'Bones': Say hello to... surprise guest star George Clooney

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With that transitional premiere under our belts, "Bones" gets back to business as usual with "The Couple in the Cave," solving a crime that actually involves dead bodies and forgoing some of that awkward tension lingering after Brennan ( Emily Deschanel) abandoned the team in the season finale.

But she still isn't the same -- and her disconnect from her partner and friends is exacerbated by the introduction of Booth's ( David Boreanaz) new girlfriend, Hannah ( Katheryn Winnick) -- which we've been bracing ourselves for over the past three months.

Say what you will about where Booth's heart really lays, we can all agree on the fact that any excuse to get Boreanaz shirtless is a welcome addition to the series. So for that Hannah Burley, we greet you with open arms. And now to the nitty-gritty:

For the squints:

  • Let's start with the clear highlight of the episode, which was Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) fixing his hair while talking to the speakerphone. If we had to find fault in the season premiere, it would have been the regrettable lack of Thyne time.
  • The recurring George Clooney joke? Nothing short of brilliant. Even funnier than the frequent mentions of the male victim's resemblance to the actor was the fact that the sketch looked nothing like him.
  • So much for all of the interns being written out. Clark Edison (Eugene Byrd) is the first to conveniently return, and any happiness to see him quickly evaporated with the exceptionally awkward scene in which he confessed that he too has always wondered why Booth and Brennan never hooked up. He's probably been writing fanfic since Season 3.
  • If things can't be back to normal for Booth and Brennan, at least this might mean more casework for Booth and Sweets (John Francis Daley). Theirs' is a fine bromance indeed.
  • As much as we would have loved for it have been Lupe (Justina Machado has been our all-time favorite TV ball-buster since her days emasculating Rico on "Six Feet Under"), Park Ranger Gary had this one in the bag pretty early. He was just too aggressively needy to not have something else going on -- something murderous!

For the shippers:

  • Your reaction to Hannah will obviously be skewed by where you fall on the Booth/Brennan love-o-meter, but I think we can all agree that she's been superbly cast. Winnick is a looker, a charmer and quite a convincing actress. We might even have been rooting for her a little -- until that comment about Christiane Amanpour. Oh. No. She. Didn't.
  • Now, we're thrilled for the expecting Hodgela, but we're definitely surprised by how low-key Angela (Michaela Conlin) has been about having a baby. Our free-loving, bisexual artist always struck us as someone slightly daunted at the prospect of parenthood. 
  • Is it too soon to call this as Deschanel's Emmy season? Brennan's slow realization of the consequences of her actions is already heartbreaking and she hasn't even fully processed it yet. Her exchange with Angela was particularly cutting:
Brennan: "So I'm the only one living the life I expected."
Angela: "Well how's that, honey?"
Brennan: "It's um, it's as I expected."
(A tenderly placed Michael Conlin "honey" always kills us)

Brennanism of the week:

  • On top of Brennan's comments on her her colleagues gauging the attractiveness of Hannah, our ever-blunt heroine got a particularly good one in after Hannah told her how thankful she was when Booth saved her life. "You're implying that you showed your appreciation sexually." Subtly is not lost on you, Bones.

Feel free to engage in some communal rumination in the comments, but please go easy on your typing fingers. We'll need them in their best shape for next week's fist-bump-tastic "Jersey Shore" episode, "The Maggots in the Meathead."

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Photo credit: FOX