It seems the Pelant story line on Bones just won't die.
Although Booth (David Boreanaz) ended Pelant (Andrew Leeds) once and for all with a gunshot to the heart earlier this season, the cyber serial killer makes yet another unsettling appearance to Brennan (Emily Deschanel) in the show's midseason premiere (Friday at 8/7c, Fox).
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"We just want to confirm the fact that she's haunted by this, that Pelant has had an impact on them," executive producer Stephan Nathan tells TVGuide.com of the spooky twist. "While he's gone, the impact on everything that he's done is still with them, which will inform some other stories in the future, although Pelant won't really be a part of them. There are a couple of loose ends for us to clean up, but the series is moving forward. We're not going to go back to Pelant much more."
However, the hints Pelant dropped before he died about another serial killer live on and take on scary new life on Friday's episode, which finds Brennan trying to prove Pelant's theory about "The Ghost Killer." In fact, Brennan becomes so obsessed that she begins trying to link the current set of remains on her table to the bigger mystery. And when she does so without her usual measured logic and rationale, all of her colleagues become a bit worried. Worse, they even doubt her.
"Brennan saw in Pelant something she recognized in herself, and that was a certain logic and rationality that was consistent," Nathan says. "So, she has no reason to disbelieve him. While he did many, many bad things, he never lied. So that's what's haunting her, that she has missed something, and that she has now been placed in a situation where she sort of has to redeem her individuality by solving this on her own. Pelant kept saying, 'You're never going to do it without me.' Pelant probably knew that other people weren't going to believe her, and she is determined to make that work."
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Although Nathan says "The Ghost Killer" will come back up in future episodes, when viewers will finally meet the new nemesis remains open question. However, this story won't go on as long as the Pelant arc. "We will revisit this story again, but it's not going to have the breadth and length of the Pelant serial killer arc," Nathan says. "I can tell you definitely it will remain ephemeral, but we might also meet 'The Ghost Killer.' I think we can have our cake and eat it too."
Friday's episode also sends Hodgins (TJ Thyne) back into some social circles from his moneyed past. But that's only the beginning of a second half of the season that will be very trying for the quirky lab rat. "This is sort of introducing Hodgins' past again in a way that we've never seen it before, but there's a far more moving and difficult story coming up involving Hodgins, his past, and his family," Nathan teases. "There's some family history that Hodgins never knew about, and it will change his life forever. We're just trying this season to deal with our secondary characters in a way that we haven't in the past."
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But that's also true for Brennan and Booth, the latter of whom Nathan says will face some major upheaval later in the season. Could it be related to the return of his CIA buddy Danny Beck (guest star Freddie Prinze Jr.), who turns up smack dab in the middle of a murder investigation? "We realize that this murder involves the CIA, and Danny specifically," Nathan teases. "So all of the relationships are questioned, and become suspect, even the relationship between Booth and Danny. It's very complicated. When you're dealing with secrets and government manipulation and foreign sources, nothing is what it seems. There are doubts that everybody has to overcome. We're kind of challenging existing relationships this year. We're seeing what everybody can handle."
Bones airs Fridays at 8/7c on Fox.