Mark Watches ‘Bones’: The Man in the Fallout Shelter

The lovely Kelsey (sonicpolo, WHO I GET TO HANG OUT WITH IN LIKE TWO WEEKS) commissioned this episode. She willingly knew what she was doing to me and she still did it. Look, if you had told me that a Christmas episode of Bones was going to be the one thing that would pull me into this universe immediately, I would have laughed you off the planet. I don’t like Christmas all that much. And that’s precisely why “The Man in the Fallout Shelter” is so profound and memorable.

First things first! The video: “The Man in the Fallout Shelter”

All Mark Watches videos are now indexed here.

  • I have had to force myself to enjoy Christmas these days. I try not to be a Scrooge, but I happen to be one of those unfortunate souls who has a lot of negative memories and emotions attached to the holiday. Y’all don’t need my sob story, but suffice to say it’s a time of the year I dread. I often don’t have money for gifts, and I never really get them myself. That being said, in recent years, I’ve tried to find ways to enjoy it. I’m getting better! I love Christmas trees and their smell, I love ridiculous light displays, and I love all the yummy food that is acceptable to binge on during this time. 
  • So, going into “The Man in the Fallout Shelter,” I both adored that Dr. Brennan hated the holiday, but dreaded the inevitable outcome of her story. It always happens! Someone dislikes Christmas, something sappy and ~meaningful~ happens, and then they suddenly like it and they realize they were silly!
  • At least this was going to be an awesome closed-room scenario. HAVE I TOLD YOU HOW MUCH I LOVE THE TROPE OF STICKING A BUNCH OF PEOPLE IN ROOM THEY CAN’T LEAVE? And the lab is so gorgeous and futuristic that I was stoked to spend more time in it.
  • Seeing Booth super high made me re-think my dread. Okay, that was already totally worth the episode.
  • Oh, okay, the case that the episode is centered around is kind of amazing. A whole commentary on the vicious racism of the American past? A woman who never found out what happened to her boyfriend as they tried to escape their insular community so they could get married in Paris? No, nope, I won’t develop feelings for this, I WON’T DEVELOP FEELINGS FOR ANOTHER SHOW. I CAN’T DEAL WITH ONE MORE FICTIONAL UNIVERSE RUINING MY LIFE.
  • OH. Booth has a son, and Angela’s father is Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top. OH.
  • OH, SO NO ONE VISIT’S DR. BRENNAN BECAUSE SHE LITERALLY DOES NOT HAVE ANYONE. GODDAMN IT, GO AWAY FEELINGS. STOP IT. STOP IT.
  • OH MY GOD HER PARENTS DISAPPEARED AROUND CHRISTMAS AND SHE REFUSED TO OPEN HER GIFTS BECAUSE SHE WANTED TO WAIT UNTIL HER PARENTS CAME HOME AND THEY NEVER DID. 
  • DONE. I have just set sail on the S.S. Dr. Brennan and I will never be okay again. It was at this exact moment that I saw what this show was doing with her character. It explained her characterization, but the writers did so in a way that didn’t invalidate her distaste for Christmas. Ultimately, the message here isn’t that everyone should love the holiday because it’s a ~magical time of the year~. Dr. Brennan is allowed to express her feelings about this holiday, they are accepted by those around her, and they don’t force her to participate. She’s allowed to grow on her own, to appreciate what Angela has done for herself and for everyone else.
  • AND THEN IVY GILLESPIE FINDS OUT WHAT HAPPENED TO HER BOYFRIEND AND I AM JUST SO DONE. Oh god, Dr. Brennan gave her the penny DONE. DONE DONE DONE DONE.
  • I almost don’t want to know what the presents were. It’s not the point of this episode. Dr. Brennan was finally able to accept that her parents were never coming back and that she could try to move on from it. Baby steps first, though. She opens those gifts she stubbornly refused to open.
  • Y’all, this was INCREDIBLE. Like, I just finished catching up (for the most part) with Adventure Time (HELP ME “I REMEMBER YOU” I DID NOT SIGN UP FOR THAT EPISODE HELP), and I think I want to start binging Bones? It’s not that I expect every episode to be “The Man in the Fallout Shelter,” but if a procedural can devote this much time to character development in the ninth episode, it makes me curious to see if the rest of it has moments like this.
  • Thankfully, I have episodes 9 and 11 in season 2 to watch the first week of March, so there is more Bones in my immediate future! Y’all are welcome to commission more because help. I’ll keep folks updated on Twitter when I watch other episodes on my own, and you can always email me to ask if I’ve seen an episode yet before I watch it.
  • EMOTIONS, Y’ALL.

Mark Links Stuff

 I am going on tour in 2013! There are 27 tour dates spread across the eastern half of North America. Please help suggest venues, offer up a place to crash, and RSVP for dates near you!
– I have begun writing posts in advance to compensate for tour. All commissions are open, and I have listed all upcoming Mark Watches posts that are missing commissions.
– You can also commission me to read bad fic/fiction on ANY Mark Does Stuff Tour date. You can claim a specific date to have a live reading right here.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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