Another episode, another 10/10 rating from me. But I am quite likely the most biased “critic” you will come across- at least as it relates to Bones. I will never give an episode anything less. Because I derive the utmost enjoyment from each and every installment (even the ones that rip out my metaphorical heart and crush it into oblivion). And I can always appreciate the blood, sweat and tears, which go into the production of every hour. Though, perhaps I would cheat and give an especially extraordinary episode 11/10. Or 100/10. Don’t tell Brennan. I understand the the mathematical impossibilities involved.
This week was another episode filled with a little more lightheartedness, and far less angst. I just wanted to add upfront that I was especially impressed with the roles played by the members of Pentatonix. They really added something special to the episode. And the musical mashups were both fun and fantastic. The writers were somehow able to interject musical moments into the show without actually turning it into a musical. I do think that is an important distinction to make. I know other shows have successfully executed “musical” episodes, but I believe it would have been a little over-the-top for our show. So I thought the way this episode was written was rather brilliant. Anyway, here are a “few” of my musings about The Strike in the Chord.
Hodgins and Angela
After a tumultuous few months following the paralysis reveal, things FINALLY seemed to be getting back to normal for Hodgins- or as normal as they can be. While Hodgins was certainly well on his way to reclaiming his old self last week, there was still an air of awkwardness about his interactions- particularly with Angela. It seemed as though he was almost trying to purchase her forgiveness. I do not believe this was his conscious intention. However, I do feel as though the flashy gifts were an attempt to assuage the intense guilt he felt over his mistreatment of Angela in the previous weeks. But like most things, time is what will ultimately heal them. And this week they appeared to be doing far better- both personally and as a couple. Their interactions were a bit more natural. And Hodgins almost seemed like his old jovial self. He even took it upon himself to nurse the rats from the crime scene back to health. All was kind of right in the world.
When Angela caught up with Hodgins in the lab, we learned that he had been in contact with a doctor regarding an experimental nerve regeneration surgery. While Hodgins was elated that he had likely been accepted to this trial, Angela did not share his enthusiasm. In fact, she was downright terrified. Had Hodgins done his research? Or was he still clinging to the hope that it would only be a matter of time before he walked again. This seemed like a rash decision to make. There is nothing wrong with harboring hope- so long as hope doesn’t morph into delusion. This is not me calling Hodgins delusional by any means. But sometimes when we want something so desperately, we forget to consider any detrimental consequences. The thought of walking again has him so revved up that he did not stop to think about the risks. He also briefly reverted back to the angrier Hodgins. But he had to realize in the back of his mind that Angela had a very valid point.
His mood didn’t actually take a hit for too long. I think focusing on his new rats alleviated some of his frustrations. He was going to nurse these rodents back to health, they had been through hell. He even went so far as to bottle feed them water. This is the Hodgins we all know and love for sure. King of the Lab. Later in the episode, Cam says something which seemed to profoundly affect him. Hodgins asked her to “pull rank” as it related to the new intern Brennan fired earlier in the episode. He believed that they could make it work. “Wanting things to work and actually making things work are two very different things, Dr. Hodgins.” Before the scene cut, you saw him actually digest that statement. While it was directed more at the issue with Sammy on Cam’s part, he understood the implications beneath the surface. That is why when Angela came in with research supporting her concern about the experimental surgery, Hodgins gave in. He is not going to do the surgery. He wanted so badly to find something that worked for him. And he was hoping for a miracle. While miracles can and do happen, scientists know that they should at least adhere somewhat to the numbers. He was disappointed, for sure. But this was not necessarily a setback. Together, they will continue searching for a more reasonable “miracle.” Every day there are new advances in science and modern medicine. One day, he may find something that works for him. Or maybe he won’t. Only time will tell. In the meantime, they are okay. Their family is okay- likely more than okay. Every day they are healing, emotionally speaking. While their lives may never physically be quite the same, their love for each other will prevail. It already has. I have said this before, but I am so happy they are continuing to feature Hodgins’ paralysis storyline. Sure, it’s not the focal point of every episode. But it is still something that is very present throughout the second half of the season. They are making this as true to life as possible. It’s an important story to tell, and one that I think is underrepresented on television. So I’m proud of Bones for really doing justice to it. And TJ is as dedicated as anyone. This is some of his best work of the series, for sure.
