Why Booth Will Be Missing When Bones Returns

The season finale of Bones scattered our characters a bit. While Angela and Hodgins decided to stick to life in the States, Booth and Brennan ultimately opted to move on from life at the Jeffersonian. The move was made when Bones didn’t get the quick Season 11 pick-up the show expected from Fox and could thusly have worked as a series ender. Since it’s not, the show is going to have to rework itself a little this fall, and now we’ve learned that Bones and Booth will kick off the premiere physically separated from one another, with Booth missing in action. Recently, new showrunner Michael Peterson explained why Booth will be gone when Bones returns to the schedule.

It’s a very personal reason. It’s a family reason. He gets involved in something that’s very close to home and is probably the only thing that would pull him away from the tranquil life that he was leading up until that moment.

That’s a pretty vague description, but I’m guessing that maybe his absence could have something to do with his son, Parker, or some other angle I’m not currently considering, maybe related to his former life as a sniper. There are plenty of possibilities, but I find it pretty strange that Bones will be separating Booth and Brennan once more. They were already apart when Brennan went on the run at the beginning of Season 8 and then when Booth was in jail at the beginning of Season 10. I’m shocked the show would try a similar tactic for a third time—especially after Booth and Brennan went through trials related to Booth’s gambling last season--but after a lengthy run and a Season 10 ender leading to a bit of a reboot come fall, maybe this was really the best plot the writers could come up with.

According to EW, the Season 11 premiere episode will also feature a time jump, picking up six months after the events in the finale. Presumably, this will also mean that Cam, Angela, Hodgins, and more will have all moved on from the loss of Booth and Brennan in the lab. It wouldn’t really be Bones without the Jeffersonian, however, and the show doesn’t have the money to rebuild "it’s biggest set" at this point, so eventually everyone is expected to come back together in the lab.

We do know Bones will have at least one innovative episode during Season 11. Fox announced a few weeks ago that the writers are already hard at work on a crossover with other Fox series Sleepy Hollow. While the latter has a supernatural bent, both are procedurals, and both shows are set on the East Coast. We have no idea at this point how the crossover will bring the two teams together and it could be a while before we find out, as the event will not hit the schedule until later in the season.

Luckily, that doesn’t hold true for Bones itself. You can catch the veteran procedural when it hits the schedule on Thursday, October 1 at 8 p.m. ET.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.