Bones Theory

You Say You Want a Resolution?

39 Comments

Hey there Bones Theory friends! It’s certainly an interesting time in the Bones world right now, is it not? There’s an exciting sense of anticipation in the air – and I’m not just talking about the impending birth of Angela and Hodgins’ baby [Side note:  this is just a little pet peeve of mine, but who goes to the hospital thinking they’re in labor after just two contractions? Seriously? Ange, sweetie, let me give you a little advice…first babies – more often than not they take their time. I realize that you’re a television character and are therefore more inclined than most to go into spontaneous labor and deliver on the side of the road or, say, on the forensic platform right next to a badly decomposing body, but in real life – they teach you in birthing class to time your contractions before rushing off to the hospital. That is all.], but about the future of our favorite crime-fighting duo as well.

Speaking of the state of Booth and Brennan’s romantic future, I had a “Eureka!” moment after watching The Signs in the Silence the other night and knew I just had to share my thoughts with you all. What I’m about to say may seem like a no-brainer to some, but in this case, as in many others, articulating the obvious can be quite helpful. Okay, enough rambling, let’s get this thing started, shall we?

I mentioned in my initial response to Sarah’s MAQ (”Does ‘More than Luck’ Mean More than Fate?”, 5/6/11) that the intensity of the last thirty seconds of The Signs in the Silence literally made me squirm. I’m not sure exactly what I expected Booth and Brennan to do in that situation, but it seemed to call for some type of comforting touch – be it a hand on the arm, a hug, or yes, even a kiss. The look they shared at the end before Brennan turned away was…well it was filled with something delicious, don’t you agree?

I was literally screaming inside for them to just touch, for one of them to close that gap between them, and yet they maintained their physical distance as they have for much of the season.

It bugged me. It really did. I mean, there has to be a reason for this distance, right? And as much as I’ve always accepted that it had to be that way, I never really understood why until now. We’ve discussed the glaring absence of Booth and Brennan’s trademark chemistry, a.k.a. unresolved sexual tension, a.k.a. UST, and that pesky distance that seems to have taken its place, on countless occasions this season. I think we’ve probably all wondered at one time or another whether the chemistry is gone for good or if it’s simply in hiding for some mysterious reason known only to Hart Hanson, Stephen Nathan, and their writing team. They get a pass for the first half of season six because of Hannah, but what about now?

In a sense, I think the UST is gone simply because it’s been resolved. Obviously there hasn’t yet been an actual sexual resolution (not to be confused with the sexual revolution), but there has been a resolution to the question (will they, won’t they?) that drives the sexual tension. What we saw at the end of The Blackout in the Blizzard was Booth and Brennan essentially promising to engage in a romantic (and by definition, sexual) relationship at some point in the future. Now that we know that they will, the only question that remains is when (of course that question creates a tension all its own, but that’s a discussion for another day).

Quite frankly, whether HH ever actually intends to follow through on this “promise” is immaterial to today’s discussion. At this point, the characters themselves have an understanding that, by definition, affects the way they approach each other. And I think the cause of the intensity that I felt at the end of The Signs in the Silence is rooted in that approach. So what does that mean?

Well, we know that Booth told Brennan he needed time to find his balance again before they began a romantic relationship. We also know that while Brennan is essentially ready, she understands Booth’s need to find himself and is willing to give him the time he needs. What if the physical, and at times emotional, distance we’ve seen between them lately is, in reality, not really distance at all, but a conscious holding back (out of respect) – each for the other’s benefit?

Take a minute to think about it. What would have simply been UST prior to The Blackout in the Blizzard now has an entirely new meaning. Every intimate look, or touch, or conversation had the potential to lead somewhere before, whereas now that same gesture would almost certainly take them past the point of no return. What’s the problem in that, you ask? Well, it all comes back to that pesky issue of readiness. I said in my last Bones Theory post (“In Search of a Hero”, 4/25/11) that what happened at the end of Blizzard was all about not gambling, and this is the point at which the proverbial rubber meets the road. Sure, they’re willing to take the risk implicit in a romantic relationship between two people as different as they are, but at the same time, they don’t want to take any unnecessary chances that might doom them to failure from the word go (hence the emphasis on readiness). Remove the temptation and you greatly reduce the risk that you will give into that temptation. That lack of closeness is painful for the viewer to be sure, but within the context of the story, I think it makes perfect sense (and I’m also fairly certain that the chemistry itself will return once the barriers are gone and they’re fully engaged in a real romantic relationship).

