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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bones’ shocking finale: Zack is a killer!

by Jennifer Squires Biller

Excuse me a moment while I pick my jaw off the floor.

In last night’s season finale of Bones, it was revealed that one of the main characters we’ve grown to love, lab genius Zack Eddy, was a killer involved in the ongoing serial killer/cannibal storyline from last season.

I know. I still can’t believe it either. In fact, I don’t care what we watched onscreen, I still CANNOT conceive that the character we’ve watched grow for years and bond with his super-smart friends is an apprentice to a psychotic cannibal. It’s rubbish.

This shocking plot twist came out of left field and is so ridiculously preposterous I can’t believe the show actually went through with it. The better choice would have been Dr. Sweets, the new guy, despite that I love what he brings to the show.

Here’s a note to the Bones producers and writers: you don’t mess with core characters. You just don’t do it. What’s next, Booth is a rapist during his evenings off?

If my overflowing e-mail inbox is any indication, fans of the show are furious at this move. And they should be. Zack has been a vital part of the chemistry in the technical lab scenes. His humorous relationship with fellow lab squint Hodgins has been one of the highlights of the show in past seasons.

I know many of you have said you won’t watch any more Bones episodes because of this crazy plot twist. For that, I’m sorry. With declining ratings for scripted shows in primetime across the board, we can’t afford to lose viewers because of what seems to be an ill-thought-out plot device contrived for shock value.

The only way I see to salvage this mess is for the next episode to show Booth in the hospital, in a coma, still healing from being shot in the chest last week, and this last episode took place entirely in his mind. Yes, I want it to be a dream. That makes more sense than Booth healing from a gunshot wound virtually in days and Zack turning into a cold-blooded killer.

30 comments:

obxrulz said...

Well said. This is just stupid. Zack is not a killer. I'm done with this show.

Anonymous said...

I like Sweets too but you're right that it should have been him, not poor sweet Zack. I know he had some trauma in Iraq, but this makes no sense.

cathie212 said...

I love your idea about it being a dream. I know it's been done before, but when a misstep this big occurs, I think it's necessary.

Anonymous said...

Even more nutty is that they didn't make him insane. They billed it as though he was rational and cold-blooded. I'm done, too. I loved the lab scenes with him and Hodgins and the gang.

kim said...

Unbelievable. Stupid, stupid, stupid move.

ken in md said...

Here, here. Excellent post and I like your idea of how to fix it. I'd buy that in a second before I'd buy this twist.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes you think you know someone and they don't turn out to be who you think they are. It happens. I wish it happened here though. I loved Zack.

TF said...

You know though - in real life sometimes the person you would least suspect is the killer. Look at BTK - a loving family man. I think they followed real life in this case. Sure I'll miss him, but Kathy Reichs is a real forensic anthropologist and I'm sure she's seen some weird things that others would never believe, so sticking to what she knows provides a realism that other shows skip over.

Anonymous said...

I am glad to see this post. All I can figure is that the show is trying to skew the direction of the relationship between Bones and Booth and with the addition of Sweets to the cast they saw Zack as an extra person on payroll and that he was too much like Bones. If they were going to remove him from the show resolving the cannibal plot like that was just too out there and just didn't work.

It is becoming too cliché to have a character die at the end of season to make another character go through a “change”… Izzy and that heart patient dude in Greys… Amber on house and whoever was in or by that ambulance in that last episode of ER. .. but at least you see where the story is headed. With Zack it was just weak and unbelievable with no substantive changes to the other characters.

And.. yeah… how the heck did Booth recover so quickly and why did he fake his death? I must have missed that part. Anyway… great post.

Brian Erzen said...

WTF! Couldn't you at least tried to post this spolier information with some sorta message, or warning first....

Anonymous said...

I haven't got to the end of the latest Bones yet but when I heard about it I looked for more info. U cannpt BELIEVE the writers have done this! F*** THEM! F*** THEM ALL! Why do ALL my favourite characters get jupped. :(

Julie said...

