Bones Theory

Empty Words: Would Booth have really let someone else replace him as Brennan’s partner?


“… I’ll find you a new FBI guy.”

Raise your hand if you call BS on that? Or do you think he’s really capable of doing just that?

Obviously, the show is about Booth and Brennan solving murders together so clearly from a realistic perspective the answer is always going to be no. But, you already know I’m talking about within the context of the world that’s been created and the information we have on Booth and Brennan and their relationship … can Booth really go through with that not so veiled threat?

I told Seels that when those words came out of his mouth, my heart skipped a beat and then I just scoffed. Ha, yeah, right. I am firmly in the camp that no way does one Seeley J. Booth finds anyone else to replace him as Brennan’s partner. For six years, his protection of their partnership has been almost religious and no way that changes in one night or even a hundred nights.

Let me be clear and say that I believe that in that moment, when he said the words, Booth actually meant them. Whether it was a threat or an ultimatum, I don’t think it was a fake one. What I’m saying is that no matter what he said, I do not believe he was or is capable of going through with it. And I don’t think it’s just the shipper in me talking, though I bear my shipper card proudly.

Regardless, whether Booth is in love with Brennan (which I personally believe he is, but we can save that debate for another day), I think their partnership goes beyond that. They are friends, they trust each other, their relationship with each other is and has always been closer than their relationship with anyone else. And my belief in that closeness stems not just from the fact that they put their lives in each other’s hands on a continual basis, but from a million things we’ve seen throughout the show. They share with each other what they’ve never been able to share with anyone else. They’re always there for each other; maybe even when they don’t necessarily want to be or when it’s painful for them to be.

But I digress. Even if Booth said those words with every intention of following through, I honestly believe he’d be even more incapable of severing their partnership than he was at moving on (and I believe that particular endeavor has been a complete failure, hence the absolutely ridiculous proposal. Also discussion for another time). From day one, Booth has taken responsibility for Brennan, not just her physical safety, but also her emotional one. No way he just hands that over to someone else. No freaking way. Let’s go back to the two times Brennan has worked with an FBI agent not named Seeley Booth: Sully and Perotta.

Tell me, was Booth all calm and relaxed that his partner was working with someone else? I don’t think so. With Sully, it was obvious that it wasn’t just about the potential threat to their partnership, but the threat that Sully presented in general. But at that point, I do believe it was mostly concern for their partnership. Something he’s very much always considered theirs. And even though Booth liked Perotta and believed she was a competent agent, he simply did not care for his partner’s safety in someone else’s hand. I mean, he has a cow when Brennan gets injured on Perotta’s watch, am I right? And who can forget this warning: “If something happens to that soft skin and that silky hair …”

So no. In no way do I believe that Booth would actually find Brennan another FBI guy. And for that matter, I don’t think Brennan would let him.

But reasonable minds can disagree, though I admit when it comes to my views on Booth’s feeling I tend to be quite unreasonable, lol. And I want to hear from you. Do you agree? Think I’m completely off my rocker? Did your heart stop and then jumpstart when he said those words? Are you willing to believe him? Or are you scoffing in disbelief like I am?


71 thoughts on “Empty Words: Would Booth have really let someone else replace him as Brennan’s partner?

  1. I agree that when he gave the ultimatum, he meant it. But he ultimately would not have been able to follow through, and it would have been very painful for him to admit it, and he would have hated himself, I think, for not being able to walk away, and it might have even been a rift from which B&B could never heal, even if she showed up naked on his doorstep to explain that she only wanted a new FBI guy to get around that pesky “the FBI won’t let us date and work together at the same time” thing.

    I think he said it because he wanted, just once (in his drunken mind), just once, for one of these women to choose him.

    Even if it is never brought up onscreen again – because the writers do have an annoying habit of not following up on major emotional upheavals – certainly within, as you say, the world that’s been created, Brennan’s decision to stay will be the foundation for whatever comes next in their relationship.

  2. I think he might have been able to follow through with the ultimatum. He might have hated it, but I think he is at a point that if Brennan had walked away, he would have decided once and for all that he should just be alone, that this is why he never had partners in the first place, and that he really was that guy that Sweets drunkenly identified him to be (btw – we all know that Sweets would never have said that if he had been sober, right? He’s wicked smart, but also still young and inexperienced).

    After the 100th, I’ve always felt that Booth should have severed the partnership. It would have been the healthiest thing to do. He couldn’t, and I don’t blame him for that. It is real to cling to hope, which I believe he had then.

    At this point, though, he has lost his hope. Would it have come back the next morning? I don’t know. He’d be hungover and bitter. He is still going to be hungover and bitter . . . but Brennan actually staying will have preserved his hope, even if only unconsciously. If she had left? Wouldn’t that have told him everything he needed to know?

  3. I completely agree with you. My heart jumped when he said taht words to Brennan but Booth was talking with your angry and hurt voice and the the liquour give a big help on it. But now way Booth will let Brennan work wiht another agent. I think when he gave his Ultimatum to Brennan deep inside of him he was praying to all the saints he knows to Brennan accept stay and drink with him. And she did. That gesture of them doing together in the same time asking the barkeep for another shot is one of the signs that Booth was expecting her stay and accept be with him and be “just his partner” for now.

  4. Interesting point. I do think in that moment dealing with the hurt and anger that he meant what he was saying. Now would he have been able to go through with it? My fear is that he would be able to hold on to that hurt and anger to actually do it. Turn in the paperwork requesting the transfer, for someone else to be the liason with the Jeffersonian. Then by the time he realized what he was doing, what he really wanted it would already be in the works.

    The way he was feeling that night is not something he’d get over quickly, he’s not going to wake up the next morning and realize that he didn’t mean what he said to her about their partnership. So if she hadn’t made the choice right then to stick with him she very well could have found out within the next few days that he had put in for the partnership transfer. Would he have regretted that, definitely YES, and he might have come to realize he didn’t really want that in time to stop it, but it would still be another thing out there between them.

    I do think that when he gets past the first wave of hurt and anger that he’ll realize that she did choose him that night, and has done so before…I mean regardless of what Gordon Gordon told them we all know Brennan chose staying with him over going with Sully.

