Bones Theory

The Theory of Abandonment: Booth vs. Brennan

41 Comments

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?

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41 thoughts on “The Theory of Abandonment: Booth vs. Brennan

  1. I believe that Brennan still has some abandonment issues; but, I don’t think they have the power to influence her life like they use to. She has found peace with her father and brother and has accepted that she loves Booth and wants to have a baby with him.

    I think Booth’s abandonment issues are still there and will influence his thinking for a long time. That he was able to get over his anger as quickly as he did was due to Brennan’s actions and words. She told him she would be there for him after Hannah rejected him and this helped him to overcome the rage he felt against that final straw. He seems to have calmed down now that he and Brennan are now a couple; but, I’m not so sure that his rage is completely gone.

  2. For such a brief post, there’s certainly a lot of meat here. I’m not entirely sure where to begin, so I’ll just jump right in:

    First, in my opinion, Brennan never actually was impervious. She tried to be, and I think she may have believed that she was, but I think a better word would be detached. She felt things…she cared about people, she suffered as a result of the things she saw in her line of work, but she always kept the pain at arm’s length. She insulated herself so that it didn’t reach her core, but I imagine that took a lot of work on her part. Booth is the one who finally got her to open up and allow her to connect: with other people, with the pain she felt on behalf of others, with her own past, and even with sincere happiness.

    I had never considered that Booth had abandonment issues, but I can certainly see your point. I won’t argue that he was abandoned by his parents, rejected by Rebecca, Brennan, and Hannah, and also pushed away by Jared.

    On the other hand, I don’t think he took Parker’s insistence that he could do good things by returning to the Army as a rejection or a form of abandonment. I think it probably made him proud that Parker 1) thought so highly of him and his ability to help and 2) that Parker would put his own needs (wanting his dad around) aside for the “greater good.” There was an episode (I think it was The Finger in the Nest) when Parker was getting bullied by an older girl, but he refused to fight back (“My dad says not to hit girls”), or run away (“My dad doesn’t run away from anything because he’s so brave”). When Sweets told Booth that Parker said those things, he practically burst with pride. So Booth tells Brennan later that he told Parker that it’s okay to run away if it’s just you, but you have to stand up for others. I think that the conversation with Parker about Booth going to Afghanistan was a direct result of that lesson that he got from Booth.

    As for Jared…yeah, he’s a douche. No arguments there. And I absolutely think that he rejected Booth over and over, while simultaneously pulling him back in every time he needed to be bailed out of trouble. But I don’t think he lied to Brennan. Sure, what he said wasn’t actually, objectively true, but I think he believed it. He has a very conflicted relationship with Booth. He’s thankful for Booth’s protection and resentful of it at the came time. I mean, I don’t think you can survive childhood abuse without acquiring at least a few “issues.” He totally overstepped his bounds with what he said to Brennan about his brother, but I don’t think that Jared was intentionally being untruthful. He just has a very skewed version of the truth. Also, he was an alcoholic. That has it’s own set of troubles.

    As for whether or not there is work to be done regarding their abandonment issues…whoo, buddy. I think they both have more to deal with, but I definitely think that Brennan has come farther than Booth in this regard. She used to isolate herself to avoid being hurt, but the sequence of events, beginning with the 100th and on through Hannah, then Booth’s angry rant, and the waiting to see what was going to happen between them…she’s finally realized that the risk is there, but the reward is greater than (and worth) the risk. I think that Booth is conscious of the changes in her, and that makes things easier for him, too. I doubt he’s afraid she’s going to run away for a year at this point, but he’s probably still worried about a possible emotional shut-down. Actually, as I re-read this paragraph it got me thinking that they might be in about the same place regarding abandonment. They’re both scared on some level of the power the other has over them, but they are both choosing to hope for the best and trust each other.

  3. Good question.
    First I think at this point in the story Booth has more abandonment issues than Brennan. I think he may have some issues with trusting her not to run at some point. I don’t think she will run, but her past performance has left him wary of her behavior.
    Brennan on the other hand has grown throughout the series, and although I don’t think she will run, I think she may be fearful at some point. I believe she trusts Booth enough to turn to him when she is scared.
    I do think he trusts her, but in the beginning of the seventh season, I can see him worrying about her commitment to the relationship.
    Booth has never had the opportunity to address his abandonment issue completely. I am hoping in season seven this will be addressed, if not fully, ay least partially.
    Since HH has chosen to not show us everything in their relationship, and I understand that it is impossible to do that, some of these areas may have been addressed off screen. It is possible that they were addressed over the hiatus, but I think more than likely, they will be adressed during season seven, thereby causing the tension between the two, and this will keep us coming back for more each week.

