For most of tonight’s episode, the mummified motif present in our case of the week (which, despite being set at the Jeffersonian and involving mummies and international intrigue, seemed even more trivial than the past few weeks’) seemed overly appropriate. The whole “Brennan dates someone else” plot line seemed sort of ridiculous two seasons ago; by this point, it seems… just a hair short of unbelievable. I just don’t think at this point that Brennan is SO unaware of both her own feelings for Booth and Booth’s feelings for her that she “doesn’t understand” why Booth was so upset about her dating his boss. Nor do I particularly think she wanted to date said boss, even if it did have “the possibility of sex” (as brilliant a Brennan line as any, I might add).
All that being said, the storyline played out pretty damn well. Even if I found the device tired, about forty minutes into the episode, it became obvious that are characters were not, in fact, mummified. Time had progressed quite a bit past the point where either of them could deny the fact that their personal lives affect one another. For Pete’s sake, last week they played house with Booth’s son. They’re not “strictly professional” by any stretch of the imagination. Booth’s anger at Brennan when he found out she had shared a story about him on her date was so well played by Boreanaz and well-received by Deschanel that I was reminded why, once again, no matter how much the plotting of this show lets me down, I keep coming back.
But then even the plotting stepped it up. That scene in the museum was as intense as any the pair have ever shared, and even though I knew, this being a FOX show and not a particularly gutsy one, that nothing huge could happen in a non-SWEEPS episode that wasn’t ridiculously over-promoted, it got my heart going all a-pitter-patter, proving that despite all the tug of war the show has put me through I’m still invested in it.
I sort of hate when my reviews devolve into a “Booth-and-Brennan hook up” watch. It’s really all there is to write about in an episode like this. In theory there was a B-plot: Sweets and Daisy had some sort of fight and made up by show’s end. But Daisy doesn’t exist outside of the episode’s where the show gets bored with the other interns, and I’m far more interested in the twisted parts of Sweets personality than watching him creepily try to condition his girlfriend like he’s Sheldon and she’s Penny.
The show used to be more than that, and occasionally still is. Don’t get me wrong, the best part of this show was always Booth and Brennan, but the mysteries used to be more engaging, and the background players used to seem more intriguing. The best Bones episodes blend all of these together. When the mysteries are as weak as this week’s, I literally want to fast forward through all the explanation parts. I’ve gotten sucked in to episodes of Law & Order that I’ve watched for two minutes, so I know I’m not just immune to procedural dramas. And even though I love that Bones is more character based than plot based (I think it’s a brilliant twist on the genre), I wish they could get their better balance back.
But as long as the scenes between Booth and Brennan are as well written as tonight’s, I’ll continue showing up for every cliched-interruption, plausibility-stretching dilemma, and by the numbers murder cases the show wants to throw my way to take up the minutes between brilliantly acted screwball romantic comedy.