BONES 10×06 Debriefing: “She was my heart”

bones cast s10

Tonight’s Bones, dealing with human trafficking, reminded us that we are very lucky to have what we have, and how others have not been as fortunate.

The show is not one to do serious episodes often (even if this season was off to a darker-than-usual start) but when it does, it usually makes it count.

So click ahead for a recap of what went down on “The Love Lost in the Foreign Land.”

 THE CASE || The body of the week belongs to Theresa, a Chinese 20-something immigrant maid whose remains were found on the side of a road, west of Baltimore. Later, in the lab, the team determines she suffered malnutrition as a kid, and had brittle bones. Thanks to one of the belongings she had with her (a watch), Angela (Michaela Conlin) is able to link her to its owner, her employer, Sandra Zins (Phyllis Logan). (They also find photo paper fragments in goat excrement  — poop paper!)


(c) FOX

Mrs. Zins, an immigrant herself (as you can tell from her accent), used to work in East Asia for a relief agency and there she met her late husband, an American importer, she tells Booth (David Boreanaz) and Aubrey (John Boyd). She didn’t know her watch was stolen, but thought Theresa was sweet. When pressed for more, she directs them in Victor Lee’s (Francois Chau) direction. (He’s a legal immigration worker.)

While their initial talk with him does not give a lot of information, Hodgins’ (TJ Thyne) newfound evidence leads them to his house – more specifically,  below the floorboards in the sketchy basement, where they find a lot of Chinese women, looking scared.

What follows is Victor’s arrest and what was arguably one of the most powerful scenes. Tammy (Xue Lian), one of the women, is speaking for the group and offers some insight. She last saw Theresa Monday night, after she cleaned some houses, but Victor’s presence is too intimidating for the women to say anything. After he’s ushered out of the room, Booth’s whole demeanor changes as he assures them they’re safe. He asks about the bag Tammy holds close and she opens up about her past.

(c) FOX

(c) FOX

From the “poop paper” and Brennan’s (Emily Deschanel) ability to recognize someone’s prominent zygomatic, they track Sung (Truong Quoc Ly) – a man who has escaped China after killing Theresa’s father. Even if the team concocts a story about his possible motive, they couldn’t be further from the truth: it turns out Theresa was Sung’s heart and she knew he had killed her father for her, when her father had tried to sell her to traffickers. He had been brought into the country illegally (via human trafficking, too), but is surprised to hear that his beloved had finally made it stateside.

Thanks to looking into the financial backgrounds of the recruiters, they learn that Sandra Zins was involved in bringing these people into the country. In her interrogation, Alex Radwizill (Danny Woodburn) has a document proving she brought them into the country to exploit them. (Her argument is that she is also an immigrant, and was giving them a chance to start here.)

Back at the lab, Arastoo (Pej Vahdat) finds cause of death: an abrasion on the inferior margin of the mandible. Angela and Brennan soon look for a match to that weapon, which Brennan determines to be a cuticle pusher.

(c) FOX

(c) FOX

Tammy did it. She stabbed Ming Yang repeatedly until she bled out. She used the bag’s straps to increase her leverage and drag her off the road. Why did she do it? Theresa had been sneaking out of the house, trying to find Sung, and Victor found out and beat her. Victor threatened them all (including their families back home) if he caught Theresa sneaking out again. Therefore, Tammy killed her to stop her; Theresa loved Sung, but they all loved their families. She, in particular, had to protect her daughter, who had done nothing wrong.

This case was not about the case: it was about the humans involved in it: you just have to look at anyone in the team to see how they were affected by it. (No one in that final interrogation scene had dry eyes). My eyes were glassy, as well.

Tammy earns your compassion (Xue Lian is terrific) from her first moment at Victor Lee’s house — if that scene made something clear it’s that everyone was there for their families, so it is not a surprise she ultimately did it to protect her dear daughter.

