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Q&A Interview with BONES Star Emily Deschanel About Season 8 Finale

Maj Canton - April 23, 2013






Earlier today, TV Tango participated in a conference call with BONES star Emily Deschanel, who discussed the Season 8 finale, dished about Pelant's ongoing effects on the Brennan-Booth relationship, and ranked BONES' serial killers.



FOX presents the Season 8 finale of BONES, "The Secret in the Siege," on Monday, April 29th, at 8pm ET/PT.

Pelant in "The Future in the Past"

Question: What can you tease about the return of Pelant?

Emily Deschanel: In this episode [the season finale], Pelant returns. Obviously, the last time we saw him, Booth had injured him -- he shot him. It seems, at this point, Pelant has set his sights on Booth. Before, if you recall last season, he seemed to be targeting Brennan. It appears that he's targeting Booth.


In fact, the body that we discover -- Booth knew the victim. It hits very close to home, involving the FBI and a case Booth was involved with. It feels like it's very targeted toward Booth, and, of course, that's very terrifying to Brennan, because she realizes that Pelant could get him and that Booth is in danger.

Pelant hasn't gotten to any of us yet on the team. He hasn't really hurt us, but he's really taking it up a notch this episode. You'll see how he affects their lives.

Brennan in "The Secret in the Siege"

Question: How far do you think Brennan is capable of going to save those she really loves?

Emily Deschanel: As you'll see in this coming-up episode, Brennan is willing to go farther than she's ever gone to protect somebody that she loves. I think there's really no bounds to her protecting...[pause]'s so hard because you can't say certain things,  you have to tease them.


You saw that's she's willing to go pretty far to save someone that she loves, and now you'll see that she'll do the same for other people that she loves -- to protect them, to protect her life with them. Yeah, I'll leave it at that.

Booth and Brennan in "The Secret in the Siege"

Question: So how much does Pelant's return affect Brennan's decision about her relationship with Booth?

Emily Deschanel: I think that Pelant's intense presence and targeting Booth -- and feeling Booth's mortality and the possibility of him being in danger and the concept of even living without him -- kind of brings things to the forefront for Brennan when she thinks about Booth and Brennan's relationship.


I think that she would be thinking about things in that way, but I think that Pelant kind of makes things happen more quickly and in a more intense way.

Brennan in "The Secret in the Siege"

Question: With all that's happened, what can you say about Brennan's mindset going into the season finale?

Emily Deschanel: I think it's terrifying. They just thought they were going to lose one of their own with Aristu.


Pelant is scary. He's somebody who's brilliant -- maybe Brennan is a little smarter than him, but it's hard to say. She hasn't faced somebody quite as terrifying and challenging as him and targeting them. It's pretty scary.

She's been raising her child with Booth. There's just so many things that have happened the past two years that. They kind of don't really have a moment to think about their lives, themselves and their relationships.

Emily Deschanel (cont): You see Booth and Brennan get together, they get pregnant right away [laughs], and then have to raise a child together. Brennan's always been this person who said, "I would never have children. I'm not going to get married. I'm not interested in that."  She's kind of going along, but she's not forced to really examine her life in that way and her relationships. So when this happens, it really forces her to look at her life, herself, her relationships and her feelings -- and why she feels certain ways about certain things. It makes her question some of her core beliefs. It's a very pivotal time for her.

Brennan in "The Secret in the Siege"

Question: What goes on at the Jeffersonian in the season finale?

Emily Deschanel: We may see multiple victims in this episode from Pelant. It feels more targeted at the FBI than the Jeffersonian, but, of course, we're partners with the FBI as a whole and then Booth being Brennan's partner in life and in their work.


It feels personal, even though nobody is being specifically targeted at the Jeffersonian -- it's the FBI. We're working feverishly to solve this case, to find Pelant, to stop him however possible, and to figure out what he's doing. He always has a hidden agenda, as we've learned. He's not just killing some person at random; there's a reason he's chosen the victims he's chosen. There's a reason he's killed them in the way he has, and there's a meaning behind it.

Emily Deschanel (cont): It affects not only Booth at the FBI, but it affects Sweets. Pelant is targeting Booth, but it's affecting Sweets, as well. Pelant has taken information that he's learned from Sweets, and is toying with him while he's on this killing rampage.


Pelant, also in this instance, may be involving other people in his plot. We're trying to investigate and figure out how he's doing it. It gets scary when he's possibly recruiting other people to do work for him.

Pelant in "The Corpse on the Canopy"

Question: In the season finale, are we going to get closure on the Pelant storyline?

Emily Deschanel: There will be some closure, but the story is definitely ongoing. [laughing] That's sort of a tricky answer, but I don't know how better to answer it. 


The story continues into next season. That's not to say that we haven't captured him in some way by the end of this season, but with Pelant, it's never as simple as we think. As we've learned, he's changed his complete identity. He's very tricky; he's very wiley in his ways. [laughs]


So the story does continue with Pelant.

Pelant in "The Past in the Present"

Question: How do you rank Pelant amongst the other BONES villains?

Emily Deschanel: I find him terrifying in his calm, steely way about him. You'd think his nerdiness would make him less scary, but I think it makes it more scary.


