On the Set of the 'Bones' Finale
It's April on the set of Bones. The beautifully dressed stage that represents the Jeffersonian is bathed in a murky haze and smells of manufactured smoke and Chinese food. The Gormogon killer has struck again.
[This story contains some spoilers and some speculation. Be warned!]
To be fair, craft services deserves the credit for the Chinese aromas. The Gormogon is only responsible for the odor of sulfur, which is pumping from long tubes onto the set, setting the stage for the show's third season finale, which will air on Monday, May 19.
A bomb has gone off at the Jeffersonian, but I probably shouldn't tell you who its victim was. I probably shouldn't mention which regular member of the cast is wearing tattered gloves and having his or her hands slathered with KY-Jelly to simulate what looks to be a potentially crippling injury. I probably shouldn't tell you what's happened to David Boreanaz's Booth in the aftermath of the bullet he took to the chest in last week's episode, except to say that Boreanaz is the only major cast member I didn't talk to for this story.
Any context for the explosion and the events of the finale might, in fact, might be damning.
As Bones creator Hart Hanson puts it, "We can't have you getting the context. Because if you knew what happened at the beginning, it would be a disaster and if you knew what happened at the end it would be a disaster."
The most important thing that can be revealed about the finale is that not only will the Gormogon return, but the killer's reign of terror will come to an end after a season of steady investigation.
"He worked slowly into this," reflects T.J. Thyne of the killer, whose appearances have been woven into the third season. "He's been around a while at this point."
"Creepy" is, in fact, the first word that comes to several of the stars' lips when attempting to describe the killer, known for his appetite for flesh-eating and skeleton sculptures.
"It's pretty creepy, when you think about it," agrees Emily Deschanel, whose Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan somewhat gives the show its name. "Maybe because I got buried alive by The Gravedigger, I'm more terrified of the Gravedigger? But now it's hitting close to home with the Gormogon thing. It's creepy, the secret society thing, killing all these people off, and just secret societies in general. And then you have people eating not just one person, but they've invited people to dinner, quote-unquote."
In the process of catching Gormogon, the Jeffersonian team will inevitably have to reveal his (or her) identity, a process that's stymied fans of the show throughout the season.
"There really haven't been that many clues and I don't think anyone could have guessed," Taylor, who plays Dr. Cam Saroyan on the FOX drama, admits.
Thyne, known to fans as Dr. Jack Hodgins, insists, "I had a few hunches."
He doesn't offer to share.
Don't expect Hanson to offer any hints either. Quite the opposite.
"I'm not telling you who it is, but it's shocking," Hanson offers. "It's shocking and it's not not someone you have never seen before. No. Yes it is. It is someone you've not... No. No. It's not not someone you've seen before."
Did Hanson just confuse himself? Or is the Gormogon indeed somebody we've met before this season?
Another person not prone to giving away excessive information is John Francis Daley, whose baby-faced shrink Dr. Lance Sweets also first appeared earlier this season, which more than a few viewers suspect isn't a total coincidence.
"I can't really get into it, but everyone gets to go to a pretty dark place by the end of the season," Daley says.
Michaela Conlin, whose Angela Montenegro has spent much of the season trying to track down her first husband to open the door for new nuptials with Hodgins, says that there are certain advantages to the murky places the finale gets to go.
"This episode in particular, it's a very intense episode," Conlin says. "When I read it, I nearly fell off my chair. I think it's incredibly surprising for many reasons and shocking from start to finish. The great thing about these episodes is that we're all working together in the show. A lot of times the show will be split between David and Emily and maybe T.J. and me, but this episode is a lot of us working as a team and those are always... they promote a lot giggling on the show."
Perhaps the combination of giggling and intensity is why Thyne says, "It's been a rollercoaster, this episode. Emotionally, it's been a crazy rollercoaster for the actors as well as the characters. There's a lot happening."
And where will the episode find our heroes when it ends?
"Devastated in the beginning," Taylor says. "Devastated at the end."
A few other highlights from the visit to the set of the Bones finale:
Hanson, on the show's odd and frenzied spring production pace: "We finish this episode that we're shooting now, which is the season finale. Then we shoot four more episodes, which will air after the two-parter that we shoot after that, at the end of June and then we go back and start shooting again for episodes that go... one episode goes before those four -- are you confused yet? -- and the rest come after that. And there's a lot of storylines to keep in mind to tell the actors."
Thyne, on the occasionally frustrating lack of romantic resolution for Jack and Angela: "I feel like Jack. I feel like that guy in real life. He's in this relationship and he's head-over-heals and he just has no idea where it's going. He can't push too much because that'll maybe scare her away and can't hold on too tight either. It's unfortunately, I feel like as an actor it's been tough to get that flow with the storyline, but the character's in even more confusion than I am. It's tough, but I hope we get to see where that relationship leads and I hope it's a positive place."
Eric Millegan, on the yet-to-be-revealed mystery of what he character went through in Iraq: "In the first episode we found out that I didn't quite fit in and I was sent home early, but we didn't know much more than that and I actually asked Stephen Nathan, one of our executive producers, at the beginning of the season 'Is there anything you could give me, that maybe I could play?' And he was like, 'You've been to Iraq. And now you're back.' That was his instruction for me. In other words, it was something I was going to learn more about as the season went along. And we'll cover it. All in due time."
Deschanel, on being asked to sing in last week's episode: "I was not great, but I can carry a tune usually. Sometimes I go off key a little bit. It was and terrifying at the same time, which good. It was good to face fears..."