Bones 4.12 Double Trouble in the Panhandle

Discussion of TJ's most popular venture to date!
Sinkwriter72
King of the Lab
Posts: 1856
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:21 pm
Location: Illinois, USA

Bones 4.12 Double Trouble in the Panhandle

Post by Sinkwriter72 »

This week's show is the first new Bones episode of 2009. Just wanted to mention it early because (for U.S. citizens) it will begin airing on a new day and time.

Thursday at 8 pm (7 pm Central time) on FOX.

Looking forward to stirring up some good episode discussion with all of you soon! :D
word count: 57
I want to thank anyone who spends part of their day creating [& sharing their experience]. I don't care if it's a book, a film, a painting, a dance, a piece of theater, a piece of music… I think this world would be unlivable without art. ~ S. Soderbergh

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

Re: Bones 4.12 Double Trouble in the Panhandle

Post by skftex »

If the Panhandle refers to the Texas Panhandle, bet I'm gonna be annoyed by stereotypes in this one.
word count: 19
Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.-Camille Pissarro

Sinkwriter72
King of the Lab
Posts: 1856
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:21 pm
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: Bones 4.12 Double Trouble in the Panhandle

Post by Sinkwriter72 »

SPOILER ALERT: DO NOT READ FURTHER IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW...


.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
The only thing I know for sure is that this particular episode is supposed to have a circus theme.

Beyond that, I guess we'll find out! :? I'll look forward to your thoughts, Sharon. :D
word count: 48

Sinkwriter72
King of the Lab
Posts: 1856
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:21 pm
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: Bones 4.12 Double Trouble in the Panhandle

Post by Sinkwriter72 »

NEWS Regarding This Episode's Air Date!

Seems this episode is not going to air this week. :doh:

According to an article posted over on LiveJournal's 206_Bones by the wonderful, ever-informed tracielyn, here is what's going on with some of the upcoming episodes' air dates, including "Double Trouble in the Panhandle":


"FOX TO CARRY BUSH FAREWELL ADDRESS ON THURSDAY

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- FOX is set to carry President George W. Bush's farewell address on Thursday.

The planned 10 to 15 minute broadcast will begin live at 8:00/7:00c. The White House has requested airtime from all the major television networks as ABC, CBS and NBC are expected to follow suit.

To accommodate the address, FOX has opted to delay the Thursday premiere of "Bones" until next week. Said installment, "Double Trouble in the Panhandle," will now air as part of a two-hour event on January 22.

As of press time, it's not clear what will replace "Bones" this Thursday.

"Bones" will then resume airing Thursdays at 8:00/7:00c starting February 5."

According to Tracie, Bones will also NOT air on these dates: January 29th, February 12 or March 5.

*sigh*
word count: 201

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

Re: Bones 4.12 Double Trouble in the Panhandle

Post by skftex »

Ah PHOOEY! Two hours next week, I probably won't get a chance to watch when it is showing so I'll have to watch it Friday or Saturday. Sigh. Of course, its better that they are just delaying it then joining it in progress like the used to do when I was younger! GRRR.

Thanks for the info Sherry! Oh about the other thing, I knew that, but don't know how Panhandle relates, so I was thinking "in the Panhandle" referred to where it takes place, could be completely wrong though!

Sharon
word count: 94
Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.-Camille Pissarro

begolden
Conspiracy Theorist
Posts: 441
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:53 am
Location: Ocean Beach, San Diego, CA

Re: Bones 4.12 Double Trouble in the Panhandle

Post by begolden »

Having just watched the episode, I find I am unable to speak. I'm still reeling from the sheer innanity of the Brennan/Booth storyline. I cannot tell you the number of times I, dumbfounded, uttered the words, "MY. GAWD." as I watched the "circus" plot play out.

