Bones

Booth Lite

I have one simple question for the writers of Bones: Why u play favorites?

The Bones team has been disjointed since Season 6. The first half of the season was designed that way by the writers—the break up of Booth and Brennan and the team at the end of Season 5 drove a wedge between them and, for the first time, everyone had lives outside the lab. It is reasonable for them to take time to find their way back to one another, something which does happen later on. However, with Emily Deschanel’s pregnancy sidelining her to a supporting role through Season 7, the writers (I blame them and Hart Hanson and co.) have since been unable to reproduce the team spirit of old. Because of this failure, they have begun writing episodes that are, at best, disjointed vignettes of each of the characters.

The Jeffersonian/FBI team is now, officially, an ensemble cast. Booth and Brennan,Hodgins and Angela, Sweets, Cam, the rotating squinterns: their story lines rarely intersect and all vie for screen time. The Bones characters now have the same goals as a flight plan: avoid running into each other at all costs and, if you do, make the plot and dialogue cliché, forced, recycled. Angela is the know-it-all mom, Cam is stagnant, Booth is no longer Booth but David Boreanaz, Brennan is clueless, judgemental, and talks funny, the squintern spends most of his time with Cam or Hodgins, rarely interacting with the team as a whole, Hodgins gets field time and a few clever lines every now and then. Then there is Sweets—and here we arrive at the crux of the matter. Sweets is turning into Booth Lite.

Dr. Lance Sweets is a genius psychologist first introduced in Season 3 as Booth and Brennan’s therapist. He continues in that role (despite the theory that he was, in fact, Gormogon or Gormogon’s apprentice) and transitions into an in-house FBI profiler and resident do-drop-in therapist for the entire Jeffersonian team in Seasons 4 and 5. His role expands as he becomes a personal friend to Booth in Season 6. At this point, he becomes a Brennan surrogate. (One of B&B’s defining characteristics is that they only open up to each other—but Sweets takes over the role of confidant.) Season 7 begins the trend of Sweets as field agent. Because of Emily Deschanel’s pregnancy, I was okay with the set-up—but only for so long. I am extremely disappointed to see Sweets filling this role now in Season 8.

So Sweets is now a field agent. (Why? We have an agent. His name is Booth.)

Bones4

Sweets is now a master interrogator. (Why? Booth is our interrogator.)

Sweets is now a sharpshooter. (Why? Booth is a sniper.)

Why is Sweets taking over a role much bigger than is needed? His original role was to psychoanalyze everyone—that was funny especially when it came to Booth and Brennan, who deplore being defined and psychoanalyzed. Sweets also makes an excellent profiler: he helps with cases and fills his own very special role. He is also Booth and Brennan’s “Baby Duck”—he sees them as his surrogate parents whether they like it or not (they do not). He does not need more screen time or more work. He is unique.

In the canon of the show, why is it necessary for Sweets to be a field agent, a master interrogator, and a sharpshooter? Should we get another forensic anthropologist with abandonment issues? another hardball coroner from New York City? another bug and slime expert? another in-house artist? Sure, if we want to make sure that none of our characters are irreplaceable. Anything one of them can do, so can their copy cat. At this point, the only difference between Sweets and Booth in their function as characters is that Booth is in charge. Otherwise, in any given scene you could easily swap Booth for Sweets and vice versa. Interrogation? No problem. Sweets or Booth: flip a coin. We need someone to take out a killer from 100 yards? Sweets carries a gun and is a certified sharp shooter: send him. We need to go pick up a suspect? Sweets and some random chick from the FBI can do that while Booth counts paper clips.

Other characters are suffering too—Cam, most noticeably. Tamara Taylor is excellent in her portrayal of the hard-nosed yet compassionate pathologist from NYC. She has spot-on comedic timing and has never faded into the background in any scene. Along with Angela, who has also taken a back seat in these past two seasons, Dr. Saroyan is being passed over in preference to Sweets.

I ask again: Why u play favorites?

In two—TWO—upcoming episodes, Sweets will play a heavy role in the plot. In “Method to the Madness,” Sweets has nowhere to stay since he so selfishly broke Daisy’s heart (not saying she didn’t deserve it, considering she did the same thing to him in Season 5). Booth will take the situation in hand and invite Sweets to stay with him and Brennan. “The Twist in the Plot” will also feature Sweets saving the day by psychoanalyzing a suspect. Why is Sweets getting all this screen time? Did he suddenly become a fan favorite to the point where all we want to see is him?

I would rather the man on the left be shirtless, thank you very much.

I have a suggestion: put us out of our misery and make a spin-off called Sweets with Brennan, Hodgins, and the squinterns as supporting cast. This way, Sweets-as-main-character lovers can continue watching the show while the rest of us, who loves Sweets proportionately for what he brings to the show as a whole, can once again enjoy Bones as it should be: a heartwarming, romantic, witty, crime dramedy filled with clever dialogue, intriguing cases, sexual tension, and well-developed and believable characters.

Is this too much to ask?

CB

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