Of the set visits I’ve done this trip, the one to “Bones” was the most disappointing one to date. Don’t get me wrong, the Q&A with stars David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel and producers Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan made for a good time. The disappointment came from the fact that we’d been told that we’d be touring Dr. Brennan’s lab at the Jeffersonian, only to arrive and find that, due to filming commitments on that set, we’d be stuck hanging out at the FBI. I’m not saying it wasn’t cool to see that set, but…well, it’s like if someone told you that you were going to get to walk onto the field of Yankee Stadium, only to find out that you were actually only going to get to go into the locker room: they’re both cool in their own way if you’re a fan, but one’s definitely a damned sight more impressive than the other.

Okay, I know, I’m complaining about not getting to see my favorite set when you’re probably saying, “Yeah, but, still…Bones and Booth were right in front of you!” And you’ve got a point: that was pretty cool. I’ve never actually had a chance to chat with Ms. Deschanel before, but I’ve talked to David before, and he’s always a lot of fun to talk with. And if you’ve never seen him do an interview before, let me assure you that, for as much characterization as the writers have brought to the table at “Bones,” there’s still a heck of a lot of Seeley Booth in David Boreanaz, and vice versa.

So, of course, if we’re talking about the upcoming season of “Bones,” then what you really want to know is if Bones and Booth are finally going to get together.

“Do you honestly think I am going to answer that question after what I went through last season?” asked Hanson, with a laugh.

“We did end up in bed together,” Deschanel reminded us. “It was in our minds, but that changes our relationship, and you will see that going into season 5. That changes our relationship for good. Basicall,y he wakes up and you don’t know whether it was his coma or my books or both, in some way. The fact that it was in our minds does in fact change your relationship, and you will see it changes our relationship even more than just being in our minds.”

“You look at each other differently,” acknowledged Hanson, “and it’s quite evident, especially in the first episode. You see the relationship has evolved because of that experience.”

“Well, I’m just trying to get my memory back, so that’s probably what you’re seeing,” said Boreanaz, with a grin.

It was a joke, of course, but it does bring up a valid question that has been lingering in the minds of “Bones” fans since the end of last season: how is Booth’s memory, now that he’s out of the coma?

“Well, it’s an interesting thing that is going to happen I think with him,” said Boreanaz. “What I really want to maintain with the arc with him, which we are threading in each episode, is to have the thought that he does have a memory of certain things, but he is not adept to other things that he thought he was.

“An example: in the last episode about plumbing, he is ordering a Plumbing for Dummies book, and he can’t remember how to plumb his own kitchen sink and, in turn, is upset that he has to pay someone 800 dollars for some guy to do it. So Brennan is, like, “Well, why don’t you just do it? You’re so adept.” Oh, yeah, well, that was before the coma, so I have to revisit things that Booth is very good at, and I think that really allows the character to really kind of examine where he’s at, if he likes doing it, and getting his grasp of that material back in his system.

“So we will slowly see that development with his character through the episodes,” promised Boreanaz, “whether it’s, like, putting on the belt buckle again – how does he find that act? – or we have a great part in this first episode, with the socks. He doesn’t remember wearing these socks! They’re all little touching moments.”

“I think it’s a matter of rediscovering your character,” explained Nathan, “and, in that process, rediscovering Brennan. And that’s why that event might have been not technically real was very, very real for them as characters, and it makes them see each other differently. The event
that happened either in the book or in this coma is real for them.”

“And,” continued Boreanaz, “it makes me want to reinvest my time and energy into a relationship with her because I don’t remember certain things that now we are back to ground zero again. We are probably even worse than ground zero.”

We can also expect to see another season’s worth of new assistants for Bones at the Jeffersonian…or, if not a full season’s worth, Hanson says they’re definitely still going to continue with them for awhile, anyway. “This is one of those things when you adapt to what happens organically in a series,” he said. “We thought, ‘We are going to have a bunch of people come in, and we will see how we like them and we will pick someone.’ And then we got these people, and we cast these wonderful people, and they open up stories in the lab. The ones we have now are very, very good, and I worry all the time that we are going to lose them, because we don’t have them on series deals. We have them as guest stars…and they are amazing. So I think we will keep doing that until it starts to feel like we should do something else.”

According to Boreanaz, there’s also talk of doing something similar for Booth within the FBI.

“We have the squints, but we haven’t seen much of the wackies in Booth’s world,” he said. “We just worked with Christopher Duncan. He’s a great actor, and he brought so much to the show and he brought such an identity. What’s great about the experience of working with these guys is that they open up the realm of possibilities. To see how these two characters work off of them, how I would react to Squint, or how (Bones) would react to an FBI guy, it really just opens up the character work.”

Lastly, you may already know this, but “Bones” received one of the highest compliments a series can get: a two-season pick-up. Based on Hanson’s comments, it doesn’t sound like it was a complete surprise, but he’s clearly happy about it.

“To be honest, there was a lot of negotiation about how we were going to proceed into the fifth season, and one reason for the two year pick-up had to do with license fees,” he explained. “Boring stuff…but that being said, it’s great! For us making stories, it gives us a nice timeline, and for them being the actors, it gives them an idea as to how they can settle into it. I felt like it was a great gesture from the network to us. They didn’t have to do that.”

“It really was a vote of confidence, because so many shows get picked up for 13 episodes rather than 22 episodes,” admitted Nathan. “It really made us feel very welcomed on the network. More importantly to me was the Thursday night. It seemed like every year it was announced that we were going to move to Friday nights!”

“We fought it every year, though,” Deschanel reminded him.

“We did fight it every year,” agreed Nathan. “And Thursday at 8:00…it’s not the greatest time slot, but it’s definitely not the worst. If we can just stay there and build up our audience, that would be fabulous.”