Interview with David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, & Executive Producer Stephen Nathan from Bones

bonescall102smallRecently, David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, and Executive Producer Stephen Nathan spoke about the current story lines and the rest of the season of Bones. (David & Emily spoke on one call, while Stephen spoke on another, but I’m combining them for easier reading. 😉 ) They talk the conspiracy, Sweets’s sudden and unexpected death, the major 200th episode, family like Max and Christine, and more. So check it out now.

On how the conspiracy story line ends…

David Boreanaz: You know what, we’ve been dealing with this towards the end of last season. It was kind of started in episode I think 17 or whatever, and it just slowly built and built. It exposed itself in a major ugly way at the end of the season and then we start off with it again, where I can’t really do much about it because I’m stuck in prison; but when I do get out, I think that there will be a sense of closure that will wrap things up in a very neat way, and it will kind of show it in a way that’s like as, wow, it was right under our nose the whole time, but how that affects their relationship and how it affects Booth and whether he continues to work in the FBI is still to be determined and worked out throughout the first half of the season.
Jump with us to read more.
On having Booth & Brennan there when Sweets died…

Stephen Nathan: The entire situation for us was very, very painful and we tried to treat it with as much respect and truth as we possibly could and really focus in on what was going to be the best for the show and most emotionally truthful for the characters. And it seemed that Sweets and Booth and Brennan had grown so close over the past three or four years especially that it seemed as if they were the people who should be there when he died. And it was also a very complicated situation because Booth was having a huge crisis himself and also Booth and Brennan as a couple with Booth coming out of prison; and it really was a testament to Sweets and to kind of the nobility of the character really that his last words were about Booth and Brennan. His last words were of concern for his friend, not in any way thinking of himself. He was concerned for Daisy and at that moment concerned for Booth, that Booth didn’t lose faith, that Booth didn’t lose hope in the world and that the world actually was a good place, even as he was dying.

I think it really encapsulated Sweets as a character as well as Sweets’ relationship to Booth and Brennan. And as I say it was very painful for us to lose John and to lose this character of Sweets, but this is what happens not only on a television show, but it happens in life. You get thrown a curve ball, you don’t know what’s happening the next moment in anybody’s life and you just have to pick up and move on and try to learn from the experience and make the best of it and hopefully make everyone’s life a little bit richer and better for it.
On how they deal with the way the conspiracy & being in prison affected Booth…

Emily Deschanel: Being in prison [brought] up a lot of stuff for Booth, as David can follow up on. He’s suffering from PTSD because of being there, as well as being tortured, and what not, being in the military and the Army Rangers in his past. He’s gone through a lot in his life.

It puts a real strain on the relationship even when he does get out of prison and it’s a big deal. It’s not just going to be healed in one episode or something. It has long lasting repercussions. David, do you want to add anything?

David: Yes. I think it’ll last throughout the season. I don’t think it will necessarily be as dark as some people might think it will be. I think the first two episodes really have the sense of how dark it could be where [Booth] is and who he trusts with inside of the FBI, how he decides to take things into his own hands, and how Bones deals with that and gets him back.

There’s a great moment in episode two that is a very strong moment between both of them and she really [pushes] his case to a point where he has to decide what to do. I’m not going to really say what that is, but it is definitely, it’s a page turner for their relationship and see how that unfolds.

Stephen: We will deal with that and initially it will be resolved reasonably quickly, but the residual elements of that will always be there. I think he’s a very resilient guy. He’s been through war; he’s been in covert operations. He was a ranger; he’s seen a lot of stuff and he has bounced back from a lot of very difficult sometimes tragic circumstances and found a way to move on, and this will be no different. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some residual emotional issues that he will be confronted with really at a time when he thought everything was okay, so it’s really going to ebb and flow through the season and we will see this initial issue of trust and idealism and challenged idealism be dealt with in the first few episodes and dealt with pretty successfully, but there’s a lot underneath that will keep bubbling to the surface throughout the season.

