Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bones Episode Review - 4.04 "The Con-Man in the Meth Lab"

Advance apologies for typos and such. I had 95% of this complete when my laptop decided to stop connecting wirelessly. After fussing with that for awhile, this pregnant chick is screaming for her bed. There are, I'm sure, spelling and grammar errors that will just have to wait 12 hours or so to be addressed, and I will definitely do some additional formatting. I just wanted to get this up as quickly as possible this week, so, here you go!

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Wow. What. An. Episode.

After my uncharacteristic dislike of the previous week, I am simply floored by how much I loved this episode. I am not kidding that, before this one I had two favorite episodes - "The Killer in the Concrete" and "The Verdict in the Story" - and this episode has tied them. I am a sucker for the deep character development, and "The Con-Man in the Meth Lab" delivered, and then some.

I will try to keep to my normal format here, but at times it may run more like a recap with commentary. That's the only way I can make sure I don't miss something in such a packed gem!

Traditionally, though, I would like to start with a case. First off, there's a chance that the flaming body is the worst body they've ever had that looked completely realistic. Until now, the grate-goo basketball player held the award for me, but man, the gaping lower half of this guy's face, and the ashen skin tone and....gross. Kudos. Bones should have gross bodies. The kind of death they investigate should be so startling. It's not often that, after so many bodies, one can stand out, but this one did.

The case itself -
Hmm, the main thing I can say about it at this point is that I was seriously confused with all the switching of identities, and the names, and the important locations. I felt like I needed a piece of paper to keep up. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it was surprisingly complex for an episode with such intense character action and layers of stories. I can't call good or bad, still.

Clark -
Can we keep him, please? My husband pointed out to me, first, that Clark was completely wasted on this episode. That's not to say he did a bad job, not by a long shot. He was fantastic! But I want more of this man. Everything that he said had me laughing, he knows his job, and...he and Hodgins did an experiment together! Awww. It wasn't Zack-level as you can never attain that, but it was still endearing and fun.

  • Oh God, here we go. (As Angela hugs him)
  • No, I said my preferred working style tends toward the professional. See my tie?
  • This is the finest forensic facility in the world.
  • H-You wanna fly MiGs, you fly MiG Alley, right?
  • A Korean war reference? you do know that we have a brand new war right, it's been on the news
  • Good. Work! Not work...Am I the only one who can tell the difference here?
  • The only Ex I care about are X-rays. (Though, he sure did look interested in the girl-on-girl for just a moment)
  • You have got to be kidding me. (When Brennan appears in her date clothes)
  • I only indulged in this diversion after he asked for help. I wasn't wasting time.

I want him to stay. Screw the rest. I said in Yanks that I wanted him to be our permanent choice and this episode just confirmed it. Keep. Him.

There's not much specific to say about him other than he is really okay with Angela now.
"Aren't you impressed that Angela and I can work together so well now?

As I re-watch, I really feel that we missed something vital in "The Bone that Blew" that we won't see until the end of the month. God, why does the construction and execution of this particular relationship have to be so annoying?!!!!!

Angela -
  • "Things in a toilet bowl should not move."
  • "Aren't you the least bit curious about whether Hodgins and I are back together or not?"
  • "Whoa. There's more than one Booth?"
  • TB: Are you thinking of leaving lesbianism behind?
  • A: I prefer not to be labeled.
Cam -
Cam was amazing in this episode, as she has been for most of the season. She is the hardened modern career woman (and cop) with a seriously gooey inside. I'd love to know more about how she's known the Booth boys for 15 years, but at the moment I didn't care. The way she dug in to take care of Booth, and Booth *and* Brennan, was beautiful, heartwarming, and really made me love this woman even more.

She was very perceptive of Booth's feelings, Brennan's reactions, and in turn what that meant for both of them.
  • "He's getting so big. Soon he'll be wanting a later curfew and a car of his own."
~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Alright, here is where I really have to go scene by scene to make sure I catch everything for Booth and Brennan in this episode. I will mix in my observations about Jared as we go. They are just too intertwined to split.

Beginning scene with Sweets -
Poor guy, he really is doomed where those two are concerned. When they are together, unless they are pissed at each other, he's hardly in the room. Does he get any results out of them anymore at all?

Sweets really does want to be in the middle of them, and that is not a place anyone can survive. He knows this, on some level, but he keeps trying. Multiple examples of how close they are in this scene - the case, the brother, the way they leave together...I like these moment where they are a fluid pair, without anything sappy. It's very real and natural. They've worked together so long that many things should come naturally to them. Later in this episode, we see it again when she pulls out his gun from his side holster. He doesn't argue, they never miss a beat, and it just fits.

Booth, in this scene, is uncharacteristically reaching for glory. In the past, he has seemed to revile those who look for glory in the job. The job itself should be enough. I think that he does long for some recognition for what he does, and his efforts, but he usually won't reach for it. He will readily put his own concerns aside for anyone else who needs him but in this moment we seem to see him saying - everyone is good, everything is going great, no one needs me...I can do something for myself. He's working on this case, he's celebrating his birthday, and he's treating himself to a very nice trip. It's like the lone time we've ever seen him take some time for himself.

Too bad his little brother is about to show up and ruin it all...

My initial impression of Jared is not a nice one. He's cocky in the unfeeling way that is either something you fall for instantly or you hate. I...hate. I can reason out that it's a defense mechanism for the little boy who never really grew out from under his big brother's shadow and now he reaches out in unrealistic, disingenuous cockiness to cover up and strike back and what he sees as something that's not his fault....but I'm not feeling that generous for him just yet. He's going to have to make some strides in upcoming episodes because, from start to finish in this one, his head is firmly up his arrogant rear.

