mistletoe: (Default)
[personal profile] mistletoe
So, I've been thinking, not very coherently I might add, about how Show is shaping up after 3 episodes. The new item is of course Booth and Brennan TOGETHER all the time, or not as it turns out. I have things going round in my head about the couple thing which refuse to sort themselves into any rational conclusions. so this is going to be a bit of a blurt of randomosity.

First I was thinking about the cases so far and the opportunities they presented that were either caught or missed by a margin. The title of the first one promised much, but delivered less. Whose memories were in the shallow grave and was the shallowness of the grave relevant? I have gone sub-texty here because that's where I think SHOW has missed a golden opportunity.

Memory is a painful subject for the victim as well as Brennan and Booth. She had lost hers, and started a new life. To me, she looked like Christine Brennan/Ruth Keenan, and like her, she left a good life married to a pillar of the community behind and became a criminal. It cost her her life because she trusted someone and he betrayed her. There was a hint of this in Brennan's words when Cam asked her if she was all right and she made a remark along the lines of envying Claire because she got the chance to start fresh and leave the bad life behind (assuming it was unhappy). Brennan herself, as well as her mother, had to start a new life when she went into foster care and indeed would have to start fresh over and over again when she moved from family to family. Those memories are clearly painful for her (she never talks of a positive experience in the system) and it seems to me she has remained distrustful of family and long term commitment even when it is with someone she has known for seven years and loves. (she told him!)

So, her unwillingness to share, or to simply change living arrangements, is understandable. It takes Angela as BFF to point out that the memories she has of family don't have to be what directs her in the future. There is a new life within her, and even if Booth is not sharing her apartment, someone else is and that someone means she will never be alone again. This concept could have been further developed in a longer conversation but bullets are rendered and the opportunity is lost.

Frequently, like here, Angela says something really insightful of Brennan and we do not get Brennan's views on the accuracy of her assessment. I'm sure we feel that Angela is right, but it would be comforting to know that Brennan does have an inner monologue beyond data and anthropological examples based on a study of the Iroquois. Furthermore, it is Angela that speaks to her about this, not Booth. When she sees Booth again and agrees to living together in one place she says it was Angela's words that convinced her, not Booth. Of course, the arrangement will be on her terms, her money, her choice. Booth can fall into line please.

That learned behaviour of self reliance is very hard to unlearn and however willing she is to accept that she and Booth are together, they are not equals, which is what Booth wants. Some would say that Booth is willing as long as he gets what he wants i.e. to be the provider, which is patently silly because she is a millionaire and he is an FBI agent.

Still, Booth has his memories too, and their part in the case revolve around his gambling. In his personal life they revolve around his own family background. However, he at least tells Brennan that he wants to be different from his father even though it's dragged out of him because he didn't think she would understand why that is important to him. She doesn't, because she knows that each person is an individual, not a clone. What she has missed is the need Booth has to be reassured. She never really reassures him just tells him she knows he is not his father.

Booth's gambling issues were clearly meant to be the memory that was being dug up. How shallow is his addiction buried? It has never really come up as a problem for the last seven years yet it is still within him and he resists Sweets' curiosity to know more. All it really does is provide knowledge of codes so that the murderer's motive can be identified. It doesn't affect his relationship with Brennan the way her reluctance to talk to him about her fears or worries does. In the end, they are together in Booth's bed, he watching football rather loudly, she checking out houses on line.

They may have been living together for five months, but I wonder what they have been talking about all that time. Brennan is nothing if not thorough and I am surprised she has let such an ad hoc arrangement continue until there is only four months of the pregnancy left. They don't seem to have bought anything or set up a nursery or do any of things new parents would be doing by this stage. Anyway, new memories are being made now, ones involving the three of them - and possibly Parker although Booth seems to have forgotten about him.

The second episode, while gross, presented further evidence of Brennan still feeling uncomfortable about privacy and intimate behaviour. Blurting out the sex of the child to Hodgins rather than Booth is thoughtless at best and selfish in the extreme. Booth takes it well though and while they were at loggerheads over where to live, he seems almost equivocal about missing the ultrasound appointment because Brennan thought he wasn't interested in the medical ie scientific aspect of parenting. She did show him the DVD though. I think the emotional aspects are still passing her by, which is a poor choice on Show's part because they are compartmentalising the pair into brain and heart when it just doesn't work like that. Is Brennan excited by the prospect of having a daughter? Does she want to share her feelings with us? Anytime soon would be nice.

Interestingly, this case was also able to feed into the coupledom because the victim was a young woman who had become pregnant and therefore was unable to fulfill her job as a competitive eater with the mega bucks available in Japan. The competition organiser pushed her in a fit of pique. It's rather simplistic to make the connection to Brennan, but Show seemed to want to do that.

