The Wife:

I realize that this episode aired a few weeks ago – so long ago, in fact, that my notes for this episode are actually in a different freakin’ notebook – but I still think it deserves a little write up. Maybe today I’ll get around to writing up the backlog of Criminal Minds posts that I’ve been hanging on to. I dunno. A bunch of other important stuff happened on shows people read, so some of my procedurals fell by the wayside.

Nonetheless, this was an interesting episode of Bones that ultimately questions the relationships between parents and children when Cam hires Brennan’s father (who, mind you, is a convicted felon) to lead science tours of the Jeffersonian labs for elementary school children. Max Brennan was foremost a science teacher, after all, and was directly responsible for ensuring that his daughter grew up with a good basic science education, ultimately forming her into the forensic powerhouse and genius she is today. But Brennan, ever logical, cannot see the merit in having her father in the Jeffersonian’s employ. No matter how good a science teacher he is, as a convict, he shouldn’t be in a government laboratory. Max strikes a deal with his daughter: he will simply lead the science tours and will in no way interfere with any evidence in Bones’ investigations. As long as he can keep those two things separate, he can stay.

Phalanges!

Phalanges!


Booth, on the other hand, traces the victim and the suspects in his case to the Woodbury School, where he begins to question if he’s doing right by his son if he can’t send him to the prestigious private school. The victim was an ex-soldier who now worked as a janitor and a manny for the suspect’s children, privileged asshole kids who speak Mandarin, play outside on a giant chess board and take horse riding lessons in addition to advanced placement elementary classes. Parker is the opposite of these children. School is not something he necessarily enjoys, but does fine at, preferring to, you know, be an actual kid. Seeing these asshole kids and working with Dr. Brennan only makes him feel like he’s a failure of a father if he doesn’t provide his son with the best educational opportunities possible.

Max can’t keep his promise to his daughter, though, and she catches him helping Hodgins and Wendell Bray (hooray!) set up a wind turbine experiment to determine the wind data for the day of the murder. (There was some stuff about aviation gas in this case, leading the team to need to determine if a small plane, possibly flown by flying dermatologist Gina Torres, was involved.) While Max doesn’t have a hand in the experiment at all, merely supervising and offering suggestions, Bones cannot stand her father’s attempts to help, considering them interferences (from a convict) in a secure government case. Max’s presence, she feels, compromise the data. For the sake of pure science, she fires him. Even without Max’s help, though, Wendell Bray manages to crack the case when he discovers that the body was dragged on a doggie choke chain be a person no taller than 5’5″, leading the team to call in the wife of their prime suspect, the victim’s employer, Mr. Richard King.

But in the hotseat, Sweets notices that Mrs. King isn’t telling the truth. She’s covering for someone, especially because the shotgun blasts that actually killed the victim were person much shorter than 5’5″. She admits that her daughter shot her manny and that she helped cover it up, feeling that it was better for her daughter to have a “future” with her mother in jail than no future at all with a juvenile murder record. But, really, for all the educational opportunities this child was given, she seems to not be at the right place in terms of her emotional and moral development, if she can outright murder someone and feel no remorse for her actions. Perhaps her mother is not serving her best by not letter her take the fall. Murderous children are perhaps the scariest murderers of all. (Subverting the paradigm of innocence, and all that.)

It'll be just like that YouTube video you saw. Watch.

It'll be just like that YouTube video you saw. Watch.


Ultimately, the case makes Booth realize that he’s already the best father he can be to Parker and that perhaps letting his son experience some extracurricular academic enrichment is all he needs, not an 8th grade diploma from a school for diplomat’s children. Max offers to show Parker a few science experiments, and Parker’s joy at learning about the chemical reactions between soda and Mentos makes Booth ask Bones if she’d consider rehiring her father for the teaching position, so that Parker could have a chance to learn from the same man she learned from.

Really, other than that whole crime thing, Max Brennan seems like a great dude. I hope he sticks around on the show for a little bit, at least to give his daughter a glimpse of intellect edged with humanism.

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