Bones has always been at its best when there’s a serial killer affecting the entire course of events. The Gormogon, The Grave Digger, Arnold Vosloo’s crazed sniper … hands down the best storylines in the nine seasons of the comic crime drama.
Last season, Bones was a series that was stuck in neutral. The exciting storyline of Dr. Temperance Brennan being on the run after being framed for murder by the crazed techno criminal Pilant was resolved way too neatly and way too early in the season. From there the show traipsed about as if nothing happened. Not that last season was bad, Bones has become a steadily enjoyable show — the characters are loveable, there’s always a couple of good laughs and the whodunnit aspect of the show still keeps you engaged. However, when there’s a criminal mastermind reeking havoc on the crew of the Jeffersonian — Bones gets really, really good. The mood gets intense, the plot becomes filled with sharp twists and turns and the pay-off is always rewarding.
That’s why the ninth season of Bones could be a good one. The Pilant character is a terrific villain for the series as he’s a near omnipotent mastermind who manipulates technology to invade everyone’s life and destroy it. This season, we begin with the pall of Pilant hanging over Booth, as he has threatened the lives of five, random strangers if he and the love of his life and the mother of his child, Bones (the character), get married. So with Catholic guilt hanging over him, Booth decides to break off his engagement and now everything that was once bright and rosy in the world of Bones (the show and well, the character too) is turned into a contentious, untrusting and poisoned world.
Tonight’s premiere episode hammers this point home as the both Deschanel and Boreanaz give their most (intentionally) morose and broken performances in the series’ run. This show has lasted this long because of the duo’s comedic, romantic and dramatic chemistry and To see the two of them not click, to be so out of sync really strikes an emotional chord. Seriously, you’ve loved these characters for nearly a decade, you’ve wanted them to get together … and now things are falling apart.
The rest of the episode wasn’t as spectacular and dynamic as the relationship between the two lead characters. And it doesn’t need to be. The whodunit of the episode (a CIA operative gets killed) serves as an engaging distraction from the more important and dramatic overall plot line of the season. The episode also has a very, very random appearance from Freddie Prinze Jr. (as a CIA agent) who we’re going to assume will be a recurring character. It’s a bit odd seeing the star of She’s All That with gray hair and with a more mature, deeper voice.
Then came the damn ending.
After consulting with Booth’s friend and former priest, Bones (the character) decides to have faith in Booth and give her man a second chance. And with that, for the second straight season premiere, Bones (the show) wraps up a major storyline, nay, a really interesting storyline, way too early. It’s absolutely frustrating. The potential for what this season could’ve been was huge, but no, they wrap it up neatly.
But…we’re given a glimmer of hope. We’re reminded of the specter of Pilant as the baby monitor in the couple’s house starts flashing different numbers. Yes, this criminal mastermind is still out there and will still interfere with their lives in the most inconvenient ways.
Ultimately Bones’ ninth season premiere offers up two possible scenarios of how this year of Booth and Brennan will play out. The first…a return to form, to the creative heights of the series with the Pilant storyline. The second scenario is just a whole lot of the same — funny moments, the occasional gross out scene and a few episode here and there that engage your senses.