Bones Theory

Following The Laws of Physics to Break Them?


Hey fellow Bones fans! Happy Bones Day! I am beyond honored to be allowed to post my random thoughts here at Bones Theory, and I just wanted to say thanks to Sarah for allowing me to hang with the fantastic essayists here. So, without further adieu…

Do B&B Have To Literally Follow The Laws of Physics In Order to Break Them? 

Newton’s first law of motion (physics) states, basically, that an object that is at rest will stay at rest unless an unbalanced force acts upon it, and an object that is in motion will not change its velocity unless an unbalanced force acts upon it. So what does this mean in relation to Booth and Brennan’s relationship? Well, let’s start with the first part of the first law:

An object that is at rest will stay at rest unless an unbalanced force acts upon it.

I think we can all agree that before the 100th, Booth and Brennan were definitely an object at rest. They were not “going somewhere”, they were stagnant in their relationship, and it seemed as though Brennan was (at the time) perfectly happy to stay that way. Booth obviously was not satisfied, but whether he was aware that she wasn’t ready or was just too scared to try and move them, we don’t know for sure. Either way, together they were like the golf ball that teeters maddeningly at the edge of the hole, not quite close enough to the edge to tip in but so close that you have to waste a stroke to get it there. So what force acted as the catalyst? Was it Sweets, goading Booth into throwing his cards on the table in the most important hand of his gambling career? I have to say that, without the young psychologist giving Booth that push, he might never have asked Brennan to give them a chance, and it’s entirely possible that they would have hung onto the edge of that 18th hole forever. Sweets’ challenge to Booth set them in motion, for better or for worse. Does that make Sweets responsible for what happened after? Some might disagree, but I say no. Booth is and always will be responsible for his own actions, as is Brennan. Yes, Sweets was their ‘unbalanced force’, but he was not the reason they were at rest in the first place. That is entirely on Booth and Brennan.

B&B 100

So how does the second part of Newton’s law come in?

An object that is in motion will not change its velocity unless an unbalanced force acts upon it.

After Booth and Brennan came back from their respective trips, they were in motion, so to speak. Were they moving away from each other? I believe they were. Yes, they remained friends and worked as well together as they ever had, but they didn’t have the same report they had pre-100th. Was it the distance (literal) that caused the distance (figuratively) or was it the drastic change in their interpersonal dynamic known as Hannah?

I believe that Brennan came to some realizations while she was in Indonesia. No, not that she was in love with Booth…I think she already knew that. I believe that she came to see how much Booth meant to her life. Not just on a daily basis, but as a whole. Brennan realized how she had allowed Booth to permeate every facet of her existence, and his loss was palpable. And when they reunited and she was introduced to the reality of Hannah…that Booth had moved on and was not going to be able to be everything to her that he was before they left each other…it softened her in very subtle ways. We all saw the looks, however you choose to interpret them, and they showed just how much Brennan was heading towards the epiphany we witnessed in Doctor in the Photo. I fervently believe that had Booth come back without Hannah, Brennan’s confession in the SUV might not have happened that way. Being presented with Booth’s efforts to distance himself from everything Brennan had represented to him, and transferring that to Hannah instead, was a physically painful blow to Brennan that I don’t believe she anticipated. She prides herself on her compartmentalization, but the irony of that situation is that Booth was the reason she couldn’t distance herself from her feelings for him. He had made her strong, no longer so impervious…and yet he was the sole reason she needed to be both. And when Dr. Lauren Eames death and the realities of her life penetrated Brennan’s shell, her weakness brought on by Booth’s seemingly successful attempt to move on from her allowed that realization to take place.

I’ve said before elsewhere that the reason Booth continued on with Hannah had a lot to do with Brennan’s confession. He needed to prove that he had a very good reason to turn down this woman who meant the world to him, and to escalate things with Hannah, to the point of a marriage proposal, was his way of doing that. “See, I didn’t turn Bones down for nothing. I am in love with Hannah, I didn’t make a mistake.” But I also believe that Booth had to continue on with Hannah, propose, and get hurt again…in order to see what Brennan had seen from him since almost the beginning. That Brennan isn’t going anywhere either. Even after he gives her what is essentially an ultimatum (Forget anything between you and me ever happening, just be my partner and friend), she stays. Because, as he discovered when she asked the exact same thing of him (Can we still work together?), when you love someone, you do whatever you can to make them happy. Even if the reality of living with that choice day-to-day hurts you more than anything you’ve ever experienced. They both finally saw what a rare relationship they had with the other. So in the end, Hannah was necessary to, in essence, slam into Booth and Brennan and change their velocity.

