The Wife:

The thing that really struck me about this week’s Bones was not the Intern of the Week, Hodgin’s breakthrough with Sweets, Booth’s relationship with his son or even really the truly horrifying subject matter that arose from finding a human finger in a crow’s nest. What struck me this week was how much some of the actors truly delivered a look at themselves through their characters.

There was a brief moment where John Francis Daley’s Dr. Sweets discusses why Parker has been acting out at school with his father, Agent Booth. Parker, who discovered he titular finger in the nest, was not traumatized by his experience with human dismemberment, but rather was being traumatized by a bully at school, a corpulent girl who likes to carry Parker around like a monkey. Booth finds this extremely odd, as he was never bullied by anyone as a child. Sweets, on the other hand, posits that “We all had our Stephanie Clydes.” That comment made me smile, not because Sweets was demonstrating something that was true for Daley’s life, but for Daley’s career. My reply to his comment was, “Yes, that you did, Sam Weir.” Since creating that role on Freaks & Geeks, Daley has made a career of playing guys who are bumbling, adorable and geeky. I have no evidence to corroborate that Daley is himself any of these things, but I doubt he’d choose to accept those roles if he didn’t feel some affinity for them.

Booth’s scenes with his son, especially the opening sequence, I like to imagine are exactly how star and executive producer David Boreanaz interacts with his own son. Seeley teaching Parker how to throw the perfect football is reminiscent of Boreanaz teaching his own son how to play his favorite sport, hockey. In a recent Entertainment Weekly interview, Boreanaz talked about how he and his son love to sing “Low” because it annoys the hell out of Mrs. Boreanaz, and I was reminded of that every time I saw Booth with Parker. Boreanaz lives for his son, and Seeley Booth does too.

Bones' extensive knowledge of human anatomy also extends to chew toys.

Bones' extensive knowledge of human anatomy also extends to chew toys.

As for Brennan, it is no secret that actress and executive producer Emily Deschanel is a vegan and animal rights advocate (she was edged out for World’s Sexiest Vegetarian 2008 by Leona Lewis ), and I felt that a large part of this episode came straight from her heart. The mystery at the core of this episode involved an illegal dogfighting ring run by a corrupt veterinary student (played by Veronica Mars‘ Adam Rose) who set his dog, Ripley, to kill a veterinarian who opposed the animal abuse and was about to expose the illegal activities. The episode was filled with horrible pictures of dogfights and far too many sad-eyed creatures. Bones herself does not misunderstand that within every domesticated dog is the ability to kill, as she compares the “killer dog” Ripley, whom she befriends, to her partner:

Temperance and Ripley Brennan, the Turner and Hooch of forensic anthropology.

Temperance and Ripley Brennan, the Turner and Hooch of forensic anthropology.

“This dog reminds me of you. He has warm and reassuring eyes and he is capable of great violence.”

But when Ripley is put to death – as by law any animal who harms a human must be – Bones is heartbroken. I, too, was heartbroken, as was guest star and Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan, who calmed the dog by saying, “I’m so sorry, boy,” after Ripley was identified as the murder weapon. Bones had wanted to give the dog a second chance. Or, more accurately, a third chance: Ripley had been turned in at the dead vet’s clinic because it’s owners “were too stupid to realize that he would grow up to be a big dog,” and then adopted by corrupt veterinarian Andrew Hopp and forced to fight. I knew from the minute the vet tech began to tell Ripley’s story that Deschanel’s heart was in this episode, and that was certainly made clear in Bones’ eulogy for her dead almost-pet.

Bones talked about the dog’s abuse by humans, how he was adopted by people who only wanted him when he was a cute little puppy, and that he would never have killed anyone if his owner hadn’t told him to, because, ultimately, dogs love and serve their masters. They implicitly trust them. Trusting a bad person was Ripley’s only crime, because dogs, as Brennan tells us, “only see the good in people.” They’re just like that.

