Bones Theory

Top Five Tuesday: Sweets Knew


{Edit from Seels: Yep, it’s me again, and I’m about to induct Nicole into the Steel Ovaries Club, too. She wanted to write about Sweets; I emailed her and basically said, “You know not many people actually like Sweets that much right now,  right?” And she just laughed and said “bring it on!” And she did. And I’m proud of her for having NOT five, but SEVEN examples. Sounds like the kind of thing I would do! Okay, enough from me…}

Guten tag my fellow BONES fans! How is everyone doing? Good? Good.

So today, we’re here to talk Sweets. No, not the sugary, chocolatey kind. We’re talking about our other favorite kind of Sweets. Our favorite FBI psychologist, Dr. Lance Sweets!

For awhile now, I’ve been plagued by the question of when Sweets knew. Knew what exactly? Mostly when he knew that Booth and Brennan were ‘in love’. But then I realized that it would be horribly difficult for me to find that out because there are SO many moments we don’t get to see, so many B&B sessions that went un-aired.

Instead, I decided to pick out moments that I felt that he knew that they were ‘in love’ with each other or at the very least, extremely attracted to each other. It was tough picking out moments because I’m under the impression (or the delusion) that Sweets always knows. Nevertheless, I picked out six that I felt were pretty obvious and easy for us to spot. So here we go. The six moments Sweets knew that Booth and Brennan were ‘in love’ (or very attracted to one another- whichever feels better to you).


The Secret in the Soil

This is the first time Booth and Brennan (and us too) meet Sweets. He’s young but brilliant. Upon the first meeting, Sweets admits that he already knows their bond is deep. He can sense the connection upon the first meeting. I have to wonder though, if he hadn’t already heard rumors about Booth and Brennan, about their partnership and their success as partners. Obviously he’s read their files because he knows about Booth arresting Brennan’s father. What was his knowledge of them before their first session?

So they’re meeting Sweets for their second session. In my opinion, it’s the session that tells all. In the mere span of like 10 minutes we have Brennan standing up for Booth and Booth admitting that their partnership is tethered to the deep trust they have for each other. On this note, Sweets reveals again, that he can sense their connection to each other. He knows about their bond. He knows about their relationship. He knows, already, how they view each other and how they feel about the other (whether he believes it’s romantic or not we don’t ever really get told).

The Man in the Mud

In an effort to see them outside the work environment, Sweets makes Booth and Brennan go on a double date with him and his girlfriend. Could this be his attempt at making them see each other outside the work environment? I wonder…

Of course, Booth isn’t very happy because it’s pottery and not bowling or rock-climbing or something he’s ‘good’ at. But wow! The man does look good in a smock and a ‘do rag. And his hands… oh that I were that clay.

Whoa. Horse. Literally.


And let’s not forget how gorgeous Brennan is, looking completely natural making (or is it throwing?) pots.

(Side note: Sweets has such horrible taste in women. First April who looks at him like an adolescent and then annoying Daisy who makes him act like an adolescent. Gah! We need a good woman for Sweets.)

Sweets finally sees Booth and Brennan outside of the work environment and… they still work. Not like solving murders work but they still retain that deep bond outside of work. Evidence found in the way they sort of flirt with each other- throwing clay and complimenting the other’s work. For once, Sweets is around to catch them at it- the friendship-y way Booth and Brennan exist outside their roles as FBI agent and Forensic Anthropologist.

The Verdict in the Story

Sweets approaches Booth and Brennan during Max Keenan’s trial and asks to observe them for his book about taking a clinical approach to efficacy and focused outcomes. Now, I’m not really sure what this means but the main point I got out of the conversation is this: they’re opposites. They shouldn’t work well together but they do.

He describes how they often join together against a common threat, sometimes as if they block out everyone else around them. What he doesn’t necessarily describe is how often they do it to him!

