Air Date 2/1/06
In the bowels of Washington D.C., Booth, Brennan, and Zack rappel down a cavernous ventilation shaft. At the bottom, hidden beneath a frenzy of rats, they discover a pile of human remains. Brennan shoots off a few rounds from Booth's pistol to scatter the vermin. She orders Zack to take pictures of the bones within a five meter radius before determining "The velocity of the fall was enough to shatter (the victim's) body on impact. Tibias and fibulas are broken below the knees, vertebrae compressed and shattered..." The body is female, missing a jacket and shoes, evidence the woman's clothing had been stripped. A man appears at the far end of the tunnel. Brennan calls to the shadowy figure and chases after him. He disappears into the maze of tubes.
In the lab, Brennan identifies the name of the woman from the serial number on a pin in her knee, MARNI HUNTER. Hodgins sets the time of death at ten days, due to the "ratio of fly larvae to Silphidae beetles." The team kicks around various clues pointing to her demise: crushed tibias from a feet-first fall and traumatic injuries on the skull from hitting pipes and rebar in the ventilation shaft as she descended. The absence of dirt underneath her fingernails stops Brennan in her tracks. If the victim was conscious, she'd claw the walls to stop her plunge. Perhaps she was already dead?
Marni's fiance, PHIL GARFIELD, sits with Booth and Brennan in Booth's office. Booth questions why it took so long for Phil to report Marni's death. As a documentary filmmaker, it wasn't unusual for her to be out of touch for days at a time, Phil explains. Her latest project took her to the network of tunnels beneath the city to study the homeless culture. Phil was worried for her safety because she always worked alone. Concern registers on his face at the thought of her skull shattering from the hand of one of her subjects. They pop in a tape and see social worker HELEN BRONSON talking to a worn man. Brennan immediately recognizes the man as the person she chased down.
Under the city, Brennan and Booth listen to Helen recount the first time Marni asked her to meet "the mole people." Brennan inquires if Marni's presence in such an ordered, secretive society might have been disruptive in any way - disruptive enough to make enemies. Helen agrees, afraid Marni's work seemed more exploitive rather than anthropological in nature. They meet Harold Overmeyer; the man from the tape. Helen acknowledges him as "The Mayor of Moletown." His friendship with Marni is quickly called in to question when Booth finds the victim's bloody clothing, bone fragments, and video camera in Harold's living quarters.
Booth interrogates Harold in the presence of Harold's attorney. Harold denies having any involvement in Marni's death, claiming he came upon her body while scavenging. His distinguished military record scores points with Booth. Harold is a misfit, lost in the underworld as punishment for all his misdeeds. His guilt consumes him when he mentions an item he gave Marni. This item might've been responsible for her death. Booth presses further, causing Harold to unleash. A series of missed punches lands Harold in permanent custody of the FBI.
Back at the lab, Brennan and Angela evaluate the skull they just finished piecing together. They then review the case. Harold had killed people in the military; therefore, it's not a stretch for him to kill again. Brennan doesn't buy it. His acts were "socially sanctioned" as a soldier. Angela worries about Brennan's attachment to the case. Like Brennan, Marni Hunter was an "observer." She was passive and still ended up dead. This hangs heavily in the air for Brennan.
Zack and Hodgins study the skull. Zack notices a piece missing, "about the size of a quarter." The "radiating fractures centered above her right temporal bone" demonstrate damage from a mid-air impact. However, the fracture pattern on the left side of her skull suggests a "sharp pointed weapon." Hodgins produces a medallion with "Roman numerals," found in Marni's belongings. They both wonder if it is the missing item Harold regrettably gave Marni.
Goodman inspects the medallion. The markings appear common to "Roman architecture around the first century B.C.." He thinks it could be valuable, ordering Hodgins to have it x-rayed. The medallion turns out to be an "official vault seal manufactured by the War Office." Goodman clarifies, "The War Office established a number of vaults under the city in order to safe-keep cultural treasures." Marni's knowledge of the vault appears to be her undoing. The team decides to locate the vault before Marni's killer gets the chance to clean it out.
Brennan and Booth question Harold about the medallion. He gave her the vintage seal as a gift. Harold found the piece with "The Blonde," a reference to a woman outside the safe perimeter of the underground system. He refuses to help Brennan and Booth find the location of the vault because everyone he helps eventually dies - a lasting wound left over from the war.
Driving in Booth's vehicle, Booth considers the social worker as a possible suspect. Her blonde hair and negative comments about Marni's documentary make perfect sense. She didn't care for Marni's exploitation of the mole people. Brennan thinks the murderer would have a simpler motive - greed. Hodgins calls with new information. The victims clothing had "traces of diamond dust, suggesting a much older system of tunnels." Industrial diamonds were used in blast hole drilling in the Nineteenth century, placing Marni's body near the vault.
