Bones Theory

The Mutilation of the Master Manipulator: Post Episode Discussion


Hello everyone!

The comments are open–how did you like episode 199?


PS… if you haven’t see already, several Bones fans worked together to create an infographic of facts from the series! It’s excellent and worth a look (here )


55 thoughts on “The Mutilation of the Master Manipulator: Post Episode Discussion

  1. Due to other obligations, I have missed watching the last 2 episodes live ( in fact I just caught up yesterday), so I have missed all the comments and conjecture about them. (For what it is worth, I really enjoyed both episodes) Tonight’s episode was fun! I was concerned that Wendell’s new girlfriend was awfully stalkerish, but the way they played it out might mean that she simply had a good handle on Wendell’s insecurities.
    I surprised myself by really enjoying the “case” scenes between Aubrey and Brennan. Yes, the overall dynamic is changing some this year, but I am finding that as long as I allow myself to “go with the flow” and enjoy the show as it comes that I am enjoying it as much as ever. I especially liked the jealousy that you could see just rolling off Booth in waves when Brennan and Aubrey were “shorthand” communicating.
    Try as I might, I still don’t understand the blood/flower connection – and what is going to happen to poor Skinner the cat?

  2. I have done that traffic school. It is super annoying and you are chained to your computer for a few hours.

    Angela complaining about incomplete skulls is funny….it doesn’t seem to stop her!

    Hodgins and his own blood and all the flowers….weird experiment….and is he allowed to do that?

    Nice to see Wendell healthy and happy. And not dating Angela.

    The new girl is a little pushy.

    Cam better not give Wendell too much trouble about workplace romances!!!

    Dismembering is much harder than it may appear. It is doubtful that the older woman could do that on her own and dispose of the remains without being seen.

    Do Booth and Bones play cop and suspect at home? *wink*

  3. Another underwhelming episode.Season 10 has been a huge disappointment.It looks like the best episode is going to be the AU one.Brennan and Aubrey have no chemistry and they need to scale him back a little.It was good to see him with a knife in his back in the promo.I think the ratings are going to decline further,I hate that my show is on such a downward spiral.I don’t think too many people are going to care when it comes back in March after next week.

    • I don’t think the show’s quality has changed or that its in a downward spiral. The stories are still good, just not about characters that I care about. For a show that promotes itself so heavily based on who used to be the two main leads, there sure is a lack of it in the episodes we’ve had so far. Its been half a season already. I think we’ve already seen what the new pattern is and frankly, I’m just not that interested in spending most of the episode watching a new character or the persona lives of rotating squinterns. I think what I’m missing is a better balance among old time regulars and rotating characters and Aubrey.

      Its not just lack of B&B. Angela and Hodgins have seem to disappear into the background as just science based characters who do nothing but work for the FBI. Wendell (and Daisy) is getting better stories than they are.

      • Great point about Hodgela, Mar. They used to have these rich, emotional storylines together and now they are just the techs. They used to be so much more!

  4. I will be the first to admit that I sometimes tire of hearing about the lack of Booth and Brennan scenes together because the show is more than just them and I enjoy getting to see the other characters. However, I will admit there seems to be less and less each episode, though I am willing to attribute the lack of Booth in last night’s episode to DB preparing for directing the 200th episode. The first few episodes were just a huge rush of action, I guess it does seem too have hit a little bit of a lull the last few weeks. I know Bones isn’t about the heavy drama, but it still seems to be missing something that I can’t quite put my finger on. I need to think on that one some more.

    All of that to say, I cannot wait for next week’s show!!! 🙂

  5. I agree with Mar and paladin117. I fast forwarded through most of this episode. B&B did not appear together until 45 minutes into the episode, and then they were in Booth’s office with Aubrey. The end scene was nothing special. They sat on the couch together briefly. We see every other couple kissing, but not B&B since the first episode.

    This is becoming the Brennan & Squints/Aubrey show. The serious lack of B&B together time is glaring. Bones was built on B&B’s relationship being the “center”. It is almost like there is a writers mandate to keep them apart.

    The Wendall romance was YAWN! It reminded me of Finn & Michelle.

    Dee47 asks “but it still seems to be missing something that I can’t quite put my finger on. ” For me, the answer is the lack of interaction & intimacy between B&B. This season, they are the least romantic couple on the show. They used to have such chemistry between them that kept viewers coming back week after week.

    That being said I am also very excited for next week’s show. Stephen Nathan wrote this episode so we shall see…
    They need to get this show back on track!!

    • I don’t think they lack intimacy. There are many forms of intimacy and emotionally there is still a lot there. What they lack is physical affection and they’re not the only ones.
      I was disappointed that I had to wait two weeks and then 45 minutes for B&B and then all I gt was a bickering scene in the precense of Aubrey to boot. Booth was SO grumpy I didn’t even find it funny. It just left me cold. The last scene waa just thrown in there to fulfill a quota of B&B and then be allowed to say they did have a scene together. However it was completely inconsecuential and unrelated to the episode’s issues.
      I hate to be one of the “whiners” but it is what I feel.

