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Thoughts on The Critic in the Cabernet
Ange & Andy

Not an exhaustive list, but while the ep is still fresh in my memory, here are some thoughts about The Critic in the Cabernet:

Things Wot I Liked:
  • Sweets' frustration with Brennan's refusal to consider the emotional ramifications of her decision to have a child with Booth.
  • Sweets' obvious fear re: Booth's condition.  JFD played that moment well; I bought that Sweets was NOT an FBI psychologist there, but a friend afraid for a friend.  Though I maintain that Sweets isn't a necessary character on Bones, he often fits there now in a much more natural fashion than he did before.
  • The Squint Squad keeping vigil for Booth in the hospital waiting room.  They are, all of them, his squints.  But it made my heart hurt for Zack; he should have been there too.
  • Cam's trying to be a friend to Booth by talking to him about Brennan's announcement.  They have a romantic history, but I firmly believe their friendship has outlasted that blip in time.  This was a nice nod to their friendship.
  • Brennan's statement that this was not about her.  She wore a brave face for Booth, but that tremor in her voice and that sheen in her eyes showed she was rattled -- in spite of the statistics. 
  • The scared, forlorn expression Booth wore as he searched for Brennan while he was being prepped for surgery.  I think he's loved her for a while now, and it was plain as day in that moment.  Great acting from DB there; he said so much without speaking a single word.  Reminded me of the hand-over-heart scene at the end of Mayhem.  The man can definitely act
  • Angela trying to get Brennan to really think about what she was proposing to do with Booth.  Their friendship is one of my favorite things about this show.
  • The reappearance of Brennan's dancing phalanges.  :)

Things Wot I Didn't Like:
  • Brennan's epiphany re: wanting to have a child.  Sure, it COULD happen that way, but given who she is, I think the story would have been stronger if it hadn't been written as such.  The writers have been hammering at the themes of love and loss, families, what it means to be a mother or father, etc. I strongly believe that people can and do change their minds about "big ticket issues" sometimes.  But couldn't the writers have made a better, more believable case for Brennan's seemingly sudden turnaround?
  • Booth's relatively easy acquiescence to Brennan's sperm donor request.  Being a father is a huge part of Seeley Booth's identity.  I just cannot buy that even his love for Brennan would lead him to say yes so easily and quickly.  He knows that fatherhood isn't as simple as donating your sperm and walking away.  After that beautiful conversation he had with that high school kid in the pregnant teens ep (I can't remember the name of the ep), and after every precious moment we've seen him share with Parker, this was a disappointment.  Sure, he eventually came around to reaiizing that he COULDN'T father a child and not BE A FATHER, but the writers have done such a good job of writing father into his character that I simply cannot accept that he wouldn't have understood that right from the beginning -- regardless of the fact that it was his beloved Brennan making the request for his "stuff."
  • I wish they would have mentioned Parker somewhere in this episode.  It just fits.  Especially when Booth mentioned the possibility of not making it through his surgery.  He would have said something about Parker.  He wouldn't have just told Brennan to use his sperm to become a mother and left it at that.  Maybe that's something we just weren't "shown," but it should have been.
  • Oh, and Stewie was OK.  Not a total disaster. :)

    What say you???

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Stewie wass not a disaster, much to my relief. I actually laughed a little at times. Take away Seth McFarlane's political jackassery, and he's actually funny again.

You're right about Parker. But I always think of Perker, even when the writers do not. When Brennan thought Booth was "dead," there was never a mention about how Parker must be feeling.

This episode just reinforces my love for Cam, especially the scene with the watermelon.

Edited at 2009-05-07 03:33 pm (UTC)

My thoughts? Well, I think you pretty much nailed all of them.

I cannot believe how fast he agreed. As much as he loves her I would think that thinking about the whole situation with Rebecca & Parker (yes, it would have been awesome to have a mention) would make him realize how hard the whole situation would be. And a lot sooner than he did, too.

I loved Sweets this episode. As much as he annoys me sometimes he was perfect this episode. His concern that they were pushing what's between them aside coupled with his break at the end was fantastic.

The scared, forlorn expression Booth wore as he searched for Brennan while he was being prepped for surgery. I think he's loved her for a while now, and it was plain as day in that moment. Great acting from DB there; he said so much without speaking a single word. Reminded me of the hand-over-heart scene at the end of Mayhem. The man can definitely act.
This. I'm getting choked up just thinking about it. I was already tearing up from Brennan's "it's not about me" and that just put me over the edge.

God, I could just go on, but it would be repeating every good thing you said so I'll just leave it at I can't wait to re-watch tonight.

THIS! I say exactly what you said, only I couldn't say it nearly so well. Well... except for the fact that I've always loved Sweets.

