I'm starting off a thread for this because, after Herculean efforts online (site too slow, site doesn't work, site is subscription only, vid hiccups constantly thanks to incredibly slow buffering etc <sigh>), I have finally managed to see this ep. Come on people, some of you saw it trouble free, I was expecting a comment today!
No matter. Another one with a theme! Things are looking up, because that means the episodes are becoming more coherent. The thread of this one appears to be male/female relationships, but pretty much excluding Booth and Brennan, which is refreshing, and offering more on Cam's background, which is frankly elating and promising (more on other squints please!). Question...given previous information, should Cam be allowed to work, and work so intimately, on this case? I mean - should she not be a suspect?? Like Hodgins, whom she allowed to resign in MitM? Or even Booth in Fire In The Ice. Not to say that personal connections with cases are not satisfying and great for character development, but... And why does everyone known to the team have to be found in freakish and unpleasant circumstances? Booth's ice hockey opponent in an ice hole, Angela's boyfriend with the head, Hodgins' mate with the sitting in his chair bleeding out with the maggots, and now an ex-lover of Cam's in a lions' den being digested bit by bit? Yuk.
That was my big opening with all the rhetorical questions, I'll try not to annoy you with them further. So what male/female relationships do we look at (oops, there goes another one)? Well, omitting the various revelations on how male and female cats relate to each other and to their families, we see infidelity (Andrew/Cam, Andrew and all his other women. You might say the victim was literally eaten up by someone else's jealousy), then compassionate friendship (Booth/Cam) then monogamy (dismissed by Brennan, espoused by Clark the 'briefcase bomb' -very cute, especially as Clark is finally taking charge and allowing people to see that his personal life is very happy, thank you), then Angela's so-far sad attempts at celibacy - love the masturbation advice! - and also parental feelings father/daughter and mother/son. With a sly look meantime at that amazing female camaraderie you see on girls' nights out and hen parties - groups of women discussing men. Luckily Hodgins has the self-assurance not to be too fazed by walking in on such a discussion and is merely amused. I'm sure lesser men would have walked away! He certainly does know women. Interesting that though he is happy to remark flippantly on the increase in Angela's libido and smile at her being affected by the pheromones in feline urine, he still has a serious comment to make which almost sums up the episode - sex is not enough.
By the by, I really missed the Angelator in that moment when Angela had the possible murder scenarios up on screen.
I did feel there was some great acting going on here. Even Silly Booth (not intended as a pun, but it's come out that way) was pretty much confined to the first few exchanges in the animal park, and the rest of the ep showed more of the instinctive investigator and compassionate man that he really is. And Emily stepped back just a little to allow others to shine. Michaela, though given a fairly one-dimensional script where all she had to do was lust after various men all the time, still managed to convince (I am now getting a strong sensation that what she needs is a serious relationship with someone who isn't Hodgins), and TJ was even more subtle than last week, with his hints at real feeling and a slight sense of regret beneath the roguishness, and yet still projecting fabulous enthusiasm whenever he discovered something useful. Totally King of the Lab, and I did enjoy it when he walked away and Angela watched him so meaningfully. Well yes, I watched him too, but she had a better view, alas (does anyone else, btw, use coffee, drinks etc as a euphemism for sex, because we totally used to do that all the time at uni?).
In the end of course, Tamara was the star. At last the woman gets something to do that stretches her a bit, and she grasps the opportunity with both hands. There was intense, if understated, emotion in everything she did, but particularly in her scenes with Michelle, who was also excellent. I surrendered to my familiar 'parent' reaction and shed a couple of tears at the end. So in the end a female/female relationship comes strongly to the fore, but both women very much loved by the same man.
I liked this one because it felt like a team effort. The story was still very slight, though, with not enough evidence pointing us to the culprit and too much going off in red (haired) herring directions. Nevertheless a fine relationship study with definite character progression. What did everyone else think?
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"We make our lives out of chaos and hope. And love." - Angela Montenegro