    I do think there might have been a little of what Barbara mentioned in there of wanting someone to choose him which she did. Of course she’s done that in the past too, but it was never really acknowledged…will it be acknowledged this time?

  5. I don’t think Booth has a right to be angry with Brennan about her turning him down. He didn’t woo her at all, just jumped in with “Let’s give it a shot.” You shoot ducks, not relationships. Then in less than a minute, he was ready to move on.

    He needs to work on his courtship skills. Jumping into bed with a woman when you don’t know much about her doesn’t lead to a fullfilling relationship.

    Perhaps Hodgins could teach him. Hodgins knew how to woo Angela.

    • excellent point…i hadn’t thought of it that way.

    • “You shot ducks, not relationships.” HAHA! Love it!

    • I don’t think Booth was mad directly at Brennan as much as he is just mad at the world right now. I really hope that he an Brennan have a discussion about the reasons she went to Muluku and about the fact that he didn’t give her any time to think about or consider her decision before he said he was going to move on – and appeared to do just that. Maybe if he understands the reasons she left (not just for work) but to get her feelings in order, he may have a better understanding of what she felt and really feels for him. As it is now – neither one are communicating with the other worth a cr_p!

    • Thank you…After he gave up on her the way he did om the 100th episode,once she told him how She felt,he had the choice between Hannah and Brennan.When he told Hannah about it,he should also have told her that he was confused,if he actually was,that he needed space and time to figure out how he felt and make a choice.And you know what?he made his choice:He chose to propose to Hannah less than a year after he claimed his love for Brennan would last 30-49-50 years….That’s all I needed to know how he felt about Brennan.After 6 years waiting for them to finally give into their feelings,Booth made Brennan his rebound girl.
      If he had proposed to Hannah before Brennan’s confession,I would have understood.But he did it after Brennan’s confession,making a clear choice.
      Unlike Booth,Brennan didn’t just jump in another relationship when he rejected her.She needed time to heal and land back on her feet before trying to move on.Booth even dated someone,her name was Catherine or something, right after Brennan rejected him and before Hannah.That’s how fast he moved on from his so called love for her.
      He tries one time,one time only and he gives up? He didn’t try to break down her walls.So much for his great love for Brennan. She deserves someone new who actually loves her.

  6. That scene was more about Booth at rock bottom and having enough. He was giving Brennan the choice and that is what is was, her CHOICE, to remain partners and nothing more as he is spent. And if she wants more then it is best for both to work apart. Which in honesty is the healthier option. . It mirrors what Brennan asked of him in the 100th epi. Can we still work together? And it was his CHOICE to stay.

    • I’m not sure I can agree that he was giving much of a “choice.” If Booth were not drunk and emotionally drained, I would never think it was a fair conversation to have with someone who is your partner and friend. Brennan did not offer any such ultimatums at the 100th. She asked him if they could still be partners rather than giving him choices.

      In the end, Booth spoke out of his heart, yet again, without thinking -albeit with reason. I think we come back to “you think everything you feel is true.” Fortunately, Brennan gets Booth, now, enough to respond to him emotionally at this moment and to stick with him and make her “choice.”

  7. Is it healthy to hang around someone you love and can’t have. I doubt it. Of course, the show is about them and their relationship so they have to be together through it all.

  8. David was so amazing in that scene. So layered. So emotional. His voiced cracked when he said about working with another fbi guy. He didnt want it. But he was giving Brennan the choice, there is no romantic me and you for now, I am broken, and all I got is a partnership for you. And if that is too hard for you we will part company. He knows. He has been there.

  9. The only way I an answer this is to fic quickly, responding to the headline and not reading anybody else’s comments or even the article!

    “…Or you can leave. There’s the door. And I’ll find you a new fbi guy tomorrow,” he says, hating the way his voice fades and breaks as he says it, the way he has to shut his eyes so he won’t have to see her face when she answers him, the way he has to hold his breath while he waits for it. Because she always leaves, and he can’t back down and tell her it’s okay this time.

    But inside, he’s praying: Please, please, please, make her stay. Let her stay —

    “Are those my only choices?” she asks him.

    Steeling himself. “Yep. Those are your only choices.” He forces himself to look at her.

    “Then I’ll have a drink.” And she picks up the shot glass and tosses it back, and when he raises a finger to signal the bartender for another, so does she.

    He takes a breath. It hurts like hell, but he can do it. One at a time.

    And thinks, staring down into his scotch, Maybe I should go to a meeting.

  10. I think this question would’ve been rendered moot had Brennan chosen to leave rather than stay, because her leaving would’ve broken him. In that moment the only thing Booth wanted and needed was for her to stay, and stay on his terms. Her walking away would have shaken the very foundations of their relationship leave alone their partnership. Would Booth have chosen to remain her partner had things played out differently? Maybe. But I think that would have been at the cost of the BB relationship.

    I hope I made sense here – I lurk more than I comment, but I really do enjoy the discussions.

    • i agree…he wasn’t totally broken at that point, but if she left, he would have been. he didn’t walk away from her in the 100th, and now she didn’t walk away from him either. regardless of what else happens, her staying made their partnership 100 times stronger than it had ever been.

    • I def agree here. I do think if she had left it would have shattered him. Which I think is telling that Brennan walking out and rejecting their partnership would have destroyed him in ways, Hannah’s rejection could not. I think that he’s angry and hurt and probably wondering what’s wrong with him (he pretty much says that) but I also think that proposal was such major overcompensation (my god, it was practically a dare, an unconscious one, I feel, from Sweets) that it wasn’t so much about THIS woman rejecting him but more about YET another woman doing so.

      My personal opinion is that proposal was the ultimate step in convincing himself and everyone else that he’s move on. It was ill-conceived and came from nowhere other than Sweet’s goading. But of course, he doesn’t stop to consider and analyze, because I think Booth has refused to consider or analyze anything since the 100th. It’s like he’s shut down anything that might cause to go back to that place and that night when I do believe Brennan completely devastated him.

