Recap 'Bones' Season 11 Before The Series End

Ray Mickshaw/FOX

One of the longest running dramas currently on the air is about to come to an end. The Fox procedural Bones kicks off its 12th season on Jan. 3. This is already confirmed to be the show's final lap, so the great crime-solving alliance of the Jeffersonian Institute's forensics division and the FBI will be putting their lab coats and flak jackets into storage for the foreseeable future. After these 12 episodes, there will be no more weekly check-ins with unlikely partners and soulmates Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz). But the show has queued up quite the mystery for its final bow. This Bones Season 11 recap will remind you what these characters endured last year and where the finale left them.

Bones has had such a long life on TV not just because the subject matter is compelling, the chemistry between the actors is on point, and it's relatively easy for viewers to jump into an episode even when they've missed a few. The show is also able to pull off horror, comedy, action, and romance, all delivered to fans with a comforting sense of familiarity. Fans really know these characters by now. And on the eve of the final season premiere, it's time to review the ups and downs they endured in Season 11.

Hank Booth Is Here!

At the end of Season 10, Booth and Brennan left their respective jobs in an effort to provide a more stable life for their family. That family is larger now, since Brennan gave birth to baby Hank over the hiatus.

Booth's Brother Is Murdered & Brennan Again Has To Clear Booth's Name

No one has ever accused Jared Booth of having good judgement. His recklessness eventually gets him killed, even though Booth nearly loses his own life trying to save him.

Brennan & Booth Go Back To Their Jobs, Which Somehow Means Arastoo & Cam Have To Break Up

Arastoo had taken over Brennan's position after she left the Jeffersonian. But her ego and her sense of duty bring her back. Arastoo needs to find another job worthy of his experience and he casts the net wide. Knowing he probably won't be in D.C. for long, he and Cam break up.

Hodgins Pushes Angela's Photography Into The Spotlight

Hodgins ignores Angie's protests that her photography work is not ready to be seen. He arranges a gallery show for her and her photos catch the eye of a famous photojournalist named Sebastian. Sebastian asks Cam out, but she never seems very serious about him. Guess why.

Betty White!!

National treasure Betty White plays a colleague called in to help on a case, and she and Brennan have an amusing power struggle in the lab.

Ichabod Crane & Abbie Mills Turn Up At The Jeffersonian

Bones crosses over with supernatural drama Sleepy Hollow, even though everything about Ichabod Crane and the demons that have plagued upstate New York since colonial times challenges the rationality Brennan prizes above all.

Buck & Wanda Go West

Booth and Brennan resurrect their undercover aliases of Buck and Wanda to investigate a murder at an Old West-themed shooting competition.

A Bomb Goes Off At A Crime Scene & Hodgins Seems Fine

A killer rigs a body with a bomb that goes off just as Hodgins and Aubrey are assessing it. Aubrey heroically throws himself on top of Hodgins. And though it appears as if Aubrey received the worst of the blast, the damage done to Hodgins' spine doesn't show itself until later. He's paralyzed from the waist down and it's a gut punch to the team and the fans.

Brennan Punches A Men's Rights Activist

It's not technically legal and she eventually gets sentenced to six months of probation for it, but who can blame her?

Hodgins Struggles To Adjust To His New Life

Hodgins and Angela are couple goals for most of the series, so it's painful to watch them be thrown into uncertainty by Hodgins' diagnosis. His life has been changed forever, so it's understandable that he lashes out. But it's not fair that his target is Angela, who is doing everything she can to make sure he's as comfortable, fulfilled, and loved as possible.

The Gang Tracks A Killer Who Makes His Victims Into Marionettes

They dub the serial killer "The Puppeteer," and he's one of the creepiest recurring villains Bones has ever seen.

Cam & Arastoo Reunite In Front Of A Documentary Film Crew

Arastoo has come back to D.C., mostly because he decided he doesn't want to be apart from Cam. But the couple don't officially get back together until Cam catches Arastoo telling the camera that he's always wanted to be a husband and father more than anything else. And though she's been the most private subject throughout the filming process, Cam throws her caution to the wind and proposes to Arastoo right then and there.

Clark Is A Secret Explorer & Also A Murder Suspect

When the remains of a long-dead explorer are bought to the Jeffersonian, it comes to light that Clark Edison was one of the few members of the man's last expedition. He lies about evidence to protect a colleague. And though that should end his career, Brennan puts her own reputation on the line to vouch for him.

The Puppeteer Strikes Again & Brennan Is Kidnapped By An Old Friend

In a brilliant twist, the path to the Puppeteer leads to the return of Zack Addy, Brennan's former intern and one-time apprentice of the Gormogon killer. Booth works out the identity of Brennan's kidnapper just as she wakes up to see her former student in front of her. Could Zack be the Puppeteer? What does he want with Dr. Brennan? This is how you do a cliffhanger.

Over 230 episodes later and Bones still has fuel in the tank. Here's hoping the show delivers an explosive final season.