Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bones Episode Review: 5.11 "The X in the File"

As someone pointed out, spoilers do spoil in more ways than one. There was a lot of hype about the X-files cameo, the aliens, the possibility of some BB coziness in the desert...

And none of it really panned out.

I think that if you came into this episode unspoiled you probably loved it. I missed the X-Files boat, for no real reason, so that aspect of the show didn't bother me at all. I do hate that I read a tease about BB getting cozier in the desert though......if they meant the end scene they need to reconsider what 'cozy' means to fans in regards to these two, and any other TV couple.

I did see some X-files, however, and I felt like the opener was a great spoof of the spooky X-files scenes. It was a great Bones-y take on the desert night, discovering the body, and the eyes in the dark.

Brennan: It's a cell phone
Booth: You hope

Wendell: Perhaps there was a lot of green radiation from alien hyperdrive systems... or something not... crazy

Aliens do make people a little crazy. Some of the spoofs may have seemed silly but I have a feeling that none of them were that far of a stretch for the truly alien-obsessed.

I do wish that Dean Haglund had been better utilized. I think he got far too little screen time and not enough interesting personality to him. He just comes across as a slick salesman of the alien idea.

Side beefs
1) mistake, mistake! They 'discover' the Mexican evidence twice. Oops!
2) they make Roswell seem a hop and a skip from Mexico

Side yay - Hooray for the DB senior shout-out!


SJB: Sheriff Jerry Bonds, but you probably got that from my shiny badge, my imposing hat, and my big gun

SJB: I'm not going to take the heat when people scream I sent an alien off to Washington for secret testing. I've been through that before.

SJB: The Freedom of Information Act is not a magic spell

I do love it when the locals have color and stand up for themselves. He upstaged Booth more than once (worked well with him too!) and really made me laugh.

Brennan: That man is very useful in certain situations.

SJB: I gotta get better at frisking

SJB: You got the right to shut the hell up, Blaine. Killing that poor crazy woman for her video.


I liked Delmy too. Maybe because I blog, and she got no respect! :)

Booth: Important blogger. Talk about an oxymoron.

Delmy: Definitely FBI. I can smell the suit.

And, probably because, like the Sheriff, she had a real personality.


Meh. I think it pays homage to the X-files, Bones style. However, it just loses something in the translation to Bones. You get no sense of the danger that even a casual watcher of the X-Files picked up upon. It comes across as more of a 'wrong place, wrong time' kind of death. I just didn't really care about the victim or the illegal dumping (it's such a used plot that it need something to make it fresh and it wasn't there). The focus on the alien watchers instead of the aliens was perfect for Bones. Overall I just didn't find it strong or compelling as a scientific case. It was nice to see Brennan stumped, clearly admitting she had no idea why the adipocere was so hard, but otherwise nothing stood out.

Wendell & Angela

Cam: Save it Mr Bray. You think you have a big secret, but you don't.

Is it wishful thinking, selfishness, or just obliviousness that makes Angela think Hodgins would be OK with this. She just discovered a year old tattoo on him of her face. I think her reaction to the lunch, as Wendell gets ready to go, says that it was just wishful thinking. Facing him, and dealing with the associated emotions she knows are present (for both of them) is the last thing she wants to do.

Was anyone else extremely uncomfortable hearing Angela offer to take Wendell to the Egyptian room? That is the Hodgela room!

It greatly endears me to Wendell to see him so concerned for Hodgins. Angela is blowing it off (at least at first, and it's more of a self-protection mechanism than anything as it brings back a lot of stuff *she* really isn't dealing with either), but he really does care what Hodgins will think. It makes me wonder what he might have done if Hodgins balked. Who would he have chosen?

I see some people saying that they see no chemistry between Wendell and Angela. What I see is zero emotional connection. Nada. They are attracted to each other but there's absolutely nothing deeper. Do they have anything in common BUT Hodgins? That leads me to think this simply won't last. There's no basis for it after the initial flame. What would keep them together.

I'm on team Hodgins.... IF there's some Angela heartfelt changes for Angela in the works.

