'Bones': Alone again, naturally

brennan-doctor-in-the-photo.jpgRegardless of where you fall on the "Bones" fan spectrum -- pro or anti-hookup -- this season has probably been relatively trying for you.

The tension since the team's reunion has cast a pall over the week-to-week mystery-solving, so it was satisfying to see those bottled up emotions finally boil over in "The Doctor in the Photo." Artistically, it was also a near perfect episode -- if you ignore the grotesque "Bing" plug.

A solid hour of Temperance Brennan ( Emily Deschanel) slowly unraveling while trying to solve what appears to be her own murder, it delivered on every level. The Hitchcockian tone, Deschanel's powerhouse performance and the emotional pay-off, six seasons in the making, all lived up to the hype.

And though it's difficult to approach this episode as we would any other because of its unique nature, we are creatures of habit.

For the Squints:

  • Stylistically, what a treat to add an episode this meticulously assembled to the series' already rich history. Ian Toynton's direction, the haunting, melancholy score... it was cinematic in a way this sort of TV can rarely be.
  • The image of the overturned tree, alone and slowly decaying in the vacant atrium of the Jeffersonian was one of the most beautiful things we can recall seeing on this show.
  • Given the short psychological break for Brennan, it's surprising that Sweets (John Francis Daley) didn't have a greater affect on her. But really, they didn't really need any of the other characters this week. That was what Micah (Enrico Colantoni), the night watchman was for.
  • The night watchman, quite obviously another figment of Brennan's imagination, was sort of a combination of all her friends' best qualities. [Fandom sidenote: was anyone else half as excited as us to see "Veronica Mars" alums Colantoni and Francis Capra both turn up in this episode?]

For the Shippers:

  • In addition to being a beautiful opening scene, this is something of a classic horror story for ladies --  a single woman in her '30s, cooking a meal for friends who've all coupled off. Already we see that our empowered, solitary heroine is going to break character.
  • It was also clear from "The Bones in the Twisted Metal" that the series is no longer interested in being coy about Brennan's feelings for Booth (David Boreanaz). Seeing him with Hannah (Katheryn Winnick) has been troubling her more and more.
  • Had it not been in all of the promos for the episode, and its sort of a shame that it was, Brennan's admission of regret would still have been a bit of a surprise. It seems as though this is something she'd first have to admit to herself and digest before she spilled outloud. Maybe this added to the heartbreak of it all. If Booth's offer to her during the 100th episode got to you, this probably sent you over the edge.
  • Booth's denial of her affection was a given -- after all, it's only a winter finale -- but it was still exceptionally brutal. Hannah is a consolation prize, no matter how you slice it. And Booth's insistence on the validity of their love and increased distance from the group seem to make a stronger case for him still being hurt by his own rejection.
  • The note of the optimism at the end just doesn't ring true to us. Booth is the love of this woman's life, and regardless of how bizarre the circumstances of her confession, she put it out there and he refused her. Now she has to see him, and his peppy non-consolation prize, every single day.

So the tables have officially turned. Is there anything at this point that could make Booth come back around to Brennan -- or do you think that ship has sailed? Sound off in the comments. And while you're mulling the events of the night, check out what Emily Deschanel had to say about the episode, if you haven't already.

Our Emmy petition for her starts... now.
Photo/Video credit: FOX
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