B&B Mastadon

However you view Sweets’ and Hannah’s role in the matter, Booth and Brennan were in need of those unbalanced forces. Yes, they ended up leaving each other for opposite sides of the world and yes, Booth met Hannah during that separation, but the simple fact of the matter is that if none of that had happened, Booth and Brennan might still be circling around each other, denying their attraction for the safety of their current relationship. Booth and Brennan are a perfect example that maybe sometimes; you have to follow the laws of physics to eventually break them.

B&B EitB

So, what do you think? Did Booth and Brennan need a nudge in the right direction or would they have gotten there all on their own? Share your theories!


30 thoughts on “Following The Laws of Physics to Break Them?

  1. I love the posts on here! They always make you think! Here’s what popped into my head after reading your post.

    “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

    Yes, Sweets was the catalyst that got Booth in motion, and I would continue that thought with Booth being then the catalyst that caused Brennan to actually go to Indonesia. Sort of a domino effect began happening. We have seen that Brennan has had opportunities to work overseas (like when they were on their way to China or vacation like Sully’s invitation) which presented situations but nothing really ever stuck. Booth–and their stalemate–was the tie that kept her coming back. Booth started the dominos toppling by his speech and kiss in the 100th (swoon!) The next domino falls and Brennan decides to leave, freeing the next domino, ie, Booth’s departure and search for love.

    Enter Hannah. She topples the next domino just by appearing. Booth appears serious. Brennan kind of freaks out. Her safety net is suddenly gone and she then realizes that she had begun to depend on Booth’s steady presence and caring in her life.

    The Doctor case toppled yet another domino for Brennan. It shook her so much she actually confessed feelings to Booth. Which is huge for her!

    I think the Elevator episode stopped the dominos from falling. Now they are in a stalemate again, but a new stalemate, frought with meaning. The dates that they burned leave us still open-ended. What will start the dominos toppling again? What event will break this new stalemate? And will this new domino falling break up our beloved B & B or make them stronger than ever??? I can’t wait to find out!!

  2. So, what do you think? Did Booth and Brennan need a nudge in the right direction or would they have gotten there all on their own?

    I believe you are correct when you said that they needed a nudge to move forward in their relationship. Brennan was satisfied with their relationship (before 100th) and would have wanted things to remain the way they were. Booth working with her, being around her, being her best friend. She didn’t want to risk losing Booth by being more intimate so she was satisfied with the way things were.

    Booth was not satisfied with the way things were between him and Brennan; but, he was afraid to move forward because he wasn’t sure how Brennan would react. He didn’t know if Brennan really loved him and he too was afraid to risk losing her in his life.

    The impetus that moved Booth to ask Brennan to commit to him and then when rejected to move on was needed for Booth to see that Brennan was the one he was meant to be with. Hannah was the rebound affair. Booth tried to move on in the affairs of the heart; but, he still needed and wanted to remain friends with Brennan. He forced himself to change and be the perfect boyfriend to prove to Hannah that he was the one for her. Being with Hannah forced Booth to try to move away from Brennan; but, when Hannah rejected him, this actually forced Booth back towards Brennan. It scared him that no one wanted what he had to offer and yet Brennan told him she would not leave him. This is something he needed to hear.

    Brennan needed to see that Booth could and would withdraw from her in her life. She needed to see that in order for someone to be able to commit their life to her, she needed to do the same. Booths affair with Hannah forced Brennan to see that if she wanted Booth in her life she needed to accept what he had to offer. Seeing Hannah she realised that she may have thrown away her chance to be with the one she really loved in this world. Now that Hannah and Booth are no longer a couple the impetus is there for Booth and Brennan to move forward in their relationship. The only thing that is keeping Booth and Brennan apart is their hesitation. They still are being cautious in their relationship because the one thing they fear is that if they are wrong this time and they are not ready to commit to each other, they could both lose the one thing they value the most in this world and that is each other.

  3. Oh my goodness, I decided to reread the fanfic Silent Mistakes and started on it yesterday. Brennan uses this exact law of physics in the fic. I had forgotten all about that until I read it again last night, then to come here and read this post today, that’s funny (now of course in the fic things went a bit smoother for your couple than it did in the show when Booth decided to be an unbalanced force).

    OK now to stick to your post, and the actual show. As much as I hate to admit it (because this storyline has been painful for me) I do think they were stuck and would have teetered on the edge of that hole indefinitely if the unbalanced force had not acted on them.

    When I rewatch the 100th I tend to want to pop Sweets with a rubber band when he starts with the Booth you’re a gambler, but I know he really is not at fault for what happened. Booth was the one who made the decision on how to act on things (if you can call complete impulse a decision). Booth was the one who chose to essentially ambush Brennan with 50 years, and Brennan is the one who panicked and pushed him away.

