After 370* dead bodies, 250 skeletons, and 150 confessions, Fox's Bones ends its 12-season run on Tuesday with Episode 246, "The Final Chapter: The End in the End."
Directed by Philadelphia's David Boreanaz, who plays FBI Agent Seeley Booth and who included his parents, retired 6ABC weather forecaster Dave Roberts and his wife, Patti, the finale should be a not-so-bitter ending for the fans who followed Bones from time slot to time slot to help make it Fox's longest-running scripted drama.
Here are a dozen things we'll miss -- one for each season -- about the show that never let the display of some of television's most gruesome visuals interfere with the fun, and the romance, of catching killers:
- Its characters' can-do attitudes. No matter how many of their FBI and Jeffersonian Institute colleagues were murdered (or suspected of murder), the survivors kept turning up for work. And falling in love with one another.
- The way geek girls ruled. It wasn't just the forensic anthropologist/novelist title character, Temperance "Bones" Brennan (Emily Deschanel), based on the works (and work) of forensic anthropologist/novelist Kathy Reichs. The Jeffersonian's science-minded women included Dr. Camille Saroyan (Tamara Taylor); Brennan's best friend, Angela Montenegro (Allentown's Michaela Conlin), an artist who specializes in facial reconstruction; and Daisy Wick (Carla Gallo), one of the more prominent of the show's rotating team of interns.
- Angela's amazing tech. Who needs a standing desk when your computer is an Angelatron? Like its pricier-to-produce holographic predecessor the Angelator, the Angelatron put the sizzle in screen time.
- The "squinterns." They came, they saw, they dissected. Of the 15 who Fox counts as having earned that title, Dr. Clark Edison and Wendell Bray, recurring characters played by Philadelphians Eugene Byrd (Arrow, 8 Mile) and Michael Grant Terry, had some of the better story lines, though not as good as Zack Addy's.
- Zack Addy. Until he supposedly apprenticed himself to a serial killer called the Gormogon, Zack (Eric Millegan) was the best, wasn't he? Note: We do not miss the Gormogon.
- The way no viewer was left behind. There was always enough exposition in the dialogue to allow someone to return, even after being away for a season or two. (With, OK, a Google search or two.)
- The conspiracy theories of Dr. Jack Hodgins (TJ Thyne). Giant moths. Aliens. The Lincoln assassination theory you'd hear nowhere else. To quote BuzzFeed, "Stay freaky, Hodgins."
- The socks and the belt buckles. As my more fashion-conscious editor notes, Booth's goofy accessories helped the buttoned-up FBI agent show some personality.
- The way marriage was made to look nearly as interesting as courtship. Bones kept its principals apart for years, but when it committed, it committed. The marriages of Booth and Brennan, and of Hodgins and Angela, have proved as idiosyncratic as the people in them.
- Its respect for personal beliefs. "Bones" is an atheist, married to a Roman Catholic (Booth). Their differences go way beyond religion, but it's refreshing that they're addressed at all.
- The acknowledgment that it takes all kinds. Whether or not Brennan or Zack or any other character is officially on the autism spectrum, the Jeffersonian appears to be a model of workplace neurodiversity.
- Booth and Brennan. Forever.
*Statistics provided by Fox because we can't count that high.