Season Finale Reaction: BONES

Jeremy asked for my reactions to several crime show season finales as well as my thoughts on where the shows might go from here.

The finale for Bones‘s fifth season aired May 20.  Shortly after the most harrowing case of the season, Dr. Brennan pondered giving up helping the FBI solve murders.  The season finale was lighter in tone as, in fact, all the major characters had life-changing decisions to make.  The Army wanted Booth to re-enlist to help train soldiers in Afghanistan.  Brennan was distracted from the usual casework by word that early hominid remains had been found in Indonesia.  Daisy Wick was selected to examine these remains, putting a crimp in Sweets’ wedding proposal.

In the fifth season, Booth and Brennan took significant steps toward a more romantic relationship, starting with Booth’s realization that he was in love with Brennan early in the season.  By the finale, Brennan probably has the most human, emotional reactions we’ve seen from her.

Unlike many season finales that keep viewers in suspense as long as possible about what the characters decide to do, Bones’ finale prepared viewers so that the characters’ decisions seemed inevitable.  Brennan needed a break from murders; Booth couldn’t pass up the chance to keep soldiers out of harm’s way.  The last case they worked on before this break involved a hoarder who was so afraid of change, it led to his death.  This can be seen as a metaphor for fans who hate the change associated with season finales.

Oddly, each of these life-changing opportunities was for exactly one year.  A year may seem like a long time for a series to skip, but many other shows have skipped the three months of summer with some story excuse.  A year isn’t much longer than three months.  Ultimately, the writers may simply be trying to hold our interest in a five-year-old show.  I’m sure the premise will be the same when Bones returns.  Brennan and Booth will be back solving cases, but the writers have given themselves the opportunity to change whatever else they want.

–Gerald So