Bones Theory

I Don’t Know What That Means . . . Soulmates – Bones on a Blue Line


The last time I posted this kind of question, I was thrilled with the theories! Some confirmed some of my ideas, others brought some new thoughts to my head that I really like, and ultimately, y’all just came through beautifully and rocked it. And because of that, I am confident that I will gain even more perspective with my next scrummy conundrum: Soulmates.

Booth says he believes in Fate, which might be the only true piece of evidence I personally need at this point in time to convince me that he also believes in soulmates:

100 ep do you believe in fate?100 ep I still believe in fate

But of course, THAT revelation came AFTER the question I pose today. Which is in the final scene of Bones in the Blue Line (S05E99), we have this dialogue:

Booth: He said that they’re soulmates and he’ll wait for however long it takes for her to get out.

Brennan: Soulmates.

Booth: Soulmates.

Booth: The idea of soul mates actually originated with Plato.

Booth: Yeah, um, you mean the clay that kids play with.

Brennan: No, the – ohh, you’re joking.

Booth: Me joke? No.

Brennan: No, the ancient Greek philosopher. His theory was that humans originally consisted of four arms, four legs, and two faces. Zeus was threatened by their power and split them all in half; condemning us all to spend our lives trying to complete ourselves.

Booth: I don’t believe that’s true.

Brennan: I agree. It’s ridiculous.

Booth: Right? Four arms, four legs . . .

Brennan: Two faces.

Booth: C’mon.

Say what? He’s saying he doesn’t believe in soulmates? Really? If this had come after the 100th, I could see him trying to shove it off in denial and avoid awkwardness. But this is before. This is the man who says “Oh, there’s magic.”

And who says “There’s someone for everyone. Someone you’re meant to spend the rest of your life with. You just have to be open enough to see it.”

And promises Brennan that she, too, will someday believe that love is transcendent and ephemeral:

cinderellacardboard -- you'll believe someday

Booth is a romantic. And because he is this romantic, I’ve always wondered why he would not support the idea of soulmates?

soulmate discussion bones on the blue line

Bones on the Blue Line - with gratuitous hand shot . . .

Taken literally, he could just be saying that he doesn’t believe in the Plato-Zeus thing, but Booth is not literal like that. This is pre-100 (and directly preceding 100), so we know he is still building up his case for love.

Wise ones: what is going on here? It struck a chord with me the very first time I viewed, and I trust my instincts, even if I do not always trust my analysis. Why doesn’t he argue for the idea of soulmates?


29 thoughts on “I Don’t Know What That Means . . . Soulmates – Bones on a Blue Line

  1. This won’t be the first time I’ve made a “Lie To Me” references in regards to Bones, but if Cal Lightman were watching that scene, he’d call BS on Booth. When I see that scene, Booth seems genuinely – I don’t know if interested is the right way to describe it, but I’ll keep it – interested in Brennan’s retelling of Plato’s notion of soulmates. He may say he thinks the notion of 4 arms, 4 legs, 2 faces is not true, but at the same time, after Brennan says, “I agree. It’s ridiculous.” the way Booth says “Right?”, the way he pauses and blinks, the way he kinds of shakes his head – he says one thing but is showing another. There’s a shadow of soberness and doubt that passes over his face while he’s verbally agreeing with Brennan. So when I see that, I think he’s just saying what he thinks Brennan would want to hear.

  2. Honestly? I think he doesn’t believe in soulmates.

    Booth DOES believe there is someone for everyone, that much is obvious. What i don’t think he believes is that there is ONLY one someone for everyone.

    I suppose it comes down to how you define a soulmate. You can ask a group of people, and everyone will have a slightly different view of it. In this instance, Soulmate seems to suggest that in the world, and in your life you are only destined to spend your life with ONE person. The person that ‘completes’ you…i don’t see Booth as someone who thinks like that.

    He loves Rebecca and he always will, and when he was with her he was IN love with her. He ‘loved’ Brennan (ok, you know i don’t believe he loved Brennan but for this instance it’s way easier to work on the assumption that he did!) and now he loves Hannah. And i imagine he has loved other woman we no nothing about.

