Monday, October 13, 2008

Ausiello: Casting News

Ausiello has a bit of casting news for a guest spot on an upcoming episode. Check out the details here.

I, for one, am loving it. How about you?

Bones Episode Review: 3.15 "The He in the She"

Many apologies for the delay....

Often, when TV takes on social issues, it can do so with a very narrow portrayal. Typically, one side is clearly right, and the other is vilified as extreme, old-fashioned, or just wrong.

Bones, however, is a bit different. Between the characters of Brennan and Booth, and the supporting cast, the show can take on an important, controversial issue, and present the full spectrum of views on it without completely rejecting or condemning any one viewpoint. Generally, they do this without forcing anyone to give up his or her side: it's more about understanding each other than deciding who's right.

It's hard to really get into this, without getting into the issues, which is not what I want to do here. I felt that they presented conflicting viewpoints well, and many characters - Booth, Brennan, Ryan - has a little bit, or a whole lot, to work through, personally.

Ryan was the real story of redemption in this episode. Brennan continued to not quite get the full idea, but yet still try to understand and, at the least, support Booth. But, I felt they took Booth just a bit too far. At the end, he's found deep respect for Ryan, check. He's in the church, following the story to it's close/new beginning, check. He takes the humanistic view of redemption, instead of the Christian view...wait, what? I didn't even feel like his statement of redemption through transformation was the right description of what happened in Patric/Patricia's life - it wasn't redemption for him to become what he felt he should be. It was following his heart. He simply fulfilled what was right. That's finding peace, sure, but it's not redemption. Ryan was the redemption story.

Of course, as I write that, maybe that's what was intended - Booth describing Ryan, not Patricia. How did you each take it?

I may have dug too far already. Again, I loved how they presented a big, controversial episode in such a well-written and executed manner.

I do have one other beef, before getting on to the case and characters. It's not a new one, so I'll keep it short: written/produced vs. aired order. this episode positively glared it's correct position as the first episode after the season premier. First, Hodgins and Angela were awkward, where they just supposedly reached a tacit, but whirlwind, accord last week. Second, multiple grad student scenes specifically spoke to it being the beginning of their rotations. Airing episodes out of order works when there is little on-going character or story development, but when is that ever the case with Bones?


I can't say a lot about the case. "The Wife Did It" the night before this episode aired, on NCIS, so that immediately entered my mind when I found out JP had a wife. And I really didn't feel like they made more than a weak case for anyone else. I think this episode was more about Patricia's life, than her murder, and that's okay for such a large issue.

I did love the stoners though. "Just ask a penguin man, global warming sucks." I loved that line.

Some may have instantly hated Mr. Nigel-Murray, but I liked him, for the most part. I found his random tangents

N-M: Little known forensic fact: tongue prints are as distinctive as finger prints.

N-M: The rods in the human eye are sensitive enough to detect the light emitted by a struck match from as much as a mile away on a clear night.

N-M: Did you know that women blink twice as often as men?
Cam: Which might be useful information if the fish hadn't eaten our victim's eyelids.

N-M: In England, the Speaker of the House is not allowed to speak.
very funny (and informative) and his awkwardness was endearing. The place really should be intimidating to the newcomers. Sure, his proclmations of how bright he is
Brennan: Do you consider yourself on of my brighter grad students, Mr. Nigel Murray?
N-M: Yes, and you do too, Dr. Brennan.
and his continued moves on Angela even after Hodgins clued him inwere definitely annoying. But, all in all, I liked him. And, I feel that he makes a much better 1st intern than Daisy Wick.

"The pelvis speaks. It says "I be male.""

Cam continues to be the queen, as she should, for the second episode in a row. But, I can't help but think (pardon me!) that it would have been far more balanced, across the episodes, if things had been spread out a bit more, 3 episodes apart, as written? I'm just saying...Even though I love seeing her like this, I'm happy to not see it every time. I'd just rather see it balanced across episodes, to keep her into things, but not oppressively so. These last two episodes have shown her in the boss role, without her having to tell everyone she's the boss. I appreciate that heartily. Yanks-esq demands about how everything must go through her get old fast. Subtlety works well for Cam.

She was definitely the Queen with heart here. She really seemed motherly in this episode, as well as appearing to genuintely like Vino Delectable. I like it when that side of her shows through. She can be funny and heart-felt, all in one.
Cam: What do you see, Mr. Nigel-Murray?
N-M: Eye sockets.
Cam: Anything special about these sockets?
N-M: There are no eyeballs in them?
Cam: We already ahve Agent Booth to make lame jokes. Let's stick to facts...Okay, let's stick to relevant facts.

