Bones Theory

Booth: Attractive On Our Terms?

86 Comments

Good morning! Happy BONESday to you!

Here’s a fun fact; over the course of this week, we’ve hit over 3,000 comments here at Bones Theory. That is awesome! Seriously, thank you, thank you, thank you to each one who comes around here and reads and comments. We are chugging right along in our “Post-a-day 2011” challenge from WordPress, and I am loving it. BT started exactly seven months ago (on July 3rd, with a post that received six comments! “From Tessa to Hacker: How B&B Have Shared the Same Relationship Track“), and it’s been a great, great time ever since.  

One thing I’ve been noticing since last summer is the shift in general public opinion toward Booth. This was occurring even before season six started, and I’ve made my opinions clear on that (Booth Has Not Changed, November 8, 2010), but lately, I’ve been thinking more and more about this. Not about whether or not he’s changed; I still feel pretty strongly about that…but more about this idea that if he hasn’t changed…then something else has. And what is that thing? I am not sure, exactly. Yet…the reality is there. People don’t love Booth as much.

So I’m wondering…why is Booth only attractive on our terms? I don’t necessarily mean sexy when I say attractive, though I suppose that can be included.

Is love for Booth contingent upon Brennan? Specifically…if Booth is not gaga for Brennan 24/7…is he less attractive to us? And why? Have we been programmed for this from the beginning?

Maybe it goes back to our own individual reasons for loving Booth in the first place. What are/were yours? I’ve said before that I certainly liked Booth a lot, for several reasons, but I fell in love…LOVE…in Boy in the Shroud, when he was so kind as he escorted Alex away from his sister Kelly. I loved Booth for his compassion. And his shoulders. Hahaha. It’s true!

But…seriously, now…are we judging Booth based on what WE want for/from him? If he was flirty in the past (with Felicia or Rebecca or Perotta or that girl at the gym or…whomever), I would usually narrow my eyes and wonder why he was being flirty. If he was flirty with Brennan…

…well, then I would smile for days and feel like all was right with the world. But is that discrepancy Booth’s fault or my fault?

If he was sort of prudish (ahem, gentlemanly!) or bad at relationships before (Tessa, in my opinion), that was okay, because he was vulnerable and we loved him. If he is over anxious about clean sheets or quick to deny lots of things nowadays…why aren’t we still loving him for his vulnerability?

If he hasn’t changed, then why have we? I’m asking all of us here… Why does his world have to be centered around Brennan in order for it to be valid?

Don’t get me wrong…I want ‘single life shared’ and “we’re the center” and “someone for everyone” and all of that…I really, really do. I’m not championing Booth with Hannah for even a millisecond.  And honestly, I’m not at the point where all of this will be worth it. We’re not at the end of this storyline, so I can’t say for sure; the point is a single great episode (Bullet in the Brain) does not cover a multitude of illuminations, if you catch my drift. Haha…

So we’ll see! But meanwhile, there’s Booth…

What do you think? Is it true? We find Booth attractive when he does what we want? We find him admirable or loyal or great when he is admirable, loyal and great toward people we like? Booth has never really been perfect, and we’ve liked him for that.

Why now not so much? Is it more because we feel fear? I admitted that to you when I talked about Hannah before (Why I’m Nervous; Why I Shouldn’t Be) . I don’t want Booth with Hannah because she’s tall, blond and thin and I’m none of those things. Right? But that’s not Booth’s issue…that’s my issue.

Obviously, there are layers here.

1. Booth’s character-straight up.

2. The understanding that Booth is a character written by other people who are responsible for his actions.

3. Our reactions to both of those things.

For the sake of this argument, I’m mostly working with 1 and 3.  Booth is a ‘person’ and I react to that person. But let’s talk 2 for a moment. Has anything changed in the way Booth as a character is being written…let’s say in the past 12 months. Devil in the Details aired February 3rd, 2010, so that’s one year ago today. How much has changed in his characterization, at the root level? What do we expect from Booth? What do we NEED from him?

And let me ask you this:

What if we flip our BONES-Worldview around. I mean it. We’ve discussed before this idea that Brennan just might be the one who saves Booth when this entire story is all said and done. Maybe we should start believing that. If the show were the exact same, but it was called…I don’t know, something Booth-y, our worldviews would change…our frame of reference would be different. We would offer Booth the same sort of allowances based on his childhood, family life, innate personality, as we do for Brennan.

How would we feel about Booth then? How would we feel about Brennan? I’ve strayed a bit from my original idea, but the thought is still there. Do we have certain mindsets that allow Booth to be accepted when he acts certain ways? Is our love for him conditional? Ah…I think THAT is what I’ve been trying to say this entire time. Why is our love (or kindness, respect, affection, protection, loyalty etc)  for him conditional though we expect unconditional love (or…kindness, respect, affection, protection, loyalty, etc…) FROM him toward Brennan? Am I the only one guilty of this?

What do you think? I’m curious for your thoughts!  And actually…just for fun: if the show had been named after Booth…what would be the title? One word answers only! 🙂

Peace, Love & Bones,

~S

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86 thoughts on “Booth: Attractive On Our Terms?

  1. I’ll come back to comment on the main ideas of the post once I’ve organized them all in my head, but I do have an answer for your last question… What can I say, it’s only one word! Heehee! 😛 Well, a Booth-centered show could only be Booth-y enough if it were called “Cocky”. (I have a couple of other ideas, like “very hot guy lying across a table” – and yes, in this show we’d get a Booth+gun+table in every. single. episode – but, since we’re limited to one word titles, that’s what I’d go with. :P)

  2. I think that is a very interesting concept! I think that we have built up an idealised Booth in our collective minds that when his ‘humanity’ for want of a better word is written into an episode, we seem to cry foul and accuse him of falling short of our expectations. That’s not Booth’s fault, he is human (fictional yes, but still human!) so the fault would lie with us and how we build our version of him in our heads. Booth has many noble qualities, his bravery, his heart, his street smarts, but he also has some very human failings and vulnerabilities too. Of course, one could argue that he is fictional, and therefore should heed to our idealised expectations, but I find that the ideal Booth with a sprinkling of ‘failings’ very appealing (even if at times I want to smack his head for bringing back a girlfriend, but like you said, that is my issue and not his!). That’s my $0.02 worth anyway.
    With regards to the title of a Booth-centric show, I would have suggested ‘Shoes’ but that joke never really took after the 100th! Lame suggestion I know!! XD

  3. Booth is still attractive to me mainly because I never put him up on a pedestal and worshipped him. I always loved him flaws and all. Those flaws just made him more real, and to me, even more attractive. If I was going to name a show for Booth it would be Paladin.

    • I have to agree with you there. I cant be mad at Booth for their issues, unless i wanted to be mad at Brennan for the same reason.

      But I do think people make excuses for brennan and she is allowed to get away with alot more.

      Is hannah really that much different then sully or hacker? or any other guy that she has passed in front of Booth? Okay so maybe he didnt say exactly what he was feeling to her at those moments, but.. She told him no, she couldnt change, agreed with him moving on, and yet he is the bad guy for not just dropping hannah right away and trying to work it out with Brennan. When all i can think of is why wouldnt booth think that it was just the case that had gotten to her?

      I think it is because he has crushed our dream of prince charming. And truthfully we all want that happily ever after.

      • Please keep in mind Brennan is not the one saying he’s a bad guy. She still seems to view him as a good guy hero. Many fans may be hurt and betrayed on her behalf, but she’s never said or done anything to indicate she felt that way. Even when she questioned him telling Hannah about her confession she immediately conceded he was right to do so.

      • I think you are absolutely right when you suggest that fans are mad because our “dream” of Prince Charming is crushed. We’re pretty much resigned to not getting happily ever after in real life, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t still want it, and when we can’t get it in fiction, it seems completely unattainable.

  4. Sarah, I totally agree. I’ve written my share of “support Booth” posts as well and yet I still find myself getting irritated with him sometimes. The worst was after The Babe in the Bar. I was just so upset at the way he treated Brennan in that episode, even though I KNEW the writers were doing it very intentionally. It’s hard, I think, to get so emotionally involved in a show and not have your heart “rise up” and “get fierce” when a character you love is being treated badly (or is the one treating someone badly). I like “real” characters, but even so, sometimes I still have to remind myself of that fact.

  5. I just think is hard to us accept the Booth’s actions this season after see him told Brennan and us to that a man can be a friend of a woman, can be her confidant and share his fear w/ this woman too, can be her lover above all this things. Not just sex but make love as Booth always said. And we learnd all this 6years that Booth felt alll this about Brennan. We learnd the Booth want love Brennan above their issues and Trauma past . That’s why i think is so hard see a man the built all this world about the woman he love pulpiteer to everyone around that that he moved on and love another woman the he met only 7 months. It’s tough to me specially accept that. Maybe Booth left me spoiled about what i want from him concerning Brennan. But i think the true love is about that. About the name i think would be perfect is was THE ROGUE AGENT.

