'Bones' Boss on the Jeffersonian Team Shake-Up and Brennan's "New Journey"

"She sees the value of emotions for the first time," showrunner Stephen Nathan tells THR.
Patrick McElhenney/FOX

[Warning: Spoilers ahead for the June 4 episode of Bones.]

There’s still one episode of Bones left this season, but the penultimate hour signaled big changes ahead for the Jeffersonian team as the show heads into Season 11.

Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) and Angela (Michaela Conlin) are taking official steps to moving to Paris, including handing in their notice to Brennan (Emily Deschanel). At the same time, Brennan is becoming much more reliant on her gut instincts and emotions to deal with Booth’s (David Boreanaz) gambling addiction — a change that’s been ten years in the making.

Bones showrunner Stephen Nathan spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the changes happening to the team and why the final two episodes of the season have such an eerie "goodbye" feeling.

Can the Jeffersonian team really go on if Hodgins and Angela go to Paris?

In any kind of workplace or any kind of environment, after 10 years things have usually gone through many changes. A decade is a real landmark. The Jeffersonian existed a long time before them and a long time after them. All of the changes can be absorbed. Whether we want them to be absorbed is a whole other thing.

There’s a lot of focus on Brennan relying on her "gut feelings" over her logic in this episode. What’s the significance of her leaving that comfort zone? 

We’ve seen Brennan grow quite a bit from [an] almost animatronic magician. She’s become someone who understands the usefulness of rationality and logic, but also the usefulness of opening herself up and allowing herself to be vulnerable emotionally. She sees the value of emotions for the first time. This is a new journey for her.

How far will that journey go?

I cannot imagine Brennan ever becoming religious or abandoning her core principles, but we’re talking about not really abandoning, but growing. She’s synthesizing what she receives from Booth. Booth has done the same in his life.

The finale is your last episode as showrunner for at least the next season.  Is there anything you wanted to accomplish before you hand over the reins?

The last episode is a bit of a goodbye for me, at least temporarily. The show is in such good hands. [Executive producers] John [Collier] and Michael [Peterson] are fantastic. They have an amazing team. They are people who have been with Bones since Day 1. It’s all going to be wonderful.

Between Hodgins and Angela moving and Booth and Brennan getting settled, the end of Season 10 has a heavy goodbye feeling in general.

The difficulty for me was writing a finale at a time when we didn’t know if it was going to be the last episode of the season or the last episode of the series, so it had to be more of a goodbye than we were really prepared for when we went into it. We just kept turning over the idea that this is a series finale. We had planned for a time to do a cliffhanger. We knew exactly how we would go out in Season 10 and come back in Season 11, but we had to jettison all of that because at the time we wrote this it was unclear whether the show would be back, for whatever reasons.

Bones airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on Fox.

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