Who was worried that Heather Taffet was gonna walk last night? After Sweets’ speech to Cam about how the world is unjust, I actually thought there was a possibility that she might be found not guilty of being the Gravedigger. Had that happened, I would have thrown my TV. Not something at my TV. I mean, literally, thrown my TV. I could feel my blood pressure rising throughout the trial, so major props to stone-cold guest star Deirdre Lovejoy.
Taffet represented herself, and quickly got the contents of her storage locker thrown out at the evidentiary hearing because the search warrant had been obtained illegally. Blah, blah, blah. The point of that scene was to make sure we knew Caroline didn’t have the evidence she needed to guarantee a conviction for the attempted murders of Booth, Brennan and Hodgins. Taffet set them up perfectly: She told Brennan, “You’re so brilliant, Dr. Brennan, why couldn’t you find something as simple as the number?” After searching through every number ever associated with Taffet, Booth found that she’d dialed a number when she was arrested. It was a random pizza place in Utah. That must be it. Angela fed the numbers into her magic computer program and realized it was the GPS coordinates of where they’d finally find the body of a 10-year-old Gravedigger victim.
This is where things got interesting: Because Caroline had filed all seven counts on one complaint, Brennan, Hodgins, and Booth couldn’t work on linking the 10-year-old to Taffet or serve as experts in the trial because they were victims in the same case. Hodgins flew off the handle when Brennan suggested the rational thing to do would be to dismiss their charges against Taffet, since they had no evidence, and work the 10-year-old’s remains. Hodgins, who’d been having Taffet nightmares like Brennan, hated the idea of her not paying for what she’d done to them, but he gave in. Booth dropped his charges, too, because he’s Brennan’s partner and they needed to work together. He needed to be there to remind Brennan that she needed to sound human on the stand and make the jury feel what that boy went through. Also to say that Parker, who was the same age, probably would have bitten her — that’s “their thing.”
Perhaps Booth should have reminded Brennan not to mention that she’d also been buried alive. Taffet had gone after Angela’s credentials on the stand when she finally figured out how to decode the creepy ransom voice and revealed it was Taffet’s. When Brennan felt threatened, she said in addition to being the best at her job in the world, having been buried alive made her uniquely qualified to explain what this child went through. That’s all the opening Taffet needed to start arguing that everyone on the Jeffersonian staff serving as experts was biased. They wanted a scapegoat, and they’d decided it was her. That’s why Angela could have altered the voice; why Booth could assume that she was the only one who made a purchase from the mall on the day the boy was abducted and why she made that call to Utah instead of the police officer from Salt Lake City on the night she was arrested; why Brennan (so traumatized she’s seeing an FBI psychologist) could say the attacker was the height and weight of Taffet; and why Hodgins and Cam could say that the dust mite found in the boy’s teeth contained Taffet’s DNA and destroy the sample during the test so the defense’s expert couldn’t run one.
This leads to my one big problem with this episode: I wish they would have addressed whether or not Caroline had thought about how the bias defense might get Taffet the reasonable doubt she needed for an acquittal. It seems pretty obvious, right? Let’s say Brennan and Co. were the only people in the world smart enough to figure this out. Couldn’t they have brought in someone outside the Jeffersonian to consult, someone who could verify their work? Or did they purposely not do that because that would have given Taffet an opening to bring the concept of bias up in the first place? But once it was on the table, I think they should have thought to bring in someone to perform or at least oversee the dust mite test. That’s what really convicted her — the DNA.
In the end, she was found guilty of kidnapping and murdering the 10-year-old boy. (No mention of those “Aliens in the Spaceship” victims that first brought Booth and Brennan on to the Gravedigger case. Did those charges have to be dropped to, for some reason?) Taffet assured Brennan this wasn’t over. I’m all for buried alive storylines, but unless Taffet escapes and kills again, I don’t need to see her return. Let’s get us a fresh serial killer, please.
The stress of the case took its toll on the team. Hodgins admitted to Angela that he felt like the Gravedigger still had him locked up. The anger and helplessness made him feel like she was still between them, keeping them from being together. But right before the verdict came in, he realized he had to live regardless of what the jury said. So he told everyone he and Angela had gotten married in jail. The bigger crisis was Brennan’s: She saw that Taffet was amoral but brilliant. She’d laughed at Brennan. “What if her dispassion makes her more logical?” she asked Booth. She wondered if maybe she’s lost her advantage because of all the people she’s involved with now. Relationships complicate logical thought, she said. She also said she’s tired of dealing with murder, victims, sadness and pain. She might need longer than a vacation — she might need to end their partnership and leave the Jeffersonian. Booth told her not to make a decision right now (wait till next week’s season finale!). He put her in a cab and watched her leave like he’d done in that flashback in the 100th episode (when they missed their moment to have sex after he fired her). Nice symmetry there — that was their first case, could this be their last? But you know: I don’t buy that Brennan couldn’t see that she helps Booth make the world a better place. Yes, she deals with victims once they’re dead, but she stops the killers from striking again, she gives the families closure. I think it was telling when she asked Booth what happens if she couldn’t get to him next time? What if her feelings for him distracted her just enough that she wasn’t using all her brainpower and she failed to save him? This is like an extreme case of “Can a woman have it all?” Most of us worry about balancing a career and a family. Brennan is worrying about balancing brilliance with just enough humanity to not be considered a sociopath.
Your turn. Do you think Brennan will actually say goodbye to her partnership with Booth and leave the Jeffersonian? (I mean, she might, but really, for how long? The show needs to go on.) Were you happy with the way the Gravedigger story ended (for now)? Can FBI agents like Booth just check people like Max — who he’d stopped from shooting Taffet dead during her transport — into jail like it’s a hotel? We should assume Caroline brought up the fact that Angela had helped solve about 100 murders when her credentials were questioned? I mean, we’re allowed to question how an artist with a minor in computer science can do what she does, but no one else! And who else related to that scene with Cam confiding in Sweets? My sister is a family lawyer and was once threatened in court. When I heard about it, I felt such rage it drove me to tears — partly because I realized how a person could just take away someone important to me, partly because I could see how my hatred for that person could take me over. Cam felt helpless, like as the head of the team she should be keeping them focused, the one who comes up with the big play. I’m happy she did. Maybe she could be rewarded with a juicy storyline next season?