Bones lovers, as I alluded to in my teaser article earlier, “The 200th in the 10th” is a veritable orgasm of giddy colorful entertainment that will go down in the annals of Bones history as one of the most enjoyable of all time in several Bones-y sub-categories. As far as romanticism, humor and action/adventure are concerned, there’s not much this episode doesn’t deliver.
Visually stunning and masterfully scripted, Bones makes rolling the clock back seven decades look as easy as flipping a light switch. From the cool blue-green and butter-yellow scenery, the breezy winding seaside cliff-driving, the impeccably manicuring of hem and crown, and the lively dialog dripping in suave jocularity reminiscent of Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint on the set of one of Hitchcock’s finest, this was one of Bones‘ most sumptuous treats. And the score. Oh, my God, the score! Executive Producer Stephen ‘Suspense-And-Intrigue-Are-My-Middle-Names’ Nathan, and David ‘Gentlemen’s-Gentleman/Actors’-Director’ Boreanaz may not have had Bernard Herrmann on their payroll, but there must have been a seance to revive his spirit for this one event. What an extravagant homage to the craft of filming and to the love of one humble show’s viewers this 200th episode turned out to be.
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It’s a Bones Movie!
The opening scene of “The 200th in the 10th,” a classic newsreel about Hollywood royalty, was such a delicious surprise that upon first viewing, I hoped no fan knew this secret introduction until they sat down to watch the event in its entirety. The fantasy realization of our gorgeous Emily Deschanel and Mr. McDreamboat himself, David Boreanaz, portraying themselves in the way every fan sees them: as golden-gloved movie stars deserving of their own hand prints sunken into the sidewalk on Hollywood Blvd was too good to be true, yet here it was. It was … oh, just … how clever, how original, how decadent! If you listen specifically to the words of the intro, you’ll see that the voice over is specifically related to what this episode celebrates: 10 years of Bones-y success.
Of note are the signs of the times throughout this film, er, episode. Agh, it seems so much like a film, doesn’t it? Note the social stations of all those involved: Brennan as a girl first, rather than a brilliant professional and Camille as a servant. That’s the 50s for you, doll. Also, note the constant indulgence in and reference to drinking as a way to smooth out time. Sexual harassment wasn’t yet invented as evidenced by the many smaltzy comments to Brennan and Angela by men in power. Did you notice the lack of seat belts in the cars or gloves at the crime scene or in the laboratory?
Nods to the fans include the fantastic glance exchanges between Brennan and Booth, the naked flirtatious repartee, the mutual admiration, the repeated ‘Don’t call me darling‘ which shadows Brennan’s irritation over Booth calling her ‘Bones’ when they first met. There’s much more, but I’ll leave that to you to notice and enjoy at your leisure.
Bones Takes Hollywood By Storm with Glitz, Glamor and Romance
Discussion of the costuming and set design alone could take up 20 column inches, depending on the width of those columns, but suffice it to say that not a single detail was left un-researched or executed in keeping with the 50s time period. Did you notice the pale blue and tan starburst design on the coffee cup Booth and Brennan drink from at her flat? My grandmother, God rest her soul, had a set of those. And what about those cars? Pardon me while I pass out. Now, I was born in the ’60s, but who doesn’t long for the trappings of a previous generation when the skies were always blue, every man was debonair, and every woman was exquisitely turned-out and gorgeous.
Boreanaz and Deschanel: The Movie Stars They Were Always Meant to Be
“The 200th in the 10th” has a lot more than just music, color and snappy repartee. It has style. As a matter of fact, class and style take on a personality of their own in this beautiful Christmas gift the Bones fairies have crafted for over 17 million fans worldwide. At the center are the two characters: Los Angeles Police Department Officer Temperance Brennan, and infamous, dashing and principled jewel thief Seeley Booth, the suspected murderer of heiress Eva Braga.
Boreanaz is in his element as the dashing and principled jewel thief Seeley Booth. Deschanel has the freshness of Audrey Hepburn, the poise of Grace Kelly, and the sauciness of Lauren Bacall as the copper in this delightful farce. Who could ask for more?
