“We’re going to be back on our traditional “Bones” footing very, very quickly. Certainly, episode 3, episode 4, the show is back,” executive producer Stephen Nathan promised reporters during a press call we joined on Tuesday, Sept. 30. “Our show is – yes, we’re a procedural, yeah, 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.”
The show’s 200th episode is coming up this season, but the EP remained “very, very vague and circumspect” about it (his own words). “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. We wanted to kind of give a little gift to the fans, to the people who have watched “Bones” for 10 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,” he teased. “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.”
As much as life has to go on, the events of the end of season 9 and beginning of season 10 do affect Booth, and part of that is that he has major trust issues moving forward. “His foundation, his trust in the institutions that he has devoted his life to, that he has risked his life for, has been shaken,” Nathan explained, and Aubrey is going to be he focus of his trust issues in the beginning. “Now, we will be getting over this – 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 on for a dark show where they’re dealing with all these demons all the time, but we have to deal with what has occurred. 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 this.”
Over these first five or six episodes, you’ll get to know Aubrey. “He’s going to be a very valuable member of the team and slowly become a member of the family as well,” the EP previewed. “He’s a strange guy, but he’s a brilliant agent who is unintimidated. Sweets was very deferential to Booth, Sweets was – 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.”
The team learned about the conspiracy thanks to their investigation of the Ghost Killer, which Pelant told Brennan about, but is there something else out there? “There is always something lurking out there,” Nathan teased. “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.” However, that might not be until the second half of the season, but there will be another case involving “someone who’s not nice, not a good person.”
Also being held for the second half of the season (potentially): Max and his secrets. “We try not to throw anything away,” the EP assured reporters, and that’s true of what Max may be involved in. “The story with Max is something we wanted to devote a good amount of time to. …We didn’t want to go from a conspiracy into some other big backstory, but Max will be back and will be back dealing with that issue.”
Even though the rotating squinterns were originally “just temporary help in the lab,” as Nathan put it, “they’ve become permanent members of the “Bones” family,” and they will be back. “They really have full, rich lives of their own and that’s what we’re going to be contending with,” he said. “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. 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 work places.”
As for doing a tribute to Ralph Waite, that’s still in the talking stages. “We probably will,” he shared. “We’re trying to figure out how to do that without bringing it all up again and being exploitive. We don’t want to be cheap about that, especially after dealing with such an enormous loss as the loss of Sweets. We’re in a pickle there, but we’re dealing with it.”
Finally, when a show gets to its 10th season, there are some challenges it must face, and according to Nathan, for the Fox drama series, it’s all about the procedural aspect of it, “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.” For example, this season will see a murder at a forensics convention, filled with forensics experts, and somehow, that’s something they haven’t done before.
“Bones” season 10 airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on Fox.