Sunday, September 20, 2009

Guest Episode Review - #214 "The Man in the Mansion"

Thank you, arla, for the review of "The Man in the Mansion" from Bones Season 2.

Season 1 Reviews - all done
Season 2 Reviews - need quite a few more!

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

The Man in the Mansion

written by Christopher Ambrose
directed by Dwight Little

Gordon: Interesting the first word you used to describe him was "rich".
Booth: Ah, second. The first description was "dead".

General Opinion:

Overall, this episode is packed with goodies. It ends in a trial, theres really juicy B/B/Sully love triangle stuff, Monsieur Wiseowl Gordon Gordon is there, there is maybe the first real acknowledgment of just how important Hodgins is to the team (I personally can never get over how insanely instrumental he always is to every part of every case), running themes, deeper messages, AND it's one of those beautiful episodes that demonstrates to us just how much of an ensemble show this is, how much Team Squint totally dominates.

One big complaint right up front: Clarissa and Hodgins, though they were once engaged, do not go through anything upon reuniting that is of much interest to us on a juicy and personal level, which may have robbed the episode of some really awesome potential. We have not only some Hodgins back story but an EX-FIANCEE, in the episode! Certainly he and Angela might even have a conversation about it? Maybe we can find out a little about Past Hodgins? No. Admittedly the episode celebrates not just Hodgins' genius but his goodness and trustworthiness. It helps, then, for the episode for him to appear relatively together about the whole thing because we as viewers may feel he really crossed a line being secretly involved in the case. It might have been cool if he had chemistry with Clarissa too but alas, Clarissa seems on another plant of sadness, she murmurs a lot and has darty-eyes like she is about to get attacked or forget where and who she is. Jack is waaaay over her and tells her so. Its a little annoying/disappointing to have to try and imagine them engaged... I personally think. Discuss?

Episode Summary:

The episode starts with B/B on their way to see a body. Brennan, (who has been on four dates with Sully so far not counting bumping into one another at the diner) is in a good mood, teasing Booth and going for THIS adorable snafu:

Brennan: Why do you call your psychiatrist Gordon Gordon?
Booth: Because that how he introduces himself, you know, "Hi, I'm Gordon. Gordon Wyatt."
Brennan: Like "James. James Bond"
Booth: "Bond. James Bond." Not James, James... James- whatever.

Booth is peeved, proof that following Gordon Gordon's advice and doing away with his "quiet rebellions" (colorful ties, socks, belt buckle) has meant he has trouble suppressing his "other impulses". Brennan agrees that suppressing impulses must be good thing. Ah, the conundrum of these two in a nutshell. "Apparently all the other issues have to just rise to the top" moans Booth. Woo!

Sitting in a chair in the Mansion is the (dead) Man, Mr.Terence Bancroft, decomposing away. Bones sees too much flesh on the body to know why they are called in but Cam informs them that the Bancroft family has a wing at the Jeffersonian. "Typical" grunts Booth, who is crabby towards the body and complains that one of the Man's statues is "probably worth more than my house". "You should ask your therapist about your issues with rich people", says Brennan. Instead he goes off to talk with Terry's wife Clarissa in the kitchen-- and please forgive me but at this point all I could think was "why the hell is Angel talking to Andie McPhee???" and I spent the scene dealing with this intense confusion.

Back in the lab Hodgins is in shock- "He was tied up?" "He knew his attacker?". Even Angela's ability to make the phrase "blood spatter patterns" sound alluring can't get to him. Here I must draw attention to the awesome piece of evidence that Hodgins tampers with: he removes from a picture frame on his desk a photo of the victim, himself, and two other guys naked in front of a lake in the woods holding electric guitars in front of themselves circa 1995.

Opening Sequence rolls into Brennan not understanding why she will have fun watching, not playing, at Sully's basketball game. Though he points out that she majorly sucks at 'being a girl', Sully cheerfully adapts to her needs, explaining himself in Anthropology Speak. He bounces around trying to convince her to go and is silly and charming. The camerawork is excellent otherwise he would be launching himself into the lens every two seconds. And I do really get how good he was for Brennan. A contender!

Brennan: You want to impress me?
Sully: Well, I'm kind of traditional that way.
Brennan: Why don't you just bonk me on the head with a giant club?
Sully: Well I'd much prefer you came to the game and oogled my butt crack.

