Bones Theory

Episode 103: The Rocker in the Rinse Cycle


Booth seems to like Catherine, don’t you think?

I do! I’m glad; it’s been a long time since he’s dated anyone.

I know. It’s important for Booth to share his life. I prefer being alone.

But…you’re seeing Hacker.

Yes, and I like him. But not like Booth.

BONES: Season Five

The Rocker in the Rinse Cycle



                            Kiss on the cheek

Brainy Smurf

                            Mac & Cheese

 French fries

                            Plumbing for Dummies

Christmas Tree

                            Birthday cake

Burying Ripley

                                Listening to war stories


                            Soup from the place


Social contracts

It’s all about perspective, BONES Darlings. So while, yes…it does sting, that Catherine has given Booth a tie, it’s not the most meaningful thing. But we should talk about what bothers us. And for me, it stings in two ways.

  1. Booth’s ties…I want that to be a Brennan thing. Off the top of my head, I can think of four times in which she was focused on Booth’s tie.
    1. During the coma dream, when she straightens it (and he leans in to kiss her)
    2.  At the Egyptian artifact gala, when she straightens a PERFECTLY STRAIGHT bowtie,
    3. During Goop on the Girl, when she removes his tie (and other clothing items as ‘evidence’)
    4. During Tough Man in the Tender Chicken, when she takes off his tie for ‘research’

   I don’t want that to be something he shares with someone else.

  1. The tie had dolphins on it. Yes, I know Catherine is a marine biologist. But dolphins? Those are Brennan’s! That’s her thing! With her mother!

It just feels cruel to me. Like the BONES writers are just pouring salt into open wounds. I mean, I don’t think it’s too much to read into it that either of those things are deliberate, do you?

Likewise, Hacker gives Brennan, as Booth calls it…a mixed tape. He kind of smirks, and so do we, but…for those of us who have sent and received mixed tapes (or mixtapes, if you prefer), we know that a lot of heart can go into those. It stings just a bit less than the tie, mainly because I didn’t already know that Led Zeppelin was one of Booth’s fave bands (Though we did already know that one of DB’s fave concerts ever was the one Booth mentioned here).

But in the grand scheme of things, I’m not worried about a tie or a mixed tape, because while they seem meaningful at first, upon closer examination, it’s clear that the dolphin tie and compilation of songs are really more about Catherine and Hacker than they are about B&B. It’s like…here’s a gift about me. I’m a marine biologist, so I got you a tie with dolphins on it. I want you to like the music I like, so here is some for you to listen to.

Versus…this kind of thing:

Brainy Smurf: That’s a gift from Booth about Brennan.

Mac & Cheese: That was a gift from Brennan for Booth.

Etc, etc. Does that make sense? The gifts (and much more) that Booth and Brennan share with one another are more about each other.

Sigh…when this show is over, what in the heck are we going to talk about? Let’s just not think about that. Let’s think about something more uplifting. Like a severely mangled dead body.


A skeleton is found in an industrial sized hotel washer, and Booth and Brennan are called to the case. Booth immediately asserts that the only way for the body to have gotten into that washer was for it to have been dumped down a laundry chute, to which Brennan infers homicide. Cam, Hodgins, Vasiri and Angela work to identify the victim as Richard Cole, single, commercial real estate developer. Richard went to fantasy camps every year for his birthday. The current fantasy camp at the hotel where his body is found is rock and roll camp. It’s led by uber famous promoter and manager, Simon Graham.

But Graham’s interest in Richard isn’t solely for pleasure; Richard was trying to buy some property that Simon didn’t want him to have.

Other persons of interest include guitar solo ripping Gino and eyebrow pierced Bebe. They are all (including Booth) big fans of Eric Dalton, who’s there putting on a guitar workshop.

The case gets interesting when Hodgins presents Vasiri with a bone fragment that he identifies as from the tusk of a woolly mammoth. Angela realizes that the bone fragment is really part of a guitar pick. Who uses a pick like that? Eric Dalton, of course.

B&B interrogate him and he puts the moves on Brennan only to realize she’s not really interested. But what she IS interested in are the scuff marks on the wall and the blood stains in the carpet. And later, Angela figures out that Richard was murdered with a 57 Les Paul.

When the Gibson shows up on Booth’s radar as trying to be hawked by a girl with a pierced eyebrow, B&B suspects Bebe. But she only stole the guitar.

The murderer was Gino, who would kill to play with Eric Dalton, and did.


Sweets: I LOOOOOOOOVE when Sweets is all about Booth being like a cool older brother. That vibe works between the two of them. One of my fave scenes in this episode is when Booth and Sweets are talking with Graham, and Sweets is kind of a goofball about it. But Booth gets it, and he’s cool about it. Sweets is fun at the diner later too when he says that getting killed with a 57 Gibson Les Paul is like getting killed with the Mona Lisa.

Arastoo Vasiri=squintern of the week. I love that he’s a baseball fan. The baseball analogies wore a little thin, but the Hungry Hungry Hippos dis on Hodgins made up for it.

Hodgins:  He is still cool, and he found the purple thread.

