“Do you believe in fate?”
I do! I believe!
Wednesday, I saw someone wondering if this episode would connect back to the real story in any way. My knee-jerk response was no, but having watched it three times now, I think it does.
If we step back and look at the story of modern day Booth and Brennan and then look at this, I think what we see is that no matter when they met, or where, they’d wind up together. Any time or place, any century. They would always have found one another, would always have loved each other.
At the core, they’re the same people. She’s brilliant, particularly about science, and he’s still the same “sweet, kick-ass man with a lion heart” who has a deep need both to balance the scales and to take care of people he regards as family.
And yet…they’re not quite the same, either of them. While this Brennan is just as much a genius, just as focused and direct, there’s never a time when she seems to be retreating from her emotions, and she’s not only comfortable with the slang of the time, but she’s much better at reading people.
She believes he’s innocent of murder from the beginning, because she’s studied his MO; she’s also quite confident when she says to him, ‘it’s not your style.’
But what we’re seeing here is the Brennan who was never abandoned by her parents. There may be tension between her and Max at the beginning, but overall, he appears supportive of her, and their relationship is close enough for her to keep forgetting to call him chief.
And Booth? Same guy, even to the combat experience, only there’s no indication he was a sniper and so isn’t carrying those particular burdens.
The same two people, slightly different due to different life experiences, who nevertheless belong together just as much as they do in ‘our’ world.
Any time, any place. I can’t tell you how much I love that.
And the story itself? It worked for me on four different levels.
First, the filming astonished me. Even knowing what they were attempting, I was impressed at every point by how similar it felt to classic films, in the best possible ways. That scene in the beginning when they’re creeping around, him on the balcony, her below him, both sensing, but not yet seeing, the other? I loved it, largely because it did have such an old-film feeling to it:
And the plane scene? From the start, where we see Booth running, to that gorgeous shot of it sailing off into the sunset, it would do any action film proud. And yet…it’s not the climactic scene in a big budget action adventure movie. It’s a scene in a procedural television show. That’s astonishing to me, and makes me proud of them, particularly Boreanaz.
(Dear Hollywood: some day in the as-far-as-we-can-make-it-future (i.e, and Bones is over), I will watch any film David Boreanaz directs. Thank you.)
Second, I loved the Booth and Brennan story. As with the characters themselves, it was similar enough to the one we know to feel familiar, and yet different enough to feel new. And that, too, impresses me. A lot.
It starts with what I’m calling ‘Booth’s besotted look’, of which he has several, before they even meet:
She, on the other hand, is less sure, because he’s a thief. She never considers him a suspect for the murder, but still, he’s a thief. (Brennan seems destined to love men who are reformed thieves in any time period – Max in the modern story, Booth in this one.)
Although it’s her idea that they work together, she’s resistant to the word partner, and fights her attraction to him. Two conversations in particular highlight both the ‘fate’ aspect of their relationship and her rejection of it:
First, there’s Sarge, who sees:
“Booth! And you brought an angel with you.”
“Temperance Brennan, this is Sarge. We’re partners.”
“Oh, I don’t think it’s temporary. You two were made for each other.”
“I’m afraid you’re mistaken.”
“Sorry, but ever since that mortar round went off next to me, I can see things.” (Booth, Sarge, Brennan)
The money Booth gives him adds to her discomfort, and she begins asking him to explain. When he finally does (over coffee the next morning at her house – which I’m so completely jealous of) we see her relaxing for the first time, just a bit, about her response to him, in an expression that reminds me of nothing so much as the ‘sex would be quite satisfying’ moment in the elevator in The Blackout in the Blizzard:
But she’s still not ready for more, as we see in the conversation with Caroline:
“It was his way of making things right. You fell for Robin Hood, sugar.”
“I haven’t fallen for him.”
“Then I stand corrected. But I don’t believe you.”
Because Caroline, like Sarge, knows.
Despite Brennan’s knee-jerk denial, though, this is the turning point for her, because Caroline fills in the blanks, reassuring her that Booth’s not a thief out of greed, but rather, just the opposite: out of a need to balance injustice.
Immediately after that conversation, two things happen which lead Brennan to the killer: Hodgins calls confirming cause of death, and then Booth arrives with Jessica and Fuentes, whose description of the woman he met as Eva Braga allows Brennan to put together all the remaining puzzle pieces.
On the subsequent drive to the house, it’s clear that she’s no longer fighting her attraction to him – she no longer needs to.
Which is why we have this moment, not long after:
Apparently, I’m quite happy to see the beginning of their romance played out repeatedly in different settings, because that shot of them just does something to me. Ungh.
I’ve already mentioned the plane scene, but I have to do so again: it rocked from start to finish, and shot to the top of my favorites lists, both of this episode and of the entire show. I realized when it ended that I’d been grinning the entire time I watched it, enough that my cheeks hurt.
Physical humor doesn’t usually do much for me, but I love watching Brennan rolling around in the duffel bag, repeatedly knocking Cam over; I love when he takes the time to free her from the bag (hello, plane falling from sky, but we have our priorities); love watching her watch him fly the plane.