As I said it’s not going to be some kind of weird dark season, but that doesn’t mean that people don’t have difficult things that they have to deal with that surface when they least expect them. So Brennan as well as Booth will be dealing with a lot of residual fall-out from what’s happened and what will happen in the future.
On James Aubrey, Booth’s new partner…

David: He’s, right off the bat, definitely he’s somebody who works within the FBI and someone who needs to gain trust from Booth. I think, he’s just someone who—I know that we’ve in the past have really focused on how the “squints,” and I think it’s a great opportunity to dive into some of the FBI people and maybe start that rotation of looking at some FBI people that literally work with Booth in and out of good conditions and what not. We’ll see how that unfolds.

Emily: He’s originally sent to watch out for Booth because the FBI is not trusting Booth now either. He’s in a really awkward situation. Aubrey’s character is sent to spy on Booth essentially, and then we’ll see if Booth can trust him at some point. He comes back in other episodes and he’s an interesting fresh blood to have on the show.

Stephen: Yes, as they recover from the end of season nine and the beginning of season ten really Booth and Brennan and the Squints life has to go on. But it’s a very difficult hurdle for Booth especially, his foundation, his trust in the institutions that he’s devoted his life to that he’s risked his life for has been shaken, so he has some big trust issues moving forward and Aubrey is the focus of that initially. Now Booth will be getting over this in a way only he can with Brennan and Brennan’s help and this will not drag on for a long time. Bones is not going to turn into a dark show where they’re dealing with all of these demons all the time. But we have to deal with what has occurred, so within the first three or four episodes Booth is going to have to learn to trust Aubrey and Aubrey is going to have to earn Booth’s trust. So it’s really a two-way street and we will be doing that; and we’re going to be back on our traditional Bones footings very, very quickly.

Certainly episode three, episode four the show is back. Our show is yes, we’re procedural, yes, people get murdered, but it’s funny. It’s romantic. It’s bizarre and all of that, the oddities and the unique nature of the show will return, but we will be getting to know Aubrey in these first five or six episodes because he’s going to be a very valuable member of the team and slowly become a member of the family as well. He’s a strange guy, but he’s a brilliant agent who is un-intimidated.

Sweets was very deferential to Booth. Sweets being so young when he started he wanted to fit in; he wanted to make sure he was doing the right thing. Aubrey is somebody who really has, socially, he’ll just blunder into things, but at the same time Booth will learn to trust the fact that he is a great agent.
On the 200th episode…

David: I know that we’re prepping now and we start shooting that in October, so it’s going to be pretty big.

Emily: Yes, it’s going to be big. I don’t know how much we can say about it. They’re still figuring out some details; we know some of what’s happening, but I know we want to keep it a bit of a surprise for everyone. It’s going to be a big episode. It’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s going to be very different, but still great characters. You’re going to see a lot of some you might not have seen in a little bit. It’ll be great.

David: Yes, it’ll definitely be a throwback to a time when things were a little bit simpler and light, but yet something that’s a flair of classic, how should I say, film expose of love and laughter?

Emily: David’s directing that episode, so we’re super psyched about that.

David: Yes, it’s going to be fun. I think it’s going to be a great opportunity to enjoy the 200th episode but on top of it, give something back to the fans, that they’ll watch and go, “Oh my God, that and this,” whatever this and that may be, just hold on. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

Stephen: I’m going to be very, very vague and circumspect. It will be an episode unlike any we’ve ever done before. We’re going to have as many people who have crossed our paths as we possibly can. There are limitations to that of course, some limitations that we can’t possibly get around. But we wanted to give a little gift to the fans, to the people who have watched Bones for ten years or even three or five or six, give them a little gift showing our characters in a situation they would never normally find themselves in and just see our characters from a different perspective. It’s not a dream show, but it is unique. It is going to be visually something we’ve never seen before on Bones and stylistically something we’ve never seen on Bones before.
On differing parenting styles & expanding their on-screen family…

Emily: We do deal with different things, parenting-wise, from choosing what school our daughter should go to, to how we deal with when our daughter starts swearing. Like any normal couple, we have different opinions on it and different approaches to it. You’ll see that this season. We’ve got Daisy pregnant and is going to have a baby, so that’s a really big, exciting thing. I think we’re good with that. No plans for any more.
On learning more about Booth’s past trauma because of his PTSD…

David: I think that we will. I think that through the challenges that he has, being in prison, trying to get out of prison, trying to deal with the people in prison, and obviously trying to deal with his life outside and how his relationship is with Bones; I think that you’ll get an insight into how he reacts to certain things and maybe why he’s not the same when he comes out when he’s with Bones, and how she may tiptoe around him and not understand him certainly.