    Booth believes in love…and he believes in a love that can ‘conquer all’ as it were. But being a romantic, believing in love, fate and destiny isn’t the same as believing in soulmates.

    At least i don’t think it is 😀

    • Wow, I was going to write my own reply, but since you said everything that I was thinking ( except that I really do believe that Booth loves Brennan) and said it better than I could, I will just agree with you.

  3. An interesting question! 🙂

    When I saw/heard him say this I took it like he didn’t believe in a) the four arms, four legs and two faces thing, and/or b) that people need to find someone to complete them.

    Maybe he meant that people can be whole and complete without having a soulmate, but that finding a soulmate will make their lives fuller. That a soulmate is someone that understands the other person completely. Someone who doesn’t need to get things explained in order to “get” the other person. And so on. Not necessarily be the missing piece that will make someone whole/complete.

    Another interesting question is if men and women, no matter if they are romantic or not, have the same idea of what a soulmate is…

  4. Well I think Booth was really just having fun, enjoying himself right there. He had just done the whole Play-doh vs. Plato. Then the way he smiled at her when she said he was joking. I thought it was very cute, and I think he was in a bit of a playful mood.

    Now I do think when he starts off saying it’s ridiculous he was talking about the four arms, four legs, two heads thing. When Brennan took it to mean everything about Plato’s theory including the existenance of soulmates he just went along with it instead of engaging in another bickering session. He was having fun, enjoying himself and he decided with something like this just go along with it have fun and enjoy just being there with her.

    Hey he’d already spent all of that time trying to convince her that love lasts, and there is someone for everyone…someone you’re meant to be with, why pile another thing on top of all of that. If he could convince her of the rest I think it would be good enough for him.

  5. I think that Booth does believe in soulmates. He believes that there is someone out there for everyone, which to me is almost the definition of a soulmate. Maybe he is almost mocking the idea of the Plato thing to humour Brennan. He knows it is something Brennan would not believe in and maybe he just does not want to argue with her or ruin the moment. They’re not really having a deep conversation here and maybe he just wanted to keep it light. It could even be argued that this conversation could have contributed to the 100th episode “proposal”. Maybe Booth went home and really thought about soulmates and that got him questioning his relationship with Brennan. Or maybe I just like to think that because it makes me happy. Either way, I think Booth does believe in soulmates. If he believes in fate and that there is really someone out there for everyone, it’s not that huge of a leap to think he would believe in soulmates also.

  6. Sure, I think Booth believes in the idea of soulmates and that there’s one person for everyone and I love all the moments you’ve referenced to show that. In the Plato/Play-doh scene, I think that, from how Booth is smiling throughout, he’s just having fun and being agreeable. There are instances when Booth and Brennan argue or bicker, that Booth concedes even though he’s not convinced or maybe even right. Brennan tends to like having the last word and I think Booth recognizes that so he lets her have it because it’s more important to her than to him.

    Thanks for the post, Janet! It was fun to think about.

  7. I’m going to try to keep this short, but I’m quite sure I won’t be successful. I went back and watched that scene three times before realizing I needed to see the rest of the story. I think many times people look at specific moments out of context. So much happened before that soulmates conversation. I decided to step back and look at a bigger picture. Booth is in love with Brennan, but still very much trying to bury that fact. He hasn’t gotten to that ‘I wanna give this a shot’ moment. He’s not willing to push her or fight for her yet.

    Take a look at the case they just solved. He responds to something Sweets said with, “Right, a message. I believe in messages. Live life to its fullest, people should do that more often. Moment to moment, day to day, but they don’t.” He knows he’s guilty of being one of the masses of people who don’t. (Is this foreshadowing of what’s to come in 100? I think so. He grasps that one moment and tries to live life to its fullest.)

