scene featuring these two colleagues, there was enough friction to put one or both of them in high suspicion, but of course the show found several other potential suspects: an even MORE conservative political activist so desperate for attention that he confessed to murder, a dominatrix who insisted her services were therapeutic in nature, and a secretly drug-addicted wife who stood to gain millions from the victim's death.

So politics, kinky sex, and big money; that should make for a great episode, but somehow I ended the episode feeling a little let down. To explain this, I'm going to talk spoilers, so if you don't want the episode ruined for you, stop here.

For starters, I guessed the killer by his second line. The young punching-bag liberal who co-hosted the victim's show may have seemed mild-mannered, but he displayed a knack for vocal imitation during the argument with his boss; distinguishing features like that often end up being the telltale traits that mark characters as killers later on in the episodes, like the woman who tended to flip her hair or the groundskeeper who treated her shrubs like children. Even though the show explored some spicy alternatives, I found myself waiting for the clues to lead back to this character as the murderer...and they did.

The big thing that left me frustrated, though, was the treatment of the victim's BDSM lifestyle. As a longterm kinkster myself, I often look forward to seeing representations of bondage, dominance, sadism, and masochism in mainstream media, but find them pretty unsatisfying in their execution. This episode left me smacking my forehead, because at its core, a healthy BDSM connection requires trust and communication - two things that have been sorely lacking in Booth and Brennan's relationship.

Instead of using the dungeon scene and the dominatrix discussion as an opportunity to explore ways of helping Booth sort through his mistrust in those around him, they focused on the pain and abandonment the victim craved, which left him vulnerable to the murderer who confronted him later.

In the end, the episode solved the mystery, but left us wondering how long it'll be before Booth begins to trust again. Here's hoping it won't be too long before he embraces Sweets' final words, "...the world's a lot better than you think it is."

Couple of things I'd love to hear about in the comments section:
- This episode broke away from a multiple-episode storyline we've been seeing so far this season and dealt with a one-episode mystery. Were you happy to see the transition? Frustrated? Why?
- How does new agent James Aubrey seem to be fitting in? At the end of the case, he brought a bottle of cheap wine to the Booth/Brennan abode, but is that enough to embrace him as a member of the team?
- Any fellow kinksters out there? What did you think of the BDSM representation in this episode? Anyone else think it's really obvious that Emily Deschanel has never wielded a flogger before?
- How long will Booth remain mistrusting? What will break down those walls? Will it drive Brennan away?

About the Author - entropyki
Ki (aka entropyki) is a UX Researcher, roller derby enthusiast, Star Wars nerd, and road tripper. When she's not at a computer, she's driving, singing, watching TV, and generally being a badass, plus-sized twentysomething.

Favorite shows include Supernatural, Bones, Party Down, Futurama, Orange is the New Black, and the Big Bang Theory.

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