It honestly feels like only yesterday that season 11 began. I remember we were all a little perturbed about Bones kicking off in October instead of the usual September premiere date to which we had become accustomed. But considering the fact it is now August, and I am only now writing a season 11 recap- it also feels as though we have just seen a bit more than only one season. There were 22 episodes, yes. But we endured multiple hiatuses, both large and small. And now here we are. Just a few short weeks after that insane finale. The cast and crew are already in the midst of filming a season we will not be able to see until 2017 (which definitely does not bother me, for obvious reasons). But I don’t wish to discuss that right now. We have plenty of time to let “that” sink in. I would like to go back and recap the glorious ride that was Bones Season 11. Because it was incredible. It was astonishing. And it was absolutely everything that makes this show great. Eleven seasons and I have yet to feel even a hint of disappointment. And I don’t anticipate I ever will.
I constantly say that I could never in a million years select a favorite season of Bones. Luckily, no one can or will ever force me to do so. They are all my favorite. Every single one. They are all wonderful. They are all completely vital to the story. Each and every season is “the best” for very different reasons. Each one is a crucial step in these characters’ journeys. Each one is a part of the whole. Season 11 proved just how much life is still in this show. It was a powerhouse, for sure. Though, please do not look here if you want someone to insult season 10. I could not love season 10 more. I could potentially write a series of novels on it. Anyway, I get a bit teary eyed when talking about how amazing this show is. Not JUST for being in season 11. For being in any season. But the number 234 does make it all the more impressive. Without pulling any stunts, Bones remains as extraordinary after 234 episodes as it was in episode 1. The characters are remarkable. You WANT to continue to watch these people. You want to remain on this journey with them. The evolution does feel subtle at times. It has always been a slow-burn show. But when looking back to past seasons, you realize just how much these people have grown. They are still essentially the same (in terms of identity) as they were when they began. But time has changed them. Relationships have changed them. Events have changed them. It’s true to life, for sure. These brilliant writers and these amazing actors have ensured the longevity of this show over the years by keeping the story going without becoming unbelievable or inconceivable. Here we are, eleven years later, and I still do not think I have ever seen characters this compelling on television. Yes, OF COURSE there is a certain level of bias involved here. But there was a reason I fell in love with this show in the beginning. There is a reason I’m still here after all this time. It’s the story. It’s these characters. I am irrevocably in love. That should count for something. But that is a rant for another time and place.
Season 11 started with a bang. Not literally, of course. But those first two episodes were essentially a sign of what was to come. Twenty-two straight wonderfully dazzling episodes. Some were intense, some were heart-wrenching, some were amusing, and some were poignant. There was humor and there was darkness. There was tragedy, and there was levity. It had everything. As Bones always does. Even though the writers were forced by circumstance to rework their plans for the season early on, I don’t think it could have been better. Not at all. Shows have made it this far before, that’s true. Not many. But there are certainly a handful of shows that have made it well into double digit seasons. However, not many of those have made it this far without some sort of shake-up: A vastly different cast, a story re-direction, etc. Like the characters, Bones itself has evolved over the years. After all, a show cannot withstand the test of time without growing and adapting. There are a few differences between the past and the present, of course. And the types of stories have changed a bit. For one, people married with children are going to face different challenges than those who are younger and single. But I watch season 1 and I see Booth, Brennan, Hodgins, and Angela (it wouldn’t take long for Cam to join the team). They are solving crimes, bickering, flirting, laughing, and loving. Bones is still Bones. Then and now. That’s what is so amazing.
It would be fruitless for me to attempt to select a favorite episode from this season. I found myself thinking that every episode was better than the last. And that finale? How could anything ever compare? An episode which does stick out in my mind as I sit here was this year’s out-of-the-box episode- The Movie in the Making. It was comprised of truly everything that has made this show so amazing over the past decade+. I said it then and I’ll say it now: that incredible episode does not happen without the hundreds of episodes preceding it. THAT is why it was so great. THAT is why it was so rewarding. But now that I have singled out one episode, I feel the need to single out EVERY episode. It’s a slippery slope. I hate that I’m so enthusiastic and positive when it comes to this show. Wouldn’t it be great if I just had one favorite episode and one favorite season? Never going to happen. Ever. My favorite episode(s) from season 11: ALL. 1-22. That’s it.
While attempting to write this recap of sorts, I found myself struggling to keep it manageable. I wanted to recount the all the glorious moments experienced by each of the characters. But it was just too much. I can barely keep an episode discussion to a digestible length. Multiply that by 22 and it’s a bit excessive. So for the next few weeks I’ll be going through the characters one by one (or two by two). Here’s the schedule:
Week 2: The Squinterns
Week 3: Aubrey
Week 4: Cam
Week 5: Angela & Hodgins
Week 6: Booth & Brennan (they MAY require more than one week…)
This way, I can give every one if them the attention they require and deserve. So next week we’ll touch on the interns (Clark and Arastoo are included in that group as well, since they work as interns when working with the team).