Bones Theory

He Doesn’t Know What That Means



So, it’s Tuesday, and I know normally that would be a Top Five Tuesday, but today I’d rather ask a question for more of an open discussion.

My question to you is this: Even though Booth (in Dwarf in the Dirt, Season Five) tells Dr. Wyatt that he would KNOW if Brennan loved him…do you think that is true? Would Booth know it if he saw it? Dr. Wyatt counsels hope and patience on that front, and I’m never sure if he means Booth should hold out until Brennan DOES in fact love him or if Dr. Wyatt is convinced Brennan does and wants Booth to keep looking for signs.

What do you think? For as intuitive as Booth is, would he ‘know’ it if Brennan loved him? And I don’t mean love in the partnerly-sense. I mean it in the love-love sense that Booth is referring to in that scene. “In love” is how Dr. Wyatt described Booth regarding Brennan, and that is what Booth is talking about there.

For a guy who prides himself on his ability to ‘just know’, is this the one thing he will never quite be able to believe without solid proof?

Thoughts from you?

Peace, Love & Bones



44 thoughts on “He Doesn’t Know What That Means

  1. I would argue that he won’t know until she shows him…kind of what she has been doing. I suspect something big will happen in the finale that will ultimately prove to him that she is not going anywhere and does love him. It might be that she actually gives him a logical reason, maybe that is the only way he’ll ‘know’.

  2. When it comes to Booth’s personal life, he doesn’t seem to be able to read people like he should. I believe that he cannot know, will not know, that Brennan loves him until she is willing to tell him. When it came to Rebecca, he didn’t understand why she didn’t marry him. It took Brennan’s interference to find out. He thought Hannah loved him enough to marry him; but, of course, she didn’t. He thought he could talk Brennan into commiting to him in 100 and she turned him down. He is very good at reading the hearts of, the emotions of, strangers; but, he does not seem to be able to read the ones he cares for. I think his hopes and dreams render any judgement he makes with those he loves unreliable.

  3. Ha, this is one of those funny occasions where you seem to read our minds. I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of days and had actually started writing something up about it this morning when I read this! How funny.

    Basically, I was going to ask the question: what had changed in Booth in-between Dwarf when he said he knew Brennan didn’t love him, and Body in the Bag where he said to Sweets that she ‘still had feelings’ for him that he took to mean she loved him. When did he change his mind? Seeing her with Pops, the way she helped him in Proof, her ‘sweet offer’ in Goop, taking his advice about the science show in Bounty, telling him she cares about him in Shallow? All of this led up to Dr in the Photo where it didn’t seem to surprise Booth that she had feelings that had led to regrets about him.

    This changed how I saw things that went before – I always thought Booth thought Brennan didn’t feel that way about him after the 100th, but what it seems like now is that he knew she did (which makes the risk he took more weighted in his favour), but despite those feelings she couldn’t take the risk. I think that’s worse in a way, he wasn’t worth the risk. (Obviously, we know that’s not what she meant, but from Booth’s point of view…)

    If his opinion on whether or not she did love him had indeed changed, was he right? Is the timeline of Brennan’s feelings in line with what Booth thinks, or did she feel that way before? I always thought he was wrong when he said in Dwarf that she didn’t love him.

    So, in answer to your question Sarah about whether he needs proof, I imagine he does now. He thought he was right before (and maybe was) but it still backfired terribly. I don’t think it’s whether or not she loves him that he might doubt, but what that actually changes between them. As he said in Blizzard, ‘yeah, but then what…?’

    Great post 🙂

  4. Personally, I think that despite Booth’s intuitive ability to get a read on people, he has a huge blind spot when it comes to Brennan, and that has prevented him from being able to KNOW if Brennan does love him. So, I think that he actually doesn’t, or at least didn’t before, know what that meant. 🙂 I think that they’ve both been so careful about not crossing that line that they’ve put on blinders when it comes to each other and their personal feelings for each other. In Brennan’s case I’d say it was more of a denial, whereas in Booth’s case he simply either chose not to “see” it or didn’t know how to interpret it.

    It’s true that interpreting Brennan is like trying to read an Rorschach inkblot most of the time (haha), so it makes it difficult for even us, who have a more encompassing view of the characters, to interpret her feelings and thoughts. Nonetheless, it is clear that she does have deep feelings for him that she keeps under wraps most of the time, but her occasional emotional outbursts have given us hope that they’re there…and I would say that Hannah’s arrival and her revelation in Doctor in the Photo finally gave us that solid proof, but there wasn’t any real concrete evidence of LOVE available before. I remember thinking when Booth made that statement to Wyatt about knowing if Brennan loved him, yelling at the screen and saying, “But she does already! You’re just not open enough to see it!” and I still sort of stand by that statement, but I appreciate now that from his perspective it would have been difficult to interpret her “clues”. It seemed as though his coma opened him up to see it, but he was still holding back, and through season 5 he was trying to gather his evidence, but what he forgot about in 100 was that regardless of someone having feelings, they still have to be ready for a relationship, and by putting up his all-or-nothing clause, he effectively shut down any progress she had made towards being comfortable with the idea of a relationship. He did nothing to assuage her fears or even listen to them/listen to her – all he heard was NO, and the rest was blah blah blah. At that point, they BOTH battened down the emotional hatches and we are still dealing with the stormy aftermath.

    I am hoping that now with Hannah gone and the air cleared on how they actually feel about each other (implied at this point since they STILL haven’t been completely honest…”past feelings” my ass…), that they’ll start actually LISTENING to each other and TALKING to each other (like we saw some of in Blizzard), and now they’ll both be on the same page and know exactly what each other means. Fingers crossed!

    P.S. I think Wyatt was counseling hope and patience because he knew Brennan already had feelings but was reluctant to act on them and/or wasn’t sure herself what her feelings actually were (i.e. love). In 100, Booth showed the hope, just not the patience. 🙂 I think they’re now, finally, BOTH on that hope and patience bandwagon! Yay!

  5. The line you mentioned from Dwarf in the Dirt is one of the most disturbing lines I’ve heard on Bones. Booth is supposed to read people well, but if “he’d know if she loved him” like he says, he would’ve knwon that her rejection to him in the 100th wasn’t because she didn’t want a relationship with him, but because she “loved” him and was scared.

    Booth might be a proud man with a big ego from the outside, but when it comes to certain aspects of his life, he’s vulnerable and insecure. I don’t think he’d know if Brennan loves him without her saying it, which is really sad.

  6. I have a super-fraudian question…what about Booth’s mom? Do we know anything about her? I am in the camp that Brennan does love him – btw, but all the women that we know Booth has chosen, aren’t what you’d call available, or emotionally forthcoming. Of course this doesn’t have to be about his mother, but she is oddly missing from his and Jarod’s history. What is the deal with that?

  7. It would not surprise me if Booth was not ever able to recognize what was right in front of him. Sometimes it seems easy to see what’s going on with everyone else, but our own insecurities do a great job of blinding us to what involves ourselves.

    At this point in time, Brennan gives a definitive statement that indicates she will be willing to enter into a relationship with Booth. It feels to me that they have now openly agreed that they will “wait” for each other, that they will exercise the patience again. Booth looking at the date that Brennan wrote down on her slip of paper in Blizzard is evidence to me that whereas Booth may not feel a guarantee that she loves him, but that she wants to be with him. And that might make all the difference to help him eventually recognize and believe that she loves him.

  8. Here’s a thought (I might come back with more later):
    Maybe what Booth means is something more along the lines of “I would know if she KNEW that she loved me.” I think she’s loved him for a long time without knowing what that means, so the love she feels for him right now is stuck at partner love. That’s a love she’s capable of understanding and cherishing. It’s this partner love that inspires Brennan to keep Booth at arm’s length (she wants to protect him), but once she realizes it’s truly, undeniably romantic love, he’ll know too. The events of Doctor in the Photo confirm this for me. The Brennan Booth knows–and the Brennan we know–can’t help but be completely honest as soon as she realizes something. Brennan realized she wanted to give Booth a chance, so she told him so…and then he knew!
    Booth knows that she operates like this–he knows that she likes certainty, and he knows that she’s honest when she’s sure about something. She doesn’t back down! So when Brennan realizes that the love she feels for Booth is romantic love, I think it’s safe to assume that she’ll tell him. And then he’ll know! He won’t even have to guess. He won’t have to read signs or facial expressions. He’ll know because she’ll tell him.

    I think that’s what Booth is waiting for. Sure, he’s tried to read into her facial expressions before. He’s offered her the raised eyebrow when she seems to be offering an invitation. And you know that when he stares into her eyes and gets that cocky little half-smile on his face, he knows what she’s feeling. But he knows that she doesn’t know what she’s feeling. That’s what he’s waiting for. That’s why he can be so certain that he’ll know when she loves him. I think he’ll know as soon as she does!

    • I agree that Booth doesn’t really know unless he’s got something or something that clues him into what Brennan is feeling. And Brennan, who has up until recently, really argued against love, has, to the best of my knowledge, never been in love. Even with Sully she tells Angela that he is a “man I adore.” It’s not clear that she knows romantic love until Doctor.

      Booth has misread her. He’s misread Hannah as well, and probably Rebecca, so there definitely is something wrong with his woman-reading abilities. (I’ve always contended that he is no better at relationships than she is in some ways. His dysfunction is more socially acceptable than hers because he can modulate his opinions. She doesn’t always do that. A man who so dearly wants to have marriage and a family would, probably before his 40th birthday, have found that.)

      In Brennan’s defense, I think she probably has not actively tried to recognize romantic love and so it becomes difficult for Booth to discern it in her. When Booth draws a line (episode when Epps dies), Brennan accepts it and looks a bit unhappy with the news. Is it because he is precluding her from a relationship with his infamous line? Or has she simply accepted that she is better alone than with someone in a committed relationship? And in doing so, does she remain “impervious” to Booth’s advances and so he has nothing to actually read?

      You are right. She might not recognize it in herself and so he can’t see it either.

  9. I think Booth’s ability to read people is a professional skill that doesn’t translate well to his personal life. He’s good at reading body language that proves the lie or someone’s discomfort with the truth. In other words, he’s good at picking up on negative clues, notsomuch the positive ones.

    And, let’s face it, Booth is flighty about love. He’s a girl. He was in luuv with Rebecca, without seeing that her personal ambition came before their relationship, even after a child was added to the mix. He was in luuv with Hannah, and even after being told by her multiple times that she wasn’t interested in marriage, shocked her with a proposal.

    Frankly, I’m glad Brennan has taken her time falling in love with Booth. By doing so, she forced him to take it at a slower pace, too. Something he definitely needs.

  10. I do think that Booth the man who reads people so well does have a problem with reading those closest to him. When it comes to the people in his personal life, those that mean the most to him, he really does have problems with reading what is going on with them. This is especially true with Brennan. Of course that could be because Brennan is so confused herself when it comes to emotions that it is hard to get a read on what she’s feeling.

    With all of this said, I imagine that Brennan will have to be the one to declare herself in this relationship. I think in Blizzard we did see her making steps toward that. To me you could just see her debating saying anything before she made her statement about imperviousness vs. strength. She seemed to gather that strength before speaking up. I hope we see more of that. She does seem to be trying to gauge where Booth is emotionally, what he is ready for before she speaks up, but it also seems that she is so far attempting to push things forward with them.

  11. Ohhh, I have such a mixed bag of feelings on this…

    I think Booth knows Brennan extremely well. It’s not so much that he knows she doesn’t love *him* as much as he knows she doesn’t *love* that way, period. It’s been one of their primary sources of conflict since they met: he believes in love, she believes in chemical responses in the brain. She dates for the purpose of having sex or intellectual companionship. Nothing Brennan has said or done up to Dwarf in the Dirt would indicate a change in her attitude on this subject.

    Gordon Gordon has the advantage of having been present when Brennan says she would do anything to help Booth – the closest I think she’s ever come to a declaration of love. I used to be sure that Brennan did not recognize the depths of her feelings for Booth in season 5 but now when I watch that scene I suspect she is recognizing them, and is quite terrified of them.

    But the fact is, Booth doesn’t see or hear that conversation. Gordon doesn’t repeat it, because that’s not how he rolls. FWIW, I do think Booth takes GG’s advice and has hope and patience. He does not speak until after the Dentist in the Ditch; until after he hears Brennan say that she is willing to accept his premise that love exists beyond chemical reactions. The episode between Dentist and the 100th is Bones on the Blue Line, where they discuss Plato’s ideal of soul mates. I think Booth is testing the waters in that conversation. He is willing to give a little (saying he doesn’t believe in soul mates, when c’mon we all know he DOES!) because she was willing to give a little in accepting his premise that love existed at all.

    But in the end she just wasn’t ready…that is what Booth did not realize. She made one big leap – believing in love. She wasn’t ready for the next leap – that she was capable of giving and accepting that kind of love.

