Search This Blog

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

The "Squinterns" of "Bones"

This is a blog post that is solely pop culture themed, but with a Who Am I Wednesday kind of twist to it.

(Hey, I said that I would be lessening the focus on pop culture, not completely abandoning it.)

Actually, this post is absolutely inspired by a show that I have absolutely gotten hooked on.  This obsession began a couple of years ago, and during the month of December (on my off days from work), I had a bit of a binge watching session of said show.

On a side note, doesn't the term "binge watching" just make you want to cringe?  I mean, spending an entire day watching a marathon of television episodes just seems like a big waste of time!  Luckily, the weather hasn't been great lately, so I can make a logical justification that binge watching television is a safer activity than walking down a snow covered street where the temperature is forty below with the windchill.

Anyway, I'll tell you a little bit about the show before I go into more detail about today's blog.

Have you ever heard of the show "Bones"?  The show debuted on FOX on September 13, 2005, and is currently in its tenth season.  The show features Emily Deschanel as forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan and David Boreanaz as FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth.  Together, the two solve cold cases and unsolved murders just by examining the skeletal remains of the deceased.  Along the way, the relationship between Bones and Booth develops over time, and by the beginning of the tenth season, both are married and have a child together named Christine.

The show is based loosely on the life and writings of novelist and anthropologist Kathy Reichs, and was created by Hart Hanson.  In addition to Boreanaz and Deschanel, the series also currently stars Michaela Conlin, TJ Thyne, Tamara Taylor, and John Boyd.  The show also starred Jonathan Adams (Season 1), Eric Millegan (Seasons 1-3), and John Francis Daley (Seasons 3-10).

But in this blog, we're actually not going to be talking about the main characters of "Bones".  Instead, we'll be talking about a group of recurring characters that began airing on "Bones" beginning with the show's fourth season.  Characters that are lovingly referred to as "squinterns".

Now, a squintern is just a slang term that Booth came up with on his own to describe the various interns who help Dr. Brennan, Dr. Hodgins, Dr. Saroyan, and Angela solve murder cases at the Jeffersonian Institute.  The original intern was Dr. Zack Addy, who was a graduate student of Dr. Brennan, and was chosen personally by her to be her intern.  That internship ended abruptly at the end of season three after Zack blew off his own hands in an explosion, and it was later revealed that he was the accomplice of a serial killer.  Zack has since been institutionalized after pleading insanity, though he has since made guest appearances in season four and five.

After Zack's departure, the intern spot was filled with a series of recurring, rotating "squinterns", each with their own distinct personalities and backgrounds, and depending on the murder case presented in front of them, some squinterns perform better than others.

At the beginning of season four, six squinterns were introduced.  One was introduced in season seven, another in season eight, and two more in season nine.

Now, for this blog, I will only be focusing on the first eight to be introduced.  Nothing against Rodolfo Fuentes (Ignacio Serricchio) or Jessica Warren (Laura Spencer), but they are still fairly new, and haven't been on much.  Maybe if "Bones" gets renewed for an eleventh season, we'll see more of them.  But the others have appeared in at least one or two episodes a season since they were introduced, and therefore have more personality to dissect.

And, since this is a personal blog as well, I'll try to see if I can see a little bit of myself in each squintern.  Let's begin, shall we?

Clark Thomas Edison (Eugene Byrd)

Initially, we first met Clark at the very beginning of the third season of "Bones" where he served as Zack's replacement after he went on tour in Iraq.  When Zack returned, Clark left.  He would later return to the show in the beginning of season 4 as the first of the rotating squinterns. 

Now, one way that I can definitely identify with Dr. Edison is the fact that he is absolutely professional in everything he does.  When he comes to do a job, he wants to get the job done and not mess around with drama and silliness.  But where Clark and I differ is that he goes too far.  Clark - especially in his first couple of seasons - is so serious that he completely doesn't know how to have any sort of fun whatsoever, and alienates his fellow co-workers at the Jeffersonian.  He does end up becoming more relaxed as the show progresses, but is easily still the most serious minded of all the squinterns. 

PRO:  He is extremely focused on his work.
CON:  He doesn't seem to understand what "fun" is.

Daisy Wick (Carla Gallo)

If there could be one symbol that I could use to best describe Daisy Wick, it would probably be a Care Bear.  She is absolutely perky and filled with sweetness, and she absolutely wants to help out in every way she can.  But unfortunately, that's about as similar as a Care Bear as she gets.  You see, Daisy is brilliant at her job, but she doesn't usually do it for the good of the Jeffersonian.  She does it to score brownie points with Dr. Brennan, who responds to Daisy with annoyance and aggravation.  Daisy is the only intern to have been fired from the Jeffersonian TWICE for her over-eager behaviour.

Still, Daisy really doesn't mean any harm.  I actually like her on the show because she is so enthusiastic about her job that it's hard not to get inspired by her.  I would also say that she also has a childlike way of looking at things that sort of warms your heart.  I guess it's no wonder that Dr. Lance Sweets fell head over heels in love with her.  It's a shame that Sweets was killed off before the birth of his son with Daisy, Seeley Wick-Sweets.  But, I am sure that Daisy will have help from her friends.

PRO:  She is extremely enthusiastic about her work.
CON:  That enthusiasm can get really grating, really fast.

Wendell Bray (Michael Grant Terry)

Right off the bat, Wendell has one thing in common with me.  He comes from a working class family, as I have.  And what is even more impressive is that Wendell does not believe in free handouts either.  Although his hometown raised the money for him to be able to intern at the Jeffersonian under a scholarship program, Wendell's main goal is to repay the people every last penny.  What a guy!

