I so desperately want to isolate myself from reality right about now. It seems as though there is a near-constant barrage of reminders assaulting me every minute of every day. What am I talking about? I still cannot even bear to say it. So I will refrain. But I assume if you love Bones, you know precisely to what I am referring. On some level, I was aware that this would be the l**t undercover case. But I didn’t quite let that fact sink in until I was reminded of it through social media. I don’t know quite what to feel. I honestly do not know how to feel. But everything else aside, I am definitely grateful to have seen the ever-so-lovable Buck and Wanda Moosejaw come back this season- just as they were in season 6.
We have encountered Buck and Wanda on several different occasions, but not always appearing as they did in this particular episode. We saw them at the circus, as contestants in a dance competition, and as participants in a shooting competition. But when last we experienced this version of the eccentric duo, it was right at the very beginning of Booth and Brennan- as a romantic couple, that is. Except, we didn’t quite know it at the time. I’m getting nostalgic, so bear with me.
In The Change in the Game, we already had an idea that something had happened between Booth and Brennan in the episode prior. But we didn’t know precisely what it meant. We didn’t know the details, nor did we understand the implications of what was partially revealed in the previous episode. Booth and Brennan were acting a bit differently than usual. But for the most part, they were their normal selves. The clues are far more obvious when watching that episode now. Hindsight is 20/20, after all. But the last time we got a look at those ridiculous wigs was a time when these two were just beginning to embark upon the next phase of their relationship. And here they are again. It’s not an ending. These characters will live on in the Bones universe. So I won’t call it that. Who’s to say that Buck and Wanda won’t appear at a costume party one day? But it’s (and forgive me for this) another kind of beginning. Something big is about to happen. And I assume it’s going to completely alter their lives once more. But once more, they will face the future together. “Where you go, I go.” (Spoiler alert). What was the purpose of rehashing the past? Nothing significant. Unless you consider everything about the characters’ journey vital to where they are today. Which I most certainly do. Mostly, I just wanted to recount the last time we saw this particular Buck and Wanda.
In the most recent episode, Brennan was not initially thrilled with the prospect of going undercover. Usually, she derives the utmost excitement at the mere mention of undercover work. But with the death of her father still fresh, she just wasn’t interested. While her life has mostly returned to normal, there is a constant tinge of annoyance and impatience in her voice. You can hear it at the lab throughout the start of this episode. And it’s evident she is still grieving. She’s still suffering. Which is completely understandable, given the circumstances.
Gordon Gordon makes his first appearance in 7+ years. His purpose is to help decode Sweets’ files on Zack, but he does make time for his favorite crime fighting duo. When the team discovers that the latest murder victim participated in the demolition derby, Booth is giddy at the idea of just visiting a competition. He suggests that Gordon Gordon accompany him. But Dr. Wyatt has other ideas. He encourages the partners to go undercover together. Maybe it wasn’t the only way to solve this case, but GG’s thought is that it would be good for Brennan. She clearly still hurting, and likely has a great deal of pent up aggression. What better remedy is there than driving around crashing into cars. Once again, Booth thinks it’s a rather genius idea. Brennan is reluctant, but agrees.
Booth and Brennan pull those infamous mullet wigs out of storage, and a now-married Buck and Wanda set out to investigate the competition. Brennan shares with Booth that it was a mistake for them to have agreed to this assignment. Usually she enthusiastically dives into her role, whether it be Roxie or Wanda. But that spark is just not present this time around. That said, she continues to halfheartedly play along. Booth, of course, immerses himself into this version of Buck- big gulp cola and all. I have to say it was extraordinarily enjoyable to see David’s interaction with both his son and and real-life wife during this case. Not to mention the fact that Emily (as Brennan, as Wanda) actually sniffs Jaime Boreanaz’s hair. That moment will be etched in my mind for a long time. Absolutely hysterical.
With the start of the competition imminent, Brennan still cannot seem to find a reasonable purpose to her being there. She is sitting in her car, opposite Booth, and there is a discernible sadness emanating from her. Booth notices this and briefly breaks character. He reaches out his hand to her.
Hey, Bones, come on. We got this. I love you.
She takes his hand and they exchange smiles. These two completely radiate love. Just a few seconds like this are so powerful. They are amazing. Everything is going to be okay. It’s never going to be easy, but when has anything ever been easy? Brennan has Booth. She has her family, her friends, her job. She is going to get through it. And while this moment is quite brief, a switch in her seems to flip. And Wanda is finally ready to derby.
