Series finales can be tricky, especially with shows that have been on the air for many years because fans expect a lot.
There are always multiple story lines, characters, and loose ends that should be tied up before it’s all over.
To do it in a way that satisfies everyone is almost impossible, but Bones Season 12 Episode 12 left me smiling and content, which is far better than several of my favorite shows have done.
Let’s start with the explosion.
In our Bones round table, I said that I might feel manipulated if there were no deaths or serious injuries after such a huge explosion.
I was wrong. The explosion at the Jeffersonian gave us some great moments of drama and led Brennan to face one of the most challenging obstacles of her life.
Booth: You saw Bones. She's had some kind of a head trauma. She could be bleeding in the brain.
Hodgins: I watched my pregnant wife get thrown against a wall. You're not the only one that wants to get out of here.
While Angela and Brennan tried to figure out if Angela’s unborn child was safe, Booth was frantic to get Brennan some help. Being trapped led to some wonderfully dramatic moments between all four characters.
It was also a gratifying way for Hodgins to revisit his feelings about Booth being a sniper and showing how the work they do has given him a different perspective….
I know I've said a lot of things over the years about you being a sniper; I was wrong. Killing Kovac's father, that was the right thing to do.Hodgins
I also loved how Hodgins being a paranoid conspiracy theorist, something he readily admits to, helped Angela keep backup records safe at the Jeffersonian. That was a really cute moment between the two.
But the biggest twist was Brennan suffering a contusion to her brain which compromised her ability to process complex information.
In other words, would Bones ever be Bones again?
That very question made Brennan look at everything in a new light and gave us some warm and heartfelt moments between Brennan and her team.
I remember the day each of you was hired. I remember the name of every victim I've ever identified. I remember just how meaningful this work can be but I don't remember how to do it. I can't make sense of the evidence. I don't even know what I'm supposed to do with this.Brennan
Brennan’s memories coupled with her confusion gave us a view into the inner workings of her mind and her heart. It showed how much her work, and the people she does it with, mean to her.
It made me want to go through the screen and hug Temperance Brennan.
Thankfully, she knew where to go to get the best hugs.
When she showed up at Booth’s office, she was feeling vulnerable and lost. So much of her identity is in being Dr. Temperance Brennan….
For so much of my life my intelligence was all I had. I may not have had a family, but I understood things that nobody else could. My brain, the way I think, is who I am. Who I was.Brennan
It took Booth to show her that she was so much more. The only thing that surprised me in that scene was that he never mentioned their children, but everything else he said will most certainly be a favorite Bones quote for years to come.
Brennan: If the thing that made me me is gone, who am I?
Booth: 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. That's who you are. You're the one who proposed to me with a stick of beef jerky in your hand, even though you're a vegetarian. You're the Roxy to my Tony and the Wanda to my Buck. Who else is going to sing Hot Blooded with me? And besides, we are way better than Mulder and Scully.
Brennan: I don't know what that means.
Booth: I don't care if you know about the bones or if we know how to solve crimes, all I know is that I want to spend the rest of my life with you. This is you, Temperance Brennan. You. You're my partner. Don't forget that.
Having Brennan come along on the raid to take down Kovac didn’t make a lot of sense. I know that they normally work as partners in the field, but this was a case where a SWAT team was more necessary than Brennan.
It was obviously set up to allow Brennan to begin getting her cognitive function back when she needed it to save Booth, who in turn was able to kill Kovac.
I think it was a bit too easily wrapped up, but given the time constraints, I’ll take it.
With Kovac’s case wrapped up, the rest of the time was left to explore what the future held for the characters we love.
Aubrey was offered the same promotion as the position in Los Angeles, but this time in Washington D.C., and he decided to stay. I’ve always liked Aubrey and was happy to hear he’d be staying with the team.
And although I was never sure about his relationship with Karen, I liked the way they left it with the two of them sharing a bucket of fried chicken. If that’s not the beginning of a beautiful friendship, I don’t know what is.
Cam and Arastoo deciding to adopt three brothers in foster care practically brought me to tears.
What a wonderful way to begin their new family – by taking six months leave to spend entirely with the boys. It felt like the perfect new beginning to their lives together.
I felt almost as much glee as Hodgins did at his being named Interim Director of the Lab in Cam’s absence. I’m only sad that we won’t be able to see him wear that crown, because you know he’s getting himself one.
I really thought Hodgins earned his new position when he rallied the team together when Brennan was unable to help.
Brennan trained you for this exact moment. She's counting on you. So am I.Hodgins
There’s little doubt that Cam will have to pry the scepter from his hand upon her return.
Finally, there were Booth and Brennan, and the number 447 popped up in an unexpected way.
Brennan’s clock stopped at 4:47, just as the Jeffersonian exploded, and she decided she would hang the broken clock in her new office, once the lab had been reconstructed.
Booth: 4:47. Why would you want to be reminded of the moment when everything almost ended, Bones?
Brennan: Because it didn’t.
That’s right. It didn’t. Our beloved characters get to live in our memories and our imaginations, through countless fanficion stories, reruns and with any luck, perhaps in future TV reunion movies.
The explosion that I questioned in Bones Season 12 Episode 11 gave everyone the opportunity to look through old memories, from the memorial plaque for Vincent Nigel Murray to a picture Parker had drawn for Brennan 11 years ago.
It turned out to be a plot point that allowed for more wonderful, heartfelt, insightful moments than I ever expected without having to kill off anyone.
The final scene had Booth and Brennan walking off together complaining about their bad backs.
I have little doubt that some fans might be annoyed by the unromantic nature of that final conversation, but I saw it as a sign that they really are destined to be an old married couple.
For us at TV Fanatic, it’s not over yet. Check back in for our Bones series finale round table this Friday.
And as always, you can watch Bones online here at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.