Hello and happy Saturday to the most copacetic of BONES fans! Happy Birthday to my sister, Rachel, who I am sure is not reading this. She’s the sister who doesn’t care much for Bones. Or as she says, “I just don’t have room in my heart for another show. I just don’t.” And I totally get that. It’s how I feel about some TV shows I know I would probably love.
Sorry, shows…there is just no room there, on account of this…
Let’s talk Brennan. Over the course of this season, I’ve seen a lot of discussion (some here, some other places) about “Robo-Bones”, or the way Brennan has regressed as a…well, as a human, in some ways. And if you watch the pilot episode of Bones, or others in season one, there is a VERY noticeable difference in Brennan’s behavior, demeanor, just about everything. Whenever I watch the pilot, I always blink twice at the way Brennan sort of slings her arm against the back of Booth’s seat in the SUV and mocks him and they bicker.
Sure, pilot episodes are almost always out of context in a series, but still…her character was set up as somewhat brash, aggressive, smart as hell and even if she didn’t know what something meant, she wasn’t afraid to say so. She also wasn’t afraid to give someone a roundhouse kick to the face or slam someone to the ground. She was sexy and smart and strong and stubborn, and a lot of us liked her straight away. My first Brennan was Santa in the Slush Brennan, which is a slightly flushed, sort of goofy with childlike wonder Brennan, but it was easy for me to get to know her character when I went back and watched season one.
I think we all agree; her character has changed. But the question is, has it changed for good or not? She was more abrasive then, but is she really any less abrasive now? She might be with people she cares about, but in Sin in the Sisterhood, she was awkward in the Sisters’ home.
But like the picture above and the moment at the end of Bullet in the Brain, when she’s holding the seashell…those aren’t moments we would have necessarily seen in season one. As soon as I pulled the pic from the most recent episode, what immediately came to my mind was “She knows what that means.” Booth is talking about how the seats have historical meaning to him, and Brennan…she just gets it. Sure, she also asks him if he’s attempting to claim part of that day back (in a scoffing way), but when he just opens up more, she understands. I feel like we can see this in her eyes. The chairs are sentimental to Booth.
So the question remains: Has Brennan progressed back to a more open personality? Or is she regressing toward some sort of alternate version of herself?
Could she still kick ass? Can she be in love? And the million dollar question–is there some reason why she can’t be both? And I think that is what frustrates a lot of fans. Sure, she had some rough edges, but we liked her as is. So did Booth. He liked her the moment he saw her, and he really liked her the moment he realized she was serious about not knowing current events past the Industrial Revolution.
I can’t remember if I’ve said this already, but my former mentor teacher also watches Bones, and she expressed to me once that she found it frustrating that after Zack was gone, Brennan’s character was forced to make up for his awkwardness. She had to take on that role of the awkward one all the more so, vs previous to that, where, if Booth was her bridge to the outside world, Brennan was Zack’s bridge. Hodgins too, in some ways, but also Brennan, especially in season one.
If Brennan now met Brennan in the pilot, what would ‘she’ say? Would they get along or have no use for one another? What are Brennan’s core beliefs, and has she held onto them?
What are your non-negotiables as far as what you want to see in Brennan? Have you had to negotiate? Justify? Rationalize?
I’ve always loved Brennan’s eagerness and tenacity. It’s what makes her shove that guy in Baby in the Bough against the fence. It’s what makes her smile at Dougie in Gamer in the Grease. It’s what makes her get in Booth’s face and tell him something is wrong in Cabernet. It’s what makes her try to successfully date Hacker in Predator. It’s what makes her mad that she’s stuck in an elevator when there is a case to solve in Blizzard.
To me, she still has the qualities I admire. I like when she enjoys her work, and I like when she’s sciency. I love when she tries to tell jokes, and when she gets that little glint in her eye that tells us she knows exactly what Booth is up to. So for me, Brennan hasn’t changed too much, at least not in who she is or how she reacts to certain situations. For other people, she might be the opposite of what they envision.
I’m interested in hearing from you. What are your thoughts? We’ve got another three week hiatus ahead of us, so let’s start it off right!
Peace, Love and Bones,