"Bones" returned with a treat for fans on Monday, Jan. 14, as FOX aired two new episodes, beginning with 810, "The Diamond in the Rough," the latest Buck and Wanda undercover venture.
This "Bones" episode saw the team investigate when a body encrusted in crystals was found in a quarry by the host of "Paranormal Abnormalities" (and how much did you love Sweets' reactions as he watched the show?). The victim was Katarina, whose dance partner said she had been off her game lately. He'd already found another dance partner, and while both were possible suspects, another theory was that they could also be possible future victims as well, if the killer was trying to win the upcoming "Dance to the Top" competition. And so Booth (David Boreanaz) and Brennan (Emily Deschanel) went undercover as Buck and Wanda again. It turned out that Katarina had been poisoned over a long period of time with lead acetate, but that wasn't what killed her. While her friend Leila had been dosing her—she wanted to win, but she didn't want to kill her—it was her boyfriend Tommy who had broken her neck to help Leila win so she could get away from her controlling mother. While Leila as the one to poison Katarina wasn't much of a surprise, we enjoyed how the case played out, especially the bits in the lab as they discovered the maggots had moved the victim's pants down making it look like there could have been sexual assault and Hodgins' (TJ Thyne) experiment to free the bones. Yes, he was still King of the lab.
Brennan, Booth, Angela (Michaela Conlin), and Wendell (Michael Grant Terry) all faced challenges in "The Diamond in the Rough," both on and off the case. For Booth and Brennan, it was their undercover gig (and oh, how we loved seeing Buck and Wanda again). Brennan was much more excited than her partner, even willing to pay him to do it, and while she thought she could dance because she watched it on television, that proved to be untrue. She even got so wrapped up in the competition and her desire to win that they reminded her at one point that the main objective was to catch a murderer. Meanwhile, Booth faced the challenge of how to handle Brennan since she couldn't dance and he had a past in dancing—he used to teach it in college, and as much as he protested, it did sound like Sweets (John Francis Daley) was partly right and he was a gigolo ("Teach old woman?" "Mostly." "A lot of wandering hands?" "They would get tired, or they would lose their balance." "You were a gigolo. You were a gigolo for 30 bucks an hour."), which, as the episode showed, meant he did know what he was talking about. And even though their waltz audition was cringe-worthy ("I don't know much about dancing, but is it supposed to look like a fistfight?" Wendell asked as they watched), that didn't matter in the end because it ended on a very sweet, almost unexpected note. The judges and audience disappeared, leaving the couple dancing alone. "It's never going to end, Bones. It's always going to be just like this," Booth told her. Though it was surprising, it was also so very right. After seeing that ending, while it may not have been how we originally thought the episode would finish as it played out, it couldn't have ended in a better way.
One of the best parts of this episode was that it addressed Angela's restlessness in her job and dislike that she's no longer pursuing art head-on. Brennan tried to talk to her, but she didn't really understand. Cam (Tamara Taylor) tried to reassure Angela by praising her work, but that didn't help. In the end, it was Hodgins, determined to help his wife, who came up with the solution that Cam presented to Angela. She was reducing her hours, and everyone got what they wanted: Hodgins to be a hero, Angela reduced hours, and Cam Angela, because a little of her was better than a lot of anyone else.
Finally, Wendell wasn't having a good day at work as he kept breaking parts of the skeleton as he tried to remove the crystals from the bones, and he turned to Hodgins for help, even trying to bait him into it: "You're the King of the lab, or at least you used to be. Apparently now you're just another clueless tech." In the end, Hodgins did help, and while the first experiment (fortunately on a fake skeleton) failed, it was quite impressive when they were able to make the crystals vibrate off the skeleton without it collapsing.
Overall, "The Diamond in the Rough," while not the best episode of the season, was a strong one for the show's winter return. It had the right balance of drama, comedy, and romance, entertaining dance moves (both cringe-worthy and not), and an intriguing enough case. We tend to love the Buck and Wanda episodes—it's fun seeing them take on those personas while also being so typically Booth and Brennan at times while undercover—and this was no exception, though it wasn't our favorite Buck and Wanda undercover job. More of Buck and Wanda can only be a good thing.
"Bones" season 8 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on FOX. What did you think of "The Diamond in the Rough"?