Brennan and Booth walk with Helen Bronson and ask her why Harold would be afraid of her, potentially being the woman with "blonde" hair. "Harold is afraid of the world," Helen declares. He lives underground as a penance for the people he murdered in war. Helen is direct. She never helped Marni. She thought she had bad intentions. As a result, Marni needed Harold as a guide. Marni also used two climbing instructors.
Angela and Zack inspect Marni's reconstructed skull - still missing one quarter-sized piece. Angela assumes Marni saw her attacker coming, "The angle of attack was between fifty and fifty-three degrees," meaning the attacker struck from above and to the right. Zack adds to the analysis - Marni's killer was left-handed.
Near a rock climbing wall, Brennan and Booth interview KYLE MONTROSE and DUKE DIALLEL. They claim to have given Marni limited instruction on the basics of rock climbing. She asked them to assist in the tunnel exploration, but they declined. Both are visibly shaken when told of their client's unfortunate death. Booth detects despair in Kyle's voice beyond normal shock. Kyle and Marni had an affair.
Phil knew about Marni's unfaithfulness. She always came back to him. Booth finds the romantic triangle, "a compelling motive." Although his wedding had been called off, Phil still remains strong. He vehemently denies any wrongdoing in his fiance's death. "Jealousy maybe the oldest motive for murder in the world," Booth contends. Again, Brennan finds it too convenient. Anyone getting involved with someone like Marni would understand she is adventurous and independent.
Booth and Brennan plead with Harold to guide them to the vault. He offers to take them as far as the safe perimeter. Navigating the labyrinth, Brennan warms to Harold about starting his life over above ground. He has no interest, but appreciates her honesty. They come to the edge of the perimeter. Harold motions for them to keep following the path. At the end of the tunnel, Booth and Brennan encounter another complete skeleton.
On the Forensic Platform, Goodman and Team Bones comb through the remains. A "half-inch button from the Union Army Corps of Engineers" tells the team the body dates to the Civil War. Diamond dust found on the bones means Marni was killed in a Civil War era tunnel. Hodgins reveals pellets embedded in the skull from a muzzle loaded pistol. Goodmen's offers a bit of conjecture, "This fellow knew something of value was stored." Had the treasure been looted, many of the artifacts would have surfaced by now. Goodman urgently pushes the team to discover the murderers before the vault is emptied. Brennan orders Zack to take a cast of the skull to deduce the type of murder weapon.
Brennan asks Angela to meet with Harold to gather enough details on the blonde woman to composite a sketch. Angela is straight with Harold. She's scared of him. He provides her with his impressions of the woman as Angela starts sketching. The two bond.
Looking at a mold of Marni's skull, Brennan and Zack see the injury has a "T"-shaped pattern. Booth enters with the recovered video tape from Marni's camera. The tape shows someone other than Marni recording the images. Her climbing instructors, Kyle and Duke, are behind the camera. They lied about their connection to the victim.
Brennan thinks the murder weapon was a climbing axe. Booth theorizes Marni and her climbing instructors explored the tunnels and happened upon something valuable. Marni wanted to document it for her film, and the climbers wanted to keep it all to themselves. Angela arrives with her sketch from Harold. Goodman recognizes the sketch as a "Raeburn," a valuable painting missing since 1862. Harold has been inside the vault.
Angela enters all the modern and historical city plans of ventilation shafts, tunnels, plus all the newer schematics. A map of the complex tunnel network appears. It is agreed from the facts surrounding both sets of skeletons, the vault resides near one of the storm sewers. Zack interrupts to announce the murder weapon was a "Hanks climbing axe."
Booth and Brennan move along the tunnel. Their backup tactical team is lost. The two wander the passageway until they come upon a piece of bone, the missing piece of Marni's skull. Radiating from a hole in the wall, a beam of light cuts through the darkness. The Raeburn painting comes in to view. There, the climbing instructors load bags of gold bars and valuables. Booth and Brennan surprise them. Kyle is baffled. He doesn't understand the strong force for trespassing. Brennan informs him that Marni was killed with a climbing axe. Brennan handcuffs the suspects, but Kyle breaks free and assaults Duke with a candlestick, "You killed her for this?" A few swift kicks from Brennan cripples him.
Goodman compliments Brennan and Booth for "single-handedly" regaining one of the great cultural finds of the century. Angela tells them Harold is being released.
The team stands with Harold at the entrance to the tunnels. They bid him farewell as he enters the only world he knows and trusts.