Up on the medico-legal platform during the remains examination, and though she is loathe to do so, Brennan is cajoled into revealing her rejection of Arastoo's dissertation proposal in front of the whole team. It's not good news, of course, et voila, we have another strand to the subplot being formed around Cam and Arastoo for this Bones episode.
Throughout "The Lost Love in the Foreign Land" something happened with Brennan that made me want to stand up and clap my hands with appreciation. Brennan, in this episode, displays that straight-forward, fiercely committed, guileless side of her personality that hasn't had much of an opportunity to come out to play of late. This is exemplified several times throughout the episode in her interactions with Arastoo and Cam. It is wonderful and refreshing and as comforting as a hot bubble bath. Ahhhhhh. I simply love this Brennan. The Bones fairies are to be commended. I'm looking straight at you, Emily Silver.
Arastoo, who had been overzealous up until this point, is devastated. The continuity of character in this scene and throughout is phenomenal. Remember his childlike glee when he thought his paper was going to be published in an anthropological journal? He was exactly the same degree of excited. It's great to see this side of him repeated. Continuity is difficult to maintain over six years of intermittent episodes. The writers (and Pej Vahdat) are to be commended for this. Bravo.
Cam Overstep Her Boundaries
Brennan returns to her office and is ambushed by a disgruntled Cam who shakes a reproving finger at Brennan. Cam insists that Arastoo's research proposal was excellent. Brennan, thank goodness, is more committed to Arastoo's excellence and innovation than in making him feel good. She expects more from him ... that's why she's the top forensic anthropologist in the world. Only the best get the opportunity to intern with her, so what the hell is Cam thinking?
At first I thought this is out of character for Cam, but then I remembered her meddling into Michelle's college applications back in (Episode). Sometimes Cam just can't help herself when it comes to the people she loves. Well, it's hardly a flaw worth thrashing her for. After all, Booth ran a background check on Jared's girl friend, Brennan looked at Wendell's medical files when she suspected he had cancer, Hodgins withheld Gravedigger evidence from the FBI, Angela was willing to provide an false alibi for Brennan during the Pelant case. We all get a little stupid when it comes to protecting those we love, right? Why should Cam be any different? In the end, Cam marches off with no argument for Brennan, because she knows Brennan is right. Besides, dear lady, this isn't really about the dissertation, is it?
Compelling Dissertation Proposals & Relationship Squabbles
Already Arastoo is over the rejection of his dissertation research project as I figured he would be. He knows Brennan is not a petty person and that she is committed to his excellence, his ingenuity. It takes this little exercise in humility to remind him that his goal should be to innovate, not to impress or please his boss. When Brennan says she expects a far more original and compelling dissertation subject than what Arastoo proposed originally, that seals the deal for him. See, Arastoo gets it. This makes him fall more deeply in professional love with his mentor than he already was. You can see all of this portrayed in his facial expressions and his manner toward her.
Now, Arastoo's manner toward Cam at this point? Not so much love as irritation. He gives her a "what-for" about her argument with Brennan over his dissertation. He says her involvement showed a lack of respect. Cam knows it was bad judgement, but her emotions ran amok and she lost control -- not a common occurrence for our perfectly poised and coiffed cadaver-stabber. As an aside, what the hell is going on with Cam's hair? I'm not one to pick on a character's appearance, but that squid she's got dangling over her head bothers me. #ThatIsAll
It's clear that what's really upsetting Arastoo about Cam is the marriage thing. Her reticence to discuss it is a slight to his ego and/or his heart. He says it's Cam he can't deal with. Okay, that was a little harsh, but this is a drama, right? Cam does apologize, but everything is not copacetic yet, and the squintern stomps off.
