Max Keenan, also known as Matthew Brennan, is Joy Keenan/Temperance Brennan's and Kyle Keenan/Russ Brennan's father. He and his late wife Ruth Keenan/Christine Brennan, disappeared when Temperance and Russ were teenagers, after going out to go do some last minute Christmas shopping.
Max: Listen to me. If you find somebody that you can trust, you hang onto them. Remember that.-- Judas on a Pole
It is revealed that he and his wife were career criminals who went into hiding after committing many crimes as fugitives. Though his wife died from skull trauma in 1993, Matthew continued living in hiding for years, until Russ' life was threatened. Max killed the Deputy Director of the FBI, who had been planning to kill Russ. Max gave Temperance a tape from her mother that was supposed to be for her sixteenth birthday, and, on a separate occasion, a ring from her grandmother. Today, Brennan still wears that ring.
Along with his wife, his crimes included robbery, of which they were noted to be far more intelligent than their fellow gang members, applying this knowledge to rob banks. However, money wasn't only the commodity of which they stole, but robbed Ohio First Savings and Loan deposit box where information compiled by Augustus Harper against the FBI was stored. Thus, after Augustus Harper's death, the information became incriminating evidence of FBI corruption. Garrett Delaney sought to kill Russ to not only lure Max out of hiding, but to permanently silence Max, but ended up getting murdered. He would also subsequently kill FBI Director Robert Kirby after attempting to kill both Temperance and Russ.
Max: Well, your mother and I, we never intended to live outside the law.
Brennan: I don't understand. Then why did you?
Max: I can't tell you why. Not yet. Certain people are out there... still alive... could get hurt. And after all I've done, I don't want to hurt anyone else.-- The Carrot in the Kudzu
Despite his malicious past he is a very kind, charming man who is very loving and affectionate with his children. It has been stated that his main problem is that his attitude consists of a moral framework that allows him to commit any action, including murder, so long as it is done for what he perceives as the right reasons; Special Agent Seeley Booth himself has noted that Max has never killed anyone who did not definitively deserve to die. Between the time he went into hiding and season 2, Brennan determined that he had plastic surgery, chin and cheek implants, and even changed the color of his eyes.
He first shows up in Season 2, pretending to be a Priest, to get closer to Brennan. Russ already knew who he was. He adopted the name of Father Toby Coulter as an alias when he first met Booth and Brennan at the seminary. The real Father Coulter is one of Max Keenan's friends during his criminal career who was 90 years old at the time who is confined in bed with Alzheimer's in a convalescent home at the seminary which gave Max the opportunity to use his name as an alias.
When he was finally brought to trial for the murder of Deputy FBI Director Robert Kirby ("The Verdict in the Story"), Max was cleared of the charges, but only on a technicality; after forensic evidence determined that Kirby had actually been killed by a small ornamental dagger in Brennan's apartment rather than Matthew's trademark copper pipe, the defense counsel pointed out that it was equally plausible for Temperance or Russ Brennan to have killed Kirby, prompting the charges to be dismissed due to there being no sufficient evidence to specifically incriminate any potential suspect (Although Booth himself risked jeopardizing that defense by stating that Brennan could not commit murder based on his personal and professional experiences with her).
In The Bone that Blew, Max got a job at the Jeffersonian as a science teacher, a job he had before he went into hiding.
In Season 5, Max revealed to Temperance that he is friends with her cousins online, when convincing her to have a family Christmas. He later attempted to kill Heather Taffet, the criminal known as the Gravedigger who had buried Booth, Brennan and Hodgins alive on two separate occasions, when it appeared that she was going to escape justice for her crimes, but Booth intercepted him in time and had him sent to prison until the trial was over, the team managing to find other evidence to sentence Taffet to jail.
In Season 6's The Change in the Game, Bones and Brennan join his bowling team undercover after one of the team is murdered. Max is confined to a wheelchair and cane due to falling out of bed during sex but helps solve the case.
In Season 7 he reappears where he starts babysitting Christine and later arranges for her and her mother to go on the run when Christopher Pelant frames the latter for the murder of Ethan Sawyer, reasoning that it was too dangerous for her to trust the system given Pelant's demonstrated skill in manipulating the system. He remained in contact with Brennan during her time in hiding until she was able to return to Washington.
He continues to be a part of his daughter's life, participating in her wedding to Booth and attending Christine's first birthday party.
In Season 10, he portrays a LAPD chief to his daughter's LAPD detective.
In Season 12 Episode 2 ("The Brain in the Bot") Max drops what look's like a hospital wristband.
- Presumably committed numerous crimes prior to the start of the series
- Committed an unknown robbery for which he was sent to Cook County Jail in 1966
- Robbed a Piggly Wiggly in Carbondale, Illinois in 1978
- Robbed Ohio First Savings and Loan in 1978 (three fatalities; committed with a gang):
- Two innocent bystanders
- One state trooper
- Seven bystanders (injured only)
- Garrett Delaney (shot in the head with a .22 handgun, gutted and set on fire)
- Robert Kirby (stabbed in the back of the head with a misericorde, gutted and set on fire)
- Veleska Miller (tortured for information on Booth)
- Heather Taffet (attempted to kill her)
- Christopher Pelant (attempted to kill him)
Victims by ProxyEdit
- No mention of his murder of Garrett Delaney was mentioned after Judas on a Pole, even during his trial in The Verdict in the Story, suggesting that Kirby's murder was the only murder they could forensically connect to him.
- ↑ In a later episode, Booth states that Max never killed any civilians or honest cops, suggesting that Max wasn't responsible for the fatalities of the robbery