Bones Theory

In Search of a Hero

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“He took her chin in his hand and tilted her face up and kissed her. And knew that this was the end of a life he had loved and the beginning of a new one that was going to be very different, and probably very difficult:  because he did not believe that people changed over-much in essentials, and Hero was unlikely to turn into a different person; and neither was he.

“There would be times when she would remember his sins and throw them in his face, and others when he would resent her virtues and be exasperated by them – and by her. There was a part of Hero that he would never be able to possess, and a part of himself that would always be beyond her reach. But for some unfathomable reason they were the right people for each other. They should not have been, but they were. Each supplied a crying lack in the other, and possibly Fate had known what it was about when it tipped Hero Hollis overboard in mid-ocean and permitted Emory Frost to rescue her…

“‘God is a great deviser of stratagems,’ thought Rory, recalling with a smile one of Hajji Ralub’s favourite quotations from the Koran. But the smile held more than a trace of wryness, for he had never intended to marry anyone. He had meant to stay free and without ties to the end of his life; and he had intended to see if he could not turn a frigid piece of Grecian marble into a warm flesh-and-blood woman, and had done so – and found that he could not live without her…” (Trade Wind, M.M. Kaye)

When I was a young teenager living on a small Air Force base overseas, I spent hours walking up and down the aisles of the adult fiction section of the library, searching for books to read. I devoured books in those days – mostly historical romance, but really, anything I could get my hands on that I thought looked interesting. I was a hopeless romantic (and I still am today to a certain extent) and loved to lose myself in the emotion of a well-written love story.

One of my favorites was a novel called Trade Wind by British author M.M. Kaye (who also wrote The Far Pavilions, Shadow of the Moon, and one of my all-time favorite childhood stories, The Ordinary Princess). Trade Wind is the story of an idealistic and opinionated young heiress named Hero Athena Hollis who sails to Zanzibar in the 1800’s to join her uncle and his family (including his stepson, Clay, whom she expects to one day marry) following the death of her father; a pretty, yet determined, abolitionist sailing straight into the heart of the slave trade. While still onboard the ship bound for Zanzibar, Hero is swept overboard during a storm and subsequently rescued by a notorious slave-trader named Captain Emory “Rory” Frost. And so Hero’s story begins.

In the beginning, Hero is as rigid in her idealistic beliefs as Rory is nonchalant about his tarnished reputation, and their journey towards each other is slow and painful; oftentimes cold and harsh and dark. It’s not necessarily a pretty love story. And yet I am touched by this story in a way that I have been by few others.

If Trade Wind is not your typical love story, then Captain Frost is not your typical white knight. He’s more antihero than hero, more Rhett Butler than Prince Charming – although he does turn out to be a far better man than he would have most people believe (some, but not all of which is due to Hero). Still, he’s a rascal – and proud of it! Hero, on the other hand, is strong and virtuous and is as bent on doing good as Rory is on causing trouble. If there is a true hero in this story…well, let’s just say she comes by her name honestly. That’s not to say that Hero never messes up; she’s actually indirectly responsible for causing a great deal of pain and heartache, but she ultimately does much more good than harm. She and Rory make an odd couple to be sure. They shouldn’t belong together, and yet somehow they do.

When I think about Bones in relation to Trade Wind (its main characters and central relationship), I see a number of striking similarities. Indeed, much of the text I quoted could easily describe Booth and Brennan at some point in the future. “But for some unfathomable reason they were the right people for each other. They should not have been, but they were.” Hasn’t Hart Hanson said as much himself?

But then who can forget what Gordon Wyatt told Sweets (and Sweets later realized on his own) – that at the heart of the matter, Booth and Brennan are really not so different? That they at least have some common ground is a very good thing because they’ll need to be strong from that united core if they’re going to make it as a couple. Their viewpoints and beliefs are still quite different in a number of critical areas, and to be honest, I think that’s something that is unlikely to ever change completely. It’s a given that they’ll struggle at times and it’s why they’ll need to go into a relationship with their eyes wide open and a level of commitment that’s beyond the ordinary.

