Please, darlings, do get down with your bad selves, because it is indeed…Brennan Week!
Confession: sometimes when a lot of people like a certain thing, I want to roll my eyes and pretend I don’t like it any more. This is a dumb trait of mine. Sometimes Judas on a Pole is one of those episodes for me though. I think…oh, a lot of people like this one, it’s…eh. And then I think, “No, it’s awesome. That’s why people like it. That’s why people like ice cream–you don’t think people who like ice cream are dumb do you?” Yes, these are the conversations I have with myself.
Obviously, we will be discussing the very end scene of this episode, but that will come in part two of the scene study (on Saturday), and for today, I want to sort of build up to the end scene with some snippets of other scenes in this episode. First off is a scene where Russ is visiting Brennan in her office:
“You’re sure it was him,” Brennan asks him, and Russ answers in the affirmative.
“He said, ‘You and your sister are in danger’ and then hung up” he tells her.
(Sidenote: I want a Max and Russ knock on the door and give Booth a really hard time for being with Brennan scene, followed by a Brennan is very annoyed by the men in her life scene. )
“I spend half my time with a sniper-trained FBI agent,” Brennan assures Russ. “I feel safe.” SWOON
“Tempe,” Russ tries to reason with her. “I know someone’s watching me.”
“What’s your evidence?” Brennan asks him.
“I can feel it on the back of my neck,” he replies.
“You spend some time in jail…you develop a sixth sense,” he adds.
“Maybe you should stay with me for a few days,” Brennan offers.
“Tempe, I have work.” Russ argues. “I have Amy and the girls,”
“What about your sixth sense?” Brennan challenges with a smile.
“Hey,” Russ challenges right back, also with a smile on his face. “You can’t not believe in something one second and then use it against me in the next,”
‘It’s a long drive,” she finally argues. “You could start fresh tomorrow,”
“And…I’ve got cold beer in the fridge,” she finally bargains and dangles her keys.
“No, don’t drink the Moroccan beer,” Booth strolls in. “It tastes like ear wax.”
Booth is then like, ‘How you doin, Russell.” First of all, I just love that he calls him Russell. It’s like ‘I am in charge of this room. Or at least, I am in charge of the men in this room’. It’s great.
Russ sort of clears his throat and is like, ” Good, uh…yeah…you?”
And Booth never looks away and is like “Yeah,”
Brennan tosses her keys to Russ, who catches them and leaves…
“I still make him nervous, don’t I,” Booth observes and then he sweetly abducts Brennan from her office. She does swat him on the arm for it, though, which is also awesome.
As the episode goes along, Brennan and Booth find out that someone really is after Russ, and Brennan listens to her brother when he says he wants her to meet one of their dad’s friends, Father Coulter.
They meet, and then over the course of the episode, she and Booth continue to work the case. Well, sort of. Booth gets kicked off of the case on the FBI side…but that’s another story 😀
Brennan and Booth find a major bloodstain in her apartment, and she’s convinced it’s Russ’s blood. Booth tells her not to jump to conclusions. She agrees and says he should stop letting her hug him when she’s scared. He tells her that if he gets scared, he’ll hug her.
Just when things are really looking grim, Caroline gives Booth a tip that Father Coulter might not be who he says he is.
“Well, first,” “Father Coulter” begins, “I want to tell you that your brother…is with his father.”
“You mean…” Brennan is horrified. “With God?”
“No,” Coulter laughs a bit. “His earthly father. Your father.”
“Are you certain?” Brennan asks.
“Saw it with my own eyes,” he replies.
“Oh, thank God,” Brennan breathes, and then clarifies. “Which I only use as a figure of speech.” Hahahahaha!
“Well,” he replies somewhat sardonically. “We have to start somewhere.”
“You know,” he continues. “You’re very much like him.”
“I’m nothing like my father,” Brennan disagrees.
“Black and white–the two of you. You always saw the world in black and white.” He argues. “Your mother wasn’t like that. Either is Russell”
Brennan grows with suspicion–either because she is not sure what is happening, or why this person seems to have so much information on things her mother said. At this point in the series, she would be suspicious of people who knew her mother, I think.
“Your father,” ‘the father’ continues. “Talked about when you were four. And your brother was nine…”
“And he hid behind this door and he jumped out at you.” They both smile. “Boo! he hollers. Boo!” and Brennan smiles at the memory or possible memory
“And you, you had this doll,” he continues. “This string in the back for talking.”
“Chatty Cathy,” Brennan replies.