I think that that will creep in and out throughout the season. I don’t want to say that it’s going to be really heavy arc. I think that we’ll play it out in the beginning of the year and realize that these characters are there for each other. What’s great is that we solve crimes and we do it in an open-end kind of style. We start the shows and then we have these great storylines that these writers provide for us and we [indiscernible] with the characters. I don’t think it will be a major, major, hard season that way.
On seeing Christine more…

Emily: In the second episode—that might be in the second episode, we’ve got a lot going on. You will see Christine and you will see a bit dealing with what Booth coming back from prison and all that. There’s so much we’re dealing with, especially in the first couple episodes. Christine is coming back more and more in different episodes and we’ll see that.
On changing actors/advancing age for younger characters…

Stephen: As the show evolves, especially with young actors, sometimes changes occur. We’ve been in this situation before. There was one actress initially who was playing Michelle, Cam’s adopted daughter, and that actress changed for that character. Christine also changed partly because of age. We wanted someone in that part who could do more, so Christine’s age accelerated a touch, the maturity accelerated a touch, so we could have someone who could do dialogue and hopefully stay with the show for the long haul. And in terms of physical changes, I think there was a consideration with that as well as far as Parker is concerned, so again, it’s kind of the evolution of the actors of the young people, who come through the show; and maybe it’s in the long and wonderful tradition of Bewitched. We get a new Darren.
On whether or not we’ll see a “big bad” this season…

Stephen: There’s always something lurking out there. I can safely say that there is going to be something else lurking out there. I don’t think the world ever exists with simple murders no matter how horrible. I think we need something a little more evil and that will be coming our way. They might be in the second half of the year when we come back in January, but we’ll be getting involved in another case where there’s someone who’s not nice, not a good person.
On Max being involved in something suspicious…

Stephen: Again, this is something that it’s not a throw away. We try not to throw anything away, but it’s also something that we’re in the process of developing now more fully. And the first half of the season especially leading up to the 200th and finishing the conspiracy was something this story with Max is something that we wanted to devote a good amount of time to and again, that’s going to have to be in the second half of the season. We didn’t want to go from a conspiracy into some other “big bad” story, but Max will be back and we’ll be back dealing with that issue.
On whether or not we’ll see all the regular Squints back this season…

Stephen: Yes, all of our regular Squints will be coming back to visit and work, so these are characters we’ve grown to love and they have become such an integral part of the show that we’re able to really treat them as more than just functionaries within the lab. They really have full, rich lives of their own and that’s what we’re going to be contending with. Wendell is dealing with his cancer. Cam and Arastoo are dealing with their relationship. Daisy now is going to be dealing with a baby. We’re bringing back Oliver Wells. We’re bringing back Clark and all of these people have very rich lives that will be explored and since they’ve all become so close to the other Squints, everybody gets involved in each other’s lives as happens in most workplaces. And we’ll be learning a lot more about these characters that initially were just temporary help in the lab. They’ve become permanent members of the Bones family.
On keeping the show fresh after ten years…

Stephen: It’s all a challenge ten years later. Going into our tenth year clearly the one of the most difficult things is finding cases that are new, clues that are new, worlds that are new and unique and ways of dealing with the science that are new and keep up with technology. This show technologically, the show has changed dramatically over ten years, but primarily it’s where are these new body finds going to come from? What are the new murderers? What worlds can we go into that we haven’t gone into before?

The miraculous thing is the writers keep coming up with new completely unique ways to kill people and locations and worlds in which to kill them that are constantly amazing. We’re going to be doing a murder at a forensics convention filled with forensic experts. How did we not do that before, but really and over nine years that we never have, so we’ve got a new one. It’s just really, as I said, a testament to the writers, Jon Collier, who’s an executive producer on the show, who runs the writers’ room is just phenomenal and leads the writers through the dark forest and into the light; and what comes out of there is just amazing.
That’s it! Thanks to David, Emily, & Stephen (one of my favorite people in the TV to chat with!) for taking the time out of their busy schedules to answer all our questions. Be sure to tune in to new episodes of Bones on Thursday nights on FOX at 8/7c.

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