Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Guest Episode Review - #109 "The Woman in the Car"

Time for the next Bones Season 1 Episode review: The Woman in the Car! If you want to start at the beginning here are my Season 1 Bones Reviews from last summer:

# 079 - "Pilot" - My Review
# 101 - "A Boy in the Tree" - My Review
# 102 - "The Man in the SUV" - My Review
# 103 - 'The Man on Death Row" My Review
Guest Reviews so far:
# 103 - 'The Man on Death Row" - Meryl
# 104 - "The Man in the Bear" - ForensicMama
# 105 - "A Boy in a Bush" - Bekka
# 106 - "The Man in the Wall" - Jeni
# 107 - "The Girl in the Fridge" - Jenny
# 108 - "The Man in the Fallout Shelter - Emma
This review was written by Milky.

If you have committed to a review, please check the list and, if your time is coming up soon, please email me your review or an eta on when you might have it, thanks!

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The Woman in the Car

I chose this episode for reasons you might all imagine: it's one of my favorites. Not only do we have different storylines playing at the same time, but each of them is greatly balanced with each other and the humor is simply amazing. We even get the very rare Booth—Angela flirting.

But we'll do this a bit more methodically.

The Case – Forensic Anthropologist! That's why no gun.

Not only is the case interesting as it has many layers (kidnapped kid of the material witness against a company that might have sold defective armors to the military), it also provides us with action (the scene in which Booth crashes the window of the US Marshall's car and the rescuing scenes are simply very well done) and humor, such as…

Booth [knocking on the door and calling out]: Mr. Decker?! [as he sees Brennan looking through the window] Bones! What are you doing?
Brennan: What? It’s tidy, Spartan even. Is that odd for a recently separated man?
Booth: The guys supposed to be some super rational tight ass geek, no offense.

[Booth realizes they're being watched from a van and decides to go check]
Brennan: Where are you going? Booth, where are you going?
[Booth runs up when he sees the driver is trying to start the van and with his gun he smashes out the drivers’ window. As a man tries to jump from the back of the van, Brennan grabs him and throws him onto the concrete. Booth punches the driver, opens the door, and throws him out onto the ground.]
Booth [with his gun ready to shoot]: FBI!
Marshal1 [standing up with his gun in hand]: U.S. Marshals!
Booth: US Marshals?
Brennan: Forensic Anthropologist! That’s why no gun.

Booth: Good work sir. I only posted his face on the hot sheet twenty minutes ago.
Attorney: My boss is the United States attorney general. You’re not doing my career any good putting me on the hot list.
Cullen: Special Agent Seeley Booth, meet assistant US attorney Ken Weeks.
Booth: I was hoping you would turn out to be gay or have only one ear.
Attorney: Yeah I only get the gay thing because I’m so cute, but the one ear thing—that’s unique to you. also gives us the chance to delve into the characters—which in my opinion is always a very nice pro.
The best of this character development, in my opinion, is seeing Booth as a father. We've only known about Parker for a couple of episodes, ever since Man in the Fallout Shelter. But now we get to see him actually talking to him on the phone, in his need to reassure himself his son is safe. We see him now, not only fighting with Rebecca over getting to see his son but truly caring for him and being supportive of his achievements. And he goes all protective!Booth at times.

Booth [on the cell phone]: Did you kick the ball? How far did it go? Backwards? [laughs] Yeah I can kick a ball. I…Daddy’s going to show you on Saturday... yeah, I’m going to see you on Saturday. Okay, Parker?

Booth: You asked me what I would do if I were Decker. They kill my wife, they take my little boy…I’d go to the source of the problem and I’d take them out.
Brennan: Take them out? Like...?
[He looks at her gravely]
Brennan: Oh.

We never get to see the resolution of the lawsuit against the company, but we get to see that the kid is safe—which was the FBI's (meaning, Booth's) interest, anyway. The science wasn't all that impressive... or important, but the team helped find where the kid was. A great exchange between Hodgins, Zack and Booth follows:

Hodgins: But there’s lead here as well.
Zack: Leaded gasoline was phased out between 1975 and 1986.
Booth: Asbestos from break pads, leaded gasoline, a mechanic bench, you know, plus the mother was electrocuted by current from a generator. We’re looking for an abandoned gas station or a mechanic shop off the grid. You know, you guys are geniuses [and with a sign of success, he starts to leave].
Zack: How do we find that?
Booth: I work with the FBI, you idiot.
Hodgins: Way to go, Zack. We went from geniuses to idiots in three seconds.

It shows the constantly changing relationship between them and maybe even a little hint of Zack and Hodgins' wish to be recognized by Booth—a beginning admiration, of sorts. Love it.

Pickering - One man's security review is another man's witch hunt.

For the Jeffersonian to be allowed to work on classified cases, they're supposed to go under security reviews. Miss Pickering is sent to do this for the squint squad, but as we could all suspect from the beginning, the team doesn't make it easy for her. And this allows for great scenes.

