Bones Theory

For Brennan, Only Booth Will Do


Yo yo yo! How are things? I hope you are doing well.

Confession time: Sometimes I am totally full of garbage. You guys might not know that, as you might not know me that well, but it is true. I totally started this blog with the intentions that it was going to be SO scholarly. I was going to really hunker down and cite everything with proof and footnotes, etc, etc. But then what happened is I sort of got sidetracked by:



And oh yeah,


Not that I mind necessarily, but my motto for this site was “looking at the show from a literary perspective”. As an English major, I was raring to go…and it just hasn’t happened that way. So…I did what any true BONES Scholar would do…I changed the motto, of course! (and the header, but that’s all thanks to the amazingness that is still Spacekid77!)

So also of course this is the week HH tweets about a literary term; foil. It’s one of my all time favorite literary terms. It’s one of my all time fave mathematics terms too (First, Outer, Inner, Last!). Well, how about them apples? I used math in real life. Of course, it had nothing to do with mathematics and everything to do with…

…but I guess you gotta start somewhere! But back to the HH tweet. Can I just be snarky for a moment? Please? Just between us? Just…do not tell anyone!

Come on in close now…shhhhhhh…Okay…

So…apparently HH tweeted that they basically hired Kdubs for her acting ability, adding that the fact that she was a blonde was just a bonus as it served as a foil to Brennan. Okay, I’ll quote him directly (I’m so literary!), “We cast for the actor, not the hair colour, although it was great to have blond Kathryn play Hannah as a foil to Brennan.”

Okay, so…when I taught 10th grade English, I always made my students study character foils (Benvolio/Tybalt, Brutus/Cassius, Atticus/Bob Ewell, etc), as well as the definition of foil, which is, “a character that has traits which are opposite from one of the main characters, in order to illuminate various features of that main character’s personality”.

Along with hair color and acting ability, I’m going to add one more item: chemistry with David Boreanaz. And so yeah…I’d say there’s a lot of…illuminating going on these days. Actually…that’s going to be my code around here;  you are welcome to join me. In the inevitable event of future H scenes, I’ll just smile and say, “How…illuminating!”.

Snarky moment over. And now on to the point of this post. This is something that pal Smurfs and I have been knocking around for a long time. And when I say a long time, I mean since the summer of 2008, so…yeah. It’s the idea that Brennan wants Booth, in every way. That’s not revolutionary necessarily, but I still think it’s critical to examine just how much she really wants Booth, even if she doesn’t necessarily realize it, as Rynogeny pointed out yesterday.

 I thought of five ways in which Brennan prefers Booth completely. Sure, it might make sense for it to be a Top Five Tuesday post, but I’m happy to report that next week we’ll be celebrating Hodgins Week here at BT and the week after that, Rynogeny herself will be beginning a fantastic Tuesday series on groups of “Turning Points” in groups of fives. So it was going to be a couple of months before I would get to post this one as a TFT and I decided not to wait. Thus, a Saturday post.

Let’s get to it: How Only Booth Will Do.

1. Partnership/FBI work:

We don’t see Brennan sniffing around the FBI building in search of other agents to work cases with. Even pre-pilot, I don’t think it was the kind of thing where she was insisting on being the expert called in to help. Booth tells the Homeland Security guard that, “Bones identifies bodies for us,” so it’s possible that she might have helped out every once in awhile, but when Booth asks for her help and then asks her what it’s going to take, she replies, “Full participation”. And that was that! Yes, she’s curious. Yes, she wanted to get out of the lab. But…it’s all centered around Booth. And almost four years later, she tells him, “You’re the only FBI agent I want to work with.”


