Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bones: "Big in the Philippines"

The case of the week concerned the death of a country singer who struggled in the U.S., but who was due a fortune in royalties from sales in the Philippines. In a subplot that grew more compelling than the main plot, intern Wendell Bray (Michael Grant Terry) showed up to work with a broken arm, a hockey injury. He was quick to brush it off, but Brennan recognized the impact wouldn't usually result in the injury he sustained. Looking at Wendell's x-rays, Brennan suspected Ewing's sarcoma (bone cancer), which was later confirmed by a specialist.

The news hit hard because we've gotten to know Wendell over the past five seasons. He's the most down-to-earth intern while being no less brilliant than the rest. He's goodhearted, befriending Hodgins and Angela and remaining friends during and after his relationship with Angela. He plays club hockey with Booth. How would each character react?

Uncharacteristically, Brennan couldn't compartmentalize her affection and break the news to Wendell clinically. Booth had to be the one to tell him he had cancer. There was no indication anyone had told Hodgins and Angela.

As engaging, if not more, was Wendell's reaction. I wanted him to fight because he's a fighter at heart, but like anyone given such news, he had to choose to fight on his own, and in his own way. Given the low chance of long-term survival, he thought about living for now, seeing the world, sleeping with exotic women. He quit the Jeffersonian and drove off, but, in the final moments, showed up at Booth and Brennan's house, resolved to fight.

How much of Wendell's fight will be shown? Is Michael Grant Terry leaving Bones before its anticipated renewal for a tenth and final season? Whatever the future holds, I'm glad Wendell stayed true to his better nature in the moment.

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