Perhaps I’m in the minority here. But since the beginning (well in the last couple years), I have found Jessica Warren to be a very welcome addition to the Jeffersonian team. It really took no time at all for her to win me over. Which is unusual, since I am normally not as quick to accept newcomers in this show. First of all, the lab definitely benefits from adding another female intern. I know that Hodgins is a bit outnumbered in terms of full-time “squints,” but Daisy has really always been the sole female squintern on the team. Enter Jessica. There is definitely a contrast between herself and Daisy, which I of course appreciate. Though I would expect nothing less from the writers. Each intern is unique. And each one adds something wonderfully different to the story. Jessica brings an almost-laid back “vibe” to her cases. She is still brilliant and eager to learn. But like Booth, she goes off the gut- something that obviously drives Brennan to the brink of insanity at times. After just a few short episodes, we really got to know her. She is a product of an educational cooperative, and she takes the “creative” route when it comes to science. She’s a breath of fresh air, in my opinion. I know others may disagree. I do know one person who definitely will not disagree. And that is James Aubrey. Much of Jessica’s story this season centered around an abbreviated will-they/won’t-they plot line between the FBI agent and the anthropologist. But more on that to come!
Jessica Warren Season 11 Episode Appearances:
11×06: The Senator in the Street Sweeper
11×14: The Last Shot at a Second Chance
*The last few weeks I’ve focused a bit more on casework for the interns covered. That is mostly due to the fact that they had less of a personal storyline this season and I wanted to make sure to give everyone equal treatment. As Jessica has an arc for season 11, I will mostly stick to her personal scenes.
The Senator in the Street Sweeper
The Jeffersonian team is examining the latest victim in the lab. Though, there is one member glaringly absent- Dr. Temperance Brennan. As we saw earlier in this episode, Brennan and Booth were taking some well-deserved quality time to themselves that morning to…well, we all know what they were up to. If you are like me, you easily recollect that moment.
Cam notes that the victim appears to have hair plugs. Rather expensive hair plugs, if she is forced to guess. Jessica tells Cam that she is lucky to find a scalp that is in tact, since the body is “seriously frakked up.” Angela is perplexed by the terminology. Hodgins explains that “Jessica’s been binge-watching BSG 2003.” Cam chimes in: “Not to sound like Dr. Brennan, but I don’t know what that means.” “BSG. Battlestar Galactica. What, you haven’t seen it? Wow, I’m surprised, ‘cause it’s totally old school, just like you.” That earned her a rather withering glare from Cam. “And also frakking enlightening.” Hodgins explains to the group that “frak” is the curse word they use on BSG. “But what’s really frakking interesting is that Aubrey told me he’s been watching Battlestar as well.” But this is not interesting, nor news to Jessica. She informs the entomologist that she and Aubrey are actually watching the show together. Interesting. Angela agrees with my assessment. She also believes that there seems to be something going on between Jessica and Aubrey. “Yes. Television watching. And nothing else.” Do I detect a slight edge to that comment? Even if I wasn’t already privy to how this all panned out, I could certainly discern a hint of frustration in her voice.
The victim turns out to be a prominent United States senator. This is a first for Hodgins. He has never worked a case involving someone for whom he has voted. Brennan is a bit shocked that Hodgins voted for a Democrat, as she was under the impression that he was a member of the Green Party- like herself.
“Yeah, I used to be, but then I figured why not vote for a candidate who at least has a shot at winning.” Jessica adds that she is a proud member of the Peace and Freedom Party. “Yeah, there’s a vote that counts.” This wasn’t very pertinent to the story, but I just adored Hodgins’ sarcastic tone when he responds.
At the FBI, Caroline reluctantly sends Booth and Brennan off to Capitol Hill to speak to a suspect. He inquires as to what Aubrey will be doing while B&B “mess up” in Congress. Aubrey senses that Caroline is actually about to tell him exactly what he will be doing. She then proceeds to instruct him to run a background check on Jessica. Caroline’s reasoning is that the Justice Department allegedly wants to ensure that Jessica is clear to work on a high-profile case, such as this. “I’m on it, but don’t worry. I know Jessica. I’m not gonna find anything.”
