mistletoe: (gulp)
[personal profile] mistletoe
What with all these icon challenges and health issues it's been hard to concentrate enough to get Booth out of Season 4. I just checked, and do you know I haven't done one of these since October? That's a hiatus worthy of Bones itself so we really must get the show back on track and Booth out of his as yet undiagnosed illness. Just like me there then. He he.

We have two episodes left and it is so long since I watched them I don't know how much can be added to our picture of Seeley until we begin. Isn't it exciting?




A BOOTH FOR ALL SEASONS


BRENNAN:  Birth.
BOOTH:  Happy.
BRENNAN:  Sperm.
BOOTH:  Sperm?  Isn’t this getting a little weird?
SWEETS:  No, keep going.
BOOTH:  Okay.  Egg.
BRENNAN:  I want a baby.
BOOTH:  Whoa.
BRENNAN:  Horse.

BOOTH IN SEASON 4 - Living the dream.

We have just had an episode where Booth had to confront his feelings about his brother; his attitude to responsibility and how he acted as a surrogate father in most of his relationships. Here we have a situation where that surrogacy becomes a reality and he spends most of the episode wrestling with the implications of Brennan;'s desires before all focus switches from her to him in a life threatening cliffhanger.

Thanks to Sweets, or as Booth most winningly put it "This is all your fault", and one of his psychological word association games, Brennan announces that she wants to have a baby and Booth's sperm is the ideal candidate to get the job done. I could spend the majority of this assessment on Brennan's selfish disregard for any feelings Booth might have on the subject in her blind quest to leave a lasting legacy of her genius in the form of an offspring and I will have to reel myself in to stop that because this is about Booth. However, I must say that her scientific, rational attitude really annoyed me throughout. Others tried to interfere, but she remains oblivious and Booth doesn't want to disappoint her so on she sails until only at the end does she say "This isn’t about me."

In the meantime, Booth is left to come to terms with the consequences of Brennan's bald assertion and to wonder what it will mean for him and them if a baby is born. First he tries to treat the discussion, such as it is, in the usual way. Brennan doesn't get what the problem is.


BRENNAN:  You’re the one who’s always touting parenthood, implying that my life is incomplete because I don’t have a child.
BOOTH:  I know, but this is kind of sudden.
BRENNAN:  Hmm, perhaps you don’t want to help me.
BOOTH:  Of course I do.
BRENNAN:  So you’ll do it?
BOOTH:  I’ll think about it.
BRENNAN:  What?  I don’t understand.  It’s a simple request.  I’m sure you engage in masturba…
BOOTH:  Whoa.
BRENNAN:   Horse.
BOOTH:  Enough.  Okay, we’ll talk about it later.
BRENNAN:  Well, I’m not asking for you to be involved.  All I want is your sperm.

Fundamentally, this is where Brennan and Booth part ways. Parenthood for Booth is so much more than sperm meets egg and nature takes its course. There needs to be an emotional input too. Time and again, as recently as The Salt in the Wounds, Booth has been all about consequences of non-emotional parenthood. Why can't Brennan see that baby!Daddy is not the way Booth would want to bring another child into the world? To answer that rhetorical question, it's because Brennan cannot see beyond her own rational decision. As ever, Angela tries to help. As ever, Brennan misses the subtlety of her point.
ANGELA:  Brennan… this is crazy.
BRENNAN:  Why?  I’m intellectually gifted, financially secure.  Statistically I could expect to have an exceptional child.
ANGELA:  Fine.  Yes.  Absolutely.  But you do know how this is supposed to work, right?  You get naked together.  You devour each other in a passionate frenzy.
BRENNAN:  Booth would think that would create an emotional bond between us.
ANGELA:  Of course that’s ridiculous.
BRENNAN:  I knew you’d understand.
ANGELA:  Then why use Booth at all?  Why don’t you use Fisher and his discount sperm?
BRENNAN:  No, Booth has a larger mandible and a more prominent zygomatic than Fisher, as well as a more pronounced ratio between the width of his clavicles and his ilia.
ANGELA:  So, it’s because Booth is hot.  Now we’re getting somewhere.
BRENNAN:  Statistically, attractive people are more successful.  I’m only thinking of the child, Angela.
ANGELA:  Then do this right, sweetie.
BRENNAN:  I am.  Emotional ties are ephemeral and undependable.  Look at you and Hodgins.  You and Roxy.  Booth and Rebecca.  Booth and Cam.
ANGELA:  Brennan, I…
BRENNAN:  I appreciate your concern, but I have thought this through rationally.  

