Bones 5X08 — “The Foot in the Foreclosure”

“Bring it on, old man.”
Dr. Lance Sweets

– – –

This is going to be quick and dirty. But then again, even if I wasn’t pressed for time, this episode doesn’t really need unpacking. It’s pretty straightforward and sweet. What this episode needs is to be squee-ed and cooed over like an adorable baby. Or . . . like a fangirl, but I really didn’t want to go there. I guess it’s too late.

“The Foot in the Foreclosure” features the guest appearance of Ralph Waite — most notably of The Waltons fame — as Booth’s adorable grandfather, Hank Booth, aka “Pops.” While the Adorable Old Man Card is a pretty cheap trick to play on your viewers — it’s straight out of the TV playbook — I didn’t really care because it worked. He is SO FREAKING ADORABLE, I WANT TO SQUEEZE HIM. Other cheap TV tricks that always work on me: babies being born, pregnant people, people accidentally getting high, people accidentally switching bodies, basically anything on Lifetime, etc. Oh, wait, that body switching one is actually awesome. Wrong list.

Here’s What Happened

Basically there is a bunch of human dust on a bed. That’s not a metaphor; somebody be really exceptionally dead. The realtor lady and her clients who find the “body” have nice reactions. Clients freak out, like normal people. Realtor lady just get pissed because now she won’t be able to sell her house. Later, B&B arrive at the crime scene, where in between discussion of their actual job and Brennan using hairspray on the remains of an ashy hand, Booth tells her that his grandfather is moving in with him. They meet up with Pops at the Diner, and Brennan looks confused when he calls Booth “shrimp.”

After the credits, the Squints quickly determine that the victim on the bed was basically a human candle, meaning that he/she was obese and was set on fire, the fat burning quickly and inward. Clark gets a little too involved when they start talking about Booth’s grandpa, but quicky goes back to being stoic man. The Squints also determine that there were two victims, not one. Did I forget to mention that there was a giant chocolate cake at the crime scene? There was a giant chocolate cake at the crime scene. Meanwhile, Pops gets pinched by a cop for getting lost in the park, but he won’t admit it. Poor guy, but you can bet I’m gonna be terrorizing my grandkids when I’m an old bag, so I can sympathize. But Pops doesn’t seem to have lost emotional functionality, even if he has lost his more practical side. He picks up the love vibes right away between our erstwhile duo and immediately starts harassing both of them. Booth takes Pops to Price-Co, former employer of the victim, to keep him out of trouble and he hilariously starts showing customers around and even gets his hands on a uniform. Fictional old people are the best.

Booth and Brennan treat Pops to lunch in the Founding Fathers, but when Booth is called away, Pops makes a confession to Brennan. He tells her it’s his fault that Booth grew up without a father. He saw Booth’s father beating him up and kicked him out, essentially taking over raising Booth and Jared, but he never told Booth, who thinks his father just left him. Pops makes Brennan promise him that one day she’ll tell Booth the truth, and tells her, “if he needs it, you’ll hold him, won’t you?” Oh, for you, Hank. Only for you. Back on the case, the team learns that Meg (Victim #1) and her co-victim were members of a fat-fetish cult called the Feeders and Eaters. Meg, formerly obese, got her kicks from feeding others at a certain Club Jiggle (BTW, kudos to the writers on that name), and B&B prepare to go check it out, but first Booth has to get a warning from Sweets about his grandfather — Sweets says Hank needs more care than Booth can provide, but Booth doesn’t want to hear it — and then it’s grilled cheese time. Pops is cooking.

Grilled cheese dinner, then Club Jiggle with Pops. At the club, Pops is HILARIOUS while the duo do some sleuthing. Meg’s fellow murdee (oh yeah, look at those awesome word making skillz) was named Hugo and he loved chocolate cake. And this scene basically takes up an entire act because it is AWESOME when Pops starts shaking it on the dance floor with the large women. Best grandpa ever. Booth watches him totally adorable-like, but it’s even cuter to watch Brennan’s face as she watches Booth watching his Pops. Follow that?

So what it comes down to is that the only reason Meg and Hugo were killed was because they were in the wrong bed. The homeowner found them in the bed he shared with his deceased wife in flagrante delicto, bashed in their heads, and then set them on fire. So all that Club Jiggle stuff was just for kicks. With the murder investigation out of the way, it’s backs to Pops, who has managed to start a fire in Booth’s apartment while trying to cook dinner. Booth and Pops sit down for a talk, both having reached the same conclusion: Pops has to go back to the nursing home, but for arguably different reasons. In the last scene, B&B drop Pops off at the home, and Pops makes sure to give each of them a special goodbye message, as he and Brennan have really hit it off. He tells Booth to quit being a chicken-shit already and ask the hottie out, and he reminds Brennan of her promise, and not to be scared. And then he walks off into the sunset the nursing home. Good night, John Boy.

So What, Bitches?

