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Bones 4.06 The Crank In The Shaft

Posted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:16 am
by ThyneAlone
I actually haven't time to go into this just now, still getting things ready for next week's replacement teacher while I'm on jury duty...but got to say.. It has its flaws, but Michaela, whose reaction to the breakup has been breathlessly awaited, was worth the watch. She did it beautifully and naturally, as upfront and honestly as we expect from the character - let's not be tense, I'm not going to pretend nothing happened, it did and it was great, but things do come to a natural end sometimes. And TJ's reaction, ooh the way that smile lights up the screen; how could she possibly resist? I'd've grabbed him...

Re: Bones 4.06 The Crank In The Shaft

Posted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 5:49 pm
by Sinkwriter72
I just finished watching it right now.


First of all, I hope I never hear the words "orifice of life" again. :mrgreen: Eww, Fisher.

Speaking of Fisher, wow, what a depressing guy. I was very amused when Cam called him Eeyore and told him to up his dosage because he was bringing her down.

I liked some of the Booth-Brennan scenes in this one. Particularly, the diner scene (when Hodgins shows up). I liked their discussion of the case. It felt like a natural conversation. And I liked their end scene conversation. Unfortunately, Booth hasn't really been that balanced character Brennan described and complimented, not since ...oh, I don't know... end of season 2? But it was still a good scene, well-acted, nicely worded, and true. Booth is all those things. Now the writers need to remember that and demonstrate it in the stories more often!

I did not like how rude and dismissive they were to Hodgins. Okay, maybe Booth's like that with Hodgins unless it's just the two of them, but I thought they had come to be buddies on some level so I was annoyed on behalf of Hodgins. :D

Hodgins... well, what's not to like?

I laughed out loud in delight at the way Angela described him, all the things about him that drew her to him; that was really sweet and true. And I liked the reference to their backstory, how they'd spent a night in a Montana cabin (that lost its power?) and he tried to explain something technical to her and they ended up laughing their heads off at the whole crazy situation. That was a lovely bit of history mentioned (even if we didn't get to see it firsthand).

I liked his attempts to talk to her. I liked his frustration with Fisher, too. I like seeing a human balance in Hodgins' character. He can be both: a snarky smart-ass and a loving, attentive, kind and generous sweetheart.

Personally, I don't understand Angela's approach to the whole end-of-relationship thing, but that's because I am sooo not like Angela. I can't look at things the way she does. I'm not that carefree. I can't possibly look at what she had with Hodgins and think their relationship ended in any 'normal' or 'natural' way (as if the relationship had run its course). Things were going great, and then suddenly (it seemed) they weren't. How the hell did that happen? I would not be able to handle it like she is. I would be more upset.

I wonder how much of that is her natural personality, letting it go, wanting things to be relaxed and happy and comfortable again, and how much of it is some sort of denial and running away from facing her own commitment issues.

I was very interested in the conversation she had with Sweets. I would have liked to have found out more, how and why she behaves the way she does, why she seems to run from relationships. Of course, it's clearly not something Angela is ready to deal with, given the way she made a big joke and blew off Sweets, exiting the diner quickly. But I do hope they'll continue to explore this about her throughout the season. I think it would be a fascinating character development.

I also am surprised at the way Hodgins is so easily happy that things are 'cool' between them again. I mean, I can understand it on the level of wanting things to go smoothly at the office, to feel comfortable around each other again. But at the same time, I saw Hodgins give and give and give in that relationship, whatever Angela needed in order for her to feel loved as the person she is (not who he wanted her to be). For crying out loud, how many times did he ask her to marry him, in attempts to get it right in a way that Angela wanted it? I do wonder if Angela ever really did that for Hodgins. I would not be surprised if someday he demands to know just what else he was supposed to do in order to make her happy. Then again, maybe that was Hodgins' issue, not Angela's. She never asked him to do everything he did; he just kept trying. A large part of it was probably because he loved her and was attracted to her and cared about her, but a piece of it might be because of something else. Might be interesting to learn more about that aspect of Hodgins. Don't know... I'm dubious that the writers will let us see that much of him. If they were smart, they would -- TJ would play whatever they give him with brilliance.

Okay, I need to log off for a bit, so I'll have to come back.

