Bones Theory

Morning After Q: Which is Booth MORE Upset About?

22 Comments

Hey, hey! A new Friday morning segment for us here at BT, where we take one question ‘the morning after’ and we analyze it. And when I say ‘we’, I mean you. I’ll toss the question out there, and you can make my heart happy by discussing it!

So here’s today’s question for you, and I want to know what you think.

Is Booth more upset by what he considers to be Brennan’s previous rejection of their partnership (BwtA and BitE) than with what he considers to be her rejection of HIM (PitSotW)?

Thoughts? It seems like after the 100th episode, he was a little snarky toward her, but he was still intuitive toward her. And now, we’re seeing him sort of miss what she’s saying and expressing. I don’t think it’s out of character, because I think we’re seeing that Booth is also dealing with some issues. That’s fair, and I think it’s safe to say that it’s established now…Booth is working through it himself. But what brought this question to my mind were the two diner scenes.

The first one is when Brennan and Booth are discussing their partnership (though, interestingly enough, Brennan doesn’t use the word partner…neither of them really do in this episode…VERY interesting! It’s like the word they won’t admit to each other or anyone else), and Booth shows a little bit of edginess toward her on her sincerity of working with him again. I think he’s hurt! I also think that even if he didn’t necessarily have confidence in himself and where he stood with her personally as a man in love, he ALWAYS knew that their partnership was important to her and he was very confident in that.

Which brings us to the second scene, where Sweets is quite literally sitting between them, and Brennan is making some admissions that Booth can’t quite seem to process. I don’t blame him; I was staring in shock too, wondering if I was dreaming. But he doesn’t exactly bring up the fact that she turned him down. At least, I don’t remember that.

So, there are two scenarios. Are we seeing a man scorned professionally and not just personally? Is that what is causing Booth to seem edgier? Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s acting just fine. But it’s clear he’s working through something. What do you think? Which is Booth more upset about?

Talk to me!

(and PS…here’s the link to my review of last night’s episode over at GMMR. Come on over and discuss there! )

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22 thoughts on “Morning After Q: Which is Booth MORE Upset About?

  1. I think at this point it’s the partnership he is more worried about. Somewhere in the deep recesses of his mind he knows that the Hannah situation is going to be the tipping point in their entire relationship, and since he still (stubbornly) believes that Brennan doesn’t love him and never will, the only thing he has left as an anchor to her (and he needs her as much as she needs him, even Hannah can see that) is their partnership. So when he asks if they can still work together, he looks like a little boy begging his parents to tell him that there really is a Santa Clause, and that absolutely kills me. It was a nice counter to the scene at the end of PitSotW when Brennan asks him the same question.

    As for Bren’s admission at the diner (which might be the most jaw-dropping moment in Bones history so far), I think Booth heard her…but he wasn’t listening. He still believes that she may have seen him as a way to relieve biological urges and that she has affection for him, but there isn’t romantic love involved. Maybe a little part of him says, “Hey Seeley, the woman you’re ass over teakettle for just admitted that she thinks about you together!!” but he dismisses it as the last remnants of hope he has and pushes it aside. It’s really kind of sad, in a way.

  2. Yeah, he heard her alright in the diner; to quote Brennan though, I don’t think he knows what that means, or at least he refuses to go with the implication. All I could think about when she uttered those words was, Brennan, if you could only have called once from your trip and said that, Booth wouldn’t be cuddling up to Hannah right now! In her defense though, she probably needed a lot of time to process these developments and she definitely isn’t ready to reach an acknowledgement of love yet.

    I don’t believe it matters whether the rejection was perceived as being personal or professional; I honestly don’t think there’s a difference in Booth’s mind. He wants her, all of her, and if all she could give him was her professional side, he was willing to take that with the eternal hope that she might eventually come to appreciate him in a different way. Of course, once he spilled his guts out and she said she couldn’t return those feelings it became impossible for him to continue the previous “will she/won’t she” situation. Plus he’s hurt-I’m positive that her lack of contact with him was the tipping point. After all, he was willing and able to continue his pining after the 100th even after the rejection. But her seeming indifference when they were apart put the final nail in the coffin of any hopes he might have had.

    On a different topic, I really ended up not disliking this episode like I thought I might. The case was compelling, and the constant references to the “he can’t leave her behind because he loves her” quote makes me think that there will be a situation in the future where Brennan might be in some sort of peril and he won’t be able to leave her behind because, well, he loves her. It was also nice to see happy, loving, adorable Booth, which is a side of him we get precious little of even on a good day-plus Hannah didn’t come across as superficial or a bimbo, even if she is “hot.” And totally inappropriate, I know, but any show that has semi-naked sultry Booth in it is definitely a plus, regardless of the partner.

