BONES: Stephen Nathan Previews Brennan’s ‘Emotional Upheaval,’ the Sniper’s Victim(s), a Valentine’s Day Episode and More
November 18, 2010 by Marisa Roffman
BONES star Michaela Conlin was hesitant to discuss it during our chat. Thankfully, executive producer Stephen Nathan was far more willing to talk about the hour. Based on what he said, it appears the final result is a bit different than what they initially intended to do when the episode was first conceived. Regardless, it sounds as if the hour will be getting a definite reaction from viewers.
Read on for Nathan’s take on that, the return of the Gravedigger, the sniper, when Cyndi Lauper might return, their Valentine’s Day episode and much more…
How do you feel things are going on BONES this season?
Stephen Nathan: I think they’re fine! Last I looked, nothing has collapsed.
The ratings seem to be holding up, so that should be a good sign.
SN: We’re happy with where the season is going and where we’re going in the future. It’s nice to be in the middle of season six and still be excited about doing the show.
Yeah, so let’s talk what’s coming up! Last season, we saw Booth struggle a bit under the weight of his feelings for Brennan. He was really only able to hold out until episode 16, when he told her how he felt. Brennan has an exceptionally steep learning curve but it seems like she’s becoming more aware of her own feelings for him this year. Would it be fair to say that she might crack sooner than he did?
SN: [pause] Ah, yes. Yeah. I think that within the next few episodes, there’s a big, emotional upheaval coming for Brennan. Something where she is forced, because of a case, to examine her own life, to examine the…I wouldn’t say “sheltered” way, but the kind of hyper-independent way she’s led her life. Seemingly not needing anyone.
On that note, let’s talk about episode nine. Is it actually told from Brennan’s point of view?
SN: It’s all from Brennan’s point of view, basically. It’s an episode where she is investigating a murder of a person she believes is so [much like] herself that she views it almost as herself. And she’s forced to look at herself in a way she never has before.
Will we be seeing exactly how she views the other characters?
SN: Well, it’s very difficult to describe. It’s a traditional BONES episode on one hand, but it’s very different on another: in tone, in mood and the real introspective nature of it for Brennan. It is all how she sees it, but it’s not one of those episodes where it’s shot in a bizarre way where we’re inside her head and it’s literally from her point of view from a visual sense. But emotionally, the whole thing is from her point of view. You’re with her the whole episode.
And everyone seems to be hyping up how huge this episode is and how much fans are going to be talking about it…
SN: I think people who have been fans of the show for quite awhile will like it because it really draws you in to Brennan. It gives you a whole new perspective on her and it’s an episode where she sees something new. For somebody who feels like they have the whole world in control, who feels that they have a logical explanation for everything, she is forced to confront the fact that we aren’t in control and sometimes a logical explanation is not enough.
It seems like this is leading to a big moment for Booth and Brennan –
Do you anticipate a reaction as big as the reaction the 100th ep received?
SN: I don’t know. That’s up the fans. I can’t really say. We’re just thrilled with the episode. We think it came out very, very well. Emily [Deschanel (Brennan)] is just spectacular. Ian [Toynton] did a wonderful job directing it and we’re just really happy with it. This year has been a surprise for us, as well. The show has taken us to a whole new place. We’re not just spinning our wheels. We feel it’s forced us to examine new things and — it’s new to us, the show again. We’re really lucky. BONES is the show that keeps on giving. [Laughs] At least to us!
Indeed. And I know you’re bringing back the Gravedigger in early ’11. Did you write that episode?
SN: No, I didn’t write that one. That episode is — that’s going to set up a whole new thing with the sniper for Booth. Because Booth was a sniper, so now we have a sniper confronting another sniper. And there aren’t very many who were as adept as Booth, who is coming to terms with what it means to be a sniper and how [this other person] has perverted that profession. And in such a huge way. This is something that’s going to be gnawing at Booth for the remainder of the season, it’s going to be his mission to get this guy for numerous reasons. One, to bring him to justice and two, to understand what happened inside the mind of this sniper to make him the way he is.
Of course you know I have to ask whether Brennan’s letter is brought up, given the fact that the Gravedigger is returning.
SN: The Gravedigger has a very different function in this episode.
So the letter isn’t brought up?
SN: No, it’s not really about Brennan. It’s not a traditional Gravedigger episode.
The alleged identity of one of the sniper’s victims has leaked online. Will that be the only person whom we know that is killed off or is one of our own still in danger of being killed?
SN: We didn’t say killed off. We never said killed. We said there would be a victim, something would happen to them. And there is still a threat out there for one of our own and there will still be a threat throughout this season for one of our own.
Very interesting. And is Emily still set to direct episode 14?
SN: She’s still set to direct it at this point, definitely.
Do you know what her episode will be about?
SN: Well, we’re actually in the process of constructing that episode now. That episode is going to be very complicated because she’s in it and directing it. We’re not exactly sure which one it’s going to be, but there are a couple we’re dealing with right now.
Is there any word on when Cyndi Lauper might make her return as Avalon?
SN: We’re trying to figure out Cyndi’s schedule. We’re thinking about maybe episode 17, which would be [shooting] in February sometime. We’re trying to line up all the people that we love to bring them back, [like] Billy Gibbons. Billy Gibbons is going to be a grandpa!
SN: We gotta get Grandpa Billy back!
Right! When I talked with Hart back in September, he mentioned that you guys really wanted Cyndi back for the 8th episode so she could deliver a piece of crucial information. Did you find a way to deliver that without her, or is that being put on hold until she can come back?
SN: We still want to use Cyndi in a very, very specific way. So we haven’t taken anything away from her yet. We haven’t taken something away from Cyndi and given it to somebody else.
Very good to know. And will Elon Gold return as Paul? I know you mentioned you hoped to have him back, but a recent episode seemed to suggest that Cam is looking for a boyfriend…
SN: He is coming back, he will be in the next episode we’re shooting. We’ll find out what’s been happening with them. It’s kind of been an off-again, on-again thing. They like each other very much, but they’ve both been very busy and they’re going to have to deal with that. We love Elon [Gold (Paul)], he’s fabulous so we’re just thrilled to have him back.
Absolutely. He and Cam were cute together. And I know it’s in the early stages now, but is there anything you can tease about the Valentine’s Day episode?
SN: The Valentine’s Day episode at this point is going to be something about a wedding planner.
Oh, the episode that Josh Berman has been working on?
You have gotten some great guest stars this year. Is there anyone you hope to have on in the second half of the season?
SN: Well, you know, there are all the people we would love to have back: Billy Gibbons, Cyndi Lauper. David Alan Grier, we just loved. We’d love to be able to get him back as well. There’s no one we have set at this point because it’s all in the future and, with network television, it just happens in that week or two. But you’ll know when we get a good person.
So what do you think, BONES fans? Are you looking forward to Brennan’s point of view episode? The Gravedigger’s return? The start of the sniper arc?
And keep coming back to Give Me My Remote for more on BONES, including a second installment of our chat with Stephen Nathan.
BONES: Michaela Conlin on the Brennan-Angela Friendship and the Hannah Factor
BONES: Michaela Conlin, TJ Thyne and Tamara Taylor Talk a Bumpy Pregnancy and Baby Hodgela
BONES: Do Booth and Brennan Love Each Other?
And to be the first to see our exclusive videos by subscribing to our YouTube channel at youtube.com/givememyremotetv