Spotlight on Bones: Strength and Imperviousness

Meanwhile, it looks like B&B finally got the stadium seats into Booth’s apartment. The power’s back on, but they lit a few candles anyway, for mood lighting. Booth asks Brennan how likely it is that he and his dad actually sat in these seats to watch the game, and she starts crunching numbers out loud. Booth just watches, intently, with a cute, smitten little smile.

Brennan: Aren’t you gonna stop me?

Booth: No, I actually like watching you do the math, that’s all.

I love that he finds her brilliance attractive. B&B recognize and are drawn to the things that make them different. Brennan flat-out giggles at Booth’s ability to see magic in everything, and he laughs but stands by it.

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I love how he sort of awkwardly leans on her and elbows her a little bit. They’re so comfortable with each other, and in the ease of the moment, Booth gets serious.

Booth: I’m just, uh, just angry. Really angry.

Brennan looks worried.

Booth: Not at you.

Brennan: Ok.

You can hear all of Brennan’s tension and desire and relief in that “Ok.” When Hannah broke up with Booth and Brennan found him drunk at that bar and I punched a million nights’ worth of pillows, he sounded like he was very much angry at her. He needs Brennan to know that’s not the case, and he’s clearly been waiting to tell her.

Booth: I just need time, that’s all. I just need time to kinda hang back and find that inner peace before I get back out there. You know what we’re talking about here, right?

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Our little shrimp is all grown up. He’s learned by now that he deserves to find happiness, but he hasn’t learned how to chase that happiness while single—and now here he is, putting his emotional stability before a relationship we know he wants. Look at that face: how badly he needs her to be with him on this. And she is, because she’s been through her own emotional wringer this year.

Booth: You and me, you know, and love, happiness and life, fate.

No big deal, just YOU AND ME AND LOVE IN THE SAME SENTENCE. Love has always been their conversation, but never like this. Booth and Brennan talk about relationships all the time but rarely own up to the fact that their relationship is the one they’re really figuring out. Now there’s no question. I love how they’ve passed the point where they even have to pretend they don’t know. They just know. It’s love and it’s theirs.

Brennan: I don’t believe in fate…but I know what we’re talking about.

It’s great how she pushes back just a bit; she stands up for the way she sees the world, but she accepts how Booth sees it too. Sometimes she even accepts it for herself—like right now. She pauses and sighs again. She wants to say it but doesn’t know how he’ll react.

Brennan: I’m improving.

She looks hopeful.

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Booth: Improving?

He smiles at her and kind of raises his eyebrow, because Brennan doesn’t need to improve. She’s already Brennan.

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Brennan: Yes, I’m quite strong.

Booth: Yeah, well you’ve always been strong.

I love how he immediately supports and reaffirms her. Booth loves that strength.

Brennan: You know the difference between strength and imperviousness, right?

Booth: Well, not if you’re gonna get all scientific on me.

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They grin at themselves—Booth at the fact that he doesn’t get her science lingo, Brennan at the fact that she’s the kind of person who thinks in science lingo. They’re so self-aware right now. And flirty, because they accept these things in each other.

Brennan: A substance that is impervious to damage doesn’t need to be strong. When you and I met, I was an impervious substance. Now I am a strong substance.

PERFECT. PERFECT WORDING. This is just the right explanation for what we’ve seen in Brennan over the years. She’s softened and let Booth in and tried to protect him from pain. She’s found a permanent place for Sweets. She’s become more intentional about her friendships and about telling people why she’s grateful for them. In the process, she’s become more literal and less acerbic, and it’s led some fans to complain that she’s more awkward now. Sure, “I find I would like to hug you” is a lot more awkward than, “Stalk me, Oliver, and I’ll kick your ass.” But isn’t it growth? Brennan used her snappy comebacks and her self-defense classes to make herself impervious. Now, she’s learning how to be vulnerable and trust that she can handle the damage. That’s strength.

And I love that she’s using science to talk about love. Some things will never change.

Next page: 4:47 am?

3 comments

  1. “In the process, she’s become more literal and less acerbic, and it’s led some fans to complain that she’s more awkward now. Sure, “I find I would like to hug you” is a lot more awkward than, “Stalk me, Oliver, and I’ll kick your ass.” But isn’t it growth? Brennan used her snappy comebacks and her self-defense classes to make herself impervious. Now, she’s learning how to be vulnerable and trust that she can handle the damage. That’s strength.”

    I love this explanation. Really. And even I, lately, have been pondering Season 1/2 Brennan to current Brennan, and this is a great analysis.

    1. Thanks so much!
      I definitely ask myself those questions too, sometimes, when I’m rewatching early seasons. She had some great empathetic moments early on, usually with the victims, and she’s occasionally been really clueless in these later years, so I can see how a casual viewer would frame that as regression. But I think if we look at how she relates to the people she’s closest to, it’s so clear how much she’s grown and how much more genuine she is now. Awkward as it can be, we’ve seen her open up a lot.

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