Image Credit: Brian Bowen Smith/FoxBones returns Jan. 20 with its first new episode of the year, and there’s one thing you can count on: Brennan’s long-awaited confession of her feelings for Booth in the December cliffhanger will be addressed immediately, like in the second scene when Booth tells Sweets about it. The fallout from Brennan opening Pandora’s box again will be a major focus of the second half of the season, executive producer Stephen Nathan says. “We’re dealing with how does this make Brennan feel, how does she move forward, what is the pain that she now carries with her after this confession and how does it affect Booth and Hannah. Does Booth keep that conversation a secret from Hannah? That wouldn’t make their relationship very solid. If he does tell Hannah, how does that make her feel, and what does that do with her relationship with Brennan?” Brennan will try to compartmentalize her feelings, as she’s always done, but she won’t be as successful, he says. And a lot of this will be dealt with in the much-anticipated episode in which Booth (David Boreanaz) and Brennan (Emily Deschanel) get stuck alone together in an elevator.

This episode, which will air in February or March, will be directed by Boreanaz (who’s also behind the camera on Jan. 27, when the first of the three sniper episodes airs — check out Sandra Gonzalez’s Spoiler Room column tomorrow for more info on that). “There is a blizzard in Washington, which should really ring true to everybody in the East,” Nathan says, laughing. “All the electricity goes out in Washington, and the Jeffersonian is forced to solve this murder very, very quickly because they discover the body is of someone who has a highly contagious disease. There’s no evidence that this disease is out in the world, so the person who killed this woman could be Patient Zero, the person who starts an epidemic. And they have to do this with no fancy electronics or no fancy technology from the Jeffersonian. We’re going back to the days before CSI and grand technology to solve the murder. There’s one wonderful sequence where they have to take an X-ray with no X-ray machine, and they find out how to do it. During this, Booth and Brennan are trapped in an elevator in his apartment building. Alone. So we have all of that fun with Booth and Brennan trapped together, and Brennan trying to solve this murder, and the only thing they really have are their cellphones until their batteries run out. It’s gonna be a great episode for the people who want to see Booth and Brennan be in love and a great episode for all the geeks out there who love the science.” (FYI: This episode is not to be confused with the Feb. 17 Valentine’s Day episode, which has Booth and Brennan alone together. That one, Nathan is more coy about: “They both find themselves alone, both hating Valentine’s Day, and somehow wind up doing something which is very unique to Booth and Brennan,” he teases.)

Other scoop from Nathan:

• During that blizzard episode, “Angela and Hodgins are gonna have to deal with some news that they get involving Angela’s pregnancy.”

• He’s just starting cutting the Feb. 10 proposal episode, which has a murder set in the world of BMX. “The opening scene might be one of my favorite scenes ever. It’s Booth and Sweets just knocking back shots, getting drunk at a bar. Ohmygod, it’s very funny,” he says. Booth is offering Sweets counsel on his relationship with Daisy. We know there are two proposals on the way. Are they both in that episode? All he’ll say is, “That one is chalked full of goodies.”

• He’s looking forward to an episode revolving around a murder that takes place in the world of Radical Honesty. “It’s not a cult, but it’s a group of people who all believe that the world would be a better place if everyone were completely and totally honest about absolutely everything. So there’s no question that these people will not answer truthfully. There’s no such thing as a little white lie. There’s no such thing as stretching the truth. You think of that, if you are radically honest in that way, everybody’s gonna wanna kill you at some point. So it’s a very funny world for us to kill somebody in,” he says, laughing. “That’s just a little bit of sickness that we throw in every now and then.” Brennan should have an interesting take on that. “Oh, absolutely,” he says. “Brennan’s take on what honesty really means, and also Booth, who is probably the most moral guy on television, what honesty means to him and when it is moral not to be honest.”

• The body farm episode is shaping up nicely: “We find a bunch of feet that wash up on the shore of the border between Canada and the United States, so there’s a little border dispute about whose feet they are – Canadian feet or American feet – and they wind up taking us to a body farm,” he says.

• The episode that would feature The Locator, the character being considered for a potential spinoff series, will likely air in April. They’re hoping to shoot in February, which means we should be hearing some casting news any day now. Booth and Brennan will travel to Key West, Fla. for a case. That’s where the spinoff would be set. “There have been a lot of terrific actors who have come in, a lot of people who everybody has liked. With a character like this, you just have to find the perfect fit. So even if someone is a brilliant actor, somebody you love, it might not quite work,” Nathans says. “It’s all casting. You want to find people you want to see every single week do one unique character. That’s why when you have Hugh Laurie, who is essentially playing a very unlikable character, you love to see him. And that is a rare, rare quality to find. And the finder won’t be an unlikeable character, but because it is a unique character, it’s difficult to find just the right person.”

Follow Mandi on Twitter: @EWMandiBierly

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