‘Bones’ Exec Producer Talks ‘Season Ten 2.0’ and Solves the ‘Square Chicken’ Mystery

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Bones returns tonight. (photo: Patrick McElhenney/FOX)

Get ready Boneheads. The top guy at Bones says things are heating up, and he means seriously heating up.

“We’re entering the final 12 episodes with a lot turmoil and conflict for all of our characters,” reveals Executive Producer Stephen Nathan.

When we spoke, he took a deep breath and that let it all out….and it was a lot! Here we go….

“Brennan’s pregnancy will be revealed while Booth has to confront demons from a past gambling addiction that resurfaces.  Arastoo and Cam are discussing marriage but then  Arastoo goes back to Iran to take care of his brother,  but since he had to flee Iran its extremely dangerous for him to go back. In a later episode, Booth and Cam have to go and bring him home. Hodgins and Angela are really questioning whether, and for how much longer, this is the world for them.  While all of this is going on, the team has to deal with not just one, but a couple of serial killers. And finally, toward the end of the season, someone resurfaces in a form that we don’t expect.”

Nathan seems to be understating it just a bit when he says, “Yeah, we have very, very, very big changes coming up. We’re calling this part of the season ‘Season Ten 2.0.’”

For a show that’s been on for ten years (yes! ten years), Nathan says that there’s still just so much story to tell. “The truth is, these characters are so rich and so real for the writers that we find ourselves following the lives of these people that we’ve fallen in love with – I don’t mean to sound like sucky here – but it’s true, you fall I love with these characters! It’s like anything in life — people’s lives unfold slowly and the more we learn about these people the more there is to learn, so that’s what compels us to keep doing this. We love it and even though we’ve been on for so long, we just don’t feel that the show has run its course.”

Sadly for the Bones team, FOX has not officially picked the show up for another season, which complicated things a bit as Nathan crafted the season finale.

“We expect to get a renewal,” says Nathan, ”but if by some chance we don’t we couldn’t leave the people who have devoted five, six, ten years of their  lives to us. We feel a responsibility to them because they’ve kept us alive. So we had to do a finale that was a finale. But, since we’re seeing these characters experiencing different aspects of their lives, Booth and Brennan can come alive again next season if it needed. “

When pressed for more details about the season ender, Nathan would only give this: “I feel like we went into this season with relationships being re-cemented and we evolved throughout the episodes to find everyone re-examining their lives, relationship-wise and work-wise, all of which takes us to a very surprising conclusion this year.”

While he wasn’t going to give up any more secrets about the show, Nathan was willing to help solve one mystery – the meaning behind his Twitter handle, which is @squarechicken “It’s a family thing,” says Nathan with a chuckle. “My youngest son is an artist and when he was little he would draw great cartoons. One day I looked at something he was drawing and I said, ‘what is that,’ and he was maybe eight at the time, and he said, ‘That’s Puffy the Square Chicken,’ and I thought, not only is that a brilliant name but that’s what he drew,  he drew a square chicken! So when I needed a website and something for email I figured ‘square chicken’ had to be available and from that day on, it’s been my thing. I use it whenever I can.”

As Bones makes its way back onto the television schedule after its recent long hiatus, Nathan is realistic about getting viewers to add the show to their priorities list. “I know that there’s are a lot of great content out there right now and that we’ve been off the air for a long time, but I really want to tell the viewers that we have a lot for you in the second half of this season. We go from food network murders to death penalty cases to psychics to people who collect cookie jars. We’ve been really packing away treats for the audience for months and I can tell you that you won’t be disappointed. These episodes have emotion and humor and a whole lot of mystery and fun as well  and we just couldn’t be happier with what we’re giving the audience. So please just show up, sit back, maybe revolted a bit and just enjoy yourself. It’ll all be worth it, I promise.”

You just gotta believe a guy whose logo is a square chicken, right?

Bones airs Thursdays at 8/7c on FOX.