We gave it an A-
The final season of Bones has claimed another victim, and this one — this one hurts.
But as painful as it is to say goodbye to Max Keenan — bank robber, absentee father, doting grandfather, and PRIME Booth/ Brennan shipper — I can’t think of a better way for him to go out. After he dropped a hospital bracelet at Brennan’s birthday party, it seemed like we’d be spending this season watching his health gradually fail him, but Max isn’t the type to go gently into that good night. Max is more the type to get a pacemaker without telling his daughter, then, as soon as he’s back in peak health, give up his own life in a blaze of badass granddad glory.
One of my favorite exchanges between Brennan and her father came late in season 5 when the Gravedigger’s trial wasn’t going so well. Not content to watch the woman who buried his daughter alive get away scot-free, Max very nearly took out the Gravedigger on his own. “I don’t want you to kill people for me,” Brennan sighed. “Just buy me a sweater like a regular dad.” She got in a few good years with a kinder, gentler Max who might buy sweaters, but I’m glad he died as the man who would kill people for his daughter because that’s the Max we met.
So let’s talk about how the lovable old con man met his end. In 1995, Booth killed a Serbian war criminal, General Radic, at Radic’s own son’s birthday party. Now — after apparently letting that wound fester for a nice long time — someone connected to Radic is out for revenge. They don’t know Booth’s name, but they seem to have figured out his Army unit, and they’re tearing through every Ranger on the list until they find Radic’s killer.
Aldo Clemens was the first to die, but the next victim is an innocent bystander: an elderly shut-in named Margaret Kwan. Margaret’s regular delivery guy was Booth’s Ranger buddy, Mike, who sounds like he comes from the Seeley Booth School of Withstanding Torture: really good at staying quiet when he’s the one in pain but really bad at watching other people suffer. Since Mike was more likely to give up Booth’s name to spare Margaret than to spare himself, the killer grabbed them both, forcing Mike to watch as Margaret — a sweet old lady who just wanted to knit! — was brutally tortured.
Margaret died from a single slit to the neck, so it’s safe to assume that the killer ended her life after Mike caved. And if the killer knows Booth’s name, then Booth, Brennan, Max, and the kids can’t stay at home. Caroline, who blesses so much of this episode with her presence that I was a little worried she might die, arranges to put the whole family in an FBI safe house.
Max resists. He’d rather help his daughter by staying by her side and doing what he does best — you know, killing someone. Evading authority. Having a fight in a parking lot. Max things. But Brennan insists that he go to the safe house; she needs to know that Christine and Hank are okay, and she won’t know that unless they’re under Max’s care. “Dad, I have never needed you more than I do now,” she says, practically sealing his fate. “Please do this for me.” How could he say no?
NEXT: Don’t bring dogs into this