Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bones Episode Review - 4.01 "The Perfect Pieces in the Purple Pond"

Obviously, I have a bit of an obsession with this show (no laughter please), leading me to spend hours each week maintaining this blog and writing my review essays. Undeniably, the chemistry between Brennan and Booth, the interesting science, and the compelling characters all contribute to this. But, more than anything else, I'm drawn to this show every Wednesday night (or whatever night they pick next) because of a simple truth - it's really good writing!

However, I can't really say that this week.

Now, don't kill me yet. There are certain things I love about this episode and places where I think the writing is great. But, there are also large parts of this episode appall me; things I simply cannot give them a pass on.

This review is a mix of happiness and angsy, joy and annoyance, and kudos and blame.

And, surprisingly, not as long as I thought it would be.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

I'll start with some highlights.

First, I felt that this case was very good. It was interesting, brought out some very fun characters and topics, and I had no idea who killed 'crazy boy.' I found it thoughtful and unique. In short, I liked it.

It definitely lead to some interesting play with Brennan and the grad-student-of-the-week, Wendell Bray. I cannot easily decide what I think of him, however. I didn't really find the 'average Joe' character interesting or appealing in the lab setting. Quirky people work best. Clark butting heads with everyone over the lack of focus was funny, but with Wendell it seemed like oil and water. He didn't fit at all. Sometimes that can be interesting, making you wonder, or look forward to, how he might begin to fit, but that wasn't the case here. And I feel like that's probably intentional. I have no beef with him or his characterization in itself, but also no interest in seeing him again.

I really miss old Hodgins, but the angsty jerk is kind of fun, at least for now. I thought his interactions with Cam in this episode were spot on with his attitude.
Cam: I know you're upset about breaking up with Angela, Dr. Hodgins, and I know you're upset about losing Zack, but, despite your personal problems, this is a work place, and your attitude leaves a lot to be desired.
Hodgins: Fine. If you want to make a change, you make a change. Otherwise, you let me do my job.

Hodgins: Shh! My egg from the victim's shoes is hatching.
Cam: You need quiet for that?
Hodgins: No, I just thought it might stop you from talking.
Cam: Pushing it, Dr. Hodgins. How's about we say you found the line?
I do hope we see his next stage soon, however. A Season 3 spoiler that never happened was Hodgins tracking down the Gravedigger. I would love to see his anger galvanize into something powerful like that. They've begun to really evolve this character, for the first time ever, and I'm looking forward to where that might take us.

Hodgins gave Cam a little bit more than one-liners in this episode. Unfortunately, it's still very 2D characterization. Yes, yes, she's the boss. She has to push people. They don't like it. She has a great body and great lines.


Please, please: give her a story, even a C story, just once in awhile! Less Sweets, more Cam. Let her go look at a body from time to time, have a date, or even simply an administrative headache. I don't care. I like her, she's witty and fun, and still very mysterious in plenty of ways. Don't let her progression in the show be from hated, to liked (or tolerated), to boring.

But, okay, I do still like her one-liners.
  • So, you think our victim was a giant toddler?
  • So, before the giant toddler was killed, he was growing coffee on the seashore?
  • Sarcasm does not play well on the forensics platform.
  • I doubt he got a weekend pass.
I meant what I said about Sweets - we could do with less of him. I guess they want him onscreen as much as Zack? On paper that might sound good, but in practice, it feels forced. I like the guy, but the character's duties and responsibilities just don't correlate as well, in practice, with Zack's level of screentime. This episode was better about making his appearances logic, and story-appropriate than say, Outhouse, but he really fells like an unnecessary addition, being around that much, and definitely is a 3rd wheel in the Brennan/Booth partnership. At first it was cute, what he did to them, now it's unwelcome.

I felt like they purposely had Brennan question Sweets' involvement as a proxy for what the fans must be feeling, but also like they thought that acknowledgment of our feelings would be enough to pacify us. Well, it's not. Brennan's questions are dead on, and it's dissatisfying and frustrating to have it discounted, discussion over.

I enjoy Sweets, but less is definitely more. More Cam, less Sweets. He's been around less time than Cam, makes less sense in the lab, and yet we see a lot more of him. Why? I feel like it's a misguided decision, saying that the fans will find him more interesting.

Registering my dissent. Boy, that was a tangent...

