Bones Theory

Brennan Week: She Needs New Friends

39 Comments

Good morning, and Happy Monday!

This is something I’ve been thinking about for awhile. And this time when I say awhile, I mean about six months– I think it’s time Brennan made some new friends.

Now, I understand that this is pretty much impossible within the scope of a tv show–that means character creation, importance, paying actual actors, and having a purpose for the characters that has nothing to do with cases and/or the lab. But that is exactly the kind of friend(s) Brennan could really benefit from. TV doesn’t work that way (and props to Bones for at least trying to address it in some ways in the Cam and Paul relationship) which is why all of the characters end up in each other’s weddings, on the debate team, on the student council and then hanging out together at The Max. Oh wait, that’s Saved By The Bell. My bad.

Haha, but seriously, that type of situation (where the main characters are everything to everyone, so to speak) is unhealthy, in terms of real life.

Let me ask you first: Do you think Brennan needs new friends?

I’m not an Angela fan, per se, and I think at times she can be cruel and condescending toward Brennan in a way that is just not nice (or funny, which seems to be the writers’ idea of how two women are friends). The eye rolling between them used to go both ways at least, with Angela being ridiculous, and Brennan rolling her eyes and maybe laughing. Angela is still who (I believe) Brennan counts as her closest female friend, so when there is ‘scoop’, so to speak, Angela is the one who gets to hear it.

That doesn’t bother me necessarily. What does bother me is the way Angela acts as this “Brennan’s interpreter to the world”, where she will act as this go between if Brennan isn’t sure what someone is saying or if someone else is confused by what Brennan is saying. The “You have blood on your hands” scene at the FBI in Hole in the Heart is a classic example of this– where Angela ‘interprets’ Brennan-speak for Booth. Then later, when Brennan shows up with the potted plant, Angela is the one to pat her on the head, metaphorically, and tell her she did the right social thing. Ugh.

Of course, a lot of that has to do with how the writers write Brennan’s character in the first place, right?

I don’t know…what I’m saying is that Brennan doesn’t need an interpreter–she needs a friend.

The same goes for Sweets, though I’m not sure Brennan and Sweets would consider themselves friends. There is potential there, if in the future. But Sweets will always want to help B&B from a psychological standpoint (this isn’t a bad thing–just not the kind of thing Brennan needs in an ‘outside of work’ friend).

Ironically, what got me to thinking that Brennan could use an ‘outside of the lab and work’ friend were the botched scenes where she and Hannah were presumably friends. The other day, someone commented here that if the writers had left a romantic aspect out of the Hacker & Brennan stuff, the rivalry between Hacker and Booth could have really worked, on a great male storyline. I loved that idea, and I’d never thought of it. But it’s true. The same is true with Sully, in some ways…but that’s another topic all together 🙂

But with Hannah, there were these underlying glimmers of  ‘possible’. It would be nice for Brennan to have a friend who isn’t affected by her work decisions. Hannah of course was Booth’s, so she did not count in this way.

Back in the day, the writers had Dr. Goodman leave on the longest sabbatical in history, and part of that was (according to Hart Hanson) so that they would slowly strip away any counseling-type resource that Brennan had outside of Booth. That worked, but now that Brennan IS with Booth, I think it’s time she had someone else she could talk to. Someone who doesn’t roll her eyes and say “sweetie” in that condescending tone. Someone who isn’t trying to analyze every move. Someone who isn’t the current father of her baby.

Maybe that’s just me. Or maybe I just want it to be me. (the friend part, not the baby-daddy part 😀 )

What do you think? What would a ‘good’ friend to Brennan look like?

