The Wife:

Bones finale, while I enjoyed your silly alternate universe mystery that could have been Booth’s coma or Brennan’s erased fantasy manuscript or both at the same time, you were a weird, weird way to do a season finale. Although, really, how else would you have managed to solve a murder while Booth lay in a four-day post-surgical coma? If I accept the fantasy manuscript as what that story was, then I appreciate that it functioned to subconsciously illustrate Brennan’s feelings for Booth, as she would never be able to say them in real life. And I wonder if the crux of next season will be Brennan dealing with those feelings in light of the fact that Booth, tumor-free, now doesn’t know just quite who this woman he’s spent the last four years of his life with is. Memory loss is a bit of a hoary trope, usually relegated to daytime television, but I have faith that Bones will transform it into something useful next season.

Incidentally, I am 99% percent more likely to go to a bar called The Lab than a bar not called The Lab.

Incidentally, I am 99% percent more likely to go to a bar called The Lab than a bar not called The Lab.

That said, let me talk about things I enjoyed about this weird alternate universe:

  • Excellent use of every intern (save for the woman from the airplane caper and Michael Badalucco), even Zack.
  • Fischer as the chef made me long for Kitchen Confidential, which was better than FOX thought it was.
  • I am sad that Eugene Byrd’s Clark had to play entirely toward type as a hip hop superstar C-Sync, who wants to play at The Lab, the club run by Booth and Brennan.
  • I am, however, happy that Pej Vahdat’s Viziri got to play away from being defined by his religion and got to be a slick rival club owner, which is still kind of a Persian character type, but a much cooler one.
  • Daisy is a sloot in any universe.
  • It is perfect for psychologist Sweets to be a bartender, as bartenders are just as good as listening as shrinks are. And charge less by the hour.
  • Wendell Bray is the perfect bouncer, as I think this kind of 100% street-smart tough guy is exactly what he would be without his medical knowledge.
  • I have never loved Mr. Nigel-Murray more than as an adorable British DJ in this episode. He should always wear a hat in the lab. His best line? “I’m not going to fare well in jail. I’m lovely.” Yes, sweetheart. You rather are.
  • Zack was apparently Brennan’s assistant. I guess a club owner might have an assistant, but it seems like less of a fit than the rest of the characters in this episode.
  • Alternate universe Hodgins is a crime writer, and that’s pretty cool.
  • Alternate universe Angela was basically Angela, but without computer skills. She wore a super cute pink-striped dress at one point though, and I just found it: It’s Marc Jacob’s Crosstown Sleeveless Dress, and it’s at Neiman Marcus for $428. I. Am. Awesome.
  • I loved that Sweets band was called Gormogon, and yet played lovely, sunny pop-rock music. JFD is a fine singer, and I also loved the callback line: “Some people think that I’m Gormogon, but I’m not.”
  • I totally believe that Booth would run a club if he weren’t in law enforcement, because that’s probably what his little brother should be doing now that he isn’t in the military anymore. They switched roles!
Will commence hunting down that dress after I post this!

Found this! It's at Neiman Marcus!

However:

It is completely unbelievable that Brennan would run a club and remain so logical and fastidious. I could see her running a business, yes, but something that makes medical devices or computer parts or something. I do not see her as the kind of person who makes a business of entertainment, and that rang through loud and clear to me as her character said things about how she prides herself on being logical throughout the course of the investigation by Cam and Jared Booth. Everyone in the alternaverse was an alternate version of themselves, except for Booth and Bones. Booth’s transition made sense, Bones’ didn’t. And if she wrote the story, I’m not really sure why she would choose to insert herself into that character, other than to pair herself with Booth as husband and wife.

I guess the ‘shippery moments were pretty hot, although I find the alterna-Booth and Bones pregnancy discussion less cute than false. I don’t know, gang. This was a weird one. And Mötley Crüe was there. Why? I’m mostly just kind of confused as to how this functions as a season finale.

By the way, my pick for Interns next season would be a rotating schedule of Vincent Nigel-Murray, Colin Fischer and Wendell Bray, because they’re clearly the best. And we’ll get enough of Daisy since she’s all up on Sweets 24/7.

The Husband:

I was going to wrap up my intern-of-the-week for this season by stating my preferences for who should return, but my wife pretty much nailed it. Fischer is great comic relief for a geek like me, but Bray is the best character and Nigel-Murray is the most interesting in terms of sheer knowledge. I would have loved to see Badalucco return, but that Emmy-winning star is just too expensive or busy, I guess.

So I’ll just have to settle on a quick commentary of the final episode. I think it was cute but ultimately disappointing. If this was an attempt at trying to turn into Moonlighting, a show that constantly shifted realities for random episodes just because they could. (One episode starts with a dude reading Shakespeare while watching Moonighting, so the episode had Willis and Shepard solving a case while being characters from The Taming of the Shrew.) But Bones, while often subversive of the modern standard procedural, is still far more serious than that show ever was and still has a reality to maintain, a reality millions of people love. And so, this episode was not nearly as interesting as my new iPhone. (Not a whole lot is, technically, but I make sure to use it as little as possible if I’m watching something I really give a shit about.)

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

I also don’t really care what people have to say about whether or not Brennan and Booth had sex in the real world or in a fantasy, because goddamn it, it’s supposed to be ambiguous. Just like the final sequence on Grey’s Anatomy. We’ll find out this fall. Stop freaking out with your theories, online douchebags.

And hopefully, this fall will also see Zack’s return to the Jeffersonian. I miss that apprentice twerp.

