Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bones, "The Pain in the Heart": Tricks and treats

Quick spoilers for the "Bones" season finale coming up just as soon as I reorganize my Social Distortion record collection...

Well, that was pretty disappointing.

On the one hand, I'm glad they didn't make Sweets turn out to be Gormogon (or his apprentice), as it would have been cheap (the only new character of the season turns out to be the big bad of the season) and it would have deprived us of the Sweets/Bones/Booth scenes, as well as depriving the artist formerly known as Sam Weir of employment.

On the other, the resolution to last week's shooting cliffhanger was so lame that it left a bad taste in my mouth for the rest of the episode. We all knew Booth wasn't going to be dead -- you don't kill the buddy on a buddy show -- but to resolve it in such a silly way, with no real emotional follow-up was just awful. Sure, Bones was annoyed for a few scenes about Booth not telling her the truth, but nobody else was either upset or relieved to see the guy, and other than Angela being too sad to go to the funeral alone, nobody even seemed that bothered when it seemed he was dead. If they were going to shrug the thing off so quickly, why even bother to do it? This was the worst kind of sweeps stunting.

As a light comedy with a bit of mystery worked in, "Bones" works very well. (The show it most reminds me of, oddly enough, is the '70s James Garner private eye classic "The Rockford Files," in terms of its laid-back approach to the material.) When it tries to travel into deeper emotional waters, things get rocky. At least, they did last night.

What did everybody else think?


Chaddogg said...

Ummm, really?

I'm bothered by the big "reveal"...a LOT. I think this may have been a function of strike-induced compression (i.e. if they had more episodes, we would have seen a more gradual shift of Zack, maybe induced in large part by his experience in Iraq?), but overall it was handled VERY clumsily by the writers. Zack just didn't have that profile, at least to me, of someone who would get suckered in to a skewed world view by a charismatic (although we never really saw him) master. And I just can't picture Zack EVER killing someone. Being there when a killing was done? Perhaps. Covering up evidence afterwards? Maybe. But no way he would have killed....I mean, he's the one with the big, huge, loving family, right?

And Alan, I agree - the opening was so pitch-poor. And there being no fall-out from the squints in regards to Booth putting them through that????

Plus, it doesn't help that this episode was made all the worse by comparison with House, which offered arguably the most emotional episode of the show's history.

Kerry said...

The only good bit was Booth in the bath with a beerhat, cigar, a copy of Green Lantern and the record player. My word. Somebody please write Boreanez a truly screwball romantic comedy.

It was bad, but truly this is always a bad show with inconsistant character and continuity problems, so what do you expect?

Bobman said...

I wouldn't say it's always bad; I think it's always been a mediocre but very enjoyable show. The characters are more like caricatures, but they never took themselves too seriously so it didn't really matter too much, and for the most part everyone was likeable.

Whereas last night ... it was bad. The Booth not dead reveal was awful (until he came out gunning at his funeral, all I could think was "man is this dream sequence lasting way too long"), the aftermath was laughably stupid (not to mention Booth seemed perfectly healthy despite having been SHOT IN THE CHEST an indeterminately short time prior), and Zach being the new Gormagon apprentice was so silly. If they wanted him off the show why not just send him back to Iraq instead of making him completely go against his character like that? God that was lame.

I'm so disappointed.

Anonymous said...

The fan reaction I've read is very negative. I agree that it was clumsily done and there were little to no hints, besides Zach's complete reliance on logic over emotion, dropped throughout the season to foreshadow the reveal.

So, while the execution was poorly done, I buy that he was the apprentice. Let's remember that Booth didn't like Zach at all for more than a season. I never really understood why Booth warmed up to him, maybe his opinion of Zach was bolstered when he went to Iraq. Supposedly, one of Booth's strengths is his intuitive ability to read people. He read Zach from the beginning as being a bit off.

There were moments that I thought Zach was endearing (the king of the lab running gag and the episode in the first season with the UPS girl) but for the most part he was a human computer - full of facts but with no depth or emotion.

The most interesting part of the storyline is how it affects Bones. She has always relied so heavily on facts and logic over emotion. This should shake her belief system to the core. I understand that people are upset but the show is centrally about the Booth and Bones characters and how they develop. This revelation, though poorly developed and clumsily done, will move her character forward.

Bobman said...

