Bones Theory

Morning After Q: Are Booth’s Actions Justified?

17 Comments

Hello, and Happy Tuesday!

I was just telling a friend last night that even after a year and more, it still feels that watching a new Bones ep happens on Thursday night, which would make today Friday. That it’s Tuesday is just…

Again, from TVMouse

Haha, moving on.

Okay, there is a lot to discuss about the premiere. I admit I don’t like much BB angst, so I’m physically and emotionally relieved that there seems to be some resolution to their disconnection. BUT…as I thought about it, I’m still not 100% sure that it makes what Booth is doing acceptable.

I like that in the fandom, I haven’t seen a lot of #TeamBooth or #TeamBrennan or #TeamIHateEveryoneButStillWatchThisShowSometimesButAlwaysCommentOnEverySingleArticleToMakeItKnownThatIDo   haha, which is good.

Having said that, I accepted Booth’s reasoning after the season 8 finale, and could see how those decisions hurt both of them. But after the premiere, I questioned myself, asking… Just because Brennan has now accepted that Booth has a secret, does that in itself, justify his actions?

Thoughts?

PS… I have also noticed a couple of MAJOR spoilers are being tossed around by the cast and the media as ‘common knowledge’ , which happens sometimes when a spoiler has been ‘out there’ long enough—people assume that EVERYONE knows about it by now, so there is no harm in talking about it as if everyone knows. I don’t agree with that reasoning, so again, let’s keep this site and the comments sections spoiler free.  Thank you! 🙂

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17 thoughts on “Morning After Q: Are Booth’s Actions Justified?

  1. Well here’s my take on it. Booth wanted to come clean to Brennan, but Aldo stopped him. He said something like, “How would Brennan feel if you put her feelings above the lives of 5 people?”…yet throwing more guilt on poor Booth! But it convinced him not to tell her.

    My question back would be, “How would Brennan truly react if he came clean and told her the truth?” Would she support Booth’s choice or say hey, its not Booth’s fault that Pelant is a murderer, so its OK if the people die?

    Booth was in a NO win situation, I feel.

  2. Are his actions “justified”? IMO, no they’re not, because the rationale behind the entire situation is ridiculous. Pelant has devolved from an interesting and terrifying villain to a comic book caricature which makes anything that he ‘makes’ happen manufactured and silly.

    I was surprisedbutnotsuprised to see the happy ending last night. Three months is a long time to simmer in mistrust and fear for it all to end with a ‘never mind, I trust you regardless’ moment.

    • I agree that the premise is absurd. I’m mostly relieved to see the major issue ( B & B not happy together ) resolved at the end of the episode. Thank god we didn’t have to watch three months of that ridiculousness.

    • MJ, I agree with you and Natalie that the premise is ridiculous. I mean, who’s to say Pelant hasn’t killed 5 people just for the fun of it already?! But I’m just working with the premise I’ve been given 🙂

      I still say that most of the team’s reactions frustrated me. Clearly, Booth was suffering. Like Cam pointed out to Brennan, the man was in pain. He was weary-looking, haggard, tired. To me, Booth looked just worn down, with the weight of the world on his shoulders. His whole demeanor broadcast that something was very wrong. Knowing Booth’s history like they do, I just feel like there should have been at least one of the team going “This is not like Booth at all. What terrible thing must he be facing to do this/act like this?”

      At least Angela, with her supposed amazing insights into people’s souls, should have been like, “Ok, Booth hurt my best friend so badly…what would have made him do this?”

      Sweets and Caroline got the closest to helping IMO. Though they did sort of ambush him in his office. They at least were trying to find out what was wrong.

      I know Brennan is still struggling with her emotions, how to love through painful stuff, and she has grown so much..though I understand her struggles, I wish it hadn’t taken a brand new character for her to realize something has affecting her “mate”, though I’m glad she did realize it. I was very proud of her in that moment, that she had the strength now to have faith. I am not unhappy with the episode overall. The ending was perfectly done. (All IMO, of course!)

  3. I think the telling part is that there has been a three-month gap and if Booth has been lying, not coming come, being evasive and generally uncommunicative with Brennan for all that time, who is to say that she wouldn’t lose faith? Blind faith in the face of Booth ending their engagement and then acting in ways that are counter to his protestations that he loves her has got to confuse someone like Brennan who isn’t always sure what she is feeling. Then Angela enters the mix and verifies for Brennan that Booth is lying, verifies what she is actually thinking, whatever another friend says in defense of Booth, especially Cam who is Booth’s oldest friend, won’t really matter. It will take a virtual stranger to set her straight– someone who doesn’t have a vested interest in this.

