Bones Theory

Top Five Tuesday: Brennan Moments Booth Doesn’t Know About


Hey HEY! Happy Tuesday! Just want to say thanks for the awesome comments and discussion to yesterday’s post. I was nervous…I kind of felt like the bearer of bad news. “Ruining the true truth with facts”, you know?

I just want to reiterate that I think it’s good and healthy that we’re feeling slightly bummed. When I was doing my student teaching (meaning preparing in college to be a teacher), I had to create a unit of lesson plans, and I chose to create one that helped students deal with grief. And part of what I feel we’re seeing now in the BONESverse is some healthy grieving. Acceptance, denial, anger, etc, etc…all healthy emotions. 🙂

But last night, when I was putting this post together, I looked through a few pics, and this one caught my eye. It’s kind of interesting how each couple is portrayed here. Though that’s not the point of the scene, it’s easy to sort of see where each pair stands, pardon the pun.


And it’s that sort of attention to detail that still makes me think all this current awkwardness is very deliberate, therefore serving as validation to our feelings. Does that make sense? We’re supposed to be feeling unsettled about it. I hope this is true.

But enough about that, let’s get to the five moments. Pal Smurfs and I have talked several times about this idea…that there are things we know that the characters don’t know. Here are five things (in no particular order) we’ve seen that Booth hasn’t seen and has no knowledge of (that I know of).

  1. Brennan turns down Wexler (Yanks in the UK, Part One)Okay, he obviously knows that she did that, because she returns to the table with him, but I don’t think he knows that she said, “It would upset Booth if I slept with you” and “Common sense says you don’t offend your partner for an hour of fun”. I’m not an expert at this, so correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it’s true that the ‘correct’ order of episodes (as far as the order the scripts were written) puts the season four opener after The Man in the Outhouse, meaning that Brennan rejects Wexler after the “There’s someone for everyone” speech. That makes sense. I love this idea that Brennan turned down a night of sex (or an hour of fun, ha) to bicker with Booth and to sort of…well, I don’t know what. To assure him that she listened to him? To prove something? What do you think?


     2. Brennan tells Dr. Wyatt there isn’t anything she wouldn’t do to help Booth, in regards to him calling her out about ‘ratting out’ Booth to Sweets (Dwarf in the Dirt)

I love both of these things, really, that Brennan has gone to Sweets to discuss Booth, something he would no doubt consider wrong and her confession to Dr. Wyatt. I wish we could have seen the convo with Sweets, but I also love that Dr. Wyatt calls her out on it too. I think what we’re seeing now, Brennan being actively hospitable toward Hannah, falls into this category of Brennan being unable to not help Booth. A teeeeeeensy part of me (like diatomaceous earth particle sized) wants to see someday when Brennan fights for Booth as her man. Not against Hannah necessarily, and when she shot Pam Nunan…well, that was pretty freaking amazing…but it’s still something I wouldn’t mind seeing. Just as beautiful is the way she is sort of reaching out now. It breaks my heart that she thinks helping him equals not being with him, that truly helping him means stepping aside and allowing him to be happy with someone else. It’s where her “I know” in the 100th comes into meaning, and where her “Do you love me” in the season four finale also sort of rings true. I firmly believe Brennan wants to be the kind of woman she thinks Booth deserves. Do you agree? But…Booth doesn’t know this, like he doesn’t know about this moment.


   3. Brennan says she needs to get away to figure out her partnership with Booth (Beginning in the End)

This picture is not the best, as it doesn’t quite convey that Brennan’s voice is unsteady and she is practically near tears. It is absolutely, hands down, one of my favorite season five scenes, and it kills me…kills me dead that Booth isn’t aware of it. If he knew her fears, it would change a lot as far as his viewpoint in their seven month work separation.

Angela tells her, “Listen, you’re allowed to make life changes without picking a fight with your old life.”

And Brennan replies, “I need a break from that life. I’m worried all the time. Worried that Booth might get hurt on a case, and I couldn’t prevent it. Worried…about what our partnership means…”

“What our partnership means”. So interesting that she’s viewing it as something that has meaning…does that make sense? It shows emotional growth, I think. And I love that she’s so worried about Booth. After The Boy with the Answer, I wrote this, “

I love this progression showcasing her removing herself from Booth’s life romantically to protect him to the idea that she might even break off their partnership to keep him safe. Completely in character. She isn’t running away to protect herself; she’s trying to protect Booth. But not just Booth’s body either…also his heart and soul, as he would see it. Stay with me. Epps, EMT Geller, Gormogon, Dr. Leacock…they all went after Brennan in some way, and Booth shot them (okay, not Epps, but you know what I mean.) She knows what it costs him to kill people, and she knows that the odds of him having to do it again increase if they work together; she’ll be putting him in a greater risk of having to kill FOR her, and she’s hurting because of it.

