Bones Theory

The Burden in the Faith


I have unabashedly stated over and over that I have loved Season 6. You know, the whole “things had to change” thing. It’s all seems a bit cliché now, doesn’t it? However, I still stand by it. Choosing the route of a third party, romantic interest might not be my favorite route, but I appreciate the daring and necessary change. I remember when fans reacted so positively to Shallow in the Deep because it felt like the “old” BONES of the past. And though I enjoyed the episode, I also did not like it because of this. We have seen where those episodes take us with Booth and Brennan: nowhere.

This does not mean by any stretch of the imagination that it has been easy to watch this season. It has been downright painful at times. Bones friend Jena wrote the other day that she is tired of feeling sad about her show this season and that made me feel sad. Several of my Bones friends have expressed their weariness, apprehension, and sadness and I have joked about sending them my magic pills that allow them to view the show as I have been doing: with eager anticipation and confidence. Doctor in the Photo, while holding the potential to make me sad, actually gave me more confidence and anticipation. I’m the cheerleader, the calm, reassuring one. BONES friend Sophia called me the cucumber, cool and level-headed. How about this analogy? I am the Stephen Nathan as so many are the Hart Hanson. I am not highly excitable or easily agitated (although I can be enthusiastic like HH).

I went into the Body in the Bag with excitement and left it unimpressed and therefore a little disappointed, but still not ruffled. An important episode? Perhaps, but overall, to me it felt like an episode with no forward motion. I read through Seels MAQ: What EXACTLY Are Those Feelings, There, Booth? and thought about how though I still believe that Booth loves Brennan, I also agreed with Seels and understood his feelings for Hannah and how he has to change in how he interacts with Brennan. It was harder to see the love for Brennan in this episode and my stomach was in the same knots it has always been after each episode this season because as I said, this season is necessary, but not necessarily easy. I then proceeded to read through the comments (I think there were about 25 at the time) and halfway through them: I started to cry.

I am not an unemotional person, but I really don’t cry at such things very easily and it threw me for a loop that an episode that spurred this Morning After Question and the subsequent responses by all on this blog and by those that I follow on Twitter could overwhelm me like this. Because, here’s the thing:

Once upon a time I watched BONES without the full force of the fandom. I did the whole “come late to the show” thing, caught up through mid-season four with the DVDs, then watched faithfully online the day after current episodes. I started working from home during Season 5, and got in sneak peeks at the first scene or two during the day before exercising self-control and shutting it down until Friday evenings in order to watch it with my husband. So I was full-on wholly involved with this show all on my own. Then I joined the online community through this site and Twitter and WOW.

It is not that I want to turn back. I do not regret my decision to join this community. Apparently, though, fan reactions can shake me. Stephanie commented on the MAQ question:

“I’ll be honest and say that as optimistic as I try to be about B&B, I’m getting to the point where I just want to see SOMETHING that will give me hope. A look. A small slip. Anything. Hey, I’m human. I WANT to believe Booth has loved Brennan all along – that he STILL loves her and he’s just stuffing it down deep inside for fear of getting hurt again. But it’s hard to have hope given the current situation.”

And suddenly, where I had just moments earlier felt “meh” about the episode, I became melancholy about it because of this shared view. This episode did indeed feel like Booth had truly moved on. I did not see the facial expressions that Boreanaz does so well, I did not see any Booth and Brennan interactions that were other than strictly professional. Words, subtext, case theme . . . those pieces existed, but far weaker than they had in previous episodes. And so, I allowed the fan reaction to affect me in ways it had not before.

And yet, without hesitation, I replied to Stephanie’s comment: “I still have the faith, but for today I am feeling burdened by it.” I DO still have the faith and here is why:

1. I cannot disregard all of the evidence of the past 5-1/2 seasons – and this includes all episodes of THIS season. We know that Hart Hanson and his amazing crew of writers are masters of thematic connections and subtext. We may overanalyze some things, but I know we are dead on with most of those messages. Those messages are loud and clear that Booth is not in the relationship with Hannah for the long haul. This episode is but a single moment in a long progression. Do you want the evidence? Read through all of Seels’ posts on this blog. Read through the contributor posts on this blog. Read through the comments. Has Booth made missteps? Has Brennan? Absolutely. But, barring the fleeting minutiae of expression, I cannot refute the obvious expressions of love he demonstrates in countless situations:

Booth montage

2. I have the faith because Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan tell us to. Honestly, that really should be all we need, but I can understand where trust in their words falters. My highly intuitive side still trusts in the “eventually” that they allude to.

3. Finally, ultimately I have the faith because I just have to and quite simply just DO. That is a lot of what faith is all about, right? Belief and certainty in the unknown, the unproven?

So, what about the “burden” of it? I felt – feel – the burden sometimes because the journey is painful. The sadness and weariness of my fellow BONES friends pains me and because my faith is unflappable, for a brief moment I wish I did not have the this faith so that I could just be mad or perhaps better yet, indifferent to this show and its characters.

Brennan: Booth will find us.

Hodgins: You have a lot of faith in Booth.

Brennan: No, faith is an irrational belief in something that is logically impossible. Over time I’ve seen what Booth can do. It’s not faith.

Hodgins: No offense, and I’m not just saying this because you filleted me with a knife; we are out of air, we don’t know if our message got out much less if anyone understood it, and we are buried underground. What you have is faith, baby.

Can you see the metaphor for our current situation? Of course you can, because what you have is faith, baby.


