Bones Theory

Morning After Q: Do Brennan and Booth Trust Each Other?


We talked several weeks (maybe even months!) ago about whether or not Booth trusted Brennan. With his life on the job? Yes, I think most people would agree. With his heart? There was some discussion there, even on whether he should or shouldn’t. On the flip side, there’s been a lot of discussion this season on whether or not Brennan should trust Booth (including his words about love) with her heart.


This isn’t a question on whether or not they *should* be trusting one another…I’m asking… do they trust each other? Did they ever not trust one another, when we look back on this entire season? And…my personal fave…is trust more important than love?


Thoughts? Let’s discuss!


Peace, Love & Bones,



23 thoughts on “Morning After Q: Do Brennan and Booth Trust Each Other?

  1. I think ‘The Man in the Morgue’ convinced me that Booth trusts Brennan – while all the ‘evidence’ pointed towards her having something to do with the incident (spoiler free vagueness here) he arranged her defence until it could be proved otherwise.

    In Aliens in the Spaceship – Brennan is pretty much convinced the squad and Booth will reach them in time.

    • So true about Man in the Morgue; she seemed shocked that he would have picked up that earring without a second thought and risked his entire career for her. It also served to make his flying down to be with her seem less like a one-time-thing. I’m not sure if there is an equivalent moment for him-I think every time she has reassured him as to his value or agreed with him it’s built up his trust in her more.

      • Well, it’s definatly proven beyond doubt in the Fire in the Ice… She doesn’t even consider the fact that Booth could’ve killed him… But I don’t think there is anything earlier then that to that extent…

  2. Booth and Brennan have trusted each other for a very long time when it comes to their well being; but, when it comes to matters of the heart, the trust has not really been there. Brennan has heard speeches about love from Booth; but, in the past, she has not allowed herself to trust anyone when it comes to love and that includes Booth. She had walled her heart away from any possibility of love for so long that it actually took a long separation from Booth to make her see that a self-imposed exile from family and friends was not in her best interest. She didn’t really begin to consider that it was possible to give her heart to someone until she was in Maluku. When she came back she was confronted with the fact that Booth had moved on with someone else, so again, she had no reason to trust that giving her heart to someone was really in her best interest. I think that the DITP was the turning point for Brennan when it comes to trusting someone with her love. She saw what her life was and could end up being if she didn’t let her wall down. She realized that loving someone was possible and that the one person she could trust with her love was involved with someone else. It was hard lesson to learn and yet she was patient. She tried to be close to Booth and his girlfriend. Not out of some plan to get Booth back, just to be with the friend she valued more than anyone to be in her life. If she missed her chance with Booth she still had him as a friend. When Booth broke up with Hannah she was there for him as that friend. She let him be angry with her because she knew her friendship would survive. I don’t think Brennan truly trusted Booth with her heart until The Hole In The Heart. Booth did everything right to comfort Brennan and I think that is when she finally trusted Booth to love her and not abandon her. If the truth be told, I don’t think Booth really trusted Brennan with his heart until Hole In The Heart too. He had been rejected by Brennan too many times to take a chance losing her again. It took her trust in him to allow him to trust her.

  3. I think they’re both still learning to 100% trust each other. Personally, I also believe real trust is one of the last components to be built in a relationship. It takes time and you can’t rush it.

    I also believe when it gets down to nuts and bolts, trust is more important than love. You can love a lot of people but the people you trust are the ones you Love.

  4. Boy, I love this topic. I’d say that the main problem between B/B is not a lack of trust in each other but rather a lack of trust in themselves and their abilities to be enough for each other. For years the issue for both has been one of “I’m not good enough.” When you think that way it makes a real and lasting relationship impossible. Booth kind of overcame his fears in the 100th, only to have them resurface big time at the Founding Fathers when he was rejected by Hannah. By staying with him and having that drink, Brennan took the first step towards trusting that she would be enough for him and that he would come back to her. Since then, she’s gone out of her way to tell him and to show him that he can trust her with his heart again.

