Bones Television

A Few Thoughts Following Bones: The Monster in the Closet

I do believe I say the exact same thing this week. Just call me a broken record. I really cannot bring myself to care. Simply put, last week’s Bones episode was one of the finest hours of television I have ever witnessed. True, I am probably not the most impartial judge. And that is an understatement. I am notoriously positive about this show. Always. But I can only call it like I personally see it. The story, direction, sets, music, acting, and the overall feel of it all- everything was just utter perfection. It really did feel as if I was watching a horror film. The episode started with a scene straight out of fanfiction, and ended with a moment that would haunt anyone’s nightmares. Ultimately, The Monster in the Closet has set the stage for one of the most sinister and disturbing serial killers this show has ever seen.

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Source: Bones on FOX Network

This week’s case was both highly disturbing and extremely complex. As a result, we have a new “Big Bad” on our hands. For some, that may be a disappointment. But every fan is different. We all tune in for different reasons. And some fans do enjoy a good serial killer arc. Regardless of your stance (I am 100% always in the “whatever they want to do I will inevitably love” category), it is hard to deny that this is a fresh new take on a routine concept. This case has implications for the rest of the season. It will be put to bed for the next few weeks, but I have a feeling it will come barreling back during the finale. Well, that is based on more than just a feeling.

In short, this new serial killer is depraved in a way we haven’t quite seen yet. Honestly, it may seem as though Bones has done a thousand serial killers. But when you think about it, there really have not been an inordinate amount. Especially when you consider how many episodes this show has done. This particular murderer is not seeking out just anyone as his prey. He has a purpose. His victims thus far have been strong role models and pillars in the community. In this episode, they were revealed to be a principal and a social worker. He murdered his victims, performed taxidermy on their bodies, and then lived with them for six months. The victims were to serve as parental figures, of sorts- disciplinarians who could keep him from killing again. But the evidence suggests that he could only suppress his need to kill for about six months at a time. At that point it appears he would “kill” his victims (again) and dispose of their bodies before seeking out someone new to “guide” him.

Booth and Brennan began this episode explaining to a very distressed Christine that there were no monsters in her closet. She called her parents into her room in the middle of the night because she was certain she saw a monster emerge from her closet. Brennan gently explains to her daughter that monsters are not real. Booth adds that he would never let anything happen to her. Christine remains relatively unconvinced, and asks to sleep with her parents that night. It really is one of the sweetest family scenes we have seen to date. It was a fluffy moment that seemed as though it was straight out of fanfic. These are the simple yet touching scenes for which most shows would kill. But we seem to get them a weekly basis now. Hard to believe we would be seeing moments like this a decade ago, but here we are. And it is so much better than I could have ever conjured up in my mind.

That was about the only stress-free moment of the entire episode. The case was absolutely haunting, and every scene was dripping with suspense. I was on the edge of my seat (figuratively speaking) for the entirety of the show. I am not sure I have ever been quite that high-strung from a case before. And then there was that moment in the bone room- Booth and Brennan worked effortlessly together to recreate the killer’s work. They realized that he had been hanging his victims up as marionettes. That in itself is exceptionally chilling. But the scene, the way it shot, the music- all of it added to the intensity and eeriness of the moment. Honestly, it was an absolutely fantastic scene. The direction was nothing short of brilliant. Though I suspect (well, I know from SOMEONE’S Instagram photos) that we will be seeing more marionettes in the finale. This is all just disturbing on so many levels.

By the end of the episode, there was still no resolution. That is not unusual for an arc of this sort. But unlike an episode such as The Crack in the Code where you still are able to walk away feeling a sense of comfort and even positivity, this episode ended with a shock to the system. One of the victims had been found with a cassette tape containing the old song “Buffalo Gals.” There is something inherently creepy about hearing such an old song during such a suspenseful episode. It adds another layer of horror somehow. Brennan is unable to let this case go. She takes it personally, as she feels she could have prevented it if she and Booth had not quit their jobs. The guilt she feels will likely carry over into future episodes. So she brings the casework home to look over it again. Normally the rule in their home is that work stays at work. But I suppose Booth knows she needs to do everything she can for this case. He does not seem to push it. There is a moment in that last scene where we are looking at Brennan study the files from the outside of their home. It is unclear whether or not someone else is also looking in. This is why I am not a fan of windows.

