Cam (Tamara Taylor), Angela (Michaela Conlin) and Brennan (Emily Deschanel) examine the remains found on top of the canopy | (c) 2013 Jordin Althaus/FOX

Cam (Tamara Taylor), Angela (Michaela Conlin) and Brennan (Emily Deschanel) examine the remains found on top of the canopy | (c) 2013 Jordin Althaus/FOX

Stars: David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, Michaela Conlin, TJ Thyne, Tamara Taylor, John Francis Daley, Patricia Belcher, Andrew Leeds, Henry Simmons, Reed Diamond
Writer: Jonathan Collier, series created by Hart Hanson, based on the life and writings of Kathy Reichs
Director: Rob Hardy
Network: Fox, Mondays @ 8 PM
Original Telecast: January 23, 2013

Michaela Conlin’s gentle Angela is often the voice of hope and patience on BONES, and TJ Thyne as her husband Hodgins is frequently a source of quirky levity. In “The Corpse and the Canopy,” however, both characters are deeply and understandably upset and outraged start to finish, which allows Conlin and Thyne to skillfully play some new notes in their familiar roles.

Angela and Hodgins slowly wake up in their bed together to the sound of their infant son Michael Vincent crying in the other room. Then they look up – there’s a skinned, eviscerated corpse on the canopy above their bed. Though baby Michael Vincent is unharmed, rose petals in his crib show that he’s had the same visitor. Yup, Christopher Pelant (Andrew Leeds) is back.

Pelant, we may recall, is the tech genius serial killer who previously framed Brennan (Emily Deschanel) for the murder of an old friend. Pelant was able to get himself extradited to Egypt, but he’s clearly returned to the Washington,D.C.area. Angela and Hodgins are beside themselves with terror and fury – Pelant not only threatened them but their child. Hodgins goes so far as to do lung biopsies on himself and Angela to determine what sort of gas had been pumped into their bedroom to render them unconscious so that Pelant could plant the body.

The discovery of the specific type of gas leads Booth (David Boreanaz), the FBI task force et al to the offices of a private international security company, the kind with its own army. Pelant, under a new fake identity, is working for the firm. There’s a brief showdown between the Feds and the private army, which stands down. Pelant not only gets away – albeit Booth wounds him – but manages to launch a drone at a school for young girls in Afghanistan. He has simultaneously set up a program that is causing Hodgins’ considerable fortune to drain out of the banks. Hodgins and Angela can’t stop the money drain without allowing the drone to hit the school. They opt to save the school, causing the drone to self-destruct. Now they have to live on their salaries, like everyone else – and still worry about Pelant, who is out there somewhere. In fact, Pelant is at a veterinary clinic where he’s just killed the doctor; he’s stitching up the graze on his cheek left by Booth’s bullet.

Most BONES viewers have grown somewhat inured to the gory discoveries made in the opening moments of the episodes, but in “Canopy,” the sequence is genuinely jarring. This isn’t just a startling sight, but a major threat to characters we care about. Angela is miserable and scared and Hodgins is miserable and scared and furious. The actors do a fine job of making us feel protective of their characters, though the script really stretches things. (Hodgins is so worried about Pelant that he’s willing to risk giving Angela a lethal infection with a do-it-yourself amateur lung biopsy? Really?) Having Hodgins lose his money makes sense on a meta level – if he and Angela need their salaries, it keeps Angela in the lab – though we wonder what this means for the lab’s funding if the Cantilever Group itself has been compromised, and why Hodgins can’t just get some stocks back and make money that way if it hasn’t.

The action is good, with the faceoff between Booth’s people and the private security gunmen making for a striking moment, even though we have a good guess that they’re not going to start shooting (or we’d have a plot arc taking BONES into a very different arena). Given her history with Pelant, it seems that Brennan is a little shortchanged here, though Deschanel makes the most of the material.

“The Corpse on the Canopy” is a strong episode that reminds us we can take the show and its people seriously and that the makers of BONES can provide a true sense of jeopardy when the story warrants it.

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Article Source: Assignment X 
Article:TV Review: BONES – Season 8 – “The Corpse in the Canopy”

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