Bones Theory

IDKWTM: Lynchpin


*crawls out of work induced cave* Hello out there! SO sorry for the lack of posts last week (or at the very least, the lack of saying there wouldn’t be posts), but now I’m back and ready to talk some BONES again. I was trying to do some rationalization the other day and maturely accept that it really makes sense not to have a couple of BONES eps air at the end of September only to have the show take a break for the Cincinnati Reds to win the World Series (see how I snuck that in there? 😀 ) and then come back and air more episodes in November, right? It DOES make a lot of sense. But there’s still a small part of me that is thinking, “Wait, it’s August 1st and we STILL have three entire months until a new episode?!?”

I’m sure we’ll survive!  Okay, here is something I’ve been thinking about lately…

Who actually IS the lynchpin of the team(s)?

When the season six premiere aired, and the ‘lynchpin’ talk was hot and heavy, I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, I was annoyed (as you probably know) with Cam when she was so aggressively upset with Brennan for having gone away, even though Brennan had gone away before, there was a definite amount of time specified, and all of that. I never quite figured out if Cam was jealous that after Brennan left no one else wanted to stick around, or if there was something else going on there (for example, that Cam was annoyed that her good friend Seeley J Booth was back in a war zone, and she saw Brennan as somewhat responsible for that, a la Brennan being annoyed with Booth in season three about Zack being in Iraq) or what. Thoughts on that? Basically, I thought Cam was kind of out of line.


I also really, really liked the idea of the possibility of a season where Brennan would begin to see just how valuable she was to each member of the Jeffersonian team—not just as the premier forensic anthropologist in the universe, but as a person, right? She’d arrived back from the Jeffersonian with a new outlook on life and how she was going to approach her relationships with people. But I was kind of disappointed that in a lot of ways, that part of her character got muddled and with the exception of the season premiere and her reflection to Booth on Vincent Nigel Murray’s death, there weren’t a lot of moments in the season where she considered her role in the lives of the people she worked with or who worked for her.

That’s sort of getting off topic, and my main question is about the lynchpin aspect. Is Brennan the lynchpin? If so, while she claims to be it –based on her professional self-assertions- does she really ‘know what that means’?  Brennan herself (and the show, so to speak) alluded to the fact that Caroline was really the lynchpin, but I don’t think that’s realistic, considering Caroline, though awesome, isn’t as involved with everyone in the show.

Owl’s last two fantastic posts (scroll to the right side of the screen and down to check out the links for those) were about family and the way the team was slightly disjointed this season (on purpose), and I was thinking about those as I was thinking about this idea also.

Who would you say is the lynchpin? Who is the glue? Also, has it changed since the series began? For example, the squints have a loyalty to Brennan, basically from day one. But is it Booth’s friendship and partnership with Brennan that allowed her in the early days to be more open to interpersonal relationships with her co-workers?

Does the lynchpin idea even apply to the characters on this show, OR was it already negated in the season three premiere by the ‘center’ metaphor?


Peace, Love & Bones,



16 thoughts on “IDKWTM: Lynchpin

  1. IMO, Brennan is the linchpin but Booth is the axle in the wheel.

    I go back to PitSotW. The Jeffersonian team was already there, minus Cam and the revolving door of interns. They were already working together, they were already a unit.

    Booth and the cases he brought to them gave them a different purpose and that new sense of purpose allowed the seeds already there to germinate and grow and become something bigger and better. Hodgins even said something like “Does anyone else feel like we just got a glimpse of something really cool and then it was gone” or words to that effect.

    A linchpin is just a pin without the axle and the wheel. Together, they can move. Separate, they’re just pieces.

  2. BT is baccccccccccccccccccccccccck! Squeeeeee!!!

    Ok, coming back.

    I would have to say that Temperance Brennan is the lynch pin.

    1. The show is named after her.
    2. She brought Angela to the team, enabling her to meet Hodgins, etc, etc.
    3. Booth became “close” to the squints which he never would have without her.
    4. Booth took on a partner for the first (and only) time helping him to not stay a loner.
    5. After she decides to jet off to Maluku, everyone on the team splits up too because she’s not there. Booth goes off to war, which he presumably wouldn’t have if she had been receptive to him.
    6. Has been an intregal part of Sweets imprinting on them and finding a home with them.
    7. Without her, the B&B crime fighting duo would not exist, and most crimes would have gone unsolved. (Like Gemma A’s ear part found in the car)
    8. Russ and her dad would probably be way worse off than they are.

    I think the Maluku thing is my biggest piece of evidence that it’s Brennan. When she decides to leave, basically everyone else follows and scatters. What else is there to keep all of them there, and working together but her? If Booth left, the Jeffersonian team could keep working. If a squint left, there are plenty of others waiting to fill the spot. If Cam left, they could ask Dr. Goodman back, etc. Going back to Kathy Reichs, the show is centered around her because the books are, and forensic anthropology. Without that focus, it’d be like every other crime procedural. So that’s my vote!

    And yayyyyyyyyyyyyy for a new BT post!! 🙂 🙂

  3. I am not sure I would go with the linchpin theory. Like MJBush said, Brennan already had her team when Booth entered into the picture. BUT. I do think that Booth is the one that everyone counts upon to expand their universe. I know that sound sexy; but, I don’t mean it that way.

    Brennan and her team worked on old bones in the Lab and Brennan helped to solve mysteries in places that experienced genocide. She and her lab basically worked in the past. The past is safe. It’s already happened and nothing you can do will change it. That also means that it can’t change you either.

    Enter Booth. He got Brennan and her team of experts to work on murders that happened in the recent past (recent being relative). The bones that Brennan is working with now, belong to people who still have family who are alive and asking for justice. Brennan got to see the repercussions of those recent deaths. She came into contact with people she would never have met if not for these searches for justice. Brennan and her team entered into a new relationship with the outside world. The investigations into these current murders has allowed Hodgins to expand his interest in science (his experiments). It is has allowed Angela to expand her computer knowledge and invent software that probably would never have been needed just looking at the past. It has allowed Cam to enter into the Lab to give the Jeffersonian the prestige of having not just a top anthropologist but a top coroner too.

    I think the relationship between Booth and Brennan is best described as two binary stars circling each other. They both have powerful influence over each others orbit and the planets that circle around them.

  4. I, too, was annoyed with Cam’s attack on Brennan, but for different reasons. I wish it had been a theme throughout the season– Brennan was important to the team and her actions had consequences for everyone else. But it got swept aside like so many things. I really would like to see them revisit it given the baby and the fact that motherhood might really disrupt the lab and potentially lead to another shutdown.

    But, I digress. I think Brennan had it wrong when she called Caroline the lynchpin. Justice might be the thing that holds them together, not a person, but if it is a person, it really is Brennan. The lab would exist without the FBI, but it would not exist without Brennan and the fact that she gives it purpose. The FBI gives it a greater purpose beyond scientific inquiry.

  5. Is Brennan the lynchpin? Only insofar as the working relationship with the FBI. Booth needed her expertise on a case so the relationship developed from there. Without a forensic anthropologist there is no need to access the Jeffersonian. She was already established at the Lab and with Hodgins and Zach although she wasn’t really working with Hodgins. She and Zack worked together, but Hodgins wasn’t really a part of their work. It took all of them working on the case to bring them together as a team, especially once Brennan brought Angela in to help with the victims face.

    I certainly would not say she was the glue that held them together at a personal level. Professionally yes, personal-no. It seems like Booth and Cam and perhaps Caroline kept in touch while they were away, but Brennan appeared to have no problem with cuting off all contact with everyone. I thought Cam was right to say that by Brennan leaving like that for such a long time she did destroy something really good. (A great crime solving team at the least). I agree with Seels that Cam’s anger with Brennan was partly on Booth’s behalf as well.

