BONES 11×09 Debriefing: “Giddy Up!”

BONES: Cast L-R: John Boyd, TJ Thyne, Tamara Taylor, Michaela Conlin, Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz. The 11th season of BONES premieres Thursday, Oct. 1 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: FOX

Mosey on over! On Thursday night, Bones had two radically different episodes. The first hour featured the return of Buck and Wanda, Wild West edition: Big River Buck, and Wildcard Wanda. As is the norm with most undercover episodes, this outing was a lot of fun because it gave the audience a peek into how the characters would behave out of their comfort zone.

The make-believe was not everything there was to this episode, as storylines that have been brewing for the past few episodes come to a head: Angela’s desire for more kids plays front and center, and Cam’s relationship with Sebastian casts doubts on going forward with him.

More thoughts after the jump!

Disclaimer: Yes, there will be two recaps. I apologize for the delay in posting this one, and I apologize for how late the other is going to be. You can blame finals and holiday travel!

The Case

Everything about the victim screams cowboy. This male in his mid-thirties died with his boots on! He probably bled out and perished 26 days ago, due to multiple gunshots. Not only that, but many little things they find point towards him being a cowboy: black gunpowder, horse hair, some leather particulates on his head (from a cowboy hat…?). The only problem is that Stanley Belridge, our victim, was an accountant, per Angela’s findings.

BONES:  L-R:  Michaela Conlin, Tamara Taylor and TJ Thyne in the first part of the two-hour "The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom" fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Jennifer Clasen/FOX

BONES: L-R: Michaela Conlin, Tamara Taylor and TJ Thyne in the first part of the two-hour “The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom” fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jennifer Clasen/FOX

He was reported missing by his supervisor at work, two weeks ago. His boss thought someone else would know him better and would’ve reported him, but he never got a call or anything. Angela does find more info on Stanley: he was a participant at the Frontier Games, a shooting competition that took place once a month — he had even taken the $10,000 prize home at one point. Considering he died 26 days ago (when the last event happened), there must be a new edition this weekend.

Booth is excited to go undercover, posing as a cowboy, to solve the crime. Considering 85% of the attendees are repeat guest from the eastern seaboard, undercover removes the hassle of trying to coordinate seven states’ branches. Aubrey suggests that he could go along too — he has ridden horses and knows every cowboy song. However, Brennan is not going because the price tag of Hodgins’ new toy at the lab has left her without an intern for the weekend, and there is too much to be done with the body.

Booth heads to the Frontier Games undercover and meets Franny and Luke Nichols (the owners) under his alias (Big River Buck)… but so does Brennan, who enters the bar and tips her hat to her husband. Wildcard Wanda immediately catches the smitten marshal’s eye. Eventually, Buck and Wanda introduce themselves to Glen — as strangers to each other, an attempt to break the routine. They also meet Rose and Beau, two more regulars who toast to Stan’s absence.

BONES:  L-R:  Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz in the first part of the two-hour "The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom" fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Jennifer Clasen/FOX

BONES: L-R: Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz in the first part of the two-hour “The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom” fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jennifer Clasen/FOX

Despite being undercover as strangers, Booth and Brennan still find time to discuss the case throughout the episode. One of the most important rendezvous is when they find the painted plywood barn, close to bear berry plants, where Stan was murdered. Booth also takes this alone-time to confront Brennan about her attempts to make him jealous by flirting with Glen. She brushes it off: she’s behaving in a non-routine manner! Right after that, they see Franny: is she following there? Her constant looking back certainly supports that.

Meanwhile, on the investigation side of things: Stan’s money was still in the car, ruling robbery out as the motive. There was also a book on how to start a business, and real estate listings. Did Stan want a new Frontier Games? Aubrey has also been looking into Beau, the guy who is supporting his kids; he suspects he had an accomplice who was giving him money. This turns out to be right: Franny is his benefactor. Moreover, Daisy determines that Stan was likely punched before he was shot.