So it didn’t surprise me that Brennan verbalized some emotion about her partnership with Booth in the season five finale. But I really hate that Booth doesn’t know it. I hate this more than the fact that Brennan will never know about what he did to the gang leader. And I really hate that! Ha.

  4. Brennan cries when Booth’s diagnosis is revealed. (Critic in the Cabernet)I’m still sort of coming around to the idea of the season four finale (it’s only taken me over a year and a half, haha), but one thing that will always sort of bother me about it is that I feel like it sort of ‘stole time’ away from some amazing storylines that were happening at the time. We’ll see whether or not the baby storyline ever comes up, but I, honest to God, would have watched an entire episode of Brennan sitting at Booth’s bedside as she typed and thought, etc. I want more of that. The jump into season five seemed too fast in some ways (though I love that season five premiere). I will never blame Sweets or Cam for their cautioning of Booth in Harbingers, because of this scene right here. Remember in the season three finale, when Booth is hurt that Brennan seemed to have no sadness over his death? It seems like more than a year between that and this season four finale, but for us, it’s a beautiful moment with Brennan relying on facts and statistics to comfort her friends, even with tears in her eyes and fear clawing inside. I think Booth would be heartened to know how emotional she was about it.

    5. Brennan’s conversation with Pops (Foot in the Foreclosure)Just look at that hand on his, hmmm? This is a very beautiful moment, and it wasn’t until I was thinking of a fifth moment for this post that I remembered this scene. I really, really, really hope we see some continuation of this storyline, that Brennan knows about Booth’s childhood and will one day tell him and comfort him. I think there is some merit to the idea that Booth could learn that Brennan knows the truth and still cares for him.  Like we talked about toward the beginning of this post, it’s gotta be deliberate, right? As Booth would say, Come on…it’s gotta be!

So…what did I miss? What do you think it means that Booth doesn’t know about these moments? If you had to pick just one, which would you want him to learn about? Okay, you don’t have to just pick one…but either way…talk to me!


Peace, Love & Bones



31 thoughts on “Top Five Tuesday: Brennan Moments Booth Doesn’t Know About

  1. If I had to pick one, I probably chose to Booth know truth about why Brennan left at the end of season five, to figure out “What our partnership means”.
    when he discovers, probably many things will change…
    All the things that he doesn’t know, it’s important to change the history, but if he know about her fellings, that she is scared and afraid, he could understand why she said no…

    Great post people… Like always!

    Bones Forever and Ever

  2. Wonderful, Sarah!
    Number 3 is the strongest one, the one I always think of immediately.
    Two other small ones:
    – Telling her cousin that she finds Booth pleasing to look at 😉
    – Punching Jared.
    And another really big mastadon *we* don’t even know about: I’m still not over the fact that we never saw her dealing with Booth’s death. We don’t know what this did – must have done – to her, and I suppose Booth has no clue, either.

    • After season three we do see a change in Brennan, and most fans I’ve talked to attribute this to Zack’s ‘betrayal’… but what if her change is actually caused by Booth’s faked death? 😉

  3. Eek, you forgot a big one! She isn’t 100 % that is hasn’t been JFK – she just assumes it! Booth doesn’t know about this and her conversation with Cam.

  4. To me is The Proof in the puddin when Brennan lie about a fact to not hurt Booth and see his whole word fall apart. I like too that Cam be the only to know about it since she’s one closest friend of Booth.

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  6. I loved this Top Five Tuesday. I am always wondering how things would be different if Booth had seen these things…and vice versa, if Brennan had seen some of Booth’s actions in the past. I really liked number 1, especially when you mentioned, “I love this idea that Brennan turned down a night of sex (or an hour of fun, ha) to bicker with Booth…” because I couldn’t help thinking that Booth had done the same exact thing for her. I can’t quite remember if Brennnan was aware that Booth chose to be with her instead of Cam in The Girl with the Curl, but it was pretty much the same thing. And I *don’t* think that he chose to stay because of his dedication to his work that time.

    Overall though, if Booth could have seen any of those moments, I think that the most profound would be number 3. Even just for the fact that he would have reassurance that their partnership really holds meaning for her and that it is something she becomes emotional about.

  7. What about Brennan’s conversation with Rebecca about Booth being a good father in The Truth in the Lye?

    • Yes, I thought of that one too. That conversation led to Rebecca telling Booth that he was a good father. Neither Rebecca nor Brennan mentioned the conversation to Booth.

