Hodgins (TJ Thyne) is going to have an expectedly hard time getting used to being paralyzed.
The Jeffersonian's "bug guy" will return to work in Thursday's spring premiere of the series with a smile on his face and a lot of optimism, but the cheer will dissipate as the challenges of having to use a wheelchair become more apparent. Hodgins doesn't have the perpetrator of his injury to blame, so he unleashes his bitter venom on his co-workers.
How is Hodgins dealing with his injury when he returns to work?
Michael Peterson: He's really going through the whole gamut of emotions responding to this loss. There's going to be anger, denial, hopefully at some point acceptance. This is definitely going to be a different Hodgins than we've seen in a long time. This has brought him to the worst place possible. He is a bit of a volcano, so we're watching him get ready to blow and the effect it will have on everyone. The first person to be a casualty will be Angela. It's a different character and TJ has done a magnificent job with it.
It's been teased before that Angela will find an escape with Sebastian, but will Hodgins also find an outlet?
Peterson: He will have similar escapes. We have some new characters and some people he will identify with more to get through this, but mostly it's going to be various members of the team coming to him. Like all journeys that all people go through, no matter what the influence is of someone else, there are certain crucial moments you have to go through yourself. At the end, this is going to be about if Hodgins is ever going to calm or get to a better place, it's not going to come from outside and people helping him, but it's mostly going to come within.
There's a debate among the team whether Hodgins should accept his condition or hope to walk again. Should the audience have hope or is that something we shouldn't be worried about until next season?
Peterson: Some people hope for a cure. Some people will hope for acceptance. I'm a bit like Booth [David Boreanaz]. I'm a good churchgoer and often you try not to pray for the thing is that you want. It's to pray that you can get through the journey, that you can accept the things that you can't alter. More important than actually a cure is acceptance.
There's a lot of friction when Hodgins returns from the hospital — in large part due to his bad attitude. What does he need to learn from this experience to get back to the Hodgins that everyone has grown to love?
Peterson: It really is to figure out this acceptance. We have an episode coming up where it's going to be really challenging. It's a figurative rebirth of the character. He has to kind of stop holding on to the person that he was and start embracing who he is now. It's one heck of a rocky road. We did not want this to be, "Oh, it's just an episode or two and it's all resolved." We're going to make sure the audience goes through Hodgins' full journey. At the end, everyone will hope for different things.
How worried should we be about the impact of this injury on his relationship with Angela?
Peterson: I would be worried. There is a limit to how much someone can take. We've got this wonderful car that we get to drive in and you want to get it on the turns, but you don't want to flip and crash. We certainly want to take everything to the limits, but the audience is in good hands.
Bones returns Thursday, April 14 at 8/7c on Fox.