Bones Theory

Brennan Week: Morning After Q- What Makes Brennan Happy?


Good morning, and happy Friday!

I thought we’d take a look at the same question we asked about Booth last Friday (and thanks again to bbmagic for helping me muse on this one!)

What is it that makes Brennan happy?

Is it her job? If so, which aspect the most? We know she totally digs ancient remains (get it, ancient remains?!? haha I’ll be here all week!), but what about the other stuff? Do you think teaching makes her happy? Does putting away bad guys with Booth make her happy, or does she just do it to help Booth with his balance sheet, like she promised she would in the Pilot episode.

And…does helping Booth make her happy?

Is it her family? Is it seeing her friends happy? Is it Booth? Is it knowing when she has come up with the right answer?

When have we seen Brennan truly happy? If never, then what might it take to make her happy? Is it something she can make happen, and if she did, would she even admit that happiness is possible? Or is it just merely a construct assigned to chemical and physiological reactions?


Peace, Love & Bones,

PS…see you tomorrow for part two of the scene study, and the next round of “Rock the Vote 2011″ will occur on Sunday!


16 thoughts on “Brennan Week: Morning After Q- What Makes Brennan Happy?

  1. The time we see a free, open Brennan is when she is with Micah. Whether he’s real or not, he represents intellect, discovery and curiosity– things that I really think makes her happy.

    Yes, there are people in her life that make her happy, but I think those are her first loves and color much of her interaction with other people.

  2. I think learning new things makes her happy. And she is all about the process of discovery. She’s happy when she’s done something right, she’s happy when she’s figured out something, she’s happy when she is able to help a friend, she’s happy when her friends are happy. Working with such an amazing team and doing good work makes her happy. And I do think Booth has brought some joy and happiness into her life by befriending her and pushing her out of her comfort zone.

  3. I thought she was genuinly happy being with Sully, living in the present, not thinking about yesterday or tomorrow.

  4. What makes Brennan happy?

    1.) Family
    2.) A sense of belonging
    3.) Forensic anthropology
    4.) Security in the natural processes of life
    5.) Booth

    1. Family-We know she places great importance on family. The loss of hers (at whatever age-thanks writers! haha) profoundly affected her. Then, as we get Max and Russ back in her life, we see Booth helping out…in the hospital with Russ and the Christmas tree outside of prison. During both times, we see her reaction to Booth’s kindness is very moving. She’s so appreciative of his actions towards her family. It means a great deal to her. We see her confict in “Verdict” about wanting justice, but not wanting to help convict her father. For the first time in a long time, she was starting to put family above her logic, science, and reason. Later, we see her wistfully telling Booth that she’d be the only one without children, without a family of her own. And again, Booth steps in to help her with that 🙂 But yes, our little Tempe, despite her protests here and there, wants and needs a family.

    2. Belonging-Brennan also craves what most of us do, a sense of belonging. Barring getting that from her biological or foster families, she found it in the lab setting. (A friend of mine joined the National Guard for that very reason. Spurned by her adoptive family, she joined basically to have a place to belong.) When Zach sort of betrayed her, she was crushed. It was losing a part of her family. So in the lab, she has built in family members even when she was estranged from her biological family. Even though she still kept people at arm’s length so they couldn’t hurt her, she still surrounded herself with a surrogate family, because, hey, most of us just want a place to belong.

    3. Forensic anthropology-Like Maluku for example or going after Chinese bones, Brennan gets excited about the possibility of discovery. That was her primary job before becoming a crime fighter with Booth. I think she really enjoys what she does, and likes the fact that she is good at it. It’s in her scientific nature, searching for the truth, digging for clues to the past. Those are the characteristics which are so helpful to the FBI as they solve cases. So even within crime, she is still doing what she loves, albeit modified. But anthropology was part of what saved her from out of her situation as a child, and will always be her “first love”, whether she is a famous author or partner with the FBI.

    4. Security in natural processes- In the oft quoted conversation with Booth, Brennan cites examples that give her faith that things will be OK, like putting sugar in coffee and it tasting sweet. She finds comfort and happiness in the natural processes of life, like the sun rising and setting. Of there being irrefutable facts and truth. When she is going through a rough patch, these processes and the order of the universe, gives her peace and just a sense of contentment, because things like that have always been and she likes that. It gives her that security. Which obviously she hasn’t always had.

    5. Booth- Ah, Booth. Yes, I’d say Booth makes her happy. Sometimes he frustrates her and sometimes he’s running through the rain or prematurely leaving the hospital to save her…but he’s become part of her life. It is his opinion she likes to know, he is the one she’d do anything for, as she told GGW. Booth gives her that sense of family, security, and belonging, all wrapped up in one. And she was definitely reluctant to move their relationship forward, and chance losing all of that. But he makes her laugh, he is her confidant, her shoulder to cry on, and now….father of her child.

    Yay 🙂

  5. Have we ever seen Brennan really happy? I’m not sure. When she was singing karaoke, jumping around on the stage with all her friends applauding her, I think she looked as free and happy as we’d ever seen her up to that point. And it took three years to get to that point, where she could throw off her coat and just be silly…

    ….and then of course gunshot, blood, dead Booth.

    When I’m in my overthinking mode, I wonder if the juxtaposition of those two events is supposed to be the thing that sends Brennan back over the line. Here’s total happiness – here’s total anguish, you don’t get one without risking the other.

    Of course she’s smiled and laughed since then and had happy moments but I wonder if she’s *been* happy. There’s a scene in one of the previews that I think might lead to another karaoke moment….I hope it does.

