Bones 5X15 Mini-Cap: “Bones on a Blue Line”

“Why are you only asking about things that mean nothing?”
Temperance Brennan

– – –

It’s been a long time since our last Bones fix, and an even longer time since I’ve done a real honest to God recap . . . and unfortunately you’re going to have to wait one more week for that second thing, but as for the first, tonight’s 99th episode should have done the trick. Basically what I got out of this episode is that a) Booth is frustrated, b) Brennan is way less socially adept than even I thought she was, c) Everybody wants to know what’s on page 187, and d) Talking about poop for extended periods of time on network television is never not a good idea.

I knew right from the beginning that cancer kid sitting next to Sweets on the Metro was doomed, but that didn’t stop me from being extremely pissed when it happened. (My notes read: “plot point kid is fucking DEAD WHAT the FUCK.”) And much like our Dr. Sweets feels after witnessing the poor guy’s awful death, I feel very up in the air about the future of Bones right now. I don’t mean that I don’t trust Hart Hanson & Co. to do right by these characters, because after five enjoyable seasons I think they’ve earned my trust. I mean that I have NO IDEA what is going to happen next. I might be able to hazard out a correct guess or two about certain future storylines due to spoilers, but in terms of the Booth/Brennan relationship, especially considering both Brennan’s and Booth’s behaviors in this episode, I’m largely at a loss.

Let’s start with the non B&B oriented storyline: Sweets. I thought this was a nice showcase for John Francis Daley, who has never gotten so significant of a storyline on the show before, and he certainly has the chops for it. What could have been maudlin and cliched was touching and emotionally satisfying. His storyline, along with that of the cop/blind-scribe/pawn-shop-guy murder mystery, focused on living in the moment, which is admittedly cliche, but I think it worked in the episode. Sweets has had a hard life, so it makes sense for him to be knocked on his ass by both of these tragedies, first the cancer free guy being killed on the Blue Line, and then the discovery that the blind guy had been in love with a woman he could never have. “I should have been happy with what I had,” says Murder Cop Duvall.

But my brain kind of hurts from trying to unravel what was going on with Booth and Brennan tonight. Usually I have no problems reading Brennan and her sea of emotional fucked-upness, but tonight she was either playing it really close to the chest even for her, or the writers missed the beat on this one (and I never say that about this show). I know some people have a hard time believing that Brennan could write best-selling novels, but I’ve never had trouble with it, and in fact, it’s always tickled me that she could do that. I figured there must be something inside of her that she only let out when writing . . . tonight’s episode kind of killed that for me, although it was certainly consistent with her characterization. I just rather liked the idea that Brennan was a good writer, and that maybe she didn’t know why. (Particularly since my theory, as most of you know, is that Brennan does understand emotions and social behaviors to a point, she just pretends not to as a form of emotional self-protection.)

It also disappoints me that Brennan seems to suffer from what I call “Castle Syndrome” (and what professionals refer to as roman a clef), wherein her novels — rather than being mostly fictional, inspired by real life — are instead thinly veiled counterparts for the real people in her life, with hardly any imagination necessary. I’ll hold off on declaring that one for sure, however, and not only because I haven’t read her books like I’ve read Castle’s, but because she goes out of her way in this episode to declare that her characters are fictional. “Andy isn’t Booth. Why does everyone think that?” Japanese reporter Riku Iwanaga, essentially representing the voice of the fans, asks Brennan why Andy doesn’t wear Booth’s belt buckle, and is constantly conflating both Booth and Brennan’s actions with those of Kathy and Andy. The most significant difference mentioned, as far as we’re concerned, is that Booth never misses, and sometimes Andy does. I’m not sure what the point of this is, but I feel like it wasn’t just shoved in there, especially considering that there was an entire episode centered on Booth’s inability to shoot properly not too long ago.