Angela! Yeah, let's talk some Angela. There are two things I like about her: she's a cool chick with toys, and she knows Brennan better than anyone else, with the exception of Booth. (It's a tossup as to who knows her better, I believe Booth, but one could argue the woman to woman thing. Anywhoo...) I love her heart to heart talks with Brennan, but a nice proxy is always a heart to heart about Brennan:
Angela: She's direct, and awkward. Now, you've got two choices here. You either answer the question, like me or Zack, or you tell her she's being inappropriate, like Booth or Cam. Either way, she's not goign to hold it against you.
Often, I feel like they don't use Angela enough. But, unlike Cam, I think they give us just enough of her to always leave us longing for a bit more and thoroughly enjoying what we get.

I'm not sure, fully, what I think of the Angela/Sweet interaction. I think I want her to give him the shiner he earned last season. Someone needs to.

In this episode, we see that David Boreanaz's suggestion of having Booth hurt his hand, gained some traction. I enjoyed the interaction change. And would have to agree with Lauren, in that his lack of physical ability, thanks to his injury, affected his verbal behavior. If he can't protect her easily with his body, then he'll find another way.

That said, however, I think they should have mixed it up a bit. Maybe be a bit more subtle about it, have him touch his gun once in implied threat against someone, have him say something other than 'don't do that to her.' The repeated pattern felt like I was beating beaten over the head with it. I like his protective side, but even I would have told him to back off!

I never get tired of Brennan's social awkwardness. She does seem to be a little more cognizant of common vernacular now, but it still shows in other ways. It felt a bit Season 1, but her quick jump to "It would be helpful if we could see your son's room" while Booth is offering the mother a bit of verbal solace is one such example. It works. It's her, and they don't need to change it too much.

I thought the interaction with Wendell, and Angela's explanation of it, was very well written. She is clumsy, socially, and I enjoy it. The writing and acting pulled that off very well, at least from her end and Angela's explanation. I felt like Wendell's reactions were a bit too bull-headed. It was funny to have him assume that Zack and Booth were Brennan's boy toys, but his verbal interactions were in complete disregard of what Angela was trying to tell him. I just wanted to give him a really hard shake and tell him to shut up for a minute.

I thought that Brennan's admission of her publisher's lack of confidence in her markability was great. The admission felt fresh, and intimate, as if she'd never shared that with anyone before Booth. Her hackles remained up throughout the episode and though it lead to a great moment with Booth, I felt that the ending was completely out of character for her. She should have been bothered enough to consider stopping, however, she wouldn't be so irrational as to just trash her work. 100% out of character. She would have waited to have a discussion before doing anything like that, not erased her book and tossed the papers, before being willing to talk thanks to brute Booth force. I don't buy it. I think it was a bad ending to a very emotional and private doubt of Brennan's.

I do think that Brennan and Booth were down right adorable in this episode. Right from the start, when they bicker in the car as the roles are reversed, up to the end where you see the brief, heart stopping pause, especially from Booth, as she wraps her arms around him in a very new, and very intimate way...I enjoyed it a lot. It had rough patches, like the over-done protectiveness, but overall I found it to be full of important moments and little progressions.
  • "That's for me to know and you to find out." (Paging Dr. Freud?)
  • The admission from Brennan.
  • The driving.
  • The coffee grounds. How cute was that protectiveness, followed by actually trying the grounds himself?
  • And of course the ending, with important admissions about their partnership, Booth's support of her writing, frank statements about attraction, and the intimate touch (and all important awareness of the intimacy.)
I didn't forget Zack, I swear.

No matter what I've written in defense of Zack killing someone, I completely accept and even enjoy the intriguing mystery brought to light in his confession of his false confession. Now we really have something to ponder and look forward to. It takes out a lot of the previous writing continuity gaffes and corrects them, especially in regards to occurences in The Knight on the Grid, and it makes him interesting again. Did he originally confess fo rthe reason he now gives - fear of prison? Or will we learn something far more intriguing as the season continues? I now care to know!

If you're obsessive about Zack, and give everything about his appearance a pass in light of the news "Zack didn't kill anyone," you might want to stop reading here.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Logically, this can't herald Zack's return. He still committed some major crimes. There's no way he could work on cases ever again.

Oh, wait, in light of how this episode went, you can just toss logic, plausibility, credibility, and continuity away.

