By Sandra Gonzalez
Updated January 21, 2013 at 06:58 PM EST
Credit: Jordin Althaus/FOX

One of the last times Jack Hodgins (T.J. Thyne, left) was face-to-face with serial killer Christopher Pelant (Andrew Leeds), the scientist almost strangled him to death. And in tonight’s episode of Bones, Pelant is out to prove that he didn’t appreciate being treated that way.

Step one in his revenge? Turning Hodgins and Angela’s (Michaela Conlin, not pictured) home into a crime scene.

“[Pelant] rears his ugly head yet again and in a brutal, horrific way,” teases Thyne. “[And] the stress is now ten-fold because Jack isn’t just protecting himself, he’s got a wife and a child to protect.”

What follows is “an all-out manhunt” that will show Hodgins unhinged in ways viewers haven’t seen since the team was hunting down the Gravedigger, who once kidnapped and buried Bones (Emily Deschanel) and Hodgins. “I think [Hodgins] is actually very sprite and happy these days, and Pelant really puts a damper on that because of these horrific, continuous characters and serial killers. We haven’t seen any of them that are as smart as our entire team put together. Pelant is — and I think that’s probably the scariest thing to our entire team,” says Thyne.

But as Hodgins toes the line of professionalism a few times during tonight’s very personal investigation, Thyne says Angela will remain in her husband’s corner. “In terms of Pelant and the manhunt, I believe Angela has Jack’s back 1000 percent — even when other people don’t,” he says. “She proves with Pelant that no matter who’s doubting her husband, she loves this man…so I think Pelant keeps them close. It’s the other issues in their relationship that might have a way of sneaking up on them and disturbing things a wee bit.”

The other issues he’s referring to are, of course, Angela’s lingering displeasure with her professional track. After years at the Jeffersonian, she’s been feeling unfulfilled as an artist, and in last week’s episode, she accepted an offer to reduce her hours at the lab so she could rediscover her passion. “I think it’s going to be a really interesting remainder of the season [for them],” says Thyne. “I think [their issues] might come back and bite them.”

Tonight’s episode, he adds, will add major fuel the couple’s storyline for the rest of the season, leaving them with plenty to tackle in season 9 — and beyond. “I do think Bones has a long run still in it,” he says. “I think, personally — this is just me speaking — there are definitely a few more years to go — [and possibly] more than that.”