  4. I think the very fact that we have so little real information about Booth after six years almost automatically means that he has issues left. We’ve seen Brennan with her dad and with Russ a number of times and I personally believe most of the trust-related storyline has been used up in this regard. Not that I think Max won’t be bringing his own peculiar issues into the mix, what with his shady activies and iffy connections, but Brennan’s personal problems with him seem to have been resolved. What I think is left for her though is the ability to stay put when things get rough, which is not only about trusting the other person, but trusting your own ability to have the strenght required to hang tough. Sure, we saw her stay with Booth after Hannah and after Vincent’s death, but living day to day with someone whom you now have to defer to at least part of the time given the baby, well, that might be something else. I wonder for instance what will happen if Booth’s life is ever really in the balance. Can she stay with him, loving him as we know she does, and knowing that he might not be there the next day?

    And here’s where I think the marriage issue might become a background sticking point. For Booth marriage means permanence, a tangible showing that you’re not going anywhere. Of course, divorce these days are a dime a dozen, and he knows that, but it’s the ability to commit in the first place that I think he values. We don’t know where Brennan is with that these days. She’s already admitted that she no longer opposes marriage, just that she hasn’t found a good enough reason to get married. So does marriage signify the same thing to Brennan as it does to Booth? I’m certain she knows the value he places on it and what it means to him. Before I get bricks thrown my way, let me just say that we all know Brennan will come through-she’s not going anywhere, regardless of what happens. I’m just wondering whether the writers will make this a point of contention on the show, at least in a subtle way.

    Re Booth: his need to fix everything, to be everything to everyone has never really been touched upon. He’s trying so hard to please, to be liked I’m honestly wondering whether he’ll try to keep this up with Brennan, afraid that if she sees all his weaknesses she’s going to be disappointed. The low self-esteem issue and how this relates to his dad, as well as the violence it occsassionally brings up are stories ripe for development. I hope we get to see it this season.

    PS: about Parker, I’m sorry, but I was personally appalled by the way the writers had him react in The Beginning of the End. No 8-9 year old I know would ever have said something so cavalier to his dad. Sure, go away for a year to a war zone because the country needs you-won’t it be cool if you’re a war hero. No way. It was a plot device to isolate Booth, since no one else said anything to convince him to stay, and I’m not buying it. Kids have a lot of information available to them these days, and a kid that age would be pretty aware of what goes on in the world. Trust me, I have seven and nine year old boys at home. As to Booth’s reaction, look at his face when he hears Parker say this-it’s subtle, but he’s a little shocked, particularly since the whole episode had him looking for one person to give him a reason to stay. That just hurt.

    • Totally with you on the Parker conversation. The writers needed to remove every excuse Booth could rationally have for refusing to go to Afghanistan. Very poorly done, in my opinion. Then again, I can’t really think of a realistic or plausible way to do it, either. So I shrug and say, “Television” with a shake of my head.

      • Maybe what they should have done was have Rebecca take Parker away for a year because of something related to her work. Booth has said in the past that his parental rights were vague

  5. By the way El, great post!

  6. What a great post!

    I don’t believe Brennan has “resolved” her abandonment issues – frankly, I’m not sure feelings that run so deep and have such an effect on how you view life in general can ever really be resolved. So, I expect storylines that deal with both her and Booth, because as you mentioned, we at least know something about Brennan but next-to-nothing about Booth.

    But Parker abandoned Booth? Aiy yi yi. I don’t see that at all. Parker seems to be written much younger than his actual age – shouldn’t he be almost 12 now? – but I never saw his behavior to Booth as abandoning his father. I saw it more as another form of hero-worship – he just expected Booth to save the world and then come home safe and sound. But I also think maria was right in that it was poorly written and mainly used to isolate Booth even further.

  7. this is a fantastic post!

