BONES 11×04 Debriefing: “Watch Your Tone, Whetzel!”

BONES:  L-R:  Guest star Betty White and Emily Deschanel in the "The Carpals in the Coy-Wolves" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:

Last night’s Bones was a really fun episode, and Betty White’s special guest turn as Dr. Beth Mayer was just the icing on the cake — not just because she’s Betty freaking White, one of the greatest, but because she just perfectly fit into this world.

So read on for more on the delight that was “The Carpals in the Coywolves”…

THE CASE

Justin Ross, realtor and fantasy football aficionado, is found dead in the woods. Even though his skull was shattered to pieces, expert Dr. Beth Mayer (who first developed the base the Angelatron uses) advices Angela to enlarge the particles to make the digital reconstruction easier.

BONES:  L-R:  Michaela Conlin, Emily Deschanel and Betty White in the "The Carpals in the Coy-Wolves" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:

BONES: L-R: Michaela Conlin, Emily Deschanel and Betty White in the “The Carpals in the Coy-Wolves” episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr:

Turns out, Ross stayed until late (9 pm-ish) working; the other co-worker (Chris Winfelder) who stayed until then is the one who points them towards the fantasy football world — and to look at his bank account, as well. Luckily for the team (and us!), Dr. Mayer is twice a fantasy football champion and she and Booth can explain to Brennan (and us) all about this statistical game played in teams of twelve or so people. As they dig deeper into the culture, they find a video that went viral in which Justin, winner of their league, shoots paintballs to the loser, Craig Smith.

Thus, Aubrey pays him a visit, in which he reveals the video wasn’t really serious — and neither were the threats to kill him. He does point him towards Lou Divers, a football star, as Ross and he recently engaged in a nasty twitter feud.

BONES:  L-R:  Tamara Taylor, Emily Deschanel and guest star Betty White in the "The Carpals in the Coy-Wolves" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:

BONES: L-R: Tamara Taylor, Emily Deschanel and guest star Betty White in the “The Carpals in the Coy-Wolves” episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr:

Back at the lab, we see indications of the possible cause of death, but there are too many missing bones to be able to know what it could be. Hodgins and Wells then head to the woods to look for the missing small bones. After some fun shenanigans (including Wells accidentally shooting Hodgins with the tranquilizer gun, and consequently drugged Hodgins), the guys find the missing bones buried in a pile of defecation thanks to the GPS in the extra steps Fitbit Fitstep recorded.

While they were in their fun excursion, Brennan later finds the shattered acromium is due to perimortem injuries, and a nick to the interior of the scapula, similar to the wrist’s. She and Booth also pay a visit to the league commissioner (who works at a sandwich shop), who owed Justin a lot of money. Moreover, Angela uncovers that Ross was the reason Winfelder, the coworker, lost his (three-generation owned!) home to foreclosure because he missed the last meeting. Winfelder reveals that this wasn’t due to fantasy football, but to a lady who turns out to be Ashlei Smith, Craig’s wife. Ashlei felt ignored by her husband, who only seemed to care about fantasy football. However, Craig did know about the affair as she had recently told him during a heated argument. His reaction? He left, slamming the door after him.

BONES:  L-R:  Emily Deschanel and guest star Betty White  in the "The Carpals in the Coy-Wolves" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:

BONES: L-R: Emily Deschanel and guest star Betty White in the “The Carpals in the Coy-Wolves” episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr:

Concurrently, the team is making some progress with the murder weapon thanks to the newly found (and cleaned) missing bones. The cause of death seems to be being stabbed twice with a cylindrical weapon — killer used identical force for both marks. Might it be a contractor gun, like Craig’s? Even though he owns one, he did not kill Ross after learning of his wife’s infidelity: he just wanted to trade his Aaron Rodgers in exchange for his forgiveness. This was all for nothing, as they couldn’t trade because of collusion.

At the lab, Brennan finds the same puncture wounds from the scapula in the carpals, but with much less force. Dr. Mayer relates that the weapon must have stabbed him at the same time. Hodgins found some pig in the coywolves — not the farm kind, but the salted kind. The weapon is a meat pronger. Which means that — Yes, Whetzel the commissioner/sandwich artist did it. Why? Ross wasn’t happy with him as commissioner, and vetoing the trade (a fair decision) was the last straw for him. The fight escalated and Whetzel stabbed him twice, as the league was all he had.


