WARNING: This article contained details about tonight’s season finale of Bones. Haven’t seen it? Don’t read this! But come back later…
The season finale of Bones was a killer. Yes, there was the carnage we usually expect from any Bones episode that welcomes back psycho hacker Pelant (Andrew Leeds) but there was also emotional carnage.
In the middle of the episode, Brennan finally made the leap and proposed to Booth, only to have Booth retract his acceptance at the end of the episode after Pelant (the ultimate jealous girlfriend) forced him to do so. So Brennan was secretly heartbroken, Booth was forced to hurt the woman he cares about, and Pelant proves yet again that he’s the most dastardly villain we’ve ever seen.
So what comes next? Executive producer Stephen Nathan fills us in….
ENTERTAINMENT WEEEKLY: Are you happy? Fans are probably going to come after Andrew Leeds with pitchforks now!
STEPHEN NATHAN: We can only hope! You don’t want fans to be lulled into some false sense of security. If the fans aren’t upset and they aren’t angry or sad or something we’re not doing our job.
Tell me how the writer’s room arrived at this twist.
Well, you know, we didn’t want anything to be easy. The great thing about these characters — and Brennan in particular — is that this has been somebody who’s been very studied, very rational and very deliberate. And [for her] to finally take this leap, this risk, wouldn’t have been satisfying if it all went easily. So this is really her worst nightmare emotionally — one of the reasons she shut herself down. We’ve seen her evolve through the last few seasons — taking a big leap in the near-death episode [featuring] her mother to live in a way that gave more emphasis to how she was feeling rather than what she was thinking. [Now] all of the things that she feared actually happened. Booth knows this. Booth knows the pain that he’s caused her, [and it's] the last thing he would ever want to do to the woman he loves. He will make this right, that’s all I can say. When? I can’t say. But I know he will and we know how.
How long did you have this plan to make Pelant the one to throw this huge wrench into their lives?
It’s no secret that [executive producer] Hart [Hanson] and I are not huge fans of serial killers, and they usually exist for two or three episodes, tops. But we love Pelant and we love Andrew Leeds. To have the boy next door who’s the product of the 21st century and someone who is an intellectual equal to our people was just so rich to us that we wanted to keep him alive as long as we could, and it seemed to be the only way we could realistically earn the ending we have in this season finale. It’s the only way that we could take away something that we wanted so much for our characters and the audience wanted so much for our characters.
Was there ever a chance of a straightforward proposal or was there always going to be a twist?
It was always going to have a twist. There’s nothing normal and predictable about their relationship and we never want there to be and there won’t be going forward from this point on.
How will this affect them?
Well, it will affect them quite deeply in the beginning of the season. There’s a secret between them. No relationship can thrive when two parties are withholding the truth from each other. You have Brennan withholding the truth that she’s okay with this and you have Booth withholding the reason for him backing out of the proposal. So we really have a huge hurdle for these characters to get over. Many relationships have been destroyed by far less. So there is danger to be had here from Pelant and also emotional danger between the two of them.
And Booth can’t tell anybody?
Booth can’t tell anybody but he might find a way to confide in someone, but it will be someone who we don’t expect.
I can’t imagine how the team is going to react.
I think it’s going to affect everybody because everybody will understand what this means and nobody is going to understand why. The people at the Jeffersonian and Sweets are all intimately involved in each other’s lives — and especially Booth and Brennan because it’s such a unique relationship and one that none of them have every encountered before. They understand the enormity of this betrayal, and there are no answers to be found. So it puts everyone in a very difficult position.
Booth doesn’t believe Brennan is okay with this, right?
No. I think they’re both lying to each other and the longer that happens, the more damage is done to a relationship. And this is a relationship that no one wants to see damaged. So I think it’s going to be that much more painful for us to watch and it’s going to make rooting for them that much more intense.
When WILL Pelant return next season?
He’ll be back int he first part of season nine. It won’t be in the first episode or first couple of episodes, but he will reappear. The first episode will be informed by Pelant, I can guarantee you. Everyone’s life has been affected. You have Hodgins, who feels guilty because he didn’t kill Pelant [and] you have Sweets who now has his entire career at the FBI upended because he feels responsible for the latest deaths because Pelant used his work against them. Sweets is going to have to deal with that fallout. Brenann and Booth, it’s clear what they have to deal with. So everyone is really has a huge hurdle to overcome.