Cam: Sockets, eyeballs, boobs...I wouldn't use these words when conferring with Dr. Brennan.
N-M: I know, with her it's all supra-orbital lymbus and mammary implants but you seemed a more colloquial sort.

Cam: Don't tell him you're guessing!
Poor Sweets. He has to be realizing that the only time he's respected is when he's called upon in need. No one respects him as a person - they only respect, or at least desire enough to stop disrespecting him, what he can give them. Then again, maybe the times that they do call on him, excite him enough he doesn't care.

His level of case involvement could have been too much, but I think that his appearances in this episode were merited by the psychological issues at hand.

I did like his giddiness at winning the bet. He was not obnoxious about it, but you could tell he was absurdly happy - probably partly just due to even being included on that level by Booth. but, of course, the win over Booth, probably had something to do with it too.

I don't get why he was just staring at them in the opening scene though. If he's so intent on studying them, wouldn't he have a continual stream of exercises waiting, a la his usual M.O.?

Angela is a very cool chick with mad skillz in this episode. I think they're continuing with a very balanced level of character involvement between everyone (which probably won't last). I loved her insights into Patricia, her kudos for great work on identity, and of course her shut-down of Mr. Nigel-Murray - "Vroom, vroom kid. You're already in my rear-view mirror."

Hodgins looks uncomfortably and sad, freshly reeling from his breakup with Angela and the brand-new reminder of Zack's absence with the appearance of Mr. Nigel-Murray. His reactions are a perfect representation of the progression from funny conspiracy theorist to pissed off jerk, but are out of place following the recent encounters we've seen, especially where Angela is concerned. He will hardly look at her, and he definitely gives off the sense of "anger incoming" rather than "anger just left the station."
Hodgins: Grad student?
Cam: He's done very well so far.
Hodgins: He'll disappoint.

Hodgins: Does Brennan put Mr. in front of your name?...That's a very subtle way of saying you're not a doctor.
Cam: Don't tell him that!

N-M: Whatever happened to whoever it was who used to work here before me?
Hodgins: He joined forces with a serial killer who was the last in a long line of cannibalistic murderes specializing in knocking off member sof secret societies and building skeletons out of their body parts.
N-M: Wow. I hope that doesnt' happen to me. So, he's not coming back?
Hodgins: No. He's locked up for the rest of his life. But, we all still like him.

N-M: Hello, hello, hello.
Hodgins: Are you familiar with the expression "that's way too much car for you?"
N-M: I believe that's one of ours, actually, so...yes.

Hodgins: She'll see something you missed.
Brennan and Booth's encournters are pretty strongly tied to each other in this episode, but at least a few great individual moments, mostly Brennan's, do stand out.
Cam: Very good, Mr. Nigel-Murray.
Brennan: Thought...conjecture is not really what we do here in the lab.
Cam stares at her, wide-eyed.
Brennan: But, very good, Mr. Nigel-Murray.
Brennan can easily lose sight of the benefit of anythign but her hard science. I love how Cam reels her in. Brennan doesn't look happy, or like she remotely agrees, but she does look like a chatised child who has decided it's better to stay quiet.

The betting scene is very cute and funny on the part of the guys (should Booth be betting? :) ) but I found Brennan's reactions even better. I love how clueless she is about what's going on.
Brennan: Thank you. Thank you. If you're making the wager, how come I get the money?
Sweets: You're the bank.
Bones: You're the bank, lady.
She's equally clueless about the vital psychology relating to Ryan. She sees everything black and white. Patrick was unhappy as a man, so he became Patricia. Bam, that's it. And, in a sense, it is that clear for Patrick. But when it comes to Ryan she can't understand the subtlety of the issues. The reasoning is spiritual and psychological, neither of which she understands, and, in the case of Ryan, far more important than the actions themselves. She can't understand the similarities in finding oneself physically, and spiritually - primarly because spirituality is simply a societal construct to her, and not a personal belief and experience.

I liked the touch on Booth's past. I don't think that's accidental, and I definitely want more. There's something to be said for Season 1 Dark Booth that is missing in our current Booth.

I much prefer the Booth and Brennan interogation scenes, but if you're going to have an interloper, Angela makes a good one. Booth is pretty good at dealing with information coming from the earpieces, as well as the suspect. So, I maybe find it a bit silly that he suddenly forgot how to do that, but that doesn't mean it wasn't funny, and a great way to discover the truth of the situation from J.P.

