I feel as if we’ve talked about many, many things here at Bones Theory, and sometimes I’m never sure if I’ve repeated questions, etc. All of that to say, if I DO repeat a question or discussion topic, let me know. But one of my favorite series-wide things about BONES is that Booth, the “Partners share things; it builds trust” guy is/was basically a loner who was opposed to partnership.
That isn’t the same as building friendships, of course. Many people have friends and work alone. Many people have successful working relationships but few friends. I just think (and I’m not the only one, so I’m not claiming credit for it) it’s interesting and amusing that Booth spouted all of this information about partnership when he had never had a partner before. It doesn’t take a broken leg to know that it would hurt to have one, but still…do you think Booth was trying to keep Brennan close to him however he could and sort of made stuff up as he went along? Hmmm…possible.
It’s not just a symptom of BONES that what we see are the characters mostly interacting only with one another–I suppose it’s just as fair to ask if any of the characters are able to make or keep friends outside of their work environment. Obviously it costs money to add characters who have little to no meaning in the course of the series, so why not just have the team eat meals together and share drinks and go to hockey games, etc, right?
But even if that were not the case, would the character of Booth have the ability to make, and keep, friends? Or is he always too in control of what and how he’s feeling about himself? All of his current friendships (that we see) are work-related. I suppose Dr. Wyatt is the least work-related, but it’s not exactly a friendship, and we don’t ever see it either.
I’ve never been the type to declare my sisters as my best friends, etc, but when Jared invites Booth to come with him to India as a friend, Booth shoots it right down and says they won’t ever be friends; he’s his brother.
Sweets is also a possible friend, though that line can be weird in that they aren’t equals in a lot of ways, and it is still primarily a work relationship.
We see he had (in season one at least) some contact with a friend from the war (named Hank, putting us on a road to characters named Hank all of the time! Maybe Hart Hanson really wanted his own name to be Hank and so he’s overcompensating, haha), and there are the later instances (see you in season four!) with Teddy Parker, but that ‘friendship’ is also mired (not in a bad way) with Booth’s sense of protection and responsibility, so I am inclined to believe it doesn’t count fully in the friendship department.
Can Booth have friends with no pressure? Is Cam the only one? He also feels responsible for her in a way, but there is also that level of friendship. We’ve talked before about how the writers did away with anyone in Brennan’s life who would be a support for her besides Booth (Dr. Goodman, Zack, Angela to an extent in S4-S5), but I’m wondering if the same is true for Booth. Is the fact that he has no friends (that we can see) a means to insist he confide in Brennan when it counts? That there is pressure on his friendship with Brennan (in season one and beyond) is an understatement–though I think there is also the argument that once they agree on their set bounds, they both find it easy to be together and spend time with one another. But does Booth have the emotional capability of meeting someone, forming a friendship and it just being chill? Or is he always too guarded, too quick to keep everyone else at arm’s length?
Things like his charm and professional success seem like tools in that vein. He can be charming to women, but that’s as far as it goes. He is good at his job, on the ice, at the range, etc, etc, but it’s a status thing that leaves him unapproachable. I don’t know…thoughts?
What caught me this time around in the ending of this episode was this line from Booth to Brennan, at the encouragement of his Army buddy. He does tell her that he has to be able to tell someone about his time as a sniper, but just before that, he says, “I have to be honest…about myself.”
I think that says a lot. He can fight for justice and such, he can be the best there is to be at what he wants to put his mind to, but deep down, he sees parts of his life as something he needs to hide. All of that secrecy is not just about the war (as we now know), but also has roots in his childhood and feeling rejected by (at this point, Rebecca) people he loves. He works very, very hard to make things right, but that doesn’t always mean being honest about himself.
What do you think?
Here is your B&B of the Day:
The “Even if they don’t understand the words coming out of each other’s mouths, they still speak the same language” B&B
From The Soldier on the Grave: Season One