Zach said he only met the Gormagon guy three months prior, so it's not like he's been the apprentice for the entirety of the series (or even this entire season, for that matter). Saying Booth got a bad vibe from him seasons ago is ... well, barely relevant, as I suppose you could say he knew Zach was CAPABLE of something like that even if Zach himself didn't seem to know.

Unknown said...

To some degree, I can get why they decided to pick on Zach if the creators of the show had to insist on being "creative" and "daring" by getting rid of "one of their own." The logic thing, plus Iraq, sure, he could be led by someone. But into cannibalism and stabbing?! This seems...unlikely.

Yeesh. Bad idea, show. Even during strike season, bad idea.

Anonymous said...

I'd told a friend a few months ago that Zach would be involved with Gormagon. I only had him dying by turning truly evil and shooting Booth, which forced Brennan to shoot Zach and the next season would be her dealing with that. I called him last night and pointed out that I had called it. Even with the call, I was still disappointed. I thought it could have been written a lot better and drawn a better reaction than what it did. And seriously, they threw everybody out as a possibility in the first 20 minutes but Zach, which led me to believe it was him. It was still quite disappointing.

I did love, as a giveaway if you somehow couldn't put it together, at Booth's funeral they panned to the casket just as the title read, "Co-producer, David Borneaz". I knew then that they wouldn't keep that story up very much longer.

Anonymous said...

I was very disappointed, especially because I've really enjoyed the post-strike episodes. They would've been better off, in my opinion, ending the season with last week's episode. Sure, we know Booth isn't going to die, but we would be wondering what Bones' reaction would be and how it might affect their relationship.

The bathroom scene was, however, hilarious.

Toby O'B said...

Here's wishing James Garner a speedy recovery, for so many reasons but in the case of this show, I'd love to see him playing Booth's Dad. I always thought there was a resemblance between Garner and Boreanaz, something that they should capitalize on once Garner is up to it......

Anonymous said...

That was the lamest season finale ever! The part about Booth at the begin could have been overlooked but Zach being the apprentice?? Come on! Zach being gullible and becoming involved with Gormagon could have been believable with some kind of a build up. But him becoming a murderer within a few weeks of meeting this guy and with no change in his day-to-day character? I don't think so! I wish they had killed him off instead. At least *that* would have made some kind of sense!

Agnes B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Agnes B said...

I agree with Alan that this show functions best when it's a comedy with a hint of mystery.

The cliffhanger into this episode was severely lame because it seemed to serve Sweets being a suspect in the Gormogon killings more than anything else.

But for me, the last quarter of the episode redeemed it. Ultimately, the Squints' reactions to Zach being the Apprentice felt like a genuine response to finding out that a loved one has done something horrible. He didn't have to become a supervillain or terribly evil. What I liked was that our investment in the character wasn't cheapened by his role in the killings.

I figure Dr. Addison will replace Dr. Addy, because he was pretty un-Squintlike in the trial episode.

All in all, lopsided, but not unlovable.

KrisMrsBBradley said...

I hate, hate, HATE that they did this to Zack.

The only redeeming part was Booth in the tub.

Zack was my second favorite character after Booth. He'll be really missed.

ptg said...

I also was truly dissapointed in this finale.

Zack has always been portrayed as the likeable "little brother" who doesn't have the social skills of a mouse, let alone one of an assistant to a serial killer. To take him from getting advice from Hodgins and Booth about girls because for all intents & purposes he's still a shy little 15-year-old boy, to killing a senator?! Hard to swallow.

Not to mention that for Zack, there would have to be a logical reason for killing the senator..which never came out WHY he did such a thing, just that he did. And then covered it up in the lab.

I wish they had gone more into why Zack started following Gormagon, how he was drawn to him, etc. Because now we're just left with a lot of questions and an incredibly bad taste in our mouths.

Amasea said...

"To take him from getting advice from Hodgins and Booth about girls because for all intents & purposes he's still a shy little 15-year-old boy, to killing a senator?! Hard to swallow."

Although I agree that they moved way too fast through both the emotional consequences of Booth's shooting and the revelation of Zack's involvement with Gormagon (and the reasons for it), I did feel that it resonated that Zack would be the apprentice. In fact, the reasons cited above for why he wouldn't are the reasons I think he would. A socially unevolved young man seems to me the MOST likely to become assistant to a killer; he would be easy to manipulate if you appealed to his logical side (although how that was done wasn't quite explained).