Q: On a scale of Mary Poppins to Saw: Just how nail-biting scary/shocking is the season 7 finale of Bones for Booth and Brennan? Is there any happiness in the episode for them? Thank you. — Pam. Pam, knowing that the season finale will feature the return of creepy hacktivist/serial killer Christopher Pellant (Andrew Leeds), your nerves are understandable — especially if you caught Hart Hanson’s cryptic tweet earlier this week: “Our first conversation about the final image of Bones season 7 morphed into a spirited debate. It ain’t gonna go easy…”
I happened to have Hanson and fellow exec producer Stephen Nathan on the phone that day chatting about the show’s April 2 return, so I asked them to elaborate: “We’re all happy with the story, and we’re all happy with the cliffhanger we have,” Hanson says of the finale episode (now titled “The Past in the Present”). “What we’re actually debating is literally the last image that we leave our audience with. We have options as to how it motors us into season 8. There’s a see-saw between hope and confidence and vulnerability and fear that we have to walk. We’re searching for that last poetic image, and that’s what we will argue about up until the day we shoot it — and I’ll bet ya we still argue about it as we’re putting music on the final shot in the editing room.”
Hanson admitted to being incredibly vague, which is how Nathan intends to keep it. “This is an end to this season that we will be more than vague about — more vague than we usually are — because we really don’t want to tell anybody anything,” Nathan says with a laugh. Could we be losing a character we know and love? “We couldn’t possibly tell you if someone you know and love were [going] to die in a horrible way,” Hanson says. “And we are also not going to say Anthony Perkins does it in Psycho,” Nathan jokes.
The quieter they keep, of course, the more fans will speculate. One theory being batted around The Spoiler Room: What if the cliffhanger is a marriage proposal? Booth (David Boreanaz) told Brennan (Emily Deschanel) in the season premiere that she would have to be the one to ask him, and Brennan has been known to take big steps in the wake of a tragedy — she and Booth finally slept together after squintern Vincent Nigel-Murray was killed last season. Perhaps Pellant’s return will be traumatizing enough to get her to pop the question, and the argument is whether the final shot should be one that leaves us elated that Brennan has had this emotional breakthrough or frightened of the dire circumstances bringing it about? Or, maybe the “past in the present” is Booth once again proposing to a woman who’s not the marrying kind, and the cliffhanger is whether Brennan has changed her position on marriage? Theorize below! – Mandi Bierly