49 thoughts on “The Burden in the Faith

  1. At the risk of sounding all “The End in the Beginning”, I have to say that I think what we’re going through in season 6 is somewhat like putting ourselves in a vulnerable position (emotionally) and accepting the burden and suffering. The band aid’s gotta be pulled off sometime! Like you said, at least we’re going somewhere. No pain, no gain. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Let’s just all hang in there!! 🙂 🙂

  2. Booth did give us a sign in season 6 that I think tells (at least me) that in the end, he and Brennan will get together, that his love for her is not dead:
    The Couple In The Cave
    Booth: It’s sad, you know, but at least they died in each other’s arms.
    Brennan: How could that have made their deaths any less terrible?
    Booth: Oh, ‘cause it was love. I mean, if you’re gonna go, it’s best to go with someone you love.
    Brennan: No, but he didn’t have to go. He could have walked farther and gotten help. At least one of them would have lived.
    Booth: Well, he couldn’t leave her. That’s — that’s what love is.
    Brennan: So, you’re saying that love is foolish and illogical.
    Booth: No, it’s — it’s thinking of someone before yourself. It’s giving your life, if necessary, to that person. It’s, uh, it’s love.
    Brennan: And if a person falls out of love and meets someone else, those selfless acts would suddenly appear to be dangerously irresponsible, wouldn’t they?
    Booth: No, it was still love.
    Brennan: Well, I could never live like that. Survival is the human imperative. If we don’t look out for ourselves, nothing else matters.
    Booth: That’s not true, you know that, Bones. That is not true. You know that.

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  4. Well I didn’t necessarily think things had to change (prior to 100) I do like nice and cozy and comfortable, but I know that Hart and company are telling a story and want to keep it interesting for everyone. So I can accept change (even if it has to be forced upon me) and at times even embrace change.

    The current change though; I don’t so much embrace as endure. 😀 I do have faith though that we are soon to get past this bumpy part of the journey and will find outselves further along the path to where we want to be than we ever were before. Faith that Booth and Brennanand their relationship will actually be stronger after this patch than ever before; because, they’ll have endured a threat to that relationship and come out together with knowledge they didn’t have before. They will have learned something about themselves and about each other that will give them the strength to move further on that path that they had stalled on. Because really didn’t it seem that they had stopped at a picnic spot and never moved on from there? 🙂

    I do think you’re right in that something had to change, and they had to be tested to know that they could endure. This has been one heck of a painful test though, and I think we’ll all suffer with the scars from it for a while to come.

    I do have faith that by the end of this season I will feel much better about where they are and about the show than I did at the beginning of this season, and I will anticipate next season instead of fearing what will happen next. I have faith because I have to, I still love this show and choose to believe that it will not only meet, but will exceed my expectations.

  5. “Burden in the Faith” is exactly how I would put it, and your post on this truly resonates with me. I completely identify from where you’re coming (I think because I follow a lot of the same people on Twitter that you do). With every single episode this season, there is at least one meaningful glance or look or awkward pause between Booth & Brennan to keep hope in “That Old Bones Magic.” It may be just a glimpse, but it’s there and it has kept the faith alive. I have every episode of S6 on my iPod, and I’ll queue up those moments in each episode just to reaffirm my belief that it’s all still there, it’s just hibernating.

    Except for Body in the Bag. That was the first time that I saw and felt a distance between Booth & Brennan. The glimmer of hope had dimmed. And I was okay with that initially because we KNOW Booth is starting to spiral down. We knew it was going to get worse before it started to get better. But the negative comments after this episode, especially the reasoned arguments from rational fans who, before now, have NOT been upset with the show in general, really started to get to me for some reason, to the point that by this weekend I felt honestly and truly sad, perhaps even depressed. I could clearly see and understand how they based their arguments, and I couldn’t refute them. They had a point. They were right. Maybe I was wrong? But it’s a new day. A new week. It’s going to be okay.

    I love the Hodgins speech, but I think I identify more with the Booth speech at the end of Devil in the Details:
    Booth: Was my faith shaken?
    Bones: (nods yes)
    Booth: Yeah, it is. I’ll go home. I’ll lie in bed. I’ll toss and turn. I’ll beat myself up. I’ll question everything.
    Bones: You’ll get your faith back?
    Booth: I always have in the past.
    Bones: So you have faith that you will have that you will retain your faith. Why?
    Booth: Because, Bones. The sun will come up, and tomorrow is a new day.

    • I hope this goes through right as a response to an individual comment! I know what you mean, though. It’s hard to read all of the comments, isn’t it? I generally go and hide after I read them, these days, rather than commenting. Call me irrational, but eh.

      That little scene makes me very happy too, though. I can’t help but smile; but not just at Booth’s part. A little after, Bones says, “Two plus two equals four. I put sugar in my coffee and it tastes sweet. The sun comes up because the world turns. These things are beautiful to me. There are mysteries I will never understand, but everywhere I look, I see proof that for every effect there is a corresponding cause. Even if I can’t see it. I find that reassuring.” and THAT makes sense to me. Not only does the sun just come up, I don’t just have faith because it does — I have PROOF.

      Even if at this juncture we can’t see the Earth turning, we can’t see the writer’s room or what’s going on in those sneaky little devils’ brains, it is, slowly but surely. We have proof that the sun will eventually rise, we have not only five and a half seasons but the creator’s reassurance that it will. We might not understand entirely why the night is dark and stormy even once the sun has risen, but there is invariably a reason. Nothing happens for NO reason at all. Then again, maybe that’s my brain going off the deep end into blind faith again. I don’t know. Forgive me for my long response and my descent into metaphor or whatnot…I just felt the need to reply!

  6. Too lazy to go find the stinkin’ login page, but agreed, on all counts. Well said!

    I go into each episode happy and excited, and I’m usually pretty good at finding small things to get me through without having a meltdown. It’s not my story; it’s theirs, and hey, at least I don’t have to write it or act it…it’s there for my ENJOYMENT. While I might not enjoy feeling like I’ve been kicked in the stomach every few minutes every Thursday night, I do still enjoy the small things. I still have faith.

    Ha. You know, I do watch Aliens often these days. Hodgins’ faith speech gets to me, too. Because hey, they like to poke and kick and mess with our brains, but we…that we come together to vent and shout and CARE enough to do that, it says something. Faithfully, most of us at least come back week after week and keep right on going, though at least on some subconscious level cringing and hiding our eyes. You know, I have to stop reading books, sometimes. I’ll pause for an hour or so and collect myself, because I want to strangle the writer or I feel particularly bad for a character. We’ve got an entire week to collect ourselves after these episodes…so I feel pretty zen by the time they come back around, myself.

