Over the past 9 years, Bones has flirted off and on with recurring serial killers, with varying degrees of success. Tonight’s “The Sense in the Sacrifice” is the conclusion of the Pelant Era. All of the fragments of information and hints dating back to last season are strung together and the ending is one many fans would say is a long time coming.

But what happens when the Pelant (Andrew Leeds) arc as a whole is compared alongside the arcs of Howard Epps (Heath Freeman) from seasons 1 and 2, the Gormogon in season 3, as well as Jacob Broadsky (Arnold Vosloo) from season 6? Does Bones reduce, reuse and recycle plot lines that have worked in the past or does it borrow elements from each to create something entirely new?

Consider the similarities. Both Pelant and Epps are highly intelligent and weave a complex web of clues within dead bodies, always appearing to be one step ahead of the Jeffersonian crew. Both Pelant and the Gormogon are into patterns and leaving bodies splayed in a specific fashion and in specific locations to send a message. And finally, both Pelant and Broadsky fixate on Booth (David Boreanaz) as a target first, then switch to Brennan (Emily Deschanel) when they realize she is the quickest way to wounding him.

There are differences as well. Epps was all about getting his high from the kills, whereas the Gormogon was doing his good deed for an underground secret society and a tasty meal. Meanwhile, Broadsky was perhaps the most noble of them all, believing that everything he was doing was for the greater good – and revenge once Booth got in his way. As for Pelant, he is a fiddler, reveling both in the killing and the merry chase he leads the Jeffersonian team on.

Each of these tactics cost the team something in the end. Some were sharp and cut to the quick, like the bullet that pierced Vincent Nigel-Murray’s (Ryan Cartwright) heart and the lies that persuaded Zack Addy (Eric Milligan) to throw away everything he had for nothing. Others were more subtle, like Epps’ plunge that made Booth question his own abilities and ethics, and Pelant who worked as a wedge between Booth and Brennan for so long; not to mention Flynn’s needless death and the havoc wreaked on Hodgins’ (TJ Thyne) finances.

All in all, this arc-ending episode is up there with the best of them. There are surprise twists and turns and the tension is so thick it can be cut with a knife but not so much so that it feels false. It is a good ensemble piece, showing how well this cast works together, but also showing the progress Booth and Brennan have made.

Like Caroline Julian (Patricia Belcher), in the end Bones fans can be thankful, because while the Pelant arc had its ups and downs it, finishes strong and “We’re all here for the happy ending.” At least for now.

What about you? Has your heart restarted again or are your eyes as glazed and vacant as Christopher Pedant’s? Are you ready for the long-awaited Booth and Brennan wedding or are your more interested in whether or not a female serial killer is coming soon?

Bones will return next Monday with “The Lady on the List” @8pm on Fox.