Bones went off the air in 2017 with a total of 246 episodes in the can, which is a pretty amazing accomplishment for any procedural drama series. The show was based loosely on the life of author Kathy Reichs, a forensic anthropologist who produced the series and provided the basis for Doctor Temperance Brennan, known as Bones to her husband and collaborator, Agent Seeley Booth.
Over the course of the series' 12 seasons, Dr. Brennan and her ever-expanding team of experts in forensic anthropology teamed up with members of the FBI to uncover the substantial number of murders in the Washington, D.C. area. Their efforts helped make the streets safer from would-be monsters, but their work also landed a crosshairs on each and every one of their backs. This wouldn't have been a great show if there wasn't an antagonist or two for the various players to contend with, and Bones had them in spades. Some of our favorite characters were taken out unexpectedly, while others turned out to be just as bad as the bad guys Brennan and her team were going after all along.
Whether you were a casual fan or a hardcore binger of the show, there are probably a few details about what was happening that made you think. While these sorts of shows can't always be accurate, there were some aspects of Bones that just didn't make a whole lot of sense. Even for those who paid close attention, some details, plot holes, and outright absurdities failed to meet the logic test.
Here are 20 Things That Make No Sense About Bones.
20 DR. BRENNAN'S RACIAL PROFILING
Identifying a victim's race on Bones is as simple as a side conversation where Dr. Brennan points out a small feature on the skull. The casual observer might take this as a standard method in forensic science, but determining a person's race is not as easy as the show made it look.
As it turns out, identifying a person's race from their bones is incredibly difficult, and often incorrectly done even by the experts. The Los Angeles County Coroner, Elizabeth Miller, once spoke out about this aspect of the series: "It's the hardest thing to determine, it is the least accurate, and I'm never surprised when I'm wrong.... Pardon the pun: It's not a black-and-white issue." It is possible to determine race from bones, but it's far from easy and requires a lot more work than we see in the show.
19 WHY ALL THE STORAGE BINS ARE BACKLIT
If you have ever seen promotional material for Bones and never sat down to watch an episode, odds are you saw the storage bins containing skeletal remains. They were prominently featured throughout the series and made for an interesting set piece. The only problem with these bins is that they were each backlit by a lighting system that made no practical sense whatsoever.
Why would you need to light storage bins containing anything other than your awesome G.I. Joe collection?
It's clear the series producers threw this together for a purely aesthetic appeal, but when you are talking about a series that is meant to deal with science and practicality in a methodical manner, this small detail is rather silly.
18 CAM'S ENDING
When a popular television series consisting of a dozen or more important characters comes to a close, fans are often left wondering what happened to everyone. In most cases, Bones handled this well by indicating what each character would be doing, but not for everyone.
One of the characters whose story arc never received a satisfactory conclusion was Cam. We all know that she finally married Arastoo and was happy in her love life, but we never got the answer as to what her plans were professionall. Would she return to the Jeffersonian or not? When the show concluded, she was taking six months off to begin raising three teenage boys from foster care. There was no indication if she would return to her career or not and this left a lot of fans wondering what could happen to her.
17 THE NUMBER 447
If you were paying close attention across the entire series, you may have noticed the number 447 showing up every now and again. This began in season four and continued until the end. Throughout eight seasons, fans eagerly awaited some explanation of what these numbers might mean, but when the finale rolled around, there wasn't much in the way of satisfaction.
There was little more than a throwaway line in the finale, which left fans wondering what it could mean.
Ultimately, that answer was given by the producers and writers of the series. The numbers were simply an indication that something important was about to happen in the lives of the characters. No further explanation was given in the show, which makes this something that failed to add up by the series conclusion.
16 FORENSIC SCIENCE IS SPED UP SIGNIFICANTLY
This may be nitpicking as you aren't going to find a procedural drama on television dealing with forensic science that gets this right. Because the show has to maintain a sense of drama over 42 minutes of programming, the reality of "time" has to be thrown out the window. Bones addressed this issue like most series; it simply ignored the reality of how long it actually takes to do forensic science. What might actually take months in real-time, the crew in Bones managed in minutes.
To its credit, Bones was able to handle this in a seamless way that didn't take away from the drama or keep the story from unfolding. It's one of those things that doesn't make sense if you know anything about DNA analysis, but the audience lets it go because the show is so entertaining.
15 THEY NEVER CONFIRMED BRENNAN HAD ASPERGER'S SYNDROME
For many who are familiar with Asperger's Syndrome, it was pretty obvious that Dr. Brennan was afflicted with the condition. This longtime fan theory was eventually revealed to have merit when Hart Hanson, the series creator confirmed everyone's suspicions.
