Good morning, BONES THEORY READERS!
One thing I’ve been pondering lately is this idea of “OOC” or ” Out of Character” vs “IC” or “In Character” when it comes to the characters on BONES. Those terms, OOC or IC, are often found in discussions of fan-fiction, as far as whether or not a fiction writer portays B&B (and other characters) as within the guidelines of canon–that is, the existing episodes.
But lately, I’ve also been seeing OOC or IC come up in discussions about the actual episodes, and I’m feeling confused about it, to tell you the truth. I’m not confused as to why people are using those terms–there are character changes we’ve discussed here at BT that illustrate that the characters on the show have gone through development and changes that would lead people to judge whether or not those changes are realistic in terms of existing character developments.
But I just can’t help but think…can a character on the show, in any given episode, ever actually be Out of Character? If I, while watching an episode, think to myself, “Oh, heck no! “Real” Booth would never do THAT!”…is that actually a fair assessment? If Booth did said action in an episode, then does that action, in fact, automatically become ‘in character’, as he is in fact THE character? Does that make sense? Basically, how can something on the show be out of character? Doesn’t every action/statement, etc become canon when performed/said, thereby making it in character?
The characters might act outside of what I perceive to be their character, but at what point do I have to accept that what they say/do is the reality?
I don’t have the answers to these questions. This whole theory is just one of those that swirls around in my mind, popping up every once in awhile, when I can’t quite reconcile my opinions to what I see on the screen.
It doesn’t seem possible that it’s been a year and three days since the 100th episode aired for the first time. When I think about that episode, I’m intrigued by Brennan’s personality when she first meets Booth. She’s confident, open toward him, factual about her skills, eager to assist on her terms, but not really at all snarky or edgy until after their kiss in the rain.
Fast-forward to the Pilot episode, and we see that Brennan has some hard edges (so does Booth, don’t get me wrong!). For 99 episodes, we’re led to believe that those edges are a result of the abandonment she felt from her parents as well as the experiences she had in the foster system. Yet, that edginess isn’t present in this Brennan…
All of this falls into the “I Don’t Know What That Means” category for me. On one hand, I want to question the integrity of the characterizations. But again, that involves the presupposition that I’M the one who has the say in these characters. That’s what I’m struggling with, especially when I watch a season two episode, for example.
In a lot of ways, the characters have changed. And in several ways they haven’t; that is also true. But I don’t know how the actual actions in the episodes can be deemed out of character. Does that make sense? If Booth or Brennan do something I don’t like, does that mean they are outside of their character, or does it mean that I just don’t like their actions? “Don’t like” is probably not the best term there, as it’s not a popularity contest as far as the characters go, I don’t think. They can do things I don’t care for and still be IC, and likewise, sometimes the things I DO like might be what others see as OOC.
Maybe the tension comes then, when we consider, “Do I actually like these characters?”, and depending on what answer we receive from ourselves, that skews how we perceive how the characters SHOULD and DO act? I don’t have the answer to that either, except to say that I’m still thinking about it.
What are your thoughts on this? Does the fanbase have the right to judge the characters’ actions based on what seems to be appropriate for them? When considering fan-fiction over the actual show (which, haha, is also fiction…something good for me to remember!), should the OOC or IC terms overlap?
Peace, Love & Bones