Bones was back with its first episode of 2014 - 9.12 - with an excellent story that cleared the table and set the agenda for the rest of the season and maybe beyond.

Serial killers are commonplace on television.  Criminal Minds specializes in them, The Following specializes in at least one of them, and most shows dealing with police and crime usually have at least one or two serial killers per season.  Bones, of course, has had no shortage of them, with Pelant being the last one in evidence.

But leave it to Bones to come with an original way of setting up its next serial killer narrative: as Pelant goes out, he literally hands the ball to a new serial killer in his final words to Bones.

A lot of episode 9.12 features Bones' belief in this new, female serial killer - that is, the killer is a woman - and her defense of this belief against just about everyone, including, initially, Booth.  Cam, I've got to say, comes out the worst in this, being at her most officious and annoying.  First, she dresses down Edison for taking a shower in the Jeffersonian facilities and using as his new home, which is against Jeffersonian policy.  Big deal.   Then she gets all authoritative and has the nerve to lecture Bones that she, Cam, is Bones' boss.   That's true, technically, but Cam of all people should be thrilled every day about how Bones' brilliance has solved so many cases.  A little more respect and awe would have helped along with her critique of Bones.

Hodgins' approach was much more laudable, wanting to do what he could to help Bones prove her suspicions. And we get an excellent portrayal of Hodgins out of the lab - as an investigator and a human being.

The episode ended on a suitably ambiguous note, and here's what I think is going on:  I think the sister of the guy who did not kill himself - who had his fingernail damaged in the same way as Lana Brewster, the first victim in the case tonight - is the serial killer.  It's just a feeling I have.  But, as Booth said so winningly to Bones at the end, you've got to go with feelings sometime - especially, in Booth's case, if they're Bones'.