More than anything, Brennan’s instant bond with Pops speaks volumes. The one thing that Brennan never had as a child was a stable male figure, but more than that, she never had a family. She has no conception, beyond vague ideas and speculation, of what those concepts really mean. It’s why she still holds back from her father, and why she probably always will.  What Pops represents to her is that elusive and mystical creature: the stable and responsible man. Sure, we have Booth, but I’ve already stated that Brennan has a blind spot when it comes to him, but more than that, she looks at him as an exception to the rule instead of the norm. Neither is right, really. What she doesn’t see is that Booth is the way that he is because Pops is the way that he is, and so on. It’s also why Brennan is so confused by Booth’s nickname. She’s only ever had one nickname, “Bones,” and that’s also very telling. Nicknames mean affection, personal connection. Nicknames are illogical. Booth’s nickname presents another issue: the idea that Pops has been in Booth’s life long enough to have known him when he was small enough to be called “shrimp” is mind boggling to her. But anyway, if Booth’s goal is to make Brennan a family, the events of this episode helped him out a whole heck of a lot. Instant Grandpa!

The other thing I want to talk about is Pops’s uncanny ability to see through other people’s shit (even if he can’t see, or doesn’t want to see, his own shit). He sees Booth’s real feelings and calls him out on it, but what’s more interesting to me is when he calls Brennan out. “He’s big and strong but he’s gonna need someone. Everyone needs someone. Don’t be scared,” he tells her at the end of the episode. Scared of what, she wants to know. “I don’t understand,” she says, expecting to get her customary reaction. But Pops won’t have it: “Yes you do.” And he leaves it at that, and she she knows that he knows way deep down. Pops is awesome.

Stuff That Made Me Wish I Wasn’t Eating

The ashes of the victims were SICK. Call me old fashioned, but I like my dead bodies/just regular alive bodies to have a little H2O in them and resemble people, not so much volcanoes.

Booth/Brennan Sex Watch ’09

  • This whole episode was Pops giving Brennan his permission, so basically just go have sex with him, already, you silly woman.
  • Brennan was really attracted by the idea of family that Hank’s existence seemed to suggest.
  • Similarly, that scene in club jiggle, you can almost see a light bulb going on in that giant brain. “Oh! So that’s a family.”
  • The end scene, for both Booth and Brennan. Pops calls Brennan on her shit, and Booth takes his first baby step down the road of Taming Temperance Brennan.


  • Brennan: “His grandfather calls him ‘shrimp’. Booth seems to like it, which I don’t understand.”
  • Pops: “Don’t worry. If you ever need a little privacy with the bone doctor, I’ll make myself scarce.”
  • Pops: “Leave her alone. She’s got balls!”
    Brennan: “Ovaries, actually.”
    Pops: “All right, you got a pair of steel ovaries.”
  • Pops: “There’s nothing wrong with big women. Your grandma had some jam in her jelly.”
  • Angela, being creepy and inappropriate about the murderer and his motives: “That’s so sweet . . . It’s horrible, too. Mainly horrible.”
  • Pops: “Margaret needs me for crocheting.”
    Booth: “You crochet, Pops?”
    Pops: “That’s what we call ‘sex.'”
  • Pops, to Booth, about his heart: “You just do what it tells ya.”
  • “He’s big and strong but he’s gonna need someone. Everyone needs someone. Don’t be scared.”
11 Responses to “Bones 5X08 — “The Foot in the Foreclosure””
  1. amorporchoco says:

    Best TV Grandpa ever? Check. And probably my fav. scene of the episode was Bones watching Booth watch Pops.

    Also, when Lindsay (‘cuz she is coming for sure) and you (‘cuz you better come) visit, we are going to Founding Farmers, the restaurant the show is alluding to with Founding Fathers. And one of us will order their staple – Fried Chicken and Waffles.

  2. heather anne says:

    I want to write something intelligent in response to this recap because your recaps are amazing (and I will later), but first I want to say this: Angela is a Twi-hard.

    “That’s so sweet . . . It’s horrible, too. Mainly horrible.”

    Angela is Team Edward all the way.

  3. Abigail says:

    I can’t believe you didn’t mention the part about the necklace! I had to rewind and watch. And then I had to look away. And then I had to act serious because it was making me giggly. Booth has started wooing our heroine.

    • heatherannehogan says:

      “That thing around your neck…”

      Oh, Booth.

    • Ashley says:

      That is something I would have mentioned if I hadn’t written this so fast. My favorite part about it was how she was all, “You’ve seen it before.” He probably has, but also, he really really hasn’t, if you know what I mean.

      • Abigail says:

        I know what you mean.

        If my internet was so GD slow at work, I would go find this clip right now and rewatch.

        His smile after he says. Kills me.

  4. Dan says:

    “This is going to be quick and dirty.” That’s what she said. (And, quite frankly, I’m disappointed that no one else said it.)

    This episode was brilliant in its simplicity. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the different experiences that Booth and Bones have had regarding family.

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