Meet Hannah: war correspondent, multiple Peabody winner, wounded thrice for the greater glory of journalism, metaphorical kicker of Christiane Amanpour's metaphorical ass, lover of Booth, and all-around mastodon in the room. Her face fits comfortably in the golden ratio. She's like Lois Lane with blonde hair and an untraceable accent, and in just a few scenes, she took the new season of Bones into some treacherous territory.
You see, Bones has approached its central couple in a unique way: Booth and Brennan have talked through their mutual attraction more than any other will-they-or-won't-they pairing in TV history. (They've basically had three years of couples therapy, thanks to Sweets.) They navigated the delicate emotions of the 100th episode beautifully. So I'm trying not to be too skeptical. But is it really the best idea to bring in a beautiful blonde plot contrivance?
This episode was a big improvement over the season premiere, though. The opening dialogue between a pair of spouses on a hike – “We should've just bought plaid shirts and gone to a resort!” – had that particular Bones flair. (Of all the contemporary procedurals, Bones has the best bystander dialogue. Everybody seems to be stuck in a screwball love-hate romance.) Angela couldn't quite sketch the dead man's face correctly, so he came out looking like George Clooney, which led to a great running joke. (Best suspect reaction: When the crazy mountain man said, “Yeah, they showed us his movies in prison.”)
Pretty much everything about the investigation was enjoyable. Bones has always treated crime-solving like a typical workplace comedy, peopled with acerbic characters who secretly love each other. (It's The Office with grotesque decomposing skeletons.) But for some reason, whenever this season turns to the lovey-dovey stuff, Bones goes way off course. And it's noticeable, because people at the Jeffersonian cannot stop talking about the romance. Angela: “You were always a couple. You just weren't having sex.” Cam: “I think Hannah is affecting your work.” Yeesh, even Clark (who, yay, has returned from Chicago!) was uncharacteristically gabby: “Why you two didn't just rip each other's clothes off. I mean, just get all butt nekkid.”
In last week's Bones recap comments section, Liz pointed out, “I thought it was ridiculous how Booth was so happy with this new girl, when he was supposed to really looove Brennan." I think that explains a big part of the bizarro cloud over these first two episodes: Booth's actions are so unrelentingly confusing. (It doesn't help that all the Booth/Hannah stuff feels so mushy. Like that key. Oh, that key. Viewers, my eyes were bleeding.) Brennan, conversely, had a cry-inducing moment last night:
Brennan: "I'm the only one living the life I expected.”
Angela: “How's that, honey?”
Brennan: “As I expected.”
NEXT: Everybody loves Hannah!