Bones Theory

Booth Isn’t In Love With Brennan…But He Will Be.


{Edit from Seels: Yes, this is the post we’ve all been waiting for! Laffers has held her own in the comments for many months, taking a lot of (good-natured) heat for her stance that Booth is not in love with Brennan…yet? I talked Laffers into putting down her thoughts, and she did, and then it took us nearly two months to actually get to this point, which is all my fault! So that’s a little disclaimer…she wrote this a few weeks ago and so hasn’t really mentioned the end of season six. Don’t hold that against her, okay?}

OK, so I’ve thought about posting this before. I even planned it out in my head before mentally erasing it but after the twitter conversations I’ve had regarding it recently AND the fact Sarah asked so nicely I thought now is finally the time. Hopefully I won’t wimp out before I finish it! LOL

If you know me, my next few words won’t come as a shock (you’ll probably just roll your eyes and smile indulgently! LOL) but if you don’t…well, you’ll probably think I’m mad. Either way, I imagine you’re going to have a very strong initial reaction to this but please, bear with me and I’ll explain.

Firstly I have two Bones related theories, very closely linked.

1)      Booth is not in love with Brennan.

2)      Booth is in love with the idea of Brennan.

I’m just going to leave that there for a second so it can sink in but never fear…there is a method to my madness!

OK, we good to go? Right. So…

I’m not claiming that Booth hasn’t or doesn’t care for Brennan. I’m not even saying he doesn’t love her. I’m just saying he’s not in love with her.

Now, most Bones fans have a different opinion on when they think Booth fell in love with Brennan. Some say as early as Season 2. Some as late as Season 5. I don’t believe I’ve ever spoken to anyone who thinks as early as Season 1 as late as Season 6 so I’m going to skip right over those two and begin with Season 2. I’ll try and continue this in chronological order (I said try!) and we’ll go from there.

In season 2 Booth slept with both Rebecca and Cam in the same episode. Now, I won’t go into the reasons why this makes me mad (well…Rebecca makes me mad. Cam I’m fine with!) but this doesn’t scream ‘In love with his partner’ to me. He then went on to have a sexual relationship with Cam over a period of 8 episodes. Some would argue that he buried his feelings for Brennan by having that relationship with Cam. And those who have argued that will know I disagree and my reasoning for that is simple. Booth isn’t that guy. He’s not the type of man who sleeps with one woman while longing for another. He’s too good for that…too honourable.  When he was seeing Cam it was about Cam and no one else.

I admit that he had ‘moments’ with Brennan in this season. ‘There’s more than one kind of family’ for one. Tony and Roxy for another. There are more that I haven’t mentioned (I figured I shouldn’t bore you! LOL) but again this comes down to the difference between caring/loving her and being in love with her. Being with Cam doesn’t/didn’t negate his feelings for Brennan both as his friend and his partner. He still cared for her and it’s clear from ‘Woman in the Sand’ that he still found her attractive. The point is that when he was with Cam he was with Cam. In ‘Aliens in a Spaceship’ Brennan didn’t cross his mind when they were planning a weekend away but he didn’t just forget Brennan as his friend. Hence why in ‘Girl with a Curl’ he stays with her instead of going with Cam. He was…balancing the two. His lover and his partner.

When I watch the scenes with Booth and Cam I don’t see a man who loves his partner but is 1) Hiding it or 2) In denial. I see a man who is enjoying a no strings affair with a beautiful woman. And can you blame him? Camille is one stunning woman. 😀

Moving on to the joy that was Season 3 (I know some don’t like it, but I loved that season warts and all 🙂 ). In particular I am thinking of ‘Killer in the Concrete’ (ok ok, this is season 2 but i need it so…roll with it! 🙂 ) and ‘Wannabe in the Weeds’. In Killer, Booth flirts with the bounty hunter freely (FYI- I love flirty Booth. I don’t care who he’s flirting with, he just looks hot doing it!) and in Wannabe he thoroughly enjoyed himself at the gym surrounded by gorgeous woman working out. This just serves as a reminder (a reminder that I feel some people need) that he is a man. Now, I’m not saying in any way, shape or form that these prove he wasn’t celibate or anything remotely similar. I’m just using it to say that he’s not a saint; he’s a red blooded male who enjoys an attractive woman as much as the next. And for me, a man as masculine and attractive as Booth isn’t going to live like a saint. We may not see it but I can’t believe that he’s been celibate since Cam. The very idea is laughable and you’d have to be naive to think it. In ‘Man in the Outhouse’ (so i’ve mixed Seasons here….chronological has gone out the window! LOL) Brennan says

BRENNAN: You’re very secretive. As if discussing your sex life would somehow be offensive to me. I assume you are sexually active.

And Booth’s response?

BOOTH: I do fine.

And he has that…look on his face. I can never quite pinpoint what that look means but all I know is I like it! For me that’s as good as Booth saying that he has had relationships that neither Brennan nor we know about. Brennan says previously in that same conversation ‘I’m very open about my relationships, as opposed to you’ to Booth and she’s right. Booth is much more loathe to discuss his private life and not just with Brennan. The man is insanely private and just because we haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened (as Stephen Nathan was nice enough to point out to me! LOL).

I’ll get back to some kind of order now and continue with Season 4. This season is harder for me to discuss as I find the entire thing incredibly….average. It’s not a bad season don’t get me wrong, it just isn’t particularly impressive, not compared to earlier seasons. It contains the odd brilliant moment but that’s about it. In terms of Booth’s feelings for Brennan, there’s no real difference to season 3. He flirted with Pritchard. He flirted with Perotta. He never did anything that suggested he loved Brennan in any way other that as a Partner/Friend. There were no grand gestures, no declarations of any kind. They were just…partners. And best friends. No more, no less.

Now I know what you’re thinking (or at least I think I do!). What about all the moments they had in S4? Booth’s reassurance to Brennan regarding Perotta? The sexy librarian airplane ‘incident’? Booths ‘there’s someone for everyone’ to Brennan? And I can see your point…but for me this comes down to the difference between wanting someone, being a friend to someone and loving someone. The airplane scene? I imagine that Booth has had more than his fair share of sexy scientist/librarian dreams when it comes to Brennan and his reaction is to be expected. He wants her. Always has and on some level always will but…want isn’t love. And his reassurance to Brennan in relation to Perotta was exactly what it looked like. A man reassuring his partner that, regardless of what had gone on in that one case, he was still HER partner. And she was still his. Brennan showed an unbelievable amount of vulnerability in that moment and Booth reacted to that. He cares for her and you’ll never hear me claim differently.

Now…Booth words. Coincidentally this ties into my next point so chronilogicallness (is that a word?) is officially out of the window 😀

Booth is big on speeches regarding love and that ‘special’ someone and I may be a realist when it comes to love but even I can admit to the odd ‘awwww’ moment when he’s spoken. It’s always with such passion and belief that you’d have to be a harder woman than me to remain unmoved. What I believe though is that it says more about his view on love than his feelings for Brennan. When I think back to this

Here we are. All of us are basically alone, separate creatures just circling each other. All searching for that slightest hint of a real connection. Some look in the wrong places,

Some, they just give up hope because in their mind they’re thinking ‘Oh, there’s nobody out there for me.’

But all of us, we keep trying over, and over again. Why? Because every once in a while,

Every once in a while, two people meet. And there’s that spark.

And yes Bones, he’s handsome. And she’s beautiful. And maybe that’s all they see at first…

But making love? Making. Love. That’s when two people become one.

And this

Okay, there is someone for everyone. Someone you’re meant to spend the rest of your life with. All right? You just have to be open enough to see it. That’s all.

Aaaaaaaaand this 🙂

BRENNAN: Because you all want to lose yourself in another person. You believe that love is transcendent and eternal. I want to believe that, too.

BOOTH: Hey, you will. I promise. Someday you will. You will someday, okay? You will.

A small part of me connects it to Brennan in so much as he is proving a point or reassuring her. But what I hear/see when I listen to these small snippets from Booth is how he views love. It also shows me what he wants from his life. He wants the relationship. He wants to break the laws of physics with someone. He wants to be in love and be loved in return…and if I’m honest I’d go so far as saying he needs it. I could get deeper and say how I think the way he views relationships is down to his childhood etc etc but, as fun as that would be, it’s not my point. My overall point is that the relationship he thinks he needs is, in my opinion, more important to him than the woman that relationship is with.

While you remunerate on that (and possibly yell at me! LOL) I’ll move on to the somewhat controversial Season 5. Now it had some brilliant moments (Pops, GG, Hodgins being that guy, Proof in the Pudding) and some moments that were just…god awful (Wendell & Angela- need I say more?) but this is the Season where everything between Booth and Brennan came to a head, and also the season where people point things out to me that, in their eyes, proves Booth loves Brennan. And it’s also the Season that, in my eyes, proves the exact opposite. (I’m contrary that way…so sue me.)

This is where the ‘Booth is in love with the idea of Brennan’ theory really comes into play but firstly I need to address one major storyline of that Season- Booth’s tumour. I know a lot of people (and of those people some of them I adore!) dismiss the tumour and the after effects, stating they don’t buy the whole ‘Booth doesn’t know what he wants/who he is because he’s recovering’ deal. Personally I’ve never had any experience with someone who’s gone through what Booth went through so I can’t state categorically that how he was shown after the operation was true to real life. BUT what I can say is that Hart Hanson chose to play it a certain way, and his way showed that, directly after the tumour, Booth struggled to remember who he was. He couldn’t shoot, he didn’t know whether he liked brown sugar, he couldn’t tell when someone was lying…and all the rest of it, both big and small. Is that what would really happen? I have no idea. The point is that is how Hart chose to write it so that is what I’m basing my thoughts/opinions on.

There are a few things in S5 that people use to prove Booths love to me (and I’m sure you guys will inform me of some 🙂 ) but I really want to talk about the 100th. The episode that arguably changed everything. Now, I have many issues with the final three minutes of this episode but I’m going to restrain myself and only discuss what is relevant. Well, I’ll try anyway!

To begin with Booth’s declaration was difficult for me to understand. It didn’t fit what I’d seen so far, and it didn’t fit the Booth that I knew. The Booth I knew and loved would never have approached Brennan the way he did. It was…rash, impulsive and completely out of character. I think with anything or anyone else Booth would have acted somewhat impulsively but Brennan is the one person with who he thinks before speaking. He understands her, he knows the ‘truth of her’ and he knows better than to rush her. Or at least he did. But in this moment he did everything he knew not to do…he pushed, he demanded, he gambled and ultimately he lost.

Some people blame Sweets for this moment and I agree…to a degree. Should Sweets have dared Booth to gamble? Hell no…it was unprofessional and one of the few moments where I have been disappointed in the Baby Duck. But was everything that followed Sweets fault? Of course not. It’d be ridiculous to believe otherwise. Booth is responsible for his own actions and his own mistakes and one of these days he is going to have to own them. Now, both he and you may disagree but for me his actions in that moment were the biggest mistake he has made to date. Even bigger than proposing to Hannah!

(Ok, I guess you’re wondering where the ‘In love with the idea’ theory comes in, right? Well I’m getting there…albeit very slowly).

In my opinion, Booth spent the much of S5 with Brennan his partner, and Bren his wife mixed up in his mind. I’m not saying he didn’t know the difference between the two of them because of course he did. But I think the Coma Dream, and the life he had with Brennan in that dream gave him this false idea of what a life with Brennan would really be like. He longed for that life and who can really blame him? Beautiful wife…cool clothes…baby on the way. The coma dream showed Booth everything he had ever wanted out of life, and then he woke to find it was all a lie. He wasn’t married to Brennan. He didn’t have a child on the way. And his clothes weren’t as cool! My heart breaks for Booth a little bit each time when I think about it. To believe you had everything you wanted only to find out it was all a lie. Heart crushing.

But here’s the thing…is it Brennan he wants? Or the life with Brennan he had dreamt? I would love to be able to say it was option A, but in all honesty I have to go with option B. Booth has always been that man. The man who wanted a wife and a family. The man who wanted the committed monogamous relationship that ultimately ends with a walk down the aisle. And I think that the moment in the 100th episode reinforces this…he wants that life. The 30, 40, 50 years with the same someone by his side and I think, in that moment, that’s what he was asking for. I’m not saying Brennan isn’t a factor in that choice, but as I said previously I believe the life he thinks he needs is more important than the woman he spends it with.

Now don’t get me wrong I’m not bashing Booth here. I’m not even blaming him. He craves a life he never had and who can blame him? I just believe that his need for this life is 1) Why the idea of the life he can have with Brennan is more important than Brennan herself and 2) Why he claimed he needed to move on so quickly.

I’ve heard many a defence for Booth in terms of his moving on comment. Some say it was for Brennan, that he needed to reassure her that he would be ok. A nice thought maybe, but not one I particularly believe if only because he is still a man and more to the point he is human…in that moment he was thinking of himself and not Brennan. Others ask how could he have said anything differently after being rejected? That is the moment I am forced to point out that technically he wasn’t rejected but again I can understand why people think this. I don’t agree, but I get it.

But for me, the fact that Booth can claim he wants to spend his life with her in one breath and state his need to move on in the next proves that his need for someone to spend his life with is stronger than his need for Brennan (especially because he can STILL technically have Brennan as his partner).. Again it doesn’t make him a bad person…it just makes him a flawed one. And Booth is flawed. Spectacularly flawed. It’s what makes him so appealing. A man that is so strong and yet can be so weak is irresistible. That desire to then discover why he is like that, what has made him the man he is. We know some of what led him to be the man that we see but there is so much more lurking beneath the surface that needs to be addressed.

I can say a lot more on this subject but I am conscious that I may bore you so I shall say one more thing and then move on.  Booth has this view of what his life needs to be for him to be happy. I mentioned it before (the wife, marriage etc) and it is something he clings to. That for him to live a fulfilling life he needs to accomplish a set list of things. Personally I believe that goes back to his past…the boy from the ‘broken home’ (FYI- I HATE that phrase. With a passion…but it sums up what I mean in simpler terms so I’m sticking with it) who longs for something he never had. A stable life. I’m not saying that someone (Booth…Sweets…anyone) that wants that from their life is wrong. Of course not, just because it’s not something I would want from my life doesn’t mean it isn’t a good thing to strive for. The problem with Booth is that he thinks it is everything. I’m not saying he doesn’t gain satisfaction from other aspects of his life. He understands his place in society and the value of what he strives to do in his work (even when he struggles with the moral aspect of that work). He gains joy from his friends…from Parker. But I do think there is a part of him that thinks marriage is the end result and that without it his life is…less somehow. And he needs to realise that if he doesn’t get that…if he doesn’t end up married it doesn’t mean he is a failure or that he hasn’t led the life he should have. My worry for him (and it is a worry) is that he’ll never learn to be happy with himself…and until he can live with himself he’ll never be able to live with someone else.  And i think that until he learns that, as a man, he is pretty damn lovable he won’t be able to really fall in love because part of him will always be waiting for the other shoe to drop (which is why i think he tends to sabotage his own relationships before that can happen but that is a whole other story!)

One final thing (I promise!!) before you have your say.

When I’ve mentioned this in the past people ask how I can call myself a shipper. Because I am. A shipper I mean. I am all about Booth and Brennan. I am waiting along with almost everyone else for the moment when they finally face the inevitable…and lock themselves away in one of their apartments for a long weekend 😉

I just think that we are yet to see the moment where Booth falls in love with Brennan. He cares and he wants…but he’s yet to love. Personally I can’t wait to see the moment where he realises he is in love with her. With Brennan, not the idea of her. Not the idealistic relationship he wants with any woman, but the relationship he could actually have with Temperance Brennan, genius and socially inept anthropologist with a heart of gold. The good, the bad and the ugly. It’ll be…spectacular.

OK guys so what do we think? Have I completely gone round the bend? Can you understand where I’m coming from? Or have you called the little men in white coats already?


210 thoughts on “Booth Isn’t In Love With Brennan…But He Will Be.

  1. Laffers, you are awesome. That is all. 🙂

  2. Aw Laffers I see what it is not you’re a romantic. A googly eyed dyed in the wool romantic.

  3. @Laffers: First of all, clicking on this link to read your post made me chuckle at the length of it, and I love it! You make a lot of really valid points. I don’t think you need the men in white coats quite yet, because you just gave all of us a lot to think about!

    That being said though, I might have to sort of disagree (as these are fictional characters, I suppose we are all just making theories as it is quite hard to read a non-existent person’s mind, but I digress) as I am thinking it happened instantaneously on their first meeting.

    Ok, admittedly, I watch a lot of romantic comedys and Jane Austen movies. So, maybe I’m coming from an overly romantic mindset, but after watching the flashback ep, I might be on the “love at first sight” team.

    Now this may be all DB and ED’s fault here, but their facial expressions upon their very first meeting are ridiculously awesome. Booth’s face as he walks in to her lecture…BOOM…right there. I think she instantly captured him. Likewise, when they speak for the first time, ED’s face shows she is quite interested in this man’s symmetrical face, and there is also something about him…

    Also, their kiss in the rain (ah, sigh) and their whole interactions up to their fights show their connection. Before they put up walls, before things got in their way. They had an instant spark, chemistry from the get-go.

    Now you might be saying, well that’s not love, that’s attraction, and you may be right…but then the fighting they start right then and there on their first case together, bickering like an old married couple…I just remember the saying that love and hate are on two sides of the same coin…and I think they fought and reacted so strongly to each other because they knew. They both knew if they let this continue, they’d get so close, something bad between them would hurt more than they could bear, so the distance started to grow and grow between them.

    But as we’ve seen over 6 seasons, they can’t fully ever separate. There are always the looks between them, conversations, situations that force them to address their bond even if they try to avoid it. No matter who either of them date, it never goes anywhere (Hannah included) because they cannot stop their connection or break away from it fully.

    Physically, emotionally, mentally, they are connected to each other. I think they were from the very start. A quote from Sweet Home Alabama (Reese Witherspoon movie) just popped into my head. “Look at them two welded together. Why do they fight it?”

    My theory is that our dear B&B were welded together from the start. Both wanted to avoid caring about the other so much because they had both been hurt. I’m thinking of a Cam quote here, “I knew, the day I met Zack, he’d cause me pain.”

    I think they knew from Day One that they had the potential to cause each other pain.

    So I think that actually love began from the first meeting. What is a deep, abiding, and tested love as we are seeing now? No, but it was the beginning of that love, a tiny flame that has only grown stronger as they went through everything they have together. Nothing has been able to fully separate these two. And I don’t think anything ever will.

    So that’s my 2 cents worth anyway. But I do appreciate and enjoy your comments, Laffers, I really do!

    • This is how I’ve always felt about them… that they had a magnetic like attraction from the beginning and that developed into a deep love and respect over the past 6+ years.

      Laffers does make some great points though, and I definitely see her p.o.v. I guess the way i think about is that it’s ok if my view and the writer’s views aren’t compeltely in sync, because they purposefully have written it so far that we’re making up our own minds. You just have to be careful to not be too deep into your own theories, that’s where the writer bashing can come in and play.

      • bb I agree completly.These two were fated to be together. They are part of Plato’s theory on two pieces that make a whole. They just have to stop fighting it, so they can see it.

  4. I second what Janet says. Love. It. Muffin.

  5. LOL, this is a religious war, I fear. But you came really, really close to convincing me of the “not YET — but he will be” part. I just skimmed through the post again looking for the parts I planned to argue with you and…

    I couldn’t find them. So this was quite a post, and one I’ll read carefully more than once. Maybe I’ll come back and argue after all. Maybe I won’t.

  6. Sweetie I called the men in little white coats a long time ago. Probably when you dropped some serious dough on shades at Tiffany’s. But that’s besides the point.

    You make an excellent point and I’m inclined to agree. I think that Booth definitely loves Brennan and as the seasons have progressed we’ve seen his love for her grow stronger. They’ve been through events that have strengthened their ties to each other…thus making the love that they share for each other grow stronger in return.

    I know…I know. You’re saying to yourself Shep…you wacky yank, I said he’s NOT in love with her. And I agree. The truth of the matter is that the love he has for her…as someone important in life…as someone crucial in his life…as The Standard in his life has grown to be so full that it’s easy to be mistaken as romantic love by those if us who worship at the altar of The Booth/Brennan Horizontal Mambo Paradigm.

    Several of the moments they shared can be roped into the He/She’s in Love with Her/Him column. But my question is this…

    All of these moments that you’ve mentioned…would you say they’re evidence of him slowly falling in love with her?

    • I think you say it best… his love and respect for her as a partner/friend/etc has grown so much that it’s hard to separate from romantically loving her, and we really don’t want to if we’re shippers, right?

    • Interesting question there Shep.

      I’m going to employ a semantic pry bar here…can one ‘slowly fall in love’? If so, is there a tipping point? Perhaps the moments represent milestones on a journey, or growth that eventually enables the capacity to love.

    • Hey, the shades were totally your fault!!! I was led astray 😛

      As for you question, i guess the short answer would be yes.

      He is her friend first, as she is his. THAT is what i think is important. Has their friendship deepened to something less….easy to define over the years? Absolutely….but the friendship is the base of which everything else has grown.

      He knows her, good and bad. He respects her. He disagrees with her (as any good friend does!! LOL). He trusts her. IMO, the most successful relationships are built on friendship and that’s what B/B have. Of course they are attracted to each other. They want each other…but that is, i think, secondary to everything else.

      Huh…..i’ve gone totally off track and, in watching Fringe, i’ve totally forgotten my point!! LOL

      I’ll come back to it, honest. This is what happens when i multi-task! 😉

  7. From The Dwarf in the Dirt:
    GORDON GORDON: Temperance Brennan.You’re in love with her. You’re building a world around her. A family.
    BOOTH: We’re not compatible. She sees the world one way, I see it the other way.
    GORDON: Of course, it’s absolutely ludicrous the idea of you two together. But the heart chooses what it chooses, doesn’t it? We don’t really have any say in the matter.
    BOOTH: She doesn’t love me. I would know if she loved me.

    To me, Booth fell in love with Brennan during his coma dream. Once he was awake he couldn’t forget that love. He may have been her best friend before the dream and may have been in love with the idea of being in love with Brennan; but, after the dream, he was a man in love. He loved a woman that he knew loved him as a friend; but, not someone that wanted to commit a personal relationship to.