Resplendent with silk scarves, belt-cinched dresses, bright lip paint, smooth tresses and jaunty caps, the Bones women dazzle with warmth, class, intelligence and moxie. Dolled up in wide-legged hip-pleated trousers, ascots, boxy jackets and bowties, the Bones men are equally tantalizing. These 50s trappings are only bested by the marvelous alter ego portrayals by the primaries and all of their cohorts.
As a breathy paleontologists bedecked in the scientific garb and affect of a Jerry Lewis overture minus the camp, T.J. Thyne delivers a portrayal so divine you just want to eat him. Filled with as many ‘Eurika’ moments as any other Bones episode, this one truly allowed Hodgins to illustrate how far we have come since the days when dead men no longer spoke to us even though dinosaurs still did. What’s fascinating about Hodgins and Brennan in this episodes is that they string together several truths of the day and are able to make some educated leaps about the advancement of science as a forensic tool. From where we sit today it seems very logical that forensics should be part of a murder investigation, but back then investigators didn’t have much more than unreliable he said-she said accounts if what happened between people, but dinosaurs had already been a focus of much interest for several years.
Also appearing in the film episode are Pej Vahdat as illicit fine art fencer Arastoo Vaziri, Mather Zickle, as smarmy British Interpol dignitary, Aldo Clemens (with a slick hairdo, clean face and accent that renders him nearly unrecognizable), and Andrew Leeds as superfluous waiter whose name is never mentioned though we all know him as Christopher Pelant. Another Pelant you might miss if you blink is the lovely little Sunnie Pelant playing a nameless little photographer who snaps Seeley Booth just as he pulls a knife out of playboy Jimmy Aubrey’s back.
As Already Spoiled In Our Teaser …
… some of the best of the episode are deep reflections of the Bones we know and love till death do us part. Throughout are snippets of lines from all the way back to the pilot. See how many you recognize. Most importantly, Brennan is still Brennan in this alternate reality. Booth is still Booth, and the charm remains … and is rekindled. Angela and the squints (of which I counted at least six) maintain their personalities and are distilled versions of themselves and are having much more fun that usual … if that’s possible. All the while, the repartee, as Miss Emily Deschanel likes to call it, is quintessential Brennan + Booth.
A Delicious Plot
“The 200th in the 10th” begins with a car ride along a twisty ocean-side cliff. A trombone and bassoon score swirls around a slow speed chase as Officer Brennan stalks the infamous Seeley Booth as he approaches the mansion of Eva Braga. We are treated to the wide angle vista of the cool night air along the seaside slopes as they drive and then the mansion where we see Booth scale the side of the house and enter through an open window off a high balcony. Brennan parks further down the driveway and skulks along behind him. But he knows she’s there and he’s titillated with the knowledge. It’s the classic, ‘woman chases man until he catches her’ scene. Or is it supposed to be the other way around? Well, in Hollywood anything goes and as long as it’s sizzlingly romantic, I’ll but a ride on that boat.
A maid in a freshly pressed gray uniform carrying a tiny tray with antique tea cups for two hears noises, but abandons worry and goes about her business. The dashing jewel thief uses a stethoscope to unlock an enormous safe hidden behind a hinged painting on the wall. As Brennan scales the mansion and finds her way through the window we hear a scream, a crash and an escaping cat burglar who slips out silently leaving a curtain dancing behind him in the breeze. All the while, the suspenseful yet dreamy music swirls around the scene and we learn that the screaming was from Camille, Eva Braga’s maid who just found a dead boss decaying inside the wall safe.
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Officer Brennan On the Prowl
Having been rebuffed for bungling the case by her father, Chief Max Keenan (Ryan O’Neal), Brennan sets out to confront the illustrious yet alluring jewel thief. She’s there when he arrives at his hotel room and makes him a proposition he cannot refuse: “Work with me and I’ll clear your name.” But there’s something in it for her as well, he wisely counters, that she’ll get to be a true detective. How does she know he really didn’t kill Braga? he asks Brennan. Well, of course, it wasn’t his style, she answers as the sparks silently crackle between them.
