Bones fans yearning for a glimpse of the veteran show’s eighth season were given a double treat as the network aired its first look at season 8 during primetime, then followed it up this weekend with extended episode clip during the Fox Fall Preview 2012.

It’s no huge surprise that Fox is capitalizing on the tension from the Bones season 7 finale, with Brennan (Emily Dechanel) on the run and serial killer Pelant (Andrew Leeds) on the loose. The now-blonde forensic anthropologist will have to stay one step ahead of the FBI, which shouldn’t prove too difficult with Max (Ryan O’Neal) and Angela (Michaela Conlin) keeping her in the loop.

Also not surprising is that Booth (David Boreanaz) refuses to sit this one out on the sidelines. Those pining for the return of Kung-fu Brennan should be pleased with the couple’s reunion scene. And it feels like they could be back in DC as Brennan, ever the logical one, calmly goes over the facts while Booth frets about her spending the rest of her life either on the run or in prison.

The ending clip with FBI Special Agent Hayes Flynn (Reed Diamond) in the Hoover conference room demanding to know just how many members of the Jeffersonian team are helping Booth and Brennan on the side almost makes you feel sorry for him. Let’s hope his learning curve isn’t as steep as Brennan’s.

That brings us to the Fox Fall Preview:

Overused puns from Ike Barinholtz aside, it’s clear that while the premiere will be fraught with tension the show will soon return to its crimedy roots. The extended clip from the Royal Diner shows a reinstated Booth and Brennan hashing out case details as they always have. Brennan exercises her sports metaphor muscles while Booth plays along with mild amusement. Her “Atta Boy!” butt slap is only topped by Booth’s furtive glance to make sure no one else saw.

For the last two years, Bones has stumbled around trying to find its stride with fans after season 6’s disastrous love triangle and Emily Dechanel’s unexpected pregnancy that drastically altered the course of season 7. The Pelant cases last season were well-received and should be again providing Hart Hanson and his writers can follow-through, despite losing key writer and executive producer Carla Kettner to Fox’s new drama, Mob Doctor.  If they can regain that rhythm between quality cases and engaging character arcs, they have the potential to rebuild their audience and secure themselves a future far beyond season 8.

Bones premieres Monday, September 17th at 8/7c on Fox

Follow Heather on Twitter at @thnx4thegum