“You are the Standard.” – The Top 20 Episode of Bones, Part One

Posted by Kim and Kelly

Editor’s Note: When we first starting tossing around the idea of Bones Week, Sage and I both knew that we wouldn’t be able to do it without our dear friend Kelly contributing. After all, Bones was Kelly’s revenge on Sage for getting HER into The X-Files. Thus, Kelly and I sat down and listed our favorite episodes of Bones and lovingly fought with each other until we were in agreement on the 20 episodes we felt were the most definitive of Bones as a series. Here are the fruits of our labor. (And follow Kelly’s extensive Bones finale coverage over at Entertainment Weekly! She fancy like that.) — Kim

This is where I’m supposed to tell you how I feel about Bones. Like I’ve ever had just one feeling about Bones at a time.

You could start with Billy Eichner’s farewell sketch: a frenetically fond goodbye to a long-running procedural that most people think is a “CSI show.” Yelling, “It’s not a CSI show!” is part of my relationship with Bones. But then you’d have to imagine me in a dingy Dublin dorm room, an ocean away from my college and feeling unexpectedly alone, marathoning Bones at 2 a.m. because someone else I knew had just died. I studied abroad expecting an adventure that never came, so I spent my time with characters who understood adventure as I now wanted to know it: as a set of relationships and a sense of purpose. I thought I’d find myself in the city, but I found myself in the show.

It would be indulgent to list the actual, measurable ways Bones changed my life, both personally and professionally, but it did and still does, which is why there was never a question that I would stick with it until the end. Admittedly, for a few seasons there, Bones got so good at recreating what it did well that it lost some of the magic it had at its best, when it was still figuring out whether it wanted to be a comedy, a drama, or a romance, and so it was all of them. But in the last few years, Bones has found its way back to that sense of unpredictability. All but one of the episodes on our list are from seasons 1 through 6, but I’d be remiss not to acknowledge how much fun it’s been to watch this show start taking risks again. They call this last season “The Last Chapter,” but in classic Bones form, it feels like a look forward. We left out a lot of deserving episodes. There are a lot of episodes of Bones.

And listen: There is a reason why this show went on for so many years. Bones knows people. The argument that a procedural is “really about the characters!” is practically the TV fan version of “my dog went to a farm” at this point, but my family’s dog LITERALLY WENT TO A FARM and also BONES IS ABOUT THE CHARACTERS. Booth and Brennan stand at the center, the intuitive man and the rational, scientific woman, and while that dichotomy is so obviously indebted to The X-Files that the pilot just got it out of the way and admitted as much, it’s updated here for a more self-conscious era: Brennan a woman with peerless intelligence who fears coming across as cold, Booth an exploration of how traditional masculinity functions in our time.

Any show gifted with half the chemistry David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel brought to the small screen each week would be lucky to back it up with characterization half as strong as Booth and Brennan’s. But Bones did one better and made everyone feel real: the bug guy in anger management who’s also a wealthy romantic; the artist and computer whiz whose dad is ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons (like, what); the kickass coroner boss who stays up late worrying about her friends; the whip-smart psychologist looking to replace the family he lost. The boy who went too far trying to belong.

Bones has a knack for making you like people. It’s a byproduct of its empathy, which the show has maintained in the face of Hollywood peer pressure to make murder solving all flashy and soulless. Bones cares when it’s uncool, and that refusal to detach makes the series so hopeful (as both science and Brennan teach us, imperviousness is not the same as strength). For a show about people with such difficult pasts and dark careers, Bones has mostly resisted the temptation to get more tragic over time, choosing instead to guide these characters toward happiness and then defiantly keep them there. (Except Sweets. RIP, buddy.)

Optimism was this show’s radicalism. Bones pushed boundaries by normalizing, and it normalized so well that its quiet challenge to the status quo was mistaken for the new status quo.That one guy on Billy on the Street was wrong when he said Bones didn’t open any doors; it did, just not for some kind of hypothetical high-concept Breaking Bad 2.0. It was too busy paving the way for everyone else—the women who run government labs, the Iranian poet-doctors, the bisexual artists, the Army Rangers in therapy. Bones has never been properly recognized for the world it envisions. But maybe if you all just tie your friends to a chair and make them watch these 20 episodes, that’ll be a start.

I meannnn recognition isn’t what’s important. –Kelly

Honorable Mention: “The Boneless Bride in the River” (2 x 16)

This may have been my first episode of Bones, but I didn’t need context to know that in the end, Brennan would end up with that chisel-jawed guy who called out, “Ahoy the boat,” and muscled his way between her and her also-chisel-jawed then-boyfriend. Sully never stood a chance. That’s no knock on Sully, whose sensitivity to Brennan astounds me. Their relationship is new enough that he won’t let it stop him from sailing off to the Caribbean, but it’s already strong enough that he wants her to come with him—and deep enough that he knows what that request will do to her. (Catch me crying into the sleeves of a Sully-esque sweater when he asks Brennan if she wants to hug and accepts what he thinks is a no for an answer, only to find himself wrapped in her arms a second later.)

The case in “The Boneless Bride in the River” is not what I’d call good, but I’ve always had a soft spot for its character work. It’s a study in Bones’ purpose-based romanticism: the idea that one way to love the world is to dedicate yourself to a single cause. As both Sully and Angela know, that way of life requires missing out on a lot; even Brennan frames her decision to stay behind as a kind of failure, and one of the best things about this episode is its willingness to let the show’s status quo seem suddenly bittersweet. Even work worth doing can be used as a crutch.

But what Booth and Brennan sacrifice, they sacrifice together. Angela might think Gordon Gordon is “full of it” when he claims Brennan stayed for her work rather than for Booth, but there’s really no separating the two. Brennan doesn’t stay for Booth, exactly, but she does stay with him—she stays because, like him, she defines herself by her job. When she turns from waving goodbye to Sully and finds Booth waiting behind her, you can feel her roots and his starting to tangle. They need to solve murders, and so they need each other. Booth’s reminder that “everything happens eventually” is also the promise that, one day, she won’t have to choose. Or at least if she does, the choice will be easy. — Kelly

Best line:

Booth: Give it time, Bones, okay? Give it time. Everything happens eventually.
Brennan: Everything?
Booth: All the stuff that you think never happens—it happens. You just gotta be ready for it.