Obviously there’s still a lot that could be said about the how of this eventual coupling (will they stick it out until they’re both ready or will they eventually give into the intense emotion of a situation?), but for the sake of keeping this discussion out of spoiler/promo territory, we’re going to stick to the why and leave the how out of it.

So what do you think? Is the UST gone forever? Is that ultimately a good thing? Does this apparent distance between Booth and Brennan really exist or is it simply a defense mechanism on both their parts designed to serve a greater good? As always, I love hearing what you have to say, so let’s get this discussion started! 

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39 thoughts on “You Say You Want a Resolution?

  1. Since Blizzard, I have felt the chemistry there, I just feel that it has morphed into something more peaceful, more mature. The Chemistry that we used to see between Booth and Brennan was more caustic that it is now. They both felt the pull the other had towards each other and yet both feared that the outcome could jeopardize the friendship that they both needed and wanted. The looks and the touches always seemed to scream should we? Now? Ever? At What Cost? Now the looks and the touches we do see are one of comfort and assurdness. Since Blizzard, both Booth and Brennan have grown comforatable with each other. They are sure of who the other is and what that person means to them. They believe that they have a future together and when the time is ripe and they are both ready, they will commit to each other in a way their younger, more insecure selves, never could. What if boils down to for me, is that they are more secure in their feelings towards each other and they have both matured in how they see each other. The chemistry is there; but, it no longer sizzles and pops. The chemistry they have is warm and reasuring. They are willing to wait for what they want because they know they can afford to wait. Each is waiting for the other. Both are certain that in the end they will be able to make it work and they will not lose each other.

  2. I think that UST is not gone, but different. Like you mentioned, we know its now its an actual possiblity, so now we as the viewers are anticipating the next move. It’s not “will they, won’t they” but now “when will they”? Everyone has known they should get together, and now they know it too, so its killing us as viewers, but I’d rather them take their time with this than screw it up (aka Zack/Gormogon *cough*)

    In the post, you said “Well, we know that Booth told Brennan he needed time to find his balance again before they began a romantic relationship. We also know that while Brennan is essentially ready, she understands Booth’s need to find himself and is willing to give him the time he needs.”

    I would also add that this is good for Brennan too. She may feel ready, but she has often jumped/almost jumped into things too quickly. I’m thinking here of her baby plan. She just thought about it for a second, thought it was good and rational, so she jumped right into planning it, freaking out her co-workers with her suddenness. She’s jumped into relationships (online guy, murderer) because her nature is once she decides to do something, she just goes for it. She thinks she’s being logical, but someone (usually Angela) has to be the best friend that tells her to cut it out.

    So Booth is trying to center himself and get in good place…and Brennan, though she feels ready, really needs to take her time, and explore her new feelings and awareness of Booth, so that when they do get together, she had no more fears or doubts, like in the 100th ep.

    They’ve been friends and partners for so long, spending so much time fighting their attraction, that they both need this time to find their bearings and wrap their heads around this new paradigm.

    So I’m OK with this new kind of UST, because I do feel like it is leading to something great!

  3. Well, Stephanie, I agree. I’ve been quietly putting this idea out there for a few weeks, as the growing tide of discontent swelled in the fandom.

    Obviously B&B could not have that spark of sexual tension between them when Hannah was around. That would be totally out of character for them to essentially flirt.

    Blackout in the Blizzard was the coming together of them as a couple. They had a de facto commitment ceremony, complete with unity candle. It was very clever of HH really, to make this such a low-key moment.

    The reality is – Booth and Brennan will never have the same dynamic that they had in season 5 or 4 or 3 or 2 or 1. They are not the same people they were in those years, they do not have the same relationship. The folks crying “bring back the old Booth and Brennan” should ask themselves if they are the same person they were three years ago, if the way they relate to a romantic partner in the first months of dating is how they relate when they have known them for years.

    As for the lack of touching, I think it’s very deliberate. Brennan touches Booth occasionally – she is the more sure of herself partner at the moment. I think Booth holds back because he’s not ready and he isn’t going to do anything to suggest that he’s ready until he really is. It would be sort of leading Brennan on to do otherwise.

    Several scenes in the last few episodes have all but cried out for a hug, but we haven’t seen them hug since Mastodon in the Room. These kinds of blocking choices aren’t random – it’s a part of the storytelling too.

    • I thought of you specifically as I was writing this, Barbara, as I thought you had said something similar in the past. 🙂

      I have also considered the possibility that this change in B&B’s dynamic is meant to prove that Bones (the show) can survive when the UST is taken out of the equation. Let’s face it – Bones has long been defined by the UST/chemistry between B&B. Removing the driving factor for a show’s success is risky, but if we’re ever going to see B&B together, that aspect has to change.

      So…the UST is gone (or at least it isn’t what it once was), B&B are NOT a couple…yet, and viewership numbers are still strong. AI has definitely helped boost those numbers in the second half of the season, but still, the show held its own in the first half of the season with a very difficult storyline and against stiff competition (Big Bang Theory). Yeah, the numbers dropped some, but it certainly wasn’t the catastrophic failure that some disgruntled fans predicted.

      If I’m the head honcho in charge of making all the important decisions, I would see that as a good thing.

      • And CSI too; Bones surpassed CSI and Grey’s Anatomy last week.

        I do think the chemistry will come back once they are truly together and out of this limbo period. It won’t be like it was in earlier seasons – when there was uncertainty or anticipation but it’s absolutely true that established couples can have plenty of sexual chemistry.

        Hart to Hart is a great example – and they were crimesolvers, too! On The Closer, Brenda and Fritz are a great example of a mature, sexy, committed couple.

        Heck, I used to watch reruns of the The Dick Van Dyke show when I was younger and even though Rob & Laura Petrie had to sleep in separate beds to satisfy the network censors, you still knew they had the hots for each other!

        I think one of the points of this whole season was to show us (and B &B ) what “just partners” really means. They really have been “together” in every sense but sex all along. This season is what “not together” really looks like.

      • The problem is they were losing viewers with each new episode with Hannah in it pre-Am Idol. At episode eight or nine, they were down almost two million viewers from the season six premiere. That is a significant amount of viewers. There is a reason they were moved to a different time slot. If Idol wasn’t an option, I believe this show would have been in serious trouble. The number of viewers that Idol has brought to this show has not been all that significant. It should really have be more. It is a fact that this seasons story has turned some long time viewers away.

      • Yeah, I think I squee’d when I saw that Bones’ raw numbers were higher than both CSI and Grey’s Anatomy last week! 😉 And I was a devoted fan of CSI for many years (I finally stopped watching after this season’s premiere. Morpheus may have been good for The Matrix, but I just couldn’t hack him as a CSI).

      • K, whatever, really. I know a bunch of people hate the show and hope it fails but sorry, it’s not failing. If you don’t like Bones anymore, don’t watch. I don’t understand why it’s so important to you to try and convince other people not to like it either.

      • K-
        I agree that Bones lost viewers in the first half of the season, but I don’t think it was or would have been catastrophic. I also agree that this storyline has turned away some viewers, but I also think it’s fair to argue that B&B becoming a couple at the end of season 5 would have also turned away some viewers because the UST would have been lost either way. You can’t always make everyone happy and changes in a show’s dynamic always have the potential to alienate segments of the viewing population – be it the die-hard fans or the casual viewers. And I also don’t necessarily agree that the post-AI numbers should have been higher. I doubt Fox would have seen any larger a boost in their ratings if they had left Fringe in it’s original time slot and moved Bones to another night.

    • I like the Closer also. Brenda and Fritz bicker all of the time; but, they love each other and they are great together. They are proof that two main characters can live together and the viewers are more than excepting of them. It also makes for hilarious interaction with his sister and her parents. Bones would just be so more fascinating with Booth and Brennan as a couple.

    • I completely agree. I watched my very first episode of Bones the first week of January this year. I finished all 5 seasons before the new shows started in January, so everything is VERY fresh in my mind.

