Bones returns for its final season premiere with “The Final Chapter: The Hope in the Horror.” Dr. Zack Addy, The Original Squintern, is in the hot seat, as we learned in the season 11 finale. This episode picks up right where “The Nightmare Within the Nightmare” ended, with Brennan drugged and held captive by Zack, whom everybody thought had been locked up in the loony bin for the last however many years. Come to find out, the kid has been intermittently on the loose for quite some time, and he has big plans for the Jeffersonian crew. Yikes.
Though no one can figure out how he escaped the secured facility, every Bones fan is much more interested in why the hell fan favorite Dr. Addy kidnapped his former mentor. Well, it has been a delicious 11 years so far, and FOX has teased lots of Bones-y goodness for their 12-part swan song, but I have some serious reservations about this case’s resolution. I’m curious if you viewers feel the same. However, let’s review how Brennan, Booth and The Avengers take down the most recent bastard on their docket first.
Zack’s Lair is Found and Booth Saves Brennan from Murder — Or Does He?
With Brennan still missing and Zack escaped from the loony bin, Booth is on a hysterical rampage. Hodgins MacGyvers a digital bloodhound, which points straight down to the Gormogon’s cache of memorabilia in the basement of the Jeffersonian. How apropos, right?
Booth comes upon the scene, guns blazing, just as Zack is about to inject himself with Sodium Pentothal to prove to Brennan that his goal is to protect her, not kill her. The child scientist is cuffed and driven to the FBI nonetheless, and Booth is nearly apoplectic that Brennan insists upon his innocence. Adorable marital hugs ensue.
Zack’s Effects Uncover His Motive
Dr. Roshan, Zack’s shrink, shows up at the Hoover with Zack’s personal effects and reveals the mystery behind the Frankensteinian (seriously, Mary Shelley would be proud) scar across Zack’s forehead. IT turns out that the late Dr. Sweets had been regularly visiting Zack until he was gunned down during that awful (read: thrilling) FBI conspiracy cluster. This makes total sense as Sweets was the only person alive (other than Zack and 10 million viewers) who knew that Zack hadn’t killed that lobbyist as the Gormogon’s assistant. So when Zack learned of Sweets’ death, he went into a fit of rage and cracked his head open. (Come on, that’s it? I need more details, people. That beaut of a scar has to have more behind it than a little self-inflicted pop on the head.)
By the way, if you recognized Dr. Roshan’s voice under all that facial hair like I did, it’s because Ravi Kapoor played a character with the longest last name in television history: Dr. Mahesh ‘Bug’ Vijayaraghavensatanaryanamurthy on Crossing Jordan. God, I loved that show. Happy times. I digress.
Among Zack’s effects is a photo of Brennan, Christine, Hank and Booth, but Booth’s lovely mug has been carefully ripped out. Oops. Zack says it was because he and Booth were not friends. What? Clearly, this is a red herring. These two may have had a rocky and strange beginning, but they were more than just acquaintances. I call foul due to out of character behavior. Then again, the kid is in a secured facility for the criminally insane, so who am I to judge?
Why Did Peeping Zack Impersonate a Neurosurgeon?
Zack confesses to drugging Brennan and kidnapping her, with the excuse that he knew he was being framed and she was in danger. How did he know this? He had been hacking into the Jeffersonian e-mail system of all his friends (except Booth). He’d been following all of their cases. Uh, we could have used some help with Pelant and Durant, Zack. Where were you then?!
Angela hacks into Zack’s e-mail accounts and finds out that he had been consulting with Hodgins’ physical therapist and pretending to be world-renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Alexander Bancroft. Zack had developed the protocol that was bringing feeling back to Hodgins’ paralytic legs. When Hodgins, who was ready to eviscerate Zack at the beginning of the episode, goes to the Hoover to confront and thank his old buddy, Zack explains that the protocol doesn’t work, that his intent was solely to provide a chance for some healing hope that might be able to heal Hodgins. Of course, by the end of the episode, the feeling is completely gone from Hodgins’ legs, taking any strand of remaining hope with it.
A Fourth Victim Challenges the Assumed Modus Operandi and Agent Delfs Returns
Social profiler Special Agent Karen Delfs returns unexpectedly from wherever she transferred to and theorizes that Zack suffers from multiple personality disorder. She’s convinced that Zack did it and sets out to prove it by forcing Zack’s alternate personality to show its ugly face.
While the agents are at the Hoover grilling Zack, Brennan and Wendell (the only objective player throughout the entire episode) find a tooth fragment that doesn’t match any of the current victims. They head back to the puppeteer workroom from hell and find the top half of a set of remains hidden behind a secret wall. This fourth victim was a teen when he died 20 years ago, and Brennan figures out that he was half of a set of conjoined twins who died on the operating table when doctors tried to separate him from his other half. Okay, that’s weird and totally out of left field, but let’s just go with it. Anyway, Zack was a teen when this half twin bit it. So either Zack is not the killer or he’s been killing for much longer than we thought.