And yet I also think Booth and Brennan have always known that a romantic relationship between the two of them would be risky at best, and that a failure in that area would almost certainly have a devastating effect on their work relationship and friendship. Those pesky risks are why both of them (first one and then the other and vice versa) clung to the status quo for so very long.

The risks are what held Brennan back that night in the rain when she and Booth shared their first kiss, and it’s certainly what held her back when Booth took his gamble on the steps of the Hoover.

The risks are what held Booth back that night in the SUV when Brennan told him she didn’t want to have any regrets (a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush) and I suspect it’s at least part of what held him back in the bar when Brennan asked him if just partners and nothing were her only options (okay, and maybe the fact that he was drunk and a just tiny bit angry at her and at women in general).

They both know the risks. But the risks don’t tell the whole story.

In the past, one or both of them has always been unwilling to take that risk – and so they made excuses. What we saw in the “making love” scene in The Blackout in the Blizzard was the same old excuse minus the usual beating around the bush. But then…

Well, we’ve talked a lot lately about gambling – whether Booth is willing to gamble again on Brennan and if Brennan is gambling now on Booth, and I think…well I think in a way the scene in Booth’s apartment (at the end of The Blackout in the Blizzard) is about not gambling – for both of them. Rather it’s about laying their cards out on the table, admitting where they each are in the moment, and acknowledging what it’s going to take to get to the point where they can both take the risk and be better for having done it. It’s being willing to go into a relationship with their eyes wide open. No excuses. No changes. No take backs.

Of course, the similarities between Bones and Trade Wind don’t stop with the relationship. Hero Hollis and Temperance Brennan may come from two completely different eras, and therefore have completely different belief systems, but they are both still strong, stubborn women with an unquenchable desire for justice. If Hero changes at all in the course of the book, it’s that she learns (the hard way more often than not) that vanquishing evil is neither a simple nor a straightforward process. While she gradually learns to view the world from a less idealistic point of view, that doesn’t change the fact that when faced with an injustice, she does whatever is in her power (or Captain Frost’s, much to his chagrin) to right that wrong. As the book says, “people don’t change over-much in essentials.” The same is true for Temperance Brennan.

We’ve discussed at length here on Bones Theory the changes we’ve seen in Brennan this season, specifically post-Doctor in the Photo. I’ve seen a number of people make the argument that Brennan shouldn’t have needed to change at all. That the changes we’ve seen in her have not only fundamentally weakened her character, but that the writers, by having her change “for Booth,” have essentially implied that she wasn’t worthy of his love the way she was. And yet, I see something different.

Much like Hero Hollis, it isn’t Brennan’s character that’s changed over the years, rather her perception of the world. At the core, she’s still the same person she was in season one (that this is true was illustrated very effectively, over and over again, in the comments to Sarah’s March 19th post, “Brennan:  Progressive Regression? Regressive Progression?”). Much like that, “frigid piece of Grecian marble,” Brennan was once impervious. But by her own admission, she’s stronger now than she was then. There was a problem before, she did need to change, and she has. But the problem isn’t that she was truly unlovable, it’s that she was unable (or unwilling) to truly love. Please understand what I’m saying here. The problem wasn’t in who she was; it was in who she chose to be.

She chose to believe that love is ephemeral because nurture taught her that it was. But I believe that it’s in her nature to love anyway. I think Brennan loved Booth, whether she realized it or not, long before she went to Maluku. She loved him in spite of what she believed, and when she couldn’t deny that any longer, she ran. And Booth? I absolutely believe that Booth always loved her just the way she was (that’s what “trying for a different outcome” was all about). He may not have completely understood what it would take to create a successful life with her, but he was still willing to try.

