Last week's Jersey Shore homage set the bar high, but Bones came through with another solid episode Thursday night, albeit one that wasn't anything like we were expecting.
Unlike the season's first three installments, "The Body in the Bounty" did not guest star Katheryn Winnick as Hannah. In fact, we only caught one passing reference to her.
Instead of fleshing out Brennan's feelings for Booth, Bones treated us to a case that went from dull to surprisingly complex and a great subplot provided by David Alan Grier.
A PERFECT MURDER: This one certainly wasn't, but Brennan thinks she could pull it off. She's thought a lot about it, actually. We're a little scared, especially when she's armed.
To be honest, when we first saw Grier hamming it up as Dr. Bunsen Jude, The Science Dude (a clear Bill Nye parody), we weren't sure this was going to work out. Like, at all.
But, what could have been an annoying guest character became a downright lovable Squintern stand-in, as Dude's efforts to woo Brennan onto his show endeared him to us.
Temperance, who was downright standoffish all night, refused to allow the children's show host to do a Jeffersonian special - unless he proved legitimately useful in this case.With sidekick Hodgins by his side, how could you not root for Dude in his efforts to impress Brennan? Or smile when he said "Amazing!" Or want to play that drinking game?
It was cool to see multiple layers from what could have been a gimmicky role. Yes, Dude had cheesy catchphrases, but he's a persistent scientist who does not accept failure.
This ultimately won over the toughest of audiences in Brennan. Grier killed it, so much so that if he were to resurface down the road for another special, we could tolerate it.
ODD COUPLE: Hey, it worked.
One of the things Bones does best is shift seamlessly from lighter to serious moments within the same episode, or even the same scene. Last night was another good example.
While Dude did his thing in the lab, Booth pursued the killer of a bounty hunter found in a dumpster (a carcass that ranked pretty high on Bones' exalted list of dead bodies).
The case started off slowly, and certainly took a back seat to Dude's entertainment value, but did feature a variety of oddball characters itself, most notably the bail bondsman.
Wolf's death at the hands of the rival, female bounty hunter seemed fairly clear from the moment she was introduced. The extent of her psychotic tendencies? Not so much.
Everybody contributed to the case and had some quality moments, from Sweets (we feel bad for the patient he abruptly ditched) to Caroline and even Trudy the cadaver dog.
Finally, even though it took place at the very beginning of the episode and had little to do with the plot, Booth and Brennan's "perfect murder" discussion bears mentioning.
Debating hypothetical situations like this isn't just normal, it can be fun. Except that Brennan seemed serious. We think. Emily Deschanel is so good, you never really know!
Perhaps Hannah's mere presence is bothering her, because our heroine was even icier than usual, even condescending to Booth (and Cam, and Dude) throughout the night.
She did come around at the end, and seeing our beloved Bones in the costume showing them was very cute. But we're very curious, as always, what's going on in her head.
Bones returns November 4, after the World Series. What do you think will happen between Brennan, Booth and Hannah then? Did you like last night's episode?