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Bones 11.14 The Last Shot at a Second Chance

Posted: Fri May 06, 2016 6:52 am
by omelette73
I know this is a comment from last week episode, but I was waiting to see what I saw in "The Last Shot at a Second Chance" to answer properly :)
Sinkwriter72 wrote:I know it's supposed to be months of physical therapy gone by, so Angela has lost her compassion for him, especially when he keeps making everything about being paraplegic. But I feel like because we didn't get to see those initial months after he first got injured and found out about his paralysis, we aren't getting to see his struggle. Instead they're just treating him like, oh, that's Hodgins, such a jerk, everyone be mad at him, Angela's such a victim being yelled at by her jerk husband, let's all feel sorry for her, not him. I just wish we'd see at least one person - if not Angela, because it's too complicated for her, then someone else on the team - trying to reach out to him, speak up to him without sarcasm or attitude like he should just get over it already. Even if Hodgins still pushes back and isn't ready to be receptive, I just wish we'd see someone trying to be on his side. But once again, it's more about Angela and her pain. And Hodgins is just "being a jerk." I don't like that. I want to see more of TJ. And I want to see his character's story. Not these brief snippets. It feels like something's missing. They're not focusing on him, even though it's his story.
It's not enough focus on Hodgins!
While I agree that not seeing Hodgins struggle to adjust to this trauma deprive us of something, I do not agree about him being described just as the "jerk husband". Hodgins have always had issue with anger control (he was - he is! - the guy with the elastic on his wrist, the one who mostly choke Pelant to death), it's not like this is something new about him, and I think that the authors have being consistent in describing his character, plus this kind of rage is totally understandable for a person who is living his tragedy. People like to complain, that's every fandom favorite sport, and they are saying that he is just a jerk for attacking Angela, because they are not paying attention or considering the big picture.

We just needed to wait some time to see what you were hoping for last week, I loved the scene between Hodgins and Brennan, it was really open and sincere and I loved the way the barrier he has been building around him started to crack. Hodgins was not mad because he was feeling sorry for himself (at least not only because of that), he was mad because, as he said to Angela, he was making her miserable too, and the guy love Angela so much that he decided to react or at least to try to do so.

Again I'm really enjoying what the writers have done with this storyline, I mean, Hodgins and Angela, are not B&B, they are not the stars of the show, and I get why they can't have 100% screen time, but I feel like this is the best compromise we had in 11 years, not too fast, not too slow, everything it is happening at the right time. I don't think it's not enough focus on Hodgins, I can't really complain about that, I'm just enjoying TJ performance because, damn, he is good, and for once they are giving him the right material to show that. At the moment I think he is the best actor on the Bones set. Hands down.

Re: Bones 11.14 The Last Shot at a Second Chance

Posted: Fri May 06, 2016 10:51 am
by emi13
I agree, Hodgins has had problems with his anger. I think the way he has been reacting is very true to his character. I loved the scene between Hodgins and Brennan too! I thought it was so neat to have Brennan say that to Hodgins because it shows just how far their characters have come from the beginning. I think the timeline is very realistic to what it would be like in real life. I was in tears during the scene when Hodgins tried to separate with Angela. It was so sad to see her crying alone in her bed. However, I am hopeful that Hodgins will come around soon after wheeling himself over to Angela and holding her hand. I really like how they are showing a more in depth look at Hodgins and Angela's relationship and Hodgins' character. Last night's episode was so good, I can't wait to see where the writers are going to take this. TJ has been rocking it in these scenes! He is so so so talented!

Re: Bones 11.14 The Last Shot at a Second Chance

Posted: Fri May 06, 2016 3:50 pm
by Sarah_402
I hate to repeat your thoughts but the scene between Bones and Hodgins really was just spectacular. It was just what he needed to hear. I can only imagine how tough it must be for Hodgins and thanks to TJ's acting I see how Hodgins' reacts and believe his portrayal to be spot on. I do wish we could see a bit more of Angela trying to break through the barrier Hodgins has built between them. I know we have had only a few glimpses of home life but just watching them interact these last few episodes has been tough. I really enjoyed the ending scenes between the two and loved how Hodgins went to comfort Angela. It really speaks volumes that even though Hodgins thinks Angela would be better with out him bringing her down he has a glimmer of hope. I see this as a turning point in their relationship. I love how Angela says "This is life. It's hard, and it is painful and it is every day. But we fight. We fight together." It seems like for once Angela is finally willing to show she loves Hodgins nearly as much as he so deeply loves her. What Anela says seems more like something Hodgins would say, so it is nice to see him rub off a bit on her.

