BONES 10×13 Debriefing: “Make sure you come back”

One of my favorite things about Bones is that there is always some thematic connection between all (or, at least, most) of its stories in an episode. Tonight’s episode made sure to remark that, even the apparent worst situations might not be what they appear, and can have some good in them. Booth (David Boreanaz) and Connor (Mario Perez) were innocent men who went to prison and were changed by it; Arastoo (maybe naively) idealizes Iran, saying there might be virtue outside of the government. The first two men went to prison, whereas Arastoo (Pej Vahdat) is now risking his own freedom. (Another theme in tonight’s episode? You don’t turn your back on family.)

Combine that with an intense case, and you get a good episode — I am kind of intrigued to see where this storyline goes, if it comes back again.

Follow me along for a recap of what happened tonight.

THE CASE || We open the episode in the middle of a chase, but unfortunately, the man running from the hood ends up in a blasting zone just as the mines are being tested. A mostly intact tattoo on his arm helps Angela (Michaela Conlin) ID him: one of the components is urine, a method used in jail. Thanks to a database, they are able to identify him as Connor Freeman, as well as where he served his five year sentence. An interesting tidbit: there was a clear cut in the tattoo not caused by the explosion, meaning someone was trying to remove it.

(c) FOX

(c) FOX

When Aubrey (John Boyd) goes to his apartment, he finds Connor’s girlfriend Sabrina (Chelsea Royce Tavares), who hadn’t reported him missing so that his parole officer wouldn’t find out. Connor was clean, but he didn’t discuss much of his troubles with her. (He also worked from 3am to 5pm in the bakery, a job he loved.)

Hodgins (TJ Thyne) is able to determine that the victim was bound, while Angela is creating potential maps of the possible routes he took when running away. Meanwhile, Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Booth pay a visit to the bakery, where we learn all of the employees were ex-cons and that the manager, Mr. Flender (Jason Gray-Stanford), was really helping them turn their life around. (Connor was a good employee, so there were no complaints there.)

The case that landed Connor in prison? He used to be a driver at a convenience store and in a robbery went bad, the clerk was shot (she cannot walk anymore); the shooter even testified in Connor’s favor. When the clerk’s brother found out Connor went out on parole, he threatened him, and despite knowing the facts, he still harbored bad feelings for leaving her bleeding on the floor. (He didn’t do it, though.)

Back at the lab, Arastoo finds some incision marks that were probably done while he was restrained; furthermore, the victim’s heart tissue had high ATP levels, indicating that his muscles were exhausted, about to give out — he had probably been running at top speed for about 30 minutes (helping Angela create a possible range). Cam also found some traces of an opiate that should have knocked him out but somehow, he was able to break free of his constraints and run. He had probably developed resistance to it.

(c) FOX

(c) FOX

Back at the interrogation room, his girlfriend admits to paying for his drugs, as he had had a hard time adjusting to his life outside. But she eventually cut him off. His fellow coworkers also suspected it — he asked some of them for help. Saltz (Sam Sarpong) also tells Aubrey about a store Connor was trying to rob to get some money. Thanks to his debit card’s history, they see it is a check cashing store in Anacostia, where his girlfriend worked at. She was aware of the plan, but she did not want to do it. She insists someone from work corrupted him.

According to Hodgins, it turns out that the particulates the victim got on him when he fell were glass made of manganese — making the building more than a century old. Putting that new variable into the map, and running the simulation backwards, they find a building at the end of the range that perfectly matches the findings.

This leads to a creepy abandoned distillery in which Booth and Aubrey find three burnt bodies, and three patches of skin hanging from the ceiling containing tattoos (that had been cut from the arm). Back at the lab, they are able to ID those and connect them to Alex Rockwell (Gabriel Salvador), the system manager at the store. Brennan  reminds everyone that symmetrical cuts (which take time) and deep incisions have a ritualistic component to it.

