#Bones ‘The Turn in the Urn’ Review: A Holy Grail of Compassion & Sacrifice

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Who can turn a case of mistaken identity into a tale of compassion, sacrifice, and the compulsion to protect those one loves the most? Bones can, and did, with “The Turn In the Urn” … all while showcasing three particularly extraordinary performances, several poignant messages, a completely different way to identify a murderer, and finally the oldest and most expensive murder weapon in Bones history: a 4,000 year old chalice.

Once again the significance in the messaging of this week’s Bones episode was conspicuously displayed through the interactions of the murder suspects as the case unfolded, and then cleverly mirrored in the subtle yet intimate subtext involving Brennan and The Avengers.

Though adding dimension to the tertiary characters–the squinterns–has been a theme this season, “The Turn In the Urn” used Finn Abernathy (Luke Kleintank) as springboard for three singularly outstanding performances. Emily Deschanel and Tamara Taylor both shone gold in their executions of empathy and compassion in their scenes supporting Finn through his broken relationship with Michelle. Guest star Tiffany Hines, who plays Cam’s adopted daughter and Finn’s girlfriend, however, delivered the most heart-breaking break-up we’ve seen in a good long while.

As the messaging and these three extraordinary performances are intertwined, we’ll discuss them together in a moment. First, let’s look at the case.

Before our episode even began, the disgustingly bloated and nearly unrecognizable three-week-old remains of recluse billionaire Todd Mirge (John Sloan), a hedge fund manager, rare artifact aficionado, and benefactor of Brennan’s digs in the Middle East and Africa, were found in the locked safe room of Mirge’s mansion. Cause of death was assumed to be a heroin overdose and no foul play was suspected. As it was Mirge’s house, the Church Falls Police Department assumed the remains were Mirge’s and released the body to Mirga’s mother, Drina ‘You-May-Sit-In-The-Section-For-Whores’ Mirga, who promptly cremated her son at the cheapest mortuary she could find, and then took over his estate.

Brennan and Booth attend Todd Mirga's wake and are surprised when Todd himself arrives. Whose cremains, then, are hidden within the urn?

Brennan and Booth attend Todd Mirga’s wake and are surprised when Todd himself arrives. Whose cremains, then, are hidden within the urn?

Teased in the previews as a potential triple homicide, “The Turn in the Urn” focused on one victim, one killer, and one 4,000 year old murder weapon.

Related>> Check out our Bones Archive here.

Each of these elements are extraordinarily confounding at the outset as nothing at all is as it seems. The victim? Not Mirge at all, but his heroine-pushing concierge. The killer? Not Mirge’s felonious Gypsy mother, Drina ‘What-Are-Those-Horns-On-Your-Head, Pretty-Boy’ Mirga (Joanna Pacula). Not even Todd ‘I’m-A-Cocky-Bastard’ Mirge. Not even the poised and visually stunning Satima ‘I-Didn’t-Fence-the-Chalice’ Gupta (Anjali Bhimani), curator of Najjar Antiquities.

How the hell did this all happen? Well, Mirge had anonymously sequestered himself in a Costa Rican rehab center for three weeks to kick a heroin addiction … so he was MIA and assumed dead. Mirge, who uses women like paper cups and purchases multimillion dollar antiquities by proxy at the drop of a hat, also has his very own personal concierge and doppelgänger, a Mr. Daniel ‘Drugs-R-Us’ Barr. Yeah, a concierge, just like five star hotels have, but this concierge, or, lifestyle manager, is just for the one guy.

As a side note, Booth is predictably disgusted by Mirge’s entitled attitude and so are we. The nerve of some people (!) … though Mirge points out that the public doesn’t give the wealthy enough credit for their philanthropic activities, like, um, bank-rolling Brennan’s foreign digs? Yeah. Hm. He does have a point, darn it all.

Booth elsewhere is maddeningly fixated on seeing a Flyers game. He was goofy at times, to say the least. I about passed out when he picked up The Slaughterer’s Chalice at the museum. Time out for Booth! Though … this scene in the museum did bring back fond memories of another evening spent at a museum by these two, a night when they agreed that what’s theirs is theirs. And now it’s until death do us part. So, you go ahead and be goofy every once in a while, Booth. That’s how we know you are secure in your relationship.

