One of the reasons that Bones continues to be my number one show is that there are lot of things I love about it, and they’re not necessarily all on display at once – which is a complicated way of saying that I enjoyed this one just as much as last week’s even though they’ve got very different tones.
I’ve said elsewhere that I like watching heroes, by which I mean I enjoy watching decent, good-hearted, imperfect people trying to make a difference in the world. It’s an inescapable reality that the world sucks quite often, but I’d rather focus on the antidote, and that’s what the show gives me. Murders and mayhem, yes, but also people who are determined to combat it.
Here, the show doesn’t solve the problems of urban education; in fact, it acknowledges that there might not even be an answer. But it draws attention to the issues, as well as to one of the real-world solutions, and then shows our characters just…being who they are.
It reminds us that heroes aren’t always those who rush into burning buildings. Sometimes, they’re what we see here – everyday things that ordinary people can do to make a difference – even if we’re not hot FBI agents and genius forensic anthropologists. I like that, because it gives me hope for the world we live in.
First, there’s Caroline. I’ve been saying for years now that I think Patricia Belcher could absolutely carry a spin-off of the show built around her character. I’d watch the heck out of a series about a snarky, middle-aged Federal prosecutor with a soft heart and a low threshold for bullshit.
We learn more about her in this episode – both her background and how she spends her time, and such is Belcher’s ability to combine confidence with vulnerability that when she says to Marcellus and Keith, ‘you two aren’t going to make me waste my time, are you?’ my eyes well up. (If I were either of those young men, I’d pee myself before disappointing her.)
Next, there’s Booth. One of the things that I’ve been thinking about for the last year or so is what I call Booth’s ‘gut face.’ Remember the discussions about Brennan’s brain vs. Booth’s gut in the early episodes of the show? I’ve seen comments that that was lost somewhere along the line, because the show no longer explicitly references it. Not so! In nearly every episode, there’s a point where we see Booth studying a suspect, making up his mind whether or not he believes him or her.
My friends, I give you…The Gut Face:
If he believes someone is innocent, we seldom see them after this point – the show moves on to the clues that reveal the real killer; if he believes they’re guilty, the show continues to focus on building evidence that gets a confession.
With this case, it’s complicated because his gut is telling him that Keith is innocent (yay, Booth’s digestive tract!) but the evidence isn’t there.
That’s okay – that’s what his team is for. Aubrey convinces Marcellus to tell them the truth, and Brennan and the squints figure out who really did it.
I kind of love Aubrey. His mix of compassion and snark are right up my alley, and I see in him a younger, slightly off-center version of Booth. So that scene with Marcellus? One of my favorites all season with the new agent. You see Marcellus very slowly re-aligning his worldview to allow for justice and mercy, and that’s…one of those quiet heroic moments.
Other favorite scenes:
Booth and Brennan in the diner:
This scene illustrates one of the things I love about their relationship, and that’s how they balance sometimes brutal honesty with building each other up.
She’s all excited at having ten followers on Twitter, and he bursts her bubble: “Ten followers? That is really…bad.”
But he doesn’t leave her there. He points her to Jessica, who he thinks can help her get where he knows she’s now decided it’s important to be, and then, when she admits that ten is pretty pathetic, offers encouragement: “It’s better than nothing,” i.e., it’s a start.
They do this dance pretty regularly, and I think it’s one of the reasons their relationship works so well.
Booth and Aubrey in the SUV:
This scene, where Aubrey razzes Booth about being Andy Lister, is played for humor, but it struck me again while watching it that Aubrey might well have a different view of Booth and Brennan’s relationship than we (and the rest of the team) does. I can’t separate the now of watching them as a married couple from the earlier seasons. Everything that happens, I see within that framework.
Aubrey doesn’t have that context. Yes, he has Sweets’ files, but the reality is that for him, Booth and Brennan have always been together, have always been married.
That fascinates me, because it’s not a view of them I can share. I wonder – if someone started watching the show right now, but, for whatever reason, didn’t go back and watch the first nine seasons…would they see them differently than I do?
“So why didn’t he have sex with Dr. Reichs until the third novel? I mean, what kind of real man waits that long?”
“The situation was complicated. Sometimes, relationships take a while to develop.”
Ah, Booth. Master of the understatement.
Booth and Caroline:
I’ve always loved their relationship, but here, we see her faith in him made explicit…and rewarded. And the proposal scene is awesome:
“You’re a good man, Seeley Booth. You sure you don’t want to dump that beautiful doctor you’ve got and run away with me?”
“Tell you what. Just give me a day to think about it, huh?”
The ‘you’re a good man’ comment is interesting, coming from someone other than Brennan. I know some have wondered if it was setting something up, given how much we’ve heard it, and it might be, but I think it’s more that the people who know him best know that on some level, he never ceases needing to hear it.
Brennan and Jessica:
Confession: When I first heard this episode was about Brennan joining Twitter, I was wary. I don’t think Brennan’s perfect and should never need to learn anything, but often, such stories have been played for humor in a way that caused me to squirm around with embarrassment for her, and I resent that.
This episode, though, doesn’t go that route. We see her having fun learning something new, and while she stumbles some as she does, it’s funny and endearing, and allows for great moments. (Plus? The show setting up a Twitter account for her was brilliant and a lot of fun.)
Booth and Brennan, tag
Remember last week, when I commented on quiet, daily life scenes? That’s what this is for me. I know they make love, I know they kiss. While I don’t mind those scenes, this bit, of Booth making a romantic meal while they discuss Twitter and Christine’s school day tells me more about their ordinary life.
Also? I like that she’s willing to share the meal he cooks, and how loved he makes her feel, but that she won’t share more than that. She cherishes what her boundaries protect.
“How do I say anything of substance in 140 characters or less?”
“I don’t think tweets are meant to be profound or anything like that, unless they’re Flyers’ updates. That’s life and death.” (Brennan and Booth)
“Bookstores, unlike Twitter, are the hubs of true complex critical thought.”
“That doesn’t help my argument.” (Brennan and Booth)
“That fresh new book smell? Ah, man. An e-book just does not have it.”
“Yeah, because who doesn’t like huffing a good book?” (Hodgins and Aubrey)
“This is fun, but we have a murder to solve that requires more than 140 characters.” (Cam)
“Too bad it would jeopardize the case, or I’d selfie with the skull.”
“It’s a noun, Dr. Brennan, not a verb.” (Brennan and Jessica)
“She didn’t tweet that much.”
“Now I like her even more.” (Aubrey and Caroline)
“This makes perfect sense.” (Brennan, who then leaves on a run.)
“Just once? I’d like her to tell us the big discovery before she runs out.” (Cam, to Jessica)
“Without challenges, life becomes dull.”
“That’s why living with you is never dull.”
“Are you saying I’m a challenge?”
“You’re definitely not easy.” (Brennan and Booth)