  11. Of course, David did an amazing job. I just get mad at Booth every so often.

  12. Those two end scenes. David effing Boreanaz. He just hit a new high of pain, heartbreak. I love that he made Stephen Nathan cry. And surprised Hart, whom called him epic. Anyway. I hope more than anything that Booths heartbreak and time of self reflection is discussed in the next epi. It is real. It happened. And he is mad at the world and mad at himself more than anyone. .Note he pointed at himself when he said something is wrong here. .I want emotional continunity from this fallout more than anything.

  13. OK, so: now that I have read the article, yes. I think he was prepared to go through with it, even if he was hoping like hell he wouldn’t have to. I am so glad I don’t think Show is headed that way.

    But if he went through with it, I don’t think he ultimately would have been able to move on. Just severing the partnership wouldn’t get her out of his head or his heart.

  14. Man! Wow! I think Booth’s raw and painful honesty has been simmering since he and Rebecca split up. He never dealt with Brennans rejection either. Just buried it and got on with the job. And Hannah I think he hoped that she would change her mind. Didn’t she do so to be with him and worked in D.C something she said she would never do. He was living with false hope. And Hannah idk was it fair to be with him when she was waiting for this day with dread? Booth needed to say that speech it was 11yrs in the making. He is speaking up and owning how he feels. Good for him

    • Tessa I agree about the fact that while Hannah might have repeatly said she was not the marrying kind, Booth had false hope because she had also said that she would not come back to the US that it wasn’t her and she had to follow her career then she did just that; came back to the US and took a less exciting job to be with him. So with that in mind he thought she would change her mind about marriage.

  15. Anyone else think that Hannah will be back. I do. Next season would be my bet. Her parting words had meaning. They are done now but not for always. And think about it ~ Rebecca changed her mind and wanted to marry him but it was too late. Unknown to Booth. Brennan said no. And a year later changed her mind but it was too late. And Hannah said no and expect next season to her returning and wanting him back with a changed mind on marriage but will it be too late?

    • Unless she was ready to marry Booth and even then I doubt she would have a role in Booth’s heart. They might choose to put her there for conflict but I don’t see she and Booth ever resuming the love. Brennan never played him along. Hannah did. She said she hoped they wouldn’t get to this point for a long time meaning that she wouldn’t marry him and she knew he wanted that eventually and she didin’t.

      Brennan was upfront with him right away. There’s the difference. And it wasn’t she didn’t want to either. It was she didn’t think she could. That’s a big difference. She didn’t string him along.

  16. Brennan asking is there a third option was just dumb. Pray tell me Brennan what on earth do you think he would say? Yes. Me and you baby my place. There was only two options on that day – we can remain partners or if that is too hard we separate. He was being honest, no grey area of false expectations and that is what they need brutal honesty. They have been talking in riddles for years. And Brennan, yes fictinn you 😀 there is no 3rd option when a man has just got his heart broken and drunk and in pain. Ok?

    • Brennan’s never dumb. And maybe she was hoping for some love at this point since she had already poured her heart out to him. But of course, when someone’s drunk as Booth was, they don’t make good decisions. And that’s what Booth did when he decided to ask Hannah to marry him. He needs to learn more about himself. He rushes into things without checking anything. He didn’t listen to Hannah when she previously told him she wouldn’t want to get married. He dumped Brennan in 2 minutes and never wooed her.

      Women need to be wooed. He really didn’t woo Hannah either. Just jumped into bed, jumped into an apartment with her. Maybe he has things backwards.

      Booth needs therapy for sure.

      • But not from Sweets, please. Sweets is the one who put the bug in Booth’s ear both times he went on a limb that led to disaster.

  17. @poetic_line Yes that was my point, it is unhealthy to have unfulfied love and having to work with that person each day. First Booth and now Brennan. It would be healthier to part. But then there would be no show of a sexy fbi agent and a sexy scientist.

    • Their torture is our entertainment.

    • Well, there was Maluku and Afghanistan to give them distance and time the first time around. But Brennan is too much of Booth’s friend to leave him now in this condition. I can’t think of anyone else to be there for Booth right now, and even if I think Booth has his responsibility in his mess, I don’t think he deserves to be alone. Brennan has always pushed Booth to be the best part of himself, even if she does it unconsciously.

  18. Booth and Brennan’s relationship has many different levels. They are very adept at maintaining status quo, which is their partnership/friendship. It’s not just about the romance for them. Maybe they think romance would be icing on the cake, or maybe it would be the worst decision they’ve ever made. They are both good at compartmentalizing their “what if’s” and working with what they have, which is a lot, in my opinion and theirs. They’ve shared so much together that letting the other person go would be like letting a part of themselves go, and I don’t think either are ready to do that.

    • For 2 minutes I was to let them go their separate ways. But of course, that would be impossible. They are too much a part of each other. And we have to suffer with them.

  19. As to the overall question and this takes me back to yesterday’s as well.

    I think that most of what Booth said should be taken with a large grain of salt. He was in a moment consumed with anger and pain — and drunk. He shouldn’t be held to account for anything he says in that condition. I’m not even sure he was saying “just partners.” He could have come down a lot harder on Brennan. (It’s all your fault for abandoning our partnership and then not contacting me and making me think I didn’t matter at all to you. Hannah made me feel I mattered to someone. And, then you had to go and confess your feelings months too late, but I was with Hannah and then I was questioning and that made me feel I needed to make this commitment to her. Or words to that effect.) And, he would never leave Brennan’s safety to anyone else.

    The only thing that could make it happen is Booth’s need to hold himself to account. That he has to stand up for something for himself — if only to prove to himself he can do it. And, to make sure he keeps himself invulnerable now.

    Yet I still can’t see him doing anything that would put Brennan in danger, and I can’t see him believing anyone else can protect her as well as he can. He feels responsible for her being in this position (out of the safety of the lab) in the first place (see Passenger in the Oven). I guess, all in all, I don’t see him acting on it in the cold hard sober light of day. Or, maybe I only hope so. In the end, I’m glad Brennan made the point moot.

  20. Booth was depressed, in heaps of pain, pissed as hell and drunk….people say things they really feel when they are in that state of mind. I believe he truly meant those words when he said them and would have followed through if his hand had been forced in that exact moment. However, once he’s had time to get away, sober up, get his head back on straight…he’ll stick with the two them being the good guys putting the bad guys away….because that’s what he needs right now.

