This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Bones, including last night's Season 8 finale, episode 24, “The Secret in the Siege."
Bones super-villain Pelant has really done it this time. Sure, he’s used the powers of the interweb for evil more times than most people can count and generally played cat and mouse with the entire staff of the Jeffersonian, but interfere with Booth and Bones’s romance? Oh, no, he didn’t…except that he did.
The episode opens with the Booth/Bones banter we’ve come to love. She didn’t buy him jerky and there’s good-natured quibbling, as well as mail from Booth’s newlywed mom, which of course turns to talk of marriage. Bones insists that going all gooey over Mama Booth’s honeymoon pictures and a culturally inappropriate statue doesn’t mean she’s changed her mind about marriage. Isn’t it enough that she loves Booth? Do they need anything else?
We’ve heard this song before, but here’s where things get real. Pelant gets personal, his latest victim Booth’s first partner, which is far too close to home for Bones. She does the only logical thing; she buys Booth the jerky he wanted, because jerky makes him happy, and she wants him to be happy. As Booth and astute viewers can guess, this isn’t about the jerky.
Bones spills her socially awkward, unguarded guts as only she can. Booth should have what makes him happy, and being married would make him happy. Will he marry her? Booth asks if she’s serious, and Bones’s answer is most certainly romance novel-worthy:
“I’ve been afraid. I’ve been stubborn. I’ve been in love. I love you and I want you to be my husband. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
Of course, Booth accepts, and seals the deal with a kiss. Then things go all creepy when we see Pelant has been watching the newly betrothed pair by remote.
Cut to Booth and Bones cluing in the rest of the gang. Bones confesses she used simple, evidence-based logic. She could never find a better man to spend her life with. She's happy and thought this should be recorded for the world to know. It’s Sweets, however, who points out that Pelant is not going to like being replaced as the most important thing in Booth and Bones’s lives, and will do something to restore the balance.
That something comes all too soon. After Booth and Bones rush to the rescue of Sweets, Pelant’s real target, racing through gridlocked traffic to come together in a fierce embrace, it looks like our heroes have a straight shot to wedded bliss. A short time later, Booth and Bones share a family moment with baby Christine in a peaceful park setting, the whole family glowing with bliss. Booth asks Bones if she wants “a weird tribal wedding,” but she’s fine with a Catholic ceremony because, although she’s an atheist, what makes Booth happy, makes her happy.
Any savvy viewer knows things can’t be that easy. Booth’s phone rings, and though he pretends he’s talking to his mother, it’s really Pelant on the other end. If Booth doesn’t break the engagement, without telling Bones why, Pelant will kill five innocent people. This is the very picture of an impossible choice for Booth, and later that night, the weight of responsibility nearly crushes him.
Once again at home, Bones is all full of wedding talk, but Booth wants to talk. Maybe, he says, they shouldn’t do this wedding thing. He should have thought this through before.
The look on Bones’ face tells Booth—and viewers—that Pelant has, at last, hit him where it hurts the most. She thought marriage was what he wanted. She loves him. She wants to marry him. Maybe, she says, grasping at straws with all of her broken, tender heart, Booth has finally come around to her way of looking at things, that what they have is more than a piece of paper. Booth asks if she’s okay, and she says she is, but he knows her better than that, and can only watch Bones as she heads upstairs, alone, struggling to hold back her tears.
Knowing Booth as we do, he couldn’t have lived with himself if he’d made any other choice, but watching Bones’s entire world crash down around her yet again is still powerful stuff. This is going to be a long, angsty summer for Booth/Bones shippers, but if Bones remains true to its romantic core, Booth and Bones can’t be over yet. Can true love conquer even this super villain? Only season nine will tell.
Anna C. Bowling considers writing historical romance the best way to travel through time and make the voices in her head pay rent. She welcomes visitors to her blog, Typing with Wet Nails and to follow her at Twitter.