[This is a review of Bones season 9, episode 6. There will be SPOILERS.]
So here we are Bones fans in the sixth episode of season 9 and while there is a murder to solve, "The Woman in White" refers to none other than Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel). As the relationship between she and FBI partner Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) has waxed and waned over the years, critics have been watching a waiting for the Moonlighting curse to rear its ugly head and cause the show to crash and burn.
It hasn't. In point of fact, Bones never really deserved the comparison and has done a good job of taking a small, core audience that followed it all over the schedule map, to a broader, bankable fan base who have established it as a veteran show. Also, creator and showrunner Hart Hanson has never hidden the fact that from the beginning he intended for Booth and Brennan to end up together. The line, "Everything happens eventually" becoming something of a promise between he and the fans that he wasn't out to be the next Joss Whedon.
And so, "The Woman in White" is something of a payoff piece. A showcase of a journey almost a decade in the making. Like any "big" episode, it attempts to pack as much as possible into forty-five minutes without making things feel rushed and by and large it accomplishes this. The casting department also scores big, drawing back old familiar faces for old and new fans alike.
One of the episode's huge strengths is that it walks the fine line between painting with broad strokes for the masses while providing exquisite detailing for those who have been following every second of the show since day one. Meanwhile the writing is masterful, and nothing short of a love letter to the fans and the same is true of the cast's performance.
For even as the couple moves forward in their formal relationship, the show takes time to nod at the past. Booth's mother, son, and grandfather are all present, as is Brennan's dad, Max (Ryan O'Neal), with nice little character moments all around. The wedding itself is initially to take place in a church, allowing the audience a giggle at the bumbling priest, played by Emily Deschanel's husband in real life, David Hornsby. In the end they are married where it all began, the gardens at the Jeffersonian. Booth's vows hearken back to the Pilot, and Brennan's references a letter highly debated since season 2's, "Aliens in A Spaceship" that feels like it could have been written at that point in their relationship.
Aside from the two leads, the rest of the ensemble provide plenty of entertainment. Hodgins (TJ Thyne) and his wedding pool juxtapose nicely against Angela's (Michaela Conlin) keeping Brennan focused on getting married instead of on the case. There is also a beautiful moment between Ange and Brennan about love and poetry. Meanwhile, full hilarity ensues as all of the squinterns step up to the plate to solve the case, still trying to prove who's the best while bemoaning the fact that none were invited to the wedding save Arastoo (Pej Vahdat) as Cam's (Tamara Taylor) plus one. Brennan reconsiders and invites them after they help solve the case and they get their own, slow-mo hero shot in full period regalia.
How about you? Did the wedding meet your expectations or did it get too saccharine? Did you tear up at the vows or Avalon's (Cyndi Lauper) slow, sultry rendition of "At Last"? What's your favorite fan shout-out? Do you think any major shifts lay ahead now that they've officially tied the knot?
Bones returns Monday, November 4th in "The Nazi on the Honeymoon" @8 on FOX.