The Wife:

Oh my . . . so many Bones posts to write . . . why do I do this to myself where I let a procedural pile up and promise myself I’ll do a double post, only to end up with a stack of four of them? With Criminal Minds, I know it s because there are a whole bunch of other great things on Wednesday, so I’ll usually save CM for the weekends, but with Bones, FOX never seems to keep it on consistently enough for me to make a date to watch it. And thus I wind up doing this:

4.13 “The Hero in the Hold”

The Gravedigger returns and captures Booth, locking him inside a submarine that’s about to be demolished. He fights his way out with the help of a spectral form of a cadet who died in his arms back when he was in the military. You know, I recently watched an episode of Angel where the military borrowed Angel to rescue a crew that had captured a Jerry sub, which was filled with vampires because the Germans wanted to engineer an army of them. Between these two episodes, I have decided that the one place I do not like David Boreanaz is on a submarine. Both episodes were terrible. Please, never put David Boreanaz on or around a submarine ever again. I would much rather see him in ladies’ underwear, tied up in Christmas lights being tortured by Alan Cumming.

4.14 “The Princess and the Pear”

How fortunate were the squibs to have Intern-of-the-Week Mr. Colin Fischer when a dead Booth Babe from a sci-fi/fantasy convention turns up? Oh, they were very, very lucky, for, you see, Mr. Colin Fischer loves all kinds of sci-fi fantasy stuff. “I even watch Fringe,” he states, marking the notable exception that he never watched Angel. You wanna know why that’s funny? Because actor Joel David Moore was actually on Angel once, and even though he was in vampire makeup, I spotted him. That vamp had one line before Angel dusted him, and I instantly knew that the long, bony face under all that makeup belong to Moore. One of my chief joys in watching Angel at the moment is finding other actors that Borenaz has worked with turning up on the show. TJ Thyne has a small recurring role during Angel‘s 5th season, and you can’t imagine how cool that is to someone who only knows Thyne as Hodgins.


I really enjoyed this episode, perhaps because I am greatly amused by the kind of fandom that occurs at conventions (in fact, this episode aired during SF’s Wondercon, which I was too lazy to attend, even though the last event was a sing-a-long of “Once More, With Feeling”), and also because, like many great sci-fi/fantasy narratives, the murder of this poor Booth Babe had everything to do with a priceless weapon, an original prop sword used in one of the first fantasy epics to grace the silver screen, Mort D’Arthur. She had it, and someone killed her for it. The first suspect is Miss Valerie Daniels, a dominatrix, who makes Sweets delightfully uncomfortable when he questions her. After which, he realizes that it might be best to set a trap at the auction of said priceless sword to force the killer into revealing himself. Sweets takes up the mantle of the bidder and brings Fischer along as a camera man. Most excellent part of the auction, other than Miss Daniels hooking up with Mr. Colin Fischer? Spotting one of my favorite Amazing Race teams, Goths Kynt and Vyxen, as extras in the auction crowd! (Hi Kynt and Vyxen! I miss you guys!)

Sweets’ plan fails, though, and the highest bid goes to the Arthuria Consortium, the largest collection of Arthurian memorabilia in the world, but he does not go unnoticed by The Black Knight, who eventually runs Sweets and Bones off the road and tries to steal Excalibur from them. Bones bests him with her strong anthropological knowledge of swordplay, although I had hoped she would cut his legs off:


Fischer discovers the murder weapon, the Pear of Anguish, during a discussion of medieval torture implements he has with Miss Daniels post-coitus. The Pear, typically used on heretics and inserted into the organ that caused the sin (vagina, mouth, anus), was placed in the victim’s mouth and cranked open, crushing her jaw from the inside out. Although pleased he has found the murder weapon, Cam is ready to fire Fischer for sleeping with a suspect until Hodgins saves his ass. Judging by the way her assailant used his sword, Bones postulates that the only person who would have had as a thorough a knowledge of swordplay and know how to make authentic chain mail would be the blacksmith. He gave the dead Booth Babe the sword as a gift, but she wanted to sell it for rent money, not realizing its true value as a gift, which, to him, was a betrayal. He killed her, he claims, because he loved her so much.

In retrospect, that psychology doesn’t make any sense, but otherwise, this was a totally delightful, geeky episode.

4.15 “The Bones That Foam”

The hallucination-plagued David Boreanaz-helmed episode of Angel was weird and somewhat unsettling, but certainly filled with odd comedy, and I think with this episode, I’m starting to see a trend in terms of what Boreanaz likes to direct. This was one of Bones‘ lighter mysteries, involving a dead car salesman who works at gimmicky Jungle Jim’s, where all of the sales personnel have to wear safari uniforms and the shop has its own monkey mascot. While back at the lab, they’ve got their own share of comic scenarios when the bones start to foam and the lab gets put on lockdown. The team ends up racing against the clock when they realize that the bones are foaming because they are breaking down and they’ll need to solve the murder before they lose their evidence.

This is how Borenanaz looks when he directs.

This is how Borenanaz looks when he directs.

Once the bones are no longer under lockdown, Hodgins declares King of the Lab when he finds some strawberry lust dust on the victim’s body, indicating that he had been at a strip club before he died, which leads Booth and Bones to visit Miss Strawberry Lust and Bones buys Booth a lap dance so that they can talk to the girl, who, by the way, is a criminology major at Georgetown. Anthropologically speaking, Bones is so impressed with her seduction skills that she asserts that Miss Lust will surely be able to pay off her student loans very quickly. This is all part of Bones’ continued attempt to become better at interrogation and reading people, but she still can’t seem to shake her extremely logical side, completely failing at understanding humor in a later interrogation of one of the victim’s coworkers from the car dealership, who tells them that the victim gave all of his sales to his sick brother two months before he quit to work at another dealership, which brought her up to number one seller by default.

