Bones Theory

Vintage Bones: The Man in the Outhouse



outhouse coffee

Well, good morning (and afternoon)!

I really thought I had done a scene study on this episode, the end scene in particular, but I couldn’t find it. That is shocking to me, because I really love the end scene.  I also realized that I don’t remember much about this episode at all EXCEPT for the end scene, haha. So I went back to the 100DaysofBones blog to see what I’d written about the episode back in February of 2010, and I think that it is interesting enough that I’m just going to include the entire thing here for discussion. AND there were a lot of pics in that post, making it a pre-historic scene study I guess 🙂


“What do you do with this one, Temperance?”

BONES: Season Four

The Man in the Outhouse


Ah, hahaha. I love Booth’s face when Mark asks Brennan that question. I actually almost never watch this episode (with the exception of the end scene), but I find that I really, really enjoyed it. I had forgotten about how squee-worthy (and for those of you keeping score at home, it’s only taken me 61 episodes to admit, that yes, I do squee) it felt when Brennan’s fingers tangled with Booth’s on the elevator door after Booth tells her that his gut is saying she’s going with HER gut. Not a good idea.

Here’s the thing, though…I don’t mind Brennan dating these two guys, because after all…she doesn’t like the term dating. More (a LOT more) on that later.

But first…


A man, Bill O’Roarke, is famous for catching cheating men in the act, and his reality show showcases all of that. But when he ends up dead (his remains found after exploding in an outhouse), it’s up to the team to find out who wanted to kill the ‘Busted by Bill’ star. Was it someone he worked with? A vengeful spouse? His wife? His girlfriend?

It was his friend and co-worker Pete who was annoyed that he was sleeping with Holly.


There is not a TON of squint action, besides swimming around in outhouse…delights. And I really want to spend more time discussing B&B. Plus this episode introduces Daisy, and…oy.

I just don’t even want to think about it.


I think that in theory this episode’s script was meant to take place during season three. Obviously it was filmed  and aired in season four, so in my opinion, there are no excuses for inconsistencies. This means that the idea that Brennan rejected Ian Wexler in London but then went on to be with both Mark and Jason for various reasons is allowed to rub the wrong way, as far as her character development is concerned. Does that make sense? It doesn’t annoy me as much as some people, but I will concur that it would have made more sense for her to hear the ‘someone for everyone’ speech from Booth before the way she said that it’s not rational to hurt a partner for an hour of fun.

What I do NOT generally concur on is the idea that Brennan is in the wrong for ‘being’ with Mark and Jason at the same time. Here is why:

She wasn’t actually dating either of them. I can almost guarantee you that she was PERFECTLY clear in her expectations with both of them. I am sure she met Mark and said she was interested in sex, and only sex. I am guessing he said something like “Yeah, baby. My place or yours?” And I’m sure she said hers, if only to be even more in control of the scenario, ha. If he were to ever indicate that he was interested in going out to dinner or to the movies, I am sure that Brennan said no, quite clearly, and that she was very happy with the level of satisfaction she was receiving from him. Likewise Jason…I think most of us have had friends of the opposite gender who we have particular things in common with that have nothing to do with sex (mostly). I have guy friends who enjoy the same TV shows that I like, and some who enjoy the same bands that I like, and guys I work with, or whatever. In this case, Brennan enjoys Jason’s conversation. They are friends. Booth is the one who calls it dating. Of course, I suppose the supposition that men will not be friends with women unless there is the potential for sex is true in this scenario. This is because Booth has an underlying interest in having sex with her. But Brennan doesn’t see that supposition as fact.

And I’m not saying that Jason wasn’t interested in that with Brennan, but as far as she is concerned, and her thoughts…she is just enjoying him as a friend. Someone to talk to about art and history and movies, etc. If either he or Mark misinterpret that, well, that’s not necessarily Brennan’s fault. In my opinion, she isn’t cheating on either one of them with the other. Also, I feel that in some ways, Brennan is following Booth’s lead. He drew the line. As we know, Brennan is very literal. She is going to take that to mean that she has a working relationship with Booth. That falls right along with what she is doing with Mark and Jason. Different relationships with different men in different circumstances. Work. Conversation. Sex.

