Spotlight on Bones: Strength and Imperviousness

Sometimes Bones makes me go all Kristen-Bell-with-a-sloth on the world. “The Blackout in the Blizzard” is one of those times. Season six was hard. It was angsty and emotionally draining and sad. This episode is a light. It’s hope. It’s a hug and a blanket and a cup of hot chocolate, because Booth and Brennan are Booth and Brennan again.

It all starts when some weirdo with no respect for sports history drops a row of seats from Veterans Stadium on the curb, in the snow, all alone, like they don’t even have feelings. Booth has to do something. He gets Brennan and Sweets to help him carry a piece of sports history back to his place, but a blackout strikes DC at the worst/ best possible time, trapping B&B in an elevator with the seats. I think it’s time for the two of them to have an actual conversation about how they’ve both thought about sleeping together! Brennan calls it “making love,” which is huge, and she says it would be “quite satisfying.” Heck yes it would. Booth tries to brush it aside by claiming that they’d never work as a couple, but we know he’s just deflecting.

These chairs are more than just memorabilia to Booth. He and his dad were at the Vet when the Phillies won game six of the 1980 World Series. Booth doesn’t have a lot of positive memories with his dad, but he does have this. “He quit drinking. For about two weeks—long enough to remember that I was his kid. Best day of my life.” That was their “one perfect day,” and all Booth wants is to hold on to a piece of it.

This is really an episode about how to hold on while moving forward. That’s the challenge they’re all facing. Over in the lab, Hodgins and Angela have to figure out what to do in the face of terrible news: they’ve both tested positive for a recessive disease, giving their baby a 25% chance of blindness. Hodgins cries when he finds out, reminding me that TJ Thyne is stealthily one of the best actors on this show.

They manage to keep it together long enough to solve the case, at which point Angela’s ready to go home and cry some more. Hodgins tries to cheer her up, reminding her that the odds are still in their favor, but Angela knows better. Like the Hunger Games or the lottery, somebody always wins.

Hodgins: Well, then I have no choice but to take up the piano.

Angela: What are you talking about?

Hodgins: I always saw myself staring through microscopes with my kid. If that’s not possible because the baby is blind, then we’ll play piano together.

THAT SETTLES IT. Hodgins and I are getting married. His optimism just floors me. The way he breathes life back into their situation—that kind of hard-earned joy can only come from a guy who’s been through an anger management program. Also, the fact that he dreams about staring through microscopes with his little curly-haired kiddo is just adorbs.

Angela doesn’t strip off all his clothes right that second, which is very disappointing.

Hodgins: You should take up sculpture. Very seriously…Because if you can’t teach our kid how to paint, then sculpture is an excellent substitute, you know—maybe even better.

Ughhh. He loves his artsy wife. I can be artsy, Hodgins! I can sculpt with you!

Angela, instinctively programmed to calm her husband down, reminds him that he’s getting ahead of himself. Clever trickery, there, Hodgins. He knew that if he kept going, she’d have to reassure him, so now he’s reassured her. But I also think he meant what he said. I believe that he really would make the best of it if their little one were born blind.

Hodgins: What do you think we can handle? You and I, together, what do you think we can handle?

Angela: Honestly? Anything. Anything at all.

I think so too, Ange. Now blow out the candles, go home, and enjoy being married to the only man who can ever compete with Booth for my affections. strength 1

Next page: It’s grown up time.

3 comments

  1. “In the process, she’s become more literal and less acerbic, and it’s led some fans to complain that she’s more awkward now. Sure, “I find I would like to hug you” is a lot more awkward than, “Stalk me, Oliver, and I’ll kick your ass.” But isn’t it growth? Brennan used her snappy comebacks and her self-defense classes to make herself impervious. Now, she’s learning how to be vulnerable and trust that she can handle the damage. That’s strength.”

    I love this explanation. Really. And even I, lately, have been pondering Season 1/2 Brennan to current Brennan, and this is a great analysis.

    1. Thanks so much!
      I definitely ask myself those questions too, sometimes, when I’m rewatching early seasons. She had some great empathetic moments early on, usually with the victims, and she’s occasionally been really clueless in these later years, so I can see how a casual viewer would frame that as regression. But I think if we look at how she relates to the people she’s closest to, it’s so clear how much she’s grown and how much more genuine she is now. Awkward as it can be, we’ve seen her open up a lot.

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