Meanwhile, not all goes well with the bones when Mr. Nigel-Murray finds out that they’re secreting hydrogen after accidentally setting them on fire. The hydrogen reaction is a byproduct of the bones breaking down their own calcium, so Hodgins tries to stop the process by coating them in an antacid, which works . . . until they petrify. From there, it’s up to Angela to digitally recreate the bones, which leads them to the murder weapon: tailor’s shears and, thus, the murderer, Chet’s wife, the seamstress, who killed her husband’s brother so that he wouldn’t blab about her affair with Jungle Jim – her way of helping Chet keep his job.

Funny lines from this one:

  • “I’m secreting adrenaline!” – Mr. Nigel-Murray
  • “You should stop using cartoons as a scientific reference.” – Bones
  • “What’s a sensitive way to say ‘murdered?'” – Bones
  • “I think it shows an innate lack of humanity, to push a monkey.” — Jungle Jim


4.16 “The Salt in the Wounds”

Desiccation, teenage pregnancy pacts, rehydrating flesh? This episode was all kinds of uncomfortable, and I once again have to point to this show’s amazing ability to pass very little judgment on controversial matters. While I look at a group of teenage girls who intentionally decided to get pregnant and raise their children together, I see crazy. But Bones? Bones sees a long-standing cultural tradition based in our hunter-gatherer roots where women of about that age often did the same thing. And while, from that perspective she’s correct, she also realizes that in a society where birth control is made very easy, there is something going against the cultural norm when a teenage girl gets pregnant. The most uncomfortable thing, though? Booth’s conversation with the loser stud-muffin who impregnated three of the teenage mothers, as well as the victim. I jumped out of my skin a little bit as Booth drove home a message about paternal responsibility by telling this poor boy that he has three children that he should want to be responsible for, because at any moment, their mothers could take them away from him. And worse? That his son died along with its mother. Fuck, dude, Booth lays it on thick! Which, in retrospect, is exactly the advice I would expect him to give, considering how much he lives for Parker. (This message brought to you by fatherhood.org.)

Not much mystery in this one, but it was cool to watch Cam et al rehydrate the corpse to work with the living tissue, and to see the new Intern-of-the-Week get around Bones need to see the bones without compromising the flesh by making a giant digital X-ray. Also, Roxy breaks up with Angela because, even though Angela wants to get a dog, Roxy thinks she lives too in the moment and can’t sustain a real, long-lasting relationship. Although Bones accuses the new intern, a devout Muslim, of not understanding Angela’s relationship because it’s probably forbidden by his religion (I never expected her to hate religion quite as much as Dr. Gregory House, so that was odd to hear), he actually does something incredibly sweet by making her a break-up mix CD, filled with songs he listens to when he feels heart-broken. I like new intern. He’s very kind.

4.17 “The Doctor in the Den”

As Angela begins her foray into celibacy — a suggestion from Sweets about how to find alternative things to value in her relationships – Cam’s former fiancé turns up dead in a tiger enclosure in the zoo. She goes on a journey I never quite got into as she spends the episode trying to solve the murder and reconnect with the victim’s daughter, who Cam helped raise. Beautiful Dana Davis plays Michelle, but as good of an actress as she is, she doesn’t get much to do in this episode except shun Cam’s attempts to love her, which is perhaps why I found this plot so bland. Monique Coleman had more to do in her brief role in “Salt in the Wounds” as the pregnant best friend of the dead girl, so it was especially disappointing to see Dana Davis so underwritten. Pity. And because I wasn’t invested in Cam’s quest, I wasn’t invested in the mystery, either. In the end, though, Michelle does decide to live with Cam, only after Cam brings her half of the set of antique salt and pepper shakers she gave the girl when she left her father (because he could never love a woman as much as Michelle’s mother and was a habitual cheater, offed by a nurse who couldn’t handle that he saw other women besides her, the fate that always befalls cheaters). I hope to see more Dana Davis in the future on this show, possibly growing interested in forensic science and getting a Jr. Internship at the Jeffersonian? Surely, they’ll write her better then.

The Wife:

As my husband mentioned in my last Bones post, this episode saw the return of Veronica Mars‘ Michael Grant Terry as fan-favorite intern Wendell Bray. (The rumblings I see on the interwebs indicate that many Bones viewers seem to like him the best. I’ve also seen rumblings that indicate that some people think that Ryan Cartwright’s Vincent Nigel-Murray is actually Joel David Moore’s Colin Fischer. This is incorrect. You would know Joel David Moore if you saw him. In fact, I just spied him on Angel the other day, in full vamp makeup. He is that recognizable that I know it’s him even when his face is covered. And yes, this does explain how Joel David Moore got the gig on this show.) Wendell and Booth are teammates on in a local hockey league that seems to be largely comprised of dudes who work together who like to do a little friendly beating up on other dudes out on the ice.

