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Bones is So Awesome, It Helped Defeat My Fear of Flying. Really.

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Now that the election is over, it's nice to write about entertainment again, as much fun as it was to cover the last debate, ponder curing my "Anti-Americanism," compare the election to the Super Bowl, and get my Constitution on talking about Prop 8. (Which I'm still, obviously, not happy about. At all.)

But here's a little situation I found myself in about two weeks ago. My little brother was getting married. In California. I live in New York. I had never been on a plane. Not even once. You may end the collective gasping... now. (I gave all y'all an ellipsis-worth of gasp-sation. That should be enough.) Indeed, we have always driven to family vacation spots, and once I was old enough to take my own vacations, I found the idea of being 32,000 feet in the air while in a small, pressurized cabin with no escape to be rather horrifying. (Seeing my younger brother get married before I did also conjured up some unpleasant emotions.)

I know, I know -- it's more than a little pathetic.

My favorite show, Bones, was on the Wednesday night before taking my first flight. I'll admit, this season has been rather hard for me to watch since the decision was made to write off my favorite character, Zack Addy (played by Eric Millegan, who is now vlogging for the NBA -- more on that below!). However, I've done my best to stay open-minded as the show evolves. Needless to say, due to my state of mind (under siege, on the verge of a prolonged panic attack, destined to be a spinster) I did not like the episode that aired on November 12th ("The Con Man in the Meth Lab"). But do not take my word for it. Apparently, this is shaping up to be a fan favorite, so I will say to anyone considering watching the show that they should not take the word of someone who was battling some serious neuroses at the time, as well as someone who is kind of inherently biased against an episode not containing Zack.

What did give me a sense of relief before flying was the preview for the following week's episode, "The Passenger in the Oven," which aired this past Wednesday. It was taking place on a plane! Now, if Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and tough guy FBI Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) can fight crime on a plane -- on a 13-hour flight to China, no less -- I can surely just sit on one, right? And what are really the odds of me being murdered on a plane? That would be way worse than hitting a little turbulence or feeling my ears pop. (Though I wasn't getting quite that worried.) Plus knowing that the episode would air after my return from California -- just as reliable as, apparently, air travel -- gave me some comfort as well. So did my bottle of Valium.

After two weeks of begging my friends to talk me down about flying, Bones was able to put things in perspective for me. I was still pretty freaked -- fortunately I was traveling with my parents and grandmother, who flew everywhere with my late grandfather, who used to work for Pan Am, so I was able to regress back to being five years old for a little while. I also had Valium. But that short little preview of Bones, along with about half the commercials I see on TV, only made flying seem more and more uneventful and mundane, which was exactly what I needed.

I only wish I'd been able to see the episode before the flight, because it was really, really good. One of my favorite things about Bones is how resourceful the characters are, especially Brennan. While investigating a murder on the plane, she was able to use carry-on supplies like powder blush and denture cream -- and a knitting needle to use as a probe, on loan from a semi-obsessed murder mystery fan, and, surprisingly to me, allowed to be brought on the plane -- to create a cast and identify a murder weapon. Our generation's very own MacGuyver, and she has no idea how cool she really is. (I would say "24"'s Jack Bauer is not far behind, but he has to know how cool he is.) And you really can't lose when Booth tries to get Brennan to play sexy librarian while she's using an elderly passenger's deliciously retro reading glasses -- and she doesn't get it.

But there was still squint fun happening on land -- and Caroline Julian (Patricia Belcher)! Thinking they were getting the day off, they all returned to work in everyday clothes, Hodgins (TJ Thyne) in a tight shirt -- Happy Thanksgiving indeed -- and Sweets (John Francis Daley) in shorts. Because guys in shorts will never not be funny. Ever. Especially when they're talking seriously about karaoke. But another one of my favorite parts of Bones was always the relationship between Hodgins and Angela (Michaela Conlin), who has rekindled a relationship with an old girlfriend, Roxie (Nichole Hiltz). As much as I hate seeing Hodgela struggle, they needed to overcome some problems, and they were jumping into marriage waaaaay before Angela knew what she really wanted. As of this episode, she still really doesn't know. But I hope it ultimately ends up being Hodgins. I hate romance, but I love those two. So I don't mind seeing them suffer a bit before realizing they're meant for each other.

So I want to give my thanks to Hart Hanson for showing me how secondary and ordinary flying can be when there are more important and meaningful things going on. I'm also thankful to my little brother (and his new wife) for creating a situation that meant getting me on a plane no matter how ridiculously and irrationally afraid of it I was. Because now, the world just got a lot bigger.

On the Sidelines:

*That's a little sports reference so I can plug Eric Millegan's latest gig, "Eric Millegan's NBA Trash Talk," which can be seen on YouTube. (Search "EricNBATrashTalk" or just click here, then subscribe.) He's up to Episode 5, plus his announcement of "Eric Millegan's Celebrity One-on-One," where he promises to "bring his game" and play some one-on-one with celebrities. And game he has -- he's been playing for the Entertainment League for four years. He acts, he sings, he plays basketball, he also makes Julien fries! Check these out - they're a lot of fun, and he recorded some of them at 3 AM -- just for us!

*I am getting excellent birthday presents in January: Barack Obama becomes President of the United States on January 20th and on January 15th, Bones returns on Thursday nights at 8:00 PM and resolves the Gravedigger mystery! The Season 2 episode "Aliens in the Spaceship," which introduced the Gravedigger serial killer, was definitely one of the best of the series, featuring amazing performances by TJ Thyne and Emily Deschanel. I really can't wait to see how this plays out, and I can't wait to see how Hodgins handles this. No doubt this will be a can't miss. If the NY Giants are also winning the NFL playoffs during those weeks, I might just explode with joy and forget I'm celebrating the eighth anniversary of my 21st birthday on the 17th. (A groovy late birthday present would be bringing Zack back to resolve this "not a killer after all" thing...just saying.)

*An update: I've written about how I spent my summer writing fan fiction because of how Eric's character was written off the show -- Zack turned out to be a serial killer's apprentice and also confessed to committing a murder himself. Specifically, I put forth a possible way that Zack was not a killer. (My writing partner in crime, Wendy Young of Obsessed With Bones, presented a theory upholding the "Zack is a killer" story.) Well, on September 24th, I officially declared myself Queen of the Lab. Indeed, Zack came back -- breaking out of the loony bin to help solve a crime - and admitted he did not kill anyone himself, he was just responsible for the murder. My script went into more detail about how Zack came to join the killer and what happened when he was shipped off to Iraq at the end of Season 2. But I really just wanted to brag one more time. (If you're so inclined to read 60-page pdfs of fake TV scripts, click here. But I will understand completely if you don't.)

Bones airs Wednesday nights at 8:00 PM on Fox. After this week's episode, "The Bone That Blew," it returns Thursday, January 15th at 8:00 PM.