bones buleet in the brain alt 1 'Bones' preview: The gravedigger returns, presumably not for long

“Bones” returns from its brief winter hiatus on Jan. 20, in the new, post-“American Idol” time slot of 9.00 p.m. ET — but it’s the Jan. 27 episode that has us particularly excited.

“The Bullet in the Brain,” David Boreanaz‘s third directing effort in six seasons, marks the conclusion of the gravedigger arc. And from episode title, synopsis and first images, it appears as though her appearance might be brief. Needless to say, spoilers and speculation ahead:

bones buleet in the brain alt 2 'Bones' preview: The gravedigger returns, presumably not for longConvicted murder and serial suffocate-r Heather Taffet (Deirdre Lovejoy) arrives at court for her appeal early in the episode, when the long-hyped sniper makes his first appearance, presumably taking her out in the process. The brain in the episode’s title is her own.

bones buleet in the brain alt 3 'Bones' preview: The gravedigger returns, presumably not for longSo with Taffet finally out of the way — let’s shed a tear, shall we? — the new big bad’s work is hardly over. And through some set of circumstances, he targets the Jeffersonian gang.

bones buleet in the brain alt 4 'Bones' preview: The gravedigger returns, presumably not for longThe effects of his pursuit won’t be revealed, obviously, until the episode happens. But we’re still banking on a certain somebody’s demise.