Bones Theory

Booth Week: Scene Study Part Two: Con Man in the Meth Lab- Happy Birthday Booth


Good morning! Fun Fact: When this post goes live, I’ll be getting a root canal. Ouch…

In the meantime, let’s discuss something a lot more enjoyable, and that is– the end of this season four episode.

If you recall, Booth had signalled for Jared to follow him outside, and Brennan watched with what appears to be some sad interest.


“Are you bringing me out here to give me advice on your partner? ‘Jared jokingly asks. “Because…I think that ship has sailed.”

“No,” Booth doesn’t really laugh. He’s edgy, and he continues. “It’s uh…it’s what I gotta do here.”

“I gotta stop,” he says. “Do you understand?”

“…Stop…” Jared repeats, unsure what he means.

“Yeah,”” Booth replies. “And you should stop too.”

“I…gotta stop…what?” Jared is getting a little annoyed.

“The drinking,” Booth lays it out there. ” Stop it.” Which, okay…interesting Booth moment there, because this ‘intervention’ of sorts isn’t really encouraging, if that makes sense. Booth DOES have a few major blindspots, and his brother is certainly one of them. Remember at the end of Beaver in the Otter, when Jared invites him to India as a friend, and Booth basically states they can never really be friends, because he’s his older brother? It’s Booth in that scenario that just cannot fudge that line. In this case, he’s still telling Jared what to do, and interestingly enough, it backfires here (but, again, based on future season four episodes), then appears to work when Jared gets sober. Still…in this scene, Jared pretty much reacts in the same way any of my (or possibly your) younger siblings would act if I ‘told’ them what to do or not do.

Jared laughs and says he will “Take that under advisement.” In other words, no.

“I’m serious, Jared,” Booth says softly. “No more stepping in to make things go away.” I can see how hard this is for Booth. He probably always WAS the one stepping in, and this is something Jared even told us (to Sweets) earlier in the episode when he said Booth was like another dad, but one who protects you from your read dad. So it’s very hard for Booth to cut this tie of being there to help out. Because Booth will be feeling like he’s not doing HIS ‘right thing to do’, and we know that is hard for him.

“I carry my own water, Seeley”. Jared insists. And again…interesting. Because when I first watched this scene, I thought…um, hello! Booth gave up the credit for you! But when I re-watched for this, and watched the scene where Brennan confronts Jared privately, there is the moment where Brennan asks Jared if it’s possible that something Jared did might be responsible for Booth losing credit. That is when Jared finds out (and Brennan, too). It’s not that Jared asked Booth to give up the credit. Booth just did do it. Does that make sense? Yes, Jared’s issues did cause the lack of credit, but when Jared says he carries his own water, in this instance, it’s not completely BS, because he doesn’t control how Booth responds. Thoughts on that?

“Now you should go back inside and enjoy your birthday party,” he sort of mocks, which BOO THAT!

This look. OMG, this look from Booth. It’s like sadness and self-loathing and brother-hatred and maybe a little of realizing that Brennan was right, and also barely keeping himself from knocking that glass into the street into the path of another Toyota driving by. And it’s like Connor slept with Cordelia who then gave birth to Gina Torres who turned out to be crazy evil.

“Cheers,” Jared says sarcastically and shakes the ice in his glass. I love that little humorless smile on Booth’s face from this pic above here. He knows it’s not funny, but he just can’t quite believe what is happening. “Yeah,” he grouses. “Happy birthday to me,” and uuuuuhhhhh, breaks my heart!

He watched Jared go inside and then, I love how he sort of looks around first, to see if anyone he knows is watching, before he slams a fist into the bustop. Which also…hotttttt.

Dark. angry, hot Booth—and it was Booth-angst, which if I recall was very new at that time. Sure, he’d had angsty moments, like the end of Soldier on the Grave, but those moments were also to show Brennan’s support of him. Or like when we might see him looking longingly at Brennan when she was with Sully, but…this was new. This was Booth expressing frustration about a situation in his OWN life that he could not control.

Also, Boreanaz has THE perfect ‘wide shoulder to lean hip’ ratio.

*insert fanfare* and Brennan arrives awesomely!

“Hey,” she says somewhat casually, but I don’t think there is anything too casual about this. And it brings me to what  I asked on Thursday…did Brennan sort of stand at the door and watch? Did she return to the group, and then when Jared came in alone, decided to take cake out to Booth? What do you think?

“Are you going to come back in for cake?” she asks him.

“Bones, you know…I just need some time,” he tells her.

“Do you need time…and space?” she asks him. And just bask in the smile that puts on Booth’s face.

“Just some time,” he tells her, and now I can say I’m glad I split this scene up into two posts. That smile on Booth’s face is sort of a “she really does know me” kind of moment, and well, it means more to me than her toast, but even more so, it allows me to see that Booth knows who she is (like she said she knows who he is), and they are all good.