  6. Yeah, this was my least favorite episode of the season, but as a recent Netflix binger of the whole series, there were always a few duds each season – this is one of them. There were a few things I liked: the dynamic between Brennan & Aubrey was interesting in terms of how it relates to Booth. I think that Brennan respects Aubrey and this development is going to matter for future episodes. For that reason, I think it’s worth watching this episode. I also liked some aspects of the case, like the experiment that demonstrated how good people can do evil things. This is real, by the way: although due to higher ethical standards, such an experiment is not allowed today. I liked the scene with the mentally ill man and Aubrey. In general, I wasn’t thrilled with Aubrey’s interrogation scenes but liked that one which was quite compelling.

    So here is where I differ with most Boneheads: give me a Cam Arastoo episode any day of the week over a Wendell random girl episode. I just didn’t buy that relationship at all! It only would have worked for me had it been a sassy one night stand type thing indicating Wendell was healthy and back in the saddle. The whole thing felt contrived and I had no sense of who the girl was in terms of character. Oh, and I second calls for a Hodgins/Angela episode! They are well drawn characters and deserve a story. Or put one of them in the middle of a B&B plot – that would work as well. But I agree they have been under utilized.

    In addition to the 200th episode I am looking forward to March when they will finally address what I have suspected has been going on – something is not right with Booth (link for more info) :

    Again, they continue to show him unshaven and a little rough around the edges. He acts like everything is fine, but it’s not. I admit to loving the Booth angst episodes so I probably have higher expectations for that than the 200th. Honestly, I don’t want to get too excited about the 200th since the 100th was so great (despite its sad ending) that it will be tough to top.

  7. I thought this one was good. It was certainly enough to fill the void of the off-week.

    But I suspect this one will end up a lot like #99 – forgotten once the next episode airs.

  8. Proving what we like is irrelevant to TV ratings: Bones, not having to compete with a new Big Bang Theory (and no Gray’s Anatomy either), posted much higher ratings. 6 million viewers and 1.5 Demo. That live Peter Pan musical didn’t hurt it either. Unfortunately, next week is a new TBBT so the 200th probably won’t be as highly rated as this so-so episode. I will remain perplexed by the TV business.

  9. I actually didn’t think it was that bad. I thought it was interesting that they chose to use the milgram experiment for the psych experiment. I’m a Psychology student and that us the first experiment we learned about. It is famous for being very unethical. that statistic they mentioned about 66% of people shocking others to the extent of possible death was the actual finding of the experiment.
    I liked the new romance for Wendell. She seems to really understand him.
    I think the writers wanted to see how the dynamic would be between Aubrey and Brennan in the field. But now they should move back to B&B working in the field together.
    I’m really excited for the 200th Ep!!

  10. I resent the fact that people who show any displeasure with the show are called whiners.The lack of affection between B&B and the fact that you can’t have a B&B scene without Aubrey is turning people off.Sure,the ratings went up a little with no Greys and a Big Bang rerun but Big Bang still drew almost twice as many viewers as a new Bones. This is the only season so far that I have not watched any episode more than once.The biggest problem with Bones in my opinion….Lack of B&B interaction,too many interns and too many B storylines.Right now I think Castle and Beckett are a better couple and Castle sticks more to their core cast.I would hate to see Bones get another season if the status quo stays the same.

    • I respect everyone’s right to an opinion, even when that opinion leaves me a little befuddled and wondering if we are watching/discussing the same show. However, I don’t understand your repeated calls to have Bones cancelled rather than renewed. The show still has a strong fan base that are enjoying the current season and would like to see a season 11. So why go around wishing for them to be disappointed? If you don’t want to watch it anymore, then just turn it off.

      By the way, I know that you are not the only one that has made the “I hope it get’s canceled” comments, and I am not trying to single you out personally. It has just been bugging at me for a while now. I understand being disappointed by a show you once loved and deciding not to watch it anymore. I even understand saying “I don’t care if it is renewed or not, cause I am not going to watch it.” I just don’t understand the “I don’t like it, so I don’t want anyone else to be allowed to watch it either” attitude.

    • Talk to me about Castle & Beckett being a better couple when they hit Season 10 because right now you’re comparing apples to oranges.

      I’m sorry you’re not getting what you need/want from Bones right now, but some of us don’t have a problem with what we’re being shown, I’m so glad I’ve always watched Bones to see the show and not just Booth and Brennan.