    Brennan has always been a puzzle to Booth. Brennan is intelligent and beautiful, a person who knows what she wants in life; but, someone who does not believe in personal love or marriage. To Booth, love and marriage are the ultimate end to the game of life. He wants those things and as a very close friend to Brennan he has been explaining to Brennan for years the value of those things. He has wanted her to see the happiness that she could have if she would just allow herself to see that she could have a family and not be alone, if she would just risk it. Up until the coma, I believe all of the little speeches he made to her about love and marriage were to help her understand that someone was out there for her if she would just look. I don’t think he was neccessarily talking about himself at these times.

    After the coma, his deep friendship had turned into love. He knew Brennan was not interested in love and here was his dilema. Cam and Sweets told him that his love may just be temporary. It may not be real. He may fall out of love and he would hurt Brennan in the process. What they didn’t seem to understand was that his deep friendhip, his love for Brennan as a friend had morphed into a personal love for Brennan. GG and Angela knew this about Booth and tried to help him to have the courage to admit it to himself as well as to Brennan because this is the real problem that Booth had. His love for Brennan was real and the object of his desire seemed to be unatainable and so he was confused as to what to do about it. He was trying to talk himself out of love with Brennan because he thought that maybe, just maybe, Cam and Sweets were right and GG and Angela were wrong. Booth has self-worth issues when it comes to his personal life. So what if Cam and Sweets were right? What if he his love for Brennan wasn’t real? What if he really didn’t deserve that kind of happiness so maybe they were right. He thought he could tell if someone was in love with him and yet how would he know if he thought he wasn’t really worthy of that kind of love? His low self-esteem combined with the negative feedback from Cam and Sweets forced him to fight with himself. He lioved Brennan; but, he didn’t know how to approach Brennan in a logical way about it. Ultimately I blame Sweets for pusing Booth into a hasty proposal with Brennan. He was floundering in his life and decided that if he couldn’t ask Brennan to commit to him in a logical way then he would appeal to her his way. When his emotional appeal failed he felt lost. He didn’t know what else he could do. He had tried and her rejection just confirmed what he already knew, this beautiful woman he loved didn’t love him. This was so very painfuil for him. What else could he do but say he would move on. The only problem is, he never really did. Hannah was an effort to move on but it was a miserable failure and another shot at his self-worth.

    Gosh sorry for the novel. I just couldn’t explain myself in fewer words.

    • See, there in lies our differences 😀

      You think Booth came out of the coma in love with Brennan, whereas i believe that he came out not really knowing how he felt.

      The coma changed him for a time. He still looked like Booth, he still sounded like Booth but something was…off. He forget the things that used to be second nature to him. His likes/dislikes changed or were forgotten. The things that used to be so easy for him became difficult.

      Like i said before, i don’t think there was anyway he could have made sense of anything as confusing as his feelings for Brennan at that time. But that’s just me 😀

  8. This has pretty much nailed one of the biggest debates in the fandom since the 100th. I agree, word for word.

  9. WeLl, Laffers, the short reply to your post is: it’s a TV show.

    The long answer is that every season, there’s a need to create tension. And every season could be the last (even with a 2 year renewal) so the writers need to plant the seeds all season long that would make B and B either coming together or staying apart both plausible options.

    So, your interpretation is as valid as any other.

    However, Word of God — i.e. Hart Hanson, says he did love her so…there you are.

    • Which is why I’m afraid Laffers will be disappointed because since HH and SN say that Booth is in love with Brennan there will not be anything written in to show him falling in love with her. It’s just an established fact.

      • But he has already fallen in love with her, and we’ve watched it. We’ve watched through all of the seasons, all of the cute smiles when she’s grown and learned. He already loves her in every way possible .

      • Generally speaking, I’m totally down with viewer/reader interpretation varying from the author’s intent. If one can show evidence for one’s intrpretation, it’s valid, even if it’s not what the author meant.

        But, some things are just, as you say, established fact. That Booth loves Brennan is one of the premises of the entire show. To argue that he doesn’t love her would be the same as arguing that he’s not an FBI Agent or she’s not an anthropologist or they don’t solve murders.

        From day one – HH and DB have said “they are a couple, he loves her, that’s his girl, etc, etc.”

        It’s totally valid to say you don’t see it, but like the offscreen sex in the finale – The Powers That Be said it happened so it happened.

        Viewers waiting for proof of love to their specific satisfaction are in for a long wait.
        (And I am the original Barbara who commented, I just wasn’t signed in)

  10. Wow! So much to think about. I can’t even comment yet.

  11. For the life of me, the one point I don’t understand – not just from Laffers but seen repeatedly in other parts of BonesBlogWorld – is the argument, “Booth couldn’t have loved Brennan because he moved on to other women.”

    Well, what was he supposed to do? I mean, I’m with Brennan 100%, but Booth moving on wasn’t a hit at Brennan. What do you do when you can’t make it work with the one you love? What do you do when the pain is with you every damn day, like a toothache that never goes away? What do you do when you wake up thinking about someone, whisper good night to someone who’s not there, touch a shirt left hanging in your closet just because the scent is still there?

    You move on. You cry when you can’t not cry. You have sex with inappropriate people. You try not to shut down completely. You get up every morning and you put one foot in front of the other and you tell the person in the mirror that today will be a better day and you go out and try to make that true. You’re not trying to spite the person you still love – you’re trying to still be the person you are.

    Honest to God, what was Booth supposed to do? And why does the fact that he kept on trying to be Booth, without Brennan, disrespect his feelings for Brennan?

    I don’t get it. I just don’t get it.

    • THANK YOU!!!
      Booth could be in love with Brennan until the day he died but when she couldn’t reciprocate of course he had to move on.
      Sorry Laffers but I respectfully disagree.

    • I love this comment!!

    • I would also add, MJ, that Booth was not under any obligation, at any point, to refrain from flirting with, ogling, or even pursuing other women (sexually or otherwise) regardless of whether or not he was in love with Brennan, because there was no acknowledgment of that love between them, and no commitment. I would suggest that he believed what he felt for her was futile and that nothing could ever come of it. It wasn’t something he could act on. Cam, the bounty hunter, Pritchard, Perotta – he had a freedom with them that he didn’t have with Brennan.

      • I think that’s a great point. Also, flirting to someone like Booth who is so aware of his physical appeal is just a natural part of normal behavior. It’s another tool to be used to get the answers or results he wants.

      • Stephanie, I agree. And on the flip side Brennan wasn’t in that kind of commitment to him either. People were always saying how Booth had to watch her date other people like she was doing something wrong.

      • Right. It would completely unrealistic to expect him to just sit on the sidlines and pine for her, being completely celibate because he was in love with her, but could see no future for the two of them together. It’s just not real world to expect that (and yes I know this is a fictional show, but it’s not a fairy tale).

    • Esp when she still wants to work with you and still be friends. How do you live with that?

    • Brilliant comment MJ, I agree entirely. You kind of nailed the human experience there too, bravo 😉

  12. I want to follow too

  13. A very well written and well thought out post. I think you make several very good points. And I agree with you that Booth’s feelings toward Brennan are a lot more complex than six years of loving and being in love with her.

    I think to fully explore this idea though, we have to know what you define loving someone and being in love with someone as. I can talk to 10 different people and get 15 answers on what the two are. I’m not saying you are shifting goalposts, not at all…just that in a lot of the debate about love, the actual emotion and state isn’t spelled out, and that leaves a lot of interpretation in what we see.

    I see some mixture of what you characterize Booth. I do agree with you that he is both an honorable and flawed man. I have seen him tiptoe up to boundaries: in the flashback of the 100th, he is willing to jump into bed with Brennan even though he is seeing someone, however casually. In Woman in the Sand, he walks a fine line with his flirting with Brennan while seeing Cam. A lot of that can be explained by being UC, but not all. In Sin in the Sisterhood, he comes imho close to emotionally cheating on Hannah with his line about the one you love the most. These examples probably strengthen your argument more than not, but they also offer some counterevidence that Booth may indeed have had some mixed feelings when he was in other relationships.

    I think he believes that “you love the one you’re with”, but I think given the chance, he would have pursued a relationship with Brennan earlier. For all that we speak of Brennan’s caution with her heart, I think Booth rivals her in that. He has a fairly established pattern of hiding information about his past and his activities from everyone, even to Brennan to some extent. And while he can be an impulsive man at times (100th, Daredevil), he is mostly a calculating person, willing to throw out some small tests to see if the moment might be ready. I think he could easily have crossed the demarcation between love and in love quite easily had he gotten the right signal from Brennan. I’m not saying it’s on her, Booth is a grown man as you say, and makes his own decisions. But Brennan is a difficult person to love, not in the sense that she is an unlovable person, but that she is wary of what that attachment means; in her words, she would have had to give up that imperviousness.

    I agree that he had some confusion after the coma dream, but I think having known Brennan for almost 5 years before hand, he knew what he would get if he pursued her. She has never hidden herself in her relationships, and has never apologized for her way she lives her life. That Booth modified his “I love you” fits that. He waited to clear his head and get more evidence, and I think after the events of the middle of season 5 with Goop on the girl, Dentist, and Devil, that he thought he had a chance. Not a certain chance, but even the reformed gambler in him knows that nothing is certain. He never demanded marriage, flashy clothes, or the picket fenced white house, with 2.5 kids and a mutt, but a shot…an opportunity, because he knew Brennan didn’t want those things, or at least wasn’t receptive to them at the time. I don’t think he had to be in love with Brennan to want that. We’ve never heard Booth articulate what in love means, but in Couple he said that putting someone else before yourself was love, and he did that when he remained partners with her, even if he said he would move on. I did see her actions as a rejection, and that along with the final, led him to try and shed his feelings for her, but to no avail in the long run.

    Okay, before my comment gets longer than your post: I view love as resting on a foundation of trust, respect, and affection. Add in the erotic or sexual component of it, as Rynogeny wrote about, and that is romantic love. And “in love” to me is the lasting quality of it. By that definition, I think Booth was “in love” with her by the 100th. Yes, he moved on, but never fully, and only by necessity to function and be able to be her partner. He tried to love another, and was never able to give Hannah all of himself. Their relationship was physically energetic, but emotionally shallow, and that along with their differing desires, doomed it.

    Great post, I very much enjoyed your thoughts on this.

    • Adam, I agree. I think we made some of the same points, but I didn’t get to see yours before I posted mine. And I’m glad you pointed out times where Booth was indeed walking a fine line.

    • This!

      Booth tiptoeing along & testing his boundaries…an excellent and well supported argument. Nice one, Adam 😉 I also think that if we see the ‘lasting quality’ of being ‘in love’, as you have described it, between Booth & Brennan then it will be an interesting journey in Season 7 that perhaps we will relate to.

    • ADAM!!!

      I just realised i didn’t answer your DM! *facepalm*

      My bad mate…i’ll try and answer now though.

      You asked ‘How i don’t see the 100th as a rejection, even technically’. Bear with me,it could take a while for me to make any sense. I’m sure you’re used to that by now though 😛

      On the surface, if you just go by the words spoken, then it is a rejection.

      Booth – ‘Don’t do that. That is no reason why we can’t…’
      Brennan – ‘No…no…no…’

      If you just listen to her first three words then she is rejecting him. No question.

      (Can i just say that one of the things that tickles me about this scene is that, normally, people are all about reading between the lines when it comes to B/B, no? They’re all about what it REALLY meant, not just what we saw/heard. Yet when it comes to this scene a lot of them suddenly see things only in Black & White. It just makes me smile 🙂 )

      But the thing is, the words i hear most clear from Brennan are the words she says after.

      ‘You-you thought you were protecting me, but you’re the one who needs protecting.’
      ‘From me! I – (she starts to break down) I don’t have your kind of open heart.’
      ‘I- I am not a gambler; I’m a scientist. I can’t change. I don’t know how. I don’t know how.’

      She said no to Booth, yes. And the look on his face kills me, don’t get me wrong. Regardless of how i feel DB can break my heart with just one look. BUT, Brennan is hurting to. And maybe you can read this as her rejecting Booth…but for me, she’s rejecting herself.

      She wants someone better for him. Someone who can be what she thinks he needs. For someone so confident (let’s be honest…arrogant!), so self assured, and so intelligent she thinks to little of herself. And she did what she thought was right for him.

      That’s how i see it. But that’s just me 😀

      (If this made sense i’ll eat my hat, seeing as i’ve now dosed myself up on pain meds! LOL)

      • Okay, here’s where I have to split hairs, because I said it was a rejection, but I agree with you here, so I now I have to get all nitty-gritty so I don’t sound like I’m of two minds.

        I don’t think I said she rejected Booth. But even in rejecting herself, she rejected the chance at a relationship with Booth, which is what he offered. More importantly, we have to take into account what it sounded like to Booth. Whether she had feelings for him or not, she wasn’t going to go there with him, and knowing her, her mind was made up and nothing he could say at the time would change that.

  14. In short, I mostly agree but I definitely see certain aspects differently. But I can somehow incorporate some of your main thoughts into some of the prevailing views (in my mind, at least!)

    I understand where you’re coming from. I don’t have a problem believing that their relationship grew incrementally from friendship, and not labeling “in love” so early on. A few years into their partnership, they loved each other, just not romantically. But Booth did always have the hots for his partner, and he cared for her and was very protective of her. And for some unexplainable reason, he was just always drawn to her and became fiercely loyal. He knew there was just something about her that would flip his world upside down when he met her, he just wasn’t sure how. He may not have been “in love” with her at the time, but saying he only loved her as a partner and friend still doesn’t quite capture what they have for me. Their relationship was/is so multidimensional, it’s like a 1-D description of a 3-D object.

    I tend to look at their “love” through the lens that these two are meant to fall in love with each other. The end game is them being together, loving each other. Since that doesn’t happen over night, each little step along the way accounts toward that somehow. To me, that includes the friendship and the bickering and the hurt looks. So those moments just viewed by themselves, not someone in love. Those moments viewed against the backdrop of their whole story – very important and not to be diminished in any way. IMO anyway.

    I think whether Booth believed he loved her a little more deeply than just a friend would make a difference in his behavior. Other people saw something beyond that, but he didn’t, so of course he was able to have a relationship with Cam, and do other things a healthy adult male would do. But interestingly, there was nothing significant after Cam (S2 – and that doesn’t rank high on significance really, just that we know about it) until Hannah. He certainly didn’t seem to be pursuing another women to fulfill his dream life – he said it was because of being focused on his job and kid, but it sounded more like an excuse.

    Unless I see your reasons why and it makes me change my mind, we really have to agree to disagree about the 100th not being a rejection (“I want to give this a shot”; “No! No!”; “Just give it a chance!”). Booth certainly took it as one. Also, to me it sounded like you’re saying that because Brennan couldn’t marry him he decided he had to move on. Except he never used the word marriage. We know he wants to be married, and I think he knew she wasn’t a big fan. But it sounded more like, “let’s just start with what we already have and see where it takes us. Those big things can be worked out later, but I just want to share my life with you, and I believe we have what it takes to make it work”. This is obviously my interpretation, so I could be off. I agree that Booth did seem to forget a lot about the best way to approach Brennan, e.g. trying to use anecdotal evidence and saying “I knew/I know!”.

    I still agree with you about Booth being more in love with the idea as a result of his coma dream. I’ve often wondered if that factored in to Brennan’s reaction to his first “I love you” when she could see he actually wasn’t fully back yet with the clown incident. That’s why ultimately I think it was a good thing she said no. If you say Booth didn’t really love Brennan for who she is, that would just prove to me that he is stubborn and blind when it comes to romantic love – and I don’t know if you’re trying to make that point. Brennan is a WYSIWYG person. On top of that, he witnessed a lot of her more vulnerable moments. How could he not know her? I think he “glossed” over her flaws not because he didn’t seem them in infatuation, but because they didn’t seem important in the big picture. Of course, Brennan felt the exact opposite and for her was proof was that they wouldn’t work together as a romantic couple. Then there was the whole thing of when Brennan was aware of how deep her feelings were. The way Brennan responded was in such an absolute manner to just the idea of a chance. He didn’t even declare anything about loving her at the time, because that’s typically not done in just asking someone out. He mentioned love because he imagined that at some point in the future that’s where they could be. It would be different if she asked for more time; but she didn’t and stated that she could never change. He was willing to give her his heart, but she wasn’t willing to do the same. Yes, he wants someone to love and a family, but those really aren’t odd desires. It’s what makes us human. When she closed off that avenue, he had no choice but to look for it elsewhere. How did he know she was going to change her mind later on?

    Wow. That was long. I’ll stop here…for now. 🙂

  15. I love you. That is all.

    Superbly written and you even swayed me a bit to your side of it all. 🙂

  16. I find myself having some more thoughts.

    First, is one I have to share every single time someone brings up That Night at the Hoover and what Booth said and why he said the wrong thing and blah de blah.

    First: Brennan would have said no, regardless of what Booth said. She wasn’t ready. The writers and Hart decided she wasn’t ready. And we can argue all we want that she looked ready (to which I would say…TV Show, need to create tension, see my post above). But they knew – the creative staff knew – she was always going to say no. There were no “Right words” for Booth to say, Brennan wasnt’ ready, any words would have been the wrong words.

    Second: The moving on part. Again, I say…TV Show. Sometimes characters need to verbalize things so that we, the audience, know what they are thinking. Because we can’t read minds through the TV and pop-up thought bubbles would be distracting. The ongoing arc after the 100th was Booth trying to move on, and the dialogue sets this up.

    Third: Booth’s alleged obsession with marriage. Aside from his statement in Cinderella in the Cardboard, that he would like to be married someday, and proposing in Daredevil in the Mold, I just don’t see it. Quote me all the times Booth has said he desperately wants to get married and only marriage will mean he has a happy life.

    The coma dream is no evidence – Brennan wrote that, not Booth. He just absorbed it. Proposing to Rebecca is no proof – she was pregnant and she was the love of his life at the time. Why wouldn’t he propose?

    It just seems to be one of those accepted fan things – that Booth desperatley wants to get married. And I’ve bought into it too, but there really isn’t a lot of evidence, IMO.

    • I agree with really reconsidering how we view the “Booth obsessed with marriage thing”. In “Cinderella”, he just stated that marriage is something that normal people do when they are in love. Doesn’t sound obsessed, just traditional.

    • I agree on the Booth and marriage point. I think it’s often overplayed. I think that — esp w/ Brennan — he can live with a longterm commitment w/o benefit of clergy or judiciary. It’s not ideal, but he loves her and understands her that much. It’s the long term that matters. Esp now that a kid is involved.

      I think that up until Brennan, marriage has always been the logical next step. You get a girl pregnant, a stand up guy offers to marry her. You’re living with a woman and you want to make it more permanent, you propose marriage. I don’t see that as an obsession with marriage.

    • I agree with you Barbara about how we’ve never seen much evidence about Booth being ‘obsessed’ with marriage. I always assumed that it was something Booth thought was important and desired, but then (I can’t remember when, more than a year) I remember reading an interview with DB where he said that it wasn’t a primary goal for Booth. More like, if it came around with a woman he loved = great, if not, there are other ways to be happy.

      I remember thinking at the time ‘that’s weird’ but then, the more I thought about it, the more I came round to thinking he was probably right and that actually, that keen desire was something we’ve projected onto him rather than something we’ve actually been presented with in canon.

  17. I wholeheartedly agree that Booth is a man who has a romantic notion of love that is not always realistic in terms of the woman he is with. He proposes to Rebecca who turns him down because she was afraid of losing herself– possibly in the dream that Booth has spun of their life together. Hannah just isn’t into marriage and he apparently never really heard her say that.

    Then there is Brennan. Granted, there is a deep and abiding connection between Booth and Brennan that goes beyond a partnership and a friendship that allows them to continue to work together and to be friendly together even when the other is engaged in another relationship. Is that love? Yes. Is it being “in love”? There’s the rub. He is dazzled by her, sometimes intrigued by her, certainly drawn to her. She is the one person besides Cam who knows him, really knows him. And she knew in the 100th that his vision of love was romantic and dreamy and unrealistic– she couldn’t agree to jump into that kind of relationship because she knew she couldn’t attain that level of romantic ideal. She loved him enough not to want to hurt him.

    I don’t have an adequate argument to make regarding whether Booth is in love with Brennan or not. I do think that his romantic notions are such that they needed to take a hit with both Brennan and Hannah and he needed to see just how misguided his romantic ideals are. Fed by his childhood and the coma dream, Booth needed to have both woman say no to him and his dreams because those dreams are unrealistic and will only result in misery. (For how well that romantic vision worked, see how happily ever after his life with Hannah turned out.)

    I tend to think that season 7 is going to be similar to season 2 in which Booth and Brennan are going to have to deal with the baby and we’re going to see them both falling in love with each other as well as with the idea of being a family.

    • Just wanted to say that this is exactly how I think/feel. Thanks for phrasing it so eloquently!

    • I read this last night and was a bit bewildered by it, so I decided not to comment on it then, in hopes that I’d better understand your point this morning. But I’m still lost.

      Your comment about Booth having a ‘romantic, dreamy, unrealistic view of love’ and ‘romantic notions’ he needed to be cured of (summarizing)…well, you’re seeing something I don’t see.

      I think Booth view’s of love includes a strong component of commitment. It’s why, when Brennan said, ‘can we still work together?” he said yes. It’s why he continued working with her when they came back and he was with Hannah, and it’s why he spent a night following her around in the rain in TDitP. It’s why he stayed with Hannah instead of breaking up with her after Brennan’s confession.

      People who have a unrealistic view of love think it doesn’t take work, doesn’t take commitment, that it’s a feeling that’s always there – you wake up every morning with a buzz on that never fades and everything is always roses and rainbows. I don’t think a man who sticks with someone the way he did – and has continued to -with Brennan qualifies as thinking that way.

      If he had the fantasy view of love that you’re describing here, he wouldn’t have tried a second time to make the the relationship with Rebecca work, and would have shrugged and walked away from Brennan that night in the 100th. Instead of saying, ‘yes, we can work together’ he would have said, ‘you’re kidding, right?’

      The big difference between him and Brennan – at least through most of the show – is that he believes in love and she doesn’t. So to me, what you’re saying here is that he needs to be broken of that idea that love exists, and, honestly, that makes me a little sad, but not for me, and not for Booth or Brennan.

      “Misguided romantic ideals” because he wanted a woman to make the same level of commitment to him that he was ready to make to her? Really? What has he done to be so undeserving of love?

      He does have a romantic streak, and since Hart’s described that as being an integral part of his character, I think people who are hoping that the last year has cured him of it are probably going to be disappointed.

