BONES 10×19 Debriefing: All For Love

(c) FOX

You can tell that, in a different television season, Murder in the Middle East” would have been an excellent episode to kick this Sweeps month off, as well as the last four episodes of the season. Not only did it include “international” travel (shot somewhere in the Los Angeles area, of course) but it also has the dramatic climax of the gambling storyline, after a few weeks of intense rising action.

This is not meant to diminish what has actually aired during May Sweeps (which end next Wednesday) in any way. The pregnancy, a milestone, as well as the action-packed episodes  that aired last week have been good entries: this last third of the season has packed a punch. Yet, I can only imagine the actual last four episodes of the season are the ones we should be watching for.

Tonight’s outing was a gripping hour of television that mostly focused on solving a murder overseas, so the team could free one of their own. The episode also featured Brennan confronting her husband’s gambling addiction and lies — leading up to a surprising, but reasonable, conclusion (in an emotional cliffhanger).

Let’s talk about Bones 10×19, “The Murder in the Middle East”!

[Sorry for the tardiness. Not only did I have to deal with being in another timezone, but also with many technical difficulties with the sound in my computer. Apologies.]

I Did It All For Love

(c) FOX

(c) FOX

While telling Cam some good news (his brother is getting better), Arastoo is shockingly kidnapped by an Iranian parliament member’s cronies — he wants Arastoo to investigate his son’s murder.

Turns out, Majid Namazi  blackmails Arastoo in the process — if he uses the expertise he’s acquired in America to solve the murder, he won’t call for his imprisonment for crimes he committed at 18. Thus, Arastoo starts looking at the remains on the table, determining that the young male was indeed Namazi’s son, Darius.

Cam, only aware that Arastoo was taken, enlists Booth and Brennan’s help and travels with the former to Iran. To expedite the process of getting visas, Booth asks help from buddy Danny of the CIA. Meanwhile, at the lab, Angela, Hodgins and Aubrey determine where Arastoo is — a center for plastic surgery that is now closed.

Danny also arranges a ‘guide’ for Cam and Booth while they are there; however, he leads them to Majid, who gives them two tickets back to America. Yet, Booth strikes a deal: the whole team will investigate the murder in exchange for Arastoo’s freedom once they solve it. As for the murder, the government records say the victim died from a broken neck after accidentally falling down the stairs — he was drunk at time of death. Namazi does not believe it, though.

(c) FOX

(c) FOX

Arastoo and co. send the x-rays and evidence  to the Jeffersonian, while maintaining a video feed. Brennnan quickly realizes that the blunt force trauma in the left temporal is unlike the other injuries. The force profile is wrong — the victim was hit before he fell down the stairs, proving this was indeed a murder. Namazi, however, is not happy with that and wants them to find the murderer.

Cam, Booth and Sanjar (Darius’ cousin, a police officer) look at the crime scene photos taken the day the body was found; Booth finds that his home office doorknob is unusually clean as there are no fingerprints left behind. Thus, Booth decides he is going to talk with the people at the bank, who just tell him what we have heard from Sanjar: Darius was a good, hardworking man, often doing 60-70 hours per week. Turan does mention a contractor, to whom Darius had denied a project, had been threatening him.

(c) FOX

(c) FOX

Thanks to the bone scans Arastoo sends to the team back in DC, they are able to 3D-print replicas and look at them themselves. That allows Angela to say that whatever hit the victim in the left temporal was a multifaceted object, as was whatever hit the victim on both sides’ ulna and radius bones, ribs and left clavicle. Moreover, Hodgins offers that the splinter Arastoo sent him from the wounds to the clavicle is poplar, probably from the staircase in the house. The most grueling set of injuries: half a dozen v-shaped strikes extending all over his body. They think this might be connected to the contractor, who has a record.

However, the contractor didn’t do it —Sanjar gets him to talk by inflicting fear in him: he only went to get money so he could get the loan he was seeking, but never entered the house. However, while he was outside he overheard an argument between Darius and a blonde foreign woman, with the latter leaving enraged.