Booth, now, I’ve got a better handle on. He is still painfully aware of being in love with Brennan, and does that thing we all do in this kind of situation where you read into everything the other person does. This is a mistake anyways, but with Brennan it is just really not a good idea. If most people are icebergs, keeping most of their meaning under the surface, then Brennan is Antarctica (this isn’t a sex metaphor, BTW). She is better at repression than anyone, so reading into her actions is extra futile, but honestly? Who can blame the guy. He’s in love, and he doesn’t know if anything will ever come of it. What this episode does is bring out those fears almost to a breaking point. I might have been imagining it, but Booth acted much more coldly towards Brennan than he has in quite a while. He’s concerned about her books, like the rest of them, but what he’s concerned about is way past page 187: it’s the implication that what he really fears is that he’s fallen in love with a woman who will never love him back simply because she isn’t able to. While this fear is irrational, it’s a justified one I think, especially considering her constant reaction to her books and how she seemingly doesn’t understand why character emotions and sex would be so appealing to her fans. The most telling moment for Booth came when Riku asked about the submarine scene in her first book in which Kathy and Andy end up naked. Brennan quickly dismisses the submarine as unimportant, and in the background Booth quietly and sullenly says, “I like the submarine.” There was definite resentment there. In the end I suppose it’s of some comfort that, as Angela tells Booth, Brennan is the one writing the words and scenes, even if they are Angela’s ideas. I have to believe that means she has it in her somewhere. And then, of course, there was the soul mates discussion, which is pretty on the surface, but still curiously subdued for them, given the subject matter (soul mates, people!); I am in much need of all of your thoughts.

Some final thoughts. Hodgins drives a British car, with the left side and everything. What a weirdo. I really appreciated Daisy correcting Cam about the usage of ‘ironic’. Fuckin’ Alanis Morrissette is a life ruiner. Clea Duvall as Officer Grant! She must be a fan of the show to do such a small role (even if she did turn out to be the murderer), or maybe I’m overestimating her worth as an actress. Through the whole episode I had a hard time processing the murder; I guess it’s fitting though, because I was only processing the character stuff, just like everyone in the episode does with Brennan’s book. Or maybe I was just dumb from hunger. The name of Brennan’s book is Bone of Contention. Heh. Related to that, I was really hoping Angela would read page 187 out loud; I want to know about Hodgins’s thing. Page 187 will also spawn one million fanfics, approximately. And finally, can I just be shallow and tell you that Brennan’s hair this season is driving me absolutely CRAZY. It’s too fluffy and weirdly styled all the time. It upsets me.

QUOTABLE:

  • “Why aren’t you writing that down? That was interesting, what I just said.”
  • “That’s why I’d like to go searching for rat poop.”
  • “Wait until you get to page 187. It is H-O-T.”
  • “It’s just sex.” “It’s imaginative sex.”
  • “Why would Lance break up with me? I’m AWESOME.”

P.S. Booth is a GQ Motherfucker.
P.P.S. “Mini-cap” is the wrong title for what this post turned out to be, which is something less than “mini.”

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Comments
15 Responses to “Bones 5X15 Mini-Cap: “Bones on a Blue Line””
  1. myoctober says:

    Le siiiigh. It’s funny, because I always pay attention to the characters’ plot more than the actual murders. I want next week to be NOW.

  2. Dan says:

    I was somewhat bummed that, upon recognizing the amazing Clea DuVall after only about 30 seconds on screen–in a dimly lit scene, I might add–I had to wait about 45 minutes for her to show up again. (Also: mini Carnivale reunion with her and Carla Gallo in the same episode!)

    I’ve always considered the Sweets-Daisy relationship to be, at best, a mild diversion compared to everything else that’s happening. But, dammit, if their final scene in this episode wasn’t the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen.

    After the Castle fiasco, I do not, in any way, want to read a “Temperance Brennan” novel. I’ve read a few of Reichs’ novels and they’re okay. I’ll even give one of Max Allan Collins’ tie-ins a shot…but that’s it.