Brennan didn’t change for Booth (or her friends or her father for that matter). She didn’t need to. She changed for herself. She didn’t need to change in order to be loved because she was loved already. I believe she changed so that she could love.

And I don’t think I could ever view that desire to open up and consciously risk loving another person as a weakness.

So where does Booth fit into all of this? I will admit that I am hesitant to compare him to the rascally Captain Emory Frost simply because I’ve always viewed him as more of a hero than an antihero (although I will also admit to liking Captain Frost’s character perhaps somewhat more than I should). But then, as I said before, while he may never be a complete gentleman, Captain Frost does change for the better during the course of the book, and it’s at least partly due to Hero. I like to think that Brennan has had a similar positive effect on Booth. For whatever reason, Booth stopped gambling (with money at least) after he met Brennan – and that’s a good thing. I suppose there are other aspects to Booth’s character, his dark side, if you will, that will always diminish him in some people’s eyes, but I’m just not one of those people. Maria said it best:

“Re Booth changing, I guess I love many of the aspects that some people complain about, and I’d hate to see him without them. Yes, he’s overprotective, overbearing, bossy, too romantic and insecure at times but in a way I find these qualities totally Boothy and thus charming because they also indicate passion, commitment and deep affection.” (Comment from, “If You’re Gonna Play the Game, Boy, Ya Gotta Learn to Play it Right,” 3/24/11)

For some reason I’ve never believed that Booth’s imperfections and insecurities would cause him to fail where he and Brennan are concerned (but then, perhaps his insecurities and imperfections are part of the reason they’re not together yet). From a logical standpoint, if Booth and Brennan are endgame, it doesn’t make any sense to get them together only to then tear them apart. From a purely emotional standpoint – well, perhaps I am just as irrational and hopelessly romantic as Booth when it comes to a good love story (or maybe I’ve been wearing Janet’s rose-colored glasses a little too long). But even if it turns out that Booth isn’t quite the hero that he’s always tried to be, does that somehow make him unworthy of Brennan’s love? I don’t think so. And more importantly, I don’t think Brennan does either.

So tell me – are we capable of loving an antihero just as much as we love a hero? If you’ve read Trade Wind, what similarities and/or differences do you see between Hero and Rory and Booth and Brennan? If you haven’t read the book, are there any portions of the passage I quoted above that strike you as particularly relevant to B&B? Come on, make me feel like I’m back in one of my college English Lit classes again, I dare you!

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28 thoughts on “In Search of a Hero

  1. Great post, Stephanie.
    I haven’t had enough time to think about it yet, but I totally agree with your comments about Brennan and Booth and change, etc. Booth has loved her forever. Brennan has loved him for a long time, but could or would not risk her heart. She had to learn that she wanted the payoff that that risk could bring her. (Unfortunately, they and we had to go through a lot of heartbreak to get there.) And, they have both grown and changed and become better people because of their relationship.

  2. I don’t consider Booth or Brennan to be anti-heroes. They both have flaws and both have insecurites; but , when it comes to my favorite couple, I consider them to be Unlikely Heroes. Unlikely heroes are simply ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances. They both try their best, using their skills and knowledge to bring justice for those without a voice. They want to catch the murderers who thought they got away with it. They are both similar in that they had terrible childhoods. Their adult lives have been spent living in temporary relationships without a hope of finding someone that they can count on to be there for them. They are both head strong in their personal beliefs and find it hard to give up their personal views.

    Then they met each other. They shouldn’t be right for each other and yet they are. They drive each other up the wall sometimes because they are so different and yet like Gordon Gordon said “that at the heart of the matter, Booth and Brennan are really not so different” They both believe in justice, they are loyal with those friends that they have, they both are very smart (in their specialties) and they are both forgiving towards each other when the one says something to the other and they consider it to be wrong. They bicker; but, that bickering leaves them with an idea of who their partner really is, what their partner really believes, what that partner is capable of understanding. They are both drawn to each other and cannot stand to be away from each other for long periods of time. With the exception of Maluku, they are both in constant contact with each other all of the time and do not like to work with anyone else.