In the meantime... everyone else? Thoughts, opinions, comments on the episode? What'd you think? :D

Re: Bones 4.06 The Crank In The Shaft

Posted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 9:50 am
by Sinkwriter72
Okay, I'm back, and I've had time to let this episode simmer since I watched it yesterday. Annnnd... I'm annoyed.


I still like the parts I mentioned in the post above, but now I remember the parts that I wasn't so fond of.

First of all, what was that scene between Angela and Brennan? The actors played it well, with the proper humor that was intended, so I don't fault Emily or Michaela. However, what happened to their relationship as characters?

These two women have a beautiful friendship, and they have shared some amazing scenes demonstrating just that very connection. This scene made a mockery of their relationship. It was played for cheap jokes. Yes, Brennan is not good with relationship questions, she's awkward about it, we know that. But there was no depth to the scene. It was all for laughs. And Brennan's clueless happy face at the end (yay, I 'helped' Angela) was silly. They've had plenty of conversations that delved deeper, even when one or the other woman was feeling awkward and conflicted. Brennan is smarter than they wrote her in that scene. She knows when she's not helping, and she knows how to try. And Angela would have let her know either way, because that's the kind of honest friendship she has with Brennan.

I'm annoyed because I feel the writers are wasting opportunities. Angela and Hodgins had an intense and wonderful relationship, probably more serious and lasting than anything Angela's had before, and it fell apart. I would have loved to have seen a moment between Angela and Brennan where they would talk about it in a serious, open way. In a way two close friends would talk about it. I would have expected such a scene to occur, but the writers didn't bother.

And now they're trying to move on to other things, so they throw in these 'make it all better and more relaxed in the lab again' scenes. I can understand the characters wanting to have the awkwardness go away, but the writers' approach is leaving me feeling empty. They've barely scratched the surface, and they're already moving on. They didn't even show any sort of Angela reaction about the breakup -- no conversations with Brennan when she returned from London, no moments to herself where Angela feels the weight of the loss, nothing really demonstrated at all on Angela's part until the brief awkwardness shown between her and Hodgins in "Finger in the Nest." And after that scene, we got to follow Hodgins on his emotional journey, but we never saw Angela's. There was no balance. So, for her to already find a comfortable 'let's enjoy the memories we have and agree to move on'... I can understand it, given the character's more relaxed approach to relationships as well as her fears of facing her own commitment issues, but at the same time I feel like we've missed a step. The writers have missed a step. Or two.

I can only hope that they'll continue to develop Angela as the season goes on, and follow her as she dates other people, starts to see where she has issues, realizes that she can't have a lasting relationship until she works on those aspects, and comes to a better understanding about what happened to her relationship with Hodgins as well as her own part in its downfall. Whether or not she gets back together with him, I hope we get to at the very least see this evolution in her character.

Unfortunately, the way the direction of the show seems to be progressing, I fear they won't even bother to touch such an interesting story. It seems the network is trying so hard to change this show in order to coordinate it to its other programming (in other words, fit it in with the sitcoms that follow Bones). It's affecting the approach to the characters and the stories, and it's definitely affecting how I view the show.

Someone over in the 206_Bones LiveJournal community was commenting about how false she felt the scene was where Booth was comforting the woman who killed her coworker. Either she felt the woman didn't pull off crying well, or she felt that Booth should have been more wary (especially after the whole sympathizing with Pam debacle). Personally, I thought David did well in that scene. I could understand his sympathy, especially because the woman didn't intend to kill anyone; it was an accident.

However... what was scary to me was that I couldn't even remember what the woman had been crying about. The poster at 206_Bones only talked in generalities (rather than detailing the scene), so -- whether the scene was believable or not -- I found myself sitting at my desk, trying very hard to remember just what it was that had the character feeling so distraught in the first place.

Oh right. She was guilty of murder. How could I possibly have forgotten that? Seriously. *shakes head*

What disturbs me about it is that this show used to affect me on a deeper level. I would be haunted by some of the cases, the victims, the killers, the stories themselves. And I was affected emotionally by how the characters worked together and connected with each other as they worked to solve the cases.

