Oy, this episode's writing was all over the place. What on earth??
They had so much going on, I don't even know how they managed to tie it all up in the end. It was very unfocused.
I mean, you had the a cappella groups, then it was about a bio lab and rats being mistreated, then there was a lab-created strep virus being spread, a guy who got kicked out of the group who just wants to sing, a dad who was ridiculously insistent that the group remain all guys, girls wanting to be part of the guys' group, guys being written as if they're all some ridiculous stereotype, Hodgins and the parallel between his taking care of the remaining rats and his wanting to find solutions for his own paralysis, Hodgins wanting to try an experimental treatment, Aubrey being a former singer, Brennan being extra-hard on someone who lasted only one day as an intern, and Booth finding out that his son wants to spend the summer with a creative writing group instead of hiking with him.
There was just SO MUCH GOING ON. Consequently none of it really got good enough attention. Some parts were better than others (I liked the conversations between Hodgins and Angela a lot and I thought Cam's reactions to Hodgins bottle-feeding the rat and putting it on his shoulder was pretty damn funny). But overall, all these story pieces just wound around way too much. They really didn't need all of that going on in one episode. It was so all over the place, it became hard to follow and focus on what was supposed to be an important detail. A lot of it ended up not being important at all.
And once again I feel like they wrote Brennan as robotic just to create moments between her and the intern and that part where she very awkwardly pats the girl on the shoulder and says, "There, there." Come ON! Brennan is better than that. Especially when it seems as though they all knew this young woman pretty well, like she'd been working there a long time in a different capacity. So where's the compassion? Surely she could have sat the intern down and explained better that she holds the highest of standards for her Jeffersonian team and how they examine criminal evidence, and while she's sure they can find a different place for her, it's not going to be with such a challenging area of work. I mean, Brennan is more compassionate than that. "There, there"? This is the same woman who can hug Angela and reach out and squeeze someone's hand and tell them how much they mean to her, and how much the victims mean to her? She can't see how cold she's being? *sigh* Come on, writers.
I also think this is another one of those episodes where the victim gets treated like he doesn't matter. This show used to be SO GOOD at making us care deeply about the victim and/or the victims' families. We knew how deeply Brennan cared about each and every person she examined. Even in this episode, I liked the detail where she told the intern not to wave around pieces of evidence. That's a good detail.
But I feel like once again the showrunners / director and writers aren't remembering the reason why Brennan does what she does, that she cares about these victims and cares about giving them a voice.
Where were the parents of this kid who got killed and dumped in a lab, only to be eaten by rats? Why wasn't that one parent more freaked out that if one kid got killed, maybe his own might be in danger? Why weren't ANY of his classmates more upset about his death (especially because some of them seemed to genuinely like him and think he was talented)? Not a single one cried? Not a single one seemed shaken up? I don't know about any of you, but I was in a lot of music groups in school, a lot of choirs, and if any of my classmates -- even ones I didn't like as much -- had been murdered, I would have been shaken up. I would have been distracted and stunned. And to be taken into custody, to be interviewed on FBI premises like that girl was, or those two a cappella guys were, I would have been terrified. The only thing we got was that one kid having an anxiety attack, and they did that for humor. I just feel like the compassion for the victim has been lost, in a lot of these more recent seasons. What I loved about the early seasons was how deeply I ended up feeling for the one who was killed, and how gratifying it was to see Brennan and Booth and the whole team band together and solve those crimes and bring the "bad guys" to justice. Instead, in this episode, we got a poor kid being eaten up by rats and no parent to claim him or mourn him, no classmates to cry about losing him, nothing. It's baffling to me. Why isn't that important? Where is the believable human behavior? Where is the heart?
P.S. As a former vocal major, I appreciated Aubrey's enthusiasm about a cappella music. I would have liked to have seen Angela appreciate it more, not because she should like that style of music but because as an artist I would hope she would appreciate knowing that one of her colleagues has an artistic bone in his body as well, in his own way - hers being art, his being music. There's a camaraderie to be found there. So I'm sorry they wrote her talking to him like he was a little crazy and weird. I did like all of them clapping for him, even as they teased him about his performance from long ago. That was funny and sweet. And I can relate, because boy do I have pictures of myself and my big ol' late 80's hair, back when I was in high school show choir. I have videos that people could use to tease me, just like they teased Aubrey. LOL. As I'm sure you must as well, STEPH. I do have to note that I laughed when Aubrey insisted that a G-flat was not a note most singers could hit. Did he mean for a guy? Because if the guy is a tenor or especially a countertenor, he could hit that no problem. And if he was talking about in general, or as sung by a girl (which was the person they were talking to when he made the comment), he's way off with that comment. Because any soprano should be able to hit a high G-flat without too much difficulty. Even if she's a mezzo soprano, that might be the upper cutoff part of her range but she should still be able to hit it. And if she's a lyric soprano, forget about it - she'd be able to hit way higher notes than a G-flat. So... I'm guessing the writers weren't singers in high school or college? *GRIN* That part made me giggle a little. But I appreciate music being highlighted.