  8. Great choices! Seriously, Sarah it’s like you’re in my brain! I do agree with other commentors that The Proof in the Pudding scene and Truth in the Lye scene could easily go in there too. I also wonder a little about the Bren/Ange scene in the pilot where Brennan worries that she’ll never be good with people. I think it was telling even back then that she took his words so seriously. I don’t think he’ll ever know how much she really strives to please him. It’s almost sad.

  9. A consensus after a few comments in, is that the best moment for Booth to know about would be the conversation with Angela re: the meaning of their partnership. At first I was agreeing with that, but I’ve changed my mind. I absolutely think it is a great moment – but not one that Booth should have known about at the time or should know about now. I think it would only cause more distress . . . and at this point, anger. Talk about confusing for Booth. What would he do with this information? Become desperate for her to come around and change her position? It might still be a false hope for him.

    So, of the 5 above I would vote for perhaps her conversation with Wexler or her reaction to Booth’s diagnosis. I might add in “Booth isn’t a balker.” And maybe the scene in “Aliens in a Spaceship” where Hodgins is telling her she has “faith, baby”. These would all reassure him knowing that Brennan has always trusted and had confidence in him.

  10. Well hmm, I’m debating with myself there’s a moment in season three that I’m sure Booth doesn’t know about, but it’s not really between Booth and Brennan. Remember in Baby in the Bough when B&B are coming out of the tire manufacturing plant and Brennan puts Andy in the SUV. When Booth leaves she gives a raspberry kiss to Andy on the stomach and looks around to make sure that no one saw. I truly think that, that is the moment where Brennan decided she wanted to have kids one day. Not the episode the Critic in the Cabernet where she says she just realized that she wanted a baby. In the Critic in the Cabernet I think she realized that it was Booth’s baby that she wanted to have, on top of wanting to have a child. Ok I got a little of topic there but I really like this episode and just had to say something about that moment. Anyway I agree with the Proof in the Pudding episode where Brennan doesn’t tell Booth that she can’t confirm if it wasn’t JFK, she was protecting Booth and she always will. I just wish she would realized that she doesn’t need to protect Booth from herself.

  11. I like this….so often we seem to talk about what Booth has done for Brennan that she doesn’t know about…not the other way around.

    1. I like this one about Wexler too…that she turned him down because it would upset Booth. I just wish she had followed that same advice with Hacker…
    2. In general, I don’t think Booth realizes at all how much Brennan wants to and tries to help him.
    3. TOTALLY AGREE with this one! I SOOOO wish Bren had told that to Booth instead of Angela….I think it explained sooo much!
    4. Yes! She braces herself and says she needs to be there for Booth and gets her emotions under control, but it seemed really hard fought…and I loved that.
    5. Ahhh Pops…I can’t wait to see when this little nugget comes to light!

    OK, now I gotta pick one? I’m torn between #5 and #3. I want #5 because I envision it will open up a whole new window into Booth and his past and I’d really love to see that. But I think #3 will help Booth understand ALOT more about Brennan and her decisions over the last year.

  12. All of the above are good choices…except…and I’m off on a rambling of thoughts here…

    I’m not sure I totally agree that if in the S5 finale Booth knew that Brennan was going off to Maluku to think about what their partnership means it would be a good thing for him. He has plenty of self-doubt, post 100th, and knowing her motives for leaving may lead him to think that she is really considering whether to keep the partnership together – or not. It’s her ACTIONS that speak to him. This is all he has to go on. If she added a caveat that she needs to examine their partnership because I’m finding you mean more to me than I know how to deal with…well, maybe then I could see he’d have more hope. But that didn’t happen, and he’s left wondering if she’ll come back to work with him AT ALL.

    Brennan is growing emotionally, albeit s-l-o-w-l-y…and I believe Booth sees that – and the possibilities – at least part of S5 – but then in the end, she pulls a disappearing act and he’s left in total shock. He’s tried so hard to reassure her that the partnership means everything to him (he’d die for her), and he thinks they’re ok…that he’s gotten through to her…only to discover that everything he’s said means little to nothing. WE know that’s not true, but Booth doesn’t.

    With Booth, Brennan is contradictory in her words vs. actions. One episode she’s telling him that their partnership means a lot to her, and then just a little later, she’s heading off to Maluku. Talk about mixed signals. He doesn’t know that her fears and feelings for him, and her belief that she can’t protect him, are the reasons she’s going. Again, all Booth hears is ”I’m leaving and our partnership is in jeopardy.” As shippers, we’re left in a puddle of anguish because we are privy to all conversations – and know better.

