Bones Theory

Booth Needs Brennan As Much As She Needs Him


Hey Hey, Happy Monday! I remember when BONES used to air on Mondays, and that always made it just a little bit easier to start the week, you know? Having said that, if you’re on Twitter, be on the lookout for today’s hashtag, #MondaysWishTheyWereBonesDays. You know they do!

This post is sort of a companion piece to my earlier post that, “For Brennan, only Booth Will Do” where we discussed how Booth is the one Brennan wants. While I believe that Brennan is who Booth wants, I also think she is what he needs (and likewise he is what she needs). Up until Con Man in the Meth Lab, I honestly thought that Booth was really, really okay. I also thought that he was sort of the steady, assured perfect guy who Brennan could always rely on. Sure, there were moments where he had some…blips, but those are completely understandable. And, whenever those moments happened, we always saw the resolutions, as follows.

Booth struggled with the need to talk to someone about his sniper past/He talks with Brennan.

Booth has issues with Rebecca/They are resolved and the former couple grows amicable.

Booth shoots a clown/He meets Gordon Gordon Wyatt and learns to deal with his issues by expressing himself through tiny rebellions.

No problem. Booth is in control, baby! But then Jared comes around, and we begin to see that Booth…well, he’s sort of just holding some things together. I don’t know about you, but his vulnerabilities are just as attractive to me as his strengths. At the core, he’s a really good person who sometimes makes mistakes. He kind of thinks he’s a bad person at the core who tries to be good. This is just my opinion of course, but I think there is some merit to that. Having said that, I think there are several ways in which Booth needs someone like Brennan as much (if not more) as she needs someone like him.

Let’s discuss!


Booth needs someone who understands his pain.

We have discussed this at length here, but it really is the truth, like this picture from Mayhem on a Cross. I also love that in the 100th episode, they showed Brennan watching Booth watch the video of Gemma Arrington singing. The same is true in the pilot episodes, when Booth is watching the video of Cleo Eller. Booth identifies and feels very strongly about righting the wrongs of this world. While Brennan is equally horrified at the injustice in the world, she doesn’t see Booth’s experiences as a reflection of him as a person. She also understands his job and his commitment to that.

He needs someone who calls him on his crap.

I love that face she makes! Haha! I also love in Con Man after Brennan gives her speech, and then she calls him over to talk to him privately. I really thought she was going to maybe kiss him for his birthday, but she didn’t. Instead she wanted to get on his case about Jared. Booth bristles and reminds her not to upset him after he got her shot. Brennan says that “I got me shot”, which is true. I love that she tells the truth there, to stand up for him, even if he’s trying to take on the responsibility himself. I also love in Man in the Outhouse when she calls him out on interrupting her date with Jason for no real reason. That Sweets is a witness to it is really great also. Likewise, I love in Crank in the Shaft when she helps him get the chair (while also making sure to let him know how ridiculous he is being about wanting it).


He needs someone who understands how he feels about his family:

Booth doesn’t really let anyone in on that part of his life, but if there is anyone…it’s Brennan. So I’m hoping that as the series progresses, we’ll see more and more of this. But as much as he does let people in…Brennan’s the one. I like how he is upfront about his frustrations over not being able to spend much time with Parker (Santa in the Slush, Goop on the Girl, etc), and his concerns over Jared (Beaver in the Otter, Dentist in the Ditch, etc). But where Brennan’s involvement is most evident is in Foot in the Foreclosure with Pops. Though this is a little bit obscure, I think that his inclusion of himself into his proposal that she build a summer home with a big screen TV and serve him 7 layer dip in Baby in the Bough is also indicative of his desire. And I think Brennan (though she denied it at the time), feels the same way.


He needs someone who listens.

This is sort of the same idea that he needs someone he can talk to…but it’s also more than that. He needs someone who understands what he’s saying and what he’s not saying when he’s talking. Does that make sense? Brennan is pretty good about it. She tends to listen to Booth and then quote him back to himself whenever he seems to be swaying away from Boothyness. (Sidenote…this is another reason why I’m still feeling good about season six. Sometimes Brennan is sort of clueless, but for the most part, if she feels that Booth is off-kilter, she calls him on it. That she hasn’t been up in his deal about things proves to me that she doesn’t feel like he’s being particularly different to her. I find that reassuring).  I was so proud of her at the end of Con Man when she asked if he needed time and space, and when she just sat with him.

Booth’s confession about his dad was certainly a shock, but that he told Brennan wasn’t. Agree? And I love the end scene of Devil in the Details when she honestly asks for his opinion and really listens to what he says.

He needs someone to flirt with.