    I have to agree that Brennan’s fear of abandonment has been addressed much more clearly than Booth’s. Does she still have issues? I think so, but I also think that they are mostly resolved. There’s been enough ‘cannon’ in the show to show her dealing with her brother and father, and making the choice to be with Booth. We’ve watched her grow before our eyes. Now, the kind of commitment she’ll have to make to have a baby with Booth is certainly more than she’s ever bent before, but I think she’s up to the challenge.

    Now, with Booth, I don’t think we’ve seen a resolution to his issues yet. It’s possible that finally getting with Brennan has changed things for him, but honestly we don’t know yet what their relationship looks like (come on Nov. 3rd!!).

    Brennan’s decision after she was abandoned, was to shut off and not allow herself to be hurt anymore. Booth continually looked for the person who would love him, and he was shut down over and over. This left Booth with feelings of inadequacy, and as Maria said, low self-esteem. To me, that’s the biggest issue that Booth has to overcome. He feels (felt?) like there is something wrong with him, that makes him unlovable.

    In that past he’s felt from Brennan that he’s not smart enough, good enough to use to make a baby, but not good enough to raise it (just like he’d thought Rebecca felt in season 2), and at the end of season 5 he’s not even enough to keep Brennan around as a friend. When he’s bothered the most, it’s usually by what he thinks Brennan thinks of him. When he thought Brennan viewed him like Broadsky, he questioned himself. When he actually raised his voice at Brennan (a rare occasion) in ‘Con Man’ it was because he felt like she thought he was a loser. It seems there’s a part of Booth that thinks of himself as a ‘loser’ who innately doesn’t deserve love. I think after “Daredevil” Brennan has started to be more sensitive to Booth’s needs, and I’d love to see the show address how they work through these issues.

  8. I SO agree with your opinions regarding the Booth/Hannah situation and it was refreshing to find someone who was willing to put their head above the parapet and say so, lol. It has always been my opinion that Booth was just totally flattered and grateful for Hannah’s seeming adoration of him, something that was obviously thin on the ground for him as a child and subsequently, and Brennan’s rejection in the 100th just compounded that, sadly. His trust and abandonment issues will always be there, they may fade at times but they will never, ever totally be eradicated because they’re too deeply entrenched. Brennan had a pretty good childhood up until her 15th year, Booth’s whole childhood was relentlessly awful until Pops took him in, and he would have been badly traumatized, however much he tried (and tries) to hide it.

    I think Brennan has her abandonment issues under control, and she has definitely softened her previously intractable opinions on marriage, but how far she’s willing to take her new outlook is moot, there still seems to be some underlying stubbornness when it comes to her long-held ‘beliefs’ especially in the area of religion, and I reckon there are still many storms ahead for our couple.

    I think it’s unfortunate that this season is going to be short (even though I totally understand the reasons for it having to be so) and suspect that we are going to have to settle for some ‘done-deals’ rather than being witness to the creation of those’ deals’, something we’ve already experienced (cough -Booth and Brennan sleeping together for the first time – cough) because when all is said and done they will still have crimes to solve each week and they ARE the best ‘crime solving team in America’!

  9. I loved the post and pretty much agree with your assessment of Booth and Brennan’s abandonment issues. I do think that Booth has definite abandonment issues, which paved the way for his Season 6 actions. So that is something I’ve ben thinking about lately. Some people do not like Booth last season. For example, I got into a debate with a poster on another website, who HATES Booth in the 100th ep and subsequent moving on with Hannah/actions and when Brennan gave her regrets speech. I disagreed with her because I feel like I understand Booth’s actions more.

    I mean, Booth came from a really traumatic brain tumor experience where he lived a married life with Brennan in a dream. Angela said that it was like his missed those people and that life. It was kind of like “do or die” time for him. Instead of this constant limbo with Brennan, he wanted to break their stalemate and go for it. And she did push him away, and when he said he had to move on, she said “I know”. So I don’t begrudge him for wanting to find happiness. Because the poor guy needed someone to come home to! And when Booth commits to someone, he does all the way, so when he didn’t respond to Brennan’s “regrets” conversation, I understood. And then finally, some people hate his Daredevil speech to Brennan. I completely get it. I do. Regardless of whether he was thinking correctly or not, he’d felt rejection his whole life. Parents, Jared, women in his life, Brennan, Hannah…and by golly, he’d had enough.