    I will agree with you that it isn’t Brennan’s character that’s changed over the years, rather her perception of the world. At the core, she’s still the same person she was in season one. She is still the confident person she always was; but, her black and white world has now been shaded with grays and she is more than willing to use her new knowledge to get what she wants. Only a robot doesn’t change. Brennan is a warm hearted person who loves and cares for her friends; but, she has always been careful about how she shows that love. Up until DITP she was careful to protect herself from any possible hurt. She wasn’t willing to show her feelings to most of those around her because it made her feel vulnerable. Now, her perception of weakness has changed and she finds strength in letting the world know that she understands that showing how she cares for someone is not an invitation to failure, it allows her to become closer to the ones she loves and cares for.

  3. I haven’t read the book you reference but I looked it up on Amazon and apparently it’s set in the 19th century? I can see why it would be analogous to Bones. I think a lot of traditional romances are.

    I’ve always thought that the love story HH is telling is an old-fashioned one. Modern audiences cannot fathom two attractive people who are attracted to each other NOT having sex. Right now in the fandom there are people saying “Come ON! They admitted they still like each other. Get to the sex!”

    But sex is not love, as the show has repeatedly told us.

    As for Booth being an anti-hero, no I don’t think he is. He is a flawed hero (and for some reason all the very same flaws he’s had from day one loom particularly large this season) but an anti-hero actively rejects virtue, which Booth emphatically does not. He struggles at times to attain virtue, but his goal is always to be a good man.

    • I agree Booth and Brennan’s story is essentially an old fashioned love story.

      I also think this quote…”Each supplied a crying lack in the other, and possibly Fate had known what it was about…” as being very relevant to Booth and Brennan.

      I distinctly remember one scene where they had a conversation about soul mates. Their words say they don’t believe but their eyes say otherwise. They are both in a journey toward “completing” each other.

      Brennan is almost there. That’s what she essentially said, I think, when she told Booth she’s not as impervious anymore but is becoming strong enough… strong enough to risk loving and being loved and cherish the joy and risk the pain that go along with it.

      Booth took a necessary detour but he seems to be getting back on track. I think read somewhere that towards the end of this season, he will realize something about his belief in love that will effect change in his view of relationships.

      That’s why I’m sticking with Bones all the way! When I look at the big picture, I still like what I see. 🙂

  4. I agree that Booth is not an anti-hero. If anything, he’s almost the stereotypical hero. His flaws are there to make him more human, less two-dimensional but no less the hero.

    I do believe that written correctly, performed correctly, we are capable of loving an anti-hero. One example that immediately springs to mind is Severus Snape. In the end, we loved him despite his petty behavior because of the motivation behind his limited acts for the greater good.

    The books sound fascinating. I’m going to add them to my ‘must read’ list.

  5. I loved this, Stephanie. It was great! I agree with almost everything you said especially: “I think Brennan loved Booth, whether she realized it or not, long before she went to Maluku. She loved him in spite of what she believed, and when she couldn’t deny that any longer, she ran.” I think we get a peek of her realizing that she loves Booth and being scared away by it when she tells Angela in The Beginning in the End that she worries about Booth and worries about what their partnership means. I don’t think going to Maluku was completely motivated by that fear (come on, she was seriously science-geeking out about the dig and it was awesome. 🙂 ), but I do think that it was piece of it.

    The passage from Trade Wind was fantastic. It instantly reminded me of B&B. I will definitely be adding it to my “Must Read” list.

    • Oh sure, she definitely went out of fear. I kind of wonder how we could think otherwise! Her pattern of running away whenever she is faced with intense emotions is established in the pilot. Angela tells her that running off on a dig is no way to deal with a messy breakup.

