Bones Theory

Scene Study: The Parts in the Sum of the Whole-Hear Me Out


Happy Sunday, BONES friends!

Here’s a fun fact; this is the 100th post on Bones Theory. Yay! So when I was thinking about what episode I wanted to choose a scene from, the 100th episode of BONES seemed like a natural choice. One thing I loved about doing the 100DaysofBones project was that I was watching each episode within the context of pretty much every episode that had aired up to the 100th. There was this framework of canon that allowed for insights and new discussions, and I liked re-visiting a lot of the older episodes, ones I hadn’t seen for a long time. With the 100th episode, it aired on  a Thursday, and I put up my thoughts on that Sunday, so…not a lot of time for reflection. I was interested to see what my thoughts would be now on this scene, after not having watched it for a few months. This sort of ‘contextual look’ is also why I’ve held off on doing episode reviews here on the Beginning in the End and season six episodes. They are just too close; there hasn’t been enough time to really see everything in context. HH once said that he saw every finale and season opener as two parts of the same episode, or something like that. And I really liked that idea (another post for another day). My plan is to wait until right before season seven (there’s gotta be…come on, there’s gotta be!) and then review the eps leading up to that premiere.

Whoo, okay…enough of that…let’s get back to this episode. Here’s a little history to get us started.

99 episodes of amazingness.

I mean, seriously. Do I really need to provide a history on what has led us to this scene? It’s impossible to describe. It just doesn’t seem to cut it to say something like “Booth and Brennan met, worked a case, kissed, fought and then after 13 months minus a week, Booth finally tracked her down by abusing his FBI power at the airport and having her detained. They became partners, worked numerous cases together, grew closer together, kissed under the mistletoe, worked more cases, grew closer and closer, saved each other’s lives, made each other crazy, grew closer and closer, and then…”


Well, then here we are…

Booth reveals that he’s the gambler and he feels like giving it a shot.

Brennan, for all of her sometimes cluelessness, knows exactly what he’s saying. This always kills me between the two of them. They both know. Maybe not about the science stuff or judicial stuff, but when it comes to the other one…sometimes there don’t even have to be words.

I feel this is proven when Brennan says, “You mean us?” and then proceeds to remind Booth that the FBI won’t let them work together.

Then Booth…oh, God Bless Booth really, because this is just so amazing. He tells her not to do that. That (not being able to work together) is no reason for them not to be incredibly happy with one another. And then he kisses her.

I was so proud of him in that moment. Here’s what I’ve been thinking lately. They both knew this was going to happen at some point. I can see Booth sort of waffling between moments, wondering if he’s crazy, seeing the way she smiles at him, and knowing he’s not crazy at all. Feeling like maybe he’s not good enough for her, but as pal Sleepless said, knowing that he doesn’t even care anymore because he just has to be with her, really with her. Just like we as fans were starting to get restless…okay, something’s gotta give…something has to happen, both of them were feeling that way. For awhile, they sort of tampered it down and kept up the status quo, but it was getting harder and harder to do that. But alongside all of that, he also understands, as he’s told us and Sweets that “you can’t rush her”.

So he puts together a plan. What will he do? Well, he thinks as he stares at his bedroom ceiling, thinking and dreaming and wondering, what has she responded to in the past? Though he might not want to admit it, he knows she likes kissing him. Please, we all know it. So it goes on his list. He figures, if he kisses her…she’ll see the truth. And he thinks, “Okay, I’ll set up a case…I’ll present so much evidence she won’t be able to say no.” He knows the way she grabs him close when they kiss. He knows the way she seems to smile against his lips and get a little stunned afterward. He recognizes it because their kisses always leave him stunned. I just totally imagine Booth counting on kissing her being a sure shot. There have probably been many other moments where he thought, “If I just kissed her… right now… it would be so amazing; it would be perfect.”  Am I the only one who thinks this?

And that’s what sort of breaks my heart about this. Don’t you sometimes feel as if Booth was already sort of planning on her saying no?

When she does…

…she says that she’s not the one who needs protecting. “Protecting? From WHAT?”, Booth asks. He needs protecting…from her, Brennan tells him. She doesn’t have his kind of open heart. For all of this time that Booth has been building his case, she’s been building hers for exactly why she isn’t good enough for him. Some people blame Sweets for this moment, that it sort of came to a head because he challenged Booth to be the gambler.

