Bones Theory

Scene Study: The Secret in the Soil-There’s a line…that doesn’t even need to be there.



Here’s the thing; this scene is so ripe with greatness; I really could have chosen so many lines for the title. “You wouldn’t even have coffee with me?” for one, and “Are you always this protective of him, Dr. Brennan?” for another.  How about “Cause…you’re 12” or even just “Voltron”. But in the end, one of my favorite things ever is when Brennan brings up the infamous line, then quickly brushes it aside. It’s indeed a great scene.

Here’s a little history to get us started.

Booth and Brennan are assigned an FBI-standard issued shrink in the form of Dr. Lance Sweets. The episode begins with him attempting to get them to participate in some sort of feel-goodery or another.

Neither Booth nor Brennan are amused, as you can imagine. Sweets wants them to lean in, nice and close, and Booth refuses. Brennan encourages him that it’s just a useless exercise to determine trust or something. Booth says they agreed to see another therapist, not be action figures for a 12 year old. Meanwhile, their fingers keep brushing against one another’s, all subtle and frictiony!

Sweets is 22, he asserts, and he insists that their therapy isn’t a game. I love this look Brennan is giving Booth, when he’s all annoyed. I really believe she loves it when he’s annoyed, just like I do!

Also, you’ll notice Booth and Brennan are sitting in separate chairs. Sweets tells them that the FBI is considering severing their partnership. Brennan is shocked and Booth sits up right away. Actually, he sort of uncoils and tenses at the same time in a subtle and controlled rage and asks, “Why?” Can’t you just imagine that Booth spends nearly a quarter of his time making damn sure that she will ALWAYS be his partner? We don’t ever see it, but Booth DOES have to account for her and the J-team, so I’d imagine that he’s pretty fierce about that. To have Sweets, on behalf of the FBI, just toss that out there…yeah, Booth would be mad.

Sweets insists that Booth arresting Max (remember that in season two? It feels like ages ago. And doesn’t it feel strange that THAT was the sort of thing that stood between B&B? I mean…that’s like cupcakes compared to nowadays. Jeez Louise) would put strain on the partnership, and it’s his job to determine if Brennan’s services should be assigned to another agent, and Booth, in one of my all time favorite Booth lines says, “That’s not going to happen.”

Okay, okay, moving on!

Sweets gives them homework, and it’s fun to see how B&B react to that. Brennan takes it very seriously, while Booth sort of tries to cheat off of hers. She gets defensive, and Booth gives us another all time mystery when he later asks her…

“What’d you put for number seven, because I put 12-15 times a day, and now I’m thinking I really misunderstood the question.”

Seeley Booth lives wide. That is all.

As the episode progresses, B&B solve a case involving the death of a man, an organic farmer, and a woman who worked for him, not close in age. The case brings them into contact with the victim’s family (his wife and daughter, and her friend) and the man’s enemies. It also introduces B&B to Noel, a stalker of the woman. Very good times.

Also good is when Angela rides along with Booth and Brennan to the FBI building to question Noel. B&B are bickering about ‘the truth’. Booth says, “Whose side are you on, and don’t say the facts, because that just annoys me.” Brennan replies and Angela asks them, “Is it always like this when you two are together?”

Booth says no at the same time Brennan says yes. Angela says “It’s kinda hot.” Yes, Angela. It is.

In other news, Booth is 35 years old, and he doesn’t need a blue pill for that.

Keeping the conversation up, let’s continue to move on!

Booth and Brennan have a closing session with Sweets. And it’s clear within the first millisecond that they have closed ranks and are revealing nothing, mainly in the way Sweets’ eyes move back and forth between the two of them. He’s looking to see which one of them will crack first.

But what he is about to learn is that they are both incredibly private, and that the only thing that can get them fired up is when the other one is pressured.

He doesn’t know that yet, and he just asks, “So…case finished?”

“Yes,” Brennan replies.

Sweets congratulates them, and when Booth just says “yeah,” Sweets calls him on it.

“You don’t seem too happy,” he adds.

And Booth reveals a lot (to me, at least,) when he says, “Well, because sometimes if you win, you end up with somebody else’s pain and screwed up life.” He adds, “You work for the FBI; you should know that.” Interesante!

But Sweets doesn’t know Booth like we know Booth, so he continues to push, and he tries to go in for an emotional kill and says, “It must be a challenge for you to access those feelings.” 

