Bones: Season 5 Finale Review & Discussion [Updated]

Published 5 years ago by , Updated June 27th, 2013 at 3:12 pm,

The fifth season of Bones has been quite an adventure. From Booth recovering from brain surgery, Brennan dating Booth’s former supervisor, Sweets proposing to Daisy, Hodgins proposing to Angela, the Gravedigger trial, and a mini family reunion – as Booth’s grandfather and Brennan’s distant relative visit. It’s been an amazing season!

Oh yeah, there was also the heart-breaking 100th episode where Booth laid all his cards on the table and revealed to Brennan just how much she means to him. The idea of taking their relationship to the next level was not well received by Brennan – and Bones fans around the world were left in shock.

Not to be outdone by the 100th episode, series creator Hart Hanson promised a finale just as impactful. We’ll have to see about that.

So, get comfortable, prepare your favorite snacks and check to make sure there’s no dead body around cause it’s the Bones season five finale!


As hard as it is for me to say, the season five finale of Bones was not only a terrible episode in its own right, but also the worst season finale of the year – and yes, I’m including Heroes.

The entire episode, from start to finish, was a mess. The so called “case of the week” at the focus was extremely boring compared to the ingenious cases the team have previously tackled.

bones booth brenan finale Bones: Season 5 Finale Review & Discussion [Updated]

What makes matters worse is the terrible case was used to further every other storyline in the episode. I believe this is the result of series creator, and writer of this episode, Hart Hanson taking an extra storyline laying around and retroactively shoveling in all the “important things” that should be included in a season finale – like a conclusion (but we’ll get to that later).

While I’ll begrudgingly accept Angela’s disappearing ZZ Top-like father showing up in the middle of a crime scene to ask Hodgins if he’ll steal back his (not really stolen) car, I honestly couldn’t believe the moment when Brennan used aspects of the Hoarder’s lifestyle as metaphors for her own life.

It was as if they turned one of the strongest, most intelligent, female characters on television into a parody of herself. Actually, that phrase could be used to easily sum up this entire episode – a parody of itself.

Personally, I blame Hart Hanson. Hanson has repeatedly said that he loves causing controversy (with his fans) over the season finales. One has to agree that this type of thinking is certainly needed in order to keep things fresh – continuously developing characters and storylines instead of always giving fans what they want.

But, at some point, Hanson needs to take a step back and realize that the controversy amongst fans is not because Bones and Booth did or did not kiss – the controversy is over the series making a turn toward horrible and, in some ways, unwatchable.

bones hodgins angela Bones: Season 5 Finale Review & Discussion [Updated]

This is something that Doctor Who fans experienced with Russell T. Davies serving as writer and executive producer. As a result, fans had to sit by and watch the preposterous and convoluted episodes that made up David Tennant’s final year.

Speaking about preposterous and convoluted, let’s finally get back to the conclusion of the Bones finale – or lack there of. There is no better example of Hanson losing touch as a storyteller than the final scenes of this episode.

The entire final act was completely unemotional. The breaking up of couples, partners (especially to distant parts of the world) is something that should inherently elicit emotions from the audience – something viewers should react to.

No matter what happens, scenes such as these should be sad. Even If they didn’t offer the best dialogue, or writing in general, they should still exude some type of emotional response from those watching.

But they didn’t – the scenes were emotionless.

bones angela gibbons Bones: Season 5 Finale Review & Discussion [Updated]

Overall, the past season has certainly been entertaining. Unfortunately, no one can deny that this episode was a disaster. Hopefully, as the series continues, Hanson will learn from this debacle.

Although, with the season six premiere picking-up “1 year later” – I highly doubt we’ll be seeing much improvement.

Final Thoughts

The season five finale of Bones is perhaps the worst episode of the entire series and a terrible season finale – at least in my opinion.

What did you think of the Bones season finale? Will you be tuning in this fall? What could they have done better?

The sixth season of Bones premieres this fall on Fox.

Follow me on Twitter @anthonyocasio

TAGS: Bones
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  1. WHY OH WHY!!!!
    Why did that feel like a series finale instead of a season finale. I’m scared.

  2. Wow! They weren’t kidding about change!! I’m disappointed that no kiss was exchanged when Emily said there was more kissing to come!!
    Overall, the finale was great, but I can’t wait till next season to see what’s next!!!