Back in the morgue, Cam finds many blonde hairs in the victim’s clothing, as well as vaginal fluid in his underwear (indicative of premarital sex). Hodgins also finds that the animals feeding on Darius were Dachshunds — Darius was like a victory dinner for them. As Arastoo informs us, dogs are considered ritually unclean in Iran and are rare there (they require passports).

Soon, they find the woman, Oksana, who says Darius and she were in love; Darius was a reformer. The fight they had the night he died was about a dangerous work matter, but he refused to tell her. She wanted to help, but they fought and he told her to leave. She didn’t hear from him, came back to his house on Monday and found him and the dogs. She shipped them back to her native Russia so that they wouldn’t be put down. However, the rest of the interview is interrogated by Majid, who wants to stop the investigation after finding out Darius is a traitor to his own government.

They are able to buy some more time when they show him they are close to finding his son’s murderer. His phone got an alert after his death about someone trying to access Darius’ laptop — whoever it was, they also cleaned the home office’s doorknob. Yet, it’s Cam’s passionate speech about how Arastoo’s (and by extension, Darius’) only crime against their religious laws was in the name of love, which Arastoo backs by quoting the Qu’ran.

(c) FOX

(c) FOX

After a close examination of the bones, Brennan finds that the fracture in the left proximal tibia was the result of a pulled ligament, not an impact fracture. This means he was probably moved, indicating Darius’ house might not be the scene of the crime. Angela also finds out who stole the victim’s laptop: Sanjar. Booth questions him, and he confesses to having known this whole time about Oksana, the drinking, and Darius’ internet activities (advocating for freedom of speech and women’s rights). Sanjar claims that his uncle would be so ashamed if he were ever to find out about all of this. Majid storms in on them, and claims they only have an hour to flee after someone called the police and told them about what they’ve been doing.

Examining the bones one last time, trying to determine the killer, Brennan et al. deduce the victim was pushed down a grand staircase made of a harder material: marble — like the bank’s. Then, thanks to Angela uncovering that Darius had evidence on Turan for stealing capital, they find their killer.

The police storms in at that moment and cuts the video feed with the Jeffersonian, but Danny’s contact comes in and saves the day just in time.

Before heading back to the United States, Booth, Arastoo and Cam meet with Namazi for tea. When asked by Booth, Majid still admits to disapproving of his son’s lifestyle— he was not a Muslim, but he loved him. He does want to apologize and show them his gratitude for helping him find justice… but the three of them have a plane to catch.

The other major storyline in Iran belongs to Cam and Arastoo, who iron out some of the unresolved issues they had from before he left to take care of his brother: their reconciliation in the morgue, with Angela looking in, is adorable. Arastoo, knowing she blames him for coming to Iran in the first place, apologizes for the whole situation. She is understanding of the predicament, though, and just wants their lives back — as does he.

Much of their investigation scenes are about are defending the lives they are leading, mainly because they’ve had sex pre-marriage, are living together and Cam isn’t Iranian (or Muslim). Yet, they love each other and that’s all that should matter.

(c) FOX

(c) FOX

Their final scene is a goodbye to Hamid, Arastoo’s brother (now in full recovery), who can’t believe Cam came all the way to Iran to save his brother. After some brotherly banter, Hamid mentions that, maybe, they will see each other again at a wedding in the United States — something Cam happily agrees with. For someone who was recently having doubts about marriage, this feels like a step on the right direction. After that, the brothers hug and say goodbye.


I Just Can’t Ignore the Truth

I’ve mentioned this in the past, but Booth’s relapse feels so real it can be uncomfortable to watch. It’s a compelling and well-done storyline, but it’s been a car crash waiting to happen.

And crash it did.

I understand Booth never meant for his own situation to get out of control and drag his girls into it, but he is naive to think it wouldn’t come to this. As much as addiction is an illness, this seemed unavoidable, despite everyone’s warnings about what he might be getting himself into by going undercover. After such a complicated year, I imagine the rush that came with big wins was good enough… I just don’t think he realized that it wouldn’t be just a bet, or the repercussions a bad bet could have on both his family and his career.

