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Why The Number 447 In Bones Means More Than You Think

Fox's "Bones" follows a team of crime solvers led by FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) and Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan (Emily Deschanel), who solve murders with minimal evidence, sometimes recreating much-needed details from ... well, just the bones. The Hart Hanson-created show is based on a popular novel series by author Kathy Reichs. The series had a long and successful run, airing 12 seasons from 2005 to 2017. 

But even with those years and years of work, there remain questions that fans want answers to. One of the strangest running details from the show is the repetition of the number 447. The three numbers are likely familiar to fans, as they popped up throughout the series, whether displayed on clocks, apartment numbers, or security codes. The bit is just subtle enough that fans weren't demanding an answer in exchange for their continued viewership, but the recurrence did come to act as a Lynchian oddity that left many scratching their heads. 

Though a direct 447 answer may not be found in the series itself, showrunner Michael Peterson revealed that the numbers have a deeper significance than you may think. Here's a look at why 447 somehow became integral to the show and why. 

447 was important to Booth and Brennan

"Bones" showrunner Michael Peterson says there is an explanation for 447 repeatedly popping up throughout the series, though some may still be unsatisfied with the slightly ambiguous answer. According to Peterson, creator Hart Hanson and former showrunner Stephen Nathan had their own ideas about what 447 could mean exactly, but he and co-showrunner John Collier settled on a bit of an esoteric reason for the continued appearances. 

"The way 447 worked for us was in more of a supernatural way — a harbinger or omen, signaling a redefining moment for Booth and Brennan. It's just something that has been there all along that has been building to this moment of saying, 'Booth and Brennan, your life is going to change one more time,'" Peterson told TV Line during an interview. 

Although that doesn't give fans answers as to the literal significance of the number 447, it does help explain why that symbolism was continuously returned to throughout the series. It also fits with the final hopeful, yet bittersweet, moments of "Bones." As Booth and Brennan are sitting together, Booth begins going through Brennan's bag. He finds various items that bring back both good and bad memories. The last object is a broken clock stopped at 4:47. Brennan explains the clock stopped when a bomb went off in their Jeffersonian lab. Brennan says she plans on hanging it up in her office as a reminder. That's when the series ends with one of its best exchanges between its two leads. 

"Why would you want to be reminded of the moment when everything almost ended, Bones?" Booth asks. 

"Because it didn't," she replies.