After three seasons as the trivia-spouting, “Jeopardy”-winning squintern on “Bones,” Mr. Vincent Nigel-Murray (Ryan Cartwright) took the titular “Hole in the Heart” on the penultimate episode of “Bones” sixth season.
I cannot say that this was entirely a surprise, given his technically disposable status and his curiously increased presence over the course of the season. But any questions were put to rest as soon as he stepped on screen in that dinosaur exoskeleton.
Murray’s heightened physical comedy and foreboding references to his own demise in play-fights made him a marked man. And though he’s ever been my favorite squintern, I’ll admit he might as well have been given the send-off he got. (You can thank a lot of that tension to Fever Ray’s “Keep the Streets Empty for Me,” expertly inserted into the pre-snipe montage.)
Accidentally taking a bullet for Booth, while the gang attempted to track a call from sniper Jacob Broadsky’s (Arnold Vosloo), Vincent’s send-off was heart-wrenching. Booth unsuccessfully pressed on the wound while a tearful Brennan assured him that he was always her favorite.
Mine are ultimately crocodile tears, though. As sad as I am to see him go, I’m far more relieved that none of the regular cast was felled by the big bad. Also? I’ve been longing for a catalyst for what came next for many, many episodes.
Booth demands Brennan sleep at his home — curious, considering that’s the one Broadsky already broke into, but whatever. In the middle of the night, she crawls into his bed and… oh sweet god is this actually happening?
Yes and no. Brennan questions her own character, mistaking Vincent’s dying pleas as a need to feel approval from his boss. Booth assures her that he was just talking to god or the universe, gently tapping the hard-boiled atheist egg that is her world view. Cuddling ensues.
Did anything else happen? We leave the two in bed, looking mostly emo and not in the mood. But Brennan’s smirk to a prodding Angela (Michaela Conlin) says that maybe their spirits were later revived.
Not that they’re saying anything. The subject is dropped for Booth’s successful pursuit of his nemesis. Broadsky is brought into custody, clearly leaving room for some Hannibal Lecter-style chats from behind bars next season.
The gang reconvenes to send Vincent’s body off to England, simultaneously indulging one of the episode’s biggest red herrings. It had been reported that everyone would sing “The Lime in the Coconut” at some point in this episode, something we knew to be a favorite of Sweets (John Francis Daley), but apparently it was Vincent’s too.
They sing, helping ease the transition from the dark episode to the whimsical bowling-and-babies finale, and Brennan and Booth locks arm, while a (knowing?) Angela makes a look I could not read for the life of me.
So what’s on deck? Obviously, the finale will address what exactly happened in Booth’s bed — but whether they did anything or not, it seems clear now that both parties are, for the first time, simultaneously open to the prospect of making it happen. And for that, Mr. Vincent Nigel-Murray most certainly did not die in vain.