After another one of their secret conversations, Brennan and Booth once again find Franny around where they are — this time, with Beau. Brennan tells Booth to follow them (Buck and Wanda are being seen together too much). Buck runs into Rose, a horse enthusiast. She tells him that Franny lets her ride the horses while she’s there. Rose also suggests that Franny might be smoking again, which she is hiding from Luke… explaining why she’s always checking that no one is following her. Booth decides to join the smoking buddies to find more intel on Stan — after all, he was a smoker. This smoking session reveals that Franny was looking to expand the business. She also revealed that Stan was smoking a lot last month, as if he had something on his mind.

Some more findings back in “reality”: the murder weapon is the victim’s own Civil War-era Spencer Carvey; Hodgins finds venice turpentine (which has many uses, but painting or horse care are two of them). Angela is running a software recovery program on the victim’s hard drive for documents that had to be recently deleted. When called into the interrogation room, the boss admits to doing that after Stan’s death: it would reveal that Stan was working on his supervisor’s accounts for him, as he took time to finish his novel, in exchange for a good word for a promotion.

BONES:  John Boyd in the first part of the two-hour "The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom" fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Jennifer Clasen/FOX

BONES: John Boyd in the first part of the two-hour “The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom” fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jennifer Clasen/FOX

Daisy finds many microscopic fractures that caused internal bleeding. She has studied the bone in microslices and has found some internal hemorrhaging in the neurocranium. There are so many of those that she is overwhelmed — Cam suggests she asks for Angela’s help when the artist returns from the FBI. Moreover, Aubrey and Angela are working on finding out more about Clementine Constructions, and discover that the social security number used is fake (meaning, the owner does not exist).

Furthermore, Clementine Constructions’ only client is Frontier Games Limited, but there is no sign of construction on the property. Thus, Aubrey and his poncho decide to head towards the estate to check they are not missing anything.

Yet, that might not be needed: while Buck and Wanda share a dance to “My Darling Clementine,” the Nichols’ favorite song, Brennan observes that Luke is a painter (all of the paintings on the wall, plus the one she was gifted, are his) — so, he was likely the one to punch Stan before death. When they realize what song it actually is, they connect the dots: Clementine is Luke’s, who is embezzling money from his rich wife. Stan must have figured that out, and gotten him killed.

Aubrey sits down with both the Nichols’ and creates a plausible case, mentioning the money embezzling. Luke confesses to hitting him, but not to murdering him. He told Stan he was not welcome anymore. When Franny asks her husband whether this is true, Luke just replies with “I’m going to need a lawyer.”

Angela’s program is of tremendous help with the microfractures issue: they are able to determine that they are mostly arranged in lines of 5-6 cm in size. Whatever it was, the victim was struck 2047 times on the forehead with it. After seeing Aubrey on a horse, checking the perimeter, Brennan figures it out: Stan’s body was taken to the dump site by horse, not car. After explaining how it matches the previously found bone evidence, Brennan uses the light to check for blood and tissue— Butterscotch the horse is full of it. Even if that is Franny’s saddle, we know she was not the culprit. Booth knows who, though: Rose, the horse lover.

She had recently purchased a small ranch in North Carolina, and a purebred horse… and had paid in cash for those. That amount of money suspiciously matches Clementine Constructions’ withdrawals from their account. Rose was having an affair with Luke (he loved her), but he was still with Franny because he didn’t want to hurt her (as Booth points out, it was likely it was because she’s rich). Stan had found out about them, and threatened to tell Franny about their affair. She did not want him to take the one thing she wanted in life: a horse.

Rose only has one request, though: to find her horse a good home. (Booth’s right, though: anything will be better than jail.)


The Adventures of Big River Buck and Wildcard Wanda!

Booth has been looking at motorcycles, much to Brennan’s surprise: she accepts the inherent danger about their jobs, but cannot accept this. He has just recently recovered from his latest shooting wounds, so this seems like a poor life choice.

