Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Bones: Today Has Been...Stressful

Today has been stressful. Very stressful.

We still haven't gotten sides for the Bones season finale, but we did get a title and a press release.

BONES (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) – “The End in the Beginning” – Season Finale

In the season finale episode, a body is found murdered at “The Lab,” a popular nightclub, and everyone is a suspect. In an unusual twist of storytelling, Brennan, Booth and the Jeffersonian team take on various roles outside their normal duties, including serving as the nightclub staff as well as local law enforcement. Mötley Crüe, Ryan O’Neal, Brendan Fehr and Eric Millegan guest-star.

My first reaction was one of unbridled anxiety.

Booth is back in the field? At a heavy metal concert? God, so much for "major health crisis," I guess.

Normally, with Bones we get sides that flesh these snippets out a little more--who are the suspects? What's the underlying Booth/Brennan story? Is this a funny episode? A poignant one? A damn Cam episode?

I found myself buried in a pile of stress. Seriously, if you were to go over the GChat conversations I had with Mae and Leigh this afternoon, you'd want to pat me on the head and say, "Oh, sweetie, please calm down." [Hint: I considered getting out the Jack at 2:00 in the afternoon. While I was on the clock.]

Then, I did what Brennan would do.

Instead of stressing about the information I didn't have, I focused on the information we did have: the press release. 64 whole words!

Here's what's weird about it.

Booth's in the field. At the end of the episode preceding this, he's very ill. I was initially very frustrated to see another season finale start with Booth staring down death and...then totally clearing that up by the end of the first act. I thought he had a serious brain problem! And now he's at a heavy metal concert? WTF?

The nightclub is called "The Lab." That's a little too on the nose. When that Motley Crue news came out this morning, I thought surely this had to be a dream/hallucination, where the club is an allegory for the lab.

"In an unusual twist of storytelling" is awkward. It's not "in an unusual twist of events," which leads me to believe there's something more going on with the way they're telling the story. What's more, is it really that unusual for everyone to be undercover? I mean, yes, it's unprecedented, but they go undercover all the time. And not just Booth and Brennan; recall that Sweets and Angela went undercover two episodes ago in "The Salt in the Wound."

Seriously--why is Motley Crue there? I mean, really.

Finally, why would they be going undercover as local law enforcement? Couldn't they just...bring in local law enforcement? It's weird.

So put these things together and what do you get?

You get something that looks suspiciously like The X-Files's "Triangle."

Now, bear with me. I know I used this analogy when I was speculating (ultimately incorrectly) about "Hero in the Hold," but I think it's really going to apply here.

All of this? The whole case?

It's in Booth's mind.

We'll see the events of his hallucination, which involve Mssrs. Addy, Keenan, and the younger Booth. (Oh, and everyone in the lab. And Sweets.) And then, juxtaposed with that, we see real-world events, where Brennan is working her ass off to solve Booth's medical crisis.

In "Triangle," Mulder is trapped in the Bermuda Triangle, lost on a luxury liner stuck in World War II. On the ship with him are basically everyone who was important to the show--A.D. Kersh, A.D. Skinner, Agent Spender, the Cigarette-Smoking Man, and, of course, Scully herself--who help or hinder his ability to save history. In the real world, it's a race against the clock for Scully to find Mulder, who in reality has crashed his little speedboat in the Sargasso Sea and will surely die of exposure if Scully and the Lone Gunmen don't find him--and soon.

There are parallels between the reality and the hallucination; at one point, 1939 Scully and 1996 Scully are shown in split-screen--and magically cross paths, switching sides. Similarly, I imagine there will be parallels between Brennan's actions in Booth's hallucination and Brennan's actions outside of it. Maybe he's even picking up some of his hallucination from the things she says while sitting patiently at his bedside.

Most importantly, there's the romance. In "Triangle," Mulder knows he might die. Left with few options, he chooses to give 1939 Scully a big kiss before jumping overboard. (She slaps him--hard.) When he awakens in the hospital, she's at his bedside, where he confesses his love for her. (She gives him an eyeroll and an, "Oh, brother.")

We know what the real world romance is in "The End in the Beginning": spoiler alert, they do it. But I imagine something happens from within the hallucination that convinces Booth to do something. Maybe it's a kiss. Maybe it's a look. Maybe it's a quote that will live forever in fancy font on my desktop.

Booth is probably totally a Motley Crue fan, too.

This gives the health crisis time to breathe. Time to weigh on Brennan. Time to really build to the sex.


Time to forget about the fact that Brennan wants a baby, y'all.

As we speculated in the podcast, we love the idea of Booth bringing up the baby thing as he's being wheeled into surgery. "I didn't mean it," he tells her, referring of course to his Stewie-induced assertion that if he can't be involved with their baby, he doesn't want her to have it. "Bones, if I don't make it, you should have the baby." Something like that.

And then it's totally surprising when, after they have all the sex, the cliffhanger is that, ZOMG, Bones is with child.

Frankly, if this happens, this is brilliant.

It allows them to still have a case while also focusing near-exclusively on Booth and his health.

Awesome, right?

I still hope we get sides. I need them to give me an imaginary hug and tell me everything's going to be okay. It's gonna be a long month without them.

2 Responses to “Bones: Today Has Been...Stressful”

Hannah said...

I cannot wait another month and so many days until the finale. I really hope the episode goes something like you've posted here.

I love it!!

Danielle said...

This episode description only made me feel positive about the finale. Partly because, as a lover of experimental theatre, allegorical story-telling and strange dramatic devices, "an unusual twist of story-telling" is just the kind of thing in an episode description to make me happy. But mostly because I think this will work really well for Bones, and not just because it's always fun to have episodes that approach things in a different way.

As a procedural, it's hard for the show to have an episode that doesn't involve a case, but from everything that's come out so far, we all know that the finale is really going to be about the characters. Some kind of allegory/hallucination/alternate mental world plot device allows them to have an episode which isn't about the case at all. So far the most case free episode we've had is "The Verdict in the Story", and that still had all the court stuff and Clark in the lab to keep it within the usual framework - this keeps the standard structure to some extent, but allows them to explore other issues than why did some random guy end up dead. Booth can be in the hospital/at home on sick leave and out doing fieldwork at the same time Having the usual characters being themselves but part of the case plot at the same time also allows for all the sometimes characters to show up, without them having to have a major plot device or story-arc in the episode.

I have no doubt that this episode is about something much less obvious and straightforward than a random dead guy turning up in a club (come on, it's called the Lab) and the team finding out who did it.

As for Motley Crue - well, letting my inner Brennen come out, apart from being a band I really have no clue who they are, so I expect their appearance to pass over me just like the dog guy and the AI contestants and the guy who plays Angela's dad.

The only thing that made me dubious is having The Sex in a crazy, what-the-hell-is-going-on episode. But they've said that it's going to be real and I believe them. And maybe it could even be good - I think that this allows the show to go into the off-season with ambiguity about the B/B relationship without having unnecessary drama and angst a la the fake sides.

Now I must go and watch "Triangle" again.

Whoa, long comment!