I thought, going into this, that Jared was likely to call her Bones. I'm glad they did it, it fit his characterization well, but I'm even more glad how quickly Booth objected to it. As he's slipped before...she's "his" Bones. That is his nickname for her only. Jared's intrusion into that space is the first of many.

TB: "Your facial structure is even more symmetrical than Booth's"
I don't think I need to go into that. We've talked it to more place than one!

But as Brennan first walks up to Jared, Booth looks awfully tense in the background. Romantically or not, she is his in many ways, and he looks really uncomfortable with their interaction. Nervous Brennan will throw herself at him? Nervous of what Jared will say? Nervous of being usurped? I don't know, but Booth looks like a wound up string every time he's around Jared. That speaks volumes about their history.

Booth's ways of taking care of Jared are not just in the negative, bail-him-out, moments. In the way he tries to mediate the date with Cam, you can tell he's used to doing everything for Jared. Maybe one day we will find out how that started, but for now it's partly endearing and partly frustrating to watch. Jared chafes under it sometimes, but for the most part seems to take it as his right, like his older brother is there simply to do what he needs, good or bad.

The second scene with Jared just reaffirms my first impression...
Jared: More important than catching a murderer...I'm dateless tonight.

He's gone from not wanting Booth to control him to demanding that Booth fix it. It's very like a father and son where the son will resist the father's influence in one moment, and expect it the next.

It is patently obvious that Booth *does* mind Brennan going to the ball with Jared. That is exactly something he does not want to happen. Jared's actions screw up his life, they never make it better. Brennan is the best thing that Booth has going and he knows it on some level. Jared costs him good things.

Brennan's look is a mass of emotions. She looks liek she thinks she knows something, but has no way to confirm it with the second opinion she craves. Where people are concerned, she would most often ask Booth for an opinion, but since it involves him, and part of her knows that it really does matter to him, she can't ask him.

If you doubt at all that he minds, from his words, the look out the window should confirm it.

At the dinner party...
Yep, still not liking Jared. But we're not supposed to, at least not yet, so that's okay.

I did like how, even though she was there, effectively on a date, she was still thinking of Booth. "How would Booth fit in here?" Unfortunately, she didn't come up with a good assessment, which leads me to my thought of why she jumps on the Jared bandwagon, and all it's negative assessments of her partner, so quickly, and so completely.

It's Anthropology, baby! I originally felt that she jumped on him too fast, but in light of her end speech it made perfect sense - she viewed Jared as the ultimate alpha male. At times, you think she hates that, in some of her conversations with Booth, but it appears that's what she believed she should go after all along, and could explain a little bit of why she's never gone for Booth - feelings or not, she was making an anthropological decision on who she should pursue. Jared, for all appearances, fit that perfectly. But she got a very hard lesson in what a real man is. Anthropology can't teach her everything, and it's still HUGE that she admitted that.

Seeley is not afraid of success - he finds family and friends more important. Glory for himself is rarely his goal. When everyone else is taken care of, he can let himself reach for some personal gains, but the moment someone needs him, he will drop it, personal pain or not.

Jared hardly knows himself and his own faults, how can he be going after someone elses? It seems to me that Jared is stepping into his father's shoes, while Booth has spent his life ensuring he is the complete opposite of a weak man. He may not stick his neck out for the glory, but he sticks it out for what, and for who, matters. He is honorable, where Jared is fake, he is honest, where Jared can hardly be honest with himself, and he is perceptive, where Jared only really looks inward. If they wanted to show how much of a man Booth is, they picked the perfect way to highlight it in a glaring example of opposites who came from the same background. Booth isn't perfect, but it quickly becomes obvious which brother is the better man.

Cam's first intervention...
Cam: You're the one who said you didn't mind them going out together.
SB: Bye.

Private man is not about to get into it without a serious show of force.

(LOVE the bobble headed bobby. I yelled out when I saw it.)

Booth's honor is not without a cost. He doesn't like to play politics or break laws when it's not necessary. Back-scratching is not his thing. If he did that Judas on a Pole would have been a much shorter story and Russ might be dead. It will cost him dearly, but it's not surprising that Booth does not make a deal with the state police.

SB: Why don't we just tell the truth, and take our lumps when we have to?

Cam's second intervention...
Cam: Did you just get in?
TB: I haven't been to sleep.
(If they didn't' have sex, what did they do all night?)
Cam: Can I offer you a little insight into Booth's little brother?
Clark: Oh God, why am I always standing precisely in the wrong place?
TB: I didn't have sex with him Cam.
Angela: Didn't have sex with who?
Cam: Jared Booth.
Angela: Good.
TB: Why good?
Cam: Because....
Angela: Because he's booth's little brother and it would just be a creepy way to have sex with a Booth without having sex with the real Booth.
Cam: Kudos, Angela, I would not have had the guts to say that out loud.
TB: Jared is a real Booth.
Angela: Jared is Booth-lite. Booth is the real Booth.
TB: What if Booth is Booth-lite?

Brennan has definitely put Jared as the better Booth simply because he fits her Anthropological model. To me, this speaks to her having some level of interest in Seeley Booth for some time, but feeling like something was missing. She has yet to figure out, at this point, that nothing is missing. She just can't see the truth that's right in front of her - yet.

Booth is incredibly private (duh), even when it really matters and he should share. He will tell Brennan everything, but hides Jared's problems from her. Jared is family, and it's a private matter, even from the person he is closest to. I think that by the end of this, they are both able to put Jared aside, as something that can't come between them, and I would be surprised if Booth hides much from her again. One of the unsaid lessons in this episode is that they share so much and those things that they choose not to share can end up hurting them deeply. I think both of them realize in the end that is not something they want to risk again. That's not completely a romantic notion, it is something that applies even in close friendship, but I do feel it has very deep meaning for the two of them.

