Bones: Season Four – DVD Review

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The world of the crime drama is one that I’ve covered quite in depth over my three years of doing reviews here for Inside Pulse. There are all types of crime dramas from the serious to the humorous to dramatic to the sentimental and so on. Different locations are a main focus for each series as some take place in New York or Los Angeles while others are relegated strictly to the Air Force or Navy cases. Bones is one of those series that has a lot of qualities from different crime dramas thrown in together but does an excellent job of adding in some humor and great chemistry between the two lead characters. It is one of the few series that actually keeps me entertained episode to episode without ever getting stale. You’ll see how obvious that is too as season four of Bones seems like only the beginning of a long tenure on the air.

The series takes two people that you’d never expect to be working together and pairs them up to solve cases. First of all is FBI Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) who knows his stuff but usually goes off on instinct. And more times then not, his instinct is right on the money. Booth has an uncanny ability to read people and figure out things about them from just one meeting. He has a background as a sharpshooter and wishes to make up for the lives he took by solving murder cases and bringing killers to justice. Yep, I’m reviewing yet another crime drama series and there’s nothing I can do about it.

Dr. Temperance Brennan(Emily Deschanel), on the other hand, is a forensic anthropologist that uses science to put together the clues from a case. She takes every shred of evidence she can find, even if it’s the smallest piece, and can make it into a huge case-solver. Logic is her mindset and she uses it in any way imaginable to solve the murders presented to her.

Together they work on some of the strangest cases imaginable with Brennan’s team from the Jeffersonian Institute. Burned bodies, people buried in cement, and bodies found perfectly normal after being dead for months are just a few of the things that get thrown their way. And while Booth uses all of his experience and instinct to figure things out, Brennan is always there to use her forensic knowledge to butt heads with him. Her experience has earned her the fun nickname of “Bones” from her partner.

Bones does have a lot of the same facets of other crime dramas, which is to be expected. The duo is given a case to solve at the beginning of each episode and they simply must figure it out. Booth and Brennan somewhat remind me of Goren and Eames from Law & Order: Criminal Intent. The only difference is that Bones takes Goren and splits him up into two people making it interesting when they both have their own theories and try to rebuke one another’s. Eames usually just kind of sits back and doesn’t do much. Goren is figuring things out, catching every intricate detail, and even popping off some fun jokes that usually only amuse him. That last personality trait would be Booth’s contribution to the team.

You’re going to enjoy this series a lot if you like the whole crime drama thing because it really is a lot of fun with the seriousness of the cases and the playfulness of Booth and Brennan together. In some respects, Bones has grown into its own with all the secondary characters getting more attention and making this series into a somewhat overdramatic N.C.I.S., which is cool since I love that series too. It’s a nice touch to not have the whole focus of a television series be on one or two main characters, but also let us know exactly what is going on in the lives of those around them as well. Sure they may not be as important, but you have to admit that knowing more about secondary characters besides just their names and faces is a nice touch. Especially with a few new additions to the cast this season starting with FBI Agent Perotta and a number of lab assistants including Scott Starett, Colin Fisher, Daisy Wick, and a number of others.

Season four of Bones is a damn good one with plenty of awesome episodes, but there’s a bit of problem that is quite bothersome. The third season DVD set from the series included every episode from a writer’s strike shortened season but wanted to compensate to fans of the show. So the third season was released with the first four episodes of season four as a special bonus feature. Oddly enough this fourth season DVD set does not include those first few episodes and only ends up providing twenty-two of twenty-six total. Talk about making sure you purchase every single season, jeez! I still can’t help but tell you to buy them all anyway because Bones is an excellent series and season four is quite possibly the best we’ve seen yet. “The Hero In The Hold” and “The End In The Beginning” are more then enough reason to be happy here, but there are still twenty more fantastic episodes to keep you entertained.

Episodes

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Disc One:

The Perfect Pieces In The Purple Pond
The Crank In The Shaft
The He In The She
The Skull In The Sculpture

Disc Two:

The Con Man In The Meth Lab
The Passenger In The Oven
The Bone That Blew
Double Trouble In The Panhandle

Disc Three:

Fire In The Ice
The Hero In The Hold
The Princess And The Bear
The Bones That Foam

Disc Four:

The Salt In The Wounds
The Doctor In The Den
The Science In The Physicist
The Cinderella In The Cardboard

Disc Five:

Mayhem On A Cross
The Double Death Of The Dearly Departed
The Girl In The Mask
The Beaver In The Otter

Disc Six:

The Critic In The Cabernet
The End In The Beginning

Missing episodes included on the Season 3 DVD set: “Yanks In The U.K Parts 1 & 2,” “The Man In The Outhouse,” and “The Finger In The Nest.”

The episodes of Bones are shown in 1.78: Anamorphic Widescreen format and it looks extremely good. The transfer to DVD seems virtually flawless with blacks never too dark and all colors as bright and crisp as they need to be. The picture looks very sharp and seems to have been touched up considerably from how any show first looks when it airs on TV.

The episodes are heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and it also comes through perfectly. Bones consists of an extreme amount of dialogue and it can always be heard at a reasonable volume even when music does kick in at times.

Deleted Scenes – “The Skull And The Sculpture” and “The Passenger In The Oven” have a few deleted scenes along with them.

Gag Reel – The usual flubbed lines, uncontrollable laughing, and cursing when things don’t go right. Most of the time I could really just watch entire DVDs of goofs and gags so it’s really a shame they aren’t ever longer then just a few minutes. (5:44)

Androgyny: Playing Haru Tanaka – Actress Ally Maki sits down to talk about her character Haru Tanaka and the focus on her not ever having sex on the show. It’s not a bad little featurette, but there really isn’t much to be taken from it. (6:44)

Squints In Training – This feature gets a bit more in depth and lets the multiple lab assistants I talked about earlier discuss their time on the show. It really could have used another ten to fifteen minutes to let them all talk more about their roles and how they try to take over from one assistant to the next. Not a bad little segment at all. (9:49)

Extended Episodes – Three episodes have an option to watch the way they originally aired or with extended footage: “The Perfect Pieces In The Purple Pond,” “The Doctor In The Den,” and “The Girl In The Mask.” Why they didn’t include the two episodes with deleted scenes here is beyond me since they’re virtually the same thing.

The special features leave a lot to be desired, but season four of Bones is a sure winner and a must have for any fan. If you’re not a fan of the series though and want to get started then this is not the place for you to begin because of the missing four opening episodes which were included along with the season three DVD set. God, I think that is so stupid still not to include them here. I understand wanting to give fans a little more with the strike-shortened season but we want complete seasons as well when it all comes down to it. Bones and Booth continue to have great chemistry on screen with each case and the addition of new characters keeps things exciting and fresh. Season four is by far the best we’ve seen from this series but I’m willing to bet that will change time and time again as more seasons roll on through.


Twentieth Century Fox presents Bones: Season Four. Created by: Hart Hanson. Starring: Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz, Michaela Conlin, Eric Millegan, T.J. Thyne, Tamara Taylor. Running time: 964 minutes on 6 discs. Rating: Not Rated. Released on DVD: October 6, 2009. Available at Amazon.com

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