Thursday, August 13, 2009

Guest Episode Review - #113 "The Woman in the Garden"

Time for the next Bones Season 1 Episode review: The Woman in the Garden! 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
# 109 - "The Woman in the Car" - Milky
# 110 - "The Woman at the Airport" - Robyn
# 111 - "The Woman in the Tunnel" - Winona
# 112 - "The Superhero in the Alley" - Ellynne
This review was written by the Kate who most certainly was way ahead of the deadline a month ago! :)

Season 1 list - still need volunteer for "The Graft in the Girl" (and Bodies & Limbo sent in)
Season 2 list - still some open!

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The Woman in the Garden Review and Commentary

Summary: A gangbanger is caught with a dead body in his trunk. When a second body is found and a senator falls under suspicion, Booth and Bones must determine if and how the two killings are related to each other, rival gangs, and the senator.

Review and Commentary: First, let me just say how refreshing it was to see Season 1 Booth and Brennan again. I mean that literally; I love Booth's Boy Scout haircut and miss Brennan's chunky jewelry and less obvious make-up. I do miss the cocky belt buckle, though. Moving on, the show opens with Booth and Brennan discussing the case while driving through Little Salvador.

Brennan gives Booth a spiel about various Central American atrocities. He is more interested in the whole "someone got murdered" thing. They exit the car and attempt to question the suspect about the body in his trunk, but he isn't talking. Nor will he for a while, since a drive-by shooting provides an opportunity for him to escape. The slo-mo here’s a little silly and Booth is oddly carrying a revolver as his service weapon. Booth pursues, but cannot catch him. Looks mighty nice while running, so I consider it a win. End scene and roll opening credits.

Back at the lab, the team goes over the remains, listing identifying features. A rosary is recovered from the body and sent to Goodman for identification. (He is mysteriously made into an expert in Mesoamerican religious iconography for this episode, but what the heck. The man only has one season; I'm willing to spot him this.) Zack identifies a single, hard blow to the head as the cause of death. Bones appears to express some outrage that the obviously religious victim wasn't buried in accordance with her beliefs, that things she wanted to have—should have had—were taken from her even after she was dead. It’s so nice to have the socially awkward and clueless Bones back, compared to the alienating and jerky Bones of certain season four episodes.

At this point, the killing is believed to be gang-related, so Booth interrogates the leader of the rival gang. I don’t know the actor’s name, but he seems to get a lot of work as a gangbanger/thug. He denies responsibility and Booth realizes that the gangbanger’s own gang did the drive-by as a cover for his escape. He giddily returns to the lab to share this new insight with Bones. She raises him by revealing the victim was pregnant at the time she was killed. How, I’m not sure, but she does and that’s what’s important, darn it! Meanwhile, Hodgins has identified some of the particulates, which lead the three of them to a community garden. The running joke about Brennan not having a gun is here and there’s a rather stilted conversation between Hodgins, Bones, and Booth about immigration and poverty while in the car. In the garden, Brennan discovers another body has recently been disinterred as well.

Further particulates and a rare flower lead to a senator with close ties to El Salvador. Hogdins’ complaint about society failing when Bones and Booth don’t follow the “rules” of calling shotgun in the car is very funny, as is Brennan missing social cues by discussing puzzles. Ah, maybe in season five, such fun aspects of Brennan 1.0 will resurface. I'm crossing my fingers. At any rate, they arrive at the senator’s home and are conveniently introduced to senator’s family, including his son, Logan. I like how the senator and his family are distinguished primarily by their fine sweaters. The term “house manager” also makes me giggle. If it’s big enough you need someone else to manage it, it’s too big. Naturally, the writer chooses to bash the viewer over the head with Class Differences next (Logan “supervising” the men.) Booth shows around a drawing of the gangbanger, and the senator’s son identifies him as Jose, a gardener. Hodgins pops out of the bush long enough to announce a hit on the aquatic fauna and lo and behold! There’s a second body buried near a pond on the senator's property.