    You know throughout the 5th season I really thought Brennan was moving toward seeing that a romantic relationship between the two of them was a very real possibility. I would have encouraged Booth to move forward with her, now I would not have encouraged him to go about it the way he did, but still I would have encouraged an attempt. I still hate the way it played out. Not that I hate the show or the episodes we got because I don’t I still love this show. But I do think that maybe this is the way it had to play out for everything to come together right in the end. I think all of this will in the end make them stronger as a couple (fire tested and all that). The storyline did set them in motion and did move Brennan onto a path she needed to be on, and in case anyone thinks I believe Brennan was the only one to change, no I think it also moved Booth onto a different path, one he needed to be on to have a relationship with Brennan work. They both not only needed to be spurred into action, they need to be set on the right path with that motion otherwise they might just have bounced off each other and been sent off in different directions.

  4. My point of view is that the creator wouldn’t have written the story as he did if these events didn’t need to happen. Hence Brennan needed to say no, she needed to go to Maluku, Booth needed to move on, Hannah needed to exist, in order to achieve something and its our responsibility as interpreters of the text to figure out what that something is.

    Which you’ve done just beautifully here! Nothing left to say but “I concur, vehemently.”

  5. As annoyed as I am sometimes with Sweets, I’ve never blamed him (much) for goading Booth into action. Either in the 100th or in the bar before The Proposal. Sometimes, things need to happen and sometimes, that means does something we don’t like in order for something else to happen we do like.

    Back when I went to church, I had a discussion with a minister about Judas and why I always thought (still do) that he carries a lot of blame when he was basically just playing his part. Christ had to be betrayed. He had to die so He could be resurrected. So, really, Judas was the linchpin in that sequence. Instead of vilifying him, Christians should be grateful to him. He sat in motion the events that lead to the resurrection. The minister wasn’t too thrilled with my point of view, to put it mildly.

    I think you’re right, that left alone, B&B would probably have continued with their mild flirtation for as long as both could stand it, until it died slowly from boredom and ennui. As painful as the leap into the unknown has been, I’m glad it happened. I think they will be, as well.

  6. Lovely post, and I really like that there’s no blame placed on either Booth or Brennan for anything that has happened. I’ve never faulted Sweets for his words in the 100th, and while I do believe that they were the catalyst at that point in time for Booth’s declaration, my guess from everything that when on earlier in season 5 is that Booth was going to approach her sooner or later. He was kind of on edge all season, and several times seemed on the verge of approaching her romantically. I say it was just a matter of time; I’m also certain that she would have said no regardless of what he said or when he said it because she simply wasn’t ready. She already had a lot of the benefits of being in a relationship with him without taking the ultimate risk of possibly losing her heart. When she asked him to stay and he said yes it was a form of perpetuating the comfortable status quo. It worked for a while, at least until the Gravedigger’s trial made her think long and hard about her feelings for Booth and what would happen if she lost him. She realized that she was too invested in him already, so she had to distance herself from him. His declaration had provoked scary feelings which couldn’t be brushed aside anymore; once you let the genie out of the bottle you can’t just put it back in.

    So she left Booth and created a huge vacuum in his life. It was a vacuum he tried to fill by rejoining the military and later hooking up with Hannah. I agree with you that when Brennan came back she still wasn’t willing to move forward with him although she had started to think about what that would be like. A big breakthrough, but still not enough. It took seeing Booth with Hannah, seeing him transfer his time and his attentions to her, to create the same vacuum for Brennan that he had experienced when she left. Sure, he was still there but all of their surrogate relationship moments-their easy banter, the little intimacies at bars or their respective homes-all this was gone, and it left her feeling bereft. By saying no to him she thought she could keep what they already had without rislking anything else, but it turned out that she ended up losing all that she valued anyway.

    I really liked your view that Booth felt he needed to prove to Brennan that he hadn’t turned her down for nothing by proposing to Hannah. He must have been shocked by her confession and he must have known how difficult those words were for her. Turning her down couldn’t be done for a casual relationship, so he proposed to Hannah in order to convince himself that what they had was the real thing, real enough to warrant hurting Brennan. Booth is now once again facing a sort of vacuum; he’s the guy that most people in his life have walked away from. Because she did that once before and feels like she needs to earn his trust, Brennan is now patiently telling and showing him that she’s not going to leave him again, no matter what. At this point he just needs time, time to understand that she really means it before the momentum can pick up again.

