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There was good news in the season eight premiere of Bones and there was bad news.
Displaced and uneasy by Brennan (Emily Deschanel) going into hiding after being framed for murder, the three-month time jump finds the Jeffersonian crew in very similar circumstances — if also conveniently close to figuring out a way to bring her back into the fold.
As Angela (Michaela Conlin) works to prove the incriminating security footage of Brennan was fabricated and Pelant (Andrew Leeds) roams free, it’s Booth (David Boreanaz) who gets the honors of tracking down his partner and their infant daughter.
Despite the obvious acknowledgements of Booth’s resentment for Brennan’s departure, their altercation gets romantic rather quickly.
“We had written one reunion, and [Deschanel and Boreanaz] came and said can we go a little farther with this, and so we upped the energy of them seeing each other again,” creator Hart Hanson recently said. “It’s one of those things that you discuss at great length. How mad is Booth at Brennan? How anxious are they to see each other? How does all of this manifest in one split second?”
Per showrunners Hanson and Stephen Nathan, that reunion, however happy, does not fully remedy that the three-month estrangement caused the couple — something viewers may have noticed when Booth somewhat awkwardly forgives Brennan near the end of the episode.
“At the end of last season, we just wanted to blow that apart, that everyone was kind of comfortable,” Nathan told The Hollywood Reporter. “This next season is going to be trying to repair what was blown apart. It’s going to be a little darker, a little bit bleaker in parts.”
A hint of that bleakness came halfway in the episode when Hodgins (T. J. Thyne) nearly strangled a taunting Pelant to death.
Pelant’s eleventh hour escape from federal prison, via a left field diplomatic intervention from Egypt, sets the series’ latest villain up for another season’s worth of antagonizing the squints. Hanson and Nathan have not been shy about their desire to keep him around.
“That was the natural end for us of that episode… to extend the Pelant story and raise another question,” said Hanson. “We don’t know what the motive is… to do what he did. It’s a gulch-hanger, not a cliffhanger, just to keep that story alive in people’s minds.”
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