  21. It may be partly the liquor talking, but Booth’s inhibitions are gone (alcohol has a way of doing that), and he is totally being honest when he says he’ll get Brennan another FBI agent….and I believe he would. He’s had it…and this feels like Brennan’s previous question to Booth…”Are you going to betray me?” He needs to know…are you ok with just being partners?…because, as Booth tells her, this is how I see what comes next. Nothing more. He is determined to put this behind him…all of it…and to do that Brennan has to choose to accept his terms, because he will not tolerate anything else. Yet again, Sweets’ comment about Booth having cognitive dissonance sort of rings true here also. Booth says “I’m over it” but he still needs Brennan to be his friend, his partner who shares with him…catching the bad guys, celebratory drinks and chit chat. Those moments are all that Booth can hold onto right now, and he needs reassurance from Brennan that she won’t expect more. We hear his words, but we feel like he’s not being honest with himself, regardless. Brennan once told Angela that “Booth doesn’t balk,” and he doesn’t. He accepted Brennan’s terms in the 100th, but he didn’t balk when he told her he’d have to move on. He won’t balk now.

    Booth may be all over the page, emotionally, at present, but that doesn’t make me think of him as a weak man in any way, shape or form – in fact, just the opposite. He perseveres. Because of and despite his past, he’s always maintained his integrity and honor at all costs…and he means what he says. I can only think of one time when Booth actually changed his mind, and that was back when he tells Brennan that Howard Epps did outsmart them. Booth first tells her they won, but thinks a second and admits that yeah…Epps did win (if there are any other instances of this, I have forgotten them). So when a lot of people were sure that Booth would not propose to Hannah, I knew he would…because in his mind, although Brennan finally admitted her “missed chance,” it was too late. Booth had already moved on and…as he says to Brennan when she says she’ll deal with it…“I did.” That said it all. He knows the pain she’s going through, because he’s been there, but she’s going to have to endure the consequences of her decisions, just like he has.

    Booth may not be an expert in romance and love…but come on, who is? No romantic partner is a sure thing. We all take a risk in loving someone, and it can turn out to be the most wonderful thing or the most heartbreaking. So through all the missed chances and rejections, Booth has kept trying…until now. Three times is the charm, they say. He’s gambled on love three times…and lost. Enough is enough. At this point, he truly has no more to give.

    Should we believe that Booth is absolutely, positively “over and done” with love? For now…yes…he is, but that doesn’t mean something won’t happen to change his mind. My favorite motto is “Never say never.” You can’t possibly know what the future will be and how that will affect you. Even if Booth isn’t capable of seeing past his deep sense of hurt at the moment doesn’t mean in any way that he won’t be able to change when confronted with new evidence. Isn’t that what we’re counting on?

    OK…this got a little more long-winded than I expected…but darn it, this is what happens…I start thinking about the original question(s), and before you know it, I’m off on a tangent about other things whirling around in my mind…and that’s what I love about Bones! You just can’t think about one thing without including others.

    • ShrinkyMojo, I like your Post and I believe Booth will come around again and smell the Roses.
      Everything I would have said, was already said, so nothing more is coming from me.

    • Hey Shrinky, I think we might be sharing a brain or something, because my reaction to this question is pretty much the same thing as yours.

      It feels like Booth is not being honest with himself, because he’s not. At least not in terms of his “I’m over it” statement. Because that is a big steaming pile of BS. He is so not fine it isn’t even funny.

      In terms of everything else though, I think he was as honest as he has ever been with himself or with Brennan in terms of about how he feels about himself and how he feels that women see him. And I think that you’re absolutely right about him still needing Brennan to be his friend. But I think it may even go deeper than that; he’s been destroyed by three women whom he loved, one of which was her (and I think his pause when talking to her about that is very telling in terms of what he still feels, but that is another conversation for another day). I think that maybe part of his “stay or go” statement is that, in that moment, he just needed someone to take a chance on him. And maybe it’s not the biggest chance Brennan has ever taken in regards to Booth, but she stayed and it means something. She’s seeing him at the worst she has ever seen him, and she still accepts him and still wants to be with him. That’s some powerful stuff, and when the drunken haze wears off, hopefully he’ll remember that.

      I totally, one hundred percent agree with you on what you said about Booth not being a weak man. He is certainly not. Flawed, for sure, but he’s human, so it’s okay, we still love him. What he does have, though, is a damaged view of his own self worth, and that comes from oh so many places. But he keeps going, and keeps trying to be a better man, father, partner, agent, grandson, you name it. But in doing that, sometimes I think he tries a little too hard to be perfect, when all he has to be is just himself. I think that maybe he’s got to discover that about himself in order to grow. The people in his life don’t need him to be perfect; he’s already perfect just being him and that’s all they need.

      I agree that he is done with love for now, at least the romantic kind. But I don’t think that will be a forever. Mainly because we are all counting on him being able to change his mind, as you said. But I do think that change will have to come in the form of someone presenting him with the new evidence. And so long as that someone is Brennan, we fangirls will be happy. 😉

      Also, I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets caught up in tangents when replying. 😉

      • LOL, Jade! This is getting spooky…maybe we’ve had some kind of Spock mind-meld! More often than not, even if I don’t post or reply, your thoughts seem to match mine – a lot.

        I could go off on another tangent, but I’ll save it for another post. 

      • LOL a mind-meld, or just great minds thinking alike! And yeah, it is getting a little spooky, but totally awesome at the same time! 😉

        And I’ve had the same reaction to a lot of what you post, even if RL doesn’t always allow me the opportunity to reply. Silly RL taking time away from being a fangirl…. geesh. 😉

  22. When I saw that scene, I believed I was seeing a test. Booth was testing Brennan. He gave her a choice to leave or stay; but, I think he was testing her loyalty. Yes, he was drunk, he was angry and he felt that noone cares for him the way he wants someone to. He has just had his heart crushed by someone he loves and this is the third time. In comes Brennan. One of the three who has rejected him. I believe that if Brennan will not commit to him in her personal life, he wants an affirmation that she will at least committ to him in his professional life. He wants someone to commit to him. Even if it is a partnership, he desperately needs someone to committ to him. Would he have allowed Brennan to walk out the door. Sadly, I think he would have. Would he have regretted it. Yes, he would. Would Brennan allowed Booth to really replace her with some else. No Way.

