Bones - Season 9, Episode 4 (Review)

The Sense in the Sacrifice
Episode Summary
The Jeffersonian team has partnered with (some of) the FBI to attempt to smoke Pelant out.  They've obtained a body through the Jeffersonian's anatomical donation program and are going to set up a tableau that looks like a baroque painting of Prometheus, except without flesh. They create their monstrous masterpiece and give it to Hayes Flynn to dump in a well-travelled place so that the FBI gets involved.  Booth and Brennan just have to wait for the call, which they get.

"Did somebody say 'bacon'?"
As they are examining the body at the crime scene, Hodgins notices some flowers, one of Pelant's signature calling-cards.  Brennan also notices that the body at the scene is not the one she and her team meticulously planned - with recently remodelled bullet wounds on the 3rd and 4th ribs, Booth suggests the body is instead that of Hayes Flynn. Further inspection at the Jeffersonian of the mandibular offset(?) and the zygomatic angle convince Brennan that it is indeed Flynn, whom Pelant killed and posed exactly as their version of Prometheus. There are no defensive wounds, and there are kerf marks on the sternum -- 32 passes, according to the striae, which is more keeping with Brennan's MO than with Pelant's.  Additionally, clamp marks on the hepatic artery suggest to Saroyan that Pelant kept Flynn alive while he removed his liver.  Initially, Sweets and others think that Flynn must have been in cahoots with Pelant.  One line of evidence is that he got a particularly expensive surgery to repair his shattered clavicle; this surgery was paid for by an anonymous donor to the doctor's research program. Everyone suspects Pelant. The doctor notes that Flynn had 10 fractures that needed repair, although the Jeffersonian's latest xray scan showed 11.

Hodgins attempts to find any amount of trace evidence on Flynn's skeleton that could help them place Pelant in geographic space, but he comes up empty.  Brennan thinks she recognizes the 11th fracture on Flynn's body... from an unsolved forensic case she worked nine years ago.  She heads to the storage area to check out the older specimen, which does indeed look exactly like Flynn's mystery fracture.  While she's there, Pelant sneaks in and holds her hostage with (what turns out to be) a fake bomb. Pelant dangles some information in front of Brennan: the unidentified person is named Chloe Campbell, and he knows something about a bunch of other cases in her lab as well, rattling off their case designations.  Pelant leaves and Booth rushes in; he recognizes the bomb as a toy and they leave. But Brennan realizes that the cases Pelant mentioned are not right; he had changed the numbers to the drawers.

Saroyan meanwhile finds a part of a tooth in Flynn's stomach. Brennan had boasted to him earlier that she could solve a murder based on one tooth.  Hodgins finds trace evidence of bituminous coal ash, and using Angela's fancy schmancy computer, they triangulate onto an abandoned power plant.  Brennan finds out where Pelant is just shortly before Hodgins and Angela do -- the arrangement of the find-spots of the forensic cases Pelant mentioned form most of the constellation Aquila, or the eagle who ate out Prometheus' liver. Brennan heads to the "star" not highlighted by the cases in order to find Pelant.

Pelant invites Brennan in, and she wanders around until he appears. He wants Brennan to forget Booth and be with him, but she refuses.  Then she pulls a gun on him and makes him walk away.  Pelant triggers a small explosion to disarm and disorient Brennan, which works.  He is still threatening her when Booth arrives, gun pulled.  He asks Pelant to drop the bomb he's carrying, but he refuses. So Booth shoots Pelant.  Apparently the bomb was a prop too.  As they walk out, Booth decides to propose to Brennan, since the main obstacle in their way -- Pelant -- is now dead.  The Jeffersonian team catches this on the closed-circuit security footage that Angela has tapped into. Cue the swelling score of Andrew Lloyd Webber...