  6. For the show title, I would choose “Alpha” as Booth is the true Alpha male, not just the one with the most colorful plumage.

    I do think viewers want Booth to want Brennan only. That is the way we have always known Booth and seeing that change has been difficult for people. Though, I am not really one of those people and have enjoyed seeing a different side of Booth while harboring the full expectation that he ends up with our Brennan. And, I do believe it really is just a different side of him we are seeing ( a hurt and determined to move on side) and not a different Booth in his character.

  7. I would go with Paladin for the title. It is very descriptive of Booth and that ep where he saves the boy where this was the secret word between the dad and the son is one of my favorites. I think Brennan fell for Booth a little more there where she is mentally comparing him to the other FBI agent who doesn’t see the benefits of parenthood.
    Maybe we as fans have been a little too forgiving of Booth’s flaws in past seasons and now that he isn’t swooning over Brennan, it is hard to take. Since I know this will all work out eventually, I am just enjoying seeing the story unfold and staying positive.
    Thanks for a great post.

  8. I like these show title ideas . . . for one word titles Paladin and Cocky are great options! If allowed 2, I might suggest “Special Agent”. 🙂

    I love Booth as much as I ever have. I have found myself getting caught a couple of times within the whirlwind of trying to defend him this season and backed out when I started to feel too “passionate” about it. The only thing different that I truly see is that he is not as “close” with Brennan – but I do not feel at all that he is behaving any differently than usual.

    I have always been irked with him when he gets all snarky, bordering on mean (vs. just lightly sarcastic) with the squints, even if it is a defense mechanism. But in S3, when he laughs at Brennan re: Brainy Smurf – I am mad at him, and knowing his past, I am more forgiving of the rest of his “stories” — but not knowing that (which technically, we didn’t) he would have been a jerk to listen to. His final story, however, fully redeems him in my eyes and I found I was irked with Brennan for not fully appreciating the true reveal of his nature.

    So, with only using that one, specific example, my point is to indicate that for as much as I find Booth attractive, he has had many moments pre-Season 6 where I have still not liked what he has said and done. I would almost say I have seen LESS of these annoying moment this season than before.

    I have always been attracted to Booth when he is in dad-mode (the mom in me, and age — hahaha), and also when he is in “defend the honor of any woman” -mode. Booth has gotten all alpha-male around Angela and Cam, not just Brennan. And though I’m not really keen on Booth with Hannah, I really loved Booth with Cam and wished we saw half of what we have seen between Booth/Hannah occur with Booth/Cam.

    Is Booth *more* attractive around Brennan? I think he is — but that is because a man (or woman) in love exudes love. Love makes everyone just a little bit softer, don’t you think?

    I possess a lot of male characteristics (which works well since my husband has a lot of female ones – hahaha), so perhaps that is why I am easily forgiving of Booth for a lot of things. Men and women are different creatures. I think, from what I’ve heard, that there was a time when folks were not as easy on Brennan, either, for a time — maybe it is just Booth’s “turn”. 🙂 Sometimes it is easier for people to have a scapegoat for their pain – which we have seen so many experiencing right now.
    Now that I’ve blabbered a bit, I don’t know if this comment is at all helpful to this post! Just to say “not me, not me”? Maybe. Thanks for the selfish moment.

    • I feel similarly to the way you do as I said in a comment below. My thoughts about why Booth is more attractive around Brennan might be slightly different. I think he’s more attractive around Brennan because it’s what we WANT to see. Like I said about unconditional love for your children…we project. When they are doing the things we want them to do, we are happier. When we are happier, we tend to assume the people we’re studying are happier as well. We have to really search in order to see they may not be happier. (that last line was not in reference to B&B at all, just a little more ‘evidence’ of the way we see the world through a filter of our own desires.) So…they seem more attractive because we want them to be more attractive when they’re with each other.

  9. I don’t think people have stopped loving Booth. At the very least, I certainly haven’t. I think everyone just doesn’t like what the writers are doing with his storyline. Nobody truly hates Booth, I don’t think. Or at least I don’t. DOes that make sense? Let me use some examples. the best show I can come up with is Degrassi, simply because it’s the only show I know with a million different couples getting together and breaking up in practically every episode. With Clare and KC, when they broke up and KC moved on, everyone hated KC. That was genuinely due to the fact that he turned into a jerk. But when Declan and Holly J. broke up, no one really hated Declan. It was a huge Degrassi special, getting them together, and then they broke up. The difference was that Holly J. moved on first. I feel like if Declan had moved on first, people would have hated him. I think that that’s what’s going on here.

    Oh, and “Agent”

  10. Why do I love to watch Bones? Honestly, it is because of the character of Brennan. She is what captivated me from the start. Bones for me is about her, and her journey. Booth is a fine looking man. Yet he alone wouldn’t have interested or captivated me enough, as a character by himself, to make me tune in and watch this show each and every week. In a way, this show is now boiled down to maybe which character you identify most with and who you feel the most for. For me, its the character of Brennan that keeps me coming back. My feelings towards Booth are directly related to how I feel Brennan is feeling or is being portrayed. Does that make sense?

    The writing of the show also has alot to do with my negative viewpoint of Booth as a character. It holds more of the blame, than the actual character. Quite honestly I loved the 100th episode. What ruined it was the wording of Booth’s dialogue and his actions after that. I have not felt the same about him since then. Every episode that has followed this 100th episode has been almost painful and unwatchable for me. In a way, the Booth and Brennan parnership/relationship went through a metaphorical divorce. I have seen real life situations like this and its inevitable that as a person there is always one person or another that you tend to side with. In the instance of Booth and Brennan, I guess I took the side of Brennan. She reacted how I felt she should have acted in the 100th episode. I felt her reaction in the 100th was true to her character and was the most honestly written characterization. Booth’s was not in my opinion.

    Booth was built up to be this man that was worthy of Brennan’s trust. I thought he did see all of her and I wanted to believe that knew her inside and out. The end of season five and the entire first half of season six has shown me that this Booth I’m now watching is not the man I thought I was watching. He has decided to look out for himself and his own needs. That maybe what he needs.

    For me its Brennan who sets the tone of this show for me. So I look at Brennan while viewing this show and if she isn’t happy or content, then I’m not happy or content. I’m with Brennan all the way.

    • “My feelings towards Booth are directly related to how I feel Brennan is feeling or is being portrayed. Does that make sense?”
      Yes, Kim, that’s exactly it for me, too. I have occasionally taken other sides in this little drama (we’re all human), but for the most part I look to Brennan as well. I understand that Booth needs love too, that he’s not perfect and that I shouldn’t expect him to be (though I do, and lay the blame squarely on Disney corp.’s shoulders for that), and sometimes I can even become very Zen about the whole thing. But 99 times out of a hundred, it’s Brennan’s reactions that guide mine. If she’s happy, I am. If she’s hurting, same goes.
      The one thing I hold on to is the idea that we don’t know everything that’s ever happened between these two people. The telephone conversation in this season’s tMitM, for instance. There’s more to these people than we’re allowed to see, and maybe Brennan knows some things we don’t, and if she’s still willing to go through this nonsense day after day, I’m willing to follow her.
      All the characters are my imaginary friends, but Brennan is my bestie. My heart will rise up and get fierce and I’m with her all the way, but I also trust the woman and she trusts Booth.

  11. I know you (or somebody) has already discussed that Booth was mainly at the lab because of Brennan, and his world started to kinda build around all of that. We’ve talked so much about his actions toward Brennan, and the reasons why, and I mostly understand (I would understand more if I was a man, I bet). But it was really hard to take him walking away from the non-surprise baby announcement. True, his relationship with Brennan is different, but I thought the others were his friends, at least to share in big moments. I mean, they’ve been there for his birthday, they’ve saved his life several times (Brennan couldn’t do it alone), and they were at the hospital when he had to go into surgery. They aren’t just colleagues, and it’s sad for them to be affected negatively because of this shift. I think I can say that I don’t really think less of Booth (especially since I allow everyone their faults), but it really is painful and sad to watch how he adjusts. I think he overall behaves pretty well considering, but he always seems strained to me, and that discomfort makes me uncomfortable.

    • Ugh, I had forgotten about that non-surprise party about Hodgins and Angela’s baby. I think I’ve been blocking out the uncomfortable Booth moments. Ipes, that was a tough one….

    • One thing I have never understood is why so many people are so irked at Booth about this. I just don’t think this is that big a deal. He’s trying to keep some space from the squints because he needs space from Brennan, and Angela (or somebody) gave him an out with the “if you can’t act surprised, don’t come.” So, he didn’t. No biggie in my book.

      • You’re right–it wasn’t a big deal, not in a “How could you do that?!” kind of angry way. I totally understood why, and it made sense. But it was just…hard to watch. Sad. For me anyway. All I could think was the contrast with Brennan dragging Booth in to celebrate Zack’s finally getting his doctorate. After so many years of sort of begrudgingly allowing himself to assimilate into the squints, it was sad to see him so easily kind of walk away, even if that walking away didn’t signify much otherwise.