  23. dovepage February 12, 2011 at 1:06 pm
    I guess I am in the minority here but I could see Booth needing a “time out” or “some time and space” for perhaps 1-2 cases to get his head back in the game, process what has happened and move forward. He is hurting in a big way and I cannot get over Hannah calling Brennan, explaining the situation, and asking or Brennan volunteering to console Booth. What was between Hannah and Booth should have been theirs also, until Booth wanted to share it with his partner. He asked Sweets to keep his intentions towards Hannah quiet, maybe he didn’t want anyone else to know either especially considering the outcome. I can’t image any guy or girl wanting the knowledge he/she had been turned down by three ppl they loved as public knowledge. If during this transition before Hannah comes back (gag) and she and Brennan keep in contact with each other, I am going from Team B & B to Team Booth in a big way. So, yeah, I could see a temporary new FBI partner for Brennan. That would be something we would absolutely not expect, since HH/SN seem to want to go that way with their story.

    • I did not see Hannah calling Brennan so that she could be there for Booth as some kind of betrayal, or violation of a trust. I saw it as someone who does love him and is worried about him, calling another person that she knows also cares about him so they could be there for him. She didn’t call some random person to gossip about what happened. It’s a big difference.

      Now Brennan will continue to be there for Booth, just like in the past he was there for her.

    • I think Hannah called Brennan because who else is she going to call? It’s a fair bet that Booth is going to be out drowning his sorrows, so he is going to need someone to get him home safely. Who, of Booth’s other friends, is Hannah going to know how to get ahold of? Hannah doesn’t even know how close Booth and Cam are (which is just one of a bazillion examples of how they don’t really know each other but I digress). Would she have Sweets’ phone number? Brennan is the only person in Booth’s world that Hannah has actually socialized with, without Booth there.

      And we don’t know what Hannah said. I don’t think it was “Booth proposed and I said no but you’re the one he really loves anyway, so you should go to him.” It was probably more like “Booth proposed and I said no and he’s really upset and I am afraid he is going to drive his car into a tree or worse.”

  24. y’know, that isn’t even grown up bones looking at him in that photo…it’s 16 year old shell shocked, vulnerable, confused tempe brennan looking at him from bones’ grown up eyes. but that’s another discussion.

    no, i don’t for a second think that booth would have followed through with it. he can’t even stand when she says another man’s name, i can’t imagine that he could step aside and let her team up with someone else. i think this was his way of telling bones “i promised i’d never let you fall, you’d better not let me fall either.” he knows she loves him, she told him so. he’s just mad and disappointed and embarrassed and he needs a break from it all. so in this way he tells her that even though deep down he knows that she feels the same thing for him that he feels for her, that right now he can’t handle anything but being partners while his woulds heal. he still wants her around, but can only deal with her as a partner for right now. i think he’s telling her the exact same thing she told him in ep 100, that is that although you are the most important person in my life and i don’t want to lose our partnership and our friendship, for right now i can’t deal with the possibility of anything else. this has really come full circle at this point…they’ve both told each other how they feel, and also told each other that they can’t handle anything but their professional partnership and platonic friendship. for now.

  25. Let’s take Booth’s question at face value. Why don’t women want to marry him? Not Rebbecca, Brennan, Hannah, or Cam for that matter. You can explain it all away by looking at the issues the women have, but Booth needs to try to understand his half of it. And I don’t think it’s about _how_ he approaches these women, or it is, but it is more than that. Booth doesn’t make a lot of room for someone else, doesn’t compromise from his view of right or wrong. He wants these hyper-strong women, but they must wonder will he really be able to compromise with someone who is his equal, will he make room for their very different views? They want to be with him, and they love him, but none of them have seen a future married to him, and he has to own that.

    • It’s also the women he picked to love. He’s going after a woman who hasn’t indicated she wants what he wants and that’s a very important part of it.

    • I don’t think you can apply this to Brennan. We know she is not like most normal women and he has been extremely accepting and tolerant of who she is. Isn’t that why we say he knows her best? He “gets” who she is and accepts her despite her sometimes rigid behavior. He may be snarky with her at times but that’s just their “routine”…its a part of the charm that is Booth and Brennan…their bickering.

  26. When he said those words my heart definitely stopped, but it didn’t jump start. I could see it happening, not for a proplonged period of time sure, and not while Booth was completely of sound mind (he’d probably have to still be raging or just drunk to go through with it) but I could undestand him just needing a time to step back from his life. It hasn’t turned out the way he wanted. He just needs a minute to take a deep breath and then get on with it, and severing their partnership, even if it’s just for a day would do that.

    HOWEVER, I think after he’d given Brennan another FBI guy, he would come to his senses and trail them until the case was finished and then reinstate himself as her partner again, or just reinstate himself straight away. I agree that he is definitely too protective of her to leave that responsibility to someone else. But I believe the threat.

    BUT… saying all that, i doubt Brennan would even take it. I mean, she wouldn’t say no to Booth if he was so deinite about it, but if she saw him just slightly unsure she’d probably stand up for herself, or at least once the new FBI guy came, refuse to leave the lab. I don’t think she could work with someone else knowing that the reason she is is because Booth can’t stand to work with her, or see her not because he’s hurt or needs counciling.

    May I just also say that that last picture of Brennan is probably the most heartcrushing I have ever seen of her. She looks devoid of all hope and belief. She’s just so shocked.

  27. I think he would have gone through with it and the writers may have taken us through that journey but we would have seen something very similar to what happened in the Sully episodes…a Booth that could barely stand being away from Brennan. You know…for lack of a better word…the poor guy was “branded” from the first moment he met Brennan…he was hers….and there’s no turning back from that….no matter how many times the writers throw obstacles in their way.

