CliqueClack TV

Bones – The confusion in the breakdown

Brennan breaks down, Booth's just strange, and I'm not sure how to deal with this big, dramatic sweeps episode of 'Bones.'

- Season 6, Episode 9 - "The Doctor in the Photo"

So a little over 24 hours ago I fired up the screener we recieved for Bones, thinking to myself, “Hey, I’ll get a head start on writing my review and it’ll be done ahead of time and I’ll feel great!” Cut to now, when I’ve spent all day pondering on and re-watching this episode, and I’ve still got no clue on what to write. I don’t even know how I feel about it, yet. I’m just a big old blank.

Usually, my writing a review is really simple. I watch the episode, and take bullet points I put under the headers “GOOD” and “BAD.” At the end, I see which side had more bullet points, choose a few I feel strongly about, and write the review. Easy-peasy. This episode, not only did my bullet points come out about equal, but there was a third category I’d created with the header “?????”. And under all of my categories the bullet points, instead of reading their usual “scene w/Angela + Hodg. adorable!” had a lot of rambling capslock and over-punctuation, and at the end of each note is another note telling me that I’ve further discussed this matter in both of the other sections.

In short, we’d reached the end of what I considered a two part mega-episode about Brennan and her feelings. I was sure that by the end of it I’d know not only how I felt about this episode, but about the episode before it, and on top of that, I’d know about my feelings on this season as a whole, which has just felt so notably different from what came before.

But really, all I am is more confused than I started out.

There are two things I can unequivocally and without hesitation say were magnificent. The first was the Veronica Mars actor’s reunion with ever-phenomenal guest star Enrico Colantoni, who I absolutely adore in every role he plays and have never understood why he hasn’t been scooped up as a permanent fixture on every show. And we even got a bit of Francis Capra as a possible suspect, which was a nice flashback to his days as Weevil.

The second thing that was without a doubt beyond magnificent was Emily Deschanel‘s acting. It was nuanced, passionate, heartbreaking, and one of the best performances I’ve seen all year. Bones, in my opinion, gets unfairly shafted come awards seasons in favor of other procedural dramas that I think lack the character depth Bones brings and should be at the very least nominated for. Emily’s performance was without a doubt nominee-worthy. Seriously, I love her, but I’m really tired of Mariska Hargitay getting nominated for furrowing her brow the same way every season. Mix it up next year, whoever is in charge of deciding that stuff.

I think what’s throwing me off, when I get down to it, is everyone besides Brennan. If she’s so clearly having an emotional breakdown, why is everyone just watching her all wide-eyed and passive? And why is Sweets, most of all, only having one very vague conversation with her and then continuing to let her utterly break down? What kind of shrink is he?

And most of all, I’m totally weirded out by Booth. I feel like this season I don’t even know him anymore. Look, I’m sympathetic with him. I’ve been in his place, where there’s been a big build-up to what you think is going to be a relationship with someone who you’ve had feelings for forever, only to have it ultimately not pan out. I know how much it hurts. But I also know that it is completely impossible for Booth to have gone and in the space of a few months fall in love with someone else, let alone fall out of love with the other person. And I seriously wonder why no one is calling Booth out on this whole Hannah charade. They put up a little token protest but then were somehow magically all swayed by Hannah’s prettiness. Clearly, if a girl is hot enough, she can override all common sense!

I understand having a rebound relationship, but it’s clearly gone beyond that point. It’s gotten to a place where Booth is letting people get hurt — not just Brennan, but Hannah, who’s now all mixed up in this. And the Booth from the previous seasons wouldn’t do that. Booth wouldn’t just awkwardly grit something out and then let Brennan leave his car when she was crying. Let’s repeat that: Brennan was crying. I think, in spite of everything that’s happened in previous seasons, the number of times Brennan cried can be counted on one hand. And that didn’t effect him? How can he claim to care about her at all, let alone to have been in love with her less than a year ago, if the sight of her breaking down and crying when she never, ever does so doesn’t seem to move him at all? And remember at the beginning of last season when Sweets was telling him that he should absolutely not make any moves on Brennan unless he was positive he was willing to wait for her to accept a relationship at her own pace or it would destroy her ability to trust?  What happened to that? What happened to the Booth who actually gave a crap about Brennan’s emotional well-being?

Look, I wasn’t exactly expecting him to start making out with Brennan or suddenly admit that Hannah was a rebound. But I was expecting some sort of fallout. I was expecting some hint of the Booth I grew to know and love come peeking back out. I was expecting some sort of look, or realization, or anything to give me a hint that this cold, detached Booth we’ve seen all season is just a front he’s putting up to try and keep himself from being hurt by Brennan again.