I have never openly cried at an episode of Bones before, but I did tonight. Those who know me know that I love dogs, and movies about them. A favorite from my childhood is Iron Will, and I fucking weep rivers when Gus dies. Every time. I love all animals. I’ve been a vegetarian for 10 years, and will be for the rest of my life. I support the humane society and don’t support animal breeders. I believe every shelter animal deserves a good home. They trust us, companion animals. And we owe them the courtesy of respecting their trust, and repaying their loyalty with our own. The idea that someone would abuse an animals’ trust does not sit well with me, and it shouldn’t sit well with anyone.

If Emily Deschanel can use her show as a soapbox from time to time, I feel moved enough to get up on mine for a minute. Please, please, please support your local animal shelters. Spay and neuter your pets to prevent pet overpopulation. Don’t support breeders. I can’t and won’t ask you to be vegetarian, but I will ask that you please make informed decisions about where your meat comes from. Don’t support animal abuse. They trust us, and we need to respect that.

With that said, please go do something nice for an animal, even if it’s just giving your dog a hug or letting your cat sleep on your head at night. I definitely owe my cat for letting me cry on him during this episode. It started off all fun and games with human fingers in nests and opossums eating dead people, and then I ended up drying my tears on a cat.

The Husband:

I think my wife said just enough for this episode, showing that even goofy FBI shows on Fox can still bring about some very deep-seeded emotions. Bones does proselytize sometimes, but it’s in well planned doses such as this episode. Hell, even last season when the show had an episode that centered entirely on horseplay fetishes, it treated it with just about the right amount of judgment. Here, Emily Deschanel did have a major purpose and moral to the episode, but I admire the restraint, using her own veganism and animal rights activism to spread the word without doing something insane like throwing paint on fur coats or doing performance art pieces involving Native American chants and a lot of crying.

What I can add, however, is the fact that I got a great deal of amusement and, ultimately, sadness out of the fact that the killer dog’s name was Ripley. Ripley is also the name of my family’s younger dog, an Australian Shepherd mini. Nicknamed “The Rippers,” this little scamp is a delightful menace, a cute dog with way too much fucking energy for my mom and dad to handle sometimes. Ferocious and small, Rippers will chill you to the bone.

This is her patented move. Tremble in fear.

I can haz belly rub of doom?

I can haz belly rub of doom?

And this is her face of victory.

Tremble in fear, tiny hooman!

Tremble in fear, tiny hooman!

And this is her own personal dogfighting ring, going up against the almighty Raja for domination of the bed.

Tonight, I dine in hell!

Tonight, I dine in hell!

And regarding Bones as a show itself, I continue my desire that every single episode this season has a brand new intern, as Michael Badalucco’s character of Scott Starret this week, too, is out the door after merely a few episodes. Too bad, because he was a very loving, very smart character with a past connecting to Hodgins – Starret once worked as a used car salesman and swindled Hodgins out of some money over a decade earlier – but hey, his exit is a small price to pay for the appearance of yet another talented character actor.

In fact, I shall start up a rating system of each new intern this season. I’ll include the first two this time.

INTERNS (out of a possible 10 points):

Dr. Clark Edison (Eugene Byrd): 5.5

Pros: A mouthpiece for all the show’s naysayers who claim that it focuses too much on relationships.
Cons: Not in the episode much. Void of personality. Too grumpy for the world of Bones.

Daisy Wick (Carla Gallo): 6.5

Pros: Was a cooch dancer on Carnivale. Very knowledgeable about Dr. Brennan. Good date material for Dr. Sweets.
Cons: Obnoxious and overeager. She was too big for her britches.

Scott Starret (Michael Badalucco): 9

Pros: Aforementioned past relation to a major character. Sensitive and wise. Willing to give credit to coworkers.
Cons: Maybe a little too mushy for the Jeffersonian. Was a bankrobber in the 1930s that went by the name of George “Babyface” Nelson.

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