That's right. I may like what Zack said, but I like almost nothing about how they brought him in.

Still reading?

I've said for some time now that I didn't care if Zack was a killer or wasn't a killer - please, just write the story well. The Pain in the Heart was a mish-mash of plots, with many glaring holes in light of previous episodes. I just wanted the writers to do it well: regain the fan trust in the great writing of this wonderful show and never present us with a swiss-cheese plot again. Ever.

In this episode, with Zack's end statement, they plugged many of those previous holes. Bravo!

But the rest of his appearance, and even more beyond that, plainly...stank. Normally I would let some things slide, but there are just too many things in this episode that are wrong. The problems are so numerous that I cannot give it a pass, and I even find it difficult to know where to begin.

Let's start with simple character/story continuity errors. I can think of at least 3 right off-hand.
1) The scene where Booth and Brennan make fun of Sweets and his love life.
Was Man in the Mud the fantasy episode they've talked about? All of the sudden it's like they never met April, never discussed fish love, and we never had the adorable pottery class scene.

2) Picking up garbage.
Brennan is suddenly clueless about this. Pilot anyone? She specifically states that she didn't need a warrant to snatch the senator's DNA out of the garbage.

3) Brennan doesn't know that Booth reads her books.
This has been discussed heavily already, but just to point out the big thing again - they've discussed this in 2 previous episodes. She's very aware that he reads her books. At least the fact that he memorizes her reviews is new.

I give the show a pass on a lot of things, but that's just awful. Those are glaring to anyone who watches the show. How did they make it to the screen?

On top of continuity errors, with Zack's story, they made many choices in writing that bothered me.

Hodgins takes a case file to Zack.
Yeah, I know he's Mr. "I don't care" right now, but did Hodgins learn nothing from "The Man in the Mansion?"

Along the same lines, did Booth and Brennan not learn anything from that? Did Booth forget?
If you don't know or don't remember, Hodgins was unable to testify, and the team was unable to use any of his conclusions, because of questionable handling of evidence. How does someone who's under lock and key for killing someone, not qualify as questionable?
Prosecutor: How did you determine the location of the head?
Brennan: Our former associate, who now resides in a mental ward for murdering someone simply because he belonged to a group, told us.


Zack switching the strips
Sure, it sounds great. But with Sweets fear of Zack, is he ever going to get close to him? Sweets kept the card on his person. How in God's name would Zack get it to switch them?

Zack just walking out of the ward
No. Way. Was there an exit conveniently right next to his room? Those places have security, and that outfit is not inconspicuous. I just do not buy it.

Zack's appearance in the Jeffersonian
Again, security? Oh wait, Birimbau just walked in too. Apparently the high tech institute that works with sensitive historical remains and modern cases just lets anyone walk in. Nuh-uh.

Zack's appearance...and Booth not immediately taking him away
I agree that Brennan wouldn't care about taking him back and Hodgins and Angela would be happy to see him. It's completely fitting that Booth and Cam are the only logical people (in the same room with Brennan) where Zack is concerned. What I don't buy, is that Booth just tossed that instantly out the window without the slighest argument. "Let's go, you can tell us about it on the way back to the looney bin." After saying something at least moderately sane, if he got a puppy dog look from Brennan he might argue and then relent. But immediately just give up after asking how he got out? NO.

The diner scene at the end
Uh, it was sweet and all, but no. The ward would have missed Zack by now, or they're they have worse security than the Jeffersonian. They were all jepardizing their jobs and security clearance by taking him to a public place. Sweet scene, but no. I would have less objection if they'd ordered takeout and gone up to the lounge. (Also, I guess Cam lost her will just as fast as Booth.)

The fly egg thing
This is more of a beef than anything. It lead to a great Cam/Hodgins scene but...entomologists regularly hatch fly eggs to determine accurate time of death. This would not be new to Cam. I can almost let that pass with TV license, especially since it's not common knowledge for everyone, but they just emphasized it too much, like something SO SURPRISING AND ODD, that it bothers me.

So, overall, this episode might actually be my least favorite of all, thus far. There are great moments and important developments, but I just can't give a pass on all the glaring problems for the few things I liked. I have to look at the whole picture, and in this instance, it's not a pretty one.

