This is not a top ten list (Bones)

So I thought I’d wrap up Thanksgiving weekend with the Bones episodes I’m most thankful for, aka my favorite episodes. But because it’s me, there are complications. The first is that I’ve been joking for several years now that there’s at least thirty-five eps in my top ten, and how do I do anything meaningful with that long of a list?

The second challenge is figuring out what I mean by ‘favorite.’ (What do you mean that should be pretty straightforward? LOL.) There are episodes I love because of their contribution to the overall story, because they’re important to the tale as a whole, but they’re not necessarily the ones I watch over and over.  (An example is The Hole in the Heart.  It has several of my very favorite moments, but I find the beginning scenes, with Vincent, to be a bit painful to watch. Yes. I am an emotional wuss, which is even weirder when you consider that I do love angst.)

But there are ones that if I wander into the living room and they’re airing on TNT, I have to sit down and watch them. Every time. The family member I live with watches more TV out there than I do, and he’s figured this out: “Hey! Bones is on, and it’s one of your episodes!”

So here’s my (partial) list of those episodes. If you want to distract me from about, oh, anything, just plant me in front of one of them. (Apart from the first three, they’re in no particular order.)

The Woman in Limbo – I devoted an entire post to this a few weeks ago, and won’t repeat it, except to say:  Team. Russ and Brennan. And, “I know who you are.”

The Patriot in Purgatory – I’ve finally accepted that if someone held a gun to my head, I couldn’t truly say whether this or Limbo is my very favorite episode.  With this one, I love that it’s the whole team, with the squinterns, love the emotional connection back to a real moment in time, and I love the cold chills I get when they begin to figure it out. Most of all, I love that the story simply works, and ties together the tragedy of that day with the tragedy so many of our vets face, while reminding us that an even a damaged vet can still be a hero.

The Woman in White – I don’t even know what to say about this one, beyond that it’s the perfect wedding episode. From the whole team’s involvement to Brennan’s beautifully played struggles to understand what she’s feeling to the on-the-spot vows (including the note Brennan wrote in Aliens in the Spaceship, which I confess to having doubts that they could do), it hit every note. Plus? Cyndi Lauper’s appearance as Avalon while singing ‘At Last,’ and. um, Aldo.

The Blackout in the Blizzard – For me, this is the episode where Booth and Brennan become a couple, so there is that. But I also love the intimate feel of the whole thing, from the two of them in the elevator, to Booth’s sharing with her the story of why the seats mean so much to him, to the darkened lab where Angela and Hodgins are facing a different challenge.

The Sense in the Sacrifice – Okay, so don’t ask me why watching Vincent at the beginning of The Hole in the Heart is hard, and watching Flynn at the beginning of this one isn’t, because I don’t have a clue. (I liked Flynn, by the way, and never believed he was bad.) Maybe it’s because Flynn chose to risk himself, whereas Vincent was straightforward collateral damage? That’s a puzzle for another day, I guess, but either way, I love everything about this episode: relaxing orgasms, the FBI kiss, the trust we see between Booth and Brennan, and the proposal. Oh, and Aldo. Win!

Two Bodies in the Lab – I confess: the shallow part of me loves protective Booth, so even the buildup to the rescue works for me, including him being blown up. But I also love Booth and Hodgins together. (Dear Hart: can you be bribed to give me more scenes with the two of them?)  And the end, from the rescue through the tag at the hospital? All of it. (And hey, “Hot Blooded”!)

Aliens in a Spaceship – This isn’t my absolute favorite episode, the way I know it is for a lot of people, but I do still love it. The interplay between Booth and the squints on one hand, and Brennan and Hodgins in the car on the other makes for an amazing story. (Plus? Booth threatening Vega = win!)

The Mummy in the Maze – Surprised to see this one here? Me, too, in some ways. But it’s such a fun episode (costumes, Wonder Woman vs. Cat Woman, Zack as the back half of a cow, snakes, big guns) with some serious moments, including Booth having to kill the suspect, and Brennan’s response to that. Also? While every episode is about their teamwork, this one highlights how their strengths work together, from Booth’s solution to finding the crime scene in the maze. to Cam’s remark about why she’s not a pediatrician, to Booth’s explicit, “Look, I’ll do my street thing, you’ll do your lab thing, alright? Together we catch bad guys. That’s good math.”

Judas on a Pole – Brennan and Russ, the team working to get Booth reinstated, lots of great dialog, Brennan turning to Booth for comfort when she thinks Russ is dead, and “There’s more than one kind of family.” What’s not to love?

Mayhem on a Cross – The team I love so much expands to truly include Sweets; meanwhile, we learn a painful truth about Booth, and get a glimpse into what Brennan’s foster years were like. Plus, Gordon Gordon.

The Critic in the Cabernet – Lots of team moments, including seeing their response to the idea of a baby made by Booth and Brennan, which is why we didn’t see those moments in S7. But we also see how far Booth was willing to go to make Brennan happy, even if in the end he couldn’t quite go through with it. And then we have that scene of him in the hospital bed, waiting for her while he’s being prepped for surgery. (You know the expression I mean, right?) Plus…Stewie. (I’m not actually a Family Guy fan at all, but I love those scenes, and can totally buy Booth hallucinating that.)

