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?