Before I dig into my thoughts about the episode, I want to note that it was written by new writer Yael Zinkow – who is not only new to writing for Bones, but I think this was her first script, period. If so, kudos to her, because she did a great job. There’s a lot of moving pieces on this show (case + B&B + up to three other arcs) and it never ceases to astonish me that they manage to balance them all as well as they do, over and over again.
I first heard of Pentatonix in early 2014, and immediately loved them. I enjoy all kinds of music, but there’s something particularly impressive to me about people who can do that kind of thing with their voices.
Given that, I was excited about the episode to begin with, but more so when it turns out that a couple of them can actually act. (I mean, who knew?)
One of the things I pay attention to is the overall structure of the episode. For example, whether or not it begins with a body find (for those keeping score, this is the first one since The Promise in the Palace) and how they handle the end scene. Certain parts of the fandom are prone to temper tantrums if the last scene isn’t B&B, so the show will often have as many as three separate tags, ending with B&B; here, there were two (Angela and Hodgins, then the whole gang at Booth and Brennan’s.) I liked both scenes, but thought embedding a rather sweet Booth and Brennan moment into that team focused tag was particularly effective at mixing up how they tell the end of the story.
I also enjoyed the Sammie subplot. I’ve been debating on whether to mention this or not, but I especially liked that she was not a size two. The relationship between reality and what the media portrays as normal, particularly for women (the average American woman is size fourteen, by the way) is complicated, but still – just seeing a character portrayed sympathetically who doesn’t fit the usual TV mold fascinated me.
I liked other aspects of her story as well. For one thing, not everyone who applies to be an intern at the Jeffersonian logically would be as brilliant as the ones we’ve seen so far over the years, and it was interesting seeing how Brennan in particular handled that (answer: with respect both for what they do and a somewhat awkward compassion that was lovely to witness.)
I would very much like to see Sammie again. To me, she didn’t feel so much incapable of doing the work as simply not being ready (possibly made worse by being intimidated by Brennan/trying too hard) and I’d like to watch her grow into her potential.
Booth, Brennan, Parker
Although I don’t expect it, I love when the show makes a point of doing something fans have been asking to see, as here, where they show us Booth interacting with Parker while he’s in England. I’ve also always understood that they can’t waste precious moments of an episode simply to show Parker (nor pay the actor, for that matter) if there’s no story about him – that simply detracts from everything else they’re doing in the episode – so telling a story about Parker via video chat was pretty clever.
Plus? It also gave us insight into Brennan and Parker’s relationship – not just that he called on her to help him talk to Booth about what he wanted to do, but also that he shared his short story with her. It acknowledges that he has something important in common with his stepmom, and I think that’s awesome.
That said, I was a bit startled by Booth’s rather vehement, ‘this isn’t your decision to make’ (never mind that he tried to soften it with ‘I love you’.) He knows she loves Parker, and while, no, she’s not his parent, it seems like Booth would want her take on it – particularly since Brennan was just responding to what Parker had asked of her. I guess she could have refused and told him she couldn’t get in the middle, but that emphasizes the (possible) division rather than bridging it. (It would also have been out of character for Brennan, IMO.)
And then someone commented at chat the other night that they thought Booth was simply reacting to the disappointment and hurt he was feeling, and based on what he says at the end, that seems likely:
“You’re not afraid he’ll turn out like one of the Lynwood kids, or me?”
“Let me tell you something, Bones. If he ends up turning out like you, I will be the proudest dad ever.”
It’s a lovely way of affirming what he knows her role is in Parker’s life, never mind that she’s not a biological parent.
Angela and Hodgins
‘Three steps forward, two steps back’ seems to be the way this story is playing out, and that seems pretty authentic to me. The fact that the two of them are in a better place now doesn’t mean that Hodgins doesn’t still want to walk again, or that they’ll automatically see eye to eye on every issue in respect to their new normal. Plus? Not unlike the question Booth and Brennan were struggling with in terms of her role with Parker, there’s a very real issue of how much input Angela is entitled to. On the one hand, his decisions will affect her; on the other, it’s his body.
Once it’s clear that she’s not vetoing any and all efforts for healing, only asking that he thoroughly research the pros and cons of anything experimental in nature, Hodgins relaxes some. It’s a nice moment between them, followed by her indulgence over the rats. That reminded me of her tolerance of his growing a botfly in his neck in s9’s The Dude in the Dam, which was, if you’re interested, when I finally became convinced she loves him as much as he loves her.
What truly disappointed me is that the scene with Michael Vincent was cut. I normally make a point of not criticizing the show for what they don’t do, because that way lies madness (if you fixate on what’s not there, you’ll never be happy) and so I’ve stayed out of the debates about whether or not we should have seen him prior to this point in the paralysis arc, but since they obviously filmed the scene based on the press release, it seems fair game to me to lament that it was edited out.
Even with that, though, I’m not going to be too critical of them because I’m not a television editor, nor do I play one on TV. You don’t do an episode centered around a popular musical group and then not highlight their music, and as to the rest of it…we’d all have different views of what should have been cut instead of that scene, depending on our personal biases, and with not one of us having actually been in the editing room.
Still, while they can’t show everything in 44 minutes, how his father’s paralysis is affecting Michael Vincent is important (as much for what it will tell us about Hodgins as a parent as anything) and I really hope there’s another scene with him at some point that won’t land on the cutting room floor. (Also…I’m crossing all my fingers that this one makes it onto the DVD.)
I’m often amused by the fans who hate Aubrey, but that’s been even more the case this week, because I actually expected the episode to be more Aubrey focused. Based on spoilers, I thought he might wind up going undercover as a singer.
I’d have been fine with that, but I enjoyed this more, with the emphasis on his and Booth’s relationship, and that great family moment at the end. Go, team!
I don’t have any older biological brothers, but my brother-in-law has served in that capacity since I was thirteen. He teases me mercilessly and yet has never failed to be there when I needed him, and that’s how I see Booth. Fortunate are the people he loves, because there’s no one better to have your back – but he’s absolutely going to delight in giving you grief.
What I especially love about the final scene is not only that Booth’s gone to a bit of trouble to razz Aubrey, but that we see Aubrey go from mortification to laughter as he comes to understand the love behind the teasing – not just from Booth, but from all of them. And that’s lovely.
“Some of the most important advances in medical sciences happened in these rooms.”
“Nothing. I guess I just always thought you were a little less squinty than the other squints.”
“I just hide it better.” (Cam, Aubrey)
“It’s called the Internet, Booth. You should step into the 21st century.”
“You know what? The Internet…it’s for social idiots, people who don’t have a life.” (Aubrey, Booth)
“This is the guy Scott kicked out?”
“Clearly wasn’t because of his voice. That’s like butter.”
“It always comes down to food for you, doesn’t it?” (Booth, Aubrey)
“I cry at the end of Legally Blonde 2. Does that sound like a murderer to you?” (Julian Klein)
“Wanting things to work and actually making things work are two very different things, Dr. Hodgins.” (Cam)
“You are the one who’s going to be cleaning the poop out of those cages.”
“You say that as if it’s a bad thing.” (Angela, Hodgins)