    Don’t let it get to ya. It WILL work out in the end (or I’ll personally gather the pitchforks and flaming torches!), and I have faith that I, at least, will be happy with how it ends up. They’ve been amazing storytellers for five and a half seasons now. I might be slightly leaning towards blindly faithful to a few cranky old men, but I’ve got my proof, too. Even if that faith sometimes makes me feel like punching walls or slamming my face into my desk for a while, it’s there. Not much that can be done except say, “ELEVEN hours?! NOO.” and try and distract myself before I have an aneurysm.

  7. How do I keep the faith? Honestly, sometimes I don’t know. I think the thing that keeps me going is that I HAVE to see the end. I have to see where these characters end up. My innate curiosity keeps me going. Sometimes I want to stomp off and never give this show a second glance. But then I think of the past 5 seasons. And I think of the characters and their journeys and their personalities. I’m too far gone to leave now. I have to keep the faith. Leaving is not an option. It’s faith all the way baby!

  8. Faith or Hope?…

  9. Aw, this was a beatiful article. ❤ I agree with everything you are saying. It kills me to see Bones fans giving up on the show or saying how terrible it is. I have to admit that I don't get the same joy out of watching Bones as I did in the first 3 seasons, even though my obsession has grown since then. xD I still get excited for new episodes and spend hours watching reruns of all the seasons, but it's not quite the same this season.

    I also agree with the comment you quoted saying that the fans want to see something. I think that is so true. In this season we've seen Brennan give something, but Booth has not reciprocated at all. I would be thrilled if he just looked at her in that way he used to or if they could have a meaningful conversation that didn't include/involve Hannah.

    However, I don't think I'll ever loose my faith for Bones. I'm in it until it's over and I am sure that something will happen by then because everything happens eventually.

  10. Wow, thank you for this. Posts like this are the reason I read this blog. You are so dead on with all of this. I have nothing really to contribute, except that I wholeheartedly concur. Yes, this season has been such a bummer on so many levels, and it’s hard to get by when the only evidence of anything left are little comments from people like Sweets and Clark–while those moments made my heart rise up with hope, they were painfully grasped straws in light of the sad, detached new way of Booth and Brennan. But even so, you’re right–the change is so necessary, and I really believe that this will all pan out for the better. It hurts, but the faith is there!

  11. I have one main point of disagreement and it is why I have lost faith: I don’t believe the creators any more. Maybe they will get B&B together in the end, but I simply no longer trust anything they say. Every time they seem to have said something that I liked, in the end I didn’t like it. When they said stuff I didn’t like, it all came true. Just one example: You’ll love Hannah — NOT! And, BTW, that’s an interesting one because later on they said they expected people to hate her even more. So, not only did I find the first statement ridiculous, but they themselves later said that they didn’t really think we’d love Hannah, but that we’d hate her. Net net: I don’t believe a single word coming from them, even the ones I want desperately to believe.

    I continue my astonishment at the lengths we are willing to go to justify something that clearly upsets us, that many of us believe was totally unnecessary. For example, that scene from Couple in the Cave that Lenora quotes above: To me that scene is the ultimate slap in the face from Brennan to Booth. To me (and could it be to Booth?), she has suggested that he was foolish to take that bullet for her.

    I am not a person of faith in general, but to the extent I had any that B&B would eventually be together, it’s about to run out. And, only what’s on screen can stop it from running out. What I have really lost faith in is the words of TPTB.

    As always, sorry to be such a downer.

    • I took the scene to mean that Booth was trying to tell Brennan that to have loved and died with or for someone you love is better than to never have loved at all. I think he was trying to overcome her belief that lost love or past love is no love. If Booth really didn’t love Brennan, he would never allow her to speak to him like she does. Instead of getting angry with her, most of the times, he tries to reason with her. Sure, he can be impatient with her; but, impatience is the norm for Booth. I take his last sentence, that she doesn’t really believe that, is his pleading with her to recognize that his past love for her was real. Booth doesn’t seem to be able to use the words “I love You” to Brennan; but, he talks of love to her all of the time. He often tries to explain to Brennan what he thinks love is. I believe that in the past, this was his way of getting Brennan to open up to the idea that love is real and possible with him. Even though he didn’t get what he wanted from Brennan in 100th, he is still there for her. He proved that in Doctor In The Photo. I see hope in almost every episode, that what is broken can be fixed. The stories we are seeing right now are stories of Booth and Brennan, their seperation (emotionally) from each other and their eventual reconcilliation. The road is tortuous but the end will justify the trip.

      • I agree about what Booth was trying to do, Lenora, but I’m saying that as lovely as that is, Brennan’s response was a slap in the face to Booth.

        How do you find your way back to someone who tells you you were foolish to save their life? How do you keep loving that person?

    • In response to Angelena’s response to Lenora: This may sound a big naive and “pie in the sky-ish”, but true love comes with the element of forgiveness. If Booth took what Brennan said as a slap in the face, (and I don’t believe he did), I would think that…knowing who she is…he’d be able to understand why she said what she said…forgive her…if he was hurt by it and continue to love her…despite everything. That’s the kind of love I’m looking for in these two characters. I believe he understands her like no other person….so her statement would be taken within that context…no matter if the subject was about life and death.

      • I agree with sarajade. Booth overlooks a lot of Brennan’s insults. He does that because he knows she is honest in what she believes and is not saying anything to be vindictive.

