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Truth, Beauty, Love & Sparkles: Bones “The Diamond in the Rough” Review

By on January 15, 2013
Image © FOX

Image © FOX

Bones returned with back to back new episodes “The Diamond in the Rough” and “The Archeologist in the Cocoon” last night, but did it return to form?

After a series of weighty Pelant-related episodes last year (and look out for more of those later this season), season eight has had its fair share of comic relief. “The Diamond in the Rough” is another such episode. Planting a toe in the world of professional ballroom dancing (and a tongue firmly in its cheek) the episode sees Brennan and Booth investigating the murder of Kendra Wurz, a world-class ballroom dancer whose crystal-encrusted remains are discovered in a local quarry by a TV host from a paranormal investigation show. And if this all sounds a little wacky then you’ll have a good idea about what to expect from the remaining half hour.

Brennan and Booth go undercover (reprising their Buck and Wanda Moosejaw personas) at auditions for “Dance to the Top,” a ballroom dancing competition the murder victim’s dance partner, Kendrick Mantarov, has recently entered – along with a new dance partner. Sound suspicious? Well, apparently women would kill for the opportunity to dance with Kendrick, the self-proclaimed number one dancer on the Eastern seaboard.

But Kendrick isn’t the only suspect on Brennan and Booth’s radar. Kendra’s old friend and rival dancer Leila, her overbearing mother and even Leila’s boyfriend all present themselves as likely suspects throughout the course of the episode, and it isn’t until Hodgins finds a way to dissolve the crystals from Kendra’s skeletal remains that he discovers how Kendra died, and who may have killed her.

BONES: Brennan (Emily Deschanel, R) and Booth (David Boreanaz, L) reprise their Buck and Wanda Moosejaw characters in Bones "The Diamond in the Rough"

BONES: Brennan (Emily Deschanel, R) and Booth (David Boreanaz, L) reprise their Buck and Wanda Moosejaw characters in Bones “The Diamond in the Rough”

Meanwhile Brennan begins to take the competition a little too seriously, believing she has a natural ability to faithfully recreate the dance moves of the professionals around her. Despite Brennan’s unyielding but also rather sweet belief in herself, we discover it’s actually Booth who has been hiding his dancing moves under a bushel, as a story emerges about how he gave dance lessons to pay his way through college (but not as a thirty dollar an hour gigolo, as Sweets attests).

The episode is not without moments of gravitas. In a previously hinted-at storyline, Angela begins to voice her resentment of the ugliness of her job, first to Brennan, then to Cam, and finally to Hodgins, and her moments this week explore just what it is she has given up in order to carry out her special work for the Jeffersonian institute. Her frustrations over an unrealized career as an artist come to a head when she finds, due to the demands of her job, she is unable to attend an exhibition of the works of John Singer Sargent, a painter whose work she greatly admires.

The truth is finally revealed, and Kendra’s killer (the boyfriend did it!) is chased down and arrested. Brennan and Booth also face a moment of truth of their own when Brennan expresses a sincere wish to carry out their rehearsed dance audition, despite the case now being officially solved. Booth is reluctant, knowing how dismal Brennan’s skills are but he agrees to compete nevertheless because … well Puppy Eyes basically.

The episode closes out with Brennan and Booth clumsily launching into their dance routine – a simple waltz that neither can seem to master, as each tries to lead or improvise while the other refuses to follow. For a moment the judges look on disapprovingly, and the assembled Jeffersonians in the audience wince, but then slowly, gradually Brennan and Booth come together in a series of graceful (if not awe-inspiring) moves, the give-and-take nature of which could be taken as an allegory for their relationship. (Or maybe it’s late and I’m reading too much into all of this.)

We know this couple is never going to win the competition, but we no longer care. Brennan and Booth have their own thing going on and it’s almost enough to bring a tear to the eye. (Not my eye. I have a rogue eyelash in there, that’s all.)

“Do I have to do anything special at the end?” asks Brennan in worried tones as Booth turns her on the dance floor.

“No,” Booth reassures her. “Because it’s never going to end. It’s always going to be just like this.”

And the episode bows out with the truth, beauty, love and a whole lot of sparkle.