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Invisible to the Eye But Found By the Heart: An Advance Review of the Next Two Episodes of "Bones"

The push and pull of sexual tension has been a hallmark of FOX's procedural drama Bones since the series' very beginning. Fans have grasped on to any and all indications about whether the will-they-or-won't-they couple Booth (David Boreanaz) and Brennan (Emily Deschanel) will finally give into temptation.

So do they in tonight's 99th episode or next week's landmark 100th episode of Bones? Well, that would be telling, now wouldn't it?

What I will say is that these two superlative episodes of Bones--particularly when viewed back-to-back--offer two very nice bookends about the complexities of relationships, both professional and personal. For a group of people whose main focus is discovering crime and unearthing bones, they're not exactly that well-equipped to deal with matters of the (still-beating) heart.

I had the opportunity to watch these next two episodes of Bones a few weeks back and was completely sucked in by their charm, grit, and nuance. And, if you're a Bones fan--or even a fan of quirky and compelling drama--you'll be just as hooked.

Tonight's episode ("The Bones on the Blue Line"), written by Carla Kettner and directed by Chad Lowe, doesn't deal directly with Booth and Brennan's thwarted relationship but love is definitely in the air, as well as the scent of rat-nibbled corpses in an episode that explores the time we have on Earth and the choices we make. Without giving too much away, Sweets (John Francis Daley) must face his own mortality as well as post-traumatic stress disorder when someone dies in front of him on the subway. It's a somber storyline that's filled with some real humanity and pathos.

But it's not all doom and gloom in this episode as it also features some great work from Carla Gallo as intern Daisy Wicks and a storyline in which we learn some of Brennan's writing habits when she is interviewed by a Japanese reporter (guest star Seiko Matsuda) about her latest novel. (Pay special attention to what's on page 187 and how it might just affect everyone in the lab.)

While tonight's episode offers a winsome mix of light and dark elements as well as some intriguing plot twists, next week's 100th episode ("The Parts in the Sum of the Whole"), written by Hart Hanson and directed by David Boreanaz, might just be the best episode of the series to date. While series often attempt flashback episodes to reveal heretofore unrevealed elements of plot or characterization, they often fail in their efforts to make the revised history both fit into the continuity and remain interesting and compelling.

Fortunately, Bones' 100th episode manages to do both, flashing back to the first time that Brennan and Booth met and subsequently worked together in order to correct a point made by Sweets in his own upcoming book about their working relationship.

Here, the past is deliciously brought to life, from little details like the hairstyle worn by anger-prone Hodgins (TJ Thyne) to the presence of poor, doomed Zach (Eric Millegan). Meanwhile, it's great to see little details like Michaela Conlin's Angela Montenegro attempting to make it as a struggling artist (an Angela-created flipbook plays a crucial role in the investigation) and Tamara Taylor's Cam as the New York coroner who brings together Booth and Brennan, even if Brennan can't be bothered to give her the time of day.

I don't want to give anything away because this episode does mine the relationship between Booth and Brennan in an exciting and intriguing way, offering not just the foundations for their dynamic but also a clue to a possible outcome. It's an episode that might be somewhat based in the past but which also sheds a significant amount of light on the present and future.

And there's a mystery to boot: the unsolved murder of a young girl and Booth's long-standing hunch that a federal judge was involved in her death. But when his suspicions are impossible to prove, he's forced to turn to some help from a rather attractive if standoffish squint named Temperance Brennan. Will these two be able to work together? And why, in the the pilot episode, did Booth and Brennan hate each other so much? Hmmm...

All I'll say is that Hart Hanson and Co. have offered a tantalizing story arc to follow over the course of one installment that might just change a certain well-established fact of the series. If that's not a stroke of genius in itself, I don't know what is.

In other words: tune in over the next two weeks to find out just what the past has to do with Brennan and Booth's future and fall in love with these characters all over again.

Bones returns tonight at 8 pm ET/PT on FOX.

Comments

Unknown said…
Great review (and preview!)...

One correction - the pilot specifically says that Booth and Brennan have worked together before. The unfortunate resolution of that case (unknown) prompts Brennan to refuse all calls by Booth, leading him to detain her at the airport (first scene).
Fitz said…
Thank you for a fine review that doesn't give away anything except that the episode is worthy of the series and of our time.

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