With Angela, we get to know for the 1st time she's married—though she'd thought it hadn't taken legally. She's nervous and blabbers on and on, thinking maybe she's treating Pickering like a therapist, giving the inquisitor—to follow Hodgins' metaphor—a lot to write. Goodman is all family!man, Zack talks of a fantasy of building robots to destroy the earth, and Hodgins is seriously upset that he is found to be harmless:

Pickering: As a potential embarrassment, you were thoroughly checked out.
Hodgins: What kind of embarrassment?
Pickering: Your conspiracy buff, Dr. Hodgins. You’re paranoid [...]. Harmless.
Hodgins: Harmless? I’m harmless?
Pickering: Yes, you do not pose a viable threat.
Hodgins: Well, that’s just insulting!
Pickering: If you want me to interview you, I will. But I will only discover what we already know. You. Are. Benign.
Hodgins: I am not benign, lady. I’m not harmless. I’m malignant. I’m a loaded cannon…
Pickering: Thank you, Dr. Hodgins [she walks away, ignoring him].
Hodgins [rising his voice so she'll hear him]: ...I know things that would curdle your blood including a formula that literally curdles blood!
Lab person: Excuse me.
Hodgins: She’s wrong. I’m dangerous.

But that's only the 2nd best Pickering-related bit, ranked right behind the scene in which Pickering interviews Brennan. In a twist of events, Pickering finds herself to have a lower security clearance than our heroine, as Brennan has been involved in things that make the interviewer's work not only unnecessary, but unacceptable:

Bones: I don’t know your security clearance.
Pickering: Well, what is your security clearance?
Bones: You should check with the State Department.
Pickering: I’m from the State Department.
Bones: Then that should make it easy for you.
[After Pickering asks about Juan Guzman and Brennan calls to someone on the phone, the person she called asks to talk to Pickering. She listens to something and then gives the phone back to Brennan].
Bones: Any more questions?
Pickering: No, uh, no. In fact the entire review is suspended. I’m to wait here until someone comes to destroy my notes.

That, to me, is a veiled kick-A$$ Brennan. And I'm all for it.

A rare and light flirting – Booth and Angela

This is something I like, mainly because it only happens in the 1st season and it's just some little fun between them. Obviously, as we all know. Therefore, it's fun. It's just a little exchange, but fun enough to deserve its own commentary,

Angela: [...] I hear we are all gonna get grilled by some mysterious government chick...
Brennan: I’ve been through this before. It’s so we can work on classified cases, CIA, military.
Booth [to Angela, voice flirty and interested]: Why, you have something to hide?
Angela [to Booth, playing along]: Better believe it, Bucko.
Booth: What kind of something?
Angela [smiling a patented Angela smile]: The best kind.

And Brennan couldn't care less.

Booth and Bones – Well, you could have gone with the very small felon story

I think this might end up being the longest section of the review, for there are different things I'd like to mention.

To start, the beginning of the episode is more than a bit saddening in a hilarious kind of way—can it be Brennan is so clueless? She's being interviewed for a morning show and simply can't connect with its purpose or the show's target viewers. She's far too methodical and literal, of course (as clearly shown with the advice she gives to the budding authors out there, which is that they need an idea and some kind of writing instrument though she's not sure what should come first), and though she does smile as Booth suggests—who coincidentally enters her office, where they're filming, just when the interviewer comments on how Brennan's work must stop her from having a personal life, she really doesn't get what the problem is.

So she asks for Booth's opinion. Maybe she suspects something has gone wrong or a signal of the initial trust she has on his people-person's abilities, but she insists on knowing what he thinks of her performance after he avoids answering her. And he keeps avoiding telling her what he considers (rather, knows) was a terrible interview, until he takes pity on her and says she did well, considering it was the 1st time she ever did something like it—of course, she immediately understood that meant she hadn't done all that well.

This leads to a very interesting line of character development. In the interview she'd said she didn't plan on having children, which in Booth's opinion would cause the show's viewers to interpret she didn't like children.

A while later, when they're in the car, she comments on him having a child's seat there in a very funny way:

Brennan: You arrest someone really small lately? [he looks at her, not understanding] Car seat in the back.
Booth: Oh, I had Parker for the weekend.
Brennan: I don’t know how you do that.
Booth: Install a car seat in an FBI vehicle?
Brennan: Bring a kid into this world knowing what you know. I’ll bet Parker was an accident, right? Because his mother wouldn’t marry you?

This little exchange tells us a lot about both of them. For one, we see her main (allow me to add, conscious) reason to not want any children: the violence and cruelty in the world. I personally think this is just the reason she's capable of accepting in her rational mind, for I wouldn't be surprised if it had a lot more to do with her own personal doubts of her performance on the subject, considering her own history.

Obviously, Booth tries to explain to her why her question was rather inappropriate. She prefers to avoid that line of conversation, to which Booth replies, telling her how he considers himself... blessed, I'd say, for having Parker in his life.

Booth: I’m better for Parker being in the world. Someday you will see that.
Brennan: No I won’t.
Booth: You’ll change your mind.
Brennan: Ah, I don’t do that.
Booth: You will.