      After the whole coma dream incident she runs off on a dig. Between seasons 2 and 3, she apparently doesn’t have any digs to join so she just runs back to the lab to avoid dealing with Zack’s departure and whatever feelings were stirred up at the Hodgela wedding.

      Avoiding the things that are difficult to bear = impervious, staying and dealing = strong.

      She wants to go to Peru rather than deal with her family at Christmas. Like Maluku, the project is also interesting, but her motivation is more complex than that. Although interestingly, she does end up staying… she is more able to deal with her family issues than her Booth issues (see also, visiting Russ at the end of season 1).

      But yep, she’s clearly established a pattern of going when the going gets rough, which is why I don’t fault Booth for taking it slow now. Every other time they’ve come close to each other, she bolts. Brennan says she’s changed but people say all kinds of things. Brennan is demonstrating that she’s changed by sticking around. After Doctor in the Photo, after Daredevil – events in both those episodes would have sent the old Brennan off to another continent.

      • Yeah, I think it is a good thing Booth, and Brennan for that matter, are taking it slow. For the most part, I am perfectly happy where Booth and Brennan are at this point in time. I think they are in an awkward phase, but it’s necessary and they are moving through it. They are feeling each other out again. Like Stephanie said, they have laid their cards on the table. They know where each other is at, but they are still being cautious. I think that they are both taking the precautions they need to be taking personally, to ensure that ending up together is the end point. Does that make sense?

      • How do you love someone when you have been so bruised by love that to stay means you might risk more injury? Yet, Brennan, as Barbara points out, stays. Booth stays. The dance now is not so much a slow waltz or tango, but a cautious attempt to find the right rhythm, the right steps that won’t send the other off to the corner to adjust shoes or wipe away the grime of the floor. It’s a dance without a name because they are inventing it as they go along.

        I see Booth as testing her limits, questioning her almost constantly in an attempt to determine if she’s going to stay put or take off; Brennan is standing tough, finding a way each time to make the puzzles he throws at her work for both of them. Compromise without compromising her principles or his.

        Trade Winds certainly sounds like B&B– when I first started reading I wondered if this was someone’s attempt to project the relationship into the future. And, as someone pointed out earlier in the post, it certainly seems to fit with HH’s philosophy with the characters, that sex does not define love and that it does not have to be the definition of couplehood. What defines a couple is really the ability to use the commonalities that bind them to hold them together as they negotiate the beliefs that threaten to pull them apart.

        Are they heroes? While both are deeply flawed people, their fundamental sense of justice puts them both in a unique position to act in heroic ways. Neither, I think, consciously looks to be the heroic figure (although Brennan’s selection of Wonder Woman and Booth’s eventual adoption of Clark Kent would suggest otherwise), but each looks to rise above the wreckage of human lives and give back a sense of humanity and dignity where there is little. That make both heroic because they come back time after time, no matter the personal cost, to serve others.

      • I thought Booth was just a Squint, not Clark Kent, but maybe I missed that. And if the Clark Kent thing is correct – I had a Light bulb moment!

        Brennan and Booth both chose Superheros. Brennan, the Real Hero. Booth, the mild-mannered reporter the Real Hero hides behind.

        There’s a Bones Theory suggested post for you. 🙂

      • Mj, In The Mummy In The Maze, Booth first said he was a squint when he was originally going to the party at the Jeffersonia but, after they caught the killer/kidnapper then they went back to the Jeffersonian and they had this conversation:
        BRENNAN: Where is everybody?
        BOOTH: At the party, I guess.
        BRENNAN: We could still go.
        BOOTH: Ah, we look like hell.
        BRENNAN: It’s a Halloween party. We could be Wonder Woman and…what’s Superman’s secret identity?
        BOOTH: Clark Kent.
        BRENNAN: Yes. We could be Wonder Woman and Clark Kent after a really, really bad date.
        BOOTH: Yeah, bad date because you shot me.
        BRENNAN: It was only a flesh wound. And you dropped me on my head!
        BOOTH: After you shot me! Okay, I think I got you on this one. Okay, Wonder Woman?