Sweets would have been too obvious. While I love Zack, I'm more disappointed in his character than I am with the writers. They shook things up at the core and while us fans may not like it, sometimes it's necessary to do.

Even Hodgins was too obvious. Zack was the choice the writers had to make.

(Although I would have preferred Cam.) ;)

ireactions said...

I find Julie's comments bizarre -- as though *Zack* the character should be blamed for being written in such an illogical fashion. As though Zack deserves to be punished for the crime of having writers who didn't know how to handle him.

I suppose that anything is possible, even the mild, awkward, gentle Zack Addy being a psycho killer. However, revealing that this character is a murderer requires far, far more development than what we actually saw. We needs scenes establishing that Zack is capable of killing someone. We need scenes establishing that Zack is vulnerable to being overwhelmed by stronger personalities. We need scenes demonstrating that Zack can be malicious.

Instead, the only scene that begins to build up Zack Addy's murderous side is... the scene that reveals it. And that's not enough; Zack wasn't a guest-character; he was someone we'd gotten to know over three seasons, and there was never even a hint that this was in Zack's nature. A guest-character can be shown to suddenly have a dark nature, but a character who's appeared with such frequency and regularity can't be outed as a murderer without some sign in previous episodes.

And there aren't any. Go back and watch the episode where we saw a glimpse of Gormagon's new apprentice at the very end; it's clearly someone much shorter and thinner than Zack, yet the finale claims that the murderer in that final scene was actually Zack.

After three seasons of helping catch murderers, why, oh why, did Zack think it'd be a good idea to ally himself with the serial killer his very capable co-workers were tracking down?

And if Zack caused the explosion in the lab, then how did he steal the skeleton? Did the paramedics leave him alone while he stole the skeleton, hid it away, and then returned to the stretcher to be wheeled into the ambulance?

The only way this episode can possibly work is to reveal next season that Zack was part of a sting operation to catch the real apprentice. However, given Hart Hanson's interviews about how this episode was meant to conclusively end the Gormagon arc so the next season wouldn't have to deal with it, I'm not holding my breath.

The show made its mark because it handled is characters with respect and care. Now the trust built with the audience has been betrayed and I'm afraid of what they'll do to Booth or Brennan in the name of "shaking things up."

tube talk girl said...

Interesting comments everyone and some excellent points. I agree with you that it does happen in real life sometimes, the BTK guy is a great example. I'm just sorry it happened to a character who has become such a part of the fabric of the show. Ireactions, you make an excellent point that there were no signs leading up to his behavior. I guess we could possibly attribute it to Iraq post-traumatic stress disorder, but even that's a reach.

Brian, sorry you were spoiled, but I didn't post this column until Tuesday morning, a full 12 hours after the show had aired. I don't consider something a "spoiler" unless the show has not aired yet. Otherwise, I'd never be able to discuss anything on television the night before.

James Agee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I thought it was a great move. It took courage to get rid of a main character that way instead of the typical TV way like a heroic death. I get so frustrated when writer's give in to what is perceived as "good TV". Like the Booth/Bones dynamic. In a real life scenario, those two would have been in the sack within a week of first meeting. But on TV, they drag it out, often until the last episode of the last season. The writers should be good enough to create interesting storylines with the two of them as an "item".

Making a main character a budding serial killer shows courage. I'll continue watching now, hopefully they won't wait too much longer to put Booth & Bones together.

Anonymous said...

Ok. So I totally think it is a dream...Did anyone else notice how totally out of character everyone was? Especially Brennan. She kissed Zach on the forehead! That is totally not her. Even if he was hurt, she didn't do it the last time he was severely injured. HULLLO. I think it is a dream sequence, that was my original thought after like 5 mins and throughout. Also, they didn't give enough evidence about why and how and who. Ya know. there has to be more to it.

Anonymous said...