Hanson revealed that he based the development of the character on a friend of his with Asperger's Syndrome.
Dr. Brennan exhibited many stereotypical traits from the very first day she showed up, which begs the question, why wasn't it addressed in the show? The simple answer was that it would have changed the tone of the show and the network didn't want to move it in that direction. That's unfortunate, even if it is understandable.
14 BRENNAN KNEW LITTLE ABOUT HER OWN CULTURE
One of Dr. Brennan's quirky traits that remained a joke throughout the series was her nearly complete lack of knowledge regarding American culture. This was funny, but odd considering she grew up in America.
In some ways, this made sense seeing as she was more focused on the people who had died long ago from other cultures. She was something of an expert when it came to the mating rituals of a culture that no longer existed, but couldn't understand how to relate to the people around her. Some of this might go back to her undiagnosed Asperger's Syndrome, but it doesn't make much sense when you look closely enough. She didn't know who Michael Jackson was, which is like not knowing who Superman is. It was funny, but it didn't make a lot of sense.
13 THE TEAM WAS TARGETED WAY TOO OFTEN BY CRIMINALS
Television shows and especially procedural dramas like Bones have to maintain a sense of conflict or the series will get boring very fast. Would we tune in every week to watch them solve a crime if there was no danger, conflict, or event coming up? Probably not.
The problem is that the series ran for 12 seasons, which meant it needed to keep adding new threats to the team, time and time again.
The end result was a group of people who were targeted by psychos and nut-jobs far more than reasonably possible. What really doesn't make sense about this was the lack of Federal protection they should have received given their close relationship with the FBI. Under normal conditions, these people would have all been under protective custody for most of the series.
12 ANGELA'S BABY SURVIVED
Season 12 saw the bombing of the Jeffersonian, which was apparently something the producers had wanted to do for a long time. Whatever their reason for doing so, blowing up a building with a bunch of people in it is always going to raise questions about the survivors.
For Angela, the primary concern wasn't so much about her, but her recently announced pregnancy. Both she and her husband, Hodgins, survived the bombing, but given the level of trauma suffered, Angela's baby's survival doesn't really add up. Angela got banged up pretty badly and thrown about, as one does in a television show featuring a large explosion. Thankfully, she and the baby were OK, even if it doesn't make sense.
11 BOOTH'S LINEAGE TO JOHN WILKES BOOTH IS QUESTIONABLE
Seeley Booth's family remained somewhat murky through the first three seasons, but he eventually opened up about the people closest to him. One of the familial relationships that Booth really didn't enjoy discussing was his connection to John Wilkes Booth, the man who took out Honest Abe. Booth carried a lot of shame throughout his life for having a relation to the man who took out his favorite national leader, but his relation doesn't exactly add up when you look at the facts.
John Wilkes Booth had no children, which means Seeley isn't a direct descendant of the infamous actor.
If he shared a lineage with Booth's brothers, Edwin and Junius Brutus, that wouldn't explain his disdain for his family name. It's a loose affiliation at best, but an interesting characterization of Seeley either way.
10 SWEETS' FATE
When Bones decided to get rid of Sweets, the series lost a lot of viewers. Sweets was one of those fan-favorite characters whose passing caused a lot of people to rage-quit the series. They didn't have to take him out like that. Sweets could have just as easily been transferred somewhere else.
To be fair, Sweets had to leave the series. John Francis Daley was set to take on a directing role, so the showrunners had to write the character off the series. They decided to remove him permanently, but they could just as easily have transferred him somewhere else, which would have left fans less upset and could have allowed for his eventual return.
9 ANGELA BECAME A COMPUTER EXPERT OVERNIGHT
When we first met Angela, she was an artist who had an uncanny ability to draw/recreate a person's look from their remains. This helped in the early seasons for identification purposes, but her skillset expanded exponentially through the course of the series. While it's true she had an undergrad in Computer Science, there was no real explanation as to how she went from sketching on a pad to programming the most advanced forensic science computer system on the planet.
That's not something any random person could easily achieve.
Angela's skills in computer programming popped up like a deus ex machina midway through the series to not only ID a victim from their remains, but also reveal how they died, and just about everything else about them.
8 ZACK ADDY'S CHARACTERIZATION
Zack Addy is one of the strangest characters from the series. His characterization was all over the place. For the first few seasons, he was one of Dr. Brennan's lab assistants, but he didn't remain that way for long. When the third season came to an end, Addy turned out to be a minion of one of the psychopaths who had been testing Brennan and her team. He had been plotting against his coworkers the entire time, which didn't make a lot of sense.
