So I was talking to my mom one Friday morning and bless her heart, she brought up BONES. She is pretty much my only live action person in my life who watches this show and does so with enough interest to talk about it. This is not to say that she even remotely matches my obsessive nature, but I will take what I can get in the live action world. I probably freak her out by the way I glom onto her words, “What did you think about…?” Well, Mom, let me tell you… Hahaha!
Anyhow, we were talking about the Hodgins-Angela baby storyline from The Blackout in the Blizzard, and I gushed over TJ Thyne and his amazing performance and the full range of emotion he was able to convey in that episode and then…okay, getting off track a little bit.
But the point of that discussion is that it led to whether or not BONES would tackle a reality of having their child actually be born blind. I think we both agreed that it was unlikely because it would require a little too much treatment (read: screentime). While Hodgins and Angela are important characters, it might give them more of an elevated status than desired. However, as I finally get to the main point of this post, I pointed out that in some ways I wouldn’t be surprised if they made that move because BONES does not seem to be afraid to tackle controversial issues, or storylines, for that matter.
The best episodes, to me, are the ones that give us character development within the thematic context of the case. For example, on at least three separate occasions we learned more about Booth’s acceptance of same sex relationships, which gave me a fantastically refreshing characterization of a modern day Catholic. As much as he struggles with pronouns in The He in the She, neither he nor any of the other characters express reservations with the choices that the victim made. (On a personal note, I absolutely love that Booth encouraged that tattooed son to take over his father’s ministry – spoke to my heart.) Angela’s relationship with Roxie presented not only the respect of demonstrating a loving relationship, but also the respect of giving a relationship it’s due course with a mature ending.
I really love how BONES seems to so effortlessly weave in social issues. Without a doubt it helps to be a socially liberal viewer such as myself. But, it is more than that.
The decision to make Zack Gormogon’s apprentice, to me, reflected a stroke of genius, even if it may not have been the original intention. Having him be a victim to Gormogon would have been the easy way out. Making an important character fall prey to a degenerative following creates a magnificent internal struggle for characters and viewers alike. I find this to be daring and innovative. It is the episode that made me think, “wow”, and ensnared me once and for all. I had been only a casual viewer before that episode.
The 100th episode demonstrated an equally audacious move. To say that viewers might have legitimately expected a happy outcome seems fair to me. To give them the opposite reflects sheer guts. They didn’t try to indicate that these two characters didn’t love each other. They didn’t try to indicate that one had been imagining the other’s feelings for him/her. And the end result? Clearly reactions were divided and extreme, at least as far as I can tell in the online world well after the fact. I find that fantastic.
“Things had to change.” Are you ridiculously tired of that phrase by now? Probably. I don’t blame you in the least, but I consider it yet another bold decision. Regardless of how they chose to do it, the change was made and agree/disagree with the how, I applaud the audacity, I really do. This is why I watch this show.
There are many other examples of how this show has demonstrated bold shifts from the norm. What examples stand out to you?