(Hart Hanson, if by some miracle you read this, please note that SWEETS IS THE BEST THING EVER NEVER HURT HIM, OKAY, I LOVE YOU.)
so i watched this once, tried to take a break and brush up on my bones meta (there is none that i can find, sadness :( - there's some decent speculation here and then there's this amazing preview of the season finale from the Huffington Post of all places, which you should all read because it totally, totally sums up why you can and should NEVER write off this show as the kooky ridiculous fluff-fest it might seem at first) and now i'm diving back in.
I should say at the outset that halfway through the first viewing I decided that this ep was a kooky tribute to Joss Whedon, and that one Buffy season finale (S4 I think? ahh, yes indeed) that was a complete dream ep, that made little sense initially but was a huge key to the next season. *adds in later: oh, and Hart Hanson basically confirms this reading (spoiler alert) on his twitter. So I'm going to try my best to read it that way, even though I will state outright that I waver between two opinions when it comes to Bones:
1) that it's a lot smarter than I give it credit for, and a lot of its underlying themes are more subtle and being developed over time much more gradually than the superficial Reason/Emotion war
2) it's just a show, i should really just relax.
So, if, you know, this all turns out to be a bunch of bullshit, I LAUGHED AT MYSELF FIRST. but it won't turn out to be a bunch of bullshit because it's BONES and Bones is AMAZING FOREVER ok, ok. do not diss my favorite show because it will calmly accept your diss, then steal your underwear through an elaborate scheme that involves you winding up hanging upside down from a flagpole, and laugh at you like the 7th-grade genius that it is.
all kinds of jumbled-up thoughts, second-time through, spoilers ahead. Bones 426 - The End of the Beginning.
- For, oh, at least the second half of this season (i started noticing it when i caught up last week) they've been doing these annoying light-flare fade-ins. It occurs to me after watching this whole ep once through that maybe the light-flares are supposed to represent the overhead lights on the operating table. After all, we open with Jack-as-narrator reminding us that we don't know how "real" or reality is. How "real" is what we think of as this show's reality? Are we in the mind of an autistic child, etc, etc.
- ZACK. ZACK YOU ARE HERE AND YOUR HAIR IS BEAUTIFUL AND FLOPPY AND I LOVE YOU. <3
(momentary pause for nostalgia:
(and ok here i lost about a fourth of my original post into the ether of Semagic, sigh, so you get the basic gist of what I was saying, which was mostly about Booth. ) Booth consciously appears to really want the idea of family, but here, in his perfect world, he's explicitly left his existing son out of the picture. His subconscious ideally wants a family specifically with Brennan, and is (I think) bizarrely rejecting responsibility for the family he already has.
Then, when you consider that in his ideal world, his brother is A MURDERER, and that the whole 4 days he's in a coma, Booth is basically digging up a REASON TO GET HIS BROTHER OUT OF THE PICTURE (So he won't officially threaten Booth's relationship with Brennan anymore? So he won't officially threaten Booth himself????), his whole attitude towards family relationships and responsibility takes on extremely subversive and, I think, sinister overtones. Jared, even though he *knows* (in booth's dream) that he's the murderer, still uses every opportunity to accuse Booth of doing it. And so in this world, Booth is... subconsciously using the person he should trust most to betray him on multiple levels. Is he just that masochistic? Or is this a giant red flag about his ability to trust Jared? Or his ability to trust himself? ARGH.
Also I would like to note that Booth's ideal world is also one in which he *cough* openly acknowledges his fondness for Sweets. Just saying.
okay, MR. NIGEL MURRAY / ZACK:
- Okay, seriously, this is BOOTH/BRENNAN'S IDEAL WORLD, IN WHICH EVERYONE'S ROLES AND PERSONALITIES ARE SLIGHTLY ALTERED IN WAYS THAT STILL MATCH THEIR PERSONALITIES, EXCEPT FOR THESE TWO DUDES (well, and Caroline, but seriously, like she'd let Booth's subconscious shove her around). SERIOUSLY:
- Mr Nigel Murray steps out of eternal geekhood and does a COMPLETE 180 as a suave, self-assured deejay with no social awkwardness whatsoever, where everything down to his NAME is trendier. Why is this significant? Because of all the interns (I keep wanting to call them ducklings, oh, House), Mr Nigel Murray is the only one who's come closest to equalling Zack in overall skill as *well* as overall personality - the same extremely literal brain, same deadpan social awkwardness, same penchant for extremely esoteric marginalia.
