When a series named around a particular person fails to develop that character after six seasons on air, something has gone horribly wrong. Now, you can’t count the little things that occur naturally like the development of a will-they-won’t-they relationship with another character, because every writer of every show ever includes that as a subplot to the bigger picture. If the character actually changes to accommodate that romance, that’s one thing, but far too often that’s never the case. For Bones and its protagonist Dr. Temperence ‘Bones’ Brennan this problem reigns supreme over all others: there hasn’t been significant change to her or her idiosyncratic, borderline autistic personality despite having spent five seasons being taught by everyone around her what’s normal and what’s not. What’s worse? That personality, with no change, has actually gone from quirky to horribly annoying, making the character and thus the show increasingly hard to enjoy.
At the end of the fifth season of Bones, the team parted ways with Bones (Emily Deschanel) heading off to research in Africa and Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) re-enlisting for another tour in the Middle East. Their reunion occurs when Dr. Camille Saroyan (Tamara Taylor) has her career put in jeopardy over a case she can’t solve which gives the higher ups the excuse they need to silence her public campaign about head trauma. The team reconvenes to solve the case and soon enough the gang’s back together and everything is back to normal – save for one thing: Booth fell in love while on tour. His new romantic interest, Hannah (Katheryn Winnick), transfers back to Washington as a member of the press corps forcing Bones to reconcile her past feelings for Booth with his now unavailable status.
Meanwhile, the rest of the team deals with romantic events of their own with Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) and Angela (Michaela Conlin) preparing for the birth of their child, Sweets (John Francis Daley) and Daisy (Carla Gallo) getting back together, and Camille balancing her job with a new love interest. On the crime solving side, the assassination of the serial killer Heather Taffet (Deirdre), aka “The Gravedigger”, puts them on the case of a former sniper associate of Booth’s, and it spells tragedy for some and final moments of truth for others.
The two substantial plotlines of the sixth season are Booth’s romance with Hannah and how that affects Bones and the sniper showdown that costs one member of the team their life. Even with the latter story giving the season’s second half a jolt of momentum (especially the episode that sets it off), the sixth season lags horribly. Katheryn Winnick’s character proves likable over time, but she’s also rather bland and gets written out quite suddenly, as if the producers didn’t want to deal with the two plots running simultaneously. And so, you would think that with the sudden offload of a plotpoint that the writers could devote extra time to finally developing Bones beyond being her socially awkward caricature – but they don’t.
A single episode sees Bones confronting her feelings of loss towards Booth who can no longer participate in what was essentially a sexless romance between them for five years. She spends the rest of the episode warming to and accepting those feelings, finally giving fans the relationship (in part) they’ve waited so long to see. Even that though, doesn’t warrant change in her syntax and speech patterns: Bones still doesn’t get sarcasm and still doesn’t understand how normal people experience emotions. She’s still every bit as detached as before; the budding romance registers as a fluke instead of an actual change.
Blu-ray Bonus Features
The extras are fairly basic save for one substantial featurette, including extended versions of two episodes and audio commentaries on others, a look at the series’ visual effects (which this season has a fair number of), and a surprisingly funny gag reel. The featurette of worth covers the episode that sees the city’s power shut down by a blizzard and the unconventional story that follows, which involves being stuck in an elevator with a set of bleacher seats.
"Bones: The Complete Sixth Season" is on sale October 11, 2011 and is not rated. Comedy, Crime, Drama. Directed by Dwight H Little, Ian Toynton. Written by Hart Hanson, Kathy Reichs, Karine Rosenthal. Starring David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, Michaela Conlin, Tj Thyne, Tamara Taylor, John Francis Daley.