How many times has Special Agent Booth saved Dr. Temperance Brennan’s life? How many times did the two have drinks together before they finally had their first real kiss? How many kisses have they shared since Christine was born?
These are just some of the intriguing quantitative nuggets the Bones fairies (my affectionate name for all the geniuses behind the scenes and on our screens who make Bones the magical magnificence we’ve all come to know and love) wanted definitively calculated as they headed into their tenth season and toward the comedy-drama-crime-science-romance’s 200th episode airing December 11. The next important question they faced was how in the world they were going to amass all that minutia in the brief and sporadic moments they had between writing, directing, editing, staging, crafting, creating and promoting the nine episodes scheduled to air between the fall premiere and the 200th in December?
The Bones Fairies Turned to Some Experts
If there’s one truth Bones has come to rely upon it’s that their fans are fiercely loyal and extremely well-versed in Bones canon. Heck, we probably remember minutia from long ago episodes better than the actors themselves (Looking right at your fine face, Mr. Boreanaz). In his their defense, I couldn’t tell you what I did a year ago either, much less nine years ago! That’s a heck of a lot of water under the … anyway.
On June 24th of this past summer one of those very savvy Bones fairies (Alex Hughes, VP Integrated Creative & Strategy) reached out to ten visible and socially active Bones fans from all over the world and made a simple proposition: Re-watch every single Bones episode ever made and document everything from the timestamp of when the victim’s identity is discovered, to exactly who is in the final scene and what they are doing. “This might take the enjoyment out of watching Bones for you all,” he warned, but we assured him that would never happen. And it never did, even when he seemed to cringe when asking us to go back again and find just one, three, or five more data points from each episode. Each time he asked he was met with eager proclamations that this was a labor of love that we all felt privileged to be a part of. That is how ‘Squint Squad 200’ was born. What was most challenging was adhering to the 100% secrecy pact we were sworn to.
The result of Squint Squad 200’s labors is the BONES: 200 Episodes to Die For Infographic created by Zhenia Vasiliev & Alex Hughes. Below is only the first of six beautiful illustrations depicting the 20,200 data points collected by @geraghtyvl, @forensicmama, @april30lin, @ohhelloarianna, @chtyaqi, @omelette73, @peppernights, @Xtine_78, @beabelli and myself (@MoxieGirl44) as well as others who collated and prepared the data.
The Illustrator’s Special Connection with “The 200th in the 10th”
Having been a part of this ongoing project, I’d like to share with you some special items that other media outlets may be unaware of.
First, by now you have seen the promotional images and clips from “The 200th in the 10th,” Bones celebratory 200th episode and you know that it’s an exquisite homage to the late great English film director and producer, Alfred Hitchcock. Did you also know that the freelance illustrator who crafted the visual concept of this amazing piece of work is none other than Zhenia Vasiliev. Okay, yes, so you may have already hear that, but did you know that Vasiliev was part of the two-man team who designed ‘The 39 Stats: Charting Hitchcock’s Obsessions.’ Imagine how excited we all were in late October when Alex informed us Vasiliev was creating our infographic! Note: In preparation for the 200th episode, you might want to study that Hitchcock infographic because the direction, cinematography and aesthetic of “The 200th in the 10th” comes straight out of the Hitchcock playbook.
‘Bones 200 Episodes to Die For’ is Rife with Easter Eggs
Look very closely at the infographic and you will find several ‘Easter Eggs’ hidden within the images. An ‘Easter Egg’ is a secret message or inside joke hidden within an artistic work that would be recognized only by those most ardent followers of the genre or franchise. In this case, there are little love notes hidden throughout for Boneheads to enjoy. Where are they, you ask? Here are a couple of hints, but Squint Squad 200 has been sworn to secrecy for the time being.
The Deaths in the Data (Part 2) – contains three Easter Eggs commemorating the passing of three beloved Bones characters. See if you can find them.
The What in the Where, When and How (Part 4) – features a major Easter Egg hidden in plain sight. I stared at this for ten minutes before slapping my forehead.
Ten Things Brought Back to the Lab (Part 4) – includes an Easter Egg that only an expert at season 5 would probably recognize.
The Case in the Points (Part 4) – has an Easter Egg so well known that your Bonehead membership card will be ripped from your boney hands and you will be forever shamed if you don’t see it almost immediately.
The State of Their Union (Part 5) – contains a reveal about the 200th episode. Can you figure it out? You will be able to after Thursday.
The Remainder of Remains (Part 6) – has a whopping 20 Easter Eggs hidden in it! You’ll smack your forehead when you figure out what they are. Then again, it may be a collection that only the Squint Squad 200 members will appreciate. What do you think?
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An Overwhelmingly Hot Reception
At the end of October, Alex showed the gathered data to the Bones writers. This was writer Emily Silver’s reaction:
Most exciting to Squint Squad 200 members was to learn that around that same time Bones decided to commit our work to the Bones bible from thence forward.
On December 5th ‘Bones 200 Episodes to Die For’ hit the web on mashable.com and within an hour it had 5,100 shares. As of a moment ago, it has over 20,000 shares. What did the people at Bones think of all our effort? Here, they can tell you themselves.
Bones creator, Hart Hanson tweeted:
Bones Executive Creator, Stephen Nathan retweeted @BONESonFOX:
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Those are just a few of the tweets from the people who make Bones. Now that all the data is out there for the world to see and ponder, you have but one thing left to do … buckle your seat belt and get ready for a Hitchcockian dream when “The 200th in the 10th” hits your screen on Thursday. We’ve already seen it and promise it’s an extraordinary episode. See you on Thursday!
Below is the full infographic.
Bones airs Thursday at 8pm on FOX.
(Images courtesy of FOX)
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV