Spotlight on Bones: Mac and Cheese

One couple gets engaged while another eats mac and cheese, and the mac and cheese scene is hotter. That in a nutshell is the power of Booth and Brennan.

In season two’s “The Glowing Bones in the Old Stone House,” a celebrity chef is found murdered. Carly Victor, whose signature mac and cheese took Washington, DC by storm, ran a restaurant so packed that only her fellow celebrities could score tables. Gourmet macaroni and cheese is totally worth the price of fame. Good thing Brennan is a bestselling author! Before Carly’s death, Brennan and her then-boyfriend scored some famous mac and cheese and a tableside chat with the chef herself, who promised Brennan a cooking lesson. This makes Booth all sad-puppy jealous, partially because Brennan dated someone who wasn’t him, and partially because he really wants that macaroni and cheese—so much so that when they visit the restaurant to investigate, he snags some from a plate as it passes. With his fingers. Which just makes me love him. The way he says, “Mac and cheese, MAC. AND. CHEESE!” is the way I always say it in my head now.

Carly’s bones are glowing, which brings us to tonight’s lesson: if you must sleep with your best friend’s boyfriend, make sure to cut yourself with a sushi knife first, so when the scientists are solving your murder, at least your remains will set a romantic mood. Inspired by the sexy glowing skeleton, Hodgins uses phosphorescent shrimp to spell out “Be my love” in a darkened room. I can only hope that someday someone seduces me with fish bacteria. He’s not asking Angela to marry him, but she accepts anyway. Completely insane, this one. Their little non-proposal proposal is unconventional, spontaneous, and affirming: perfect for our squint power couple. Sure, Angela semi-blackmails Hodgins into throwing a big wedding in one week’s time, but her stubbornness is exactly what Brennan needs, so I can’t begrudge Angela when she’s stubborn with Hodgins too. The man did say he loves her as she is. For better or for worse.

Still, who really cares that Angela and Hodgins are getting married when we have Booth and Brennan eating macaroni and cheese? IT IS GETTING HOT IN THIS KITCHEN. David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel just have to look at each other, and everything gets all melty.

Brennan is a little bit shy here, which is rare. This is no casual meal. She’s quite literally spicing up her life (Who needs recipes when you have fresh-ground nutmeg?!) (What would Brennan’s Spice Girl name be?), and she wants to share that with Booth. The two of them eat together all the time, but they don’t cook for each other very often. This meal is a gift to him. Booth gets that. Let’s all take a minute to appreciate his excited “hee hee!” as she sets the mac and cheese on the table. Booth is like a foodie Michael Jackson, but with a badge and great biceps.

He’s touched by her gesture and the effort it’s taken, and since Brennan won’t call attention to how huge this is, Booth will do it for her. “You shouldn’t have. I mean, all this work, just for me?” Aww, Booth, don’t you know that you’re worth it? Brennan is so eager to please him. It’s adorable. I think she’s succeeded.

It’s written all over her face, how much it means to her when he’s happy.

Booth takes a minute to acknowledge that Carly “taught [Brennan] well,” because even when they’re completely wrapped up in each other, B&B know that it’s not all about them. This meal is in remembrance of Carly—Carly, who believed that cooking is a way of loving. Ohhh the subtext.  Brennan knows it. Booth knows it. They’ve talked about it. When they first discussed the ‘cooking as loving’ thesis, Booth was quick to PG it up. “That’s what family dinners are all about, right? Those are some of my best memories.” Since one of my favorite Bones themes is “There’s more than one kind of family,”and since I think B&B are absolutely family to each other, I love that he draws that parallel. Brennan is making memories for the two of them.

But let’s be real. There is a PG13 version of this story, and it’s all in their eyes. It’s also in this exchange:

Brennan: You like it?

Booth: I’d like to be alone with it!

Brennan’s voice gets all low and sultry when she asks, because she already knows the answer. She just wants him to say it out loud to break the silence, to turn the conversation back to the food when in their heads it’s really become a conversation all about how much they like each other. He jokes, and they lean in closer as they laugh. They can barely break eye contact. Booth is so intensely and openly affectionate toward her, like he’s just basking in how amazing she is, and he’s so caught up in it that it makes her vulnerable. Booth’s taste buds are super happy, but I think the rest of him is even happier. He’s in awe of her. The mac and cheese isn’t what he really wants to be alone with.

There’s this pause, right after they talk about Carly and her very excellent teaching, where Booth opens his mouth and breathes in and looks at Brennan, and there’s so much he wants to say. But instead he looks down, shakes his head, looks back at his partner, and says, “Thanks, Bones.” He means it.

The smiles. The eyes. The arms! But it’s no big deal, right?

Brennan: Yeah, well, you know. We have to eat, right?

Booth: Yeah. Gotta eat. Always gotta eat.

These two: always doing wonderful things for each other and cloaking those acts of affection in the language of necessity. They downplay everything, but it doesn’t even matter, because the more they don’t say, the more they understand how important it is. And when have B&B needed words to communicate? They have faces!

I sat down last week to make a list of Bones’s top ten final scenes. That list is currently 41 scenes long. I don’t know how to rank all of those charm smiles and meaningful looks, but I do know which one I thought of first. This scene doesn’t stand out because something huge happens. It stands out because something normal happens in a huge way. It’s mac and cheese, but it’s more than that—because if you can mine this much sexual tension out of macaroni and cheese, you’ve got something real. That’s crazy good chemistry.

So what are your thoughts on this scene? And what other scenes—Bones or otherwise—have the kind of chemistry you just can’t ignore? Is anyone else craving mac and cheese like mad right now?

6 comments

    1. Thank you so much! This episode is so solid. I’m completely obsessed with it. Every time I watch, it sneaks closer to the top of my list (in terms of last scenes, it IS at the top of my list). I introduced my roommates to Bones last year, and it was after this scene that one of them commented, “I’d heard there was insane sexual tension on this show!” YES INDEED.
      Ahh! Off to decide which scene I should cover next!

      1. Rereading this after the death of Sweets. Next scenes for your consideration: ice skating and dine-and-dash.

  1. First thought – I should have eaten first.

    Second thought – I should have at least ensured I HAD Mac and Cheese in the house.

    Third thought – mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, I love this scene! The arms, the smile, the twinkly eyes, the arms, the subtex, the arms….so….much…..awesome.

    Scenes like this is why S2 is one of my favourite seasons. Love. It.

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