Maybe it’s coming. Maybe when we get back from this long break we’ll see it, but I somehow doubt it. And I don’t really know what to make of that. It just leaves me feeling confused and off-kilter and just … strange. It’s like our world as the audience has been turned upside-down, only I can’t adjust, and no one’s turning me right side up again.

Photo Credit: FOX

Categories: | Bones | Episode Reviews | Features | General | TV Shows |

11 Responses to “Bones – The confusion in the breakdown”

December 10, 2010 at 10:16 PM

I loved seeing Keith Mars and Weevil in the episode. I especially liked how Colantoni was in a law enforcement type position (even if it was just a security guard) and that Weevil was a punk on the wrong side of the tracks.

While I agree with Booth’s response to Brennan’s revelation, I didn’t expect anything else. And I will disagree with one of your points – that they were watching her wide-eyed and passive. This was a Brennan-centric episode. We saw virtually nothing from the point of view of the other Squints. For all we know, they were having meetings and discussing what was going on with each other. Obviously Booth was keeping an eye on her and following her nightly trips to the Jeffersonian, otherwise he wouldn’t have been there to save her when she almost got hit by a car.

As far as Sweets, he was trying to council her, but she wasn’t completely open with him or willing to listen to the advice he gave. He can only do so much.

Either way, this was obviously the beginning of the end for Booth & Hannah. Even if Booth chose Hannah in this episode, it will affect their relationship soon enough. I look forward to seeing how it affects Booth and Bone’s relationship, too.

December 10, 2010 at 11:02 PM

So, as soon as I watched this episode I ran to your FB to figure out which website you write for and if your review was up yet.

Completely unrelated to the rest of this, Aaron’s response to Sweets’ conversation with Brennan was that he actually pushed too far too fast, and she wasn’t ready for it. That said, I’m glad he was sort of lurking in the background the whole time, trying to help her out.

But I guess the real reason I wanted to comment is Booth. I think the key thing here is that, in order to “get over” Bones, he had to completely divorce himself from the possibility that Bones was ever going to have “that kind” of feelings for him. (That said, I don’t think it’s even remotely possible — even implied? — that Booth isn’t in love with Bones anymore. You don’t come back from love like that — you learn to live with it.) He went overseas to war, he found another girl who he connected to on a level completely different from Bones. As much as I think no one can believe that Hannah isn’t just a plot device (since she clearly is), I think it’s also important that we realize that Hannah and Booth are canonically in love “for realz.” She has to be awful and annoying so that we can not care at all when they eventually break up, but the thing is that Booth really _does_ love her. He’s also the most loyal guy in the world, so Booth can’t even fathom the idea of just jumping ship and betraying her because suddenly Bones has come around. I think the reason we didn’t see that glimmer of recognition you were looking for is because, in reaction to Bones blowing his mind with this information, the only way that Booth knows how to deal with any of it is to be as blank as possible. He realizes that he has a huge situation on his hands, and he knows that he can’t deal with it right there in the car, when Bones is having an emotional breakdown. I think Booth’s unraveling is going to take the rest of the season, and in the end I think it’s going to be Hannah who finally redeems herself by seeing what’s going on and just pulling herself out of the situation for his sake.

Anyway, yes. That is what I want to say.

December 12, 2010 at 8:09 AM

Maybe I got it wrong but Brennan, doesn’t want to be alone and only be able to feel through danger and that’s why she makes a move on Booth now. When he’s together with another woman.


December 12, 2010 at 11:02 AM

I feel the same way about Booth, I just started really watching Bones last season. I went back and watched the entire series and I loved the Booth I grew to know. I could really feel his “courtly love” for Brennan. Now he does seem so cold and seems kind of annoyed by her at times. I would have expected him to act this way after she rejected him,I think the writers made a big mistake with this whole love triangle. The veiwers never got to know Hannnah and see the love grow between her and Booth, and Hannah is too perfect, I need a flaw to really like her. I don’t get the love either just the physical attraction they have for each other. I hope Booth finally comes back to the Booth we know and love.

December 12, 2010 at 12:11 PM

“It’s gotten to a place where Booth is letting people get hurt — not just Brennan, but Hannah, who’s now all mixed up in this. ”

Ummmm. If Brennan is hurting it’s totally because of the choices she made. And how is Hannah getting hurt by her boyfriend refusing to dump her in favor of someone else?