Later, when it turns out the case will require them to go undercover, she decides not to, as there is so much to do at the lab, and she has no intern because of Hodgins’ outlandish spending eating the lab’s budget for a few weeks. The whole situation is strange to Angela: why is Booth going undercover without her friend? Brennan admits it is also odd to her, and comments on how Booth’s been looking to buy a Jet-Ski, or a motorcycle. Angela pegs that and his eagerness to go undercover to a need for excitement, which makes Brennan think he’s bored of their routine and might need to break out from it. Angela says that the two of them need to have fun, heavily suggesting she go undercover as well.

And she does! In an attempt from get out of her comfort zone, where they always play a couple, they are now acting as strangers to each other.

When the competition starts, Buck does not do well at all at the robbery task, much to Wanda’s surprise. On the other hand, she does really well, impressing everyone — especially Glen, whose crush on her grows by the minute. (It should be noted Buck/Booth’s reactions to the flirting are fun.)

BONES:  Emily Deschanel in the first part of the two-hour "The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom" fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Jennifer Clasen/FOX

BONES: Emily Deschanel in the first part of the two-hour “The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom” fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jennifer Clasen/FOX

Booth and Brennan secretly meet many times in order to look into the property and find the murder site, or discuss the team’s newest findings. In one of those meetings, Brennan admits to feeling foolish: how could she think that flirting with another man and besting her husband would have a positive impact in their relationship? This is where the true competition starts. While Booth is not worried she’s going to cheat on him or anything, he asserts he has been doing poorly to not stand out from the crowd: as a former sniper, he could win this competition blindfolded. That does not stop there, as Brennan taunts him even more– cowboy shooting requires a special finesse sniping does not have.

Shortly after, they go their separate ways as to not raise any suspicions. It’s on.

The next competition is up, and Buck crushes it. Wanda is obviously somewhere between proud and impressed, as well as a bit turned on. (Let’s not forget, this is Booth and Brennan we’re talking about: bickering and competitiveness are basic foreplay.) Someone who isn’t as happy about that great performance? Marshal Glen.

While Wanda has risen to 10th place now, Buck has come out of nowhere and tied with her. In the following competition, Wanda has a good performance, but it cannot top Buck’s — that one was just perfect, and the swagger made it better. Once again, Brennan is proud and slightly frustrated… but excited, too. Buck’s impressive performance is lauded as ‘the best they’ve ever seen.’ It grants him first place, followed by Glen and Wanda.

Wanda is still being courted by Glen, who is interested in seeing her outside of the Games. Before Brennan can say anything, he leaves to get some drinks. Buck appears right as the first notes to “My Darling Clementine” play, leading them to crack the case. After that, Booth and Brennan discuss some of their personal matters: he would never think their life is routine. He just wants a motorcycle because it’s cool, and before she can argue back, he kisses her.

However, Glen, who has been closely watching them, punches Buck, arguing he has made his interest in Wanda clear — there is a Cowboy Code that should be respected. Wanda responds to this by asserting she has free will, so they should not fight for her. This falls on the marshal’s deaf ears, and a (pretty fun) fight breaks out. Aubrey even gets there in the middle of it!

Yet, the Games have a zero tolerance policy on fighting, resulting in Buck and Glen’s disqualification. Booth reveals he’s FBI, and Brennan reveals she’s the mother of his children. (Glen looks crushed, but then again… he would not listen.) Brennan also asks whether she has won now.

BONES:  David Boreanaz in the first part of the two-hour "The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom" fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Jennifer Clasen/FOX

BONES: David Boreanaz in the first part of the two-hour “The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom” fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jennifer Clasen/FOX

In the end, we check in on Booth and Brennan once they are home. Booth actually praises his routine: bath, lotion, story, snuggles! Brennan has a surprise for him: a “motorcycle”… i.e. a bicycle and a helmet! It is ridiculous and Booth, while appreciative of this kind and thoughtful gesture, wants none of it. Thus, Brennan decides that maybe she’ll keep it for herself, as a prize for winning the contest. Once again, they start bickering about it: she might have won on a technicality, but rules are rules!


