Bones 11.17 The Secret in the Service

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Bones 11.17 The Secret in the Service

Post by Sinkwriter72 »

I'm happy to say that I really liked this episode. I feel like the writing was much more solid and balanced all around. I think it helped A LOT that it didn't stray into way too many stories like the episodes that just aired in the last few weeks. Instead, they had one main case focus and everything tied nicely to that story - there was the secret service agent and who might have killed him, with Booth wanting to prove himself and protect the President, the team working in different ways to find the solutions, and one side bit about Brennan being sick. (That was probably the weakest part of the episode, the forced jokes about Brennan's "anus tea" and her trying to show people her "clear sputum." But the overall episode was so good that those forced jokes weren't too bad. And though I think as an anthropologist Brennan would be more open to alternative methods than what they presented in this episode, I did love when Angela ribbed Brennan about asking Angela's reiki guy to stay an extra hour. That was cute and pretty funny.)

Everything tied together beautifully, and the case was strong. And I felt the emotional connections all around were strong as well. Brennan and Cam were there for Booth, both recognizing how difficult the outcome of the case would be for him, and -- in Brennan's case -- acknowledging how hard it is for him every time he has to take a life. Angela and Hodgins had a lovely moment, reaching out for one another, holding hands, in their final scene as well, and it felt natural and like it flowed with the entire episode, rather than being forced as a MOMENT. All the elements of the episode felt natural.

I expected the lead agent to be the killer, mainly because he has played excellent bad guys in the past, but I liked that they made his reason for killing a scientific one, and not really his own doing. He still wanted to protect the President, he was still a good man, he just had a condition that created illness and paranoia, and he was no longer in his right mind. It's so horrible that he killed one of his own agents, and that he died in service the way he did. But it was a nicely told story, and I felt for him, I felt for Booth, and I felt for Aubrey, in those final scenes. This is the kind of emotionally connective story that I appreciate, where the writing helps us to care about everything that's happening and what's at stake and who has been killed and who might be killed. I like it when everyone involved cares. It moves me and makes me care too.

And the humor of the episode was generally smooth and natural throughout as well. The final scene between Booth and Brennan felt a little forced just to have the episode end on an overly humorous note instead of a solemn one, and I'm not sure that was necessary. But overall throughout the episode, the humor was natural and funny. I loved seeing Fisher return (especially because I like the actor and miss him now that his own series Forever -- which I really liked -- got cancelled). I liked his energy and the way he switches back and forth between confidence and self-loathing. I liked how excited everyone was to see him again. I liked how he didn't really say much other than he was sorry to see Angela wasn't joking about Hodgins being in a wheelchair; that was a really nice touch that he didn't push Hodgins about it, he just went right back into chatting about other stuff.

And I LOVED that Hodgins got to go down that elevator shaft - that was reminiscent of his travels down the shaft in Man in the Bone, back in season 1. That he almost fell was very exciting and scary. And I laughed at how Aubrey told him he should cool it with the carbs, and how Hodgins didn't get offended that he was picking on a paraplegic; instead, Hodgins snarked back that Aubrey's one to talk, given his love of doughnuts. LOL!!! And I love how - when Cam asked if she should let Angela know that Hodgins was about to go down the elevator shaft -- both Aubrey and Hodgins comically responded with, "No!" LOL. :D And I loved how the writers brought the story full circle by bringing us back to Hodgins and Angela and him admitting he'd not only gone down there but also fallen quite far. Everything about that conversation and Angela's reaction was very natural and lovely. (And funny.)

It's just such a pleasure when everything ties together nicely, time is taken for us to see and feel genuine reactions from the characters, and there is emotion and heart being threaded through all the stories and action going on. That means a lot to me as a viewer. I really appreciate that.

