If we’re honest, we didn’t love this episode. Which surprised us. We have historically always enjoyed the Pelant episodes. They bring an added drama and tension to the usual murder of the week format, providing real stakes for our leads to deal with, resulting in real and long-reaching consequences, and offering us an overreaching arc that ties months (and seasons) together. The specter of Pelant has lurked in the background throughout this season, rearing its ugly head twice with spectacularly great results each time. This time it fell flat. Perhaps it was because Pelant almost felt like background to the episode. The murders were committed by someone else and, as such, lacked the terrifying brilliance of Pelant’s usual efforts. This episode saw Pelant as puppet master, not true antagonist. And even that small involvement was almost eclipsed by other elements of the story – Crystal Creek, cult survivalists, and… Brennan and Booth’s engagement! Yes, we thought it would never come, but Brennan finally proposed. It was sweet and adorable. And it pushed Pelant even further from our minds.
The episode was almost entirely saved, however, by the closing scenes. Here was the Pelant we’d missed throughout the episode. While his actions during “The Secret in the Siege” were tamer than his usual efforts, the end results were (in our opinion) the most devastating yet. Just when everyone thinks that he’s disappeared and that they’re safe, Pelant contacts Booth. He tells Booth to break off the engagement, without telling Brennan why, or he will kill five innocent people. Of course, Booth can’t let that happen. What follows is one of the most traumatizing things we’ve witnessed so far on Bones – the dissolution of their engagement, and Brennan’s utter devastation. As the episode (and the season) draws to a close, we’re left wondering if Booth and Brennan can ever bounce back from this. Will Season 9 see our central couple torn asunder? Is this the beginning of the (temporary) end? We know Brennan will eventually discover why Booth did what he did, but will that be enough to save them?
So the episode was by no means perfect. And yet it soared above the early episodes of the season and felt like Bones is supposed to feel. It was clever and funny and sweet. It was a perfect indication of Bones’ return to form. We can only hope that next season gives us fare like this (and better), and doesn’t return to the missteps of early Season 8. – K
Quoteworthy: “I love you. I want you to be my husband. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” – Brennan