Three sets of remains are found in an urn that should contain only one set, Michelle breaks Finn’s heart and in case you’ve been living under a rock and missed the million other times someone on Bones said it, Booth is a good man.
The case: Todd Mirga, a wealthy young hedge fund manager, has died of a heroin overdose and because his money funded several of Brennan’s research projects, she wants to go to the funeral and drags Booth along with her, despite his preference to stay home and watch hockey. Instead of graciously accepting Brennan’s condolences, Todd’s mother assumes Brennan is another of her son’s former girlfriends, calls Brennan a whore and dismisses her and Sarah, Todd’s last girlfriend. Booth is getting riled up over the insult to his wife when, lo and behold, Todd shows up very much not dead, having been in rehab in Costa Rica under an assumed name. That, of course, leads to the mystery of just who is in the urn.
Dead guy was thought to be Todd because his body wasn’t discovered for three weeks, which pretty much made him unrecognizable, and he was found in Todd’s locked safe room with drug paraphernalia. Grotesque decomposition is no match for Angela’s magic computer and she’s able to reverse the effects and match the resulting photo with the DMV. Voila, Dead Guy is Daniel Barr, Todd’s personal concierge. When questioned by Booth, Todd plays the “I was in Costa Rica” card and denies knowing how Daniel ended up dead.
At the lab, Brennan, et. al. (which this week includes intern Finn Abernathy, who is given such pithy lines as “I’m happier than a tornado in a trailer park“) comb through the ashes in the urn and discover not one set of remains but fragments of bone from three different people. That’s weird enough but things take an even odder turn when Hodgins discovers soil from the Mongolian desert and a bone fragment that’s more than 1000 years old, as well as enough silver and gold traces to lead to the correct assumption that Daniel was killed with an ancient artifact. That artifact turns out to be called the Slaughterer’s Chalice, which hasn’t been seen in three hundred years.
While the lab is doing their thing, Booth is doing his and interviewing suspects. Todd’s crazy mother is one of them, especially after Booth and Sweets discover she took out a restraining order against Daniel and that Todd himself had several against her. Crazy Mom had a habit of stealing from her son but considers her questioning in FBI headquarters racial persecution (her ancestry is Romany) and a personal attack by Booth because Brennan and Todd slept together (they didn’t). She tells Booth to question Todd’s girlfriend, Sarah, who hated Daniel because when Todd tired of his girlfriends — which he did quickly — it was Daniel who paid them off.
Sarah is shocked and appalled when brought in for questioning. She insists she’s different from Todd’s other girlfriends because he takes her everywhere, and besides, she and Daniel were BFFs who both took care of Todd.
The Slaughterer’s Chalice is tracked to a shady art dealer who says she told Daniel she couldn’t help him find the Chalice because selling it would be illegal, just before Brennan points out an artifact stolen from an Iraqi museum in 2003 sitting out in plain sight. Shady Art Dealer goes to jail but not for killing Daniel.
Todd admits to knowing the dealer but not to having asked Daniel to contact her about the Chalice and repeats that he was in Costa Rica, which doesn’t impress Booth because the rehab clinic’s records were destroyed after Todd checked out. The chip on Booth’s shoulder gets bigger the more arrogant Todd gets (but that’s okay because Booth is a good man) and he pushes Brennan to find evidence tying Todd to Daniel’s murder.
Brennan has the crematorium’s shoddy equipment brought into the lab and since it never got hot enough for the fire to adequately consume the remains, there are bits of flesh and bone still left inside. Cam finds enough usable tissue to discover that Daniel was a heroin user, too. Finn also finds a fragment of bone that shows evidence of having been grazed by a bullet which means Daniel was shot two weeks before he was killed. The bullet is found to have come from an old gun that Todd purchased around the time Daniel was shot.
Hodgins does some creative shopping in the American History wing of the Jeffersonian and rigs up a machine that creates a lot of light and sparks and helps him discover that crystal particles found earlier are diamond powder. Not only was the Chalice not encrusted with diamonds but the technology to grind diamonds to powder wasn’t discovered until the 1950s. That’s enough reason for Booth to bring Todd into an interrogation room at the Hoover. Todd admits to accidentally shooting Daniel when they were both high on heroin and says that’s what sent him to rehab but still insists he had nothing to do with killing Daniel until Booth mentions the diamond powder. Suddenly, Todd says “guilty” and demands a lawyer.
The suddenness of Todd’s about-face arouses Booth’s suspicions again and when the diamond powder is found to be an ingredient in nail polish used for a manicure that was auctioned off for $1,000,000, Angela looks into the winners and discovers Sarah was one of them. She is brought in again and confesses that she killed Daniel by bashing him in the head with the Chalice, which she’d had Shady Dealer buy, because she caught Daniel hiding heroin for Todd in the safe room. She only wanted to help Todd stay clean because she loved him and Todd tried to take the rap because he loved her.
The Slaughterer’s Chalice, repeatedly referred to as a priceless artifact that hasn’t been seen for three hundred years, is put on display without any protection whatsoever, except for a weight-sensitive alarm that goes off when Booth hoists it above his head and jostles it with less concern than he would probably show the much more appreciated Stanley Cup.
In the other storyline from the episode, the hot sauce venture Finn and Hodgins started is showing some success. Finn is spending money like water, buying a new-ish truck and an expensive bracelet for Michelle. Hopefully he can get a refund on the bracelet because Michelle tells him college has changed her (the new guy she met probably had some influence, too) and breaks up with him. Since Booth told her to be more empathetic, Brennan is allowed to have emotions this week and tells Finn he should have a good cry. Instead, he pulls out the Ghost Killer files but when Cam comes to check on him, admits he hasn’t found anything new. He and Cam discuss love and loss and Finn waxes philosophical about life giving us what we love the most, if we can just figure out what it is.