In Booth's world, Mr Nigel Murray is subconsciously the biggest threat to Zack's position of all the would-be squints. In Booth's ideal reality, Zack is still alive and well, and get this: of everyone in Booth's life, he's the only one who hasn't changed in any way. He's still Brennan's assistant, he's still exactly the same as he was pre-Gormagon. So in Booth's mind, the best way to get rid of the threat to Zack? Change Mr Nigel Murray into something totally unlike himself.
"You and I are not in collusion." Because they are total opposites, or at least Booth wants them to be. (And the fact that Booth's subconscious views Mr Nigel Murray as a threat to Zack's job just makes me more certain that he's the best, most likely choice for next season. However, at this point, I don't want to lose anyone. Well, except Daisy. I KNOW, I KNOW. )
(I also like to think that this complete role reversal is a sign that there is yet more, deliciously more, to Mr. Nigel Murray than we have yet seen.)
"You're the type of moron who goes to jail for a murder he didn't commit." We've already established, early on in this season, that Zack didn't actually commit any of the Gormagon murders. There may, in fact, be another Gormagon apprentice out there, yeah? And we also know that Zack's appearance in this ep tells us he's not gone from the show forever. So can we go out on a limb and just speculate that maybe this ep heralds of MORE MURDER MOST FOUL IN OUR MERRY ASSEMBLAGE TO COME? (Seriously, as long as they don't touch Jack or Angela or Sweets, they can turn anyone into a murderer as far as I'm concerned. What would a Bones family be without a few more skeletons in the closet?) SO WE GO FROM PAST ALLUSION (zack going to jail in error) to ... "I'm working with the murderer." FORESHADOWING? :DDDD
oh Jack, you are the best most adorable fake irish poet criminologist author misanthrope drunk EVER.
oh my god okay, can i just say how completely embarrassed i am that Clark gets to be a RAPPER WITH GANG TIES? because, you know, he's a BLACK GUY, so naturally he gets to wear bling and do the moonwalk. *facepalm*
And I cannot actually even touch making Vaziri into a sinister Persian (WTF PERSIA ISN'T AN ACCURATE GEOGRAPHICAL ORIGIN, BONES, IT'S "IRAN," THERE, WAS THAT SO HARD? eta: several commenters have established that "Persian" is still an ethnic identity with which many Iranians self-identify, so i'll give you that one, Hart. Sorry.) with cold-hearted business dealings that involve "head-cracking" and other assorted shady tokens of violence, because the whole thing just is so enraging. I can't even pick it up, I'm just going to point at it and flail in outrage and move on.
"I'm not going to fare well in jail: I'm lovely." <-- okay, can I just say that few things have ever been sexier than the way Mr. Nigel Murray touches his face at this moment, HOLY CRIPES. And also please will you check out the way Jack notices:
Back to Jack/Sweets: "You don't stand a chance with Angela." So for at least 5 eps I've been seeing hints of Angela/Sweets in the works, and this just makes me convinced that while Jack and Angela are sorting themselves out next season (<33333333) it may very well happen. And that was even before the whole "I'm looking at Sweets in a whole new way" line, hee.
(I have no objection whatsoever to Angela/Sweets, because obviously Angela/Jack is never going to not be the OTP, okay, and if Sweets can't have his threesome with Booth and Brennan, or his twosome with just Booth, he can take as much comfort in the arms of beautiful women as he pleases.)
Vaziri is awesome in this ep, like despite the fact that he's been pigeon-holed into this ridiculously racist role not ONCE in the series but TWICE, he's basically playing it well and sitting back and eyerolling at everyone around him. Hey, every little bit helps. I'm really disappointed that Angela and Cam don't have more to do in this ep. At least Daisy gets to hit on Sweets (sigh).
