I’m turning now to the main cast – though relationships are such an important part of the story, it only made sense to me to include the squinterns when there was romantic intersection there.
I’m not sure there’s anyone who’s been on the show that I have more complicated feelings about than Sweets. He was arguably the world’s worst shrink (well, until we met Karen Delfts and Dr. Faulk) but he loved the team so much, and needed their love in return, it was impossible for me not to respond to that.
The fact that he did need their love reflects again on what I said in my first post about the squinterns: at times, I like what we see in the others as a result of the character as much as what I like about them. When Booth and Brennan leave his apartment to go ‘adopt’ Sweets as a their baby duck at the end of Mayhem on a Cross? It’s a lovely moment, not the least because it’s Brennan – who I think knows best what it’s like to feel like an outsider – who says, ‘we can make room for him.’
Booth, who plainly thinks the baby duck analogy is silly, still goes along with it – and literally pushes Sweets out the door of his office, because he likes him, can’t do other than support Brennan, and can’t, himself, be other than an older brother to well, pretty much every younger guy he meets.
Getting back to Sweets, though, I can’t even explain how weird much of his psych stuff struck me, but it was always founded in love.
The exception to my views about his psychology was what he said to Brennan in The Doctor in the Photo. He not only understood what was happening – that she was over-identifying with Lauren Eames – but also how to approach her about it. First, in the meeting in her office, he tells her directly that that’s what’s happening, because he knows her well enough to know direct is best. And then later, in the diner, he tells her what she needs even more to hear: that she’s not alone in the world.
(There’s a nice symmetry to me there, that it was Brennan who took the initiative in ‘making room for Sweets’ in Mayhem, and it’s Sweets who reassures her, ‘you’re not alone in the world’ two years later.)
I also loved what Sweet said to Booth in The Conspiracy in the Corpse, as he was dying:
“You’re gonna be fine.”
“You, too. The world is a lot better than you think it is.”
He knows Booth is messed up, that the government betrayal that led to his imprisonment wounded him at the core, but he also knows that Booth will get past it. After all, Booth has Brennan, and Christine, and a bunch of people who love him. I don’t think Sweets was capable of factoring in the degree to which his death would be another challenge for Booth to overcome in getting back to ‘fine,’ but he wasn’t wrong.
But Booth and Brennan weren’t the only ones Sweets thought of in his dying moments.
The relationship between Sweets and Daisy didn’t work for me until after it was over – though it set up a story I liked a lot, namely, the team’s support of Daisy after his death.
But their romance most often felt like a series of sex scenes in inappropriate places to me, and, no, I don’t know why Hodgins and Angela’s early relationship felt different in that respect, unless it was that we had moments like the swing set with them.
In any respect, the relationship didn’t do anything for me, and Daisy herself drove me bonkers. I think perhaps she was supposed to, that we were seeing a young woman who only knew how to be annoying, even with those she cared about. If so, it worked: I didn’t really begin to warm up to her until she and Sweets broke up, and I think the first scene I ever actually liked her in was her conversation with Cam at the end of The Twist in the Plot.
I liked that scene a great deal, mostly because that Cam – compassionate but in charge – is my favorite Cam, but also, Daisy herself seemed more genuine to me. Vulnerable and less sure of herself, I found myself rooting for her for the first time.
It turns out that Cam’s wrong when she tells her to let go of Sweets, that something gone can’t be brought back to life, but I think the conversation does a nice job of paving the way for what happens off-screen eighteen months later between Daisy and Sweets. When we learn they “bumped into each other and made a bump”, it’s believable, because this conversation shows there was something left after the breakup.
All of this meant that the twist of Sweets leaving behind a pregnant girlfriend didn’t feel manipulative the way such stories sometimes do because we did have all that history with them.
In turn, that story arc gave us some amazing scenes with Brennan (Brennan and Daisy saying goodbye to Sweets in The Lance to the Heart; Brennan answering Daisy’s question in The Lost in the Found about having sex with another man if Booth died) and the whole team as we see them rally around her.
The Puzzler in the Pit is one of my favorite episodes from S10, not only for the baby’s birth, but for scenes leading up to it, including Angela going with her to see the doula, and this exchange with Hodgins:
“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.”
There’s also this, which is simply best experienced visually:
Because love, ya’ll.
While I liked him from the beginning for both his patience with and his willingness to stand up to Booth in the first weeks after Sweets’ death, I can tell you the exact moment I fell in love with Aubrey. It was his response to Brennan in The Murder in the Middle East:
His response to Booth’s gambling relapse is everything I admire most in someone, and want to put into practice in my own life: If I can make a difference, I want to do so.
(The fact that that moment was when I fell for Aubrey, and fell hard, is why I loved Booth’s “Thank you” so much in The Radioactive Panthers in the Party.)
Aubrey had me from that moment, so there have been a lot of scenes I’ve enjoyed (including ones with him and Christine) since then. But I think this, his conversation with Jessica from The Woman in the Whirlpool is my next favorite:
“So do you think Booth and Brennan are going to get a divorce?”
“Those two? Never.”
“Pretty definite there, Superman.”
“Well you know, Sweets wrote a book about them, and he said that it was their friendship that was the foundation of their relationship, not the fickle nature of love.”
First, I love that he gets Booth and Brennan sufficiently to have that much confidence in them (granted, he had Sweets’ notes, so, even there, Sweets was still helping them) but I also like the scene because it sums up the show’s view of Booth and Brennan, and why their relationship works. That their love is founded on years of friendship is still the primary thing that sets the show apart for me. Honestly, thinking about that foundation, I’m glad they waited as long as they did to get them together.
It’s a bit weird, because as I write this, we don’t yet know the end of her and Aubrey’s story. But even if they don’t wind up together, I’ve enjoyed seeing them as a couple. They strike me as another variation on Booth and Brennan, and I like that a lot.
A friendship between a scientist and a cop that remained friendship for a while, allowing us to watch it develop, but without quite all of the baggage that slowed down our main couple. (The show has given us two other alternate ways the Booth and Brennan story could have played out: the coma dream of The End in the Beginning, and then the 200th.)
As for Jessica herself, it was when we were first getting to know her that I realized that one common factor among the characters on the show is that they’re all a mix of strength and vulnerability. I know that’s obvious, but I’d never really articulated it that way to myself prior to meeting her.
In The Geek in the Guck, when she tells them about the cooperative she grew up in dissolving, she tries hard to be strong: “Barrett said change is the one reality we can count on. Trying to hang on to our expectation – that is death.”
She continues to insist that she’s fine, nothing to see here, it’s all good, until a conversation with Hodgins and then Angela, at the very end:
“Change is one of the foundations of the cooperative. Without change, there is no life.”
“Right, but sometimes change can be painful, and we can hate it.”
[breaks]”…I lost everything. I lost my family.”
“Well thank God you’re not trying to hold it together anymore. Come on, you’re coming home with us.” (Jessica, Hodgins, Angela)
I like that moment for different reasons. First, because I’m me, and every time we see the family adopting someone else, I go soft inside. Second, because in seeing that display of both strength and vulnerability, I realized it’s that combination which makes all these characters so appealing to me. Booth? We’ve seen him be both. Brennan? Certainly. Cam? Oh, yeah. And so on down the line.
And third? I included this scene about Jessica out of a number of others because right now, it’s speaking to me the loudest. I don’t want the change of knowing that are no longer going to be new episodes of Bones, and I’m honest enough to say, “I have the sads, and I don’t like this change, and I’m going to miss the show, and the characters, and the way they make me feel.”
Tomorrow: “It’s Complicated, Part 2: Cam and Arastoo”