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Last night, Fox’s Bones aired its Season 10 finale, ending on a note that was probably not remotely pleasant for fans who have stuck with the show for a decade now. On the bright side, what happened during the finale had nothing to do with Brennan and Booth splitting up, which could have been a possibility, considering the way things had been going for a few weeks there. Instead, Dr. Temperence Brennan and her partner Seeley Booth are leaving the Jeffersonian.
Here’s what happened. During the Season 10 finale, Booth ultimately decided that his gambling issues were getting in the way of his ability to concentrate at work. He decided the case of the week was going to be his last case, and even got together the conviction to tell Miss Caroline he was quitting. Soon, Brennan decided she was leaving the Jeffersonian, as well. By the end of the episode—which also featured a plot tying back in to the Pelant storyline—everyone hugged it out and Booth and Brennan really decided to go. It’s also probably worth noting that Angela and Hodgins, who earlier had decided to move to Paris, are now staying put at the Jeffersonian.
It’s a reset that could have played out similarly to how The Mentalist reshuffled the deck during the last couple of seasons. Brennan and Booth could have moved on, only to find a new gig and bring a few familiar friends back into the fold—maybe working overseas or somewhere else flashy. However, that doesn’t look to be what is happening. The series has already been renewed for Season 11, and new information reveals that everyone will actually be returning to the Jeffersonian, which is all sorts of a letdown.
Apparently, the Bones team wrote its finale before they knew whether or not the series was going to be cancelled and they wanted to go out with a bang. Showrunner Stephen Nathan is actually leaving the series before it returns next fall, but he told THR that the Jeffersonian set for Bones is the “biggest” ever built for network television. Plus, since the ratings are down from the show’s heyday, no one is looking to design a new stage.
Instead, the game plan is to jump ahead, a concept the crime series has used on other occasions. Eventually—no one knows when—Booth and Brennan will return to the lab, and everything will go back to normal. However, as things change when people are gone and Brennan won’t be doing her job anymore, it’s hard to tell what the working dynamics will be upon their return.
Bones has been a whole lot less grounded in recent years, with weird spiritual and political stuff coming into the plots and characters being killed off. Angela and Hodgins lost all of their money thanks to the villainous Pelant, and Booth even had to deal with a jail stint at one point, eventually landing his old job back. Other wild episodes have included one told from the perspective of a skull, and a non sequitur episode set in the 1950s. A reset could have been just what Bones needs to spice things up a bit without resorting to wild shenanigans, but we’ll have to wait and see if a new working dynamic is enough to keep people interested during the 2015-2016 TV season. Here’s what else Fox has coming up this fall.