In Bones’ (Fox, Mondays, 8/7C) eighth-season premiere, The Future in the Past, there’s a new forensic anthropologist in town – more precisely, in Dr. Temperance Brennan’s (former) office!
With Tempe (Emily Deschanel) on the run for the last three months, the Jeffersonian has needed a new forensic anthropologist – and former squintern, Dr. Clark Edison (Eugene Byrd) is now ensconced in her office. With his new system of requiring everyone to add their notes to a series of binders, he’s not winning friends, but it just might be a good idea…
Elsewhere, Tempe and baby Christine have been changing locations every so often with Grandpa Max (Ryan O’Neal) helping out, but she’s been in one place to long and Max is insisting they move on. There is a reason she’s lingered, though, and it’s a good one – as we see when a partially excavated copse is found. Meanwhile, Angela (Michaela Conlon) continues to try to decode the Pelant triangle in hopes of proving that Tempe and Caroline (Patricia Belcher) are not guilty of murder and corruption respectively.
Christopher Pelant, in the meantime, is teaching computer skills to the unemployed, but takes it very seriously when he learns of the discovery of the body Tempe has unearthed.
The Future in the Past takes its familiar formula and, by placing Clark in Tempe’s office – and giving him the same responsibilities she always had – sets up a whole new dynamic. The friction at work, as Angela and Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) find ways to avoid filing finding in Clark’s binders takes a turn when Cam (Tamara Taylor) takes his side.
All that is thrown into further chaos by revelations that Tempe has been keeping in contact. It’s something that causes Booth (David Boreanaz) great frustration – even more than his harping on Pelant is giving the new head of Major Crimes, Booth’s old buddy, FBI Special Agent Hayes Flynn (Reed Diamond). Hayes seems so determined to undermine further investigation into Pelant that, when he complains to Dr. Sweets (John Francis Daley) that ‘you’re all so clever,’ we feel like yelling at the screen, ‘And you’re NOT!’
The manner in which matters are resolved are unique even for Bones – and to say anything more would not be a great idea.
The Future in the Past was written by series showrunners Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan, and it’s a crackerjack piece of work. By adding the Clark-induced friction, the nifty manner in which all are reunited and a surprisingly telling exchange between Hodgins and Pelant (telling for both characters!), they’ve stirred the mix in some fresh and intriguing ways. After seven complete seasons, it’s fun to watch them find new things to do within the series’ format.
Series veteran Ian Toynton keeps things moving at quite a good pace and never makes a misstep as he balances the drama, comedy, horror (mostly psychological) and action beautifully.
The future in the Past is one of Bones’ best episodes – not bad for season eight!
Final Grade – A-
Photo by Adam Taylor/Courtesy Fox Television