So. she is, as ever, capable of leaving emotion out of the mix. Which emotions will Booth reveal, romance or something else? Cam is the only one who knows him well enough to find out.
CAM:  You and Brennan, you’re going to have a baby?
BOOTH:  She told you.
CAM:  She told everyone.  It’s probably on the news by now.
BOOTH:  I’m just donating.
CAM:  So you decided?
BOOTH:  No, no.  I am deciding.  I-N-G, ing.
CAM:  I know you, Seeley.  You’re going to do it.  You want to do it without really doing it.  But it’s still doing it even if you’re not doing it the way it should be done.
BOOTH:  She wants a kid, okay?  It’ll make her more personable with people.
CAM:  And what will it do for you?
BOOTH:  She’ll get what she wanted.
CAM:  A piece of you?
BOOTH:  Oh, look at this.  Okay, Holt’s wife filed for a missing persons report.  Now, I have to go tell her the bad news.
CAM:  Sure.
BOOTH:  You done?
CAM:  Yes.
BOOTH:  Thank you.

Yes, Booth reverts to type: thinking of the other person rather than himself, putting consequences and his needs second, or even out of the picture altogether. Well it's always worked so well before hasn't it? Especially where personal matters are concerned. Clearly, Booth is not thinking beyond what Brennan wants, but this sort of decision is far beyond anything that has happened between them before and he is definitely conflicted. His way to deal with this is to ignore it, like a toothache or a bad back. Eventually, the problem will go away or someone else will take it out of his hands and fix it for him. Currently, he is relying on Brennan to be the fixer without him acknowledging that is the way he is thinking.

Still, he sends out a feeler to see how Brennan reacts to the idea that fathers have needs too.


BRENNAN:  You know, and no one thinks twice about that.  There are millions of single women raising healthy, productive children.   (Looks down at the file in her lap.)  There was a domestic disturbance report filed a month before he disappeared.
BOOTH:   Uh, you know, if we go, uh, through with this, and I’m around, and if you need help…
BRENNAN:  Well, I’ll have a nanny.
BOOTH:  I—I figured.  But, you know, if it’s her day off.
BRENNAN:  You don’t have faith that I can do it?
BOOTH:  What?
BRENNAN:  You think I’d be a good mother, don’t you?
BOOTH:  Yeah, of course.
BRENNAN:  I know sometimes you don’t think I’m empathetic.  And it can be difficult for me sometimes.  But I would love my child, Booth, I would.
BOOTH:  I know.  I—I know that, Bones.
BRENNAN:  I know people disapprove.  If you’re uncomfortable, Fisher sells his sperm monthly, he’s very intelligent and…
BOOTH:  Oh, Fisher?  Fi—Oh, no, you are not having Fisher’s kids.  You’d be giving birth to the spawn of Satan, okay?  I’ll do it.
BRENNAN:  No obligation.  I don’t want you to feel any obligation.
BOOTH:  I’ll do it.  Don’t worry about it, okay?  It’s your kid, it’s totally yours.
BRENNAN:  Not worried about it.
BOOTH:  I’m just saying I’ll do it.
So the die is cast and now it's Fisher's fault. Yet again, Brennan missed that Booth was offering to be involved in the raising of the child because she is focusing completely on her abilities to raise a child herself, alone, albeit with a nanny. No need for Booth to be involved at all. So in the end he feels he has to do it to save her from Fisher: the child will solely be hers and throughout she always refers to it as 'my baby', never 'ours'. After Parker and observing how Booth is with him, even though he is no longer involved with Rebecca, you would think that even Brennan would know that, whatever Booth says, he will want to be a part of this child's life too. She doesn't. There is one last chance for her to see how Booth could fit in. Again she focuses on the nuts and bolts of the arrangement and misses his point.

BOOTH:  Mortenson is rich.  If he’s involved, you don’t want to spook him or he’s just gonna hire an army full of lawyers to come make our lives miserable.
BRENNAN:  Would you like legal protection?
BOOTH:  What?
BRENNAN:  With the child, so you feel secure that I won’t be asking for money or support.
BOOTH:  No, I—I don’t need legal protection.
BRENNAN:  But if you do…
BOOTH:  I don’t.
BRENNAN:  Okay.  I’ve made an appointment for you at the fertility clinic.  They will check your semen for motility, morphology, sperm count.
BOOTH:  My boys can swim, all right?  I have a child, do you remember?
BRENNAN:  This isn’t personal.  I—I’d be remiss if I didn’t look at an analysis of your semen.  It’s a very simple process.  You just go to the clinic, give a sample.  It takes five minutes.  They have pornography, if you need stimulus.
BOOTH:  I get it.
BRENNAN:  Okay.
BOOTH:  You really liked holding that kid, didn’t you?
BRENNAN:  Yeah.  I’ve been thinking about how exciting it will be to expose my own child to early pattern recognition.
BOOTH:  You know, they like singing and, uh, when you make funny faces at them, too.
BRENNAN:  Yeah, of course.   I will make a diverse schedule.
I can see the chart now: Face pulling .-. 1.15 - 1.25 pm. In a way, I blame Booth for not speaking up now. When she tells him she has organised an appointment and that the arrangement isn't personal, that would have been the time to say of course it is personal. He doesn't; he defers to what she wants in everything. I am going to play the brain tumour card here, because, as self effacing as Booth can be, he is all about family and this is a huge commitment he is making here to someone he knows intimately, if not intimately. He would not, under normal circumstances, let her get away with this.