  3. I agree with Maria & Jen. Booth heard her admissions and accepts that she want to work with him now because she feels that it’s the best use of her skills, but he’s going to protect himself. While we accept that Brennan’s emotional turmoil is a result of her parents’ abandonment, Booth is from an abusive home and has been emotionally drained by both Rebecca (regarding Parker) and Brennan’s rejection in the 100th. The fact he allowed himself to get involved with Hannah speaks to his belief that there is love out there but you have to grab it when you find it. What person wouldn’t want to be with the one that not only understands him (Seeley doesn’t kill unless absolutely necessary) and takes a job to be with him regardless of her career ambitions? I believe that Brennan & Booth are the end game but, until she is ready to verbally lay it on the line in clear terms, he will understandably protect his heart and livelyhood with skepticism and reserved affection.

  4. Hart Hanson keeps insisting that Booth isn’t being cold to Brennan. So now I’m totally confused about why they cut al the cute bits out of the first diner scene, because like you said it makes him seem much more indifferent towards her sincerity.
    Maybe they cut it because they wanted to put a bigger emphasis on the second diner scene.
    It’s still weird because they did use the stuff they cut in the promo’s.
    Here’s the uncut scene (the titel is wrong)

  5. Oh man, that is a good question!

    This may be a cop-out answer but I honestly think the two rejections are so intertwined it is hard to separate them. I mean when she said no to THEM, she still asked if they could work together, which I think Booth understood as her desire and need to keep a connection between them (and this is important because even if the woman you love just shot you down, if she still needs/wants you around, maybe that’s saying something, right). I think is where we see his inability to really move on after the 100th. I mean, he says he has to, but maybe the fact the their partnership means so much to her gives him hope, you know.

    But then Boy with the Answer and EiB comes around and he’s kinda sucker punched, right? I mean she shot him down personally, and then there’s the second blow (what, a few months later-assuming from the 100 to the finale was like 2-3 months or so) and it’s gotta be pretty devastating. It must have really killed any hope he had .Not to mention the fact that she didn’t keep in touch with him-this kills me! From the way Booth said it in the premiere, I really got the impression that it really stung, and it’s makes me understand a lot more how that might have really pushed him in Hannah’s direction.

    So I think her rejection of the partnership hurt more in the sense that it really sealed (in HIS mind) any leftover hope he may have had after the 100th. Clearly, I’ve agonized about this way too much! 🙂

  6. Great question Sarah!

    I have to go with Sleepless on this – I feel like both rejections are contributing to his current attitude, but ultimately, I think the nail in the coffin was her going to Maluku. That really put the partnership in jeopardy, which is why I think it’s this that is making him keep his distance. For two people who are supposedly tight, they really didn’t talk anything through when it came to WHY she was going. Brennan told him the scientific purpose of her trip, but didn’t divulge that she needed time to process her feelings for him. I think if that had come to light, maybe he wouldn’t have given up on her.

    That being said, her not communicating with him at all over the 7 months was pretty cold (despite the fact that she wasn’t singling him out) and probably only helped Hannah become a favorable choice. I think I said in another post that I felt like in BitE that Booth was physically breaking his tie with her when he was the one to pry his hand out of their hand-hold. Despite the fact that he was emotional, I think he was letting go then, and while he was away, all of his resentment and unhappiness probably festered away while he was waiting on some word from her. When it didn’t come, he probably saw it as rejection not only of their friendship but their partnership.

    So yeah, I’m going with partnership rejection with a splash of personal rejection. 🙂

    Anyone else feel like they need to be locked in a room together so that they’re actually forced to TALK to one another and clear the air?

    • I absolutely agree with Ange on this one. Brennan’s initial rejection hurt, but her severing their partnership and then not contacting Booth for 7 months was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I would wager a guess that he’s still bitter and upset about that and it’s going to take awhile for him to work through it completely.

      And for the record, I think Booth understands exactly what Brennan is saying and expressing, he’s just still too vulnerable to trust himself to respond to her yet.

      Take, for example, the scene in the restaurant where Booth, Brennan, and Hannah are having lunch. Hannah is telling the story of how she and Booth met. You can tell Brennan is a little upset when Hannah starts talking about how Booth saved her life and for a split second, Booth gets a worried look on his face too…almost as if he responded to her instinctively before he could stop himself.

      I don’t know, maybe I’m analyzing this too much, but I just can’t shake the feeling that he knows something is up but still can’t bring himself to believe that it will ever change the outcome.

  7. At this point, everyone has just about expressed what I was thinking. I think it was mostly professional with a mix of personal. I mean, Brennan did ask if they could still work together in the 100th episode and then just few short episodes later she says she’s leaving. What the heck! I think Booth took that very personally (as I would have) because although they didn’t have a personal thing going they did have a professional partnership. Brennan was the one to sever the personal relationship and the professional one too. Of course Booth is a little snarky. Okay, I’m done.
    Oh wait, just a side note. The second diner scene (good thing I was alone when watching this episode) I started to hyperventilate when Brennan just came out and said that the reason they didn’t work was due to class differences. And in front of SWEETS too!!! Yeah, that totally made the episode for me.