The moment Booth gives up his case is heartbreaking - I was a little slow about what was happening, though, because I missed the line earlier about the connection between the Rico case and that guy. When he tosses all his vacation plans and such...Really made me want to slap Jared all the more.

Cam's third intervention...
Cam: What happened? (love the face)
Cam: Don't you lie to me big man. I'm your friend.
SB: Cam, just let this one slip by.

She can't stand watching the same story again, after 15 years. She knows what Brennan has yet to figure out - Seeley Booth is the real deal. Jared is a sad shadow of the strength in his big brother. She loves that Seeley is such a good man, but her heart breaks to watch him continually fall into Jared's shadow out of love and a misguided protective streak that is doing Jared far more harm than good.

Sweets/Jared scene...
Jared: My brother doesn't like birthday presents.

Two-fold...the family-life may have made birthdays pretty terrible times. How much fun could an alcoholic father have been at such moments? So I can give the benefit of the doubt to that.

But...I think it's the opposite. Not asking for presents and special treatment is the complete opposite of not desiring them. Jared doesn't see very far beyond himself. If his brother doesn't overtly ask for something, subtlety has no affect on this boy and it's totally lost on him.

The one true thing he says is that Seeley is like his father. He gets that, but he doesn't see any reason to come into his own as a man outside the superficial markers of success and pride. Seeley does not help this with his actions, but ultimately the real responsibility falls to Jared.

The only thing I liked was sSeets ability to find camaraderie in being another kid-brother to Booth. Only Sweets is more like the kid-brother Booth should have had - the kid brother you can tease, but who still stands on his own, and isn't a constant screw-up.

Interrogation ante-room BB confrontation...
Additional thoughts to go with what I said before:
Why does she believe Jared so fast, when up against the man she's known closely for years? I think that she's been longing to know more about Seeley, but he's not been forthcoming, so she's jumped on a plausible explanation (with ZERO EVIDENCE I MIGHT ADD, unless you include the kiss) because it's the first explanation to come along. In the absence of information (evidence) from Booth she chose to believe Jared instead. I felt horrible for SB when he demanded to know if she thought him a loser, but she never responded. Later we learn that she actually did think he was a loser, which is also heartbreaking. It felt a little rushed for her to not be jumping instantly to SB's defense, but in this light, I can believe it.

I think that the Anthropology reason is the most important, but this is another part of it.

Booth's question to her meant a great deal. He needs to know he's a good man, good father, good agent. Usually, we see this with Parker. He constantly wants to know he's a good dad, and Brennan has worked very hard, and been very forthcoming, in supporting and affirming him in that role. But here, he's asking one of the most heartfelt things he ever has - Am I a good man? And her silence is deafening. I don't think he'd ever doubted for a second, up to then, that she believe he was a good man, which makes it all the more painful that she didn't affirm him instantly, or at all, at this point.

Booth identifying with the wife...
"We do whatever we can for family." Brennan thinks it's odd how strongly he's taking her side, but she has no idea why he's doing it. SB needs validation for his own choices. This woman was willing to risk her freedom to help her family, something even stronger than his own loss of glory.

If he can't get affirmation from Brennan, he needs what he can to feel a little better.

TB: People make stupid, irrational decisions
SB: They act from the heart sometimes, Bones. It's not a crime.

More subtext about both his, and his brother's actions.

Cam's fourth intervention...
This woman is happy to call 'urgent' on non-case stuff, and I love it! It *is* urgent that she resolve this situation, though - at first - she's the only one who sees that. At least she's got Sweets!

TB: Are you my loved ones?
(Love Sweets with the coffee tray)
SB: We're all scientists here, right? Well...not you.
Brennan is seriously bull headed about this...more proof for the Anthropology explanation. If she can align anything with her science, she is very much unwilling to believe anything to the contrary without very compelling evidence.

Cam - give SB the benefit of the doubt, not Jared. She's known them for 15 years.
God that woman rocks. The shift in how her character is portrayed, though I don't think it's inconstent with the character in the slightest, just deeper, is wonderful. I want to know more and more about this Cam. She cares about the whole crew - Brennan can't go after the bad boy brother both for her own sake and Booth's, and Cam knows what happened to Booth because she's known them so long. She can't stand for people around her to be in pain and she will happily throw the offender - in this case Jared - under the bus to protect the innocent.

TB: That is an anecdote.
But, hey, again, I am rolling with my theories. Jared's anecdote confirmed Brennan's thoughts, while Cam's contradicted. Brennan isn't always as fair and impartial as she would like to be.

Bar scene with Jared...
Cam and Sweets didn't give her evidence, but they did get through enough to encourage her to seek it herself.

She enters the bar with the thought that Jared is right, but his simple phrase - It's between brothers - flips her all of the sudden.

She got her evidence. I think I would have liked to see things drawn out a bit more between the intervention and her realization. It did seem a tad rushed, but then...she's flipping back to the basic "It's Booth, of course he's a good man" that has been part of her core for some time. It feels slightly rushed, but not illogical.

I love her passion when she first verbally, and then physically, lays Jared out. He deserves it, and she now knows it, and her own guilt over her actions and beliefs is just the catalyst she needs to give it to him. I always say that I want to see a jealous Brennan, but this kind of passion from her, when it comes to Booth, is a close second in importance. She likes to stick to her cold facts, but its obvious that emotion always lies simmering just below the surface. Anger is still, by far, her most comfortable choice, emotionally, but where there is passion and anger like that there is extreme depth of feeling. Like her reactions to Booths' faked death early in Pain - it's telling.

