Is there a more time-honored procedural tradition than the “We’ll forgive everything if you help us solve this murder” episode? It doesn’t matter how much trouble our hero is in: No offense is so great that it can’t be erased by a bit of crime-solving. I doubt it works like that for actual investigators—even those with a skill as rare as forensic anthropology. Forgiveness isn’t actually that easy. Tonight’s Bones plays on both ends of the forgiveness spectrum, offering a quick fix for Arastoo’s political exile but leaving the wound caused by Booth’s gambling relapse wide open.
Arastoo’s risky return to Iran catches up to him when he’s captured by Majid Namazi, a member of the Iranian Parliament. Thanks to a poem that Arastoo wrote about democracy in 1997, Namazi has an edict charging Arastoo with crimes against national security. The edict was never issued, but Namazi is prepared to change that—unless Arastoo can help solve the murder of Namazi’s 25-year-old son, Darius, whose body was found at the base of his stairs. The authorities ruled it a drunken accident, but Namazi is convinced that there was foul play.
Booth calls in a few favors from his CIA friend, Danny, and joins Cam on a flight to Iran. The two are met in country by Danny’s contact, Hooshmand (“one name. Like Beyoncé”), who takes them to see Namazi. Namazi promises that Arastoo is unharmed but orders them to leave the country. Booth figures out that Namazi must need Arastoo to solve a murder—because this is television—and volunteers to throw the weight of the Jeffersonian and the FBI behind the case.
Cam and Booth join Arastoo in an abandoned surgical center and, after a non-threatening, totally casual reminder that kissing will get them arrested, get down to work. They make a video call to the Jeffersonian, where Brennan lights up to see that Booth is okay. (Remember that smile later and die inside.) She can tell from the X-rays that Darius was hit before he went down the stairs, confirming Namazi’s suspicion that his son was murdered, but Namazi was right for all of the wrong reasons.
Namazi believed that Darius followed religious law and thus could not have been drinking at the time of his murder, but Darius did his share of drinking. He was also having sex with a Russian oil executive, Oksana Kozlov. Kozlov claims that they were in love. At the news that his son was not the man he thought he was, Namazi tries to put a stop to the investigation, but telling the Jeffersonian team to let a murderer go free will always end the same: with impassioned character defenses and a quote from at least one religious text. They just want to catch the bad guy. Who could resist?
Namazi agrees to let the investigation continue, but there’s a new problem: Someone has called the authorities to report their activity, giving Cam, Booth, and Arastoo about an hour before the police put them all under arrest. Working under a time crunch, Arastoo and Brennan figure out that Darius was killed on one staircase, then pushed down a second to cover up the crime. Booth remembers a marble staircase at the bank where Darius worked. The bank’s president, Omid Turan, is an embezzler, and Darius was compiling evidence against him. As the hour winds down, Hooshmand and his men barge in to protect them, giving Booth enough time to arrest Turan for murder.
With that taken care of, Arastoo and Cam say a proper goodbye to Iran, Iran’s rose-petal-infused tea, and Hamid, Arastoo’s brother. Hamid is in full remission, which is an absurdly quick turnaround, given that he was dying a few weeks ago. Arastoo chalks it up to the experimental treatments he and Cam researched. Score one for science? Hamid drops hints that Cam and Arastoo should get married, and Cam probably starts thinking of new reasons why they should leave for the airport as soon as possible.
NEXT: Luck be a Brennan