  7. I agree that they needed something to push them from their comfort zones into territories in which both had to face the loss of the other and do something in order to decide what and who they wanted in their lives. Certainly Brennan saw her expectations needed to change as she saw others around her change and her relationship with Booth become altered with the addition of Hannah. That loss of rapport with Booth continues, but it isn’t as uncomfortable. The UST that was palpable for much of the first 5 seasons has been replaced with a different feeling entirely– an understanding, a letter of intent, if you will– that something will happen between them but at a time and a moment in which both of them are ready.

    Sweets’ interference and Hannah’s presence had to happen (although I would argue that the Hannah storyline could have been done differently and succeeded) in order for the Bs to understand what they might have lost. Yes, Booth had to continue on with Hannah in order to prove he had something even after giving up on Brennan. (Yes, I do think he gave up on her prematurely, but as you pointed out, it had to happen in some form in order for there to be movement.) I would speculate that at some time in the future, if Booth is honest with himself and with Brennan, that a truthful discussion needs to take place between the two of them. The simple act of Booth saying to Brennan, yes, I never quite “left” you or I could not really replace you with Hannah, or some such discussion would go a long way to healing the rift between them, give the fans hope and maybe end some of the negativity that permeates the fandom. (I like being optimistic about such things.)

    • I had an interesting conversation about Hannah the other day and a friend of mine brought up a good point. What I think was wrong about Hannah may have been “wrong on purpose.” Hannah had to be someone Booth would be attracted to and would love, but not someone Booth would LOVE-love. She couldn’t be someone who was too “right,” otherwise the story of B&B might have gone in a different direction. There had to be something just a little off about her and/or about their relationship. Something that would be obvious to Booth, even if only subconsciously or realized later after the relationship ended.

      I don’t know if the writers are that devious, but if HH is following some kind of basic outline for this story, the “Wrongness of Hannah” could have been the Wrongness on Purpose of Hannah.

      • MJ, I completely agree with you about Hannah. To me she was actually like a Brennan-lite. She’s a strong female character, who’s great at her job, who’s passionate about what she does, beautiful, and intelligent. Booth also saved Hannah’s life. She’s also like Brennan, more in the earlier years when Brennan was dogmatic and unwilling to change or recognize that she even needed to. Hannah is still career-minded and not given to forming lasting relationships.

        I think this is part of the reason Hannah and Brennan became friends. They are very similar in a lot of ways I mentioned above.

        However, Brennan is different. She’s been with Booth for years, knows him very well, and has been saved by him more times 🙂 than Hannah. They have a very deep bond. Brennan has also learned to cultivate meaningful relationships with others. Brennan also used to love traveling more for her career, but has pretty much become “Booth’s partner” (with the exception of Maluku which caused a rift) Booth, specifically is the reason for many of these changes.

        Hannah just is not in the right place. She has not gone through the things Brennan has and maybe in a few years down the road, she will want to settle down with a Booth of her someday, but she just doesn’t have the history and depth of understand that B & B have, and even if Booth had not proposed when he did, I think it would have eventually come between him and Hannah that he is so close to Brennan. This just made for a cleaner break but I think it would have been inevitable.

        So yes, I think Hannah was subconciously chosen by Booth for those reasons and definitely conciously chosen by the writers for those reasons. It helps both Booth and Brennan realize some things about their “partnership” and moves the storyline along. I was wondering what Hannah was going to do to the story, but as I think about it, I think it was well done (though I hate to see Booth in pain!) and I’m anxious to see what develops!

  8. I love the visual you’ve created and your thought process Jen. And I agree – the nudge needed to happen because I’m not at all convinced that either one of them would have ever moved on their own. The status quo was just too comfy and the risks were just too great. It’s kind of ironic that it’s taken both of them essentially losing what they feared losing the most (each other) for them to finally find the courage to move forward together.

    Oh, and I absolutely 100% agree with you that Brennan loved Booth before she went to Maluku.

    • Stephanie, I agree with you (and Jen) about Brennan loving Booth before Maluku…because I think that is exactly why she left. If she did not feel that way towards Booth, she would have been fine staying there, regardless of his admission/kiss on the 100th ep, because in her eyes, she was not in love so no reason to change. She flat out got scared at being confronted with his emotions, I think she was in love with him for years to be honest but wouldn’t admit it. Now that he had put it out there, she turned tail and ran. So yes, she definitely loved him, and realized it, before Maluku. But I think it was also good for them to be apart because I think that also helped her to realize her mistake…and then we all just had to wait for Hannah to run its course 🙂

  9. Great essay. And, I fully agree with your fundamental premise: that they were stalled and needed a push.

    That said, I will never accept that the way HH CHOSE (thanks, Barbara) to push them was the only way to push them. And, I don’t have to like it. Yeah, it’s HH’s story, but that doesn’t mean that I have to try to make myself like it or search deeply in the text for some way to accept and love it. In short, I hated this season. I hated what happened between B&B. And, just because we now have some hope and we may get a small “change in the game” in the finale, I will not change my view of this season. It was a depressing nightmare. it’s supposed to be an escape from RL, and it was more upsetting than RL which took some work given how cr*ppy RL is at the moment.

