Bones Theory

Of Easter Eggs and Flashing Clocks


Hey there Bones Theory friends! I hope the summer hiatus has treated you well thus far. Today I’d like to work through a little mystery that’s been bugging me for quite some time now. I’ll call it:So grab your sleuthing cap and your trusty sidekick, and let’s get started. First up…

The Clues

We have now seen 4:47 on three clocks in three episodes in three straight seasons of Bones. It first appeared (as I am sure we all remember very, very well) during the love scene between Booth and Brennan in the season four finale coma dream (The End in the Beginning). It popped up again (along with Fisher’s tower of wings) in the hoarder’s apartment in the season five finale (The Beginning in the End), except that this time it was flashing.Then, in this season’s penultimate episode, The Hole in the Heart, we see the clock for a third time at the beginning of the scene in Booth’s bedroom.As in the season four finale, this clock wasn’t flashing. So what does it mean? Well, let’s see what the witness says…

Witness Statement

When asked about the meaning of the clock in an interview following the season six finale (The Change in the Game), Executive Producer Stephen Nathan told Inside TV/Entertainment Weekly:

“It’s just a little consistency that we try to string through the series, just [to mark] important moments:  4:47 was when they slept together in the alternate reality, and 4:47 was when she walked into the bedroom last week. So, you know, I guess it’s our little smoke monster. [Laughs] It’s Bones’ stab at being Lost.”

While I thought Stephen Nathan gave a pretty cool explanation, I still can’t help but wonder if there’s supposed to be more to the story. In other words, is this Easter egg simply an Easter egg, or are the clocks also a symbol of something much deeper and ultimately more meaningful?

Evaluation of the Evidence

When I saw the clock on the bedside table in The Hole in the Heart, my first thought was, “this is pretty damning evidence that Booth and Brennan are going to have sex.” I even said as much to my husband when the show cut to commercial after the scene ended. Of course when I had to explain the significance of the clock to everyone I know in real life who watches Bones, I realized that only crazy, obsessed fans like myself even noticed it. Naturally I started wondering if perhaps I was reading something into nothing.

And yet, it’s the very first thing we see when the scene opens, and that tells me that we were supposed to notice it. Don’t get me wrong, Stephen Nathan’s explanation that the clock marks “important events,” fits. It doesn’t really confirm or deny my sex theory, but I actually think it’s kind of cool that the writers left the specific issue of when open to interpretation (Brennan’s pregnancy proves that it happened, if not that night, then at some point in the very near future). Sadly, commencing a rousing round two debate of, “did it happen that night?” won’t solve this mystery. So we’ll move on.

If all three clocks had been exactly the same, I think I may have been able to accept the “important events” explanation and let it go at that. But they’re not all the same. One is flashing, two are not. Now it’s completely possible that the writers decided that the clock in the hoarder’s apartment should be flashing simply because he had so much stuff that he didn’t notice it wasn’t working properly or care enough to fix it, or because it stopped working at some point after he died. They are all perfectly rational (albeit horrifically boring) explanations. However, I prefer to think that this particular mystery is not so easily solved.

So What Does It Mean?

I believe that we can use what we do know about the two clocks that aren’t flashing to ascertain the meaning behind the one clock that is. In other words, now that we’ve seen the non-flashing clock twice in a similar context (representative of physical and/or emotional intimacy), what does that tell us about the one clock that’s different?

In terms of important events, the end of season five marked the (temporary) end of Booth and Brennan’s work partnership and, ultimately, the break-up of the entire Jeffersonian team (physical and emotional separation).

In my post-Hole in the Heart comment to Sarah’s MAQ, I suggested the following theory about the clocks:

“[D]id anyone think it was significant that the clock wasn’t flashing this time like it was in the season five finale? A sign, maybe, that things are moving forward, as opposed to the end of last season when B&B were kind of stuck in limbo (or dare I say, moving backwards)?” (“MAQ:  So…Was It As Good For You As It Was For Me?”, 5/13/11)

Here’s the thing:  a flashing clock, for all intents and purposes, is a broken clock. It will keep flashing the same time until the problem that caused the malfunction is found and resolved, and the time is reset. Only then will time (according to the clock) begin to move forward again. In the fifth season finale, Booth and Brennan, both as partners and as individuals, seemed a lot like that clock. They were separate entities, broken and unable to move forward together until they found a way to fix what had gone wrong between them.

But the clock, apparently, isn’t broken anymore. And neither, it seems, are Booth and Brennan.Coincidence? I think not.

So what do you think? Are the clocks simply Easter eggs meant to signify important events, or are they symbolic of a larger theme (separation/brokenness vs. coming together/intimacy)? Does it matter that one clock is flashing and the other two aren’t? Feel free to comment on my theory or share yours if you have one. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say!  


138 thoughts on “Of Easter Eggs and Flashing Clocks

  1. Haha I’d like to post something intelligent and thought provoking, but all I can think of is your phrase, “my sex theory”.

    It’s just making me giggle. That you have a sex theory. 🙂

  2. I think they have a deeper meaning, because IMO, HH and SN are all about the mysteries of hidden meanings.
    Not blinking =fixed

  3. I think it means ‘Love Hart Hanson…’ Flipped upside down… its L-h-h … subliminal bastard!

  4. Great post – I love the significance of the clocks. My own thoughts are the same as yours – we’ve gone full circle in 2 seasons (which makes sense when you think they got a 2 season pick up at the end of season 4)

    EitB – the first time we see it, she’s entering his room and is a prelude to intimacy
    BitE – flashing = stuck, limbo
    HitH – she enters his room again and they are approaching the intimacy they had in EitB.