Jack goes to see Whispers on Ice, in 100% Professional yet Secretly Unprofessional Mode of course. He gives her the picture back and tells her he wants to work the case, and they agree to pretend to not know each other. Hodgins is lovable because he is a rebel and a conspiracy nut and a rich thrill seeker and sweetheart but also because he is a genius... so I'm sure even he knows that plan may be very silly. Earnest Jack and Blinken McNod have shared a kind of disappointing scene considering that in it they reveal they were once ENGAGED. OK I will stop I promise.

Booth talks with Robert at the Youth Center where Terry worked, who has guilt written in enormous graffiti letters all over him with his shifty eyes and nervous itches, but first-time viewers may just think its the same problem Wispy Winters has, stemming from _not wanting to be stabbed_. Or they don't want to be like her and assume the worst of these kids. He tells Booth that Terry caught a youth center attendee/drug mule named Julio Diaz with a couple pounds of heroin, and shows him the mule's locker with a sweatshirt stained in blood inside it. Rob is ready to go with the idea that Julio's suppliers may have nabbed/stabbed Julio as well as Terry. However, none of the kids will admit they saw the Heroin-Catching-Caper go down so there is no witness saying any heroin-catching caper even took place, so the chain of evidence is missing... many a link.

Back at the lab, Angela and Brennan are having a Girls Scene: Angela is trying to convince Brennan to "at least pretend that you're the girl", even though Bones is dying to make the first move with Sully so they can get it on already. "Why is everyone so anxious for me to be a girl?" she whines, not wanting to sit and watch basketball.

Brennan: it sounds so... passive.
Angela: Now you've got it.


Booth: You just don't get it.
Sully: What?...

And its one of my favorite scenes in the series! Being a B/B shipper of course. First off, Booth refuses to be Sully's Angela:

Booth: First of all, guys, they dont ask for advice. And secondly, I'm not going to help you get _my_ partner into bed.
Sully: Why not? Its not like you want her.

(A wondrous moment- Booth conceeds/admits to having feelings for Brennan with silent and uncomfortable twitches of his lips, as he physically tries desperately to keep the truth from 'rising to the top'. Unfortunately his silence is very loud.)

Sully: Unless- do you want her??
Booth: Ahhh, come on, eh? Bones is, you know, she's my partner.
Sully: Oho, that is why you need psychiatric treatment, because you have the hots for your partner!
Booth: It's not psychiatric treatment, its an evaluation. Big difference.
Sully: I can tell that Brennan is the go-slow type [Booth itches his ear, blinks furiously and pulls on his collar] but you gotta help me out on how slow because too slow is worse than not slow enough!

To have what I believe is the first and last time anyone was so blunt with his own big problem follow it up with an actual question about how long Brennan needs before she will hook up with a person is quite enough for Booth, or it's the socks, but he is saved from boiling over by being told that Julio Diaz's body is at the morgue. Robert I.D.s the body and agrees that the suppliers would have killed Julio if Terry had not resolved the heroin issue with the cops.

Back in the lab, Cam and Zack (or 'Bone Boy' as she calls him here) notice a fungus in some blood pooled on the bottom of Terry's interior cervical vertabre, meaning he was lying down for a long time after he was stabbed in the jugular and later put in the chair and stabbed more times to make it look like a home invasion. Then, thanks to maggots being in the pre-pupal phase of the third instar, Hodgins figures that Julio Diaz's sweatshirt must have been dipped in Terry's blood, frame-style, as he Scientific Fact: died before Terry. Go Bug Man and Bone Boy!!

At the game, Brennan sits behind two giggly girls who admire Sully and wonder at his avoidance of men's showers and nickname ("peanut"). Brennan could not be more uncomfortable and out of place- hilarious. Meanwhile, Gordon works to remove Booth's mental Cocky belt buckle (yes that accidentally sounds suggestive but... I just watched Wilde?). He tries to demonstrate to Booth that he tends to jump to convenient conclusions- for example, Booth would rather catch a poor kid's killer than a rich man's killer, so he may be on the wrong track with the case. Or, has Booth ever considered the possibility that Gordon is both his first and middle name?

Booth: "I'm not the kind of guy whose got anything to hide"
Gordon: "Do you know, i often find that when people declare what they are not it almost invariably turns out that that's precisely what they are."

Back to the basketball game, Brennan tries to be subtle about investigating the peanut penis, but about three seconds in she is bluntly stating that women don't care about penis size, and in response to Sully's asking what she thought about him shutting down the other teams offense, she tells him they weren't very good! Sully just appreciates her 'sauce' and 'zing' (he really was good for her. Its true.)