    And Brennan, to her credit, finally got her social/listening/good friend skills working right, and just sat there, listened, and told him she’d stand by him. Which was all he needed to hear that night. The romantic stuff can happen later. Which it did!!!

    So I think while Brennan has made great progress on her abandonment issues (she still has work to go obviously), I think Booth is just now getting hit with it. And the way he looked at VNM’s hearse as it pulled away…makes me think they will delve into this more. We still know very little about Booth’s backstory.

    But yes, both of them have abandonment issues that they will have to continue to deal with, but I do think they’ve resolved them enough at this point to be together…and now they can help each other through the rest! 🙂 With a baby! 🙂

  10. I understand that both Booth and Brennan have abandonment issues in regards to the other people in their lives. I believe they are working through those issues as time goes on. However, this line, “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,” caught my attention. I think you’re right. I’m thinking solely of the Booth/Brennan relationship though.

    I’m not really thinking about the reasons behind the actions, so much as the actions themselves at this point. I can remember four major times that Brennan has abandoned Booth. In the 100th, we learned that she left for a year after the argument they had on their first case together, deciding leaving was better than working through anger. She quit working with him for months after Zach left for the middle east, using the excuse that she had to be in the lab when she was in all actuality avoiding Booth out of anger. When Booth woke up from his coma dream thinking he and Brennan were married, she high tailed it outta dodge and went on a dig rather than staying with him and working through the issue. When things became overwhelming in the time leading up to and after the Gravedigger trial, Brennan made a decision to leave for Maluku. (And I very firmly fall into the camp that she decided to leave before Booth did and that Booth’s decision was a consequence of her leaving the partnership. I don’t think he would have ever seriously considered going to Afghanistan if Brennan had stayed.) Not only did she leave, she didn’t contact him for seven months.

    So…there are the four times I can remember off the top of my head that Brennan abandoned Booth. At least to my way of thinking. I suppose people could argue that he did as well, because he allowed it to happen, didn’t fight to stick with her, etc. But the action of departure was initiated by Brennan in those instances. I’m sure someone will be able to refresh my memory, but I can’t remember any times where Booth has so significantly abandoned Brennan. I do not count his ‘I have to move on’ statement or his hooking up with Hannah as abandonment…for a few reasons, the main one being the fact I don’t think anyone should have to sit around and wait for some indeterminate time while the object of their desires comes around and decides to ‘give them a shot’. There was absolutely no indication from Brennan that she would change her mind and decide to pursue a relationship with Booth. He had every right in the world to move on both of those times. Like I said…she left first. The first time he acquiesced to her request to remain partners and the second time he hadn’t heard from her for several months after she severed their partnership. What was he supposed to think?

    I guess my point is this…they both have abandonment issues they need to work through due to their respective childhoods. However, when it comes to Booth and Brennan as a couple…Booth has far more reason to worry than Brennan. The beautiful thing, again, in my opinion, is that I don’t think he’s going to worry as much as he has a right to. I think his faith and trust in Brennan are strong enough that he won’t allow those issues to become larger than they need be. Without hesitation, Booth has come back to Brennan time and time again when she returns. While I don’t think Brennan’s faith and trust in Booth are quite as strong, she has made great strides in that area over the years. I think once the two of them decide to go all in…they’ll do just that…be all in. So the abandonment issues will always be in the background and may color some of their decisions or reactions, but I believe these two are strong people. Fear is an easy emotion to give in to and it takes a great deal of fortitude to overcome its pull. I think Booth and Brennan have what it takes.

    • I forgot about her refusal to work with him in the field after the Zack episode. In some ways, Brennan has unconscioulsy used her ability to leave as a weapon as well as a line of defense. Just like in Passenger in the Oven, Booth is always the one left wondering about her commitment to their partnership (see also the “you wouldn’t even have coffee with me?” comment). When she didn’t turn up right at the beginning of Vincent’s memorial in Hole in the Heart I believe the viewers, through Sweets, were left to wonder if the events had been too traumatic for her and she would run again. It was nice to see that Booth was sure she’d show up, even if he didn’t know how she’d feel about him personally.That’s why that moment where she walks up to him and takes his arm is so meaningful; it was not only a reaffirmation of Booth as a partner but as a man as well.

