BONES Recap: 'The Life in the Light' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

BONES Recap: ‘The Life in the Light’

June 4, 2015 by  

Credit: Fox

Credit: Fox

Hello, BONES fans! What did you think of this episode, “The Life in the Light”? Historically, the show has had really great penultimate episodes, and I think this one is no different. Read on to discuss the case, the Hodgins and Angela storylines, and why I feel that the gambling storyline, while exquisitely performed, has a few flaws in its resolution. Let’s do this thing!


The Scene of the Crime: A body is found in the remains of a local forest fire.

The Victim: Micah Stanbaugh, an ex-con/biker turned yoga instructor.

The Suspects:

  • Dale Brock, the leader of Micah’s biker gang, The Damned. He got out of prison on the same day Micah was killed, but he insists he hasn’t seen Micah in years.
  • Nan Roselick, Micah’s girlfriend and co-owner of their yoga studio and gift shop (including Tibetan bamboo tablet covers). She says she can’t figure anyone who would want to hurt Micah.
  • Ramish Patel, a rival yoga instructor who was pushed out of business when Micah and Nan’s studio was more successful. He states he is a peaceful man and Micah’s friend, and when pressed for more, he lawyers up.
  • Elizabeth Collins, Micah’s second lover. She insists Micah and Nan had an open relationship and that, though she has prior assaults that match Micah’s wounds, she doesn’t have anger issues any longer.
  • Danato, Nan’s side lover. When Nan tells Booth and Aubrey that she broke up with Danato because he was jealous of her relationship with Micah, they figure he has motive.

The Case Progression:

Micah’s wounds show he had a blow to the head and also several cuts to his body, down to the bone. He also didn’t die in the fire, but was dragged to it and doused. The Jeffersonian team determines he may have fallen through a window, and his body may have been set on fire to hide the evidence. They also think he may have been in a fight on the day he died.

Hodgins analyzes Micah’s sandal and finds small traces of oil based paint, and Angela knows it means Micah stepped in the paint on the day he died.

Booth and Aubrey go to Danato’s studio, and he has injuries from a fight and the oil based paints. Booth and Aubrey figure him for a suspect, but he says he got the injuries in a bar fight and that Micah paid him a visit to show him some yoga poses to relieve the pain. He also says that Micah got a call and left his home quickly, telling the person on the other end of the phone that he could meet them within 2 or 3 minutes.

Angela and Aubrey run a scan of security cameras in a 2-3 minute radius of Danato’s home and they see Micah entering a bar called Nat’s Place. Aubrey contacts the manager and is able to get intel that Micah was there and met up with Dale.

Booth interrogates Dale again and accuses him of lying. Dale finally admits he met with Micah, despite it being against his parole agreement. He needed $20,000 and Micah agreed to get him some…but then never returned to the bar.

When the J-team finds traces of aluminum, glass, and bamboo in Micah’s remains, Booth puts it together and knows who the killer is.

The Verdict: Booth and Brennan question Nan, who at first insists she is innocent. But they have evidence from her iPad photos on the cloud. She was angry with Micah for wanting to give their savings to Dale. She hit him with the bamboo covered iPad, and he fell into the glass and aluminum lawn furniture and died. The iPad caught the whole thing.


Well, first things first — Angela’s real name is Pookie Noodlin? Haha, hilarious and oh, so wrong. But it also made for some sweet Hodgins/Angela scenes. I also loved the progression of scenes between them regarding moving to Paris. I thought it was perfect, from the initial mention to the final scene where they barely mentioned it and Cam got teary. (Excellent stuff from Tamara Taylor there too!)

The Angela/Brennan scene might be one of my all-time favorites of theirs; it made me ugly-cry, but in the best way. Loved that each woman was sad but optimistic for the future.

Aubrey was fine, as normal.

Loved Wendell as usual.


Like I said in the intro, David Boreanaz (Booth) and Emily Deschanel (Brennan) have been nothing but amazing for this entire storyline, and this episode displayed it as well. I loved each of their scenes and how eager B&B were toward each other and their relationship. It’s bothered me when articles or promos have indicated that B&B are on the outs; I’m not saying there wasn’t tension between them, but I liked that this episode really focused that they were working on things together as much as possible. Loved the scene at the diner, and the scenes with Christine were cute.