  12. Watching the episodes in this season, the clues which are left make my fantasy spiral out of control.
    Maybe they have nothing to do with what will actually happen, but they give me hope, that everything will come to a good end and that is the faith I still keep. (P.S. Can’t talk about my fantasy – spoiler)

  13. I totally agree with your post. I was getting so upset and annoyed with the escalating condemnation of season 6 that eventually I gave up on some fan-sites, it is so easy to get caught up in it all. So I stepped back, took a deep breath or two and watched the episodes again with a new perspective – mine. We see what we want to see basically, but I realised that actually in many instances I couldn’t even see what so many of those nay-sayers were complaining about. Many accuse Booth of being an unfeeling ass, impatient with Brennan, etc., but I don’t see it. Yes he’s different, he has to be, he’s in a relationship now, and therefore he’s no longer free to spend as much time with Brennan as he used to. Impatient? He’s been impatient with her, at times, from the very beginning, it’s an integral part of their relationship, but it’s not and never has been mean-spirited, at least I never saw it that way.
    This current storyline is a very necessary part of their story, Brennan, frankly, has some growing up to do.
    She is the one who has to learn about love, fidelity, and all the things that go with being in a relationship. Love is something that she has ALWAYS dismissed with scientific explanations that thus gave her good reasons to avoid it. She has to WANT a relationship with Booth, she has to understand WHY she wants one. And that’s what this current storyline is doing, that’s why it’s necessary for these two people to go through this admittedly painful and occasionally annoying (for some) experience. With regards to ‘Body in the Bag’ I suspect that Booth’s ongoing struggle to hang on to his sanity is beginning to unravel. I believe he loves Hannah in his own way, is flattered by the fact that she very obviously loves him, he is amazed by her willingness to commit to him, and is enjoying being in a relationship. BUT he is still working with Brennan, his feelings for her will not and have not disappeared, and her confession to him in ‘Doctor in the Photo’ has rocked him to the core. (The irony is astounding!) And Brennan DID turn him down in the 100th ep. He was effectively a free agent. (No pun intended)

    I am happy to watch everything unfold, to believe HH when he says that all will be well eventually, and do my very best to keep an open mind. If that means I have to avoid reading the harsher comments out there then, sadly, so be it for now. I miss joining in with like minded fans of the show, but I really can’t take the vitriol and hate any more. It does make me realise though what an influence the internet is in our lives now. Before the world wide web we would have sat at home, watched. maybe discussed it with friends and family and that would have been it.

    Keep the faith – I’m positive it will be worth it eventually.

    • I am all the way with you on this Suzie! Everything that’s happening now are NECESSARY and actually REALISTIC… although not all the time but it’s fairly realistic to me. It pains me to see Booth and Brennan apart… there are times I want to strangle Hannah… to give Booth a wild shake so that he’ll wake up from his zombie like attitude towards Brennan… etc etc… But I still hang on and still look forward to the next episodes because with these things happening now, it seems that we will still have the show for a long time and isn’t it that these painful experiences make the eventually a lot sweeter and worth it?

      • Very well put, Suzie. I agree whole heartedly. I love this season and think it’s completely necessary for a real, working happy ending to happen for B&B. I know I rather take well written, but realistic angst over unearned happy ending.

  14. Sseaon six has shown me that I, as a viewer, haven’t so much as lost faith in Booth and Brennan, as much as in the writing and direction the produce’rs are taking the show. I love Bones and hope to see it to the end, but I am having a really hard time right now. I can think of so many better and challenging directions they could have taken this show but they are recycling the same things over and over. Faith is belief and trust in something unseen that gives us hope for the future. The problem with faith is that it can be lost or challenged.

    What is happening now on bones is so hard to watch because it is not flowing well. The story was not planned and executed in a believable manner. I watched Hart’s resent interview with Marisa Roffman and it sounds like they never had a clear plan when this plot was conceived. It was constantly being changed or tweeked so even they had no idea what they were doing with it. That is where this storyline failed the most. It wasn’t executed well. It is not so much the character’s fault but those behind the scenes running this show. Instead of showing Hannah as being someone that should have been perfect for Booth, what we were shown was someone who was an unrealistically perfectly flawed perfect person with nothing to add to this show as a character. Hannah as a character failed because she was poorly utulized. She was written as being an unrealistically perfect woman in the producer’s and writer’s opinion and not as being someone who was or is perfect for Booth. We were told that we would being seeing what would happen if Booth was given the chance to be with someone who was his supposed ideal. What would happen? Hannah wasn’t acted or written as someone who was perfect for Booth and this is where the show errored. Hannah was written to be so bizarre that she was unrealistic and odd, I could never take her seriously. I as a viewer never bought into what they were trying to sell as a story.

    I am realistic I know there are viewers who bought into this story, but I just wasn’t one of them. Neither my viewpoint or anothers opposing viewpoint is necessarily the right or wrong viewpoint. Interpretation is an individual thing. It is what makes this world we live in interesting, fun and sometimes hard to live in. Being a fan of Bones has not been easy for me this season. My viewing of Bones has not been personally enjoyable. My faith in it as a quality show has been shaken. Will my faith in it return and once again be strong? I don’t know. I guess I’ll just have to have a little faith in the writer’s and hope that things can be turned around. I really miss my fun and entertaining show that is called Bones.

  15. A thought provoking post, Janet….

    I’m a relative latecomer to the BONES party myself, I discovered the show last winter thanks to TNT, and found this site in December but only started posting a few weeks ago.

    I’ve done the online fan thing for a few other things, and in all those instances, the drama and politics of the fandom got to be too much for me and I left those sites. The fandom crap almost ruined my enjoyment of the thing that had originally been what brought everyone together in the first place. And that made me sad. After those experiences, I found myself thinking that perhaps it is better to be the solitary fan, enjoying the things that I enjoy without having to worry about the perceptions of others and the internet drama coloring my view of the thing that I love, and I’ve been content with that.

    After DitP, though, that changed for me. I started poking around for reviews of Bones, because I guess I needed to know if I was the only person who felt the same, or similarly, to the way I did about that episode. I poked around on some the other sites and passed on them almost as quickly as I clicked the links. All I can say is that I was… appalled? disgusted? disheartened? Honestly, I don’t know which word fits best. But if those folks were fans, I did not want to count myself among their numbers. Solitary fandom looked better and better…

    And then I found Sarah’s review of DitP on GMMR and went pouring through all of her GMMR reviews. And then found my way to 100DaysofBones. And after a while, found my way over here. I lurked for a while, reading back posts and getting a feel for the place and decided that this was my kind of fan hangout.

