After years of being on the air, FOX's drama Bones is beginning its twelfth and final season. And, after a shortened season of twelve episodes, the series finale of Bones will be in spring of 2017. FOX hasn't announced when that day will be, yet. Most of the season finales have landed in mid-May or June, but if all twelve episodes air without interruption, it would come to an end in March instead. It's possible the show will split the difference between the two and wind up ending sometime in early spring.
The show's 11th season seemed to be sort of soft series finale that began wrapping up some of the show's biggest storylines. But, at the last minute, Bones worked in a few small cliffhangers and unresolved plotlines that will be a part of the show's final dozen hours. After a decade-plus on the air, Bones has a tried and true formula. But what makes the show so beloved by its fans is that it knows when to change things when it needs to, and that willingness to play around with its own history is what will make the 12th season a little unpredictable.
For example, in the 11th season, it was heavily implied that the show's recurring villain the Puppeteer was actually Zack Addy, former squintern and mental hospital patient from the early seasons. At the end of Season 11, Zack attacked Brennan, and images released from the Season 12 premiere show that the series is going to pick back up with that plotline. Whether Zack will turn out to be the Puppeteer or just his assistant, the way he was with the Gomogorgon in Season 3, it looks like this storyline won't end simply.
Also returning for Season 12 will be several of the series' biggest guest stars, according to TV Guide. Betty White and Stephen Fry are a few of the big names that are expected to return for more brief cameos. White's brief tenure as a particularly expert squintern was a Season 11 highlight, so these guest spots should add a little lightheartedness to what otherwise seems like a dark season of Bones. Especially since TVGuide also reported that other early-season stories, like Booth's past in the military, will return as well. A little levity will be much appreciated.
And, according to a new report by TVLine, executive producer Michael Peterson says there might be more Bones after the series finale. "The idea of having some kind of reunion in a year or two… I would not rule it out," he told TVLine, admitting that considering the show pausing, rather than ending, is a form of "full-on denial." So while Bones is officially going off the air in the next few months, there's a chance that the show could, potentially, return once more. That should help ease the pain of watching and waiting for the show's final episode, "The End In the End," when it airs this spring.