While there is another episode in the season — and another season to come — I am guessing that the gambling storyline has essentially been resolved. It’s possible it may come up in small moments, but I’m going to share my thoughts. Warning: long analysis ahead!

As I mentioned previously, I’ve kept a spreadsheet of what I wanted to see from this storyline, and I’ve been tracking my thoughts. For the purpose of this post, I narrowed and streamlined everything into 14 key items with four main “results”: YES, NO, DRAW (meaning there wasn’t enough evidence either way or there were enough good and bad things about it that it evened itself out). Few things:

  • I tried to stick with the storyline itself and not include outside “facts” or information, i.e. I didn’t include anything like “were the promos misleading,” because that’s not really fair to the storyline.
  • The wording on most items was done in a way that “YES” is the desired outcome.

1. Did the show include the storyline in small increments throughout several episodes vs. a ‘drama of the week’ emotional ploy? YES   NO   DRAW

I think they did a nice job with this.

2. Did the majority of other characters seem to refrain from choosing sides between Booth and Brennan? YES   NO   DRAW

I said “majority” here because while there were flashes of moments (i.e. Jessica saying she was Team Brennan), for the most part, all of the characters recognized it wasn’t Booth vs. Brennan, but something they were working on together. So, yes.

3. Did the writers/show seem to refrain from choosing sides between Booth and Brennan? YES   NO   DRAW

Like we’ve talked about before, if we want to know how the show or its writers feel about a character, listen to what other characters say about him or her. But this question is beyond how other characters reacted. Was there as much screen time and dialogue given to both of them in this storyline? I say yes.

4. Did Booth and Brennan both struggle with the issue? YES   NO   DRAW

Yes. They did it in their own ways (which others may not necessarily interpret as struggling), but I say yes.

5. Did the show handle Booth’s struggle appropriately/in character? YES   NO   DRAW

6. Did the show handle Brennan’s struggle appropriately/in character? YES   NO   DRAW

7. Did the show handle others’ struggle appropriately/in character? YES   NO   DRAW

8. Was the storyline in place to primarily allow Brennan to grow as a character? YES   NO   DRAW

This is a question where “no” is the positive/correct response for me (so yay!). So many times we’ve had Booth go through trauma, he sometimes changes as a character — but mostly it’s Brennan who grows/proves herself. Examples include: being shot by Pam, the Jared storyline (over many episodes) having the brain tumor/coma dream, Maluku, Hannah, etc. Here we saw Brennan use a lot of her interpersonal skills and her inner strength, and those were both awesome, but they weren’t necessarily new facets to her character, nor the primary threads of the storyline, which was refreshing.

9. Did we learn what Booth’s trigger was? YES   NO   DRAW

There are things we could infer, but even though Booth said he wanted to “get his family back” and he wants “to make things right,” we did not see that process of figuring out what it was. Was it just the act of sitting at the card table? Was it emotional trauma from Sweets, etc.? I felt this was unresolved.

10. Did other characters speak with Booth about the issue? YES   NO   DRAW
Outside of Aubrey and Brennan, this did not really happen in episodes, but it is alluded to (by Wendell and Cam). I would have liked to have seen more (especially a Cam/Booth scene) of a “We know you can do this; we are in your corner” from people to Booth, but I also believe that in character Booth is resistant to anyone talking to him about his life. Not that this should prevent people from giving support, but I can see why the show made its decisions. So a draw for me.

11. Should concessions be made on timeliness or logistics of a TV show (including location, casting, renewal considerations/issues)? YES   NO   DRAW

There will always be things I want to see more of — I would have watched an entire episode of Booth at those GA meetings, working through the process. I also recognize the show was in a tough spot in that, as they wrote and filmed these episodes, they weren’t sure whether there would be a season 11. However, in my opinion, figuring there WON’T be should have been the default, vs. trying to wrap things up too quickly in a few episodes after planning to have a lot more time. I think they did a pretty good job, but it’s literally their job, so… Draw.

