Memory Lane, Hiatus Style: Season 9 Edition

I had every intention of using the three-month (?) Bones break to disconnect from the show, and start watching something new in the interim. There are so many new shows out there, and so little time! I’ve failed at that resolution, but this is a new week, right?

(I’m blaming my terrible internet connection. It isn’t fast enough to stream anything for more than five minutes. Plus I live in Narnia, which means I can’t use all those nifty sites to catch up on anything. Which sucks because I really want to watch The Americans, dammit. But I digress.)

In any case, the reason I’ve failed is because a few days ago, I got the inkling to rewatch season 9. I kept remembering, in recent weeks, that it was a very strong one, yet I haven’t seen any of the episodes since they originally aired, thanks to a hectic work schedule this past year. And I was in the mood to really reconnect with the show, without any distractions. (God, I sound like a self-help book. What is wrong with me?!)

I’ve been watching about one episode a night before going to bed, and it’s been really illuminating. Sure, some plot holes are even more glaring since the dust has settled (how was Booth supposed to keep the engagement interruptus a secret exactly? Pelant’s “I want to challenge the entire squint squad to prove I’m smarter than all of them combined– lol jokes I’m really in love with Brennan and want to make her my queen” schtick, etc.), but on the other hand, what’s even more obvious now is how well-crafted the storylines were, at least for the first four episodes I’ve watched so far. I love the arcs that were carried through consistently in them — the Pelant threat, Sweets’ professional anxiety, even Angela’s anger at Booth. It’s much more serialized than this show usually is, and for someone like me who loves character-driven stories, it was the cherry on the sundae.

For some reason, I feel the need to talk about them, despite the fact that I already wrote novel-length recaps for most of the episodes. I’m kinda taking a page out of thetvmouse’s books and going over a couple of episodes per post like she has for her excellent X-Files commentary. (Go read them, if you’re a fan of the show, because they’re brilliant.) Basically, I’m summing up at the end of each DVD disc, because that’s how I roll. Maybe I should wait until I get to the end of the season and do one giant post-mortem instead, but what would be the fun in that? Hell, I might do one at the end, anyway.

So onward and upwards for season 9! It’s the year that brought us national treasure Aldo Clemens (WHEN IS HE RETURNING?!), an end to Pelant (in retrospect I’m almost sad to see him go), a wedding (at last!) and a funeral (… of sorts), and all kinds of things in between.

1. The Secrets in the Proposal

Oh, the pain, you guys. Everyone is miserable, and no one knows what to do about it.

What strikes me even more this time around is how amazing the performances are, especially from Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz.

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 9.14.21 PM
Welp.

Booth is edgy, frazzled, and totally paranoid, while also scared out of his mind — both of what Pelant will pull next, and of what Brennan will ultimately do about their relationship. He’s a bit in denial about how bad things are, as he is wont to do, and it takes Cam to knock some sense into him that Brennan won’t put up with this forever. Booth is usually so cocky and sure of himself, so to see him “tin-foil hat paranoid” with Aldo is unlike anything we’ve seen from him in the previous eight years. It’s jarring, to be honest, yet makes perfect sense given the pressure he’s under.

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 9.13.12 PM
Excuse you, how are you for real?

On the other hand, Brennan is borderline (or actually) depressed, which is also completely out of the norm for her. She hardly has any life to her eyes; even her affect has changed, and she’s much more subdued and reserved than usual. I remember her looking sad when this first aired, but this was a whole new ballgame, even beyond season 6’s trauma. She isn’t eating, she seems like she probably isn’t sleeping much either, she isn’t interested in anything, and she looks lost in space whenever anyone tries to engage with her, whether it’s Booth at the crime scene, Angela at the diner, or Cam at work. It’s no wonder she reaches a boiling point here: it’s no way to live, and she realizes it, even if it’s going to break her heart. Again, it’s a Brennan unlike any we’ve ever seen, and I have to give Emily Deschanel major credit for that.

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 9.14.41 PM
It hurts so bad

Another thing that struck me all over again was how great their respective support systems are. Sweets and Caroline are both worried about Booth, because this whole proposal takeback is  out of character for him, as is the rest of his behaviour, but they don’t know what to do about it. Cam has to straddle both lines: she was Booth’s friend first and knows him the best, but she sees Brennan everyday and has become close to her, too. (Reminder that I really want to write that Cam essay someday.) Which is how she’s able to point out that they’re both miserable and that means they still care. Then there’s Angela who will defend Brennan to the death, as per usual, and she doesn’t care what gets in her way. (Especially Booth.) And Hodgins, who very serenely intuits that there’s something else going on with Booth and that they need to butt out, for both their sakes.

