Bones Theory

Brennan Week: Anatomy of an Anthropologist


Good Morning Bones Theorists!

School is in session for the last day of Brennan Week, and it’s time for a little bit of an anatomy lesson. No, I would never dissect a woman’s appearance in print (though can I just say that I adore that Temperance Brennan is not, as Bridget Jones might say, a “Blonde American Stick-Insect” ? 😀 ) — instead, we’re going to take a look at what makes Brennan ‘Brennan’.

If Booth has ‘iron fists and a lion heart’, then Brennan has qualities to examine too. At least I hope so. You be the judge in the comments. Until then, here is…

1. Genius Brain

Brennan is a genius. Not just in the “OMG, you’re a genius” way Booth can gush about her sometimes when she provides the missing link on a case he can’t get his mind around, but in the IQ way. She’s in the ionosphere, while a lot of us have to Google which level ionosphere really is. When on pain killers, she feels ‘like normal people must feel’. She has an incredibly steep learning curve, as Dr. Goodman told us in the Pilot episode. She speaks several languages; she’s the best in her field, and she has multiple incredibly successful careers. Where Zack couldn’t contain his genius, Brennan is able to.

2. Discerning Eyes

She can look at a pile of bones and determine age, gender, physical history and ‘favorite sport’, Booth told us in the beginning of the series. And though she doesn’t always read ‘fleshy’ people as well as bones, she knows enough of her partner and students to know when they are not being 100% sincere.

3. Instructing Mouth

Brennan takes what she knows and shares it with others. It’s assumed at the beginning that she got into forensic anthropology to perhaps be able to identify her parents—why they left, etc. But once that was finished…she didn’t stop her work. She could have retired immediately and lived in Fiji for the rest of her life. Instead, she teaches. She takes in graduate students and helps them learn from the best. She gathered a team of people together, and she includes them—even when it would probably be easier to just do it herself.

4. Determined Jaw

Whether it’s catching a killer, identifying a victim and its cause of death, protecting those she loves or comforting a friend, Brennan is fierce. She sometimes can veer onto the side of too stubborn, but that is excusable as the flip side of her unwavering determination to see a task to completion. It’s what’s made her the best at her job, and it’s what’s made her a good partner—and it’s (one of the things) that will make her a good mother.

5. Passionate Heart

Passion is an emotion, so it’s not something she always shows, but it’s still always there…under the surface. Her passion flows when she’s encouraging Booth, when she’s teaching her students, when she’s fighting for the innocent. She laughs openly at jokes she thinks are funny. She hurts deeply when those she loves are in pain, and she sacrifices herself if (she thinks) it will make others happier.

6. Skilled Hands

A genius brain might not do her any good if she didn’t have the ‘outlet’ to complete the incredible tasks she must for her job. She can take a fragmented skull and piece it together to completion. She can ward off any unwanted attention with a swift chop. And she can turn the iron fisted, lion-hearted man to putty with a single touch… (or maybe that’s with her eyes…)

7. Smart Ass

Or maybe it’s with her…

Haha, I sort of joke. Brennan once said that she is very smart, but it has nothing to do with her ass. That’s pretty much all needs to be said about that! 😀  But seriously, I love her sass. I love the way she pushes Booth’s buttons. I love that she can turn him inside out with a word (Giddy-up), a sway, a black dress, a single touch, etc.

What do you think? Let’s discuss our favorite anthropologist and just what makes her so incredible!

Peace, Love & Bones,


PS…Be sure to stop by tomorrow for the start of Premiere Week!


11 thoughts on “Brennan Week: Anatomy of an Anthropologist

  1. “What you see is what you get. A rare quality.”

    That is what I like best about Brennan. She does not play games, she does not follow social scripts, she is not duplicitous, None of that interests her. Her flaws are on display as much as her virtues and she makes no effort to pretend to be anything she isn’t.

  2. What is truly amazing about Brennan is that she is all of those – multiplied to the Nth degree – in spite of her background. In spite of being abandoned by her parents and brother at the age of 15. In spite of having a . . . difficult personality. In spite of not being able to “read people” well.

    It makes you wonder what she could have done if her support system had remained in place while she navigated high school and college.

