The fifth season premiere of Bones [Fox, Thursdays, 8/7C] finds things a bit off kilter for Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan [Emily Deschanel] and FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth [David Boreanaz]. It’s six weeks since Booth has come out of his coma [see season four’s finale, The End in the Beginning] and he’s pretty certain he loves Bones – but then, he’s forgotten that he rebels against authority in subtle ways like wearing goofy socks and loud ties. Meanwhile, Bones has been introduced to professed psychic, Avalon Harmonia [Cyndi Lauper], who tells her that many bodies lie beneath a certain fountain.
When the human remains are found under the specified fountain, Avalon becomes a suspect – especially when it turns out that she has a connection to one of them. In the process of solving the murders, Bones and Booth follow information gained from the psychic, while steadfastly refusing to believe she’s actually what she says is – even after Angela [Michaela Conlon] and Sweets [John Francis Daley] have experiences that have them believing otherwise.
Harbingers in the Fountain is the kind of fast-paced mix of mystery and relationships that fans have come to know and love. The way that Bones and Booth don’t quite click after he is reinstated will probably cause a fair bit of fan response, but it makes sense that things would be a bit off kilter for Booth, since he still vividly remembers his dream life with her.
Cyndi Lauper does an excellent job of selling Avalon’s gift without erasing doubts about her being a suspect. It’s a fairly delicate performance and works precisely because Lauper plays Avalon in a low-key, matter of fact manner. Adding to the fun, Patricia Belcher returns as prosecutor Caroline Julian, who finds unexpected ways to help the investigation without being too overt about it.
The script, by series creator Hart Hanson, maintains the expected balance between gritty drama and screwball comedy and Ian Toynton’s direction makes the most of it. The result is an episode that shows its audience that its characters have grown in small ways – and become even more likable for that.
Final Grade: A-