    I understand her need to protect him during Proof in the Pudding, because hearing the truth would shake his faith in his government and all that he stood for and fought for. I wanted to hug her for that. And I get that she wants to keep her personal feelings hidden (because she isn’t sure WHAT those feelings mean), but other times she seems overprotective. Example…her scene with Sweets on the stairs when she confronts him about the “experiment” on B&B in not telling Brennan that Booth was alive in Pain in the Heart. She’s really angry at Sweets and knows it would upset Booth – a lot – if he knew what Sweets did. Wouldn’t it have been more satisfying that Booth know what Sweets pulled on them? I think so…and would have loved seeing Booth get on Sweet’s case about it. I don’t think Booth would have beaten him up, but he would be angry, and Sweets needed to be put in his place. Just my opinion.

    Another time that Brennan did something for Booth that showed she cared, but that he wasn’t fully aware of, came during The Bond in the Boot. She pretends to be interested in learning about plumbing, so Booth will gain confidence in his abilities, when we know that she only did this because Sweets told her it would be good for Booth to be the teacher and she, the student, for a change. She didn’t appear, to me, to quite get the point (because she says she has no need to learn plumbing repairs), but she does it anyway to support Booth. Just a minor example, but all the little times add up to the bigger picture.

    I think I can go back even as far as Soldier on the Grave when Brennan touches Booth to show her support. He doesn’t know about the conversation Brennan had with Angela that prompted her to touch him. It would have been more poignant if he knew her need to console him was more than she actually showed. The touch was good, don’t get me wrong – and I loved that she did that, but I wanted her to tell him that no matter what he did, he was still a good man in her eyes. He needed to hear that…needed to know, beyond a doubt.

    Our hearts are literally worn out and broken, because we see the “acts of love” that Brennan is confessing, in her own way, to everyone, except Booth.

    We don’t get to see pivotal scenes played out in their entirety, and are left wondering what Brennan really thought all the time she thought Booth was dead…or watching her sit beside him after his brain surgery. Yes, we want the whole deal, but sometimes, I think it’s wise of the writers to leave out all the details. The fact that we know the gist of the story is all we really need to be aware of. I remember a favorite author of mine saying years ago that the best stories don’t give you all the details, and let you, the reader/viewer use your own imaginations. He’s right. There’d be no real reason to have any of these discussions, if we already knew everything. Does that make sense?

  13. All excellent choices, and if I had to choose from your list, I’d choose #5. That moment is, to me, so special, right up there with Soldier on the Grave. That Brennan is handed this information about Booth’s childhood and then holds it within herself, almost treasuring it.

    However, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say something silly here (if you can’t be silly with your invisible friends, who can you be silly with?). My choice is the end of the 100th episode. Sure, Booth was right there, but I honestly believe he didn’t really hear her reasons for saying no to him. Maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part, but I just don’t believe he heard anything other than “No”. I don’t believe he could’ve heard that she was afraid *for* him and not *of* him, and then proceeded to move on like that with a broken heart and no hope. Like I said, silly and most likely wishful thinking, but that’s the box of band-aids my ‘shipper heart has been using.

  14. I’m a little bit slow on the uptake sometimes, but I just noticed the new header at the top of the page. Awesome! I love the books in the background and the skull (“brain”) and heart.

  15. Great choices, especially the end of the fifth; there might not have been a hook-up with Hannnah if he had heard Brennan’s fears. I’d also like to include Brennan’s conversations with Jared in Hero in the Hold and Conman; her passion and anger on Booth’s behalf were amazing to watch and would have given him a glimpse of the true depth of her feelings.

    • In ConMan, Brennan was going to tell Booth about her conversation with Jared but he was angry with her and shut her down – his loss.
      I really hate the fact that they speak for each other, completing each others sentences. I would like to hear the one who starts a sentence to finish it. It only seems to happen when emotional things are being discussed. Conversation needs to improve between these people.

      • I don’t know if they normally do that, though. It seems to be only in desperate situations, like Booth really not wanting to face the reality that Brennan wants to take a break and leave the country for a year. And I could be wrong, but it seems like Booth does it more than Brennan. It’s seems like more of his MO, because he’s always very quick to shut Sweets down when he doesn’t like what he’s saying.

      • C-bones, yes Booth does it more than Brennan.
        I will have to watch the whole series again to try and figure it out. Any excuse ehn? 🙂

  16. Absolutely loved all of the moments you listed. My favorite, has got to be the one with Pops. He can tell just how much Booth & Brennan really care for each other. I would love to see them bring Pops back in to give his opinion on what has happened since we last saw him.

    Awesome post!