Re: Bones 11.14 The Last Shot at a Second Chance

Posted: Fri May 06, 2016 10:11 pm
by omelette73
Sarah_402 wrote:I love how Angela says "This is life. It's hard, and it is painful and it is every day. But we fight. We fight together."
You know, I just found out this is a quote from the Buffy episode 3x10 Amends (a dialogue between Angel and Buffy), Emily Silver, who wrote the episode, is a huge Buffy fan, and wanted to pay tribute to the show :)

Angel: Oh, my God...
Buffy: No! No!
Angel: Am I a thing worth saving, huh? Am I a righteous man? The world wants me gone!
Buffy: What about me? I love you so much... And I tried to make you go away... I killed you and it didn't help And I hate it! I hate that it's so hard... and that you can hurt me so much. I know everything that you did, because you did it to me. Oh, God! I wish that I wished you dead. I don't. I can't.
Angel: Buffy, please. Just this once... let me be strong.
Buffy: Strong is fighting! It's hard, and it's painful, and it's every day. It's what we have to do. And we can do it together. But if you're too much of a coward for that, then burn. If I can't convince you that you belong in this world, then I don't know what can. But do not expect me to watch. And don't expect me to mourn for you, because...

Re: Bones 11.14 The Last Shot at a Second Chance

Posted: Sat May 07, 2016 3:09 am
by ThyneAlone
OK you have reassured me that this is more than a desultory nod to Hodgins' plight and his anger (which was how I was feeling about the previous ep). I do want to underline that I have enjoyed the resurfacing of his anger issues, that has been very true to character - has he still got the elastic band, has anyone noticed?
The thing is, I haven't seen this episode yet. It doesn't air in the UK until Monday night, and even then only to people who happen to have Sky Living. So I'm fascinated to learn that the Angela/Hodgins relationship is finally getting some attention, that Angela is demonstrating an equal partnership after a few seasons of Jack appearing to be the more invested one, and that Brennan is sensitive to what's going on.
As soon as you mentioned the Buffy quote I recognised it, Teresa. I'm so pleased. Amends is a favourite episode of mine. I will be interested to see how Angela delivers that line (she often hits the mark on this kind of thing, qv my much-loved signature). Maybe she isn't going to turn to Sebastian after all??

Re: Bones 11.14 The Last Shot at a Second Chance

Posted: Sun May 08, 2016 9:04 pm
by Sarah_402
This is the first episode since the start of the second half where I saw Hodgins' green rubber band. I've been looking through the second half for it. So it is there, but we haven't seen him use it. I think it may be coming and would be a good way to show he is trying again.

Re: Bones 11.14 The Last Shot at a Second Chance

Posted: Sat May 28, 2016 8:43 pm
by Sinkwriter72
I've been letting the Bones episodes stack up because now that I've gotten rid of my AT&T U-Verse TV package (it got too expensive) I don't get to see the episodes when they first air. I have to catch them online. So I just watched a couple more episodes.

I'd like to clarify a bit. I personally don't think Hodgins is a jerk husband. He's been through a hellish experience, he desperately wants to walk again, and he probably feels less than himself these days, which is causing him to lash out at the people he cares about, especially Angela. That all makes sense to me, as painful as it has been to see him be so cruel to his wife.

