I’ve been saying that all the discussion of how wonderful season 6 was was all ex post rationalization of something that many of us didn’t like. I will never consider this excruciatingly painful part of Brennan and Booth’s journey as a “gift.” Now, I get my comeuppance. I’m not ceding the point about the painful part of the journey, but I am going to rationalize the new direction that Bones has taken. I’m going to explain why I think that Brennan being pregnant is truly a gift. Let me note that this started as an email to Sarajade that morphed into an essay for BonesTheory when I should have been grading term papers or attending to filial duties. ;-D Anything to avoid grading and my mother. My thanks to Sarajade and rynogeny for their comments and to Sarah for giving us the gift of BonesTheory and for giving me even more space to air my humble opinions.
From a strictly practical perspective, it’s a great move. We’ve all seen shows where they tried to hide the lady lead’s pregnancy, and we all know how lame that is. I just don’t see Dr. Temperance Brennan carrying a humongous purse. The pregnancy helps with other practical matters. By the time they go back into production, Emily will be well along in her pregnancy. She will be subject to all the challenges that the later months of pregnancy produce. She will tire more quickly. She will be less agile. She may have balance issues. She won’t be able to be on her feet as much and so on. (BTW, I noticed that she was wearing Crocs in some of the behind the scenes shots. Nothing is better at preventing sore feet.)
So, not only do they not have to hide her baby bump, but they also won’t have to justify Brennan sitting more and otherwise being much less active. I am also looking forward to an even more overly protective Booth v. “I can take care of myself” Brennan. Talk about unresolved tension. That wouldn’t make any sense unless Bones is pregnant. A Bones pregnancy also opens up an opportunity for all kinds of comedy. How will our favorite kick ass lion-hearted FBI agent react when his Bones goes into labor? How will Brennan herself react? Will Booth have to scoop her up and carry her off to get her to go to the hospital?
Then there will be the reactions of the other parties. What will Caroline have to say? Something ironic and funny and dead on, no doubt, cher. And, Max. Will he be poking at Booth to make an honest woman of his daughter, knowing full well that she’s the one resisting marriage? He obviously knows already that something’s up. The real gift, however, is how Brennan will react to the changes and challenges she will be facing and how Booth will try to help her. It will be funny and it will be poignant, but this is going to be a very challenging journey for our logical, rational forensic anthropologist. Logic and rationality is only going to take her so far. She is about to run into a tsunami of emotions. It will be fascinating to see how she handles them.
First, what will a Brennan “high” on pregnancy hormones be like? Imagine the mood swings. Will she be weepy? Will she be angry? What will she crave? Will she have Booth running out for Thai food in the middle of the night? Will she try to compartmentalize these emotions? Can anyone do that? What happens when she realizes she can’t? What will a nesting Brennan be like? How will that affect Booth and Brennan trying to figure out where to live? Will she try to rationally justify everything about the baby’s room or will she just fall under the spell of a cute stuffed animal or a beautiful hand made crib? What happens after the baby’s born? Talk about emotions. Will she finally let herself fall under the spell that baby will cast over her, or will she try to fight it, try to protect herself from a love so strong that she never has imagined it, let alone felt it? A love so intense and all encompassing that she can’t and won’t run from it. I can already hear all the anthropological explanations, but logic ultimately can’t win the fight with the overwhelming love for one’s child. What will happen when she realizes that? What will a Bones besotted with love for her child be like?
She loves Booth, but it took forever for her to acknowledge and act on that. She protected herself for a long time. This time she won’t be able to do that. She will be plunged into this love headlong. And, it will be informed by Emily’s own recent experience as a new mother. It should be amazing to watch. The pregnancy and the life issues it will force her and Booth to face should also lead to some interesting discussions of the many philosophical issues on which they disagree. How will she respond if Booth wants to have the child christened?
It may seem odd, but this will also provide that window on Booth’s childhood that we’ve all been looking for. Seeing what he wants for them and for the child and why will tell us tell us a lot about his past. As Sarajade has recently pointed out, this is going to be a real test of both their considerable wills. The bickering and banter and the suppressed passion it allowed them to express are what many of us missed this season. It should be back in full force (and heightened by the hormones raging through Brennan). Will we see some role reversal because Booth has experience with an infant and Bones doesn’t? This could be hilarious, but it could also provoke some self-searching on both their parts.
How will they share the childcare responsibilities? How will they resolve the work-family balance issues, especially given that that work is solving murders together? How will her view of and relationship with Max change? With Russ? With Parker? With the squint squad? With Angela? Will these best friends grow closer? They’ve already made it clear that Brennan is closely observing Angela’s experience. Will she look to Angela for guidance on this journey? Will Booth look to Angela for help with Brennan? Will Hodgins look to Booth for general dad advice? Will Hodgins and Booth get closer? The more I think about it, the more brilliant I think this “change in the game” is. It extends Brennan’s journey (what the show is really about) not just in length, but also in emotional depth. I can’t imagine any better or more “organic” way to do that.
I could probably give you another 1000 words of examples, but now it’s your turn to do some rationalizing.