Okay, maybe I’m imagining things. It wouldn’t be the first time.
I was reminded this morning of just how subjective everything is about how we view the show, but I feel like I’m seeing a theme this season, and whether or not it’s intentional on the writers’ part, I love it.
It’s this: we keep seeing Brennan being there for those she loves in an emotionally supportive way. It’s not that we’ve not seen that in previous seasons, but all this season, she’s seemed more sure of herself when doing so.
She’s still Brennan. In every instance, from giving Cam what she needed to autopsy Sweets, to spending time with Daisy ‘listening’ to his bones, to sharing her past with Aubrey, she’s still 100% herself. But she’s reaching out, using who and what she is, to make the world okay for those she loves.
And here? We see that it works better when she is just herself. Although she thinks the New Age stuff is ignorant and foolish, it comes out as harsh when she tries to follow Angela’s instructions and say so, and confronted with that, both she and Daisy relax when she stops trying. But that still leads to Daisy saying this, which breaks my heart:
“I’m alone now. It’s just me and the baby. I have to find a way to make that work for me, to connect to him, without Lance here. I’m…doing the best I can.”
(That’s at least the third time this season Daisy has made me cry, if you’re counting.)
Brennan once worried about connecting with her child, so she knows, better than anyone, what Daisy is afraid of.
But she also knows that Daisy isn’t alone, and so do we, as we see all of them finding ways throughout the episode to reassure her. And Daisy hears it, and her confidence in them grows – until she banishes Valentina, and asks for Booth to be there. And, despite his discomfort, he comes.
Meanwhile, it’s in the labor room where we see Brennan come through for Daisy the strongest, not only by getting Booth to fall in line with what Daisy needs by giving him The Wife look, but also by using the case to distract her. She may feel her people skills are not well-developed, but her Daisy-skills are spot-on: for these women, discussing murder during labor isn’t inappropriate: it’s the best possible distraction and focal point.
I’ve been saying for several years now that Brennan is the world’s greatest authority on Booth, but he’s not the only one she knows that well. Over and over we’re seeing that, and I love it so hard, I can’t even tell you.
And so, while the whole team is there for Daisy, it’s Brennan who once again makes the most difference, simply by being herself. Has she changed? Yes. The woman who in the beginning had to be told to offer something of herself sat on a bar stool last week and told Aubrey, ‘my father was a criminal, too;’ and the woman who had to be coached by Angela in The Soldier on the Grave on how to comfort Booth (“Knowing when a simple touch is enough”) – that’s the woman who gives her hand to Daisy to squeeze.
But…she’s still Brennan. And that’s what’s beautiful about it. The core of who she is – a rational, genius scientist – is the same, but we’ve seen her transformed into someone who is confident in being there for those she loves.
Because of Booth, of course. To paraphrase Aldo, ‘it’s always going to come down to Booth.’ Not solely – I think the rest of the team and Christine have also been instrumental in her growth – but, well, Booth. This season, I feel like we’re seeing not just their relationship, but what it means for others.
And it’s not even just with Daisy: the woman who once shared Daisy’s fears about being unable to connect with her child is now reassuring Booth that he’ll be a good uncle.
Meanwhile, there’s more going on here. There’s also Booth and Aubrey. I spent some time yesterday over at Bonesology discussing why I don’t think the fact that Brennan’s not been in the field the last few eps means they’re no longer partners (short version: story reasons – here, for example, she couldn’t be both with Daisy in the lab and with Booth in the field) but I also had another thought a little while ago.
Last summer, they kept telling us that what happened at the end of season 9 would ‘change the shape of the show for a while,’ as well as making comments about what it means for Booth to have been betrayed by the government, and I wonder if those things are connected, and relevant to what we’re seeing.
I think Booth and Brennan are still partners. I think they’ll be partners five minutes after the show ends. And since I can point to story reasons in last few episodes for her not to have been in the field (and since she was in The Geek in the Guck), I don’t yet see in that what others do in terms of a big change there for the season.
But Booth and Aubrey? Maybe part of what we’re seeing is the working out of the consequences for Booth of the betrayal. It wasn’t Brennan who betrayed him, it was the FBI, and thus, somehow, it has to be the FBI which teaches him it’s okay to trust again. That’s not something she can do for him. But Aubrey can.
What Booth needed when he came back to the FBI was to know that someone there would have his back. And to me, the truest test of that kind of loyalty is when someone’s willing to protect you from yourself, even knowing you may be pissed at them – exactly what Aubrey did with that end run around him with the gambling.
Was it necessary? Maybe not. I don’t think Booth’s that close to falling off the wagon (though I did notice he was playing with his poker chip here, and seemed more animated about the site than we’ve seen him about gambling opportunities in the past.) But Aubrey doesn’t know that, and it doesn’t matter – he still stepped in to protect him, regardless of the consequences for himself. (“you can take me off the case, but I’m going to do the same thing again.”)
Booth studies him for a while, and then smiles. Aubrey’s got his back, even at risk to himself, and maybe that’s part of the point of what we’re seeing this season.
Or maybe I just need more sleep.
And…best line, best scene, of the episode:
“Okay. Who is that woman, and what’s she done with Daisy?” (Cam)
“Your baby will communicate when he defecates or is hungry, and he’ll do so by crying, not by picking out clothing.” (Brennan)
“I told her it was like having a minivan drive out of you, no matter how many crystals you buy.” (Angela, on childbirth)
“Well is there anything I can do?”
“Maybe just keep telling her she’s ignorant, stuff like that?”
“She has a doctor’s appointment this afternoon, so I’m going to drive her. Maybe if I meet this doula, I’ll be able to understand why Daisy likes her so much.”
“Should I go now and tell her that she’s ignorant?”
“Maybe let that come a little more naturally?” (Brennan and Angela)
“So you have no idea who might have made the call.”
“It could have been anyone. Concierge, a guest at the hotel, a schmo off the streets.”
“So we could be looking for someone who speaks Yiddish.”
“What? What are you talking about?”
“Schmo. It’s Yiddish for idiot, so I assume you’re saying we’re looking for a mentally challenged, Yiddish speaking-”
“Stop, okay, Bones? The killer doesn’t speak Yiddish.”
“How do you know?”
“I don’t. That’s not the point.”
“Then why did you bring it up?”
“I didn’t bring it up.”
“You said schmo.”
“Fine, I’ll never bring it up again. I promise.”
(Aubrey, joining them): “I think I might have found our guy.”
“Does he speak Yiddish?”
“What?” (Booth, Brennan, Aubrey)
“Science can only go so far, Dr. Hodgins…you think I’ve changed since Lance died, don’t you?”
“We all change. All the time. You know, that is science. It’s just I don’t want you to push us all away because you’re afraid of losing someone else.” (Daisy and Hodgins)
“My God, Daisy. your water just broke!”
“I’m sorry. I’ll clean it up.” (Daisy and Angela)
“Yelling will only make the baby feel unwanted. Visualize a forest.”
“Oh, for the love of God, shut up.” (Valentina and Cam)
“I’ve never seen this many spectators at a birth.”
“It’s because we’re like family, right?”
“Absolutely right, and as family, I should go in the waiting room.” (Booth and Daisy)
“Who here has the balls to argue with a pregnant woman?” (Daisy)