Bones
It was a very bizarre Christmas at the Jeffersonian. The squint squad was trapped inside the facility because of some scary disease, or as Booth said, "Nothing brings people together like a Christmas lung fungus." But the biggest surprise didn't come wrapped with a bow. In a euphoric drugged state, Booth admitted that he had a 4-year-old son and that the kid's mom had refused to marry him. He seemed devastated by Bones' insensitive speech about unwed parents. But then he was charmed at finally getting to be the cool dad with Zack's wacky robot. I knew he was a big softie. And Bones didn't know she was being harsh with all her "Christmas killer" conversations and babbling on and on about meaningless presents and the Christmas myth  it's just that she lost her parents right before the holidays. I even got a little choked up when she had to watch everyone else reunite with their families and she was all alone. And even though Angela doesn't want to talk about the fact that her oh-so-familiar dad is the front man for ZZ Top, it is still pretty darn cool. And Angela was so into sharing the holiday spirit that she was even willing to kiss Bones under the mistletoe, in a "festive nonlesbian way." I just love the snappy dialogue and great references  especially because they fly right over Bones' head. Tonight there was a Star Wars mention, the Grinch and

Firefly. But the biggest holiday gift that this show gave me was having Mr. Boreanaz in his boxers and then having him do chin-ups. Nice!   Angel Cohn

House
Looks like Cynthia Nixon has been trolling the medical procedurals for work since Sex and the City shut down. A stint on ER earlier this year had her playing a stroke victim and now on House she collapses at an off-track-betting establishment, much to the good doctor's dismay. It's all good though, since it's given her a chance to hone her seizure craft. Like any good addict, we see that House has a thing for more than just painkillers. Watching his lackadaisical response to Anica flagellating on the floor while the ponies were running was almost as entertaining as watching House torment his new boss with his lackadaisical response to his work. "You're my bitch," House informs a well-dressed Foreman and shoves a long overdue pile of paperwork at him. Ah, the joys of management. Honestly, did anybody expect House to be a well-behaved employee when he's such a misbehaved boss? And check out Cameron walking the tightrope between the whiny why-didn't-Cuddy-choose-me girl and the strong-willed woman making herself heard to her truth-challenged Munchausen-suffering patient. Didja catch how Chase subtly called Cameron a ho and told her she'd never advance due to her dalliances with both himself and House? Ouch. So, back to House and his sinister interlude with Anica on the park bench. Leaving a patient having a seizure on the ground outside the hospital is a bit of an extreme way to prove your diagnosis, but House is a bit of a drama queen. Speaking of drama, I was actually relieved that there were no Stacy antics this week. The show really is completely different when it focuses on House's love life instead of on his work. I do feel bad that Foreman believed he had a chance at keeping House's job. Maybe if the show had been called Foreman instead....  Rhoda Charles


The Amazing Race: Family Edition
The Family Edition of the Amazing Race may actually have redeemed itself with its finale, which in my estimation was the most entertaining episode of the season.

Ted, the Christian taxi driver: He chauffeured the Weavers around Montreal (cleanest city ever). It's not as if the Weavers weren't in love with him already. They filled the cab with effusive iterations of their admiration: "Ted, you rock! You're the man." But to find that he shared their faith and also had a penchant for navigational prayer when he uttered, "I pray to God that this is the American Pavilion," had me pretty convinced that the divine had intervened and the race was theirs to lose. Turns out it was and they did.

Linda Weaver's pearl of wisdom: "Always take the left  the right is most common." Nonsensical, yes. Helpful, no. After enjoying phenomenal good luck during the leg, this syllogism was of no use at all to the Weavers in finding the entrance to the Olympic stadium. 'Twas the beginning of their end.

Editing faux pas? Is it me or were we twice treated to Phil's Montreal route-map exposition? Underground City, CDC yeah, yeah, I'd heard that once before.

Detours, roadblocks: Those Weavers trot Rolly out for every task, don't they, especially those involving effort or a degree of danger: Climbing the rigging, swinging on a trapeze or finding tickets in the stadium. They ought to thank god for him. That aside, the Cinderella's-shoe detour made me uncomfortable (too many bare feet in so few shoes) and no offense to my neighbors to the north, but curling is a weird sport.

Daisy Dukes: Does anyone else think Rebecca's and Rachel's shorts could have walked themselves across the finish line?

Geography: What a great idea to have teams assemble a giant jigsaw map of Central and North America as the final roadblock. Though I would have loved to see Linda apply her geography knowledge to this task, I wasn't disappointed with the nerve-racking turtle/hare face-off between Wally and Nick. The subsequent footrace to the finish line had me on my seat's edge all the way to the Linzes' win. Who knew that it would only take a million-dollar win to reveal the mature, respectful and thoughtful side to their nature?

Put the kids to bed: Next season's previews have my beloved race back on track with the regular two-person teams and, get this, a race around the world. Can't wait.  Rhoda Charles


Nip/Tuck
Definitely my least favorite episode ever. I was going to write "worst episode ever" until the ending redeemed things a bit for me. I liked that Julia decided not to abort Sean's baby and I liked that the rain washed away the paint Ariel (Brittany Snow) and Matt covered the nativity scene with. Hey I am aware that there are hateful people in this world, but I guess I don't like to be reminded of it. I mean, a girl tries bleaching her skin because she finds out that she's 1/16 African-American? A woman who appears as Mrs. Claus at the local mall goes in for lipo and finds out she has a dead fetus inside of her left over from 17 years earlier? And then her Santa-impersonating husband leaves her? What a pleasant holiday-themed episode. At least we found out that Julia never had sex with Quentin and that Matt finally felt guilty about dating a racist. Bring on next week, when we finally find out who the Carver is. FX certainly wants us to search for clues by airing a promo for its MySpace.com/TheCarver website. Frankly, I don't want any clues I want to be as shocked as they claim I will be in the final scene of next week's two-hour season finale. Carve away, baby. Dave Anderson