To which Brennan, our favorite girl Brennan, the woman who earlier in the episode pretty much did tell Booth his penis was going to shrink if he didn’t eat organic food…her heart rises up and she gets fierce. Don’t believe me? Well, you should. She says, “Okay, stop. You don’t know Booth. You don’t know me. You have a limited view of us based on superficial data you’ve accumulated on a standardized questionnaire, and a subjective analysis from talking to us that is not at all scientific so…

Meanwhile, Booth is looking at her, and you know that her protective vibe and her rushed sciency words just get him all riled up, right? Seriously, there are three people in that room, and two of them just fell a bit deeper into love with her.

Is Sweets in love with Brennan? Ah, that’s another post for another day, but in this scene, he sees his opening. Who cracked first? Not Agent Booth, as he’d suspected, but Dr. Brennan. So Booth speaks up, not to defend himself, you’ll notice, but just to get his partner to quit wasting her time on Sweets, who “probably the worst thing that has happened to him is that he lost at Mortal Kombat.”

This look on his face always intrigues me, as it’s sort of him looking to see what her reaction is. Is she believing what she’s saying? Did she really just stand up for him like that? Is she really even saying ANYTHING to Sweets? Can’t you just imagine them agreeing ahead of time to just keep a tight lid on it (“A lid on what, Booth? I didn’t bring any sort of objects that might in fact need lids.” “Uh, Bones…it’s an expression. It means, we’ll keep our lips zipped.” “But–” “It’s just…look, Bones, it means we won’t say anything, okay? We’ll just go in there, as a team, okay? We’re partners, that’s what we do. And we won’t say anything.” “Okay, got it. We’ll keep a zipper on it.” “Uh…yeah, great. This is going to be just…great.”  Hahahahaha.)

Sweets ignores Booth, and asks Brennan, “Are you normally this protective of him, Dr. Brennan?”


Brennan answers fairly truthfully, “We are partners. Our lives depend on being protective of each other.”

Booth’s face during that entire sentence is just perfectly priceless. Sweets asks him, “And you feel the same way, Agent Booth?” And Booth replies with a great line. The kind of line that inspired pal Lauren to write an amazing fic series. The kind of line that inspires Sweets to devote his life to following B&B around. He says, “Sweets, I can only hope that one day, you know what a real partnership is.”

And my question to you, friends, is this. What is Booth talking about there? What would HE consider a ‘real’ partnership? Because, I gotta say, in that moment, there’s no bull crap. He’s being completely serious. Don’t you agree? It’s not a ploy or an attempt to distract Sweets.

Sweets calms down a bit and just talks to them. He says, “You two are very close. That was evident in your ‘superficial standardized questionnaire and my unscientific observations’.” How cute is he, tossing Brennan’s insult back at her? Good times.

Booth says, “Yeah?”

And Sweets smiles and nods, “You complement each other.”

Booth scoffs. “No. She never compliments me.” He then asks Brennan if she in fact did compliment him in the questionnaire.

“Complement,” Brennan quietly corrects him. “…He means that we complete each other.” She sputters a bit, and adds, “As a team.”

And Booth gets this look on his face like, “Crap. I did not just keep a lid on it.”

So not only has he revealed that he doesn’t know the difference between compliment and complement, he has also revealed that Brennan never compliments him, and that he’s noticed. Ah!

But Sweets doesn’t call him on that; he just says that they have a lot to work on over the next months. B&B are surprised.

“Meaning…we get to stay together?” Brennan asks. Aw, so sweet!

“Yesssss…” Sweets concedes, and Booth gives a little side note.

“I’m sensing a but,”

“However,” Sweets continues…

And, “Same as a but,” Brennan interjects

Sweets continues as if neither one of them has ever spoken, stating, “I’ve observed some underlying issues that need to be addressed.”

“Issues,” Booth scoffs, and Sweets smiles.

“Yes, there’s obviously a very deep emotional connection between you two.” And he loves them! Woo!

Do I even need to tell you what Booth says in reply? Doesn’t his face say it all? Okay, well, just the mouth part of the face says, “We’re just partners.” Ah, fascinating, right? So what happened between “I hope you know what a real partnership is,” and this moment to sort of downgrade? Or is that just my perception of it? Thoughts from you? Is he telling the truth, or is he the most beautiful liar?