Maybe he’s just thinking about how good cake is here, but I also like to think that he’s a little bit pleased that Brennan is sitting outside with him, and not with the rest of the group, namely his brother.

And of course you know I am ALL ABOUT the fact that Brennan came outside to see if he was going to come back in for cake, but also brought two forks, planning for every possible outcome. One piece of cake–two forks. Loooooooooove. 😀

As you can imagine, it’s impossible to fully convey through screencaps the moment when Booth opens his mouth and says…

“My dad drank.”

It’s just…guh. I do love that we see Brennan’s reaction to it, and that there are no more words for the entire episode.

First there is surprise that he said something like that to her.

Then it’s the reality that he’s had a sad life in some ways that she didn’t know about. I love in this tiny little ‘look down’ that we can see that Brennan is considering the reality, and she is both filing away that ‘fact’ about Booth, but also coming to terms with the feelings involved when you hear news like this from a friend–a partner. I also think that Brennan realizes he’s trusted her a lot to share that information about himself and his past, and she is sort of weighing that too.

This is one of those (one of many) episodes where I would think “how do they go home from there?” meaning…what kind of conversation could they possibly have after this episode that DOESN’T have them landing in bed together! 😀   But seriously, I think in those season four and season five days, there were multiple times (okay, who am I kidding, there have been nearly 100 times in the whole series), where B&B have both just sort of non-verbally agreed not to go there, and so even if one of them had tried to make some sort of move, the other would resist or put natural space between them. My interpretation is that they were always doing it to protect the other one, but that’s a post for another day.

Meanwhile, back to this one, and to Booth. What are your thoughts on his conversation with Jared? And then on his revelation to Brennan?!?

Let’s discuss!

Peace, Love & Bones,


PS…tomorrow will be another round of Rock the Vote 2011, so be sure to come on by and vote!


24 thoughts on “Booth Week: Scene Study Part Two: Con Man in the Meth Lab- Happy Birthday Booth

  1. Shoulder to hip ratio — yum!
    Great analysis.
    On Jared carrying his own water: HE called Booth. Then HE told Booth he’d lose his job. Of course, Jared expected Booth to do something to save his *ss.
    That statement always infuriates me.

    Doing filial obligation this weekend. I may have more later.

    • Angelena, I’m with you on Jared. He may not have known what Booth had to do to get him out of trouble, but he called Booth and expected Booth to save him from the consequences of his own actions. To me that is not carrying his own water. He definitely deserves the derision anyone might feel at that comment from him. The way he acts in that scene, with downing the rest of his drink; what a creep, and a loser! Grr.

    • My absolutely exact thoughts on this issue. He put the burden on Booth, knowing that the guilt would end up getting him off the hook, like it always does. It’s a very toxic pattern that both brothers have fallen into. Patterns are incredibly hard to break; only the realization that Jared could end up doing some major damage to someone else leads Booth to try to break free of this bad habit. You can tell how difficult it was for him; he’s been his brother’s protector for years, and still sees him as a child.

      Re Jared carrying his own water-he can’t even get a date for himself, regardless of what he says. He ends up relying on Booth to find him one. His actions throughout this episode clearly speak louder than words. He pretends he’s capable, but goes the lazy route with everything because there’s never been any major repercussions for him. We can’t blame Booth entirely for allowing this to happen. He was a child when the burden of protecting his brother was put upon him; it’s now a natural reaction for him rooted in their traumatic past.

  2. You’re having a root canal and I’m about to go to bed…

    Great job with this one Seels. I love the trust at the end and Brennan’s quiet support. She knew exactly what to say (and not say) and how many forks she needed.

    And as for hip to shoulder ratio? Couldn’t be Booth Week without some physical admiration…;)

  3. OK Brennan coming out with the cake to ask Booth if he’s coming back in is just great. She came out to bring him back into the party, but brought the two forks to stay out there with him alone together if that’s what he wanted. It was just perfect. I loved that Brennan who is “socially awkward”; who doesn’t read people and admits that she relys on Booth to tell her what to do to be emotionally supportive, knows and understands Booth well enough to know to do that.

    Seels I’m with you too on the whole how did they go so long without ending up in bed together. Goodness there were so many times during the years that at the very least you’d think they would have kissed, something more than “guy” hugs. Oh hey, just thought of this, but one of those hugs would have been good here too. A hug from her to him, instead of the other way around? 🙂

  4. In a sense Brennan bringing the cake out was her form of metaphorical hug. She’s a scientist and curious so like the scene where she watches Booth through the window lecture the kid about fathering all those children, I’m pretty sure she stood at the window and watched the interaction between Booth and Jared. The cake was her form of comfort. It’s a great scene, very subtle.