Now? We barely learn anything about the victims. Or, they're so unsympathetic, we really don't care that they're not alive anymore. Their deaths are often used for comic effect -- a foot falls into an elevator in front of everyone; a body is found head-first in a disgusting toilet/outhouse; Booth's son wants to use a severed finger to scare one of his classmates into leaving him alone (okay, that one was actually funny to me, but I think you get my point) -- and the stories have become little more than vehicles to push the Booth/Brennan relationship or simply to be 'funny' so as to 'fit' with the network programming (as I said above).

For example: the intern's comments were highly inappropriate, especially his 'hot chick' comments about Cam and Angela. I understand they were doing it for laughs, and yes, Tamara and Michaela are definitely gorgeous women, but I felt it was a bit offensive. I feel like this show is starting to downplay how smart these women actually are, in favor of 'you women are so gorgeous' comments. There's more to these women than their looks. Brennan's beautiful too, but she's also a genius, and that should never be forgotten.

In fact, what's up with her character lately? Even with Zack around as her intern, she was in the lab 24/7, so this 'needing a new intern to take Zack's place' shouldn't be forcing her out of her own environment. In fact, I'd think she'd have to do extra work, with him not there. Instead, Brennan's not even doing her own work in the lab. A body's bones broken into that many pieces would probably be a project she'd need to do herself, not leave to an intern she's 'testing out.' Like in the pilot episode, she'd stay up all night putting it all together. Her work used to be important to her. Now what do they have her doing?

And Booth doesn't care that one of his fellow agents is dead? And spends the episode trying to get a comfy chair? The FBI agent/sniper Booth would take his work and his colleagues more seriously. Even when agents above him pissed him off in previous episodes, he still respected them and behaved according to that code because of how dedicated he was to doing his job right and representing the FBI.

I just feel like this show is getting off-track. I wish the writers could re-capture the emotional impact and balance they used to have with these characters, their development, and with the cases. I don't get it.

Re: Bones 4.06 The Crank In The Shaft

Posted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 5:13 am
by ThyneAlone
Omg I've just spent ages drafting a reply to you, Sherry, and this stupid system logged me out in the middle and wiped hundreds of words of thought!

I will so save this before I post next time. I haven't got another hour or so to pontificate now but I'll be back.

Re: Bones 4.06 The Crank In The Shaft

Posted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 7:48 am
by ThyneAlone
OK then. Draft in Word first it is. Either I was hugely slower than usual typing or the software was just maliciously logging me off for no good reason!
Sinkwriter72 wrote:The writers have missed a step. Or two.
Or twelve!!

I have to say, o mistress of the review, that I should have little to say after your laser-fine appraisal of the situation on our much loved series (well, I shouldn’t, but I wouldn’t have been timed out if I hadn’t found a lot!). I agree with every word of both your appreciative and critical comments. So this time I will keep it shorter.

Overall sense: Bones is suffering from an effort to make it fit in with the sitcoms, as you say. It is not just inappropriately frothy and light, it has become superficial and trite, offering no real viewer involvement with victims or characters. It doesn’t make us think. Every time I hear that unsubtle musical ‘sting’ to let us know that something ‘funny’ has happened, I cringe and anticipate a chorus of braying canned laughter. Comedy characters are more boldly and coarsely drawn than dramatic ones and the whole show is suffering from this.

·Jack and Angela: a delicate and intense connection that developed beautifully up to S2 has been ruined, stagnating via a totally ridiculous storyline and finally moving away from the characterisation we knew and loved. Why isn’t Jack either pursuing stubbornly or proudly rejecting? What’s happened to the woman who suffered so much guilt in S1 over her relationship with Kirk, and why has the good-time girl persona suddenly taken over? There was so much more depth to her than this. Her empathy and style seem to have been pushed onto a back burner.

·Cam: developed well in S2 and now a cardboard cutout. Veering between lab tyrant and “oh dear, I’m a flighty little thing who can’t even make up my mind whether to tell a colleague about a sexual fling”. What is this, Ally McBeal? She’s a mature woman!

·Brennan: Evolution gone backwards. Viewers complained of her robotic tendencies and her “I don’t know what that means” early on, and she seemed to have made progress, but how is she different in this season? Her ostensibly logic-driven comments hit a very false note (oh she’s so funny!) and her emotional intelligence has disappeared completely; that scene with Angela, as you so rightly say, makes her look a complete idiot, and does their friendship no favours. She’s also lost all sense of dedication and connection with the other squints because she is no longer in their world.

