The writers of Bones decided to take a couple pages out of TVTropes this week (warning: DO NOT click the links in this article unless you want to lose your entire day to a wiki walk) and the results were unsurprisingly satisfying.
The episode opens with Brennan attempting to explain climate change (and why it’s not called global warming) to Booth, who is more interested in grabbing the stadium seats he just saw being put onto a curb. Despite the fact that, oh, there’s a blizzard happening. And that there’s a body found that Cam wants to try and do a couple hours of work on before the roads are closed. But Booth gets his way and enlists Brennan and Sweets to try and help him get the seats up to his apartment. Predictably, the elevator gets stuck, with Booth and Brennan (and the seats) trapped in it. Brennan is trying to explain this to Cam at the lab when … oops! Power goes out there, too. It’s a Big Blackout, y’all! (Side note: My husband pointed out that it’d be very unlikely that a place like the Jeffersonian would lose power entirely in a situation like that.) There are three main plots going on this episode, so here’s the breakdown:
Our murder victim is a 20-30 year old female with a tick on her who was strangled. That tick shows them that she was carrying a highly contagious disease: Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (not a TV Tropes link). The squints aren’t at risk, but her murderer probably contracted it and could be spreading it to others! They’re pressed for time and there’s no power, so they raid the rest of the Jeffersonian exhibits (really, this place is shut down and there are no electronic gates between exhibits?) to help them put together make-shift x-ray machines, area infestation maps, cell-phone batteries and bone dye.
The other in-lab plot focuses on Angela and Hodgins. Angela found out she’s a carrier for a genetic disorder called Leber’s congenital amaurosis, an eye disease that can cause blindness,and they’re anxiously awaiting Hodgin’s test results to find out if he’s a carrier, too. He keeps reassuring her that the chances are extremely slim, but that doesn’t make the news any less difficult when he finds out that he is. Seriously, TJ Thyne’s performance in this episode almost had me bawling.
In the elevator, Sweets suggests that this would be a good chance for Booth and Brennan to talk about the possibility of going back into therapy. He points out that between Brennan’s admission of love and Booth’s relationship with Hannah, there’s a lot of new ground and new feelings to work through. Booth lashes out at Sweets, warning him not to mention Hannah again. With Sweets taking a walk, Booth opens up to Brennan about the stadium seats: They were from a stadium that he went to with his dad for a World Series game. It was during one small, brief period when his dad had stopped drinking for a time and it was the best day of his life. They even manage to talk about their relationship a little, conceding that it’d be great sexually, but as a couple, it’d never work.
Thanks to the squints’ experiments and frequent phone calls back and forth between the lab and the elevator, they ID the victim as Anne-Marie Weston, an aide worker who had been investigating human trafficking in Albania. She continued her work in D.C., going to Albanian neighborhoods. Thanks to a potato battery, they get the last incoming call from the victim’s phone and track it to one of those neighboorhoods, finding glass just like particulates they found on her. While examining the window, they see lots of girls staring back at them from behind the glass. A large guy comes out, coughing, and goes after Booth, who Brennan warns not to touch him. She hits the guy on the back of the head where he promptly falls down, almost crushing Booth.
Back at the lab wrap-up, Cam tells the crew that the CDC is tracking down anyone big guy came in contact with. He didn’t admit to the murder, but the girls were witnesses and will testify. Cam sends everyone home. Hodgins and Angela start walking out and Hodgins starts talking about taking up piano. He figures if he can’t bond with his kid by looking through microscopes, they can do that instead. He even suggests that Angela take up sculpture. Angela turns it on him, reminding him that even with them both carriers, there’s only a 25% chance that their child will be blind. Which is what Hodgins had been trying to reassure her all episode. Ah, tricky one that Hodgins.
At home with Brennan, a beer and some horse pills (to ward off the CCHF from big guy), Booth wonders what the chances are that he and his dad sat in those seats. While Brennan tries to work the odds out, Booth confesses that he’s angry, not at Bones, just at the world. He needs time to hang back and find his inner peace again before he gets back out there. Brennan, too, confesses that she is improving, she’s quite strong. She explains that when he met her she was impervious, she didn’t let anything in. Now she’s strong. A time could come when he isn’t angry and she’s strong enough to risk losing the last of her imperviousness. And maybe, then … there could be something. After a pregnant pause, Booth writes down a date on a piece of paper and suggests she do the same, and then burn it, like a wish. Adorably, they do.
While this episode started off a little hackneyed (yes, those are three tropes colliding in the cold open) and some of the scene transitions felt, I dunno, off, to me at least, I feel like it really pulled together in the end. The potential akwardness of having Wendell as the squintern for this episode (after last season’s pregnancy scare with Angela) instead reminded us that Wendell is just a great guy, offering to help in any way he can and reassure Hodgins that Angela won’t hate him for being a carrier, too. While constant discussions of “Will They or Won’t They” can sometimes kill a series, I feel like it’s completely in character for Booth and Brennan to alternate between being open about their feelings and still being too afraid/logical/whatever to pursue them. It some ways, it rings a lot truer to the characters than, say, Castle and Beckett (whom I love, but seriously!). At least it’s being addressed.
I just wish we’d gotten a peek at those dates.