The Case Overview: Deadman on Tracks Mystery
The second season premiere begins with a bang, having Booth and Brennan riding inside Booth's FBI vehicle at an immense speed with the siren blazing. Obviously as any fan knows, this indicates another case has been called to their attention. They're subtly discussing what happened in last season's finale as Brennan recalls her vacation --- an actual vacation of relaxing and "chilling" with her brother Russ, as she's comfortable of calling him that now after all this time as they try to find a way to locate their father. This is one of the things that shows how Brennan is growing since we've seen her in the first season. As Booth and Brennan arrive at the scene of the crime, they are immediately greeted (more or less) by a woman named Dr. Camille Saroyan, who is apparently in replacement of Dr. Goodman, the head of department of the Jeffersonian Institute, from last season. She snipes at Brennan for the moment, plays coy with Booth before going off with her business. However Brennan isn't phased by this, and is more interested in the remains of the person inside the burned car.
Later at the Jeffersonian Institute, Angela and Hodgins are indeed analyzing the newcomer, Camille, and her connection with Booth as they see them chatting from afar. Already, Angela knows there was something between them before, which will be discussed further in this review. The team then determine who the burnt victim is, and it's generally a news-shocker that could cause media controversy (which puts the entire team under mild pressure, some due to Camille's influence). Thus, the investigation continues, which have Booth and Brennan going out in the field together. Like other cases, there are dead-ends and misleads and so forth. Another aspect within the episode is the continuity of the mystery of Brennan's parents and the truth hidden underneath it all.
In the end, Brennan and Booth eventually corner the man they first interviewed concerning illegal drug consumption of the victim (proved by Brennan's amazing medically detailed information of the bone structure). Booth does his intimidating interrogation skill rather well before Brennan offers some advice that works very convincingly based on factual evidence that she discovered earlier. Proving once again how Booth's skills have made an impression on her through their partnership. The case is then solved and closed, while dealing with a pushy and holier-than-thou lawyer/media woman, but that point's moot (other than wanting to punch her lights out, but that was taken care of in a civilized and sophisticated manner).
The Characterizations: The Booth and Brennan Dynamic
One of the aspects of how this show is dealt with is seeing the companionship between Booth and Brennan just as we saw them from the very first episode of the series. Unlike other shows where they have Character A meet Character B, we're given a straightforward demonstration that Booth and Brennan knew each other and work together, yet have differing of opinions. The season premiere is no different. Partial of this is due to fans having familiarized with their chemistry, another is it picks up where it left off. They are on call, discussing the aftermath of the Big Mystery surrounding Brennan's parents.
The matter of closeness between these two are always interesting, and it's endearing and frustrating at the same time to see these subtle clues and lots of undeniable sexual tension, yet it still leaves plenty of options and openings for more possibilities and developments in the future. I love how this tactic creates more chemistry between those two, like the Mulder and Scully connection. They are literally flirting with the audience. Of course, with a newcomer this season it can cause slight complications. But this brings an interesting light to the situation, as it can help Booth and Brennan realize their feelings for one another and if they do, indeed, want to engage in something like that into their partnership of business.
Either way, this season seems to be opening more doors to the flirtatiousness of Seeley Booth and Temperance Brennan. I'm actually wondering if he'll allow her to get licensed to carry a firearm this season.
As for the other prime characters, they certainly haven't changed a bit since last season (considering I just watched a marathon before this season's premiere). The only thing that seems changed is how utterly pretty they are, but that's automatically a given. The quick-witticisms just rolls off their tongues like normal conversations, and it's all fun for forensic anthropology as last season. Joy! Plus, going with hinting of relationships, last season there was a subtle clue that something might be between Angela and Hodgins. I don't know if they'll continue that arch or if that was just "testing the water", but that would be kind of sweet. Anyway, glad to have the team back.
Red Alert: First Impressions of Newcomer Camille
Beware, this is kind of lengthy with loads of personal commentary and observations.
