My immediate reaction following the second Bones episode of 2016 was that it was absolutely brilliant. A perfect hour of television. This is one of the reasons this show is so dear to me. I think back to the very beginning. And it was such a different show then. Not better. Definitely not worse. Just- so very different. And honestly, that’s to be expected That’s a GOOD thing.. A show can only sustain itself if the characters grow along with it. If the characters and stories stay stagnant, there is very little possibility for longevity. I’m going off on a tangent already- something for which I am notorious. But while I have nothing but praise and love for The Murder of the Meninist.
I always enjoy the cases on Bones, but there are certainly those stories that stand out to me. I get so focused on the characters, that sometimes I don’t think too deeply about the cases after-the-fact. I am too preoccupied mulling over what happened to my beloved characters, and how events of the episode will affect the episodes to come. Most of the cases that do resonate with me are those that tend to really tug at the metaphorical heartstrings- The Boy in the Shroud, The Signs in the Silence, The Lost in the Found, to name a few. All of those episodes portrayed cases, which personally spoke to me. Though the case in Meninist was a bit lighter in execution, it was still one with which I connected. And certainly one that I will remember.
As always, not everyone was a fan. I usually try to stay away from reviews for my own sanity. But I couldn’t help but take note of a few who were displeased with the presentation of the case. In an effort to avoid getting too political (which is hard with this subject matter, but I am not an inherently political person so maybe not so much), I will just say that no matter your stance, it was evident that some of these detractors either had never watched Bones before or did not actually watch the episode. Because any claim that the show actually defended these elitist extreme misogynists is just ludicrous to me. What the show did do was to present all sides of this issue, since the men’s right’s movement is really a burgeoning one. And as Brennan pointed out, there are some grey areas there. Sure, the leader of the group a bit on the extreme side, but there are people in the world who do give credence to his sort of propaganda. It may have seemed like more of a caricature portrayal, but there are people in the world like that. Just like there are extremists on the opposite side. And many many people beliefs in between. I just do not believe Brennan supports meninists by desiring fairness among both sexes. She does not want a man’s world or a woman’s world- she wants an equal world. Perhaps that is an idealistic view. But of all people, she is not delusional. It’s simply a hope. If someone wants to accuse her of leaning more towards rights for men, did they forget her 20 year membership to the women’s rights group? I don’t think it was the show’s job to tell the audience exactly what to think. We can come away with it and form our own conclusion. But I appreciate that Bones never shies away from telling the more controversial stories. The writers really just want to put these stories out in the world, and have them be as true-to-life as possible. There is always going to be backlash. There is always going to be opposition. But that has never stopped them from bringing hot-button topical issues to the forefront. This is a very real issue. It is not one that everyone will agree upon. And it is certainly controversial. But to say that Brennan sided with these meninists is preposterous. Does one have to subscribe to every single thing a group or person stands for? I don’t think so. I’d be curious to see if there is anyone out there who has ever agreed with every last stance one political candidate stood for when voting. Because I honestly think they would have to be in the minority. All I am saying is, I appreciated the writers showing both sides. Cam speaking about cultural bias when it comes female abuse to males. Rodolfo calling out mistreatment or verbal abuse of women (particularly in Hodgins’ case). Booth just being disgusted with all the rhetoric. The feminists and the meninists had their voices heard. And then Brennan, who I have already mentioned- She talked about what would constitute fairness in a perfect world. I’ll stop there because this part got far more detailed than I intended. I just really truly fail to see from where some people drew their conclusions? Because I am not sure we watched the same episode. I will say that Brennan’s lines were absolute GOLD this week. “So do infectious diseases” and “terrible loss” were among my favorite laugh-out-loud moments.
Hodgins and Angela
When first learning of Hodgins’ paralysis last year, I knew it was going to be a devastating blow. It was going to figuratively kill me to watch him try and cope with it all. Last week, we saw Hodgins eager and enthusiastic to both go to work and work towards his recovery. But at the end of the episode, he effectively lost all hope as a result of the news that he has no neural connectivity. He actually may never walk again. And from that moment on, there has been a new Hodgins. I know this character used to be angry, but I do not think we have ever seen him quite like this. Not even in 5×16. He looks like Hodgins, sounds like Hodgins, but he is simply not Hodgins. He is a shell of his former self. On one hand, no one (and I mean NO ONE) can or should blame him for feeling defeated. It is so easy for someone else to say that he just needs to adopt a better attitude and persevere. Tell him it could always be worse, and that it is all about perspective. But few people can understand the kind of pain he is experiencing. Few people have lost what he has lost.
But I just cannot overlook his treatment of his loved ones. And I cannot condone his harsh and cold words toward Angela. She is his wife. She is his biggest fan- always in his corner. She is trying so hard to be strong for her husband. She wants to do the right thing. It is just getting exceedingly more difficult to figure out what that is. Hodgins has closed himself off to Angela. It is okay to be devastated. It is okay to be angry. But this is well beyond that. He doesn’t have to be happy about this condition, but he should not speak to his wife as if she is garbage. Really, no human should speak to another human in the way he has been speaking to her. She is his wife, the mother of his child, his coworker and friend. She deserves respect. I get that he is coping in the only way he knows how. Life has a way of surprising us, and not always in positive ways. Decade after decade he was a man who could walk. Now all of a sudden something he took for granted every day of his life is gone. It’s a radical change. I cannot and do not blame him for his defeatist attitude. But if he keeps pushing away the people he loves, he is going to be a very lonely man. Hodgins once had his fortune taken from him. And while that was definitely something he would have rather not had happen, he was not necessarily as distressed as someone else might have been. Because he had Angela, his son, his work. Back during the Gravedigger trial, he said that it didn’t matter what happened (in the courtroom) because he had Angela. This was a man who, while rich, still knew what was important in life. He was rich in so many other ways. But now he has certainly lost his way. I have the utmost faith that he will find his way back. But he needs to realize what is at stake.
