New Show Recap: Bones, Episode 8.23, “The Pathos in the Pathogen”

Tonight, Bones is preempted by Outbreak! Only with less Dustin Hoffman. 

A still from the tv show Bones: the cast walk into the lab, dressed in biohazard suits.
The Outbreak team is on the case. (Image: Michael Desmond/FOX)

The body of the week is brought straight to the Jeffersonian team after being discovered in a biohazard facility on a random CDC spot check. The team gets suited up to prepare for the unknown infection, which seems to be working super fast. Booth and Sweets are working the case from outside the lab. Ivan Jacobs, the CDC representative, hopes that an ID on the victim will help them determine what the virus is and where she contracted it. Someone doesn’t want the body IDed, though, because all the teeth have been smashed in and there isn’t enough flesh to get prints. Brennan suspects that the killer covered their tracks to prevent anyone knowing how to stop them. Booth translates for us viewers: she’s talking about bioterrorism.

Angela’s having a rough time IDing the victim because her software can only ID a part of the face. Brennan steps in and figures out which of the possibilites it is: Mia Garrett. Sweets brings in her fiancé, who says she was working on a story; she wrote about medical research. He didn’t know what specific piece she was working on this time, though.

The bloodwork comes back to rule out airborne pathogens, so the tents and suits are done away with. Brennan takes a bone marrow sample and Dr. Jacobs says they need to bag up the remains until… well, there’s not really an explanation, but he and squintern Arastoo Vaziri move the body, causing Arastoo to get stabbed by something on the body. Jacobs rushes him to a saline rinse. Brennan finds the tip of a microneedle on the body (so small, she wouldn’t have felt it), which caused Arastoo’s wound. Arastoo says that they need to just wait and see if he gets sick and study his symptoms to help break the case. Cam is, of course, not on board with this at first, but is talked into it.

The bone marrow comes back and it’s not good. Jacobs thinks it might be Chikungunya (CHIKV), but mutated (a disease with symptoms similar to dengue fever). Arastoo’s already showing signs of fever and illness. Brennan points out that the killer would logically have an antidote, so they need to concentrate on solving the case.

Jacobs orders the normal CHIKV antidote and gets it to Arastoo, but his heart rate goes crazy and he starts seizing. So that didn’t work. Hodgins starts working up some folk remedies and Brennan is eager to help. As Cam knocks Arastoo out so they can try a painful treatment, she asks Jacobs how long he has. Jacobs estimates four hours. Brennan comes in with Hodgins and the herbal remedies but Jacobs says it’s not CDC protocol. Cam basically tells him to shove protocol up his ass and goes ahead with the herbal injection. He gets more stable and Jacobs apologizes to Brennan.

The suspects:

-Ben, Mia’s fiancé. They were bloggers together, but she was very secretive about her work. The case gets worse for him when it’s found that she cheated on him for a story and accidentally sent one of her sexy emails to him instead. He swears he forgave her, though. He was in the Indian rainforest, where he could have bought a black market virus (because those are so easy to find) and has easy access to needles for his diabetes. He’s cleared when Hodgins says his needles are a different gauge.

-Bryan Fuller, a horse owner, who Mia was investigating on a possible horse doping scandal. And also the guy she was cheating on her fiancé with. His lab doesn’t show signs of making anything infectious, though.

-Tessa Burke, who was being interviewed by Mia about mutations of viruses like SARS. Dr. Burke was helping Mia because she thought that Mia’s work could bring exposure to those pathogens. She insists her lab is clean, but her work history shows that she was fired from a higher level facility two years before. Booth talks to Lemon Thorne, her former employer, who intimates that Burke was fired for circumventing the rules; in fact, she stole cultures of the CHIKV virus.

Brennan finds a new break on the victim, made from inward pressure, after death. Brennan says there was something tumor-like added to that injection. They’re bacteria, botulism, added as a booster. That bacteria is regulated through the CDC, so they work on tracing it. Booth promises to get the antidote from Burke. She denies stealing the cultures and says that Thorne fired and accused her of theft to steal all her notes. She pointed Mia to him as being a company that was working on unauthorized mutations and suggests that Lemon Thorne was the one that killed Mia. That seems to fit as the botulism bacteria was registered to his company only this year (meaning Burke couldn’t have stolen it).

A screencap from the TV show Bones. The character of Brennan threatens another character with a needle.
Brennan will mess your stuff up, yo. (Image: Patrick McElhenney/FOX)

Booth goes back to Thorne and arrests him. Thorne wants to lawyer up rather than give the antidote, so Booth takes him on a little walk. He brings Thorne into the lab and shoves his face close to Mia’s remains, and then takes him to look at Arastoo. Cam pleads with Thorne not to let Arastoo die. He just replies that he wants his lawyer. Brennan shows Thorne a needle saying that they were able to cultivate the virus. She stabs him with it, saying that perhaps he’ll tell them now and he, of course, agrees. Booth smiles a little, even though he knows he shouldn’t.

Angela lets Hodgins know that Arastoo is recovering and points out that he and Brennan saved Arastoo by extending the time he had. Dr. Jacobs comes to thank Brennan and her team and hopes that next time they’ll meet under less stressful circumstances. Of course, Brennan didn’t have the real virus, she assures Booth. But, if she did have it, she totally would have used it since she likes Arastoo and Cam.

The Verdict

While I liked the case in general, I feel like the whole Arastoo bit was unnecessary. Especially since we didn’t really think they were going to make a habit of killing off squinterns just before the finale.

Next Week

Pelant is back and killing FBI agents for the season finale. I’m on the edge of my seat.


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Crystal Coleman

Florida girl living on the west coast. During the day, I consult in social media and community management. I have a really cute puppy (Elphaba) and a British husband (I keep him for his accent) as well as an unhealthy relationship with parentheses.

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