HOWEVER... I don't think the story as presented by the writers is giving us all this information. TJ is the one giving it to us through his wonderful work with the character. But with apparent edits to the episodes (which TJ has mentioned on Twitter) and the lack of SHOWING us enough of what HODGINS is actually going through, I feel like all we're getting is "Hodgins is being a jerk to his wife." WE as fans know differently, but I feel like the WRITING isn't showing more of Hodgins' struggle in depth. We've seen that in multiple conversations in which Brennan or Cam ask Angela why she's letting him talk to her that way, that it's wrong and he's being a jerk, and she apologizes for him because she knows he's going through a hard time. But to me that's all talk. That's telling us rather than showing us Hodgins' point of view. So all we get is Hodgins seemingly behaving like a jerk. We don't get to see the next scene, where he'd go when he leaves the room, how he's feeling, and we certainly don't see anyone reaching out to him. They're all reaching out to Angela. How can all these people be his friends and we see not a single scene in which any one of them reaches out to him? Even if they start by saying, "I know you're going through a hard time, please stop pushing us all away." Even if he can't hear that yet, even if he keeps pushing them away, I'd still like to see someone TRY. But until this episode we've had not a single scene like that. So it feels suddenly rushed to me, like they're not putting the effort into showing enough of what Hodgins is going through.

In this episode, for example, I feel like there was way too much going on. There didn't need to be four stories. We had Booth & Brennan's hearing because she punched that one guy; the case itself; Aubrey and what's-her-name, and Jack and Angela. With all of the attention spread out like that, it's difficult for the writing to spend enough time on any one part of it and give it the justice it deserves.

In the case of the Hodgins/Angela/paralysis storyline, TJ has done a wonderful job with it, but I don't know that I like the way the writers have approached it.

I feel that what has been presented has been more about Angela's pain, and not Hodgins'. I feel like we've seen her struggle more than we've seen his. I feel like we've seen him be angry and insensitive (understandably so in some ways, given what I assume to be his inner struggle with being paralyzed and not being the man he thinks he needs to be for Angela anymore and not being able to verbalize that in any other way than with bitterness). But I feel like instead of focusing on HODGINS and his struggle, we've seen it more from Angela's point of view, and I haven't loved that. It's great to see Michaela get something meaty (some of my favorite season 1 episodes involve her character, such as in Skull in the Desert or Graft in the Girl), and Michaela did a lovely job in this episode, but...

I just don't feel satisfied with what feels like a one-sided approach to the story. I feel like it's been too much "off screen" when it comes to Hodgins' actual struggle. And instead we've only gotten these brief snippets of him being rude to her, and us seeing Angela struggling instead of us getting to see Hodgins when he leaves that room. We don't see his side of things. Instead we see hers. I want to see both, but I especially want to see his side, given that it's his body and how hard that must be.

If I weren't familiar with the show already, if I weren't already a fan of TJ and of Hodgins, I might not sympathize with him because I would feel like we haven't seen his side. Until this episode, we've only been shown him as if he's angry and being cruel.

As much of a relief as it was to have it finally happen, I'm just not sure that moment between Hodgins and Angela was earned. I wanted to see more of Hodgins' struggle to get to this point. I mean, for crying out loud, he and Angela said more emotionally in one scene at the end of Aliens in a Spaceship than he has been able to show in all these weeks. Not because TJ hasn't been showing what he can, but because I think the writing isn't honoring all the work he's putting in. They're not writing for his character. They're writing for the relationship or for Angela.

I also am not sure some of this anger they've shown is in the spirit of the character. Yes, he's had anger issues; yes, he used to snap that green rubber band; yes, he used to fight against authority. But never in any of that has he been vicious to the point of verbal abuse. I can see him snapping at people, I can see him telling them to leave him alone, I can see him saying shut up or that they don't f***ing understand what he's going through. But I can't see him dismissing anyone's intelligence or treating Angela like her job is pointless. And NO ONE says anything to him in that moment? All these bold women and no one speaks up? And we don't see ANYONE have a conversation with Hodgins?

The only thing that felt like Hodgins was when he saw Angela crying, in their bed, and he softened. Because THAT is Hodgins. He cannot ignore someone else's pain, not when it's right in front of his face like that.

Hodgins may be angry and bitter about being paralyzed, and I can see him snapping at people or being sarcastic in his frustration, but he's not clueless or insensitive to the point where he would be that cruel to his own wife, see her hurt and keep going with the viciousness. He's not that kind of mean. There is a vast difference between his usual brand of sarcasm or standing up for what is right and being angry about the state of the world versus the disrespect and cruelty that he displayed in these past episodes.