Booth drags a very reluctant Hodgins to 'pull a little con' on Blinky McNods (a rather stretchy plot device but ok) by looking for stuff in the house so Booth can find out about the affair Gordon Gordon suggested she might be having. Wavy McPhee is totally transparent about the affair - and about Jack, and Booth freaks out at Hodgins for hiding his relationship to the deceased's wife, shoving him and yelling in his face before driving off in a fury. Back at the lab, Hodgins explains that the muskrat hair found in the victim had a specific dye patented by a menswear company in Canada. Robert's coat appears in their online catalog, the killer is identified and Hodigns is almost King until Booth starts yelling about him trying to "get into the pants of an ex-girlfriend" on one of Booth's murder cases.

Caroline refuses to hear how Jack knows Clarissa so she wont be obligated to share the information, and Jack is taken off the case and the witness stand. Come trial, the rest of the team explains step-by-step how each clue the team has found connects to the others (finishing each others sentences, cutting from one to the other, so you wonder what their individual testimonies were like...) The evidence and research adds together perfectly which shows off the team brilliantly. A kid from the youth center even shows up at the very moment when Booth is asked about the motive behind the murder, and goes about describing the entire event in which Terry took the heroin from Julio, in a very convincing manner I might add. The team, and especially Caroline, get so confident that Brennan actually makes the jury laugh, and the judge has to bang his gavel and remind them that "This is court, not a night at the improv." The prosecution apologizes (Booth drops the fact that Julio was fourteen as a little clincher,)and rests. Brennan, on the way to the diner with Angela, decides to make the first move with Sully.

(To tell the story with screencaps:)

Booth has his second therapy session, which is even tougher on him because Gordon Gordon tries to get him to see that "We all must overcome our upbringing, rich and poor alike." He also dispenses freelance wisdom:

Booth: Hey Doc, why is it that the belt buckle is provocative?
Gordon Gordon: Because it says "Cocky" and its right above your cock, Booth.
just kidding, Gordon says "Why its a modern-day codpiece. It forces the eye to the groin."

Gordon Gordon tells Booth to go back to his Grand Master of Flashy Accessories post, presumably so that he'll then apologize to Hodgins. This may be very good timing for that suggestion becayse the next day in court Hodgins's boring old relationship is outsted and Caroline is blown away by how much she had decided to not know- at this point Hodgins is just trying to keep his head down and is praying he wont lose his job. (Why didn't we get to see him on the stand?...)

The team is given 30 hours to find some part of the case that Hodgins was not involved in that they can use in court. Whats so cool about this is that none of the clues presented in court would have been possible without Hodgins, and even when the team discovers that the cervical fungus might be the clue they need, they need to team together and try do Hodgins job to identify it. (and Angela only succeeds in identifying the fungus because she has been spending so much time with him... making detailed fungal pillow talk.) Hodgins hands in his resignation, which Brennan refuses but Cam accepts. Oddly, this is turned from being a good/bad cop situation into a 'the difference between Cam and Brennan' situation very gracefully- Brennan won't fire Hodgins because his science was perfect, however she thinks it would be easy to fire someone if she had to. Cam understands the complications and accepts the resignation but with emotional complications and resignation of her own. Booth forgives Hodgins because Hodgins tries to quit... and because "what are we, girls?"

Back in court, the team tells the jury that they have found a fungus on the victim that is the same strain as the fungus found in the defendant, and so on, and there is zero way anything but what they say happened, happened. The chances of the murderer NOT being Robert are actually

Zack: "Incalculable... which is something I have never said before."

Because they are THAT GOOD. Better yet, Brennan Zack and Angela were each responsible for some part of this fungal discovery and thus the team is truly only Captain Plant when their elements combine. While they wait for the verdict, Caroline yells at the group to stop doing stupid things like shooting ice cream trucks and stealing evidence and to start "using your oversized heads! This is the real world!" Even better, she recommends that if they win the case Hodgins gets his job back, and if not, "Booth shoots him". Of course, Jeffersonian Wins! Hodgins keeps his job! Little Ladyfriend shares a tiny sad nod of thanks across the room from Hodgins, which we now know is her way of thanking him profusely for solving her husband's murder. Everyone on the team has screwed up sometime! Conclusions should not be jumped to! Everyone loves each other! Booth picks out colorful ties with Gordon Gordon and Hodgins and Angela are unbearably sweet as he finally has a chance to deal with the loss of his friend. Brennan just grabs Sully and makes that first move anyways because she's Bones, for crying out loud, and discovers that cops have ironic, or rather 'opposite' physiological nicknames. (Angela- all of us- wonder what Booth's nickname is.)

Should I just transcribe the last lines of the episode for the enjoyment of all?

