Bones will wrap up its fifth season this Thursday, May 20 with an episode called “The Beginning in the End.” Fans of the show know creator Hart Hanson has no issue with controversial finales and are no doubt wondering what surprises are in store. Hanson, along with star Emily Deschanel (Temperance Brennan), spoke to the media about what to expect from this year’s season ender.
Hanson and Deschanel were a pleasure to interview, both because they are articulate about their views on the show and because they clearly enjoy each other’s sense of humour—the interview was laced with their banter as they teased information about the finale while trying not to reveal too much. Unsurprisingly, the first question centered on how the finale will impact Booth’s (David Boreanaz) and Brennan’s relationship.
Hanson answered, “We had an interesting dilemma this year. We sort of had two big finale type shows this year, because we wanted the 100th episode to ring on the Booth and Brennan relationship. And then, lo and behold, the season finale has to live up to that or at least be as interesting we hope as the 100th. And I think we were fairly successful in getting an interesting episode out of our 100th episode. So I guess (Emily, you have to interrupt me if I start to blab too much) I think our season ender in its own way has as much impact on the future of the show as the 100th episode did. Was that oblique enough?”
Given that the last two finales of Bones had controversial elements that divided fans (two years ago Zack was revealed to be Gormagon’s apprentice and last year the finale was a coma-induced dream), Hanson is no stranger to fan feedback. He said, “We definitely hear from our fans. I've talked to a few other show runners and I think we have the noisiest, most involved fans, if my experience is any indication. They certainly do not shy away from commenting. I don't know how everyone else feels, but I see that as a very, very positive thing, even when I'm getting hollered at.”
Hanson said he expects to hear from the fans again this year, noting, “This is what we do. We try to keep everyone interested and a season finale is a very good place and the natural place to change the direction of a series, and the 5th season, you got to do that. Yes, I think there will be some, I hope there will be some noise about it, otherwise we'll just go gently into that good night, which would be a shame.”
Deschanel chimed in to clarify this season’s finale will definitely not be set in an alternate reality. She added, “But may I just say that it is very different from last season's finale, as this episode is very much a Bones episode, whereas that episode took place in an alternate reality.”
The actress was asked how she sees Brennan’s evolution over the course of the show. She responded, “I think that you've seen through the seasons Brennan opening up a lot more. She's definitely had a hard time socially with people and knowing what to say and to be sensitive to other people’s feelings and where they're coming from. I think that's one reason why she chose science as a field and I think she's put up a lot of walls because of being abandoned as a child, and what she went through believing their parents were dead or missing, as well as her brother leaving her. I think that the walls are starting to come down."
"And you'll even see, at the end of the season, her questioning her field, solving murders. It's a pretty huge thing that she's even thinking about that, because I think it's something that she's chosen to escape into. I think it's mainly from her relationship with Booth, who has opened her up and encouraged her to be more sociable, have a – I guess – a higher social intelligence … [It] is fun to discover this character learning how to interact with people and I think she's gotten better. She's still the same person, she still has difficulty, but she's making improvements for sure.”
Brennan’s team has also been evolving, with Angela (Michaela Conlin) and Hodgins (TJ Thyne) getting married in “The Witch In The Wardrobe.” Hanson explained, “We'd already done them getting married in a season finale. And I thought, let's just pop it in when no one's expecting it, that these two will get back together. The scene where they talk about how they broke up has existed since they broke up. It wasn't in a jail cell, I didn't know where it would happen, but that scene has existed and has been written for a long time where they realized how they let each other go. And it just felt like the right time to get them back together. I do sometimes think of the Hodgela, the Hodgins/Angela relationship as a— like a steam valve. It lets off some pressure, but it's not small beer. It's its own story and we wanted to go into season six … with them married. That'll be fun.”
Angela’s father (Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top) will make a guest appearance in the finale. Asked how Gibbons’ involvement in the show came about, Hanson replied, “I always knew that Angela Montenegro was not Angela's real name, and I always knew that she had a rock star dad. Because it's just funny to me that the guys I idolized as a kid are all now grandfathers … I didn't know who it would be. And when you start going through the list of rock stars who are instantly recognizable … it's a very, very small group of people."
"I made a list of about five people who I wouldn't have to explain who they were. Now, not everybody knows Billy Gibbons' name, but they would call him ZZ Top with that beard — and he responded. He was on that very short list and he responded. This man was Jimi Hendrix's favorite guitar player when he was 19 years old. He's an amazing, amazing person. So I selfishly used the fact that I had a TV series to meet one of my idols, and then he turned out to be a really interesting actor. It's still to me one of the great thrills of the show to have Billy Gibbons appear from time-to-time on our show when he's not touring the world being a huge rock star.”
The show runner hedged when asked whether Brennan and Booth will be together in Washington, DC next season. He answered, "We will not start season six without Booth and Brennan working together. I'm not willing to say that they'll be in D.C., [and] I'm not willing to say they won't be."
Despite his unwillingness to give spoilers for next season, Hanson does have a sense where he’s steering the show. He explained, "I have a group of scenes written on my computer that are the end of Bones. Whether or not those actually become the end of Bones, I don't know. They've lasted so far from the second season. But a TV series is very, very organic, it goes where it wants to go, you can just kind of steer it, and give it nudges. There's so many things involved in it, but I do know the ending of Bones."
The ending of the series is nowhere in sight yet, but tune in this Thursday, May 20 at 8:00 PM (ET/PT) to catch the season finale, “The Beginning in the End.”