"Honestly, Officer, I Just Tickled Her A Little," Said the Rapist
Lee from Sunny Helpers directs the Booth and Aubrey to Jeremy 'Sting Look-A-Like' Wolford (Brian Poth), a registered sex offender with a penchant for Asian female students who just happened to be the last person to see Min-Yung alive. This guy is skin-crawling creepy all the way from his scrawny fingers to his floppy peroxided head. Shiver. Ick. Ick. But, he seems to be innocent -- of the murder, at least.
This poor excuse for a human says he made advances on Min-Yung but she would have nothing of it and got on the bus to go home.
Aubrey, who turns out to be rather excellent in the interrogation room, goes Boothy on the turd and smugly tells him that his information is definitely NOT enough to keep him from getting locked up with a bunch of people who hate sex offenders.
It would be interesting to see a bit of backstory on Aubrey. So far we know nothing except that he has testicles. And he eats a lot to combat a low sugar level thing.
Bat Poop Bus Stop Leads to the Mr. Lee's Hidey Hole of Horrors
Booth and Aubrey head out to an address Hodgins provides based upon the bus Min-Yung took and find Mr. Lee protecting a dingy poo pit full of accidental female slaves. Wow. There are so many you can't even count them. Aubrey is disgusted. Booth is incensed.
Enter my favorite Bones lawyer second only to Caroline, the vertically challenged Alex Radziwill (Danny Woodburn) along with an interpreter who assists in the debriefing of the group of foreign captives. Booth wants to talk to all of them, but Tammy (Xue Lian) is the spokesperson for the group. It turns out that Lee threatened to harm all these women's families if they did not work for him. He also refused access to their family members. Tammy has a daughter she fights to keep safe. That daughter stitched a design on a purse she carries around.
Lee regularly threatened to maim or kill family members in order to maintain compliance from his "employees." Radziwill explains how this kind of blackmail is easier than restricting them with chains. When all of the women hold out photos of their loved ones, the room falls silent and the message is clear that these women were desperate to protect those they loved.
Back at the Hoover, Lee says he believed all his employees were legal immigrants. yeah, right, douche bag, who keeps their "employees" in a cesspit under a crappy shack? Who does that? This has got to be the stupidest lawyer on the planet to defend a scumbag like Lee. Did he not read the case files, see the images of the women in that hole? Read Tammy's deposition?
Brennan and Arastoo's Exploitation Infomercial
Brennan and Arastoo in the lab discuss the nightmare lives uncovered by this case. She talks about how in all societies, in all hierarchies, that one group will always exploit a group that is more vulnerable. Arastoo says he never thought this would happen in America, but this seems rather naive for a man of his age and experience. More than likely, though, the purpose of this scene is simply to provide an opportunity for the mention of the statistics -- 15,000 people enslaved and sold for their bodies and labor each year in America. And all of the sudden we have an infomercial happening right in the middle of a Bones episode.
Here's what I think about infomercials on Bones: Listen, those in our society who have the public's attention have a responsibility to shine the light where it can do the most good. If that means taking 18 seconds out of a meaty case to pontificate about a very real injustice happening right underneath our haughty, privileged American noses, then so be it and more power to them. There, I've said my piece.
A Love Worth Killing For
Hodgins finds a crumpled piece of celluloid among the poopy remains. Angela is able to turn it into a photo of a man's face. Fortunately, this face is registered in the databases and turns out to be Sung Dae Park (Truong Quoc Ly), Min-Yung's fiance from her village of Yanbian. It turns out that Park is a fugitive from China for the murder of Min-Yung's father. Things are looking really, really bad for Mr. Sung Dae Park at this point.
Booth interrogates Park who is shocked and devastated by the news that his fiance was in America and is now dead. He's clearly dazed and in a state of intense denial. Booth confronts him about having killed Min-Yung's father. Park admits to the crime and reveals that Min-Yung's father was trying to sell her to some men in the village. That's why he killed the man, who was beating his daughter, and fled the country.
Once in the United States, Park was supposed to send Min-Yung money to get to America, but he couldn't because he was being trafficked just like she had been. He had no idea that she was searching for him.