BONES Recap: ‘The Ghost in the Killer’
January 10, 2014 by Sarah Curtis
Hello BONES fans and happy 2014 to you! How did you like this episode, “The Ghost in the Killer”? To me, it felt a lot like a season premiere. There was a lot of exposition to bring people back up to speed (or perhaps introduce Pelant, etc. to new Friday viewers) and there wasn’t really a resolution to the case; instead, this episode set up an arc involving a new serial killer. Let’s discuss!
The episode begins with Brennan experiencing a nightmare regarding the most recent serial killer, Christopher Pelant. He continues to warn her in dreams that she won’t solve alleged murders involving a (female) ghost killer without his help. She wakes up and tells Booth about it, and later that morning they discuss it again. Booth questions Brennan’s insistence, mainly because no other evidence supports her claims. He goes outside and notices a large box addressed to Brennan. Inside is a human skeleton with a note, “Please find out what happened to me.”
The Victim: Lana Brewster, a wealthy, boat-racing champion who died in a boating accident in 1995. Hodgins knows who she is—after all, he came from that wealthy world. The team must try to deterin
• Lana’s brother, Dan. He is her only living relative, and it’s clear very early that he was jealous of how his parents loved Lana. He is surprised when Sweets tells him someone dug up her body to find out the “truth” and suggests a past boyfriend.
• Erica, Lana’s rival, who has motive when it’s revealed Lana received a prize Erica lost because of a cheating scandal.
• Trent McNamara, Lana’s secret ex-boyfriend. He has motive and also was shipped off to boarding school in the days after Lana’s death.
The Case Progression:
When Lana’s body is brought to the Jeffersonian, Cam quickly determines that the original autopsy was very poorly done. As an expert sailor, Lana’s death by drowning was unlikely, and the team realizes she was murdered. A record of the autopsy reveals the name of the medical examiner, and additional research shows that the coroner received nearly 2 million dollars after the results were published. Unfortunately, the coroner also died of an aneurysm later in life.
Hodgins remembers that Erica lost a race to Lana after a cheating scandal and also served prison time for insurance fraud after sinking her boat on purpose. Sweets questions her, and she is very antagonistic toward Lana, especially because her own family has disowned her.
Sweets, Hodgins and Angela also examine Lana’s boat, finding that a motor was missing. That was highly unlikely. They suspect that whoever killed her took the motor for the emergency dinghy and went back to shore. Meanwhile, the 1.9 million given to the Medical Examiner is traced back to the McNamara family. Hodgins is familiar with the family and wonders if the son Trent was Lana’s boyfriend… and when it’s revealed that Trent is back in town for his father’s funeral, Sweets and Hodgins pay him a visit.
Trent is at his family home, joined by his sister Stephanie. They are cordial toward Hodgins and Sweets, and Trent admits he was with Lana. Stephanie is less than pleased at the accusation of murder tossed toward her brother.
At the lab, cause of death is determined — a fencing weapon. Brennan thinks the marks matches one of her ghost killer victims, but Clark says there isn’t enough evidence.
Hodgins re-visits Trent’s home. The gardener threatens Hodgins, but eventually Hodgins speaks with Trent, reminding him of the differences in how their parents treated them. Hodgins tells him he’s sure he loved Lana and that he’s innocent. Trent figures Hodgins is the only one to think it.
Later on, Hodgins is shocked when he finds out Trent committed suicide. He is skeptical that no suicide note was left and worries that his conversation might have pushed Trent to the edge.
Cam and Hodgins examine this new crime scene, and Stephanie arrives. She doesn’t appear too sad, but does posit the idea that Trent killed Lana and also adds that he’s the last of the men in the family. Kind of suspicious, if you ask me.
But additional suspicions are cast when the team finds out that Lana’s brother Dan visited Trent an hour before he died. When Sweets questions him, he insists Trent called him to talk and make amends. He insists he left Trent alive.
Hodgins tells Cam that the same pollen that was on Lana’s body was found on Trent. He thinks Trent put Lana’s body on Booth and Brennan’s doorstep, and wants to know why he would do that if he was guilty. Cam says he killed himself, which is sometimes an admission.
The Verdict: Both Lana and Trent suffered an injury of a ripped off fingernail, making it possible that their deaths were linked. Cam decides to give Brennan the benefit of the doubt that these cases may coincide with the cold cases she is working in the lab. This gives us no verdict in this episode, but a springboard for the future arc.
I liked the resolution to the Clark and Brennan storyline in this episode. I feel like there have been a few times where their inane competition could finally be put to rest, and I’m really, really hoping this time it sticks. Loved the moment where Brennan confessed that she often holds in her emotions, and then “look out!” It will be interesting to see how Clark’s personal life continues to be developed, and I liked the scenes between Cam and Clark, especially where she asked for his input on Brennan’s objectivity toward the ghost killer work.
Sweets was the character tasked with the most exposition in his dialogue, whether it was talking with Booth at the FBI or talking with Hodgins about the loss of his fortune. It was fine, but most of the time, I felt like the army in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and wanted to shout GET ON WITH IT!
I really liked Angela in this episode, how she worked the case and also showed support to Hodgins. Speaking of him, I am excited to see how this story arc plays out and how he is affected by Trent’s death…especially if it is revealed that there was some link to Pelant. After all, Hodgins has some definite anger toward Pelant.
BOOTH AND BRENNAN:
They made it clear from the beginning of this episode that Brennan has been having recurring nightmares and that some time has passed since the last episode. What made it a bit difficult to swallow is that it has been actual months since the Pelant storyline ended, and we haven’t really seen Brennan slowly becoming obsessive about finding the Ghost Killer. It’s not the worst thing that the story wasn’t developed that way, but when most of the other characters are at the frustrated/annoyed/doubtful point with Brennan, it was hard for me to catch up as quickly, and I grew annoyed with THEM for not being very understanding toward Brennan.
Additionally, I think including Pelant as the trigger for this new serial killer detracts from his original storyline, making it even more convoluted. Was this his original intent? Did he discover this other plot when he was obsessed with the team? It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.
Regarding B&B personally, the whole “you know me better than I know myself” verbiage is annoying, but the general idea in the episode that B&B keep one another grounded and have a way to tether one another back to reality is good. I liked that Booth went to Cam, advocating for Brennan. And I also liked the idea that Booth and the rest of the Jeffersonian team would insist that Brennan provide concrete evidence, much as she would require of them. I also liked that in the end, they are willing to trust her instinct and give her the benefit of the doubt. If Brennan doesn’t accept the evidence, then Booth won’t accept it either.
Okay, enough from me. Did you like this episode? What do you think of this new (possible) serial killer? Do you think we saw her (or him) in this episode? Make your guesses, and any other comments, below!
Filed under Bones