Tuesday, July 10, 2012

In Which She Has Her Own Bit of Crazy, Too

Season 7, Episode 5
The Twist in the Twister

A varied version of a typical Booth/Bones struggle: he wants to help her, she insists she can do it on her own. But the fact that she's pregnant with his baby pushes them both further in their positions: he's even more vigilant about helping her, this time helping her get up, and she's more insistent about getting herself up, mostly because of his increased insistence at helping her but also, I'd speculate, that she wants to prove she can manage being pregnant on her own, not having anything to do with Booth but rather because she's so used to being self-sufficient. She was planning on doing it on her own just a few years ago, after all.

Then the conversation starting with the ramen. He insists she shouldn't eat it, but she's already planned it out – she'll have a low-sodium dinner to counteract it, further showing her self-sufficiency. She goes on to accuse him of his overprotectiveness in a logical, rational, reasonable fashion, partly because it is true – of course he's being overprotective, he's overprotective with her more often than not when she's NOT pregnant, so with her being pregnant with his child of course he's going to be over-overprotective. Even when he's trying to say he's not overprotective, he gets another overprotective comment in there. But she's partly doing it to legitimize her dedication to her self-sufficiency.

And she gets even more dedicated once she realizes he lied, which she reacts to by risking getting attacked by the storm just to prove she can get through it unharmed and show him his lying was in vain (and tried to punish him for it even more when he still insists she shouldn't have come after the tornado, when she leaves him at the site after he's seen his car is destroyed).

Which she connects back to the self-sufficiency once he gets home, except we learn it's actually more than that - “you think you have the right to control me because I'm carrying her protege”. I'd go so far as to say it has more to do with her just believing in her self-sufficiency, it connects reasons for her not wanting to have marriage or long-term commitment – she's afraid it'll result in someone wanting to control her or change her. With her being pregnant, the idea of long-term commitment is a constant presence now, and it was something she insisted she would never be involved with for all of her adult life. No matter what the situation now or how much she's changed, it is still frightening to have something you've fought against for so long suddenly become a likelihood. Mindsets can change much more easily than behaviors resulting from those mindsets, and the longer the mindset has been in place, the more ingrained the behaviors are. So she finds every chance to highlight Booth's overprotectiveness and her own ability to be self-sufficient.

And, the final scene. He knows her, he knows she's not going to let up, so he has two options: either stop being overprotective, or give her a logically laid-out explanation as to why he does this. Note “logically laid-out”, not “logical”, because the level of his overprotectiveness is not “logical”, at least in her eyes. But she needs to know he's not doing it because of any fault of hers, as she's made it out to seem so far. It's not because he doesn't trust her, because he doesn't think she can manage on her own, because he wants to control her – it's that he feels better protecting her and their child in the albeit small, minute ways he can, because he won't always be able to be. Despite it being a logically laid-out argument, she doesn't buy it as such, but again, you can't really expect her to accept it on any level because she still has that deeply-ingrained behavior in place. But when he points out she has a little bit of crazy too, he is completely correct – I mean, she risked being injured or killed in that storm just to prove she could manage it despite Booth's lie. Yes, she says its because she wanted to talk to the chasers and it made her think of things she wouldn't have thought of otherwise, but also she could have simply asked to arrange an interview after the storm, or even talked over the phone later on. She too has her own delusions, in this case her dedication to unnecessary levels of self-sufficiency, but unlike Booth, the one still more understanding of the emotional/psychological aspects of himself and their relationship (after a bit of stubbornness and pushing it away, as always) despite how much she's grown, she won't always be able to be as understanding of them, especially while it is still happening and she uses her rationality as the deflector.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

In Which She Knows More Than She Thinks She Does

Season 7, Episode 4
The Male in the Mail

She can totally tell it's not totally right because he responds in his normal way when he doesn't want to deal with something. Even though in their pair he's typically the one to come out and say what's up, of course nobody is like that all the time, especially when it comes to something as sensitive and complicated as his issues with his dad. After being together seven years now, she knows it's a big deal when he avoids something like this and she's learned more how to deal with it by watching him, as evidenced at the crime scene when she says “I was trying to be supportive by trying to adapt a matter-of-fact demeanor like you” when she tells Cam his father died.