Okay. Since we mentioned Booth, lets address some of his seemingly uncharacteristic behavior of late. This season has brought some startlingly serious events and themes. These Bones episodes are intense, rife with action and pregnant with passion and sentiment. More recently , however, we have seen a Booth who at times comes off as uncultured or goofy, as mentioned above. Silly, childish, you know what I mean.

We have to remember that Booth is married and happy now, content. Romance doesn’t disappear altogether, but intimacy brings with it a level of comfort that allows committed people the freedom to let their freak flags fly without fear of rejection or derision. One’s partner is one’s home (thank you, Brennan), one’s soft place to fall, the conferrer of grace despite one’s shortcomings. Forever and for always. Be it joy, sorrow, fear, rage, or bliss, this is where he can bring it knowing that he will be received with love. It’s a beautiful thing. Messy, but beautiful. 

That being said, Booth’s mockery of the 4,000 year old Slaughterer’s Chalice defied believability for his character. Booth has a great deal of respect for Brennan and her work. He may have kept that hidden for a while in their first season–though I suspect he did it mostly to goad her into proving her wrong; this is Booth we’re talking about and that is his superpower–but we know he has always respected her. That’s what was missing in the final scene of “The Turn in the Urn.”

What would have made more sense to some (me in particular) would be if Booth had teased Brennan by almost touching the chalice. If he’d danced around it, poking at it, always dangerously close but never touching it. THAT is the Booth we know. Brennan could have then flattened him, landing him on the ground from where we’d hear him weakly proclaim, “I’m O-Kay!” Just a thought.

I digress … where were we? Oh, yes, a case of the faux Mirge …

Turns out, the dead man is Daniel ‘You-Want-I-Should-Get-You-Some-Dope’ Barr, Mirge’s hapless concierge and drug buddy who was in the safe room, unbidden, stashing heroin for his and Mirge’s private welcome home party from rehab. With friends like that … Shesh!

So, the Jeffersonian team does all kinds of scientific mumbo jumbo and discovers that Barr had been shot two weeks before his death and, even more interestingly, had all manner of rare particulates lodged in the contusion to his occipital. Hodgins identifies these particulates–crystal, silver, gold, and narwal tusk–as those only found a thousand years ago and only in the Hetao Plain of Inner Mongolia. Wha? This points the team to the legend of The Slaughterer’s Chalice (no, it’s not a real thing), a rare artifact that had been missing for 300 years. What’s more, the chalice, once fought over by a dozen empires, dates back 2018 B. C. That’s over two thousand years before Jesus was in diapers. So – this $50+ million artifact was used to conk Barr on the head and kill him. Wow.

Evidence leads Brennan and Booth to question everyone, but no one is looking like their guy. Booth likes Mirge for the kill. Brennan likes Mama Mirge.


“You don’t know what a ‘retort’ and a ‘cremator’ are, do you, Booth?” “Well, you can’t name one player in the Flyers, can you, Bones?”

Plot twist … Mirge is brought in to answer for the gunshot wound and confesses to the murder after putting his face through several transformations that tell us he’s figured something out. At this point, Mirge’s actually becomes a sympathetic character. Maybe he’s not a complete douche after all.

But that’s too easy, says Booth, of the confession. Intuition is Booth’s super power; he knows a stinker when he smells it and Mirge is far too cocky and shameless to give himself over that fast. You go, Booth.

Hodgins uses a tube from Archie Bunker’s living room exhibit at the Jeffersonian and identifies 100 carats of micro diamonds and lacquer melted into the pores of the bone matrix. Angela identifies the combination as that from some million dollar finger nail polish she’d read about being auctioned away to three buyers including Beyoncé and Mirge’s girlfriend, Sarah ‘Brain-Surgeon-In-My-Spare-Time’ Metzler (Christie Ann Burson).

Related>> Check out our “The Repo Man in the Septic Tank” Review.

On a personal note, have you ever found yourself giving Bones-inspired advice to someone? Well, I have, and it goes something like this: “Carolina, sweetheart, if you ever kill someone, don’t hide it, call the police right away.” Thank you, Bones, for helping me keep my kids out of prison. #ValuableBonesLessons #Truth

I digress once again. Where were we? Oh, yes. The damning million dollar fingernail polish …

Herein lies the message about sacrificial and protective love. Though it seemed that Mirge had commitment issues when it came to women, he really loved Metzler. He figured out that Metzler killed Barr and took the fall for her. Sarah, on the other hand, was attempting to protect Mirge from the anti-friend and concierge, Barr, who planned to sabotage Mirge’s sobriety. Both Mirge and Metzler were convincingly convicted in their explanations. It was clear they loved each other.

