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.
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?
Miranda Wicker was a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in 2017. Follow her on Twitter.