      He does believe in marriage, though, again, there’s absolutely nothing in the show to support the idea that he has some idealized view of it, or is fixated on wanting it (even less because of his childhood.)

      His belief in marriage probably has as much to do with his faith (marriage is a sacrament in the RC church) and with Pops (the man who raised him and who apparently had a very happy marriage) as anything. But most of his comments about marriage are in the context of conversations with a woman who doesn’t believe in it – at least in the early seasons of the show. I don’t think that means it’s unrealistic, just different from hers.

      Yes, he asked Rebecca to marry him when they were waiting to find out if she was pregnant, and for the life of me, I don’t see anything wrong or unnatural in that, particularly not when he says he realized he loved her while they were waiting for the pregnancy test results. And since Rebecca says she later realized she’d made a mistake (in thinking marriage would change her, in turning him down) it sounds to me like she didn’t see anything inherently wrong in his having wanted that, either.

      He didn’t ask Brennan to marry him. He didn’t even ask Brennan for a long term relationship. He talks about couples who are together for a long time, and that it’s always the guy who knew first, but all he actually asked Brennan for was a chance. To give them being a couple a chance. That’s it. That’s all he asks her for.

      He does say he still wants that. He wants to find someone who’ll love him, long term, but again, I’m sorry, but I don’t see anything wrong with that. There are certainly cynics who look at our culture and note that most relationships end (because, IMO, of that obsession with the feeling of being ‘in love’ rather than an understanding of commitment that Booth clearly has) who think people wanting to be loved are foolish, but that doesn’t make needing to be loved less of a human need, and I’m bewildered that it’s somehow wrong for Booth to want it.

      If Booth was the kind of man who was completely fixated on “I must be married to be happy,” we wouldn’t have seen him go three years (mid S2-end S5) without being in a serious relationship. If he was fixated on marriage in the (apparently) unhealthy way that many think, he would have been meeting women during those years, trying to find someone who’d move in that direction with him. (In that sense, the fact that he ‘wasted’ time on the relationship with Cam, which it seems clear they both always knew wasn’t permanent, rather than being out actively looking for someone who’d be thinking marriage, is a bit puzzling.)

      And yes, it’s possible that if we’re saying he wasn’t in love with Brennan during those years that maybe he was having lots of casual dates, hoping to get that kind of relationship started. But to say that, we go decidedly outside canon and start making stuff up about him. Because what they show us in S2-4 is a man who’s content with his life. Not desperate to find someone who’ll marry him.

      As to what we saw with Hannah…I don’t think it’s fair to pick that relationship apart and decide what we saw there is proof of everything that’s wrong with Booth. While I believe his feelings for her were sincere, there was more wrong with it, right from the beginning, than right, on both sides. But even there, I don’t think the relationship was the product of some romantic fantasy of his.

      I think when he realized there really wasn’t any hope of Brennan ever giving them a chance, he tired to open himself up to new relationships. You meet people, wait to see if there’s some sort of click (of interest and attraction) with one of them, begin spending time with that person, begin seeing if you can form a bond with them. That’s what he did with Hannah. And then he was back in DC, realizing that he still had feelings for Brennan – the woman who very clearly didn’t want him as more than a partner. Fortunately, Hannah followed him, which he interpreted to mean, ‘I want to build a life with you.’ So he threw all of his energies into making that relationship work, in hopes that as it became stronger, his feelings for Brennan would lessen.

      It didn’t work, in part because Hannah wasn’t interested in the same things he was, and because, IMO, he was trying too hard – he kept key pieces of himself hidden from her. (Perhaps in part because he’d opened up about them to Brennan, and where had that gotten him?)

      And then Brennan said, ‘er, I made a mistake.’ But this man who understands commitment better than most (which, I’m sorry, but so does not go hand in hand with a rainbows and kittens view of relationships) can’t walk away from the woman he’s made a commitment to, not even for the woman he loves the most. So he pushes Hannah to find out just how committed she really is to him.

      Personally, I suspect it’s because on some, subconscious level, he did know Hannah wasn’t looking for the same things he was. And it’s one thing to stick to a commitment you’ve made, another to do so if that person isn’t as committed to you in the same way.

      So instead of seeing some proof of what’s wrong with Booth in his proposal to Hannah, all I see is a man who was trying to do the right thing, always, and wound up in an impossible situation.

      Did he make some mistakes? Yes. I think he should have said to Brennan after they got back (but before Hannah arrived), ‘this isn’t going to work. I’m sorry, but my feelings for you are still too present for me to be able to work with you.’

      But he couldn’t do that and be the sort of man he is, and it went from there.

      And now? I’m not sure what you want to see – a man who no longer believes in love and marriage? A man who’s accepted that he’s never going to be loved the way he wanted? If so, I find that all incredibly sad.

      • Once again, you’ve said everything I believe. And, written the essay I was planning and done it in like two sentences.
        Standing O, ryn.

  18. your mystical moment when Booth realises he is in Love with Brennan will never happen! not on screen anyway!

  19. I second what Janet said…you are awesome!! I have watched this show through my self imposed filter of “I want them to be in love so everything I see will fit that mold”…so I’ve thought for a long time that Booth & Brennan were both in love with each other…they just didn’t know it yet. Kind of like that romanticized version you hear about arranged marriages maybe? The couple comes together because they have to…end up liking each other…realize somewhere along the line, when they weren’t paying attention, they had come to love each other. I don’t think love is ever ‘at first sight’. Attraction, yes. Love, no. Love develops over time. I don’t think we could ever point to one moment where one or the other is NOW in love vs the moment before when they weren’t.

    I digress…what I really wanted to say is that because of my filter, I have accepted what everyone wants (ok…maybe not everyone, but a lot of people!) to believe…they’re in love even though one or the other may not know it. (My filter says Booth has known for a long time now! But don’t ask me to point to a moment…it’s a gut thing!) You made some valid points in your article though. You got me thinking. I love that! I think you are very correct in your hypothesis that Booth may need the idea of the perfect life more than the ‘perfect’ woman. But since this is pretend and I can pretty much feel about the show however I want…I want to cling to the idea that it has to be Brennan. I don’t want to give up on the notion of two people being together because they were meant to be together. I don’t want to give up on the idea that they’re both in love even though they don’t know it. Because it gives me hope for my non-pretend life…and hope is what gets us all up the next day to start all over again!

    So…I conceed to your points, but I’m putting my rose colored glasses back on now! 😉

  20. Okay, for some reason I want to at least try to be on the side of the “Booth was in love with the idea and not Brennan” theory. But I have some hangups with regard to that. Can someone just state for the record, what exactly his misguided ideals of love were and who he thought Brennan was when he “idealized” her?

    I think one of the most honest things he’s ever said is that he wanted someone to love him for the next 30, 40, 50 years (of course he would do the same) without even mentioning marriage or kids. How is that misguided?

    Feeling a spark, a connection? He felt it, and we know she did too.

    Someone to spend the rest of his life with? He can envision that with Brennan. They were going to do that as best friends at the least, anyway.

    Making love vs. sex? She even agreed with him there.

    Two people becoming one? Widely understood and pretty much a standard line in your basic wedding ceremony.

    So maybe he was saying those things because it was what he hoped for for himself, and maybe one day for her. But that doesn’t make it any less true.

    Maybe the issue is not that Booth “idealized” her so much, but that he believed what she was capable of before she realized it herself, in terms of giving and receiving love.

    • well, I’ve said before that I think Booth’s love for Brennan was unhealthy in season 5. And I think it’s because even after he realized she wasn’t capable of giving and receiving love (which he knew before the coma dream but affirmed to Gordon Gordon) he was willing to settle for just the opportunity to keep loving her, even if she didn’t reciprocate (as he tells Avalon – sometimes you settle for second best).

      The example that stands out for me is Goop in the Girl, when she invites him to Christmas dinner by pointing out that apparently nobody loves him. He says it’s a “sweet invitation” and just stares at her with that hoplessly besotted expression. It’s NOT a sweet invitation at all, and in any other season, he’d have snarked back at her for it.

      As to who he thought Brennan was when he idealized her? Well, she was still Brennan, but as in the scene I described above, he’s choosing to interpret her behavior and words a particular way.

      • Well, how is that any different from this season when she asked him straight-up if he thought she was abrasive, and all he said is that she speaks from the heart, and it’s what makes her, her? Because I sort of feel as though she knows (and he knows) she can be abrasive, and she was testing him to see what he would say. I think most times he can roll over how she says things and get straight to her intent. Even when he bristles, she’ll often reword what she was saying. I think they will always be like that.

        I think you are more bothered by the Christmas incident than I am, so I guess it’s obvious our views could differ here. Sure, some of the words she used were kind of harsh. But, there was a sweet intent in them – he was saying he was going to be alone, her father said being alone on Christmas means nobody loved him, and she didn’t want him to feel unloved.

      • “he’s choosing to interpret her behavior and words a particular way”

        I don’t attribute that so much to romantic idealizing (which is possibly a factor there, but I don’t know how much), because it’s something the rest of her team knows how to do, too. It’s about knowing the person, and giving your friend the benefit of the doubt and trying to understand what they are really saying. Angela made a comment to Wendell when he first started there. If he feels Brennan has said something inappropriate, he has two choices: to let her know directly, or ignore and dismiss it (or something like that – I’m unable to rewatch the scene right now.) She said Brennan would be okay with either response.

      • C-bones, Perfect Peices in the Purple Pond:

        Angela confronts Wendell, telling him that he wasn’t totally wrong about Dr. Brennan. She explains that Bones’s interest was completely anthropological.

        Wendell: “But she was looking me right in the eyes.”

        “She’s direct,” Angela explains. “And awkward.” So he has two choices. “You either answer her questions like me or Zack, or tell her she’s being inappropriate like Booth or Cam. Either way she’s not going to hold it against you.”

    • @ C-bones: I LOVE THIS! “..but that he believed what she was capable of before she realized it herself, in terms of giving and receiving love.”

      I think you said it perfectly! I don’t know that it was Booth being completely ridiculous and putting her up on this pedestal, etc…I think he just believe and knew what she was truly capable of before she knew she was. Like in the 100th ep…he was desperate to have her get to that realization, how frustrating for him to go through all the things they’ve gone through together, but have Brennan not let herself go there, to have those feelings. He knew it was inside, he just wanted her to realize it, admit it, let it come out! And so when she left for the island, he just threw up his hands and said, ok she won’t let herself go there so I’m moving on…but that didn’t change the love he still had for her.

      He was offering his love as a gift for her to open on Christmas day, and she was letting the gift sit unopened (sound familiar?) until DitP…but by then the present had been put back on the shelf and she could not have access to it.

      But yes, I don’t think it was as much idealization as he was just more open and ready to act on his feelings before she was.

      • And I don’t think he “idealized” her in any fatal way. Before any two people get together, that will always happen, and what happens with the relationship as more truth is revealed depends on the strength of the connection. But Booth knew enough about the truth of Brennan that even shedding some of those idealizations would not change his feelings for her or the fact that he wanted to be with her. So, of course he had some. I think she had some, too, but she feared his feelings would change. The deeper their relationship got, the more I think that they acquired that unique ability to see the other person just as they are, but yet see them for their best. That pattern I believe will continue to hold, though it may be challenged, as they start to know each other in ways they never knew each other before.

  21. Your argument is compelling and well thought-out, Laffers, but…you had to know that I was going to disagree with you, right?

    Personally, I’m inclined to think that the romantic love, the eros love, has been there from fairly early on and it’s been everything else (all those other types of love that Ryn so beautifully explained in “The Love in the Partnership”) that has developed slowly over the years. I’m not a really big believer in “love at first sight” so I wouldn’t say the romantic love has been there since that first moment, but the spark, the attraction, the longing (which I believe is the basis for eros love) has been. But here’s the thing (and it might well make you want to call the guys in the white lab coats for ME): ultimately I don’t think it’s the romantic love that matters when it comes to making a long-term commitment to someone (regardless of whether that commitment involves marriage). Don’t get me wrong, romantic love SHOULD play a part in our decision to commit to someone long-term, but it can’t be the foundation for that commitment because it WILL fade over time, and when that happens, if there’s nothing else there, the relationship WILL die.

    People seem to be fixated on this notion that Booth “loves” Brennan but that he isn’t “in love” with her and that gets me every time. Maybe it’s simply a matter of perception, but by my way of thinking, the “in love” part (aka the “romantic” part) comes BEFORE the love part, not after. Truly learning to love someone – that takes time. It takes commitment. It involves choosing to love someone even when we don’t feel like loving them. We can be “in love” with someone all we want, but if we don’t learn to truly “love” them – it’s all meaningless. So yeah, I believe Booth has been “in love” with Brennan for quite awhile now. And I believe he’s been building that foundation of deep, abiding love ever since. The coma dream may have caused him to doubt himself for awhile, and it certainly caused him to face the facts (that he was, in fact, in love with Brennan), but I don’t think it fundamentally changed anything. And his reaction to Brennan’s rejection in the 100th (which I believe was clearly a rejection) was the mature response of a man who took his chance, got shot down, and did the only decent (not to mention fair – to both himself and Brennan) thing he could do under the circumstances – he loved her enough to let her go.

    • I think what makes this story so unique is that HH has allowed the foundation of their relationship to begin, without letting lust ruin everything. The attraction they have is clear from the beginning, but it’s many years later they give in to their desires. By this time, love is deeply rooted. I don’t believe they have everything figured out, but I’d say the seeds of love are definitely planted (and have been for quite some time) and now they are getting a chance to bloom.

      Being “in” love can fade away. There are some people in this world who we don’t want to make the extra effort to stay in love with. That’s why a lot of marraiges fail, the other side being that it was never built on love, just lust/sexual desires.

      B&B remind me a lot of my parents. My parents fight all the time and don’t always agree, but in the end, they will never leave each other. They have passion in their romance, but passion is not enough to keep a marriage/relationship going.

      One of my friends is a Psych major and she always said you needed a triangle (intimacy, passion, committment) in order for love to stick. If you have passion and sex with a person but there is no committment, eventually it will fall apart.

      • Ok…having read several posts, Stephanie’s post hits the most closely to home for me. I too believe that being “in love” is fleeting, regardless of the committment and length of the relationship. It’s what gets us to the actual love and committment part. I believe being “in love” is more to do with the lust/passion you have at the beginning of a relationship. With my husband, at the beginning it was all about how I was going to survive the day until I could talk to him again or see him again. And for the first few years, it was all we could do be around each other without it escalating into something physical (Gosh, those were great times!!! LOL). Now that we’ve been together for over 10 years, the physical stuff is still an essential part of everything, but the intensity of the love is not there…and thank God it isn’t, because I wouldn’t have been able to survive those feelings for any extended length of time. He was all that I thought about, the only person I wanted to be around. You forget all about the people around you for that one person.

        Having said all of that, I’m not sure that Booth and Brennan are ever going to have that “intense” stage that most relationships go through. Maybe they will once they are actually “together” (since we don’t really know what the scope of their relationship is going to be in S7), but who’s to say. They know each other so well, and they are so “damaged” in ways that make them protect themselves to the nth degree, that they may skip all of that. And of course, throw SN and HH into the mix, and they probably won’t let us see any of it anyways (evil *&%$#).

        However, bottom line….they definitely LOVE each other, in a romantic way. No doubt about it! They also love each other as friends and partners, but that’s only icing on the cake!

  22. The great thing about Bones Theory is that such a variety of perspectives are aired and discussed here. Laffers, I really enjoyed the way that you framed and articulated your perspective into a very convincing argument. Congratulations on a great post.

    If you ask me (and you did – LOL!), our individual perspectives color our interpretation of love, be it what we experience personally, what we witness via portrayals of love (real & fictional), plus the influence of our own deep seated hopes and desires for attaining that private, personal pinnacle of love. I am not suggesting that your opinions are wrong, far from it, your arguments have merit and validity – because this is a fictional romance – and good fiction will always grab you, intrigue you, then invite you to overlay the gaps in the story with your own interpretation. Let’s face it, Bones is great fiction – case in point: we are all here reading and commenting 😉

    Previous commenters have already offered some excellent points of discussion and debate, with the variety of perspectives simply supporting my point that love means different things to different people – nature, nurture & nirvana.

    Booth is a character with strong values and principles, he has experienced love, he has seen through the course of his life and work the best and worst of love – what people do in the name of love – good and bad. Booth also has a hearts desire (it may be 2.5 kids, a white picket fence, a mutt & a 60″ flatscreen TV – who knows?…is it time for Season 7 yet?? – LOL!). To me, Booth has said more about what he doesn’t want than what he does want. His experience with Rebecca taught him that he wouldn’t want another kid without being involved – all in. His experience with Cam taught him the fear of loss of a loved one. His experience with Hannah taught him that simply offering himself without articulating the desires within his own heart failed to deliver on his hearts desire.

    Booth and Brennan have a connection, trust, and a deep seated respect for each other (even if they have trampled on those things reactively over the years). They are committed to their partnership, even after that separation that upset the apple cart, even after the overtures of the 100th episode. The connection that they share, in my humble opinion, is the constant here – it is strong and has the possibility of forming the foundation for love. But this is where things get tricky and our personal perspectives come into play…

    If there is a connection and a spark…it could be love…but when *is* it love? is their a singular moment? is it a linear progression? Is it when all the items on your personal list of attainment of love checklist have been ticked off? When you build a home, when is it your home? When you buy the lot? When you chuck the first length of rebar into a foundation pit & pour concrete on it? When you put the roof on? When you move in? My meandering point is that if you ask individuals about love, complete consensus is a rare occurrence. Furthermore, people change their perspectives through experiences, both painful and pleasurable. If you asked me five years ago what love was all about, my answer would be completely different to what I would offer up in response today.

    The Booth of Season 1 compared to his older and wiser Season 6 iteration is likely to have changed his tune on love. He has lived. He has learned. He has grown. As you pointed out Laffers, there are probably many events that have transpired that we will never witness, but it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. The perspective of his character has changed…this isn’t inconsistency…it is character growth. Perhaps his views on love have matured and he has decided to share his desires in order to achieve them.

    Okay, I have definitely waffled on too much here…sorry Laffers, I couldn’t help myself 🙂

  23. I see this Bones’ journey so far as Booth being infatuated with Brennan, but not necessarily in love with Brennan, too. Brennan from my viewing standpoint is the one who has actually been in love with Booth from the start, not the other way around. So I think I’ll have to agree with you Laffers on many of your points. In season one, we see the sparks between these two. We see Booth being bothered by Brennan’s choice in men, but never giving her any indication that he is really interested in her. Brennan sees that Booth is in a relationship with Tessa, has a son and that he withholds certain things from her. She is definitely bothered by these things. She doesn’t get any vibes from him that he is in any way interested in her romantically, but I saw that she was definitely interested in him, in season one. Brennan flinches at all these moments when she discovers these things about him, that he’s chosen to withhold certain aspect of himself from her. Brennan is bothered that he is choosing to not share important things about himself, with her. She in definitely bothered by these aspects in season one. Brennan dates because she doesn’t feel or get the same emotions coming back from Booth. I sense that if Booth had wanted a relationship with Brennan in season one she would have started one. In season two, we see Brennan bothered by Booth’s relationship with Cam. Watch Headless Witch and notice her reaction to Cam taking Booth’s hand during the video watching scene. I’ve noticed more on Brennan’s part as to her feelings towards Booth, than I’ve seen from Booth. I’ve seen alot of flowery speeches, from Booth, on his feelings towards and about love. But I’ve not necessarily seen things from him that would say this is a man who inequivacably loves this woman. I see more evidence from Brennan that she loves Booth and always has, since that first season. It has just taken her longer to understand what that means to her. I’ve seen in her actions towards Booth more love, than in Booth’s actions towards Brennan. Brennan just see and understand more about Booth, than I think Booth knows and see about Brennan. Brennan just hasn’t felt that she would be good enough for Booth, or what Booth really needs. Booth just wants to love someone and doesn’t necessarily care who that person is. Hannah, Brennan and really any woman would do for Booth where love is concerned. He just wants that happy life with someone scenerio and doesn’t really care who he get it with. This is what I see, with this story being told, with this set of Bones writer’s. So I guess I have to agree with you Laffers, that Booth isn’t really, nor has he ever really been in love with Brennan. The end of this season reassured my thought on this. I never saw at any point this entire season that there was any love coming from Booth towards Brennan. I saw more love coming from Brennan towards Booth. Brennan is in love with Booth and probably always has been, while Booth just loves the idea of being in love and doesn’t really care who he gets it from. This is what I am seeing from the writing of this show.

  24. Laffers, that was an awesome, awesome post. Thanks for sharing it with us. 🙂

    I love what you had to say about Booth being “spectacularly flawed”. I totally agree with you on that point and on the point that his flaws make him even more appealing. You really outlined that well. 🙂

    As for the is he/isn’t he in love with Brennan question, you make a compelling argument. I do agree with you, at least in part, that he hasn’t been IN LOVE with her from the word go. Infatuated, absolutely. Fascinated? Dazzled? Gobsmacked? Amazed? Yes, yes, yes and yes. But not in love. Not right from the start.

    Do I know when he fell in love with her? I can’t even begin to guess. I could probably look at every episode and point out something and say “okay, that, right there, he totally loves her” and I’d probably be right. But in love? It might be a cop out, but I think the in love part just kind of happened.

    But that said, I think he was being truthful in the 100th when he told her “I knew.” I think that when you meet someone, you just… you know in an instant whether or not you’re going to get along with them. You get a feeling. The best way I can think to put it is “friend, foe or WHOA!” (Horse 😛 ) Some people, you just click with from the moment you meet. Some, you want to punch in the face. And some just make you feel like time has stood still.

    I think for Booth (and Brennan, too) the moment they met was WHOA! I’ve talked to guys who say they looked at a girl and just knew she was THE ONE, so I readily believe that Booth had the same experience. I don’t think he fell in love with her standing at the back of the room watching her talk about decomposed bodies, but I think he set eyes on her and just knew that somehow, someway, someday, he was meant to be with the woman standing before him. Maybe he was only able to put it into words during his desperate plea to give them a chance, but I think he was sincere that he knew.

    The thing is though, I think that Booth had been pushing aside thoughts of more with Brennan for a while, because he knew she wasn’t ready. Neither of them were ready, really, and I think that Booth would have been content to continue on with the status quo indefinitely, but Sweets’ pushing made him jump the gun and forget everything he knew about Brennan, just for a second, and in his mad rush to get out his feelings, he flubbed it. Royally.