“Wham! You took that doll, and you wound up and you hit your brother so hard you knocked him flat as a pancake. I said to your mother, ‘No one will ever jump out at that girl again’ and your mother said, ‘Just like you, Max. She’s just like you’ “.
“Hair color, plastic surgery,” Brennan lists off the modifications ‘Matthew Brennan’ has made to himself to hide as Max Keenan (or any other identity–now Father Coulter). “”Colored contact lenses, chin and cheek implants.”
“Fifteen years older,” she continues and then sits down. “Still…I should have seen it.”
Fascinating response from Brennan there. My take on this is that she feels as a forensic anthropologist, that she should have noticed his facial markers. Does that seem right to you at this stage? Or do you think it’s more along the lines of “I still should have recognized you as my dad?” I guess it could be both. Thoughts? But I think it’s interesting that she might be challenging her own professional skill at this level here.
Oh, and meanwhile, Booth is driving like a bat out of hell (in Caroline’s little Gremlin car!)
“Russ knew it was you all along?” Brennan asks Max, and now at least, it’s moved from professional to personal. I don’t think this is where she is wondering how Russ knew and she didn’t see it; this is her realizing that Russ has been lying to her. Remember in season three ( I believe) when she challenges him that all their family does is lie to each other (or something like that?)? I feel that same emotion from her in this scene. Frustration…annoyed at herself for trusting again, for going with her heart.
“Yeah,” Max confesses.
“You talk to Russ, but not to me?” Brennan wants to know.
“You know, to tell you the truth…” Max replies. “You do better without me, and Russ does worse.” Well, I don’t know what a daughter would do with that kind of statement! I guess assume that she’s not the kind of person who gets to have a family!
“Take this,” he offers her the Bible in his hand.
“I’m not religious,” Brennan refuses.
“No, we’re gonna play this your way. Please,” he asks.
“This is Gus Harper’s journal,” Brennan observes when she flips through the pages.
“There’s a key there that’s to a safety deposit box. In that safety deposit box is all the evidence.”
“Why didn’t you give it to them?” Brennan wants to know. “Back in 1978?”
“Because your mother took one look at this and said, ‘If you turn this over to them, they will kill us. And our kids’ ” Max tells her.
“They got Mom anyway,” Brennan comments, sadly.
“There’s not a day that goes by that my heart is not broken,” Max insists.
At that point, Russ drives up with presumably the getaway car, and Brennan is faced with the real reality that her brother and dad are working together or are doing something shady, etc.
“I gotta go,” Max says.
“Wait,” Brennan replies. “I can’t let you go.” She pulls him into a hug.
“I love you too,” Max tells her.
“No,” Brennan reveals. “I mean…I can’t let you go.” She tries to take Max down and handcuff him so that Booth can come get him, I assume. But Max pulls a fast one and handcuffs her to the bench. Sad.
“I’m sorry,” he tells her. “Listen to me. If you find somebody that you can trust…you hang onto him. You remember that.”
Russ calls for Max to hurry, and Max tells Brennan, “I’m proud of you. I love you.” Poor Brennan…what a whirlwind situation. She sees her dad (who doesn’t look like her dad), and he turns out to be just as not good as possible. He handcuffs her to a bench, gives her romantic advice and then says he’s proud of her and he loves her.
Just then, Booth arrives, and I have always, always loved the look on Max’s face when he sees this. No fear, first of all, but just… “Yeah.”
“You take care of her!” he ‘commands’ to Booth–which, we all know he already does and will, even if it isn’t ‘open season on Brennans’ as he said before 😀
“FBI. ” Booth pulls his gun. “Stop, or I’ll shoot.”
“Booth!” Brennan calls out–not wanting him to shoot her dad.
He lowers his gun and walks over to Brennan (and uncuffs her) . Meanwhile, Russ purposefully backs up into Caroline’s car. Ouch. But considering the rest of the series…we know Caroline forgave Booth 😀
Brennan watches Russ and Max drive away to who-knows-where.
Booth puts his hand on her shoulder…which to me is a notable acknowledgement of her saying ‘let’s stop hugging and such’ (well, she didn’t say that exactly, but still) and he says “Are you okay?”
Brennan nods, with a touch of resolution in her gaze. She has been okay, and she will be okay is what I take from that look in her eyes.
Meanwhile, Placebo’s version of “Running Up That Hill” begins to play, and we move to the final scenes of the episode. And that will be discussed on Saturday. But for now…what do you think of Max’s revealing his identity in this scene? Or how about him issuing responsibility for Brennan onto Booth? What is Brennan feeling as the scene/scenes progress?
Peace, Love & Bones,