    Also, I don’t trust that the “change in the game” will really be much of anything. I still don’t believe a word coming from HH, et al.. No expectations, no disappointment.

    Let the vegetables fly!

    • I get your frustrations; but, this is a very complex story and I am not sure how HH could have handled Booth and Brennan’s relationship without jumping the shark and doing something totally unbelievable. Booth and Brennan have been written as deeply complex characters that have had to be pushed into seeing each other as something other than friends. I can’t say I was happy with the first part of season 6; but, now that I think I see where HH is going I believe I can understand what he was trying to do and I appreciate it. He has given our favorite couple a lot to consider before finally commiting to each other and I believe HH is doing it in such a way that once Booth and Brennan are together, their relationship won’t blow up. If Booth and Brennan have disappointed each other and tested each other to the extent that it looks like they would split permanently and yet they didn’t, then when they do get together we will be confident that though conflicts will arise in their relationship, we won’t have to worry about HH tearing them apart again. At least I hope so.

      At least that is my possitive spin I am putting on this season.

      • I much prefer the Hannah storyline to what could have logically happened (and does happen on so many shows)-Booth and Brennan get together only to break up, and then very late in the series, get back together again. I hate shows that do this, and I’d rather stick it out with Hannah for a few episodes than have a B/B hook-up/falling out. I’m sure there were other ways than Hannah to get them on the same page, but at least I felt that the scenario was realistic. Painful and nausea inducing, but realistic.

      • You all are entitled to come to those conclusions if they work for you. I am equally entitled to come to a different conclusion; i.e., that there were many other ways to go and I wish they had gone another way.

        For me it won’t be MORE wonderful when they finally exchange I love you’s. It will be good, but the angst will not make it better. In fact, to some extent, the angst has left me too drained to get all that excited about anything any more. Maybe when they start bickering and bantering again, when the heart of the show/the center is fully restored. We’ll see.

        As to they will be stronger: maybe they will, maybe they won’t. We’ll never know because there is no control in this experiment.

    • Well, I hated it too. But I was thinking today…the best stories make us feel for the characters. I know I was devastated and stunned at the end of the 100th…which is probably how Booth felt too. The episodes from the 100th to the finale were painful to watch – I expect that mirrors how the characters felt too. And the season finale was just heartbreaking, which again, is probably how at least Booth felt! Then we have this season, in which I’ve felt confused, hopeless, awkward, embarrassed — which is probably how Brennan felt.

      I wasn’t suggesting you should like or love this season. Or that viewers in general shouldn’t want a happier ending. But fiction isn’t necessarily an escape from real life; I would argue the best fiction is, in fact, true to life, and life contains, as you say yourself, a certain amount of crappiness. Now, if you don’t want your fiction true to life, if you want it all happiness, that is perfectly fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just not what happened on this particular show. I guess I don’t understand blaming the show (or the creator of the show) because it just isn’t what a viewer wants it to be.

      None of this is intended as a flying vegetable.

      • It didn’t have to be all happiness, but it didn’t have to be quite so awful either. And, I agree quick hook up and later break up — not the way to go either.

        Of course one should blame whoever makes these decisions about the show. It was their decision to go there. They were responsible for making the show so angst-inducing for the characters and the viewer. As a viewer, I then had to make the decision whether to watch or not, and I came very close to quitting Bones altogether.

        Just as it’s ok to say you didn’t like how a writer handled something in a book, why is it not ok to say I don’t like how he handled ep 100 and afterward? Why is everyone so intent on proving that HH was right — even though most people (here anyway) found the SL very upsetting? Why do we need to rationalize it into something wonderful, when it was so upsetting to most? Why make the argument for HH? It’s his job to make the argument — or write it in such a way, that there’s nothing to really argue with.

        This is the part I don’t understand. Why is everyone arguing that it was just as it had to be? One can argue that he was wrong in a moderate, well-thought out and polite manner. Why isn’t anyone else making that argument?

        And, it’s still pretty painful to watch. I hope (I make no assumptions based on anything they say any more) that things have turned a corner, but there’s still a lot of distance between them. I don’t see how they get past that any time soon, although if HH wants them to, they will. In the meantime, there’s hope, but it’s still more upsetting than enjoyable to watch.