  • Forensic
    • Safety is paramount at the Jeffersonian!  Hence why they never wear masks, even to carve up a dead guy, the fact there's no proper security on the room that stores thousands of human skeletal remains, and Brennan's (and Booth's) neglecting to wear any sort of body armor to confront a serial killer.
    • Of course Brennan can recognize a similar fracture pattern on a bone she saw nearly a decade ago.
    • Of course Brennan remembers the six(?) four-digit numbers that Pelant rattled off, especially immediately after she'd been held hostage by what she thought was a bomb.
    • Of course Brennan doesn't put down any sort of padding for the skeleton she gets out of the box (that also has no padding; I winced when she started rooting around for the humerus).
    • Brennan notes Flynn's tooth was a third bicuspid. In anthropology, we use the term premolar (third or fourth, as other primates have two additional ones that we as humans have lost); bicuspid is a dental term.  I'm also pretty sure that dentists use first and second bicuspid.
    • And what's a mandibular offset?  Is this a dental term too?
  • Plot
    • Eh, I thought Pelant deserved better than a Phantom of the Opera inspired final episode.  Look, half his face is disfigured! He wants Brennan for himself! He will wreak havoc if she won't have him!  Whatever. You, sir, are no Michael Crawford.
    • Flynn has five hours to arrange the body in a relatively public location. Let's say it only takes him an hour to get there and start doing his thing. Now, Pelant has to get over there, kill Flynn, take him back to his kill room (in MD?), meticulously flay his body, and plant evidence back in DC... in the span of four hours?
  • Dialogue
    • "I've tripled my firewalls just to be sure." -- Oh, Angela...

Forensic Mystery - B. Brennan and team solved the forensic case of Flynn pretty quickly. But there wasn't a lot of focus on forensics this episode; it's more about the plot and drama.

Forensic Solution - B. I don't buy that a chip of a tooth would get covered in bituminous ash such that Pelant could be tied to the murder scene.

Drama - B.  I guess I'm still coasting on all the other Pelant episodes which, taken as a whole, aren't too bad.  I still think Gravedigger was the best "big bad" that Bones has had so far.  This storyline, and the conclusion in particular, was far too derivative.

Well, seems I got this up just one day late.  Not too shabby for having a 6-day-old at home.  Fortunately, she is an excellent sleeper.


Anonymous said…
Every place I've ever worked at has better security than the Jeffersonian. My high school chem lab had better security and safety equipment.

I'm just glad he's dead. Your baby will never have to know the horror of a Pelant episode.
edonline said…
As soon as Brennan was in the bone room and I heard the metallic clink of a door, I said to myself "How the eff did Pelant get inside the Jeffersonian?" Not exactly a shocking moment.
Anonymous said…
I like your bit about the security and the masks... very true! With regards to Bones remembering a previous victim, doesn't she have a photographic/idetic memory? So she would, in theory, be able to recall details like that.
I always love your posts, and well done for posting with a 6 day old at home!

I think that the writers have been particularly lazy this season... seems like they are in a rush to get it over and done with?

Anonymous said…
Camille: "Pelant's lying."
Bones: "He's never lied to me."
Literally not even 5 minutes before, he told her that grenade was real and if she moved it'd kill her and everyone above her when it was actually a toy.
Sally said…
"Camille: "Pelant's lying."
Bones: "He's never lied to me."
Literally not even 5 minutes before, he told her that grenade was real and if she moved it'd kill her and everyone above her when it was actually a toy."

I thought the exact same thing!!
G.T.E.D. said…
While in general I agree with just about everything in the review and comments... I am just glad to finally see the bastard dead.
Unknown said…
I've read all these comments and I keep falling back to the old cliche, it's in the script. I love this show, I never did like bones, I find her to be arrogant and rude, but what makes her humorous to me is her inability to understand why others view her to be so. In season 8 someone had come in to film the team working and she was able to see herself and she seen and mentioned on how mean she was [her words] I am so glad Palant is dead, I followed the show for that reason and the grave digger and to see if Booth and Brennan would ever get together, I needed to see what Booth seen in Bones other than her ability to solve a crime.
Anonymous said…
I respect your opinion plot :Pelant is my favorite big bad I respect how your favorite big bad she’s my 2nd favorite big bad puppeteer is 3rd pelant deserves a better ending he was a great antagonist and lasts the longest most episodes and seasons of the serial killers only to die from a simple shot too the chest I felt like the writers are like we don’t wanna keep him around anymore so have booth shoot him and be done with it

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