In a more subtle display, both Brennan and Cam express their, dare I say, maternal affection for Finn as he mourns the end of his relationship. Brennan blew us away with her impromptu query, “Have you wept yet? Have you cried for your loss?” Wow. Motherhood, her deep and abiding symbiotic love with Booth, and, perhaps even her recent experience with Wendell have transformed Brennan into someone willing to address the complex emotional needs of those she cares about … and that includes her squints.

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Finn Abernathy, the squint on deck for “The Turn in the Urn” shares the good news of his hot sauce success with Cam.

Astounding as her bold yet gentle and compassionate confrontation of Finn was, even more impactful for yours truly was her identification of what Finn was experiencing as a loss. Labeling it such somehow legitimized his pain and elevated it to something that should be respected and mourned. People don’t acknowledge their losses enough in this world.

As Brennan pointed out, failing to process the emotions loss inspires is physiologically unhealthy. The body needs to discharge from the shock of amputation. Animals in the wild do it or else they die. Humans are the only ones who stuff, and swallow, and deny how we really feel … and that can have fatal repercussions. So, dear Boneheads, feel free to get down with your bad self and have a good cry when you need to. After the rain comes the rainbow. So bring on that healthy rain. #ThatIsAll

Cam’s ‘Michelle is better for having known you and so am I’ speech was beautifully and uncharacteristically intimate for this perfectly poised, meticulously dressed and manicured woman who, as a rule, prefers to keep things professional. It was heart-warming, and generous, and inspiring. Well done, Tamara, er, I mean, Cam.

Finally, we have Michelle. Since we last saw her in the year two-thousand-and-I-don’t-remember-when, this girl has matured and was stunningly beautiful in this Bones episode. As for her performance, it was masterful. Who knows where actors go inside themselves or what it costs them to pull out whatever it takes for them to deliver powerfully emotional and tearful performances like Tiffany Hines did in “The Turn In the Urn?” Her devastation and courage to a) to break-up when she knew it was time, and b) to do it so powerfully left me speechless.

Compassion. Sacrifice. Protecting those we love. These themes are not new on Bones, but the way they were served-up to viewers this week was exemplary. Thank you, Bones, for another hour of fantastic and meaningful entertainment.

Relive Brennan and Booth’s 9th Season by checking out our Bones Reviews Archive here.

Next Monday, April 07 at 8:00 PM-9:00 PM EST on FOX catch “The High in the Low” when the Jeffersonian team investigates the death an art school dropout struggling with Lupus, Wendell Bray returns after starting cancer treatments, and Booth preps for his FBI Competency tests.
(Photos courtesy of Fox Broadcasting)

To my dedicated review readers: As of March 24th, I’mwriting for BuddyTV where I’m providing weekly recaps for The Tomorrow People. My first Bones op-ed article will appear in May. I look forward to chatting with you at BuddyTV and on Twitter at @MoxieGirl44 and @CatCabanela … And you know where else to find me.

Keep loving’ Bones!


About Catherine Cabanela

BuddyTV Writer with an MBA in marketing and an undergraduate in writing and foreign language, I spend my time writing, tweeting, aggressively pursuing new social media strategies, writing, co-parenting twins with my husband, and reading everything I can get my hands on. All at the same time. Oh, and writing. Former ScreenSpy Critic for Bones, Revenge, Covert Affairs, and Motive. Fiction: "The When and the How: A Bone To Pick" http://bit.ly/BONESFic
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21 Responses to #Bones ‘The Turn in the Urn’ Review: A Holy Grail of Compassion & Sacrifice

  1. Diane Wesley says:

    I am so in tune with Brennan, her “Have you wept yet?” and “Have you cried for your loss?” lines blew me away too. I agree with you about Cam, she let a little of her inner self out when she told Finn that she and Michelle were better for having known him. Wow!ll

    Booth was awesomely Booth! I would like to see a little more of the old looking into each others eyes and doing the eye sex thing while out and about on cases, even at the Jeffersonian and Hoover. They are such a steamy couple, the domesticity is beautiful but they can still have private conversations with their eyes. Wasn’t that the best?

