Well, Bones Season 10 Episode 3 certainly caused a stir. The controversial installment struck a nerve with many fans, while others found to to be both fun and necessary.
This week, Bridget Liszewski from The TV Junkies joins TV Fanatic writers Christine Orlando, Michelle Carlbert, and Ashley Bissette Sumerel for a discussion of "The Purging of the Pundit."
Gather around, Bones Fanatics!
What did you think of this week's case? And were you surprised by the outcome?
Christine: The crazy conservative talk show host who also had a dominatrix on the side seemed a little cliche to me. Fun, but predictable. However, I did think the killer was going to be the boss, especially after they found the deer hair, so I suppose they got me in the end.
Bridget: I think after the emotionally taxing first two episodes to the season it was nice to be back to the standard “case of the week” feel. I thought they gave enough twists to keep it interesting for the whole hour, but I wasn’t that surprised by the outcome. It did provide for some fun moments though.
Michelle: This show has always been great at coming up with unique ways to do murder, and frankly, I don't think anything could surprise me anymore. Not that I see every resolution coming, but I've learned to expect the unexpected.
Ashley: Like Bridget says, I think it was nice to return to the case-by-case sort of format. And I think we needed a case like this-- something fun/shocking -- to give us a break from the emotion. What I don't think, was that this episode was meant to insult or alienate any group of fans.
Booth and Brennan in a sex dungeon. Discuss.
Christine: I found it funny that Brennan was able to name all of the toys in the dungeon but Angela couldn't come up with a graphic for the ball gag. Was this really the first death the Jeffersonian has investigated involving sex toys? I find that hard to believe.
Bridget: That was a classic Bones moment where Booth of course is going to be somewhat uptight, and Brennan just blurts out whatever she’s thinking at the moment. It’s not surprising to hear both of their thoughts on S&M. I thought that scene was amusing, and both reacted exactly how I expected they would.
Michelle: Booth and Brennan in a sex dungeon is precisely the kind of thing I was talking about in my answer above. Leave it to this show to figure out a way to put Booth and Brennan in a den of iniquity and make it seem as innocent as could be. Brennan is just so darn scientific and Booth so religious that they could stand there among the whips and chains, discussing their sex life no less, and all I could do was giggle. It was a great scene.
Ashley: I loved this so much. Like Michelle says, it was fun to see how Booth and Brennan reacted. It was revealing of their individual characters and of their relationship. But I don't think Brennan was completely scientific -- there was this nice moment when she was picking up the sex toys and going, "oooh!" I thought that was hilarious, especially coming from her. I agree with Christine too, though. I can't imagine this was the first ever case that involved sex toys.
In effort to help Booth trust Aubrey, Brennan had Aubrey take her place in the interrogation room at the end of the episode. What did you make of that scene?
Christine: I like Aubrey. He'll never take Sweets place but Brennan was correct in that Booth needs to start trusting someone, and Aubrey is the most likely person. I liked him in that interrogation. He's got his own style, and I think it works well with Booth's.
Bridget: All episode long Brennan kept pushing Booth to confront what he was feeling. He wanted to avoid, avoid, avoid, and she was having none of that. Her allowing Aubrey to take her place was just another instance of her knowing what Booth needed to move forward, and helping her husband do so. I really liked how she never let him off the hook throughout the whole episode.
Michelle: I thought that was a smart move by Brennan, as she recognized that Booth needed to put his trust in someone again. But I think the foundation for Booth's trust had already been laid after Aubrey mentioned that Sweets had trusted him. Still, I think Brennan's move was an important part of the process.
Ashley: I agree it was a smart move, and I think it says a lot about Brennan's character development that she relinquished some control. Her character wouldn't have been able to do that so easily several season ago.
Now that we've seen Aubrey in a few episodes, what do you think of him?
Christine: He's a bit like Sweets...but different. He gets along well with everyone and seems to be a solid agent. Best of all he's got Booth's back. New partners (and show characters) are always a roll of the dice but so far I'm enjoying Aubrey.
Bridget: Many fans have complained that Aubrey is a replacement for Sweets. I don’t feel that way. I think he presents a new kind of relationship that we’ve not seen for Booth yet on Bones: the chance to be a mentor to a younger agent. Aubrey really respects Booth and I think it could be great for Booth to train another agent, especially as he regains belief in the work he does. I just don’t want Aubrey to be a replacement for Brennan going out in the field or in the interrogation room, because those are always some of my favorite moments on Bones.
Michelle: I have to admit that I've been a little upset ever since they introduced Aubrey. At first, I couldn't figure out what purpose he would serve as a character and then, after Sweets' death, I didn't want anyone to replace him. I think the writers did a great job in that they allowed us to have those feelings through Booth. We got to see Booth treat him badly and ignore him, much as I'm sure some of the fandom wanted to do as well. But then they had to go and write in Aubrey's line about treating him like crap was treating Sweets like crap. I know it was manipulative, but I still fell for it. I'm not saying I'm ready to accept him with open arms, but I might be more willing to give him a chance.
Ashley: I know a lot of fans can't stand him, and were especially upset when he called Booth an idiot. Okay, maybe I can see that. But I like him. I don't necessarily want to, and I do see him as a Sweets replacement, but he's a cool new character. And he does have something new to offer the show, which is really useful. I agree with Bridget that it will be fun to see Booth have the chance to act as a mentor. Especially as Booth is dealing with an insane amount of trauma. And I think Michelle makes a great point that we were able to be hesitant about Aubrey though Booth's mistrust. That might even be what makes me trust him more.
What were your overall impressions of this episode?
Christine: Well, I learned what a Stoat was. I had no idea. The newest squintern continued to grow on me. Basically I liked everything except the incredibly gory body but I can say that for almost every episode of Bones. I love the characters. I hate the gore.
Bridget: This was the typical Bones episode we are used to, and frankly, after the emotional start to this season it felt like a welcome change. It was nice to laugh at Bones again, and the S&M topic was used just to the right amount for comedic moments. I love that Booth and Brennan continue to have their relationship challenged by Sweets’ death and think that’ll continue all season.
Michelle: Like I said above, I thought the writing was ingenious, and I'm really enjoying Booth's journey so far this season. This episode brought that along nicely, and I'm curious to see if there's still more to see.
Ashley: What they said! It was a nice break from the emotion, had some fun moments (and many gross ones), and is slowly addressing everything that Booth and Brennan have been through.
Need more Bones? Catch up with Booth, Brennan, and the squinterns when you watch Bones online via TV Fanatic.