Here is a list of the things that have changed, since last season, about Bones:
1. Brennan (Emily Deschanel) now has bangs.
2. Sweets (John Francis Daley) now has facial hair.
3. Angela (Michaela Conlin) is now pregnant.
Here is a list of things that haven’t changed about Bones:
1. Booth (David Boreanaz) seems to like his new girlfriend, but he probably doesn’t.
2. Brennan seems to like Booth’s new girlfriend, but she probably doesn’t, either.
3. Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) still makes dumb, charming jokes.
4. Cam (Tamara Taylor) still seems sexually frustrated.
5. So does Sweets.
Last season, we learned that we’d next be seeing the Jeffersonian gang a year after they all split up so that Booth could soldiers in Afghanistan, Brennan and Daisy could do research in Maluku, Hodgins and Angela could spend some time in Paris, and Sweets could go on sabbatical. The show was all set up for a renewed, refreshed Season 6, where we might have seen the characters interact independent of each other, living their own lives, moving on from the Jeffersonian for a time. And all of that happened—in the span of about 20 minutes. Halfway through the episode, the team got back together, the URST returned, and the question of whether Bones was finally going to take a risk was answered with a resounding "Nope." All of the episode’s little pieces of flair—Daisy in her Monday underwear, Brennan getting violent, Booth in his army duds, Caroline’s (Patricia Belcher) distressed phone calls to every corner of the world—seemed more like cheap thrills rather than fun new extensions of the characters' personalities.
And so “The Mastodon in the Room” opened with several bangs, but closed with a thud. If things continue like this, we’ll be in for an even longer, even more predictable ride—but at least Hodgins and Angela will have a cute baby.
What did you think of last night’s season premiere?
Follow TV.com writer Stefanie Lee on Twitter: @StefAtTVDotCom