Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bones Episode Review: 5.07 "The Dwarf in the Dirt"



The promo for this episode did not do it justice, in most ways. For those who's greatest spoilers are the promos, there was no hint of the depth in this episode.

Just to get it out of the way up front... The Simpsons references... Dan Castellanetta, Homer's Brain, the signings, the bumblebee man



The first, I loved. Dan Castellenetta cracks me up when he appears in non-animated guest spots. I loved his Stargate SG-1 episode, especially. He can spout corney jokes on Bones anytime!

The brain I totally missed.

Bumblebeeman struck me as goofy and odd and it didn't make any sense to me at all until I found out it was a Simpsons reference. It seemed so demeaning. I mean, people dress their babies up as bumblebees. We could have done that to Noah this year! (We are far too geeky for that though. He was a dragon.)

The signings drove me CRAZY! I actually thought "is that Nancy Cartwright?" on the first one but discounted it. The machine-gun signings during Cam's conversation with Mr. NM drove me up the wall and I still don't like it, even knowing it was a Simpsons reference. It should have stayed much more subtle and it kind of irks me that it ruined that scene for me.

Mr Nigel-Murray

He is completely flat in this episode, which is sad. He has always had a twinge of fun and interest about him but the other interns have just shot ahead in that department this season and he didn't go anywhere but more bland with Cam's assertion they are developing a shorthand to cut off his factual ramblings. This is not progress, to just reign him in! He needs something unique to make us actually care he's there and I just don't see it. Daisy, Vasiri and Wendell are waaaaaaaay ahead of him on the 'do I care?' meter.

Cam's statement "Keep looking, Mr NM" is a direct reference to his waning level of interest, to me.

Case
Mr Nigel-Murray: A super-strong dwarf, such as might be found in The Lord of the Rings.
No, no no! Gimlii can never die, ok?

But apparently midget wrestlers can. I actually like this case and I never get tired of them having fun with their victims, in a manner of speaking. It is becoming a bit formulaic, possibly, for them to do this, but it always works. Thanking about that, and the time of year, does make me miss Zack though, and his protestations that Santa is impossible and children are foolish for believing in him...and Cam simply saying "Santa is magic." (Sorry for the tangent. And the run-on sentence.)

This episode (or maybe my current state of mind) is bringing so many references to mind. The idea that the Iron Leprechaun is a franchise makes me think of Dread Pirate Roberts from The Princess Bride. Now that was a sweet gig!

"Gidget is like the Vince McMahon of our world." I really liked her character. she was plucky and you really didn't think about her size at all. She completely transcended it through both personality and the honest, non-stereotypical portrayal (unlike one of my favorite scenes ever, from "The Girl in Suite 2103" where Brennan discusses the actual physical possibility of kicking the state department guy out the window).

Even though the midget wrestling can be a demeaning bit of humor, I like that the main point of this portrayal of little people is not about their size. This is a real plot that, with just a few tweaks, could have played out with average sized people. It wasn't gimmicky; it was smart. The dwarf might have actually gotten the girl someday too!

Side note...I hate to even write this, but I'm going to anyway because I try to include everything that occurs to me when I watch episodes.... I hate lover-lady's hair! It's awful. It's like a bland, female version of the mullet, without the party or the business done properly. It's......my brain is in overdrive with a plethora of negative adjectives and analogies. It looks a little better near the end when Booth takes her to the crime scene, but it's not enough. I'll just say that, if you are one of those people who hate's Emily's wardrobe this season, which is worse? Her wardrobe or that hair? It's no contest!

I love so much about this episode but there is one major aspect of the writing that bothers me a lot. I think that many of the jokes, for most every character, are far too similar. There's no character differentiation and it seems like the writer is doing an episode of the Simpsons instead of Bones, where it's just about packing the jokes. How horribly obvious is Booth's line about getting little blue pills to solve his 'gun' problem (ie, Viagra), the suspect's joke about the cell feelng roomier with Bryce as his bunkmate, Booth completely OOC quipping to the victim about 'short stick' being a pun.....and on and on and on. I like the story, I like the character issues, I love Gordon-Gordon.... but while watching this again to review these lines stand out and they just bother me as too much about laughs and too little about the actual Bones characters and their specific characterizations.

Cam

In most respects, Cam could have been taken completely out of this episode and no one would have missed her. I hate to see her so underutilized. She was little more than Mr. Nigel-Murray's teacher here, which isn't really her job.

Angela
Those were mostly beautiful boys wrestling around all oiled up and naked.
Not much to say except that is exactly right for her to say that.

