'Bones' creator Hart Hanson talks Booth's emotional episode

Bones-grandfather

Image Credit: Patrick McElhenney/Fox

If you haven’t watched this week’s episode of Bones, stop reading now. Spoilers ahead! 

Booth’s grandfather Pops (guest star Ralph Waite) visited and brought with him the news that Seeley’s father had died. At first, Booth couldn’t look past his issues with his dad (he hadn’t seen him for 20 years) to see how much his grandfather was hurting. Pops eventually read him an excerpt of a letter he’d found among his son’s things asking him to tell Seeley that he loved him and that he knows he deserved a better father — one like he’d had. Booth’s dad thanked Pops for raising Seeley to be the man he could never be. He’d left Booth a box, which Brennan finally got him to open because, she said, she wanted to talk about it, and while they’re sharing their lives, he can’t shut her out.

When Brennan had asked Angela earlier in the episode what she should do to help Booth, Angela had told her, “You have to figure out what you can give him that nobody else can.” It turned out that was a reminder that Booth did have some good memories of his father, including their one perfect day in those blue seats at the World Series, and the knowledge that quantum physicists have a theory about how we experience that time that says he deserves to keep them alive. Booth opened the box and found his father’s most precious mementos: his purple heart, a Father’s Day card young Seeley had made him, photos of them together, and their 1980 World Series ticket stubs with a picture of them in the stands. Was there a dry eye in your house? We talked to Bones creator Hart Hanson about the scene.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Anytime David Boreanaz’s eyes get wet, mine follow. He got me again.
HART HANSON: Around here, we all think that David and Emily are completely underrated as actors. They jump from humor to pathos within a scene. Emily brilliantly plays someone who is emotionally distant that somehow you connect to, and I don’t think anyone has ever done that as successfully as she has. David is like James Garner or Cary Grant,  so charming, and then he turns around [and guts you]. That’s a long way of saying that we ourselves figured we knew how David would play that scene, and that it would be very, very good, and we all gasped. We all went, ‘Well, holy s—, look at that…’ We were all completely delighted and just a little surprised at where he went emotionally in that scene. And yes, it gets people, especially the first time they see it. It was certainly a powerful moment on the stage, and we knew we had it. He’s so underrated.

And just because I’m sure there’s someone somewhere thinking it, Seeley seeing the lights around the seats and hearing the sounds of that day — that wasn’t, like, a brain tumor thing. 
No, no, it’s nothing like that. It’s literally the strong emotion changing the way you look at something. I thought that was a cool idea that he imbues these seats with meaning. It’s all he’s got left. One perfect day with his dad. Fathers and sons, it’s a very, very powerful trope for storytelling.

Does this free him going forward? Is that weight gone?
I think it’s two things. It frees him going forward, but on the other hand, he never set it right with his father, and now there’s no chance. I think that affects the way he will be a father. The question a lot of people will have is, “okay, where’s mom?” We haven’t addressed that, and now we have that place to go. Where is mom? Why wasn’t she a part of this? That’s a good story that we have in our hip pocket [for the future].

When Angela told Brennan to figure out what she could give Booth that no one else could, I thought maybe she was going to propose to him. Were you guys hoping fans might be thinking that?
Absolutely. We’re awful that way.

Would you like to tell me when that might happen?
[Laughs] That is absolutely the last thing I would tell you. It could happen. Or, it might not.

Can you tell me if you’ve cast the nanny for Booth and Brennan’s baby?
Yes. I won’t tell you who, but I’ll tell you someone you know from the world of Bones ends up being the caretaker of the baby.

Any guesses?

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