Is it just me, or did this episode feel like a bit of filler? Yes, it’s always fun to see Brennan get giddy (for her) over investigating sexual fetishes, but they failed to make the “feeders and eaters” as compelling as the “horsey play” from Season 3. Getting to meet Booth’s grandfather Hank (guest star Ralph Waite) and having him try to play matchmaker for Booth and Brennan was sweet, but for this to be a proper Sweeps episode, Pops needed to die. There, I said it. (Note: I do realize that had Pops died at the end of this episode as written, it would have been too cliché. We’d have needed to meet him under different circumstances.)
The most interesting part of the hour, for me, was how Pops came to the realization that he needed to return to his retirement community instead of staying with Booth. He said it was because he was needed there for fishing and sex and because Booth’s appliances sucked, but do you think Brennan talked to Pops and told him that he needed more attention than Booth could provide — and that it would be hard for Booth to tell him that because he’d worry Pops would think he doesn’t love him? If there’s anyone who could have that conversation, it would be Brennan. I love that Pops got her and respected her “steel ovaries.” When B&B drove him home, he pulled her aside. He made sure she recalled her promise: She would tell Booth when the time was right that his abusive dad left because Pops had told him to get out, he didn’t deserve to be a father. And she’d be there to hold him, if he needed it. “He’s big and strong, but he’s gonna need someone. Everyone needs someone,” he told her. “Don’t be scared…. It all goes by so fast. You don’t want any regrets.” Brennan said she didn’t understand. “Yes, you do,” he told her. There’s no question Booth understood Pops’ parting words for him: “Now listen here,” he said gently patting Booth’s heart. “You remember, it’s all in there. Everything you need to know. [Looks at Brennan] You just do what it tells ya.” What it told him, apparently, was to compliment Brennan on her necklace. She said he’d seen it before. He said he hadn’t. Was that a sly hint that he was looking at her breasts for the first time?
The episode had some other tender moments, such as:
• Angela explaining to Brennan that Booth likes it when Pops calls him “Shrimp” because it makes him feel loved, and Brennan failing to hide a little smile when she told Angela the only nickname she’s ever had is “Bones,” from Booth.
• Clark finally tolerating personal conversation at work and saying that Booth is a good man for wanting to take in Pops. “I’m moved… and now I’m not.” Clark’s grandfather never got to see what he became. Ah.
• Pops in a dance sandwich at Club Jiggle. Okay, not “tender,” but did you notice how when he first started to dance solo, it was a move Booth would totally do? Okay, maybe I’m glad Pops lived…
Would you like Hank to visit again and maybe use his Military Police background to go all Murder, She Wrote? Or do you anticipate the next time we see him being at his funeral?
Photo credit: Greg Gayne/FOX