I've been trying really hard to rationalize Booth's behavior in my head. And I'm looking at it this way... he agreed to think about it, because he loves her... and maybe he was thinking that he could stall her or delay until he could get her around to the fact that he does love her and that she loves him and that they shoud have a family and not just a baby. But, Brennan threw a wrench into that plan by announcing that if Booth wouldn't do it, then she'd go to Fischer. So, I think that Booth felt pressured and he couldn't bear to have her go through with getting pregnant by someone else. He already knew that he wouldn't be able to not be involved. I think his offering to help her out and his denying any kind of legal protection were his ways of trying to tell her that he *wanted* to be involved.

I'm not even going to try and put my thoughts together on Brennan's behavior at the beginning. Emily did a killer job of conveying through her face and body language that there was a lot more going on than the words she was saying... but the words as written were TOO cold. She was back to being clinical!Brennan with no heart or understanding of human emotion and it irritated me. There has been too much softening of her character as of late for me to believe that she would act that way, to that extreme. And I guess I am going to put my thoughts down on that. :-))

Sorry for the ramble! I'm so glad that you've caught back up with us now!

You do realize that I read through this and thought, "But new episodes are on Thursday! Is today Friday? What day of the week did I miss?"

I looked at the calendar and then at the Fox website because I was certain my mind had skipped a day somewhere.

But, given that I'm a spoiler whore, I'm glad I read this... when I saw the promos last week (damned promo monkeys at Fox suck), I considered just skipping it.

LMAO. Sorry I confused you, witchy. *g* It aired in Canada last night, and through the magic of the internets, I watched it this morning. Nowhere near a perfect ep, but worth a watch, if only for some fine acting from DB at the end.

Okay, so I watched...

Booth, at the end? Boreanaz has grown so much as an actor in the past ten years. He just said so much by saying nothing that it was truly beautiful. It was a gorgeous scene, there in the hospital. Just gorgeous.

The rest? The only word I have for it, honestly, is awkward. There were parts where it worked wonderfully and then there were parts where it was... chunky. I grow to love Tamara Taylor more each and every week and Cam's scene with Booth was priceless and it was the scenes like that one that lifted this episode out of the "Jump the Shark" pool.

I was watching The Man in the Fallout Shelter right before this episode and the subtlety of the writing in that episode was so obvious compared to this one... I dunno.

It was good. It wasn't great. It was good.

You know, the phrase I would use for this is "shoehorned." Some of the plot progression and dialogue seemed forced into the situation. As if someone in the writers' room had a pad full of quotes they wanted to use and they wrote an episode around them...

I pretty much agree with everything.

Yeah, I am a little disappointed at how he didn't mention Parker. A minor thing that kinda bothered me was that nothing (absolutely zilch) was REALLY happening until the last 10-ish minutes. I kept staring at my clocking thinking I had missed something-- hoping that my clock would stop. What they gave us, was great but had they dedicated more time to it, I think it could have been so much more.

That being said, of course. I still really enjoyed the episode. Although it wasn't perfect, it wasn't the disaster I was thinking it could have been.

Stewie? I actually liked it. The second scene, especially. It didn't really bug me at all. :)

This was an episode that made me unable to feel what I wanted to again. The problem I think was that the case got in the way of what could have been THE declaration of what they both feel about each other. I just wish there'd been more time for Angela to talk to Brennan and Booth to talk to Cam and Sweets before Booth and Brennan told the truth to each other. Shoving in 3 suspects just made it seem bitty and unfocused.

I totally sagree about DBs acting in the prep room. I was scared for him.

Glad you're caught up!

Totally agreed on every point. Yes.

I thought leaving out Parker was a missed chance - especially with all the fatherhood talk.

Stewie was actually great, which has set my mind at ease for the finale. If they can pull that off...

More thoughts at my LJ soon. I need to get my head together.

ITA re: Brennan's sudden revelation. I had actually been thinking at least they are building up to it a little, and then they wasted it. All they had to do was have her say, 'I have been considering this for a while' and maybe the epiphany here could have been to include Booth in the "process" rather than the process itself.

I also agree, re: Booth. I guess they were trying to write him ignoring his own feelings in favour of hers, but it seemed ham fisted. Like someone said at my LJ, I would have loved more of a build up. She could have asked him a couple of eps ago and we could have seen him struggle more.

I also can't believe they didn't mention Parker at the hospital. Booth went in to have brain surgery! What, didn't he tell anyone other than the squints? Bizarre. I could understand him not wanting Parker to see him like that, but they could have written it in. All they needed was a brief line from Brennan: "I called Rebecca, she'll bring Parker to see you when you get back." Or something!! Very odd.

ETA: I've actually been thinking (a.k.a. fanwanking) Booth's reaction a little and don't hate it so much. hurryupslowly posted at my LJ that it was almost like he is so used to there being nothing that Brennan could ask of him that he wouldn't do, that it took him a little while to realise that there actually was. Plus the guy has a brain tumour and is hallucinating babies. I'm going to forgive him being a little nuts.

