Bones Theory

Scene Study: Woman In Limbo- He Saw Her Lights From the Road


Good morning, Bones pals! I hope you are having a good weekend so far! Want to hear a funny story?

Here’s the thing…I’m not sure my family likes BONES all that much, which is something I just do not understand. After all, for the most part, we all like the same shows. Psych, The Good Guys, Raising Hope, House Hunters, Chuck, The Office, etc. I don’t know if it’s because I love BONES so much that they sort of resent it? Possible, I guess. My youngest sister likes it, so she and I talk about it sometimes, but for the most part, the rest of my family just kind of tolerates it.

Or it almost seems like they sort of pick it apart MORE than any show sometimes. Does that happen to anyone else? Maybe it’s because I love it so much they feel it needs to be worthy of my love. That’s a nice sentiment, I guess.  But I had to laugh this past week, when I ended up watching the episode with my dad. Brennan was pretty much running the “Yowza” joke right into the ground at the diner, and my dad says, “She’s such an infant sometimes,” to which I automatically replied, “Yeah, she’s awesome.”

Hahaha! I realized after that moment that he wasn’t exactly commenting on her awesomeness, at least not in the way he would consider her to be awesome. (Side note: He loved Booth’s Han Solo>>>Obi Wan joke the week before), and that my love for her may have skewed my thinking toward the show.

I guess for me, maybe I’m like those parents who think their children are the best at middle school basketball and can do no wrong? Sort of this protective optimism?

If that’s a bad thing, I’m over it. Anyhiz, that’s not the point of this post. The point is that I’ve been wanting to take several scenes and, one at a time, sort of look at them moment by moment and analyze them. I’m thinking they’ll make for nice Sunday morning discussions. They won’t necessarily be in chronological order; it will be more along the lines of what scenes are striking me in a particular way.

Today’s scene study comes from the season one finale; The Woman in Limbo, and they are the scenes where Booth arrives to Brennan’s apartment with food. Confession: I think this might be my new “I fell in love with Booth” moment. I just wasn’t open enough to see it the first time around.

My first ‘fall in love with Booth’ moment was in season two: The Boy in the Shroud, when Booth is just doing his job, but he does it with this incredible compassion that just blew me away. PS…season two is gritty in both the case department and in the lighting department, so the pics are never as good…but here’s what I mean.


But when I was watching The Woman in Limbo, a couple of weeks ago, and this scene came around, well…I was hooked. Big time.

Here’s a little history:

Brennan is supposed to go to court, but she’s nervous because she doesn’t have her original case notes. Booth is trying to get her out of the lab (and out of her lab coat!),


… but Angela, Zack and Dr. Goodman are trying to lure her back in with questions on skeletons. Booth vs skeletons…Seems like a no-brainer (rimshot!) to me, but Temperance Brennan does love those skeletons! Speaking of love, I love how Booth matter-of-factly helps Brennan put on her other jacket too. It’s very natural, leading me to believe that it’s happened before. Delightful. Actually, the entire scene is incredible physical comedy almost between Booth, Brennan, Dr. Goodman, Angela and Zack. It’s really worth a re-watch!

The future cult leading David arrives and reveals he loved Brennan’s manuscript for Bone Free. Booth is slightly annoyed that Brennan’s BF got to read it and he couldn’t, but is appeased when after he asks, “Am I in it?”, David replies. “Definitely.” YES! (And I’m totally appeased, when later, Booth sees that she changed the title of the book for him as well as dedicated it to him as her partner and friend.)

The subsequent Booth vs David standoff is hilarious as well. I love Booth’s predatory and fake-friendly smile!

Brennan is on her way with her notes, but stops when she sees the computer generated re-creation Angela has for their victim. She rushes in and declares that Angela has it all wrong. Angela agrees to get rid of it, but Brennan’s not listening; and it appears she knows Angela might just be right, because she asks Zack to give her the evidence bag for the Jane Doe they were working on.

She’s in a rush (not using her security card) and she rushes to her office and swipes away everything on her desk in a passionate way. When she pulls out her mother’s belt buckle, she knows the evidence is telling her the truth.

Booth then comes to look for her and tells the team that they’ve found Brennan’s mother. But before that, he’s already called the court, telling them Brennan won’t be in that day. He goes to her office, and Brennan senses he’s there, without even looking, and she tells him she has to miss court. He says he knows and he talks to her, and when Dr. Goodman arrives to tell Brennan that Angela is going to drive her home, Booth says, “Temperance…go home.”


