Emily Deschanel in BONES - Season 8 - "The Maiden in the Mushrooms" | ©2013 Fox/Ray Mickshaw

Emily Deschanel in BONES - Season 8 - "The Maiden in the Mushrooms" | ©2013 Fox/Ray Mickshaw

Stars: David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, Michaela Conlin, Tamara Taylor, TJ Thyne, John Francis Daley, Luke Kleintank, Gina Hecht, Jason Gerhardt, Alison Scagliotti, David Petruzzi, Yelyna DeLeon, Danielle Harris, Jeff Howard, Kim Hidalgo, Susan Feniger
Writer:
Lyla Oliver, series created by Hart Hanson, based on the life and writings of Kathy Reichs
Director:
Jeannot Szwarc
Network:
Fox, Mondays @ 8 PM
Airdate:
April 3, 2013

The main storyline in the BONES episode “The Maiden in the Mushrooms” concerns a corpse that turns out to be the earthly remains of young producer Rebecca (Danielle Harris) on a “reality” show called “Citizen’s Court.” Any resemblance to PEOPLE’S COURT and JUDGE JUDY is strictly intentional, with Gina Hecht’s character Judge Trudy an almost look-and-sound-alike for we know who.

While the Jeffersonian team tries to figure out exact cause of death and Booth (David Boreanaz) attempts to deduce who did it, Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Hodgins (TJ Thyne) are both on quests of their own. When the preschool calls in Booth and Brennan to talk about the fact that their daughter Christine bit another child, Brennan is appalled. Maybe “average” two-year-olds bite, but Christine is her daughter and therefore cannot be average, let alone a biter. Even though Booth is fine with this phase, Sweets (John Francis Daley) tries to assure Brennan that this is normal and Angela (Michaela Conlin) comes up with evidence suggesting Christine probably did bite the other girl, Brennan insists that her little girl is innocent of this behavior – until Christine bites Brennan. At this point, Brennan would prefer to cover up the evidence.

Meanwhile, after not realizing he was consuming the last bottle of hot sauce made by lab assistant Finn’s (Luke Kleintank) late grandmother, Hodgins vows to replicate the condiment. Hodgins is so successful that he and Finn take the substance to restauranteur Susan Feniger (playing herself), who agrees to market it as Opie and Thurston’s Hot Sauce (as Hodgins refers to young Southerner Finn as Opie and Finn calls Hodgins by the name of the rich castaway on GILLIGAN’S ISLAND). Since Finn is perpetually broke and Hodgins lost all his money due to an evil computer hacker/serial killer in a previous episode, the idea of a new income stream is appealing.

Although it at first seems that Rebecca might have been killed by Trudy, her on-the-job replacement (a sparkly Alison Scagliotti) or a stalker, it turns out that the crime was committed by the victim’s ex-boyfriend.Griff (Jason Gerhardt). When the couple broke up, they got joint custody of their adopted dog, but Rebecca left the dog chained to the porch. Griff offered to take over full custody, but Rebecca refused and the dog ultimately hanged herself. Griff took revenge by hanging Rebecca. Brennan seems somewhat sympathetic to the culprit, noting that in at least one culture, a man’s companion animal is considered part of him and anyone who killed that animal was subject to death.

The episode has sympathy for Griff as well – while it stops short of suggesting that people be summarily hanged for animal abuse, neither does it offer the usual rebuke to the killer from Booth or Brennan. Leaving a dog chained up all day and refusing to give it to a good home when one is offered is indeed cruddy behavior, and if “The Maiden in the Mushrooms” gets any viewers to think about this matter, it has done a good deed.

As for Brennan’s determination to exonerate Christine (when no one else cares in the first place) and then hide the fact that Christine bit her, this is possibly a little more disturbing than intended. Brennan’s seems over-zealous here, to the point when we hope that Christine doesn’t go on to do anything seriously criminal, for her own sake, for Brennan’s sake and for the sake of society, since Mom seems ready to do anything to maintain her daughter’s good name. This isn’t remotely out of character and in fact reminds us that, given the right circumstances, Brennan will put love and loyalty above even the truth.

The hot sauce plot thread starts off iffy but becomes endearing, with Hodgins determined to make up his insensitivity to Finn. The byplay between Thyne and Kleintank is likable and amusing.

Kudos are in order for the hair, makeup and wardrobe departments, and most especially actress Hecht, who creates a full character while maintaining a very strong likeness to a known TV personality.

“The Maiden in the Mushrooms” has a lot going on, and most of its activity ultimately pays off.

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

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