    • Ashley says:

      I don’t like the Bones books AT ALL. She’s too old, she has a kid, there are no Squints, and there is absolutely no Booth.

      Fun sidenote, Kathy Reichs wrote one of the upcoming episodes this season. Should be interesting.

  3. Jen says:

    I was totally bummed that Brennan wasn’t behind all of those scenes in her book. I had so much hope for her because of them.

    Haven’t we seen Hodgins’ car previously? I swear we have because I thought I remembered it. I wasn’t really surprised, anyway, it really suits his eccentric personality.

    You shouldn’t call these mini-caps, these are full-length caps for the average human ;)

    • Jen says:

      Didn’t Hodgins drive a really injured Booth to go rescue Brennan in the episode where she is chained to a bed in a warehouse about to be consumed by dogs? That’s when we saw his car! (I may have seen these too many times)

      Speaking of cars, Angela drives a minivan now? What happened to her Matrix with all the room in the back seat (for a body they stole from his own funeral)?

      • Ashley says:

        1. Yes, Hodgins did drive Booth, but it was a different car. I think it was a sports car, but I don’t remember.

        2. As for Angela’s car, I’m afraid that one’s a result of product placement. I feel like if Angela really had a say in what car she drove, she wouldn’t be driving a mini-van.

        • Jen says:

          Maybe it isn’t that episode, but I’m pretty sure we’ve seen him in his right-drive car before. Now I must find out! (This is a really dumb thing that I’m totally fixated on)

          I feel like all their cars are the result of OBVIOUS product placement. Every time Brennan gets a new car, half the episode is about it.

          • Jen says:

            I shouldn’t doubt myself, that is the car he drives in “Two Bodies in the Lab.” (season 1) A right-drive classic mini cooper. Yay, I’m not crazy.

    • Ashley says:

      It was supposed to be three paragraphs long, but then I got upset and had word vomit.

  4. Stephanie says:

    I love reading these! It reinforces that you are a much more observant TV viewer than I am… now I want to go watch it again. Also, I agree about the hair.

  5. heather anne says:

    OK, so here’s my theory on this: Brennan CAN write those scenes. I mean, that whole thing she wrote when Booth was in a coma? C’mon that was intensely emotional. And then BAM! one keystroke and she deleted it all (which, by the way, was the real tragedy to me in that finale). It’s not that she’s incapable of doing it; she’s incapable of letting people see it.

    Fiction, man, if you’re doing it right, it makes you naked and vulnerable. So, how much easier for her to just go to Angela and let Angela tell her stuff, and then us that in her books? That doesn’t cost Brennan anything, emotionally.

    And another thing: Brennan is a great shag. She’s told Booth repeatedly. She doesn’t lack imagination there either.

    I feel like this is Bones’ moment of truth. It’s either going to continue its awesome, authentic trajectory — or it’s just going to fall the fuck apart. I hope the first thing. I hope it so badly.

    • Ashley says:

      I agree with you about Brennan (or at least, I did until this episode, which worryingly seems to be trying to tell us something else).

      But, so here’s the thing: I have this sixth sense about stories. It’s kind of like a super-power. Nine times out of ten I know exactly the type of place a story is headed, whether it will end happily or sadly or full of melancholy, whether it’s the type of story to keep people together or pull them apart, etc. It’s why I knew Harry Potter wasn’t going to die. It’s why I knew Dollhouse would have a happy ending, despite all evidence to the contrary. It’s why I didn’t curl up into a ball after watching the mini-series for BSG.

      But I can honestly tell you that I have no idea what is going on with Bones right now. This episode completely and totally threw me for a loop. Logically, I can’t help feel that Hart Hanson knows what he’s doing, but in terms of my super power: I got nothin’.

    • Jen says:

      Those are really good points about her emotional vulnerability. I hope you’re right because the whole thing about needing Angela to write her humanizing scenes is bugging me.

      I need another Sweets/Gordon Gordon psychologist-off to happen and explain everything that is going on inside Brennan and Booth’s heads.

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