Then in the car scene, she of course knows he's upset about it and is trying to completely mask it. She tries multiple times in multiple ways; by going with him to the scene, by talking about the Buddhists, etc. After all her tries, he's still pushing away from talking about it, this time by throwing the focus back on her, and you can see her physically resign from trying for the time being, as she knows by now that pushing it and pushing it too much at once at the wrong time will backfire. So she goes along with it.

When she's talking to Angela, when Angela asks her how Booth is doing and Bones says she doesn't know, she looks down right before she says “I should know how to help him, shouldn't I?”* Of course she wants to be able to help him and feels she's failed so far, but as has been with Brennan as the series has gone on, she actually does understand him and how to relate with him better than she thinks she can. While Booth is good at helping others, with his own emotional stuff he can shut himself up tight and won't open unless you do it at the right time, in the right way. Bones might not consciously know this, but subconsciously, she does. She thinks she hasn't helped him yet, but really by not insisting she help him yet, she's made her potential for helping him in the best way possible greater.

So she does just what Angela tells her to, she figures out what she can give him that nobody else can't, what makes it different for her to get him to talk about it than others trying. She finds exactly what it is – they're spending their lives together. He's not doing that with anyone but her. And so he can't shut her out, she says. She stands her ground on it, too. She knows now is the time to push, now that she knows and is using exactly the thing unique to her. She uses the stories she knows of him and his father, possibly (perhaps even likely) stories he's only ever told her, she uses her own knowledge of quantum theory to get him to remember it wasn't all bad, to let go of his anger so he might actually get to the love the anger is surrounding right now, so he can be able to open the box, so he can be able to fully grieve. 

ETA: I need to mention that I have NOT watched all of this latest season yet. I am posting these as I go, I'm going to try to commit to at least one a day (or every other day) until I get them all done but I just got a new job so we'll see. But because of that, I will be posting each post without knowing what all else happens in this season, and I'm writing them as I would normally write them, which means I might make some predictions or inferences that might be totally off or wrong with what actually happens episodes later. I ask that you appease me and NOT let me know when I'm totally wrong or spoil me for anything in the comments, as half the experience for watching for me is the excitement of when things are different than I thought. If you'd like to go even further and comment like YOU don't know what's going to happen next either, that'd be wonderful fun for me ;)

ETA2: I'm also in the process of responding to comments that have been left on older posts since I've been away, so if you left me any, be checking those posts, I'll hopefully have responded to everything in the next couple days.

ETA3andhopefullylast: Oh my, after already responding to a few comments only just NOW have I realized blogspot now lets me reply to comments directly, instead of just posting them as a general comment. So still go back and check if I responded to some you left before because they might have been before I realized this, but from now on I'll be able always to respond direct. RAD!

Monday, April 9, 2012

In Which We Announce...

MAY 2012:


(or something like that)

Basically, getting out of school the first week of May = copious amounts of free time for a couple weeks = Everything Happens Eventually 2: Electric Boogaloo, Season 7 Style

So get ready
because there is so much to talk about

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I just have no time ever.
BUT, posts are a'comin.
Not sure quite when yet, but the blog's not abandoned for good. I will post until the show ends. I mean, how could I NOT at this point.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

In Which They Connect

Season 7, Episode 3
The Prince in the Plastic

Ok, before I get into other things: I'm not even going to say anything about that first scene with Booth, Brennan, and Sweets because it would be redundant. Everything you got from that scene about all their relationships (B&B, Booth and Sweets, Brennan and Sweets, and all three of them together)

Honestly, besides all their little cute moments, the only thing from this episode that really has anything to be said about is that golden line in the scene in the middle of the episode where they're chatting at home:
“You connect with me, right?” “You know I do.”

Not “yes”, not anything else, but “you know I do.” So it's something that, at least to her (but I think to him too), is unnecessary and silly for him even to be asking because it's obvious – he knows. Not to mention her body and face when she says it – looking up at him, lowering them back down and resting back into him almost as soon as she starts talking, but not hurriedly. This thing he's asked isn't just something that's obvious, it's something that is so obvious that she knows that he already knows her answer, and so she can tell he's just asking it to make a point – hence the looks when answering.

