Bones 9.22 Review: “The Nail in the Coffin”


I have to admit, the last few episodes of Bones have been predicable and not exciting.  Tonight’s episode entitled, “The Nail in the Coffin,” reminded me of the reason I began to watch the show in the first place.  I love when there are so many twists that you never see coming.  Since the team was investigating The Ghost Killer, it is no surprise I was on the edge of me seat until the very end.

When we last heard of the Ghost Killer, Brennan (Emily Deschanel) had been removed from the case by Cam (Tamara Taylor).  Clark (Eugene Byrd) would be taking over the duties from our favorite Forensic Anthropologist.  The serial killer had been pretty dormant the last few months, but any crime show watcher knows serial killers start murdering again close to the end of the television season.

The episode begins with a family telling ghost stories around the campfire.  When the daughter starts getting scared, the dad stops.  As soon as he finishes, a corpse falls from a tree.  The family begins to scream and throw the skull back and forth in a panic. Though this was hilarious, I would never want to be put in their position.  When Booth (David Boreanaz) gets the call to visit the crime scene, Brennan is upset she is not invited to come.  Not surprisingly, she does show up to help the team crack the case and announces that the fingernails on the body did not belong the victim.

Once the body has been taken back to the lab, Brennan quickly figures out the remains belong to Stephanie McNamara.  Stephanie’s brother Trent was the last victim of the Ghost Killer.  Hodgins (TJ Thyne) determines that Stephanie was drugged by a substance that the McNamara’s family gardener would have access to.  Booth and Brennan quickly travel to the McNamara estate to question her, and find some startling clues: scratch marks in a stable and scuff marks that prove Stephanie was abducted there.  The gardener comes in for questioning and Brennan pins down that she is Stephanie’s half-sister and is now the heir to the McNamara fortune: The perfect motive and too obvious for her to be the killer.

Angela (Michaela Conlin) is hard at work and discovers that Stephanie can be placed at all the crime scenes that the Ghost Killer murdered someone.  She took a fingernail from each victim and placed them on her own fingers because hers had come off after scratching in the stable.  Her father locked her in there when she was a child.  I am surprised the case was solved this quickly, especially since the season won’t be over for a few weeks!

There is still one victim that needs to be identified.  Cam is able to find a match with the fingernail to Maya Zinkow, a classmate of Stephanie’s.  Maya’s biology teacher, Mr. Kessler, was accused of the crime and was conveniently just released from prison.  The team orders that Maya’s body be exhumed.  Brennan learns that the body was not embalmed and several stab wounds were not documented.  The Medical Examiner that lied about Lana Brewster’s autopsy is the same Medical Examiner on this case.

Booth and Sweets (John Francis Daly) go to Kessler’s apartment.  He has blueprints of the McNamara house, proving he was the one who had killed Stephanie.  There were also floor plans for Congressman Steven Palter’s home. He was the judge that sentenced Kessler to prison.  Cam runs a DNA test that proves Maya was raped by Stephanie’s father.  Since Stephanie was jealous Maya was getting attention from her father, she decided to kill her.  The medical examiner was then paid off to keep the McNamara family safe.

Booth and Brennan drive to Palter’s home. It is too late. He has already been murdered and hung by Kessler.  He is killing the people who wronged him and sent him to prison for a crime he did not commit.  The team performs an autopsy on Palter and concludes the weapon used to kill him and Stephanie was used in a tobacco factory that is now abandoned.  Booth and Brennan reach the factory just in time for Booth to stop Kessler from hanging himself.  Case closed and another win for the good guys.

Next week Brennan will be interviewed regarding Booth’s promotion. I am assuming this will produce some enjoyable moments.  If Booth is selected, the duo could be moving to Germany.  That would make for a very exciting 10th and potentially final season of the crime drama.

[Photo via Patrick McElhenney/FOX]

Tim Gerstenberger received a BA degree in Communication from Saginaw Valley State University and a MSA degree in Human Resources from Central Michigan University. He currently works as a Recruiter for Chemical Bank, one of the largest banks headquartered in the state of Michigan. His past work has been published on Yahoo! and Examiner. He also contributes to other television/celebrity based websites. He has had a passion for TV since an early age and some of his current favorite shows include: Friends, The Office, How I Met Your Mother, Happy Endings, Friday Night Lights, Bones, The Mindy Project, Chicago Fire, and The Good Wife. He currently resides in the Bay City, Michigan area.
More articles by
  • Sharon

    I didn’t think the promotion was still Germany he reacted so negetively to Germany. He was so positive this week felt sure he was talking about a different type of promotion. Also TPTB have stated there will be a change for Booth & Brennan and yet stay the same involving the squints. I’m puzzled no telling what they are planing I just hope its a positive change. Please no angst, B&B are in such a good place now.