      I completely see the progression of their personalities individually and as a couple. I think that almost everything they do is deliberate. I, in fact, just watched an interview with DB and ED from before the beginning of season 6 and he pretty much said outright that he’s trying to keep his distance. It’s the same reason they didn’t hug in the season finale (season 5), he just couldn’t do it. Booth is and was barely holding it together and especially now, with both of their feelings out in the open, he’s not going to do anything to lead Brennan on.

      They won’t ever go back to the people they were in previous seasons because now they know. They can’t flirt with the possibilities, because the possibilities are real and it’s no longer “safe” flirting if that makes any sense.

      This is my first post here, but I always enjoy the comments and observations!

  4. I see a hint of uncertainty to the distance between them now. Maybe because before, not only weren’t they so aware of each other, they weren’t aware that the other was aware. It seems more thoughtful, as if they’re weighing what could happen, what might happen, based on the Blizzard conversation.

    I understand it, and I’m mostly okay with it but I have to admit that having just finished seasons 3 and 4, I’ve found myself more than once thinking sadly, “How did we go from THIS to where we are now?”

  5. Personally I don’t see any romantic vibes between these these two anymore at all. Even if they are intentionally holding back, I think we would still see something there between Booth and Brennan. The problem is I just don’t see that anymore. I only see friends, nothing more. Viewers claim that there is still something there, but I am not seeing it. I still just see irritation towards Brennan from Booth. Brennan just appears to be supporting her work partner as he gets over the current love of his life, Hannah. I don’t think Booth was ever really in love with Brennan to begin with. At least that is what I have gotten with the story told this season. This season has proven by theory that for me this is true. This current story is just baffling me as a viewer. If Booth was so in love with Brennan the end of season five should have been much harder for Booth. I see him struggling more with Hannah’s rejection than what we saw last year. Booth may have thought he loved Brennan but that doesn’t mean it is necessarily tthe truth.

    • We didn’t get to fully see Booth struggling with Brennan’s reaction. We saw some of it, which to me, showed a lot of hurt and anger. And then there’s a 7 month gap where we don’t see his pain or its resolution. I think it’s a bit of a false comparison when we don’t have a full picture of his getting over Brennan’s rejection, whereas we do have a front-row seat for his recovery from Hannah’s rejection.

      Personally, I see more than friendship, but I suppose we all view these things differently.

      • “We didn’t get to fully see Booth struggling with Brennan’s reaction. We saw some of it, which to me, showed a lot of hurt and anger. And then there’s a 7 month gap where we don’t see his pain or its resolution. I think it’s a bit of a false comparison when we don’t have a full picture of his getting over Brennan’s rejection, whereas we do have a front-row seat for his recovery from Hannah’s rejection.”

        You bring up an interesting point, sciencegirl, about not seeing Booth’s reaction to Brennan’s rejection…but to play devil’s advocate here, I think we DO see it.

        We see it in his becoming a soldier and leaving, we see it in his quickie rebound with Hannah, we see it the bar when he questions what he is lacking that women reject him (heartcrushing, that one), and I think we see it in all the episodes since with every interaction of B&B. It’s not said outright, it is just THERE.

        I think it wouldn’t have been right to go over there and see his relationship develop with Hannah, because the show is about the team. They had to break them up but get them back together quickly to move the show along. But I do think we see enough evidence as far as the aftermath of Booth’s decision to get with Hannah upon his return.

        But I’m guess that Booth did not outwardly show his pain at the breakup anyway. I’m guessing that he would have stuffed the emotions deep inside, and after saving Hannah’s life, decided to sort of force a relationship to happen so he can prove he’s moved on and happy. Which is unhealthy behavior, sure. But if we “followed” Booth overseas, I doubt he would have shown his pain anyway.

  6. I’ve got a comment based on another TV show but its relevant so bear with me! 🙂

    I am also a huge Office fan, and let me tell you, people were kind of upset at the Jim/Pam relationship once they actually got together and eventually married with a baby. But I personally like the uniqueness of letting a relationship on TV take a more natural human course instead of forcing years upon years of UST that never go anywhere. I thought it was brave of the show to go there and show us how it could survive on this different level.

    I don’t know if anyone watches it regularly, but they had a christening episode for the baby…hijinks ensue, and the baby has to be baptized in Jim’s old t-shirt instead of the beautiful dress. Or when they get off on the wrong foot with a new boss because they are being “those parents” who show too many pictures and talk incessantly about their kid.

