BONES: Stephen Nathan on the Next Big Bad, Max’s Secrets, and More | Give Me My Remote

BONES: Stephen Nathan on the Next Big Bad, Max’s Secrets, and More

September 30, 2014 by  

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Hey, BONES fans! Knowing that the season 10 premiere sent major shock waves throughout the fandom, BONES boss Stephen Nathan provided additional insights and answers to some lingering questions, and what Sweets’ death might mean for Booth and Brennan, and beyond.

Read on for what he told reporters on a conference call about this, as well as what’s coming up for the rest of the season. (Note: some minor spoilers for this week’s episode “The Lance to the Heart.”)

On the decision to have Booth and Brennan with Sweets when he died:

“The entire situation was very painful [for us] and we tried to treat it with as much respect and truth as we possibly could. Sweets and Booth and Brennan had grown so close over the past few years especially. It seemed as if they were the people who should be there when he died. Booth was having a huge crisis himself, and also Booth and Brennan [were] as a couple, with Booth coming out of prison.

“So it really was a testament to Sweets, and his nobility as a character, that his last words were about Booth and Brennan, concern for his friend. He was concerned for Daisy, and at that moment, concerned for Booth, that Booth didn’t lose hope in the world…even as he was dying.”

On what they set out to accomplish with the funeral scene in this week’s episode:

“This is a two-parter in a very classic way. There’s the primary plot with the conspiracy, but even more so with one of our most beloved characters leaving our family. So we wanted to send him off in a way that honored his memory and showed how much our characters have changed and grown because of their contact with Sweets.”

On the 200th episode:

“It will be an episode unlike any we’ve ever done before. We are going to have as many people who have crossed our paths as we can. There are some limitations to that obviously, some limitations that we can’t possibly get around, but we wanted to give a little gift to the fans, to the people who have watched BONES for 10 years, or even three, five or six. A little gift showing our characters in a situation they would never normally find themselves in. And just see our characters from a different perspective. It’s not a dream show, but it is unique. It is going to be visually something we’ve never seen before on BONES, and stylistically nothing we’ve ever seen before on BONES.”

On John Boyd’s character, James Aubrey, and whether eventually Booth will warm up to him:

“As they recover from the end of season 9 and beginning of season 10, Booth, Brennan and the squints — life has to go on. But it is a very difficult hurdle, for Booth especially. His foundation, his trust in the institutions that he has dedicated his life to, has been shaken. So he has some big trust issues, moving forward. And Aubrey is the focus of that initially. Booth will be getting over this in a way that only he can: with Brennan and Brennan’s help. And this will not drag on for a long time.

“BONES is not going to turn into a dark show, where they are dealing with these demons all of the time. But we have to deal with what has occurred. Within the first three or four episodes, Booth is going to have to learn to trust Aubrey. And Aubrey is going to have earn Booth’s trust. It’s a two-way street, and we will be doing that.
We will be back on our traditional BONES-footings very quickly. Yes, we’re a procedural, yes, people get murdered, but our show is funny, it’s romantic, it’s bizarre, and all of that — the oddities and the unique nature of the show will return.

“We will be getting to know Aubrey in these first five or six episodes, because he is going to be a very valuable member of the team and member of the family as well. He’s a strange guy, but he’s a brilliant agent. And he’s not intimidated. Sweets was very deferential to Booth. Sweets, being so young when he started, he wanted to fit in. He wanted to make sure he was doing the right thing. Aubrey is someone who will socially just blunder into things. But at the same time, Booth will learn to trust the fact that he is a great agent.

On whether this conspiracy (like Pelant > The Ghost Killer > FBI Conspiracy) will lead to something else or whether each case will be a stand-alone murderer:

“There’s always something lurking out there. I can safely say that there is something else lurking out there. I don’t think the world ever exists with simple murders, however horrible. I think we need something a little more evil. And that will be coming our way. It might be in the second half of the year when we come back in January, but we will be getting involved with another case where there is someone who is not nice, not a good person.”

On whether Max telling Brennan he’s involved in different things will be resolved:

“This is something we are definitely in the process of developing now more fully. With the first half of the season, especially leading up to the 200th and finishing the conspiracy, this story with Max is something that we wanted to devote a good amount of time to. [So] that’s going to have to be the second half of the season. We didn’t want to go from a conspiracy to something else with a big backstory. But Max will be back, and we’ll be back dealing with that issue.”

