Bones 10×11 ‘The Psychic in the Soup’: Just like the real ‘Love Story,’ this ends with someone dying

Source: FOX

Remember when Temperance Brennan used to be on this show? You’d be forgiven if you forgot that detail after this episode. It’s for completely understandable reasons, but it doesn’t make her absence any less glaring. On the other hand, Cyndi Lauper is back for another kick at the Bones can, and that is always welcome, time after time. (See what I did there?)

Let me rip the bandaid off first: Brennan was missing for the majority of this episode, and Booth wasn’t a heck of a lot more present, thanks to real-life considerations I’m sure (e.g. post-200th episode filming constraints, and real-life scheduling reductions for pregnant stars). However, their well-deserved break in ‘Psychic’ served to highlight, for me, how integral they are to the show’s balance. I love the entire cast, and I usually don’t mind when the writers put Booth and Brennan on the back burner for an episode or two in order to put the spotlight on the rest of the (usually unsung) cast. Yet, the problem with this episode, for me, is that we didn’t really get that secondary character development. Actually, let me back up: the character development we got was for Sweets, he of the unceremoniously-killed-off-in-the-season-premiere fame. It was like a double-whammy: not only did it remind me of a plot line I’m still not really pleased with, but it underscored how much he is missed.

Source: FOX

Source: FOX

To be fair, it wasn’t all bad: I did like, for instance, that the writers finally dealt with Sweets’ death, albeit in the plot device of his birthday creeping up on the team. That, I did find incredibly realistic; everyone knows that the first holiday after a loved one’s death is monumentally difficult, and I thought the whole team did a great job at portraying their grief all over again once they realized the day’s significance.

Booth and Brennan’s reactions were the ones that got me the most. Booth trying to hold it together, and celebrate the day as though Sweets were still there was both touching and heartbreaking, and it made me wonder if this will factor into his behavior more as the season progresses. Though Brennan was MIA for most of the hour, her subdued demeanor packed a real punch. She’s usually so composed at work, yet this time, she was distracted and obviously upset, and had to be the one to remind everyone else of Sweets’ birthday. (That, I found unbelievable: they’d known Sweets for nearly a decade, and just buried him — yet none of them knew his birthday or how old he was? Seriously?!)

Source: FOX

Source: FOX

In that vein, though, I thought shoehorning Aubrey into that story a little awkward. I understood the writers’ intention; Aubrey is still the outsider, who doesn’t know about their traditions and barely knew Sweets before his untimely passing, and here he’s thrust into this environment where everyone is mourning him. Booth offering Aubrey Sweets’ birthday donuts was meant to bridge a gap, I think, but it just played inappropriately to me. I know it was intended to show Booth letting go and honoring the day as Sweets would (by giving out presents like Santa to his friends on his birthday — SNIFF), but the petty side of me thought it looked a little like they were forcing Aubrey into Sweets’ role yet again. (I know that wasn’t the scene’s purpose, I’m just saying that’s how I felt.) Besides, I would have rather the writers incorporate some of Sweets’ known good deeds — like visiting youth centers — rather than make up this donut thing, but I’m splitting hairs now.

Similarly, much of the dialogue felt clunky, both because Aubrey was being used to give case exposition (in Sweets’ absence), and also thanks to the reappearance of psychic Avalon Harmonia, played by Cyndi Lauper. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Cyndi Lauper, and enjoy her performances on this show, but I think using Avalon to tell the Sweets-searching-for-closure story negated some of its impact, because they had to set her up yet again. That being said, despite her kookiness, I love Avalon’s big heart, and how she seems to have adopted the Jeffersonian team as her personal project. Her interactions with Booth in particular were delightful, and I’d definitely watch the two of them spar for a whole episode. And while she has an obvious friendship with Angela (who introduced us to the psychic after all), I like that she’s got a fun, testy vibe with Hodgins, too: he thinks she’s a quack, and she respects his beliefs, and in the end, they’re still friends. I’d love for her to come back.

Source: FOX

Source: FOX

I could see the implication that Christine’s imaginary friend “Buddy” was really Sweets communicating from beyond the grave coming from a mile away, and it made me roll my eyes, much like Brennan’s jump into the abyss with her mother after getting shot in season 8. However, I did appreciate that the characters took it to mean whatever they wanted, whether it was belief in the afterlife like Avalon, or a simple childhood phase as Brennan and Booth (who both adorably indulged their daughter in her tea parties — love it!). More to the point, though, was the reveal, thanks to Avalon’s help, that Sweets did finally finish that book he’d been writing about Booth and Brennan way back in season 5. (You know, the one that made Booth and Brennan split up for a year?) In the end, the book was a love story about his friends, because how could it not be?! I loved that callback, and it affected me as much as Booth and Brennan. I applaud the writers for remembering that (in an episode full of happily surprising nods), and hope it bodes well for the rest of the season.

The episode was a miss for me overall, but I’m glad the show is back from its three-month hiatus. How did you like Bones’ tribute to their fallen friend?

is willing to talk about TV to anyone who will listen. She’s thought way too hard about her favorite shows, ever since her grade school days watching “Full House.” She likes to write a lot, about everything. She enjoys candlelight dinners and long walks on the beach… Whoops, wrong profile.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.