That said I still think they should have mentioned Parker. Tsk tsk.

Edited at 2009-05-08 12:36 pm (UTC)

Plus the guy has a brain tumour and is hallucinating babies. I'm going to forgive him being a little nuts.
Yes, that hit me about mid-day yesterday (probably in the midst of another of my random tear-fests) and I was like 'ok, I can accept that'

I pretty much agree with everything.

In regards to Booth agreeing so quickly - that bugged/surprised me, too. But rewatching the ep, I realized he only really does it when she starts bringing up other people who could father her child and she would have someone else's kid, and he doesn't seem to get at first that "no obligation" is not just an option, but a request.

And I TOTALLY agree about Brennan's turnaround in having kids. It was so random and out there and unlike her. I believe she could change her mind about wanting kids - especially if she continues down the path she's been going down where she's considering love and emotional bonds - but just like that? And now she has to have the kid NOW? Strange. Although at least they acknowledged in the episode through the other characters that it was in fact, random and strange. lol.

Edited at 2009-05-08 03:28 pm (UTC)

In a perfect world you would have written this episode and made it worthwhile instead of the disaster that I found it to be.

Alas, there is no such thing as a perfect world....



Thanks, lerdo!

Erm.... clearly I'm the only person who thinks that Brennan does something amazing in this episode.

I look at the beginning and the end of the episode as bookends. In the beginning, Brennan stumbles accidentally over motherhood by hearing her subconscious call to her during Sweets' word game (I thought all her replies were hilarious, especially "father" - "Booth"). It's totally unexpected and she keeps digging herself in deeper and deeper trying to rationalise it (and getting everyone either speechless or angry with her in the process). But essentially she's overcome her "rational" opposition to having children.

By the end, she overcomes something related to this - her fear of not being able to take care of people when they need her. It seemed really significant to me that she has no hesitation in providing precisely what she would not expect of other people: comfort. In Hero, when Angela says "it'll be all right" Brennan snaps at her "You don't know that!" because her rational self undercuts her emotional self. In Critic, she does precisely the opposite for Booth - she tells him that everything will be all right. I was really touched by her ability to say this genuinely, because she does hope and want for him to be OK (and I almost laughed at her "statistically speaking", a brief resurgence of her rational self).

To cut this rather long story short - both are facets of the same thing, her need to be needed. In the beginning, Brennan's desire for a child is essentially a wish for someone who needs her. In the end, it turns out that there is someone who does need her. Within the span of one episode, she moved on from accessing her emotions accidentally ("I want to have a child") to expressing them fully ("You'll be all right").

I just loved that.

Did that really sound as sentimental and fluffy as I thought?

Great thoughts! I agree with a lot of what you said, especially how completely JFD and DB rocked this episode :-)

I liked a lot about this episode, but regarding B&B's behavior in the baby storyline: I personally thought the baby idea played well, although perhaps I give the writers a bit too much credit in my reasoning :-) You're right that Booth's decision felt a bit flip, considering how deadly serious he is about fatherhood; however, I took the view that we were *supposed* to be surprised by that, and that it was a measure of how total his commitment to her is that he would agree to it before he'd fully analyzed the ramifications. (And, of course, there were mitigating factors such as how totally he was NOT going to let Fischer be the donor, lol). Now, if the decision had stood that way, I wouldn't have liked it, but considering his hallucinations were 100% about how that's not who he is, and he couldn't possibly not be a father to his child, I felt like the writers were faithful to dad!Booth.

I felt somewhat the same way with Brennan's impulsive decision to become pregnant. Again, maybe giving the writers a bit too much credit, but I thought it was clear that she did NOT truly just decide to have a child while sitting there in Sweets' office. Over the past several episodes she has been wrestling with integrating her sense of herself as a hyper-rational, fully autonomous individual with the fact that she has (almost despite herself) formed lasting friendships and is starting to recognize that her emotional needs are changing. But she's not quite able to express any of that yet, so she tries to "cheat" her way into emotional permanence by saying she wants Booth to father her child "but totally just because it's logical and he's got great genes and he doesn't have to pay for anything and QUIT LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT ANGELA I DON'T NEED ANYONE." It's absurd, which is why she is defensive and deeply illogical about the whole thing (that great scene where she lists all the couples who have broken up is spoken in the language of fear, not reason - all those failed relationships aren't relevant to the discussion of motherhood, unless she's trying to convince herself that her reluctance to a build a family *with* Booth is based on reason instead of terror). Again, I wouldn't have liked it she's actually carried through with the plan without challenging herself to be honest, but I liked it as it played out (particularly where she brushed aside the idea when Booth was in crisis, indicating pretty clearly what her reasons were in the first place).

I'm super excited for the finale!

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