Stars: David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, Michaela Conlin, TJ Thyne, Tamara Taylor, John Francis Daley, Scott Lowell, John Ducey, Rosalind Chao, Hal Ozsan, Ashley Jones, Jordan Belfi, Chris Williams, Amy Landers, Michael Charles Roman, Rene Rosado, Abhi Sinha
Writer:
Karine Rosenthal, series created by Hart Hanson, based on the life and writings of Kathy Reichs
Director:
Emile Levisetti
Network:
Fox, Mondays @ 8 PM
Airdate:
May 7, 2012

As with so many shows about celebrity sleuths, BONES finally gets around to the episode, “The Suit on the Set,” where somebody is making a movie of one of Brennan’s (Emily Deschanel) books, here entitled BONE OF CONTENTION. Brennan’s literary alter ego is named Kathy Reichs (the real-life name of the author/forensic anthropologist who wrote the novels that are the basis for the BONES series) and Booth’s (David Boreanaz) movie character is called Lister (maybe somebody’s a RED DWARF fan?). The murder victim, who happens to be the studio boss, is called Hanson Stephens, after BONES show runners Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan, and there’s a screenwriter character named Liam Toynen, which sounds an awful like another BONES executive producer, Ian Toynton.

Brennan and Booth travel to the set of BONE OF CONTENTION as visitors. Brennan barely has time to be appalled by the poor science in the script when a real skeleton turns up on the slab in the set. Brennan – not quite so appalled that she wants the movie scrapped – suggests that she and Booth investigate the crime as they are experts and already present. After interviewing practically everybody, the culprit is the head of the landscaping department (Amy Landers), who ran over the studio head with her golf cart. (Apparently this is an idea the BONES writers have been playing with for awhile – see the recent Assignment X interview with executive producer Carla Kettner.) The distraught landscaper couldn’t help herself when the studio head first destroyed the trunk of a topiary elephant as it was blocking his view of the film’s director and leading lady (Ashley Jones) having sex (the studio head and a gardener were also both involved with the actress), then threatened to fire the landscaper.

Back at the lab, Hodgins (TJ Thyne) at first reluctantly, then enthusiastically bonds with Barry Scott (John Ducey), the actor playing Hodgins’ character. It helps that Barry has a forensic science background. (Brennan can’t believe he left science for a “foolish” job like acting.) Barry is likewise thrilled, and arranges to get the lab folks cameos in the film. The real discover is that Barry was in a movie called INVASION OF THE MOTHERSUCKERS that featured Jeffersonian lab chief Camille Saroyan (Tamara Taylor) in her pre-med days. Hodgins and Angela (Michaela Conlin) make it their mission to track down the last remaining print of this schlockfest and, despite Cam’s embarrassment, everyone gathers to watch it. The episode ends with a scene from the BONE OF CONTENTION trailer, with the Brennan/Booth surrogates running through picnicking extras – Hodgins, Angela, Cam and Sweets (John Francis Daley) – pursued by a huge fireball.

There is a lot of funny stuff here, including the varying degrees of movie-struck-ness experienced by all of our regulars to one degree or another. The whole plot hinges on Brennan’s horror at the thought of the movie being squelched by a criminal investigation, while Booth, despite knowing that he really should interrogate the actor (Jordan Belfi) playing Lister, warms up when the thespian says Booth is like Steve McQueen.

BONES, for those who don’t know, shoots on the Fox lot, and “The Suit on the Set” takes full advantage of the studio’s soundstage murals (except, oddly, for the one from THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK) and topiary features – there really are trees cut into animal shapes surrounding the offices. There is also fun to be had with our old friend Dr. Fillmore (Scott Lowell) the podiatrist, who is now a forensics consultant to the production and comes in for more absent-minded verbal abuse from Brennan.

This is very deftly done, with gentle but on-target pokes at everything from the tongue-twisting forensics dialogue (with Hodgins and Barry both admiring a line that probably killed both actors in real-life rehearsal) to some odd publicity the series received a little while back. There are also some more obscure in-jokes – the donuts clearly mean something, but someone with more knowledge of BONES minutiae will have to puzzle that one out.

There is a small subplot with Booth being offered, and briefly considering, a job as a studio guard (better pay, better hours and much less danger). He turns it down, but not because of his devotion to his job or his respect for Brennan’s commitment to her own career. Instead, Booth tells Brennan he declined the position because the two of them wouldn’t get to work together any longer if he accepted it. This is very sweet, though it’s a little disconcerting that he and Brennan would contemplate leaving, respectively, the FBI and the Jeffersonian. Granted, both have done it before, but that was to take on more (not less) intense assignments. Still, it allows for an affecting moment – and one more affectionate ribbing, as it takes place in front of a heart-adorned scrim.

Also, the sight of Taylor in a ‘70s-era Afro wig (yes, she’s probably too young for all that, but never mind) and vamp fangs is not soon to be forgotten. “The Suit on the Set” is very enjoyable, the more so for letting us chuckle without trying to force laughs.

UPDATE: New Interview - Exclusive Interview with BONES executive producer Stephen Nathan on Season 7 and beyond

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Related Link: 
TV Review – BONES – Season 7 – “The Past in the Present” – Season Finale

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Article Source: Assignment X
Article: TV Review – BONES – Season 7 – “The Suit on the Set”

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