    I think Brennan’s faith and trust in Booth were always there, even after Hannah. What took a beating for a while was her faith in the steadfastness of love. Still, at some point between Mastodon and Daredevil she decided to let go and not overthink things; to just go with how you feel. I’m not enitrely sure it happened in Doctor, although that got her halfway there. Booth got a little gun-shy with his heart in the last year, and honestly, can we blame him? But the fact that he was willing to give his heart all over again to Brennan in such a short amount of time says a lot about his inherently trusting nature and optimism. If he didn’t believe that they could move forward as a couple, that he could provide something important to Brennan, I don’t hink he would have gone there with her the morning after VNM died.

    • I was thinking pretty much the same thing. Their problems haven’t been related to trusting each other, but more to each trusting themselves. I especially think that holds for Brennan in regards to emotional ties.

      Each does totally trust the other with their lives. They’ve each trusted the other emotionally too, at least to the extent that they knew the other would never betray them. I just don’t think either trusted themselves to be what the other person needed.

      • I agree with both of you on this. I think their inherent trust in each other when related to the job has remained intact throughout, otherwise there’s no way, with the job they do and the situations they get into, that they would have been able to function effectively as a team.

        I think they trust each other with their hearts, but they don’t trust that they, themselves, are good enough to be loved the way they both desperately need and want. Booth has admitted that in his “there’s something wrong here” speech at the end of Daredevil. And Brennan keeps questioning her own humanity with her “what kind of person am I?” style questions; there have been other instances of a variation on the theme of that questions this season and before.

        Brennan has stated over and over that she always figured she’d be alone, thus rejecting the idea that she’s good enough to love and be loved without even trying; and becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy at the same time. And Booth, with his constant assurances to her that love is real and exists… maybe it hasn’t been so much that he has firmly believed in that kind of love right along, but that he’s been voicing his heart’s desire that he be able to find that kind of love and be loved that way in return.

        They are both amazing people, but at the end of the day, how do they identify themselves? She’s the world’s best forensic anthropologist and best-selling author; he’s an FBI special agent, sniper, soldier and together, they catch bad guys. She doesn’t say she’s a sister, daughter, friend; he doesn’t say he’s a brother, friend, father.

        Essentially, they find their self-worth in their jobs and not who they are as people and what they have to offer others. That is, until the other one points it out to them, and even then, they are each still slightly skeptical of what the other says. They need to be able to get past that before they can truly trust themselves and each other with their hearts – and maybe that’s what Booth’s “I want it to be about more than luck” speech is all about.

  5. I think they trust each other professionally, with their lives and regarding their abilities to solve cases. But on an emotional level, they are not quite there yet. Booth needed some verification of Brennan’s trust in him in the second sniper episode. The trust is deepening though as Brennan trusts Booth enough to know he can help her through the loss of Vincent and Booth trusts Brennan to help him through his struggles with having to shoot and arrest his former mentor, the sniper. By Change in the Game, we don’t see any lack of trust until the end — I don’t think Brennan trusted Booth enough yet to be sure of his reaction. Now that she got the reaction she wanted, I think the trust will be strengthened as they move forward together.

    • Lo, well said! I especially agree with your comment, “I don’t think Brennan trusted Booth enough yet to be sure of his reaction.” I would add I’m not quite sure she trusted herself yet to accurately ‘read’ him. She’s still pretty new at learning to read people, although I think you can find evidence all season of her ‘working’ at getting better.

  6. I agree with Maria’s take: “I’d say that the main problem between B/B is not a lack of trust in each other but rather a lack of trust in themselves and their abilities to be enough for each other.”

    They might not have been able to verbalize it most of the time, but I think subconciously, they always have. Their problem, which I mentioned the other day in the nature/nuture post, is that they both bring their own baggage into their relationships, whether its with other people or each other. It doesn’t mean that they don’t or haven’t loved/trusted each other. It just means they have been having a hard time trusting themselves and their own worth.

    Last night on the TNT reruns, they aired their first meetings with Sweets. Brennan defends Booth so fiercely, it takes Sweets by surprise when she tells him to “Back. Off.”

