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Bones - The Murder in the Middle East - Review

Ohhhh Boneheads, this is what I've been waiting for! Was it only a few weeks ago that Booth let himself stumble back into his old gambling addiction? Was it only a few weeks before that Cam had to let Arastoo go home to Iran?

Episode 19, "The Murder in the Middle East", brought those two story arcs into sharp focus, and I won't lie; I loved every minute of it.

It's been a somewhat dull season, compared to others. No stylistic serial killers looking to outsmart the Jeffersonian, no renegade snipers with exploding bullets. Just facing the demons that lurk in our pasts...or more specifically, Arastoo and Booth's pasts.

Before the crime solving, we got a taste of just how deep Booth has gone in his gambling; he was $15,000 in debt, and sneakily gathering intel on a pitcher's performance by asking Brennan questions about the human body. Ew. I don't think Booth has ever made my skin crawl before.

In lieu of a murder in the good old US of A, this week's corpse turned up in Tehran, where Arastoo was caring for his cancer-stricken brother. At the beginning of the episode, we got some good news - his brother was better, and Arastoo was soon to be back in Cam's ever-so-stressed-out arms.

But suddenly - BAM - Arastoo was wrestled into a van and delivered to a member of Parliament, who threatened to throw Arastoo in prison for his long-ago crimes if he didn't use his skills as a forensic anthropologist to solve the murder of his son, Darius.

Booth and Cam pulled some strings to get to Iran, and made a bargain with the Parliament member: their help solving the case, in exchange for Arastoo's safe passage back to America.

In Booth's absence, a stranger arrived at Brennan's door. He came to collect a debt swollen to $30,000. Even though he seemed clean cut and pleasant, his appearance clearly creeped out Brennan...and it brought her to the harsh realization that Booth fell back into bad habits.

While Cam, Booth, and Arastoo scrambled under tight deadlines, cultural clashes, and the threat of incarceration, Brennan enlisted Aubrey's help in getting rid of the surprise bookie. With a little luck, and a lot of assistance from the rest of the Jeffersonian team, the young Iranian's murder was solved.

But Booth was not as lucky when he returned home. Brennan praised him for his bravery in Iran. Then she reminded him of the conversation they'd had earlier about the recovering pitcher. She reminded him that "without the truth, we have nothing," and asked him outright if he was gambling again. Booth lied. Brennan told him about the bookie, and then told him to leave the house. He tried to apologize, but she sent him away anyway.

This is the kind of moment that sets Bones apart from the vast majority of shows on the air. A lot of shows take moments of conflict like this and explode them in our faces; the actors fight, the music swells, everyone cries. Other shows might show the woman hiding her knowledge of the indiscretion, and bringing it up later, to add to the drama.

But not Bones. Bones lays it all out in the open, like one of the skeletons in her lab. She knows that with enough discourse and careful consideration, the answers will come to light...even if she might not like the outcome. I've been waiting all season for the show to reiterate what a strong, confident woman its main character is, and this was the moment.

All in all, "The Murder in the Middle East" did an excellent job of keeping the tension high throughout the episode, making progress along two extremely important story arcs, and showcasing its kickass characters.

About the Author - entropyki
Ki (aka entropyki) is a UX Researcher, roller derby enthusiast, Star Wars nerd, and road tripper. When she's not at a computer, she's driving, singing, watching TV, and generally being a badass, plus-sized twentysomething.

Favorite shows include Supernatural, Bones, Party Down, Futurama, Orange is the New Black, and the Big Bang Theory.