Her reaction to being dumped is not the sense of being left heartbroken and lonely, and she’s not feeling like “oh, there will never be someone in my life.” It’s more that she feels rejected because once again, she didn’t do it right. She didn’t do relationships right, in the generally accepted social way. What she thought she had pegged as a good system,( sexual partner, work partner, intellectual partner)…that failed. She hates failing WAY more than she hates being alone. Brennan has no problem being alone.

And lastly, another reason why I don’t believe Brennan was manipulating Mark and Jason is that she is not devious. She really is not. She is very straightforward and is not the type to string people along, ever. I’m not saying that she always gets to say and do what she wants, if only because she doesn’t quite understand her actions and their affects on others. I’m just saying that in this instance, she is innocent to all of the ‘two-timing’ charges that are presented against her character as a person.

But, all of THAT changes when Booth gives her the speech. Now she knows and believes him. I feel, and this is just my opinion, but I personally believe that when Brennan recently told us she hasn’t been sexually active for some time, that is a result of this moment. I think she made an internal choice to trust Booth, and to see exactly if he would go on to prove his own words right.

And honestly, in some instances, he has failed to do that, and kind of left her on her own. And in other ways, he has shown himself true to her. We will discuss this more as season four goes on (and season five). But like I said before, Brennan is not afraid to be alone. What has happened, though, is that Booth has introduced her to the idea of being lonely. He presented this idea that there is someone for everyone, but so far, he hasn’t quite stepped up to the plate to fill that void he created. I hope that makes sense. However, as we know, Booth has his own issues and is not perfect, and this story is about the both of them, not just Brennan catching up to her own reality. Both of them have some catching up to do.

The speech is absolutely one of my all time favorite moments in BONES history, and I will discuss it more in a bit, and I think I’ll even do a running commentary! Woot! But first, a few more comments on Booth (in no particular order).

  1. Um, Booth eating cereal at night and wiping his mouth with his tie is terrific.
  2. Booth interacting with Noel is so funny.
  3. I like the Booth and Sweets scenes in the FBI room (when Booth is eating the cereal) and Sweets reaction to Booth’s actions at the diner on Brennan’s date. Coldplay.
  4. I do NOT like how Booth keeps calling Jason  ‘Gay Jason’. That just seems unnecessary and very un-Booth-like and very un-BONES-like as well. I don’t know…it just rubbed me the wrong way. But I DO like that nod Booth gives when Sweets tells Jason that he has a kid.
  5. I love the annoyed and incredulous look on Booth’s face in the interrogation room when Brennan is being kind of ridiculous toward Holly Markwell.
  6. “Wakey, wakey. Eggs and Bac-y.” Hahaha!
  7. For all you writers out there, one of Booth’s traits is that he is almost never not moving. He is always fidgety and moving some part of his body. Brennan is much more relaxed and comfortable in her body and surroundings. But something else Booth does is repeat his words all the time, and I find that so cute, especially when Brennan is talking about how thankful Mark is after months of deep sea welding. “I’m sure, I am sure. Deep Sea Welder”. Haha! And I know we have talked about the fact that for the most part, Booth doesn’t like to talk about sex with Brennan, but every once in awhile, he’ll make a comment that tiptoes around that line. In the good times column is that Brennan is always kind of annoyed when he does. ‘You can play the field and not plow it’, and in this episode, “Underwater?”  Nice. I’m not sure if Brennan’s annoyance is poor character development on her part, or if she really, when it comes down to it, doesn’t actually like Booth talking about sex.


But now…the moment we all didn’t even know we were waiting for, and that is the end scene. Oh my…

First, they walk in. Together. Why? Who knows? They aren’t doing sessions any more that we know of, so I guess this is just observational. Anyways, Brennan looks…gorgeous…

GORGEOUS! She reveals that she was supposed to go out that night. (Which again brings me to wonder why she and Booth are there).  But when Booth asks her if Jason got a new tight suit

Sweets laughs…(talk about the two amigos), Brennan reveals that her plans were with Mark. Booth says he thought Mark was her ‘stay at home kind of a guy’, and Brennan states that she was considering that she would be willing to be with him in a strictly conversational setting and that since the murder, she is considering monogamy as a viable option.

