Bones 1.17 The Skull In The Desert

Discussion of TJ's most popular venture to date!
User avatar
TJ Team Validator
Posts: 2706
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:30 am
Location: Northwest UK, near Liverpool

Bones 1.17 The Skull In The Desert

Post by ThyneAlone »

OK, so I made a decision. It’s a quiet period, of necessity, just now, thanks to the writers’ strike. We’ve talked a lot about the episodes we like and I have spoken about the reviews we used to write weekly when I was a frequent visitor to Well, pitilessly regardless of length, I am going to re-post my reviews here, with the intention of stimulating some much-missed Bones discussion. Hope they give you pause for thought!

I'm doing major theme-spotting at the moment. Instinct. How many of us trust to it in our daily lives? Because that's what this ep is mainly about. Hard work and reason may get the results as a rule, but, as Booth is forever telling us, it's not just a case of positing the most rational outcome of a given scenario. Sometimes, when you can't rely on the temporarily distorted senses that would normally serve you well (as with drugs, or being in the desert), you have to turn to Angela and Kirk's near-religious and definitely spiritual belief that to discover truth you must stand still long enough for nature to speak to you. There are various other scattered ideas in this piece too, including huge character development, and frankly the plot suffers a little from the multiplicity of points to be conveyed. The planting of the sheriff as a red-herring suspect is far too unsubtle and obvious, for instance.

Examples of the power of instinct are many. To start with, there is Angela's unspoken persuasion that the skull is Kirk's. Booth tells us about his own reliance on instinct: 'We're looking for what we always look for - something that doesn't fit'. Then there are Angela's assessments of people ('It'd take a lot to make me change my mind about Ben Dawes') and Booth's hunch about the body being attached to the front of Kellogg's vehicle. There's Brennan's sending of the engraving plate photos via her mobile, even though she could not have known how relevant they would be; and of course the ultimate mystic moment, when Angela 'knows' where Danni went.

Relationships come under the microscope big time. As has been said, Jack is pretty dismissive of Kirk, which may be subconscious jealousy (!), but Angela's 'arrangement' raises eyebrows everywhere (Brennan has to call Booth a 'stodgy traditionalist' to halt his comments on it) and even she wonders whether 3 weeks a year over a 5-year period is 'crazy'. Brennan is very supportive here - she seems a bit more 'real' than in S2 at times - and makes the very poignant point that 100% of someone 3 weeks a year is more than she's ever had. According to sheriff Ben, Angela's worth more than that. Angela thinks it is Kirk who deserved more and better, since it was she who called the shots, but Ben is insistent that no man could have done better. Rare praise indeed. Then there's the Brennan/Angela relationship. Their mutual affection is underlined even in the discussion of the subtext of a friendly hug, but the emotional final scene is fantastic. Angela worries about her lack of giving and failure to form long-term relationships and her best friend reassures her movingly that nothing in this universe happens just once, and she will have another shot at happiness. This is unusually spiritual for Tempe, especially as she offers the comfort not just from her head, as usual, but also from her heart. It's an ep in which the beliefs and spirituality of different cultures are particularly important.

Sub-theme, emerging during every lab visit, as well as in the main story? Moving on. As the same time as Angela is learning to move beyond her grief and accept that at some stage she will be ready for not just another commitment, but a less limited one, Goodman and Hodgins are trying to bring Zach to the same point. Jack palpably dislikes having to overrule Zach and get him into trouble, particularly as Zach refuses to tattle on him, but, as the paternal Goodman observes, 'It's time for Mr Addy to grow up.' It's a cruel lesson, but it is true that Zach's love of his grad student work and admiration of Dr Brennan is standing in the way of his own progress to his doctorate and beyond, and the development of his 'first-rate mind'. It's an episode that makes you stand back and say wow, yes, this is a real family group where everyone cares for and wants the best for his/her colleagues.

There is much to enjoy in the sparkling dialogue again. The Booth/Brennan exchanges have a wonderful lightness about them. I do like Jack's dismissal of a desert holiday as 'lunch at the dump' and his facetious enquiry as to what Angela is wearing for sunscreen, and this is followed by such treats as '100 miles past where Jesus lost his sandals', 'the plate, not the muffin' and 'who are you, Dr Phil?'
We understand so much about Angela's character by the end of this. It's a turning point in her romantic life and maybe the curtain on the insouciant bohemianism which she has projected thus far. We learn what she needs in a relationship. Someone prepared to accept her for what she is, without pressure. Someone who is a yardstick for every other guy she meets. Someone who makes her feel that the world is a beautiful place and that she belongs there. Sound familiar....?
word count: 948
"We make our lives out of chaos and hope. And love." - Angela Montenegro

English Al
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:41 am
Location: Barnsley, England

Re: Bones 1.17 The Skull In The Desert

Post by English Al »

It's a sad story for Angela. Just watched it tonight. Very little TJ, and he was rather cruel on poor old Zack (but for a reason).