I like the parallel of Angela and Gordon-Gordon back at the table in the dinner, with her again wanting to talk about BB and pushing the relationship angle on him. But this is a more mature Angela, at least in this moment. She's not all "I am woman. Listen up you stupid man!' and 'just accept what I'm telling you' to him. She speaks with a touching depth about how Booth has changed. Brennan may be able to list every minute overt detail that has changed about Booth, but she's still blind to so many issues of the heart. It takes people like Angela to spell them out.

Does she really think that Booth 'just' fell in love with Brennan though? She's been pushing this relationship for a long time and I don't think it has always been simply because they'd be 'hot' together, though I am sure that's why she started it.

Overall she seems very at peace in these scene with Gordon-Gordon. Like the sleek, well-centered, mature woman she can be. Is Wendell doing a girl good?

Hodgins
Rubble... that's a word I loathe.
Hooray for a field trip for him. He should always be let out of his ooky room from time to time.
Hodgins: I am back. King of the lab, right?
Brennan: No, not King of the Lab.
Someday, Hodgins, someday! You will reclaim all your various bits of self!



Gordon-Gordon

I love his mutterings and his overt outbursts. His new career move has certainly changed him.
Gordon-Gordon: Is this something to do with the jumbling your poor boggled noggin got last year?

Booth: Maybe you can just pretend like I'm a recipe that needs fixing.

Gordon-Gordon: You've suddenly become an indiscriminant homicidal maniac.

Suspect: "You look like a substitute teacher and a fry cook"
What about Gordon-Gordon's appearance looks anything like a fry cook? That joke is reaching far beyond it's limits and I wish they'd found a better, more plausible way to again bring up his 'cook' angst.
Sweets: The cops are in there
Gordon-Gordon: Yes, in case you annoy us and we want an arrest made. Any more cracks about fry cooks and I'll have them come in here to rough you up.

Gordon-Gordon: There's more than one way to feed people, you know?
He's so delightfully quotable. I've skipped so many of them as it is.
Gordon-Gordon: I look forward to consulting with you on the strange case of the man here and after referred to as Agent B.
How conspiratorial. Let's have much more of this discussion between the two of them about "Agent B" this season.
Gordon-Gordon: You know what I said about the eggs? It doesn't extend to the potatoes.
That was one of those moments where your brain does a double take, wondering if he really did literally spit out his potatoes onto his plate right in front of our eyes. On the one hand I want to say that should never have happened and I am totally grossed out. But I'm not. I'm not sure why. Stephen Fry's magical spell? The fact he's a Brit and we let Brits get away with all kind of things simply because they *sound* so intelligent? Or simply that he's Gordon-Gordon and he's allowed to be a bit eccentric?
Gordon-Gordon: That's what I get for using Quigly Down Under as a reference.

Gordon-Gordon: ... that you may be born aloft on the trembling wings of giglion angels.
I appreciate the intelligence of the writing of Gordon-Gordon. He has changed considerably since we first met him, as he casts of the mantle of psychology (as much as it is possible for him to do such a thing) and embraces a less proper and 'British' version of himself. I say that with the tinge of American idealized British. We tend to think they are all perfectly schooled, mannered, and attired, as that is mostly how we see them portrayed. Gordon-Gordon has become quite scruffy and even quite crass!



Sweets

Sweets: Agent Booth has had me conduct more interrogations lately. (more confidence in Sweets or less in himself?)
Gordon-Gordon: That's quite the vote of confidence
Sweets: I know why you're here. Agent Booth left my office and immediately went to you, didn't he?
He then has to admit that his list of 'change's actually came from Brennan. Sweets is so often getting one-upped, even at his own game...

Even Gordon-Gordon has to explain to him exactly why Booth couldn't talk to him about his problems - it would cause a conflict of interest in Sweet's job. Sweets is like the most naive shrink in the world, with a few shining moments of clarity and brilliance. He's the child prodigy (literally) who seems to have no idea how much of the world works. I hope we see a few steps forward for his character in maturity and self-knowledge before it's all over. Just an episode, or two, where he has some serious growth and it's not just for comic relief or a momentary storyline like in "A Night at the Bones Museum." I loved that story, but it didn't change him at all, in ways we will see, at least.