Booth has put Christine to bed, this time telling her how to combat monsters by herself. She appears to have fallen asleep easily after that. Booth then senses that Brennan can use a drink, and it all seems relatively normal. However, we are taken back to Christine’s darkened bedroom. She is awake again, and seems to be following her father’s advice to confront the closet monster head on. She is actually a very brave child. If it were me, I would have just closed the door and hid under the covers until I eventually fell asleep. But Christine is going to go yell at the monster. We then cut right back to the living room with Booth and Brennan (who for some reason are still listening to that song). Already you know that something is not right. But then the sound of glass breaking startles the couple (and all of us). They are immediately up on their feet, yelling for their daughter. Upon reaching her room, they see her bed empty. She is nowhere to be found. They continue to call for her, and in a panicked tone Brennan says “no, this is not happening.”  My thoughts exactly. I do not think I have ever been more afraid than I was in that moment. Thinking about it now, I am pretty sure the writers would not have put that child in any real danger. But in that moment, it felt real. It felt like we needed to panic along with Booth and Brennan. And seeing them so frightened was extraordinarily distressing.

As it turns out, Christine broke her snow globe while trying to take on the monster. She did not want her parents to be upset with her, so she hid in a pile of her stuffed animals. But her parents felt nothing but relief that she was okay. Christine acknowledges that her mom was right, and there are no such things as monsters. Brennan tells her that she’s always right. But Booth still looks like he saw a ghost. No one knows better than Booth and Brennan that monsters are real. Perhaps not the kind that haunt children’s closets. But monsters of a far more dangerous variety. They have seen monsters in the flesh. Experienced the horrors associated with them. And even defeated a few in their time. Christine is still young and innocent. She does not need to be let in on that dark secret just yet. There will be plenty of time in life to worry about monsters. For now, it looks like everyone is safe. However, the episode is not over yet. We actually get one last shock. We are taken from our sanctuary at Booth and Brennan’s home, over to what I can only assume is the killer’s lair. He is most definitely the unsavory creature who put that camera in the cat-infested house. And we see him watching footage of Booth and Brennan investigating. And then we see him zoom in on Brennan’s face. That is the image with which the episode closes out.

I saw a few people who wondered why the show “always” has killers fixate on Brennan. Honestly, that is not really the case. Epps did focus on her, but for different reasons. Pelant’s endgame seem to be about Brennan as well. Again, in a different way.  But when you consider that it’s been over 10 years and we are talking about a famous scientist and author who is also brilliant, beautiful, empathetic, and kind? It is not out of touch with reality. And this time, it would make perfect sense for the killer to focus his attention on her. If he wants a role model and an ideal mother, who better? Though part of me is screaming writing that sentence because I could not bear to see anything ever happen to my beloved Brennan. And then to see what it would do to Booth.

This also leads me to believe that this scene was a decoy. Because Bones has a way of taking an unexpected turn in the final moments. It currently seems so obvious that Brennan would be a target, I am wondering if the show will go in a different direction in the finale just to throw us off. Something bad is going to happen. Of that much, I am certain. They did not get to insert their desired cliffhanger last year, so the writers are eager to really give us a jolt at the end of this season. I am scared out of my mind, but I also know it will be incredible and compelling. And nothing short of jarring. A reminder once again that this is season 11. SEASON 11. This show does not slow down. And it proves time and time again how much life it has left in it. I couldn’t be more proud or grateful to call it mine (and ours).

Also of Note:

It seems as though Cam has ultimately chosen Arastoo. Honestly, I was fine with whichever man she chose. Sebastian or Arastoo- or even just herself. If Cam is happy, then I am happy. Are they fully back together yet? It does appear they are headed that way. They left the lab together, and Arastoo took her home AND offered to stay the night.

Hodgins continues to be insufferable. And we saw Angela start to push back this week. If work is Hodgins’ happy place, I would hate to see what happens at home. And I wonder how he is with Michael Vincent. Their poor family. I knew this would happen. Angela is a strong and independent woman. She was only going to take so much abuse before she started to retaliate a bit. I am scared for both of them. Scared because their family is beginning to fall apart. Scared because they are both so miserable right now. But I still retain my faith in them. Sometimes love isn’t enough. But that is not the case for this pair. I still maintain that they will find their way back. They will be able to repair the damage done. It’s not yet irreparable.

I am not sure if I am alone in this, but I really enjoy Sara Rue’s character. Karen is bubbly, and fun and perceptive. A bit like Daisy, but still her own entity. I think she was a great asset to this episode.

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