Stars: David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, Michaela Conlin, T.J. Thyne, Tamara Taylor, John Francis Daley, Michael Grant Terry
Writer: Karine Rosenthal
Director: David Boreanaz
Network: Fox, Thursdays @ 9 PM
Airdate: March 17, 2011
BONES often goes back and forth between humor and drama, crime-solving and personal issues, and relationship progress and reversals. In “The Blackout in the Blizzard,” which is almost a bottle episode – there is one scene in an alley – couples get a little closer while everybody has to figure out how to get things done in the middle of a blizzard-induced power outage.
While Booth (David Boreanaz) and Brennan (Emily Deschanel) are trapped in an old steel cage elevator in Booth’s apartment building, with Sweets (John Francis Daley) acting as a go-between with the outside world, Angela (Michaela Conlin), Hodgins (T.J. Thyne), Cam (Tamara Taylor) and “squntemp” Wendell (Michael Grant Terry) try to identify the remains of a murder victim. When it is determined the victim was carrying a highly contagious and often fatal disease and that she probably infected her killer, solving the case immediately becomes essential. But how to do all that lab work without the usual electronic tools? Meanwhile, expectant parents Angela and Hodgins also worry about the possibility that their unborn child may have a hereditary disease.
The heart of the episode is very much Brennan and Booth starting to work back towards one another, which is played with considerable warmth and expert timing by Deschanel and Boreanaz. Boreanaz also directed the episode, and does so deftly, neither overdoing the drama nor the slapstick, getting just the right tempo when Hodgins winds up sailing across the lab via a handmade harness and when Booth is trapped under an unconscious person.
As for Angela and Hodgins, the scenes between them feel effortlessly gentle and affectionate, written with wit and grace by Karine Rosenthal. Taylor and recurring guest Terry both do good jobs of putting emotion and opinion into roles that, in this episode, are simply there to move the plot along. This leaves Daley, who plays Sweets as a concerned if slightly clueless friend, which he does very adroitly. This would be fine if he wasn’t supposed to be a mental health professional who, once again in this episode, is saying and doing things that would get a real-life license revoked.
Due to the fact that nobody leaves the lab (or the elevator) to do any detective work, there is just a little more exposition than usual, but it’s all woven in so well with the humor and emotion that it never slows anything down. “The Blackout in the Blizzard” is a pleasingly nuanced and well-balanced episode that should satisfy fans and casual viewers alike.