12. Did the storyline have an appropriate resolution? YES   NO   DRAW

In last week’s episode we could see that Booth knew he had to do something MORE to get back in Brennan’s good graces. His “a ha” moment in the interrogation room was about penitence, I believe, and he knew he couldn’t just cover everything up, but if Brennan had taken him back in that earlier diner scene, he absolutely would have just moved on.

We don’t know what ultimately caused this relapse, so we aren’t sure what exactly he has so much remorse for — is it the gambling and making bets, or is it the lying about it? Or just that Jimmy the bookie was involved, which was dangerous? We haven’t gotten to the root of WHY Booth did what he did, which is necessary for successful resolution, in my opinion. I also think we see him still repressing things and self-punishing. For example, when Brennan showed up at the GA meeting (which, in general “Anonymous”-type meetings, seems inappropriate, but maybe this wasn’t officially anonymous? I’m not sure how that works.) and asked why he didn’t invite her, he still hemmed and hawed about it and deflected, saying it wasn’t a big deal. She says it is a big deal, because they are in on it together. He likes that, but it doesn’t resolve the deeper issue of why he didn’t invite her — because he feels shame and is afraid she ultimately doesn’t accept him. So he is self-punishing there and trying to redeem himself in the way he knows how, and with one of his love languages: gifts. The coconut ice cream and the compliments on her sense of humor were all sweet, but so was the necklace a few weeks ago. I know there are layers to every addiction and recovery, but as I was watching, I kept thinking that Booth just wants Brennan to like/want him again, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get THAT back.

At the end of the episode, he agreed with Brennan that part of what is motivating him is knowing that he won’t get another chance if he screws up. But again, what is the screw up in his mind? In her mind? The bet, or the lies? And if someone has an addiction, when they mess up, is that a “screw up” or a relapse? Even Cam’s words to Brennan were that he was working hard “make things right.” It’s totally Booth-y and in character, but is he actually getting to the root of his actions? I felt like he still wants to control it from the top down instead of rooting out the issue and resolving it from the inside out. Also, his original (from episode 100) reason for quitting gambling (“I have a gambling problem…but I’m dealing with it”), meeting Brennan and wanting to be in her good graces, now it just seems like part of a cycle. By the end of this episode, Booth is back where he wants to be with Brennan, and that’s all he’s ever wanted — but I’m not convinced that they’ve actually gotten to the bottom of his gambling addiction issue.

Of course, it’s a TV show, and they can’t show every detail. But it IS scripted TV. Someone literally wrote the episode and someone else (or several someones) in charge chose which scenes to keep and which to cut. If you only have a certain amount of minutes for a storyline, it’s essential that every second devoted to that storyline must be exactly what you want communicated. And I believe the show did communicate what it wanted to — that B&B love one another and are committed. But that was never in question for me, so it wasn’t the resolution I needed to see.

13. How did I feel when the storyline was resolved? HAPPY   SAD   INDIFFERENT   ENRAGED

But I did FEEL so happy at the B&B scenes that, even though I had some philosophical issues with the storyline, I was still grinning from ear to ear. I was having the same issue as Booth, haha…substituting the relief of resolution for actual resolution and not getting to the core issue. There’s certainly a lot to be said about how a show makes us feel, but I recognize that for me, that “I DON’T CARE! B&B ARE HAPPY AGAIN ALL IS RIGHT WITH THE WORLD” feeling is maybe not the best, LOL!

14. What did I learn about myself in the process?

This is more for me to study my own reactions, and I don’t have a ton of answers here. But when I unpack all of my feelings about this storyline, I quickly see I have room to grow and mature. Why am I so enamored when I see Booth as such an eager-to-please, sweet puppy dog — when I really dislike seeing Brennan brought low at times? Do I like seeing men grovel but resent when female characters do it? Why did I resent Jessica’s opinion to Brennan more than Cam’s? Maybe Jessica hasn’t earned the right? When Booth stood up at his GA meeting and it felt like a victory…was I feeling that sense of victory for Booth or for Brennan…or both? And was it victory or vindication? What does all of this say about me? Like I said, those answers are for me to know and work through. At the same time, I have to remember that I watch this show through my own lens, made up of my own experiences and worldviews and ideas of romance and love and forgiveness and justice, and all of that. And so does everyone else.

