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Emily Deschanel & Hart Hanson (Bones)

Emily Deschanel & Hart Hanson: The Interview (Bones)

After a tumultuous start, Bones is now concluding it's 5th season and a 6th is on tap.  We sit down with writer Hart Hanson and Bones herself, Emily Deschanel to talk about the season's final two episodes and the looming 6th (and possibly final?) season...

SHAKEFIRE: I've got to start this call off on the right foot.  The two upcoming episodes left for the season finale, what kind of impact is this going to have between Booth and Bones?

HART HANSON
: Oh, of course it is.  We had an interesting dilemma this year, which we sort of had two big finale type shows this year, because we wanted the 100th episode to ring on the Booth and Brennan relationship.  And then low and behold, the season finale has to live up to that or at least be as interesting we hope as the 100th.  And I think we were fairly successful in getting an interesting episode out of our 100th episode.

So I guess, Emily, you have to interrupt me if I start to blab too much, but it's like I think our season ender in its own way has as much impact on the future of the show as the 100th episode did.  Was that oblique enough?

EMILY DESCHANEL: I think what happens in both of those episodes are as impactful for their relationship, or the season finale, what happens in the season finale is as impactful for their relationship as the 100th episode was I think.  And I think there's a lot to live up to after the 100th episode I think.  And I think that Hart did a really good job writing the script and I was not to answer this question, but I'm just going to keep on talking.

SF: Now that it's been quite a few seasons of the show and it's in season 6 coming up, how do you see the evolution of Brennan?

ED: I think that you've seen through the seasons Brennan opening up a lot more.  She's definitely had a hard time socially with people and knowing what to say and to be sensitive to other people’s feeling and where they're coming from.  I think that's one reason why she chose science as a field and I think she's put up a lot of walls because of being abandoned as a child, and what she went through believing their parents were dead or missing, as well as her brother leaving her.  I think that the walls are starting to come down.

And you'll even see at the end of the season, her questioning her field, solving murders.  It's a pretty huge thing that she's even thinking about that, because I think it's something that she's chosen to escape into.  I think it's mainly from her relationship with Booth, who has opened her up and encouraged her to be more sociable, have a - I guess - a higher social intelligence ... which is fun to discover this character learning how to interact with people and I think she's gotten better.  She's still the same person, she still has difficulty, but she's making improvements for sure.

SF: So you've said several times that this season now is going to be a game changer, but what will we get closer on in these last few episodes, whether it'll be the Grave Digger or Page 187 or otherwise?

HH: Page 187.  Let's see, what do you think, Emily?  I don't think there's a lot of closure.

ED: Yes, there isn't a lot of closer.

HH: We know we're going into season 6.

ED: Maybe the Grave Digger, there's some closure there.

HH: Closure is not the word I would use as we barrel forward into season 6.  What do you think, Emily?

ED: Agreed.  I think it's overrated, we don't need closure.  We've got a whole other season at least to go.

HH: That's right, that's right.

SF: Well, we had a little closure with Angela and Hodgins’ marriage, I'd say.  Was that sort of your way of throwing these impatient fans like a bone, like okay, you can have this one?

HH: No, I don't think of it that way.  We've always known that Hodgins and Angela belong together.  I just thought we'd do it not in a season finale.  We'd already done them getting married in a season finale.  And I thought, let's just pop it in when no one's expecting it, that these two will get back together.  The scene where they talk about how they broke up has existed since they broke up.  It wasn't in a jail cell, I didn't know where it would happen, but that scene has existed and has been written for a long time where they realized how they let each other go.  And it just felt like the right time to get them back together.  I do sometimes think of the Hodgela, the Hodgela, the Hodgins/Angela relationship as a—

ED: Oh, you just coined a phrase.

HH: — like a steam valve.  It lets off some pressure, but it's not small beer.  It's, it's own story and we wanted to go into season 6 now with them married, that'll be fun.