·Interns: reflect the superficial nature of the show now. A taste of something different (and usually annoying) every week, without going into them in any depth. Heehee, what fun. Zach’s absence has left the team completely unbalanced.

·Plots: trivia again, something to get through before the BB stuff can be dealt with in what has become no longer snatches of genuine connection but a few moments of Booth’s didactic hectoring. I haven’t taken this season’s cases on board at all. They haven’t stirred my soul or imagination. They have been poorly put together, confusing (not enough time is spent on suspects for motive to become clear, and there is no reason for red herrings like the semen on the floor and on the victim this week. How did she pick it up if she wasn’t the one who had sex?) and unsatisfying. The dead are not respected, but have become the butt of tasteless jokes and ever-weirder death scenarios. Again, I think, sacrificed on the all-devouring altar of humour. Or, in the case of eps like Death In the Saddle, excuses for BB to have to talk about sex. Plots are also departing from the legal restraints and protocol so important in a procedural. Max is let off, more or less, despite overwhelming evidence that he has committed murders. Practically anyone can conduct FBI interviews. Someone escapes from a secure institution and walks unhindered into another one! I even miss the creative way the show used to be filmed, and the effects like the Angelator. :(

·Booth – words fail me. Anyone a Simpsons fan? There was an ep where Homer found out that the star and hero of a popular detective series shared his name, but no sooner had he swelled with pride over having this tiny link with a character of credibility and intelligence than the network transformed this other Homer into a pathetic patsy and fall guy in the name of ratings. This is exactly what is happening to Seeley Booth. He has been presented as a character with depth, religious belief, integrity, accurate instinct, and now he spends an episode fussing over office furniture? Shoot me someone (not him, he’d probably miss in his present incarnation)!

·Sweets: He’s there for the fun, the humour. There is no earthly reason for him to be in on any events. The most graphic illustration of this was that point when he examined the body in ‘Outhouse’ with the others. Why was he there? Ah yes, so he could lighten things up by sneezing all over the visor of his protective suit. Arghhh.

The only way all this can be improved is by getting back to making us care for the characters and the cases. We’ve been screaming for months for a sight of people’s lives outside, but they drift away from us, ever more insular. The Powers That Be can afford to shoot on location in London but not to let us witness Jack sadly clearing out Zach’s flat above his garage, or indeed handing over to Angela her ‘half’ of his closet? Yes, we will get to see Jared Booth, but will this really serve anything other than the Booth ‘humour’? Will we ever see profundity again?

What I am enjoying is the squint performances. The actors are doing a great job with some very average material. Let’s hope they are given something more worthy of them as we move through the season. I definitely need Tara to raise my expectations!

Re: Bones 4.06 The Crank In The Shaft

Posted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:53 pm
by Sinkwriter72
Guess what happened, Steph? I typed too long a response to yours, and I got timed out too. C-R-A-P!

*forehead to desk*

I'll have to come back later. There was simply too much.

Re: Bones 4.06 The Crank In The Shaft

Posted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 3:30 am
by ThyneAlone
My sympathy is truly heartfelt, Sherry. It's an awful feeling when you have tried to put your feelings on record and it just gets wiped relentlessly. I wonder how long it is before you get automatically logged off? I reckon I was on about an hour, admittedly stopping to think in between - could be wrong, might have left myself logged in while checking other sites and then come back to write my marathon (well, not a marathon compared to your thoughtful pieces, but you know what I mean). That would have poleaxed me I guess. Anyway - looking forward to your reply!

Re: Bones 4.06 The Crank In The Shaft

Posted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:21 am
by Sinkwriter72
Well, the first thing I remember writing was about how I felt bad that you lost everything you were working on, Steph. How frustrating that is. How I felt your pain.

Now I really feel your pain because it happened to me yesterday, too. ;)

Life's funny sometimes, isn't it? :roll:


And what do we do? We write on. So, I'm back today to try again. I swear, one of these days I'll remember to always make a copy of what I wrote before I hit 'submit,' just in case.

ThyneAlone wrote:
I have to say, o mistress of the review, that I should have little to say after your laser-fine appraisal of the situation on our much loved series (well, I shouldn’t, but I wouldn’t have been timed out if I hadn’t found a lot!). I agree with every word of both your appreciative and critical comments.
Mistress of the review? *laughing hard* Awesome, thanks. :mrgreen:

I'm really sorry I won't get to read what you initially wrote, because it sounds like it was a doozy of a post, but what you did write was fantastic, Steph. Right on the mark, in my opinion. Every word.