Later on, it turns out he was imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit, but was also involved with another psycho called The Puppeteer. Frankly, his characterization was never very clear, and that's mostly due to his story changing from one episode to another.
7 BOOTH'S BODY COUNT
The main premise of Bones involves the team hunting down and taking out the various monsters who have strewn the bones of their victims all over the East coast of the United States. In most cases, they are looking for a person who has taken out one or two people, but these criminals don't hold a candle to Booth.
Booth's body count is far higher than anyone else on the series.
Granted, the man was a military sniper and has been put into situations where he was forced to draw his weapon and fire, but the show got way too liberal with his count. If you go back through the show's episodes and references to his time in the military, Seeley Booth has an official body count of 53, which is much higher than any criminal the team went after.
6 THE JEFFERSONIAN'S LOCATION
When a television series used a real-world location, it's important for them to ensure that location makes sense. You can't show something like the Statue of Liberty from the window of an office that is supposed to be in Seattle so the producers of a series usually try to make sure that doesn't happen.
For Bones, there was one location used in the opening credits that didn't add up when put to the test. There is a shot of Dulles International Airport at night amidst the beauty of Washington, D.C. As any resident will tell you, Dulles is 25 miles outside the city; not within Washington at all. It turns out the production used Reagan National Airport for filming, but wanted to feature Dulles in the series. The location doesn't make sense, but it sure is picturesque.
5 WAY TOO MANY MONSTERS TO BE REALISTIC
When you are dealing with criminals and psychopaths on a regular basis, the truly crazy ones will bubble up to the surface every once in a while.
When you look a bit closely, there were far too many criminals of the "serial" variety on the show.
People like Ted Bundy and Aileen Wuornos are incredibly rare in any society. While it may seem that there are a lot of them due to their prevalence in media, they are actually few and far between. That's not the case on Bones, seeing as the series featured not one, not two, but five serial monsters.
4 COMPUTER PROGRAMMING & ANIMATION IS DONE ON THE FLY
As any software developer will tell you, it's not possible to just jimmy a little code and rewrite a program based on a sentence from a coworker, but that's how tech is presented on Bones all the time. Whenever Angela displays a possible manner in which a crime might have taken place, Dr. Brennan usually negates the display and suggests an alternative.
Angela then looks down at her tablet, spends 1-3 seconds making changes, and the animation magically appears on the screen in exactly the manner Dr. Brennan described. Not only is that not possible, but it suggests an IT professional and graphic designer's work is simple and easy. It's a poor characterization of the profession. Even if you know nothing of the technological aspect, it's fake and way too easy to pull off on the show.
3 THE BOMBING OF THE JEFFERSONIAN
There was hardly an episode of Bones where someone wasn't in danger, but the place where they conducted their business seemed safe from harm for most of the series. That is, until the final episode of the series, when a bomb went off in their lab. Frankly, it was something of a surprise that it hadn't happened before, but when the bomb did go off, it didn't make much sense for the plot.
The bombing was a minor stop on the wild ride that was the series finale.
It wasn't the plot's evolution that resulted in the Jeffersonian being bombed, it was the showrunners. Michael Peterson and some of the other writers apparently wanted to bomb the place much sooner in the series, which is why they felt they could get away with it in the very end.
2 EVERY CHARACTER SHOULD HAVE SEVERE PTSD
As we've mentioned, just about every character on the series has undergone significant trauma at the hands of the people they worked to put away. From one bombing to another abduction, these people have had to endure some serious stuff.
When something bad happens, they get up and carry on, which makes sense: the series had to continue. In reality, each and every one of these people would be afflicted with severe Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, otherwise known as PTSD. As anyone who has experienced a severe trauma will tell you, it's not easy to readjust, but the people on the series make it look painless. Granted, the show wouldn't have worked if everyone was undergoing therapy all the time, but it doesn't add up given everything they have gone through.
1 THE SCIENCE IN THE SHOW IS JUST WRONG
Shows like Bones work very hard to ensure the science seen or mentioned on screen is accurate-- to a point. As we mentioned, it has to be sped up and stretched to fit the format, but the producers wanted to show science, not magic so experts were on-hand for each script and filming. A bioarchaeologist familiar with the series has pointed out the various scientific inaccuracies present on the show.
Numerous episodes had scientific inaccuracies that don't make sense in real life.
In one episode, the team used "Advanced Fusion" to determine the characteristics of a victim's bones, but the technique actually determines "nothing interesting" in helping to solve crimes. There were many instances of pushing the plot forward with somewhat sketchy science, but it rarely detracted from the exceptional entertainment present each week the series was on the air.
What else doesn't make sense about Bones? Let us know in the comments!