Friday, April 10, 2009

Shattered 'Bones'

I love it when Bones is "Booth and Bonesy-er!" These two brought their A-game this week, so this episode was an instant winner for me. Here's a closer look at the outing with this week's edition of the good, bad and ugly.

Pretty much the entire darn hour. Highlights, though, include: the canon experiment, the turkey drop, Booth and Bones locked in that death trap of a chamber, Bones trying to clarify her statement about Booth's intelligence, and this newly-formed partnership between Hodgins and Mr. Nigel Murray. The undercurrent to the entire Booth/Bones relationship is that they are two very different people. This was a huge theme in this week's episode. She's all about the science and he's all about the instincts. She trusts what she knows and he trusts what he feels. But what they both fail to realize is, they compliment each other perfectly. Bones summed this up at the end without realizing it when she pointed out that Booth knows how to use intelligence. What a loaded line! And what a great moment in an episode filled with them.

I loved this episode, but I do have one nit-picky thing: the opening. Here's how I imagine the writers' meeting goes when the team sits around to write the next episode. They come up with some sort of case, figure out whodunit, hash out a few key scenes and then they toss around ideas for the opening "body found" scene. This is the part of the meeting where nothing is too ridiculous or over-the-top. And just when it seems that the "body found" scene couldn't get more ridiculous, they produce the scene that we saw in this episode. A model in a vacant lot hamming it up for a photographer that's too crazy even for Top Model and suddenly, an ear ruins the entire shoot. Don't get me wrong, I like the craziness that is these opening sequences (they're sort of a Bones trademark), but this one was a bit too much even for me. Also, I like Angela's dad, but him hounding Hodgins seemed a little out of place this week. He's about 6 months too late and it was his daughter who called it off.

I'm not even going to pretend that the two garbage bags containing what was left of an esteemed scientist didn't win this category this week. Just yuck. As Cam said, even as a pathologist, she was disgusted.

If you missed last night's episode ("The Science in the Physicist"), check it out for free at


John said...

I liked the episode as well with two exceptions.

First, was the Angela’s dad subplot. As you pointed out the break up was Angela’s idea, not Hodgins. And Angela made it sound like it was mutual decision and Hodgins could have prevented it. And even if it were Hodgins’ fault the idea that her father has any sort of right to act like he did is screwing. I could accept his feeling that way if the show showed he was insane, but the only argument advanced was that the break up wasn’t all his fault.

My second quibble is Brennan’s inability or unwillingness to respect anyone who doesn’t think like her or have specialty in the physical or life sciences. She treats Sweets and Booth with at best tolerant disdain. She likes them both personally, but doesn’t really respect either one. Her “compliments” to Booth at the end were all insulting, including the final one, which was supposed to be redeeming.

And I really don’t understand her position, especially regarding Sweets. Her professional training appears to be in physical anthropology, but many of her social comments are based on cultural anthropology. And that is a social science that is similar to sociology. Psychology (despite being based on the study of white mice and college freshmen (a joke I learned in my only psych course)) is at least as scientifically rigorous as soc. and cultural anthropology.

Also, she has seen the success of both Booth’s and Sweet’s skills and still refuses to accept them as anything of real value. If she were as scientifically rigorous as she claims she would accept real world data and adapt her theories to conform to reality, rather than try and force the data (her observations) to meet her theories.

There is a twist on the seeing is believing quote – I wouldn’t have seen it if I didn’t believe it. Brennan is the poster child for this. Since she doesn’t believe or want to believe in psych or none academic based intelligence, see refuses to see it.

TVFan said...

I've always thought that Bones was a little too extreme with her "science is the only way" mentality. I've often wondered if the writers have taken the concept too far and made her a bit unlikable. I, like you, thought she was especially harsh last night.

But, I have always thought that her inability to understand or appreciate others who are not of the science persuasion was based on her lack of close personal relationships. In fact, I feel that Brennan goes out of her way to avoid close personal relationships and at times, uses science to keep her feelings out of them. She has been hurt, but not by science. It's black and white, so she buys into it easier than she does other human beings. This is why I have always believed that she and Booth are good for each other. The problem is, she has to put down her science shield long enough to let him in and that isn't going to be easy for her.

John said...

I agree that Brennan and Booth are good for each other. Booth seems to recognize this more than Brennan, or is at least more willing to acknowledge it more.

Brennan does use science as a shield – she immerses herself in it to exclude the wider world. She also uses it as a weapon. She insults anyone who doesn’t meet her criteria as a scientist to keep them at arms length.

I wonder what would happen if Hodgins wanted to be a close friend of Brennan’s. His own scientific credentials would make it hard for Brennan to use her usual defense mechanisms.

Also, I remembered that in addition to insulting Booth and Sweets last night, she insulted Angela, the closest person Brennan has to a real friend.

The writers have taken Brennan too far in some ways already. Her ignorance of current American culture is unbelievable. This is especially true given her knowledge of other cultures, past and present.

I sometimes wonder if Brennan has Aspergers Syndrome, like the cop on L&O:CI.

RichE said...

Got to agree about the Angela's father stuff. I assumed that Angela being hit in the face by a quick-frozen-chicken would result in a black-eye, giving dad a real reason to go after Hodgins. It was as though there was far more too it and they cut it.

I think that Bones and Booth being different and appreciating their differences has been well covered in the past. How often has Booth's instinctive methods been noted by Brennan for instance?

Ugly had to be the opening scene. Even for an weird photoshoot it felt really odd, not at all believable. The chilli con carne comes a close second :-)