When a man's body is found gutted, burned and hung up like a scarecrow on the roof of the Federal Building, Booth and Brennan are called in to identify the charred remains and determine who was behind the murder. Based on several factors, Booth determines the victim was a snitch working within an organized crime syndicate. Brennan's brother, Russ, tells her he got a mysterious call from their long-lost father, warning him they are in danger, and Brennan is contacted by a priest, who delivers a message from their father insisting she and Booth drop the case. Brennan and Booth determine the murdered victim was ex-FBI agent Garrett Delaney, who was tracking Russ and planning to kill him, giving more credence to their father's warning. As more clues come to light and a government conspiracy is revealed, Booth and Brennan make a shocking discovery as to who was behind Delaney's murder, and Booth is forced to make one of the most important decisions of his career, with very personal ramifications. Meanwhile, Zack must defend his dissertation, the last step to completing his doctorate, but needs some help from Angela to help him get taken seriously.