… cinematography, and the editing such that the end product retains believability. Going too far can be worse than not going far enough. Throughout ‘The Sense in the Sacrifice’, the performances were outstanding, the dialog spot on, and the editing, well, nowhere did it seem like some good parts must have been left out.Though Pelant’s takedown was simple and righteously swift in its execution (pun intended), viewers were gripped by a steady cascade of ‘I didn’t see that coming’ plot twists, and ‘Did that really just happen?’ surprises. Also highly satisfying were the intimate interactions between Brennan and Booth that included humor, spontaneity, and declarations of profound and unwavering faith in each other. Sigh.
With a single gunshot to what many viewers have long suspected was an inky chasm of demonic narcissism, rather than a human heart, the team’s collective brain-trust put an end to Pelant’s (Andrew Leeds) reign of terror. The team’s weapon of choice: the sniper-trained steady arm of Agent Seeley Booth (Boreanaz). This was particularly fitting as Pelant had most recently targeted Booth personally, giving him no viable choice but to put his life on hold, and his relationship in jeopardy.
Pelant, since his arrival on the small screen in January of 2012, delighted in toying with those he perceived as threats to his image of himself as the intellectually superior. His modus operandi was to draw the team’s attention with a horrifying murder, reel them in with enigmatic puzzles, and then force them to profoundly question their own ability and/or face a high-impact moral dilemma. All toward the goal of asserting Pelants assumed superiority.
In ‘The Corpse in the Canopy’, Pelant forced Hodgins to choose between his millions and the lives of innocent school children. In ‘The Secret in the Siege’, Pelant forced Booth to choose between saving the world and protecting the woman he loves, a woman he’s willing to sacrifice his soul for. Finally, in ‘The Sense in the Sacrifice’ he challenged Brennan (Deschanel) to choose between the future potential victims of an unknown female serial killer, and protecting the man she loves. Wicked and disturbed, this Pelant was.
Spanning eight years and 170 episodes, Bones’ modus operandi and creative treatments of victims’ remains have been compelling, as have the diverse circumstances, personalities, and motivations behind the crimes investigated. Even more engrossing have been the multi-episodic story arcs involving serial killers—Epps, Taffet, The Gormogon, Broadsky, and finally Pelant—who, by their very nature, engender a more intimate and emotional investment in the characters, and consequently, the viewers.
This was most certainly the case with Pelant, who was loathed by all those involved with him, characters and viewers alike. However, he had two fatal flaws. He was capable of intellectualizing, but didn’t possess the capacity to comprehend, or experience, the infinite strength of human love, in all of its forms. As a result, he was destined to underestimate a love strong enough to compel a rational man, or woman, to take irrational, unpredictable measures to protect his or her family. Also, having never experienced community, he miscalculated the synergistic potential of a group of experts who are also the very best of friends. These miscalculations were his undoing, as we witnessed throughout ‘The Sense in the Sacrifice’, and most especially in the final scene where Brennan and Booth demonstrate the kind of love that is incomprehensible to Pelant.
How did it all go down? It began with the team’s outrageous plot to engage Pelant by mimicking (and challenging) his egomaniacal dominance by staging a donated corpse using his exact technique and aesthetic. Tragically, Pelant killed and flayed the messenger, Hayes Flynn (Reed Diamond), and displays his corpse in the donated corpse’s stead, much to the shock and chagrin of the entire team.
Pelant, using all manner of props—toy bombs, flowers, planted evidence, mathematical puzzles, personal contact, and the challenge of a more demonic serial killer—attempted to seduce Brennan into partnering with him in pursuit of the unknown female serial killer.
Pelant’s oversight was the team’s ability to use everything he gave them to find and stop him, including the ingenious interpretation of the absence of evidence as evidence in and of itself. A gun-toting Brennan accepted Pelant’s challenge to meet, and had him in her crosshairs when he cleverly distracted and disarmed her. Per usual, Booth was in hot pursuit twenty-three minutes behind Brennan, and arrived in the nick of time to confront Pelant as he threatened to blow himself and Brennan up. Both Brennan and Booth actively shock Pelant by their faith in, and sacrificial love for, each other. When Booth gets the opportunity, he takes aim and shoots to save Brennan.
Christopher Pelant, as a villain, has out-badded all of his predecessors and significantly raised the proverbial bar for future miscreants. After eight successful seasons, one would think the Bones writers, directors, and actors would have exhausted their inventory of grisly crimes, nefarious criminals, and interpersonal scrummy conundrums. Yet they have managed to surprise and delight an average of 9.8 million viewers per year, per episode despite the challenges they have chosen to tackle; challenges that have caused epic fandom uproar time and again.
Based upon the results, however, whatever the Bones franchise has done has worked in Bones’ favor, because … Fans. Keep. Coming. Back.
So. What can Bones fans look forward to? The wedding of the century is on the docket for October 21st. Okay, that’s one episode. What’s after that, and is it enough to make us cancel our Friday night social plans to stay home and watch tv when the time comes? In other words, do we have faith that there’s a whole other closet full of skeletons in store for us as the season progresses (and the next one begins)?
I’ll take that bet, boys and girls. If you’ve made it to the end of this article, you probably will too.
Tune in next Monday when the Jeffersonian team investigates the murder of Charlie McCord, a terminally ill high school principal with a questionable bucket list and revenue stream. Also Brennan and Booth finally start to plan their wedding.