Another note - I make no secret that I find it extremely hard to relate to Angela and in many respects I actively dislike some of her choices. But I love it when she brings out such honest responses as what she tells Wendell when he kisses her in the diner:

Angela: I'm not really OK with being kissed when it's not about me.

Wendell: Angela, the balls are rattling but your head is still intact!
Angela: Call that thing by my name one more time, I dare you.

I don't really think Wendell will be hurt if he and Angela end. I think he would be far more hurt of he lost Hodgins' friendship.

Wendell: I think it's always a little more complicated than it looks.

Even after the melon experiment, Angela doesn't think there's still a problem there?


Hodgins: I might be able to identify the manufacturer and intended use, which I imagine was not murder.

When I polled you guys at the start of the Angela/Wendell relationship the biggest concern people had was how it would affect Hodgins. I actually worried for a moment they truly were going to make him OK with this (talk about being 'in the moment' as a fan) but I am very glad they didn't. This guy took it hard when they broke up and I've never felt like he was over it. He's not really the kind of guy who lets things slide. (Remember his dirt rant?!) I hope this is the catalyst for something good for him, in some form, but if it is some type of turning point toward getting him back with Angela (that's not a spoiler, I don't know anything!) I do hope he is not the only one who makes personal changes along the way.

Hodgins: There was a time when I thought Angela and I would be together forever.

The melons experiment is somewhat funny, but seriously disturbing! It's almost too far for me, though the concept is good. I think because it's so close in on them? The pictures are so big and lifelike? I don't know. I liked Hodgins maniacal joy at making Angela squirm, and Wendell's completely oblivious enthusiasm, but I didn't like the actual experiment.

Hodgins: Alright, so the paintball gun ball bearing didn't have enough force to get through my skull
Angela: That's too bad
Wendell: I'm next
Hodgins: I'll shoot you... Whoa! That was way too much damage. That blew your head clear off.
Wendell (starting to see): You and Dr Saroyan are still in the running

At least they didn't focus heavily on the 'kill' of Angela. I guess they are emphasizing that he doesn't want to hurt Angela, but would love to take a swing at Wendell for bedding his girl. Another point towards a future reconciliation?

Hodgins: That was fun... wanna do it again?


Cam: He's one taco short of a combo platter.

Wendell (laughing): Dr Brennan dealing with flesh...
Hodgins: ... it's like a cat dealing with water.

Cam, and maybe Booth, are probably the only people who could get Brennan to deal in flesh.

She's so cute doing it too.

Brennan: I did it!
Cam: Very good Dr. Brennan
Brennan: Yes, it was

Cam is such a motivational leader now that she doesn't have to browbeat them anymore. (Please, please - never take her back to that!)


Sweets: I can help you with your interrogation (love that the suspect hears Sweets)
Sweets: Sometimes I think you just pull me into these interrogations to show off (slam)

Sweets was nicely perceptive of the H/W/A triangle.

Sweets: This is a fraught situation. It's important to face these things head on.

Hodgins: You were right, Sweets. Everything is not fine.... I don't know if I want to crawl in a hole and die or run over Wendell and Angela with a truck.

Sweets knows when he's really needed. He's one of the good guys. It's not a good time but, sure, it's a good time. It doesn't hurt that this gives him further 'ins' with the crew, and that it's Hodgins coming to him, instead of pushing him away and putting him down. I think Sweets could do some Angela good too. The 6 month hiatus didn't seem to do much.

Hodgins: I want to not be filled with anger, pain, and resentment.
Sweets: Do you want Angela back?

I'm not sure he knows the answer to that.

Hodgins: Just smile and act like a good guy?
Sweets: You are a good guy


Brennan: Any alien visiting this planet would have sufficient evidence not to die in the middle of the desert

Booth: Earth female?

Brennan: I have no idea why it's so hard.

That's casual talk for her.

Booth: You want it, right?

Whether she wants it or not is the determining factor...

Brennan: You got here just in the time for the good stuff
Booth: For future reference, that's not the good stuff.