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Honorable Mention: “The Graft in the Girl” (1 x 20)



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Everyone has an episode that they have an almost inexplicable soft spot for and “The Graft in the Girl” is mine. Nothing momentous happens in this episode. It’s not crucial to the Bones mythology, nor does it have any sort of big moment between Booth and Brennan. What it IS is a cracking good mystery/serial killer case that heightened by Booth and Brennan having a personal connection to the victim.

I think my favorite thing about “The Graft in the Girl” is that there is no Eleventh Hour cure for Amy Cullen. They say at the beginning that her cancer is terminal and they don’t back down from that. Alexandra Krosney is pitch-perfect in the role, bringing JUST the right amount of bitterness to Amy and the life that’s being snatched away from her, but she never crosses over into after-school special territory. But the real star of this episode is Michaela Conlin (who had an AMAZING back half of season 1, between this and “The Skull in the Desert”). Out of all our characters, Angela is the one who never dreamed that she would help solve murders for a living and the whole thing still feels very foreign to her. She lacks the clinical distance that Booth and Brennan have built up, so her heart is laid bare with the unfairness of the whole situation. Angela sees herself in Amy’s passion for art and her longing for love. Michaela’s performance is beautifully bittersweet as she tries to share of much of herself with Amy while she can. Her final gesture of creating the Louvre for Amy remains one of my absolute favorite Angela moments of the entire series. — Kim

Best Line: 

Angela: Look, we can solve hundred-year-old crimes…we can, we can track down serial killers and identify people when nothing is left of them but sludge. So, why can’t we help a 15-year-old girl? All she wants to do is fall in love and visit the Louvre.
Hodgins: You can do that.
Angela: What do you mean?
Hodgins: You made a whole guy out of bone chips and lights. You can create the Louvre.


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20) “The Spark in the Park” (9 x 11)


 

What I want to know is how it took nine seasons before Bones centered a case in the world of competitive gymnastics, especially considering the toll it takes on the body.

“The Spark in the Park” is the only episode past season 6 to make this list and I lobbied hard for it because of the MAGNIFICENT guest performance by our boo Richard Schiff and because it is a beautiful episode for Brennan. Brennan sees a version of herself in Dr. Watters, the version of her before opening her heart to Booth and Angela and the rest of her chosen family; the person she could easily become were she to lose everything as Watters has. Brennan UNDERSTANDS Watters on a fundamental level, she gets how he turns to his equations in times of strife because they make sense and his daughter’s death doesn’t. It’s so reminiscent of her 2 + 2 = 4 monologue in “The Devil in the Details.” When they can’t understand effects, people like Brennan and Watters turn to the things they know to be true. That’s why when Booth sees a shady murder suspect (His characterization in this episode was a BIT off, but I’m letting it slide), Brennan sees a father crippled by grief. Her compassion for him is overwhelming and it makes my heart EXPLODE because look at how much Brennan has grown. Look how strong her heart muscle is. Look at how she trusts her instincts about people. Look at how she COMFORTS a man in pain. It’s so beautiful.

Listen. All Richard Schiff has to do is show up on a show and I’m renting a plane to fly around the world with a banner declaring his brilliance. BUT THIS PERFORMANCE. It’s a masterclass in restrained emotion, in introversion, and in someone collapsing in on himself. He comes off as callous about his daughter’s death because he doesn’t know how to comprehend it. But all you have to do is look in his eyes to see that he’s devastated. Watters may not be a man of many words, but Richard Schiff doesn’t need them to create a fully formed character.

And that final scene? GOD. Emily Deschanel is so fucking good (THE SINGLE TEAR. Her emotional build. She’s SUCH a brilliant actress) as she realizes that Watters is painting a portrait of his daughter’s life through the only thing he understands: equations. Cause and effect. Life may not be good again, but at least some sense of it can be made.  (Also a note to the editing of the episode because I LOVE how it ends in silence. Amanda really is at rest.) — Kim

Best Line: 

Brennan: Follow the logic. If you kill yourself, the authorities will be convinced that you did, in fact, abuse and murder your daughter. She took care of you so you could keep working. Not everyone understands people like us. Inertia demands that you keep going. For Amanda.
Watters: Find who did this. 


episode gifs via hamiltrashed.tumblr.com
 

19) “The Girl with the Curl” (2 x 07)



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HODGELA.

Early season two was a powder keg of sexual tension, between Booth, Brennan, Cam, Hodgins, and Angela all bantering and making eyes at each other (now that’s a fan fic I would read). SOMEBODY had to blow it and it was Jack Hodgins (because it was waaaaaaay too early for Booth and Brennan to go there). AND HE BLEW IT UP IN THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE. (Also when exactly did Jack Hodgins go from paranoid bug guy to dream guy? Discuss.)

Hodgins: We’ve been dancing around this for months now…like two pieces of neodymium caught in a magnetic field.
Angela: Is that good?
Hodgins: Yeah. But if the field weakens, they fly apart. Which is why I thought they should go on a date.

Ladies, your new standard. If you’re not compared to neodymium, it’s not good enough.

And THE DATE. Earlier in the episode, Angela talks about childhood and feeling free on the swings, so what does Jack do? He takes her to a park so they can swing. (END ME.) What gets me so much about this whole thing is Jack’s confidence. I’ve seen this episode a billion times. I JUST watched it in preparation for this post. I KNOW it’s coming and I still let out dying animal noises when Jack jumps off the swing and goes in for the kiss. It’s perfect. Too perfect, since it sends Angela running for the hills because she was NEVER supposed to actually fall in love with the Bug Guy. I know it all turns out okay a few episodes later, but man that hurt. The women on this show and their emotional skittishness though. I live for it.

