Friday, July 6, 2012

Aliens in a Spaceship

Kitschy titles are fine for comedies like Friends: The One Where All Six of Them Do Something. But when you have a show that is at least as much of a drama as it is a comedy, then you actually owe it to your stories to give them titles that fit and are memorable, when required.

Clearly, this episode should have been titled Gravedigger or something that will stick out in my (and any Emmy voters') mind. Brand it with words that will immediately bring to mind Brennan and Hodges in the car or Booth scrambling in the sand until he connects with Brennan's outstretched hand. To name it Aliens in a Spaceship is to consign to obscurity and confusion, making me shuffle through 6 other episodes in my mind trying to remember to which one the title just might refer.

Of course, it's a reference to the corpses we see in the early scenes, trapped in some type of capsule. Not aliens, just 2 young brothers, who died, brave and loving, in each other's arms. A kidnapper buried them alive and they perished when he did not receive the ransom demanded. This killer's novel methods have gained such notoriety that a book has been written about his crimes. Booth is not impressed when he meets the author and his co-writer, a reporter.

Why does Booth take an immediate dislike to the journalist just because she helped write a book about The Gravedigger murders? Of course, I feel the same way when I watch 48 Hours Mystery and I find that their "investigators" got much of their knowledge from the author of some crime book, but why should Booth feel that same contempt when his own highly regarded partner is also an author? Although, she writes fiction. Still, it's fiction based on cases she has worked on. He knows she wasn't look to benefit monetarily, nor was she on a quest for fame, so maybe that's why he doesn't mind her books. But how does he know what other people's motives are. Why does he immediately distrust them? He was the same way with that interviewer they met in Hollywood.

His opinion may be valid, but when he forms it instantaneously and is so smug about voicing it, you just hope the plot will turn on him and make him have to rethink his views and eat his hastily spewed words. That didn't happen in the Hollywood episode. We'll see how this one progresses. Temp points out, "You were kind of mean to them" and he cockily thanks her for the info. Maybe he'll have to depend on them to help find Brennan and Hodgins in the end and then he'll have to be both contrite and grateful for their help and insight.

Of course, the one guy is really obnoxious, flaunting his Gravedigger expertise and Booth is actually patient to take as much from him as he does, while he is questioning the dead twins' father. I suppose they are having the author come on so strong because they want to make him a suspect in the viewer's mind. He's so confident about the Gravedigger's prowess because we're supposed to think he might be the man himself. I don't take that bait.

when Brennan tells the victims' father that suffocation is not painful, but like "falling asleep" I think she is lying and Booth looks at her like he does too. He is used to having to cut her off when she gets too graphic with family members' about the cause of death or crime details. I guess she is learning, becoming less mechanical.

Brennan compares God to the Gravedigger. Booth says he goes to church every Sunday, which surprises me. I wonder if he's always been religious, if he left the church when he was working as a sniper and then, maybe, came back to it when he went to Gambler's Anonymous and had to find strength in a higher power in order to stop giving in to his addiction. Brennan is amusing innocently asking to go to church with him, ignorant of the emotional turmoil she could cause in Christians who might be in the congregation asking the cold, scientific questions that undermines -or may even mock --their faith.

That comment Booth makes about God not making mistakes is a little much coming from him. Based on what he's seen in war, I don't believe he'd say that. Also, he must be aware that anti-gay activists say that same things. The statement was too strong to justify the joke they got out of it: Angela saying that putting testicles on the outside seems like a Godly mistake to her.

Why does the Gravedigger bury Brennan and Hodges in Hodgins' own car (full of devices that help them effect their own rescue, just as MacGyver would have done) rather than the strange capsule device that we saw the twin brothers entombed in? Because that container was made from landfill materials, it helped the killer eliminate clues and detection, so I don't know why he deviated from his modus operandi.

Did he really want $8 million for Hodgins or did he really want Brennan did, because she could help uncover him? If it's the latter, then Hodgins' kidnapping was just a decoy. The Gravedigger must have known about Hodgins' company policy about not paying off a ransom under certain conditions. So, he knew the money wouldn't be paid, but wanted the world to think money was the motive for the crime.

On the other hand, how did the killer know that Brennan would be in the garage at the time, unless it was someone in the lab who saw her leave and knew that Hodgins had followed her out?

