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After 12 seasons and an impressive 246 episodes, #Bones will take its final bow on Tuesday, March 28th. As we say goodbye to this cast of characters we've grown to love, it's difficult to pinpoint exactly what we'll miss the most. All we know is we'll never hear the Fox announcer say "an all-new Bones is next" again, and that alone is enough to give us some pre-finale anxiety.
While we can't stop the inevitable, we can take a look back at the most memorable episodes from each season. Having been a faithful fan of Bones for 12 years, I chose the episodes that moved me, the ones that still bring emotion each time I watch. (Like with most everything in life, opinions differ — you may have different favorites!) In all honesty, though, most of the episodes were so terrific, it was a difficult choice.
Season 1: 'The Woman In Limbo'
On the first season finale, "The Woman in Limbo," Brennan (#EmilyDeschanel) discovers that the remains of her mother, who had been missing since she was 15, had been at the Jeffersoian Institute for several years. She and Booth (#DavidBoreanaz) put together the missing pieces of her mother's life and how she died.
There was so much emotion packed into this episode. The plot could be summed up by saying a teenager had finally found the answers she didn't really want. The connection between Bones and Booth strengthened in the finale and made us all look forward to Season 2.
Season 2: 'Aliens In A Spaceship'
Bones and Dr. Jack Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) are buried alive in a car, and it's up to the team to save them with little information to go on — until they receive a text message from Brennan. Then the race is on.
Whether it was Booth's sense of helplessness or Hodgins' admission of love for Angela, this episode wrung every drop of emotion out of viewers, which is why it will go down as one of the best in the history of the show.
Season 3: 'The Santa In The Slush'
This was the episode that fans of Booth and Brennan had been looking forward to for three years. The first kiss was worth every second of the wait. Along with this scene, the writers added an extra heaping of emotion by Booth surprising Brennan with a Christmas tree for her father. It was beautiful, heartwarming and resonated with every Bones fan who'd been looking forward to the day this couple would finally realize they were meant to be.
Season 4: 'The Hero In The Hold'
The Gravedigger is back, and this time Booth is the target. A kidnapped Booth finds himself hallucinating a former member of his military unit, who ends up helping him find his way. In the meantime, Bones is frantic to find him, even resorting to physical violence to elicit information.
This episode parallels Season 2's "Aliens in a Spaceship," but this time, the team is out to save Booth, and their willingness to go above and beyond for him showcases how close they've all become.
Season 5: 'The Witch In The Wardrobe'
After having broken up at the beginning of Season 4, Hodgins and Angela (#MichaelaConlin) had been ever so slightly tiptoeing back toward each other. They take it all the way in this episode when, after being arrested, they tie the knot in a small-town jail, which is perfect for the simplicity that is Jack and Angela.
Season 6: 'The Hole In The Heart'
In a heartbreaking moment, Vincent Nigel-Murray is gunned down inside the Jeffersonian, leaving the team members stunned and momentarily unable to cope. Brennan takes shelter at Booth's apartment for safety, but the night turns into something that sets the scene for Season 7. In the very next episode, Brennan reveals her pregnancy to Booth, informing him that he's the father. And fans of this couple were never the same.
Season 7: 'The Prisoner In The Pipe'
Though this episode started out like any other — a body is found, and there is a murder to solve — it ends with the arrival of Booth and Brennan's first child, Christine Angela Booth. In a nod to Booth's religious beliefs, Brennan gives birth in a horse stall out behind an inn, which happens to be full. With no time to get to the hospital, Booth delivers his daughter, and the couple share their first moment as a family.
Season 8: 'The Shot In The Dark'
A poignant episode that answers a lot of questions for Brennan about her mother, "The Shot in the Dark" plays out in Brennan's mind after she's been shot. While Booth and Max Keenan (Ryan O'Neal), Brennan's father, stay by her side in the hospital, Brennan comes to terms with her past, the reasons why her parents left, and what her future holds. It's a beautiful hour of learning for the stubborn forensic pathologist.
Season 9: 'The Woman In White'
Booth and Brennan get married! There's not much to add to this penultimate episode, as it brought together a couple that had been partners and friends for nine years. With the vows, their lives were forever entwined. Even though we knew their marriage wouldn't be happily ever after, they were headed in the right direction.
Season 10: 'The Lance To The Heart'
Though Dr. Lance Sweets (#JohnFrancisDaley) dies at the end of the first episode of Season 10, it's the second episode of the season that drags us through every emotion possible. Whether it was the scene between Daisy and Brennan as they review Sweets' bones or the farewell scene at the end, saying goodbye to one of my favorite characters really was a lance to the heart.
Season 11: 'The Doom In The Boom'
Just when we thought Hodgins was safe after the bomb that almost killed him and Aubrey, the writers threw us all for a loop when Hodgins collapses. Before the credits roll on the mid-season finale, the doctor tells Angela her husband is paralyzed.
It was a stunning development, and one we didn't see coming. Not even a hint had existed on the internet before Hodgins was permanently placed in a wheelchair. And as the season rolled on and no miracle cure arrived, we, like Hodgins, had to face the inevitable.
Season 12: 'The Scare In The Score'
Max Keenan had worked his way back into his daughter's heart after breaking it so many years before. He'd become her father in every essence of the word. And though the producers had warned there would be two deaths of non-regular stars this season, I never considered that one of them would be Max.
In this episode, Max gives his life to protect his grandchildren, and as he's lying in the hospital bed, sharing memories with Brennan, it sinks in that he is going to be the next casualty. The emotions are almost tangible. How could you not feel the sadness when Brennan loses her father?
Choosing one episode from each fantastic season was difficult, and there are so many more episodes that have brought happiness and tears, which I'll rewatch again and again. Bones is that type of show. Even if you've seen every episode, you'll always discover something new. I have a feeling that long after Bones is off the air, new fans will discover this show for many years to come.