  11. We all have our opinions. I am so disappointed with “Bones” this year. Through the last 9 seasons my favorite character has always been Brennan and her relationship with Booth. After the first two and possibly the first three episodes her screen time as been dwindling. I have a feeling this is what Emily wants, but it is not what her loyal viewers want. After all she is a producer and certainly has her opinion. The lack of physical contact between the two characters is strange with very little touching, hugging, and certainly no kissing. Brennan smiles very little any more and uses that throaty voice. I hate to say this, but in so many episodes including this one, her hair is very unattractive, as well as the way she dresses. If it weren’t for her changing blouses one would think she never changes. Booth smiles more with other characters than he does with her.

    As Brennan’s character has developed, she has become a much stronger individual. Her love for Booth, marrying him, becoming a Mother has caused this to happen. In some scenes the writer tries to make her be like the old Brennan and it’s just not working. I’m sorry but sometimes I can’t express what I mean. In this episode she said something like “I can’t read emotions.” That’s not true.

    The writers do not know a lot about Brennan and Booth’s past. I’ve noticed so many inconsistencies- not time to list them all, but she is certainly not a slow driver. This writer must have not seen many of the past seasons.

    This pushing the Aubrey character on us is mindboggling. It has caused me to not like him at all. He is too pushy and arrogant. It really has become his and the squint’s show. It is so depressing. In this episode Brennan had 11 scenes to his 14, and most of hers were short, boring ones in the lab. Her interaction with Booth in the 3 or 4 scenes was certainly not up to par with the way they use to connect. Their chemistry is gone!

    Her supporting cast had more screen time than her because their scenes were longer. Wendell was in 12 scenes. This romantic episode for him seemed like a filler.

    I wanted an 11th season so badly, but if the future episodes don’t change to the way they used to be, I would just rater it end now. Boo-hoo.

  12. Maybe, David and Emily are not getting along. There’s no way to know for sure, but i miss them..

  13. Mystery solved – Emily is pregnant per EW.

    Makes sense that she was less in the field since she appears on the show more than anyone else – lab and the field. Therefore, Aubrey took up more of the slack. I suppose many will still be dissatisfied but I think those changes were understandable and are of course temporary.

    • It explains a lot, still doesn’t mean the changes are pleasant for all viewers, though understandable. How temporary could it be if this turns out to be the last season though? Its going to be for the rest of the season and therefore maybe the rest of the show.

      • Actually, Emily said in a recent interview that she would be interested in a season 11. Plus Cancel Bear thinks Bones probably will survive for another season. I actually think now a season 11 is more likely not less, because Emily would like to probably go out at the top of her game – I commend her for working through her pregnancy but man must that be exhausting.

    • It makes sense for the lack of physical contact as well. Early in pregnancy your breasts are incredibly tender. ED doesn’t need to be pressed up against DB unless it’s absolutely necessary for a storyline or maybe she’s felt like puking her guts out and isn’t in the mood for close physical contact. It’s nice to think that the PTB’s are possibly accommodating their leading lady while keeping their mouths shut about her very private business.

      • Caprigirl, your timeline is a bit off. We actually got some our best B&B make out sessions when ED was quite pregnant. In Booth’s kitchen, at her office, in the broken down Mighty Hut (RIP), etc. Season 7 was great for affection, couch cuddles, kisses, and general adorableness. We even got “bedroom” scenes like when Booth did “rubba da belly”. Seemed ED was quite fine with all that intimate contact with her fake husband ;). It seemed that after that is when the B&B distance issues emerged. I’d put that more on ED after baby with shortened hours rather than pregnancy discomfort.

        Combine EDs shortened hours with DBs shortened hours due to more directing and add into that the loss of HH to other projects, and it’s inevitable that the show will change. I just wish it wasn’t at the expense of the stunning B&B chemistry we all fell in love with. I still love the show and will always watch, it’s just I have that feeling that something is lacking too. But I am really excited about next week without saying why 😉

      • No BB, I’m not wrong. We saw her far along in her pregnancy when she was dealing with cute pregnancy issues-like being too big to fit in Booth’s small kitchen. Right now she’s in early pregnancy which is a whole different story. When everything is tender & your stomach feels like it’s got a see-saw going on inside the last thing you want is someone all over you.

  14. I come on here to express an honest opinion,if you don’t like it tough.You can go to that other site and join the Bones can never do anything wrong love fest.I never said that Bones needs to be cancelled,it just needs to go back to what made it fun to watch and so popular.Emily being pregnant would explain a lot of things.I don’t knock anyone for their comments and expect the same in return.

  15. So this episode was interesting in many ways. Blood chemistry affects the flowers because they change color when they are around acids or bases, although I don’t know it is as fast as they showed it on the program. Aubrey didn’t annoy me nearly as much as before. Traffic school was kind of funny. Wendell’s girlfriend struck me as emotionally needy, especially as someone who is an oncology nurse.