Baby come back to me
Baby come back to me

Plus, Aldo. I remember being a little irked that they were dropping this brand-new character into season 9 who would have this backstory with Booth we’d never heard of, because that’s usually a plot device of Cousin Oliver proportions. Instead, he was awesome. He has a very different dynamic with both Booth and Brennan, and they both work. He’s the crusty, bitter tough-love guy with Booth, but he’s enchanted (and enamoured) by Brennan, yet still able to hold his own with her. I know Mather Zickel is super busy on award-winning shows like Masters of Sex now, but I so, so want him to come back now. And not in an alternate universe in which he’s a sexist pig with a bad English accent in 1950s Hollywood.

(It also made me think that there should be an essay about how Hart Hanson addresses religion in this show, because it’s fascinating, but that’s a whole other tangent.)

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 9.16.49 PMThat last scene, though, is a thing of beauty. Booth certain that Brennan has finally given up on him, then completely relieved when she tells him she hasn’t. I thought Booth was near tears there, so kudos to David Boreanaz. I’m still a little miffed at Brennan being the one to apologize to Booth, when she didn’t do anything wrong and was right to be fed up with his behaviour, but, I don’t dwell on it, because otherwise the scene is so lovely. Brennan is so calm and self-assured and back to being the woman we know and love who is in love, and proves she is the rock in their family.

I had a lot more feelings, but I watched this last week and didn’t take notes, so consider yourselves spared. (Plus, there is that whole recap I wrote, too. I haven’t even read it.)

Wait, this is the episode with Freddie Prinze Jr. right? Whatever happened to Danny? And his CIA job offer? I must know these things.

2. The Cheat in the Retreat

I’m going to admit off the bat that I really love this episode, and enjoy it even more on each subsequent viewing.

Just a regular Saturday night where I live
Just a regular Saturday night where I live

Yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out: Booth and Brennan are forced to go undercover to a marriage retreat to catch a killer, but they just broke off their own engagement! Oh the potential for layers — which is completely ignored! Then they have to go to a sharing circle and someone asks if “Tony” ever keeps secrets from her and we all yell YES HE IS and implore “Roxie” to bring that up, and instead we get them fighting over Booth’s beer helmet and Brennan’s tribal art. It’s a wasted opportunity, absolutely. But you know what? I’m fine with it now, especially knowing how they bring the actual secrets up two episodes from now. Booth and Brennan had a job to do here, and bringing up your friendly neighbourhood serial killer’s machinations in a roomful of strangers is probably not conducive to that. Besides, I’m choosing to believe Brennan’s pointed look towards Booth when asked about his secrets is a nod to it all.

Brennan vs. the Beer Helmet round 43
Brennan vs. the Beer Helmet round 43

Moreover, what I loved about this is that we get a glimpse into Domestic!B&B that we never would otherwise. Sure, we get the teaser or tag scenes with breakfast or post-case drinks, usually involving bickering, but we don’t see them fighting over leaving the toilet seat up or interior design choices. Which I don’t think I ever would want to see on a regular basis, but it worked within the context of this episode. I love how “Roxie” unintentionally drops the accent when she brings up the beer helmet, indicating that this is not undercover fake-irritation, but real-life Brennan irritation at Booth’s quirks. (Man, that beer helmet sure has gotten a lot of mileage on this show.) Just like how we know the “African fertility statue” must be the bane of real-life Booth’s existence when he rants about that. (Um, I take it Brennan wasn’t kidding when she said she was inspired by it, ifyouknowwhatImean later this year.)

Yet, what was the best part of this episode is how well Booth and Brennan work together, both professionally and personally. As always, they are a team, on all fronts, and are at their best together. It’s why Pelant’s plans (spoiler alert) will never work. Like Brennan would later say, they really are bound to one another.

Plus, Bill and Evelyn are adorable, even if they’re homicidal. Is that weird to say? Frankly, this time around, they reminded me of what Max and Ruth Keenan would probably have been like — you know, old-timer conmen (con people?) robbing people while being desperately in love with one another? No wonder Brennan felt such kinship with them. (Or why Booth thought they were “the greatest couple ever.”)