    BRENNAN: (to Dr. Sweets) You don’t know Booth, you don’t know me. You have a limited view of us based on superficial data you’ve accumulated on a standardized questionnaire and a subjective analysis from talking to us that is not at all scientific, so BACK. OFF.

    SWEETS: Just trying to help.

    BRENNAN: What? By questioning his humanity?

    BOOTH: Ok, Bones, now you’re going a little bit overboard. He’s just a kid. Right? I mean the worst thing that’s probably ever happened to him was he lost in Mortal Kombat.

    SWEETS: Are you normally this protective of him, Dr. Brennan?

    BRENNAN: Well, we are partners. Our lives depend on being protective of each other.

    SWEETS: And you feel the same way, Agent Booth?

    BOOTH: Sweets, I can only hope that one day you’ll know what a real partnership is.

    They’ve both considered their partnership of the highest priority, their “surrogate relationship” was so strong, and things like “the center must hold”…to me, it shows that both personally and professionally they’ve had the deepest trust in each other.

    • How cute was his little lost boy look when he says “you wouldn’t even have coffee with me?” I’d be willing to drink hot asphalt with him!

      • Oh I know!! That part breaks my heart! Poor Booth! And then she realizes what she said and they agree on meeting for coffee…awwwwww…..

        Yeah, coffee, and a BABY!!! 🙂

    • Coffee and a BABY-that’s too funny!!!! I think that would be a great title for a post!

      • haha 🙂 Or a spinoff sitcom…B&B retire from crime fighting, move to the suburbs, open up a nightclub, have a baby….hilarity ensues!

  7. I also don’t think they completely trust each other, yet. I think they came a long way in HitH, but trust takes a long time to build, and neither of them has worked at that long enough yet. I think Brennan trusts Booth more than he trusts her. I think it will take a long time for him to completly trust her, because of how well he knows her. He knows how scared she is by strong emotions, and it will take him a while to get to that level of trust.

    I wonder how much trust will play a role in season 7, because their relationship is so new, and a baby just adds to the complexity of the situation. Children complicate relationships, and with their newfound love, baby is going to create problems.

    On the other question. I don’t know if trust is more important than love, as much as it is needed to love. Without trust, you can’t totally love another person. They go hand in hand. Trust in your partner is the first step toward total commitment to that person. I think B&B will learn to trust each other more, and in building that trust their love will grow stronger.

    As I’m writing this, I think back to Laffers comment about whether Booth loves Bones, and I think he loves her, but as the trust grows, his love will intensify. Does that make sense? I didn’t have my morning tea yet, so maybe I’m not coming across as clear as I want to.

  8. Argh! This is a hard one for me and I keep going back and forth with myself as to how I feel about it all. Here’s is what I have at the moment:

    I’ll try to answer the second question (is trust more important than love?) first. I think that you can love someone you don’t trust, in fact I think we do it all the time, BUT I don’t think you can have a healthy, successful, loving RELATIONSHIP with someone you don’t trust. I don’t necessarily think that makes trust more important than love, rather I think they are interlocking pieces of the same puzzle. TOGETHER, they form the foundation of a healthy, successful relationship.

    The issue of trust between B&B in matters of love is a much more sticky issue. Maria made a good point about part of the issue being them not trusting themselves. I can definitely see that. However, I can see issues with them not trusting each other in matters of the heart as well.

    I think I’m actually somewhat comfortable believing that Booth was willing to trust Brennan with his heart prior to the 100th episode. But I also think that the 100th/Maluku changed all that for him (rejection will do that to a person). I see the end of The Blackout in the Blizzard as the point where he was willing to trust Brennan with his heart again, but I don’t think we really see that trust in action until much closer to the end of the season (the end of The Pinocchio in the Planter for instance).

