I don’t know about you, but in my family, we have weird, dorky traditions, and one of them is this: whenever we are on a roadtrip, and we are crossing over a state line, someone inevitably lunges from the backseat, sticks out his/her fingers toward the dashboard and says, “First one to Kentucky!” or whichever said state we are currently entering. Then, also inevitably, whichever family members DIDN’T think of it first grumble and complain that ‘we weren’t even playing that stupid game’, to which the winner replies, ‘because you lost, losers’. Hahaha. Having said all of that, for some reason this 1st POST OF 2011! made me think of that very thing…all of us lunging from 2010 with our fingers outstretched, hoping for a major win.
Okay, on with the actual post!
Hart Hanson once said that he viewed season finales and the subsequent season premieres as ‘two-part’ episodes, and I thought that was really fascinating. So on New Year’s day in 2011, I thought I’d take a look at each finale and premiere in the context of one another, and see what we come up with. The Ends and the Beginnings!
It’s not often where there is canon history before the pilot episode of a show, but we are lucky to have that, so, whether it’s cool or not, I’ll be using the “pre-pilot canon” stuff from the 100th episode and comparing it to the pilot episode. Actually…here’s how it will all break down.
- Pre-pilot canon from 100th & The Pilot
- The Woman in Limbo & The Titan on the Track
- The Stargazer in a Puddle & The Widow’s Son in the Windshield
- The Pain in the Heart & Yanks in the UK Part One
- The End in the Beginning & The Harbingers in a Fountain
- The Beginning in the End & The Mastodon in the Room.
Sound good? Let’s do this thing!
#1. Pre-pilot canon from 100th & the Pilot:
It feels like it can almost be summated in one phrase, and that’s this, “Don’t call me Bones”. Do you ever wonder if maybe Brennan always insisted on that because of how much she actually DID like him calling her that when they first met? So of course he called her that twice as much!
I remember when the 100th first aired, I was so happy, and then I realized something bad had to happen to get them to the point where Brennan was annoyed at this
…and that he’d have to resort to using national security to detain her. Their huge fight (You’re a cold fish; you’re a stupid man, etc)…well, that certainly constitutes something bad! I think they are STILL dealing with the ramifications of those words.
One of my favorite scenes in season one is when Booth talks to Cullen and talks him into letting Brennan work with him. “Oh yeah, she’s amazing”. Pal Ange said it best when we talked about how some older moments have new meaning after the 100th when she said,
I have to admit, after I got over the shock of what happened in 100, one of the first things I wanted to do was watch the Pilot again, to see if there was any hint of what happened between them there. I know that in the Pilot we were told that they had previously worked on a case together and it ended with Brennan refusing to work with him, but I felt when watching it after 100, the tension and resentment and resistance to working together meant that much more. Now that I know how that first case went down, I find it absolutely fascinating that despite the fact that it took a year, it was Booth who again instigated contact. In fact, he had tried several times to contact her before he caught up to her at the airport.
There’s something about that that I love…originally I had believed that their first case and the Cleo Eller case were much closer together (3-4 months?), but the fact that he came back to her several times (with Zack screening her phone calls), and then finally grabbed her attention a year later, that tells me she REALLY made an impression on him, and I love that. I love that that first case went so unbelievably wrong, and yet they were able to get past it to work together again.
Isn’t BONES awesome?!
Yes, yes it is! And I think it makes this scene all the more intense and great
When we know that this has already happened…
#2. The Woman in Limbo & The Titan on the Track.
In The Woman in Limbo, the primary conflict is the quest to discover how Brennan’s mother, Christine Brennan, died. One thing that is interesting to me in Titan on the Track is that Brennan has been gone the entire summer, but there’s no sense that she abandoned Booth or the team, or anything like that. That’s a post for another day (how Brennan is not an abandoner), but in the season two opener, Brennan is frustrated to learn that Vince McVicar is dead (because Max (whom we’d not met at that time, but had left a warning message on Brennan’s phone in the season one finale) had put a hit out on him. Like Booth, what he aims at, he hits!). And it’s always special when the episode ends with Booth staring at her as she visits Christine Brennan’s gravesite.
#3. The Stargazer in a Puddle & The Widow’s Son in the Windshield
There are four threads that run between these two episodes: Hodgins and Angela’s wedding that wasn’t/their new search for Birimbau, Booth and Brennan ending up at the altar/everyone thinking that their new level of bickering is because of that, Booth arresting Max/people thinking the B&B new level of bickering is because of THAT, and Zack leaving for Iraq/Zack being gone and returning from Iraq.