    [And it’s like Connor slept with Cordelia who then gave birth to Gina Torres who turned out to be crazy evil. And put the moves on Angel, who technically was her grandson. Ugh!]

  5. “My dad drank” is one of my favorite scenes ever on Bones. The quiet, their expressions, the setting-it’s just perfect. Booth telling Brennan about his dad-amazing. You can just feel what he’s feeling:huge disappointment in his brother, guilt about his role in the whole thing, shame about the kind of family life he had-as if it is a reflection of some major flaw in himself. He’s just left himself bare in front of her, even if he didn’t mention the beatings. In his mind, telling anyone about his life leaves him vulnerable and open to judgment, so he never does it. It goes to show how much he trusts his partner. I think it’s also an admission that he’s at least partly responsible for her view of him this episode. If he never shares things with her, how in the world is she supposed to have an accurate view of him? He could have easily stopped that train from derailing earlier, but didn’t. Now he’s made the effort to let her really see him, trusting that she won’t be appalled by what’s there. Beautiful. And DB in that black shirt, showcasing his perfect hip to shoulder ratio? Extra beautiful.

  6. I think the hip to shoulder ratio is why he stands with his arms akimbo in so many scenes.

  7. Obvs, the best statement of fact in the history of ever, “Also, Boreanaz has THE perfect ‘wide shoulder to lean hip’ ratio.” Very astute observation. And soooo true.

    Anywho, this part of the scene is where I totally forgive Brennan for her “oops” moments because she is trying. Her prior speech was awkward, and not totally right…but its just so her. Like when she brought the potted plant to VNM’s farewell, and Cam made her little joke…and Angela said that she did something right…well this is that again. The speech, eh, almost, but not quite there Brennan! But the cake, that was very right. I also think its a very big deal that she knew Booth was hurting and left the party to be with him. She didn’t get the whole Jared/Booth problem at first, but our Brennan is a quick learner, and she “got it”.

    Angry Booth is admittedly very hot, but that sweet smile Brennan brought to his face…wow. He’s sitting there, alone and upset at his own birthday party, and the love of his life comes out with birthday cake for him….really special. And yes, I do not understand how you don’t “buy a ticket on that ride” much earlier than they did!

    Great scene study! Closeups of DB are never wrong 🙂

  8. I love that when B&B have a moment alone, they are always all up in each other’s personal space. And neither seems to mind. It’s one of the things I missed during the first half of S6, that someone was always between them or the corner of the bar was between them or they were on opposite sides or something. Something was always there.

    I mean, look at that body language in the final frames. He’s sharing his family secrets and his body is hunched over, sort of still trying to hold everything in, but his knees are wide and you know, you just know, that every once in a while, she lets her knee rest against his, just to give him a bit of comfort, just to let him know she’s there and listening while he talks. You just know.

    Geez, I love this show. I’m going to miss it when it’s gone.

    • Great observation about body language. I also love that they are always touching each other. Booth’s touching is more obvious but when you start looking for it, Brennan is just as bad (good).

  9. I can empathize on the root canal. I had one last month. I didn’t find it painful, but it was uncomfortable to be essentially upside down for 2 hours with my mouth open. Hopefully, though, you had thoughts of DB’s perfect shoulder to hip ratio in your head to help you pass the time!

    On Jared carrying his own water: He would like to think that he carries his own water, but both relies on Booth to carry his water and at the same time gets mad at him for doing so. Disfunctional brotherly love, I’d say.
    On Brennan, I believe that she returned to the group, with one eye on what was going on outside. The two forks thing was lovely. She knew before she went out there that Booth needed time.

    This is one of those scenes that demonstrates how great ED is at non-verbal communication. That look really does show us what Brennan is taking in about Booth, and her understanding (for the first time, perhaps), that her assumptions about affable Booth who essentially sailed through life as one of “those guys” aren’t quite correct.

  10. God, who knew this scene was SO worth the scene study? You, obviously. Thank you, because you are right, this is really fun to take apart. First, he took the frosting! I imagine they already know this about each other, and she turned the plate so he could have the frosting. Wow. Second, I hope that was really good cake. I always hope that the tv cake they get is really good, not some old box cake from two days ago. DB and ED DESERVE GOOD CAKE! In case any production assistants or someone who is in charge of the cake is listening. Third, let’s see if I can get this right. The thing about people hooking up when they are young and hot is that we all know that they won’t be young and hot forever. The really tricky bit, in tv or movies, that when done well makes all the difference is that when you believe that the couple will be, in some sense young and hot to *each other* forever. They look at each other and see each other but they also see all the other thems, including the young and hot ones. Jared, in this episode, allowed the possibility of an uncool Booth, but to truly get to a place where she will always see Booth as cool, Brennan needed to see the possibility and leave it behind, lay it to rest, reject it, whatever. Cool isn’t the best adjective here but work with me, substitute your own word. Anyway, I loved this scene before; now I really love it; I agree with Sarah in every particular, especially the thought that–I have had SO MANY TIMES–in a given scene, I just don’t understand how they didn’t go home together. Such a wonderful mystery.