Enough from me; what did you like or not like about this episode? The comments are open; speak your mind!

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Filed under Bones


21 Responses to “BONES Recap: ‘The Life in the Light’”

  1. Jill on June 4th, 2015 9:10 pm

    Couldn’t agree more about #9 and thus #12. Besides them “reuniting,” what I was most looking forward is hearing Booth express or discuss the issues that led to this point — Sweets death? PTSD? Betrayal by government?

    I really wanted to see that exchange between B&B.

  2. EL on June 4th, 2015 9:21 pm

    What I think they really missed out on was not throwing the death of Pops into the mix of Booth’s emotions. Yes, he’s been through a lot in the last year and yes, suddenly he’s going to be a father again. But he hasn’t seen his eldest child since his weddding. At least we haven’t seen him see Parker. That has to hurt. Plus if he had lost Pops at the same time he found out he was going to be a father again, that could have caused an emotional short circuit that could have sent him off the deep end when he suddenly found himself at a poker table. Overall I enjoyed this arc and the acting was terrific but I would have liked to see it carried over for a little bit and not just suddenly ended. They’ve carried Pelant now for four seasons and I was sick of him after two episodes. Booth is much more interesting.

  3. amy on June 4th, 2015 10:03 pm

    This was a good ep, I enjoyed the case…Angela & Hodgins going to Paris, for good? dont buy it, that house will be used as a vacation retreat only 😉 ……Onto the meat of the show – I want the show/writers to allow Booth to have HIS voice, they rarely do that, and it happened again with this gambling arc, they just wont let us hear from his mouth what makes him tick & his feelings of the past year, why HE THOUGHT he may of relapsed…The show needs to stop doing c-plots when they have a b-plot that needs an indepth introspection…i.e ep 20 last wk, instead of that awful Aubrey/Jess c-plot why didnt they focus on Booth having a sounding board with Cam or Aldo? they did a great job of when Booth had a crisis in S2 he had Gordon Gordon to poke & prode to be a mirror, even the S9 premier we got to hear Booth’s thoughts cos he had Aldo…..I think that the show needed another ep with this gambling arc to get inside Booths mind more, and thats why it should of started earlier in the season….Booths an addict to make him promise or imply that he will never relapse is just not realistic, esp if they arent willing to show him working through triggers…i dont know, perhaps they are saving this introspection of Seeley Booth for S11? I would be fine if they set him up with a new therapist, how else are we ever going to hear HIS VOICE?

  4. bountypeaches on June 4th, 2015 10:06 pm

    Pretty much agree with you Sarah… what was the point of this if Booth wasn’t actually going to get to the root of his issues? This isn’t just about not getting a second chance with Brennan. It should be about Booth understanding himself better. Sharing himself with Brennan– there wasn’t even one scene where Booth genuinely admitted his regrets to Brennan. There is something to be said about having the courage to admit your mistakes.

  5. Laura Opper on June 4th, 2015 10:23 pm

    Yeah we didn’t get all the nitty gritty, and I suppose we won’t get it all next week so it’s kind of odd that all of that got left out. However, for the most part, I thought the story arc was authentic, and I liked the way it played out.

  6. Lillie on June 4th, 2015 10:29 pm

    100% Agree! The “B&B IS TOGETHER AGAIN EVERYTHING IS FINE” feeling is wonderful, but there’s was still some thing left unfulfilled in the episode.
    On the issue of them not talking about what triggered Booth to gamble: Several characters mentioned “any emotional change, good/bad, can set something off” (or something along those lines). Which technically could be passed as a very flimsy explanation. I’m with you though, MORE!

  7. Karen on June 4th, 2015 11:26 pm

    I disagree. Booth said he didn’t invite Bones to his 30 day celebration because he feels he still has so much work to do. That does not sound like he is glossong over his troubles.