      • I didn’t say I was irked. But I think he had a choice. And I wouldn’t put it in the right or wrong category, because who’s to say if it was me that I would have gone. But sometimes you do things for people to let them know you care, even if you have to put yourself aside for the moment. Maybe it wasn’t that kind of thing. Or maybe he couldn’t at the time. Booth did need distance from Brennan, but on several occasions he’s been shown to handle himself among a group. I can handle any reason for him not attending except for sex with Hannah. It still would have been waiting for him at home if he stopped in for a little bit. But then again I’ve never experienced that “focused on new love” experience someone commented on earlier.

        On the other hand, the idea of him a little envious of Hodgins’ happiness at having it all sounds far more appealing to me…well, you know what I mean. Yeah, I’m gonna go with that.

    • I don’t know if Booth considers any of the squints his friends. In the Scientist in the Physicist he told Brennan that she was the only smart person he really likes. He tolerates the squints because of Brennan. Thats Booth. If he didn’t want to go to a non-suprise party and Brennan was ok with it, then Booth was off the hook. Booth only cares what Brennan thinks, not the squints. He does like Sweets; but, I don’t think he considers him to be a squint.

  12. Double standards plain and simple. I actually have started to hate the Bones fandom because of it. The stuff that gets written towards Booth and crossing the line to David. Makes me want to vomit. It is shameful

  13. I still find Booth attractive/ noble I still love him. I think he is conflicted on more than one level he has tried to move on with Hannah so he owes her loality he remimbers Cam saying be sure of his feelings or brennen or risk hurting her and I think maybe he’s afraid to risk his heart again. His not wearing the belt buckle or tie reminds me of what angela told Gordan Gordan after Booth woke from his coma dream, he is not as happy go luck, I can’t wait to see how it continues to evolve, but don’t see the chemistry between him and Hannah

  14. Some fans have short memories. They are nasty and fickle. They forget what Booth has done for the squints for Brennan. Brennan in particular owes Booth a hell of a lot. And what, just because Booth has every right in the world to live his life and be happy and is doing so, they turn like dogs with rabies. What they have done, is what they have acussed Booth of doing. Hypocrites.

  15. First, while I love the name Paladin for a Booth-centered show, you should know that there already was a show called Paladin which was a western. I think the actor was Richard Boone. Sometimes I can kind of remember the theme song. (OY! I am so-o old.) Whether that could be updated with an FBI agent is the question. So my suggestion for a name would be simple: Booth. Incidentally, there was also a show called “The Rifleman” which was also a western. I can see the actor, but can’t remember his name.

    Second, as to the main question. My “feelings” for Booth haven’t changed. I’ve been responding to a lot of the Booth bashing in other places by pointing out that, as Seels has, he hasn’t changed, but his circumstances have. Particularly, I think we haven’t given him enough credit for how deeply Brennan hurt him when she rejected him as a man and then proceeded to reject him (in his mind) as a partner when she ran away to Muluku. Others may disagree with the use of this word, but I think he felt that she abandoned him and their partnership. I think he wondered if he would ever even see her again. He clearly was not sure she still wanted to work with him in Mastodon. Remember, she initially planned to go back to Muluku. And, this was all after wanting to continue working with him after rejecting him in the 100th.

    I wasn’t happy that he didn’t try to convince her that she had an open heart, etc. in the 100th, but I’ll let that go. Brennan’s actions at the end of season 5 to me give Booth complete justification for everything he has done since then. She crushed his heart and then came back and did it again. I’m not bashing Brennan here, just pointing out that she unwittingly worked him over emotionally. He couldn’t even be sure she was still his friend and partner, let alone someone who might come to love him as a man one day.

    As I mentioned the other day, I actually think that all the so-called slights of Bones this season are the proof that he still loves her. He had to keep her at arm’s length to protect himself and his heart once they were back together. He couldn’t trust himself to work beside her every day and not want her, and he couldn’t trust Bones with his heart any more.

    So, my feelings, attitude toward Booth haven’t changed. I think he’s still all those wonderful, heroic things, but he is also a man whose past has left him with serious doubts about whether he is worthy of any woman’s love. Then he was twice rejected by the woman who is the great love of his life, his soulmate. I, for one, am amazed he would even consider working with Bones after everything that happened, let alone admit to himself (or anyone else) that he still has feelings for her. And, I totally excuse him for protecting himself and his heart.

    I’m a Booth girl — ‘nuf said.

    • Even as a Brennan girl I agree with what you said. It’s amazing that this strong, heroic solider, this alpha-male who endured physical torture, found his worst torture in the form of a rejection from a woman – Brennan. I mean, wow. She really did a number on him, before, when we could see him being totally dazzled by her, and now as he deals with the hurt. Brennan did make mistakes, and that’s putting it mildly. They were based on her fears, and no matter how irrational they were, they were real to her. Brennan isn’t heartless, and may actually be more sensitive than most. She needed strong walls to protect herself. She is a self-made woman, and she had to forge a new identity for herself by herself. Oops, I’m going on and on about Brennan when this post is about Booth. I just don’t want this to turn from Booth-bashing to Brennan-bashing.

      Some say Booth should have known so much about Brennan for his approach in the 100th. But he’s not a mind reader, especially when he’s being vulnerable. I heard no loud and clear in one ear. In fact, it was “No! No!” as she physically pushed him away. I can understand his approach, I can understand his reaction. But I heard “wait, I’m scared to lose what we have” in the other ear. So many misunderstanding there, *sigh*.

      Both have been hurt in the past, and they both struggle with whether they are deserving of love or not. It makes it so difficult between these two.

    • Angelena, I thought the name of the Richard Boone show was “Have Gun Will Travel” and the characters name was Paladin. Also, fyi the main character in the Rifleman was played by Chuck Connors.

      • Lisa – You are completely correct. And, now I’ve got part of the theme song in my head: Have gun will travel reads the card of a man. Paladin, paladin ….
        With the horse head chess figure on the card.
        So, I guess you could have a new show called Paladin w/ Seeley Booth.
        I also remembered Chuck Connors later, but didn’t think it merited logging back on just for that.
        I was too lazy to go to the IMDB and figure it all out. Thanks.

  16. 3000 comments? Wow! Guess the word is out about your great work here!

    As for titles, I’ve seen a few great ones already mentioned…Cocky…like that one! I’ll have to think about this to see if I can come up with any other good one word titles…maybe Protector?

    As for Booth, I think because of the way I fit five seasons of Bones into less than two months, I didn’t have as much time to think about the character development, etc. until now. It is my desire to go through and rewatch again, maybe this summer I will get it accomplished! That said, I do think that we as fans tend to find Booth attractive on our terms, especially within his relationship with Brennan. I feel the main problem is that his relationship, his interactions and the camraderie between Booth and Brennan has changed so therefore our view of him changes with that. I think he is still the same guy, he hasn’t changed in the ways that really count, his priorities have simply shifted. He is a man and one that was rejected by Brennan and he was desperate to move on. I am not someone who is incredibly fond of the Hannah situation but I do think it was a necessary move to facilitate Brennan’s development. Does anyone think tDitP would have existed if Booth had come back from Afghanistan single? Also, if he was still really close with Brennan in this way that we know comes from him loving her, would we see him differently then too? I mean, he is with another woman right now and he wouldn’t be Booth if he wasn’t giving it his best shot.

  17. I really think a large part of the Booth backlash is our own expectations, more than any actions or lack of actions on his part. I know that the goodbye scene at the airport, the promise of meeting in one year at the coffee cart seemed like more than just that they’d start working together again at that point. I had visions of them meeting up then, and sharing a hug much like in Harbingers, but when they’d pull back from the hug they’d then go in for the kiss, and their relationship would take off from there.

    I know there were spoilers released immediately after the episode aired, and I read about that but I hung on to my stubborn disblief in that as long as I possibly could. It seems to me for many their opion of Booth was already tarnished before they ever saw even one scene of the new season. Then to have him flash that picture of Hannah immediately after the reunion hug…the Booth bashing came in hard and fast.

    Now where did our expectations come from? I don’t think it was totally coming from the fan side. Something we had just made up on our own. It came from 5 seasons of watching him always watching Brennan. Guiding her toward love, one person you’re meant to be with, someone for everyone, everything happens. All the things he’s told her over the years are things I think many fans felt were meant for the two of them together; that he was teaching her so that they could one day be that couple. So after years of that to have him come back after a few months and be “serious as a heart attack” about someone else hurt. People felt he’d betrayed Brennan, that he’d betrayed them.

    Over the seasons there have been many (at least it seemed like many from the comments I’d read) who have accused Brennan of being cold, selfish, mean, rude, a (not very nice name). Through all of that Booth has displayed love toward her, so to have him actually move on at at time she’s displaying emotions, appears to be working on being more open and supportive kind of adds to the love for her and the displeasure directed toward him.

