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'Bones' 'The Ghost in the Killer' review: Even though there's no evidence

BONES: Booth (David Boreanaz, L) is worried about Brennan's (Emily Deschanel, R) obsession with finding a possible serial killer in the "The Ghost in the Killer" episode of BONES.
BONES: Booth (David Boreanaz, L) is worried about Brennan's (Emily Deschanel, R) obsession with finding a possible serial killer in the "The Ghost in the Killer" episode of BONES.
Jordin Althaus/FOX

Remember when Pelant mentioned that female serial killer? Well, that took center-stage in Friday, Jan. 10's "Bones" episode, 912, "The Ghost in the Killer."

"You don't always need proof to know when something is true."

That was the theme of the episode, as "Bones" kicked off 2014 with a very strong episode that kept you guessing and left you guessing. Pelant had mentioned a female serial killer connecting several old cases to Brennan, and the possibility of such a killer, of a Ghost Killer, haunted Brennan. In act, it haunted Brennan so much that the others grew concerned about her obsession and used her own past arguments against her, namely, there was no evidence.

"The Ghost in the Killer" also took a look into Clark's personal life, and while it wasn't until close to the end that we learned why he was acting the way he was, the clues were there so that the conversation between Clark and Brennan itself wasn't so important as was what it meant, as she told him to call her Temperance. It was a sign of how far they have come, even over the past couple of seasons, and a reminder that while he may have been acting as the lab's intern for this case, those days were over for him.

With this episode, we also got a chance to catch up with Hodgins to see how he was handling losing all his money, especially when coming face-to-face with people he knew from his days of being rich, and when it came down to it, Hodgins had the healthiest attitude possible. "When I’m at work, I’m not thinking about money. When I’m with Angela and Michael Vincent, it never crosses my mind," he told Sweets. "As long as a person has enough, they don’t need more, and I have more than enough." Later, he told the McNamaras, "I’m doing fine. I married an amazing woman and have a beautiful boy, so no complaints." And even when he was rich and growing up, he had something that the even richer kids didn't: his parents' love.

Finally, the season began with trust issues for Booth and Brennan, and while Brennan was still in the dark about why Booth had turned down her proposal by the end of the premiere, she still had faith in him. This time, it was his turn to have faith in her by the end of the episode as, despite there still being no conclusive evidence, he told her that she'd catch the Ghost Killer. "If you don't trust the evidence…then I don't trust the evidence," he said, and the only part of the episode that felt a bit off was that it ended with a happy moment for the couple. Did anyone else feel like they were waiting for something to happen at the end? But in a way, that was a bit more unsettling than if there had been something else.

The obsession The episode began with Brennan dreaming about Pelant – make that Pelants – and the reminder that there was a female serial killer out there, one that Pelant claimed she wouldn't catch without him. After she woke up screaming, Booth was there to comfort her. "Hold me," she told him. "Tighter." It was just the calm before the storm. As Booth worried about Brennan, her nightmares, her obsession, and that someone out there could be playing games with her, Brennan was focusing on the bone Pelant had pointed out to her instead of the case at hand, to the point that Booth had to drag her away at the end of the day and even told her she was acting a little crazy and not like herself. She had to do it the way she did, not let Pelant call the shots. Cam had to look at this as Brennan's boss, and that meant she needed a reason to assign resources to the task. So to that end, she put Clark on the case to see if there was something to the Ghost Killer theory.

The case Nothing puts an end to a fight and breakfast like a box of remains, with a note, "Please find out what really happened to me," delivered to the house in the morning, as Booth and Brennan learned the morning after her nightmare. Brennan being Brennan saw it as fortunate since there was no way to be sure the remains would have reached her any other way, and she was the best. The victim was Lana Brewster, who died at age 18 in 1995 after her partially sunken boat was found. She had been a sailing champion and had won a solo around-the-world-race after reporting a competitor for cheating. That competitor clearly hated Lana when Sweets spoke to her, but she didn't kill her.

Lana and her brother may not have had a close sibling relationship, but he was able to point them in the right direction to begin to put the pieces together, as he told them that she had been seeing someone before she died. That person turned out to be Trent McNamara, whose father paid off the medical examiner to write a completely incompetent autopsy report that was missing basically everything the Jeffersonian team found that proved she didn't just drown. Hodgins' family and the McNamaras hung ou together – oh, and Hodgins used to sail as well ("I was a rich kid. We had to sail and have at least one girlfriend named Muffy. It's in the charter," he explained, adding he dumped Muffy for Binky.) – so he and Sweets were the ones to question Trent, who just happened to be shipped off to a Swiss boarding school two days after Lana's body was found.

Clark then found Lana's probable cause of death, and it was from a foil, as in fencing, and Trent fenced. But that was where it got complicated. Brennan had seen the same would before – on one of the Ghost Killer victims. "Everyone keeps telling me that I'm making connections that aren't there, but I don't do that kind of thing. I'm not that kind of a person." Clark couldn't agree definitively with Brennan on the matching wound, but Brennan had already ruled Trent out as a suspect since she also believed the Ghost Killer was female, like Pelant had said. Hodgins too didn't think he did it, but for a very different reason. He believed Trent did love Lana, and that she had given him what he'd wanted for so long: love. Trent had stayed at Hodgins' one night when they were kids and had been surprised when his parents hugged and kissed him goodnight just because.

Then it got even more complicated when Trent was found dead, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. However, there was no note, and Hodgins didn't believe that Trent wouldn't have left one if he had been guilty, even when his hands tested positive for gunshot residue. Brennan and Clark then discovered an injury to his hand that severed the nerves at the wrist and would have made it impossible for him to pull the trigger – if he had used any gun but the one he had. With that gun, he could've killed himself.

That wasn't all though. Hodgins found traces of the same pollen from the box with Lana's remains on Trent's clothes, and it looked like he was the one who dug up her remains. The final proof that there was more to this case was that his fingernail was ripped off just like Lana's had been. The Ghost Killer could have killed him too. So even though the inquest might rule that Trent killed Lana and himself, Brennan and Hodgins – and Booth, because he trusted Brennan – didn't believe it. And so officially began the hunt for the Ghost Killer.

The heartbreak Poor Clark was basically living out of the lab, sleeping there and using the decontamination unit to take showers (a sure sign that something was wrong), and it wasn't until Brennan confronted him to make sure that he could dedicate the right amount of time to the Ghost Killer case that he explained what was going on: he and Nora broke up, and she moved on.

"Bones" season 9 airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on FOX. What did you think of episode 12 "The Ghost in the Killer"?

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© Meredith Jacobs 2014

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