Hello, and Happy Monday!
A quick word about Bones Theory: a little “State of the Blog Address”, if you will. I’m not planning to take the summer off or anything, but I’m also not committing to having posts every day. I’m not deliberately NOT having posts every day, but if there happens to be a day or two in a row with no new posts, it’s not a sign the blog is shutting down or anything—it’s just a slow news day 😀 BT started on July 6th, 2010, but I only posted sporadically, when I felt inspired, and when something was on my mind that I wanted to discuss. It wasn’t until later that September, when Season Six started, that we really began posting every day. So we’re all just sort of playing this summer hiatus by ear. Cool?
Anyway, back to the post at hand. One thing I’ve struggled with this season is how the Hannah storyline was just completely dropped pretty much. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t want it to continue for another iota of screen time and space. But the logistics, as far as (particularly) Booth’s character development, do still leave me scratching my head. But the more I think about it, the more I conclude that Booth deliberately fell in love with Hannah…for Brennan.
When I think about Booth, in regards to his actions/reactions toward Brennan, one word that almost always comes to mind is: eager. Yes, he can be cocky and confident and stubborn and a regular SOB, but with Brennan, I’ve always sensed that underlying vulnerability and eagerness to please. It shows up in the pilot episode, when after she walks away from Cleo Eller’s grave, he sort of hustles after her. It shows up later in the series in the way his smile is just a bit more genuine after she’s seen something his way or praised him for his thoughts or actions. It shows up in the way he kept his family life away from her, as much as possible—only letting her see the things he feels are safe enough to reveal to her. And it shows up in the way he tells her about Hannah as soon as they get back to DC.
It was the cruelest irony, of course, that just as Brennan has come to terms with the fact that she wants to be more open toward people and her feelings for them, Booth has managed to give her what she wanted–the ability to work with him without her having to deal with the emotional side of romance. I see it (at first) as a sacrifice Booth made for Brennan. Sometimes you just have to settle for second best…isn’t that what he said in the season five premiere?
But if settling for second best (Hannah) meant making Brennan happy (in his mind), doesn’t that mean he would still come out on top? Not in a manipulative “Juggling two women at once” way, but in the “he makes sure no one gets hurt” kind of way. If he gets a little hurt in the process, well…that’s nothing new, and he should have known better, and he doesn’t deserve what he really wants, etc, etc.
When Booth first showed that picture of Hannah to Brennan, I never saw him shoving it in her face like a “see what you missed out on” or a “I’ve moved on, so you can shove it, Bones” kind of thing. It was more a “Don’t worry about me, Bones. I can compartmentalize. I know that’s important to you, and I promise it won’t be an issue. See, here’s proof.” sort of thing.
At that time (as you know), I was just shocked at the negative reactions toward Booth in the general fandom. You know this because you were probably tired of me constantly talking about it and trying to defend Booth, haha. Not that he was perfect or anything, but I still thought that a lot of his actions centered around that eagerness he has toward Brennan. If she wants to be just partners, then fine, he’ll be just partners.
Have you ever had a friendship like that? Or a relationship? Where you sort of make those inner vows, trying to prove it’s true so you can believe it? I have, and I saw that in Booth. I think over the course of the next few months, he did fall more in love with Hannah, but when it came down to it, it was something he could (fairly) easily take or leave. I never really saw Booth as being a jerk to Brennan…I saw more that he was trying to give her what she wanted without being able to clearly see that perhaps what she wanted had changed.
I mentioned the pilot episode, the moments like when he introduces her to Pops and the season six premiere, but the one moment that really makes me think he deliberately moved on more for Brennan than for himself came in Daredevil in the Mold, when, as he’s drinking alone, Brennan shows up and tells him that Hannah called her. He just sort of gasps and can’t deal, in what I interpreted as, “What more do you want from me?” Not just to her, but to God or the universe, or even himself, I guess. It’s in the way he tears up and almost gives this humorless laugh; it’s in the way he says he doesn’t want to talk about it, but then can’t help himself because it’s her…it’s Brennan…it’s Bones, and she’s there.
I think Booth prides himself on doing the right thing, so when his most deliberate efforts ended up so badly, it was more than he could take. Again, his self-imposed job was to make sure no one got hurt, but he wasn’t able to guarantee that, and maybe that crushed him more than any rejection he felt.
I guess I’m getting away from my original question, so I want to come back to that. Did Booth deliberately fall in love with someone else FOR Brennan’s sake? If so, was it then doomed from the start? Did the man who believes in fate try to make his own, so to speak?
Peace, Love & Bones