  8. I’m gonna say “partnership” with a mix of “personal”. That was what they had before, and now this is what is at stake here! I don’t think Booth is really thinking about it right now, though. Yeah. He’s drowned in “dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin”. I’m interested to see what happens when the initial excitement with Hannah wears off and Booth starts considering his partnership/relationship with Brennan again. Hannah doesn’t seem too pleased with the monotony of Washington D.C. and I don’t know if I’m reading too much into it, but it feels like foreshadowing to me. Fingers crossed!! Haha…just kidding….but seriously!!

  9. Their relationship is a very complicated mix of professional and personal, and one is dependent on the other. I think there are two subcategories to their personal relationship: a romantic aspect and then their friendship. I kind of see all on a weights scale, professional on one side, and a personal side with its own weights.

    It’s kind of a tenuous balance, so when Booth tipped the scales in favor of the romance, the friendship dropped. But no matter which way the scales were tipping personally, their strong, mutually beneficial professional relationship was still there and kept them in place. And the friendship was on its way back up as the romance question settled. Just as Brennan was so desperate to continue working with Booth, he too fervently hoped to keep her in his life in whatever way he could. But then Brennan took away the weights from the scales that were holding them in place (I don’t really blame her, I think she needed to get away) and Booth was left without counter balances, professionally and personally.

    Something else your question brings to my mind. Brennan went away to further her professional career, but Booth went back into something that detracted from his professional goals. I wonder how many more murders he has to solve to counteract the additional lives he has taken? He’s got to be feeling even more guilt now, right? I wonder if any of that guilt is aimed at Brennan, because if she hadn’t left, he wouldn’t have either, and he wouldn’t have additional blood and pain on his hands.

  10. I won’t try to tread over ground most everyone has covered (and covered quite intelligently!) and express my opinion with the caveat that I haven’t seen all of the 5th season (like 40% of it, but not including epi 100). Just got hooked on Bones this summer and managed to go through Seasons 1-4 on Netflix a couple of times and then scavenged reruns for anything I could find from the previous season!

    Agreed that the personal and professional lines are blurred for Booth, but that the professional rejection hurt in the end perhaps more than the personal–for what was stated above: that without the professional, he didn’t feel like there was any connection any more, reinforced by Brennan’s non-communication over the haitus.

    One of the more interesting facets of Booth’s character to me is the addiction–in my understanding of addiction, you’re *always* recovering and while there’s usually one area where the addictive personality will surface (like Booth’s gambling), there is usually an overall sense of needing something to help deal with the pain of being one’s self and in one’s shoes. In other places on this site, the rather astute observation has been made that Booth may not, in the end, like himself very much. He has a cocky exterior, but I know enough people who struggle with addiction to know that it’s the great mask that they wear. I think he’s really hurting because somewhere down and in, he’s not sure that he’s worthy–of Brennan’s intellect, talents, love. I think he feels like she’s also hurt and damaged on a personal level (with her family system), so he can somehow come close to her “level” on that front. But he feels that she holds all the power professionally and so gets to call the shots–not a situation I expect he’s comfortable with. So when one of her shots was a to call things off for awhile, I imagine that he was reminded that in his own brain, he can’t compete with her. This, for me, explains his non-reaction in the second diner scene with Sweets–all he would have heard there is “She feels I have no parity with her,” not also hearing that she imagined for a time that issues of parity did not matter. He turns it back to “love” where he does feel like he has parity (and perhaps even superiority).

  11. So, I had to go back and watch this episode (CitC) because it’s been a while since I saw it, and Brennan just broke my heart all over again. When she says she’s living the life she expected – wow. The pain in her voice, the false cheeriness immediately after – wow. ED is goooood.

    • Yeah, she (ED) is. Those kinds of lines always make me feel sad for Brennan, because it’s like she’s trying really hard to make herself believe it. That’s why I don’t mind the changes in her views on love and relationships, because she was missing out on some things that deep in the recesses of her heart she really wanted. It seemed like she told herself she didn’t want certain things because she didn’t think she could have them. Though I think she probably would have been fine if she didn’t meet someone like Booth who got under her skin and worked to open her up.

      • I don’t know now what was being discussed, but I remember thinking something along those lines. Maybe it was the discussion about who’d be worse if they broke up.

        Anyway, there’s something very poignant about the point you made. She didn’t know what she was missing until Booth showed her what she might be able to have.