    Going forward, I think all Booth needs in the way of proof is to see her doing that giving and accepting, which he has already seen glimpses of since Daredevil. And I think once he stops being angry and reflects on her pre-Dr in the Photo behavior, he’ll see how much she was giving back then too.

  12. I was always a tad aggravated with GG over the hope and patience bit. I think he knew that Brennan loves Booth, but that she may not be fully cognizant of it. I wanted to him say more. That she does love him, but that she may not fully understand that yet. Give her time (and maybe show her — rather than tell her as in 100 — that he does love her), etc., etc.

    I’m still not quite sure what to make of “I’d know it if she loved me.” Everyone else knew that. It seems that the only two people in their world who didn’t know that Brennan loves Booth were Brennan and Booth. Then again, maybe this explains his failure to argue with her that she has an open heart, that she has changed and that she has gambled in the 100th — something else that left me bewildered and upset.

    I guess I conclude that Brennan’s confession in DitP was the first time Booth believed that she loved him beyond friend and partner. And, now she has explicitly said that she’s open to a relationship with him in the future. She has also told him that she will stick by him. So, now, he has evidence of her feelings for him/love for him. Whether he will be able ultimately to believe that she loves him if she doesn’t say those three words is the question. But, I think that Brennan is getting there and she will be able to say “I love you” when the time comes. Then Booth will know for sure.

  13. I think for Booth, Brennan’s way of being ‘in love’ doesn’t look like what he expects, wants, needs it to look like. He wants demonstrative emotional passion, something Brennan keeps a tight lid on. He thinks if this element is missing from a relationship then it’s merely ‘love’ in the agape sense of the word.

    Similarly, Brennan’s reaction to Hannah didn’t look anything like what Booth expected, wanted, or needed from her. She seemed to take it well in stride, and from Booths point of view her seeming lack of jealousy, something Booth would expect from a normal woman under the circumstances, proved she lacked passion for him and thus wasn’t ‘in love’ with him.

    Even her ‘confession’ in DiTP lacked passion. I believe from Booths pov, if she had declared her love explicitly–which she did not, despite what Booth told Sweets—he might have had a very different reaction. It would not have been dishonorable of him to dump Hannah for Brennan, it would have been a very human reaction. As difficult as it is, people move on from live-in relationships all the time because they love, or fall in love, with someone else. I truly believe if Brennan had said, and shown, that her feelings were deeper and more powerful than just ‘having regrets’ Booth would have felt it was worth the risk to move on from Hannah and make a go with Brennan.

    Bottom line, I think Booth knows Brennan loves him, but he is unsure if she offers the kind of passion, (not just sexual) that he expects, wants, and needs out of a relationship. I think this is why he is uncertain if they will work and why he is holding back.

    • And may I just add, I was just watching Mayhem on a Cross and noticed that I had misconstrued this comment by GG:

      “One of them is acutely aware of the attraction; struggles with it daily in fact”

      Before, I was under the impression that he was making a distinction, that one of them was aware of the attraction and the other one struggled with it daily. I see here he is referring to the same person with this comment, and I can’t help but believe he’s speaking of Booth. He IS aware of ithe attraction, and he struggles with it because Brennan’s dispassion feels like nothing more than brotherly love.

      And we all know that Booth believes everything he feels is the truth. 😉 I think he’s waiting, waiting for her feelings to burst forth in a passionate display so that he can truly ‘feel’ that she loves him.

    • I like this idea. Booth does have a traditional view of how people in love behave. Brennan is not conventional in almost any sense; how she expresses her love is not necessarily going to be how Booth is used to receiving love.

      I think you are spot on about his bewilderment at her post-Hannah behavior. The nicer Brennan was to Hannah, the more it reinforced Booth’s belief that she had never cared for him.

      Re: The Dr. in the Photo confession, I think Booth was just totally confused. From his perspective, it comes from nowhere and he isn’t quite sure what to make of it.

      I do wonder about the thought process that got him from DitP to telling Sweets that Brennan “still loved” him but I’m chalking it up to projection on his part.

      • Thanks Barbara.

        I’ll have to check, but did Booth tell Sweets that Brennan still loved him, or did he merely say she had confessed that she loved him? This is a distinction with a BIG difference because if it was the former then he knew of her love for a while and this would put his ‘moving on’ so quickly to Hannah in an very unfavorable light. As in, you KNEW she loved you but you immediately gave up and moved on instead of sticking around and fighting? OTOH, if he is just learning of her love and didn’t think she loved him before, him moving on and not fighting is more understandable.

