The Hole in the Heart
Meanwhile, the forensic gang at the Jeffersonian hasn’t had a case in over a week. Brennan and Vincent Nigel-Murray are preparing for their conference talk, “Comparative forelimb osteology and biomechanics of theropod versus Homo sapien (sic).” They’ve ordered an accurate representation of the forelimb bones of Tyrannosaurus rex, and Hodgins helps rig them up to a mechanism that replicates the strength of the dinosaur. In a human (Hodgins) v. dinosaur (Nigel-Murray) arm wrestling match, because the dinosaur’s scapula won’t rotate past 40 degrees, Hodgins scores a victory for humanity.
Booth and FBI special agent Genny Shaw head to Broadsky’s place in the woods (that was obtained under Booth’s name, but I guess Broadsky just keeps hanging around there?) with Sweets, and they find the body of Matthew Leishenger, the guy whose rifle Broadsky wanted in the opening scene of this episode. The Jeffersonian team estimates that Leishenger has been dead for about five days. His skeleton shows multiple fractures, and there is a stab wound under the chin. No cash was taken from his wallet, but there are gloved smear-prints that indicate something else was taken. Brennan and Nigel-Murray note two non-displaced fractures of the 7th rib, crush fractures to the left metatarsals and intermediate cuneiform, and a hairline fracture to the second cervical vertebra. Brennan thinks that Leishenger was elbowed in the chest, had his foot stomped on, and was clocked on the back of the neck with an elbow. There is also faint bruising over the mastoid process behind Leishenger’s ear.
Broadsky meanwhile sets up a sniper shot from a construction crane overlooking the Jeffersonian. He uses thermal imaging technology to see in through the glass roof of the building. Broadsky calls Booth on the cemetery cell phone, but Booth gives the phone to Nigel-Murray to answer while he traces the call using the app that Angela made for him. Broadsky fires at the person holding the phone, killing Nigel-Murray rather than Booth, his target.
After a mourning period, the Jeffersonian gang tries to find Broadsky. Angela and Brennan figure out that the gold dust and impression in Leishenger’s credit card slot were from an access key. Leishenger’s boss informs Booth that the access card was probably to the international port of Wilmington. Hodgins finds trace elements on the bullet casing that suggest it was made near the sea, in an area where produce is decontaminated. Booth and Shaw go to the port, where the security guard notes he saw Broadsky an hour ago. Broadsky had been crew on a boat called the Persephone. As Booth is tracking Broadsky, Brennan realizes that the bruises to Leishenger’s (left) mastoid could only have been caused by great force, leading her to believe that Broadsky broke his right hand when delivering the blow. Armed with this information and a rifle, Booth finds Broadsky and shoots him in the leg to disable him. Broadsky is presumably incarcerated, and the team helps load Nigel-Murray’s body into a hearse while singing his favorite song, Harry Nilsson's “Coconut.”
- How effing hard is it to learn the taxonomic name of the human species? It’s Homo sapiens, with a freaking S. The writers made this mistake 3 different times by my count. It was definitely a script error and not a mispronunciation, as the error was made by three different people – Nigel-Murray, Brennan, and Hodgins. Grrrrr, elementary biology fail.
- No one could decide on how to say “Leishenger” – Shaw kept saying “Licensure,” Booth said, “Lysinger,” and Hodgins said, “Lyshinger.”
- Booth is not a great FBI agent. I mean, he just picks up a ringing cell phone at the cemetery? Could be a bomb. And he just goes in search of Broadsky at his house, then at the dock without any body armor or backup? Broadsky also kind of sucks at the cat-and-mouse scene at the end. Besides, wouldn’t he just push through the pain of a broken hand? He couldn’t have broken it that badly.
- Fun facts: Persephone (Broadsky's boat) is the queen of the underworld in Greek mythology. The mastoid process is sexually dimorphic; if you're male, you can probably feel a large bony bump right behind your ear, but if you're female you probably can't.
Dialogue (all Nigel-Murray edition)
- The busiest shopping hour of the year is between 3 and 4pm on Christmas Eve. (True, but changes every year.)
- Quebec City in Canada has the same amount of street crime as Disney World. (Probably true, again depending on the particular time period.)
- The crack of a whip is its tip breaking the sound barrier. (True for some whips.)
- The top of the Eiffel Tower is 6 inches shorter in the winter time. (Unclear. Makes sense, as metal shrinks in cold weather, but I couldn't find a substantiation of this "fact.")
Forensic Mystery - D. They knew who Leishenger was, so no mystery here.
Forensic Solution - B. At least Leishenger’s skeleton gave Brennan information she didn’t already have, and that information was key to Booth’s taking down Broadsky.
Drama – A-. I have to give the drama element a high grade because killing off Nigel-Murray was unexpected (and pissed me off, as he was the only character on the show whom I actually liked). But the introduction of the Brennan-Booth did-they-or-didn’t-they plot was annoying and thus takes away from the main dramatic element. Do people really jump into bed with one another immediately after a friend and colleague is gunned down in front of them?
Ugh, why am I still watching this show? I guess there’s only one episode left next week, but I don’t know if I’ll have the time or inclination to do this next season.