The turmoil he is in is emphasised at the clinic when he has an unexpected encounter.

BOOTH:  (Surprised, he whirls around.)  Ahhh.
STEWIE:  You’ve got a hot doctor friend.  Go to her and make a direct deposit like a man.
BOOTH:  (He goes to the television punches the power button off, the screen goes black.  He turns away from the television.)  That’s impossible.
STEWIE:  (The television magically comes back on.)  And yet we converse.
BOOTH:  (Again, surprised.)  Oohh.
STEWIE:   Ooo, look.  A pile of porn.  Delicious.  Give me a peek, Booth.  Mmm?  Just a little peek at a booby?  Please? 
(Booth unplugs the television and the screen goes black again.) 
STEWIE:  What’s the problem?  You’re threatened by a cute, harmless baby?  Grow a set!  You do want her to have your baby, don’t you?
BOOTH:  Of course I do, it’s just, I want her to have a baby because it’s what she wants.
STEWIE:  And you could just walk away like a heartless cad while she changes poo all by her lonesome?
BOOTH:  (Raising his voice.)  It’s what she wants!
NURSE:  (Knocks and speaks from the other side of the door.)  Are you okay in there, Mr. Booth?
BOOTH:  Uh, I’m fine. (Grabs some DVDs and holds them up, turning around.)  Just, uh, fine, thank you.  (Back to Stewie.)  Listen, could you just go away now, okay?  I don’t need your help.
STEWIE:  You know, you’re not a bad looking fellow, and if you’d just keep an open mind…
BOOTH:  Go back to cartoon land, wherever you came from.  Leave!
STEWIE:  You sure?  I’m good at pretend games.
BOOTH:  (Uses the remote control to turn the television off and the screen goes black once more.  Booth stares at it for a moment before shaking his head.)  That wasn’t possible.
No it wasn't and yet, just like Luc Robitaille and Teddy Parker, Stewie gets Booth to see the truth: he is not his father; he was not to blame for a young soldier's death and and now he is a heartless cad. Wait, that last one can't be right; he is doing it this way so Brennan can have what she wants and there will be no consequences. That doesn't seem like Booth either. He wants there to be consequences, but she won't let him. Who else can cloud the issue further and keep Booth off kilter? Who can Booth talk to about seeing Stewie without actually talking about seeing Stewie and still get reassurance that he is not seeing things randomly? Who else.
BOOTH:  (Gets up and walks toward his desk.)  Sweets, hey!
SWEETS:  How you doing?
BOOTH:  I’m fine, great.  Turns out that, uh, the victim might have been sleeping with Mortenson’s wife, huh?  Jealousy, always a good motive.
SWEETS:  Yeah, that’s good.   But right now, I’m more interested in whether you decided to inseminate Dr. Brennan.
BOOTH:  God, you know.  Don’t say it like that.
SWEETS:  I’m sorry.  I’m interested in whether you decided to provide your semen for her fertilization.
BOOTH:  Saying it like that is worse.  (Starts pacing restlessly.)
SWEETS:  Okay, well, I could go with “baby daddy” but that just seems even more…
BOOTH:  I’m gonna do it.  Hey, I’ve already made the deposit.  That’s right.  Apparently, I am a god.  That’s right.  Motile sperm count: 28.8 million.  I could start my own country.  (Spins and points to his globe.)
SWEETS:  Okay, then.  Well, I’m sure you’ll be going through a lot of emotional changes because of this, so if you need to talk…
BOOTH:  Thank you, but um, it’s her baby, so it’s gonna be her life that’s turned upside-down, not mine.
SWEETS:  So you’re not at all stressed by this?
BOOTH:  Sweets, I’m an FBI agent, okay?  And a former sniper.  This is not a life or death situation, you understand?
SWEETS:  Yeah, sure.  Well, if you need anything, I’m available.
BOOTH:  I don’t need anything, okay?  I am just doing what, you know, anyone else would in this situation, right?  (Picks up a football and tosses it to Sweets, then sits down on his cabinet and sighs.)
SWEETS:  Like, what?
BOOTH:  Just…  I got a little, you know, anxious at the clinic.
SWEETS:  Anxious?
BOOTH:  Anxious.  Don’t get all shrinky on me.
SWEETS:  No, no.  Uh, what kind of symptoms?  Shortness of breath, lightheaded?
BOOTH:  It’s normal, right?
SWEETS:  Absolutely.  Sometimes donors can feel an emotional attachment, even if they don’t know the recipient.  But in this case, since you and Dr. Brennan are…
BOOTH:  It’s normal to imagine things?
SWEETS:  Well, not pink elephants, but…
BOOTH:  No, no, no, of course not.  Like, um, baby things.
SWEETS:  It’d be odd if you didn’t.
BOOTH:  Ha!  It’d be odd if I didn’t.  You’re my guy.  That’s all I needed to hear.  Thanks, Sweets.  Thanks, uh, I gotta go, you know, take care of somebody.  (He leaves Sweets standing in his office.)
SWEETS:  No problem.  Anytime.

