Bones 5X07 — “The Dwarf in the Dirt”

ashley“Maybe you could just pretend I’m a recipe that needs fixing.”
Seeley Booth

– – –

Well, boy howdy, it’s sure been a while since I’ve written one of these, but what a perfect episode to get back in the game with. “The Dwarf in the Dirt” has almost every ingredient in a Bones episode that I love — the only missing ingredient, of course, being a classic Hodgins experiment, culminating in somebody being declared King of the Lab — but nothing’s perfect, I guess.

What we do end up with — not in any particular order — is midget wrestling, a leprechaun at the end of the rainbow, the return of Gordon Gordon, and a very amusing phallic double entendre that runs the length of the entire episode, which of course brings about a confession we’ve been longing to hear out loud for quite some time now. It’s because of episodes like these that I watch this show.

Here’s What Happened

FBI shooting range; Booth is holding a gun. This makes Booth look sexy, but unfortunately, when he sees that his shooting is completely off and that he has failed to hit his target all but once, it becomes very clear that Booth and his gun aren’t performing so well, if you know what I mean. And don’t yell at me for going there; the episode went there first. And it was awesome. Next thing we know, Booth is barging into Sweets’ office asking him whether his first duty is to the FBI or to Booth as a friend. When Sweets answers that it’s to the FBI, Booth hightails it out of there. The last thing he needs is for the FBI to know he’s under-performing right before being tested for his marksmanship, on top of everything else that has been going wackadoo in his life since he woke up from his coma. Before he can get to his next destination — one psychiatrist turned gourmet chef — he’s called to a crime scene. There’s been a murder, and Brennan’s there to greet him when he arrives. She notices something is up with him; he’s even more serious than he has been of late, and she makes him feel better by getting him to talk about it, noting that she’s found it’s the best way to cheer him up. It’s cute how well they know each other. And then they find a tiny skeleton at the bottom of a sinkhole, dyed green for some reason, and when another water main bursts and envelops Brennan and the skeleton in a small rainbow, Booth’s mind of course goes there: “Leprechaun!” Maybe it’s a sign?

After the credits — I love those credits so much — we’re in the hallowed halls of the Jeffersonian with Cam and Mr. Nigel-Murray, Rotato of the Week. (Just as a point of interest, I’ve finally decided that I really, really like the Rotatos. They are cute and young and scrumptious, especially Wendell.) They quickly determine that the leprechaun has been dead from two to five months, and then it’s back to Booth, who has found Gordon Gordon — wearing a jaunty red chef’s cap — in his new restaurant cooking up a storm. Despite Gordon Gordon’s protests that he is no longer a practicing psychiatrist, Booth talks him into a consultation: he wants this gun problem to go AWAY. More importantly, he wants to be back to normal, and is convinced that Gordon Gordon can “fix” him. Cam and Mr. Nigel-Murray have meanwhile identified the leprechaun as a leprechaun indeed: The Iron Leprechaun, a professional dwarf wrestler who appears to still be alive, according to his fight schedule. Booth, Brennan and Gordon Gordon then go over to find The Leprechaun, Gordon Gordon as an observer, where Booth knocks out a dwarf in a Leprechaun wrestler’s uniform before taking him into custody.

The team soon discovers that the Leprechaun in question took over the title from it’s previous occupant, the murder victim, whose name was Bryce DaFonte. So, while Sweets and Gordon Gordon are at the diner talking about Booth, Booth and Brennan are learning from the new Iron Leprechaun that Bryce DaFonte was having an affair with their boss, Gidget (I always love it when characters call it “bumping uglies”). Upon questioning this Gidget, the only things they learn are that Booth is acting extra weird about love right now, and that Gidget’s gun went missing around the same time Bryce did. Meanwhile, back at the diner, Gordon Gordon has to mollify Sweets’s hurt feelings, as he was convinced that Booth didn’t trust him, but in fact the real reason Booth had to talk to Gordon Gordon instead of Sweets was because Booth respected him too much to put him in an awkward position, and furthermore, that he knew Gordon Gordon would consult Sweets anyway. It’s sweet; I really enjoy the young cub, old grouchy bear routine that these two have together. More Gordon Gordon!