In the cold open, a member of the opposing team, The Firedawgs (volunteer firefighters), beats up on Wendell, which causes Booth, as the “enforcer,” to further beat up on said Firedawg. I’ve mentioned before how, sometimes, this show becomes a way in which the actors/executive producers can speak about themselves a little bit. Most notably, the anti-dogfighting eulogy that still makes me tear up from “The Finger in the Nest” as a testament to Emily Deschanel’s animal activism. In “Fire in the Ice,” we get a glimpse at just how much David Boreanaz loves hockey. I remember him talking wistfully about how much he loves to play hockey with his son in an interview, so I was not at all surprised to see an episode dedicated to the star and producer playing hockey. If I were to say that David Boreanaz looks good on the ice, it would be meaningless. But that’s because I don’t know anything about hockey. And I think he looks good all the time.

Later, the player that Booth threatened turns up dead in the lake, discovered while two ice fishermen bored a hole in the ice and, consequently, the body. Delicious blood and guts. Just how I like them. Things become complicated when Booth sees the crossed hockey sticks that the dead man wore around his neck and suddenly realizes that it’s Pete Carlson, the Firedawg with whom he recently fought, automatically making Booth a suspect. In order to work the case, Caorline brings in Special Agent Peyton Perrota. Bones refuses to work the case with anyone but Booth, and Peyton accommodates the request by allowing Booth to tag along and help during the investigation. This episode was really light on squint work, and all of the evidence keeps pointing back to Booth (or, you know, ANY OTHER HOCKEY PLAYER!). Everyone at the Jeffersonian was pretty convinced that Booth would never kill anyone, except for Sweets, who worries that Booth has spent his life finding ways to take back the power he lost as a child of abuse, all of which manifest in avenues for controlled violence: his army career, his FBI career, his devotion to recreational hockey. Booth shrugs all of these suggestions off with a venomous, “I’m not my father.”

And you're not my father either!

And you're not my father either!

Basic forensics confirmed that the victim was killed and then drowned and frozen. It’s clear that he died when an unknown object was jammed into his eye socket, but no one can figure out what or whom. Carlson had numerous gambling debts, but he always managed to pay them off quickly, thus ruling out any foul play on the part of those he owed, leading the team once again back to the hockey rink and a potential crime of passion. Luckily, Bones, Perrota and Booth find the spot on the ice where the victim was killed, along with an additional blood streak. Because their best hope to find the killer is to match the extra blood, this leads to a fun little hockey sequence where Booth and Wendell try to get players to bleed so that Wendell can secrete blood samples out to Bones. Unfortunately, this process turns up nothing. It does, however, get Booth knocked pretty hard on his head. So hard, in fact, that he starts hallucinating that he’s playing hockey with his favorite player, Lucky Luc Robitaile. Luc reiterates that Booth is, in fact, not his father. He urges Booth to stop looking where he’s looking and start looking at the team.

Wendell and Hodgins did get to have their own special Side Squint adventure trying to figure out why all of the fish in Carlson’s fishtank were belly up, but hadn’t eaten each other, as they would naturally do if not fed for days. In this protocol-breaking Side Squint adventure, they discover that the victim, who had severe gambling debts, hid jewelry cleaned in ammonia in his fishtank. All of the jewelry, it turns out, was claimed as damaged in a fire.

Heeding Lucky Luc’s words, Booth starts doing some old fashioned detective work and looks up the Firedawgs roster. He realizes that four of the Firedawgs played hockey together in high school. Taking his otherworldly sign into consideration with the evidence, he brings the three remaining Firedawgs in for questioning, and one of them nearly instantly confesses to killing his teammate, the very man who ruined his chances of ever going pro. I guess sometimes, when you’ve residually hated someone for ruining your life for so long, you really just need to stab them in the eye with a boot lacer.

I’d definitely call this one of Bones‘ weaker episodes. It was too light on policework and never fully realized either of the things it wanted to do with character development. I’ll accept Booth’s realization that he isn’t his father via his Lucky Luc fever dream, but only grudgingly. That scene is really just another way for Booth to continue to avoid confronting his past. This episode also tried to establish a bit of jealousy and possessiveness on Bones’ part, by introducing Agent Perrota, who was not shy about asking Booth if he was sleeping with Bones and also not shy about flirting with him. Yes, Bones is possessive of her partner, but that’s because she trusts him and knows they work well together. However, she’s also willing to let Perrota join their investigation because it’s the right thing to do. She follows the rules because they’re the rules. She would never do otherwise. Even in the end when Booth teaches her to skate down at the rink and she asks him how working the case with Perrota was, she asks because Booth hasn’t worked a case with an actual agent in a long time. It’s not because it’s another woman he might prefer to her, but that he might prefer actually working with someone trained in law enforcement, not science. She’s too logical to succumb to petty jealousy. Temperance Brennan just doesn’t work that way.

If they ever make The Cutting Edge 4, we totally have to audition.

If they ever make The Cutting Edge 4, we totally have to audition.

The Husband:

Yes, Perrota may be a good addition to the cast if she sticks around, but to me, actress Marisa Coughlan will always be the fearless comedienne who basically embarrassed herself several times in the completely despicable – but compulsively watchable – Tom Green film Freddy Got Fingered. I will never forget her role as the wheelchair-bound girl who, to paraphrase her, didn’t ever care about jewelry, because all she wanted to do was suck Tom Green’s cock.