  11. Every time I see this episode and it gets to the part where Jared tells Booth to go back inside and enjoy your birthday party, well let’s just say I want Booth to slap the glass out of Jared’s hand and tell him to go to Hell. I have absolutley no patience for Jared. I always think it’s a wonder that Booth does. I know he thinks he has to protect his brother; but, Jared is suppossed to be a man and an officer in the Navy. Earlier in the show, Jared thinks it’s ok to make it up to Booth for his help, by giving him tickets for a game Booth may not even be interested in. His “Oh well, I tried” attitude sucks big time.

  12. This is one of my favorite B&B scenes from one of my least favorite episodes. I can’t stand Jared in this. I always think that it’s good that I don’t have a sibling because I’m sure they would be like Jared Booth or Maggie in “In Her Shoes”… When Booth says “My dad drank.” (in my mind) I always say “Mine did too.” and put my hand on his shoulder/arm/knee. DB always plays that melange of conflicting emotions that people from abusive families have so well, particularly when by all accounts he himself had a healthy family and a good relationship with his dad. I always think it speaks to what a great actor he is that he can show emotional contradiction that most people don’t totally understand.

  13. Good stuff. I feel sorry for Booth for the way his brother treats him. What a jerk, although he seems to be less of one now.

    But DB and ED…wow. They just…they don’t need very many lines to do what they do best. What I love, absolutely love about Booth and Brennan is the way that the mere presence of the other can have a calming and lifting effect on their spirits when they’re troubled. It’s not that the trouble simply goes away, it just seems more bearable when they have someone on their side, at their side. This is what everyone needs in life, and it’s so beautiful that they have that in each other. For me, wanting them to be together was always more than just relieving the UST.

  14. Jared wishes he was “Booth lite”. That look of disgust/self-loathing/sadness that Booth gives Jared speaks volumes. You know Booth was really, REALLY, hoping Brennan didn’t sleep with Jared because she’s special and Jared is not. Tortured Booth is SO HOT. In real life those guys are not always so hot, more emotinally exhausting, but then they don’t have the pefect hip to shoulder ratio either:) Booth and Brennan are so great because they are beautiful and dig one another but they are also great friends and partners to each other. What they have is not based on purely physical attraction. Early S6 was so hard because they weren’t close and it hurt us to watch and it was akward for them too. How they held off from becoming more than partners for so long is a great mystery but I think a lot of it was rooted in trying to protect what they had. Booth telling Brennan his father drank was a big moment and Brennan’s reaction was perfect. It actually ties in nicely to the 100th episode when we learn that Booth tells Brennan about his “gambling problem” in a critical moment because he feels they are going somewhere. It’s easy to see how difficult it is for Booth to let himself be vulnerable or to show any form of weakness and yet he’s been able to do that with Brennan from very early on. And that smile Booth gives Brennan? Beautiful. What makes Booth happy? I think moments that are “just between us” with Brennan make him very happy – even when he needs time. Even in the aftermath of DITM Booth may have needed time but space? Nah. Brennan did do the right thing when it counted to the most in this episode and she did the right thing in S6 too. Brennan’s heart muscles are pretty big and she does know how to rise to the occassion when it comes to people she cares about. Sexual relationship or not, I hope we never loose moments like this between B&B because it’s moments like this one that make them special.

  15. I would like to add, that of all the great comments about Booth’s emotional pain, or Brennan’s kindness, that we basically all referenced the “perfect hip to shoulder ratio” quote. Brava, Sarah, for introducing that into our lexicon. I’m sure as I watch the Nov. 3rd premiere, my brain will register that thought as I gaze at Booth in his shoulder holster… probably right before it collapses into a pile of squee 🙂

  16. First of all Sarah, I just have to say….THANKS SO MUCH for doing a scene study on my favourite scene in the series EVER!! I have a big exam I’m quite worried about tomorrow and this really cheered me up!! Thanks 🙂 🙂

    “Do you need time….and space?” is probably my favourite line. I love Brennan’s initiative here. I half expected her to bolt right away, not knowing what to do, but I’m so glad she decided to be there for him anyway!! Looking back at this scene from where we are now, I can’t help but see many parallels with the scene with Booth’s breakdown. Brennan was there for him (as a friend, a partner) for whatever situation they were going through. Isn’t that just great!?!?!

    Anyway…sorry this is kinda short. Got to go now ><" Thanks ^^

    • Yep. And we know Brennan’s actions in the aftermath of DITM – and I think especially the end of DITM – “meant the world” to Booth. Taking that into account, I’m sure Brennan coming out with that slice of cake and two forks probably meant the world to Booth then as well.

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