Kudos to Sweets for sticking in there, though, and staying right with him. “And why do you think I would have thought otherwise?”

“Cause…you’re 12,” Booth snarks back, and we love him.

At this point, Brennan decides it’s probably a good idea to zip something, and she speaks up. Notice her arm literally crossing over Booth in an innate protection mode, as if she can prevent him from saying anything further. She says, “Don’t read into anything that Booth said. We’re professionals. There’s a line…that doesn’t even need to be there.”

“Not at all,” Booth adds.

Later on in the season, B&B will trick a suspect into revealing too much information, Booth will say something like, “You walked right into that one,” and Brennan will say “No changees,” and Booth will add, “Nooooo takebacks,” and that’s what I always want to say to them in this moment. Seriously, though, isn’t “There’s a line…that doesn’t even need to be there” one of the most revealing lines on the show, ever? To me, it is. For one thing, when Booth did draw the line (Man in the Cell) , Brennan did completely understand. That’s one of those moments that grows increasingly clearer in light of the 100th episode. And another day, in another post (these scene studies always seem to lend themselves to other posts!), we can talk about ALL of the lines that have been drawn between them, in one form or another, but I think in this scene, we’re specifically talking about what Booth said to Brennan on that park bench.

And then…ah, you guys! AH!

“I mean,” Booth continues,”If there were no more murders, I would probably not even see her.”

“That’s very true,” Brennan adds, and Sweets has no idea what is about to happen. He’s just jotting down notes like, “Find out what kind of hair gel Agent Booth uses.” or something like that.

Meanwhile, we’re all unable to quite pull in complete breaths.

“We might have coffee,” Booth suggests, so casually, so sure.”

“Probably not,” Brennan shrugs.

“What?” Booth asks. I love the reaction on Brennan’s face. She knows enough to know that somehow, he’s genuinely surprised by what she said. What she considered to be a logical reply, for some reason, his voice has gotten soft and shocked, and she isn’t quite sure what that means. And if it’s what she THINKS it means, then doesn’t that go WAY beyond keeping a lid on it? That sort of thing, right?

“What?” she asks.

And in that moment, Sweets is super wicked curious, as he might say. He senses the shift in the mood, and I’m guessing it’s something he hasn’t really experienced in all of his 22 years.

It’s more than just professional interest, though there is plenty of that as well. Remember, Sweets works for the FBI. Okay, duh, not that you forgot or anything, but…it’s possible he’s heard rumors of these two. I think the session at the beginning of the episode is their first session ever, but what do you think happened when Sweets was handed their file? Did he lose a bet? Is the FBI testing him? Is he really the best? Did the FBI say, “Look, they are the best, find a way to make sure that doesn’t change.” or maybe he’s in the break room and he casually mentions that he’s going to be working with Agent Booth and Dr. Brennan. Surely, other agents gossip about them behind Booth’s back, don’t you think? I just feel like in that moment, and in a moment coming up, Sweets sort of feels like he’s hit the jackpot. Sort of an “Oh, wow…everything I’ve heard about them is actually TRUE!” I don’t see him as an imprinted duck quite yet, but he’s fascinated, that is for sure. Heck, I could hardly breathe, and I knew the history. I mean, we all sort of KNEW that Booth was hooked on her, and I’ll agree with Rynogeny when she says that the moment Booth saw Brennan kissing Sully was a turning point. Yes, at one time, he stuck a gun in a gang member’s mouth, yes, he needed flashier ties, yes, there’s more than one kind of family but to me, this moment was honest to goodness admission, right? Am I the only one who thinks so?

“You wouldn’t even have coffee with me?”

How about this in correlation to him assuring Sweets that they have a ‘real partnership’, yeah? It just knocks the wind out of him, out of me, out of anyone, I’d think! His voice is so soft, but there is this underlying urgency and uncertainty that just kills me every single time.

“Well, in your scenario,” Brennan begins. “…we wouldn’t even know each other because there are no murders.”

Were,” Booth quickly clarifies. “I said no more murders.”

“Fine,” Brennan agrees. “We could have coffee.”

Yep, pretty much! I mean, do you think when they cast for the part of Sweets that they just brought people in, had them sit across from ED and DB while they read their lines and watched to see who was just caught up in it like this? What Sweets is feeling in that moment…I was feeling the exact same thing, the first time I watched this episode.