        It also occurred to me later, after someone wrote about Hannah being purposely wrong, that they didn’t even do that all that well. There was really no point at which Hannah seemed a truly credible threat, once we got a “look” at her. She wasn’t a fully fleshed out character, and I think most people agree that Winnick was quite annoying in her portrayal.

        Perhaps it’s because HH claims that the end game is them together, that it’s was hard to see her as a real threat — or maybe it was just wishful thinking. But, I’m arguing that they didn’t fully commit to that character. She was really just a tool. If that’s all she was, then why bother? Why put everyone through the nightmare?

        I know it sounds like I’m contradicting myself, but it’s this whole problem of believing anything they say. If you’re going to tear them apart and interject someone who presents a real threat, then do it. Don’t dance around it.

        Or, perhaps don’t be so adamant that the end game is B&B together.

      • It’s not that it’s not okay, Angelena. At least for me. If you want to say “they should have done X instead of Y” of course that’s fine.

        But what does that leave you with?

        I wanted Brennan to say yes. They could have written it so that Brennan said yes. They didn’t. No amount of polite, thought out, moderate argument will change the fact that she didn’t say yes. Or that Hannah didn’t exist. Or that the proposal didn’t happen.

        It’s not that you *can’t* argue those things, for me it’s how much energy do we want to spend arguing that things that happened, that we can’t change, shouldn’t have happened?

        I’m not rationalizing what happened into something wonderful. I’m trying to find meaning in the show that is, because the show I wanted is NOT, and isn’t ever going to be.

        I feel that I personally have two choices – accept the show and find meaning in it or quit watching. Watching and constantly reminding myself how disappointed I am in what didn’t happen does not give me any pleasure. I’m only speaking for myself, here.

      • I think I simply wanted to be entertained, regardless of where the story took us and they didn’t do that for me. I was entertained in the early seasons….so what changed? Something changed in the writing that had nothing to do with the separation of B&B and this is what bugs me most. I can’t find meaning in 2 minute blips. Its not enough for me anymore. The stories were simply not interesting enough to keep me excited the way I had been in previous seasons.

        I’ve heard the argument before, quit watching if you no longer enjoy it. Its a valid argument and I’ve felt the same way myself about folks always posting negativity. But a lot of times their response was…….but I was once a huge fan of this show…I absolutely loved it…and when you tell me to stop watching…I feel like you’re telling me I wasn’t a true fan. I feel like you’re telling me my disappointment should be sufficient motivation to stop watching….etc.

        Why do we do this to them? What if they still cling to a small hope that something will improve? Aren’t fans allowed to be disappointed when something no longer pleases them? Why do we tell them to stop watching? Forums are as much a place for venting as they are for exchanging POVs that turn into great discussions.

        BTW, I fully recognize that this is a complete turnaround for me cuz I used to feel the same way about negative posters….until I stood in their shoes this season and realized…Hmm?….I wasn’t always accepting of their POVs as valid because they were negative and now I’m in the same place as they were 2 years ago. What changed for me? And the only thing I could come up with was….the stories became predictable and uneventful. I responded to what was put before me and my reactions were real and honest…and so I’m guessing the reactions of those people I discounted were probably also real and honest…and they were fans just like me. Why do we still watch? Cuz we still hope.

    • I am taking what was and instead of working very hard to find a positive meaning, I’m finding a negative meaning. That’s what I’m left with. It’s entirely valid to conclude that they could have and should have gone another way. I’m perfectly content with that. Why twist myself up to make it positive in my mind rather than just be displeased with it and go from there?

      I am not saying that Brennan had to say, “yes” or that any other particular thing had to happen. I’m saying that I think there were other choices they could have made that would have been appropriate and not so upsetting. There are probably an infinite number of other ways to handle B&B that didn’t have them hooking up immediately, that could have allowed Brennan to realize her error, etc., etc.

      • Barbara —

        It’s that change in the dynamic that was — and remains — so awful. That’s what I mean by the loss of the center and the loss of bickering and bantering. The magic’s gone. Maybe we’ll get it back, maybe we won’t. Maybe we’ll be too drained to care or even to recognize it.

        I’m also suggesting that people are spending just as much energy trying to convince themselves that it is as it has/had to be as I am spending not trying to convince myself of that. I”m probably spending less. I’m accepting that it’s been awful and then telling myself that it’s ok to hate it and to think that it could have been better if it had gone another way.

