Bones Review: Outbreak

at . Comments

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
  • 5.0 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (141 Votes)

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


While Bones could be brought up on charges, I am sure that this demented guy had more than just tinkering around the lab in mind. She could get off not because no one would "tell" but because this guy good be categorized as some "Bio-Terrorist" and the extreme measure she may have taken will be taken into consideration. I like the episode, I'm not a Cam fan because she looks like she's ready for project runway instead of the lab, but love blooms everywhere and I thought her scenes with A were compelling.


Wasn't this the same plot from an old episode of "Diagnosis:Murder"? Infecting a young, male character on the show...check. Tricking the bad guy into thinking he was infected in order to get the antidote...check. That didn't take away from the acting but it certainly killed the drama a bit for me.


I'm not a huge fan of episodes that concentrate on minor characters such as Sweets or Cam, or worse yet a squint. The show is supposed to be about Brennan and Booth, not about Cam and Aristoo. For the most part I didn't like this episode at all. I can't get into the whole Cam Aristoo relationship. In the real world an intern should be fired for sleeping with the boss and for Cam, she should have been removed from her position for an abuse of power. The best part of the episode was Brennan stabbing the bad guy in the neck with a syringe. She really knows how to act when Booth is unable to do so and I love Booth getting all federal on the owner of the lab. Aside from this I found the episode rather hum drum and rather boring. Everyone is entitled to an opinion but the reviewer gave last week's episode such a terrible review and I thought the episode was great and don't understand the glowing review this week for an episode that did not live up to my expectations.


What a waste of an ep. Bored me to death, knew from first scene that the team would save their squint at the last minute. I thought I was watching Bones not House. Still dont get the Cam/Stoo relationship. Does Cam like a semi-hot young guy on her arm, of course, but still dont see why they are together. Give me something writers, make me care about them. Yes, Brennan did assault the Dr guy, which seems to be an ongoing theme, each week. Just another way to show the Jeffersonian and their team are above the law. This one is off the dvr right now. I have high expectations for the finale and David Boreanaz directing usually comes through. Hoping.


Great episode! One interesting thing that I noted: While Bones came to the rescue several times (helping Angela with the id, Hodgins with the herbs, and Booth with the interrogation), she didn't toot her own horn about it. I like that they've developed her character to the point when she can acknowledge the team effort without needing to tell everyone what she did.
I don't think that Bones and Hodgins working on the herbal remedy was a rejection of their usual devotion to science. After all, isn't science about learning how the world around us works?


I have enjoyed this season too. I really loved this episode however. It had all the elements that make Bones great. I started laughing when Bones poked the bad guy with that needle. I thought that was totally in character, not out of it.
She has grown too. She is much warmer, understands the rules they labor under legally, like when you mentioned she knew Booth could not ask more questions once he asked for a lawyer, and I loved how she jumped in to help Hodges with the herbal remedy. Also when the show started I thought ah so they are still using Arastoo. I thought he was gone. Not my fav match up, but it worked tonight. Also Cam is unusual so I can see it.


Shouldn't Brennan be arrested for assaulting the guy at the end? Even though it didn't contain real virus, she impaled him with one honkin' needle and he was literally in fear for his life. In front of several witnesses and an officer of the law! I know the guy was a bad person, a murderer, and willing to let Arastoo die to cover up his crime, but that doesn't mean our heroes should be able to get away with such flagrant disregard for the law. She seriously stabbed the guy!


This was a good episode -- but so were many of the ones the reviewer disliked.


The relationship started and progressed off-screen, but when he was reading his poetry to her, the chemistry was palpable. We've seen that he's a good guy, and in combination with their scientific backgrounds, I don't think it's hard to imagine them coupling up. It's no less likely than Booth and Brennan ending up together.


"While she relies on science first and foremost, she knows enough to know that sometimes the answers lie elsewhere." I think that comment displays a bit of ignorance. Nobody was dancing around him in a circle, chanting or waving a stick over him. There's nothing unscientific about Brennan and Hodgins working on a plant-based medicine. There are many, many plants with medicinal properties.
Look at opium--it comes from poppies. People have noticed its narcotic properties for over 1,000 years, even though they didn't understand how it worked from a scientific standpoint. Morphine and codeine are naturally occurring within opium. Opium plants are now bred to contain more of those substances, but either way, scientists only extract them. Moving on, Brennan jumping into the fray was slightly out of character, but the time crunch forced her to go with her gut and make a decision on the spot. And I don't agree about the Cam-Aristoo relationship either. Yes, the relationship started and progressed off-screen, but when he was reciting the poetry he wrote, the chemistry between them was palpable. Even outside of their relationship, we've seen that he's a nice guy with a good heart,and when you combine that with their scientific backgrounds, it's not hard to see them coupling up, for me. No less likely than Booth and Brennan. It seems that the previous commenters are saying they have to be hit over the head with an idea in order to understand or accept it. As a viewer, I think there's room for subtlety and nuance, and I welcome both.

Tags: ,

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.