Show/Episode: Bones Season 12, Episode 12, “The End in the End”
Seely Booth runs on luck and faith. Temperance Brennan relies on logic and reason. He’s all heart, she’s all head. Together, they make a perfect team, in work and in life, and we’ve been there for every step of the journey. Now, after twelve years, it’s time to say goodbye.
In the series’ 100th episode, “The Parts in the Sum of the Whole.” Psychologist Lance Sweets pointed out the obvious; these two were madly in love with each other. Sweets encouraged Booth to declare his love for Bones, but Bones wasn’t yet ready, and turned him down. He had to move on, no matter how long it took him to find someone else. Even so, in the next episode, Booth posed as Bones’ (faux) husband at her high school reunion, but the end of Season 5 separated the two, as Booth returned to his military roots and deployed. Absence did indeed make Bones’s heart grow fonder, and she was at last ready to give their romance a try, but too late—Booth came home with a new love, Hannah. Bones sobs her regret to a truly torn Booth, who thought he was doing what she wanted. In time, Booth and Hannah’s relationship fizzled, and Bones was his comfort. When squintern and friend, Vincent Nigel-Murray fell prey to one of their nemeses, in “The Hole in the Heart,” Booth and Bones comforted each other, leaving fans wondering did they or didn’t they consummate the love all of us could plainly see.
That was one long hiatus, but, in “The Change in the Game,” when Booth and Bones bask in the birth of Vincent Michael, Angela and Hodgins’s firstborn, Bones gives us the definitive answer—they did, and she’s pregnant. Though the devout Catholic had never wanted to father another child out of wedlock (he had not been married to the mother of his first son, Parker) his delight could have lit the world. He held fast to his promise that Bones would have to propose to him, even so, and, after Bones taking daughter, Christine, on the run, and a serial killer who compelled Booth to turn down Bones’s proposal, the pair finally wed in season nine’s “The Woman in White,” and welcomed a son, Hank, in Season 11.
Marriage and parenthood only led to new adventures, two dream homes, the challenges of interfaith parenting, the deaths of friends and families, the breakups and new loves of those dearest to them, and the perils of jobs that put them frequently in harm’s way. Now, in “The End in the End,” it all comes to a close. Do Booth and Bones get the HEA they, and we, deserve? The evidence is in; let’s examine.
From the start, Bones has been, at its heart, about relationships. That first shot of the destroyed lab hurt to watch, because that lab has become home. The hits keep coming, even after we’re sure Booth, Bones, Hodgins, Angela, and their baby, all make it out alive. When we see all the bones from the storage area dumped in one pile, we feel how overwhelmed that sight makes Bones, and wonder if there’s any use trying to sort things out. We’ve always known, no matter how tough the puzzle, the team can put it together, with Bones at the helm, but this time?
Bones knows, as soon as she makes it out of the rubble, that something is wrong. Her trademark “I don’t know what that means,” terrifies her, and us. She doesn’t recognize the names of bones, on a list she’d written, herself. She knows her work is important, but no longer knows how to do it. If the one thing that defines her is gone, thanks to a brain injury, what does she have left?
The answer lies at the heart of this show; love. Booth assures her that she is the woman he loves, no matter what; it’s who she is, not what she does that matters. The squints rally and sort out the evidence Bones can’t, because she taught them, and teacher gets an A. The team tracks Kovac down, and closes in for the capture. There’s a tense moment when Booth injures his shooting hand, and we feel his desperation as he, too, faces losing part of his identity, but this is Bones, after all, and love always saves the day. Bones takes Booth’s injured hand in hers, and she smiles. She knows what his injury is, and how to fix it, which she does, with an on-the-spot adjustment. She remembers. They’re both going to be okay.
Everyone is. The team gathers to pack their personal belongings from the rubble, before the lab is gutted and rebuilt, and it feels like coming home. Angela and Hodgins show off the children’s book they’ve been writing, about the team’s adventures. Cam reveals that she and Arastoo are taking family leave to bond with the three brothers they are adopting, leaving Hodgins as her temporary replacement; king of the lab, at last. As for Bones, she’s happy where she is.
Our last glimpse of Booth and Bones is flat out perfect. The pair cuddle on a bench outside the Jeffersonian, by moonlight, Bones’s mementoes at her feet: a copy of Sweets’s book, the first picture Parker drew for Bones, Jasper the pig, and a clock that stopped at 4:47 when the bomb went off. Booth doesn’t understand. Why would Bones want to remember the time everything almost ended? Because it didn’t, she answers, and that’s exactly the feeling we’re left with, as they pick up their things and head off to join their children, teasing each other about who should carry what. The adventure hasn’t ended. Everyone is where they need to be, with those they love most, doing what they love best, and, if we can’t watch them every week, that’s okay. We’ll know, and that’s enough. Bones taught us well.
”If the thing that made me, me, is gone, who am I?"
“You’re the woman I love. You’re the woman who kissed me outside a pool house when it was pouring rain. Took me to shoot Tommy guns on Valentine’s Day and proposed to me with a stick of beef jerky, even though you’re a vegetarian. You’re the Roxie to my Tony, and Wanda to my Buck.”
Charting the Course:
Booth and Bones almost lose what they value most about themselves, but get better. Cam and Arastoo adopt three teens. Hodgins is officially king of the lab, and co-author of Angela’s children’s book. Aubrey is staying in DC, and on the path to new love. The Jeffersonian will rebuild. All is right with the world.
Happily ever afters, all around.
H&H Editor Picks:
Anna C. Bowling considers writing historical romance the best way to travel through time and make the voices in her head pay rent. She welcomes visitors to her blog, Typing with Wet Nails and to follow her at Twitter.