Now for something not quite usual to this blog: addressing why there wasn't much to talk about in this episode.
So far this season, Bones has given us all the cutesy-adorable-heart-melting-make-me-vomit-rainbows scenes we could ask for, which has been great. But because we have a lot of that going on, there's less focus on the rest of their relationship. And after a few episodes, while all the cute stuff is still great, the lack of the rest starts to make things feel a little... stagnant. It might just be me, but that's the feeling I had after the episode.
Here's the thing, though: Most shows have patterns in regards to the kinds of episodes they have. Bones in particular has some predictable patterns, one of which being that the first few episodes of a season (or after a particularly emotional episode for one of the main characters) tend to be similar, to establish a sort of base from which to move for the season. Bones has always been a show that has crafted itself not by the arcs of episode after episode, but by the arc of the whole season. I think this right now is just a lower point in that arc, is all.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

In Which We Have Some Inconsistences (And I Go With It)

Season 7, Episode 2
The Hot Dog in the Competition

I have to start this off by clarifying something.

This isn't an episode review blog, where one judges the quality of the episodes. This is a creative analysis blog.

I view things from a theatrical background – I've done theatre for years, I'm going to school for it, and it's what I intend to do for the rest of my life. I mention this because in theatre, we're taught that everything in a play means something, that the author put everything there for a reason. Even if you don't like it, you have to take what you're given and try to find what you can from that.

Now, I fully realize that TV is not theatre, that not every single thing is there for a specific reason, and of course it would be foolish to think so. But because my training has so ingrained me to think this way, I think this way when I watch Bones, hence this blog. And while, since it IS TV, we can never be sure exactly what has a real meaning behind it and what doesn't, I feel like it's simply more interesting to speculate anyway. It makes my experience watching the show better, and I'm assuming that it does for you too, because otherwise you wouldn't be reading this right now.

And even if an episode is bad, if the writing is off or the plotline is weird or the characters aren't quite in character, I'm still going to take what the episode gives me and try to make sense out of it, because even if it's not quite on the same level as everything else, it is all with which I'm given to work.

So, all that said... yeah, this episode was a little off.
But I'm going to do what I can with it.

Before I get into the bulk of the episode, two small things to note:
1) I'm not quite sure how they're getting away with continuing to work together while they're living together and she's pregnant with his child, when just a few years ago it was always OH WELL WE CAN'T BE TOGETHER ANYWAY BECAUSE THE FBI WOULD MAKE US STOP WORKING TOGETHER SO THERE. I hope they address this someday, at least just to give an excuse.

2) I've noticed, in both this episode and the last, a return to a higher level of resistance against Sweets from Booth than I believe he had before. Now he seems always to straight-up refuse to talk to Sweets about things, whereas before a lot of the time he would give in after a little while. Even when he did refuse before, there was the strong reasoning that he didn't want to talk to Sweets because he didn't want his true feelings for Brennan to be revealed. But now that that's out... I'm a little curious as to why this is happening. My reasoning automatically makes me believe that it's probably because he's hiding something else deep down that he doesn't want to be revealed, but that is pure speculation, not enough has really happened in that department so far this season to start any sort of valid theory.

We saw a couple of what might seem to be regressions in this episode – namely, Brennan going back to not understanding why Booth is upset about something when she took what was the rational action in the situation.

But WAIT?! What happened to all her empathy she'd be gaining all these years?!?!?

It's still there. It's still all there. Frankly, I just think old habits dies hard. She lived inside an full-body armor of rationality for at least a decade and a half before she met Booth. Yes, she's broken that down these past six years, but it doesn't change the fact that that her uber-rationality is part of her personality. The armor is not actively up anymore, but it is still ingrained in her, so I believe it would make sense, especially now that she's dealing with these things that are new and probably really fucking scary to her, that she might fall back on that every now and then. Plus, it's a different situation. Of course she's going to be empathetic and sit and listen to an angry, drunk Booth say hurtful things. The stakes are high enough in that that she can immediately pick up on it. More simple, subtle things, like this situation, might be harder for her to pick up on if the level of negative reaction she gets from Booth isn't at a certain high enough level. She didn't “learn” to be empathetic in this episode, she's already known that. She just had to find a new way to evoke it in this situation.

