Agent Andy Plays Hard Balls: Bones’ ‘The Nazi on the Honeymoon’ Review
Beach and spa. Sex and room service. Sleeping late and coming back stupid. How do you get Booth to eschew heaven to spend his honeymoon elbow deep in crime solving? You make him a National Hero, the Superman of his own graphic novel. That’s how.
Bones returns from a brief postnuptial hiatus to deliver a case-centric honeymoon episode set in the beautiful Latin American alpha city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Unable to relax while doing nothing, Brennan entices Booth to visit the Policia de la Provincia de Buenos Aires to tour the morgue she worked in a decade earlier. As it turns out, the whole country is wild about Brennan’s books, but they absolutely worship Agent Andy as the quintessential police officer and hero, who, because he’s a Real Man, allows Dr. Kathy Reichs to think he’s merely her assistant.
While at the morgue, of course, Brennan notices fresh remains among thirty year old remains from a mass grave of political dissidents killed by their own government during Argentina’s Dirty War in the late seventies. Since this is Bones, we know what happens next, right? She has to get involved.
Somewhat reluctantly at first, but bolstered by the high esteem offered him as the real Agent Andy, Booth agrees to partner up with local Buenos Aires Detective Raphael Valenza (Joaquim De Almeida) to round up suspects while Brennan and local forensic anthropologist Dr. Leticia Perez (Angela Alvarado Rosa) examine the remains in question. Also dragged into the mix via modern technology is the Jeffersonian team led primarily by Dr. Clark Edison.
As Leticia and Brennan assemble the skeletal puzzle, Angela reconstructs the face of ninety year old Miguel Eduardo Silva, Clark maps the numerous fractures, Hodgins runs a histological study on the bone matter, and Booth and Valenza study surveillance footage of the mass grave site being excavated by the government.
Booth and Valenza find a key in the victim’s scavenged car which leads them to Silva’s home where they discover the crime scene and the horrific truth that Silva was actually a the Nazi war criminal named Sturmbannfuerer Herman Haupt, the Monster of Majdanek, who sent thousands of Poles and Jews to their deaths in the gas chambers near Lublin, Poland. Clark simultaneously reports histological evidence of prolonged exposure to hydrogen cyanide ethyl bromoacetate, or, Zyclon-B, the gas used in gas chambers by the Nazis during the Holocaust to exterminate an estimated 1.2 million people. Also found at the crime scene is an enormous stash of original art and Nazi gold which Haupt had taken from an infamous storehouse of the stolen Nazi treasure after the war.
Throughout are several instances of awkward competitiveness bordering on disdain on the part of Brennan toward Leticia. In a word, Brennan was rude. Leticia handled this treatment not ungraciously, and took opportunities to subtly push back. Clark, the perfect intern choice for this episode because of his experience sparring with Brennan, informed Leticia that Brennan’s aggressiveness signified her respect, for which Leticia was grateful. Later, in an awkward incident that ends up cracking the case, Leticia drops and breaks the cranium, eliciting a generous comment from Brennan who suggests they reassemble it together. In doing so, they discover that the murder weapon was a bar of gold from the Nazi treasure stash.
Noteworthy is the conversation between Leticia and Brennan where Brennan admits that motherhood is one of her greatest joys. Leticia, like the Brennan of seasons one and two, confesses she can’t see the logic in bringing a new life into a world of evil. Back in the day, it was Booth who professed the wonders of parenthood. Years later, it is Brennan who has come to believe the same. It seemed the purpose of this scene was to illustrate that though Brennan is still the same awkward and competitive person, she has been molded by her experiences and come to experience a fuller life … even if that life includes a honeymoon spent mostly in a morgue.
Humor abounded as Booth glided through the case with Agent Andy’s reputation smoothing the path. Most enjoyable was the interrogation of Ramon Alvarez (Geoffrey Rivas), the gold fencer who laundered Haupt’s gold for Haupt’s wife Bianca Silva (Lucila Sola), whom he refers to as a woman too beautiful to kill. Alvarez attempts to bribe Booth and Valenza, then becomes hilariously stupefied when both detectives capitalize on Agent Andy’s reputed exploits as based on reality.