    There’s definitely more to it to my mind than just a cool prop to have around. Booth had a different clock on his bedside table too, the digital one was there on purpose. Did anyone notice if the digital clock was there when he was with Hannah?

    I’m also interested in the significance of the episode names – End in the Beginning, and Beginning in the End…EitB I understand – they were showing us where they were heading. But BitE, I don’t think them leaving was the ‘beginning’ of them…any thoughts anyone?

    • Well I think the Beginning in the End was the beginning of the journey that would finally bring them to that end we saw in the End in the Beginning. I just was not a fun journey.

    • In the end of BitE they are at the airport, and I think it refers to the pilot that also begins in the airport when Angela comes to pick up Brennan.

  5. I completely agree with your assessment Stephanie regarding the clocks. I too interpreted the flashing clock in TBitE to signify their relationship on pause while they went off to Afghanistan and Maluku; their relationship limbo, if you will. I really feel like the non-blinking clocks bookend their relationship progression, and now from here it’s all new territory. 🙂

  6. Yes I noticed the clock immediately in Hole in the Heart, so you’re not alone in that but of course that doesn’t mean you not crazy, obsessed, because I do fear some might describe me that way. 🙂

    Maybe the flashing clock was kind of a signal that the race to that finish line of them being a couple was beginning. Only it wasn’t a sprint but more of a marathon, or a cross country race, taking us through a rather rocky path in the forest before we came out on the other side to finally get them together as the couple they were always meant to be. The couple we saw with the first appearance of 4:47 and now have in reality with this most recent 4:47. OK that first couple was a much idealized fictional version and we know we’ll get a bickering normally at odds couple who love each other beyond reason…right?

  7. I think you are right, the clocks are a hint of what is going on. The clocks may be red herring; but, like you, I think are much more than that. They are signposts that we can see and use to navigate through a very complicated story.

    After seeing Hole In The Heart (and having the clock pointed out to me because, for some reason, I didn’t notice it) this is my take on the clocks: It wasn’t flashing in The End in the Beginning when Booth had his coma dream and he was in love with Brennan. His love for Brennan may have started out as a coma dream; but, once he was awake he couldn’t set his feelings aside. His deep friendship for Brennan had turned into real love.

    The clock was flashing in The Beginning In The End because Booth’s love for Brennan was damaged (it stopped working like it should). I am not with those that think that Booth ever fell out of love with Brennan. For me, when Brennan rejected Booth and then went off to Maluku, this caused Booth enormous pain and caused his love for Brennan to be broken. His love remained where it was in 100. He loved Brennan; but, he could not forward his relationship with her because she was not ready. He wasn’t certain she would ever be ready for him. His llove wasn’t destroyed; but, it was stopped in place, he couldn’t move forward and he couldn’t go backwards and stop loving her.

    It wasn’t flashing in Hole In The Heart because Booth’s love for Brennan was working again. Booth could admit to himself that he was in love with Brennan. His love for her could move forward again.

  8. Did you know that:
    1)47 the most common random number

    2)Star Trek also had an obsession with 47, in that it appeared in every episode since STNG.

    3)It is a prime number, and if you add the digits, it is still a prime number.

    4)There is a brand of beer called, Full Sail Brewery of Hood River, Oregon. I can’t figure out the brand of beer in the beginning of HitH, so I don’t know if this is important.

    Still trying to figure out 4, but I will get there, I hope.

    • Just so you know…I eat this kinda stuff up! Curious about #4. What made you bring up that particular brand of beer?

      • The label of the beer has a 47 on the bottom corner. This idea of 4:47 has driven me nuts since HitH, I am a numbers freek, and I look for significance in many things. I noticed the clock the first time I watched the episode, and I had to stop it to go onto Netflix to check it out.

    • Just for curosity sake:
      Did you know there are 4 types of bones in the human body? Long Bones, Short Bones, Flat Bones and Irregular Bones.

    • the show Alias also had a thing with the number 47… interesting!

  9. Email – for now.

  10. Borrowing this from another website/post because its perfect:

    Celtic Manu: “Just a random thought about what you’ve pointed out: in S5E22 Sweets told Booth he is a hoarder and the clock flashed in the hoarder’s house. Maybe the connection is that Booth was still “hoarding” his coma dream even after Ep. 100 and therefore wasn’t really ready to BE with Brennan in a way that would have not broken her in some way (as Cam told him at the beginning of Season 5). Being attached to a coma dream is like LIVING in a dream, where things and emotions are not real…the end of Ep. 100 was sort of motivated by the shattering of a dream: not the dream of a life with Brennan but HIS version of a dreamlife with her he somehow lived in his coma dream. I think I realize now why Hannah was (painfully) necessary…the alarm clock in The Hole in the Heart is the real “End in the Beginning”, so to speak: it is probably NOT the time of their first lovemaking, but rather the beginning of their REAL love relationship in REAL life. Significantly, this new start happens with Brennan losing the last of her barriers, which somehow tells Booth (and us the viewers) that the time on that piece of paper they burnt together in the elevator episode is finally (and naturally) come.

    “Nothing happens unless first a dream”, but you have to STOP dreaming to make the dream come true.”

    (Disclaimer: I also love it because this person is on my Team Didn’t in HinH” hehe But great insight on the clocks too!)

  11. Oops, I accidentally deleted the Hannah line. They said that Hannah was a necessary evil, basically, because she “woke up” Booth from his dream.

