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TV's best flashback episode? Nominees wanted!

bonesImage Credit: Greg Gayne/FoxIn honor of Bones flashing back to Booth and Brennan’s first case in its 100th episode (Fox, Thursday, 8 p.m. EST), we’re going to do a readers’ gallery — and poll — to name TV’s best flashback episode. Today, we need your nominations. Old show, new show, drama, comedy — as long as the episode was great, it’s eligible. The most persuasive arguments will make it into our gallery, which posts Thursday. Go!

More Bones 100th: Fun facts from the production team

'Bones' recap: Reading between the lines

Bones-Blue-LineImage Credit: Greg Gayne/FoxWhat is on page 187?! That will be a question the cast and crew of Bones will be asked at every fan-attended event from here on out. Could we actually publish the answer, I’d reach out to the writers myself. But alas, family website. So, we wait.

Two big storylines last night: In an opening that made me physically angry, Sweets watched a young man who battled leukemia for half his life (and just found out he’d beaten it) die in a freak subway accident after an earthquake broke a water main, flooded the tunnel, and caused a derailment. He’d told Sweets about all the exotic women he was going to sleep with in exotic places, and it got Sweets thinking about what he wanted out of life. The show did an excellent fakeout making us think it wasn’t girlfriend Daisy. He didn’t want her to comfort him, he didn’t return her calls. She became even more annoying in the lab, and Cam made Angela take the self-proclaimed sexual dynamo for a ride to find out what was bothering her. Daisy was convinced Lancelot was going to be the first man to break up with her. Cut to Sweets finally coming to her in the Bone room. Seeing her standing on the ladder was the first time it hit me that maybe he wasn’t going to crush her. He’d been deciding that he didn’t want to spend another minute apart from her. He knelt and proposed using his mother’s ring — which represented 60 years of love. I cheered. I’ll admit it. It could be because the idea of making a strange setting suddenly romantic with a ladder reminded me of Singin’ in the Rain, or because I can’t wait to see if Daisy tries to make Brennan, Cam, and Angela a part of the wedding party.

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'Bones' is back tonight!

BonesImage Credit: Greg Gayne/FoxBones returns tonight (Fox, 8 p.m. EST) with the first of eight straight new episodes. After seeing a young man die in a freak subway accident, Sweets thinks about what he wants out of life and makes a decision about his relationship with Daisy. Meanwhile, a writer from a Japanese magazine doing a piece on Brennan’s latest novel tails Tempe and Seeley (pictured), convinced that Agent Andy and Kathy are Booth and Brennan. The big reveal of that plotline: Brennan’s process for writing sex scenes. (Sadly, however, not a full description of that sex act on p. 187.) Watch two clips after the jump, then tell me: Is anyone else annoyed when they see a writer on TV conducting an interview without a tape recorder? It infuriates me. I can buy it when this writer is shadowing them in the field — it’s observational reporting. But when she finally sits down with Brennan in the episode, she still just takes notes. I get that it’s so Brennan could comment on what angle the writer is clearly interested in — which you can tell by when she starts scribbling —  but I doubt that a journalist, who has presumably come all the way from Japan for a story, would not tape the interview. Especially when her subject is such a stickler for accuracy.

Pop Culture Pet Peeve rant over.

P.S. While you’re programming your DVR, make sure it’s set to record next week’s David Boreanaz-directed 100th episode. With Sweets ready to publish his book on Booth and Brennan’s partnership — which theorizes that they’re in love and that the “sublimating energies of that connection” are what fuel their homicide investigations — they have to tell him the “first case” he based it on was incorrect. Flashback! We see their flirtatious beginnings, and build to a final few present-day moments that will blow your mind, even on rewind. At least that’s what I say when I review the episode in the new issue of EW and give it an A.

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'Bones' vs. 'Castle': Who wins in this week's Hulu face-off?

