Bones Theory

The Murder in the Middle East: Post Episode Discussion

61 Comments

Hello everyone!

What did you think of this episode? The comments are open. Please remember–no spoilers for future episodes!

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61 thoughts on “The Murder in the Middle East: Post Episode Discussion

  1. I found it to be emotional especially at the end! I loved it !Acting was superb, leaving me crying at the end! I want the problem tobe resolved because Booth and Brennan belong together!!!

  2. – The only thing I can think about right now is the ending and how Booth did in fact lie to Brennan’s face, unless there is something that we don’t know about. And the fact that Brennan payed the bookie with her own money to keep her and Christine safe is just awful.

    I just hate what they are doing to Booth’s character.
    -The only other thing I can think of right now is that I liked Cams hair in a scarf, LOL. Very upset about this whole Booth gambling, lying storyline.

  3. Brennan did what she had to do.Just be glad the finale was filmed before the renewal or
    Booth and Brennan would be separated for another summer.

  4. Excellent episode. I continue to be impressed by their execution of the gambling story line. DB absolutely nailed that last scene.

    I was worried about how Brennan was going to come across in this episode. But again I think the execution of her response throughout the episode was wonderfully done. I liked that she recognized what continues to be admirable in him at the same time as she was confronting something that wasn’t. And that she gave him a chance to change how this played out. But he’s just not there yet. And if he just magically was there at that moment it would have felt like a cheat to me. It should be difficult for him. He should have to struggle to be honest with himself so he can be honest with her. But once he gets there I wasn’t left with the impression that she won’t be there for him. If that happens, then I’d have a problem with her. But so far I’m not getting any indication that that will be the case.

  5. Wow. I thought this was one of the best episodes of the season. That last scene in particular left me gutted. I was yelling at my TV for Booth to not lie, even though I knew it was coming. Then I was yelling again at Brennan to not kick him out, when I knew that was coming too. I am on the fence about kicking him out of the house, though I think that comes more from the fan-side of my brain that never wants them to be separated. 🙂 She absolutely had every right to be angry. He put them in danger and has been lying to her for weeks. Booth is an addict and that is not something that gets solved overnight. I hope it doesn’t get swept under the run and resolved in one show like some issues have been in the past.

    I love the angst because that gives DB and ED some amazing opportunities to stretch their acting muscles and boy did they ever deliver in that last scene. Both of them were incredible, DB in particular. Plus I know any separation will not be forever. Just like when I read everyone’s fanfic, the ultimate goal will be for them to be together. As long as I know that, I can sit back and watch two of my favorite actors make me love this couple even more.

  6. I haven’t seen the episode yet, but the comments here are giving me hope! I’m still nervous to how this storyline is going to play out. I’m glad Bones finally got renewed so I don’t have to be worried about gambling stuff so close to the end of the series. Whatever happens, I’m hoping B&B get to ride off into the summer together, instead of being separated again. Let Booth spend the summer with his kid, please!!!! 🙂

  7. This was a very intense episode. Any American going to Iran is scary enough then top it off with a very serious B&B crisis, Yikes! I’m also on the fence about Brennan throwing Booth out, although I see her side of it. I thought Booth would try to explain or apologize more to Brennan before leaving the house.
    I agree with others that it isn’t something that can be solved in 1 episode. Maybe the first episode of Season 11 will be a time jump and we’ll learn Booth went to rehab or Brennan will go to a Gamblers Anon. for Families and learn more about the addiction and how to deal with it. Anyway, stressful time to be going through this, being pregnant and keeping up a good face for Christine. Two thumbs up for the acting.

  8. So sad…but telling Booth to leave in my opinion was the only option for Brennan, because when she asked him if he was gambling
    again and he looked her in the eyes and said, “NO,” I could see how heartbroken she was. The lie was worse than the gambling. She had to put Christine and the danger this put both of them in first. Great mothers always put their children first. Her telling him to leave will make him realize what he has to lose unless he gets this addiction under control.

  9. How is Brennan ever going to trust Booth again??!! He blatantly lied right to her face. She even said before she asked him if he was gambling again,”without trust we have nothing.” And he lied to her face and said no he was not gambling. How can you trust someone like that? She will not be able to. She was right to ask him to leave, and to tell him she did not believe him when he told her “I love you.”

    Very sad.

  10. I did not enjoy the Cam/Aristoo story it seemed overly contrived and silly. Too much suspension of belief for me. I don’t care about them and at this point it’s safe to say that ship has sailed. They are not going to happen for me as a couple. I know that with ED being pregnant, she’s needed some lighter episodes. But Hodgins is just a gem. TJ is wonderful. I’d really like story about him for a change.
    Anyway, Brennan was stellar. She did what she had to do. Booth doesn’t need to coddled right now, he needs tough love. He needs to face facts and get help. He’s off on a bender.
    I noticed that Brennan was wearing the necklace when the show started. By the time he came home it was gone. She has to know now how/why he bought it. He’s been lying and sneaking around for weeks. She did the right thing.
    I’m really hoping they redeem him. I mean tptb have dug a deep hole for Booth. I don’t know if I will ever wholly trust him again. Without trust we have nothing – she’s right. It’s all up to him now. He’s got a lot of work to do.
    It was very sad.
    Season 10 as a whole has been a big downer, starting with Sweets death and now ending with gambling.

