Spotlight on Bones: Strength and Imperviousness

Booth looks dazzled all over again.

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Booth: I think I know what you mean.

Brennan: A time could come when you aren’t angry anymore, and I’m strong enough to risk losing the last of my imperviousness. Maybe then we could try to be together.

She purses her lips. She’s said what she needs to say, so she waits with her heart on the line.

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They’ve never been so straightforward about their relationship before. Brennan’s asking to be with Booth, and she’s not going to pull any punches. She’s not looking back on missed opportunities. She’s looking to the future and seeing them together. In bed. At 4:47 am. She wants it, and she knows it can happen. FINALLY.

A little light bulb goes on over Booth’s head.

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Booth: I am going to write down a date and guess what that time is. I want you to do the same.

He rips a hot dog paper in half and wags his finger at her. HELP ME. Is this real? They are THIS close.

Brennan gives him that ‘sometimes I think you’re from another planet’ look and asks him why he expects her to do this.

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Booth: Why? Because when I was a kid and I wanted something really really bad I’d write it down on a piece of paper and I’d burn it. It was like a spell. It was bound that my wish would come true.

He wants this really really badly. I love these two for how much they want to make this work. They’d rather wait and do it right than screw it up now, and it’s so mature of them to acknowledge that, as badly as they want to be together, they aren’t there yet. Booth still has to heal a little more and Brennan has to trust a little more.

She laughs and asks why again, and you already know she’s doing this. She’ll burn the paper. She can’t wait. She’s just curious how Booth’s brain works.

Booth: Why? Because, you know, you’d burn it and it was released into the universe.

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He’s so earnest. Booth is a big kid. His partner can’t help but rib him a little bit.

Brennan: It’s just smoke, Booth, particulates with no special powers!

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Oh, please. Look at the way she’s looking at him and tell me that Booth’s particulates don’t have special powers.

Booth: Fine, then what do we have to lose? Go ahead. Come on.

His voice gets all cutesy when he says, “Come on,” like he’s calling a dog, and she grabs the pencil all sassy-like. She’s so glad he’s making her play with him. She loves it.

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Brennan: Ok, how does this work?

Booth: Write down what you think—

Brennan: Don’t look!

They’re like two kids taking a pop quiz.

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Booth: I’m not lookin’.

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He’s lookin’ a little bit.

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(Shout-out to Emily Deschanel’s bangs.)

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I don’t know if Booth ever got his peek, but he must’ve written something down, because they’re ready for the fire. Booth starts counting down, but Brennan interrupts him. Are they going on three or after three? It’s the same conversation they had in the elevator, when they were trying to push their way to freedom. Brennan has to understand the numbers in her life.

Booth doesn’t care about the numbers.

Booth: Bones, just burn it together, ok?

The two of them are about to burn, and it doesn’t matter when exactly they catch fire. They just have to follow each other’s lead. I’d bet money that Booth’s paper says, “Whatever Bones wrote.”

In adorable unison, they chant “One, two, threeee” and burn those papers.

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Booth waves his paper around as it burns, and Brennan kind of scolds him about it.

Brennan: Don’t freak out, it’s just a little fire.

Isn’t that the story of their relationship? One of them gets freaked out by the heat, and all the while they keep bickering. Brennan, per usual, fumbles a colloquialism and turns it into something a little dirty: “I think you humped the gun.” Booth corrects her, and they keep up their banter as the camera fades out on a light bulb—because the lights are totally on at last.


So what did you all think of this scene? Did Hodgins almost tempt you away from Booth with his optimism? Whose moment of honesty shocked you more—Booth’s or Brennan’s? In retrospect, do you think Booth ever got his inner peace before they got together? And what do you think they each wrote on their papers? So much to talk about! Let’s light some candles and get to it.


  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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