Yeah, that was probably a bad move. But to sort of suggest that Sweets orchestrated this…I don’t think that’s accurate. What we’re seeing here, this is the culmination of 1,000,000 moments…not just one Sweets session about a book. Does that make sense? Blaming Sweets is sort of like giving him too much credit, in my opinion.

But moving on,

“Just give it a chance,” is all Booth is asking for.

They are just not listening to one another. Booth isn’t saying he wants to get married. Maybe he does, who knows, but he’s saying… “just give it a chance. We’ll figure it out. We’ve figured out a ton of other things, and it works for us. Just…give it a chance!”

But I just don’t know what Brennan is hearing from him. I feel like she’s hearing something else. And maybe she knows him better than we do. Maybe she sees/hears past his offer to have it be whatever it could be and knows that he wants the whole package, and maybe she’s right.

Either way, she repeats his definition of insanity back to him, telling him that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome is crazy.

Booth says, “Let’s go for a different outcome. Hear me out, okay?” And then…it’s evidence time. He knows what she needs. Evidence. Laid out line upon line. He mentions couples who have been in love for 30,40,50 years…how it’s always the guy who knew.

“I knew”

If he’d said, “I felt in my heart you were the one,” she would have dismissed it as emotional irrationality. And he knew that…so what does he do? He frames it up in her language…knowing. He provides evidence, outside sources and intimate examples. It’s interesting to me that he says “in love”, and I just noticed that this time around. I know there is some debate on whether Brennan really understood what he was offering, on account of the fact that he never said, “I’m in love with you.” But I think, when he says “in love”, “it’s always the guy who knew,” and “I knew”, well, that’s clear to me. He’s talking about love, and she knows.

She says his evidence is anecdotal. Booth reiterates that it’s not just past experience. “Bones, I’m that guy. I know.”

It’s not that all those years (years!) ago, he knew, but has slowly been swayed differently. He knows. Right at that moment, he’s in love with her, and he wants to be with her. He knows he’s the guy for her. I love this, because Booth, who tries so hard in his life to do the right thing, is kind of going out on a limb and taking a chance. For all of Brennan’s hesitance to step outside of her comfort zone, Booth is the same way. With Cam, things were pretty easy for him relationship wise. Sure, he loved Rebecca, but it was his sense of honor and duty that led him to propose when she became pregnant with Parker.

This confession of love, it’s not duty or honor. It’s just Booth. One man and one woman. It’s not a partner thing, as he dismissed before that. And can I just say again how awesome that was? Once and for all he just told the truth. Not, “we’re just partners” or whatever… but the truth, that their partnership and work for the FBI is no reason not to be together. Brennan doesn’t refute that part of his argument, which proves to me that she knows that’s true also.

And she says she can’t change. She’s not a gambler; she can’t change; she doesn’t know how.

And right there…Booth is stuck in a conundrum he can’t solve. How do you argue a rational person’s irrationalities? She’s not seeing the truth, but she doesn’t see it that way, and there’s nothing he can do about it. His pre-established arguments…his evidence if you will, kissing her, providing her with the facts of his knowledge, expressing his desire…none of that worked. He has no choice but to accept what she’s saying.

This look from him, I don’t know how to describe it. Defeat? Resolution? Confirmation that what he knew (he wasn’t good enough) was true (in his mind)? Whatever he’s feeling, Brennan senses it. “Please don’t look so sad,” she begs.

This kills me. There’s a flaw in her reasoning, as she might say. She doesn’t have an open heart?

Why is she crying? Why isn’t she saying she doesn’t care about him? Why is she in tune to his emotions and expressions?

But again…what is Booth supposed to do? I wonder if he sort of knows that if she could love anyone, it would be him.

I know there is more to this episode, but I think this is a good place to call it quits. Once Booth pulls back and they talk about continuing to work together and Booth talks about moving on…that’s sort of a different scene, and I don’t want to talk about that right now.

What do you think? What did I miss?

