Friday, December 11, 2009

Family 'Bones'

The Bones Christmas episodes have become the stuff of TV legends in my house (the Christmas Episode of '07, a.k.a. "The Santa in the Sludge," still holds the crown).  We love to unwrap the latest episode each season, and we usually laugh and laugh throughout the hour.  This year's offering was supposed to shine even brighter because it contained the long-awaited moment when real-life sisters Emily and Zooey Deschanel shared the screen.  And there was also a little scene hinted at in the previews that showed Brennan unwrapping an evidence-laden Booth down to his boxers!  One of these surpassed expectations and the other fell flat.  But which is which?  Well, it boils down to what I expected and what the episode actually delivered.

Let's end with good news, so we'll start with the element that disappointed: finally having the Deschanel sisters together on the show.  It pains me to write these words.  It had nothing to do with Emily or Zooey (they both ROCKED!!), but rather the lack of screen time they shared.  Zooey had about three scenes.  I know these episodes are as jam-packed as Zooey's busy movie schedule, but I wish they had waited to have this reunion when the timing was better and we could have had Margaret around more (like Booth's grandfather a few weeks prior).  Of course, the show can always invite her back (and I really hope they do), but I was hoping for more in this episode between Brennan and her Benjamin Franklin-quoting second cousin.  I think it boils down to too much packed into a single episode.  Perhaps, Margaret should have come for Easter instead.  So, happy to finally have the reunion, but I wanted more.

Now, onto the good news.  That "evidence-gathering" scene between Booth and Brennan was better than the ad promised.  Maybe I've just accepted the fact that the show is going to continue to tease us without giving us anything significant above some longing looks and suggestive dialogue, but I found this scene to deliver a deeper chemistry and even some pent-up frustration.  Booth was very uncomfortable which wouldn't be odd except for the fact that Brennan has seem him in less (the time she barged into his bathroom after he faked his death).  He was trying to think of saints while Brennan removed his pants, and he kept insisting that he could remove his own clothes.  All of this suggests that this moment was more significant than when she saw him in the buff.  Obviously, this has to do with his feelings for her and the fact that he doesn't think they're reciprocated.  We know better, but then again, Booth wasn't in the room when Brennan got defensive with Margaret regarding her partner's looks.

That "evidence-gathering" scene wasn't the only significant moment of the hour.  Seeing Brennan get emotional about something (and even better, someONE) indicates huge character development for her, and suggests that she may be even closer to the emotional level she would need to be at should things progress between her and Booth.  He's an all-in, love-with-all-you-have kinda guy and she is so closed off that I often wonder if them pairing up would even work.  She had tears in eyes as she thought about the victim's mother all alone at her son's funeral.  Perhaps, her feelings for Booth (as deep and strong as they are) have caused her to view human connections and emotions in a more normal light.

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

THE GOOD:  Predictably, both of the aforementioned scenes above.  Great development, great emotions and great fun!

THE BAD: Not enough Zooey/Margaret.  I'm sure the writers can find enough Ben Franklin quotes to bring her back for an encore down the road.

THE UGLY:  This one had a lot of ugly -- as in, a lot of pieces of the bank robber/murder victim all over other people.  Of course, I wasn't feeling so bad for the cab driver and his cohort at the end.

If you missed last night's episode ("The Goop on the Girl"), check it out for free at


John said...

I think you were being over generous to the writers on the flatness of the Zooey/ Emily scenes.

I have noticed on occasion when shows have a special guest star the writers seem to think just having that guest is enough and all they have to do is find some reason for the guest star and the regular to be on screen at the same time.

I think the writers relied too much on the Zooey/Emily off screen relationship to satisfy viewers and didn’t write a particularly great character (quoting Franklin is a quirk, not a character) and then gave them nothing to really do. The writers got lazy.

TVFan said...

It was difficult for me to really assess the character of Margaret because she was barely in it. My thought was that if they had given her more to do, we would have seen more of her than just the quoting side (one would hope, at least ;0)). I agree that the show thought putting them together would be enough. Clearly, it was not.

RichE said...

I have to agree about Margaret. It just didn't work. That's not a comment on Zooey herself. They tried a "you look like sisters" joke early one but didn't follow through. If they'd nipped the quoting in the bud earlier and shown some progression in their relationship earlier I think it would have helped.

Were they trying to suggest that the Brennan women are all a bit closed-off and focused one thing?

Speaking of which I must protest about the blatant sexism in this episode! If that had been Bones being stripped at the hands of Booth they're be an outcry. But because it's a guy, no problem :-) Perhaps if they'd done the scene with Margaret rather than Booth... sorry, I wandered off there :-o

I felt they laid on the sentimentality a bit heavily with regard to the victim. But at least they avoided the usual (for shows in general) Xmas episode clichés of a possibly real Santa or a virgin birth. And the Cam/Michelle stuff!?! Losing that would have given more time for other stuff, but they needed to give them all reasons to be together at the end.

The catching of the actual perps just seemed to happen and didn't feel like a great twist. If they conned the guy into doing the robbery, why fit an actual live bomb to him? Why not use a fake one? They are hardly going to set it off to prove there seriousness to the victim.

So, all-in-all a bit of a weak one.

Is it on next week? I'm seeing conflicting info. If it is then surely that should be the Xmas episode?

Kathryn Morris UK

John said...

I assume they would have eventually detonated the bomb no matter what. If they let their victim live he would have been able to identify them since he knew where at least one of them lived.

John said...

As an aside, David Boreanz was seen, but not heard, on our local (Philly) ABC newscast at 6:00.

His father was the lead Channel 6 weatherman and he retired tonight and all his family was there for him (as well as all thr station people of course).

TVFan said...

Looks like a rerun next week ("The Doctor in the Den"). The episode that introduced Michelle.

Nice David story, John. I had heard that his father was a meteorologist in Philly, but I didn't realize he was still working (and now retired). Thanks for the info.