‘Bones’ Season Premiere: What Happened to Booth?

Ray Mickshaw/FOX
BONES: L-R: Guest star Sunnie Pelant, David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel in the "The Loyalty in the Lie" season premiere of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 1 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Spoiler alert! Don’t read further if you haven’t watched the season premiere of Bones.

Booth lives! (For now.) There wasn’t much doubt that Seeley Booth wouldn’t turn up dead at the beginning of Season 11 premiere—David Boreanaz’s departure would probably have leaked by now—but Bones executive producer Michael Peterson, who took the showrunning reins this season, nevertheless decided to try and give fans a scare with a charred dead body that gave every indication of being Booth. But while Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and her ex-colleagues at the Jeffersonian got to breathe a sigh of relief, Booth remains (sorry) missing, and judging by the wound in his side, he doesn’t have much time before succumbing to the side effects of massive blood loss (at the very least). Peterson gave us some behind-the-scenes intel on this episode and what we can expect next week in the conclusion to the two-part premiere.

Are you trying to give fans a heart attack, with 16 minutes of thinking Booth might be dead?
Yes! Absolutely. That’ll be our intention for the rest of the season. I kind of cut my teeth on horror, and I like watching people have heart attacks. That’s kind of my thing. [Laughs]

TJ Thyne and Emily Deschanel - Bone

TJ Thyne and Emily Deschanel

Talk me through deciding to put Brennan through that emotional wringer.
Well, we wanted to come back with a bang, obviously, and start off with something exciting. And we knew eventually we wanted to get them back on the job. But we were looking for the best way.

I mean, they quit: They were done with all this. We explored a lot of different ways, and we knew it had to be something very, very personal that got them back in the lab. And we just started playing around with this idea of doing this two-parter, and there’s nothing more personal than thinking the dead body is Booth. And obviously Emily delivered in a big way to really make us feel all that. We painted ourselves in a corner and this seemed like the most fun way to paint ourselves out.

Were there any other ideas in the mix?
Oh, hugely! And you’ll actually get to see the alternate season opener, in a way, is going to be episode 10. We’d broken an episode fully, and we loved this episode, so we knew we weren’t going to throw it away. It revolves more around several of our other characters. And it’s funny, we actually looked at doing the Sleepy Hollow crossover as being the opener, but that’s now our episode 5. So we had many, many different versions, and all of them will eventually get to air, it looks like.

Kim Raver - Bones

Kim Raver

That was a fun little 24 reunion with Roger Cross as the Booth brothers’ Marine buddy and Kim Raver as Agent Grace Miller. Was that intentional or a coincidence?
Happy coincidence! It worked out great. Kim was fantastic, we’d love to see her again and we’ll try and figure that out. But we knew we wanted to get somebody big for this Booth story and she was available, and she is just an absolute delight and a pro, and she brought everything we were hoping for.

It feels like perhaps there was something between Miller and Aubrey.
I’m hoping so! There were definitely hints of that.

Does the disappearance of Miller’s partner play into Booth’s current plight?
Absolutely. We’ll understand that by the first act of Part 2. But it has a huge impact on this case.

On the other side of the romance coin, Brennan’s return seems to be causing some tension with Cam and Arastoo, who’s a bit flustered at not being Brennan’s equal.
Yeah! [Laughs] As I said, we want everyone to have a heart attack in every episode this year. We did all the will-they-won’t-they with Booth and Brennan for a long, long time, and we play a little of the opposite with Cam and Arastoo: Will they break up? So we’ll see how that works out. It’s a tough situation, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some anger and some moments with Brennan for coming back, and how that impacts their relationship.

It’s a difference of timing with Arastoo, really. Even Brennan says, you know, in five years you’ll be ready, but right now he’s just not. He just got his doctorate, and to run the best lab in the country, that’s a fool’s errand. That would be me taking over for Hart after two weeks on the job instead of seven years. What a big mistake that would have been—Bones would not have lasted five episodes.

Bones, Thursdays, 8/7c, Fox