Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Guest Episode Review: The Woman in the Sand

We kick off our summer reviews with Megan's take on "The Woman in the Sand".

Season 2 Guest Reviews List
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The Woman in the Sand:
"Underground in America's Frying Pan"

I will begin with a confession: I am a complete sucker for 'undercover' episodes. I find it absolutely delightful to watch familiar heroes being placed in unfamiliar surroundings and take on new personas. I especially love the romantic undertone these episodes always have. New surroundings equal safe flirting almost all the time. So of course, this one had me at hello! "The Woman in the Sand" did not disappoint.

As long as you are willing to allow for a certain level of implausibility (as is true with any TV show, so really why dwell on that) this episode will take you on a very fun ride. We begin with Booth and Brennan being called to the Nevada desert to examine the body of a prosecutor who disappeared 5 years prior. As happens more than you'd think, Brennan discovers yet another body, out there in the heat and killed in the same way. Brennan immediately wants to accompany the body back to the Jeffersonian, but Booth insists she stay. They determine this to be the body of Billie Morgan, who is originally thought to be a victim of domestic abuse, but turns out she's a no-holds-barred ultimate fighter. Brennan and Booth decide the only way to get to the bottom of her death is to infiltrate the world of underground fight clubs as Tony and Roxy: a loosely committed couple of high rollers! Let the fun begin!

I love all the colorful "Vegas" elements added to this episode! Booth's clothes (did everyone notice his Guys and Dolls t-shirt?) and the poker chips sliding across the screen and scene breaks add such a cool charm. For a show overflowing with characters unfamiliar with pop culture, it’s a nice balance to throw those references in.

Brennan is concerned about Booth being in the Vegas casino, as he has a past gambling addiction, and her remark, "it's like sending an alcohol to a distillery" is priceless. I also love when she smacks his hand over a Keno card- always watching out for him! Of course, Brennan, can't just "observe the culture" for too long and gets into a game of Blackjack, and does very well counting cards. So Bones!

Getting dressed in the hotel room, Booth reminds Brennan the style they are going for, and can't help checking her out when she comes out in THAT dress. Let’s also not miss Cam's face when she hears Booth zipping Brennan's dress and exclaiming it “hot”!

While "Tony" is not a far cry from Booth’s everyday personality, "Roxy" comes out of left field and I love it! I find it delightful watching Brennan live it up when she has "permission" to not be herself! She may be all business, but tell that gal to play a role and she goes gangbusters! Even when she is out of character, I find “Vegas Brennan” just more fun all around. All of a sudden, she who trusts only science believes in jinxes and beginners luck. Put her in a hot red dress and serious Brennan is calling the Jeffersonian staff "squints" and talking betting odds like she grew up in a casino. The walk, the talk, the wad of cash in her bra- I love seeing what a top comic actress Emily Deschanel is- she really does not get enough credit for her impeccable timing!

They visit the gym of ex-fighter Joe Nolan, and thanks to Brennan, get the 1-800 number needed to locate the fight. Like Booth earlier in the night, Brennan can't quite hide how much she likes watching Booth punch the bag. And as a viewer, I didn't even try to stifle my grin when Brennan leans into Booth to say they are "engaged to be engaged". Sigh.

Back at the Jeffersonian, science continues as usual. Angela gives us a picture of what the victim looked like after her last fight. "Ah, the sweet science” as Hodgins shares. Hodgins uses his knowledge of The Godfather to figure out the prosecutor was killed with a wire garrote. Thanks goodness he owns a DVD player! They also find the steroid on her body of that of the prosecutor, which will end up being the big break in the case. The side story of Zach (described nicely as a "Vulcan"), who has never been in a fight is awesome. Hodgins eggs him on until Zach pops him one right in the nose. Hodgins, once again, has the best delivery: "Dude, you got pissed"!

At the fight club, Booth finds out he is not the only FBI agent undercover there, but gets knocked out for his trouble. This other agent is almost out of the fight club due to multiple losses and Brennan suggest he fight Booth so he can win and get back in the gangster's good graces. Things don't go quite as planned, unfortunately, and Booth ends up having to fight the biggest dude they have: Monroe!

Perhaps it is the school girl in me, but I always delight in watching Booth pummel some guy and this scene is no exception. What makes this one stand out, however, is how Brennan uses her anatomy skills to help him win. And we all win when she dashes across the ring to hug her Tony after the fight!

The last time Billie stepped in the ring, she fought a girl named Marisol, and Brennan arranges for this fighter to travel to DC for a live "autopsy" using Angela's fancy computers. I think the effect of intermixing Booth's fight with the examination of Billie and Marisol's wounds was a nice touch. In the end though, the fatal blow came from a baseball bat and likely because Billie bet on herself in the ring.

