Bones Theory


Booth Isn’t In Love With Brennan…But He Will Be.

{Edit from Seels: Yes, this is the post we’ve all been waiting for! Laffers has held her own in the comments for many months, taking a lot of (good-natured) heat for her stance that Booth is not in love with Brennan…yet? I talked Laffers into putting down her thoughts, and she did, and then it took us nearly two months to actually get to this point, which is all my fault! So that’s a little disclaimer…she wrote this a few weeks ago and so hasn’t really mentioned the end of season six. Don’t hold that against her, okay?}

OK, so I’ve thought about posting this before. I even planned it out in my head before mentally erasing it but after the twitter conversations I’ve had regarding it recently AND the fact Sarah asked so nicely I thought now is finally the time. Hopefully I won’t wimp out before I finish it! LOL

If you know me, my next few words won’t come as a shock (you’ll probably just roll your eyes and smile indulgently! LOL) but if you don’t…well, you’ll probably think I’m mad. Either way, I imagine you’re going to have a very strong initial reaction to this but please, bear with me and I’ll explain.

Firstly I have two Bones related theories, very closely linked.

1)      Booth is not in love with Brennan.

2)      Booth is in love with the idea of Brennan.

I’m just going to leave that there for a second so it can sink in but never fear…there is a method to my madness!

OK, we good to go? Right. So…

I’m not claiming that Booth hasn’t or doesn’t care for Brennan. I’m not even saying he doesn’t love her. I’m just saying he’s not in love with her.

Now, most Bones fans have a different opinion on when they think Booth fell in love with Brennan. Some say as early as Season 2. Some as late as Season 5. I don’t believe I’ve ever spoken to anyone who thinks as early as Season 1 as late as Season 6 so I’m going to skip right over those two and begin with Season 2. I’ll try and continue this in chronological order (I said try!) and we’ll go from there.

In season 2 Booth slept with both Rebecca and Cam in the same episode. Now, I won’t go into the reasons why this makes me mad (well…Rebecca makes me mad. Cam I’m fine with!) but this doesn’t scream ‘In love with his partner’ to me. He then went on to have a sexual relationship with Cam over a period of 8 episodes. Some would argue that he buried his feelings for Brennan by having that relationship with Cam. And those who have argued that will know I disagree and my reasoning for that is simple. Booth isn’t that guy. He’s not the type of man who sleeps with one woman while longing for another. He’s too good for that…too honourable.  When he was seeing Cam it was about Cam and no one else.

I admit that he had ‘moments’ with Brennan in this season. ‘There’s more than one kind of family’ for one. Tony and Roxy for another. There are more that I haven’t mentioned (I figured I shouldn’t bore you! LOL) but again this comes down to the difference between caring/loving her and being in love with her. Being with Cam doesn’t/didn’t negate his feelings for Brennan both as his friend and his partner. He still cared for her and it’s clear from ‘Woman in the Sand’ that he still found her attractive. The point is that when he was with Cam he was with Cam. In ‘Aliens in a Spaceship’ Brennan didn’t cross his mind when they were planning a weekend away but he didn’t just forget Brennan as his friend. Hence why in ‘Girl with a Curl’ he stays with her instead of going with Cam. He was…balancing the two. His lover and his partner.

When I watch the scenes with Booth and Cam I don’t see a man who loves his partner but is 1) Hiding it or 2) In denial. I see a man who is enjoying a no strings affair with a beautiful woman. And can you blame him? Camille is one stunning woman. 😀

Moving on to the joy that was Season 3 (I know some don’t like it, but I loved that season warts and all 🙂 ). In particular I am thinking of ‘Killer in the Concrete’ (ok ok, this is season 2 but i need it so…roll with it! 🙂 ) and ‘Wannabe in the Weeds’. In Killer, Booth flirts with the bounty hunter freely (FYI- I love flirty Booth. I don’t care who he’s flirting with, he just looks hot doing it!) and in Wannabe he thoroughly enjoyed himself at the gym surrounded by gorgeous woman working out. This just serves as a reminder (a reminder that I feel some people need) that he is a man. Now, I’m not saying in any way, shape or form that these prove he wasn’t celibate or anything remotely similar. I’m just using it to say that he’s not a saint; he’s a red blooded male who enjoys an attractive woman as much as the next. And for me, a man as masculine and attractive as Booth isn’t going to live like a saint. We may not see it but I can’t believe that he’s been celibate since Cam. The very idea is laughable and you’d have to be naive to think it. In ‘Man in the Outhouse’ (so i’ve mixed Seasons here….chronological has gone out the window! LOL) Brennan says