2. A baby

Every once in awhile, something will happen that will make me think HH is like, “I got this.” And when he talks about how he finds it interesting that Brennan’s interest in a baby waned when having a baby with Booth seemed to be out of the picture…well, I’m encouraged. I loved when pal  Piper4444205 mentioned that the other day that a moment Booth doesn’t know about is how affectionate Brennan was with Andy, and how that was when Brennan began to consider having a baby of her own. I will buy that! One scene I will watch over and over again is from Harbingers, when Angela calls Brennan and Booth out about the fact that neither one mentioned that in the book/coma dream, Brennan was pregnant. The looks on B&B’s faces are…beyond incredible. From trying to laugh it off (something they’d done SO easily a few seconds before about psychics) to schooling their own reactions while trying to make Angela think it means nothing while ALSO trying to scope out the other’s reaction…it’s just plain amazing. I want that plot developed! I want Brennan to have Booth’s baby. I want a lot of things, haha. But seriously I want this.

3. Sex

Ah, this one might be the most of a stretch, but I still contend that even if Brennan doesn’t realize it…she’s kind of been holding out for Booth. It will be interesting to see if that continues (or if they ever tell us again if she’s still celibate), and if Brennan begins to struggle with it. Brennan has never been promiscuous, and Sweets told us (and she who will not be named) this week that she’s not a prude (Ha! This totally cracked me up for some reason,) so maybe TSitD was a bit of a lead in to us seeing more about this. We already talked about how we think Booth might react to Brennan entering a romantic relationship. She told Booth in the S6 premiere that she was too busy working and didn’t have time for sex…or romance. It will be interesting to see if she soon will. I’m not sure how I’LL feel about it. 

4. Family

What do you think about this? I think there are a few items to discuss. When I’m saying ‘family’, I mean it both in the traditional sense and in the ‘more than one kind’ sense. When Booth tells Brennan (Man on the Fairway?) that her people are his people…this is family. When she tells him (Judas on a Pole) that they are all of them his squints…that’s family. When she tells Booth (Mayhem on a Cross) that they can find a permanent place for Sweets,  that’s family. When Booth asks her to be his village (Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood)

…that’s family. I really think they both want that and accept it. But deeper than that, I think Brennan also wants to be Booth’s family. And she wants him to be hers. Though Booth is very private about his family life, not really including her for many years, once he did, she was immediately gung-ho about it. And not in a fake way, either, but in a very genuine way. I think she made a misstep with Jared, but the underlying principle is the same…she really dove right in. She learned her lesson, though it’s probably a good thing that Booth doesn’t have any more brothers, haha. But when she talks with Parker in BDitN and her interactions with Pops in FitF…it’s very amazing to see. It’s sort of a contrast to the tension we feel when she interacts with her own family. Okay, yes, there is a lot of history there with her family, and some baggage still. But let’s say Margaret vs. Pops. Two sort of extraneous family members: and Brennan has different interest levels in getting to know them. On the flip side, Booth is ridiculously protective of Brennan when it comes to her family (Russ or Max). Did I say ridiculously? Because I mean completely awesomely and gorgeously in every Booth-way.

5. Love

Not to label Brennan as some sort of Frankensteinian project or anything, but I feel like her journey to love is a journey that ends with Booth or with no one. He’s been encouraging her toward love and seeing that side of her (again, not changing her, just opening up that part of her)…whether his motivation is to get her to love him…I’m not sure.

I’ll reiterate; she’s not some love project he’s been working on for the past six years. It’s more that he’s been encouraging her, and she’s taking that at face value, as she does almost everything, and so her view of love and her view of her own capacity to love is skewed toward Booth. Yay!

I just don’t see her coming to any realizations about love and then loving some other man as part of her character development. The shape of her expressions of love is in the form of Seeley Booth, and his needs. It’s why her ‘refusal’ in the 100th episode is more a rejection of herself than him. She thinks she can’t love him as he deserves or needs. And because he trusts her to tell the truth, he thinks it’s true. But it’s not. She has the capacity to love him. More than any other person in the world, actually. And, I believe, she has the capacity to truly love only him. No one else will do (for either of them, but especially Brennan.) They both just need to be open enough to see it, as follows:



Illuminate that, baby!