Brennan speaks again, “So that’s clear then…” And Booth gets this look on his face that is clear to US that well…it’s not clear at all.

Or maybe it is clear. It’s clear that he’s imagining blue eyed squinty babies and loving her forever, and he thinks she’s imagining meeting once a month at the diner. To him, coffee means waking up next to her with coffee, having it late at night together after a long case, right? Yeah, I’d be feeling slightly gobsmacked myself, Booth! (Extra Credit Essay Assignment: What does ‘coffee’ mean in the B&B relationship? Explain!)

And when she continues, “We’d have coffee. And that’s our relationship? Coffee”

He says, “Yeah…let’s move on.”

Those eyes!

And in that moment, I trusted Sweets, because of his reaction.

He blew it later on in the season finale, in my opinion, but at that moment, he was solid.

And this is one of my all time favorite looks of Brennan’s…

I can’t tell what she’s thinking. I think she knows that somehow, something changed in Booth. I don’t know if she thinks she upset him in some way, or if she knows exactly what was happening, and she’s already in “you need protecting from me” mode or what. Thoughts from you on that? Either way, she’s still drawn to him and curious about him.

And then it’s back to ‘put a lid on it’ as they are pretty much done saying much of anything, I’d imagine.

Check out their body language, how even though they aren’t speaking or sitting super close to one another, nor looking at one another any longer…they are still sort of…leaning toward the other, right?

And wouldn’t you know it, the next time we see them at a Sweets session (Boy in the Time Capsule), the chairs are gone.

The couch is in.

And props.


Peace, Love & Bones,



24 thoughts on “Scene Study: The Secret in the Soil-There’s a line…that doesn’t even need to be there.

  1. OMG I LOVE THIS POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Sorry….a little over excited. It’s just this scene is one of all my time faves (i mean, it’s got LOADS of undercurrents between B&B…everything they say means something different PLUS we get our first Sweetness goodness. RESULT!)

    Now….to answer your question (s)…i haven’t the foggiest idea.

    Booth’s idea of a real partnership? I really don’t know…i DO know that between then (S3) and now (S6) i would say that definition has changed. What he saw as a real partnership then isn’t how he sees a real partership now…unfortunately i can’t quite figure out how he saw it then OR now but i am hoping someone else answers this so i can read there answers (hehehe…kinda like Booth and cheating off Brennan! LOL).

    And as for the ‘What is coffee’ in terms of B&Bs relationship….that is a question i’m not sure i’ll ever be able to answer. 1. I don’t think THEY know what coffee means to them on more than the superficial leverl and 2. I’m just too thick to be able to figure it out myself! LOL

    Awesome post Sarah…these just keep getting better and better 😀

  2. This is fascinating, and an awesome scene study…and I think you may have completely wrecked one of my points in the last TP post I’m working on! LOL. Hmm…

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  4. Great post, Seels! The meaning of “coffee” really intrigues me … Don’t Brennan and Angela refer to going out for coffee and it’s symbolism the first time Bren goes on a date with Hacker? I’m trying to remember if it’s used in reference to any of her other dates. Well, now I know what I’ll be thinking about all day. 🙂

  5. On the look on Sweets face at the end of that scene? Yep, I’m with you it was great. My thoughts the first time I saw that was he is the audience. At least I really think I had a very similar look on my face at the same time. So it seemed at that he was in same way there to represent all of the audience…at least those of us captivated by the B&B relationship. That is until the finale; there not so much.

    About the coffee; that their relationship if there were no more murders being coffee and wondering what Brennan thought that meant? It just brings to mind later after the 100th and she’s telling Booth that Hacker has asked her out for coffee. She says at first she thougt coffee was code for sex, but that Angela had told her coffee was just coffee. Intresting? I thought so anyway. When watching that I couldn’t help wondering if she had thought coffee was code for sex way back in this season 2 scene!

    As for Brennan’s line about the line that doesn’t even need to be there. I’ve always really wondered what she actually meant there. On the surface it sounds like she’s saying there is a line, but that even without it there would be nothing between them but the partnership. What occurrs to me though is that the line has really preyed on her mind since Booth brought it up; that, it is something she keeps reminding herself of. When she says it doesn’t even need to be there she is reassuring Booth that she’s not threatening the line, not bothered by the line, andd that she agrees there cannot be a more personal realtionship between them. Even if it’s not what she really feels.

