It seems supremely bizarre to be recapping 12×11 right now. It feels as though this episode aired a lifetime ago. And in a sense, it was a different lifetime. My life changed irrevocably the moment 12×12 began to fade out. Actually, truth be told, I never let myself watch it fully fade to black. Because that way, I could potentially trick myself into believing that it was just another episode ending. Booth and Brennan are simply headed to the diner to pick up their children and relieve Uncle Aubrey from his babysitting duties. And then they will be back in our lives when another case comes up. But…maybe they will. Perhaps if we keep considering this another interminable hiatus, someday, we could potentially see them on our screen again. At a different point in their lives, of course. I most certainly will not get my hopes up. But in this day and age, you really never know. It’s not the most inconceivable notion. And it’s the only way I can keep going. By convincing myself each and every day that it’s not really the e*d. (That’s right, I still cannot say it.)
This is not about the finale though. This post (along with several future posts) really, is about the penultimate episode. In case you were keeping count, that word hurts as well. While I normally do not care for episodes of television structured in this particular way, I loved what they did here. It was absolutely brilliant. But did you really expect me to say anything else? I have proved time and time again that I am simply incapable of disliking anything, as it pertains to this show. I’m just wired that way. I suppose there are worse fates. But yes, I loved it. It was Bones at its best, once more. And that is both wonderful and distressing. Wonderful, as you never want an episode of your favorite show to be lacking in any way. Especially if it is well within double-digit seasons. Painfully distressing, because this show could go on. And if I had my way, it would go on for eternity.
The writers had quite a daunting task here. Yes, twelve episodes is a wonderful gift. Most shows do not get that kind of time to wrap everything up. At at least not in a way that would be at all satisfying to its fans. I will admit, twelve episodes seemed like a great deal more when we were still in the middle of season eleven. I was ecstatic back then. Mainly, because I knew I could defer any feelings of sorrow to the next year. But as this season commenced, it hit me hard. I realized there was no amount of warning that would have been sufficient enough for me to attain any semblance of closure. None. And there is no amount of episodes that could have made me feel as though it was a good place to e*d. I understand that you never want a show to overstay its welcome. But I truly believe that Bones is incapable of doing that. It’s an exception to the rule. It’s not like other shows. There are so many other places to go with these characters. So many stories untold. So much life left. I know, I know, there are a million detractors who would argue with me on this. And they would no doubt scoff at my implication that this show could have continued for another 12 years. But this is my stage, so I’m sharing my personal opinion on the matter. With these brilliant three-dimensional characters, it is near impossible to run out of storylines. Think about it: Life is long, in most cases at least. And as human beings, we go through innumerable phases throughout our lives. As it relates to the characters in Bones, we only saw a mere fraction of their lives. Does that mean the next thirty (or forty or fifty) years are going to be calm, boring, and uneventful? Of course not. No chance. There will always be a story to tell when it comes to Bones. But for now, I suppose that I will just have to imagine it on my own. Definitely not as satisfying. But what choice do I have? This show remains the center of my universe. Always.
With just two episodes remaining, the writers had to somehow to use this hour to get everything into place for the next one. They needed to wrap up smaller arcs, and set the stage for the upcoming conclusions of the bigger ones. And the way they went about achieving this was to allocate one act per character. Bones episodes are always written with six acts, so this could not have worked out more perfectly. Viewers would get to see a period of 24 hours from six different perspectives. Sometimes this sort of structure feels contrived, at best. Plenty of shows have attempted it as a sort of “out of the box” method of storytelling. But in this case, it felt immensely satisfying. It was not forced. And it was executed flawlessly.
The episode started with a near-bang. The first image we saw was a countdown clock attached to an explosive device. We already had photographic evidence that the lab was going to be blown up at some point within the next two episodes (we can thank Mr. Boreanaz for that one). But showing that bomb in the very first shot of this episode, it nearly sent me into cardiac arrest. Could we already be at this point just two seconds in? I was not ready to see the lab in ruins. Not yet. Well, not ever. As it turns out, neither was the episode. We did not see an explosion at that moment. Instead, we traveled back in time to Cam and Arastoo’s wedding reception.