  28. There’s not much to say other than you’re right. They’ve come too far and Booth has never been the kind of guy just to give up on the things he cares about. And besides, even though I agree his offer was genuine, I also couldn’t ever imagine Brennan agreeing with it.
    Why would she have been there in the first place if she didn’t care about him?
    But, in a alternate reality where they didn’t care about each other and every heartache and stressful time drove them apart, and Brennan did say, “Fine. When you’re done moping find me a more competent Agent.”, Booth would most likely have kept tabs on her the entire time.

    I mean come on — he did it with Sully and Perotta like you said, what would stop him from thinking about her, worrying about her, and therefore watching her like a hawk?

  29. I believe the ending of this episode to be one of the most powerful scenes between Booth and Brenann EVER! Booth is in a really bad place right now. Very. As he was telling Brennan everything, I can’t help but think that in one way or another Booth is “broken”. He sounded like a broken record. It scared me and still scares me. He doesn’t seem like himself. The confident, cocky, happy, Boothy Booth….where is he? I think what scared me most was the possibility that Booth could perhaps lose his faith in “there’s someone for everyone” which was something he strongly believed in and was proud of. I don’t know if I’m reading too much into this but I think Brennan rejecting Booth really did a number on him. He said to Hannah that he “didn’t think he would find someone else again”…the hurt was so apparent on his face. When Hannah rejected him this time, he almost suddenly walked away and looked out towards the water, wearing this “oh not this again” expression. That just breaks my heart. To think that perhaps Booth would lose faith in himself and lose faith in love. At least the first time around (with Brennan) he actually put up a bigger protest (“it doesn’t have to be that way”). When Booth said “I’m over it, I’m done”…I feared that didn’t mean Hannah, I feared it meant love.

    The bright side (but also somewhat a dark side) of this is that Booth feels there is something wrong with the women in his life not wanting to marry him. I find this relieving (as Seels have mentioned in the past about how Booth struggled with issues of self worth)…at least this time he doesn’t blame it on himself. Thank goodness for that!! Yes, Seeley Booth, you deserve BETTER!!

    Back to some more darkness. I think Booth is doing some damage control here. I get the feeling that he’s not going to wanna be involved with anyone for a while (yeah…not even Brennan). At least that’s how I interpreted “tomorrow I’ll find you a new FBI guy”. Does Booth want a new FBI guy for Brennan, honestly? I don’t think so. He was almost in tears with a shaky voice when he said “I’ll find you a new FBI guy”.He’s turning to the only relationship that’s worked for him so far (solving cases with Brennan and just being her partner). I don’t know if this is right but now that we know Brennan “made a mistake” by rejecting Booth, I was kinda hoping that they’d finally be on the same page. Now that I’ve heard the “be my partner or you can leave” speech, I don’t think that’s happening yet. After Booth laid out the terms of “this is what’s going to happen”, he looked at Brennan and saw that “more than partners” expression of hers. But something tells me he didn’t want what she had to offer right now. He was too mad. Mad at all the women in his life, mad at Brennan for rejecting him before. He didn’t want that from Brennan (at least not right now). All he wants is a “partner”. The only thing that’s ever worked. It was as if he was laying the option of Brennan being “more than partners” but having to leave OR being “just his partner” and staying. The fact that Brennan chose to stay, I think, will mean very much to Booth (although he might not realize it yet). On a side note, that choice is so tragically beautiful on so many levels. It’s like you’re in love with your best friend, but he doesn’t want that type of relationship so you either can keep loving your friend but will never see them again or forget about love and keep being friends. I think Brennan’s doing the latter which is exactly what Booth did for her after the 100th episode. The optimistic side of me thinks back to the quote “insanity and doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same outcome”. I mean, seriously, how many times have Booth and Brennan gone for the “just partners” and failed miserably at being “just partners”? Like…ALL THE TIME! So I’m staying optimistic about the future…I feel a sense of balance settling in (Brennan’s rejected Booth as a lover….Booth stayed her friend…Booth now rejects any form of relationship with Brennan that is not “just partners”…Brennan stays his friend). The cosmic balance has been restored! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  30. Very nice post

    I’ll be honest and say that I’m having a little bit of trouble with Booth going from “I’m never going anywhere” in one ep, to “Stay or I’ll stop being your partner” in the next. Because inbetween these two conversations Brennan did… absolutely nothing wrong to deserve that.
    I don’t agree with people who put an emphasis on the choice element in his ultimatum to Brennan, because I don’t think what he was asking her was him giving her a realistic choice in any way. She needs him, and she loves him, and even if she didn’t, there is just no way that she (or anyone) would leave a friend alone at a bar if they were going through what he is going through. That wasn’t a choice for or from her. This is Brennan we’re talking about, would she realy just walk out of that door and leave him? No. Way.
    It was not a reasonable ‘ultimatum’, which to me proves that Booth was definitely not himself and extremely miserable, confused, and angry. The man is just one big mess at the moment, and the fact that Brennan didn’t tell him how unrealistic both his options were but just went with them, tells me that she understands that. Brennans silence and acceptance speak volumes to me about how well she knows him and how much she has grown over the past year.

    About Brennans “what happens next” line, I found this gem in one of the many other reviews out there:
    “To understand what Booth’s future really is, you only need to look at the questions asked by the two women in his life. Hannah wanted to know “What happens now?” because she’s only the present. But Brennan asked him “What happens next?” proving that she is his future”
    Some people seem to be angry at Brennan for asking him that, but really, Would you have known what to say in her situation? I’m actually kind of glad that she asked it, because it needed to be cristal clear how he feels about any relationship right now.