    • “You love someone; you open yourself up to suffering.” Right? Writers’ intention or not, it is an effective juxtaposition for how Brennan might see her life.

    • “Here’s total happiness – here’s total anguish, you don’t get one without risking the other.”
      I’ve noticed that, too. Because it probably had a part to play in determining if love was worth it.

      “Of course she’s smiled and laughed since then and had happy moments but I wonder if she’s *been* happy.”
      I know what you mean. In TWitW, When Booth wished she could find happiness, she just shrugged a shoulder and said she didn’t know what that was. I really hope that by the end of the next season we don’t ever have to doubt if she has ever truly been happy.

  6. We saw Brennan very happy and excited in The Feet On The Beach when she saw the decaying bodies. She loves her job and it makes her happy.

    She also loves it when she gets jokes. She wants to understand the world around her and she wants to fit in. Understanding jokes gives her a sense of understanding.

    She is usually happy around Booth. She longs for a family and Booth is her surrogate family.

  7. Night at the Bones Museum… love how silly excited Brennan is about the whole mummy discovery – so her field of work, I think, really does make her happy.

    I’d agree with HP that she was indeed happy with Sully.

    And any time we see her cutting loose with Booth… dine and ditch, dancing, singing, letting herself be more than scientist (with anyone, not just Booth) .. this seems to make her happy.

  8. She also looks happy when she and booth are kidding around after a case. Remember the connversation after The x in the file? I think those after case moments with Booth are very important to her, because she didn’t seem happy when they didn’t happen (in the Hanna era)
    Her family is very important to her, but I am not sure if they actually make her happy. I think her Lab-family makes her happier, because they give her a sense of belonging and value. I think her self esteem and her pride in herself is completely dependant on het work.

    • Oh and apparantly writing makes her happy, although why and how she started is something that has never been explored much.

  9. Any time she goes with the moment and doesn’t overthink things she’s happy: karaoke, seashell, running off without paying the bill, tutu, Egyptology, T-Rex, slow dance with Booth (and who wouldn’t be happy with that one?)

    I think she’s also happy whenever she has a “eureka” moment, when she discovers something that makes her understand things and therefore connects her to the world, because her main source of unhappiness is feeling that she’s always the odd man out. It’s one of the reasons Brennan loves anthropology. Even though her profession often makes her an observer, it gives her insights into human behavior that lead her to see herself as part of a group. Along these lines, she loves using colloquial espressions; they make her feel like she’s an insider, hence her “gathering of Guidos” comment. It’s why the plant gesture and her anecdote about Vincent’s favorite song in Hole in the Heart was so important: she’s participating and not just watching. And Booth? The reason she looks at him so closely is that I don’t think she’s ever met anyone who made her want to belong more or that made her yearn for things she didn’t even know she was missing until she met him. Hence Booth+Brennan=happy Brennan (and happy me!)

    PS: on a side note, you’ve probably all heard by now, but DB has a new movie out that opens today calles “The Mighty Macs” which looks very sweet and is based on a true story. I’m dragging my kids to that one, since it’s rated G (no chance of getting the hubcap to sit through two hours of me squeeing through a DB movie.)

  10. I think a lot of things make Brennan happy, but I’ve always thought “learning about people” was what Brennan was the most ecstatic for. Whether it is learning about ancient heritages, studying contemporary culture, or going on anthropological digs. However, her “learning” perhaps is not limited to that….I see that (despite all her pain) she does somewhat get joy from learning about her own history (Max, Russ etc.) as well as learning about her partner, Seeley Booth, but most of all–learning about herself. All in all, Brennan is a person who loves adventure, learning, and discovery.

  11. I think the small things make Brennan happy, things that she doesn’t plan but when they happen she is surprised to find enjoyable.

    Moments like the seashell and the happy memory it brought to mind. Or, staying in S6, being on the Science Dude’s TV show. Her smile was a little self-conscious because she probably felt a little silly but she was also having fun.

    I think making Booth happy makes her happy, like bringing him the Tommy guns.

    It’s part of the pathos of Brennan’s character (IMO), that she has to work a little harder not only to find those small moments but also to recognize them when they happen and then to allow herself to relax and enjoy them. I don’t think it’s easy for her to just “be happy.”

    My wish for S7 is that having a life filled with Booth and a baby will add up to a Brennan who finds out what ‘happy’ really means.

  12. I agree that her work does make her happy. I think she finds a lot of beauty and comfort in the science of it all. 2+2=4 and sugar in her coffee makes it taste sweet:) Brennan avoided interpersonal connections for so long because she was afraid of loosing people or getting hurt again but she has come to do this more and more and it has, I think, made her happier. I think her friends and colleagues make her happy, and being there for them and seeing them thrive makes her happy. And, yes, I do think Booth makes her happy. I would argue that she is just as “dazzled” by him as he is her. He’s a mystery to her in a lot of ways and she came to trust him and care about his POV and did want to learn from what she sees he does, talking to suspects and people to help solve the mystery. And I agree that the simple unplanned pleasures in life do make her happy, happier than she probably ever imagined. She’s taking a big leap with Booth and I thinks she’s ready but seeing her navigate that will be, I hope, fun. I imagine the first time Brennan holds her baby to be a very, very happy time for one Dr. Temprance Brennan. A bond, a new connection and, wow, the science of it all! I think creating new life would be a truly satisfying thing for Brennan to experience.

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