(I laughed so hard when she pushed him too.)

I admire that she instantly wanted to set things right with Booth, but I'm glad she didn't get the chance. The speech at the end was so much more perfect.

Sheriff scene...
The Sheriff trashing Booth is just one more way Booth can be kicked in this episode. Poor guy! But it's a nice continuation of the theme and correlation between the case and the character development.

I'm not sure why Booth is using his shotgun. I assume it's his because I know local cops usually carry both their sidearm and a shotgun in the trunk or even up front in the large amount of equipment and supplies that fills the front passenger seat. I can't imagine FBI agents are any less armed and Booth definitely has the space in that gigantic SUV. Why he's carrying it is another story, but it does look good! And it gives Brennan the chance to grab his gun so easily, arming them both.

SB: You are not a good shot.

Okay...wrong. I know he hasn't seen some of her best work, but she has been very precise in her shots, especially the dead on, center of the neck, kill on Pam. She is definitely a good shot.

(My husband is sitting next to me at this point while I type and we got sidetracked into a discussion about how many people each of them has shot and their kill count. Interesting...)

It does seem a bit much that Booth went wild on the escaping car with the shotgun. It seemed abnormal. Is it overreaction to Brennan getting shot? I really can't answer that, but it's obvious he is desperate to know she is okay.

(My husband and I just got sidetracked on another discussion - the kill itself. We agree that its not very likely that a shotgun would have been able to kill him. A rifle or pistol, sure, but the shotgun pellets had a lot of material to go through to get there and aren't likely to do so much damage, if they made it at all.)

The birthday toast...
TB: I know who he is, but I forget sometimes because he never shines a light on himself. He shines it on other people.
TB: Yeah, right after I conked them on the head with it.
Anthropology teaches us that the Alpha Male is the man wearing the crown, displaying the most colorful plumage, shiniest baubles. He stands out from the others. But I now think that A. may have it wrong. In working with Booth, I've come to realize that the quiet man,t he invisible man (Sweets looks like he wants to shout KISS HIM!),the man who is always there for for friends and family - that's the real AM. And I promise that my eyes will enver be caught by those shiny baubles again.
SB: Thanks Bones.

Obviously, this statement is huge. I think that Brennan just lost a major barrier to having a relationship with Booth. From a normal person, that would be tantamount to a declaration of monogamous love, but this is Brennan. While it is a step for her to remove a mental barrier, and admit her own guilt, it is not a declaration of undying love at this point.

And on the other side - Booth has a long way to go yet to really make a big leap forward. I think she really leapfrogged past him here and it will be interesting to see what happens with it now. I'm not sure anything that happened here changed his attitude towards her. Right now this is more about him. He is need of affirmation, and she gave it to him. That built up his psyche, but didn't really say 'she's the one'. It's not the first time she has done something like that so I'm not sure how much it will stand out to him. They got different things out of that speech, though it is important to both of them.

The brother talk...
TB: What you're doing for your brother, isn't fair.
SB: C'mon, Bones. Don't get me mad at you after that great speech, alright? Not after I got you shot.
TB: You didn't get me shot. I got me shot.
SB: I don't want to talk about my brother.
TB: Would you prefer Sweets do it?
SB: I'm listening.
TB: Well, I forgot all the psychological stuff but basically, when you rescue somebody all the time. If you keep getting them out on bail...
SB: Bail them out, Bones. If you bail them out...
TB: You're thwarting their ability to help themselves. Now you're angry.
SB: C'mon Bones, you have to admit - getting a psychology lesson from you is like...
TB: Getting an A lesson from you?
SB: The Rico case...I traded my one shot at glory to keep my brother from being arrested. For drunk driving.
TB: Booth... what if he does it again? What if he kills someone next time? You shouldn't have done that.
SB: Right. Says the woman who got her father off murder charges. Face it, we do things for family.
TB: You're right, you're totally right.
SB: No I'm not.
TB: What, why?
SB: There's no risk that your father will kill again.

I love that she's giving him psych lessons. As she says, it's perfect parity to what she just learned from him. She actually got it from Sweets and Cam, but what matters is that she took it to heart, and is taking it seriously enough to repeat it for its benefit. Not sure why - maybe because they were right about Jared as he related to Booth, so just maybe they are right about the rest of him too?

I also think it is very important that he listened to her. Cam admits that, despite knowing him for so long, he refused to talk to her after she criticizes Jared. Yet, Brennan can do it and not only get away unscathed, but actually have him listen.

She is the only person to make it through the shell. She didn't just criticize Jared in this night. She told him - I see what you're doing, and it makes you the better man, but you still shouldn't do it. She sees the whole package, and that's a first for him. Brennan lives for what she can see, and as long as Booth keeps showing her parts, she will keep taking them in, assessing them, and showing him the good. It's when he hides things that they go wrong.

The brother talk...
J: Bringing me out here to give me advice about your partner? Because I think that ship has sailed.
S: No. It's...what I gotta do. I gotta stop.Do you understand?
J: Stop?
S: Yeah. And you should stop too.
J: I gotta stop what?
S: The drinking. Stop it
J: I'll take that under advisement.
S: I'm serious, Jared. No more stepping in to make things go away.
J: I carry my own water, Seeley. Now you should go back inside and enjoy your birthday party.
S: Yeah, happy birthday to me.

Brennan comes out...
TB: Hey. You gonna come back in for cake?
SB: Bones, I just need some time.
TB: Do you need time and space?
SB: (big smile) Just some time.
SB: My dad drank.