After a case-related scene with Cam, Aubrey finds Jessica examining the remains in the bone room. He brings her one of her favorite drinks, which I think is especially sweet considering the fact her drink of choice happens to be “catnip tea.” “It’s definitely an acquired taste, but I guess that sums me up in a nutshell.” That it does. She is truly touched by this gesture, but her mood would soon shift. Aubrey informs his…female friend (girl who’s a friend?…almost-girlfriend?) that he has been instructed to run a background check on her, by order of Caroline herself. Jessica immediately brings up an instance when she urinated at the Lincoln Memorial, and assures Aubrey it was only because she had a terrible UTI that day. “Um, no. Somehow that detail was left out.” Honestly, if I had any other interests besides sitting in front of the television, I would imagine that Jessica would be an incredibly entertaining person to befriend. Never boring, that’s for sure. Aubrey inquires as to whether she was involved with Greenpeace in college. Apparently he has photographic evidence of Jessica in the crowd of a rather aggressive protest. And five minutes after that particular photo was taken, a pipe bomb exploded outside of the building. Jessica is a bit unnerved. She assures Aubrey that Greenpeace had nothing to do with said explosive, and that the activists were actually the victims in this case. The police reports would mirror her assertions. Aubrey moves on to ask about the time she was on the road with Phish (seriously, she has lived quite a life). Jessica nervously jokes that there were no bombs on the tour bus. “Yeah, there were drugs.” “I know, I had a great time…what are you saying? That my past is going to ruin my future?” Aubrey refrains from giving an answer. He wants to make sure that she does not partake in illegal substances anymore. She admits that she has not in a while, but it doesn’t mean that she will never do them again. I could have predicted that “never say never” attitude for this character. It’s fitting. Aubrey is visibly shaken. He doesn’t know how to report everything he has confirmed back to Caroline. He is torn between his job and this woman for whom he is potentially falling. “You could just… not. I mean, everything in that file is in the before. I am who I am because of my past, but I’m not the same person anymore. Are you the same kid who watched his dad being hauled off to jail?” He is not. Once again, this show has such meaningful moments for each and every character. In this instance, it’s yet another reminder of how the past will always be a part of these characters. They are who they are because of their past. Sure, they have all grown up. They have all evolved. But the past is what has shaped them into these people. And try as some of them may , they have all for the most part accepted the role that their past has played in both their present and future. Jessica sees the disappointment written all over Aubrey’s face. She tells him that he doesn’t get to look at her like that. He honestly wants to forget that this entire exchange ever happened. But she doesn’t know if he will be able to do so. They both look so defeated here. I think they both felt as though they had been building to something. But this was a bump in the road. Surely, this would not ultimately interfere with the burgeoning relationship, would it?
This next scene was among my favorite Jessica moments in this episode. Mostly because I love any precious Temperance Brennan scenes (what can I say at this point? I am predictable). Jessica has reassembled the skull, and wants Brennan to give it her seal of approval. Brennan is impressed, as she thought it would have taken the intern far longer. “Yeah, well, I find that when I’m feeling emotionally unstable, concentrating on my work helps me to cope.” Brennan does not quite pick up on that cue, and once again tells her that it’s very good work. Though, I’d probably be relishing in the fact that Brennan complimented my work- twice- if I were Jessica. Angela, however, obviously senses something is amiss. She asks Jessica what the problem is. “Uh, well, technically, there is no actual problem, because there’s nothing actually going on. But there is potential. And I don’t think you just squash potential until there is an actual problem.” And with that, Brennan is lost. “I did not understand a word you just said.” But Angela still follows. “I mean, just because something is unlikely to be successful– like, say a relationship– doesn’t mean you don’t try, right?” Now Brennan is listening. And she disagrees. Primarily because of the events going on in her own life. “If you know the likelihood of an outcome is statistically unfavorable, that thing should be avoided. Like a TV in the bedroom.” Now Jessica is the one who is confused. Angela (who is very keen at keeping up with everything unsaid in this conversation) explains that Booth wants a television in the bedroom, but Brennan does not because she heard that it is statistically less likely that they will engage in sex. “I find it is safer to adhere to the percentages.” I absolutely love Angela’s reply. “Yeah, but it’s also boring. I mean, sometimes the best things in life happen against the odds. Think about anything you’ve ever really wanted. Right? Like a perfect job or-or… finding the love of your life. Those are one-in-a-million chances, right? But for you, the odds don’t even apply until you’re both clear about what you want.” It brings me back to 10×21, which I have been thinking a lot about on a personal level this week. The stakes are a bit different in this moment, but the message still holds true. “If we try to be certain before we act, we may never act.” Jessica and Aubrey may not work out. Maybe it’s safer to keep things the way they are. They can remain friends. They can work together and laugh together. They can still watch BSG together. They will never be 100% certain as to whether or not they will work out as a romantic couple. Not without trying. But if they never try, they will never know for certain. And they could potentially miss out on something wonderful. Even potentially life-changing “Thank you, Angela. That was, like, the best talk/monologue I’ve ever been part of.”