And she listens. And it seems as if she spends most of the day there, thinking and considering her past.

But then…after midnight…there’s a knock on her door.


Sidenote: 2B is sort of the same as B&B right? Let’s say yes!

Brennan answers, surprised…


…but then when she’s sees it’s Booth, she’s sort of not surprised at all. And certainly not displeased, I don’t think.

She says, “It’s after midnight,” to which Booth replies, “Yeah, I was driving by, and I saw the lights and thought you might like some Wong Fu’s!”


Very sweet! But what always catches me off guard is how Brennan reacts.

She eyes the food and then asks Booth, “You saw my lights from the road?”


And Booth answers, “That is correct”.

Technically, it’s not a lie lie, Bones fans, as it is possible he did see her lights from the road. But if anyone tries to tell me that he wasn’t  circling her apartment trying to think of a good excuse before that, or if he wasn’t thinking about her the entire day, hoping she was okay…well, I will not believe you. At all.

Of course, my opinion is less than Brennan’s, so it’s just funnel cakes and hot fudge sundaes to me that she feels the same as I do, which is of course that Booth is pretty much full of crap, but impossible to resist, and so…though she doesn’t believe him, she opens her door wider and invites him in.


Booth knows he was charming, and she knows it worked, and once again, he knows it worked too. I LOVE it. Also in the love column are Booth’s shoulders.


Booth is explaining the research he’d done on her parents’ file after she’d given it to him (Man on the Fairway). Also note that Booth pretty much doesn’t take his eyes off of her in this entire scene. Not necessarily in a “I can’t keep my eyes off of you” way, though Brennan does look pretty for being so exhausted and drained, but more in a “I’m not taking my eyes off of you until I know you’re okay” kind of way, which is just awesome.

Brennan is surprised that Booth has looked into the case (as if he wasn’t going to. He was proud you asked, Temperance!)


Booth  tells her that finding her mother’s remains means he can open an official investigation. Brennan tells him about their family’s car having been found at a rest stop three days after her parents’ left, and Booth reveals that he’s already looked into it and is having it trucked to the Jeffersonian. So maybe THAT is what Booth was doing all day…he probably went to court and then worked on that case. Ah, possible! Can you just imagine Booth on the phone? Standing at his office window, annoyed. One hand on his hip, the other with his phone pinned to his ear. “Listen pal, I’m sure you think you’re important at your local junkyard or whatever, but I work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and I’m telling you that you WILL be shipping that car, and paying for it, to the Jeffersonian institute. You got me?” Click, hang up…move on.


 Booth tells Brennan that as a science teacher, her father never had any trouble with the law (this is so ironic), but that her mother…that’s a different story. Brennan can’t believe that. Her mother was just a bookkeeper. Booth tells her she was a witness for the prosecution (great movie, BTW) twice, which is cause for motive.

He brings up Russ, and Brennan is clearly annoyed, and when Booth says that Russ says she blames him for their parents’ disappearance, Brennan is a bit on edge. Booth talked to Russ?


Booth just says that he called him, asked him a few routine questions, but that he didn’t give him much. When Brennan is not appeased, Booth goes Boothy on her and says it’s going to be okay in the form of him handling it, this time as “We’re going to find out what happened to your mom. Okay?” Confidence! That’s his deal, as we’ve mentioned before. He doesn’t actually say it, but it’s implied, “Trust me. I’ll fix it. Don’t worry. I’m your guy,”


This time it works (Actually most times it works, up until the mid-end of season five!)

Brennan is hesitant to believe him, but she does.


I love that scene.

 Of course I also love when Booth tracks down Russ, and how upset Brennan is about it. I love when Angela and Brennan talk about that and Brennan admits, “Suddenly, no one cared where I was. I miss that, someone caring where I am all the time.”


Then we hear Booth’s “BONES! Bones, you up there? Come on! Let’s go, huh? Chop Chop!” Eek!


He’s his annoyed and impatient usual self (the same we saw from the beginning of this episode. I just love when he spreads his arms like that with his palms open. I don’t know why, but I do!),  but Brennan’s reaction is amazing.

It’s like she knows. Whether she knows or not, I’m not sure, but some part of her does.

Like right after the opening credits when her body just somehow senses Booth is standing in her doorway, this time she just gets that Booth is up in her business because he cares about her.


