Fan Review: The Lost in the Found (Bones)

(Housekeeping: My plan had always been to do two separate reviews, and I’d thought to get this one posted yesterday (I was off work) and the other one today or tomorrow…but then I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon participating in the collective fangasm over season eleven. (Whoo hoo!)  My thoughts on The Verdict in the Victims will be along either tomorrow or Monday.)

What a beautiful, heartbreaking episode.

From a case perspective, this is Bones at its best for me: a death I care deeply about, twists I don’t see coming, and character stories giving me the kinds of interactions I love.

Before I get to that, I want to comment on the criticism I’ve seen of the Brennan story here, all of which seems to boil down to it being impossible for her to be that confused about how pregnant she was, and/or that such a brilliant scientist could never be so wrong about her own body. They’re missing the point, though: It’s not about being confused or ignorant about how pregnancy it works. It’s about our mind’s ability to delude us about reality, and that’s something that reaches beyond IQ.

In fact, Brennan’s mind was probably using her science against her, giving her reasons to trust herself, for example, over whatever due date her doctor had given her. She wasn’t being rational about any of it, and from a story perspective, that’s good, because this is where we finally saw the emotional consequences to her of what happened last year.

She’s been the strong one from even before the season started: buying and setting up a new house, finding a way to free Booth; taking care of him when he was home; knowing the words Cam needed to hear to be able to autopsy Sweets; preventing Booth from taking an innocent life…it’s a long list.

And through all of that, we’ve not seen the cost to her of losing their home, of the months he was in jail, of Sweets’ death. It’s not that there wasn’t any; only that she put it aside, because that’s what she does with emotions she doesn’t know how to process. But the mind has a way of forcing us to confront stuff, and here is where and how it does so for Brennan.

It’s believable to me, and it not only allowed us to see Booth worried about her, which is always a win, but also gave us the scene with Angela where she finally works it out, as well as that lovely tag.

Angela quite often annoys me, but even when I’m frustrated with her, I know she both loves and gets Brennan, and that she’ll always be in her corner. And here? She nails one of those truths all of us can stand to be reminded of on occasion:

Angela

 

“We don’t like being shot at, or seeing someone we love die, or seeing them locked up. In one second everything can just change. Your children could be left with no one. And not being able to control that is really scary. But that’s just the price we pay for the things that we love.”

 

 

One thing I particularly liked is that Brennan needed both Angela and Booth – Angela to help her work out what she was afraid of, Booth to reassure her that their love is stronger than her fears:

“I have you now. I can tell you how scared I am.”
“Scared? You?”
“Yes, me. The reason I convinced myself I wasn’t as pregnant as I am is …I just kept thinking the more our family grows, the more we have to lose.”
“On the flip side, we have more to gain. Hey. We’re gonna be fine, Bones.”
“What, faith?”
“Love. Lots of love. Come on. Come on over here.”
“I’ll take love.”
“All right. I’ll give you love.”

takelove2

“I’ll take love.”

Meanwhile, Daisy has her own issues. Four things touched me here: First, that we got to see her, Angela and Brennan spending time together outside the lab, second, that she was so startled by Jake’s interest – that felt very real to me; third, Hodgins’ gentleness with her, even though she retreated from the conversation; and finally, this scene between her and Brennan:

“If Agent Booth was killed in the line of duty would you go to bed with another man six months later?”
“Booth will not be killed.”
“Lance was a psychologist and he got killed. Booth is an actual agent. You have to admit that’s a high-risk job. Actually you both have high risk jobs.”
“This conversation is not pertinent to the case.”
“I know, but would you?”
“Sex is a need like hunger or sleep, Ms Wick.”
“Why won’t you just answer?”
“No. I wouldn’t.”

My favorite part of this is that Daisy won’t accept Brennan refusing to answer. She respects her, but she’s confident enough in her standing with her to push: “why won’t you just tell me?” And Brennan loves her enough to do so, never mind that thinking about it distresses her.