        So Booth was a Squint and then Clark Kent.

      • Thanks! I remembered the Squint part but not the Clark Kent reference. I’m glad it was the same situation – I thought I’d missed an entire costume party!

      • Hey MJ-it’s too funny; I just wrote a post that I sent to Seels a bit ago titled “Clark Kent or Superman, will the real Seeley Booth please stand up?” I think it’s in line to get posted soon.

  6. First of all, excellent post! It really did remind me of a paper I would’ve written back in my college English Lit classes! 🙂 Second of all, I think the part of your post that really stands out to me is the idea that some people gave that the changes we’ve seen in Brennan have “fundamentally weakened her character.” I can’t understand how people can’t see how much stronger Brennan is now than she was before Doctor in the Photo. I think it’s because she has let herself be more vulnerable that she has made herself stronger. She hasn’t changed WHO she is at all; rather, she has changed how she exists in this world. She has taken more chances, allowed herself to make decisions based on her emotions, and challenged herself to see things from perspectives she would never have considered in the past. Brennan FINALLY gets that being impervious does not make you strong, it makes you closed off to the world. She FINALLY is willing to let her guard down even if it means she could get hurt. It will be in those times of pain that she will truly show how strong she is.

    I was overjoyed when Brennan told Booth she didn’t want to have any regrets. I was even more overjoyed when she cried thinking she had missed her chance with Booth. Of course, it was hard seeing Brennan so upset but, at the same time, it was a huge moment for her. She allowed herself not only to feel pain but to acknowledge, experience, and admit it. In the past she would have reasoned things out and determined what she was feeling was fleeting and not relevant to her life in any major way. She would have compartmentalized that moment of disappointment and simply moved on because it would have been the logical thing to do. It’s become clear to me that now she just can’t do that anymore. No, wait, it’s not that she can’t, it’s that she is choosing not to do that anymore. She is evolving. Once upon a time she sought to help Booth evolve. Now, however, she is helping herself to evolve from an impervious substance to a strong substance.

    BTW, the excerpts from Trade Winds immediately reminded me of Brennan & Booth. I might just have to read that book myself now. 🙂

    • Part of Brennan’s vulnerability that makes her stronger is seen in her unending attempts at humor. Yes, they sometimes fall short of being funny (and since humor is subjective that is certainly up for debate), but it is also in her ability to find a middle ground for them of late. She was shot down by Booth and continued to work with him, not even going the angsty route (like he did) but facing her mistake and moving on.

      I agree that it is her choice to face these things right now and most people who face down the adversity or the unpleasantness or the overwhelming emotions as she has been doing have a fundamentally stronger foundation than those who run. Brennan isn’t running now and she’s trying to be uber-supportive of Booth even when she is not getting what she wants from him or when he is pursuing Yetis. Just look at how she reacted to Vincent vs. Booth– Vincent she laughs at and while she realizes she’s probably hurt his feelings, she doesn’t give ground; with Booth she looks for a way to understand his sighting of the Yeti and make sense of it that allows them both to save face in a way. She could have laughed at Booth’s sighting and discounted what he saw, but she chose to support him. That’s strength. It’s like people who forgive others– they are stronger for having let go of the anger and pain and disappointment than those who hang onto it for dear life.

  7. First of all, I am still giggling about the rose-colored glasses. Totally guilty as charged and guilty with pride. 😉

    I really love this part of the quote you included:
    “There would be times when she would remember his sins and throw them in his face, and others when he would resent her virtues and be exasperated by them – and by her. There was a part of Hero that he would never be able to possess, and a part of himself that would always be beyond her reach.”
    This is Booth and Brennan through and through. And I love them for it. It is all a part of that “heart of the matter” and that fundamental “sameness” in their cores.