 
 
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The little girl in the last gif is me.

Take out the Hodgela of it all and this episode would still make my top 20. Season Two was LIT, y’all. I loved the dynamic that Cam brought to the group and I love how in these early episodes it’s clear that these characters are still all figuring each other out. (The awkward girl talk scene is everything.) I’m here for Brennan awkwardly trying to understand the hierarchies of young beauty queens and I’m HERE for her rants against Western beauty standards and the sexualization of young girls. (THIS SHOW.) And THEN there’s the infamous “well structured” scene with exactly ZERO personal space. (*panic laughter*) What blows my mind a little bit about this final scene is that Booth is sneaking around with Cam but he STILL can’t resist the pull he feels towards Brennan. I think it speaks a lot to Camille Saroyan’s character in regards to her reaction when Booth blows her off for Mee Krab with Brennan. She doesn’t get huffy or cause a scene. She simply shrugs (“Your loss, buddy.”) and goes on her way. It’s a subtle moment but it’s a powerful one. She knows. And you know what? She’s fine with it.  — Kim

Best Line: 

Angela: I need advice.
Brennan: What — on a personal matter?
Angela: Yes.
Brennan: From me?
Angela: Yes.
Brennan: But romance is sort of…this is like me asking you advice on phylogenetic systematics.
Angela: Phylogenetic systematics. I have no idea what that is.

Brennan: Exactly.

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In Appreciation of Seeley Booth

Posted by Kim and Sage

Way back in the infancy of this website (February 2013 was SO LONG AGO you guys), I wrote a post naming my Top 5 TV Boyfriends. Number one on that list? Seeley Joseph Booth. My TV Crushes come and they go, but Booth remains a constant. He’s THAT guy, you know? He’s the Alpha Male who is a gigantic mushball. He believes in romance and fate and soulmates. He laughs at fart jokes and sexual innuendo. He’s dark and twisty and wrestles with his own demons. He loves strong and intelligent women who challenge him. He’s just…SO MUCH. And there are very few leading men on TV that are as well-rounded as he is, so let’s appreciate him, shall we?  — Kim

1. LOOK AT HIM

Look, I get that this is a TV show and the goal is to always cast the most attractive people possible because it’s always more interesting to see pretty people solve crimes and have interpersonal drama every week. But damn if Bones didn’t hit the genetic lottery with David Boreanaz as Booth. Boreanaz is your classic tall, dark, and HANDSOME leading man.  As Booth, he KNOWS he’s handsome, with his sparkling eyes and mischievous smirk. But the knowledge of his handsomeness is not off putting…it’s just a state of being. You know what? I think I’m just going to let the characters speak for themselves here. –Kim

Brennan: I believe that dopamine and norepinephrine stimulate euphoria because of certain biological triggers like scent, and symmetrical features.
Booth: Symmetrical features?
Brennan: Yes it’s an indication of a good breeder. You appear to be a very good breeder.

 
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Angela: Hey, listen. He is very cute.
Brennan: Well, I do respond to the breadth of his shoulders and strong jaw line.

Brennan: [admiringly]: You have a perfect acromion. [Booth looks pleased]

Brennan: I don’t understand, what way do I look?
Booth: Well, you know. You’re structured very well.
Brennan: As are you. 

Angela: Booth is a big, strong, hot guy who wants to save your life. I mean, you actually have a knight in shining FBI standard-issue body armor, so cut him some slack.

Booth: Now you’re looking at me like I’m some piece of meat.
Brennan: I would never look at you like that. I’m a vegetarian. 

Angela: Uh, are we doing experiments on Booth? Because if so, I’d like to help.

EYE CRINKLES.

Margaret: His eyes are too small to be really handsome.
Brennan: Well, I have to admit, I…find him pleasing to look at.

Booth: That’s like me saying I don’t want to be a sexy FBI agent. We can’t change who we are. (YES I KNOW SAGE USED THAT ONE IN THE LAST POST, IT BEARS REPEATING.)

LET ME LIVE

2. His Strong Moral Code

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Sure, they make good movies. But there’s only so much loose-cannon cops can get done.

Seeley Booth is the polar opposite of that archetype, though he has had to go outside the law on occasion. This is a guy who returned to FBI service even after he was framed for murder by an inside man. He believes that the ideals that law enforcement represents are bigger than any one person, including him. There’s a lot of self-preservation in his dedication to these higher callings. We all hold tight to the things that ground us.

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Unlike his partner, Booth doesn’t take any pleasure in violence. (And thanks for reversing THAT generalization, show.) He’s not a pacifist – not by a long shot. But he does only what’s necessary, and he usually drowns himself in guilt afterwards. Bones never put Booth in one of those male hero situations where the by-the-book officer gets emotional and Loses Control™, giving into some inner wealth of manly rage and animal bloodlust that’s been there the whole time. Booth isn’t an angry guy. He’s not teetering on the brink at every second. He thinks the world is a fundamentally good place and that he’s in a position to make it better. Force is available and sometimes required, but only as a last resort.

Source: becauseyoulovemebb

Booth has never used his stormy childhood as an excuse. For anything. (In general, the Jeffersonians are NOT complainers.) Instead, it was a catalyst for his constant pursuit of fairness and nobility. Booth’s father taught him everything that he didn’t want to be: selfish, pathetic, unreliable. Vicious. So if there was anything in Booth’s life that could put him at odds with FBI protocol, it had to be his family. That’s the other golden rule that he lives by: a man takes care of his family. And feeding them and keeping a roof over their heads doesn’t cover it. (Brennan makes more money than him anyway.) It’s being a partner and a parent, someone Brennan and his kids (and Hodgins and Angela and Cam and Jared and…) can count on in every possible way.