To end on a light note, here are some of the episode quotes that I liked and are not mentioned above:

Sweets: You know, a sane person would regret murdering someone more than being taken in by a line of crap.
Zack: Define crap.
Sweets: Drivel, blarney, nonsense, balderdash, twaddle, bull, bunkum, hooey. Like that.
Zack: Now I realize it was drivel, blarney, nonsense, balderdash, twaddle, bull, bunkum, hooey. Then I perceived it as logic.

Booth: It's purple!

Brennan: For future reference, this is more of an anomaly than a missing head.
Tech: Sad comment on your life, Dr.

Booth: Breakin' in a new intern, aren't ya?
Brennan: How did you know?
Booth: Because you always get overly precise. That's how I usually know.

Brennan: I am watching the road! I am an excellent driver.

Sweets: These action figurines, they're awesome.

Sweets: She is wicked literal.

Sweets: Crazy-boy is offensive, by the way.

Hodgins: We're going to get you out of here someday, Zack, and you can be king again.
Zack: I know you're lying to make me feel better, and not to be malicious.

Zack: I'm King of the Looney Bin.

Brennan: Lok at the hematoma on his left's what you would call a shiner.

Booth: Oh, got a runner!

Booth: Maybe Jared gave you that shiner after made him suck on at oilet mind.

Ralph: I'm here to confess. I killed Jared. Can you please sterilize your handcuffs before taking me in?

Ralph: When you lock me up, I should either keep my watch, or you should only put me next to terrible people who deserve to die.

Booth: Don't call my partner a chick.

Sweets: Unless it's rampant paranoid, not my jurisdiction.

Booth: Bones' magic juice didn't work.

Zack: You don't appear happy to see me.
Booth: We're not.

Zack: Alphanumeric is also a 12 letter word, by the way, but I suspect that's just ironic.

Zack:...looney bin library card. (I just like that phrase.)

Sweets: Wait, what if he overpowers me?
Booth: Zack?
Zack: I'm much stronger than I look.
Sweets: He's done it before. He killed a man.
Booth: Okay, Zack, promise you're not going to kill Sweets?
Zack: I promise.
Booth: There you go.

Zack: I haven't actually literally done it before, you know.
Sweets: Had sex?
Zack: Ended someone's life. Why doesn't anyone ever believe I've had sex?

Zack: I'm still an accessory to murder. If you tell them, they'll take me out of here and put me in prison. Hodgins assures me I would not do well in prison.

Brennan: I don't want to be a sexy scientist.
Booth: Well, that's like me saying I don't want to be a sexy FBI agent.

Booth: I figure I'm all over your real world, why would you want me in your fantasy world too?

Booth: I explain things to you just as much as you explain things to me.
Brennan: Well, my things are more important.

Booth: The way you really help me is you let me be a guy.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

One more note, in reguards to the Zacksplanation project and this episode. I wrote my script with the path that Zack did it, and they have to move on. Jamie wrote her script with a very similar idea to this episode: Zack falsely confessed.

I think she did it better.

The addition of the forensic linguistics discipline that she introduced put everything into a very logical and believable light, and the element of those around Zack figuring it out, instead of Zack confessing, seems more appropriate. Why would Zack just suddenly tell Sweets and yet not want anyone else to know?

This episode has the positive bent of making us wonder, yes, but as for writing goes, it could have been much better.

If you'd like the know more about forensic lingquistics, you can check out the professor that inspired Jamie, here.


Katjem said...

I really enjoy reading this website and especially your reviews. You do a fantastic job Wendy! I am glad you pointed out that Brennan already knew Booth read her books. I can think of a few examples where this has been mentioned. The "You have time to read my books" "If you have time to write them, I have time to read them" exchange is one of the most obvious. I did enjoy the final scene but all that was needed was the discovery that Booth reads Brennan's reviews.

alison said...

i enjoy your reviews. and mostly agree. The strange thing is that i finshed the episode with a warm fuzzy feeling of how great it was. All the issues with it only dawned on me gradually. I guess the good acting just sweeps me up!

Another error - that probably only bothers me so much because I'm an entomologist - is that an adult fly hatched out of Hodgin's egg. That is like having an adult butterfly hatch out of an egg without going through the caterpillar stage. What about the whole maggot/fly stage?!!

heirofloki said...

