In the canon of ‘Bones’, both Booth and Brennan have had a difficult childhood. The fallout for Booth has always been framed by the dialogue as an anger management issue while the fallout for Brennan has always been framed as an issue with abandonment. Arguably both partners have felt deep anger with their treatment as children – witness Brennan’s initial response to the return of Russ — but nowhere has the show addressed the fact that ideas of abandonment and rejection are far more potent problems at this point in the storyline for Booth than for Brennan.
During the early seasons, we were shown how Brennan was abandoned by her parents and her brother and had developed an emotional shell to prevent deep feelings from making her vulnerable to future pain. She had become in her own words, ‘impermeable’. Booth seemed to understand this and was instrumental in helping her reconnect with her father and brother. Over the seasons, Brennan has stripped away her impermeability, exchanging it for the strength to connect with others. She’s come to realize that her father left her to save her life, not because he didn’t love her. And she has also come to realize that, in a sense, she was the first to abandon Russ by blaming him for their parents’ departure causing him to vanish from her life. Had she clung to Russ, had she begged him not to leave her, had she told him they had to stick together no matter what, how different would her story have been? Brennan is now reconciled with both Russ and Max and abandonment issues seem to be more or less settled for her.
Booth, on the other hand, before season six, had seven people of emotional importance in his life – his grandfather, parents, brother, Rebecca, Parker and Brennan. Of the seven, only his grandfather has not in some way abandoned or rejected him. His abusive father vanished; his mother, whether alive or dead, was no longer a part of his life from the time he was a child. Jared seems to resent Booth, flat out lied about him to Brennan and has had an historically uneasy relationship with him. Rebecca rejected Booth’s offer of marriage and even Parker in a sense rejected him by encouraging Booth to go off and fight in a war where he had a 50-50 chance of survival. And we all know what happened with Brennan. No wonder then that emotionally bowed and bloodied, Booth latched onto Hannah, who told him she loved him, moved half way around the world to be with him and gave up a job she loved for his sake. His need made him blind to her shallowness and his trust issues prevented him from believing Brennan’s statement that she had made a mistake in rejecting him. Booth threw himself into a relationship with a woman he never really knew (or made any serious attempt to know) and with whom he had little in common apart from sex. When he found out in the most brutal way that all Hannah was interested in from him was a good time, he imploded.
So here is the question. Given that she is now building her own family, do you think that Brennan is finally at peace with the whole concept of abandonment or do you think there is more to be explored on this front? Has Booth’s present relationship with Brennan and their expected child softened his feelings of rejection and closed the door on his feelings of abandonment or is there still work to be done?