Peace, Love & Bones


PS…If you’re so inclined, there’s a new Emily Deschanel Fan Forum. Here’s the link if you want to check it out.


28 thoughts on “For Brennan, Only Booth Will Do

  1. For the 1rst time the only thing i’ll say here is i agree 110% with what you wrote. I think i don’t need say anything more. Amazing !

  2. Oh Sarah, have I told you lately that I love you? 😀

    Can I just say, I appreciate the snark. I really do, and I’m glad that you pointed out the “foil” reference, because despite them trying to make Hannah seem like she’s similar to Brennan, she pales in so many ways, including her hair colour. Just sayin’.

    I completely, utterly, undeniably 100% agree with you in that Booth is Brennan’s “one and only” in everything. I especially love what you said about Love, in how her definition of love is shaped by Booth, and how it’s incorrectly skewed. You and I are on the same page when it comes to the 100th episode, and I’m just dying to see how she will reshape her perception of love over the course of this season.

    Isn’t it wonderful that Brennan has come this far in her relationship with Booth? She just needs to see all of this for herself. Easy, right? 😛

  3. Awesome! That’s all I have to say. Awesome. 🙂

  4. Howdy, Sarah! I know I don’t comment over here a lot (bad Gum) but I really do love the work you guys do over here. Even if it’s morphed in vision it hasn’t in quality and I appreciate the thought you all put into what you write.

    I’ve believed for quite some time now that while Booth might be able to be happy with someone else (my caveat being that person would never be as ideal for him as Brennan) for Brennan it’s all or nothing. He is IT for her and you’ve laid the argument out beautifully, so thanks. 🙂

    Now, on that foil thing… If my Internet would’ve been playing nice with twitter yesterday you would’ve gotten a DM from me asking if you were planning on attacking that on here. I still think laying the two out with everything we know thus far would be a fascinating exercise to see if Hannah truly is a foil… (tempers my inner English lit geek) So yeah, if you ever want a hand in doing that lemme know.

    Again, great argument for Brennan here! I think you could also say it’s because of all of those things you mentioned that Brennan is who HE needs as well. I’m not sure there is anyone else he’d meet who would love him in the pure, devoted, unselfish ways that she does. It’s a rare kind of love to find and will be beautiful once HH gets around to waking them up to their own reality.

    Keep up the good work. (Hodgins’ Week?!? Whoopee!)

    Gum 🙂

  5. Couldn’s say better. I agree with you…
    This make me remember the episode when Booth’s Brother said that will marry, and brennan and made a speech..

    Quote: “When Booth and I first met, I didn’t believe that such a thing as love existed. I maintained that it was simply brain chemistry, but perhaps Booth is correct. Perhaps love comes first and creates the reaction. I have no tangible proof, but I’m willing to accept Booth’s premise.”

    And for me it’s proves that she want this… LOVE… but not just this, it’s proves that she want to love him… And in the end she kind of asked him…

  6. Hey Sarah!

    How are you?

    So, like always, I agree completely with you!!

    I always love these posts! 🙂

    Ps. I saw that someone wanted a Hodgins’ Week: Maybe an Angela then a Cam week? 🙂

  7. This is wonderful and of course the pictures were a lovely bonus. This fills me with hope and excitement as we continue to unravel these Season 6 episodes. Thank you for posting this.

    I am thrilled beyond words at a Hodgins week. He is often the highlight of the episode every week. Yay! Can’t wait to read it.

  8. Methinks a little bit of snarkiness every now and then is never a bad thing. I rather enjoyed it myself. And the thought that Booth is the only man for Brennan warms me right down to my horribly ugly toes. That is all.

  9. I completely agree with your Brennan theory but my comment is actually about the beginning of the post: can you please grant us some more snarky (and illuminating!) moments? I laughed out loud about 5 times while reading that!

  10. Totally agree, snarkiness and definition of foils included. Would you consider replacing the present writers and continuing the show in this vein?

