Bones Theory


The Partner Zone

{Edit from Seels: Today’s post from Nicole is one I ‘commissioned’ her to write. If you don’t know it already, she has her own blog, “The Life of a Hopeless Romantic“, and I love her writing there. I am often very jealous of it. It’s worth a read. Anyway, a month or so ago, she had a post called “The Friend Zone” and I loved it. You know…the friend zone? The difference between men and women? When a woman says, “I feel like I can tell you anything,” she means “I want a life with you”. When a man says it, it might mean, “I like you for your ears, and that’s all.” Ha! Once I read her post, I asked if she would consider spinning it toward B&B and their partner-ness, and she totally accepted and rose to the challenge. Enough from me!}

“Me and you are partners. That’s what we do. We’re partners. And, uh, we-we’re good people who catch bad people, right? Yeah, and-and… and we argue, we-we go back and forth. We’re partners.”

                        Booth, The Daredevil in the Mold

Remember that first moment you met Special Agent Seeley Booth and Dr. Temperance Brennan? Do you remember that moment when you saw the amazing chemistry between them? The attraction practically sizzles between them every moment they are together?  It’s intense. It’s climatic. It’s addicting. And it’s what brings us back every time.

            We’ve waited (anxiously) for six long years for our favorite FBI agent and scientist to finally get their act together and admit that they love each other. Okay, okay. So they have technically, sort of, admitted to having feelings for each other but I mean, come on, they always seem to miss their moment. Darn you, she who shall not be named!! (I know it’s not fair to blame her but I need a scapegoat and she’s standing right there saying no to Seeley Booth!)

            So what has kept them from revealing their feelings for each for so long? There is that pesky little line that ‘doesn’t need to be there’ according to Brennan. But there is no denying that there is a line and it’s drawn firmly in the sand, so to speak. So what exactly does this line mean? I’ll tell you what that line means. That line is the separation between their partnership and The Unknown. That line keeps them safely inside…wait for it… The Partner Zone.

I imagine The Partner Zone to be this large square area where a small section of the floor is painted green with a thick yellow line bordering it and on the outside is the red zone. The green zone is equal to safety, to status quo, to what they, Booth and Brennan, know. The yellow line signifies the caution zone. It’s not as safe as The Partner Zone but it doesn’t scream DANGER!! It sort of whispers CAUTION instead. The red zone is The Unknown. It’s what the future could hold if they ever step away from their comfort zone.

                Booth and Brennan’s relationship is defined in the green zone or The Partner Zone. They started out as partners and only partners. Then they graduated to being friends. And then… well, they’ve been toeing that yellow CAUTION line for quite some time.  

I love what Rynogeny had to say about Booth in her discussion of Booth’s Turning Points a while back: “I think you can make good arguments for other moments in the series being the point when Booth knew he was in love with Brennan, or even, as one friend maintains, that while he loves her, he’s never actually been in love with her at all, not yet.  But for me, the end of this episode, when we see him react to Brennan and Sully kissing, is that moment.  I don’t have any other explanation for his absolute dejection there than that of a man watching the woman he loves kiss another man. Along those lines, I think it’s significant that after this point, we never see him interested in another woman, not until after Brennan turns him down in a way he believed was permanent and non-negotiable.”

Booth definitely took a chance stepping over the yellow CAUTION line, and firmly putting a foot outside The Partner Zone when he asked Brennan for “30, 40, 50 years”. But when Brennan ‘rejected’ him, he retreated far back into the safety of The Partner Zone, vowing to never leave again (well actually to ‘move on’ but for my purposes they mean the same thing). When they split up for seven months, they were both deeply immersed within The Partner Zone. But when Brennan confessed that she made a mistake in The Doctor in the Photo, her foot was where Booth’s had been in The Parts of the Sum of the Whole, right over that yellow line. When Booth said no, Brennan retreated back into The Partner Zone, only not as far as Booth.

Brennan is still standing very close to that CAUTION line, staring longingly (at least I believe she is) into The Unknown. And I say ‘still’ because I believe that, despite all that has happened, Brennan still has hope that one day it’ll work out.  The tables are turned this time. Booth is tucked safely in The Partner Zone and Brennan is the one who’s ready to take that big step, forgive the cliché, into The Unknown.

            I know what you’re thinking. Will they ever leave this zone? Especially after Booth has so firmly (and heartcrushingly) re-drawn the line around their relationship? Don’t give up hope my friends. Someday, that yellow line will be crossed. Someday, The Partner Zone will be no more.

            Until Someday, we just have to be content with the fact that Booth and Brennan are Partners. They’ll continue to do their partner thing: catching murderers, bickering in the car, and changing the future. It’s all about having faith that our favorite duo will work through their issues and make there way from The Partner Zone to the Can’t-Keep-Their-Hands-And-Eyes-Off-Each-Other-Couple Zone that we’ve waited for so long.

So what do you think? Is there such thing as The Partner Zone? Are Booth and Brennan worth the wait? Will they ever take the epic step into The Unknown? What will they find when they get there?