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Booth’s faith usually comes up when it’s comically at odds with Brennan’s pragmatism, but his Catholic roots are a big part of who he is. It’s really important to me that Booth sees the divine in other people, even if they (like his wife) aren’t believers. Take the chapel scene at the end of “Aliens in a Spaceship”:

Brennan: I’m okay with you thanking God for saving me and Hodgins.
Booth: That’s not what I thanked him for. I thanked him for saving…all of us. It was all of us. Every. Single. One. You take one of us away, and you and Hodgins are in that hole forever. And I’m thankful for that.

God didn’t reach a magic hand down to pull Hodgins and Brennan out of their early grave. As far as Booth is concerned, he gave Angela her skill and Booth his determination and Zack his brilliance. He gave them all this fierce love for Jack and Brennan that wouldn’t let them quit. And that’s why they survived. It’s the same faith that Brennan has in all of them, it just comes from a different place. And though she can’t share Booth’s beliefs, she’ll always respect them. –Sage

3. He’s Got Flair

Yet for all his strong moral code and belief in the SYSTEM, Booth likes to assert his individuality and set himself apart from his peers. How does one stand out when your job requires you to wear suits every day? Accessories, of course!!! Wacky socks. Ties with pin-ups on the back of them. THE COCKY BELT BUCKLE. These are all the little bits of flair that Booth uses to set himself apart. Do you want to feel some pain? The very reason Booth even works in these small rebellions is because Temperance Brennan gave him the confidence to do so.

Booth: The shoes, they’re part of my uniform. The FBI, they just have a way of doing thing.
Brennan: Well, anthropologically speaking, para-militaristic organizations tend to constrain individuality.
Booth: That’s for sure.
Brennan: But any group, no matter how restrictive, the free thinkers, the mavericks, rebels with leadership quality, find ways to declare their distinctiveness.
Booth: I’m a free thinking real rebel.

Booth always had the desire to assert himself and set himself apart from his colleagues, but Brennan gave him the means of doing so. Booth’s flair is a non-aggressive means of declaring himself the alpha male. He’s saying “I’m different and you should pay attention to me.”

Booth: Oh, hey, Doc, Doc, Doc, um…W-why is it that the, uh, the belt buckle is provocative?
Wyatt: Oh, it’s a modern-day codpiece. It forces the eye to the groin.

And if his flair is also a way that he can peacock for Brennan, then’s that’s just that. — Kim

 
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4. He’s Hot-Blooded

I suggested this bullet point without really thinking about what it means. Booth’s hot-blooded! Check him and see. Everybody loves Foreigner, but this is their SONG.

The first time Booth and Bones dance to “Hot-Blooded” is in “Two Bodies in the Lab” when Brennan is shot at on her way to a blind date and Booth steps in as her personal bodyguard. As such, he has to come home with her. And since it’s the best way to get to know anyone, he rifles through her music collection. His selection leads to a premium Booth goofball moment, but he’s not being as spontaneous as it might seem. He’s taking Brennan’s mind off the threat that’s outside her door, that’s obvious. But he’s also making an idiot out of himself to make her more comfortable with him there, in her inner sanctum. Booth knows Brennan values her privacy, and if he has to intrude, he’s at least going to make it fun for her.

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So I guess that’s what I mean with this one: Booth is FUN. Sex-on-the-washing-machine fun, even. –Sage

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In Appreciation of Temperance Brennan

Source: zhapata

Posted by Sage and Kim

She’s as intelligent as Dana Scully; as mission-driven as Buffy Summers; and as capable as Olivia Pope. The Jeffersonian Institute’s crown jewel and the world’s foremost forensic anthropologist should be as celebrated as any of those iconic characters. For the next chapter of Bones Week, we’re going what we two bloggers can to right this wrong. Let’s appreciate the hell out of Dr. Temperance Brennan.

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It wasn’t easy to keep this post to the top ten reasons that we love her. Brennan is a superhero, as far as we’re concerned. Her powers are her massive intellect and heart, and fools of all kinds are her Kryptonite. As played by the absurdly underrated Emily Deschanel, she’s also hard-luck case with a fierce resilient streak, funny as hell, and a somewhat unintentional bombshell. If all women on TV were written as well as Temperance Brennan, this world would be a better place. We’re going to miss her always, except for those four hours a day Bones reruns air on TNT. –Sage

1. LOOK AT HER

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It’s not the most interesting thing about her, but Temperance Brennan is beautiful. Breathtakingly so.

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It would feel wrong to talk about it if Brennan weren’t so aware of it herself. We get so offended as a culture if a woman who’s attractive dares acknowledge it, even if that’s the basis of her career. But Brennan knows from Western beauty standards and she’s well aware that she fits most of them. She’s collected empirical evidence of the way people respond to her. Her beauty is a fact, and facts shouldn’t be clouded with emotion. It’s never occurred to Brennan to be modest about her looks, though she also doesn’t want to trade in on them to the point where her accomplishments are diminished. (“I don’t want to be a sexy scientist.” “That’s like me saying I don’t want to be a sexy FBI agent. We can’t change who we are.”)

Source: boothseeley

I marathoned Bones HARD this year, and part of what kept me going is that I never got tired of looking at Emily Deschanel. Runway models would murder for that bone structure: the high cheekbones and strong jaw that any number of master portrait painters would like to get their hands on. That shiny, chestnut-brown hair looks good in even the most dated haircuts of the Brennan canon. Her striking blue eyes sparkle with intelligence and curiosity. And she rocks lab coats and hazmat suits as hard as she rocks a cocktail dress. No wonder Booth is always already looking at her when she tries to sneak a peek.

