Hello and Happy Sunday to you!
Today’s scene is from season five, and it’s not too long, but it is chock full of awesome, in my opinion.
Here’s a little history to get us started:
Brennan is approached by Booth’s boss, Assistant Director Andrew Hacker, in Booth’s office. She is flattered. I don’t think she learned her lesson about shiny baubles vs Booth.
Booth asks her not to date Hacker. “All you have to do is just turn him down, be polite, and no one gets hurt.” AKA, so HE doesn’t get hurt. Brennan wants to know why she should turn down Hacker. Booth says because it would be awkward for him, as his boss.
Later, Booth is generally annoyed after Hacker got on his case, and he tells Brennan (regarding the case) that a bunch of eggheads are caring about some exhibit nobody wants to see. Ouch!
Brennan says the Egyptian remains are a great find. Booth says that going to a museum is like sleeping standing up. The zing, the sauce, as Sully once said. Brennan doesn’t comment, but then when Booth says he did a little investigating on Hacker, I think she knows what is up.
Side note: I love Booth’s profile (meaning, I love David Boreanaz’ profile!)
Brennan wants to know why it will be awkward. He tells her that it’s because they have one thing in common: him. Naturally, the conversation will turn his way.
Brennan assures him that if he’s concerned about her bringing up any perceived shortcomings, he shouldn’t be, and she assures him that since she and Hacker are attracted to one another, they will likely not even think of Booth at all.
Booth is not pleased.
This whole Hacker idea strikes me as interesting. Part of it is that of all of the potential romantic roadblocks that have been tossed between B&B, Hacker is the LEAST attractive to me. He’s the one that makes me scratch my head and say, “him?”. Pretty much any other character (Cam, Sully, Jared, Hannah, Catherine), I’m on board with. I mean, hello…I’m not on board on board, but…I get it; that’s what I’m saying. Just not Hacker.
But what also sort of strikes me as interesting is that I really do believe Booth’s original reason for not wanting Brennan to date Hacker. It would be awkward, as Hacker is his boss. Yes, he did date Cam, so it’s a little hypocritical, but for some reason, in this instance, I really found fault with Brennan for dating Hacker, as Booth asked her not to, as a partner and friend. Of course, that he does a background check on his own boss proves to me that Booth is also up to his old tricks, and I think that’s what Brennan sees. She sees him as just wanting to come between her and a romantic partner.
So then THAT is what is fascinating to me, because at that point in the series, I was sort of like, “Okay, I don’t like what Brennan is doing, but hey…it’s not like Booth has really made a move, right? Maybe she’s just getting him to wise up and make a move.” Except that when he DID make a move (100th), she said no. Yes, yes, she wasn’t saying no TO him as much as she was saying no ABOUT herself, but the idea is still there. If she’d been sort of staving off the inevitable, hoping he wouldn’t ask her so she didn’t have to turn him down, then she’s not exactly egging him on (Rimshot! Ha!) to make a move, right? So then basically…well, I’m back where I started. Good times.
Later in the episode, Brennan and Hacker have a date.
Hacker sort of calls her on it and says that her partnership with Booth is an unlikely one. Brennan says she’d prefer not to talk about Booth, if he doesn’t mind. Hacker is fine with that.
But just as they are going to talk about more, Brennan is called back to the lab. She talks with Angela, and confesses that Booth was annoyed at her dating Hacker. Angela says, Um, yeah! It will upset the natural order of things, and besides, Booth wants to be the one dating her. Brennan says, “I have drinks with him all of the time, but with Andrew, there is the potential for sex.”
To which Angela replies, “And there isn’t with Booth?”
To which Brennan replies…
“You said there was something you wanted me to see?” Meaning, as Booth would say, “Can we just focus on the case, please?” It would be fun to sort of go through the series and list all of the times one of them says something like that as a deflection, whether it’s to one another or to someone else butting in.
Later, Hacker arrives to Booth’s office…
He wants advice from Booth on Brennan. He wants to know if Brennan is only interested in him as the boss. Booth tells Hacker, “Bones doesn’t feel pressure to do or act or say anything she doesn’t want to. And no one…no one can make her. That’s what makes her………Bones.”
Hacker believes him, and as he’s leaving Booth’s office, he tells Booth he really should try the meatloaf with the egg, leaving Booth completely aware of what went down. Basically, if what he said was true (That she says what she wants), then she wanted to talk about him. Interesting…
So now, we’re to our scene. And I don’t know about you, but when we saw this first shot…
…it about took my breath away. Something was about to go down, right? Booth rarely calls Brennan on stuff like this, but this was going to be a blatant confrontation. Okay, breathe…
(plus he’s wearing that gray suit. Yeah, baby).
