Friday, November 30, 2012

The Wannabe in the Weeds

Written by Josh Berman. I was quickly taken by the sharp wit in this episode and noted the writer's name to see if it was a hallmark of his. The more I saw, the more assured I was that this was a delightful entry, with emphasis on the "light." So, the conclusion took me by surprise, though I should certainly have seen the signs.

As the show opened with amateur night at a local nightclub, I thought of Lorne's bar in Angel and felt a little nostalgic. I half expected to see Booth on the stage before the episode, ended, but we got Brennan instead.

I used to make a point of noticing the gestures Brennan and Booth share, but by now they aren't movements, they're part of the relationship. Booth doesn't have any particular reason for fighting with Brennan over who knocks on the door first or for pulling her away from an interview other than that it's reflex. I finally understand that it's always his territory, not just in a particular situation and he's always going to vie with her (or with Hodgins who barges into the interrogation room, where Booth is supposed to be in charge, no squints).

They don't just jockey for position verbally, they do it physically and it's a nice component to the interaction.

A wannabe singer and fitness addict winds up dead. I'm not sure why these fresh bodies are always decomposed beyond recognition when there's no logical reason why they should be. I know Brennan only works on special cases, but why not just write special crimes for her team to solve, rather than create routine murders and then do something weird with the body that requires her expertise, but would never happen in reality.


As Brennan and Booth investigate the murder they find that the singer had an obsessed fan, "Fat Pam." Booth interviews her as Sweets and Brennan look on. As the conversation ends, Booth puts his hand on Pam's shoulder and Sweets screams for him not to. Of course, Sweets is indicating that Booth is sending the delusional Pam the wrong message with this act of physical contact. From the way that Sweets never actually explains his objection initially and still doesn't lay out his concerns about Pam having transferred her obsession from the deceased to Booth, I should have known that it would mean trouble later. I did think it would, but once the crime was solved, I wasn't thinking about Pam the loose end and wondering what happened with her. She had not crossed my mind again by then.

I felt, of course, that the story was building to something, the way Brennan and Booth kept laughing Sweets off. They wanted him to do profiling for them, so I don't know why they don't listen to him when he tells them that someone is dangerous. I understand that they ignore him when he tries to analyze THEM, but why would they disregard what he says about Pam? Of course, even though I am on the third season and have learned that Sweets is still around 4 years later, I still somewhat suspect that he might be the serial killer, so I am not fully paying attention to what he says about Pam either. When he talks about someone becoming dangerous when they lose their tenuous tie to the object of their obsession, I still try to apply his words about the killer in the case, to his own life and relationship with Booth and Brennan. So, I'm not totally focused on what he says about Pam any more than Booth and Brennan are.

There is a serious moment that moves me when Pam goes to Booth's office. When she asks about his son and he puts his body between the photo of the boy and Pam, it's a nice move. Then when she gets close and he says this is very inappropriate, I think DB is excellent. He's wary, concerned and firm for a second and I think he puts on this face in a split second, impressing me with an acting prowess that was not as controlled, apparent or "spin on a dime" on B/A. But then Booth drops his guard as Pam walks out and just thinks of her as a wacky woman, not the danger that Sweets said she was.

Of course, later when Brennan and Sweets learn that Pam has visited him, that's Sweets' moment to let them know this is not a laughing matter, but he doesn't, because the writers want to maintain the suspense of the show's ending and do it at the psychiatrist's expense.

Of course, I didn't realize this was also a May sweeps show, the pentultimate one of the season. If I had known that, I might have expected that it would be something more than fun and funny, when all was said and done.

In an army jacket and t-shirt for most of the show, DB's physique is very thin. Also something we didn't see a lot of in Angel.

A highlight of the show was the scene with Pam calling Brennan "scrawny" and Booth not wanting to say that she wasn't, in order not to antagonize the witness.

There seemed to be a lot of looks between Hodgins and Brennan and I wasn't sure if there was supposed be significance there. I guess not, but it was weird.

Nice bit when Brennan tells Booth to knock down a locked door (as is so often done in police dramas) and Booth answers that it hurts his shoulder to knock down a door. Mulder didn't shoot his gun, but he loved to knock down a good door. Angel never met a door he didn't want to knock down, but he was a lot stronger than Booth. In Skyfall, Bond also shows similar reluctance to try to knock down a door, telling Q (safe in a laboratory that he should come down and knock the door in himself). Although, many lives were at stake in Bond's case, including his own. He could have made the effort and worried about the pain later.

The part where the women were attracted to Zack because he could sing "Love is a Many Splendoured Thing" in a nerdy voice was totally unrealistic and not particularly funny. It would have been fine to have him turn them on unexpectedly, but not with THAT song. Of course, I still harbor hopes of him and Cam doing something, so the fact that her eyes lingered on him, as well as Angela's was a plus.

When Sweets was trying to explain body language to Booth and Brennan and talked about facial muscles in technical terms and Brennan said he didn't have to translate, he knew what they meant, it was funny the way Booth scooched forwared and said HE didn't know what part of the body Sweets was talking about.

The conversation with Booth saying he thought Brennan thought she was smarter than him (and her explaining that she admired his expertise in some areas and acknowledged his intelligence in areas that weren't her speciality) was a little repetitive, because we've heard this before and know how they feel on that score, how he feels about her and the squints in general. But it was cute the way she kept explaining how people exceed, because they want to stand out from the crowd and be noticed and kept pointing out that she dominates in her field as he does in his. She excels in science, but not just science, she reminds him. She excels as a best-selling author too.


Of course, the end pays off because of the concern she exhibits when he is shot. Even when I saw Pam point the gun, I didn't expect Booth to be hit and for the show to go from a comedy to -- well, not tragedy, because I knew he wouldn't die -- drama in the last 2 minutes. I also loved the way Brennan shot Pam dead. Of course, Pam still had a weapon and Brennan could have done it in self-defense. Pam was going to shoot her and would have, if Booth hadn't jumped in front of Brennan. Still, the way Brennan shot, she looked more vengeful than defensive and I loved it. Her holding Booth as he gasped and clutched her hand was nice. I liked the way the others scurried and looked concerned too, especially since there thoughts were on Booth and not the dead Pam, but as Angela gaped at Brennan and Booth, she looked more curious than worried, I thought.

Good witty show, with an ending that took me by surprise, even if it probably should not have.

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