Hey there Bones friends! It’s Christmas week here at Bones Theory which means we get to spend some quality time with steamboats:
vascular tissue on Booth’s cocky belt buckle:
and hallucinogenic anti-fungal cocktails:
Have I mentioned how excited I am? (Moment of honesty: these pictures are completely gratuitous and have absolutely nothing to do with today’s post).
Okay, okay, I’m moving on now. Today we’re going to talk about our favorite Bones Christmas episode quotes. I chose to focus on words with this post, rather than individual moments or even entire scenes, because I wanted to see what would happen when I forced myself to make a decision about what I liked based primarily on what I heard (the meaning of the words, the emotion with which they’re said, and even the body language and facial expressions used to communicate intent) rather than what I could see (physical attractiveness and great chemistry). Of course since you can’t talk when you’re kissing (at least not effectively) and Booth reciting his saints, while quite funny, didn’t make my top ten, we won’t be discussing any actual kissing or nearly naked Booth scenes today – hence the need for gratuitous pictures. But enough from me, it’s time to let the words do the talking. Here are my top ten Bones Christmas episode quotes:
Snappy One-Liners (1-4)
“Friends don’t let friends photocopy their butts at company Christmas parties.” (Angela, The Man in the Fallout Shelter)
A large part of the reason I chose this quote (okay, most of the quotes actually) is simply because it’s funny. Bones does humor quite well. It’s one of the things I really love about the show because I like to laugh. But there’s something more here than just humor. At its heart, Angela’s seemingly flip comment is indicative of how much she truly cares about Brennan as a friend and that’s what cemented its spot in my top ten.
Throughout much of the first half of season one, we see Angela consistently trying to coax Brennan out of the lab and into society which is exactly what she’s attempting here. It’s her last ditch effort to convince Brennan to attend the dreaded office Christmas party, and she does it by appealing, in a humorous way, to Brennan’s innate desire to help others. She might well have succeeded if Booth hadn’t walked in just then with a fifty-year old skeleton. Angela uses the same tactic, this time successfully, in The Pain in the Heart when she convinces Brennan to attend Booth’s funeral because she doesn’t think she can handle it alone.
“A Yuletide gathering of the Brennan criminal element.” (Caroline Julian, The Santa in the Slush)
I love Caroline Julian. She tells it how it is with just the right amount of dry humor and sarcasm. That is all.
“I’m not used to having evidence that talks so it’s a little disconcerting. I’ll just get back to work.” (Daisy, The Goop on the Girl)
Oh Daisy. No matter how much people dislike her, you have to feel just a tiny bit sorry for her here, right? When Booth (clad in nothing but his boxers and striped socks) asks the victim how she’s doing, Daisy misunderstands and gives him a quick rundown of the evidence she’s collected so far, ending with a perky, “Thank you for asking, especially given the difficult morning you’ve had.” When Brennan points out that Booth was actually talking to the victim, Daisy is understandably embarrassed and apologetic.
“Christmas has its roots in the pagan festival of Saturnalia which is traditionally celebrated by intoxication, naked singing, and the consumption of human-shaped biscuits.” (Brennan, The Goop on the Girl)
How is this for a classic Brennan response? I’ll admit, it’s her reference to “human-shaped biscuits” (the pagan version of gingerbread men, perhaps?) that has me rolling on the floor every time I watch this scene.
Conversations That Make You Go Hmmmm… (5-7)
Brennan: Kiss Booth?
Caroline: That’s right Cherie.
Caroline: Because it will amuse me.
Caroline: Because you’re all ‘Dr. Brennan and Special Agent Seeley Booth’ and it’s Christmas and I have a puckish side that will not be denied. (The Santa in the Slush)
I’m sorry to say that this is the closest we’re going to get to Booth and Brennan’s famous mistletoe kiss. I seriously considered adding Brennan and Caroline’s post-kiss commentary – you know, the whole flotilla of steamboats and all – to the list, but I just had to pick this exchange instead. Caroline has a puckish side? I never would have guessed! And how awesome is it that you can hear the quotation marks in her voice (‘Dr. Brennan and Special Agent Seeley Booth’)? Brennan is understandably flabbergasted at Caroline’s outlandish request, but methinks the lady does not protest much…
Brennan: I should warn you, he’s, he’s very hard to resist.
Booth: Thanks Bones.
