Fan Review: The Scare in the Score (Bones)

I’m a mess of conflicts over this episode. It’s the kind I love (well, not necessarily while I’m watching it, because suspense and I are not friends, but after the fact, because we get so many great character moments) but it’s also so clearly part of the farewell the show’s setting up that I want to cover my eyes, stick my fingers in my ears and go, ‘la la la.’ Which, come to think of it, was what I was doing in actuality at one point while watching this. I told you, suspense and I are not friends.

But since it is ending, I’ll take a moment to be grateful that they were able to step back and ask, ‘what makes for a powerful and satisfying end to the show?’ and that part of the answer was apparently, ‘go back to the start; anchor the end in the beginning.’ (You see what I did there?)

To me, the first half of the show’s run was building Booth and Brennan’s relationship to where they were ready to be a couple; the last half has been letting us not only see them as a couple, but also see them overcoming things life throws at them.  And because they are the people they are, with the complicated pasts that they have, it’s believable to me that there would be a lot for them to overcome.

They’ve taken more than a few blows along the way, from Booth watching Brennan drive away with Christine, to his imprisonment, to her fears that he was dead on the table in front of her.  Every single time, we’ve seen them triumph, and those moments are some of my favorite scenes from a lifetime of TV.

And now, we have a challenge rooted in a story we first heard in season one, when Booth shared with her the kind of man he is: one who kills a man in front of his six-year-old son because doing so will save many other lives, but who never stops grieving over having done so.

soldier

I don’t really know how to organize my thoughts on this, so I’m going to wing it with comments about the moments that most moved me:

Booth and Caroline discuss the safe house:

Booth would never go himself, but it interests me that while he includes Max with the kids he doesn’t reference Brennan. There’s no ‘tuck Bones and the kids and Max away while I chase the bad guy.’ Maybe it’s because he knows she won’t go, anyway, and maybe it’s because he knows he needs her in order to catch the killer, but I liked what it said about their relationship.

Brennan and Max discuss the safe house: 

Booth included Max as a given when discussing it with Caroline, and I think the reason for that is unpacked in the next scene. They could stack FBI agents seven deep around Christine and Hank, and Booth and Brennan would still want Max there, because he’s a badass who’s proven time and again that there’s nothing he won’t do to protect those he loves.

brenmax2

Max isn’t happy about the arrangement, but in the end, he agrees…and it’s a good thing. As the FBI agent at the site later says to Booth, ‘They weren’t expecting your father-in-law.’  (Random note: the press release identifies this guy as “FBI Deputy Field Director Tom Mordick.”)

Booth recalls the sniper shot:

I get that this didn’t work for everyone, but here’s why I’m okay with it (no matter how old Booth looks):

The story they’re telling isn’t about just some random event from Booth’s history that’s come back to bite them. It’s a defining moment in his life, one that he’s so conflicted over that even now, even with everything they’ve gone through, he can’t bring himself to tell Caroline the details of. Earlier, he’d acknowledged that he was the one who took the shot, but when he identifies Kovac to her and she asks how he knows, he hesitates and then says, ‘I just do.’

sniper

I’d bet money that the only person outside his unit who knows that he took that shot in the middle of a child’s birthday party is Brennan.

But that leads to a problem with structuring this story. They need casual viewers to understand what went down, but the one person he can discuss it with already knows. They’re not going to have him re-tell her, and Brennan wouldn’t betray Booth by sharing those details with someone else.  Having him remember taking the shot solves those issues, while also setting up a different one: the story is complicated by lack of physical evidence tying Mark Kovac to Radik.  Booth’s memory is the source of the information, but it’s not one he can share.

Booth and Aubrey visit Mark and his wife:

Not a big thing, really, but what struck me in this scene is that Aubrey takes the lead in the questioning. Booth lets him, and I think it’s because he’s focused on reconciling his memories of the innocent kid whose life he shattered with the man in front of him. Knowing Booth, I think he’s also trying to get a fix on whether Mark might possibly be the honorable man he appears, hoping that he didn’t completely destroy him with that one shot.

Scene at the gym:

This shouldn’t surprise anyone reading this, but I loved that at the gym, when they find Mike’s body, all three of the team members who are there say something to show their support of Booth.  It’s the small things, folks.