Yes, the bar is set high for character development on this show. No stale people!
Sweets: What are we looking for?
Booth
: Lies and guilt, Sweets. What else is there?
BB
"Excuse me. Obviously got the wrong guy"
Booth's inability to shoot robs him of his fundamental nature as protector without question. That has been his fall-back skill for many years. Who cares about plumbing, or lying people, or any of that stuff. If he can't shoot straight, what is it?
Booth: If I ask you a question, can you answer it in plain language

Booth: So, FBI first, me 2nd... You just called me "Agent Booth", Doctor Sweets. You know - I learned the importance of vocabulary from you.
I think most of Booth's issues figuring people out have very little to do with his brain and much more to do with his complete lack of confidence. he didn't end up in that hospital bed doing something heroic. He was cut down by something he couldn't see or fight or fix. That is far more damaging than the injury and recovery itself.
Brennan: Why are you not cracking lines?
Booth: Why? Because it's not 1945 Just let it flow naturally, ok, Bones?

Booth: I just had a bad day on the range
Brennan: Is that a cowboy metaphor?

Brennan: Obviously you just need more practice
But she quickly gets to the real problem before anyone esle does. It's psychological. It just takes Gordon-Gordon to get it fully worked out. It is huge for her to admit it might be psychological, isn't it? Booth doesn't want to consider that option and certainly doesn't want the FBI to look a it (He doesn't mind discussing it with Brennan though).
Booth: Why's he green?
Brennan: Well, that's not really our highest priority
Booth: How can being green not be a priority, Bones?

Brennan: Rather than counting on superstition to make you shoot more accurately, you should just practice more.
It didn't take her long to return to an explanation she can easily wrap her mind around. She was smiling after him when he got mad at that though.... deliberately bating him?

Chef's food is not Booth food. Or rather, it confuses him. But he enough of a 'bloke' (I've been watching way too much Top Gear and James May solo work and it seems to be a great night for random tangents) that he will go along with Gordon-Gordon and he actually enjoys it.
Booth: I just need ya to help me fire my gun.
Gordon-Gordon: That sounds desperately phallic
The truth is all over this episode and I think they make too many jokes about it, 'blue pills' and all. It's too quippy, as if all the lines are coming from the writer and not the characters.
Gidget: Something goes wrong in the heart department, it always shows itself in another way.
TOO OBVIOUS! Booth looks really uncomfortable when she says it. Booth obviously needs to be hit over the head with the realization of why he's having a problem... but we don't!
Booth: Why are you asking Bones? (about what's different re: Booth)

Brennan: Fraud - look at his femurs!
That made me lol. It's the Brennan equivalent of... that can't be the same guy, his hair cut is different, or he's not tan enough.
Booth: He came at me like a rabid ferret.... What was I supposed to do?
Sweets lists the changes in Booth...
Gordon-Gordon: How wretchedly observant of you.
Sweets: Not me. Dr. Brennan.
Brennan: I prefer good boys.
Booth: Really?
Mmmhmmm, his look says...
Gordon-Gordon: I think perhaps a crisis of the heart and loins.
Again, directly tying in with Booth. It is a bit over the top, how many references there are to what Booth's real problem is.

Kind of funny to think of the 'head and heart' Bones them being replaced with 'head and loins' though... I know a bunch of shippers wouldn't mind that too much!
Angela: I think he misses that dream. It's like he's heartsick for that place, and those people. (or just one part of it...)
What, I'm not allowed to chime in? I'm a law enforcement professional. (Another SitS reminder... Booth was extremely respectful of that security guard and his association as another law enforcement professional.)

Sweets book concludes they love each other, but he told Booth that he's not in love with Dr. B? How very Gordon-Gordon in Season 2 of him: keep them apart for everyone's good. Including the FBI.

-Brennan armors herself with her intellect, Booth won't make a move on her b/c it's tantamount to assault (I said something very similar recently, didn't I?)
Booth: Remind me again how great I feel after talking to you?
Brennan: Who else would always tell you the truth?

Brennan: Maybe I should start packing heat again.

Booth: Did you just call forensic evidence crap? (joshing around)
I love joke-y Brennan. More bad jokes please!!
Brennan: Ratting out is an accurate phrase, but somehow it doesn't seem true.
Gordon-Gordon: You've come quite a long way since we last met if you can now see the difference between accuracy and the truth.
It is nice to see her uncomfortable with an issue but not completely stonewalling it. She understands the connotation of ratting him out but she knows that her motivations were nothing of that sort. Not that she wants to admit it, and she did quickly deflect. But I see progress - she definitely didn't argue!
Brennan: I can't think of anything I wouldn't do to help him
(Shipper awwwwww)

I do like Booth's clothes. And Brennan's - especially the coats. If he has to 'rediscover himself' he can make a few changes, right?
Booth: If you've been in love with another man for 10 years, your husband knows.