    • Really? She did? Could you link me to the interview or whatever where she said that? That makes me rather excited for next season…

  3. Anyone know what song was playing at the end? (he called her baby all night long-or something like that)

    • “Kandi” by One Eskimo

  4. What happened at the end? Please tell, my tv turned off.

    • NOTHING. that’s what happened- a steaming pile of NOTHING.
      they both decided to leave. booth came to the airport in army uni to say goodbye to bones. she walked over him looking all-purposeful and cam goes “oh my god,” (So right now you’re thinking kiss, right? so was i.) and then they hold hands, agree to meet “one year from today” at the fountain, look into each others eyes and… let go and walk away. WHAT?! i know. BUT BUT BUT! THEN, they both turn back and stop and stare at one another. and then…… oh. they just WALK AWAY.

      as I said… one huge, smelly pile of zilch.

      pfft- and HH said that this ep would be as shocking as e100… i don’t think so.
      disappointed? yeah, me too.

      • How can any of you not see that this is so proper for this show. Could you really accept if Bones had just suddenly changed? She was suddenly a person she has never been? She is so close, so close to being a person willing to accept and understand her desire to be loved and to love back, but she is not there yet. If anything this episode has set up the perfect opportunity for her to see it, to feel it, and to miss him. I am confident that HH has hit gold with the way he has chosen to go and feel more excited to for next season than I have for almost any other TV show.

        • I agree. If you pay attention to character development, this was a very good way to end the season and set up the next one. I could have done with a little bit more emotion, maybe a fierce hug or kiss on the cheek, but it was still very good for the characters.

  5. what exactly is “hearting-breaking”??

  6. There is a season 6 right? Elena is right it felt very final. It seems to me next season everything will be wrong. I can’t see a realistic return. I hope everything works out well.

  7. I agree, the feeling of series finale nagged at me the entire time. I kept thinking, is this the end?!! I haven’t read anything about Bones being canceled so I can only assume that they are going to have a time jump and when season six comes we’ll be a year ahead and they will all be back.
    They did leave a lot of things open for future storylines though. Will they both show up at the reflective pool thing? Will only one? Will one or the other return in a relationship? What about Sweets and Daisy, same questions? Who waited? Who didn’t? Will Angela and Hodgens return from their holiday still happy and in love?
    Who will have replaced Bones and Booth during that year? Will they be able to step right back into their old jobs? Will there be drama regarding the people who are in their position? Will they possibly become new members of the cast?
    I can’t wait!

    • yes, breighq, hart hanson confirmed to ausiello that the next season will be picking up a year later, when they meet again. it had better be good…

    • This was the series final, the writers just don’t know it yet. In about 2 years after they have spent two years trying to get back to where it was they will realize that the show died with the Season 5 final and the rest was just death throes. Once again these writers have taken a great show and took it two seasons too far. It is getting beyond ludicrous the way these people keep tip toeing round each other. Season 5 was when they had to deliver the pay off or end it. They ended it.

  8. The only character about whom I am sad about leaving is Booth. He is my absolutely favorite character, who totally made the show; even more so than Brennan(who I will miss as much as used chewing gum stuck on the bottom of my shoe). As far as Angela and Hodgkins, I will miss them as much as I will Brennan. I wish there would be a spin off of Booth in Afghanistan. He looks adorable in his army uniform. And he can do a zillion times better than Brennan!!!

    • Monica, you won’t miss them because we’re not going to see any Bones without them, the next season skips a year ahead so we see them again. don’t worry

  9. I could not agree more with everything you just said. The whole episode just left me underwhelmed and I couldn’t even really tell you what the case was about because I didn’t care.

    The ending was BS. They’re leaving each other for a year. A YEAR! 365 DAYS THE TIME IT TAKES THE EARTH TO MAKE ONE REVOLUTION AROUND THE SUN. But it’s cool, no big deal. They just acted like they would be seeing each other next Thursday, and not AN ENTIRE YEAR FROM NOW. Ugh. No kiss, no hug, no running towards each other after they parted maybe realizing OH SHI* I should probably kiss Booth / Brennan because a.) Booth is going to a war zone, you could never see him again, people die in war zones and b.) Brennan is going on a transcontinental flight to some remote island with an abundance of poisonous & deadly snakes apparently. :/


    • i dont know why you people don’t get the ending. well since i TOTALLY get brennan’s reason for being closed up. i understand why there is no hug or kiss that happened. she wants to know if taking a break for a year will validate what her heart has been telling her all along. she can’t live without booth. there is no hug or kiss coz she is afraid she can’t let go and just give in. plus, hanson i think is afraid if he let them get together it will be the end of the season which i honestly don’t get.

      i know there is this “curse” of that kind of relationship that when they finally get together the show will be over like in moonlighting. but maybe just maybe bones and booth getting together will the the exception to that curse.

      i actually tweeted hanson. i told him if bones and booth dont go together on s6. that will definitely be the end of the series. i only recently got hooked on bones since i fell in love with emily. and i really love their teasing each other and banter at each other. i told him. it will always be there and even maybe cuter and funnier seeing them bicker while shagging or when they move their stuff together when they move together. bicker on bathroom use. their funny convos while brushing their teeth or showering together. u know, i dont know why the bickering will stop once they hook up.

