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The Bones Season 5 Detail That Frustrates Fans

Through all of Bones, one thing remained constant: the friendship between Temperance Brennan and Angela Montenegro (despite the fact that Angela might have been toxic). Their bond is, at times, even stronger than the ones they share with their husbands. Angela is the only one who can get Brennan to let loose, and she is often the one Tempe confides in when she is overcome with emotion. Angela only works at the Jeffersonian because of Tempe. Victim identification is not Angela's lifelong dream; she works there to support her friend. That's why fans are so confused by the season 5 episode "The Tough Man in the Tender Chicken."

Halfway through the episode, which focuses heavily on the ills of factory farming, Angela asks Bones to help her sponsor a pig. If Angela can raise $1500, a piglet will be rescued from a farm and live out its days at an animal sanctuary. Bones refuses to help, as she feels saving one pig will do nothing to help animals in general. Angela wonders why they're even friends if she's unmoved by the plight of one specific pig. The two remain chilly until Sweets convinces Bones to help Angela. Their fight throws the whole interpersonal balance of the Jeffersonian out of whack. Angela hooks up with Wendell, and Booth admits to dating identical twins. It's bedlam. But why didn't Bones just agree to help sponsor the pig in the first place?

Temperance Brennan's character decline

The pig debate speaks to the huge character shift Bones went through over the seasons. In the season 1 episode "The Woman in the Car," Bones specifically says that she has feelings, but puts them aside in her work. Season 5 Bones is much more Vulcan-like, often acting as though she is only motivated by pure reason. Season 1 Bones suppresses her feelings so that they don't affect her work; season 5 Bones acts like she has no feelings to suppress.

And yet, a season earlier, Bones bonds so strongly with an animal that she is willing to adopt it. In "The Finger in the Nest," Bones wants to adopt a dog that was used to kill someone. But the dog has to be put down, as killer animals aren't generally allowed to live. Bones insists on a dog funeral, where she eulogizes the animal, saying, "Like all dogs, Ripley only saw the good in people. Dogs are like that. People should take a lesson." The Bones who mourns Ripley feels very different than the Bones who's indifferent to pig suffering.

The pig fight moves the plot forward

Even though Angela and Temperance's pig beef comes off as somewhat manufactured, it needs to happen to move the story forward. If Angela's pig dreams are fully funded, she wouldn't go to Sweets or Wendell for money. Sweets encourages Angela to start having sex again, and she chooses Wendell as her partner after he's the only co-worker to help rescue the pig. The Wendell-Angela-Hodgins love triangle becomes a major subplot of season 5.

The show also needs more reason to discuss factory farming in the episode. Without an interpersonal conflict to motivate it, there would be no reason to discuss the inhumane conditions of modern farms. Bones star Emily Deschanel is an avowed animal rights activist, and has been vegan since high school. It's possible Deschanel's passions impacted the script of the episode. This wasn't the last time a cause célèbre has been inserted into an episode of Bones. The season 8 episode "The Doll in the Derby" included a subplot about neurofibromatosis, inspired by producer Michael Peterson's experience with the disease.