Peace, Love & Bones,



19 thoughts on “Scene Study: The Parts in the Sum of the Whole-Hear Me Out

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Scene Study: The Parts in the Sum of the Whole-Hear Me Out « Bones Theory --

  2. I think you’ve pretty much nailed most of the things I’ve thought about in respect to that scene. Sweets annoys me because he was wrong on every possible level to push Booth the way he did (professional psychologist, my a–…oh, never mind) but that doesn’t make it his fault because this would have happened sometime, regardless. If Booth had waited another five years before saying anything and gone on just as they were, this would still have been the outcome. In my opinion, the only thing that can change things for them, get them to their ‘eventually’ is pretty much what we’re seeing this season. And in that respect, what Sweets did works out for the eventual good because it led to this, which will lead to the changes necessary for them to be together some day.

    And yes, Brennan absolutely understood he was telling her he loved her. I get a wee bit annoyed with people who bash him for not having said ‘ILY’ and think if he’d said those magic words they’d be married by now. He referenced couples who’ve been in love and even if she’d not understood at the very beginning of the conversation, I think that clearly told her what he was talking about, what he was feeling.

    As for Brennan who doesn’t think she has an open heart, but yet can cry for him, for his pain? *face palm* I love her so much there, because of that contradiction she can’t see. But I think she will soon – in fact, I think we’ve actually had examples this season that she loves him more than Hannah, and I think part of the point of some of what we’ve seen is that she’ll begin to realize that, that she is capable of loving him the way she thinks he deserves.

  3. Oh, this episode.
    Whenever I am going through an re-watching episodes, I skip this one. This last scene jsut kills me and I can’t bring myself to watch it. When I do, finally, build up the courage to sit through it and pay attention, I find myself doing “going for a different outcome.” I watch, holding my breath or scraming at the TV, hoping that this will be the time something changes.
    I love this Scene Study because of the sheer fact that I disagree with you, and you have provided me with another look at this [evil…evil…I mean what?] scene. Where you are proud of Booth for taking that chance and kissing her, etc. I was dissapointed. He knew what he was doing. He knows he better than anyone and he knows what she is capable of and what she’s not: he knew he was pushing her. He had to have know, right?
    My other problem with the scene directly contradicts my previous one, but that’s ok. After taking the first step and pushing her, Brennan says she “can’t change.” she “doesn’t know how.” And then what does Booth do? He gives up…He says “yeah. Ok” and let’s Brennan walk away. For as much as I was angry that he pushed her, I was angry that he gave up that easily.

    I’m sure this doesn’t sound like I enjoyed the post, but I did! It gave me a new perspective on a scene I have skipped over many a time. =]

    • I would have liked to have seen more fight from Booth myself, but I still don’t think it would have changed the outcome. If Brennan wasn’t ready, she just wasn’t ready. Obviously, she has some misconceptions about what Booth wants/needs and she stated a lot of misconceptions about herself, and unless she comes to realize where she went wrong in her thinking, why would she change her mind? Even if Booth refuted her (which he should have) she would have to believe that for herself. But him not refuting her and actually saying “You’re right” just reinforced her flawed way of thinking, and I bet (not a lot of money) he has no idea of that. I just want to know what exactly was he telling she was right about – everything? Aargh! I love ’em, but they are killing me with their lack of communication on this matter.

  4. I really enjoyed this post and I see what you’re saying. But these two – they just kill me. I just want to shake them and get them to see. When I rewatch this episode, I usually skip the ending. I love the episode but this ending makes me all upset again. It’s just all a mess. *Sigh*

    But great post as always! 🙂

    • lol. I always watch their first kiss and the ending if nothing else. Not that I’m a sucker for torture. But I think the acting is brilliant and I’m so impressed with emotions they portray. DB really portrayed a man who wanted his girl desperately but got his heart crushed in the end by her rejection. I think it was Sarah who said that it was ironic that Brennan, a woman who did not (does not?) believe in love, is precisely what kept Booth believing in love for himself.

  5. Oh Seels, you have nailed it again! I love your take on this and agree 100%.
    When Brennan turned him down he was crushed so badly, and his face spoke volumes. I think Booth looks positively ill in that scene, (but that may have been DB rather than Booth.)
    Anyway, anoither great analysis.

