New Show Recap

New Shop Recap: Bones 9×12, “The Ghost in the Killer”

Hello, Persephoneers! Crystal asked me to take over the Bones recaps for a bit so we’ll be having this cozy chat every week for the next few months. I’ll do my best to maintain her professional tone and keep my snark to a minimum but if it seeps out occasionally, I hope you’ll make allowances. I hear it’s dangerous to keep that stuff in.

(Photo courtesy of Fox)
(Photo courtesy of Fox)

Bones is back from hiatus with a body in a box and a serial killer no one quite believes in. Brennan wakes up from a nightmare in which she’s haunted by Christopher Pelant, the super evilest baddest guy ever Who. Will. Not. Fucking. Go. Away. Seriously, I expect that one day I’ll be 90 years old, watching Doctor Who (yes, of course it will still be on!) and an army of cybermen will rip off their helmets to reveal hundreds of Christopher Pelants… because everything is his fault! Before he died (killed by Booth), Pelant teased Brennan with the existence of another female serial killer and warned her that if he was killed, she would never find out the identity of that person. Now that Pelant is dead, Brennan obsesses over that possibility.

Booth’s attempts to comfort her are somewhat negated the next morning when a box is found at their front door containing the bones of a young woman and a note that says “Please find out what happened to me.” She turns out to be Lana Brewster, an 18-year-old who died in 1995. Lana completed a solo round-the-world sail, even with a broken arm that she had to reset herself, and the fact that she apparently died while taking another, smaller boat out for a simple daily jaunt strikes everyone as suspicious.

Their suspicion is well-founded. The coroner who ruled her death accidental drowning was paid off by an almost $2,000,000 deposit into an offshore brokerage account, after which she skipped the country. Unfortunately, the coroner has also since died of natural causes so that end goes nowhere.

Lana’s brother is interviewed but even after admitting to more than a little bit of jealousy over the love and attention given to his sister, no real suspicion falls on him as perhaps being responsible for her death. He does mention, however, that Lana had an enemy (Erika, another sailor Lana had turned in for cheating), and a boyfriend (whose name he is unable to provide).

Erika is dutifully interviewed. Her life went to shit after Lana ratted her out, and included time spent in jail for insurance fraud. She’s still very angry and bitter but there’s no hard push to pin Lana’s murder on her.

Hodgins steps in at that point with information on the potential boyfriend. Growing up in the same privileged circles, he remembers a former friend, Trent McNamara, whose family is revealed to be behind the payoff to the coroner. Trent was kicked out of one school after another until finally, and coincidentally, he was sent to Switzerland after Lana’s death.

Since Hodgins speaks Rich White Boy, Booth sends him and Sweets to interview Trent, who happens to be back in the area to attend the funeral of his father. Stephanie, Trent’s sister, takes a less-than-thinly-veiled shot at Hodgins for losing his own family money and being poor. Hodgins responds with an also-not-veiled “at least I have a wife and son and you don’t, neener neener neener” and then confronts Trent about Lana. According to Trent, the timing of his banishment overseas was just a coincidence and the truth was simply that he’d run out of U.S. schools to be kicked out of.

Hodgins believes him and comes back alone to tell Trent that he knows that all Trent really wanted was someone to love him, and since Lana did love him, Trent wouldn’t have killed her. Trent has a sad, because Hodgins is the only one to actually believe him incapable of murder.

Before anyone can pursue that line of thought further, Trent is found face down on his desk blotter, a hole in his head and a gun in his hand, with the clear implication being that he had committed suicide because of his guilt over murdering Lana.

(Photo courtesy of Fox)
(Photo courtesy of Fox)

Brennan doesn’t believe Trent committed suicide but by that time, no one is listening to her because she’s spent the whole episode insisting that Lana’s death is connected to the murders Christopher Pelant told her were tied to a new and heretofore unknown serial killer, cleverly nicknamed The Ghost Killer (“GK”). When she finds a similar injury on both Lana and one of the suspected GK victims, she’s even more convinced and when Trent ends up dead, she is sure the GK killed him to put an end to the investigation into Lana’s murder.

Unfortunately for her, everyone else just wants her to shut up and stop obsessing about the GK victims. Booth finally begs Cam to give Brennan just a little more time to work on them. After their conversation, Cam hands the files over to Dr. Clark Edison for his presumably more impartial review.

Dr. Edison is having his own moment of crisis but Cam neither asks about nor cares why the normally crisply fastidious doctor is suddenly showing up for work wrinkled and disheveled, not to mention sleeping and showering at the Jeffersonian (I guess you don’t rate concern from Cam unless you’re the intern she’s banging). It takes a badly-timed comment from Brennan about Dr. Edison’s ability to mix his personal life with work to bring out the revelation that he and Nora have ended their relationship. It was a beautiful moment of connection and empathy between two people who are uncomfortable with such intimacy between colleagues, and it was even more touching when Brennan asked him to call her Temperance — but not at work, of course.

Despite Dr. Edison’s fresh eyes and Brennan’s insistence, no clear link between Lana, Trent and the other maybe GK victims is firmly established.

If you’re keeping score at home, that’s:

  • Lana’s murder: no resolution
  • Trent’s maybe suicide but probably murder staged as suicide: no resolution
  • Ghost Killer victims: no resolution

If you watched the episode, I’d love to hear your thoughts.


48/DWF. "I don't entirely approve of some of the things I have done or am or have been. But I'm me. God knows, I'm me." Elizabeth Taylor

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