    And we all know what happened then.

    But I do think that Booth came to realize that he loves and is in love with Brennan before the 100th. And at the end of Daredevil, he admits to her that he is in love with her. He doesn’t say the words “I’m in love with you”, but he does say “the next woman, she’s…” and Brennan finishes “Me.” To which he replies “yeah.” (And anyone who read my reply to Monday’s post knows I’m repeating myself with that, but I think it’s an important moment for the two of them.)

    So it’s out there in the universe between them. In DitP she told him that she regretted missing her chance. Booth interpreted that as “Bones says she loves me.” She didn’t say “I love you, Booth”, but that’s what he heard and understood. He doesn’t say “I love you, Bones”, but that’s what she heard and understood. So its out there. It’s between them. They know how the other feels.

    Honestly, I would love to see an “I love you” exchange between them at some point in season seven. Do I think we’re going to get it? I won’t hold my breath. I think we’ll get it in different ways; ways that are THEM, and very much akin to what we’ve been seeing right along, but I don’t think we’re going to ever see an out and out declaration of their love. But I’d love to be proven wrong about that. 😉

  25. I’d just like to say,
    I am seriously amazed by the fact that we can watch and pick through the same episodes and same moments over and over and STILL some great minds here manage to come up with ideas and bring on perspectives I’ve never even considered before.

    (not only in the actual posts, but the well-thought out responses too)

    Just wanted to add that (since I think everything else has been covered). I may return with a few thoughts of my own later. Though, upon reading this, this quote (from the 1999 film version, “Mansfield Park”):

    “There are as many forms of love as there are moments in time.”

    Great post, Laffers 🙂

  26. Loved this post!! 🙂 🙂 I do think Booth loves Brennan, but not “in love” with her, just like you said. I think old couples who have been together for a very long time can tell you the difference. I, too, am waiting for that moment!! And it will be *cue fireworks* AWESOME!!!!

  27. Maybe its my shipper heart, but I really do think they love each other (besides HH saying it is so) because after SIX seasons of not consummating their feelings of “whatever you want to call it”, I would hope that they were both “in love” and “loved each other” because people fall in bed with each other all time willy-nilly (on TV at least haha) and the fact that they didn’t for so long, I just have to believe that they were both ready. They were both admitting to and acting upon feelings that I believe they had from day 1.

    Let’s say they had not been “in love” and still were not “in love” now, then it just seems random. I think they have always had these intense feelings but were able to push them aside for various reasons, and everything just came to a head during HitH as VNM’s death was just the tipping point. The dam broke and the feelings and emotions were too much to contain any more.

    If I gotta deal with a seemingly random pregnancy (I’m still working on it!) then I gotta at least think that my B&B are admitting to being in love, otherwise it makes all this almost random and I wouldn’t like that! 🙂

    • bb, I agree with your view that without love in the equation, this would all just be random. This is clearly a subjective topic. Some people think in love is on a higher level than just love, while others think love is more important than being in love. We are each allowed our own views, but if it’s wildly different from the producers’, then there is a greater likelihood of disappointment. I think they do love each other by this point, and that’s pretty much supported by HH & Co. When it comes to discussing love between B&B on the show, it’s usually done indirectly. For example, Booth’s words about Hodgins and Angela and their baby in that final scene with Brennan could very well have been chosen to mirror their own relationship, in a perfect or imperfect way – a baby is a good thing, happiest day of their lives, they love each other.

      • @C-bones…I think we are definitely on the same page. I like your quote of the dialogue at the end of the episode. I think the writer’s intention of having Booth misunderstanding of why Brennan’s upset was to give us that glimpse of yes, Booth is happy with this–since they weren’t going to give it outright. So much of this show is up to the viewers to reason out meanings and plot points. They don’t spell it out for us, they expect the fans at this point to be more savvy and figure it out. I think the whole point of Booth’s talking on and on about Hodgela’s happiness is to clue us into B&B’s happiness as well without hitting us over the head with a 2×4.

  28. I can see many of your points, and agree that just because he says “he knew” all those years ago it doesn’t mean it was love at that moment in all it’s fullness; feeling that electric connection doesn’t equal love. That takes time, and trials, and knowledge-as they say, love is kind, love is patient, love will sacrifice, etc. and in that flashback we hadn’t seen any of that yet. But we definitely see that plenty in the ensuing years. So I love your arguments, I think they’re valid and convincing, but I’m still not buyin’ them!

    Bones to me has always been about “the signs in the silence”-the things you see but which aren’t expressed, which is why many of us are perfectly happy with B/B being a couple without having ever heard (or possibly never hearing) an “I love you” between them. I’ve come to accept that, and instead I focus on their actions toward each other rather than their words. I mean, if all the things we’ve seen that he’s done (and would do in an instant) for her, all he’s sacrificed, the times he’s been there for her, all his kindness and affection for her aren’t expressions of deep love, I don’t really know what is. Maybe at some times it wasn’t a “healthy” love as we would define it (season 5) or a mature love (all those times he interrupted her dates), or any form of love we feel is the “perfect” romantic love, whatever that means, but the fact that he would stay with her under any circumstance and in any form she needed after the 100th (despite the fact that it was killing him) pretty much seals the deal for me. I really don’t know what else the poor guy is supposed to do to show that he loves her. That doesn’t mean that it’s all hunky-dory from here on with her, because the realities of living together inevitably dampen romantic notions of love. To me it just means that he’s her guy, who’s shown he’s capable of loving her and being there for her through thick and thin, including times when most people would have seriously reconsidered. I think that DB and the writers tried to convey this even during the Hannah era by showing us a very conflicted Booth trying to do the right thing when his heart is somewhere else.

    I’d even say he loved her prior to the coma dream, it’s just that the dream brought to the surface what had been hiding underneath. Just as I feel that she already loved him before Hannah; Hannah just made her understand that. That’s why I don’t think they really had anyone else they were serious about in their lives for a long time. The “I do fine” example to me is exactly the opposite-he’s not going to admit that he doesn’t have someone because it’s going to bring up some questions, and it’s a pride thing besides. I’d say his look to me confirms it, but that’s the beauty of this show. Because things are rarely spelled out, they’re open to interpretation. The fact that Parker wants to get him a girlfriend and that Booth wants Brennan to be his “village” gives me more evidence that he’s saving himself for her. If all these things aren’t love, than what would qualify? I don’t see much else.

  29. I admit, I agree with you on most levels. I believe Booth has been in love with the idealized vsion of Brennan, not actually Brennan herself, since just before the end of season three honestly. But to my mind, season six changed all that. He was with Hannah, DitP happened and he started to change. He made one last grab for the dream and got shot down. He sort of floundered, but tried to be okay with himself before anything else. Then, he was sort of seeing what he had right in front of him. Not the dream, but the reality. A woman willingly staying by his side through everything, even though it hurts her. Someone who cares for him, that he could be happy with even without the stuff he previously believed he needed (i.e.-marriage).
    I think on some level Brennan sort of realized that he was in love with the dream, not with what the reality of what they would be together. If she’s anything like me, which I think she is a little, she’s terrible at non-verbal communication, at reading people but her natural instincts works in leaps and bounds. I can have soemone mouthing something at me or jerking their heads and not have a clue what they’re trying to convey to me, but I see my sister talking on the phone, hear her say “she’s right next to me, but I won’t tell her if you don’t want me to” and instantly know that one of our friends is actually going to marry that jerk that no one likes. I think sometimes she gets what no one expects her to.
    That said, I like the way things are going. Booth is in this thing with the actual Brennan, with everything she can and cannot be. Brennan sort of gets that. They are on the same level, together. I’m happy.

  30. Aaack! I love this post but it’s driving me crazy! I’m still confused, but I guess that’s just because I’m a person who splits fine hairs. Is being in love with the idea of Brennan the same thing as idealizing Brennan herself, or is it that ideal of a dream life that he thinks Brennan can provide him? I think those are two different things. It’s a fine point for me because I can agree on one and not the other. I can agree with Booth being a little caught up with his idea of a dream life. But I’m still waiting to hear an answer on what an idealized Brennan looks like – who he thought her to be but really wasn’t. Because it’s something I can only agree on with hard evidence, which is nearly impossible to supply for such a subjective topic.

    • I think Avalon said it best in Harbingers:
      Avalon: The answer to the question that you’re afraid to say out loud is … yes. He knows the truth of you, and he is dazzled by that truth …

      He has an idealized idea of marriage. That is not the same thing as seeing Brennan in an idealized way. He knows who she is and has shown us often enough that he is quite capable of being annoyed or angry at some of the things she says and does.

      • @ Lenora,

        Are you saying that by saying “dazzled by that truth” that Harmonia is saying Booth is inappropriately dazzled aka idealizing her?

        Because I don’t really consider Booth to have “idealized” just as another poster mentioned today that Booth is just basically a traditional guy at heart that wants the wife and kids…I don’t think that makes him an idealizer.

        I took Harmonia’s comment to mean that Booth is legitimately dazzled by the truth of Brennan that she won’t admit that she has yet. She puts so much focus on the fact that she is intelligent and beautiful but not the real inner self that is worth caring about. She wouldn’t admit that that is there and that Booth could be dazzled by that truth. I guess I’m saying I don’t think saying Booth is “dazzled” is the same as saying he idealized Brennan. I can’t really say I’ve see evidence that he had done so. He just really wanted her to embrace her good qualities and realize she was capable of giving and receiving love, and make her realize she doesn’t have to live life alone.

        In season 6, he gave up on her reaching her full potential and “moved on” but its not that he was “unidealizing” her, I think he was still dazzled by her truth, he was giving up on her realizing her own truth and he was just attempting to move on for his own sake.

        Sorry I keep writing novels here! Definitely a great post to have us all debating so much!

      • When I mean that he is dazzled by the truth of her, I mean that he knows who she is. He understands her insecurities, her forthright way of speaking, her stubborness, her weaknesses and her strengths. He sees her for who she is and doesn’t care about those things that may irritate or bother others. He loves her for who she is. He is dazzled by the whole package. He loves her for who she is. He doesn’t idealize her and puts her on a pedestal to be worshipped and adored. I took the dazzled statement to be that Booth sees her for who she really is and loves her, warts and all.

      • bb, I’m with you on the Booth just being traditional.

        I find it a little funny that women often complain about men not wanting to settle down, and just going for models/eye candy and not real women with real curves and brains. But Booth is a man who wants to settle down with a successful, intelligent woman, and suddenly he’s obsessed about marriage and is idealizing it? I think it’s a double standard because hardly anybody would blink twice if it was the other way around.

      • Ok, I guess I should also say, when I think of Booth as having an idealized idea of marriage, I mean that he believes in the traditional marriage, kids, house, etc. In this day and age, living together seems to be the norm and I think Booth wants more than that. He wants what Pops had. At least I think he does.

      • Lenora, that’s a good point, too. One can view the traditional aspect as idealistic. But even if he is, I don’t see why we have to rake him over the coals for it.

      • I’m not. I like that Booth wants to settle down with the woman he loves. He may not get to marry Brennan because she may not want that; but, he probably would do so if he could. I don’t know why anyone would find that terrible. I agree with you and bb. I think people give Booth too much grief for wanting to be the traditonal kind of guy he is. I don’t understand it either.

      • @Lenora and C-Bones:

        Ok, I think we are on the same page as far as the definition of Booth idealizing. He’s the traditional guy, I would agree with Lenora that he’s probably trying to live up to Pops standards as Pops is the guy that basically saved his life. He wants to be that guy. (Which is totally swooth worthy to me!)

        Booth’s “problem”? Well he fell head over heels (at first sight IMO! haha) for the lovely Temperance Brennan, who let’s face it, grew up a bit traumatized, as did Booth, has her own issues, but also is intelligent (which she uses as a shield). Booth is clearly not opposed to career women, as most of his love interests that we know of are independant career women…but Brennan uses (used?) her career path and intelligence to push people away and build walls.

        Epiphany! I think Brennan told herself she is against marriage and children because of her abandonment of her father and mother in her life. Before that point she had a loving stable home. She kept telling herself she was against having that again because loving people hurts. Those people you love might leave you so its best to stay arm’s length away from anyway. I think our lil’Tempy might turn out to be not as truly opposed to those things as she wanted us to believe.

        Now, not to say she’s going to do a 180 and be some little 50’s apron-wearing gal (though, she can make a mean mac and cheese! and if she put on spectacles from that era, Booth would LOVE it, but I digress), but I can see her open to the possibilities in ways she never let herself before.

        I think Brennan and Booth will arrive at some sort of common ground between tradition and uncoventional lifestyles and find something just right for them. Whatever that is!

      • In no way shape or form would I equate wanting an actual marriage (and kids, etc. etc.) instead of just living together as having an idealized view of marriage. It’s true that more and more people live together these days (with or without eventually getting married), but that fact in no way makes “traditional” marriage a thing of the past or something that is completely unrealistic to expect or want. It’s completely normal, even in today’s world, for someone to want to settle down, marry, and have kids.

      • Stepahanie, Saying something is idealized doesn’t make it the past or unrealistic. I am just defining marriage as ideal. Something can be normal and still be idealized. Idealized just means the idea of perfection. In this case, marriage is perfection. I don’t if I made that worse or not.

      • Lenora –
        I think I get what you’re saying – kind of. But to me, the term idealize has a negative connotation. The way I understand it, when we idealize something, we have unrealistic expectations about it. I guess I just don’t see Booth’s ideas about marriage (at least what we’ve seen of them) as being at all unrealistic, therefore they’re not idealized.

  31. So Laffers, what do you need to see to believe he loves her?

    If he says it to her, will that be enough for you?

    There’s just a real danger in having a preconceived idea of what “the moment” will be and I think HH has tried very hard to sneak the moment in piecemeal.

    What does Booth have to do to prove to you that he loves Brennan? And if Brennan believes it, does it matter what we, the audience, think?

  32. Lovely post! It comes down to your definition of “in love”. What will it look like when Booth IS in love with Brennan? I think once you describe it, you’ll find that B&B meet the criteria. I would argue that Booth was in love with Bones as early as Season 2 but I do think he was in denial about it.

    When I saw him give her Jasper, that’s when I knew that he was in love with her. He didn’t get her that pig because he was trying to cheer her up, he had been thinking about getting her a real pet pig for some time. I can’t really describe in words why that showed me he was in love with her, but it did. (I need to think about how I can articulate that). Even in the widow’s son in the windshield, he couldn’t take being separated from her. You could argue that it bothered him that Brennan was upset at him but I honestly don’t feel that he would have reacted the way he did if he felt that she was just a friend or partner. He couldn’t just leave Brennan alone to cool off, he took every opportunity to get her back out in the field.

    I’m not sure I can tell you when he knew he was truly in love. I know that he is human and looking at other women IS a biological response, even if he were in love with Brennan. I think every time he had those feelings of love come up, he buried it because he “knew” it wouldn’t work out. If you look at his face when Brennan returns his handkerchief in Mayhem on a Cross, it screams I’m in love. And not with an idealized form of Brennan. It screams I’m in love with the woman who just told me this statement. He buried his love until he couldn’t take it anymore. Sweets’ comment in the 100th episode was just the nudge he needed to finally say what was on his mind.

    • @Natbor!!!!!!!

      The ending of Mayhem on a Cross might be my favorite DB/Bones moment ever. Brennan crying…that look on Booth’s face…the handkerchief….it was a wonderfully done scene. You got me squee-ing over here so thanks!

      • If they were just friends, they certainly weren’t just regular friends. The way they respond to each other’s pain is so deeply felt. They take it personal, and want to be the one to assuage the other’s distress.

      • Not to say regular friends don’t respond to friends in pain. But B&B are just…more. Like when everyone was distressed when Brennan and Hodgins were kidnapped, but Booth could barely contain himself. And when they found out Pops had a fire in Booth’s apartment, they all looked concerned but Brennan’s look was a little bit more than that and she went to go see him afterwards.

      • @bb I love that moment too!! squeeee

    • I agree. I am rewatching the series just for this reason, and I just finished BitG. When he gives her that pig , you can tell. He feels the pain she feels for killing another human being. He see the hurt in her eyes without her telling him. He knows her so well at this point, and I believe he is in love with her too. He accepts her for all her quirks and oddities. That is love. Someone who knows you and still wants to be with you. Someone who can understand your thoughts without you speaking them. I believe that his love grows stronger from this point on, but I also believe that this is where it started.

  33. **Swoon worthy** sorry, typo!

    • It is swoon worthy and I will be satisfied with how ever Booth and Brennan work out their living arrangments. Marriage or not, I think they are great together and I think they understand each other better than anyone else can.

  34. Laffers, you know I agree with you on this. The way you and I each approach this viewpoint may be different, but I think we reach the same conclusion.

    As Skole_Bone mentioned above, the way each one of us identifies with Booth or Brennan and the idea of ‘them’ is colored by our life experiences. I’ve thought I’ve been in love at least 2 other times before I married my husband, but the connection I have with my husband is just different. My husband and I got together in kind of a similar way to Booth & Brennan have (except that we only danced around each other for 1 year instead of 7 :P) so that’s the main reason why I hold the viewpoint that I do. I identify a little too closely with how the two of them had this spark and this great friendship but were too gun shy to do anything about it until the dam broke and it just finally happened. Sixteen years later, my hubs and I are happier and stronger than ever.

    If you’ve read the book The Godfather, there’s a part where Michael Corleone, a happily married, dutiful family man, goes to Sicily to talk with one of his father’s business partners, sees a peasant girl working out in the field, and is instantly consumed with longing for her, to the point of being willing to sabotage anything to keep that feeling alive, even abandoning his wife and children back in America just to be with her. The Sicilians call it getting hit by “The Thunderbolt.” Season 5 Booth – specifically the look he gets on his face when he hugs Brennan in her office in Harbingers – is Booth getting hit by The Thunderbolt. And Brennan wasn’t as dense about his feelings as some may have thought. She has a stricken look on her face in 100 when Sweets makes his plea to Booth ‘make that work’ for him and she sees how Booth reacts. I think she knew Booth was still in love with the idea of her from his dream and that’s not how she wanted ‘them’ to happen.

    So then he goes off to Afghanistan and gets hit by The Thunderbolt again with Hannah – which again causes him to crash and burn.

    I don’t dispute that Booth has had feelings for Brennan in the past or even felt love for her, even as far back as S2. But I think a Booth truly in love with Brennan will be something completely different than the love he felt for Hannah or Rebecca and Brennan before, and not just because of the baby, but in much the same way that my own experience of being in love with my husband is not the same as what I felt when I thought I was ‘in love’ in other serious relationships. Yes, that may be splitting hairs, but there is a difference, and I think it will be something truly beautiful to watch.

  35. Dear Laffers,

    Thank you for the brilliant post! And thanks to everybody else for all the comments with your amazing thoughts!

    I thought that I firmly believed that Booth is “in love” with Brennan” and that he loves her. I thought that this was a solid idea in my mind. I thought the evidence made sense.

    But after reading all your thoughts and the different evidences you provided, I find myself, honestly, quite confused. Now I don’t know what I believe. This is really quite upsetting to me because I really thought that I knew what I thought. haha.

    I think I shall have to rewatch all the past episodes and re-form my opinion. You all have such great points that I got lost. haha.

    Now I have something to think about the rest of the day!


    PS. I really love this blog 🙂

  36. Here’s my problem though – and I’ve said it in a couple of other ways in this thread but it’s just really something I would like Laffers to address.

    If Booth is not in love with Brennan, then the show’s creator and its stars have been lying to us for six years. Hart Hanson has been lying to us for six years.

    HH and SN both say – this is a couple, they are in love. Hart has been saying that since day one.

    You can argue that you don’t see it – that it hasn’t been written in a way that convinces you – but if you really believe he doesn’t love her, you don’t believe in one of the central premises of the entire show. You don’t believe what the creator of this universe says about it.

    I don’t know how to reconcile that. Why would they all lie?

    • Barbara, I can’t speak for Laffers but I feel that this is more of an anthropological study and all of us are anthropologists. We’re studying the B&B dynamic itself and can’t use information given to us from HH & co to come up with our conclusions, we can only use what we observe in the show. I think Laffers’ post may just be what she has observed and the conclusions she has formed based on those observations. Just a thought.

      • Aren’t the author’s words canon, whether or not they find their way into the story or not?

        HH&Co. are writing this story. I think we have to consider what they say as a part of the whole.

      • MJ, can’t seem to reply to your reply, but I think the show needs to speak for itself to be considered a good television show. The information we get from HH&co is great as extra evidence but the show needs to support what HH&co say.

        It would be like going to a Jane Austen book signing when she tells us..oh, Mr. Darcy? He’s supposed to be gay.

      • I had a vision of the furor surrounding JKR’s post-Deathly Hallows remarks that Dumbledore was gay. 🙂 To her credit, she did put in small hints. Hints that relied on stereotypes, but at least readers could look back and say, “ohhhh!”

        But, I’m not sure using books as an example is a good way to make that point. With a TV show, you don’t get the exposition, the background you get in books. The writers have to show everything or have characters say everything. Because of that, I think viewers should be allowed to include comments from the writers, to make things a little clearer.

        That being said, of course, obviously HH&Co. don’t want everything to be clear. They’re deliberately writing something that can be interpreted in a variety of ways. I guess that’s what keeps us watching, hmm?

      • but natbor, if Jane Austen did say Mr. Darcy was gay, that would be canon and we’d have to deal with it.

        We might say, Ms. Austen, you did a craptastic job of showing that! (as if I would really say craptastic to Ms. Austen)

        But you can’t really tell a creator of a work – you don’t mean what you say you mean, you are wrong about the universe you created.

        Argue all we want about how well the love is shown, but that the love is there is a fact, given to us by the person who invented these characters. That has to be taken into account, IMO.

      • I personally have never seen and/or read the story involving Mr. Darcy (my dtr has, so I am somewhat familiar with the character). However, shouldn’t we always take into consideration what the “authors” tell us, even if it is outside of the story (TV show/book), and keep that in mind when watching/reading. It can change our perspective on every interaction, based on what the author’s true intentions are. Therefore, if HH & Co say that Booth and Brennan are “in love” with each other, we should assume that to be so and perceive all interactions with relation to that bit of knowledge. In RL, if we find out a fact about something that we didn’t previously know, that can change our hindsight 180 degrees…..