Peace, Love & Bones,

~S

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39 thoughts on “Brennan Week: She Needs New Friends

  1. Yeah, I’m kind of tired of the Angela/Brennan dynamic too, but I also feel that way about the Booth/Sweets/Brennan’s never-ending counseling sessions. Booth and Brennan are full grown adults who’ve experienced more by way of life than all the other characters on the show put together, yet they’re often made to look like they need the constant guidance and interpreting skills of their friends in order to make a relationship work. My guess, more of that to the Max (oops, max) in season 7, what with a baby and possibly living together. Actually, I wouldn’t mind more assistance along those lines from Cam and Max; in my op, we never get enough of those moments-and we always know where these two are coming from. But Sweets and his sometimes ambiguous motives and Angela and her “woman of the world-know everything (or at least more than you)” attitude? Maybe a break would be nice. So here’s to new friends (Micah and Agent Shaw, anyone?), but if we can’t have that, then at least show Brennan and Booth working out their issues on their own once in a while. If they can’t make it together after 7 seasons without constant interference from bystanders, then we really have a problem.

  2. I agree that Brennan could use a friend who isn’t trying to “fix” her. I’m not sure what sort of person that friend would be. I think you’d have to be pretty interesting to attract and keep Brennan’s attention. And since Brennan doesn’t play games or follow social scripting, it would have to be someone with a lot of self-confidence and a thick skin.

    Is it Beaver in the Otter when Brennan has the talk with the professor who switched out the math tests and asked Brennan what would happen if she jumped out her window? I remember watching that and thinking someone like that would be a good friend for Brennan. Sassy, academic, sardonic…

    • Yes, it is Beaver in the Otter. I would love to know that Brennan is a college professor and has colleagues like the ones she has in Judas on the Pole. (She was by far the youngest of the professors there and I would enjoy a collegial discussion from the likes of her fellow professors.) I suspect that’s too much to hope for in 45 minutes. But I could see Booth interrupting a lecture to pull her out into the field. . . .

  3. I like this.

    We tend to agree when it comes to Angela (although I may dislike like her even more than you, if possible! LOL My dislike of her is second only to my dislike of Daisy!) and I think Brennan would really benefit from a friend out side of her work.

    The only problem is that, while most of us like Brennan, realistically she is not the easiest person to like or get to know. I think to give her an outside friend, completely separate from everyone else would take too much time IF they wanted the audience to buy it. No one is going to meet Brennan (especially the S6 Brennan) and click with her automatically. It would take a lot of time and effort on the other persons part to really get to the friend stage, which is why I think the group of friends she has now is all they’ll give her,

    Re Brennan and Sweets, in Doctor in the Photo (hate this episode! Just had to put that out there.) Sweets says ‘Dr. Brennan, I consider you one of my closest friends.’, which possibly says more about Sweets than it does about Brennan. Sweets is similar to Brennan in many ways, and I think that the whole ‘only having friends you work with’ can also apply to him. I think he genuinely thinks of Brennan as a friend (as he does with Booth), and when they aren’t in the patient/doctor scenario I think she feels somewhat similarly.

    Totally different note…Angela always being the one to give Brennan relationship advice as well? That always annoys me….I mean, she screwed her relationships up good and proper, she is NOT one to advise anyone else.

    And I’ve finished talking crap now…as you were 😉

    P.S. At any mention of Sully I have to say one thing….I love Sully and I want him back! There….I can sleep easy now 😛

    • OK that makes two of us who thought TDitP was an empty gesture which I won’t go into here. Maybe another post. But yes, if this were not tvland, Brennan desperately needs a friend who isn’t tied to the lab or the FBI. The attempt to make the Hannah character Booth’s gf and Brennan’s BFF at the same time shows just how clueless the writers are regarding how women bond. I agree about Angela. The constant interpreting is tiresome. They could bring back Micah as a real character now and again and have Brennan talk to him but then we’d loop back once more to the lab. A friend she meets somewhere who has interests apart from science and who could be a sounding board for lab business would be good. Male or female wouldn’t matter as long as they don’t try once again to introduce a romantic element.

      As for Booth, the whole relationship with Hacker would have made a great running theme if again they hadn’t had to shoehorn the romantic element in. Booth and Hacker together made for some great scenes. Booth is a grown man with considerable experience and he needs more than the lame-itude of Sweets to hang out with. Angela is always trying to fix Brennan while Sweets is always trying to fix Booth. This wasn’t needed in the first three seasons and it’s well past its sell-by date now. I’d also love some more scenes with Booth and Max. Those work well too.