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Sometimes female characters are so stuffed, shellacked, and stifled into sex-object-as-defined-by-studio-exec territory that watching them feels like looking at beauty that’s behind glass. Brennan fits the bill of the gorgeous female lead, but everything about her is so ALIVE. She’s Elizabeth Bennet after she walks through the mud to be with her ill sister at the Bingleys’ and gets Darcy SHOOK. She’s Athena – the goddess of wisdom – wearing some hideous necklace she picked up her travels. It’s that spirit that goes along with her loveliness that makes people gravitate towards her, even though she’s “odd,” by certain social standards. Brennan lights up a room, even when it’s filled with dead bodies. –Sage

2. She’s an Actual Genius

Source: becauseyoulovemebb
 Let me repeat that: Temperance Brennan is an ACTUAL genius.

When I sat down to reflect on just what has made Bones so damn special, I always came back to this point: the protagonist is a female genius, whose intellect stands unparalleled. Think about it. Mulder, with all his fancy Oxford degrees, was always on the same intellectual level as Scully. Cristina Yang is a genius (“Screw beautiful, I’m brilliant. If you want to appease me, compliment my brain!”) but Grey’s Anatomy was never HER story. From the very first time we see her in the pilot, Bones has always been Brennan’s story, with Booth serving as the interloper/catalyst for change. So often the role of the “Difficult and Misunderstood Genius” is assigned to male characters, especially in a procedural type of show, so Bones subverts the entire genre by casting Brennan in this role. (That’s not to say that Booth is stupid, because he’s not. His smarts lie elsewhere, and even he acknowledges that he’s ordinary standing next to her.)

Booth: It’s too early for math, Bones. It’s too early.
Brennan: It’s never too early for math.

Sage touches on this in our next point but the most important thing about Brennan’s genius is that she never apologizes for it or downplays it. Brennan RELISHES her genius. Being the smartest person in the room is a point of pride for her and she never lets anyone FORGET that she is that person. She always uses that beautiful brain of hers to her advantage, be it distracting some Men in Black with science jibber-jabber or clinging to her intellect as a shield against the high school bullies who didn’t understand her curious nature or desire to find something BEYOND the insular world she found herself in. In a world where so often women are told to downplay their intelligence as to not threaten The Men, Temperance Brennan stands tall like a tower of strength and for that I am so so so grateful. — Kim

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3. She Takes Up Space

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Nothing is more threatening to weak people than a woman who knows exactly how powerful and smart she is and is not afraid to own it. What can be confused for arrogance is trust, in Brennan’s case. She trusts that her colleagues, friends, and partner can handle it and that they will accept her for who she is. And Brennan isn’t just fearless and guileless with them. That’s how she goes through life, and it’s a damn inspiration.

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To my ladies reading this: pick a day to be really conscious of how many compliments you deflect, how many times you refuse to take credit, and how many unnecessary apologies you make just for existing. Then implant this filter into your head: What Would Brennan Do? She’ll say she’s sorry, but never for asking someone to do their job. She expects the best out of people who work with her because she’s damn sure giving hers. She doesn’t let impostor syndrome make her feel unworthy of being the boss. And her Squints love her for it, because her high expectations make them better. Modesty is fine. False modesty is not, and neither is culturally mandated negative self-talk.

Source: michaelaconlin

Booth: Hey, excuse me, you know what, you really need to learn how to speak to human beings.
Brennan: I speak six languages, two of which you’ve never even heard of.

Bones has stayed alive for so long because at its heart, it’s about how book smarts and emotional intelligence inform and complete each other. But everyone is stronger in one of those areas. Imagine how frustrating it must be to Brennan that, though she’s achieved everything she’s wanted to professionally, there are people (including Booth, on their first case) who will ignore those achievements and only focus on where she falls short. When that happens, can you blame her for asserting her extraordinary brilliance?

Source: zhapata
 

Brennan’s femininity is so significant. You couldn’t gender swap this character and get the same impact. Booth is the heart and Brennan is the brains – we know this. And though rationality is often incorrectly labeled as a “male” trait, Brennan has never been painted as “one of the guys.” She’s proud to be a woman and never hesitates to bring up the matriarchal societies she’s encountered in her globetrotting, if they’re relevant to the conversation. Her life experience as a female scientist and crime novelist – fated to have to answer more interview questions about her plans to start a family than her work – is an intrinsic part of who she is.

But Brennan isn’t a one-note superwoman character who’s completely impervious to self-doubt. She has no fear in her professional life. The emotional obstacle that she sets up for herself is so poetically expressed in this exchange between Brennan and self-proclaimed psychic Avalon Harmonia from the Season 5 premiere, “Harbingers in a Fountain”:

Avalon: No, the riddle you can’t solve is how somebody can love you.
Brennan: *chuckles* Well, I’m beautiful and very intelligent.
Avalon: The answer to the question that you’re afraid to say out loud is yes. He knows the truth about you. And he is dazzled by that truth.

First of all, holy shit. Secondly, Avalon helps us mere mortals to understand why Brennan takes so long to make herself completely vulnerable with Booth and how much courage it must have cost her to finally do it. –Sage

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Fan Video Friday – In Celebration of Bones

Posted by Kim and Sage

Welcome to our second installment of Bones Week!! It’s Friday, so you know what that means…FAN VIDEO TIME. We’ve scoured the depths of YouTube (with the assistance of our resident Bones expert Kelly) to bring you the best of the best of the shipper videos (both angst ridden and not), the best brOTP montages, and the best celebrations of the entire Bones family. What I love most about Fan Videos is that they are like digital scrapbooks of a series. They have the moments that make you go “Aw, I FORGOT about that scene” and “OMG that’s my favorite!!” and they are all set to some of our favorite tunes. (There are songs out there written explicitly for fan videos, no?) So settle in and enjoy the fruits of these GIFTED artists’ labor. (Seriously guys, how do you do it?) — Kim

“Something I Need” 

Sage: I was shown this video by my very mean friends on the night of my Bones indoctrination. Now every time I even HEAR this song, I can feel the wine and new ship endorphins coursing through my system. This video really highlights the rock solid partnership of Booth of Brennan and gets a lot of mileage out of the “I wanna die with you” lyrics. Because they HAVE almost died – together and separately – A LOT.

