First off, it has to be mentioned that the new "Friday the 13th" movie is opening next week, and I was airheaded enough to have to Google its release date. (For those of you as airheaded as I am, it opens next week - on Friday the 13th.)
But this is, of course, not why I write today. I am so excited about this week's episode of "Bones" because after two seasons of waiting (thank you, writer's strike), we will finally catch the serial killer, the Gravedigger. In Season 2's episode, "Aliens in a Spaceship," Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Dr. Jack Hodgins (TJ Thyne) were kidnapped by an unknown killer who would put two victims in an unknown place underground, left to suffocate to death. But for Brennan's amazing staff at the Jeffersonian, two main characters would have become victims themselves, suffocating somewhere beneath the surface, hidden for good. It was an amazing episode. Despite knowing that two main characters would never fall victim to a recurring serial killer (until Zack Addy was revealed to have inexplicably joined up with their other "little problem" Gormogon at the end of Season 3 - oopsIaccidentallywroteascriptaboutit), the episode placed all of us directly in the middle of the panic, and there was no escape. Half the episode was in Brennan's car, under the ground, with Brennan and Hodgins desperately finding ways to contact the outside world and create air so they could buy minutes of nontoxic breathing. The other half took place in the lab, with the entire team not sparing seconds to find their colleagues, nearly reaching the end of their ropes several times. And no one knew who this killer could be.
It's not as if we've never seen TV characters (or movie characters) in peril before. But something about this episode was emotional devastating. "Aliens in a Spaceship" was intimate. "Bones" is a character-driven procedural, not just a big ensemble of people who solve crimes. We know these people. And by the time that episode aired, they were a family, and fans were completely invested in them. And if people were having trouble getting past Hodgins as a conspiratorial, tin-foil-hat prick, they sure got over it then.
I would like to give TJ Thyne his own paragraph, because I have never been so distressed watching someone on TV before. TJ Thyne is one of those "guys you've seen everywhere," on every TV show, in every commercial, lots of movies...but who the hell is he? Well, he's TJ Thyne, he's on "Bones" and he's a wicked actor. (He's also a filmmaker and can be seen in his short film, "Validation," here.) But in "Aliens," Thyne was just completely raw. Every emotion that could possibly come out in that situation was on display, save for projectile vomiting, and in a land of vanity and bad acting, it was One Hell of a Performance.
In fact, this was the episode that officially sold me on "Bones." Season 1 got me hooked, Season 2 kept me addicted, and that episode had me convinced I was watching something special. Besides Thyne's performance, this episode proved how strong a team this ensemble of characters were, and the chemistry was there between the actors. These are people worth rooting for. Brennan even said at the end of the episode that if not for every single person on that team, she and Hodgins would have never been found. (So not bringing Zack back for this week's episode, "The Hero in the Hold," is a little depressing for me, but I'll just shut up about that now.)
And now the Gravedigger is back, and we're finally going to find out who this dickhead is. And this time, he's burying Booth (David Boreanaz). Holy crap, I'm so there. And I absolutely think that Brennan will kiss him right on the mouth when she rescues him, and mean it. I would. Because Angela kissed Hodgins right on the mouth and meant it when he was rescued. And I wished I was her. (And don't think I'm spoiling, because Boreanaz isn't going anywhere.)
How everyone on this show has escaped Emmy nominations is baffling to me. This is why I do my part on HuffPo to give the show the publicity it deserves.
"Bones" airs on Thursday nights on Fox at 8:00 PM. It doesn't conflict with "24," "LOST," nor "American Idol," so there are no excuses.
Just for fun:
*Stephen Fry, who played psychiatrist Gordon Gordon Wyatt in Season 2, got stuck in an elevator recently and Twittered the whole ordeal, Britishly. He will also be returning to "Bones" this season!
*I realized this week why I liked the character of Zack so much - he was Potsie Weber. "Happy Days" was another awesome ensemble cast, and if there had been blogging when I was 12 and watching those reruns, they'd sound a lot like these blogs. Except for all the murder and killers. But it occurred to me that Zack Addy (Eric Millegan) totally reminded me of the resident socially awkward dork on "Happy Days," Potsie Weber. And I loved Potsie. So, since I have a stiflingly boring day job, I wrote this scene:
Hodgins: I'm definitely Fonzie.
Booth: What? No way. I'm Fonzie.
Cam: I actually think I'm Fonzie.
Hodgins: Oh, please.
Cam: Who says the Fonzie of a group can't be a woman? I'm the cool one. Besides, you're Ralph.
Hodgins: You and Angela are clearly Laverne and Shirley because Booth and I have had our respective sex with each of you.
Angela: At least we got our own show.
Sweets: I've always considered myself to be a Potsie.
Brennan: No. Zack was Potsie.
All look in amazement that Brennan is acquainted with pop culture.
Hodgins: Zack was Chachi.
Brennan: No, Zack was our equal. He was quiet and socially awkward, but we treated him as our equal.
Angela: And he could sing.
Brennan: Chachi was a child to them, someone the rest of the tribe guarded and nurtured.
Not-Zack: So I'm like Chachi.
Brennan: No, Sweets is Chachi. You're like Chuck.
Booth: So, you've given "Happy Days" the anthropology treatment?
Brennan: I wanted to find out why there was a leather jacket in the American history museum.
Sweets: Have you ever actually watched the show?
Brennan: There were some episodes online. It was a fascinating study in cultural escapism. At the time, we were a country stuck in a turbulent present, so "Happy Days" provided an alternative, idealized version of the past. That show was an answer to discontent over our corrupt leaders, the war, cultural and ideological shifts in sex and entertainment.
Angela: Wow, Brennan. Only you could suck the fun out of something as inherently happy as "Happy Days."
Brennan: And Hodgins is Richie. Booth is Fonzie.
Booth: Ha haaa! See?
Hodgins: But Richie is hum-drum!
Brennan: Because Booth doesn't like to admit when he's wrong and has had many indiscriminate lovers.
Hodgins will let that slide and chuckles.
Booth: Sit on it, Hodgins.
Brennan: I could never figure out what that meant.