“Booth is…he is what he is, and after the 100th episode, we’ll see he’s got to make some changes, you know…internally. Which is fine for him. He doesn’t see anything as a loss; he’s very optimistic, always has been. I don’t think one of his main goals is to get married. I think Booth is…he’s pretty simple, blue collar kind of a guy, and he loves…he loves the simple things in life. You know, if he were to find somebody that is a fit for him, and she is also in the same boat, then he’ll possibly entertain those thoughts. But you never know with his character. He’s got a lot of demons that we never really tapped into, and we look forward to diving into a little bit of his past next season as well as trying to figure out his path and how that works with Bones. And we’ll see what happens.”
~~~~~~David Boreanaz, March 2010
This is the response David Boreanaz gave me when I asked him the following question, “My question for you is…about the 99th ep and the 100th ep and the future. How is Booth going to react to the fact that Sweets/Daisy and Jared/Padme might get married before him? Won’t that bother him? It’s kind of one of his life goals. What do you think?”
…And with all due respect, sir, I believe I’ll say I was right on that one, thank you very much! I’m not saying I’m the Booth expert or anything, but let’s just say…I’ve done my homework.
I guess if this post is anything, it’s a continuation of what has sort of turned into an unintentional series here on Bones Theory, as follows:
So with that in mind, I want to study Booth in his current situation, his actions, and the reactions to his actions. Let’s tackle him! Um…I mean the subject of him. Of course I do.
All teasing aside re: David Boreanaz, I think Booth really DID/DOES want to be married. I think it absolutely is on his list of life goals. I think he was willing to go for a different outcome with Brennan, but only for her. I feel pity for Booth that he’s sort of stuck. When I’m in a pithy mood, I smile and grin at how awesome it is that Booth and Brennan won’t be happy with anyone but the other, but the truth is that the reality of that is a very miserable reality for Booth.
I think we learned a few things from him in Daredevil in the Mold. We learned he wants to be married, but we also learned that he wasn’t exactly happy with Brennan and Hannah being friends. That tiny little flinch he gives when Brennan says Hannah had called her (and for the record, I didn’t see that phonecall as being ‘BFF-esque’ or gossipy, but more along the lines of Hannah knowing Booth would be upset and wanting him to have a friend around)…the flinch and the way he just goes off right then proves to me that he wasn’t cool with it.
And who can blame him? He tells Hannah that at the time he met her, he didn’t think he could ever find someone else to be with. So then, he’s with Hannah, and it’s good…for what it was. The problem is that we didn’t see much of it. I’m sure that was deliberate. It’s not the point of this post (I’m debating on whether I take an actual post to once and for all open up a can on season six), so I’ll move on.
There’s been a lot of talk about how Hannah made sacrifices for Booth by coming to DC to be with him, and I’ll agree with that. But I think Booth also…well, I’m just not able to put in words what happened.
I guess this…he said he chose Hannah, and he did. He chose her over Brennan. For better or worse…that was his choice. Whether it was because he wanted to settle for second best…knowing the risk for pain wouldn’t be as great…I’m not sure. Maybe it was easier…I am not sure. I don’t blame him for it, though. And I feel sorry for him that it turned out the way it did. The way I see it, Booth (mostly) did everything right. He made a choice and stuck with it. That Hannah rejected him makes him mad…because it reminds him that Brennan rejected him. And he’s mad that it comes back to Brennan again. Wouldn’t you be?
He’d tried so hard to get over Brennan, only to find himself sitting by her. And he was drunk and slightly out of control BEFORE she got to Founding Fathers…so of course THAT put him on edge.
And so he confessed that he was mad…at all of them. And he gave Brennan two choices. She could be his partner or she could leave.
I keep coming back to this idea of ‘two choices’, that somehow people are freaking out about Booth’s ultimatum there. You all know I’m spoiler free, and that means I don’t read articles, interviews, anything. Was this episode rushed? Maybe. A lot of BONES episodes are rushed, so that’s nothing new. Was it written in haste to wrap up the storyline at Fox’s demand? Who the heck knows? It’s impossible to say, and so I can’t weigh in on that. All I can discuss is the episode itself.