(c) FOX

(c) FOX

Worthy of mention: a bit earlier in the episode, Aubrey apologizes for being “ass-like” to Booth. It was interesting to see him go from being excited about a case that’d bring good press to the bureau (and also not giving it much priority -at least not over his lunch) to someone who could not deal with Tammy’s confession. The moment they find the women, something switches in him and he becomes invested in their pain. I liked seeing that growth in him.

Finally, this case ultimately leads the team to reflect on their own lives.

Cam (Tamara Taylor) and Arastoo make up in the Jeffersonian’s catwalk. Angela wants to get home to Michael Vincent and hug him.

Booth pleads Brennan to not let him take anything they have for granted, and reminds her how lucky he is — he keeps thinking about Tammy and what he’d have done for Brennan and Christine in his position. Yet Brennan offers a brutal silver lining: had Ming Yang not been murdered, those women would still living as slaves. She also sweetly says she can’t stop thinking about her trying to find Sung, herself, or how she could’ve missed the opportunity of living her life with Booth. (She’d thank God if she believed in him!)

(c) FOX

(c) FOX

To shake this all, they slow dance to Doug Paisley’s “End of the Day.” (This is the second time a sad, tragic love story has made them slow dance. I would be okay with more!)

That was such a great scene that reminded us how strong they are and how far they’ve come as individuals. I also liked how Brennan identified with Sung — a nice reminder to us that relationships also require work (apart from good timing) and Booth and Brennan almost missed their chance many times, before they got it right, and they are both aware of it. It’s always nice to see their history acknowledged. (My good friend Innie has a  quick write-up on this, too, essentially saying this but better written. Check it here!)

The whole scene is so intimate and sweet, I couldn’t help but love it and smile my way through it.

CAM AND ARASTOO || The episode starts with them on a typical morning: Arastoo is just in a towel, excited to present his dissertation proposal to Brennan. Cam has apparently been corresponding with Arastoo’s mom via email, and the latter has been sending the couple hints by using recently born babies and Persian recipes of wedding feasts. However, when the wedding topic comes up Arastoo uses a “when” and Cam, “if,” which puts them at odds.

Brennan then rejects Arastoo’s dissertation proposal, leaving him crushed. Cam later waits for Brennan in her office to discuss that rejection, to which Brennan explains she wants her accomplished intern to do better — yet she wonders why Cam is the one talking to her about this.

(c) FOX

(c) FOX

Brennan tells Arastoo about the conversation when they are looking at the victim’s bones. Arastoo makes it clear he had no idea about it. Brennan directly tells him she thinks he can come up with something more original.

After this, Cam and Arastoo argue about her discussion with Brennan. You can sense that not only are they tense about Cam’s actions (Arastoo finds this to be a lack of faith, and thus of respect, towards him), but the marriage talk from earlier is informing their conversation.

By the end of the episode, Arastoo puts the whole sadness to use in the case: his new (and already approved!) dissertation proposal connects forensics methods to human rights atrocities, like this. They make up, and Arastoo regrets he pushed her too far regarding marriage.

This was such a nicely done episode, raising awareness of a problem that occurs all over the country but is rarely in the spotlight. The message was natural, as it just highlighted the emotional impact. A solid installment all around.

The case was just brutal — it was poignant and made you reconsider. As I said in the intro, it serves as a nice reminder to the audience (not just Booth and Brennan) of how lucky we are and to not take everything to granted. Emily Silver penned a wonderful script that balanced justice and emotion just right; plus, all characters had a great moment under their belts.

Odds and Ends

  • (c) FOX

    (c) FOX

    Hodgins chasing the goat in the teaser was comedic gold. But when Booth convinces Aubrey to help, and the latter commits with big leaps? I could not stop laughing.

