"Bones" finally took care of Pelant in season 9 episode 4, "The Sense in the Sacrifice," on Monday, Oct. 7, but how did it all go down? Who died?
It was a heart-pounding episode that kept you on the edge of your seat and had pretty much everything that makes "Bones" so good—and a lot of things you wanted to see happen as they finally took down the evil hactivist serial killer they've been hunting for multiple seasons. Because of how impressive Andrew Leeds has been as Pelant and because of the spectacular writing we've gotten when it comes to this storyline, it was almost a shame to see him go. (We'll admit we even came up with a crazy scenario where they locked him up and we got Hannibal-like conversations every once in a while just so we could keep Leeds, Pelant, and everything that entails around a bit longer.) But when it came down to it, there was no other way this could go but with Pelant dead, but with Booth the one to kill him, because they couldn't risk him finding a way out yet again like he had in the past.
That said, we could not have asked for more than what we got in "The Sense in the Sacrifice," and while Pelant is dead, the team will have a new big bad to focus on, one that dates back years and one who already seems like could give Pelant a run for his money when it comes to terrorizing this team. So one door was closed, but another was opened.
The episode began with a very chilling look at just what this team could do when they put their minds to it. Working together to outsmart Pelant, they set a trap using a body that had been left to the Jeffersonian. "You may hate it, but it is amazing," Hodgins said, perfectly describing the entire situation. You know that group of people who could kill you and get away with it? That's this group, and this sequence showed just that. They tasked Flynn with the transportation and set up, and he was grateful because Pelant had put him behind a desk for the rest of his career. "I won't forget this," he told Booth as he left to set up the remains to look like the punishment of Prometheus. However, when the team was called to the crime scene after a now-traumatized-for-life dog walker found the remains, they made a couple of terrifying discoveries: Pelant had left them a flower, and those remains weren't theirs. There were bullet wounds that shouldn't have been there, bullet wounds Booth recognized. It was Flynn. Oh, and Pelant was watching, especially Brennan.
Upon examining the bones, Brennan agreed it was Flynn. But that wasn't all. Pelant had mirrored Brennan's technique and he had kept Flynn alive while he removed his liver, fitting of the setup. How did Pelant know about their plan though? When Booth went to see his former priest, Aldo said someone had to tell him—and it was looking like that was Flynn. Booth refused to believe it, even when Sweets suggested it while they went over his apartment and found a getaway stash of cash, credit cards, and fake passports in his refrigerator. Booth argued that it was because they found the evidence that it had to be Pelant setting him up and Flynn was clean.
Flynn's clavicle had been surgically repaired using a pin made from artificial bone, which would be expensive. Did Pelant pay for it? Flynn's doctor, after a bit of intimidation from Booth, admitted that an anonymous source donated the money, and they hadn't questioned it because it was helping to save an FBI agent's life. He made the mistake of suggesting Brennan was wrong when she corrected him on the number of fractures (11 instead of 10), and Booth immediately backed her up as the couple showed their unwavering faith in one another when she then backed up his claim that Flynn was innocent. After seeing how broken and tense things were between the two in the premiere, it was a very welcome conversation. But it turned out that both the doctor and Brennan were right about the fractures. Pelant had created that 11th one, and it was the clue they needed. It was also something that Brennan had seen before, in a cold case from nine years ago. However, as Brennan was confirming the marks were identical, Pelant, in a Jeffersonian uniform, found her. "Let's talk," he said as he set up a grenade.
"You and I are destined to die together," Pelant told her, deluded. And as evil as he may have been (and likely because of how evil he was), Pelant had figured out something Brennan hadn't been able to: there was a serial killer out there who had killed the victim from that cold case as well as others, all found in different locations, all different ages, all killed different ways, and with nothing to connect them. He didn't know the killer's identity yet, but he did have a pretty good idea of where to begin: with women. "I think she's pretty bad, and I think she's still out there," he explained, and he had his reasons for thinking the killer was a woman. He also didn't think Brennan would be able to find her without him. So he left her with the beams of the grenade trained on her chest, warning her not to move. Fortunately, Booth had been video-chatting with Angela when the Jeffersonian's alarms went off, and he was able to tell that the grenade was just a toy. Brennan was safe.
But was there really another serial killer out there, one Pelant had been able to trace and Brennan hadn’t? She couldn't find a connection, and Cam had to steer her back to the case at hand. Cam had found a chipped tooth in Flynn's stomach, and it was very possible Pelant hadn't been able to sterilize it, meaning it could be what they needed. Brennan recalled that the last thing she and Flynn had spoken about as they loaded their body into his van was how she solved a case using just a tooth. Was it a message?
Once again, Brennan turned to Aldo for some advice as she was torn because she wanted Pelant alive to catch this other killer, but Booth wanted him dead. And once again, Aldo was the voice of reason. As he explained to her, Booth was willing to sacrifice his soul by killing Pelant as his two sides—the one that wanted to save the world and the one that wanted to take care of those he loved—collided, and it was all for her. "It's always going to come down to you."
Back at the lab, Brennan again focused on the unsolved cases, and it turned out she was right to because none of the bones were in the right drawers. Pelant had left her a message. Meanwhile, Sweets had come up with the big answer: Pelant's endgame. And that was Brennan. He was trying to seduce her, hoping she would change her mind about him like she had about Booth and Sweets from when they first met. He was trying to replace Booth, and Booth's silence when Sweets asked if Pelant had done anything to try to prevent the two of them from being together said it all. Once Pelant realized he'd never have her, he'd kill her, himself, and anyone else who was around.
Thanks to the particulates Hodgins found on Flynn's chipped tooth, they were able to figure out Pelant's location, a power plant that had been shut down. While Caroline thought Pelant may have put the tooth there for them to find, Booth argued that it had been Flynn who had chipped his own tooth to send them a message. However, they had a problem: Brennan was already at the plant and following the path Pelant had set for her. How did she get there? Pelant had left Brennan a love letter only she could understand, using the cities of the cold case victims, a map, and the constellation Aquila, the eagle, the bird that ate Prometheus' liver.
Brennan came face-to-face with Pelant, and when she told him she'd shoot him in the head if he ran, he protested, "That's the part of me you like best." But he had another trap set, and the explosion knocked her back and disarmed her. But what he didn't know as he was focused on helping her up and so sure Booth was still trying to find a way in was that the FBI agent was already there—and when it came down to it, if Booth's life was in danger, as it was as Pelant threatened to bring down the building, detonator in hand, Brennan was always going to choose him. She told him to shoot Pelant, and he did, right in the chest. Booth killed Pelant, and after that, it was only a matter of getting to that happy ending.
The others were able to tune in as Booth and Brennan made their way out of the power plant, but first, he had something important to say—and not just telling her about Pelant's threat if he accepted her proposal. She had a feeling it was something like that and told him he made the right choice. So if he asked her to marry him now, would she say yes? Well, if she said yes, would they get married? Yes! And with that, they kissed. Booth proposed, and Booth and Brennan were finally engaged.
"Bones" season 9 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on Fox. What did you think of episode 4, "The Sense in the Sacrifice"?