Booth: When a man can't have the woman he loves, he gets a bit crazy.
Every bit of this episode just screams the truth, even from Booth's mouth, and by the time they spell it out it's like ' uh yeah, we've been hearing that for the whole hour! The dialog is just too... obvious. I don't see the subtlety we're used to.
Brennan: We're good at this.
Booth: This is what we do. We're the best.
That line feels like a return right back to Harbingers, where Booth tells Avalon that sometimes you need to just accept 2nd best. I don't think he had the same adamant attitude about it this time, though. it was more like "I will enjoy 2nd best" instead of "i refuse to think about more than this."



End scene with Gordon-Gordon and Booth...
Gordon-Gordon: When you were in an coma you got a glimpse of another world
Booth: Right. And how does that help me aim my gun?
Gordon-Gordon: Temperance Brennan (Booth sighs) Youre in love with her. You're building a world around her. A family
Booth: We're not compatible. She's sees the world one way. I see it the other.
Gordon-Gordon: No of course, it's absolutely ludicrous the idea of the two of you together. But the heart chooses what it chooses, doesn't it? We don't really have any say in the matter.
Booth: She doesn't love me. I would know if she loved me.
Gordon-Gordon: May I counsel patience on this front? Hope and patiences.
Booth: So, about my marksmanship certification... Any advice?
Gordon-Gordon: Grow a set. Be a man. Step up. She's your partner for heaven's sake. The job you do together is a highly dangerous one. She counts on you for protection. So you damn well better protect her... When it comes to a man and his gun, a woman is the natural cure. Take Dr. Brennan to this shooting event. You won't fail in front of her. Trust me.



Booth: It's a thing. Just go with it. (nice attempt at 'growing a set')

Brennan: I'm becoming quite amusing.
I have loved a lot of Bones music but I think I have played this one to death. What a beautiful choice.

As I end this review I have a feeling similar to how I felt when I reviewed Santa in the Slush. I did not enjoy picking at this episode because it lessened a bit of the 'magic' of the character points in this episode. I don't want to think abotu how the writing, or lover-lady's hair, annoyed me. I want to ohhh and ahhh over the character hints and bold-faced admissions and just enjoy the glow of a very sweet and meaningful bit of BB. And a thoroughly enjoyable Gordon-Gordon!

Emily and David being honored Dec 6th

The Caucus for Producers, Writers, and Directors will be holding it's annual dinner December 6th to honor creative talent in the industry. This year's acting talent honorees/nominees include David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel. I'm not sure why they are slashed though, as being honored as one 'unit'? It seems that in that respect they don't want to give more than one honor to a particular show? (the other slashed pairing is for the writing on Rescue Me)

Those being honored...

Executive of the Year Award: Angela Bromstad, President Primetime Entertainment
NBC and Universal Media Studios
Chair's Award: Chas. Floyd Johnson, Executive Producer
Caucus Lifetime Achievement Award: Frank von Zerneck, Executive Producer
New Visions Award: Sandy Climan, CEO, 3ality Digital, LLC and
Steve Schklair, CEO, 3ality Digital Systems
Journalism Award: Elizabeth Guider, Editor, The Hollywood Reporter
Caucus Distinguished Service Award: Albert Fisher, Producer, Writer, Director
Special Educator Award: Robert Mandel, Dean, American Film Institute

Winners of the Caucus Honors will be announced
at the Awards Dinner from the following nominees:

Producer
Dave Bell, Stephen J. Cannell, Simon Cowell, Ken Ehrlich,
Leonard Goldberg, John C. Moffitt, Robert Papazian, Dorothea Petrie
Writer
James Duff, Tina Fey, Bruno Heller, Chuck Lorre,
Matt Nix, David Shore, Peter Tolan/Denis Leary, Matthew Weiner
Director
Phil Abraham, James Bobin, Paul Feig, Bruce Gowers,
Tom Hooper, Jeffrey Reiner, Alex Rudzinski, Michael Rymer
Actor
Drew Barrymore, Steve Carell, Emily Deschanel/David Boreanaz,
Holly Hunter, Denis Leary, Kyra Sedgwick, Gary Sinise, Barbra Streisand

We will also confer the Gold Circle Outstanding Student Film Award on two students.

A significant portion of the proceeds from the Dinner will benefit The Caucus Foundation
which has provided grants and awards of $700,000 to 84 worthy students
to complete their film, television or interactive projects.

All of these Awards are a representation of the 35 years that The Caucus has worked
to elevate the quality and diversity of television and
to protect the creative freedom of television's creative community.

3ality Digital will present a demonstration of their 3-D camera equipment and
a 3-D television monitor depicting programs produced in 3-D at the reception before dinner.

We hope to see you there!
Denis Doty, Chair of The Caucus
Chuck Fries, President of The Caucus Foundation

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