Bones Theory

Scene Study: The Soccer Mom in the Mini-Van: Booth Hearts America and Brennan Hearts Drunk Booth


Hey, hey! Happy 4th to those of you who celebrate. For those of you who don’t…well, happy Monday! Since it’s Independence Day here in the US, I thought I’d do a special little scene study of a (sort-of) patriotic scene. At the very least, it’s a very cute scene.

It’s from season three, and I like this scene so much I can’t believe I haven’t broken it down before. I feel like I have, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. If I did, well…it’s worth doing it again, I suppose!

In the episode, Booth and Brennan are working the case of a woman whose mini-van was blown up. They discover she was part of a rogue partnership that once included the death of a cop. A mentor of Booth’s, Sam Riley, was assigned to that earlier case, but now the case is Booth’s, which causes some male pride tension to flare up.  Brennan takes Booth’s side and is offended when Sam tries to over step on the case, causing Sam to growl at Booth that Brennan must be very good in bed, otherwise why keep her around? Booth has probably heard that or worse around the Hoover, but maybe Brennan hasn’t. She replies, very calmly, that she is in fact very good in bed, though Agent Booth would have no direct knowledge of that. To which Booth of course decides it’s time to focus on the case. 😀

Meanwhile in the episode, Brennan is dealing with whether or not she wants to visit Max in prison. He asks for a deck of cards, for example, and when she provides them, he reveals it’s because he wants to play cards with her. She is not interested (and tells him, or has already told him that he wasn’t a good father because he never let her win at cards), but by the end of the episode has changed her mind.

Both of those issues have resolution in this last scene (so to speak), so we’re going to study them (ha, study!) AS WELL AS Booth being drunk.

While Brennan tells Max she thought they might try to see if they could still play that card game,…

Sam Riley joins Booth in his office.

“You know,” he says as he walks into the office. “I’ve kept this bottle of single malt in my desk since ’75. I always said when we put this case to bed, I’d open it.”

Booth, a little unsure of how he left things, and unhappy with how things went down with Sam (he was a suspect at one point) is hesistant, but he accepts a glass.

This is total coincidence, probably, but I like how his profile nearly matches RFKs in the photo.

“Listen, Sam,” he begins. “I want to apologize”

“Hey,” Sam assures him. “I would have done the same thing myself.” He pours them both a drink of the scotch and says, “Maybe not quite the same thing. I would have slapped me around a bit.”

Booth sort of laughs nervously, but genuinely. Not in a fake “I need to impress this guy”, but in a “Hey, this guy thinks I did the right thing” way. And those are separate. I think Booth follows what he feels is right, and sometimes expects people he admires not to like it or him. And when they do, it…I don’t know…warms him up and makes him feel accepted, I guess!

“To the changing of the guard,” Sam tells him.

And they drink, and it’s a significant moment for Booth. And it’s a moment I might have looked over when I watched this ep and the series through for the first time. If you’re like me, and as you were watching the eps you were just looking for signs that B&B were going to get together soon, well…a moment like this where Booth gets some validation was certainly nice, but it wasn’t that significant, right?  Now I watch these eps and I think…holy cow, has anyone said anything like that to Booth before? If we count the moments on the show where he genuinely had older men he (mostly) looked up to give him compliments, I think we can do it on one hand.

  1. Gordon Gordon Wyatt (at various times)
  2. Here, with Sam Riley
  3. Max—a few times, but especially when he tells Booth he’s a good man and he wants that for Brennan.
  4. Pops

Can you think of any others? I think Booth is confident in some areas of his life, but he needs reassurance like all people do. One thing I love about his partnership with Brennan is that she never gives in to BS, you know? She tells the truth, and it’s his choice to accept the truth of himself, but it’s still the truth. We saw it this past season, when she assured him that Broadsky was bad and he was good, right?

Okay…moving on. The point is that Booth is about to get toasted on some single malt!

And Brennan and Max are playing cards and smiling, and it’s nice.