      • Easy. It’s a romance writer’s trick that’s very effective because it is ALL about the characters, not the forensics. You have to build and sustain that romantic tension. Give the audience what it wants and the story is over. You keep the tension–and the audience keeps coming back–by 1. couple can’t stand each other and are forced to stay in close proximity or 2. the lovers are crazy for each other but kept apart. Now that they’re starting to acknowledge their feelings for each other, they must be kept apart by…something. Could be that they work together, but that’s obviously not really a boundary any more. Could be if one has amnesia. If I were predicting it, I’d have one of them return married and moved on and then have to deal with still having feelings. For max impact, I’d say Bones comes to terms with her emotions and makes that hard choice and Booth is the one who’s tired of waiting and fallen in love in the heat of combat with a female soldier he meets in A’stan. A combat situation could make him decide to go for life at its fullest while he can instead of waiting/wasting another 5 years. I’d love to see them together but the internal conflict is what really keeps people watching. Meanwhile, we get to see a lot of very slow character growth.

        • Lorna, you must be a writer, because your predictions and reflections on Bones are spot on…what you predicted is basically what HH ended up doing with season 6 return. I am interested to see how they end up in season 7 now that their tension bubble has been burst.

  10. Booth and brennan ( especially brennan) deny their feelings for eachother. If they did kiss they would both stay in DC and nothing would change. Shows need change to be intresting. However, as far as we know booth could’ve ran back to brennan or vise versa. They could come bak in the next season dating or whatever.

  11. You obviously have not been watching the same series I have. To state that the final episode of season 5 was unemotional is either indicative of your lack of ability to feel emotion or your lack of attention to the people and types of people that are in bones. As for calling Brennan’s actions and comments within this episode a parody of herself again I ask what show have you been watching? If Brennan has not had any personal growth by choice or not the show would be stunted. If Hart Hanson had focused solely on the development of the cases that Bones and Booth were investigating we would run into another 12 seasons of CSI. While I do not wish for the day that this series ends I am sure that when it ends I want to see growth, development and satisfaction of the fictional people who have become a part of my imagination. While the 100th episode as well as the final episode are not what fans would have wanted for these characters they are very real. As people, we often chase what we can not have and run from what is offered to us. Brilliant and stupid people alike, we do not see our lives from the same outside prospective of a television viewer. So while you say Hart Hanson loves causing controversy, while he says it also I say what he is doing unknowingly or not is causing reality. His art of taking these fantasized people (the entire main cast of Bones) and making their dream like world (from their on screen jobs and TV life) more realistic and easier to relate to by the common viewer is brilliant. It gives every person the belief that they could be Bones or Booth or Hodgens or any other character in the show’s line up. So it may be a disaster to you but I deny that it was for me. I cried at the actions of Brennan and the look in her eyes as she saw Booth in the airport, said goodbye to him, and then looked back at him. We have seen Booth’s vulnerability a hundred times, but this episode was not about him, it was about her. The emotional she is capable of displaying, and if you missed that then you may want to go back and watch from season one. It will help you notice the subtle changes that took 5 years to happen and that led to a very sad, unexpected and perfect moment that will offer a greater satisfaction in season 6 than any suddenly sparked verbal and physical affirmation of love between Bones and Booth ever could have. So before you speak for anyone other than yourself, understand the audience that is dedicated to the outcome of this show.

    • I’m sorry that you didn’t like my review, but I wrote it the way I saw it. No matter how much I enjoy the series, I can’t lie and say it was something that it wasn’t.

      I’m glad that you enjoyed the season finale, but you are in the minority.

      • I don’t know how you can say she is in the minority, since, in your post, there is no factual evidence of who enjoyed the season finale and who did not. Without conducting a statistically-significant poll, your conclusion is invalid and cannot be taken seriously.
        I would, however, like to see the results of such a poll. I will be checking the box to “notify me of followup comments,” and I hope you will attempt to back your comment up in reality.

    • I know this is quite late, but I haven’t been watching bones from the beginning and I’ve been watching it on netflix a few episodes at a time, so I saw the season 5 finale only yesterday, and I have to agree with you, 200%. I though it was perfect, I feel like Brennan is slowly starting to open up a bit and aknowledge her feelings for Booth. I’ve seen most of season 6, and I honestly can’t wait till season 7. Bones is one of the absolute best T.V. series I’ve ever watched and I’ll watch it till the end no matter what<3

  12. Kabul, Afghanistan is about 4600 miles from Ambon, Maluku Islands, Indonesia. That’s about 12 hours in a C-130J Hercules. The motto of the Indonesian province, Maluku, is “Belongs Together”.
    Kidnap/Rescue episode for Season 6 premiere? Those jungles are dangerous.