Happy Brennan is happy
Happy Brennan is happy

Again, Brennan? Is so completely serene. Not in a scary, medicalized way, but in a way only someone completely sure of herself and her relationships can be. Like when Angela asks her what she learned about her relationship with Booth at the retreat, and she says that she realized their relationship is “very good” compared to most — understatement of the century, right? But she’s just so, so happy at that, and not even Angela’s snark can harsh her mellow. (Actually, if I think about it, that serenity and zen has carried through into season 10, now.)

Keep going G-man
Keep going G-man

That grace follows through in the last scene. I mean, sure, it’s all about Booth and Brennan G-rated sexytimes where we don’t actually see anything, but Brennan is just so confident in both of them, and again is the rock of their relationship. She wants to reconnect through their “energy,” because she wants to nurture their relationship. She’s just so goddamn smiley, you guys. It’s so wonderful to see compared to earlier seasons. And Booth can’t help but be charmed by it, either. Which is why he must kiss her senseless. Ah, stupid beautiful babies.

On the serious side, Sweets’ building frustration (which I lOVED LOVED LOVED) comes to a head, and he decides to take a leave of absence, and it breaks my heart but in a totally brilliant way. THIS is how Sweets should have been written out (and was, originally — damn you movie studios and your messing with John Francis Daley’s schedule), and I would have bought it hook, line and sinker.

3. El Carnicero en el Coche

Is this the first episode to be titled in a language other than English?

You know what, I’ve been a big fan of all the bonus episodes in seasons 8 and 9 and think they’re vastly underrated, which I take it is an unpopular opinion in the fandom. However, the reason why this one appeals to me in particular is because it follows through on the stories we’ve established this season. Whereas the other bonus episodes in these two seasons were meant to fit just about anywhere, this one was obviously written to be exactly where it was, with mentions of Pelant’s carnage and Sweets’ departure. So, I take this less as a “bonus” episode, and more an episode that was shot out of order. Anyway.

Actual 12 year old Sweets
Actual 12 year old Sweets

Yes, the case is totally heavy-handed. Gangs are bad! Mothers who are in gangs are especially bad because they will choose the gang over their children in a heartbeat! Kids in gangs don’t stand a chance! etc. But that’s kind of par for the course on this show. As usual, the more compelling part is the individual stories, namely Sweets feeling like he needs to make a difference, in light of Pelant using his profession against him in season 8. Sweets probably did need professional help himself, but obviously no one in his circle was willing to cast the first stone. I loved seeing him so desperate to connect to Javier, as if making a difference in just this one kid’s life could be the road to salvation for him. Sigh. Poor Sweets. This really was Sweets at his best — his kindness and generosity were overwhelming, and while the odds were stacked against Javier, you knew he at least had a fighting chance with Sweets in his corner. (I take it now that Sweets is gone, Javier is screwed.)

I also loved how worried everyone was for Sweets, because he is their Baby Duck after all. If only that story could have carried on for longer throughout the season — even though now I totally understand why it didn’t. (Short version: Sweets really was supposed to take a leave of absence from the show while Daley shot the new National Lampoon’s Vacation movie. At the last minute, the project was put on hold, but the episodes were already in the can. Hence his quick turnaround in the next episode. And why he was written off permanently in season 10.) And honourable mention goes to Brennan astutely pointing out the realities of gang life on kids, as tough as it is to hear. She’s nothing if not accurate, yet it feels less like an anthropology lesson from her and more like the voice of experience. (Not that Brennan’s been in gangs, but that she’s come across it all to often in her work.) And to Javier for being adorable in the midst of so much tragedy in his life. He must be the most sympathetic killer the show’s ever had, am I right?

Plus, it gave us the whole gang (including Caroline!) hanging out at the Founding Fathers for drinks after work, which I desperately missed, so there’s that!

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 8.33.13 PM

 

4. The Sense in the Sacrifice

This one was a total revelation to me.

I haven’t given this episode a second thought since it originally aired. I definitely think it got stuck in the “ding dong the witch is dead”/thank god Pelant is finished/YAY B&B CAN FINALLY GET MARRIED hoopla last year. I remember feeling underwhelmed when it aired for a variety of reasons, namely that after all this time, Pelant’s true motivation was simply that he was in love with Brennan, and that Booth’s proposal really wasn’t much of a proposal.

Now, I repent.

Yes, those two factors still irk me a little, but instead what I take out of this episode is just how action-packed it is.

I love that the entire team is brought into relief here. Everyone is at the top of their game, and we get to watch it all.

