Disclaimer: The parts and the sum and the whole of the thing belong to Fox and Mr. Hanson.
Summary: The latest in my series of Ange-caps. Ange sorts through the flotsam of "The Rocker in the Rinse Cycle."
Characters: Booth/Brennan, Angela at the Wheel
Spoilers/Warnings: Through ep. 103 "The Rocker in the Rinse Cycle."
Note: I'm going to be honest and say I did not love this episode so it was a tough one. Even with Angela's help. So ... read at your own risk.
Dry Clean Only
Today we're going to try something different and start in the middle of things, wake up in the rinse cycle. I'd start with the dead man and the whodunit but, as it turns out, the guy was a douche. Which seems to make everyone kind of okay with the fact that he was murdered and shoved down the laundry chute. So I guess we can just skip the whole murder thing. I mean, I guess it's not in our job description to care about the dead guy, as long as we figure out who killed him. Remind me why I work here?
So we'll skip over Brennan noticing Booth's tie and Cam making some lame jokes like she's been watching too much CSI instead of getting her freak on. Which. She probably has. Skip some talk about gynecologists (and you can so tell Booth did not grow up with sisters. Like, get over it Booth, lady parts need health care too. As do testicles. Particularly when they become cancerous or get otherwise hacked off by industrial laundry devices.)
Skip some talk of Catherine and social contracts that I guess it has to do with anthropology. That or Catherine's a Marxist. Still definitely beats cult leader. Skip Cam meeting a nice lady-doctor who is also a nice-looking man. And Hodgins and the Arastoo pushing the baseball metaphors way beyond the tolerance of mortal man. Skip it. Knock it right outta the park.
And yadda, yadda ….
Welcome to rock 'n' roll fantasy camp! First, take a moment to accept that fantasy camps exist and are intended for adults. Now take a another moment to accept that these things cost thousands of dollars to attend.
Try to smooth that sneer out of your lip.
Good. Now we're ready. I think. I dunno, I might need another minute.
So we've established that we're not too concerned about the actual murder. I mean, a man's dead and camp's just going to go on as usual. In fact, everyone seems very annoyed that the FBI would dare interrupt the proceedings of something so sacred as rock camp for one little murder.
So what else is going on here?
Look how much fun Booth's having pretending to be someone else. Tie on his head, air guitar wailing, drumsticks tucked into gun holster. A man's been through an industrial air fluffer and retrieved (minus a testicle) as globs of goo. And still, Booth with a tie on his head, torturing Foreigner, is still the image that'll probably stick with you.
Not judging. Just saying.
It really makes an impression, that sheer joy on his face. Can you blame him? I mean he's been this same guy for a while now. The same tiny apartment. The same little rebellions. The same poor schmuck pining over his beautiful scientist partner.
But now he's got a new tie. So it's on his head and he's grinning like his life depends on it.
And Brennan? Brennan has the mentions. Sort of. Mentions: the affliction characterized by the bringing up of irrelevant persons in conversations due to some obscure connection to said conversation. Usually a crush is involved.
Usually the mentions (read: MENtions) strike like this:
Me: "Wow, I really need a haircut."
Cam: "You know who has a great hair cut? Michelle's gynecologist."
Cam: It just … (decisive nod) suits him.
Me: Oh. Right. Him.
Yep. I fully expect to have that conversation with the lovely Dr. Saroyan in the near future.
But Brennan, my dear best friend, doesn't really crush (except maybe on, like, super ancient human remains. Then she's a complete fan girl) . Usually she just kind of bluntly propositions people with words like "compatible" and "prominent brow ridge" or "pronounced mandible."
Yeah. I know. Girl's lucky she's hot.
So that's what's happening but what's going on? Booth, who's always the first to suspect jealousy doesn't catch a whiff of it on Brennan. Here's a hint, Booth: it smells fishy.
Yeah, bad joke. But he deserves it for deliberately being dumb.
And Brennan? She's trying to write off this vexation she clearly feels over Catherine as standard curiosity in Booth's life. No bad joke for her. Social incompetence is the norm here.
And Sweets is all, "Bravo. You're both moving on." Like he hasn't been matchmaking like a jewish mother for years now. Like, if they really fall apart, he won't believe a little less in love when the truth is, if they fall apart love will believe a little less in itself.
So. Really. What's going on here?
Let's go ahead and fast forward to the end. Murder no one cared about solved, g-man and scientist lying to each other over beers. ("You're a very good singer." "Sure. Yeah.")
Booth says, "You'd die for your partner, that's the way I look at it." And now we're getting somewhere.
Because you do. You die for your partner. You take bullets. You tell lies. You get drinks after hours and talk about dating people who aren't each other. Little deaths, every day.
But you don't live for your partner.
And that's the draw, for Booth, for us, of rock'n'roll. It's something to dedicate yourself to and build a life around. It can take everything out of you and tear you apart. It's the only thing left when everything else has gone. You can live for it. Even if you shouldn't. And kill for it. Even if it's wrong.
You'll give anything for it. You'll do things you never thought you would. You'll commit your life, you'll walk joyfully into handcuffs.
It's like love that way.
So that's what's going on here. Love, life, and death. All quietly at war. For the rest of us, this is the waiting game. We're waiting for them to figure it out. How they fit together.
But they don't regard one another with the same sense of inevitability. They can't. They've decided to move on, salvage what they can from the fire, from the rinse cycle. He's spent too much time living for her already. He's spent too much time thinking of no one else. And now she's with Hacker. It's like watching some rich phony clumsily strum a Les Paul, get his fingerprints all over it. He has to look away. Really away. Or it's gonna get ugly.
So we're waiting. But they're not. They're moving, treading water in the spin cycle.
She wants him and she wants the buffers that keep her from him. For now that's Hacker, and her work, and their partnership. He wants her and he wants love. She's told him those are mutually exclusive so he's trying the other on for a while, like a tie around the forehead, like a weekend at fantasy camp.
But the reality is, they don't need a tie because they have a certain belt buckle. They don't need a mix tape because they have a rock'n'roll song. And they don't need to keep dying for each other, to keep killing one another if only they can figure out how to live.