And then, the way she says “You're happy” at the end when he's watching the sonogram – she says it as a pure statement, observation, and she says with with a smile. She's happy that he's happy. That rational part of her personality yields to her empathy smoothly and pleasantly, as opposed to complicatedly and grudgingly or out of the the demand for it from the level of tragedy of the situation, as almost every time before, and that's the difference.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Season 7, Episode 1
The Memories in the Shallow Grave

If you had told me when I started watching this show halfway through season three, that four years later the first Booth and Bones scene of the season would be them making breakfast in Booth's apartment and discussing moving in together because she's pregnant with his baby, I would not have believed you for a split second.

I would have also been wrong, because,
(holy shit),
that is what the first B&B scene of the season was.

One of the most notable things we gained from this episode in regards to their relationship now is what their dynamic is now. More specifically, how it's basically exactly the same (excluding how they're more open with each other now, which I'll talk about later), just transposed into a different situation. Their discussion about her getting bigger, the first conversation we see them have this season, displays that perfectly. She's straight-forward about his kitchen being small, he responds and unknowingly opens a can of worms, she responds, and he has to back-peddle, she tries to deny his tactic in his back-peddling with science (he feels pride because of the manifestation of his virility, not attraction), and ignores it and does what his impulse tells him (in this case, to kiss her).

That pattern of conversation can be applied (plus or minus a few details) to at least one of their exchanges in every other episode. That is to say, they are still them.

Speaking of that kiss, the body language they both have in it says a lot: he turns her towards him, he initiates it (which is another strong Booth characteristic that plays a large part in their dynamic). And she responds immediately, even before he kisses her, putting her arms on his torso. Already we can see she's more open with him than before. And they kiss, twice, and she's the one who pulls away (consistent with basically everything ever in their relationship thus far), and he's still following through, with that audible breath afterward. It's clear they are both very involved and invested, but there is still that slight off-balance of his wide-open reverence of her that has been part of their dynamic for so long.

Their little conversation about marriage was... intriguing. Specifically the fact that he says “it's going to happen. I don't know when...” in regards to her asking him to marry her. I can't not at least thing of the everything happens eventually speech when I hear it. How he's so sure that it's going to happen; “all the stuff you never think happens – it happens.” How he says he doesn't know when; “Give it time, Bones.” This show loves to examine human relation to time in subtle ways. I don't have nearly enough evidence to classify it as a parallel or even a possible parallel, but I'm just saying perhaps the fact that those lines almost instantly evoked the everything happens eventually scene in my memory might not mean nothing.

When they get to the crime scene, of course, they're bickering (another huge part of their dynamic still VERY much in tact).
And she starts crying. Which I don't have much to say about except 1) I thoroughly enjoy this thing they have of taking pictures of each other in compromised positions and it shows a playful rivalry that reflects their dynamic awesomely, and 2) I'm hoping they make her blaming emotions on hormones a bit they use for awhile.

And then we have the diner scene, which REALLY reminds us that things really haven't changed – Brennan rationalizes that Booth has no say in where they live. At first, she sees nothing wrong with what she's said, because it's rational. But Booth sees is as a huge blow – to him, she's basically saying what he thinks doesn't matter. And so he responds with his line about family, and (here's where we start to see the difference in their dynamic) she acknowledges immediately that he's angry (whereas before, even at the end of last season, it might have taken her awhile to do that, and she would have pressed her point further or shut off or told Booth she didn't understand).

This is dangerous territory for them in a way – now that they'll be discussing more serious things that are very important to Booth, there's more chance for her rationalizing to result in situations like this.

The scene at the coffee cart showed them post-fight in a very different way than normal – never, really, has she ever so immediately said she was sorry, and never, really, has he been so resentful of her when she was trying to apologize. As soon as he sees her come, he moves his whole body so he's facing away from her. The look on his face as he glances back at her once he's turned most of the way is a second of true irritation with her.