SF: Okay.  The season 4 finale, you kind of talked a little bit about it, like indicated that Max and Jared might be connected with the Grave Digger.  I know Ryan O'Neal is in that episode, is he really just there for moral support like the promo indicated?  I mean, he always has his hands both on the side of good and the side of not so good.  What can you tell us about that?

HH: Boy, what do you think, Emily?  I would say he's not there just for moral support, how's that, Emily?

ED: Yes, I think that's accurate.

HH: It's a bit more than that, but he is a mysterious and multifaceted character, Max is.  And he's not an onlooker at heart.

ED: No, never an onlooker.

HH: ... Boy, I don't want to say anymore than that, that's a good question.

SF: My question is, is there going to be any future nemesis story arcs coming?

HH: Yes, and if you watch the second to last episode of this season, you'll have a glimmer of that.

ED: Oh, yes.

SF: Where  do you see the end game of the show, like is there a final destination you want the characters to go to, to end the show?

HH: I have a group of scenes written on my computer that are the end of Bones.  Whether or not those actually become the end of Bones, I don't know.  They've lasted so far from the second season.  But a TV series is very, very organic, it goes where it wants to go, you can just kind of steer it, and give it nudges.  There's so many things involved in it, but I do know the ending of Bones. 

Again, one of the things Emily and I were talking about yesterday, is how long will Bones go?  How long do we have?  We're going into our 6th season, are we a 7 season show, are we a 6 season show, are we a 10 season show?  That will all change as we try and gage that - how we do - as to what the ending of Bones is.  I know that sounds oblique, but I do know where it's going, it's just how many steps that are between now and then, I don't know.

ED: I didn't, that's news to me.  So if someone knows how to hack into our computer—

HH: Why would I tell you, it might all change.

ED: Oh, it might change, yes.

SF: With 24 ending, there's a lot of talk about their big screen movie.  Any thoughts on a future version of Bones, either of you?

HH: It's such a nebulous idea that really the real answer is no.  It comes up every once in awhile as something we might do.  It was even more talked about when we thought we're a four or five year show.  It's like then maybe we could do a movie.  I think it would be a lot of fun to do a movie, and I think our actors are up to it and up for it, but so far we're still really, really busy making a television show.  But I hope someday we get a chance to do that, it would be really fun.

ED: That would be fun.

SF: I know you've just been talking about taking time off and having a break, but I was wondering when are you going to start thinking about the next season or is it something you've already kind of planned out ahead?

HH: Well, we're very well into it.  There are actually six scripts that exist for next season and eight stories, including those six scripts, so we're well into it.  Last season as I was writing the season finale, the writer's room was turning out the stories for next season.  We're quite a machine.  We're well into it, and the writers now are all off.  They've got their hiatus.  They have about a month off and we have scripts in hand.

SF: Great.  And then just the follow up, we saw The Family Guy crossover in the fourth season, so is there any chance of another crossover happening at any stage or any shows you'd like to crossover with?

HH: Crossovers comes up all the time as a possibility.  For a while we were talking about doing a Lie to Me crossover.  I've always thought a Fringe crossover could work if we started at the same crime scene.  But really it's so difficult to arrange crossovers, because somehow the two shows have to come to an agreement on a time and a place and all those things.  And most of us quite honestly are doing everything at a flat out run, just trying to get a show to the air.  And with Lie to Me, Shawn Ryan had just taken over the show when we started talking about it, and he had his hands full.  We did the little crossover with Stewie from Family Guy, It was a lucky fortuitous thing.  We'd done this research on the tumor that Booth actually had and one of the symptoms was that you see animated characters, and it was an actual symptom of the type of brain tumor he had.  And I think my initial idea was Sponge Bob Square Pants, because I don't know, Sponge Bob makes me laugh.

And one of the, Josh Berman, another producer on the show said, no it should be Stewie from Family Guy, and we called up Seth and he was all for it.  So that was just one of those fortuitous things that happens, but we are open to crossovers.  And we'll see if the network wants it and has the will for it and to make it happen, then we're up for it.

Peter Oberth
Interview by Peter Oberth
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