I am honestly running out of ways to write unique introductions for Bones episode recaps. Every week I feel the same way. Completely and utterly satisfied. And each week I am somehow still surprised at just how much I love the episode at hand. It should essentially be a foregone conclusion. I always know I’ll love it. But I suppose I never realize just how fanatical I will become as a result. There is a reason I never make wish lists detailing what I want to see throughout the season- every time I even entertain the thought that I maybe would like to see a certain story play out on screen, the writers and the actors give me something even better. Honestly, I have definitely thought about how fun it would be to see a sick Brennan. But did I imagine I would get to see her with a reiki healer in her home? Never in a million years. Did I think she would show a member of the Secret Service her used tissue? Nope. It very much stayed well within her character, but there is no way I could have conceived such a scene. It sounds silly if you haven’t seen the show or do not know Brennan, but it was all executed quite brilliantly.
Then there are those emotional moments infused into the show that you know will be there, but you underestimate just how significantly they will affect you. That happened to me with both Hodgins & Angela and Booth & Brennan. It always amazes me how much love these characters can convey through their words, looks, and actions. I adore this show, and this week’s episode was another superb hour!
The Return of Fisher
We haven’t seen Fisher since The Recluse in the Recliner. I know Joel David Moore has been busy with other projects, but I was so insanely thrilled when I learned that he would be coming back. A lot has transpired for Fisher (and for our group) in the last year and a half (well, more than that in Bones time!). He has earned his doctorate, and is now on loan to the Jeffersonian from the Secret Service. But he is only a consultant for the government organization, and will not divulge his actual employer. Everyone assumes it must be top secret. Though we later find out just what it is that he is hiding.
At first, I had a sinking feeling that Fisher may have become as arrogant as Oliver since obtaining his doctorate. At one point, Cam accidentally calls him Mr. Fisher, and he proceeds to ignore her until she corrects herself. But there are of course flashes of the old Fisher. We hear him lament over his inadequacies, and he does seem to harbor those same insecurities from years ago. It was evident that whichever secret he was keeping, it was likely contributing to those feelings.
Angela cracks the case at hand. She deduces that Fisher is actually a college tutor for the president’s daughter. He is horrified, and attempts to play up his achievements during his tenure. Then he expresses his hatred for Angela since she was able to figure it out. I absolutely adore Fisher. I love that all the squinterns have a unique presence. They all have their own personalities and stories. And they all relate differently to the team. Fisher has always been a bit quirky, and definitely possesses a warped sense of humor. But I so enjoy his episodes. I hope they bring him back next season!
Though what happened to Hodgins was not something to be easily remedied, we have seen remarkable improvement in his disposition each week since the pivotal moment in The Last Shot at a Second Chance. We are back to seeing Hodgins show enthusiasm over his work. He seems motivated and a lot more at peace with himself. What I also appreciated about this episode was that when Fisher came to speak to Hodgins, it was clear he had not completely adjusted to what happened to him. He is still angry and frustrated. But he is not letting those feelings take control of him any longer. He is not succumbing to the pain. He is powering through it. He is making the best of his situation. Because he learned a few weeks ago that the alternative is not life. It is barely even survival. He was traveling down a dangerous and self-destructive path. And you can really tell that he is starting to have some fun again.
When Hodgins enthusiastically volunteers to investigate the laundry chute, I think all of us probably experienced feelings of dread and uneasiness. But how could you say no to that face? Cam certainly could not. His smile lit up the room. His excitement was palpable. The task was a dangerous one, for sure. But what could possibly go wrong? Famous last words.
Both Cam and Aubrey had a bad feeling about letting Hodgins go down the chute. But neither of them were about to do it themselves. I suppose they could have waited for someone else. Surely, there was a crime scene investigator who would be competent enough to gather this evidence. But ultimately, they allow Hodgins to be lowered down the chute- not before all agreeing not to inform Angela. Probably for the best.
Part of me knew that Hodgins was going to be okay when the pulley gave out. Because how many tragedies can one person endure? In the Bones world, I suppose these people have had more than their fair share of tragedies. The work they do is extraordinarily more dangerous than the norm. But somehow I knew in my “gut” that he would be okay. And he was. Cam and Aubrey panicked, screaming his name in hopes that he held on. Well, he did hold on. And we were all able to breathe a sigh of relief.
Later that evening, Hodgins was regaling Angela with the tale. But what he said next shocked me. He was thankful that he was in the chair. Had he not been engaging in months of rigorous physical therapy, he would not have been strong enough to grab hold of that ledge and stay put until someone could get him. His paralysis actually saved him in this instance. It was a blessing in disguise. Because according to Hodgins, he would have gone down the chute no matter what. Assuming that this case would still have occurred in a hypothetical parallel universe, his fate would have been far more dire than if that explosion never happened.