    I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I had not watched the previous 9 seasons and the first two episodes of this season, but that’s mostly because I don’t feel quite the personal interest in the characters as I did. I know…it’s silly to take personal interest in the stories of fictional characters, but that’s what makes it fun for me to watch a program. The characters don’t seem as interested in each other…not just B&B, but Brennan and Angela don’t even interact often any more. Of course, that could be my imagination. I am not angry, or even disappointed, as much as surprised by this seeming lack of interaction between the characters. I know there is only so much that can be put in an episode, so time may be a factor in that.

    I have read that some of the people involved with the show are coming to the end of their contracts and may not be interested in continuing. Emily Deschanel may not want to continue working as much with two small children to care for. My feeling is that maybe the show will be set up less around Booth and Brennan and more around the rest of the cast. I would be saddened by that, and I really hope I am wrong! I have really enjoyed Bones over the years, and it would be very hard for me to accept that change and continue to watch the show.

    I am not hoping the show is cancelled. However, if there isn’t another season, I hope all the characters get a happy ending, riding off in to the DC sunset.

  16. This episode was about psychology….I am curious. Does Brennan ever say her famous “I hate psychology” line during this episode? I will have to watch again and look for it.

  17. I think it’s kinda sad that they had a psychology centered episode so soon after Sweets died. He would have been all over this case and loved it. It made me miss sweets even more.

    I love bones too much to ever stop watching but I do find myself less excited for the episodes due to the lack of B&B chemistry. Before if I was busy on a Thursday night I would be thinking about bones and how I would watch it as soon as I could. Now I remember that it was on when I check my DVR and say “oh yeah, it’s Thursday Bones is on”. I’m also a Castle watcher and I agree that Beckett and Castle keep the romance alive much better. They say little couple-y things to each other while they are working cases and they are always together when on the case. They don’t need to be kissing, they just need to talk to each other like they are a couple. I guess I would just like them to interact a little more.

  18. I have a few thoughts about what’s happened with B&B. In past seasons David & Emily were in 75% to 90% of each episode. Which requires long hours on the set and long hours preparing for the episode. Now they are seen in maybe 25% or less in each episode. The lack of B&B together started when Brennan was pregnant. After the birth of her son is when the lack of screen time between B&B started. David & Emily have been acting these characters for 10 years and they are producers of the show. What the hell are they that dense, they have to know that it’s effecting the show. Now we see less of the connection & great chemistry they have between them. The romance is missing no more kissing or hugging. We never see them talking face to face or walking side by side with Booths arm around Brennan’s shoulder or with his hand on the small of her back. We haven’t seen his hand on her small of her back since season 8. Their are less & less scenes with B&B together and when they are seen together there is something that separates them. We see one of them and the other is off screen giving them each time off the set spending time with their family or having time to them self’s. I imagine David watching Hockey or playing hockey with his son and daughter. Emily spending time with her son or shopping in the organic store buying her vegan food.
    Hart Hanson is now concentrating on other projects. He has turned over the reins to Ste[hen Nathan. That is another factor that is effecting the show. Hart Hanson believes B&B are the center of Bones. Stephen Nathan feels the case and more gore the better is more important. I feel that is another reason we see less of B&B. So much is missing, B&B & the squints are never seen together. All the squints are bit players. Angela works with the Angelator, Hodgins does his experiments & Cam is with Ariasto Ugh. What happened to Angela & Brennan friendship they don’t even have lunch together.r
    HOW CAN WE GET TPTB TO LISTEN TO THE FANS! Help does anyone have an answer?
    Hart Hanson did say to hell with the fans it was his show & he would write the show the way he wanted. I can hope Stephan Nathan doesn’t feel that strongly and maybe he will listen to the fans. I love this show. It has been my favorite since the series began. I get so frustrated the show is not what it use to be. I may have to concentrate on my other shows NCIS, The Good Wife, Criminal Minds & several more. I won’t watch Castle. I know it has appeal for many. but to me it’s a rip off of Bones with a change of names. I’m loyal to Bones.
    Forgive my ramblings. I just felt that I had to write my thoughts down.

  19. Wow. I am seriously not watching the same show most of you are. Personally I don’t think a show like Bones can stay on the air this long if it stays the same as it always was. I like the fact that they switch things up and work really hard to grow and evolve ALL the characters, not just B&B. For those of you who prefer Castle, well, frankly it started to bore me so much last year that I missed a few episodes and I don’t feel like I’ve even missed anything. I am recording it this season but only watch it when I’m done with all my other shows. But when all is said and done, it’s all about expectations. I’m not looking for just a show about B&B. I’m looking for a show with a quality script, rich characters, humor, drama, and excellent acting and directing. I feel I am getting that this year with Season 10 in spades and I am happy about that.

    • Oh boy, I love the “Wow. I am seriously not watching the same show most of you are” comment…lol!