I would just like to say that I very much appreciate how each wedding on this show has been distinctly unique. First, there was Angela and Hodgins’ initial attempt at a big white wedding. Very traditional (interesting, as Angela is anything but traditional). But they never actually went through with it, due to extenuating circumstances and a husband from Fiji. Their second wedding was in a jail cell. And it couldn’t have been more perfect for them. Then, of course, there was Booth and Brennan’s wedding. Originally it was to take place in a church. But as that didn’t work out, Angela put together a stunning wedding at the most perfect of places. Really, nothing could have been better than to go back to the location where Booth and Brennan first spoke about ducks and blackmail all those many years ago. And they even had a callback to that precise moment in the vows. It was nothing short of exceptional. I think most people would agree with me on that assessment (don’t even get me started about the 12×12 scene in that same location…I will not make it through this). And finally, here we are at Cam and Arastoo’s wedding. But we didn’t see the ceremony itself. And I’m honestly happy about that. We had never before witnessed a Bones reception. See, season 12 and still experiencing “firsts.” We were treated to toasts from friends and family. And we also watched our favorite characters let loose and really enjoy themselves in a party atmosphere. The calm before the storm. It was fantastic. I truly love that the writers worked hard to make each wedding special. I know that was their intent. They always want to find a new way to tell a story. But it certainly made for a lovely experience in each instance.
I’ve already gone off on a tangent. Bear with me. This is the first semi-long post I’ve written in six weeks. My mind feels as though a hurricane has barreled through it and rendered me completely useless. In other words, I’m a mess.
As I have an eternity of nothingness ahead of me, I figured I would split this recap into six parts. One for each character’s point of view. Sure, there is quite a bit of overlap for each, but it will be fun to take a deeper dive into the different acts. Like the episode, we will begin with Cam.
Our first glimpse at the post-nuptial celebration shows Clark toasting to Cam and Arastoo. May I just say that the entire cast looks absolutely dazzling. But they always do. Such beautiful people. Cam is glowing. She looks nearly drunk with happiness, so much so, that she almost knocked into the “interns.” Through a conversation with them, we find out that Cam will be taking a six month hiatus from the Jeffersonian. News to me, upon first watch. Cam has told everyone that she and Arastoo will be traveling abroad. But we already know the real reason for her leave now. Daisy wants to take an intern photo with everyone and Arastoo, even though none of them are actually interns any longer. That got me thinking, has Wendell decided what he is going to do with his life…Will he remain in forensic anthropology? At the very least, he will have to sit down and really think about what he really wants. But, he has time. And should he require more advice, Brennan isn’t going anywhere. Thankfully.
At that moment, Brennan calls Cam over to the gifts table. She has discovered a gift without a card, and is unsure how to categorize that on her spreadsheet. For some reason, I briefly wondered if maybe the tag-less gift was a clue. A “gift” from Kovac. But it wouldn’t take long for me to throw that theory out the window. Cam tells Brennan not to worry, and to just have fun. “Oh, believe me. I am.” Of course she is. I do believe her. Have I mentioned how much I love this woman? Probably just a few million times. But honestly, she is too precious and glorious for words.
As Cam begins to walk away, she pauses, and turns to face Brennan once more. Cam thanks Brennan (and Hodgins) for making all the necessary preparations for Zack’s hearing the following morning. It seems like poor timing, having the wedding the night before the big hearing. But I suppose the court date was non-negotiable. And Cam didn’t really need to be there. Brennan mentions that they will have to get used to solving cases without Cam. Writing a recap at this point is quite strange. Because I know how everything unfolds. I’m attempting to put myself back where I was the first time I watched this. Actually, please take me back there if possible. I do not care to live in this post-Bones world anymore. That said, I do have a clear memory of just how devastated I was upon first hearing that Cam would be leaving the Jeffersonian- however temporary it turned out to be. They are a team. All of them. It is always noticeable whenever one of them is missing. Cam was not there at the very beginning. But she has still been a part of this team for over a decade. I do not like change. But as episodes before and after this have taught me- everything changes. “Entropy is a natural force that pulls everything apart at a subatomic level. Everything changes.” But interestingly enough, that particular quote is followed by: “Not everything, Bones.” Both assertions somehow seem plausible to me right now, within the context of this show. But I’m getting ahead of myself once again.
Cam informs Brennan that she is actually considering handing over her role as administrative head of the Jeffersonian. I have something in my eye, and need to pause. Don’t leave, Cam! Though I completely understand her reasons. Her real reasons. Brennan notes that they both know who the obvious choice for Cam’s replacement would be. At this point, I actually did not assume that it would be Brennan. If you remember way back when Cam first appeared on the show, Brennan was quite upset at that she was not considered for that very position. But throughout the episode and over the years, she realized that it was really all about the pure science for her.
You should be okay with Dr. Saroyan getting the Head of Forensics job.
Why is that?
Because you are strictly rubber-to-the-road, hardball scientist. Not a flesh pressing, ink-stained, policy making…wanktard.