BRENNAN: You’re very secretive. As if discussing your sex life would somehow be offensive to me. I assume you are sexually active.

And Booth’s response?

BOOTH: I do fine.

And he has that…look on his face. I can never quite pinpoint what that look means but all I know is I like it! For me that’s as good as Booth saying that he has had relationships that neither Brennan nor we know about. Brennan says previously in that same conversation ‘I’m very open about my relationships, as opposed to you’ to Booth and she’s right. Booth is much more loathe to discuss his private life and not just with Brennan. The man is insanely private and just because we haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened (as Stephen Nathan was nice enough to point out to me! LOL).

I’ll get back to some kind of order now and continue with Season 4. This season is harder for me to discuss as I find the entire thing incredibly….average. It’s not a bad season don’t get me wrong, it just isn’t particularly impressive, not compared to earlier seasons. It contains the odd brilliant moment but that’s about it. In terms of Booth’s feelings for Brennan, there’s no real difference to season 3. He flirted with Pritchard. He flirted with Perotta. He never did anything that suggested he loved Brennan in any way other that as a Partner/Friend. There were no grand gestures, no declarations of any kind. They were just…partners. And best friends. No more, no less.

Now I know what you’re thinking (or at least I think I do!). What about all the moments they had in S4? Booth’s reassurance to Brennan regarding Perotta? The sexy librarian airplane ‘incident’? Booths ‘there’s someone for everyone’ to Brennan? And I can see your point…but for me this comes down to the difference between wanting someone, being a friend to someone and loving someone. The airplane scene? I imagine that Booth has had more than his fair share of sexy scientist/librarian dreams when it comes to Brennan and his reaction is to be expected. He wants her. Always has and on some level always will but…want isn’t love. And his reassurance to Brennan in relation to Perotta was exactly what it looked like. A man reassuring his partner that, regardless of what had gone on in that one case, he was still HER partner. And she was still his. Brennan showed an unbelievable amount of vulnerability in that moment and Booth reacted to that. He cares for her and you’ll never hear me claim differently.

Now…Booth words. Coincidentally this ties into my next point so chronilogicallness (is that a word?) is officially out of the window 😀

Booth is big on speeches regarding love and that ‘special’ someone and I may be a realist when it comes to love but even I can admit to the odd ‘awwww’ moment when he’s spoken. It’s always with such passion and belief that you’d have to be a harder woman than me to remain unmoved. What I believe though is that it says more about his view on love than his feelings for Brennan. When I think back to this

Here we are. All of us are basically alone, separate creatures just circling each other. All searching for that slightest hint of a real connection. Some look in the wrong places,

Some, they just give up hope because in their mind they’re thinking ‘Oh, there’s nobody out there for me.’

But all of us, we keep trying over, and over again. Why? Because every once in a while,

Every once in a while, two people meet. And there’s that spark.

And yes Bones, he’s handsome. And she’s beautiful. And maybe that’s all they see at first…

But making love? Making. Love. That’s when two people become one.

And this

Okay, there is someone for everyone. Someone you’re meant to spend the rest of your life with. All right? You just have to be open enough to see it. That’s all.

Aaaaaaaaand this 🙂

BRENNAN: Because you all want to lose yourself in another person. You believe that love is transcendent and eternal. I want to believe that, too.

BOOTH: Hey, you will. I promise. Someday you will. You will someday, okay? You will.