Cam and Angela check on Brennan:

Similarly, Cam and Angela together take a report to Brennan so they can check on her. I liked that a great deal, but then Cam puts another check in the ‘how to be a good friend to Temperance Brennan’ column by gently challenging her about the lack of the kind of evidence Brennan usually insists on.  That commitment to science matters, even if the best Brennan can do is acknowledge the situation’s not normal.

Caroline tells Booth about the hit on the safe house:

Actually, what I liked about this began before we see Caroline. I like that they show us the activity exploding in the bull pen. It struck me as a particularly clever way of putting us – the viewers – right in the middle of the scene.

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Also, Booth’s running for the elevator before Caroline even finishes speaking stirs me up. (Is that inappropriate?)

Reunion at the Safe House

I love watching Booth and Brennan run to the kids. People have commented in the past on the Booth and Brennan reunion scenes where they’re racing toward one another: emotionally, this is like the next level of that.

And then there’s Max, and the dawning realization for us that their faith in him was justified: badass Max saved the kids – and all but one of the FBI agents.

Booth’s interrogations with Kovac: 

Booth has two conversations with Kovac in the interrogation room, and both were quite powerful. There’s nearly an intimacy of sorts between them, where I think we’re meant to understand that Booth gets perfectly what Kovac is after. When he says, “To see the look on my face when they tell me my children are dead,” I think it’s because he understands that desire, and that’s both horrifying – that Booth is identifying with a sadistic murderer because he feels responsible for creating him – and sad.

Similarly, in the later scene (where Caroline and Kovac’s lawyer are present) that sense crops up again with this exchange:

“My father was a monster.”
“But he was still your dad.”

I don’t know if Kovac really agrees his father was a monster, or is just saying so as part of his continued denial of guilt. But Booth’s point is that we can be conflicted about our parents even when they’re less than ideal. Although his own father wasn’t a war criminal, he was a monster in some ways, one who Booth still had some good memories of – not unlike Kovac’s birthday party.

kovac

At the end, Kovac still seems to be searching for answers (“did you kill my father, Agent Booth?”) and Booth refuses to answer him. I’m not sure whether that’s due to the presence of the lawyer – someone not in on Booth’s classified past – or whether he simply can’t bring himself to confirm it, but it’s another moment that seems peculiarly intimate to me. Kovac’s life was shaped by Booth; Booth accepts that responsibility even while trying to protect those he loves. It’s an interesting dynamic.

Brennan and Max

It wasn’t a surprise when Max died, but it was still a blow, mostly because this was when the show irrevocably began ending for me. It’s not that I’ve not seen this whole season as one long farewell story, but until now, there’s not been anything that said, ‘the show will never again be the same.’ Max’s death does that.

During those moments when he and Brennan were talking in the hospital, dozens of scenes ran through my memory, from our first encounter with ‘Father Coulter’ to Brennan turning to him for help in finding Booth in The Killer in Concrete, to his watching her wistfully at the end of The Brain in the Bot. It’s a lot of history.

This will sound paradoxical, but I’ve not always liked Max, and I’m fine with that. I think one of the show’s strengths is the imperfect characters we come to care about in spite of ourselves, and he’s part of that.  It didn’t matter whether I always liked him, because Brennan loved him (and I think Booth did, too) and whatever else he was, once he came back into her life, he was there for her.

In fact, I’m wondering if there’s ever been a recurring character on a show – any show – that had as powerful of a character arc as did Max Keenan. From a serial bank robber who abandoned his kids, to the heroic man in his seventies we see here, we watched him grow and change over eleven seasons. Other recurring characters on the show have grown, but Max’s redemption is in a class of its own.

brenmax

“In all those years I was gone, whenever I missed you, I’d just think back on the rides in the car.”

And now he’s gone, and whatever comes next, the show will feel different – even the eps that don’t directly reference him. And that breaks my heart more than I expected.

Bones is about showing us how Booth and Brennan’s love overcomes what life throws at them, but how do they triumph over something he’s already struggled with for half his life blowing up in their faces and resulting in so many deaths, including Max’s?

Given that, I think the most heartbreaking moment of all was when Booth whispers “I”m sorry” to Brennan in the hospital hallway. I don’t think it’s the usual attempt to comfort but rather, an acknowledgement that she’s paying the price for something he did decades earlier. The fact that he had to do it, that lives were saved, that Radik was a monster doesn’t change that her father is dead.

booth2

I don’t know how they’ll get past it, but the beauty of the show for me is that I trust absolutely that they will. When it ends in a few weeks, they want us to know beyond question that these two will always triumph, and this story is part of showing us that.