This look she gives Angela proves it, as the smile is sort of a combination of her rolling her eyes at Booth’s impatience and secretly loving every minute of it.

Of course Angela has seen it all. I don’t like using much foul language on here, but every once in awhile, I just want to acknowledge Angela’s “Bitch, please” face, as it’s one of the best in the world. (Dave Barry once wrote a farcical book about finance and whenever he wanted to prove something ridiculous, he posted a pic of Suze Orman; it’s so funny.). So perhaps whenever I want to SAY that, I’ll just post something like this, and you’ll all know exactly what I’m talking about!

Here’s another one for good measure


I adore when Booth shows up again, and it appears Brennan didn’t even try to tell him not to. Could he be any more gorgeous? I’m totally serious. His relaxed body…the confidence he has when he’s helping her. He’s feeling very one with the universe, I’d say!

Brennan looks pretty too, don’t get me wrong!

And I have always, ALWAYS wanted to know what was written on that fortune cookie that makes Booth smile in confidence like that. Since we’ll never know, I guess it’s up to us to write our own!


Brennan wants to know what HIS parents were like, and I always thought Booth’s explanation made them seem like everything was fine. On second look (okay, okay, 250th look), maybe that’s not the case, and he certainly is a little more positive about his mother than his father.  I guess I didn’t notice it the first 249 times; maybe because I was just staring at Booth and his tattoos.

But Brennan’s not really interested in that; she wants to know if when he was asleep at night, did they go out and rob banks.


She’s being kind of snarky, and Booth sees right through it, but doesn’t really call her on it. He just moves closer to her and assures her that all parents have secret lives. If they didn’t…they wouldn’t be parents.


Brennan gets the message (read: sex), but doesn’t mention the word (something she would probably do this season), but it doesn’t matter, because apparently just the idea of it makes Booth a little edgy, and though HE’S the one who brought over the meal super late, he says, “It is a little late for Chinese, isn’t it? Well, thanks for the meal. See you tomorrow.”

See you tomorrow… YAY!
And I WILL see you tomorrow as I kick off “Thankful Week” here on Bones Theory!

Peace, Love & Bones,


PS…seriously…what was on that fortune cookie fortune??!!


22 thoughts on “Scene Study: Woman In Limbo- He Saw Her Lights From the Road

  1. I love you, I really do. You have this natural ability to say exactly what the rest of us are thinking at any given moment, and it always floors me when you whip it out.

    “Bitch, please”! Mwahahaha! So, so good.

    I’m glad you didn’t mention the “I know who you are” scene, probably because it was so blatant, and this was all about the subtleties of the episode…which you nailed, by the way. That scene floors me, but his “Go home, Temperance.” still gives me goosebumps. He hardly ever calls her that to her face, and fan fic fantasy or not, you know he only says it when whatever he is trying to convey to her is deadly serious. You just know it.

    And the lab coat/coat thing? How did I never notice that before? Brilliant.

    One more thing…the fortune cookie says, “Everything happens eventually”. Where do you think he got the phrase in the first place? 😉

  2. Hahaha…loved this post! And have to say, the pictures of Season 1 Booth….very much appreciated. Very. Very. Appreciated 😉

    This episode is hands down one of my faves…which i’d pretty much forgotten about before this reminder! (seriously i HAVE to rewatch S1 and S2…seriously!).

    I do love how protective he is of her, right from the beginning, even when he didn’t like her that much. He takes his ‘partnership’ duties very seriously. In this episode it’s clear to see…the same as ‘Judas on a Pole’ and his reaction to the threat to her safety. Even when he dislikes her he’s protective of her…and i find that endearing 😀

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  4. I just re-watched this episode the other day and fell in love with it all over again. Out of all of the excellent moments, Booth taking Brennan’s lab coat off (I love that!), the midnight snack delivery, and “I know who you are,” my favorite moment is still:
    Brennan: “I miss that. Someone caring where I am all the time.”
    Booth: “BONES! Bones, you up there?”
    It’s just so perfect. I think that scene really says a lot.

    I also love Angela’s “Bitch, please” face. I hope to see it in Bones Theory posts in the future. 😉

    Thanks for another awesome post, Sarah! Jen said it perfectly: “You have this natural ability to say exactly what the rest of us are thinking at any given moment, and it always floors me when you whip it out.” 🙂

  5. When I read this post I really wanted to drop everything and just watch BONES for the rest of forever. Unfortunately, I’m an adult and I can’t get away with it. But It was a great look at a very poignant scene/episode. I think I’ll “read” it again so I can drool over Booth some more.