      • @Maria…”You wouldn’t even have coffee with me?” breaks my heart! He looked so sad! And even Brennan was like “oops”. haha But that kind of stuff is honestly why I’m happy they are having a baby, but I want to pull Brennan aside and go, “You’d better not hurt my Booth, anymore, hear me?!?!”

      • I agree maria & bb. It was good to see her grab the bull by the horns so to speak when she took Booth’s arm. She didn’t run. She didn’t shy away. And yes…it was a reaffirmation for Booth.

        I want to give Brennan the same speech she gave to Hannah: Remember…he gives his whole heart…don’t stomp on it Brennan! (Or you got me and a whole lotta other folks to deal with!)

    • Well said, ceeray. And quite frankly, its one of the reasons I’d like to see marriage for them at some point. Marriage is a both legal and public statement of your partnership. It is a declarative statement, that you are planning to build a life with this person and you want everyone to know it. I would like that extra piece of mind for Booth, not only does he want to be married, but it would be a measure of relief that she is not going to leave him again. (Not that its 100% foolproof or anything). But it would just be nice to have Brennan make that public and more lasting commitment to him.

      And if she doesn’t, I’m free Booth! Just sayin’.

    • ceeray3,
      I don’t think she will hurt him. I think the reason she refused and then left after the 100th, was because she didn’t want to hurt him. IMO I think she is ready for this next step, maybe not marriage yet, but at least the commintment to a relationship.
      She knows Booth so well by now, that she knows how much it would hurt him if she changed her mind. I don’t think she will do that. Her rational mind has decided that this is the road she wants to take now, and I believe she will give it 110%. Even though she would say you can’t give more than 100.

      • Kimberly,
        I agree. Like I said, once they make that decision, they’ll be ‘all in’ with no take backs, no changies. I think they’ll be completely committed to each other. I honestly don’t think she would have told him about the baby, at least not so soon, if she wasn’t ready to cross that line into a full relationship with him. I could be wrong about that, but…in my heart, I don’t think she would have. But, I do tend to look at the world through rose colored glasses! Especially when it comes to tv/movies/etc. But we did see that she had regrets in DitP, so, yeah, I think she’s all in and won’t hurt him if she can at all help it

        I hope I spelled that last line right. I can’t see the screen because icons are covering it. 🙂

    • The only time I can think of that Booth ever “abandoned” Brennan was in between the Wannabe in the Weeds and the Pain in the Heart, when she thought he was dead. I know it wasn’t his fault, but I think it’s safe to say that to Brennan, it was a breach of trust. More importantly, I think what made her so angry was not his action (or, more accurately, his inaction), but how deeply affected by it she was. I think she saw it as a sign of personal weakness that she her happiness was so dependent on another person.

      • CJsMom,
        Oh yeah! I forgot about that one. He didn’t really know he was abandoning her, but like Brennan says…he coulda checked to make sure or gotten in touch with her himself somehow. So, yeah, that’s one tick mark on Booth’s side. And…a biggie really. Booth always knew where she was even though he was hurt she left. She thought he was dead. Big difference. And you’re right about her reaction to it. Especially given the fact that it was earlier in their partnership…before she’d had time to evaluate her feelings. It was a gut punch for her.

      • Yeah, that and Zach’s betrayal was kind of the start of downhill slide for Brennan and Booth that they are just now recovering from

    • I wonder if we will see Booth give his whole heart. It has been stomped on enough that one could understand if he was tentative in this new relationship. On the other hand, if he thinks of it as the thing he has really wanted for so very long, then he could just jump in with both feet. Personally, I would like to see Brennan having to convince him that she really is all in.

      • Huronia,
        I’ve wondered the same thing. I fluctuate in what I think. But…in my heart of hearts, I think he’ll give himself completely. It’s his nature. And he was the first one who pulled back and said he wasn’t ready in Blizzard. I don’t think he would have slept with Brennan if he hadn’t been ready to follow through with a relationship.

  11. A very thoughtful post! (Or should I say posts?) Brennan’s ability to reach out to Booth even at the risk of losing him the next day is telling for her. Booth, on the other hand, is still somewhat of an enigma and probably has some deep-seated fear that things could still go awry.

    What kind of commitment they have to each other will probably allay some of his abandonment issues. But that’s the question, isn’t it? If they are a “loosely committed couple”, which I doubt, then there’s always the possibility of abandonment. If they are a “heavily committed couple” even without the benefit of marriage, then that might certainly heal wounds for both of them. I think they’ll be somewhere in between. And that’s going to be fun to watch.

