"Bones" season 8 saw Angela (Michaela Conlin) get out from behind her computers and into the rink in the Monday, Feb. 4, episode 14, "The Doll in the Derby," when they investigated the death of a roller derby skater.
While the case on "Bones" this week was a bit predictable—it couldn't have been the husband because the signs were pointing his way and Ivanna did have the knowledge to kill Melinda—it was an enjoyable episode and we did like how the case played out. After another gross crime scene—could it have been anything but disgusting with tissue falling off bone (and that was after a rookie officer slipped in the remains and practically rolled around in them)—they found signs that could've meant domestic abuse, but as Booth (David Boreanaz) and Brennan (Emily Deschanel) discovered, their victim was into roller derby—and she was definitely all over the place with extreme behavior, with drugs, guys, and, as it turned out, stealing. The husband did have an alibi at first, but then it turned out no one could account for him at the hospital between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. (It turned out he was sleeping after a long shift.) But while it wouldn't have been surprising if he had killed her or if Bennett, the roller derby team owner, who may have been skimming off the top and had been sleeping with her, had murdered her, instead, it turned out to be Ivanna, a physical therapy student who had caught her stealing and taking money.
Meanwhile, Booth was busy with something at the hospital, and it had Angela and Cam (Tamara Taylor) concerned when Brennan said she couldn't tell them anything. It turned out that he had put together a carnival for NF patients, but he didn't want any credit; he saw real charity as anonymous. After all, "Booth is a very good man." "Bones" doesn't show much of Booth away from work and home, and "The Doll in the Derby" did a very good job of doing just that.
We also loved seeing Angela out of the lab, undercover as a roller derby skater, and drunk (sorry, Angela, you're not getting a second kiss from Booth). From the moment that Angela hid behind the curtains—of the Angelatron—to change to Angela being drunk while out with one of the skaters, Michaela Conlin was a delight in this episode. It gave her a chance to, like Angela said, get out from behind her computers and revisit her "wild woman" days—as Smackie Kennedy.
Finally, Wendell's (Michael Grant Terry) was a positive of the episode as well. They could've gone the easy route and had him down about his birthday because he was approaching 30. Instead, we learned a bit more about his family—and got a fun reminder of when he and Angela dated, complete with jealous Hodgins (TJ Thyne) and Wendell covering up part of Angela's painting because of their friendship. While Angela and Wendell's relationship is best left in the past, it's always entertaining to see Hodgins and Wendell's friendship.
All in all, it was pretty much what we expect from a "Bones" episode, with the right balance of drama and comedy, and with what has happened in more recent episodes, such as "The Corpse on the Canopy," and what's to come with "The Shot in the Dark," it also came at the right time. The case was intriguing, the side stories were fun and touching, and we got to see different sides of a couple of the characters.
"Bones" season 8 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on FOX. What did you think of "The Doll in the Derby"?
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