Then we see the DC city at night, and it’s very lovely.

And speaking of lovely, we have B&B on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Well done, CGI department!

You know how sometimes there are GIANT plot holes that require a ton of hand waving? Sometimes the little ones make me just as insane (though more curious, I suppose). I’ve always wanted to know exactly how they end up on the steps like that. Because I can just imagine Booth calling Brennan or showing up at her apartment, in a cab naturally, and insisting that she meet him/come with him. Because they solved the CASE! And they HAVE to have a drink when they solve a case!

“So why aren’t we meeting at a bar or the diner?” she might ask him.

“Oh, um…because I’m not going to have another drink,” he tells her, as if it’s obvious.

“So…we’re going to have a drink, but not actually drink anything?” she clarifies.

“Exactly,” he gushes. “You’re a genius, Bones! See you there!” or whatever. Hahahahaha!

One of them had the foresight to bring Booth some coffee, and Brennan’s face when she watches him play with the lid is priceless.

“How much scotch did you drink?” she asks him.

“Oh, just enough,” he replies, which is so not an answer, hahaha!

“You know, I would have invited you, but Riley…he just…” he tells her. “Just…wow… he doesn’t like you.”

“I understand,” Brennan is sober and slightly amused, in my opinion. But it also stings a little.

“I’m sorry, was that rude?” Booth asks.

“Not from someone who’s been drinking,” Brennan is more than slightly amused as she replies. And it is funny, because usually the tables are turned, and Booth is hissing at her that something she says might be rude. And it’s fun because he’s so drunk, but he still can kind of read her and himself and ask if what he said was rude. Cuteness.

“Wow,” Booth gushes a bit. “I love this place. I love it.”

Okay, that shot is a little less believable, but whatever 😀

“I love this country, alright?” Booth continues. “And I’ll tell you something,”

“If I was working law enforcement…

“Back in the day when, okay, when they threw all that tea in the harbor, alright. I’m good…”

“Okay, I’m good,” Booth repeats. “I would have rounded everybody up, and we’d still be English.”

Hahaha, okay, Booth. We won’t even get into the fact that it means there wouldn’t be a good old US of A for you to love, etc, etc. Yes…we’ll just move on.

“You think?” Brennan asks him, and he says “Yep.

He’s so cute, and just as cute is the way Brennan is indulging him.

And ah…that look right there. Is there anyone else who kinda thinks that Brennan has this little inkling in her mind like “I could so have him.” Not that she’s always on the prowl for him, and he’s constantly resisting her advances or anything, but they both feel that push pull between them, and they both recognize and respect the importance of their partnership and the other one’s boundaries, right? So it’s not that she would necessarily act on the opportunity or anything, but she certainly knows it’s there.  Because, let’s face it, his previous entertainment was making noises at a coffee cup lid. I’m pretty sure she could talk him into just about anything. That she doesn’t proves she has more self control than most! ESPECIALLY because maybe she now has a little something to prove in the ‘direct knowledge’ kind of way? I think so!

But she does what they both do whenever a situation like this arises…she changes the subject.

“I saw my father,” she tells him.

“Wow,” Booth says. “I didn’t think you were going to do that.”

“As an anthropologist, I accept change as the natural order of things. But with him, I didn’t allow for transformation.”

“I predicated his behavior based on a set of outmoded preconceptions, and it wasn’t rational.”

“Wow, I didn’t…get any of that.”

“If I was conducting an objective experiment on my father,” Brennan explains, as Booth begins to lean back. Ah!

And toward her.

“I’d have to conclude that he loves me,” Brennan finishes, and we see the same sort of vulnerable realization on her face as we saw earlier when Booth is being commended by Riley.

“Why?” Booth asks. “What happened?”

It’s kind of cute, especially because Booth has ALWAYS been all up in the Brennan and Max business, right?

“We played cards,” Brennan tells him.

