Good morning, friends!
I have something interesting today, and that is two posts from me. In one day, can you believe it?
My second post is going to be about Brennan, but this first post is a response to a blog I read yesterday by a BONES blogger named Joshua Gray. Here’s a link to his twitter account, if you’re interested in following him. He seems very rational and nice, which is good!
Here is also a link to his article. I recommend reading it before you continue on this blog post. I also recommend that you comment there and show your support!
Now…I do not often comment on non-BT blog posts unless I am crediting someone for an idea that is not mine, but in this case, I felt I wanted to respond. I told Josh I would be doing that, and he said okay. Josh, if you are reading this, thank you for that!
To be fair to Josh, I am pulling a large chunk of his article to post here. I want to make sure I don’t leave out anything he has said in my attempt to prove my points. I am not going to post Josh’s entire article here…you should read it and decide for yourself, but I am going to pull lines from it and explain why I agree and do not agree with him.
Josh references how B&B are similar to Mulder and Scully. Outside of Booth’s reference to them in the Pilot, I really know nothing about them, and so I can’t really comment on that part. He does mention that…
“On Bones, Agent Booth is more like Scully (the down-to-earth one) and Dr. Brennan is a little more “out there” (like Mulder). Although, her unique nature is not fueled by a passionate, unrestrained quest to prove the existence of aliens, but rather by the fact that she is so incredibly brilliant that it’s nearly impossible for her to socialize with other people in a normal fashion. I mean, Mulder was a bit nuts, but at the end of the day he was a human being who interacted with other humans in a pretty normal way (when he wasn’t raving about aliens, that is). Dr. Brennan doesn’t really have an “off” switch.”
I find this intriguing, because my immediate reaction is to disagree, but when I try to come up with proof to prove my reaction…I come up slightly short. I do believe that Brennan can relax…in her way. Yet, I wonder if she is ever not making observations. I believe this part of her is innate and is not necessarily tied to her job as an anthropologist. She is just plain curious. She can function in social settings. That very sentence both proves and disproves my point, though, somehow. Does that make sense? She can act appropriately in public and does so many times, and also in the privacy of her own home (or in Booth’s apartment, for example). But is that an ‘act’? Not in a fake way…but just a deliberate action on her part?
Something to consider.
Josh goes on to describe how…
“Agent Booth’s tendency to trust his gut and Dr. Brennan’s more nuanced, logical approach to situations has made them more well-rounded investigators and it’s easy to see how the admiration developed between the two of them could leave them (and the audience) wanting more. But let’s be honest, these differences can be reconciled at the workplace, but how in the world would they ever work as a real couple? Can you imagine their different approaches to raising children? Their conflicting viewpoints on matters of family, faith, and emotions would make a functional home centered around the two of them a near-impossibility.
Look, I get it. We’ve all been watching this show for several years now and there have been so many sweet, poignant moments between Booth and Brennan and it’s only natural for us to yearn for the day that these two beloved TV characters finally seal the deal—but Booth’s latest distraction has been around since the fall and I (and perhaps I’m not alone) actually think she’s a far better fit.
Agent Booth certainly has a type. Like Dr. Brennan, Hannah (Katheryn Winnick) is smart, driven, tenacious and outspoken and while she’s a bit too mounted on springs for my taste, given Booth’s track record, I get it. The thing about Hannah that makes her a better fit is that her hard-nosed, blunt personality is balanced by a softer side of human emotions that Bones just doesn’t possess. Sure, the show has kind of gone overboard making Hannah somewhat of a saint (from forming this special bond with Dr. Brennan to making her way into Parker’s good graces with one conversation), but let’s push that aside for now.
Agent Booth is a sentimental guy and, try as she might, Dr. Brennan can never be that for him. This isn’t one of those differences that simply frustrates someone in a relationship. Booth and Brennan are different in a way that makes two people miserable over time, leading to the realization that, despite their attraction, they could not be more wrong for each other.
I do agree that ‘on paper’, Hannah is a better fit for Booth. She also, and I also say ‘on paper to the nth degree’ is sort of a Brennan 2.0 with some relationships skills. How this is being played out, literally on the screen, is not so convincing to me, but this is not the place for an illuminating argument of that sort. I also agree that Booth has a type, and Brennan is not necessarily it, in the Tessa, Rebecca, Hannah sort of way.
There is one part of this, however, that I must not agree with. I do believe that Brennan can be sentimental, toward Booth and others.
And I also believe that Booth can see this.
He understands that when she invites him to Christmas dinner because his own family “shunted’ him that it’s (in his words) “a sweet invitation” (Goop on the Girl).
He understands that what is important to him ( to name a few: Parker, Pops, even Hannah) should be important to her. Thus…the key to the pool, the admiration for grilled cheese sandwiches and the rotary phone. The result of these actions on Brennan’s part is an impressed and thankful Booth, in the form of saying she is “awesome” (Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), that she is “the best” (Foot in the Foreclosure), and in the form of following her to his door and telling her he’ll see her the next day (Maggots in the Meathead).
Like in Bond in the Boot, when Sweets convinces her to have Booth show her how to fix his pipes, she may question his reasoning for sentimentality on something or someone, but usually she will either find meaning in it as well, or come to terms with the thing, for the sole purpose that it is important to Booth. Three things come to mind: Religion, The Law, Love.
