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The Beginning of the End for Bones?

Over Christmas, I wrote an article addressing the potential relationship between Booth and Bones, defending the position that getting them together would ruin the show. It turned out to be an unpopular opinion, and the comments almost made me reconsider.

Almost.

After all, the chemistry between the main characters is what makes the show work. Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz have settled into their personalities and pull the interpersonal scenes off with flawless effort. I’ve also always enjoyed the dynamic force of the supporting cast.

The second half of this season, the writing started to flail. The characters began to take actions that didn’t seem like them, or that were obviously forced upon them with no believable motivation. I won’t go into the disaster that was the season finale in detail. Read the recap and review by my fellow writer here.

I’m back to revisit the idea of a romance between Booth and Bones, now that the writers of the show have addressed and dealt with the idea in their own way. A few weeks back, in an episode directed by David Boreanaz, the two sat down with Sweets (John Francis Daley) to describe how they met. It turned out they hadn’t met in the show’s first episode, but had worked together on a case previously. They had kissed, nearly gone home together, and had such an explosion of passion between them they had decided it was best not to work together.

Sweets is shocked, but insists their feelings for each other are what drives their passion for their work, and their dedication to their partnership. He puts the bug in Booth’s ear that he’s the one who will have to make the move, it’s his job.

So Booth does. He stops Bones outside the office and pours his heart out. It’s beautiful, what he says. He tells Brennan how he knew from the moment he met her that he would love her forever, how they fit together and he doesn’t want to be without her. He wants to try, because he’s that guy.

As soon as he said “I’m that guy,” I guessed her thoughts. In that second, Bones thought “But I’m not that girl.”

Don’t get me wrong. Like I’ve said previously, of course I WANT them to be together. They would be perfect and sweet, and watching their relationship grow would make me happy.

I stand by my previous assertion, though – it would also kill the show. Then again, the writers are currently doing a fine job of killing the show on their own.

I know people hated that episode. Brennan crushed them with her response – she doesn’t know how to love him like he wants. The thing is, her reaction is in line with her character. The character of Brennan doesn’t understand how to love a man forever, can’t wrap her brain around the concept of marriage, etc. I hated the scene too, I felt devastated for Booth, I wondered what would happen next but, for what it’s worth, it didn’t break with her character. She obviously cares for Booth, and I believe she’s still trying to work out what that means, but she’s not ready.

The question is…now what? They’ve pretty much said Booth and Brennan will not be starting a romantic relationship, at least for the time being. The chemistry still flickers between them, which has kept me watching. I think making Bones reflect on herself has been good for her character.

Good for the show?

Maybe not.

In order to fill the void left by the “will they won’t they” question, the other characters have stepped up. The problem is, the stories are coming out of nowhere and feel forced. Angela (Michaela Conlin) and Hodgins (TJ Thyne) get married after months (years?) of secretly pining. Sweets and Daisy (Carla Gallo) get engaged. Every once in a while, one of the rotating squints pops up with interesting dialogue or a funny storyline.

The writing is lazy, directionless, as though without the ability to torture the audience with the Booth and Bones flirtation they have nothing left to talk about. The show has become almost uncomfortable to watch. In the finale Booth decides to go back into the army. This blew my mind, along with other people I talked to. He’d never shown any inclination to return to the military. He’s devoted to his son and his job stateside. His character, the way they’ve developed him over five seasons, would never do that.

They want us to believe he and Bones are running to opposite ends of the globe just to get away from their feelings, to get some room to think. Brennan says as much when she takes a job on an island dig. Her, I believe. Booth? He doesn’t run from things. At least, he didn’t.

I’m going to make my statement.

If Bones wants to be remembered as a great show, one with interesting characters, super dynamic, and engaging stories, this needs to be its final season.

They’ve exhausted the periphery characters. Angela and Hodgins have settled. Sweets is content and people have accepted him on the show. Cam has her daughter and is easing into being a mother. The final piece of the puzzle is resolving the tension between the main characters. Can they draw it out over more than one season? Not if they want people to keep watching.

I predict the ratings will drop drastically when the show returns in the fall. There is nothing left to hold people’s interest, and the finale left no burning questions or cliffhanger, or anything that makes me anxious to tune in.

I will, out of loyalty and plain curiosity. I want the writers to return to their former, stellar form. I don’t believe it will happen, and the show will end after the upcoming season.

I hope I’m wrong. I really do.

For more on Bones, click here.

Thursdays at 8/7c on Fox

Photographs courtesy of Fox and IMDbPro

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