      • I went back and replayed that part where Booth talks to Sweets in the gym. Booth tells Sweets that a while back, Brennan said she still had feelings for…you know…and Sweets jumps in saying…”Did she say she loves you? Was it that direct?” Present tense. Booth replies “Yeah…that’s what she said.”

        Booth saying she still had feelings for him is not the same as saying she loved me. So I still think at the time of the 100th, Booth knew she had feelings, but didn’t translate those words to mean love. If she loved him, he believed she would have agreed to take a chance with him. She didn’t. She didn’t even say maybe or not now…she just said no, I can’t change. I don’t see how he could interpret that to mean she loves me.

      • That reminds me why I hate that scene….Booth tells Sweets that Brennan said “I love you” (paraphrasing) and Sweets doesn’t immediately go, “Whoa!,” get off the treadmill and concentrate on that conversation? Really? After all of his interference in B&B’s relationship?


        Pardon me while I go find someone who’ll give me her sunglasses for no reason.

      • Ha! I hear you, MJ! Just one of the many times this season I’ve wanted to slap Sweets silly.

  14. Ok I’m replying to this on my IPhone because I need something to do on this bus ride. I apologise now if autocorrect screws this up for me. And of it doesn’t work It’ll be about half hour wasted and I may cry!

    Right…on to my favourite messed up FBI agent!

    I don’t believe Booth would know if Brennan loved him.

    I think Booth can never quite understand why Brennan sticks around. Why she’s his partner, why she’s his friend etc because he sees himself as not quite good enough. He’s wrong (of course) but Brennan brings this normally cocky, arrogant man to his knees (metaphorically so far. Fingers crossed for literally soon! 😉 )

    He has many self esteem issues (and he’d shoot me for saying that!) and Brennan reinforces them. She doesn’t mean to (I actually think SHE doesn’t believe she’s good enough for HIM. Oh what a tangled web these two weave…) but with her occasionally thoughtless comment, or an action she doesn’t quite think through (i.e. Her date with Jared) she reinforces to Booth this idea that he isn’t good enough for her and that one say she’ll realise this (e.g. ‘you’ve gotta stop hanging out with geniuses otherwise you’re gonna figure out how stupid I am’.

    Booth doesn’t know his own worth. Understandable when you think about the childhood he had, and i think he expects (much like Brennan!) the people he cares for to find him wanting at some stage or another.

    It’s why I believe he sabotages his own relationships. He does something guarateed to bring the relationship to a premature end (or to stop it from beginning ala Brennan) and then it just adds to his feelings that he…lacks something. It also gives him the added bonus of being able to blame the other person for the breakdown even though his actions were the catalyst.

    And that was an awfully long winded way to say that no, Booth wouldn’t know. He’s going to need the words.

    • For sure he’ll need something concrete from her before he makes another move, although he’d probably settle for a romantic gesture like a kiss (or willingness to get kissed) because I think he knows just how hard saying “I love you” might be for her at the beginning of a relationship. And totally with you on Booth’s insecurities; it always catches me off guard (and makes me a little sad for him) to see how genuinely surprised and happy he looks when she pays him a compliment. Even though he’s very good at his job and has received numerous award it’s obvious that he never got much by way of personal affirmations-just look at how Jared treats him, for one.

    • Laffers…I totally agree that Booth has self-esteem issues that lead him to believe he’s not good enough. I’m reminded of the psych evaluation I read online by a psychologist that nails Booth’s character so well…and this is the point that person made…in a nutshell…Booth sabotages his relationships in the belief that they won’t end well anyway.

      From what we’ve know of his childhood and relationships, everyone of them resulted in rejection (in Booth’s mind)…beginning with his father. Since his mother isn’t even mentioned being around when he and Jared were rescued by Pops, I had to deduce that his mother *rejected* him also. Then come Rebecca, Tessa, Brennan and Hannah. He’s good enough to have a child with Rebecca, but she doesn’t want commitment…Hannah follows him to DC from the other end of the earth…surely a sign of committed love…but it isn’t…and then there’s Brennan who shot him down before he could even get to stage one. He’s never had a true loving relationship…which reinforces what he believes…he’s not worthy. His idealistic beliefs in the love of fairy tales is the only reference he has to go by. So…how is he supposed to recognize true love when he’s never experienced anything close to that? He can’t…without proof. He’s learned that what he perceives as love is not the same for others…so he’s definitely not going to put himself out there to be rejected again…and that’s why it’s so important that Brennan be the one to voice her feelings first…or just kiss him, for heaven’s sake. LOL! He’s got to have proof that what he feels is reciprocated before he’ll allow himself to believe his heart hasn’t led him astray again.