  11. Cutting and pasting from another post I wrote because I’m too tired to come up with a different way of saying this 🙂

    Wow-still recovering from last night. What always amazes me about Bones is that you think you know what’s coming, you may have even read the most spoilery of spoilers giving away half the plot, and it still manages to knock your socks off when it comes to the execution. This episode had the potential to be a total mess in the wrong hands; when the press release came out I was kind of concerned I’d be railing against Brennan for not being understanding enough or absolutely hating on Booth for his behavior. Instead, I was left feeling incredibly sad for both of them and desperate to find out just how they’re going to work their way around the very real-and realistic-calamity that has just befallen their marriage.

    As I’ve said before, it was important for me that Booth not come across as a complete jackass in this arc because I think that would have been grossly unfair to his character. IMO, the writers tip-toed that fine line perfectly. While some of the things he did were undoubtedly reprehensible and low, at the same time he was also shown as very much the same person he’s been since the beginning of the series-a good guy. Even when we knew he was gambling, we never say him MIA from home. He was there making dinners and babysitting and worrying about his wife, spending his evenings cuddling with Brennan on the couch. In that sense he was and still is a reliable, loving family man. The writers were also careful not to beat him up in other ways. Booth continues to be the person friends can rely on, the heroic crime-fighter who seeks justice on behalf of those who can’t. Again important because to me the story had to leave him in a place where he could still credibly redeem himself, where Brennan would be able to respect him and trust him again in the future even if she can’t right now.

    As to Brennan, the one thing I didn’t want to sit through was some scene where she was portrayed as a hard liner who could have been more sympathetic towards her husband and his sickness. I was very relieved when they didn’t do that to her. She was so supportive of Booth even as she confronted him and, as others have pointed out, showed her fear and love for him while in the midst of her anger when the video feed from Iran suddenly died. I also liked the touch with the bookie; it gave the audience yet one more reason to be on board with her reaction at the end.

    One of the things I particularly loved was that Brennan gave Booth the chance to come clean repeatedly; I suspect she might not have asked him to leave on the spot if he had. But if there’s one thing Brennan (understandably) can’t tolerate are lies and manipulation-too much of a reminder of her dad. It’s a symptom of Booth’s out-of-control addiction that he has completely lost sight of that very fundamental fact about her. He has obviously managed to convince himself that as long as no one gets hurt by his gambling his lying is okay, when in reality the lying is the worst offense of them all in Brennan’s eyes. If he was thinking straight he would have seen that.

    As much as it hurt to watch, I believe Brennan absolutely did the right thing by asking Booth to leave. Not just because of the betrayal itself and the danger he introduced into their lives, but because as a couple they’re in a beat-the buzzer kind of situation. Given the nature of addiction and the behavioral habits it creates (habits entrenched in Booth because he’s been gambling for months), nothing short of a direct kick to the psyche has even the remotest chance of getting him to quit at this point. He needs to get shoved, not just politely nudged, off the addiction rails.

    The final scene was killer-we know there are few worse things for Booth than losing Brennan’s trust, not to mention being seen in the same light as his father, a toxic man who filled his house with fear and mistrust. Yet here he is, repeating some of that same history in his own home. It’s a pattern he needed to confront and I can’t think of a single other thing Brennan could have done to make him understand what he was close to throwing away other than by asking him to leave. The possibility of losing what he loves the most had to be real to him, had to have substance. Despite how much I adore Booth, I would have done the same thing. There’s no certainty that kicking him out will help, but letting him stay and get comfortable again will only give him more rope to hang himself with.

    I’d just like to add that I feel both Emily and David have been giving us some of their very finest performances ever this season. That after ten years neither of them is phoning anything in even when there were questions about the show’s renewal is frankly incredible. Ditto for the writers and producers. There may have been some middling episodes this year, but in my opinion, we’ve also gotten some of the best ones of the entire series. Makes me all sniffly to be a fan of the show.

  12. This was a nice post Mariu. But it made me think, it was really easy for Booth to carry on the charade of being a good dad and husband while he was lying the entire time. Even buying that necklace. Assuaging his own guilt and making her feel good. That may make it even harder for Brennan to trust him. She was really duped by him.
    I agree they both did a great job last night.

    It will be very interesting to see just how he thinks he can win back that trust. We’ve seen that she still struggles with her dad. I just don’t think it can be resolved as easily as some are expecting. Unless of course if it all gets glossed over. I hope they don’t go that route.

    • For me, B&B’s relationship has been tainted now by Booth’s lying. She can never trust him again. She should have thrown his necklace at him and told him to sell it to help pay her back the $30,000 she had to fork over because of his stupidity to keep Christine and her safe from his bookie.

      I am so mad at Booth right now, Brennan should put him on the first train to nowhere. Their relationship has been tainted and I don’t know how she will forgive him or be able to kiss him again and trust him enough to stay with him, or go with him.

      I really hate feeling this way about B&B, especially Booth!
      Again, this gambling story line, Booth being a liar, and B&B being separated again as the finale nears is just awful!

    • I agree the cut was deep, but I think it’s important to consider Booth’s slip in light of all the good things he’s brought to Brennan’s life over the years and his great track record as a husband/partner until just recently. I like to think that Brennan knows the truth of Booth just like he knows the truth of her; not that I think he shouldn’t have to do anything to earn her trust beyond going to GA meetings, but since the lying has only happened once in their entire work/personal relationship and only after almost unbearable emotional upheaval, I’m hopeful she’ll be able to look past all this and trust him once he gets help.

