Friday, January 15, 2010

Bones Pays Homage to the X-Files in “The X in the File”

Photo from Fox

It’s been quite a while since I enjoyed an episode of ”Bones”. (Fox) Last night’s episode “The X in the File” poked fun at alien conspiracies, but the real humor was in the use of X-File references (the show's intro theme on the dead victim’s ring tone as an example). It featured guest star Dean Haglund, who used to play “Langly”, one of the “Lone Gunmen” from the X-Files. I recognized him immediately, despite the fact that his hair was much shorter than it was in the X-Files. Of course, he turns out to be the murderer. Had it not been for the X-Files references, though, this episode would have been another dud.

In this particular episode, the team worked well together, even though Dr. Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Agent Booth (David Boreanaz) were at almost completely across the country from the Jeffersonian team. When a body is found in the desert area, an alien ”chaser” thought he found an alien body. I seems it is was just another female alien chaser with whom he was having an affair. The woman apparently caught a company dumping toxic chemicals, and had taken video of the dump in progress. She manages to hide the camera memory card in her own body. Brennan finds it in the woman’s stomach tied to dental floss (so the woman could pull it back of her throat or stomach). When the lab first analyzes it, due to damage to the memory card, it does look like aliens were present. But when they magically clear up the video, they see it is not aliens at all, it’s the company dumping the chemicals. The alien café and store owner Blaine (Haglund) overheard Rachel Adams (Penny Johnson Jerald), who was ordering the chemical dump as she was trying to pay off the soon to be dead woman for her silence. As the woman felt she had proof of alien life, she refused the offer, and when Blaine offered her money for that alien proof, he met her in the desert and killed her with a toy gun and some ball bearings from his store.

While all this is going on, Angela (Michaela Conlin ) and Wendell (Michael Terry) continue their secret relationship. When it seems evident that their boss Dr. Saroyan (Tamara Taylor) is on to them, Wendell decides to tell his lab co-worker Hodgins (T.J.Thyne) and Angela’s former fiancé. Hodgins puts on a good face, but later ends up in Dr. Sweets' (John Francis Daley) office, Hodgins sounding like he’d really rather run them both over with a truck. One of the reasons why I enjoyed this episode is we got very little of that annoying Dr. Sweets, a character that I think is a complete waste of time and in the real world, also wouldn’t likely be involved with an organization like the Jeffersonian and/or the FBI as his current capacity, In fact, I think if Dr. Sweets would go away, he would take all the annoying Booth and Bones personal drama away from the show, and that would please me very much. The show seems to spend far too much time on the closeted love that these two have with each other, and I’m a person who likes a more subtle approach to these kinds of things.

All in all, it wasn’t the story that helped me to enjoy the episode, it was just those few X-Files references that made it seem fun. After all, the cases are frequently just an afterthought to some personal issues between Booth and Bones, or with Angela and her lover du jour, or with the annoying Dr. Sweets. Now that I think this though, I wonder why I still watch this show at all?

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