The Wife:

How excited was I when Bones revealed that the two female corpses found wrapped in a white sheet, somewhere in the panhandle, were conjoined twins? Oh, man. I think my level of excitement falls somewhere between that of a cat with a new feather toy and a child on Christmas morning. It’s that kind of excitement that you can’t adequately explain to someone. The kind that causes uncontrollable outbursts of the word “Squeeeeeeeeeee!” I love the idea of the circus and narratives about the circus. And I especially love stories about sideshows. And even more than that, I love stories about conjoined twins. (Should any of the graduate programs to which I have applied accept me, I will happily be writing about all of those things for the next several years.) As you may have gleaned from my posts about shows like Fringe and Nip/Tuck, I’m very interested in narratives of the body. Essentially, the idea of decaying bodies being the source of narratives is one of the reasons I like Bones so much. That and David Boreanaz. So to give me an episode of Bones about conjoined twins that also has Emily Deschanel in a skimpy outfit and David Boreanaz wearing a silly mustache? That’s exactly like giving a whole bunch of really awesome feather toys with bells and shiny bits to one very lucky cat.

Because the victims this week were a pair of conjoined twins, the case led straight to the circus. Booth and Bones are all set to question the traveling carnival at which the Van Owen sisters were employed, but Sweets, revealing that his birth mother was a carnie, warns them that the carnies won’t talk to them if they’re gillies, or outsiders to the circus. Circus folk protect their own, viewing those inside the circus as family, a notion which derives from the fact that many circus members ended up there by leaving family situations that were in some way unsatisfactory. To that end, Booth and Bones rent a trailer and go undercover as Buck and Wanda Moosejaw, a couple of Canadian carnies looking to get their knife-throwing act into the traveling show. The “Knives of Death” act was conceived out of Booth’s military skill, despite Brennan’s many, many mentions that, while she did some anthropological research at a circus back when she was in school, she learned to become quite proficient on the highwire. Ringmaster Andy Richter (who, for some reason, I could only imagine as the deranged little lemming he voices in Madagascar) and the show’s 24 Hour Man, Lavalle, agree to let Buck and Wanda in to the show, providing they stick with the Russian gimmick Bones insisted they use for their act. (No sane anthropologist would have agreed to a cowboy-Indian princess act, right? I mean, Russian was the only way to go here.)

I think a lot of people's strange sexual fantasies were fully realized in this episode.

I think a lot of people's strange sexual fantasies were fully realized in this episode.

While at the carnival, they try to get close to the carnies while making their cover look believable (by strategically rocking their trailer back and forth so no one comes a-knockin’). But none of the carnies are willing to hand out information about Jenny and Julie Van Owen. They all stick with the story that the girls had decided to leave and took off, citing a handwritten note they’d left behind. They all seemed to agree that the girls were looking to expand their juggling act, something they might be better able to do at another circus. Outside of their cover, the girls’ mother tells them that Julie and Jenny had been considering separation surgery (which would have been entirely possible given that they were connected at the posterior and did not share any segments of bone or any vital organs), and then they learn that the milder twin, Julie, had been dating the doctor who would have performed the surgery.

Back at the lab, Angela discovers that the handwritten note was a fake, as the handwriting with which the names were signed did not match up to the way the twins stood. They also struggle to find out exactly how the twins were killed, as both girls seem to have an identical fracture on their skulls, but no other bone damage, save for some stress fractures in their feet. Angela and Mr. Nigel-Murray (back to annoy Cam with more useless and marvelous bits of trivia) realize that the girls’ heads had to have been conked together, but with something soft that wouldn’t lead to external tissue damage or other bone damage. Something like, say, clown props. With this new information, Booth and Bones, in full Russian costume for their show that night, start rifling through clown props to find something that could have been the murder weapon. This angers the clowns, especially lead clown The Greg Wilson. One thing you don’t do at a circus is fuck with the clowns. Sometimes, they’re considered lower than the other acts and so they’ve formed their own sub-family. You do not fuck with a clown. They will fuck you up. (Incidentally, I am quite disturbed by clowns. And while my strange fascination with the circus continues to shed more light on the functions of clowns within the circus and circus narratives, I am no less freaked out by them. Perhaps it is because I now know that, in addition to being very scary things with obscured faces, they will also totally fuck me up if I cross them.)

With some intervention from the Ring Master, Buck and Wanda Moosejaw go on to perform their act that evening, watching the clowns from behind the curtain to observe how, with proper force, their props could be used to kill someone. They perform their act with no rehearsal, and a nervous Booth manages to hit every balloon without incident. Adorably, Bones, completely outside of herself at the circus, keeps egging him on, drawing out an inflatable apple for him to pierce off the top of her head and, finally, attaching a rubber nose for him to slice right off her face. He hits every mark perfectly. This scene is both a testament to these partners’ trust in each other, as well as an interesting look at their characters. It’s a rare moment when we see the ever-confident Seeley Booth hesitate, but he does here, knowing that any false move could seriously injure his partner. He barely trusts that the socially retarded scientist will be able to keep still, but in the process discovers that while she may not relate well to people directly, Brennan knows exactly how to play a crowd.

I don’t know if this is something she’s picked up in her studies of anthropology, or just during her time studying the circus, but Bones is a natural showman. She works the crowd with grace and confidence, prancing around in her sexy outfit. As Sweets explains, by its very nature, a knife act has a kind of psychosexual component to it, where the knife is . . . well . . you get the idea. It’s this aspect of the knife act that Brennan plays up the most. She titillates the audience with her body, and teases them, and Booth, with each smaller and smaller object that she begs her partner to slice off of her. The danger, of course, is that he will get too close and end up penetrating her. But the act, while seemingly about penetration, isn’t really about it at all. It’s about the tease of it. This act is a perfect metaphor for Booth and Bones’ relationship. I don’t care if they ever will become partners in another sense. It’s all a knife act. I’m in it for the tease.

I say it again. This woman is hot. Why won't you look at her????