Booth and Aubrey go to Sunshine Bakery to talk to Alex, but he never came to work. Thanks to Mr. Flender, who sets him up, they get him (Booth shot him in the shoulder to immobilize him, and prevent him from harming Flender) — he even had the rounded knife with him. It’s a tight case against him.


 

(c) FOX

Cam and Arastoo || Cam and Arastoo’s situation is pretty tense this week. His brother Amir, the only one left in Iran, has been diagnosed with brain cancer and he wants to go back to be with him. Cam is hurt that he doesn’t seem to be considering her in his decision making — though it comes off as selfish, it’s obvious that she is just worried about him and his wellbeing. Arastoo keeps telling her he will be okay but she doesn’t really believe that… So, in an attempt to know more about what it would be like for him, Cam meets Booth for coffee. He tells her it’s not ideal since he turned his back on his government, and she shares she’s going to try to contact friends she knows in Doctors Without Borders so Amir is taken care off. Booth, however, reminds her that you don’t turn your back on family, which she understands — I believe she knew she was fighting a losing battle. (But more importantly: they shared a scene together!)

On the other hand, Brennan also gives some tough love to Arastoo: he needs to be honest about the risk to himself (admitting he could indeed go to prison, even if there is no warrant out for him yet) and more importantly to Cam, just in case he never sees her again, so that he has the peace of mind that he never lied to her.

This all leads up to an emotional conversation between Cam and Arastoo, especially after she finds he’s bought tickets to Iran. Even with her contacts there, they cannot make sure he will holding his brother’s hand as he is dying, so that he is not suffering alone. She questions whether he’s thought about her, to which he admits he has tried not to, as he doesn’t want to choose between the people he loves. Moreover, Iran might be dangerous right now, but it’s a place he misses and that’s a part of him, politics aside. He also drives the decency-goodness theme of this episode home, wanting to believe there is some of that left in the country he left as a young man. She might hate the situation, but she loves him even more.

(c) FOX

(c) FOX

The most emotional scene comes at the end. Amir’s condition is worsening, but there might be new alternatives. (Cam admits to have done research to help them as much as she can, too.) However, when she suggests they go somewhere to eat, he admits his flight is leaving in a few hours. So they tearfully say goodbye. (When Cam cries, we cry.)


 

Brennan and Booth || The episode begins with Booth frenetically trying to find the picture of Brennan and Christine that got him through tough times in prison in the trash can; it was on the counter the previous night, but not there anymore. Brennan quickly finds it. Most of their interactions tonight were either case-related, or somehow pertaining to Booth’s experience in prison. At the diner, Booth feels like Brennan is quick to judge them, and he defends that you have to do what you have to do to survive in prison (even if that means getting involved with violent gangs). They also discuss the topic on the car, about how some people truly don’t want to go back after they are out and turn their life around (and name-drop Max!). Booth also mentions that there are some good men in there (Brennan, however, still maintains Freeman was in there for a reason; as we know, he also was innocent, like Booth.)

(c) FOX

(c) FOX

At the end of the episode, Booth comes to the lab to pick up his wife — after taking the shot, he is feeling bad (it takes a piece of his goodness away) and Flender is having second thoughts  about ratting his friend out. Yet Booth’s reply was indeed quite anthropological (as Brennan playfully teases him), saying that the world would end a long time ago if there weren’t more good people than bad in the world.


Even though they have Rockwell, I have the feeling this is not the end: why did he do what he does? Is he even the killer they are looking for? I have so many questions about this case. (Based on the cast teases, I’m pretty sure this is not the end of this… or is it?)

I liked this episode a lot. I thought the case itself was tight and the Rockwell twist was surprising — especially since there seems to be a serial killer component to it. I might not be the biggest fan of serial killer storylines, but they can fuel and focus the show. I found myself intrigued by the case itself. I also liked that the show utilized Booth’s time in prison to make him/us relate to what the felons went through.

