Bones EP On Brennan’s New Obsession, Cam’s Crucible & The Ghost Killer
With Bones on the move to a new time period on Friday nights, ScreenSpy sat down with Executive Producer Stephen Nathan this week to talk about the move, and what’s ahead for the team this season.
So what can fans expect to see coming down the pipeline? Quite a lot, according to Nathan.
Audiences will see a new threat emerging in the form of “The Ghost Killer.” We’ll also see Brennan obsessing over cold cases in limbo (and her role as a jury member), Hodgins and Wendell’s lives shaken by new surprises, Cam’s identity crisis explored, David Boreanaz’ next directorial effort, and even a mention of Pelant.
“What we are trying to do a little bit more this season is to highlight the personal lives and conflicts of a lot of our supporting cast,” said Nathan.
“This is a family that has become so tight and so close that we get to see them sort of through Booth and Brennan’s eyes. We are examining a little bit more this season Cam’s life, Hodgins’ life, and even the interns. We are doing quite an emotional story with Wendell coming up. So, we are going to see the sort of family of this show. Their lives hopefully become richer and a little bit deeper than they have been in the past.”
Through a series of challenging cases involving everything from very old friends, vanishing artists, upsetting family secrets, professional athletes, and that ephemeral new-old serial killer, Brennan and Booth will also be confronted with how their perilous jobs impact their domestic life.
“There are a lot of challenges that they are going to have to face now,” said Nathan. “I mean, at one point we want to examine the fact that both of them working together are in an extremely dangerous situation, and what does that mean for their family? What does that mean for Parker and Christine? How does their work affect their family life now? But, primarily we are just going to be putting them in hopefully ever more challenging situations and allowing them to rely on the Squints and their friends even more than they have in the past.”
In an industry where writers, producers, and directors doggedly seek novel story lines with fantastical twists with outrageous character revamps, the Bones crew has a reputation for choosing a more down to earth approach, and that has sustained them for nearly a decade. Commenting on his reasoning, Nathan added “These are some of the things that we are going to be exploring, because they are real.”
“I want them to be happy for a while,” he continued, eschewing the clichéd yo-yo strategy of countering romantic bliss with heart-breaking tragedy. “They have enough to contend with … people shooting at them and trying to kill them … dead bodies … You just want them to go home and have a good time.”
Post-nuptial plans involve “Putting them in the most extreme situations we possibly could for the remainder of the year, murders we’ve never seen before, crimes, motives, clues that will test them, and see how two people in love will deal with that.”
Speaking of friends relying on friends, Nathan let drop that two of our favorites will be gracing the screen again later this season.
Aldo Clemens (Mather Zickel), Booth’s very own personal Father Mulcahy; and CIA operative Danny Beck (Freddie Prinze Jr.) will both return, Nathan confirmed. “They will definitely reappear. [With] Danny, we are working on that episode now. Again, this will be next year. Probably in February, and it will be an episode which sort of teams Booth and Danny in a common cause, but also causes Booth to question Danny in a way that hopefully will be very surprising.”
Addressing rumors that Pelant may resurface (from beyond the grave) to cause new headaches for the team, Nathan teased the following. “Pelant was such a big bad, and was such a huge presence in everybody’s life and such an enormous and personal threat, that it’s very difficult to do that again. So, we have another serial killer who is surfacing, one who has existed for many, many years, and who is anonymous, who we are calling, actually, the Ghost Killer. It’s a very ephemeral presence and sort of an evil that lurks in the shadows, someone whose identity we are not even sure of. When we find out the truth that many of these murders that have gone into limbo in cold cases are linked, we then have to find out really who it is. We are pointed in the direction, in the episode actually that we are shooting now, that will be the first one back in January, but all that is happening is we are being pointed in a direction, and we also haven’t, let’s say, felt the end of Pelant.”
“Pelant is reintroduced when Hodgins goes back to an old family friend,” said Nathan. By this time, Brennan’s obsession with Pelant’s mysterious supposition of a connection between longstanding and seemingly disparate cases, “Will surface in a way that concerns Booth and other people at the lab. They’re all going to have to contend with seeing how immersed and overwhelmed Brennan is by the idea of this new serial killer.”
Earlier this season Cam’s stolen identity brought her to her knees, demonstrating that she must depend on her friends to bolster her through some of life’s crises. That’s a tall order for the very self-possessed, very polished Dr. Camille Saroyan.
“For the next few episodes where we’re highlighting Cam, we’re going to be dealing with the struggle she’s having with the identity theft, which also becomes an identity crisis,” revealed Nathan, sharing that researching identity theft was a fascinating and eye-opening experience. “Most of the time the police do nothing. They can’t do anything. They don’t have the resources, and people are kind of left to fend for themselves and try to dig them out of a real horrible place. Fortunately, Cam has Angela. So, we will be dealing with that and eventually dealing with the person who has stolen her identity.”
And for those looking for scoop on Hodgins? Jack Hodgins grew up in a “very close and very, very wealthy family,” Nathan dished. In one February episode, Hodgins will “Find out some secrets about that family that are going to be quite surprising to him. And it is not going to be grand political secrets or anything like that. It’s going to be very, very personal.”
And as for that long-held dream of going into the field? Hodgins dreams will become a reality later this season, according to Nathan. “There is a murder that revolves around a family that was close to his family when he was growing up. He’s going into a world of wealth that he no longer enjoys.”
Nathan’s lips were sealed on the impact this might have on Hodgins’ efforts to recoup the family fortune, other than to agree that, “Yes, everybody wants them to get their money back!”
David Boreanaz is also on track to direct another episode. “We’re currently prepping for quite an emotional episode David (Boreanaz) is directing about the murder of an anonymous singer who we learn a lot more about as we uncover this case,” said Nathan. “It’s a take on the 2012 documentary, Searching for Sugar Man. In [this episode] we are going to see Wendell contend with something none of us would want to contend with.”
A directorial work having won BAFTA and Academy Awards such as Searching for sugar Man sounds like an intimidatingly tough act to follow, no matter who you are. “David is simply one of our favorite directors,” said Nathan. “It’s a terrific episode. He’s gonna just kill with it.”
With Bones kicking off new episodes in a new slot from November 15, what can fans expect from the Friday’s first new episode night episode The Fury in the Jury?
“Well, it’s something that we have kind of had in the file for years, and just finally were able to break it,” said Nathan “It seemed to us, somebody who is so incredibly logical and someone who would have the ability to uncover many more facts in a case be on a jury where their hands are tied, in terms of being an investigator, and they have to deal only with the information they are given. And Brennan, being supremely rational and logical, follows the judges’ instructions to the letter of the law, so that what she feels is utterly unimportant. She is only dealing with the evidence, and that gets us into a lot of trouble.”
“In terms of being funny? It’s pretty funny having her around a jury, because she wants to be the foreperson. She is not the foreperson,” he laughed. “If somebody asks a question in court, she answers. So, it really is Brennan going on a jury. It really was a chance for us to integrate two murders in one story and have Brennan involved in both, even the one she is not investigating because she is on the jury. That’s really complicated-sounding, and I just want you to know it really is complicated. But, we hopefully do it in a way that won’t give anybody a headache.”
Catch The Fury in the Jury time period premiere episode of BONES airing Friday, Nov. 15 (8:00-900 PM ET/PT) on FOX.