Bones 10×13 ‘The Baker in the Bits’: Would you like some fava beans and a nice Chianti with that?

Source: FOX

Hey, remember that time Booth was in jail for three months? It seemed like Bones all but forgot about that whole traumatic experience after the beginning of this season. However, tonight’s episode conveniently wove that little plot device back through the case of the week.

Bones has a habit of introducing these intense, game-changing plots, only to drop them completely after the episode, rarely ever heard of again. Booth’s incarceration at the end of season nine appeared to have fallen into the same barrel, mainly because Sweets’ death overshadowed it. By the third episode this year, Booth was back at work, and everything was business as usual, for better or for worse.

‘Baker’ finally addresses it, initially in the most innocuous of ways. Booth freaks out because the picture of his wife and daughter that he clung to so dearly while in the clink goes missing, and he snaps at everyone, including Brennan, until he finds it. I totally believed why he would have become obsessed with something so trivial, even though, as Brennan said, she could have easily just printed another copy. That piece of paper is a symbol of what he survived, and even though he has the real thing now, the picture is a memento of keeping his faith in his darkest hour.

Source: FOX

Source: FOX

Which is why it isn’t surprising at all that that flashback informs his behavior throughout the rest of the episode, especially when the case deals with ex-cons trying to overcome their pasts to make a life for themselves on the outside. I absolutely buy that Booth’s gut reaction would be to believe that they’re all reformed, because all he wanted when he was in prison was for someone to believe in him. Booth’s always been the White Knight of the FBI, but he’s also the guy who once said that most people are probably in jail for a reason. So it makes sense that a consequence of his false imprisonment is that he’d be particularly militant about defending former inmates.

As much as his prickliness is warranted, it is a little jarring to see him take it out on those around him, namely Brennan. I appreciated that we could see him wrestle with it on the spot — like how he gets annoyed about the missing picture, but immediately reminds her how grateful he is to her. That is the type of thing I would have liked to have seen earlier this season. I liked that Brennan didn’t really let him get away with it, because she doesn’t deserve it, and neither does Booth, when it comes down to it. I really hope this isn’t the last of the show dealing with the ramifications of Booth’s experiences.

Source: FOX

Source: FOX

I thought the discussion about whether a criminal can really change his spots was interesting, and a callback of sorts to seasons past when this moral debate was more the norm. Bringing Brennan’s father into the discussion was on the nose, although it does annoy me at times that the show seems to paint Max as a man also wrongly accused, when he’s an admitted thief and felon, and not exactly in the same league as Booth. It’s a valid point, and makes Booth’s attitude reasonable. Still, I’m glad that Brennan is proven right, and that she admits that she didn’t want to be right; she follows the evidence, and it’s why their team is so good. Booth is blinded by his own experiences and was losing sight of their real mission, and I’m happy Brennan steers the course. Yes, sometimes bad things happen to good people, but sometimes people just do bad things, like kill ex-cons and skin their tattoos as trophies. (By the way — YUCK! And as an aside: I’m convinced the bakery manager with the crazy eyes is still in on this.)

In other personal drama, Arastoo mulling whether to go back to Iran to visit his dying brother was oddly compelling to me. I say that only because I’m generally not a fan of his holier-than-thou attitudes in the lab as of late, but I understood his palpable need to return to his home country to hold his brother’s hand as he passes. Granted, I’ve never fled a violent dictatorship and been banished from my homeland, but the struggle to support a dying loved one is universally relatable. Frankly, I was kind of with Arastoo on the issue: while I do think he should have apprised Cam on the situation, ultimately it is his choice to make, and I do think he had the right to go back (in that it’s his risk to take), as stupid or dangerous as it might be.

Source: FOX

Source: FOX

While I’m not sold on Arastoo and Cam as a couple, what I did like about this week was how each of them sought (or received) advice. Firstly, I just about jumped off my couch out of joy when Booth and Cam had that lovely conversation by the coffee cart, because their friendship has been sorely missed. They get each other in a way their significant others don’t, and I’m happy that Booth’s perspective, not only as a soldier who’s been to Iran, but as someone who’s got his share of abandonment guilt, is able to comfort her. On the other hand, I liked how Brennan gives Arastoo a little tough love. It’s so refreshing to see her completely sympathize with where he’s coming from and supporting his choice, but then to tell him that he also needs to be honest with Cam about that choice rather than act moody about it. Just like with Booth, she is the voice of reason, and in both instances, her pragmatism is actually what draws out the emotional resonance. If they have to reduce her overall screen time, at least they’re giving her such strong scenes.

How did you like tonight’s episode? Is Booth overdoing it? Is Arastoo wrong to leave? Do we have another serial killer in our midst?

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