There will be a blackout on Bones next Thursday, but if the promo for the March 17 episode is any indication, there will still be plenty of electricity between Booth (David Boreanaz) and Brennan (Emily Deschanel). They get stuck together in an elevator (pictured) with seats from Philadelphia’s imploded Veterans Stadium, where Booth used to go to games with his father. Boreanaz, who also takes his fourth turn in the director’s chair for the Fox drama, is happy to give EW the set-up: “At the start of the episode, these guys are dumping the seats in the middle of this snowstorm, and I’m like, Bank! Bank! Bank! ‘Get the seats and bring ’em up to the apartment.’ I’m like a little kid in a candy store. I convince Bones and Sweets [John Francis Daley] to lend a hand and help me carry these things that weigh like 8,000 pounds through the snow, up the stairs, and into grandmother’s house we go — the elevator. We jam them in the elevator, the elevator door closes, and a quarter of the way up, the power goes out, and Bones and I are stuck in there for almost half a day,” he says. “That’s where they kinda come to grips with their relationship, and he pulls out a ring and says, ‘Will you marry me, please?’ No.” (That was funny but cruel. “It is, right?” he says, still laughing.)
The actors shot for four days in that confined space, with the seats wedged between them. “It was just over and over again bumping your head on the seats, and trying to find a spot where I can fit the cameras in. It was a mess. But it actually worked out pretty good. I’m very happy. You never know what episode you’re gonna get when you direct an episode. I didn’t know I’d get the Gravedigger [episode] either when I blew her head off. Bye-bye. Can I quote Charlie Sheen? Winning!,” he says. (Laughing again, he’d like to retract that. “No, I didn’t just do that, because that’s bad.”) “It was challenging because it was a bottle show, meaning the studio wants to save money. We’re shooting in locations that we already have existing on stage. But they’ve learned that if Boreanaz is directing a bottle show, they’re not gonna save money. I think it went over budget, actually. I’m laughing at myself because we just did all these crazy things during the episode which cost so much. We had to build the elevator, and then the snow — we covered the whole backlot with paper snow, we had machines spraying tiny bubbles that looked like snow. It was amazing. It looked unbelievable. And then the opening shot is a guy on a Steadicam on a crane, coming down, stepping off the crane with a snowplow coming toward us. I’ve always wanted to do a Steadicam off a crane, and this was a great opportunity to do it. It sets the pace. You’re in the middle of a blizzard.”
He may want viewers to feel like they’re inside the blizzard, but he purposely kept us outside the elevator — so we’re frustrated looking through the bars — until the conversation between Booth and Brennan turns emotional and we get our payoff. “There’s only a couple moments where we’re actually inside the elevator, and those are when he’s talking about his dad and when they’re talking about their relationship and maybe they’re gonna make out or somethin’. Who knows.” (He’s got to stop doing that, we tell him. “I’m serious. Elevator going down,” he says, laughing. So he’s saying there’s a chance they may actually make out? “Yes, there is a moment. There is a very strong moment,” he says. We talked to Boreanaz before seeing the promo — perhaps it’s when Brennan mentions that their stamina would make sex satisfying?) How will we feel at the end of the episode? “I think fans will be excited. But some may just throw a shoe at the TV,” he says. (For a first look at the episode’s final candlelit scene in Booth’s apartment, click here, or check out the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands today. Will the seats stay in Seeley’s living room? “I don’t know. They’re there now. But I’m sure Parker put ’em in his bedroom,” he jokes.)
Of course, there is an actual case in this episode, and it sounds pretty juicy, too. With Booth and Brennan stuck in the elevator and the Jeffersonian without power, they somehow have to solve a murder case that could be linked to a potential viral outbreak. “There’s a big stunt where Hodgins [T.J. Thyne] goes flying through the air with the greatest of ease, and he comes swinging down off a bungee cord, and then hits Wendell [Michael Grant Terry] with this blue stuff that goes all over him. It’s some funny stuff,” he says. “Usually in Bones episodes, they have one experiment. I think I had like three, it was crazy.”
When we chatted with Boreanaz, it was his last day of shooting on the upcoming episode that will introduce “the Finder” (Geoff Stults), a character that could front a spin-off next season. If you missed Bones creator Hart Hanson’s twitpic of Boreanaz being “King of the Everglades,” click here. He was mum about that story, but did open up about what Bones EP Stephen Nathan and most fans agreed was his finest moment on the series — the recent bar scene with Brennan after Hannah (Katheryn Winnick) rejected Booth’s marriage proposal. “I knew that the emotion was gonna be raw enough for me to tap into some stuff that would allow people to see a side of Booth that they’ve never seen before. I wanted to do that. I wanted to say he’s got this sense of vulnerability, that he’s hurting inside, he is angry, he’s on the verge of just kind of giving up,” he says. “It was an exercise of faith and trust, and a thank you to the fans that stick by our show and stick by me. It was just a really nice moment for me to let that out and say thank you.”
He also explained why Booth hasn’t been wearing his trademark “Cocky” belt buckle as of late, and instead has been opting for the rifle belt buckle he sported when the series began. “I decided to put this back on until I resolve the sniper issue. It’s almost kinda like I gotta get this guy, and it’s my belt buckle of choice to do it,” he says. The sniper arc concludes in this season’s penultimate episode. All in favor of him bringing “Cocky” back for the season finale?