  6. So tears are filling my eyes while I’m reading this…it brought back all of the sadness that I felt on first viewing along with the sadness about what B&B have become post 100. 😦 There was so much hope and promise in the moment right before Brennan pushed Booth away. Just so much potential for everything that had been building for the last 5 years. And then it all came crashing down. You hit the nail right on the head though…they both knew this was coming someday. It wasn’t going to be avoided and they both thought about their arguments (whether they realized it or not). I always thought Brennan was trying to listen to Booth, but not really hearing or comprehending. Her world was turned upside down and she retreated to her shell. Saying that she’s not good enough. And it killed me…she is neither more or less than he deserves and he is not better or worse than her. They are equals and each is EXACTLY what the other needs because they belong together. You said it perfectly when you asked why if she doesn’t have an open heart is she crying and reading his expressions so well. Brennan needs to have SO much more faith in herself and the fact that she can’t find it is heartcrushing.

    And I couldn’t believe when she said she was going to hurt him he didn’t fight back…didn’t tell her that she was more than enough for him the way she was…that was the moment I realized he wasn’t listening either. He didn’t understand why she was rejecting him. He just heard no and shut down. And that hurt as much as Brennan thinking she wasn’t good enough. The fact that he’s always been the listener, the heart person and he’s so hurt he can’t really understand or listen to WHY she’s saying no. To me both of them not being able to listen tells me that their personal problems, their scars are much less healed than we thought they were. Their doubts and fears are very much at the surface at this moment…doubts that we thought were beginning to be erased.

  7. OK just reading this broke my heart all over again…of course it keeps getting crushed over and over this season. I want to say that things could have been different but realistically have to acknowledge that with the way they were headed things couldn’t change without something major happening. I am hoping that what we’re seeing this season will get them to where we want them to be. Each able to acknowledge that they are IT for each other. Each willing to accept that they are truly good enough for the other and despite all their differences and all the reasons they shouldn’t work that they are truly the only one who could truly fulfill the other.

    So if the ending of the 100th and everything we’re seeing now can bring about that it will truly have been worth it. If not my heart won’t be able to take it.

  8. I love this scene study, and agree with most of what you said…but here’s my take on what went down…

    They’d just been in Sweets’ office, talking about Sweets’ book, their first case, how they met, yadda, yadda. Booth was kind of “in the moment”…thinking about all this, and his gambling instinct took over (thanks to Sweets who planted the seed in the first place). The whole scene was spur of the moment and irrationally dealt with on both sides. I don’t think Booth planned it at all. He went with his “gut” and decided that he had to lay it all on the table, because it was eating away at him…inside. As it had been all season. He needed her to know that he was THAT guy. He also felt safer saying “I think we should give this a chance” instead of “I love you” – thinking it wouldn’t scare her as much as an all-out declaration of love. He’s really just “opening the gate” to see if there is any possibility of her feeling the same way about him, because, at this point, he really doesn’t know where he stands with her. But in a “now or never” move, he has to find out. He NEEDS to know.

    Brennan made it pretty clear that she had no intention of “trying” to change. She just flat out says she “can’t.” She even pushes Booth away. So…I understand why he gives up. He realizes – now – that maybe he did rush her, and nothing else he says will change the outcome tonight. He knows her. This is the way she is. Now he has his answer. She only wants to work with him…and he says that’s ok. He can do that. Booth wants to keep that hope alive that she will, eventually, come to realize he’s the one…and this is what keeps him working with her. He hasn’t given up. Not yet. That came later…and is a whole other subject for a post!

  9. I have always throught this was a stunning scene… in its simplicity and beauty. I think Sweets, as more ‘family’ than professional, has had the opportunity to be part of this relationship more than most all the other characters. It’s fitting, to me, that it was he that drove the point home for Booth that “you’re the gambler”. It wasn’t like the tension hadn’t been mounting and mounting… the moments coming and slipping away with more frequency… the unspoken acceptance/love/intimacy growing deeper and deeper. And then it bubbled over, in this beautiful confession and stunning honesty, desperation to move forward. Everything shared in that moment was understood by them both. They may not have agreed, as with so many things before, but it not for lack of knowing, understanding. Fear and insecurity was still between them (and from what I’ve seen from S6, it’s being dealt with, masterfully, so Brennan can observe and come to a rational conclusion of her own- That she IS the one for Booth).