“What’s this?” Brennan asks.
“What does it look like?” Booth replies.
“An egg,” Brennan replies.
“And when was the most recent time you talked about an egg?”
It’s almost like an interrogation, the way his body language communicates that he’s not happy with her answer.
“Well, he asked me what was good to eat, and I mentioned that you liked the meatloaf–”
“Stop. Right there.” Booth interrupts her. “You said you weren’t going to talk about me, and you talked about me.”
“Well, I didn’t mean to talk about you,” Brennan offers. “I told him I didn’t want to, but you know…I like that story, and I guess it just…popped out.”
That entire response from Brennan is so fascinating to me. For one thing, it sort of discredits what Booth had just told Hacker. So, does that make Booth wrong? My impression is that Brennan is being even more honest than she knows. She doesn’t realize just how entangled (maybe not the best word, but I can’t think of another one) her life is with Booth’s. There’s this innate context in her life that IS Booth and his life. She honestly didn’t MEAN to talk about Booth, but when asked a question, her point of reference was something that happened to also involve Booth, and so she answered as such. Not that her world revolves around him or anything like that…but just that…well, it’s the context. Everything she has learned about Booth, she stores away in her brain. That he wants that old time phone, that he wants to shoot a Tommy gun, that he likes brown sugar on everything, that when something makes him laugh, he usually feels better. She knows every injury he’s had, and the cause, and she knows he doesn’t like hard boiled egg in meatloaf. Those are all facts about Booth that she has stored in her mind. The extraneous (she might call them anecdotal) circumstances surrounding those ‘facts’ (that he gut a gunshot wound from the overweight woman, or whatever she says, haha, and that the egg in the meatloaf is referenced to his mother), those are sub-facts, basically. They aren’t relevant to the fact. Does that make sense? Am I on the right track? She wasn’t being sneaky and talking about Booth behind his back, I don’t believe. It’s more just that his enjoyment of the meatloaf as a fact makes the meatloaf a worthy choice. So I think that’s why she’s shocked that Booth is upset by it.
Booth doesn’t buy it, though, because he doesn’t weigh his words based on facts. He’s more about ‘doing’ the right thing. She said she wasn’t going to talk about him, and she talked about him.
“Popped OUT?!? I don’t need Hacker knowing about my mother’s meatloaf!”
Remember at the beginning of this scene, when I said that Booth walking into her office with that egg just took my breath away? This entire scene really does, but I also see that same reaction in Brennan. She genuinely is not sure what is happening here, or why he’s quite so upset about it. They’ve bickered before, but this isn’t bickering. Also, Brennan hates to be wrong, so she’s (in my mind), frantically trying to match up all of the facts and data to figure out what is happening.
And so, and I absolutely adore this, she just asks, “Why are you so upset?” It’s not that she’s justifying her actions (in my opinion). It’s just that she can’t figure out the answer, and so she asks. It’s this sort of scenario I can imagine happening between them for years to come. Sure, she and Booth will fight, and instead of just trying to figure out his feelings, she’ll just straight up ask him. “What are you so upset?” Again, not to say, “Why are you overreacting?” but more to say, “What are your thoughts right now? I have no idea, and I just need you to tell me what exactly is happening here.”
“Because.” Booth answers. “What goes on between us is ours.”
Yeah, and that breath I was holding? Just escaped in a whoosh. Whoa. Booth. Whoa.
In her 5×500 piece, Laffers brought up Brennan’s season one phrase to Stires, “You flinched”, and I think that’s a good way of putting it. She mentioned it in regards to Booth and Brennan both, and I think it can apply to this scene and others in BONES history. In this next moment, Brennan flinches a bit. I guess I’m defining that as “knowing what is right, but still trying to not do it”. Does that seem right? Brennan can sense in that moment that, well…I can’t know for sure what she is sensing. Either:
1. She was wrong for bringing up Booth and the meatloaf.
2. She’s hurt Booth’s feelings because of it.
Perhaps she’s sensing both of those things. But instead of apologizing (she really does not like being wrong), she says, “Come on, Booth. You must have told a lot of people that meatloaf story, right?”
