Generally with “will-they-won’t-they” relationships, I come down on the side of hoping they won’t, and that preference was enthusiastically true for all but the last three minutes of the first six seasons of Bones. I always thought of them as a more interesting partnership and friendship than romantic couple and got frustrated with endless blathering from ‘shippers’. But for whatever reason, the writers decided to pull the plug and not just have them start a relationship, but jump straight to living together, buying a house, and having a baby.
And it worked.
I should have trusted the writers and actors, they have such a great grasp of their characters that whatever situation they are in, they still behave consistently. So even though they’re now dealing with a new relationship and pregnancy, neither character really changes, they just grow. Brennan remained apparently emotionally removed, preferring analysis and verifiable evidence over instinct and feelings, but she was given more opportunities to show that she does care about people. Booth meanwhile was adorably protective without being overbearing or controlling – he never tries to change Brennan, he just gives her a nudge occasionally.
With a reduced episode count (due to Emily Deschanel’s actual pregnancy) and the not unwelcome focus on Booth and Brennan’s relationship and eventual baby arrival, there wasn’t really a great deal of time left for any other characters or plots, which is a bit of a shame. The regular cases were unremarkable and continued to be rather emotionally removed (see my season 6 review) . The recurring villain of the all powerful geek was a little tired and didn’t really feel like it fit with this show particularly well.
All the other supporting characters continued much of a muchness, Hodgins and Angela are fun and interesting as new parents, but got very little to do. Cam remains a bit preachy and Sweets got a bit over-the-top about being a field agent for a while but settles down again. The ever rotating group of interns continue to provide some variation, but could do with finally developing a bit more (and I’m not sold on Finn the new one yet). Tina Majorino was an interesting occasional addition, it’s nice to see some new people for Booth to play with too.
Booth and Brennan’s relationship was a shot of adrenalin for the show; where I thought it would damage my enjoyment it’s actually really increased it. It feels a bit petulant to be complaining that the other elements of the show haven’t taken a similar step forward and ‘just’ remain dependably ok, but I worry that without progress there season 8 is going to struggle to match the excitement and interest that made season 7 really stand out.