‘Bones’ Returns with Brennan Facing a Near-Death Experience

Emily Deschanel in "Bones" (Brian Bowen Smith/FOX)

It’s been three weeks since we last checked in with Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and FBI Special Agent — and baby daddy — Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) on “Bones.” But they’re back on tonight to kick off the action-packed remainder of the season.

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“I think what we have done this season is given [Booth and Brennan] stories that are overwhelming emotionally, so we see how they react as a couple,” says executive producer Stephen Nathan. “We see how their relationship is tested. We are doing that by keeping Christopher Pelant alive, by adding someone to their household, which will happen soon, and also by putting them in situations neither expected to be in.”

That said, XfinityTV.com spoke with executive producer Hart Hanson and Nathan to find out what lies ahead. Here are the Top 10 things you should know:

No. 1: We have not seen the last of serial killer — and genius — Christopher Pelant, who is the one criminal who has ever given Bones a run for her money. He will be returning in January and may be featured in the season finale next May. “They know his threat exists,” says Nathan. “That is a cloud that hangs over the entire season. In a way, all of our people have their own version of PTSD. They have all been completely changed by this war with Pelant. That won’t go away easy.”

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No. 2: Always steady Brennan isn’t so steady this season when she has a near-death experience, which is partly caused by her exile from Washington, D.C. while she was hiding from the law with baby Christine last season. “That is a factor in the episode with Brennan’s near death,” Hanson says. “It is a lot of fun for us as storytellers to keep referring to someone, who makes a very rational, smart decision — it is the right thing to do — but it has bad effects with it. This season is them coming to grips with the fact that Brennan went with the baby but there are consequences.”

Hanson adds that Brennan’s near-death experience “causes her to re-evaluate her life and see everything a little differently.”

No. 3: After eight years of trying to figure out how to do a 9/11 episode, Nathan finally came up with an idea that seemed right. “The Patriot in Purgatory” episode will air on Monday, Nov. 12. We know from Season 1 that both Brennan and Dr. Camille Saroyan (Tamara Taylor) worked identifying bodies in New York after the attack, so there was already a connection. In this episode, Brennan calls upon five of her best “squinterns” to identify the remains of a man who died as a result of the terrorist attacks.

“I don’t think there is anyone in the country who doesn’t have a very personal thing about 9/11, what happened on that day and how they were affected. The reality of that event should be revisited,” Nathan says. “We just wanted to try to approach this subject from a different point of view — from a personal point of view rather than a political point of view. To deal with not only the civilians who have died, but since that point also the service men and women who have been deeply affected by the events of that day. The ones who sacrificed their lives — the ones we know and the ones we don’t.”

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No. 4: It’s murder at the roller derby and Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin) goes undercover to sleuth out the killer! “Angela has been roller skating a lot more than anybody knew,” Nathan says. “She is helping out on a case in a way that she wouldn’t normally. Angela is someone who has been frustrated with her job. She feels her life has been lived too safely. She wants to break out a little bit. Getting slammed into a wall in roller derby seemed a good way to let that happen for her.”

No. 5: From watching reality TV, we know that dance competitions are killer. In an upcoming episode of “Bones,” it gets more literal when an actual murder takes place during a ballroom dance competition. But it gets even better when “So You Think You Can Dance” judge Mary Murphy, choreographer Tyce Diorio and several SYTYCD contestants guest star — and Booth dances the rumba.

“Our undercover episodes are sort of gifts to the hardcore fans, where we get goofy,” Nathan says. “We just have a good time and David and Emily love doing them. This one is no exception… We find out in this that Booth actually taught ballroom to make money when he was in college. From Brennan’s standpoint, because of her phenomenal knowledge of kinesthesiology and anatomy, she believes as long as she can look at someone dance, she can replicate that exactly. I can tell you that is not true.”

No. 6: Before “Bones” went on hiatus, Dr. Lance Sweets (John Francis Daley) broke up with Daisy Wick (Carla Gallo) and he turned over the keys to the apartment they were going to share. Homeless, he moves in with Booth and Brennan for a short stay that gets long.

“It started out as something we were going to play out for one episode,” Hanson says. “Sweets has been a nomad since [the breakup]. Booth and Brennan say, ‘Come on in. You can stay with us for a couple of days. It was too much fun. If Stephen and I have one fault, if it is fun, so we are going to stick there for a little while.”

And Nathan adds, “You have Sweets, who is the psychologist, and Brennan, who disdains psychology, in a house together, where Brennan can use psychology against her guest. She keeps reading his books, which she leaves in the bathroom, and comes armed with new information that drives him insane.”

No. 7: In the few episodes of “Bones” we saw this season before the hiatus, Cam has been getting all gussied up and heading out on secret dates. Hanson and Nathan promise that we are shortly going to find out who the mystery man is — and it is going to be somebody we all know.

“There is some surprise,” is all Hanson will say.

No. 8: The long-promised family members will start to show up, not counting Brennan’s dad Max (Ryan O’Neal) and Angela’s dad (Billy Gibbons), both of who are slated for more episodes this season.

“We are going to see someone that we don’t expect to see — a family member of Brennan’s,” Nathan teases. “We saw this person in passing in the past. We will be seeing other family members, but we haven’t worked those stories out. Hopefully, we can meet Booth’s mother.”

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No. 9: Baby Christine won’t have her own storyline, but she figures heavily in the way that Booth and Brennan go forward with their lives.

“We have avoided having the baby be part of a murder investigation,” says Hanson. “But the fact that they have a baby, we always have to turn to each other and say, ‘Where is the baby.’ The baby is woven into the fabric. We don’t have any plans, for example, to give the baby a horrible disease. We are not using the baby as a source of those kinds of story, but the real stuff of raising a child.”

“Christine will be in the episodes,” adds Nathan. “We are doing one now where Brennan is a little concerned that maybe she isn’t developing quickly enough. It is not a serious concern. It is more Brennan being competitive with other parents.”

Hanson adds, “Brenan wants her baby to be a genius baby, but she may take after Booth.”

To which Nathan reveals, “It revolves around her ability to play peek-a-boo. You can tell it is not that intense.”

No. 10: There will be a new “squintern” showing up in the lab, but Hanson and Nathan won’t reveal more because the script is just being written, so until they see how it turns out, they do not want to say more. They also reassure us — and Gallo — that just because Daisy and Sweets broke up doesn’t mean we will see less of her. That is not the case. Their reality is that none of the interns are under contract to “Bones,” so from time-to-time there are scheduling issues if the actors have other jobs.

“Bones” airs Monday nights at 8/7c on FOX.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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