Saturday, March 24, 2007

"You know what you people lack? Whimsy.": Bones

This was one of those episodes with a half-interesting mystery of the week masking the conclusion of a much more interesting background arc. The mystery of the week had a funny gimmick, in that the body was entirely without bones--they had all been removed to be sold for some crazy ancient Chinese burial ritual. Which meant the corpse was more of a fleshy sack than an actual body, which was nicely creepy and gross. The team's efforts to try and solve a case without bones (and, indeed, without Brennan, who was trying her best to vacation with boyfriend Sully) ranged from amusing to more amusing. Funniest was Hodgins and Zach blowing up the corpse's head with a balloon--the action itself was hardly droll, but their nerdy glee about it was hilarious, and everyone else's disturbed reaction even better.

Although I guessed the killer (as I usually do) from her first appearance, the list of suspects was a little more broad and the plot a little more convoluted. Week to week, Bones has a little trouble making its plots really matter, mostly because it knows everyone really cares about Booth/Brennan and maybe a little wisecracking. This week I thought the boneless corpse was really getting the short shrift, but it was tied up with a really rather nice touch. Angela, feeling bad for the poor dissected mail-order bride and the unmarried dead male she was dissected to be buried with, sketched a wedding portrait and hung it above their bones. Reading that back, it just sounds really morbid and weird, but with the episode's other major plot taken into account, it worked really well. I promise.

So let's get onto that other plot, right? With Brennan and Sully's relationship at a high, unusual considering her track record with men (and her disarming frankness about them), something was bound to go wrong. As I mentioned last week, I was afraid that Sully, a basically nice guy with a tragic tinge to him (Booth mentioned he had lost his previous partner on the job), would die in the line of duty, just because that sort of thing tends to happen to recurring characters on procedurals. Happily, Sully didn't go out in a blaze of glory, but in a more considered way, as Brennan basically had to choose between him and her job. Ever the dreamer, Sully decided to buy a boat and go sailing around the Caribbean for a year, inviting Brennan to be his first mate (honestly, I think the guy's a bit of a loon). Surprisingly, everyone down to Booth urged Brennan to go with him, which obviously meant she was going to turn him down (apart from the fact that Bones is nothing without its ubiquitous star). But when she did, it was very well played on Deschanel's part, especially considering that her character never gets a lot of emoting done through the show.

So, with the Sully arc over, Brennan and Booth are reunited to wisecrack until the season finale. Because then, and ONLY then, should they get together. So says I. They can have their individual strumpets to distract them until then, I suppose, but really, this episode's most satisfying moment (apart from maybe Brennan tearfully checking out the married bone corpses) was Booth showing up to comfort his partner as she said buhbye.

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