Bones fans have been given 24 hours - 24 episodes - to watch a journey unfold. A journey between two people that transverses the highs and lows of a couple learning what it is to be in love while raising a child together. A journey that begins and ends on the exact same note: "We're okay, right?"
The first time around, it was Brennan (Emily Deschanel) who was doing the asking because of a questionable decision she'd made at the end of season 7. Now the question comes from Booth (David Boreanaz), and while he may not be going on the lam with their baby daughter, his decision in 'The Secret in the Siege' might have similar consequences for the couple.
And the reason for the emotional upheaval both at the end of last season and this one? Christopher Pelant (Andrew Leeds).
Historically, showrunner Hart Hanson has not been a fan of serial killers on his show, even though they seem to do very well with viewers. However, his views seem to be shifting about as much as Brennan's views on marriage, because he appears to be changing his tune and keeping Pelant around for the long haul.
Just as Brennan desires to give Booth what he's always wanted, so too does Hanson seem to be delivering on the adversary long-term viewers have pined for. He also delivers the proposal fans have been waiting for, too, though that is quickly snatched away by said adversary. Be careful what you wish for.
Among the Pelant episodes, this is one of the best. Tensions are understandably high on all fronts as the last time Pelant struck, an FBI Agent nearly died. This time, two Agents are killed within the first two commercial breaks and all eyes turn to Booth, who is presumably the next target.
All roads lead back to Crystal Creek, a Waco-esque incident that Booth and the two dead FBI Agents were involved in years ago. Using this and the knowledge culled from reams of psychological insights written by Sweets (John Francis Daley) over the years, Pelant launches the newest round of the sick game he enjoys playing with Booth and the team at the Jeffersonian.
More than any other time, this round feels like Pelant has graduated from irritant to Booth's personal Moriarty. Like Sherlock Holmes' nemesis, Pelant doesn't bother to gets his own hands dirty; rather, he sits back and pulls the strings from a comfortable distance.
This feels more threatening than when Pelant was the one breaking into Angela (Michaela Conlin) and Hodgins' (TJ Thyne) home because he's got more control, and while Angela does trap him on one front, he still manages to get the upper hand in the end. From the beginning, Pelant's desire has always been to match wits with someone, and while the bullet in his face his last time out narrowed his focus to Booth this time around, the game as a whole hasn't much changed.
This time, however, Pelant pulls off the double-switch. First, he manages to put the team on the wrong scent, sending them after a victim whose parents were members of the cult at Crystal Creek as opposed to the daughter of an FBI agent supposedly killed there by friendly fire. He also manages to keep his true target hidden until almost the last moment. It's Sweets who predicts that Booth is not the real target and Sweets who warns Booth that Pelant will not let him have his happily ever after with Brennan. Unfortunately, Sweets doesn't work out that he is the one in Pelant's crosshairs.
The twist at the end feels like a dagger in the back for long-term viewers already flooding Tumblr with Brennan's proposal and Booth's enthusiastic response. Unfortunately, they will left with little more than this and the devastated look on Brennan's face from the other side of that wall to keep them company over the long summer months.
But take heart! No doubt the show's early pickup for season 9 is the impetus behind the protracted Pelant arc as well as more road bumps for Booth and Brennan. They'll get to that altar eventually, there's just no telling how long "eventually" will be in this case.
Bones will return next fall on FOX.
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