It was a triumphant return for "Tony and Roxy" in last night's Bones episode, which transitioned from a premiere replete with concern for Booth and Brennan's love, to a more case-centric hour with a major problem for Cam popping up in the interim. "The Cheat in the Retreat," while moving forward with the natural flow of a typical Bones season, still finds time to add some nice little moments where Temperance and Seeley's current issues are discussed.
Here's the breakdown - spoilers to follow, sweeties.
Tony and Roxy go on retreat: As undercover episodes go, this was an effective one which didn't dwell too much on the silly, though of course a little fake spirit-calling and sumo wrestler obstacle course fun were on tap. I like my undercover Bones episodes to include light slapstick like this, rather than going off on crazy tangents of wackiness (a la the circus episode from Season 4 - cringe!).
"The Cheat in the Retreat" allowed Brennan to enjoy her precarious performance as Roxy while cleverly solving the case and working on her relationship with Booth as well - she's a busy lady! Having a marriage retreat as the destination seems a bit bittersweetly convenient as a plotline, but it subtly underscored the problem of their broken engagement without being melodramatic. Several scenes showed the impeccable teamwork that characterizes Booth and Brennan's personal and professional bond, especially the obstacle course.
The murder mystery was enjoyably twisty, unfurling into an unexpectedly merry confession from a pair of charming thieves (and it didn't hurt that one of them was Cliff from Cheers). Their joviality, while somewhat absurd, was a refreshing and funny change from the usual "last interrogation scene" of the show. It's cool that Booth and Brennan were able to take a positive lesson from observing the Schumachers' relationship, despite having to arrest the two for killing a fellow retreat-goer.
One odd moment in the case-solving came when a suspect's real last name was revealed as "Goodman." None of the characters seemed to pause instinctively to remember poor Dr. Goodman and his three month sabbatical that never ended. I had to chuckle.
Along the way, Booth and Brennan mainly enjoyed their "marital" retreat, proving that they can still enjoy themselves - and reconnect in a romantic bedroom scene to close out the episode - despite the weight of Booth's secret. Since we know the wedding will happen this season, it will be fascinating to see when, and under what circumstances, Brennan learns of Booth's reasons for breaking their engagement.
Cam's got trouble. Am I the only one who suspected Pelant of being behind the credit card fraud disaster that hit Dr. Saroyan this week? We all know that he loves systematically destroying the lives of the Jeffersonian crew, so it's a little weird that no one brought this up as a possibility. It's certainly an odd coincidence, since Hodgins recently lost his personal fortune as well. While this subplot allowed for some sweet interactions between Cam and Arastoo, her inability (at first) to accept help from her affectionate coworkers was a tad grating.
At least this circumstance allowed Angela to show her pleasant side again. I suspect the writers are putting in little scenes like the heart-to-heart with Cam and the diner chat with Sweets to try and balance out how terrible Angela's being to Booth. Foolishly. For no good reason. And it's getting old. I can't blame Booth for being happy to see Brennan's bestie leave their house.
Sweets' career crisis: Doesn't it seem like he's always going through some kind of painful transition? Poor guy. Now Pelant's use of Sweets' own psychoanalytic work for nefarious purposes last season has left our resident shrink feeling unsure of his own talent and ability to work well. While it played out a bit simplistically in this episode, I'm intrigued to see where the writers are going with Sweets' temporary departure from the FBI. At any rate, it's usually amusing to see how Lance spends his down time, so here's hoping we get to see some of that. Hopefully in a context that involves Booth mocking him, and/or Hodgins as wingman.
What did you think of "The Cheat in the Retreat"? Share your thoughts in the comments!