Arastoo finally returns in The Doom in the Boom. He has been gone for about 8 episodes, which could potentially equate to any amount of time in the Bones world. So much has happened during the time of his absence, especially in Cam’s life. She was finally able to make peace with her decision to move on. She had begun dating Sebastian, and she seemed to be doing reasonably well. She was operating under the assumption that Arastoo had found employment far away from the Jeffersonian and herself. So she took Daisy’s advice and opened her heart. But a crime scene explosion would send Arastoo right back to the Jeffersonian.
As Hodgins had escaped the explosion seemingly unscathed, Angela is ruminating on how and why they always seem to be the lucky ones. It honestly devastates me to hear this, knowing what happens by the end of this hour. But Hodgins survives. So really, they are lucky no matter what. Arastoo makes his grand re-entrance with a response to Angela’s question: “Because someone needs to be there to help the ones who aren’t.” Everyone is shocked to see him, as he was supposed to be off finding his own path. But he had seen the explosion on the news, and he felt compelled to help his team. Additionally, he wanted to ensure that those he cared about were safe- particularly, Cam. Arastoo admits that he was not in town, but had rushed back to D.C. as quickly as he could.
Cam insists that she is unharmed, but Arastoo still wants to help in any way he can. As “luck” would have it, Brennan has forgotten to call in an intern. Cam interjects, certain that Arastoo does not want to revert back to the role of Brennan’s intern. But that is not Brennan’s intention. He would be her consultant. I do not believe Arastoo would have cared either way. But consultant does sound more enticing. “I’ll be whatever you need me to be. I would just like to help.” He immediately concludes that the victim has an artificial knee, and that they can use the serial number to identify him. “Wow, you don’t waste any time, do you?”
Hodgins checks in with Cam to see how she’s doing with Arastoo’s return. But she is not interested in discussing her personal life at that moment. Mainly because Arastoo does not know about Sebastian. “The last time I saw or spoke to Arastoo was the night he quit.” That was months earlier, according to Cam. Hodgins points out that the moment Arastoo heard about the explosion he rushed back to make sure she was okay. “It’s obvious Arastoo still cares about you.” And she, of course, still cares about him. But she wants to focus on the case. More likely, she is confused by her feelings. Perhaps she thought she was genuinely on her way to moving on. And then seeing Arastoo again, obviously she is not. Those feelings tend to come rushing back.
As Brennan enters the bone room the next morning, she is greeted by Arastoo. He has already “cleaned, separated, and rearticulated the remains.” And he has almost completed the reconstruction of the victim’s skull. Brennan was not expecting him back in the lab for a second day in a row, and wants to make sure he has cleared his consultation with his new employer. But as it turns out, he does not have a new employer.
Oh. You’ve gone into the private sector?
I haven’t gone into any sector.
Things have been pretty tough for me since leaving the Jeffersonian.
I’m sorry to hear that.
My initial assumption that working for years under Brennan would give any intern a leg up in the field was apparently misguided. Brennan and Arastoo are examining the injuries to the skull, when Hodgins rushes in in to inform them that the bomb from the scene was a pipe bomb- indicating that the explosion was not caused by a sophisticated crime syndicate as they had previously posited.
Cam and Arastoo awkwardly find themselves alone in the bone room after Brennan leaves to call Booth. She tells him that she heard he was having trouble finding a job. Arastoo acts nonchalant, and assures her he will find something. He asks how Cam is doing. “Everything’s good.” They nervously laugh for a few moments. Cam finally apologizes for the “weird” situation. Arastoo understands. She then leaves him to his work, and he longingly watches her walk away. Someone is definitely not over his last relationship. I thought Sebastian was decent- kind, charming, and all that. But I think it’s just natural for us to root for the characters we know and love. So I’m rooting for Arastoo.
Later, Arastoo, Cam, and Hodgins are examining another body involved with the case. Cam’s phone rings, and we see that it’s Sebastian. She answers the call, and the conversation sounds a bit more intimate than Arastoo was anticipating. From what we can overhear, Sebastian wants to make sure Cam is unharmed, and he was worried when she neglected to call him after the explosion. Arastoo tells Hodgins that it seems unlike Cam to take a “personal” call during a case. Hodgins notes that “it’s probably just Sebastian.” He must have assumed Arastoo was already aware of the man Cam was dating. But obviously that is not the case. Arastoo pushes for more information from Hodgins. “He’s… no one. He’s just a guy who exists in reality.” Arastoo asks if he and Cam are dating. Hodgins nervously chuckles and attempts to avoid telling Arastoo the truth. But he gives up and admits that the two are indeed dating. Hodgins tells Arastoo that Sebastian is rarely around, and that he shouldn’t worry about it. He goes a bit too far explaining that Sebastian is an impressive photojournalist, which has the opposite effect than he intended. “But not… not as impressive as you. I mean, you’re totally impressive, even without a job. I’m gonna stop talking now.” Arastoo thinks it’s great…for Cam. “She deserves to be happy.” While Arastoo is visibly crushed, I know he means it.
