"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bones: The Man in the Mud

Rejoice! New episodes of Bones have finally returned to the FOX schedule. And, despite what others think, this girl, this chick, this sexy dame, is very glad for its return. Not happy that FOX is screwing with the schedule of this show, mind you, but glad there are new episodes nevertheless.

Bones is one of those unique dramas that can mix gruesome, terrible death with humor and light-heartedness. It is really a story about relationships, friendly or romantic, and the connections that are established by two totally opposite sets of people.

Plus, I get to see maggots crawling around a person's skull. So, it's all good.

This episode is a good example of what makes Bones work so well. In addition to the murder investigation (which was fairly predictable, more on that later) there was also the ongoing story of FBI Special Agent Seely Booth and Temperance "Bones" Brennan and their adventures in the office of one Dr. Lance Sweets. Actually, the story wasn't about Bones and Booth all that much but the character development of Sweets himself, who was added as a regular cast member last season.

I know Sweets is young. Incredibly young. Near the point of still being in the womb young. Yet, when he leads the therapy sessions with Bones and Booth he is the man under control. There has been more than one occurrence when the doctor has dressed down Booth for his attitude towards him or the mandatory therapy sessions he was dragged into. And, while Booth has tried to get the best of Sweets, many times it bounces off of the therapist and back to the FBI agent.

This was different as I saw Sweets outside of his normal element. Away from his office, and together with his girlfriend April, Sweets is, well, a 23-year-old guy who really doesn't know about women. Especially if the woman is stronger than he is. In this case April was definitely the stronger of the two outside of the therapy world.

It didn't seem like it at first -- she seemed a bit ditsy at the beginning. But, as the double date between Sweets-April and Booth-Bones continued it was clear that she was the stronger person of the two in the relationship. It certainly didn't help that Sweets was trying to impress Bones and Booth with his supposed relationship prowess. Every guy knows that when they try to puff up their chest and show that they are the big man on campus they usually get deflated.

When I looked at the ceramics scene a bit closer I could actually see that Lance and April were a younger version of Seely and Temperance. Okay, April wasn't nearly as smart as Bones was, but there was that fire in her eyes and that hatred of having someone else tell people how she feels or that she apologized for something she didn't do. But, when she began to talk about her fish she had the same passion that I have seen Bones portray when talking about her skeletons. Sweets, like Booth, had that awkward streak in him where he would tell a joke or make a statement that, either would fall flat or would be attacked by Bones on its merits. So, it wasn't surprising that Bones sided with April and Booth with Sweets in their car ride the next morning.

I think the best scene of the episode took place at the ceramics class. Not only did I see Seely and Temperance dress like way too old hippies, but the best gag of the night occurred during this time. I know that Booth is a man's man when it comes to his life and the way he holds his cards tight to his chest. So, when I saw him being so artistic, in such a short period of time, it's both interesting and funny. I mean, I would have to be a very adept sculptor to take a pile of clay and mold it to be a horse in about five minutes time. And, such detail on the horse!

There were other things going other than Sweet's romantic life crashing around him. There was also some action involving the Squints over at the Jeffersonian. I don't know if this whole 'King of the Lab' thing was taking place last season, but it has become a prominent feature this season as Hodgins and Zack compete to find that one clue that will push the investigation ahead. Both of them thought they were King this time around; however, in reality, they didn't have anything to provide Cam with. I wonder if this whole contest has to do with Zack's new emotional stance after spending a number of months in Iraq.

Speaking about Cam, I've been thinking about the relationship between her and Zack lately. It seems that every episode this season has had one scene where she and Zack going back and forth about the current murder mystery and what the evidence may mean. I feel the reason Cam has taken the young Mr. Addy under her wing is to take the place of Bones, who was Zack's mentor and sponsor during his doctorate days. And, while Temperance bestowed upon him the scientific skills he needed, Cam is giving him the investigative, or speculative, skills needed when it comes to criminal acts.

Moving on to this week's criminal act...it was pretty standard as mysteries go on Bones: a body, or part of a body, is found, Bones and Booth tell the family, they investigate, they may or may not pull in the wrong person, and then they finally get the right one. Many times the interest level of the mystery depends on the suspects, and this time around the suspects were a bit flat. The only one who wasn't was the lawyer of the family (who was played by the guy who plays Mr. Friendly on LOST). As he appeared on screen more and more I thought that it was going to be him who murdered the two motorcycle racers. Turns out, it was the daughter of the racing team owner who ended up killing their top racer and her own twin brother.

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