The Pain in the Heart

Sweets saw the reaction of Brennan when Booth died. He saw the reaction of Brennan when she found out Booth was really alive. He saw Booth’s reaction to Brennan’s reaction. He experimented on them. And he got results. Were they the results he was expecting? You tell me.

What is the significance of Sweets saying “Awesome” when Brennan agrees with him that she could process Booth’s death. Is Sweets more afraid of Booth or Brennan, do you think?

The Man in the Outhouse

We, including Sweets, see the reaction of Booth to the idea that Brennan is not only dating but that she’s dating two men. Why, if the two are just partners, does Booth react in such a way? Methinks the sexy FBI agent doth protest too much.

Just look at the expression on Sweets’ face in reaction to the expression on Booth’s face checking out the competition. Sweets knows. He knows about their bond, their connection. I kind of wish Sweets was around when Sully was around. I’d love to see what he would have said about the Booth/Sully dynamic.

Check out Brennan’s face. Someone is annoyed! Now Sweets is here to witness a moment of a smug, arrogant Booth bursting in to interrupt an annoyed Brennan’s date. Why did Booth do that? Why does Brennan react like this? What does Sweets think about all this?

Mayhem on a Cross

Gordon Gordon visits to discuss Sweets book which is based upon his research and observation of Booth and Brennan. Gordon Gordon points out that one of the partners is aware of the attraction and fights it on a daily basis. This throws Sweets for a bit of a loop (I think) and he’s not really sure what to make of it. Until…   

Booth and Brennan burst into Sweets’ office to invite him to dinner. Brennan reveals something from her childhood, much to the shock of Booth and Sweets.

After her emotional revelations, Sweets is a witness to a terrifically tender moment between Booth and Brennan. Look at the puzzled expression that furrows his young brow.

Upon witnessing the feather-light touch of Brennan and Booth’s move to touch her hand on his chest, Sweets gets this look as he realizes that Gordon Gordon is right. He admits it as well when B&B question him about his smile. (Side-note: I’m totally with Seels when she says that Brennan is the one that struggles with her attraction on a daily basis. I think Booth is completely aware of his attraction. Okay, side note over.)

Could this book title be any more fitting? For the book, the relationship, and the show? What do you guys think?

The Sum of the Part of the Whole

Booth and Brennan have come to Sweets to set him right about his book. He got their first case wrong. Once again, Dr. Lance Sweets has been thrown for a loop. After they share their true first case he gets this really intense look in his eye, even though he now knows his book is crap.

He challenges Booth to be the gambler. He sees the look in Booth’s eyes. I should mention, of course, that Sweets is fully aware that Booth is ‘in love’ with Brennan. I don’t think Sweets even looks at Brennan, his focus is to the myriad of emotions passing over Seeley Booth’s face. (Which is hard to capture in a picture.) Sweets knows. He’s been around for a lot. He’s seen a lot. He knows a lot.

Does he ever hear of this exact moment? Did Booth admit to it? Did Brennan admit to it? Who was the one to tell Sweets that the gamble didn’t pay off? And how much was he told?


Okay, so we’ve seen a handful of moments that Sweets was witness to of the depth of Booth and Brennan’s relationship/partnership. Which moments did I miss? What do you think? Are these really moments he knew? Can anyone REALLY know?  And what about in season six? What about Booth’s most recent rejection of Sweets and his offer of friendly conversation?


13 thoughts on “Top Five Tuesday: Sweets Knew

  1. Ah, love it! I’ll admit – I like Sweets most of the time. Although I will also admit to being somewhat curious as to exactly what the writers are doing with him this season. He seems to have been put into the somewhat unflattering position of being the person who goads Booth into doing things that he may or may not have had any intention of ever doing – and so far, everything seems to have blown up in his face. He’s kind of moved from the role of couples therapist to friend this season (mostly to Booth, but also to Brennan as we saw in The Doctor in the Photo) and the transition seems to have been a somewhat awkward one. But that’s not what we’re discussing…

    I love all your moments, and if I had to add anything, I think it would probably be The Couple in the Cave/The Maggots in the Meathead. Sweets is “in” on Brennan’s confession in the diner that she dreamed about Booth while she was in Maluku and that had to have started the wheels spinning in his head. Then he cautions Booth (on multiple occasions in the first few episodes of season six) not to move too fast with Hannah. I think he knows something. Whether it’s that he knows Brennan is coming around or that Booth isn’t as over Brennan as he says he is…or both, I don’t really know. But yeah, he knows.