      Yes, we are all watching the same show. Fortunately, we each have the freedom to make our own observations and have our own opinions. I come to sites like this to read different opinions, not engage in group think.

      Generally I try to just express my own opinion and not judge what others have said, but just this once I’ll comment on what you said. Yes, it’s nice to see the other characters, but B&B are the core of the show. IMO, they have been largely MIA this season. If B&B don’t return to being the core, I’m probably done, and I suspect others might be as well, but who knows?

      Frankly, if they need to cut down on B&B scenes, for whatever reason, I’d much rather see storylines involving Aldo and Parker, for example, but maybe viewers really want to see Cam/Arastoo and Wendell’s new girlfriend.

  20. I haven’t cared for S10 at all. The only episodes I would even re-watch are 1&2, and maybe a few scenes here and there like the one with Christine on the couch.

    Honestly, if it weren’t for fanfiction filling in the VERY large gaps in the storyline I would have quit ages ago. I will forever be grateful to Kathy Reichs and Hart Hanson for creating these characters and the basic storyline, but I think Hart checked out long ago. I personally do not care for the direction in which Stephen Nathan is taking the show. Fortunately I have 9 wonderful seasons to re-watch.

    I’m going to watch the 200th episode and depending on the way that goes, will decide whether I’m done.

  21. I also like the acting, scripts, humor, and drama. However, my favorite part of the show has always been how those wonderfully complex characters interact with each other. That was what drew me in. It wasn’t just solving a crime. There are lots of procedurals to watch but, in my opinion, very few with such well drawn characters.

    From my point of view Brennan and Booth should be the center of this little universe for it to work well. Without them, I don’t feel like it’s the same great program. I am surprised that this movement away from their characters has occurred, but there are probably a lot of reasons for it. Change happens, and I understand that, but I don’t always have to like it.

  22. Judy judy judy….of course we’re watching the same show,we just have differing views.I’ve read some of your comments on Bonesology and you think Bones is the best show ever and can do know wrong.You love Aubrey and I hate him.At least the people on this site have differing opinions on Bones and don’t follow the company line like on Bonesology where it amazes me how all of you think exactly the same.BTW nobody cares if you don’t like Castle,a lot of people do since it gets way more viewers than Bones. Just because you don’t see anything negative about Bones,that doesn’t mean other people don’t.I like Bones,but I don’t care for the watered down version it has become.It has lost its essence.Respect peoples opinions even if you don’t agree with them.David and Emily’s chemistry and Booth and Brennan’s love story is what attracts people to Bones,it’s always been that way.

    • I can certainly see how you have the impression that I think Bones can do no wrong. My posts do tend to be more positive. That’s because I choose to be that way. If there is something I don’t like, I state it and move on. I don’t continually pick at it like an itchy scab. I totally understand your disappointment in the changes of the show, and I do recognize that your feelings are valid. However our approaches are vastly different in how we express what we feel. I agree, the show *is* different. I have made a choice to accept that because there are so many other things that I like about the show and they keep it interesting for me. That is why I made the Castle reference as a comparison. There may come a time where i stop watching Castle altogether. That will be my choice.

  23. Judy Judy Judy….I’ve never heard you say anything bad about Bones,When people say they hate Aubrey every week they’re called whiners but when you and the other hypocrites at Bonesology say he’s the greatest thing that ever was,there’s nothing wrong with that.If you and the others don’t want to be critical of Bones,that’s your business,just don’t knock people who are.I have the utmost respect for atlanta1425 for giving her honest views despite getting ragged on by the rest of you.I invite her to come over here and give honest and unbiased opinions and you can stay over there and enjoy your lovefest.

    • I just started posting this season and since I’m happy with this season, my posts are more positive. However, I was disappointed with Purging of the Pundit and I said so. But perhaps you missed that because I didn’t belabor the point post after post after post. All opinions and views are always welcome. What I have difficulty understanding are posts that continue to beat the dead horse without making an effort to understand another view. That’s all. I hope we can agree to disagree.

  24. It will be interesting to see how the pregnancy will be written into the show. I think there might be some version of Bones for another season. I read in my local paper that FOX is “struggling for viewers” and Bones is one of their better rated shows. Maybe they can work something out with all the actors to do some episodes.

    Honestly, I can understand not wanting to do a show full time after ten or eleven years. It must be exhausting from a creative standpoint and I guess an actor would run the risk of being typecast. I guess we will have to patient and see what happens.

  25. It’s rather disturbing on Bonesology how they treat people who don’t agree with their opinions on Bones,kudos to you atlanta1425.It’s even more disturbing how a bunch of middle aged,narrow minded women obsess so much over a tv show that they let it run their lives.I feel sorry for your families,really,get a life.I love Emily,but she should step away and enjoy her family.I hate to see another of her babies raised by a nanny and spending most of its time on a studio.I like to see a series finale with Brennan giving birth to their second child.Who wants to see Aubrey go in the field with Clark while Booth and Brennan stay at their work places.

