Bones: The Bond in the Boot

So, before I talk about “The Bond in the Boot,” I have to admit to an antifeminist guilty pleasure.

I love James Bond. I own the deluxe edition of the complete Bond, and I bust it out on regular occasions. I’ve also read a fair number of the Ian Fleming novels. I can’t say what I love about Bond; as a character, he’s someone I totally loathe. And the plots of the movies are utterly formulaic, with the enemy of the week primarily depending on the political climate in which the film was made. But there’s something about it. The mythos, perhaps. The fact that, historically, they prided themselves on actually doing the stunts, not using models and special effects. The epic title sequences. Whatever it is, I’m a Bond fanatic.

So when the episode opened with Bond-esque music, I knew I was going to enjoy it, especially since there were nice little Easter eggs for Bond fans, like the nod to Universal Exports. And the story was indeed straight out of a Bond film: diamonds, spy vs spy, mysterious Ukrainian woman.

It was also fun to see the interagency conflict, especially when the CIA fellow ended up actually being more or less on the same side as the team. Yes, he was engaging in some shady activity that he shouldn’t have been, but he ended up doing the right thing and recognizing the efforts of the analyst who tried to intervene in a situation which was too big for him. It was also great to see Booth get a chance to one-up Bones, as she was obviously extremely miffed about her lack of security clearance.

The real story, for me, was the one about finances. Bones is an author, and her wealth is periodically referenced throughout the series; we accept that she is wealthy, as is Hodgins, and that they do their work because they love it. It’s actually one of the things I really like about both characters, and I think that the show has done a good job when it comes to talking about some of the difficulties faced by people with money. (Not that I know anything about that, since I am a person without money, but, you know, I know some people who know some people, if you know what I’m sayin’.)

This episode set up a very classic situation: someone needs money, this person is liked and loved and respected, and people without money assume that the rich people will step up, putting them in an awkward position. It was clear that Brennan and Hodgins both wanted to help, but were struggling with a lot of issues, like the attitude that rich people should automatically hand out their money to people who want it, and the fact that Wendell probably wouldn’t have appreciated a handout. And, of course, a reference is made to the current economic situation, which complicates matters. Hodgins, for example, points out that the assets of his foundation, through which he makes charitable donations, are currently frozen, illustrating a common funding problem going on all over the world right now, and underscoring the fact that when you are wealthy, it is sometimes hard to separate the institutional and the personal.

Bones, being the sort of person that she is, freely admits that her financial situation separates her from Booth, and that it is an issue. I like that. Having spent a fair amount of time around some extremely wealthy people, I am well aware of the fact that in any relationship, friendship or otherwise, in which there is a financial imbalance, it’s going to be an issue. Not because either side wants it to be, but because that’s the way the world works. Bones is, I think, trying to explore some of that, and they’re doing it in a good way.

Something else I haven’t really touched upon when talking about Bones is Angela’s character, and what she does in the lab. We really got to see her work her magic this time with the image which turned out to be more than an image. One of the things I really love about the show is that Angela is a tech wizard, something more commonly associated with men, in addition to being an extremely talented artist. These things are often thought of as contradictory, left brain/right brain things, and I like that Angela represents a balance of both and that she brings a fresh perspective to the show which actually often proves to be very important when solving cases.

The kind of work that Angela does is passed off as a few seconds on screen, but in the real world, it’s major. Setting up the kind of reconstructions and scenarios she does in almost every episode require a very high level of skill. Restoring data like she does on a regular basis is nothing short of a miracle. We’re constantly reminded that Brennan is brilliant, but, in truth, so is Angela. I kind of like that she’s an insanely talented and strong character and the creators don’t feel the need to shove it in our faces, to go “look at us, we wrote an empowered lady character,” but rather, they just let us quietly absorb it.

As for the plumbing scene under the sink, the less said, the better. There may have been gagging noises from the viewers during that scene, and I’m not going to say which mammal/s present they were emanating from.

Laura’s also got a review up at Adventures of a Young Feminist.