I bet Hodgins' near death experience will make Angela rethink her decision not to date him.

Camille dosn't show up to later in the show. I was beginning to think she wouldn't be on at all. Rather surprised to hear that they were still conducting a relationship. Thought after he stayed late with Brennan that not and then had a "hot" reference during his phone conversation with the lab in Vegas that Cam had accepted that their friends with benefits arrangement is over. Maybe it will be after he decides not to take the phone call that tells him Brennan is in danger and Camille sees his level of concern for the Doc, once they learn she's been taken. Oho, he listens to his voice mail (which is a dramatic reason for not taking the call, so all he does is react, he doesn't have to answer back to the person giving him the news) and the somber way his expression changes as the news is conveyed in one ear while Camille keeps rattling on about taking a trip to NY in the other is fantastic. Of course, even though having him listen to the call is the script's way of achieving more effect, I still blame Cam for telling him not to take it in the first place.

I guess Brennan wasn't being compassionate when she said that suffocating is like falling asleep, because you do just lose consciousness and don't wake up. When she gets out of this grave, maybe she'll want to go to church for other reasons and maybe Bones will want to take her (whether she's a believer or not). Ha, in fact I'm placing my bid now that the show ends with them in church together.

Booth tells Zach that in her absence he needs her to be Dr. Brennan and he says, "I don't know what that means." Unwittingly, he's already taken on aspects of her character, because she is always saying that.

Lovely moment between Zach and Cam. He is tense, overwrought as he gives her his conclusions, but he doesn't know how they will help lead to the killer. He says he only does how. He doesn't do why and there is guilt in that pronouncement. He gives Cam information on how one of the twins died by his own hand to give his brother more air and says he doesn't know how that will help. Instead of Cam remonstrating him for giving her useless details in this crisis, she is calm and pleasant as she tells him that his evidence WILL help the father of those twins and makes him feel that he's not failing them, that his inability to step out of his intellect is not a downfall and that she sees the concern for his friends, the heart behind his head. She soothes him with what he understands: with reason, instead of a hug.

Um, Hodgins does have a family, whether they "get" him or not. The note he writes in case he dies is to Angela and not one of them? That stretches credulity. I can buy that he's falling for her, but not that he's already that far gone, to the point that she's the only one on his mind at the brink of death. And why would Brennan think, correctly, that it was a note to Angela? As far as she knows, they've only been on one date. Wonder if Brennan will want to send a message to Booth (and her brother Rust) in case she dies. She does write a goodbye message later, but we don't know who it is to. Maybe that will be revealed in the episode where they find the Gravedigger.

Hmmm. Hodgins says he's the only member of the family left, not the impression that I got in the Christmas episode. In fact, there were family members he wanted to avoid by not going to that party, as ordered.

I'm not sorry that Booth attacked that author, but I'm not sure how he thinks the guy's "symbiotic relationship" with the Gravedigger will help him get Brennan. The guy makes money off of the murderer, but that doesn't mean he can stop him. Well, if Booth does keep his word to end the crime author if Brennan dies, then at least we know he won't make money from a book detailing HER death.

Brennan says that Booth will find them and this belief is based not on faith (which she says is irrational) but because overtime she's seen what Booth can do. Hmmm. Without her lab backing him up, I've never seen Booth being especially brilliant, finding elusive answers and working miracles. But he's determined and she knows that he won't give up on her. That's the best thing she's got going for her, not his great detective work. FBI Special Agent Mulder, on the other hand, was pretty brilliant (Scully lauded his "beautiful mind").

Beautiful acting by Emily (in the car with Hodgins when they realize that their air has run out)and the guy who plays Zach too, I think. David wasn't so bad either, but I've become a little biased where he's concerned. Not too much he needs to do actually. But where Angel was found wanting and expressionless sometimes, here, when Booth's face has been blank it has worked well within the story. It is good acting, as opposed to the not knowing how to that he was accused of in Buffy/Angel. Starting in 1998 he always did some things exceedingly well as Angel, but on this show, I think his range has expanded nicely and he plays more emotions. He's excellent when Booth is telling Zach that Hodgins and Brennan would find a way to extend their air supply and he shouldn't be ready to give up, just because the clock says their time has run out. In fact, this show should have been sent in as an Emmy reel for several of the actors excelling in this episode.

