Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Girl with the Curl

Brianna Swanson. Their version of Jon Benet Ramsey. Here, she's a little beauty queen who disappeared in middle of a pageant. I actually look forward to Bones and Brennan entering the baby beauty contest zone and reacting to the ridiculous things that go on there. However, as in real life, I don't think that a crazed stage mother attracts pedophiles to her child just by putting her in heavy make up. She may be damaging the kid in other ways, but she's not making her attractive to any adult who doesn't otherwise have a problem and wouldn't molest children no matter what they were wearing and how many miniature Madonna dance steps they were forced to perform.

Of course, on the show, the child actually was tortured by her parent, unlike anything it's been established was done to Benet. Brianna was malnourished, drugged, slept in a corset every night (at 9 years old) which caused damage to her torso. So, the story is not about her being objectivied, but abused.

Brennan uses it as a springboard for lectures on how we give girls impossible physical standards to meet, distort their body image perceptions, destroy their self-esteem and sexualize them at too young an age.

Brennan is catching on to the affair between Bones and Cam because they act so ridiculous around each other. Cam is overly friendly and Seeley is overly nervous. Not really amusing to me.

Cam seems to want people to know. When they learn that the girl's body was found with roofing tar, she says she will call Booth and Hodges says, "About this?" Cam just looks pleased and doesn't answer. When Booth and Bones are in the field together and Brennan's team finds something, it would be logical for her team to call her (and consequently Booth) rather than Cam always calling him about what other people have told her, which she probably isn't in a position to answer specific follow up questions about anyway.

I don't think the little triangle is cute. I think it's better to explore Booth/Bones jealousies through people who are not regular cast members or regular cast members who also work with the main characters. I've never watched Grey's Anatomy, but I get the feeling that this show is more procedural and laboratory based than the hospital soap operas are (i.e. ER or police shows like NYPD Blue) and with the focus on the evidence in Bones, a romantic conflict coming from inside the core forensic group is more bothersome than entertaining. If they want to do that, they should have the threat be someone who is on the periphery of the main characters, causing interference from outside, rather than making the outside love interest one of them. It creates a dynamic, but one that is overly dramatic for the technical focus of this show.

Angela's reluctance to explore a relationship with Hodgins has to be over more than her simply not wanting to date a co-worker. She asks Bones for advice and Bones said she is not equipped to give it, because she knows nothing on the subject. But then Cam comes in and Bones says that you should never have an affair with someone that yo work with. Angela says, "All of a sudden you have an opinion on this?" So, the advice that Brennan then delivers is prompted more by Cam's entrance and her obvious relationship with Booth than by Hodgins and Angela. Brennan says that there is a hierarchy in the workplace that kills a romantic relationship (or vice versa I would suppose), actually I agree with her. But what if the people in the relationship have lateral positions at work and neither reports to the other or is controlled by the other? There can still be problems, if you have personal conflict that results in a communication barrier in the workplace (or vice versa), but that particular type of friction really doesn't fit into Brennan's hierarchy equation.

Can tells Angela to go for it. The date will be awful and it will lead to a couple of days of awkwardness in the workplace, but after that everything will go back to normal. Is that would happened between her and Booth? I don't think that their outing was "awful" and I don't think she particularly felt awkward at work afterwards, although he did. Brennan tells Angela to follow Cam's advice on this one. Why? Does she feel that she's now been given oblique confirmation that Cam and Booth's detectable dalliance was disastrous and is now over.

At the dance class, one of the parents mistakes Brennan and Booth as parents of one of the little girls themselves. Interesting, since they will become parents together in years to come. Again, it's almost as if the writers knew all along, even though Emily's real life pregnancy seemed to catch them off guard from what little I've read on the subject. But it's like they started this show knowing what path the leads would take, based on Mulder and Scully, actually -- which rather annoys me. Of course, I forgive them because I can't say that Bones lacks originality just because they were very deliberate in the plotting of the ship and were afraid to be derivative of other successive sails.

Brennan talking to the little girls about the Darwinian theory was priceless, but they also taught her about cankles (and me too). I'd heard the expression, but didn't quite know what it meant. Live and learn.

Brennan tells Zack and Jack to go tell Cam and Booth about their latest evidence, so she's not playing the "I'll tell Booth game," mercifully. Glad that she has more sense than to vie.

