“By the way, my cards tell me this all works out eventually.”
Oh, the sage words of a tarot card-reading Cyndi Lauper. How they soothe me.
Like all devoted “Bones” fans, I am more than familiar with the concept of “eventually.” Eventually has been incessantly nagging me for four long seasons with the as-of-yet-undelivered promise of real, legitimate romantic progress between our lovably frustrating Seeley Booth and Temperance Brennan. The omnipresent sexual tension between them has in many ways come to define the show, and culminated in the season four finale. I was left reeling when Booth woke from what I can only describe as the greatest coma-induced, cracktastic dream fantasy ever, and seemed to have developed some sort of amnesia. Though promos for the fifth season revealed that Booth would indeed recover, we learned of a new, far more complicated problem he would have to face — his very real, very undeniable feelings for his partner.
“Bones” has always been about a balance between the WTF-worthy cases the duo receive and the complex and dynamic relationships of the show’s characters. For once, though, the episode made only occasional nods to the fact that some bonkers cult figurehead wanted to take a group of people under the sea to live in a submarine. Oh, and he slowly poisoned them, stole their money, harpooned one of them, and left them in a mass grave under a fountain. I was so distracted by Booth asking Bones for a kiss on the forehead and calling her “baby” to remember there was a homicide investigation going on. Yes, Booth and Bones did their normal Holmes-Watson crime-fighting routine, but that’s only if Holmes and Watson totally had a thing for one another and Holmes was making googly eyes at Watson the whole time. This episode was about one thing, and one thing only — Booth and Bones.
The season premiere tackles the emotional development four seasons in the making head on; character after character challenge Booth about his previously dormant emotions. Cam, ever the voice of reason, is finally the one to directly state what we’ve all known since the episode “Two Bodies in the Lab.”
“You’re in love with Dr. Brennan.”
Can I get an amen? Booth hesitantly smiles and does anything but deny it, and all the fans can breathe a long-awaited sigh of relief. The day we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived, except, not really. Sweets claims Booth’s not-so-platonic feelings for Bones are the result of a chemical imbalance of sorts that will fade away, and for Brennan’s emotional well-being, he should basically keep his mouth shut. I’m sorry, but just because Booth’s brain wasn’t lighting up like a Christmas tree or glow worm or something on a PET scan before doesn’t mean he didn’t love her then and that he doesn’t love her now. Ranting aside, the will-they-won’t-they tension of Bones has shifted from the obliviousness of both lead characters to how they will deal with the realizations of these emotions.
The premiere gave a decent amount of exposition for newcomers to get a grasp of who the characters are, what they’re like, and what a ridiculously efficient crime-solving team they form. The interns were sorely missed, and Hodgins sadly had a minimal amount of screen time, but the presence of the force of nature that is Caroline Julian was an absolute joy. She needs to be in every single episode. She perfectly summarizes how I felt when Booth busts in and shoots the crazy, scalpel-wielding doctor as he’s attacking Brennan: “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?” No. It makes you awesome, Cherie.
Cyndi Lauper was fantastic; I was apprehensive when I saw promos with her in them, but she managed to add humor while seriously making both Booth and Bones reflect on their feelings for one another. She maintained an air of mysteriousness that left me panicked when I saw her reaching for the cab, unsure of whether she would bolt and leave Booth on a wild goose chase.
There were plenty of moments that long-term fans would have been deeply gratified and simultaneously annoyed by; namely, Booth choosing to finally confess his feelings to Brennan only to then punch her in the arm and quickly add, “in a professional, atta girl way!” It’s always one step forward, two steps back with them, but that’s part of why we love them. It’s not easy, it’s not simple, and it’s not going away — and there’s something very rewarding about delayed gratification in the end, right?
All in all, this was a fantastic season opener for the show. They laid the emotional issues out on the table, brought back the vibrant humor we love, and of course, the weird and unconventional murders. By the show’s unofficial motto of “everything happens eventually,” we know Booth and Bones will get together, and that “eventually” finally will be realized in this season. This will be the season where it happens in reality. No forced-mistletoe gimmicks, no comatose-dream-sequences. It’ll be the real deal this time, and all because a psychic ’80’s pop star said so.