Will get to TJ's part next time...
word count: 56
Fan of the Orgasmic Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Image

Sinkwriter72
King of the Lab
Posts: 1856
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:21 pm
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: Bones 4.12 Double Trouble in the Panhandle

Post by Sinkwriter72 »

I got out some of my frustration about the troublesome writing over on Livejournal in a Bones-themed community. :doh: Now maybe I can collect my thoughts and present them in a more balanced manner here. Because from my view, there were some big problems with the writing in both of last night's episodes. Major 'moments of convenience' ... :naughty:

There's too much to say. Give me some time to reword my feedback. I'll be back. *sigh*

On the upside, TJ is ALWAYS good. And I thought Tamara was particularly funny as well. More on that later, I promise!

What did everyone else think?
word count: 104

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

Re: Bones 4.12 Double Trouble in the Panhandle

Post by skftex »

Welllllll, the stereotypes were there just like I expected. And by the way...NO WAY YOU GET FROM THE TEXAS PANHANDLE (And definitely not the Oklahoma panhandle) TO FT. WORTH AND BACK IN ONE DAY AND STILL HAVE TIME FOR A SHOW!!! And that was the minor stuff.

Basically, I was so frustrated with this one that I didn't even WATCH the second one. I was planning on watching them both while they aired but gave up. I do have the second one recorded so I will watch it but probably not until Sunday.

I did like the TJ stuff, and the Cam stuff. TJ with Nigel cracked me up. :mrgreen:

Sharon
word count: 112
Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.-Camille Pissarro

Jude40
Conspiracy Theorist
Posts: 261
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2008 1:41 pm
Location: Liverpool, UK

Re: Bones 4.12 Double Trouble in the Panhandle

Post by Jude40 »

Hi all

I have to admit I really enjoyed this episode. I realise that you do have to suspend reality sometimes but then I think that's part of the fun. I had a REALLY boring day in work yesterday and watching the two 'Bones' episodes really cheered me up. I have to admit I spent quite a bit of the time, especially during the actual act, literally crying laughing.

Nigel is funny but if you're talking stereotypes!

The actual plotline I have to admit wasn't amazing but I've always thought that the character interaction was the best part of this show anyway and the writing for this is fab.

Catch you later

Jude x
word count: 118

User avatar
ThyneAlone
TJ Team Validator
Posts: 2699
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:30 am
Location: Northwest UK, near Liverpool

Re: Bones 4.12 Double Trouble in the Panhandle

Post by ThyneAlone »

Is this just me or did this feel like a rehash of S2's Woman In The Sand (which for me, unfortunately, was only a bridge between major Hodgela action, sorry)? BB dressed up and undercover, someone wanting a respectful burial? It was an interesting study of the carnie community, and of Booth's feelings about clowns, but of course I can't say exactly how much stereotype they used. Why are so many people clown phobic? Still remember Xander's reaction to them in Buffy. And the cliché of the Texans and Oklahomans came over loud and clear. No wonder you weren't too happy with it, Sharon!

Vincent continues to be very good, I do like him, though what is he doing here when he has already asked to be taken off the team? Major ep messing here I suspect. And he is Vincent, folks, not Nigel. As I have said previously, Nigel is not a surname!! Not even Nigel-Murray! Oh - more later - dinner calls.
word count: 168
"We make our lives out of chaos and hope. And love." - Angela Montenegro

Sinkwriter72
King of the Lab
Posts: 1856
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:21 pm
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: Bones 4.12 Double Trouble in the Panhandle

Post by Sinkwriter72 »

SPOILERS AHEAD... don't read this post if you haven't seen the episode and don't want to know what happened yet! Discussion of various plot points ahead.

.
.
.
.
.

I have let these episodes simmer for days, and I'm still trying to find the kindest way to post about it here.