 

“I love a good trash talking!”

Betty White is a national treasure and makes everything better and this episode was not an exception. Dr. Beth Mayer is very much like her — she was a fountain of knowledge and experience and a possible reflection of what Brennan will be in a few decades.

Last week’s episode touched on Cam’s lack of regrets regarding choosing work over love; this week’s is a natural progression of that. Mayer has been around for so long she has mastered many things, including computers (what science field hasn’t been touched by the wonders and speed of computers?!), and has had many hobbies. She has been married six times, and has had fun — that hasn’t derailed her from becoming the most successful thing.

BONES:  Guest star Betty White in the "The Carpals in the Coy-Wolves" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:

BONES: Guest star Betty White in the “The Carpals in the Coy-Wolves” episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr:

It was also great to see Angela on the receiving end of some fangirling, for once. It is pretty mutual, but nonetheless awesome. I love how the show is so positive about women at the top of their field. Her greatest asset is her perceptiveness: not only does she know what Wells is having a hard time with right away (and practically gives him the solution), but she nails both Brennan’s psyche and hers and Booth’s relationship.

Brennan’s jealousy, slash competitiveness with Mayer, was really amusing but it was never disrespectful. Yet, she still apologized to Mayer and asked for advice on her situation: the lack of challenges that period of peace and quiet unsettled her, and her subconscious retaliated by killing Andy off. She also commented how Booth and Brennan love to push and challenge each other — that is what she fell in love with, and that’s why they are such a special match.

BONES:  L-R:  Guest star Betty White and Emily Deschanel in the "The Carpals in the Coy-Wolves" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:

BONES: L-R: Guest star Betty White and Emily Deschanel in the “The Carpals in the Coy-Wolves” episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr:

That was just a great scene. As much as I adored how well she put Booth and Brennan’s relationship into words, the first part is what feels like a natural continuation of last week’s themes: it is okay to need a constant challenge and not settle for peace and quiet (boring times lead to creative lashing out against characters). Brennan (and Mayer)’s mind is probably not used to downtime, and that’s okay. Striking a balance where you can have the best of both worlds is probably more important in the long run — Mayer might have had a good run of lovers, but she is probably jealous about how well Brennan has achieved that balance.


 

Squintern of the Week

It’s been a while since we last saw Oliver Wells and I’m happy to say he’s still a jerk. As much as I love how everyone is nice on the show, it’s also interesting to have someone alter that balance and Wells fits the bill. Plus, he is a pretty funny and ridiculous character, only made better by how seriously he takes some things in his life.

BONES:  L-R:  TJ Thyne and guest star Brian Klugman in the "The Carpals in the Coy-Wolves" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:

BONES: L-R: TJ Thyne and guest star Brian Klugman in the “The Carpals in the Coy-Wolves” episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr:

When we see him, he seems down on himself and we soon find out why: he is suffering from erectile disfunction and the more he tries to solve the problem, the worse it gets. Ultimately, Mayer’s advice he goes into the woods with Hodgins (for case-related reasons, not just reconnecting with Mother Nature) helps him. Congrats…?

I feel like the academics world always has this one person with an overinflated ego who takes life and himself a bit too seriously. I can see why he was the squintern of the week in the same episode Mayer appeared: while she has hands-on experience on essentially everything, he has just studied everything and has a different approach. It’s an interesting contrast.


Long Live Agent Andy!

BONES:  L-R:  Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz in the "The Carpals in the Coy-Wolves" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:

BONES: L-R: Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz in the “The Carpals in the Coy-Wolves” episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr:

Brennan’s books are possibly one of the most winning recurring storylines, if only because they have evolved with the characters, especially Brennan. Add a sprinkle of meta. Once upon a time, Brennan wouldn’t let Booth read her books in advance and she would not concede Andy was based off Booth. Now, she does both those things! As much as she loves the praise her husband gives her newest book, she is surprised at how upset he gets when he’s told Andy is really dying. It’s not hard to see why: Andy is based off him (or at least, used to be) so he takes it pretty personally — after all, his wife is plotting his own murder! (To be fair, Booth… she was already considering it during your honeymoon.)