  26. I’m sorry if I come across a little blunt.I’m a 20 year Navy veteran who spent a year in the Persian Gulf during Desert Storm.I chose the handle Paladin because Paladins are defenders of the faith and I respect the freedom of speech.It bothers me when people get crapped on for expressing an opinion.Those biddies at Bonesology are already bad mouthing me so I guess I struck a nerve over there(which I meant to do).Bones is a good show,but it has changed,some people like it and some people don’t,to each their own.If Bones is renewed then great and if not it had a good run.I don’t particularly like it this season but I still watch it,maybe that’s because I’ve always had a crush on Emily.

  27. There has been a lot of talk on Twitter and various Bones boards about the apparent lack of Booth and Brennan interaction on the show this season. Is it true, and if it is, why is this happening?

    I honestly don’t know how anyone can deny, at this point in S10, that there has been a reduction in the number of Booth and Brennan scenes. If I had the time – which I don’t – I would try to count the numbers of B&B scenes throughout the seasons. Even then, I don’t think the sheer number of scenes together is as important as something that is much more elusive to quantify, and that is the sparkling entity you get when you add David Boreananz (Booth) and Emily Deschanel (Brennan) together and get what is now colloquially referred to as B&B.

    Lightning in a bottle. That’s what David Boreanaz, and others, have called it. They largely built the show from the beginning on it. Of course, that’s not the only thing the show has going for it. In addition to the magic of B&B, they had a gifted show-runner, talented writers, and a stellar supporting cast. It didn’t hurt that the basis for the show was a series of very popular forensic crime novels that leant the show its unique premise.

    But now, the gifted show-runner has moved on to other projects. He is apparently still somewhat involved, but the direction of the show has been turned over to another — someone who was involved from the beginning but might have a different view of where the show is headed. Many of the talented writers from the first six seasons of the show have left, and some would argue that the new writers replacing them aren’t quite as skilled at navigating the complexities of both the cases and the B&B dynamic. The stellar supporting case remains, minus one dearly –loved character who left to pursue other opportunities. Unavoidable, but traumatic for some viewers. I’m not one of them. If B&B remain I could roll with the loss of just about any other character, although some would be harder than others to lose.

    What has troubled me about S10 is the lack of B&B…something. I can’t even put it into words. Warmth, love, affection, teasing, passion? Is that enough adjectives? I only know it’s lacking by comparison. Watch an episode from S1-S5 and I think you’ll see what I mean. Even S6 had it, especially in the latter episodes, post the departure of you-know-who. S7 and S8 were a little bit rocky in my opinion – the impact of the stable of new writers was becoming apparent, and there were more than a few forgettable episodes. But we were distracted from that by the arrival of Christine, the newness and novelty of B&B in a relationship and living together, and the sense/hope that B&B were moving toward getting married (not everyone wanted that but there were plenty of teases/hints along the way that that is where they were headed). Then we got S9 which, other than a few duds, was a spectacular season.

    Maybe TPTB wanted to bring things back down to a pre-season 9 level in terms of B&B interaction. If that’s the case, I think they went a little too far. Let me be clear, I’m not talking about sex scenes here. I won’t deny that I, among others, have wished, from time to time, for another scene like the one we got in the S4 finale “The End in the Beginning”. That’s just never going to happen. What I’m talking about are the little things…the flirting, the looks, and yes, the kisses. Baby girls need grills, let it melt, Tom Foolery and Wendy Whoopee in the Happy Hideaway, I hope it’s murder so I get to see you (kiss), dinosaur imitation and tickling on the couch, Brennan fixing Booth’s tie in his office (kiss), to hell with the FBI (kiss), this is not for my wife, it for my partner who I occasionally kiss (kiss)…need I go on? We just are not seeing that kind of affection between B&B this season.

    I honestly do not understand why you would take “lightning in a bottle” and throw it away. What is going on? I know some have questioned whether David and Emily have had some sort of a falling out, but when you see them in recent interviews it’s obvious that’s not the case. At this point Emily is more affectionate and handsy with David than Brennan is with Booth.
    If it isn’t due to a problem between the actors, what does that leave? Could the lack of B&B interaction be a deliberate choice by TPTB? Some have argued that it’s a continuing manifestation of Booth’s PTSD. Perhaps, but I don’t think Bones has ever been particularly good at nuanced storylines that require multi-episode continuity in behavior. I would be surprised if that’s what is going on here.

