Eric Millegan and Emily Deschanel in Bones by Isabella Vosmikova/Fox Eric Millegan and Emily Deschanel in Bones by Isabella Vosmikova/Fox

You grumbled, I did something about it. Taking note of the passionate reaction to the season-finale bombshell that Zack - Zack! - is the Gormogon's apprentice, I invited Bones creator Hart Hanson to share the rationale behind the reveal. Let me know if this soothes the sting at all. Between Bones and House, Fox was really out to shake up its viewers this Monday night, eh?
Boy, that's for sure! Don't you think? Good lord! In assessing the Zack reveal, many of our readers are tossing around words such as "unforgivable," "manipulative," "cop-out," "illogical"....
[Laughs] The first thing you do, of course, is be delighted they are tossing any words around. They're responding, which is what you want. The really bad response would have been silence. Right. As one reader noted, "what good TV does" is get people talking.
And we certainly did that. There are a bunch of reasons why we did what we did, the most important being that we're going into our fourth season and you want an audience to know that you're not "in a box," that anything can happen. Even though we're half a comedy, you don't want an audience settling in and getting blasé. We knew pre-strike even there would be changes at Bones. Some have speculated that the strike-shortened season chipped away at what could have been a better build-up to the Gormogon arc, laying the foundation for Zack's motivation - such as post-traumatic stress.
That's very good, yes. Initially the plan - and things go through so many iterations - was that we would find that Zack was either the apprentice to the Gormogon, or that he was approached by the Gormogon, rebuffed the offer, and then was killed. Any number of scenarios were explored. But coming back from the strike, we only had two episodes to set things up, and this presented the maximum bang for our buck - "Let's shock everyone" - and that seems to have worked to an extent. I am delighted for our show, and for Eric Millegan, that some people are furious. Eric told us that an "I'm sorry" from Zack was left on the editing room floor.
That's right. The "I'm sorry" on top of the big fat tear was gilding the lily. God bless Eric, he squeezed out a huge tear, in character. Zack is somewhat distanced from his emotions, so it was as though the interior part of him was sorry but his intellect didn't know it. When he said, "I'm sorry" after that, it was a repetitive beat. Plus, he's such a sympathetic character - unlike Brennan, who can be colder - everyone assumes he's sorry anyway. Did you consider making anyone else the Gormogon's apprentice?
Oh, hell yes. And we certainly did everything we could to throw suspicion on everyone we could. The Bones cast and crew is still at work, right?
Yes. It was the oddest thing - as soon as we got back, we shot two episodes to end Season 3. Then we shot another four episodes, but they won't air until after the season opener we're shooting in London in the latter half of June. Is the London episode a stand-alone?
Yes. Booth and Brennan go off to solve a crime in London. It's a big, two-hour [season premiere]. Let me guess - they have wacky run-ins with the Bobbies.
[ Laughs] That's exactly correct. And funny English people. Anything else you want to say about the finale and Eric's status with the show moving forward?
Eric was a consummate pro about it, and he hated keeping it a secret. He was really worried that his fans would turn against him. But we have not seen the last of him. He won't be in every episode, but Zack has certain talents we can use in a "Hannibal Lecter" kind of way. We can go visit him and he can look at stuff. If my voice sounds light right now, it's because the decision was not made lightly. But we've got to do what we've got to do.

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