After seven years on the air, it’d be tough for any series to find a new beginning. And yet, “Bones” managed that feat quite literally this year with the arrival of Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Booth’s (David Boreanaz) baby. The birth was the highlight of a season shortened due to Deschanel’s real-life pregnancy.
Despite the shortage of episodes this year, though, there’s plenty of “Bones” yet to go. Not only are four additional episodes that may air during the summer, Fox has already renewed the series for a Season 8.
Says executive producer Hart Hanson, “Because of that early pick-up, we knew we could do an action-packed cliffhanger finale (which airs May 14).” Adds fellow exec producer Stephen Nathan, “This gives us an opportunity to go in a new direction. We didn’t want to be complacent. So this year, there was a baby. And next year, we’ll pick up Booth and Brennan in situations we never thought we’d put them in.” He won’t share what those might be, but both producers did offer a little insight into what fans can expect before this season ends.
Take us inside your approach to the finale, and what you wanted to accomplish.
Nathan: We definitely got to where we wanted to be. We knew going in that we were only doing 13 episodes so we had a clear trajectory to the end of the season, especially with the serial killer storyline we get to. We had more fun with him and will continue to have more next year. It gets more and more complicated.
Hanson: We have a serial killer who is very adept, and strikes close to home. And it was important to find the right director for this one. We needed somebody who was enthusiastic and engaged. And so far, so good, David Boreanaz. We wanted him to direct two episodes this year but because the season was shortened, he only got one.
Nathan: We also had the chance to add a new character in the episode that precedes the finale, who might be a recurring character. Booth gets stuck behind a desk for various reasons, so a new FBI agent played by Danielle Panabaker has to investigate the case. And Reed Diamond will also be a guest star.
Hanson: He’s another special agent that booth has to contend with. He comes in when a serial killer case turns out to be bigger than it appears. And if he survives, we’d love to have him back again too.
Catch Up on the Latest Episode of “Bones”:
Did anything disappoint you about this season? Anything you wish you could have done, but didn’t have the time, forethought or resources?
Hanson: We did have to remove some storylines because of the shortened season. There just wasn’t as much time as we usually have. Then we got four more episodes but those had to exist outside of the other arcs of the series. Not to worry, though. None of the stories we originally thought of for this season will go to waste. And I suppose we could have done one more undercover episode. People love those, but we ran out of real estate.
Nathan: We also wanted to do some episodes very stylistically. We thought of doing a film noir, but “Fringe” already did that.
What should fans look forward to next season? And if you haven’t gotten that far yet…what would your dream season be?
Nathan: Next year, we want to just keep doing episodes that surprise us. We’re not complacent, trust me.
Hanson: We wont recycle any stories. We’ll keep putting characters in new situations.
Nathan: Of the new characters, we don’t know at this point who is going to stick around. The new FBI agent will make an appearance, but we don’t know how long she’ll be with us.
What were the high points of the season?
Nathan: Having the baby was a huge high point.
Hanson: We were happy with how it went, and I think America was too.
Nathan: Also, the relationship between Booth and Brennan is better than it has ever been. There was always the potential for the show to go wrong with that, but I don’t think we did. And at the end of last season, we knew we couldn’t do the “will they or won’t they?” thing anymore.
Hanson: We talked for five years about what people refer to as the “Moonlighting” curse. What happens when two people you want to see get together actually get together? They’re so much in love, but do you even want to have dinner with people like that? When Emily fortuitously told us she was going to have a baby, and we’re not a show where you can hid a pregnancy, we didn’t have to go through that disgusting middle period (of a relationship) that people think they want to see but they’re wrong. Now, this is a couple that has a baby and they share a large swath of their lives together, but not the whole thing. There’s not that sexual tension anymore, so we had to work on how it would be different.
Do you have a favorite episode, line, or scene from this season? If so – what?
Hanson: We’ve been looking for a way to do a “Bones” episode about 9/11, where it’s part of a case, and that’s in one of the extra four episodes. I don’t know when it’ll air but I love that one. And there’s the episode where on of Brennan’s books gets made into a movie, so they come to the Fox lot, where it’s being filmed. We redressed all the sets for the Hollywood version of her life.
Nathan: It’s the Michael Bay version of her life. It’s the next to last episode of the season and a real high point.
Hanson: One of my favorite moments was Brennan coming into this horrible old house he had found and seeing what a great home it could be for the two of them. I loved that moment and I sort of sums them up. If would have been another direction to go entirely if she had said, “No, I don’t like this place.” It was really, really kind of a nice moment.
Nathan: There is one perverse line we had this year that I love, because I knew it would never appear on television otherwise. It was in the episode where economic cutbacks were happening and they wanted Hudgins to give back some fancy machinery, and he says, “Don’t you just hate the neo-classicists?”
The Season Finale of “Bones” airs Monday, May 14 at 8/7c on Fox.