“Cool,” Booth nods, still having NO idea exactly how that relates to predicated behavior and outmoded preconceptions, but he’s not going there. So it’s just cool. Then she says something he DOES understand.

“I killed him”

It’s cute, because it’s a metaphor. She didn’t actually kill him; she beat him at a card game.  And it’s cute because Booth is still drunk, and they both know it.

“Good for you,” he tells her.


I just always think…how in the heck does this end? Do they really just get into separate cabs and go home? Do you ever wonder if either Booth or Brennan tried anything more, and we just never saw it? I don’t mean sex all the way, but is it possible that he tried to pull her close after this night, but she just sort of pushed him away? The same sort of thing could happen after she got drunk in his office in the intern case. I am not saying those things happened, and I really DO feel strongly that neither one of them would ever take advantage of the other. But I just wonder sometimes…that’s all!

On that note, I hope you have a wonderful day. Talk to you soon!

Peace, Love & Bones,


PS… If you are on Facebook or Tumblr, there is a 30 Day Bones Challenge, if you are interested. It seems pretty fun (and I’m not sure whose idea it was to begin with. I heard about it from pal NatesMama), so if you are interested, ask for more details. It’s not a contest—it’s just an activity.


34 thoughts on “Scene Study: The Soccer Mom in the Mini-Van: Booth Hearts America and Brennan Hearts Drunk Booth

  1. This is one of my very favorite scenes. I love how easy and accepting they are of each other which is such a far cry from the episodes of last season. I truly hope the writers can recapture this lovely camaraderie next season. They can bicker all they want but scenes like this put all that bickering into perspective and demonstrate not only the love but the respect and understanding the two characters have always had for each other.

  2. Oh the Boston Tea Party… the event that actually wasn’t called that until the 19th century (and the one that the Sons of Liberty organized but didn’t participate in).

    Oh… wait… this is about Bones? I could see Booth in 18th century clothing. Hmmm…. I like that idea. Actually… I could see Booth participating on both sides of the war.

    Yeah… that’s about as constructive as I can get right now. It’s a great scene, though. Those shots of DC are so beautiful.

  3. First, Happy 4th of July!

    Second, I’ve always loved this scene too. Sarah, you’ve raised the issues that have always bothered me: The comment about rounding up the tea tossers not quite making sense with the loving this country. How they got there. And, what happened afterward.

    But those issues don’t ultimately matter. The two of them are so adorable and so completely at ease with each other and so accepting of each other. And, I will argue that they are both clearly in love, although neither of them may realize it yet.

    Happy Fourth!

  4. You did such a great job with this scene study that there really is nothing I can think of that will really add to it.

    I do love this scene. If I ever managed to rank my favorite scenes in the series this would be on that list (but realistically I know I’d never manage to create that list because there would be too many to list).

    I just love when he bumps his head to her shoulder, it just does something to me and makes me melt. 😉

  5. I can think of another instance when Booth got some unsolicited praise (although I think it was just a way for Hacker to get on Brennan’s good side) from another man:
    A Night At The Bones Museum
    HACKER: Well, the Bureau is grateful for all of your help and I hope that you’re pleased with Agent Booth; he’s the best we’ve got.
    BOOTH: Oh, I don’t know about that…
    BRENNAN: I agree that statement is impossible to quantify, since there are no other agents, partnered with forensic anthropologists let alone, one with my abilities.
    BOOTH: You know what, Bones? You’re raining on my parade.

    I just love drunk Booth. He is so happy. He is with Brennan, he solved a case and he didn’t have to do it over the body of his mentor. All in all a good day for him.

    I know Booth loves his country; but, drunk, Booth was just thinking about how good of a cop he is, not the ramifications of stopping the anti-tax people. I don’t know, a befuddled Booth is not really thinking anything really clearly anyway so who knows. I think it is a cute moment though. Can it be any cuter that he bumps his head against Brennan’s shoulder and she just thinks it is funny. I just love that scene. They are so relaxed together. They like each other a lot. Too bad so much tension and heart break was coming our way. I too hope to see happy scenes in season 7.

