The lovely Bones

(As posted on the IMdB board. A/N)

It’s really interesting reading this thread and getting to see what impressions other viewers have of the relationships on the show, especially the Brennan/Booth one. (Brooth? Boonnan? Brones?)

I have to offer up my two cents because after watching “The Doctor in the Photo” I feel the need to share my thoughts with the universe. And, yes, you. This article contains some spoilers of what might be up ahead, but it’s all good stuff, I assure you, and nothing really specific. Just wanted to give you a heads up!

Here’s the thing: part of why I actually got drawn into the world of this show is because it was, for the first five seasons, very character driven, as apposed to the story driven crime shows out there (like CSI) where you hardly ever get to see the characters in any kind of personal setting and where focus isn’t on how their relationships develop.

The plot lines in the episodes of the first season of Bones aren’t the most fantastic television writing I’ve ever seen (sorry, writers), but they don’t have to be, because that’s not where the weight of the show is distributed anyway, the plot and story of the show are used as a vehicle to explore the characters, to shape them as we get to see how they react in different scenarios and watch as their friendships deepen – as well as the tension between Booth and Brennan and the love story between several of the other characters as well; this writing is truly lovely to watch as it’s balanced in a great way throughout the seasons, the build-up is steady and even and as a true fan of good chemistry on the screen I have to say the chemistry between Deschanel and Boreanaz is utilized to the max.

I also love Brennan’s slow evolution from a rather annoyingly socially clueless and high-browed robot-like imitation of what we know as a human being, to someone who was adapting and tentatively welcoming the influence of Booth’s presence in her life. This welcome, I would venture, is due to the fact that she is attracted to him at first and that she then falls in love with him, as alluded to toward the end of season five when Sweets entitles his book “Bones – The Heart of the Matter” owing to him making this observation.

I found Brennan difficult to relate to as a believable character during the first season because I found it hard to grasp the fact that someone with such insight into the cultural ways of ancient tribes couldn’t figure out how to behave properly around people of her time without offending, insulting or alienating them within two minutes. Her bluntness and rudeness, while sometimes funny, also came off as extremely silly and while I can appreciate these attributes to the uber-intelligence she possesses, which I know will make her take everything anyone says in a literal way, making sarcasm completely wasted on her, I still feel that her knowing and adhering to social etiquette and the behavioral boundaries of the modern society when meeting someone for the first time wouldn’t go against her personality. I enjoy Booth teaching her these things, and I enjoy her actually taking them in and beginning to use them, but now, in season six, I feel she’s reverted completely back to her robot-like self and it sort of makes me disconnect with her. Well, except for the last episode, of course, which was truly lovely to watch.

Regardless of the above, I enjoy her character when not acting inhuman. I enjoy her hardcore intelligence and impatience for trivialities; I like that she calls things as she sees them and that logic governs her – this is what makes her relationship with Booth plausible, in my opinion, and it is what makes me not tire of it. I’m a fan of tension as much as I’m a fan of chemistry (hard to have one without the other) and so, if written well, I don’t mind them dragging it out, as long as they deliver on the promise of the build-up. But I’ll get to that.

The way I see it, and it’s has been stated many times (by pretty much every character on the show that are close to the Booth/Brennan partnership), Brennan’s compartmentalizing, her way of choosing to look at things from a logical and not an emotional viewpoint, is all based in her fear of being let down, the way her parents let her and her brother down, and how her relationship with her brother then also fell apart. Granted, these bonds have been mended, much thanks to Booth and his friendly meddling.

The fact that Brennan opens up to Booth on an emotional level has to do with trust, and she trusts him completely. But that’s her emotional side. Her logical side says that trust doesn’t really exist, only cause and effect, and trust doesn’t mean that hurt isn’t coming farther down the road. And so she shies away when he tells her he wants to give them a shot; even though him telling her that is precisely what her emotional side wants, her logical side is stronger because she’s relied on it for all of her adult side and it sidesteps the fear that actually necessitates it, making her not see it as fear, and makes her turn Booth away.

The fact that Booth takes her seriously is not a show of lack of emotion or fickleness, as I interpret it, but of how intimately he knows her: her reasonable mind has decided that them engaging in more than friendship isn’t a wise course of action and it’s not likely to change the answer to something more favorable, it’s much too sharp for that. Of course, he doesn’t see the obvious love she has for him in the same bright light that everyone around them do, and so this is left out of his reaction to her reaction.

I also don’t feel that him telling her that he has to let her go and make a life with someone else is an ultimatum of sorts, but more a test to see how she will react to that statement – as though, in his heart of hearts, he does know that what they share is more than friendship, and wants to wake her up to it as well. Her telling him she understands is the final straw and he realizes that this is exactly what he has to do, he has to let her go because it’s been five years in the making and she doesn’t want him. I honestly feel that this isn’t a farfetched reaction to someone saying that they don’t want what you’re offering them on a silver platter.

