The victim, the hero pushed to the very edge of death, is Arastoo. This was a good choice for at least two reasons. Cam romantically and deeply loves him. And, since he's an intern, we know he's expendable (sorry to say this, Cam) - he could die and the show would still be intact. Unlike Bones and Booth and Angela and Hodgins and Sweets and even Cam, an intern could die. We've seen this happen before. And that fact of life about Bones gave this episode an edge not often found in the series.
The culprit is some sort of mutated virus, which turns out to even worse, a mutated virus with a bacterial "booster". Arastoo picks it up when he gets cut by one of the remains. A CDC doc means well but has no solutions. Hodgins with Bones' help comes up with a folk remedy that buys Arastoo some time. The illness moves so fast that, absent the herb remedy, Arastoo would have been dead in less than a theatrical hour - actually, within four hours of narrative time, that is, within the hour of this episode.
The key is to find the antidote. Since it's pretty clear that the virus-bacterium was deliberatedly designed, and here in the United States, finding the designer is the only way Arastoo can be saved - because, he or she presumably developed an antidote, not wanting to die if the virus-bacterium gets inadvertently set loose or even if the evil designer gets accidentally infected like Arastoo.
To keep us on the edge of our seats, the bad guy is identified. He could save Arastoo who hasn't much time left, but rather than revealing the antidote, the designer wants his lawyer. So near and yet so far from a happy ending. Booth's tough guy approach doesn't rattle the bad guy. Cam's emotional appeal - fine acting by Tamara Taylor - certainly got to me, but also had no effect on the bad guy. To reveal the antidote would be to admit his guilt, as someone in the room explains.
There's only one move left. Bones grabs a syringe, tells the guy it has the virus-bacterium, and injects him. Now the guy has to figure that going on trial for murder, and maybe being sentenced to death, is preferable to dying in a few hours from his concoction. So he gives up the antidote (off camera), and Arastoo is saved.
I guessed the last twist - that Bones injected him with nothing dangerous. Except, I figured she did this because she didn't want to go to prison. But the bluff was more noble than that. Bones tells Booth at the end that she would have injected the bad guy with the real bug if she'd had it in that syringe. And that makes sense, because the real thing would have really made the guy sick, which would have encouraged him to reveal the antidote in case he thought Bones was bluffing.
And it also tells us that Bones would have been willing to risk her career and even her freedom to save Arastoo. A perfect ending to a perfect episode.
See also Bones 8.1: Walk Like an Egyptian ... Bones 8.2 of Contention ... Bones 8.3: Not Rotting Behind a Desk ... Bones 8.4: Slashing Tiger and Donald Trump ... Bones 8.5: Applesauce on Election Eve ... Bones 8.6: Election Day ... Bones 8.7: Dollops in the Sky with Diamonds ...Bones 8.8: The Talking Remains ... Bones 8.9: I Am A Camera ... Bones 8.10-11: Double Bones ...Bones 8.12: Face of Enigmatic Evil ... Bones 8.13: Two for the Price of One ... Bones 8.14: Real Life ... Bones 8.15: The Magic Bullet and the Be-Spontaneous Paradox ... Bones 8.16: Bitter-Sweet Sweets and Honest Finn ... Bones 8.17: "Not Time Share, Time Travel" ... Bones 8.18: Couples ... Bones 8.19: The Head in the Toilet ... Bones 8.20: On Camera ... Bones 8.21: Christine, Hot Sauce, and the Judge ... Bones 8.22: Musical-Chair Parents
And see also Bones 7.1: Almost Home Sweet Home ... Bones 7.2: The New Kid and the Fluke ...Bones 7.3: Lance Bond and Prince Charmington ... Bones 7.4: The Tush on the Xerox ... Bones 7.5: Sexy Vehicle ... Bones 7.6: The Reassembler ... Bones 7.7: Baby! ... Bones 7.8: Parents ...Bones 7.9: Tabitha's Salon ... Bones 7.10: Mobile ... Bones 7.11: Truffles and Max ... Bones 7.12: The Corpse is Hanson ... Bones Season 7 Finale: Suspect Bones
And see also Bones 6.1: The Linchpin ... Bones 6.2: Hannah and her Prospects ... Bones 6.3 at the Jersey Shore, Yo, and Plymouth Rock ... Bones 6.4 Sans Hannah ... Bones 6.5: Shot and Pretty ... Bones 6.6: Accidental Relations ... Bones 6.7: Newman and "Death by Chocolate" ...Bones 6.8: Melted Bones ... Bones 6.9: Adelbert Ames, Jr. ... Bones 6.10: Reflections ... Bones 6.11: The End and the Beginning of a Mystery ... Bones 6.12 Meets Big Love ... Bones 6.13: The Marrying Kind ... Bones 6.14: Bones' Acting Ability ... Bones 6.15: "Lunch for the Palin Family" ...Bones 6.16: Stuck in an Elevator, Stuck in Times ... Bones 6.17: The 8th Pair of Feet ... Bones 6.18: The Wile E. Chupacabra ... Bones 6.19 Test Runs The Finder ... Bones 6.20: This Very Statement is a Lie ... Bones 6.21: Sensitive Bones ... Bones 6.22: Phoenix Love ... Bones Season 6 Finale: Beautiful
And see also Bones: Hilarity and Crime and Bones is Back For Season 5: What Is Love? and 5.2: Anonymous Donors and Pipes and 5.3: Bones in Amish Country and 5.4: Bones Meets Peyton Place and Desperate Housewives and Ancient Bones 5.5 and Bones 5.6: A Chicken in Every Viewer's Pot and Psychological Bones 5.7 and Bones 5.8: Booth's "Pops" and Bones 5.9 Meets Avatar and Videogamers ... Bad Santa, Heart-Warming Bones 5.10 ... Bones 5.11: Of UFOs, Bloggers, and Triangles ... Bones 5.12: A Famous Skeleton and Angela's Baby ... Love with Teeth on Bones 5.13 ... Faith vs. Science vs. Psychology in Bones 5.14 ... Page 187 in Bones 5.15 ...Bones 100: Two Deep Kisses and One Wild Relationship ... Bones 5.17: The Deadly Stars ...Bones Under Water in 5.18 ... Bones 5.19: Ergo Together ... Bones 5.20: Ergo Together ... Bones 5.21: The Rarity of Happy Endings ... Bones Season 5 Finale: Eye and Evolution