He has suffered a great loss, and it was something that should never have happened. He is an entomologist. He should never have been in that position. But it happened. Life is unfair. However, he is still so very much alive. He has so much to be grateful for. I am not preaching. Just stating fact based on what I know of his character’s values. But he is going to lose everything if he keeps going on like this. Hodgins needs to find some way to accept what happened to him. He needs to find some way to let go of at least some of the anger. Because it will ultimately consume him. And he will have no one and nothing left. Be angry. Be furious. Be upset. But do not push away the people who love you unconditionally. Do not punish the one person you love the most. Because Angela only wants his happiness. She only wants him to find some sort of joy in the world again. She would do anything for him. But she is also not going to be his figurative punching bag for long. He is going to push her away. Bullying does not fall into the “for better or worse” bucket. This is not something she should or will take if it becomes habit. And I do not blame her. That said, while I hate what he is doing to Angela, I do not fully blame Hodgins either. Because I cannot imagine being in his situation. It is very complicated to me. It is hard to know the right thing to feel. Is there a right way to feel? Spending ten and a half seasons with this amiable life-loving scientist- this has all just been a very startling experience. And there is still more to come. Do not get me wrong, I love that the show is doing this. It hurts so good. And the performances are just beyond stellar. It does not mean I like seeing the characters I love so dearly hurt so badly. I do not want this to be easy though. I do not want it to be resolved in three episodes. Because that is not life. I do, however, know that Hodgins is strong. And Angela and Hodgins are a strong couple. He will find his way back somehow. And in the end, love will prevail. I just don’t know how close to the edge Hodgins will get before that happens. That last scene was absolutely heart-wrenching, at best. Watching Angela go from hopeful and even a little excited to just completely shattered could have broken anyone. We have seen Hodgins like that before, but never to that extent. And never directed at Angela. If I have to see more of those looks from her, I may not make it. But I know we will. And things probably do have to hit rock bottom before they can look up.
Booth and Brennan
I cannot seem to document anything without a little B&B praise. It just doesn’t get better than Booth and Brennan. Every episode, they just seem to get even better. And they do “heart eyes” better than any couple on television (or perhaps in real life as well). I would be willing to put money down on that one. They make me feel things that I have never felt for any other TV characters (and I have had quite a few obsessions in my day). They just continue to grow together and grow more in love with every passing moment. It is astonishing to me. I have to pinch myself daily. While other shows are breaking characters up left and right, Bones left these two together all these years. The writers were not afraid of the dreading Moonlighting curse. Why should you be when your show has David and Emily. Their chemistry is just unparalleled.
This week the couple had to contend with the existence of jinxes. Sounds foolish, yes? But when it comes to sports, superstition is hardly a joke. Booth believed that Brennan was a jinx against his beloved Philadelphia Flyers. The team lost every game Brennan watched with Booth. I think he may have needed a larger sample size in order to draw a more precise conclusion. Brennan, of course, does not believe in the existence of curses. She tells him as much. But by the end of the episode, she is taking preventative measures. Yes, she believes it is silly to conclude that a curse is to blame, rather than admitting that there are a dozen other factors contributing to the losses. To her, it is all merely anecdotal evidence and coincidence. But the fact of the matter is that Booth does believe in curses. So, she does her research (as always) and attempts to assuage his anxieties by preparing some “F” snacks and sporting a rally cap. She only wants Booth to be happy.
They both indirectly make statements of love during this last scene. As Brennan donned her rally cap, I was reminded of “I love you. I’m willing to do irrational things to prove it.” For this character to even humor Booth and his belief in the supernatural- that is irrational. When she tells him she would never look at him like a piece of meat because she is a vegetarian- that is her saying she will only ever look at him with love. And really, the fact that Booth still “allowed” her to watch the game with him means that he would rather spend time with his wife than see his team win. That may sound trivial and a bit dense. I am not saying he values the Flyers over Brennan. But after some half-hearted attempts to get her to not watch, he really did not seem to push the issue. Because he wants to spend time with her. He loves her. And his passion for his team will never surpass the love and passion he has for this woman. She wants to spend time with him. She wants to take interest in his hobbies and the things he enjoys. And Booth secretly enjoys it when she does take interest in something like his hockey passion. Although, looking at her cheer for the Flyers, it seems to be a little more than just “humoring” your husband. She definitely enjoys the thrill. She just has a uniquely adorable way of showing it. Of course the kiss in that scene was lovely as always. Because they share moments of love better than anyone. Always smiling, they have a really special way of connecting. It’s that undeniably powerful and unrelenting chemistry. It just gets more potent as the years go by. I may be biased, but just look at them. Look at how they look at each other. Look at how they interact. So natural So genuine. David and Emily really worked on perfecting that in those first 6 years. And it is still magical. And better than ever.
The next episode is the highly anticipated The Monster in the Closet. It is partly based on The X-Files episode, “Home,” as well as some Alfred Hitchcock. And it is apparently incredibly creepy. This, I am sure, will be a new take (for our show) on a serial killer. I have read teasers but it is still hard to know how it will all pan out. I could not be more nervous. But I also cannot wait any longer. I think it is incredible that I can be so overwhelmingly excited for a new episode at this stage of a series. But here we are. I am sure there will be a lot to discuss after it airs!