The best parts of the Monday, Feb. 18 installment of "Bones" season 8, episode 16, "The Friend in Need," weren't those about the case, but those about the characters' personal lives as they investigated the death of a teenager whose remains were part of yet another gross crime scene.
This episode's "Bones" case was interesting enough to have us wanting to know what happened to the victim, Manny, a teenager who was last seen at a crazy party two weeks before his remains were found, but there have been much better cases. In the end, it wasn't surprising that he hadn't been the one who raped Kat, one of his few friends and the girl he had a crush on, nor was it a surprise that the guy who had raped her also was the one who murdered Manny. Yes, it could've been a more intriguing case, and yes, Kat's mother telling her daughter not to call the police was a definite negative of the episode (though seeing her turn things around and willing to get her daughter whatever helped she needed was good to see), but the rest of the episode did make up for its flaws.
"The Friend in Need" ended up featuring an emotional moment for Sweets (which may have been a bit unprofessional, but let's put that aside) as he told Kat about the abuse he suffered as a child that he thought was his fault until someone helped him see it wasn't. We've wanted to see Sweets' past revisited in some way ever since we first learned about it, and it seemed like a good time to do just that. Balancing out the emotional personal story for Sweets' was an amusing one for Booth and Brennan as she worked on the crossword puzzle he had been doing, only to find herself stumped when it came to "Gilligan's Island," which led to her consulting an atlas and then doing research about it. It allowed the series to take a look into the easygoing side of Booth and Brennan's relationship at home after the drama of their fight in "The Shot in the Dark."
Finally, this episode also saw Michelle in town visiting Finn, but keeping it a secret from Cam. However, Finn could only lie so long before he spilled the news of her visit to Cam, who then proposed they set up Michelle so Finn didn't look like the bad guy. And while that worked, Cam was then the next one to blurt out secrets to Michelle, first about Finn telling her and then about her relationship with Arastoo, which became a secret Michelle needed to keep from Finn. Considering Michelle did the best job of the three keeping secrets in this episode, Cam's secret should be safe with her. Cam's personal life isn't one they explore too often on the show, so it's always nice to see her and Michelle together—as was Cam and Finn's conversation as he told her Michelle was in town.
Overall, it may not have been the best episode of the season, but not every one can be, and following "The Shot in the Dark" is a tough place to fall in the season. And fortunately, it featured stronger character storylines to balance a case that we didn't find kept our attention like previous ones have. But still, "Bones" is "Bones," and shows can't always be perfect.
"Bones" season 8 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on FOX. What did you think of "The Friend in Need"?
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