Source: Marla @ The Game of Nerds

After what seemed like an excruciatingly interminable hiatus, we are officially in premiere week! It still hasn’t hit me yet that this is the 11th season of Bones. This show has managed to overcome a decade of innumerable schedule changes and very little network promotion.  And somehow, it has made it to this huge milestone. Bones is now also officially Fox’s longest running drama. As an absurdly obsessed Bonehead, I could not be more thrilled about all of this. I am so ready for whatever this season brings. And it certainly promises to bring some crazy moments in the few episodes of the season. But before we get there, let’s revisit the big events of season 10. And believe me, there were quite a few.

Goodbye Sweets:
In what was arguably the most shocking moment of the entire series, we lost our beloved FBI profiler and baby duck, Dr. Lance Sweets. The show did an excellent job of keeping this bit of devastation under wraps, as they played up the “Booth’s in prison” headline all during the summer press junkets and interviews. At the end of the season 10 premiere, we saw Booth and Brennan rushing to a dying Sweets’ side, following a frantic call from (new guy) Agent Aubrey. Ever the optimist, the psychologist used his final moments to reassure a very lost Booth- “the world is a lot better than you think it is.”  He used his last breath to once again help his friend and honorary “big brother” whom he knew was suffering so greatly at that time. That was who Sweets was. He was a part of that family. He was selfless. And he stayed true to his character until the very end. I can barely write this without tearing up- especially having just watched this episode last night. Sweets left his legacy in the Bones world in the form of his son with on-again off-again squintern Daisy Wick. Seeley Lance Wick-Sweets was born without his father present. But he entered the world surrounded by his father’s “family.” And as any Bones fan knows, there’s more than one kind of family. We all still miss Sweets. But John F. Daley is doing great things in the film world now. Life must go on. The show must go on. But we did get one last bittersweet rendition of “Lime in da Coconut.”

Hello Aubrey:
The introduction of Aubrey was somewhat controversial at first. I think as fans, we were all a bit unsure as to how we were supposed to react to his sudden intrusion into our very tightly knit group. And then once Sweets was gone, it almost felt like the show was trying to replace him with a oddly similar looking actor. However, as the season progressed, it became more apparent that Aubrey was definitely his own unique character. He’s not a profiler; he is an agent like Booth. So that immediately differentiated him from Sweets. But not unlike Sweets, he seemed to feel an almost-instant connection to Booth. Several times throughout the season, we saw him try to protect both Booth and Brennan. We learned about his past pretty early on. His dad was a white collar criminal who ditched him and his mother when he was just 13 years old. This allowed us to see a really special moment between him and Brennan, talking about life, the past, and pain: “We fight to try and change the past, or push it away. But the pain is part of who we are.” Later in the season, Aubrey helped Brennan deal with the ramifications of Booth’s gambling relapse. He also had some fun bonding moments with all of the other characters last season. A few too many to list. But the Jeffersonian/FBI gang has always been notorious for welcoming a wounded “soul” into the fold with open arms.

Aubrey had two love interests last season- food and “squintern” Jessica Warren. In that order. I don’t know if/when we will see the romance with Jessica progress. But I know for sure that we will see Aubrey and his beloved food once again. That has all the markers of everlasting love.

Booth’s Faith:
Booth has always been a man of faith. Always. He had faith in his work, faith in his family, faith in his religion. So the betrayal by an organization to which he so faithfully dedicated his life was absolutely crushing to him. It was also a major setback with his character. After the season 9 finale, Booth found himself in prison. He had been falsely accused of killing three FBI agents, who were actually Delta Force men sent to kill him. Though Brennan used blackmail and a bit of sass to spring him within the first ten minutes of the season premiere, the effects of the betrayal and FBI conspiracy lingered heavily during the first few episodes of season 10. Following the death of Sweets, it required some tough love paired with a little faith from Brennan to remind Booth of the “good man” he was. While it still took Booth some time to recover from all he had lost (both figuratively and literally), Brennan’s wake-up call allowed him to shift his focus to solving the conspiracy and getting on with his life. Ultimately, he and the rest of the gang were able to get justice for Sweets, and put away the man responsible for Booth’s attack and subsequent imprisonment.

Bones 200:
Not a lot needs to be said here, as this was very much a stand-alone episode. But if you’re a long-time fan of Bones and still have not seen this installment, you will absolutely not regret it. It could have gone so wrong. A 1950’s homage to both Alfred Hitchcock and 10 years of Bones- what would that even look like? But it was perfection. It definitely didn’t hurt that David Boreanaz directed this milestone episode. It was so brilliantly executed in every way. And it was aesthetically gorgeous. We got to see Booth and Brennan fall in love all over again, which was just amazing to see. They still have that sizzling chemistry between them, even in an alternate universe. There were so many little easter eggs in there for longtime fans of the show. I can never get enough of that episode. I am so thankful they were able to pull off such a large feat.

Another Baby Booth:
They’re having a baby! Throughout the first six seasons of Bones, fans wondered if Booth and Brennan would even get together by the end of the series. But here they were, married with a child. And then the news that they were expecting ANOTHER child- you just do not get that with most shows. No one was more excited than the happy couple.  Booth somersaulted on the bed over to Brennan who was jumping up and down in an adorable childlike manner – “I can keep eating cookies!” It was a moment of pure joy for both the couple and for fans. Though the elation was short-lived, as the happy news came in the midst of an impending gambling relapse.  The pregnancy took more of a backseat than it did in season 7. It was still acknowledged. Still discussed. Just not as front and center as the first time Brennan was pregnant. For good reason though, in my opinion. Viewers had already seen a fluffy Booth and Brennan pregnancy storyline. And there were other stories that could be told, concurrently.

