A premise that so easily could have been cliched and annoying turned out to be anything but in what became a surprisingly emotional episode of Bones last night.
Trapped in an cage, and with a lovably annoying push from Sweets, Booth and Brennan were forced to confront their complicated feelings for each other head-on.
David Boreanaz directed "The Blackout and the Blizzard" and deserves praise for delivering such an entertaining, multi-layered episode - one of the season's best.
The blizzard crippling D.C. would've been better suited to a January or February episode, as we're now on the cusp of spring, but any Northeasterner could surely relate.
Also relatable, if you're a guy? Booth's desire to grab that row of old stadium seats. How cool are those things (even if Veterans Stadium is in Philly and they're in D.C.)?
We'll give Philly-bred Boreanaz a pass on that last point, especially for all the episode brought us - raw emotion, old-school detective work and B-squared game-changer.
Not that there's ever a right time to get stuck in an elevator, but during an outbreak of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever looming? Even Bones screamed in frustration.
There was more than just the case on her mind, of course. A lot more.While there was no fairy tale ending to this chapter, it did end with real hope for Booth and Bones to become a couple - and an explanation for why he won't go there now.
After Hannah broke his heart, he's reeling, angry and unsure when he can expose himself emotionally like that again. It was realistic and powerful to watch him admit this.
At the same time, Brennan is no longer impervious. Leave it to Temperance to sum up her inner feelings with a vocabulary word most of us don't use in everyday speech.
She's become less impervious, but she needs to become stronger too.
They left things a bit open-ended, but in a way that felt oddly satisfying. Rather than one pursuing the other and being shot down over and over again, we can accept this.
Writing their "dates" down and setting them ablaze, we can only hope their wishes come true for our own sakes. Is it too much to ask that they both wrote May 19, 2011?
At the Jeffersonian, Hodgins, Cam, Angela and Wendell (who was great this week) weren't just capable of handling the case in a blackout, they were almost giddy about it.
This has been done many times before - an episode of NCIS last fall was similarly good - but it was neat seeing their detective work on display without digital ... anything.
As with the Booth-Brennan storyline, the characters carried this so well throughout, and the case, while almost lost in the shuffle at times, was actually pretty interesting.
Wendell's biggest contribution was not his adaptability to the blackout, but the pep talk he gave Hodgins, who spent the night worrying about Leber Congenital Amarosis.
LCA is a recessive, inherited disease, but since both he and Angela are carriers, there's a one in four chance Katherine Temperance/Michael Joseph could be blind at birth.
Jack, who had tried so hard to stay confident, was crushed.
I couldn't help but recall a similar situation awaiting blood test results (for cystic fibrosis, not LCA) while my wife was pregnant with our son. She carries that gene, I do not.
While the phone call was good news for me, many of Hodgins' questions ran through my mind. Can I handle the news and adapt? Can I be strong enough for all of us?
It's amazing that the show took this sad direction, but I'm confident Angela and Hodgins can get through it, even if they have to lean on each other like never before.
Here's hoping for that 75 percent, guys.
Some closing thoughts ...
- Sweets borrowing that awesome hat? Great stuff. Sweets being dressed by Booth’s elderly neighbor in her dead spouse’s clothes? More than a little creepy.
- Seeing the potatoes generate power was straight out of the middle school science fair. Bones' detective work is often over our heads ... not last night!
- Not that he really needed to explain himself (I'd take the old stadium seats just because), but Booth's story about his dad made me a little choked up.
- When Booth demanded Sweets never speak of she-who-must-not-be-named again, it almost felt like a "here's to our fans" moment from Boreanaz.
What did you think of last night's Bones? Discuss below!