That look slays me every single time. I’m not sure else how to describe it except for ‘vulnerable’, in some ways. I wasn’t very popular in high school or college (or any time before that…or now, or…hahaha, okay moving on…), and one of the side effects of that is the idea that whenever someone confides in me or compliments me or heck…even approaches me to say hi, I’m immediately surprised. Sort of a “Oh, me?” kind of reaction. Even if I’ve known the person for years or also if it’s a complete stranger, it’s the same immediate reaction. Sometimes, I want to look behind me to see who the person is REALLY smiling at, right? We talked a little bit about that kind of thing in the “Hannah: Why I’m Nervous, Why I Shouldn’t Be” so I won’t get into that here. But basically, I see a little bit of that in Brennan. Perhaps I’m projecting onto her, but I think she sees Booth as this pretty impressive, fantastic, smart (in his way), attractive (in a good breeder kind of way, haha), intuitive, successful, fully developed man. She knows he’s worked for a lot of his success, but she also sort of envies his ease with people. I don’t know that she knows that the comfort level he has with her is almost obsolete with anyone else. She wouldn’t necessarily have evidence of that, so I’m not expecting her to know that. She sees work Booth in FBI mode and she sees the Booth that is with her.
She doesn’t always see the Booth we get to see when he’s around other people. So it’s a combination, I believe. She sees him as supremely skilled and confident with people and comfortable. I think she sees herself as very skilled and confident, but not always that comfortable, if that makes sense. This moment where she can’t quite believe that the meatloaf story was a ‘secret’ is sort of an “Oh, me?” moment. As if she might look behind her and say, “Me? I’m the one you chose to share that with? Me? Are you sure?”
I love that Booth doesn’t reply with words. He doesn’t exactly need to, and she gets it this time.
He doesn’t flinch at all, and Brennan understands the truth. The moment, for me, was very intimate. It was basically an admission of intimacy. Whereas Brennan might not have understood that Booth was being intimate with her when he confided in her about his mother, now she does know. And that sort of signifies to me that there might be several other moments. They might be in the guise of, as Brennan told Angela earlier, them drinking together all of the time, but the reality is that over the years, Booth has confessed things to her.
I can’t imagine that he usually says, “Look, Bones. There’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you. I haven’t really told anyone, actually. It’s about my mother, you see. Yeah, she uh…well, she used to make this meatloaf, and, I can’t believe I’m telling you this, but she told me it was like eating a human eyeball.” If he’d presented it like that, she would have understood that it was a secret.
I’m imagining that he just brings up that kind of thing in conversation, “Yeah, my mom never put egg in meatloaf. Said was like eating human eyeballs.” and that was that. They might laugh and move on, but while Booth was being ‘intimate’, sharing something he didn’t discuss with hardly anyone (and by this, I mean his mother, not the egg), Brennan was just gathering data, storing it away as fact.
Now she knows. Now she knows that this guy who is great with people (in her mind) and could probably date any woman he wants has chosen to tell her. She might not know exactly why, but she can see that it’s true.
One of my favorite parts of this scene is the very end of it, when Hodgins is walking into Brennan’s office. Booth snatches up the egg immediately. Even the egg is between him and Brennan, right? I love, love, love that.
Normally with a scene study, I’ll show how the scene fits within the rest of the episode, but honestly, the end scene of this episode deserves its own study. So I guess this is part one, and next Sunday, I’ll continue with a study of the end scene, in which Brennan, who Booth sees as this smart, sexy, confident, woman, confesses something to Booth and they make a couple more admissions to one another.
Oh, and in other news, they actually use words too. Hahaha.
But that’s for next week. For now, I’ll just say that this entire idea of what happens between them being theirs has been circulating through my mind all season. I’ve been sort of harping on how Cam never called Booth out on Hannah or how I was expecting Brennan to sort of fall apart to someone, and I almost wanted to place bets to see who it would be: Max, Sweets, Angela, Hodgins (my fave choice), even Hannah maybe. That it was Booth (DitP) was perfect. That Booth sort of expressed his frustration to her (DDitM) was also great. What is theirs is theirs, and I think that’s sort of a promise that HH and the writers have kept. They aren’t having moments about the other one with anyone else. Their ‘moments’ are still private and between them.
Okay, more on that next week. For now,
Peace, Love & Bones,
PS…Sorry for the delay today. Oh, and Bones Theory is going to be offline tonight from about 11 PM EST to tomorrow morning at 8 AM EST. I’m doing a little testing on it, and don’t want to mess up anyone’s viewing experience of it in the process. Just FYI! See you tomorrow!