There is some more discussion as to the injuries to the skull. Hodgins interrupts the trio, and reveals what he has found in the victim’s stomach. As it turns out, the senator’s last meal was pigeon. Yes, the bird. Someone makes a Beverly Hillbillies joke, which Brennan does not understand. But she talks about the fact that pigeon (or really, pigeon heads) are sometimes considered to be delicacies in several Far Eastern cultures. “But how many Far Eastern restaurants in the D.C. area actually serve pigeon?” “I do not know. However, I believe Agent Aubrey is quite knowledgeable when it comes to local cuisine. Perhaps you could call him and ask. I figured out who you were talking about.” I know this is Jessica’s post. But the face Brennan makes here the most precious thing I have ever seen.
Later in the case, Brennan and Jessica are back in the bone room going over the remains yet again. Jessica is considerably more flustered than when we last saw her. She’s been over the remains “like a kabillion times.” But she does not seem to be finding anything of note. “Ms. Warren, you need to calm yourself.” Jessica is well aware, but she is concerned because Booth and Aubrey have a Senator as well as the victim’s wife in holding. They need to find something probative. Brennan was under the impression that her intern was more focused when she was feeling emotionally unstable (as she mentioned earlier in the episode). “What can I say? Angela’s pep talk worked. Emotionally, I’m as fit as a fiddle, which means my focus is a little fidgety.” Brennan makes some observations about the remains, and then appears to have something of a hunch.
“I need to talk to Angela. My gut tells me we’re not looking at three separate weapons.”
“Well, it’s a vibe. (she laughs) There’s a time and a place, Ms. Warren.”
For some reason, the phrase “I’ll be damned” keeps popping into my head after this particular moment. I suppose all that time spent with Booth (and the little time she has spent with Jessica in the past few years), she has learned the value of a “vibe” and a “gut feeling.” There is certainly a time and a place. Generally, when time is of the essence. And always with some sort of evidence or past experience to back up said “vibe.” But Brennan does now see the value in these types of presumptions.
In the final Jessica Warren scene of the episode, she is going out to dinner with Aubrey. And as luck would have it (who is lucky here? I do not know), they are at a place that apparently serves superb pigeon. I am currently thankful I do not partake in the consumption of animal products, but it still does not make it any easier to consider the fact that they are both about to dine on this type of meat. Jessica wants to know if Congress knows who they are going to appoint as the interim senator. But Aubrey feels a bit disillusioned by government after this case. “Nope. And to tell you the truth, I don’t think it really matters. As far as I can tell, one politician is just as bad the next.” Jessica knows he cannot sincerely believe that.
“Well, don’t you?”
“No. ‘Cause for every slime bag out there, there’s also somebody like you. And as long as there’s yous around, then I know that there’s somebody who is looking out for this country. And me.”