What a classic scene. Here we have Booth FBI agent and former sniper afraid of nothing with godlike sperm count. He saw a cartoon character and had a conversation with him. How can this be? Is it normal? Here we have a psychologist, offering emotional support and medical knowledge useful in this situation. Of course it's normal to imagine things. Of course, Booth doesn't tell him the full story because no macho man would admit to talking to Stewie, and Sweets doen't probe beneath the surface. That maleness is subtley emphasised by Booth tossing a football at Sweets; they are two guys in the locker room, nothing more. So Booth is reassured and the case and baby making can go on. Both Sweets and Angela have a go at trying to convince them that emotions are involved to no avail and it is only as the case comes to a conclusion that we finally see that something is very wrong.

Seeing Stewie in the interrogation room; talking to Stewie, finally alerts Brennan that Booth is not himself.
DUNWOOD:  I followed him to Mortenson’s.  He had one of the bottles.  And it was late and…
STEWIE:  And you cornered him in the wine cellar and beat him to death to shut him up.  Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.  We know.
BOOTH:  Will you shut up?  Shut up!
BRENNAN:  Booth, who are you talking to?
STEWIE:  So, are you going to let her  have this baby alone?
BOOTH:  I didn’t say that.
STEWIE:  You are!  You’re going to abandon your child!  Oh, night’s deepest gloom washes over my tiny frame.
BOOTH:  No, no, I—I can’t walk away.  I never said that, okay?  Do you understand?  I can’t walk away.  This is my kid.  If I can’t be involved, I don’t want her to have the baby!
STEWIE:  And the sun shines again!  Good man, Boothie!
DUNWOOD:  What the hell’s going on here?
BRENNAN:  (To Dunwood.)  You shut up and don’t move.  (To Booth.)  Booth, you’re coming with me.  (She grabs him by the arm and hauls him to his feet and to the door.)

And finally the attention is on the guy. He can't tell Brennan to her face what he really feels so he tells Stewie, and Brennan realises at long last, that perhaps she is not the only one involved in having a baby - and that Booth is not himself.
BRENNAN:  Hey, what is going on?
BOOTH:  I can’t do it.  Listen, I have to be involved.  If I’m the father, then… I have to be a father.
BRENNAN:  You were seeing something in there—what were you seeing?
BOOTH:  Stewie—you know, the baby from The Family Guy.
BRENNAN:  You—you saw Stewie… in there?  In the interrogation room?
BOOTH:  So what do you say about the kid?
BRENNAN:  Fine, I won’t have a baby.
BOOTH:  Fine?  That’s it?
BRENNAN:  No, it doesn’t matter now—we’re going to the hospital.
BOOTH:  It’s no big deal, okay?
BRENNAN:  It is.  Booth, you thought you saw Luc Robitaille and then the ghost of a dead friend and now a cartoon baby.  Trust me, something is wrong.  Trust me.

Indeed there is and the brave little soldier has a tricky and dangerous operation to face. He trusts Brennan so much he insists that she be in the operating theatre with him. And.....
BOOTH: Listen, Bones, if I don’t make it…
BRENNAN: Booth, you’re gonna be fine.
BOOTH: Yeah, but if I’m not… I want you to have my stuff. You know, for a kid.
BRENNAN: Booth.
BOOTH: I want you to. You’re gonna be a really good mom.
BRENNAN: You’re gonna be fine, Booth. I’ll be right here.

Right to the last: not thinking of himself, but of a legacy, for Brennan to remember him by. The episode was very much devoted to what Brennan wanted and at no point did she consider Booth as anything but a sperm bank until it was almost too late. How she deals with that is expressed in The End in the Beginning where she explores a life with Booth in an ordinary world without them fighting crime. Booth gets sex, and nice clothes and a baby at the end. Brennan deletes it. I am not going to look at Booth in that episode because it is not Booth, it is her vision of him as a fictional character and nothing of Booth other than a military background and a brother feeds into it. How much of that coma dream is Booth's own wishful thinking and how much is fed by what Brennan writes is unclear. Either way, anything that can add to our picture of Booth in that episode can be mentioned in the early episodes of Season 5 which I have finally reached!

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