I think Wendell is probably my favourite of all the squinterns because he appears to be the most well-rounded of all of them.  He dates, he socializes, and he has no major faults.

Well, okay...he does have one fault.  He has the ability to make his own problems worse.  It must have been awkward for Wendell to date Angela after she broke up with Hodgins, and even more awkward for Wendell after Angela and Hodgins got back together again.  And, I'm sure that Wendell didn't expect that his use of marijuana to treat his cancer diagnosis in season nine would nearly get him fired from the Jeffersonian!  In the end though, thanks to the firm friendships that he made at the Jeffersonian, the team found ways to keep Wendell employed at the Jeffersonian.  In turn, Wendell has probably been the most help in solving murder cases.  After all, of all the squinterns, Wendell has appeared in the most episodes of "Bones" so far.

PRO:  He has a keen tendency to relate to almost anyone.
CON:  His impulsiveness has gotten him into trouble.

Colin Fisher (Joel David Moore)

Colin is an odd duck.  There.  I said it.

In most cases, while the murder investigations can be a tough (and disgusting) job, the people who work at the Jeffersonian can usually find humour and positivity in their jobs.

Well, all except Colin, that is.  He is essentially the poster child for clinical depression if ever there was one.  Making dark and depressing comments at every opportunity should be enough for anyone to lose their minds.  But the way that Colin delivers his lines, it makes it nearly impossible to stay annoyed for very long.  He may be a killjoy, but his comic timing is impeccable.

Oh, and he is extremely good at his job, too.

PRO:  Underneath the dark cloud lies a brilliant scientist.
CON:  It's just a shame the dark cloud is more like a never ending fog.

Arastoo Vaziri (Pej Verdat)

What can you say about this Iranian born Muslim who prays several times a day and who speaks fluent Farsi?  Well, you could call him a liar, as he faked having an Iranian accent for months before it was exposed that he had an American accent by Dr. Saroyan! 

But Arastoo had a good reason for it.  He believed that if he talked with an accent, then people would not question his religious affiliation.  Keep in mind that Arastoo became an intern at the Jeffersonian just a few years after 9/11. 

As a result of this, Arastoo tends to view each murder victim with compassion and humanity, seeing the skeletons not as a pile of bones, but as an actual person.  And that human touch and soft side that Arastoo possessed helped him form a romantic relationship with Dr. Saroyan which still continues as of season 10.

PRO:  Shows a lot of empathy and has a compassionate side.
CON:  Starting off his internship with a little white lie.

Vincent Nigel-Murray (Ryan Cartwright)

If my favourite squintern is Wendell Bray, then Vincent Nigel-Murray is probably the one that I am most like in real life.  Okay, so I don't possess a British accent like Vincent did.  But he does have a very retentive - almost photographic - memory of random facts that he has no problem sharing with the world.

Gee, I wonder who else I know that has that affliction...

Vincent's main problem was that sometimes the facts he blurted out had absolutely nothing to do with the murder investigation, which grated on the nerves of the other people working in the Jeffersonian.  But even though Vincent could be unpredictable with random trivia, he somehow managed to bring everything full circle.

Sadly, Vincent was killed at the end of season six, cut down by a bullet meant for Seeley Booth.  He is still missed.

PRO:  Possesses an incredible smorgasbord of random knowledge.
CON:  Unfortunately, most of that knowledge is irrelevant to any case.

Finn Abernathy (Luke Kleintank)

I suppose you could consider Finn to be Vincent's replacement.  Eighteen years old and filled with Southern charm, it's hard not to be mesmerized by him.  Especially considering that he is probably one of Dr. Brennan's best interns as far as forensic anthropology goes.  But Finn's past is rather dark.  The rumour was that he had murdered his abusive stepfather.  There were police reports of him attacking his stepfather with a knife when Finn was younger, and as a result, he served time in juvenile detention.  But when Finn turned 18, his record was cleared, giving him the chance to work as an intern at the Jeffersonian.  He had a lot of work to do in convincing his co-workers that he had changed, but eventually he found a way to fit into the group.  He even started up a hot sauce business with Hodgins in Season 8!  How cool is that? 

PRO:  Is easily considered to be one of Dr. Brennan's most knowledgeable squinterns.
CON:  Even though he has changed for the better, you don't want to get him angry.  He still has glimmers of a hot temper.

Oliver Wells (Brian Klugman)

I think Oliver is one of those people you either really really love, or really really despise.  Certainly he isn't one of the easiest people to get along with.  In fact, he comes across as having such a superiority complex that even Dr. Brennan gets annoyed with him.  He got so obnoxious that Angela was forced to give him a letter telling him to stop being so obnoxious!

That said, when he is on top of his game, he does show that he knows what he is doing, and he has definitely earned his place on the Jeffersonian team.  His place in the social aspects of the lab?  They need major work.

PRO:  Is a diligent worker who has a lot of drive.
CON:  Is an absolutely insufferable individual to work alongside.

So, I suppose that if I had to choose three squinterns that I would working for me on a case (that is, if I were an anthropologist and not a blogger), I would definitely go with Wendell, Finn, and the late Vincent.  But really, each one of them has earned their place on the team and bring forth their own skill sets to create one of the best fictional forensics teams ever show on an hour-long drama. 

And, here's a tip for you.  Watch the season eight episode "The Patriot in Purgatory".  Five of the eight squinterns appear in this episode alone, and while it does seem to be a dynamite stick ready to explode at first, it quickly becomes a team that when they come together, differences mean absolutely nothing.

So, how many of you watch "Bones"?  And if you do, who is your favourite squintern?  Daisy?  Arastoo?  Ahem...Oliver?

No comments:

Post a Comment