Bones Theory

Vintage Bones: The Man in the Morgue


Having just watched this episode last night, I’m curious about something and I figured the brilliant BT readers might have some answers for me.
The end of the episode – this sequence:
TB: Booth, objects have no intrinsic power. A person’s future does not depend on some thing. Things are just things. They do not have magical meaning or powers. Where did you get that?
SB: What does it matter? It’s just a thing. Right?
TB: My mother’s earring.
SB: No magical power over your future. (exit stage right, after that grin that says he can read her mind)
Angela: Does that prove something?
TB: It proves something.
What? What did it prove? Something about her? Something about her desire to for a connection to her mother? Something about Booth?
Inquiring minds want to know.
Here is your B&B of the Day:
The “Stop Me if you’ve Heard the We’re Just Partners Joke Before” B&B
From The Man in the Morgue: Season One

Author: MJ

Mother, daughter, grandmother, sister, friend. Pick one.

29 thoughts on “Vintage Bones: The Man in the Morgue

  1. Well I just thought this scene meant that for all her talk about how things are things, and love is just endorphins, I’m meant to be alonel…etc…that t here are things Brennan really does care about. If we took Temperance Brennan at face value about the image she’s trying to put out there, she shouldn’t care about an earring that was her mother’s. It’s just an earring she can replace, right?

    But nope, Booth sees through it. He knows she misses her mother, loves her mother, and therefore does put value into things that belonged to her. That quote above Booth’s head is her going on and on about how things don’t have intrinsic value, and then Boom! he pulls out the earring and just stops her dialogue right in its tracks. She instantly goes “Where did you get that?” Ah-ha! Booth just caught you 🙂

    I like this exchange, because even “knowledgeable about everything” Angela did not even get it…its a partner thing, a B&B inside joke. Even though Angela gets alot about Brennan, Booth has always been the one to see past her smoke screens and compartmentalizing and find the real Temperance. All he has to do is lift up that earring, and she knows that he knows she’s full of it :). And she even admits that by saying “it proves something” to Angela. Booth’s grin says that he knows that she knows he knows she’s full of it. 🙂

    This scene is one of those early B&B moments that hooked me in from the beginning.

  2. To be honest, I’ve always thought he actually proved that *she* was right. Objects have no intrinsic power, they have the power that we attribute to them. The earring wasn’t special because of anything inherent to it, it was special because it belonged to Brennan’s mother and she associated it with family and love and security.

    But I don’t think that’s what the writers intended. I think we were supposed to believe the Booth had opened Brennan’s mind a bit with respect to “magic.” It was supposed to be kinds of “Gotcha” moment for him (in a kind-spirited sort of way), but it’s never felt that way to me.

  3. Ooh I like that sequence. Like that whole episode actually, I like how in these early episodes quite a lot of them are genuinely creepy.

    I’ve always thought that what it proves is that Booth has her back (he removed evidence from a crime scene for her) and he knows what’s important to her. For me, the episode is proving what partnership means to Booth, that she now has someone who’ll go all out for her.

  4. I always thought it proved his loyalty to her. It’s when she realized he really had risked his career for her.

  5. It was my take on it that the significance of the earring was that Booth didn’t pick it up because he knew she’d be happy to get it back but that he compromised evidence…actually removed it from the scene. Have you ever seen him do this..? (I recall him giving her a dolphin of her mother’s at some point and saying it’s just evidence, but I’d think it had been processed and determined unimportant by that time in that case.) At some point, Brennan says “It could have been me” and Booth answers “No, it couldn’t. I’d bet my professional career on it – I already did.” But he never tells her what he’s done.

    In any case, I don’t know what significance Brennan puts on this because she doesn’t say. Maybe she notes that he remembered what it looked like enough to recognize it and save it for her or that he returned it because he knew that it was important because it was her mother’s. He doesn’t say where he got it, either. My assumption is that she connects the earring with the earlier conversation and realizes how well he knows her and how much faith he has in her, though I would have expected a reaction that was more clear for the viewers -Maybe they wanted to make the point but downplay the wrongdoing by our favorite FBI agent?