    I want to say one last thing, and feel free to kick me for this (I’ll wear shinguards).
    I’m getting just a little bit tired of people explaining away every dubious decision Booth ever makes with “Brennan really hurt him when she rejected him”(or anything similar).
    First of all: It makes it seem like Brennan was the agressor in that situation, when in reality she was just scared and trying to protect him and herself while trying to navigate through a situation that she never chose to be in and was not ready for. (The fact that Booth now made that same mistake again makes me wonder if he ever realy realized that)
    And second, is it so hard to have Booth be a flawed person without having to sob for him all the time? Why?. I totally love Brennan(She’s the main reason I’m watching), but I have no problem admitting that she has flaws and is wrong sometimes.
    In no way do I mean that she didn’t hurt him, or that he should just get over it, but I just don’t feel that still using her ‘rejection’ to excuse everything he does is doing justice to the complexity of his character.
    (There, I’ll go hide now)

    • I concur, vehemently 🙂
      I do love both the characters, but have a soft spot for Brennan. I agree with your assessment of what went down in the 100th. I understood her reasons, but it was a rejection. And, it was her prerogative to do so. Being approached like that, I probably would have said no, too. I’m not concerned with declarations of love, but it seems like Booth could have at least said something about why he wanted to be with her and what makes her so special to him. Booth’s a great guy, but I agree with whoever said he could learn something from Hodgins in the wooing department.
      Booth said he was going to move on in that conversation, but he had stalled in that movement until he found out that Brennan was planning on going to Maluku. He was right there by her side in the Gravedigger case, and was holding on to their partnership. I think Brennan’s request to stay partners wasn’t necessary; Booth was hurt, but he wasn’t planning on going anywhere. I wonder if he was hoping she would change her mind. I have no evidence of this, but I wonder if Brennan sensed that Booth was having a hard time because he wasn’t really moving on like he said, and even though she was accustomed to his support, she realized it may have been unfair to him. I still think Daisy’s comment about holding each other back resounded strongly in her head. Brennan had not decided if she was going to Maluku, but Booth assumed she was, and the fact that he did hurt her. I think it was then that she decided that they both needed time and space.

    • You don’t need to hide from me botjes. I am with you on this 100%!

    • I agree. The oh-woe-is-me Boothaphiles out there who trash Brennan for her choices aren’t really looking at the whole picture. I really am excited to see a more flawed Booth. Yes, he can be sarcastic and impatient, but more than any other character, he seems to get a free pass when something isn’t quite right in the relationship. (Maybe, like Angela, those fans are a little in love with Booth.)

      Brennan has been Brennan since the 100th. We’ve seen glimpses of how the 100th affected her, especially in the DitP, but many people have focused on the fact that she seems to have “thrown” Hacker in Booth’s face right after to justify blaming her for Booth’s anger or hurt. They both share responsibility. I have no problem with his anger or with Brennan’s refusal. I see how Brennan might have expected their partnership to go on unchanged, but I would imagine that she saw more change than she let on– she’s an observer by nature and especially knows Booth.

      I, too, love Brennan. I find her more interesting than Booth, usually. But his proposal and anger at the end of Daredevil made him much more interesting. I want to see how they both deal with the fallout from all this. I really think both of them can grow and I truly believe it is going to be the brain that helps heal the heart.

  31. I don’t think you need to go and hide because I think you’re very much correct. It would be totally unfair to excuse or accept Booth’s actions under the guise of Brennan’s rejection. I also do not like when people say, whatever Brennan is going through now she deserves it for rejecting him and they can now be even or any such stuff.

    What I do believe is that Booth’s actions are simply the way he CHOSE to deal with Brennan’s rejections (both personal and professional) and the pain that such rejections caused.Do I think he’s been dealing with Brennan’s rejection since the 100th? Yes. Do I wish he had chosen another way than to bury his head in the sand and pretend everything was all right and he could just move on? Yes. But as much as I love Booth, I accept he is def a flawed character and he now has to deal with the consequences of his choices and his actions.

  32. Hi all. I, too, am mostly a lurker on this website – I really enjoy everyone’s insight into this show (and it is comforting to know that I am not the only person who overly obsessed with it). So thanks!

    After watching the last 10 minutes of the Daredevil in the Mold a few times, I am wondering if I was reading too much into Brennan’s question and Booth’s response. Brennan’s question was “So what happens next?” – could it be she was just trying to ask a more supportive version of “what are you going to do now”? Brennan is socially awkward, but she has been in relationships before, and hurt before by her own bad choices in men, and I don’t think she is completely and totally self-centered, so she can’t possibly have been asking what next happens between her and Booth in terms of a “romantic” relationship.

    Booth’s response was essentially that they were going to keep their ‘apparent’ status quo – they will continue to be partners in solving crimes (which is one thing he empirically knows he good at . Perhaps he was just saying that in terms of what happens next is that he is going to live life one day at a time, because that is all he can do right now? Booth then goes on to say, after saying he and Brennan will continue to be partners, that:

    “So, as far as I can see that is what happens next. Are you ok with that? Great, because if you are I’ll tell you what, you stay here and you have a drink with me. Alright maybe we have a little small talk, chit-chat. And if you’re not, well….you can leave….there’s the door, and tomorrow I’ll find you a new FBI guy”

    I am wondering if the “you can leave” comment is in respect of Brennan’s decision to stay there and having a drink with him and “have a little small talk and chit-chat”, and not about the fact that they will continue to be ‘partners’ and presumably nothing more. Is it possible that Booth is just emphasizing that he just needs a friend there with him at this time, and that he doesn’t want to talk about the Hannah situation, that he doesn’t need a lecture him about his drinking in light of his family history, or that he doesn’t want to hear Brennan’s defence of Hannah (accepting that Brennan and Hannah are friends)?

    Brennan’s response of “Those are my only choices?” is very Brennan – she doesn’t instinctively know the boundaries in any situation/conversation, and she may have been thinking of suggesting that they talk about the Hannah situation, or that Booth go home to sleep it off, or any other such thing someone would say in a situation where your friend is upset, drunk and at a bar and continuing to drink.

    I don’t know – I really have no idea. It was an amazing, albeit heart-crushing, ten minutes, and I have no idea what Booth meant. I still am not sure what the “look” was about when he was in the diner at the end of the Bullet in the Brain, looking out on Max and Brennan, and I don’t know what he meant in the Sin in the Sisterhood with the “there is only one person you love the most/that person is not going anywhere” comments, either. (I love this show, but it is killing me!)

    All to say that I think Booth’s threat was an empty threat – he may have kind of meant it at the time, but really, it wasn’t an offer that Brennan was going to refuse – assuming the option was to sit there and drink with him and not make him deal with what was going on in his life at that particular moment.

    • I’m glad you decided not to just lurk today. You gave me some more things to think about. You are definitely not alone in being over obsessed with the show!

