Twelve Thoughts for Twelve Episodes of a Twelfth Season

So.

In just over twenty-four hours, we’ll hear, ‘Previously on Bones…’ and will be off to the races for the final season of the show. I’ve been trying to come up with a sensible way of processing that, and mostly failing.  So here are twelve completely random, mostly stream-of-consciousness thoughts about the season twelve:

1. The word of the moment, for months now, has been ‘conflicted.’ The Brennan-part of my brain keeps saying, ‘Look. Twelve seasons. Twelve. That’s a freaking long time for a TV show,’ while the Booth-part of my heart is saying, ‘What? Wait! No, I’m not ready!’ (Yeah, okay, Brennan probably wouldn’t say ‘freaking’ but she would point out that we’ve received far more than we might reasonably have ever expected. You know she would.)

2. Try this one on for size: by the time we hear ‘what’s that mean?’ for the last time, we will have seen 246 episodes, enough that if you watched one episode a week, without any breaks, it would take you well over four years to go back through the series.

3. We not only got to see our ship together and married, seventy-four of those episodes came after this:

wedding_next

“So what do you think happens now?”
“Everything that happens next.”

Seventy-four stories about what happened next. That’s mind-boggling. I remember taking Hart’s word for it when he promised the show wouldn’t end with the wedding, that there would be at least a few eps after that, but…seventy-freaking-four. (I lied. Apparently the word of the day is ‘freaking.’)

4. Am I going to miss the show? Damned straight I am. The characters are real people to me, and however fortunate I know we are to have gotten so many stories from their lives, I’m going to miss them. I’m also going to miss the fandom – not the trolls, no, but being part of something like this fandom? It’s pretty special. Our, um, lunacy passionate loyalty has made us the envy of other showrunners.

5. Am I worried about the friendships I’ve made fading once the show’s over? Not the truly important ones. Fandom friendships are like anything else – if you only have that one thing in common, then when it ends, you drift apart. But if the fandom was just a jumping off point for how you found your tribe, and you no longer think first of the show when you think about them, they’ll remain your people.  (I know this because some of my closest friendships grew out of the Stargate: SG-1 fandom. That show ended in 2007.)

6. One thing I’m not going to do is let my feelings about this being the end of Bones affect my enjoyment of these final twelve stories. That makes no sense to me at all. The writers, cast, and crew have worked so hard to bring us the best possible season, it would be a disservice to all of them if my focus is only on what it means for the show to be ending rather than what they’re giving us this season. (I don’t promise not to wobble some on this one as we get closer to the end.)

7. Similarly, I’m not going to focus on specific things I want to see in these next twelve episodes. People (including some entertainment sites that I think should know better) have been asking for a while now, ‘what do you want from the last season of Bones?’ That way lies madness to me.  The more specific we are in what we want to see, the less latitude the writers have to tell the kinds of stories that we fell in love with in the first place.

8. I was going to make this a list of what I do hope to see, but I already did that, at the beginning of S11.  It’s a pretty good list, so I’m not going to repeat myself. Spoiler alert: I want the show to continue to be the show.

9. One thing that made me giddy when I re-read that list was my comment about excusing the producers for things I’d like to see but which I didn’t view as being in their power, such as Stephen Fry returning.  But he’s coming back, guys. The busiest man in show business is returning to the show.  That wins the entire season for me, right there.

10. Related: the more they’ve talked about their plans for the season, the clearer it’s become that they’re trying really, really hard to give us a season that will satisfy the fans. The immediate problem there is that we don’t all want the same things.  We don’t all watch for the same reasons, and yet, they’re trying to find ways to make the final season good for everyone.  Let’s cut them some slack, huh?

Honestly, I didn’t care whether Zack came back or not, but I respect that many fans did, and thus choose to look at that story line with appreciation for what it means: the writers are trying to tell stories for everyone who enjoys the show, not just me.  Whether I needed to see it or not, I’m grateful that they’re making the effort. We don’t get to control the stories, and wouldn’t enjoy them if we did. But it’s clear that we matter to showrunners, and that touches me.

11. Related, part two: No, Brennan’s not going to cheat on Booth with Sully. (Really not going to miss the trolls.)

12. What about those teases that this might not be the end of the show, that it could be revived at some point?  The thought makes my eyes light up, and why not? Bones is a character-driven procedural, and as long as there are murders to investigate and stories to tell about the characters, I don’t see why it couldn’t happen.  Part of why the show’s made it to twelve seasons is because it’s an ensemble of complex characters, so yes, I think there are more stories there.  We live in an age of reboots and revivals, after all.

Still, am I going to watch these twelve episodes focused on that? No. I’m going to assume the end is the end because to do otherwise strikes me as disservice to what they’ve tried to do this season.

But we’ll see what happens next. After all, the show already ‘ended’ once (Season 10’s The Next in the Last), and then came back for two more seasons.

Finally…dear Michael, Jonathan, Stephen, Hart, Kathy, David, Emily, TJ, Michaela, Tamara, John, and every single other person who works on the show: thank you for the years of joy, hope, and love.