        Now we see if they can undo the damage in a believable way. 😉

  10. Yay for a wonderful post! Love what you’ve done here – such a clever use of physics. And I agree entirely about Hannah and what Sweets said being necessary to dislodge them from their holding pattern. (Though I still wish that every once in a while, Sweets would look at them and remember he’s a professional psychologist and not a child hoping his parents get back together…or a rabid fangirl, for that matter. Yeah, I know …hand wave time.)

    Anyway, although it’s not a hill I’m willing to die on, I tend to think Brennan was in love with him when she left, but didn’t know it – didn’t know that what she felt for him was what others identify as being in love. (Really, how do any of us know that? We know we love, but does that mean what we feel is THAT love? Sometimes it’s very clear, but oftentimes it’s not – perhaps especially when THAT love grows out of friendship.)

    While she feels what she feels, and accepts it, I think she looks to others to translate it, to help her interpret it. It was only mid-way through S4 when Angela sort of gave her permission to call what she felt for Booth ‘love’ of any type, in Hero. So she stepped back, I think, and thought, ‘okay, so partnership can include love, but it’s the love of friends.’

    She and Booth frequently tell one another ‘they’re just partners’ and so I think she frames things that happen between them as that kind of love: would a good friend help with plumbing? Yes. Would a good friend agree to be a ‘village’ for a child? Sure. In other words, most of the things we saw in early S5 that people point to as proof that Brennan was in love and ready, I can quite easily imagine her thinking, ‘of course I’ll do X – I love Booth as a friend.’ He reinforced this with his ‘atta girl’ qualification in Harbingers.

    When I was in college, both my roommate and I had good friends who were guys. Very good friends. We’d go out as a group sometimes, other times we’d pair off – go out to eat, go to movies, just hang out. There was a great deal of emotional intimacy between both me and my guy friend, and her and her friend in terms of things we’d share, etc. I’d pick things up in the store for him that I knew he needed without being asked; he loaned me his car one weekend when I had a family emergency and my car was in the shop (this was after teaching me to drive a standard transmission…)

    Here’s the catch: we all said we were just friends. And no one believed it. Everyone thought that both couples would eventually ‘go there.’ And for my roommate and her guy, it did: they’ve been happily married for over 20 years now. But me and my friend? Nope. College ended, we both went our ways with lots of ‘we’ll keep in touch.’ He married someone else a few years later.

    My point here is that on the surface, both relationships looked the same, as if we were heading towards very serious romantic relationships and just being cautious or whatever. The reality was that one couple was, one wasn’t. The true difference was how we viewed what was going on. My friend and I were quite aware of how things looked, and dismissed it. My roommate and her guy were the same for the first year or two.

    So when people say, ‘oh, there’s no way Brennan wasn’t ready and actively ready in early S5 – there’s something in nearly every episode that shows that,’ I disagree. Because I understand that it’s possible to frame any thing, any intimacy as friendship. So when Angela tells her, ‘you love Booth, we all do’ and when he tells her he loves her in an ‘atta girl’ kind of way while agreeing with her that they’re just partners…I think she believed it. “This is what deep friendship love between partners feels like.”

    I think she also really believed that if/when he began a romantic relationship, their relationship would remain essentially the same. Why wouldn’t it, if all they were were friends? And then Hannah came, and she began to realize immediately that everything was different. And I think that was when she figured out that what she felt was what others called being in love.

    But even if she had been able to say to herself, ‘I’m in love with Booth’ when she left, I don’t think that means she wanted a relationship with him. In our society, we assume A is followed by B, that if you’re in love with someone, you want to be with him in a committed relationship, and I don’t know that that’s a legit assumption, particularly where Brennan is concerned. I think it’s entirely possible for her to have separated out her feelings from what she wanted in a relationship and thought, ‘this relationship is working as is, why risk changing it?’ Obviously, if it’s not working for him, that’s a problem and why I think she wanted him to move on. (Because, see above, I still don’t think she had any idea how much him being in a relationship would change things between them.)

    • Rynogeny, I’m totally with you on the “a doesn’t always follow b, especially with Brennan” thought process. While I believe that Brennan has loved Booth in a “this is what forever is made out of” kind of way for awhile (read: well before the 100th episode), I absolutely believe that she wasn’t ready for a relationship prior to this season (not until after The Doctor in the Photo really). All the love in the world isn’t going to do you any good if you can’t believe in what it takes to make forever work. And quite frankly, at the time of the 100th, Brennan clearly didn’t – or at the very least, she believed she didn’t.

      I will admit that when I first saw the 100th episode, I was crushed. It’s taken a lot of thought and reflection and, honestly, watching this season unfold, to kind of put what happened in the 100th episode into context (at least for me). I think we’ve gotten enough evidence so far this season to prove that had Brennan given in to Booth that night, it would not have ended well (and that, for me at least, would have been way worse than what actually happened).

