Bones Round Table: Is Zack Really the Puppeteer?

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Another grisly murder by “The Puppeteer” had Brennan experiencing “The Nightmare in the Nightmare” and going to see a psychiatrist for help on Bones Season 11 Episode 22.

Below, TV Fanatics Ashley Sumerel and Christine Orlando are joined by Pam from CBR Radio to debate if Zack is really “The Puppeteer,” their reactions to the big reveal and what they hope to see in Bones Season 12...

Bones Round Table 1-27-15

When did you figure out who the identity of the Puppeteer?

Ashley: I felt so dumb that I didn't figure it out until like, moments before Booth and everyone else did. There were SO many clues that I totally missed the first time I watched. 

Pam: I knew from the beginning. It was very obvious and now we will see in Winter 2017 if l was right or if they throw us a curve and it ends up being someone else.

Christine: I’m with Ashley. I feel like I should have known, but I didn’t figure it out until about the last ten minutes when they focused on the killer having weakened/burned hands; that’s when it clicked that it was Zack. 

Were you surprised that Brennan decided to see a psychiatrist?

Ashley: Yes and no. It shows that she was desperate, and it's not like this is something completely unheard of for her, thanks to Lance Sweets. RIP. 

Pam: Yes, it absolutely makes no sense. All of a sudden she's having weird dreams and it's about Zach who hasn't been around for eight seasons. All of a sudden she's thinking of his hands and Wendell to throw us off. The other interesting thing is when Booth goes to the mental institution and the staff knows him. So Booth have made lots of visits over the years. We know Hodgins visits but did we know about Booth? Maybe Bones visits secretly as well.

Christine: I was a little surprised but it really drove home how deeply those dreams bothered her. It’s like her mind was putting the pieces together but her consciousness didn’t want to believe it. I was actually proud of her that she went to get help, but it definitely made me miss Sweets. 

Zack is back. Do you think he’s a killer or is there another explanation?

Ashley: I honestly cannot decide. My first instinct is yes, he's the killer. But I know there are interviews and things out there that maybe tease otherwise, and I could see him somehow being manipulated again, or else knowing something to be able to help with the case. I don't know. But my gut thinks, yes, why not? That would be an amazing twist, after all.  

Pam: I would like for him to be the killer I was never a big fan of the character and it would be interesting to think that he was so upset that everybody just moved on with their lives and left him behind in the middle Institution and that was eating away at him all those years. OR the psychiatrist Brennan went to see is the psychiatrist treating Zack at the mental institution and Zack has caught on to what's going on. He’s come to warn Bones, but the psychiatrist will keep them both captive. Then Bones and Zack will try to figure out a way to outsmart him while Booth and the Squints try to figure out where they're being held and by whom.

Christine: When I first saw the episode, I was convinced that Zack was the killer. It’s an amazing twist, to think that Zack has completely snapped and gone to the dark side. But now I’m not so sure. Is he being manipulated once again? Does he know something and is trying to warn his friends? Truly, anything is possible and that’s what makes it such fun. 

Are you happy they brought Zack back in this way or are you upset with the direction they’re taking with the character?

Ashley: Guys, I literally jumped up and yelled when I realized Zack was back. I was so excited, and I love that they're doing something big with him, you know? I'm very, very happy. 

Pam: I didn't want him back. I wanted it to be a fresh story for Bones season 12. I wish they would have just left that story line alone and moved on. Going back 8 years, there's a different feel to the show now than there was in the Bones season 3 finale

Christine: I’m with Ashley on this one. I loved it. I was yelling at my screen at the end, “OMG! It’s Zack!” Anything that can get me to have that kind of gut reaction has to be good. 

What do you hope to see in season 12, the final season of Bones?

Ashley: I just want it to end with intention and purpose, as I think it's going to. I'm also really hoping we get to see Walter Sherman at some point... 

Pam: I'd like to see more of the relationships between our major characters. Tie up the loose ends so that when we finally get the finale we get a good solid series that we can watch over and over again and be happy with the end results. Most of all I would like to see Bones and Booth romantic again because that's what I fell in love with I'd like to see their children, her father, and all the Squints together in the finale and not have it all rushed and thrown together. Don't leave us wondering what happened to all these people. I don't like where they make you speculate. I want to know I've invested many years of my life into this series and I'd like to know that it was worth while.

Christine: I’m thrilled that the writers have time to wrap it up properly. Like Pam, I want some idea of where the characters are headed when it all ends; some sense of closure and what their futures hold. I hated that Castle ended with such a horrible season and finale. I’m expecting a whole lot better from Bones. 

What was your favorite quote or scene from "The Nightmare in the Nightmare"?

Ashley: My favorite scene was the reveal, but that seems like an obvious answer. I also really liked Wendell in Brennan's dream, when his words sounded just like the way Zack would say them. Creepy and really well done.

Pam: The scene with her Dad when he tells her that he has no more secrets from her and that he's worried about her mental state. She opens up to him about what is bothering her and that she needs help, and he hugs her. Great father-daughter discussion.

Christine: Just the way this entire mystery unfolded leading up to the big reveal that it was Zack. I just can’t believe we have to wait until early 2017 to find out what happens next.

If you want to go back and see the early seasons with Zack, you can watch Bones online here at TV Fanatic. 

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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Bones Season 11 Episode 22 Quotes

This is creepy to the power of ten.

Hodgins

Booth: New rule, serial killers don't get cool or frightening nicknames.
Cam: No matter how terrifying they are.