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Delfs Suggests an Unorthodox Protocol That Backfires
Karen talks Booth into letting Zack review the case file of these puppeteer murders, hoping it will draw out Zack’s alternate personality. Why not? He is one of the most brilliant forensic anthropologists in the world, right? Good plan. Brennan joins Delfs and Zack in interrogation, where Delfs gets Zack to first admit that he has suffered some blackouts during the last year — times when he can’t account for where he went or what he did. Blackouts are a symptom of multiple personality disorder. Cue ominous music … but wait, it gets worse.
After Brennan and Zack review all of the evidence, they decide that it conclusively points to him being the killer. Since Roshan is in the building, they call him into the room, and Zack immediately requests being locked up in maximum security. However, we are only 40 minutes into the episode, so this is clearly not the conclusion of the case.
As an aside, for about 25 seconds, it looks like Delfs might be the killer because she insinuated herself into the case. Karen does creepy really well, but she’s not the doer. Neither is wacko Dr. Faulk, who was looking really guilty in the finale. Actually, he was so creepy then and in this episode that it’s almost comical.
The Killer’s Identity is Uncovered Right in the Nick of Time
As Dr. Roshan is settling Zack back into his room at the asylum, Angela ages forward the facial recognition of the unidentified fourth victim, assuming the guy’s remaining twin half must still be alive and is probably the killer. Et voila, it’s Dr. Roshan. As the seconds tick by, we see Roshan about to inject Zack with a fatal dose of Succinylcholine. At the last minute, Zack figures it all out and turns on the doctor. Getting the upper hand, Zack is about to inject the deathly dose of depolarizing muscle relaxant into Roshan’s neck but finds that he cannot go through with it, proving to himself there is no way he could be the puppeteer serial killer.
When Zack is unable to kill Roshan (even in self-defense), Roshan jams a pen into Zack’s leg and grabs the lethal syringe, preparing to jam it into Zack’s throat. He hesitates long enough to make a final Ian Fleming-ish proclamation and, just like all of 007’s enemies, is shot dead by the leading man. I half expected Booth to blow the smoke from the end of his pistol as Roshan dropped to the floor.
Brennan and Booth Discuss Zack’s Future
The final scene has Brennan, Booth and Zack walking in the garden at the mental hospital. Brennan offers him a transfer, but she doesn’t say where to. Hopefully, it’s a hospital where the doctors aren’t serial killers and psychopaths. Zack wants to get back to work in the real world again since he didn’t kill the lobbyist for the Gormogon. Brennan doesn’t believe him, but Booth’s gut tells him that Zack is telling the truth. At this point, Zack is still guilty of conspiring with the Gormogon, so he may never get out of the loony clink, but we haven’t seen the end of him in the final chapter of Bones. Of that, you can be assured. Why? Because the Bones Fairies love us and this is the final chapter. Boom.
What’s My Beef with the Puppeteer Resolution?
There were a couple of things that seemed off in this episode. For instance, Zack saying he and Booth weren’t friends. That was just odd. Also, Booth seemed uncharacteristically hysterical when Brennan thought Zack was innocent and when she returned to the puppeteer’s lair to find the fourth victim. Granted, his wife had just been kidnapped, but Booth is a man of determined action, not hysteria. This seemed over-the-top in light of the fact that at that time, Booth still thought Zack was the killer and he was in custody.
Bones did an excellent job of building the tension for this storyline, but the resolution didn’t deliver on the promise of an exceptional resolution. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by Pelant, Eps and so many of the other killers whose backstories were revealed and made sense. Maybe I revel a little too much in watching the team spar with a known adversary before outsmarting them and taking them down.
This case left so many questions about the killer unanswered. Why was he like this? Being a conjoined twin doesn’t make a person psychotic. How did he get this way? What was his connection to the first three victims? Why did he choose Zack as his patsy? Was it because of his connection with the Jeffersonian (probably), and when did that begin? Was Booth’s image removed from the photo by Dr. Roshan? What’s the whole story behind Zack’s nasty forehead scar — because we ain’t trust anything Roshan said, right? Why did he keep his victims sedated and alive for so long, then kill them and continue to play with them? As it is, Dr. Roshan was a one-dimensional character and a disappointment as the killer in my book. I have a hard time believing he did all that sick shit with his victims. What did you think?
What did you think of the premiere? What was your overall impression of the case and its resolution? And what part could Zack play in the storyline now that Brennan has a whole cadre of experienced assistants? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Bones season 12 airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on FOX. Want more news?
(Images courtesy of FOX)