I say it again. This woman is hot. Why won't you look at her????

After their act, the Moosejaws realize that the only person who could swing a clown prop with enough force to kill someone is the show’s strong man, Magnum. They try to question him after the show, but end up getting trapped in a net. Eventually, they come clean to the other carnies, who turn away from them the minute their FBI badges are drawn, reminded Booth and Bones that they’re nothing more than gillies and that they’ll never, ever be accepted there. “You’re not one of us,” Lavalle says as he turns away. That phrase really resonated with me, as the idea of being “one” of the collective circus “us” is very important to the idea of a circus family. In Tod Browning’s Freaks, all of the freaks exclaim this as they sit around their newly freakish chicken-girl creation. This phrase is notably reiterated in Bertolucci’s The Dreamers when Theo and Isa skip through the Lourve with their new American friend, happily chanting “We accept him! One of us! We accept him! One of us!” as this very scene from Freaks is inserted. In a place comprised entirely of people who don’t belong, who have been, as a collective, othered, it’s very important to be accepted into that community. I could go on about facets of the circus that are not accepted as “one of us,” but that would just be a rehash of a paper of mine on the sideshow as community in Bernard Pomerance’s The Elephant Man and The X-Files episode “Humbug.” All you gillies really need to know is that there’s an important and interesting structure for what is and isn’t accepted in the circus community. Outsiders are a definite no-go.

Knowing that their undercover stint is over, Bones isn’t yet ready to leave the circus. She begs Booth to let her try the highwire, at which she was quite proficient once. As she does, the bones in her feet start to hurt and she loses her balance halfway out and falls to the net below. In doing so, she realizes exactly how the twins died. No one killed them; they simply fell off the highwire while trying to improve their act. A set of juggling conjoined twins is cool, but they would be the only conjoined twins in the country who had a highwire act, something they knew would make them a big ticket draw. Unfortunately, as they fell to the net, they hit their skulls together hard enough to cause bleeding in the brain, rendering them brain dead and, shortly thereafter, fully dead.

As the agents are about to leave, Magnum approaches them to tell them that he didn’t kill the girls, but that he did help dispose of the bodies. Everyone at the circus loved them, he explained. And at the circus, you protect your own. In homage to their brief membership at the circus, Bones and Booth tell Magnum that they will get him a good lawyer and that he must be sure to explain that he hid the bodies in the desert and wrapped them in a white sheet as a sign of respect to the girls.

I loved this episode, and I really hope to be able to write about it again soon! (Dear grad schools: Please accept me! One of you! Please accept me! One of you!) This was a wonderful episode to bring us back from the break, and a wonderful reminder of why we love Booth and Bones so much – especially seeing them so far out of their element, in the topsy-turvy world of the Big Top.

The Husband:

As we are now only seeing returning interns trying out the Jeffersonian for the second time (with a big gaping hole where Michael Badalucco should be), I find it somewhat unnecessary to continue rating them, as I have already done so in the first place, and despite a few initial changes in ratings, I rarely have anything new to say about them. I dig Badalucco, I love Joel David Moore, and Michael Terry – especially now that we now of his awesome hockey prowess – seems to perhaps be the frontrunner for regular appearance status.

(It does not bode well that, for about a day, my wife and I could not agree upon whether or not Vincent Nigel-Murray [Ryan Cartwright] even appeared in the U.K.-set season premiere. He, in fact, did not, but he is British, so I can understand the confusion.)

As for this episode, it was very gleeful and fun, even if that did limit much of the drama and science we’ve come to expect from Bones. Both episodes last Thursday, actually, were both very low on really damn good police work and heavier on the let’s-have-Boreanaz-and-Deschanel-just-dick-around goofiness. Which is fine. I just want some giant Gormagon-type mystery soon, and very much desire more of Squintrifficness.

And I miss Zack. Is he done yet feeling responsible for helping the Gormagon? He didn’t actually kill anybody, remember? Get that fool back. Maybe see if he can do his job handcuffed to a railing. That’d be sweet. Not to be confused with John Francis Daley. That’s be Sweets.

The Husband:

Now that we’re all caught up on NBC’s Thursday night comedy block, along with the premiere of 30 Rock next week, we the Children of Saint Clare will finally be able to merge all four of the comedies into one blog post per week. Now to finish off that backlog.

My Name Is Earl 4.7 “Quit Your Snitchin'”

After my complaints about the show starting to ride its formula a little too hard, this week’s episode decided to do…more of the same. But before I can get on my Complainin’ Soapbox, I will admit that the episode grabbed a bit more of the spirit that made the show’s first two seasons such a treat, took a step back and focused once again on Camden as a whole. The big ensemble ones tend to be my favorite episodes — if you don’t know already that I’m really big into a show using its ensemble wisely, you haven’t read enough material on this site — and while the central task was nothing to write home about, I’m always glad to see Clint Howard working, here returning as Creepy Rodney, one of Camden’s most infamous (and creepy) thieves.

This week, Earl decides that for Randy’s birthday, he was going to cross another item off his list — “Never let Randy have anything better than me” — by buying him a car similar to his own. He’s not much of a gift giver — he once gave Catalina a mug that said “Happy Bat Mizvah,” thinking that was Spanish for “birthday” — so he is especially pissed when he finds that the car gets stolen before Randy even knows he’s a new car owner. Earl questions his friends and finds out almost immediately the identity of the thieves are (a couple of local hooligans), and gets pissed, as there are two major unspoken rules in Camden.