    I think Booth has no choice, but his guilt is so crippling that it practically destroys him and Brennan with him.

    As for Pelant, his “omnipresence” might seem extreme, that he’s some comic-book villian, but I think the suggestion that something or someone is so powerful, so able to kill others so readily is the real issue. In Booth’s mind, Pelant has already shown the ability to frame Brennan, manipulate others, steal Hodgin’s fortune that it is entirely possible that he’s tapped into his life 24-7. Granted, even Pelant has to sleep, but the terror is in the suggestion that Pelant could be watching at any time and he could pull the switch on 5 random people. It’s the hint of evil, not the full-blown evil that is messing with Booth’s head. (It’s like someone telling you not to think about chocolate– you’re going to think about chocolate. Just the suggestion is enough to make you think about chocolate all day.)

    I liked that the episode dealt with the fall out and that everything wasn’t happy in Bonesland. I’m fine with Booth and Angela being at odds on this one, but I think it’s even more telling that Cam and Hodgins knew that something was wrong with Booth and Cam especially didn’t give up on him despite his snippiness. Cam can “tough love” Brennan far easier than she can Booth, but I really think you sometimes have to see things through a stranger’s eyes to really see things clearly. Aldo has no reason to tell Brennan anything but he just reminds her of what she already knows about Booth– he killed people because he had to; he’s acting like he is now because he has to. Is it a conceit to introduce this character now? Yeah. But Booth can’t plead his case anymore because he’s lost his credibility with Brennan and Gordon Gordon wasn’t available.

  4. I think the whole situation is really complicated (in both fascinating and exasperating ways). Sometimes I think about this in the context of the Broadsky storyline and what it showed us about Booth’s morality. He’s got the ability to see gray area but not to act on it; it’s just not the way he does things. So I think there’s no question for me that his actions here are in character. The “gray area” comes in the pain he’s causing Brennan, but the lives lost are too black and white a consequence for him to risk.

    As for whether he’s justified…I think I buy the justification that he really can’t tell her without risking innocent lives (including, potentially, the lives of the people he cares about). Even Aldo’s “go whisper it to her in a cave” theory, which is what I was advocating after the finale, does seem risky, because there’s no way to predict how Pelant would respond if Brennan were noticeably more comfortable with Booth–which we might have to deal with anyway, following that last scene! Speaking of which, I’m TOTALLY fine with her decision to put her faith in him. Emily played it beautifully; the relief in her voice was palpable. She just needed one thing to hold onto, to convince herself that he’s still the man she knows, and she’s found it. At this point, knowing the reason can wait; just knowing he has a reason is what counts. I like the idea that Brennan has to learn to trust without answers. I loved that scene so much. They felt like themselves again.

    That being said, there’s a good argument against what Booth is doing, too. Angela obviously articulated (with a bit too much vitriol, I think) the idea that NOTHING could justify hurting the woman he loves in the way that he is. I get that, but for me, it’s not the strongest argument against Booth’s behavior. What bothers me is more of a writing thing. I liked the moment in “Hole in the Heart” (SOBS VIOLENTLY FOR A MOMENT) when Booth made it very clear that he did not blame himself for this. The blood spilled by Broadsky was not Booth’s fault. I loved that–loved it!–because Booth always bears the responsibility for others on this shoulders, and it kills me. I loved that he was learning not to be so hard on himself. So what bothers me here is that he’s put in a situation where that doesn’t apply. Because Pelant has told him in advance what he’ll do, the weight has been put back on Booth’s shoulders, and while it’s easy (and accurate) to say that he can’t blame himself for what Pelant would do, it’s equally true that lives WOULD be endangered if Booth decided to put his relationship first . And that’s an annoyingly unfair conundrum.

  5. I think Booth reaction about this whole situation is not as “easy” as it was with the Broadsky Case. He knows what Broadsky was doing. He killed for Money and his kind of justice. And Booth knows something about his character and had a little feel what he could do, even if he condemned it. But with Pelant I am really in a loss. Maybe I missed something, but why is Pelant targeting the FBI, the Jeffersonian , I can’t find a clue. Because sometimes he had said to Booth that he has nothing against them.
    Only after Booth shot him in his face, he said that Booth made a mistake and now there is “war”.
    So not knowing where Pelant is, what his goal is, I can understand that Booth is very carefull what he can do and say, because he was warned that 5 People will be killed, if he tells Bones. It is sad to do all the things he has to do, because of the burden these 5 People will be on his conscience. He has to sort of neglect Bones and even lie to her.
    But I was very happy that in the end, at least Bones was with him and said he trusted him.