God that was a powerful ending. Perfect simplicity and yet amazing power in that one line. This episode didn't need to end with any declarations or sappiness. It ended with the perfect level of closeness that kept it genuine. Booth saw what Brennan would give him in return when he shared with her, and he's now willing to open up a little more. There was no gush of emotion, but the emotion that must lay behind that simple admission is huge for someone so private.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Did I forget to mention that this is officially my longest review...ever? With that, I will call it a night. I don't usually try to find every single thing I could address, but this episode just begged for it. I hope you enjoyed, and I look forward to the discussion!

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Other quotes that I liked, but that didn't quite fit in with the analysis...

SB: Squint, huh? One of your own.
SB: That back there, is a squint. (Clark rolls his eyes)

TB: I'm quite intelligent.
SB: No. Not that you're not intelligent. You're quite intelligent...

SB: Don't give up your day job, kid.

Mike: Making predictions based on statistical models clears my head.
TB: Makes complete sense.

TB: Is the stool out?

SB: What the hell are you wearing? (And, yes, the outfit does look very similar to Buffy's restaurant outfit, which cracks me up.)

TB: Why am I a genius?


Cate said...

Before I read this, I have to say that you got this up ridiculously fast. Bless you.

katjem said...

Thank you Wendy! A brillant review. A brillant episode. Bones at it's best.

No need to say anymore because you have summed up everything beautifully.

Christa Shishino said...

Awesome review, like usual.

AAAH. I have to say, I LOVE that last scene so much. There's so much amazing B/B Chemistry there that can't even be put into words.

And the bar scene, where Booth's name came up on the caller ID, I literally screamed "NO DON'T DO IT!" and buried my face in my hands when she ignored his call. But then again, that scene would have been ruined by a conversation with Booth.

Definitely one of my favorites. I recently got obsessed with Buffy and thought that Angel was win, but now I'm totally back on the Booth train. Booth is amazing!

Milk Mama said...

yes. The ending was amazing. Powerful without being sappy! That's why this show rocks. This was the best show of the season [so far]!

brennanite said...

Thanks for giving us a forum to (obsessively) theorize about our favorite characters! Here is my Brennan theory.

I think that Bones going for Jared so readily exposes a long-time dissatisfaction with her relationship to SB. He keeps her at arm's length, and she doesn't quite know what to do about it. She longs for a deep/intimate relationship, which she almost has with Booth, but some things are missing.

She has tried to find personal satisfaction by experimenting with various complementary relationships, but this has failed. She must feel sort of trapped. And it must be frustrating.

So, she meets a charming substitute-Booth, and he offers her a theory to explain SBs inadequacy. And she goes for it.

To the extent that she thinks Booth is a loser, it is about whether or not he can give her what she needs. She is thinking: this guy isn't willing to see things through at work, maybe he isn't willing to see things through with me either. Maybe I'm in too deep with this guy who will never give me what I really need.

Turns out, she was wrong to doubt him. It doesn't really resolve her dilemma. But whatever their issues may be, Booth being a loser isn't one of them.

Anonymous said...

great review, I just wanted to mention that I assumed the shotgun belonged to the sheriff because in the beginning of the show the officer there had one in his car and since Brennen was looking at the grate in the sheriff's car I thought Booth took it out so the sheriff wouldn't have a chance to use it.

Milky said...

As always, a great, great review! Really insightful.

I do agree that the reason for her to so readily believe Jared is what you call anthropology. But I'll add what I'll call psychology, lol: and it's fear. Fear, cause she feels she has to find a reason no to need him so much, and thinking him a loser will give her that outlet.

Can't really go into it at this hour, but I think it's clear enough...

Anyway, as my head gets foggy with sleep and over-use (been up writing a paper due tomorrow morning), it seems to me that the speech doesn't get the hurt away... He appreciates it, but can't really feel better.
But that gets fixed by the very last escene, when she insists on being there to comfort him...
To me, that's when he finally can let the hurt go away.

Louise said...

Wow, that was fast! Great review.

By the way, the missing word in the Clark quote is 'precisely' ("why am I always standing in precisely the wrong place?").

Oh, and I have a bit of cut info from the sides about what Bones and Jared might have been doing all night, but I know a lot of you might not want to know it if it wasn't in the 'real' episode. Let me know if you want to know.

Deepa Dev said...

That was an awesome review - and you put it up so fast... thanks a ton...

Anonymous said...

So much has been said about the episode already that the only thing I can add is that the look on Brennan's face when Booth says 'my dad drank' was perfect. I think she realises just how huge the statement was - he's forgiven her for doubting him, but most importantly he's trusting her with something of himself, he's letting her in. I love this show. And posting here is a first for me - though i read it obsessively!

Jeannie said...

There is nothing to add - you did an excellent job of analysing, as always.

I like your theories about Brennan, Brennanite and Milky. I think both those things figure into it, too. And I agree with Anon - I also thought the shotgun was the Sheriff's and they had taken it from his car.

I thought they did a really nice job with Jared - he actually came off as the nice and charming boy in the beginning only to see him turn into a complete ass afterwards.

Jeannie said...

Forgot to add: Poor Clark. He dislikes the personal stuff so much (So he says! ;-)) and yet he always gets stuck in the most emotional episodes.

Jane said...

I am completely blown away by this episode.

I wonder if Brennan bought into Jared's charm so quickly is that she assumed that Jared is a lot like Booth in term of personality and honor. And given how little we know about Booth (although he's charming enough that we think we know a lot about him but really, next to Parker and some parts of his ranger stuff, what else do we really know?) and given how close she is with her own brother, she could have bought Jared more easily.