      People may hate the way the end of the 100th went down, but clearly SOMETHING needed to happen. And something did. If you look at the path B&B have traveled between the 100th episode and now, I think you can start to see that instead of an ending, the 100th episode (or perhaps somewhat more accurately, the season five finale) was in reality the beginning of their final obstacle-laden journey towards each other. Perhaps THAT was the meaning behind that tricky tease of a title?

    • Hart had a tricky job in season 5. He had to put in enough “evidence” that Brennan might be ready and that she might say yes to Booth or he just looks like an idiot for even asking. Yet he also had to put in enough “evidence” that she wasn’t ready and would say no, or she looks like a cock-teasing b*tch for turning him down.

      The problem, as I see, it, is that a large part of the audience (and I was one of them) saw the positive signs and didn’t see the negative ones and ended up feeling shocked and even betrayed. I will honestly say that in my case, I saw the positives because that is what I wanted to see. It was only on a second watch that I saw glimpses of Brennan NOT being ready.

      There also seems to have been this idea within the fandom that somehow Booth and Brennan had promised something to each other beyond meeting at the coffee cart. A lot of the rage and hostility toward Booth in season 6 apparently comes from a notion that he was unfaithful to Brennan, that Hannah was nothing short of infidelity, that he should have waited, indefinitely, for Brennan to change her mind.

      Of course as partially omniscient viewers, we know how Brennan really feels, but from Booth’s perspective – she said no. She said no, never, move on, I’m dating someone, I’m glad you’re dating someone, I’m going thousands of miles away for a year. Brennan wasn’t just playing super-hard to get here, she was not going to give Booth what he wanted from her, period.

      Another thing I see a lot is this despair that the B&B dynamic changed in season 6. Well of course it did. If Booth has a girlfriend, he can’t spend all his time with Brennan, eating their meals together, feeding her ice cream, showing up at her place at odd hours to talk or comfort her. That would be a betrayal of his romantic relationship. It would be wrong. It would be un-Boothy. All the things the audience loved about Booth in the first five seasons he still WAS in season 6. It just wasn’t directed at Brennan anymore, which was unbearable for some. I expect it was unbearable for Brennan too! More of that “audience feels what the characters feel” dynamic I mentioned in an earlier post.

    • Jen, great post. I really like it.
      Ryn, I whole-heartedly agree with what you’ve said here. And you’ve expressed so much of what I’ve thought better than I could (we have really smart people on BT). Even though outside people see a couple, I don’t think it’s as easy to distinguish friendship love from romantic love when you’re in the inside. I really believe Brennan was protecting Booth by saying no, and I debate whether she was protecting him or herself more. It’s not even so much that she wasn’t ready. The situation would have been a bit more optimistic if she had said that. It was more of an “I won’t” than “I can’t”. I really don’t blame her, though, because I could totally understand where she was coming from. Her saying no was her act of love, as ironic as it sounds. She admitted inadvertently to GGW that she couldn’t think of anything she wouldn’t do for Booth. She just wants to make sure he gets the kind of love that he desires and deserves. At the time, she didn’t think herself capable of giving it. Now, I think she’s beginning to see that she’s the right, and best, woman for the job.

      • Yep I have to agree. When Brennan told Booth she was protecting him she really meant it. She thought that she could not make him happy, that she would only end up hurting him. It really was an act of love on her part. I really was a “it’s not you, it’s me” situation in her mind.

      • I’m responding to Frankie, but can’t figure out how to do it.

        The irony is that Brennan was afraid that if they tried to be a couple she would hurt Booth and, by saying “no” and running away to Muluku, that’s precisely what she ended up doing — hurting him very, very deeply.

  11. Fantastic…I love it Thanks for sharing

  12. I agree with you 100% on this Jen. Which isn’t unusual…we usually agree wholeheartedly except for those times when we…you know…don’t 😉

    You know as well as anyone that i was not immediately on the Hannah train when the spoiler first hit but I eventually (because everything happens eventually…yeah yeah, i couldn’t resist! LOL) i understood exactly what you (and Mary!) had been trying to tell me (and everyone else that was freaking out! LOL).

    Hannah was necessary. Without her i don’t think Brennan would have ever come round to the fact that she needs Booth. Not just as a friend or a partner. Sure it was painful to watch at times (Emily rocked the heartcrushed looks!) but she needed to feel it and we needed to see it.

    Like you, i think if we’d have had no Hannah then we would never have a B/B. We’re not there yet…but it’s on the horizon! 😀

  13. Really loved this post, Jen! I totally agree with your theory. 🙂 That is all.

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