    You guys, everyone who posts and comments here, keep the faith alive for this show everyday, even when it burdens you. And that’s not an easy thing to do. Everyone who posts here is passionate about the show. They are considerate, rational in their arguments, and even when disagreeing with each other, are polite and offer reasoned explanations and examples of why they disagree, rather than attacking the show, the characters and each other. This place is all about Brains and Heart. And that, my friends, is refreshing.

    Personally, I didn’t feel the burden of the faith after last week’s episode. I did earlier in the season, but not last week. But we all come to this show with a different lens through which we view it. And we’re not afraid to share those viewpoints with each other. What, to me, is evidence from last week’s episode that Booth and Brennan still have feelings for each other doesn’t do it for everyone else. And I’m okay with that. It’s not going to ruin it for me.

    You’re right in what you say about faith: it is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Sometimes, we all need reminders of that, whether it’s in terms of Bones or just every day life. Maybe that is part of what draws us together there. Maybe we all need reassurances from other like minded fans that it’s all going to be alright, so long as we are patient and let the story play out.

    Change and growth don’t happen quickly or easily in life. Hearts get crushed. People hurt each other. People make mistakes. People have regrets. But people also have second chances and opportunities for redemption. Why should we expect it to be any different on Bones? The show has never been afraid of tackling the tough stuff before. I, for one, would be disappointed if they didn’t tackle it now when the stakes are highest for Booth and Brennan.

    It may not be easy. It may hurt while it’s happening. It may be painful to watch, but I have faith that the payoff at the end is going to be worth the journey. And maybe the payoff will be all the more beautiful for them having been on this rocky road towards eventually.

    I guess that’s all a really long way of saying that I’m with you, Janet, and I can totally see the metaphor to the current situation. ‘Cause I’ve got faith, baby.

    • Jade, I had what seems like the exact same experience as you–I’m a latecomer as well, but was fully obsessed in an individual sense (i.e. no online fandom experience yet), until I saw Doctor in the Photo and could no longer contain myself. I felt an almost compulsive need to see what other people thought of that episode–I’ve never had any moment of television–even in old Bones episodes really–touch me the way that episode did, and like you, I found in this blog a group of like-minded viewers, which was a relief from all the seemingly endless griping and despair to be found in so many other Bones related places online.

      Anyway, one thing I really enjoyed that you said–that faith is the evidence of things not seen. I forget that, and that’s what makes faith so difficult sometimes. And I think we’re going to have to get to that point–if we’re not already there??–where there will honestly be nothing seen to justify our continued faith and hope in the end game. I think we’re going to have to get to that point before the story can back to a good place–at least Booth and Brennan wise. Story wise, I honestly think the story is in a phenomenal place. As much as it hurts, it’s a good sign that it’s affecting so many people in such passionate ways, and it’s fantastic to see the development coming from this awkward, painful place in the story. But good on you for the reminder about faith being the evidence of things not seen. That phrase has so much meaning in real life, but even in the context of the show, it’s a good reminder not to give up, even if we don’t see any hope anymore.

      • mrg873, it’s nice to know I wasn’t alone in the need to know how other people felt about that episode. And I know exactly what you mean about not having had an episode of television hit you the way that one did. It was a doozy of an episode. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.

        Other than the aforementioned poking around on Bones related sites, this is my first foray into the Bones fan community. Like I said, I’ve been involved in a couple of fansites surrounding various other fan “universes” for lack of a better term. It seems to be a common refrain that they are fun for a while and then degenerate into a seething mob of anger, vitriol and whining. And that is very unfortunate, because it takes a common interest and manages to suck all the joy and enthusiasm out of it for everyone. But not this place. This place is different and I love that.

        Thanks for your comment about what I had to say about faith. Color my face red though, because I forgot to put that in quotes or italicize it. Those aren’t my words. They are from the Bible. I guess I got carried away by my thoughts as I was writing; I’ve heard that phrase so many times in my life, I probably just take it for granted that people will know where it came from, but that said, I am usually much better about giving source credit.

        I agree with you about the story being in a phenomenal, if not awkward place. It’s definitely a good thing that people feel so passionately about this show and these characters and the journey they are on. It means people still care. Which is so much better than feeling nothing.

        I also agree with you about the fact that the development happening at this point is fantastic, and it’s fascinating and it’s beautiful in its complexity. Growth, change and adaptation don’t happen easily, and if any of this were easy for the characters or for us, I wouldn’t be nearly as captivated as I am.

    • I have to say that I was not happy with this season until I saw Doctor in the Photo. Seeing that episode and reading the GMMR interview with Carla Kettner was the “light bulb” that went on for me. I finally “got it” or at least I “think” I finally got it. And that is where faith comes in because I have to look at the entire body of work and place this season in it’s proper place within that body of work. I can’t isolate season 6. There are many signs that Booth and Brennan are to be that couple we want so badly and this challenge called season 6 is what is testing us all…yes…it has been difficult but there’s so much evidence…I can’t give up so I guess I still have faith.

      I wasn’t disappointed in last week’s episode. If anything I still saw signs of Booth’s conflict and his constant need to deny what’s in his mind and in his heart. The entire Sweets/Booth conversations were primarily about his conflict so I didn’t leave disappointed.

      I still spend time at another “fan” site though I am sometimes on the verge of quitting it completely. What y’all have here in regards to negativity is nothing compared to what’s on other fan sites. Here…actual, rational discussion is happening…over there….I just see people venting and it is tiresome when the ENTIRE forum is negative. I can appreciate different POVs if we can actually discuss issues…but if a person only wants to vent, repeatedly, their dislike of the series..then I too ask the question…why are you still watching? So I teeter on posting over there. Why do I still do it? Don’t know except for the fact that I still know some people over there that I enjoy talking to…and it’s just habit…plus…I have to admit…over there…I just feel the overcoming need to be “difficult” and to be “different” from the overwhelming negativity at that site. Angelena has almost lost hope because of HH…she & I have had many intelligent & respectful discussions despite not always agreeing with each other. That type discussion is rare (especially at other sites) but I see it is here in BT so I hope I change my habits & come here more often because I do enjoy reading these posts. They make me think….which doesn’t always happen at other fan sites.