This storyline, moreover, has made me wonder a lot about Booth’s past regarding gambling: how did it start? Was it a way of coping with PTSD after the war? Did meeting Brennan really make him stop, i.e. was it the internal drive he needed, or was it just an external factor that shouldn’t have worked but it did? (I could argue either position, though I want to think it drove him to change internally.) Did he ever hit rock bottom like he has now? And, could this present relapse have been avoided?

(C) FOX

(C) FOX

I don’t know if the show will have time to dive into the specifics, though I’m intrigued to meet his sponsor in the next couple of episodes. The fact that Booth’s lies about all of this have him on the verge of losing what he’s worked for so hard — his family with Brennan — including not living under the same roof, is enough to wake him up.

But first, let me quickly recap the storyline:

Booth starts the episode by receiving a call from his bookie — not good news for his latest bet. He uses Brennan’s bone knowledge to relate it to pitcher’s injures so that he can inform the next one he places. Later in the episode, while Booth’s in Iran, someone rings the door — it’s Jimmy, Booth’s bookie. He makes thinly-veiled threats to Christine and Brennan so that she pays off the $30,000 debt Booth owes after an double-or-nothing bet (i.e. the one he placed in the teaser, thanks to her unwitting help).

From this point on, it’s safe to say Brennan is distraught by the situation: she sends Christine to Max so she’s kept safe and enlists Aubrey’s help, who’s been feeling useless in the Iran case, to find  out more about Jimmy. (Brennan entrusts him with the task since he was the one to advice Booth not to go undercover.) The menacing bookie essentially blackmails Aubrey by creating hypotheticals: if the debt wasn’t paid, he could feed this information off to the FBI (or the press), destroying Booth’s career.

Therefore, by the end of the episode, Aubrey meets with Jimmy to pay the money off — while informing Brennan that Booth probably turned to Jimmy after Jason, his former bookie (the one we saw in “Eye“) refused to take Booth’s bet— and Brennan confronts Booth about all the lies he’s told her in the last couple of months.

(c) FOX

(c) FOX

The scene is not pretty to watch, if only because seeing Booth and Brennan argue can be upsetting, but it is so compelling at the same time: while they are both happy to see each other, Brennan quickly puts distance between Booth and herself, and as soon as she tells him to stop, he realizes there is something wrong. Though she is proud of him for helping out their friends and for his bravery in confronting the authorities in Iran, Booth lies to her face when asked about his true intentions behind the baseball-related questions before he left. She reminding him that “without the truth, we have nothing,” so that he should tell the truth. Despite his “everything’s fine, nothing’s wrong” attitude, his eyes and body language tell a different story than his words indicate — he gulps and pauses for a second before saying he’s not. Yet, when she reveals the Jimmy situation, he becomes apologetic and starts making up excuses that probably feel real to him — it was just a bet that led to another, and another; he was just not thinking.

However, despite all his attempts to gain her forgiveness, she asks him to leave again, as she cannot believe him right now. This time, he does… leaving them both wrecked, particularly Brennan.


This episode did not disappoint — the case was intense enough to have me hooked for the full hour. Though it was obvious everyone would be alright in the end, there were many twists that kept me in check. There was the clash of the religious law vs. the youths who opt for more reformist approaches (though not all do that, I know). Majid Namazi was also unpredictable and complex enough to carry the episode — stories like this, focusing on an external location and with a ‘special’ case do need someone who is interesting to watch, and Majid was it: a powerful man whose son wasn’t particularly exemplary… but he still loved him.

This clash, though, is also something the show has been using for awhile to infuse drama into Cam and Arastoo’s relationship. It’s a fairly common dilemma these days, so it was interesting that the show chose to revolve the case around it. I’m intrigued to see where these two are headed, since I don’t think they’ve worked out all their issues yet. (However, the wedding bells are chiming. It’s an anvil at this point.)

I didn’t see the two sets of stairs twist coming, though Turan being the killer seemed like the leading choice after Oksana reveals Darius’ stress after work. The show does a really good job of setting up all those little hints (as it usually does)  — some I only caught upon watching the episode a second time, i.e. the first shot in the bank location showing us the staircase.

