BONES Recap: ‘The Party in the Pants’

April 15, 2013 by  

Hey BONES fans! You know, back in season 3, I wondered if the show creators had something against mothers. After all, none of the main characters had mothers who were living that we knew of. (Except Zack, and look how that turned out! — I’m kidding, sort of) Fast forward to now, and all three main female characters have become mothers. Additionally, Booth and Brennan have both had experiences with their mothers this season. This episode, “The Party in the Pants,” featured Booth’s mother, Marianne Booth, played by Joanna Cassidy. Honestly, I dreaded this episode, because I didn’t see how this storyline could be credible, and I wanted it to be. I was pleasantly surprised by most of it, and horrified by a little bit. There is so much to discuss, so let’s get to the details.

THE CASE:

The Scene of the Crime: A boy learning the ropes of crane operation picks up a load that contains a skeleton, which he drops onto his overbearing aunt.  Booth, Brennan, Cam and Hodgins examine the scene, and the victim’s clothing indicate he was a firefighter. But deeper investigation produces some skimpy underwear with money inside — this victim was a stripper.

The Victim: Due to a calf implant with a serial number, the team is able to identify the victim as Jack Spindler, a successful investment broker who moonlighted as a stripper.

The Case Progression: Booth talks to Seth Harrison, Jack’s boss and the person who reported him missing. He is surprised that Jack was a stripper, saying there was no need. Seth is fairly shady and offers to give Booth financial advice. Booth declines, and he and Sweets go to Jack’s apartment for more clues. They find that Jack had a past as an overweight child, find a picture of Jack with a woman and hear a voicemail from an angry woman, accusing Jack of cheating on her again.  The Jeffersonian team confirms there was vaginal fluid on Jack, indicating he had intercourse the night he died.

Sweets questions the woman, Kristy Mineta, at the FBI building, and she is unimpressed with his technique, comparing him to her personal psychiatrist and offering him little help in terms of the case, except to tell Sweets about Jack’s stripper friend “Storm.” She also calls him Sigmund, which was funny.

Booth and Brennan crash one of Storm’s gigs, a bachelorette party, causing FBI Agent Booth to be mistaken for another stripper. That scene was funny because it was controlled. Nice! B&B take Storm to the FBI building. He confesses that he and Jack had an argument and a fight, but insists they made up.

At the lab, Wendell determines that a blow to the spine was cause of death. Hodgins finds evidence of a specific bed bug in the wound site, and they figure Jack was struck on the head and then fell and hit a bed post.

Angela finds evidence to suggest that Seth Harrison hid a lot of suspicious business activity and also wanted Jack to participate in stock fraud, a “pump and dump” scheme, and that Jack’s girlfriend Kristy lost money, giving her a motive.

The suspects are piling up, especially when Booth finds out that Jack’s last stripping gig involved a bachelorette party that involved cocaine and a furious fiancée. Booth questions the bride and her fiancée Jason, who insists that while the party got crazy and ugly, he didn’t kill Jack — he’d been gone long before the party got nasty.

Booth questions Harrison again, getting him to confess to the stock fraud plan. He is arrested for that, but his alibi for the murder checks out.

The Verdict: When Brennan and the team realize Jack was pistol-whipped with a gun, she and Booth talk to Storm again. He admits he hit Jack with the toy gun. He states he didn’t want to kill him, but also admits he is glad Jack is dead. Harsh.

THE SQUINTS:

It was so interesting that Marianne told Booth that “Dr. Sweets” told her to wait in Booth’s office — mainly, because later in the episode, Sweets confronts Booth about his situation with his mother and comes at it “as a friend.” To me, a friend would have sent a text saying, “Hey, man, just FYI, your mother is at the Hoover Building, and I told her to wait in your office.” I guess it’s possible that Sweets didn’t know she was Booth’s mother, but that storyline didn’t really come to fruition. Not bad necessarily, just interesting.

I liked how Angela and Hodgins and Cam worked this case, and the scene where Hodgins starts a little striptease for Angela was fun. It is also always fun to see Wendell at the lab, and it’s cool that he found cause of death.

I also really liked the Angela and Brennan conversation about Booth.