Side note: I appreciate where they were going with the comment, but I'm not sure I believe that Hodgins wouldn't have been strong enough to catch and hold himself up when he fell if he hadn't been paralyzed and doing physical therapy. Please. I've seen the gun show. I remember that episode when he was in a tank top. Honey, please... I know you've got the goods. You've ALWAYS had the goods. I noticed. ;) :romance-smileyheart:
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Re: Bones 11.17 The Secret in the Service

Post by ThyneAlone »

I'm with you on this one, Sherry. I have to confess to being slightly nervous when they start bringing in names of groups with which I am not familiar, be it the CIA or the Secret Service or even Navy Seals. This one, however, was pretty easy to follow despite the red herrings and my pitiful lack of knowledge about how US groups and institutions operate. And I liked that it was a gradual emergence of information rather than a Deus ex Machina at the very end; we know that the killer was a pro because he didn't target the head, then we find out that he was probably a member of the Secret Service team, because of his insider knowledge of the hotel, then further that the victim was killed by an elbow or knee to the head, implying military training - we zoom in on Walker slowly but inexorably. And finally we are provided with a logical reason; the confusion and paranoia arising from a heart condition made him see the victim's presence as a threat to his position protecting the President, and therefore to the President. The use of Neil Stockton on the side was clever too - the guy who can't use his shoulders and wouldn't have been able to lift a shovel high enough to hit anyone. Interesting that he nevertheless attempted to shoot the President - obviously he was not incapacitated in the use of a firearm.

Brennan had a cold, or a dose of ‘flu or something? It looked to me to be an awful lot of fuss over what seemed to be mild illness. B12 injections and an IV line? And a Reiki practitioner? I could have handled a lot less talk about sputum. And about anuses. Still, the cough provided a good way of distracting the people at the gunnery.

Sherry is quite right to say there is some forced humour, like the ‘funny’ toilet scene with Stockton, which wasn’t very funny, but there are some comic gems which arise naturally from character and conversation and which I enjoyed a lot. Angela’s ribbing of Brennan about the Reiki healer was good fun, and Cam’s deadpan reminder to Fisher “Remember your audience” was a jewel of comic timing. Hodgins and the laundry chute – a wonderful chance for TJ to enjoy himself as in days of yore. Jack has always been one for climbing in and out of things with unfathomable enthusiasm – the shaft in the Man With the Bone, lakes, skips, trees, rubbish heaps. It was great to see him doing it again in “one situation where you don’t need working legs”! And the “seriously, you’re giving me advice on diets?” was hilarious. I also agree with you that he would have been plenty strong enough to hold himself up even when he was fully fit – don’t we all. Although I did feel that the visuals while he was down there contradicted Angela’s simulation. There was supposed to have been barely enough space for his shoulders, and the chute looked a lot wider than that to me.

I loved the visuals as the secret service team came striding through the lab doors in formation like something out of ‘Men In Black’ – that was very funny too.

The standout part of this ep for me, however, was the welcome return of Fisher, trying to fool them all about his position when he is in fact just a private tutor. Every word out of his mouth was a treasure. Did anyone else notice that when he spoke he imitated Brennan’s inflection, that slightly robotic feel? Quite revealing I thought (Aubrey and Patel speaking in the car paralleled Brennan and Booth in a similar way). He never disappointed in his delivery. Or in his non-delivery, as when he waits for Cam to address him as ‘Doctor’ before responding to her.

Hodgins (re his paralysis): No, not a joke – just a lot of pain, misery and self-loathing.
Fisher: Feelings in which I’m very well versed.

Cam: Any idea what kind of confined space?
Fisher: None whatever, but thank you for pointing out the inadequacies of my work.

Fisher (on Hodgins’ tussle with Death): Was she as comely as I imagine?

Fisher (on Angela’s deduction of his real job): I hate both of you and I’m super depressed that you worked that out.

I liked the continuity. We are again reminded of Booth’s notorious ancestor and again we see his reaction to having to kill a human being. Brennan and Cam are massively supportive – as ever. Booth shows a familiar empathy as he talks to young Travis Bozwell, confiding that ‘it gets better’. Hodgins is showing vestiges of his old optimism and finds a positive in his disability (albeit one Sherry and I disagree with ;) ) Yes, overall very nicely done and with appropriate respect for the victim and the perp.
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