Badass Brennan is badass
Badass Brennan is badass

However, Brennan, as always, is my homegirl, and I feel like she is especially well lauded, and not just because she is the object of a serial killer’s affections. She’s in almost every scene, and she’s the glue that holds the team together. Everything is designed to show us how brilliant Brennan is, and not in a showboating, superficial kind of way, but in the way that made Brennan so compelling from the start: her brain works in ways no one else’s does. It’s caused her pain and strife in the past, but it’s also what makes her so good at what she does. I had so many thoughts while watching this last night, but of course now can’t remember any of them. Such is life.

And on a totally shallow note, she looks fabulous while hunting down a serial killer. Basically, everything she chooses to be in this episode harkens back to the pilot, and I love it.

Moreover, Aldo’s back! And again, he’s got scenes with both of the Bs! He’s a sounding board for Booth and his dilemma over killing Pelant, and he’s a confidant for Brennan when she wants to know where Booth’s head is at. Seriously, he could go rogue and be a PI with Booth if they ever went down that road.

Wildcard bitches!
Wildcard bitches!

In retrospect, yes, the Pelant seduction reveal is trite, but it makes sense in its own way. I do love the scene where Sweets bursts into Booth’s office with his Eureka moment, because it’s just so him. (Sniff. Baby Duck.) Especially when he corners Booth about Pelant interfering with his relationship with Brennan — you know that Sweets has been wondering about this for months, but finally had a valid, professional reason to bring it up, and his intuition is right. Aw, Baby Duck. And let’s be honest, who isn’t in love with Brennan, right?

I mean, I’m still a little disappointed that after Pelant’s awesome introduction in “Crack in the Code” in season 7, where he was a foil for the entire team put together and seemed to be targeting each member individually, starting with Hodgins, it turns out he was doing it all for Brennan so he could club her over the head and sneak her off to his lair. It seems so pedestrian, in an odd way, but just like I said back then, I suppose that’s the point — that this brilliant evil genius is consumed by his basic desires as much as anyone else.

LOVE THIS
LOVE THIS

That being said, he entertained me so much more this time around. I love him confronting Brennan in Limbo like he’s getting ready for school. I love him challenging her and making her unsure of herself, because it’s delicious to watch Brennan struggle with it (and will be for the rest of the season, if memory serves me right). I love that Brennan admires Pelant’s genius while abhorring his actions. I love him sparring with them both. I love that he introduced the Ghost Killer concept, because that was a brilliant way to tie the entire season together and move from one arc to the next seamlessly. And I absolutely guffaw every time he tells her “I tried to design the explosion to shield you from the blast, but nobody’s perfect!” like he just ordered her her favourite flowers or something. Maybe this is a case of the grass being greener on the other side, but yeah, I admit now that I almost kind of miss the weasel, because he was such a great foil for everyone. (If only he had stayed “local” in his criminality, instead of turning into Dr. Evil with the drones.) I only wanted his story over with because he’d become such a cartoon, but in hindsight, the idea of Pelant was a great narrative choice, to me, even if the execution was sometimes a little lacking.

I also enjoyed watching Booth wrestle with how to handle Pelant. He’s always been the White Knight, even when he has to do something bad (like killing someone), so to see him admit that he wished he’d killed Pelant months ago when he had the chance was a big deal. He knows, ethically, the guy should be caught alive, but his gut says Pelant needs to be stopped permanently. So how do you sanction that? Well, lucky for him he has Brennan, who basically takes the choice out of his hands. We rarely get that much insight into Sniper!Booth, so it was a cool exercise. In addition, I loved seeing Cam be the one to teach us about Booth — i.e. “I feel bad for Pelant because he just killed someone who saved Booth’s life so he’s dead meat” — because I love her friendship with him and want to see more of that. Thanks for the nod, Show. (Man, what I wouldn’t give to see Brennan and Cam shoot the shit re: Booth one day.)

Oh yeah, Flynn! Poor Flynn! Your last year of life sucked ass. Maybe you and Sweets can share umbrella drinks in Bones heaven and commiserate over unceremonious exits?

Poor baby
Poor baby

Of course, there’s the (non-)proposal. Look, I’m not gonna lie, for whatever reason I don’t even understand myself, I wish Booth had uttered the words “Will you marry me?” after that sweet scene — and now that I have watched it again, I’m just going to pretend he did once the camera shifted back to the squints. What I noticed this time was how quiet and shy and nervous Booth got once he broached the subject with Brennan — again, it’s unlike any Booth we’ve ever seen. Brennan’s stood by him through thick and thin when she had every reason to give up on him, which essentially proves her point that she’s with him for life, but he’s still worried she might say no if he asks for real — and it’s so sweet, oddly. So I loved the emotion behind the scene, and I give them all props for that.