So, season six. I was cheering in my seat after that first episode because everything I felt they were setting up in that last episode of season five, everything I hoped they were veering towards when exploring the Booth/Brennan relationship, all of it they delivered on. Brennan coming back single and Booth coming back in love with someone else, the opening scene with them actually meeting by the fountain and hugging! and all of the little things in between.

I have adored Bones because even though both Brennan and Booth have dated other people, the show has barely touched on these relationships as actually bearing any weight at all. They haven’t tried to build any kind of story around them that hasn’t pertained to the impact these relationships have had on the Brennan/Booth relationship – i.e. discussions on sex, love and commitment, and this has made me feel content because the Brennan/Booth relationship has been such a focus of the show ever since the very first episode that trying to break free of that and showing them actually falling romantically in love with someone else would have completely shattered the credibility of that central relationship. Not to mention made me incredibly aggravated at the writers for jerking me along just to throw my emotional involvement with the characters back in my face. Yeah, we were making you think we were going in that direction, but we changed our minds and are now going in this one instead. No, no, not a good idea.

This is why I actually enjoy the Booth/Hannah relationship. It’s there for a very real reason – to add yet another layer to the Booth/Brennan interaction. This is confirmed in an interview I read with the writer of “The Doctor in the Photo” episode Carla Kettner:

“I think the Booth and Brennan love story that we all want to see play out, I don’t think we want there to be any sudden moves in that. I think their journey is about the rocky road to a happy ending, if you know what I mean. To me, I feel like if you have a friend or a loved one, you absolutely positively know what the best choice for them is, but they’re like too lost in their own issues to see it? We all know that’s the most frustrating thing on the planet, but I think it’s the same way for Booth and Brennan, because we’ve all come to know them so well, they’re like family members. It’s like, “Hello? Guys, wake up! You belong together!” But if that came to pass in a sudden way, it wouldn’t be organic, it wouldn’t be right.”

Well, I’ve been going from liking seeing Booth truly happy to disliking how he’s been distancing himself from Bones, but having read this interview I feel as though it’s all happening for a reason, and as a study of the Brennan/Booth verse, I enjoy it because it adds something, it’s not there to take away or to change the direction of the show. (Thank goodness!)

I disagree with whoever said the writers have painted themselves into a corner – I believe they have a very clear vision for where this triangle is taking the characters as Hannah fairly soon will become more aware of the Brennan/Booth relationship as it was by the end of season five and the fact that Brennan professed her feelings to Booth will (hopefully) have some sort of aftermath in messing with his head and making him begin to gravitate towards her again, even if it isn’t consciously. I miss them having screen time the way they did at least in the earlier seasons, their interaction is so good it’s like television candy and now that they’ve focused most of the episodes on the rest of the crew and the parts they play in the crime solving I feel starved for some Brooth… Boonnan… interaction.

I think they’ve done this in a clever way, too: taking their screen time away makes it more believable that they’re not just falling into each other’s arms, and creating that sort of awkward tension and making Brennan pretty much revert to her old self adds to that sense of things having ground to a halt between them. It’s good and I really support it as a viewer as long as – and here it comes – they don’t go back on what they’ve promised me for five seasons (and are still playing at in this sixth one): Brennan and Booth are meant to be together, are made for each other, make the angels weep for not getting it on already.

I honestly don’t think they will disappoint, and that’s partially why I got hooked on this show, because they just put it right out there without a doubt: this show is about these two characters falling in love while doing their thing. But I’ve been let down before. Please, don’t let me down, writers, please, don’t let me down. I want to have nine or ten or eleven or however many seasons you’re planning on my shelf and be able to sit down and watch a marathon of them and know that it’s like one long love story that I can watch to the very end and feel completely and utterly satisfied. A love story with slimy skeletons and crazy murderers, but whatever.

Drag it out, I say, but drag it out in a believable way. Drag it out with slowly bringing in more Brennan and Booth screen time again, would ya? Just to ease my cravings? I miss them! It was like a weekly fix of adoration and intimacy. God, I sound pathetic.

To end this Bones essay, or what you will, I would like to say that no, I don’t think this last episode changed Brennan forever. She finished the episode with saying “Three days for the world to be turned upside down, three days for it to go back to how it was” (not an exact quote, but close enough), which clearly means this epiphany, although needed, was short lived. But that’s good, she can’t become this emotional being over night, then she wouldn’t be Temperance anymore. What I’m interested in seeing is what it will do to Booth, to his relationship with Brennan and to his relationship with Hannah. Because it must have some sort of impact, it’s too huge not to.

Thanks for reading.


~ by mescribe on December 12, 2010.

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