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'Bones' recap: Midget wrestling, phallic frustration, and the return of Gordon Gordon

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TV Show
Drama, Crime
run date:
David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel
Current Status:
In Season

When I first saw photos of Booth in a wrestling ring with a little person, I feared we were looking at a mistake the size of last season’s circus episode. I’ve never been so happy to be wrong. This could be my favorite hour of Season 5. The “midget wrestling” was a little wacky, but it produced a classic Brennan moment as she realized the Iron Leprechaun they were watching be defeated by Bumble Bee Man was not the real Iron Leprechaun, whose body they’d found in a sink hole: “Boo! That man is not The Iron Leprechaun! Boooo! Fake! Fake!… Fraud! Look at his femur!” she shouted. Also, I did laugh when Booth jumped in the ring to nab the impostor, who tried various wrestling moves on him that I could have identified when I was in the sixth grade and a Rock ‘n’ Roll Express fan. “What do you expect me to do, he came at me like a rabid ferret,” Booth said after flattening the suspect, raising his arms to celebrate, and being booed.

When Bones is at its best, the case is used to further illustrate what’s happening in Booth and Brennan’s relationship. Gidget, the Vince McMahon of the midget wrestling world and the victim’s ex, put it well when she told them that when something goes wrong in the heart department for a man, it always shows itself in another way. For Booth, the fact that he’s in love with Bones but can’t tell her was affecting his aim — which was a problem since he had to be recertified. He went to see Gordon Gordon (Stephen Fry), who I demand return every Sweeps period even though he’s now a cook chef. The character has such a lovely demeanor that he makes the show feel homey. When he’s around, we also find things out. Most importantly, last night, he and Sweets discussed the reason Sweets had never published his book on Booth and Brennan: He wasn’t sure he should make public what they can’t admit to each other — they’re in love. The two men agreed that after Brennan’s traumatic childhood of abuse and abandonment, she used her intelligence to build an armor so she wouldn’t have to feel intense emotions like love. Booth is sensitive to that vulnerability and knows that admitting his feelings to her would be some kind of assault. His problem at the gun range was “phallic frustration” and the reason he’s behaved differently since his coma dream, during which he realized how he felt about her. In short: Not being able to have the woman he loves can drive a man crazy. (Which is what Booth explained to the victim’s sister-in-law. She’d been having an affair with him, which is why her husband killed his brother.)

Gordon Gordon eventually sat Booth down and told him that he’s in love with Brennan. “She doesn’t love me. I would know if she loved me,” Booth responded. (David Boreanaz can always make your heart ache when he wants to. Whether it’s a line that clear, or that subtle “Really?” he uttered when Brennan told Gidget she actually prefers good boys.) Gordon Gordon said Booth needs to have hope and patience. I suppose it would have been cruel for him to tell Booth about the look in Brennan’s eyes when she’d told him that she couldn’t think of a thing she wouldn’t do to help Booth with his mental block. Instead, Gordon Gordon suggested Booth “grow a set” and be a man at his recertification. What he meant was, Booth would never fail Brennan if her life depended on his aim. Bring her to the range and protect her. That final scene, when Booth nailed his target, and Brennan gave him the thumbs up? I applauded.

So, what did you think of the episode? How good was it to have Gordon Gordon back and consulting with Sweets? (Do you think Fry improvised spitting out the potato, or did John Francis Daley just really sell his surprise?) Do you appreciate, as much as I do, Brennan acknowledging that it’s time she “adapt,” even if it results in her making charmingly bad jokes? (“I’m becoming quite amusing.”) Was Booth saying “Chef, I need some advice” a South Park reference? And did you feel a little uncomfortable when  Gordon Gordon fed Booth and Brennan something he admitted looked like sperm?

More Bones: 15 exclusive on-set photos — snapped by the cast!