The best in show bracket breakdown on Hulu has entered its second week with a few surprises: Community beat Glee, Royal Pains spanked Grey’s Anatomy, and Chuck crushed Dollhouse. Which brings us to the most interesting face-off in round two: Bones vs. Castle. Fight!
On Bones, we have cheeky sublimated sexual chemistry:

And on Castle…we have cheeky sublimated sexual chemistry: READ FULL STORY

'Bones' recap: Brennan finally gets put in her place

Bones-Emily-davidImage Credit: Greg Gayne/Fox The episode “The Devil in the Details” was supposed to show us that for Brennan, her belief in science, in reason and consequences, is what she finds reassuring — just as Catholicism comforts Booth. It’s supposed to make us understand that she has faith in something, too, and that’s why she lashes out so vehemently at psychology, which is her equivalent to blasphemy. It worked. But for me, the best moment of the episode was still when Dr. Copeland (guest star Joshua Malina), head of the sanitarium where the horned-and-tailed murder victim was a patient, called her out on belittling his work. At this point, her putting down psychology to people who are (a) trying to help her do her job and (b) good at theirs has gotten so distasteful that it’s making her unlikable as a person. Props to Bones for casting an actor as good as Malina in that role. You believe he’d stand up to Brennan, calmly and articulately: “I spend every working hour of every day trying to help people who are living in hell. That’s an honorable way to spend a life, perhaps more honorable than figuring out what happened to dead people who are already beyond pain and suffering.” Brennan conceded that his intentions, however misguided, do count. But she only apologized for undervaluing his work after she saw him in action, drugging an agitated, delusional patient, Philip, who wanted the “special medicine” nurse/suspect Lloyd gave him and the victim. (Who knew heroin had medicinal purposes?) Anyway, better late than never, Brennan. Let’s hope this revelation carries over into future episodes, and she doesn’t regress. (Note: The next new episode of Bones airs April 1, so she does have time to forget her manners…)

My second favorite scene was when Hodgins did his experiment trying to measure the impact of nun-chuck strikes. People hitting themselves in the head with anything is always funny, but TJ Thyne sold his fall, his awe at seeing intern Arastoo’s mad skills (“What are you, some kind of Persian ninja?”), his crawl to the computer to see the results and rule out the nurse’s nun-chucks as the murder weapon, and his passing out. We’re gonna need to watch that again after the jump… READ FULL STORY

'Bones' recap: To love!

Raise your glasses, Bones fans. Temperance Brennan now believes in love. Or, at least Booth’s premise that love could come first between a recovering alcoholic and a former prostitute-turned-elementary school teacher, and then the chemical reaction. We’ll get to the case — a murdered gay dentist/football player — in a minute. Let’s talk about Brennan’s revelation first.

I’m not sure why the show insists upon making its point in such extreme ways — last week, that Brennan can value Booth’s feelings over the truth (about the lone gunman theory!); this week, that if you believe love conquers all, it means you don’t worry when your younger brother tells you he wants to marry a girl he’s known for a month who is also a former high-priced call girl. I don’t actually think it’s that awful that Booth ran a background check on Padme Dalaj (guest star Dilshad Vadsaria). I’d kinda love a background check on my dates, frankly. Should he have assumed that Padme and Jared hadn’t discussed her past? No. Apparently, that’s something you tell someone within the first month of meeting him. I’m not saying call girls don’t deserve a happily ever after. I’m just saying that you can’t blame someone for being concerned when things are moving that quickly. READ FULL STORY

'Bones' recap: Brennan puts Booth above the truth. Love it or hate it?

Could we have ourselves another Bones episode that will divide fans? Or am I the only one not sure how she feels about Brennan placing Booth’s sense of self and country above the truth about the JFK assassination? I can see why she halted her investigation prematurely, the development it’s supposed to show in her character, and the depth of feelings for Booth it reveals. And you could argue that she was never going to be able to say with 100 percent certainty that those were the bones of JFK with the time and testing limitations placed on her, so it wasn’t worth leaving Booth rattling in a state of limbo and doubt. But I think the odds that JFK’s scarlet fever would have resulted in an undiagnosed case of osteomyelitis — which Brennan said 1 in 100 people who had scarlet fever get — might be greater than those of there being a man with all the other tells JFK’s bones would have had having his head blown off in the same way, no? READ FULL STORY