It’s hard to believe that the Hodgins and Angela deal was JUST resolved in season five, especially when we think about the season two finale. But it’s the Zack storyline that’s the real crux in Widow’s Son, because it is what forms a wedge between B&B. Interesting that in this case, vs. what we talked about between season one and two, Brennan HAS been in DC and has been reluctant to work with Booth. What are your thoughts on Brennan blaming Booth for allowing Zack to go to Iraq? Doesn’t that seem to sort of be an irrational response on her part? Or is it not irrational? Why is Brennan pinning Booth with that responsibility? Discuss!
Though I have to say that it’s one of my all time favorite moments in the season three premiere when Booth calls her out on it when they are in the basement of the bank. I love that the issue ISN’T that he arrested Max, and they both know it inherently. Brennan gets that lost little girl look (as Booth would say) on her face, when Booth correctly identifies that she’s mad he didn’t stop Zack from going to Iraq. I just find this so fascinating. When did her responsibilities become his responsibilities?
#4. The Pain the Heart & Yanks in the UK Part One
Did I dream that HH mentioned on Twitter one day that the original intention had been for Gormogon to have killed Zack? Isn’t that so interesting? To me, that just opens up all of these possibilities of what if. I have to admit that of all these pairs, this finale/premiere combination is the least satisfying. HOWEVER, we’ve been agreeing for months now that the storyline issues at the end of season three/beginning of season four get a free pass on account of the writers’ strike. So, within reason, I’ll say…okay. Some of you might argue that the ‘real’ end of season three is The Finger in the Nest, with Booth hugging Brennan after they buried Ripley (seriously, those two…they are awesome), and she makes the comments about how Ripley was just obeying his master.
If that’s the case (that this is the real end of season three), then the sort of ‘pass over’ the entire Zack storyline gets in Yanks in the UK Part One sort of works. But as it stands, with the intensity of it at the end of Pain in the Heart, it sort of rubs me the wrong way how mostly the only mention of it is a snide comment from Booth as he interrupts Brennan’s lecture (what is up with that, anyway?!?). Let’s move on!
Except…what if Zack had died! Can you even IMAGINE? Okay, okay…let’s move on.
#5. The End in the Beginning & Harbingers in a Fountain
Okay, begrudgingly, on account of my general wariness of the season four finale, I have to admit that of all these pairs, these two episodes seem to be the MOST connected/intertwined. They actually DO address a few issues from the coma dream and, the pleasure B&B have when they see each other and the subsequent hug when they reunite in Brennan’s office is very sweet.
I think we also sort of get our first “Missed moment” between B&B during the I Love You convo. Stupid clowns! Haha. But honestly, after the season four finale, I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about BONES any longer, and the season five premiere tugged my heart right back into it. I love that episode.
I like how Angela calls them on the fact that neither one has admitted that in the dream/story Brennan was pregnant. I like that striped socks and newspaper clippings and saving Brennan’s life and hearing ‘everything happens eventually’ all combine to really make Booth ‘back’, vs his badge and his gun. I like that we begin to see that Brennan loves Booth in her way…caring for him and protecting him, even from herself at times, but that when confronted with the truth (he’s dazzled by the truth)…she’s speechless.
Yeah, I love it. Bones, y’all!
#6. The Beginning in the End & The Mastodon in the Room.
In some ways The Boy with the Answer feels more like a season finale, and The Beginning in the End doesn’t quite fit in with season five. Just my opinion of course, but when we look at the season five finale in the context of being paired with the season six premiere, I think it makes sense. Pal Smurfs is always bringing us back to the seemingly throw-away line Angela gives to Brennan in BitE, that she hopes Brennan learns what it means to be human, and I think Smurfs is on to something. It’s hard to completely weigh these two episodes, on account of the fact that we haven’t quite seen all of the results of them, if that makes sense. But there are things we can take from it. Of all of these pairs, these two eps have the most irony, in the dramatic irony (when the audience knows something the characters don’t) sense. Brennan went away to figure out her feelings for Booth; she returns, seemingly ready to express her feelings toward him and everyone (Angela is a metaphorical sister to her, etc), only to learn that Booth has found Hannah, someone new. He went away to get over his feelings for her and he returns, willing to give her what she wants, a work-only partnership.
I find that I’m too close to the situation to be able to analyze it much more. Instead of doing that, I’ll just look at this for awhile.
Well, what do you think? Do you buy into this idea that the finales and premieres are really two-parts of the same storylines? If so, does that change your views of any of them? Which of these pairs do you find the most satisfying in terms of setup and resolution? Speaking of ‘resolutions’, how are your new ones going?
Peace, Love & Bones