Bonus Quotes:

“Donna, are you all right? Calm down…it’s never as bad as you think it is.” (Guy on phone to woman who’s just seen a raccoon steal a rib from human remains)

B&B

“He’s lucky to have a daughter like you.”
“He’ll be a little less lucky if he continues to withhold information about his health.” (Booth, Brennan)

B&B

“We’ve got a problem because we need more evidence to get a warrant, but we’re not getting a warrant without some evidence.”
“Yeah. It’s a paradox. Let me know when you’ve untangled it.” (Aubrey, Caroline.)

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21 thoughts on “Fan Review: The Scare in the Score (Bones)

  1. This episode was okay but didn’t live up to the hype.The stand a lone lighter episodes have been way better.I hate that they are re-writing history by all of a sudden making Sully more relevant than what he was,nothing but a one month fling who sailed out of her life never to be heard from again.What a pathetic play for drama.So now we get robotic Brennan who freezes out Booth and then seemingly forgets about Max when Sully comes waltzing back into town while Booth just happens to be out of the country.When a man tells a woman that she is his first love,he’s looking for something and why now,ten years later.This is something they shouldn’t have done this late in the series.Now,I wouldn’t even care if she cheats on Booth as long as he gets the house and kids.Brennans character is messed up and Booth and the kids deserve better.The only good thing about this season is that it’s the last season.I hate what Collier and Peterson have done to a show I once loved.

    • I don’t really know how to reply to this. You’ve said before that Sully wasn’t relevant, and I respect your opinion on that – though many people don’t agree with you (myself included.) But you’ve decided to hate Brennan’s character and the rest of the show based on a thirty second promo? Have you never before noticed the degree to which promos are deliberately misleading? (Not just on Bones?) The point of a promo or spoiler is to get people stirred up enough to watch – and even when people think they’ve given away the whole plot of a story, they’ve often not done so. A scene or line of dialogue taken out of context often means something entirely different than it appears. (And Sully’s comment about her being the love of his life? All that says to me is that they were establishing their past relationship for new viewers.)

      (Do you jump to conclusions based on a complete lack of credible evidence in other areas of your life?)

      As to your last comment…I don’t know if you’ve ever really liked the show; if so, I can’t tell from the comments you’ve made when you might have liked it or why. But blaming Collier and Peterson is a cop-out. They’re the showrunners, but not the only ones with an enormous amount invested in the show. Hart’s stepped back to let them run things, but I absolutely think he’s fully aware of their choices and that if they’d said, ‘Oh, by the way, we’re going to completely destroy the character of Brennan and the central relationship between her and Booth five eps before the end,’ he would have stopped it. His name is still on the show. Ditto Stephen, David and Emily. I doubt that group of executive producers all agree on every choice they make, but I absolutely believe that they won’t randomly decide to destroy the show at this late date. What possible motive could they have for doing so?

      Peterson has said that Booth and Brennan’s relationship is tested ‘a little bit’ due to Booth’s past, and Sully showing up puts ‘a little more strain on them’ before leading to a ‘beautiful resolution.’ How people are getting her cheating and the destruction of the character out of that is utterly baffling to me.

      • First of all I thought this was an open blog and of course I’m just talking about a television show and no I don’t jump to conclusions in real life so I find that comment insulting.The writing in the earlier seasons of Bones was way better than it is now.I wonder if whoever wrote this episode watched any of the Sully episodes from season 2.Sully abandoned her after she refused to go with him and with her abandonment issues after 10 years she welcomes him back with open arms,no no no,she didn’t even do that for Max and Russ.In the sneak peeks she has more physical contact with Sully then she has had with Booth all season.Maybe a lot of people thought he was relevant but I know a lot of people think he wasn’t and that’s why there is a lot of negative reaction to his return.As far as show runners go,look at how the two completely destroyed the dynamic of Castle in it’s last season and they didn’t know if they were getting renewed.Collier and Peterson knew they were getting 12 episodes and had time to plan for a proper send off and as far as I’m concerned they have blown it,the ratings are pointing that out.Bones is going to end with it’s lowest ratings ever and that’s a shame.

