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Get ready for what could be one of the biggest Bones episodes ever. The Fox procedural drama will end its ninth season next week with a must-see finale directed by series star David Boreanaz. And yes, it's going to be explosive.
In this exclusive teaser clip, Boreanaz sets viewers up for the intense episode: "The arc's been slowly developing for Booth in the past four episodes, where he's been somewhat, kind of teased with this promotion to Germany," he says. Although there's been some closure with the ghost-killer case, a bigger story has been brewing, and it's about to come to a head in Monday's episode, "The Recluse in the Recliner."
Yahoo TV talked to Jonathan Collier, Bones's executive producer, who co-wrote the season finale with showrunner Stephen Nathan.
"It's an unusually intense and action-packed episode of Bones, but we still want to have all the emotional arcs and forensic work and everything else that makes a great Bones episode," Collier told us. "We definitely stepped out of our comfort zone a little bit."
After last week's "lighter" drag queen storyline (which was actually a "very hard-hitting episode ... a very sad story about a guy who doesn't feel comfortable with himself," Collier points out), did the writers decide to go in a darker direction for the finale?
"Definitely," Collier said. "I mean, we have an arc going on that started the middle of season, which is this exposure of secrets in the shadow government. And we want to be able to do both types of episodes, lighter ones and heavier ones. ... We were very aware that this episode was going to go between ['The Nail in the Coffin'], which was fairly intense, and the finale. And so all these things are still going on for the characters, but it wasn't by design that we made it unusually light."
A promo photo for the episode shows Booth wearing body armor and mixing toxic cocktails with gasoline and dishwashing liquid — in his own home! And then there's that disturbing promo clip with Brennan (Emily Deschanel) running through the hospital to get to her seriously wounded man. What kind of mess has our favorite FBI agent gotten himself into, anyway?
Will Booth survive to see a 10th season?
While Boreanaz dropped some hints to E! News at Fox's 2014 upfronts that had fans in a tizzy (he teased that Booth "may not be in the FBI next season" and "someone may not survive and it may be the man you're looking at right now"), Collier assures us Booth will be back. But he won't exactly be better than ever.
"All I can tell you is that Booth will be in the show next season," he said. "Booth and Brennan will both be in the show next season. The show is about Booth and Brennan. Having said that, Booth will be in pretty horrible, terrible, desperate shape. Things are as bad as we've ever seen them. He will be in a terrible predicament. He has to find a way out of it. And the one person he can really depend on is Brennan."
Of course, there is a fate worse than death for this FBI special agent, something that would be even more devastating than losing his life. "For Booth it's his honor," Collier said. "And we'll definitely be getting into that. I don't want to tip anything, but he has to redeem everything."
A cooked corpse
The finale episode's corpse — a conspiracy blogger who contacts Booth but meets his demise via an explosion in his Airstream trailer before they have a chance to meet up — is horrific. But Collier doesn't think this charred corpse is the worst the show has seen.
"We all have our personal favorites," he said. "I'd say the goriest corpse we ever had — some have been just revolting. The fact that this one is burnt, it's cooked if you will, makes it a little less gory."
Although he says "it's when they're wet and dripping" that they're worst, he adds, "Conceptually, this is maybe the goriest corpse we ever had because of what happened ... [but] it's a better way to die than the others." (Collier chose the artistic remains from the episode "Corpse on the Canopy" as one of the most horrifying in the show's history: "It's kind of a beautiful corpse, too," he added. "That's the one we modeled it after a Renaissance anatomical drawing.")
Is Sweets still sweet on the new squintern?
Dead bodies aside, last week's episode featured a lively bedroom romp. So, are FBI psychologist Sweets (John Francis Daley) and new Jeffersonian intern Jessica Warren (Laura Spencer) going to be a "thing" going forward?
"There is going to be a thing between them that develops," Collier told us. "The relationship is a developing relationship with ups and downs. We love Jessica."
Spencer also appears on CBS's Big Bang Theory, but Collier says he's banking on her being able to do both shows: "That's our hope," he said. "I mean she certainly seems eager to, and we love her and the cast loves her."
David's director's chair
Coming off a strong season, Collier says he thinks many episodes "came out really, really, really well." But his favorite? It has to be the Boreanaz-directed finale. In fact, he thinks two of the strongest episodes of the season were directed by the show's star.
"He's done — actually, it's really interesting, and this year he did tonally two episodes that couldn't be more different in terms of Bones." Collier said. "The first one he did ['Big in the Philippines'] — just a lovely episode. He did a terrific job with it, and generally David does the more action-packed episodes. But the first one's a real character piece." (The episode was loosely inspired by the documentary Searching for Sugar Man.)
Boreanaz has directed at least one episode every season since 2009: "He did the finale last year too," Collier noted. "He did an amazing job with that. ... I think the finale might have been, once again, this year's strongest episode, but the other one he did is just, it's an incredible episode."
Although we don't know what kind of cliffhanger the writers have in store for us, the next season of the show is already in the works. "We have started on Season 10," Collier told us. "We have actually been in the writers' room working and breaking the first five episodes of Season 10. So we've picked up our arc where it left off. "
And looking to what we hope is in the very distant future, the end for Booth and Brennan has already been decided. Whenever that happens to be: "In terms of how the series ends, that is really something that Hart Hanson, who created the show, has very strong opinions about," Collier said. "So I would say yes, we, as in Hart, has a very clear idea of how to end the series. But if and when that happens is the question. I feel like the real answer to that is, we feel there's a lot of stories left in the series."
But let's get through that finale first. "It's a very, very disruptive finale in that it's very challenging to the characters and their world," Collier revealed. "We give them an awful lot to get past."
The Season 9 finale of Bones airs Monday, May 19, at 8 p.m. on Fox.