And if I may add, I'm so glad to read that you agree, because I've been over on the FOX forum threads Friday, yesterday and today (after avoiding them for a long while) and I already feel like a bit of a pariah.

I tried -- in my own lovely way, of course, haha -- to post some of these thoughts. The positive stuff I did like as well as my opinions on what seems to have fallen apart quite a bit. And I tried to comment on other people's replies too, thanking them for engaging me in a discussion (even when we didn't necessarily agree with each other), pointing out where I understood and agreed with what they were saying while commenting on the spots where I still diverged (and providing my reasons why).

But there were a couple of people -- one in particular, actually -- who kept trying to say that I was being negative and not giving the writers a chance after the writers' strike from last season and that I was nitpicking on just one aspect of one character (Booth), picking on his 'flaws' when no one is perfect and if any of us got overanalyzed the way I was apparently overanalyzing Booth, none of us would be able to be 'consistent' with our behaviors the way I apparently expect Booth to be consistent.

*slaps hand to forehead*

I tried to explain to her that I was not picking on Booth, I was actually critiquing the writers' approach to his character (in seasons 3 & 4). I fully embrace all the Bones characters to have layers and flaws aplenty! I want him to have flaws! My point was that they're ignoring those wonderful flaws, and everything else they created about him, in order to concentrate all their attentions on making him a silly, over-the-top character last season and so far this season, possibly because they want the show to be sitcom-friendly.

It's not that I have a problem with Booth being funny; it's that I have a problem with badly written 'funny' where the humor doesn't stem from something natural within the storyline or from the characters as we know them (instead, coming from some forced, canned, over-the-top 'humor').

As well, there have been moments when it seems the writers are trying to hint that they'll be bringing back some of Booth's dark past, which is fantastic, but I mentioned my concern is that it will ring false when they do, if they don't present his character in better balance first. If they jump right from the over-the-top behaviors used strictly for comedy's sake to an intense, dramatic point of view, it's going to feel like whiplash for the viewers, you know what I mean? And completely out of character (from the way he's been lately). They need to transition him back to a better balance.

She also said those of us who were 'being negative' were ruining her enjoyment of the show. So I pointed out that I was trying to make my comments balanced (positive and critical) and that there is a difference between bashing/negativity and honest critical analysis of a program. I also mentioned that I love this show and its actors very much, that I feel they are incredibly talented; therefore, I don't want to see their talents wasted on silly empty plots and over-obvious jokes. Not when the writers used to pay so much more attention to the entire flow of characters, victims, and storyline. There was a better emotional connection all around. And the melodramatic changes to the characters and show that I love is what is lessening my enjoyment of the program.

For me, it's not one aspect of one character that's changed. It's a significant number of things about the entire show, as Steph has marvelously and thoroughly detailed in her above post.

So, I was a bit frustrated because this person didn't seem to 'get' where I was coming from. She kept posting that I was being negative about one aspect of one character (Booth, which I might add seems to be her favorite character), when that was not my point at all. It's not about Booth, or any specific character; it's about the writers' approach and the balance of the program being completely off from what it used to be. But she didn't respond to any of that, nor did she seem to understand (or care about) what I was saying or how I was saying it.

And believe me, I said a hell of a lot more than just focusing on Booth. I talked about Angela & Brennan, Hodgins, Sweets, and the overall loss of emotional connection between the team and the victims whose lives and deaths they're investigating -- which no longer impact the characters or the viewers in the way they used to -- but she did not respond to any of that, nor did she respond to my compliments about Booth, either.

Then she posted a separate message, suggesting people stop 'judging too harshly' or posting such comments in an episode thread (never mind that I used plenty of "Crank in the Shaft" moments to illustrate my points). Though she didn't name me specifically, it was fairly obvious that she was directing that post to me (or to the moderators, in an attempt to get them to delete my posts or perhaps to kick me out).

The only parts that made me feel better were two people popping in to say they agreed with me 100% and had been feeling that way since season 3 (and they went on to wonderfully detail what they had issue with, regarding the show's new 'humor' or the out-of-character nature of things). And then one other person popped in to say that critical analysis has always been part of these threads, which kind of validated me or at least let that first person know that I wasn't crossing some line just because she didn't like or agree with what I was saying.