So, Brennan can be Booth’s partner, or she can leave. Let me ask you this…how many season finales have ended with Brennan leaving? Or I should say…how many season premieres have begun with Brennan coming BACK from somewhere? 4/6, right? Pilot, Titan on the Tracks, Harbingers/Fountain & Mastodon in the Room. In season three, Brennan hasn’t gone anywhere, but she has refused to work with Booth over the summer, it seems, and in season four, she and Booth go to London together. But in those four other premieres, she has been gone and come back. So perhaps Booth is sort of alluding to that. I have never begrudged Brennan going to Maluku or on any of her trips, as she is a world-renowned anthropologist. But perhaps Booth has sort of begrudged her that. Or maybe he’s just offering her the out. He figures she wants out, and he wants to make it easier for her, even if it breaks his heart again.
He says, “Me and you…we’re partners. That’s what we do.” Interesting. What does that mean? That they are deliberately partners? “Partners, ” he repeats. “And I love that. I think that’s great. And we’re good people who catch bad people, right?” He nods, and Brennan nods with him.
He goes on to explain how they solve cases and share drinks and celebrate, and says that is what he sees next. And then… “Are you okay with that?” And he nods again, assuming she will nod in return. But he quickly sees that she isn’t nodding.
She makes this face…and I think she’s coming to terms with just how much she hurt him, which of course was exactly what she DIDN’T want to do.
And we can see that he knows she’s not okay with it. Even in that moment, he can see her, and he can see that she knows exactly how much she hurt him, which was exactly what HE didn’t want to have happen. They both tried to protect each other…
She doesn’t answer, but it doesn’t matter, because he already knows the answer. He continues, saying “Great” in that way he does when he smooths things over. And he’s gotta be just so mad, right? Because he can see in her eyes that she wants more, but for one moment, he just can’t go there. If he does, then he’s wrong. And when you’ve just gotten dumped and another love of your life is sitting right there…the last thing in the world you want to be is wrong. If Brennan loves him now, then it doesn’t mean he was right all that time, it means he was wrong. So wrong. It means he didn’t wait or he did rush her, or that he was wrong about Hannah. And while it’s possible those things are true (I’m not convinced, but it is possible), IN THAT MOMENT, he doesn’t have to admit the truth of them!
Those of you who have commented that Booth was giving Brennan the chance to reject him again are correct, I believe. Very insightful, and the more I watch this scene (yes…the first season six episode I’ve rewatched!), the more I believe you are right. But I also find that the more I watch this scene, the more angry I get. Haha, I’ve told you I’m totally a Booth, for better or worse, basically, and I almost never get really mad. But when I see the reactions (not necessarily here at BT) to this scene, I just get into this red haze. If you’re like me, you don’t understand the idea that Booth is a jerk for giving her these ‘choices’. I take Booth too personally, sure, but it seems that he is being pinned to two choices as well: be perfect and never make mistakes in anything (work, relationships, family life) or be called a jackass. Two choices.
I’m not saying he’s been perfect or anything like that. But I’d love someone to tell me ONE mistake he’s made that he hasn’t paid for. It seems to me that more than any other character on the show, Booth has to account for his actions. In fact, he often takes on responsibility for others’ mistakes too. So to me, it seems to me that he’s allowed one crappy night. He’s allowed to be mad (whether I am or not remains to be seen). He’s allowed to say things he might regret. He’s allowed to be somewhere in between perfect and not! I think he can see it plainly on Brennan’s face that he messed up. He knows it, and it’s being proven to him, and he doesn’t even look at her for the rest of the episode. That’s a crappy place to be, I think. And I feel he’s allowed to be in that spot. It’s an irrational pity party, but heck, I’ve been there. A lot of us have probably been there.
I’m very particular about BT readers NOT being called out on things they aren’t guilty of, so please excuse my one little rant there. But I guess if Booth is allowed one “I’m mad” moment (and interestingly enough…perhaps Brennan didn’t deserve to be on the end of that moment (though I kind of think it was good for her to hear), just like you don’t deserve to be on the end of my moment), I will also allow myself just one moment here. 🙂
I’m reminded of the scene in Pain in the Heart when Brennan bust into his bathroom, and he finally just asks her, “What should I have done, Bones? What is it you want me to do?” What was Booth supposed to have done, here? Not just here…but for this entire season. Be perfect? Or be real?
Maybe DB actually DID say it best… “…you never know with his character. He’s got a lot of demons that we never really tapped into, and we look forward to diving into a little bit of his past next season as well as trying to figure out his path and how that works with Bones. And we’ll see what happens.”
Maybe, once and for all, Booth’s story will get to be told. Maybe he’ll man up and tell her he loves her one day…and not take it back. Maybe Brennan will prove to him that he’s worth loving. Maybe they’ll figure this thing out together.
That’s the path I want them on.
Peace, Love & Bones