    To me, that just leaves lazy writing…a lack of understanding of the B&B dynamic by the newer writers on staff. I’m not a show runner, a TV writer, and I don’t work in Hollywood, but how hard can it be to include small evidences of affection between a couple? I can think of two situations this season where the lack of interaction was noticeable and could have gone a different way. Episode 3 “The Purging in the Pundit” opened with Booth sitting at the bar with his tie hanging around his neck, untied. He and Brennan had a conversation with her standing on the other side of the bar. How hard would it have been to have Brennan walk around and tie his tie while they were talking, perhaps with a kiss at the end of the scene? Another much-discussed scene was Booth, Brennan, and Christine at the breakfast table, which ended with Brennan kissing Christine goodbye. How about a kiss for Booth? It doesn’t seem too terribly difficult to me to include small things like this that are just a part of the natural flow of the story, but what do I know.
    Since I started writing this long, long post, the TV Tango conference call with Stephen Nathan has concluded. In that interview, Nathan said “As much as we listen to the fans, we can’t be ruled by the fans. We can only love the fans.” He’s right, there is no way they can listen to all of us. We all want different things. All we can do as viewers is decide whether to keep watching or not (along with coming to sites like this to discuss the show with other fans).

    I’ll probably keep watching because, well, it’s Bones, and I would miss it like hell if it wasn’t a part of my life. But boy, I sure do miss B&B.

    • I have counted the B&B scenes as well as Aubrey scenes. I’m on a church project for the rest of the day, but I will post either late tonight or tomorrow afternoon..Another church project in the morning. I too, miss the old B&B relationship.

      • counting scenes the results can be subjective, do you count chopped up scenes as one or when they are shown? like Daisy baby birth scenes they would be counted as multiple? when they cut away to another scene? I kinda scene count too esp this season lack of B&B 🙂

    • Beautiful post!..this is exactly how I feel 🙂

    • Great post. I agree with your assessment about how S7 & S8 weren’t that great, but S9 was fantastic. Since I marathoned the entire series for the first time this summer, I can tell you, I felt like the show has always been cyclical. There were periods even earlier on, where I thought the show was off (the writers’ strike may have played a part in that), and then it would pick up and be awesome.

      I may have a bit of a different perspective than others, though. I don’t think this show is remotely the best show ever. I would argue it’s a formulaic CSI style procedural that is way better than it has any right to be. I also have thought about how S10 has differed from previous seasons, and there actually is one way it has greatly improved: the cases are smarter. I have always found the cases on Bones to not be that great — compare it with The Good Wife, easily the best procedural on TV, and Bones murder cases come across like a dime novel. Not very interesting. Yet they have actually put together better cases this season, where I even have learned something. Although the conspiracy stuff was a bit out there, it actually did add to my knowledge so that when a news item in the NYT came out about the FBI threatening MLK, it came to life for me because I had watched Bones. Go figure! See here: Actual Hoover document in that link.

      I thought Episodes 1 & 2 were awesome in terms of B&B. Maybe not mushy, but they felt like a real couple and the spark was there. Since Episode 3, when Brennan urged Booth to trust Aubrey, the show has been more about the cases with some fun B&B subplots as well as other characters. But agreed: it hasn’t been that romantic or affectionate (I still was moved by the B&B end scene to the human trafficking episode).

      I agree that in the past Bones hasn’t done nuanced story arcs. Maybe that’s different this season. Again, DB is cleanly shaven for this Episode 200 coming up. But seeing him on Access Hollywood today, the beardage is back. Why? I think they’re still filming episodes at the moment, right? So my take is that Booth is dealing with PTSD or just in general not quite right, and I think it’s an arc that will take us through the entire season. I could be wrong, and I’ll say so if I am. But it would make sense that B&B would be changed. This is an article about a journalist who suffered from PTSD: It kind of lines up with some of Booth’s behavior.

      Stephan Nathan may be emphasizing different aspects of the show from Hart Hanson. But I admit to liking a lot of what he is doing. It certainly is change, though. I still prefer some change to it just becoming stale.

    • missmarple, you have perfectly encapsulated the feelings of so many fans.

      My question is, since DB and ED are producers, and DB a director…why are they going along with this? What part of the “blame”, so to speak, do they share? After 10 seasons of this show, why would they tacitly go along with what new writers or SN (or whoever) wants to do instead of standing up for their show. You are right, DB & ED are clearly close friends off screen. The chemistry is still there. They have inhabited these characters for all these years. Have they said, “something is missing” to anyone?

      But, this is also the same group of people who didn’t put scars on Sweets in the Mighty Hut. None of the cast, crew, showrunners, script supervisors, etc remembered that this character had this abusive childhood with visible scars!!!! The fans all saw it instantly. How could they (included JFD himself) not think of it? Baffling.

      I still think they should hire one or two rabid fans (I volunteer!) to be consultants/script supervisors. You can bet a million dollars we’d catch continuity problems or writing snafus. And be ED’s understudy in case DB needs to practice when she’s not around 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • While I do think that, as producers, ED and DB are involved in the overall storyline decisions (like whether to write ED’s pregnancy into the show), I just don’t think they get into the details of each script. I’m not sure how far in advance they even get each script. I would think that by the time they get it in hand it’s already been more or less finalized.

