Bones Theory

Booth: Protecting At All Costs?



Cullen: So, you guaranteed a squint a field role in an active murder investigation?
Booth: Yes sir.
Cullen: The one that wrote the book?
Booth: Yes sir.
Cullen: I thought you said she wouldn’t work with you anymore.
Booth: Well, the last case we worked she provided a description of the murder weapon and the murderer, but I didn’t give her much credence.
Cullen: Why not?
Booth: Because she did it by looking at the victim’s autopsy x-rays.
Cullen: Well, I wouldn’t have given it much credence either.
Booth: Turns out she was right on both. Plus the pond victim,  Brennan gives me the victim’s age, sex, and favorite sport.
Cullen: Huh, which is?
Booth: Tennis.
Cullen: She’s good.
Booth: No, she’s amazing. If the only way I can get her back on my side is to bring her out in the field, I’m willing.
Cullen: Fine. She’s on you. Take a squint out in the field, she’s your responsibility.
Booth: Yes sir.


And maybe that was that.

Sometimes I wonder if protecting Brennan is Booth’s first priority. It would seem like that would be the kind of thing that would be in his nature, and that the more he finds himself caring for her and about her (romantically), the more he finds himself also nearly obsessing about protecting her…at all costs.

This includes from himself or any sort of pain. Remember during Brennan Week when we discussed how the moments we see as Brennan moving forward in her awareness of her affection for Booth are really moments in which she’s reminded of everything she thinks about Booth and what he deserves? Perhaps the same is true for Booth. Perhaps in those moments where we think it’s clear that he’s falling more in love with her…

Okay…well first of all, I guess it can be both. He can be falling more in love with her, but also feeling like he has to protect her all the more. For every inch of vulnerability she shows, he rises up. Not out of love, but out of a need to protect her.

Does this make sense? I guess to me, I’m wondering if I’ve been interpreting Booth incorrectly since I began watching the show. I was looking at Booth from a standpoint of a man who wants to love, and perhaps that is still true, but I think sometimes I forget that in his nature, he must protect.

Even from himself, though in this way, he’s not thinking clearly. I think this is what convinces me the most, though. When Booth senses Brennan’s desire or affection for him, he has to make a choice. Does he respond emotionally as well, or does he protect her, from what he considers to be his unworthiness? Maybe, like with Brennan, the moments we feel like are forward movement, he also sees as slips?


Does Brennan know this? Is that what she means when she tells him that she doesn’t need protecting, but that he needs protecting from her?

What do you think? Talk to me!

Peace, Love & Bones


Oh, and PS…Happy Bones Day!


4 thoughts on “Booth: Protecting At All Costs?

  1. You make a very fair point, something I had thought of myself but always considered letting the story tell me whether that was it or just my idea that wouldn’t be followed.

    However, the fact remains that Booth so far has acknowledged those points and sort of acted on them. Now you bring me back to question whether he has really acknowledged and acted on those two things, his feelings and his instinct, or if there might probably be still more to look for in the union of them. What if he has only acted on one at a time but not on both at the same time? What if, when protecting Brennan, he has let his deeper personal feelings aside and when expressing them, he forgot about his first instinct of protection towards her? Maybe I’m just missing something essential here and this is stupid. Perhaps he has done both at the same time.

    On the other hand, his relationship to Hannah makes me think he actually hasn’t acted on everything he’s got with Brennan. To me, it looks like he’s keeping some reactions apart from each other in the end, or at least the real depth of those reactions are kept in different levels of his subconscious. It feels like he’s actually keeping some things away in order to preserve the friend and partnership she has with Bones. Those are things he isn’t afraid of with Hannah, so in that relationship she doesn’t use the filter. Does that make any sense to you?

    This is a new thought brought by your post so it’s very lacking still. Maybe someone can elaborate better than I can (if they can understand what I’m trying to say). So thank you for your post. I like having new ideas brought out.

  2. I think sometimes we simplify Booth–he is a complex guy. Yes, he is the White Knight, the protector, the big brother, the soldier, the father, the partner. And as Brennan’s partner he protects her from danger and gang leaders and even a boyfriend or two.

    But when it comes to Brennan, his friend and the love of his life–he protects or tries to protect her heart.

    But for me, what booth is doing this season is protecting himself and his own fragile heart. that is why we see him somewhat distant from Brennan. Why we see him surround himself with hannah a woman who clearly loves him and makes him happy.