  6. Early on I made a decision not to focus on the super villain aspect of the Pelant arc because it was just going to drive me batty. Instead, I try to look at the personal, moral issues that have come up as a result of his presence, issues which I’m not sure could have been explored with such consistency and such depth were not so much-believable or not-at stake.

    As to my problem with the legitimate question you pose is that I don’t know what other choice Booth had in the matter. If you’re referring to the broken engagement specifically, I’m not sure that given the person Booth has repeatedly been shown to be, with an extreme sense of moral obligation to society in general, he could have done anything else. This isn’t just a theoretical situation that he can disconnect from and see objectively-he’s been told by Pelant that he’s not only a huge part of the problem, he’s the solution. Can a person like him really step back after that phone call in the playground and say “to hell with you-do what you want, I’m getting married anyway and I’m not going to feel the least bit guilty if you lay five dead people on my front door?” Could any of us, for that matter? I don’t think I could. His reasons for not telling Brennan even in secret seem very reasonable to me. It’s already part of the show’s canon that Brennan is not a good actress-could she really not let her guard slip once when she’s with Booth or talking to her friends? Can the two of them pretend things are off for three months if they’re not without Pelant calling their bluff?

    Now, if you’re referring to the distant way he’s acting, could he have done better? Logically, yes. But again, Booth is a heart guy. He knows how much he hurt Brennan, and being around her pretending she’s fine when he knows she’s not has got to be a huge burden to bear. I think the premiere pretty much covered that he’s been around their house, has been with Christine, that the night out is not a usual occurrence, so her displeasure pretty much appears to stem from him being seemingly indifferent when he’s with her and maybe from him working late. Not the best behavior, but not the best circumstances either.

    I believe Booth feels that the quicker he deals with Pelant, the quicker her can make things up to Brennan. If that involves late nights and fewer conversations with her in order to accomplish that goal, so be it. To me, last season’s finale mirrors almost exactly what happened in the seventh-two people forced to hurt the person they love the most by an outside force. Brennan fled in the seventh, taking Christine, essentially telling Booth she didn’t think he could protect them and that she could figure things out better without him. She comes back upset that she’s grown to rely too much on Booth for her happiness, pretty much hurting him again; no difference there to me in what Booth has done here. Neither behavior was perfect, but these characters have been written with flaws-if they hadn’t, I doubt we would find them so riveting. What matters as far as I’m concerned is that their love is so strong that even a major influence in their lives like Pelant can’t take that away from them

    Anyway, my five dollars’ worth.

    • I agree with pretty much everything you said Maria.

      In my opinion, it doesn’t matter how ridiculous the Pelant arc has become, this is what we’ve been given to work with by the show runners and like it or not, we have to work within what we’ve been given. It doesn’t matter if we think there are ways Booth could tell Brennan the truth without Pelant finding out, we’ve pretty much been told that’s impossible.

      Like it or not, Booth has been put into an impossible situation. Pelant has eyes pretty much everywhere. He has a vendetta against Booth and Brennan and the rest of the squints at the Jeffersonian. He’ll stop at nothing to destroy them. And right now he has Booth between a rock and a hard place – either of which could destroy him (Booth) completely.

      The rock: if Booth tells Brennan the truth (and it’s been well established that Brennan is a terrible actress and would never be able to keep the secret even if Booth did manage to tell her in some secluded location Pelant can’t hack into), he risks 5 innocent lives – which is something he’d never be able to live with. Even the possibility that those lives would be lost because of him – because he chose to put his happiness above someone else’s well being – would be an unbearable burden. It’s an established part of his character. And I don’t think Brennan would be able to live with it either. If she knew what the stakes were, she’d never sanction Booth telling her. No rational person would. The hard place: by not telling Brennan the truth, Booth risks losing her. But then again, if he tells her and people die as a result, he could very well lose her anyway – either due to his own guilt or her inability to get past him doing something like that.

