Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bones Episode Review: 5.09 "The Gamer in the Grease"

Two reviews in two days! There's hope for a catch-up! Sorry if it's a bit on the short side, at least for me.

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As I sit down to re-watch this episode, I remember it as "The Avatar Episode". It will forever be associated with that in my mind. It was interesting to see the different fan reactions. Some knew Joel David Moore had a part in the movie. Some loved the tie-in. Some hated it. For some, learning of his movie ties affected their views, for better or worse.

As a Bones-blogger, even a generally spoiler-free one, there are some pieces of information which are impossible to ignore. That makes me highly prone to going into episodes with pre-conceived notions, as with "The Foot in the Foreclosure", and this was no exception.

I decided to hate the tie in. It wasn't an unreasonable decision. For me, overt corporate tie-ins ruin the escapism of the show. Bones is heavy on them already with Toyota and Mac being the most well-known. I do see the value in tie-ins. Where do you think the 'boom' and computer trick money comes from? It's a necessary evil for a show to stay competitive - you need money to keep butts in the seats.

I can generally put aside the Toyota and the Mac tie-ins and enjoy the show without considering them too much. But, man oh man, how could you ignore this one? If I understood Hart's tweet, they got a very pretty penny for it.

I hope it was worth it. For me, the tie-in nearly makes this a throw away episode for me. Which really, really bothers me. I actually really loved the guys geeking out over the movie, hiding from "mom" and bonding (even though it was over a secondary side plot I think we could have totally done without). I hate to let this glaring movie tie in overshadow the good aspects of the show, but it just kills it for me.

Until I finished the re-watch, that is, and the case and the geeks took precedence.


The case

Oh Holy Mother of God (and I am not Catholic) what a nasty body! I don't often shield my eyes but this one won out over my tolerance.

I do find this case touching and sad. I wanted to cry with the Dad

"My son only ever had one thing, one thing, in his whole life. Dougie can't even speak. Do you understand? He looks at me or my wife, there's no glimmer of recognition. But that machine, it turns on, makes that noise, and he gets this look on his face. Maybe you wouldn't notice it in a regular kid but I know what it is. It's joy."


Fisher

Fisher: Good fortune, if I thought that good fortune existed.

Fisher: All friendship is fleeting and ends in abandonment, so why not spend a few good hours with you guys until it all falls apart?

Fisher: Saturated fats - they're a killer.

I think they have properly taken down the level of angst emanating from Fisher. But they truly haven't replaced it with anything valuable. Angela is already the 'sex' person. They've already established the irony of his girlfriend, and I don't feel that taking it to this sextreme (couldn't resist, sorry) ads any worth to the character at all.

Fisher: Someone went postal on this postman.

He's far more quippy than depressed now. That I can appreciate.

The beer clean is an interesting mirror to Zack's beetle preference. They pointedly say this is kinder and gentler, and Hodgins agrees. As much as I thought that dropping Zack was OK at the time (and was even criticized for it), the further we get from it, the more I miss him and find myself sensitive to remarks like that. I know TV is a an out-of-sight-out-of-mind genre but that's hard to accept for someone as endearing as Zack. Moments like this are just more nails in the coffin - he's gone, and that's that!

Fisher: Just thankful I'm breathing. Never know when that luxury will end.

Cam: Multitasker? What would be splitting your focus?
Fisher: The head... and the pelvis. Completely separate parts of the body.

Fisher: I can relate to the boundary between this existence and whatever screaming cold hell comes next.


Hodgins - King of the Lab!

Hodgins' participation in the movie side plot is the best aspect of it. I love his lines and that he puts it all in perspective in the end. Interesting maturity from the guy who would chase everything just a couple of years ago - delivery women, Christmas women, etc.

Hodgins: Quality of the experience - much more important than the quantity.

Season 1 Hodgins would have never said that.

Fisher: The Postman who rang twice... never rang again.
Hodgins: Yeah, that totally works... if the husband is a peacock wrangler who fights crickets after work in a creeping red fescue field.
Fisher: You and your particulates always ruining the day for me

Hodgins: Just tell them I'm defle...(yeah yeah)
Fisher: Is that a real thing, or are you just trying to be funny? Because that didn't seem real, at all.

Hodgins: Who wants to know about Peacock poop? OK, not the greatest opening.

Hodgins: Who deserves a little love here? A little love? If that's all, I really gotta go.... King of the Lab!


Sweets - Sexist little twerp

I don't get Sweets feeling upset and competitive with Fisher. I guess they are making the 'any guy can feel that way' point? It just seems horribly out of character for him.

