That wasn't the worst premiere Bones could have had. But it wasn't fantastic either. The case du jour was acceptable, emotions all felt wildly misplaced, and Daisy was the squintern.
With a lot of tell-not-show and with the series using new characters as intermediaries between our central pair, "The Secrets in the Proposal" felt phoned in.
Bones season 9 picks up three months after Booth tells Brennan he can't marry her without being able to give her a real reason why he can't. Three months was too large a gap.
Booth and Bones are apparently still living together, but they're both incredibly unhappy. She's icing him out. He's not answering the phone when she calls. And everyone seems to have an opinion on just what Booth should be doing and how he should be doing it.
Sweets and Caroline ambush him. Cam tells him to warm his feet up. Angela barks at him throughout the entire episode. Hodgins is the only one who believes he probably has a good reason for doing what he's done.
Angela's anger, in particular, was frustrating because at one point she actually tells Hodgins that she's learned to trust him. Having known Booth just as long, she can't muster up the energy to trust him, too? It all just felt so incredibly fresh to be a three-month old wound, making everything about it feel off somehow.
We're supposed to see Brennan as an evolved woman since the show's beginning. She's gone from being completely scientific to a mix of science and emotion that she doesn't always understand. The changes in her character over the past nine seasons are clear.
Something about her chilly demeanor felt at odds with everything the character is. Maybe it's just another step in Brennan's evolution. Or maybe it's uneven writing.
When Booth repeatedly attempted to remind her that he loves her, would die for her and she refused to acknowledge at all that there might be more to their situation than she knows, I found myself wanting to scream at her a little.
And then she ended up Booth's priest-tender's bar where he said "Hey, so, he has a reason for this. Trust him." And magically she did. Just like that. After three months of him very likely telling her the same thing or at the very least being so devout in his desire to catch Pelant that the fact that he's behind the entire thing should've been quite clear to a woman of Brennan's intellect.
Come on, Brennan.
Her speech to him at the end that she trusts him and believes in him and will be there for him until he can tell her his reasoning was so very...neat. It would have been far more interesting to pick up immediately where Bones season 8 left off and let us see the messy stuff. Show us this couple fighting to stay together despite the fact that their hearts are both broken. That would make for an interesting multi-episode arc.
The character who wins for best emotional turmoil is Booth, hands down, which makes a great deal of sense because absolutely everyone was against him, including his technological devices. (Which makes little to no sense, really. A CD player/radio allows Pelant to spy on the conversations they have inside their own home? Really??)
It's always great to see Booth interact with non-Jeffersoninan team members, so his priest-tender can stay. Of all the characters on the show, the members of Booth's past life have appeared more frequently which has a way of making them more interesting to me somehow.
And Aldo's walk-in cooler is certainly a convenient place to discuss Pelant's evil-doing.
In other tidbits from the episode:
- Daisy. Ugh.
- It's nice to see Freddie Prinze, Jr. on any screen, big or small.
- Cam and Arastoo are still an item.
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.