      • “His idealistic beliefs in the love of fairy tales is the only reference he has to go by. So…how is he supposed to recognize true love when he’s never experienced anything close to that?”
        and for both of them, i think. neither one recognizes agape+eros type of love and because they’re so close, have always been so close, it’s too easy for one to hurt the other.
        i, honestly, don’t think that either one of them knows ‘what that means’ just yet. but i’m pretty sure they’re getting closer to figuring it out.

  15. I know, I have a handicap in expressing myself in English, but I keep trying to improve. And I enjoying it.

    Yes, love is blind! And for that reason Booth could not see what was right in front of him when he said: “I would know if she loves me.” But he did not listen to GGW to have hope and patience and made the hasty proposal in the 1ooth episode.

    Now I think at this time of the show, it is all up to Brennan how their relationship will go. Booth will not be the one who will initiative anything drastically. He practice now hope and patience.
    Brennan is definitely on the way to prove it to him, that she loves him. Open up to him in DitP that she made a mistake. By saying that she will always stand on his side, is working on loosing the rest of her ………..(forgot that word) and willing to wait until Booth is not angry anymore , so they can be together. She even told him that they would be perfect in making love.
    So, let’s all have hope and patience!

    • Actually your English is pretty good. I understand what you are saying. Booth needs to wait for Brennan to make up her mind when she will be ready for a more intimate relationship. I think since Booth glanced at her paper in Blizzard and saw the date she wrote, he is going to want to try to be emotionally ready when she is. For her part, I think Brennan is going to want to handle their future relationship as methodically as possible. She is going to want to keep making statements to Booth about the changes she is making in her life and the changes she thinks he needs to make. She will want to be ready by her date also. I don’t think she wants to have a situation where one is ready for more intimacy and the other isn’t. She has already been down that road and she didn’t like it.

    • Your English is wonderful.

  16. I’m sorry, but this business with the dates is just so..clinical and UNromantic. It almost makes it feel like a duty, an obligation that has to be met. To me, a passionate, spontaneous release of emotions is much more desired.

    • I know what you mean, but I think these two have been trading in generalities for so long. Everything’s been unspoken and implied. They needed something a little bit concrete. They needed a way of proving to each other that “not now” isn’t the same as “not ever.” They needed hope and confirmation of their respective feelings. I loved the dates. Besides, it’s not like they’re literally going to stick to them.

      • Besides, it’s not like they’re literally going to stick to them.

        No, I’m not at all concerned that this is how it will play out, I’m just trying to understand why people got so excited about it. There is nothing exciting or romantic about them making a date in the future for when they might be ready for a relationship. I do think it showed a willingness on Booth’s part to do things Brennan’s way, all logical, reasonable, and adult. I just really think that Brennan will return the favor and give him the romance, excitement, and validation he craves.

    • For me it is not the date itself, but the fact that Booth *saw* the date Brennan wrote. And that she wrote something at all. For him, that might be the evidentiary lift he needs to feel that it would be safe to pursue the relationship with Brennan at or *after* that date she wrote. It’s a safety net for him.

      She is logical, scientific and if she wrote a specific date, she will likely not forget it, either. I imagine Booth might know this and keep it in the back of his head.

      • I agree with you, Janet. It is the fact that they wrote a date down not the date itself. I think that it was whimsy on Booths part and Brennan went along with it. On the other hand, what better way for Booth to see if Brennan is really open to a relationship. She wrote a date down and this did give Booth evidence that Brennan is having a change of heart about love. That is why I love the scene. It just gave me hope for both of them.

    • But is that what they desire? What is more in-character for B&B? A whimsical activity like writing down dates and burning them or passionate spontaneous releases like you describe?

      Booth had that passionate, spontaneous release with Hannah under a fig tree, and that’s probably the one act that is most considered OUT of character for Booth.

      What you saw as clinical and unromantic was clearly not so for the characters, given the amount of enthusiasm and happiness they displayed in the action.

      B&B are a quirky, shy, awkward pair. They are never going to express themselves in conventionally “romantic” methods.