        I don’t think they are nearly as obsessive about the details as the fans are. I think we’ve all heard them misstate things in interviews, or have a hard time remembering the details of prior episodes!

    • Miss Marple, if I could favor this post a million times I would…..Stephen Nathan and Hart Hanson REALLY should read this post *claps* …..The lack of B&B is killing my 10yr love of Bones…… Aubrey being shoved down my throat in every other scene is killing my 10yr love of Bones….. All I ask is for them to dial Aubrey back and start re-focusing on the other cast members, start re-focusing on B&B again, write a better balance of scenes B&B between being work partners and spouses/parents, write their scenes throughout the episode from start to finish like they did in season 9 even, is that too much too ask? I think not……if the utter lack of B&B this season continues I want an explanation either in the on screen narrative or by Stephen or Hart, we aren’t idiots, we know S10 is different form prior seasons, I wish they would stop treating us like ones

  28. missmarple,i think your analysis of season 10 is 100% spot on,the best i’ve’s not the number of B&B scenes but the total lack of affection between the two.i agree with your assessment of the writing,some of the writers definately don’t get the B&B dynamic.if Bones gets another season,i hope they don’t do another finale where B&B are separated for months at a time.the last three finales have had them separated for at least three months either physically or emotionally(proposal),poor Christine has not had a happy summer with both her parents since she was that is lazy two scenarios for finales….
    season:B&B solve a case and take christine on a family vacation.
    series:Brennan tells Booth shes pregnant with their second child.

  29. missmarple, I am so much in agreement with you it is like you read my mind. I think it would only take a second or two in an episode to add that loving touch and it would go a long way with me. For example, when little Sweets was born, why not have Bones put her hand on Booth’s shoulder while he is holding the baby? Why not a little pat on the arm or a little hug when she tells him he will be a good uncle? In Corpse at the Convention while they are at breakfast Booth says something about her speech like “they are going to love you” and it would have been so easy to add ” and no matter what, I love you”. I don’t know if it is a writer’s choice or a director’s choice, or maybe the head honcho, but it seems like it would take so little effort and very little time. I liked the first two episodes this season, and the one about human trafficking, but the rest have left me wondering what is going on. There is a little hint of something in Purging of the Pundit when she talks about nibbling his ear, but a little nuzzle would add little zing. Of course, no one cares what I think, and if ED and DB are still on the show, I will still watch, but I cannot imagine the purpose of changing the whole dynamic of a successful television show. I wish I could get some sort of explanation.

  30. Thank you missmarple as you said it right! I have counted the scenes of B&B. It is so sad because of the lack of even mere touching. The B&B scenes are of the two on them in the same scene alone of with other cast members. Just for the sake of interest, I’ve added Aubrey’s scenes. I just don’t care for him..the character, not the actor. These are all scenes in different locations or different characters. Here goes:
    Episode 3- nibbling episode
    B&B 9 scenes joined by Aubrey 3 times
    Aubrey 11 scenes

    Episode 4-kindergarten episode
    B&B 5 scenes
    Aubrey 9 scenes

    Episode 5-joke episode
    B&B 5 scenes
    Aubrey 10 scenes

    Episode 6- dance and kiss in last scene episode
    5 scenes
    Aubrey 13 scenes

    Episode 7- Jack Ass episode
    B&B 5 scenes
    Aubrey 12 scenes

    Episode 8- Puzzle episode
    B&B 3 scenes
    Aubrey 13 scenes

    Episode 9- supposedly Brennan and Aubrey working together. They were only together in 3 scenes, and with Booth in Booth’s office 2 times!
    B&B 3 scenes
    Aubrey- 14 scenes -he was in 3 scenes with Booth, scenes with Hodges, Wendell, and a technician investigating the murder, questioned 3 witnesses by himself.

    • OK, that really make me sad…then people ask what is different in the show??…THAT IS DIFFERENT!

      • So we have evidence here and not just our gut instinct. Unfortunately, I am not sure it’s going to do the viewers any good. We are going to have to choose to watch as it is now or not at all. Hopefully the new episode this week will be good, but I am not sure what will carry over after the hideously long hiatus.

    • Wow. That’s a lot of Aubrey scenes!

      Just for the record, I don’t dislike Aubrey or John Boyd, the actor playing him. I started out liking him quite a bit, in fact. I like seeing Booth in the mentoring role, although I wish the writers would take that a little more seriously instead of playing the Booth/Aubrey thing for laughs.

      I just want B&B back, and if they can’t fit that in without reducing Aubrey’s screen-time, then so be it. Unfortunately, with ED pregnant I’m afraid we are for a lot more Aubrey.

  31. I wonder how many episodes are already filmed for the Spring……

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