There is a curious sense in the air as Bones stars David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel walk into the room. On television, in the US and in Australia, the final episodes are still playing out.
But to the two actors who spent 12 seasons playing FBI special agent Seeley Booth and Dr Temperance "Bones" Brennan production has ended, and all of the emotional goodbyes already said.
Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz in an episode of Bones that reimagines the Jeffersonian and FBI teams in 1950s Hollywood. Photo: Patrick McElhenney
"There is a lot going on and you have to just maintain your sense of what you're working on," Boreanaz says of the show's final season. "That is the moment that you need to get, then you move on to the next scene, and then the scene becomes an episode, and then the episodes … [become a season]."
"For me it's been a ride of understanding those moments, coming to grips with each of the scenes, my co-star here who has been so loving and supportive through the scenes," he adds.
Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz in Bones. Photo: SEVEN NETWORK
Deschanel concurs, adding that the final season has been an emotional journey.
"When we wrapped, I wrapped earlier than I thought and you could just follow the trail of tears to find me," she says. "It's all emotional really, it was a roller-coaster of emotions, it ran the gamut. This whole last several months, the beginning of the end, and the middle of the end and then the end, end."
Boreanaz says now he just feels relief.
"When you finish it you feel good because you've been in all those moments in those scenes, so I look back at it and I say, I'm happy, there's a lot of weight off my shoulders, it feels great," he says.
Bones, series 7. Dr Temperence Brennan played by Emily Deschanel. Photo: Image supplied by Channel emily
"It feels great to be able to look at the whole cast and the whole crew and be a part of something that was historic for the network and for the studio and to give back to the fans who have supported us. You just go to the next thing and hold onto your memories."
The series, created by Hart Hanson, has run for 241 episodes. It is loosely based on the life and writings of novelist and forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs, on whom Deschanel's character is based.
The final season of just 12 episodes was serendipitously bookended: Deschanel directed the season opener and Boreanaz directed the season finale.
And both leads also serve as co-executive producers on the series. "So you have input in a whole other sense," says Deschanel, "Not just in terms of our characters, but in terms of story and, really, everything."
That said, it's neither true to say the pair had a say in the finale, or that they did not. "It's kind of both," says Deschanel.
"Hart Hanson who created the show has always been very collaborative, so even if we didn't have those producer credits, he has always been very collaborative with us," she says. "Especially for this season [we discussed] the ideas for the final episodes."
"There's so much pressure on that last episode," Deschanel adds. "I remember having certainly more conversations about that episode, certainly from my character and what I wanted from that and what I felt would be right and appropriate than the other episodes in the season.
"I really wanted to make sure it had the weight that it really should have for that final episode and final story," she says.
Both had anticipated that shooting the final scenes and moments would be deeply emotional. Surprisingly, Deschanel says, she was more detached than she had anticipated.
"I thought it would be more emotional to see our sets come down," says Deschanel. "I had built that up in my head. It was a little emotional, but not as much. I thought that would be really an emotional thing for me."
More difficult, both say, was saying goodbye to people. "[The moments] sneak up on you because of all the work, so it just kind of comes out," Boreanaz says. "We were doing scenes where we were just emotionally and physically so tired that all of that came to the character."
Directing the final episode, he says, he told the cast to "use what you've experienced in 12 years and bring it to this moment, and surprise yourself, surprise your character. And surprisingly they did that in a way that was so honest and truthful and it just came out great, it came out really great."
And on the first day of the rest of their professional lives? "I went to bed," laughs Boreanaz. "I slept," concurs Deschanel, but adds: "I went to the spa a couple of days later."
And curiously, neither souvenired props from the set. Deschanel gifted Boreanaz a papier mache Laurel and Hardy but is almost startled at the question, and then disappointed by her lack of kleptomania. "I should've taken more things," she says, laughing.
WHAT Bones (final season)
WHEN Seven, Tuesday, 10pm
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