Is there a more time-honored procedural tradition than the “We’ll forgive everything if you help us solve this murder” episode? It doesn’t matter how much trouble our hero is in: No offense is so great that it can’t be erased by a bit of crime-solving. I doubt it works like that for actual investigators—even those with a skill as rare as forensic anthropology. Forgiveness isn’t actually that easy. Tonight’s Bones plays on both ends of the forgiveness spectrum, offering a quick fix for Arastoo’s political exile but leaving the wound caused by Booth’s gambling relapse wide open.
Arastoo’s risky return to Iran catches up to him when he’s captured by Majid Namazi, a member of the Iranian Parliament. Thanks to a poem that Arastoo wrote about democracy in 1997, Namazi has an edict charging Arastoo with crimes against national security. The edict was never issued, but Namazi is prepared to change that—unless Arastoo can help solve the murder of Namazi’s 25-year-old son, Darius, whose body was found at the base of his stairs. The authorities ruled it a drunken accident, but Namazi is convinced that there was foul play.
Booth calls in a few favors from his CIA friend, Danny, and joins Cam on a flight to Iran. The two are met in country by Danny’s contact, Hooshmand (“one name. Like Beyoncé”), who takes them to see Namazi. Namazi promises that Arastoo is unharmed but orders them to leave the country. Booth figures out that Namazi must need Arastoo to solve a murder—because this is television—and volunteers to throw the weight of the Jeffersonian and the FBI behind the case.
Cam and Booth join Arastoo in an abandoned surgical center and, after a non-threatening, totally casual reminder that kissing will get them arrested, get down to work. They make a video call to the Jeffersonian, where Brennan lights up to see that Booth is okay. (Remember that smile later and die inside.) She can tell from the X-rays that Darius was hit before he went down the stairs, confirming Namazi’s suspicion that his son was murdered, but Namazi was right for all of the wrong reasons.
Namazi believed that Darius followed religious law and thus could not have been drinking at the time of his murder, but Darius did his share of drinking. He was also having sex with a Russian oil executive, Oksana Kozlov. Kozlov claims that they were in love. At the news that his son was not the man he thought he was, Namazi tries to put a stop to the investigation, but telling the Jeffersonian team to let a murderer go free will always end the same: with impassioned character defenses and a quote from at least one religious text. They just want to catch the bad guy. Who could resist?
Namazi agrees to let the investigation continue, but there’s a new problem: Someone has called the authorities to report their activity, giving Cam, Booth, and Arastoo about an hour before the police put them all under arrest. Working under a time crunch, Arastoo and Brennan figure out that Darius was killed on one staircase, then pushed down a second to cover up the crime. Booth remembers a marble staircase at the bank where Darius worked. The bank’s president, Omid Turan, is an embezzler, and Darius was compiling evidence against him. As the hour winds down, Hooshmand and his men barge in to protect them, giving Booth enough time to arrest Turan for murder.
With that taken care of, Arastoo and Cam say a proper goodbye to Iran, Iran’s rose-petal-infused tea, and Hamid, Arastoo’s brother. Hamid is in full remission, which is an absurdly quick turnaround, given that he was dying a few weeks ago. Arastoo chalks it up to the experimental treatments he and Cam researched. Score one for science? Hamid drops hints that Cam and Arastoo should get married, and Cam probably starts thinking of new reasons why they should leave for the airport as soon as possible.
NEXT: Luck be a Brennan[pagebreak]
Booth is just as eager to get home—he has no idea that his bookie made a house call while he was away. And this isn’t the jovial Jason Samuels, who got Booth into the poker game that started it all. This is Jimmy Kosinski, who greets Christine with the classic ‘stranger danger’ line: “What’s your name, little girl?” (Christine: “I don’t tell my name to strangers. I tell strangers that my daddy works for the FBI.”) Booth owes Jimmy $30,000, and it doesn’t take Brennan long to figure out that Booth is gambling again. Before he left, he asked her about a surgery common among baseball players, and he wasn’t very subtle about it.
Brennan takes Christine to stay with Max and refuses to tell anyone at work what’s going on, but she relents with Aubrey, who was so hesitant to let Booth gamble in the first place. Aubrey handles the situation perfectly: He gives her the opportunity to talk about it without forcing her to, and as soon as he knows what’s going on, he offers to help. Aubrey calls Jason, who says that he refused to place the bet for Booth, which is why Booth needed a new bookie. Did Booth know that he was making a deal with a man who would threaten his pregnant wife? He knew that he was making a deal with a man who could. And he did it anyway. He put his family in danger. Brennan is having none of it.
She gives Aubrey the money to pay Booth’s debt, but the smile she gives Booth when he gets home is different. She won’t let him hug her. “Are you gambling?” Brennan asks. “I need you to tell me the truth, because without the truth, we have nothing.” Booth makes the biggest mistake of the year—bigger than the gambling—and tells her that he isn’t. His denial, and his begging when she tells him that she already knows he’s lying, is the textbook response from an addict, but that doesn’t make it easier to watch. Booth tells Brennan that he loves her, but Brennan can’t believe him. She orders him out of the house.
This might be the biggest shift in Booth and Brennan’s relationship that Bones has ever pulled, because it’s the first to disrupt the trust between them. Booth told Brennan about his “gambling problem” as they were going in for their first kiss, and that set the bar. But it also attributed Booth’s sobriety to Brennan—which puts pressure on her to maintain it. I’m proud of her for not blaming herself for his relapse or trying to fix him. He’s going to have to fix himself. Given Booth’s recent talk that love is all they need, I was worried that he and Brennan would “get through this together,” but addiction is too serious to kiss and make up. The love Booth needs now is some very tough love, and for now, it looks like both Brennan and the show are prepared to give him that.
Bits and pieces:
- I like that before Brennan can confront Booth, she has to tell him how proud she is of him.
- I also like that, pregnant as she is, her first instinct is to go to Iran with Cam. She knows people. She’s fluent in Farsi. Can we send Brennan on an international adventure when the baby is born, please?
- “A weiner dog ate the victim?”
- “I just want to say: Persians make a great pistachio. It’s creamy. Not relevant.”