The pair is to search for someone receiving a phone call right before the start of the race. Aubrey purposely let a suspect go, and observed him calling someone at the derby. Brennan finds the culprit just as the competition is underway. And she and Booth proceed to chase him down with their cars. Brennan is driving around, crashing into other competitors and experiencing cars crashing into her. She’s laughing and yelling. What’s that now? Psychology is a soft science? Well, it does appear to have its place. And Gordon Gordon’s “prescription” seems to be effective at this point. Brennan notices the suspect driving off the course, and she tails him. I love that Booth is cheering her on from his car, rather than needing to be the one to catch this guy. Brennan finally corners the car, and Booth flies over another car to sandwich the suspect in from the other side. Brennan is “woo-ing” at this point. Booth first asks her if she’s okay. She’s not okay. She’s “FANTASTIC.” She continues to scream in delight. This was precisely what she needed. I can’t explain it, but sometimes these sorts of activities do help. Has anyone ever been to one of those rooms where you throw dishes at a wall? It helps with aggression and frustration for sure.
The rest of the case unfolds relatively seamlessly, and the couple finds themselves back at home wearing their regular clothes once more. Gordon Gordon is behind the counter cooking a meal for them. A few things here- Gordon Gordon, more than once, has prepared Booth and Brennan food. The last time this happened, he told Booth that he was in love with Brennan. And then he subsequently counseled “hope and patience.” Now here he is again. Not much has changed. Except everything has changed. He is in the house that Booth and Brennan share together. The couple’s children (multiple) are presumably asleep (or playing) in their rooms. And the partners are now married. So much has changed. But so much is the same. It’s a beautiful reminder of just how far they have come.
I also thoroughly enjoyed how excited and proud Booth was when he was recounting their apprehension of the suspect. Perhaps some men would feel the need to be the “badass” in the story. Not Booth. He is utterly impressed by the way Brennan chased and ultimately cornered their suspect. He even said she was “back.” Thank you, David. Brennan informs him that she was not back. But Wanda- “might have been back.” She then admits that Gordon Gordon was right. She does actually better. But their conversation would be interrupted by a phone call from Hodgins. Which brings me to the other major story occurring in this episode.
Hodgins has been spending what seems like every free moment focused on Zack’s impending court date. As it turns out, the evidence he provided to Cam in the previous episode was indeed thrown out. I thought perhaps she would consider it valid after realizing that Hodgins would not tamper with evidence- even for a friend. But, it seems as though Brennan and Cam agreed that it was just not enough. Booth has collected all of Sweets’ files from his visits with Zack over the years. By the look of the pile in Booth’s office, he clearly made frequent visits to the institution. Those are times we never really knew about. But I am surely glad to have found that out this season.
Booth requires the help of a psychology specialist to decode the files. But he obviously can only reach out to someone he truly trusts. Who better than Gordon Gordon? It was lovely to see Stephen Fry back on the show after so long. And it felt as if nothing had changed. Though as I previously touched on, so much has changed. Aubrey takes an instant liking to the former psychiatrist, as he comes bearing gourmet treats.
After encouraging Booth and Brennan to visit the derby, he partners up with Hodgins to try to make headway on Zack’s case. Together, they realize that they should be looking for the deceased apprentice whom Gormogon killed when Zack took the job. After all, there can only be one apprentice. So that’s the route they proceed to take. And while it seems like the case hits a dead end by the conclusion of the episode, that phone call Brennan receives from Hodgins proves the opposite. They have found the apprentice in what looks like a coffin etched with ritualistic markings. There is blood on the clothes. And this could just be the evidence they need to set Zack free. The nail in the coffin, so to speak. But can it really be that easy? That’s to be determined.
This was also the episode during which we got a glimpse into Rodolfo’s plans for the future. Cam learned that Rodolfo recently completed his doctorate, and so she presents him with a blue Jeffersonian jacket. You can sense his reluctance, but he accepts it humbly. I wondered if he had some big secret job lined up that he wanted to keep under wraps. But the truth of the matter is, he knows that there are very few jobs for forensic anthropologists in the DC area. We already knew this. This was why Arastoo initially had to leave. And while Rodolfo loves the people with whom he works, he cannot stay there indefinitely. At least not if he wants to put his degree to good use. So really, he was a bit saddened at the realization that he would soon inevitably have to leave this group. I love that whether we are talking about Clark who entered the picture back in season 3 or Jessica who surfaced at the end of season 9, all of these interns quickly become part of the family. Each and every one. Yes, even Oliver (though at times he’s like that obnoxious uncle you’d like to dis-invite to the holidays). Rodolfo left his home in Cuba in order to find a better life. And he has done just that. He has found a home at this place, with these people. And that is something that will certainly be difficult to leave. Some have tried and failed. But he will go on and have successful career wherever he goes. And even if he doesn’t see these people as frequently, he will still always find a home with them (though we won’t mention the physical Jeffersonian since I don’t know its exact fate) always.
Another Tuesday, another episode of Bones. I can’t really say much without depressing myself. So I will only say that I am excited for Betty White’s return. And I am curious as to the effect her career change will have on Brennan.
Just a few more hours…