Spotlight on Bones: Keep on Tryin’

And now that everyone’s safe again, it’s time for some pie. A little kidnapping won’t keep Booth from a good old-fashioned Diner Life Chat with Brennan. I wonder if they even bothered to get him checked out by a medical team first. Did Brennan do it herself?! Mmm, Brennan’s hands on Booth’s thigh. I like it. Booth brushes off the experience and says he’s been tortured worse. Stop breaking my heart. But he doesn’t want to talk about his own problems; he wants to know if Brennan’s heard anything from her dad. Brennan pulls out the note and the dolphin, but not the picture. Is the photo too much for her to share, or is the sight of her mother just too much in general?

TV characters all seem to have very neat all-caps handwriting. Convenient.

Booth takes one look and declares that Max will be back. “Max Keenan does not strike me as the kind of guy who leaves things undone.” This makes Brennan smile, maybe more that she’d care to admit. The man keeps abandoning her, but she likes the idea that he’ll come back. She seems warmer towards her dad now, which just goes to show that taking care of Brennan’s people really is the fastest way to her heart.

Brennan gives Booth this look like she just never wants to let him out of her sights again, and then she asks him for advice—which is perfect, because Brennan gets advice and Booth gets to feel needed. B&B always seem to stabilize when she asks him a question: she’s admitting that she doesn’t have all the answers, and he’s admitting that he has some of his own. So Booth is one with the universe again.

Brennan: Next time he shows up, what do I do? Do I call you? Do I knock him on the head? What’s my obligation?

Booth: Well, if I were you, Bones, I’d want to know what he has to tell you about your mother, but that’s just me.

Booth is exactly the right person to ask about obligation. Smart move, Brennan. She seems like she’s asking about her legal obligations and how best to alert the FBI, but Booth picks up on the deeper confusion: which comes first? Family or the job? Booth is always so good at separating the two, particularly where Max is concerned. He sees that his obligations and Brennan’s aren’t the same, which makes it possible for him to arrest Max without making it personal. For all of his loyalty to the FBI, Booth still puts people first. He’s also, I think, very invested in teaching Brennan about the logical gray areas of love. For obvious reasons.

Brennan gets all shy and looks down at the table, and she can’t help but smile as she TOTALLY CHANGES THE SUBJECT.

“There’s, uh, this old song. It’s called ‘Keep on Tryin’.”

Ahh! She does remember! Not only that, but it’s absolutely been stuck in her head—why else would she bring it up out of the blue? This makes the action montage 3000 times better, because we were actually hearing Brennan’s thoughts. Y’all, Brennan has rescue theme music.

And it’s such an appropriate theme. “And I don’t know how I can get in touch with you, but there’s only one thing for me to do: it’s to keep on trying to get home to you.” That’s what B&B are doing. They’re moving toward each other. They’re coming home to each other.

This moment underscores what we already know: that Brennan keeps her feelings to herself, but that doesn’t mean she lacks them. She’s not distant so much as damaged. It also underscores how much more open she is with Booth than anyone else. With her dad, this song is a connection she can’t bear to bring up, but with Booth, it’s a connection she wants.

She’s so happy when he says he knows the song. They share something! Booth starts to sing, and it takes all of one line for Brennan to join in. She’s so shy at first. We’ve already established that Brennan loves music but that it’s very personal for her, and this song in particular is one that she’s kept hidden away, so it’s a big deal for her to open up like this.

The minute she starts singing, Booth stops. His whole expression shifts in an instant, like he’s forgotten that his face is even there, and he just stares at her. I feel like Booth usually tries to tone down his I’m-that-guy face, at least when Brennan is looking at him, but he can’t hide it here. He just wonders at her, with such sudden intensity that I’m kind of surprised Brennan doesn’t stop singing, but she doesn’t. She just lets Booth watch her sing.

A minute after his face goes slack, a smile creeps back onto Booth’s face, and he sort of half-sings along with her, because who could pass up the opportunity to make sweet sweet music with Brennan? Her voice is so pretty. Also, kudos to David Boreanaz in this scene, because his face always makes me swoon and/or squeak a little bit.

Booth is so happy that they’re singing together that he just laughs in the middle of the song. They both get kind of giddy. I mean, look at them, trying to sing through their smiles.

The great thing about all of this (besides all of this) is that the minute they finish singing, Booth jumps right back into the conversation. “Yeah, what about it?” And it’s painfully obvious to a judge, a jury and blind Martians that “what about it” doesn’t even matter anymore. These two just took that song and made it theirs. Who cares what Brennan was going to say? THAT JUST HAPPENED. Nothing else matters.

Which is really how Booth and Brennan operate all the time. B&B connect so naturally that it distracts them from everything else. They might not always reveal a lot, but no one can say they’re not open with each other.

Brennan answers Booth’s non-question with a non-answer—“It’s a good old song, right?”—that is also the BEST answer. Because what’s she going to say? Oh, it was my favorite song when I was little and now it makes me think of you and how close we are P.S. I’m really glad you didn’t die today, let’s make babies? Too soon. Ultimately, what matters is that they just sang a good old song together, and that they are in fact the human version of a good old song: reliable, always ready to cheer you, never going out of style.

Booth doesn’t even care that she’s not telling him everything. I think he’s actually kind of happy that she’s not. The man was just kidnapped. Not everything has to be serious. Sometimes you just want to sing.


These two both got a second chance at some family memories today. Let’s close with Brennan’s rescue theme music—which has a whole new meaning now!—as we fade out on that diner (while we’re on the subject, I would totally work there without pay for the chance of serving them/ creeping on them/ becoming their sidekick. Also there’s pie).

So what do you make of this scene? Why do you think Brennan kept the picture to herself? What’s going through Brennan’s mind when she brings up the song? What’s going through Booth’s mind when she sings? So many thoughts. Let’s get inside their heads.


  1. This is possibly one of my all time favourite B & B moments. I mean, for one I ADORE that song. Full on love it, and the fact that they have this little deep, emotional sing song in the middle of the Diner? I ❤ it hard core.

    And Booth's face when he watches her… *swoon* It slays me…it's very similar to the face he makes when watching her in Weeds, to be honest. Really…Brennan should sing at ALL times so I get to see that face on that man. It's delicious.

    Okay, I may need to watch this episode again some time soon. And by soon I mean RIGHT THIS SECOND!

    *happy sigh*

    Awesome post mate. Just awesome.

    P.S. You're the only blogger, other then Sarah C, that can make me laugh out loud when I read. Kudos to you!

    1. So true, I wonder what everyone else in the diner was thinking. Although sometimes they’re practically the only people there, which is adorable.

      This always makes me think of his face when she sings Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, too! That might be my favorite Boothface. It would probably be my favorite last scene if not for the fact that it ends how it does, and then of course I just have to watch Pain in the Heart and go down that rabbit hole. But she should definitely sing more, aka all the time. It makes him so happy!

      Aw thanks so much! I’m so glad to amuse. I try.

  2. I love this. The picture, I don’t know, but the song? I think she needed confirmation that good things go with that song. Now she made a new memory with it. And I love that. Booth, on the other hand, I think is just dazzled by her in that moment. She did everything she could to save him. She’s trying to figure out her relationship with her dad. And now she’s singing a song in the diner. He never knows what to expect. I think he likes that.

    1. I LOVE THIS. Great points. “She needed confirmation that good things go with that song.” I completely agree. And she really does surprise him all the time, which I think he loves about her.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s