BOOTH & BRENNAN:

This episode was a total study in Booth. When it began, and he saw his mother in his office, I was surprised at first at how happy and open he was about it. Then I thought, “Okay, this is a testament to Brennan in his life and his life now. He’s happier; he doesn’t have a lot of anger. Life is good; he’s comfortable with himself, and he’s in a good place.”

Then, as the episode continued, and Marianne announced she’d come to see him to tell him about marrying Reggie and being a family with Reggie’s children, Booth grew upset. He had forgiven her and given her a pass, like he said, but it was on his terms — which is so like him; Booth decides who is worthy of his trust, affection and forgiveness. He had worked out in his mind a way for it all to be okay, but when she tossed in a wrench, he couldn’t get his mind around it at first. He stewed on it for a while (his style), avoiding Sweets’ (for the most part) input, and initially not wanting Brennan to talk about it, thankful when she dropped it.  His “maybe it’s better this way” was absolutely him. He is strong, but also not interested in digging up his painful past, so he’s fine putting a lid on it and leaving it alone. And at the end of the episode, when he told Brennan he sent flowers to the wedding, he said it was “one step at a time,” which is Boothy. I liked how, when he saw the Phillie Phanatic gift Marianne had left for Christine, he and Brennan went to the wedding. They both looked beyond gorgeous, also.

My main issues with the storyline involved Marianne’s reactions to how Booth responded. In the scene at Booth and Brennan’s home, where Marianne talks about knowing she could leave because Booth was strong, and Brennan also compliments Booth’s strength — that fired me up. Yes, Booth is a strong person, and yes, his character has overcome much. It’s one thing for the show to illustrate how the actions of others affected him and the subsequent choices he’s made, but for Marianne to use that characteristic as a justification for leaving him (and Jared) in an abusive home was wrong. Young people, old people…heck, all people — if you are in a situation or relationship, and you are being abused, speak up. Get help. DO NOT believe a lie that says you need to stay in that relationship or situation to “be the strong one” or because it will build strength of character. That is wrong, and in my opinion, it was wrong of the show to portray that sort of cause/effect justification. I’m not saying it’s what the show intended; it’s just how I interpreted it.

It was also wrong and kind of selfish of Marianne to get angry with Booth when he wasn’t 100% supportive of her “new life” and declare that she wasn’t perfect but had the right to be happy. Booth had never once said he thought she was perfect and never put her on a pedestal that I saw.  She misinterpreted his anger and frustration as rejection, when she should have seen his hurt. Marianne calling Booth “ridiculous” in that situation was frustrating. I think the end result, showing Booth at the wedding as a physical olive branch, was nice, but did not make me like Marianne any more. I get that the writers wanted to show that she wasn’t perfect and had indeed suffered, but I also think she was the recipient of Booth’s good nature, maybe more so than she deserved.

As for Brennan, I liked how she interacted with Booth in this episode. She gave him space when he asked for it, but also lovingly challenged him when he was struggling, tossing some of his own advice back at him. I liked that she brought up her relationship with Max and that she still struggles with anger. I also enjoyed that their discussion of religion and forgiveness was respectful toward both sides, which we don’t always see between them.

I loved the conversation they had about stripping and how they both had the bodies for it. Very funny. I think Brennan is right — Booth would like it if she did her little fan routine for him some time! And I liked the way they worked the case. I really loved the look of support (and love) Brennan gave Booth as he walked Marianne down the aisle — they are a great pair. As for the bouquet catching, for my money, that has more to do with Brennan accepting the societal conventions at a wedding (i.e. not throwing a bride’s bouquet back in her face and declaring the ritual antiquated), and giving Booth a ‘win’ so to speak, than her wanting to walk down the aisle herself, but I could be wrong.

Okay, enough analyzing from me. Now it’s your turn. How did you like this episode? What worked for you, and what didn’t work for you? The comments are open, so speak your mind!

Filed under Bones

Comments

13 Responses to “BONES Recap: ‘The Party in the Pants’”

  1. EL on April 15th, 2013 9:23 pm

    Didn’t like Marianne. I thought the actress was miscast in the role. I absolutely could not see her as the wife of a Philly barber. And the explanation for her absence was lame. Loved the B&B scenes however.