Seeing that he is probably the best source for stuff about him on the surface...

But I love Cam in this. And I love the Cam and Booth friendship. While I love the B/B interactions, I love the fact that Booth and Cam have a history (albeit romantic) but they're still very close and comfortable with each other.

cordy said...

Thanks Wendy for putting this up so quickly. And a great review as always. You pretty much covered all important things. I have nothing to add.

Just wanted to say in the scene where Booth asks her if she thought of him as a loser I really screemed at my laptop - JUST SAY NO!!! But instead her response began with "Anthropological speaking..." and I couldn't believe it just wanted to strangle her.

Oh and I totally loved Cam in this epi. She acts more and more like a matchmaker towards BB. Hard to believe that there was a time when we all hated her for having a past with our G-Man.

heirofloki said...

First of all, thank you for the fantastic review. And for making the effort to post it so fast.

Second, I agree with pretty much everything. On Brennan's reasons for going after Brother Booth, I didn't really blame anthropology, but I think you're right. If anything, I'd add Brennanite's theory to yours. I think a mixture of the two would explain the character perfectly.

This episode was fantastic in so many ways. And I can't seem to stop watching certain parts of it. The ending, particularly, which still guts me every time. I hadn't been this emotional about an hour of television since the second season of Galactica. I am in awe.

Anonymous said...

I too think it's very significant that the only one Booth listened to was Bones regarding Jared (and his own behaviour). It's quite amazing how much their relationship progressed in one little episode!

Anonymous said...

I'd also like to say that I was glad the Jared-Tempe kiss was little more than a peck on the lips and also that there was no ambiguity about whether it went further or not. It didn't become the massive obstacle that it was made out to be.

Anonymous said...

I loved this episode. So so much, everything about it just spoke volumes to their relationship and feelings, and I wonder where it will go from here. Mum and I were screaming 'kiss her!' at the end, but I knew that wouldn't happen just yet. I love the way these writers combine everything - for a procedural show to be able to get that much character development, and important issues into an episode is fantastic.

Definitely one of my faves, I agree with you Wendy, it's up there with Verdict.


Anonymous said...

Great Eppi though what annoys me its since there not beeing showed in order in the next one, this might not have happenend in the characters mind's...tahts when the showing order messes everything up

Bellababy4 said...

Wendy, you are the master!!! I bow to your genius...

Also, I'd like to say, that as aggravated as we get with the writers sometimes (continuity issues and all) they were brilliant with this story. To me, it really showed the overall "master plan" this show has in mind for the characters. What I mean is, all the little nuances of Booth's character for the past 3 1/2 years, it all makes sense now. They never strayed from that in all this time, and it is now being shown for what it is. Also, the introduction of Cam and their brief little trist when we hated her, well now it makes perfect sense. We needed that back then to get to this story.

Sometimes, even though I love the show, it does feel very random and inconsistent. This ep really made MANY pieces of the characters' histories fall into place in one hour. AMAZING!

Shep said...

Great review Wendy.

The body was delightfully disgusting. Great work!

The first time I watched it I was a bit confused but then I saw it again and the case made complete sense. And watching it the second time - yes it was a shotgun. Much clearer on TV than the internet (which is where I watch Bones the first time around so I can post comments asap)

I agree with everything here - you nailed it! The more I think about Jared the more I hate him. Booth is heroically selfless, Jared...isn't.

I've said before, David was absolutley amazing - his scenes were brilliant and the ending was poignant and hearbreaking. I hope we get more darker episodes liek this soon - there's sooo much more to explore!

alison said...

Thanks for the great review!

I like what everyone said about Brennan's motivations for falling for Jared's line:
fear of needing Booth
confusion about the separation between them/Booth not opening up to her
I think they could create a potent combination for someone who isn't very self aware.

I'm not sure I understand Booth at the end, though. He opens up to her with the bus stop scene/the cake. but he looks pretty non-plussed at her toast. which i find strange because the toast seems like such a big step for Brennan. How does he perceive her intentions with the toast?

Anonymous said...

louise, i'm curious about what the sides said about Jared and Brennan's activities after the date...

Kat said...

Wow, I'm new to Bones and new to this site but that was a spot-on review. ICAM. Tied for my favorite episode with "The Verdict." I SO love the character developmenet episodes. Wondeful job. I'll definitely be back to read more of your work!

Wendy said...

Welcome, Kat!

em-jay said...

Great review!

I love Clark and what he adds to his episodes. I am a little confused though. I love his determination to always be "on the job" and how his discomfort is always against the grain of the rest of the team, but somehow he doesn't always seem like the same Clark that we met in Widow's Son and Verdict. Remember the Clark that said, "Bones, that's funny! That's what my friends called me..." He still does his job exceedingly well, there just seems to be a small shift in his personality and the way he enjoys his job.

Again, I LOVE the way he's always so focused (even when we saw a tiny glimpse of a Zack-style experiment) and how his determination to stay focused even further draws out the character development of the rest of them.

I think, on the whole, I would not change who he is now, it just seems slightly odd to me the way he transitioned.

Louise said...


anon ... My interpretation from the sides is that they spent the night exploring the city, and generally having little adventures. We don't get much info, but Brennan does tell Booth that Jared took her inside the dome of the Capital Building (to which Booth replies "hey, I showed him how to do that!").

I wish they'd kept that bit in, but then, I also wish this was a two-hour show!

Louise said...

em-jay - I can't really remember Clark before Verdit, so can't really comment on his change in character, but he has always struck me as very serious (during his "I have lain with women" speech I just wanted to say "jeez, chill out!").