Brennan: Sure. (The Goop on the Girl)
I love this exchange. Brennan warns Owen Thiel, the pirate radio guy Booth has just tackled, not to resist arrest because Booth is, “very hard to resist.” Seriously, how could there not be a double meaning in that statement? Especially considering the way Brennan jumps to Booth’s defense in my next quote:
Brennan: Uh…That’s my partner. He’s FBI.
Margaret: His eyes are too small to be really handsome.
Brennan: Well I have to admit, I find him pleasing to look at. (The Goop on the Girl)
You go Brennan! Way to show your appreciation for Booth.
Sweet and Sour (8-9)
Booth: Christmas is the perfect time to re-examine your standing with…you know.
Brennan: A helicopter pilot?
Booth: Oh…Right. Right. You can’t measure the man upstairs in a beaker so He can’t possibly exist.
Brennan: The man upstairs?
Booth: You know…you don’t know if you’re sick but you’re more than willing to take drugs just in case. It seems to me you could give the man upstairs the same benefit of the doubt that you do an invisible fungus. (The Man in the Fallout Shelter)
Okay, so this conversation is the sour half of my sweet and sour combination mostly because Booth and Brennan aren’t really being very nice to each other. Brennan is being a Scrooge about Christmas; Booth doesn’t understand why yet; and they’re both giving each other a hard time about it. But what I really like about this scene, and this is why I chose it, is what it represents: the relative balance the Bones writers have managed to achieve between science and faith. Sure, Brennan mocks Booth’s faith on a regular basis, especially in earlier seasons, but this is one area where Booth just doesn’t back down, regardless of how much science or logic Brennan might throw at him in an attempt to prove him wrong (“Jesus is not a Zombie!”). He believes there are some things science just can’t explain and I love that about him.
Booth: I know what happened. You told her about careful Lionel. You showed her the letters. The tickets. She cried. But you made her happy.
Brennan: Not to mention I gave her a penny worth over a hundred thousand dollars.
Booth: She won’t care about that today. You just gave somebody the best Christmas gift they could ever get. Who’s the Secret Santa now? (The Man in the Fallout Shelter)
Could this conversation be any sweeter? Even without the sugar in the eggnog they’re drinking, Booth knocks this one out of the park. He knows the gift Brennan gave Ivey Gillespie and her granddaughter and he knows what part of that gift mattered most (hint: it wasn’t the penny). And most importantly, Brennan knows that Booth knows why finding Ivey and telling her the truth about what happened to careful Lionel mattered so very much.
Super-Serious Monologue (10)
“A man died this week. By all accounts, he was a good man. Loved his mother. Worked hard. Shouldered his responsibilities. He’s a man that any one of us would be proud to call friend. I killed him. With this microphone. I killed him by going on these airwaves and sharing my rage with you. Spreading my rage. Now you, you can say that it, it wasn’t my fault. It was a coincidence. I’ve thought about that. I’ve thought about it a lot. But the fact is. The fact is if it weren’t for me, he might still be alive. I’m so sorry for that. And I remembered something that I forgot over the last few years. That God is not only a God of anger and vengeance. Now my religious beliefs tell me that Christ did not die in vain. That He died to redeem us all. And I intend to show that this good, simple man also did not die in vain. That he redeemed one angry, shouting man. So these are the last words I will ever broadcast. And I hope they’re the words you remember best. Peace on earth.” (Owen Thiel, The Goop on the Girl)
If the science is the brain of Bones; then moments like this are its heart. These are the moments that define the show. The moments that break our hearts just as surely as they give us hope. As Owl said, “Bones would not be Bones if it did not…make [us] think, really think, about why [our] faith is challenged and [our] heart is crushed.” (“Proceed Rationally, Correct? Measuring BONES Episodes With Set Criteria.” 12/2/2010).
And this quote is certainly heart crushing. Although it isn’t so much a quote as it’s a monologue. An apology. A formerly angry man’s heartfelt attempt to make things right. Perhaps, as Booth harshly tells him earlier in the episode, Owen Thiel’s remorse isn’t enough. Perhaps it’s impossible to make things right. A man is dead after all. And yet I can’t help but think that, like the Phoenix, we can see the barest glimmer of hope rising from the ashes. Redemption is possible. And in the end, that’s all that matters.
So which of these quotes puts you in the Christmas spirit? Did I miss any of your favorites? How does your perspective change when you focus on what you hear rather than the things you can see? I love hearing your thoughts, so please share them in the comments.