Bones‘ third season finale was an emotional roller coaster for loyal viewers. When an episode starts with Booth’s (David Boreanaz) funeral, you know you’re in for one helluva ride. Obviously, Booth isn’t really dead since you couldn’t have the show with only half of the comedic duo (it would be like Abbott without Costello). The funeral was only a ploy to catch some nameless, faceless man wanted by the F.B.I. and to allow us viewers to see Dr. Brennan (Emily Deschanel) go to pieces in her own very special, compartmentalized way (she wants to identify all the remains in the Jeffersonian’s vaults, even those whose next of kin died some 400-years ago). Upon realizing Booth is still alive, Brennan gives him a cathartic punch in the face. And that’s only the teaser!
In what is easily the best scene from this whole season, Brennan confronts Booth about why he kept that he was alive a secret from her in his bathroom while he’s in the tub drinking beer and reading comics. Hilarity ensues and we eventually learn that Sweets (their psychiatrist) decided to keep the news from Brennan. Sweets, usually a needy schmuck but kind of endearing, steps over the line here (in my opinion) by keeping Brennan in the dark about Booth. Brennan thinks so as well and lets him know that he may not be invited back to be their therapist anymore if he pulls another stunt like this. Although, as the episodes goes on, it becomes more obvious that Sweets’ actions are less about him being cruel to Booth and Brennan, and more about making the audience suspicious of him because….
Brennan receives another “gift” from Gormogon – a jawbone. It appears that Gormogon wants her to add it to the skeleton made of his victims in the Jeffersonian’s basement. Zack and Hodgins decide to perform one of their wacky experiments to gain insight into Gormogon, but Zack ends up suffering severe burns due to a chemical explosion. Zack is rushed to the hospital while the rest of the team reels from the news that Gormogon has to have someone on the “inside” of the Jeffersonian since the skeleton of Gormogon’s victims is stolen making every one of our beloved cast a suspect.
Usually, when shows try to make you suspect the ensemble cast that you see from week to week, it feels flat and hollow because you know that it can’t really be them. The great thing about Bones is that you could (to varying degrees) become suspicious of your favorite characters. Although, in my not so humble opinion, I think they laid it on a little too thick in Hodgins’ case. It would have worked better (and been a little more subtle) had he respected Zack’s wishes and refrained from turning on Zack’s meds. On the other hand, I was more than willing to buy it was Sweets despite the very obvious fact that Sweets doesn’t know much about biology, chemistry, or constructing dentures (at least not when compared to the Squints). I was more than willing to throw Sweets to the proverbial wolves because he can be a little too needy at times. Sadly, it wasn’t Sweets.
When it became clear that it wasn’t Sweets, I was preparing myself for the typical route these things usually take – the janitor/clerk/technician/administrator who has worked at the Jeffersonian for 30-some years and we’ve never seen on-camera ends up being the culprit. It usually feels cheap when shows do this to us, but it’s better than having to part with one of our beloved cast members. Sadly, the Bones writers decided not to do the expected cop out, instead, they served up Zack.
And, I’m willing to let it be Zack. I don’t want it to be Zack. I’d prefer that it hadn’t been Zack. But, I can deal with it being Zack since he is so practical and devoid of emotion, at times, it can be creepy. However, I would have preferred that the Gormogon mystery go unsolved until next season, so that the writers could have laid the groundwork a little more. It was shocking and hard to understand why (he’s logical… yes, we know… but, could you have showed us how Gormogon “turned” him in a flashback or something?). In an interview with Eric Millegan currently available on TVGuide.com, Millegan mentions that the writers were going to address Zack’s post-traumatic stress caused by his tour of Iraq, but the writers’ strike prevented that storyline. It’s sad that Zack didn’t get more time… but, in the end, I believe that it rings true enough.
I’m already eagerly awaiting the beginning of Bones‘ fourth season to see how Brennan and the rest of the cast cope.