Bones Theory

I Ask; You Answer- Brennan and Love and S4


Okay, it’s time for another I Ask, You Answer, and here’s today’s prompt:

“Brennan fell in love with Booth in season four: Discuss.”

Here is a list of the season four episodes, if you need a refresher.


Yanks in the UK: Part One

Yanks in the UK: Part Two

The Man in the Outhouse

The Finger in the Nest

The Perfect Pieces in the Purple Pond

 The Crank in the Shaft Originally

The He in the She

The Skull in the Sculpture

The Con Man in the Meth Lab

The Passenger in the Oven

 The Bone that Blew

Double Trouble in the Panhandle

Fire in the Ice

Hero in the Hold

The Princess and the Pear

The Bones that Foam

The Salt in the Wounds

The Doctor in the Den

The Science in the Physicist

The Cinderella in the Cardboard

Mayhem on a Cross

The Double Death of the Dearly Departed

The Girl in the Mask

The Beaver in the Otter

The Critic in the Cabernet

The End in the Beginning


26 thoughts on “I Ask; You Answer- Brennan and Love and S4

  1. I am probably in the minority on this one; but, I always felt that Brennan started to fall in love with Booth in season 3. In season 2, when Brennan refused to go with Sully, I think Brennan couldn’t leave the Jeffersonian and Booth because she had come to love Booth as her closest friend and he wasn’t someone she could just walk away from. She didn’t have many people she could count on and she really needed Booth in her life at that time. Then we had The Verdict In the Story and I think that may have been her turning point, from deep friendship to actually considering that she had other feelings for Booth. They both suffered during the trial and Brennan seemed to become more attached to Booth with this episode. Then came Pain In The Heart. I know a lot of people don’t really care for that episode; but, I definitely do. This is the episode that seemed to tell me that Brennan loves Booth. When she thought he had died, she was angry, very angry. She was angry at Booth for leaving her, for abandoning her. Those she loves always seem to abandon her and she seems to feel that abandonment deeply. I thought at this point she was in love with Booth because she took his death very hard. If she had been merely a friend of Booth’s I don’t think she would have had a problem going to his funeral. That she considered Booth to be someone she loved meant that she didn’t want to acknowledge that he was gone. She was angry that she had opened her heart to someone else and all it had brought her was pain.

    I think with season 4, Brennan tried to distance herself a little from Booth, emotionally. That is why we saw her interest in Jared. She could have “A” Booth without risking her heart with Seeley Booth. Season 4 was Brennan’s fight with herself over her feelings for Booth. She managed to keep Booth at a distance and then we had The Critic In the Cabernet. She wanted a baby. Not just any baby. Booths’ baby. If she couldn’t trust herself to have Booth then she could at least have a part of him by having a baby with him. This culminated in The End In The Beginning. This was a love story. It was written by Brennan and we saw her love for Booth through Booth’s dream.

    I think season 5 was Booths’ struggle over his love for Brennan and season 6 was both Booth’s and Brennan’s struggle to get on the same page with each other. They needed to forgive each other for rejecting their love and they needed to see that though they may have had others in their lives, their lives are more complete when they are with each other.

    • I don’t disagree with you Leonora. I would only add that back in season 2/3 the writers had no idea they would eventually be at season 7 and perhaps moved things along at a faster pace back then.

    • I agree. In Verdict in the Story and Wannabe in the Weeds, I think she’s in love with him. I’m not sure I would have said she tries to distance herself in season 4, because she does seem to try to put effort into being close and showing him that she cares for him, but I do think she was afraid of a romantic relationship with him then.

  2. Can you say someone is in love if that someone doesn’t know that what they’re feeling is actually love? That’s where I am on the question of “did she or didn’t she” love Booth.

    I think she began to fall in love with Booth during S2, but she had no idea – or didn’t want to have an idea – that her feelings were love. And I think what she felt frightened her into making the “I’m protecting you from me” speech in the 100th.

    IMO, it took leaving her leaving him physically, followed by him leaving her emotionally, to force her to give a name to what she felt.

    • I do think she loved him, then was in love with him long before she could realize it herself.

      Yes in the 100th she really meant it when she was protecting him, because she really did believe that she couldn’t love him the way he needed to be loved, that she just did not have that in her. It took that physical separation, not seeing him for months for her to realize that she really did love him, that it wasn’t just a chemical reaction, wasn’t just the love of a friend that she felt for him.