Booth losing his gun to the MRI machine was one of my favorite moments. He's heroic as he steps up to protect her, but he's also real and tangible. As always, I love that Booth isn't the perfect macho man who never puts a foot in the wrong place.

Booth: I won't say anything about the scream if you don't say anything about the gun
Brennan: Those terms are satisfactory

I love the running alien discussion throughout this episode between these two. There is a lot of back and forth with their hypotheticals and questions. Booth even gets to add a bit to Brennan's cockroach idea with:

Booth: Plus, they have extra arms.

And Brennan looks genuinely impressed. I enjoy seeing their lines blurred. There's no uncompromising sectioning between their ideas. They can build upon each other even in such light discussions. Just one more (little) way they continue to learn from each other.

Booth: That... is magic.
Brennan: Science

Correction aside, I think she enjoyed seeing Booth do something squint-y.

Brennan: Then it would be a duck, not a spaceship, so your point escapes me.

Brennan: You say "I guess" but you mean "I don't think so."

Brennan: He is a moron, you are definitely a moron! Not literally, figuratively. it's very satisfying to use an insulting colloquialism even when it isn't accurate.
Booth: It's even better when they resist arrest and you get to hit em.

I know the end scene was not the blazing romantic moment people hoped for but I think it's enough. That is an extremely romantic setting and it is intentional on Booth's part to put them into it. It's a BB-in-the-dinner-at-the-end scene with no one else to bother them. The world has retreated while the vast night sky stretches above them. Sure, unless you can shut off her brain and mouth for a bit with sex, it will never be a purely romantic moment with Brennan. Her brain doesn't work that way. Every date we see her take, she's chattering constantly. Did Booth intend to make a move? I don't know. Would it have been a good time? Yes! I still found it sweet and intimate, if a little frustrating. He just wants her to look up at the sky and she has to argue about aliens.

Booth: You just said that aliens are nice... you just basically said aliens are nice Anthropologists. You think aliens are you.

(Love the call out to Emily telling Zooey she was an alien as kids)

While there was no overtly squee-worthy moment in this episode, I found a host of 'intimacies' in addition to the end scene to enjoy between the characters. He pushes to get the case for Brennan, he's worried about her in the hospital, he pulls a gun to protect her, she 'gets' his meaning as the opposite of what he said, she is a bit upset the Sheriff upstages Booth when they close in on the killer....

On top of all those moments, the banter is great. It's not as angst-ridden as it used to be, but I think that's honest. They are far from working out their differences, but they have been working together for more than 5 years. My husband and I have known each other nearly 9 years and been married more than 4.... we will happily banter about the same topics purely platonic friends discuss. It doesn't mean they are too casual if they don't spend every moment discussing something controversial and divisive.

We are so incredibly 'in the moment' when it comes to Booth and Brennan that we often lose sight of the bigger picture. One of the reasons I enjoy Bones is that it's so 'real'. They find humor in the midst of heartbreak and death. They forge friendships and relationships in midst of a lot of pain but they don't let it overwhelm who they really are. In the same sense, it's not just 'all sex' or 'all friend' or 'all googly eyes'. At any one moment you can catch a glimpse of all 3, or just 1. It's realistic to see all the aspects of companionship wrapped up in these two - it's what makes them such a great couple. Too often TV flashes relationships hot, but down such limited, narrow pathways. Booth and Brennan traverse them all and that's what makes them great.

That's why we care. That's why we sit every week hoping this will be the week they cross the line. This will be the week Brennan gives Booth a glimmer of hope. This will be the week they both get it at the same time, and that they act on it. This week we will see a kiss, a touch, a look that doesn't just stop at a look. THIS week it will FINALLY HAPPEN!

Alas, it hasn't, it doesn't, and who knows when it will. But I will be there. And I will give a big smile, and a loud cheer!


ba. said...

Great reviws as always!!! I'm with you : I don't read spoilers and I actually loved this episode. not knowing what is supposed to happen leaves everything fresh and keeps your perspective intact. So far I liked season five, not the best, but apart from the chicken and the avatar episode, I think it's good.

Anonymous said...

Terrific review, as usual Wendy!!! Your take always makes me think and look at the epi again with a different eye.