Back in the murder investigation, we have learned that: Bryce’s cellmate is the reason Bryce was out on parole, but that they cooked it up together to get him out, and that Bryce has a twin brother who is not a dwarf, and who is married to a very pretty woman. Hmmm. The best part about this is that Gordon Gordon and Sweets are the ones who conduct the interview with the former cellmate, and Gordon Gordon gets really, really upset when the cellmate calls him a “fry cook.” They quickly piece together that Bryce died in the middle of a heist, and that he was underground because that’s how he had broken into the Cash For Gold store, stealing $20,000 in gold and then slithering out of the sewer. Before he could claim his prize, however, he was killed by his accomplice. The beat cop by the way — who is played by veteran character actor Dan Castellanata (Homer Simpson, anyone?) is HILARIOUS. They should have him on the show more. He was on the screen for about three seconds comparatively, but in those three seconds I knew his whole character just by the way he said his lines. Meanwhile, Angela’s been talking to Gordon Gordon in the diner — his makeshift office — and they’ve both determined that Booth fell in love while in his dream, and he’s not sure how to deal with it. She also awesomely lectures Gordon Gordon about playing with his food, and accepting some things for the way they are.

So: after determining that it was the twin brother who was the accomplice and murderer, because tiny brother was having a life-long affair with large brother’s wife, we get to the juicy shit. Gordon Gordon must pronounce judgment upon Booth’s sanity, but he says things Booth doesn’t expect. “Temperance Brennan,” he says, “You’re in love with her. You’re building a world around her, a family.” Booth doesn’t argue, instead he just says simply that it doesn’t matter, she doesn’t love him back. Gordon Gordon counsels hope and patience — because of course even though he and Sweets both know that she does love him back, it’s not time for him to know that yet — and says that he must do his duty despite the state of his heart, that he must step up and be a man: protect his family. So when Brennan comes in later to share a Gordon Gordon meal with him, he asks her a favor, to which she says “anything.” With Brennan looking on, Booth passes the test and finally hits his target, and to some fucking beautiful music, might I add. Such a good ending.

So What, Bitches?

Sometimes in life things don’t seem to fit, or make sense. Like a mis-matched set of twins, one born short with love in his heart, the other tall but jealous and missing the point. You’d think love would be enough, but it isn’t. Sometimes we love people, and don’t see how they will ever love us back, but that doesn’t stop the feelings. Sometimes a sandwich won’t fit inside our stupid mouths, but we live with it. We accept it. That’s what this episode is about. Cain and Abel, the wonder twins, they end in death because one brother couldn’t accept his own place in life, his own inferiority. Acceptance, and family. Gordon Gordon says that Booth is creating a family, because that’s what he knows how to do. Booth creates, he gathers in and secures. He’s a gatherer, a husband without a real wife, at least as far as he sees it. “She doesn’t love me. I would know if she loved me,” he says, “We’re not compatible. She sees the world one way. I see it another way.” And he isn’t wrong about that, but he is wrong about the first. He’s too wrapped up in his own feelings to get the kind of objectivity that Sweets, Angela, and Gordon Gordon have. He’s too busy loving her to see what she’s hiding; too busy mourning the loss of a dream he doesn’t think will ever come true.

We learned in the season opener that Booth knows his love is a weapon, or as Sweets puts it, acting on his feelings would be tantamount to assault, and could end in disaster. Gordon Gordon’s prescription for what ails him is just to accept the situation for what it is, and to be patient. Booth needs to accept that his love for Brennan is real and that he needs to deal with it instead of repressing it. It’s not up to him whether he loves Brennan, he just does.  And it was very smart of Gordon Gordon to appeal to Booth’s manly side: “She counts on you for protection.” Protect your family. Very smart indeed.

As for Brennan herself, it’s characteristic that she would jump to the most logical conclusion: that Booth just needs more practice. But it’s also telling. Even though she is actively changing, trying to take over Booth’s role as the goofy one when she feels him pulling away, kidding around with him, she doesn’t understand her own motives. Brennan is resisting Booth’s influence with everything inside her, this becoming a family. He has to go slow, so she won’t even know it’s happening. Her resistance to marriage and children, to basic human connection as ancient meaningless rituals — things which are at the core of Booth’s identity — is slowly crumbling. These are things Brennan has forgotten on purpose, and as her trust comes back, she has to literally relearn them. Maybe all of this is a little bit on the nose, but it resonates with me. Brennan as a person, and what she represents, it means something to me on a level I can’t really explain. All the writers of the twentieth century, and into the new millennium, have been obsessed with the idea of a fracturing society, this inability to connect between people, and most are cynical about it — like Brennan. As a child, she responded to the fracturing of her family, her world, in the only way she knew how. She accepted the world in it’s broken miserable state and shaped her life around it, but here comes Booth — like a shining knight from a time that never really existed — who is actively refusing to let the idea of a family die, to keep the connections between people alive and well and whole. I don’t know how many times I have to say this, but these two are so perfect for one another it’s not even funny. If she would only let him in, he would keep her safe. Sure, maybe the world is shit, but we can accept what’s real in our lives, and go from there. Chop up the damn sandwich and eat it piece by piece if you have to, because throwing it away would be such a waste. Don’t you think?

