Hey, Hey Brennan Week! Bonespal Margo sent me an email, recommending that I pass this on! Next Thursday from 5 AM to 8 PM is “Act Like Brennan Day!”
So, that’s seems very fun. I’ll be participating, and what I’ll be doing in my efforts to be more Brennan-y will be to strip off all of Booth’s clothes in the lab and kiss him under the mistletoe! #ICalledHimFirst Haha.
But back to the post at hand. There’s something I want to say.
Hi, I’m Sarah.
I’m 30 years old.
And I’m a shipper.
You know, before I ever watched BONES, I wasn’t always one. Definitely not in high school or college really . And I really can’t think of many TV couples that I’d ever shipped before B&B. I guess… Jim and Pam.
And Luke & Lorelai, kind of, though…it also kind of ended badly. I don’t like to think about that.
Um, Casey and Dana (and don’t EVEN get me started on how that ended).
But I think that’s about it. I mean, I guess Anne & Gilbert. Elizabeth & Mr. Darcy. But those are kind of givens, and I didn’t spend my time planning ways for them to get together; it all seemed pretty inevitable.
But Booth and Brennan…
I can remember right before I started the 100Days proj, I was telling my parents about it, and my mom was like, “Well, just make sure that it doesn’t become your whole life.”
“It won’t Mom,” I rolled my eyes (high school! Ha, in my defense, I was only 29) and said. “Don’t worry.”
Of course, by that time…it was too late, haha. Anyways, though…this is something that has been on my mind for awhile, and I just can’t quite let it go.
What if every moment I love is really affecting Brennan in the opposite way?
Remember yesterday when we talked about whether or not she was leading Booth on? My conclusion was that she didn’t lead him on, but that she basically has been consistently continuing to weigh what she considers her qualities against what she considers to be Booth’s…deserved need.
But lately, I’ve been almost feeling guilty, as if my love for their shared moments is pushing Brennan in the opposite direction. The reason I’ve struggled with this so much is that it seems that in Season Five, Brennan was really on a path to understanding her love for Booth and her acceptance of his love for her. I know I’m not the only one who thought that, as many of us discussed it when we talked about those episodes. Which is why it feels almost hypocritical to love the 100th episode AND the episodes preceding it, because they seem to contradict in some ways. THAT’S what’s been eating at me. Because I believe that it’s been a very honest character development path, and it culminated in that moment before sort of dropping and then beginning to climb again. On the surface, though, they do seem to contradict. But what if I’m wrong, and they don’t contradict one another? What if every moment I think is bringing her closer TO him is actually tearing her away from him?
Hear me out.
Let’s agree with my premise that Brennan has been methodically weighing the pros and cons. Let’s say that on her list of ‘cons’ is something like, “Booth needs and/or wants a mate whom he could be superior to in some ways, such as intellect, financial means and physical strength.” Now, whether or not that’s TRUE Booth wants that, I can still sort of see it being on Brennan’s list about him, right? So if that’s on the list, then we take a look at a scene like the ending with Bond in the Boot. Sweets had been encouraging her to let Booth teach her about plumbing in order to reassert some masculinity. Brennan agrees to it and immediately, Booth is very pleased about that. She notices. She knows exactly what is happening. And as he’s showing her what to do, she can’t help but notice that he gains more and more confidence. So while I’m practically fainting at their nearness and his Saturday morning stubble and the way his arm and chest practically envelop her as he reaches for the water, later, when Brennan examines the situation, she can only come to the conclusion that she was right. Booth was resistant to her expensive watch, he gained confidence in his ability to teach her something, and Brennan is maybe left feeling like a snobby braniac.
Remember, she doesn’t necessarily feel that Booth could love the true her. Her past relationships have been based on her brains or her physicality. I was so glad when pal Ange mentioned this in her comment yesterday about Avalon’s analysis of Brennan. “You are an abandoned child. The world scares you, so you wrap it up neatly in bonds of reason, education, and proof. All riddles are solvable to you except one. The riddle you can’t solve is how somebody could love you.”
Brennan’s reply? “Well, I’m beautiful and very intelligent.”
You see? Her two areas of personal success are where she gets her self-validation.
But Avalon sort of cuts through the crap and tells her, “The answer to the question you’re afraid to say out loud is YES, he knows the truth of you, and yet he’s dazzled by that truth.”
I love that she calls it the question Brennan won’t even say out loud. That means it’s deep in there, so, so, so deep.
Brennan cannot form a response.
…and we’re all just a little more dazzled.
What do you think about this?