    • Good insight. Your take on what Booth meant when he said she could stay and have a drink or leave makes sense.

    • Thankyou! for this! You said what I was thinking much more eloquently then I could. This does sound more reasonable than Brennan thinking about the possibility of a relationship right now, because even she knows that this is not the right time. I’m sure that she is hopefully thinking that now she can get with Booth eventually, but she knows he needs time to grieve.

  33. His ultimatum serves to illustrate how angry he is in that moment. Because she needs evidence. He’s showing her. It’s jarring. He doesn’t mean it. He couldn’t go through with it. At least I don’t think so. His ultimatum tells her he means business. He’s angry enough to even consider severing their partnership – that last thing they have. It’s not that he’d actually do it. It’s that he threw it out there. He considered it. He said those words to her. He knows how important their partnership is for both of them. So he’s telling her – Listen up, this is a serious moment. I want your attention. And I think he wanted to shock her a little.

    Is it mean? Is it abrupt and ugly and honest? Maybe a little. The guy is drunk. And whether or not he expected Hannah to say yes or no, it doesn’t matter. He’s just been dumped – by himself as much as Hannah. Life dumped him. He’s feeling years of frustration, anger and disappointment. Who out there hasn’t had a “woe is me” type moment? It’s not pretty because he’s drunk. There are no filters.

    I don’t know if he expects Brennan to go. I don’t think he knew which option she’d choose. He really needed to know where she stood, if she could take it. I have to admit I held my breath. Yet, I don’t think Brennan would have ever run from that moment. She might have high-tailed it to Guatemala the very next morning, but not right then. Or more likely, she would have argued with him.

    I don’t think Booth is a mean drunk. I think he’s a serious drunk. He could get mean if pushed, though, but not with Brennan. He’s telling her his truth. His life has just come to a complete stop. Delusional or not, Booth was on a particular path. The “I love Hannah” path. It ran right into a brick wall. Thank goodness she’s “not the marrying kind.” But I think he knew that deep down. His proposal was frenetic, almost frantic, in its delivery. He had this nervous teenager look about him. He knew the answer. And he didn’t give Hannah the luxury of an option.

  34. I see Booth as meaning it as well. However, his words were as much to set parameters to help ease his own pain as it was to control something. He is a control freak and his relationship with Hannah is just one more example of trying to control something. It is why he shut down ‘Sweets anytime he brought up the relationship between B&B. It is why he distanced himself from Brennan. It is why he is mostly shown with a buffer person at the diner or FF. He wants to control that relationship in his own way. It is why he chose to propose– he wanted to control the situation. Control gives him power and he’s been feeling powerless. (Cocky’s been gone for a bit, right?)

    I know people are jumping on the Booth discussion, but I find Brennan’s part in this as interesting, although we have less information. I really think she believes that Booth no longer feels the same for her as he once did. He pushes her away in DitP and with the proposal, Brennan has got to feel that his choice was Hannah, not her. While I hate the whole consolation prize debate (Brennan probably would find some kind of anthro explanation anyway), I think Booth’s whole demeanor was such that she might not think his feelings are anywhere near the same as they once were. She might not understand the depth of his anger might equate to the depth of his feelings for her, but she certainly has chosen to stand by him even if it’s only as a partner. She makes a hard choice (in light of his anger and his parameters), but she makes a good choice for their partnership and the Jeffersonian crew. Very selfless act on her part. (She looks almost as miserable in the end of Daredevil as Booth.)

  35. For me, in that moment, Booth 100% meant what he said. I think if he’d had to he could have got her a new partner…but only if he arranged it there and then! LOL

    Sober, the morning after? Hell no…he needs the partnership as much as she does. Their partnership is his one constant…even when he’s arguing with Brennan, or mad at her or upset with her…she’s still his constant. No way can he give that up…especially after ending the relationship with Hannah.

  36. Said in a drunken haze, he meant it. Once he got sober, that’s another story. Brennan already said she would not work with any other FBI agent so if he had severed the partnership, Brennan would just have assigned someone else to the new FBI agent and gone back to her anthropological work. She was helping Booth balance out his cosmic sheet so why work with someone else?

    I think she was wise not to take a drunk man at his word but I secretly wish she had walked out though 😀 Season1 Brennan would have but then she has blossomed in matters of the heart.

    Booth would have ended up at her doorstep that night begging her and telling her how sorry he is and most likely ended up in her spare bedroom. He did find it more difficult to say that than accepting Hannah’s refusal.

    • It’s interesting to think about Team Booth and Brennan. I am so used to thinking of them as partners, but when you technically get down to it, she helps him. He’s the FBI agent who brings cases that require her and her team’s expertise to solve. What they each bring is invaluable to solve the case, but it’s really Booth’s case. She’s a consultant. Of course since she blackmailed herself into being very involved in each case, she is not just a consultant, and it’s why they use the term partners. In tBwtA, when Brennan was on the verge of an emotional breakdown, she told Booth that solving crimes is what HE does, and she somehow got involved in all that (selectively forgetting blackmailing him.) And even in the end of the episode 2 this season, Booth saunters into the office and thanks Brennan for something she had done to help the case. There’s really not much of a reason to see the opposite happening. She is the queen of the lab. Cam is technically the boss, but even Cam knows she can’t really tell Brennan what to do. I really like the balance that they struck. Besides just loving the B&B moment where they were cuddling on the couch talking about connecting with their daughter (squee!), I chuckled on the inside when Brennan said she would have everybody at the lab go over everything again…because she’s just boss like that. 😉
      Such a good woman, helping her man, lol. Don’t tell her I said that. Brennan is so objective and rational that I don’t think the way she works has changed at all. Scientific reason still rules!

      • It’s great to reflect on the past epis but I just love where they are now. Brennan will be confined to the lab while Booth does all the running around but they still work on the cases together.
        When it comes to love and commitment, they bth have grown and realised that it takes both heart and brain to make things one. Neither was wrong, neither was right. They just had to blend what they both specialise in. Booth needs Brennan’s rationalty and Brennan needs Booth’s emotions. They do complete each other. Bliss!

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