"The Corpse in the Canopy" is episode twelve of season eight of Bones, the forensic drama television series loosely based on the novels and life of anthropologist Kathy Reichs. In this episode, Christopher Pelant has returned and is taunting everyone.
Something Bad in Hodgins' and Angela's Bedroom
The episode starts with Hodgins and Angela in bed, with Michael crying in the background. When Hodgins wakes up, he seems a bit fuzzy. Angela is still asleep. Then droplets of something fall on Hodgins' face. When he wipes his face, the drops appear to be blood and Hodgins looks up. Seeing something that causes him to jump out of bed screaming. When Angela goes to check on Michael, she finds that he is okay, but was surrounded by petals.
Christopher Pelant is Back
Brennan and Booth head to the Hodgins' and Angela's place; according to Angela, they were both drugged. There was a hole in the vent to their bedroom. Angela also told Brennan to make sure Christine was safe, so Brennan's father is looking after her. Brennan and Booth are also the only ones that Angela trusts with this. When Booth asks trust with what, Brennan says that Angela thinks Christopher Pelant is back.
The Killer Had Escaped Before
Christopher Pelant, despite finally being arrested at the end of "The Future in the Past", still got away as he had constructed a new identity for himself as an Egyptian citizen and erased his old one. So the FBI were unable to hold him and he left for Egypt.
The Evidence Suggests Pelant
Hodgins is convinced it is Pelant, as he says who else would cut someone up like this. We don't yet know what has been done to the body that was apparently left, but it sounds bad. Booth says that they need proof. The petals in Michael's crib were from an Egyptian crocus. Perhaps not proof, but it certainly fits in with Pelant's tendency to taunt.
How to Make Pelant Disappear
With the petals being from Pelant's last known location, and the body being flayed, Booth agrees that it's likely Pelant. He wants to know what Pelant wants; Hodgins says revenge, as Hodgins nearly throttled Pelant to death. Booth says that, with Pelant, there's always something more. Booth wants to call in an FBI team, but Hodgins wants to keep it a secret, as Pelant is going after them. So Hodgins and Angela want to go after Pelant directly and make him disappear. Brennan has no problem with this, but points out that, of them, only Booth has the necessary training and skills to do such a thing.
Going Low Tech and Off the Grid
Booth is not willing to operate outside the system, so he says that they will operate within it. Everything will be locked down, but kept in the system, so Booth calls an FBI tech team and Brennan calls Cam. The lab is equipped with counter-surveillance panelling and everyone outside the direct team is sent on a government-paid vacation. All communications are to be done on burner phones and no computers are to be used. Cam is taking blood samples from Hodgins and says that the body has been dead less than 24 hours. Angela is concerned because Cam is just treating the case like any other, and she is scared. Brennan says that, to get through it, they need a goal. When Angela asks for one, Brennan gives her one - stopping Pelant. Pelant, who now has proper access to computers again, is making himself a fake ID for a company called Serberus. Pelant has also erased the identity he used to escape FBI custody.
A Connection to a Private Military Company
The first step is to identify the body that Pelant skinned. The initial data suggests that the dead man was Special Forces. Special Agent Flynn, who has figured out that the case involves Pelant, who wants in to the case, gives Booth classified documents that never leave the Pentagon probably identifying the dead man. A former SEAL who was doing off the record work. So Sweets and Booth head to the man's apartment. The gun locker at the dead man's place causes Booth to realise that he was working as a mercenary, for a company called Serberus, a private military company. A SEAL who was still active as a highly trained mercenary would not have been an easy target for Pelant to take down. So there was presumably a reason for this. The ID - which Pelant was altering from the dead man's - may be the reason. Pelant had also tortured the man before he died. The head of Serberus is not willing to cooperate.
Hodgins is Really Unhappy
Hodgins is also freaking out, which isn't unexpected. Sweets is concerned about how Hodgins is behaving, and suggests he be taken off the case. Cam refuses, because she says that Pelant is afraid of Hodgins and wants him off the case. That's why he left the body at Hodgins' house. Pelant is also calling Brennan, on her burner cell, taunting her. And sending animal body parts to the Jeffersonian.
Going Old School with an Enigma Machine
Pelant has compromised their secure signals, so Hodgins pulls out a pair of Enigma machines as a secure communications method. Everyone is going old school when it comes to technology. Although not totally old school; there's a modern old school method that could work.
What is Pelant After?
Pelant is extremely intelligent and is playing games, keeping one step ahead. But those after him are also extremely intelligent, and are getting closer. The squints try to figure out Pelant's hidden message so that he can be caught, but will he get away again? What is he actually after?