  8. Oooh you used my quote-I do love my Boothie! What makes Brennan and Booth so heroic in my eyes is the bravery they have shown in overcoming terrible things in their past and turning all of that pain into something extraordinary. They have chosen not only to lead productive lives where others may have taken an easier or less honorable route, but also to prevent further injustices from occuring. Even when it’s been painful, they’ve picked themselves up and gone right back into the ring. Yes, they have flaws but both of them are constantly working at overcoming them. This makes them more, not less, heroic in my view And I couldn’t agree with you more. Brennan didn’t change for anyone; the moral, strongwilled, kind person from earlier seasons is still there. The change in perception that you spoke about occured because she understood that her narrow world view was causing her to miss out on parts of life that she was beginning to value; what isn’t capable of bending gets battered in the storm. By choosing to bend and take a risk in Doctor in the Photo, she actually allowed herself not only to survive, but to thrive.

  9. In search of a hero, could be what everyone is doing at some point in their life. Booth and Brennan more than most. Brennan appears to be super independant on the outside, yet on the inside she is searching for that person who’ll lift the weight of the world off of her shoulders. Booth comes across as a tough guy on the outside, but is hurt and vulnerable on the inside, searching for someone to make him feel whole. Each are living their lives trying to be their own hero’s, while searching out that hero that will lift the burdens that weigh them individually down.

    Can a person love a antihero? It all depends on the circumstances and the person. I often like a story with a central character that no matter what they attempt in life, they often end up failing, or being disappointed. A character that lacks qualities that others would attribute to that of a hero is still admirable. Whether they are jaded, flawed, or just have a cloud of doom over them, I tend to find them more facinating than a traditional hero. According to Booth, you need to be bad in order to be good. Some characters just need to be bad more of the time, than good. I do like this, it makes the world less predictable and less stuffy. These antiheros lack that quality that might make life easier for them. I tend to see them as someone who usually will take the road less traveled because that is the way their mind works. An antihero will usually not take the easy way in life. Whether they choose to or not their path is usually more challenging. A character that constantly does destructive things or falls into unfortunate circumstances can be likable. I view them as people that despite their limited attributes or qualties, will still keep trying and often are those that will not give up when others would. An antihero lives life often expecting the worst, and lives with fewer expectations than the rest of the world. I admire this quality.

  10. I’m totally and completely with you on this one. Nice post. Loved the insight into Brennan’s change and Booth’s foibles.

  11. I’m going to derail my own post for a minute in order to shamelessly plug the Written in Bone exhibit at the Natural History Museum in Washington DC that Owl wrote about awhile back. We saw it today and it was fantastic. We had three kids with us (including a very crabby 2.5-year old) so I didn’t get a chance to look at it and read as much as I would have liked, but what I saw was very neat. I walked through the whole first part of the exhibit saying to my husband, “they do this on Bones” and “they do that on Bones” – it was pretty cool and definitely something that every Bones geek should see if they get the chance.

    Back to your regularly scheduled programming now. 🙂 (Great discussion by the way!)

  12. At the risk of redundant here—- I’ll just say that I agree with pretty much everyone in that this was an fantastic post. Cheers to you.

    I just want to add, what I truly enjoyed was how you said the real change in Brennan was the fact she made the choice to change—she chose to lose her imperviousness, risk being hurt, and from that she becomes stronger in the end. It’s a message we have heard before, or something of that sort…When I read that, two quotes came to mind (both from wise wizards in literature….because yes, I am a nerd 🙂 )

    “It is our choices… that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” ~Dumbledore

    But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” ~Gandalf

    Anytime I read or hear that kind of message, I feel a little rush of hope, of self-empowerment…A much needed boost. Too often, we are the only ones truly holding ourselves back.

    I join in with the crowd who are proud of Brennan. 🙂

    Nice nice, post. Made my day.

