Happy Monday, BONES friends! I hope you had a good weekend! A couple of administrative things first.
- If you’re on Facebook, come on over and ‘like’ BonesTheory there!
- I’ve updated the staff pages with ‘spotlights’ for myself, Stephanie and BBMagic. There will be more people who write for the site soon, I’m thinking, but for now, go ahead and check that out, and get to know us a little better.
- Here’s the link to my review of Maggots in the Meathead, if you want to check that out!
Enough of that, let’s get to today’s topic. It’s something I’ve been pondering since Couple in the Cave. Though I suppose if I’m honest, it’s been on my mind since probably Rocker in the Rinse Cycle and Boy with the Answer. But there were two instances in CitC and one in MitM that caught my attention and made me wonder if those latent suspicions could be confirmed. Are B&B still partners? And if so, why won’t either of them say that? Brennan tells Booth at the diner that she’s pleased to be working with him again. He challenges her sincerity, reminding her that she was opposed to all of that before they both went away. She replies with her conclusions, including that they have a ‘strong and mutually beneficial relationship’. Okay…
And later, Hannah asks Booth what the deal is between him and Brennan. He assures her there is nothing romantic going on between them. Hannah tells him that’s not what she meant; she’s merely commenting on how close they are. Booth backtracks a bit and says that’s bound to happen when you work with someone for so long. Work with?
In Maggots in the Meathead, Hannah observes that Brennan is very close to Booth; our fave anthropologist replies that it’s out of ‘necessity’.
What? Like it was some chore or something? Last I checked, they didn’t get to know one another out of some begrudging attitude of being forced together by superiors. Sure, they didn’t always get along, but they chose to work together, time and time again. Shared experiences bring about relationship, and so yes, they did get to know each other that way. But to suggest that they got to know each other because of their work, and not in spite of it…yeah, I’m not buying that. I have over 100 episodes to prove it! 🙂
So yeah, on the surface, their replies sort of rub me the wrong way, but underneath that surface, I can’t help but ask…what about ‘partnership?’ Why is their standard ‘go-to’ answer (‘we’re just partners’) not what they are saying any longer? Thoughts from you?
Maybe it’s because they never were just partners, but now can’t admit that? ‘Just partners’ was the new ‘Just Everything’. It was more than saving each others’ lives. On the surface, that seems crazy. What greater gift can anyone give than to save the life of a friend? Normally, the answer is nothing. And yet, with Booth and Brennan…we did see them save one another, multiple times. But we also saw a relationship in which if one was upset about something, he or she would knock on the other’s door. Didn’t matter when. And I don’t believe that every time Brennan knocked on Booth’s door, she was secretly looking for sex. And I don’t think that every time Booth showed up at Brennan’s office with food, he was looking for sex. Sure, there is the underlying attraction between them, but more than that…they really care for one another and take care of each other, and are just… there for each other. In life-saving circumstances (AiaS, HitH, KitC, HiaF), but in other situations too. In just plain…life. When Booth woke up from his coma, Brennan was there. When her mother’s remains were identified, Booth was there. When Max and Russ ride off again, Booth was there. And when he needed ‘just some time’, she was there. There are so many more instances of this ‘single life shared’. Is anyone else sort of holding on to that like a promise?
Who knows? Maybe Booth and Brennan aren’t the center. Maybe their partnership is, and they are just clinging to that. Once that cracked, then they didn’t hold. I find it so interesting that what I thought would happen (they would form an official romantic relationship, then be forced to dissolve their partnership) may in fact turn out to be the opposite. The dissolution of their partnership (as it was) will be what brings about their romantic relationship.
That is what feels off to me. It has nothing to do with the idea that Booth is dating Hannah; it has everything to do with the fact that B&B aren’t really ‘partners’ any longer. ‘Surrogate nothing’, Booth said, and I liked to quote him. But that’s gone. They BOTH relied on the status quo of their relationship as it was. Each had his/her own reasons why, but they did both hide behind that.