It's tough for me, because I'm currently watching some of my Bones DVDs and in doing so, I'm seeing such a clear contrast in storytelling approaches. For example, last night I watched "Boy in a Bush." It nearly made me cry -- because the story was so touching, and also because I wish the show still had this much balance in their storytelling. It breaks my heart to see the over-the-top way they approach everything from characterization to cases and plot these days. This episode (Boy in a Bush) is a perfect example of how they used to do it all so well, giving each piece its proper importance. It's an example of how the team really used to be a team (and really used to be Booth and Brennan's team). It's also an example of when Booth and Brennan had poignant moments and funny moments that flowed within the actual story being told. It's painful to me to see such a difference in quality now. You simply cannot watch a Season 1 episode like that and tell me that the current season's episodes have the same strong character development or the same emotional impact.

I wish I could understand why they made such an abrupt change in the way they approach writing this show and these characters. I really, really want to understand why. Was it a demand from the network? Or did Hart and the writers think this was a solid idea, switching the style of the program so dramatically? Sometimes I wonder if they no longer know what they want their show to be, because everything seems to be muddled and unfocused. This episode, "Double Trouble in the Panhandle," is a prime example of that.

But first let me talk about some of the parts I did like. (Yes, I did actually like a few moments. I'm being serious, here.) :D

1) Cam asking Brennan if they were going to set up a live feed so that the team could watch Booth and Brennan's circus act. When Brennan and Booth said yes, I laughed out loud at Cam's excited expression and her gesture to Hodgins (out of sight from Brennan's computer phone image), like "Score! We get to see the circus! This could be really embarrassing for Booth and Brennan, but very fun for the rest of us to watch!" It was really funny. I did think such a comment might have been more in character coming from our favorite resident smart-ass Jack Hodgins (heh), but in the moment Tamara's facial expression and hand gesture made me laugh hard, so it was fine with me. And I'm really enjoying the camaraderie that Cam and Hodgins seem to be sharing from episode to episode these days. It's very fun.

2) Andy Richter's gun that wasn't really a gun. When the gun went "Bang!" with the little note popping out and Andy's character was so serious in his line delivery, it was just such an absurdly funny moment, it made me laugh. Seriously, I could not help it. There was chuckling.

3) Hodgins and Nigel-Murray. I'm not really relishing this revolving door of interns, but I do enjoy it when Hodgins gets worked up about anything. He gets so excited about uncovering evidence and presenting it to the group. I cringed as soon as Nigel-Murray stole his thunder, interrupting him and giving away the big reveal before Hodgins could do it. Hilarious. You just don't interrupt Hodgins, foolish little intern. :naughty: The expression on his face when he was interrupted by Nigel-Murray was priceless. Well done, TJ. :clap: :mrgreen:

4) The looks on the team members' faces as they watched Booth and Brennan do their 'act.' The horrified, almost watching-through-their-fingers, will-Booth-hit-Brennan-with-a-knife expressions on their faces were hilarious. I could feel their anticipation. Especially Hodgins and Angela. It was pretty darn good. That part was worth it to see. And it felt right -- they were all standing there, watching the computer monitor, like the real team that they are. It was great to see them all together like that.

And I will say that in the moment that Booth had to fling the knives at Brennan, David Boreanaz played it very well. His eyes and body language had some conflicted emotions going on -- part concentration, part worry/fear. That was interesting to watch. I obviously knew he wasn't going to hit Brennan or kill her, but it was still nicely shot, those cuts between Booth, Brennan, and the close-ups of Booth's eyes as he tried to concentrate. He looked like he might call it off at one point, I think he was actually worried with the last knife throw. That was nicely paced and well edited and acted.

However...

Sweets having a mother who used to be a psychic carnie? Seriously? How convenient, just to give the guy something to do so that Booth and Brennan have to constantly check back in with him for advice about how to proceed at the circus and fit in inconspicuously. Really? Am I to believe that Booth the former sniper and current FBI agent is unable to plan his own undercover operation and proceed accordingly? Why do they continually have Sweets interfering and doing people's jobs for them? Booth has proven more than capable of anticipating and improvising under various conditions. Like Steph mentioned with "The Woman in the Sand" -- that was the Vegas episode, right, Steph? -- Booth was able to play a character other than himself just fine. "Woman in the Sand" may not have been their most plausible episode, but it still showed Booth's ability to do his job thoroughly, adeptly, and convincingly. Why are they denigrating Booth's character and his talents as an agent? Why is it okay with the writers to use the Sweets character in this manner? It's a plot point of convenience, and so unnecessary. I'm pleading with the writers now: Give Sweets something real to do, or let him sit out an episode, for crying out loud!