A small part of me connects it to Brennan in so much as he is proving a point or reassuring her. But what I hear/see when I listen to these small snippets from Booth is how he views love. It also shows me what he wants from his life. He wants the relationship. He wants to break the laws of physics with someone. He wants to be in love and be loved in return…and if I’m honest I’d go so far as saying he needs it. I could get deeper and say how I think the way he views relationships is down to his childhood etc etc but, as fun as that would be, it’s not my point. My overall point is that the relationship he thinks he needs is, in my opinion, more important to him than the woman that relationship is with.

While you remunerate on that (and possibly yell at me! LOL) I’ll move on to the somewhat controversial Season 5. Now it had some brilliant moments (Pops, GG, Hodgins being that guy, Proof in the Pudding) and some moments that were just…god awful (Wendell & Angela- need I say more?) but this is the Season where everything between Booth and Brennan came to a head, and also the season where people point things out to me that, in their eyes, proves Booth loves Brennan. And it’s also the Season that, in my eyes, proves the exact opposite. (I’m contrary that way…so sue me.)

This is where the ‘Booth is in love with the idea of Brennan’ theory really comes into play but firstly I need to address one major storyline of that Season- Booth’s tumour. I know a lot of people (and of those people some of them I adore!) dismiss the tumour and the after effects, stating they don’t buy the whole ‘Booth doesn’t know what he wants/who he is because he’s recovering’ deal. Personally I’ve never had any experience with someone who’s gone through what Booth went through so I can’t state categorically that how he was shown after the operation was true to real life. BUT what I can say is that Hart Hanson chose to play it a certain way, and his way showed that, directly after the tumour, Booth struggled to remember who he was. He couldn’t shoot, he didn’t know whether he liked brown sugar, he couldn’t tell when someone was lying…and all the rest of it, both big and small. Is that what would really happen? I have no idea. The point is that is how Hart chose to write it so that is what I’m basing my thoughts/opinions on.

There are a few things in S5 that people use to prove Booths love to me (and I’m sure you guys will inform me of some 🙂 ) but I really want to talk about the 100th. The episode that arguably changed everything. Now, I have many issues with the final three minutes of this episode but I’m going to restrain myself and only discuss what is relevant. Well, I’ll try anyway!

To begin with Booth’s declaration was difficult for me to understand. It didn’t fit what I’d seen so far, and it didn’t fit the Booth that I knew. The Booth I knew and loved would never have approached Brennan the way he did. It was…rash, impulsive and completely out of character. I think with anything or anyone else Booth would have acted somewhat impulsively but Brennan is the one person with who he thinks before speaking. He understands her, he knows the ‘truth of her’ and he knows better than to rush her. Or at least he did. But in this moment he did everything he knew not to do…he pushed, he demanded, he gambled and ultimately he lost.

Some people blame Sweets for this moment and I agree…to a degree. Should Sweets have dared Booth to gamble? Hell no…it was unprofessional and one of the few moments where I have been disappointed in the Baby Duck. But was everything that followed Sweets fault? Of course not. It’d be ridiculous to believe otherwise. Booth is responsible for his own actions and his own mistakes and one of these days he is going to have to own them. Now, both he and you may disagree but for me his actions in that moment were the biggest mistake he has made to date. Even bigger than proposing to Hannah!

(Ok, I guess you’re wondering where the ‘In love with the idea’ theory comes in, right? Well I’m getting there…albeit very slowly).

In my opinion, Booth spent the much of S5 with Brennan his partner, and Bren his wife mixed up in his mind. I’m not saying he didn’t know the difference between the two of them because of course he did. But I think the Coma Dream, and the life he had with Brennan in that dream gave him this false idea of what a life with Brennan would really be like. He longed for that life and who can really blame him? Beautiful wife…cool clothes…baby on the way. The coma dream showed Booth everything he had ever wanted out of life, and then he woke to find it was all a lie. He wasn’t married to Brennan. He didn’t have a child on the way. And his clothes weren’t as cool! My heart breaks for Booth a little bit each time when I think about it. To believe you had everything you wanted only to find out it was all a lie. Heart crushing.

