Monday, September 28, 2009

Guest Episode Review - #210 "The Headless Witch in the Woods"

Another Bones Season 2 episode review, thanks to Sai: "The Headless Witch in the woods."

Season 1 Reviews - all done!
Season 2 Reviews - still waiting on at least half!

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The Headless Witch in the Woods

Yayy! Season 2. My favorite, favorite season. Now I may be biased, but everything – from how the actors looked, to how they acted, to how the character stories were built, to how good the cases were, to the gentle mix of the serious, the macabre and funny – Perfect. And I include McFloppy (Sully) and Cam here.

Any bonehead (Pun unintended. I think.) would realize why I chose this episode to review – the first ‘official’ guy hug! I shall get there and wax eloquent in a bit. But let’s proceed systematically, shall we?

“Let’s place some garlic around the remains and chant the Hmong rituals for the preservation of souls”

A bunch of hikers run into a gruesome (what else) dead body in a wood that is supposed to be haunted by the ghost of a woman called Maggie Cinders. She is supposed to have been be-headed in the wood because of her being a suspected witch. The legend is that Maggie Cinders is supposed to haunt those woods and would kill anyone who came looking for her.

Your browser may not support display of this image. The episode starts with B&B in the forest looking for the body and Booth getting creeped out by the forest and its legends. As Booth and Bones move along with the ranger towards the body, Bones drifts away looking at some strange talismans which have caught her attention. Booth is as usual protective (and dare I say big brotherly?)and tells her to stay close. David Boreanaz/Booth (I sometimes can’t tell the difference in my head) has this amazing, gentle voice – even when he is man-handling a suspect - and he uses it to great effect here.T hey find a broken video camera along with the remains. What they don’t find however, is the victim’s head.

Angela reconstructs some of the video and it looks like a Blair-Witch-Project kind of movie – lots of grainy black and white film, jerky camera movement, screams and of course blood.

A past injury from the bones confirms the identity of the body. The body it turns out belongs to a missing film student Graham Hastings. They talk to the brother Will Hastings and realize that the family background is similar to that of Brennen’s. The boys’ parents died at an early age and Will Hastings became a fire fighter and looked after his little brother, instead of letting him get into Foster care.

The case moves on. And it’s a great one by the way – filled with a number of smart details and red herrings. Did the kids do drugs in the forest? What else explains the hallucinogenic ramblings on the back of a script in Graham’s backpack? Why is the girl – Lori – who was in the forest along with Graham – so freaked out that she had to check back into the psych ward? ( A quick shout out to the actress’s amazing acting – she was creepy good or what?) Is she faking it – did she kill Graham due to Your browser may not support display of this image. her jealousy because of his playing around?

What is the significance of the script that Brian Andrews (the third person in the team that went into the forest) stole from Graham? What is the role of Nate Gibbons – the teacher who is helping Brian produce the film made on the stolen script and taking it to Sundance? Who made the chopping sounds with the axe and poured blood (cow’s blood it turns out) on Lori in the forest? And lastly, what is with the 200 year old skull that they find in the forest – Maggie Cinders’ skull maybe?

As it turns out, the victim, Graham Hastings – was no prince. In order to make his movie more realistic he gets his professor to steal a skull from the University and asks his brother, Will, to set up the creepy atmosphere in the forest. Complete with blood and chopping sounds. To make Lori’s reactions more realistic, he slips her some mushrooms which given her already fragile mental chemistry made her go berserk. Will Hastings – his elder brother, gets all upset after realizing what a monster he has raised and well chops off his own brother’s head. Though he insists that it was the ghost of Maggie Cinders who made him do it. Ah well. Just as we thought that Bones found a good, handsome one.

Your browser may not support display of this image. “I find your imagery both colourful and accurate.”

This great episode also gives us some great insights into the supporting cast’s characters. Whether is it Cam talking about how her mom ‘came back’ to her and pointed her towards a keepsake or Zack admitting that it would be nice if people could come back. Angela and Hodgins’ romance slowly moving forward.

It was also a great episode for cool detective and forensic work. Angela and Hodgins reconstruct the exact place where the body was placed by freeze framing a scene with Lori’s watch in the video and finding the latitude and longitude through moon’s shadows (Phew! and Wow!). Angela also finds the fact that there was someone else (6 foot tall) in the forest on the night of the murder in the shadows of the video. Zack discovers the serial number on the older skull that identifies it as a specimen from the university. And of course the experiment which proves that the body was moved post-mortem.