Booth crows to Sweets that he has had a positive influence on her

Brennan quickly denies it and THEN reveals that Mark broke up with her. When Booth asks her about Jason, she says that HE broke up with her too. Booth feels apologetic, and Sweets interrupts to ask whether or not they usually discuss their love lives. Check out Booth’s body language and position on the couch as he basically tells Sweets that he only interferes when she has naked men in her apartment.

Just about everything about him is in her direction. Meanwhile, Brennan is even quicker to deny this. And then she tells Booth she doesn’t understand why he’s so secretive. She assumes he is sexually active. And…darlings…the way his voice volume kind of drops but his innate confidence never does…

Booth does fine.

Not sure what he’s looking at there (okay, okay…I DO know what he’s looking at)

And is it me or is Brennan slightly annoyed?!?

And then Sweets adds another set of words to the list of now almost cliché way to describe B&B, and that is ‘a surrogate relationship’.

But what will never be cliché are the moments where Booth and Brennan display vulnerability, and like we discussed earlier in this section, Brennan reveals that she feels a correspondingly unpleasant sting with rejection.

I like that even though she is answering Sweets’ question, her response is really aimed toward Booth. And like the way she is usually quick to ease Booth’s vulnerabilities, he rises to the occasion and immediately defends Brennan. If those guys didn’t know what they had in her, they were idiots, basically, who don’t deserve her.

Brennan replies that all relationships are temporary. And then…

“That’s not true, Bones. You’re wrong, okay. There is someone for everyone. Someone you’re meant to spend the rest of your life with.”

And in that moment, it’s like all the air is sucked from the room, and the only thing between them is the idea that Brennan believes him. She wants to believe him.

“You just have to be open enough to see it. That’s all.”

Friends, please drop what you are doing and watch this scene. Watch for this exact moment when Booth inhales and his chest expands just a bit. I don’t know if he’s trying to take the words back, or if he’s feeling that same ‘air sucked out of the room’ feeling that I always do. Maybe he’s just finally, finally able to really breathe, now that he’s gotten that off his chest. (42:07) It’s just a hitch of breath, a moment that I can’t believe was scripted, but maybe it was. Please watch it.

And there is no other word to describe Brennan’s reaction than stunned.

That’s why I think she has been celibate since that moment. We may never know, but it’s just my gut. Meanwhile,

Hahaha, oh yeah, Sweets was also in the room. Nice. He’s a shipper.

But what I think I really love most about this scene is that the writers and director and Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz just let it be. There is not really music in the background. There isn’t a lot of dialogue. Instead, the camera lets us see Booth and Brennan stare at one another, and process it. There is no rush, you know? It’s a MOMENT!

The vulnerability of Brennan as she basically absorbs Booth’s words is stunning. Absolutely gorgeous. Booth breaks the mood by telling her he’ll take her out to dinner in a strictly ‘surrogate nothing’ conversational setting. Haha. I think he’s breathing a sigh of relief that Brennan is single and that the most beautiful woman he knows is having dinner with him.

Sweets invites himself, but Brennan tosses his words back to him and says that she and Booth don’t have trouble forming other bonds. I love that Booth helps Brennan put her coat on. There is something very enticing and at the same time comforting about that to me.

This whole scene, I believe, has put Brennan on a course of romantic emotional discovery, in other words, the idea that she can be with one man romantically, potentially for the rest of her life. In the previous seasons, she worked through the idea of working with other people, professionally, and she worked through accepting Max and Russ, on a familial level.

So this is her new journey, and it will lead her through the following.


