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Bones - The Hope in the Horror - Review

It's a new year, and that means new Bones episodes - just a handful more until this terrific series draws to a close.

Going into the season premiere, I expected the season's main antagonist to be the mysterious, manipulative "Puppeteer" serial killer. Just a few minutes into the episode, however, my expectations were blown away.


At the end of season 11, we saw the familiar - but newly scarred - face of Dr. Zack Addy, a former protege of Brennan's who was arrested back in season 3 and has occasionally popped up over the years as both a friend and foe of various investigations. Season 12 kicks off right after his final line, "You and I, we have so much to talk about," by, um, him and Brennan talking about things.

Meanwhile, the Jeffersonian Team worked quickly to track down Brennan and found her and Zack in the basement of the Jeffersonian. Zack insisted on his innocence, ripping apart our assumption that he was the Puppeteer!

Zack does admit that he regularly escapes the asylum to digitally stalk Brennan, Hodgins, Angela, and Cam. He consulted on Hodgins's paralysis under an assumed identity. He realized he would be implicated in the murders the team was investigating. He expressed distaste for Agent Booth and his relationship with Brennan.

And although many signs pointed to Zack, or Dr. Falk (a rather brilliant psychologist), or Karen Delves (the FBI profiler who conveniently arrives on the scene to assist Booth and Aubrey), we eventually learn that the killer was Dr. Rashon, an administrator at the institution where Zack is incarcerated. Mystery solved.


So now we've got a season left - a short 11 episodes to go - and the most recent big bad has been discovered & apprehended. I was a little surprised by this decision, because some of the biggest moments of this show happen when the team struggles against the same antagonist over time (think Gormogon, Pelant, Broadsky, etc.). 11 episodes doesn't feel like enough time to develop another big bad guy & come to an epic conclusion with him/her/them. Luckily, this show is still capable of surprising me. So the next few months should be interesting!

One thing I've really enjoyed in both the season 11 finale and this season 12 opener is how well the show casts false suspicions on various characters. In the finale, there was a gripping scene in which Dr. Falk counseled Brennan as she attempted to access and tease out the memories and emotions that manifested in her dreams; he was using a hypnotic technique, padding around and around her, turning over her phone to keep her focused. I couldn't help seeing darker, ulterior motives in those actions. The same kind of thing occurred in "The Hope in the Horror" with FBI profiler Karen Delves, who joined the cast last season around the same time that the team discovered the Puppeteer. Her passion and desire to wrangle the truth out of Zack and comfort Brennan were easy to interpret as manipulative, rather than well meaning, and the show left me seriously doubting her innocence for a while there.

It was really good to see Zack again, even if he was a murder suspect. While I don't remember the murder of a lobbyist that's mentioned in the episode, I do consider Zack a wonderful, watchable character in this show. His shockingly logical delivery of lines like, "It is odd, but being perceived as a murderous cannibal does have its advantages" makes me laugh out loud, and although he does stalk his friends, he does so out of fierce loyalty and care for their wellbeing. We also discovered he had an attachment to Sweets (a bond so deep that Sweets' death resulted in self harm), another echo of our favorite FBI psychologist. I hope we get to spend time with Zack again before the season finale.

What did you all think of the premiere, Boneheads? What do you think is in store for Booth, Aubrey, and the Jeffersonian team? Who do you hope to see more of before the show ends? Comments encouraged.


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