The second body is older than the first. While the squints are studying it, Goodman magically pins down the first victim’s origin down to a specific village, which Brennan is suspiciously familiar with. Angela brings in a sketch of the first victim, uttering for the first time my husband’s least favorite line: “I drew her smiling.” I agree it’s hokey, but hardly worth ranting about. (Did I mention he doesn’t like Bones much?) Zach examines the second victim and finds a bullet wound.

With a name, Booth and Brennan locate Jose's wife and child. Jose's wife does not speak English and she is too scared of Booth (who believes she is protecting her husband) to say anything. Booth is pretty hardcore cop the entire episode, to the point of (briefly) pointing a gun at a woman holding a baby and using threats of keeping said baby as leverage. I do enjoy seeing intense Booth, as opposed to the goofy Booth of Season 4, but it also highlights the gradually opening up and softening of his character over the seasons. He was a tough cop back in the day and I like how we've seen more of his good heart and tenderness.

Back in the lab, Bones realizes that the two bodies are related, likely father and daughter, due to congenital foramina in their sternums. Fun fact: sternal foramen will appear as an identifying feature again in Season 3's The Secret in the Soil. (For some reason, I feel like it appears in a third episode, but I can't think of it.) The squints try to determine motive, leading to Hodgins’ impersonation of Booth—which is hilarious. Bones and Zach re-examine the second victim and conclude he died from cancer, not his bullet wound. Booth and Brennan discuss the incident with Jose’s wife. Booth accuses her of going all “mushy” on him (only time in the series) and Brennan stresses how she’s not a cop and sympathizes with Jose’s family’s plight. Booth has an agreement to question Jose, thanks to his gang leader’s bad sister. (“Thank god for bad sisters, huh?”). True to his word, a “special package” for Booth is delivered to a local hospital.

There, Booth and Brennan question Jose, who tells them his father's and sister's names. His monologue about his family while in the hospital is pretty over-the-top, for me anyway. B&B interrogate the leader of Jose's gang, Mara Muerte. He claims to know nothing about the deaths and is generally unhelpful, mainly trying to impress Bones with his “authority.” She eventually walks out of the room, a rare occurrence. Waiting for the elevator, the gang leader tries to bully Brennan and she responds with a little Bones Fu. Who doesn't love Action Bones™? This will lead to Angela expanding how beating up gangbangers is bad and to Bones offering a previously undisclosed kidnapping/false imprisonment tale. The relating of her captivity in El Salvador could have easily turned into laughable melodrama, but Emily Deschanel shows admirable restraint and thus saves the scene. Hodgins interrupts to announce the identity of the murder weapon, which leads right back to the senator's house.

The house manager, Hector, recognizes the first victim, Maria, as a maid who was involved with Logan. He in turn admits to an affair and fathering her child, but he denies killing her. Booth believes him and zeros in on Hector as the killer. Angela and Brennan run through scenarios in the Angelator when Brennan figures out how Maria hit her head. She and Booth return to the hospital to try and get more information from Jose. There’s absolutely no reason for this scene, except to explain why Jose was in the gang—which is unnecessary—and make the entire family more sympathetic—which is also unnecessary. In the senator's home, B&B do a little experiment showing how Maria was pulled off a ladder, hitting her head on a bedpost. Hector confesses to pulling Maria off the ladder, though he did not mean to kill her or know she was fatally injured. Bones arrests him on suspicion of manslaughter. You’d think the episode would end there, but no.

Back at FBI HQ, Booth receives a message that Mara Muerte has put out a hit on Bones. Apparently, getting physical with gangbangers does have negative consequences. There’s a funeral for the two victims (can’t say the writer didn’t wrap things up with a big bow), during which an important message about immigration is given and which Booth misses because he’s busy threatening the illustrious Mara Muerte leader. Bones is understandably confused and upset, but Booth keeps quiet about his extracurricular activities. Roll credits.