But what we have been learning these days is that Brennan believes Booth, in her heart, and in her mind. And so, she begins to believe him. And I think she is beginning to feel as if Booth means himself, when he’s talking to her about these things. I’m speaking from the POV of being 98 episodes into this BONES journey. I think that deep down, Booth wants to be the man she can believe in and be with, but he isn’t sure he’s good enough for her. Brennan, on the other hand, believes only him, in matters of the heart. She says she is beginning to believe in love, but she’s really just believing him. She’s not out there searching for someone. She’s moving toward Booth. She is cognizant of that, I feel. In the same way that she doesn’t feel she needs his protection, she welcomes it. Likewise, she doesn’t need his love, but…she wants it. And there’s the rub. Booth has worked hard to convince her that she’s worth loving and that loving is worth it. And now that Brennan (here, in Man in the Outhouse) is beginning to really believe him, Booth begins to react defensively by closing up (what Jared will call self-sabotage), and we’ll see that he’ll become the King of Compartmentalization that we all really know he is. It is a very beautiful string of tension that is always vibrating from tugs from each of them.

I look forward to the day when they are both able to accept themselves as good enough for the other one.


Yay for having experienced that day! What do you think? What did you like about this episode, and what didn’t work for you?

 And just one more time for posterity, here are moments of B&B:

The Man in the Outhouse



16 thoughts on “Vintage Bones: The Man in the Outhouse

  1. I don’t really miss her – but I loved her. “Tell her I LIKED the smell”

  2. Timely, in that I watched this one again just yesterday, mostly because I had rewatched Yanks 2 and hadn’t turned it off. Couldn’t turn it off.

    Yanks 1 does make a little more sense if Outhouse had been before it. I hadn’t pegged Brennan’s inactivity as being sourced back this far – I thought Con Man had solidified that. But if reordered, I guess I can see it. But then that raises more questions as to why the 100th then led the way it did. So many conflicting signals!

    Oh, does her dress in that final scene look very similar to the one in the end of NatBM or is that just me?

  3. Oh my! I really loved your post, all the work you did with the frozen images and the explanations and the dialogue, it made me want to watch this episode again as soon as I get out from work today 🙂 I never noticed the one where Booth is staring at “something” 🙂 but I do remember that air, those stares, the way Brennan absorbed words and listened to Booth, the way how Booth talked to her, his body language, everything! this scene was really intense and like you say even though there was not so much dialogue going on, the silences and the stares made the whole scene wonderful! with lots of messages about their relationship, loved this episode!

  4. I loved this episode right from the first scene. I’m not as sure as you are Sarah that Brennan was clear about what she wanted from either Mark or Jason. If she had been, I don’t think either one of them would’ve been surprised to find about the other and what her relationship with them was like. “How come we never go out?” from Mark and Jason saying that he could be stimulating in more ways than conversation. I think both of them had some idea of their relationships progressing with Brennan beyond what they currently had with her.

    It was sweet of Booth to make her feel better by saying they didn’t deserve Brennan, but I felt like she brought it on herself. She got what she wanted from the men, but she never bothered to find out what they might have wanted from her. She wasn’t really concerned about their feelings. She was getting what she wanted/needed and expected that they felt the same. She might have thought she was clear to them, but it didn’t play out that way for me.

    The ending with Booth and his speech made me catch my breath at the time. I love how they’re just gazing so intently at each other that Sweets may as well have not been in the room. Episodes like this and many more during season 4 and 5 make the 100th episode that much more heart-breaking.

    • “The ending with Booth and his speech made me catch my breath at the time. I love how they’re just gazing so intently at each other that Sweets may as well have not been in the room. Episodes like this and many more during season 4 and 5 make the 100th episode that much more heart-breaking.”

      You know, in hindsight, I think it is reflection on all of those moments that made the quick turnaround in the 2nd half of season 6 possible – they realized they were not near as a far apart as the first half of season 6 would have led us to believe.

      • I appreciated how close they became again after the blizzard episode, but could’ve done without “Bang-Mama Bones”. I was happy for Emily, but would’ve preferred show just ignored her pregnancy. I wanted more of B&B just them before adding a baby into the mix. Especially since season 7 turned out to be the season “Brennan learns a lesson” every episode.

