Last night's episode of "Bones" on FOX, "Death in the Saddle", featured an investigation set at a convention of sexual fetishists who indulge in a form of BDSM where one person role plays being a horse and the other role plays being the rider.
Throughout the episode, FBI agent Seeley Booth is uncomfortable and disgusted by this "pony play", while Temperance "Bones" Brennan chides him for his narrow-mindedness and explains, in scientific and anthropological terms, how this form of sexual satisfaction is perfectly okay, after all it's two consenting adults, doesn't hurt anyone, etc. etc.
So far, it seemed like business as usual on television. Booth, the practicing Catholic, debates with Bones, the scientific materialist, and you can guess who sounds "hip" and who sounds "fuddy-duddy".
But the closing scene plays out in a way that I think would have been impossible even 5 years ago. Booth and Brennan (aka "Bones") are reflecting on the murder and the whole pony play scene:
Booth: Just so they could have crappy sex.
Brennan: How do you know it’s crappy?
Booth: It’s gotta be, Bones.
Booth: Why? I’ll tell you why. Here we are, all of us basically alone, separate creatures, just circling each other, all searching for the slightest hint of a real connection. Some look in the wrong places, some give up hope because in their mind they’re thinking oh there’s just nobody out there for me. But all of us keep on trying over and over again. Why? Because every once in a while, every once in a while, two people meet and there’s that spark. And, yes, Bones, he’s handsome and she’s beautiful, and maybe that’s all they see at first. But making love? Making love … that’s when two people become one.
Brennan: It’s scientifically impossible for two objects to occupy the same space.
Booth: Yeah, but what’s important is we try. And when we do it right … we get close.
Brennan: To what? Breaking the law of physics.
Booth: Yeah, Bones. A miracle.
Booth: Those people, role playing fetishes, and their sex games. It’s crappy sex. Compared to the real thing.
Brennan: You’re right.
Yeah but - wait a second, I just won that argument?