TJ Thyne, Tamara Taylor, Michaela Conlin, Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz in BONES - Season 10 | ©2014 Fox/Brian Bowen Smith

TJ Thyne, Tamara Taylor, Michaela Conlin, Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz in BONES - Season 10 | ©2014 Fox/Brian Bowen Smith

Stars: David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, Michaela Conlin, TJ Thyne, Tamara Taylor, John Boyd, Pej Vahdat, Houshang Touzie
Writer:
Michael Peterson, series created by Hart Hanson, based on the life and writings of Kathy Reichs
Director:
Milan Cheylov
Network:
Fox Network, Thursdays @ 8 PM
Airdate:
May 14, 2015

Throughout Season 10 of BONES, there have been frequent references to lab boss Cam’s (Tamara Taylor) worries about her quasi-fiance Arastoo (Pej Vahdat) while he’s in Tehran tending to his sick brother. There have also been instances of Booth (David Boreanaz) succumbing to his gambling addiction, while lying about it to his wife Brennan (Emily Deschanel).

In “The Murder in the Middle East,” both of these storylines come to the fore. Just as Arastoo is in the middle of a phone call to Cam, he’s abducted off the street. Thanks to an open line, Angela (Michaela Conlin) is able to track where he’s been taken. Cam is frantic. Booth’s connection at the CIA can obtain passports without the red tape. Cam wants to head to Iran immediately to help Arastoo. Brennan offers to go with her, but since Brennan is pregnant, Booth insists she stay behind, declaring he’ll go in her stead.

Although Arastoo has dubious legal status in Iran, turns out he hasn’t been arrested. Instead, Iranian government minister Majid Namazi (Houshang Touzie) wants Arastoo to use his forensic expertise to find the killer of Namazi’s son Darius, whose severely mutilated corpse was found at the bottom of a staircase. Arastoo is able to determine that the mutilation is due to animal predation – some of it by dachshunds.

When Cam and Booth arrive, they are able to persuade Namazi to let them link up with the Jeffersonian (under the radar of official channels in both the U.S. and Iran) for maximum assistance. Booth finds out that the dachshunds belong to Darius’ Russian girlfriend. Darius was also quietly campaigning for free speech and women’s rights. This is an affront to Namazi on many levels. As a good Muslim, Darius wasn’t supposed to be romantically involved outside of marriage, much less with a non-Muslim. Namazi, scandalized by his son, also chastises Arastoo. Cam bristles and defends Arastoo as being a devout Muslim, who both prays and does good works – his only breach of conduct is romantic.

Although there are a number of suspects, it turns out that Darius was killed by his boss at the bank; the body was then moved to make it look as though he’d fallen down the stairs at his home. Namazi still loves his son, makes his peace with our team and lets all of them (including Arastoo) return to the U.S.

Meanwhile, Brennan receives an unexpected visitor – a debt collector from Booth’s bookie who makes veiled threats if somebody doesn’t pay the $30,000 Booth owes. Brennan is floored. Booth’s FBI partner Aubrey (John Boyd) offers to make the debt collector back off, but since the collector points out that if Booth doesn’t pay up, any public discussion of the matter will end Booth’s career, Brennan gives Aubrey the money to pay the debt.

When Booth returns home from Iraq, Brennan confronts him. Booth lies and says he hasn’t been gambling. Brennan tells him about paying the debt and throws him out of the house, not because of the gambling relapse but because he has consistently been untruthful.

“The Murder in the Middle East” is largely solid. The show is clever in the way it switches up the situation, putting Booth, Cam and Arastoo in a consistently tense situation as they investigate the evidence. There’s also a satisfying range of suspects. The one deficit here is Cam’s lecture on what does and doesn’t make a good Muslim. This is probably more directed at members of the audience who don’t know much about the faith, but it seems presumptuous (and perilous) when spoken by a non-Muslim to a grieving father who is in a position of power.

Booth’s addiction storyline isn’t as subtle as it could be, but it is handled very well and Brennan’s hurt and anger are played strongly and effectively.

The episode succeeds both as a standalone procedural and as part of an important seasonal arc.

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Article TV Review: BONES – Season 10 – “The Murder in the Middle East”

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