  13. I didn’t feel anything either because the writer didn’t put any emotion into it.

    On rewatch of the ending scene (I couldn’t rewatch the whole show. It was too painful.) I did feel a bit more poignancy because I wasn’t worried anymore that they were leaving but that doesn’t excuse the lack of even a hug to a man who could be dead in a couple of weeks.

    I love Hart Hanson but this finale lacked what I needed to feel something for the characters. Certainly there was pain and it was so underplayed that I felt it was the end of the series despite the fact they made an appointment for next year.

    I know they’ll be together next year, but still it seemed very off and off putting.

    I still can’t rewatch the whole thing and most episodes I can watch 10 times or more and do.

  14. Before march, I had only watched one episode of bones. I got very sick and was stuck in bed for a month and so I ordered Netflix which has instant downloads of the last 4 seasons of Bones and I got hooked, started watching this years episodes on hulu/fancast and then TV. So…in a short period of time, i’ve watched the changes of years. Yes…Deschanel’s characterization of Brennan has changed substantially, etc etc. But that doesn’t mean the season finale was good. It wasn’t. I agree with the reviewer, it was the worst episode of the series. The plot was flat, the characters weren’t interested in the case, there was no chemistry between ANYBODY. The DA was the most exciting character on the show. I hope Daisy dies in the jungle, seriously annoying character. I loved this show and I am saddly worried that it is heading towards jump the shark status if it hasn’t already done so.

    • I absolutely agree with the majority. I have watched Bones from the beginning and am more than happy to be teased with the Bones/Brennan relationship from time to time. It really felt though that this time it had to come to a head and then the writers do NOTHING. I felt like it was sloppy and very poorly written. The case was dull, the emotional scenes were anything but and the whole thing hung together in a vague mish-mash of desperate endings. Awful. I sincerely hope this was a one-off and that season 6 will start off in the right vein.

  15. Honestly, don’t you people realize that one of the big things that is driving this show is the suspense of seeing if Brennan and Booth get romantically involved? So, if they do, then one of the big reasons for the show will be gone, and they might cancel it! That is sort of why they are dragging this out for so long.

    Also, I think this season finale was pretty good. I have noticed that there are people that give their opinions–which they can, it’s a free country–that I wonder if they even watched the show.

    I do agree that the case was pretty boring, and they should have been at least a little more broken-up about Booth and Brennan leaving. What do they do? Angela and Hodgins go, supposedly, to Paris all happy. I think Sweets and Camille are pretty much the only ones who stay in that team. They could have done a better job in those areas. But, the ending really left you hanging. Can’t wait until next season!

  16. I don’t know if I am the only person who thought this…but everyone is going away for a year…how many of you have been somewhere for a year and come back the same? I think we are going to see a major paradim shift in the series. Booth will have the war mentality and Bones with the “logical” mentality again…the show is going to restart all over, just maybe with a mini-relationshop left.

    I hope they don’t mess the series up, all I am saying.

  17. I feel the show should have ended with the good episode of booth/brennan first case and the kiss at the end. But it seems there was more money to be made mangeling the series and the characters up for another season. I do hope season six will restore some of the orgininal integrit to the main charcters and give the fans the ending that they all wanted from the start, a booth and brennan marriage. Many of my friends they stopped watching a lot of their favorite series because the characters and story-lines change to almost unrecognizable. I feel the authors of Bones do the same, and do not keep into account what the watchers want at all. I fear that if season six starts out that way for Bones, many people will be let down. Keeping fingers crossed.

  18. Is there going to be a new season of Bones or is the show over?

  19. A season finale has to be truly awful to make a viewer never want to watch the show again, even though said audience member was five seasons in. But this was truly that bad! The only reason I revisited this terrible finale was to bring up the point of why a writer must listen to their audience. I felt the show became so formulaic it was just plain dull by the end! Crazy case, some goopy images, flesh out B and C plots, build up sexual tension between Booth and Bones at the close of the episode… and go with that!! For five seasons… I was really upset there was no escalation between the two leads. The way I view this as a writer myself is sexual tension is a fun tool to play with, but like real world relationships, teasing too long will eventually leave an audience completely disinterested and embittered. I know that is how I left the show. I felt that even if the pair ends up together it is too little too late, the bloom is off that rose! I heard they did get together, and I still don’t really care. All in all a gigantic let down.