'Bones' Season 11 Spoilers: Will Booth and Brennan Return to the Jeffersonian?
Many fans would probably agree that the Season 10 finale of "Bones" felt more like a conclusive series finale than anything else after the two leading actors decided to leave their jobs in order to take a fresh start in their careers.
During last Thursday's episode, which was titled "The Next in the Last," the Jeffersonian team tracked down the protégé of the notorious serial killer Christopher Pelant, who was killed earlier in the series. However, along the way, both Booth and Brennan decided that it was time for a career change so they resigned from their positions at the Jeffersonian to begin a new journey.
Executive producer Stephen Nathan, who also decided to leave the long running series after Season 10, opened up about the direction the show will take in Season 11 and the couple's uncertain future. He also admitted that the finale was written before Fox gave them confirmation that "Bones" would be picked up for another season.
"We had to do an episode that would be worthy of our audience that had committed to us for so many years," said the showrunner to The Hollywood Reporter explaining the thought process behind the finale.
"We wanted to give them a satisfying conclusion if in fact the show didn't come back. We also somehow had to have that vibe in the show that it could continue for another 10 years. It was really walking a tight rope. Hopefully, we did it [because] I don't think there's a net," he said.
He also teased that Booth and Brennan will not stay out of the Jeffersonian lab for long.
"'Bones'" is still going to go on as 'Bones,' Nathan explained. It wouldn't make sense for the show to have another set build. The one that already exists, according to what the team has been told, is the biggest permanent set that has been built for TV, meaning the characters will be on it once again.
"The mystery and the fun of Season 11 is how is this team going to reassemble. How is life going to go on? At what point do we pick them up?" Nathan said.
The exiting producer went on to reveal that "there will be a time lapse. We will be picking them up as they have been living a life that they have been wanting to live. From that they'll have to go back to the lives they had before, and clearly they will be different people and different circumstances will allow us to continue in a new life."
The former EP also expanded on how Booth and Brennan will be portrayed in the upcoming season.
"The challenge now is: How do we reintroduce them into a world and a family that they have bid farewell to?" he told TV Guide.
"We're not going to go to the Jeffersonian for 22 episodes without Booth and Brennan. The challenge is: How the hell do we get these two people back while being true to everything that made them leave? That's what will be interesting and surprising about the top of Season 11, and that's why doing these big moves is always so interesting to us and so much fun. It forces you to see the characters in a new way. It forces you to realize that there are expectations that always fall short of reality," said Nathan.
Once Booth and Brennan return to the Jeffersonian, Nathan says that they will have a new outlook and approach to their work.
"Whatever they've been doing in this time when they have left the Jeffersonian will allow them to see their work there and their future work in a unique way -- probably in a way even they had not expected."
Because Angela and Hodgins decided not to relocate to Paris after all, Nathan suggested that they will run operations at the lab in Booth and Brennan's absence.
"Yes, the dynamics of the lab will definitely change," Nathan confirmed. "When Booth and Brennan return, life has gone on without them. People have become entrenched in a new structure, a new social order. Time doesn't stop. You can't go back and pick up where you left off. You can only pick up from where you are at any given moment. That's going to have a lot of great conflict and a lot of surprises for the characters and the audience."
"Bones" will return in the fall on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.