Fox's procedural "Bones" looks ready to go in the ground.
A few episodes ago, the show sped through a story arc with enough forced, out-of-character moments to suggest that executive producer and creator Hart Hanson is bracing for cancellation, or just calling it a day. And if not, he should.
It all went unnaturally fast: FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) bought a ring, proposed to girlfriend Hannah (Katheryn Winnick), she said she wasn't "the marrying kind," then he basically told her to pack her stuff and leave. All within one episode. No build-up, no suspense. In fact, Booth's decision to propose was prompted by his post-adolescent psychologist, Dr. Sweets (John Francis Daley), disclosing that he was going to pop the question to his girlfriend. When has Booth ever taken such a cue from Sweets?
This hasty shuffle is likely setting up the romantic joining of Booth and longtime partner Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel), with whom he's danced in that familiar "will they or won't they" pattern of romantic tension for six years now. It seemed Hanson wanted to wait as long as possible for them to hook up, given the kiss of creative death it could mean for the show. Hannah looked like a season-long roadblock.
But with her rushed exit, there's nothing to keep Booth and Brennan from finally getting together. As of the Dec. 9 episode, "The Doctor in the Photo," each has declared their love for the other. Romance is bound to happen soon. But if they do finally act on that ever-fun sexual tension, what else will sustain "Bones"?
All other loose ends have been tied: Longtime enemy the Gravedigger (Dierdre Lovejoy) is dead, Brennan is at peace with her elusive convict father (Ryan O'Neal), and Dr. Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) and Angela (Michaela Conlin) are wed and expecting their first child. There's really nothing else to look forward to, aside from maybe the conclusion of a fun micro-arc where Booth hunts a professional sniper (Arnold Vosloo) he knew from his Army days. But multi-episode storytelling was never a strength of the show anyway. The only real remaining source of intrigue is seeing Booth and Brennan smooch - and with Hannah's sudden departure, that's looking sooner than later. When that moment passes, so does the show's spark.
If Fox is pulling the plug, good on them for actually cancelling one of their shows at the right time. And if Hanson's possible go-home call is his own choice, (which could be - the show still earns decent ratings), he deserves credit for knowing when to bow out. But if Booth and Brennan shack up and "Bones" returns for a seventh season, I'll have a hard time finding a reason to return to watch it.