Fox’s Bones takes a very dramatic turn this Monday at 8/7c, with an episode that tackles not only 9/11 but also the plight of war veterans.
When the Jeffersonian team attempts to identify the remains of a homeless man, they find that there’s much more to him than they first thought. He actually died as a result of the terrorist attacks.
“That’s the culmination of the whole episode, that we honor this man,” previews Emily Deschanel. “As we put together his story, we realize that he was a hero and a veteran and that he needed a proper military burial. Booth gives him that. It’s very moving. The guy’s gone, but you can’t help being touched by something like that.”
Adds David Boreanaz: “It’s an intense episode. When you read [a script] of this magnitude, it just becomes a bit overwhelming. There’s a fear level to it because you want to get it right. And there’s a bit of you that says you don’t want to do it, because it’s too soon.”
In the end, the episode’s attention to the issues facing veterans earned the show special recognition from the L.A. City Council last Friday. Watch a fan-furnished video of the ceremony here:
“It’s a great honor to have the show recognized,” says executive producer Stephen Nathan, who also wrote the hour, titled “The Patriot in Purgatory.” “Sometimes we forget the impact [television] has on people at home who just turn on the TV for an hour to get some entertainment. You realize that you could do a little bit more than that sometimes.”
Nathan has wanted to do more – in particular, tell a 9/11 story – for a long time. “[It was previously established that] Brennan was at the tower site afterwards identifying remains as a forensic anthropologist,” he explains. “Cam was a coroner [in New York]. She was working, as well. These are characters who are profoundly affected by that day.”
But while the seeds of the idea were there from the start, the challenge lay in figuring out how to “not exploit the events [and] the horror so much as the human cost that continues to present itself. [The victim] brings up the event, the emotional cost and the human costs in a new way.”
With each member of the team having their own connection to that tragic day and Booth’s history as a solider, everyone is deeply moved by the investigation. The memory of her involvement in the aftermath of the attacks and what could have been hits Brennan particularly hard now that she’s in a relationship with Booth. “[It] affects them very deeply as a couple,” says Nathan. “They found something between them that they had never discussed. They had never opened that wound — a wound that they both have.”
For Deschanel, who got emotional just reading the script, it revealed a new, more vulnerable side of her character. “She could turn off her humanity, in a way. And now she can’t,” says the actress. “Having a partner in her life makes her feel things she couldn’t feel before. She opens up to [Booth] and that brings them closer together.”
Amid all the weighty issues, there’s some humor thrown in as Temperance assembles an “all-star” team compromised of her five best squinterns: Clark, Arastoo, Wendell, Fisher and Finn.
“It’s like bringing The [Miami] Heat together — Dwayne Wade, [Chris] Bosh and I’ll be LeBron [James],” jokes Eugene Byrd, who plays Clark. Adds Michael Grant Terry (Wendell): “The chemistry was there immediately, and we’ve all become so much better friends for it.”Follow @VladaGelman