  12. Love listening to all these theories! I agree with you Stephanie and most of the folks who’ve said things! Looking forward to what everyone has to say on this topic!

  13. I’ve never fully believed that Booth fell out of love with Brennan because when you fall out of love with someone, no matter who you are, you don’t want to be around them, usually can’t stand to be around them. Going off to Afghanistan was the only way he could begin to try and move on…he obviously wasn’t doing a good job of it before.

    I always have felt that he loved her, but tried to bury it because he thought it would never happen. Obviously I can’t speak for everyone, but hasn’t anyone tried to make a relationship work with someone… and then they break up with you? Don’t you mope around for days, especially if you still have feelings for them? There was a guy I dated back in high school who broke up with me and it took me several years to get over him, even with dating someone else. I wouldn’t say I was in love with the guy, but the feelings didn’t just go away immediately.

    Here we have Booth, who has (imho) been falling in love with Brennan since the end of season one, if not before. I think before then he was attracted to her, but after the pre-pilot stuff he was also on edge about her. So they spend the next four years flirting and becoming each other’s surrogates and then the coma dream happens. Dreams are funny like that, they can bring up something we don’t think about and make us think we want it. I’ve had dreams before were I was with someone romantically and it was so real that I spent the first few days wanting to be back in dream land. However, if it was something I wanted badly before the dream, the feelings are intensified so much that I can’t ignore them… I must have whatever it is. He was cautious because it was a dream that brought on these feelings, but the truth was, he could no longer hide them. When someone crushes your feelings, that doesn’t mean they go away though.

    So when they came back and he hugged her, all the feelings he’d been trying to hide came rushing back… oh crud, I still love her.

    The clocks to me represent this:
    First time used: B&B are in love and their relationship is working.
    Second time: the clock is blinking to signify the relationship is paused.
    Third time: The relationship can begin again, this time they can finally have the relationship in the coma dream, well at least intimately wise… I don’t see that they will ever be *that* couple because that couple was too perfect.

    • I agree, the coma-relationship is an idealized one. It glosses over the realities of who Brennan and Booth are. The only wink-wink-nod-nod to the real B&B is Mr. B’s “you’re Iceland” remark.

      For me, Hannah was a pure ‘make the pain go away’ relationship. Booth still spent his time in Afghanistan wanting Brennan. His question to her asking if she’d talked to anyone while she was away, her answer no and his “So, it wasn’t just me” are clear evidence (for me, anyway) that he waited for that phone to ring. Every damn day.

      I don’t like Hannah. I didn’t like her. Don’t get me started on that fake friendship. I’m still annoyed by her when I rewatch those episodes. But in hindsight, the bad medicine they forced down my throat made me feel better – eventually – and at least I can’t taste it anymore.

      It occurs to me, too, that when a clock starts flashing you have to reset it before it will keep correct time again. And really, isn’t that what the end of Season 5 was about? Resetting the clock?

      • MJ, your Iceland comment reminded me of a thought I had last night … re: Booth telling Brennan she’s like Iceland, cool on the outside, hot underneath. Then we have B&B get ‘together’ in the last two episodes of the season. THEN the volcano in Iceland erupts!! Rather fitting RL tribute to my favorite TV couple 😉

      • Oh I never liked Hannah… she annoyed me as well, but she served her purpose… and for that, i can like her SL a tiny bit.

      • I know this is not a Hannah post but I have to chime in here. I’ll always be a little bitter that she was hyped up SOOOO much. Her arc could have been 6 episodes and she would have “served her purpose.” She was around wayyy too long.

      • Can’t directly reply to you, Catalina, so here is my response.

        Hannah wasn’t in much more than 6 eps, but
        1) They weren’t consecutive, so they seemed to go on forever, and
        2) I still think that that story arc was either not well thought out/poorly written or cut off abruptly.

        The character was certainly not very well developed in what we were shown. Given what we were shown, it wasn’t hard to see that she didn’t really replace Bones in Booth’s heart. I am of the school of thought that Booth never stopped loving/being in love with Brennan. He was just desperately trying to move on and – ta da! – there was Hannah who made him feel a little less awful.

  14. I love all of this discussion. It makes sense now. I originally just thought the 2 non-blinking clocks were a sign to tell us that yes it happened. I didn’t really see the significance of the flashing clock in the hoarder ep — just thought it was a fun thing they threw in there like the tower of wings. I see now that your theory of the relationship on pause and the restart on a strong foundation makes perfect sense. This show is so much deeper than most shows — I just don’t see how anyone can not love it.

  15. If I’m not mistaken, do I spy a tower of wings in the background of ‘Change in the Game’ just before Buck kisses Wanda?

  16. Great post and great mystery! I have a couple of thoughts. First I find it hard to believe that no one has noticed the second clock on Booth’s nightstand in HitH. (Maybe they did and I just missed it but…) There is a digital clock and then behind it there is an antique clock. Obviously it goes with Booth’s decor but the antique clock is still functioning, as both clocks show the same time. What if that has some significance? Let’s suppose that the antique clock represents Booth and Heart and the digital clock represents Brennan and Brain. Both clocks have the same time, they are both functional. Therefore Booth and Brennan are both now functional, on the same page, at the same place at the same time and can now start a relationship. Brain and Heart working, functioning together. That’s my theory anyway. Secondly, I tend to think that they originally chose the time because it was a significant number for someone on staff, kid’s Birthday or something. Then because the fans noticed the clock, they kept putting it in. Sort of a nod to the fans. A “We hear you. We’ve got you.” sort of thing. Then again, this could be like the turtle in Lost that was supposed to mean something but according to an article I read was just there because he was an endangered species and they couldn’t move him so had to film around him. 😉 But I’m enough of a conspiracy theorist to think that the clocks probably do mean something, even if they don’t mean everything.

