BONES 8.12 The Corpse on the Canopy
Last season, we saw Pelant get off on a technicality – diplomatic immunity – but he’s back and even more twisted than before.
Hodgins wakes up to the baby crying. He’s really groggy and it takes a while for him to get his senses about him. While he tries to wake up, something drips onto his face – blood. He looks up and finds a skinned body on the canopy above their bed. His screams wake up Angela and she runs to the baby’s room. He is unharmed, but very upset. On his mattress, around his pillow, are flower petals drenched in blood.
Booth and Brennan rush over to their house. Angela, Hodgins, and Micheal were drugged with a gas through their heating system while the body and petals were left in their house. Angela and Hodgins don’t want to call in the police because they fear Pelant. Brennan and Booth aren’t convinced that it is Pelant until they realize that the flower petals are from a crocus- native to Egypt, the last place that they knew Pelant to be. Hodgins is sure that the body is payback for him nearly choking Pelant to death the last time that they met. They discuss hunting Pelant and killing him, but Brennan points out that Booth is the only one qualified and he insists they need to go through the appropriate channels, so Hodgins and Angela agree to bring in the FBI and Cam.
The Jeffersonian team sends home all non-essential personnel and cut all the connections – computer, cell phones – to the outside world to keep Pelant from knowing what is going on. Brennan and Cam examine the victim – he’s been eviscerated, his mandible is gone, and he’s been entirely skinned. They find small lesions in the bones around the shoulder that suggest Leighmaniasis as well as some small particles near the pelvis, consistent with shrapnel. There are also things about the body that suggest the victim spent time deep sea diving and parachuting – the victim is likely special forces.
Pelant, meanwhile, is hard at work making himself a high tech ID badge for a company called Serberus while everyone at the Jeffersonian freaks out.
Sweets and Booth, and Caroline review what they know about Pelant. Flynn shows up and asks if they are working on Pelant, but all of them deny it, acting very odd about it (they don’t know that Flynn is in league with Pelant, as was suggested to us last season, they just want to keep things as secret as possible). Later, Flynn approaches Booth and again offers his help, as well as big fat, classified document folder that isn’t supposed to leave the Pentagon.
Hodgins is frustrated by the lack of answers and offers Cam his personal finances to help the case, but she assures him that it isn’t about money.
The documents are about the victim, who is identified as Victor Freeman, an ex- Navy Seal. Sweets and Booth go to the victim’s apartment. It’s very generic – minimal food, personalization or possessions. In a closet, they find an open gun safe. Inside are some high-tech weapons that Booth identifies as not being standard issue American military – they are the kind used by mercenaries, such as those who work for a company called Serberus.
Flynn and Booth go to Serberus and interview the company head, who tells them he doesn’t need their help and they will find Pelant if he killed their man. Booth and Flynn go to Caroline for a warrant, but without knowing what they are looking for, she can’t help.
Cam tests Hodgins blood, but it is negative for any anesthetics. He’s determined that the agent used to drug them must be a clue. Hodgins is headed pretty much off the deep end, and snorts lidocaine so he can biopsy his own lungs, with the hope that they can find traces of the gas used to drug them. Hodgins doesn’t think Cam trusts his judgement enough to help, so he’s going to do it himself. Angela decides that they should biopsy both of their lungs, to give them twice as good a chance of finding something. (I’m going to refrain from too much analysis the medical inaccuracies of this scene, or the one where Hodgins suggested that they were anesthetized with phenobarbital *gas*). This crazy plan actually nets a clue – it was sevoflurane, a common anesthetic gas – that was used to drug them. He tracks down two local suppliers (both of which happen to be subsidiaries of his corporation).
Brennan’s burner phone rings – it’s Pelant. He chides her for not reading the body he sent her right, likely because having a baby affected her brain. Brennan runs to Cam for her to listen in, but Pelant hangs up before they can think of a trace. Pelant tells her that he’ll send her a clue. Indeed he did – a mail room clerk finds a bloody, hairy, severed finger in an envelope minutes later.
After they find out that Pelant can access their burner cell phones, Hodgins wants to use an German Enigma code machine, which he just happens to have access to two of, to send messages between the Jeffersonian and FBI. Angela tries to reason with him, but he’s determined.
Cam and Brennan identify the finger as belonging to a Barberry Ape. Brennan remembers that one famous anatomist used Barberry Apes, but then was later discredited. She pulls out an antique anatomy test. Angela determines that the body left in her bedroom is nearly identical to one of the woodcuts in the book. A tox-screen of the victim shows high levels of adrenaline – the victim was likely tortured to death, which fits with him being skinned alive to match the woodcutting.