Angela told Brennan they were a couple, just not having sex. David Boreanaz tells US all the time that they are ‘together’, and we’ve always told each other that we value their friendship, affection, partnership, etc, just as much as the sexual tension. But I just find it so intriguing that they aren’t using that word…partner. It’s almost sacred between them. Interesting that what they hid behind is now true, and yet…they can’t say it.
When Hannah asks both of them about how close they are, neither one replies. “We’re just partners”. So either it’s not true anymore, or neither one ever believed it. I asked around on Twitter yesterday, wondering when people thought that ‘just partners’ turned into ‘more than partners’, and the majority of the responses included moments from season one. In fact, quite a few people mentioned Two Bodies in the Lab, and some people replied that it’s ALWAYS been that way. They’ve never been ‘just’ anything.
Let’s take Hannah out of the equation. Booth comes back single, and Brennan is also single. Do we see the same sort of awkwardness between them? The same sort of uncertainty of how they fit with one another? Yeah, I think we do. I think what we’re seeing isn’t necessarily Hannah related; it’s more that Booth and Brennan are trying to figure out how they are going to work. After the 100th episode, I wrote…
Brennan will have to deal with this. It’s not the same as him being fake dead, or him being in a coma, I guess. This is him being himself, the same him, with her every single day like ‘normal’ and it not being the same. I’m curious to know which one will be the first to say they can’t have it be like it was. We’ll see I guess. But, though ED and DB have double billing, the show IS called BONES and so Brennan’s character development is what is really going to drive the rest of this series. She has been presented with Booth’s feelings on the matter and now must deal with them. Not that I don’t love Booth, but basically, his feelings for her have somewhat become a plot point in her character development. His family issues and past and all of that are there for us to see as parts of BRENNAN’S relationship with him. It’s really all about her character. So in that way, it comes as no surprise that Booth would be the one to confess his feelings and now Brennan must react and work through that.
And…it was Brennan. She told him in Boy with the Answer that she couldn’t do it any longer. She told Angela she had to get away (in BitE) to sort out her feelings for him and their relationship and what it all means (though Booth didn’t know that, as Stephanie pointed out in her excellent essay last week). I’m saying I think that B&B have their own issues that need dealing with. Hannah is sort of a minor issue at this point.
So, when the closing seconds of Maggots in the Meathead ticked away, I wasn’t struck with the idea that Booth and Brennan are desperately in love with each other. My main impression was that Booth isn’t trying to find a way out of his current relationship with Hannah. Like in most things he does, he’s all in. And yet, he still cares about Brennan. He has to know that yeah, in order for him to have a successful relationship, things would have to change between him and Brennan. He told her and us that in the season five finale. He’s not caught off guard by that. But even in a successful relationship with another woman, he still cares for Brennan. Sure, it’s still love, as he said in CitC; it was and it still is. Maybe a bit muted, but it’s the partnership type love that they’ve shared. For Brennan’s side, I think she’s realizing more and more that her nights aren’t going to be filled with sharing meals with Booth, with stopping by his apartment when she has a question, of him stopping by hers when he wants to hash out something from the case, or if he just happens to see her lights from the road. When she reassured him in RitRC that their partnership was so important to her, Booth assured her that he understood. “You’d die for your partner; that’s how I look at it.” And she agreed, and I think she’s seeing that she should sacrifice herself (die, in theory) for him. For her partner. And he (though committed to Hannah) has also sacrificed in a way, giving up what he considered to be ‘the one’ for the sake of Brennan’s well-being.
No big deal, that’s nothing new, they might individually say. After all, we’re just partners, they might say. But like Sweets said in Secret in the Soil, why would we think otherwise?
Why? Maybe because they aren’t saying it at all.
Peace, Love & Bones,
Thanks to the following for replying to the Q yesterday! : TVFanatic592 , Wellsbones , Natesmama1128 , Corgipaz , BONES0221 , swnetrzak , ProfeJMarie , LJLanham , Texmex327 , Poetic_line , SuperSquint , Grey_mind , Brainysmrfs , Rynogeny , DME82 , Morebones , danielafontecha