      • Oh, it hurts my heart when I hear someone hasn’t read Pride & Prejudice! I have several copies; I’d be happy to send you one! 🙂

    • Barbara – I think what we are running into, here, is the idea of what we all see and interpret, regardless of what the author (creators etc) intended. It seems like it is not a matter of HH and company “lying”…. but maybe with this view they have not been successful in conveying their intent. According to some, that would indicate a failure – and I can understand this viewpoint.

      On the other hand, I really love that different interpretations CAN be made. I don’t believe that we have to interpret in the same way that an author intends. We all take away our own meaning. And then we share that meaning with each other. It is the beauty of entertainment, art, literature, etc. It is only truly problematic, I think, in marketing. 🙂

      • well Janet, we’ve had this chat before, I think, about audience interpretation being valid, even if it contradicts what the author says.

        But for me it’s this: the premise that Booth and Brennan are in love with each other is as much as foundation pillar of the show as the fact that he’s in the FBI and she’s an anthropologist.

        It is literally why the show exists and is on the air. Because it’s the love story of these two people.

        We can interpret the hows and whens and whys and the metaphors and symbolism and themes – but if we can’t buy into the basic premise of the work, then the work is ultimately a failure.

      • Right, Barbara. That is part of what I’m saying. That I do indeed understand your viewpoint.

    • I too would like to know (out of curiosity) what Laffers would consider to be the moment…and if she would know it when she saw it. Like others have said, I can pinpoint several moments I think Booth was in love w Brennan, but I’d also like him to say those words, ‘I’m in love with you’. And I’d like Brennan to reciprocate (or the order can be switched, I’m not too picky, haha). But I’m also curious for all of the times in the past six ears where Hart Hanson et all have literally said ‘They are in love’. I stay away from interviews and articles and all of that, so I’m really out of the loop, but I honestly can’t recall any time where that was said. Now I want to know!!! 🙂 I’ve always heard ‘They are together’ and always cringed because I selfishly want more, haha, but not ‘in love’. Which is sort of Laffers pooint, not that Booth doesn’t love Brennan or are about her, but more that he might be more in love with love than in love with Brennan.

      • ugh…typing on my phone. Sorry for the awful spelling errors!!!

      • HH said in an interview with Marisa Roffman in October 2010 (so early season six) that he believed Booth and Brennan were in love with each other. The interview is up on You Tube – I just watched it. 😉 I didn’t really follow interviews prior to that so I have no idea what he’s said or hasn’t said in prior seasons.

      • This interview? HH says ‘I think Booth loves Brennan.’ But he doesn’t say they’re IN love with each other, which I think is the distinction Laffers was trying to make.

  37. 1) Apologies for repeating something, someone else has already said. Just too many and too many long replies to get through all in detail.
    2) While I may agree with some points along the way, I simply don’t buy the argument, Laffers. Never have, never will.

    Whoever made the comment about their first interaction and love and hate being flip sides of the same emotion — I totally agree. Especially with regard to Booth. He was open to falling in love; she was not. He was smitten from that first moment. And, it wasn’t just lust. Brennan was a puzzle he was compelled to solve. As he begins to understand her, he comes to want to save her, I think. Maybe because of his own childhood, but he wants her to realize that she can love and be loved (by him) and have a better, fuller life for that.

    I firmly believe that every time he has been trying to convince her about love, it has been with the idea with him being the one that loves her. I think this is especially true at the end of “Cinderella” and in the session with Sweets where he tells her there is someone for everyone. Why work so hard to convince someone who so adamantly disagrees, if you don’t love them? Why does he work so hard to get her back together with her family?

    I also don’t buy the bit about the idea of love or the idea of Brennan. Of all the people who know her well, he knows her best. I think he has a very realistic understanding of her — and of what he still doesn’t understand about her. More than anyone, he has seen both her heart and her “heartlessness,” for lack of a better word. She has said more cutting and dismissive things to him than anyone else. He may not know what to do with/about her and his feelings for her — as in the 100th episode — but it’s not because he has an unrealistic view of her. And, it’s not because he’s a love-addled teenager.

    Anyway, it may be semantics, but I think he has loved her in some way since the minute he laid eyes on her.

    BTW: Bones marathon on TNT starting right now with “Judas on a Pole.” I just realized that the woman leading Zach’s dissertation defense is Kathy Reichs.

    Can’t pinpoint the progression or the “in love” moment, but I may spend the summer/hiatus figuring that out. A couple of random examples, though: The look on his face and action when he watches Sully and Brennan kissing at the end of Bodies in the Book. Similarly, the sick look on his face when he tells her to go with Sully in the next episode. And, why is he so bothered that she won’t go out in the field with him after Zach goes to Iraq? And, the look of delight when he realizes she really meant it about Zach when Zach comes back. And, his concern about them losing the magic in PitO. The look on his face when she’s singing in WitW. And, so on.

    In s5, it’s not that he suddenly realizes he’s in love with her, but that he has seen what could be and he wants that. Then, Sweets and Cam confuse him which is easy because of everything he’s gone through and not being sure he’s quite himself yet.

    Over and over again, we have seen him completely enthralled with her. More and more as the seasons go by.

    • Also, in some of those therapy sessions with Sweets, her responses are important to him and you can tell by the way he’s looking at her. Like whenever Sweets brings up feelings, his gaze immediately swings over to her, so he has to kind of hold back his initial response when she’s not receptive to whatever is being said.

    • Amen. I also think we have to look at the other characters on the show as some sort of Greek chorus; Avalon saying he knows the truth of her, GG saying he’s in love with her, Angela and her comments, Pops and Max. These are the voices of the writers speaking; if all these people see it, I think we’re meant to see it too.

  38. I said on Twitter (after reading this at lunch) that I think you’re making a very good argument if Booth and Brennan are different than I see them. Whether you’ll be happy with that in the end or not…I don’t know.

    Your points, as I understand them (and I’m summarizing them so you can correct me if I’m wrong!) are that, first, he wasn’t in love with her in S2-4 because he was either with another woman (Cam) or at least flirting; that he fell in love with the idea of being in love in the coma dream, and that the speed of his ‘I’ve got to move on’ comment in the 100th proves that (that he wasn’t in love with her, just the idea of being in love.)

    Can I imagine a man doing those things? I can. I absolutely can. I can imagine a guy who cares about his partner, finds her attractive, and has no interest in her romantically doing all those things. So in that sense, your theory makes complete sense.

    But here’s where it doesn’t work for me: this man we’re talking about who does those things doesn’t exist in a vacuum. (He would also be very, very unlikely to ever change and fall in love with said partner, IMO.) But more than that…the partner in question is Brennan.

    This is why I’ve asked (approximately seven thousand times, LOL) what he would look like if he were in love. If he fell in love with her in, say, S3, or realized he was in love with her at that point, at least, (to simplify things) …what would it have looked like? Is the only thing that would have been different was that we wouldn’t have seen him flirting with anyone?

    Or…would he have told her? And what would have been her response, if, in early S3, he’d said, ‘Bones, I just need for you to know I’m in love with you.’ What would she have done?

    I’ve said before (and I can promise, you’ll hear me say again!) that it always comes back to your view of Brennan. Always. Even conversations that start out about Booth come down, in the end, to Brennan.

    In Glowing Bones, she admits to having some issues about anything more than casual relationships – seeing the problems, being scared. And in late S4 those feelings are still there. So if he’d said that to her in S3…the show’s given us nothing to indicate it would have ended in anything but a disaster.

    So from where I sit, in one way it doesn’t matter whether he was in love with her prior to the coma dream or not. Brennan would not have been open to a relationship with him, at least not one that was anything more than the casual one they’d ruled out. She was starting to come around to the idea that love might be more than chemicals, might be worth taking a risk on…but nothing we see prior to the end of S4 shows she would have responded positively to Booth if he’d made it clear he was in love with her.

    Did he know that? Yeah, I think so. That’s where my view of Booth and yours diverge. I think he did know her, and knew she wasn’t ready to hear how he felt. So he waited.

    As to the coma dream causing him to fall in love with the idea of being in love – again, sure. I can see that, though honestly (sorry!) I get tired of people who seem to think he only wants a home and family because of his childhood. I know a lot of people – including men – who came from perfectly functional families and, because of that, wanted the same thing for themselves.

    But something certainly changed for him in the coma dream. From my perspective, it was real enough that going back to just waiting and hoping she’d come to believe in love, to believe in him enough to take a chance on him was nearly impossible for him. He could no longer just wait and hope.

    And that led to the 100th. Your point, that if he really was in love with her, he wouldn’t have said he was moving on – makes perfect sense. It really does. At least it does for a man who had the option of saying, ‘okay, then, I need a break from seeing you every day, so, no, we can’t continue to work together.’

    For just a moment, (I know! Asking a lot! LOL) let’s go out on a limb and pretend he was in love with her before the coma dream, and was waiting/hoping that she’d some day feel the same way. Then the coma dream made going back to that waiting and hoping much harder, and finally, after nearly a year and after being goaded by Sweets, he breaks. He asks her to take a chance on him. Not to marry him, not to spend her life with him…just to take a chance. That’s it. That’s all he asks for. And she says no. Repeatedly. Won’t consider it. No room for hope, no room for negotiation.

    So what are his options? Saying he has to move on (and fall out of love with her) proves to you he wasn’t in love with her in the first place. But his only other options were to tell her no when she asked if they could continue working together, or to resign himself to life with a partner who wanted him…only as a partner. To spend everyday in love with someone who said ‘no’ to anything else – clearly and repeatedly.

    I’m sorry, but I don’t know any man who would agree to that. “You don’t want me, but I’ll continue just as we have been, will continue being what you want me to be, with no hope of anything else.”

    I swear I’m not trying to be difficult here, but if he’s not allowed to say he’s moving on, and he can’t walk away from her, that’s what you’re saying he should have done. That if he was really in love with her, he would have stayed with her, forever, with no hope of having anything back for himself.

    To be fair (and that really is my goal!) I think views of love and being in love come into play here. I said a day or two ago that I don’t view ‘in love’ the way many do (heck, the way most seem to.) I don’t see being ‘in love’ as some completely separate category of love. I think love – real love – involves deep knowledge, affection, commitment, need…and the ‘in love’ component adds sexual desire to it.

    For me, that’s it. I don’t see some mysterious ‘out of my control’ thing where someone can say “I love you, would die for you, and man, do I want your body…but I’m not actually in love with you. I’m waiting for the ‘in love fairy’ to hit me over the head.” (Or, er, Cupid?) (You know me well enough to know, I hope, that I love you dearly and that snark is intended toward society’s view of being in love rather than you!)

    And that’s all what leads me here, to my questions for you:

    If Booth’s not in love with her, even now, what will cause him to fall in love with her? He obviously loves her, and obviously there’s a sexual component to that…so what’s the missing piece? How will his view of her be different the day he wakes up and says, ‘hey, I don’t just love her – I’m finally in love with her, and wow, it’s different from anything else I’ve ever felt!”? Completely serious question, because I’ve never been in love the way you’re waiting to see, and honestly can’t imagine it.

    (Or is it less about seeing her differently and perhaps needing her in a way he’s never done before? Again, serious questions.)

    Part of the reason I ask this is what I’ve said to you before when I’ve asked what you’re waiting to see, because I’m very much afraid you’re never going to see it. Both Hart and David commented on what happened in the 100th in ways that sounded to me like they were assuming Booth was in love with her, and SN has now gone on record as saying they’re in love now (or that’s how they’ll be opening the season, with that assumption.)

    So I think it’s very unlikely you’re going to see what you’re waiting for, and that makes me very sad.

    Personally, I don’t think he was in love with her when he was with Cam, but I think he was moving in that direction. I think he was realizing how he felt when she was with Sully, because we never see him in another relationship after that point (and, perhaps more to the point, neither does Brennan) and because I think the look he gives her when he sees her kiss Sully means something.

    But even if he wasn’t in love with her then, I think he was by Critic and certainly was in the 100th. I think the fact that GG counsels hope and patience rather than suggesting that maybe his feelings aren’t real is important.

    Regardless of any of that, though, I really do think that those who think he’s still not in love with her may need to adjust their expectations of the show. Because I really do think it’s unlikely from what they’ve said we’re going to see him acting significantly different than he has.

    (And just to be clear, I don’t mean that we’re not going to see physical affection between them, because I think we will, though probably not as much as some wanted. But I’ve gathered that Laffers wanted something specific from him, some actions that would say ‘this man’s in love with this woman.’ And that …well, I hope for everyone who’s wanting that, that it happens.)

    • Season six Booth wasn’t in love with Brennan anymore, he was in love with Hannah. Doctor in the Photo had Brennan telling Booth she made a mistake in not giving them a chance. If I am Booth, and I am still in love with Brennan at this point, I would have gone home to Hannah and broken it off with her. That didn’t happen because he no longer loved Brennan. If Booth was still in love with Brennan at this point he would have done everything he could to figure out if they could still have a chance to be together, but that didn’t even cross his mind, because he no longer wanted that type of relationship with Brennan. He didn’t love her, he loved Hannah. He had given up the idea of Brennan and had fallen in love with someone else.

      He never thought about Brennan when he was asking Hannah to spend the rest of her life with him, so I know for sure he wasn’t in love with Brennan at that point. When he was shot down in his marriage proposal he was angry at Brennan and there was still no love then. He was angry for a few episodes and wrote a date on a hotdog wrapper when he thought he might stop being angry. That doesn’t show me he loves Brennan. It only pointed out that Brennan must prove her worthiness in believing Booth’s nonsense. That’s not love. Then we have Booth giving Brennan the yeti test, I don’t see any evidence of love then either. So I guess as a viewer I am left with him impregnating her during grief/comfort sex or some cheesy grin after Brennan had to reassure him that he is the father of her unborn child. None of these will ever tell me that Booth loves Brennan. I need to see from Booth that he chooses Brennan, not that he is now stuck with her because of some oops baby, or because he is settling for Brennan because Hannah turned him down. I saw from Booth, not a person in love at the end of the season, but someone who was resigned with hanging out with his work partner because he was done with women. I didn’t see that he wanted or needed to be with Brennan simply because only she was who he wanted. Brennan appears to be Booth’s second best choice now and I hate that.

      • I’m sorry, but I respectfully disagree. If you were you, yes, you might well have dumped Hannah the moment Brennan said she’d made a mistake. But Booth has, I’d say, a different view of what love is, and understands that there’s an element of commitment to it. If he’d dumped Hannah because Brennan changed her mind, he wouldn’t have deserved either of them.

        When he began the relationship with Hannah, it was because Brennan had told him no in way that was permanent. I think a lot of fans think it should have been somehow obvious Brennan would someday want a relationship with him, if he’d just waited long enough. (I disagree on that point, too.) But I think he had exactly what they gave us – a woman he loved, who said, ‘no, I will not even consider taking a chance on a relationship with you.’ And then said, ‘but please, continue to love me as my friend and partner, just the way you always have.’

        I think he loved Hannah, in a very shallow way – there was never any true intimacy between them he’s had with Brennan from nearly the start – and wanted it to be more. I think what we saw in the fall was a man who loved two women – and, due to my view of love, I see nothing wrong in that – and was trying desperately to ‘grow’ the love for the woman who, he thought, was willing to make a commitment to him.

        Feelings aren’t wrong. They just are. It’s what we do with them that matters, and that’s why, having made a commitment to Hannah, he had to follow it through until it became clear that she wasn’t actually committed to him. If he’d done otherwise, nothing he felt for either woman would have mattered.

        I think that’s what’s behind what he says to Brennan at the end of Sin in the Sisterhood about ‘one you love the most.’ He did love her. He never stopped, and, personally, I saw that throughout the whole season, even when he was quite clearly struggling not to. But in the end, he couldn’t do other than he did.

        Does that make Brennan the consolation prize? No, not when she was clearly the one he ‘loved the most.’

        But then, as I’ve noted, I don’t view love and being ‘in love’ the way most do.

      • K, I completely understand your viewpoint even if I don’t agree with it. I’m definitely frustrated that we don’t have any clear signs that he is over Hannah and ready for Brennan. However, I think that rynogeny is correct, when Booth makes a commitment to someone, he follows through to the end. I think part of the reason he had to know so soon if the end of his relationship with Hannah was near (with the proposal) was because he was still in love with Brennan.

      • Rynogeny – I’m with you on this one. Loving someone is a choice as well as a commitment. Perhaps falling “in love” with someone isn’t always a choice – attraction is what it is and we have little to no control over that. However, it is what we do with that attraction that matters.

        I also believe you can love more than one person at a time – I’ve seen me do it. But you make a choice to “commit” to someone and you stick with it, regardless of the feelings that linger for the other person, or perhaps someone else who comes along. We can make ourselves believe anything we want to – whether we want to “dislike” or “love” the person we’re with, we can certainly “talk” ourselves right into that.

        I myself felt that S6 Booth struggled with his feelings for Brennan. I believe he loved Hannah, perhaps was even “in love” with Hannah. However, Brennan was still the standard, the one that got away, the one he wanted but couldn’t have.

        I also don’t think that I have the same perception of being “in love” versus “loving” someone as the others on here. I believe being “in love” is the fleeting feeling at the beginning that loses its “oomph” and becomes the long-lasting, battle-withstanding love that takes you through the hard times of life, marriage and having a family.

        Booth and Brennan have the long-lasting, stick-by-you-through-thick-and-thin, commited kind of love that will take them through any storms that come their way….and I’m sure there WILL be storms!

      • Rynogeny,

        So your saying its was o.k. for Booth to stay in a relationship with someone he shallowly loved and then have him ask her to marry him simply because he was this noble guy who followed through with his commitments? I don’t see your point. Would you want that from a significant other, to be shallowly loved and subsequently proposed to simply because he always followed through with his commitments? I wouldn’t!

        You are basically saying that Booth was in love with both Brennan and Hannah. But that he decided to stay with Hannah out of some commitment pact, he’s made with himself. Do you think that noble? That it was o.k. for him to remain in this shallow relationship with Hannah simply because he made a commitment to her? That he was commited to loving Hannah even though the relationship was in fact shallow. You state that Booth’s love for Hannah was shallow and less because you say he loved Brennan the most. Are you content with Booth sticking with Hannah over Brennan simply because he could love multiple people to different degrees at the same time? It sound like that is what you are saying.

        Yes, Hannah would have felt bad if Booth broke up with her. It would have been worse if she had accepted his proposal and never had all of Booth’s love, because according to you he really loved Brennan the most all along. What you say is that Booth’s lesser love for Hannah and his commitment to their short relationship voided and trumped any past feelings he might felt for Brennan. That doesn’t seem like a healthy relationship Booth was willing to embark on with Hannah. But you seem to applaud Booth choices and decisions. That doesn’t seem right.
        I have a question. Booth said, “you can love more than one person, but you always love one more than the other”. So who did Booth love more then, was it Brennan his co-worker, or Hannah the woman he chose over Brennan and eventually asked to marry him? To me it looked like Hannah. But your saying it was Brennan and he just decided to go with Hannah because she was the woman he was living with and loved less? Do you see nothing wrong with this? Booth loved Brennan the most from your interpretation but stuck with his relationship with Hannah, but you admire Booth because he stuck it out with Hannah. That just seems wrong to me. That doesn’t seem all that noble to me and was really showing how awful Booth was being towards Hannah, if he loved Brennan more than her.

        I would never want to be in a relationship where someone loved someone else more than me, but chose to stay with me because they loved me, but not necessarily loved me the most. I would never want to be with someone who would want to stay with me, because they had some agenda or commitment that needed to be fullfilled, especially if they loved someone else more. I’d rather know the truth sooner and have things end quicker, instead of it dragging out and hurt more in the end.

      • I’m not Rynogeny but I am staying at a Holiday Inn Express tomorrow night. I’ll let that be my excuse for replying to a comment not addressed to me.

        To paraphrase Brennan, what you’re saying may be accurate but it doesn’t sound right. After watching six years worth of BONES, there’s no way I would ever expect the Booth of this series to run home and dump Hannah because Brennan cried on his shoulder in the SUV. And I say that as someone who is 110% in Brennan’s corner. On everything.

        First, I completely believe Booth was sincere when he said Hannah wasn’t a consolation prize. Consider how much time passed between the 100th and Mastodon. Not including the time from the 100th to them going their separate ways. Seven months. Seven months without contact. Not a phone call. Not a postcard. Nada. Zip. Seven months completely apart, AFTER Brennan told him bluntly she could not have a romantic relationship with him. She didn’t say ‘maybe later,’ ‘I need some time to think about it’ etc. Her answer was NO. I can’t. And when he said “I have to move on,” her response was “I understand.” She left him no reason to hope for a change in her attitude or a change in her feelings for him.

        And seven months later, Booth has someone new in his life. And a few months later, Brennan is crying in the SUV telling him she’s made a mistake. That should be enough for him to dump Hannah? Where’s the evidence then that this new Brennan is here to stay? How does Booth know she’s not just having an emotional crisis and will be right back to the old Brennan, the scared Brennan, the ‘impervious’ Brennan, the Brennan who didn’t want him, the next day?

        Because Booth’s love for Hannah (and again, I do believe he loved her) was different than his love for Brennan, doesn’t invalidate his feelings for Hannah. Why would Hannah have felt slighted or offended that Booth didn’t love her exactly as he loved Brennan? Do we ever love two people exactly the same way? Why is it wrong to expect Booth to behave honorably to Hannah when Booth’s whole character is built around his code of honor?

        And why would we think Brennan, even after that confession, would have been happy if Booth had run back to his apartment and kicked Hannah out? Is that really what she expected to happen? Did Brennan even think that far ahead when she was sobbing about missed chances? Or, was her heart just so full of regret and fear that she had to express, finally, the feelings that had come to the surface? If Booth were capable of turning immediately from Hannah to Brennan, would Brennan even have wanted him? That sounds like sleeping with a married man and then being shocked when he cheats on you.

        I believe that conversation in the SUV was the beginning of the end for the Booth/Hannah relationship, but not simply because of Brennan’s confession. But if that confession had led immediately to the end of B/H, that would have been bad for Booth & Brennan, as well.

        By the way, defending Hannah takes like vomit. Just sayin’.

      • MJ, I think that Holiday Inn has some free mouthwash, in case you need to rinse that taste out of your mouth!

        Your defense was excellent, and IMO probably what the writers intended the audience to take from that scene.

      • K,

        I get the point you’re making. It fits perfectly with how most people view ‘in love’: it’s a feeling. You feel it for one person at a time, and you stay with that person until you don’t feel it anymore. There’s this fantasy that the current person we’re in love with is the one we’ll have that feeling for for the rest of our life.