      • I’m definitely with MJ on this one–this discussion is opening some philosophical questions on the nature of what it means to fall in love. I think Brennan’s loved Booth for a long time (maybe as early as “I knew you wouldn’t give up,” but definitely by the time she turned down Sully) in the sense that she saw him as her closest friend and knew she would do anything for him. Their partnership was stronger and more meaningful to her than what she shared with Sully, but I don’t think her feelings were romantic. Or at least, she’d never label them as such, even to herself. Brennan, at the time, thought romance meant physical attraction, but what she felt toward Booth back then was an intense emotional connection, trust, and comfort. Nothing she knew at the time taught her that love could feel comfortable, so she wouldn’t have any idea that what she felt might be the beginning of love.
        I agree that season 6 was a turning point for her. You could see all over her face that when she came back to him, she knew she loved him. (I love that she couldn’t hide it. For all of her compartmentalization, her love for Booth was still right on the surface–like his for her after the coma). I think leaving helped her accept that she loved Booth–and once Brennan accepts something as true, she wants to act on it right away!
        But sophia, I see your point about season 4. I don’t think Brennan accepted that she loved Booth until the break between seasons 5 and 6, but I think she started wrestling with romantic feelings long before that. I’m not sure we can pinpoint a moment, but for the purposes of this discussion, I’m going with Con Man in the Meth Lab as a turning point for her. I don’t think she’d date Jared if she felt any romance toward Booth, but by the end of the episode, I think she realized what was right in front of her all along. That speech she gives at the end might not be one of Sarah’s favorites, but it’s one of mine. She’s done with shiny baubles and ready for the family man–particularly once they’ve shared that moment on the bench. In that moment, she starts to realize that there’s more to him and to their relationship than she ever expected.

      • *meant to say: I’m definitely with MJ and Frankie on this one.
        sorry Frankie! Didn’t meant to leave you out.

    • I think that Brennan did love Booth long before Booth realized he was in love with Brennan. In Brennan’s case, it is another example of her using the “I don’t know what that means” excuse, even if it was being used for herself. She just uses that statement as a defensive mechanism when she does not want to deal with subjects that may cause her pain or emotional risk. In the case of her loving Booth in season 3 or 4, she was not prepared to admit to herself that she was in love so she told herself that she didn’t know what love is, she didn’t know what that means. It didn’t mean her love for Booth was not real or that she didn’t recognize it for what it was. She just didn’t want to go there at that time.

      Mj, I really believe you are correct about it taking her leaving him physically, followed by him leaving her emotionally, to force her to admit that she really did love Booth, that she did know what that means.

  3. I have mixed feelings on this subject, so I need to organize my thoughts and I will post later.

  4. Season 4 has some of my very favorite episodes in them. The B/B connection seems deeper and more subtle, gentler in some ways. I’m not sure when Brennan began to think of Booth as more than her best friend-partner, but some acknowledgement was made in Critic. She wanted his baby at this point, although not the emotional connection that could have come with it. I think for sure that her book during the coma dream is her unconscious screaming out the obvious. The darn thing is so personal-the baby with the connection-that it’s got to reflect what she was feeling deep down. She’s a crime novelist, yet her book was a love story with thinly-veiled versions of herself and Booth in an intimate family relationship.

    Almost losing Booth after the surgery seemed to have had a big impact on her, maybe because all the baby talk made her think of all sorts of possibilities with him that she hadn’t considered before. She didn’t admit to herself that she loved him until season 6, but her book shows that she was already beginning to process her feelings on some level a lot earlier.

  5. Damn… don’t pick the easy things, do you?! LOL

    When ever i mentioned the fact that i didn’t (don’t) think Booth loves Brennan, someone always asked me ‘Well… you think Brennan loves Booth then?’ (normally there was some kind of snark as well! LOL) and, even though i’ve thought about this question a lot i really don’t know the answer.

    I don’t think she loved him in S4, that i do know. IF she fell in love with him i think it will have been in S5 i just can’t quite put my finger on the exact moment/episode. I’ll have a think and may be back!

  6. These “love” conversations make my head spin. As has been discussed before, love has many different meanings. So in a friendship way, they have both loved each other for a long time. It always makes me wince when someone says one of them doesn’t love the other (yes, I’m looking at you Laffers, lol). As for romantic love (some people might distinguish that as being “in love”), that’s harder to pinpoint. That part is debatable to me and I like to hear different viewpoints. All I know is that Brennan was thinking about it at the end of S4 when she was writing her book, and she definitely got to the point in S6 where she could no longer hide how she felt and she accepted it.

  7. Off topic: For those of you who are Eddie McClintock (aka Sully) fans, Warehouse 13 starts its new season tonight.

    • Sorry, I need to add that ALPHAS starts tonoght too. That’s the new show with Ryan Cartwright, remember Vincent Nigel Murry. It looks real good. 10 pm EST. Skyfi channel.