The Dwarf in the Dirt – As far as I can see, there are as many ways of interpreting Booth and Brennan’s love story as there are people watching it, but for me, what we see here is that both of them are in love at this point. Booth knows and accepts it, though he’s not sure it’s a good thing, but Brennan doesn’t know that that’s what she’s feeling, and won’t for a very long time yet. But she knows his habits, knows they’ve changed since his brain surgery, and knows there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for him. Plus, Gordon Gordon.

The Proof in the Pudding – Following a theme here…there’s nothing Brennan wouldn’t do for Booth. Plus lots of team moments and Booth shooting a door because he’s not going to be separated from his people.

The Killer in the Crosshairs – Here, too, what you see depends on your worldview. I believe it’s possible to love more than one person at a time, so I have no trouble at all with the idea that Booth never stopped loving Brennan even while he was in love with Hannah, and that this episode was about his beginning to come to terms with that. As I said in my Reflections on Eventually post a few weeks ago, we get him chasing her down and asking her out before the story turns more serious and we see both of them grappling with how important her view of him is to him.

The Archaeologist in the Cocoon – Another purely fun episode, with a lot of team stuff going on (I love Brennan and Clark’s rivalry, as well as how they come together to figure out what’s going on) and an ‘awww’ tag at the end.

The Knight on the Grid – Russ (are you detecting a theme here?), Booth and Brennan getting blown up, Booth making sure Russ gets to see Hayley, and then the whole final scene, when it’s clear Booth has called in every possible favor for Russ’s sake.  (Because…there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for Brennan.)

The Crack in the Code – While it’s true that some of the Pelant arc didn’t work for me, I unequivocally loved the first one. I enjoy puzzles, so watching the team struggle to figure out the clues Pelant left them is a lot of fun. Plus, we have The Mighty Hut.

The Suit on the Set – I loved this, because it was what it set out to be: a gift for the fans, with lots of humor and in-jokes, but also plenty of heart, including the reminder that Booth has a very hard time saying no to Brennan. Plus: Cam as vampire. Who knew?

There you have it. The eighteen eps I’d want with me if I were stranded on a deserted island (plus portable DVD player and a solar charger, of course.) Although, since there are eps from all nine seasons here, you might as well give me all of them, right? Because I’m sure that this list doesn’t include some that, the next time I watch them, I’ll be going, ‘how could I have left this one off?’

So – what are your must-have episodes?

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8 thoughts on “This is not a top ten list (Bones)

  1. I agree on almost all of those. I would add The Mystery in the Meat to my list right at the top. I have lost count of all the times I’ve watched the drunk Brennan scene. She was so adorable and Booth was so sweet – it may be my favorite B&B scene ever.

    • I thought about adding that one, because I loved it, too. But I wanted to wait and make sure that it winds up being a watch-over-and-over episode, as opposed to watching that one scene repeatedly. (Which, I have also been doing!) At some point, I’m going to have to a favorite scenes list. 🙂

  2. I agree with every episode you have on the list. I love them all. I’d have add Man in the Fallout Shelter. I loved how learned at least a little bit about each member of the team in this episode (and some pretty big things too…like Booth has a son?). I also loved how well the “bottle show” concept worked with this one. It was just beautiful. I do love all of the Christmas episodes actually, but this one just holds a very special place in my heart.

    I’d also add The Killer in Concrete. I just love that episode, and would really miss it if I didn’t have it on that deserted island. Brennan going all She-Woman on the bounty hunter trying to find Booth. Angela offering to spit with deadly accuracy. 😀 Poor Booth being tortured. 😥

    I’m sure if I actually took the time to go think about it right now I’d come up with a couple dozen more that would have to be added to my “Not a Top Ten List”.

    • OH and on Hole in the Heart I do watch that over and over and love it, even though the early scenes with Vincent make me want to cry. He’s so excited, it breaks my heart, but ever since that episode; watching pretty much any episode with him does that to me. And over all I do love his episodes (and I might already be adding episodes to my list :D)

    • The only reason I didn’t include The Killer in Concrete is because it’s been a long time since I watched it – something I’m going to correct ASAP.

      But yeah, there are probably a lot more at some point I’ll be thinking I should have added.

  3. This list is very similar to what mine would be like, except for maybe Archaeologist in the cocoon, which I like but don’t really watch over and over again…not sure why, it’s pretty good. Also, I like Suit a lot but I probably wouldn’t put it up there with one of my absolute favorite episodes, though Invasion of the mother suckers is absolutely brilliant. I would probably add Baby in the bough to my list, what can I say? It was such a sweet episode. Also, Foot in the foreclosure because…Pops!

  4. I just found this on here so I wanted to add Bullet to the Brain (I could watch that one every day and find something new), Woman in the Car, and Goop on the Girl (collecting evidence via Booth’s clothing was a nice Christmas gift, I think). I’m not really fond of Archaeologist in the Cocoon but I like the rest of your choices….I would be hard pressed to come up with only ten. I might have to have a top 30 list instead.

    • It had been a while since I read this list, and I had to laugh when I did so – Mummy in the Maze was on last night, and sure, enough, I had to sit and watch it, despite trying to work on the blog post. LOL.

      Agree on Bullet in the Brain. I might have to do another one of these this summer and see how the list has changed in the last year and a half. I’ve loved these seasons a lot.

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