  17. I think booth recognises love as lust. He thinks when people are lusting over him that it is a display of love. Brennan never openly flirted with Booth. (I believe they do flirt but not in the dictionary defined version of flirting Booth probably expects from a romantic intrest. They have there own style.) She gave him no evidence.
    Brennan is a closed Book harder to read than anyone, so it is quite believable that Booth would not Know if she felt she loved him.
    However he was talking to a shrink, (cheif Whatever) a time when you get to be neurotic and self pittying. Booth was treying to come off as the victim even thought he himself had never shown her he loved her either. JMO

  18. Apparantly my iPhone didn’t let me sign up for e-mails so….obligatory e-mail post 😀

  19. I think Booth knew Brennan had feelings for him at the time of the conversation with GG but didn’t interpret those feelings as ‘love’ by his definition. Then when she rejected him (in his mind) when she went to Maluku, I think he re-evaluated his interpretation and thought maybe she never thought of him that way but only as partners/friends. Now that she made her confession in Doctor/Photo and later, he will know she loves him when she expresses that her definition of love is the same as his. She might not have to say those three words exactly yet but he will need to know she desires a long term committed relationship and that she wants that relationship to be with him.

  20. I love your question this morning! I agree with most of the people here saying that Booth has some difficulties when it comes to read Brennan. But I would also say that that difficulty is only when it comes to read her feelings towards him. He doesn’t have any problems reading her fears or feelings when it is directed towards others like her father for example.
    I like the fact that each of them has impregnated the other one so much. Booth with the heart now needs a proof, a fact from Brennan to show that she loves him. On the other side, Brennan has learnt to listen to her heart and is opening more to him regarding her feelings. And yes, he will need a solid proof from her in order for him to be convinced.
    I always thought that Brennan was the more ‘damaged’ one when it comes to relationship but this season revealed Booth being ‘damaged’ as well on that same matter. We do know what led Brennan to be who she was / is, and I would like to see more of Booth’s history as well.
    I guess now, since they seem to follow the same path, that it is all about a question of timing (Booth has to stop being angry and Brennan has to lose the last of her imperviousness) and an occasion…
    In the BitB, it felt a bit strange to me to see that while Booth was the one to say he needed time, his body language was quite clear and he leaned over Brennan a couple of times. Brennan on the other end, leaned the other way of the seat …

  21. This is interesting. I think he was on target in Dwarf in the Dirt…that he’d know if she loved him but the “push” from his 2 counselors, GG and Sweets (who gave him hope), plus mixed signals from Brennan, made him go over the edge in the 100th episode. Granted, he’s his own man and can make mistakes all on his own without help from GG and Sweets, but I’m sure what they said niggled at his brain. What I really think is that he believed he would KNOW if she had made the leap to living without fear and trusting HIM, of all people, to love her without limits. He’d know if she walked over that line. Some of us here and on other sites have said that Brennan behaved in such a way, prior to the 100th episode, which signaled to him she was ready. That it wasn’t all his fault for misjudging her. She behaved like a girlfriend already thus the next step for Booth was what he did in the 100th episode. This plus the emotional rush of remembering how they first met, resulted in he allowing his emotions to cloud his judgment that night and making the mistake of saying… let’s give us a chance. We know Brennan wasn’t ready and to me she sounded like she would never be ready in that moment. The fear inside of her was stronger than any desire to live a normal life. I think that’s where the misjudgment came on Booth’s part……not knowing how truly fearful she was and the end result was we ended the 100th epi with he BELIEVING she would never change cuz she BELIEVED she would never change. How do you move an immovable object which is who she was in the 100th and post 100th episodes? Yet, despite this, he was still hanging around like a lovesick puppy even up to the last two episodes of season 5. In Boy with the Answer, I could see that he truly had not moved on at all…. and the in the S5 finale…she broke his heart again by leaving for Maluku. Sorry if I got off tangent…don’t know if I answered question…LOL>

  22. I think Booth saw something after Dwarf in the Dirt — something that shook him. Something Brennan said or did made Booth start to qualify her phrases — saying that she doesn’t believe what she’s saying, she would say it “this way”. The first time I think I noticed it was in Goop in the Girl. “Isn’t it heartbreaking?” “But you would say that the heart is just a muscle, that it would just be crushed.” It’s like he sees her changing her stances, and he’s scared? Confused? Can’t believe it? This happens repeatedly, and even has happened through season six. It’s like Booth saw that Brennan was opening up to his ideas of love (ie Dentist in the Ditch), but he is holding himself back from believing it. Then maybe what Sweets said in the 100th made him think that he wasn’t imagining things (I do wonder if Booth thought he was imagining things in relation to his coma dream, although that would probably be a bit far out there) and he took a chance.