      • I’ll apologize for the remark about jumping to conclusions in real life – it was out of line. But it does feel to me like that’s what you’re doing with next week’s ep. I’m not remotely saying you’ll wind up loving it, but I’m 99% percent sure that most of the theories I’m seeing about what’s going to happen aren’t going to be remotely accurate.

        One of my hot buttons is when people treat opinions as fact. I may slip at times and do so, but I try very hard not to – so I resent your ‘the writing in the earlier seasons was way better’ statement. You are absolutely entitled to feel that way. Absolutely. But it is subjective. There’s no factual test for quality of writing, after all. And while I love the early seasons of the show, I’m enjoying the latter seasons more, and think the writing is just as good. That’s my opinion, and I own that it is. When someone says, ‘the early seasons were better’ it feels like they’re saying my views don’t count, that I’m obviously wrong. You’re also entitled to feel that way about me – that I am wholly wrong – but it’s not a good way to get me to dialog with you, or interested in your views.

        I didn’t dislike Sully. I didn’t think he was right for Brennan (turns out, neither did she) but I didn’t dislike him. I think he was important to Brennan’s growth in terms of being the first relationship we saw her have where she seemed to be rethinking her views on commitment. What happened then was part of the whole of who she is now, including that she finally got to the place where she could make a commitment to Booth. Sully was good for her in that sense, but she wasn’t in love with him.

        None of that translates for me to her having an affair with him. I think she may remember her time with him fondly, and one from when her life was less complicated, but that’s all. I sincerely think he’ll wind up helping their relationship in some way.

        As to ratings…I don’t put as much stock in those as any kind of measurement as many fans seem to; even less as a barometer of quality. Neither does Fox, as of last year sometime. Too many people watch via DVR, or on Hulu, or buy the eps. And I think Fox knew the ratings would drop when they moved the show again, particularly placing it against a popular show. They didn’t care.

        I know that sounds like I’m making excuses, and I’m not. Fewer people are watching the show live, and that’s a bummer for the people associated with the show – they want people to watch the stories they’ve worked on. But fewer and fewer people are watching anything live (I work in an industry that’s seen similar declines) and to make that a judgement of quality seems pointless to me.

        I’m very much enjoying this season, so far. I’m going to wait until it’s over to judge whether the whole thing worked as a farewell or not, but so far, I’ve not seen anything that makes me fear for B&B’s dynamic.

  2. Great recap. Last night I spontaneously decided to rewatch the episode. And I’m glad I did. The sniper scene didn’t bother me as much. (Yeah, I was a bit critical of that scene, but you make excellent points as to the conundrum the writers faced in how to explain this part of Booth’s history) And I want to point out where they did get a scene right, given budget constraints: showing the aftermath of the attack on the safe house. Instead of trying to stage an action scene, it really drove home the horror with pointed dialog and showing certain details. Like the FBI lady we had seen during the Max/Brennan scene earlier, dead, with bullets through her Kevlar vest. I like that Max not only saved the children from death but also the trauma of what happened.

    I still am wondering 2 things: first of all. Are we 100% sure that Kovac is the killer? Or that at the very least, that he was the instigator of everything that went down? The moment where he asked Booth if he had killed his father was the most incriminating part. But again, I failed to see him revealing a menace I would expect from such a psychopathic killer. Maybe we’ll see more later on. Maybe it’s just the show playing shorthand, but I still feel like there were a few loose ends. They had evidence at the end, but it didn’t strike me as fully ironclad. I suppose the dead goons at the house were simply his helpers? But how did he conceive the plan? Who knew how to do that complex torture on the victims? Was his wife an accomplice? She behaved very strangely when they went to her house. I guess the explanation that he came to see Booth to see him learn his children were dead was the excuse for why he was there. I still felt that was odd. Anyway, this has happened to me before and it turned out: no, Bones has ended this story and that person is for sure the killer. But I just wasn’t fully satisfied that they had caught the killer. Maybe in later episodes he escapes or gets away with the crime …. or there’s still more to the story? Like what about when the dying man at the house said “mother”. That made me feel like the mother, the war criminal’s wife, may have been involved. Again, I could be trying to turn Bones into The Night Of. Probably a mistake.