    See I’ve thought that the line was still firmly fixed in her mind until the 100th, and that she’d never allowed herself to think of any more with Booth because there was that line, so when Booth said let’s go for it this was something that really did shake her to her core because it just threw the very foundation of what she’s thought their relationship had to be for the past 3+ years.

    Did any of that make sense?

  6. So I have a theory that I’d like to run by the Bones community. Do you remember when Gordon Gordon told Sweets that either Booth or Brennan was acutely aware of the sexual tension between them? And everyone thinks its either Booth or both? Well, I don’t think it is. I think Booth is aware that he has feelings for her, but, as we see in Season 5, he doesn’t believe she love him back. What if, in this episode, that face that Brennan made that Sarah (Seels) said she didn’t know what it meant, what if it was Brennan realizing that he had feelings that she reciprocated. I mean, that is why she left Sully, to stay with Booth. And she brought up the line as to prove that she had not feelings (me thinks the lady doth protest too much). Maybe she realized that perhaps he liked her too. She does seem more aware and capable of reading Booth than any other character on the show. So what if it’s really her who was aware of the tension between them? What if that’s why she was so quick to say no to Booth in the 100th episode – because she’d had years to process it.

  7. These post really are wonderful to read through every day. 🙂 Thought provoking questions that make me want to go back to school again. 🙂 Yes,I one of the few who misses homework assignments! LOL
    So when you offered the “Extra Credit essay assignment”,I’m jumping on that bandwagon. 😀

    This scene is one of my favorites because it could have easily gone on for several more minutes. It still felt condensed and perfectly done by all 3 actors. 🙂

  8. At this point in season 3, partnership to Booth extends beyond the work environment. It means not only being protective of each other while in the field but also taking an interest in each other’s lives outside of work. By this episode, Booth has been a positive influence on Brennan, getting her to be open to the concept of family, looking into her mother’s file and reconciling with her dad and brother.

    When Sweets talks about the deep emotional connection and Booth repeats the “just partners” line, I think he just wants Sweets off his back. It seems like Booth realizes that he and Brennan have revealed too much and doesn’t want to talk about it, maybe he’s unprepared to or doesn’t want Sweets present.

    The coffee thing is very interesting in light of the season 5 “what is coffee code for?” discussion. Towards the end, it seems like Booth just wants to get out of there and is thinking exit strategy, while Brennan is thinking about the anthropological significance of sharing coffee with her partner outside of the context of work. Like Brennan, I’m still trying to figure it out.

    There is so much going on in this scene so thanks for the insightful breakdown. It was great to read and think about!

  9. I too believe that Brennan is the one that has to fight with her demons about what it is to be a partner with Booth. I think when she says that “there is a line and it doesn’t even need to be there”, it is probably Brennan saying that she is protecting Booth and she won’t do anything to jeopardize her partnership with him. At this point in her life, she didn’t have very many people that she can count on so she values her partnership with Booth very highly. She is very protective of Booth and doesn’t care for Sweets attacking him because she feels Sweets doesn’t know anything about either of them or how they think or feel. He is an outsider trying to use a soft science that Brennans considers to be suspect. Brennan has heard Booth say over and over “we’re just partners”. He has not made any overtures to her. He has shown a close friendship, something she values because she doesn’t have a lot of friends. Because she doesn’t know what Booth really thinks about her (does he love her? like her?) she has suppressed any intimate feelings she may have for him. We know that their first encounter turned out pretty badly and it took a year before they started working with each other. During the next couple of years, their friendship grew and became valuable to Brennan. She would probably do anything to make sure that they remain partners and that means protecting Booth from herself. She doesn’t feel that she can love someone with her whole being and at this point she doesn’t want to hurt Booth. I think the whole “you wouldn’t have coffee with me?” was surprising to her. She probably wasn’t sure what Booth meant so had to answer him in a way that didn’t make him think that she expected him to be anything but a partner. She knows how she feels; but, she is not very good at reading other people so can’t be sure what Booth thinks.