The third episode continued on the theme of parenthood with the case revolving around toys. By this stage I think we get the pattern thank you. Also, the two of them seem to be permanently established at Booth's apartment and the domesticity is palpable. Brennan is now the little woman waiting for Booth to come in from work. He's all 'honey, I'm home' and pouring himself a well earned scotch (love the retro drinks cabinet) while telling her the woes of the case and work. They are not together all the time. Daisy and Sweets are out in the field with Booth (I am glossing over the way those two were used because.... *shudders*). Booth is not dropping into the lab to see how Brennan is or taking the opportunity to chat with Angela, or Cam, or bond with Jack. He's stuck with Sweets.

All in all, it's early days and the show is trying to be true to the characters while allowing us to see how the change in the partnership is working out. They are so used to writing UST however I sometimes think they have no idea how to resolve it satisfactorily all the time. Still, the two protagonists have never been in a relationship like this before - not even Booth as we don't know how involved he was with Rebecca when she was pregnant with Parker. Did she turn down his proposal and show him the door? That is a memory I would like to know about. Also, why have they not referred to Brennan's previous forays into parenthood be it the thinking behind using Booth's 'stuff' or the way she felt about Andy. These people do have a past, it's just sometimes Show fails to use it.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-20 07:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tempertemper.livejournal.com
Good ramblings, bb! ;)

These people do have a past, it's just sometimes Show fails to use it.

This is extremely true. LOL. That sounds like a Brennanism - but you're right. I definitely feel like they're setting these opportunities up and not always nailing them - I said to someone somewhere after last week, I know that us obsessees can fanwank / delve deeper but worry that those less invested won't see the things I want us all to be able to see - does this make sense?

In essence, I agree... opportunities missed. I am adoring seeing them together and just hope they are holding something in reserve for rest of season :)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-20 08:15 pm (UTC)
ext_2333: "That's right,  people, I am a constant surprise." (bb reading)
From: [identity profile] makd.livejournal.com
"they're setting these opportunities up and not always nailing them". Hello? That is SHOW. The writers are always setting up opportunities, and rarely nailing them. (Even when they nail them - as in the Angela & Brennan conversation in season 6 - they end up on the cutting room floor.)

Still: actors pretty, depth shallow, and I still love SHOW.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-20 08:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tempertemper.livejournal.com
LOL yes I should be used to it by now. WILL I NEVER LEARN???!

And yep, am with you on the still loving SHOW ;)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-21 11:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-mistletoe.livejournal.com
You are so wise. *nods*

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-21 11:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-mistletoe.livejournal.com
Gah! Notifications disappeared last night along with my desktop. At least that reappeared this morning, but not notifications.

Anyhoo you are so right about invested fans like what we are. trying to see the wood through the trees. Show was dealing with real life difficulties when they filmed these episodes so the opportunities couldn't be nailed every time. They never are. Once Emily's baby was born I'm sure everybody relaxed. If they draw breath and remember these are supposed to be people we know the second half of the season could be epic. *fingers crossed*

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-20 08:22 pm (UTC)
fourth_rose: (Bones 100th ep last scene)
From: [personal profile] fourth_rose
which is a poor choice on Show's part because they are compartmentalising the pair into brain and heart when it just doesn't work like that

Word - especially since for all their brain/heart discussions, B/B have never worked like that before either.

They are so used to writing UST however I sometimes think they have no idea how to resolve it satisfactorily all the time.

This is, to me, the heart of the problem - after three episodes, it seems to me that there still is no real "plan" how to deal with B/B as a couple. This is a huge change, so it's a time where the writers should dig deep, but we never really learn what's going on under the surface. I fully agree with your list of missed opportunities, and it adds to my impression that these episodes were thrown together in great haste without a general concept (probably partly due to the long renewal negotiations that put them on a very tight schedule because of ED's pregnancy). Hopefully they'll manage to put more depth into their storylines and character arches after the hiatus - I guess they should have a little more time then, especially with the 'Finder' out of the way too.
Edited Date: 2011-11-20 08:23 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-21 11:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-mistletoe.livejournal.com
I am right behind your theory that these were hastily put together because of time constraints, and hopefully they are going to use hiatus time wisely to construct more balanced episodes for the second half of the season.

it seems to me that there still is no real "plan" how to deal with B/B as a couple

It seems nobody knows what it means - not even B&B! I think the snippets we have had have been very nice but because the show is procedural they have been trying not to tip the balance into a romantic comedy which is leaving some of fandom dissatisfied. I'm sticking with it though!