Let me conclude with the words of Chef Dr. Gordon, Gordon Wyatt: “Be brave, my children. Make a foray, cast off your shackles!, etcetera, etcetera. Abide by my exhortations to joie de vivre! That you may be borne aloft on the trembling wings of giggling angels.”

Stuff That Made Me Wish I Wasn’t Eating

Nothing. Actually, the opposite. Gordon Gordon with all his cheftasticness made me frickin’ hungry and also made me realize that the food I was eating was complete shite. But anyway, where’s the gross, Bones? I would say that you might be in danger of losing your nerve (two episodes out of seven this season, not grossing me out), but I think last week’s horrific disgusting-ness more than makes up for this week’s lack. Seriously: Eek! and Ugh! on that chicken episode.

Booth/Brennan Sex Watch ’09

  • The entire premise behind the episode. Booth’s uncertainty about his love for Brennan has basically ruined him. I love it.
  • Brennan having noticed all his behavioral changes: obvious. She wants him, doesn’t know it.
  • Gidget: “You know men. Something goes wrong in the heart department, it always shows itself in another way.” Cue shifty looks between Booth and Brennan. She looks amused, he looks like he’s just been caught with his hand down his pants.
  • Brennan: “No, I prefer good boys.”
    Booth: “Really?” (Booth, being the ultimate Good Boy.)
    Brennan: “Yes.”
  • I have been waiting for Booth’s talk with Gordon Gordon for FOUR YEARS. Now if only we can get him to man up and start wooing Brennan for real. It probably won’t take him that long, once he puts his mind to it. I mean, how long could you resist THIS?
  • It is absolutely adorable how she can get him to tell her things, and he doesn’t know why it makes him feel better: “Who else would always tell you the truth?”
  • “When a man can’t have the woman that he loves, he goes a bit crazy.”


  • Booth: “I just had a bad day on the range.”
    Brennan: “Is that a cowboy metaphor?”
  • Mr. Nigel-Murray: “. . . A super strong dwarf such as might be found in The Lord of the Rings?”
  • Booth: “I just need you to help me fire my gun.”
    Gordon Gordon: “That sounds desperately phallic.”
  • Booth: “What did you expect me to do? He came at me like a rabid ferret.”
  • Bryce’s cellmate, making a wonderfully inappropriate midget joke: “I’m sorry about Bryce. I liked him. Made the cell feel roomier.”
  • Brennan, after making a joke: “I am becoming quite amusing.”

[And finally, as a note to those of you who have yet to jump on the Bones bandwagon — and for those of you who know someone like that — starting on November 16th, Hulu will be posting an episode a week of Season One, just in time for the holidays. Let them know: it’s time to pull your head out of your butt and be awesome. Just ask Abigail or Heather Anne or Lindsay or my sister or my friend Sabby: I am not wrong about this.]

8 Responses to “Bones 5X07 — “The Dwarf in the Dirt””
  1. NTE says:

    No: You are not wrong about this. And thank you very much for that picture.

  2. Abigail says:

    Love this. The “quite amusing” line was my favorite line of television all week.

    I loved this episode so much. I’m not in a hurry for them to get together (not because I’m a mean network honcho) but because it makes sense that it will take them a while to forge together. Gordon Gordon and I are on the same page.

    (I was a little sad that we didn’t get too much Jeffersonian action. But I guess that’s just the Gordon Gordon trade off.)

    • Ashley says:

      As long as they make significant relationship progress by the end of the season, I am A-OK with the slow. Sometimes slow can be fun, too. Bring it on.

  3. heatherannehogan says:

    I feel like Gordon Gordon is a superhero underneath that, um, chef suit.

    I love this recap. It’s my favorite one yet. I read it out loud to Amy in the grocery store.

  4. Cate says:

    I love the interpersonal stuff in bones, but I think all the scary dead people give me nightmares. I don’t know what to do about this… not sleep?

    • Ashley says:

      Ways to combat the fear of corpses in Bones:

      1. Remember, dead people are people, too.
      2. Don’t look.
      3. Or, you can do what I do, which is pretend they’re not real. And they’re actually not real, so how hilarious is it that I have to convince myself that they aren’t real? TV messes with our heads, man.

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