Bones, which I have previously mentioned as a favorite time-passer, succeeds as a show for one reason and one reason alone: the chemistry among the leads. Deschanel as Bones and Boreanaz as Booth collaborate in a perfect mixture of pathos, comic timing, barely suppressed desire and complementary types of intelligence, a testament to their skill and to their dual magnetism. The actors who play the secondaries at Bones’ lab — Angela, Hodgins [I have a crushy crush on T.J. Thyne], Zach and Sorayan — play off the primaries and each other well. For example, a constant source of entertainment for me was the perpetual King of the Lab tension between Hodgins and Zach. At the same time, Hodgins and Zach’s outrageous experiments also provided comic relief and an outlet to show that, just because the guys were nerds, they were not entirely devoid of baser passions, such as the passion to engage in pissing contests. In conclusion, I like Bones because it makes me feel smart when I watch it, and plus the characters are generally warm, funny and engaging. After the play between Bones and Booth, I like the play between Zach and Hodgins.
…Which is why I’m really annoyed with the Bones writers for writing Zach off the show in the final ep by making him an apprentice to a serial killer. I see how the clues built into the season pointed to the killer being someone on Bones’ team, but the clues just provide a means for Zach to be a serial killer. The crime lacks motive. Why the hell would Zach apprentice himself to a serial killer? As an introverted, emotionally detached, extremely stereotypical intellectual, he always seemed to have found a family of accepting and jocular peers in Bones’ team, people who respected him, loved him and gave him a home. I emphasize the familial atmosphere because I always saw the team as giving outcasts a safety net and a haven from the uncaring world precisely so that such geniuses would NOT implode and become criminals. So Zach evinced no weak personality, no susceptibility, as far as I can tell, to the seductive wiles of a serial killer. Perhaps Zach could have been exploited through his shame over being an Army reject, but that storyline was dropped in season 2, and the writers made no effort to tie Zach’s development into a murderer with his experiences in the Army. In fact, the writers didn’t tie Zach as serial killer to much of ANYTHING, especially not 3 seasons of character development that pointed Zach anywhere BUT toward serial killing.
I am pissed at the writers of the show because this finale development of Zach as murderer ruins the show for two reasons. 1) It’s completely out of character for Zach. 2) It removes Zach from the show, thus damaging the show’s core chemistry and one of its greatest strengths.
And WHY did they do this? In an interview with TVguide.com, Eric Millegan, who played Zach, offers a revealing explanation: “Oh, I’m following the fate of my character. It wasn’t my choice — it was a creative decision to shake things up and make a good season finale.”
In other words, the writers tossed character continuity and show integrity out the window in favor of blowing their wad. They thought that Zach as serial killer sounded nifty — never mind the complete lack of believability and set-up! — and that it would make for a truly awesome season finale, so they really reduced the quality of the show.
Series creator Hart Hanson backs up my interpretation in another TVguide.com interview where he tries to justify the development with two excuses. 1) The writers’ strike prevented us from actually showing Zach becoming Gormogon’s apprentice. That’s understandable, but it still doesn’t address why Zach’s character acted so…well, out of character. Hanson’s second excuse: 2) Oh, we just did that to piss viewers off. So Hanson basically admitted that there was no narrative logic to the development beyond that of pissing off viewers. I’m all for pissing off viewers, but only under the strictures of narrative requirement. The narrative of Bones season 3 did not require Zach to become a killer. The writers failed the test of narrative requirement.