On whether we will see Daisy soon:

“Definitely. Daisy is in episode 2, as we send Sweets off in the way only this group can. But Daisy is also pregnant, and we heard in the premiere that she is alone really. And I don’t think people who have grown close to her and who love her in their own way over these years are going to send her into the world alone. When this baby is born, this baby will be cared for.”

On the squints—will we see the same rotating cast, will there be anyone new?

“All of our regular squints will be coming back to visit and work. These are characters we have grown to love, and they have become such an integral part of the show that we are able to treat them as more than just functionaries in the lab. They really have full, rich lives of their own, and that is what we are going to be contending with.
Wendell is dealing with cancer, Cam and Arastoo are dealing with their relationship, Daisy now is going to be dealing with the baby. We are bringing back Oliver Wells, we are bringing back Clark, and all of these people have very rich lives that will be explored, and since they’ve become so close to the other squints, everyone gets involved in each other’s lives, which happens in many workplaces. And we’ll be learning a lot more about these characters that were initially just temporary help in the lab. They’ve become permanent members of the BONES family.”

On whether they were concerned that getting rid of big characters (like Sweets) might have a negative effect.

“Absolutely. We can only deal with the events that confront us. And that is what we had to do in this circumstance. It’s more than what is going to be good or bad for the show — the difficulty and pain of losing a character of Sweets and an actor like John [Francis Daley (Sweets)]. You never really know how the audience is going to respond. We can only hope that by treating it in a realistic way and a way that respects the character, that we’ll also show how much we respect the audience. We did not do this in a cavalier or callous way. We tried to do it and integrate it into the show, and hopefully it makes the show better in a way. If the show was running in place, I don’t think we’d be on for 10 years. I think a show has to change and evolve, which is painful. But that doesn’t mean it’s not good or correct. So we have to trust that if we treat the situation truthfully, that it will enhance the show. No matter how difficult or painful it is. There is no way to even know how the audience is going to respond to any episode or any change. We didn’t know how they were going to respond when Booth and Brennan got together, when they got married or had a child, when people leave the show. We just never know; we just hope that everybody is along for the ride and that the ride is satisfying and honest.”

On whether the show will address the passing of Ralph Waite:

“We probably will, and we are trying to figure out how to do that without bringing it all up again and being exploitative. We don’t want to be cheap about it…especially after dealing with such a huge loss of Sweets. So we’re in a pickle there. But we’re dealing with it.”

What is challenging after 10 years?

“It’s all a challenge 10 years later. One of the most difficult things is finding cases that are new, clues that are new and worlds that are new and unique. We have to find ways of dealing with the science that are new to keep up with technology. Technologically, the show has changed dramatically over 10 years, but primarily it’s ‘where are these new body finds going to come from?’ The miraculous thing is that the writers keep coming up with new, completely unique ways to kill people and locations and worlds in which to kill them. We’re going to be doing a murder at a forensics convention. How did we not do that before?! But really, over nine years, we never have, so we’ve got a new one there. It’s really a testament to the writers, and Jonathan Collier, who is an executive producer and kind of runs the writers’ room, is phenomenal.”

On the casting of Sunnie Pelant and Gavin MacIntosh as the new Christine and Parker Booth:

“As a show evolves, especially with young actors sometimes changes occur. We have done this before. One actress who was playing Michelle changed for that character. Christine also changed, partly because of age. We wanted someone in that part who could do more. Christine’s age…we accelerated it a touch and matured it, so we could have someone who could do dialogue and hopefully stay with the show for the long haul. And in terms of physical changes, that was a consideration as far as Parker is concerned. Again, it is the evolution of the actors, of the young people who come through the show. And maybe it’s in the long and wonderful tradition of BEWITCHED. We get a new Darrin.”

BONES airs Thursdays at 8 PM on Fox.

Related:

BONES: Stephen Nathan Offers a Few Hopeful Season 10 Teases
BONES Season 10 Premiere: The Cast Reacts to the Shocking Twist
BONES Season 10 Premiere Post-Mortem: Stephen Nathan on the Huge Events in ‘The Conspiracy in the Corpse’

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