Image Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FoxDid last night’s resolution of Bones‘ Gravedigger plotline make you forgive the show for dropping the ball on the Gormogon arc? You can tell by my headline that it’s a “yes” for me. Exec producer Stephen Nathan had warned us that it was the series’ most shocking opening ever, and he was right. The Gravedigger stepped out of the transport vehicle to walk into her final appeal and after a slo-mo stare-down with Sweets — who was, for some reason, allowed to ride with her when she requested psychological counsel so she could screw with him — she took a bullet to her head. Massive blood splatter and multiple shots of her headless body. Her brain exploded when the copper bullet hit it from 1,489 yards away. We’ve heard about this show’s battles with Fox’s censors before — I’d love to have heard the talks negotiating how many times/seconds director David Boreanaz could show the carnage. Regular viewers know not to eat during this show. I pity hungry newcomers.

“Don’t just stand there. We got a shrink who needs shrunk and a headless child killer in a puddle of brains,” Caroline said. I would say Patricia Belcher was the MVP of the episode for me. It feels like the Bones I fell in love with when she’s on, and she was a walking quote machine last night. “Sorry, cher. I hate to startle you when you’re traumatized,” she said to Sweets. Everyone was worried about him, but no one knew he couldn’t stop listening to his final conversation with Heather Taffet, which he’d recorded. She’d told him everyone knew he was the weakest link in the chain. If he testified at her appeal, she’d walk. At first, he may have actually been worried that he was the target because someone didn’t trust him to do his job, but when he finally played the tape for Caroline, I realized he was more upset that Taffet had gotten inside his head — which would’ve compromised his testimony. Caroline snapped Sweets out of it by revealing her own fear. “I’ve never been so scared as when her head blew to pieces,” she said. “Don’t tell anybody. I messed myself.” She told him they’re all just people.

Caroline: “You’re an expert with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Now who’s Heather Taffet?”

Sweets: [sitting up] “Dead serial killer.”

Caroline: “You’re damn straight. Dr. Brennan has her head all rigged up spinnin’ like a Christmas tree. It’s over. She can’t get to any of us anymore.”

Can’t you just hear her delivery reading those last lines? I haven’t wanted to hug Caroline that badly since she got Booth and Brennan to kiss under the mistletoe. Yes, this situation sucked for Sweets, who, you recall, also watched that young man die on the subway. But it showed how far that character’s come: He used to have to prove himself to the team, and now they’re the ones reminding him how brilliant he is. Even Hodgins comes to him now willingly. Angela made Hodgins feel guilty for being happy that Taffet — who’d buried him and Brennan alive in her car — was dead. I wonder if it was in the script for Hodgins to take a moment and lay back the passenger’s seat in Sweets’ car before the impromptu session, or if that was improvised on set. Sweets told Hodgins that what he was feeling — it’s the best thing that’s happened to him all week — was a natural response for a victim. Hodgins was elated, mostly because he could tell Angela she was wrong.

The squints worked their magic, and Brennan and Booth found the location from which the sniper had fired. It was an escort’s apartment, and I felt like the discovery of her body in a bathtub of lye after six days — which is never pretty on this show — was perhaps punishment for those of us thinking how hot Seeley looked lying on the table lining up the sniper’s shot. Focus, people! (Incidentally, did you also notice that great shot of his back when the camera panned around him as he was watching the video of the shooting?) It turns out the father of the boys from the “Aliens in the Spaceship” episode had been contacted by this sniper and asked if he’d pay him $2 million if he killed Taffet. He was more than happy to. I can’t imagine the pain that father would feel, but I know the rage I felt when I heard that an opposing client threatened my lawyer sister’s life once in court. It was so powerful, I couldn’t tell if I was then crying at the thought of losing my sister or the thought of what I would do to that person who hurt her. But I can’t imagine VIDEOTAPING whatever “justice” found this person.

Booth narrowed the suspects down to six people who could, conceivably, make the shot and he called one in after hearing how the guy had stabbed the escort. That guy told him he had an alibi, and they both know only two people could actually have made that shot — Booth, who has the record for the longest shot (over a kilometer) and their old friend Jacob Ripkin Broadsky (Arnold Vosloo). He trained countersnipers in the Gulf, then moved to a hostage rescue unit in Texas, where he was accused of jumping the trigger in hostage situation. He took out the gunman because he thought he was justified, disappeared before the official ruling, and became known as the Hand of God. He’s been in hiding, but Booth found him — because he’d bought property in Seeley’s name. This was personal, Booth realized.

Booth went to talk to Jacob alone, and we all knew this wouldn’t end well. Jacob knew Booth couldn’t come onto his property without a search warrant, but Booth jumped the fence — he didn’t need a search warrant. The property belonged to Seeley Booth. Okay, that was cool. But Booth not knowing how to run in the woods wasn’t. He fell and rolled. He stepped on something and hurt his leg. Jacob got enough of a lead on him that he was able to blow up his trailer to destroy any evidence. The blast sent Booth flying and dislocated his shoulder, but he still pulled his weapon on his friend. Only his friend knew him well enough to know that he wouldn’t go for the kill if there was any doubt he didn’t deserve to die. Vosloo is booked for two more episodes that will play out over the remainder of the season. I think we could have a fair fight on our hands. Why would Jacob come after Booth? Because he didn’t take out Taffet himself? Fingers crossed Booth’s inevitable identity crisis will lead him to at least phone Gordon Gordon (Stephen Fry), who really should know about Brennan finally admitting her feelings for Booth.

Speaking of that, having Ryan O’Neal’s Max return also felt like the Bones I fell in love with. He wanted to know if Brennan and Booth were together; he needed to know that Brennan believed he hadn’t killed the Gravedigger, whether or not she had proof. That final scene with them, when he gave her the shell and she chose to believe it was the ocean she was hearing was so sweet. It showed that she is willing to have faith in the men she cares about and believe in magic when it comes from them. Booth was watching…

Your turn. Did you think this was a fitting end to the Gravedigger story? How do you think the sniper arc will move Booth and Brennan’s relationship forward? (We know he’ll worry that she’ll think what he did as a sniper is no different from this guy.) And what was your favorite quote of the night? (Brennan’s “I know” when Max said she’s smarter and prettier than Hannah?)