Bones Theory

Vintage Bones: The Con Man in the Meth Lab


Ahhhhhh, this episode!

I feel like it is a pivotal one in the series. A lot happened before it, but so much that happened after this episode (especially re: Booth) was a result of this one—or at least had better context because of this episode.

Most of the Booth-related angst was fairly contained before this episode. They talked about his time in the service, but it was usually to prove a point on a case, or they may touch on his relationship with Parker, but it was also along the same plot lines as the case.

Here we meet his brother and hear about his history with his dad. We also see how he takes responsibility for people he cares about, for better or worse, and sometimes to his own detriment. But we love him for it. At least I do!


It was also an intense learning experience for Brennan. I believe she was just so desperate for any information about Booth that she was willing (at first) to get it anywhere. She learned not to do that, and I think it makes sense that she is/was very curious about him. Oh man, he was so angry!


conman 5

But he was also just so charmed at the end when she came out to visit him.



There is just so much in this episode. What are your favorite moments!


Here’s one of mine, your moment of B&B:



PS… Scene studies here & here !


15 thoughts on “Vintage Bones: The Con Man in the Meth Lab

  1. I’ve never particularly liked this episode because it was totally unbelievable that after working with Booth as his partner for over three years, Brennan, the rational scientist, would simply dismiss all of her own first-hand experience of him and accept the word of a total stranger that Booth was a loser. Again it felt contrived as was Brennan’s aggressive insertion of herself into Jared and Cam’s ‘date’. When did Brennan ever force herself into a personal situation unasked (with the exception of season 6)? She was always far more indifferent to her co-workers’ romantic relationships than puppy dog eager. The whole thing just felt off. That being said I did like the case and the final scene with B&B. Although how Jared could tell Booth he ‘carried his own water’ after Booth had sacrificed his big case to save him from a DWI still mystifies me.

  2. One thing that is amusing is that when Brennan tells Jared that Booth never tried to kiss her it probably was true in the writers’ minds at the time but after the 100th it was a lie and became Brennan’s secret that they did kiss and now in this scene it is something she is keeping to herself, part of ‘what is between us is ours’.

    • Actually Brennan was the one that kissed him… so I still hold it to be true 🙂

      • I always assumed that it was Brennan whom GordonGordon was talking about when he said one of them fought against their mutual physical attraction every day. Brennan always seemed to be the aggressor and I love the scene where she doesn’t want to stop kissing Booth and he tells her she can kiss him at all the red lights.

  3. I hated this episode. If I could’ve reached into the tv and smacked Brennan I would have. First from the way she practically threw herself at Jared as soon as she was introduced. The idea that his features were even more symmetrical than Booth’s was ridiculous with no disrespect to Brendan Fehr. Her “I’m beautiful” line when Jared said he wanted a beautiful companion for the evening was more WTH for me.

    Onward to the idea that after listening to Jared for one evening she completely discounts everything she knows about Booth after being his partner for four years so as to remain silent when he asks her if she thinks he’s a loser. Never mind that she completely blew off Cam as to what type of person Jared was claiming it was merely anecdotal but what Jared told her was apparently gospel.

    Her non-apology at the bar didn’t do it for me. When she asked to have a word with Booth I thought she was going to really apologize instead of telling him he was wrong to do what he did for Jared.

    The end scene was sweet and made me want to hug Booth. Sorry, but this was not Brennan at her finest-not even a little bit.

    • I thought her public apology had more meaning. I think you are forgetting who Brennan is. She doesn’t understand her own emotions or trust in her own ability to read people. Things have to make sense to her and for years anthropology is the only way she has made sense of the world. Jared phrased things for her in an anthropological way– so naturally she would consider it. Publicly admitting anthropology was wrong and that from then on her faith lay more in Booth was a monumental thing in their relationship.

      I have to admit I think there is a lot of truth to what Jared said about Booth, though. He does keep himself in his own comfort zone. Look at his recent FBI recertification exam. He practised all the things he was good at like shooting and physical fitness but shied away from practising the cognitive components. Like Jared said, its not that he isn’t capable. He is very capable but it’s like he is afraid of success. He wants to be underestimated. I think Brennan pushes him to stop that self sabotage. That started from the first day he met her when her presence made him stop gambling (another act of self sabotage).

