Saving One of Their Own is Intense on Bones Season 8 Episode 23

Bones Season 8 Episode 23
“The Pathos in the Pathogens”
Air Date: April 22, 2013

In a show with an ensemble cast as awesome as Bones, there will be a diverse group of fans that watch with a diverse group of interest focus. As a disclaimer, I will confess that I watch primarily for the Booth and Brennan storyline, interactions, moments. Thus, this recap will be colored by that focus.

“The Pathos in the Pathogens” begins with the Jeffersonian in the midst of preparation to receive a body that was discovered in a biohazard waste facility along with veterinary remains. The majority of personnel are being evacuated as Cam, Angela, Hodgins, Arastoo and Brennan are suiting up to enter a newly erected biohazard “tent” that surrounds the examination platform.

Dr. Ivan Jacobs with the CDC accompanies the body which turns out to be that of a female blogger, Mia Garrett, who specialized in big pharmaceutical and medical research stories. The victim is identified through facial recognition which Brennan does faster than Angela’s software because the victim’s mandible and maxilla had been smashed. This led to one of the few lighter moments in the show when Angela asked why they even used the software since they had Brennen. Brennan quipped, “Under normal circumstances it allows me to take a longer lunch.”

Yep, that was about the last humorous moment in the show because shortly after that, as Brennan, Arastoo and Dr. Jacobs are attempting to move the body into a bag, Arastoo is stuck by something that pierces his glove and draws blood. Brennan later discovers that Arastoo had been poked by the remains of the microneedle used to inject the victim with the mutated strain of the still unknown organism. The intensity ramps up at that moment and the focus shifts from victim #1 to potential victim #2.

It had already been determined that whatever organism killed Mia was not airborne, so the biohazard tent and suits became unnecessary, however the Jeffersonian security protocols are ramped up because Arastoo has been exposed. Booth has been worrying at the FBI building and as the bone room is converted into a makeshift hospital room, Brennan chats with Booth, giving us a sweet moment between the two…which is overheard by Dr. Jacobs as he stops by Brennan’s office to inform her of the latest development.

At Arastoo’s insistence, the team studies the progression of the organism as it begins working on him. A strain of the Chikungunya (CHICKV) virus is identified from tests run on Arastoo and a serum is brought from the CDC which has worked on some previous cases. Brennan re-examines bone lesions found on Mia because they don’t mimic CHICKV.

In the meantime, Sweets has interviewed Mia’s boyfriend, as well as Dr. Burke, the last person MIa interviewed while working on a story about lab research and viral mutations. As Brennan scans Arastoo, she points out that whoever injected Mia would likely have an antidote to the virus. They discover Mia was working on a story about a lab that develops performance enhancing drugs for horses. This leads Booth to interview the owner of horses that have benefitted from the drugs. It turns out he was also having an affair with Mia. Thus suspicion falls back on the boyfriend.

The serum arrives from the CDC. Arastoo describes his reaction…until he can’t. His heart beat increases, he has difficulty breathing followed by paralysis and then seizure. Cam reacts quickly, giving him something to lower his heart rate and that works. In the meantime, Brennan discovers Hodgins in his lab working on a serum he’s creating from plants, animal and insect in an effort to help Arastoo. The needle contained no helpful information and though he’s ready to defend his efforts to Brennan, she jumps right in and starts helping him get the weight to dosage ratio correct. Cam and Dr. Jacobs prepare Arastoo for another procedure. Cam puts Arastoo under because the treatment will be painful. Dr. Jacobs estimates Arasoo has about four hours left.

The boyfriend is interviewed again. Dr. Jacobs balks at the idea of using Hodgin’s serum and puts his foot down stating the CDC is in charge. Cam overrides him saying the CDC is in charge of Mia, she is the boss of the lab and responsible for Arastoo. She lets Brennan give Arastoo the treatment. When Arastoo’s condition improves slightly, Dr. Jacobs apologizes and Brennan gives him a very “eloquent insult”. Angela breaks through Mia’s encryption and discovers files that indicate Dr. Burke previously worked for a different facility which led to a lawsuit for wrongful termination, but the documents were sealed. This leads Booth and Sweets to the owner of the lab where Dr. Burked worked two years previous. The lab’s owner reveals that she was fired because several CHICKV cultures went missing. They couldn’t prove she took them.

Brennan discovers postmortem cellular reproduction has been continuing in the injection site on Mia which has caused a fracture of the humerus. This leads Hodgins to the discover the organism also contains botulinum toxin…they the organism is both viral and bacterial. Booth interviews Burke again. She implicates the owner of the lab that fired her. She’s convinced he would do anything to avoid losing his funding. Dr. Jacobs identifies that lab as the source for the botulinum. Booth goes into the hyper-aggressive mode we’ve seen in several of the latest episodes, arrests the lab owner and brings him to the Jeffersonian when he clams up.

At the Jeffersonian, Booth tries to muscle the location of the antidote out of the lab owner to no avail. He’s about ready to go off on the dude when Cam stops him. She tearfully pleads with the man, even admitting that she loves Arastoo. He does not relent. As Booth starts to get aggressive again, Brennan stops him. She picks up a syringe, tells the lab owner that she was able to distill the virus and promptly injects him in the neck with it. This finally gets the man to agree to tell them where the antidote is. The look of love and pride on Booth’s face is something to behold. Finally, the murderer is caught, Arastoo is saved. Cam accompanies him as he is transported to the hospital.

The episode was well-rounded with a fairly even amount of character contribution. Angela provided help with facial reconstruction and computer file decryption providing information that led to the capture of the murderer. Hodgins provided the location of the victim prior to her death because of insect activity. He distilled a serum from plants and insects that gave Arastoo extra time for the antidote to be administered. He was protective of Angela, telling her to steer clear of Arastoo during the investigation. They had a nice moment at the end where Angela let Hodgins know he was instrumental in keeping Arastoo alive and they are both witness to Cam hovering over Arastoo as he is transported to the hospital.

Sweets was front center in the majority of the interviews conducted in this investigation. He was by Booth’s side the rest of the time.

Cam was grace under extreme pressure as she artfully switched between lab administrator, doctor and worried lover.

If there was a character which was featured in this episode, I would say it was Brennan (rightfully so since the show is called Bones). She made the majority of the key discoveries, helped Hodgins in creating the serum, communicated with the FBI numerous times and managed to enthrall Dr. Jacobs without batting an eye. Her interactions with Booth were classic Booth and Brennan even though they weren’t physically together until the end of the episode. Both Jacobs and Booth find Brennan in her office at the end of the episode. Dr. Jacobs comes to thank her and is present as Booth arrives. Jacobs tells Booth he is a lucky man and Booth agrees.

As Booth and Brennan are leaving, Brennan tells Booth that there was no virus in the syringe she used…but tells him she would have used the virus if she had it. Booth tells Brennan that Jacobs really has no clue about how lucky he is and Brennan replies that she loves Booth too. She asks if they can stop for a drink on the way home. He agrees and says, “Champagne, the good stuff.”

How will the events of this episode impact these characters going forward? That remains to be seen, but I think it’s fair to say that Brennan was impacted by Cam’s distress over Arastoo as well as by her own feelings toward him given that she has already lost an intern in the lab. She even mentions that she would have missed Arastoo had they not been able to get the antidote. I’m sure she will continue to reflect on how connected she has become to all of these people and to Booth in particular. I would not be surprised to see a shift in her attitude toward marriage in the future.

In other news, the promo for the finale next week looked quite intense as well.