Yes! Alison is right! Oh, god, I feel less like a geek now for knowing that ( which I still am, given that I'm most certainly NOT an entomologist), but the hatching was just plain weird. I mean, it looked good onscreen, but it was still weird.

I agree with your review on many points, but on the intern of the week, I guess we'll agree to disagree. I don't think it was irrational for him to react the way he did. We know Brennan, we know she was just being socially awkward. From his POV however, his anthropology professor (who he has to keep happy or else he might pay an academic price) just asked him a sexually charged question. It's not like it's terribly rare for professors to take advantage of their position, one way or another. So with that frame of mind....I guess I can see where the misunderstanding sprang from. I wouldn't mind seeing him again, trying to navigate through the minefield that is the Jeffersonian.

Anyway. Agree to disagree, right? =)

As always, excellent job with the review. And thank you! I honestly thought I was the only fan out there who was not completely taken with this episode. Now I know I'm in good company.

Liz said...

Excellent review! I agree that Sweets is getting way too much airtime and is interrupting the Booth/Brennan dynamic. I wish they would confine him to their therapy sessions. Also agree that Zack's escape was poorly done and illogical, and that the new intern was out of place. This episode left me feeling like someone popped my lovely Bones balloon.

CupcakeBean said...

Overall, I enjoyed this episode, but the continuity errors annoyed me. I wish the writers would be more careful about these kinds of inconsistencies. I mean, some errors are understandable, but do the writers even watch their own show? Maybe they should hire a team of us obsessed fans as fact checkers and plausibility specialists.

RMF said...

I agree about Sweets' excessive screen time, digression or not. I question the wisdom of compromising the Zack character so they could swap the recurring-guest and regular character roles, because whereas Zack worked at the Jeffersonian, I don't know half the time why Sweets is hanging around. He's not quite a profiler and not quite a therapist, and anyway, these people don't have problems of the magnitude to require a therapist. I guess the writers really like Sweets and really think we should too, but it doesn't quite work. Of course, now that Zack is evidently his patient, and there's an interesting mystery in Zack's psychology to be solved, he finally does have a reason to be around, but that makes them both naturally recurring guest characters, not regulars.

The Zack storyline was flawed in presentation, of course, but it's more remarkable for what it sets up than its execution. Zack gives two reasons for the false confession, not only the fear of prison, but that he feels he's guilty of the murder because of his indirect involvement and his supposed willingness at the time to commit the crime had he been asked. I suspect the latter has more to do with the confession than the former, because it seems to me that because of his cracked reasoning in becoming involved with the crime, he would still have ended up in the asylum even if he admitted to only being an accessory.

The problem with Hodgins removing the case file from the Jeffersonian wasn't that Zack interpreted the evidence, since the "12" observations could be verified independently, but that once Hodgins let the case file out of his sight, it was compromised. I think in many of the flaws of this episode, they were trying to show the bond between the team transcending the circumstances, but it helps if they pull it off better than this.

Jeannie said...

Excellent job, Wendy. As always. I was really torn about this episode, too, but I've decided to just acknowledge the existence of this episode and keep hoping that the awesomeness will return to the show this Wednesday. Kinda like I did with Yanks in the UK - as far as I'm concerned, that episode happened in some alternative universe. There hasn't been much continuity follow-up from that episode anyway, except for the break-up.

Cupcakebean, where do we submit the applications for the fact checker job? ;-)

And I'm with heirofloki on the grad student awkwardness; he didn't know Brennan (and didn't see her much around either) so it was no big leap from her question to feeling somewhat sexually harassed.
But I feel that he was too much of a "regular guy" to work with this bunch, so I'm guessing we won't see him back again.

Also, I agree with rmf that the main point of the strange Zack-escapes-from-looney-bin plot was to show how everything went from being awkward and not right in the lab back to the team being a family as soon as he showed back up again, but it was really poorly executed.

And I'm really getting irritated about Sweets being all over the place all the time. And while I said last season that I think they brought him on because his character can be used for a big variety of plots, they really need to cut back on his presence. It's getting annoying and I seriously think that Zack didn't even have that much screentime during the final episodes of season 3.

And another item on my wish list: I need to see some aftermath of the break-up from Angela, and not just an acknowledging mention of it to Sweets. Some real fallout, please!

Jeannie said...