It’s a sweet moment. Aubrey brings up the fact that he held her past against her. “No one’s perfect. Especially not the guy who is forcing me to eat pigeon.” That comment lightens the mood a bit, and Aubrey tells her that he is just trying to teach her about the finer things in life. Jessica considers this meal to be glorified roadkill. Aubrey also assures her that she will not vomit.
“Well, you seem very certain of yourself.”
“I am. I’m also pretty certain about you.”
I think this couple is absolutely precious. I began to write about this at the introduction of this post. But I did not want to get too deep into the way I felt about this particular subject. And I also did not want to be misunderstood. I love this couple. Just as I love most of the couples on this show. But they, like the others, are their own entity. I do not see them as an extension of Booth and Brennan. Or a sequel to Booth and Brennan. Aside from their job descriptions, they really do not have too many other similarities. What is wrong with being Jessica and Aubrey? I don’t think there is one single thing wrong with that. I know that season 10’s “Booth and Brennan 2.0” comment rubbed some the wrong way. I wasn’t bothered in the least. But it’s because I did not take it seriously. We have seen their relationship blossom over the past few episodes. And they seem to have a really good chemistry. Why shortchange them by comparing them to Booth and Brennan? It’s not really fair. Because we have watched Booth and Brennan for 11 glorious years. We have seen just about every chapter of their long story. The wonderful and the painful, and everything in between. Nothing and no one could ever compare. I thought it was an unfair comparison to make. And for me, I look forward to seeing how this particular story continues next season.
Their story did continue in this next episode…But before that, there was mention of Jessica in The Doom in the Boom. After Aubrey pushed Hodgins out of the way, he was severely injured. He had to go into surgery, but ultimately came out okay. Caroline mentioned that Jessica visited him twice. Now, I know they were friends. But I feel like you don’t visit two times in such a short period of time without feeling at least a little something more than friendship. Apparently, the romantic pigeon dinner was quite successful.
The Last Shot at a Second Chance
Jessica and Aubrey are strolling down the street near the diner. They had just watched seven Star Wars movies in a row, and Jessica is in disbelief. “Well, the extreme pain in my lower back is making me believe that it is.” “I told you you should have done those stretches with me.” But the “bridges” and “splitsy things” do not come naturally to Aubrey. Jessica accepts that, and informs him that her yoga coach mentioned that she actually has “very open hips.” What an interesting conversation between “friends.”
“Yoga dude gettin’ a little handsy?”
“Is that jealousy I sense?”
“Why would I be jealous? It’s not like you and I are… “
They go back and forth with fragmented statements, and speak about “moments.” They both agree that the present moment feels like a moment. “And we’ve already let so many other moments pass by.” They lean in, and are about to kiss (for the first time? yes.). But once again, the moment is interrupted by a passing car and a puddle of water. And to seal the deal, Aubrey’s phone rings. There is a dead body. The moment has officially passed. “Wow. Nothing says romantic like having your first kiss interrupted by murder. Or dirty street water.” My sentiments exactly.
At the lab, Hodgins approaches the table, ignoring both the inquiry and gentle touch from his wife. He asks what time Brennan’s hearing is taking place. This seems to be news to Jessica, and she proceeds to ask the team about it. Cam informs her that Brennan punched a suspect. “That’s a big no-no at the FBI.” Jessica is actually excited. “Go, Dr. B. I knew there was a reason she’s my hero.” She and I, both. Angela is not as enthused, and adds that Brennan may be in a little trouble because of her actions. “Oh, come on. She’s so good at her job, what could they possibly do to her?” The scene cuts out to address that particular question. But it is a good question, at that. What can they really do to her? Ultimately, she is a valuable asset anywhere she goes. So making an example out of her would really backfire on the FBI. Because they would lose the best anthropologist in the world. They would lose that impeccable solve rate. And of course, the best working partners they have. Of course Brennan loves working with Booth. But, I would imagine she would still manage to feel fulfilled working at the Jeffersonian and seeing Booth at home. I was not at all concerned about her impending “punishment.” She will always land on her feet. But this is not about Brennan. Not entirely. So back to the subject at hand.
