23 January 2009
After last season’s finale, in which (SPOILER ALERT) the show made pretty close to a shark-jumping move in having resident nerd/opera singer Zach turn out to be working for the season-long baddie, I wasn’t one of the people who proclaimed Bones dead. But then it came back from hiatus, and severely underwhelmed. The first few episodes vacillated from bad to middling. The mysteries all felt boring and gave me the intense sensation of deja-viewed. The Angela and Hodgins breakup-turned-triangle-with-Angela’s-lesbian-ex was the worst kind of contrived TV drama. The rotation of interns to fill Addy’s shoes were quirky and annoying. But worst of all, the chemistry between Booth and Brennan (the type of repressed-sexuality fire that is hard to sustain on any show) suddenly felt a lot less sizzling and imminent and a lot more drawn-out and like a writer’s crutch. Oh this episode’s boring: let’s have Booth and Brennan share a long, tension-filled stare. Boring.
But just when I was ready to submit the show’s charred remains to Brennan for investigation, something miraculous happened. It got great again. The last four episodes have been classic Bones. The mystery is back. The witty dialogue. Even the interns have been better integrated into the show’s plots and dynamics. But, best of all, Booth and Brennan have their snap, crackle and pop back.
The past two episodes, shown in a double feature this past Thursday on Fox, were some classic B&B. In the first one, the two go undercover as circus performers to uncover the secret of the death of the siamese twins. Yeah, okay, pretty silly stuff, but Bones has always straddled the line between slapstick and forensics (it’s one of the biggest arguments in favor of the show for those of you, like me, who couldn’t give a frak less about CSI). Not only did the two stay in a trailer with only one bed, fake (noisy) sex, and demonstrate their intense trust and respect for one another, but they also solved a surprisingly touching and interesting mystery. The second half found Booth himself a suspect in the death of a hockey player with whom he had previously fought. Bringing in a female investigator to take the helm while Booth was the prime suspect was a perfect way of showing how far this couple has come. Two seasons ago, Booth would have ended the episode in bed with hottie blond agent. Now? He ended it hand in hand with Brennan on the ice rink.
Upcoming in this season we’re going to see the return of the grave-digger (one of my favorite all time murderers on this show, and the episode that saw Hodgins and Brennan trapped in a car was a turning point for nearly ever character on the show) as well as a promised bedroom trip featuring Booth and Brennan (hinted criptically at by the show’s creator). Much like every sexual-tension driven show before it, and much like Brennan did during her short-but-sweet circus career, Bones has to walk the tight rope of the inevitable relationship. Undoubtedly, the show would lose a lot of its zing once it loses the “will they or wont they” angle. But frankly, as long as the foreshadowing (foreplay?) continues to be this good, I can wait for the final (climatic?) moment.