Warning: The following contains spoilers from Thursday’s episode of Bones
Don’t you dare call Booth and Brennan a boring, old married couple.
On Thursday’s conclusion of Bones‘ two-part Season 11 premiere, Booth’s life-or-death ordeal ended with him and Brennan realizing that they belong at the FBI and Jeffersonian, respectively. And even though the pair is about to return to familiar territory, new co-showrunner Michael Peterson tells TVLine he’s determined to bring back Booth and Brennan’s spark.
Seeley and Tempe aren’t the only couple getting a shake-up: In the episode, Cam and Arastoo split after coming to the conclusion that if she followed him to a new city, she’d just end up resenting him.
Below, Peterson previews the break-up aftermath (new love interests!), Booth and Brennan’s (happier?) Season 11 journey, Angela and Hodgin’s upcoming challenge and more.
TVLINE | For you and Jonathan Collier, coming in as the new showrunners, what was your mission with this two-part premiere?
Survival. [Laughs] No. We had many different versions of the opener as, you can imagine, two new guys taking over this fantastic property…We had this alternate story, and it ended up being a little more Angela-and-Hodgins-focused than Booth-and-Brennan, and that’s why we ultimately decided to move it away from the first slot and move it into No. 10, so it’ll be our midseason finale.
It was such a strange place to start. We didn’t know if we were getting picked up last year. We had this finale where they’re walking away. We don’t mind being painted into a corner. It makes us get creative. We wanted to have a great story that, to us, felt organic to the characters… We want Booth and Brennan walking off into the sunset in a way, but also, they’re in the primes of their lives. I hate to say it, but they’re around my age, and I’m not quitting this job any time soon. I’m going to enjoy it, and it’s what I love to do. I think that’s very true for them also.
Obviously, they went through hell last year, between Sweets’ death and Booth being incarcerated, being betrayed in a way by the FBI, [and] the gambling stuff, the conspiracy stuff. They went through the wringer. This is after 10 years of going through similar type incidents. Still, that said, this is what they’re meant to do. Jon and I really talked about this season being about faith, which is a big thing. When you watch the 100th episode, they talk about Booth really does believe in faith, Brennan does not. … So it’s a very tragic way we got into that story, but we wanted to have them come back to their jobs because of this recognition that this is their destiny, this is what they’re meant to do. And they’re great at it.
TVLINE | There were quite a few twists and turns. Was there any part of you that was like, “We need to send the message that even though this is Season 11, there’s still plenty of drama and stakes to be found in the show”?
Yeah. I loved this episode, and I think a lot of the fans did, too. A lot of people that I know, their favorite episode is [about the] Gravedigger way back when, which had wonderful stakes. We wanted to recreate some of that magic from then… That ticking clock, we wanted to get that feeling back. It was a concerted effort to have that feel — rather than just being a standard Bones episodes, to make sure it was as personal as humanly possible and also nail-biting.
TVLINE | How does Jared’s death affect Booth going forward?
It’s going to have a dramatic effect on him. The nearest effect is going to be in the third episode where, in a way, he’s still in shock over it. There’s going to be guilt that he’s going to undoubtedly feel. I’ve gone through this season comparing Booth to Superman on many different occasions. Superman hopes he can save everybody. It’s painful to him that he couldn’t save his brother. That will have a deep impact on him throughout.
TVLINE | As you said earlier, last season was a very difficult one for Booth and Brennan as a couple. How would you characterize their journey this year? A little happier maybe?
Yeah, I think so. It’s happier in the bigger sense of we’re not doing the gambling, getting-kicked-out-of-the-house [story] — at least not yet. But what we’re doing is making sure that they still have the fire. It is the reason why we watch them. We love to see them going back and forth at each other. A lot of shows have the problem of once somebody gets married, the banter gets a little stale. They’re a little too nice and too sweet with each other. So that was a big thing coming back, talking to David [Boreanaz] and Emily [Deschanel]. They were all about, “Look at the fire in those first couple seasons! We want to bring some of that back.” So we’ve got a really fun storyline that brings that to the fore in the Betty White story, which is Episode 4. We really do want to embrace, “Yeah, we’re married, but we are not boring, and we’re going to go at it.”
TVLINE | How are they transitioning back to their old jobs? David told me that Booth is now below Aubrey at the FBI.
Aubrey is ambitious, let’s just say. He has goals, and he’s a mover and shaker. Booth is more of your great foot soldier. Aubrey has ambitions to be a general. So that’s going to play out. Right now, it’s not heated yet, but we still have the second half of the year to go. So we’ll see how contentious that gets between Booth and Aubrey.
TVLINE | Is there any hope for Cam and Arastoo?
There’s always hope. Coming in here, for Jon and myself, we wanted to make sure that nobody is safe. We’re going to shake things up. It’s wonderful to be on a show for the 11th season, but we want to make sure we play with everybody’s expectations and you keep watching every week because who knows what’s going to happen? But again, we want to keep it character-focused. By doing the jump in timeline, it was just an organic way to play with the expectations of Cam and Arastoo’s relationship. Certainly, for a while, Arastoo is gone. He is off looking at other opportunities. But he will also be somebody who’s coming back in the 10th episode and starting up a new, major storyline. In the meantime, we’re going to see what happens. They are broken up at this point. They are looking for other options.
TVLINE | Are there going to be love interests coming in for Cam?
Oh, you gotta hope so! She’s a beautiful, brilliant woman! Why wouldn’t there be? Yes, absolutely. We’ll be having love interests for many different people this year.
TVLINE | At TCA, you mentioned there’s something big coming down the line for Hodgins and Angela. Is this a good thing or bad thing for them?
I always go with the philosophy of, “Let’s see.” It does not seem good at the start.
TVLINE | Will Kim Raver’s character be back?
Probably not for the first part of the season, but we’re definitely looking at, hopefully, getting her back in the second half of the season. She was fantastic. We loved working with her, and she was nice enough to say she’d like to come back. It was delightful on all sides.
Bones fans, what did you think of the premiere’s conclusion? Are you heartbroken over Cam and Arastoo’s split? Hit the comments with your thoughts!