Any of you still watching Bones? Any of you want to pummel Hodgins for being so horrible every second and being verbally abusive to Angela? And for the writers for being so heavy-handed with it, reducing these fairly three-dimensional characters to one-note caricatures of Bitter Cruel Bastard and Suffering Wife Who Just Takes the Abuse?
You know I was wondering if it was true to life tho, I’ve never had any experience with someone who went through this kind of trauma, but in all the other media depictions all I ever see is them being happy go lucky “aw shucks could have been worse” I’ll just bounce back, without any major emotional fallout. Here you see him be robbed of something huge, him reacting to it and trying to live with it, lashing out at everyone (more at Angela cause she’s around him more often) and just being a dick cause he feels wronged. Angela on the other hand has always been a delicate smol free spirit and that works well in situations she’s been in, but we’ve never seen her be bullied before. Maybe this is her reaction to abuse, and this behavior I actually have seen irl and it sucks but it’s honest.
Imo this whole situation is ugly, but I think it’s meant to be and is more honest than heavy handed. They’ve only been like this maybe a month following his incident? I think like w most things they’ll mellow out but right now hodges is still realling from it, Angela is trying to find her footing while still being supportive (and is letting him get away w more shit that she should) and walking on egg shells around him, and we’ve already had side characters telling him to get better and I think soon that will be a whole major plot point for the season.
The general dynamic is quite realistic. People that experience this kind of major life change (paralysis, loss of limbs) often feel overwhelming anger and bitternesss, and they do lash out at loved ones, turn to drugs or alcohol. etc. But everyone is letting Hodgins get away with way more than he should.
I know the arc they have planned is Hodgins is Massive Dick—Hodgins is confronted about his being a Massive Dick—Hodgins has an experience that shows him how much he still has to be grateful for—Hodgins ceases to be a Massive Dick and is deeply apologetic to Angela and the rest, and can’t believe he was ever so mean to her. I know this is the emotional trajectory they have laid out. But I’m still having trouble with the one-note portrayals. If Hodgins started with trying to say something normal and keeping his anger in check, then spilling bile, that would be so much more effective, and real. But it seems like he wheels in, someone says something innocuous, and Hodgins immediately froths at the mouth and spits something like “It’s because I’m a CRIPPLE!!”
And the awful things he says to Angela, and she barely pushes back at all, and just takes it with her big beautiful eyes filled with pain, and that’s just so not right. It’s like watching someone repeatedly hit a quiet, sweet toddler. And Angela is delicate and sweet, but she’s stood up for herself before many times, so I find her rolling over and taking it to be quite upsetting.
I agree with at emotional arc that they’re planning.
For Angela I think there is a multilayer reason for this betrayal of her. For one I think she has stood up for herself but only in situations where she was Clearly Right. Here it’s a grey area cause while no, hodges shouldn’t speak to her like that, you can’t exactly berate a ‘cripple’ who has just lost everything. And she cares for him and his feelings, so I doubt she would have enough strength to try and change the dynamic.
Which brings me to my next point, this is how some abuse victims react. They withdraw and can be gas lighted at home to believe that they are in the wrong and should just shut up and help their partner and not be a nuisance. What’s more important to point out is that Strong Women can be victims of abuse and I think it’s important in how they show a character we all care about go through this. It might help Strong Women who watch this show see themselves in her and recognize the situation their in and maybe they can get out. There’s this whole perception of abuse victims as being meek and ill, but in reality it could be anyone if you love your abuser more than your own safety.
Also just thinking about it I think the “turning point” will be when hodges is a dick to Vincent and then Bones will have to take in Angela and Vincent for safety and Hogens will have to go into heavy counciling or something.
You make excellent points. Abuse victims do react like that. My reaction to the characterization may well be related to my real-life sensitivity to bullying and cruelty. And you may be onto something with your idea of what the turning point will be. That is often what prompts abuse victims to finally leave–when the abuser starts verbally or physically abusing the child.