Brennan: "I slept with Sully last night"
Booth: "Oh, i thought you already, uh"
Brennan: "no. last night."
Booth: "well, its really none of my business."
Brennan: "except we're partners"
Booth: "yeah... there's that..."
Brennan: "and you told me about your socks"
Booth: "sex, socks, pretty much the same word."
(uncomfortable silence)
Brennan: "so, do we have a case or are you just visiting"
Booth: "yeah, I'll fill you in on it on the way. its messy. better get some _protection_".
Brennan: "let me get my gumboots" (leaves)
Booth: "...yeah. I'm gonna need a flashier tie."


All in all, I feel the episode seems to be in three different worlds with the Brennan/Sully storyline, the murder case, the therapy etc but like any really great episode of Bones its all flows together in beautiful harmony. We never have to see Clarissa again, (I have to balance out all this glowing praise in my review with _something_) and because we see that Booth is kind of a cock without his socks (there is too much rising to the surface!!! He must overcome his upbringing! aaahh!) we get to have them back. (:


Victoria said...

Can I be the first to say how much I love this review? You captured the ep perfectly.

Been watching Warehouse 13 lately and have realised how much I liked Sully and thought he was a great character - not just a fill-in for Booth.

Jessica said...

Great review this episode showed to me that Booth begins to have feelings for Brennan if he didn't already had them, but I wonder if Brennan really was in love with Sully or that she has a hard time to show her true feelings if she really loved Sully she would have gone away with him

Anonymous said...

Great review! Hodgins and Klarissa didn't have the best ending. She left him to marry his best friend. And although his over her he hasn't forgiven her. Therefore you can't imagine them as a couple. He is still mad with her !

Shep said...

Great review!

"Because it says "Cocky" and its right above your cock, Booth.
just kidding..."

What annoyed me about this episode was the way they showed the court proceedings - all of the Squint team's sentences ran into each other perfectly and we got the each-person-saying-one-line thing, which was obviously very TV-ish and would not have happened in real life.

Also - I wanna know what Booth's cop nickname issss....:( !!! D'you think HH will be kind enough to reveal it in the future!

em-jay said...

Great review!

The one thing that bugs me a bit about this episode is Caroline's rant at the end. Actually, I LOVE the rant, but it's not all factual. She says Angela was spouting names to a vengeful father, and she never actually gave away something she shouldn't have to the father (in Girl in the Gator). She only told him, "No, I don't trust him." But I believe that had more to do with his character and treatment of women than whether or not he was a murderer. Also, picking on Booth again for "dropping serial killers off a balcony..." that's just mean to throw that in his face again. However, it's Caroline, and she can get away with just about anything, because we love her so much! We always know there will be a lot of humor when we see Patricia Belcher in the credits!

Thanks again for the great review!

Anonymous said...


I don't think Brennan was in love with Sully ever. She was just trying to taste FBI and experience whether her interest on Booth is merely because of his FBI status or not. As she said in next episode "We're just having a fling, so don't get carried away."
We shouldn't forget that she is rational 247 and she can't rule out anything without experimenting. Plus she involved with Sully right after Booth gave her the speech about line and crossing. So she might have accepted in that point that she can't have out of work relationship with Booth ever. The next best thing is another interesting FBI agent.


Jessica said...


Just what I thoughtm I couldn´t have explained it better

Nina said...

totally in agreement on perhaps why brennan started dating sully, but i think it really was a hard decision for her to let him go... though i have to say when booth comes to get her right after she DOES let him go is one of the biggest shippery b/b foreshadowey-type moments ever... topped only by harmonia at the end of S5E1 there

K said...

Hooray! Thanks for the fun review of a fun episode. Booth's last line is one of my favorites of his and also one of the many reasons why if it turns out that Gordon Gordon was talking about Brennan being the one in love, I'll eat my own flashy tie.

I agree about the timing of Brennan and Sully, but I think he was more like an opposite than a substitute Booth. Aside from being an agent and being a good man, he's quite different. (Imagine Booth sailing away like that! No way.)

Cheryl said...

I can't believe how much insight, humour, Clarissa-hatred & ep recap Arla interwove into a seamless review. Good job! Laughed alllll the way thru! Going to re-watch the scene with Sully asking Booth for advice on Bones now. And if everyone can see how close they are, & so many ppl keep commenting on how "they're made for each other" etc why do so many guys turn to Booth for Brennan advice? I mean, shouldn't you just observe the two together, figure that Booth will kill for her, further figure that Booth would kill you for asking about her and then just leave well enough alone???bori

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