      Like Brennan said, without trust they have nothing; their relationship would take on a whole different look (and a far less appealing one, at least for me) without it. I personally don’t want to see Booth trying to win his way back into Brennan’s good graces beyond a few episodes because that would mean she’s choosing to overlook all those other times he’s been there for her in favor of what went down the last few months. On that front I’m reminded of the first Sex in the City movie when Steve cheated on Miranda. Although he was very remorseful and said he would never do it again, Miranda was on the fence about taking him back even though she loved him because she didn’t trust him (which was perfectly reasonable, btw.) He on the other hand was upset that she kept throwing the cheating in his face even though it only happened once. The counselor said that if their marriage was going to survive they both had to agree to move forward and not look back. I’m guessing that’s what B&B will eventually do, though I’d be surprised if the gambling was never mentioned again.

      I think I’d be feeling a whole lot different if Booth’s addiction was a recurring problem; in that case, not only do I think Brennan shouldn’t trust him, I don’t think she should risk her own emotional health or Christine’s by taking him back. Repeat offenses would be evidence that the problem is not really a containable one. Staying with an active addict is like tying a rock around your neck and throwing yourself in the river; their behavior and its effects will wind up destroying your life as well.

      In any event, like you, I do hope he does do some sucking up and that they show him tacking the addiction; I just don’t need half a season devoted to it.

      • I’m less interested in seeing him sucking up and more interested in seeing him work through how he ended up where he did.

        I think the FBI just wanted to pretend like it never happened because they were culpable. So they let him come back to work without making sure that was the right thing for him. And then Brennan telling him he wasn’t someone that she wanted in her daughter’s life, when he was clearly in crisis. I think the message he was getting was it was better for everyone if he just could be ok like right now. The one person that would have pushed back against that no matter how uncomfortable it made anyone was killed before he could help.

        The actual gambling has to be addressed. But so do the issues that he was using the gambling to self medicate for. And then finding constructive ways of coping. The last time the concept of bringing a killer to justice for everyone of his kills was part of that. I’m curious to see what becomes part of the process this time around.

      • Iseault2, I agree…I don’t really think that sucking up is what is needed here, though there really does seem to be a sentiment out there that Brennan needs to extract her “pound of flesh” from Booth.

        What is needed it going to be unpleasant for Booth, and also for everyone who loves him (ie. Brennnan first and foremost) . He is going to have to break completely — he’s already well on his way, but he is going to have to continue on this downward trajectory and admit that he is powerless over something. As others have mentioned, for a man like Booth, for whom control has been everything, this is going to be devastating. It is also going to be devastating for Brennan, who can only watch while he does it. I really do hope that we get to see her supporting him though.

        One of the reasons I do not like this gambling story is because this is a very dark and grim subject — both the gambling addiction and also lying to your spouse — and the juxtaposition of such a dark story and typical Bones comedy can be extremely jarring unless it is handled VERY deftly. Here’s hoping the writers were up to the task.

        As for “sucking up”, I think that comes later, after Booth in on the road to sobriety and B&B are reconciled. Then I wouldn’t mind seeing Booth “grovel” a little…some flowers, some jewelry that wasn’t financed by gamling winnings, another Jasper type gift, because then it will be light-hearted and fun.

      • I just want to say maybe sucking up wouldn’t be the correct term, but I do think Booth needs to acknowledge his own addiction and also how it hurt/affected Brennan and Christine. He and they cannot heal until that happens. So maybe it should be making amends? Working to regain her trust ? That is going to be a long haul.
        He lied to her face even after she called him on the gambling saying it was only one time. He dug himself a very deep hole. It will take some definite proof for Brennan to even believe he is sincere about recovery.
        I am really interested in how the writers handle this, because there are so few episodes left. I really hope they do the story justice because it is a very serious and sad subject matter. Bones history would say it’s wrapped up with a pretty bow relatively quickly. I hope they do treat the story with respect.
        I am very interested to see Booth’s reaction to it all. As well as what the FBI has to say about it.

        Then I agree some sucking up can come all along the way in s11. Perhaps we can have Booth woo his wife a little. Reminding her what she truly means to him. Something we have really never seen in their relationship. Has Booth ever told her how much he truly loves and needs her? She made a little speech in s9 in the car about him being her home. I can’t even recall Booth doing something similar but maybe I’m wrong.

      • ” Perhaps we can have Booth woo his wife a little. Reminding her what she truly means to him. Something we have really never seen in their relationship. Has Booth ever told her how much he truly loves and needs her? She made a little speech in s9 in the car about him being her home. I can’t even recall Booth doing something similar but maybe I’m wrong.”

        How about these:

        “I love you the way you are, Bones.”
        “We’re more than psychology.”
        “I don’t have reasons.”
        “beautiful and rare, just like you.”
        “I’m the luckiest man in the world, because I got to spend time with your mother and with you.”
        “You know I would die for you.”
        “The Hell with the FBI.”
        “I love every day.”
        “being chased by you has been my greatest joy”
        “Sometimes you just have to dance to the music that’s given to you.”
        gives her find old Scotch….”This is not for my wife; this is for my partner whom I occasionally kiss.”

        So, yeah, I think Booth has conveyed to her how much he loves and needs her. As for wooing, I maintain that much of Booth’s wooing happened pre-Season 6. He worked for years to break down the barriers she had erected around herself and that was a form of wooing, although it was never explicitly stated as such.

        Having said that, no way no how would I object to seeing some future wooing from Booth!

  13. Booth made a huge mistake….a life altering mistake in many ways…but that doesn’t mean that he can’t be forgiven and that people don’t still care about him. The key will be if he can admit that he made a huge mistake and take steps to correct it and also to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I think it will be difficult, but not impossible. I think it was in season 7 that Brennan said just because things are difficult it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do them.