    Bones characters are amazing. I love this show and I love your in depth reviews of each episode.



    • Diane – Between writing for BuddyTV, managing the kids/family, and everything else, I’m just glad I got this out there today. Thank Linda – she cracked the whip on me every day! Hey, we’re not normal, we’re extraordinary, right! LOL!


  2. Amanda Hansen says:

    Catherine, As always you find the things to say about an episode that hit home and melt hearts and minds so they come together. Love your very indepth analysis of what this episode dealt with. I truly believe the comment by the girlfriend that you protect the ones you love hit home with Booth. That has always been his underlying strength. I enjoyed the dynamics of what happened between Finn and Michelle. Great performances. Thanks for the good review.


    • Thanks Amanda! You know … you could see that look on Booth’s face after she made that ‘protect’ comment. I felt sorry for the girl. And like I said … I’ve actually told my kids to always report if they kill someone. *eye roll* What kind of mother am I?!!!

      Thanks for commenting!


  3. crazytelevision says:

    Totally agree with you in everything, loved cam and Brennan’s speeches to finn, and one thing you forgot to mention Booth’s reaction when Todd’s mother calls Brennan a whore, soooooooooo funny


  4. viggie4 says:

    You are the Best on Bones! There was so much going on with this episode I thought I would forget.
    You brought it all together for me. The scenes mentioned were awesome! Great Show! Thanks!


    • And there was even more I forgot to mention … like how absolutely exquisite Emily Deschanel was in this episode! And Booth’s defending Brennan when Mirge’s mom called her a whore … then rolling his eyes when she said it again during interrogation. This line KILLED me: ‘What-Are-Those-Horns-On-Your-Head, Pretty-Boy’

      Thanks for commenting!


    • renee says:

      just my 2cents added here, viggie4—but the week Catherine didn’t post a BONES review, I so missed it and went and read some other online reviews (which I really hadn’t done before)…sorry to say, most reviews were either just a methodical outline, or a fairly superficial overview, touching deeper on maybe one or two points, if that. Very disappointing to say the least. It did not pull me in, make me see the characters in a deeper way, or see something I missed—->Totally agree, Cat is THE BEST ON BONES!! 🙂


      • I’ve recently learned that a lot of recappers/reviewers (most) have to get their posts out within an hour and a half after the show airs. I spend A LOT more time on my reviews than that … plus I’ve been writing about Bones for over four years now – which helps. My Tomorrow People recaps are nowhere near as detailed – deadline is 1.5 hours. And I’m learning to get faster. It’s the followership of people like all you guys that make it worth while, ladies. I may just HAVE to continue with BONES throughout the rest of the season!

        BTW – if you enjoy these recaps, you might enjoy my “The Meaning in the Episode” chapters from Season 7. This fills in some of the blanks with conversations and interactions that I imagine could have happened, but just didn’t make it onto the small screen. You can find this collection here>> https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7548389/1/The-Meaning-in-the-Episode <<< until I get it transferred over to this site!

        Keep Lovin' Bones!

        Cat (MoxieGirl44)


  5. SR Dewees says:

    This is a great review as always. Love your insights. I might have missed where it was announced between everyone at the Jeffersonian about the break up between Finn and Michelle .Maybe it was ‘assumed’? I even watched it a 2nd and 3rd time and still didn’t catch it. I guess, I still feel that even tho Brennan tries to be sympathetic, she still hasn’t learned how to soften her words or her body language, although she has gotten better over the years, it isn’t consistent. ex: the professor(another epp) and/or hugging Wendell. She did try with Finn. When it is all said and done, this is just an observation of sorts. Bones is # 1 in my home. The best of the best and always will be. Again, Thanks so much for a great review.


    • So glad you found me here! When you change venue you never know if people will find you again. Well, it had to happen sometime, right? Life is much more relaxed and happy now! Thanks for commenting, sweetie!

      Keep Lovin’ Bones!


  6. geraghtyvl says:

    Loved your review Catherine! As always, you captured all those pivotal moments in the episode. And yes, Brennan looked absolutely gorgeous during the funeral scene! It brings me back to earlier seasons when she wore more than pants and her lab coat..sigh. I loved Booth defending his WIFE, but I was not overly impressed with the end scene. I just don’t think that would be what Booth would do with a priceless chalice, and an archeological find so near and dear to Brennan. That being said, the case was interesting, and I’ll never get tired of seeing Booth and Brennan as a married couple! Good luck, even though you don’t need it, at BuddyTV. Can’t wait to see your Bones op-ed article in May!