I'm weaning myself from spoilers (no more sides) and am with you and @ba--definitely leaves things fresh and watching has been more enjoyable.

I'm not an X-file person, so loved the epi for itself--especially the priceless scream/gun and "you say I guess, but..." The latter in particular shows how far she's come.

Eli said...

Nice review.

Now only Hodgins realize Angela didn't love him the way he love her. I hope that he will find somebody that love him and make Angela realize what the things that she has been missed. If HH want to put back Hodgela, make Angela the one who will chase Hodgins. Let Hodgins has the same record as Angela before they be back together.

A lot of people said how nice Wendell is. But for me he is not a good friend for Hodgins. He saw Angela's body language during their awkward lunch. And he saw Hodgins' reaction when they did the melon's experiment. But he still wants to enjoy the ride.

Anonymous said...

"At any one moment you can catch a glimpse of all 3, or just 1. It's realistic to see all the aspects of companionship wrapped up in these two - it's what makes them such a great couple. Too often TV flashes relationships hot, but down such limited, narrow pathways. Booth and Brennan traverse them all and that's what makes them great."
seriously wendy, this is one of your best reviews. you have just taken this show and purely defined it for the fans and for the tv watchers in general. thank you for reminding me why i love bones and why am i gong to miss it when it finishes
i'm a regular here, in your blog, and i completely depend on it.
love from colombia!

Jeannie said...

Just starting to read (that was quick, Wendy!) but I already have 2 questions. Can somebody point me to the DB senior shout-out? I seem to have missed that. Also, who is Dean Hagland and why was he underused?

Jeannie said...

I'm with the first 2 posters. I keep away from spoilers and I think it really helps me enjoy the show more this season. EIther that or the fact that I've decided to simply enjoy the ride wherever it will take me this year. ;-) Anyway, I loved this episode. It was very entertaining TV to me.

Love your take on the BB situation. As someone pointed out in the show discussion, not every second of the day can be filled with UST. There has to be a strong relationship background built for the time when it's not all about sexual tension anymore.

As for Angela and Wendell, I actually don't mind them right now and I'm interested to see where this will go. I simply enjoyed the fact that Hodgins had more screentime this week.

Anne said...

Excellent review. I agree completely with your paragraph about showing all aspects of the relationship, not just the white hot moments. That is what makes it real and what makes it such a nice, sweet ride for us fans.

I am a big X-Files fan and I loved the various shout outs, although my favorite was the nod to Dave Roberts.

Thanks for all your hard work Wendy!

merlo84 said...

Well done Wendy, I always love reading your reviews. As one of the other posters said, I think this is one of your best :)

Liza said...

Excellent review, Wendy! I wasn't thrilled with this ep, but you've made me like it more.

To Jeannie-
--The reference to DB's dad came when BB were in the space diner, and Booth was talking about Dave Thomas (his dad's stage name) and the robot in the picture (a reference to Rocketship 7, a tv show his dad used to host.)
--Dean Haglund played Blaine Miller, the diner owner, in this ep. He was also a regular actor on "The X-Files."

Jeannie said...

Liza, thanks so much for explaining!

gabriel said...

Wendy, you truly reached out to the Bones fans with your ending lines! Thank you for voicing what I'm sure most of us feel.

PS: SJB (note that it could be Seeley Joseph Booth? ;-)

Vanessa said...

Probably, nobody will read this now, because I'm commenting late but I do have to say I loved this review, Wendy. I´ve never watched the X-Files so I watched this episode for itself, it wasn't one of my favourits but it wasn't bad, as no episode of Bones ever is.

Your reviews make me rethink certains aspects of the episodes and be more critic and I thank you for that.

Like others have said, your final lines are a beautiful description of B&B relationship and the show in general.

As for Angela and Wendel: please make it stop! I don't like it at all, there's no chemistry...and...anything! And the Egyption room thing...God no, that's Angela and Hodgins' room. Well, all we can do is hope it stops soon, I realy would love to see Angela and Hodgins together again! =)

Wendy said...

Thank you, Vanessa, and everyone else :)

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