    Of course him saying in the 100th that he had to move on and find someone to love him seconds after telling her that he knew she was the one from the moment he met her and he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her didn’t help his cause at all.

    All of this is to say I do believe it is our expectations that has caused the backlash against Booth more than anything he’s done. If you had a friend who was in a situation like Booth, where he’s loved this woman for years, and he’d poured his heart out to her (he may not have said I love you in those words, but he said everything else to let her know that) and she told him no. All she wanted from him was friendship wouldn’t you be encouraging him to move on. To find someone else to love and be loved, to live his life with?

    • If I didn’t know the woman, then probably yes. If I knew the woman loved him back but was just scared and needed a little more time or convincing, then I would feel torn. Right now, Hannah is giving Booth what Brennan decided she couldn’t (I say wouldn’t). But if Brennan woke up and realized she has enough to offer Booth, Hannah wouldn’t have anything on her.

      Booth not acting out in anger is very noble on his part. He stays professional and committed to his relationship with his girlfriend. It would be a lot painful to watch if he didn’t keep distance between himself and Brennan. Having their moments, but then going home to Hannah. But it’s also like Booth to be in denial. He has had to lie to himself and then to others, and it hurt to see him easily dismissing his and Brennan’s feelings when we know the emotional impact that came behind them. I think he’s just protecting himself, understandably, and we are just so used to seeing him protect others more than himself.

  18. Yes. If Booth isnt making googly eyes at Brennan. Or isnt sad. Or alone. Or is not acting like a sick, whipped puppy, all is wrong. PATHETIC. Booth is a much more than Brennan’s love sick puppy. He is a dad. Son. Brother. Grandson. Sniper. Kick ass agent. Protector. An abused child. A man with so many complexities that it is quite obvious that the some of the shallow fangirls have not a clue in understanding unless it is spelt out to them in capital letters.

    • I totally agree! I, for one, would not like Booth if he became a “love sick puppy” (as you described). That would not be at all Boothy. That would not be the Seeley Booth we all know and love.

  19. PALADIN show name ~ yes, S6 has been the season that Brennan can do or say what she wants. But she getsan out of free jail card. She has been a right bitch to Booth over the years. And that gets explained cos of her past and poor little Brennan, pity party Brennan. You know she is a big girl. She doesnt need sheltered from reality or real emotions. Or facing the consequences of her behavior or her actions. Brennan gets that. She knew what saying no to Booth meant and has dealt with it like an adult. Pity the shippers wouldnt do the same, instead of the childish mean foot stomping and over dramatics that I have seen just because Booth got a girl.

  20. I’m a Booth girl. Have been from day one and always will be. I love him, always, even when he’s being mean to the Squints and lashing out and behaving badly. It’s like that ridiculous quote from “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”: “I love you, but I don’t have to like you!” I know in real life there would be times all I’d be able to do is clench my fists and remind myself that somewhere deep down he’s a good guy, but luckily he’s a TV character and I can just lose myself in staring at his wide shoulders and incredibly cheek bones and gorgeous eyes. 😛

    I really think the problem, at least for me (and I’m sure I’m not the only one), is that I identify with Brennan. I am very much like her in the emotions and relationships department, so to think that this shining knight in standard-issue FBI body armor could swoop in and be in love with her and make everything better was incredibly attractive because it translated to “there’s someone for me.” The eventually speech gave hope to frustrated/emotionally exhausted fangirls everywhere. When he loved her, it was like he was loving us, and now many fans are going through the jilted lover issue. They’re mad at him for moving on, even though he said he would and is COMPLETELY justified in doing so.

    As for his title? I think the only thing that would describe him right is…Yowza. 😉

    • Yep that 2nd paragraph of yours; I think that’s exactly what a large portion of the reaction this season has been about.

  21. Super interesting questions here. I’m not certain I’ve ever really for more than the odd moment here and there–actually, I think the longest I remember being upset with Booth was probably, 3/4 of The Beaver in the Otter. He was kind of a jerk for a lot of that one. Not a fan. But apart from that, I don’t know that I’ve ever had my affections turned away from Booth, but that’s not to say at all that I love him unconditionally. I hope that I could, but all the times that people choose to rag on Booth for not treating Brennan the way we want him to, I explain them all away in a way that makes it possible for me to still love Booth. Sometimes I think I push it, but you know what? Whatever helps me sleep at night, right? Or whatever helps me love Booth.

    For example–I can’t imagine anyone being thrilled about the dating version of the Booth and Cam relationship. That’s what, season 2? Even that early in the show, I tell myself–and I do think there’s potential validity in this thought even if it’s a bit grasping–that Booth getting involved with Cam has a lot to do with distracting himself from Brennan. Booth and Hannah and all the trappings of that relationship (i.e. no more Jeffersonian, no more B&B banter, etc.) in my head isn’t Booth leaving Brennan; it’s him trying to put a band-aid on how she hurt him.

    There are little bits of evidence that I’ve compiled to support those kinds of “He’s not really being a jerk/abandoning Brennan/falling for someone else!” arguments, but it’s iffy on whether or not that evidence would hold up in court, so to speak. But that’s just the way I deal. I’d like to think I give Booth the benefit of the He’s-vulnerable-and-lost-too card, and I think I do, a lot, but not unconditionally. I accept his vulnerability and weirdness with the caveat that it’s a means to the end which must include Booth and Brennan together. And while it’s an interpretation, I’m going to stick to my guns against my better judgment and say it’s definitely a valid interpretation.

  22. I prefer the Booth character from seasons 1-3 to the current characterization. I also prefer the Brennan of seasons 1-3 to the current Brennan (although I think Booth has fared much, much better in terms of remaining true to his original iteration).

    But the only people to blame for that are the writers.

    Look, I’m a loyal fan and a loyal shipper and I try to make sense of the storyline as it’s presented to me and look for in-show motivations and fill in the blanks with my imagination and all that.

    But at the same time, I am absolutely certain that the things that happened in season 4-present, the choices that were made, the way the characters behaved, were and are motivated in large part by the need to keep B & B apart until the show’s final season. That Fox and whatever other powers that be want to drag out the unresolved tension for as long as possible, that they fear a loss of ratings if B & B get together because of the stupid “Moonlighting Curse”.

    A fear they needn’t have had, btw, because every episode in season 4 would have worked just fine with B & B together. Some things would have to be changed, obviously (like Brennan dating other people!) but others could stand as they are, or with the very same dialogue, just delivered differently.

    Okay, that’s a rant for a different day…but my point here is that any changes in the characters this season are not, IMO, truly organic, but fueled by the network’s desire to keep the leads apart. Like I said, I do my best to try and make it work and find plausible reasons for the changes, but on some level I know it’s for the show, not for the story.

    • Barbara –

      Totally agree that what’s going on now is not organic and is strictly driven by fear of that stupid curse and by coward toward trying to find a new way out of that conundrum. I say the problem really started with the 100th, but I don’t disagree that they could probably have gotten them together even earlier without harm to the show — if they’d had the guts and believed in their own ability to create and write interesting stories with them together.

      Instead they’ve gone this whole upsetting, soap-y, conventional way. I’ll give ’em credit for some interesting takes on the conventional approach, but it’s still the conventional approach: keep ’em apart as long as you can, preferably until the bitter end.

      • Somewhere lost on my hard drive is an outline I made showing how every episode in seasons 4 and 5 could have been adjusted with minimal changes to have B & B together.

        Some, like Double Death of the Dearly Departed, required no change at all. I think if you showed that episode to someone who had never heard of this show they would assume the leads were a couple.

        Others need minor tweaking. Fire in the Ice, which is just the cutest episode EVER, imo, completely works with B & B as an established couple. You wouldn’t even have to get rid of the Perotta flirting. Brennan would simply very reasonably point out that anthropologically speaking, Brennan’s own status is only enhanced by the perceived desirability of her mate, so not only is Brennan not jealous, she’s quite pleased. Anthropologically speaking, of course.

        Critic in the Cabernet? Instead of going to the fertility clinic to make a deposit, they visit a lawyer, because Brennan would very reasonably explain that knowing how frustrated Booth is by his vague parental rights with Parker, she wants to draw up a clear custody agreement. And then when Booth has his little Stewie hallucination breakdown he’d say he can’t go through with it because he doesn’t want to be a single father again, he wants the whole deal, wife, house, family, etc.

        Sorry to go off topic again – that’s my bad habit! This is just a topic that I am very emotional about!

    • This is actually the real problem – the lower quality in the writing. Seriously. It’s like they started a beautiful painting, but got tired and threw ink on in. We are left staring at this inkblot, trying to guess what it’s about, and they are telling us it’s beautiful countryside landscape.