      But there’s one thing I’m not sure Pelant could have anticipated – and that’s Brennan’s reaction at the end of the episode. I’m starting to wonder if the flashing 4:47 wasn’t a sign that Pelant was watching them…and if he was, I think he saw something that could potentially throw him off his game. While I don’t think Brennan completely removed herself as said “hard place,” she gave Booth – and their relationship – some much-needed breathing room. Pelant seems to pride himself on knowing how Brennan operates – and I’m not so sure he would have anticipated that sort of a reaction from her. I’ll be curious to see if this causes him to mess up any in the future.

      The bottom line? Booth’s distance, his disconnect from Brennan, is a direct result of him being placed into an intolerable situation. In my mind, it’s not really even a question of whether or not Booth’s actions are justifiable. He has no choice.

  7. I rather like that the whole episode was about everyone (except Angela) basically asking Brennan the same question. Do you still trust Booth, even with your heart? After three months of this, do you still want him and love him, just the way he is? The fact that her answer was a resounding YES!, lifts my spirits so much. Most of the people in their lives showed during the episode that they trusted that Booth wouldn’t do what he had done without a good reason and were using any opportunity presented to put the two of them together in order to try keep them together. It was obvious that they were both hurting and everyone just wanted that to stop. The end of the episode may have seemed rather abrupt, but we must take into account that they’ve all been living this nightmare for three months. It would take that much time for Brennan to semi-resolve her feelings about it. We haven’t seen the last of this, at least that’s my reading of it.
    That being said, I also loved that Angela is the one letting the simmering anger and hurt out in the open. She’s being the focal point. She has been the biggest B&B shipper of them all, since the very beginning. What Booth did must seem like the worst of betrayals, not just to Brennan, but to her too. She trusted him with her best friends ‘very fragile’ heart and he is (seemingly) mistreating it. So in her mind, NOTHING could make that okay- no matter his reasoning. Also, who do you think Brennan is confiding all her pain to? Three months of that kind of agony would make anyone PISSED OFF. It may be palpable on the screen and to everyone who knows her, but none of the others are getting that thrown so viscerally into their face, because Brennan for sure wouldn’t share that kind of depth with anyone but Angela. That she’s feeling that and not afraid to express both her own hurt and Brennan’s is heart-wrenching. She’s voicing what Brennan can’t. The strength of her loyalty and feelings cannot be called into question. She’s Brennan’s best friend and I like that, for a person who puts herself primarily on the fence between the two when issues arrive between Booth and Brennan, this time she’s very squarely on Brennan’s side.
    Then again, there’s nothing that I love better than someone being FIERCELY protective of Brennan.

  8. I guess that comes down to if you are the end (Brennan’s happiness) justifies the means (in this case – 5 dead people) person. Could his coming home more lessen the pressure on the relationship. Yes. Could she lessen the pressure on the relationship and make it more likely that he would come home more by being less emotionally distant when he is there. Also yes. If how she is reacting isn’t contributing to the situation between them, then that end scene will change nothing. Things should be just as strained between them next week as it is this week.

  9. After the horrible way Season 8 ended, I have to say that the premiere did a good job of showing us the resiliance of the Booth/Brennan relationship. Of course I would have loved for Pelant to have been killed and the burden lifted but I understand, baby steps. The writers are hopefully moving in a happy, satisfying direction for us Booth/Brennan forever fans. As for the 447, I interpreted that as a positive sign and not a Pelant sign. 447 existed long before Pelant entered in the picture. I am hoping it means good things to come!

  10. Sometimes I wished that Pelant had named a team member as one of the five people he was going to murder…cos somehow I dont think that the bones fans who want Booth to tell Brennan and stick two fingers up at Pelant no matter at what cost, would be so gung ho if it were a team members life at risk….thank goodness Booth doesnt cherry pick what innocent life he will save unlike some bones fans who seem to think that a (temp broken) engagement is more important than HUMAN BEINGS…Brennans hurt will heal and she will get married to Booth but you cant bring back the dead.

  11. Well remember that Pelant named 5 people but only pointed out 4 people at the park. Leaving a big question for Booth to ponder as to who would the 5th person be………..Brennan herself or maybe Christine? Either way – it is a bad situation.

    • I remembered that too SBXMomX as I’ve watched that episode over and over because of Brennan’s beautiful proposal. I always thought the 5th person was Booth. I thought this started out as Pelant out to get the FBI, though targeting Booth & Brennan & then the rest of the team as well. Pelant’s intentions and actions have become confusing to me over the past 2 years other than the basic serial killer murder and mayhem:) I also remember Max telling Booth Pelant needed killing. Glad Booth thinks so too.

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