'Bones' recap: The truth (about Angela and Wendell) is out there

Truth: I am not an X-Files fanatic, so aside from the show’s theme song being a ringtone and guest star Dean Haglund (X-Files‘ Richard ‘Ringo’ Langly) playing the murderer, you’re on your own to point out references. I am, however, a David Boreanaz fan, so I can tell you that Rocketship 7, which Booth mentioned in the diner/UFO Museum Research Center, was a children’s TV show hosted by his father. There, I’m not totally worthless! READ FULL STORY

'Bones' returns with 'X-Files' guest star, and viewer agita

After a month’s absence that either made the heart grow fonder or made you realize that you could live without it (which was it for you?), Bones returns tonight at 8 p.m. ET with a new episode titled “The X in the File.” Even though I’m not an X-Files fanatic, and I apologize if my recap tomorrow will suffer for it, I’m kinda shocked that it took Bones five seasons to get there — back in the pilot, Booth made the Mulder and Scully comparison. But back to 2010: Booth and Brennan (spoiler alert) travel to Nevada to investigate human remains (those of a local UFO fanatic) with extraterrestrial attributes. Dean Haglund, who played Richard ‘Ringo’ Langly on The X-Files and The Lone Gunmen, guests in the ep. Bonus: We also get Angela and Wendell coming clean about their relationship.

From the looks of this image, I think I’m going to like this colorful episode. But as someone who’s been burned by this show before, I’m always cautiously optimistic. Which is how I felt reading my colleague Michael Ausiello’s latest Bones scoop. I’m cool with Zack coming back for April 8’s 100th episode because we’re flashing back to the first case Booth and Brennan ever worked together. That’s not the problem. It’s exec producer Stephen Nathan telling Ausiello that after that episode, B&B will “reassess and reexamine their relationship” and “be going off on a different trajectory than we have been seeing this season,” and that “it’ll be much more interesting than just consummating the relationship. It’ll stir everyone up a lot more.” That sounds good to me — even if he were to mean that the duo would take a step back (it would give the sexual tension a jolt) — but after the third and fourth season finales, I’m not sure my “good” is the same as the producers’ “good.” Still, Emily Deschanel has assured Ausiello that the relationship changes in a “good way.” She also teased that we’ll be seeing an engagement and a wedding later this season — maybe not from the same characters…

Where do you stand on Bones now?

Photo credit: Greg Gayne/FOX

Your favorite 2009 holiday TV episode?

For me, it was a toss-up between The Office and Modern Family this year. The Dundler-Mifflin Christmas party was sort of like Halloween in that the outfits were so festive they could have counted as costumes. Stanley the mailman’s Christmas sweater was the best, though the Dunphys’ knit-based monstrosities on Modern Family, issued on high via webcam from half of Fred Willard’s face, were a bit louder. Don’t miss this holiday greetings e-card from 20th Century Fox, featuring two executives posing as a Modern Family married couple along with confessionals from the real MF cast.

There were follies aplenty at Parks and Recreation‘s Pawnee’s Winter Wonderland. Community attempted to engage in non-denominational holiday spirit with Dean Pelton’s Mr. Winter (“It ’tis the season!”) even though Shirley insisted everyone wear What Would Baby Jesus Do bracelets and attend her Christmas party. She’d get along well with former santa Michael Scott, who tried his hand at “healing leopards” as Jesus Christ. The Christmassy parts of 30 Rock mostly revolved around gift-giving…speaking of which, a very special holiday episode of Bones gave us the gift of shirtless Booth, not to mention Emily Deschanel’s sister Zooey as a guest star. Take it from Mandi: “Santa teeth and bones as shrapnel = kinda awesome.” Old Christine finally left her house to attend a holiday party hosted by Molly Shannon. The band Train and a Santa Claus popped up in CSI: NY, but the episode also featured Kim Kardashian so that one’s kind of a wash. I could be missing plenty of other Christmas episodes from scripted series — let me know what they were in the comments.

What’s been your favorite holiday episode, P-Dubs? And who destroys a Christmas tree better: Phil or Dwight?

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