In response to Friday’s MAQ, EL commented that “the whole consolation prize remark by Booth has almost become the foundation stone of a new religion.”
I found this hilarious and true. And utterly ridiculous—not EL’s comment—but the fact that it is so true, that the fandom has obsessed over this one line and some, basing their opinion on roughly 8 episodes of season 6, adamantly consider that Brennan has become a consolation prize.
I hope I don’t offend anyone when I say that, to me, that’s utter craziness. All right, if that’s your opinion, you’re probably miffed I called you a crazy, and if you think I’m the crazy one for thinking that Brennan is not and could never be a consolation prize, then we’re even.
As I mentioned in my reply to EL’s post, I took Booth’s comment to simply mean that he wasn’t with Hannah just because he couldn’t be with Brennan. And more importantly, I think that comment was more for himself than for her. Not that I didn’t believe Booth when he said that. I did. I believed that he believed it which is really all that matters. Booth is not the type of guy who would be with a woman who he thinks of as a consolation prize, right? But, in all honesty, Hannah was a rebound relationship. I mean, if not for Brennan’s rejection he would have never been with Hannah.
I think at the beginning, he was very aware of that. He says words to that affect when he proposes. But when she moved to DC to be with him, and he became more involved with her, it important to him that she be more than a rebound relationship, in essence more than a consolation prize. And that’s okay. That’s admirable even. I would have never, EVER, wanted Booth to drop Hannah for Brennan once Brennan admitted she had made a mistake. For some reason, many people seem to want and even expect this and when it didn’t happen, they were either devastated or furious or both. I was devastated after Doctor in the Photo, but not because Booth said “Hannah is not a consolation prize,” but rather because I knew he was trying to do the right thing and it was hurting both of them. I don’t know how many times you have all watched that scene, but there’s a moment, right after Brennan makes her confession where Booth’s face just looks devastated. I remember there was so much anger directed at Booth for that scene. People seemed to think he had rejected Brennan coldly and without a second thought. I have NEVER seen that. He’s gutted and he looks gutted.
I think he could have easily been angry at her. After all, after rejecting him and leaving him, here she is telling she made a mistake when he’s trying to move on. When he’s in a relationship with someone else. How unfair is that? But he doesn’t because he knows that she’s not trying to mess with him, he can see how genuine her emotions are and I think he knows that Brennan is not asking him to leave Hannah. I think when he says that she’s not a consolation prize, Booth is actually reminding himself. He’s reminding himself that even though the woman he’s loved for years has just told him that she made a mistake, he’s made a commitment to someone else. To me it was as simple as that.
Did he want to move on? Yes. Did he want to love Hannah? Yes. Did he do some stupid things in trying to move on with his life? Yes. Does any of that mean that Brennan is now a consolation prize? I just don’t see it.
Personally, I feel like Booth has been in love with Brennan for a while. Certainly not since the beginning or season 1 or two or maybe even three, but for a while now (maybe a post for another day). But even for those that don’t think so—which is fair enough—there’s still no denying that as Sweets as said, they share a deep emotional attachment and have for many years. How can 7 or 8 episodes of Hannah—and in the show time line, less than a year, really overcome the years of partnership between Booth and Brennan.
For six years—and yes, I’m including season six—there have been countless moments that have shown how much Booth cares and admires Brennan. Personally, I feel we’ve also seen that he’s fallen in love with her. She’s the standard. By definition, everyone else is the consolation price. And there’s really been nothing in the show that has made me believe that he feels any different.
And I guess I wonder and must pose the question in all seriousness: are five years of evidence not enough to trump a handful of Hannah episodes? Do we truly believe that Brennan is Booth’s consolation prize?
As professors like to say— Discuss.