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The Future in the Past is the first episode and season premiere of the eighth season of Bones.


Having been accused of murder, Brennan is on the run from the FBI, with help from her father Max. Booth and the Jeffersonian team are convinced evil tech genius Christopher Pelant has manipulated key evidence in the case to pinpoint Brennan as the prime suspect. Then, an anonymous tip leads the team to the remains of a high school guidance counselor that may hold the key to proving Brennan's innocence.


Three months later, Brennan is still hiding from prosecution for a crime she didn't commit. She has a picnic with Max and Christine, and shows the little girl pictures of Booth. Back at the lab, Angela works furiously to figure out how Pelant inserted Brennan into security footage at the scene of Sawyer's murder. Hodgins urges her to take a break. She has apparently been at it for months. Booth, meanwhile, is equally as frustrated because Agent Flynn doesn't believe him about Pelant.

Back at the lab, to an odd crime scene. has taken over Bones's office, much to Angela's chagrin. Clark wants all case info put into binders. Not too surprisingly, Clark is a classic bureaucrat. Booth, in the meantime, heads to the local library where he finds Pelant teaching a computer class. Booth just smiles at the nervous hacker. Pelant promptly calls Flynn and reports stalking and harassing. Moments later, the Jeffersonian team is called to an odd crime scene. The skeletal remains have already been dug up and brushed, just like a certain anthropologist might've done. Brennan has left the team a clue.

She also left behind a flower that only blooms in winter. Back at the lab, Clark identifies the remains as a woman who has never given birth, so the team confirms that the body isn't Brennan's. Later, it becomes clear that Angela has been secretly communicating with Brennan, but she refuses to divulge details to an angry Booth. Turns out the remains belong to a guidance counselor who went missing 10 years ago and went to school with Pelant.

Pelant watches TV and sees the Jeffersonian team investigating the decade-old crime scene. He seems especially disturbed to see Angela holding the flower. Booth, meanwhile goes to a motel when someone knocks on the door and it's Brennan. Later, the two catch up and Booth happily plays with his daughter. She explains that she and Max have spent the last few months investigating Pelant's past. Back at the lab, Hodgins discovers traces of a rock in the victim's skull while Angela tells Caroline that she can prove someone, but not necessarily Pelant, forged her electronic signature. In other words, Caroline will soon be off suspension.

Sweets then examines a letter of recommendation that the guidance counselor wrote for Pelant and compares it to articles the young hacker wrote for the school newspaper. The writing styles are the same. Pelant wrote the letter of recommendation in the counselor's name and then covered his tracks by killing her. Back at the lab, Angela asks Hodgins to put flowers in a certain spot. He knows it's her way of communicating with Brennan, but doesn't press his wife. Hodgins heads to a graveyard to deliver the flowers and finds Pelant waiting. Pelant calls the the flowers scheme ingenious. He recites Hodgins FBI files, saying Hodgins is "too nice" to kill him. Hodgins angrily throttles the criminal, but eventually lives up to the profile and lets go.

Hodgins heads back to the lab and confesses to Sweets that he strangled Pelant to the point of unconsciousness. Sweets, though horrified with his coworker, admits that Pelant's apparent death wish is a very valuable piece of information. Back at the Brennan's hideout, Max takes Booth's car, which belongs to Clark, and tells Booth to escape with Bones in Max's car, which was stolen. Max then says that Pelant has likely traced Booth's car and will follow it. And then, Max says, he is going to kill Pelant. So after Max drives off, Booth calls Flynn and reports the car as being driven by Brennan. Flynn tells him he is the second person to call that car in as stolen, he then throws his phone away. He wants to save Max from making a terrible mistake.

Later, Hodgins tells Cam to leave the lab and take the security guards with her. She doesn't ask questions and does just that. Moments later, Brennan and Booth appear. After a tearful reunion with Angela, Brennan gets to work examining the guidance counselor's body. She quickly determines that the woman was hung upside down and bled out. She must have been running through the woods when she was snagged in a Pelant trap, hitting her head on the rock as she was dragged up.

Angela then hands Booth a flash drive with evidence that Pelant hacked into FBI email files, a violation of the criminal's parole. Booth takes the drive directly to Flynn, who agrees to bring in Pelant. Pelant is teaching his computer class when Booth bursts in and arrests him. Back at the lab, Brennan, Angela and Sweets examine the triangle of code that was on Sawyer's wall. Sweets observes that Pelant wouldn't have killed Sawyer if what was embedded in that code didn't scare him. Sweets posits that the base represents the face Pelant shows to the world; the left side represents his hidden, killer face; and the right side shows that he wants to be killed. Suddenly, Angela's face goes blank.

In the meantime, Brennan discovers that the murder weapon was probably a Japanese sword, helped by physical evidence and the fact that Pelant's grandfather fought in World War II. So the team gets a warrant to search the Pelant family home and finds a sword. It matches the wound and Pelant is taken to prison. He smiles as he is being led behind bars. Angela, meanwhile, cracks the code and it proves Brennan was digitally inserted into the video feed outside the mental hospital where Sawyer was killed.

Brennan is cleared, finally able to go back home and back to work. Camille then announces that Clark will be hired to do archeological work.

A few days later, Caroline has terrible news: Pelant isn't Pelant. He is apparently an Egyptian and the Egyptian government has arrived to take him back home. It becomes clear that Pelant completely wiped out his identity and created a new and entirely convincing one. Pelant smiles and hands Brennan a marigold, which means "pain and grief." She smacks him across the face. Booth then throws out the flower, but it is picked out of the trash by Flynn.


Main Cast[]

Intern of the Week[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

  • TV Reporter - Stacey Turner
  • Homeless Man - Kevin Scott Allen

Featured Music[]

  • "Ho Hey" — The Lumineers


  • A new version of the opening theme is used from this episode onward.

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