After Arastoo points out an injury to the skull, Brennan tells him that she wants to help him in finding employment. But Arastoo assures her that she has already done more than enough for him.
I am very well-respected in my field. My influence knows no bounds.
I know. But I think it’s time for me to leave the nest and learn to fly on my own.
Well, if you ever change your mind, I’m here for you.
I love this moment so much. It figuratively warms my heart every time Brennan engages in this kind of exchange with one of her interns. They have always been more than just employees. Try as she did not to love them after Zack, she failed. While Brennan can be tough, they also know that she truly cares about them. And Arastoo knows that Brennan would help him in a metaphorical heartbeat. Something I also very much respect here is Arastoo’s pride. Perhaps it is foolish to decline the assistance of someone as renowned and respected as Temperance Brennan. After all, a personal phone call from her would probably get him any job he wanted. But he is right. Brennan has given him so much over the years. She taught him, and helped shape the brilliant forensic anthropologist he is today. She also helped save his life. You have to respect his desire to make it on his own. But his smile in that moment indicates that he truly appreciate his mentor’s generosity. Also, we already know that he is refraining from sharing the entire truth about his job prospects.
After some rather intense scenes, and an apprehension of the bomber/killer, the case is complete. Arastoo enters the autopsy room to catch Cam before she leaves for the night. He wants to apologize to her for lying. He does not officially have a job, but a lab in Berlin has been very aggressively “courting” him. She seems really excited for her former lover, and congratulates him on the amazing opportunity. See, I knew that his experience as an intern at the Jeffersonian had to make him attractive to other employers. It simply made no sense that he was having difficulty finding a job. But Arastoo has not officially decided whether or not he wants to take the job. Cam is perplexed, as it sounds like everything he ever wanted.
Because it’s in Berlin. And you’re not.
Don’t d… Please don’t do this.
Look, I love you. And I realize now I should have never walked away. I’m not ready to give up on you yet. You’re more important to me than any job could ever be. Hell, I’d go and make cheese sandwiches for minimum wage if it meant coming home to you every night.
I’m seeing someone.
I know. But is it serious?
I… I don’t know.
Well, if you don’t know, then it’s not serious. Please. I want to be back in your life. What do you say?
I have to agree with Arastoo. Even having a little more information than he does, it is definitely easy to conclude that Cam’s relationship with Sebastian is far from serious. Is it a question of whether she thinks her heart will get broken again? Or has she actually moved on? It does not appear to me that she has. But she’s being cautious this time. Obviously. And before she can answer Arastoo, Angela’s harrowing screams interrupt the moment. Cam and Arastoo sprint out of the autopsy room and see Hodgins laying on the floor- motionless. And we all know how this ends.
Arastoo makes his next appearance in The Monster in the Closet. He doesn’t actually show up until over ten minutes into the episode, and the case is already in progress. Cam finds him working diligently in the lab. She had no idea he was coming in.
Dr. Brennan told me she’d be bringing in outside help. She just failed to mention it would be you.
That’s not a surprise. I suppose to her, our past isn’t even a factor.
No, I’m sure she just grabbed the best person she could find.
Not to focus on the immaterial here, but I do enjoy the fact that Arastoo understands Brennan enough to know that she would not have even considered the current situation between himself and Cam before calling him in. Cam knows that as well. They quickly change the subject to the case- a safe conversation for the two of them. It’s not entirely apparent as to whether or not they have already discussed what happened on the night Hodgins was paralyzed, but I would wager that they have not.
The injuries Cam found on the current victim’s tissue sound eerily familiar to Arastoo. He shares his hunch with Brennan, who is not one to put much stock in coincidence. But it turns out to be more than coincidence. There is another set of remains from six months prior, which display the exact same injuries. The victim was never identified, and those remains have been stored in limbo. Brennan believes that to be impossible, as she has personally catalogued every set of unidentified remains. But this occurred during the time when Booth and Brennan quit their jobs. And Brennan is stunned. Hodgins informs the two of them that they are dealing with a serial killer.
In the bone room, Brennan is listing off tests she wants Arastoo to run. But he has already conducted each of those tests, and the results have been inconclusive.
It appears you’ve done everything you could. Therefore, you should not feel any guilt that the killer has taken another life.
