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:
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.