Bones is a crime drama loosely based on the writings of novelist and forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs. Lead characters, FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) and forensic anthropologist Doctor Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel), also known as Bones, work together to solve mysterious FBI cases. Doctor Temperance Brennan’s life mimics that of novelist Kathy Reichs in that Brennan is also a forensic anthropologist that writes crime novels.
Unlike other crime dramas, Bones takes place mostly in a lab in Washington D.C., known as the Jeffersonian, where a team of forensic scientists work together with the FBI to solve cases primarily from evidence they find in the skeletal remains of victims. With a bit of comedy and romance mixed in, this series goes beyond a mere crime drama and draws viewers in to the interwoven lives of the characters.
Though the series is based on solving murders, the underlying plot is the relationship between the lead characters, Booth and Brennan. Special Agent Seeley Booth and Doctor Temperance Brennan are brought together to solve mysterious murders. Complete opposites in every way, they are forced to learn to work together. Their relationship grows with ups and downs through the seasons as they learn more about each other’s pasts. Each episode focuses on an individual criminal murder case that Booth and Brennan, together with a team of forensic scientists, work to solve. Most cases are wrapped up at the end of each episode. More involved cases are split between two episodes or resurface in later seasons. Watch Bones online to see how the relationships between characters become more complicated and intertwined through the seasons.
Doctor Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) is a forensic anthropologist who is hired to solve cases in which the answers lie in the bones. As the best in her field, she thinks logically and relies on her intelligence. Her lack of social skills adds a bit of humor to the show.
FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) is an investigator and interrogator that relies more on his gut than on logic and believes in following his heart. His religious convictions are opposite Brennan’s logical explanation of how God cannot exist.
Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin), best friend of Brennan, is a skilled artist that finds herself putting aside her passion of painting to create facial reconstructions to aid in the identification of human remains. She is likable, warmhearted and fun-loving.
Doctor Jack Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) is an entomologist, the bug guy, who loves a good conspiracy theory. His family is extremely wealthy, and he chooses to work simply because he loves his job. His carefree attitude and childlike curiosity add to the humor of the series.
Doctor Zack Addy (Eric Millegan) starts out as Doctor Brennan’s assistant but soon becomes a forensic anthropologist with a doctorate in mechanical engineering. He and Doctor Hodgins repeatedly fight over who will be king of the lab. Zack’s role in the series takes a major turn when his secret life is revealed.
Doctor Lance Sweets (John Francis Daley), nicknamed Sweets, is an FBI psychologist assigned to monitor Booth and Bones after an episode where Booth arrests Brennan’s father. Sweets take on a larger role in the series when he becomes the suspect profiler for the team. He also ends up being the guy everyone goes to for advice about their relationships.
Doctor Camille Saroyan (Tamara Taylor), known as Cam, is the head of the Jeffersonian Forensic Division. With a background as the coroner of New York City, she focuses on finding evidence in the victims remaining flesh and leaves the skeleton for Bones. There is some tension between Cam and Brennan due to Cam’s past relationship with Booth and conflicting personalities.
Caroline Julian (Patricia Belcher) is the Assistant Attorney from the Department of Justice. She works closely with Booth and Bones to solve criminal cases. She is always nosing about in the relationships of the staff with particular interest in Booth and Brennan.
Max Brennan (Ryan O’neal), also known as Max Keenan, is the father of Doctor Temperance Brennan. Due to a criminal past, he and his wife changed their identities to try to lead a normal life with their children. Their plans didn’t work out, and their daughter, Temperance, ended up in the foster care system.
Russ Brennan (Loren Dean), also known as Kyle Keenan, is the brother of Doctor Temperance Brennan. Due to his parent’s criminal background, he was left to care for his sister. He abandoned her and went off to live a life that leads him into trouble.
Revolving interns include Clark Edison (Eugene Byrd), Wendell Bray (Michael Grant Terry), Daisy Wick (Carla Gallo), Colin Fisher (Joel David Moore), Arastoo Vaziri (Pej Vahdat), Vincent Nigel-Murray (Ryan Cartwright), Fin Abernathy (Luke Kleintank), and Oliver Wells (Brian Clugman).
Seasons 1 through 3 lay the foundation for the entire series. Lead characters are introduced, and relationships between various characters begin to grow as the team of scientists works together to solve murders. Brennan’s past life is revealed when her brother and father resurface. The Grave Digger, known for burying people alive, and Gormogon, a cannibalistic serial killer, become the focus of several episodes.
Seasons 4 through 6 delve deeper into the relationship of Angela and Hodgins. Booth and Brennan admit they love each other. The Gravedigger is put on trial and finally convicted. A series of revolving interns are introduced to the lab team. An evil technology genius and murderer, Christopher Pelant (Andrew Leeds) becomes the subject of several episodes in the seasons to come.
Seasons 7 through 9 become more intense as Brennan is framed for a murder and, under the guidance of her father, goes on the run with her daughter until the case can be solved. The relationship between Sweets and Daisy becomes more complicated, and Cam develops a secret romance with one of the interns. After several seasons, dealings with Christopher Pelant finally come to an end.