    • And TJ Thyne will be on Master Chef, as a guest at a celebrity cocktail party!

  8. I really have no clue when I think Brennan actually fell in love with Booth, nor do I have a burning need to figure that out. I’m content with my theory that she REALIZED she loved him at the end of The End in the Beginning (but consciously chose to not do anything about it), ACKNOWLEDGED that she loved him in Maluku (chose to recognize her feelings for what they were, but was still unwilling to act on those feelings), and ACCEPTED that she loved him at the end of The Doctor in the Photo (finally chose to do something about it).

  9. I think love is ever evolving, so to know exactly when and in what way is tough to pinpoint. You know what I really want to know? The answer to that age old question: Who was Dr Wyatt talking about in Mayhem? Who struggles with it? I do believe the writers left it open to interpretation on purpose, but I would love to know what their thinking was. (and I know we’ve been down this road before. It just drives me CRAZY because I can see it both ways!)

    They love each other. I fully believe that on some level, in some way, they have from early on, acknowledged, unrequited, compartmentalized, ignored, unrecognized, friendship and otherwise. It’s always been there.

  10. Wow, you guys blow me away. I have to admit that when I thought up this question for IAYA, it was one that kind of flew off the top of my head. Something I’d briefly pondered and knew the fab folk of Bones Theory would have something interesting to say about (as ever) but I didn’t think about it in terms of the knowledge, acceptance etc of her love for him. It was more that, in the deep recesses of my brain, this was a feeling that had been floating around and I wondered if I really thought it.

    I’m going to think about the pro reasons I have for thinking Brennan fell in love with Booth in season 4. That’s not to say she realised or accepted it then, but I do believe you can be in love with someone either without knowing, or admitting it to yourself. Then, when you finally can’t ignore that truth anymore, you think ‘how on earth did I not see this month’s / years ago?’ at which point you realise that you were indeed in love with them all along.

    This comes about for me because part of me doesn’t think she was in love with him at the end of season 3. For the purposes of this comment, I’ll identify three types of love 1, you ‘love’ your friends, 2, are ‘in love’ when there’s a romantic, sexual and particularly strong emotional bond and 3, the deep love you feel for people with whom you’ve been ‘in love’ for a long time and have built a life with. I’m positing that 3 comes after 2 and you can feel 1 for many people. Season 4 I think is when I see Brennan moving out of the type 1 love into type 2.

    Brennan thought she had lost Booth at the end of season 3. I know Brennan compartmentalises and we only saw five minutes of her reaction to his ‘death’, but it has always annoy me how they showed her reacting to it. I’d have liked a tear. Or a hug. Or some expression that she’d struggled in the two weeks she believed he was dead. And importantly, I don’t believe it would have been out of character. But alas, twas not to be. And then we had the loss of Zach. Both these episodes, when I look back at them, give me quite a strong ‘friend zone’ feeling now. Or at least until I consider something that perhaps has been overlooked in the more highbrow, dramatic, storylines of the time. She saw him naked. I think anyone coming across the visage of a naked wet Booth would find themselves leaning firmly out of the friend zone 🙂 Could this have been the catalyst for all the changes we saw in season 4? I jest. Mostly.

    Then comes season 4 –

    The changes in how I believe Brennan sees Booth are in three key areas that I think go to the heart of why she grew to love him; his sensitivity, his sexual magnetism and his innate goodness.
    Yanks – the idea of Booth as sexual is floated by Pritch. Booth as ‘Everest’. Sews a seed of an idea.
    Outhouse – I believe it’s after this episode that Brennan stopped engaging in casual ‘urges’ sex. She’s open to the idea that there is more out there.
    Finger in the Nest, He in the She, Skull in the Sculpture – several episodes close together that all emphasise the sensitive, emotionally intelligent side of Booth.
    Con Man – Brennan realises she’s ignored the quieter qualities of Booth for brasher, shallower qualities in others. She’s acknowledges she’s overlooked him in the past.
    Passenger in the Oven and Double Trouble – both address Booth as a sexual being – his role play fantasy of the librarian and her willingness/enjoyment of role play during the knife act. She enjoys the freedom of playing Buck and Wanda.
    Fire in the Ice – they date. It’s cute. They allow themselves to indulge in each other, push the boundaries of their relationship a little. She also sees him as an alpha male on the ice and topless again, which never hurts.
    Hero in the hold – she’s faced with his mortality again, and this time it seems to affect her much more. I believe at this point she is bother better at expressing her feelings than she was at the end of season three, but also that she is feeling more.
    The Bones that Foam – she’s reminded of Booth as a sexual being again as she pays for his lap dance (hilarious) And seems to quite enjoy it I must say.
    Salt in the Wounds – at the end of this episode she watches him through the window of the diner talking to the kid about the importance of fatherhood. I know some people see this as the defining moment of when she decided she wanted a baby with him, but I see it more as a moment where I can almost see her thinking ‘he is such, such a good man’.
    Science in the Physicist – they share another hot moment, when he slams her into the wall after the explosion. Unlike in season 3 when he covers her body with his own in the bank vault when she doesn’t grasp the intimacy of it (instead mocking him for closing his eyes in an explosion) this time, she’s all breathless and pouty (as we all would be, I’m sure). I don’t think it escaped her notice that time that it was a sexually charged moment. She also turned down the advances of the scientist, reinforcing her change in attitudes and feelings that started in Outhouse.
    Cinderella – where she makes the momentous step of admitting that she wants ‘transcendent, eternal’ love
    Mayhem on a Cross – she glimpses the depths he keeps hidden and is trusting and open to telling her own story. Booth’s a good man, she sees again.
    Cabernet – she wants his child, but she isn’t able to articulate truthfully why. Again she has to face his mortality, again it affects her differently than before. It’s a different kind of threat as well. A threat from within.
    End in the Beginning – I think this is what the whole season led to – the quiet acknowledgement, in the privacy of a darkened night time hospital room, of what she has come to find she desires.

