At the American Heritage Museum, a group of newbie tour guides are getting a How To Tour Guide tour. As the trainer runs over the stupid questions, they’ll get, the nooks see something behind her: a bloody head and spine laying in front of a statue of Lincoln. To make it grosser, the statue is defaced with “Where’s the rest of me?” written in what is presumably blood. Something tells me we’re getting a new long-term serial killer!
It becomes quickly evident that the killer is someone highly skilled. The vertebrae have been removed and rearranged, something that he or she must have done on purpose. The blood on the statue is from five different people – none of whom are the victim, who Brennan profiles as a white female in her early 20s. The killer used a red laser to mask out the security camera feed – they find a highly sophisticated homemade laser in a blind spot.
Angela gets no hits on the facial reconstruction, but all five DNA results from the blood come back (a rare occurrence). They’re all FBI agents from the DC field office. To make things more complicated, reporter Ezra Krane knows way too much about the case, but won’t give his source, leading sassiest attorney ever, Caroline Julian, to comment that either they have a leak, or the killer is talking to the press.
Booth gets word that all the agents are fine; they all donated at a FBI blood drive two weeks before (and it’s kind of creepy that they don’t even question how someone got the blood from that. Is this a common occurrence, FBI?). Sweets profiles the killer as a highly intelligent, most likely male, tech savvy attention seeker who hates the FBI. A perfect hit comes up: Christopher Pelant, who had previously hacked the Senate and Department of Defense websites with a similar questioning MO. Only problem: he’s under house arrest (with an ankle monitor that checks his location every 36 seconds) and not allowed access to computers or the Internet. Booth and Sweets pay him a visit anyway, but Pelant claims that the last time he was there was a sixth grade field trip. Ezra Krane’s been to see him, too, asking him about the case for his story. Pelant insists he’s not a criminal; he’s a hacktivist, bringing attention to corruption. Booth spots a large old-school counting machine, but Pelant says it doesn’t work. Unfortunately, he’s a no-go suspect as the monitor company says he hasn’t left.
Okay, let’s digress here for a minute. HE’S A FREAKING COMPUTER GENIUS! You don’t think he can outsmart the ankle monitor? There’s a large amount of stupid going on in this episode (and it just gets even worse by the end). It hurts my brain.
Hodgins feels pressure to crack the code in the spine. His grandfather was a code breaker in WWII. He realizes he’s making the code too complicated and simplifies it, finding an address and phone number within the code: The National Archives. There’s still four numbers not accounted for, but Booth and Sweets get on the case anyway. The room they’re led to has a keypad, which opens with the additional four numbers. Booth finds blood near one of the stacks and when they open it, there’s the rest of the body. Strategically placed on top of criminal case files that have been marked as “Investigation suspended.” They’re all FBI informants whose crimes weren’t prosecuted, but instead of small crimes, these are major felonies. Sweets remarks “If I was one of their victims, I’d do pretty much anything to bring attention to this.”
Booth visits one of the victims from the files: Sophia Berman. Her father was defrauded by one of the informants and then killed himself in front of her. She’s an IT director at a major company now. She says that she got a call recently with a tip that the case wasn’t going anywhere, and of course it was from Ezra Krane. He was trying to do a story on the suspended cases, but the story didn’t have juice. Booth brings Krane in, and Krane doesn’t have a solid alibi for either the murder or the blood drive. Yikes.
Brennan notices indications that the victim grew up in Denmark and when they run the picture over there, they get a hit: Inger Johanssen, who had been housesitting for a couple in DC. Booth and Sweets arrive at the house to find Inger’s insides in the swimming pool with “This Won’t Stop” written on the fence.
They can’t figure out the cause of death, so Angela scans the bones into the computer so that it can run various scenarios. As they start running the simulations, the computer blinks out, saying system failure and holy crap the computer is on FIRE! Somehow her computer has some malware that originated in her machine. Brennan finds a roughness on the bones and Angela sees a fractal pattern in it. Someone wrote code onto bones that took down a million dollars worth of computers. She thinks it has to be Pelant. Why is Angela the only smart one here?It becomes even more evident when Ezra Krane’s body is found run up a flagpole and never arrives at the Jeffersonian – someone got into the system, rerouting the body, marking the autopsy done, and labeling it as infectious tissue, causing it to be cremated.
They bring Pelant in and he doesn’t deny anything because he knows that no jury would believe the circumstantial evidence when the ankle monitor says he never left his house. He’s just exposing the “giant flaw in our system,” that by trying to make it more secure, it becomes more complex; but the more complex, the more insecure it actually is. Pelant goes back to his house with his creepy serial killer board and no one seems to be bothered by this.
In Baby Plot, Brennan’s due in six weeks and they still haven’t found a house yet. Everything that’s in their agreed-upon price range is too shabby or too fixer-upper. After hearing about Sweets getting a Vespa for Daisy from the FBI Auction, Booth gets the idea to get a house from there, too. He takes Brennan to the place, which is pretty much just a frame, it’s in such disrepair. I start questioning Booth’s sanity. And Brennan’s when she says that she thinks it’s perfect. She says she can see the bones of the house and it will be wonderful. Huh? Is she an architect now? Where is this coming from?
I’m going to just guess that everyone (other than Angela, but including the writers) had a case of baby brain this episode. I mean there’s an uncatchable killer out there and no one seems to be pissed at that? Because Booth and Brennan have a house now? Seriously, people, priorities! Maybe I’m just cranky, though. What did you think?