  10. It was more of a ‘now or never move’ for me, but I love what you conclude Booth must contend with in the end… he cannot win her over with words or ‘evidence’. It will have to be discovered, from within Brennan, that she shares her life with Booth more than anyone else in the whole world and the acceptance and love she receives from him is something she cannot live without.

    And she doesn’t want to.

  11. Hi! I’m a “late bloomer” when it comes to Bones because I started watching the series just three weeks ago (been wanting to watch this years ago but I don’t know why I didn’t) and my God, I am so, so addicted to it! I’m currently on the first five episodes of Season 5 and I’m seriously into this Bones and Booth love story. I can’t stop thinking about it. LOL!

    I don’t know what to feel by the time I reach episode 16 where this whole confession thing will happen. I saw clips and got heartbroken for Booth. That scene when they were walking and Brennan puts her head on Booth’s shoulder after they talked, it broke my heart. It’s really painful to know that you both “love” each other but for some reasons, you can’t be together.

    But I know they will be together in the end. 🙂

  12. I can’t join in the appreciation of this episode and this scene, except perhaps for the acting. The look on DB’s face can tear your heart out.

    I will never understand why Booth didn’t argue with her about the openness of her heart, ability to change, etc., etc. Or, rather, I will never agree with the analysis that says he had to give up at that point. Or, rather, why HH and company decided that.

    Ultimately that is what so upsets me about all this: the insistence that somehow this was inevitable. Nothing was inevitable. Everything flows from a decision that says they can’t get together yet. Then HH et al. concluded that the only way to do that was this way. I will never accept either premise. The first premise to me is a failure of courage or creativity. Given the so-calleld Moonlighting Curse (which they claim not to believe) what would be a bigger risk/bigger variation from the expected than to bring the couple together earlier rather than later. Don’t build to such a frenzy that the bringing them together can’t be topped. So, I have a fundamental problem with that premise. Show how good your writers really are. Put ’em together AND keep it interesting. Let me note: I don’t mean that they had to fall into bed right or head to the altar then and there. Just that they should know that they love each other and are going to try to get there, rather than ripping them apart and destroying all hope. Figuring out how to be together could take these two many years.

    I do not accept that ripping them apart and sending them to the ends of the earth and adding Hannah was the only way to do this. To me this isn’t creative: this is simply following the typical soap opera story line. I’d like to add how certain spoilers only reinforce that, but I understand the rules of this place.

    Frankly, I have been literally sick since the 100th episode, and expect that after this week, I will cease watching Bones entirely. This is breaking my heart, but it’s just a stupid TV show and when a TV show makes you sick, it’s time to stop. If (I’ll come back to that in a moment) and when this storyline turns around, I may come back. The “if”: I have no faith anymore that they will get together. HH and company have spent so much time teasing us and misleading us that I don’t believe them anymore when they say that he intends to get them together. And, even if he does, he’s said he won’t do it until the very end. I’m already sick and exhausted. Every time any other show has dragged things out like this, I have lost my passion for the show and not cared when they did finally get together. What’s even sadder about this is that, of all the couples cited as examples, not one had actors with as much chemistry (on and off screen) as David and Emily. BTW, I am always surprised at some of the examples, because they are couples that I never saw as having any chemistry at all.

    This is supposed to be entertaining, not depressing and enervating. That’s all it does to me now: depresses me and makes me want to crawl into bed.

    So, you can say all you want about how wonderful the 100th ep was and how amazing that scene was. To me it will always be only one thing: the beginning of the end. There has been nothing good since then and I see no evidence that anything any good is coming any time soon. In fact, I think things are going to get much worse, even more upsetting, for the rest of this season. Since they will likely get renewed for at least one more season, I expect that nothing positive will happen until at least this season’s finale and even that will undoubtedly be a cliff hanger and ambiguous. Should they not get renewed, I don’t see how they write themselves out of this to get them together by the end of this season without betraying the characters of both Brennan and Booth. Meaning, if they don’t get renewed, Bones ends very, very, very badly.