    Second, I still have been puzzled by Booth’s lack of emotion during now 2 episodes on this story. I don’t know whether this was a directed decision but he hasn’t broken down or even shown that much emotion about one of the most important parts of his life story that has led to people he loves (and innocent strangers) being killed. He was more emotional when he slipped up with his gambling addiction in Season 10. I’m just wondering when this will catch up to him. So far, I am seeing little on screen.

    • Interesting questions. I think the safe house scene actually had more impact the way they did it. They’re capable of those big action set pieces (thinking of the S9 finale) but seeing the aftermath was a punch.

      As to whether or not Kovac is guilty…I think he’s definitely in on it, and is probably the killer who tortured the victims. I don’t think he’s behind the whole thing. Obviously, he was working with the men who attacked the safe house, and I’m with you – I tend to think his mother was involved, if not actively running things. I suspect there’s more to this story, and it may actually be the setup for the finale.

      As to the lack of emotion from Booth…I think we’re going to see some of that later. Maybe next week, maybe not until the week after that. But they’ve shown him processing stuff differently than I expected before. (For example…Vincent died because Booth handed him a phone that Broadsky thought Booth would have. I thought Booth would feel guilt over that, and he never did. Sorrow, grief, anger…yes. But the guilt he placed solidly on Broadsky.) Another aspect of it is that I think he’s as capable as Brennan is of compartmentalizing (necessary for a sniper) and that’s some of what we’re seeing. I think he was very messed up in the gym scene here, particularly when Cam points out Mike’s only been dead an hour. But Booth can’t let go when there’s so much else going on.

    • One thing, the men who attacked the safe house were the father’s body guards. So he obviously had contact with the people who had been in his life before he was adopted. I do believe there is someone still out there, but I just wonder, is it his mother or is it someone like one of his father’s lieutenant (well someone higher up than a bodyguard).

      • One of the big questions for me was why he was sent to the US as a refugee. What happened to mom?

        But yeah, either she’s still around, possibly orchestrating things (a deal where the bodyguards were loyal to her all those years) or someone else is.

        Another puzzle is Kovac. According to the show, he’s a psychopath. But he’s also working with these other people. Did mom spend time after Dad was shot and before Kovac came to the US indoctrinating him with the idea ‘someday you’ll get revenge’?

      • I’m glad that Bones is ending because if killing off Max just to bring Sully back is the best they can do then it needs to end.If Booth and Brennan broke up or Brennan did cheat on Booth you would love the episode and justify it.It’s funny how Aldo was a SN character and they completely destroyed him.

      • Why is it that it’s okay for you to say you know how I would react (and clearly in a way you don’t agree with) when we both know if I said something similar about what I thought your likely response would be, you’d go after me?

        That was rhetorical, but on this one, I can absolutely say you’re wrong. If they broke up, or she cheated on him, I’d feel betrayed, and say so.

        As to “killing off Max just to bring Sully back…” – that’s not been my interpretation of anything they’ve said so far, and I’m waiting to actually see the episode before judging what they do.

  3. I didn’t mean to imply your opinions didn’t matter,it’s just my opinion that I thought the earlier seasons were better.It’s just that the current story line doesn’t need Sully to work.I don’t believe that the leads,writers and show runners have always been on the same page for 200+ episodes.

    • Some day, I’ll write up some of the differences I see between the early and later seasons. I think they all have strengths and weaknesses; I just like stories about established couples a little better.

      As to Sully…could they have told the story without him? Sure. And even after it airs, we’ll never know whether another way of doing it would have been better or more interesting, because there’s no way to see both versions filmed.

      But I think there’s some interesting stuff that can come out of his character reappearing at this point. Part of why I like the show so much is that I’ve enjoyed watching the characters grow and change, so seeing someone who knew them ten years ago but hasn’t been part of their daily lives since then…He’s going to view both of them differently than anyone else we’ve encountered lately. He knew them both, liked them both (he and Booth were friends) and I think when he sailed off, that was still true.

      I find that all intriguing. But part of why I do is that I’m not at all worried about B&B’s relationship. I’m just not. So I see this character from their past as someone who might show us something interesting about the two of them and their relationship that we’ve not seen before.

      I imagine Brennan will compare who she is now with who she was when she and Sully were together, and I’m curious about that. But, again, part of why I’m interested is because I feel utterly confident in her relationship with Booth. I’m not saying it might not look wobbly for a bit at some point, but their relationship will always win out.

