I am very suspicious of Bones eps that rely to any extent on dreams and/or alternative realities. Oh, they were well done here, and some of the sequences were genuinely creepy, but the last time I recall Brennan dreaming it related to that scarcely believable little runt Pelant, so that puts me off to start with. I don’t remember her rushing straight off to a psychologist on that occasion, even though she’d been having the nightmares for a while, so that felt quite forced, given that soft sciences are anathema to her – and why would she choose to go to the victim’s shrink, for goodness’ sake?! Then there was Booth’s complete AR dream in The End In The Beginning with all the references that never seem to have actually referred to anything…I’ve never liked them. Nothing made sense. I do realise that dreams tend not to – I had one the other night about a dog which stood up like a man to pee, and I have no clue where that came from. However, it’s annoying constantly to be told, as here, that the dreams are a way of interpreting someone’s past or even his/her future, when they really contain nothing that relates to anything.
Just looking at the dreams a minute. Why are all these manifestations living burns victims? What’s so important about the cigarette behind the ear that it actually merits a mention? And all the silly red herring quotes? “Old wounds can cut deep”, “if you knew what I know you’d be so proud of me” etc?
And now let’s think about the killer himself. He leaves clues which are invariably as misleading as the dreams – and they are all geared to point to Zack. That’s a good reason for believing that it’s not him. As far as I can see, everything about this person is unconvincing. If he is a traditional serial killer, is it really credible that he would change his normal routine to such an extent simply to threaten Brennan? Why are his red herrings so complicated? Who bothers to clean shoes and dip them in another kind of mud and would they expect Hodgins to deduce the deceit (despite the severe pain he is obviously in – TJ portrays this really well)? Why is it so difficult to pinpoint an individual who keeps bodies somewhere, bores holes in the skeletons and makes them into puppets? What does he do during the decomp process? Doesn’t anyone nearby get suspicious? If he skins them, where does he dispose of the soft tissue? Who are these people who have come under his influence, and how? The latest, Graham Reynolds, a pathetic little creature if there ever was one, has been in prison for attempted murder and is still allowed to show a pretty repugnant stage spectacle in front of small, unchaperoned children.
I think the Puppeteer arc has been, unfortunately, very rushed. The team was referencing his MO throughout and I didn’t recall any of it being mentioned previously. In fact, I only remember one other Puppeteer episode. Brennan is so paranoid and nervy that she comes spectacularly OOC – this would have been more convincing if it had been built up more effectively over a longer period. The therapist is a good suspect, but would he really have had time to conduct such a bizarre second life?
Nevertheless, in among this dirty, tangled web of plot holes and throwaway clues there is one little gem – Zack is back! I was reassured that Booth knew exactly how to get to Zack’s room in the institution; obviously people have been visiting him during his incarceration. There are still questions, though. What does Zack know about all this and why has he kidnapped Brennan rather than speaking to her at the lab? Don’t tell me he’s the Puppeteer; there is so much that argues against it. Obviously it’s a great cliffhanger and brings Eric back for at least the beginning of the final season. I hope the resolution is not disappointing!
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"We make our lives out of chaos and hope. And love." - Angela Montenegro