Friday, November 02, 2007

Bones - 3x05 "Mummy in the Maze"

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Tuesday night at 8 PM was rather a notable occasion for the Bay Area -- a Halloween-themed episode of Bones that promised Emily Deschanel dressed up as Wonder Woman, which should be more than enough to entice anyone to watch the show, you ask me. But leaving aside the eye candy, Bones is above all a crime procedural whose meat and potatoes isn't the crime and its resolution and instead is the interplay between Dr. Brenner (Deschanel) and Agent Booth (David Boreanaz), which is, as episodic post-CSI procedurals go, kind of revolutionary. I'm sure this revelation isn't news to people who've watched Bones longer, but I realized it most palpably with this week's episode, during which a few other things happened underfoot.

The Alum Rock quake was considerate enough to hit either during the title credits or the first commercial break (8:04, officially), so I didn't miss any of the show (no damage Chez Meee, by the way). Unfortunately, local anchor Julie Haener, lovely as she is, was nowhere near as discreet, interrupting the show later with two emergency news breaks -- so by the time that Bones and Booth found out that the culprit this week was the EMT, I was all, "What EMT?" which underscore that plot is a secondary vehicle to drive the hijinks between the various couples.

I couldn't follow the arc of the plot, but that wasn't a big deal; the comic banter between Bones and Booth, and the rest of the cast too, was lively, capped by Bones pantomiming the Lynda Carter-era Wonder Woman spinning and deflecting imaginary bullets, which was cute beyond words.

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While the rapport between Brennan and Booth belongs to the grand tradition of opposites-attracting couples, I doubt that Moonlighting, Cheers, or The X-Files ever gave such a precise voice in the name of science. (OK, maybe The X-Files, but it was grounded in the supernatural/extraterrestrial as much as it was in science.) I find the lengthy monologues on diatomaceous earth and odes to adipocere formations (not that I understand them) endlessly fascinating -- and as a burned out ex-academic, I love the show's "psychology is a soft science" jabs. (Speaking of which, straight out of the Ok... WAHT??? file, Sam Weir from Freaks & Geeks has gone through puberty (!) to become the show's recurring psychiatrist.) As much as it is a procedural with great chemistry, deep down, Bones is a valentine to the scientific method and empiricism.

Indie rating: Peter Wright - "Heteralocha Acutirostris"

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