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

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bones: The Wannabe in the Weeds

This was a very lighthearted and playful episode, particularly after the gravitas of last episode's trial. Not only was it a great send-up of FOX's sister show, American Idol, making light fun of the show and its contestants, but there was also a lot of joking around and funny moments, reminiscent of the best of Bones' first two seasons with the Squint Squad. It was nice to see them back in full force this episode. Simultaneously, there were plenty of clues from the beginning of the episode about what was going to happen.

I had all of the pieces of the crime very quickly (except the head, ha ha). Before I get into the clues, let's talk for a minute about the humor from the beginning: Cam says she has brain matter, so the victim must have had a head, which is funny because presumably he had a head because he was a person, and not just because there is brain matter at the scene. Brennan's glee at finding the head in the mower's grille just exemplifies that fact that this is not a heavy-duty crime. The victim was an ass who stole money, disturbed his neighbors, made fun of his clients, and had delusions of grandeur. Even his name was funny: Tommy Sour. Nobody really seemed to care that he was dead: Except Pam.

From the minute they interview the artist, they have motive (the noise) and method (Bones makes a big show of admiring the artist's sculpture, which is held together with the same kind of wire that was used to kill the victim alter). So, even though I don't know yet that I have all of the pieces, the rest of the episode is window dressing, used to introduce us to Pam, the catalyst for the climax of the episode. So to speak.

Here is where Dr. Sweets comes in handy. His analysis identifies Pam as both manipulative and dangerous. He warns Booth openly about Pam, and Booth is dismissive. Booth even laughs off Pam's socks gift later, when, as an FBI agent investigating her in a murder, I am pretty sure he cannot accept gifts. For Booth, who reads people like books usually, it was unusual for him not to see Pam more clearly when she wanted to see him without Bones. However, it is plausible that Bones tends to make people uncomfortable.

There were so many nice moments in the episode: Zach talking about how buff he is. Zach breaking out into song in the lab. Booth busting the fake talent agent, who was drawing cartoons in his notebook. And probably the best part of all, when Brennan got up and sang, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." Wait. Temperance Brennan did what? She spent a lot of time talking about the open mic night and the need for people to have affirmation. Was her singing, as Sweets would put it, Presentational (ego-driven) or Relational (trying to make the audience feel something)? Cold, rational Temperance Brennan got up and belted at an open mic? Is this true to her character, or is the show starting to jump the shark?

Actually, I would love to have seen the open mic become a showcase for Zach, and have that become a new sub-plot, even though they established that Brennan's mother had a high opinion of her performance of that song. Perhaps that set up was enough, paired with Brennan's obliviousness about other people's perceptions of her, to make her performance believable. Believability aside, even though part of my brain was sounding alarm bells, I still enjoyed it.

And, of course, the real reason for Temperance to sing was revealed when Pam The Stalker showed up to see her new true love Booth. "Who will love me now?" Booth's placing his hand on her shoulder was an answering response, and Sweets was absolutely right to mutter, "No, don't touch her." Perhaps Pam should have been Tommy's killer, considering how easily and fast she was willing to fire that gun. She was trying to eliminate Brennan, and Booth took the bullet for her. Whoa! Even though I knew Pam was scary and dangerous, I didn't expect that. And how BAD-ASS was it when Brennan picked up Booth's gun and shot and killed Scary Pam? Nobody messes with her man. Nobody.

In some ways, it's a rip-off because they aren't going to kill off Booth. Of course he is still alive. So, I hope there is a purpose behind this, like this makes Brennan realize the depth of her feelings for Booth. I can bet my bottom dollar Sweets is going to have a lot to say about the fact that Booth stepped in front of a bullet for Brennan-- and then Brennan shot Pam without hesitation. I'm sure Booth will say that it was a combination of training, instinct, her protecting his partner, and Brennan will say that Pam still had the gun so it was self-defense. None of it had anything to do with deeper feelings they might harbor for each other... Yeah, riiiiiiight. But I'll see. I could be completely wrong.

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