  10. This scene is a gem, especially how it extends into the rest of the episode because of the “standardized questionnaire.” I love how Brennan and Booth revert back to what we can only imagine would have been the grade-school versions of themselves – Brennan over-protective of her hard work and Booth using his charm to ask the smart, pretty girl about her answers. Love it!

    And yes, Angela, it is hot when they argue. Why else would Hannah be so bothered by it? 😉

    I agree with anyone who said it or alluded to it – Sweets represents the audience, or at least what the writers believe the audience is thinking/feeling. I’ve also thought that Sweets is to “Bones” (the series) what the chorus was to ancient Greek theatre. But now I really sound like a college English major (which I was not, btw), and I don’t think this is the time for that discussion.

    To me, the meaning behind the line that is there, but doesn’t even need to be there… Well, the line that’s there is the line drawn by the FBI – that if they had a romantic/physical relationship, the FBI wouldn’t let them work together. It doesn’t even need to be there because… well, this is just a theory, but I think that Brennan (she said it, so we have to approach it from her point of view) would not cross the line and take their partnership from a working relationship to a romantic one. She doesn’t trust that a romantic relationship would last, and if she and Booth had a romantic relationship, and it ended, she would lose Booth from her life forever. She can trust that their working relationship will last because she and Booth are both passionate about what they do together and good at it. This is just my theory as it applies to the B&B relationship at this point in their story. Obviously, things have changed since then and continue to change with each new episode. (Since then, Booth has talked about 30, 40, 50 years kind of love, and Brennan has, quite possibly, started to believe in it.)

    And last, but not least – the extra credit assignment. What does coffee mean in the B&B relationship? Coffee is the diner. Coffee is intimate. Coffee is Brennan kissing Booth’s hand. Coffee is Brennan building a bridge. Coffee is Booth explaining how making love can defy the laws of physics. Coffee is a place to meet one year from today. Coffee is not tequila. Tequila leads to kissing in the rain and nearly spending the night together. What if Booth had said, “We might have drinks.”? Brennan would have probably thought, “Oh, well with our professional partnership severed, Booth would want us to spend the night together.” But Booth suggested coffee, and although Brennan immediately shoots that down, Booth persists, and Brennan sees that their relationship means something more to him than she probably suspected.

    Disclaimer: I have only been watching “Bones” for about two years now, and I had to catch up on the earlier seasons very quickly. If my recollections are ever off, please let me know. Gently though, okay? Thanks!

  11. Like so many others, I really love this scene. Sweets is such a perfect “meta” character regarding Booth and Brennan. Sarah/seels has talked about how she can be frustrated with the times when Sweets is not “used” properly (that sounded kinda wrong . . .) and I sympathize with this view and agree that this is true of his technical role as a character, but of course he fulfills the literary role quite well. I like how @BonesDontMelt likened it to the Greek chorus. Very apropos. It is so true that he embodies our feelings as viewers as we see his observations of the situation that unfolds in that scene. I love it.

    I have seen some folks talk about how the “line” that Booth mentions at the end of “Man in the Cell” is a “throw away” line that we over-involved fans focus on entirely too much. However, when we see mention of this line come up again in this scene and in the 100th, I’m feeling that the “throw away” aspect, while possibly the case initially, changed and became an important one after all. Does Brennan verbalize that line because she is reassuring Booth or reassuring herself?

    As for the partnership, to have Booth say “Sweets, I can only hope that one day, you know what a real partnership is.” to me is Booth learning this concept himself. He never had a partner before and I think hearing Brennan’s defense might had been the final piece that helped him use that line with such conviction. I believe Booth, at this point, feels the impact of this true partnership, but I don’t think he meant anything more than the professional benefits, which in a police environment implies personal benefits as well.

    But, later, with the coffee? Yes, I think you are very right that Booth, aside from the partnership issues, is hooked.

    • I think she’s reassuring herself, because I don’t think she (or Booth, for that matter) knows of Booth’s feelings for her… but I’m almost positive that she realizes that she has some sort of feelings for Booth. She may not know what those feelings are or what they mean, but I believe that she knows that they’re there, hence her “line” line and quick “no” regarding coffee.

      Of course, I could simply be HOPING that those feelings were there… 🙂

  12. Coffee is when they meet outside of the Jeffersonian and the FBI. It is the middle ground in the relationship/partnership. They share food, work, life and friendship with coffee and food. Neither one is in control or outshining the other necessarily during their coffee or lunches together. It is where they are themselves and feel the least intimidated and appear the most relaxed. Coffee for Booth and Brennan is a chance to spend time together by choice and not simply because of work or duty. It is when they are just Seeley and Temperance.