    Yes, these two characters also lost that UST for which many people watched the show. And yes, some people did not like the new dynamic of them being in a committed relationship with each other…but I saw it as different, and unique, and I have been really liking how they handled this dynamic in the workplace.

    All that to say, I’d say to those doubters, have faith. The writers are not out to sabotage their characters and their show. They’ve got a plan, and I am anticipating where they go! It may not be what we are to, but in the immortal words of Matthew McConaughey, “It’s just that…what if what I think is great really is great…but it’s not as great as something greater?”

    • I’ve likewise really enjoyed watching Jim & Pam’s relationship grow. Partly because I’m a huge sap, and they were adorable while happily dating, at their unconventional wedding, etc.

      • Glad I’m not alone Becky! It was just so nice to see a couple follow a natural progression for once, and the show has found new and different ways to use their chemistry and relationship in other ways. So Jim and Pam still work has a happily married couple. So while I wish that B&B will follow that with an “Andy” of their own to wiggle their phalanges at, it may not come to that picture perfect ending, however, the Jim/Pam thing shows that you can get two main characters together without it ruining the show. Yes, The Office is an ensemble cast, but Jim and Pam are a bigger slice of that, as well as Bones has many main characters to play off of….so anyway, just seeing that work else where makes my Bones-loving heart beat a little faster in anticipation! 🙂

  7. Great post, very interesting 🙂

    I think I’ve been aware of the lack of touching and think it’s because even the smallest touch is charged now. They don’t have the shield of their protestations of innocence that they enjoyed for years because they’re relationship has moved on (yay). This is kind of the calm before the storm I think.

    There was such an intensity in the last moments of Silence that I was kind of holding my breath. I think a part of me expected her to link her arm in his as they strolled off, like she did at the end of the 100th, but somehow it was even more charged that they didn’t.

    Can I also say how much I loved the closing scene being them walking in the gardens outside the Jeffersonian? Great bit of green-screen work, and possibly the first time we’ve seen them do that since the pilot? Details like that just bring so much class to an episode.

  8. A previous post asked if the story Hart was telling was unique. If it isn’t unique, it sure is rare. When it comes to couples on TV with UST, what usually happens? Instead of letting them sleep together because of that, it has developed into something stronger and deeper that has a greater staying power. I know people doubt that it can be done, and there’s only friendship between them now. And sometimes it can seem that way, but I am also convinced that not everything is platonic between the two. Besides, ED and DB are so phenomenal, if any two people can pull it off, they can. They’ve never let us down for those kinds of moments. The deliberate distance they’ve had will serve to create a greater impact for whenever they do come together, I think. Touches in this stage of their relationship would have such a different meaning than before the 100th. Whatever they were telling themselves before, they no longer can, because there is an open acknowledgment of the truth of the situation.

    This is where HH&Co. really had guts. Most people believed the UST to be driving the interest of the show. To take it away for such a long period of time seems really stupid (in my moments of weakness and whining). But he has a plan for these characters, and wanted them to go through certain things to have certain realizations about themselves. Maybe I haven’t felt happy all the time about what was going on, but I am still in love with the whole story he is telling. And I applaud him for daring to take the story places I never would have imagined.

    I get that Hart wanted to mix things up after 5 seasons. The only thing worse than people getting upset at what they’re watching is them not watching it all because it got predictable and boring. Some people don’t think it worked, and though I can respect that opinion, I don’t think it’s fair to turn HH into a bad person because of it.

  9. I agree and I am excited!

  10. I realize I’m probably in the tiny minority that doesn’t think the UST is gone, and it goes to show how different people can watch the same thing yet come out with completely different perceptions of the same events, which is what makes coming here together (no Beatles pun intended-and nice title, by the way) so much fun. My evidence of UST would be exactly what is proposed as evidence to the contrary-the lack of physical contact. Obviously there couldn’t be any while Hannah was around because that would not have been Boothy at all, but there were plenty of longing, fully loaded looks between B/B even with our unfavorite journalist around: Booth with the red bow, Brennan in just about every episode (and just how reminiscent of Booth’s puppy dog looks in Season 5), Booth looking at Brennan in the bar when Cam hooks up with Paul, Booth looking at Brennan as she holds the seashell. The looks were no longer flirtatious because flirtation is only done at the beginning of a potential relationship or in situations where it is fun and safe, and there can’t be much of that after what one has offered has been rejected by a potential partner. But the aching, the need for the other? I still see it all there except for me now it’s magnified because any overture could actually lead to something, yet is fraught with danger because of what has happened before. Rejection now could lead to the effective end to their partnership on every level, and they are both painfully aware of what each has to lose by making the first move. I almost feel like they are both on a leash, desperate to get together, yet holding themselves back out of fear the other isn’t quite ready yet. Which leads me to agree with you, that the first move may be brought on by an emotional situation (bite my tongue…) that may obliterate the need to overthink every move and proceed with caution.

    • Ha ha! I’ve been singing “you say you want a revolution” in my head since Friday! 😉

      • I wish you hadn’t said that. Now that song has popped into my head and I can’t get it out.

  11. Could the show survive without UST? Well, I think they’ve proven that it could and has. Is it missed? Yes. And no. I think, as people have said earlier, it has morphed into something else entirely. As C-bones says earlier, it took guts to take it to this point. I think all the awkwardness, all the lack of longing looks and innuendo-laden talk was done deliberately. It’s Marshall McLuhan– the medium is the message. The message has been that their relationship is changed and changing and you can see it and feel it and sense it throughout the season. Then, hit people with a few non-SO episodes after a big break-up and slowly see a return to. . . well, it’s not quite a return. The sexual tension is there, it’s just changed into an acceptance that they both want something with the other, but they aren’t yet able to go there because both of them are trying to get there. There are internal obstacles– Brennan still questions if she has the capacity to be the person that she thinks that Booth deserves (and she thinks she might be there– “I’m not as cold as everyone assumes” and “I assure you, that if I could express my feelings. . .”– but she’s still not quite sure of herself.) Booth doesn’t seem as angry– he’s joking with her a bit about the Mama Bones, but he also knows that he has to meet her halfway. He doesn’t want his parenting of his son to be merely about luck, he wants there to be choice. Perhaps he doesn’t want his relationship with Brennan to be about mere luck either; he wants there to be a conscious choice to be together and a conscious choice to make it work.

    I’ll repeat what C-bones and others have said earlier, it took guts to go there. In some ways, one can argue that this was an experiment of sorts, can Bones survive without the UST? HH said he would have to replace the UST with something else and I think he’s taken the steps toward showing us what that is. People grow and change and sometimes not in the directions we expect. The same thing with relationships. HH has allowed the squinterns to change, for the characters to be somewhat out of character (because sometimes people are somewhat out of character) and for the show to evolve the relationship between B&B. One would expect that in real life and I like that the show has gone there (although I still find some of the earlier episodes hard to watch at times.) Change sometimes hurts. Growth can be painful. Maybe we’re set up for taking the relationship to a new level; certainly, a different level.

  12. I think one of the things that has a strong pull for me with Bones is all of the character development. You just don’t see it as much on a lot of other shows and it is refreshing to me. I agree with many of you who have said that the UST is still there, just in a different way. It did take a lot of guts for HH to go in a different direction than the “proven formula” and I have respect for that. Have we enjoyed all the painful moments along the way? I am sure we did not, but, many of them were necessary for all of the character development to be believable. This is the only show I sit and spend time analyzing, partly because Stephanie is my sister but also in part because there is such depth to the characters on this show, such honesty and raw emotion and it’s powerful. ED and DB of course are amazing and that is part of it too but I don’t know how to describe it other than that. Successful relationships are always growing, always changing and if their relationship was to stay the same, I believe it would also grow stagnant.

    I believe each of them is growing and healing in their own way and that time is what they need and they both understand that and so they are holding back. That said, it doesn’t mean the UST isn’t simmering below the surface but I think the way they have chosen to portray the characters shows a mature relationship filled with respect for the other person and their feelings. They have been through a lot together and sometimes it’s enough to just know what the other person is thinking which I believe they do a lot of the time at this point.

    • I grew up watching shows like My Three Sons and Bonanza and others in which the characters were inherently good and despite long runs, the characters didn’t really change or evolve as they do on a show like Bones. Oh, they got married or faced tremendous difficulties under extreme conditions, but the characters did not change as they do on a show like Bones. I know people are forever reacting to “the Moonlighting curse” whenever it is invoked by TPTB or others in regards to Bones, but I think there are fundamental differences in this show vs. that show. HH and Co. have allowed the characters to grow and to change. While the producers remind us that they want things to grow “organically”, it is quite possible that they are right, the characters might be growing at a snail’s pace to some of us, but they are growing. Yes, Brennan seems to be stuck on the question of if she is emotionally available enough and that’s because it is a fundamental quandary for her– to find love, she has to be able to give it and the question she has to answer for herself before she will hurt someone is, is she enough?

      Bones is an old-fashioned romance with a modern sensibility about it. The producers have dared to allow the characters to grow (and not in unrealistic ways) and they are doing more than making Brennan the weekly damsel-in-distress and allowing Booth to punch out a suspect with righteousness on his side: the characters are complicated and sometimes do things that still surprise. It dares to mix Hodgins’ comedic panic with the heart-wrenching story of a murder/kidnap/child abuse. It’s real– or as real as a dramedy in 45 minutes can be.

  13. Maybe we have different definitions of sexual tension, but to me, the last few seconds of this episode are a perfect example of it. If anything, the tension is even less resolved because there are no lingering “guy hugs” or physical affection to release any of it. The feelings between them, expressed only in silent looks, it made me squirm too… I call that sexual tension. I think there’s been less banter lately, but more genuine emotional affection. I’ll take it.

    • Yup, yup and yup. Total agreement with you!

    • Oh I still think there’s plenty of tension, I just think it’s different than what we’ve seen previously on the show. It certainly feels different. And it’s definitely less overtly sexual, at least from my vantage point. But I think that’s natural considering the way this storyline has evolved. HH has managed to replace the UST with another type of tension that, if it’s possible, is even more agonizing than it was before. How is it that I’ve gone from wanting a touch or a lingering look to turn into a kiss to just wanting B&B to actually touch!?! It strikes me as quite ironic that in the process of moving forward, they have actually moved backwards. 🙂

      Anyway, I had every intention of expanding on the change in tension in this post, but one thing led to another and when it was all said and done, it just didn’t seem to fit. I guess I should have found a way to make it fit…where’s the embarrassed smiley when you need one?

  14. I haven’t had time to read anyone else’s comments, so I hope I’m not just repeating everyone else’s thoughts…

    Booth and Brennan’s relationship is still evolving. They’re just now gaining back their friendship level that’s been missing this season. They’re a couple…with limitations…neither confident enough to cross that final line, but not far from it…hence, the physical restraint we’re seeing.

    But the initial UST…for the sake of attraction…has been resolved. They’ve admitted their feelings for each other and their willingness to try becoming a couple, but neither is ready. Yet I see a level of comfort between them that hasn’t existed before, especially in the last episode. They talk in terms of *we* as if it were the most natural thing to say…no hesitation…but they both still have personal issues to overcome and hesitate to take the next step until they find peace and resolution within themselves. It’s just painfully slow.

    I applaud HH for not taking the route of formula-TV and hats off to Fox for putting it on the air. Ultimately, what keeps us tuned in, despite the lack of chemistry, is the HOPE that it returns. We search for it every week…we hang on every expression, every word, every touch…in the anticipation of that B&B chemistry we’ve been fed from day one. That all of us are here, still anticipating, is a testament to our stubbornness to not give up on these two.

    The sexual tension has been replaced by just plain old tension and awkward moments. But they’re necessary, IMO. B&B need time to come to terms with *what happens next.* B&B aren’t your average run-of-the-mill characters. They don’t do or say the obvious…which is what attracts me to them in the first place.

    However…for all practical purposes, the chase is over. They’ve committed to each other…phase one of a relationship. What comes next is up in the air…and with Booth and Brennan, we never can be sure what to expect…but it’s bound to be full of struggles and obstacles. Their journey has always been fraught with twists and turns, and I see no reason the future won’t be any different.

    So…with that thought in mind…I have no doubt that some form of UST/chemistry will return. It may not be the same…and really, how could it be? They’re not star-struck teenagers…but that’s not to say once they are ready, they won’t let themselves go and indulge in a bit craziness (wishful thinking on my part :D). When they both are confident that neither of them is going to bolt and run for the hills…fully committed to and able to express their love, they’ll be back to their old familiar selves…complete with bickering and teasing.

    In order to keep viewers invested, HH has no choice but to use more stumbling blocks, if he wants us to keep cheering for team B&B. We need reasons to care…and if B&B were to drive off into the sunset, content, happy and carefree, their story…at least for me…is over.

    • I was typing a response up and accidentally closed the window – which made me cranky. Grr. But I’m glad I did because it meant I saw what you had posted, Shrinky. I agree with you 100%.

      Personally, I loved the fact that there as no touch or hug at the end of last week’s episode. I thought it was a beautiful close to the scene. I almost wish the promo for next week hadn’t been quite so explosive, because it sort of took away from a really beautiful moment.

      For me, the scene makes me think of that quote: “Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”

      Booth was very much in a place where he needed time and space. Not a ton of space. But space nonetheless. And Brennan got that. She was right there beside him where she said she’d be at the end of Killer in the Crosshairs.

      I found the choice of setting for the scene to be very interesting. I believe that this is the first scene since the Pilot that has taken place in the garden at the Jeffersonian. In that scene, Brennan chased down Booth in her bare feet to get him to work with her, and we all know how that scene, (“are you blackmailing a federal agent?”) turned out. That was the start of their professional partnership. This new scene felt like the start of something new; a deeper understanding perhaps, and I have to believe that the choice of setting was deliberate on the part of the show runners.

      The scene is also reminiscent to the end of the Pilot with Booth and Brennan talking about the cosmic balance sheet and then walking away together. The setting is different, but there are parallels with the camera angles and blocking. She’s on the right, he’s on the left as they are talking, then they turn and walk away. They were on the same sides in this scene as they were at the end of the Pilot. It struck me so much that I went back and re-watched after this scene. Then, when they walk away, they’re walking together, close but not touching. Only this time, unlike in the pilot, we can’t see what they are walking towards.

      I suppose it’s possible that I’m over thinking things (you know, because that never happens here… 😉 ) but I have to believe that those were deliberate choices on the part of HH and company. And I can’t wait to see where it all goes from here.

      Is it Thursday yet? 😛

      • “Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”

        I love that quote, Jade. It fits the scene in the Jeffersonian Gardens perfectly. In the Pilot Brennan was chasing after Booth, as you said, but now they are side by side…walking away together, into the unknown, a new beginning. Love it!

        Oh…and just because we got a glimpse of *something* of what may come next…this is HH we’re talking about. Always expect the twists and turns. We know B&B’s path is strewn with stones and potholes. 😀

      • I love that quote too. After watching the scene, I was just struck by how well it fit. 🙂

        And I know the promos are carefully crafted by the promo department; and it’s HH so there will be twists and turns, but you know, I love that they have potholes and stones and bumps in the road… even if the pace does get a little frustrating sometimes. 😛

        But even when I’m a little frustrated, I think that’s one of the beautiful things about this series. The people and the relationships and the situations are realistic and relatable. And I love that about the show and about HH’s storytelling. So no matter what happens in Thursday’s ep, I’m looking forward to seeing what plays out. 🙂

  15. Oh wow – what a fabulous post! Thanks Stephanie 🙂

    They screened Critic in the Cabernet here last night (as our weekly re-run) and as it’s a personal fave I watched it again – ads and all. I found it interesting to watch the dynamic between B&B, and felt myself thinking that there was something missing back then that we now have. Booth’s offer to help was desperate – in order to help her and stay in her life. He wouldn’t and couldn’t do that now. I sense a closeness between them now that has never been there. I think Lenora said it perfectly: peaceful and more mature.

    The B&B from last night had UST, but it was…detached and fearful. Now, it’s still there, but there’s an inevitability to their connection and a link that we’ve never seen before. They know it’s going to happen. Any touch can set it off, and so the hesitancy I see is a sign of respect for the other.

    There is a lovely confidence in Brennan at the moment, and I love watching her wait for her man. I love watching Booth needing time. It feels real, and intimate and like they share a secret. ‘What goes on between us, is ours’ has never felt more relevant.

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