Daisy has always viewed Brennan as a role model, but Brennan’s never been where Daisy now finds herself, so there’s nothing for her to follow. But when Daisy needs that answer, Brennan gives it to her – and, in the process, shows us another side of her love for Booth.

Finally, there’s the heartbreaking story of Molly, the victim.

‘Issue’ episodes, where a television show tackles some current topic, don’t always work – it can be hard to communicate the message in a way that doesn’t feel like preaching, particularly while balancing the other needs of the story (in Bones’ case – humor and character subplots.)

I don’t object to such types of episodes because storytellers have been using stories to teach for thousands of years. But it’s better when it feels natural, the information shown to us through the characters rather than via information dumps.

This is the second such story Emily Silver has given us this season (the first being last fall’s excellent “Lost Love in a Foreign Land“) and this was another well-done example of tackling a difficult subject.

In this case, there were two take-aways for me.

First, that there are many ways in which we delude ourselves. Beyond what we see from Brennan, we’re shown that the adults in Molly’s life were all choosing not to see the truth, while Molly herself believed the biggest lies: that she had no value, and that her life could never be other than it was.

Second was a message of hope for anyone who’s struggling the way Molly was: hold on. It gets better.

Over the years, we’ve seen Brennan’s childhood/adolescent years in snapshots: as a young girl who would often not say anything all day apart from responding to her brother’s “Marco;” as a young teen, trying to fit in; then, older, when her closest friend was a janitor.

But based on what we saw in The Death of the Queen Bee, Brennan seems to have found some solace in her intelligence, enough to convince herself that she was valuable to the world for her scientific contributions if nothing else. It’s not that she wasn’t affected by what happened to her socially, though: when she told Booth, “I don’t have your kind of open heart” – that false belief about herself came from somewhere. But she had enough confidence in the value of her intelligence to keep moving forward.

Molly was lacking that, seemingly unable to see beyond the insults (“There’s something wrong with me,”) and that combination of believing the delusion that she had no value and the despair that it would never change, was too much.

brennanBooks4

 

 

 

 

Brennan, proving again exactly how open her heart is, gets all of that:

 

 

“Poor girl. She must have been really lonely.”
“The other girls ostracized her because she was different, and they felt threatened.”
“Making conclusions without all the facts is not like you.”
“I’m using my own life as a reference. Now I have perspective, but then, when I was isolated like Molly…it was difficult to imagine that I would ever find a life that I would enjoy living.”
“You never tried to cozy up to the popular kids?”
“I could accurately predict what their response would be, so, no.”
“I’m sorry, Brennan.”
“I have a wonderful life. I’m sorry for Molly that she never got the chance to realize that she could have one, too.” (Angela and Brennan)

Later, she says the something similar to Booth:

“And now, that beautiful, brilliant mind is gone because she couldn’t see a way out. I know what she went through. I just wish that instead of convincing herself that suicide was the only option, if she had someone to talk to, if she felt safe enough…she…”
“I know.”
“I have you now.”

One of the things I thought about while watching this episode is that a lot of young people watch the show, and statistically, some of them are probably being bullied, to varying degrees.

In the scheme of things, not very many people read this blog – a couple of hundred, give or take. But if you’re reading this, and are feeling like you could identify with Molly…what Brennan said? It’s true. It gets better.

When I was fourteen, I was not only dealing with bullying, but also with my mother’s death and my father’s alcoholism, and that feeling of hopelessness, of being unable to imagine a life other than the one I was living, overwhelmed me. When I tried to imagine the future, all I could see was more of the same. Like Molly, I deluded myself that that was all there was, all there could be.

I was wrong.

Last year, in my post on suicide, I said this:

There. Is. Hope. You may not feel it, but it’s there. You may not be able to imagine a life without pain, but it exists, and it exists for you. I swear it. There are people who can help, who want to help…Death’s not the answer. If you stay, things may or may not be better tomorrow – sometimes it takes a while – but if you go, all is truly lost.”

If by some fluke you’re reading this, and are reaching the end of your rope, for whatever reason, please believe someone who’s been there: there is hope, for you. Call the National Suicide Prevention Line at: 1-800-273-8255. Reach out. Even if you don’t really believe it can make a difference, do it anyway (what do you have to lose?). Give others the chance to help you. They want to, more than you can imagine. We want to.

