Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Terrible Fate Of Zack Addy

Bones season 4 is starting tomorrow with a 2 hour season premiere extravaganza that sees our two brave (and beautiful... what, I'm not allowed to crush on David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel?) heros visiting London and probably causing mass chaos for the sake of hijinks while simultaneously solving some gruesome murder of yesteryear- or yesterday. They really aren't that picky any more. Anyway, it is on Wednesdays (obviously, as tomorrow is Wednesday) at 8, and I'm going to be watching it.

But I am still disgruntled. I am disgruntled because last season, Zack Addy, cute and sweet and socially maladjusted and logical and brilliant Zack Addy, was outed as being an idiot who was helping a crazed serial killer murder people and then eat the flesh from their bones with one sick set of dentures. Zack, due to being locked up for his part in the crime spree and having much of his hands decimated by a lab explosion he himself set up, will not be back this season in the lab. Oh, there are plans to visit him Hannibal Lecter style, but the joy is gone; the magic of Zack Addy has been destroyed for a subpar season finale. 

Why doesn't Zack's outing make sense, do you ask? Well, that's fairly simple. Dr. Zack Addy is an incredibly logical being. And while the entirely rational mind can be a dangerous thing, Dr. Addy doesn't have an entirely rational mind -only a mostly rational one. And for him to be convinced that killing certain people would better save the world when there has been no evidence that Gormogon -a series of serial killers all belonging to the same anti-Masonic order- had done anything to make society better was ridiculous. Equally ridiculous was for Zack Addy to believe that only "widow's sons" -the serial killer's preferred victims- deserved to die for their sins. Even barring Zack's ability to see good and evil in this, there is the fact that Gormogon attacked Dr. Brennan and Agent Booth with a bomb of bones that could have easily killed them. Since Zack practically hero-worships both Brennan and Booth, it would be highly unlikely he would then earnestly and willingly help the person who tried to kill them. Dr. Addy was someone who wanted to solve crimes, to put the bad guy away. He was also rational enough to understand that joining up with a serial killer would place the authenticity of his work -and those of his friends' and colleagues' work- in incredible jeopardy and could possibly lose the Jeffersonian its prestige, its funding, and its connection to the FBI.

And then there is the fact that Zack, although socially awkward, does have a social network of people he is close to and whom he would share his troubles with. Dr. Brennan for one; Booth, for another. His best friend Hodgins, and his friend and sometimes-confidante Angela. All of these people are people Zack has gone to with moral and personal queries in the past; and Zack had said in a previous episode that if he had a moral dilemma to work out, he would go to both Angela and Brennan for advice first and foremost. He also highly values his family, claiming that the true meaning of Christmas -in one episode- is 40 people clamoring to see you. He also isn't so socially awkward to not acknowledge that although he is a rational empiricist, to his mother he is still strictly Lutheran.

All of that put together means that unless there was a very good explanation, the character known as Zack Addy for 2 seasons and one truncated season would not have joined up with a serial killer. We in the viewing audience and Zack were not given that very good explanation. Instead, we were given a logical argument a first year philosophy student could have dismembered in less than 2 minutes, and one that Dr. Brennan dismantled in less than a minute. Remember Zack Addy. He will be missed.


John said...

I noticed you didn't include the argument itself. I cribbed it from http://extraneousperipheralstuff.wordpress.com/2008/05/22/a-bone-to-pick/ The thoughts in parentheses are my own, but may have been influenced by the article above.

Implicit Assumption 0: The historical human experience as a whole is more important than a single person’s life (A variation of Asimov's zero law. This is contingent upon belief in a certain "kill n people to save n+1 people" type of ethics, which Zack likely would not have categorically adhered to.)

Assumption 1: Secret societies exist. (Maybe. But if they're secret, how do you know they exist? If you know about them, how secret are they?)

Assumption 2: The existence of such societies is detrimental to mankind. (I cry FOUL! How can Zack possibly know this well enough to use it as an assumption? He would have to know about EVERY secret society and their overall intentions, as well as be able to make a value judgment on what is "detrimental to mankind" as a whole. Even a secret society like the Freemasons or the Order of the Skull & Bones cannot necessarily be said to be working against mankind.)

Assumption 3: Attacking and killing members of secret societies will have an ameliorating affect on the human experience. (Only if you believe assumption zero means that it's okay to kill any number of individual people for the sake of the "greater good." If so, only if the supposed harm to mankind that the secret societies are performing is worse than committing serial pre-meditated murder and cannibalism. Otherwise you would be doing more harm than good by committing so many murders and terrorizing the people at large.)

Implicit Conclusion: Killing the members of such societies is a good idea. (What about Gormagon? A secret society that is dedicated to killing people and eating their flesh? That sounds pretty detrimental to mankind.)

Really, FOX? Would Zack have not noticed the hypocrisy inherent in the entire argument?
Perhaps the writers hadn't finished this script before the strike took hold, and it was left to scabs to fill in. Either way, it's pretty flimsy as write-offs go. I'll miss Zack, but I'll do my best to remember him as he was when he still made some form of sense.

petpluto said...

Exactly! Thank you for detailing the whole thing for me. You just furthered the whole "They decimated Zack" thing, because there's no WAY Zack wouldn't have thought all of those options through within two seconds -and if he didn't, he probably would have gone running straight to Hodgins or Brennan who would have seen through it.

You watching tonight?!

crispybenfranklin said...

I miss Zack! I was so peeved when they got rid of him. You're so right--that whole "becoming the minion of a probably schizophrenic serial killer" thing was so out of character.

Unknown said...

There is an inconsistency that bothers me tremendously. According to the show, it is said that the master takes only sons whose parents are dead. Zach Addy's family is not only alive, but huge. Zach loves his family, as seen in the Christmas episode. So it wouldnt make sense for the master to even choose him in the first place.