  6. I just rewatched this episode days ago and every single time I’ve failed to notice the secret fortune cookie smile!

    And the open arms and spread palms? It’s like he’s saying, “Come on, baby, just jump. I’ll catch you.”

  7. So you are amazing at reminding me why I LOVE Bones and this post is no exception. Most of my favorite episodes occur during season 1 and I’d have to say this one is right at the top along with “The Man in the Fallout Shelter.” And how did I never notice that Booth helped her put her coat on after he removed the lab coat. I always caught the coat removal because lets face it…even at that point in their relationship we were hoping for more clothing removal in the future. 🙂 But I always missed that he helped her put the other coat on…guess it just looked so natural I didn’t even think about it. And my favorite moment of that episode was Booth looking for Brennan and yelling at her to come. It was just so significant to me that just as she’s saying no one cares where she is Booth is looking for her. And the fortune cookie!!! I want to know what it said…another Bones mystery never to be solved I guess.

    So thanks for the walk down memory lane and the lovely pictures of season 1 Booth. 🙂

  8. Sarah, thanks for making my day with this incredible (as usual) post. I have to say this is one of the episodes that I have watched over and over. I always feel that it is here that the “connection” between B&B really began. And of course, I absolutely love the protective and caring Booth (sigh…I will not rant over the direction of season 6). Anyway, thanks for helping me remember why I love Bones. This post will help me through next weeks episode….Sorry, I know I promised not to rant but I just can’t help myself!

  9. Sarah, I love you. I love you for loving this show, and for reminding me of all the reasons I fell in love with it, too. 😉

  10. I just loved this. You have to do more of these. You really have a wonderful way of analyzing the scenes and making more sense of them than we ever could. 🙂 Can’t wait for more!

  11. Ah, season 1! 🙂 Great scene study and episode recap; I have to say it’s one of my favorites… I feel like it shows the transition from Brennan and Booth being co-workers to friend-ish (to me, the previous transition – from “we tolerate one another” to work partners – is the final scene in “The Soldier on the Grave”); to me, it shows that not only do they respect each other professionally, but they are starting to care for the other’s wellbeing.

    P.S.: Those pictures of Angela would make GREAT avatars/MSN emoticons, wouldn’t they? 😀 I miss that Angela, with her squeals of delight and her glug-glug-woo-hoo’s…

  12. Ok, I just had to create my avatar with this photo; it was too good to pass… Hope that’s ok!

    (Annabelle21, a.k.a., Ana :] )

  13. I want to let you know that this post made me put down my And Then There Were None audiobook, which I have not been able to do all day, with this post.

    The Woman in Limbo is my favorite Bones episode. Of all of them. I can’t decide on an episode that tops it yet (although End in the Beginning comes close *shrug*). I’m not even sure why I love it… but I think it has to do with everything you mentioned. This is why I need to get the pt2 of the S1 DVD from my sister, just so I can watch it again.

    Oh, and the family thing? Same thing happens with me. My parents tolerate it, my younger sister enjoys it, but… well, who’s commenting on here?

  14. To add to your imagined scene of Booth demanding the delivery of the car, I love to imagine him getting the take-out from Wong Fu’s. And explaining to Sid what Brennan’s going through, all so Sid can get exactly what she’s going to need. I mean, he shows up with a LOT of boxes, right? I love it. I’ve also LOVED the fortune cookie smile, too! Really enjoyed your analysis of this scene–it’s one of my favorites.

  15. Ah, Ms. Tory and I were just sharing about the “Suddenly, no one cared where I was. I miss that, someone caring where I am all the time.” / “BONES! Bones, you up there? Come on! Let’s go, huh? Chop Chop!” line the other day. It is one of my very favorite set-up lines of all time on Bones. Plus, I love the “That is correct” line AND delivery by Booth at Brennan’s door.

    This is a fabulous episode with the wonderful subtexts and subtleties – not to mention, of course, the wonderful back story of Brennan that starts to emerge at this point.

    And the scene where Booth talks about his parents? I think I have seen some people express frustration at the idea that Booth’s past seems to change from this “comfortable” exchange – but I see it as easily fitting in . . . but, perhaps that is a different topic for a different discussion. 😉

    Finally – I’m with Jen on the fortune cookie!

