Surprise! As you can probably discern from the title, this is not a recap. Truth be told, I do not know what this is. If I was in your shoes, I probably wouldn’t read it. Unless you’re curious about a few things that have been flying through my head since March 28.
Here’s the deal – I have been waiting and waiting to write about a very particular scene contained within Act 4 of 12×12 for months. Back when I first conceived of these multi-part recaps, I figured by the time I got to this one, I would know precisely how to put my feelings into words. That was probably far too optimistic. Because guess what? It was a very misguided assumption. So, I am now hoping that a few days away from said recap will allow me to structure my thoughts a little more coherently. And it will also help me to say exactly what I’ve been dying to say since I saw it. Believe it or not, putting my thoughts into words is nearly impossible. My thoughts are mostly comprised of incomprehensible screams, tears, squeals and other emotional nonsense. I have been mostly radio silent as it pertains to 12×12. So these recaps are the first time I have really made any genuine attempt to put these emotions into words. Here’s to hoping. We’ll see what ultimately comes out a little time and space.
All that said, in lieu of my regularly scheduled content, I thought I’d write something off the cuff this week. Just so there was something Bones-related posted on this site. I will be writing without thinking (my brain is a bit fried, as it is). And that is always dangerous. So please exercise caution, and if you are easily triggered by Bones sadness, feel free to close this now. My assumption is that it will be pathetic, at best.
It’s been over five months now. Which is completely inconceivable to me. I remember thinking last year that I would give absolutely anything for time to just stop dead in its tracks. If time was not existent, then I could potentially live in a world where this show stays on the air forever. But as is often the way with time, it did not cooperate. It only seemed to speed up. Conversely, after 12×12, all I wanted to downs to fast-forward through the days. Nothing is really worth anything in the present. Might as well speed haphazardly through it with my eyes closed. No such luck, though. Time effectively stopped on the eve of March 28. And I’ve been stuck “here” ever since.
This was all a long time coming. And I am truly grateful for the notice we were given over a year in advance. As I’ve said before, it is rare that a show receives the opportunity to wrap up its story in an entire (well, half) season, rather than just one episode. Bones may never have gotten the respect it deserved, but I am forever thankful that they had this chance to place these characters in a positive and hopeful place before they left our screens (for a long hiatus). After 11 seasons, it would have been an injustice to only give a few week’s notice to put together a finale. Season 12 was a gift. And as I’ve gushed a million times before, the finale was flawless. It was executed perfectly and in keeping with the traditional style of Bones, and it was the most fulfilling culmination that I’ve seen for a show. So while I still continue to grieve, I am also somehow the most satisfied I could possibly be. Want to take a vacation to my brain? I assure you, you will get whiplash.
I do believe we all react to these things differently. And we are each entitled to our reactions. To some, Bones was merely a show they enjoyed watching along with a slew of other programming. Perhaps there was some sadness there, but they would eventually move on to something else. Nothing wrong with that. Casual viewers are absolutely essential to the survival of any show. Others may have thought that it would be far more difficult to get past the finale than it actually was. In reality, maybe it wasn’t as devastating as they initially predicted. And then there’s my bucket. The one in which you know and plan for this inevitability (both in the long-term and short-term). You hope that it’s not as cataclysmic as you have anticipated it to be. And then it happens. And it’s far worse.
There was a moment in season 9 when I suddenly came to the realization that I would soon have to start preparing myself. Working for networks, I certainly understand that there is far more to a renewal than meets the eye. So I wasn’t concerned with the decline in linear ratings. But I also know that nothing lasts forever, as much as I’ve hoped to the contrary. Maybe a soap opera. Or Law & Order. But that’s a whole other entity. So I did everything humanly possible to try and get my life to a place where I could potentially handle this inevitable end (actually, let’s call it a “pause”). In the span of just a few years, I changed my life completely. I put myself in the best position I possibly could. And you know what? It wasn’t enough. It was never going to be enough. Because as it turns out, there is only one source of organic happiness in my universe. What was once the thing that saved my life was going to be the thing that also ruined it. Funny how these things happen. My world turned upside down. But it never did turn right-side up again.
People give me the most incredulous looks when I’m forced to admit that I am mourning the beauty that is Bones. Because I still am. And really, I always will be. Until the hiatus is over, of course. But honestly, and I’ve said this before, it feels akin to a death. And I don’t mean that to sound disrespectful. Or maybe just a fundamental piece of myself died. When something enters your life and gives it hope and purpose and a reason to get up in the morning, it’s more than a bit disruptive when it’s gone. Well, it’ll never truly be gone. We were blessed 12 seasons full of episodes. Most days I can still fool myself into thinking it’s just another one of those ridiculously long hiatuses. That is, until I’m driving through LA and find myself face to face with a Seal Team billboard. Or I come across social media updates from the cast and crew who are excited to share their new projects. Or without thinking, I start to anticipate SDCC, but immediately realize there’s nothing for me there anymore. Or even when someone wants me to watch a new show, and I physically and emotionally cannot even bear the thought because nothing will ever be Bones. And everything else feels extraordinarily empty. Nothing has actually changed in my life. I still eat, sleep, and breathe Bones each and every day. It’s constantly on my mind or in my ears or on one of my screens. But it’s those unexpected reminders that get me now. When someone or something wrenches me from the safety of my protective Bones bubble. That’s when I lose it completely. I want to make it clear though, I want these people to be successful. I want them to find projects that thrill and fulfill them. They deserve absolutely everything, as they gave me everything. But it still doesn’t make it any easier to actually see these things. Because it’s a reminder that what once was, is no more.