THE WHOLE CONVERSATION ABOUT THE GRAVEDIGGER MAKES ME HOPE DESPERATELY THAT THE GRAVEDIGGER ARC IS UNFINISHED, I'm just saying. And while we're talking about blatant pure fanservice, BEST FANSERVICE EVER IS:
"SOME PEOPLE THINK THAT I'M GORMAGON, BUT I'M NOT."
I mean, what can you say about Sweets singing except that it's just THE BEST THING EVER IN LIFE TO DATE. <3
- Did anybody else catch that Grayson (aka Angela's ex-husband) was moonlighting as Clark's brother? I didn't know really what to make of this except they wanted to bring everyone from this season back for a giant love-in:
So Grayson goes from being an obsessed ex from FIJI who hears mystical love bells to being a gangsta, look, bones, can't we just have non-stereotyped black men on this show again AT LEAST WE HAVE CLARK IN EVERY EP THAT ISN'T THIS ONE BUT I AM JUST SAYING? A Grayson who doesn't even meet Angela in this universe, haha. But what does it mean, what is he DOING HERE? He almost neatly recaps his role as a catalyst in this scene: before he was catalyzing Angela and Jack to remain fiercely loyal to each other; here he's catalyzing Booth, subconsciously, to realize things about his own relationship with Jared through parallels with Grayson's fictional relationship with Clark. (Is his making Jared the killer here, a victim to his own good intentions, a way for his subconscious to warn him about the need to protect Jared from himself? Jared is leaving on that international getaway for months. Is it Booth's subconscious way of trying to enable him to relate better to Jared, to help him realize more clearly what he wants from his brother, and himself? ARGH BRAIN HURTS.)
- OH ZACK. OH ZACK. Coming back to Brennan's office like a fledgling to your nest. <3 "They let you out!" OF COURSE THEY DID :( :( :(.
- Zack and the fingerprints on the gun: I love the way what looked like a move of pure fumbling awkwardness to Mr. Nigel Murray is revealed to be Zack's instant, blind loyalty shining through here (just as it did in last season's finale *tears*) - his loyalty and his instinctive protectiveness. I LOVE that even though Hodgins doesn't even meet Zack in this universe, at least not that we see, he still wields the same clear influence over Zack: "I learned a lot from Mr. Hodgins's books." YOU BET YOU DID, ZACKARONI. <3 I love you, Zack. <3
Bones and Booth's bedroom, and their office too, are so completely synthesized between elegance and practicality, minimalism and art, dark furniture and bright colors. And I love that in Booth's other reality he still has great suits and wild ties.
I STILL HAVE NO IDEA WHAT MAX IS DOING IN THIS EP. And Jared telling Booth to grow up, that he thinks too completely with his heart - I feel like it's completely natural that in his ideal world he relies purely on his feelings and his level of caring for the people around him, but the key is that that's not what happens - he still realizes what his brother is doing. So the issue here for me is that the whole reason-versus-emotion issue could possibly subvert the theme of his protectiveness over his brother: is his subconscious need to make his brother a murderer occurring from a rational kind of inner alarm, to warn him of impending trouble, or the need to square with his protectiveness where Jared is concerned? Or is it a purely emotionally driven need to somehow hurt his brother, make his brother pay for his own rash impulses, in ways that he has never yet seemed to do in real life thus far? Is it Booth's version of the pain in the heart?
DUDE, MOTLEY CRUE. HELL YEAH, TOMMY LEE.
LOOKING GOOD, MISTER NIGEL MURRAY.
PICTURE, THOUSAND WORDS.
This is the best portrait of Jack ever. Dr. Feel Good, indeed.
I don't even know what to do with this image. just. OH, ZACK, ZACK, ZACK. WE LOVE YOU, ZACK.
askfsjfs;kfjsklfjdk no words. Allow me to stop being all offended at the way Bones treats male characters of color on this show and step outside it long enough to say that making uptight, straightlaced Clark Edison into a HIP HOP ARTIST is, in and of itself, innately hilarious, okay. Oh, Clark.