So, together they pursue the case of the murdered heiress. Enter delightfully self-absorbed Dr. Jack Hodgins (TJ Thyne), paleontologist extraordinaire who’s obsessed with the academics of history and science. Assisting him is an over protective and doting Dr. Clark Edison (Eugene Byrd). While Booth is impressed Brennan stole something from the crime scene (and carrying it in what appears to be a dogggie bag), Hodgins is impressed with her extensive knowledge of bones. Notice that no one uses gloves when they handle evidence or remains. A sign of the times, my friends. I wonder how difficult it was for the cast not to keep putting those dastardly gloves on and then pulling them off all the time? #Sarcasm
Come On Over to My Place
Brennan brings Booth to her loft overlooking Hollywood Hills. It’s the re-imagination of The Mighty Hut 2.0 (Does that make it MH 2.1?) What a lovely place it is, too. He’s to stay there out of reach of the cops. Still the witty repartee continues and it’s clear to all that the chemistry between them must be addressed sooner or later, but for now it’s going to have to be later as Angela visits and mentions that Jimmy Aubrey is in town.
Spying the pillow and blankets lying in wait, the astute gal from the typing pool at the LAPD knows Booth can’t be too far away and calls out to him with a smirk in her tone, but Brennan denies it all. “Booth is a dreamboat I’d like to take a sail on,” she snarks suggestively in true Angela ‘I’d-But-a-ticket-on-that-ride’ Montenegro style. “He’s a jewel thief,” replies straight-laced, sensible Brennan. Again, we have Angela: “No one’s perfect,” followed by a twist on the trademark Brennan-esque response: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Okay, so it’s not an I-dont-know-what-that-means, but it’s close enough for government work so we’ll take it, right?
Booth, filled with witty repartee about being in this woman’s home and even invited (rushed, actually) to her bedroom, insists they hit the Kitty Cat Velvet Fox lounge where they must get to Aubrey before the cops do. Once there, we see the sauced-up heiress Daisy making cow eyes at John Boyd‘s Aubrey. Squint Jessica Warren (Laura Spencer) sings Lola Falana-esque sultry songs at the mic while her philandering Latin lover husband Squint Rodolfo Fuentes (Ignacio Serricchio) toodles around behind her like Ricky Ricardo. It ends up that Fuentes slept with Eva Braga. What? Aubrey admits having fenced some jewels for the woman, and now we are on to something.
Back at Brennan’s lovely flat the next morning, Booth, sporting a ruffly apron and already dressed to the nines, makes coffee and asks Brennan a question we may recognize from season 5 after Brennan refuses to have sex with Booth: “Are you having second thoughts about me,” sounds a lot like, “Are you regretting your decision (not to sleep with me)?” To which she replies much differently this time than she did in the reminiscing first-encounter episode: “Do you really care?” His response is dreamy: “I shouldn’t.” Sigh. And the phone rings.
Booth Has Some Leads of His Own
All on his lonesome, Booth seeks out Aubrey on the street the next day and is about to uncover a key clue when someone harpoons a knife into the young man’s back. Aubrey falls to the ground. Just as Booth pulls the knife out, a little Christine (Sunnie Pelant) flashes a picture catching him in the act for the whole world to see in print two seconds later.
Booth skedadles, leaving Brennan to cry in her martini to Caroline at the Velvet Fox about being abandoned. Caroline then reveals the motivation behind the dashing Robin Hood of a man Brennan’s gotten herself entangled with. Instead of her signature “Cher” endearment, Carolina calls Brennan “Sugar,” a nickname that rolls off her tongue like brown sugar and it’s beautiful. Ends up that Booth had been stealing art back from the rich to give to the poor like his fellow soldiers Sarge (Billy F. Gibbons) and PeeWee who are now forced to pander in the alley ways eating beans straight out of cans.
Hodgins Has a Bone to Pick
Hodgins works miracles with the forensics and together with Brennan and Booth they figure out that the remains in the closet are not Braga at all… or was it? So wait, what happened? It was the maid who stole the jewels, dressed as Braga and sold the booty to Vaziri then killed her boss and planned to run off with the loot. What? How did that happen?