    The baby’s an anchor as are their feelings and I think both of them are going to face issues with their feelings of abandonment because of this new relationship. Brennan’s come a long way and is more self-aware. Having a child sometimes makes people revisit their own childhoods and retrace their issues along the way. Booth will have those opportunities and will probably need them.

  12. Abondonment issues are never resolved. There can be questions that are answered as to why it happpened, but the person that has been abandoned never gets over it totally regardless of the reasoning behind it happening. It is something both Booth and Brennan will alway have in the back of their minds, regardless of the relationship they form with each other. They will probably be more vigilant in how they approach a relationship with each other. It will always be one thing that both have in common and they’ll adjust in order to assure the relationship works. If it doesn’t work between them, it’ll be because they are holding a little piece of themselves from the other, in order to protect themselves.

  13. I think we’ll continue to see these issues. I have a feeling that complete trust between the two will be a major issue in the future and having the baby will muddy up the water a bit. I’m sure Brennan will continue to be guarded w/him despite what has transpired. And Booth will probably wonder…does she really love me or are we together because of the baby..and visa versa. Of course, at this point we’ve no idea if they will be “together”. It should be interesting.

  14. I don’t know if it is an abandonment issue or not, but I this is what I saw in S5 finale:
    “We can’t possibly replace you.” from Cam to Brennan.
    “We need you in Maluku.” from Daisy.
    “I love you and I want you to be safe.” from Hodgins (as interpreted through Brennan and Hodgins’ portable flip chart)
    Everyone at the airport to see Brennan off.
    And this is all really wonderful. How great is it to see how much her family cares?

    And Booth?
    “You are highly qualified.” “You seem like you want to go.” from Brennan
    “You have to make your own decision.” from Caroline
    “You’d be saving lives.” from Parker
    No one said, “I’ll miss you.” or “I/we need you.” or “Stay.”

    Hard not to fall into someone’s arms who seems to adore you, who wants to follow you. At least at first. I think the last few episodes of last season showed us, however, that Booth can see that Brennan does need him. She stayed by him in Daredevil. She met his challenge in with the chupacabra ep. She made it clear that she is now always on his side.

    I don’t see Brennan having major issues re: abandonment at this point. Psychological things like this never truly leave someone, I don’t think, but from what I can see, she seems to have worked through most of her stuff – she’s really come into her own. S6 was (most of the time, but not alway) a great one to really showcase that.

    • Wow. That’s…very telling. Love the way you condensed everyone’s responses to B & B leaving. I hadn’t ever noticed the disparity there.

    • When you put it that succinctly you really can see that Brennan made her own kind of family. It broke me a little that there was no one in Booth’s life who valued him enough to ask him to stay. What followed from there was almost an inevitability. I think Booth had to throw down the challenge in Daredevil. For a change, he was going to be sure of where he stood. Although in terms of character growth it makes perfect sense for Brennan to be past this issue, particularly when it comes to knowing where she stands with Booth, I can’t quite have enough faith in the writers not to dust off this old issue.

    • While I agree with the point you’re making, I do think it’s unfair to put Brennan’s airport departure in there as if the group went for her but wouldn’t go for Booth.

      She and Daisy had a finite departure in a public airport. That’s not the way the military works. Yes, you get the big public fairwells when a local national guard unit all leave at one time but the actual flight overseas is not always publicly accessible. And if it’s just a few soldiers going and they leave from a military airport, there’s no way for family and friends to be there to say goodbye.

      Booth had obviously already rejoined a unit (haircut, uniform). His group goodbye could have been another of those things that took place off-screen, on one of his last free nights as a civilian. Of course, we didn’t see that but I just don’t think Brennan and the gang wouldn’t have sent him off properly.

      • Sure, there might have been a send-off for Booth. I would certainly hope there would have been one.

        But since we didn’t see it, that is why I’m not including “no one showed up to send him off” in my Booth list above. Just went with what I saw. 🙂

      • Yea, we have to go with what we see, which makes this one more frustrating ‘thing not seen.’ What they showed us does make it look like everyone loves Brennan, nobody loves Booth. And that’s so aggravating because, although I just can’t believe that’s what happened, we aren’t given any evidence to say it didn’t.

