Stars: David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, Michaela Conlin, TJ Thyne, Tamara Taylor, John Francis Daley, Carla Gallo
Dean Lopata, series created by Hart Hanson, based on the life and writings of Kathy Reichs
Dwight Little
Fox, Mondays @ 8 PM
October 8, 2012

Normally, the BONES episode “The Tiger in the Tale” would merit a B. It’s a solid episode, but it has the drawbacks of Brennan (Emily Deschanel) suddenly wanting to run for President of the United States (huh?) and psychiatrist Sweets (John Francis Daley) displaying stunning blindness when it comes to the psyche of his own girlfriend, lab assistant Daisy Wicks (Carla Gallo).

However, “Tiger” is elevated by three things. First, it hinges on a real topic of concern to this reviewer, who can arbitrarily raise ratings based on such things (so there). Second, as it is something close to Brennan’s heart, it allows for Deschanel to bring up depths of fury and anguish seldom found in her character. Finally, the forensics are really intriguing, with Cam (Tamara Taylor) figuring out that the trajectory of a bullet changed its apparent size as it moved through flesh and bone (watch the episode to see how this matters to the investigation or we’ll be here all day).

When a dead body is found in the woods by a bickering couple, with the deceased’s face getting sprayed onto one of the discoverers in a particularly nice gross bit, the body is found to be a man who went from middle-class business owner to day laborer. The man’s ex-wife and her unpleasant new boyfriend are suspects, but our team deduces that the victim helped out in the exotic animal trade. This is where animals like tigers can be bought and sold as pets, or even targets in “canned hunts” (though “Tiger” doesn’t get into the latter, since Brennan might actually commit murder over this). This is why, in the real world, there are now more captive tigers in Texas than live in the wilds of Asia.

Brennan is outraged by the whole business, noting that wild animals are miserable in cages. This leads her and Booth (David Boreanaz) into a very funny discussion of when, if ever, their daughter Christine will go to a zoo. We also learn that Booth wants to get a dog for the family – and name it Gretzky.

It turns out that, while trafficking in tigers is perfectly legal, it’s a felony to sell a rare, endangered purebred Siberian tiger. The victim was mauled by a Siberian tiger, which our team tracks to an animal collector. It turns out the collector shot and killed the tiger, prompting an outburst of enraged grief from Brennan that is affecting in how genuine it feels. The murderer turns out to be a “pet fair” organizer who brokered the sale of the tiger; when the tiger scratched the victim, the organizer decided to permanently shut up his helper rather than take the man to the hospital.

Meanwhile, Sweets and Daisy are planning on moving in together. Over the course of the day, Sweets hears from everybody else that what he sees as a minor commitment, Daisy views as a logical next step on the road to marriage. When Daisy innocently confirms this, Sweets apologizes for misleading her and breaks up with her.

The breakup scene is handled with a good deal of sensitivity, allowing Daley the opportunity to be uncommonly straightforward and low-key as Sweets comes to grips with the enormity of his miscalculation and the hurt he’s inflicting, and lets Gallo show she can do serious and thoughtful (Daisy is usually self-involved and overly upbeat).

The forensics aspect is a lot of fun, with Hodgins (TJ Thyne) bringing in remote-controlled airplanes (a nice shout-out to a previous episode) and all kinds of variables, including Angela (Michaela Conlin) coming up with a variety of imprecise sketches, due to the state of the victim’s skull.

However, the topic explored, and Brennan’s reaction to it, are what make “Tiger in the Tale” especially compelling. Those who want to learn more on the topic may want to check out National Geographic Wild’s series ANIMAL INTERVENTION. Those who don’t still have a strong episode of BONES here.


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Related Link: Exclusive Interview with BONES executive producer Carla Kettner

Related Link: Exclusive Interview with BONES star TJ Thyne – Part 1

Related Link: Exclusive Interview with BONES star TJ Thyne – Part 2

Related Link: Part 1 of AX’s EXCLUSIVE HART HANSON Interview


Related Link: Exclusive Interview with David Boreanaz on BONES

Related Link: Exclusive EMILY DESCHANEL interview on BONES

Related Link: EXCLUSIVE interview with BONES star MICHAELA CONLIN

Related Link: Exclusive Interview with JOHN FRANCIS DALEY on BONES

Article Source: Assignment X 
Article: TV Review: BONES – Season 8 – “The Tiger in the Tale”


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  1. Thank you, RACHEL REITSLEFF, for publishing an insightful and discerning review of the Bones’ “Tiger” episode. I agree with everything you said here. I have been disappointed by some negative reviews whose writers seem to have missed the nuances of these performances and the development of each key relationship; predominantly, that of Brennan and Booth. I, and many of my fellow Bones lovers, have been delighted, inspired, and impressed with each episode of Season 8. We’ve seen the couple handling their very life-like challenges in a mature fashion without tying an unrealistic big happy Hollywood ribbon of perfect resolution around them. Hart Hanson and his crew, not least of which are David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel, have done an amazing job wielding their craft to bring the viewing public ground-breaking dimensions in episodic television. I have been most impressed with their ability to overcome timeline lapses, to reestablish relationship chemistry after a great deal of adversity in the personal lives of our two main characters, and to continue to come up with interesting cases. Surely, it has not been an easy road. I tip my hat to Bones Season 8, and to you, Rachel, for posting this judicious review.
    ~MoxieGirl44 oN Twitter

  2. I believe the entire show showing people owning wild animals is dumb. These people should grow up and have a kid if they want to be parents. I am so sad to see these animals in cages only for the humans entertainment. These are wild animals, they should be somewhere free.


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