But here’s the thing…is it Brennan he wants? Or the life with Brennan he had dreamt? I would love to be able to say it was option A, but in all honesty I have to go with option B. Booth has always been that man. The man who wanted a wife and a family. The man who wanted the committed monogamous relationship that ultimately ends with a walk down the aisle. And I think that the moment in the 100th episode reinforces this…he wants that life. The 30, 40, 50 years with the same someone by his side and I think, in that moment, that’s what he was asking for. I’m not saying Brennan isn’t a factor in that choice, but as I said previously I believe the life he thinks he needs is more important than the woman he spends it with.

Now don’t get me wrong I’m not bashing Booth here. I’m not even blaming him. He craves a life he never had and who can blame him? I just believe that his need for this life is 1) Why the idea of the life he can have with Brennan is more important than Brennan herself and 2) Why he claimed he needed to move on so quickly.

I’ve heard many a defence for Booth in terms of his moving on comment. Some say it was for Brennan, that he needed to reassure her that he would be ok. A nice thought maybe, but not one I particularly believe if only because he is still a man and more to the point he is human…in that moment he was thinking of himself and not Brennan. Others ask how could he have said anything differently after being rejected? That is the moment I am forced to point out that technically he wasn’t rejected but again I can understand why people think this. I don’t agree, but I get it.

But for me, the fact that Booth can claim he wants to spend his life with her in one breath and state his need to move on in the next proves that his need for someone to spend his life with is stronger than his need for Brennan (especially because he can STILL technically have Brennan as his partner).. Again it doesn’t make him a bad person…it just makes him a flawed one. And Booth is flawed. Spectacularly flawed. It’s what makes him so appealing. A man that is so strong and yet can be so weak is irresistible. That desire to then discover why he is like that, what has made him the man he is. We know some of what led him to be the man that we see but there is so much more lurking beneath the surface that needs to be addressed.

I can say a lot more on this subject but I am conscious that I may bore you so I shall say one more thing and then move on.  Booth has this view of what his life needs to be for him to be happy. I mentioned it before (the wife, marriage etc) and it is something he clings to. That for him to live a fulfilling life he needs to accomplish a set list of things. Personally I believe that goes back to his past…the boy from the ‘broken home’ (FYI- I HATE that phrase. With a passion…but it sums up what I mean in simpler terms so I’m sticking with it) who longs for something he never had. A stable life. I’m not saying that someone (Booth…Sweets…anyone) that wants that from their life is wrong. Of course not, just because it’s not something I would want from my life doesn’t mean it isn’t a good thing to strive for. The problem with Booth is that he thinks it is everything. I’m not saying he doesn’t gain satisfaction from other aspects of his life. He understands his place in society and the value of what he strives to do in his work (even when he struggles with the moral aspect of that work). He gains joy from his friends…from Parker. But I do think there is a part of him that thinks marriage is the end result and that without it his life is…less somehow. And he needs to realise that if he doesn’t get that…if he doesn’t end up married it doesn’t mean he is a failure or that he hasn’t led the life he should have. My worry for him (and it is a worry) is that he’ll never learn to be happy with himself…and until he can live with himself he’ll never be able to live with someone else.  And i think that until he learns that, as a man, he is pretty damn lovable he won’t be able to really fall in love because part of him will always be waiting for the other shoe to drop (which is why i think he tends to sabotage his own relationships before that can happen but that is a whole other story!)

One final thing (I promise!!) before you have your say.

When I’ve mentioned this in the past people ask how I can call myself a shipper. Because I am. A shipper I mean. I am all about Booth and Brennan. I am waiting along with almost everyone else for the moment when they finally face the inevitable…and lock themselves away in one of their apartments for a long weekend 😉

I just think that we are yet to see the moment where Booth falls in love with Brennan. He cares and he wants…but he’s yet to love. Personally I can’t wait to see the moment where he realises he is in love with her. With Brennan, not the idea of her. Not the idealistic relationship he wants with any woman, but the relationship he could actually have with Temperance Brennan, genius and socially inept anthropologist with a heart of gold. The good, the bad and the ugly. It’ll be…spectacular.

OK guys so what do we think? Have I completely gone round the bend? Can you understand where I’m coming from? Or have you called the little men in white coats already?