Bones fans are used to being teased, but executive producer Stephen Nathan wants to give you plenty of time to think about this one: “There will be a proposal coming, probably during February Sweeps,” he tells us. “It is my mission to torture the fans with this one. There will be a proposal. It will be a real proposal. And it will move things forward in a way that I think the fans will like.” Which couple is it? Nathan wouldn’t rule anyone out for us, except for Hodgins and Angela, obviously, since they’re already wed. Could it be Sweets and Daisy, who got back together last week after remembering that along with sex, they have a love of Saved By the Bell in common? They ended up being last season’s much-teased marriage proposal, so that could be a bit anticlimactic. Could it be Cam and Paul (Elon Gold), who Nathan tells us will reenter the picture in the Feb. 3 episode? “They’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship,” he says. “Both of them being so incredibly busy, and him being an OB/GYN, he’s just called away all the time whenever they make a date because somebody’s going into labor. They have to make sense out of that part of their relationship.”
We find it hard to believe that he thinks fans would be happy if Booth popped the question to Hannah (Katheryn Winnick), but she did just move in. And in the Dec. 2 episode, she tries to warm up to Booth’s son, Parker. “She’s not good with kids, she’s not comfortable around them, and she’s very upfront about that,” Nathan says. “But in order to have this relationship with Booth, and in order for Booth to have this relationship with Hannah, she’s got to step up to the plate. Booth helps her by saying, ‘Don’t think of him as a kid, just think of him as short guy who’s not allowed to drink yet.’” After you place your bets (we suppose it could be one of the squinterns), read on for scoop on the much talked about Brennan-centric episode, the sniper arc, Angela’s pregnancy, and what food you may never want to eat again after this Thursday’s episode.
The Brennan-centric episode: That would be the Dec. 9 midseason finale, which Nathan only refers to as “our biggest emotional episode we’ve ever done with Booth and Brennan.” Brennan helps solve the murder of a brilliant female doctor who she’s somehow convinced is exactly like her. When she looks at the victim’s photo, she sees herself, and she hears her own voice when listening to recordings of the woman. “It’s all told from Brennan’s point-of-view,” Nathan says. “Brennan has the opportunity to see someone who mirrors her life so closely that she’s forced to confront her own life the only way our Brennan could, which is as empirically impossible. She is forced to try to understand the complexities of life and emotion and emotional displacement, and she does. And that leads her to do something she never thought she would do in her relationship with Booth.”
And that leads to friction between Brennan and Hannah. “There’s something there that Hannah and Brennan have to contend with. Without giving anything away, I think what’s been the best for us and for the show has been the relationship that’s developed between Hannah and Brennan. I know so many of the fans are upset that Booth is with Hannah and asking how could we do that, and when are Booth and Brennan gonna get back ‘together,’ or when are they gonna get together ultimately. I think it’s the difficulties and the dissatisfaction that propels the show forward in a way. That there’s some frustration with these characters that we’ve grown to love over five and a half years: We want them to do certain things. We want them to see what’s right behind that door. But obviously, if they did right away, fans would be very disappointed, and then they would go and watch whatever’s on the other channels.”
The Big Bang Theory, Community, The Vampire Diaries, we offer… “That’s right. We don’t want them to do that. So, we’re keeping that alive. But what we have grown to appreciate about this is that Hannah and Brennan have become friends. They’ve become actual real friends, so no matter how difficult it is for Brennan to see Booth and Hannah together, she doesn’t hold it against Hannah. Her tremendously rational and logical mind tells her that this is not Hannah’s fault and that she likes Hannah. She would do the same thing,” Nathan continues. “So their relationship is a very healthy and very mature relationship between two very strong women, rather than a relationship between two high school girls who are vying for the same guy, or a guy who’s caught awkwardly between two women. Which we didn’t want Booth to be either, because he’s a strong guy. They’ve all been honest with each other. The honesty that has grown in this threesome has provided us with an interesting dynamic because they behave in a way that isn’t expected. You expect there to be some jealousy, but there really isn’t. Hannah’s only jealous of Booth’s professional relationship with Brennan because they get to do all this kind of dangerous stuff that Hannah misses from being a war correspondent. All of that is growing to an ultimate shift in the series.”
The sniper arc: The show will return with a bang, literally, in the New Year, when this story line is introduced on Jan. 20. David Boreanaz directed that episode in which sniper Jacob Ripkin Broadsky (guest star Arnold Vosloo, who’s signed for three episodes) takes out a recurring character. “It’s a great story for Booth, because Booth, being a sniper, has to confront another sniper who has taken what Booth considers to be a difficult but somewhat noble profession and perverted it,” Nathan says. “Booth always felt that he was doing the right thing, and now somebody else is doing something horrible for all the right reasons in their mind. They’ve justified this. So it’s a great character examination for Booth to have to confront what it means to be a sniper.”
Angela’s pregnancy: Look for Angela to be showing a little baby bump before the end of 2010, and then get “considerably larger” in February. “We love this story line because it allows us to do deal with a couple who are kind of our most normal couple in a mix of very bizarre and eccentric people,” Nathan says. “All those ups and downs that everybody goes through when they fall in love, get married, and have children, we get to explore with Hodgins and Angela. It won’t all be roses, because obviously no pregnancy is a piece of cake from start to finish, and they have to reevaluate their lives, how they’re living, what they want for their kid, and how their jobs figure into that, too.”
More reasons not to eat a late dinner in front of the TV.: Nathan gets absolutely giddy talking about the crime scene in this Thursday’s episode (Fox, 8 p.m. ET). Human remains are discovered in the world’s largest chocolate bar. “It’s so delightfully revolting,” Nathan says. “We do try to outdo ourselves from week-to-week. It was a rather unique body find. We try to make them as accurate as possible. What would actually happen if this were the case. This one turned out to be so, so gross. It’s not bloody or filled with bugs, but it might make people think twice before eating a piece of chocolate again.” The Dec. 2 crime scene sounds like it could give it a run for its money, we say. A human carcass has melted into the dashboard of a charred truck. “The bones have melted, like cheese almost, which is something that is actually physically impossible. They’re all twisted and curved… So, that’s just really cool,” he says. “That’s a great thing to watch, to see them unravel that mystery. But for sheer disgusting, the one this week is really good.” If the show has ever made you put down your fork, you’ll enjoy hearing this payback story: “You know what’s weird: I work with these bodies in post. I approve the bodies, enhance the visual effects. So whenever I see them, I’m like a kid at Christmas. I’m just so excited. ‘Look at how revolting this is!’ But I see it on another show, I can’t look,” Nathan says. “I went to see 127 Hours the other night, I could not look. I knew it was a fake arm, I knew he wasn’t really cutting his arm off. It would be something that I would probably say wasn’t disgusting enough on our show, and yet, I couldn’t look. When I see it in the theater, I’m just horrified.”