Cam: How do you like Paul? I think it’s a nice storyline. Here’s hoping it actually develops! His “You look beautiful embarrassed” is now one of my all time favorite compliments. I had forgotten about that. It was nice to see Michelle back as well. I used Cam’s convo with Brennan for the opening quote, as I love that scene. I was pleasantly surprised by the writers when, instead of having Cam call Booth out about him moving on with Catherine, they showed a Cam and Brennan scene about it. Very smart. Very interesting that Brennan chooses Cam to sort of validate her feelings to.  Cam’s genuine happiness for Booth rings true, even in contrast to her amusement of Brennan’s explanation.

Angela: Her guitar knowledge was fun. And her techno-art stuff was great. Angela is best when she works at the lab, and that is pretty much what happened here.


We already got the social contract thing out of the way, but there is still a lot to talk about in this episode, in terms of B&B. I always really laugh when Brennan is going on about testicular trauma and Sweets and Booth are like, “No. No.” I love Booth putting an end to that.  Also, if you decide not to re-watch this episode, do yourself a favor and at least check out the twenty minute mark. Booth and Brennan are questioning Eric Dalton, and he’s just shirtless, playing his guitar, etc, and he comes on to Brennan. She sort of rejects/deflects it, stating he couldn’t possibly have anything of value for her. Dalton says he’s not so sure and invites Brennan to sit right near him. And then Booth… “Excuse me, I really like your music, doesn’t mean I’m not going to clock you, alright? Let’s just focus.” Haha, yes!

I also love the part when Brennan is getting on Booth’s case for fantasy rock&roll camp, and he asks her who she would want to meet at fancy anthropology camp. Brennan’s answer? “If I were an anthropology enthusiast, I would want to go to fantasy camp to meet me.” Awesome. Booth gets that look on his face like he does when he usually says, “You’re unbelievable, Bones” and he doesn’t quite mean it as a compliment, but also…just kind of falls for her a teensy bit more at the same time! But before that can happen, the music starts and Hot Blooded blares through the speakers.

“You hear that? That is our SONG!! Remember? Hot Blooded?”

“The last time we sang this song, Booth, someone tried to kill you.”

“Yeah, but it was fun up until the blast!”

Haha, well, first of all, Brennan…technically, someone was trying to kill YOU, and Booth happened to thankfully be pulling a glass from the cupboard near the fridge. But, we’ll let that slide. But you guys…why is Booth singing? I just………

If there is one good thing that comes from it, it’s that Brennan tells him later that he’s a very good singer. I don’t even know what to say about that, except…she loves him?

I also don’t buy Brennan playing the electric guitar, but if I remember right, it was all part of this Fox promo for Rock and Roll or something. Apparently Billy Gibbons wasn’t available. Or Motley Crue. Haha. Or DayPlayer. Or any other band ever.

What mostly rubs me the wrong way about it is that it’s not like the case is solved, and they are just kicking back. Literally, they are messing around in the same room (presumably) as the murderer. Brennan gets a lead on a suspect from Cam, and they wait it out to play one more verse? WTF? That’s just not B&B’s style, in my opinion.

Though I do love this, for some reason…

I like later when B&B bicker about Catherine, groupies/groupers and the case in the observation room with Sweets right there. It’s that kind of moment that lets me know that neither of them are 100% okay with everything that is happening. They’ve been playing the whole dating thing kind of cool, but that’s not the reality.

But is the tension caused because of romantic feelings for one another or because it’s just bringing a new dimension to their partnership? It’s hard to say. I certainly have my own opinions on that matter. I think Brennan is sort of digging herself a little hole here. Not that she ‘deserves what’s coming to her’ or anything like that, but more that she has been studying Booth for many years, and can’t quite quit that. So in this case, with Catherine, she’s just so curious and self-admittedly fascinated by it. But it’s not just learning facts. With everything she learns, I think it causes her some emotional pain. Like the little stings we talked about at the beginning of this review, she is feeling this out between them, and in herself.

Her character development is amazing in the final scene at Founding Fathers. After asking Booth about Catherine, and he shrugs it off that they’d only gone on two dates,  I am sure she still feels something. But she doesn’t exactly show it. But then, she sort of reciprocates with an anecdote about Hacker. And when Booth comments that a mixed tape is a social contract, and she agrees, Booth does react; he appears somewhat uncomfortable. And that is the moment. Brennan can see his reaction, and I believe that she can feel what he’s feeling. What we see as Booth’s expression is mirrored in Brennan’s heart. I believe that. Why? Because Brennan rushes to comfort Booth and make sure he knows. She’s reiterating to herself that Booth knows she still values their partnership, but she’s also reassuring Booth that she cares about him. It’s interesting, because Brennan has never really been one to stress their partnership. The only other time I can think of her doing it is when she busts into his bathroom, declaring that because they were partners, he should have called her. It’s like when the possibility of the partnership being removed presents itself, she latches onto it and pulls it right back in. Booth assures her that he knows. I love that. I think it means that all these years, even though she might not ever really say much about it, that he knows and has known that she cares for him, on a partnership level and more. He tells her, “You’d die for your partner; that’s the way I look at it.”