For shippers (and you know all of you are), the big advancement is Booth most awesomely threatening the Mara Muerte leader for putting out a hit on Brennan. (Disclaimer: Violence is Bad.) His fingers are white from exerting pressure! I don’t know how actors do that without actually exerting pressure, but I’m impressed. Seriously, it's my Favorite Booth Moment™#5. In the Pain in the Heart, when Bones was yelling at him in the bathroom, I thought of this moment. When I dream my Bones-y dreams at night, I see Brennan learning of this moment and finally understanding how much Booth cares about her. In the far off day when they get together, I will see this as the beginning of their romance. That gushing aside, he's clearly protecting her here as his *partner* not as Bones, not as his beloved. Still, one can dream. Sigh.


em-jay said...

Great review of a great episode!

I love your description and analysis of ultra-protective Booth. I agree about the secretive nature of it, too. It's so noble of him to keep it quiet (she couldn't deal with someone protecting her), and yet, if it ever comes to light, it will go far for their relationship.

And now I'm curious about your other 4 top moments! It's always interesting to see what scenes are favorites for people. =) They are often quite different than what I would expect!

Kate said...

My other moments *may* pop up in other reviews (The Man in the Morgue, perhaps).

Re-reading this, I worry people might think I was too harsh on the writing. It's actually fine (for the most part), just formulaic. I tend to write in a "cheeky monkey" fashion, but it really is light-hearted. I heart Bones and don't think Hart Hanson is a lying liar-pants.

Chrys in KS said...

That was awesome. The little tm's were perfect. It reminded me of my 6 year old putting a little R with a circle around it to show that the tank he had drawn was his own design. So funny.

Emily is the absolute best at "almost...but I'm too strong to go there crying." This epi had one of the best examples with the kidnapping story.

Great review. I look forward to seeing more reviews from you. : )

Monia said...

There's so much to say about this episode...

I loved the part that Emily speaks spanish... It would be obvious because Brennan travels all around the world to identify human remains and we know that she went to Latin American countries to do that. She was so cute with the accent!

The part that she talks about the kidnapping is soooo sad... That moment we could see a fragile side of Brennan...

And of couse I loved the part that Booth was protecting Brennan's life...It was soo alpha-male!!! hahaha

Pua said...

I can do Graft in the Girl...if you still need it! When do you need it by? Pua :)

Wendy said...

That would be great, Pua, thanks!! Say, 4 or 5 days? :)

sai said...

Ha ha on all the TMs. You should TM Bones Fu too :D ...

I loved the pasrt where Hodgins imitates Booth and when Bones and Hodgins go one up on Booth when they say that the second garden with that paeticular tree/flower is in the White house..

Pua said...

Great review! I love your explanation of Booth protecting Brennan and loving her! Wendy, I will get the review done! Thanks for the opportunity! :) Pua

Shep said...

Hodgins' impression of Booth was hilarious. And the scene when Booth threatens the leader is one of my all-time favourites!

Cheryl said...

Kate, r u suuuuurre he's protecting her as his partner here? It seems to me that the normal course of action would have been to put his lady scientist under surveillance and assign her round the clock protection. Instead he looks crushed that she has a hit out on her. And I'm sure the good ppl at Quantico don't tell their agents that they should corner gang leaders in alleys as a standard operating procedure to get them to call off hits on ppl. And then he says "I hope u don't mind but I'm going to leave first because I have somewhere I need to be." referring to the fact that he'd told Bones he'd be at the funeral with her. I mean, I don't think he's in love but he's sure not acting like a rational FBI agent.

Kate said...

Very much so. The scene is designed to showcase Booth's loyalty and general stand-up-ness, not what would *really* happen in that situation. She's his partner, that makes the hit his problem. And Booth is not the kind of guy who lets others take care of his problems. Also, I don't think he looks crushed, I think he looks more like, "Crap. I've got to fix this." Hope that answers you're question.

Cheryl said...

Ahhhh I follow. And as I think abt what you said Kate, I see that pattern (taking care of things himself) in other eps too.

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