    • I noticed the second clock and was actually going to go back to The End in the Beginning to see if it was on the nightstand in that episode as well. It doesn’t look like it is in the screen cap I pulled, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t on the nightstand on the other side of the bed or something. Also, I wonder if both clocks have been on Booth’s nightstand all season. I have both Maggots in the Meathead and The Shallow in the Deep on my computer, both of which had scenes in Booth’s bedroom, so I’ll go look when I have a minute.

      • Researching Booth’s bedroom? What a tough assignment to give yourself, Stephanie! hehe 🙂

      • Sex theories? Researching Booth’s bedroom?!? Get your mind out of the gutter bb! 🙂 😉

      • Haha Stephanie! I didn’t mean that literally! 🙂 Just a lil joke!

      • I know. I was joking too.

      • No clocks on the nightstand at all in Maggots (that I could see). Both clocks are on the nightstand in The Shallow in the Deep. Only the digital clock in The End in the Beginning.

      • On a superficial level, I think Booth also likes clocks, probably because of the ticking sound (like with the old phone). And maybe he has the digital clock so he can read it faster.

    • So glad someone wondered why there were two functioning clocks there! I LOVE your explanation because all I could come up with was that he liked the antique and needed an alarm…your explanation is WAY better!!

      • Booth has 5 or more clocks in his bathroom (PitH); 1-2 clocks on his nightstand (varies depending on episode); 2-4 in his living room (Hero in the Hold and MitM),

  17. so, I find this subject really interesting. I also think there could be more to whole story of 4:47. Now, I don’t see this theory here yet, and I know I was not the first to come up with this theory, but for the life of me I can’t remember where I read it first. In End in the Beginning, I find not only the 4:47 significant, but also the next shot of the clock in the ‘morning’ at 0543. I’m more interested in why the clock went into military time all of a sudden. There are those who think the first scene in BitE is not part of Booth’s coma dream at all, but actually a flashforward to some point in the future when B&B are together, and when we see 0543, that’s the signal that we’re now in Booth’s dream.

    Also, I do agree that the flashing clock in the season 5 finale has to do with the broken relationship between B&B :). brilliant!

    • oops, meant EitB 🙂

    • Yep I’ve seen that theory too, and I liked it enough that I didn’t say what my first thought actually was. That being that the first look being 4:47 was Brennan writing the story so was shown in civilian time, then the 0543 being more in military time was when Booth’s coma dream took over the telling of the story.

      I just liked the idea of the flash forward better. 😀

    • I’ve read that theory somewhere before as well. I think it’s definitely possible. I wonder if we’d actually seen a morning after scene in The Hole in the Heart if the clock would have read military time…

    • jenlovesbones on twitter was kind enough to share her theory about the change in clock time. I tried to poke holes in her theory, but all I ended up doing was gathering further evidence to support it!

  18. The alarm clock in the first scene, which reads 4:47 is all black around the edges, whereas the second clock, showing 0543 has white writing (perhaps numbers) along the left, right and bottom sides of the display, suggesting the clocks were switched over during filming. Also, the second clock does not have a colon (:) between the hour and the minutes.

  19. I’ve seen this question asked here, will you buy Season 6 DVDs? I’m curious as to what everyone is thinking about this?

    Personally, since I have 1-5 already, not having 6 would make me feel incomplete, so I’d have to get it on that basis alone…haha

    But in all seriousness…I would get it with no hesitations because of all the wonderful moments it did give us. Just because we’ve had some bumps in the road, doesn’t mean its a total waste. We still have lovely Hodgela moments, B&B moments, Caroline moments, that would make it worth while.

    I’m thinking about this also in relation to today’s post about the clocks. I would want to have the DVDs at my disposal so that I could look for those little clues you can miss the first time you watch. And with my limited DVR space, I’ve deleted most of this season’s Bones (with the exception of the last two of course!) so I’ve only seen this season once.

    And last but not least, I am a DVD commentary-aholic. I can’t get enough. I’ve watched the whole Pride and Prejudice (2005) commentary, all The Office commentaries, Bones, etc…I love hearing what the directors, actors, whoever, explain about motivations, why did they use this camera angle or why did the actor do that….etc.

    So I’ve just gotta get my Bones DVDs! Anyone else?

    • I don’t have any of the DVDs but I do have 123 episodes on my DVR. I’m hoping my series recording will catch the ones that aren’t there so I’ll have all of them.

      But, I do want all of the season DVDs, too. I put them all on my Amazon list and keep hinting to my kids. I think it’s time to hint louder. 🙂

      • At Christmas time, Wal-mart had seasons 1 and 2 on sale for $10 each. You may wait and see if they do it again this year. (It was the day after Thanksgiving sale). AND no, I don’t work for Wal-mart.

      • Also Target is good if you watch for when the release date is. Big discounts. I got Enchanted for $17 the day it came out plus it came with a Bonus DVD making of!!!!! Which, I adore. I’ve gotten CDs there for $7-$9 too. Just write down the release dates of any CD-DVD you want and go to Target!

        (Disclaimer: I worked there through college, and so I know the sneaky insider info haha but shop where you feel led!)

    • I already own seasons 1 – 5 and am trying to wear them out. I even bought season 1 again when it was on sale for $10. I couldn’t resist. By the way, what is with TNT not showing Bones so far this week? I had to get my DVDs out last night and watch a couple because I cannot just stop watching.

      I need season 6 to complete my set because, even though the first part of the season was a trial, starting with the episode The Bullet In The Brain, I finally started to get excited about this season. I don’t plan to rewatch the entire season; but, I will be more than happy to start with BITB and go from there. Beside, I love all the specials they throw in and really like them.

    • Yeah, baby, I’ll have it on preorder! In fact, I’ve started rewatching it from my old school videos already. And I’m loving it so much now that I can just ignore H, knowing that she leaves and it all works out 🙂

  20. To be perfectly honest, until HitH, I kinda thought the clock-obsessed fans were just crazy conspiracy theorists – the Hodginses (more than one Hodgins) of the ‘Bones’ audience. With HitH, I had to admit that attention was deliberately focused on that clock. Maybe it didn’t start out this way, but ‘Bones’ clock-watching has become a game, and some of you are totally winning. Great theories! Thanks for sharing and enriching my viewing experience. 😉

    • Well if you have the season 5 DVDs and watch the commentary on The End in the Beginning they admit that they put stuff in there on purpose that tied into The Beginning in the End. Not just in that episode but different things throughout the season. They don’t say what it means just that it’s there. The clock, the tower of chicken wings, whatever else there is I can’t remember right now, but it’s deliberate. Maybe just to make us all nuttier than we already are (or I’ll just speak for myself; to make me even nuttier).

  21. Where do you come up with this stuff…..??? So insightful!

  22. Is there any significance in The Hole in the Heart that there are actually two clocks on Booth’s nightstand? One is digital, but in the background, to the left is the old-fashioned kind. Perhaps it’s meant to show his old-fashioned sensibilities are being combined with her more modern approach. Both are set for the same time.

    I don’t doubt that HH & Co. are placing messages in the show or their own little nods to past shows or themes in the episode. In Daredevil in the Mold, take a look at the roof scene when Booth is struggling with his hangover and Brennan is telling him he’s suffering from alcohol poisoning. In the background there is a single word from a painted sign: RISK.

    I always thought that sign was there for a reason– the victim took a risk and so did Booth. Neither one really paid off in the end for them. (Although if Booth had not proposed, we still might have Hannah hanging around.)

  23. I know this is way out there somewhere, but could the old clock be because they handled the scene in an old fashioned way, in that there was no sex scene? I don’t know, but as I rewatch some old episodes, I keep noticing different themes throughout repeated over and over.

  24. Really great post and I totally agree with BonesDontMelt as some of you guys are totally winning the clock-watching game!!
    When looking at that number, it reminds me of a verse of the Bible. But it makes too little sense in my opinion : ‘When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.’ While we could figure that it refers to Booth needing the help of somebody to heal and move on, I find it difficult to believe that is the hidden meaning of that clock.
    I did got something interesting thought regarding symbol:
    The graph is like a T
    04:47 · This graph was originally a Semitic symbol, the tau cross, St. Anthony’s cross, crux commissa and the Robbers’ cross. It appears to be associated with life and security.
    That explanation definitely makes more sense to me regarding their relationship + Booth’s religious beliefs.
    There is also a song by Roger Waters … and another one by Testament named Deadline (4:47) … * puzzled look*
    Have to stop now as this could go on forever, but one thing is almost sure, that number didn’t came out of the blue … 🙂

    • The bible reference idea is a good one…but it could be from any number of books…sorry, but I don’t intend to read each one to work it out…unless there’s the Book of Hart that I don’t know about…

  25. On flashing clocks: digital clocks flash when they need to be reset (usually because the power has gone off and come on again). I guess that means that B&B needed a reset, which someone has already said.

    The fact that it was flashing 4:47 means that it had been flashing for a minimum of 4 hours and 47 minutes. Or, add as many 12 hours to that as you like. The flashing always starts at 12:00 and time continues on until someone resets it. So, that raises the issue: what does 4 hours and 47 minutes since it needed to be reset/since the power came back on mean? If anything. ;-D

    • I can think of a few things to do that could fill 4 hours and 47 minutes.

      Sorry . . . TMI? 😀

      • *gigglesnort* MJ, I’m sure we could all think of a few things to fill that kind of time…

        Especially if it involved Booth…

        Does this thing have an innocent looking angelic smiley? 😉

      • Sorry Jade….I don’t think there is such a thing as the type of smile you’re looking for! LOL

      • You know what VampireRn? No one would believe it anyway, so I guess it doesn’t matter. 😉

    • I think the significance of having the flashing clock in the room at that time, was not only the blinking (indicating needs to be reset relationship), but that the reset basically happened when Sweets told Booth about Daisy and Brennan’s Maluku opportunity. That’s when Booth decided to go to Afghanistan, thinking Brennan was leaving as well… it led to the end. The blinking 4:47 was there when the metaphorical straw broke the camel’s back.

  26. Well, I think it’s an Easter Egg, sure. As Stephen Nathan said, a little nod to the longtime viewers. Just as mentiong Hot Blooded as “their song” or re-using The Lab’s neon sign for the kids’ show or “King of the Lab”…(side note, who wants baby Michael declared Prince of the Lab? I do!)

    But I don’t think much more of a deeper meaning is intended. I appreciate the inside jokes – the show’s way of saying thanks for paying attention guys, but I’m not inclined to construct an elaborate theory behind it.

    • That’s why I like the inclusions of the inside jokes. I might not always get them, and on my own, I don’t look for deeper meaning, but so many of you out there do. I love coming to Bones Theory to read what others think. I love that these kinds of things bring the fans together and unite the people who are passionate about telling the story with those of us who are passionate about watching it unfold.

      Someone said that if you turn the clock upside down, it says, Lhh, which could mean “Love, Hart Hanson.” I think it would be so clever if this were intended as a nod to the relationship between the show’s creator and its audience. Sure, it’s a love/hate relationship, but it’s mostly love. 😉

      • JK Rowling taught me that you never know what’s important and what’s not, when it comes to symbolism and hidden meanings and Easter Eggs and recurring themes. Sometimes Mark Evans is just another kid and sometimes a goat is a substitute for what was really a Patronus. You just never know.

        So I’m glad you guys catch these things that mean more than what they might appear to mean. That clock going from civilian to military time? Wow. I never would have noticed that.

    • I just love feeling ‘in the know’. Those of you who noticed the clock in HitH and reacted with an incredulous ‘Oh.My.God’ would know what I mean. Most normal viewers won’t get it. We do – and man do we feel special!

  27. I like it when shows put hidden messages in them. I was huge fan of Lost and everyone that watched it knew, that every week, you had to look for things going on in the background not just what was happening up front. Most dedicated fans watched each epidosde the first time around for the overall story and then watched again to see what was going on in the background. It made the show more interesting and those that followed the show faithfully got inside info that the casual viewer never got or realized was there. The Easter Eggs that are dropped into Bones are rewards to the dedicated viewer and I want to say Thank-you, HH. I appreciate the effort.

  28. Steph, I love this post. I caught the 4:47 right off and thought something along the lines of “oh, Hart, you are a wiley one…”

    And I love the nods to the crazy obsessed er… super fans like us. 😉 Castle has done a couple of nods to the Firefly fans, and it’s just nice when the creators acknowledge their fans. And reward them for being observant.

    That’s one of the things I love about Bones. The creators know that their fans are smart and observant and give them credit for it and reward it with these little easter eggs. Like Brennan’s new ringtone. Like The Lime in The Coconut. Like The Lab sign. And like the recurring themes that we’re able to put together here on BT.

    Of course, now I’m going to have to go back and catch the clock in TBitE. And the change from civilian to military time on the clock in TEitB. Gee, watching more Bones… that’ll be a rough assignment for me. 😉

    And I wish I had TDitP still saved… there’s a shot of Brennan’s clock in that. I know it’s not 4:47, but I can’t remember what it was. And I wonder now, if it too, was flashing I wonder what, if any, significance that has beyond it being early and her being unable to sleep. Though I found it very interesting that she was on the same side of the bed in that shot as she was in TEitB…

    • Wow, Jade, interesting point about Brennan’s clock…I can’t think of what it is either….but now I have an itch to pull out the ol’ DVDs and watch from the Pilot to now, to watch for every clock, just to look for any connections! haha

      Everyone is so smart on this blog, thinking of possibilities and questions that I never would think of myself! I’m too busy squeeing over Brennan in Booth’s bedroom, in his sweatshirt, to worry about things like that (though my mind did register the 4:47, but I couldn’t put any brainpower as to what it meant, haha).

    • Jade, what is Brennan’s new ringtone?

      • If I am not mistaken it was the old-fashioned ringtone, just like the phone she told Hannah to get Booth 😉 Somebody pls correct me if I am wrong …

      • Exuperance got it. Brennan’s ringtone since Blackout in the Blizzard has been an old fashioned bell type ring. You can hear it in Hole in the Heart when Brennan gets the phone call that Booth got Broadsky. You can probably hear it in Change in the Game, too… hmm, another thing to go back and watch for. Shucks, another reason to re-watch. 😉

        There is a transcript of a live chat that HH did during Blackout and several people jumped on the ringtone immediately upon hearing it and asked him about it. He said something about how observant people are. If you’re interested in reading the whole thing, the chat is here. The link should open in a new page.

        I remember hearing the ringtone the first time I watched Blackout and thinking it was Booth’s phone and wondering why Brennan was answering it. And then I had the ah-ha moment… And on a personal level I liked it because it isn’t something obnoxious; and it made me think of this comic from XKCD. 😉

      • Wow that chat was hard to read. In an organized flow kind of way. He really needs a screener for those.

      • I have a Bones ringtone…what does that say about me???

      • dammit… hit the wrong reply button…

        Linda, having the Bones theme as your ringtone says you’re AWESOME. 😉

      • You know, they could make that ringtone easier to find – the BONES ringtone, I mean. I used to have the Buffy theme as my general ringtone and that music was everywhere. When I went looking for BONES, it was like pulling teeth. I thought I might have to try to make it myself, which would have been a disaster.

        I like it when people recognize the music and we have a little mini Bones-discussion. 🙂

      • MJ–pulling teeth??? Like Gormogon??

      • hehehehehe

        Now I understand my urge to dismantle my computer and string up the cables in an interesting display a lot better. 🙂

    • Brennan’s clock reads 1:06 and it is not flashing.

      • Thanks, Steph, you’re awesome! 🙂

        Wonder if we can find any deeper meaning in it… We’re Bones Theory people. I’m sure we can if we try hard enough. 😉

  29. I’m wondering if anyone else noticed that the Cocky Belt Buckle was visible in pre-airing episode pics…but then attention was not brought to it during the final product. If you look very very very closely, you can see the red edges but not the full belt buckle. Since the presence/lack thereof of the CBB such an important element to the B&B relationship theory, I’m wondering why TPTB didn’t make a point to show us its return.

    • Well I don’t think the absence of the Cocky Belt Buckle was intended to reflect in any way on the B&B relationship. I actually swiched from Cock to the crossed guns in response to the sniper ep, but when they switched episode order he in effect ended up making the switch before Broadsky showed up. The sniper tie-in to the belt buckle change was actually stated by DB in an interview back then.

      They apparently still stuck with the plan to have him wear the sharpshooter belt buckle until he caught Broadsky but I can only guess that since that ep order switch and not mention being made about why he switched in the first place they decided not to mention when he switched back.

  30. I decided to see if HH had the whole clock idea in any of the earlier seasons. So I started to think back to all the episodes with bedroom scenes. If anyone has Netflix or their DVDs handy, can anyone tell what time it says on Booth’s clock in Season 2, Ep.5 The Truth in the Lye? It shows up a little over a minute into the show.

    I’m not obsessed. REALLY! haha

    • Nope. No clock at all. And the decor in his bedroom is much more upscale as well. Gotta love set changes.

  31. Ok, I’m having a perfectly wonderful SQUEE to the 10th power moment, its not clock related but I’m having a blast!

    Ok, so I perodically check board for posts, and there is this one, Keeper of the Cocky, in which we waxed eloquently on all things Cocky buckle related. Well, anyway, we were talking about the pregnancy, and I had said first I want them to have a girl that we could ship with Michael Staccato Vincent (gotta plan ahead, right?) but then I changed my mind and thought a baby boy with a mini-Cocky belt buckle would be perfect.

    While I was internally squee-ing at my brilliant idea, my pal over there offered up twins. A girl to ship with Michael and a boy to wear the mimi-Cocky. Squee!!

    And so then I posited Caroline and Hank as B&B twin names. Double squee! haha

    Had to share! 🙂

  32. In Pain in the Heart, you can see at least 5 clocks in Booth’s bathroom when Brennan comes in to talk. Strangely enough, they are all set to different times and none of them are digital: 10:05, 2:05, 9:35, 8:35, and 8:05. Different time zones?

    I definitely see this as being purposeful though. Maybe the abundance of clocks just mean B&B sexual tension.

  33. In answer to your question, I think it’s both…signaling an important event…and representative of intimacy between the two.

    My question is that in the EITB, there were actually 2 clocks in the opening scene: 1 with the 4:47 and the other in military time 04:47 (or something like this). They’ve made a connection to the normal clock 4:47…but not to the military time clock. I don’t think this was an accident but don’t know what it signifies…if it does at all. I’m wondering if they knew early on in season 4 that they would be sending Booth to Afghanistan. Did they plan this so far ahead in time. I don’t always see a plan in HHs story so its difficult for me to give them credit for this but you never know……

  34. Does everybody here know where to find episodes from Bones, if you don’t have them on Netflix. This is the link I use for season 6, until the DVD comes out, or Netflix gets it working. You don’t need to download anything, just click in the black area on the screen. Sometimes you may have to try more than one link, but it works.

    • You can also purchase them on for 94 cents an epi (if you buy more than one with a TV pass). All of Season 6 is available. It ends up being like $22 for the whole season.

      • Can they be downloaded onto a DVD, or rewatched?

      • I’m not sure if they can be downloaded onto a DVD but they can be rewatched…I’ve downloaded the entire season, because I quit watching after the 100th epi and didn’t start watching again until right around 13 of this season. I couldn’t bring myself to watch the Hannah shows until after HitH. They basically save onto your Amazon account.

  35. Oooooooooh…..i am TOTALLY going with your theory!!

    I like hidden meanings….i tend to miss them but i like them!!!

    I would say more but…i am WAY too tired. Loved it though…awesomeness!

  36. I think it also signified the team as well as B/B. At the end of season 4, the team was good as ever. At the end of season 5, Booth and Brennan flew to opposite ends of the world and the team broke apart. Now, at the end of season 6, they (minus VNM 😦 ) are as close as they were back then.

  37. I agree with the difference between the clocks and how the stalling S5 finale clock signified a stagnate situation.

    When I saw the HitH clock I though ‘OMG, they’re so gonna do it!’ Which is why I was on Team Did (before being persuaded by all the fab reasons out there from Team Didn’t).

    I needed to remind myself though that the casual viewer would have no idea what the clock ‘meant’ – the lingering shot was for us – the obsessed who just ‘knew’ its significance.

    I’m thinking we ain’t seen the last of the clock…I just wonder when it’ll appear next…
    The birth? The proposal? The wedding?

  38. There is just SO much that has been read into things, or been teased by HH/SN, over the years that never came to bear or had real relevance that I think most of this stuff is just that, STUFF, that gets thrown in for the perverse enjoyment of the showrunners watching the fans give more thought to the show than the showrunners themselves.

    • Yeah, you’re probably right. But I think most of us do it just for fun, and I think it’s fine as long as we don’t take ourselves too seriously. For some of us, it’s an opportunity to (over?)analyze a favorite subject, and for others, it’s a chance to use their (over?)active imaginations.

  39. After rewatching the End in the Begiinning scene a couple times (I know, research is brutal) I think I have the clock thing figured out. On TV, they can’t risk using a clock that works at certain times because every time they reshoot the times will be out of sync. So they used two different clocks. They figured they both have large green numbers and no one would notice the difference. So they used a 4:47 clock and a 5:43 clock. I doubt anyone noticed that the second clock was army time. That’s my theory. But I like the whole steady light vs. blinking light theories and the LHH theory. I wonder if HH&co had that in mind. I hope they did, because then maybe they’re clever enough to do a great season 7 and beyond. I’m still a little apprehensive about that.