  23. I know that a lot of people have been irritated with Booth in Season Six; but, I am not one of them. Booth has been a very loyal partner for Brennan. He was the first one to call what he had with Brennan a partnership. He had not worked with very many partners in the past and Booth’s partnership with Brennan was new to him. Over time, his partnership grew to be more. He is certain it is love. He tried to convince Brennan that their partnership was more than two people working together, that their partnership in work could also be a partnership in life. Brennan didn’t feel that she could show him the love he needed or wanted; but, she still didn’t want to lose Booth. She values his friendship and their partnership. Her fear is that a more intimate relationship would destroy the one thing that she loves, her friendship with Booth. Even though Booth was crushed by Brennan’s rejection, he told her he would still be partners with her. I think Brennan becamse so afraid that something would happen to Booth that she had to leave (go to Maluku) to escape that fear. Booth at that point saw not only his love rejected; but, his partnership, rejected. His loss was so great that he too fled to Afghanistan to escape his fears. In his lonliness he found Hannah. Hannah presented him with an opportunity start over. Hannah loved Booth enough to come to Washington DC to be with him. Booth was amazed that someone would do that for him. He has probably never had anyone give up something to be with him. Of course, he would fall for someone who treated him like he was worth making life changes for. He has been rejected so many times by those he thought he loved, that he reaacted the only way possible for him. That he has not told Hannah about his past and his fears shows you the fear he has that he could lose her also. He loves Brennan and up until Doctor In The Photo he had no proof that Brennan really cared for him. Brennan said she made a mistake and Booth heard “I made a mistake, I love you”. He is now caught between a rock and a hard place. He loves Hannah, he loves Brennan. He is with Hannah and is commited to that relationship. He is honorable and will not dump Hannah because he may have a chance to get Brennan after all. Booth has been honorable. He is the partner that Brennan wanted and his is the lover that Hannah wants. Why hate Booth for being honorable. He is who he is and I love him for it.

  24. Bones is about Brennan and naturally her back story was the focus of the first three seasons. Booth was a foil for Brennan’s character development. We got very little of his back story. I think that makes us naturally more forgiving of Brennan and more inclined to be hard on Booth. Even now that we know more of Booth’s backstory, I think we are inclined to still view him from the Season 1 – 3 perspective. I have not had any issues with what Booth has done this season (excpet for ditching his friends to spend time with his girlfriend – and even that was the context – you’re across the street man, just go in for a drink. I have had issues, though, with a lack of Booth’s perspective in what has happened so far this season. We saw a little glint of hurt in the season opener when he questioned Brennan about not contacting him for seven months, but otherwise, he just insists that he’s happy and in lurv. I believe that is just the surface, but maybe I’m tyring to read too much into it. I think is we had more of what happened in Afghanistan, and what Booth went through, we might be more forgiving of him now. I’m rambling.

    • I think we also saw a glimpse in DitP when Brennan says, “I’ll adjust” and he said, “I did”. There was a lot of hurt there, I thought.

      • You’re right. I also interpreted a world of hurt from those two little words, and the look of anguish on his face.

  25. I don’t think I’ve really been upset with Booth per se. I think I’ve been more upset with Brennan because she wasn’t ready and Hannah because she took our favorite forensic anthropologist’s man. Booth… is just trying to live his life and he’s attractive as he does it.

    I was re-watching the episodes from this season and it struck me that I really like the Seeley Booth we see in a relationship. I don’t like who he’s in a relationship with but I like the sweet and vulnerable Boot we get a glimpse of. It’s cute and attractive. And I wish that he could be in a relationship where it’s fun and sweet and spontaneous. I wish it were with Brennan but that hasn’t happened yet (But I still hold out hope and faith for it).

    I’m not angry at Booth and I still find him attractive (always!). I hold more of a grudge at the two women in his life. I”m not really sure it it’s healthy or not but I really don’t care.

    As for a TV show… I’d say… This was really hard to come up with one word but I guess I’d say Fierce. And I’m not really sure why but I like it.

  26. I first “liked” Booth when he pointed a gun at a mafia boss and told him to stay away from Brennan. OK. I admit, that wasn’t the most romantic of moments, but what he did afterwards was apologized to Brennan for being late for a funeral. It made me felt like there was “something” about this guy. I really didn’t fall in love until “The Woman in Limbo” during the “I know who you are” scene. That scene touched me in a way that can’t be explained adequately with words.

    Now with Booth this season. Do I like him less? Not really. I don’t know if this sounds rather weird, but I’ve come to know and love characters on BONES like they are people I know. And with people in your life, I don’t think you can expect them to be “AWESOME” all the time. On some days Booth can be out catching bad guys, running down sand dunes, jumping in front of a bullet what have you, but I’m pretty sure on other days he’s probably roaming around in sweat pants too. Did the change in dynamic between Booth and Brennan make me less enthusiastic about the show? Yes, slightly, but not so much as I would completely lose faith. What I’m saying is that, if I were to give up on real life relationships like I do with TV shows when they went “out of their usual style” or “dropped in quality slightly” or “did not portray things the way I want them to”…then I’d probably have zero relationships left in my life. Just sayin’.

    As for whether Booth changed this season? I don’t think he did. He’s still Seeley Booth. That guy we know. However, I do believe that the way we are is extremely affected by our surroundings e.g. how we are around certain people (friends, family, lovers etc.). That was what changed. Booth didn’t change. Booth+Brennan (the relationship) did. Not necessarily in a bad way either. I’ve always thought of what happened this season as “ripping off the band aid”. No pain, no gain kinda situation. What I’m getting at is that… Booth alone = great guy. Booth + Brenann = AWESOMENESS. She makes him a better man, and he makes her a better woman. I think that’s what I miss.

    • I totally agree with you. We have to be able to take Booth for all he is. Even though I think he’s a really great guy, he could act rude and obnoxious at times, or be really annoying. Just like friends and family, but that’s not really a reason to cut someone off because it comes with the territory. We stick with people because what we believe the heart of them to be. And our friends and family decide to put up with us and our faults. Through it all, Booth sticks with Brennan, and Brennan sticks with Booth.

      Sometimes we (or some people) think their relationship is just so epic, so huge, so above regular human problems. But we can see they clearly aren’t above the same old issues everyone else faces: miscommunication, hurt, sense of betrayal, unkind words, snarkiness, selfishness. What they DO have is the fortitude to make their way back to each other time and time again, to forgive and/or ask for forgiveness because they value what they have.

      • Wow. You’ve worded that so beautifully. 🙂 I totally get what you mean by “regular human problems” and how we think their relationship is so epic. However, I do think that what they have IS “epic”, but the thing is that….it could happen to anyone. One of those regular couples on the street could share a great story, it’s just that no one’s told their story. And yes, I believe that they will “make their way back to each other time and time again”. 🙂 🙂

      • Haha, I actually still think it’s “epic” too, despite how humanly flawed it is, or else I wouldn’t be so hooked. 😉
        A couple who has been together “30, 40, 50 years” I’m sure has been through a lot of deep hurts and disappointments even if they look cute and pretty happy holding hands strolling down the street or bickering. From what I’ve observed, these couples have learned to do a better job at give-and-take.

        And I am so with you on Brennan making Booth a better person. Not to bash Hannah, but I haven’t seen her bring that out of him yet. It’s obvious to see what Booth has done for Brennan, but I hate that Brennan doesn’t get enough credit for what she does for him.

  27. I’ve mentioned that I also visit another fan forum. That fan forum has been absolutely brutal towards Booth this entire season up until the Bullet in the Brain episode. It was actually this ugliness and negativity that turned me off that forum (though I still go there but on limited basis). I never changed towards Booth. What I got angry about this season was the idea that HH needed to change the story…that he needed to mix it up. I’ve always believed/understood that Booth’s behavior this season was the result of his rejection at Bones’ hands. Regardless of the posts upon post upon posts that I’ve read saying he was never rejected….I beg to differ. He was…and it didn’t just happen once…it has happened numerous times at Bones’ hands so I look at him as a person that was dealing with a lot of pain and I can’t blame him for ending up with Hannah and trying to find a measure of happiness…even though I don’t believe that’s where he belongs. Do I see him differently? Well, the whole series has been different…it’s been more subdued so I can’t say I feel differently about him per se…but the TONE of the show is different so I feel different about the whole show. I feel more distanced from it all and I attribute this to HH “removing” Booth from too much interaction with Bones…not necessarily the squints….just Bones, for me. I don’t quite believe that he has truly distanced himself from the squints. I see him behaving normally with them when they are at a crime site so…to me..nothing has changed with him and the squints. I can even understand why he didn’t want to go to the bar for the baby announcement. It didn’t anger me at all. Heck…I’ve been in new relationships where I did the exact same thing and I’m a woman. I completely understood him wanting to be with Hannah…his new girlfriend. Don’t y’all remember those early days of just “focusing” on that significant other and ignoring friends and family?….or is this just me…was I as bad as he? Hmm? ONe final point, the phenomena of fan forums is interesting…it is my experience and the other site that “negativity” breeds “negativity”. You don’t always get the strongest-minded people at these sites and they are easily influenced by one person’s rant….I believe this is what happened regarding Booth at other site for early season 6. To me, if people had been WILLING to actuall THINK about Booth and his behavior post 100th episode, they would have understood his actions. But, one’s negativity was like a wildfire and there was no holding back on the ugliness that I read. People really did not want to THINK about what was happening. So, I believe that people are easily influenced by what they read…especially if they are weak minded…and this can forward the idea that, in this case, Booth had changed. Hope I’m making sense…

    • PS…I’m not saying this happens here. Here actual thought occurs…

      • I’m following the series on DvD so am nowhere near season 6 yet – have already had it spoilered so enjoying the blog as a pleasure.

