Of the first three episodes of Bones‘ 11th spring stretch, “The Monster in the Closet” is by far my favorite. The suspense is fantastic as is the aesthetic and the weaving of the story. You’ll see Hitchcock influences, but in every way different from the romanticism and fun of the To Catch a Thief aesthetic emulated in last season’s period piece, “The 200th in the 10th.”
“The Monster in the Closet” is light on gore, but rife with adrenaline-pumping suspense. Make sure you pay attention to Brennan’s psychological experience as the case unfolds as well. Without giving too much away, I’ve compiled a list of the top nine reasons this compelling episode is the best so far this spring.
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#9 Arastoo’s Past Gives Him Insight Into the Killer
Arastoo recognizes markings on the remains that imply this is not the first time the Jeffersonian crew has dealt with this particular psychopath. Could the Ancient Noble Order of the Gormogons have resurrected their cause? Brennan sees what Arastoo sees and suspects he feels guilty about it. Can you say projection?
#8 Bones Gives a Nod to Guardians of the Galaxy
A key component from the movie Guardians of the Galaxy appears in “The Monster in the Closet” though with vastly different purposes. The writers love to include nostalgia-inspiring references, but this particular one is batpoop creepy … and it’s only the beginning of the cray-cray of the case.
#7 The Killer and Booth Share an Obsession
The serial killer has something quite substantial in common with Booth, but whereas the killer uses his obsession to taunt or punish his victims, Booth indulges so he can live with himself without spiraling into hopelessness.
#6 Hodgins is an Unmitigated Ass
If someone doesn’t tie my hands behind my back I swear I might smack the crap out of Hodgins until he can pinky swear that he’ll be on his best behavior with Angela. He’s a total ass hat in “The Monster int he Closet.” It’s deliciously evil … and acutely uncomfortable to witness.
#5 FBI Profiler Karen Delfs Returns to Channel Sweets
Sara Rue returns with a brilliant portrayal of FBI profiler Keran Delfs who could give Dr. Sweets a run for his money. She’s a little kooky, but she’s made of moxie and her exuberance almost matches Daisy’s (minus the insecurities). I’m hoping she’ll be making frequent set visits in the episodes to come.
#4 Badass Brennan Strikes Again
Brennan once again gets rough with a suspect, but this time she tries to blow his brains out … or does she? The consummate scientist takes the opportunity to teach Booth the power of suggestion while saving his life in the process. If you suspected she might have a red letter ‘S’ under her shirt, this might seal the deal.
#3 The Cinematography, Score, and Small Details Will Freak You Out
Bones uses pages from several playbooks in the creation of the aesthetic for “The Monster in the Closet,” but none more than the cinematography, music, and themes of numerous Hitchcock works. They’ve thrown in a little Ted Kaczynski psychosis and Poltergeist innocence-versus-evil as well. If you look closely you will also see several Silence of the Lambs influences, including a tie-in with the Guardians of the Galaxy reference above. Yeah, I was as surprised as you will be.
#2 Booth is Brilliant in the Lab
Remember the old days when Special Agent Booth could be found up on the platform or sitting across from Brennan at her desk, or hanging around Angela’s office ogling her technology? Booth spends some significant time at the Jeffersonian in this episode. His contribution is brilliant … and monumental for the case. Oh, how I love Booth in the lab!
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#1 The Case Remains a Mystery
By the end of the episode some significant pieces of the puzzle have come together, and has already been spilled all over the web, this is a serial killer storyline so the mystery isn’t solved and the killer remains at large. We do get a peek at the puppet master’s lair, but that’s all it is … a peek.
This serial killer is unlike all those who preceded him or her. That’s what we love about Bones: its ability to surprise us anew with every case. Come back here after the episode to discuss!
Bones season 11 airs Thursdays at 8pm on FOX.
(Images Courtesy of FOX)