    I love how Brennan just humors him throughout this scene. She is happy that she has made a discovery about her father and is more than happy to sit with Booth and watch him be silly. Her father loves her, she beat him in a card game and she is having a good day too.

  6. I think the thing about loving his country and the tea party thing are about protecting his country not the actual politics and tax. Booth would always take the side of the established power because he is proud of his county, he would want to protect it from entering tyranny which is always a risk after revelution. not that he is pro american or pro english just a protector of order.
    Ps im brittish so the tea thing makes me laugh, I know it was symbolic and important and there was so many more reasons for hating the british rather than tea but I find humour in that the value of the tea they distroyed because they didnt want to pay taxes to Britian was like 12 times the amount that they had to pay in tax overall to Britain over the course of a year for everything.

    • ps this is my opinion of Booth if he was alive in 1812.

    • Actually the tea protest was over anger about taxation without representation. The tea tax was a just a catalyst for protest and eventually revolution.

      I think Booth does love the U.S. and he is pro American. He loved it enough to join the Army and then the FBI. He believes in law and order and he will do what it takes to make sure that people abide by the laws of his country. I am a military brat and I can tell you from experience, most of those that serve do it for love of their country. Believe they don’t do it for the money. The pay is very poor. I also believe he has a sneaking affection for things British. After all, he thought he should be knighted in Yanks In The UK although driving around the country drove him nuts.

  7. My fanwank was always that Booth had been to drunk to drive home from the Hoover, so he called Brennan for a ride and then Booth- in the way that drunk people often do – spotted the memorials and was all “oh Bones, stop! We gotta stop! We gotta stop and go sit on the steps!”

    So Brennan – in the way people do when dealing with a drunk – decides to go along rather than argue with him, but insists on buying him some coffee. “Good idea Bones. I’ll drink this coffee and I’ll be fine. Just fine.”

    I love this scene. I just love how comfortable they are with each other. Things got a little dicey in season 4, with more push and pull but in these days they just fit.

    • I love your reason why they may have stopped to sit at the Lincoln Memorial. I can just hear happy Booth pleading with Brennan to stop and wanting to hang out with her instead of going home.

    • @Barbara…I love your theory! I’ve done a lot of “DD-ing” in my day and my passengers are often that goofy. I could so see that happening like you said!

  8. I love this scene. It’s one of those times I was screaming, “Somebody kiss somebody!”

    I’m not sure which side of the proverbial coin Booth might have ultimately been on in the War for Independence. I might need photos of Booth in pantaloons before I can make up my mind. 🙂

  9. Shhhh. They might hear you and not give us new pictures. *lol*

    • LOL, sorry. Shhh, my lips are sealed.

      • Haha, i was just thinking this would be cool, so long as no accents are involved and Booth is one of those ‘modern short-haired revolutionary guys’. #NoWigs

      • Oh, right, please no accents. Liam’s Irish (I think that was that supposed to be Irish?) brogue was as painful as Angel’s version of Mandy.

        But the window dressing sure was pretty. 😉

  10. This has always been one of my most favorite episodes. I had noticed the RFK pose before and I’m not sure if it was coincidence or if it was directed that way.

    I love drunk Booth and how sweet and a little goofy he is and how okay she is with it. When he puts his head on her shoulder and then smiles at her like that….Wow!! I don’t know how you would just get into separate cabs after that. Brennan clearly has more self-control than me, because I would have gone home with Booth *just to make sure he was okay of course*.

    That last shot from behind them. I get lost in the width of DB’s shoulders in that white dress shirt. Yum!