I have to say I completely agree. I was completely stunned and more than a little bit angry. I blame the writer's strike. The writers felt like they needed to bring the story arc to an end and they copped out. My wife suggested that Zack suffered from some post-traumatic stress from his time in Iraq. that might have been what the writers were going for if they had an entire season to play it out, but to do it like this, slam the audience who cosidered this character part of the core group of the show in this manner, is just unfair, and wrong.

Thinchap said...

Yes, as has already been asked, how the hell did Zack move the Skeleton whilst he was lying on the floor with his his hands all bleeding??

i'm am quite angry and dissapointed with this turn of events also, but no way do i plan on giving up watching such an otherwise awesome show !

tube talk girl said...

Thinchap, it is quite a mystery isn't it? LOL I'm still hoping it's a dream.

Anonymous said...

Regarding spoilers, tube talk girl, posting 12 hours after the show is no excuse for exposing the plot ending right there in the title. Not all of us watch TV as if our livelihood depends on it - that is why we have TiVo and DVRs! Please think for a moment before you press the publish button next time.

That being said, I agree with you that it was one of the more asinine endings that I have seen in a long time on TV - that, too, from a relatively intelligent TV show like Bones. I was terribly disappointed, to say the least. As Ireactions said, you can just declare that a central character of the show is a murderer just out of the blue. There must be a transition period, a transformational episode, a motive and opportunity for something like this to actually happen. Even in real life, although the identity of a murderer may shock us at first, we are almost always able to back and deduce what could have gone wrong. Here, nothing like that was ever intimated in all these years. A very disappointing and weak ending, imho...

Anonymous said...

Edit above post:
As Ireactions said, you can NOT just declare that a central character of the show is a murderer just out of the blue.

Anonymous said...

Everyone keeps asking how zack moved the skeleton after blowing up the lab. The answer is simple, he DIDNT. The lab blowing up was a distraction so that Gormagon could take it, Zack merely caused all the cameras to go out and provided the man with information as to how to get it.

(please note that I am simply presenting a possible solution to this problem and I am in no waying saying that this is what the show intended.)

Anonymous said...

I agree with the majority here, this episode sucked! But the first thing i thought was: the guy probably wanted out of the series, or had some conflict with the producers... but i can't find information on none of that in the web, so I can only conclude that the writers are IDIOTS!

Anonymous said...

They could change it to that it wasnt
Zack but that he hypnotised or something to say that he did this.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree I can believe this happened. Zach is a vital charater, I mean I cant see the chemistry without him. This sucks, but i have to admit he was mind blowing

Anonymous said...

I must say SPOILER if you havent seen shows from Season 4, that as one who caught up with episodes on video, in one night I saw Zack kicked off the show and then 5 minutes later Booth is dead. I was furious and vowed that if Booth's death isnt some stupid dream sequence or something, I too was done with the show. SPOILER-what a relief he isnt dead. Getting a bit contrived though, although it seems the writers are teasing the audience openly with the toying between Booth and Brennan. We all know how it goes...they drag it out, eventually they get together, whichc is what we all want, but then it changes the whole nature of the show and we lose interest. Wanting something we can't have, and then once we get it, miss how it used to be! But I too would love to see Zack come back. And I would not have slapped Booth if I was Brennan...it would have been a closed handed punch on the snoot!!

Anonymous said...

I think the move is brilliant. Sure little Zacky was cute as a teddy bear, but it was always clear that he had little or no sense of morality, and he considered a smart person to be worth more then an average person. Every killer out there likely has friends and loved ones.
This was the best episode, and I can't wait to see to his replacement. I like Daisy. She is totally fun and smart.
GREAT move. I just hope they don't back pedal because of a few too vocal show fanatics.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the worst things they could have done to a show like this. Zack is one of the core characters of the show and you don't, do not, do not ever, mess with a core character of a show. This was just a stupid move on the part of the writers. If they don't fix this and fix it fast they are going to lose a huge part of the fan base.

Anonymous said...

annonomous person: if you thought it was a spoiler you didn't have to read the article. instead of getting the details you could have gone out and watched the episode yourself. actually, it's not a spoiler for the people who already know, it simply states an opinion on something that happens.

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