First impressions are indeed noted and taken into consideration of how one perceives a person for the duration of the season. I found that there are pros and cons to Camille being hired as part of the Jeffersonian Institute of Washington, DC. In the dialogue between characters it’s obvious that Camille was a replacement for Dr. Goodman, which is quite a shame because I really liked his character; he had a strong sense of professionalism and acknowledged the rules, yet had an understanding of his people and respected Brennan and her intelligence without having to pull the intimidation card like Camille does. Hell, Camille even admitted to Booth that she liked being intimidating, and it’s this that’s a major Con to her character. But now, I think Camille feels more threatened by Brennan than the other way around. Booth pretty much covered it all by stating that Brennan connects more with bones and remains of the deceased than the living – and it’s been demonstrated more than once in this show that our lovely Brennan doesn’t frighten easily.
Camille presented herself self-righteous and way overfriendly when hitting it off, demonstrating her defensive mechanism immediately. She may say that working at the Jeffersonian Institute was a step up in her career – a highly secured and sophisticated facility, with the updated technology than the basement she had been working in for Lord knows how long – and yet seems to be offended when experiments are being conducted without notification. It seems that she’s had a different vision of how the facility should be working than the reality of it, plus since she is the newcomer she has limited experience with a place like that. Other than Brennan and her team who have all worked at the Jeffersonian for much longer, therefore know the rules and regulations. Instead, Camille decides that after getting hired she’s professionally obligated to control the team like they are part of a branch of the government. That’s another docking off the points for Camille’s likeability radar.
There’s another thing that’s swaying my decision about Camille, which is the obvious ex-relationship chemistry between her and Booth. When confronted about her job description choice, she outright denied that she took the position because of his involvement with the team. Aside from her descriptive explanation of stepping up in her career to a refined and highly respected facility, I think she’s lying. Of course this is my interpretation because it could get in the way of the Booth/Brennan dynamic, but how she carried herself into that situation really says otherwise than what is being stated.
On the flipside, there are some Pros to balance out these negatives. Not a whole lot mind you, but enough that could shift my judgment of the character somewhat. It’s well known that Brennan wanted to position for head of department, however I think that Camille is more qualified in that field as confirmed from the verbal smackdown she gave nearing the end of the episode to the woman badgering the team for the amount of scientific credibility. Brennan isn’t skilled in human communication that well, whereas Camille provides quick commentary with knowledge of dealing with other people. And with cases that deals with the media and other involvement of the government that could come in handy. So she gets some points.
So, how are my feelings about this first impression of Camille Saroyan? It’s a tossup. There’s moments when she’s overpowering and condescending, especially towards Brennan, and makes me want to desperately despise her (she’s not in the main credits, so I have no clue if her character is going to be official for the rest of the season), although she does have potential redeeming qualities due to the fact that she's just doing her job. She has yet to grow on me. Right now, I’m on the Brennan defense, but that’s only because we’re familiar with Brennan and not Camille. So I’m on the fence until something happens that could determine my final decision.
The Likings So Far
+ The filming techniques coinciding with the storylines have advanced this season, such as using speculated flashbacks like they use for CSI and the like. Really brings something new to the table as the show progresses. Sure, I enjoy hearing the scientific and forensic jargon, which allows our minds to think further, but it’s nice to see advancement here and there to spice up for a new season.
+ The focusing on character storylines – meaning taking other characters into consideration other than following Booth and Brennan all the time. However, that’s what I liked about the first season. Focusing on Brennan’s relationships with those around her, and her life story and how she deals with things. Of course, I still have to read the books the show is based on, but I do feel like this show is more about Brennan and Booth and their team. Camille adding to the mix can be great to partnership complications and tension, though seeing the scenes without Brennan seem too out-of-place. Perhaps I’m still used to how the first season went. But I gradually like this season’s setup more and more.
+ The actress who plays Camille is the same woman who played the teacher on Serenity, also known for playing Walt’s mother on LOST. It’s a pleasure to have this kind of actor lineup, and ironic too.
+ This is not something I like, but more of a personal whine than anything: I miss Dr. Goodman. That is all.
As for tonight's episode, it was pretty intense and powerful. Not giving away spoilers other than it definitely was a rip-from-the-headlines storyline from the Scott Peterson murder case that happened some years ago. Oh yes, I remember that very well. I'll be reviewing this evening's episode very soon. Hopefully.