    I believe she opens the season with a subconsciously more open mind to him after the events at the end of season 3, and through the season, what she knows about him – as a sensitive, intelligent, sexually attractive, good man is reinforced over and over again. At the end of the season when she has to face his vulnerability in the face of his mortality and the prospect of his loss yet again and after the realisation about her desire for his child, she finally explores those feelings in her book. At this point, I believe she has come not to just love him as a friend (as I felt she did at the end of season 3) but has moved into the sexualalised, emotional attraction of ‘in love’. I think it’s the season of transition for her.

    • I absolutely loved everything you wrote here, especially the little bit about EitB. Season 4 was definitely Brennan’s turning point. My favorite part of this show has been watching them fall in love over the last six years!

      This is my first posting on this site, I have been reading it for a few weeks but your post made me want to comment immediately! I love Bones Theory!

  11. oh gosh, I’m sorry that was so long!

    Also – the last paragraph wasn’t meant to be bold. Apologies. 🙂

  12. I don’t want to come off as a rabid out-of-control shipper here (though perhaps I am!) but after seeing their “real” first case….I still feel that it was a love-at-first sight kind of deal. I read in the above comments saying this is a hard to define concept because love is ever changing and there are different kinds of love….but I do think there is a love at first sight. This is not yet an enduring 30-40-50 years love, but I don’t think that negates it either.

    Watch that “first meeting” again. I have probably a million times myself. That look in Booth’s eyes, and then in Brennan’s as they first meet kind of blows me away. That spark is THERE. Instantly. They both know. Now, obviously, they don’t know each other’s backstories, or flaws, or dazzling truths, but there is the knowledge that this person they have met will mean something to them. That this is something.

    What evolves after that is the more enduring, building a life together relationship…but no matter who they sleep with or start relationships with, they still have each other there. They just “can’t quit” each other. So we can try to pinpoint which part became real, lasting, true love and when they realized that, but there was a physical connection from the get go, as well as a deeper, gut reaction that this was SOMETHING. So, I’m going with a later in the seasons episode, but I guess technically Season 1 since it was first. Kind of :).

  13. Brennan has these moments when she’s looking at Booth, and I feel like if it’s not love, it looks a lot like it. At the end of The Hero in the Hold, she gives him a replacement for his Cocky belt buckle. I don’t think that was easy to find, and I’m sure he didn’t ask her to. But she did, and he was pleasantly surprised. Even though Booth is happy to see it, she sort of smiles, but stays kind of serious, like she was really contemplating something deep. Maybe it was just the fact that he was so close to death and she was so close to losing him.

    • I think it was The Salt in the Wounds when Booth was talking about what it means to be a good father. Brennan was taking it all in. Near the end of the episode, when he feels compelled to talk to the young boy who got all those girls pregnant, I think she is blown away by how much of a good guy he is. She gives him a couple of looks where she’s definitely doing some serious thinking (I’m not as good at breaking down thoughts from facial expressions like Sarah.)

  14. You know, on the subject of Booth and Brennan falling in love with each other, I prefer to think that it happened later in their relationship rather than sooner. Otherwise, if they’ve been in love with each other for 3+ years, known it and didn’t act on it, then that’s just…sad. I like watching the transformation into the different stages of their relationship. Except it’s not just moving from one level to another, it’s like each level is building upon the previous level.

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