Hi, just seen this, as we are 2 eps behind you, and I have to say, Sharon, I am pretty much in agreement with your initial thoughts.
This was an episode clearly aimed at picking up threads (although there was probably sufficient info for relative newbies to catch up on), so therefore a nod to long-term fans, and especially long-term fans of Seeley Booth. For all of us who wondered why we had heard little more about his friend and fan favourite Aldo Clemens, his brain tumour, his army mates and his trauma regarding that particularly awful sniper incident confessed to Brennan in an early moment of intimacy and self-revelation, here it all was, laid out as in a feast (and yuk - a rats' feast, in one of the most disgusting and grotesque demises I have seen on the show, a chilling riff on George Orwell's 1984). We also got a glimpse of the magnificent and much-missed Caroline and a further excavation of Aubrey's background and relationship with Jessica. And yet again I am getting weary of hearing about other characters' family backgrounds - particularly as you don't even need to be observant to gather that Max is about to feature in a storyline soon - when we know almost nothing about Hodgins' after 12 years!!! They had better bring his brother back during this final hurrah!
This was a fairly well-structured narrative, but I am not keen on the increasing ease with which the team is able to pick up on identities and locations almost as soon as they start investigating and the equal rapidity with which they are able to transmit information to one another. Angela has become able to reproduce anything, anywhere, transforming chaos into coherent pictures with a wave of her hand. Don't any of those instant visuals (the ones they use to communicate over distance as well as those on the Angelatron) ever break down or take ages to come through? And the explosion, well, honestly, at that intensity it should have severely maimed at least one of our heroes. Still, it's a strong storyline and I am looking forward to its resolution, though how they are going to fit all this in credibly along with closure on the Zach arc I do not know.
I know the body discovery pre-credits scene is now laboured to the point of cliché, but I do so love the weird, wonderful, obsessed and occasionally very irritating characters in it. Whenever there is a parent he/she seems to be rather ineffectual, and frequently the child is absolutely horrible, spoilt to death and very much in need of a sharp smack, as here. Still, the short sharp shock probably helped to quieten him down.
It's good to see Booth in the more serious and reflective mood which characterises David's best and more nuanced acting. I'm hoping that the entire team will be gifted with opportunities to show their full considerable range, as they often were in the early seasons. There has been some poor writing in recent seasons which has reduced people to mere caricature/comic relief/mouthpieces for particular viewpoints, and this has led to some out-of-character performances. Fingers crossed, this is starting to look better.
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"We make our lives out of chaos and hope. And love." - Angela Montenegro