While Hodgins was a bit brazen here with regards to Cam, he had a point. Though, I think he would describe Cam a little differently nowadays. Brennan would not love that job. She absolutely lives for what she does. I do not want to keep referencing 12×12 in this recap since I’ll have a lot more to say about it later. But Brennan has generally been happiest when she can just focus on the science. Well, science with a touch of field work. She would rather leave the administrative tasks to someone else. Like Booth, Brennan is a woman of action. Neither of individuals are really meant for desk work. So yes, I already had an inkling that Hodgins would be the one chosen. But I was curious as to whether Cam and Brennan were both on the same page here. Did they have the same candidate in mind? Hard to say. It’s obvious that they had been talking quite a bit about Cam’s leave of absence, since Brennan is also the first to know why Cam is really leaving the Jeffersonian. But who can say. One of those mysteries we can only mull over, but never really know. I’m not sure anyone else cares that much. But I was definitely curious.
The conversation between the two women ends when Cam notices Christine giving Michael Vincent a “wet willy.” Brennan rushes off yelling “you could perforate his eardrum!” Again, I love this woman. And I so very much love this show. More than anything. Cam walks off, sporting a “that’s all yours” smirk.
Though Cam opted for the lavish fairytale wedding, she has no desire to toss the bouquet. She has to draw the line somewhere. But her sister can be quite convincing. And Felicia basically shoves the bouquet into Cam’s hands. So she tosses the flowers, and for the time being we have no idea as to the identity of the recipient. This was the point I began to notice that this segment was all very Cam-centric. We were only following Cam around. But I wasn’t absolutely certain of this until the “next morning.”
Christine runs up to Cam and gently tugs on her dress. “Dr. Saroyan, can I wear your veil?” This child is all too precious. Remember when Christine was just a baby. Actually, remember BEFORE Christine was born. How did we get here? I may be grieving day in and day out over the events of March 28. But I am forever grateful at just how much we were given as fans of this show. I feel so lucky every single day. That is, if I can stop crying every time I wake up and realize I’m still here in a world where Bones is not in production. Anyway…Cam happily obliges, and places her veil upon Christine’s head. Christine smiles, thanks Cam, and runs off. Sunnie is so perfect for this role. She is such a gift, and has really brought this character to life. That’s quite an accomplishment for a seven-year old. Well she was four when she started. What a little star.
I wondered whether we would see Brennan making a comment about veils and virgins to her child after this moment. It wouldn’t be the first time (see 8×24, right before everything fell apart). But, I would have to wait for that as well.
Cam smiles as she watches the child run away. But her eye then catches a very somber looking Booth walking slowly back into the reception. We know he was all smiles earlier in the evening. So something disturbing must have transpired to cause him to look this grim. Cam makes her way to Booth, and asks if he is okay. He claims he’s fine. “Great” even. And tells her that what’s important is that she’s happy. And she really truly is. Booth goes on to say that Arastoo is a great guy. “If we are half as happy as you and Brennan, I will consider it a success.” Of course. And high praise. Aubrey then rushes over babbling about drinks while carrying Hank. Side note: in a rather unsurprising twist, I absolutely adore Hank. And his little suit was just too much. I have never been one to fawn over babies. But something about Booth and Brennan’s children- I’m simply not immune. One child for this couple would have been more than enough for me. But we got two. And I will never stop celebrating that.
Aubrey claims that he has imbibed too much alcohol to safely hold a child. You have to love Uncle Aubrey. But why is he drinking so much? Just for fun? Or was there another reason. Again, I would have to wait. Aubrey hands Hank to Booth, and I need to pause for another moment. Because watching Booth hold his baby boy is something that I will never not gush over. They are going to “go find Mom” and I could really just die. I’m good. Forever. He then says “let’s go Buddy.” And it’s now GOODBYE to me. Can I relish in this priceless moment a little longer? I still haven’t forgotten Booth’s haunted look just a moment before. But that’s something we were forced to wait until the end to find out about.
A man I have never seen before approaches Cam, mistakenly referring to her as Mrs. Vaziri. She informs him that she is not changing her name. Actually, none of the women on this show changed their name after marriage. And I love that. Why should they? More than that, it’s never even been an issue with the men. Never something that was discussed. Maybe because last names are used so frequently in this show. But more likely because these women have established themselves under their given names. I use the term “given” loosely since two out of three women were not born with the names they now use. The man then tells Cam that he moved her personal items from the changing area to her car. Which seemed like too pointless a conversation to be coincidental. Time was precious real estate in these episodes. And nearly every moment had to mean something. So, I had no choice but to assume that this meant something.
