'Bones' gets ghostly with The Gravedigger

Davidboreanaz_bones_s4_240 Really, Bones? Do you really want to dispense with one of your more intriguing villains in this fashion? Do you really want to add Casper the Quipping Ghost into the mix? Are you sure? Because I gotta tell you, show, it's not working.

This spoiler really liked Brennan's dress. Angela's? Not so much.

Once upon a time, there was this totally badass villain called The Gravedigger who kidnapped people, buried them alive, then demanded ransom to reveal their location so they could be dug up before they suffocated. The team got up close and personal with The Gravedigger when he/she/it nabbed Brennan and Hodgins and buried them alive. It was a tense, intriguing episode. So how did The Gravedigger come to this?

Brennan, Hodgins and Alex Vega get called in by a federal judge because evidence from The Gravedigger file has gone missing, and FBI agent Heather Taffet, who has just been put in charge of the case, wants it back. The trio denies all knowledge of the theft. But something's sure up, because Booth gets nabbed, and The Gravedigger makes a call to Brennan -- deliver the evidence in the next 24 hours of Booth dies. Dun dun DUN!

Booth wakes up in a confined metal space and struggles to get out. Using his keychain and brawn, he loosens the bolts -- and what were the bolts doing on the inside, if The Gravedigger put him in there? -- and gets out. He finds himself in a vast, empty metal room, ringed with catwalks. But he's not alone -- he's joined by Teddy Parker, who used to serve under Booth in the army. Thing is, Teddy is dead.

Teddy doesn't seem terribly disturbed by his post-life status -- he's happy to chat and joke and help Booth along in his quest to escape. At first Booth thinks Teddy is a hallucination, but after Teddy provides some material help -- diving into the water to retrieve levers to help open doors and that sort of thing -- Booth decides Teddy is a ghost. Sure, why not.

Booth discovers he's on a ship that's decorated with random figures -- a skeletal pirate, a diver -- and oh yeah, C4. Teddy helpfully explains that decommissioned ships are often sunk to make artificial reefs, and school kids decorate them -- so the fish will have something to look at. Booth tries to hijack the transponder on the explosives to send a signal, but he shorts it out. Now there's no way to stop the countdown to explosion. Fortunately, they can use a bit of the spare C4 and some makeshift electronics to blow a hole in the side and escape. Teddy gets injured in the process, and Both hauls him topside. There, Teddy confesses that yes, he's a ghost, but he was there to convince Booth that his death wasn't Booth's fault. Also, he needs Booth to tell his girl that he loved her. Oy.

Emilydeschanel_bones_s4_240 Back on land, Angela figures out that Hodgins stole the evidence  -- he's obsessed with the case. Hodgins wants to keep working on the evidence for a while -- hey, we've got a whole 21 hours before Booth bites it. Loads of time! Shockingly, Brennan agrees to give him 8 hours to investigate. Isolating noise on The Gravedigger's call suggests he/she/it called from near the ocean, and the noise of a carousel narrows down the location. Hey, Vega has a condo by that boardwalk! He must be The Gravedigger! Or not -- he's dead in his car. Agent Perrota, who has been charged with tailing the team to see if they'll lead her to the evidence, takes custody of the body.

Brennan decides it's time to return the evidence to The Gravedigger -- but even that doesn't go well. The Gravedigger tries to blow them up. That's not very nice... or in keeping with The Gravedigger's M.O. 

Brennan turns to Jared Booth for help -- hey, would you mind kidnapping a corpse that has been logged into federal evidence for us? Jared resists, then says he'll make some calls. Brennan she blows up at him -- Booth would kidnap the corpse himself if you were on the line! That does it -- Jared arrives bearing the body. THAT'S going to take some explaining to his superiors... An examination of the body shows that Vega fought back when he was attacked -- The Gravedigger probably has some cracked ribs right now.

And looky here, it's Agent Taffet demanding the return of the body, and she's having trouble lifting her arm. After Brennan thumps her in the ribs to prove she's been injured, the team takes her in and Hodgins gets Jared to retrieve the "Spring Cleaning" file on her. That's the secret, comprehensive file that the government keeps on every US citizen, natch. A few threads from that file leads the team to Taffet's storage locker, which contains evidence that she was on a decommissioned Navy ship recently. They figure out about the reef-ship, and Jared orders a helicopter to get Booth off the boat. Of course, since Booth disabled the transponder, they can't stop the scuttling, and Jared himself won't be along because he's dealing with "typical Navy red tape" -- otherwise known as handcuffs. Jared's busted!

Booth and Spectral Teddy blast their way out of the ship's hold just as the helicopter approaches. Teddy spits out a few words about how Booth wasn't to blame for his death, and then disappears. Booth makes it onto the copter and they fly away just before the boat blows.

Booth and Brennan
The pair was torn asunder for most of the episode, with only falling anvils and heavy-handed platitudes to remind us that they're Meant! To! Be!
  • Angela tells Brennan that she's allowed to be irrational when it comes to saving someone she loves, then rolls her eyes when Brennan says she doesn't love Booth. Idiot -- we all do! she says. Oh, yeah. That.
  • Booth gets advice from Spectral Teddy, who tells Booth he never told his girl back home that he loved her. Don't you have someone you never confessed your true feelings for? DON'T YOU?
  • Booth and Brennan do share a nice long hug when Booth is rescued. Hey, at least it's something.
Highlights, thoughts and odds and ends
  • Everyone was all dressed up for some awards ceremony honoring Brennan. Booth wore his "Cocky" belt buckle with "the finest tux money can rent." Fortunately, that buckle came in handy to complete the circuit that set off the explosion that blew a hole in the hold so Booth could escape. Brennan gave him a new one at the end of the episode.
  • Spectral Teddy's best line: "Nice monkey suit by the way. I never would have thought to go formal to a kidnapping." The runner up: "According to you, I'm already a ghost. As a result, I got no sense of urgency."
  • Sweets was in the episode, but they did next to nothing with him. I did like that he entered Booth's apartment armed with Angela's stiletto. Very suave.
  • Sweets also served as Jiminy Cricket, talking about character and how they don't torture people. It's enough to make you long for Jack Bauer.
  • The discovery that Agent Taffet was The Gravedigger was completely anticlimactic. What was her motivation? What was the point? It seems like a waste of what could have been a really intriguing character.
  • Booth tells Brennan that Spectral Teddy helped him escape. Brennan scoffs, of course. But at the end, we see Teddy wandering around in his dress uniform. What?
  • Jared, on the plan to rescue Booth: "The Navy's not afraid of explosions or sinking ships. Plus, it will really annoy my brother the Army Ranger to be saved by a squid." Heh.