    Now if he were to refuse help or continue to violate her trust, then yes, in that case she would have to consider whether she wanted to continue the relationship. But since this is TV I don’t think it will go that far. I think they will reconcile slowly.

    I know a lot of people have been upset by this story but I think it is an important story that people need to see. This is a real life issue and a lot of people deal with similar things. Maybe it will help other people to look at things differently.

  14. (Also a repost from another forum)

    I loved this episode. It delivered so much that I love about this show at its best. I loved the international intrigue and the personal drama at home. I was actually a bit worried how they would depict Iran, that they would turn it into a cartoon version of the country. Luckily, they were far more nuanced and showed characters that seemed like bad guys, but were more complex than that. I also liked how they showed Booth not willing to beat up a suspect, and being fair. This is the American ideal even if it is not always the case in real life. I have always found Arastoo a fascinating and realistic character, and have enjoyed learning more about his life, and how he has to glide between two very different cultures. They also paid attention to details like the food and drink (and Aubrey’s one moment of humor talking about pistachios) as well as the moral code in Iran.

    What was also nice about this episode was how the case intersected morally with the Booth gambling story line. Could the Iranian father forgive his son for his transgressions? How they ended that case was with the simple fact that he loved his son, and that is all that mattered. That was the sliver of hope the episode delivered even when we saw Booth at his worst.

    What seems to be lost to many is that Booth’s gambling addiction is not his main problem – it’s a symptom to a much larger challenge he has been facing since Episode 1 of Season 10. His house was blown up, he was shot in a gun battle, he was betrayed by the FBI, he suffered & was beat up in jail, and then he lost his friend Sweets. He has not dealt with any of this trauma. Prior to his gambling relapse we got small glimpses of him not doing well – stockpiling weapons & seeking revenge, not sleeping, becoming borderline unhinged when he lost a picture he had kept in jail, and actually … being very tempted by gambling (Episode 8) before Aubrey stopped him. Yes, we saw him being seemingly okay as well, but I sensed trouble under the surface throughout the season.

    That end scene was so good. They didn’t go for an Academy Award winning moment of crying and hysterics. Instead they played it so subtly I replayed it a few times to appreciate all the nuances. Two things struck me: one was how Brennan kept creating a distance between her and Booth. He walked toward her and she moved away immediately. I think she had planned what she was going to say, and didn’t want for one second to pretend everything was okay. Secondly, the moment when Booth realizes all his lies have caught up to him and all the oxygen leaves his body. He’s speaking but he’s already in shock. He realizes he’s in trouble, and although he tells her he loves her, he knows everything has changed. I have read some people wondering why he walked away after minimal pushback. That was actually when he showed a moment of grace. He did this as well in front of the Hoover building in the 100th episode when Brennan rejected his wanting them to have a romantic relationship. Booth is a gentleman at heart, and he knows Brennan better than everyone. He respects her in the end, and knew there was nothing he could say at that moment to fix what was now broken. That was so well done. Much kudos should be given to David and Emily, of course, but also to the writers who didn’t overdo the moment.

    I have really enjoyed Season 10, especially because there have been ongoing story arcs. I think B&B will be back together by the end, but it’s more the journey of how they get there that I am looking forward to.

    • Laura S. You summarized it very well. After reading everyone’s comments on Booths gambling in this one episode, I though about the whole season and what he has gone through. The lying and gambling were the dam breaking in his overflowing river of trials this season. He needs consulting more than a gamblers anon meeting can give him. Too bad Gordon Gordon isn’t practicing anymore. I think when he finally spills all the emotions he has been hiding and breaks down to Brennan she will support him and learn to trust him again. She is a doctor and knows he has an illness that will never go away but can be put into remission.

    • Finally! someone has pointed the roots of Booth’s problem. And thank you for bringing up those subtle things that showed through the season that there is a deep unsettling under the surface in Booth’s psyche.

      Also I’m with you about enjoying season 10. Especially the second part.

  15. I get what you’re saying Laura.
    But will Brennan ever be able to fully trust him again? Or will she always be looking for some sort of signs that something is amiss? He’s done this before and he has recovered before. But never where it affected her so directly. And now she has their children to think about. Like you say, if he seeks help and works on it, I can see her giving him another chance.

    But you also have to understand how some in the audience may feel a little cheated. Because honestly, addiction is never beaten. It’s there and it can always rear it’s ugly head. While the audience knew this about Booth, because they never saw it, and saw how he acted when in the grips of it. I think it was something people saw as in his past. Brennan gave him a reason to leave that behind, to kick it. And even Booth said to her before he went into the poker game, why would I risk all I have?

    I want to hear him answer that…..

    So now we are left with a Booth that we now KNOW is willing to risk everything he’s ever thought was good in his life for this addiction.
    There is no reason to ever think he won’t do this again. So I honestly feel Brennan can never fully trust him again. She can accept and she can learn to live with it. But she must be ever vigilant for a relapse where he is concerned. Always have that tinge of doubt. That is difficult to live with.

    He’s now a full fledged gambling addict in the eyes of the audience. It does take the character down a couple of notches. imo
    It’s a sad way to head into the twilight of the show.