  11. I REALLY need to catch up on here. So many good posts and so much to comment on.

    Bren is only accepting Booth at this point and to me, she is being steamed ready for him. I guess in his way so is he (tho his ways are a little unorthodox).
    I do think she is staying celibate for a while more and I so hope she’ll stay like that until she has Booth. The idea of her giving it up after all this time of holding on to it, and making sure WE know she is staying celibate has to lead to something, right? That has to mean something, right? Right?
    This can’t be so that she will throw it all in the wind for some non-descript, unmeaningful, random guy that comes along, right? Gosh, I hope not. Making such a point of keeping celibate has to be for a reason. I really believe that. Because, face it, we’re talking Brennan here who never shied away from a roll in the hay just for biological urges. But ever since early S4, she gave up on that. It makes me so proud of her and another sign that she means it. She may not fully get it herself, but deep down, she is doing all this for a reason. The reason being one sexy FBI agent with the name of Seeley Joseph Booth.

    And no ‘she-who-shall-not-be-named’ (wow, I almost feel like naming her Hanmort or something, Voldenah?) can’t shine even close to this. Temperance Brennan is an aura, the superbright light at the end of the tunnel who makes anyone pale in comparison.
    I’m definitely going with you ‘illumination’ exclamation in the future because dang girl, that is exactly what it is.

  12. I just discovered this blog a couple weeks ago…because someone posted “100 reasons why not to quit Bones”…and it made me so happy. I just had watched episode 5…with “she-who-shall-not-be-named,” so I was feeling a little depressed. I gotta say, I LOVE this blog. Sarah, I completely agree with everything you wrote…and love reading your insights into these characters.

  13. So your snarkiness just made my day…you know how I feel about Hannah and I immensely enjoyed you staying how when put against Brennan she pales in comparison. Because she does, and I will never love her as much as I do Brennan…and neither will Booth. Just stating the obvious. 🙂

    Anyway back to the real point of the post…You are AMAZING! All of these were wonderful and valid points about how Booth is IT for Brennan. Thank you for cheering up my shipper heart at this moment. Because you are totally right. For Brennan, Booth is the only endpoint in the journey she is taking. I had never thought of it like that before. Sure I always said B&B were meant to be together, but never considered that Brennan could never really understand love without ending that journey WITH Booth. So thanks…you just made my day twice. And that picture progression at the end is the best thing ever! If only we could show it all to Brennan things would become much clearer to her. Alas, she is a fictional character and has no control over her destiny. lol.

  14. Absolutely wonderful. I totally don’t have an english background!! The only literary term I got was the FOIL and i took it to mean multiplying two binomials! (Yes I am a math teacher!) But I love that HH admits that Hannah is Brennan’s foil. Because he argued they were a lot alike earlier.

    I love this post and this site. Keep it coming!!!

  15. All I’m going to say (due to the late hour) is THANK YOU! You warmed my shipper heart as always. When I finish watching an episode with she-who-shall-not-be-named, I wander to BT to feel better. You know all our favorite fictional characters inside and out…. I so wish you were on the Bones writers staff. Anyway, can’t wait for your next post!

  16. Hmmmm…’ve given me a lot to think on here 😀

    Now, do i believe only Booth will do for Brennan? Honestly? No. The same way i don’t believe only Brennan will do for Booth.

    I think Brennan could discover the ‘true meaning of love’ (ok slightly sarcastic but you know what i mean! LOL) and find a man who WASN’T Booth and be happy with him. The same way i believe Booth could (has??? OK, i won’t go there!) find a woman who is not Brennan and be happy.

    The only thing i do think is that Booth and Brennan together would (will…i hope!) be happier than either one with someone else.

    Does that make sense?! LOL

    • I agree….they could be happy with other people but I do believe they are best together, they bring out the best in each other, they challenge each other, and they are completely themselves when with each other.

      However, they could love others and be happy with others. All of us can…but I hope in my shipper heart that they would be feeling like they missed out on something if they weren’t with each other. Does that make sense?

