As a Sweets' fan, I am admittedly biased here. I love when they give John Francis Daley an opportunity to shine and boy did they ever last night.
What could have been treated as a standard red herring sub plot - the rape of Kat Martin - was given prominence and we saw Sweets struggle not only with the reactions any professional in his shoes might have to her pain and to a lesser extent, to the complexity of the legal wrangling in the case, but also with his own troubled past.
The writing was sensitive and, I thought, very real in that there were no easy answers. The team solved the mystery of who killed the boy and who raped Kat, and at the end of the episode, Sweets was able to keep his promise to the girl. Another show might have ended right there with a grateful Kat but not our Bones. The viewer had to sit, along with a very uncomfortable, very conflicted Sweets, and watch her and her mother cry and let it sink in that this girl's ordeal was far from over even though her rapist confessed and the truth was revealed.
John Francis Daley turned in an honest, emotional performance without being in the least bit heavy handed. He is underrated and many times underemployed here on my favorite show. I guess it gives him time to write movies and make music, but I would really love to see him exercising his considerable acting chops a lot more.
This post took 8 seasons to write! OK first I think it's necessary to clarify the way I watch tv. Normally I am NOT a shipper - that is, I don't watch shows for the characters. Normally.
BONES is an exception. Bones/Booth, Angela/Hodgins and pretty much all the characters keep me watching each ep. It's the interpersonal relationships and development of the characters I found intriguing. So the mystery of the week is just the vehicle that creatively explores these characters. I don't look for believability. That was lost for me long ago when things were retconned so badly and poorly explained - Bones age changes as to when her parents were gone and wouldn't have spent all that much time in foster care (or needed it) as well as many other things -- she was flaky and emotional and smoked cigarettes? but then had to go to foster care and was mistreated? Some one that smart could have made it on her own. Many backstories are changed and situations ignored - badly - and it's okay for me because I am not watching for a consistant and sensible story. If this were LOST or FRINGE or even XFILES I'd be freaking out. It isn't. It's BONES and Hodgins is still rich as shit and that never mattered. BONES is still Aspergerish and socially wonky. Things that should be referred back to aren't and that's okay. So the past is past - it's a situational and subject to change. While there is some consistency, it changes often to suit the story. Lots of forgetting - Alzheimer'd events!
And I get to keep the characters the way I want to keep them.. Xena & Gabrielle are alive and well and live together in a place where they can be together and not fight the baddies. Mulder and Skully have grandchildren. T'Pol and Tucker live happily ever after together. There was no snow globe at St. Eligius.
This was an emotional case, which I really liked, because we don't see it too often in Bones. In it, a fifteen year old boy was murdered and stuffed in a suitcase the night after a wild party. As the story unfolds, we learn of a second crime that may well be connected: the rape of the dead boys friend. This case really shows off Sweets again, and tells us more about his past, which was cool because it's rarely discussed. Also, I really liked the way they went about a rape case. Very respectful.
The bone of contention which was last weeks ep, about a possible religious conversion for Brennan doesn't seem to have amounted to anything, at least if this weeks episode was anything to go by. Thank the lord;) In fact this weeks story concentrated almost entirely on the case with an emphasis on Sweets.
I thought this was a great episode. The guest cast, which can so often ruin an episode of series TV was top notch, esp the rape victim. She was very believable and it was interesting to see Bones tackling such an emotionally charged subject. Also interesting to hear Sweets talk about his past, which I don't think has been brought up since season 4 (I could be wrong).