You have so much to offer the world. Don’t deprive us of that.

Bonus Quotes:

“Did you take a tone with me? What’s with the tone?” (Cam to Aubrey)
“He’s hungry.” (Booth)

***

“A bellybutton can’t touch a heart, that’s an impossible instruction.”
“Sweetie, it’s for visualization purposes.”
“Well, I can’t visualize it.” (Brennan and Angela)

***

“You think he positioned himself to find his own murder victim?”
“Fits the profile. Highly intelligent, narcissistic, like he wanted us to see his work.”
“So then he drops his pot brownie and runs? That throws doubt on your ‘highly intelligent” theory.”
“‘High’ part works, though.” (Booth and Aubrey)

***

“We have witnesses who say when you saw the body, you dropped your pot brownie and your walkie and you ran away.”
“It’s not illegal to run away from a dead body. You guys watch Walking Dead?” (Aubrey and Tyler)

***

“I want you to know that I remember every time we’ve made love.”
“Uh…That came out of nowhere. I guess I’m flattered.”
“No, I have an exceptional memory.”
“Yeah. That.” (Brennan and Booth)

***

“I guess guilt is in the eye of the beholder.”
“Everything’s in the eye of the beholder.” (Aubrey and Booth)

***

“The truth isn’t always easy to accept. Sometimes it’s hard to open our eyes to it.” (Brennan, to the girls)

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18 thoughts on “Fan Review: The Lost in the Found (Bones)

  1. That Brennan was refusing to accept how far long she was didn;t bother me like some. I knew it was her irrational side taking over. What did bother me was the stated reason behind the refusal.. What was she trying to put off, the unavoidable?. How does saying she is 3 months instead of 6 months change the dangers they face? It doesn’t and it didn’t make sense to me. Brennan did not work it out for herself. Angela told her what she was feeling and she just accepted it. On another note, as a widow it really bothered me that Daisy called herself a widow. Not married , not a widow

  2. I have to disagree a little bit….I really liked most of the episode….the main story was wonderful and heart felt. I loved the way it was worked out by Brennan. I enjoyed almost everything except the “being wrong about how pregnant she was” part, although I can’t really tell you exactly why. \

    I know some women can be pregnant for almost 3 months without knowing it due to several medical conditions, so I could understand not knowing that she was 3 months pregnant, but six months was just a little too much of a stretch for me. I understand all the things the writers had to work with, etc, so I know why it was written that way, but I have a hard time reconciling that a woman who can tell someone else is pregnant by the way they walk wouldn’t understand it about herself. I guess what you’re saying is that she did know and was trying to convince herself otherwise. I could have understood that better if we knew that she knew for sure about Booth and was nervous about their marriage and future together. Otherwise, I’m not sure why she was suddenly scared when it seemed in the previous episode they both had wanted another child and were trying (very often it seems) to make that happen. Perhaps I am missing an important bit of information, but I don’t understand her motivation for being scared now as opposed to last week.

    Overall it was a great episode, and I liked it a lot. This was just a little detail that bugged me some, but it didn’t keep me from enjoying the rest of it. I’m not angry about it (I know some folks are)…I’m more confused. I’m going to watch again and see if I understand it better.

    Thanks for the recap. I always enjoy reading them.

    • I think it’s just that I approach the stories from a psych perspective, and I’ve seen people convince themselves that stuff they know for certain are true, aren’t, and it doesn’t have anything to do with facts and knowledge.

      The show didn’t give us this, but I can even imagine that when Brennan first realized (or began to suspect) that she was pregnant, she wasn’t deluding herself.

      But as the days went on, and unconsciously she was thinking about how dangerous their jobs are, and all the loss they’ve experienced in the last year, the need to distance herself from the moment when the baby would be born, would be ‘out there’ in the world, no longer nestled as protectively as possible inside her, increased.