    • He has always been an addict, this isn’t a new character trait. We’re just now seeing the really bad part of that. I’m sure what she wants is for him to be open and confide in her (I’m sure she would love it if he could be “cured” but that’s not possible). For all his “you need to share a little bit of yourself and open up to people” BS, Booth is a very closed off person. Every little bit of information she’s gotten out of him has been by prodding and pushing. He never willingly shares anything and NEVER asks for help. If after this he feels the pull of the gambling high again, he should learn to recognize it and ask for help. I’m sure she’ll be more than willing to help him deal with it.

      • This. Booth is a very private and proud man, sharing personal stuff never comes easy for him, it’s the reason behind his rocky relationship with Sweets at the beginning of their acquaintance. He finally learned to trust him, but now he’s gone. And I think admitting to Brennan that everything is not okay, when he tries to get past it and prepare for their second child, turns out to be harder than before. It’s what broke the camel’s back. He snapped and the gambling case came by at a really bad time.

        I see the gambling here as the release he couldn’t find anywhere else, and like Laura has mentioned there has been signs of his being strung tightly by the ordeal that has happened since the ending if season nine. It’s painful to see but it rings true. I find it real, and I find him more real because of this. Booth has so many good qualities and often is the pillar of strength to everyone that one tends to forget he’s just a man that can simply be as fragile as anyone else. I’m glad they decided to explore this.

        I’m going to express something that might me get flamed, but that’s how I feel so bear with me.

        I think the gambling story line has finally brought back what was lacking in Bones for the past season and hal: The real drama between BB. Not the drama thrown at them that they faced together. But the drama between the two of them. BB’s relationship form the very beginning was the centre of the show and the show goes on when there is drama. Without it something was lost and I think this was it. This was what people has been complaining about recent seasons without being able to name it properly.

        With this episode I realised it was the case with me.

        For the first time, after watching this episode, I felt once again truly moved, unsettled and connected to the show than I did in months even years. For the past seasons the drama has been shifted to other characters, interns, Sweets, Squints, but it’s not it. The centre is the centre and for Bones it’s Booth and Brennan. And now we seem to getting it back to the right place.

        So that’s how I feel since watching the episode yesterday.

  16. I have lived with addicts, and it is hard to learn to trust again even when they are functioning well. But Brennan has learned to trust Max more and has forgiven him for all of the wrongs he committed, so I think there is hope for Booth also.

    I know some people feel cheated but I don’t personally. I think they will be able to overcome eventually, and I am looking forward to seeing how it all works out.

    • Brennan has NOT forgiven Max for everything he did to her, IMO. In “The Putter in the Rough” end scene at the B&B house, Max said to Brennan “Tempe, I know that you can’t forgive me. But I am so sorry” and she didn’t say a word. She just looked at him. She didn’t say “I do forgive you”. I would say that she hasn’t actually forgiven Max, she has just allowed him, albeit reluctantly and at Booth’s urging, into their family from time to time. Remember how worried she got about Max running off with Christine when she was a baby? That doesn’t sound like full forgiveness to me.

      Your comment raises an interesting point. Have we ever really seen Brennan forgive anyone? Did she really ever forgive Russ, or did she just forge a patched up relationship with him? You might argue she “forgave” Booth for breaking the engagement, but I really think she just figured out the reason Booth did it and accepted that he made the right choice….that’s different than forgiving someone for something they were clearly wrong in doing.

      Based on show history maybe Booth should be worried, although given that it’s a TV show and there would be a huge fan outcry if B&B were separated for a long period of time, I’m sure she’ll get over it pretty quickly and allow him to come back home. Real forgiveness is another matter.

      • What does forgiveness entails to you? Forgiving and forgetting are two different things and when a person has been marked for life by something as big as what Max and Christine Brennan did to their kids, especially her whom ended up in a crappy foster system situation, I’d say it is very hard to forget that even if you eventually forgive. Its not something easy to control because those are childhood traumas. She trusts him enough to let him into her and their children’s lives and she obviously loves him and wants her kids to have a relationship with their grandfather. I would say that’s pretty good. However, comparing what Max did to what Booth is doing right now is probably not a very fair comparison. Booth’s track record with her is much different than Max’s. That matters.

        As for Russ, I do think she forgave him. She absolutely understood he was put in a terrible position just like she was. However, we’ve seen so little of him and their relationship we don’t have the same references we do for Max. Brennan from season 3 is not the same Brennan from now in terms of how she deals with emotions and relationships.

      • To me, forgiveness means the cancellation of a debt. To forgive is to erase the debt. That is NOT the same thing as reconciliation. It is possible to forgive but not reconcile, and I suppose the opposite is true as well.

        In the context of Bones, I think Brennan has reconciled, at least partially, with Max, but I’m not sure she has forgiven him. Frankly, if she had, why didn’t the writers simply have her tell him so when he said to her “I know you can’t forgive me”? It seems that their message is that she has not forgiven him. I agree with your point about Russ, since we have seen very little of him lately it’s hard to say how she actually feels about him.

        It would be very possible for Brennan to forgive Booth for lying to her but to never reconcile with him, to break off her relationship with him and to prohibit him from seeing Christine or the baby. Since it’s a TV show that depends on them being together that won’t happen, but it would certainly be a distinct possibility in real life, which is the reason I really, really wish the writers had not gone down this path with our favorite fictional couple.

      • You bring a very interesting point! We see the gambling as something Booth needs to overcome and Brennan is there for the backlash and eventually support, but in a way it’s his drama. With your comment I just realised this drama is a possibility for Brennan’s character to overcome a personal obstacle that is learning to forgive. Good job pointing it out!

