Though the four month hiatus may have felt like years to viewers, in TV time only a week has passed since the third worst injury (numbers one and two being the deaths of Sweets and Vincent Nigel Murray) in Bones history was revealed. We last saw Bones’ Dr. Jack Hodgins dead-eyed and collapsed on the Jeffersonian floor as his hysterical baby-crazy wife screams for help. Moments later in the hospital waiting room we learned that a hematoma was choking Jack’s nerves, rendering our favorite entomologist paralyzed from the waist down. Holy spinal tap, Batman, is there even a chance that this could end well?

Season 11’s spring premiere, “The Death in the Defense,” picks up with Hodgins being released from the hospital days later. Everyone reacts differently to Hodgela’s new and devastating reality while pursuing the case of a young defense attorney’s murder. Some believe in hope, some believe in accepting the harsh reality at face value. Others attempt to manipulate the recovery while grappling with denial that this could be the new normal for the King of the Lab. Here’s what you can look forward to seeing when “The Death in the Defense” premieres.

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1. Hodgins’ True Diagnosis Is Revealed

In the midst of celebrating Bones renewal for a 12th season, viewers now grapple with Hodgins’ devastating disability. How are the Bones Fairies going to fix this one, Boneheads? Will Brennan pull out her ‘Best Minds In The World’ rolodex and find someone who can grow nerve tissue from stem cells to graft onto Hodgins’ lumbar spine, thereby restoring his legs? 

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Time will tell how this story arc plays out over the second half of the season, but in “The Death in the Defense” things move forward at a snail’s pace. Before the curtain falls, Angela is feeling hopeful … but is that hope justified?

2. Caroline Opens a Can of Whupass

The victim is someone she knew and respected, but so are some of the suspects. Does Caroline find it difficult to attack her colleagues when the situation calls for it? What do you think?

3. Bones Explores 50 Shades of Grieving

In the first three episodes of the spring season, Bones characters portray more responses to tragedy and grief than I thought possible in an hour long procedural. Having lived and breathed and cried and rejoiced together as friends, colleagues, characters, and the actors who play them, this troupe of artists exquisitely and credibly portrays the full response spectrum of a family coming to grips with an enormous loss. There is an unspoken question you will ponder as you sit through the premiere as the two episodes following it — or perhaps the rest of the season. Caroline Julien has the answer to your question, so watch for it in a scene she shares with Aubrey.


4. T.J. Thyne is Brilliant as King of the Wheelchair

He’s going to make you sad. He’s going to make you uncomfortable. He’s going to piss you off. In that order. He does things you never thought you’d see this character do. And the best part of it is that by the end of “The Death in the Defense,” Thyne is just getting started. This arc is a challenging one and Thyne is certainly up to the task.

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5. A Natural Remedy for Mental Health Challenges Comes to the Fore

Having experienced personal tragedy in his brush with cancer, Wendell proves the voice of wisdom when it comes to supporting Hodgins’ recovery. When he wanted to give up, Booth gave him some sage advice. When it’s his turn to give others the benefit of his own experience, Wendell delivers is own brand of advice which is both simple and incredibly insightful. You gotta love that guy. Out of the mouths of babes, right?

So set your alarm clock or your DVR and make sure you make time to catch the spring premiere of Bones on April 14.

Bones season 11 aires Thursdays at 8pm on FOX. 

(Images Courtesy of FOX)