Family Matters

When Angela mentions to Hodgins they are taking care of Christine and Hank, she also outright tells him this could be practice. (Later, they are also taking care of Lance Jr. as a favor to Daisy.) Hodgins is slightly confused by that, and ultimately relieved when he finds out his wife is not pregnant — as that comment might have implied. Instead, she just tells him she has always wanted a big family and many kids. Not being a good time for discussion at that moment, they decide to later talk about it.

As a sidenote, we later find out that Christine found Michael Vincent’s face paint, and Angela and Hodgins lost track of time, much to the amusement of their coworkers. Is this retailation for that time Angela put facepaint on Parker, years ago?

Overall, the discussion comes to an end once Hodgins decides to express he is not ready for another kid because he is happy with their “tight little cocoon of love” as it is, and is unsure he is ready to make room for someone else. He argues there would be a natural division between parents and kids, disturbing their ‘us.’ He is not ready to make room for anyone else.

While I understand that giving up control is scary, I am not sure I completely see his point. Michael Vincent is 5-6 years old now, so it is not like he is a toddler; I wonder if it is because enough time has passed that he felt as if it was too late for them to add to the family without starting all over.

The benefit of having seen the second hour as I write this is I can see that this was setting up the following episode’s decision, and the upcoming drama for the second half of the season — in this case, his selfishness and inability to see how happy another baby would make his wife (and him, as we’ve always seen that Angela being happy is Hodgins’ main source of happiness).


 

A Walk is Just a Walk…?

When we last saw Cam, she had decided to take the plunge with Sebastian, and the episode indeed opens on a morning after for them. (Sebastian is wearing her robe, even!) Cam seems to get a bit peeved when he suggests meeting later, but reassurances of “simply liking” her calm her down.

Cam is hesitant to label anything Sebastian and her have as anything other than “fun,” because she feels she is betraying her recently ended relationship with Arastoo. It is understandable: they were practically engaged, and very much committed — their relationship ended so abruptly, and they did not have much closure.

Angela is able to deduce Cam is dating Sebastian by his phone call (he was in her neighborhood; he does not live nearby, but Cam does) but she shrugs it off as ‘nothing.’  When he comes by the lab, to ask her for a stroll around the Reflecting Pool, she replies that she’s having fun — implying ‘a walk’ is too much for her. (?!)

The breakthrough comes from the most unexpected source: Daisy. She overheard the conversation between the two lovebirds earlier, and offers some advice of her own: it takes time and courage but it’s best to risk it, lest she might ‘shrink’ a little inside. Up until the beginning of this conversation, it had not crossed my mind that Daisy and Cam are in similar head spaces, relationship-wise: Daisy lost her longtime boyfriend and father of her child in Sweets, with no warning. As we saw last season and can infer now, getting back into the dating pool took some effort but she understood she needed to move on and try to be happy. Why shouldn’t Cam do the same?

Moreover, it was refreshing to see her apologize profusely for crossing a few boundaries, but I think that her advice was just what Cam needed to hear in that moment. I have always had a soft spot for Daisy, but I am overjoyed at how mature she has been in her last few episodes.

In the end, Cam heeds that advice and meets Sebastian after he’s done at the gallery to go for a walk later that night, while holding hands.


BONES:  L-R:  David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel and John Boyd in the first part of the two-hour "The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom" fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Jennifer Clasen/FOX

BONES: L-R: David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel and John Boyd in the first part of the two-hour “The Cowboy in the Contest/The Doom in the Boom” fall finale episode of BONES airing Thursday, Dec. 10 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jennifer Clasen/FOX

Written by former Bones writer Karine Rosenthal (who has written some of my favorite episodes of the show), this episode was a really fun (and funny!) ride. I’ll admit that I did not pay much attention to the case the first time around, but I did like how it blended into the undercover hijinks (which is usually what matters in this kind of episodes). Every character had a shining moment that highlighted where they are at their lives: Booth and Brennan’s relationship might be a well-oiled machine, but it still works really well, routine be damned; Hodgins and Angela on their family’s future, and the struggle that brings; Cam and her new relationship, and the lingering shadow of her still-raw feelings for Arastoo; Daisy’s maturity, i.e. knowing she crossed a personal line, but offering helpful advice; and Aubrey’s… well, talent (he’s good with the guitar!) and humor.