  17. I too have loved all the moments listed…I think my favorites would have to be #3 and #5. I truly think if Booth had realized what was happening that things would have turned out differently. That said of course, I also believe that the character development this season is necessary for B&B to have a long and happy future. I also loved the scenes with Pops.

    I also agree that I wish we had seen more of Brennan’s reaction to Booth’s “death”.

    I am trying hard to think of some other scenes and when I do I will definitely share…

  18. I think that you chose some great moments!! I do believe that the scene number 3, was the one that made me think of this situation the most. To me Booth was hurt that Brennan was leaving, but if he had known, and he had assured her that things would get better, then this season would have started on a whole different note (one some people would probably be enjoying more than Hannah/Booth). Lol, I always ALWAYS wonder what would have happened if things had gone differently after 5×21.
    Brennan does have strong feelings about Booth that she doesn’t KNOW how to verbalize when he’s around, and I think the ones you showed here, do reflect that. Great job!!

  19. So many excellent moments! And by the way, your use of diatomaceous earth in #2 made me squee. Not sure why… but it did. Probably because that word is ridiculously fun to say (just as fun as prehistoric sea creatures (really fast!), which, according to the pilot, is what it is…).

    #3 is, of course, the one that I think I would love for Booth to know about, but I also think that we’ll see it in time, #5 as well.

    #1 would be fun to see, partially because it doesn’t have much weight on what’s going on now, and I’m pretty sure Booth was a teensy bit aware of what was going on. #4 was heartwrenching, and there are a few other moments that come to mind that are similar to it, so I think that eventually Booth will see something like that.

    #2… now #2 really is a gamechanger. I think that Brennan is demonstrating it right now, as some of you said… and it’s so heartcrushing, but real. I think that if Booth had known… I can’t decide if he would be angry (at her and himself for missing it), then realize what was going on… or if he would understand from the get-go (which I don’t think he would).

    The one moment that stands out to me the most, though, is not mentioned — it’s when Brennan called Sweets out in The Pain in the Heart. I think that Booth would be surprised by her response, and would have been more… understanding(?) of her actions towards him. I’m sad that we missed a glimpse into those two weeks where she thought he was dead, but her face at the beginning of the episode, her actions towards him in that episode, and I’d even say the entire next season (“I get scared when you fall and don’t get up” from Fire in the Ice) and beyond (your point #3 and Boy with the Answer) show everything. Isn’t there a rule in writing to show, not tell? I think that’s why I love Bones so much (especially Brennan) — they usually show, not tell.

  20. Brilliant Brilliant Brilliant

    I wish I had more time to “discuss” but my APA paper is waiting and it is for a grade.

    You guys keep me going during my “grieving” of Hannah and the season 6. I see Brennan loving in a way that many of us aren’t capable of and I so wish Booth would call her on it!

    Thanks for sharing.

  21. I find such moments sometimes infuriating just because I feel like the other person should know about it. At certains moments I am like “But she said that…” and than I remember that Booth wasn’t actually there to hear that. Things might be very different if some of those things were actually heard by the other person.

    Of course there are also things that we aren’t even aware about. Like what did Brennan write when she was buried alive? Can we asume that she wrote something (possibly meaningful) to Booth? Or how did she actually handle Booth “being death” behind closed doors?

    I definitely agree that all of the above are meaningful and possibly relationship changing situations. I also read that someone mentioned punching Jared, but also the time during Hero in the Hold when she told Jared that he never deserved Booth. And there are probably many more of these situations.

  22. #3 is definitely my favorite of any moments like this, but there is another that comes to mind for me from The Maggots in the Meathead. When Hannah stops by Brennan’s office to ask her advice on what to get Booth as a housewarming present, Brennan tells her to make sure she’s sure of her relationship with Booth. It seems like she’s speaking from personal experience when she says, “Booth will give himself to you completely, and it would be very painful for him if you weren’t as serious about the relationship as he is.” I love that even though Brennan has probably changed her mind a bit about how she feels about Booth, she is still helping him out with his love life. I don’t know if it’s just because I would do the exact same thing for my best friend, but I adore Brennan even more than I did before (if that’s possible) for truly being Booth’s “wingman”.

  23. A late and “lite” addition to all the wonderful (yet somewhat frustrating) moments mentioned here. I wish Booth had seen Brennan’s reaction when she and Daisy thought they had discovered an important mummy in “Night at the Bones Museum.” There are many adjectives to describe Brennan but adorable is not usually one of them. In this scene, she’s downright adorable…and dare I say it…giggly! I wish he had the chance to see her react like this. Maybe it would have motivated him to move in for the kiss at the end? One can hope, right?

    “I just love ancient remains!”

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