The Best Bones Episode, According To IMDb

In genre television series fandom, there isn't a more reliable argument starter than "What is the best episode of X show?" Devotees of "Star Trek" The Original Series will fight to their dying breath defending the likes of "The City on the Edge of Forever," "The Enemy Within," and "Amok Time" (and, in whittling this list down, I've probably just infuriated fans of "The Devil in the Dark" or "Mirror Mirror"). As for the original "The Twilight Zone," it could be "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street," "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet," "To Serve Man," or just about any other episode because the series had very few duds. And then, of course, there's "Airwolf." Where to start with "Airwolf?" The winning move is not to start, because we'll never stop!

This topic becomes especially fraught when you're dealing with a long-running show like "Bones." Hart Hanson's amiable forensics procedural driven by the romantic chemistry between Emily Deschanel's brainy Temperance "Bones" Brennan and David Boreanaz's impulsive FBI Agent Seeley Booth ran for a remarkable 12 seasons. In the case of "Bones," while hardcore fans can make a case for late-in-the-run episodes, they tend to zero in on the first three seasons. "The Verdict in the Story," "The Man in the Fallout Shelter" and "Two Bodies in the Lab" traditionally rank fairly high, but most ... can we call them "Boners?" Most Boners are in agreement that there is a clear series peak. And what episode towers above them all?

The literally breathtaking introduction of a major Bones villain

You won't find a more combustible mix of tension and nervous laughs than in the season 2 classic "Aliens in a Spaceship" (a stone-cold fact backed up by the infallible IMDb)! For starters, this is the episode that introduces the infamous serial killer the Grave Digger, a nefarious villain whose true identity isn't revealed until season 5. Interestingly, the "Bones" writers initially intended to close out the Grave Digger story in this episode by fingering reporter Janine O'Connell as the murderer. Fortunately, they left the case open, because the subsequent Grave Digger tales were bangers.

But none of them come close to topping "Aliens in a Spaceship," in which we're introduced to the Grave Digger's penchant for burying their victims alive in capsules that resemble spaceships. The character's m.o. is highly reminiscent of the killer in George Sluizer's 1988 suspense classic "The Vanishing" (avoid the 1993 remake at all costs). In the "Bones" version, after discovering a capsule containing the bodies of twin boys, Brennan (Loren Dean), and entomologist Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) find themselves in the same predicament. There's a ticking clock excitement and fun gallows banter between the trapped duo, which, pardon the pun, encapsulates everything that fans love about "Bones."

And if you dare say otherwise, well, you're a real measly Boner.