After the gravitas of "The Patriot in Purgatory" last week, this episode does a good job of moving back toward the show's macabre comedy roots without overdoing it. In fact, the content was something you'd expect to see closer to February than chilly November, as love is in the purified, Jeffersonian air on Bones tonight. Love, poetry, and murder.
The victim is Charles Milner, a crime scene cleanup man. But what's more interesting than his job is the way his own body was discovered: vacuum-sealed in a pod of hardened plastic sheeting. Cue Hodgins (TJ Thyne) with a myriad of alien conspiracy theories, which is always entertaining, as are his co-workers' reactions. And so it's almost appropriate that Hodgins is the one who stumbles across a conspiracy going on right under everyone's nose at the Jeffersonian.
Actually, it's less of a conspiracy and more of a clandestine romance that Hodgins uncovers between Cam (Tamara Taylor) and Brennan's intern, Arastoo Vaziri (Pej Vahdat). The bug man overhears Arastoo reciting a poem that he wrote in Farsi for Cam and then later he and Angela (Michaela Conlin) spot the couple kissing. It probably would have been wiser for Cam and Arastoo to get a room as opposed to making out on work property if they wanted to keep their romance a secret, but so far the consequences are much less severe than the political exile he's suffered from his own countrymen for writing poetry about love, freedom, democracy, and sex.
Meanwhile, the case itself takes an interesting turn. Typically, Bones episodes will identify the victim and begin introducing a variety of probable suspects, offering one, maybe two red herring suspects before the killer - usually the first person they interviewed - is revealed. This time, however, only three suspects are considered and Brennan (Emily Deschanel) is certain that it's not the victim's stepson, Davey (Kevin G. Schmidt), but rather their fellow crime scene cleaner, Melvin Carville (Brad William Henke, pictured below with Emily Deschanel). And while it's typically Booth's gut that leads the way, this time Brennan's instincts prove to be correct.
But the problem is that Melvin cleans up evidence from crime scenes for a living, making him the perfect rival for Brennan and her team. What he doesn't know when he throws down his smarmy gauntlet, daring her to catch him, is that messing with Brennan is like messing with a tenacious bulldog. Sure enough, she rises to the challenge. Inspiration strikes at three in the morning and she and Booth leave Sweets (John Francis Daley) to serve as live-in manny as they head back to the now-gutted house where she and her hairdryer force the evidence they need to rise to the surface.
All in all, this was a decent episode with a nice nod to the Thanksgiving season via Hodgins' turkey science experiment. As for the the Cam/Arastoo development - it's different, but so far doesn't seem too out of sync with the rest of the show. Let's just hope this relationship doesn't get as awkward as the Angela/Wendell (Michael Grant Terry) debacle was.
Bones airs Mondays @8pm on Fox.