Friday, May 15, 2009

The Feelings in the Finale

I'm feeling very duped this morning. Normally after hearing a spoiler like "Booth & Bones are going to end up in bed together in the season finale," I would assume that there was some sort of catch (kinda like that "kiss" from last season after Bones was obligated to hold up her end of the bargain with the U.S. Attorney). BUT, we were promised early on that this development was not going to be a dream or a tease or anything else I could think of that would make it anything less than the real deal. Still, I had my suspicions and they were ramped up even more after seeing last week's episode (which ended with Booth heading into surgery to remove a brain tumor) and then the subsequent previews for this week's finale (which showed a perfectly healthy Booth -- hair and all). I figured either: a) A lot of time must transpire between the two episodes, or b) Something is amiss. Turns out Option B was correct. It's weird because I feel completely duped and yet, I'm not completely disappointed. I was never sure that this was the right time to put Booth & Bones together. There had been little lead-up and no major changes in their current relationship. Plus, the fact that they didn't get into bed together means that the show has time to develop that aspect of their relationship further first. And that is a good thing.

In light of last night's strange "alternate universe meets Bones's writing meets (possibly) Booth's comatose musings," I'm going to forgo the usual Good, Bad and Ugly format. Even though Booth and Brennan didn't really seal the deal last night, the episode was chock full of subtext. The biggest question surrounding the strange alternate world is, whose alternate world was it? Was it Brennan's writings? We saw her typing the closing lines on her laptop (which she curiously erased). Did she imagine a world where she and Booth are happily married? And what about Booth? Did he dream about him and Brennan happily married? Or was it a combination of both of their imaginations? This, of course, goes back to the central question that Gordon Gordon raised several weeks ago when he suggested that one of them is aware of his/her feelings for the other and struggles with those feelings every day. I originally suggested Brennan and then backpedaled to Booth last week. Now, I'm leaning more toward Brennan again. I think Booth waking up and talking about his "very real" dream was just a rouse designed to throw us off. We would automatically assume that he would dream about him and Brennan together over Brennan actually drafting a story in which they were a couple.

At the very end, we learned that Booth has memory loss from his surgery/subsequent coma. When you take that into account, it makes the alternate world seem even more like Brennan's writings. If Booth had dreamt it, wouldn't he think Brennan was his wife when he woke up? And how would he have known all of the other characters' names if he was suffering from memory loss? It was also somewhat telling that Brennan was the only one whose name was changed in the story (slightly to "Bren"). If Brennan did in fact write that world and it was hers and hers alone, it brings up the idea of the "road not taken" (h/t Fringe for putting this into the forefront of my mind this week). Perhaps, she is imagining a world where she is settled down and happy with someone she loves. And that someone just happens to be Booth. She was even sure to include a bit at the end where "Bren" revealed that she was pregnant (with Booth's baby -- something Brennan had wanted prior to the brain tumor... hmmmm). I think the very thought of this scared her enough to cause her to erase it at the end, but there is no delete key on feelings. Next season should be interesting.

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


John said...

I didn't care for this episode at all. In general I am not a big fan of fantasy/dream/coma episodes and this was no exception.

Even if we knew whose make belive this was (Booth's or Brennan's) that bit if information would not make up for a whole episode basically wasted and not a new one for months.

RichE said...

From the start I assumed dream sequence. Then we got the bright white light which confirmed it. Well that's the end of the dreamy bit (thanks anyway Emily ;-) ) and now to some sort of reality. But he's in bed with... Brennan? Now I'm confused!

And then Cam turns up and appears not to know Booth! WTF?

Cold Case did a pretty good job with the whole "dream" thing. I didn't feel that I'd just been duped for the previous 40 minutes before being told the truth. I felt that I'd been shown the truth, albeit from a slightly different perspective.

House, however, came very close to really p-ing me off. Not only did it suggest that the finale was largely untrue, but it nearly wiped out the previous episode too! (Stepping out the shower and resetting everything is only OK if it is the right person stepping from said shower :-) ) I think it was a bit of a mix of the two: hallucination altered reality and complete fantasy.

Bones went with complete, and obvious, fantasy so at least you could take it as that and not worry how it fitted in. If I'd known that we'd been told the "hook up" was not going to be a dream etc. then I'd probably feel more duped.

For me the whole thing was Booth's dream. However, on reading you critique TVFan, with the reference to Tempie's writing at the end I find myself not so sure. But I'm still leaning towards them being separate. Booth had a vivid dream, woke up from the coma, said it felt so real but had no memory of it. I often can't remember dreams moments after waking up, and the only brain surgery I need is having one installed :-)

Perhaps the dream happened during surgery, working on the brain can cause odd effects in the patient, and it was only we he came out of the coma days later that he could relate it.

As for the fantasy itself: I could take it or leave it. I guess it was fun for them to play up the some of the character traits: Sweets as a barman "practically a psychologist" etc.

I agree with John (assuming this is what he meant) that this idea would probably have been better done mid-season. Often they throw in odd ones that are fun but have no real bearing on the larger story arcs. This was one of those.

I still think that Gordon Gordon's comment about who feels what was meant that Booth struggles and Brennan's oblivious. We saw Brennan straighten Booth's tie (or something like that) at the time and Booth was the one that looked uncomfortable with the intimacy of the gesture.

Roll on season 5. Will Booth's amnesia last more than an episode. Will Brennan go ahead with the pregnancy? Is show looking for donors? Delivery included of course :-o


John said...

I wasn't exactly commenting on if the fantasy episode would have worked better mid-season instead of as the season finale, but I agree that would have been much better. But I consider this fantasy episode pretty much a waste of time no matter when it played. It just wouldn’t have been as much of a pain if it wasn’t the season ender.