|Index||3 reviews in total|
Color me hopeful.
Kudos to Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan for penning an outstanding opener for Season 9 of this wonderful TV series. "The Secret In The Proposal" was very good, and I want to think it promises the start of a high quality season of TV for this often great show.
As I write this the day after the airing, 90 persons have rated this episode an overall average of 9 stars, and I think that is evidence of the impact of solid writing and performances by everyone. WELL DONE.
I won't provide spoilers, but it was great to see Ms Wick as the squintern of the week, and it was great to see the characters re-emerge strongly from the inconsistent miasm presented by the course of seasons 7 and 8.
About myself: I came to a love and appreciation of this series only over the last 18 months, thanks to the availability of Seasons 1 through 6 on NETFLIX at that time. On the recommendation of a friend, and the strength of a Season 4 episode I watched one night, I started at S1 E1 and drilled straight through to S6 E23 over two months time. Frankly, I was blown away; the Achilles hill of many CSI shows and crime shows is their lame reliance on a formula, and linear action-driven plots that strain belief. I found that six seasons of "Bones" to be refreshingly literate and character-driven, and I made sure I learned the names of the half-dozen best writers of these episodes.
For me, the series maintained a rather high consistency and quality level in those six years, with a dozen truly breath-taking pinnacles of achievement; "Doctor In The Photo" almost made my head explode. My watching ended with "The Hole In The Heart," and "The Change In The Game," and the second of these made me start to worry about where Bones / Booth open co-habitation was headed.
I proceeded to purchase some Season 7 episodes a couple of weeks before the Season 8 FOX premiere, when Netflix added Season 7 to their offering. I forged ahead into S-7 (which I already knew created some fan dissatisfaction) while watching Season 8. I managed to watch the S7 cliff-hanger right before the S8 opener, and that S8 premiere didn't match the excellence of the S7 finale which set it up.
There's a part of the fan base which was and is enamored of the Bones Booth love affair, and I feared that the show would move in the direction of giving them the storybook ending they wanted; indeed S7 was taken up with the baby, and all of the characters were often written as simplistic shadows of their complex selves, jerked this way and that way by the writers in order to flesh out very weak story ideas. It was very unsatisfying save for a few high points. Season 8, same comments.
Sorry for the personal prologue - - my whole point is that THIS episode, THIS premiere for THIS 9th Season of THIS show - was an achievement in quality, an achievement in performance, and an achievement in restoration for the other part of the fan base, persons like me who WANT shocks and surprise, and drama, and we want our connection to characters who are written and developed in a fashion that lets great actors do their finest work. THIS is what I saw on the screen last evening.
Kudos to Hart and Nathan. Many who are like me look back on "Hole In The Heart," and all that came before it, and wonder if the show can rock the house like that again. The season premiere I saw last night said very clearly, "Yes It Can."
I love having hope. Thanks for that.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
On it's merits as an episode, typically high quality but I won't rate
it because the writers are falling far, far short of satisfactorily
correcting the disastrous conclusion of last season's finale.
In fact, they've compounded it by trying to change the subject.
The disaster was Booth's unwillingness to share Pelant's threat with Brennan and that unwillingness continues. In tonight's show I saw at least three instances in which he could have circumvented Pelant's threat against the innocents by using third parties: The Bartender/Priest, Angela and Cam. At any point, he could have confided his dilemma to Cam or Angela without triggering Pelant's threat, as he actually did do with the Priest/Bartender.
The Priest's response: think of the 5 innocents and keep quiet. Which is pretty much what you'd expect from a Formerly Catholic priest: all patriarchy and 'Let the men handle it' and 'It's a Mans World' crap. Not a hint of 'You two can use me as a go-between me'. Booth's already let out the 'secret' so how about a wink and a nod here.
Instead, bar-room sexism.
That's the attitude the writers are going with instead of centering Booth's conflict on the real issue: his failure to share the problem with Brennan.
As I said: changing the subject and making the issue Brennan's 'faith' in Booth rather than Booth's 'faith' in Brennan. Booth's conflict and frustration should be his inability to share with Brennan and he should be wracking his brains for some way to get her the message - God knows there are plenty of them.
Instead, we get three levels of 'Guys in Charge' sexism: Pelant, the Priest/Bartender and Booth. And Brennan, uncharacteristically, buying into it.
Again, in terms of the episode, all done very well and very convincingly, until you realize that Brennan's going all 'You're my big strong man and anything you do is OK by me' submissive girlie-person.
Seems that the writers are intent on dragging the whole thing out instead of resolving the core problem and getting rid of Pelant as quickly and painfully as possible. This is why I'm not happy.
I'll keep watching because I do love the show and I will suspend my ire as one might suspend his or her disbelief but the B&B relationship is irretrievably tainted as far as I'm concerned and woe to the writers for that tainting.
In my review of last season's finale I said Hodgins was right, he should have killed Pelant when he had the chance. In reviewing this premiere of the new season I will say Angela is right, she should give into her implied desire to kick Booth in the balls.
The most tired cliché in all of cop-procedural writing is: the bad guy
goes after the cop! Or the cop's family! It really didn't need to be
done more than once, but now every show keeps dragging it back in as
though it were a fresh plot device. It's not. It's very, very stale.
The biggest, rottenest shark that lies athwart the path of any cop-procedural show is: the Omnipotent Omniscient Never-Caught Villain. Have the writers learned nothing from the way "Red John" has killed interest in The Mentalist? The whole point of these shows is that they present us with a puzzle, and solve it neatly by the end of the hour. That's the framework. Once you start getting "supervillains" like Red John or the endlessly-uninteresting Pelant, the show starts circling the drain, because we know as soon as the name is mentioned that this episode will be just another dead end, petering out unsatisfactorily.
Kill off Pelant and get back to what makes the show great!
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