Stars: David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, Michaela Conlin, Tamara Taylor, TJ Thyne, John Francis Daley, Patricia Belcher, Andrew Leeds, Alimi Ballard, Sarah Stouffer, Beau Knapp, Marc Aden Gray
Stephen Nathan & Jonathan Collier, series created by Hart Hanson, based on the life and writings of Kathy Reichs
David Boreanaz
Fox, Mondays @ 8 PM
April 29, 2013

The BONES Season 8 finale comes as close to having cake and eating it too in “The Secret in the Siege.” Our heroes Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Booth (David Boreanaz) love each other and are still together – but the relationship has been thrown a big wrench that hurts both of them. There’s a resolution in sight, but it could take until the end of the series (whenever that is, there’s already talk of a possible Season 10) to reach it.

The techno-savvy, smarmy and generally appalling serial killer Christopher Pelant (the excellent Andrew Leeds) has resurfaced. This conclusion is reached by the fact that a former FBI agent, a one-time partner of Booth’s, has been killed in a way that exactly matches an unpublished paper about serial killers authored by Sweets (John Francis Daley).

After another FBI agent is killed, the team figures out that Pelant isn’t committing these new murders himself. Instead, Pelant is manipulating a survivor of a siege on a religious compound by the FBI ten years earlier. Booth was one of the agents on the scene. Pelant is using computer software to change his own visage to that of one of the people who died on the day, leaving messages for his now-adult child. The twist is that the now-grown offspring is not one of the compound survivors, but rather the traumatized (and sharpshooter) daughter of an FBI agent who died in the shootout. Pelant, posing as her father, is instructing her to kill people he says are responsible for the father’s death.

When the computer files are discovered with the father’s image, Hodgins (TJ Thyne) is able to figure out the images are composites, based on the presence of a bird that didn’t migrate to the area until after the recordings would have to have been made if they were really from the woman’s father. Pelant has sent his assassin after Sweets, but Booth arrives in time, shoots to wound, and the woman is arrested.

During all of the stress, Brennan decides to propose to Booth, as she knows it’s what he wants. Booth is delighted – and so is Brennan. However, Pelant is cyber-spying on them. After the dead FBI agent’s daughter is arrested, Pelant calls Booth and tells him to call off the wedding, without telling Brennan the reason why, or Pelant will kill five innocent people. Booth knows Pelant is perfectly capable of carrying out the threat. After Pelant has dropped off the grid once more, undetectable again, Booth talks to Brennan and tells her that he thinks she was only proposing because they were under so much stress and that he thinks she was right in the beginning – marriage is just a piece of paper and they’re fine the way they are. Brennan is visibly hurt, but says she’s impressed that Booth can see it her way. She says they’re fine but goes upstairs to be alone for a little while.

This is an impressive piece of calibration, with enough tension placed on the relationship for viewers to want to see how it can be resolved, and at the same time, not overdoing it to the extent that the audience is furious with Brennan or Booth for being an idiot toward the other. There are only so many times they can hurt or exclude each other before viewers are willing to call it a day, even if the characters are not. The finale creates a mini-cliffhanger, while at the same time honoring the relationship that has been depicted throughout the show.

Meanwhile, Pelant’s creation of a virtual ghost speaking to his loving daughter from beyond the grave is creepy, but also poignant – we can’t exactly sympathize with the shooter, but we understand why she thinks she’s doing the right thing. There’s also a righteous sense that Booth might not reach Sweets in time, because of the obstacles in his way and because of the meta-knowledge that actor Daley has a thriving screenwriting career that might have taken him away from BONES.

As the episode’s director, Boreanaz is extremely proficient, staging a massive traffic jam in a way that persuades us the backup goes on for miles. He also handles the crucial Booth/Brennan scenes with sensitivity.

The episode’s score deserves special mention, as composer Sean Callery incorporates little homages to music from PLANET OF THE APES and the DAWN OF THE DEAD remake to up the tension factor as Booth is struggling to reach Sweets.

“The Secret in the Seige” is so heavy on surveillance technology that we half-expect the characters from PERSON OF INTEREST to turn up here. We’re used to Angela (Michaela Conlin) doing miracles with facial reconstruction, but this is one of those episodes that requires more than the usual suspension of disbelief. This aside, it’s strong and engaging, a suitably satisfying punctuation mark on a good season.

Related:TV Review: BONES – Season 9 – “The Secrets in the Proposal” – Season Premiere


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  1. Ok, it was a decent ep, but it still hurt my heart, B & B being engaged for exactly 10 minutes air time doesn’t make it for me. I dont necessarily need to see them married, I would like it tho, but being emotionally distant is something I just dont want to watch.


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