The Ultimate Bones Family Reunion Cheat Sheet: A Complete Guide to All the Kooky Relatives
Want to know something we've noticed these past 7 seasons? The characters on Bones have a lot of extended family members. Sometimes, it can be hard to keep them all straight — even for the most dedicated of fans.
Not to worry, though! We've put together a complete guide of the most important (and even a few of the less important) family members to have appeared on Bones so far.
Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel)
Naturally, Brennan’s one of the characters who needs the most space in a feature like this. When you’ve been shunted around among foster homes throughout your childhood, there’ll definitely be some big family interest in a show with you as the main character! So whom have we seen so far out of Brennan’s family tree?
Well, most notably, there’s Matthew Brennan/Max Keenan (Ryan O’Neal), Tempe’s father. Keenan’s affable exterior hides a devious intellect, and he can be pretty terrifying when a bad guy needs killin’. Why, we remember his priest-impersonating, FBI agent-immolating forays like they happened just yesterday!
With Max comes Russ Brennan/Kyle Keenan (Loren Dean), Tempe’s moody and uncooperative older brother. While Tempe took the whole “family coming unglued” thing in stride, becoming a super-rich forensic anthropologist and all, Russ kinda went in the other direction — he committed a bunch of felonies and misdemeanors and generally made himself into a cautionary tale. No word yet as to whether we’ll see more of Russ — last we heard, he’d been arrested by Booth and slapped with an ankle monitor.
Then there’s Brennan’s grandfather — nameless, faceless, and yet a huge problem for executive producers Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan. Tempe seems to have selective amnesia about Grampa Brennan: when she’s not alleging that she never knew him, she’s crediting him for lifting her out of the foster system. That’s quite a cognitive divide! Indeed, according to Hanson, Brennan’s grandfather is “one huge hole in the series.” But will that hole be filled? Hanson has some ideas, but at the end of the day, he’s just sort of shrugging and saying “meh.”
Finally, let’s not forget distant cousin Margaret Whitesell (Zooey Deschanel)! Remember this goofy, bug-eyed, Benjamin Franklin-quoting quirk-factory from Season 5? Booth noticed Brennan’s and Whitesell’s eerily similar appearance, remarking that the two could be sisters (go figure!). We’re not holding out any hope for a second appearance here, as Margaret’s got adorkable business elsewhere.
Booth may be the other half of Bones’s main character list, but the show’s been remarkably mum about his family (at least compared to Brennan’s!). Fortunately, we’ll be getting a lot more enlightenment on this front in Season 7. Here’s what we know so far.
First, we have the vestiges of Seeley’s first attempt at a family of his own — namely, Rebecca Stinson (Jessica Capshaw), Seeley’s ex-girlfriend, and Parker (Ty Panitz), their son together. The former hasn’t had much to offer Bones since Season 2, when she and Seeley had an episode-opening fling. Aside from that, Stinson’s served mostly as the stock annoying ex — i.e., complicating things between Seeley and Brennan and interfering with Seeley’s attempts to bond with his son.
Rebecca’s unlikely to return in Season 7 — like Zooey Deschanel, she suffers from terminal “I’m busy with other projects” syndrome on Grey’s Anatomy. (Heck, seeing as she plays a doctor, maybe she can cure herself and return to Bones...but we’re not getting our hope$ up.) As for Parker, we know he’ll be coming back in Season 7 to say hi to his new, as-of-yet sexless sibling.
Moving upward on the Booth family tree, we have Jared Booth (Brendan Fehr), Seeley’s little brother, who’s sort of like a more accomplished Russ Brennan. Last we saw Jared, he was preparing to get hitched to an exotic dancer he met in India. Seeley’s supposed to be the best man, but we haven’t heard anything about the wedding since Season 5. Honestly, we won’t exactly die of shock if it turns out things didn’t go as planned on that one.
Finally, we have Hank Booth (Ralph Waite), Seeley’s grandfather, who stopped by in Season 7, Episode 4 to bring the heartbreaking news of his son's passing. And though we were never given the opportunity to meet Seeley’s father, it is clear that the Vietnam fighter pilot-turned-barber made quite an impact on his young son. (Though, not necessarily the good kind.)
And though news of his father's death was ultimately difficult on Seeley — with the help of both his beloved Pops and a very concerned Brennan, Seeley was able to work through the painful emotions an emerge a stronger man.
One of the things we love about Bones is that the even characters outside the main pair get their families explored. As for Angela, we can be sure to see more of her father (Billy Gibbons), aka the bane of Hodgins’s existence. In fact, Angela’s father has reported no name, leading us to believe that Gibbons is playing himself! Could there be a real-life Angela out there somewhere?
And of course there’s little Michael Vincent Staccato Hodgins, of whom we’ll perhaps be seeing all too much in Season 7.
Camille Saroyan (Tamara Taylor)
Finally, we have Cam, who’s having a tough time distinguishing herself plotwise. Fortunately, she’ll have some tempestuous family dynamics to keep her busy in Season 7 — Tiffany Hines, with her character on Nikita stone-cold dead, will return to Bones as Michelle Welton, Cam’s headstrong adopted daughter. (Don’t worry, Nikita fans — you’ll still have a Bones alum to remind you of what else you should be watching!)
And...well, this hardly warrants mentioning, but there was that one time in Season 3 when Cam made Booth pretend to be her boyfriend for a family reunion. Now, we’re pretty sure that we won’t be seeing Cam’s sister Felicia (Rochelle Aytes) again any time soon...but we have it on good authority that our male staff would not mind being proven wrong on that front! Hubba-hubba!
So there you have it: all the Bones family members of note (and even some not so notable!). Granted, there may be some other odds and ends lying around -- and do let us know in the comments if you’re aware of any -- but these are certainly the most prominent branches on the Bones family tree.
As November comes ever closer, rest assured that we’ll keep a close eye on those branches to see if any more start flowering. In the meantime, dear reader, you can totally use this family cheat-sheet to impress your Bones-loving friends.