As to the rest, this episode is unique in that it is told only from one person’s point of view. We aren’t privy to the conversations that went on between Angela and Hodgins about what was going on, or the conversations with Angela & Cam about what was going on. Or the conversations Sweets had with Angela and Cam and Booth that we know were going on because he said he had them.

And so much for hanging out watching over someone and following them to a bad part of town and keeping them from getting hit by a car as counting for anything…

Because no matter what bad judgement calls Brennan makes – Booth is always supposed to be there to save Brennan from herself.

January 18, 2011 at 1:56 PM

“As to the rest, this episode is unique in that it is told only from one person’s point of view. We aren’t privy to the conversations that went on between Angela and Hodgins about what was going on, or the conversations with Angela & Cam about what was going on. Or the conversations Sweets had with Angela and Cam and Booth that we know were going on because he said he had them.”

I love this point — and I think it emphasizes the one that Julia is missing: Brennan is supposed to feel isolated and alone. She sees herself in this dead woman, a respected doctor who pushes everyone away, and she projects this woman’s life onto her own.

But I think what she realizes is that she isn’t at all like this woman. She has a family, whom she actively tries to keep together. She has friends in her workplace — at least Angela and Booth can be counted as true friends; the rest certainly care about one another.

And hooray for Booth for not getting all squishy when she breaks down. Not only from a psychological point of view (this woman has had this breakdown coming on for YEARS — long overdue) but also as a strong, capable, sexual being. Brennan snaps her fingers and expects Booth to drop everyone and everything to come to her? After she rejected him (multiple times!) and took off for parts unknown?

I’m really frustrated with Hannah, but I do believe HH when he said she is the best thing to happen to the B/B relationship. Booth gets some self-assurance that he’s a pretty good catch and can stay committed (this will register big with Bones on the trustworthy meter), and the doctor lady deals with crap that’s been coming on since she was abandoned at 15.

And now I’ve convinced myself to watch through the end of the season. TPTB, you better not disappoint!

December 12, 2010 at 5:44 PM

“It’s like our world as the audience has been turned upside-down, only I can’t adjust, and no one’s turning me right side up again.”

give it three days

December 12, 2010 at 5:54 PM

I was certain we would find out that Micah the guard was merely another of Brennan’s hallucinations at the end. Forget Hannah; he was the one that was too perfect and popped up out of nowhere.

December 13, 2010 at 7:26 AM

That’s *exactly* what I thought was going to happen. When he walked around the corner at the end, I thought she was going to follow him to say something – only to find no one there.

December 16, 2010 at 3:09 PM

I ususally don’t say, “I told you so” but, this ENTIRE mess stems from the damn 100th. Booth wasn’t acting like Booth then. Brennan was in tears and he didn’t think about why that might be. He acted on a GAMBLING metaphor from Sweets? He pushed Brennan for a immediate answer to something he knew would terrify her – which he he’d never done before. It wasn’t just a reset, it was redefining the characters. Booth’s behavior only matches up from the 100th going forward. It doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the relationships and character built in the 99 episodes prior.

TDinP had a AMAZING performance by Emily – just like the scene in the 100th did. However in the scheme of the entire show, neither really belonged. Not unless you start from the 100th and move forward, because it’s been a completely different show ever since, one I’ve liked less and less as it’s gone on.

Maybe the reason SVU actress gets the nod a lot has more to do with consistency of the shows writing. While character development used to be Bones’ hallmark, between Zach, Angela flipping to Wendall, only to end Wendall and turn back to Hodgins (yes it’s where she belongs, but they totally dropped the ball on those transitions) and now Booth, I can’t say that it’s the hallmark anymore. It’s gone from mostly character driven to basically plot-driven. It’s disappointing, because Bones was an AMAZING show at one point. I miss it a lot.

January 2, 2011 at 7:33 PM

i have to agree with the previous commenter. there was a time when i couldnt wait for the next episode of bones, and the character development was wonderful. now, instead of being known for character development, the writers might as well be known for making wacky decisions they dont believe they ever have to justify.

whether in an effort to contend for those illusive awards or because the writers have run out of places to go without pulling a “moonlighting” this show has been confused and off center all season.

i do remember an arc some time ago that focused on changes in booth’s personality.. perhaps meant to justify this latest failure to live up to his character. all i can say is “insufficient.”

that said, there had to be some change in booth’s personality to make of for the fact that bones broke his heart. they couldn’t exactly return to business as usual with zero fallout.

Powered By OneLink