*Note: I finally determined the number of posts in this absurdly ridiculous season 11 recap. 15. 15 parts. In case anyone was wondering…
Sometimes I forget that Cam was not always a part of the team. And occasionally I fail to remember a time (a very short period of time) when I felt threatened by Cam’s presence in the lab. Being that I fell madly in love with this show and these characters instantly, the first episode of season 2 already felt like ten years into the series. So the introduction of a new character into this already assembled dynamic initially felt somewhat intrusive. But it obviously did not take me very long to love Cam as I do the others. I could not be more thankful that this character was not killed off after just a few episodes (as was the original plan). Tamara is just too magical. Cam is just too important. I simply can not imagine Bones without her. Luckily, I never have to. She won over the audience, and the rest is television history.
Cam certainly experienced a rollercoaster ride of emotions this season. She had to deal with filling Brennan’s newly vacant position, Booth’s disappearance and near-death, and parting ways with Arastoo. And that was all just contained within the first two episodes. She had to figure out how to move on, only to realize she didn’t want or need to move on. She saw Aubrey almost kill himself saving Hodgins from an explosion. She watched Hodgins painfully face paralysis, and Angela deal with the massive emotional fallout. She got engaged to her love, and finally planned a wedding. And there is still much to come.
A decent chunk of Cam’s story was told through Arastoo’s. However, I attempted to keep my commentary limited to his side, as Cam’s side is entirely different.
At the conclusion of season 10, Cam was blindsided by the news that Booth and Brennan would be leaving their jobs at the close of the case on which they were working. This affected Cam quite significantly, both personally and professionally. I am sure she understood the necessity behind the couple’s decision to take a step back. After all, Booth and Brennan had a very tumultuous year. But this also meant she was going to need to find a replacement for Brennan. And really, how can you ever replace Temperance Brennan? The short answer, as Cam soon found out, is that it is actually impossible. While Cam searched high and low for candidates during the six months between seasons, she could never quite find anyone permanent. No one was sufficient. Every finalist she brought to Brennan for approval was nixed by the anthropologist. Though, you have to wonder if Brennan was just subconsciously sabotaging every proposed candidate. She would never admit to it, as it’s within the realm of psychology. I’m also not sure why Cam couldn’t hire a forensic anthropologist without the green light from Brennan. But that was the situation into which we entered upon the start of season 11. Arastoo had been filling the role temporarily, and Hodgins proposed keeping him there permanently. In theory, perhaps it seemed like a good idea. I’ve spoken about this enough over the past few weeks. Arastoo is brilliant, he’s capable, and he already works seamlessly with the rest of the team. However, he just lacks the necessary occupational experience. He only just received his doctorate. If the Jeffersonian wanted to remain in the top echelon of forensic facilities, Cam was better off hiring someone with experience more comparable to Brennan. But to Cam, the prospect of having Arastoo around for good was likely a bit too enticing. I cannot blame her for losing a bit of perspective and objectivity in this situation.
After the ordeal with Booth was resolved and Brennan announced her imminent return to the lab, Cam was faced with yet another decision. During this case, she found out that Arastoo was planning on proposing. Well, he had plans to propose before Booth went missing. But Arastoo’s confidence was waning throughout these first two episodes. He was beginning to realize himself that he may not be a suitable replacement for Brennan. Not yet. He misidentified the remains as Booth, which is a colossal mistake to make when talking about Temperance Brennan’s husband. And he was missing small clues along the way, which tend to come more easily with experience. He mentioned to Cam that it may be time for him to look for employment elsewhere, but they tabled the conversation until Booth was found alive.
Arastoo could not very well remain at the Jeffersonian as an intern. He both wanted and needed to go out into the world and explore his opportunities. He had to gain the experience necessary to run a lab like the Jeffersonian. And that would likely take years. Arastoo implores Cam to really think about their situation. He does not want her to look back on her life one day and regret choosing him over a job that she loves. Ultimately, she chooses her work and he chooses his.
Cam does not hear from Arastoo for an indeterminate amount of time. She admits to Brennan that she misses her former flame, but also that she is at peace with her decision to stay. Cam absolutely loves her job. And she worked hard to get where she is. It isn’t always easy (nothing of value is), but she would not trade it for the world. There is no shame in choosing yourself over another. There is nothing wrong with the fact that while she obviously loves this man, she put herself first. Arastoo was right. If she married him, followed him to some far off place, and had to settle for a job she didn’t want or no job at all- it would only be a matter of time before she began to resent him. And if Arastoo stayed without exploring his options, he too may begin to resent Cam. It doesn’t mean they do not love each other. It’s because they love each other that they had to separate. So I both support and celebrate the choice these two made. It was a difficult and nearly unbearable one, I imagine. But if and when they come together again, it will be under the right circumstances.