Let me toss this out too. I think Brennan is more capable than she admits to herself. I think she knows that on some level she loves Booth, and she’s dealing with that. But I also think she has this idea of what Booth thinks is love, and I think she might be wrong about that. So this measuring stick she is propping up against her own heart and life…it’s inaccurate. But I do think she’s doing it. It’s tricky, because I used to think that if Booth would only take the word ‘love’ out of the equation, he’d be able to prove to Brennan that what they have is exactly what they want. Physical attraction, willing to die for the other, complete trust, intense affection, ability to make each other laugh, acceptance of extended family, mutual friends, shared appreciation for the other’s work…I mean, those of us in serious relationships…raise your hand if you’d like to have ALL of those things in common with your partner/mate/spouse, right? Booth doesn’t see them as compatible (based on what? He eats meat? She won’t go to Mass with him? Superficial ephemera, I say! haha), but they really are compatible. What I love about the rest of season five (meaning post-100) is that Booth and Brennan seem to grow STRONGER in the areas I mentioned. But because Brennan doesn’t see those things as Booth’s definition of love, I think she feels she doesn’t have what it takes.
Here are two more examples of moments I love but think may have the adverse effect on Brennan.
“I can’t think of anything I wouldn’t do to help Booth.”
In this scene from Dwarf in the Dirt, I was thinking, “AhhhHHHHH. She LOVES HIM!” But it turns out in her mind that she feels she has to be almost self-sacrificial about it. The irony is that yes, to love and be loved by someone, you have to compromise and put the other’s needs above your own. But Brennan doesn’t see that she already does this in a good way (like I mentioned before). So when I’m thinking, ‘Finally, she loves him. This is it…this is the beginning of it. It’s gotta be. Come on, Bones fans…it’s gotta be!” ha), as the episode goes on, she is adding to her list, “Okay, this is it. Booth needs me to be his partner. In his personal life, he needs someone who tells jokes the right way. Someone whose personal life doesn’t cause him harm. Someone whose very job/existence in his life doesn’t present him with the need to be able to shoot to kill with deadly accuracy. No matter how I feel, I need to help him be happy.”
The toast to love about Padme and Jared’s engagement.
I love this toast. I really love this entire scene. I love that Jared wanted Brennan there with Booth. Love, love, love it. I love that she kicked Jared under the table. I love that Booth complimented her on her toasting abilities. And I will always be curious to know what he said to her when she was done. I think, based on the look on her face, that it might not have been nice. What do you think? She seems a bit chagrined, which is too bad. Booth has a way of squelching Brennan’s sweet innocence that breaks my heart a lot. Like when he doesn’t laugh at her jokes and stuff.
But what if Brennan was testing Booth out to see if he really believed what he’s said he believes all along. Earlier in the episode, they’d bickered (deliciously). Brennan calls Booth out on what he’s said about love, and he quotes her rational feelings back at her. Loved it! But Brennan also later tells him that it makes her anxious that he seems to have abandoned his belief system, that she’s made changes in her life based on the trust she has in his emotional aptitude. So what if…Brennan is really testing out the waters to see if Booth is back to his normal feelings on the matter. And, if she examines it later, will come to the conclusion that yes, Booth indeed is in favor of love. And so her list, her ‘measuring stick’, grows longer and she continues to fall short. “Booth needs someone in his life who wants his version of love.”
But I can’t help feeling that Brennan doesn’t really know what Booth’s version of love is. And that’s what is the most heartbreaking about their heart to heart in the 100th episode. They are pouring their hearts out so deeply and quickly that they aren’t really listening to what each other is saying.
Like Hart Hanson recently said “Sweets says to him, you have to be the one. And he does. He’s the one. He says, no bullshit, nothing about jobs, I’ll do anything to make this work.”
But Brennan wasn’t hearing that. She’s hearing that Booth wants…I don’t know what, a housewife? A picket fence? Whatever it is, she’s wrong. Once she says no, he’s not exactly hearing what she’s saying either.
It’s just heartbreaking, but so, so, so real.
Help me out here. I’m being totally honest. Are the moments I (we) love actually pushing Brennan away from Booth? Is our sense that she is being led toward loving him only a blinder to the reality that she feels she can’t measure up? While Booth gains confidence that she’s coming along to his way of thinking, she does as well, but only to the absolute certainty that Booth deserves better?
This has kind of been keeping me up nights, so I certainly value your opinions. I’ve been so pleased with everyone’s incredibly well thought out responses and comments. Some of you should be doing this blog, and not me! You have better insights and ways of saying things. I’m totally humbled by your willingness to share from your hearts here at Bones Theory.
Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, someone sent me an idea. And she smiled and said that it would just be fun to mention it here for Brennan week. And I totally agreed. But please, if there is something you would like to see discussed here, please send it my way. I’ll write about it, and open a discussion. This site is yes, for me to deal with my neurosis (okay, I admit it, once and for all), but also for you all to be able to dig deep and really express your feelings.
Enough from me. Let me know what you think!