I guess the difference is that he's previously only worked with the gang for a brief period of time, and in fairly serious situations. I don't think he realised until he spent a long time with them just how much they talk about non-work stuff!

I do like him though, and I think he's a good fit. The team has always been an odd mix, and he's just different enough to keep it interesting, but still has the same core goal as everyone else. Plus I think we need another man on the team, and I think he and Hodgins will make a fun pair. I love that Jack is corrupting him with experiments already!

Lauren said...

Re: Booth's "You're not a good shot" comment

You're right, Wendy, Brennan is definitely a good shot (and we know that), and I think Booth knows it, too. But Booth is also very hurt by and upset with Brennan at this point (I don't think he's angry at her, though), and I think that he's using this situation as a way to lash out at her a little bit. To hurt her like she hurt him.
Yes, he almost always denigrates her shooting abilities, but he's never been this rude about it before, and I think that's really because he's upset and not because he doesn't actually think she's a good shot.

Jeannie said...

Lauren, I agree. And I think that's exactly the reason why he seems not very touched by her speech at the end - he is still deeply hurt. Plus the fact that everybody is watching them. They seem to be all shippers now. ;-)

em-jay said...

Thanks Louise. Good point about the short-term vs. full-time work with the rest of the team. That would explain some of his exasperation.

And I agree with every bit of your last paragraph--he's a good fit while adding enough "tension" to be funny. And great reference to Jack "corrupting" him already. ha! So true.

L said...

Awesome review. :D

My thoughts:

I want him to stay. Screw the rest. I said in Yanks that I wanted him to be our permanent choice and this episode just confirmed it. Keep. Him.

Couldn't agree more!!!

Also agree with everything you said about Cam in this ep. She usually bores me to tears but she actually showed some depth (while still being snarky) in this ep and it brought back my interest in her character.

Brennan has definitely put Jared as the better Booth simply because he fits her Anthropological model. To me, this speaks to her having some level of interest in Seeley Booth for some time, but feeling like something was missing. She has yet to figure out, at this point, that nothing is missing. She just can't see the truth that's right in front of her - yet.

Spot on. She's experiencing the very human fear of crossing 'that line' with a colleague and, let's face it, her best friend (she hangs out with him more than with Angela these days). Heck, there might even be commitment issues on her part. But she's deluded herself into thinking there's some scientific reason for not being with him. *sigh* Oh Brennan.

But here, he's asking one of the most heartfelt things he ever has - Am I a good man? And her silence is deafening. I don't think he'd ever doubted for a second, up to then, that she believe he was a good man, which makes it all the more painful that she didn't affirm him instantly, or at all, at this point.

I have to be honest - I still don't understand where Brennan was coming from in this moment. This whole season it seems she's been more aloof from Booth than usual. More cold; less caring; more demanding of him while not giving him anything in return. This to me was just more of that weirdness, and I still don't get it. How is she so blind to the fact that this man is the best thing that could ever happen to her (not necessarily romantically, either)? He's got all the qualities anyone could ever ask for - her especially! He's loyal, patient, caring, compassionate, badass, handsome... It seems like even Brennan, with her ticky boxes that calculate perfection would come to the conclusion that Booth is not a loser at all. Not one bit. Even with the events of the episode, I can't fathom why Brennan would consider the fact that he seemingly gave up credit for a case (especially after he talked about the vacation, etc. - how could she miss there was something wrong?) reason to suddenly conclude Booth was a loser, despite everything else she knows about him from all the years he's been by her side. To me, it doesn't compute at all. :/

I'm not sure why Booth is using his shotgun.

LOL That's exactly what I was wondering! And then for a second I thought it was a sniper rifle (I'm bad at identifying gun types) coz to me logically that would have made more sense if he wasn't going to go with the standard issue firearm - and it would have helped in the hostage situation (but then I doubt Booth would have been willing to kill the guy in the end anyway).

Thank God for Brennan's final speech! Finally she recognizes something good about this guy who's been there for her through thick and thin and who she's been treating rather badly of late. Part of me wishes it had been a more personal conversation between them but if my theory about Bones' commitment issues is true she probably felt more comfortable with her declaration being public and formal, so it would be less close to 'crossing that line.'

Louise said...

You know, I can't be too hard on Brennan's mistake, because I think she was more angry with herself than any of us could be! As for the explanation, she said it herself - "I know who he is, but I forget sometimes, because he doesn't shine a light on himself". She knows he's a good man, but she doesn't always give him the credit he deserves. And I think she's finally realised that.

Don't forget though, we sometimes see more of Booth than Brennan does. She doesn't know he threatened that gang member in order to protect her ... she just thought he was late for a funeral. She didn't see Booth warn her brother not to hurt her again.

I don't think she can understand how he doesn't want glory either. She clearly does ... how many times has she mentioned that she's the best in her field, or that she's a best-selling author. She doesn't even consider that Booth would give up the credit if he deserved it, so she assumes he must have done something wrong. Just goes to show they are still very different.

Louise said...

... as for Brennan being a good shot, does Booth know this? I mean, both times she has shot to kill, he's been somewhat incapacitated. I can't think of many other examples of her firing a gun, but I do remember in Mummy in the Maze where she had that ridiculous gun, shot Booth in the leg, and then he had to give her his gun ... she was definitely a liability.

I think Booth just thought he screwed up ... he didn't realise it would turn into a hostage situation, was ill-prepared with the wrong weapon, and was just trying to get back in control. He couldn't risk that Brennan would be able to get the bad guy without injuring the hostage. All comes back to him seeing it as his responsibility to be the protector.

Mom2ABnTB said...

