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'Bones' recap: 'The Woman in the Whirlpool'

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Patrick McElhenney/FOX

Bones

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
tvpgr:
TV-14
seasons:
11
run date:
09/03/08
performer:
David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel
broadcaster:
Fox
genre:
Drama, Crime

Bones is getting bold in its 10th season—this must be the show’s longest streak of consecutive episodes to open with “previously on” segments. In the early years, big revelations were usually allowed to set in for at least a week before they were brought up again, but there’s no way to ignore what’s been going down lately. Brennan kicked Booth out of the house. That changes things.

Brennan meets up with Angela at the playground to worry about Booth while their kids hold hands. “This is gonna work out,” Angela promises. “Booth has a problem, but he’s a good man.” She’s right, of course, but I’m surprised that she’s being so generous, given how quickly she gave him the cold shoulder when he took back his marriage proposal. I was kind of looking forward to an “ovaries before brovaries” speech here, because as certain as I am that Booth and Brennan will be okay—and as much as I appreciate that no one is writing him off—I want someone to tell Brennan that she was right to stick up for herself. Not that Brennan needs anyone’s approval for that.

Meanwhile, Booth is going to Gamblers Anonymous meetings, but he’s not talking yet. He tells his longtime sponsor, Gavin, that just being in the room is good enough. Gavin shuts that down. Being in the room won’t cut it. But Booth is stubborn and in denial; he’s alone in this, even compared to Brennan. I can’t help thinking that if Sweets were here, Booth would have moved in with him. Sweets did crash with Booth and Brennan for a long time after his break-up. Without his friend, all Booth has is a “new place” and a moody leather jacket.

Booth and Brennan’s relationship is so unstable right now that she’s ordering her lunch to go from the diner (and we know how these two love that diner). They make sad eyes at each other from across the counter. When Booth suggests that she eat with him, Brennan is happy to accept, but he just wants to talk about moving back in. Booth doesn’t want to make this “a bigger deal than what it is,” but he put Brennan and Christine in danger. She can’t just let that go until he takes real responsibility for it. Brennan’s getting that sandwich to go after all. “It’s too hard right now, Booth,” she says, before adding the all-important “I love you.” His relapse has changed a lot for them, but it can’t change that.

Booth channels his frustration into their latest case: An obsessive cookie jar collector named Leslie Hodsoll was found in the Potomac. Somehow, the fact that Bones would tell a serious addiction story about cookie jars makes complete sense to me. Leslie’s 20-year-old daughter, Courtney, says that her mother was too busy with her collection to pay much attention to her, and she didn’t even get dessert out of it. (“It was all about the jars. There was rarely a cookie in the house.”) It really is the family that suffers most.

Shortly before her death, Leslie used every online platform at her disposal to tear down a seller named Cheryl. Cheryl insists that she and Leslie were friends anyway. “You really think I killed Leslie because of some bad reviews?” she asks. “Have you ever been on the Internet?” The bad blood between them started when Cheryl promised Leslie a Babe Ruth cookie jar, then sold it over her head—to a man who turns out to be hiding in Leslie’s attic. Scott Simon isn’t a cookie jar collector; he’s a Babe Ruth obsessive, and Leslie stole the jar from him when he refused to sell it. He snuck into her house to get it back.

NEXT: What doesn’t kill you poisons you slowly[pagebreak]

Even though Scott is off his rocker, Booth just isn’t getting that killer vibe. No amount of gambling can dull his gut instinct about people. He hasn’t been interrogating much on this case, but he takes the lead when they bring in Courtney, who put her mother’s whole collection up for sale online. She changed her mind and took it down after a day: “I guess I realized I could love her even if she didn’t love me.” Booth tells Courtney that Leslie’s obsession probably stemmed from the fact that she was shot in the head 20 years ago. It wasn’t anything Courtney did; addiction is never the family’s fault. Booth is an addict, but he’s also the child of an addict. He knows both sides.

Courtney might have resented her mother, but she didn’t kill her. Leslie’s boss, Ted, is to blame for that. After finding out that Ted was a locksmith, Leslie made him think that she loved him, but only until he’d stolen the Babe Ruth cookie jar for her. He went over to her place with a bottle of champagne to win her back, and when she rejected him again, he took a swing at the cookie jars. Leslie stepped in to block the blow and was killed. Brennan points out that Leslie died “to protect the things she didn’t realize were ruining her life.” Booth looks worried that he’s seeing his future.

Unlike Leslie, Booth’s brain is free from injury. He can take responsibility for what he’s done. He even turns down Brennan’s invite to tuck Christine in to bed in order to go to a meeting. “I’ve hurt a lot of people in my life,” he admits to the group, “especially my family. I’ve betrayed them and put them in danger. So I’m here to find a sense of resolution, so I can better understand myself.” Booth has been so oriented on Brennan from the start of this series. When he first walked away from addiction, it had a lot to do with the fact that he’d just met her. It makes sense that when Brennan kicked him out, his only idea of improving his life was to get her back, but that doesn’t actually get to the root of his problem. I’m glad that Brennan expects more from him than a few cursory meetings, and I’m glad he’s ready to give it to her.

But no one in Booth and Brennan’s lives seems to doubt that they’ll be okay in the end, and I like that the show invites us to be just as confident in their future. Aubrey, by way of Sweets’ book (which he’s read, which is adorable), points out that Booth and Brennan were friends before anything else. They’ve got a solid understanding to fall back on. As Brennan says, they’ve always made a good team.

Bits and pieces:

  • Kathy Reichs, the real-life inspiration for Brennan, wrote this episode with daughter Kerry, so it’s safe to assume that the science was on point.
  • I’m not sure I’m on board for the flirtation between Aubrey and intern-of-the-week Jessica. Bones is all about slow-burn relationships; these two are practically winking at each other five minutes after they meet. Not to mention the fact that we kind of did this with Sweets already.
  • The only acceptable “Booth and Brennan 2.0” is the tiny power couple of Christine Booth and Michael Vincent Hodgins.
  • Angela and Hodgins add fuel to the Paris fire by wondering if this job is eating away at them.
  • What is Hodgins’ hair doing, and why is it doing it?
  • Brennan gets a nice moment with Jessica when she helps her with her collection (it’s the elements of the periodic table, obviously).
  • “Russian mobster named Pebbles.”
  • “I guess when people get nostalgic for the good old days, they overlook things like carcinogenic glaze.”

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