  2. andrea on April 15th, 2013 10:19 pm

    I thought Joanna Cassidy was excellent as Booth’s mom-the scenes between her and Booth were very well done. However, I was confused when Booth’s mom was reminiscing about how Booth loved the playground and how he used to play with the giant chess pieces. I thought Booth grew up in Philadelphia. Was Marianne talking about a similar park there or the one in DC?

    I also liked how Brennan in her blunt manner asked Marianne about her injuries at the hands of her abusive husband. Although I agree that her leaving Booth and Jared with their abusive father was very wrong. She should have taken them with her. At the end when Booth listened to Brennan and was able to forgive his mother and go to her wedding-I thought that was a testiment to how much Booth has changed. He was able to overcome his hurt/anger and be there for his mother and forgive her for the hurt she caused him and his brother.

    Of course we knew Brennan would “catch” the bouquet-acgtually it kind of landed on her. This really reminded me of the season 3 finale when Booth and Brennan were left standing at the altar when Angela and Hodgins ran away, and she asked Booth “So what do we do now”? Oh and this case was pretty good too. Not bad of an episode. Season 8 is wrapping up quite well!

  3. Amy on April 16th, 2013 12:12 am

    I thought the “not my fault” look Booth gave Brennan when she looked at him after catching the bouquet was funny. “Don’t look at me!” kind of attitude.

    Good episode.

  4. Kim on April 16th, 2013 12:56 am

    I don’t like Booth’s mom. She came across as very self-centered. She abandoned her kids because she thought they were strong enough children to put up with an alcoholic abusive father. Who does that? She shows up because she is getting married, not because she cares about Booth. Her motives were purely self motivated. She wanted to clear her conscious before getting married. I have no desire to see her on this show again.

  5. Alex Indigo on April 16th, 2013 4:05 am

    As always, agreed with your review. Would love to see an extended scene of Hodgins stripping and another with Brennan and her fan routine. :P The actress who played the victim’s girlfriend was hilarious in her scene with Sweets. And once again we have Booth baring his emotions to Sweets. I’d have been PO’d if he hadn’t had any sort of discussion with Brennan, but he did and the actors handled it beautifully, so I was okay with it.

    With Booth’s mom, I was with her right until she called him ridiculous for expressing his emotions and that coming to see him was a mistake. WTF?! I understand the psyche of DV victims and can see how she thought leaving was the right thing to do but then to turn around and judge your own son for his genuine reaction? The whole scene in the park was giving me flashbacks to the S6 episode where he proposed to Hannah, especially with the whole packing up and leaving bit, so I really liked how you were able to see that Booth’s acceptance was on his own terms and that his anger with his whole ‘I don’t want to talk about it’ was classic Booth. Also agree so much with how inappropriate it is to justify leaving because he was strong and ‘knight’-like. Thank you for that pointing that out. :)

    B&B were really good this episode. I loved the interaction and Brennan’s words to Booth were so spot on! Am glad for once that he was actually TALKING to her, asking her questions and trying to wrap his around it. Bringing up Max was a good thing too. Brennan’s questions to Booth’s mom was just as I expected it to be, even if it did make me feel uncomfortable, though I actually had expected her to be a lot more blunt and harsh with Marianne due to her abandonment of Booth and Jared.

    I do think that Brennan stood there for some anthropological reason, but also for Booth. Let’s face it, the writers and the majority of the fans want them to get hitched (I don’t) so they are probably building up to that slowly but surely. I have no doubt that Brennan will put aside her belief (once again) for Booth and ask him one day and when that day comes I hope Booth has the capacity to tell her that he’s happy with her and their family the way it is and agree to a small civil ceremony (we all know that ain’t ever gonna happen). :P

    Another thing I liked about the episode was all the compliments Booth gave Brennan! We all know she thinks he walks on water and is quite vocal about that, whereas he’s been subdued about her for a few years already now so the ‘the best’ comment and reciprocal beauty comments were cute for this fan who’s been starving for some old school Bones’ chemistry.

