I can honestly say I was not expecting this.
Hitting that much-coveted 100th episode benchmark is by no means easy, and many shows fail to survive long enough to even come close. This week, “Bones” offered up their own highly anticipated 100th episode, revisiting the past of its characters while attempting to answer many long standing questions about their present state of affairs as well as where the future may take them.
I’m going to try to rein in my thoughts because honestly, after watching this episode, they’re all over the place. There’s just a ton to cover, however, so I can’t promise this won’t be long.
We begin with Booth and Bones visiting Sweets with the intent of warning him about the book he’s about to publish — Brennan has found several issues with it, but her main concern is his ignorance of the actual first case that she and Booth worked together. As Brennan describes this case, we are thrown into a sort of flashback where we see how the duo first meets. Apparently, slicking Booth’s hair back into a weird style is supposed to make us think it’s 5 years in the past, but I’ll bite.
I can’t express how much joy seeing Eric Millegan return as Zack Addy brought me. It was bittersweet, of course, because the whole time I watched him I was thinking, “No, please don’t become a serial killer’s apprentice and get yourself locked up in an insane asylum!” But I digress. I was also thrilled to see Patricia Belcher return as the ever-diva-tastic Caroline Julian. She never ceases to entertain. Little details like Hodgins’ adorable curly fro and anger-management rubber band snapping really maintained the continuity between the 5th season and where we were introduced to the Jeffersonian characters in season 1.
Witnessing the formation of relationships like the unconventional friendship between Hodgins and Zack and Hodgins’ initial interest in Angela was poignant. Hindsight really is 20/20.
The sexual tension we’re so accustomed to was there in full force between Booth and Brennan, but both parties involved seem more than willing to own to it for a change. Booth openly admitted he would ask Brennan out if he could, and Brennan admitted to her attraction to her new FBI-acquaintance. The relationship of easy banter that Booth and Bones took 5 years to develop is suddenly already present, and we see Booth giving Brennan her nickname, “Bones” which she easily accepts and even returns, offering to call him “Shoes.”
As we alternate between present-day Booth and Brennan explaining their first case and the actual images of it, Sweets tries to reconcile these new revelations and his current opinions about the pair’s complex relationship. Finally, we are told that when Booth takes Brennan out for a drink to fire her, the two plan to go home together. When they get outside, Booth confesses his gambling addiction to Bones because he can “see this going somewhere.” The two kiss—the first non-coma-dream-induced kiss we’ve ever witnessed—and it’s passionate, and promising, and real. Admittedly, as a devoted “Bones” fan, I’ve basically been waiting for that alone for years. Brennan pulls away from Booth and gets into a cab, telling him she’s not going home with him because of “Tequila!” and in voiceovers we hear each say they went home and went to bed.
The next day, the squints find proof to convict the killer of the case they were working on, and Booth must re-hire the Jeffersonian team. Brennan’s behavior is visibly altered toward him, and she seems angry that Booth had the power to change her way of life so readily, the anger of being fired sinking in. Booth seems to feel the sting of having been haphazardly rejected, and the tension builds. It eventually explodes and ends with Brennan slapping Booth and storming out, shouting that she hates him and will never work with him again.
We snap back to present-day and see Booth and Brennan calmly sitting side-by-side. Sweets (who I truly feel has become the audience surrogate for this episode) expresses nearly every sentiment that has built up over the course of this flashback. He says that they “missed their moment” and one of them has to “break this stalemate.” He turns to Booth, the “gambler” and urges him to finally voice the feelings we all know have been plaguing him this entire season. Booth merely asks Brennan if she wants to get some food, and the two leave. At this point, I was relatively satisfied; the exit-without-answer strategy has become commonplace on “Bones” and didn’t really faze me. Then IT happened.
Once outside, Booth stops and looks at Brennan with one of his patented “I’ll tell you I love you without saying anything” looks. This time though, he has the guts to verbalize that look. He says the words we’ve been waiting five years for: “I believe in giving this a chance.” Brennan tries to cop out, but the two kiss for the second time this episode. Brennan tries again to refuse him, saying she’ll hurt him because she lacks an open heart like him. Booth says that he knew, from the beginning, that he wanted to be with her for the rest of his life. She denies him and asks if they can still work together and Booth agrees, but finally admits that he has to move on and find someone going to love him the way he loves her. At this point, I’m near screaming at my television, hating Temperance Brennan and wanting to start a Seeley-Booth-Fan-Club.
What kills me about this scene is Brennan’s refusal, “I’m a scientist. I can’t change, I don’t know how.” Clearly, she can—she has gone from being cold and detached to warm and caring, able to joke, and even deciding she wants to be a mother. Brennan is merely afraid of admitting to the emotions Booth was strong enough to claim, and the rest of this season will test her willingness to remain steadfast to that assertion as they bring in a new love interest for Booth. For now, the will-they-won’t-they relationship seems to be a won’t-they; but if there’s anything that “Bones” has taught us, it’s that patience can be rewarded, and in very unexpected ways.