Then, there was Booth’s gambling. The fact that it resurfaces while he is Iran just delays the inevitable confrontation. Brennan is very shaken by it: though she loves him and is very worried about him and thus pays his debt, she is understandably upset about his lies — he had a chance to come clean to her, but lied more. I feel like kicking him out while he repents is a valid decision in here. Do I think it will last for the rest of the season? No, but I think the bet loss, coupled with the possibility of losing what he holds most dear (his family) will finally get Booth out of this fog he’s been in.  I don’t think he’s thought things through; I feel as if he just kept going to feel better about himself.

That final scene, as I mentioned above, was truly great and worth a deeper analysis, but kudos to David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel for acting the heck out of it: the body language added another layer to the already fantastic acting. I really believe Brennan still loves him deeply (as does he, since his ‘I love you’ might have been the most sincere thing he said this whole time) but her disappointment in him overweighs the rest by the end of the episode, and her sigh at the end is truly crushing. This is the whole conundrum with addiction: it’s something the person can’t help doing, once something triggers it… but the ripple effect extends to all their loved ones, not just themselves.

Odds and Ends…

  • Is it just me, or was the house we see in the first scene the one in the 200th episode? At least, the staircase looked quite similar. I’d say the makeshift morgue also looked like the one in “Nazi in the Honeymoon” in season nine.
  • Aubrey used to work (domestic) surveillance! Hodgins’ reaction to it is the best.
  • “I am Hooshmand. One name, like Beyoncé.” I laughed really hard.
  • The scene with Christine asking about when her daddy would come back would be adorable. Of course “soon” is not enough for her… she does have a lot of her mother in her. Wonder if she will ask something similar to this next episode…?
  • Ah, remember that necklace Booth gifted his wife during “Big Beef,” paid by his gambling earnings– the one she’s been wearing ever since? While it didn’t have an explicit mention in the episode, she wore it this week, especially when Booth wasn’t around. However, she was not wearing it at the end. (Or the beginning, I think — didn’t see it, at least.)
  • While Brennan didn’t mention Booth after she finds out about his ongoing gambling, it’s the name she quickly yells when the feed goes black.
  • Not only does that last scene remind me a lot of the tough love she gave him in their fight in “Lance in the Heart,” as this is once again just what her husband needs to hear, but it was also a nice contrast to the season nine’s premiere’s last scene. I respect her choice in this episode, since I imagine it must have been so hard for her.
  • This episode was penned by Michael Peterson, long-time writer of the show and future co-showrunner. (Yay for season eleven!)
  • Sorry this is so late! Stupid sound problems + different timezones = not the best combination. Hope it was worth the wait!
  • Next week episode (airing on May 28): Booth is struggling with Brennan’s decision, and actually and finally going to Gamblers Anonymous. (Per the press release, we meet his sponsor, Gavin!) And there might be sparks flying between Aubrey and Jessica…(You can watch the promo here, and the stills here.)
… 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

4 Responses to BONES 10×19 Debriefing: All For Love

  1. Addie says:

    I felt the nervousness and tension again as I was reading this. I very much identify with your thoughts. Nicely done! 🙂

    • Cassidy says:

      Oh lord, I definitely wrote *too* much of what happened on the case. I’m glad I was able to mostly reproduce that. And thank you, Addie! You’re so sweet. 🙂

  2. BP says:

    Excellent Review! I really liked the episode too. The only thing I hope is that they don’t gloss over such a sensitive topic. This is the perfect place for Booth to openly explore some of his inner demons and really tear down some of his walls. Brennan has come so far in allowing herself to be vulnerable… but thats still something Booth has a tough time doing. What triggered his whole gambling mess was that he hadn’t dealt with his emotional issues from his arrest and Sweets death– he kept trying to prove he was strong and as a result couldn’t walk away from the case.

  3. Ruth Ann Walker says:

    This episode of Bones was fabulous and the acting by Booth & Brennan was outstanding. Anxious and excited to see next three episodes. Just a big A+ to Mr Peterson for an outstanding script.

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