Much like the long wait between the “Bones” Season 7 finale and Season 8 premiere, it’s been a long time since our favorite FBI agent/forensic anthropologist couple have seen each other. When Booth and Brennan finally reunite, there will be some tension amid the happiness.
“Initially you’re very happy to see somebody, but all of the three months of being abandoned essentially doesn’t go away,” executive producer Stephen Nathan tells Zap2it on a conference call with reporters. “So that’s still kind of bubbling inside, and in the second episode we’ll see some evidence of that. There are things that they have to get past. Even though they understand what happened to each other, that doesn’t mean that it’s easy to move on and to go back to what they had before. Everything will have changed a bit.”
Although Brennan is still on the run when we first see her, by the end of the premiere, she’s back at the Jeffersonian. Here are a few more things Nathan and creator Hart Hanson tell us to expect from the episode and the beginning of Season 8:
— Booth isn’t the only one who might have some issues with Brennan’s absence. “Angela and Sweets are not scientists and tend to recognize that people are more complex than simply rational; doing what’s right,” Hanson says. “So Sweets and Angela stand a little to the left of the others, who get it, who simply go, ‘[Leaving] was the smartest thing to do. I would have done the same thing’ — meaning Hodgins and Cam especially, as scientists.”
— But just because Hodgins understands Brennan’s actions doesn’t mean he’s immune to the turmoil it’s caused in his life — especially the effect it’s had on his wife, Angela. “I think that Hodgins, for example, thinks he’s okay with it, but [in] the first episode, he does something that is very un-Hodgins-like, the very, very aggressive, and we think it stems out of what happened to his friends,” Hanson says.
— Although the Pelant situation is temporarily resolved in the premiere, during which we find out more about the serial killer’s backstory, don’t expect it to stay that way. “He’s going to be around all season,” says Nathan. “He’ll come and go. Hart and I both hate serial killers as a rule; but we loved this guy, and he’s just the most interesting multiple murderer that we’ve ever had on the show. He’s going to kind of color Season 8 a bit. … No one is going to be able to rest easy in Season 8.”
— Much like the show’s slight change in tone — the stakes are higher, the drama tenser — the theme song got a little makeover too. Hanson explains the thought process behind that decision, saying, “Here we were going into an eighth season and Stephen and I had discussed just a slight almost unsee-able, unhear-able to the sense of tone change. I thought let’s see if the Crystal Method guys, Ken and Scott, would be up to doing a little remix for us, and they were.”
— One of the squinterns gets a big promotion in the premiere, but the show format won’t stray from that revolving door of interns at the Jeffersonian. “We will be meeting new interns at some point this season and also revisiting interns that we haven’t seen as much as we want to, so we’re still open to that. We just love having that revolving door in the lab. It works very well for us,” explains Nathan.
— Just because everything’s more serious now doesn’t mean there won’t be time for fun: Cam’s getting some lovin’ this year. “It is not someone you won’t recognize,” Hanson teases of the boss’ new beau. “That’s about all we’re saying about it. It’s not a brand new person. It’s someone that the fans will recognize, and if we’re good, they didn’t see it coming.” Conversely, “If we’re not, they’ll see it coming,” he jokes.
— Looking forward, “Bones” will hit its milestone 150th episode this season and Hanson and Nathan are already planning something special — the “weird episode” will be told entirely from the victim’s POV. “It was very tricky to shoot, because it could be claustrophobic. We needed a very, very heart-tugging story, so that the person whose death we are solving is an actual character, and it’s a boy,” Hanson says. “We don’t usually use kids, because we can’t laugh, and it’s not a funny episode. It’s an outsider’s view, very single view of our team at work. In a way, it shows what the camera doesn’t usually show. It shows how each of our characters interacts with a victim when no one else is looking but the victim. So it’s a little bit elegiac and melancholy.”
“Bones” Season 8 premieres Monday, Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. on FOX.