  8. addie on June 5th, 2015 12:04 am

    I love this recap. It’s very well written and I agree with most of this. It was a brilliant episode all around. It’s true there are still some unresolved things, which probably won’t be resolved in the finale, but even though I think the show is doing a bigger time jump between S10 and S11, there is still a chance they might throw some little hints about that next season. Though even if not, I guess we can assume the reason Booth started gambling was a combination of both, maybe at a different point of his life, he could walk out of the poker game without relapsing, but after the events of S9 finale and S10 premiere…

  9. Beth on June 5th, 2015 1:16 am

    Ok, so, it’s 12:42 here (South America) and I just finished watching the episode. I could write a decent review, but I still haven’t catched my breath. I just know one thing for sure, if this ‘Hodgins & Angela moving to Paris’ storyline has taugh me anything.. Is that I am so NOT ready to say goodbye. (Thank goodness for season 11!!)

  10. Linda on June 5th, 2015 7:12 am

    There are so many things I liked, no “loved”, about this episode and it is partly due to knowing that there will be a Season 11 where the writers and cast can further explore the challenges that still exist. While these last episodes of Season 10 were written without a guarantee of another season, I believe the writers thus far have left a (to use Brennan’s word) myriad of paths down which we might trod next season. The promo for the season finale has Booth announcing that it is his last case. With the guarantee of Season 11 we now can look deeper into the Booth psyche. I agree it is once again time to hear Booth verbalize what pulled him back into his addiction. Perhaps the thrust of next season can be a more personal exploration of our beloved characters. Booth, in the past has always been freer to express his emotions but lately we have seen that become mre and more a facet of Brennan’s character as well. I look impatientloy forward to next season, with high hopes and expectations.

  11. NWChic on June 5th, 2015 8:55 am

    I just want to agree with you all about Booth not being able to verbalize anything to Brennan about how he feels. It was so disappointing.

    I don’t get that. I feel sorry for Brennan it would be very difficult to love and be married to a guy like that.
    This arc, has left me with a ‘is that all there is’ feeling. I’m glad B&B are back together, but I need to hear more from Booth before he is redeemed in my own eyes.

  12. Karen on June 5th, 2015 12:09 pm

    There is one thing most of you are overlooking. Booth has only been sober 30 days. He is in meetings with several people who also need to share and talk so the focus is not solely on him. It is very likely that he has not gotten to the core of his problems yet How can he share something with his wife that he himself does not understand yet? NWChic you cannot possibly think that Brennan is good at verbalizing her emotions and yet you fault Booth for doing it? not fair

  13. NWChic on June 5th, 2015 12:59 pm

    Karen, Brennan has become better than Booth when it comes to sharing things with him. That’s how bad things are!

    One example was the episode where she couldn’t admit she was 6 months pregnant I think, where she said she can tell him when she’s scared.

    How about the car conversation last season, where she told him she’d never jeopardize their relationship for a mere dalliance? And went on to tell him how much he means to her?

    Gambling has taken a huge toll on the family. And Booth has verbalized nothing. I think he said ‘determined’. One word in the episode. He hasn’t told her he’s sorry. Would that be too difficult? Is he sorry? I honestly don’t know. I hope so though.

  14. Ruth Ann Walker on June 5th, 2015 1:37 pm

    This is just an incredible review…..I love these, you really try to get in the head of each character and express situations I never would think of, BRILLIANT. I’m just a happy, happy camper that B&B are back. Like everyone else I want to know the how, when, where, and how come?? Hopefully next season the will address these issues. What strikes my funny bone, they were so friendly with each other, if my husband gambled, put me & my child in danger, then Lied face to face to me, I would have been cool & collected, but probably pulled his hair out, ha,ha. Yes Booth has some demons to deal with, sooo we shall look forward to season 11…..I will throw this

  15. Ruth Ann Walker on June 5th, 2015 1:45 pm

    Oops, I would like to say, I thought Brennan did a 36o decree turn, Faith, using her gut, and asking Booth to stay…one last comment on season 11…….Fox start thinking about a season 12 now, so there won’t be nail bitting, anxiety, and disappointment. Love, Love Bones.