    Now to a side story of the episode. Booth believes he is the basis for Agent Lister in Brennan’s books. He just found out that Angela helps Brennan with ‘those moments’. It has to be a little bit of a hit to his pride and a little bit of a disappointment. Those times which, in the back of his head, he hopes are how Brennan feels about him are actually Angela’s voice, not hers. I would think this would be enough to cause him to doubt what he’s hoping is a two way street between Brennan and himself.

    Back to the case again. It was about the lives of people who fell apart because of love. Near the end he listens as Officer Grant says, “I shoulda been happy with what I had.” Look at Booth’s face when she says that. Booth is a thinker and he hears what she’s trying to say. He takes it to heart.

    Now to Brennan’s apartment. He’s still surprised by people and he tells Brennan he thinks that’s a bad thing. I personally think he might be lumping the knowledge of Angela’s help in that statement. He’s disturbed by the fact he doesn’t have all the answers. He realizes that people don’t always react to or do things the way he expects them to. Again, his self confidence has taken a hit.

    Right after that he brings up the soulmates concept and says, “He’ll wait for her for however long it takes…” Booth knows that’s what he’s doing with Brennan at that very moment. Look at his face when she says that. He loves her. He does, and he knows he’s guilty of not living life to its fullest. He’s thinking about the ‘I shoulda been happy with what I had’ statement. He’s not ready to rock the boat. He’s doubting himself. So when Brennan brings up the origin of soulmates, I don’t think he’s in the mental zone he needs to be in to get into a deep philosophical discussion about it. He’s still trying to figure out where he stands. He decides to be happy with what they have and keep the easy going superficial banter. He needs the comfort and security of actually knowing the outcome of that conversation. He needs the comfort of a happy Brennan and not the fearful Brennan he gets when he engages her in those deep philosophical discussions.

    One personal aside. When Booth talks to Sweets about the guy in the subway, he tells Sweets he died happy. “This guy gets this great news and what does he do? He shares it…” Booth got this interesting news about a man who’s willing to wait for however long it takes and what does he do? He shares it.

    • Great take on the scene-I’m totally with you. I also think that when he says right? and looks at her he’s maybe wishing she would disagree. When she doesn’t he keeps it light and just plays along.

  8. I was really annoyed when Booth agreed with her on that one, but then I got over it and I interpreted it to be Booth simply telling Brennan what she wants to hear. Maybe he wasn’t in the mood to have a bickering match over soulmates, so he just humoured her, I don’t know. It’s definitely a conundrum because it seems to go against what he was telling her the rest of the time.

    Personally, I think that Booth does believe in soulmates, he’s just wary of showing all his cards to Brennan about his feelings. I mean, how could you possibly have a conversation about soulmates with the woman you (not so) secretly love and not give yourself away? It’s easier to deny it and change the subject, no? It’s like when someone asks you a question you’re not comfortable answering, so you deflect and try to change the subject. I think Booth was really struggling with his feelings up until 100 (am I or am I not in love with her), and then their re-telling of their first case to Sweets made him remember that there was a spark between them right from the beginning. I think he had buried it so far down in his consciousness that he just ignored all that “evidence” until he was reminiscing about it again, and that’s what convinced him for sure that he loved her and he wanted to take the gamble.

    Those are my 2 cents. 🙂

    • I agree with you, Ange. I always felt like he was just happy to be there with her drinking Scotch and being close and was just humoring her. He had a playful, affectionate demeanor that I felt was more lighthearted and not trying to engage in a deep discussion at that point. I think he does believe in soulmates and I think Brennan knows he does. 🙂

  9. I think it actually is a bit literal, and that the version of soulmates being described isn’t one he agrees with. Particularly the part about needing to be completed. This is the guy who sees making love as two becoming one. I don’t think he agrees with the idea that one is incomplete without a partner. Catholics see marriage as two souls coming together as one, so Plato’s theory of only having half of a soul/self just does fit his own belief system.