This is something I’ve posted about a few times before: There’s a relatively unpopular musical called Mack & Mabel, during which the lead female character sings a song called “Time Heals Everything.” And I have come back to this song over and over again these past few months. I think this is the third time I’ve referenced it in my posts. Everyone claims that time is the only way to mend a crushed heart. However, I don’t believe that’s true. I think time is an asset when it comes to so many of life’s problems. But time simply cannot heal this.
Time heals everything, Tuesday, Thursday
Time heals everything, April, August
If I’m patient the break will mend
And one fine morning the hurt will end
So make the moments fly, autumn, winter
I’ll forget you by next year, some year
Though it’s hell that I’m going through
Some Tuesday, Thursday, April, August
Autumn, winter, next year, some year
Time heals everything
Time heals everything
But loving you
I’m sure there are a great many who would laugh directly in my face if they were reading this now. After all, I just used a song about heartbreak to describe what losing this show feels like to me. To them I say “Not everyone understands people like us.” Try as I might to explain, and as unbelievable as it sounds, these feelings are real. But it’s difficult for others to wrap their head around it all if they have never truly experienced getting engulfed by a life-altering show. I do understand the disbelief. “We” are a strange breed of human. But I have noticed that many of us who gravitated to this show so intensely have been through something significant in life. How can anyone ridicule anything that relieves life’s pain? Something that helps us heal, and motivates us to keep going? Mostly I just don’t explain to others anymore. What’s the point? Like it or not, these feelings are genuine. Like you, it makes no sense. And like you, it feels right. Whether or not you know what it feels like, this is reality for me and others like me. I take life one day at a time now. And I try not to think about anything other than the fact that I’m still watching and enjoying a couple hundred existing episodes of Bones. I will never tire of of any of it. Every time I watch any Bones episode, it feels just like the first. That is one thing I DO appreciate about myself. I can watch this show a million times over, and it will always feel like home.
I think I need to at least incorporate something a bit less depressing before I wrap up this pseudo-diary entry. Sadly, that’s just not me. But I’ll try.
No show will ever compare to Bones. Sure it’s not one of those flashy cable network “water cooler” shows. There are no dragons. No zombies. No big bangs…Really, if someone who is only vaguely familiar with Bones tries to talk about it, the show would merely sound like every other standard procedural coming out of the mid-2000s. Scientist and cop meet. They disagree on various aspects of the world and solve crimes together. Then they become friends, and finally fall in love. I even remember reading one pilot review in which the critic described the show as too derivative of the “similar” shows that came before it. But anyone who took the time to watch this series as it evolved over the years can understand that it stands firmly on its own. You may feel the need to compare it to something else on television. I personally believe that you simply cannot. It’s in its own category. I’m not putting down the procedurals Bones is generally compared to by any means. But Bones has always been different. The characters have always come before the cases. Their stories have always been the main event of every episode. So while the cases are fascinating, suspenseful, and enjoyable, they are always secondary to the characters. Every case was conceived in order to further the characters’ stories in some way. Because this is a character-driven show. And it could effectively be executed in any sort of workplace with the same results. Every episode and every season is linked in some way. If a milestone was reached in one episode, it’s not forgotten in the next. Everything builds on all that came before it. We have had the privilege of watching these rich and wonderful characters evolve so beautifully over the span of 12 years. That’s what makes this show so special. Well, one of the million reasons, to be honest.
I spend a great deal of my life talking about how much I truly appreciate every individual who has ever been involved with this show. Every producer, writer, crew member, and actor had a hand in making this show what it is. (cannot talk in past tense). And what it is, is nothing short of magic. If you delve beneath the the surface, you’ll come to understand that this show is about far more than just science and solving cases. It’s about love. All kinds of love. It’s about overcoming hardships, and growing from your mistakes. Following your passions, and finding happiness in your life. Even when you had already given up on achieving any semblance of happiness long ago. Happiness. Love, laughter, friendship, purpose, and a dance. Not allowing the darkness in your past to define your future, but not pushing the past away away either. The pain is part of who we are. It’s about learning to accept yourself for exactly who your are, and about surrounding yourself with people who love you for you. It’s about letting people in, and unconditional friendships. And finding the light, even in the darkest of times. And to me, Bones has always been about family. Not necessarily the one you were born into, but the one you get to choose. Or sometimes, the one that chooses you. Finding those people who will support you through thick and thin, and who will bend the world to help you whenever you need it. When we first met these characters, it was quite reminiscent of the island of misfit toys. Every single one of them was carrying something from their past. None of them truly trusting anyone else with their secrets and their pain. But they became a team. And they became friends. And finally, they became a family. Because there is more than one kind of family. We have witnessed every single one of these characters go well beyond the call of duty to help each other. That’s friendship. That’s family. That’s love.
And don’t get me started on what I will simply refer to as “The Chemistry.” You won’t find it anything like it anywhere else. And you certainly not find anyone better. The two incredible individuals to which I am referring are truly lightning in a bottle. This entire show has been lightning in a bottle. And its stars are so brilliant and electrifying. I was hooked from “Be a cop.” So I suppose you could say I knew, right from the beginning. Their connection and chemistry never wavered. Neither did the show.
Well, since this post has adhered to absolutely no structure whatsoever, I guess I can (and should) end it here before I start treating this like a therapy session. Trust me, no one wants that. I still have no idea if anyone really reads my dribble. If so, I do sincerely apologize for the delay in posting the next recap. I really want it to be just right. And hopefully it will be.
In other news, I have finally decided on my plans for posts after 12×12. I think it’s a decent one. But I’ll discuss that in a few weeks. Until then, enjoy the next three 12×12 recaps.