Gambling Relapse:
This was perhaps the most polarizing storyline of the season, and a subject on which I could write dozens of pages (and I have, but I won’t). Booth re-entered the gambling world during a case. He assured (a pregnant) Brennan and his friends that he was completely in control. He wouldn’t slip because this time he had a life worth infinitely more than any hand he could ever be dealt. I truly think he believed that. But unfortunately, he relapsed. It wasn’t that his life was lacking in any way. On the contrary, he WAS very happy at that point. But according to Sweets (cited through Brennan who had been reading his books): “Any big emotional change, even good, can trigger a relapse with an addict.” After the year Booth had, who could blame him for slipping? Addiction is a disease. And it got him this time. It was a while before it all came to a head. If we’re looking on the bright side, it was nice to see that Booth did not eschew his occupational or familial responsibilities. In fact, he was so incredibly loving, and extremely present during that period of time. There were just little hints here and there that something was off. Until he left to go help Cam rescue Arastoo from Iran. During Booth’s absence, his bookie came to visit his house. “Jimmy” made “thinly veiled threats” to Brennan and Christine, and Booth’s secret was now out. Upon his return, Brennan confronted him. And he denied the gambling. In one of the most heart-crushing moments in the couple’s history, Brennan asked her husband to leave their home.

It wasn’t the gambling for Brennan, it was the lying. “Without the truth we have nothing.” Again I can ramble on for a week about this story, but this is just a recap. Trust had always been hard to come by for Brennan. Booth knew that she had a lifetime of trust issues. His lying was a huge betrayal of that trust. Years earlier, Brennan asked Booth if he was going to betray her. I think she really believed him when he gave her a firm “no.” But addiction makes you do things you would never think to do while sober. The only way to get through to her husband was to force him to take time and space away to face his problem, and really seek the help he needed. Booth simply went through the motions for a while- going to meetings and biding his time until he could move back in with his family. But another case finally made him realize what he was risking. What he had essentially almost gambled away. He snapped out of whatever denial he was facing, and finally put all his effort and determination into his recovery. Brennan saw all the evidence she needed in order to conclude that the Booth she knows and loves was coming back. She told him that he wasn’t alone in this. This was their fight, and they would battle the rest of the way together. He only had to take that first step alone. Though he was hesitant at first, she assured him that she had faith in him. She trusted him. And Brennan finally asked Booth to come back home to his family.

Moving On:
In the season finale, Booth and Brennan seriously discuss pursuing other opportunities outside their lives as “crime solvers.” Booth initially feels as though this is a punishment for his gambling transgressions, but Brennan assures him that this is solely about them. Their jobs are dangerous, and they have more than just themselves to think about now. With Christine and a new baby (SPOILER- BOY!) on the way, maybe it was time to move on. Booth takes some time to mull it over, but ultimately realized that this would be for the best. They would leave the Jeffersonian and the FBI after this last case. Unfortunately the last case involved Christopher Pelant (from beyond the grave). But the team solved it, as always. And Brennan had the last laugh as she turned off Pelant’s video message. She then spoke one of my favorite lines of the series so far:  “In our culture, we all search for closure. But closure is an illusion. Science shows us that the universe is constantly in flux. It’s what allows our friendships and our love to constantly surprise us. Pelant is the in the past. I won’t have him steal the new life Booth and I are going to live.” This was very illustrative of Brennan’s character evolution throughout the series. And an appropriate prelude to the last scene. Booth and Brennan hugged everyone in the lab goodbye, and then they were on their way into the unknown- together.

The biggest Hodgins and Angela story came towards the end of the season. With the help of Jessica, Hodgins invented an unbreakable beaker. His success attracted a number of investors, and Hodgins and Angela suddenly found themselves rich again for the first time since Pelant emptied their bank account back in season 8. In the midst of the gambling angst, Angela and Hodgins pondered whether this was the life they wanted to lead. Hodgins purchased a house in Paris, as it had always been Angela’s dream to live there. Now seemed like the perfect time. Up until the end of the season finale, it seemed like they would go. However, Angela realized how happy the lab made Hodgins. Dreams change. And Paris would always be there in the future. But she couldn’t take Hodgins away from anything that gave him that much joy. And he was her dream as well. A life with Hodgins and Michael Vincent, anywhere, appeared to be a more-than-sufficient life. So they decided to stick around the Jeffersonian, even after Booth and Brennan announced their imminent departure.

Arastoo found out his brother was dying, and he was the only one in his family who could get back into Iran. However, this would also put him in great danger, as Arastoo fled the country when he was 18. Cam tried to convince him to stay home, and stay safe. But ultimately he knew he had to go. Everything was fine for a while, until Arastoo was kidnapped by a member of the Iranian Parliament who forced him to help solve a murder case. With the help of Booth and Cam who traveled all the way to the Middle East, as well as the team at home, the case was finally solved. And as an added bonus, it seemed like Cam was reconsidering her stance on marriage- We may potentially see another wedding in the Bones future.

Bonus: Angela’s Name:
In season 3 we found out that Angela Montenegro was not actually the artist’s given name. The mystery had come up again every so often. This left fans wondering how horrible a name actually had to be in order to compel someone to change it. After Hodgins found Angela’s passport lying around her office, we were finally let in on the secret. Presenting: Ms. Pookie Noodlin. Mystery solved. Now if only they would tell us what 447 means!

There were so many moments from last season, but we would be here all day if we went back and recounted each and every one. Season 11 is about to open up with quite a bang, as Booth has apparently gone missing without a trace. But the sneak peek released this week shows a very happy and “blissful” B&B family. And it really was lovely that they gave us those moments of pure joy before all Hell breaks loose for the next two episodes!

See you in a few days to talk about 11×01! Can’t Wait! – Marla