He just does. And while I think most of us would stand in line for the opportunity, he really needs it to be Brennan on the receiving line of his charm. For one thing, this sort of falls into the same department as calling him on his crap. “Don’t use your charm smile on me,” she tells him in Superhero in the Alley. But she secretly likes it, I think. Of course, sometimes she has no idea that he’s flirting with her (Passenger in the Oven, anyone?), but that’s okay too. It doesn’t hurt him to have to work at it a bit, haha. I love “They’re your second favorite flower; I know you, Bones. Try a planet…………Jupiter!” (Intern in the Incinerator) and “That’s for me to know and you to find out” (Perfect Pieces in the Purple Pond). One day, he’ll really be able to turn on the charm with Brennan, and she’ll get it, and it will be fireworks, baby!


He needs someone who makes him want to be better.

This one is tricky because it also involves him feeling like he’s not good enough sometimes. Know what I mean? But that’s where Brennan is the answer.

Booth IS good enough (she would say he’s too good for her. As pal Sleepless said a few weeks ago, “Booth would consider this so far from the truth it’s not even funny…but there comes a point when he doesn’t even care anymore, he needs her that badly”), but as we’ve discussed before, he needs to be needed. Therefore, he needs someone who needs him to continually grow as a person. Booth takes pride in what he has learned from the squints. (Pals Smurfs and Angiebc reminded me of Baby in the Bough when he said, “I am a constant surprise!”), and we all know that he stopped gambling because of Brennan. Sometimes that gets glossed over as not that big of a deal. But because we never really saw Booth in a tough spot gambling-wise, I think we underestimate just how big of a deal it is. I always love in Woman in the Sand how Brennan is so fierce about being in Booth’s business while they are in the casino.

He needs someone to help him absolve his guilt.

This is more than just someone who listens, and more than someone who understands his pain. This is Brennan, in the pilot episode, after Booth confesses that he wants to put away as many murderers as people he killed as a sniper (who probably WERE ALSO MURDERERS!) telling him that she wants to help him with that. This is her putting her hand on his arm after has to shoot someone. This is her actively helping him even out his cosmic balance sheet. Sure, she also does it because she doesn’t like murderers, but there is a teensy part of her (I think) that does it because it makes Booth so happy and so he’ll be nice to her (Man in the Morgue). And it’s also in the way he can come clean about his past, even if it’s helping her in the process too.


He needs someone to stand up for him.

We can’t see it in this picture, but she’s also currently holding one of Booth’s teeth, and she’s just punched out a bounty hunter who has helped put Booth in danger. Yeah, baby!

I know you know what’s at the end of the bullet coming out of this gun. Yeah, it’s a partner thing, but Booth needs that too. Hannah tells us in season six that Booth has told her that Brennan’s the best partner he’s ever had. Booth tells us in episode 100 (flashback) that he doesn’t really do the partner thing. It will be interesting to see if that ever comes up again. Do you think he’s had partners before? Not that Brennan is the best he’s ever had just by default (so technically, not a lie), but the point is that he needs her as his partner.


Um…Booth doesn’t know about those last two, does he? Hmmm…


He needs someone who adores him.

Ah. I have to admit that I’m sort of in the camp that believes that Brennan isn’t necessarily in love with Booth. But then…when I look at that picture…I don’t know, darlings…

Now…does she know that she’s looking at him like that? I don’t think so. I don’t think she has any idea that her eyes are just expressing adoration for Booth. But still…he needs someone who looks at him just like that. And it needs to be Brennan. That is all.

Well, okay, one more thing…

He needs someone to make all of this…worth it.

Brennan! Woot!

What do you think? Do you agree with me? Is the expression of Booth’s love most honestly expressed in the form of Brennan? Is it necessary for him to have all of these things? And is Brennan the one who truly can provide them all? What ELSE can she best provide?

Let’s discuss!

Peace, Love & Bones,


PS…It’s worth clicking to watch the vid on YouTube. That warning at the beginning to NOT post it to any sites? Yeah…about that. I did request permission…I promise. And I waited weeks before I posted it after receiving no response. But really…it’s just too good to pass up. It’s absolute perfection. David Boreanaz (and therefore Booth) has this incredible natural rhythm that is edgy and smooth at the same time, confident and casual at the same time, and attractive all the time. I love that part of his work as Booth’s character. It’s very deliberate, I am convinced. And I think this video sort of captures that rhythm in the best way. Seriously, I watch this at least three times a day and laugh.

 Hahahaha, oh Booth!


11 thoughts on “Booth Needs Brennan As Much As She Needs Him

  1. Just wonderful, you sum it up perfectly.

    I want to add:

    He needs someone who has faith in him.
    The utmost faith Booth and Brennan have in each other is almost shocking. Remember Aliens in a Spaceship: Brennan is buried alive, but still she believes that Booth will find her. They’re running out of time, but Booth doesn’t doubt one second that Brennan and Hodgins have found a way to prolong their oxygen supply.
    To say it with Hodgins, “What you have is faith, baby.”