        People have watched the series, picked it up in different places and times but from what I’ve read people are reacting as though we’re watching our own friends, only with B&B we cant sit them down in a coffee shop, the bar, the office, our living room and go “right now here’s the deal” (we just really, REALLY want to). At the moment a lot of people seem to be reacting as though Booth’s ‘cheated’ on Brennan in some way, and sides have been taken and lines have been drawn. Thing is we’re blessed with the ability to see her at times the story takes him somewhere else, and in the places where he cant go – if somewhere in a future episode Brennan’s in tears on Angela in the ladies room going ‘I know now and I didn’t know then’ Booth will never see it and outside of the ladies room he will never know as she wont let him see – but we will know and from the reactions I’ve read so far will want to kick his shins/box his ears and make him suffer for tears he never knew had been cried.

        I think it’s the mark of both good writing and good acting that we can care about the characters this much.

        Otherwise I have to bow down to the words of workaholic888 in the earlier post

        “As for whether Booth changed this season? I don’t think he did. He’s still Seeley Booth. That guy we know. However, I do believe that the way we are is extremely affected by our surroundings e.g. how we are around certain people (friends, family, lovers etc.). That was what changed. Booth didn’t change. Booth+Brennan (the relationship) did. Not necessarily in a bad way either. I’ve always thought of what happened this season as “ripping off the band aid”. No pain, no gain kinda situation. What I’m getting at is that… Booth alone = great guy. Booth + Brenann = AWESOMENESS. She makes him a better man, and he makes her a better woman. I think that’s what I miss.”

      • Amen to sarajade and Sylindria.

  28. “I fell in love…LOVE…in Boy in the Shroud, when he was so kind as he escorted Alex away from his sister Kelly. I loved Booth for his compassion.” This is EXACTLY what’s been missing from Booth this year – and not just with Brennan. He is snarky with just about everyone he talks to – except Hannah, of course. It’s just not Boothy.

  29. Season 6 has not been my favorite. It just hurts too much to watch. But I am ok with it. We are on the path. Booth’s integrity is intake, his loyalty, and I still find him irresistible. However, I don’t see Booth. He is not as transparent and real Booth. I feel like he is trying to be someone he isn’t during season 6. I don’t think Hannah knows him as well as she thinks she does or he thinks she does. Hannah sees what Booth wants her to see.

    In other seasons we got to know the whole Booth or at least knew there was a part of him he did not want us to know about. “Season 1-I’ll tell you about my sniper days-but you need to be sure you want to know.” Then Brennan says nothing and he says “Good choice.” Later he shares more. He shares some about Dad and Jared.

    So for years we see a deeper Booth because he is allowing us to. But this season we are seeing only what he wants us to see. So the “warts” and all Booth is not there. And we like the warts and all Booth.

  30. I slowly fell in love with Booth as the series evolved, and as Brennan also (i believe) fell in love with him. And sure I cringe at the TV everytime Hannah and Booth are together in the same room and threaten to throw various items, but my jury’s still out on whether or not I actually dislike Booth this season. And… I think the answers no.

    Sure he’s being all lovey-dovey with another woman, but like camiemimi said above, that isn’t much different from Brennan. She paraded Sully, and Hacker, and David and other men in front of Booth for years, while Booth has only had (sort of) Tessa, Cam and Hannah (Rebecca was before). I guess when most of Brennan’s men were around he hadn’t told her that he was in love with her, their relationship was different back then, but still there is a double standard there. I think that when it comes to this we know (or at least are pretty confident) that Brennan isn’t going to go run of with some random guy she dates, she doesn’t believe in love enough or relationships enough; whereas with Booth, he could do anything, it’s out of our control. The fact that the show is called “bones” is a little bit of a comfort, but really he could go off, get married and settle down with someone and just work with Brennan. That’s not out of character. We have our eventually, which we know will happen in the end, and really Booth is the only threat when it comes to that point. I think that’s our problem with him. We want the happy ending, and we know that we’ll get it, in the end but right now we can’t quite see it yet.

    Also I think another problem is just that I fell in love with Brennan’s Booth, the Booth that loves this quirky girl with a lack of social skills, love of science, and who a lot of people dislike, but who really is nice, and kind and loving. I fell in love with THAT Booth, not just Booth on his own. They’re two different people.

    And for even more important issue… I have an array of names to choose rfom for the Booth centred show, probably Paladin is the Booth-iest, but Cocky and (if it is allowed) Special Agent In Charge 😛 I lilked the Shoes idea as well, I agree that moment was underrated. And I’d also like to add a congratulations for getting 3000 replies so far, and congratulations on 40+ this post, a lot has changed since July 3 and 6 posts 😀

  31. Booth is attractive to me on all levels…and I love, love, love this character. HE is the only reason I watch this show. To me his attractiveness is not dependent upon his relationship with Brennan…it’s unconditional…but a lot of people feel that if he’s not with her, he loses that appeal…conditional love. I get that…because for years we had all that B&B UST and chemistry, only to have the proverbial rug pulled out from under us with a storyline we didn’t sign up for. I don’t like that dirty trick they pulled either, but we’re stuck with it. And Brennan’s got just as much responsibility for this mess. Don’t get me started on that ole double standard again…

    The negative fans remind me of “fair weather” friends. They only like you when you do exactly what they want, and the minute you really need them, they’re gone, baby, gone. Who needs friends like that?

    Booth hasn’t changed…the story did…and I blame the writers, not the character. I won’t even begin to rant on this, because it would be a mile long and probably end up with a lot of expletives. Part of me thinks they intentionally set Booth up as the scapegoat and that thought really ticks me off. I could never be mad or upset at Booth for doing what he thinks he has to…under the circumstances…and I find him even more attractive for finally standing up for himself, moving on, and not following Brennan around like a wounded puppy.

    And…I think Booth should have his own show. Paladin. Cocky. Whatever. Just so he’s the lead.

    Ramble over…

  32. I’m posting before I read what anyone has responded – I wanted to speak my thoughts before they were colored by other insights. GREAT POST!

    I’ve been thinking about why I have been feeling coolly towards Booth. DB is a very attractive man, but I have always loved Booth (the gorgeous sensitive man we’ve seen since the beginning). Even in season 1, he was portrayed as caring and as the heart person. The way he got people – suspects or witnesses – the way he was able to deal with the squints and get them to work well with him, etc. As the seasons continued, he grew even more into a man who I wanted around – he gets emotion, is protective, is loving (and of course, he’s a hunk!).

    On the journey through the seasons, much of what we’ve seen as Booth has been how he is with Brennan. Now he is closed off from her, so the ‘warmer’ scenes are not there. He seems sometimes curt in his suspect interviews – although this may be because the glances between him and Brennan did add insight into how he was experiencing the investigations. All together, the show seems colder, and as Brennan has obviously opened up on screen, the explanation for me is the change in Booth is why that is.

    I think the B&B chemistry/spark – which was often conveyed with just a look, is an incredible base, which has been unused for the first half of the season. The light/shadow that the two of them together cause is what I think is missing, and the current storyline tells me that Booth is the one who has pulled away. Hope that when it returns, I will enjoy it as before (obviously it will be different), and the first half of season 6 will not have tainted it too much.

  33. I’ve loved Booth because he’s an ideal, because I strongly relate to Brennan (not fitting in, being kind of a nerd, who isn’t good with people) and because he loves her in spit of all her faults and mistakes. I don’t think season 6 was that bad because I can still see the little details that keep my faith and make me believe “He still loves her, just wait a little bit and it’ll pay off”, I’ve been saying “wait” to myself all season long, thinking before saying anything at all. But that he loves Brennan is not the only reason I love Booth (and I don’t believe thats the only reason for all of us), I love him because of his idealism, because he cares, because he’s not afraid of speaking his mind, because of his faith, his problems and his loyalty to all of his friends
    I’m sure we’re judging Booth because we want him to do things we believe are right, what we thing is right and in character for every especific thing that happens, but judging him doesn’t mean we stop caring for him, or believing he will return to the “right” side of things. It just means we’re just so into this show that we relate strongly to the characters and their history, and that we have to put our own issues aside and judge by the facts, not based on what we feel or on our problems.
    Do I think Booth has changed since last year? Yes, not esentially but yes. I believe he has grown up, he has tried to “move on” -as useless as that was- and that it will move the story forward. But, in the end, he’s still that caring, charming and loving man we all know; what I believe has changed this season, is that he’s trying too hard to put Brennan aside, just when he’d built his world around her, so it feels akward and strange trying to “fit” when he doesn’t want to conect deeply with her, and that’s what this season has been lackinf of: connection. The actors are great, the writing… lets just say they try their best to make things work, but because this lack of personal moments, funny little things that mean “I’m here for you” or “I care about you”, not only with Brennan, but with all the others, it feels weird seeing this people who used to be so close and now we haven’t seen them even speak.
    But, as I said before, It’ll pay off somewhere in the near future… I’m sure of it!