What was also surprising to me: I've found that quite a few people still cite the writers' strike from last year as a reason to give the show some slack. I have to disagree, and I'd be very curious to hear what all of you think about that as well.

Last season I'm certain the writers' strike had a huge impact on the way they had to approach the season, the planned stories, and everything else. However, that was last season.

I've been watching several other shows that were interrupted by the writers' strike, and they've come back this season with a vengeance, with stellar character development and terrific story follow-through. I've been really impressed with the way some shows have been handling their new seasons. They have a strong focus and a direction for each of their characters.

There's no reason why the Bones writers can't do the same. These are smart, talented writers. We've seen the amazing stories and powerful character connections they can write. It's what brought us to watch the show in the first place.

Some people have said, 'Well, they're only 6 episodes in, so you have to give them time to build up whatever they're planning.' I don't find that comforting. From my view, the writers are already six episodes in and therefore should have well-established the core focus(es) of the season. Instead, it's been mostly silliness and sitcom behaviors. Mostly.

Hmm. *ponders this further* What have they really established as an emotional thread or storyline for any of the characters this year?

Yes, okay, there's Angela and Jack's relationship, which could lead to some remarkable character development for both of them if the writers allow their characters the screen time and the delicate attention these sorts of personal journeys deserve, but in an overall sense their break-up felt forced and the writers have not shown in a balanced way the devastation of their fallen relationship. Looking at the leads, we've had one-note Booth and Brennan characterizations, focused almost entirely on sitcom-like behaviors, ignoring their well-established personalities, no longer emotionally connected to their jobs or the victims or victims' families (as they would have been in the past). And now Zack's not really a killer, which was total back-pedaling to me (but I'll talk more about that in the proper episode thread when I have more time).

To me, brilliance is in the details, and the writers could show a much deeper connection between characters and story if they would put more careful attention into such details. Not in a forced manner, for the humor of it, but rather, in an honest, true-to-character way. Steph herself provided some magnificent examples of how they could have demonstrated the emotional impact of the intense events that would most definitely have affected these characters.

To have a brief scene where Jack has to clean out Zack's garage apartment or his lab space (oh my gosh, my heart ached with sorrow at the very thought), or Angela has to return some of Jack's personal items, or Brennan returns to work at the lab on a more regular basis (especially if it means avoiding the thought of her partner Booth getting shot again, which was never dealt with on a true emotional level for either character)... on and on. I'm certain the Bones writers could come up with clever and moving scenes.

After all, these are the people who gave us the comforting Hodgins and Angela "you live a big life" scene; or the "meet Jasper" scene between Booth and Brennan where he says "You're gonna be okay... definitely" and gives her one meaningful look that tells her he knows exactly what she's feeling because he's been there too (he's killed someone; he knows what it feels like); or the heart-wrenchingly evocative "Dr. Brennan... it's been a privilege."

Or the simplicity of Hodgins laying a rose on Angela's desk -- no words needed. So beautiful.

Where is that attention to detail? Where is that attention to connection of character and story? Clearly, they used to spend the time on it.

The only episode that seemed to connect anything together from last season in a cohesive and impressive way was "Finger in the Nest," and that was due largely to TJ's impressive acting and the smartly-written scenes which showed that Zack's 'idiotic' choices and Angela's breakup had an intense effect on him. We need more of that. We need those kinds of details.

I suppose to say 'we need more details' may seem obsessive or nitpicky, but truly, I believe these are the most important bits. They're the rich moments that grab the audience by the ventricles and squeeze the breath out of us (in a non-heart attack-sounding way, of course). :D

These are the moments that connect us as viewers with them as characters. These are the moments that make us want to know more and more about them, their lives, and every ounce of where they're going next. These are the moments that tie everything together.

*glances at the time*

Okay, I don't want to lose this post, so I'm going submit it here (saving it elsewhere first -- see? I'm learning!). However, I still want to comment on bits from your intelligent, well-written post, Steph, so I will be back!