  5. Crap, I have no time to really read, process and reply. So for now, email.

    Also *LOVED* this episode. I never thought Brennan was doing anything wrong. If you don’t agree as a couple to date exclusively, you’re not exclusive.

    • I didn’t mean that Brennan had to be exclusive to either Mark or Jason just that maybe her reasons for being with them were not as clear cut to them as she believed or they wouldn’t have been so surprised that one wasn’t getting in the bedroom and the other couldn’t get out of it.

      • Not necessarily you but I’ve seen that kind of comment come up before in conversations about this situation. For the record, I don’t think Booth was wrong either when he bookended an episode by sleeping with two different women (except that one of them was Cam and that’s a whole ‘nuther subject). Single is as single does.

        FWIW, I’m also not completely on board with both Mark and Jason knowing where they stood. That they each had a bit of a hissy fit when they found about the other suggests otherwise.

      • I didn’t have a problem with Booth being with two different women in a matter of days either. He had history w/both of them so it wasn’t like he was hooking up with just anybody-and like you said, single is as single does. My own opinion-Cam totally took the job because of Booth. 🙂

      • Oh, definitely. Titanium rib spreaders my ass.

  6. For all that has been shown and hinted over the years between dating and sex across characters – most flaunted in the latter department – really makes me wonder how the “I do fine” is glossed over so much as I assume we are supposed to think Booth hasn’t been with anyone since Cam at this point. So the “I do fine” is either a statement he’d rather not discuss it with Brennan (perhaps likely), or an outright deflection of his recent inactivity. I suppose there can be some level of both there, but it really comes across as sheepish to me. (And I guess kind of fits with his reaction to her suggesting Pritch was interested in Yanks 2)

    Maybe I am too clouded by our viewing as an audience seeing the big picture, as opposed to the characters themselves. But I would find it hard for either Booth or Brennan to be able to hide such affairs from each other for how often they are together and how much they know about each other, even at this stage of the game after three years partnered together. I just don’t get where she assumes he is active without the evidence to support it.

    • Relantel, I think that you are right about Booth’s statement being a deflection. I also think Brennan assumes it because of what Avalon Harmonia tells her, she does not know how anyone could love her. She thinks with her heart more that she ever admitted to herself and others. I think the difference now is that she expresses her emotions outwardly better that she used to do.

  7. DB and ED should get ALL THE EMMYS. To infinity. The stuff they can do with pure body language and just their eyeballs deserve way more credit and acclaim than they get.

    We talk about Brennan’s walls up all the time but Booth has them too. Taking in their first case, when Brennan and a booth kiss and she leaves in the cab and combine that with his mom, Rebecca, etc problems…that dude has enough of his own walls up to build a fortress. Both of them had used surfacey relationships to mask what was going on inside and to help protect themselves from rejection. Brennan and Booth are both guilty of this.

    But when they let down that wall just a teensy bit….like Booth staring at Brennan’s librarian look, or the Santa in the Slush kiss, the coffee conversation, a Brennan crying at the end of Mayhem, or this moment right here…it’s just magical. Sometimes I can’t breathe when I watch these two in action. Makes my shipper heart skip a beat 🙂

  8. Loved this episode, especially the end scene. Brilliant post/scene study, and great for Brennan. I don’t think Brennan did anything wrong seeing Mark & Jason at the same time either. I’ve always thought Brennan has been celibate since this episode as well, which was a huge step and change for her regarding her stance on sex, love, and relationships. She did change. She had changed so much especially by the 100th. I think Brennan has always been underestimated. It’s why for me as well the 100th was heart breaking, heart crushing, and never made sense why Booth didn’t give Brennan the time he knew better than anyone she would need. The point of time has been made by both of them, to others, from others, and to each other often (Booth/Cam S2, Booth/Sweets S3, Brennan/Booth S4, Gordon Gordon/Booth S5, Brennan/Booth S5, etc.). And while I digress and rant a bit I’ll add Brennan’s line in S6.1 of there being no time or inclination for love or romance in response to Booth who completely missed every poignant word Brennan said.

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