Stars: David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, Michaela Conlin, Tamara Taylor, TJ Thyne, John Francis Daley, Carla Gallo, Gloria Garayua, JD Walsh, Rona Benson, Wilmer Calderon, Joseph Williamson
Writers:
Sanford Golden & Karen Wyscarver, series created by Hart Hanson, based on the life and writings of Kathy Reichs
Director:
Kate Woods
Network:
Fox, Mondays @ 8 PM
Airdate:
March 18, 2013

The idea of murder within a survivalist group has a lot of potential, but it’s largely squandered in the BONES episode “The Doom in the Gloom.” It’s almost as though the creative team was afraid of giving offense, despite the fact that both Booth (David Boreanaz) and Sweets (John Francis Daley) refer to the doomsday preppers here as crazy. Rather than doing something specific with what could happen within a group of heavily armed folks who believe that the end of life as we know it is fast approaching and that they may have to defend their turf from (among others) members of the government, “Doom” reduces the motive to something pretty mundane that doesn’t have much to do with the group dynamic.

Unlike most BONES episodes, “Doom” shows us the actual murder, as a woman wakes up groggily on the floor, draws her weapon, opens a door – and is hit by a huge fireball that not only incinerates her but blows her back so far that she’s decapitated.

When the victim is identified as Deanna Barbieri, formerly of theU.S.military, the team finds that she had been discharged after an argument over Deanna’s survivalist philosophy with her friend (Gloria Garayua) got physical. We then meet the survivalists, who seem pretty self-sufficient, even if evidence suggests they’re giving up on civilization prematurely. It turns out that Deanna was killed by the wife of the survivalist leader – despite their theoretical “open marriage,” the wife was unhappy about Deanna’s affair with her husband. Granted, this is a plausible motive for murder, but it feels disappointingly commonplace, given the potential offered by the set-up.

The B plot involves Sweets at last finding his own apartment and moving out of the Booth/Brennan (Emily Deschanel) household. Brennan will miss the free, reliable childcare and Booth will miss … well, maybe he won’t miss Sweets living there, maybe he will. Since neither great drama nor comedy has arisen from Sweets living with his colleagues, it’s not like we have much sense of a meaningful chapter closing, despite all the time and dialogue that is expended on it. As is pointed out a few times, they’ll all still see each other at work.

Additionally, Sweets’ ex Daisy (Carla Gallo), Brennan’s assistant for the episode, tells him how wonderful he is and they both ponder why it is they broke up. This serves to keep the spotlight on Sweets, but doesn’t seem germane to the moving-out subplot, much less the survivalist mystery.

“The Doom in the Gloom” doesn’t contain much doom (except for the deceased and the doomsday beliefs of the guest characters) nor any gloom. Alas, it doesn’t contain much substance of any other sort either.

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Article:TV Review: BONES – Season 8 – “The Doom in the Gloom”

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