Re: Bones 4.06 The Crank In The Shaft

Posted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:27 pm
by ThyneAlone
woooooooww! That was a great read! Sherry, don't be discouraged by visits to the Boneyard; on such a large forum there will always be those who refuse to listen and will become personal if you don't share their point of view. Fortunately there are also some very nice people over there who are concerned, as we are, at the current direction of the show's writing. I think it's important that someone articulate states our case on an official Fox site, and I'm only sorry I haven't had time to do so myself. Kudos to you.

Re: Bones 4.06 The Crank In The Shaft

Posted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 4:41 pm
by skftex
I do agree that the show isn't as good as it was in season 1 and 2. While the characters should develop and I guess that is why Brennan never says "I don't know what that means." (which as an aside was always funny to me and I kind of miss that...). But for most of this season I've really been detached from the stories. I did think the last two were better than the first 4 though. The stories weren't quite as dull to me. And I loved all the Hodgins stuff in the last two so that probably colored my view of them a bit I will admit.

My take on Hodgins reaction to Angela's little talk about the breakup is a bit different than what some of you have said though. I think that his smile after her little speech wasn't because he was relieved the tension was going to go away, but more directly because of what she said gave him hope. Which is also why I think he TRIED to talk to Booth and Brennan about it, and I was very disappointed they blew him off like that, because that wasn't really in keeping with the way Hodgins relationship with EITHER Booth or Brennan really was (ie prior to this season ..sigh). But Angela saying that she wasn't going to regret that they had the relationship and touching upon some of their really great times....I think Hodgins saw that as a reason to believe that they'll eventually get back together. Or maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part, but honestly, the smile wasn't so much of a relieved smile to me but a WOO HOO smile...that things can be right again.


Re: Bones 4.06 The Crank In The Shaft

Posted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 6:24 pm
by begolden
Really late to the party this time. I haven't been home much in the evenings, and I just watched the episode! However, as usual, Steph and Sherry, you give perfect, detailed critiques that I agree with.

I do want to mention two things that bothered me about the episode. First, I'm afraid the whole resolution of Jack and Angela's workplace unease with each other means that the writers are trying to sweep up their mess into a nice, tidy pile that can be put in the discarded plotlines bin and forgotten. Secondly, I thought that Booth's dismissal of Jack when he tries to tell Booth and Brennan about how he's dealing with the breakup with Angela was rude, very rude.

Of course, T.J. did a wonderful job in all of his scenes. I just feel so sad for the character--and for T.J. I know he really loved the Jack and Angela relationship, as we all did.

Re: Bones 4.06 The Crank In The Shaft

Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:42 am
by English Al
Was episode 6 supposed to be episode 3? That's my main question about this episode. The whole resolve thing felt old. Time has passed since they slit up and in previous episodes there had been no sense of tension between the two at all.

Considering Zack appeared in the previous episode you would have thought he'd be mentioned, but no.

The intern was a poor follow-up to the one in 5, and I got the impression the young one from 5 (I forget his name so easily) will be back in 7.

I'm not sure what the title of the show means though. The "Crank" in the shaft. OK you get Crankshaft's but it was apart of a leg.

I enjoyed the episode though, but I fear the writers strike has done more damage than good to the show.

Re: Bones 4.06 The Crank In The Shaft

Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:50 am
by Sinkwriter72
I agree with Steph and I agree with Sharon and I agree with Rebecca, and you know how that makes me crazy. (Sharon, that was a little joke West Wing paraphrasing, just for you. Recognize it? hee.)

Seriously though, Sharon, I like what you said about the Hodgins and Angela moment in this episode. Thank you for making that point, because it reminded me that I really did like the smile that unfolded on Hodgins' face at the end of their conversation. And I think after all the anger Hodgins had been feeling, perhaps it was good for him to hear Angela talk about their relationship in a positive way. (Which might also account for the big smile, there.) Because she is right, in that regard: they had some wonderful moments and experiences together, and that should not be forgotten, no matter what they decide to do or which directions their lives may take them (together or apart). And that is something to smile about.