I'm surprised they didn't have a scene with Brennan and Booth red from the heat. Brennan I can maybe understand not getting burnt as she has worked on digs, but Booth should have burnt a little. it would have been quite funny.
word count: 71

Super Fan
Posts: 128
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 4:11 am
Location: Fife and Aberdeen of Scotland. :)

Re: Bones 1.17 The Skull In The Desert

Post by Ellen »

Ha! Yes i would have loved to see sunburnt Booth. :D. Makes a change from Angel (David's last show for those of u who may not already know. :D) he wasn't even allowed to have a tan back then. :D
word count: 40
"What if it doesn't end like that? What if it doesn't go wrong?"-Dr Jack Hodgins

User avatar
TJ Team Validator
Posts: 2304
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:16 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Bones 1.17 The Skull In The Desert

Post by skftex »

Okay, here we go. I'm going to try to get these last few from season 1 done. I've been lazy and not doing them.

Hodgins is acting all jealous about Angela going off into the desert, I get that. But why when Brennan is leaving to go help Angela does he say he doesn’t get the attraction, snakes, scorpions…you’d think Hodgins would understand the attraction in that! He’d be excited wouldn’t he? I guess his jealousy outweighs his love all things bug and slime. He even blah, blah, blahs through information about time of death when Brennan asks him about it while he’s looking at photos of Angela on her vacation. Though I have to say, they look very poorly photoshopped, you can see that they were cut out and placed in those scenes! I guess they had no scenery to use to take the photos.

If Angela will only spend 3 weeks with this guy, Kirk, why did he wander off for days to take photos while he is with her? I realize that he probably wasn’t thinking to be gone 5 days but from the way Angela talks he often goes off and leaves her during their 3 weeks. Weird.

“We’re about 100 miles past where Jesus lost his sandals.” :D Funny Angela! Then later Brennan uses it again when the sheriff leaves them, saying they are waayy past where Jesus lost his sandals. :laughing-rolling:

Brennan is a lot better at being a friend in this episode than she is in a lot of them. She understands that Angela is worried and is actually very sensitive about the skull and whether or not it is Kirk.

Hodgins and Goodman being mean to Zack to force him to finish his doctorate is great. Though when Zack says they need to know how Kirk died rather than where, wouldn’t they really care about where at this point more than how since Brennan already saw he had been shot? And they want to know where so they can find Danni right? So really in that case, you’d think Hodgins should have priority and Zack is wrong, Goodman made the right decision. I also think it is a huge deal when Hodgins asks Goodman if it is necessary and admits he likes Zack. Because a lot of times, you can see Hodgins can get very frustrated with Zack but also seems to protect him, sort of like a big brother. I’m glad they showed that Hodgins didn’t completely enjoy having to do that to Zack. I also like that Hodgins tells Zack that he could have told Dr. Brennan that Hodgins had kept the bones from him, I think in that moment that Hodgins is impressed that Zack just took the heat for it rather than snitch on him.

And I’m really confused about what Kirk and Danni were doing when they went out. Brennan says the sheriff drove for drove for 5 hours before they get out of the car when they are looking for the rock formation in the pictures, and then they found Kirks vehicle. So he was just going out for a photo shoot but drove that far away? Why would he do that? Again, he only had 3 weeks with Angela, and according to her he said he’d be back and they’d go out for nachos and beer. Doesn’t sound to me like something you say if you plan to drive for 5 hours. I find that part strange.

Angela telling Brennan she is the one that put limits on the relationship because she is afraid she can’t do more, and Brennan telling her that no event in the universe happens only once. That is interesting thinking there. I might use it against her in a few other episodes when she is talking about life outside of earth. ;)

I like this episode a lot, despite the confusion about what was going on as far as Kirk and Danni going out into the desert. I like the things it reveals about Angela and how it shows that Brennan does care about Angela. She is willing to drop everything and fly across the country just because Angela asks her, then she really does a good job of supporting Angela through the whole thing. Even though at the end Brennan thinks that Angela just rationally thought out the whole thing in finding Danni, when Angela said that Danni when that way, Brennan went with it. I wish we could see this Brennan more often.
word count: 771
Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.-Camille Pissarro