Before we discuss the Season 5 finale of Bones, I'd like to get a few things out of the way:
1. Booth (David Boreanaz) looks almost too good in camo-gear. He can be my army of one anytime he wants.
2. Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) and Sweets (John Francis Daley) need their own spinoff sitcom. It would be called "Hodgepodge and Mr. Adventure," and it would contain more hilarious moments like Hodgins letting out a girlish yelp at the sight of Billy F. Gibbons, and Sweets meowing to distract a group of attack dogs. Comic gold.
3. Cam's (Tamara Taylor) wardrobe is phenomenal.
Okay, that's done. So, Bones kind of snuck up on us in the second half of Season 5 with a bunch of heavy material, didn't it? First there was the Sweets-Daisy (Carla Gallo) engagement, then the Episode 100 fiasco, then the Hodgins-Angela (Michaela Conlin) marriage, and now we've got the big ch-ch-changes from the Season 5 finale to deal with. Yet it hasn't felt overwhelming at all. On a show that's been maintaining a sexual tension tug-of-war for five seasons, change is a good thing. It keeps things fresh, and it gives fans new questions to mull over. Will Season 6 skip ahead a year? Or will Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Booth still be across the world from each other when we return in the fall? We could have a completely different show on our hands, guys—one that strays away from the case-by-case format (sound familiar?) and instead digs into the five-seasons-deep character-development archives. The show's title, after all, doesn't just refer to the parts of the skeleton.
Ol' Bones has grown up a lot this season, and it's been uniquely delightful to watch because of Emily Deschanel's performance. Deschanel has played this character so consistently well over the past five seasons, and now she's finally getting the chance to show us that she, like Bones, can express emotions. All season long, she's been working hard to understand the importance of emotional (as opposed to rational) decision-making, and she's repeatedly credited Booth with teaching her how to do this. Last week's episode, "The Boy with the Answer," revealed a truly vulnerable side of Brennan. Not only did she experience terrifying nightmares about the Gravedigger, but she allowed those nightmares to affect her on an emotional level rather than dismissing them as "irrelevant," and she relied heavily on Booth for emotional support. And in last night's Season 5 finale, she began to read other people on an emotional level, spewing a friendly "I love you, too" to Hodgins and all but begging Booth not to be a hero in Afghanistan so he'd come back in one piece.
Brennan is going to make some pretty profound discoveries during her stay on the Maluku Islands, and not just anthropologically-speaking. She'll have time to process Angela and Hodgins' marriage. She'll observe how Daisy deals with putting her career ahead of her relationship with Sweets. She'll struggle with her own problems, instead of relating them to a psychologist. And she'll spend a year away from the love of her life. But, lucky for us, it builds character.
What did you think of the Season 5 finale? And what do you think will happen in Season 6?
Follow TV.com writer Stefanie Lee on Twitter: @StefAtTVDotCom