And one of my favorite payoff moments is when, after repeatedly calling her darling all through the episode, he says, “Thanks, darling – I mean Temperance,” when her rolling around allows him to get the gun.
The whole thing is brilliantly orchestrated and so freaking much fun to watch.
The third thing that works for me are the other characters, both how they’re portrayed, and how they’re worked into the story.
As with Booth and Brennan, most of them are still the people we know and love, just slightly different in respect to their environment.
I have to start with Hodgins, who stole the show here, by the way. (Or at least his hair did.)
I adore Jack Hodgins any day of the week anyway, but this? This was great. His excitement over what he discovers about forensics is the Hodgins we know, but his shyness with Angela is not – and yet is still utterly charming (both to me and to her, apparently.) A science nerd without the socialization of our Jack, I think.
But whatever his social skills, his Holmes and Watson relationship with Clark is just wonderful:
(I’ve said for years I’d happily watch a Bones spin-off centered around Caroline as a snarky Federal prosecutor; I’m now adding that I’d pay to see TJ and Eugene reprising their comic Holmes and Watson every week. Just putting that out there.)
Meanwhile, Angela is the one who feels the closest to me in terms of the woman we know her to be: a confident flirt, utterly loyal to Brennan, and yet drawn to Jack Hodgins – I very much like that their relationship was apparently fated as well.
Angela also has one of my favorite callback moments, with her comment about Booth ‘being a dreamboat she’d like to take a sail on’ revisiting her “God if I were you, I’d buy a ticket on that ride” from The Man in the SUV. (She’s not only fated to love Hodgins, but also to lust after Booth, in every age, apparently – but who can blame her for either one?)
The three who were most obviously different were Max, Aldo, and Cam. With Max, I find it interesting that the con man criminal is chief of police, and yet, somehow, does still feel the same to me, while Aldo and Cam…not at all. The perennially curious in me wants to know what happened in their lives to take both of them so far from who we know they can be.
I think it’s fantastic that Tamara Taylor got to be the villain, which she played superbly. In the scene at the house, when she gets the jump on them (her gun out first) it occurred to me that Brennan, distracted by Booth, makes a better scientist than cop. I also particularly enjoyed the callback to Epps when Booth is trying to save Cam and she won’t let him.
All the others were equally fun, each one fitting perfectly into the story: Wendell as a flirty reporter who, with Angela, believes in Brennan from the start, Arastoo as the ‘best fence in town’ who stands up for Booth, Jessica and Fuentes doing Ricky and Lucy, Aubrey as a playboy with Daisy as his fully aware meal ticket.
Pelant’s scene was short enough to be more of a cameo, but it was effective, mostly because Brennan and Caroline’s responses crack me up. Creepy in one time period, creepy in them all, apparently.
And Older Intern Scott, from season four? He and Cam had some great exchanges:
“What are you, deaf?”
“All this dough I gave you and you couldn’t give me a door that works?”
“I didn’t know you wanted the luxury getaway package.”
“Shut up and help me.”
“Then who flies the plane?”
Fourth, I enjoyed the case, especially how they put the pieces together, and how Brennan, through what she says to Hodgins and Clark, effectively creates the field of Forensic Anthropology, but in a completely credible way. Hodgins, as the bona fide scientist, is the one who’s actually seeing the evidence on the bones, but it’s Brennan, with her love of science manifested as a hobby, who allows him to see what’s possible and act on it.
The episode ends with Brennan giving the jewels to Sarge – proving that she’s as willing to flex laws for the sake of justice as Booth is, and thus confirming, again, how suited they are – and then, finally, the two of them walking away, hand in hand, for their first kiss, under that romantic moon.
“There’s a time for the law, and a time for justice, darling.”
“Yes. And tonight belongs to justice.”
“There is one more thing.”
“We haven’t kissed yet. That doesn’t seem like justice to me.”
If I had one nitpick with this wonderful episode, it would be that it wasn’t longer. It looked like a feature film, felt like a feature film, was as much fun as any film I’ve ever paid to watch in a theater…I would totally have been fine with it going on for another hour!
“You wouldn’t happen to have any gin? A conversation like this one, and a man needs a Martini.”
“I’m impressed.” [about Brennan]
“So am I, but I still need that drink.” (Booth and Hodgins)
“When do I get to drive?”
“When you quit calling me darling.”
“You should be a lot nicer to your partner, you know.”
“We’re not partners.”
“People working together toward a common goal. That’s pretty much the definition of a partner.” (Booth and Brennan)
“I told you not to call me darling…you’re used to getting your way, aren’t you?”
“I wanted to drive, and that’s not working out.” (Brennan and Booth)
“Some people deserve to be robbed, some don’t, darling.”
“What did I tell you, Booth?”
“That I had to sleep on the couch, but I’ll get over it.” (Booth and Brennan)
“I can see why you were suspended. They’re all jealous of you.” (Booth to Brennan)
“That’s what Caroline told me.”
“Sure. People talk when they don’t hate you. You should try it sometime.” (Clemens and Wendell)
“See? This is why I like to drive.” (Booth, after pulling the plane out of its dive.)