Plus, who doesn’t love a little meta commentary from the squints? “I feel like we missed a whole bunch.”/”Who cares, we were here for the big happy ending.” — I see what you did there, Show.

Hearts in their eyes. They are us and we are them.
Hearts in their eyes. They are us and we are them.

Anyway, what I’m saying is that on this rewatch, an episode I remember as being merely “OK” now ranks up there with the likes of “Two Bodies in the Lab” and “Aliens in a Spaceship” in terms of pacing and suspense.

Well, that’s the first four episodes of season 9. Think I can keep this going for the next 18?

13 thoughts on “Memory Lane, Hiatus Style: Season 9 Edition

  1. Ahhh yay!! You’re so right–this is a much more serialized show than Bones usually is, or at least much more serialized than it’s been since segments of seasons 2,3, and 5. Which are my favorite seasons, so I’m sensing a common thread.

    I LOVED David and Emily’s acting in the premiere. They were so unsure of themselves and their relationship in a way that I think only reinforced the eventual need for a wedding. I never NEEDED Brennan and Booth to marry; not that I was at all opposed, but all I really needed was to know that they were committed to each other. But I think Brennan realized in this whole experience that, despite her own views on marriage (which, yes, were already vastly softer by season 9), she wanted Booth to want to get married. She needed it. It’s who he is, and if Booth didn’t want that from her, then she was always going to feel insecure. So even though Pelant’s role was contrived, I appreciated that element of the story and felt like it was really true to B&B, who give each other permission to express desires they don’t even know they have.

    “Keep going G-man.” I see what you did there.

    I have such a soft spot for Sweets in his denim jacket, telling Booth how it’s going to be.

    I wanted a slightly more official “proposal” from Booth the first time around, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that this just means we get to keep the beef jerky proposal as the official one. And that’s pretty great.

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    1. Aah, I can see how those seasons would be more serialized, and why they’d be your favourites! The 100th episode-season finale arc in season 5 is pretty much my favourite story arc of the series thus far, because it was so consistent and deliberate. (I think the Ghost Killer/promotion arc at the end of season 9 is maybe a close second in how deliberately it set up the story every episode.) The show is *so* good at doing these kinds of stories. I understand why they don’t regularly (syndication/casual viewers/large writing room), but they seem to really shine when they do allow themselves that.

      Aah, I hadn’t thought about B&B being unsure of themselves reinforcing *why* they needed to get married, but now that you said it, it makes total sense, and I love that take on it! I’m in the same boat — I never *needed* them to get married, as long as they were sure of where they stood with each other, but this whole experience kind of reinforced to Brennan that she wants Booth to get what he wants if it’s that important to him, and that when he starts giving up on those dreams that make him *him* is when she starts questioning everything.

      (Like, it’s not that Brennan wants to give up all her own desires for Booth’s at all. It’s that Booth’s faith is one of the inherent “Boothy” qualities that makes him him, and when he started to give up on that during the Pelant business, it’s when she started questioning *everything*, because if he could have changed so drastically on that, did that mean he’d change his mind about *them*, too? Does that make any sense?)

      Aaaaaaah, I love how you said they “give each other permission to express desires they don’t even know they have” because that is SO TRUE and so perfectly said. Isn’t that what the season 4 finale is all about, when you think about it? It’s all about Brennan expressing her secret desires to Booth, even if it’s subconscious.

      As soon as Brennan and Booth started undressing each other in “Cheat,” I knew there was only one appropriate reaction, so I’m glad you did see it, heh.

      Oh God, anytime Sweets wears casual clothes, my heart swells for his baby-ness. Especially in that denim jacket, because really, what adult male still wears denim jackets in 2013? I love Sweets putting on his big boy pants. Sniff.

      Yeah, I’ve definitely accepted Booth’s non-proposal by now too. I mean it’s not like I was ever angry about it like some fans were, but it was more like, “… really?” I’ve heard lots of people justify it, like you did, that Brennan’s proposal gets to be the only one now, so I’ve gone with that too. Because beef jerky really is beautiful. (Aah there’s another essay about the non-traditional proposals/weddings on this show and what they say about the individual relationships etc.)