      It didn’t have anything to do with objective facts, nor was it a conscious choice. Her mind just rearranged the facts to what she could deal with. I think all the comments people were making, including people she does trust, finally allowed her to drop the delusion and face the truth.

      As to what she’s reacting to – it’s not at all uncommon for people to respond to trauma weeks or months later, and it’s actually sort of bothered me that we never saw Brennan react to the losses. Booth was reacting from the get-go, but Brennan? Just the rock who keeps everything going, and here, the thought of another child finally brings that out.

      Anyway – just some clarification. 🙂

  3. Brennan never was shown to have dealt with everything that happened….that’s true….so I guess you are saying that she finally is feeling the strain of everything which caused her to believe she wasn’t as pregnant as she thought so she would have more time to prepare herself for having another child. I can understand that, in a way. So someone who has always been “rational” is being “irrational” because of stress brought on by all the events in the past months (story wise). I guess my question is what triggered this reaction, because it seems to have occurred spontaneously. I don’t know much about psychology, so it is a curiosity to me. That’s why I would have understood better if I knew that she knew Booth was gambling, because then, yes, she would want to have longer to work things out before the baby was born. As it is now, she only has 3 months to help him get his act together. But, as I said, I am going to watch again and see what I missed. I was grading papers as I watched and may have been distracted during the conversation between Angela and Brennan.

    • Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. (Am I ‘right’? Well, different story. I think this is where interpretation sets in; I just happen to be interpreting the story through the lens of a psych degree.)

      When I decided to study psych, it was because I was fascinated by perception and how the brain controls what we see and the meaning we assign to things, as well as what goes into how we respond to stuff. So the idea that it could take months for her to react to the trauma of last year, and then for it to be in a non-direct way, makes sense to me.

      As to the trigger, I think it might have been the pregnancy itself. Remember her comment to Booth about Sweets having said that even happy events could trigger a gambling relapse? It’s the same thing. From a biological perspective, even very happy events can cause a stress response. We think of stress as being when we’re consciously anxious or wigged out, but we can consciously be happy and yet be demonstrating elevated stress hormones etc.

      I think that’s what happened. She was happy to be pregnant, but unconsciously, it added to the fears she’d not addressed coming out of Booth being shot to pieces in front of her, then jailed, the loss of the house, Sweets’ death, and her body responded to that by creating the delusion that she still had several months to go before the baby would be born.

      Also? I still think it’s possible that unconsciously she’s worried about the gambling. She doesn’t *know,* in the way that Brennan would consider knowledge, but something’s off, and that may be contributing to it, too.

    • I think in the back of her mind she does know he’s gambling or at least is highly suspicious at the moment.

  4. I enjoyed this so much as always. This was such a great episode. It really hit home for me for I was bullied too when I was around 12. It was by 3 older boys who road to school and back with me. I never told a soul until a few years ago. I have to see and deal with one of them in the course of my job and I can tell he doesn’t have a clue. I am dying to confront him but I would probably lose my job so I have to be polite when I would like nothing more than to “kick him in the testicles”. LOL Looking forward to your review of the next one.

    And SEASON 11 – how great is that!

    • Far too many of us have such stories. It makes me sad, and makes me wonder how we can do things differently with the younger generations. I hope you some day find a safe way to confront him!

  5. I love your reviews, they are so thorough, thoughtful and insightful, they are a pleasure to read and add so much to my experience as a viewer and fan of Bones. Thank you.
    I am so pleased to see your comment about Brennan’s delayed reaction to the trauma she’s been through. The series has focused – and still focusing through the gambling –a lot on Booths’ response to the traumatic events they’ve been through at the end of last season, but it seems to me that so far, the writers have largely ignored the pain Brennan has been through and the possible consequences on her health and soul. So your interpretation of the pregnancy delusion makes sense to me. But, now that we have a season 11, I’d love the writers to explore that side of the story.
    Thanks again for the reviews, keep the great work!

    • It’s definitely been Booth’s story, for the most part, and I’m okay with that (seeing as how he was the one shot up/jailed, which are more pressing traumas) – but yeah, that doesn’t mean Brennan wasn’t damaged by it, so I’m very glad they’re finding a way to look at it (and it makes sense to me that pregnancy would be the path to do so.) So excited for S11, to see where else they go with it!