  6. Sarah on April 16th, 2013 6:26 am

    I have been trying to legitimately like Bones, but I feel like its slipping. This episode made me so angry that I can’t even explain it.

    I didn’t buy her for his mother one bit. The…”you loved this park” bit made me pause the TV and yell some choice words at it. Because, yes, continuity. Also, 24 years? If booth is 40-41′ then he was in his his mid teens when his mother left? When hank discusses taking booth in, he refers to him as just a little kid….I always assumed he was not yet a teen.

    Maybe booths mom was hanging out with Brennan’s grandfather. :( I wish I could like it again but…not based on last nights ep

  7. FF on April 16th, 2013 9:26 am

    This episode had the potential to be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back with me for Bones, because this whole Booth’s mom storyline business requires some serious hand waving about everything we know not just about Booth’s back story, but also the way in which he’s reacted in the past to Brennan’s issues with abandonment.

    So Booth’s mom shows up and Booth is okay with it at first. Fine. Because Booth was okay with it I had to accept it and be okay with it too. But the second Marianne got pissy with Booth, – that’s when it all fell apart for me. Her reaction to Booth was ridiculous. Her justification for leaving her young children with a violent drunk was ridiculous. The fact that she has helped raise Reggie’s kids since she’s been gone – OH MY GOD. It’s like the writers have a ‘be careful what you wish for’ attitude to the fans. They bring back the main characters’ mothers in big episodes, and they both turn out to be intensely unlikeable women.

    I think the “Booth’s mom” storyline is a Pandora’s box that should’ve never been opened. Like Sarah, I’ve been struggling to stay on board with Bones this season, and this episode not only pissed me off, but it’s destroyed what little faith I had in how the show is being run and how the writer’s room is being run now that Carla Kettner is not head writer anymore.

    The one thing I’ll give this episode is that while it’s been frustrating that Booth has been more visibly annoyed by Brennan since they got together than he ever was even in the first season of the show, it was good to finally see Booth and Brennan showing a strong united front and Booth genuinely complimenting Brennan for a change in this episode. Finally!

  8. Bongo on April 16th, 2013 11:44 am

    I have watched this show from the beginning and IMO that was the BEST that Emily has looked in any episode EVER, A little extra weight on her makes her truly stunning. BEAUTIFUL and SEXY woman.

  9. Diedre on April 16th, 2013 11:56 am

    IMO, nothing that happened in this episode overshadowed the casual treatment of child abuse and I, finally, am done.

    I’ve given it my best efforts. I accepted the clumsy handling of Booth’s relationship with Hannah in season six and managed to struggle through the, quite frankly, confusion of seasons seven and eight because there were occasionally good episodes and even more rarely, exceptional ones. But more and more I watched as the strong female hero originally created by “Bones” became a character used mainly as the butt of jokes and more and more frequently one subjected to rampant disrespect from her peers and coworkers.

    This episode will be the last one I watch. Child abuse is a serious problem and that “Bones” would wrap an episode around a parent willingly and knowingly leaving her children in that situation is appalling. A few kisses and the chance for squealing fangirls to see David Boreanaz in boxers isn’t enough to wash away the stench of that image.

    “Bones” owes an apology to survivors of child abuse. I won’t hold my breath waiting for one.

  10. skybridge on April 16th, 2013 3:33 pm

    I thought it was a very good episode, David’s performance was outstanding, loved Brennan’s supporting him, but me thinks she forgets too fast, how much it hurts to be abandoned by a parent. She certainly didnt have her parents abandon her then step mama-ing to boyfriend’s children. While I understand her motivation to get away from an abusive husband, leaving her children to cope with that and then NOT contacting them for 24 years is an acceptable……and then raising someone’s else’s children. BTW, imo Booth and Brennan are getting stronger and stronger as a couple and I love it.

  11. Carol on April 16th, 2013 4:44 pm

    I was so disappointed watching the show last night and did not care if we ever saw his mother who left the two boys with their abusive father. Frankly, I think she is very selfish and hope she is never on again. I have been reading all the comments and wonder why his mother did not make any kind of a fuss over her only granddaughter. Maybe hold her or even acknowledge her, Christine is adorable. I also agree they need CARLA KETTNER back again.

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