PS: The "Booth-hurt-his-back" plot totally reminded me of DB's comment about maybe Booth hurting his hand, too! Timeline fits, too - he voiced that at Comic Con and this episode was shot in August (?).Quick execution of that storyline then. Wish they could be as quick with some of the other stuff.

Wendy said...

Oh, I completely believe Wendell was right to flip and question what Brennan said, it's just that he refused to listen to the answers after he started talking. That's what bugged me.

And thank you, alison, for the additional info about the fly. I knew that hatching was an important, common, forensic action, but I don't do bugs and had no idea they even messed up the stages. Even worse!

Joy_Booth said...

I agree with most of what you said. The fact that Brennan had no clue that Seeley read her books was just dumb if you ask me. In "The Woman in Limbo", he asked repeatedly to read her next manuscript. Wouldn't that prove that he read her books? And was INTERESTED? Maybe I'm being paranoid, but that's what I think.

And umm hello? Am I the only one who was glad that Zack finally came back? I mean yes, the fact that he just waltzed out of the asylum and into the Jeffersonian was a little out there, but come on! I hate that people are being so harsh to Zack. He didn't ACTUALLY kill anyone, so what's the big deal? And he feels guilty about it! Even though it wasn't him who killed the lobbyist, he feels indirectly involved because he told Gormogon where he was. It's not your fault, Zack!! (hugs him)

And it's not really a family without the baby, right? Once Zack showed up, everything seemed okay again. They became a family and forgot all about the intern. Zack's a part of the team whether you people like it or not!

...But I agree. The execution was...poorly shot. But still...spread the love! Z-man needs it!!

Wendy said...

I love Zack :P Don't think I hate him or don't want him back, please! I just want it well written and believable. I won't accept him back if there are huge holes in it. Just write it well and I would love to see him every week again.

Anonymous said...

I loved the episode!

I recognise the writing flaws but still.. I did not mind that much. Apparently much less than you all.

It is a fictional show, there are plenty of inaccuracies, inconsistencies and unrealistic details in every episode.
If they could say that Zack was the killer after actually seeing the scene of the murder (and it was not Zack!), I guess that this whole out of reality plot seems to me more believable and consistent with the charachter and the story so far than what we got in the season 3 finale.
And if we can go with the fact that a forensic anthropologist with no specific training and clearance just chases bad guys, does interrogations and is partnered with an FBI special agent (totally unrealistic).. if we can live with that what is the problem with Zack escaping, helping, getting the file of the investigation (maybe he got a copy?) and with the squints having a coffee with Zack?
If we really wanted to stick to reality we should not even have the show at all.

Brennan asking Booth if he was reading his books.. last time they talked about it was 2 years ago. Same time elapsed in the show as well. Brennan is insecure and doubts of her writing in this moment. She thinks her books diminish herself and her science. Booth never told her what he tought of her books, if he likes them, if he thinks they are nice, or stupid, or brilliant. Maybe the fact itself that he never said anything makes her think that he does not regard them as good work. Here she is asking for some confirmation. Like when she asks him if he thinks she is special: he has already told her so, but she keeps asking.
Considering that in her books she reveals much more of herself and her desires than she intends to, we might understand why what Booth thinks is so important to her. And he never really commented on that.
The nice thing is that Booth tells her not only he likes her books, but he is also proud of her.
So sweet. In such a lovely conversation I can perfectly overlook the question from Brennan.

Don't know guys, for me it is much more annoying a storyline with Brennan dating 2 guys and defending poligamy after Booth's speech over making love and her AGREEING to it, than all the things you have pointed out in this episode.

For me, sure it is the best of season 4 so far.. and I really appreciated that the producers tried to patch up the Zack issue. The story makes much more sense to me now.

Just my view.

CupcakeBean said...

Am I the only one that actually likes Sweets now? I do agree that they are writing him in ways that aren't the most plausible, but as a character, I'm really starting to love him. In my mind, I think he hangs around the lab and B&B because he wants desperately to fit in. He idolizes Booth and possibly has a little crush on Brennan, so he's been trying to win them over. His constant attempts to impress them, paired with their repeated rebuffs, are so funny to me.

In this episode in particular, I really enjoyed the interaction between Sweets and Zack. The two young, awkward geniuses. So alike yet so different. I especially loved Sweets's reaction when he found out Zack didn't actually kill the lobbyist. I'm in the minority here, but I'm happy that Sweets is getting out of his office a little.

