“I believe you. Trust me. Listen, you know what, we’re gonna help you. You understand? You’ve served your time.”
We’ve all served 12 years together. Bones has proven itself to be the little show that could. While it has never been exactly a ratings superstar, the show pulled in quite a loyal fanbase that kept it on the air for a surprising 12-year run. There were few years the show didn’t finish on the bubble, and they were starting to wrap up everything last year in what was going to be the last. The characters actually went different ways but were brought back together for a shortened Season 12 encore. And that’s how you have to look at this final season of Bones. It’s a planned encore that should finally satisfy what has been a somewhat shrinking, albeit rabid, group of fans. Season 12 gets an appropriate 12 episodes that actually do not lead to the group splitting up this time. It is an explosive finale that certainly resets the world, but you’re not going to get to see how that reset looks. You’ll have to satisfy your final Bones jones with the release of the final season on DVD.
Dr. Temperance Brennan, or Bones, (Deschanel) is the world’s leading bone specialist. She works in Washington, D.C. for the famous Jeffersonian (I assume it’s intended to be the Smithsonian). Her talents have proven themselves very helpful in solving crimes where skeletal remains are all that there is to go on from the victim. Her FBI agent/liaison is Seeley Booth (Boreanaz). Together they had an uneasy relationship that grew into a kind of friendship and eventually a marriage with two young children. The problem is that Bones doesn’t have a ton of social skills. She relies on Booth to guide their social interactions. More on that later. The lab is run by Dr. Camille Saroyan (Taylor), who has become a bit of a guiding mother to the team. Dr. Hodges (Thyne) is the trace-elements expert and tries very hard to be cool and hip. He’s generally the opposite of Bones. He says pretty much what comes into his head and is a bit of a science-fiction geek. Hodges is now married to Angela (Conlin), an artist who uses her skills to reconstruct facial details from the skulls. She also works on enhancing images and restructuring evidence. She’s a bit of a romantic and has probably slept with every male in the lab before finally settling down after the early years of the show. The lab also has a few interns who show up from week to week, likely depending on actor availability. Then there is young and eager FBI Special Agent Aubrey, played by John Boyd. Aubrey talks like something out of a 1950’s gangster movie g-man role. He eats all the time. He also carries around the stigma that his father played by his real-life dad. Guy Boyd is a criminal wanted by the same FBI he serves.
There are a couple of bigger story threads in the final season episodes. One of the most important arcs involves the return of one of those rotating interns, Zack Addy, played by Eric Millegan. He’s been in a mental institution because of a murder he admitted committing. But he’s been breaking himself in and out and finally kidnaps Brennan to help prove he isn’t guilty. Hodges is particularly convinced and pushes very hard to prove Zack is not guilty. It creates some relationship tension when his findings are suspect because of his passion. The second story arc takes us back to Booth’s sniper days in the Middle East where he took out a war criminal at a birthday party for his young son. Now that son wants revenge and threatens Booth’s old unit and eventually his family.
The worst problem is the Bones character herself. She’s not likeable at all. She’s arrogant to a fault. She always talks about being the best and how she’s the natural hero role model for others. But her scientific brain is to the point of cruelty. She has to have non-emotional explanations for everything. She insults with impunity. They also stretch the idea that this highly-educated woman doesn’t know any slang or figures of speech. She’s always misquoting a popular saying as if she were just learning English. It’s too contrived, and the writers reach pretty far for each of those “jokes”. Gone now is the sexual tension between Booth and Brennan. It has made the relationship far less interesting. Too often in these last couple of seasons have they played the “someone wants to kill their family” card. It doesn’t make up for the more energetic dynamic that existed in the show’s original setup.
The writers and filmmakers always took pride in offering the most bizarre of crimes and victims. You can expect a gross body in each episode. There is also a good share of interesting cases to go with those bodies.
You get all 12 episodes on three discs. The only extra features are a retrospective and short gag reel. The show could always return as a film or one of Fox’s special events series. They’ve done that with at least four shows in recent years, and Bones might be a good candidate for that. “I advise you not to get your hopes up.”