I don't know about you, but I think the 100th episode of Bones, "The Parts in the Sum of the Whole," was just... sad. Incredibly, depressingly sad. It started off happy—even comical—with lots of lighthearted flashbacks, but took a dark, emotional turn at the very end. The last scene between Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Booth (David Boreanaz), during which Brennan admitted that she's royally screwed up and unable to love people, was tragic. After five years of unbearable URST, Booth grew a pair and suggested they give it a shot—despite Brennan's issues—only to be shot down. One step forward, two steps back. Is there any hope left for this show?
The answer is: Maybe. In fact, the answer has always been "maybe." Bones has strung us along with this "will-they-or-won't-they" act for five seasons now; even diehard fans can't deny that it's getting stale. Not only has the show's premise has been stretched way too thin, but it makes logical sense for two clearly-in-love characters to get together. Watching two people flirt for five seasons is plain annoying. But Bones and Booth getting together likely means the end of the show, right? And since it doesn't seem like anyone's ready for that just yet, Bones chose the "rejection" solution—but the thing is, it kind of worked.
Bones has never really been about the forensics (and neither was Brennan's book in last week's episode, "The Bones on the Blue Line"). In fact, this show could be a sitcom and it would still be watchable. As much as I hate Hart Hanson for keeping this ridiculously indulgent fantasy alive, I have to give him kudos for creating truly lovable characters—"The Parts in the Sum of the Whole" revealed a lot about them. We know that Brennan is capable of emotional growth, it just happens at a snail's pace. So while it may have been frustrating to watch her deny both herself and Booth true happiness, it's possible she'll change her mind. In fact, she probably will change her mind. Pam on The Office shot down Jim's first proposition, and we all know all they turned out. Why not Brennan, too?
I've got to believe that the Booth-Brennan hookup will happen at the end of the show's run, whenever it may be. In the meantime, Brennan and Booth will try to move on. New love interests will surface. New cast members will come and go. But the result will be the same: Booth won't find another Brennan, and Brennan won't find another Booth. Even if poor Sweets (John Francis Daley) has to re-write his book to incorporate Booth and Brennan's actual first case together, he'll come to the same conclusion: They're a package deal.
Though it's generally agreed that the Booth-Brennan relationship should happen in the series finale, I have to raise the question: Do you think the show would work if they got together sooner? Or if they became an on-again-off-again couple, a la Ross and Rachel on Friends? My answer is no. Bones already has enough relationship drama; elevating that drama from "potential" to "actual" would make the show's fascinating forensic cases irrelevant. The show would become a sitcom. And, just because it could work as a sitcom doesn't mean it should stray from it's hour-long-procedural-drama roots.
My conclusion? I'm very sad about the outcome of the 100th episode, but I must admit that the flashbacks within it were awesome. Tequila shots! Hodgins' (T.J. Thyne) 'fro! Zach Addy (Eric Millegan)! Ultimately, I know Bones didn't have much of a choice.
What did you think of the episode?
Follow TV.com writer Stefanie Lee on Twitter: @StefAtTVDotCom