Friday, November 21, 2008

Bones: Working Under Laboratory Conditions

I am, inexplicably, taking physics this semester. It's my last three weeks of undergrad EVER and I'm in the middle of physics hell. Two-and-a-half hour labs once a week, which would be unbearable if not for constant text message contact with Leigh throughout.

Why would I bring up my dumbass painful physics labs?

Because it reminds me of Bones.

See, the reason why physics labs are so effing stupid is because they rely on assumptions that you just can't make. Like, today, we had to assume that this piece of cording had no mass. Except, hey, guess what, it's not. And even when we do get, say, frictionless tracks for the purpose of simulating a car accident, you can't translate that to the real world because most asphalt highways are not frictionless.

We spend a lot of time here coming up with theories. Will this OTP's baby be a boy or a girl? Who's the next obstacle to come in the way of this ship? What does this upcoming guest star mean for the ensemble? You try to extrapolate that theory to television as a whole: OTPs almost always have girls. A new love interest is about to be introduced for season three. That person's going to mess with our secondary characters.

And yet, when we're watching The Office or Lost or whatever, we get it wrong sometimes. It's hard to predict how Jim and Pam or Jack and Kate or Jack and Locke are going to react to a specific catalyst, and they surprise us a lot of the time.

But Bones--Bones is like working under perfect laboratory conditions at all times.

Bones is delightfully predictable. They use all the formulae (pretend to be married, get put in charge of a baby, get jealous over new love interests) without any kind of deviation. Anvils are their friends.

And I am so grateful for that. Not only because it makes my job here WAY easier, but it also makes for a delightful viewing experience.

Like, Wednesday’s episode was ostensibly all about “improvising.” Lately, Bones episodes have taken themes a little more seriously—not going so far as Grey’s Anatomy, with its “My name is Meredith Grey and this episode is going to be about workplace bullying,” but making a point to have the case overlap with the Booth/Brennan development.

Now, here comes the spoiler section of this post.

“Double Trouble in the Panhandle” seems to have a theme of “trust.” The case is about conjoined twins who—obviously—did everything together; Booth and Brennan have to trust each other while undercover as knife-throwers.

“Fire in the Ice” looks like it’s about “supporting each other.” Brennan has to support Booth and help clear his name from the suspect list; Booth returns the favor by “supporting” Brennan in the closing scene on the ice rink.

Looking thematically, then, what would you say the sides for “The Bones That Foam” suggest?

Because I’m pretty sure there’s a way to read this episode—involving shady used car salesmen—as “being sneaky.”

There’s a scene involving Booth picking up Brennan from the Jeffersonian in a Lamborghini one evening, which seems vaguely date-like, but could also just be, you know, Booth and Brennan being Booth and Brennan.

There’s also a scene in which Booth is interviewing a suspect or a witness or something, who tells the agent that he’s not allowed to date the people he works with. Booth’s response? “Neither are we.”

I would love—love love love—to see Booth and Brennan starting something, only to decide that, either because of bureau policy or because they just don’t want to talk about it publicly, they’d rather keep it under wraps for a while. Thus...being sneaky.

I know it’s a reach, but it almost feels possible, no? Maybe I’ve got my hopes up way too high for “Hero in the Hold.”

3 Responses to “Bones: Working Under Laboratory Conditions”

Pratchett said...

I hope this proves to be one of your near prophetic insights but I think you may have your hopes too high. Hart Hanson seems to be a fan of the slow burn and I am not sure he is going to adopt the high risk romance strategy (although I think it would work-If one more person quotes Moonlighting I swear -It was like a lifetime ago and had a lot of problems other than finally pairing the leads whose relationship was built almost entirely on snark unlike B/B!) in the year the show is getting its highest ratings. On the other hand the last two episodes have absolutely been all about setting the ship to sea so depending on how things build in the meantime maybe, but I am keeping expectations low.

Caroline Carter said...

I knooooow. And I really feel like B/B are the only ship I've got right now that *won't* change once they get together. I know that. The status quo is fine--they're still so much fluffier and sweeter and they get so much more air time already than any of my other ships. But there's that girl inside me that can't *help* but clamor for more. And "Hero in the Hold" seems like it has the potential to carry through for me, so I find myself anxious for what happens after that. All in all, I'm pretty patient, though!

Pratchett said...

I know. Most other ships become boring once established because (a) bad writing and (b) the tension being in the chase. Now I cannot rule out bad writing, but with b/b the tension goes much further. It would be fun to see how, as a couple, they deal with their very different views on so many things which are now just a source of bickering but which would have very real implications for a relationship. They are not suddenly going to have personality transplants and become a puddle of gooey agreement. Bring it on I say.