      I can’t wait to see where this season goes, even though I’ve already seen it! But it’s like watching through fresh eyes now. When I was writing my “favourite Bones things of 2014” post last week, I started feeling really warm and fuzzy about season 9, for some reason, so it should be interesting.

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      1. Oh my gosh, season 5 was the height of my emotional investment in Bones, mostly because it’s the year I discovered the show, but also because it’s SO driven by B&B’s feelings for each other. I still can’t watch the season five finale (LOVE Brennan’s story but can’t handle the fact that they had Parker tell Booth to go to war/ it makes me so sad that Booth feels so unwanted/ I know angst is coming), but everything else after the 100th is SO strong. I melted at “Bones, you are the standard,” and I just remember in that moment having absolute confidence in the show’s direction. It’s so cool that they can be so open with each other about their feelings in the aftermath of that kind of heartbreak. That’s why the 100th had to happen the way it did; before they could act on their feelings, they had to acknowledge them, to each other and to themselves.

        YES. That makes total sense. If Booth can change his mind on marriage, then he can change his mind on anything. Brennan worries when she can’t get a handle on where Booth is at, because he’s usually so consistent, which she appreciates. It’s like Dentist in the Ditch; she was lost when Booth was so cynical about Jared, because that wasn’t her Booth. She didn’t know what to do about the fact that he wasn’t putting his faith in love, even when she had yet to articulate that SHE had any faith in love.

        The season 4 finale is SO important. It’s a shared dream. Her books are a safe place for her to fantasize about a relationship with Booth, and he goes with her to that place because he wants it too. Agh. Nothing I love about season 5 would be possible without that weird little episode. I get why people were upset, but I just think it’s so brilliant to watch them go to a happy place and then struggle to reconcile it with reality.

        Hahaha only Sweets. Only Sweets still wears denim jackets. Baby duck.

        I’m with you on the “really” aspect of the way he re-proposed. Because he basically didn’t, and I feel like he would want to. But I would totally read an essay on the non-traditional proposals/ engagements/ weddings of Bones!

        Yayyyy season 9. I hadn’t given it much thought before now, honestly. This’ll be fun!

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        1. Ah, I’ve heard a lot of people express irritation that Parker was the driving force behind Booth going to war in the season 5 finale. I think it’s stupid and a terrible plot device, but I think because I didn’t start watching until after season 6, I didn’t really care, because I knew it was going to all work out by the next year. I totally feel you on it, though. (Then again, I’m… not a fan of Parker, lol. Well not post-Season 5 Parker.)

          But yeah, as painful as the 100th was, I think it was necessary in the end. I mean, obviously the writers could have chosen to end it differently (i.e. them getting together) and would have made it work, but I really like seeing their journeys. Because I get kind of squicked out by stories were guys (or girls) pine over their “beloved” to their own detriment, because I find it makes the power dynamics so unbalanced in a relationship. So I like that season 6 explored how Booth had to kind of learn to be his own guy and recognize his own needs, you know? And obviously same with Brennan — she had to learn she was worthy of love and capable of giving love and her world wouldn’t end like it did when she was 15.

          Brennan definitely worries when Booth flip-flops. He’s like her barometer, and if he goes wildly off-course, her world gets thrown off its axis too. (Just like how she flipped out at him when he decided to go rogue and kill the dude he thought killed Sweets, because it wasn’t him.) “She didn’t know what to do about the fact that he wasn’t putting his faith in love, even when she had yet to articulate that SHE had any faith in love.” YESSS I love the way you put that so much.

          Oh my goodness, the season 4 finale. Words cannot express how much I love it and how integral I find it to the series. (No, seriously. I wrote an essay about it this summer, and that’s not even counting the gigantic word-vomit of a recap I wrote years before that.) I get people being disappointed in it because I assume at the time it was promoted as being Booth and Brennan consummating their relationship and it obviously wasn’t real. Which is probably why one should never be in a fandom, haha. No expectations that way! Anyway, I love it for the same reasons you said — it says SO MUCH about Brennan and Booth’s mindsets. That Brennan does dream of “stopping the damn car” so to speak, and actually having a family and sharing herself with someone without being terrified that she’s going to lose herself or her family in the process. Meanwhile, we find out for realsies that Booth is desperately in love with Brennan and isn’t even denying it to himself anymore. I get that people don’t like it because it’s not “Booth and Brennan,” but frankly I think it’s way more “Booth and Brennan” than the 200th was, since this LITERALLY CAME FROM BRENNAN’S MIND. Anyway. I could go on all night about it, and have.

