BONES Recap: ‘The Party in the Pants’
April 15, 2013 by Sarah Curtis
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 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.
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