  34. The thing is, I don’t love Booth for his vulnerability. I mean, it’s sweet, but it’s not why I love him. I love him because he accepted Brennan.

    I’m the first to admit I’m a Brennanite. I’ve always been one, since way back in S2 when I first started watching. I liked Brennan straight off the bat, but Booth kind of grew on me. Which is the opposite of what everyone else says, but it’s true for me.

    So every other character was judged by how they treated Brennan. Angela was a sweetheart, Hodgins was great, I even liked Cam in the end.

    Booth just… accepted her. Honestly, that amazed me. I’m not saying that he didn’t try to change her… But I’m saying he didn’t think she was a squinty freak of nature that he had to babysit. He accepted that she was a socially inept, guarded, rude scientist with a big heart. He even went so far as to dislike people who thought of her as a squinty freak of nature.

    And then he pushed.

    I don’t blame him for wanting more or even pushing for it. I don’t blame him for moving on. But I do blame him for leaving her alone and taking that acceptance away. It’s like the popular girl inviting you to a sleepover just to prank you… Cruel and completely undeserved.

    Oh, and his show would be called “Shoes.” 😀

  35. First time commenter, long-time reader here! Hello all! *waves* 🙂
    Anyway, Booth is very attractive to me because he is the type of guy that goes beyond Brennan’s looks. We’ve seen many instances where suspects or just general people (guys especially) meet Brennan, think she is pretty or hot but then when she speaks, immediately backtrack. I like that he took the time to go deeper, past all of her reason and logic, to the person that she really is. Sure, the thing that attracted Brennan to Booth was her looks but he fell in love with her personality and charm.

    BTW, I also think that Booth’s show should be called Alpha.

  36. I love this post and realllllly want to write a considered response, but its midnight so I’m just going to do a short one for now!

    Well done on the 3000 comments, richly deserved, this is by far my favourite bones related area online!

    Simply put, I love Booth. I love everything about him and my heart hurts for him right now. I find him utterly heroic, dreamily handsome and heart-achingly strong of character. (haha fangirl much!!) I’m with booth all the way. (i love Brennan too, but in a slightly different way 🙂

    Booth-show? Yes please! Does it go against bones theory no bad language rule if I say I’d call his show ‘Federal-ass’? Haha night folks x

  37. I’m gonna answer before I read any comments that may cloud my mind, mood or my answer…my feelings have not changed at all toward Booth. I still love him unconditionally. I still love Brennan unconditionally. They do not have to be with each other for me to love either one of them. They don’t even have to be doing what I want them to do for me to love them. It’s the same when you have kids…they do great things or they screw up, they do things you’re proud of or don’t necessarily agree with…but through it all, you love them unconditionally. That’s what that word means…it doesn’t matter. It’s unconditional…and my love for Booth is just that.

    • Yes – I love them both unconditionally, as well – strange as it may seem. I can be upset with them at any given time, but not love them any less. And sometimes I am irritated with both of them at the same time. Love how you stated this, ceeray. 🙂

  38. i can narrow down how i feel about booth to very simple terms…i love him because he represents the perfect man: handsome, brave, caring, strong, sensitive, protective, intelligent, compassionate, a loving family man with a strong sense of morality who also has a fun side and would do anything for his loved ones.

    i’m really having a problem loving him lately because he’s spent 6 years coaxing poor bones out of the shelter of the walls she’s built up with speeches about how love is patient and love is kind and all of that crap. just when he has her almost convinced that true love doesn’t falter and that she can trust someone else with her heart, he tells her he loves her, she doesn’t throw herself into his arms, and he bails on her and finds a new chick. i totally identify with bones, i’d rather be left alone and be happy by myself than have someone work on winning me over for 5 years and then leave me brokenhearted the second i hesitate. i’m mad at booth because he promised her that she was worth loving, and he didn’t even have it in him to hang in there and prove to her that everything he said about love was true. why in the world would she trust him now?

  39. The first two episodes of Bones I saw were “The Woman in the Garden” and “The Man in the Morgue”. (Mixed up, I know, but it was TNT and they weren’t on the same day. As Sweets said in “Hero in the Hold”, “character is who you are when things get bad.” I learned all I needed to know about Seeley J Booth in those two episodes.

    I fell in love with his character when he stuck his gun in that gang member’s mouth to protect Brennan, but it totally solidified for me when he went to New Orleans to help her. That scene in the clinic, and then later when he picked up her mother’s earring and put his career on the line for her. Yeah, those things illustrate perfectly who Booth is.

    I know a lot of people have issues with “Conman in the Meth Lab”, but I absolutely adore the end when Brennan toasts him, as the alpha male, as “the quiet man”. The attributes she points out about him are the ones that I love about him. But I also love Booth because he is imperfect, and I find that intriguing and appealing. He’s got a lot of depth simmering just below the surface and there is just something about that which is very attractive.

    Yeah, he is sometimes short tempered, and can get snippy and impatient. But at the same time, that simmering impatience and temper adds a little bit of an edge, which is incredibly sexy. (And it makes his character all the more realistic.)

    Booth is incredibly smart – even if he doesn’t give himself enough credit for it, or get enough credit for it. He’s got faith. He’s got honor. He’ll do anything to protect those that he loves, even to his own detriment.

    He’s been through hell and survived. Yeah, he’s got his demons, but he doesn’t always let them control who he is, even as he struggles with them daily.

    And even if it doesn’t always show, I think he likes to believe that there is a brighter side to life than what he sees every day. I think that manifests itself in his hopes and dreams about love.

    So, is Booth attractive on our terms? Perhaps. But that could also be countered with with “are you beautiful because I love you, or do I love you because you’re beautiful?” In my case, Booth is beautiful because I love his character. And of course, it doesn’t hurt that DB is smokin’ hot. 😉

    As to the question about whether or not Booth has changed, I think that he has grown since the first season – all of the characters have – and with that growth has come change. But I think we’d be bored if they were not growing and changing.

    As for what we’re seeing this season, I think that he is withdrawn right now, he’s not the usual happy-go-lucky Booth that we see so often, but the essence of who Booth is has not changed. And I think his withdrawn behavior makes sense in the context of what has been going on with him. He’s conflicted and he’s struggling. But conflict and struggle help people grow. And I, for one, am enjoying watching his growth.

    Also, add my vote for Paladin. It suits him.

  40. I wanted to say one more thing…Booth is who he is today because of the writing…but more so I think because of DB’s acting. I don’t think there’s another actor out there that could have brought a mix of traits such as warmth, integrity, toughness, sillness and just plain hotness the way DB did. (I’m sure there are more traits to list). I think he’s one of the more well-rounded actors out there and they picked a winner when they cast him in this role. I never watched him in Angel until after I started watching Bones…so…DB had that special something in Bones that made me realize…damn…this is a good actor. So, my enjoyment of Booth is also a result of that DB special-ness.lol.

    • Oh yeah, I agree with that a thousand times over. David Boreanaz has got to be one of, if not THE, best actors of this generation. He is incredibly talented and works hard at his craft, and that just helps to make Booth even more amazing.

    • I’ll second everything here and what Jade, maria, crzy4bones, ceeray3, and mcBones have said. Basically, no Booth like the one we all love without DB.
      Also a Bones leads to Angel fan, and I agree that that quote from Angel to Connor (cited by crazy4bones below) is dead on for Booth too. There are some striking parallels between the vampire with a soul and the kick ass FBi agent with fists of steel and the heart of a lion. What’s odd is that that’s really about the stories and the writing which are from two different creators and the contexts and the characters are so fundamentally different. Clearly part of it is DB’s characterization, but it’s interesting that these two very different characters should have these parallels: the search for redemption, their view of themselves as having to be heroes to make up for their pasts, their feelings of responsibility for those they love and for fixing wrongs in the world, and so on. And, their problems with the women they love. ;-D (One hopes Booth will do better in the end. 😉 )

      • Joining on the DB love. I’m an Angel to Bones fan, and I’m really amazed by the fact that while Angel is my favorite fictional character ever, I have never had a problem separating the 2 characters. Even with the surface similarities, he manages to portray the differences so clearly. He just seems to completely embody all the characters (I thought I’d add Liam and Angelus to the mix) in the moment he’s portraying them, that I always belief in that character. Even when it’s one portraying the other (Enemies, Calvary). He’s been one of my favorite actors for about a decade now and I have no problem seeing myself continueing to watch him for another one.