  40. Wow…that explanation just blew me away!! Wouldn’t have thought of that!!! I did notice the clock (a sign that I’m a tad bit too obsessed I supposed :P) but didn’t really read into it. I just thought it was some kind of recurring time/number they’d flash every once in a while (on the X-Files it was 1013….on Fringe it’s colors…etc. etc.). But if it’s really as you say, I’d never want to see a flashing clock ever again!!

  41. I love these clocks!

    Flashing definitely means broken
    Not flashing means fixed, stable, perfect 🙂

  42. I never noticed the clock in the season 4 finale until today…bit anyway I don’t know about the one in season 5 but I think the season four finale in a way foreshadowed what just happened in the last 2 episodes of this season. When you think about it they you know at 4:47 in the dream and at the end of the episode she tells him she’s pregnant and then a really similar scenario occurs now in season 6…
    Plus what a coincidence-the clocks are only in finales…

  43. Firstly, I’m glad other people saw this… my friends and I watch Bones and I came into school the day after the Change in the Game asking about 4:47. They didn’t know what I was talking about so I let my interest terminate until I saw Bones at Paley Fest 2012 where they mentioned 4:47. So here I am…
    Stephanie I agree with you and commend you in so many ways, your explanation is just so… amazing words cannot describe how excited I am. I took the time to read all the comments and although I love your ‘theory’ of B and B’s relationship being “broken” at the end of season 5 I have to disagree slightly. I don’t think their relationship was ever broken… and like Booth and Brennan say :”We (they) are the center, and the center must hold.”
    I agree with ‘Becca’ when she says at season five–while the clock is blinking–Booth and Brennan’s relationship has paused.
    I also agree with ‘bones123’. I feel HH and SN were foreshadowing that Brennan was going to get pregnant and have Booth’s child. At 4:47 in season 4 there’s the love scene with Booth and Brennan and at the end of the episode you find out they had made a baby… fast foward 2 years later and the clock is once again in tact, like in Booth’s coma dream it is 4:47 and we can assume (even though it has already happened) The real Booth and Brennan–the scientist and FBI agent, not the night club owners–will also make a baby. 🙂
    Thank you so much for posting this, it really cleared up everything!

  44. I love all your theories. I know this discussion was last year, but did you see the comic con panel this year? Hart (or Steven Nathan, I don’t remember exactly) said he was curious to find out whether the fans already noticed the digital times, (and yes we did) and he said it’s gonna show up once more this season! (Which is season 7, at the moment). Maybe again, the season finale? And this time, to hold onto the pattern, flashing lights? –> is that a bad sign…? Because, in season 5 they “split up” (went separate ways).

    • I’m anonymous of up above, I said “flashing lights”, I hope y’all understand that I mean the lights of the clock flashing? I should’ve said ‘a flashing clock’. or clocklights. or… whatever. Argh you probably understood me the first time already. Now I’m writing a reply on my own comment, I’ll use this to mention that I love Bones… I am in love with Bones. So. Much. Should’ve said this in the previous comment as well. But I forgot. Did I already mention that I am deeply, madly, insanely, ridiculously, crazily in love with Bones? Bones = my life. Ok. Not my life. This way I look like a creep without social life. Bones = my schoollife. Because, I watch Bones @school. Yeahhhhh you got that right baby, at school. And since I’m five days a week, eight hours a day at school… You can say Bones is a big, big, biiiiig part of my life. Ok. Not only Bones. Castle as well. Four hours a day Bones, four hours a day Castle. 8 hours social life. 8 hours sleep. Yeah. Love my life.

  45. It already did. Brennan’s watch read 4:47 when she was giving birth and we already saw the number during Crack in the code when Sweets and Booth were looking for the rest of the remains.

  46. and now, again the clock. I DONT EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS!!!
    im gonna kill hart hason if he doesn’t tell us wtf this clock means in the next season, really.

    • The only thing that kept me from hysterics in yesterday’s episode was that the clock (of course reading 4:47) was NOT blinking.

    • You’re out of luck on that, unless it’s the last season. Hart has said that they won’t reveal the significance of 4:47 until the very last ep of the series.

  47. Bones Season 9 Premiere…last scene is clock changes to 4:47 after B&B reestablish their relationship post-proposal/post-acceptance/post-denial season 8 finale!!

  48. I know this will sound cliched, but I think it means that Booth is still in a coma. Has it ever appeared in a scene without him? I think it represents something to his unconscious mind.

    • Along those lines, it could also mean that his life is flashing before his eyes in the moments before death, but that would make for a seriously grim finale, so I doubt they would do that to viewers. 🙂

    • It would make for a pretty cool ending, In the series finale, he will finally awake from the coma (this time, for real) and realize how much he wants the life that he experienced during his coma. The series would then conclude with him setting out to turn that dreamed life into reality…

  49. Just found this- but the new episode also includes a 4:47 flashing reference. Have you seen it yet?

    • Yes I have and I’m curious what it means. The time flashed to 4:47 and then back to what – 7 something? So it flashed, but it wasn’t continually flashing. B&B’s relationship is strained, but as of the end of the episode, still holding strong.

      I’m not sure what any of that means in relation to my original theory, but I am starting to wonder if it was a sign that Pelant was watching…

  50. Wasn’t the clock on 4:47 when Christopher Pelant was bugging B&B’s house?

  51. Pingback: Vintage Bones: The End in the Beginning | Bones Theory

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