This is a recurring plot line in this episode, and it is bickering galore for these two. In the process, they manage to spoil the end of the book to essentially all their friends, as well. Brennan’s books are always meta commentary gold, as reflected by  Aubrey’s condolences — he takes the obvious commentary on how characters are killed off, often to introduce newer, sexier blood as Brennan inserting him into the story — and Booth’s “You can’t kill someone off and then have one character solving crimes all by herself.” The subtlety of some of the meta just made it all better.

BONES:  L-R:  Guest star Tyler Francavilla, Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz in the "The Carpals in the Coy-Wolves" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:

BONES: L-R: Guest star Tyler Francavilla, Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz in the “The Carpals in the Coy-Wolves” episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr:

Moreover, is nice to see how Mayer’s insight makes Brennan empathize with her husband’s line of thinking and reconsider her creative decision… while Booth has equally come to terms with his alter-ego’s death. It’s a nice role reversal, especially since it leads to the adorable final scene, in which they keep bickering away about it — as they will about everything in life, because peace and quiet are overrated, anyways.


Last night’s episode was a really entertaining installment, with truly hilarious moments. Betty White’s Dr. Mayer was a delightful addition to the show, as she had plenty of chemistry with everyone. If anything, she’s someone who challenges Brennan due to her extensive experience in practically everything. As the football season is well underway now, the case proved timely and informative; this case also proved to be the perfect match for this fun episode. Going into next week’s spooky crossover, this was a great showcase of the cast’s comedic abilities. Toying with the meta line is difficult because having more than necessary can be overbearing; last night’s episode did a good job of keeping it within the realm: after all, Brennan is the one who was writing a heightened version of her reality.

In conclusion: delightful episode. I loved the callbacks it had — something that has been happening a lot this season, and I liked the balance they’ve struck with the characters and themes this season. Any of the secondary storylines could have had a serious turn: Wells’ condition is common and the book storyline could’ve been become a big misunderstanding (Booth thinking Brennan was mad or unhappy with him). Yet that’s not who the characters are: Wells is slightly theatrical about everything, while Booth and Brennan’s relationship is rock-solid and have no communication problems at all and this was just another reason to bicker. If anything, the jocose tone was reassuring that the show knows its characters really well.


Odds and Ends

  • BONES:  David Boreanaz in the "The Carpals in the Coy-Wolves" episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Adam Taylor

    BONES: David Boreanaz in the “The Carpals in the Coy-Wolves” episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Adam Taylor

    Booth has to take his gun recertification test again. Though Aubrey jokes he missed his target by a few inches, Booth tells him that was just an innocent bystander — as the camera reveals (and Aubrey realizes) the paper doll thirty feet away has pretty deadly bullet holes.

  • GAMBLING MENTION(S)! Not just once (at the diner with Dr. Mayer), but twice. The car conversation on that was insightful and a reflection of how much Brennan’s actions last season helped him repent: he doesn’t deny he gets urges but is able to talk himself out of them by mentally going through the pros and cons it gives him… and just lets it go.
  • This was a hilarious episode with infinitely quotables — many of which I’m surprised made it past the censors.
  • More comedic gold? Drugged Hodgins and his gems, including (but not limited to): “pooped it out, like a poop machine,” or “his weiner is feeling better,” or “I think I took about seven steps today.” Infinitely quotable. How anyone got through it without cracking up is beyond me.
  • The reaction game was strong in this episode: Booth’s “puppy face” as he learns of Andy’s true fate, Cam reacting to Brennan’s blatant jealousy, Brennan’s whole jealousy… And more.
  • I’m in awe of Beth Mayer. I don’t know how anyone at the Jeffersonian hadn’t thought of a digital catalog for the limbo bones, but that was genius.
  • Next week: Sleepy Bones!

 

… is a young graduate student that has been way too passionate about television ever since she was little. While she insists she doesn’t have a specific type of show, they all usually have strong but flawed lady characters, some derivation of the stubborn friends-in-love/friends-to-lovers trope, and they all make her yell at her tv a lot. She just wishes she had more hours in the day so she could actually write about this.
You can usually find her on Twitter, Tumblr, and at cassidy at thankyoulizlemon.com

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