          Yeah, I feel like Booth would have felt it his duty to give Brennan an actual proposal after the way he renegged on hers in the season 8 finale. He’s a guy who likes the gestures. I know a few years ago I wrote another kind of essay about the parallels between Booth and Brennan’s relationship and Angela and Hodgins’, but that was pre-engagement — I should write an epilogue to it about the non-traditional unions on this show, now.

          Thanks so much for reading and commenting and discussing with me even though I’m a crazy person. I hadn’t given season 9 any thought either until last week, and I figure now’s the time to do it, right? (I’m even hoping maybe my enthusiasm for season 9 might rub off and help me swallow season 10 if I manage to rewatch *that*.)

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          1. YES, I really liked that about season six; Booth and Brennan both had to learn to stand on their own while they figured things out. And it’s funny that when Booth decided that the person he wanted to be with was more important than the traditional settled life he always wanted, he eventually got both. (Shades of Hodgins and Angela?? Please write about non-traditional Bones unions.) Whereas for Brennan, like you said, it was about putting her desire for Booth ahead of her fear that she didn’t deserve the life he’d always wanted–while also realizing that she wanted it too. Brennan made it possible for Booth to have the life he always wanted, and Booth made it possible for Brennan to have a life she never even considered.

            YESSSS Brennan wants to get out of the damn car.

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            1. Oh man, that challenge might be accepted shortly. You’ve got me thinking. I went back to read the comparison I made a few years ago to see where I’d left off (here https://imnotnormalimextraordinary.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/thats-what-friends-are-for/) but that’s, like, three seasons ago, and I think there’s enough material now to write a Part 2 to that post. I’m going to have to ruminate on that now. So thanks for that! As if I needed to write more about this show, haha.

              “Brennan made it possible for Booth to have the life he always wanted, and Booth made it possible for Brennan to have a life she never even considered.” Holy shit this may be the most beautiful thing I’ve ever read about this show. Like, it should be on a fridge magnet or something. SO MUCH THIS. I think you need to send that to Hart Hanson or Stephen Nathan so they can use it as their new talking point when talking about the show or something, because it’s so brilliant and concise. That is exactly it!

              You know, I’m not the biggest fan of the Hannah arc in Season 6, but on the whole, it’s a season I enjoy more and more the further removed we are from it. It was just so rich in their individual characters’ stories, which made the eventual union of B&B all the more interesting. (Like, despite how irritating Hannah’s presence could be at times, she was almost worth it for Brennan and Max’s conversation in “Bullet in the Brain” alone where he goes all Protective Dad on her and is all “you’re smarter and prettier so there.” ALL THE BRENNAN FAMILY BACKSTORY PLEASE. But this is a whole other tangent.)

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  2. I loved reading this and look forward to see the rest of the commentary. You know I also love S9 for so many reasons, and this made me feel everything. (TBT to when I had time to watch more than half an episode of anything at a time.)

    The premiere was just crushing. So much pain, but by the end of the hour, there is a lot of hope. Plus, Aldo my love!!! As you say, his introduction might have gone terribly wrong but he was awesome and I want more of it, please and thank you. His scene with Brennan, in which he reassures her Booth does want to marry her (even more than she him) is still one of my favorite things. It floors me.
    Plus, come on. Mather Zickel was in like, 1, 2? episodes of MOS last season? They should make time for him, dammit.

    I unapologetically love Cheat so much. Sure, there could’ve been so many unresolved issues explored but I loved it wanted to be light and fun, while showing us B&B has a pretty amazing relationship. Brennan is also just a ray of sunshine and I want to be everything she is. Plus, I love Bill and Evelyn a whole lot, even if they’re murderers.

    Carnicero is one episode I haven’t thought about a lot but I remember liking it quite a bit. Fun fact: I didn’t rewatch it with some of the others because, for some reason, FOX Spain didn’t rerun it (when they reran a bunch of them all together). That Sweets storyline was really well done, and it’s a shame movies are the worst and took him away from us later than they should’ve (I hate they couldn’t use this again, I guess). I know the murder might have been heavy-handed but its resolution was quite crushing, if only because the little murderer reminded me so much of my brother.
    THAT LAST SCENE, THOUGH. ;________;

    And yeah, Secrets is so action-packed and I truly enjoyed it. The show doesn’t do them often, but its action episodes keep me in the edge of my seat. Aldo is again super fabulous and I’d love it if you pitched Hart your PI show idea. (S11 PLOT TWIST!) Pelant is fascinating and I just like Andrew Leeds in the role a lot… Plus, he always brought interesting traits in the characters — and I love what you mention re: Booth and his moral dilemmas.
    And heh, I accept your headcanon re: the proposal. I do think there was more during and after, though I like the simplicity of it — it doesn’t take anything from Brennan’s and there is banter! And aww the meta commentary.