    So when Booth tells Brennan he is with someone, a woman he loves–he is doing a couple of things. He is being Booth the noble gentleman who doesn’t cheat. He is protecting Hannah because she doesn’t deserve to be hurt and he is still protecting himself from Brennan.

    Yes he saved his partners life on that rainy street. But he sent Sweets to protect her heart and he offered to have someone be with her–not him. For now, he is her friend and her partner but he isn’t Brennan’s Booth, he is not the protector of her heart.

  3. Just throwing this out there. Booth’s confession set this whole thing in motion, and it seemed like he couldn’t hold in his feelings anymore. But sometimes I wonder, if he was never in that coma, how long would he have been keeping the status quo with Brennan? I know Brennan didn’t want to change anything, but what about Booth? If he wanted things to change, it didn’t seem like he was doing anything about it, either. A lot of people say he waited on Brennan for all those years and I can’t say that I agree with that statement. He waited, sure, but I don’t include their rocky start, just partners, or just friends stages. If anything, he may have waited unconsciously. I posted this thought under this thread because I wonder how much of his holding his feelings back actually had to do with protecting her versus some of his own issues.

  4. *Be warned – really long post*

    I think one thing we forget is that Brennan is a very strong woman in all ways. Yes, she is vulnerable but she has coping mechanisms in place that have stood the test of time. Booth is not as strong emotionally as Brennan. Angela and the others always tell people who don’t know Brennan well that they can tell her off and she will be ok – she can take it. She gives as much as she gets. That is the Brennan we saw in the Pilot.
    Booth on the other hand has been the one ‘pining’ for Brennan pre the Pilot. He called several times and tried to get hold of her etc. Zack was just a wonderful assistant and would not let him through.
    Brennan knows who she is and knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that what Booth needs is someone that will love him totally and allow him be the protector that he loves being. Brennan is not like that. She is a strong willed person that will fight you every step of the way. She will just not ‘lie down and think about England’ but will question everything. It’s not really easy if Booth is not so inclined to get into lengthy discussions and there will be lots of friction and hurt from wrong things being said. It’s the nature of the beast – I should know 🙂
    Booth concedes a lot which makes the times he actually wins spectatcular and these are just on work issues or general conversation. Fast forward it to belief systems and matters of the heart where both of them are in it together. It’s a different ball game. Booth will get hurt on a daily basis and Brennan, not that she does not care, she sees the facts and stays with the facts no matter what anyone else says. No one wants to get hurt and no matter how much you love someone, you will protect yourself and stay true to yourself because what the other person loves about you is the fact that you are different from everyone else. If Booth wants a doormat gf, he can find one easily BUT the strong, stubborn streak in Brennan is what draws him to her. If she believes she is in the right, there is nothing that will sway her.
    Booth has sort of come to the belief that because they work things out on a professional level, it will be the same on a personal level. WRONG! Brennan can concede things on the legal side of things but she won’t on the scientific side. She is learning how the law works, of course she will defer to the person who knows it best unless she wants to go study law too.
    Brennan was protecting Booth. Booth is the external, physical protector of all those around him and they let him. When it comes to the matters of his heart, there is no one to protect him. Their surrogate relationship has helped to a point but Brennan knows that unless she is ready to commit to the forever that she knows Booth wants, she will hurt him and badly too and it will be worse than their pre-pilot encounter. She will actually destroy him completely for all women-folk.
    Her conversation with Angela in tBitE about being afraid for Booth and needing to go away to figure what their partnership really means smacks greatly of someone who has fallen in love and wants to think things through. In tBwtA, Brennan realised she was in love with Booth. She always loved him as a friend and work partner but I think she realised she was in love with him then which is why she was so upset. Hodgins was in her dream too but she never said anything about being scared not to be able to save him, she said she was scared she may not be able to save Booth next time. Facing Taffet and realising how close she was to losing Booth was the catalyst for her and she just could not keep it together anymore. Survival instincts kicked in – exit to Maluku. Booth is not privy to the conversation with Angela so he just takes it as she is abandonning their partnership. Booth’s heart is crushed. He could not even look at her – he had to compose himself to look at her. When she said no to his advances, they had no problem looking each other in the eye because although Booth was hurt, he understood. Running off to Maluku, it just tore at his heart. He is very sensitive and Brennan knows which was why she insisted on making sure he was ok with her going off. To Booth it was like she was also rejecting his physical protection which is the one thing he was sure and confident of. Brennan wasn’t . She just needed to think things through in a neutral environment and to assure herself that she was not losing her core self in Booth’s world.

    Enough said.

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