Payne: We're just talkin'
Sweets: Albeit...somewhat suggestively....
Payne: Do you like my tattoos?
Sweets: Very much. I've always enjoyed calligraphy.

And yet, he does it so IN character, if that makes sense. Flirting with this girl he's got her daintily on his lap, arm around her, holding an umbrella over their heads, wearing his suit all buttoned up.

I am glad they didn't have Daisy end the flirtation with relational disaster. The Daisy/Sweets pairing grates on some but I happen to love it. It's sweet, endearing puppy love. As long as we never have to see them go at it again, I am happy with their cuteness.

Hodgins: You don't just pitch a tent... You homestead the land.

Don't you love the irony of Sweets shutting Booth and Brennan down with a phone call for once? Their will still wins in the end, but it's a nice twist of see their needs set aside, if only for a brief moment.

Booth: He'd just be another geek lining up to see a space movie

Sweets ever must defend his Geek. Be proud Sweets - Geek is chic!


Angela

I take her "you can't watch movies here" scene as the official death knell of the Angelator. I'm guessing the gleaming new monitor cost a fraction of one Angelator use. I love the Angelator, but I can accept it as long as they keep it at the current level. If they start going all touch screen, move the pictures around, shrink tilt and re-size a la CSI and NCIS:LA it will be too much. The Angelator was cool, and would be hard to replace. But this 'real-tech' vibe of her new setup works for me.

Angela: I am so going to kick his Texan Bad Ass.

I love her discovery of the tattoo!

Angela: I don't want you sweating all over my face.


Cam

Cam: No problem going off fried food after this.
Cam: So easy to diet around here

Cam: Oh God, I'm in the middle of something aren't I? ... Oh look, dead guy!... Oh God, in the middle again.

I really don't have much to say about her in this episode. She was into everything, like a good Boss Mom, without taking over anything.


BB

The sports argument. Some people pointed out that they seem to have switched sides on what is a sport. I really don't mind seeming inconsistencies like that. It's almost a throw-away argument, where you just nitpick for no reason. Have you truly never changed your mind, or taken a different point of view, in banter? Is it technically a writing issue? Probably. Does it kill the scene for me? Not at all.

Booth: Colonel's not going to like this one.

Booth: Bones, we're working here
Bones: Not me!

Has Booth become the "I don't want to work cases without her guy?" Not sure I like that. He look sheepish enough to belie the idea that he just thought she would like the uniqueness of the case. Please don't make him too mushy!

Booth: Bones, look at that... bones.

Brennan: Why are you surprised? ... I am good at my job.

Brennan: You need to Google Venn Diagram.

Booth: Bow chicka bow wow
Brennan: What's bow chicka bow wow?
Booth: You know, Boom clicka mow mow
Brennan: Are we going to tell her about the clacka mow bom chicka mow mow boom?

Brennan is instantly interested in the kid. She makes an unusual overture, hoping to make a connection with him. She's a little disconcerted and disappointed when he doesn't return the smile. Did she feel that she was connecting with 'just another kid', as evidenced by her "kids love guns" line? (before she knew he was autistic) Or did his specialness touch her?

She seems unusually weighted against the Dad being the killer, quickly jumping on the lack of an obvious snapped shaft as reason to move on. She looks confused, as Booth puts the clues together. This seems like a problem she can't solve. Booth treats the kid differently. He doesn't try to relate to him which I think adds to the problem for Brennan. The boy is different. She can logically explain why, but socially it's another story.

Angela: Who would notice that?
Brennan: Me. I am extraordinarily observant.

There's a lot of Brennan affirming her intelligence and skill in this episode, but thankfully it is not at Booth's expense this time!

Booth: Someone breaks your kid's heart, your own heart rises up. It gets fierce.

Booth: What's the flaw in my reasoning?
Brennan: Dougie Seeger is autistic. He didn't care. His heart wasn't broken.
Booth: So the Dad loved him twice as much.

This episode was very BB light, until the end, which was OK. I think they definitely made up for it with the mix of adorable and meaningful in that short scene.

Brennan: I believe due to my superior learning curve, I can beat you at this game. Despite your superior strength and your remarkable learning curve.

And she doesn't know how to turn it on, and instantly fails at level 1
Brennan: It just stopped. I didn't lose
Booth: Maybe it's your math.

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Brennan: I have realized recently that you use a different number system... I don't understand your system, but I can see that it works.

I really found that a touching line. Brennan has ever fought hard to defend her logical means against Booth. Accepting that logic, reason, and truth don't have to always win out is a big step for her. She's seen the value at times, but she seems to have now given him a free pass to be different, without judgment.

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