Brennan is now back at the lab. She is working on the platform with most of the team. They observe an outdated surgical rod used in the remodeling of the victim’s femur. The rod is old, but the injury is not. This is a conundrum. But one that they can definitely use in helping to identify the victim. The women note that an injury of this nature would have been awful. “She must have been laid up for months.” Poor Angela chimes in. “Well, at least she walked again.” Brennan doesn’t quite pick up on the tone. And agrees with Angela. “Yes, I don’t believe the injury caused any lasting damage.” But Cam nudges her to say that she believes Angela was actually talking about Hodgins. Jessica adds that she has observed the couple to be a bit off. Actually she was unable to finish her thought. As Angela interrupts her and fills in the blanks. “Cold? Distant? Or maybe the part where he takes all of his crap out on me.” Brennan wants to know if it’s truly gotten that bad. “I don’t think it can get much worse. Honestly, he’s pushing me away.” I don’t think this treatment has gone unnoticed by anyone in the lab. Even the interns who have been only rotating in every week since Hodgins’ life-changing injury. Jessica tells Angela that she observed “that whole hand to the shoulder shrug-off thing.” Angela informs her that it’s “just par for the course these days.” They are able to get the skull in a place where an ID can be made. Angela gets ready to head to her office. But Jessica tells her that she doesn’t have to go right now because they are talking. Angela, however, wants to stay busy. There is a look of both confusion and extreme sadness plastered on the faces of all three of the woman, as they watch their friend and colleague walk away. This has been going on for months. They have done everything they can think of to help the situation. They are running out of solutions for their friends. Both of these people are living in extreme pain. Both are suffering. This episode title takes on multiple meanings (as titles in this show often do). This is their last shot at a second chance.
Aubrey is in Booth’s office regaling him with the tale of his failed kiss earlier that day. Booth is amused that he “missed.” He teases Aubrey about never having kissed a girl before. “What? No, of course I have. Lots of times. It’s just… have you ever tried to do something, but the timing was just all off?” When things get too personal, Booth likes to change the subject. He was like this with Sweets as well. But you can bet when a friend truly needs him, he’ll find a way to open up and help. They briefly move on with the case. Aubrey wants to know if Booth has filled Cam in on what he has found so far. “Well, I was going to until you came in here crying about all your girl problems.” Only mildly offended, Aubrey responds. “I’m not crying. I just, I thought, you know, maybe you could give me some words of advice, if you have any.” He is serious. He is sincere. So Booth sucks it up and shares.
“Okay, look, Aubrey. You know what? There’s, you know, the first kiss is always awkward. There’s lots of awkward moments. I mean, Bones and I, we had, uh, we had many awkward moments.” (It should be noted that he has a smile on his face as he reminisces).
“Yeah, but now you’re happily married.” (I am screaming at the words HAPPILY MARRIED)
“Yeah, but we wouldn’t have been happily married if we gave up after that first awkward moment.”
I know some probably very wrongly assume that Booth is being a jerk. I wouldn’t have even put that out into the universe, but it is always my first instinct to defend this man. He is not being a jerk. Granted, once again, I am biased. But we already know that Booth is extraordinarily private about his personal life. What goes on between himself and Brennan is theirs. No one else’s. He puts up this front because he doesn’t want to let anyone in. His emotions are his own. He will open up to Brennan, and occasionally Cam. But it takes a lot for this man to trust anyone with his true raw feelings. However, Aubrey has proven himself to be a genuine friend. He has helped Brennan and Christine. He has helped Booth. He saved Hodgins. So, Booth cuts him some slack and gives in. He lets his friend know in his own way that there is nothing wrong with having an awkward moment or two. It happens. It happened in his own life (Though I don’t quite remember any awkwardness in that very first kiss…only heat, yearning, and possibilities. Perhaps he was referring to their second kiss under the mistletoe.). Aubrey accepts this. And I think Booth really was a help to him.