Angela’s fears were assuaged by Hodgins’ admission. This was the first time something positive came out of his situation. And look at how it came about. He was so excited to be able to help. This was something he would have done regardless of whether or not he was confined to a chair. That situation could have been deadly if had not built up his arm strength as much as he had. It was his second recent brush with death. But this time, he came away unscathed because he was in that chair.
The two then share a laugh at Fisher’s expense. And Hodgins grabs Angela’s hand. They still have a long way to go. But everything is at least getting back to some semblance of normalcy. These two have always been so sweet and so in love. And after everything, it’s nice to see them let loose just a little and laugh with each other. I keep saying that I am glad that this story remains unresolved, as it aligns more with reality. But it’s rewarding to see the progress that has been made since the beginning of 11b.
Brennan and Booth
Last, but certainly never least- I am not sure why I wanted to see sick Brennan so desperately. Perhaps because it’s something we really haven’t explored before. Or maybe I wanted to see how she would contend with being sidelined as a result of her illness. Brennan doesn’t strike me as someone who would easily succumb to sickness. And I was right about that. In the world of Booth and Brennan, the theme this week was caring for each other. The episode begins with Booth wanting to care for a very sick Brennan. She obviously assures him she can take care of herself. But he knows that. She doesn’t need to take care of herself though. Not when she is feeling this bad. It’s okay to relinquish control every once in awhile. Especially to someone you know, trust, and love. So she allows Booth to take care of her for a bit. She can lean on him for a little while at least.
Later, Booth finds out he has to be vetted because of his lineage. Apparently being a descendant of John Wilkes Booth is an issue when it comes to working with the Secret Service. This is not something that sits well with Booth. We know how passionate he is about justice and his country. He could not be more different than this infamous man from centuries ago who happens to share his last name. Brennan finds out about this, and it’s primarily why she fights being sick and wants to work on the case. She does everything she can to improve her condition, even allowing Angela’s reiki healer to perform some sort of voodoo magic on her (though that doesn’t stop her from pointing out its absurdity). Also, I must mention that I do not believe any other character on television could get away with showing someone their used tissue, and having it be that adorable. Maybe that was just me…
But here’s the thing- once Brennan convinced Booth that she needed to be involved with the case, he didn’t fight her. He knows he would feel the same way. They are both “doers.” They both cannot stand by and let others work their case. They need to be involved. They need to work. And after years of being partners, they understand that about each other. So Brennan does not have to do much convincing to get Booth to allow her to help. After all, they are better when working together. And she points that out to him.
In the car, it’s Brennan who wants to take care of Booth. She knows how any mention of John Wilkes Booth gets to her husband. He claims to be unaffected, but she isn’t so sure. And conversely, he isn’t so sure that she is physically feeling better. They are each extremely sensitive to how the other is feeling. I suppose that happens when you know someone so intimately for that long.
Toward the end of the episode, Booth is forced to kill the the active shooter on the scene. Brennan knows how greatly something like that affects Booth. He has always carried the weight of his “kills” with him. No matter how justified they may have been. All life is sacred to Booth. And the fact that he has had to end lives is something that makes him question his goodness from time to time. Sure, he ultimately knows he had little choice in the matter. He knows it’s all for the greater good. However, that reassurance doesn’t necessarily help in making the guilty feelings go away.
During the last scene, he is attempting to take care of Brennan who seems to have experienced a relapse into sickness. But her only concern is Booth. She knows what it means for him to have taken that man’s life. It does not matter that it was necessary. It doesn’t matter that it was in the line of duty. He ended a life that day. And that is something that he will wrestle with for some time. It never gets easier. These two will always take care of each other, though. Brennan tells him that when he’s ready to talk, she will be there. “Always.” And there is so much to back up that particular absolute. She has always been there for him during times like these. Even when she wasn’t sure what she was doing or what her presence even meant to him. There are so many instances throughout the series where we see her comfort him after a particularly grueling case. I won’t be redundant and repeat those, but she is there for him through it all. And he is there for her. They know what the other needs to hear. They know precisely how to comfort each other. Booth and Brennan continue to be such a prime example of what a committed loving couple should be. I don’t know why I’m surprised at how emotional they make me week after week. But somehow, I am always so touched by their words to each other. They have such a profound connection- both Booth and Brennan as well as Emily and David. It’s so special. And so rare. And I will continue to treasure it. And I will NEVER stop raving about it!
The episode wraps with Booth attempting to make Brennan laugh. These moments are always so precious. He loves to tease her by saying things like “fun guys.” But he simply LOVES to make her laugh and see her smile. And it’s really quite a beautiful and amusing sight to see. I will never tire of these moments.
I cannot say how absolutely thrilled I am about the next episode. It is one of those out-of-the-box hours that we have seen a few times over the course of the series. But the sneak peeks look incredible. I think this is really going to be a gift to the fans. And from what the cast and crew have said about filming the episode- I do believe this was an enjoyable one for all! Counting down to Thursday…