Bones is one of the shows that I’m so invested in that I actually once slid off the couch in a fit of embarrassingly dramatic (and in my defense, severely sleep-deprived) despair while watching it. So I really wanted this episode to remind me why I love it so much. And, it did. Quickly, we got an explanation for Season 4’s controversial fantasy-filled finale: Brennan was reading Booth the book she was writing while he was in a coma after brain surgery, and his brain processed it as a new reality that will hereby be referred to as his “coma dream.” He thought they were married for days after he woke up. [Insert Ahs.] Brennan was told he’d recover quickly, so she left his side to go dig up bones in Guatemala. (Yeah, I would have canceled that trip.) Six weeks later, Booth was ready to get back to work. But there is one thing I don’t get: In the scene at the start of the episode in which Sweets signs off on giving him his gun back, Booth lists the fact that he hates clowns among the things that define him. So why then would he honk the nose of a clown who interrupts his confession of love to Brennan at the end of the episode? Is he really that fickle now (which is bad), or is the moral that people can change at any time (in a good way)?
Clearly, the episode was designed to play well for both devoted fans and for newcomers, who got a great primer on who these characters are — some exposition (i.e. Booth wearing goofy socks to quietly defy authority) was more graceful than others (Hodgins: “What I got are multiple degrees in botany, geology and entomology”). I got giddy when Booth took Cam out for a drink so he could confide in her and she guessed, “You’re in love with Dr. Brennan,” and he didn’t correct her. It was one of the most gratifying moments of the series, even if I knew it wouldn’t last. Cam warned him that he had to be 100 percent sure he really felt love for her — that it wasn’t just leftover emotions from his coma dream — because if Brennan let him in and he hurt her, she’d die alone before she’d ever trust another man. Which was presumably the death Angela’s psychic Avalon (guest star Cyndi Lauper) was referring to when she told Angela that Brennan was at a turning point in her life: She’s headed for great happiness or death.
Avalon told Sweets that Booth loves Brennan, which made Sweets bring in PET scans of Booth’s brain that proved the areas that show romantic love and sexual arousal were pretty dormant before the surgery, lit up during his coma, and stayed that way. So even though Sweets no doubt suspected that Booth loved Brennan last season, he was suddenly telling him that he didn’t love her before his coma dream. I get it: He also doesn’t want to risk hurting Brennan if there’s even the slightest chance that Booth’s feelings will pass like his amnesia, slurring of speech, identity confusion, headaches, irritability and double vision. But isn’t there the possibility that Booth couldn’t censor his legitimate feelings for Brennan when he was in the coma and that a man who almost just died would be ready to express them? Regardless, I like how this sets us up for Season 5. It keeps their feelings on the table (Booth told Brennan he loved her in a “professional atta girl” kind of way, and she reciprocated by saying “I love you, too. Atta boy”) but keeps the sexual tension. We’ll get to see more of David Boreanaz’s I-love-you-so-much-it-actually-hurts looks, which, as I said in our recent Will They or Won’t They gallery of TV duos, are the best in the business. I always rewind, as I did last night when he clearly wanted Brennan to kiss his forehead after Angela did (okay, that wasn’t very Booth-like) and when he held injured Bones and kissed the top of her head saying, “I got you, baby.” (I feel the need to interject here that while I’ve always loved Caroline, who needs to be in every episode, I realized last night that I AM CAROLINE when she responded to Booth saying he wished he’d been there for Bones when the cult’s former doctor attacked her. “You were there. You killed the bad guy dead. I know you hate that, but it always make me a little glad. Does that make me a bad person?”)
We also know that Brennan is still slowly coming to terms with the fact that she wants to open up to Booth and believe in love and that he’s in it with her. We saw it when Cam asked if she cared to hug after returning to the lab from Guatemala and Brennan said, “Why?” — but then, of course, embraced Booth the second she saw him. We saw it when Angela pointed out that neither Brennan nor Booth mentioned that they were expecting a baby in his coma dream. We saw it when Avalon told her the answer to the question she’s too afraid to ask: “Yes, he knows the truth of you, and he is dazzled by that truth.” I think Bones creator Hart Hanson should have Lauper, or at least one of her songs (remember Bones was singing “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” when Booth was shot) in every episode that’s truly life-or-death for Booth and Brennan. I thought Lauper was great. There’s a mystery about her that made you think she might possibly be involved in the murders and was gonna bolt in that cab, but also an undeniable kindness that made you believe her when she told Booth he hadn’t lost anything in the coma, he’d gained something (did you catch his slight smile?), and them both that, “By the way, my cards tell me this all works out eventually.” Hearing her say that latter line made me as warm and fuzzy as hearing her sing “True Colors” live.
So, what did you think of the premiere? How do you feel about Booth’s feeling for Bones? And which was your favorite quote from last night?
“Well, they gave me medication, so I feel how I imagine people of average intelligence feel all the time.” — Brennan to Avalon, who’d asked how she was feeling after being stabbed in the arm
“Yeah… The clothes. I miss those clothes. They were great clothes.” — Booth to Sweets, who’d asked if he missed anything from his coma dream
“Yeah, and I’m pretty sure you haven’t been this close to one in a long time.” — Booth to Sweets, who’d asked if he knew what the vulva-shaped image was that he was looking at
Photo credit: Richard Foreman/Fox