Stars: David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, Michaela Conlin, TJ Thyne, Tamara Taylor, John Boyd, Michael Grant Terry, David Berman, Kirsten Nelson, Sunnie Pelant
Writer: Hilary Weisman Graham, series created by Hart Hanson, based on the life and writings of Kathy Reichs
Director: Michael Lange
Network: Fox Network, Thursdays @ 8 PM
Airdate: October 15, 2015
It’s nice to see that, in Season 11, BONES cares about both narrative and emotional continuity. In “The Donor in the Drink,” there is of course a murder to be solved, but there’s also the matter of getting Booth (David Boreanaz) settled back into the FBI, him dealing with grief over his brother’s death and everyone at the lab trying to be helpful to boss Cam (Tamara Taylor) after she breaks up with her longtime boyfriend. In addition to this, the episode takes time to establish that Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Booth’s young daughter Christine (Sunnie Pelant) is a loving older sister and that Angela’s (Michaela Conlin) artistic aspirations extend to photography. It’s all there and everything gets its due, no small feat.
The main story in “Donor” revolves around a body found in a fish farm pond. Much of the remains have been eaten by trout. At first, it seems as though the fish have concentrated on some of the major organs, but sleuthing proves that the victim, an inventor whose one big success was an indestructible mailbox back in the Nineties, had his organs harvested prior to being dumped in the drink. This leads our heroes to a black market organ-selling ring, though the brokers aren’t in the habit of murdering their donors. Indeed, the main broker (Kirsten Nelson) believes she is performing an altruistic service, providing transplants for those gravely in need who have neither the time nor money to go the conventional route.
The culprit turns out to be the victim’s business associate Tim Diffley (David Berman of CSI), who lost his temper when his own invention was rejected and lashed out lethally with an SUV bumper guard. Having been involved with the organ-selling ring himself (Booth and Aubrey see the surgical scars), Tim knew they’d help him get rid of the remains.
There are some witty/gross bits here, such as the revelation during a funeral that the deceased is about to be buried minus a few crucial pieces. The subplot about Brennan and Booth’s children and how it links to Booth’s feelings about the loss of his brother is handled with delicacy and charm. The photos attributed to Angela are indeed striking and it’s gratifying that Cam’s arc is treated as a character through-line instead of something to be dismissed as soon as the active romance ends.
“The Donor in the Drink” has a lot of pleasing peripheral proceedings, as well as some punchy proof in the primary plotline.
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Article: TV Review: BONES – Season 11 – “The Donor in the Drink”