“Because essentially you know – you are a guy like me. But not really. “

Early on, while watching the disturbing video Cam grabs Booth’s hand in a moment of fear and Bones notices. I have always wondered – was this the first time she realized that there was something between Cam and Booth? I feel she probably had a clue when she saw Booth all flustered in the ‘Girl with a curl’ when Cams heels were clicking away to the lab’s exit – but this confirmed her suspicions.

After their meeting with Will Hasting, as Booth and Bones drive back to the lab, Bones wonders what it would have been like if Russ hadn’t abandoned her and looked after her instead. Booth tells her that she probably turned out as well as she did because of that. Bones casually mentions that she plans to have coffee with Will Hastings when Booth reacts in his Booth-y way she tells him that she too needs to connect – just as he has obviously connected with Cam. Booth’s reaction is priceless as he realizes that Bones knows what he has obviously been trying to hide for a while. Through the rest of the episode Booth is still trying to get over his embarrassment of being found out and trying to explain to Bones (and himself) on why he hid it from her. He is snippy and defensive through the episode.

“What am I a cheater?”

“Yeah I know it gets cold when the sun goes down. You should have gotten your blankie” – To the hapless FBI forensics guy looking for the bloody clothes in the forest.

“But you are looking at me like I am in trouble and you are a teacher.

The conversation where the poor man tries to explain himself is totally priceless with my favorite line being: “No. I’d prefer not to be a woman. If you don’t mind.”

Your browser may not support display of this image. At the end though there is no awkwardness. Booth’s face as he is arresting Will Hastings, as he see how shattered Bones is about picking another weirdo (Albeit a very handsome weirdo – sorry I had to insert it in here!) speaks volumes about how much her cares about her. Later in her office, he tries to explain to her why she chooses who she does, letting her know that she is not as clueless about people as she thinks she is – hey she saw through him!

And finally, just letting her know that she is not alone and giving her that ‘guy hug’ – knowing it will make both of them feel better. The look of absolute peace and contentment on both their faces. Siiiiiggghhhhh.....

As if we needed any more reasons to love this episode. And the season. And the series.


BB Shipper said...

Can i be the first to say, I love your style of writing (funny, but insightful) and I really liked the should have taken apart more of the individual scenes (I would have loved to hear your take on some of the other aspects of that episode)....or maybe you should just review some additional episodes (;0)

I absolutely loved the guy hug that was so NOT a guy hug. [can you imagine Booth hugging any guy like that?...exactly!) lol.

Great review...I am volunteering you for another.

sai said...

Thank you BB Shipper!

Can say have been grinning like an idiot ever since i read your review of my review :) ... Now i don't mind my one hour commute to work. Atleast today.

I hope I get to do more. That definitely was fun.

Jessica said...

Very nice review and funny and the guy hug thing just like BB Shipper said what guy hugs a guy like that ;) hmm he has to admit he just likes hugging her, but he has to make it a guy hug thing :)

em-jay said...

Great review! Thanks for doing it!

Creepy episode with all that screaming, but good character development. Gotta love the beginning of the hugs!

Anonymous said...

great review!! Do it again, do it again!! (no offense Wendy, I love your style). This is one of my favorite episode... in part because of the guy hug, of course... I'd love to get one: way better than chocolate, I guess.

BB Shipper said...

Yeah for Sai! Everyone agreed that the review was awesome....does that make your communte seem shorter for at least the rest of the week? (hope it does ;0)

sai said...

It definitely made me cheer up! Thanks a bunch everyone. Especially you BB (feels like I know you enough now to be on first name basis :D )

Cheryl said...

I discovered Bones less than a month ago & I have NO idea what a BB Shipper is...can s'one explain?

In that month I have made it thru every ep in all 5 seasons (can u say addicted, anyone?) & I'd like to point out that Booth is very good at taking care of Bones, even if he has to subvert her defenses to get her to allow him to. There was NO way she was going to accept a hug from him here. So what does he do? Fall back on the trusty "partners do things for each other" with a mix of "it's no diff from me hugging a male partner" thrown in for good measure. And in the future we acquire evidence that he doesn't hug guys. And hello? Holding her that tenderly? And that closely? Partner my eye!

Wendy said...

I believe you are a BB shipper :) It means you are in favor of a Booth/Brennan relationship.

Cheryl said...

Ahhh thx Wendy. And ummm, which sane person _wouldn't_ be in favour of BB r'ship???

Wendy said...

You'd be surprised!

And I guess I should say that the 'shippers' are extremely in favor of it, vs the casual fan who knows they will eventually get together, etc.

Cheryl said...

Perplexing this is...but I take ur word for it. BB 4eva!;)

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