1. No snitching.

2. No stealing from other thieves.

After consulting Camden’s oldest thief — who moonlights as a crossing guard for the healthcare benefits — Earl finds he has no right to complain, as now that he has left his criminal life behind him, the “don’t steal from other thieves” rule no longer applies to him.

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave when we first practice to make a stupid-ass list.” — Joy

Or something. I never was good at remebering quotes and such.

Or something. I never was good at remembering quotes and such.

Earl buys back the car from the thieves, then almost immediately has it stolen back from him. (Bonus points to the show’s casting director for giving us our second injection of network TV  Joel David Moore this month after his appearance on Bones.)

Dr. Colin Fischer is really slumming it since he got fired from the Jeffersonian . . .

Dr. Colin Fischer is really slumming it since he got fired from the Jeffersonian . . .

Pissed off to all hell, Earl decides he has no choice but to go to the cops and snitch on the hooligans, going to far as to name them and prove an address.

“That’s great! Finding out who did it is the part of the job that I hate.” — Cop

Having broken this deep-rooted rule, the town turns on Earl, tagging his room, screaming at him and even attempting to attack him with a pool cue at the Crabshack.

“No pun intended, but that should be your cue.” — Darnell telling Earl to leave his establishment

Left with no choice, Earl tries to steal one of the hooligans’ cars, but is caught in the act by the cop he tipped off in the first place. Backed up into a corner, Earl snitches on Creepy Rodney, which sets off a surprising domino effect of more snitching, proving that despite any of Earl’s shortcomings, he is not a hypocrite.

Finally, the car is returned, and Earl and Randy drive off into the horizon. The best qualities of this show, unlike many sitcoms, is that it lets its characters achieve success often despite being faced with the greatest of obstacles, and in this Age of Irony (when will this Age end, goddammit?!) it’s good to have a show with a good moral compass that still dabbles in some very absurd humor.

The Office 5.4 “Crime Aid”

After asking Holly out at the end of the last episode, we find that Michael is curious about how their third date is going to turn out, and whether he should be expecting some traditional third date sexin’.

“If she starts having sex with me, I’ll know for sure.” — Michael

Her response (“Hell yeah!”) gets them in the office after hours doing the nasty — twice — and accidentally forgetting to lock the building’s front doors when they are done. The next day, the office has been burgled, so Michael decides to stage C.R.I.M.E. A.I.D., an auction that would help to replace much of the lost items.

“Crime Reduces Innocence Makes Everyone Angry I Declare.” — Michael explaining the auction’s acronym

Taking a bite out of raising awareness and funding.

Taking a bite out of raising awareness and funding.

Realizing that none of Dunder Mifflin’s employees really give a crap about an auction, he lies about possessing a pair of Bruce Springsteen tickets that he would put up for auction, leading to a very awkward few hours of auctions ranging from the nice (a hug from Phyllis) to the pragmatic (Darryl accepting $5 from anyone who wants to leave with him and his crew right that moment and get a beer) to the creepy (Creed tries to auction off himself). It doesn’t help that the only gavel Phyllis could find for Michael was a children’s toy.

“It squeaks when you bang it. That’s what she said.” — Michael

Meanwhile, Andy and Angela have finally set a date for their wedding, sending Dwight into a jealous and depressed rage. Phyllis, the only person he can confide in, gives him some advice and some guidance as to what he can do and why Angela would choose Andy over him.

Phyllis: Angela’s not really a risk-taker, and Andy’s not really a risk.

Dwight: [Gives a long, sad pause, then points down] That’s really fattening.

Phyllis: No, it’s…lettuce.

Dwight decides to take Phyllis’ advice and offer Angela an ultimatum to finally choose between the two of them, but in the end is rejected outright, leaving him to mope what he has lost.

“She introduced me to so many things: pasteurized milk, sheets, monotheism, presents on your birthday, preventative medicine…” — Dwight

And this gee-tar!

And this gee-tar!

I especially liked this new, confident and wise Phyllis. Now that Meredith has become a more major character, Phyllis can come out of playing the pushover and finally realize that her marriage to Bob Vance (of Vance Refrigeration) gives her the right to be a stronger person.

In Jim’s story, he is starting to really feel Pam’s absence now that she’s been at her art school in New York for a while, and is really not liking the long messages she leaves on his work voicemail when she’s up late and drunk at a college party. He feels especially bad that, even though she is trying to achieve her dream of becoming a better artist, she has already run out of money and now has a part-time job at Dunder Mifflin’s corporate office. (Nobody escapes from Dunder Mifflin. Nobody!)

While out at the bar with Darryl, he runs into Roy, Pam’s ex-fiancé, but instead of trading blows, they have a very good heart-to-heart over their love for that woman, and just as Jim is about to drive to NYC to see Pam, he turns the car around, declaring that he, unlike the jealous Roy we all met a few seasons ago, is “not that guy.”

So far, this season of The Office has been top-notch both in emotional and comical content. Dare I say it could be the best the show has ever been? Perhaps. It’s really showing its muscles now in its fifth season, proving that despite its middle-of-the-chart ratings it still has some of the best 30 minutes on all of television.

The Wife:

This week’s installment of The Bones, as Heidi Klum likes to call it, was a meditation on the value of the individual within structured groups. Booth desperately wanted a dead guy’s chair and spent the episode pontificating on the glories of that chair, what it would mean if he were to receive it and how he could manipulate the playing field so that he could get it. The Intern of the Week – a sullen, Goth-y anthropologist always on the verge of an existential crisis – tries to fit in with the rest of the squints at the Jeffersonian. Finally, Bones meditates on the nature of the common office environment as she and Booth investigate the murder of one horrible bitch of an office manager, so hated by many of her employees that she was shoved down an elevator shaft after she was dispatched, causing her body to be dragged and crushed as the elevator traveled along its 16-floor trajectory.