  2. So…… I’ve been checking this site for a while now and I have to tell you it is totally awsome. I’ve been addicted to Bones for 2 years now and Bones is on my mind every day of the year so sometimes I’m even afraid I’m not sane anymore…

    I would like to thank you for creating this positive island of Bones in times where all you see in the fandom is negativity and dissatisfaction. And I really appretiate all your time and effort for doing this because it is obvious it takes quite some time and toughts. You make me fall in love with the show over and over again….

    Thanks for everything,


  3. Awesome…just so amazing seeing all of this laid out. Booth needs Brennan and Brennan needs Booth. Now can we get started on that please? *rolls eyes at HH and season 6 in general* Okay anyway…moving on. I totally agree that in order to truly BE the Booth we’ve all come to love he needs Brennan. The end scene in Baby in the Bough always intrigued me because Booth so easily inserted himself into her future and best of all she didn’t object. That more than anything proves to me that they both at that moment acknowledged how much they need each other…whether they realized the significance of that moment or not. I wonder someday if B&B will found out what they’ve done for each other…like Booth holding the gang leader at gunpoint or Brennan pushing Jared off his bar stool. It would be interesting to see how they reacted to the revelations that more has been going on behind the scenes than they each realized. Because let’s face it…they did it to protect each other and because they care about each other in some capacity, whether it’s love or not can be debated especially in the early years. Me personally…I think it’s love whether they’re aware of it or not. Which leads to your question about Brennan being IN LOVE with Booth. I’m in the camp that believes she is, but doesn’t want to admit it to herself. She’s going to fight that feeling till the end because everyone she’s ever loved has either left or had something bad happen to them (sometimes both).

  4. Not much to say, because I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said. But I think this is just about my favorite summary of Booth, ever: “At the core, he’s a really good person who sometimes makes mistakes. He kind of thinks he’s a bad person at the core who tries to be good.”

  5. Couldn’t agree more with this list of things Booth needs, and also agree that Brennan is the only one who can (and does) meet these needs. It has been fascinating to watch more and more of his character be revealed over time. As you mentioned, at first it seemed that he didn’t have a care in the world, but now we know how conflicted and insecure he really is. We see that reflected now in his relationship with Hannah, where he’s trying WAY too hard to be “happy.” When he feels insecure, he overcompensates. I love how he is truly confident when he is around Brennan. She accepts him just as he is, but he is a better person because of her faith in him.

  6. Can I just start by saying that that video is AWESOME?! It totally made my week, and now I’m going to be grinning and watching it over and over again. 😀

    I agree with you – Booth needs all of these things, and Brennan is the perfect person to give them to him. I suppose he could get some of these things (like someone calling him on his crap or someone to flirt with) from other people, perhaps Hannah, but I think Brennan is the only one who can give him EVERYTHING all at once in exactly the way he wants it. With anyone else, he needs to work at it, open himself up and leave himself vulnerable, but with Brennan he’s already done that to a certain extent. Now all they need is to be honest and open with each other, and everything else will sort itself out. I’m still holding out hope that we’ll get to see this some time in our lifetimes! Ha!

  7. All I can say is that Booth looks so young and HOT in that video that it makes me want to go back and re-watch my DVD’s. Oh. My.
    I got that giddy feeling…which I haven’t had for a bit…

  8. I just found this site and I must say I like it a lot. I didn’t start watching this show until the middle of season 5 (so I had to buy all of the DVDs and watch them). I agree with your comments above and thanks for pointing out the video. I went over to Youtube and watched it. Up until now my favorite video has been “Bring on the Wonder” but I say this is very good. Keep up the positive posts. Some of the other posts I have gone to are really annoying. Everyone is so angry at Booth in the other ones. I like that you bring up what I think is so great about this show. I think the best example of Brennan standing up for Booth was when Sweets was giving Booth a hard time in The Secret In The Soil. Brennan verbally attacked Sweets for attacking Booth’s feelings. I just love that scene.

  9. I just want to say that I am so happy that I found this website because it’s very reassuring to me. Sometimes these new developments in the show freak me out a little but then I’ll read something here that makes me look at it more clearly. Like what you said now about Brennan calling him on his crap, since she hasn’t done so yet it must mean that he isn’t all that different. I’m glad you said that once again, it makes me believe it even more.
    Further I don’t have much to add because I agree with everything you said and as Ann mentioned, he does need someone to have faith in him because I believe that sometimes he has too little of that himself. And that’s probably mostly for the reason that you already gave: “At the core, he’s a really good person who sometimes makes mistakes. He kind of thinks he’s a bad person at the core who tries to be good.” That’s a very good description of him and I kind of think that it’s something that Booth & Brennan have in common in some way. Personally I believe that they both think that they’re not good enough for the other, hopefully their needs will be bigger in the end and they’ll be able to overcome that and just see that the other one accepts them as they are. Because they do, they call each other on their crap and try to help the other evolve, nevetheless they respect the other exactly as they are and wouldn’t want to change him/her, unlinke other people.

  10. great post, warms my shipper heart. thanks, seels!

  11. Pingback: Booth, Baby. « Bones Theory

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