<i>Bones</i> Bones

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. But will that hold true for the cast of Bones, which reunites in the Season 6 premiere after spending seven months thousands of miles apart?

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"We're resetting the series emotionally for all of the characters," executive producer Stephen Nathan

tells TVGuide.com. "What the season seems to be doing is trying to keep everyone off-balance. The best-laid plans for all of our characters might be very different than we think they are. It also reinforces the relationship that all of our people have. We see in a way how close this group is and how much they needed each other, even in that time that they were apart."At the core of that group, of course, is Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz), who Brennan rejected last season. "Booth professed his love to Brennan, who was unable to accept this and unable to reciprocate," Nathan says. "Obviously, the audience knows it's not because she doesn't want to, it's that she's incapable of it. She's frightened; there's something amiss there."But Brennan has her regrets, Nathan says. "I think she missed something when she was away. I think there was a part of her that wished she could have her old life back. As much as she thought she was an anthropologist who merely lived in her mind, she had learned something else with Booth. When she comes back, she expected the Booth that she left, but she finds a very different Booth."

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That's because Booth returns from his tour in Afghanistan with a new girlfriend, war correspondent Hannah (Kathryn Winnick). "Booth said he was going to move on, and Booth moved on," Nathan says. "When we pick him up, he has forged a new life for himself emotionally."Now, whether he continues to move on is another thing entirely," Nathan continues. "All of this occurred when he was not around Brennan. So Brennan's presence in the mix of this other relationship will alter the relationship — it just has to. But that doesn't mean that Booth's relationship with Hannah is any less real than he thinks it is."On the flip side of relationship drama, Nathan promises that newlyweds Angela (Michaela Conlin) and Hodgins (TJ Thyne) are still going strong after their time in Paris. "We want to have a really good, healthy relationship on the show," Nathan says. "That doesn't mean they don't have issues. ... We're going to try to deal with those events that occur in any couple's life and how a couple that loves each other deals with those events."

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And a major event is revealed in the premiere: Angela and Hodgins are expecting! "I did not expect them to do it so soon," Conlin says of the twist. "But I think it's going to be really interesting to see them find their way through it. They have had such an unconventional relationship and they are so different. I think it's going to open up a lot of story because the two of them have very different ideas about raising children."Conlin also says that Angela and Brennan grow closer as Brennan deals with her feelings about Booth's new woman. Nathan would not say how long Hannah will be an issue for Booth and Brennan, but he says that the show's writers aren't just thinking of ways to keep the couple apart."We want to make this relationship unfold in a very real way," he says. "We don't want to force it, and we don't want to keep them apart in a very contrived way. The situations that keep them apart are going to be very real and will be circumstances that would keep any couple apart, even if they were in love. It's not going to be arbitrary.

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"They can get closer to each other, and they will get closer to each other," Nathan continues. "What the end result of that will be is still unknown, because we as writers have to follow that relationship as it naturally and organically unfolds. These are obviously two people that everyone feels should be together, and that's not lost on us."Bones returns Thursday at 8/7c on Fox.