Bones ends its abbreviated season with several short sharp shocks. Booth is dead! Gormagon is at large! Someone from the lab is Gormagon’s apprentice! Plus big bangs, gruesome bones, and countless great lines. What a great way to end a season!
Oh god… who has he spoiled this time?
The writers obviously didn’t take my "come on, we all KNOW Booth won’t die" comments well, because they spend the first three minutes of the episode doing a damn good job of making us believe that Booth really croaked. Brennan is at her detached best when she refuses to attend his funeral (she has no time for silly rituals when there are 500-year-old bones to identify!), and she acts badly when Angela does convince her to come. That’s why it’s great to glimpse Booth in the firing party for the three-volley salute. The FBI used Booth’s injury to lure some unknown criminal out of hiding — the bad guy had promised that the next time he saw Booth, it would be at Booth’s funeral. Booth and the bad guy scuffle, knocking over the casket (which contains a mannequin). Bones calmly knocks out the bad guy with the mannequin’s arm (hee!), then advances on Booth and smacks him hard. You had to see that coming.
The main event
All of that is just a prelude to the main mystery: Someone has delivered a human mandible to Brennan, complete with two silver screws. Gormagon strikes again! Zack figures out the mandible had been gnawed, but not by normal teeth. Instead, the bite marks were made by some sort of homemade denture. He and Hodgins petition Cam to do that Squint voodoo that they do, which she allows. But when they start experimenting on their model, it explodes. Zack is horribly, gruesomely burned — he’ll most likely need prosthetic hands. Even worse, the team discovers that Zack’s injury wasn’t even the real motive — someone used the explosion as a decoy to lure security personnel away from the silver skeleton. It’s gone.
This, of course, means that someone on the inside is Gormagon’s apprentice, which leads to a flurry of suspicion. Sweets seems to be all over the TV (Larry King, fine, but TMZ?) talking about Gormagon which is creepy, if not actually suspicious. Caroline points out that Cam had access to everything. Sweets does a profile that pegs Hodgins as the fiend (he’s paranoid! He distrusts authority!). Cam thinks Sweets says that to deflect attention from himself. Booth and Brennan question Sweets about his whereabouts after the explosion. Sweets sarcastically confesses, and Booth decides to take him in. "You’d lock me up for sarcasm?" Sweets huffs. Well, yeah. "This is fierce wretched," he says. Hee.
Things start looking bad for Hodgins. He does an analysis of the water used to boil the jawbone, and finds high levels of lead. This means it probably came from a house in a very specific neighborhood — which includes his house. Doh! Then, he visits Zack in the hospital. Zack wants to share something — a theory? Suspicions? — but Hodgins surreptitiously ups his morphine, putting Zack out before he can tell all.
Then Brennan makes a discovery — it looks like that jawbone came from their own vaults. She sets all of her grad students to work cataloging the bones in Limbo (where unidentified remains are kept). They find several anomalous bones hidden away in various boxes, and something even creepier: Someone has removed the canine teeth from several skulls. Ick!
When Brennan examines the newly discovered bones, she finds they were from the same corpse as the jawbone, and were indeed gnawed by dentures, but those dentures weren’t made of some sort of homemade polymer, like Zack concluded — they were covered in the sort of marks made by a mouthful of human canines. Gormagon’s apprentice made him the dentures, which means….
Zack is the apprentice! He never meant for Brennan to get a look at those bones, which revealed his lie about the dentures. He rigged the fake dentures to provide a controlled explosion, but Hodgins delayed their deployment, which made the boom a lot bigger than it should have been. Zack knew exactly what he was getting into when he took the dentures, but his did it anyway so Hodgins wouldn’t get hurt. Brennan uses that fact to logic Zack into telling them where Gormagon hid. Gormagon is killed when the FBI tries to apprehend him, and Caroline negotiates for Zack to plead insanity.
Booth and Brennan
We had several priceless B&B moments — the first, of course, when Brennan smacks Booth at his own funeral. She’s furious that Booth didn’t tell her it was a ruse, but Booth protests that he gave the FBI a list of people to tell. It’s not his fault they didn’t!
That’s not enough for Brennan. She confronts Booth at his home, as he’s relaxing in the tub with a beer helmet, a cigar and a comic book, which is too damn funny for words. Booth gets so caught up in the argument that he stands to confront Brennan:
Booth: I took a bullet for you!
Brennan: Once! And that only goes so far.
Later, Booth finds out Sweets was the one who made the call not to tell Brennan. He wants Brennan to slug Sweets, but Brennan takes it calmly — he made a professional decision. YOU, on the other hand, should have told me personally, because you don’t follow rules and besides, you owe me! It’s the sort of gloriously frustrating logic that makes Brennan Bones. Later, she confronts Sweets quietly — you were running an experiment on me, and if Booth knew, he’d punch you out. She takes a certain satisfaction in that.
Finally, we get a great moment at the end, when the team is parsing through Zack’s favorite things at the lab. All his prized possessions were things that members of the team had given him, and Brennan laments that she never gave Zack anything at all. Booth comforts her by showing her that Zack had kept his acceptance letter when Brennan gave him the job. It’s just what she needed to hear. Then, when Caroline announces that Zack will plead insanity, Sweets protests. Booth pulls Sweets aside -you’ll do this for Bones, right? Sweets agrees.
There were so many great quotes in this episode! Some of my favorites:
- Booth, on his bathing headgear: Hot tub plus cold beer equals warm beer. Hat equals solution.
- Cam, when Zack tells her about the dentures: Well, a toothless cannibal just can’t cut it in today’s competitive serial killer market.
- A grad student shows Brennan the reconstruction she made of the newly discovered bones: Brennan: Nice job! Grad student: I’m third in my class. Brennan: I’d like the names of the two students in front of you.
Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends
- Seriously. Zack. I totally didn’t see that, especially after he was injured. It was a great twist.
- I loved listening to everyone lament what they should have done to save Zack — Hodgins was shocks Zack actually listened to all his rants about secret societies, and Angela thinks she should have gotten him a date.
- Booth in the bath with his beer helmet is an image I will treasure forever. I also loved the rubber ducky on his knee when he was talking on the phone later.
- Zack’s "uncontested King of the Lab" line got all the more poignant when I realized it was him taking a bullet — or actually, an explosion — for Hodgins. It was his way of saying goodbye. Oh, Zack…
- I loved Booth and Hodgins quipping about how they expected more sobbing ex-girlfriends at his funeral. There would have been sobbing fans, Booth…
What did you think? Were you satisfied? Were you surprised? Do you buy Zack as the killer? Did the opening fake-out catch you by surprise? Talk!