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-20 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] limone1.livejournal.com
I like your randomosity.

Frequently, like here, Angela says something really insightful of Brennan and we do not get Brennan's views on the accuracy of her assessment [...] Furthermore, it is Angela that speaks to her about this, not Booth.

Exactly! As much as I like scenes with Angela and Brennan, there has been an awful lot of Angela explaining things to Brennan. I said in a comment to [livejournal.com profile] fourth_rose that she's behaved like Rain Man sometimes this new season.

They may have been living together for five months, but I wonder what they have been talking about all that time.

Spot on again! Obviously they do not talk about why they reason the way they do.

Now let's cancel Thanksgiving so we don't have to wait so long for the next epi ;)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-21 10:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-mistletoe.livejournal.com
Oh thanks for the feedback! Just because Brennan is experiencing something new I don't think she would go back to her default setting quite so starkly. However, she has Booth in her life as more than just a friend but he is not a mother and Angela is, so I suppose I can see why she is now the fount of all knowledge.

I don't have a Thanksgiving to cancel so I feel doubly robbed.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-21 07:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] limone1.livejournal.com
Angela giving advice as someone that just had a child and being there as a friend and for girl talk make sense. Still, I'd wish Booth and Brennan would have a few heart-to-hearts discussing some of the issues Brennan now talks to Angela about. They used to.

As I'm wishing for things; would it kill them to have a few scenes with Booth and Hodgins? Poor Sweets having to do all those scenes with Booth because ED may need some rest... Let Cam and Hodgins share the burden ;)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-21 08:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-mistletoe.livejournal.com
Hear hear on Cam and Jack shareage. I mean he's having to bond with interns when a man's man is what he needs; and so does Booth. I cannot buy gun toting Sweets. Oh new badge opportunity (;
Edited Date: 2011-11-21 08:25 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-21 01:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] huronia.livejournal.com
Thanks for the thinky thoughts. One of the failings of Show for me is that it simply tries to do so much. It's the procedural that wants to be about characters, but in doing so, sometimes both aspects are short-changed. I felt that the season premiere needed to be about 20 minutes longer in order to really get everything out of it that the producers wanted to give us. I didn't really feel the connection between Brennan and the case that we were (I think) supposed to feel.
Booth's apartment seems to be replacing the bar, for the time being, anyway. I believe that retro liquor cabinet was also in Cinderella in the Cardboard.
Although I am in one sense that ED's pregnancy has led to B/B being together, I do believe it has resulted in some production issues that have made the B/B storyline somewhat awkward. She is simply not as available and as a result we are getting bits of them, but not enough of them out and about together. I certainly understand the need for her to have reduced hours at this point in her pregnancy, but for me that is where their story is suffering. For example, how I would have loved to have the two of them investigating the crime scene in the last episode instead of Daisy. (although I did find her amusing). For this reason, I don't have alot of hope that we'll get much forward progression for b/b as a couple, but Show is Show and I still love it.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-21 10:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-mistletoe.livejournal.com
I think you have put your finger on how the realities of pregnancy have truncated the way Emily can appear and how Show has 'suffered' as a result. The leads being in a relationship is much trickier to handle than Hodgela was because these two are the centre. The focus of an episode has to be much more tightly written and they have missed the mark a bit.

I agree that Daisy out in the field turned out better than I imagined, though I found her Prince Charmington obsession a bit unrealistic but funny.

And yes, I still love Show!

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-23 12:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] va32h.livejournal.com
Late to the party but...I think the late start to the season + the time jump has created problems as well.

When I first heard about the planned time jump I worried because I figured it was a lose-lose situation.

Either we, the audience, will not see them resolve important issues (which would be interesting) or they will have not even mentioned them for several months, so that we can see them get resolved (which will say something Not-So-Good about their relationship).

Of course they ought to have discussed their living arrangements before the third trimester. Of course it's not like Brennan to flounder along with no particular plan. Of course most new parents at this stage would have a nursery, of course they would have talked about what kind of life they want to have together...

But all that would have had to happen offscreen. For us to see it, it has to be new and thus we get this "really? they haven't discussed any of this? Angela has to tell Brennan - hey you might want to look at some baby stuff???"

In a weird way it seems that B&B are both in some sort of denial! Like, "let's not really talk about it and somehow it will magically all work out."

Which would be really interesting actually - if it led to an explosion once reality came crashing down.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-11-23 09:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-mistletoe.livejournal.com
Oh hi! It is a conundrum, as you have said, whether to suspend disbelief and accept that the couple are playing things out having taken a 5 month break while pregnant or to just accept this is a television show and they have to do this discovery stuff on screen after a hiatus.

The denial route would have been interesting!


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