I really enjoyed Cam and Arastoo’s storyline — it was emotional enough to hit a cord. I think anyone who lives far away from home (for whatever reason) will agree with Arastoo’s drive and decision. Family does come first, and despite how his citizenship might have changed, his home country is still part of his own identity. I must admit I’ve never been their biggest fan, but I feel so sad for Cam right now.

(c) FOX

(c) FOX

As I mentioned above, there was a big theme in seeing the good in situations that don’t appear to have it on the surface. While Connor might have been corrupted by his drug addition, everyone who knew him expressed how good a man he was; Booth’s corruption might have not really manifested yet (…?), but his PTSD and mental state at the beginning of the season was pretty self-destructive; Arastoo is risking his own freedom just to be there for family. The show combined two of its favorite themes (the goodness around us – the show is about putting bad people away! – and family) tonight, and it did it well. I do think Booth encapsulated it best: if there wasn’t more good than bad, the world would have ended awhile ago. While it doesn’t diminish how much the bad seems to overweight the good in a daily basis (you will always hear about the bad), it’s a nice thought to close out a darker-than-usual episode. (Cam’s tears made me really sad, as I mentioned.)

Anyhow, that’s a long recap, I’m sorry.

Odds and Ends

  • I truly hope the theme babbling made sense. It’s way too late for me to try to semi-analyze anything.
  • Hodgins and Angela need more interactions, but I enjoyed their conversation about bondage. (Though I’m surprised Hodgins is the one who’s more into it.)
  • I love Cam’s wardrobe, but that coat in her scene with Booth? Gimme. (Ditto Angela’s red dress.)
  • Booth and Cam shared an scene together!! They are good friends, so I enjoy seeing them together on screen. That was a lovely scene.
  • “I just wanted to bake bread and make enough money to marry my girl.” This was fun.
  • The moment Roger Flender appeared on screen, I almost immediately placed him — he was on Monk! I loved him on that show.
  • Brennan has tweeted a few things in the last couple of days and that makes me happy. Her Saturn tweet earlier today made my morning. And yes, she also tweeted a script tease for next week…
  • And we can expect some Max! (You probably knew that if you read the descriptions in our stills posts.)
… 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 thankyoulizlemon.com

6 Responses to BONES 10×13 Debriefing: “Make sure you come back”

  1. Nels Nels says:

    Absolutely brilliant, my friend. I love how you picked up on the themes, because you found the parallels between all these different stories that I would never have caught on my own.

    You always do such a good job, but this was especially great.

    I’m glad they’re returning to some of these past stories. Should be an interesting ride.

    • Cassidy says:

      Thank you so much, my dear! As I said, I am still not sure about anything but the connections did make sense… if I made that come through in the recap, I’m glad!. Show is pretty thematic and it’s playing that card quite a lot in these last few episodes.

      I think that I’d ideally stop describing the ep and writing more about that kind of stuff, but we will see!

      I am really happy too! It’s good they haven’t completely abandoned them. I can totally see how Booth’s addition fits into this (it’s mostly been a terrible, horrible, not good, very bad year for him) and even bringing Max up and how he’s turned around (that’s TBD) fits in with next week! I’m definitely intrigued!

  2. […] they’re actually implying is that Max reformed himself after getting out of jail. (Also detailed here.) Which is still debatable, but at least is what we’ve seen on-screen. So, sorry, […]

  3. […] the second episode, Rockwell (the person the team convicted as a killer at the end of 10×13, “The Baker in the Bits”) is less than 48 hours away from his execution; however, Brennan has suspicion he might have not […]

  4. […] losing his best friend, and more…. so this is a big red flag.(Just what I mentioned in the recap a couple of weeks […]

  5. […] Verdict on the Victims,” by Nkechi Okoro Caroll was a great resolution to “The Baker in the Bits.” I said it back then, but I didn’t feel as if Rockwell was the killer (or if he was, I felt […]

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