    I don’t think the fact that they perform like a well-oiled machine is due to Brennan. As MJ stated, she is only part of the wheel, without the other parts, nothing works. Hodgins even told Sweets that Cam made them more efficient.

    They could all manage their personal relationships without Brennan at that time, (not now obviously) but without her expertise the professional relationship fails.

    • I too am fine with Cam’s anger. Brennan is certainly free to come and go from the lab as she pleases, but she is not exempt from the results of those actions.

      We were shown that scene for a reason; I’d say the reason was so that we’d see Brennan understanding that her presence or absence matters in the world, she has an effect on people.

      As far as lynchpins go, in terms of that episode, that case – Caroline was the lynchpin. She is the one who reunited them by persuading them each to return in Mastodon.

      As far as the show, as its own entity, Brennan is the title character, the show is about her. Other characters are shown primarily as they relate to her or affect her.

  6. If I had to pick one person I would say Brennan because of the domino effect when she decided to leave. But I also like what MJ Bush said about Booth being the axle. But with the way that different names were brought up, I don’t think the moral of the story was to decide on a particular person – I think it was to re-affirm everyone’s value on the team. How the work that each of them do is very important and none of them are easily replaced.

    Cam’s line didn’t bother me so much, even though I didn’t necessarily agree with her and it may have been out of line. (Honestly, on a different point altogether, I think the writers can do better for Cam.) Of course Brennan has the right to go on digs. I just thought that Cam was speaking more out of hurt. Everybody has the right to go off and do different things, but in doing so, they left Cam behind in the process. I don’t anybody was thinking about her at all, even though by that point they were “family”. Cam took it out on Brennan because I think she views Brennan as the lynchpin. The other reason I’m not sorry Cam said that is because Brennan will sometimes do and say things without considering their impact on others. To be fair though, how was Brennan supposed to know that everyone was going to leave after she said she was? She can’t be held responsible for other people’s choices. But Cam’s comment was an opportunity for Brennan to do some self-introspection. It was probably a factor in Brennan’s decision to stay in DC instead of going back to Maluku because she realized how much she was needed by her team. Her skills are so specialized, jobs come to her. I think part of the reason she decided to keep her main focus with the team because of the interpersonal relationships she formed with her colleagues.

    I think her impact/worth was a running theme. It just extended from the professional to the personal. Her decision to turn Booth down resulted in pain for both of them and a series of events that she was none too pleased with. And working to lose her impervious aligns with the idea that when it comes to love, she’s worth it, Booth’s worth it, them being together is worth it.

  7. Nope. I don’t think Brennan is the lynchpin. My reasoning it two-fold:

    1. Yes, Brennan is integral to the team at the Jeffersonian. But as Lenora said, before Booth came along, the Jeffersonian team dealt with old bones. Without Booth and the FBI’s involvement, they’d still be working with old bones. Which leads me to…

    2. The team fell apart when Brennan went to Maluku AND Booth went to Afghanistan. Hodgins and Angela left because Hodgins had, “no desire to break in a new forensic anthropologist AND a new FBI agent.” The implication is that the FBI and the Jeffersonian could have continued working together with one or even both of them gone, they just chose not to. It wasn’t one or the other leaving that caused everything to break down, it was BOTH, which leads me to the conclusion that…

    As Sarah alluded to in her post, it’s not about lynchpins at all. It’s about the center. In a general sense “the center” is the pairing between the Jeffersonian team (which includes a forensic anthropologist) and the FBI. In this case, that specific center is BOTH Booth and Brennan. Without the FBI, the Jeffersonian is just a research institution and without the Jeffersonian, the FBI is simply a crime-solving unit. It’s what they do together that makes them unique. Bones, the show, is built around what Booth (FBI) and Brennan (Jeffersonian/forensic anthropologist) do together, not what either one of them does on their own.