The interesting part about the Booth and Brennan storyline is that, over the course of the episode, Brennan keeps mentioning breaking out of the routine — while Booth presumably does not understand why she is saying those things. I don’t think this is the writers raising any alarms for them, or anything, but it feels like a concern many couples face after awhile, especially when there are young kids in the mix. I never thought Booth was bored with their relationship, but I suspected he had a need for speed. (Or was in some short of midlife crisis.) He does seem like the kind of guy who would enjoy the extra adrenaline. Moreover, it’s not unlike him to enjoy undercover work in which they get to dress up, especially if it’s cowboy-related! For the longest time, the show has referenced to him as one, so of course he would be excited about it.

As for Buck and Wanda’s newest iteration, I loved they played strangers who seemed to be attracted to each other. Brennan’s suitor made me laugh, because his crush on her blinded him. Sure he knew Buck was also after her, but he did not know Brennan was flirting with him for the Wanda cover. In the end, he was the one who broke out the fight because he wouldn’t listen to Wanda — but my, did I love how Brennan/Wanda mentioned she had free will to choose what to do.

Cam and Angela also have different relationship struggles in the episode. I mentioned it above, but despite my inability to see what a ‘walk’ could imply, I liked that we saw some of her struggles in letting this relationship grow. It’s understandable that she does not want it to be serious, coming off an almost-engagement that ended with no closure (she has not talked to Arastoo in months, either). Even if it’s for a fun time, I am glad she seemingly listened to Daisy’s wonderful advice on moving on. Comparing it to a loss was pretty accurate. The fall finale obviously delved some more into those open-ended threads in her relationship with Arastoo, but I was glad she was able to slightly better define what she and Sebastian have.

As for Angela, I understand her baby craze —whenever a friend has a baby, some others follow later. I can see how seeing her friends manage so well with two reawakened her desire to have a big family. I don’t think I fully understand Hodgins’ reasoning for not wanting more kids: one kid might resemble his childhood growing up, but two kids guarantees his kids will always have someone else to lean on in the future. I liked their very mature discussion about it, even if it felt like it was late… But there have been plenty of events in their lives that have postponed that. (Part of it was to make the events of the following episode even more heartbreaking.)

I will admit that I always thought that Hodgins and Angela would end up adopting, considering the likelihood that their babies might be born blind (and well, spoiler (?): I would not be surprised if that is what happens now), and how loving they seem. I guess we will have to see.

Overall, I very much enjoyed seeing the contrast of where every relationship is at, and how they dealt with their respective “problems.” Nothing was an overblown argument that turned nasty; instead, it highlighted each character’s personality.


Odds and Ends

  • I only caught this on the rewatch, but love how Cam has a picture of Michelle on her nightstand!
  • So Cam and Hodgela live in the same area. Interesting! Also intriguing: Sebastian and Angela’s friendship/mentorship continues off screen.
  • In an episode full of nicknames, the ones Aubrey has for face-painted!Angela and Hodgins might be my favorite.
  • Aubrey loves barbecue in general, but loves Santa Maria-style barbecue the best. That is high praise!
  • The wild west wardrobe in the episode was in point. That poncho, though.
  • Also: love Brennan diagnosed Franny right away.
  • This has been a long recap, and I imagine I’ll have more to say for the fall finale. As I mentioned above, a Friday final + travels (over this weekend) are making sitting down to recap the episode very difficult.
… 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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