    And even more amazingly, Booth knows all of the above and is dazzled, not threatened by it. He doesn’t go out of his way to take back the upper hand or prove his male superiority. She is who she is and I think he’s proud of that, too. Watching Killer in the Crosshairs last night, there’s a moment when he hands her the scope and when she says she doesn’t know how to use it his response is “You’re a genius, figure it out.” And he’s completely sure she will. Since S6 is fresh in my brain, there’s also that little trick with the chicken carcass and the whole time she’s “doing her thing,” he’s looking at her and smiling and he’s so obviously proud of her while everyone else is kind of grossed out. I always wonder how many times they’ve had a similar dinner moment between them, because it’s obviously not the first time.

    She IS awesome, and I’m glad we’re not the only ones who know it.

  3. As Booth would say, “it’s what makes Bones…Bones”. Even in S6 we saw flashes of Booth’s pride in Brennan. When she was the Bones Lady for the Science Dude stands out and, yeah, the chicken carcus trick. Remember when he watches her try to figure out the probability of the stadium seats in Blackout in the Blizzard…”I just like to watch you try and figure it out”… aw. And Booth watching her with the shell in BITB…there were a lot of emotions going on with Booth in that moment but I think he takes comfort in watching her figure things out or taking things in and turning them over in her mind. As Parker said, she’s awesome. She’s special.

  4. I just can’t wait for Season 7. From the promos, Brennan (and Booth) will finally get the “whole package”. By this, I mean, she’ll have everything you mentioned above, and will get the family dynamic that has been lacking. Yes, she’s built a great career, got a great education, has now started to let people in and is much better with social/emotional skills than before, but she was the only one “without family” and she’ll have a partner in Booth, who supports her and applauds and appreciates her successes, and will have a child, in whom she can build a love and life around that she didn’t think she’d ever have.

    Also, BT is having a Premiere Week????? Happiness 🙂

  5. Steel ovaries… although, maybe that’s covered by ‘Determined Jaw’.

  6. I guess one of my favorite things about Brennan is that in spite of all that she’s gone through and the disturbing elements of her job, she like Booth, retains her childlike wonder at the world. It would have been easy for her to have become jaded and blase, but her heart is so pure that it’s survived all that history. Sure, she covers it up with barbed wire sometimes, but it’s still there and Booth knows that, which why I think he’s always been so careful with her. I’m really hoping that we get to see her (and Booth) experience some moments of true wonder and happiness this season. She’s more than earned them!

    • I have to believe that the first time they lay eyes on their child it will be a shared moment of true happiness and wonder for them. As Booth said about Hodgins and Angela, “they had a healthy baby, they love each other, this is the happiest day of their lives.” Before Booth said that in CITG I was surprised that he described the best day of his life as the world series moment with his dad….wouldn’t that have been eclipsed by Parker’s birth? or did Walter ruin that by arresting him *eyeroll*.

      • Agreed as to the baby moment. And Parker’s birth? As happy as Booth might have been about the arrival of his son, i gotta believe his situation with Rebecca had to have colored some of his perception of the event. By now she had most likely turned him down, and we’re not even sure they were still living together at this point. Booth must have known there was no chance of a traditional family life for him aftere his son’s arrival and it must have hurt. Plus Walter-really! (Actually, the less said about Walter, the better. I’ll be forever scarred by some of the visuals on The Finder.)

      • Haha Maria those are some of my thoughts exactly! Walter, grrr….and I have to say, the “Finder” ep will not be one replayed on my TV….to weave him so tightly to Booth’s storyline and his son’s birth, for no other reason than to give them a random connection for a spinoff was just….not cool. This was something Booth “forgot” to mention to Brennan for all these years? Please. Blech.

        Onward to season 7!

    • I think that childlike wonder is what is so appealing, especially given the issues with their childhoods and their jobs. They do incredibly difficult work, yet they both still retain a gleefulness for stadium seats, mummies and other things. Even her turn as the bone lady was special because she saw something in it that she could appreciate.

  7. This is OT, but I just read this article, and well, this is for Hodgins:

    It’s about cracking the code of secret societies 🙂

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