BONES Recap: 'The Ghost in the Killer' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

BONES Recap: ‘The Ghost in the Killer’

January 10, 2014 by  

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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

Primary Suspects:

•    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.


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


14 Responses to “BONES Recap: ‘The Ghost in the Killer’”

  1. Diana L. on January 11th, 2014 7:52 am

    I think Stephanie is the serial killer– her family seemed to have some problems which she inherited– she also wants to be in control and as the only remaining family member she is in full control

  2. EL on January 11th, 2014 10:35 am

    Donna, the gardener. Otherwise she was a pointless character. But the writers change their minds so often — look at Janeen in the first Gravedigger episode who originally was going to turn out to be the Gravedigger — that by the time they reveal the killer it could be someone else entirely.

  3. LanaSweet on January 11th, 2014 11:09 am

    I agree with El on the gardner. I found the ep to be a little blah. I don’t care about the ghost killer or her victims. I also wish that Bones’ team had more faith in her. Has she ever been wrong about any case? It would make more sense if some outsider came in and doubted her.

    I’m sad to say I just don’t like Angela anymore and they can’t seem to redeem her in my eyes. I also don’t understand how Hodgins can question a suspect. I’m not sure an FBI psychologist can really do it–unless they’re determining a persons ability to stand trial or something–but a bug guy?

  4. bountypeaches on January 11th, 2014 3:40 pm

    Great review as usual Sarah. Good episode overall. But I agree with LanaSweet I wish Bones’ team had more faith in her. Every time Brennan has made an intuitive decision she has usually been correct. I like that Booth eventually did have faith in her reading of the evidence. I also enjoyed the limbo scene where he told her to look at the bones her way and not worry about Pelant. I wish he had told her that earlier instead of negating the possibility of the “ghost killer”.

    For the first time, I really disliked Cam. The worse was the way she came down on Clark without any consideration or worry about what could be causing him to behave to out of character. I also didn’t like Cam pulling in Clark over Brennan’s head without telling her. It felt a bit disrespectful. Cam may be the boss but the lab only exists because of the forensic anthropologists and they are not as easily replaceable the way she is. Like she said in S5, She could find another forensic anthropologist but not one that can necessarily do the job. Unfortunately I didn’t see any empathy, kindness or respect for Brennan or Cam. Not to mention Cam was completely wrong in Sense in the Sacrifice that Pelant was distracting Brennan with the cold cases. You would think that she would have learned to trust Brennan’s instincts by now.

    It reminded me of Mother and Child in the Bay where Brennan was the only one with an open mind and Booth and Cam were all ready to convict the husband. Or the Boy in the Shroud, where Booth and Cam were ready to arrest the girl for being foster child. Booth seems to have grown, Cam not so much.

  5. Lorraine on January 11th, 2014 5:50 pm

    From this episode alone I would guess the ghost killer is Stephanie McNamara. There was something suspicious about her. She got really defensive when they where questioning Trent and her. It looks like they grew up in a dysfunctional family. The father probably tough Trent was the killer, that’s why they payed off the medical examiner and sent him overseas. Maybe he even tried convincing his father he was innocent but nobody believed him because of his past reputation as troublemaker. The sister was probably always a good girl, smart, obedient, an over achiever. I bet she was always trying to prove herself worthy because she is a female and her father was a sexist man who favored his son. She resented her father for always bailing out her brother while not rewarding her for doing things right. She was never given love and nurture. We had 2 serial killer arcs where the killer identity was hidden, Gormogon and the Gravedigger. Eventually we found out who the Gravedigger was but her story still wasn’t over. In most serial killer arcs the issue is not finding who the killer is but finding the evidence to catch them (Epps, Broadsky, Pelant and part of the Gravedigger arc). So my guess is that they will soon establish the identity of the killer as Stephanie, then focus on how to catch her since there is no evidence and she’s a rich and powerful woman.

  6. Amiche on January 12th, 2014 7:09 am

    My thoughts were on Stephanie as well. She was a very weird lady and rather defensive.

    About Bones’ intuition, it’s not for real. Her suspicions are put in her mind by Pelant. Like nothing points to a female killer in the evidence; it’s what he said! Clark was right to point out that the wound in the sternum was not the same – it seems like Temp as groping at straws here, which is very unlike her. She never loses her cool and will always follow where the real evidence leads her.
    Cam is absolutely right to peel her away from it, but also going out of her way to put Clark on the case in support of Brennan.
    And about her telling Clark off, she was well in her right as boss and responsible person for safety and security of the lab. And she made it clear she understood there were personal reasons which he did not have to tell her. Anything personal would not make it right anyway.

    When a show is putting so much emphasis on friendships and relations at the workplace and puts its characters through so much horror and heart ache ppl tend to forget it IS a workplace. Ppl work for money, there are rules and regulations and someone is in charge, who is held accountable as well. As there is also this huge importance on making sure justice is not screwed by procedural errors/mistakes. Tempy in this ep was a liability in that respect as well and Cam sorted it out nicely.
    It has been a better ep than most of the others this season in my opinion.

  7. Kathy on January 14th, 2014 3:45 am

    Cam acted completely inappropriately when she barged in on Clark in the shower. If she had to admonish him, she should have waited until he was dressed. I think she should be fired. I agree with the posters above who said her coworkers should have trusted Brennan more.

  8. Parker on January 23rd, 2014 3:16 pm

    Heres a crazy theory: Cam is somehow involved with the ghost killer or is even the killer herself. The original person who did the autopsy in 1995 was paid to lie. With Cam and her financial troubles, i’m betting she was paid to somehow cover this up. The way she was trying so hard to get Bones off this case just seemed too suspicious. Also whoever this killer is has evaded capture because they are very smart, hence Cam who is very familiar with dead bodies. Who else would know how not to leave a trace of evidence?

  9. Bryan on February 11th, 2014 1:09 am

    I believe Stephanie McNamara is the prime suspect as the Ghost Killer. Let’s look at the information that we know. Now the powers that be already confirmed to us the Ghost Killer is a woman and has already been introduced and seen on the show this season. Brennan mentions that she believes that Lana Brewster was the very first victim of the Ghost Killer. We now know that the murder weapon that killed Lana was a fencing sword, which Brennan believes is also the way that Chloe Campbell was murdered. We’ve learned that Trent McNamara learned how to fence when he was younger at one of the boarding schools he attended.

    Now here’s my speculation. There is possibility of Stephanie learned to fence from Trent or at the very least having access to a fencing sword because of Trent. But I’m learning toward to fore-mentioned due to the fact that both Lana and Chloe’s death we caused by a fencing point directly through their sternum. Other than trying to cover up her tracks in Lana’s murder, killing Trent would be logical. As to why the Ghost Killer would have killed her other victims, that still remains to be revealed. For now, all signs tend to point toward Stephanie.

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  12. Jeff on August 2nd, 2014 1:42 pm

    Why was it when they (Brennan, Cam, Clark) examined Trent McNamara’s wrist in autopsy it was so completely decomposed?!? He shot himself, there would be no reason for his body to be in that condition.

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