“Raise Your Glass” 

Kim: What a stone cold pack of weirdos. “Raise Your Glass” is the ULTIMATE fan video song to celebrate a giant ensemble of odd balls. What’s so beautiful about the Jeffersonian crew is that on their own, they ARE just a group of underdogs who never really fit in anywhere. But together? They are a family.  Kudos to the vidder for tying in “It’s so fucking on right now” to Booth shooting the door down in “The Proof in the Pudding.” Perfection.

“All This Time” 

Sage: I usually think of Hodgins and Angela as “the fun ones” but this video proved me wrong and then laughed in my face. It may not seem so after being stretched out over 12 seasons, but Hodgela have been through as much angst as Booth & Brennan. (More, when you take Jack’s paralysis – which this video doesn’t include – into account.) But even when they were broken up, Hodgins and Angela had nothing but love for one another. To me, the “all this time” in the lyrics refers to that long, bittersweet period when they took their sweet time getting back to each other.

“What Makes You Beautiful” 

Kim:  Well, it wouldn’t be us if we didn’t find a way to work One Direction into this post. This song works so perfectly for Booth and Brennan because while Brennan knows empirically that she’s beautiful but for the longest time, she couldn’t see what made her beautiful to BOOTH.  This whole video is basically an ode to Booth’s pining face. (Don’t worry, we’re going to wax poetic on that later this week.) She really DOES light up his world like nobody else, you guys.  And one only need to watch the sexy librarian scene from “The Passenger in the Oven” to know that the way she flips her hair gets him overwhelmed.

“A Thousand Years” 

Sage: It’s been done for every OTP, but you know why? Because “A Thousand Years” always delivers. I love that the editor chose the duet version for this video so they could show the long road to FINALLY being a couple from both Brennan’s perspective and Booth’s. Nearly every major B/B pining moment is represented here. Putting Booth’s “I’m that guy” move over the “I will be brave” lyric is aggressive, but that’s how I like it.

“Girls Just Want To Have Fun” 

Kim: I mean, this is basically Brennan’s theme song, so we HAD to include this one. Will I EVER get over Booth’s awe and blatantly adoring heart eyes in the karaoke scene? The answer is absolutely not. Look at that head over heels in love ASSHOLE.

I love that this video celebrates all the complicated and powerful ladies of Bones.  The women have always been the driving force of the ensemble and that’s what has made the show so special to so many people.  They’ve got all the dudes wrapped around their little fingers while the men just wonder how they got so fucking lucky that these incredible women chose them.

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The Bones Yearbook

Source: becauseyoulovemebb

Posted by Sage & Kim

After 12 seasons of romance, murders, and hard hard science, the doors are about to close on the Jeffersonian forensics department. (Or be blown up. Whatever.) Whether you’ve loved Bones from the beginning like Kim or crammed hundreds of episodes into a whirlwind binge like me, you’re probably as sad as we are to see this cast of characters go. We’re SO sad, in fact, that we’re honoring Booth, Brennan, and the rest of their family with a dedicated Bones WEEK. Let’s kick it off now with the Bones Yearbook, a concept we’re stealing from our own New Who Tenth Anniversary post. Because it’s just good fun to imagine that, in some universe, everyone from Max right on down to the Squinterns made up one wacky, BRILLIANT group of seniors. So here it is: the Bones graduating class of 2017….

–Sage

Prom Queen & King: Temperance Brennan & Seeley Booth

Valedictorian: Temperance Brennan

Source: jvwbreaker

Senior Quote: “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.” – Marie Curie

Activities: Chemistry Club, Biology Club, Physics Club, American Field Service, Krav Maga, Chorus, Peruvian Gourd Art Appreciation Society (Sole Member)

Most Popular: Seeley Booth

Senior Quote: “Let’s have faith that right makes might; and in that faith let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.” – Abraham Lincoln

Activities: Starting Quarterback, Varsity Hockey, ROTC, Sharpshooters, Eagle Scouts, Ceramics, Chorus (because Brennan)

Homecoming King & Queen: Jack Hodgins & Angie Montenegro

Class Clown: Jack Hodgins

Source: jvwbreaker

Senior Quote: “When convention and science offer us no answers, might we not finally turn to the fantastic as a plausibility?” – Fox Mulder

Activities: Debate Team, Founder of the Conspiracy Society, Entomology Club, First Prize at the Science Fair (no matter what Zack says)

Most Talented: Angela Pearly-Gates Montenegro

Source: jvwbreaker

Senior Quote: “Maybe mistakes are what make our fate…without them what would shape our lives? Maybe if we had never veered off course we wouldn’t fall in love, have babies, or be who we are. After all, things change, so do cities, people come into your life and they go. But it’s comforting to know that the ones you love are always in your heart…and if you’re very lucky, a plane ride away.” – Sex and the City

Activities: Art Appreciation, Yearbook Photographer, Computer Science Club, ASPCA Volunteer, Varsity Football Water Girl

Most Likely to Succeed: Camille Saroyan

Source: jvwbreaker

Senior Quote: “It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends.” – Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone

Activities: Governor of Youth Legislature, Model UN, National Honor Society, Youngest Morgue Intern Ever

Source: cortexifansquint

Most Dependable: Lance Sweets

Source: saraquinz

Senior Quote: “Every story, new or ancient/Bagatelle or work of art/All are tales of human failing/All are tales of love at heart” – Aida

Activities: Literary Magazine Editor, Yearbook Editor, Big Brothers/Big Sisters Mentor, School Death Metal Band Lead Guitarist

Mr. Congeniality: James Aubrey

Source: becauseyoulovemebb

Senior Quote: “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

Activities: Competitive Eating Society, Home Economics, AV Club, Drama Club Spotlight Operator, Alternate for All Other Clubs

Favorite Faculty Member: Caroline Julian

Source: boothseeley

Senior Quote: “Lord, what fools these mortals be!” – A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Activities: Civics Teacher, Faculty Adviser for Mock Trial & Student Government, Always Knows Who’s Dating Whom