    I hope I am wrong, but I have lost faith, as I think i noted in response to your recent post on how one is keeping one’s faith. I started losing my faith with the 100th ep and that scene and have seen nothing in the last 15 or so episodes to change that. In fact, the last 15 episodes have drained any remaining faith that I had away.

    Sorry, the acting may have been brilliant, but I will never find anything else that’s good about this episode and this scene. It will always be what ruined Bones for me.

    • I’m thinking that maybe, when they see fans reacting negatively, they’ll eventually give in and give us what we’ve been wanting for. It may not be Bones and Booth as a couple but they’ll get rid of Hannah. I’d rather see them both loveless than see them with other people. Same thing happened to Chuck, the producers eventually gave in to the “demands” of the fans.

      I have to agree with you here: “This is supposed to be entertaining, not depressing and enervating. That’s all it does to me now: depresses me and makes me want to crawl into bed.”

      I don’t know if I’ll be able to watch this episode.

      I take all the emotions with me to work and it’s kind of distracting.

  13. Painful as it was, the events of the 100th had to happen for any forward movement to occur between these two. While it was obvious that Booth was ready, willing and able to have a real relationship with Brennan since the beginning of the 5th season, Brennan was too comfortable with her surrogate relationship with him to risk anything more. He put everything on the line, fully realizing that if things didn’t go his way their ability to be comfortable with each other, possibly even to remain partners, would never be the same.

    Knowing all this, he still needed more; you can’t love someone that much for so long without any desire to get closer to them. So he gambled because the need to be with her as more than a friend became too overwhelming. That he accepted her rejection so quickly is definitely not out of character for him-it’s pure Booth (and I don’t think acceptance was the same as giving up). We know he has a very low opinion of himself, no doubt stemming form his dad’s abuse and abandonment. Other relationships in his life have also failed because the people were not willing to go to the next level with him: Rebecca, Tessa, even Cam before she came to the Jeffersonian. Brennan saying no just reaffirms the pattern for him-all he sees is what he expected regardless of what she actually said: he is not good enough.

    He also knows Brennan and how fiercely she protects herself from being hurt-he saw Sully risk it all and lose. Brennan could not change for him, nor did she change her mind about him. Because Booth respects her and her ability to make decisions, he accepts her answer, but I don’t think he gave up, not judging by how besotted he remained with her up to the finale. Look at him when they were dancing, when he burned the paper bones for her, when he holds her hand and asks her to think about things before doing something drastic in Boy with the Answer. You can see he still has hope, even as she continues to date Hacker. It was her leaving that finally did him in. Look at Booth’s face when she meets him in the park to tell him she’s thinking of leaving; look at him when he says he thought she had already decided: that was the moment when he gave up. That, coupled with not hearing from her for seven months. At this point, he would have been justified in thinking she might never return; he couldn’t have known that she used this time to ponder a deeper relationship with him.

    I still don’t quite think she has been ready for him up to now (we’ll see after Thursday), and had they gone back to their comfort-zone partnership as it was before the 100th, my guess is her answer to a relationship with him would have still been no at the beginning of this season. Seeing what she might have had, seeing him in the role as lover (even if not with her) and not just friend and partner is the only way the carefully constructed protection system she built around her heart was going to give way to the point where she might be willing to take a risk, to become the gambler. Seeing him that way and seeing what feelings it has provoked in her has been a shock for her but I believe the only way for Brennan’s character to change in a fundamental way. So awkward and definitely painful, but no rejection, no leaving, no Hannah=no change, not a believable one in my opinion, at least.

    • Wow. That was said much better than I would have ever said it. I don’t think that Brennan was the only one who wanted to keep their partnership, and they didn’t keep working together just because she asked. Booth did have a hard time letting go – their partnership means a lot to him too. Now, I think that they are both disillusioned about love. After having radically different views on the subject, it’s ironic that they are on the same page about it now. Sadly, it’s the page that starts off with “Love is an idiot.”

  14. Maria, I agree with you. Good job.

  15. Seels,

    I think this entire episode is close to perfect. I LOVE this scene – not because of the outcome, but because of how perfect it was. They both were exactly how they had to be there – it was written beautifully, and acted incredibly.

    Thanks for so lovingly highlighting it.

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