Bones 11.22 The Nightmare In The Nightmare

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Bones 11.22 The Nightmare In The Nightmare

Post by ThyneAlone »

I am very suspicious of Bones eps that rely to any extent on dreams and/or alternative realities. Oh, they were well done here, and some of the sequences were genuinely creepy, but the last time I recall Brennan dreaming it related to that scarcely believable little runt Pelant, so that puts me off to start with. I don’t remember her rushing straight off to a psychologist on that occasion, even though she’d been having the nightmares for a while, so that felt quite forced, given that soft sciences are anathema to her – and why would she choose to go to the victim’s shrink, for goodness’ sake?! Then there was Booth’s complete AR dream in The End In The Beginning with all the references that never seem to have actually referred to anything…I’ve never liked them. Nothing made sense. I do realise that dreams tend not to – I had one the other night about a dog which stood up like a man to pee, and I have no clue where that came from. However, it’s annoying constantly to be told, as here, that the dreams are a way of interpreting someone’s past or even his/her future, when they really contain nothing that relates to anything.

Just looking at the dreams a minute. Why are all these manifestations living burns victims? What’s so important about the cigarette behind the ear that it actually merits a mention? And all the silly red herring quotes? “Old wounds can cut deep”, “if you knew what I know you’d be so proud of me” etc?

And now let’s think about the killer himself. He leaves clues which are invariably as misleading as the dreams – and they are all geared to point to Zack. That’s a good reason for believing that it’s not him. As far as I can see, everything about this person is unconvincing. If he is a traditional serial killer, is it really credible that he would change his normal routine to such an extent simply to threaten Brennan? Why are his red herrings so complicated? Who bothers to clean shoes and dip them in another kind of mud and would they expect Hodgins to deduce the deceit (despite the severe pain he is obviously in – TJ portrays this really well)? Why is it so difficult to pinpoint an individual who keeps bodies somewhere, bores holes in the skeletons and makes them into puppets? What does he do during the decomp process? Doesn’t anyone nearby get suspicious? If he skins them, where does he dispose of the soft tissue? Who are these people who have come under his influence, and how? The latest, Graham Reynolds, a pathetic little creature if there ever was one, has been in prison for attempted murder and is still allowed to show a pretty repugnant stage spectacle in front of small, unchaperoned children.

I think the Puppeteer arc has been, unfortunately, very rushed. The team was referencing his MO throughout and I didn’t recall any of it being mentioned previously. In fact, I only remember one other Puppeteer episode. Brennan is so paranoid and nervy that she comes spectacularly OOC – this would have been more convincing if it had been built up more effectively over a longer period. The therapist is a good suspect, but would he really have had time to conduct such a bizarre second life?

Nevertheless, in among this dirty, tangled web of plot holes and throwaway clues there is one little gem – Zack is back! I was reassured that Booth knew exactly how to get to Zack’s room in the institution; obviously people have been visiting him during his incarceration. There are still questions, though. What does Zack know about all this and why has he kidnapped Brennan rather than speaking to her at the lab? Don’t tell me he’s the Puppeteer; there is so much that argues against it. Obviously it’s a great cliffhanger and brings Eric back for at least the beginning of the final season. I hope the resolution is not disappointing!
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Re: Bones 11.22 The Nightmare In The Nightmare

Post by skftex »

Lots of good thoughts there Steph. I have to admit, I did really like the finale. It was a bit odd, with a true mystery like feel to it. I wasn't that surprised to see them deciding it was Zack but I still liked the way it was done. I didn't mind the dream things, though I don't know why she went to the victims psychologist, that really is weird.

I think there was only one previous puppeteer episode though I think he was mentioned in a few more, plus you get the hint of him in The Next in the Last.
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Re: Bones 11.22 The Nightmare In The Nightmare

Post by Sculder1013 »

I think I need to re-watch the finale again.

I am loving the fact that Zack is back... but I didn't like the way the episode ended. I felt like it needed another 10 minutes. Or maybe I just didn't like the fact that it ended on "that".

I have loved this season so much though! I am still not over poor Hodgins getting blown up :( haha!

I am going to watch the entire season again I think (hopefully over the course of a few days haha) and form a full opinion once its all sank in.
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Re: Bones 11.22 The Nightmare In The Nightmare

Post by Sinkwriter72 »

First off, I'll say this: as I told Sharon over on Facebook, they got me. They really got me good with that opening scene. I knew something was probably going to happen because they were being so intent with the examination of the body and the weirdness of it bleeding. I thought maybe there would be a small explosion or piece of bone breaking open, triggered to explode a bag of fake blood in the examiner's face. (Not blood of the victim, but something to create doubt or confusion in the case, or to destroy / contaminate some of the evidence on the body, and mess with the heads of the team.) Instead, it turned out the whole scene was a dream, and the body suddenly sat up, its face very close to the camera... and I jumped. I knew something was going to happen, but I still jumped. :D

As for the episode itself, I'm with all of you - I don't feel like they've done enough ground work. With one episode of Epps or Gravedigger, we had a treasure trove of creepy information about those serial killers. Even with the ridiculousness of Pelant (don't even get me started on that storyline *huffs*), they had a lot of episodes in place that led up to the final conclusion, and those episodes filled in the details pretty well (as unbelievable as those episodes were *huffs again*). But for the Puppeteer, like Steph I barely remember the salient details. It just doesn't feel like they had enough episodes to create the weight or the disturbance that it supposedly built up in Brennan, to the point that it was enough to interrupt her sleep and distract her in this episode. And I really don't like the idea of Zack as the Puppeteer - my only hope is that Hodgins' find about the shoe evidence being orchestrated to point elsewhere is meant to point at Zack when in actuality it's someone else wanting to mess with Brennan's head (and the heads of everyone else who knew and worked with Zack). Guess I'll find out for sure when I'm able to watch the first episode of season 12.

At any rate, from the perspective of a single episode, I thought it was well-paced, exciting and highly creepy (but in the wonderfully tense sense, rather than the gross body sense). I thought David Boreanaz did an excellent job directing this episode - tense pacing, interesting camera angles and shots, moody tone throughout. Well done, David! And I liked the camaraderie of the team, the creepy scene where they're all at dinner waiting for Brennan only to find out she didn't email them, and the dream symbolism of intern Wendall with burned hands to fill in for Brennan's subconscious intern Zack. If more of Bones had been given treatment like this throughout the seasons, I probably would have had less complaints (but that's a whole other topic, LOL). I still don't like Zack being treated as crazy or evil, though, so they better fix this or I'll be pissed.

On a side note, I'm intrigued about the pains that Hodgins is experiencing. I wish we had gotten a little more information besides that one dramatic scene between him and Angela (I do love me some Hodgins scenes). Bravo, TJ, for your intense work! More, please. MORE.
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