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Bones - The Steal in the Wheels - Review

Do you know that expression, "Jack of all trades, Ace of none"? I couldn't help but think of that phrase as I watched "The Steal in the Wheels", the fourth-from-the-last episode of Bones.

The phrase refers to a person or thing that does many things satisfactorily, but nothing particularly well. And as the show approaches its series finale, there are bound to be a few episodes that spread themselves a bit thin, trying to gather up the loose ends of storyline in preparation for a solid conclusion.


This week's victim was Dustin Doyle, a criminally-inclined twentysomething who participated in robberies to pay for his mother's medications. He was also a demolition derby hobbyist whose partners in crime turned on him when a bank teller skimmed some of their profits.

But our focus was split a little thinner than usual, partly because Brennan and Booth went undercover as Buck and Wanda Moosejaw (their favorite alter-egos) to sniff out the compatriots, and partly because the team (and special guest/former psychiatric wizard Gordon Gordon-Wyatt) was also busy working on unearthing fresh evidence to exonerate Zack Addy.

Zack, as you might remember, is their longtime-incarcerated former intern, who was coerced into joining a cannibalistic society way back in season 3. Dialogue this week suggests that his hearing is two weeks (possibly two episodes) away, and so far the evidence in his defense is meager. Gordon-Wyatt suggested that the team go hunting for the cannibal's former apprentice to gather more clues, and despite the fact that the apprentice was killed almost a decade ago, they managed to discover the apprentice's coffin at the end of the episode. We're sure to learn more about this in the next couple of episodes.


This episode continued the theme of Brennan struggling to cope with her father's death; she was terse and short-tempered for most of the episode, even when in her "disguise" as Wanda. This felt a bit forced and out of character for two reasons: first, because I thought the show already did a very good job of working through the worst of her grief in the previous episode ("The Grief in the Girl"), and second, because Brennan has always savored the opportunity to go undercover. While Gordon-Wyatt suggested that participating in a demolition derby would be therapeutic, that section of the script felt pretty weak. I'm kinda bummed, too, because I suspect that's the last time we'll get a visit from Buck or Wanda!

And although the Cuban intern, Rodolfo Fuentes, has never been my favorite character, I'll admit that I kind of enjoyed the moment when he received a celebratory blue coat from Cam to commemorate his doctorate. He was quick to point out that the achievement was bittersweet, because it meant he would be leaving the lab. That moment was the only one this week that felt truly loaded. Like Rodolfo, we're approaching the final farewell of the Jeffersonian. For most of us, the lab has been a place of intrigue and wisdom and camaraderie. It'll be sad to say goodbye.

So "The Steal in the Wheels" covered a lot of ground this week; it had the classic murder-of-the-week, a blast from the past, a development in Zack's upcoming hearing, a therapy session behind the wheel of a car, and an almost farewell. That felt like a lot inside of 44 minutes, but none of it done particularly well. I can be a little harsh, though; what did y'all think? Is it lining up those storylines so we can tie them all together soon?

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