      • Booth has lost all his friends too, hasn’t he? Sid, Hank the judge who invited him over for dinner in Soldier on the Grave, Ken Nakamura, even Agent Charlie. Cullen was a father figure. Presumably Booth knows those guys on his hockey team.

        I suppose they do it to keep recurring characters to a minimum but I never felt that those other characters took anything away from the main cast.

  4. Well, that is an interesting question. Speaking of Angela, specifically, she drives me crazy most of the time, though she is better than earlier seasons, but Angela I don’t think really considers herself a “work friend” since she’s not really a squint. But I really wouldn’t count Angela as Brennan’s only friend. Remember “Queen Bee”? Brennan, and crew are sharing a drink, and she sort of toasts to them as being her true friends, the ones she never had in high school. The camera pans around to show us, Booth…and then Wendell, Cam, Hodgins, etc…they are all laughing and just being together. I would also point to karaoke night when they all came to watch Brennan sing. Ooh..also, when they went to watch Booth play hockey, and Christmas at Brennan’s place where even Daisy came! haha I’m sure there are other examples, but its all I can think of for now.

    I think Booth is moving into the realm of “family” now, (as the baby daddy…haha!) and then the rest of the team are Brennan’s friends. And I think that’s OK. Coming from her high school days where she was the “weird” kid, and her tendency to hide in the lab, I think she’s come a lonngggg way, and I don’t really feel that she necessarily needs to have anyone else right now, besides the friends she’s made with the team.

    • I have to agree with this for the most part. Brennan isn’t exactly a social butterfly, she can barely handle the few relationships she has now. Not that she’s incapable of maintaining out-of-work relationships, but let’s be realisitc: she would think it was very low on the importance/relevance scale. Why should she work on having extraneous friendships when she works so hard for the ones she has? I don’t know. It would be a nice break in routine, seeing Brennan look to an outside source for guidance/advice/what-have-you.
      But, that source would have to be very Brennan-like to attract her attention: alpha female, scarily intelligent, maybe even a little socially awkward herself (let’s be real people, Brennan’s already done the best guy friend thing and look where that led).
      And I think we’re being a little harsh on Angela. It’s not like Angela gives unsolicited advice; Brennan DOES ask her those questions which would provoke a slightly condescending response from anyone. Though, I do see where you’re coming from with the whole “worldly artsy woman know-it-all” attitude on Angela’s part. It gets irritating. But it works for Brennan because Angela is so different from her. She’s an anthropologist after all, she can appreciate a different perspective.

  5. I’m not sure where Brennan’s new friend would come from. Not an intern, I don’t think, because she doesn’t consider them ‘peers.’ They’re interns and she’s their boss. The woman works and writes books. And goes out socially with the people she works with.

    Maybe she should join a Mommy ‘n Me group and make new friends among the other new mothers . . I can’t even finish that thought. The idea of Brennan in that setting just fried a circuit in my brain.

    • LOL. Brennan in a Mommy and Me club, Ha! Ha! Ha! For that matter, can you imagine Brennan doing anything a typical mommy would do? Girl scouts, home room mother? Or imagining Booth and Brennan at the PTA? Ha! I kind of have a feeling that the second part of S7 may be when Brennan will need friends…. I mean Booth and her are going to partners AND parents. That’s a lot. It’s a huge change to her world too so I think she may need some outside sources to call upon.

  6. I think that’s why Micah resonated with a lot of fans– he was genuinely interested in Brennan’s work, cared about her and did not offer advice in a condescending way. Sometimes Brennan’s naivete about the world needs clarification, and sometimes both Booth and Angela can be pretty brutal. (Don’t get me started on Sweets.) I think it would be nice if she had someone else who could give her insight in ways that the others do not. With the baby, it would be nice if it were someone outside of the regular gang who gave Brennan something to think about or gave her a sounding board other than Booth or Angela. I can see Brennan having questions and issues along the way that would require a third party to help her and I think the atmosphere at the Jeffersonian and the Hoover is just too insular. They all know each other too well and someone else could really spice up the dynamic.

