The “Bones” Finale, Six Years Too Late

My family is getting a new cable provider, not that you care or anything.

But I care. I care because it means that we will lose all of the shows we have stored on our current DVR. Which in turn means that I have a decision to make: should I watch the Bones series finale?

And that’s a loaded question.


Let me start with saying that I loved Bones, I really did. I remember the first episode I ever watched — and I don’t mean in a vague oh I remember… sense. I literally remember what room in my house I was watching it from (family) and where I was sitting (on the floor, next to the coffee table). I remember watching the episode with the time capsule and asking my dad, “What is this show?” From there, it was on.

Gormogon, the Grave Digger, Booth’s imaginary friend — these were the total fucking shit when I was young and called good things “the shit.” I still can’t watch the Maggie Cinders episode with the lights off.

Was it maddeningly chlichéd and ridiculous at times? Of course. Brennan’s shtick wore off about twelve seconds into every episode. One especially memorable nugget of character development made Booth a descendant of John Wilkes Booth. And come on, the Angela-tron? I know this is fiction and suspend disbelief and yada and yada and yada, but seriously? Oh we have this guy’s skull so now my computer can reverse engineer his entire appearance well enough for a missing person’s ID…

Despite all this, though, I really loved Bones. And it had everything to do with the chemistry between Booth and Brennan (David Boreanz and Emily Deschanel). They were a perfect crime-solving duo in a TV/movie market stocked to the brim with crime-fighting duos. They were Benson and Stabler with a scientific flair — and with a latent sexual edge.

And then they fucked.


It’s true. Your priest was right. Only terrible things can come from sex. You will get pregnant, or AIDS, or ruin an enjoyable hour-long TV crime drama.

In the penultimate episode of season 6 Booth and Brennan hook up, and the following episode proved prophetic: there was a “Change in the Game.”


And a change for the worse, it was. From that episode on I couldn’t muster a single care. They were together, what was the point? It turns out that solving crimes with science is only interesting when there’s crazy sexual tension (take note, Science).

And the show continued for six more seasons!

That’s right, there’s as much post-coital bones as there is pre-coital (and come to think of it, if we ever need a third era, after B.C.[E.] and A.D.[C.E.], I suggest it begin on May 12, 2011, the night Booth and Brennan had sex).

Now to be fair, the fact that dislike something, while vitally important to me, does not mean that post-coital Bones is worthless. It obviously drew enough viewers to survive six more seasons in a ruthless TV landscape, and had some interesting story lines (Palante), and tugged at various heart-strings (#RIPSweets).

But it lost the it factor forever.

And it’s, like, a metaphor. Or something.

One thing we can take from Bones‘s siamese-circus-twins-esque fall from grace is the notion that the things we imagine about the future are always better than the actual future (or put more vaguely: things suck, but the lead up to things is amazing).

Profound, I know.

But hear me out: When you think about some future moment or situation, you build it up as a panacea, as the final piece in the puzzle to happiness. When I finally get this job I will be fulfilled. High school sucks but when I get to college things will be different.

And what do you end up with? You get the job and the ennui persists. You get to college and you are still a friendless loser. Climbing a mountain is dope; the peak is exhilarating. But the mountains we climb always go back down, and curiously, they go back down to Earth. The very place we came from. The high school where we had no friends.

It’s our tragic flaw, we build things up in our heads — things that we hope will make us happy. But they never do. Maybe our advertising is too good, has done too good a job of convincing us that we’ll never be happy — or at least not until we have bought everything.

So when we get what we thought we wanted, and it doesn’t give us what we thought it offered, it’s natural to try to pretend like it does. To try to ring happiness out of six post-coital seasons of Bones. To do otherwise would be tantamount to admitting failure, or admitting that no matter how hard it tries, not even the might of American capitalism can help us find happiness.

Are you sad yet? Do I really believe any of this? Is there a God?

I don’t know, but in any case I’m going to choose to revel in the buildup, to  revel in the six pre-coital seasons of Bones, to revel in the fact that there is a really intelligent masturbation analogy somewhere in all of this, and I can’t quite seem to grasp it, but I know my imaginings of this analogy are far better than it will be in real life, so I’m not even going to try to work it out.


Instead I’m going revel in romanticism. Steer clear of reality and live in my fantastical buildup to a future I hope never comes. I’m not gonna watch the finale.


Ah fuck it. It might solve all my problems and make me feel good. College sucked but Grad school will be different. See you in an hour.


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