  17. I watched Soccer Mom in the Mini van last night, and it was interesting to compare it to this episode. Booth and Caroline have arranged some private visitation time between Brennan and Max. Brennan can hardly stand to be in the same room with Max. Booth tells her that maybe she should start to forgive her father….which she works on throughout the episode.

    I think she forgave a lot of what Max did but that doesn’t mean she approves of it or forgets what happened. I don’t think she still completely trusts him but Christine has stayed with him many times and he has done some child care for them.

    I have been wondering if what Booth has done could be considered a form of abandonment. Booth is one of my all time favorite fictional characters, so I’m not bashing him, but from Brennan’s point of view I could she how she might think so. Thoughts from you all?

    • Oh my goodness. Let’s really kick Booth while he is down. Abandonment? Of Brennan, of Christine, or both? I don’t see that at all. Please elaborate.

      • I don’t mean to kick him when he’s down. I just know that he has promised many times to be there for her, and now he can’t be because he has gotten himself in his predicament. Because Max has not always kept his promises and Brennan has issues with being abandoned, I wondered if from her point of view she felt the same way about this situation,too. I don’t think so myself, but I was wondering if others might think she would feel that way given her past. It was just a question for discussion. I’m sorry if I offended you.

        I think since Brennan understands what happens to people in the throes of addiction she might be more able to forgive and reconcile with Booth if he makes an effort to make amends, attend his GA meetings, get counseling, etc. I think this story arc is uncomfortable but I think a lot of good can come from it in the long run because viewers can maybe get an understanding of what happens when a family has to deal with an addiction.

      • Thank you for explaining. Based on your response, my answer is yes, Booth did abandon Brennan. He abandoned and betrayed her. He abandoned and betrayed Christine and their unborn child. So now, in her life, Max has betrayed her, friends and lovers have betrayed her, and Booth, the man she let down her walls for, the man she lost her imperviousness for, her knight in shining FBI standard-issue body armor has betrayed her. Who does she have to rely on now? Angela…maybe Aubrey?

        This is a messy, nasty, real-life issue with no easy resolution. Brennan would probably be well within her rights to report Booth’s activities to the FBI which would result in his termination, report him to child-protective services, and seek custody of her children. There is certainly no quick fix here. In RL, even if she chose to stay married to him, she would be wise to remove his access to her money, monitor his activities, question whether he is lying to her, and be vigilant with the children. Let’s not forget that a bookie threatened her and Christine. One slip from Booth in the future could cause the same thing, or worse, to happen. She would be remiss herself if she did not guard against it.

        In real-life, it would take years for Booth to regain Brennan’s trust, if ever. TV timeline will not allow for that to happen, but IMO it’s a disservice to this subject matter to gloss it over. The alternative is equally unappealing…if they allowed it to play out as it would in reality, we would never see that trustworthy FBI knight again in the remaining lifetime of the show.

        I’m glad some people are enjoying this story. Perhaps some good will come of it. To me, this was too much to bite off and too messy to resolve in any acceptable way.

  18. I’ve seen some people theorize on other sites that Booth may be still doing something undercover in regards to gambling. This is not based on any actual knowledge, just wild speculation :). I have not read any spoilers!!

    I think idea might be the only way I could be OK with this storyline. But they’ve already had Booth hide the Pelant-proposal-drama from Brennan before, so I guess that would be repetitive if they did it again.

    I get that addiction is something that never goes away, but #1, they waited wayyyy too long in the series to bring it up now (IMO!) #2, Brennan already has trust issues and this sucks for her to lose trust in Booth and #3, Booth is all about duty and honor and his cosmic balance sheet and this seems wrong.

    I love Bones angst, don’t get me wrong, but I wish that we could have one cliffhanger where B&B were in it TOGETHER, instead of being separated, miserable, and alone. Christine loses months out of every year with her father! She probably HATES the end of the season :). I want their marriage to be happy and strong, and the angst comes from outside sources that they can fight it TOGETHER. I want my B&B like the end of Aliens, where they are sitting side by side in the church saying “I knew you wouldn’t give up” to each other.

    • Just be glad for the late renewal or this would have been the season finale.

    • I really do think we will get some sort of “I knew you wouldn’t give up” ending….I don’t think Brennan will give up on Booth, and I think he will get turned around and not give up on himself and the life he has built. Just my opinion….

    • I discuss this in a lengthy post below, but I totally agree that they took too long to get to this issue.

  19. Caught up on this one over the weekend.

    Holy rip your heart out ending. One that it was inevitable that it was coming (getting caught) but still didn’t expect them to have Booth lie on direct inquisition like that. Given the earlier in season commentary about Bones leaving if he didn’t get things together (PTSD-related coming off the incarceration), this is a natural next step. Sure the gambling is only recent episode-wise but in Bones time it’s been quite a number of months since that undercover case already.

    with bb, that one could hope there was some residual undercover doings here, but that would be a cop-out. And Aubrey would have been in on it if it were.

    I harken back to Woman in the Sand. There they went undercover together and had Bones do the gambling. This time, Booth was in there all alone (audio-link notwithstanding) and was forced to do the gambling. Sure, it’s late in the series, but if they end up going another 3-4 seasons there will be quite a bit of time for long-arc recovery.

    The strange thing in all of this: Booth has been at the lab more this season than the last four combined.

    • Booth wasn’t forced to do the gambling, he chose to do so. He could’ve sent in another agent, it didn’t have to be him. When you’re an addict, you’re supposed to stay away form temptation. He failed to do that, even after Brennan’s very obvious concern, he chose to ignore her and just went ahead and placed himself in a very tricky situation. This is not Booth bashing BTW, I like the guy and I obviously want him and Brennan to clear things up and reconcile but the truth is that this relapse is really his fault and now he needs to do some serious damage control that starts with admitting some hard truths to himself and being able to ask for help.