Her apologizing so quickly adds up in that (considering how much they already bickered when they were just partners) if they've been spending almost all their time together the past five months, she has probably learned just from experience that the best way to end most of their arguments is just to say sorry, that often times it's not worth it to hold out just to prove she's right. Even so, she still maintains her old habits in insisting that she was correct when he says she was wrong.

His response of telling her about his research about the tribes (which we've never seen him do as a response in an argument to her before) connects back to the reason for her apologizing – they're both learning exponentially about how not only to understand each other and each other's tactics in arguments, but also to actively deal with those tactics.

She still defines her argument as rational, and he goes off on his speech about how loving her isn't rational and having the baby isn't rational but he's doing it anyway, and he goes to leave, and she knows they're still not ok about the situation but she can't just let him leave without saying something, with everything being as unresolved as it is. She feels she has to say something so she can see his response so she knows he doesn't hate her. So she says she loves him too, and he says he knows, and she's gotten the reassurance she needs, and I vomit rainbows of joy everywhere.


Angela bringing up Brennan being in foster care begins the conversation for the first time in the episode about why Brennan has been so hesitant to do this for reasons other than her rationalizations. Angela is right in that part of it might be her experience with her family as a child would make her scared to make a real family of her own. Ever since she was 15, she's essentially been alone. Just a year ago in Doctor in the Photo, she goes on about how she's fine alone, how it's what she knows. The degree to which has gone in and out, but for that whole time she has been alone - until now. As Angela reminds her, she'll never be alone again. To go from something you've been for over half your life to something completely different is incredibly daunting, subconsciously at the least.

So, like normal, the rationalizations are covering something up.

Two of their actions in regards to her falling more or less act as pretty accurate metaphors for how each feels about the other (and how they've basically always felt, as we've seen them do these things, except perhaps to different degrees, time and time again): 1) Booth completely flipping his shit when he gets her call about it, and 2) Brennan not thinking to call anyone but Booth.

The biggest difference with Brennan before and Brennan now in regards to rationalism/emotionalism I think is that Brennan now knows how to turn it on and off with more ease. She can flip through a very important concession with a monologue of pure rationalization (as she does with Booth and conceding that they should find a new place) still, but also can turn it off and tell Booth she loves him the next second, which is a result of her being able to better tell when it is necessary to turn the ration off and the emotion on.

Somehow, it wasn't until the very last scene, when they're lying in bed and she's talking about how she doesn't want a tv in the bedroom in their new house, that it hits me how fucking weird this is. A year ago, Booth was engaged to someone else. Now they're pregnant and finding a house together. And what really makes it weird is the fact that it feels no different ultimately than watching any other Booth/Brennan scene from before (excluding a few happy-light-fluffy feelings that come just from this being a new thing). They still have their essential dynamic – they're just more willing to share it with each other now.

Their little “new memories, new life” moment at the end totally conveys how they manage to work together even though logically it makes no sense. They both have their baggage that they're bringing to this – Booth wants to be better than his dad, Brennan is afraid of losing her family again. They both have deep-rooted, subconscious reasons for needing this to work. They both need this “new life”. As Sweets said seasons ago, Booth and Brennan complement each other. They can only have this new life with each other, because alone, they are stagnant, they are the same as they've always been. With each other, they have their complement, and they are no longer stagnant. Their lives can change, and from that, they can put their past behind them.

(It connects to the episode title too - their memories are in a shallow grave. That is to say, they've been put behind them, mostly, but it's a shallow grave, so they're still just beneath the surface and not completely put to rest.)

It was good he mentioned that they've been spending almost all their time together for the past five months, because frankly, I would have been worried if they hadn't. They've had all this damn tension and feelings and everything building up for so long that once it first finally got to start being released, they could only keep releasing it and releasing it. If you don't see someone you're in love with for a really long time, the vast majority of the time once you can see them again, you want to spend as much time as possible with them, at least for a while. This is the same kind of thing because, while they haven't been separated for months or anything, they've had these feelings bottled up for long that now that they can be released, they're finally getting to see the version of each other they've wanted to see for so long; the version that loves them and can express that openly with words and sex and gestures and whatever they feel. Like Booth said, they can have whatever life they want now.