    Great post Nicole!

  2. As the FBI psychologist, Sweets would have access to Gordon Gordon’s notes and records on Booth and Brennan. I am sure that GG probably had it written down that B&B were close and protective of their friendship. (I doubt he mentions love though as it was his responsibility to get B&B working together again in The Priest In The Churchyard and it seemed that meant making sure they didn’t think they were in love with each other, even if they suspected they were). That being said, I think Sweets came into the B&B circle knowing what Gordon suspected, that B&B were very close and if they weren’t in love they were in intense like. Just observing how they reaacted to each other the first time them met him, was probably enough to suspect that they were attracted to each other. Heck, everyone seems to know they are attracted to each other except B&B. Even strangers are always are mistaking them for a couple.

  3. Sweets is one of the characters I really enjoy, although even he seems “off” this year. But most of the time, he’s right on.

    I sometimes feel like Sweet is saying the things I want to say, except that no one will let me on the show. He sees (sometimes) what we are seeing. He’s us.

    Except none of us would ever put up with Daisy! 🙂

  4. I think it’s almost impossible to know who told what to whom or when. Ok, my head hurts just a little from saying that. It’s one of the many frustrating, intriguing things about this show. So many things unresolved, left to the imagination. Zach, Brennan’s letter, Pop’s disclosure (will Booth ever find out why his dad left), Brennan wanting a baby, on an on. My guess is that if Booth told anyone it would be Sweets because underneath all the “you’re too young” jibes I believe that Booth is impressed by Sweets’ knowledge and the fact that he is an expert at deciphering behavior. Booth has always been a little intimidated by brainy types but ultimately tends to defer to them when he feels he can trust them. Plus, their relationship has softened a a lot and become more brotherly in a way. It’s clear from Booth’s revelation of Brennan’s feelings that Sweets knew something-we know how darn persistent he can be about getting info out of Booth. Brennan herself clearly mentioned something to Angela, but again I don’t think we’ll ever know the specifics.

    I’m not sure who Sweets thinks struggles with attraction, nor do I believe it’s necessarily the same person GG is thinking of. He does feel B/B’s “love connection” however and in a cheerleaderish way stands on the sidelines trying to get them together. Unfortunately, his reliance on textbook mumbo jumbo often makes him unable to grasp the complexity of the situation in ways that have led him to suggest the wrong course of action for Booth. It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want the best for them; it’s just that it’s complicated. Ultimately, I’ll forgive Sweets and his missteps like I’ve forgiven Booth, Brennan, Angela, Cam and Hodgins for theirs; there isn’t a single regular I truly dislike on this show (I didn’t say they might not annoy me-Daisy, I’m talking to you!).

    In a way it’s kind of nice to have loose ends, unlike other shows that spoonfeed and digest every tiny bit of information for the audience. There’s only so much ground you can cover in 40-some minutes, what with the murders and all. And yes, there are inconsistencies and omissions but this is overall a smart program with a pretty smart audience and I think we can be trusted (after much discussion!) to reach our own conclusions and somewhat reconcile these issues in our minds. Maybe not at the end of every episode, but hopefully over the course of the series. But sometimes (a tiny percentage of the time), it just makes me want to tear my hair out.