  16. You know, I guess I’m lucky that my fam likes Bones. We sit down nightly and watch reruns, no matter how often I’VE seen them, because hey. It’s Bones. It didn’t even take as long to get them hooked on Bones as it did on Burn Notice or Psych, so that’s a plus. Of course, it takes us forever to watch one because we either pause to talk or my dad is over on the computer shouting ‘that’s not Angel!’ like that’s a BAD thing. I’d probably have to poke the eyes out of anybody who was annoyingly critical while I was watching ’em, gotta tell you. You’re a braver man than I if you don’t, haha.

    At any rate, yeah, we just re-watched this one, too…god, I loved this episode! I didn’t catch the lab coat off/coat on bit until this scene, but it was totally fantastic, when I did catch it. I mean, REALLY. Am I the only one who thinks that pretty much most people who tried that stunt would get their nose broken? Jeez. She doesn’t even appear to notice! The mental image of Booth driving around her building trying to figure out a good excuse to come up is hilarious, as is him fighting with the tow company and anybody ELSE who wants to get in his way. Bless his heart. Yeah, that scene was just…awesome, though. Heart-melting-into-a-puddle awesome.

    Because really. You’ve gotta know he DID worry about her all day, yeah. I would too; and for good reason! So he totally just happened to be driving by her apartment (on the way to where?) with enough food to feed a small nation, after midnight, and all he has to say is ‘That is correct.’ like it’s the most rational thing in the world. Oh, Booth. Also, now you’ve got me wondering what’s on that blasted fortune cookie. Man.

    None of that’s as awesome as the one with she and Ange on the catwalk, though. It caught me off guard, the first time I saw the episode, though I really should have seen it coming. I may or may not have embarrassed myself with a nice loud ‘AWWWW’. Heh. Ange and Bones’ subsequent silent ‘…’ ‘Bitch, plz. That did just happen.’ conversation reduces me to a fit of giggles every time.

  17. Ahhhh Yes, I love this episode soooo much! Thanks for highlighting so many of the awesome things about it!
    I’ve always wondered though, did the writers always know where they were going to take Booth’s character when they wrote that line about his parents? Or did they decide later, like they did with events in the 100th? (This might be my skeptical side coming out, but it bothers me a little bit that they may have acted out some of their scenes differently had they known from the beginning – oh well, that’s the life of TV I guess…)

  18. Great scene to pick-one of the best! As to Booth’s dad, whether or not the writers knew what they would be doing with Booth’s parents later, I think the writing, or at the very least DB’s acting, left wiggle room in there for more. Notice that when she asks about them he looks down and doesn’t immediately answer-it’s as if he’s thinking about what to say. His comments are very bare-bones; factual, with little emotional content. There’s no mention of them being nice or loving, though he does smile when he mentions his mom. About his dad, nothing more is said than he was a a barber and a Vietnam veteran (no surprise there with the alcoholism). There’s definitely been inconsistencies before in the storylines, but I think they did a nice save on this one.

  19. Well, here I am a little late to the game! I just wanted to say that I LOVED this scene study. NM is right…you do have a way of expressing what we’re all thinking in a wonderfully witty and thoughtful way.

    This episode is definitely one of my favourites as well. Its so interesting to look back at S1 and see how different everyone looked and acted compared to now. Looking at these screencaps, Emily looks so different! She’s such a beautiful woman, it’s not fair. 🙂 Anyway, both B&B were much more sarcastic, Booth was super-cocky, and Brennan was still quite closed off. The evolution has been amazing…seeing these characters grow their relationships over time has been wonderful.

    Love the Angela “Bitch, please” moment – I look forward to seeing that pop up in other posts! 🙂

    P.S. Caught the jacket scenes but have always missed the fortune cookie smile. Thanks for pointing that little nugget out!

  20. Still catching up (about a week behind the posts) – I love this idea of scene studies! This show lends itself to scene deconstruction so well, as there is so much depth to the characters and to the way the actors play the characters. I think I had noticed the things you had pointed out – your writing and insights are spot on and you put into words what is only a mass of feelings in my head/heart. It’s a gift, and thank you.

    Love the screencaps too!

  21. I always wondered why Booth suddenly upped and left after the ‘All parents have secret lives’ bit.
    Thanks for the explanation Sarah.

  22. Whenever I watch the part about where Booth is talking about his dad I am always struck by the part where he said his dad was a fighter pilot but then became a barber. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a barber but the skill to fly fighter jets would seem to lead to something else….I took it as an indication that there might be a problem that was being glossed over….

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