First off, Hodgins calls Brennan to deliver a line that for some reason has me laughing uncontrollably every time I rewind to listen to it. The dry delivery is what’s key here. Watch it again, you’ll see what I mean: “There was still blood in the parietal. That’s a bone in the head.” So it turns out Braga was dead three hours before Booth saw her in the safe. Result: Booth is innocent.
Just then Booth arrives dragging songstress Jessica Warren with her Fuentes in tow. Fuentes provides a description of Eva Braga to Brennan, Booth and Caroline and a light pops on in Brennan’s brain. It was Braga who turned into barbecue in her own safe.
The Maid Did It
IN case you’re wondering what really happened, here it is: The maid stole Braga’s jewels and posed as Braga to sell those jewels to Vaziri. Aubrey knew the real Ava Braga, so he would have been able to identify her by the image Angela drew. It was the maids clothes Hodgins and Clark tried to make fit the corpse, and that’s why they were too small for the remains. Eva figures out that Camille has stolen her goods and confronts her. A struggle ensues and Camille kills Eva to protect her secret, framing Booth because she knows he’d be coming after the jewels.
Brennan explains all of this to Booth who is dazzled by her brilliance. She explains that Eva Braga’s family got rich selling arms to Hitler on the black market, and that Booth would never let that stand. “You have sarge and pee wee and the others to take care of,” she predicts. The jig is up for Booth, as Brennan has exposed his tender underbelly. The two exchange sweetly affectionate glances and all is heading in the direction it should be until they get to Eva’s mansion.
A Close(t) Kiss, or a Near Miss?
Brennan and Booth run to catch Camille before she takes off with the loot, but she evades capture, and takes Brennan with her all tied up in a canvas bag. First, however, Camille locks Brennan and Booth in a closet for a fantastic almost-kiss before yanking Brennan out of the closet to take her along with her when she goes. Camille’s plan: to dump Brennan in the ocean as she flies off to paradise with all the money. Once on the runway with the loot and bagged Brennan, Camille thinks she’s home free. Bur first, did you notice who the pilot was? It’s Scott Starret, the oldest squintern Brennan ever had and the same guy who sold Hodgins a lemon when he was a teen! But wait, Cam and Starret don’t get far on that runway because … here comes Booth in his beautiful car!
Booth Can Do Anything, Even (Literally) Catch a Plane and Fly It
Wow. And I swoon into my glass of wine as our man Booth runs to save his lady love’s life. Up drives Booth as the plane taxis down the runway. What does he do — drive into its path? Of course not, he’s Seeley Booth, goddammit, so he runs, yes, he runs after the plane and grabs hold through the side hatch as it takes off, leaving him dangling from its belly. Oh my!
Inside the plane Brennan rolls around in her bag attempting to disrupt Camille while the maid stomps on Booth’s hands and attempts to kick him out of the plane. Along comes the pilot to assist Cam. Wait — who’s flying the plane? ARGH! So, Booth finally gets into the plane and a fantastic tussle ensues during which Camille has to choose between her life and the jewels which keep sliding dangerously close to the gaping doorway. Camille chooses wrongly and looses her grip on Booth’s hand, being carried off in the turbulent jet stream outside the plane. but still, who’s flying the plane?! Booth takes the pilot’s seat and the two freak for a bit until Booth lands the plane. “That’s why I like to drive,” he says with a grin.
All’s Swell that Ends Swell
Brennan is promoted. Booth is adored by the public. Having solved the crime and exonerated Booth, Brennan is decked out in a brilliantly flattering navy blue inspector’s uniform when her father showers her with praise. By her side is the doting, yet still-free agent, Seeley ‘Thief-Of-Hearts’ Booth. Before long the two are out along a sunset cliff and before much longer, there is a lovely kiss between the two. #Romantic
Our hearts are a flutter as Bones knocks another extraordinarily unique offering out of the park. It’s clear that this episode, both the acting and the directing, were such a labor of love and joy for Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz as well as for their director, um, What’s-His-Name and all the other Bones fairies who made this baby happen. Thank you, Bones, *hand on heart*, we love you right back.
Now we have to survive a three-month hiatus, Boneheads. How will we ever?
Bones airs Thursdays at 8pm on FOX.
(Images courtesy of FOX)
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV