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Bones' Season 8 Premiere: Order (and Brennan's Hair) Is Restored

Bones S08E01: "The Future in the Past"

When Bones left off last season, Brennan was on the run with Christine after being framed for a murder that was actually committed by über-hacker Christopher Pelant. Booth, Sweets, and Caroline were all removed from Pelant’s case, but luckily the team found a freaky, written-in-saliva message from Pelant’s latest victim (Ethan Sawyer) that could prove Brennan’s innocence.

Enter tonight's Season 8 premiere: It’s been three long, non-murderous months in the greater Washington, D.C. area. Booth is a desk jockey, Clark has been promoted to head of the Jeffersonian’s anthropology lab (though he is probably not king of the lab), and Brennan's been hiding in various places with truly horrible blonde hair. I mean it. It’s dreadful. It really washes her out. So glad she got rid of it at the end of the episode.

Anyway. The shortened season last year (due to Emily Deschanel's pregnancy) largely short-circuited a lot of the menace Pelant might’ve brought to the table as the seasonal Big Bad. So when the finale aired and he had worked a bunch of computer magic to frame Brennan, it all felt kind of, well, lame. (It doesn’t help matters that hacking and other computer-related activities are really hard to make exciting—who cares about realistic—no matter what cool gadgets Angela gets in her office.)

But the other problem was that Pelant just hadn’t had the time on the show to develop a personality beyond the black hat hacker villain, and “The Future in the Past” didn’t do much to fix that. He’s still this blank slate of motives. I mean, there’s revenge, but that’s only so compelling (unless you’re killing rich people in the Hamptons) in the absence of personality. He’s just... boring.

As a result, Pelant felt more like an obstacle to overcome than a character with which to do battle. His bag of tricks, particularly the security camera doctoring, were quickly undone after Brennan tracked down the remains of Pelant’s long-dead high school guidance counselor. This, coupled with Sweets finally deciding to stop by to look at the saliva triangle, gave everyone the necessary clues to finally crack the new case, clear Brennan’s name, and restore order to Bones' narrative universe.

Except not so much. Despite kind of loathing the ease with which all this computer stuff has happened on Bones, I thought Pelant’s last-ditch effort to escape federal prison—by erasing Christopher Pelant entirely and turning himself into an Egyptian citizen as far as the world’s computer systems are concerned—was a nice way to both move on from Pelant and keep him lurking in the shadows. I don’t think it’ll solve the Bones' Pelant problems, but it does offer the opportunity to flesh the guy out a bit more.

Beyond the dangling villain problem, the Season 8 premiere was a perfectly Bones-y episode. I thoroughly enjoyed not only Clark’s emphasis on the white binders but the fact that Brennan loved them as well! It’s one of those Type-A flourishes that you know Brennan wishes she'd thought of sooner, and will, hopefully, refine as the season progresses. (Note: I do not expect to hear from the white binders ever again.) I’ll be sad to see Clark go on as the Jeffersonian’s chief research anthropologist (“I hate crime and I love serious research!”), but maybe it’ll bring a new intern into the rotation.

The rest of the episode was built on little touches, from Booth’s happiness at seeing Christine again to his description of Brennan’s books (“They’re thick. They’re... really heavy.”) or Sweets’ knowing eyebrow arch at Hodgins’ confession at almost choking Pelant to death. It’s those small bits of business that make Bones a comfortable ensemble procedural. Even when many of the characters are spread apart from each other, the show makes the time for those sorts of moments that demonstrate the strength of its cast. It’s the characters we tune in for each week, not the gruesome murders (though those are fun, too!).


NOTES & QUOTES


– Brennan’s awesome throw/takedown of Booth was awesome.

– Seriously. That blonde hair. I kind of can’t get over how awful it was. AND THAT ONE MENTIONS IT. Argh.

– “Then you have trust issues stemming from...lots of psychological crap.”

– "As an FBI agent, it's my sworn duty to arrest Dr. Brennan. It's so good to see you, by the way. It's been too long."

– "Blank is Angela's thinking face."

– "It's like lumbar nirvana." I wish I had a chair that was like lumbar nirvana. But I also want a standing desk, so what do I know?



QUESTIONS


– What did you think of the Bones premiere?

– Did Hodgins’ violent act surprise you? (It didn’t surprise me; he’s been very protective of people ever since being buried by the Gravedigger and Zack’s affiliation with Gormogon.)

– Do you think Max is going to go on a globe-trotting stalking spree to take down Pelant?

– And, perhaps most importantly, what was with Flynn picking up the marigold at the end? It was a little creepy, right?



Comments (54)
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the alarm clock?!

must know... now...
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Oh for crying out loud!!



So what if he changed his indentity on computer? It's not like there aren't, say, court records establishing his identity, or maybe the grandfather Max had coffee with, or the public defender who represented him last season finale, or about a million other ways to prove who he is no matter what the "magic boxes" say!!!



Not to mention, even if the court bought the new ID, that still wouldn't mean he'd get off. I'm sure there are plenty of Egyptian citizens serving time in US jails for crimes committed in US jurisdiction. Just being a foreign national doesn't give any sort of immunity.



It just makes no sense whatsoever!! WTF?!?!?!?!
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Something no one has taken into account is that the arrest warrant was for Pellant. He changed his name, DNA records, fingerprints, etc. so in effect he wasn't Pellant, was falsely arrested and they couldn't keep him in custody legally until they got proof of who he really is. He could be re-arrested later, like Brennan's dad was when they finally proved who he was, but they had to let him go since all of the evidence was against Pellant, not what's-his-name Egyptian guy.
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I think the reason "[NO] ONE" mention's Brennan's hair is that they know she was hiding out and would need to change her hair color. Some women do change their hair color and style so often that one tends not to notice after a while, although Brennan tends to be more conservative and stick with the same style and color.

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Of course they only needed an episode to "solve" the Pelant problem. This show is very good at insinuating false problems but not sustaining them. Nothing bad ever lasts on this show, and that's one of the many reasons I don't think I'll be watching it anymore. I can't help think that it's never gotten its bearings back since Zack left.
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Um, did you not read any of the follow up? Pelant is coming back! And I loved Zack, but the show is better off without him. And the 'Grave Digger' (a.k.a. Heather Taffet) Lasted FOUR seasons before she was finally killed by that OTHER serial killer. And Howard Epps lasted TWO seasons. I guess bad stuff needs to last say, 5 years to be good enough for Mr. enomo67!!!!! BONES IS THE BEST SHOW ON TELEVISION! Anyone who says different is kidding themselves.
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Am I the only one who hates the remixed intro tune?

I used to absolutely dig that tune, if it was an actual full length song I'd love to put it on my mp3 player. It's been the same from the very beginning of the show up to season 7 and it was awesome. Why change it? Seriously, WHY? It's pretty sucky now..



Also: Clark? Really? Why him? Everyone's awkward around him, first he was constantly nagging about people oversharing their personal lives in the workplace and then suddenly he was OVER-oversharing his own personal live in the workplace and they were all like O_o okayyy... They're all much more at ease when working with Wendell, then again he's probably too timid a person to be able to give orders..

oh well.. maybe I'm the only one feeling awkwardness around Clark and I was projecting that on the characters, I don't know.. At least I won't mind if we won't see him in the show again now he's been given another position at the Jeffersonian..
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Who cares? I mean yeah the song was better before, but it's like 15 seconds long!

Also no one really likes Clark and thats why they're getting rid of him.
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I completely noticed that change in the tune, even had it in my notes, but didn't mention it. You are right that it's kind of not great now.



Given Clark's personality, I suspect he's the likeliest of the interns, save for maybe Wendell, to be the most qualified, academic accomplishment-wise (published research, conferences) to step into that job, even on a temporary basis. He'd likely be out of that job by the end of the year though, provided the Jeffersonian put out a job call (search committees are sloooooooow).
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I'm thinking that there is definitely something fishy about Flynn.
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Bones as a blond hell yeah!!
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I didn't really know what to expect from the premiere. I didn't figure Bones as the type to run forever or even 3 months for that matter, I am surprised she went that long without trying to solve a crime; though she did say she and Max had been tracking Pelant info since first going on the run. Yes, I was surprised that Hodgins almost strangled Pelant to death and I was surprised at how effective he was being. Then, of course, we found out that Pelant actually wanted one of them to kill him, which is creepy. Sweets' raised eyebrow moment was hilarious, as is the fact that he is now an actual FBI Agent. He seems to have done a lot of growing up since last season. I think Max will probably go out and find Pelant, but I'm not sure if he'll actually kill him or not. The entire character of Flynn creeps me out, or maybe it's just Reed Diamond that creeps me out because he's played so many creepers in the past. Got to say though, if anyone could make themselves look like an Egyptian citizen and backdate everything to make it stand up to the FBI and the American court system it would be Pelant. Loved that ending! Maybe we'll get more Pelant this season to make up for the lack of last season.
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Booth's Flyers shirt FTW.
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After this episode, nobody will be surprised if Hodgins kills Pelant. Everybody says that fans will be seeing a darker season. After Zack's story, there were not so many heartbroken/mind blowing twists. I think -not hope- it'll be Angela who's going to kill him for eliminate the threat to her family, her BFF and her friends. She won't do it in cold blood but she'll do it for saving them when the time comes.
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If anyone is going to kill him, it'll be Booth or Brennan (on official FBI business) or maybe Max, but I doubt anyones going to kill him, let alone Angela or Hodgins! I mean get real!
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Loved this episode!! was an amazing way to bring BONES back!

I was surprised that Hodgins was that strong, but I wasn't surprised with is outburst.

I hope Agent Flynn isn't going to be some kind of accomplis to Pelant... that would be like Zach and Gormogon all over again!!

Can't wait for the rest of this season!!
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I think this Pelant guy will come back later in the season, maybe to create a cliffhanger at the end of the season.

You are absolutely right about the blond hair, it was really really awful.



I was hoping for at least a few episodes of everybody trying to get Bones acquitted from the charges. Something where they would slowly get Pelant by unraffeling his past and annoy him so much that he starts making mistakes. But on the other hand, now the show can go back doing what it does best.... solve mysteries with a lot of fun...



I'm also glad, Brennan isn't pregnant anymore.. after changing her hair to normal again, she looked really great.
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I liked the episode and obviously we haven't seem the last of Pelant. It wasn't a perfect episode but still I'm glad Bones' back!
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am i the only one that thinks flynn could actually be the real pelant !!
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no you are not!!
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I liked the episode.

Hodgins did not surprise me at all. The fact that Pelant underestimated him is what surprised me.

Max-well, he was right about Pelant needing to be killed and I think that it will come down to that but as for who will do it...don't know. It will depend on what else he has up his sleeve.

Flynn picking up the flower...yeah not sure why he did that. It did leave me with a weird feeling.

Question: Whatever happened to the alarm clock Pelant tampered with on the night stand during the season finale?
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Yeah I think Hodgins misinterpreted what Pelant meant by "do it!". I think that Pelant wanted Hodgins to kill him because it would mean that Hodgins and everyone close to him would be punished.
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I'm not sure Pelant did underestimate him. Didn't they say that Pelant wanted one of the team to kill him? Perhaps he was counting on Hodgins to do the job.
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Not that I didn't like the episode. Nice to have you back.
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I think they are setting Booth up as the one to kill Pelant.

And I don't see how Pelant can erase his former identity if Bones' father was able to have drinks with Pelant's grandfather a couple of times. It's called DNA testing, people! Thought this series is taking place in a lab???
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He could've just as easily altered his DNA records! "That man was never my biological longer my grandfather."
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Predictions:

Flynn is gonna be the new bad guy. or he's in love with Brennan.

Pelant is likely to come back but as the puppet master (puppet beign Flynn).

Max is not going to be going anywhere or doing anything since Ryan O'Neil is ill in real life. I think that they are going to down play his character a bit. Or not. Maybe he goes to Egypt, kills Pelant, and Booth has to go in all commando style and rescue him.



My question: Where the heck was Daisy?? Aren't she and Sweets still a thing? I really hope not. I can't stand that girls lip/teeth/gum nasal breathing thing....



Happy Bones is back... so freaking happy :)
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The half way the show was super exciting and then it super fast forward to the finish line. I think, if they stretch that case to at least 2 episodes it will pack lot more impact. Little struggle from Bones to stay hidden, some chasing, some drama to almost find but missed situations would be really fun to watch Bones in whole new look for a while.



And oh! Welcome back Team Bones, missed you and now lets get down to the regular business from next week. :)
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Great episode. After the whole Gravedigger thing I didn't see it as a surprise that Hodgins would try to kill Pelant. Frankly I think he should've finish choking the shit out out of him. I do think that Max will be keeping an eye on him from this point on. Flynn picking up the marigold probably means a) he's going to die or b) Pelant got to him somehow and its a sign for him to kill someone Booth or Brennan knows.
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Yes, clearly Hodgins's psych evaluation is way out of date. Sweets should update that, and stat, so the next super-hacker isn't led astray. Oh, who am I kidding? I'm sure Pelant already updated it.



I like the notion of your b) option regarding Flynn, even it feels like a real stretch for the two to be in league with one another, or even with Flynn being blackmailed somehow.
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Honestly everything involving Pelant has been a hot mess. Not only was his hacking prowess way overdone "really computer code on bone..." but the Deus ex machina of him creating a new Egyptian ID was just ridiculous and not believable at all.
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Yes, putting malware on bone can't happen but creating a whole new identity the way he did is doable.
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Like with so many TV shows, they tend to reduce computers to magic, and Pelant's keyboard was his magic wand.



And like I said below, it's not that the show allows for this happen, it's that no one seems able to fight against it effectively. There's a very uncomfortable "Technology is consuming us and we can't stop it" bent to the show in this episode and the finale last season. Which, of course, is odd given how much technology Angela uses.
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Is it that easy to find any kind of flower you need for your code at any given time? nice ep, anyway
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The florists in D.C. must be amazing.
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"...killing rich people in the Hamptons". LOLOLOLOL. Together, Dr. Brennan and "Emily Thorne" could rule the world.
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pelant = anson from burn notice = yawn = stupid lame death taking out another character...



my guess max finds and kills pelant but pelant mortally wounds max in the fight..



also dna ? evidence saying it's pelants grandfathers sword ?? the fuck is wrong with the fbi in bones ?



and yeah flint never liked him my suspicions of him being a mole/working with pelant or someone else are growing..
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This show is on season 8, but Angel only got 5 seasons? Weak.



Not that Bones didn't have it's time in the sun, but I'm pretty over it. Bring on something new. It's lucky that it's going up against the Voice and Dancing with the Stars or I might have to watch something else.
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If Fox could get a new hour-long off the ground that worked as well as Bones has, I'm sure they'd be winding it down. But as it stands, they don't have much of anything in the hour-long department that's shown to have legs and broad appeal.



On the other hand, since Fox owns Bones, it's in their business interest to keep the show going to make those fat syndication dollars. And Bones does well on TNT.
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And therein lies the problem with network television. They're so concerned with getting shows to the 100 episode mark to warrant syndication revenue that stretch shows out for much longer than necessary. How long does it take to tell a story? How much better would television be if there was a 50 episode limit? I'm sure there are shows that have improved in the 2nd half of their run, but they're expections. Most long running shows tail off considerably in quality as they go along.
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"Angel" was so much better than "Bones" and deserved a least one more season.

TV execs sucked, sometimes!
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Angel was so good...and had so much potential for the next season. Heck I would've watched just for Illyria alone!
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I loved this episode. It's obvious everything would come to a happy ending (booth and Brennan together again, and Polant in custody), but the journey to that was great. I would have liked it to be spread over two episodes. The flower communications were interesting, they could've done more with that.



Flynn's attending to the "party" at B&B house was weird. I didn't expect him to be there, but seeing him picking up Polants flower, leads the way to a new storyline.



I'm excited to watch this new season!

Greetings from the Netherlands!
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Overall, despite my issues with Pelant, I liked the episode. I just harped on the negative because it *really* pestered me.



Flynn being at the party was odd, but I'll take any excuse to have Reed Diamond around. He's always a delight.
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... than a character with which to do battle. Shouldn't it read "....with whom to do battle"?

English isn't my native language, so if thats wrong i apologize.

Otherwise the review is great, although i disagree with your overall assessment that Bones is still a good show. It stoped being good a couple of years ago and this episode tried to recapture some of it's glory thereby reminding me even more how far this show has fallen.
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i liked the episode a lot. i also felt it was one of the stronger episodes they've had recently.



hodgins' chocking pelant only surprised me in how long he committed to it for. i enjoyed that seen a lot.



i do think it's not far fetched for max to want to chase pelant. i also think they'll be bringing pelant back at the end of the season like they've done with the other multi-spisode villains.



i think we're supposed to believe there might be some connection between flynn and pelant. not that i case for that idea at all.
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I agree: A connection between Flynn and Pelant seems like a real stretch. But why else linger on that shot? Why end your episode with it? WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!?
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I have only seen the last episode of the last season and this ep, and I found Pelant terrifying, mostly for the whole mucking with the system and evidence, it was like they had now control over most of what was going on.....until they did.
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My biggest issue with Pelant, and I saw this with some other folks, was that he was just too powerful, too good, at the system mucking. Weighing against that is that everyone buys the computer stuff at face value.



There's an interesting ideological uncurrent there about computers and technology containing our truths now, but the show never satisfactorily engages that, until the end of this episode with Pelant's sudden Egyptian identity and Max's assertion in the finale last season about how Bones would get lost in a system that Pelant seems to have complete control of.
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I think no one mentioned Brennan' hair because it was a genius idea. The hair aged Brennan making her look like an ageless senior citizen, not the least bit flattering, but brilliant for hiding in plain sight.
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HACKERS CAN DO ANYTHING!!!



But seriously, the episode wasn't bad. Everything clicked better than it has in a while. What the writers should do is NOT focus on Booth and Bones being together. They just should accept it's a thing and instead focus on the other characters. Honestly, Thyne, Taylor, JFD and Belcher are the best parts of the show. Them and Boreanaz throwing people into things is always good times.
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Hackers, can, in fact, do anything. It's a tired media trope, which is why they needed Pelant to have a personality! Otherwise he's just a stock evil hacker dude, and that's just dull as dishwater now.



I like Bones and Booth as a couple, and appreciate their dynamic (married screwball dynamic is rare-ish thing), but I do agree that putting too much focus on them would hurt the really great ensemble vibe the show's built up over the seasons.
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The show has not been good since Booth and Brennan started their relationship. It then veered off into being ridiculous too many times. As i watched, I realized I didn't care anymore, so this episode wrapping up this story will be my last.
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then why watch it ?



you and your 'fans/likers'



get the fuck over it and leave the rest of us in peace



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