I really like the way that Temp cries. She's not a character that doesn't show feeling. She fears, she hurts, but she doesn't do it so that the sobs or grimaces steal the show or substitute for other ways of expression. In this episode and in the one where she was kidnapped by the mailman, her panic is on the periphery. It's there and it feels real, but it's only a fraction of who she is, even in a life-threatening situation. She doesn't have nerves of steel, but they show us that without having her crumble.

Booth says he has about a 100 agents working an angle on the case. It's funny how (except for that one boss of his that hasn't shown up lately), we don't see him working with other FBI agents. We don't really have a sense of the FBI as a powerful entity. Half of the time, I think of Booth as acting like a police officer, even though he does make a lot of things happen with just a phone call. In fact, he's the reason that Brennan has that multi-million dollar lab in the first place. He wanted to work with her. He does use his authority to move mountains, but he feels more like a cop on the beat to me. He reminds me more of NYPD Blue than he does "The FBI."

I'm not athletic and I don't take karate lessons like Brennan, but I think if I was buried in less than 4 feet of dirt that I could DIG my way out, like those hostages who were buried in a bus did. Neither Brennan or Hodgins seemed to think about digging.

Nice that Hodgins moves to shake her hand and she's the one who pulls in for a hug.

When they hear/see the explosion and Booth heads down the incline first and alone, I know he will start digging with his hands when he gets down there (Paper Hearts). Since they came out there to find people buried underground, why didn't they have shovels? Also, she was digging from the other end, I guess the explosion knocked out the windshield in the car, but still, in 2 seconds she was almost at the surface. Her hand reaching out to him through the dirt ("Field Trip") that quickly was almost comical. Again, I say they weren't buried that deep. When the show started, her electric car window was still working. I think they could have found a way out of the car and dug their way out. But even so, Hodgins and Brennan still basically rescued themselves. So, I don't know why Booth is saying that he prayed to thank God for the whole team, all of them, because if you take even one of them out of the equation, then she and Hodgins would still be in that hole. Um, they were out of the car already when Booth got to them. Calm down Seeley, you're not quite the hero that you think they are. But Temp feels otherwise. He talks team, but she focuses the rescue on him and says she knew he would not give up.

While Angela and Jack kiss, Booth and Bones just look at each other and laugh. Zach is with Angela and Jack and Cam is kind of alone, but you don't get the "oooh, I'm a third wheel" vibe when she looks over to them. Despite what I thought in the last two episodes about her knowing their bond was eclipsing what she was hoping for with Booth, even if she only wanted something frivolous, I don't think she has actually caught on yet. On the other hand, he's the one asking why they are keeping their relationship a secret, if it's not wrong. It's not her wondering. So, would into the open with it if Camille wanted? Why doesn't she want? Does it have anything to do with feeling she's on Brennan's territory and that it would be marked more distinctly than it has been if she challenged Brennan through an open relationship with Booth?

Every member of the team supposedly participated in the rescue, but all Camille did was tell the crew to think outside of the box. She told them that that's why she was hired, because they can't and she can. Huh? First of all, when she came in she wanted them to do the opposite of think outside of the box. She only wanted facts from them, not fantasies or speculation. She quashed their experiments. She didn't want them to jump through conclusions. She wasn't there to open their minds. She made it her job to rein them in. Plus, I haven't seen her make any logical leaps anyway, not even in this episode particularly. So, to paint her (or have her paint herself as the one who opened everyone's mind to extreme possibilities is ridiculous. And that's never been the reason we were given for her appointment before. The writers need to figure out what this character's forte is (or needs to be for the script) and then stick to it, to give her a personality that remains consistent. What are her strengths, weaknesses and boundaries? As it is, she is standing for something different in every episode -- which has been a problem with Booth, Brennan and Angela too for that matter.

I was right about it ending in church, but I thought he would take her with him on Sunday. He had to do it when church was not in session.

Brennan: "I knew you wouldn't give up."

Booth: "I knew you wouldn't give up."

Beautiful writing (although Mulder and Scully know this about each other without ever putting it into words, still, they're good words). Janet Tamaro. I will have to keep tabs and see if that name comes up again in one of the better episodes.

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