      In psychology there is a ego defence mechanism called self handicapping. If you think you are going to fail an exam, you don’t study for it to protect your ego incase you don’t do well. Even though you know what is going to happen– you still may have some hope that it could work but when it doesn’t work you have an excuse to fall back on. For me, Booth did that in his relationships as well. Given the parallels between the 100th and DitM it obvious that Booth tends to sabotage his relationships. That happening once or twice could be a coincidence but 3 times is a pattern. Booth reads people for a living and both women had been clear about who they were. But he gets involved hoping the might change their mind but deep down knowing it won’t really work allowing himself to keep the moving on option open to protect his ego. The problem is that this kind of approach still takes a hit at your self esteem.

      • I’m not going to debate how I felt about the episode with you. I would have preferred a private apology. Her little speech was not an apology. And I have not forgotten who Brennan is. I didn’t say she was a terrible person, I said this was not her finest moment.

  4. Fresh off reading Skole’s Hanson’s Inferno post from Dec 2010, this episode almost presents as a microcosm of the theory presented – I see several parallels. Blasphemy (Jared over Booth). Anger (Booth at Brennan). Complete with resolution in the end. I’m not exactly as well versed in Dante as Skole, not anywhere close, but reading that post made me appreciate Con Man just a little bit more than I already did.

  5. Sent from my iPhone


  6. I always assumed that it was Brennan whom GordonGordon was talking about when he said one of them fought against their mutual physical attraction every day.

    I agree. If you look back to the wedding eposide. Her vows already tell you she love Booth way back in season 2.

  7. “I know who he is, but…I forget sometimes,” she says. “Because…because he never shines a light on himself. He shines it on other people.”

    “But I now think that anthropology had it wrong.”

    Brennan does so many things wrong in this episode, but she ends it with so much that is right. I can see why she was initially interested in what Jared had to say. This guy grew up with the riddle wrapped in an enigma that is Seeley Booth, and she wanted to know about him. Plus, Brennan has a tendency to want “Booth-lite” situations in her life…as close as she can get without risking herself, or Booth, on the real thing. (Sully, Jared, Hacker, Booth’s “stuff” for a baby’ etc).

    But the beautiful end scenes…she figures it out. Only the real thing will do for her, and she’ll stick with Booth himself for family details. And boy does she get it with “my dad drank”. Those three words tell her so much, and more than she would ever get from Jared.

    DB is so underrated, if you read those scene studies…his FACE. Perfectly portrays the angst, sadness, frustration, pain, hope…all mingled together. Like the posts Sarah graciously allowed me to write I know this man, Seeley Booth. That is my father, and his dad drank. DB does a wonderful job of being real in these moments. I think that’s what grips us so much about these characters, they are so real.

    I think it’s interesting to watch these in retrospect, knowing what we know now. I think it makes the past episodes so much fun to relieve, and makes the future episodes seem so awesome because of how far they’ve come.

  8. “My dad drank…..” And what wasn’t said? “And mom left us with him and ran away to save her own sorry ass.”

    Grrr. I can’t even think about this episode anymore without getting ragey.

    • They should have forgone the whole Mama Booth drama thing and had her dying when Booth was a child. As it was written it was a horrible arc.

  9. i really like this episode. I think it’s an interesting case. However, I can understand why people hate it….

    When I first watched the interrogation room scene where Brennan mentions what Jared told her, my first impression was that Booth was more angry at his brother than Brennan, although he was right to be angry at her. When he calls and she doesn’t answer, he asks her later why she didn’t answer but interrupts before she can tell him that she told Jared he was wrong about Booth being a loser.

    Seeley Booth is presented as an honest upright man, so why would Brennan expect his brother to be anything less? And Booth does often lay low….as we see in Man in the SUV he didn’t want a Rose Garden ceremony. Brennan doesn’t read people well. How could she know that Jared was sowing seeds of discord? She wants to gather evidence about Booth, so why not go to a source close to him, like his brother? She had no reason to believe Jared was putting his own brother in a bad light.

    The speech she gives at the end is really awkward, but it seemed to patch things up between them. He knows her well enough to realize she doesn’t always say the right thing. I know viewers think she should apologize but I honestly believe she doesn’t realize exactly what she did wrong, and she usually doesn’t apologize even if she does know.

    Just my opinion…..I like the characters on this program because they are far from perfect. That makes them far more interesting to me. Because they make poor decisions or say stupid things I can relate to them more, and that makes the show more enjoyable for me. I am willing to forgive the imperfections the writers give them.

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