  7. I have to say that the writers have portrayed Angela in a very negative light in season 6….at times I just wanted to smack her! I just recently viewed a deleted scene from last season that highlighted the softer side of Angela, and brought back some of the original dynamic between the two friends. Looking back on the earlier seasons, I would have to say that Angela was less “snarky” with Brennan, and a real source of compassion and understand. She just couldn’t be that way season 6 because the “old Angela” would have totally checked out Hannah for Brennan, and she most certainly would not have befriended her. Thus the deleted scene. That’s my take anyway. Now that B&B are in a relationship and Brennan is expecting a Baby Bones, I think we will see that old dynamic return between the two best friends. I’m also hoping a friendship between Brennan and Cam will grow. I think they have a lot in common. Two strong and highly intelligent women dedicated to their work. It would be great to see more of Cam, whose character I feel is sorely underused. I found that deleted scene just incase anyone missed it!

    • That’s a wonderful scene. Too bad it was deleted.

    • I’m upset that we never saw this! For one, Angela echoes what 90% of the viewers are thinking AND we see Brennan acting independently from Angela. She may ask Angela her opinion, but she interacts (reassures Angela that Angela is, in fact, her dearest friend) without having to “consult” anyone first. New Brennan, much?
      And perhaps season 6 viewers are a little hard on Angela, she is pregnantly hormonal after all. Maybe she’ll bounce back this season?

    • Wish they would have aired this scene, maybe S6 viewers would look a little more kindly on Angela? I don’t know.
      A few things I like:
      Brennan finally gets to act independently of everyone’s opinions. She reaches out to Angela without being told to or asking if she should. I like this; it’s a sign of better Brennan to come.
      This scene also gives Angela more depth for the season: she’s pregnant, hormonal, and she feels like she’s losing touch with her best friend. That’s enough to make anyone snarky and condescending. I have my moments when Angela irritates me, but I do think that we’re all being a little too hard on her.
      But like I said before, (and this scene supports it) I don’t think Brennan will look outside her circle to befriend anyone. She’s a tight-knit group kinda gal.

  8. Aww, I like Angela. I do think that like Sweets, she is often used ineffectively by the writers, meaning she is used to Brennan-translate or to offer Brennan advice on social interactions in a way that rubs the viewer the wrong way. But I try not to blame her for that. I think she has been a good friend to Brennan in that she’s been there for her. I can certainly see how some of her attitude might seem condescending, but I don’t think Brennan sees it that way and that’s kinda what matters, right. It’s like all the fans that want Booth to explain Hannah and admit she was just second-best. We may need that, but Brennan does not, I don’t think. So if Brennan doesn’t think Angela is condescending or annoying, etc, is she really? haha, well, to us yes, but I try to give her a pass.

    That deleted Angela/Brennan scene from DitM did a lot to revive my Angela love. She’s kinda sad in that she feels that she’s losing Brennan as a friend (which is kinda nice to see Angela not being all confident) and she’s pretty much on Brennan’s side on the whole Hannah thing just on principle. It’s like she says, yeah, Hannah may be all nice and perfect, but she’s with your man and I’m just not going to like her, LOL! I loved it not because of the Hannah bashing but because it’s just such a best girlfriend thing to do. I mean c’mon if your best friend is pining over her ex and he has a new girl, you’re not going to like the new girl no matter how delightful she is, lol!

  9. I’m going to try this again. I was typing a post, hit enter and instead the darn thing refreshed the page. Weirdness! I’m typing this up in word first this time. I really need to get in the habit of doing that.

    The Angela as interpreter that you mentioned from Hole in the Heart didn’t really bother me that much, but before Angela spoke up I had of course been thinking exactly that…that Brennan meant literally not metaphorically and I was expecting Brennan to say that. I really do wish it had been Brennan who said it. To me it would have been so much better if she had. Of course Booth knows Brennan well enough that it shouldn’t have to be pointed out to him, but I can say he was just shaken up enough by all of it that he might have needed it pointed out.