    Booth is still qualifying Brennan’s statements, by the way. Or at least, he was through Doctor in the Photo. I don’t remember if he has since then. Hm… that’d be interesting to find out.

  23. It’s been a while since I read the book, so I don’t remember what all the specific categories are, but this sort of brings to mind the concept of the Love Languages.

    I think maybe what we’ve seen in the last few episodes is Brennan learning to speak Booth’s love languages. I remember that one of the languages is “gifts”, and that seems to be one of Booth’s languages. We’ve seen Booth give tokens, both large (the Christmas tree) and small (Jasper and Brainy), to Brennan over the years. One of Brennan’s love languages seems to be, well, “language”, which tends to be more subtle; the book dedication, the speech at the end of Con Man, the reassurances that he is a good man and a good father. So in some respects, perhaps it’s just that they aren’t speaking the same language – more so than the usual squintese needing to be translated. (And am I the only one that wants to giggle inappropriately when using the word “translated” no matter the setting or context? :P)

    But in Bikini, Brennan makes an overture with the gift of the Tommy Guns. And Booth is physically staggered by it. Props to DB there, because his reaction when he opens the box is just lovely. So she’s learning, even with as much as she needs evidence of things, Booth needs just as much evidence when it comes to love.

    Anyway, back to the question: would Booth know if Brennan was in love with him? I’m thinking maybe not. Does he know she cares about him and that he’s important to her? I’m sure he does. But as so many people above me have so eloquently put it, Booth had a blind spot in his personal life. And I’d be willing to bet that no one he’s been with has “spoken his language”. Cam probably comes closest, but they are also cut from a very similar cloth.

    And then there is Booth’s romanticized view of love and romance. Don’t get me wrong, I love Booth to pieces, but he has his flaws. And one of his flaws is his expectations of what true love and romance have to be. There are so many reasons for those, probably enough to fill it’s own discussion topic and then some, but I think one of his biggest is that he’s in love with being in love.
    That’s not to say that I think he’s is insincere in his 30, 40 or 50 years speech, because I believed him, and I think that’s the truest Booth has ever been with Brennan.

    But Booth loves the romance. The courtship. The grand gestures. The giddy feelings and dopey grins and all that. He is in love with those feelings. It’s probably got something to do with his white knight syndrome. Sir Seeley and his gestures of courtly love and chivalry. But courtly love and grand romantic gestures and passionate kisses don’t make for a strong and stable relationship in the long run.

    But I think he knows that, even though he doesn’t always remember that he knows that. As evidence, I point to his speech at the end of Death in the Saddle when he’s talking about the difference between crappy sex and making love. I’ll bet Booth has had a lot of crappy sex, but he’s been looking for that person who’ll break the laws of physics with him.

    What he’s been forgetting, though, is that breaking the laws of physics necessitates two people committed to the relationship. To each other. So he’s learning now, that maybe he doesn’t need the grand gestures to “get the girl” so to speak. They’re nice from time to time, but Brennan already loves him for who he is. The way he is. Even if that’s not always apparent to him. But hopefully his learning process will include being able to recognize her signs instead of just expecting his own to come back to him.

    I just hope that when the moment finally comes, HH and company give a nod to that speech in DitS and make mention of breaking the laws of physics. That would make me grin from ear to ear – and probably cry a little. 😛

    And hopefully that all makes sense…

  24. Jade, thanks for that nice post. Glad I looked back to yesterdays theme. I am with you about the last sentence you made (the one before the last) and I will also grin from ear to ear and cry a bit.

    • Thanks, Marle! 🙂 It’s always a toss up, replying so late in the day, but I’m glad I took the time to write it up.

  25. I’m agree with those who pointed out it here – he had mistake because he become blind when things concerned his personal life/ He proposed to Rebecca and didn’t see that she didn’t want to marry because of pregnancy only. He proposed to Hannah and didn’t want to get that she tells him many times, that she is not marrying type. She “proposed” to Brennan in 100th but it was unexpected for her, he had so much pressure, he didn’t listen her properly…

    He wanted her to love him. But… was he scared? Was he vulnerable to admit her feelings? “Hope and patience” – that was GG’s advise. Booth had so much hope but a lack of patience…

    But, oh, Booth, how you wasn’t see how strong she loves you?

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