If you don't watch "Bones" on Fox, this entire article will go over your head. So I suggest you start watching tonight at 8:00 EST when the show goes to London for its 2-hour season premiere! (No, they're not paying me. I just like the show a whole bunch.)
School is back in session, and it is still no secret that I was not the least bit happy with the Season 3 finale of "Bones." In fact, I was so disgruntled that I wrote an entire script to explain it all away. (And posted twice in two days. Sorry about that.) But this is like falling in love with a guy and finding out he's a conservative Republican. It's horrible, we argue a lot, we scream and yell, and yet we're going to find a way to work things out. Because we love each other. (Or, he had amazing hair and shaved it off, and now I have to deal with his cue-ball head until it grows back. In patches. If it grows back at all.) Here's what I want to see addressed in Season 4:
The biggest of the big flingin'-flangin' deals: Explain what the hell happened to Zack Addy (Eric Millegan). We were sideswiped by the connection to Gormogon, and even more shocked to hear he'd killed someone, especially when we all totally saw someone else jumping out of the lobbyist's closet, apparently leaping towards the lobbyist that Zack confessed to killing. Not to mention that, if montages still operate like they used to, he was in the lab with Cam (Tamara Taylor) when the murder took place. Look, I have a loooooooooong post on my own blog about what I think could have happened before, during and after the finale episode. But unfortunately, I am not on the writing staff. I'm just a fan. (Who happens to be a writer. And can be really focused to a deranged degree when it comes to storytelling.) But we, the audience, need an explanation for why. And I'll bet it includes the storyline that should have never been shelved - the Iraq storyline. Fix this. Seriously, Hart. It's like you punched me in the face and ran away, saying, "I'll explain later!"
Bring back the Angelator: Um, where was it in Season 3? Did I miss it completely? It was easily one of the coolest things on the show. And don't even tell me Gormogon stole that too, because I will throw a fit.
Resolve Hodgela: I know this was all supposed to happen last season, but the writer's strike made it rough. I understand. It screwed up your whole season. But seriously, either get Angela and Hodgins (Michaela Conlin and TJ Thyne) married or call off the marriage. Not the relationship necessarily, unless that's what's already happened since you've started filming. But have them go back to Angela's original plan - just let them be in love. And at peace. While you're at it, please give Angela more stuff to do besides flutter her eyes at Hodgins. We miss her artistic and creative role in the lab. A lot.
More for Cam and Sweets: Poor Dr. Saroyan had to make Booth pretend to be her boyfriend last season. Have you seen Tamara Taylor? Because Cam looks just like her. Please, hook the girl up! She deserves it! As for Sweets (John Francis Daley)? We've seen him get dumped, we've seen him as a believable red herring for Gormogon's apprentice, and we've seen him really annoy Bones and Booth. We like him, but it's time to put him in some sort of peril so we can find a reason to care about him. Or make him a killer, like you did with the other cute one with the funny lines.
More focus on the cases: This one is actually negotiable. I've been revisiting the older episodes, and I noticed that there was a lot more focus on how the squints solved the cases as a team. It feels as if the shift has been towards the characters, particularly Booth (David Boreanaz) and Bones (Emily Deschanel), but that's completely understandable for an ever-evolving show. That's why I'm flexible on this one. It just felt like the early episodes gave about 70% to the crime and 30% to the characters, but now it's switched in favor of the characters. I love the characters. But you know where you screwed this up? When you failed to focus on the character you were writing off. That said...
No more serial killers, or at least less of them: Gormogon is resolved, at least until the Zacksplanation we are owed, but now you've also got the Gravedigger that we haven't forgotten about. To say nothing of how Howard Epps spanned Seasons 1 & 2. This is purely my opinion, but isn't that a bit excessive? Three serial killers, two of them overlapping? Are the Jeffersonian staffers walking around with bulls-eyes on their snazzy blue coats?
Have I mentioned...: That you have got to fix the Zack thing? Seriously. We're all still really pissed about that. (I've mentioned how this all actually broke my writer's block and made me write my own damn script, right? Have I mentioned that I couldn't even cry for a month? A month. I watched "Love Story" while drinking wine - nothing.)
Extra Credit: Bring back Dr. Goodman (Jonathan Adams). Just for a little while. And don't deny us more Caroline Julian (Patricia Belcher), David Barron (Ernie Hudson) and Dr. Gordon-Gordon Wyatt (Stephen Fry). You know there's seriously awesome "House" crossover potential in that one.
An afterthought: This was originally written in June, about a month after the season finale ("Pain in the Heart") aired. Over the summer, I wrote the aforementioned cathartic script and have moved on to writing original characters. (No, really.) In other news, Eric Millegan is alive, well and sane, and will appear in future episodes this season.
For more on what "Bones" most diligent fans want to see in Season 4, tune in to the Obsessed With Bones podcast, featuring yours truly. Yammering.
"Bones" returns tonight and airs on Wednesdays on Fox at 8:00 PM EST.