For example, in S2: Aliens in a Spaceship, she tells him she’s okay with Booth thanking God for saving her and Hodgins. Likewise in season one, when Booth tells her that in order for him to have her working on cases with him outside the lab, he has to know she will respect the law, she replies, “Tell you what. If I can’t respect the law, I can at least respect you.” And thirdly, regarding love, while she does protest the most about this, I feel she is looking for him to prove her wrong in some ways. Because when it comes down to it, she accepts his view of love…(I don’t have your kind of open heart, she tells him)…she just doesn’t see that she can have that.
Can Brennan be sentimental? She may never ever really get the words right; that’s totally possible. And yet…
And yet, it still seems to work with them for the most part. When, at the end of Double Death in the Dearly Departed, they have the following conversation:
Booth: When I inevitably drop dead before you. I’d like you come out and spend some time and talk to me every once in a while.
Brennan: I’ll feel foolish knowing you can’t hear me.
Brennan: …I promise.
Booth: Hey, there you go. Huh? You agreed. I didn’t think you would agree. Now, why did you agree?
Brennan: I believe that if I pretended you were still here. I would feel better for a moment. Also speaking to you would require me to figuratively look at myself through your eyes, again temporarily. And I think that would make me live my life more successfully.
Booth: You know what Bones? That’s the best thing that anyone has ever said about me.
Either Booth is lying or he’s telling the truth. And I believe he’s telling the truth. What matters to him matters to her. I also believe that what we have seen between Booth and Hannah is an almost textbook romance where both of them have done/said the same things or the right things. The success of this relationship (including domestic things such as agreeing on dinner, toothbrushes, etc, etc) gives the appearance that all of this matters to Booth. I’m not saying it doesn’t. When I watched parts of Couple in the Cave the other day, I saw genuine happiness on Booth’s face at the ability to stroll through the FBI building with his arm around his girlfriend’s waist. I believe Booth wants that in his life; a relationship with a woman where he shares every day things. A lot of us want that, so there is no shame in Booth wanting that. But I also believe, given the chance (from herself, I’d say)…Brennan has the capability of that. Not only that…she also has the ability to provide Booth with the everyday…and more. What is that? We’ll get to that right now.
Josh ends his argument with this:
In last season’s 100th episode, Agent Booth spilled his heart to Bones in what was likely the most heartfelt, emotionally-driven scene of the entire series. Despite being moved to tears by the gesture, Dr. Brennan told him that it just wouldn’t work between them and that was that. Until, of course, we fast-forward into the future and Booth is happy with another woman and Bones is suddenly realizing that she made a big mistake.
Look, part of me wants to just let her suffer because she was dumb to reject Booth in the first place, but after thinking about it I realized that despite their feelings for one another, turning him down was the best thing she could have done. Bones is one of a kind but beneath her overly-scientific exterior, there is a woman who actually wants to learn how to use her heart. Agent Booth has been a great factor in helping her evolve into a more balanced person in that respect, but her personality type will always be diametrically opposed to his—to the point that a long-lasting, happy relationship between them is little more than a pipe dream.
However, this is the world of TV and they will, of course, get together and live happily ever after. But that doesn’t change the fact that the whole thing is ridiculous. It’s really not a big deal on TV, but these romantic notions of two people being swept into a whirlwind and overcoming insurmountable differences (completely different emotional make-ups, differing beliefs in God, conflicting priorities) and finding true life-lasting love is kind of misleading. It’s just a TV show so who really cares….but Hollywood’s depiction of love based on infatuation and attraction seems to affecting our culture far more than it should be.
Remember guys, when the FBI agent and the forensic anthropologist with almost nothing in common find love while standing over a corpse, it’s not a sign that you should get married on a whim to that person in your life that you think is really hot and awesome but believes, thinks and lives in a way entirely different from you.
Josh, you are right. You are right in many, many ways. So many times, fiction gives a false sense of relationship success, whether it’s the idea that a boy who insults and tugs on the hair of a pretty girl secretly likes her. Maybe that boy is just a jerk! There are many examples of this sort of thing. And your argument is very good here; I don’t know if the whole thing I ridiculous…but yes, I see your point; it’s not completely realistic. Yet, I think you are forgetting one thing. Or I should say…you’ve mentioned it, but perhaps in the wrong context. There is one thing that binds Booth and Brennan in a way that no one else will ever share…and it is one of the things, if not the one thing…that will help them in their (very fictional) future. No…it’s not love, my new friend. It’s not fate. It’s not even the fact that they both have messy pasts and have that in common and that more than any other person…the other gets this. The thing that will bind Booth and Brennan together is…
Death is the reason many of their previous relationships have failed (in my opinion). They both understand and have understood pretty much from the beginning, the relationship the other has with death. It’s not really talked about on the show much, because …frankly, it’s not that attractive, I guess! But I think it’s the truth. It’s sort of a harsh redemption they both are involved in…and they can’t quite escape it. Sure, they could go on being just partners and probably be okay. But I think each one will continue to find hardship in forming other bonds with anyone else (including Booth with Hannah) because of that death issue.
I’m not saying that because of this Booth and Brennan are sort of ‘doomed’ to be with one another, as sort of a ‘messed-up, I guess we’ll settle for one another’ kind of way. I’m just saying that they’ve “stood over death” together and “faced death down” together…in several ways. That will be the glue, and all the other stuff will work out…
As ridiculous as it seems.
Peace, Love & Bones