        According to that view, Booth loved Brennan (or, well, didn’t), then he stopped loving her and loved Hannah, and then switched back to Brennan when Hannah turned him down.

        I don’t really get the appeal of that view of love. From a psychological point of view, we love, and the love we feel for our mate isn’t some different category of emotion that changes when the wind blows. To a certain extent, Brennan is absolutely right: feelings are ephemeral. They change, and to define an entire relationship on a feeling …is why the divorce rate is so high.

        I’m NOT saying feelings of love aren’t important. They are. But they’re the icing on the cake. The substance is knowledge, and intimacy, and commitment that says ‘I’m sticking, even on days when I don’t like you, let alone feel ‘in love’ with you.’

        What Booth has with Brennan is just that: knowledge, and substance, affection, trust, and emotional intimacy (which we’ve seen over and over again). What he didn’t have in the 100th, on her part, at least, was the feeling, and the commitment to build a life that was more than partnership together.

        So he met Hannah, and I don’t think he for a moment ever thought, ‘she’ll do until Bones comes around,’ but nor do I think he thought, ‘wow, I no longer feel anything for Bones.’

        What he didn’t have with Hannah was the knowledge, substance, trust, and emotional intimacy he had with Brennan. What he did have was a woman he felt something for, who communicated to him (by following him back to DC) that she wanted to build a life with him.

        The feelings of love? I think had those for Hannah, and think he also still had them for Brennan. I think he knows, though, that those feelings aren’t trustworthy, and believed that if he focused on the relationship with Hannah, if he spent time with her, did everything right, ‘grew’ the relationship, one day the feelings would fully match the commitment they’d made.

        He was wrong, on a number of levels. But one of them was not in sticking to the commitment he’d made, because if he’d dumped her the moment Brennan said, ‘oops, I was wrong’ his ‘feelings’ for Brennan wouldn’t have been worth anything, either. A man who uses women and changes his mind according to nothing more than his feelings isn’t trustworthy, and he couldn’t be that man.

        I think people figure Booth should have been able to look at Hannah and say, ‘well, yeah, guess I was using you, after all, because my number one’s decided she wants me and she’s the one I really, truly love, so goodbye and thanks for all the figs. Oh, and I’m really sorry about the using you thing.’ and maybe he’d feel bad about that for a half hour or so, but then he’d be so excited at being with Brennan, the fact that he was a bastard who did, in fact, use a woman, wouldn’t matter to him for long. But Booth is not that kind of man – I think we’ve seen that over and over.

        In one sense, he was just pretty much screwed no matter what.

        (To be clear: I don’t think he was using Hannah. I think he met her, felt something for her, believed it was enough to build a life on and that if he continued putting himself into the relationship, it would grow and become stronger, and that his feelings for Brennan would eventually become what Brennan had told him she wanted: friendship.)

        Would I want a man who had feelings for another woman? That would depend on the man and the situation, and whether I believed he also really, sincerely loved me. (I know it’s different, I get that. But what do you think is going on when a man’s wife dies and he remarries? He may well still have feelings of being ‘in love’ with the wife who died as well as his new wife. Should she break up with him and tell him to hunt her down when he’d completely over the wife who died – whatever ‘getting over’ means?)

        As I said above, Booth’s relationship with Brennan has substance, depth and intimacy that the relationship with Hannah never had, and couldn’t have had, IMO. Brennan is the standard, the one he loves the most. Does that mean he was wrong to stay with Hannah, who he also cared about and had made a commitment to? No. I don’t think so, because the feelings of ‘love’ can only take you so far in forging a relationship.

        I’m not trying to change your mind, btw. But here, I think what they’re saying in the show lines up better with my view of love and commitment than the prevailing view of our culture, which, most days, is something akin to, ‘I’ll love you forever…or at least until tomorrow.’

      • I can’t add anything to MJ’s comment – because I think she said it beautifully – but I’m laughing out loud at the Holiday Inn Express comment. Works for me! (And, er, good luck with the mouthwash…)

    • Ryn that was so excellently stated and expresses so much of what I’ve been thinking. You just stated it much more eloquently than I ever could though.

      It is my fear too that those looking for something specific or something that shouts that Booth as now fallen in love with Brennan are bound to be disappointed, simply because those making the show believe they’ve already shown it.

    • @ryogeny: I think the only mouthwash that can successfully combat Hannah induced vomit taste, is watching the awesomeness that is Buck and Wanda’s bowling alley cheek kiss. Guaranteed to make your mouth minty fresh. Can cause frequent squeeing. Use with caution. 🙂

      • The kiss didn’t work for me. I need an atomic bomb to drop on Hannah, that way I know there is absolutely no chance I’ll ever have to see her again. Mouth wash, or a chaste kiss will never be enough to get rid of Hannah, the super germ. She infected everything she touched on this show and she still lingers, no matter what is being written after her exit, in my opinion. I hated ever single thing about her character. She will remain the single most hated and useless character to ever be introduced on this show, for me as a viewer.

    • As usual, rynogeny, all I can say is “AMEN!”

    • Rynogeny, I can’t reply to you below, so I’m replying here.

      I completely agree about loving both Hannah and Brennan. That he still loved/was in love with Brennan was pretty obvious from pretty early in s6. That he was trying to prove he had moved on was also pretty obvious and, as I said repeatedly, he was obviously protesting too much. In telling everyone else how committed/happy he was to/with Hannah, he was trying to convince himself.

      I even more strongly agree that a man of Booth’s principles would never have just dumped Hannah after DitP. I believe that at that point he became completely conflicted. The look on his face at the end of Bullet in the Brain is wistful, conflicted, “gawd, what have I done,” etc., etc. I have never written the piece, but I think that the proposal to Hannah was somewhere deep inside him a way of getting rid of her without feeling guilty about it. Which is not to say it was conscious in any way or that it wouldn’t hurt to be rejected by her, but that it was, in a way, a test and he knew subconsciously that Hannah would fail. He was not about to give up the renewed possibility of a life with Brennan (and hurting her in the process) unless Hannah wanted a life with him and was prepared to address that NOW.

      I”ll also chime in with what does love/in love look like, if we haven’t seen it yet? I’ve seen what I see as evidence of both love and in love.

  39. VampireRN, I think that you can think of what HH&co says outside the context of the show as “supplemental reading.” If they say that B&B are in love, it would make me re-examine the show to see if that were true but I want it to be evident in the characters (especially because I don’t read or listen to HH&co interviews very often). In this case, I truly believe it is clear that B&B are in love.

  40. Hole in the Heart is on TBS right nowwwwwwwwww 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  41. I mean TNT sorry they are sitting on the bed….im distracted 🙂

  42. Sorry for all the posts back to back–I just got home from a long day to see 36 Bones Theorys in my inbox!!!! And that’s just from the last time I checked it at 3 pm (its now 9 here!)…I LOVE LOVE all your posts!

    Can someone help me with this thought? Could it be possible that Brennan’s anti-marriage stance is a front? Like she’s protesting too much? I feel that since her parents “abandoned” her and her foster situation that marriage to her is like falling in love, opening yourself up to hurt. She had closed off her emotions to everyone, and kept herself from Booth all this time, because I think she had been avoiding the hurt of loving someone and losing them.

    Brennan was never all about children either until recent seasons. She started opening herself up to that idea, but just using Booth’s sperm. She still couldn’t admit that she loved him and this was a way to have a child with him but not WITH him. But now…obviously, she got pregnant the old fashioned way….so could marriage be around the corner? Angela was this free spirited gal, there was even Roxie, and now look at her and Hodgins. And they are happy.

    Not to say a B&B marriage would be anything like Hodgela, but does anyone else think that maybe her comments about marriage really mask a secret desire to commit to someone in that way? Maybe we’ve read her all wrong, and put this marriage thing solely on Booth’s shoulders…but has Brennan thought of it at any point? Wondered what it would be like to be the wife of this man? I mean, she put it in her book, did she not???

    Do the white lab-coated men need to pick me up as well?!

    • I’m not sure if these will directly address your questions bb, but Brennan and the marriage issue is something we’ve discussed here before:

      Part One:
      Part Two:

      I hope the links work.

      • Thanks Stephanie! It looks like those were posted about a month before I joined so, sorry for the repeat post on my part! But I loved seeing I was on the same track as the posts so you guys are already a positive influence on me! haha

        I adored the Part 2 mention of “the master becomes the apprentice” and the idea that although Booth has been teaching Brennan how to read people, open up, to love…that now that he has been disillusioned, it is now Brennan’s turn to show him that what he taught her was true. I can definitely see that, and it would be a nice thing for Booth to see fulfillment in his beliefs after the heartaches he has been through. it too “shipper” of me to hope for some kind of wedding/civil ceremony? I mean, a baby already is a pretty strong link to someone, forever, so shoot, what’s lil piece of paper! Do it for the shippers!!!!! (Sorry, digressing…) A wedding, in a very Bones-y way of course.

        But thank you Stephanie for the links. I appreciate it very much!

      • You’re welcome bb. No need to apologize for the repeat post. I knew you probably hadn’t been around long enough to have read them the first time around. 🙂

        And if it’s too “shipper” of you to want a wedding, then I’m in the same boat. I’m the one who wrote those posts so I think you and I are probably on much the same page on this issue. As a general rule I try to avoid letting myself want to see something too much because it’ll inevitably lead me to being very upset if it never happens, but this is probably my one exception. I don’t need to see a ceremony, I just want to know they made the commitment.

      • @Stephanie…I agree that I don’t **need** to see a ceremony, but it sure would be nice! I wouldn’t hate it if we found out they had secretly hit up a justice of the peace somewhere between HitH and CitG. 🙂 And hey, we’ve done flashback eps before, aka 100th 1st case ep…so it could be done! Just sayin’…if you evil geniuses are reading this!

  43. Laffers or anyone else who can help me,
    Can someone tell me when Booth and Cam were together for 8 episodes. I am rewatching the series, and I only see it in a few, and even then it isn’t consistent. In tGwtC, he turns her down for Brennan amd Thai food, then they were in Vegas for, tWitS. I know she took his hand, but he seemed hesitent to respond in tHWitW.

    • They started up at the end of The Truth in the Lye, and offically broke things off at the end of The Man in the Cell. That is eight episodes, but they don’t really show them together the whole time, and Brennan doesn’t find out about it until The Headless Witch in the Woods which is two episodes before the break.

      It was not featured prominently through most of that time and he still had those moments with Brennan so was kind of easy to ignore through much of it.

  44. Rynogeny completely summed up how I feel; personally, I’d be very sad thinking that Booth has never “loved” Brennan, perhaps not even now that he’s slept with her and she’s carrying his child. How depressing that for many the evidence of his love may never be enough, possibly not even when the show ends. Fortunately, I can’t even remotely agree with that viewpoint; if I did, I’m not sure I would even watch Bones. But it’s just not a thought that has ever ocurred to me nor have I ever seen evidence of it on the show. Has his infatuation progressed into love over time, sure. That he still doesn’t love her, no way.

    • @Maria [i]…personally, I’d be very sad thinking that Booth has never “loved” Brennan [/i]

      In the article she wrote, Laffers flat out says, “I’m not claiming that Booth hasn’t or doesn’t care for Brennan. I’m not even saying he doesn’t love her. I’m just saying he’s not in love with her.”

      You can agree or disagree with how she came to that conclusion. But she doesn’t think that Booth never loved Brennan, just that a Booth ‘in love’ with Brennan is something we haven’t seen just yet. It sounds like splitting hairs, but I understand what she’s saying.

      • I sort of interpreted Maria putting the word love in quotes to mean she understood the distinction, and is distressed by the idea that even now, Booth’s not in love with Brennan and never has been.

        I do understand that there are people (yourself included, as well as Laffers, obviously) who would rather say, ‘he’s never yet been in love with her because he’s not acted the way I think he would act if that were so’ than to try and see ‘in love’ in his behavior; there are others who are equally distressed at that thought that he never has been in love with her – perhaps in part because if that’s true, and you all are right, it most likely means we’re not going to see that.

        In other words, some are distressed at not seeing actions they consider consistent with a man who’s in love, while others are distressed by the idea that what they have seen somehow isn’t indicative of a man in love, and I don’t think the two views can be reconciled. People see what they see and want what they want.

        I will say that in the real world, I think a couple who’ve been friends as long as they have, who’ve been through what they have (particularly conversations about their relationship, agreements to not go there, a sexual relationship)…if they’re not yet in love, they’ve probably missed their moment.

        But hey, it’s a TV show, so it’s always possible that whatever they do show us next season will somehow how be what you all need to see to buy into it. (Of course, that would be easier for me to root for if Laffers would only tell me what it is she needs to see…)

  45. Ok Laffers, I see your points and need to digest them…

    But I will ask one question: having seen the end of the season, have you seen the ‘Booth is IN LOVE with Brennan’ moment yet?

  46. It’s interesting to read the back and forth about what we do/don’t perceive as Booth’s “idealized” version of love/romance/marriage, because I’ve gone back and forth myself about if his views are really that way or if we’ve projected them onto him on behalf of the fandom.

    Here’s what I came up with:
    In Season 4, Gordon Gordon reacts to Sweets book on B&B by dismissing the idea that they are opposites, but rather are two sides of the same coin who only appear disimiliar from a superficial perspective. After mulling that quote for far longer than I needed to, I decided I agreed and that Booth and Brennan’s professed views on love were the prime example of their deeper shared experiences manifesting themselves into what appear to be contrary views.

    What I mean is this: I think we can all agree that both B’s come from non-traditional homes in which deeply traumatic inicidents occured at a young and impressionable age. Both were denied the “white picket fence, 2.5 kids and a dog” lifestyle that is supposedly the norm, and both were deeply wounded by this deprivation. Where they parted ways is how they outwardly dealt with this loss (becoming opposite sides of the same coin): Booth chose what I’ll call “tails”-he idealized the scenario that had been denied to him and made up his mind that as an adult, he would create what he had so desperately missed and never let any child of his feel the same loss (hence some of his guilty feelings surrounding Parker, since he ended up unable to provide exactly that. Brennan chose “Heads”, which was to view the ideal as flawed, and therefor not worth pursuing or mourning the loss of in her own life.

    I don’t think either of their views are completely realistic, and when I came up with the theory above, I realized that I now view the show as both Brennan AND Booth’s journey to a view of love that is not black and white, but endless and ever-changing shades of gray. We always quote that B&B are “the center”, but I think that they’re only starting to really arrive at the center after spending six seasons traveling there from their opposite points of reference in the pilot. I think that both characters needed to have their worlds turned upside down in order to accept the other enough and meet somewhere in the middle.

    I’m predicting that the tension and push and pull of S7 will come from B&B staking out exactly where this middle ground is located.

  47. I don’t think Booth is in love with the idea of love or some idealized version of Brennan. I do think he is in love with her and has been at least since Harbingers. It’s something that happened over time — the attraction, respect, admiration, friendship, etc grew into romantic love. Harbingers and GG just made him realize it. Even though he doubts the feelings are reciprocated in Harbingers (which is why he adds ‘in an atta girl kind of way’) he is compelled to tell her how he feels.
    When he says he has to move on in the 100th, it’s only because he feels she will never feel the way he does — that he has misjudged her feelings for him. It’s not until Dr in the Photo that he realizes her feelings. He knows then how difficult that was for her to admit and that once she admitted it, she was certain.
    Nothing in the show has convinced me that he has some idealized version of marriage that says once you are together, you never have to work at the relationship or never have problems. It just means he recognizes the importance of marriage and family and commitment. I think if he had only an idealized version of either Brennan or marriage, he would not have wanted to wait after Daredevil. Instead, he knew a relationship with Brennan would take a lot of work and he wanted to be free of his baggage from Hannah first.

  48. That post was heart-crushingly logical. I can’t say I fully agree, but you’ve kind of brought me to my senses – i’ve spent pretty much every day since the finale hopping through the canon in search of moments where their love shines through. And approaching all of the famous scenes that we all love, I was starting to feel unsatisfied. That used to be enough for me.
    My roommate has finally given in and stopped making fun of Bones, instead becoming a fully fledged shipper. Unfortunately, she’s not one for chronological order, so she’s got such a skewed perception of events and context (despite me carefully trying to explain the context of each episode that she joins me to watch). Obviously, this drives me crazy. But, we must give credence to all audience perception, however ill informed. My point is, she turns to me during and after every scene, even from season 1, and says, ‘they love each other!’. Another friend bought the box set after watching half of season 1 with me, and I get emails every few days with the subject line ‘BONES!’, that are filled with the adorable hopeful words – ‘I have a feeling that they’re going to get together soon!’. He hasn’t even finished season 3.
    I just find it very hard to disregard the fact that people that don’t know the canon well can still start a random episode, watch the two of them together, and feel the strength of their connection so much that they feel the need to tell everyone about it. The name that everyone around me uses for that strong connection is ‘love’. So, on days like today when my hope for B&B is crushed a little, I have to remind myself:
    Love, noun
    1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
    2. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
    3. sexual passion or desire.

    We’ve seen evidence of them all from Booth to Brennan, and vice versa. The ‘in love’ debate? I can’t help but think we’re just jumping on semantics here. You have love for your friends, family, and love for your…lover. Booth himself says, ‘you can love a lot of people in this world, but there’s only one person that you love the most.’ I see no evidence of someone Booth feels more strongly about than Brennan. Hannah…yes. But I won’t get into the Hannah debate, because my conclusions are this – he loved her, but not a much. Simple as that. 🙂
    Your post has brought me to my senses in that I need to stop viewing them as having some kind of fairytale romance and love for one another, but I can’t disregard the evidence that I see in these six seasons.

  49. .
    I think you theories are plausible still trying to process it all. I just watched the 100Th episode the other day and i did think that booth accepted her decision very quickly.. I think he new it was a long shot but gave it a go.. I do believe he is in love with her. I find your comments about him being and wanting to be married interesting.. You could be right there. Thank you you have given me something to think about.

  50. Can’t say I have much else to add to the comments. I agree with rynogeny and MJ’s comment to K. Those comments express the quote that is B&B for me exactly.

  51. Another reason I believe Booth always loved Brennan is the Blizzard episode. This was three episodes after the failed proposal, so he’s still getting over the Hannah fiasco. In the bar, he couldn’t see anything beyond just partners that night. But after they get out the elevator and are in his apartment and Brennan suggested a second chance, he looked happy about the prospect and decided to make a wish for something he apparently still really, really wanted. He was cautious, sure, but his feelings were strong enough that he could have that sort of anticipation at the time even though he wasn’t ready yet.

    • I’d say earlier: the second sniper episode. Why does he show up in the park — if she wants some company? Why does he ask if she’d like some company for the lecture? It’s not because it’s war, Bones; it’s because it’s Bones.

      He just wants to be with her, near her. You can argue that it’s just wanting to be with a friend, but he’s working awfully hard to spend time with “just” a friend, especially one with whom he spends nearly every waking moment of his work days. It was no accident that he ran into her at the park. He knew she’d be there and that that would also give him the opportunity to ask to join her for the lecture. This way he was guaranteed time with her (at least on the run), and he didn’t risk her saying no as she might if he’d suggested something ahead of time.

      • This…”it’s because it’s Bones”…love this.
        It’s an explanation without explaining anything at all, lol.

        How else you can you explain that in that same episode in which he tells Sweets he doesn’t “go there” with Bones anymore, with only a little prodding from her (repeating his words), he admits what was bothering him, and her words make him feel better?

        How else can you explain the bar scene at the end of Daredevil? In one way of looking at it, her presence would be adding insult to injury. In spite of what happened in the past between them and the recent strain on their relationship, she still came and offered support, and she was the one he vented to. He still valued and enjoyed their partnership.

        How else can you explain that even though Hannah was still a sore spot for him, and he didn’t feel ready to talk about him and Bones, he could still tell her a story about him and his father?

      • Can’t reply to you, CBones, so I’ll reply to myself which should end up next to you.

        EXACTLY! It’s Bones, and that’s all that matters to Booth. Whatever it is, as long as she’s part of it, it’s what he wants. 😉

  52. This has been a really interesting post, and I’ve loved reading everyone’s responses. I’ve just read them all in one go and am feeling a bit overwhelmed so I’m going to try and be succinct in my answer.

    I don’t believe in love at first sight (I think it undermines the depth and intimacy of real love), so I think Booth was being more romantic than factual in the 100th. (I’d find it amusing if I was proved wrong about the love at first sight thing, it sure would make dating easier  )

    I think Booth was ‘in love’ with Brennan for many seasons, I see it in every episode and virtually every scene they’re in. But I don’t think he really realised. That can happen, sometimes feelings sneak up on you – sometimes you ignore them as well because you know it won’t happen.

    I think that’s the crucial thing – Booth’s love for Brennan was a classic case of unrequited love (as far as he believed at the very least). I think we’ve all been there, when you have very real feelings for someone who has no idea and doesn’t feel the same way. It’s never going to happen, but that doesn’t make your desires and feelings for them invalid. So even when Booth became aware of his feelings, he didn’t act on them because she didn’t feel the same way and he knew it. What would he have achieved in seasons 3 or 4, by telling Brennan what he felt, what he wanted? Other than scaring her off for good, very little.

    The coma dream made him pursue it with a little more vigour because he’d seen how great it could be, and in season 5 he started seeing evidence that she might feel the same way / be open to exploring what they both knew was between them. The 100th told him otherwise, as did her fleeing to Maluku and not contacting him.

    I don’t think we’re ever going to see those heady days of Booth staring, sparkly eyed at Brennan again. Real life came along and knocked that innocent awe out of him. What we’ve seen this season is a Booth who’s wiser. Less romanticised, and less willing to let her get away with hurting him. We saw that over and over in season 6 after he broke up with Hannah. He wasn’t going to risk it all on her again, she had to make steps towards him too. This culminated in her literally coming into his room and asking if she can get in his bed. He needed her to be the one to make that move because his instincts had been so wrong in the past and caused him such pain.

    I’m not being as coherent as I wanted to be, there’s so much I want to say but it’s not coming out right. Sigh. Basically, yeah, I think he loves her and is in love with her. Pretty much always has been. I think what we’ve been seeing is his reactions to the fact that she either didn’t feel the same way, or couldn’t act on those feelings even if she did.

    • I like (and agree) much of what you’ve said here, but will note that (to me, at least) it’s important to see that he’s not expecting Brennan to make all the moves. He doesn’t ask her to come back to his apt, he tells her she’s going to – creates an environment where she can come to him if she chooses. He doesn’t force it, doesn’t hover, doesn’t do all the work in a way he might have in an earlier season. But he sets it up.