When Sebastian first came into the picture, I mistakenly thought he would be more of a threat to Hodgins and Angela- and this was only because I had no idea what fate was about to befall the couple. We had been told to expect something terribly traumatic. It’s not as though I thought Sebastian would be the catalyst. But I thought he could have been a part of the fallout. As it turns out, Sebastian was actually interested in Cam. At first she politely declined any offer to see this man socially. She still found herself unable to move on from Arastoo. Just because she made the decision to stay, it doesn’t mean she felt ready to see other men. That is perfectly rational. But a conversation with Daisy would change her mind. While Daisy suffered one of the most painful losses one can experience, she found a way to relate to Cam. To Daisy, both she and Cam lost a loved one. And whether that person is no longer in the city or on this earth is irrelevant. Losing a great love is profoundly painful. Daisy encouraged Cam to open her heart again. Cam listened, and made an attempt to take that leap with Sebastian.
I still have a hard time believing that Cam ever thought this relationship was going to go anywhere. But maybe it was just too early. Arastoo returned to the lab after the explosion, and confessed that he wanted Cam back. But she never gave him an answer due to Hodgins’ trauma. Arastoo found out that Cam was dating, and it clearly made him reevaluate his priorities. He had job prospects, but told Cam he would make grilled cheese sandwiches for a living so long as he could be with her. Arastoo later returns to the Jeffersonian as a consultant. At that point, Cam knew that she was faced with a choice. This choice would turn out to be very simple. She in no way wanted to hurt Sebastian, but it’s always been Arastoo. While he never officially took the job he was likely going to be offered, Arastoo still at least attempted to go off and live a new life. It just did not work for him. So he can be at peace with his decision to stay now, whatever that entails- as a consultant, as an “intern” or as a grilled cheese sandwich extraordinaire. He wants to be with Cam, and he now knows there is no option for him. If there was a chance she would give them another shot, he had to do everything in his power to win her back. We all knew that she would choose him over Sebastian. Cam probably could have eventually moved on. But there was too much history with Arastoo. I think they will be able to move forward with few regrets about their time spent apart. Now they know. Now they won’t ever have to wonder what could have been.
Cam and Hodgins have always had a lovely relationship. I think it comes from TJ and Tamara’s great camaraderie. Though, who doesn’t (I refuse to talk in past tense) have a strong relationship on that set. But these two have just always been so much fun to watch together. Some of the most humorous moments come from Cam attempting to keep Hodgins in check. She has to play the boss, but she truly cares about all her people. And when Hodgins returned from his injury eager to work the way he used to, it crushed her to have to be the one to tell him to leave. He still had the potential to cause more damage to his spine. And Angela was worried. Everyone was worried. Cam tells him that he is so much more than his job. But Hodgins’ job was what made him happy. Cam can certainly relate to that. And when Hodgins lost all hope and took it out his loved ones, Cam tried to involve him in experiments to make him feel that spark of scientific magic he always used to feel while working in the lab. She would do anything for any one of these people. Just as they all would. She could not bear to witness what was happening to Hodgins. And Angela. She was there for Angela as well during this time. Hodgins eventually saw the light and slowly became his old self again. But I thought what Cam tried to do for him was tragically beautiful. Every character had a different reaction to Hodgins’ anger. Cam’s was to be there in any way she could, even if that meant she had to brush off some of his harsh words.
When the team was the subject of a documentary, Cam acted as professional as possible in front of the camera. Was it luck of the draw that Arastoo was the consultant on this case? Who can say. But she likely had a conversation with him prior to filming about keeping their private life, private. She asked Hodgins to address her as Dr. Saroyan. She wouldn’t talk about her daughter. And she attempted to explain away any less-than-professional moments caught on camera. At the end, the producer asked each member of the team what they wanted to be when they grew up. Cam happened to walk in just as Arastoo was talking about his desires to be a husband and a father. At first, she seems quite stunned. And Arastoo nervously begins yelling at the crew about invading Cam’s privacy. But she doesn’t care anymore. All pretense of a strictly professional relationship flew out the window. She asked Arastoo to marry her. She was ready. And she wanted this. They were finally in the same place. And Arastoo of course accepts. Seeing Cam so happy is extraordinarily rewarding. I’m not saying that you need to find a romantic partner to be happy or fulfilled. Not in the least. But to find that one person she could share her life with and have him understand her job and her work- she’s lucky. She now has it all.