Brennan's obsession with fine-tuning their 'act' and creating more flair, rather than professionally focusing on the case, felt out of character for her. It felt forced, in order to create the circus scene where she pushes Booth to do increasingly more dangerous knife stunts in front of the crowd, putting him in a very uncomfortable, scary position. Even though I appreciated the acting on the part of Emily, David, and the rest of the team during that scene, I felt they could have come to that moment from a more plausible place.

It was also implausible for her to be so insistent about getting up on the high wire in the very last ten minutes (or less), in order to figure out what happened to the victims. Couldn't she have been watching someone else walk the high wire, and figure it out? It felt overly convenient, having her do it. Plus, they already had a big dramatic moment with the knives where she could have been killed -- was it really necessary to do this high wire scene in the last minutes of the program? They'd spent so much time with the Booth and Brennan circus act silliness that the resolution for the case itself felt rushed.

And the scenes with them riding the motorcycle and side car? There are no words for how over-the-top that was. This is an example of why I feel that the writers no longer know exactly what kind of show they are writing. Is it supposed to be a show filled with slapstick and silliness, a la Monk? Is that their new direction? It's difficult for me as a viewer to make such a shift, when I know they used to approach the writing of this show in a completely different, much more balanced way.

The ending of "Double Trouble in the Panhandle" is further proof of this confusion.

Booth and Brennan figured out what happened with the victims was an accident, but that the circus strongman covered up their deaths so it wouldn't affect the circus (which was already struggling financially). They were going to bring him in. They even told him they were sorry, but they were going to have to bring him in for tampering with evidence and concealing information from a federal investigation. Yet, they let the guy walk off with his circus buddies. Okay, fine, that's a stretch, but they felt bad for him, so they let him have a final moment or two with his friends. I'll buy that.

But ... then the scene switches to Booth coming out of his trailer the next morning? He didn't give the guy, say, an hour, and then take him in? Instead, he assumes (!) the guy isn't going to run, so he and Brennan retire to their circus trailer for the night? Are you kidding me? The case isn't over until their work is done. This is Booth, the man of duty and honor and FBI pride? Going to bed before he wraps up the case?

From my view, the writers just wanted this odd quirky end moment where Booth and Brennan get out of their trailer in the morning and find that the entire circus has packed up and gone, without them knowing. Like it's some sort of X-File. "Where did everyone go? How weird and enigmatic. Oh well, we lost our guy, no one was really murdered, and everyone's gone now, I guess the case is closed, no big deal."

Are you kidding me?

What is your goal here, writers? Is it supposed to be dramatic, balanced with elements of humor (which they used to do so beautifully)? Is the show no longer dramatic or plausible in any way? Is it supposed to be funny and zany (and generally implausible), like Psych or Monk? Is the show now supposed to be bizarre, scary, and quirky, like The X-Files? That's what the ending seemed to indicate you were going for. But this is not The X-Files. And if it were, it would have been better written.

For example, just how did Booth and Brennan go to sleep and not hear all the tents being torn down, animals being caged, and trucks driving away? The circus couldn't have been packed up in complete silence. I don't care how tired Booth and Brennan may have been, you cannot miss that entire process. You just can't. Unless they were drugged, and there was no indication of that. The writing didn't bother to explain anything. And again, this isn't The X-Files. The XF would have shown a reason why the two people on the case weren't conscious of an entire circus of people going missing right under their noses in less than one night.