      And really, it stays balanced after that. She comes into his room, but he takes her hand, pulls her to the bed. She asks to be held, but he takes them to the bed, while reassuring her that he wants to give the comfort she’s asking for.

      Maybe it’s just me, but it all feels much more balanced than in earlier seasons.

      • Ok, I see what you are saying. I definitely don’t blame Booth for Brennan saying no. She said no. He tried. She said no more than once. He believed her. I believed her. He even told her he would move on and she said she knew. He knew Brennan had told him over and over that she didn’t believe in love. He knew telling her that he was in love with her wouldn’t mean anything to her. At least, he probably didn’t think it would. He just wanted her to take a chance. He wasn’t asking her to negate everything she believed in. He wasn’t asking her to Love him. He just wanted her to take a chance. She couldn’t and he had to accept that. I don’t see where Booth did anything wrong.

        I have read a lot of hateful things about Booth and I just don’t see how he could have done anything different. The only thing that he could have done that would have really worked for Brennan was not do anything at all. Not ask her to take that chance. Just love her from a distance and never risk anything else. That would have been sadder for me to see.

        I am probably in the very tiny minority on this one; but, it is my take on this.

      • Rynogeny-
        I’m too married to my theory that Brennan knew she was in love with Booth at the end of season 4 (it’s all in the look!) to think anything differently at this point. 🙂 I will tell you that I’m working on a post about Booth in which one of my theories is that, for him, realization, acknowledgement, and acceptance of something (in this case love) doesn’t happen all at once. It’s a process. And I think you can argue that the process is similar for Brennan. Just because she realized she was in love with Booth at the end of season 4 doesn’t necessarily mean that she acknowledged or accepted the fact. I think it’s possible that the acknowledgement came at some point in Maluku but that she didn’t fully accept it until The Doctor in the Photo. Does that make sense?

    • I was watching Boneless Bride In The River last night and for some reason, when Sully asked Brennan why she couldn’t come away with him, I was struck by the fact that she didn’t say anything, she just looked through the window at Booth with a very sad look in her face. Later when Sully left and Booth threw the thumbs up, Brennan was practically in tears. She couldn’t go with Sully because of Booth not because she didn’t want to give up her job at the Jerffersonian, she couldn’t leave Booth.

      Where am I going with this? What if Brennan knew she loved Booth at that point in her life; but, also had made the decision that she would never endanger her partnership and friendship with Booth, so would never act on her feelings of love for him? She compartmentilized her feelings, boxed them up and put them on the back shelf. She knew she loved him; but, that would not be her life. This puts a new spin on a lot of what happened afterwards. Even when Booth tried to get her to “give it a chance”, her fear of losing her partnership was too much for her to overcome. What it comes down to is, I now believe that Brennan has loved Booth a lot longer than he has loved her.

      Of course, this just may be old news to a lot of other people; but, this is a new thought for me and I thought I would mention it.

      • @ Lenora, I definitely agree with you. This last season as kind of turned everything around for me in regards to Brennan. Everything we were sort of taught to believe about her is kind of false. She’s a big fat phony! 🙂 She appeared so clinical and everything on the surface, but she’s really not, she just hid it very well…most of the time. Not always from us, but never from Booth. He pretty much always knew. And I’m finally catching on to what Booth has always known (since they finally clued us into the real 1st case!!) and I think right from the start, they were hooked. Him to her and her to him. Like Booth said about guys who just “knew”…that does happen. Some couples at first sight, *boom* that’s it for them on the spot. And yes, deep and abiding love happens over the years with your partner, but some people, well they do just know.

        And as much as Brennan tries/tried to hide it, I think she always knew she was in danger of falling head over heels irreversibly in love with this man, but tried to keep herself from it. But “the heart wants what it wants” and she deep down knew she loved him. And deep down no matter who he was dating, he loved her. And the bestest parts of Bones are when ED and DB give us those lovely looks at each other and their facial expressions say it all!! Mayhem on a Cross, amiright?!?! 🙂

      • @Lenora

        I completely agree with you on this- I think Brennan was in love with booth in boneless bride but didn’t think she could be with him. I think their partnership is so important to her that she would rather not act on her feelings rather than lose him at that point. I think that we also see in the 100th that she does love him, but again she is not strong enough to risk herself into this. I think we see how much it hurts her too and I definetely think she loves him. She said it herself-she made a mistake- and now that she has lost the last of her imperviousness.. they can be together. She wasn’t strong enough in the 100th but it doesn’t mean she didn’t love him. Just as Booth has always loved her and still loved her when he was with Hannah.

      • bb, I really think you are right. They have been dancing around their for each other for a very long time. Both were busy trying to protect each from each other and themselves and only made the situation worse for each other. Right now, my two favorite Booth and Brennan moments when they knew it but couldn’t do anything about it moments were the hankerchief scene in Mayhem on the Cross and Booth looking at Brennan outside the diner when she had the shell to her ear. Both scenes speak of hidden love and sadness at what could be. By the way, that song “You” by Fisher at the end of Boneless Bride in the River may have been a huge clue all along for anyone interested enough to listen to the lyrics. I just finished listening to it and it struck me as probably the saddest song I have ever heard and absolutely defines what Bones has been all about. Give it a listen:

      • I agree with you Katherine, Booth did love Brennan even when he was with Hannah. I know some don’t believe it; but, I do and that is what makes the situation even sadder. Gosh I hope we have a happy couple in season 7. Their sadness this season has really been what has had people so upset and unhappy. I think if they are happy a lot of us will be too.

      • @Lenora…I’d forgotten about the shell scene! Wow, can’t ED and DB rip our hearts out with those longing looks and meaningful glances?! I feel a Bones DVD and/or Netflix marathon happening this weekend!!

      • That scene when Brennan can’t really answer Sully on why she couldn’t go always struck me as powerful. Except I’m still undecided on how to interpret her look. One is what you said. The other is that maybe she knew her not leaving had something to do Booth, but she didn’t know why that was so. So I think she felt somewhat confused and conflicted about it all. But she knew it had something to do with Booth, for sure. She told Booth about Sully’s proposition because she needed to know how he felt about her leaving. She tries to gauge his response to see if there’s anything he’s not saying, but then had to switch focus because something came up at the crime scene. I’ve noticed in general, the cases have an annoying habit of being convenient interruptions in those kinds of moments.

      • I’ve seen evidence of Brennan’s love for Booth since season two. Watch the Headless Witch episode and look at Brennan’s reaction when Cam grabs Booth’s hand. She is in love with Booth by this point. Brennan is very bothered by Cam and Booth’s relationship. That Cam is her boss has nothing to do with it. She wants Booth to show interest in her but she never see this from him. He dates Tess, he dates Cam and never gives her any indication that he is interested in her. Rewatch all of season two and you’ll see lots of tells on Brennan’s part that she is definitely interested in Booth.

      • I was thinking this morning that one of the things I like about the show – that they go for a certain amount of subtlety in their storytelling, showing us things more often than explicitly telling us, using music to communicate the story, etc. – is a source of frustration for some. Or at least it is right now, given that there are those who are decidedly unhappy at all that wasn’t made explicit at the end of the season.

        But while that having-to-think-about it is one reason why I love it, it does leave much open to interpretation. I date Booth knowing he was in love with her to the look of complete dejection we see on his face at the end of The Bodies in the Book, when he sees her kiss Sully, while others not only don’t think he was in love then, but still isn’t. And where you see the look she gives Booth when Sully asks her to go away with him as proof she was in love with him, I can’t see that at all in that look. And that sort of fascinates me, really.

        I think Brennan really does struggle with emotions. She feels what everyone feels, but processes it differently than most, and I don’t think she’s always clear about what it is she’s feeling. For example, anger and hurt can sometimes overlap, with someone who’s hurt acting out in anger, or believing they’re, in fact, angry, when they’re really hurt. Ditto fear and anger.

        Most of us get to the point where we can analyze something we feel and say, ‘this is why I’m feeling this way,’ or ‘that is what I’m feeling.’ But I don’t think Brennan is always that clear on her emotions. Sometimes, sure – there’s no question she knows she’s afraid, for example, when they find the pool of blood in her apt in Judas. But other times? I’m not so sure.

        And that’s why I think she felt something for Booth, very early on, something that many women might well call being ‘in love.’ But would she have called it that, even to herself? I don’t think so. I really don’t. (And really, isn’t that a question that women who are comfortable with processing emotions struggle with sometimes in the beginning of a relationship? ‘How do I know if I’m in love with him?’)

        I think what she says in the early seasons about love being chemicals and all the rest – I don’t think she was lying about those things. Maybe she wanted love to be true, but I think she really had convinced herself it wasn’t. So to my mind, the chance that she was standing there looking at Booth (when Sully asked her to go with him) sadly thinking, ‘there’s the man I’m in love with, and can’t have’…I just can’t make my mind go there.

        I DO think that Booth was a factor in her decision not to go. Absolutely. But I don’t think she was aware of being in love with him. I don’t think that came until this season, honestly, though people can (and do) make compelling arguments for her knowing she was in love with him by late S4.

        I confess, though, that part of my thinking on all of this is fairly pragmatic. If she was in love with him, and knew it, when she turned him down in the 100th…it becomes harder to enjoy the show. (This, I’ve seen in spades. A number of people who were convinced of that no longer watch the show, because it’s nearly impossible to believe that and not see Booth as an absolute bastard.)

        If she didn’t know, didn’t consider herself to be in love with him, then everything from the last two seasons works much better in terms of allowing both of them to be flawed but still decent human beings. All just my opinion, of course. 🙂

      • Ryn, I guess I don’t understand. Why would Booth be a bastard if he asked Brennan to take a chance in 100 if Brennan really loved him and turned him down anyways? If Brennan loved Booth and turned him down; but, Booth wasn’t really truly in love until the coma dream, I just don’t understand why that makes him the bad guy in this. I tried to follow along but I think I misunderstood something in your post somewhere.

        It is ok if you don’t believe that Brennan didn’t really love Booth in season 2, I mean none of us really know what she was thinking as she is a very complex person and truth be told I don’t even understand my own thoughts and feelings sometimes. We all interpret things from our own personal experiences so if I see love at the end of season 2 and you see it in season 4 that can’t be wrong as we don’t have proof either way. I was feeling melancholy yesterday and so I guess when I started writing about maybe Brennan giving up Sully for Booth because she loved Booth was just me putting sadness into Brennan’s life. It may not be what HH meant to do; but, I am kind of interested in the idea of Brennan fighting to keep Booth in her life and if that means suppressing or ignoring any romantic love for Booth then that is what she was willing to do it. As you said somewhere else, Booth and Brennan have very real differences in their background and where Booth had Pops to emulate, Brennan didn’t really have anyone that gave her a clear picture of a happy loving family. She had that before 15; but, lets face it, being abandoned at 15 when the world seems hostile and you are on a roller coaster of hormonal change would have made Brennan feel that love was just a myth, you love someone and they abandon you. If she did love Booth early on, she would have done everything to ignore it or explain it away. She probably would not have wanted to be in love with Booth as he had become her best friend and she would never have wanted to lose that friendship. If your fear is that someone you love could leave you at any time and that you have no control over that fact, then loving someone as a dear friend would be more bareable than investing yourself in romantic love with someone only to have them leave you. Both loses would be bad but to lose someone you truly loved would be tragic and this would be something that Brennan could not bare to happen to her again. This is why she asked Booth if he would betray her. She really thought it was possible that even Booth could do something like that to her.

        So, in a nutshell, I like the idea of Brennan being in love with Booth at the end of season 2 and Booth being in love with Brennan in season 5. It makes all of the mis-steps, the looks, seem a little clearer to me. If they weren’t in love with each other at the same time then the story we see is sader; but, somehow sweeter because when they finally both realized that they both loved each other at the same time is just so powerful for me. It makes me happy that I have invested my time watching such a wonderful love story.

        I may be totally wrong; but, that is ok. It is just my take on the show.

      • Lenora, I didn’t mean to sound like believing she was in love with him was a bad thing, or that it automatically makes Booth a jerk. If the current story line works best for you to interpret the earlier seasons that way, that’s great. I’m for any way of interpreting things that allows people to continue enjoying the story.

        It’s just that I’ve had dozens of conversations with people over the last year, and most of those who believed she was in love with him prior to the 100th can no longer watch the show. They loathe and despise Booth with a hatred I’ve never before seen directed at a fictitious character.

        It goes like this: if she was standing there on the steps in front of the Hoover telling him, ‘I’m not a gambler, I can’t change’ while her heart was breaking because she was in love with him and knew it…then the conventional argument seems to be that if he’d only tried harder (‘fought for her’ is the phrase I hear over and over), a lot of misery would have been avoided. If she was in love with him, and knew it, then if he’d only said the words, “I love you” to her, if he’d told her that she didn’t need to change, that he didn’t want her to change, if, instead of saying “I need to move on” he’d said ‘okay’ and tried again a few weeks later…eventually he would have broken through her fear and she would have said yes.

        A lot of fans haven’t forgiven him for not doing those things anyway, even if she wasn’t in love with him. If she was, then everything he’s done since then (Hannah) is completely unforgivable, no matter what Brennan said to him. If he doesn’t know her well enough to know she was in love with him, to listen to more than just her ‘no,’ then he doesn’t deserve her. End of story.

        There may well be plenty of people out there for whom the story makes the most sense if they interpret it as you are – that she was in love with him, wasn’t ready, he did the only thing he could with that, and wasn’t wrong to have done so. It’s just that I’ve not heard from any of them until now, and my flinch reaction at this point is pretty strong where that whole ‘it’s all Booth’s fault because he screwed up the conversation in the 100th so badly’ is concerned. (Which I realize isn’t what you were saying.)

        I’m just glad the story works for you. 🙂

      • Oops, posted this in the wrong place, sorry.

        Ok, I see what you are saying. I definitely don’t blame Booth for Brennan saying no. She said no. He tried. She said no more than once. He believed her. I believed her. He even told her he would move on and she said she knew. He knew Brennan had told him over and over that she didn’t believe in love. He knew telling her that he was in love with her wouldn’t mean anything to her. At least, he probably didn’t think it would. He just wanted her to take a chance. He wasn’t asking her to negate everything she believed in. He wasn’t asking her to Love him. He just wanted her to take a chance. She couldn’t and he had to accept that. I don’t see where Booth did anything wrong.

        I have read a lot of hateful things about Booth and I just don’t see how he could have done anything different. The only thing that he could have done that would have really worked for Brennan was not do anything at all. Not ask her to take that chance. Just love her from a distance and never risk anything else. That would have been sadder for me to see.

        I am probably in the very tiny minority on this one; but, it is my take on this.

      • Rynogeny-
        I believe Brennan was in love with Booth prior to the 100th and I have no issues with the way the 100th went down (as in I don’t blame either Booth or Brennan for what they said or the choices they made)…so we do exist. Well, at least I exist…I can’t speak for anyone else. My theory is that she knew she was in love with him at the end of the season 4 finale (I really have no idea when she “fell in love” with him, but that doesn’t bother me because I don’t think it’s as important as when she knew) but made a conscious decision to not do anything about it (i.e. she compartmentalized it). In fact, I think we may have discussed this some awhile back when you wrote your first BT post about Brennan not being in love with Booth at the time of the 100th episode. I know I disagreed with you then, because it’s one of the few times I’ve ever disagreed with anything you’ve said. 😉

      • Stephanie,

        I do remember you saying that now in response to my first post.

        I do think you can make a good argument for her having been in love with him from the end of S4 on. I think explaining why she said no in the 100th, and what caused her to change her mind in TDitP is where that theory gets trickier. If she said no because she believed he’d be happier with someone else (or at least that she wouldn’t be able to make him happy (i.e., he needed to be protected from her)) – what changed her mind, particularly when he was apparently happy with Hannah?

        Another thing I’ll just throw out there is that I think different people have very different understandings of what it means for her to compartmentalize things. 😀

      • I’ll agree with you about people having different views on compartmentalizing, Rynogeny. Kind of like everyone’s differing views on love (I think ours tend to be pretty similar which may be why I understand and agree with your arguments so often). I’m not exactly sure how I would define it, but I do tend to think that a person, Brennan included, can’t ever completely compartmentalize something. Beyond that…well, I’m open to an official interpretation. 🙂

        As to why Brennan said no in the 100th – I tend to think she said no out of fear…fear that she couldn’t be what Booth needed…fear that things wouldn’t work out and it would ruin their partnership…fear that what they felt wouldn’t last…fear that their differences couldn’t be successfully overcome. She said no because it was the safe thing to do. Her regret (or mistake) was being too scared to take the risk…not just on him, but on them.

        Maybe I’m crazy and completely off base with my interpretation, but hey, it works for me. 🙂

      • Stephanie,

        Don’t look to me for an official definition of compartmentalizing. 😀 I have a theory about it, but I’ve not researched it enough to know whether I’d be talking out my ear or not. (And believe it or not, I do try not to do that! LOL.)

        I can see how even if Brennan was in love with him and knew it in the 100th, that she might well have said no to him out of fear she couldn’t be what he wanted. But what changes her mind on that enough for her to say, “I made a mistake” in TDitP? I assume that part of her response to him in the 100th was acknowledging that someone else could be what he wanted. So what changes her mind on that, particularly when he appears (from her point of view) to be happy with Hannah?

        (I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few days thinking about why and how Brennan changes and grows, thus my question!)

      • Rynogeny-
        By my way of thinking, what Brennan said to Booth in the SUV in The Doctor in the Photo wasn’t about him (or his happiness with Hannah for that matter), it was about HER. It was all about seeing what had happened to Lauren Eames and deciding that she didn’t want to live (or die) like that; that she needed to not have any regrets. So at that point, I don’t think it mattered that Booth was (allegedly) happy with someone else – she HAD to tell him how she felt. It’s like when something that never made sense finally clicks into focus and the feeling you get is so intense that you just can’t keep it to yourself.

        I suppose some people might think that sounds selfish on her part, but I don’t really see it that way. I mean, not only did she finally decide to own her feelings, but she acted on them, and in doing so, she opened herself up to rejection in a way that she never had before. It was, undoubtedly, a giant leap forward in the process of learning how to be strong.

        Does all that sound completely crazy?

      • Stephanie, I agree with you. Brennan did make a huge leap forward in “owning” her feelings. I thought it was very brave of her to do that. She knew that Booth was with Hannah and yet she still needed Booth, her best friend, to know that she had had a change of mind. I don’t think it was a selfish act. t takes a lot of courage to tell someone you love that you have made a mistake. I just loved that scene in the SUV. It was so powerful.

      • Nope! Not crazy at all. It sounds to me like we see the same thing there, even if at a different starting point. I’ve always thought that was about her more than Booth, that when she put those pieces together about her life, she had to tell him. It’s different, I know, but I always think about what she says to him in Verdict: “please? You’re the one I talk to about this” or whatever the line was.

        She’d had this epiphany about what she wanted – and didn’t want – from her life, and who else would she tell but him?

        But since for me, a large part of what she figures out is that she’s in love with him, I just wondered if that not being a factor would make a difference. I think it’s neat that it doesn’t, actually. 😀

    • Rats. My reply ended up in the wrong place! I hope this is right.

      I’m too married to my theory that Brennan knew she was in love with Booth at the end of season 4 (it’s all in the look!) to think anything differently at this point. 🙂 I will tell you that I’m working on a post about Booth in which one of my theories is that, for him, realization, acknowledgement, and acceptance of something (in this case love) doesn’t happen all at once. It’s a process. And I think you can argue that the process is similar for Brennan. Just because she realized she was in love with Booth at the end of season 4 doesn’t necessarily mean that she acknowledged or accepted the fact. I think it’s possible that the acknowledgement came at some point in Maluku but that she didn’t fully accept it until The Doctor in the Photo. Does that make sense?

  53. sorry for italic.. wasnt supposed to be the whole post

  54. just like “make you feel my love” by Adele was so beautiful and the lyrics so perfect to represent their love and where they are in their relationship at this point.

    • Thanks Katherine, I just finished listening to Make You Feel My Love and I believe you are right. These are the words we wanted to hear Booth and Brennan say. HH just gave them to us in the song while the end scenes were playing.

  55. I don’t disagree that Brennan was interested in Booth. In some instances it even looked like a strong crush! But where I can’t make up my mind is whether that interest was actually love, and if it was love, did she recognize it as such. I don’t see it being so clear in her mind, but she realizes feelings are there and isn’t really sure what it all means and what to do about them, except do what she always does – compartmentalize and try not to acknowledge them.

    • I agree about the compartmentalization. Booth and Brennan do it all of the time.

    • Brennan told us often enough that she didn’t believe in romantic love, so, she may not recognize it for what it is, or want to recognize it for what it is. For the most part, Brennan values her llove of Booth as a friend more than any other kind of love possible. She counts on him to be there for her and he has been the only one to never walk away from her (Afghanistan was not abandonment, he left when she left for Maluku). I think if she found herself in love with him, in a romantic way, early on, she would not have allowed herself to acknowledge it. Her fear that all the people in her life whom she has loved have let her down and left her to be alone in life and this has caused her to be very cautious about whom and how she loves. She would never risk losing Booth for something that might not last. She could see her friendship lasting; but, not romantic love. (Of couse, this is just my opinion and there are other takes on the situation that are just as valuable. I just feel that this is right for me and how I love the show. I am sort of a romantic and love old fashioned love stories)

  56. I go back to my point about Booth loving Brennan; he simply loves her-it doesn’t matter if he is “in love” with her. In fact, being “in love” implies that you can fall out of love just as easily and Booth has been nothing but steadfast in his affections for her over the last few years, despite her “no”, Hacker, and regardless of Hannah, even Maluku. If Bones isn’t showing us love in one of its purest forms, where does that leave all the other great romances of literature? Was Romeo ever “in love” with Juliet (adolescent hormones), or Elizabeth with Mr Darcy (she liked his house); Jane with Mr. Rochester (her view of him was unrealistic) and so forth. All of these romances, almost every one I can think of in fact, can be viewed in the light that the characters weren’t actually “in love” with the other person, just some idealized notion of what the person really was. Of course we all idealize our partners, it’s unavoidable since we see others through the lens of our own likes and dislikes. Does that mean that none of us truly love? Maybe, but I would find viewing the world this way a bit troubling.