And while TJ played it well, it's not right for the character. I feel (as they sometimes do with many things throughout the series) like they're trying to force some sort of Moment or create drama when they had enough drama without forcing their characters out of character in the process. There was plenty for TJ to be able to do, given the stress and difficulty of such a loss and drastic change in Hodgins' life. To pile onto that by forcing his character to be vicious and cruel when Hodgins is not that... I just don't buy it. 

I mean, like I said above, I could see him snapping and snarking and being frustrated and being mad because they couldn't possibly understand how difficult it must be to go through such a change after all those years being able to walk and maneuver through life and now not being able to do that anymore, and I can even see being insensitive because you're frustrated. Telling someone to leave you alone or mind your own business or even tell them to fuck off because they don't understand what you're going through and you don't believe it's going to "get better" anytime soon and you want to wallow for a while. But being as vicious as he was to Angela, denigrating her work, her abilities, everything about her, that's not Hodgins.

And while it's awesome for Michaela to get something to do, I feel like once again, the focus becomes about her and her pain, and the writers just writing Hodgins like he's the jerk in all this. Which I suppose he was, given how they wrote him, but I hate that they didn't spend time with him in HIS pain. Both Angela and Hodgins are going through stuff, but I feel like his pain and struggle got pushed to "off screen" and the focus became simply on a few episodes of him being mean to Angela and us seeing Angela getting the sympathy and the hugs and comfort and the discussion and the real time spent.

To not have ANYONE have an in-depth conversation with Hodgins just seems criminal to me, and once again, a waste of TJ's talent. I appreciated Brennan finally hinting at a conversation with Hodgins, but I didn't like the formality of it -- her calling him Dr. Hodgins in the same breath as saying he was her friend felt off - why didn't she try to reach him by actually calling him Jack? Haven't they been through enough over the years for her to be informal in a moment that requires it? This is another example of how I feel like the writers jockey back and forth with their characterization of Brennan. In one episode (or in the case of the early seasons, an entire season) she can be shown to have great compassion and care for her friends and for the victims she examines. But in the next episode, especially in these later seasons, they've got her acting all robotic because the situation warrants it (or the writers force it that way in an attempt at humor). This conversation was a long time coming between Brennan and Jack, but I feel like the writers aren't honoring the years of friendship involved, and everything they've been through together. These are the two people who were buried alive together. That leaves a mark and changes a relationship forever. So what's with the hyper-formalities? It didn't feel like Brennan just awkwardly trying to have a conversation about something difficult. It felt like the writers have forgotten that these two characters care and respect one another deeply.

I also kept waiting for the sit-down at the diner between Hodgins and Aubrey to become about more than just the case details, and again, it felt like another natural moment wasted. 
Aubrey was the guy who pulled Hodgins down and shielded him (but also may have accidentally contributed to Hodgins' injury that ultimately caused his paralysis). I can't believe we haven't seen a conversation between the two of them at all about that in any way.

Why haven't we seen a single person talk to Hodgins with compassion, or try to give him a hug, or tell him off for pushing them all away?
 Were these scenes cut? Or did the writers not bother? Either way, I feel like it's not honoring what could be an emotionally amazing storyline.

And now it seems generally resolved? The commercial for the next episode seemed to treat Hodgins like he'll be happily back to experiments. Is that it? Has this been the trial and struggle of Hodgins? Are they done now and will start moving to everyone being all, "Hodgins, I'm so glad you're feeling better / dealing with your diagnosis / back to your old self, blah blah..."? 

Because I won't be happy with that. I held my tongue in general because I thought (hoped) they were building up to something. Honestly, I've been waiting for Hodgins to finally explode or break down. I've been waiting for his big moment.

But if all they were building up to was Angela's moment of explosion, and no real dialogue or explosion for Hodgins, then I really don't feel the writers have done well with this. There was more they could have done. And it certainly wasn't an honoring of what TJ can do.

I want more for our talented TJ Thyne. And for us as fans who were told this was going to be something big for him at last.