Biggest Case of Senioritis: Max Keenan

Source: wandering-muggle

Senior Quote: “I am warning you Javert/I’m a stronger man by far/There is power in me yet/My race is not yet run” – Les Miserables

Activities: Playing Hooky

Most Likely to be ID’ed When They’re 30: Zack Addy

Source: drinkupthesunrise

Senior Quote: “Why should I quote someone else to represent myself?” – Zack Addy

Activities: Physics Club, Biology Club, Chemistry Club, First Prize at the Science Fair (no matter what Hodgins says)

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“That would be some way to leave us.” – This Is Us Recap – Moonshadow

source: bigthree.tumblr.com

This Is Us Season 1, Episode 18
“Moonshadow”
Posted by Shannon

The first season of This is Us had some near-perfect episodes. It also had some that stood on the importance of their character development, even when the plot or structure faltered, and some that worked despite sections with deeply problematic writing, but it hadn’t yet had an episode that just fell flat. So it’s especially unfortunate that the first episode to truly disappoint me was also the season finale. “Moonshadow” revelled almost exclusively in the show’s worst qualities, and while This is Us is secure in its unprecedented second and third season renewal, I for one hate that its first season went down like this. With barely a moment for the Big Three, no closure on Jack’s passing, and a lack-luster closing speech, we’re left with some lingering questions and a whole lot of plot devices to tide us over until season two.

Young Jack

 
source: bigthree.tumblr.com
 

A Vietnam veteran, Jack has returned from the war and is living at home, working as a fix-it guy around the neighborhood. Mrs. Peabody, a widow who wants to set Jack up with her best friend’s granddaughter, opens the episode by offering him $5 for fixing up her car and chatting with him in the driveway. (Her car is immediately recognizable as the one Jack drives later on, so all that work on the engine will pay off in time.) Jack is trying to piece together his livelihood on odd jobs, and while he painstakingly saves every dollar he earns in a box with his dog tags, it’s slow going. Not only is he living in his parent’s attic, his horrible father is back and is taking every opportunity to berate Jack and his mother.

At least Jack has one friend to commiserate with; Daryl, with whom he wants to open up an auto shop. They even have a spot in mind, and they spend nights sitting outside of the garage, making plans and drinking beers. Jack and Daryl just aren’t saving up money fast enough, and Jack asks Daryl to get them into his cousin’s poker game in an attempt to move things along. It’s clearly misguided, but we’re still meant to see the origins of Jack’s best qualities in this conversation: against all odds, we’re told that he’s returned from Vietnam without any emotional or physical wounds, and he’s toiling away in a horrible family situation, working hard to pull himself and his mother out into safety. Instead, though, I found this characterization of Jack to be entitled and indignant. When he told Daryl that “we’re good guys, we deserve to make it,” for the first time it occurred to me that Rebecca was onto something when she called Jack out as only acting like the good guy to make himself feel better. Yes, motivation and drive are good qualities, but being a good person does NOT mean that good things will automatically happen to you, and even at this age, Jack doesn’t seem as naive as he’d need to be to believe otherwise.

source: ventimigrillo.tumblr.com

Once they get to the poker game, things are even more painful to watch. The set up is a cliché representation of a dive bar, just smoky enough to read as “bad” without actually feeling dangerous, and Jack plays the part of the fool, walking in and winning a pile of money on his first hand, only to bail on the rest of the game immediately afterwards. It’s a bad move in the best of circumstances, and of COURSE it means that he and Daryl get beat up outside the bar, with all their earnings stolen. Jack doesn’t see how foolish his behavior was, instead blaming it all on how unfair the world has been to punish him instead of his father, who’s always broken on the side of the morally bankrupt. He’s chosen to be the opposite of his father, to be “respectful to women, be a good man – look where it’s gotten me.”

source: bigthree.tumblr.com

Jack is feeling angsty and angry, and ready to “take the life that I was supposed to have.” He intends to take that life by blatantly standing up his blind date and stealing his poker winnings out of the bar. Everything is going according to plan when Jack spots Rebecca singing an open mic, and stops short his life of crime. I’m not sure what it would have taken for me to find this plot line interesting, or more importantly, actually in character for Jack. Maybe if he’d seemed more genuinely angry or frightened by his life’s path, maybe if his entire character wasn’t now based in Rebecca as his salvation from petty thievery. Maybe if he hadn’t openly decided to stand up some poor unnamed woman, with never so much as a phone call or a thought to her well-being. It’s possible that this will all make more sense if we spend more time with young Jack, but with the context we’re given in “Moonshadow”, it just fell flat. Being a good person is not something to be done for a reward. You do good because it’s right, not because it will pay off in the end in some karmic display of gentle retribution. Before this episode, Jack had never seemed like the kind of person who acted singularly for ulterior motives, positive though they may be. And now that he’s been established as such, it’s that much harder for his words to ring true.

Young Rebecca

source: bigthree.tumblr.com

Single Rebecca is, by contrast, living a pretty great life, despite friends who are on a constant mission to set her up. Rebecca is happy to sit alone, happy to focus on her career and to stand up for her individual goals. She’s busy and content, doing open mics and recording demos for a family member who works at a recording studio. Rebecca also manages to be confident in the face of two friends who seem dead-set on feeling bad for her, telling her that she needs to “diversify” her options by taking a date with a guy in finance so she won’t be doomed to go to a wedding alone.

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“Nobody owns me.” – Scandal Gif-Cap – Extinction

Scandal Season 6, Episode 6
“Extinction”
Posted by Kim

What I am loving about this season of Scandal so far is that every episode has focused around one character and the events that brought them towards Election night. We’re spending this week with Papa Pope and we were promised ANSWERS as to who was behind the Vargas assassination. Boy, did we get them…as well as many more questions. To the gifs!