Aubrey and A Cappella
Oh, sweet Aubrey. Can any of us really say we are surprised about his a cappella past? John Boyd is an immensely talented musician, so it’s not terribly shocking that they added this layer to Aubrey. First off, I adore the fact that he thinks of himself as macho. What does that even mean, anyway? I would consider Booth to be a sensitive man. No one is really macho (by definition) in this group. And that is not a bad thing at all. But Aubrey did not want his secret getting out for fear that Booth would mock him endlessly.
Well, unfortunately for Aubrey, he appeared to know a bit too much about a cappella. First Angela caught on, and then Booth became more than suspicious. Booth eventually uncovered video evidence of Aubrey’s past, and proceeded to host a surprise viewing party at his home. Honestly, it was all in good fun. They have all been the victim of harmless teasing at one point or another. It’s what this group does. But the intention is never to humiliate. Just to provide a few good laughs. It is always done with love. Cam took it in stride when it was her turn (with the help of beer), and Aubrey even seemed to be a little proud of his performance by the end. As the younger Aubrey took his bow on screen, present-day Aubrey was laughing as much as anyone else. This group is a family. And this family was simply having a fun night together. That’s all this was about. Aubrey has been around for a while now, but let’s just call this a sort of quasi-initiation. There’s no going back now. He is part of this team.
Sammy the Squintern
The story of the new squintern, Sammy, was somewhat polarizing. Either you fiercely felt that Brennan was in the wrong, or you supported her decision. I am part of that second group, however, I am certainly able to empathize with Sammy. I think it was impossible not to take an instant liking to this young woman. She was excited, but not over the top. She was sweet, enthusiastic, and just seemed like a kindhearted individual. I wanted to be friends with her. She had a very attractive quality about her. Should circumstances change, I would love to see her back on the show.
Here is the issue- Sammy made a series of costly errors. She lacked the confidence necessary to work next to someone like Brennan. Brennan’s interns need to be sharp- constantly on their game, and confident in both their intelligence and work. While Sammy would no doubt have to be smart to even be considered for this position, she so often second guessed herself. She wanted so badly to do a superb job, but it ended up being a series of unfortunate events. She had a few small victories in her short tenure. But she made errors, which ultimately delayed progress in the case. Maybe the right thing to do was for Brennan to send her home just for this case, and bring her back at a later date. Honestly, that very well could still happen. She could return in a future episode. But looking at the situation through Brennan’s eyes (I am FAR more like Sammy in life), I can understand why she let Sammy go. Brennan’s job is to teach and provide guidance, yes. But hand-holding is simply a hindrance to the case. Perhaps it would be different if this wasn’t a murder investigation. Or if it wasn’t the Jeffersonian. But with murder, time is of the essence. Brennan simply did not have the time or capacity to babysit. I am sure Sammy is a smart and capable person. Again, she would have to be. But she appeared to lack the level of knowledge that we have seen from all the other squinterns. While Daisy clashed with Brennan during their first case, she was still as sharp as anyone. This just felt like a departure from the usual squintern resume- and while that can be a gift for the viewer, it wouldn’t be one for Brennan. Was she harsh? Of course. Yes. But it wasn’t out of character. And it did not contradict with all the emotional progress she has made over the past decade. She maintained eye contact as she spoke to Sammy, and she attempted to provide physical comfort and emotional support. Her eyes were wide, and they very conspicuously reflected the emotion she was feeling as she figuratively delivered a blow to this young woman. In the past, Brennan wouldn’t have given it a second thought. But it does not give her any pleasure to inflict pain upon another person. Especially one she cares about. I wrote about this in greater detail earlier in the week, but this about sums that up. Not everyone is right for every job. Sammy can either use this as motivation to sharpen her skills and ask for a second chance at a later date. Or she could possibly realize she wants to pursue something completely different. When one door closes...and all that jazz.
