For some reason this show has skipped my radar, I stumbled on it catching up to the Blacklist. The little TV promo that I saw held my attention. Hunt for the Bone Collector looks great, it has a slight Seven feel to it and as crime dramas go that’s pretty good. The cast is interesting, Russell Hornsby (Grimm, Fences, THUG) is a sell for me; the rest of them, they look familiar but I don’t know their names yet. The title also suggested one big case instead of a vilain of the week vibe. Upon checking on the book it’s based on, “The Bone Collector“ by Jeffery Deaver, I liked the potential of the show in the long term. The Bone Collector is just the first case in a series of 14 books on Lincoln Rhyme (Hornsby),
Premise: a retired forensic criminologist, who teams up with an ambitious young detective, Amelia Sachs (Arielle Kebbel) to solve cases in pursuit of the legendary serial killer, the Bone Collector.
Review: For an occasional listener and/or watcher of true crime podcasts and TV Shows, the words legendary serial killer, forensic criminologist, and detective, tickles my fancy.
The pilot, hence the story starts off with a flashback to establish Lincoln Rhyme as an intelligent overly confident detective, charging solo into danger; and the Bone Collector as an aloof clever madman. We knew who the main players were from the start, and we even got to learn of the Bone Collector’s occupation and connection to Lincoln Rhyme.
Sidebar: In the first few minutes of the premiere Rhyme heard “sounds of distress coming from upstairs,” I heard a barn animal. Not that I would have stayed put and wait for backup if this was a sheep but I wouldn’t have rushed either. Also, the fact that Lincoln plays killer Instinct endeared him to me.
In anything – TV series, movies,etc. – involving a serial killer they often keep the perp a mystery. Here, it was nice that we got to see him but Rhyme didn’t. In that moment the overly confident detective was powerless to help, as the killer he’s been hunting for five years kills someone close enough for him to listen. This signaled to me a battle of wits throughout the series, we both trying to outsmart each other in a thrilling way.
Flash forward to three years later, Rhyme is handicapped and retired, so we get introduced to Sachs. She was a bit a of slap for me, there was the typical stuff – a bit of a mess with a dependent – I saw the ambition with that letter, but her assignment was rough to me, I’m not even sure that it’s a step up from traffic cop. Anyway, of course she stumbled upon the case but she contributes right away and become his puppet, well more like his protege. She goes where he can’t wearing a name-tag size camera on her chest – for some her hands never get in the way and the signal is always strong. Sachs is not alone in this there’s a team but they summarily introduced, you just know what they’re here for.
The Bone Collector’s M.O.: three bodies in a day, suggested to me a face-paced show, a Kiefer Sutherland’s 24 type of season about tracking the serial killer but that’s not exactly what we got. Although, I enjoyed the little false start to the investigation – that was genius – my heart plummeted a bit, when I thought “it’s a procedural” and it kinda is. I expected and wanted a long thrilling story centered hunted one person.
However the show had enough elements to warrant my interest, the serial killer of the week angle was going to be wear me down. The saving grace of the season might have been the cutaways to the Bone Collector. As Lincoln is on the case of the week, the Bone Collector is cooking something, gearing up for a showdown while navigating his own life. I liked his threat assessment, when there was a potential problem, someone who might cause him trouble down the line, he took care of it right away. Thus getting rid of a common trope in crime dramas. The Bone Collector is consistently smart, and meticulous. He really planned his moves.
Despite the other cases – some of which were great -, there was enough about the bone collector to keep me watching. Lincoln’s relentless way he approaches his cases – “There are no dead ends, only places where one chooses to give up the search.” – is also fun to watch. Hornby really sells the disability without compromising his acting. Brian F. O’Byrne’s frustration is very palpable he’s subtle but memorable here.
The show works, I expected a manhunt, Seven-esq and got something else that is watchable, binge-able even but really needs to step up its game.