      • Amen to the last part.
        Still tending to the hopeless on the first part.

      • sarajade, that interview with Carla Kettner was fascinating. I loved the insight into how DitP came into existence. And it made me love the episode even more knowing that she was able to get her creative vision out there in the world. That’s no small feat.

        LOL, I think it’s great that you feel you the need to be a rebel by staying positive at whatever other site you’re on. Do you wear “Boothy” socks while you rebel? 😉

  16. Even a die-hard, I-won’t-let-this-bother-me-I-can-take-it, type of person, I have found a few moments that bugged me, but not enough to make me lose faith. It’s painful to watch, and it’s supposed to be. We’re way out of our comfort level…and that’s painful, but it just means that the eventual reunion of B&B will be that much more satisfying. (It’s always the darkest before the dawn.) When faced with new or different information, sometimes you need to have your faith shaken in order to re-evaluate, accept, or change those things that are important to you.

    The changes this season were necessary. Granted, we would have found a different way to accomplish this – in a shorter period of time – but…Brennan had to come to terms with her feelings for Booth – the hard way…without him. Booth has to come to terms with the fact that Brennan is the one he truly loves. They needed to do this on their own, without leaning on each other for support. We all have to bear the burden of figuring out our own lives. No one can really do that for us. So B&B also have to bear the burden of finding their way back to each other – having assessed their feelings and learned from their mistakes, individually – in an open and honest manner, which will probably be painful for them, too, but also illuminating and healing.

    Those glances at each other and the little signs that tell us all is not lost…that I could see even in Body in the Bag…those are supposed to give us hints that all is not what it seems…and these are what I look for every week. I don’t look at the “big picture” playing out on the screen as much as I focus on these clues, because if they weren’t there, it would be depressing. If you see the clues and are still depressed, then it would seem to me that you have lost faith…and that’s sad. We’ve invested too much time and emotion in these two to watch it all go up in flames without any form of redemption.

    Without the B&B-together-ending that we’re all impatiently waiting for, the entire series makes no sense and loses all meaning and purpose. So…I will bear the burden of my unwavering faith, because I know my reward is on the horizon.

  17. Great post! Like you, I came to the show later and quickly caught up on Netflix streaming before beginning to watch the show live week to week. I think this does give a different perspective as I am not weary of the journey and have not been waiting for 6 years like so many viewers. I agreed with Booth when he said, “No, things have to change” and I think this season has been pain with a purpose. I feel Brennan’s pain because I miss Booth, too. I think we are supposed to miss the warmth and the twinkle and the “magic” to fully understand the loss Brennan suffered after the 100th. I am very optimistic and very excited to watch the story unfold.

    I have to say that I dove in headfirst to fandom on the internet and quickly became disillusioned with many websites and all of the negativity. Now that I found Bones Theory, which is positive, intelligent, thoughtful, challenging, I just come here (and to Bones Spoilers! I can’t help myself) and feel much better without all of the negativity.

  18. Jade, I have to agree with you. “Body in the bag” gave me a lot of hope. We just have to watch more then one time and we see more and more which makes sense. What I say before, the clues are there and I hope these are clues the writers are giving us to use in our “Faith” and not just empty promises.

  19. Thanks! I needed that! 🙂

  20. I think this season has been painful because finally there’s something on the line that really matters; it’s not just about the heady flirtation that left us all bubbly inside or the isolated disappointments and frustrations that inevitably led to a feel-good scene at the end of most episodes. Everything that we care about has been put on the line in season 6 and it is ok to feel anxious, upset even. It’s the “dark night of the soul” for both us the fans and our fave non-couple and I say that sometimes you have to hit rock-bottom in order to turn things around. The status quo was fun while it lasted but it was inevitable that the fans and the characters would want more than just witty banter and guy hugs; I know I do.

    Could we have gotten from guy hugs to naked-in-bed hugs without all the angst? Sure, but I don’t believe that “easy” is a word that could ever describe the B/B relationship. We should all know that after seeing the flashback to their first meeting. Anything but the brutal honesty and raw emotion we have witnessed this season would feel like a cheap resolution for these two complex beings. I like to think of the current season (and I’d argue it really started with the events following the coma dream) as a rollercoaster ride-if you don’t hang on during the panic inducing tight curves and the nauseating loop-de-loops you’re going to miss the relief and exhilaration of the ride as it coasts to the finish line.

    Honestly, the sadness I’ve felt lately doens’t bother me; what would bother me is indifference, and I’m not anywhere near there at this point. Pain is not pleasant, but I would argue that indifference is worst because it signals defeat and a loss of faith. We all know what it’s like to lovingly follow a show only to get to the point where we have totally lost interest. I know on other sites (mercifully not this one) the fans are Booth-bashing and saying that they don’t care at all about Bones and where it’s going, and yet, there they are, wasting valuable time checking the posts and ranting hysterically. So if this season has brought on anything from the fans it is definitely not indifference, and that is saying something after 5 1/2 years of Bones being on the air.

    Body in the Bag left me feeling blah as well, but I think this was the rock-bottom episode because it’s clearly testing everyone’s faith, the signs from above seemingly so few. But all I have to do is look back at 5 1/2 years of Booth and Brennan expressing love and concern for each other, sacrificing for each other to have my faith in the inevitability of their being together renewed. Bless TNT and my DVD’s for that little gift. So I say, hang on during the loop-de-loops; it’s all going to work out beautifully in the end.