Dr. Brennan, I assure you, my conscience is clear.
Good. I am relieved you are not burdened by such feelings.
Arastoo may not be burdened. But Brennan clearly is. Would this killer have been caught if she was still at the Jeffersonian during this time? We will never know. Neither will she.
In a candid discussion with Angela, Cam admits that seeing Arastoo again is strange. “It is… but it is also really, really great.” Angela tells Cam to let Sebastian down gently, as she gets the feeling Cam and Arastoo will not be apart for long. “If that’s what I choose to do.”
Arastoo is only in a couple more scenes during this episode. In his last scene, he walks into the autopsy room and asks Cam if she knows where Brennan is. Cam informs him that Brennan is probably already home by now. Arastoo asks if she is leaving as well.
I was considering it, but to be honest, the thought of an empty house kind of creeps me out right now.
I understand. Must be frightening, the idea that this killer may have seen you on video.
Any chance I could, uh, maybe talk you into driving me home?
Of course, and if it would help, I could stay as long as you like. Or, what I mean is, I could stay at least until Sebastian is able to join you.
Well, that may be a while, ‘cause I’ve decided I’m not going to be seeing him anymore.
In a very un-shocking turn of events, it looks as though these two are on their way to a lovely reconciliation. It makes sense. It’s not as though they ever stopped loving each other. It was a matter of circumstance. Love isn’t always enough. He needed to leave. I am unsure as to what his true motivations were in leaving the Jeffersonian. Yes, to find a job. But he also needed to leave the sanctuary of a place he had called “home” for so long (8ish years in our time, more in Bones time). Maybe he just needed to go, if only to prove that the right thing to do was stay. Perhaps it was also not a conscious choice. But his offer to make grilled cheese sandwiches if that is what it takes to be with Cam proves that in this case, love conquered all. Though, I would hope he could find a job that utilized his skill set just a bit more. I am happy for them. Because they deserve happiness. All of these characters deserve happiness. In their line of work, it’s not hard to see that life is short. But given what happened to Hodgins, it’s also completely unpredictable. They need to live in each moment moment. They need to follow their hearts, so to speak. You never know what could happen.
While Arastoo is referred to in a few more episodes, his last physical appearance in season 11 was in The Movie in the Making. This episode is one I could talk about for days. I love each and every Bones episode. EVERY SINGLE ONE. But as I have said before, this episode is just quintessential Bones. It is a love letter to longtime fans who have watched and adored this show for so long. It is simply brilliant.
Arastoo is now a consultant for the team. And he appears to be enjoying the fact that they are being filmed during this case. He is almost giddy on the platform as Brennan is explaining that a “gut” should not typically be used to open a murder investigation- unless it contains poison.
Or a stab wound.
Or a stab wound, yes. A stab wound to the gut should also suffice to open a murder investigation.
Or a gunshot.
That’s enough, Dr. Vaziri.
Cam ascends the platform and greets Arastoo very awkwardly and officially. He reciprocates. Brennan appears a bit perplexed, and then tells Cam that they are extremely busy. Cam reports her findings, and Brennan can now conclude that the victim was indeed murdered.
Some time later, Brennan returns from her presentation to Christine’s class. She enters the bone room with the camera crew in tow, and Cam and Arastoo jump apart. They side step what they were discussing prior to the crew’s appearance, and Cam asks how Career Day went. Brennan explains that Christine displayed impressive composure during her presentation to the class. And she adds that Christine will likely make an excellent forensic anthropologist someday. Cam is surprised that Christine has already decided to set out on this particular career path. But Brennan logically explains that she is the world’s foremost forensic anthropologist, and that it would be foolish of her daughter not to take advantage of that level of access. Arastoo’s face is priceless in this moment. But is anyone surprised by this conversation?
Arastoo shares some findings with Cam, and the producer observes that the two of them make a good team. Arastoo agrees. And Cam explains that they have been working together a long time. “That’s all. There’s nothing special.” Ouch. I assume the two of them had a discussion about remaining strictly professional prior to filming. Poor Arastoo’s face fell a bit after Cam played down their connection. He has to know she doesn’t mean it. She also claims her relationship with him is no different than with any of the other interns. Interesting.
The scene cuts to a sit-down interview with Arastoo and Cam. Arastoo talks about the attributes that make Cam an excellent boss. The producer then asks him what he thinks of her on a personal level. But Cam interrupts before he can answer. I can understand her motivation here. She is the head of the forensics division at the country’s top laboratory. What would the world say if it was public knowledge that she was “sleeping with” her subordinate. Though, we know it is far more than that. But I get it. She is private. And she wants her private life to remain as such. Arastoo will, of course, go along with it. But you can tell he would also be fine with shouting from the rooftops as well.