    • Brennan is visiting her mother’s grave with Booth and she finds the silver dolphin from her father. Booth picks it up and gives it to her. Don’t remember the name of the episode, but it’s one of the ending scenes.

  6. This is one of those instances that I don’t mind how ambiguous the line is. Every time I see this I waver between Brennan thinking that maybe she isn’t right about what she’s just said, or she’s aware of just how much Booth has just done for her. Whether she’s aware of what he risked for her or not, she knows that Booth is one of those people she can trust. For her, that’s important.

    The earring, in its own way, is a challenge of what she was just telling him– things are just things. She can say that all she wants, but he proves to her that that is not always true. He gives her a gray area for her black and white thinking and that challenge is one he continues throughout the series.

  7. I think that he is proving that she’s wrong about what she thinks about herself – maybe things are just things and we only attach meaning to them extrinsically, but she still is upset she loses her mother’s earring and she’s still happy that she gets it back, which means she does believe that it in some way connects her with her mother. It does not quite prove Brennan wrong and Booth right, but more that it shows Brennan that she’s not as scientific and anti-“magic” as she says she is.

    I never saw it as her realizing how much Booth would sacrifice for her, because she did not know that the earring was in any way evidence or could have been used against her. She knew she lost it but she didn’t know where. She would never have guessed he picked it up to hide it from the police and him giving it to her at the end would not have enlightened her to that fact.

    • I also had never considered that it was proof of what Booth would sacrifice for her, but I think that once she knew he had it, she would *have* to know where he got it. I mean, it was ripped out of her ear during the assault. The only logical conclusion is that he’d picked it up at the crime scene, especially paired with his “I’d bet my career on it…I already did” comment. And I can see this angle, but I’m still inclined to believe it was more about him trying to work the magic angle.

  8. Objects have the power that we give them. And I think it proves that Booth cares about her. I mean, putting his career on the line, that’s a big one.

  9. I always saw it as proving that things do have “magic” or intrinsic value. She had told Booth at the beginning of the show that it was special to her because it was her mother’s. He had said that what was important was finding out about her lost day and she had responded that they were her mother’s earrings and that was why they were so important to her.

    I think it proved to her that she did attach feelings to things.

  10. Love this episode. YAY for the green jacket!

    I’ve always seen the end as more about demonstrating that things can have magical meaning.

    Maybe more later. Busy day today.

  11. I always thought it proved that Booth had risked his career for her by removing the earring from the crime scene. I thought that at that moment she connected the pieces: missing earring, ripped earlobe, and possibly even Booth mumbling something about putting his career in danger because he believed in her, earlier in the episode – if she got that. She couldn’t remember when&where she’d lost it, so when she saw him having it I’m sure she realised what he’d done for her.

    *sigh* One of the best episodes of S1, imho…

  12. I always saw it as meaning that Booth was going to be there for her through thick and think and his loyalty extended to her further than it did to the FBI. I mean he gambled big time on this one…she was a suspect in a murder and had no solid alibi, but even so he trusted her. Trusted her in such a way that he chose to hide evidence that could have potentially gotten her arrested. She could have been guilty. I mean the writers wouldn’t have done that, but he had no solid evidence that she was innocent but he had faith in her and that earring proves that.

    It wasn’t in just this episode either that his faith in her was put to the test. In tVitS he was faced in court that his partner could have potentially committed a viscous act, but he did not once believe it for a second. He trusts his partner.

