I didn’t think we'd ever see an episode of Bones that was more heartbreaking than the series' 100th episode, but I was wrong. Last night's “The Doctor in the Photo” was actually a whole hour’s worth of sad.
The episode contained several Bones firsts: We saw Brennan (Emily Deschanel) abandon rational thought, lose her composure, and even hallucinate while investigating the death of a famous doctor who bore a strong resemblance to her. It would be an understatement to say that Brennan’s behavior was disorienting.
And, as I suspected might eventually happen after the 100th episode aired last spring, Brennan changed her mind about Booth. Her emotional connection to a case in which the victim was very similar to Brennan herself led to Brennan breaking down over the possibility of dying alone. At which point she realized she should have given Booth a real chance—and told him as much. Booth (David Boreanaz) turned her down, and it was an incredibly low moment for both of them.
After that emotional climax, Brennan and Booth seemed to resume their routine friendship—but I felt this strong sense of hopeless exhaustion between them that I don't think existed last spring. Back then, there was still hope that Brennan might change her mind and that she and Booth would live happily ever after. But now it seems like there isn't much more to be said or done. So what happens next?
With a dark turn like this, it’s hard to say. A few episodes ago, I would have guessed that Hannah (Katheryn Winnick) was a temporary fix for a permanent problem, but Hannah and Brennan have actually developed a believable friendship. Their connection is not based solely on Booth; they respect one another’s opinions and fields of expertise, and they're close to him for very different reasons. They also relate to his son, Parker, very differently. I don’t think Hannah and Booth are breaking up any time soon—something’s going to have to happen to Hannah in order for Booth and Brennan’s relationship to reach any new levels. And I'm honestly not sure what that might be, nor do I know what I'd want it to be. Only one thing's for certain: I can’t wait to hear what Sweets (John Francis Daley) has to say about all this.
Additional notes on the episode:
... As much of a bummer as this episode was, I was delighted to see Emily Deschanel get a chance to act. Seeing Brennan in a state of distress was fascinating.
... Brennan's friendship with the security guard, Micah (Enrico Colantoni), was also curious. Micah seems like the type of character we should have met a long time ago; I hope this isn’t the last we see of him.
... I was really impressed with the look and feel of this episode. It had a film noir quality to it—mysterious but not creepy, quiet but not eerie. And the camera angles showed Brennan from above many times, perhaps signifying that she wasn’t really hallucinatiing, after all.
What did you think of “The Doctor in the Photo”? And what do you want to happen next?