      I’d agree – to a point – about the leads, writers and showrunners not always having been on the same page (though I think the writers mostly follow the showrunners.) But I believe on the big things (basic character stuff, the central relationships) they have been. Hart and Stephen were together from the beginning (Stephen wrote the 2nd ep) and Stephen still took the plot arcs in a different direction than Hart would have (Hart’s said he wouldn’t have killed Sweets.) But I don’t see that plot decision as unraveling who the characters are; similarly, the gambling arc was, IMO, the biggest threat to B&B’s relationship…but there was never a question that they’d overcome it. (Well, not to the show, I mean. I know fans worried, but I don’t think SN ever said, ‘what if they get a divorce?’)

      Unlike some other shows I can think of, while Collier and Peterson weren’t there from the beginning, they both worked on the show under HH/SN. (They weren’t a couple of people the network brought in to take over who’d never worked on the show before.) when Boreanaz suggested looking back at the beginning for story ideas, they did. (Which suggests respect for the leads.)

      People won’t always be on the same page, but it doesn’t have to mean they’re in different books entirely.

    • Just throwing something into this discussion, in the ‘FWIW’ column: one of the writers confirmed yesterday something I’d been curious about: Karine Rosenthal wrote the next ep/the Sully ep. I don’t what about the early seasons you liked, but Karine was a regular writer on the show from S2-S7, writing a number of eps that a lot of fans loved (Baby in the Bough, Con Man in the Meth Lab, Blackout in the Blizzard.) She left to take a break, I believe, but came back when they asked to write the Woman in White, and rejoined the show as a full-time writer this season. One of her other eps was one of the S2 Sully eps, so she knows that character.

      As writing credentials go for this episode, someone who wrote a Sully ep, Blackout, and then the wedding…well, while I’m predisposed to trusting them anyway, that’s another set of reasons for me to do so, at least until I see the ep. (Full disclosure: she also wrote my least favorite ep in the entire run of the show. But Blackout/Woman in White are two absolute favorites, so…)

      Your mileage on all of it may continue to vary. 🙂

      • I’m not being petulant,I’m simply skipping this episode because I have no desire to see Sully or anymore B&B angst.I’ll pick it up at episode 9 and finish the season.Why do you think they dragged out that little featurette,they didn’t expect the outcry over Sully to be as bad and divisive as it is so they had to do something to keep the episode from totally tanking.I noticed that tweet from David where he thanks Hart,Stephen,Ian and Emily but no mention of Peterson or Collier.I don’t think David loves this last season,he certainly isn’t promoting it,maybe the episode his wife is in.
        I certainly have no respect for someone who has no respect for the opinion of others.I never watched an episode that had Hannah in it and I only saw the Sully episodes once.I will say this though,her relationship with Sully was more intense and passionate then with Booth.

      • Huh. I get that you don’t care, but for the record, you’re jumping to conclusions again. My comment on Twitter wasn’t about you, because you’d not yet explicitly said you weren’t going to watch the show. You also weren’t tweeting that you expected your opinion of the episode to carry as much weight as that of those who do watch it.

        I’ve said before – quite recently – that I think our great power as viewers is to watch or not watch, not to try and steer a story which belongs to someone else. And I mean that. But that doesn’t mean I have to take seriously the opinion about the ep itself of someone who’s only assuming they know what occurs.

        You’re entitled to any opinion you want; I’m entitled to decide which opinions I’ll take seriously. One of the places where I draw that particular line is ‘didn’t bother to watch.’

        As to David, I’m also not jumping to conclusions there, but will note that, A) there have been plenty of other times when he disappeared from Twitter, and B) he only had 140 characters to work with. It read to me like a tweet thanking those who were involved with the show from the beginning.
        (Interestingly, Emily’s been tweeting about the show quite a bit in comparison to earlier seasons – I’m going to assume her opinion doesn’t matter to you.)

        Actually, I saw a quote months ago to the effect that they knew some people would react negatively to Sully’s return. At this point, I think they’re pretty good at knowing what will set different factions of the fandom off. I do think that they may have decided to release the featurette when they did to reassure the people who’d started out fine with the idea of this episode, only to be upset by those who were hating on the idea from the start. In that sense, based on comments I saw yesterday, it worked, so good for them. (Clearly, it wouldn’t make a difference to people like you, but nothing would, so…)

        I’m looking forward to the episode even more now – more than any other ep this season, I think.

