Thoughts on Villains and Bones

Okay, this is about to get hugely spoilery, so if you are not more or less caught up on Bones, LEAVE NOW.

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Still here?  Okay, then I presume you either don’t care about spoilers, or you’re caught up.

Right.

So, some of you may recall my post a while back griping about the Christopher Pelant plot thread in Bones.  I absolutely hated this guy.  And not just because you’re supposed to hate him as the bad guy.  He was introduced in Season 7 and constantly showed up our team.  He beats them at the end of that season.  And ultimately racks up MULTIPLE losses for the team, with no partial victories, no nothing.  And then he manipulates Seeley into breaking his engagement to Bones at the end of last season or he’ll go kill innocent people.  Oh, and of course he can’t tell Bones what’s up.  And Pelant is miraculously everywhere.

So that’s been going on.  And I was hoping that they would wind up this Pelant thread first episode of Season 9.  Yeah, no.  They’ve been dragging it on.  And then finally they come up with a plan to try to fool Pelant into thinking there’s a copy cat.  It’s a pretty genius plan (and totally gross, to boot).  And it’s supposed to be Flynn’s chance for payback (because though he didn’t die when Pelant shot him, he was bound to desk duty for the rest of his career).  So Flynn is sent with the body and instructions for how to place and pose it.

The call comes in.  Team rolls out.  They’re saying time of death is between 10-12 hours.  Ten to twelve hours, now, y’all.  And in that timespan, Pelant not only knows what they’ve done, he does the same thing to Flynn.  Which understandably pisses everybody off and makes them blame themselves for putting him in that position, and now Seeley’s really going to kill the bastard.  As if that wasn’t on the table before?

So then Pelant is trying to manipulate Bones herself, and it all leads up to this encounter in an old power plant or something, where Pelant is being all superior and acting like Temperance isn’t going to shoot him (all the while knowing Booth is making his way through the place to get to them).  It is a brief encounter, during which it seems Pelant has had some kind of personality transplant and not at all like the same character (beyond the smug superiority), and when there is, of course some kind of struggle during which Pelant gets Bones and has a detonator in his hand because WHY THE HELL DIDN’T SEELEY SHOOT ON SIGHT?  And then there’s another brief dialogue and Seeley DOES, finally, BLESSEDLY shoot the bastard dead (why our bad ass sniper was not allowed to do this at the end of Season 8, I don’t know).  The whole thing was totally anticlimactic.  They spent 2 seasons and change building this guy up as some master foe, and killing all these people, having all our team brought low in different manners, and then in the actual final showdown, it’s like…5 minutes?  Maybe?

All I can think is that the writers FINALLY clued in to the fact that they’d pushed the audience’s willingness to go along with things TOO FAR and they were losing viewers in droves.  We were about to be among them as we were catching up on a backlog of episodes on DVR last night (we’ve been putting it off because we were SICK OF PELANT), but I googled to find out if the asshole died yet.  So they finally killed him off and Booth proposed to Bones, and things are, at last, right in the universe of the story again.  FINALLY.   In season 9, episode 4.  After being introduced in season 7 episode 6.  Dragging it out for 35 frigging episodes.

But seriously, this was a massive waste of plot.  They could’ve killed him end of Season 8 instead of just messing up his face and he would’ve had a good run, proven himself a worthy adversary we like to see die, and we could’ve moved on.  Having him split Booth and Bones up was moronic and pissed off fans.  Making him some kind of tech god genius was also moronic.  No one is that good.  That strained the audience’s willingness to suspend their disbelief.

So, take a lesson from this, dear friends.  When creating your own villains, you don’t want to make them too easy to defeat, but you don’t want to make them impossible to defeat either.  Readers/viewers want to be on the side of good.  And that means they need to believably defeat the big bad and his minions–at the right time.  Not several episodes after they were supposed to.

Anyway, DING DONG, PELANT IS GONE!  Good riddance!

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One comment

  1. Pelant was the reason I stopped watching Bones. It was not the “Oh I hate this” or other strong emotional reaction. It was more “Do I want to watch?” and the answer was Nah, there are better things for me to do. And off I went. Did I stick my head back in for a show or two? Yeah. But it never seemed to regain the same momentum as before him. I can’t put my finger on it why. I just became apathetic to the whole series. This year’s reaction when I saw it advertised was “You mean it is still on?”

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