  16. Diane on June 5th, 2015 4:58 pm

    I just wish they would stop skipping over key emotional B&B moments, such as the emotional talks, romance, and events (pay-off romance scene in season six; birth of their second child) that we want to see. It does not sound good for those of us that desperately wanted to see this second birth – it doesn’t get much more special than that! These SPECIAL Booth and Brennan scenes are what got so many of us hooked on the show in the first place. I was happy to see that they actually had a few quality scenes together this time; to me, that is a major victory. I agree with the folks that would have loved to see Booth actually open up to Brennan about his issue – maybe an emotional apology for putting his beloved family in danger. Again, I would rather have seen more B&B resolution scenes than “the case of the week”; after all, we have been deprived of our beloved B&B all season (since before Emily’s pregnancy)! I am surprised that B&B are on the cover of the season 10 dvd set; according to what we have seen this season, I figured it would be Aubrey and the other supporting cast with B&B in the background in seperate corners. I wonder if that shows that they are still supposed to be the leads, and hopefully will be again in season 11!

  17. bountypeaches on June 5th, 2015 4:59 pm

    Honestly, Brennan has always been better than Booth in verbalizing her emotions. While Booth has always encouraged Brennan to let people know things about you, you don’t want them to know– he, himself, has never been able to do it well. How long did it take for him to talk to anyone about his sniper issues? Instead of dealing with his conflicted emotions over Epps he shot an ice-cream truck.

    Brennan has always been more honest about her fears and weaknesses. Even in S2, she can came out saying “I guess my best isn’t good enough”. Even with Sully, when they had that fight she admitted she was scared, that she worried about needing him etc. Brennan has always been better at relationships than she has given herself credit for.

    Honestly, even though Booth has always wanted a relationship– he still has to learn how to be in one. Intimacy comes from sharing your feelings, and being open with the other person. Even in this episode– when Brennan first asked why he didn’t invite her, he wasn’t immediately honestly. He tried to downplay it. Its frustrating. I don’t understand why he can’t just be honest and let the chips fall where they may. I really want Booth to start working on being more honest with himself and others.

  18. BJ on June 6th, 2015 7:26 am

    ^^Agree 100% with BountyPeaches. Stephen Nathan mentioned in one of his recent interviews about Brennan “seeing the value in emotions for the first time.” Brennan has ALWAYS had a side to her that is really vulnerable. The difference was that in the earlier seasons it was an ironic aspect of her character that she was actually quite vulnerable and emotional and just refused to admit it. But now, Stephen Nathan and the newer writers treat her like she’s Data from Star Trek and that human emotions are something which she is just now realizing that she has. It’s so frustrating.

    Honestly, while the arc itself was not one I was looking forward to, I think the resolution was pulled off reasonably well. The acting between David and Emily was certainly outstanding. But at the end, I just felt like Brennan was letting Booth come back home just because he’s Christine’s dad or because he’s been a good boy (or a good man!) getting his 30-day chip, not because she loves him and can’t live without him.

    On a not-B&B note, it was driving me bonkers the whole episode that Angela and Hodgins were talking about plans to go to Paris like they’ve never been there before. Does this writing staff not know that Hodgins and Angela lived in Paris for 7 months?!

  19. EZ on June 6th, 2015 10:32 am

    Can you start recapping Suits like this please? There is a whole lot of in depth analysis that needs to be done on that show! Booth and Harvey share similar traits… even down to the gambling issue and abandonment issues re: their mothers!

  20. Jo on June 6th, 2015 4:44 pm

    Sarah, your review was excellent. You put a lot of work into it. I look forward to your review after every episode . I wanted to see Booth ask Brennan to forgive him. He put her and Christine in danger. He has always been her protector but he failed this time.
    You said it all better than I ever could so I’ll leave at that.

  21. paige on June 7th, 2015 8:14 pm

    I’m just glad she ask him to “stay the night with me.”, not “with us.”, not “stay the night here.”