    The line. The line is there because neither Booth nor Brennan are willing to give up what they currently have in their partnership/relationship. It is comfortable for them. They may have feelings towards each other but are unwilling to risk the bond they have as friends and partners for more. Neither of them are seeing enough of a attraction from the other to be willing to try or risk it. They need each other and aren’t willing to do anything to risk this.

    Partnerships are formed and established. In the line of law enforcement or high risk occupations there is a sense of loyalty and understanding that comes with these lines of work. Booth and Brennan know that they need to rely upon each other to ensure their safety and security while working. Partners share of themselves and come to rely upon a certainty that the other is there for each other, no matter what situation may arise while working. Booth and Brennan are partners, friends and family to each other. They would do what ever necessary to protect the other no matter what. Both Booth and Brennan would indeed die for each. Not at this point, but later on we see that Booth would take a bullet for her and she gets on a helicopter that lands on a ship that is seconds from being blown up to save him. They have bothed proved to each other through the seasons that they are true partners and have each others backs. They know what to expect from each other, what the other is capable of and there is a trust between them that makes them a team.

  13. I’d love to get all intelligent and analytical right now…but all I can come up with is:

    WOW! Booth is HOT. Seriously, unbelievably good looking. That jaw. Those eyes.

    I’ll return when I’ve cooled down and can say something which is coherent…

  14. You know, I may be the only person in the Bones fandom who thinks this, but I just don’t think that Booth’s “line” speech at the end of The Man in the Cell was as big a deal to Brennan as everyone seems to think. Booth sometimes gets blamed for confusing Brennan regarding his feelings for her – especially in relation to the events of the 100th episode (he said there was a line, he never said “I love you,” he gave her conflicting signals, etc.), and don’t all jump on me at once, but I just don’t see that.

    What Booth said at the end of The Man in the Cell about people who work together not being romantically involved was completely understandable considering the circumstances of that case and I don’t think anyone, Brennan included, would blame him for reacting the way he did in the moment. And I think Brennan’s advice to Angela in The Girl with the Curl about the anthropological inadvisability of indulging in workplace romances indicates that perhaps she had drawn a line of her own that had nothing to do with Booth’s line OR FBI regulations. If it had, then I think she would have repeated HIS words to Angela (as she did with Hodgins in the season 5 finale, “Booth says…”) instead of explaining it from an anthropological viewpoint (HER words). Plus, if anyone is guilty of giving conflicting signals, it was Brennan when she told Booth she wanted to have sex with him in the 100th episode and then promptly changed her mind (and no, I don’t buy the “tequila” excuse for a second).

    But all that is neither here nor there. Back to the scene study. The Secret in the Soil is one of my less favorite episodes for some reason, but this post was so awesome, I think I’m going to have to go re-watch it…

    • Maybe I misunderstood what you’re saying but I wanted to point out that The Girl with the Curl was before Booth drew the line, so Brennan wouldn’t have been able to quote Booth when talking to Angela. Now still yes Brennan was already saying people who work together shouldn’t become romantically involved before Booth ever drew that line. The thing was her reasoning was different…when things go wrong then it’s akward working together, vs. Booth’s because it causes you take risks your wouldn’t otherwise take and endangers both you and others.

      Not exact quotes there but what I seem to remember each of them was saying in those situations.

      • My bad, you’re right about the order of the episodes. But I still have issues with Booth being blamed for drawing that line – especially considering the context. In my opinion, they both had reasons for not wanting to pursue an office romance (a.k.a. the standard “dance around the issues” routine that’s normal in the early years of a television show) and to use that against one of them without holding the other to the same standard is just wrong in my opinion.

      • FYI – Here’s the conversation from The Girl with the Curl:

        Angela: Wait, you can’t pretend you didn’t hear about this.
        Cam: Fine. What did you tell him?
        Angela: No.
        Cam: Why?
        Brennan: Because, it would be a disaster.
        Angela: All of the sudden you have an opinion on this?
        Brennan: You should never indulge in a romantic relationship with someone you work with.
        Cam: Why not?
        Brennan: Anthropologically?
        Angela: There’s an anthropological answer?
        Brennan: An efficient workplace is predicated upon a simple hierarchy. Romance undermines that hierarchy.

