The Ghost in the Killer is the 12th episode of the ninth season of Bones.
The Jeffersonian team investigates the death of Lana Brewster, a girl whose remains are delivered to Brennan and Booth's home by someone who believes her death 18 years ago was no accident. When the team discovers that Lana was murdered and her death was covered up, people from her past become key suspects, including an ex-boyfriend with whom Hodgins was friends. Meanwhile, Brennan starts having dreams again about evil tech genius Pelant, and about a potentially more heinous killer, who she realizes could be involved with Lana's death.
The episode begins with Brennan experiencing a nightmare regarding the most recent serial killer, Christopher Pelant. He continues to warn her in dreams that she won’t solve alleged murders involving a (female) ghost killer without his help. She wakes up and tells Booth about it, and later that morning they discuss it again. Booth questions Brennan’s insistence, mainly because no other evidence supports her claims. He goes outside and notices a large box addressed to Brennan. Inside is a human skeleton with a note, “Please find out what happened to me.”
The Victim: Lana Brewster, a wealthy, boat-racing champion who died in a boating accident in 1995. Hodgins knows who she is—after all, he came from that wealthy world. The team must try to deterin
• Lana’s brother, Dan. He is her only living relative, and it’s clear very early that he was jealous of how his parents loved Lana. He is surprised when Sweets tells him someone dug up her body to find out the “truth” and suggests a past boyfriend.
• Erica, Lana’s rival, who has motive when it’s revealed Lana received a prize Erica lost because of a cheating scandal.
• Trent McNamara, Lana’s secret ex-boyfriend. He has motive and also was shipped off to boarding school in the days after Lana’s death.
The Case Progression:
When Lana’s body is brought to the Jeffersonian, Cam quickly determines that the original autopsy was very poorly done. As an expert sailor, Lana’s death by drowning was unlikely, and the team realizes she was murdered. A record of the autopsy reveals the name of the medical examiner, and additional research shows that the coroner received nearly 2 million dollars after the results were published. Unfortunately, the coroner also died of an aneurysm later in life.
Hodgins remembers that Erica lost a race to Lana after a cheating scandal and also served prison time for insurance fraud after sinking her boat on purpose. Sweets questions her, and she is very antagonistic toward Lana, especially because her own family has disowned her.
Sweets, Hodgins and Angela also examine Lana’s boat, finding that a motor was missing. That was highly unlikely. They suspect that whoever killed her took the motor for the emergency dinghy and went back to shore. Meanwhile, the 1.9 million given to the Medical Examiner is traced back to the McNamara family. Hodgins is familiar with the family and wonders if the son Trent was Lana’s boyfriend… and when it’s revealed that Trent is back in town for his father’s funeral, Sweets and Hodgins pay him a visit.
Trent is at his family home, joined by his sister Stephanie. They are cordial toward Hodgins and Sweets, and Trent admits he was with Lana. Stephanie is less than pleased at the accusation of murder tossed toward her brother. At the lab, cause of death is determined — a fencing weapon. Brennan thinks the marks matches one of her ghost killer victims, but Clark says there isn’t enough evidence.
Hodgins re-visits Trent’s home. The gardener threatens Hodgins, but eventually Hodgins speaks with Trent, reminding him of the differences in how their parents treated them. Hodgins tells him he’s sure he loved Lana and that he’s innocent. Trent figures Hodgins is the only one to think it.
Later on, Hodgins is shocked when he finds out Trent committed suicide. He is skeptical that no suicide note was left and worries that his conversation might have pushed Trent to the edge.
Cam and Hodgins examine this new crime scene, and Stephanie arrives. She doesn’t appear too sad, but does posit the idea that Trent killed Lana and also adds that he’s the last of the men in the family.
But additional suspicions are cast when the team finds out that Lana’s brother Dan visited Trent an hour before he died. When Sweets questions him, he insists Trent called him to talk and make amends. He insists he left Trent alive.
Hodgins tells Cam that the same pollen that was on Lana’s body was found on Trent. He thinks Trent put Lana’s body on Booth and Brennan’s doorstep, and wants to know why he would do that if he was guilty. Cam says he killed himself, which is sometimes an admission.
The Verdict: Both Lana and Trent suffered an injury of a ripped off fingernail, making it possible that their deaths were linked. Cam decides to give Brennan the benefit of the doubt that these cases may coincide with the cold cases she is working in the lab. This gives us no verdict in this episode, but a springboard for the future arc.
- Temperance Brennan - Emily Deschanel
- Seeley Booth - David Boreanaz
- Jack Hodgins - T.J Thyne
- Angela Montenegro - Michaela Conlin
- Camille Saroyan - Tamara Taylor
- Lance Sweets - John Francis Daley