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This Was The Worst Season Finale On Bones

Over the course of 12 seasons, Bones had its share of blockbuster season finales. There were wild twists (Zack Addy, serial killer apprentice, anyone?) and big reveals (Brennan telling Booth she was pregnant in season 6 was an emotional highlight), but in the show's early days, the writers played things a little too safe when it came time to sign off for the year. Case in point: Bones' season 2 finale "Stargazer in a Puddle," which somehow manages to be a terrific episode of television and a lackluster finale at the same time.

If "Stargazer in a Puddle" is guilty of anything, it's of leaning too hard into being a simple case of the week episode. Viewers expect a season finale to include a big reveal, standoff, or a monster cliffhanger. Instead, season 2 goes small with the return of Brennan's father, Max, and Angela and Hodgins preparing for a wedding they can't go through with due to Angela still being married to another man. Meanwhile, the primary focus is on a case of the week that resonates with Brennan on a personal level.

From a purely emotional point of view, the season 2 finale includes several strong character moments, including the foreshadowing of Booth and Brennan's romantic relationship. However, aside from Angela and Hodgins canceled wedding plans, it doesn't feel like a season ender. Say what you will about season 3's jaw-dropping Zack reveal, but at least it left viewers begging to see more. The same can't be said for "Stargazer in a Puddle," despite a stellar performance from Emily Deschanel as Brennan confronted her abandonment issues.

Why didn't Bones' season 2 finale include more twists and turns?

Season 2 is, by all accounts, one of the strongest seasons of Bones overall. The show really came into its own during season 2 as the cast's chemistry was solidified and the cases became even more daring than before. But Bones was also still embracing its episodic format instead of creating larger overarching stories.

Part of this could be because Bones was always on the verge of cancelation. After all, had the show ended after season 2, at least fans wouldn't have too many lingering questions aside from whether or not Angela secured a divorce from her first husband. By the time season 3 rolled around, series creator Hart Hanson started going all in on the finales — even though the show's fate at Fox was never certain.

In a 2017 interview with Deadline, the series creator revealed he spent the entire run of the series battling with a variety of Fox execs to give Bones a stable place on the schedule. "We were on the bubble all the time," Hanson said. "We were angry all the time, calling the network asking for more promos."

Ultimately, the series occupied more than 20 timeslots over the course of 12 seasons, which tested the patience of even the show's most devoted fans. But after season 2, the writers seemed to worry less about renewal woes and Fox's lack of support, and more about keeping viewers on the edge of their seats when it came time to craft finales.