Booth, Brennan and Parker
And finally, the Parker storyline. Since the recasting of the character, we have actually seen and heard about Parker a bit more than in some of the more recent seasons. I will say that the show never actually forgets him. He is brought up in conversation from time to time, as much as you would expect a parent to talk about his child during the work day. But this season there seems to just be a little more. Starting with the Thanksgiving surprise, then the “THREE children” who all love Brennan, and now this episode. Booth and Parker have planned a summer trip hiking along the Appalachian Trail. When Booth and Brennan spoke to Parker during an early morning video chat session, he did seem excited about the idea. But he also seemed mildly distracted. We found out during a second conversation with Brennan that Parker had actually just been accepted to a prestigious Oxford summer writing program. He never imagined he would get in, which is why he failed to bring it up until this moment. He asked Brennan to talk to Booth for him. In my opinion it was not because he merely did not want to do so himself. Rather, he was feeling nervous and somewhat guilty. He knew how excited Booth was about their trip. And the two so rarely get to see each other. He just didn’t want to disappoint his father. Parker ran this idea by Brennan first- just in case she was of the opinion that he was wrong in wanting to attend the writing program. Brennan, however, was thrilled about this opportunity for her stepson. Though she did understand the implications, as it relates to her family. Either way, one of the Booth boys is likely going to face a little disappointment. Brennan agreed to talk to Booth, as she understood his predicament. And she also knows Parker is coming from a good place.
When broaching the subject with her partner, his initial reaction seemed to be hurt. Followed by disappointment. Booth did not quite get why his son went to Brennan instead of him. To be honest, she was not positive herself. But did does posit that it had to with the fact that she has been faced with these types of decisions before. Booth claimed that summer should be about fun. But Brennan countered with the notion that pursuing one’s passion, as Parker was doing, can very well be fun. Booth informed her that he loves her, but that it’s not her decision to make. But Brennan added that maybe it should be Parker’s decision to make. That got him thinking a bit.
By the end of the episode Booth considered the situation objectively. He also read one of Parker’s stories, and was pretty impressed by his talent. He even teased Brennan that Parker may be a more talented writer than she is. Brennan claimed her readers may disagree with that particular assessment. All jokes aside, he decided to let Parker go to Oxford. He believes life needs to be enjoyed. Booth was not always able to enjoy life while he was growing up. And he wants to give his children every opportunity to both succeed in life and have fun along the way. Simply put, he wants them to enjoy living. DIVE INTO LIFE. Brennan questioned whether Booth was afraid that Parker will turn out like her. But Booth turned to her and said that if Parker ends up like her, he will be the “proudest dad ever.” I love this couple. I love this couple. I love this couple. They have ruined my life. They have ruined all other shows for me. They have ruined all other couples for me. They have likely ruined love for me. Because this is it. This is love. And if Booth’s words had not already rendered me useless, the subsequent “heart eyes” between Booth and Brennan were enough to catapult me over the edge. These two are the very definition of real love. I am a broken record when it comes to them. I am also running out of creative ways to express my love for their love. So I’ll stop trying for now, as I am getting a bit too worked up. I will say, the way Booth looks at Brennan and the way Brennan looks at Booth- you will be hard pressed to find it on any other show. In the past, now, or even in the future. I bow down to you and your brilliance, David Boreneaz and Emily Deschanel. I really do. Also, you ruined my life. Thank you.
Next week, from what I can gather, we get to see Booth in the Secret Service and Brennan stuck at home with the flu. Both are stories we have not yet explored. Hard to believe! But I cannot wait to watch. I am also eager to have Fisher back. It has been a while since we have seen that lovable depressing man. I don’t want to say he is my favorite squintern (how can you really pick?), but I will say he is most like me. Hopefully that doesn’t scare anyone. I am a tad nervous about Hodgins. My DVR tells me: “Hodgins attempts a risky experiment to change his life.” Does this mean he is conducting an experiment, or he is partaking in someone else’s? I am not entirely sure. But I certainly hope he doesn’t cause himself any further physical damage. Or his wife any more emotional pain.
See you Thursday!