    To me it seems Angela is really too self absorbed to be a true friend to Brennan, to be what she really needs. Angela has just ticked me off way to many times with her attitude that to me seems to be her thinking she’s far superior to Brennan in her understand of and dealing with relationships.

    As for Sweets, I do think that as much as they might deny it they make Sweets play the part of shrink too much for him to really work as friend. If they want him to be a friend to Booth and Brennan they have to drop the shrinky bit. I know Sweets says that’s his mojo, but you can’t shrink your friends, they’ll drop you like a hot potato for that. In Brennan’s case though I think she does see him too much as the baby duck to be able to view him as a friend she can confide in and accept social interaction advice from.

    Brennan having a friend outside of work would be great. I do agree with why it doesn’t happen on the show (really on any show, it’s always weird when suddenly for a celebration of some sort all of the sudden the characters have friends we’ve never seen or heard of but there you have it). Maybe it could even be someone from the Jeffersonian outside of the Medico Legal lab. Someone from a special genius only mommy and me class. 😀 (how’s that MJ)

  10. I do think it would be good for Brennan to have a friend or two outside the lab, but i don’t really see how they could fit it into the story which is why I think they haven’t. Plus they want all the squints and Booth to be their own little exclusive family I think. I did love Micah, and I wish we could see him again!

    My feelings about Angela go back and forth. I don’t really like her because I think she’s self centered and can be very rude. But there are moments in which I really like her. What really clinched me not liking her was Tough Man in the Tender Chicken. I just can’t forgive her for that. A true friend would not get so upset and nasty for such a pathetic reason.

  11. ohhhh I am going to vehemently disagree with this 🙂

    I think Angela is an amazing friend to Brennan !

    How many times has she totally been shut down while trying to share something or talk through an issue that was bothering her with Brennan ? Its not exactly a two way street all the time with the Brennan/Angela friendship. I don’t think is intentional at all on Brennan’s end, but I can see how its not always easy to be her friend and I think Angela shows a huge amount of patience and understanding in dealing with her.

    I don’t blame Angela in the least bit for getting a little fed up and snarky with Brennan, I mean haven’t you ever had a friend who you tried to help over and over again and they just kept making the same mistakes ? No matter how much you love that person it gets really old and sometimes patience runs thin.

    And I think without Angela to interpret things here and there for her – Brennan would be in a lot more hot water with people. Like in the hole in the heart, if Angela hadn’t pointed out that Brennan wasn’t literally speaking about the blood on Booth’s hands there might have not been a sleepover !

    I think the two have great chemistry, and the relationship feels really honest to me.

    • oops i meant WAS literally speaking about the blood on booth’s hands. . .

    • I’m apparently in the minority because I agree with you, bbmagic and Katherine. I don’t think Angela is really that bad. I think she’s a good friend, just not a perfect one. I can imagine that it’s not all that easy being Brennan’s friend. You would pretty much have to choose to not take offense to her literal words and get the heart of what she’s really saying. I think she usually does that. But like I said, she’s not perfect, so maybe on some days she doesn’t have the patience to activate her Brennan-translator, because sometimes Brennan really needs to be aware of how she says things.

      Angela’s comment in the tHitH didn’t bother me. I think Angela picked up on how Booth interpreted Brennan’s remark, but Brennan didn’t appear to. Had Booth and Brennan been alone when she said that, I think Brennan would have seen the effect of her words and clarified herself. Those little misunderstandings have happened in the past, and I’m sure there will be more in the future.

