Bones Review: Outbreak

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Bones season 8 has been all over the place in terms of story telling and cohesion. Week to week, we've never known which Bones we'll get, but we've stuck it out because this is a show we love with characters we love. Tonight our dedication paid off.

Stephen Nathan promised an "exciting, emotional" episode and he certainly delivered. From start to finish, "The Pathos in the Pathogens" had me on the edge of my couch. It was the gripping hour of television I've been looking for all season. 

Preventing an Outbreak

There's something about donning hazmat suits that instantly kicks the drama up a notch, right? Straight out of the gate the tension was high, which set the tone for the entire episode. 

The idea of outbreaks is scary and interesting to me, so this case drew me in. My intrigue was helped by the fact that not only was the team trying to solve a murder, one of their own became part of the case when Arastoo was poked with a needle that was lodged in a piece of bone. 

Enter the pathos of the episode.

In the parade of squinterns, Arastoo ranks somewhere in the middle for me. He's not my favorite, but he's also not Fisher. I like him enough to care.

The second he pulled his hand away from the bones, my own hand reflexively covered my mouth and I gasped, even though it was clear from the beginning that one of them would get infected with the virus. He knew that the best way to contain a potential outbreak would be to remain at the Jeffersonian to be observed and watching Cam disagree with him was one of the first moments their relationship felt real.

Watching everyone scramble to do their jobs to solve a murder while isolated and also trying to keep Arastoo alive brought a different sense of urgency to the episode. All of the team's emotions were high because none of them wanted to see a good man die. Because the killer would want a safeguard against being infected with the virus, they knew that an antidote existed somewhere, but in order to find it, they had to solve the case. 

Hodgins is great when he's funny. He's also great when he goes a little mad scientist and starts boiling liquids in beakers trying to rely on herbal and animal medicine to cure his dying friend. Brennan pitching in to help him added a bit of a layer to her character. While she relies on science first and foremost, she knows enough to know that sometimes the answers lie elsewhere. 

The Cam-Arastoo relationship is one that has been sort of bizarre from the onset. It came out of nowhere and didn't really seem to make much sense until tonight. Watching Cam try to keep it together while Arastoo languished on a bed in the bone lab helped to solidify the pairing. His kiss on the back of her gloved hand and her plea with the lab owner for the antidote definitely pulled at the old heartstrings. 

All any of them wanted was for him to live, and having already fought the CDC doctor to give him the treatment Hodgins and Brennan cooked up, which bought him some time, everyone in the room knew something had to be done. 

So Brennan stepped up to the plate and became the MVP of the night.

In all of these years as Booth's partner, Brennan has learned a few tricks. One is that when a suspect asks for a lawyer, Booth can no longer ask questions. She, however, can. So tonight she did. She needed an answer from the lab owner and she got it. By stabbing him in the neck with a fake virus to trick him into thinking he'd been infected so that he would give up the antidote.

Another thing she's learned is that Booth likes to shoot his gun.

Dr. Jacobs: We shouldn't do this. We're technically still on lockdown!
Brennan: Well, if we don't he's just going to shoot out the lock! | permalink

The infusion of small, humorous moments like this one brought balance to this heavily dramatic hour. Well done, writers! 

So much about tonight was so well done it nearly makes up for all of the other episodes this season that weren't so well done at all. Tonight brought our characters face to face with the possibility that one of their own could die which caused all of them to take moments to reflect on their own mortality which are sure to be in effect when Pelant returns next week on the finale.

What did you think of "The Pathos in the Pathogens?" How do you feel about Cam and Arastoo after tonight? 


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (141 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.


The needle stab in the neck was brilliant. Like a Star Wars spoof attributed with Samuel L. Jackson: When you absolutely, positively need to get someone attention, accept no substitute: stab someone in the neck with a syringe.


I loved this episode and with both Zac and Vincent being "killed" off the show during it's 8 year run so far I wasn't entirely sure they wouldn't have killed off Arastoo. So glad they didn't he's my second favorite squint


Enjoyed it very much. Watch any show and it's bound to have been done as a plot on some other show or movie so me personally, I don't care. Good team cohesion. TJ Thyne does a great job with his emotions. If what Brennan did was is considered a stretch, then Booth should have been forced to turn his badge in a long time ago.
I know how many of the things would go down in real life, but I guess what they do is use dramatic license to their advantage


This episode, for once, didn't go off into an embarrassing Tempi-momi b-plot or made the killer too obvious. We also didn't get another terrible guilt trip either. With that going for it, this episode wins the season by default. Not great, but a lot better than the rest.


I loved this episode, and was so happy to see Cam and Aristoo together at the end, and to see them admit to the depth of their love. I was also thrilled to see Hodgins and Angela watching Cam and Aristoo and doing their dead level best to try to keep him alive, while also trying to find the antidote. They are the best couple on this show, IMHO, because I have never really felt that much chemistry between Booth and Bones. But Angela and Hodgins were having nooners in the Egyptian exhibit in the first or second season! Lots of chemistry there. Anyway, I loved that Brennan stabbed that a-hole in the neck to get the antidote.I thought that was the best thing she's done for a long time. So I agree with Margaret Mary, great cast who carried out a solid episode. I was fascinated by all the mutated viruses they found in this ep, and how they found that it was a bacteria added to the virus.


This was one of the better episodes this year. Bones played it really well. I hope Cam and Arastoo can more the next lever too. I'm hoping Bone will decide to marry Booth on the season finale.


I liked this episode. I like how Booth and Brennan are always there for each other. Finally, they had Brennan acting like an adult genius and getting recognition from the rest of the crew. The chemistry between Booth and Brennan is back! Thank you Mr. Hanson


What a marvelous bunch of actors!!! GREAT CAST!!!!


I've said before that Brennan is learning from her colleagues and growing in the process. Most of the time, I am ready to rely on her and concentrate on the other characters. I don't have much empathy with Sweets. Sorry, I still have trouble with his reasons for being there at all. I liked Mr. Vaziri from the very beginning. Maybe because he's a fellow baseball fan? In any case, I like a many-layered character. Hodgins and Angela, Cam, Booth...I miss Zach. I was surprised when the relationship between Cam and Aristoo was first mentioned, but it grows on me. Cam has been seeking companionship in a lot of strange places, but she usually keeps her private and professional lives separate. If this relationship could develop in spite of its constraints, I want to see where it goes.


I still can't get really invested in the Cam/Arastoo relationship, and I still don't see real chemistry between them, although last night there seemed more from Cam than usual. That being said, I very much enjoyed the episode, and I agreed about the sense of urgency throughout. Herbal remedies are really the basis of modern pharmacology, and since Brennan is an anthropologist who has worked extensively among 3rd world cultures, I found it very much in character for her to embrace Hodgins efforts and seek to help him. She loves Cam and would feel very much impelled to help her now that she understands the power of love in her friends' lives. I found Booth's anxiety over Bones being in a dangerous situation as always compelling and sympathetic. And it's nice to see her growing more and more to understand Booth's personality and how he functions. Their relationship is truly wonderful and very touching.

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Bones Season 8 Episode 23 Quotes

Angela: You could be my lovely assistant...
Cam: If I wasn't your boss.

Angela: So why did we pay 8 zillion dollars for the software when we have you?
Brennan: Under normal circumstances, it allows me to take a longer lunch.