Cam’s face lights up at the sight of someone off camera. And then we see Arastoo enter the frame. They greet each other with a kiss. But Michelle interrupts the moment, as she would like to give a toast.
I know this isn’t a new thing, but Michelle referring to Cam as her mom metaphorically warms my heart. Perhaps it’s because I just watched The Doctor in the Den a few dozen times recently. Witnessing where these two started (even if “Michelle” in that episode was a different actress) and seeing just how much their relationship evolved is both astonishing and beautiful. Michelle toasts her mother and Arastoo, and wishes them a long and happy marriage. And now as we get another glimpse of all the characters at this wedding. Again, they all look so stunning. Not only is this cast immensely talented, they are also insanely gorgeous. It hurts my eyes.
Michelle invites the newly wedded couple onto the dance floor, as everyone claps and cheers. Friends and family look on, smiling. Some are almost in tears (I’m looking at you, Caroline Julian). Except for maybe Jessica. But that’s a different story. For a different week.
And just like that, the wedding is over and we are in Cam’s bedroom. Arastoo enters with a mug of something presumably warm and caffeinated, and lets Cam know that she has slept until 11. I’m betting she has not done that in decades. Cam gets nervous for a moment, claiming that she has to do…something. But she quickly realizes that she has nothing to do. No responsibilities whatsoever. She picks up her phone to find a message from Michelle who grabbed her purse from the reception hall. Once again, that struck me as odd. The man told Cam that her belongings were moved to her car the previous evening. But her purse was left on a chair for Michelle to find. Why is this important enough to include? Unless someone needed something from Cam’s purse. It wouldn’t be long before we found out.
Cam notices that she has quite a few messages from the lab. She is a bit alarmed, as she was officially on leave. My heart (figuratively) sank once more. Was this it? It couldn’t be. “It sounds like something serious has happened at the lab.” So much for Cam’s sabbatical. They want her to come into the lab immediately. Arastoo notices that he has similar messages as well. Well, at least the Jeffersonian still seemed intact then.
Cam and Arastoo arrive, and head towards the forensic platform. Like they have done a thousand times before. But Cam does not have her I.D with her. Her I.D. is in her purse. And at this point I realized exactly how a bomb was going to get into the lab. Actually, I realized that a bomb was already in the lab. Damn. This is why I do not carry my work badge unless I’m going to work. The consequences would probably be just a bit less dire in my case. But still.
The team explains that the victim they have on the table is a male with a gunshot wound to the head. They do not yet have an identification, and Cam is confused as to why she was called in. “Seriously guys, tell me, what has gone wrong here.” Brennan replies with just a single word. But in that single word, I instantly felt as though my world had spun right off its axis. “Everything.”
Roll opening credits.
This last scene is more than a little unnerving. But Brennan is right. Everything is wrong. While the team understands the severity of the ongoing situation with Kovac, they have no idea what lies directly ahead of them. They haven’t a clue that at that very moment, they are standing above a series of explosives. That some of them will be trapped as those explosives detonate. And that one of them may have to face some devastating long-term effects. And question her very identity- everything she ever thought she knew about herself.
The order of these acts made perfect sense. Cam started us off because, well, it was her wedding. But it was also an effective means by which to plant the seed re: the seemingly harmless missing purse/I.D. In Cam’s point of view, the stage was set for the events to come. This episode was also used to set up the finale. And we were given a bit of information as to the future of some of these characters. In Cam’s case, she is newly married. And we find out that she is planning to leave the Jeffersonian for a period of time. Will she ever come back? Having seen the next episode, I feel as though she will eventually return. But while watching this episode it was still unclear. Six months is a significant period of time. Cam could feasibly decide she wants to stay home longer. That her heart just isn’t in her work anymore. Arastoo could potentially find an amazing job elsewhere. There are so many permutations. But, I like to think Cam will be back. And Arastoo will come back every so often as a consultant. And everything will be as it should. Because these people belong together. Yes, everything changes. But as far as I’m concerned, this group of people will not. They are family for life. That is something that will never change. Just as their love for each other will never change.
I’ll leave it there for now. Next up is Hodgins. I want to extend these recaps as far as I can for obvious reasons. But no need to worry. I will never run out of things to say about Bones. Perhaps it will become a bit repetitious for some. However, I always go back to that same quote from The Movie in the Making. “With new perspective comes new insight.” Every single time I watch any episode, I discover something entirely new. So I will keep going indefinitely. Even if I’m only writing these for myself…