Brennan, testing the theory, decided to bet on Booth. In the end though, she admits there is another reason she placed that wager. She had used her "beginners luck' to help Booth win, and we get a nice bit of eye contact here between the partners. There is also a bit of sadness here on both their parts, and I really do think both will miss these alternate personas and the escape they provide. I know I’m always a bit sad to see them go!


PharaohHound said...

I've always loved this episode, and this review reminded me why!

Is it a bit implausible? Sure, but so is lots of stuff on TV, this show, even (anyone for Cesar Millan's ridiculous cameo in "The Finger in the Nest"? The man might claim to have a "way" with dogs, but I've seen his show, and he in real life he lacks the magical fairy powers that they imbued him with on the show. That, and the "clap your hands twice to determine who Ripley belongs to." Seriously?! Anyone who knows a bit about dog training will tell you that there' no such thing as a universal command.)

Anywho *rant over* I too loved the undercover aspect of this episode. So much chemistry!

It's been at least a year since I saw this one! *skips off to watch it online*

cordy said...

Thanks Megan, great review to a great episode.
I totally love love love undercovers episodes. Love to see Brennan loosen up and she will never do things by halves. One of my favourite scenes is when she pulls out the money from her cleavage. But I think I never noticed her calling the sqints "squints". So I think I have to rewatch this epi.

Anonymous said...

So great to be reminded of this fun episode. When their chemistry was still palpable, before the effects of time and greater awareness.

Both of them were so good this episode! Booth was so HOT, Brennan beautiful, brilliant and she got to let loose - the ending was so good - beginner's luck and the wistful (yet hot!) look as they left their alter egos behind.

Thanks for the review.

Mindy said...

Great review! I hadn't noticed her calling them "squints" either. I'll have to watch it again!

An all-time favorite exchange:
Booth: It's human cock-fighting.
Brennan: More like lesser surrogates engaged in battles on behalf of the elite lords who don't have the courage to fight themselves.
Booth: You know what? Come back to me, Roxie, huh?
Brennan: Oooh, look at all the sweat!

Vanessa said...

This has always been one of my favourit episodes ever on the show! I love undercover episodes too. This one in particular got to me because it has some sort of vintage essance, of the 30's or 40's, at least that's how it always felt to mee. And the casino, the clothes, the great lines, their interaction...priceless!

I found myself smiling and remembering while reading this, so thank you, Megan, for the review! =)

Anonymous said...

Wonderful review! While I can't say I'm a fan of all undercover ones--don't care for the circus or her HS reunion much, this one is definitely a top 10 in my book. I'm excited to watch it again and try to take my mind off the angst that is the end of season 5.
Mindy, LOVED the exchange you mentioned. I needed that reminder of other reasons I love this show when the whole B&B relationship seems hopeless (I know it isn't, but it seems that way right now.)

Anonymous said...

This is the hottest Bones has ever looked.

Anonymous said...

i looooved this review! fabulous megan :))

Anonymous said...

very good!!!

Anonymous said...

good review.....sometimes the reviews r only so-so bt this was wonderful.

Anonymous said...

...brought joy to my otherwise sucky life...thx

Andrea said...

The more I watch this episode, the more I like it, and the more little things I find to like. And I agree that Brennan's great job as Roxie isn't out of character, she just so happens to be really good at yet another thing she puts her mind to!

Anonymous said...

great review!! ;D

gabriel said...

very good review, loved that you put your feelings in it all the way.
btw, aren't you tempted to see all these past episodes now through what we've learned in the 100th? i am. now i can't keep thinking that the 'hot' comment is just like when Booth said 'you are so hot' in the 100th and the gambling stuff reminds me of that too. while i was in love with the first 3 seasons as they were, i can't deny that the 100th was a really epic episode that put everything into a new perspective for me.

Anonymous said...

This was an excellent review, thank you. This has always been one of my favorite episodes.

Meg said...

Aw, thanks to all for the nice comments!

Mindy, I love that part too! They play off each other so well!

Vanessa, absolutely a retro vibe here- especially with Booth's clothes and the Sinatra music!

Gabriel, I never thought about the tie-in to the 100th and Booth calling her "hot"- Good call!

Meg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trish said...

Great review and wrote very well. I really enjoyed your take on this episode. I agree that I do like Brennan in "character." It does remind me of happier times when they were smiling more.

Anonymous said...

i read this and automatically watched it that night. i forgot how much i loved tony and roxie. i wish they could still be like that, and not even think twice about underlying feelings and such. i miss the old BB. not that the new one is bad. just different.
haha sorry so off topic just letting my voice be heard.

Kamara said...

OK, i found this after i had watched the episode again on Netflix, it is one of my favorite episodes as well, but i have to ask, did anyone else notice that both times they showed the Hotel room theres only 1 bed? if eithr of them had there own room, they would have gotten dressed there so why only the 1 bed? just something i noticed lol

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