      • you’re right, and I guess we knew there would be trouble from that episode when Booth told Aubrey that Bones was okay with him going undercover as a gambler….not exactly true to my way of thinking. He is going to have to apologize, beg for forgiveness and hope for mercy from his wife.

    • 3 to 4 seasons more looks mighty unlikely at this point. We’re getting 11, but I suspect that this will be it. Of course, it all depends on whether Fox manages to come up with any new hit shows. 😉

  20. Booth loves Brennan knowing the truth of her. And some of her truth isn’t pretty. Part of Booth’s truth is that he is an addict. And that his trigger is significant trauma. That’s always been part of his truth. A part of him that contributes to HIS “How could anyone ever love me”.

    Active addiction changes how people behave. They do things they would never do in recovery. The lies here have a context that the lies Brennan’s parents told her do not. I think she’s smart enough to understand the difference. If she’s not, if she treats him the same way she treats her father… Then I think the writer’s would be exploring that as a character weakness that she needs to overcome. Because they’ve already set the bar for love in the series. And Brennan would have failed to meet that standard.

    • “Avalon Harmonia: The riddle you can’t solve is how… somebody could love you…The answer to the question that you’re afraid to say out loud is… yes. He knows the truth of you, and he is dazzled by that truth. ”

      So Booth knows the truth about Brennan, which as you point out isn’t always pretty, and he is still dazzled by her.

      Maybe the riddle Booth can’t solve is how somebody can love him if he isn’t the strong, moral, dependable guy he presents to the world….if he has to admit weakness, admit that he is powerless over something, and ask for help. It remains to be seen whether Brennan will be dazzled by that truth.

  21. In past episodes, Max lies as easily as breathing…he doesn’t even have to think about it. It appears he doesn’t flat out lie as much as he used to , but he does adjust the truth to fit his situation.

    On the other hand, Booth has been pretty honest most of the time with Brennan, or at least a lot more than Max has been. His track record is a lot better when it comes to telling the truth. Brennan also has studied addiction, and surely realizes that this lying is an aberration caused by the addiction, and isn’t really a part of Booth’s true character. I’m not sure the same could be said for Max.

    I know a lot of viewers believe that all of the telling of lies is the same, but I don’t agree. If it had been a pattern of Booth’s personality to be shifty, then yes, it would be hard to forgive. But this is not normal for him, and that may be the reason Brennan can forgive him easier than she forgave Max.

  22. The problem with placing all of the blame on Booth for knowingly going into a gambling situation and then relapsing is that it ignores just how easily it was and is for him to gamble at any given time-placing a bet has always been just a phone call or a mouse click away, night and day. He doesn’t need to walk by a bar or a crack house to get a fix if he wants one. We saw it earlier in the season, when Aubrey caught him gazing longingly at those betting sites online. The real issue isn’t that he put himself in harm’s way, because harm’s way is ever-present for him; it’s that he was in so much devastating pain after what happened over the summer with the FBI and more importantly after Sweets’ death that he was left scrambling for anything to numb himself with, even if the medication came with a terrible price tag. It’s why so many people suffering from PTSD commit suicide-they can’t find another way to make the hurt stop. Considering how accessible Booth’s favorite escape mechanism is, his sobriety all these years through the brain tumor, Maluku, Pelant, and the crap with his mom and dad is a testament to his strength of character; his recent fall clearly an aberration rather than the norm. (Something, btw, that can’t be said about Max.) I can’t imagine Brennan would fail to see that or that she would continue to openly distrust Booth once he’s back on the mend. I’m sure she’ll keep an eye on him for signs that he’s struggling, but that’s a whole different kettle of fish than making him account for his whereabouts every minute of the day or expecting him to atone for his slip on daily basis.

    I suppose an argument could be made that he should have sought out counseling when he saw the warning signs, but people in that situation tend to miss what is so obvious to others. Besides, could there be worse a reminder of his friend’s death than walking into another psychologist’s office for advice right now? More to the point and as others have already mentioned, showing a weakness and potentially disappointing anyone by appearing less than perfect is something Booth has always been loathe to do. Blame it on his bad childhood or his military background, but regardless of its source this is a very ingrained trait of his since the beginning of the series. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that he thought he could handle his problems on his own without dragging anyone else into them.

    Brennan’s faith is broken right now, but so is Booth’s-in the government he serves (a government he has killed for numerous times because he trusted the justness of the orders it was giving him) and maybe even a little bit in God. It certainly would explain why he doesn’t seem to be going to church these days. Given what happened to him he’s almost certainly questioning what he does for a living (he once again mentioned he hates taking the shot) and wondering why Sweets died on his watch this time around, serving a warrant he was supposed to deliver (which also happened with Flynn, btw.) Booth’s gambling is a symptom of a man adrift and the setback we witnessed in Eye in the Sky almost unavoidable; if it hadn’t happened after that card game, it would have happened eventually. Luckily, we pretty much know Brennan and Christine will help pull him back to shore.

    (Such a nice discussion thread, guys!)

    • For me, there is a difference between what we know as Bones Canon (early backstories/character development) and the current TPTB and characters.

      Had we still been rolling with the original showrunners and earlier writers, I don’t think I’d even bat an eyelash at the gambling issue. I’d trust Bones to deliver an amazing storyline.