    As far as Caroline being the lynchpin in Mastodon, I think that had more to do with the fact that she was able to get the team back together than anything more far reaching.

    Oh, and welcome back new posts at BT! Sarah – I hope everything stays manageable at work.

    • Well said. As I read throught the comments, I wondered if it was possible to have two linchpins, because I think Booth and Bones are both needed for the team to work. Using the idea of the center fits.

      Yes, the Jeffersonian would continue to operate without Booth, but Cam no longer would be needed. There would be no need for a coroner, if the FBI wasn’t involved, and I don’t think Cam would be needed for public relations either, because who would she need to relate to?

      Without Bones there would be no research department, because there would be no bones to identify. It is possible that the squints could take on the identification of the bones in Limbo, but it would not run the same, as when she is there.

      So, since the center must hold, Bones and Booth are both needed, besides I want to see the baby.

  8. It’s Brennan and Booth all the way. Brain and Heart. 🙂

  9. I think you could argue Booth or Brennan as the lynchpin. You could argue that Brennan left because of Booth or vice versa.

    Btw, I was also annoyed with the way Cam reacted. When she knew Brennan was leaving she didn’t really protest in any way. She was sad to see Brennan go but gave her permission. So I thought it was unfair to be so upset with Brennan when she came back.

  10. I have no problem with Cam’s reaction. Brennan had a tendency to just do what she wants or needs without considering what it might mean for other people. I can also see where some of Cam’s reaction may have been because Booth went to a war zone because of Brennan.

    My metaphor/simile: I see the Jeffersonian and the FBI as previously separate entities. Each did what it did and did it very well. Then Gemma’s case came along and Booth needed help with the bones. He also found Brennan herself attractive and interesting. Brennan met Booth and found him attractive, if not interesting. There clearly was a spark of some sort right from the beginning.

    They solved Gemma’s case, but came to verbal blows afterward and didn’t have anything to do with each other for a year. BUT, Booth not only wanted to know more about Brennan, he also learned that she could really help him with cases. Brennan may not have thought much of Booth, but she discovered another world. I love when Hodgins tells Angela that Angela made Brennan want to live a bigger life, but it took Booth to make it possible. Brennan discovered something else that was as compelling as ancient bones.

    BUT, both the Jeffersonian and the FBI could have gone on as always if B&B hadn’t come together to solve murders. Fortunately they did and they together are what makes it work. No other agent can work with the squints, and the squints, especially Brennan, aren’t interested in working with any other FBI agents.

    So, I would say that B&B together are the lynchpin or the center. While Brennan’s journey is what drives the show, Brennan would not be “Bones” without Booth. On the superficial level, he gave her the name, but she also would never have left the lab, except for digs, if Booth hadn’t come along. Someone (apologies for not remembering who) described it as Brennan’s story seen through Booth’s eyes.

    I almost see them as two cogged wheels spinning smoothly, but separately and the spinning can only accomplish so much. Each does what it does, but not much else. When they come to together and the cogs interconnect, they can channel their joint “power” more effectively and in new ways, new directions. Not only can they do more, but they get to have more fun too. I love the opening of “Boy in a Tree” when Hodgins and Angela are trying to sound like they are doing something interesting, but just aren’t into it and really want another murder to solve. Booth and Brennan come together and the world opens up for everyone. 😀 Take them away and it all falls apart. 😦

    My metaphor/simile for Caroline in Mastodon is a magnet. They were all drawn back because of her. Getting them back together helped everyone realize what they lost and then they all tried to get it back. It took a while because the center wasn’t holding; the lynchpin wasn’t in place.

  11. PS Glad to have you and BT back, Sarah.

  12. YAY!! New BT post! Glad you’re back, Sarah! 🙂

    I agree with the sentiment mentioned by several people above that the lynchpin is not so much a single person as it is Booth and Brennan together.

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