Booth and Cam recognize an ice cream wrapper and sing the commercial jingle, something that only happens on movies and tv. Even though I have been in a couple of plays with people, I don't see myself singing the songs or performing the dance steps in unison, when we meet later down the line. So, Cam and Booth both know popular culture and cheap ice cream. Although we've never been told that Brennan's parents were wealthy, it doesn't seem that she grew up the way Booth and Cam did and she certainly didn't work on the streets like they did.

When Booth learns the wrapper was found on the child's body he gets serious and says he wouldn't have laughed if he'd known it was about Brianna. But Cam did know and she did laugh. Again, they're showing us that Booth and Brennan's core values are aligned and Cam's are not. I don't necessarily buy this, because I see Booth and Brennan's ethics shifting all of the time, but this message is something that they tried to convey in the diplomatic immunity episode and they're showing us the difference (Cam on one side, Booth and Bones on another) again now. Brennan commended Booth for doing the right thing on that case and not being able to trust Cam after she was willing to do the wrong thing. And just before Booth came in Cam had mentioned that when she was a kid she did a lot of things she wasn't supposed to do and still does. I think that was not only supposed to be a reference to her fling with Booth, but telling us something about her character when it comes to work too. I'm not sure it works completely, because I think Booth and Brennan also do things they aren't supposed to do, both on the job and romantically.

I think it was silly for Brennan to have been sleeping with the expert witness for the defendant in the first season. Once she found out he had lied to her, she shouldn't have even tried to continue dating him. Her idea to date him, but to just not share private evidence details with him was very irresponsible. So, I'm not impressed with anyone's ethics and I don't think the writers have yet done anything to support their suggestion that Cam has fewer scruples than Booth and Brennan.

The comedy with Booth having to check the evenness of the suspect's hips to determine if she is the killer is great, as is the scene where Brennan goes around feeling up the little girl's to see which one of them has a curved spine and she is branded a molestor. In this way, Brennan having no indication when she has crossed a social line really works well, especially coupled with Booth's amazed, but nonchalant reactions.

Joss Whedon said that David is great when he's playing petty. What he meant to say was not petty exactly. He means that David is great when he's verbally mocking someone else, smirking. His voice doesn't rise or fall. The ridicule or his sense of absurdity is all in the inflection and his delivery and he is good when he does that. In fact, it's got to make up for about 50% of his appeal and I'm glad people recognized that -- that is what people liked about Angel without his soul. I mean, that made the romantic part (Buffy's lost love) secondary, because Angel's quips were so very enjoyable.

This was one of the better episodes (and thrown in OLTL's Becky Lee Abbott, Mary Gordon Murray, as dance instructor). And the ending where Brennan is ranting about how we teach women to modify and torture their bodies and they shouldn't and Booth says that she feels that way only because she looks like she does. She says how is that and he says that she has nice structure. She says thanks and that he does too. Um -- he really doesn't. He looks like Frankenstein, but it doesn't matter because of his afore-mentioned way with a quip. So, that's what Brennan has every right to find attractive. Also, his body is more toned than it was in Buffy/Angel.

Nice him seeing Cam down below and getting ready to go and meet her, but then changing his mind and deciding to stay. Brennan never acknowledged that she knows there is something going on with Cam and although the audience hears Cam's heels leaving, Brennan doesn't react as if she hears. But she has to, because sound would carry in that open place and she would have to know it's Cam because no one else is wearing heels in that laboratory. She is pointed when she asks Booth about his other "appointment" so she knew it was a date. Not 100% sure she knew it was with Cam, but I'm like 92%. When Cam smiles at Booth as she reaches the door, it's not clear to me whether she expects him to join her, as she did when she first started walking out or if she knows she's lost him to Brennan, because the smile isn't a "goodbye" or wistful one. Don't know what she's thinking, but it said a lot between them without a conversation which I didn't need and hope we dont' get.

Angela tells Hodgins that if they date and it goes wrong it will pull Brennan and Zach into their relationship. Yeah, I don't buy that reason for her ending it. They aren't going to date further because the writers either want to stretch it out or have a better reason that they're not revealing quite yet (it would be a better crafted show if it's the latter reason, not the former).

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