        She was very fond of Zach and she’d made friends with Angela but it was Booth who brought the ‘team’ together as a team. Without Booth and the FBI cases, would she have created a family out of the people at the lab?

      • well, to me, it all goes back to that coma dream. Everyone(in the show) thinks of it as Booth’s dream, but Brennan is the one who wrote it. It’s really *her* dream, not his.

      • Good point. She didn’t even know she had people until Booth said something about it.
        I love her cute grin when she says, “Hey, I have people!” For so long she didn’t have people, and it wasn’t because she was pushing them away – it was because she didn’t really have anybody who really cared about her. And we know that bothered her more than she let on because she admitted to Angela that she missed have somebody care where she was all the time like how her brother did.

        Other sad Brennan statements/moments
        1. After seeing her father and brother leave again – “I’m just…one of these people who doesn’t get to be in a family.”
        2. After telling Angela she basically she gets scared and tries to cut it off before it goes bad the more emotionally invested a relationship becomes – “I miss so much, don’t I?”
        3. After finding out a guy she liked had murdered his own brother – “It’s a good thing I like to be alone.”
        4. I can’t remember her exact words, but I think it was something about not needing anybody, and Angela’s response was “Talk about a fantasy.” It was probably during a case where a suspect was accused of murdering their spouse.
        5. After the Bridezilla case, admitting to Booth that she’s jealous of him and the others because she wants to believe in transcendental and eternal love and losing yourself in another person too.
        6. “You’re the one who needs protecting…I don’t have your kind of open heart!” – who can forget those words?
        7. After Cam tells her that her life will follow the laws of nature in terms of evolution and development – “Then in ignorance I await my own surprise. Although the odds of it involving a commitment to another person are remote.”
        8. Her assertions to Fisher and Sweets in “The Sign in the Silence” that she wasn’t cold – although it was a good thing that she was standing up for herself.

      • Barbara, I thought I saw somewhere that some of the elements of the dream were supposed to be Booth’s, we just don’t know which ones. If it wasn’t totally her thoughts, I would guess that it was largely hers. Also, I always found it interesting that she wrote about the ups and downs of love at the end of the book, showing that she knew love existed and had her own thoughts on the matter quite a while before she admitted that to Booth.

        I believe that Booth loves Brennan, and to me it doesn’t make much difference when or how it happened. But I get curious sometimes – did it happen before the coma dream, did he fall in love because of it (not my favorite scenario), or was it when he was trying to figure out what Brennan meant to him afterwards?

      • I think he loved her long before that and just sort of lived with it as something he knew he could probably never have. But actually experiencing that dream world and dream relationship made it impossible for him to go back to the way things were before. As Angela said, he felt like he’d lost something.

        I think Brennan felt guilty for creating what she probably saw as confusion for him, which is why she tried to keep him at arm’s length as best she could in season 5.

        As for the dream itself, I look at it as – Brennan wrote the script, Booth cast the roles.

  12. Whenever I watch that episode I’m struck by the last words of the book that we get to see on her laptop.

    You love someone, you open yourself up to suffering, that’s the sad truth. Maybe they’ll break your heart, maybe you’ll break their heart and never be able to look at yourself in the same way. Those are the risks. That’s the burden.

    I think she fixated somewhat on that paragraph, especially the part about not being able to think of yourself in the same way after you hurt someone you love, and that’s what lead to her turning him down in the 100th and then running away again.

    It took her a painful S6 to understand and believe the rest of what she wrote.

    Like wings, they have weight, we feel that weight on our backs, but they are a burden that lifts us. Burdens which allow us to fly . . .Burdens that make us better than we are. Burdens which allow us to fly . . .

    I really believe she’s there, that now she wants the burden of love, even if she’ll continue to struggle with it at times. I hope we get to see her enjoy the burden, too, and not just struggle with it.

  13. I know we go back and forth on how much foresight the producers/writers have, and whether things really have as much meaning as we ascribe to them. But this, written at the end of S4, to be played out the next two seasons, was so spot on.

    And this:
    “I really believe she’s there, that now she wants the burden of love, even if she’ll continue to struggle with it at times. I hope we get to see her enjoy the burden, too, and not just struggle with it.”

    It will be interesting to see how secure Brennan will feel about being in a relationship with Booth and being a mother. On one hand, we know she’s 100% committed to whatever she decides on. But on the other hand, she dealt with her insecurities for so many years, and can we really expect that to just disappear, especially being a first-time mother? I don’t expect all doubts to go away, but I hope we will see plenty evidence of them being happy and secure in each other’s love, even if they have to fight for it sometimes.

    • This is a reply to MJ’s last comment.

      • Isn’t it amazing (and wonderful) that although this was originally posted in October of last year, we can still talk about it now and it doesn’t feel like we’re just rehashing what’s been said a million times.

        BONES is like Shrek – lots of layers. 🙂

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