    • I forgot to add that I always thought the conversation started out being about objects, but when TB said “it proves something” she wasn’t actually referring to objects being intrinsic or magical. What was proven was Booth’s loyalty to her,

  13. Okay, the more I think about it, the more I believe this scene *was* about trying to convince Brennan that there is “magic” in the world. Or at least that there’s no way to prove that there *isn’t* magic. It seems to me that it’s a theme running through the entire episode. The discuss voodoo and cathlocism; spells versus miracles; prayer and saints; and at one point the Bad Guy (who isn’t known to be the Bad Guy yet) says something like “The ingredients themselves are harmless, it’s the way they are combined and with what intention that makes a spell good or evil.”

    In this scene at the end Brennan is trying to find a logical explanation for her amnesia and suggests various chemicals, but Booth reminds her the box screen was clean. Brennan suggests it’s from trauma, and Angela says, “even I think you’re too strong-minded for that.” And earlier in the episode the orderly Voodoo expert told her, “You don’t have to believe in voodoo, it believes in you” (or something along those lines).

    I fell like the whole episode builds towards Brennan coming to the realization that there are some things that are beyond her understanding and her ability to explain scientifically. And maybe Booth’s loyalty to her falls under that (she did ask him “Why are you so nice to me?”), but I feel like there was so much more to it than that. It’s more Big Picture than just her relationship with Booth, in my opinion. It’s about her worldview, and him rocking it.

    • This is interesting, especially when you add in that even only-Lutheran-if-you-ask-his-mother Zach says that if she believes even the tiniest bit, then voodoo has a hold on her.

      She brushes that off but then . . . that earring dangles from Booth’s fingers.

      Yea, her world it is a’rocking. I can get on board with that.

      (Whether she knows it or not.)

      • I’d forgotten about Zack’s comment! Yes!

        I’d like to come up with an appropriately zingy (and maybe even a little dirty) comment about Booth rocking’ her world, but I need more coffee before my brain will function on that level.

    • Well said. I completely agree!

    • I think that the whole series has been about Booth trying to show her the magic, to convince her that there are things in life that science can’t explain.

      We see it here. We see it when he says “Oh, there’s magic” in 2 Bodies in the Lab. And, on other occasions, most recently in 7.1 when he says he loves her and that that’s not rational, etc.

  14. I hate to say it; but, like our British friends who hate Yanks in the UK, being from Louisiana I hated this episode. It was just awful. It’s the only season one episode that I don’t like.

    That said, I’ve seen it about six or seven times, what can I say and I think the point Booth was trying to make was that even things can have some power over us if they convey a connection to someone else. The connection here can be her mother and it can be Booth. This earring had the power of love from her mother and the power of protection from her partner.

    • I’m relatively new to Online-Bones-Obsession-‘Verse. Why do the Brits hate Yanks in the UK?

      • I’m not really sure. They seem to fuss about the inaccuracies like the London Bridge really being loud so you would hear it moving. Stuff like that. That’s my complaint too about the N.O. episode.

      • No one ever likes the way their town is portrayed in movies and on TV. It’s never the way it really is if live there.

      • I don’t hate it as such, I just think it was a really wasted opportunity. They could have shown modern London in such a brilliant way and they just didn’t bother.

        I didn’t like the way they used massively outdated stereotypes (they pretty much only interacted with the aristocracy, which is just absurd) and the way they used Booth as the butt of loads of unfunny jokes. I don’t get why they decided to portray an intelligent, well travelled man as a stereotypical ‘dumb American abroad’, I hated Wexler and that Brennan even considered sleeping with him, Tower Bridge (not London Bridge as they kept calling it) opens a thousand times a year, there is no way Pritch would have given Booth a gun etc etc. It was just silly.

        On the other hand, it was great to have them here and I wish I’d known about filming so I could have gone and gawked 🙂

        ps: I did really liked Pritch and wish Booth had let her climb his Everest…

  15. Watching it now, on TNT, I remember two of my favorite moments…Hodgins pretending to strangle Zack and Booth declaring “Let’s just be wildly emotional and assume you didn’t psychotically murder a coworker!”

  16. “Dark sorcerers suck, man.”

    Right on, Hodgins. Right on.

  17. Best BB of the day ever!! Love it!

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