    • Couldn’t have said it better myself. The first time I saw Body in the Bag, I did feel a little blah about it. But when I watched it again, there were things in there I liked (nobody will throw tomatoes at me if I say I liked the ending scene, right?) For me, Booth’s moment was after he told Sweets to leave his office when he started prying into the Hannah/Bones issue – he really did have a pained look on his face just thinking about it. tDitP was a huge episode. I know people wanted more from last week’s episode, but the season isn’t over and there’s time to deal with the fall-out.
      I can only see people’s screen names, but it seems like it’s mostly females posting on this blog. We have been analyzing Booth’s behavior this whole season. In general, men and women process things differently. I haven’t done any surveys or anything, but I wouldn’t be surprised if other men are not bothered with the way Booth is dealing with the situation. And some women would be able to understand, like some here do. But I think this is one of those “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus” things. Women over-analyzing men’s behavior usually does not lead to good results, because it’s usually not what it seems, IMO (humbly).

      • I agree with you that women are viewing this differently. We want to see Booth still longing for Brennan, we want to see those pained moments from him.

        My husband is a huge fan of the show (and a former Marine and marksman himself) and he thinks Booth’s behavior is exactly what he would expect from a guy who had been rejected. Stiff upper lip, try to move on and hold it together.

      • C-bones, I liked the end scene of Body in the Bag after the second viewing, too. 😉

        I think you’re on to something with the male/female POV thing. We women, we’re going to analyze, because that’s what we do. Plus, without the analysis I doubt we’d have much to talk about here…

        That said though, I agree with Loraine’s husband. I don’t see anything wrong with the way Booth has been acting and reacting this season. It doesn’t mean I’ve always liked what’s been going on in the story, but Booth has definitely been acting in character, which is to say, like a guy. Especially a guy with a military background. There’s a military phrase: “drive on”. Basically it means, you’ve done what you can, you can’t change the outcome, you can’t fix the problem, it’s time to drive on to the next obstacle. Keep moving forward. That’s what Booth has been doing. Maybe not effectively, as all our female analysis has led us to conclude, but he’s trying and he’s moving forward and I don’t think anyone can fault him for that.

      • Jade, I know we’re going to analyze. Otherwise, I wouldn’t even be on here commenting on this wonderful blog. 😉 That’s why I said over-analyzing. Although admittedly, it’s hard to draw the line between analyzing and over-analyzing.

  21. Awesome post! I really enjoyed your reasons that you can keep the faith and the quote at the end. 🙂

  22. Right…so, i read and reread this about a hundred times and STILL couldn’t decide what i wanted to say! LOL

    I love that you love Season 6 because i have loved it to…admittedly (and as you know) not as calmly as you have. I tend to…lose the plot every now and then, before my faithful Bones friends eventually put me back on the right track…or i run out of steam, whichever one happens first 😛

    And i agree, as much as i have loved this season there is no getting away from the fact it is painful to watch at times. Heartcrushingly painful. I mean, i still haven’t been able to watch Dr In The Photo again…i tried, but couldn’t do it. I couldn’t make myself sit down and watch Brennan breakdown again. It’s not because i don’t love the episode, or because i’m annoyed with Booth like some..but seeing her SO vulnerable and watching her hurt so much…i just can’t do it. Maybe eventually 😀

    Anyway. For me this Season is convincing me that i am right in my ‘Booth has never been IN love with Brennan’ theory. And i can admit, i’m kind of annoyed about that. I have said on numerous occasions that Booth doesn’t/hasn’t loved Brennan (the reasons most people find, or the moments most point to don’t have me convinced…at all! LOL) but…i almost want them to prove me wrong.

    I want them to present me with a scenario where i stand back and think…oh yeah, maybe he does/did love her. I WANT them to make me eat my words…but instead they are convincing me that i am right.

    I love being right, don’t get me wrong. But this is the one time i was hoping to be wrong! 😉

    • How can you conclude that Booth never loved Brennan? Maybe never “in love” (which I don’t buy), but never loved at all, which is what you say at the end.

      This actually upsets me more than what’s going on on the show. Now I wonder if I can read comments in BT without getting upset.

      • Nah, I wouldn’t worry; I think most of us agree that there is definitely love there. But maybe this would be a good discussion topic…(in our nice and and cuddly way…)

  23. I love to hear that you still have faith, even if at times you are burdened by it, because I think there are so many people out there who are saying terrible things about this season, and it makes me happier to know that not everyone out there is like that. And you don’t have to look very far to find a whole community of people with faith or at least hope. If you can’t say good things about a TV show that you are a “fan” of, then you are not a part of a fandom. That just doesn’t make sense. But here, i feel a part of a fandom. : ) Like you said “this season is neccesary, but not neccesarily easy.” I have faith, baby.

  24. Excellent post Janet.

    Have I lost faith in B&B, no because as you said, Hart Hanson & Stephen Nathan have both said that we need to have a little faith. They know what they are doing with the show and how much backlash they (especially Hart) has taken because of it.
    Does it hurt, yeah a little. Yes, I am way too emotionally involved in my shows. But this is a journey, and no one ever said it was going to be easy.
    Yes, I went in to last weeks episode hoping that Hannah would be a little more “real” about the whole situation. I mean really, how many women do you know would go out & have drinks with the woman who is in love with your boyfriend? I wasn’t expecting a drag down fight, but I was expecting a little more awkwardness between them.
    I’m not expecting much from tonight’s episode, but as usual, I will be looking for those subtle signs, stolen glances and occasional touches, because yes, I am in it for the long haul.

  25. Great post Janet – although I am so sorry that my comment on Sarah’s MAQ made you sad. 😦 I’ll be honest – you caught me in a moment of weakness, one that I recovered fairly quickly from thanks to my BT friends. 🙂

    As a general rule, I feel like I do a very good job “keeping the faith” where Bones is concerned and with a few exceptions, I’ve really enjoyed this season (I’m not sure any amount of rewatching will ever make me like the sunglasses scene at the end of The Bones that Weren’t). That being said, I DID struggle initially with last week’s episode, especially before I watched it for the second time. At some point over the weekend, though, I came to the conclusion that I’m okay with drinking the proverbial kool-aid. I’m okay with looking for the positive in every episode, no matter how hard it is to find and I’m okay with believing that happy is just a matter of eventually. I just am.

    Oh, and Bones Theory? It rocks! Happy Bones Day everyone!

