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Bones Season Premiere Review: Hope, Pain and Grief

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When last we saw Temperance Brennan, she was a fugitive from justice, framed for murder and on the lam with baby Christine and father Max in tow. Her decision to flee may have been rational, with her own life and that of her child grievously threatened, but it still left Seeley Booth reeling to say the least.

Monday's season premiere predictably saw Brennan clear her name and the (very well-funded) Jeffersonian unit become whole again, but the producers threw Christopher Pelant a lifeline, allowing him to slip through the fingers of the penal system once again and live to torment the Bones universe another today.

If you read any Bones spoilers this offseason, his escape was basically an open secret. Pelant (Andrew Leeds) may be the team's most dynamic nemesis to date, and the show's brain trust clearly has further plans for him.

This made tonight's show quite predictable in terms of its outcome; in essence, the true season premiere is next week, when the dust settles. What toll will the past three months take on Brennan and Booth's relationship?

Booth on Top of Brennan

Booth took a few jabs tonight, but now that Brennan is back safe and the initial relief and gratitude give way to deeper processing of what just happened, expect more conflicting emotions to emerge in the coming weeks.

It won't be pretty.

This isn't just about Booth feeling abandoned, either. For her entire life, Brennan has been a fiercely independent woman. Last year, she became interconnected with Booth, only to tear their family apart (albeit by necessity).

How will she reconcile that now that she's back? Will she resent it? Is there still emotional room for Booth - or anyone - in the life she's built for herself? Will love be enough to get B-squared through the tough times ahead?

All questions that "The Future in the Past" posed, but did not answer. The snowdrop symbolizes hope; the marigold pain and grief. Going forward, expect to see Booth and Brennan's journey touched by all of the above.

While merely an introduction to the season's broader narrative, the Season 8 opener was still a solid episode on its own merit, full of eye-opening character moments and plot twists as the quest to clear Brennan progressed.

As usual, Emily Deschanel steals scenes with her quirky elegance, while David Boreanaz portrays Booth with underrated flair and panache. Their chemistry is terrific, even in (especially in?) times of extreme turmoil.

Desk jockey Booth had no intention of sitting back and letting the case play out on its own. Ditto fugitive Brennan, who gave her clueless disciples a meticulously prepared one. Soon enough, their paths crossed at last.

The initially violent reunion at the Snowdrop Motel was appropriate, and more than a few fans were surely disappointed that the washing machine makeout session was interrupted by Pelant's latest game (and identity) changer.

Angela, Hodgins, Brennan

No one else at the Jeffersonian is good at waiting around, either.

Everyone played a role in breaking down Pelant's complex evidence tampering scheme, piecing together his past misdeeds, and successfully setting the trap that snared him, albeit temporarily, for hacking FBI emails.

For months, Angela had been leaving coded messages with her accused murderer BFF - who eventually sneaked in to examine the remains in the lab - while Hodgins showed a side of himself we didn't know existed.

Pelant, we learned, clearly has a death wish. Hodgins nearly fulfilled it by choking him unconscious in the cemetery, pushed to the limit by a tumultuous quest to save his friend and some personal taunting by his adversary.

Not unlike Brennan, Hodgins is a rational individual. A man of science, not rash outbursts. Not every situation can be handled rationally, however, and his behavior exemplified this for better or worse. Is it cause for concern?

Sweets' reaction suggested there may be deeper issues at work here. As for Pelant's apparent hope that Hodgins would finish him off right then and there, Sweets helped use that valuable information to solve the puzzle.

Even if he seemed a little high on himself at times, you have to hand it to lab stand-in Clark Edison for working so hard just to demote himself. His binder system got the stamp of approval from Brennan, too.

Fortunately for Clark, he'll be sticking around and focusing on archaeological pursuits, thanks to a new position created for him at the Jeffersonian, one institution clearly not feeling the pressure of federal budget cuts.

Finally, there was Max, Tempy's taskmaster co-conspirator, played with gruff aplomb by Ryan O'Neal. Past issues aside, Max was kind of the man when it came to keeping his girls safe, and helping set the trap for Pelant.