(Case in point: Watch XF episode "Bad Blood." Though it's not about a circus, it has a similarly bizarre ending, yet they amazingly 'explain' it all, hilariously and plausibly. Plausibly for The X-Files, of course, but the ending's writing is still unrushed, eerie, sound and funny.)

So, what is the writers' aim for this show? Is it supposed to be quirky now? Over-the-top comedy for several weeks, drama for one week, then back to the comedy and silliness? Have they completely given up on the professional side of things and gone straight for the comedy, even to the detriment of honest characterization?

Again, you cannot watch an episode like this, and then watch an episode like Boy in a Bush, and not see the difference in plot structuring, story flow, character development, and emotional connection. Even if it's an odd case like this circus act thing, where you know it's going to be more funny and quirky than serious and dramatic, the story still needs something to ground it. If everything is silly and out of balance, how are we supposed to take the characters seriously? How are we supposed to appreciate when poignant moments do finally arise?

There are moments, brief fleeting moments of goodness -- usually involving Cam and Hodgins -- but the rest seems to be dissolving into sloppy writing and over-the-top characterizations. I want to understand WHY.
word count: 2143

Jude40
Conspiracy Theorist
Posts: 261
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2008 1:41 pm
Location: Liverpool, UK

Re: Bones 4.12 Double Trouble in the Panhandle

Post by Jude40 »

Hi all

I know I've already commented on this episode but just another quick response. I appreciate everyone's opinion and each to their own.

However, I just wanted to say that I've watched all three previous seasons since getting the boxed set for Xmas and there has been a change of style over the years but a lot of that is to do with the fact that we are familiar with the characters now so there's not as much introduction more exploration and changes and I admit the storylines do sometimes suffer as a result.

However,
People have referred to implausible storylines/actions etc. If you want to think about the programme in that way then the whole things is pretty implausible. Its highly unlikely that any group of people, over a three year period, would have encountered, voodoo, tropical diseases, pirates, serial killers, canibal and otherwise, kidnappers who bury people alive, marriage interruptions due to forgotten spouses, terrorism etc, etc, but if I wanted reality I'd watch forensic detectives or the like.

Also, when you're talking out of character, in a situation that differs fron normal its not unusual for people to diversify from their usual persona, I know I have, its a kinda 'well I'm here lets make the most of it before I have to get back to normal' scenario.

To be honest though I don't really look at things as being in or out of character just like I never really notice continuity errors in programmes. I watch fictional shows to be entertained, to smile, laugh, cry, enjoy, depending on the content. Whilst this episode is not one of my all time favourites, it diverted my attention from reality for a while, I smiled all the way through and laughed a lot and after a days work that's fine by me.

I totally appreciate what everyone is saying and obviously everyone has different tastes but just wanted to put a different point of view forward.

Catch you later

Jude x
word count: 343

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

Re: Bones 4.12 Double Trouble in the Panhandle

Post by skftex »

See its easier to do once Sherry posts! Basically my problem with it was you'd have to suspend ALL belief in who these characters are to believe they'd be as dumb as they were in this episode. It was just silly, and the story wasn't even interesting to me.

Steph-sorry about the Nigel thing I forgot his name, could only remember Nigel and not his first name nor his hyphenated name. I just liked the looks Hodgins gave him and that "OK" when he told him something so useless.

word count: 93
Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.-Camille Pissarro

User avatar
ThyneAlone
TJ Team Validator
Posts: 2699
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:30 am
Location: Northwest UK, near Liverpool

Re: Bones 4.12 Double Trouble in the Panhandle

Post by ThyneAlone »

Oh, goodness, Sharon, no need to apologise - you illustrate the point I was trying to make, which is that the name is an unrealistic one so everyone thinks he is called Nigel! Anyway, I like him. He is quirky and fun, less irritating than Daisy and, like Wendell, plays a good Hodgins scene. Indeed a lovely moment where he steals Jack's thunder!