      And if you are talking about Early Brennan and Early Booth, I’d be like “Ok, this will be amazing”. Sometimes with the current Brennan and current Booth dynamic and personalities…and with the current TPTB…I lose confidence that it won’t be handled amazingly.

      Hopefully I’m just being nervous for nothing and it will be awesome and wonderful. 🙂

      • Well, yeah, I totally get the nerves-I have them too to a lesser degree although I’ve been quite happy so far. This was a bold arc to undertake in the first place; there are no external factors coming between Booth and Brennan, only Booth’s addiction. If things aren’t handled with care one of our guys (or even their relationship) might come out looking kind of beat up. I’m pretty confident I’ll be happy with the outcome primarily because I know Emily and David use body language so well to supplement whatever might be missing or iffy in the script, but there’s always the potential for disappointment. I love Bones, but it wouldn’t be the first time they’ve built up the drama over a bunch of episodes only to have almost no follow-up once the crisis du jour has been resolved, sometimes way too fast. Fingers crossed on this one.

    • I definitely think you are right about him not wanting to see a counselor or psychologist. It seems that it takes Booth a long time to begin to trust some one….almost as long as it takes Brennan. That’s something they have in common. It took Booth a long time before he considered Sweets a friend and then he lost Sweets, so it may be a long time before he develops another close relationship with any other sort of counselor, except, hopefully, his GA sponsor. (It appears that Booth has known his sponsor for awhile from comments that have been made in different episodes.)

      This is a painful story arc for me because I am such a Boothling, but it is so realistic that I am really enjoying all the depth of it, as well as the ensuing discussions.

      • I would argue it takes longer for Booth to trust than Brennan. Look at the relationship with Sweets. It was Brennan that opened up first and then pushed Booth to do the same. While Brennan revealed a very personal scenario, Booth, himself, didn’t say much. Even with Cam, although he has known her for years– when she pushed him about Jared– he stopped talking to her for 6 months.

        Other than Brennan, I don’t think we have really seen Booth trust anyone. Brennan is the only one that can push him and get away with it, but even with Brennan its like pulling teeth to get him to talk. Booth has an ingrained nature to hide from his emotions and there is really only so much, someone else can push you to open up. Eventually you have to learn to deal with difficult emotions in a healthy way. I don’t think that is something Booth has ever done. I have long felt S6, was a form Booth gambling, in an emotional sense. He wasn’t grounded– he was acting on impulse in order to avoid dealing with his feelings of rejection. It was inevitable that everything would fall apart, forcing him to face his issues. Someone brought up the idea — that Booth has been gambling since the beginning. I think the issue is that Booth hasn’t really understood the issues that lead to his gambling.

        While I think Sweets’ death played a big role in Booth’s mental state, I don’t think Sweets’ as a therapist would’ve been able to really help. Although Sweets has always meant well– he lacked the experience of GGW and had a hard time being objective about B&B. Sweets tends to be very pushy, which isn’t an approach that Booth naturally responds well to. For the most part Booth ends up digging his heels in, becoming defensive or deflecting the situation. As painful as this all is, if it means Booth finally learns to start opening up, I think it would worth all this.

  23. I think Booth has been gambling a long time, only not with money. Being a sniper and working for the FBI are risky jobs and have a high risk/high reward factor that would probably produce the same kind of rush as winning a huge pot in a poker game, if not more. The difference is that the sort of gambling involved in those jobs is heroic and therefore socially acceptable.

    • I agree with that to a certain degree. But I also think there are specific times where he deals with emotional stress by indulging in impulsive or risky behaviour often times to detrimental effect. I equate gambling to those instances where he acts on impulse/emotion without thinking things through. For e.g., in BitB, he ran after Broadsky alone and got hurt— if he had thought things through he would’ve planned his approach and had some backup on hand. Another example would be the time he shot an ice cream truck in the middle of a crowded street because he couldn’t handle his emotions after Epps’ death. Tbh, he was lucky no one got hurt. He may be a good shot but you can’t control all the variables– someone could walked into a ricochet. I think GGW pointed it out well– Booth is someone that needs to be in control. I think when he feels his life is out of control– he pursues risky behaviours because he wants to feel in control again.

      • I agree…the rush when a person is successful in a situation like that must be incredible and it is probably similar to a winning hand collecting a big pot. BitB is the prime example in my mind of Booth rushing in where angels fear to tread. I guess going after Pelant at the power plant to rescue Brennan by himself is another.

  24. I just lost a big comment, but I’ll try to rewrite it. (Anything to avoid grading.)

    I agree with what has been said so far. David and Emily were amazing. I would note though (and I don’t think anyone else has) that he quit gambling the first time for her, so he should be able to do that again now that he “has” her. It’s also interesting that they didn’t deal with Pops’s death given that they are pushing him over the edge.

    I take comfort in the fact that SN said that they designed the final ep so that it worked as a series finale, if necessary. I can’t imagine them ending the show with B&B apart.

    This leads me to my main issue here: why did they wait until the last minute to deal with this? It as if as they were planning the possibly last season, someone said, “OMG, we’ve never dealt with Booth’s gambling. We better squeeze that in somehow.” So, it feels a tad tacked on at the last minute to me. There have been many other times when Booth was pretty low. (BTW, it’s 4:47 as I write this.) Why didn’t they deal with this then? Or, even just closer to Sweets’s death? And, what about Pops’s death? Why didn’t they work that in to really take him low? So, that’s really the only thing that bothers me. Why now? I just doesn’t feel organic to me.

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