Booth's point of view on the transgender issue is no the modernly accepted viewpoint, but it is not an uncommon one. I felt that did the expecting thing of addressing it as 'wrong' but in a far more subtle, respectful, and thought-provoking way than you would normally se. He is a modern man of faith, struggling to apply it, right or wrong, in the choice he makes. I find it refreshing that they give that equal importance with the one who wrestles with understanding faith at all. The're ongoing bickering in this episode is good relationship building!
Booth: A pastor with breast augmentation and veneers? A spiritual leader shouldn't be so vain.
Brennan: The Pope sits on a throne. He wars robes worth thousands of dollars. Isn't that vanity.
Booth: Whoa, really. You're going after the Pope now?
Brennan: One pastor gets her teeth whitened and the other drinks wine on Sunday mornings and tells everytone that it's been miraculously transformed into blood. Which of those is more outlandish?
Booth growls at her.

Brennan: What are you doing?
Booth: I'm praying. Would you keep your voice down?
Brennan: Oh, sorry. you're not a member.
Booth: It's not a gym, Bones.

Brennan: Why? You're a community of people with a sommon superstition. The shared illusion should be enough to bnd you.
Booth: Bones!
Wade: Patricia would like you. She'd say that's the one that'll keep us honest.
Brennan: See, she would've liked me.
Booth: She keeps everyone honest, this one.

Brennan: When the butterfly emerges, does the caterpillar cease to exist?

Ryan: Inside, we are all the same.
Brennan: That is completely incorrect.
Booth: Not now, Bones.
Brennan: Our skeletons are wildly different, or I wouldn't have a job.
Booth: Shh. Just listen.
I'm not sure I agree that cosmetic dentistry and transubstantiation are an appropriate comparison, but I get what she's trying to do.

Brennan and Booth's interactions seem to be more subtle this season, as an overall trend. Instead of overt, awkward jokes or confrontational statements she digs at him in ways only the closest people can get away with. I think that's far more about her progression than his.
Booth: I know an ain't-too-proud-to-beg phone call when I hear it. ...
Brennan: Have you made many of these ain't-too-proud-to-beg phone calls in the past?

And her own misunderstandings are a bit more subtle too, with Booth not immediately calling her on what she missed her, just letting her take the credit:

Booth: Sounds like a lost sheep in need of religious counseling.
Brennan: Sounds more like a desperate boyfriend.
I love this early exchange:
Brennan: I need a Forensic Anthropologist in the lab so I can spend my time aiming Agent Booth in the right direction.
Booth: Aiming Agent Booth? What, like a hose?
I've known that line was coming in some episode, in some form, for awhile now and have been really looking forward to it, whle also wondering how serious it would be. It definitely doesn't lead you to think she'll be putting in extra lab hours anytime soon, as some might wish.

This exchange
Brennan: Would you like me just as much if I were a man?
Booth: Oh yeah, much better. I woulnd't have to be so polite and accomodating. How about you? Would you like me better if I was a woman?
Brennan: No. I would not.
Booth: Why?
Brennan: I'd be jealous that you might be prettier than I am.
Booth: I would be too. I'd be hot. Smokin' hot.
while funny, felt too buddy-buddy, leaving me in serious need of some B/B inimacy, here!

Brennan's end lines:
Brennan: I believe in always swimming with a buddy.
Booth: What?
Brennan: You gather your wisdom. I gather mine.
Booth: Okay.
Are like bread and water for us starving B/B shippers. Cute, yes. Telling, yes. Romantic enough, no way! We need a bit more. I appreciate how they are drawing ever closer, continuing to reach deeper, but let's keep the spark too, shall we? They shouldn't co completely golden-anniversary couple before having the honeymoon-phase fun, am I right?

Despite my nit-pickyness about continuity, I really enjoyed this episode. I think it gave us a great shot of everything that's great about Bones, and I really look forward to the return in November!
Two additional images from the Bones Picture Archive.

Bloggerschoice Awards: Go Vote!

Obsessed with Bones has been nominated for 4 blogging awards! I would greatly appreciate your votes in the following categories:

Best Blog of All Time
Best Blogging Host
Best Entertainment Blog
Best Podcast
This link should take you to the right page, but if not, you can search 'obsessed' at the top and get to it pretty quickly. Thank you for your support, and thank you, Yanin, for the nominations!

Edit: The badges at the right are fixed now, to take you right to the specific categories.

King of the Lab - Trivia

We are accustomed to hearing a lot of music with Bones. Every episode features unique songs or instrumentals overlaying important scenes.

But, sometimes, like with "Hot Blooded" in "Two Bodies in the Lab", music is actually part of a scene.

Name the episode, and describe the scene, where Booth and Brennan hear instrumental music.

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