After airing in 2005, the end of Bones is finally here with season 12 being its last.
The show has done surprisingly well and like many shows which run for a long time, it has had its ups and downs. There are always a handful of episodes, or even seasons, where the show loses its feel. Sometimes this may be due to creative changes or the plot just goes off on a tangent and then taking a while to find its roots again.
But Bones has always had a great cast with the characters staying mostly true throughout the show’s entirety, and it is great to see that in season 11, they are revisiting plots and characters to finally wrap them up, as well as to satisfy the fans demands!
In season 11, the main villain was a new serial killer known as “The Puppeteer” who constantly manipulates and torments the Bones team. His victims are treated as if they are still alive—clothed, fed and hung up like marionettes. In the season finale, all clues point to a previous Bones regular, the young forensic anthropologist intern, Dr Zack Addy, who is revealed as Brennan’s kidnapper.
Zack appeared in the first four seasons of Bones. He became entangled with a serial killer, Gormogon, in season three and was eventually admitted to an asylum. He appeared in season four and then briefly in a flashback during season five and since then, fans have been consistently asking for Zack to return.
The premiere of the final season begins with Brennan and Zack, who has the serial killer vibe on high with the dark lighting and his mannerisms—slow, precise and genuinely creepy. Meanwhile, the rest of the team are frantic to find where Zack has taken Brennan, and naturally, in true Bones fashion, Hodgins creates a method of tracking her. Under better circumstances he’d be yelling ‘King of the Lab!’
Booth finds them in the relocated Gormogon ‘cave’, which is in the basement of the Jeffersonian. Zack has done a complete 180 and seems much more like the Zack we remember. During his interrogations, it’s quite thrilling to see Zack back in action. His blatant and smart dialogue has been missed from the show, and it creates such a ‘feel good’ moment. Even the simplest of quotes will leave you chuckling—“I’m not well-versed in social etiquette.”
As the episode progresses and Zack denies he is the killer, the team continues to investigate. They discover Zack has been sneaking out of the asylum at night and visiting a library to read and to hack the emails of the Bones team. We also discover it has been Zack corresponding with Hodgin’s doctor about his injury and it was him that gave Hodgin’s the feeling in his legs again.
Gradually the serial killer mannerisms begin to come back in Zack’s scenes and when the conclusion is drawn that Zack is the killer, it felt rather forced and flat leaving you thinking it’s definitely not true. It was especially nice to see Booth advocating for Zack, despite them not being so close.
Like any crime procedural drama, another potential suspect begins to come into play. The show tapped Karen Delfs, the criminal behavioural analyst, as the potential serial killer which felt possible, but not enough.
The team continues investigating and they soon realise it’s not Zack, but it’s the asylum’s doctor they introduced at the beginning of the episode! The doctor attempts to kill Zack, and then he has the opportunity to kill the doctor, but he doesn’t have it in him. But of course, Booth comes to the rescue and saves him.
The reveal of the serial killer fell flat, and it seemed as if they were heading that way all along as not many characters were introduced in season 11, so it would have to be one of the Bones team or a random.
Moving away from the disappointing serial killer, it is sad to see that Hodgin’s has once again lost feeling in his legs. But his character is stronger now and thankfully he doesn’t react angrily like when it first happened. Another positive is when Booth says he believes Zack and the two almost hug, but Booth doesn’t like hugs.
Overall, it was an average premiere, but with such a rich past and the show being allowed to wrap properly, it will hopefully be a good season and end nicely.