        As to the relationship with Sully being more passionate…you have a different view of Brennan, passion, and the show than I do, or Hart, I’d say. (I think the quote in TV Line makes it clear that it is Hart’s vision which is still steering the ship.)

        Do I respect your opinion that the show in general isn’t as good as it used to be? Yes. I think you are fully entitled to feel that way. Do I respect your opinion about something you’ve not seen and have no plans to watch? No. Sorry. If it helps, I feel the way in reverse, too – there was an ep a few years back where people were so sure they were going to love it, they were saying, ‘this is the best episode of the show’ before they’d seen it. I thought that was ridiculous too, and said so.

        Mostly, I’m still wondering what you’re after with this dialogue. Does constantly repeating how unhappy you are with the last two seasons help? If so, have at it. If you’re still hoping to change my mind, and have me someday say, ‘gosh, you’re right, you’ve convinced me – this sucks’ – it’s not going to happen. It’s not that the last five eps couldn’t disappoint me, but it seems clear to me that I watch for different reasons than you do, and have very different views of the characters and their relationships than you (and possibly even a different view of what love is.) While individual eps of the next five may disappoint me, I’d say the chances of them changing the things I’ve loved for 11.5 seasons at this point are slim to zero. And if I’m enjoying it and having fun, why would I want to change my mind?

      • You’re a fanatic,I get it and I know that tweet wasn’t directed at me but you implied that people who don’t watch every episode aren’t “real fans” and that’s BS.A lot of people view Brennan in different ways,whose to say whose right and wrong.I do agree with the people who think that Brennan having dinner and drinking wine and laughing with Sully while Booth is in Canada trying to figure out how to help his wife is wrong and that’s why a lot of people are turned off by this episode and she sure doesn’t seem to be thinking about Max much.With Brennan you always get one step forward and two steps back and it’s been that way the entire series.On Bones all the characters stay true to themselves except for Brennan because you never know what you get from week to week.Michael Peterson needs to keep his mouth shut,he says that there will be a major cliffhanger after episode 11,who cares the following episode is a week later not six months.He’s a lousy showrunner who can’t even promote his own show.I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind,I’m a fan who watches the episodes I want to and if I wasn’t a fan I wouldn’t watch at all.I think you just don’t like people disagreeing with you.

      • You disappoint me. I thought we were having an interesting and civil discussion. Guess that’s over.

        You’re confusing me with someone else. I don’t decide for other people whether or not they’re a fan. That way lies madness. If you consider yourself a fan, good for you. I won’t say different. I wouldn’t consider myself a fan of a show that I had the feelings about that you do, but you’re correct that you’re the only one who gets to decide what it means.

        But I’m sticking to my position on how I view opinions based on assumptions. Look, I’m the same way with myself. There’s a very popular series of books that I’ve not read, am never going to read because I know enough to know I won’t enjoy them. If asked, I’ll tell people I’ve not read them and why. But I would not, in a million years, expect people to treat my views on those books with the same weight they do someone who’s actually read them.

        As to the rest of your comments – what exactly does it look like when someone likes being disagreed with? (Do you? Is that what I’m seeing here? This is you, liking being disagreed with?)

        I’ve done my best to be civil, to tell you that I respect your opinions on the eps you’ve seen, even thought I don’t agree, while explaining that my position on your views of what you’ve not seen isn’t personal. I just can’t make sense of taking seriously someone’s position on something they have no experience with, whether it’s me or someone else.

        I disagree with you about Peterson and this season…as. is. my. right. (It’s my blog, after all.) I’ve not only enjoyed what we’ve seen before, I’m really looking forward to the next two episodes. I have a different view of what they’ve done with Brennan’s character than you do – doesn’t mean you’re wrong, or I’m right, just different takes on her – and because of that, yeah, I’m looking forward to what comes next.

        I know you disagree, and that’s fine. I’m sorry that you’re not enjoying the last season – but I’m not going to apologize that I am.

        Have a good weekend.

  4. Brennan tells Booth that if it wasn’t for her relationship with Sully she wouldn’t be where she is today with him but didn’t she love Booth and write that letter that later became her wedding vows before she met Sully.That is a big disservice to Booth and their relationship.So where does Brennan dump her kids who happen to be grieving for their grandfather while she lets Sully wine and dine her.