They share a comforting, private and special look. Brennan gets misty-eyed, and so do I. I cry every time I see that scene. I just think Brennan is really struggling, and I just really feel for her. She verbally (to Sweets and Cam) professed that she is in favor of Booth dating Catherine, almost as if she feels like if she says that enough times, she might actually feel that way. She’s not used to that. She’s not used to having to make her words prove her feelings. Findings, yes. Facts, yes. Feelings…that’s not as easy. The reality is that what Booth and Brennan have together is more than romantic love. The (I hope) best case scenario is not them ending up in bed together to resolve that UST; it’s a lifetime of loving one another and caring for each other. What they have is more than partnership, more than love, more than friendship. It’s nothing either of them has ever experienced before. It’s not anything I’ve ever experienced before. They are both kind of figuring it out. And in Brennan’s case, she is still processing her emotions. She can make decisions very quickly, and her mind works so fast. But she is still dealing with her feelings for Booth, and her feelings for herself, and all of that.  I think she is beginning to see that maybe she made a mistake where Booth is concerned. I just feel like we can see her mind whirling around. “Maybe I love Booth. But I don’t even know what that means. Yes, I do. It just means…Booth. But…I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. He’s with someone else. And he should be happy. I want him to be happy. But it feels very sad. And we could be that happy. Except it’s too late. But sometimes it doesn’t feel too late. Except I could never ask that of him. Because he doesn’t deserve that. I don’t deserve someone as good as him. Which is exactly what I knew when he told me. But maybe I do love him…”

Haha, oh gosh, this analysis went on WAY too long! But let me just say this: I too have been hesitant to watch these final season five episodes, but now that I am watching them again, I am glad that I’m doing it. Let me encourage you to consider watching them. Keep in mind what we talked about as far as social contracts. Keep in mind that we know Booth and Brennan. We do. We’ve been with them for five years, some of us. Keep listening to what they say and how they say it. Watch their faces, watch their movements. I think you’ll find that they are just as close as before, if not closer. Remember at the end of Aliens in a Spaceship, where Booth and Brennan comfort one another with, “I knew you wouldn’t give up”? That’s how I feel about them right now. It’s how I feel about all of us. I feel like deep down, B&B are saying to themselves…don’t give up. Not quite yet. And they are thinking deep down toward one another, “Don’t give up on me…not quite yet.” And I’m saying it to you, to myself, to all of us. Don’t give up. Not quite yet.

If you are feeling stressed about it, let me know, and I’ll encourage you. I’ll even let you borrow my handkerchief, just like our Booth of the day. And when I’m discouraged, you can comfort me and put it back in my pocket.

Peace, Love & Bones,



3 thoughts on “Episode 103: The Rocker in the Rinse Cycle

  1. Yeeess!! You always hit me right where it hurts, lol, but only in a good way!

    I so don’t want to give up! I really don’t and I must confess I haven’t rewatched any of the final episodes precisely because I’ve been afraid of studying them too closely! But you’re really spot on here. Especially, your description of Brennan’s mind whirling! I think(hope) that’s exactly right and can see that struggle going on into season 6.

  2. Awesome review Seels! Really, this one was great, because you highlighted all of the important things we as fans should take away from this episode.

    The thing I liked about this one was that after 101 and 102, this episode felt less awkward between B&B, like they were truly connecting again, and connecting on a deeper level. This is one I think I can watch again. 🙂

  3. As much as Brennan tries to resist what she feels for Booth, she finds it hard as she compared Andrew to him more than once. She’s finding out that no other person can fill Booth’s shoes and she resists by wrapping it up in their partnership as that is the safest ground she can think of, she steered clear even of friendship. Booth understands and knows that she is battling with the issues but this is not something that he can fix or chooses not to fix. She needs to understand it all by herself. She is jealous of Katherine but she knows rationally, she has no leg to stand on. Both on a partnership and friendship level, Brennan will die/kill for Booth which is the ultimate sacrifice – tell me that is not love – but she has no clue as to what the feeling she has is. It’s all new and baffling to her that the more she tries to be emotionally distant, the closer she is drawn to Booth. She wants to know every detail of his life which of course will be impossible and awkward if they are not a couple and at the same time wants to keep herself at arms length. She has no idea of how the ‘game of love’ is played. Booth has spoiled her to the extent that she feels she can have her cake and eat it. There is nothing he won’t do for her – all she has to do is ask – even if it is against his beliefs, he will do it for her.
    I sometimes wish a Booth character type of person existed in the real world – I would love to meet him. Booth is such a sweet/wonderful/understanding/caring/affectionate/manly/protective/loving person with flaws but who does not have flaws? His self-control is amazing! How he does not profess undying love to her on a daily basis is beyond me.
    Why does Brennan feel the need to date FBI guys but not Booth? The same principle applies to all FBI personnel and consultants etc but Brennan was ok dating Sully and now Hacker. IMO, it’s all about wanting Booth, denying the attraction/desire and just going for a shadow of the real thing which sorts of contradicts her rational way of doing things. She always aims for the top so here she has the A spot offered on a platter and she baulks and turns tail.
    This thing called love is not rational and cannot be measured in the lab. It is like riding the wave. You go with the flow.

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