  10. I think Booth wants to believe in soulmates. He has never seen an example of it though. Booth has not had a fairytale life. His relationships have always failed him. His experiences from childhood to adulthood have always disappointed him in someway or another. Love has not come easily to Booth. While Booth may appear to be confident on the outside, I believe he is really insecure on the inside. As a small child, I don’t think Booth felt loved or that he felt he was worthy of love because of the environment he was raised in. Booth said once that if it weren’t for his Pop’s he woundn’t be alive today. Where love is concerned he has had to fight for the love he has gotten in his life. He loves his son, but has had to fight the battles with Parker’s mother to get to show that love to Parker and to make sure he has a relationship with him. His Pop’s loves him, but I think the abuse and relationship Booth had with his own father has made the love he received there to be tainted in a way for him. In the episode where his grandfather started the fire in his kitchen, he was afraid if he didn’t take his grandfather in that he might lose the love that his grandfather has for him. In a way, Booth does feel that love is conditional. He wants to do what is right and what is expected. He doesn’t like to disappoint others, nor does he want to make others feel uncomfortable. In a way he is a pleaser. He really doesn’t like to rock the boat. He likes routine and stability because it feels safe for him. When Booth met Brennan there was an attraction but the thing I think that has drown Booth to Brennan is also her need to be loved and accepted as well. She, in a way, needed Booth to help herself feel worthy of being loved and needed as an individual. When Booth feels needed he in a way fills that void of being that unloved child. Booth is a man searching for someone to love, and for someone to love him back. Booth really wants to be able to love someone unconditionally and have that love returned back 100%. Until he is able to love himself unconditionally and accept his flaws and share his life completely with someone else, he will never get his soulmate. We have seen him share somethings with Brennan, but we have yet to see Booth really open up and express completely his fears and doubts about himself to her or anyone else. When he does, we may see Booth believing whole-heartedly in soulmates and getting to experience what that really means. More than anyone else on this show, I believe that Booth wants to believe that there is a soulmate for every single person out there. He is the one that is searching for it the most and is wanting to experience what that experience may be like more than the other characters on this show. A soulmate is someone who sees the all of you and despite all the flaws and imperfections loves you regardless. They make you feel complete and whole as a person. Isn’t that what we all hope to have or attain in our lifetime, one way or another? It is what Booth wants most in the world I believe.

  11. I think that Booth often does this…agrees with her completely…then kind of smirks, bobs his head side to side, in his sort of cocky joking manner that says, without saying “right, and if you believe that, I’ve got some swampland in arizona……” He’s being scarcastic….not literal.

    Of course Booth believes in soulmates…he’s said it in just about every way imaginable…’there’s someone out there for everyone” “you just have to be open to it” “everything happens eventually, all those things you never thought would happen, they do” “Put your brain in neutral, and pop your heart into gear vrooooom” …. For me, this isn’t even a dabate!

    Booth believes in soulmates…and he was saying “Ridiculous! ” subtext “Ummm ya right!” He was humoring her…clearly! Doing it her way…giving her her moment and agreeing that two heads four arms four legs…was ridiculous! That all!

  12. I have a different take on Booth. I don’t think he believes in soulmates. I hope I explain this so that it makes sense. I believe that Booth does not believe in Soulmates because he loves who he is with. If he believed in soulmates then all of the women he has loved in the past were not meant for him and therefore he was cheating himself and the one he was destined to be with. I would expect a soulmate to be someone who is like you. Together, you would blend together and become one. If you are a soulmate then you are the emotional twin of someone else. Booth knows that Brennan is nothing like him. They do not match and will never blend. Booth is the heart of the partnership. He dreams of love and the idea that two can become one; but, he knows that to love Brennan is accept who she is and that she could never give enough of herself to blend with anyone.

    • Ah but see that’s a different interpretation of a soulmate than I was thinking. If you’re going on the Plato thing and saying you have a soulmate because they are the missing half of you then that means the other half is the parts of you that are missing, so not someone who is the same as you, but someone missing what you have and who has what you are missing. You bring the two together and you have one whole. If you were both the same then you’d be just as complete apart as you are together.

