Bones Review: Strength In Numbers

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Yes! YES YES YES! Finally! This is the Bones we've been waiting for! 

"The Corpse in the Canopy" was the best episode so far of Bones season 8. Hands down, no questions.

It's been quite a while since I've sat to watch an episode of Bones and found myself riveted from start to finish. Tonight was one of those nights. Pelant is back and he brought suspense, drama and a story our heroes can sink their teeth into!

A Bedtime Surprise

The opening scene hooked me immediately. Sleeping parents, a baby crying down the hall. I know the scene all too well from personal experience. But then a nuisance became a nightmare as Hodgins and Angela awoke to discover that not only had they been drugged and a flayed corpse brought into their bedroom, but the intruder, who - from the detail of the flower petals was sure to be Pelant - had laid his hands on their child.

Fear and rage and anxiety climbed up inside my stomach as I thought about that. For Christine and Michael Vincent alone, Pelant has to pay.

Hodgins, Angela and Bones would be content to take Pelant out themselves without involving the authorities. But Booth, who is the authorities vetoes that idea and opts instead for a closed-case, need-to-know investigation involving as few people as possible, which allowed Bones to focus on our major players and give them all their moments to shine.

First of all, it's always easy to tell when Bones is scared of failing to protect those in her inner circle. She becomes intensely focused and even more hyper-rational than usual. As Angela mused about how someone could do something like this as they pored over the remains and Bones gave her anthropologic answer, it all felt true to form. Bones has come so far with being able to understand when people are being rhetorical, but when she's in crisis-mode, she's unable to focus on much aside from solving the crime.

Booth, similarly, is focused and driven in the midst of a crisis, though his focus is on staying inside the lines of the law while also protecting those he loves. He was the voice of reason, knowing that they cannot just take Pelant out. Booth will do what needs to be done and he take down those who need taking down - but for Booth, that needs to happen while following the rules.

Based on nothing more than conjecture and speculation, I believe Pelant will be taken out in a way that causes Booth to question his morality. It's purely a hunch, but I believe he'll have to do something questionable in order to save his family and friends, or he'll have to choose whom to save, and it will give him a moment of hesitation. Unlike Hodgins, who showed no hesitation tonight.

Hodgins is at his best when he's slightly manic and mad-scientist. Shades of conspiracy-theorist Hodgins were abundant tonight. He biopsied his own lung and broke out WWII-era communication machines! When he discovered that the gas used to poison them had been sold by a company he owns, I almost thought Pelant was framing him for the murder of the corpse found in their home. But the end result was so much more dangerous and scary than that.

Pelant forced Jack to choose between a school of girls in Kandahar or his millions. Without wavering, Hodgins chose to save the girls. It was an easy choice, really.

And Angela is once again back in the ugliness from which she longed to escape. She long ago became more than just their face-giver. She's their technology go-to and idea girl. But her most important role is that she's a grounding force in the lab. She helps the others maintain the connection to humanity and reality that is often missing in a world of science and labs and experiments. And since Pelant drained Hodgins' bank accounts, it's a good thing she didn't quit her day job.

Caroline, Cam and Sweets were all fantastic tonight. (Yes, even Sweets.) Caroline provided the comic relief needed for an episode as heavy as this one. (To read a few of her quips, check out the Bones quotes page.) Cam, meanwhile, aided Bones' laser-like focus in the lab and thought a step ahead of Pelant in keeping Hodgins at work. Sweets did what Sweets does: he profiled. He was a friend. He vowed to carry the mantle should Booth and Flynn fail. And speaking of Flynn, even though he was shot - and really, how did he survive that? - I'm not sure I trust him. Time will tell, I suppose.

In closing, Pelant is the most evil and intelligent villain Bones has seen and watching his story unfold is delightfully suspenseful. The lengths to which he'll go to try and prove that he's smarter than our heroes are scary. But he isn't smarter alone than they are collectively. There's strength in numbers and he won't best them as long as they are working together. At least not forever. And besides, he has that wicked scar on his face now so flying under the radar is going to be that much more difficult.

What did you think of "The Corpse in the Canopy?" Was Pelant's return a welcome one or did you find yourself disappointed?


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (215 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.


OMG, i never thought that Pelant could ever hack a drone, learn Iranians please, but what he's gonna do with all the Hodgins money?
Also i hope the mercenaries company submit to hunting Pelant, that would be nice.
Now Pelant is a monster in moral and physiological way.


A parent's worst nightmare a stranger holding their child. It was a very well done episode. It's odd that just last week or so we were saying Angela could quit her job because they were rich and now they are broke.I wonder where that story line will go? I love the show.

Miranda wicker

@Lurker--I think one of the things that's interesting about Pelant is that he's a "hacker" but he's not afraid to use his hands and just commit cold-blooded murder. And then flay a body and sew up his own face. He's just...diabolical. So maybe there's a touch of sorcery at work there and I'm personally okay with that. And I love Caroline and have since the first time we met her. She's just fantastic in every scene she's in and I love her rapport with Booth.


To me, Pelant is not a believable villain in a crime drama. He's more of a sorcerer than a hacker. (Maybe that's what the writers think hackers are.)
Other than that, it was a great episode. I love it when Carolyn shows up with her snarky lines and ability to steal the scene!


Pelant is a modern day Moriarty

Miranda wicker

Oh, I agree with you guys that it was a giant hole that a private military firm of mercenaries who were ready to have a shootout with the FBI didn't blink at a new face in the building, clearance or no. GIANT. HOLE. And Pelant IS irksome and does brag about his conquests, but that's what makes him so fun to watch for me. He's so deliciously evil. He gives our heroes a challenge they've yet to face and boasts. Eventually his boasting will be his downfall. And I think it was fantastic that there were no squinterns last night. It wouldn't have felt right to have any of them there since last night was so focused on our central 4.


!Pelant has an interesting idea. And you know who would be perfect? Zach. But I also agree with Dreamrose. Pelant is irksome. I'm sorry. But some new dude shows up at this uber military company and it's not questioned? I don't care about a clearance badge, you're talking about people who work together daily, they don't notice? Big hole there. And Katrina's right too. It's about time the writers got back on their game.


Great episode. And I find myself thinking... how will they catch this psychopath who seems to know exactly how to get under each person's skin? What the J-Squad needs is someone on their own side who is somewhat unhinged, brilliant, and is someone Pelant will not see coming. Zack Addy.


Pelant irks me because he's simply too clever. He's always a step ahead of the good guys, and he brags about it. Seriously, he rubs their faces in it. It's annoying, quite frankly. Obviously, other people think he's a grand villain, but I'm looking forward to the episode in which he steps on a sudden unexpected land mine and gets blown up. Really.


by the way, i was surprised to see no squinterns.

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Bones Season 8 Episode 12 Quotes

Cam: We have to stay focused on what's important.
Hodgins: He was in my bedroom. He threatened my wife and child. Nothing is more important than that.

[to Bones] That is a lot of highly trained squintspertise you are sending on a government-paid vacation.