Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bones—The Secret in the Soil

We begin with Bones and Brennan attending therapy with Dr. Lance Sweets. Which is kind of a dorky name. And neither of them is happy with the situation, but the FBI is demanding their partnership be evaluated. On their way home from therapy, they're called to go check out a dead body. Mmmm, greasy bones. Cam and Brennan examine the body while Booth reminisces over old romantic conquests. Nice timing there, Seeley. The body temperature is abnormally high--the body was cooked before it was dumped. Okay, um... ew. I wonder if this is going to tie in to the cannibal dude from the season premiere?

Jack has the same thought I did. Which means either I'm really smart or I'm a freaky conspiracy theorist type. Considering I watched The X-Files all the way through to the series finale (every single freakin' episode, people), I'll go for the latter. The victim is a Franklin Curtis, an organic grocery mogul. Mr. Organic's body is covered in pesticides. Denise Crosby plays his wife. Hm... where did I see her last? X-Files? Seems like she popped up somewhere else since she was Scully's gynecologist. Ah, it was Dexter. Thank God for imdb. Apparently Curtis was a bit heavy-handed in his pursuit of organic farming, thus giving us a potentially huge list of suspects, since he drove other farmers out of business. Brennan comes up with an argument in favor of organic farming that seems to affect Booth--pesticides can make your genitals shrink. The interaction here is priceless.

The first suspect, Andy, is a tobacco farmer--they think Curtis might have been cooked in the tobacco curing barn, but apparently somebody else was cooked along with him. Gracie from Jericho is the suspect's wife. Curtis made passes at her, apparently, trying to get his hands on Andy's farm. Curtis seems to have been a bit of a horndog.

While they're investigating the next suspect, another organic farmer growing pineapples in a hothouse, a waft from the compost compound nearby initiates an amusing "Who farted?" exchange between Booth and Brennan. The compost smell, though, constitutes another clue. They go to search the compost facility for more dead bodies. Of course they find one--a female body that's been dead about the same amount of time as Curtis. The assumption is that they're lovers, but later evidence shows they're father and daughter.

The case this week had some nice twists, with the final reveal both logical and emotionally fraught. The environmentalist theme seemed like it was going to be heavy-handed at first, but after the first act or so it began to fade more into the storyline, as it should be. While there wasn't a great deal of screentime for the Squint Squad, everybody had at least one good moment. Jack's enthusiasm over bugs and compost, Angela's observations regarding Booth and Brennan's bickering, Zack's observation that he's occasionally wrong--all these were welcome, enjoyable, and spot-on moments for them.

I've been hearing about the "couples counselling" plotline for a while, and had my doubts about it. Seeing it play out, though, I think the writers have found a sneaky way to explore the depths and breadths of Booth and Brennan's relationship without tossing them into bed. If they do this right, it could verge on genius in that respect, and so far so good. The moments toward the end with the two of them in Sweets' office were very revealing without being treacly or corny or treading too close to that deadly romance line. My only disappointment is that they have a new doctor, rather than Gordon Gordon, but the dynamic would have been vastly different with him, and possibly not as revealing as it's been with the considerably younger and less dominant Sweets. Kudos so far for this twist--I'm looking forward to seeing more of this plotline.