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The Survivor in the Soap is the eighteenth episode of the eighth season of Bones.


A body found in a barrel of hazardous waste – and soap – leads to the investigation of the murder of a West African immigrant. Meanwhile, Booth and Brennan are at odds over their vacation plans, and Cam and Arastoo struggle to hide their secret love affair.


Camille and Arastoo steal a kiss in the office. Their date-night plans, however, are interrupted by the delivery of a waste canister containing human remains. At Booth and Bones's house, the pair discuss taking a vacation - one without any learning, Booth insists. They get a call and head back to the office.

At the lab, the male body has decomposed in the barrel, creating a giant block of soap encompassing all the remains. Bones then evidence of a condition that places the victim in Africa. A quick check of the missing person database identifies the dead man as an recent arrival from Sierra Leone.

Booth and Sweets head to the victim's apartment, where they are let in by a maintenance man also from Sierra Leone. Sweets notices that there is no evidence of the man's life in his native country, as if he were running from it. Booth and Bones then meet with an immigration official, Alex, who explains that the victim was working multiple part-time jobs -- and getting extra pay under somewhat mysterious circumstances by an immigration lawyer, Wilfred. The lawyer explains that he hired the victim to help other refugees get on their feet -- finding lodging and a job, etc. "Everybody loved him," Wilfred says. The lawyer then tells Booth and Bones that a former friend of the victim came back to the U.S. illegally and asked for help. The victim refused.

Alex tells Booth that the friend was originally deported for beating somebody almost to the point of death. Arastoo then examines the now soap-free bones and determines that the victim sustained various injuries consistent with those of a child soldier. "A small boy taught to kill," Arastoo concludes sadly. Booth then discovers that the victim was paid $1,000 shortly before his death by an art gallery. Booth and Bones visit the gallery owner and photographer, who explains that she hired the Sierra Leone native, who trained as a chef, to cater an event. Bones then notices that a child depicted in the photos -- all of child soldiers in Sierra Leone -- is, in fact, the victim. He broke down and cried when he saw the particular photograph, explains the photographer/gallery owner.

Bones then notes that the killer attempted to dispose of the body in a chemical that the photographer uses to develop her pictures. She denies any involvement in the murder. Back in the lab, Angela matches the voice of the man who called in the missing man with a cab driver -- both of whom might be the victim's friend. So Booth picks the man up and brings him in for questioning. He admits to being in the country illegally. His left hand is missing at the wrist as it was cut off by rebels in his country. "I was forced to kill, but I am not a monster," says the friend, who denies any involvement in the death.

Moments later, Arastoo discovers that the friend, as an amputee, could not have possibly killed the victim. Hodgins then determines that the victim's wounds were made by materials consistent with an AK-47. But could the barrel of a gun slice through bone? The inconsistencies frustrate Arastoo to the point that he accuses Hodgins of messing up. This makes Hodgins very angry and the two are soon yelling at each other. Camille pulls aside Arastoo, for whom the case has obviously become very personal. "I'm sorry for my behavior and it won't happen again," says a suddenly very cold Arastoo.

The next day, Booth and Bones bring the friend to the gallery. He is overcome by the photos that represent his former life. One photo in particular brings the friend to his knees. It is an adult soldier -- a general responsible for recruiting child soldiers. "A monster," the photographer comments. "He's still wanted for war crimes." Booth recognizes the general as the maintenance man at the victim's apartment -- and theorizes that the victim threatened to expose him. Booth brings in the man, who cooly claims innocence. "I have nothing to say to you," the maintenance man says. "You're wasting your time."

So Booth then takes the voice of the maintenance man and matches it up against recordings of the general from years ago. They're a perfect match. But Bones hasn't yet proved that the maintenance man killed the victim. She then has a brainstorm: the AK-47 was molded into a tribal mask and used to stab the victim -- the same tribal mask she saw at Wilfred's office. In fact, the lawyer's office uses as cleaning solution that matches the material in which the body was disposed. Finally, they discover that the lawyer for the maintenance man is Wilfred.

Booth and Bones burst into the man's office. Turns out that the victim came to the lawyer to explain that his building's maintenance man is wanted for crimes against humanity. "You killed him because you don't want to be exposed for shielding a war criminal," Booth explains. He did it for the money. Wilfred is cuffed and dragged away. Case closed. Later, Arastoo explains to Camille that he had some experience with child soldiers during the first Persian Gulf war -- including his cousin Farid. Arastoo says Farid was taken away from him and killed. Camille hugs her man. "We're at work," he says. Says Camille: "Never mind." She then announces to the team that they are dating.


Main Cast[]

Interns of the Week[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]