Fighting with the Sky

Bones: Dwarf in the Dirt

Posted on: November 13, 2009

4f5bdc4966a9da0429ee772e204f1984This week’s episode of Bones centered around an investigation when they found the skeleton of a dwarf in a sinkhole.  They soon discover that the victim is the Iron Leprechaun in the midget wrestling world.  He was killed during a robbery in the collapsed underground pedestrian walkways, which is how he ended up in the sinkhole.

In the meantime, Booth is having trouble with his marksmanship and is convinced that it is a result of his brain damage from having the tumor removed.  He can’t go to Sweets to talk because Sweets’ first loyalty is to the FBI, so he goes to his former psychiatrist, Dr. Gordon Gordon Wyatt, who now works as a chef.  But of course, Gordon Gordon consults with Sweets (and Brennan at points) to get a better understanding of what has been happening to Booth since his brain surgery.  Gordon and Gordon come to the conclusion that Booth and Brennan are in love with each other — that Brennan uses her intellect to mask childhood trauma which in turn masks intense emotions such as love, and Booth knows that expressing his love for Brennan would be seen as a sort of assault on her, so suppresses his emotions and these side effects are a result of his “phallic frustration.”  Gordon Gordon calls him out on it and he claims that they are too different, that Brennan will never love him, but Gordon Gordon tells him to be patient.  But magically, when Booth invites Brennan to his marksmanship test, he hits all of the targets in the chest.  She’s like his good luck charm.

So, where to start.  Let’s talk about Dr. Brennan to start off with.  Throughout the episode, she is using colloquialisms and trying to make jokes, which is kind of out of character for her.  Booth says that he likes it because it shows that she is adapting.  Adapting to what?  And why is it so important to adapt?  I think Dr. Brennan was pretty awesome the way that she was.  Is it really important for her to be able to use colloquialisms?  And this is just yet another example of Booth not understanding how Brennan’s brain works.

Speaking of not understanding how Brennan’s brain works, Sweets is pretty adamant that Brennan is the way that she is because she uses her intellect to mask childhood trauma which in turn masks intense emotions.  While I do think it is important to bring Brennan’s childhood trauma into the equation, I don’t think that this is necessarily that true.  Dr. Brennan does experience intense emotions, we’ve seen it on many occassions — with her parents, her brother, Booth, boyfriends we’ve seen her with such as Sully, and even Angela.  And yes, she is really smart, but I don’t know if she’s necessarily using that intellect to mask her childhood trauma.  She’s openly talked about it on many occassions, and has even come to terms with her brother and father (where are they, by the way, they seem to have disappeared from the show).  While I do think there is some truth in what Sweets says, I think there is more to Dr. Brennan’s personality than just childhood trauma.  And I really don’t think that Sweets should be making these assumptions based solely on observation.  But I guess it is an easier explanation for the shows writers than having a lead character have a mental disability.  That would just be horrible, wouldn’t it?

And we get more of the Booth and Brennan are secretly in love with each other storyline.  It’s just getting really old and tired, just do something about it already.  Don’t drag it out this long because it just pisses me off.

Even though the victim had a name, they routinely called him “leprechaun” or “midget wrestler” which I found to be pretty insensitive.  I know that “midget wrestling” is the name of the sport and his wrestling name involved “leprechaun,” but couldn’t they treat him like a human being and use his name when referring to him — especially now that he is dead.

In the end, Bones has just become the same storyline repeated over and over again…murder, solve it, sexual tension between Booth and Brennan.  That’s all there really is to it anymore.  Which is really a shame, because it used to be such a good show and something a little different than what had been on television.  But now it’s just fallen into the same old routine.  I really wish that they would do something about that.

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4 Responses to "Bones: Dwarf in the Dirt"

Yes, Booth’s comment about Brennan “adapting” bothered me as well. And also not calling the victim by his name and the overuse of “leprechaun” and “midget” – I didn’t find that funny, if humor was what the writers were aiming for with that. Seasons 4 & 5 have not been my favorites – not sure how much longer I’m going to continue watching. Might just consider watching the earlier Bones seasons on dvd on Thursday nights instead (sigh).

It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even bother doing writeups on Bones anymore…this show is indeed getting formulaic and pretty dull.

I’d also point out that Dr. Nigel Murray is also not neurotypical, and has, in fact, requested accommodation and been kind of…ignored. They treat him pretty much like Bones, as a joke.

I just watched this episode over the weekend, and I agree they played the leprechaun thing way too much, but one thing I did appreciate was that there was no snarking about the dwarf and the average-sized woman being in love – as soon as I saw where the mystery was headed, I was waiting for some sort of comment, but there wasn’t any disbelief expressed at all by anyone. For all the show’s faults, I did think that was a positive thing.

I absolutely love Bones. One of the things with it is that in every show, a feminist analysis – most of the time good – can be drawn upon, which is more than I can say for most shows.

I agree about Brennan and Booth, though – if writers are going to go with the image of this show being different than others, having Booth and Brennan come together would do such – having this silly, stupid romantic storyline get drawn out is just silly. After all, it almost seems to stay that intelligent, assertive, beautiful women cannot fall in love. The other thing, too, is the image of Booth desiring Brennan, but is intimidated by her intelligence and accomplishments, which yet again feeds into a stereotype of men being afraid of strong, assertive women.

As for your comment about Booth finally hitting targets with Brennan tagging along – I see it both ways – while it could be seen as women being the traditional cheeleaders to the men’s traditional accomplishments on the field, it could also denote the old romantic angle again – that Brennan makes Booth feel secured and gives him something to believe in …

Hmmmm. Perhaps I should just stop analyzing and start enjoying the show for what it is.

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