  41. Gosh, it’s been a long day; trying to dig my way out of a Chicago side street in below zero temps to take a sick kid to the emergency room. Whew! Sorry, had to vent. But can’t pass up the opportunity to agree with everything everyone here has said in support of Booth, the man who unlike his boss Hacker, always follows the spirit but not necessarily the letter of the law. His flaws are balanced by humor, warmth, compassion, self-sacrifice and faith. His character is so very powerful in my opinion because he is aware of the flaws and the failures and constantly tries, sometimes unsuccessfully, it’s true, to overcome these in order to become more than he is.

    Booth has become one of my absolute favorite characters on tv ever and DB’s interpretation, like sarajade said, has a lot to do with this. DB was great in Angel-he’s still consistently on the list for sexiest vampires ever, but as Booth he is so much more than he ever was as Angel; he truly has made Booth a real person in my eyes, a person with issues but also with a basic goodness and decency that is almost never portrayed on tv these days. It also doesn’t hurt that every time DB issues one of his signature looks or smiles I melt inside. Happy Bones Day!

  42. I am with Booth all the way. I love Booth, flaws and all. S6 hasn’t turned me off….it actally makes me hurt for him and want to love him even more to make up for all the pain he is in. And last week, I told everyone that even though I had never doubted my love for Booth, BitB made me fall in love with him all over again…his confidence, his doubt, his vulnerability, his take charge attitude….I was all in all over again…

    After I fell in love with DB in Bones, I started watching Angel….there is one little speech that Angel makes, that I think fits Booth perfectly. It is after Angel is rescued from the bottom of the ocean after his son Connor has put him there. He is talking to Connor and says “Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. It’s harsh, and cruel. But that’s why there’s us – champions. Doesn’t matter where we come from, what we’ve done or suffered, or even if we make a difference. We live as though the world is as it should be, to show it what it can be.” I think that sums Booth up perfectly…he has this idea of what life should be, and despite everything he goes through, he still forges on, and tries to make the world a better place.

    And his own show should be just “Booth” 🙂

  43. It’s definitely a point to discuss though, that we are more indulgent towards brennan; and that I think we owe to the show itself, that has being focused on showing us every single on of bones uncertainties and weaknesses. we all (i know) could say we know temperance brennan, and that we know the reasons why she behaves the way she does; but we rarely being showed vividly the pain booth has been through, the tests he took, how he grew up. Some memories have been introduced to us but as the tone of the series lighted up, I guess those didn’t have the same effect.
    I don’t know why I don’t like to think in this show as a booth perspective. I love the idea of imaginating bones journey before and after the series, at the end of each episode. I guess it’s because of the complexity of her mind that I like to try to get…. anyway a good name would be “badges and socks”: the best things about booth

  44. You know, it’s funny. I can’t think of a different name for the series. I mean, Booth’s whole work is Bones too. Not that he’s an expert but because he deals really well figuring people things out on old or weird cases. If it wasn’t Brennan, I think he would align himself still with someone who had the smarts to solve cases. It would have still happened in my opinion.
    I just want to put out there that Hannah’s got a bit of a raw deal too. She didn’t know he was in love with his partner/Booth and Brennan belong together. She’s just trying to make it work with someone she (understandably) loves.
    As for the whole Booth changing thing, I don’t think he’s changed either. It’s just that a lot of stuff has around him, even Brennan, has. She’s figuring herself out. An important part of life, if seemingly a little late. But you’d be late too if you’d gone through what she went through. She chose shutting down to protect herself and focusing on stuff that made sense (science) in a very confusing time in her life. So she’s playing catchup a little. I think the reason some of us fans are a little teed off at Booth is because we feel like if he really “Knows the truth” of Brennan, why didn’t he see that? Probably because he’s human and was too busy trying to deal with his own feelings to really recognize hers. We expect Brennan not to see these things or understand them, not Booth.
    The character of Temperance Brennan as played by Emily Deschanel is capable of inspiring great protectiveness. From us, from Booth, from everyone around her really. i.e.- Angela offering to be her wing (wo)man and the “spitting with deadly accuracy” thing, Cam telling Booth he better be sure of his feelings so he doesn’t hurt Brennan who has trouble enough trusting people, Sweets and the “You’re not alone in this world”, Max and the whole killing thing, Hodgins sees her more as a scientist but he’s always there for her (“It’s been a privilige”), Miss Julien not even trying to take Brennan in at the end of ‘Verdict’, heck even Hannah avoided Brennan so she didn’t hurt her. We want to protect Brennan, even from Booth. Booth we see as a big boy, he can protect himself emotionally and physically. Brennan’s tearing down her walls. She has no emotional protection and now her emotional support (Booth) is on the other side of the fence. So our vision is skewed. (Just gotta ask…Why doesn’t Brennan have anyone else to turn to to discuss these confusing things? Is Angela really so caught up in being pregnant that she can’t dish out some of that comforting advice to Brennan anymore?)
    I think, in regards to the heaps of guilt on Brennan, that we are starting to see Booth’s regrets too. His guilt. Sniper speaking, Brennan speaking. It’s hard to see, hard to deal with and hard to share. The first part for us, the second and third for Booth. The point is though, we still want him for Brennan. We want Booth in all his wonderful capacities for her, meaning we all still love him. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t want him for Brennan. If this show wasn’t written so well, we wouldn’t care.

  45. Oy — commenting after so many people already expressed most of the typical views and coming up with something original is a daunting task. So, putting all that behind me I’ll do my best. Booth for me has always had admirable qualities to me, even being a girl and all. I mean I always admired that strength mentally, physically and spiritually. So when I watch, I find myself beginning to fawn over his loyalty and compassion; being able to balance everything he has while still remaining a rock, the center. And of course, not going to lie. The looks help. A lot. I melt. Often.
    But back to the point — if I still have one.
    I enjoy seeing Booth being tested and getting through those moments, not to mention still helping others at the same time. So while he’s off being heroic and cocky I can’t help but want to BE him in that certain way, as a personality.

    So I can’t say my love for him has diminished or change in anyway quite honestly. Only — as I would be a close friend or even a kid, I become disappointed with the way he seems to do a 180 in my eyes from the way he was, say season 3, where he is in the best light for me.
    When he seems to abandon his duties as a partner and friend of Brennan for this new found of love, who, holds no grounds when compared to a 6 year partnership, I get sad! When he left to meet Hannah instead of going to the bar to act surprised at the baby news, I frowned.

    The worst though, oh, the worst being in “The Doctor in the Photo”. After he saved Brennan at that one point, I was excited, glad to know he seemed to cherish what they had again, but back in the car all that seemed for nothing! When he just let her cry and just tried to defend himself from this reality, I found myself crying. It wasn’t because the two of them weren’t together or because he was with Hannah, just simply because he seemed out of character by letting her be hurt instead of stopping the car and just listening and being willing to lean over and touch her in a comforting manner if not a hug, even though he wasn’t willing to give up what he has. Which I do understand, though not support personally, but as a personality trait — I do.

    Really though, those are the only two points this season that come to mind where my faith in Booth were tested and I doubted him. It just seemed weird after so many seasons that he didn’t…do something more for her; his partner for goodness sake! And for me friendships, especially partnerships always come second before love. But that is only one opinion. So yea, I still love Booth for what he stands for: loyalty, bravery, compassion, understanding, acceptance, courage, cockiness etc. everything we’ve learned over the years and have to love with a passion! But okay I’ll stop. I’ll always love Booth, the only thing is I’ll have my times where I’m disappointed in his actions that challenge his character. But still, I know he is, technically, human. So I know I have to give him slack instead of holding him up to full height to be that “Knight in Shining FBI Standard Issue Body Armor” that I want him to always be. Besides, sometimes dents make them more interesting; wanting to know their history, where they’ve been, and what they’ve been fighting, and for who! Though if that’s not what I wanted from the beginning I would be lying!

  46. Ooooooooooooh i LOVE this post!

    I think a lot of this can be summed up in what GG says to Booth in ‘Dwarf in the Dirt’-

    “You’re building a world around her, a family.”

    WE, or the majority of the fanbase as i can’t speak for everybody (shocking i know! LOL), built a world around Booth AND Brennan. As a unit…and we don’t like it when one of them does something to threaten this.

    I think with Brennan we never really had to worry. It was unlikely that Brennan was going to meet someone and move on from Booth. She was never going to NOT need him. BUT Booth…with him the chances of him moving on and being HAPPY with someone that wasn’t our favorite (and look…i spelt favorite wrong TWICE just for my American friends! 😉 ) anthropologist was a real threat. And he has…so we therefore face the risk of him NOT needing her. And people don’t like that.

  47. Love this post 🙂 I love Booth and will always love him. Not Because of Brennan! It’s a real life (in TV series of course), he is real man, he does mistakes, but he is still Booth – all those 6 years. And … I belive in “eventually” 🙂

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