The One Where Brennan Is A Deer Caught In the Headlights
Thanks again for all your input, guys!
For today’s edition, we are going to be looking at Boy with the Answer. I got a little caught up doing scene studies this week (here and here). Luckily I remembered I had this recap tucked away on my hard drive for a rainy day. Originally I was going to wait awhile before posting this, since I wanted to do each episode post-100th leading up to the season 5 finale, for reasons I hope become clear in this recap. (Namely, the careful progression of Brennan’s emotional breakdown which culminates in the Maluku decision.) However, if I wait for that, this project may never get done. The must strikes when it does (or not).
ANYWAY. Boy is such a fantastic episode, and is one that I love more each time I see it. The acting is particularly top notch from everyone involved. However, the reason I was so anxious to talk about it is because when I was trying to sort my feelings out about Past in the Present when it aired in May, I couldn’t help but think of the parallels to Boy. I already kind of touched upon it in part 2 of my Past recap, but the short version is that I really appreciated the way they slowly built up to Brennan’s panic in Boy, and I wanted to explore that a little more in depth.
As usual, I’m not sure I’ve done such a fantastic episode justice, but I tried. It’s the Gravedigger’s judgment day, Hodgins & Angela’s impromptu wedding reception, Brennan’s breakdown and the whole team being AWESOME all rolled into one!
(ETA: Keep in mind that I wrote this awhile ago, which is why there are so many references to Past in it. It was still fresh in my mind.)
Lucretia McEvil! Ugh, she was so evil, Ms. McEvil was. And now we have Sours. We have to think up nicknames for Howard Epps and Broadsky. (Gormogon could be Sharptooth! Ugh, Land Before Time. You shaped my childhood.)
But anyway, yeas, once again, awesome recap. And I really love this episode. Even though neither my parents nor my sister liked it. Honestly, I think this is one of those episodes that fans love but casual viewers don’t really feel much for. If I recall correctly, my family’s reasons for disliking it were: 1) Lucretia McEvil was one-dimensional and cartoonishly creepy, and 2) the trial was sort of unrealistic and anticlimactic, considering what the humongous effect that Lucretia had on everyone. And while I do think that the actress playing her pulled out the Crazy Eyes a bit too much, I think she did a good job portraying the sort of person the Gravedigger would be (or have to be) in reality—calculating, brilliant, and crazy as a shit-house rat. As for the trial being unrealistic—well, trials are always unrealistic on TV shows. I guess they sort of have to be; in reality they’re designed to be as clinical as possible. You kind of have to add the drama and the flair for television. I don’t know; I’m being a “Bones” apologist, but oh well.
I think it’s a fan favorite because it pulls together all those disparate emotions and hang-ups that every character has had hanging over their heads since season two (Brennan has nightmares, Hodgins hates Lucretia with the fire of a thousand suns, Cam breaks down in Sweets’ office, etc.) and analyzes them and lets them play out with the trial, until it all culminates in the jury’s verdict. My favorite episodes have always been the ones in which each member of the team uses his or her skill to reach a solution, while simultaneously portraying how each character processes what’s happening. The latter part, I think, is what distinguishes “Bones” from a lot of other procedurals—the way they show how the characters deal with all these heinous cases. And “The Boy with the Answer” definitely focused on that. Which is awesome. The fact that the episode also shows the cracks beginning to deepen within the group (even down to the happy news of Angela and Hodgins’ marriage—they left the country too, in the end, after all) and sets the stage for the finale—well, that’s icing on the cake. Just like in “The Past in the Present”, we may not have liked what Brennan decided to do in “The Beginning in the End”, but we understood her reasons for it. “The Boy with the Answer” is just a really interesting episode, full-stop. And, like you said, it’s a slow burn, which is always more interesting than out-and-out explosions, a lot of the time.
I like seeing Booth at work and doing paperwork and stuff. Is that weird? We’re so used to him being a “people” person that it’s neat to see him do the “serious” stuff, the research. He’s a smart guy who likes to play dumb, but we all know what’s what. I like seeing them all be good at their jobs, OK?
I like watching him try to use his computer. He types like my mom. One finger at a time.
Hee, I love the recurring gag of Caroline barging onto the forensics platform and setting off the alarm. Has she ever not done that at the lab?
It’s the forensics platform’s fault for not having the capacity to realize that Caroline is CAROLINE FUCKING JULIAN and doesn’t need proof of identity. Guest pass? SHE’S CAROLINE, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE.
I LOVE Cam’s conversation with Sweets. This is Sweets at his absolute best, and Tamara Taylor does a great job at conveying Cam’s frustration, anger and sadness. “These are my people, she hurt. My friends. I should be able to do something.” Oh God, even Sweets is giving me feelings with his dejected, “I know.”
I loved this scene; it might’ve been my favorite scene of the episode. When Cam cries, I cry. Like when she broke down in “The Past in the Present”? Ugh, my fucking heart.
“Don’t trust the system, Booth!” OH FUCK NOT THIS AGAIN.
Angela, nobody knows what the fuck you’re talking about. Admit it, you’re making this shit up on the spot. BREAK IT DOWN TO THE MICROPIXELS!
Use a flip book, Ang! Make a dramatization using stick figures!
Just where does Max live, anyway? There must be some Platform 9 ¾ shit going on somewhere, so he can just appear whenever.
I think he lives in the Jeffersonian. I think he hides in the bathroom when the museum locks up, and then squirrels himself away, hiding from the security guards. Either that, or he lives underneath Booth and Brennan’s house. In the crawl space.
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