    • Thanks for reading, commenting, and tweeting this Bones review, lady!! I agree about Booth in the end scene … I actually find this comment on http://readthescreen.com by @katelinnea and I couldn’t agree more:

      “Speaking of which, I was so mad at the way Booth was treating the PRICELESS ARTIFACT at the end. Every once in a while the writers seem to feel the need to turn Booth into an extravagantly boorish, uncultured version of himself, in the same way as they occasionally make Brennan act like she has never met another person in her life, and I really wish they would stop.”

      She put it so well! Have you seen the pics for the finale? ED is looking stunning again!



  7. renee says:

    Hello Catherine! another g-r-e-a-t review 🙂
    Thank you, for setting up this page–as I’ve said before, have soooo missed reading your weekly Bones insights along with the others who post regularly….truly appreciate your writing gift….like this example: “Mirga’s mother, Drina ‘You-May-Sit-In-The-Section-For-Whores’ Mirga” — so funny..lolol Also, EW or TVGuide couldn’t have described Cam better than: “…for this perfectly poised, meticulously dressed and manicured woman who, as a rule, prefers to keep things professional. ”
    Really like Finn, it was fun to see him again…luv how he still calls Hodgins “Thurston”.
    This really was an intricate, involved, interesting episode as you said…kept us glued….and how well did Emily use her eyes and facial expressions to show Brennan’s sincerely complex mind/psyche during her conversation with Finn? Also, couldn’t help to laugh when Booth compared the ancient Chalice to the Stanley Cup? Great review of a Super Ep….
    Thanks again!


    • Renee – Exactly – it was Bren’s facial expressions and her eyes that emoted her compassion even better than her words in that scene with Opie. You know what? I really didn’t give Finn enough credit. IT was just that those other three performances were fantastic! Thank you so much for following me here. I’ll let y’all know wham my BuddyTV article comes out in May!



  8. sandra holl says:

    Your explanation and description of this episode is fantastic! I always look forward to your insights, as they help me to interpret the episode with more depth1 one of my favorite scenes in this episode was at the wake ,bc Emily looked absolutely stunning in her dress! I honestly believe she has become more beautiful since the birth of her child!!! This was a great episode!!!.


    • She WAS beautiful, wasn’t she? I loved that dress and her wonderful figure. I’m glad she’s not a stick figure like Cam and Angela – both gorgeous healthy women. It’s just great to see a brilliant woman with curves. She’s the perfect size for Booth. I loved his responses when Mama Mirge called Brennan a whore. LOL!

      Thanks for commenting, sweetie!!


  9. myrnama says:

    Great review, Catherine! I love that you are now putting your reviews here on your “shesgotmoxiedotnet blog!! I would have missed a review as you had previously done with that other website you were posting Bones reviews on!!
    I was a especially sad about the breakup of Michelle & Finn. They seemed like such a cute couple, but I guess this is sometimes what happens with young love! It was surprizingly sweet to have BOTH Brennan & Cam quietly & gently support Finn in his sadness regarding Michelle breaking up with him! It IS a grief that needs to be relieved, crying is beneficial & I don’t believe men take advantage of that very often! It was nice to hear Cam’s remark about Finn making both she & Michelle better people, what a wonderful endorsement of Finn’s quality of character after his initial introduction!

    I thought Booth was a bit goofy in this episode & I think that Brennan sometimes still chides Booth for his lack of knowledge of her field. Then I remember the episode “The Change in the Game” when Brennan is talking here forensic-speak & the cop at the bowling alley asked Booth ‘did you understand all of that?’ AND, he repeated in “people language” what had happened to that victim! I thought that Booth’s actual picking up of the Slaughter’s Chalice & waving it around was a bit over the top…he’s a jock, but NOT that unthinking kind of a jock!! He love’s his Flyers, but he loves Brennan & has respect for her loves, too!! Tho, I did love his defense of Brennan when Mirge’s mother called her a whore…whoa, whoa, whoa!

    Good job, Catherine, always, always when I read your reviews, I want to go watch the episode again!! Keep it up, Lady!


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