    • Maria, Off topic, I recommend Random Harvest by James Hilton. This is a wonderful love story, told with several twists and turns. It was written in 1941 and takes place in England. I think you would really like this novel. It is one of my favorite.

  57. Finally going to catch up on some comments 🙂 I’m not feleing my best so bear with me!!

    Barbara (va32h) – I can’t reply to you but this is for you, ya know?! LOL

    You’re right…it is a TV show. But if we didn’t speculate re it based on this fact then i wouldn’t be here, you wouldn’t be here…and we’d have no BT which would be a shame 🙂

    As for HH saying it so it must be true…i’m not one of the people who have jumped on that train as it were. Now, i know some people who don’t believe a word out of his mouth due to the S4 finale ‘they really have sex’ incident. That’s not me BUT…i’m aware that he has lied in the past, he is sometimes economical with the truth and sometimes he is VERY truthful. So on that bases i take everything he says with a pinch of salt. Sometimes it’ll be the truth, othertimes it won’t be. Guessing at which points he is lying and which points he isn’t would be a waste of everyones time 🙂

    Also, WE know what he’s claimed in various interviews. But not everyone does. I would guess that the majority of fans DON’T go online and read interviews, watch videos etc from HH and SN. HH and SN need to be able to rely on the fact that what they show us on screen gets across the point they are trying to make. And it doesn’t.

    And DB…well, DB has being spouting that line since day 1 so i don’t pay much heed 😀 This is also the man that claimed Booth didn’t want to get married so….LOL

    • OK…now i’m being lazy because 1)There are too many comments and 2) I have the attention span of a gnat.

      I’ve skimmed some of them and i’ll try and address some of your questions. (I guarantee i won’t answer all of them so feel free to yell at me later.

      The first two things i want to address are that

      1) I NEVER said Booth hasn’t cared or loved Brennan.

      2) I don’t think i’ve EVER said that i expect some massive ‘moment’ in which Booth declares undying love and devotion and vice versa. I’m not expecting anything big and momentus and i don’t believe i’ve ever said i was.

      OK. That’s out of my system so….

      First off is the question Ryn has been asking me for too long but i think i can finally put my thoughts onto paper so bear with me 🙂 (I mean, another few minutes won’t hurt! LOL)

      I’m going to say something that probably won’t be very popular but this is how i feel re relationships as a whole. Not just B/B but anyone.

      Personally, regardless of how well you know someone, regardless of how long you have known someone, i don’t think you can really love them (romantically) until you’ve been with them. Really been with them. Now, i’m not talking sex (minds out of the gutters people) i’m talking about the ‘normal’ parts of being in a relationship. Living with one another, arguing about who takes the trash out (see how i americanised it for you?! Except i used a S instead of a Z…hmmmm, no one’s perfect! 😛 ), who makes dinner and anything else regular couples argue about. People say ‘you don’t really know someone until you’ve lived with them’ (Or is it been on holiday with them? MEH, I’m going with lived!) and i think that’s true. You may THINK you know everything there is to know about the other person but you don’t.

      Now i realise i haven’t mentioned B & B yet but i am now! LOL

      With regards to me not seeing Booth loving Brennan maybe it’s all on me. Because what i think will show me that he loves Brennan are what i expect we will see in S7. Ryn has said before that actions are as important at the words, possibly more. And i agree. I would love to see Booth and Brennan exchange an ILY. I don’t expect to see the 1st time they exchange it. I don’t even expect it to be a big moment. Just an ILY as they walk out the door, or say goodnight, or something else as normal and unassuming as that.

      What i expect to change is their interactions. NOT in a big way. I don’t think we’ll be seeing anything similar to what we had with Hodgela or Booth/Hannah….don’t get me wrong, i wouldn’t complain if we did (i am all for anything that may result in DB being naked!!!!) but i don’t think they’ll play it that way. As much as it pains me to admit it, seeing B/B getting all hot and sweaty wouldn’t fit with what we’ve been allowed to see of them so far. (FYI – there are no words for how much that fact saddens me! No wild monke sex….what’s a girl to do?!)

      Yeah….this has totally gotten away from me. I’m now completey sidetracked with images of a naked DB….there’s worse things i guess 😉

      Anyway, what was i saying? Oh yeah…what will make me see how Booth feels about Brennan (and vice versa) are how the interact. Be it a touch (hand at the back doesn’t count!), a whispered word, a tongue flick (a girl can hope!!!!)…just the kind of intimacy you see with a couple that are together.

      Huh….i’m not sure that made any sense what so ever. Damn it!!!!

      I totally should have waited until i was feeling more intelligent *facepalm*

      • Well, you sort of answered my question. LOL. And reassured me, because I think what you’re hoping for (those kinds of moments) you’ll see.

        But some of what you describe here makes sense for a couple who are in love and are in a committed a relationship. Were you expecting to see the same things from Booth toward her before they became a couple? You kept talking about things you needed to see to believe he was in love with her before they actually became a couple, but the things you list here are feel like things that would only make sense once they were a couple? (Yes, yes, splitting hairs, I know…)

        Either way, you’ve satisfied my question, which was mostly about whether you’d see what you need to see in order to continue enjoying the show. 🙂

      • Sorry, if I’m repeating.

        I get your point, Laffers, but this perspective means no one ever truly loves or is truly in love with until they make some kind of commitment. If that were true, then nobody would ever make a commitment. In my experience, the people who make commitments do so because they believe they truly love or are truly in love with the other party. Granted, they may be wrong about that or do not fully understand what it means, but otherwise it’s just being roommates with benefits, not a committed relationship.

        People go into that kind of relationship knowing (well, not necessarily consciously) that details will have to be worked out. But, it wouldn’t happen at all if not for the hope that love/in love gives people that it can all be worked out.

        Furthermore, I think we’ve seen some of this already. We’ve seen much more in the way of touching than a hand on the back. We’ve seen bickering over who does what. For example, who does the driving or who carries the gun and goes first. They just had different “housekeeping” issues than most couples. But, they’ve discussed them, appeared to come to an agreement and still Brennan wants to drive and carry a gun. So, sometimes Booth lets her drive and sometimes, when the danger seems to justify it, he gives her a gun. Sounds a lot like a lot of couples I know, except that the genders are reversed a bit with him humoring her rather than her humoring him. ;-D

      • Holy cow Laffers! I know you don’t believe in marriage, but I do, I am (married, that is), and it’s what I know, so that’s the example I’m going to use. My husband and I have been married for 11 years and we didn’t live together before we were married (unless you count the fact that he rented a room in my parent’s basement the last year. Of course, there were five other people, including me, living in the house and I still slept in my room on the second floor and there was no monkey business going on thankyouverymuch). Our first year of marriage was hard to be sure, but we made it and we’re more committed to each other now than we ever were (which is a good thing since we have three kids and another on the way). The love I feel for him now is different from the love I felt for him when we were dating, or when we got engaged, or when we got married, or even when our oldest son was born seven and a half years ago. But it was still love. The bottom line is that we made a commitment to each other and we’ve chosen to honor that commitment…even on the days when he forgets to take the trash out and I’m not up to serving anything other than leftovers for dinner. 😉 I’m not sure what point I’m trying to make here except to say that I honestly don’t think living together is the true test of a person’s love. It’s all about the commitment.

  58. “HH and SN need to be able to rely on the fact that what they show us on screen gets across the point they are trying to make. And it doesn’t.”

    To say it doesn’t is a matter of personal opinion. You may not get it while another person does. And since the show highlights the complexities of human relationships, by its very nature there’s lots of room for interpretation in what we see, and by extension lots of room for misinterpretation. Maybe not all their points get across, and that’s not necessarily always their fault. Most issues have people standing on both sides. Interestingly enough, I’ve never heard anyone say they understood the sunglasses scene (I know I didn’t), in which the explanation seemed like too much psychology. In that, I do feel as though they failed to get their point across. But that really wasn’t important in the big scheme of things, so I ultimately didn’t care. The big issue is whether they get their main points get across, in that most of their audience eventually gets it, and those are the things that try to clarify when they can.

    Maybe the show runners have made mistakes, but I don’t need to see them come out with a public statement enumerating them and apologizing to the fans. Sometimes it feels like that’s what people want (not saying you do). Some of the things people believe are mistakes they will never see as mistakes because they needed it in their story. I believe they go into everything with the best of intentions and they may put their best effort into it, and some things can still fall through (which like I said, is still a matter of opinion). Maybe it’s just my personality, but I just can’t seem to get mad about that, because I just don’t see how things like that wouldn’t happen where people are concerned. I can overlook the small things, but otherwise I think they’ve done a pretty good, even if imperfect, job.

    So yes, they try to get their points across on-screen, but they do understand that things are never as cut-and-dry like that.

    • I’m confused because…i agree with you! LOL

      I would HATE for HH and co to come out and say they made a mistake. Because i don’t think they have…or at least, i don’t think they think they have. The story has gone where they wanted it to go, end of.

      And you’re completely right…whether they have hit their target is a matter of opinion.

      I guess my point was (which i didn’t get across very well! Shocking! LOL) that not every fan of the show is going to know what HH & co have said. So to say that ‘HH & SN have said it so you have to believe it’ doesn’t work because only a small percentage of those who watch the show will have any idea of what they’ve said.

      (Small note, not directed at you! I’ve never seen an interview where HH outright says Booth loves Brennan…all i’ve seen it ‘I think Booth loves Brennan’. Which is no different to my ‘I think Booth doesn’t love Brennan’ 😀 )

      • I understand that every fan isn’t scouring the internet for what HH & Co have said. But it’s another thing to hear something they did say, and completely disregard it. It’s their story, and I don’t see why someone would willingly ignore something that adds context.

        Maybe I haven’t seen enough interviews in which I’ve seen HH outright lie. I actually think it’s safer to listen to him these days because of the S4 finale fallout. His statements are usually pretty vague, and when the interviewer tries to make a definitive statement to get more details, his attempt to not show his hand is to muddy the waters with other possible scenarios. He will certainly tease the show, but he’s certainly tight-lipped about how things will actually go down. It’s TV business, to try to get people interested in what comes next in the show without giving it all away, but people just take it so personal, sometimes.

    • C-bones,

      Yes. This. All of this.

      I think we have to accept that, however much we want to believe that we’re ‘right’ and that what we see is what is there (or not), the truth is never clearer than in the Bones fandom that personal interpretation (and I’d add, our filters and own life experiences) influence what we take away from the story.

      I think the Bones writers make a deliberate choice to *show* things – often with a look from the uber-talented cast – rather than to spell them out explicitly, and while I know that makes a lot of fans nuts…it’s one of the things that most works for me. I also like that they frequently use music to set the tone or to tell part of the story. For me, at least, music is a powerful emotional trigger, and my stomach actually clenched the other night and my heart started beating harder when I was re-watching THitH and Fever Ray’s ‘Keep the Streets Empty’ started. Even knowing exactly what was going to happen.

      Those are choices about how they tell the story, just as is the choice to show or not show things, to spell them out or not. And yes, sometimes the point they’re making doesn’t get across to a majority of the audience. When it fails completely, they do sometimes acknowledge that (i.e., the sunglasses) but I think recognizing that much of the time, something that people are upset over not being spelled out worked perfectly fine and made complete sense to many other viewers is important.

      Even if they spelled everything out explicitly instead of relying as much as they do on the actors, people would still have different interpretations of it, but I think I really wouldn’t enjoy the show as much. I guess that too, would be one of those can’t-please-everyone kinds of thing.

  59. Stephanie

    I realise you addressed your post to Ryn but i just want to put my two cents in (as per usual 😉 )

    I think i’m one of the few people that has a problem with Brennans actions in DitP. I see it a might differently that most others i think.

    DitP is one of my least favourite episodes of the season, and most of it comes down to that one scene. I don’t buy that she had to tell him because she just couldn’t keep it to herself. I wouldn’t buy that from anyone.

    For me, Brennan was incredibly selfish in the SUV. She could have told anyone…Max, Angela, her pet iguana (that last ones a joke btw 😉 ) but to tell Booth wasn’t right. She wasn’t thinking of him or the position she was putting him in, she was focusing on herself. Now don’t get me wrong, Brennan isn’t wrong to be thinking of herself. I for one think she didn’t spend enough of S6 thinking of her own needs BUT it doesn’t make it right.

    She put him in an incredibly hard position where he had no option but to hurt her (which in effect hurt him).

    The entire scene leaves me feeling very…uncomfortable.

    • And you addressed that to Stephanie, but I’ll respond. LOL.

      I see the point you’re making, but don’t you think he’d want to know? Even if it changes nothing in terms of his later choices (and I think you can go 50/50 on that), he’s still her friend and partner, and if she’d never told him, I think sooner or later that would have affected that relationship..and he would have been going, ‘wait, what?’

      I guess for me (and I can understand why you’d see this differently) part of the point of the whole story is that Booth and Brennan’s relationship never stopped mattering, never stopped being important to them, even if it should have been. Brennan keeping that kind of secret from him would have eventually changed that.

      In an alternate universe where he and Hannah didn’t break up but simply continued as they were, I think Brennan keeping that secret would have eventually ended their partnership/friendship, and maybe it would have needed to do so – but by then, we’re no longer really talking about the B&B we know.

    • Laffers-
      I totally get that the scene is uncomfortable for you. Quite frankly, I think it’s meant to be. From an outside the show perspective, the writers needed to find a way to hit Booth over the head with a 2×4, crack his walls, and make him realize a few things about Brennan and about himself (i.e. that he still loved her – I know! I know! – and that she loved him). I personally think the only way they could accomplish that was for her to tell him herself that she’d had a change of heart (albeit in a rather roundabout way). This is one of those situations where a heartbroken look from Brennan or a heads up from Angela just wasn’t going to do the trick. There’s no way a situation like that WOULDN’T be uncomfortable. But, unfortunately, I still think it had to happen.

      That is, of course, just my humble opinion so you can feel free to take it or leave it. 🙂

  60. Okay, I have read some of the many many comments here, but not all, so if I am repeating something that has already been said, I apologize. I have been watching some of the earlier Bones episodes lately, specifically first and second season, and here is my conclusion: I believe that when B and B first met, during the Arrington case, Booth was sexually attracted to Brennan and open to the possibility of falling in love with her. After they went their separate ways and came back together for the Cleo Eller case, I think he saw her very differently. After watching the way he treats her in The Man in the Bear, The Girl in the Fridge, The Man in the Fallout Shelter, Two Bodies in the Lab, The Man in the Morgue, and The Woman in Limbo, I believe that Booth viewed Brennan as the equivalent of his best friend’s little sister. She was sexy as hell he cared about her, he wanted to protect her, but she was off limits. Period. Gradually, his love for her deepened and they became very close, to the point that they were engaging in what Sweets called a surrogate relationship, but he still saw her as off-limits. I would very much like to go into more detail about later seasons, but I have a three-year-old on my lap who is very chatty, so I’ll get to the point: the coma dream. I think that in the dream was the first time Booth had ever really considered what it would be like to actually “be” with Brennan, and that’s why he was so confused when he awoke. Before that, regardless of how he felt about her, he didn’t allow himself to overstep those bounds, even in his head, because he had long before declared her off-limits to himself in that capacity. Suddenly there was much confusion of the issue. So I can’t pinpoint exactly when Booth fell “in love” with Brennan, but I think that the coma dream was the catalyst for either making him aware of it or forcing himself to confront it, depending on your point of view on who Gordon Gordon was referring to in Mayhem on the Cross.

    • CJsMom you are so on with so much of what you said…I will add though I think the attraction was more of like a boy and his first crush almost love at first sight in a manner of speaking and since it didn’t go his way he pushed it aside and figured like you that she needs to be off limits in order to have her in his life but after that coma dream he struggled with that line he wanted to cross but couldn’t.

  61. Pingback: Bones Theory by the Numbers « Bones Theory

  62. Not looking for a reply, but this was the perfect spot to put my 2 cents in (with as long as this got it might be $50 worth lol)
    I’ve watched S1 thru last week’s new episode over & over again (yes no life here) but my take is this:
    Prior to episode 100 I thought it was just an attraction and clumsy sexual angst at start but once I saw the flashback from their true first case in episode 100 it was taken 180 all the way. To me it was so evident that it was love at first sight for both and everything from then on was testing it while they were doing their damn-est to make it disappear in fear of getting hurt.

    As the years kept on their partnership, friendship, feelings, and trust grew for each other and so they felt they needed to make that line the one they couldn’t cross because by this point they invested too much of themselves in each other so if they risked it all and pursued “being in love” and lost they would loose so much more, they wouldn’t recover and that was unbearable! So they put that “what the heart wants it wants” away as best they could so they could still “be” with each other.

    For me I think Booth has always loved Bones like I said love at first sight but I think the moment the “in love” began to start for him was at his birthday “The Con Man in the Meth Lab” when Bones toasts Booth with her admitting to the change in the theory of the Alpha Male and states that it is Seeley who is the true Alpha Male and explaining why. The look he gave her like “my god she really gets me”, idk to me that did it and from there he struggles to shake just how much he loves her inside knowing he can’t risk it and lose her. That was just not possible.

    Although almost everyone doesn’t like the H word I think Hart did right by taking Booth to Hannah-ville. it needed to go that way because I believe we needed to see that Brennan seriously never thought Booth would move on without her…I believe Brennan figured when they all came back to help Cam he’d still be free silently wishing for her to finally make her choice and choose him. IMO Brennan painstakingly sees that Booth is not free and moved on without her that she screwed up! In The Doctor in the Photo she goes through a complete emotional overhaul and her heart is finally beating up a storm loud enough for her brain to absorb it and needs to forget logic, break that line they made, cross it, risk it all, open up and let Booth know she finally gets it, she knows what love is and that it is him she is in love with and that she knows what heartbreak feels like knowing she is too late. (at least then lol!)

    I think Hart shortchanged us there at the end of S6. Ok we already had the sort of visual in Booth’s coma dream and although it would have been wonderful to see the reality of what I pray was the conception of little Booth but moreover the words that had to be spoken after the crying sub-sided and most definitely the morning after. I mean there is no way Booth would let Bones get away with rationalizing their undoing the night before, the romantic in him would get in the way most definitely… the discussions that had to be had. This is where I know Booth is deeply in love with Brennan because yes Booth has had lovers before but where Brennan is concerned with the amount of respect and trust he has for her I do not believe he would have made love to her regardless of the circumstances that were and jeopardize everything they have and potentially hurt her and himself if he wasn’t in love with her. It had to be a “no turning back” moment for both of them.

    I agree with the idea that Booth needed the whole enchilada (the marriage home relationship) to feel lovable and deserving of the better life he didn’t have growing up, but in healing from the pain we call Rebecca/Tessa/Hannah (I don’t put Cam in there because I think they were more friends with benefits) I think he started to come around the end of S6 and so far in S7 the idea that Brennan is finally personally in his life he will be patient and to let her come to him for the rest.

    Where the admittance of love for one another became vocalized…I guess I’m just praying for flashbacks! I could babble for hours as I already have but I love this site and feel free to go on and on….P.S. I’ve been watching my old love the 80’s classic Scarecrow and Mrs King and with watching Bones over and over again you know Lee/Amanda and Seeley/Temperance are quite alike..but that is a different story. Ok I better snap back to reality….

  63. Laffers,
    Sorry to be so late to the party but I just found this site. I heartily agree with your analysis that Booth is in love with the idea of “love”. I have (and haven’t we all) seen hundreds of discussions regarding the 100th and Booth “ultimatum” to Brennan. However (like but) I have yet to see/read/hear anyone mention what I believe to be the most compelling statement Booth made that, IMHO, completely validates your theory. Booth said:

    “But I gotta move on. You know, I gotta find someone who’s- who’s going to love me in 30 years, or 40 or 50.”

    He didn’t say someone HE could love but someone who is going to love HIM.

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  68. Few years late to the party… so not sure if anyone is still listening but I just wanted to add in a few cents.

    There was an interview by HH: “He asked three women in a row to marry him, they’ve all said “no.” He’s finally learned. And he is going to wait for Brennan to propose ”

    So it sounds like HH thinks Booth was asking marriage from Brennan in the 100th which we would all agree was inappropriate. Additionally, HH thinks that Booth did have something to learn; so yeah Booth’s principles on love were a little misguided. It takes me back to the conversation with Hodgins in S2, where they talk about if a relationship is real then marriage isn’t necessary.

    I think Booth genuinely loved Brennan but I don’t think he understood what love meant. It wasn’t love when he asked her for something he knew she couldn’t do. But he showed me he was in love by staying with her. I think Booth was as afraid of his feelings for Brennan in the 100th as she was and was trying to prove that his happiness wasn’t permanently tied to her. He was rebelling against the idea that his happiness was contingent upon her happiness. So I don’t think he had fully come to grips with his love.

    To me Booth did not love Hannah. He tried very hard to make his relationship with her look real but it never was and he knew that. He was lying to spare his feelings. The writers were clear to show us the difference between what he was saying and the reality. I don’t think the writers intention was ever to suggest that Hannah was misleading him, I think they were showing us that Booth was not living in reality. Its not serious as a heart attack when you have no plans to meet again. Parker wasn’t dying to meet her, he actually hated her. If Booth genuinely believed Hannah was making a long term commitment to him by moving, the first thing he would’ve done was introduced Parker especially since she didn’t even want children. Because if she wasn’t good fit for Parker then she wasn’t a good fit for him. By the time you are ready to move in, you should address that. But Hannah was living with him for months and he only brought Parker over when she wasn’t there. Booth knows that’s not a sign of a serious relationship. The catalyst for Booth introducing Parker was saying he hated her because as Sweets said, Parker could sense Booth’s reluctance to allow them to meet. Also when Booth thinks a relationship is going somewhere he knows to open up. I don’t know if he had a single honest conversation with Hannah. His big moment of honesty was about Brennan’s feelings and he was still lying about his own.

    I think SitS was the episode where he came to grips with his feelings for Brennan. He knew he loved her the most and he told Cam you should give someone you think is the “one” lots of chances which is in complete contrast to his advice to Sweets and clearly Hannah didn’t get much of one by being asked for something he knew she couldn’t do and then tossing her out. The problem was after hurting Brennan, he felt compelled to stay with Hannah to prove he hadn’t done it for no good reason. With Sweets goading, he only had 2 choices either breakup or propose to prove he hadn’t used Hannah or hurt Brennan needlessly and get rejected. He didn’t really think it through considering he was drunk/hungover and reacted on impulse. The rejection just brought back a lot of his latent insecurities from the 100th that he hadn’t dealt with.

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