  • Aubrey loves eating. It is so amusing. Apparently, the idea was Stephen Nathan’s, according to Emily Silver herself. (I’d look at her twitter feed if you want some other BTS tidbits!)
  • There was another suspect: a registered sex offender who had been rejected by Theresa a couple of times.
  • While there has been quite a lot of buzz around Phyllis Logan guest starring as Sandra Zins (the opposite of her Downton Abbey character, from what I hear), it took me awhile to realize that creepy Victor Lee was played by Francois Chau, the Dharma guy from the videotapes on Lost.
  • Christine was in bed for that last scene, but she wanted her daddy to know she loves him. She also wanted Mickey Mouse-shaped pancakes. I now want to try those pancakes out, honestly.
  • Liked how both Booth and Brennan served as mentors to Aubrey and Arastoo, respectively, pushing them to do better than they wanted to.
  • Liked seeing Alex Radwizill back! He is always a delight.
  • Brennan discussing how some groups are more vulnerable to be exploited by those in a higher status was a sad reminder this is something that has occurred all throughout history. I adored that she said that “No matter what the anthropological reasons, we fight to make the world a better place.”
  • I didn’t say anything about Cam and Arastoo because I think the episode solved anything I might have commented on by the end of it. I did find their issues interesting, even if Cam definitely overstepped her boundaries with the dissertation things (though Arastoo understood why Brennan did it as soon as she explained). I am intrigued to see future developments in their relationship — though I would not mind at all if they were to remain unmarried. These two are going to have to talk about marriage sooner, rather than later, and I’m quite curious to see how it goes down. (There’s no doubt in my mind they’re committed to each other.)
  • I took awhile to choose a title for the recap: I almost went with Booth’s “Don’t ever let me take any of this for granted” but it was too long. Any of Hodgins’ wonderful quotables didn’t seem right… so I went with Sung’s heartbreaking declaration.



… is a young graduate student that has been way too passionate about television ever since she was little. While she insists she doesn’t have a specific type of show, they all usually have strong but flawed lady characters, some derivation of the stubborn friends-in-love/friends-to-lovers trope, and they all make her yell at her tv a lot. She just wishes she had more hours in the day so she could actually write about this.
You can usually find her on Twitter, Tumblr, and at cassidy at

2 Responses to BONES 10×06 Debriefing: “She was my heart”

  1. Nels Nels says:

    Great job, Cassidy! You sure cover everything in your posts — I’m impressed! I miss half these things.

    I was oddly intrigued by the whole Arastoo-Cam subplot this week, surprisingly. I’m disappointed, but not at all shocked, at how Cam handled it — it brought back shades of her actions with Michelle’s college applications back in season 6. I was more surprised by how Arastoo reacted: instead of getting all angry, he totally understood what Brennan was explaining to him, and immediately strove to improve his work. I actually liked seeing the conflict between him and Cam in the episode, because it was believable to me, unlike, say, the fight about his parents last season. Aah, the perils of academia!

    Brennan and Arastoo’s conversations were the highlight, for me.

    (But, Booth and Brennan at the end were pretty sweet, too.)

    Um, I think you do the word thing pretty darn good yourself, missy.

    • Cassidy says:

      You make me blush! Thank you! I still don’t think I do, haha.

      I really valued/liked the whole C/A subplot once I was done watching it, even if I thought I wasn’t going to when I started watching it. Cam is prone to intervene for a loved one (especially when it comes to higher education degrees?), as you say. Yet, I liked Arastoo truly understood Brennan’s reasons and accepted it so maturely… I guess it’s that special prof-student relationship, when you just understand they’re trying to push you to be the best. That was so great. (I am just going off the PhD students I’ve seen around here. As I’ve read somewhere else, they’re another special kind of slaves, and I can see that.)

      Anyways, I really liked how that whole subplot ended playing out, especially since their argument ended up informing their tension. It just felt believable (I like they don’t see eye to eye on that) and it was well done. I am pretty curious to see if this is a subplot that will come back, because a few scenes of it could be very interesting.

      Yes! I really liked their interactions, as I said. I really like it when we get to see mentor!Brennan. I want her as my mentor, too.

      Booth and Brennan are always a delight! There were so many things I loved in that last scene. They’re so sweet. (And if other sad, tragic love stories leads to more slow dancing scenes, bring it on :-P)

      Oh lord, I keep writing a lot tonight. Sorry! Thanks for your comment, truly. You’re the best 🙂

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