      The pig thing didn’t bother me that much. To me, it was more than just about the pig. I didn’t get the feeling that Angela was going to totally stop being her friend, but I think she was just disappointed and needed some time and space. Maybe because every once in a while that happens to me – wondering how I’m friends with someone when our differences seem so much bigger when they cause a conflict. Upon further reflection, I do remember why we are friends, though. I’m sure a lot of times Angela goes along with how Brennan wants to do things, or what Brennan wants. And a lot of times she just brushes off Brennan’s back-handed compliments and Brennan’s own version of an apology if she gives one at all. It really wouldn’t have killed Brennan to just give Angela some money for the pig, just because it was important to her friend, and especially because it’s not like money is an issue for Brennan. Every relationship requires give-and-take, and I think Brennan often struggles with the give when she always thinks she’s in the right (but hey, who doesn’t?). I love Brennan, I do, and I think she has so much to give. She just has to let herself, and I believe she will be happier for it, because it will help strengthen the relationships with people she wants to be close to.

      Brennan is aware that her behavior doesn’t usually fall into social norms. I think she feels as though certain things in the social realm she doesn’t really grasp and needs help with. She trusts Booth and Angela for that. So yes, when she goes to them, she’s usually asking them what she should do.

  12. I disagree regarding Angela, I think she’s very sweet and a good friend. I think in the “You still have blood on your hands”-scene, the only reason why Angela had to explain to Booth what Brennan meant was because Booth was so upset and off his game at that point that he could not translate Brennan the way he usually does. Because I think most of the time, Booth is the one who understands Brennan the best.

    As another example, I absolutely LOVED Angela’s reaction when she got the “scoop” from Brennan that she and Booth had slept together. I usually feel like Angela says the things I would have said if I would have been there, you know? I, too, would have yelled at Hodgins to go away because, haha, I would need to know exactly what happened right this second!!!

    And also, I don’t think she says “sweetie” in a bad way at all, I actually just smiled when I read that 🙂 I don’t know why, I just think Angela is very genuine, sweet and kind. The show really needs someone like her.

    But I agree, it would be nice to see Brennan being close to someone outside of work.

  13. Angela doesn’t always have all the answers, and she knows that. But she does know a lot about how most people operate socially even if she doesn’t always have her stuff together. I’m nowhere near like Angela, but I’ve always felt like she was always fully invested in her relationships. Like, it wasn’t even a thing about denial. She truly lives in the moment, and we’ve seen her evolve to think about the future some more now that she’s building a family with Hodgins.

    Anyway, back to the point of the post. I don’t think Brennan is really looking for more friends. She feels fortunate to be around the people she’s with now and call them friends. As for Sweets, my understanding is that he’s not there because they need to be shrinked, per se (actually, they probably do, but I don’t think he’s the best person for that because they just don’t take him seriously enough.) But even as a friend, he can’t help but get shrinky when he wants to help them. I think he’s there more to ruffle Booth’s and Brennan’s feathers. Like in tBitB, his prodding led to B&B finally talking. He wasn’t there mediating, and he maybe didn’t know the outcome or that it happened at all. That’s probably what I worry about the most with B&B. That any major movement forward always comes with some external prodding. I can see Brennan being more insistent on talking out an issue (tPitP), because Booth can get kind of moody and just shut down or ignore the issue altogether, and say it doesn’t matter when his actions say otherwise.

    • I think the biggest issue is that Snarky!Brennan didn’t really come out that often last season. So it disturbed the balance of when Booth and Angela were being snarky or sarcastic. Because I’m fine with the back and forth.

      • I second that. She got a little emotional and needy. Maybe self-conscious? I don’t think Booth and Angela are used to that vibe from Brennan. It upset the balance of things.

      • I second that! Brennan was a little emotional and needy last season. Perhaps even self-conscious? I don’t know, Booth and Angela aren’t exactly used to that kind of vibe from the very self-assured face she puts on all the time. Seemed to upset the balance of things.

  14. Ok, I’ll give it a shot. Here are some possibilities…
    1. Maybe a hardcore non-scientist academic type…a Slavicist, Poet Laureate, Political theorist…that she meet at a tv studio when doing another obligatory interview for a talk show, someone who is equally disdainful of such things and who shares a dogmatic view of the world, just in another arena.
    2. A mother she meets when she fails to connect with any mothers at regular mommy groups. Maybe this mom has a baby the same age and brings her baby to work with her in her cute still-trying-to-make it bakery where Brennan stops to get a coffee.
    3. A teacher she meets on a case. No one is less likely to take offense, and in fact to be pleased, when someone speaks the truth, however inconvenient or baldly stated, than a teacher. (We rock. 🙂 )
    4. Someone we never see, perhaps a correspondent of some kind…someone she met on a dig?

