OK, so I made a decision. It’s a quiet period, of necessity, just now, thanks to the writers’ strike. We’ve talked a lot about the episodes we like and I have spoken about the reviews we used to write weekly when I was a frequent visitor to tv.com/bones. Well, pitilessly regardless of length, I am going to re-post my reviews here, with the intention of stimulating some much-missed Bones discussion. Hope they give you pause for thought!
‘The Graft In The Girl’ is an almost stand-alone piece, extraordinary not only as an opportunity to see the support between both main and subsidiary characters, but as a study of our attitudes to death, though, exceptionally, focusing on living rather than dead people. My sole gripe is the clumsy exposition – there must be a less lame/artificial way of indicating where they are and why!
There are some superb Hodgela scenes and all characters are expanded or developed. We learn, for instance, how talented they are in their specialist areas (“Angela told us what he looked like, now Hodgins can tell us where he lived”). We see Booth’s caring side, as he sacrifices his sick days as a personal favour. Though the degree of intuition Brennan displays surprises us, we are reassured by her usual lack of familiarity with social nuance, conveyed in the ‘kickster’ comment. She also touches on a theme, loosely related to Hodgins and to be explored in greater depth in S2 – money (“Taking advantage of wealthy people is ok?”).
Zach underscores his literal-mindedness by pondering over the significance of the phrase ‘his number’s up’ and Brennan defends him (“I find intelligence soothing” – an inquiring mind is an absolute requisite for intelligence). Clearly Booth hasn’t yet come to terms with the odd workings of Zach’s mind!
Even outside his interaction with Angela, Hodgins is rounded out. He wears his geek squad membership with pride, but also has a broad cultural knowledge beyond his own sphere, referring with easy familiarity to Swiss cheese and French artists – not surprisingly, as he probably had a very good education, but good to see demonstrated. His sense of humour and relationship with Zach are conveyed strongly once more.
Angela, however, is the shining star of this episode. Relating instantly to Amy through her drawings, she rapidly becomes the warm friend and confidante Amy badly needs, given her instinctive reluctance to burden her stricken parents. Angela understands Amy’s frustration that she will not have the time to see and feel enough to become a great artist, and Amy understands Angela’s expressions of her inner nature – “they’re alive – showing me what you’ve experienced, lived through.” To help Amy, Angela offers the most profound expression of her thoughts about love that we have hitherto witnessed. “You might meet someone who’s worth it – if he’s not, then you’ve got something else to paint about”. Has she always felt this way? Has Brennan’s reassurance post-Kirk’s death made a difference? I leave it with you! Incidentally, this credo of living life to the full, taking risks and embracing every relationship that comes your way is very similar to TJ’s own.
The J/A moments are to die for. The look of tenderness and appreciation on Jack’s face as he surveys Angela’s beautifully digitised version of Amy’s painting speaks volumes. The scene where he comforts and inspires her when she is desperately sad about Amy is also revealing. He shows concern for her and respect for her work. She clearly already trusts him enough to divulge her deep feelings; there are no jokes, no flirting, and she even asks his opinion about love. His “it’s overrated” jars, sounding a bit flip and cynical, but the “most of the time” and the wistfulness and hope on his face as she moves away are very telling.
The end demands tears. As a parent, I’m vulnerable where kids are involved; I weep at Boy In The Shroud, Mother And Child In The Bay, Girl With The Curl, Boy In The Bush – everything! But to see the promise of a precious, creative young life about to be cut off, yet retaining its health and soul through art and someone else’s self-giving, is very special.
I was hoping to eschew my habitual verbal diarrhoea here..sorry! By the way, the Louvre never looks like that, it’s always swarming with tourists!
word count: 755
"We make our lives out of chaos and hope. And love." - Angela Montenegro