Another thing I consider interesting about this is how she actually did change her mind. [SPOILER WARNING FOR SEASON 4] In season 4 we see little signs of her considering things she'd like to change in her life and at the end decides—supposedly, all of a sudden—on wanting a child. I think it's in small things like this conversation that they show one another who they really are, how they might be different but still have lots of respect for each other. And in these exchanges, they understand more about each other’s way of living and subsequently change little things of themselves and learn to care for each other. It's this little honest-talking that lead them to their friendship and their posterior falling in love with each other.

That respect is clear in the final scene, after Booth and his FBI team rescued little Donovan from his captors. Brennan is really relieved when she sees Booth get out from the mechanic shop with the child in his arms and in my opinion, she's touched, even. She now understands him a little better; she's seen his reactions to the case and his need to find Donovan. And, when she sees Carl Decker's reaction to seeing his son safe, I think something clicks in her. So, when she sees Booth telling Weeks (the attorney) how he better be a good lawyer for he's not worth much more, she goes to him and tries to explain Booth's reaction: he's a father himself. He's related emotionally to the case and though she surely doesn't agree with that, she can accept it this time because now she sees how being a father is an integral part of him. That's why Week's answer (how he's glad he's had the sense to not let happen that—having a child—to him) upsets her so and, with a final look of contempt, leaves him.

But that's something she doesn't see in herself. When she reaches Booth, they have a little chat about it.

Booth: Yeah you still glad you don’t have any kids?
Brennan: Yeah. Why?
Booth: You looking at that boy and his dad. I just thought you would change your mind.
Brennan: No. Still glad you do have a kid?
Booth: Gladder today then yesterday.
Brennan: That doesn’t make any sense.
Booth: Yeah, it’s complicated.

On another B&B note, twice in this episode we see Brennan thinking Booth's argument as logical. One is when he says he's not going to worry about what hasn't happened yet, and another when he tells her not to jump to conclusions. Though he didn't voice it that way, that's how she understood them and she found herself accepting them—which should mean she wasn't being rational, right?

I think there's something like that in the Anthropology-vs-Psychology discussions they have regarding a home-made video the Decker family took when Donovan was learning to ride a bike, and when Booth's takes Donovan's cut finger to Brennan to try to use it as a clue to find him. They were discussing the same thing, but each from their different standpoints, translating the other's argument to their own way of thinking. At the end, though, how you understood things wasn't as important as reaching their common goal: finding the child alive.

There's a little hint of competition between them, too, when Booth arrives to the Lab and they start comparing what each of them has achieved while working solo. In my opinion, this is a sign of the friction that can be brought out while getting to really know each other and finding a way to make their work fit. It's not much, but something you can expect from a growing relationship after several months of working together.

Also, we get to learn a bit more of Booth's past in the military. He tells Brennan how he used to try to get information from prisoners and that's how he knew where the kidnappers were hiding. She doesn't seem all that surprised, but his face tells us it's not something he's proud of or easy for him to talk about. It's another Booth-treat we get to know so well. After all, he is a very sentimental tough guy.

Booth: Mr. Decker, you and Donovan, you have a code word? Something to let him know that you sent me?
Decker: Paladin. Tell Donovan Paladin.[...]
Cullen [standing up to leave the room after Weeks and Decker]: Paladin. Defender of the faith, protector. Suits you, Booth.
Brennan: You know what? You tough guys are all very sentimental.

All in all, this is a pretty loaded episode. There are many things happening and we learn a lot about Booth and Brennan. We see their relationship grow and accommodate each other, we see them argue and understand each other better because of it. We see Booth interact with the squint squad and the squint squad interact with outsiders and with each other in different ways... in other words, we're getting to see how the team becomes more than a team. And that, to me, is what makes this episode one of the best of the season.


Milky said...

Thanks to JaneHungOz for helping me by checking my grammar in this review!

See? Told you it'd probably be posted today! haha.

Anonymous said...

Great review. This was just on TNT who by the way is running multiple episodes in order from Season 1 right now which is really cutting into my daily activities. : ) Regarding the spoiler bit, I wonder now if that was foreshadowing or just a happy coincidence. Chrys in KS

em-jay said...

What a fun episode--so many great parts. Thanks for the review!

Dianna said...

Thanks for all the wonderful memories. Yes, this was such a good episode for all the things you pointed out.
Great job on this review.
Is it Sept yet??????

Milky said...

Thank you all! Took me longer than I expected, but once it was done I was glad I'd signed to do it :)

pocofuoco said...

A great review! The case in this episode isn't really my favourite, but I love all the B plots that are in this episode, and your review brought out all those fun parts! :)

compare cell phone providers said...

Nice Review.

Crystalf said...

Thank you for the review. I was interested in your take on the Pickering burn by Brennan, and wasn't sure if there was anything more to it (like if she turned to be a mole, supplying information on the case to Decker or someone else..) .. but then enjoyed very much reading the rest of your opinions, much of which align with mine. I really do enjoy Season 1 more than any other and am nostalgic watching these episodes. Thx again!

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