Seeing Cam share her big news with Angela and Brennan was one of those special moments I never thought I’d see. There have been so many moments I never expected to see played out on Bones, actually. Cam was so elated to tell her friends, and in turn, they were incredibly happy for her. Brennan expressed her own best wishes in a uniquely Brennan way with a comment about the ring.
Cam’s sister returned later, which I thought was quite a brilliant idea. It’s not as though we saw them part ways on bad terms- they actually headed off to lunch together leaving a very confused and frazzled Booth behind back in season 3. But I get the impression that they have not spent too much time together since. It’s a bit awkward.
The team has a case involving a famed missing explorer from a decade prior. Cam wonders if she should cancel plans with her sister so she can work on the high-profile case. The sisters were meant to go shopping for wedding dresses, as Cam figured letting Felicia help plan the wedding would get their relationship back to the way it used to be (presumably when they were children?). The show brings up the fact that we once saw Felicia kissing Booth, which proved to be quite humorous when Brennan asks who has been kissing Booth. No one but you, lately. Cam is still busy examining the remains when Felicia arrives. She asks her sister if she wouldn’t mind waiting in her office until she’s done. Felicia immediately asks Cam when they should reschedule. She mentions that it was not exactly easy getting a day off. So Cam reluctantly leaves the remains and goes off with her. Felicia explains to Cam that the day should be simple, since she already has most of the wedding planned. She knows Cam is a very busy person, and she just wanted everything to be as efficient and easy as possible. Felicia mentions that she wants to make up for the years of animosity by helping Cam throw the perfect wedding. All Cam has to do is select her choices from a checklist.
Cam has an aha! moment in the dressing room while trying on a less-than-practical dress. Felicia was under the impression that Cam wanted practical. But as it turns out, Cam actually wants the fairytale. She’s always sensible, day in and day out. She lives a very structured life. But she wants her wedding to be fanciful. And by the end of the episode, Cam shares this desire with her sister. “I want the poofy dress, and the champagne waterfalls, and the personalized candy bars, and the bridesmaids and the ten-piece band.” And yes Angela, they have personalized candy bars. Felicia asks why Cam didn’t just tell her that from the beginning. Cam explains that it’s a “little girl’s fantasy.” And also, she did not wish to fight anymore. Felicia tells her that they are sisters, and that their relationship ebbs and flows. “When did you get so mature?” “Around the time I felt terrible about making out with your boyfriend.” Well there you go. So I suppose we can expect a bit of whimsy when Cam finally does get married. I cannot wait to see how they make this wedding different and distinctive from the previous ceremonies on the show. We have already seen a wedding-that-never-was, a jail wedding, a rose garden wedding (which was supposed to be in a church). What will be the circumstances in this case? Will everything go as planned? With Bones, it’s hard to believe there won’t be some sort of wrench in the plan. Time will tell.
I imagine that the first leg of season 12 for Cam will really just encompass Cam’s reaction to Zack’s return. She had a close relationship with him. And I know his return is going to affect every character in a different way. I cannot really even make a guess as to what her reaction will be. We also know there will definitely be a wedding. Are there any other loose ends in Cam’s life? I think we have really seen some beautiful development with her character from the time we met her in 2×01 to now. She is strong, she is loyal, and she’s generous and loving. She is also hilarious. I started this post by saying that I could not imagine this universe without Cam in it. And I mean that. She’s so vital to these characters and to me as well. She’s a role model, for sure. And Tamara did the unthinkable. It’s really a testament to her acting ability that she has lasted all these years when she was supposed to only have a very brief arc. After all, coming in as Booth’s love interest is a near-impossible task. And to top it off, she was at odds with Brennan in the beginning as well. It would have been easy to be completely unlikeable. But she wasn’t. There was more to this woman beneath the surface. She was tough, but she was fair and compassionate. And she soon became an irreplaceable and invaluable member of this team and family.
I cannot believe the new season will commence in only a matter of days. I am so incredibly excited. But I am also feeling an indescribable level of sorrow. I want so badly to just put emotions aside and enjoy this season for its brilliance. Because make no mistake- it’s going to be brilliant. It’s going to be incredible. It’s going to be action-packed and full of emotion. I am devastated and unsure about what’s going to happen to me by the end. But the journey will be extraordinary.