Geoff Stults, TJ Thyne

Missing Bones? Thursday's episode of The Finder may have just the fix you need.

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While the Jeffersonian Institute shuts down for a week of vacation, Hodgins (Bones' TJ Thyne) decides to skip down to the Everglades to enlist the services of Walter Sherman (Geoff Stults). Hodgins, whose interest is piqued by the disappearance of an astronaut, hopes Walter can help him find the missing spaceman in order to prove a government cover-up of the existence of alien life.

Although Hodgins and Walter are both skeptics, that doesn't mean they'll necessarily get along. "There are two different types of paranoia: Hodgins believes in the extraterrestrial; Walter believes in the conspiracy," Stults tells TVGuide.com. "And they both think the other one's crazy, which is fantastic. It might be the best episode of the season, just because TJ is there. It's really fun."

Hodgins' visit marks the second time that The Finder, which debuted as a backdoor pilot during Bones' seventh season, has borrowed characters from the mothership. (John Francis Daley's Dr. Sweets paid Walter a visit earlier this season.) Although Hart Hanson, who created both shows, admits he wants The Finder to stand on its own, he also thinks the crossovers are a nice treat for the fans.

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"The worlds overlap in a nice way, you know? They exist in the same heightened universe," Hanson says. "It's not like one of the shows is incredibly reality-based, and the other one is incredibly fanciful. They live in the same headspace. It's fun, and I think everybody enjoys it. "

However, Hanson has not been afraid to make his new show different from the last. Unlike Bones, which hinged for seven seasons on the unfulfilled sexual tension between stars Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz, The Finder has always presented its romantic leads (Stults and Mercedes Masohn) as a couple unafraid to hop in the sack.

"I think we're trying to break the mold a little bit and not be the same old show," Stults says. "That's one huge way to do things a little different. I think that's more for Hart, who had seven years of 'will they, won't they.' And I think he was ready to move on. This is more of the 'will they won't they ever figure out that they're actually right for each other?'"

The Finder exclusive: Meet Walter's parents!

To that end, Stults says Walter and U.S. Marshal Isabel Zambada (Masohn) may not always remain "friends with benefits." "We try," he says. "We start to try a little bit more to be like, 'You know what? We'll give this a shot.'"

Stults says that his show is also different from the rest of the procedural glut because of its tone. "I don't even like to watch the news because the news is often bad," Stults says with a laugh. "And when you watch [other procedurals], it's as if every time, something bad has happened and they're fixing it. I think all those shows are amazing, and there's a reason they stay on the air and have 18 million viewers every week, but there's also room for lightheartedness. ... [Our show] is just so goofy, and I enjoy that so much more."

The Finder
airs Thursdays at 9/8c on Fox.