      • It does make sense 😀

        Basically what i meant. They each could be more than happy with another person (which i think Booth is currently demostrating with Hannah) but they would be better together.

      • I totally agree with this post as well as this comment. I do believe that both Booth and Brennan have the capability to be happy with other people. However, I also believe that COMPLETE happiness would be found with each other. They complement each other so well as has often been pointed out here that we are all so invested in them being together that we often do forget that. I just hope that their story involves them eventually finding each other in every way and finally finding that COMPLETE happiness in each other. Then all of our shipper hearts can be warmed…all the way down to our toes!

    • I think there is a difference between only doing for one another and being happy. Happiness is a choice and so I think that it is easy to say they can be happy with other people, and even possible. But Happiness is not fullfilled or completed. I think only they can do that for each other. Only they can give each other everything they need to be who they are and to thrive, happiness is just a small by product of that. Personally I can be happy anytime I choose, but I would want to be so much more then happy. And for that Booth and Brennan need each other, palin and simple. 🙂

      • sorry…a good example of this is Sully and Hannah now. First off if happiness was enough then Brennan would have gotten on that ship and sailed away with Sully – she was happy with him. But it wasn’t enough. Booth is happy with Hannah, but not himself. We are all struggling with his “un-Boothiness” and watching him be something other then what we have seen in the last 5 seasons. If happiness were enough Hannah would be perfect for him, but it is not and she is not.

  17. First, this was a fantastic post and a great way to start a Saturday morning. So thanks for that! My brain is going a million miles an hour and in so many directions, I hope this comes out sounding coherent. Yes, Mr. Hanson illuminate away, because even your explanation for Hannah is a condratiction in and of itself, but I will continue to remain illuminated until the light finally goes out (I hope he didn’t use one of those new bulbs that last twice as long!) So I am just going to jump right in:
    Brennan needing Booth is an understatement, that even she did not realize until long after setting foot on the Mapoopoo Islands. I believe that somewhere between the goodbye of season 5 and the hello of season 6 Brennan realized that she is in love with Booth and that “logically” it will work out. Brennan would fall in love this way, not roses and poems. She would do it logically and on her own, but once there she could not go back and the journey to vocalizing it or making it her life will be full of emotions, messy and beauty all together. I think Brennan has known she loves Booth for a long time but for her the reason it has not been a factor is because logically it is irrelevant in her carefully laid out plans. Everything Brennan does is done logically because for her logic is safe and comfortable, and easy to control. I think in moments when she uses something other then logic is when we see those beautifully expressed emotional glimpses of the Brennan locked beneath the safety of logic. I have never believed that Brennan lacks emotion or understanding of emotion, I believe that she is actual an incredibly emotional woman who feels things very deeply (and when those emotions come to the surface it is going to be breathtaking). What I think she lacks is the catalyst to force her to face her emotions without the safety net of logic. I think Brennan has always been good at, and relied on, compartmentilizing her feelings and her life into a system that makes sense and causes as little personal discomfort as possible. I think this is a coping mechanism that she learned from being abandoned and in the foster care sysytem. Over time she has gotten good at this and she has not had any examples of living a life other then what she has been living. Her pain was so deep that feeling that again is a paralyzing thought and not something she is willing to consider. Because until Booth she has never had a reason or fully understood a need to open herself to that pain. I think with Booth, at least for Brennan, that is inevitable – because she loves and NEEDS him that much. Only letting people in on her terms and determining what, logically, makes the most sense for what she needs and what will keep her life orderly and within her control is her MO. Her life is like a Jenga puzzle, all these pieces stacked together to form a solid tower. What Brennan has been doing is removing pieces, the emotional pieces, one by one from her tower leaving only the ordered, logical, controlable pieces. I think Brennan looked at each aspect of her life and what she wants and needs, with as little risk as possible, and having Booth in her life was/is a top priority. She loves Booth, she needs him in order to be happy, she needs him in order to feel safe, she needs him in order to be whole. I think we romantizie her needing him and say if she isn’t having sex or a relationship that we consider a romantic one then she doesn’t love him, or deosn’t know she loves him. I think, at least for me, the evidence says the opposite. She cannot be happy or whole without him so she had to figure out a way to keep him in her life without any risk of him leaving or that dynamic changing. Logically remaining partners/friends makes the most sense. I think she needs him and wants him sexually and in her most honest moments romantically, but those areas are dangerous to her logic and controlled life, and therefore are pieces she can and will remove to have to Booth. There will always be cases and murders to solve, she can control the enviroment and terms of their dealings, she can even have his love and love him, she can have him in every way without the worry or mess of having him on an emotional level. So she thought if she removed that one piece of the puzzle her tower would stay and the game would continue. What she didn’t count on was that her emotions where already engaged and that in the end having Booth on those terms wouldn’t be a enough for her, that in fact she needs him on all those levels she thought she wanted to avoid (I think that is part of what she is struggling with during this, not if she loves him but how she is going to love him and survive). What has happened is her tower has tumbled and now she is having to put the pieces back in the box so she can turn it over and start again. The problem is she is realizing that she cannot leave out any piece, including the messy love pieces. And in fact those pieces have become the foundation pieces for her tower. I think these are the things we are seeing now. She is facing that she needs Booth, all of him. She has to take the risk. I think the final step that she will need Booth for will be placing the last few piece in the box, flipping it over and starting the game again.