I loved this episode and I loved this review. I know you said it was long but I think you rocked it! Thanks for doing these for us. I love them!

And I think you are right with Anthropology being the basis for her decisions to jump on Jared. It is what makes me most sense to me.

By the way, I'm curious on the body count that you and your husband came up

shep said...

After reading these comments, I really have nothing left to say! I agree with everything that's said here. We've completely dissected this episode.

catnapping said...

re: clark...

I really, really liked him in this episode...hated him in the verdict.

If we could have more of this clark, and less of the other, I think he'd make a great addition to the team...especially since we're gonna need someone who's that Brennan's falling in love. heeeeee ♥

pascale said...

Wow, thank you Wendy, another great, great review!

I loved that episode. I just rewatched "Woman in Limbo", and there is this scene when Brennan asks Booth "what were your parents like?" When he answers, the expression on Booth's face is completely different when he talks about his father and then about his mother. I had never really thought about it then, but after what we just found out, it became obvious there was something with his father.

mo said...


Anonymous said...

Don't you just *LOVE* that this show lends it to this level of discussion. It is totally awesome that we get fab reviews and then everybody discusses their own opinions and thoughts here without any nastiness or anything. I love this place. And I love Bones. And Bones loves Booth. As someone said earlier... heeeee!

Poetic_line said...

Your review was great.

I loved this episode almost more than any other episode. There was so much passion between Booth and Bones and so much loving connection. We need to see that much more in each episode even if they don't kiss right away.

It's the emotional moments that keep me coming back.

All the cast was wonderful and David and Emily just topped everything with the range of emotion.

catnapping said...

I hope you don't get tired of hearing this....but

I love your reviews. This was another great read. I came back today, just to read it again.

Thank you.

bugsie80 said...

Great review! I pretty much agree with everything you guys have commented. I have to say that I didn't notice it was long until you pointed it out. It needed to be that long - there was so much in this episode, and you covered it all wonderfully! Just wanted to let you know I've gotten more of my friends hooked on your website now...Thanks for all the hard work you put into these reviews!

Lily said...


I loved this episode and saw it three times already....everything i wanted to say was said overall it was a great episode that i really enjoyed watching......

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love the review. Spot-on!!

This episode totally rocked it -- Bones at its very best!

Your review pretty much summed up every reason why I LOVE BONES!!!!

Anonymous said...

Great review, and this was definitely the best epi of the season so far, but there are a few things I have to add. First, I don't think it was so much that Booth was looking to Bones for an affirmation that he was a good man as that he needed to know that SHE thought he was a good man. She can hurt him. It's hard to believe, because Booth's so good at dealing with "Bones being Bones" but she matters to him, so she can hurt him. He needed to know that his brother's poison hadn't honestly touched his relationship with Bones, and he was hurt and furious that it did-that she would let it.

I agree that Bones was quick to jump on the bandwagon against Booth, but it kinda makes sense. One, anthropologically speaking he's the ambitious Booth. They're both successful (how many times has she lauded Booth for being the best in his field?) but Booth is happy where he is while Jared's still trying to climb the ladder. Bones understands the need to constantly work harder. Booth's a mystery to her in that respect, and between that and the fact that she's so taken with Jared (She knows the man less than a minute and offer to go out with him? Come on, she feels something)makes it easy for her to look at Booth with jaded eyes.

I loved watching Booth shoot down Brennan's attempts to hook up with his brother. How many times did he say no? And why in the name of God would Jared think Booth wouldn't mind when he'd said no three times already? The man is so dense.

I think the biggest thing I noticed about this epi is that its the first time Bones really seems to realize and acknowledge what's going on with her and Booth. I mean, Booth's feelings are obvious. He's been a fool for her a hundred times, while she's more or less oblivious. Yes, she's made tentative overtures here and there, and we've seen her jealous a few times, but for the most part she's been okay with the status quo (whereas anyone who saw Booth's face at the end of Santa in the Slush knows that he's not). This is the first time I could look at her and say, "Yes, there it is."

I loved Cam's never ending intervention. We've never really seen the squint squad get ACTIVELY involved in the B&B "thing" (at least, not since Angela at the beginning) but there is DEFINITE solidarity between Cam, Sweets and Angela when it comes to keeping Brennan for Booth. I nearly died laughing at "Booth lite", although it was kind of odd to hear Angela knocking Jared when she didn't really know him and had been checking him out at the beginning with everyone else.

Anyway, this is already far longer than I intended! Lol. Great epi, can't wait for next week. (Booth with sexy librarian fantasies? Oh. My. God.)

Good night all!

Anonymous said...

Tell your husband that you can load a shotgun wad with slugs instead of shot. That would have resulted in the injuries the sheriff sustained.

Cheryl said...

I am HOME! I'm so glad there are ppl who relate to Bones like I do. Wendy...ur insights were amazing...good job! Thx everyone for shed light on the many complex emotional developments between BB. Love it! And I'm with u Wendy...well partially. I've been working my way thru Bones from season 1 & to date _this_ is my all time fave!

Wendy said...

Glad to have you, Cheryl, and glad you enjoy the reviews! :)

Cheryl said...

Thx Wendy! Now plz review "The Critic in the Cabernet". I'm going crazy tryin to get inside Booth's head & ur review & ensuing discussion would certainly help a girl out;)Pretty plz...

Becky said...

that was a really good reveiw i must say. but i have to say one other thing. i HATE jarod. i dont know why and he dint really do anything but i just HATE his...presence or something. he just BOTHERS me. ALOT

Cheryl said...

@ Becky
You shouldn't. He is, after all, BoothLite. He's not fully mature yet and he is a tad more self-centred than Seeley.

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