If you met the guy who plays him, Andrew Leeds, he's like the friendliest, sweetest person. Some of the actors had never met him -- my husband has known him for years -- Tamara Taylor said, "Oh, my gosh! He's so different from his character." She had no idea; she'd only seen him on screen.  I thought that was very interesting.

Emily Deschanel (cont): I think with our serial killers, we've gotten better and better. That sounds like such a silly thing to say.


I think, to me, he's more terrifying. You have this brilliant person who's really able to  get around the law in so many different ways -- whether it's getting out of an ankle bracelet or finding ways around not being able to use computers or changing his name, identity and records of DNA so he's known as a completely different person. That is so terrifying and so brilliant, that I think I have to rank him as number one of serial killers.


The Gravedigger was terrifying. Brennan and Hodgins being buried alive was pretty terrifying. You have Gormogon, which was very scary. But I rank Pelant as number one, right now. Hopefully, we keep building upon things and make them scarier and scarier, if we have more serial killers, that is.

Booth and Brennan in "The Secret in the Siege"

Question: Do you find filming the emotional scenes more challenging?

Emily Deschanel: It depends. It really depends on what it is. It depends on the emotion and the way the scene is written and the circumstances


I find it challenging to switch tone, like we do on our show. It's definitely challenging to go from comedy to humor and lightness to sadness. It really depends on the particular scene and what it is.


Sometimes the emotion comes easily for me and sometimes it's more challenging, whether it's because we're laughing and being light a moment before or... 

Emily Deschanel (cont): Wait, my baby is pounding on the door right now. [to her son: Hi, give momma a minute, OK?] Sorry. What were we talking about? Mommy brains.


It really depends on the scene what the challenge is, but I think changing tone can be really challenging for me. It really depends on the scene for me, and what it's about. I think when you're supposed to have emotion out of nowhere, that's really challenging for me.

Booth and Sweets in "The Method in the Madness"

Question: Can you talk about the relationship between Booth and Brennan with Sweets?

Emily Deschanel: We had a fun, kind of parent-child relationship for a while. We had Sweets staying with us, kind of like our child in a way -- we were kind of treating him that way. We don't believe he's able to move out on his own, and then he does.


As Brennan says in an episode, "He's the only person she could think of living with them ever." He's the person that Booth and Brennan both like equally, if you could quantify emotions.

They become very close with Sweets, having lived with him. I think it's hard when he moves out. I think it's hard when he's dealing with stuff, like feeling affected by Pelant in the coming episode.

Russ in "The Woman in Limbo"

Question: Is there any talk about Brennan's brother, Russ, coming back?

Emily Deschanel: I don't know of that happening. I love having Russ. Loren Dean is a great actor and I like him so much as a person. We keep in touch a bit here and there. I don't know of any plans to have them back, but I would love to them back. We like having Ryan O'Neal, as well, as my father. It would be great to have everybody back, and maybe even meet some extended family -- well, we did meet my cousin, who is my sister [Zooey Deschanel].


Question: Will Max be on the season finale?

Emily Deschanel: He's not in the season finale.


Booth and Brennan in "The Secret in the Siege"

Question: Why do you think BONES resonates with viewers?

Emily Deschanel: People ask me this question -- or some similar questions -- and it's hard to have an answer, but I can guess the reason why it's been a popular show is that it has a lot of different things for so many different people. When people are interested in solving a case, and they like the puzzle of that. Or somebody is interested in the science. Or somebody loves watching the repartee between the characters. Or the sexual tension between Booth and Brennan or between other characters. Or the dynamics of the relationships of the characters, whether it's friendships or partners in life or partners in work.

Emily Deschanel (cont): There's some episodes that seem like a farce, and there's some episodes that seem like an action film. Some that just seem like a good old-fashioned mystery.


I think that it offers so many different things, and it can be a negative thing for us and a positive thing for us. I think that it may be a reason why we lasted for so long, but it may also be why we're not the #1 series on TV. It can work both ways.


Brennan in "The Secret in the Siege"

Question: How do you balance working on BONES and raising a young child?

Emily Deschanel: Can you hear him screaming in the background? [Laughs]


It's incredibly difficult. I can't say that it's easy. It kills me every day. It's times like this that I want to be with him, but I have to do this interview [laughing] -- not that I don't want to do the interview. [still laughing]

It's constantly feeling like you're pulled both directions, and it's very difficult. This job, if done well, is extremely difficult, and parenting is way more difficult than that, if done well.


I don't know. I don't have a good answer for it. I don't balance it very well. It gets better and better as he gets older, but it's hard. I struggle with it every day.


Booth and Brennan in "The Secret in the Siege"

Question: Has Brennan's increased self-awareness strengthened her character and made her more compatible with Booth?

Emily Deschanel: Becoming self-aware, no matter who you are, is always a positive thing. I think to Brennan, it has seemed more like a weakness to be more vulnerable and open emotionally before, but now, hopefully, she's realized that it can actually be a strength and that it can make her stronger for having opened up emotionally, shown some vulnerability and admitted that she's not always made of steel.

I think it can only help a relationship when someone opens up more and becomes more self-aware; so I think it definitely benefits their relationship. It's also a wonderful thing for someone to try and change themselves to help their relationship and themselve is a wonderful thing. Just the fact she's even trying to do that is a great thing. Hopefully, Booth sees that and appreciates it.