    • Here’s my take on it. I don’t assume it will work for anyone else, don’t assume I’m right. It’s just what I see when I look at the character and story:

      A lot of people view romantic love as a switch that gets flipped: one day, it’s not there, then you wake up the next morning, or you see the person, and there’s a gut punch of ‘this is it!’ Related to that is the idea that everyone experiences romantic love the same way (if I’m in love, what I’m feeling is the same as what everyone around me feels when they’re in love) and that everyone recognizes it for what it is, in just the same way.

      I don’t think people who view love that way are wrong (and it generally feels to me like it’s the dominant way of viewing romantic love in our culture) but it’s not how I understand romantic love. I think people can fall in love slowly, and can be unsure of whether what they’re feeling is platonic love or romantic love,

      With that as a framework for how I view love in real life, I don’t have an issue with what we saw from Brennan. When she starts her vows in the wedding, she says, “we each wrote a message to someone we loved” – I think you can interpret that in two ways. Option A is where she’s saying she knew she loved him when she wrote it, that as a far back as Aliens, she knew she was in love with him. Option B is that she’s looking back from where she is on her wedding day and acknowledging that she loved him even though she didn’t get that at the time. I think the entire rest of her arc makes more sense if B is the case. (And since what she wrote was actually written by Karine some seven years later, I think that’s probably how they viewed it, too.)

      In the actual note, she talks about how she’s changing due to him (‘starting to see the universe differently’) and then the bit about how it makes her feel when she looks at him, or catches him looking at her – I think this part indicates that she’s starting to fall in love with him. But I don’t think she knew that that’s what it was.

      The ironic thing is that while I think Sully did give her a new way of thinking about committed romantic relationships (which became one of the things she built on as she moved toward the relationship with Booth), I don’t think the relationship with Sully would have been possible without Booth. I think because of him, she was starting to see that committed love might be possible; I think she was closed off to the idea of exploring it with him because he mattered too much.

      If she tried for a relationship with Sully and it failed, well, she could deal with that. I think the thought of attempting a relationship with Booth and having that fail scared her into not even considering it as a possibility. (As I think we saw in S5.) She was willing to risk it with Sully because if it didn’t work, she’d be okay. She wasn’t willing at that point (and not for several more years) to risk losing Booth altogether if they attempted a relationship and it didn’t work.

      It’s a long process for her to figure it out, with a lot of back and forth. In S4’s The Hero in the Hold, Angela helps her name what she feels for him as love, but even then, it’s not romantic love, I don’t think – though I believe she’s starting to wonder about that. (And maybe that’s why she’s so defensive about it.)

      I’ve always thought that the story she wrote while Booth was in the coma was her using her imagination to try on for size what a committed relationship with him might look and feel like. The idea was threatening enough to her that she took it well out of their real world (invented the nightclub, etc.) and then finally deleted it all. But it was a little more of her testing the waters, a few steps closer to acknowledging what she felt to herself.

      After that, there was more back and forth for her – even in S6, she says what she says in The Doctor in the Photo about regrets, but isn’t yet ready to try for a relationship in Blackout in the Blizzard.

      Anyway, for what it’s worth, that’s how I see her growth towards loving him. Given the complexity of her character, the back and forth aspect of things – which some fans saw as bad writing – always seemed very realistic to me, and is one of my favorite things about the show.

      As to where the kids are when she’s eating with Sully – that strikes me as a completely fair question. I think they’ve done much better the last season or two at referencing Max taking the kids to daycare, or watching them while they’re out, but there were a number of years where they seldom mentioned who had Christine at awkward times. (As they often don’t explain it in respect to Michael Vincent, even now.)

      I sort of get that, because those kinds of day to day to scheduling things are what they can’t afford to get into too often in terms of the number of lines in the script, but at the same time, it’s good to know generally. In any respect, I hope they mention it this time, but suspect it will depend on how much else is going on.

      • When I said you were a fanatic I was going by your twitter bio that said you’re fanatical for Bones,I certainly didn’t mean anything bad by it.I enjoy our debates.Enjoy this episode and I’ll see you after episode 9 but I don’t think it’ll be much of a debate because how can you go wrong with Buck and Wanda and Gordon Gordon.

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