Jamie said...

I won't lie - immediately after this episode, I texted Wendy claiming "Queen of the Scripts!" Then she called me a brat. :-)

No one is happier than I am about the Zack revelation; I think it opens up a lot of potential for his character, not to mention the possibilities for Sweets and the new information he has. I can't see them ditching this potentially great storyline that could let Sweets uncover what exactly went wrong with Zack.

That said, I concur completely with Wendy's review. This was sloppy. I kind of do buy Zack as some sort of loony bin MacGuyver, but it feels like the writers had a 24-hour time limit to write this, knew the peasants were revolting (I count myself among them), and had Jack Bauer holding a revolver to their kneecaps.

Here's an idea: read my script instead! I can assure you how hard I worked on it! (So can Wendy!)

heirofloki said...

No cupcakebean, you're not the only one. I love Sweets as a character, he definitely makes me laugh. And I don't really mind him as a third wheel but gosh, he's everywhere these days. Everywhere.

And Cam really is getting the short-end of the stick plot-wise. So more Cam, less Sweets? I'm down with that.

Shep said...

Cupcakebean - Where can I sign up? ;)That's a great idea (though I doubt it will happen)- I've always thought they should do that with things like Harry Potter where many fans are really not happy with the director's take on the films.

I agree with everything said about continuity errors however, I too thought Brennan was just asking for confirmation. I tend to do that sometimes: I ask questions even though I know the answers.

OK, so there were a few holes in zack's return, but it isn't entirely impossible. After all, Zack is enormously intelligent in his own Z-man way so there's a possibility he really found a way to swipe Sweet's card, through the use of his mathematical calculations or whatever (the scene started halfway through the conversation so we never saw teh whole thing) and managed to avoid being detected in his white jumpsuit! Or, this is me doing a little wishful thinking but eitehr way, I'm happy to have Zack back, nowing that he did not actually commit the murderand I agree with Joy_booth - *hugs for Zack*!

Mom2ABnTB said...

I enjoyed the episode as a whole, which we've discussed, but I agree the thing about Brennan not knowing Booth read her books was like a slap in the face to us fans. I understand that after writing for many seasons, some information gets forgotten, but come on...this is something talked about a lot. Other than that, and Zack coming back in the way he did, I enjoyed it. Angsty, but in a good way. *Applauds Wendy for a review well done*

RMF said...

Heh. The point is well taken about implausibilities in the basic setup of the series, but I have to make a distinction. A TV show is free to set up its own rules about how its universe operates, but it can't develop amnesia about them later. Evidently in this one, a forensic anthropologist and an FBI agent can be partnered up. That's consistent. However, they can't drop a load of bricks on Hodgins in one episode for mishandling evidence, then give him a free pass here.

Wendy said...

Excellent way to put it, RMF.

Deepa Dev said...

I agree with joy_booth about Zacko being the baby in the family - in the scene where he showed up at the Jeffersonian and Booth tells everyone else to go play with their microscopes or whatever and then shoos away Zack and Brennan into the "Bone room", I couldn't help think it was like a dad saying to his kid, you, me and mom need to talk, the rest of you go to your rooms :D

brennanite said...

I agree that the whole tossing her book out thing was contrived. Why did she even have a hard copy at all? But I like Booth's line:

"that guy was an idiot, did you see his glasses?"

The discontinuity with the reading the books thing was weird, they could have worded it slightly differently and made the exact same point, like she could have said "you never talk about them."

I don't mind the zack implausibilities. I mean, they needed to get him onto their regular set, because who wants to play that scene at the security desk? This way we could get everyone's reaction to zack, and move on to the plot.

I see the whole Sweets-hanging-around-for-no-reason thing as being his characterization. He actually is hanging around for no reason. That is why everyone is so annoyed with him. I like it. Still, I would give up sweets for more Cam and Angela.

I think we should do an epi on where Cam comes from. She was a cop, maybe we could go back to her old precinct, and Booth could ask her to do the questioning because she knows people. Maybe she has got an ex that we can dredge up to explain how she got to be so hot yet single. All in due time.

Overall, I liked it. Solid case, funny and sweet. They highlighted the B&B asymmetry on helping, presumably this is setting up some more Booth characterization.

chattypatra said...