The employees of the office become aware of this when an elevator ride starts to get extremely smelly and a shinbone, still connected to the foot bone and the basic black pump bone, falls into the carrel with them. I’m pretty sure the prop department made that shinbone out of a turkey leg and some pulled meats this week. It was vaguely reminiscent of Renaissance Faire . . . and I know that’s very wrong of me to think. Just like how, later in the episode, when the victim’s stomach contents were revealed to be a gyro, I instantly really, really wanted one.

That’s probably a bad sign when a show about death makes me want food, right?

Mmmm . . . turkey.

Mmmm . . . turkey.

Anyway, it was the Intern of the Week’s job to reconstruct the roughly 2,000-pieces of bone fragments into a useable skeletal structure back at the Jeffersonian. Our dour intern, Colin Fisher, was played by Joel David Moore, whom I immediately recognized but had trouble placing, until my husband looked up his resume on the interwebs and reminded me that he was the best friend in Art School Confidential. I just knew that I had a vision of Joel David Moore smoking weed in a beanie with his legs spread, but I couldn’t think of where I got that image. (Thanks, baby.) I really liked this intern, perhaps because he is like so many people I know: so heady that he’s permanently a little sad inside, like a French Symbolist poet.

Hodgins: Did you discover the cause of death yet?
Fisher: Life, man. Life is always the cause of death.
Hodgins: Okay. Now you’re just a tool.

Bones and Booth interview a number of office drones after finding the butt of a joint at the top of the elevator shaft. They trace the blunt back to Ted Russo (Devin McGinn), a “reformed” stoner who is still paranoid enough to make me believe that he is still smoking. We all know weed makes you a little stupid, but I think Bones asks a really important question this week about the nature of marijuana use in a world that has criminalized it: Does smoking weed make you stupid enough to shove a body down an elevator shaft? The answer, it turns out, is no, because Fisher discovers that the victim, Patty, had too wide a pelvis to fit down the shaft in the first place, meaning that the body was dumped from the 16th floor before it shattered into so many little pieces.

Booth and Bones discover that Patty was not well-liked by many of her colleagues, because she was a horrible bitch to everyone. She always parked over the line in Dave the IT Guy’s parking spot just to make him suffer, which is why, after she got him fired, he keyed her car. She blackmailed her boss into letting her make purchases on his credit card because she caught him making fraudulent purchases. She even wanted the friendly stoner gone simply for being friendly and stoned. But with so many people having motive to kill Patty and really solid alibis, Booth and Bones have nowhere to go until Fisher can discover the cause of death.

“You give me cause of death, I give you a Kierkegaard t-shirt.” –Cam

Finally, Fisher notices a wound on Patty’s skull, which he beats himself up for not noticing before. Upon further inspecting, he and Cam realize that the murder weapon was a stapler, which Booth and Bones recover at Chip the Asian Guy’s house. Chip’s semen was found on the floor of the copy room, as well as on Patty’s skirt, leading the team to believe that he killed her because she threatened to fire him if he stopped sleeping with her. When Booth makes Chip try to hold open the elevator doors by himself, he and Bones realize that there was a second person involved: the person Chip was actually sleeping with, Christine the Receptionist. Christine threw the stapler at Patty, who threatened to expose the office romance, which was forbidden by company policy. The stapler ruptured a pre-existing aneurism in Patty’s brain, killing her. Then the two lovers pried open the elevator doors and tossed the body down the shaft.

Clearly, when a stapler is your murder weapon, all I can think of is this:


The Husband:

As this is the first episode this season that truly felt like an episode of Bones (sorry dogfighting ring, you were good and emotional and all but was definitely a tangential episode as far as I’m concerned, and the OCD one last week felt a little more Criminal Minds/Numb3rs to me), I really dug the mystery and science of the central case as it interplayed with the humorous shenanigans of Bones/Booth and the Squints. More than anything, Bones as a show has the ability to create levity around a particularly gruesome crime scene, so when I saw that Hart Hanson and the production designers were really pushing the limit with the remains of the elevator-dragged body, I knew we were in for something special.

Great ensemble work. Great guest stars. Great gore detail. Great mystery. It’s not all that complicated. Add to that the spectacular work of Intern of the Week Colin Fisher for showing the rest of the Jeffersonian team that as dour and unsmiling as Dr. Zack Addy may have been, he’s not nearly as bad as a lip-pierced Goth with a hard-on for existentialist philosophy.

INTERN OF THE WEEK

Colin Fisher (Joel David Moore): 9

Pros: Gives the team a perspective that their lives and inner turmoil issues aren’t as bad comparatively. As is true with most any intern this season is very good at figuring out the little details. Determined despite having recurring existential crises. Actor is less than five degrees of separation from yours truly. (My sister has a friend who has a friend etc. etc.) If he stays around, will amuse Hodgins with his robot impersonation (as he did in Grandma’s Boy).

Cons: So much philosophizing will incur major amounts of wrath from the team, most likely Cam at the forefront of said wrath. Too down on himself when unable to find “cause of death.” So much like Dr. Zack Addy that, if he did stick around and Addy returned upon being released, the two would literally create a physical black hole of social retardation and despair in the labs.