    • Number 4 brings up an interesting point. Apart from her graduate supervisor, Michael, have we ever seen or heard of anyone (and I’m not counting Daisy) who actually worked on a dig with Brennan? If her digs turned out like the one in Maluku, maybe she was the sole participant but that has to be pretty unlikely. There is another area that the writers could explore if they would.

    • Number 4 brings up an interesting point. Have we ever heard or seen of anyone who has participated in a dig with Brennan apart from her graduate adviser, Michael (I’m not counting Daisy!)? If they all turned out like Maluku maybe Brennan did all her digs solo but that seems highly unlikely. Here’s another are that the writers could explore if they would.

  15. Sorry, guys. I didn’t realize the first one posted.

  16. I am wondering what type of individual you all think could work for an “outside” friend for Brennan ? As a plot device used to further Brennan’s development what qualities would this person possess ?

    Personally, I think Angela is the main foil to Brennan’s practicality and rigidity. . . another, more well rounded friend would be somewhat superfluous.

    I think if Brennan was a real person then definitely she should consider getting a life outside of work, but in relation to the show and how it all would work. . . I can’t see it.

  17. Maybe I misunderstood Sarah’s post but I thought she was asking us what kind of friends Brennan would have if she was a real person, not what kind of characters would work on the show.

  18. Do I think Brennan needs friends outside the team? Yes, and it’s interesting to speculate on the kind of person that would be. But first…

    But..I have this theory about an underlying point to the show – that there are people who are under-appreciated by the world around them but who are absolute gems to those who take the time to get to know them. And Brennan is one of those people. If you look at how she interacts with most people she meets, and put yourself in their shoes…she’s frequently snarky, insulting, and arrogant…and that’s on a good day.

    Personally, I assume that’s a defense mechanism, the wall she keeps up to prevent herself from being hurt. But it’s still there – rarely, she’ll meet someone and her initial response be tempered by curiosity, but mostly, you can expect to be rebuffed or insulted by her. It’s like the firefighter in Titan on the Tracks – he doesn’t interest her, doesn’t strike her as important, and she says as much to him: “there are thousands of you, and only one of me.” From what I can see, that’s her default position with everyone she meets, and that means only a rare few – those who didn’t let that attitude scare them off – know her well enough to see the beautiful, open-hearted woman behind that wall.

    For all the others on the team, we’ve seen external relationships, from Booth’s army buddies and hockey pals, to Hodgins’ relationships we hear about in Man in the Mansion, to Kurt and Roxie for Angela. Even Sweets had the ‘fish have souls’ girlfriend when we met him. (Granted, all of those relationships were lovers rather than friends.) But with Brennan, we’ve had Stires, Peter from the pilot, and Sully. We met her high school classmates, and saw that her only friendship there was with the janitor. Nothing changed for her during the reunion; it’s hard to say whether it might have if she’d been there for another reason than murder, since we weren’t supposed to like any of them.

    (I tend to think Sully fell into the ‘took the time to see behind the wall’ group, though I wonder what Booth told him about her before they met.)

    And yet, the team of people who have taken the time to get to know her despite her walls…they love and appreciate her. And I think that’s part of the point of the show – that when we don’t take the time to see who people really are, or are driven away too easily by pricky behavior – we miss out, big time, on people who are absolute gifts.

    I tend to assume that Angela’s art and skill intrigued Brennan enough to let the walls down sufficiently for Angela to see the person inside; I assume Sweets saw it through their sessions. (Because – be honest – if you worked with someone who only ever put down everything about your career and profession (and you in that profession) – how hard would you work to get to know them?)

    Some people you have to work to earn a relationship with, but once you do, you treasure them all your life. Brennan is one of those people. (In my opinion – I’ve never seen them address this idea explicitly, and I could be very wrong.)