I think that it's really telling that the last thing you get before the last scene of the dream is a shot of everyone, all the squints, previous, current, and future, enjoying themselves.* I also think it's really telling that they're separate, and not grouped together. Because what did Bones say to Booth in the hockey ep? Not everything stays the same; eventually everything changes. And what's the name of this episode again?
(Please note that the family of Bones is something I never, ever, ever will lose faith in. The characters on this show just are a family. They all love each other too much to be anything less. And yeah, I can take a lot of heartbreak because of that faith. This is all just pure speculation. But I know this show. It's not going to just throw lines like that out there and not make them mean something.)
* except for Dr. Vaziri, of course, because he doesn't count, right, he just gets to be the outsider from freaking PERSIA, oh, Bones, seriously, baby, why you gotta hurt me so.
okay, and the ending:
I don't think Brennan has ever looked lovelier or more... well, more radiant, than in this ep. And it makes sense, because she's happier here than she ever has been. Even without having any visible family connections (her father isn't her father here, her brother, like Booth's son, is nonexistent). But she has her extended family at the Lab.
I think it says a whole lot that they turned the lab into a NIGHT CLUB. It says a whole lot about the personalities and the dreams of each of the squints, and it says a lot, on a meta level, about this show's overall focus and direction. Like I said in my pimp post of this show (the only show that's never let me down), Bones isn't really about drama: it's going, "Yeah, we could be as gripping as 24 or as high-intensity as CSI, but LOL WE DON'T WANT TO BE HEY LET'S DISSECT AN ALLIGATOR!" or in this case, HEY, LET'S WRITE A FANFIC AU WHERE THEY'RE ALL IN A NIGHTCLUB. Just. Oh, Bones. ♥
Just, ahaha, how can you be a fan of this show, how can you have watched it for 4 seasons, and not get that, not see that's what it's about? Like the reviewer at the Huffington Post said, this show is a constant exercise in creative anarchy. Of course Booth is going to hallucinate Stewie and then wake up with amnesia. Of course they're going to continue to tease/cheat/subvert the Booth/Brennan dynamic. I keep forgetting that outside fandom fans don't read into shows like this and there are all these poor schmucks out there going "NO FAIR IT WAS ALL JUST A DREAM" while in here we are busy relishing the fanservice <3 and celebrating the more obvious point of the entire ep:
namely, that Brennan has figured out she has romantic feelings for Booth.
The part that was left out of this screenshot is the line: "You see two people, and you think, 'they belong together,' and nothing happens." So I am assuming, because my reading is that the dream itself was Booth's while the voice-over narrative was Brennan's writing, that Brennan actually wrote this line, and then deleted it earlier, before writing the following paragraphs. I think it says a whole lot about her level of self-awareness that she is able to even articulate that simple fact so obviously - the anthropologist dealing with outside, impartial observations of human nature. And maybe we've gotten too hung up on Booth being the one who's known, who's been struggling the whole time. Because just as Booth's coma has given his subconscious free reign to work through all of this and bring to light what he wants, Brennan's writing, the 4 days of writing and waiting (in which you know that she's never once left his side) has been her own subconscious's way of working through what she already, on some level, has to have known.
And her deleting the page after she's acknowledged the feelings to herself? Is further acknowledgment, open acknowledgment, that she can't let these feelings grow, can't explore them any more than she has.
So, I, for one, am totally content to celebrate the moment, because if the lol AMNESIA wasn't enough, there is Bones' own reticence and logic and all those nasty things that cause people, in this world, to do ridiculous things like break up the same day they get permission to finalize their marriage. So, NO. I AM NOT CELEBRATING. well, okay, I am, but I'm also, mostly, just bouncing up and down waiting to see what crazy place we'll go next.
HELL, YEAH. BRING ON THE ANGST, THE MELODRAMA, THE RIDICULOUS PLOT TWISTS. BRING ON SEASON FIVE! \o/