Twelve more stories, guys. I can’t wait.

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10 thoughts on “Twelve Thoughts for Twelve Episodes of a Twelfth Season

  1. Yes to all of this. I might feel a little pang at the end of each episode that there is now one less episode to experience for the first time (now that we have the finite number of episodes to view), but I’m determined that will not reduce my enjoyment of experiences each of those episodes.

    I have faith that everyone associated with the show really is determined to make this final season something to treasure.

  2. I could care less if Brennan cheats with Sully.Peterson came in season 4 and should have watched the Sully episodes and he would have discovered that Sully is irrelevant to the story,he was nothing but a one month fling 10 years ago and abandoned Brennan because she wouldn’t do what he wanted and now he shows up wanting her back,all it is is drama for drama’s sake.Of course they would want a revival because none of them will ever have the success of Bones again,they will miss their money maker.Booth and Brennan have to be the coldest couple on TV.

    • Hey, everyone has an opinion. (But you know, I saw the exact same opinion, with identical phrasing, on a different website. Someone might be plagiarizing you.)

      • It’s funny because I read a lot of comments and I noticed that people don’t care how much Booth and Brennan hurt each other as long as they’re together at the end.The first episode answered the puppeteer question and the next two look a little light hearted and then episode 4 everything goes downhill and Gordon Gordon doesn’t show up til episode 9 so I hate that Booth and Brennan will be at odds for half the season not to mention what this must do to the kids and then you have Sully show up out of the blue and Brennan is “emotionally unstable” and he tries to exploit that.Even if Brennan does something with him,it doesn’t matter as long as they’re together at the end.Right?

      • I think you and I have very different views of what story is in general, the characters of Booth and Brennan, their relationship, and possibly a few other things.

        I’m not saying you’re wrong, btw. You see what you see. But it’s not what I see, and I’m not particularly interested in seeing things that way because I consistently enjoy the show, and why would I want to change that?

        If I felt like they showed them hurting each other maliciously and repeatedly just to do so, the show wouldn’t appeal to me. Rather, what I see are two very different people in a difficult job who love each other very much. That combination (different people/difficult job/deep love) leads to challenges for them to work through, which is where I see how that love triumphs over what life throws at them.

        Not the same thing to me as saying it doesn’t matter how much they hurt each other. (It’s also possible that you consider hurtful things that I do not. Yes, they have both hurt each other, but I don’t see it as being nearly as common as it sounds like you do.)

        It terms of this season, I also seem to have a wholly different view of both the spoilers and the showrunners than you.

        Spoilers always sound worse than they end up being. For at least five years now, I’ve seen people reacting to spoilers that sound worse than they are, and it’s almost never as bad as they think it will be. For example…I don’t have time tonight to hunt up the exact quote, but a pre-S9 spoiler suggested that Brennan might never really recover from Booth breaking their engagement at the end of S8.

        And here, I don’t think the spoilers have even sounded that dire, particularly. In the interview with TV Insider, Peterson described it in part as their relationship being tested ‘a little bit,’ further noting that the ep Sully returns in is written by Karine Rosenthal, who’s written a number of fan favorite eps (including B&B’s wedding.)

        Repeatedly, they’ve also said this season is for the fans. There’s simply no way that Brennan having an affair fits into that (even leaving aside what it would be saying about her character.)

        (And that’s not even all the reasons I could list for why an affair won’t happen.)

        Again, I’m not trying to change your mind, particularly. You see what you see, and interpret things how you will. I’m just noting some of why I view things the way I do – both about the show and how I’ve repeatedly seen spoilers play out over the years. (And not only on Bones. The point of spoilers isn’t to tell fans what’s going to happen, it’s to get people to watch, and thus deliberately builds up problems and story tension.)

  3. Thanks rynogeny it! It’s been quite,a ride.
    I’m going to savor each episode like the last bite of a delicious lobster tail, and enjoy my collection of DVD’ s (got 11s today, and future 12)

  4. Thanks rynogeny! It’s been quite,a ride.
    I’m going to savor each episode like the last bite of a delicious lobster tail, and enjoy my collection of DVD’ s (got 11s today, and future 12)

    • I keep thinking of eps I’ve not seen in a while. I expect in about…13 weeks, I’ll be rewatching them. (That’s what I do with book series when they’re over, at least!)

  5. I will be sad to see the end. I have rewatched them so much between seasons, that I had forgotten the fresh joy of new episodes until season 12 quickly reminded me. Yet to the nerdy math side of me, ending after 12 seasons just “feels right.” First, I just like the number 12 better than 11 or 13. It sounds more whole. But more importantly, almost exactly half of the 246 episodes come after Blackout in the Blizzard (episode 122). The series feels balanced around the point when they consciously decide to pursue a lasting, intimate relationship. Ending here seems to underscore the equal importance of both the chasing era and the together era.

    That said, if they did a reboot, I’d definitely watch. I also think it would be fun if they did a victory lap in ~20 years at Booth’s retirement, thereby allowing us to see more of those “30, 40, or 50 years.”

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