  26. The burden of my faith kicked in post 100th. I struggled big time. The summer break was hard, as was the start of this season. But the last couple of eps have made me feel better. I have the faith, baby, because I look beyond B&B. And I see clues in each ep that things will work themselves out.

    Fansites are fun – I mostly hang out where SaraJade and Angelena do. But yes, the toturous negativity. The one post screamers – people who sign up/start a thread to tell you how bad it all is do get me down. So I too, come here, read fanfic and watch the show MY way so that it can be fun again.

    Ultimately it is hard being a Bones fan at the moment. It’s not all roses and butterflies. But we have a choice to make: either discuss it and rationalise it and be at peace with it, or let the angst spill over into our real lives.

    • to self:

      Ohh! look at the time! It’s all over for you lot, so off I go to find my online copy so that I can watch before I read anyone else’s opinion! See ya!

  27. Janet, Thank you for this post. I am also a latecomer to this fandom – later than you, and although I come on BonesTheory daily and attempt to follow some of the ongoings of Twitter, I rarely feel I have time to post, once I’ve read the blog post and everybody else’s comments, despite always having an opinion! Today I am obviously making an exception, and I will attempt to more often. Obviously, this ultimately means (rather unfortunately) that I have not been able to immerse myself into this Bones community in the way you have, but because I read peoples comments/follow people on twitter, I feel the effects of it. I share your opinions on shallow in the deep I remember being a little disappointed when this episode aired because it offered us no progression on the Booth/Brennan/Hannah storyline, which however cliche it may be, I have enjoyed. Instead of voicing my opinion though, I considered it best to keep quiet – in a community in which I was trying to integrate, I didn’t like to rock the boat. I’m relieved to hear I was not alone in this opinion though. At the time I thought it was likely that people would dismiss my opinion because I was new – I hadn’t had to endure the 5 years of pain some fans have been through. In some ways I think they’d be right – enduring something for so long and having your hopes dashed so often? That’s got to take it’s toll – especially on your faith.

    Personally, I have a lot of faith in them, faith that hasn’t been beaten down by false hope (yet), and I always believed/still believe that the largest hurdle is getting Brennan to that place – where she wants them to be together, where she is willing to have some of her happiness depend on him, to love him and let him love her back, and this season is really getting her there, and I love that. Initially I thought when it happened, Booth would sort of fall in line. I’m glad he didn’t do that in doctor in the photo because his relationship with Hannah had progressed too far for that. I will admit that Booth’s distance in last weeks ep did shake my faith a little, probably worried me more than any other episode this season in fact, but on reflection, I can accept that her revelation would make him step even further back – for now. My real fear is that the writers will not get Booth out of his relationship with Hannah in a believable manner, but I do believe it will end, and to have faith in B&B, I must put my trust in TPTB, and I don’t think they’ve really failed us so far.

  28. I’ve lurked here a while now, enjoying the posts, but have never felt the urge to add my bit until today.

    This season has been tough to watch. I’ve felt sad and depressed, but something I’ve also realized is that I love season six for the changes in Brennan. I LOVE her dawning awareness throughout the first half of season six that she may have lost someone important to her, that she misses the place she once enjoyed in his life, that he is more important to her happiness than she previously conceived. This season has given me a Brennan who faced her feelings head on, and had the courage to express them. This season has also given me a Booth who is aware that Brennan loves him / regrets her choices regarding him and their partnership. This season is helping establish a B&B relationship that is deeper and more mature and just so real, and for that I am grateful.

    I don’t think my belief in B&B being the endgame has ever been shaken because Bones is about their journey individually and together and always towards each other. We’ve have five seasons of that so why should this season be any different?

  29. Janet, you rock. That was an awesome post. I am always amazed how the writers of this blog seem to be able to read my mind. To take thoughts I’ve been having and articulate them in such a way that makes sense. I think you summed it up perfectly when you said, “this season is necessary, but not necessarily easy.” I whole-heartedly agree with that. I have admittedly had my ups and downs with this season, but I have been, for the most part, enjoying it for what it is. And that is why I think I was so melancholy last week. I was a little disappointed in myself for not enjoying it as much as I thought I would or should.

    I also really related when you said that you can be shaken up by the comments of other Bones fans. I’ve always gotten sad, or even defensive when people say that they are having negative feelings about Bones. Last week, though, the tables were turned and I was feeling a little sad. So I was kind of beating myself up about it. I care a lot about what everyone else is thinking about Bones. I want everyone to love it as much as I do. I am always very effected by what other people are saying. That was why Twitter was just too much for me last week after the episode. I had to step back and remember that what I was feeling was mine…and that was ok.

    Again, you said it perfectly, when you said that you still have the faith, but you are burdened by that faith sometimes. I still have the faith, baby (Sorry the baby is a reflex), but I am feeling the weight of it this season. As always, one thing reminds true: I really love Bones.

  30. Thank you for saying this. I’ve gotten to a point where I can’t read many of the comments to these posts because they are so full of pain. I too have faith. Unadulterated, undiluted faith. It feels like that state of mind is incredibly rare right now. I’ve watched S6 knowing for a fact that this is not going to be how the show ends. I watch each and every episode with the same giddy excitement I’ve had watching every other episode prior to S6…because this is the journey.

    You know that saying, “The bigger they are, the harder they fall?” Booth and Brennan were big, really big…their fall had to be just as big or it wouldn’t have been believable or satisfying. If it weren’t this painful, then what would that say about what they had before? Also, when you stub your toe on something, it hurts for a few minutes and then you’re over it. No big deal. You break that toe…it hurts a lot and you’re incredibly thankful the pain is gone after it’s over. You appreciate the lack of pain even more than when you merely stubbed your toe. This intense pain on the show is only going to make the lack of pain soooo much better.

    I have found the pain of the show tolerable because I know how good I will feel when the pain DOES end. Like I said, I have faith. I confess, though, the pain of the fans shouted at the heavens is causing me more distress than the show is. I’m truly sad I can’t say the right words that would allow people to share my faith. My heart is broken…not because of the show but rather the reaction to the show.

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