    All that said, I tend to think if Brennan formed a new friendship outside the team, it would have to be with someone intelligent and interesting enough to intrigue her, and confident enough not to run at the first insult. We know from Angela and Booth that it doesn’t have to be someone intelligent the same way Brennan is, and her relationship with Mr. Buxley suggests she wouldn’t limit who she found interesting to people the world calls successful (in a power/financial sense.)

  19. She does need another female friend and there are lots of avenues that could be explored —
    someone she met through her writing – another writer, publisher, someone she met on a book tour.
    someone she met on a dig
    a co-worker at the university where she lectures

    I think it would be better if it were a new friend though as her interests change — perhaps a parent she meets in an effort to find a nanny.

  20. 1) I don’t get all the Micah love. He fit into DitP, but that was sufficient.
    2) I also don’t get the Angela bashing. She’s who she is, but she clearly has genuine love for Brennan and tries to help her all the time. Yes, she does have her own life, but so does Brennan.
    3) While I generally believe that more friends are better, I also think that a few really, really good friends are the best thing of all. Brennan now has several people who clearly love her and she can rely of for help and advice. They’re all from work, but that’s fine by me. They are the only people who can really understand the impact on her of their work or why Brennan can be so off-putting sometimes.

    • 1. I agree with you on Micah. Furthermore, I think they meant it to be almost that he was not real, a sort of figment of her imagination. If you listen to the commentary on it, they explain that he was somewhat of a representation of the Jeffersonian, an embodiment of her feelings about the lab and things like that. They joked that at the end, it looks like he walks away and disappears. They don’t come out and say officially either way, but I think they meant him to be something like a ghost that helped her with the case and nothing more.
      2. I don’t hate Angela as Brennan’s friend, but I think what I don’t like about her is how she is written sometimes. I have liked her more lately, but initally, I have to say, I hated the incessant “sweeties”, and how she was sort of treated like she had some mystical special something…and her whining about celibacy…there were just things about her character that were off-putting to me. Now that she is a more centered, grounded character, I actually like her better now than I have before. I still think her sudden computer expertise is just hilarious, but its a TV show, what can you do? 🙂
      3. As far as adding new friends, I just don’t know how that would work in this type of show. In sitcoms, I think its easier for people to come and go, but in a crime procedural, there is not so much time for that. You’ve got cases to solve, and main characters to develop. Not sure how you’d give Brennan a random new friend, but keep them involved with the show unless they became crimefighters too. Maybe they could use the mommy angle, but they’ve said its not going to be all about babies in Season 7…so not sure how much time they are going to devote to that outside of the lab. And with Brennan and Booth’s issues with people, its hard to see them letting outsiders in….but anything is possible! Who knows? If done the right way, a new character might be a great thing, its just hard to picture.

  21. I totally agree with you. While I love Angela to pieces in the intent of her actions and sometimes her ability to actually listen to Brennan and hear what she’s really saying, I do think Brennan needs a friend-friend. Someone who just gives her…simple love. Doesn’t try to correct her, doesn’t feel the need to interpret or need an interpreter, someone who sees the intent behind Brennan’s actions and takes it as such. Maybe even someone who sees the world the way she does, a scientist perhaps. And someone who is hers, more than they could ever be anyone else’s on the show, if that makes sense. Brennan sort of share’s Angela with Hodgins, Cam is her Boss and I think more Booth’s close friend than Brennan’s. Hodgins she shares with Angela, Sweets is more Booth’s, same with Caroline Julien. And as you said, Booth is the father of her baby and there are some things you just can’t discuss with the person you’re in a relationship with, especially when you need to talk ABOUT them.
    I’m with you.

  22. I was thinking about the woman (chef) that was killed in the glowing bones in the old stone house, Carly was her name. Brennan was going to go back and see her and take cooking lessons and she seemed like that was something that she had been looking foreward to. And then the woman was killed. So maybe a friendship could have sprung up between them if Carly had lived. Just a thought.

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