Also interesting was the questioning of David Hal-El (Michael Fairman), an elderly gentleman involved in the extraditing some of the 10,000 war criminals who had been given asylum in Argentina. Hal-El provides good information, then makes the startling statement that, We do not expect justice in the world, but wee take great pride in seeking it out, which rings true for Booth and Brennan’s own philosophy about their work. This conversation also brings home the principled theme of historical atrocities for which many cultures still pay the price and struggle to make amends. Once again, Bones shines a light on a real tragedy in investigating a not-so-make-believe one. At the end of the interview, Hal-El asks Booth to sign his copy of one of Brennan’s books. Booth, of course, was delighted. This was fun to see.
In the end, Brennan uncovers that Haupt was Leticia’s grandfather who saw Leticia as a younger version of himself. She killed Haupt, wanting nothing to do with him or his legacy. She had spent her life identifying remains of political victims in an effort to compensate for the wrongs of Argentina’s past. Was it credible that she would have committed the crime? Well, she did have access to the perfect place to hide the body. However, how could she have stood, side by side with Brennan the whole time, without buckling under the pressure or giving herself away? Her portrayal of a researcher unaware of the mystery’s answer was convincing, as was her motive. The final reveal seemed to be like a game of Clue where no one knows the identity of the killer-not even the killer herself–until the cards are taken out of the secret envelope at the end of the game.
Oh, la la! How romantic, right? Actually, for Brennan and Booth it turns out to be exactly that. How do we know? Because throughout ‘The Nazi on the Honeymoon’ Booth, the one we’d expect to be rankled by the departure from a menu promising lots of beach and lots of sex, explicitly and repeatedly affirms they are having a great honeymoon. He even goes so far as to explain to Detective Valenza that, ‘People don’t quite understand it, but this is something we enjoy doing together’. Surprisingly, not once do Booth’s comments appear inauthentic. Make no mistake, this was a message meant for us as well.
If you expected bedroom gymnastics in this Bones installment, you were most likely disappointed. Those of us who looked forward to a combination of intrigue, witty banter, flirtatious low-voiced exchanges, and academic social awkwardness found “The Nazi in the Honeymoon” quite satisfying. Besides, there were several verbally affectionate glances, exchanges, and suggestions between the two. Most importantly, they were happy and in sync. That’s what this Bones viewer wants to see more than anything.
There are three kinds discernable Bones episodes. Comedic, dramatic, and principled, or, acting in accordance with morality and showing recognition of right and wrong. Each episode contains all three elements, but each one stands out providing the overarching theme which sets the tone for most of the episode. Viewers are drawn to the Bones ‘magic’ for various reasons. Some for the romance, some for the science and brilliance, some for the gore, and some because they love Deschanel and/or Boreanaz. What makes Bones as universal is it’s combination of comedy, drama, and principle. There is a formula, a framework. Coming off the indescribably satisfying wedding episode, this was a tremendous feat. It was rocky in some places, and harsh in others where Brennan snubbed Leticia. Did ‘The Nazi in the Honeymoon’ follow the magical formula? Yes it did. I rest my case.
Next week brings a special treat for Bones fans: Two new episodes! And if fans are worried about the move to Fridays, don’t be. According to TV by the Numbers, Bones is certain to be renewed for a tenth season.
Here’s what’s on the schedule:
Monday, Nov. 11th “The Dude in the Dam”
The Jeffersonian team investigates the murder of a man whose only source of income was from his sperm donations, and Brennan is drawn into a feud with fellow author Tess Brown (Nora Dunn). ‘The Dude in the Dam” Monday Nov. 11th at 8:00-9:00 pm ET/PT on FOX. Details and images here.
Friday, Nov. 15th “The Fury in the Jury”
Brennan is a juror in the trial of professional soccer player Peter Kidman (Brandon Quinn), who is accused of murdering his wife. When she concludes that Kidman is not guilty, his best friend – and a key witness in the case – turns up dead. The Jeffersonian team then must work together to uncover the truth. The Fury in the Jury” Friday Nov. 15th at 8:00-9:00 pm ET/PT on FOX.
Friday, Nov. 22nd “The Mystery in the Meat”
The Jeffersonian team investigates the murder of a food scientist whose remains were tossed in a meat grinder and mixed into cans of stew served in a school cafeteria. Meanwhile, Angela plans a post-wedding bachelorette party for Brennan, which gets crazier than intended. “The Mystery in the Meat” Friday, November 22nd at 8:00-9:00 pm ET/PT on FOX.