  5. I loved it! I, too, am one of those people who has always loved Sweets and still does. I think all of you moments are spot on. I find it interesting that in the past two days I have watched the first three on whim. Am I on a Sweets kick? I think I might continue the trend. 🙂

    Regarding your side note about who struggles with the attraction on a daily basis: I have to agree with you and Seels. It’s Brennan. Booth is fully aware of his attraction and I think by that point he had just come to accept it; he learned to live with it. I never really wondered if Sweets/GG could be referring to Booth in that moment, because I think that the title of the book was meant to answer that question. “Bones – The Heart of the Matter.” SO perfect.

  6. Very interesting post, and I think you have got it exactly right.
    I grew to like Sweets over time and I think there is now a tolerance and even liking for him from Booth and Brennan. However, after Sweets asked Booth what his plans were for Valentine’s Day I have to admit to a certain despair with regards to Sweets character as written this season, because I really don’t believe that the Sweets of previous seasons would have been quite so crass and unthinking. Whether this is indeed poor writing or a deliberate course of action from the writers is something we will have to wait and see. But it has made me less of a Sweets fan for the time being, I have to say.

  7. I won’t comment on Sweets, because I have already shared my thoughts on him during Who’s to Blame Week.

    But I will say this: everyone seems to assume that when Sweets observes the hanky exchange and says he noticed something Dr. Wyatt pointed out, he was referring to who struggles with the attraction?

    Perhaps he was referring to Dr. Wyatt’s other shocking (to Sweets) statement – that Booth and Brennan are not in any way opposites.

    They have both just shared stories of childhood pain and they comfort each other in similar ways.

    Brennan places the hanky near Booth’s heart, he touches hit. Sweets names the book “Bones: the Heart of the Matter.” At heart, they are the same.

  8. Oh Sweets. You know, mistakes and all, I can’t help but love him. He’s been rash, hasty, and even insensitive I would say sometimes about Booth and Brennan’s relationship, but even with all that, he’ll always be a favorite of mine. Misguided psychology experiments aside, his earnest desire to see these two people realize what they already have with each other is so endearing to me.

    There are so many times when Sweets “knows.” I think you’re right, Nicole, that he kind of even knows from their first meeting–at least, he has his theories. I think the moment where he really, really knows is Parts in the Sum. All this time, he’s been operating on the understanding that Booth and Brennan are just two “opposites attract” kind of people who just need some convincing, some shoving together. But after hearing about Gemma Arington, Sweets says “My book is crap,” but he doesn’t ever say he believes his conclusion is wrong–I find that so interesting. He knows now that Booth and Brennan aren’t just gun-shy, disparate entities in denial all the time. They are gun-shy, disparate entities fully aware of that attraction between them from the very beginning, having even acted on it.

    I can’t articulate why that distinction makes a difference, but it absolutely does in my opinion. Somehow I think–while it disproves whatever he wrote in his book–it cements his conclusion that they are in love. All the other times, Sweets is content to needle at them and sit back and watch them squirm. But this time, he can’t keep quiet. He seems almost desperate for them to acknowledge what he knows–not just brain-knows, but knows.

    Probably none of this made sense at all, haha. I don’t know though, there’s something about Sweets’ reaction to the Gemma Arington case that just kills me. He knows the truth about Booth and Brennan in a way he never did before. That truth is still the same–Booth and Brennan are in love–but knowing the way they were from the beginning makes it all the more…tragic that they’re still stuck where they are almost. Seeing Sweets react to that is just…wow, to me. I think he’s rash in that moment, but I can’t blame him for it. I think at that point he’s acting as their friend–they’re technically not in a session at all this entire time. I don’t fault him for it. He’s a little irresponsible with his influence (I don’t think he even knows he has as much of it as he does), but he has such good intentions that I can’t be mad. 🙂

    Also, I have to admit, Daisy has slowly grown on me (kind of like a barnacle–yuck, haha)–I’ve begrudgingly allowed it–but only in the role of squintern. I agree–Sweets can do so much better, and a I hope he does one day. Sorry Daisy fans…