When will we see him again? And is Booth's supervisor at the FBI, who received an inordinate amount of screen time, more involved in this case than meets the eye? The closing scene with the flower was chilling.

That potential twist certainly left us with plenty of unresolved issues and potential avenues for storylines after a solid premiere. A few random thoughts and observations before turning it over to your comments:

  • Nice Flyers shirt, Booth. We expect at least Philly sports shout-out per week.
  • Pelant's fake Egyptian alias, Bassam, translates to "the one who smiles."
  • Lance Sweets. Packing heat. Who doesn't love that combination?
  • Will there be a ceremonial blonde wig burning next week?

What did you think of the Bones Season 8 premiere? Discuss below!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
  • 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (276 Votes)

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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Ooops hit submit too soon...The scariest villain hands down was Howard Epps. Now he was seriously creepy!

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Wow great episode, yes it felt rushed but I think this was to underline the fact that everyone felt extremely anxious to "solve" the case and bring Brennan back. There was definitely a sense of urgency from all the characters; from the Jeffersonian team to clear Brennan, to Agent Finn who wanted to arrest her. Is Finn involved with Pelant/Basaam? Of course. To what extent? Who's calling the shots in that "partnership"; if indeed there is one. Brennan and Booth-of yes they're definitely back! The chemistry was off the charts, but there is an underlying resentment esp on Booth's part. It's not all "lollypops and candycanes"! I think next week's episode will touch on this further. Emily and David were awesome as was everyone. I know that HH and SN say that Pelant is so scary/creepy, but I agree with Carlos. He really isn't, at least not yet. The scariest villain hands down

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I really hate Sweets. He is so predictable and boring and always has to be a paragon of duty and ethical conduct. Everytime he talks I feel like falling asleep, which is a shame, he's a fine man to look at. Hodgins has been showing more and more character growth and I loved it that he snapped with Pelant.

Steve-marsi

@ Nisan - I have not actually seen any more of this season. The comments I made regarding future episodes are part my own predictions and part based on interviews I've read (and conducted, at this year's Comic-Con) that I thought might paint the season premiere in an interesting light, relative to the season's broader narrative. Nothing has been spoiled, however, because I truly don't know what happens next!

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Wonderful episode. Sorry the reviewer saw more of this season, sorta taints the view when you know what's going to happen. We don't need to hear about that stuff. As to this episode, Brennan and Booth, their inter action with each other is much better this season. Last season they seemed estranged the entire time. The scene when she comes into his Motel Room and flips him, come on, how could no one mention that? Brennan is so cool and obviously Booth loves her very much. Nice acting guys, really. Everyone played their part, did their job and won the day. Max, gotta love Max, definately will be the one to kill Christopher Pelant and good riddens to bad rubbish.

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Last nights episdoe was awesome..I like seeing this side of Hodgins..I think that Flynn is involved somehow....him not wanting to look into other possiblites, with Pelant calling him..to him picking up the flower.. and when Booth got his job back.. didn't Flynn say he was going to be working with International Affairs.. and later that night Pelant all of a sudden isn't Pelant?! Just a few of my rambelings...

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Weren't we obsessing about a clock the last episode?

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I felt like this episode's plot was kinda rushed due to their need to get things back to the status quo, but otherwise it was excellent. Having Pelant get out of everything at the last minute was expected though, I'd never even seen any of the trailers or anything and I still expected it, he's too good of an antagonist to just be thrown in jail and that's it. As for the old FBI agent, I thought from the beginning that he was probably Pelant's mole, the sheer amount of obsession that guy had with getting Bones arrested throughout the episode on top of everything else the man did (I can't remember that guy's name either) to imped the team's efforts beyond all reason clued me in on that, the flower in the trash can just made it all but a certainty.

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I also agree with Aussie and AWoods! My heart beat overtime when I saw that. Even though it was a true WTF moment it can still be something the writers did just to throw the viewers for a loop. But hopefully not. It was soo amazing I don't know what to write. #PTSD

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Totally agree with Alwoods and Aussie. When I saw him pick up the flower, I wondered if he was the real guy behind it all and if the other guy could just be scape goat.