      Brennan would be Booth’s perfect soulmate because they do complement each other one’s strength is the others weakness. Brennan is logic while Booth is heart. Together they are complete. Two halves of the same coin, two halves of the same soul.

  13. What I find interesting is that it does seem that he’s talking about the four-arms-four-legs thing, which is what I had originally thought, up until today. I’d never really given this scene much thought, but now it kind of intreges me. (Did I spell that right?) I think it might just be him being a guy, trying to impress the girl he likes. “Oh, you don’t believe in that? psh, neither do I!” or something.

  14. The way I always saw it, he was just goofing around with her. He was joking. I think he can be silly about the whole Plato thing and still believe in soulmates. I really just think he was goofing around. Not necessarily making an actual point.

  15. In my opinion, he’s teasing her. Her is in love with her but thinks she doesn’t care in that way, so he keeps the conversation light to avoid conflict. He rocks up to her house, she’s in her robe. They’re drinking scotch. He does not want this to go badly, so he throws something out there that is very Bones-minded. I think it catches her off guard a bit. She’s not used to him agreeing with her on these sorts of matters.

    This man definitely believes in soulmates. Let’s keep watching and see if he references them again 😉

  16. First off, I have to say, this was not an episode I enjoyed and ending it that way…even less because I hated the idea of Booth backing away from the idea of soulmates. It completely irked me. I’d replay it over and over again to figure out what the hell he was really saying. I really think this was HH messing with our minds trying to throw us off the idea that these two belonged together. Didn’t the 100th episode come after this??? If so, he was setting us up for the big fall.

    I think Booth was still unsure of how Brennan felt about him and this was his way of “fishing” for where her heart was. Her response wouldn’t have been a big help because it was clear to me she didn’t believe in soulmates. She was being her literal self. She wasn’t about to have that “heart” discussion with him at this point.

    I have to say I’m still angry about this episode even though it’s been a while since I’ve seen it.

    Nonetheless, do I think Booth believes in soulmates? I believe, call me crazy, that HH has written these two as soulmates and thus I believe Booth does believe in it. (Damn…so many “believes in this sentence).

    Having a relationship with Rebecca and now Hannah…being “in love” with them doesn’t mean he doesn’t believe in soulmates. It just mean he’s been willing to “settle” just to find a little bit of happiness in his life. He loved Rebecca but later telling her he was glad they’d never married revealed he hadn’t been as deeply in love with her as he’d originally thought and visa versa. Today Hannah is another Rebecca…someone he can probably be happy with but will she be that person that his heart is screaming for…I don’t think so. To me this is an epic love story so soulmates is part of the equation. Anything less for me means HH is copping out.

    • I think “settling” is a good word for what he’s currently doing, just like he told Avalon that “sometimes you have to settle for second best.”

      • I’d forgotten about that line. Another line I hated. No…don’t settle for 2nd best. Don’t settle for just having a partnership with Bones which is what he was implying. It is episodes like these where HH teases us with hope to later swipe it away in a heartbeat that irritates the heck out of me.

  17. I really think Booth believes in soulmates. He is a 100% romantic so I do not doubt for 1 second that he doesn’t. As finding one’s twin flame is very rare and only few people get that lucky, he has allowed himself to be very open in welcoming love to come into his life in whatever form would it be. As what he said before, there is more than one kind of family…. I do think that this statement also applies to his belief in love. Thus, I would agree with Sarah Jade when she says that Booth is settling for the second best with him loving other women aside from Brennan – his twin flame – the one that would complete him

  18. I loved this scene. I think HH used it to illustrate that they ARE soulmates but that they have been in denial or oblivious. The way they are looking at each other and talking to each other says, these two are meant to be together, whether they’re willing to admit it or not. 🙂

    As for how Booth ACTUALLY feels about soulmates, look at his track record instead of this one moment. That’s what I say anyway. 🙂

  19. I had never even considered that Booth was serious when he said this. Hmmm. I still don’t think he was, and I’ll just agree with some of the previous posters.

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