  18. I think you hit the nail on the head again. There are so many items where only Booth will do and things she will only do FOR Booth. When I first read this I thought of Proof in the Pudding. That episode to me says so much of things that Brennan will do for Booth, mainly the end of that with her conclusion of the body not being JFK. Only Booth could make her not look for the truth. Then again only for Booth would she lie to the FBI, as in the Killer in the Concrete episode.

    I think Booth is her standard for so many elements in her life that SHE may not even realize it yet.

  19. I was fascinated with the statement about her being a foil for Brennan after the comments made at various times about how similar she is to Brennan. Surface similarities, yes, and I think they really played some of those up, particularly in MitMeathead. But beneath the surface…whole different matter.

    And I have a sneaking suspicion that that’s clearest in the area of love. Personally, what I feel like I’m seeing so far is that Hannah doesn’t really love Booth. I think she cares about him, but I don’t think she really loves him. Brennan, on the other hand, is actually being shown as being more concerned for Booth than his lover is, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Plus, I think it’s possible she’ll see that at some point.

    So one of the things I think Brennan is learning as a result of the Hannah arc is that she’s capable of loving him, perhaps as no one else can or will. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s one of my theories at the moment.

    (Can I just say that I love the pics you picked for this?)

  20. “Illuminate that, baby!”

    That alone had me yelling YEAH.
    Oh and I totally agree with you.

  21. I really love that one. Thank you 🙂 And I add another one: faith.

  22. I’m a little behind here but I just read this post and it about made my day (read: I agree 110%…okay I know that there’s not more than 100% so that will have to do)!

    Just one thing I want to say is that I really believe that Brennan could only love Booth that way, I think it would be extremely strange and wrong to see her have that kind of relationship with anyone else after all that’s happened over the last years and considering it’s Booth that mostly shaped her ideas on love and made her believe (as she says in her speech to Jared & Padme).
    I know there’s a possibilty that she’ll get a new love interest as well but I honestly don’t know how I’d feel about that, I think I would strongly dislike it, in my opinion she’s just too aware of her feelings right now. That might seem like a ridiculous thing to say but I honestly feel that she’s made progress and that she’s not oblivious at all anymore.

    They are each other’s village and more of a family to one another them some of their biological family, they have a surrogate relationship and I think that in the end they can only end up together because in a lot of ways they already are and they’re the only ones who completely understand their ‘other kind of family’.

    On a side note: LOVE the snarky comment! Illuminate that, baby! Haha

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