  9. I love you for this!! Seriously 😀 1, i got to read it while on the Bus. Instead of my normally boring/depressing bus ride i spent the entire trip with a massive smile on my face 
    Now as for when Sweets knew…that’s a difficult question. Sometimes i think he knew from Day 1…and then he does something that makes me think he’s completely clueless! (i.e. His words to Booth in the 100th).
    (FYI- My ‘knew’ is Booth/Brennan being attracted to one another. Nothing to do with love  And then i think that any idiot could see that but….anyways! LOL)
    For me I think Sweets definitely knew a lot more about the Partners in that first meeting than we were ever made aware of. For one, how could he not? I imagine, their partnership being as unique as it is, that they must have been discussed (for discuss read gossiped!) between the other agents on more than one occasion so he had to be aware of some of their more…complex feelings. All it would have needed was a well placed question in the right ear and all will have been revealed!
    (I agree with you 100% re Sweets taste in women. He needs to find someone good enough for him…and i will take one for the team and volunteer myself if needed! LOL)
    As for who Sweets is more afraid of i have to say Brennan , hands down. Booth he understands (or thinks he does!)…he knows what he is capable of, and that as angry as he may become he’s no real danger. Now Brennan….Brennan still takes him by surprise i think. He is never quite certain of her reactions…he may have a preconceived idea of how he will act but he’s never quite sure. Can i say that i am still annoyed that we haven’t seen any more progression in the Sweets/Brennan friendship. I get that this is more Booths season, and Sweets is his ‘guy’ as it were but come on…their friendship is so much more interesting!! Sorry….i’m over it…almost.
    The 100th…if i think about it too long i still feel a tad annoyed with Sweets re this. BUT i get around it but excusing him for his age. He wasn’t the psychologist here he was acting as a friend…a misguided friend, but a friend none the less. And i assume from the conversation between Booth and Sweets in Queen Bee that Booth told him how the gamble went. I can’t imagine Brennan ever being the one to reveal that to him…she was still ‘what’s ours is ours’. Booth less so.

  10. With all that he’s witnessed, Sweets is just. . . odd this season. Certainly we have a few moments when he and Brennan are sparring as usual. But I do not truly understand his reactions to Booth and Hannah in light of all that he’s seen between the partners and the “great research” he seems to have done on his book (which turns out, wasn’t so well-researched after all.) I understand him bringing up Brennan to Booth, but he doesn’t seem to follow through on anything regarding them. (I understand that he’s been used a great deal more this season as a substitute for Booth and/or Brennan in interrogating suspects to spell the two stars, but his interactions with Booth and Brennan don’t really address anything between them with a clear intent and it is not clear if he’s acting as a friend or a therapist or both sometimes.)

    I also would question a psychologist who cannot control his sexual impulses and has sex in his office during office hours. Isn’t that unethical even if it’s his girlfriend and not a patient?

  11. I think Sweets knew at the first meeting that there was an attraction between B & B but he didn’t see their similarities as much as their differences. He thought it was more of an opposites attract kind of relationship; hence the book subtitle ‘yin and yang’ in the workplace. When Brennan lovingly put the handkerchief back in Booth’s pocket I think he witnessed that the attraction was not quite as one-sided as he previously thought. That may be when he ‘knew’ they actually had a chance for a successful relationship. I never thought about the whole ‘my book is crap’ being different than saying ‘my conclusion is crap’, but mrg I think you are right. There is a difference there. I find it very funny that neither Brennan or Booth actually deny his conclusion. Since the Parts in the Sum of the Whole, Sweets has gone through a lot of trauma — the guy dying in front of him on the train, Daisy leaving him, the team going their separate ways, taking a sabbatical to be a singer, struggling with Daisy’s return, and then the whole Taffet thing. No wonder he’s a mess! Maybe he should stick to profiling and such until he gets his act together. Then he can come back to helping B & B instead of hurting them. Meanwhile, he definitely needs a better girlfriend than Daisy!

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