    Brennan, on the other hand, didn’t trust ANYONE (Booth included) with her heart prior to season six. As odd as it sounds (because I really think it’s probably the moment when she should have trusted him the least), I think she had to have had some degree of trust in Booth by the end of Daredevil or she wouldn’t have stayed. Ditto for the commitment they made at the end of Blizzard. I also can’t discount the fact that she was devastatingly vulnerable that night in The Hole in the Heart, and yet she went to Booth, she took the hand he offered, and she ASKED him for comfort. She couldn’t have done that if she didn’t trust that he could give her what she needed. And for the record, I don’t think Brennan’s hesitance to tell Booth she was pregnant at the end of The Change in the Game was due to a lack of trust in him as much as it was plain old fear.

    So, after considering all the evidence, I guess my answer is yes.

  9. To me I can’t separate trust from love, as it pertains to Booth and Brennan. They have to open themselves up both to be able to trust and love others. Since a lot of their issues come from their upbringings, Booth’s abusive dad and Brennan’s parents “abandonment” and foster care issues….families help us build our abilities to trust and to love others. Trust is an important component in loving, and there is an element of “love” when you trust someone, whether it is romantic love or friendship love.

    Though they couldn’t open themselves up to the trust and love of a romantic union, I believe they did open up to the trust and love of a friendship/partnership. I would say that it happened pretty quickly. Like we saw in their first meeting, they had an instant spark. He saw her and you could tell….he was smitten right then and there, likewise she had interest in her eyes when they spoke. I think they could tell they were kindred spirits right away. So I do think there was a form of trust/love for B&B very quickly. Sometimes you just “know”, eh Booth? 🙂

  10. You know, I always consider love to be very complex and having many definitions. You can love someone as a parent, brother, sister, friend, lover. Each have different meanings; but, each requires trust to a certain degree. I believe what BB said when she said that Booth and Brennan “did open up to the trust and love of a friendship/partnership. I would say that it happened pretty quickly. ” Sometimes when we are talking about Brennan and most say that Brennan hasn’t been able to love Booth until this season, I think that we should consider that Brennan has really been in love with Booth since at least season 2. She may not have considered Booth to be someone she wanted to be romantically involved with; but, she definitely loved Booth. She has valued him as one of her best friends and someone that she trusts to be there for her for a very long time. It just took a long time for her to realize that loving Booth in a romantic way, that trusting him enough to let her guard down, was ok and would not lead to abandonment and heartbreak. When it comes to Booth, I think Booth has valued Brennan and has loved her as a friend since the end of season 1. I can’t really pin down when he fell in love with her and wanted to be romantically involved with her; but, I tend to believe it happened in season 4. Wow, I hope I didn’t muddy the waters too much.

  11. I think that they do trust each other, yes, and have since almost the beginning. That trust has only intensified and been built upon over time. They may not have trusted each other romantically until later in the series (especially Brennan), but as partners and as friends I think they have trusted each other since the first series, if not the second.

    As for whether trust is more important than love, I think they go hand in hand. It’s hard to love someone (especially romantically) without trusting them first, though I’m aware you can trust someone without loving them.

  12. My answer is a combination of others. I think a lot of trust is growing in matters of the heart, but they have enough there to go on. I personally don’t think as much trust as lost with the Hannah thing. If it was, Brennan wouldn’t have been so displeased with the two options in the 13th.

  13. Wow, what great comments. I only have one thing to add….

    I believe there is ‘loving someone’ and ‘being in love’. I think these two statements are completely different. I believe that since the end of season one, they have loved each other, whether it be as friends or partners or whatever. However I now believe that B&B are in love with each other.

    Please feel free to object. I love to hear other people’s opinions.

  14. Awesome question and my first gut reaction is yes. But trusting each other on the job is different than trusting each other with their emotional vulnerabilities, right? I’m leaning towards thinking that they are not there yet and that season 7 will explore precisely that. They’ve been in a relationship (if indeed that’s what’s been going on) for what, a month or so. I think it will take more than that for Booth to feel completely secure that Brennan won’t go running back to Maluku or it’s equivalent when things get emotionally overwhelming. Likewise for Brennan and her own feelings of abandonment or self-worth. It’ll take more than a month for her to trust that she can and is making him happy, that she does have the kind of open heart he deserves. I think that they will absolutely come to trust each other in this arena but they’ve never been in a real relationship with each other so it would make sense that it will take time.

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