    (I didn’t mention it, but David and Emily rock this season, and so does everyone. But Emily, man.)

    Anyways. I don’t want to write a lot. (That observation below about why Brennan would want marriage makes sense and basically puts what I always thought in a more concise way.)

    Can’t wait to see what you do with the next *twenty*! 😛 I look forward to reading them all, even if I might fall behind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know you love Aldo! You even did an homage to him! Haha. Is Mather Zickel only in two episodes of MoS? I was under the impression he was a regular. Well come on then, Show! I’m sure Booth needs a lot of divine intervention these days.

      LOL, S11 plot twist indeed! Come on! *Grumble I’d watch it over New Guy Agent grumble* (Sorry I swear I’m not really that bitter.) Poor Andrew Leeds will never not be creepy to me now, even though he’s such a babyface that otherwise he would only play nice guys. Pelant really was an amalgamation of the entire squint squad, and now that the dust has settled, I can appreciate it a lot more.

      Emily Deschanel definitely owned the season. (Just like I think she has so far S10 — and she’s had the least screen time.) Then again maybe I feel she owns every season oops? But she’s done some of her best work lately.

      Feel free to write however much you want!

      Holy crap, are there 20 more episodes? I can’t count.

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      1. I think he’s been in a couple of episodes per season, yeah. I think he might have been doing some other stuff but dammit, show. I’m pretty sure they still talk to him quite a bit.

        Aw, I still like Aubrey but I know, haha. But yeah, Andrew Leeds can be super creepy but since I started watching Cristela, I find him super adorable, too. And I agree, re: Pelant. He was a pretty good foil to all of them, and even if they could’ve gone different paths with him, I respect the ones they went down to.

        Emily Deschanel rocks, the end. It might be because they’re fresher in my mind, but she’s been *so* good in the last couple of seasons — maybe because she can switch between happy!Brennan and the shades we saw before, too.

        Haha, yes! S8 and S9 have 24 episodes because of the bonus episodes. S10 will have 22 again, though! But don’t worry. (Sleepy Hollow has 18 this year. FOX is weird, haha.)

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Yep! That’s why half this season has felt like filler — they had a longer season this year. It’s also taking this Monday off, iirc. I don’t get anything, haha.

            I know!! I miss him a lot.

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  3. I really liked season 9 and I’m watching it again just for fun. A lot of the episodes were really intense, sort of carrying on from season 8, so it was kind of nice to get a break even the the gang episode was intense in a different way. The little boy in that episode can really act, I think.

    I know this may be an unpopular opinion, but I thought Booth’s proposal was just perfect. He had waited so many years…I think maybe ever since he met Brennan….for that minute. It was taken from him by Pelant, but once he realized he could have that moment back, feelings just bubbled up and he couldn’t wait another second. He had to say what he felt, even if it wasn’t the most romantic speech ever spoken. To my way of thinking it was very romantic….but I’m weird that way. When Brennan told Booth it would be his turn next to ask her to marry him, he said he would as soon as he could, and he was a man of his word in that respect.

    ED and DB really set a high standard in acting with these episodes, especially Secrets in the Proposal. I almost knew what “discussions” or lack thereof the characters were having off screen just by the way they were behaving in their scenes together. Lack of eye contact and discomfort around each other was so well portrayed. All the cast did well.

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    1. The little boy in the gang episode was really good. Funnily enough, he’s in one of the Visit California commercials, and every time I see him laughing and running on the beach, I keep thinking, “YOU SHOULD BE IN WITNESS PROTECTION YOUNG MAN!”

      I don’t think your opinion about the proposal is unpopular at all. In fact, i think it’s the prevailing opinion I’ve seen in most forums (e.g. Tumblr/Twitter). I had no problem with the spontaneity of the proposal at all, it was just the language is all. Different strokes for different folks.

      Totally agree with you about how DB and ED sell everything with their acting. Secrets in the Proposal was a wonderful showcase for that.

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