Cam realizes that the match isn’t perfect, though. When they overlay the body with the woodcutting from the book using the low-tech “Angelatron” – aka, two slide projectors – Pelant’s version is missing a few muscles which are labeled with letters on the original. The letters that are revealed in the missing muscles are “melycu”. The letters likely represent “lyceum”, which means “school”.
At FBI headquarters, the Enigma machine spits out a slip of text – Hodgins traced the sevoflurane to Pelant’s new alias – Justin Trimple. Flynn gets the idea to spam Pelant. Angela sends him multiple copies of the “Nigerian email scam” to his email account. Pelant is at Serberus, working with their computers. He blocks the spam, but in doing so, he gives away his IP address, which is traced back to Serebus.
Flynn and Booth prepare to storm the company with an FBI swat team. In addition to hundreds of armed employees, the building also has automatic Gatling guns in the vents at the exits and entrances, which they have to disable. Sweets wants to go in, too, but Booth tells him that he’ll be needed if he doesn’t make it out. Pelant watches the FBI prepare to enter the building from the surveillance system.
Booth and Flynn and their team get inside and work to clear the place. Pelant is in the server room, up to something. He unplugs a tablet and leaves the room seconds before the team enters the room. They check out the security cameras and Pelant seems to be everyone at once. Booth anticipates that Pelant is going to leave via the secret evacuation exit that the company is sure to have. The director who rebuffed them earlier tells them the location of the exit and they run for it.
They see Pelant fleeing and almost catch him at the exit door. Before he runs out, though, he arms something with his computer. A vent cover flaps up behind Booth and Flynn and a huge gun comes out and shoots multiple rounds at Booth and Flynn. Flynn is hit multiple times (he is wearing a vest), but Booth dives to the floor in time. After checking that Flynn is still alive, he runs outside and shoots at Pelant’s car as it drives off. He manages to hit Pelant (we see blood spray the windshield), but the car still speeds out of the garage.
It’s soon clear that they’ve lost Pelant again. Flynn is injured, but still alive and is taken to the hospital. Before Booth can leave Serberus, all of the computers come online simultaneously – a constant stream of numbers crossing all the screens. Booth recognizes them as GPS coordinates – such as would be used to aim a missile or an air strike. They coordinates are in Kandahar Province.
They realize that the coordinates are for a Predator drone strike. Neither Angela nor the people at Serberus are able to reprogram the drone. Hodgins suggests Angela us “lyceum” as a password and Angela is able to get video from the drone. They determine the flight path of the drone and realize that it is directed directly at a girl’s school. Tons of other numbers start crossing the screens while Angela and Serberus race to try to stop the drone.
Hodgins realizes what the new numbers are – they are his bank accounts and they are being drained completely. Pelant wants him to choose between saving the girls and his fortune – if they disconnect from the Serberus server, then they won’t be able to stop the drone. At the last moment, as the drone approaches the school, Angela manages to get into its system and programs it to self-destruct. It blows up harmlessly in the air before it reaches the school.
Using Serberus’ information, they detect a drone. Angela is able to log into the Serberus servers to be able to see the codes. She uses the code from the body to gain access to the drone’s cameras.
Hodgins and Angela talk while he eats some day-old muffins. She assures him that they will be fine without the money. He agrees, but is understandably still upset.
Bones is with Christina when Booth comes home. Flynn is still alive, but it’s still too soon to know. Booth hates that Pelant is still out there and that they have to wait for him to make the next move.
Pelant is at a veterinary clinic, stitching up a huge hole in the side of his face. (Why do scary, violent things always happen at vet clinics on TV and in the movies??)
I really enjoyed the previous Pelant episodes, but this one really defied belief. Draining Hodgin’s bank accounts, targeting young girls, not to mention Serberus’ seeming omnipotence (they have their own fighter jets?) and Angela’s ability to hack into a military drone’s programming was just a bit too much for me, in a show where I often have to suspend my disbelief.
Clearly the story isn’t finished, but it looks like they are leaving Pelant for at least one episode, likely more, so it will be a while before we find out how it all ends and see how all of the pieces fit together. I can only hope that when we next meet Pelant that the story line won’t be quite so far-fetched.
…he disposed of the body– Sweets
And got into Stanford. Word has it that’s what it takes these days! – Caroline