Bones 5.21 The Boy with the Answer

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Re: Bones 5.21 The Boy with the Answer

Post by jade.stormcloud »

boo wrote:That reminds me .. which episode was it where they found evidence in a locker? :think: I think I may have missed that one.
"Hero in the Hold" was the one where they found the Gravedigger's storage locker.
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Re: Bones 5.21 The Boy with the Answer

Post by Sinkwriter72 »

I watched this one when it first aired, because it was a continuation of the Grave Digger storyline, but it's interesting to watch it again, after some distance. It's still not my favorite, because there are little things that I think could have made the episode stronger (like focusing on the team and not on Max, but more on that later).

I wish they would have shown Booth connecting with the rest of the team instead of solely with Brennan -- it's like the writers think that's the only way to write them. That's disappointing to me, because some of my favorite moments aren't always strictly Booth-Brennan. They're Booth-Hodgins, or Cam-Brennan, or Brennan-Angela, or Angela-Hodgins-Zack-and-Brennan, or Booth-Zack, or any combination of the team as a whole. It shows more depth to the two lead characters, to show their other relationships, not just the relationship between Booth and Brennan. I wish this episode (and so many other episodes) would remember that, rather than focusing so hard on Booth/Brennan all the time.

At any rate, I did jot down some of my thoughts as I rewatched the episode... :think:

Chilling dream images in the opener -- and I'm glad they included Hodgins in that instead of simply focusing on Booth and Brennan, because he was part of that first horrific episode too. And it makes sense that Brennan's sleeping brain would remember that, because the two of them were in it together, trapped in that car. *shiver*

The Grave Digger is annoying as ever. I really want to punch that woman. I know it's not nice to say, but I really do. (So kudos to the actress for playing that woman's arrogance and over-confidence so well.)

I like the moment where Caroline looks to Hodgins, Brennan and Booth, seeing their distraught and worried faces, before turning back to the judge and confidently stating that yes, she IS going to pursue the case, no matter how slim the conviction seems at the moment, given that most of their evidence just got denied. I like the power of that moment, that she won't give up on them, she's going to try her hardest to put the Grave Digger into prison forever.

Beautiful, comforting scene between Hodgins and Angela. Both Michaela and Tj played so gently; it seemed heartfelt and genuine all around. Hodgins' comment that he was barely keeping it together really got to me, most especially. I love those kinds of scenes between them, when the writing is subtle and speaking to their history as characters, mirroring the comfort Angela once gave Hodgins at the end of Aliens In A Spaceship. Great stuff.

Yikes. That was one intense scene between Brennan and Hodgins, over whether or not to drop their case in favor of concentrating on the boy's case (which might be more likely to convict the Grave Digger). I can logically understand Brennan's argument, but at the same time I can easily get swept up in the emotions and outrage that Hodgins is feeling. It's such a tense twist, to put it all on the line in the hopes that they'll find the new evidence they need or risk letting the woman go completely free. And nicely written, too, because I can see both sides of the argument here -- I understand Brennan's reasoning (though I question her ability to compartmentalize it, which makes it even more intriguing to see the Grave Digger get under Brennan's skin during the trial) and agree with the idea, and at the same time, I agree with Hodgins because nobody wants to let this woman go free and it's such a huge risk to drop all their charges against her and pursue one new case. It's such a tough call. And again, some terrific acting on the part of Emily and Tj. Wonderfully in character on both sides.

Lovely scene between Cam and Sweets. I would imagine that Cam isn't the type to seek counsel easily, to allow herself to be vulnerable (especially to someone she works with, and often commands), so it must be a tough thing for her to visit him in this way, and express her fears. Yet it also turned to feel like two friends and colleagues both feeling helpless and wishing they could do more. I liked that approach to both their characters. There was a little something missing, I'm not sure exactly what, but I felt Sweets answered one of Cam's comments a little too easily, too quickly, in a way that didn't sound exactly right to me -- Cam seemed to be talking about something else, so Sweets' dialogue felt off in that moment -- but overall the scene was really well done.

The Max stuff continues to bug me. I really don't know what it is, if it's Ryan's acting (which doesn't feel fully genuine to me), or if it's the way they write his character (which frustrates the hell out of me). I don't like the guy. And I feel like his story has already been written, so to keep bringing him back into the fold is melodramatic pushing, rather than presenting something honest.