Jessica shows up to the autopsy room to talk to Cam. Actually she comes under the pretense of being “ready to jam on some bones.” Cam tells her that her timing is perfect, as Hodgins just gave her an analysis on a burn mark. But before Cam can finish, Jessica admits that Aubrey tried to kiss her. While Cam is the least likely to engage in this sort of talk at work (she and Booth do have some similarities, for sure), she listens. Though she is a bit taken aback at first. “Tried to kiss you?” “Yeah, it was a weird timing thing. Um, but, our entire relationship has been a weird timing thing.” Cam apparently was not aware the two were even technically in a relationship. “Because of the slowness. Glaciers move faster. Um, I mean, I think the feelings are there, but what if it doesn’t matter? What if the physical is just never there? And then I never have another orgasm, and life is just a futile existence of jumping from one binge-watched show to another.” This sounds like my life. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that life either. But perhaps I have some delusions to contend with. I think Cam has reached her emotional conversation quota. All she can say at first is “wow.” But Cam, like the rest of them, is full of wonderful advice- once she suppresses her need to remain professional. But she’s worked at the Jeffersonian for a long time. The line between professional and personal is very blurred and ever-changing. The two sides are bound to intersect from time to time. Because yes, they are co-workers. But they are so much more than that. “Jessica, Aubrey is crazy about you. It’s obvious. You think the fact that it’s taken you guys months to get to an actual kiss, may have built it up a bit?” Jessica is just frustrated. “I mean, I’m normally the forward one. Why can’t I be here?” Cam astutely points out that she is just scared. “Maybe you feel differently about him than you have about anyone else. You know, it’s easy to want to run away from things that scare you. Easier than trying to fight through the complications.” That seems to be a loaded statement coming from Cam. After all, she really has a lot on her mind. Was this about Angela and Hodgins and their current predicament? It is surely applicable. But it can also apply to Cam’s own life. This season, she has faced some romantic hurdles. She was presumably on her way back to happily ever after with Arastoo after the previous episode. Though, I don’t think they initially broke up because she was running away from something that scared her. They broke up because she chose herself. She chose her career over a man- over love. Was that a mistake? I don’t think so. But again, this is not Cam’s story. I will get to that, rest assured (one of these days, at least). Jessica asks her superior if she wanted to talk about anything. But Cam is ready to get back to science. That is enough personal chatter for one conversation.
After the case is finally solved, Jessica and Aubrey are celebrating with some ice cream. They are once again walking down the street. But this time, it is dark. Jessica marvels at the fact that it is never too cold for ice cream. And Aubrey takes this to mean that she is cold, so he offers her his jacket. “Aw, thanks, boyfriend. I mean, my friend who is a boy. Attaboy, Aubrey.” Okay, maybe not the most romantic of lines. But I think they are still on the same page. They know each other by now. Aubrey tells her that he does want to kiss her. But she wants to know if perhaps it means something that he hasn’t. Does it mean that he subconsciously does not want to? No. Definitely not. He tells Jessica that it’s his fault that they haven’t had that moment yet. “I built it up in my head, and now it’s like this big T. Rex.” It’s scary. It means something. It will change everything for sure. But, that’s not a bad thing by any means. Jessica understands the fear. But she also knows that they will be okay. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. They have made it clear how they feel. It will happen in time. They both admit that they are not in a rush. “I mean, normally, I’m really good at this kind of thing.” “You know what that tells me? That what you and I have isn’t normal. It’s more special than that.” With that, the pair separates with the promise to see each other the following day. Somehow, they were too caught up in each other to notice that a car was headed in their direction. Aubrey screams Jessica’s name, and they fall to the ground together. And they finally have their moment. It’s sweet. And once again, it doesn’t need to be compared to any other couple’s. Even if there are flashes of similarities. They are their own story.
I would say that I would be “frakking” angry if Jessica didn’t appear in at least one episode next season due to her newly minted full-time status on TBBT. But we already know she will be there. So I can rest easy. There will be more to her story, and likely more to her story with Aubrey.
I am slowly running out of interns. I believe there are three more to go before I get to my beloved group of main characters. How long can I stretch a season 11 recap? Presumably until season 12, it would appear.
Have a great week!