  6. I have no doubt that Brennan suspects or even knows deep down that Booth is gambling.

    I guess the pregnancy thing bothered me the most because she is a scientist first, and so brilliant, and it almost made her look stupid, not delusional. I mean, how could she not know what was going on with her own body since she has always been so perceptive about herself physically? I wish the episode had done a little bit better job of relating this to the stress she has been under for the last few months. I know the conversation between Angela and Brennan was supposed to demonstrate that for us, but it was just a little vague or something…..I wasn’t able to make that connection watching the episode. Just my opinion. Good thing I can come here and discuss it via the internet.

    I have to say, though, that this delusion created what I thought was a very funny scene at the diner where Booth tells her it must have been the Bruniello night for her to be so big….the dialog (to me) was funny where he is trying to backtrack and get out of trouble.

    I am most glad for season 11 because I hope now we will have enough time to give all these stories the time and depth they deserve instead of rushing to get everything done. I know the last few episodes of the season are filmed but maybe some finishing touches can be put on during next season.

    I also hope the folks at Gamblers’ Anonymous are taking notice of these episodes. In my opinion the addiction story line has been pretty realistic in how even good people can be victims of addiction. It would be nice if these episodes can help other people get treatment for any kind of addiction they endure.

    • I think she knows something is wrong – she’s as observant about him as she is herself (the world’s greatest expert on Seeley Booth!) but I’m not sure whether it’s fully conscious at this point (‘I’m afraid he’s gambling’) or just unease.

      The psych stuff is hard, and maybe Sweets could have explained it better, so the audience would understand that it’s not about science. (Or maybe they could have had someone refer to Sweets in explaining it, as they’ve done several times recently). Instead, they went the route of showing Booth and her friends as being worried about her – in the same way fans are, really: How can she be wrong?

      In some ways, the look on her face when Molly’s mom snarks at her about being obese if she’s only 3 months was the most telling moment for me. Brennan couldn’t process that at all, couldn’t come up with a response because the woman’s comment was right, and conflicted with what Brennan was choosing to believe (unconscious choice, there.)

      I found the whole thing fascinating, but then…psych degree. ROFL.

      • It does make sense to me to use the pregnancy as the trigger to Brennan’s own PTSD from all the chaos that came before. But I think they had a better opportunity character wise to introduce that plot point earlier in the story. She was attributing the changes in her body to eating too many cookies prior to that pregnancy test. Once she had a positive pregnancy test and a visit to her doctor I can see her having that same conversation with Angela. How could she have ignored the signs? She’s a scientist, she had been pregnant before, etc. But after that?

        But in the larger story, for whatever reason, it didn’t work for the writers to bring that plot point to the front burner then. The concept works for me. But how the writers executed it didn’t.

      • I think the show often shows things through the characters that can be interpreted in a variety of ways, and don’t always explicitly say, ‘this is what was going on.’

        I like that, because it assumes intelligence on our part (that they’re not going to spell everything out) – but it does mean that we can often have very different takes on the story.

        As a fan, I enjoy that, too (seeing how others interpret things that are different from me) …except when it seems to make them sad or angry.

  7. I really didn’t have an issue with Brennan’s denial of how far along she was in her pregnancy, the way they played it worked for me (it might have helped that I remembered the spoilers of her having a difficult time emotionally dealing with this new pregnancy, no way to know of sure if that made a difference or not).

    There were so many emotionally beautiful scenes in this episode. It was beautiful, but heart breaking.

    This is one episode where we seem to be in sync on most points. I think just about every conversation you quoted was one where I also wanted to stop and visit to take in what they were saying, It really was so moving. I did love the way Brennan brought up knowing what Molly had been going through, without it seeming she was asking for pity for what she had been through, but just wishing Molly had known that the future could bring her so much more if she could just have held on.

  8. Pingback: Fan Review: The Next in the Last (Bones) | Lunatic Worlds

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