I do think that Hodgins has some things he should say to her, though, and I'm surprised it hasn't come up yet. Frankly, I was surprised it didn't come up back in Season 2 when he kept asking her to marry him and she kept turning him down. I'm not saying she didn't have that right, because she sure did -- I'm saying she was all cryptic about it, and I (like Hodgins) found that a bit frustrating. I liked that he finally figured out what she wanted and needed. That showed an enormous amount of sensitivity and strength and maturity. At the same time, however, it did seem to be all about what she needed in order to feel comfortable and loved as 'herself,' and I wondered when Hodgins would start to realize that he was allowed to want such things for himself, too. You know what I mean? I do think some of his anger was legitimate, and I don't think that should go unexpressed. If the writers ever explore what happened to their relationship, I think he should express some of that to her.

begolden wrote:
I do want to mention two things that bothered me about the episode. First, I'm afraid the whole resolution of Jack and Angela's workplace unease with each other means that the writers are trying to sweep up their mess into a nice, tidy pile that can be put in the discarded plotlines bin and forgotten. Secondly, I thought that Booth's dismissal of Jack when he tries to tell Booth and Brennan about how he's dealing with the breakup with Angela was rude, very rude.

Of course, T.J. did a wonderful job in all of his scenes. I just feel so sad for the character--and for T.J. I know he really loved the Jack and Angela relationship, as we all did.
Well said, Rebecca. How could we not love the evolution of the Jack and Angela relationship? Starting with the casual in-office flirting and sizing each other up, to their moments of seeing each other in new lights, to trying to find out whether or not they could (or should) date, all the way through to the wonderful relationship they ended up sharing... it was lovely and sweet and sexy and romantic.

That's why I share your sadness. On the one hand, I don't mind the break-up if it means we'll get to see the actors explore their characters, and the writing explore what went wrong and demonstrate emotional growth in Jack and Angela (whether together or individually). On the other hand, the writing of Season 3 and Season 4 has not demonstrated a willingness to get in touch with the characters on that level. I share your fear that their beautiful relationship will now be swept into the trashbin in favor of broad comedy, generalized characterizations, and what they think are funny, sexy storylines.

Instead, everything feels very emotionally removed. Even when Booth and Brennan have shared a moment this season, it has felt (to me as a viewer) a bit flat and false. There used to be a connective emotional thread that ran through everything -- plot, victim, killer, Squints, Booth and Brennan. Now I feel next to nothing. The only time I felt a big spark this season was when Jack expressed himself emotionally about the whole mess of everything -- Zack, Angela, the team, etc. -- which felt very true to the character and to the series, but then the spark dwindled and we're back to the disconnect. More on that as I respond to Al's post. ;)

Hi, Al! Great to see you pop in to chat.

After watching the episode, I too paused at the title, "The Crank in the Shaft," but then I realized. I believe they were referring to the informal use of the word. The victim was a crank, as in, a crabby cantankerous nosy person. By the way, I got curious so I looked up the word "crank" in the dictionary. Its slang usage is "ill-tempered, grouchy person," which -- based on the descriptions from her coworkers -- it sounds like the victim was. So there you have it. :D

As for the order of the episodes, I find it frustrating. These are talented writers. Why are they approaching the season this way? Once the writers' strike was over and the finale decided upon, why didn't they take the time to reassess the direction of the program, especially where it (and all the characters) needed to go next, emotionally and otherwise? Why not make sure everything fit, rather than going ahead with episodes that threw everything out of order and out of sync with what the characters had recently experienced? I just don't understand. I know there's money involved and production schedules and all that, but if it completely ruins the structure and integrity of the program, how is it an okay thing to go ahead with episodes written that no longer fit (or never really fit)?

I feel like I'm beating my head against a wall and the writers are on the other side, ignoring the sound, hoping it'll go away rather than checking to find out what the problem is. Know what I mean?

Re: Bones 4.06 The Crank In The Shaft

Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:09 am
by English Al
Sinkwriter72 wrote:Hi, Al! Great to see you pop in to chat.

After watching the episode, I too paused at the title, "The Crank in the Shaft," but then I realized. I believe they were referring to the informal use of the word. The victim was a crank, as in, a crabby cantankerous nosy person. By the way, I got curious so I looked up the word "crank" in the dictionary. Its slang usage is "ill-tempered, grouchy person," which -- based on the descriptions from her coworkers -- it sounds like the victim was. So there you have it. :D
As in: "I'm feeling a little cranky today".

My brain obviously bypassed that reference!

Re: Bones 4.06 The Crank In The Shaft

Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:39 am
by Sinkwriter72
Heee. Yes, exactly. :mrgreen: