The fifth season of Bones continues the formula of forensic investigation and very dark humour that has served it well so far. The true strength of the series is in the characters, particularly the relationship between FBI agent Booth (David Boreanaz) and forensic anthropologist Brennan (Emily Deschanel), and this season seems a little unsure as it moves to confront the tension at the heart of its central relationship.
The excellent Season 4 had ended with a dream-episode as Booth underwent brain surgery. The new series picks up some time later with him coming back to duty, but still haunted by his dream-relationship with Brennan. Bones is always episodic, but often with some common storyline running through - previous seasons have included the mystery of Brennan's family, serial killer Gormogen, and kidnapper The Gravedigger. This season lacks any external thread to follow, but instead slowly makes its way towards resolving the longstanding romantic tension between Brennan and Booth. This leaves the individual episodes feeling a bit flat, and the show seems to have felt the need to be a little gimmicky, such as for "The X in the File" with X-files-style music popping up at every opportunity.
This season include the 100th episode, which treats us to a look back at the very start of Booth and Brennan's relationship. It's a very well-played and interesting episode, directed by Boreanaz himself, and can be considered the centrepiece of the season.
Each individual episode is generally good, and there are a couple of gems, but overall the season lacks a bit of life. If you're already a fan of earlier Bones you will enjoy this season too.