This week's episode of Bones could have been a preachy platform for animal rights enthusiasts. It could have been anti-meat eater, but the writers did a nice job of presenting the wrongs of the chicken industry without crossing the line into activism. Through the characters, we got both sides of the chicken debate (including painting the "PECT" activists as extreme). As someone who loves animals and wants them treated humanely (but also enjoys a chicken sandwich and some BBQ), I appreciated the balance in this episode. The point was made in an educational way and not anvilously dropped onto our heads or preached from a Hollywood pulpit. I also liked the dynamic it created between Brennan and Angela with Angela taking the more sensitive, save-the-animals approach and Brennan the more "they're just chickens" one (ironic because, in real life, star Emily Deschanel is an animal rights supporter). Loved the way Brennan (on Sweets's advice) let Angela "have this one" at the end. Rational or not. Of course, none of that chicken debate mattered because the victim wasn't killed over animal rights, but rather, gas money.
When we last left off, I had hypothesized that the writers couldn't realistically move forward without Brennan and Booth being a bit changed by their shared moment at the opening of her exhibit. And from the looks of things this week, this hypothesis seems to be proving true. And speaking of "looks," there were a lot of them in this episode.
There were looks at the table at the diner with Sweets, which led Booth to easily conclude that something was bothering Brennan. When he learned that it had to do with Angela, he proclaimed that he'd do anything for her, including die for her and kill for her, but he wouldn't come between her and Angela. Did anyone else notice how fearlessly he stated the whole "die for and kill for" her bit? He didn't even pause! Later when she went to leave, he grabbed her hand. But more importantly, she grabbed his back. Neither let go until she was literally walking away and even then, it lingered. At the end of the episode, there were too many looks to recount. LOVED the way she knew about his love of brown sugar. I know Booth feels a little scattered right now, but if he's looking for someone to put the pieces back together, then it's nice to know that Brennan's able to do it for him. Between this week and the last episode, I think Brennan is fully aware of her feelings for Booth. Her last, long lingering look as this episode faded to black was telling. I'm not sure that she's ready to embrace it, but she's aware. With Booth still feeling scattered, it's going to be hard for her to trust anything that he may think he feels, though. As usual, it's not going to be easy. I just hope the show is actually going down the right road this time and not leading us astray once again.
And now, here's this week's edition of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly:
THE GOOD: Lots of good in this one: Booth and Brennan's developments, so many funny half-man/half-chicken super soldier jokes, Brennan letting Angela "have this one," and the surprise Angela/intern hook-up that led to lots of inside jokes.
THE BAD: Brennan schooling those poor Woodchucks about leaving a crime scene alone. She took the wind right out of their sails!
THE UGLY: The fingers (and toes) in the nuggets! Although, I have to admit, it was pretty funny that the show played on this popular fast food fear. Let's just say that I'll be ordering my chicken grilled from here on out!
If you missed last night's episode ("The Tough Man in the Tender Chicken"), check it out for free at Hulu.com.
ETA: Star Emily Deschanel sent out the following message via Bones's official Twitter account and Facebook page:
"Now that you've watched the episode, if you want to learn more about factory farms, and what you can do to help, please visit farmsanctuary.org. You could even adopt a pig of your own (it's not nearly as expensive as Angela's!)."
You can also help Angela name her newly saved pig by emailing your name suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.