        Grrrrrr.

      • I think the reason that they didn’t show Booth’s send off was because the show is called “Bones”, and the writers have always leaned toward showing her reaction not Booth’s.

    • What really strikes me about this is how they were each hearing what the other wanted/needed to hear.

      Brennan didn’t want to be needed. She considered personal entanglements to be compromising. She was trying not to need anyone and not to be needed in return, but everyone was telling her how invaluable she is (personally and professionally).

      Booth was desperate to be needed, but everyone was saying, “Go your own way. We’ll be fine. Don’t worry about us!”

      Janet, your analysis makes me see that episode in a whole new light. I might just watch it tonight.

  15. Great food for thought. The abandonment issue is such a part of Brennan’s personality that I don’t think it will be completely overcome by her or the writers. I do find it gets played a little too often and if Brennan really looked at the evidence, she would find Booth has been a constant in her life, when she allowed him to be.
    I’m not sure I would call what Booth has experienced abandonment, but he certainly does have his own issues to address. Where it comes to Brennan I think he should be a little skiittish. It has only been in the last part of Season 6 that Booth relied on Brennan in any emotional way. This has been a real source of inequality in their relationship. She needs to step up in a major way to make this work and I hope that we are not left with lazy writing that has them reverting back to their previous season selves.
    By the way re: Parker. What a sorry excuse for writing that was.

  16. I think the way Brennan told Booth about the baby said something. Brennan, I think, was worried about what Booth’s reaction would be because she wanted him to be happy. I think she hoped that even though it was so early in their new relationship that they could handle this new element. I think she wanted him to want to be part of it, the way he wanted to be part of her child’s life when she asked for a “donation”. And, well, I think she got that and more. I think Brennan does know what Booth wants from a relationship and that means being all in. As for Booth? I think Booth has seen Brennan’s loyalty and it “dazzles” him, his only question in the past was what her feelings were for him. I think if Booth feels she’s in, he won’t question it. How they define commitment? THAT, I think, will be the debate as well as how they blend their world views into a view they can present to their child. And, yes, I do think there will be challenges to their relationship but as we saw in EITB, I hope B&B trust one another. Abandonment issues do last but I hope they can trust they will be there for one another and their family. I also think if Brennan has any doubts, it’s about whether or not she is strong enough to be there for her family. Can she handle loving someone who puts their life in danger every day? Can she be a loving mother to her child? And Booth? Can he be worthy of his family’s love? If he gets even a resemblence of the type of family he’s maybe always wanted for himself, can he make it work? or can he just relax and not always feel he has to “fix things”? Booth and Brennan have always been protective of each other and I think and hope they can reassure one another.

  17. Okay, I’ve had something on my mind for a long time, and this post seems about the right place to say it. It’s about Brennan’s “abandonment” of Booth after he came out of his coma. She didn’t leave until the doctor said he was okay. But I don’t know if we really fully appreciate what she had done up to that point and how hard it was for her emotionally. She’s much stronger now than she was then. She was the first one to figure out that something was really wrong. She was already feeling the emotional impact when she was relaying the prognosis with tears in her eyes to the others in the waiting area, even though she shrugged off her own feelings to be there for Booth. Then Booth asked her to be there during the surgery even though she’s not a medical doctor. Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved the fact that she was there for him like that and it meant so much to him that she agreed, but sometimes I wonder if it was really fair of him to ask that of her. Since brain surgery isn’t an area of her expertise, no doubt she had a harder time compartmentalizing as she watched his brain being operated on. And to follow that up with a bad reaction to anesthesia and being in a coma for four days, and when he woke up he thought she was his wife and they were having a baby? She kept him company for the majority of the time it seemed like when he wasn’t okay. I know Booth is the one who just went through a major surgery, but Brennan took an emotional beating during that time. So maybe she should have stayed by his side longer and been there for his full recovery, but I can cut her a little slack because I believe she was so overwhelmed by it all, and like I said, she didn’t actually leave until she was told he was in the clear.

    • I never thought she abandoned him during that time, but you make a great point. It must have been emotionally draining for Brennan. When she returned, she was surprised that he hadn’t returned to work, so the doctors must have told her that he would be ok.
      When I watched that episode, I thought she had stayed in the room with him most of the time until he woke up, so I think that shows that she didn’t abandon him.

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