Yes, ordinarily a father would be at his daughter's trial, to help her through it, but Max doesn't seem to have any boundaries or morals. He says it's all to help Brennan, but I really think he doesn't think things through and how it might really affect her. Unsurprising, I suppose, given that he IS a murderer (a pretty coldblooded one, too, if you think about how he killed his victims) and he has always seemed to behave as if he were above the law. Even the writers treat him like he's meant to be humorous, calling Brennan and asking her to spring him out of jail, like he didn't just try to kill someone (!), telling her he's got a bad back and the beds in jail just aren't comfortable. Is that supposed to be funny? It's really not. I just don't like that he's butting into this storyline. I wish they would have kept the focus strictly on the Jeffersonian team and Booth, the true people involved in this case. Focusing on Max in this way pulls focus from the true victims and the emotion of the case. It's not his story, not this one.

If there's one good thing to be found in it, it's this: I like that Booth didn't just let it slide and let Max go. He arrested him for trying to kill Taffett. Booth holds firm to his convictions and his promise to uphold the law; I think that's an impressive thing, to be that firm and do what is right, even if it's his partner's father. That speaks to Booth's strength of character, and I like that.

Again, I want to punch Taffett for her behavior in questioning both Angela and Brennan. The actress does a great job of showing her arrogance and ability to manipulate and play with the jury, twisting things around to be confusing. (Though as Steph has pointed out, it's still unbelievable that she was able to do all the things she did, all by herself.)

But the truly interesting thing about this scene is how Brennan allows the Grave Digger to get under her skin, cause her to get defensive, which is highly unusual for Brennan. So we know she's a lot more ruffled by the case than her "I'm fine" protestations to Booth would lead us to believe. I like that, because it humanizes her in a way that all the overly forced Booth-Brennan scenes don't always accomplish. This is a much more natural and believable way to accomplish conveying that, having it be part of the case and the story of it all, part of the full character experience, rather than forcing romantic comedy scenes.

A big YAY! for Cam and Hodgins being the ones to find something to convict Taffett. A dust mite. (Ewww.)

Ordinarily I might find the scene between Booth and Brennan that followed the dust mite revelation to be too easy, too much a 'forced B/B moment.' But not this time. At first, I wished that the camera circle around the table as Booth went to sit down would reveal the entire team out for a well-deserved (and exhausted) drink together, because those scenes are so few and far between these days -- too often the writers go for the patented Booth-Brennan 'moment' rather than remembering that these two lead characters have connections with everyone on that team and they're all hurting as a result of this case. It would have been nice to reinforce that, and show Booth and Brennan as the true leaders of these people.

But at the same time, I can't say I don't like the scene as it is, as a one-on-one between Booth and Brennan, because I really like Brennan's assertion that she's tired of it all and that she used to be a researcher and an anthropologist, not a crime fighter for the FBI. That's a big statement to make, and a believable one. I like the reminder that she used to go on digs and help identify bodies and examine artifacts from centuries ago, that that is her passion. And I like how quickly Booth tries to dissuade her, not just because she's good at what she does and has as a result helped a lot of people in working with Booth and the FBI, but because it also seems to have a sliver of desperation to his response, like he doesn't want to lose her as his partner. And that is worth noticing, I think.

It's such a relief to finally see that woman get convicted. Whew. And I like the team's celebratory visit to the bar together afterward; that was really nice to see.

Unfortunately, it gets marred by a scene between Booth, Brennan and Max, whose presence is once again pointless and removing focus from what's really important -- the team, solving an intensely personal case together and finally getting a truly cruel killer convicted. Yet again Max's presence seems disingenuous and unnecessary for this story, especially when his behavior is once again used as a joke. The man tried to kill someone, but it's supposed to be funny that he stiffed Booth with the bar bill because his wallet was 'stolen in prison'? Har har.

I understand the showrunners probably want to interject some humor into a serious episode, because this show is apparently supposed to be a comedy with dramatic undertones (*insert eyeroll here*), but honestly… this episode, this case, IS serious. Does it need a slapsticky sort of joke at the end, like everything's all wrapped up and funny? It's unnecessary. Sometimes cases are heavy, and the end result is relief, not humor. Plus, we already got the positive energy from Jack and Angela revealing their marriage. So once again, I say, Max was unnecessary for this episode.

Thankfully, that Max part was not the ending, and instead we get an interesting moment between Booth and Brennan in which the conversation they had earlier is revisited and we find out that Brennan is still thinking about taking a break from crime-solving. I do like this idea. I don't know how it gets treated in season 6 because I haven't watched that yet, but at this point, I think it's believable and I like the idea a lot. It's maybe a good thing for her as a character, to take a break and return to her roots as an anthropologist, and it feels like a realistic way to keep Booth and Brennan apart, rather than the forced ideas of love triangles and melodramatics. So kudos for that.

I think I like this episode better than Hero In The Hold (which was the episode when Booth was kidnapped by the Grave Digger), but the original Grave Digger episode will always be the ultimate for me. There is no topping Aliens In A Spaceship. Especially -- since we are on -- Tj's magnificent performance in that episode. I could watch him in it 100 times in a row and never be bored. He's that good.

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