Temperance Brennan is a strong woman. Most of us can agree on that. She has no trouble speaking her mind (“I will speak my mind, Booth. I will speak my mind”: Priest in the Churchyard, Season Two)
AND she can stick up for herself. In short, she does not NEED anyone to look after her.
On other side of our B&B equation, we have Booth. Booth cares a great deal about those close to him. He is a protector.
But it is undeniable that he…hovers. To some extent, he does so to the point of being stifling.
Whenever I watch the D-Day episode (100th…yeah, I said it), I find myself yelling at the screen, “Don’t do it, Booth. NO! Booth! Don’t do it!” But, of course, he does. He opens his mouth, and he says, “Well, then let’s go for a different outcome here, alright? Let’s just-hear me out, alright? You know when you talk to older couples who, you know, have been in love for 30 or 40 or 50 years, alright, it’s always the guy who says ‘I knew’. I knew. Right from the beginning.”
But his evidence…it’s anecdotal. He’s doing the same thing he’s done to Jared their whole lives. He gives one option, an options that should seem like the only option. He wants to take care of them so badly that he wants to make the decision for them.
He tells her that he wants to give them a try. But…he doesn’t give her a choice. He doesn’t even ask her anything. He only tells her.
Now…let’s flashback to three years earlier. Bodies are popping up, being killed exactly like in Brennan’s book. She’s scared, and Sully comes in to take her to lunch. And he says,
“When you can’t stop thinking about someone when they’re not around…that’s not a fling. When you remember their touch just like they were still right next to you? That’s not a fling. If you need to be alone with this, fine-but we both know what we have.”
And with that, Sully turns and walks out of her office, leaving Brennan to think about it. He lets her choose. Booth doesn’t.
And Booth never really did. Sully let her stand up for herself. Booth tends to step in and stick up for her.
In Girl in the Gator, Sully ASKS her if she would like him to buy her a piece of pie. Booth (according to Pain in the Heart) has been begging her to try a piece of pie for years.
Booth is a great man; I’m not trying to say that he isn’t. I just think that maybe, just maybe, he’s not the best option for Brennan. Because he doesn’t give her an option. Thoughts on this?
Booth: I’m the gambler. I believe in giving this a chance. Look, I wanna give this a shot.
Brennan: You mean us? No…the FBI won’t let us work together as a couple—
Booth: Don’t do that. That is no reason why we can’t.
Brennan: No. No.
Booth: Why? Why?
Brennan: You-you thought you were protecting me, but you’re the one who needs protecting.
Booth: Protecting? From what?
Brennan: From me! I-I don’t have your kind of open heart.
Booth: Just give it a chance…that’s all I’m asking…
Brennan: No, you said it yourself; the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.
Booth: Well, then let’s go for a different outcome here, alright? Let’s just-
And then…that’s where we sort of started. So, Booth…doesn’t really give her a choice. Or is it that by that point, were they both unable to give each other a choice? It’s interesting that Sully did. He gave Brennan a choice, an option.
Sully: So I’m gonna tell you something, and I want you to think about it awhile before you answer.
Sully: Well, you say okay, but it takes you microseconds to think things through. So this time I’d appreciate if you, ah, took a breath ‘cause-it’s big.
Brennan: What is it?
Sully: I’m headed south, in the boat to the Caribbean.
Sully: When this case is done.
Brennan: You quit the FBI?
Sully: No. No, not yet. I’ll take a couple of months to get used to the boat. Ya know, really check it out and then I’ll start running charters-probably for the Turks and Cacaos which is—
Brennan: You’re…you’re really talking a lot.
Sully: I know. And I haven’t even gotten to the main part. Which is, um, I really, really want you to come with me.
Brennan: You do.
Sully: I do.
And Booth, when she turned him down, simply lets her go.
“Alright. Okay. You’re right. You’re right.”
But Sully, he goes down fighting. He leaves her something to think about.
Sully: Everyone except you. But you’re not gonna go, are you? (Brennan shakes her head no)
Why, Brennan? Sailing around warm oceans with someone who loves you? Please. Tell me what is holding you here. Look. I don’t…I don’t want to sound conceited, but, um…I think I’m worth the risk.
Brennan: You are. You definitely are.
Sully: Alright, well, you’re the logical one. What’s your thinking?
Brennan: Rationally thinking, I want to go. And I know I should go, but…I can’t.
Sully: What you’re doing; it’s important. But it’s not important enough to be your whole life.
Sure, there’s something to be said for the fact that we only saw Sully in four episodes. And his gamble doesn’t feel as personal because maybe we don’t feel as much hurt FOR him after Brennan’s rejection. But maybe four episodes IS enough time to know enough about him to know that he saw something in Brennan that just made sense. Or maybe he had, no matter what happens on the basketball court, enough confidence in himself to know what he had to offer, and to know what Brennan could handle. Like I said before, Booth is a good man, so maybe the “Booth vs. Sully” title is a little bit misleading. I just think that when we look at both of these guys, it seems clear that Sully understood something about Brennan that Booth either doesn’t or forgot. And what about this bit of advice from Booth to Sully? “Listen. Don’t let her bully you into leaving, man. Alright?”
Does it seem like he didn’t exactly follow it himself? Or was he just too close to the situation to do anything but back away?
Thoughts from you? Do you agree that Brennan doesn’t need a man? If that’s true, then what might she need from a man? Can they both be true? Let’s discuss!