We check in on Papa Pope 53 days before the election. I love that he makes himself breakfast on a tray every day.

A mysterious box is delivered to his door. Me, automatically: 

(It’s a toy dinosaur, btw)

Eli pops in on a college lecture given by Broadway’s Tonya Pinkins and looks endeared by her. 

“It’s the Predators who are the most vulnerable.” That’s not what the Jurassic Park movies taught me.

Eli regresses into his FULL SCIENCE NERD life when he banters with Sandra about Dinosaurs. 

“We are a long way from grad school…” OH THEY WERE A THING.

Sandra takes Eli to a lab that would make Frankenstein jealous. 

SO MUCH FLIRTING OVER SCIENCE AND DINOSAURS. 

“I could use a partner.” Yessssssss.

“This is the part where you’re supposed to give me some advice.” Olivia comes to her dad about the Mellie and Marcus situation which reminds me: FREE MELLICUS 2K17 AND LET THEM BE IN LOVE.

“You’re here, pretending you don’t already know what you have to do. You know. It’s clear.” 

“She wants it almost as badly as you do, but there is a difference. She is weak. She is undisciplined. She is soft.” Excuse me, SIR.

“She has never learned the hard way that love is a privilege reserved for the victor.”

“I raised a warrior!”

“Eyes on the prize, baby.” I mean even with all the Marcus Drama, Liv’s eyes have never LEFT the prize, she just has a modicum of a conscience.

“Don’t you ever get lonely?” Is that Scandal‘s version of “Don’t you think she looks tired?”

“There he is. The nerd I remember.” I feel like we’re getting a glance of the real Eli here and I am sad.

BUT WAIT THERE ARE HIDDEN CAMERAS IN THE LAB. 

“Anything you need, you just give me a holler.” Remember that lady who scared the bejeezus out of Eli last week? THAT’S HER.

That benefactor that’s paying for Sandra’s dinosaurs? Doesn’t exist. The whole thing is a lie.

“I’m surrounded by children! They don’t know who Marvin Gaye is!” Eli goes to Liv’s house under the guise of raiding her record collection for the lab.

“I don’t play them, I’m busy making a President!” No time for dance parties when you are Queen-making.

“Um how long has that car been out there?” Someone is getting paranoid and it’s Eli.

Eli shows up at the lab with booze and memories about his last dig with Sandra. 

“That’s not what I remember most about that trip.” Soooooo, she’s the one that got away.

“I don’t have a lot of regret in my life. I regret that.” Eli leads Sandra to a closet to make out and I totally buy that this is genuine…

UNTIL ELI PULLS A GUN ON HER IN THE CLOSET. 

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“Suck it up and run the world.” – Scandal Gif-Cap – They All Bow Down

Scandal Season 6, Episode 5
“They All Bow Down”
Posted by Sage

Hello again, Lovers of Liberty! It’s SO good to be with you again, since the gif-cap took a bye week on episode 4. To sum up “The Belt”: prison is NO place for a former Chief of Staff, and Tom admitted that he was paid by someone to say that Cyrus ordered the hit on Frankie Vargas. Our assassin is still out there and the country still doesn’t have an incoming president. So, shall we see what Jake Ballard’s been up to this whole time?

“Not since Christ stood among the lepers has there been such excitement.” InDecision 2016 is Sally Langston’s domain, and she is currently living. (When isn’t she?) She seems to be a proponent of Mellie and Jake, but we all know she’s a fickle bitch.

Vanessa: “I feel like Jackie O. or something.”
Jake: *rolls eyes* 

“America is not electing Olivia Pope. They are electing Mellie Grant and Jake Ballard.” Vanessa tells Jake not to get so grumpy about his “sister” (yikes) telling him what to do and instead to keep his eye on the prize. (Kim: “Every woman on this show is Lady Macbeth.”)

“He is after all…a murderer.” Sally is reveling in Cyrus’s bad luck.

She’s also teasing a sit-down interview with picture-perfect patriot couple, Jake and Vanessa. Who hate each other.

“That’s political money.” “It’s a political lie.” Jake is so done with this campaign and his fake marriage.

Quinn wants to help Cyrus, but Liv does not want to hear it right now.

“Huck found Vanessa.” Olivia spins some yarn to Sally about Vanessa having a vicious flu and being unable to make it out of bed for the interview.

“Lady, you are nuts.” “Maybe, but I ain’t sorry.” In reality, Vanessa is drunk and disorderly and just crashed her car into a tree with a himbo bartender in the front seat. She’s also defiant af.

“Did you wake up this morning knowing you were going to ruin our lives?” “Like you give a damn what I woke up thinking.” While the Gladiators erase all evidence that Vanessa’s little “accident” ever happened, Vanessa and Jake perform a modern revival of Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?

“You say dance, the monkey dances.” Jake’s version of “playing nice” is being faux-deferential to Olivia, insisting on calling her “boss” and “m’am” until she’s about to either slap him or do him on the desk. (Pick the second one, please, it’s been so long since we’ve had Jake/Olivia hate-sex!)

“Let’s get this over with because I am late for getting away from you.” Get Liv some ointment for that burn.

“I don’t want to win, I have to win. There has to be a point.” Olivia needs to win a “clean” election to redeem her shady dealings in Defiance during Fitz’s first run. She’s a good person, that’s her thing…

“Are you sleeping with her?” Vanessa isn’t an idiot. She senses the intensity between Jake and Liv and totally calls it. So, of course, Jake tells her she’s crazy. Then he fills up her glass, because no one will take a drunk, jilted woman seriously.

“There are places we can send you, nice places.” EVERYONE IS GASLIGHTING HER, THIS POOR WOMAN.

“Give me one more reason to LAY YOU OUT, RIGHT HERE, Vanessa…I am not here for it, not today.” Wow, Liv is only a champion for other women when it suits her, huh?

“I remember because it was when the redhead took my champagne away.” Someone was texting Jake on election night who wasn’t Olivia, according to V.

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