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Bones Producers Talk Season 8, the 150th Episode and Beyond

"Bones" cast: TJ Thyne (left), Michaela Conlin, David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, John Francis Daley and Tamara Taylor

If the seventh season of Bones was its “honeymoon” phase, then the eighth season is all about tearing that comfort zone down.

When we left our favorite forensic anthropologist in the season finale, Bones (Emily Deschanel) was on the lam with her father and wanted for murder, taking her newborn child with her and leaving her partner and lover Booth (David Boreanaz) in the dust. Spinoff Online recently caught up with Bones executive producers Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan on a conference call, and the two teased it won’t take long for Bones and Booth to sort out their feelings.

It’s already been confirmed that the season premiere features the couple reuniting after three months, but it will still take a few more episodes for them to come to terms with Bones’ departure.

“We loved the idea that just because a decision is right and good and the most sensible, rational decision, that it’s still painful for people, and they have to get by that,” Hanson said. “Maybe it’s even tougher when no one was in the wrong. The second episode addresses that head on.”

Still, the reunion scene is going to be one for the books. Promo images have teased that Booth and Bones get a bit physical when they finally see one another again, and Hanson and Nathan said the scene actually was more intense than initially planned.

Emily Deschanel

“[Deschanel and Boreanaz] came and said, ‘Can we go a little farther with this?’ and so we upped, let’s say, the energy of them seeing each other again,” Hanson said. “It’s one of those things that you discuss at great length is how mad is Booth at Brennan? How anxious are they to see each other, and how does all of this manifest in one split second?”

By the end of the premiere episode, Bones will be reunited with the Jeffersonian team and will be able to return to work. But even with her name seemingly cleared after the death of Ethan Sawyer, the team isn’t going to be free of serial killer Christopher Pelant (Andrew Leeds) any time soon.

“He’s going to be around all season,” Nathan said. “He’ll come and go, but Hart and I both hate serial killers as a rule; but we loved this guy, and he’s just the most interesting multiple murderer that we’ve ever had on the show. He’s going to kind of color season eight a bit.”

He added, “No one is going to be able to rest easy in Season 8.”

And don’t think this season will be Bones’ last. Hanson confirmed that Boreanaz and Deschanel are in negotiations with Fox “through Season 9.” “We’re pretty confident that they’ll come to an agreement,” he said.

This season Bones will reach its landmark 150th episode, and Nathan and Hanson have teased they’re going to try something new for the milestone. Instead of being told from the perspective of the Jeffersonian team, it’s going to be told from the perspective of the episode’s victim. Cyndi Lauper will reprise her role as the psychic Avalon who “knows that the victim is watching” and is trying to help Booth, Bones and the rest of the team solve the murder. But, as Hanson said, the goal isn’t just to solve the murder because “the victim needs something else before he can move on.”

“It was very tricky to shoot, because it could be claustrophobic,” Hanson said. “We needed a very, very heart-tugging story so that the person who we are experiencing, whose death we are solving, is an actual character, and it’s a boy.”

David Boreanaz

Nathan added, “It’s a very unique episode, both how it’s shot, the tone of it, and it’s been a real challenge to put together and a challenge like that always kind of gives you the most satisfaction. Everybody has come together for this one. Not only it was a great script, it was beautifully directed. The actors were terrific, and now our visual-effects team is working on it, as well as the sound mixers. It’s really a very rich episode and should be unique for the 150th. Now, of course, now we’re planning the 300th.”

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Fans also have been excited to discover who Cam’s love interest will be this season. Hanson wouldn’t give much away about the character, but said the reveal would happen in the finale.

“It is not someone you won’t recognize. That’s about all we’re saying about it,” he said. “It’s not a brand new person. It’s someone that the fans will recognize, and if we’re good, they didn’t see it coming. If we’re not, they’ll see it coming.”

Hanson then promised the return of Ryan O’Neal as Bones’ father and Billy Gibbons as Angela’s father, and also teased that fans will get to meet more of Booth’s family. “We’re very interested in the back nine somewhere in meeting Booth’s mom and having Booth’s mom meet Brennan,” he said. “We haven’t figured out that story yet, but it’s in our bin.”

The No. 1 thing fans should take away from the eighth season of Bones is that it’s going “back to basics,” Nathan said.

“We’re probably focusing more on kind of trying to do great murders this season than we have in the past,” he said. “However, all of [the Jeffersonian team’s] personal lives have been altered by what happened with Brennen being gone, and with sort of the honeymoon period of our series being over. Now they have to deal with the realities of their relationships and their lives, as well as Pelant, as well as this kind of dark cloud that hangs over them. But it won’t be dealt with in every episode, but Pelant is not going away.”

Bones returns Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.


  • uatu13

    Bones is one of the worst damn shows of the last decade! How the hell is this show still around???

  • Skapunkboi19

     what do you not like about it? and if you don’t like it why did you even click on this article?

  • Orphan

    @uatu 13: obviously you’re threatened by strong female leads who initially couldn’t care less about where they do or don’t it in to a Man’s World.

  • Jimmy

    The stories are great and a great cast/characters—and why would you read this if you aren’t a fan?  You might as well as posted an amazon kindle ad like the “person” below you.

  • MKrotzer

    Obvious troll is obvious.

    That said, this show has great characterization and some brilliant twists and turns over the seasons. I’m still futilely hoping that at some point we’ll see Zach return from his prison stint as Gormagon’s “apprentice.”

  • Thalia

    Gotta be honest, I’ve not been a huge fan the last few seasons but the first two were pretty solid. Can’t stand the Sweets guy.

  • uatu13

    Sorry, not a troll, or whatever you sycophants tell
    yourselves so you can keep watching this trash.

    I actually liked this show for the first few seasons when it actually had
    stories and cared anything about forensic anthropology or science in general.
    Then, it just devolved into this half-ass, wacky,
    comedic mess that was just about the one-dimensional characters and teasing out
    whether or not Bones will sleep with agent Booth for like 80% of the show. If this
    show is what is classified as “good”, it’s a sad day for the actual original,
    creative shows out there. I’m just amazed that piles of crap like this can reach 150 episodes while actual shows like Firefly or Arrested Development struggle and fail.

  • Enaira Fontaine


    I’ve been watching Bones on and off over the years but I do
    have to say that last season captivated me and I was really surprised to see
    the way things ended. Now that this new season is getting started soon it’s
    nice to know that Bones and Booth will be back together. I’ve already got my
    Hopper set to record the show so if I miss anything I’ll be able to go back and
    watch. It will be interesting to see how all of these personal stories play out
    now that Bones is back and a lot of my Dish co-workers are wondering if her
    relationship with Booth will stay in one piece or if her departure created a
    rift. I know one thing for sure: I’m going to be watching to see what this
    awesome show is serving up this year.

  • Orphan

    Actually you made some pretty good points here.I think the producers which I understand includes the 2 leads needed to flesh out the characters.The emphasis on forensics may have lead them to avoid running out of forensic plotlines.Even with the growth in this particular field oddly enough.Like another poster above your comment said,and I agree, I can’t stand Sweets either and I think that character has been with the show far too long.Does anybody see a certain copycat approach to Sweets and Booth’s counseling sessions and Angel and the Demon Club owner in Season 2 of Angel? It’s often funny in both instances,but it was original only in Angel.I think the major problem with Firefly and Arrested Development is Fox’s ineptitude especially Firefly.Both shows should have been taken to other networks and quite frankly I think Fox entertainment should all be on FX.Fox continuing to style itself as a competitive broadcast network is just a joke as far as I’m concerned.Turn the whole thing over to Idol,WWE,and Nascar and be done with it.