  15. YAY SWEETS!!! I thought that his introduction into Bones was so great haha… This has to be one of my most favourite B&B scenes of all time (so many undercurrents, and just the fact that this is the beginning of partners therapy, a time during which the FBI actually makes them sit down and (bicker) discuss their feelings…. haha good times) okay and now to answer your questions…

    What does Booth consider to be a ‘real’ partnership? Okay this one, im a bit foggy on, but I’ll give it a shot anyway. I think that Booth believes that a real partnership involves being able to trust another person, knowing that the other person will always have your back. Sure the intensity of this idea grows through the seasons, but that is in its simplest form the Booth and Brennan partnership. I’d just like to add my own wonderings (word??) for a minute though. Do you think that Booth even knows what an “unreal” partnership is?? In the 100th flashback he says he doesn’t ‘partner up’, and he also seems like the kind of guy who just works better if he does everything on his own. Therefore, if he’s never had a partnership beforehand, then maybe he doesn’t actually realise how unusual and unique his partnership with Brennan actually is!!! And maybe he believes his defensive “We’re just partners.” It’s like when you fall in love for the first time or even have your first crush, you don’t know whether your in love or not, you don’t know what to do or what the social norm is in the way you behave, you just are who ever you are when your with them. If Brennan and Booth have never had partners before then how do they know that they are so unusual. They must think that you know, being in love with your partner is a bit weird, but other then that they dont really know. They only know that they are different because other people tell them so.

    Now when it comes to “what does coffee mean?” i have a little more idea. I think coffee is their safety net, it’s what they fall back on e.g. they promise to meet at the coffee cart at the end of s5 finale, and they are always out getting coffee. It’s sort of their home base. This always amuses me therefore. It’s a quote from Predator in the Pool.
    “Brennan: But I said ‘yes’ to coffee.
    Booth: Maybe that’s a code
    Brennan: uh, uh. Angela said that coffee isn’t a code for anything.”
    I always feel as if Booth is kind of hurt that she agrees to coffee with Hacker (i mean straight after he gets all defensive saying he too has a date.) I think he thinks she is creeping on to their “what goes on between us is ours” whole arrangement. Coffee really is theirs. Maybe the fact that she doesn’t see coffee as their code for anything stings him a little as well. But after this scene, he has reason.

    Btw, can’t wait for the “Sweets is in love with Brennan” post, because I have a great answer to that : P and want to hear what everyone else thinks. Thanks. 62

  16. For Booth, I’d agree with whoever said above that coffee is when they’re just themselves, together, and it’s not all about work, and with Sarah that he’s really imagining it leading to more than coffee. But I don’t think Brennan gets that – to her, I think she believes coffee would just be a superficial social interaction. I definitely interpreted her final reaction of “That’s what our relationship is? Coffee?” as being a little disappointed that he thinks that’s all they are, and her trying to figure out whether he means it. So yes, maybe years later, her still wondering if coffee could be code for something ties back to this conversation.

  17. Ah..and this is why we love Bones so much…at least I do…these moments between B&B and yes…even Sweets. There is so much here that I really can’t think coherently…but I loved everything you wrote. It was almost as good…almost…LOL…as when we see the actually footage. You took me along for the ride and I enjoyed it. I’m gonna have to think on this…….

  18. This makes for an interesting scene study. At the time, Booth doesn’t know or respect Sweets much and assumes his life experience is insufficient for him to be much help — losing in mortal combat being the worst experience is a far cry from Sweets’ actual life. I did like how B & B are trying to be secretive yet when the “coffee” discussion comes up they are interested/worried about the others’ point of view. I hadn’t connected it to the “what coffee is code for” discussion in the later ep.

    The line seems to be something different for Booth than it is for Brennan. Booth’s line is because he doesn’t want to jeopardize a case or lives (like Cam’s). Maybe at the time Brennan thought the line doesn’t need to be there because she can compartmentalize. Now I think they both recognize that the line is there because failure in the personal relationship would jeopardize the work one.

  19. Hello!!


    And that’s all I can say. Maybe I’ll come back later when I have something intelligent to say. Haha!

    Thanks! This just made my day!! 🙂

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