  13. Great post. My studies in math don’t really prepare me for these kinds of reviews, and English lit days are so far behind me. But I will respond so I can be counted among those who admire the tenacity that Booth and Brennan share to lead the lives they do despite their painful pasts. Compartmentalizing isn’t totally a bad thing, because I think they both had to do some of that to be successful in their different stages of life as they matured.

    I agree that Brennan is not changing who she is fundamentally, but she does recognize what she was missing out on in life by not really letting herself be more open with those closest to her. To me, the question was never can Brennan feel emotions. She always has, but she may not always identify them correctly, and often lets them take a back seat to her logic and rationality. What I see now is Brennan keeping her logic, but somehow there’s an essence of “heart” that’s started to get interwoven in there. She is definitely stronger by not running away in the face of heartache she was facing for so long.

    Their discussion at the end of the Bones on the Blue Line was about soulmates. Then the 100th happened, and left viewers trying to figure out what was that all about. Watching it the first time, it seemed like Booth would be obvious choice of the one who would wait as long as it takes for his soulmate. But with everything that transpired after that, and examining the situation now, who would of thought that Brennan would be the one waiting for her “soulmate” (if she were to believe in such a word)? Now that takes strength.

    • I just wanted to add more thing about Brennan’s strength. It’s really been amazing to watch how her relationship with her father has changed. Before, she called him Max and it took some persuading for her to help mend that relationship and even visit him in prison. But now, she calls him Dad, talks to him, and shares her affection more.

  14. Hey!

    Aaahh, great post!

    (This is also so I get the emails again since I lost my old email password 😦

    Thanks! 🙂

  15. Great post — I will add this book to the long list of works I intend to read. I think Booth is very much the hero instead of the antihero. He has his human failings of course but he more than makes up for those in effort, heart and the search for justice. Brennan sounds much like the Hero character you reference. She was always strong but keeps getting stronger in her effort to tear down her walls. She is recognizing that often the potential rewards outweigh the risks she must take in relationships. She has begun to see the value of a long-lasting love — that can only make her stronger.

  16. Stephanie, I just loved reading this post, you did an amazing job with it. I’ve never read Trade Wind, heck, I’ve never heard of it before reading this, but I sure want to read it now. 🙂

    I love what you have to say about the changes Brennan has undergone this season and that they are growth, not a weakening of her character. I’ve seen comments about the changes in her being negative and I usually find myself wondering if I’m watching the same show as the people voicing the negative opinions.

    To answer your question about antiheroes, I think we are able to love them as much as “regular” heroes, but as with all things, it depends on the character. For example, I’d say Han Solo fits the bill as an antihero and people love him. Severus Snape could probably be considered an antihero in some respects too, but he’s not a sympathetic character.

    As others have said, though, I don’t see Booth (or Brennan for that matter) as an antihero. Booth and Brennan are flawed, they are imperfect and they are both scared to open themselves up to someone else, but I don’t think that makes them antiheroes. I think it just makes them realistic and relate-able.

    “There would be times when she would remember his sins and throw them in his face, and others when he would resent her virtues and be exasperated by them – and by her. There was a part of Hero that he would never be able to possess, and a part of himself that would always be beyond her reach. But for some unfathomable reason they were the right people for each other. They should not have been, but they were. Each supplied a crying lack in the other, and possibly Fate had known what it was about when it tipped Hero Hollis overboard in mid-ocean and permitted Emory Frost to rescue her…

    This beautifully written middle paragraph from your quote struck me as most befitting Booth and Brennan; when I was reading it I was thinking “wow, that’s Booth and Brennan”. If you sub in “…possibly Fate had known what it was about when it had Camille Saroyan send Special Agent Seeley Booth to American University to seek out Dr. Temperance Brennan’s help with his unsolved case…” suddenly, it is all about Booth and Brennan.

    I really need to track down a copy of the book… I’m hooked from that one little passage…

  17. Pingback: You Say You Want a Resolution? « Bones Theory

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