The team begins to talk about tragedy at the lab over the years. As Arastoo is the “intern” (obviously not an intern) of the week, he is the one to talk about Vincent and the events of The Hole in the Heart. He mentions how Vincent’s death profoundly affected Brennan. “She took it pretty hard. Dr. Brennan’s our mentor, and even though she’ll never admit it, I think she tends to regard all of her interns as her children. So to lose one…” At that moment, Brennan interrupts him. “Dr. Vaziri, we have yet to determine cause of death, so stop talking and get back to work.” Arastoo heads to the bone room, but Brennan lingers by Vincent’s portrait. Arastoo was absolutely correct. Emotions and adhering to social norms have not always been her strongest suit. But Brennan has the biggest metaphorical heart. She truly loves her interns. And I believe she certainly feels protective over and responsible for their well-being and safety. Vincent’s death was a lifetime ago. So much has happened since then. But it clearly still affects her. His death weighs on her. Because he was one of her people. I do like that Arastoo has developed an understanding of Brennan over the years. I remember a time when this was not necessarily the case. A time when he commented on how rare it was for a case to become “personal” to her.
Objectivity allows us to make unclouded assessments. I’m sorry if you think that means I don’t care.
I didn’t mean that.
Of course you did. I assure you if I knew how to convey how I feel, I would. It seems to make other people’s lives much easier.
He definitely gains a better understanding of his mentor as the years have gone by. She also has opened up to her interns a bit more over the years as well.
Brennan is explaining to the camera crew that though they have yet to find cause of death, she has confidence in her team and their abilities. At that moment, Arastoo (right on cue) tells Brennan he found something. He explains under his breath that he actually found it earlier but he wanted to wait until it was timed with her statement. She interrupts him by saying “I don’t care.” It’s not necessarily a notable moment, but his enthusiasm is sweet, and her comment makes me laugh. Arastoo proceeds to tell her what he has discovered, and Brennan commends him on the “excellent find.”
A few scenes later, the producer comments on how Brennan and Arastoo have examined the bones “at least a dozen times.” Brennan explains that they will continue to analyze them until they discover cause of death.
What if that day never comes?
That is not possible. Every time we examine the remains, we discover something new. And that is because we continuously adjust the way in which we look at the bones. With new perspective comes new insight. Which means that it’s only a matter of time before we find what we’re looking for.
The duo examines the bones once again. And they finally determine cause of death, as we all knew they would.
The team apprehends the killer, and the case is solved. The next scene is really one of my favorite Bones moments. I never choose favorites, so I constantly avoid it. But there is something so special about these characters talking about what they want to be when they “grow up.” Their answers fit their characters perfectly. As it relates to Arastoo, he wants to be a husband and a father. Unfortunately for him, the timing of his admission is not ideal. Or was it? Cam walks into the room as he shares this bit of information. And she is stunned. They have talked about marriage in the past, but that was before they separated. And the two of them spent the entirety of this episode pretending they were not a couple. Arastoo is alerted to Cam’s presence, and attempts to explain to her that he was not talking about her or “them.” The producer tells Arastoo that the cameras do not lie, and he starts yelling at the crew. He is outraged that they are disrespecting Cam’s desire to keep her personal life personal. But for the first time in this episode, she is not upset.
You don’t have to do this anymore. I love you. I-I love the way you protect me, and I love the way you fight for me. And I… I want to spend the rest of my life with you.
Wait, are you asking me if I’ll…
Y-Yes, yes. Of course.
And they embrace. FINALLY. Cam and Arastoo are both ecstatic. And this time, they know that it is right. I will repeat my earlier assessment that I believe it was premature for them to consider marriage earlier in the season. They were at a crossroads. If Arastoo had stayed, then he may have always wondered what might have been. There could have been regrets and resentment. But now he knows. Who can say what is in store for this man in terms of his professional path. But it turns out, it doesn’t matter. He wants to work. He wants to apply his vast knowledge of anthropology in some way. He is not going to stay at home and watch television all day (my own personal ambition). But there is no pressure anymore. All roads lead to Cam. And I think it’s a very well deserved happiness for these two.
As I wrap this up, I have wrapped up all the interns. Not too much to go now before A. the season 12 premiere and B. this never-ending season 11 recap is completed. The main characters will obviously be a bit broader. I focused on them far more throughout the actual season anyway. But I think it was good to give these recurring characters the spotlight. It was a fun exercise to emphasize their importance to this team and this show.
Next week- Aubrey or Cam. Hm, or quite possibly both.