I haven't had a chance to come back to my original post here, so Sherry got in first and, as is her habit, said a lot of what I was going to. Although I don't feel as obviously anti as you do, Sherry! It does annoy me that at the moment investigations seem to be pretty ineffectual and the reveal is achieved by some sort of forced epiphany in the last five minutes. Both this ep and 'Fire In The Ice' suffered from this. Brennan suddenly realised what had happened to the twins by walking along a tightrope; Booth had a hallucination, of all things, to turn him in the right direction. It's almost as if the lab bits don't matter, which is a shame, because it negates the team dynamic Sherry mentioned as being so strong in S1.

I have been thinking carefully about what Jude said. It is only a TV drama, entertainment, so why would I be bothered about discontinuity or implausibility? Weeeeell ... the thing is, my entertainment revolves round investment in the characters. I find it less entertaining if they change direction all the time, given that I have devoted some of my time to being interested in their development. I also find good writing entertaining, because of my fascination with language, and I do feel some of the current scripts resort to cliché. Implausibility; well, it is true that the extreme situations they find themselves in (Gormagon turned me completely off S3 btw, I found him so ludicrous; and I don't like the way they have taken to trying to make the deaths or the bodies as disgusting or unusual as possible, like it's some kind of freak show) are not realistic, but the basic premise is; forensic anthropologist working with the FBI. Within that I need people to behave within certain parameters. Like even though it's not real, I still wouldn't expect Brennan to throw up every time she saw a dead body and I would be surprised if Booth regularly shot at people in the street.

But Jude, it's a very fair point. We shouldn't agonise over it to the exclusion of our enjoyment, for there are still things here to revel in.
word count: 443
"We make our lives out of chaos and hope. And love." - Angela Montenegro

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

Re: Bones 4.12 Double Trouble in the Panhandle

Post by skftex »

I must have been posting at the same time as you earlier Jude. I honestly have no problem suspending belief for the most part because they do have some bizarre murders to solve and I'm okay with that, but I have to disagree about not needing more introduction, because there hasn't been enough background on most of them. In order to really explore their characters we do need to know where they came from. There is TONS of background we don't know about all of them. Maybe less so about Brennan than any of them, but there is still a long way to go with Booth, Hodgins, Angela, and Cam. And definitely a lot more to do as far as developing their stories together as a "family" rather than sticking Booth & Brennan into some silly storyline that makes me wonder if we learned anything new about the two of them. Maybe we did but I really can't say what it is. The only parts of this one that made me laugh were the scenes with the people in the lab, all the circus stuff...eh. I LIKE Booth and Brennan. I want to keep liking them.

I honestly think that is most of the main complaint of those of us that did not like this episode, there have been more episodes like this in season 3 & 4 and less and less that seems to further the character development. And that comes from someone that started watching in Season 3. But when I went back to the first seasons I definitely saw the shift away from the character development into these scenarios that are trying to convince us that Brennan and Booth belong together. I think they'd have to look very hard to find a Bones fan that doesn't see the attachment there, and they don't need so many obvious scenes to convince us. We did get to see the two of them interact with the whole team more in the first seasons, and maybe they feel that they have covered that as much as they can, but I think there is a lot more to go there. More Booth/Hodgins scenes, more Brennan/Cam scenes, of course, I want more Hodgins/Angela scenes but that is the TJ fan wanting more TJ overall so I can admit they might not ever have enough Hodgins scenes to satisfy me, and they need to make up their mind about the replacement for Zack if that is really what they are wanting to do, and make that person important to the team instead of just a nuisance. Make us CARE about him/her, like we cared about Zack, if that is possible.

As you said, we all have different likes and dislikes and if you like this sort of episode, it seems to be the direction they are going more often. So at least one of us will be happy. :wink: I'm glad you put another opinion forward, that is how good discussions work isn't it?

I was typing this as Steph was posting so some of it a bit along the same lines as what you were saying!

Sharon
word count: 535
Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.-Camille Pissarro