Friday, December 04, 2009

Cheaters Never Win

One of the things that I really like about this show is its ability to provide side stories and undertones that allow the actual case of the week to not have to hold my interest in order for me to enjoy the episode.  Such was the situation this week when Booth and Bones investigated the murder of a local gaming champ.  I'm really not familiar with the world of gamers or any of the games they compete in for bragging rights.  I couldn't even tell you if the game in the story is real.  I've heard of things like "Dungeons and Dragons," "World of Warcraft," "Halo," and "Doom," but I have little to no idea what any of them are or how they're played.  But, it didn't matter with this one because I was busy focusing on the other stories that held my interest more than the case.

One of those other things was a hilarious plot line that involved the new movie Avatar, some really interesting tattoos and pitching a tent on the sidewalk in the middle of D.C.

Much like the world of gaming, I'm not too familiar with genre films that elicit long-lines of movie goers who camp outside the theater just to catch the opening show.  But, I've seen the previews for Avatar, so I thoroughly enjoyed Sweets, Hodgins and Fisher's quest to be among the first to see the film.  Everything from the coordinating shifts to the tent to the girl with the, um, tattoos was just hilarious!  I loved the way the three of them kept going back and forth between the camp-out line and the lab.  Hodgins even had time to do a little experiment with piping that caused him to strip down to his t-shirt, and in the process, reveal his "Angie" tattoo (much to Angela's chagrin).  It was a "gift" from Angela's father, but Hodgins didn't seem too interested in getting it removed.  Hmm...

Not too much on the Booth and Bones front this week.  I was hoping to see some building on the interesting scenes between Brennan and Booth's grandfather in the last episode.  I suppose it's "all in good time," but the network and the show need to be careful not to bide their time for too long because we've all come to expect a little bit of smoke with no fire.  Pretty soon viewers are going to get bored and the "whole will they or won't they" is going to be "will anybody care if/when they finally do?"  Don't get me wrong, the show has raised the stakes this season and laid some very strong groundwork, but now they need to start building on it.

And now, here's this week's edition of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly:

THE GOOD: The Avatar camp-out scenes.  The boys were so out of control and so hilarious!

THE BAD: Sweets forgetting about his feelings for Daisy.  Sure, he didn't sleep with tattoo girl, but he did question his decision to turn her down.  Thankfully, Hodgins was there to remind him.

THE UGLY: I'm not even going to pretend like it wasn't the flesh falling off the body as they lifted it out of the grease container.  There are no words.

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


RichE said...

OK, gaming. I'm far from an expert but I've been around it for years.

Dungeons & Dragons and World Of War craft would be put in the "role playing game", or RPG, genre. In the case of those two they would be described as "fantasy RPGs". For "fantasy" think Lord Of The Rings, all orcs, dragons, wizards etc.

Doom and Halo are "first person shoot'em-ups", or FPS, games. You take the viewpoint of the protagonist and go about your merry way with heavy weaponry, destroying all before you.

"Punky Pong" was definitely an invention for the show. "Pong" is the classic black&white tennis-type game of batting a square ball back-and-forth. I guess the "punky" bit made it sound like the classic "Donkey Kong", the name being a result of a translation issue for a Japanese speaker. Donkey Kong marked the first appearance of Mario, only known as Jumpman at the time. "Punky Pong" had elements of both originals. The board looked a bit like Pong and characters were more like Donkey Kong.

A good, fun episode. Pretty much throw-away in terms of the larger arc though.

Could have done without the shoehorned in Avatar references, but it sounds like they were required to do it by the network.

As soon as that flesh started moving I knew it would be up for "ugly" (but why did they just stand there and let it keep falling?) Unless they could top it. The eyeball popping out in the beer-bath was a contender but was more funny that "ugly". If someone, Hodgins most likely, had taken a swig of the beer: that would have won out.

Kathryn Morris UK

RichE said...

Sorry, I've been meaning to thank you making the KM UK banner/link thing.



Arclight said...

This episode is based on 2 different geek documentaries.

Punky Pong is based on "The King of Kong" where one guy breaks the Donky Kong world record held by another guy for the past 20 years, twice.

And lining up for Avatar is based on "Starwoids" which document nerd who spent a summer camped out for the premier of Star Wars Episode 1.

John said...

This was a so-so episode. The mystery wasn't made second place to the Avatar product placement.

I found the product placement very annoying.

TVFan said...

Thank you for the crash course in the gaming world, RichE! And you're very welcome for the link. Love your site!

I guess a lot of people were upset about the Avatar product placement. Series creator Hart Hanson responded on Twitter (

"For those who resent the Avatar tie-in -- it's going to allow us to afford a few bells and whistles the rest of the season."
8:46 PM Dec 3rd from web

In that case, I'm willing to forgive it.

RichE said...

I'd got the impression that the network has some vested (or should that be "invested") interest in promoting Avatar and had "requested" (the sort of request you don't decline) that Bones be involved.

Generally it wasn't too intrusive, though Hodgins said "Avatar" just a few too many times in the initial discussion. But they're supposed to be geeks and it was right that they were excited by the whole thing.

I'm looking forward to the next episode, The Goop On The Girl. Sounds good, though that depends on the girl :-o

Kathryn Morris UK