You know, I have to comment on Brennan's now famous question to her new intern. Although I accept that she is a social moron, she is a supervisor at a major institution. Am I supposed to believe that she is not familiar with sexual harassment laws? What, employees at the Jeffersonian don't have to comply with the law and attend annual seminars on the very subject? They don't have to sign a legal document stating that they received that particular training? In this day and age of lawsuits, THERE IS NO WAY that a government employee, let alone A SUPERVISOR, is not aware of what constitutes ILLEGAL behavior in the workplace. I don't buy it!

Even if Dr. Brennan's nature is to be clueless about polite social interaction, SHE IS A STICKLER FOR THE RULES. Besides, she loves her job. Her work is her life. The woman came back from Guatemala with a human skull in her bag, for crying out loud! (Another iffy incident, of course.)

I would have bought the scene if she had made the comment and, when the poor guy told her he doubted she was twenty years older, it would have dawned on her and she would have explained. This is season four. By now, she doesn't have an excuse to act that dumb.

In conclusion, I am with the cute intern on this one. Temperance may be socially retarded, but she takes her job seriously, and she does have a brain. NO WAY would she have broken the law like that.

He was right to ask Angela, who in turn - knowing her friend - should have gone and asked her why the guy made that comment. I would! I am nothing if not honest with my friends, and THAT is a SERIOUS accusation. He is, after all, not only an employee, but a STUDENT.

Sorry about my rant, but I studied business, and I was a victim of such types of comments when I was in my 20's, and it is NOT fun. Men have rights too. To ignore them is reverse discrimination. Again, it's the law, and Brennan would not be that stupid about her work.

This episode is second only to last season's finale as the worst written EVER. At least it feels like it right now.

That said, I love Sweets! I'm in the minority here. Although I do want to see more of Cam, I don't want Sweets to go. Also, Hodgins is beginning to get on my nerves!
Drop the attitude already. Cam is your boss! Again, alienating your superior at work? Bad idea.

Persephone000 said...

I definitely disagree with the "less Sweets, more Cam" bridgade. Sweets is a great character - I particularly like his intelligence, mixed with his immaturity, plus he's very funny. Cam had never been a particularly interesting character to me, although I do think more Angela would be good.

RMF said...

brennanite, you are correct about the staging, as the regular set is not only convenient but used to convey something. The meeting room at the asylum is claustrophobic and oppressive, and that big table separates Zack from Hodgins. At the Jeffersonian, Zack emerges from the darkness, and they proceed to the comparatively well lit lab to "shed light" on the case. Everyone is now standing on the same side of the table. Throughout the storyline, the writers place a high value on the symbolism of what is happening versus strict realism. Even the introduction of a lemma signifies, since a lemma is a proven or assumed statement that leads to the proof of another.

Jingwei said...

Overall I liked this episode, and I don't really mind Booth's over-protectiveness so much, because it is possible that he was a bit cranky. But I agree about Sweets. I enjoyed him as a comic relief in the s3 but now he's everywhere, and I feel like he's taking away Booth's contribution to the team, which is annoying. I don't buy that non of the squints and Booth didn't pick up the 12 thing in the room.

The book thing, well, it could be possible that she forgot that he read her books, but I can let that one slide.

Zack? I'm kind of happy that he didn't kill anyone although (I know it's not really possible) I wish they would just close the Gormagon case, because I felt like the writers didn't think it through and there will always be the plot holes.

firefairyangel said...

In response to chattypatra, Brennan may be a stickler for the rules but she is also extremely literal. I think she would view the intent behind her words as the real determinant of whether or not they are harassment. She would not be aware that they make others uncomfortable unless it was pointed out to her. Like Angela mentioned, half the people there would just answer the question, and the other half would point out that she's being inappropriate.

Besides, hitting on a fellow employee is not against the law. If that were the case, no one would ever attempt to date a co-worker. It's only illegal if she continues to the point where he is uncomfortable, and she knowingly persists. She did not realize that she had made him uncomfortable, nor did she persist in asking.

In the context of the scene, she was so focused on trying to solve the case that I don't think she was really aware of who she was speaking too. She saw Wendall as a guy around the same age as the victim, but that's as far as it went. She was trying to get into the right mindset. Because she was so focused, she did not think about the full implications of her words, nor his reaction.

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