    • oh yeah…absolutely…what you said….

      sorry…a bit fuzzy after those pics…

    • I noticed the pose before too and wasn’t sure it was a coincidence or not but the picture is of JFK and RFK meeting with J. Edgar Hoover. It would be interesting if it was intentional to have Booth portray RFK in the scene. Hoover & RFK fought to convict major crime leaders (like the mafia) but often disagreed on strategy (Hoover used to keep “personal files” on many high profile people and rumor had it that RFK disapproved of the extent of the invasion of privacy)
      Anyway, I can see some parallels with Booth…

    • That smile gets me every darn time.

    • @Lisa: Agreed. I was looking at that pretty closely myself. Yum indeed!

  11. This is one of those scenes that always comes to mind when people say Booth and Brennan never dated. Come on! This was as much a “date” as any of their other impromptu, non-case related, get-togethers. And as a previous poster commented, when he puts his head on her shoulder, I get all mushy and warm inside. Dang right they are in love here.

  12. I’ve been wanting to do the Bones 30 Day Challenge for awhile, but didn’t have the full list and didn’t know how to start. Would it be possible for someone to pretty please post the full 30 days? ❤

    Loved this post btw! I'll have to go back and re-watch it.

  13. omg! i so love this episode! It always makes me smile and warm all over every time I watch this. This is what I’ve been missing in the newer episodes.sigh… I really do hope that in s7, we’ll have more of the B&B moments

    As for Booth getting compliments, I have a couple to add:
    1. Hacker in the predator in the pool
    2. Cullen – if i remember right, in the episode graft in the girl

    And Sarah, I too have imagined many times what those two have been doing after their post case “dates” and boy, do they make me smile a lot. c”,)

  14. I love this!

    I’ll admit i may like it because drunk Booth reminds me of drunk me….we’re both very cute 😉 (OK ok….he’s cute in a ‘smokin’ hot i would so take him home with me’ way. I’m just cute! LOL)

    Brennans self restaint amazes me…not sure if i admire her for it or think she’s an idiot!

    Your point about whether either has ever tried for more is interesting…I think HH/SN would say no BUT i find it hard to believe that they’ve never…slipped. Not sleeping together or anything but they must have had more than one moment where they’ve leant a little in the other direction ya know?!

    We saw one moment in…i can’t remember the epi but when Booth asks Brennan for a drink and she says ‘Tessa will be waiting’. That was a moment where they could have ended up in bed together but one or the other (in this case Brennan) stepped back. I can’t see that being an isolated incident 😀

  15. Missed this post; too many fireworks. Vulnerable and disheveled Booth is always one of my favorites-and the charm smile…. How she managed such self-control is beyond me. And you’re right Seels-she could’ve gotten him to do anything at this point (not like she can’t anyways even when he’s sober!)

  16. Love this scene and when Brennan says the part about Max, “If I was conducting an objective experiment on my father, I’d have to conclude that he loves me,” I wanna scream at the screen, “Experiment on Booth!”

  17. The RFK pose is a very interesting catch there. Is that really just coincidence or is this a little thing for eagle eyed fans along the lines of 4:47? Hmm…..

    What a great scene to study! Booth is especially charming in his tipsy way, and Brennan is so relaxed and happy to let him lean on her as much as he wants! Both have had a good day, and they way they are together in this scene is the way I want them to be in Season 7 pleaseeeeee.

    So about the Tea Party…i think his comment is so very Booth-y. He would totally be on the law enforcement side and he is so good at it, he and his olde timey squinterns would have totally discovered the plan and thwarted it.

    All in all, adorable.

  18. Lovely screencaps, Sarah! And great scene study as usually! I love this scene and I’m always wondering like you – what the heck did they do AFTER? After that night, after that shots in this office, after his reassuring her about faith in love in his apartment, after romantic dinner in her apartment, after feeding her ice cream in his apartment and so on. It’s a pity that we don’t see all…

    And one else – yep, at this epi I’m too was sure that they will be together soon. Hopeless girl :))

    Thank you again. Great article. I’m still are reading BT with delay, but I read every post with all the comments 🙂 And July, 4 was my birthday, thank you, Sarah, for greetings again 🙂 It was lovely day 🙂

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