mistletoe: (My Booth)
[personal profile] mistletoe
Speaking as the Walrus I shall say the time has come. We are not going to talk of many things and certainly not shoes and ships and sealing wax. No it's Booth all the way and launching into Season 5, just before Season 7 finally gets going in 2 weeks time. Squeeeee.

You would think four years down the road, we would know plenty about Agent Booth, but he has been so reticent that that is not the case, and there are some things which have still to be disclosed. Perhaps Season 5 will be the place to find out all there is to know about our enigmatic hero.


Booth in Season 5 - caught between two worlds
A sweet, kick-ass, FBI murder-solver with hard fists and a lion heart? Yeah, you’re still him. My advice, for what it’s worth: forget the bruised brain, and go with your lion heart.

We catch up with Agent Booth 6 weeks after his brain operation and apparent amnesia to find he is his old self. Or maybe not. Nothing new in that he is in Sweets' office for evaluation, but new in that for once there may be a reason for needing the evaluation. Before that though, new information already!

BOOTH: (off screen) I do not like cats.
SWEETS: (sitting) Well that’s consistent with the person you were before your brain surgery.
(BOOTH is sitting on the couch opposite wearing a T-shirt and jeans and has grown some stubble.)
BOOTH: I don’t own a nightclub, I’m not married to Bones, you are not a zany bartender, and I hate clowns. So, can I go back to work now?
SWEETS: When our sense of reality is challenged, you know, really challenged, it can take some time to regain our footing.
BOOTH: Look, it’s been six weeks since I put my brain box through the blender there, ok. I am back baby, huh? (stands up) Special Agent Seeley Joseph Booth.
I was not aware Booth did not like cats, although it's not surprising given he likes dogs (usually). Also, here is a middle name. Joseph. I would imagine that was his father's name, him being first born, Roman Catholic and all, but it is an interesting choice of name. Joseph, an artisan, an older man, a father, a little known man.You can take a look at his story, such as it is, here.

So far so good, then, but things have not been as plain sailing as Booth would like to claim.

BOOTH: I am fit for duty.
SWEETS: That’s what I’m saying.
BOOTH: Yeah, and what I’m saying to you is, (stands up) heh, you don’t have to certify me for anything, (SWEETS comes back on screen, carrying his briefcase.) pal, ‘cuz I told you, I’m back.
SWEETS: Well, heh, in fact (sits down) you had amnesia, slurring of speech, identity confusion, (gives BOOTH his gun back) headaches, irritability, and double vision, so yeah, as a psychologist, I do have to certify you for duty. W-Why are you arguing?
BOOTH: I’m not arguing.

These changes do sound pretty fundamental and not easy to get over so quickly. First day back at work seems to highlight that.when we see Booth out on the first case with Bones.
BRENNAN:  You’re dressed very oddly.
BOOTH: What do you mean? This is regulation FBI.
BRENNAN: Well what about the garish socks and the gaudy tie? What, you don’t remember? You resist regimentation with these tiny symbols of rebellion.
BOOTH: Nah, I remember. I remember, okay? Let me just re-acclimate myself at my own speed here, okay? 
I don't think he does remember and I also feel that he has something else on his mind than his socks and ties. Although he doesn't say it himself, he does not deny it when others surmise that he is in love with Dr Brennan. Both Cam and Sweets try to advise him, as does Avalon the psychic, but in the end he is his own man and fumbles the pass when it comes down to it.

Booth is unsure of a lot in this episode, in particular the connection between brain and heart. He has always put his faith in his emotional life rather than in intellectual, rational decisions. So he turns first to a former lover for some emotional support. I think he is seeking reassurance that he is as back as he claims to be and that what he is feeling is real. Cam has mixed messages for him.

BOOTH: Just wanna share a drink, you know, with one of my closest and dearest friends who, you know, I can trust um with certain things.
CAM: Oh god. There’s lasting brain damage isn’t there? Something you haven’t told anyone.
BOOTH: What?
CAM: Are you hearing voices?
CAM: Seeley if you’re hearing voices that’s really quite serious.
BOOTH: (to CAM) That’s nice. (to the bartender who has given BOOTH another round) thank you. (to CAM) I know, I’m not hearing voices Camille, all right. Relax. It’s just, well, I did forget that I wore goofy socks so we can do one for that huh? (BOOTH and CAM take the shots)
CAM: The things that make you a good cop have nothing to do with the socks. What’s really on your mind?
(BOOTH lets out a big breath.)
BOOTH: All right, um, that place that, I went to, you know, in my coma dream, it was just Bones and I. It was so real.
CAM: You’re in love with Dr. Brennan.
(BOOTH stares at CAM who is smiling at him, then looks away. There is a significant pause.)
BOOTH: What I’m wondering is, am I the same guy?
CAM: A sweet, kick-ass, FBI murder-solver with hard fists and a lion heart? Yeah, you’re still him. My advice, for what it’s worth: forget the bruised brain, and go with your lion heart.
BOOTH: Right, right yeah, and uh tell Bones how I feel.
CAM: Yes, except be sure about your feelings because if you crack that shell, and you change your mind, she’ll die of loneliness before she’ll ever trust anyone ever again.
BARTENDER: [in the background] Coming right up.
BOOTH: Right.

So, is he sure? Turning to someone he trusts for advice is an unusual step but not without precedent if we consider Gordon Gordon's input on earlier times of self doubt. And Camille is saying what he wants to hear, but advising caution, knowing what Brennan is like; as does Booth. In addition, this is a whole new experience for Booth in that he has never had to deal with a mental injury before. Cam knows him and has done for years. How about Sweets and his psychological take on the situation? Of course, his advice is unsolicited.

There's a golf club leaning against the wall as the only addition to Booth's office furniture
SWEETS: Do you know what you’re looking at?
BOOTH: Yeah and I’m pretty sure you haven’t been this close to one in a long time.
SWEETS: It’s a PET scan of your brain.
BOOTH: Hmm, then I was wrong.
SWEETS: (pushes a button on the laptop) This is called the ventral tegmental area. This is the dorsal caudate body. Now these two areas have been proven to be linked to romantic love and sexual arousal.
BOOTH: Okay, if this is your version of dirty pictures, it’s really not working for me right now. (closes the laptop)
SWEETS: (opens the laptop) Now this uh, (shows a picture of a brain) this scan was taken before your operation. The green and blue colors indicate very low activity.
SWEETS: (pushes a button) The same scan while you were in a coma. Just lit up like the 4th of July. You were dreaming of being in love, of being married, right? (pushes a button) Same scan. Three days ago. Before your operation, you were not in love. After your operation you were. Conclusion: your feelings are not real and will fade away like every other symptom of your coma. Now, I think you and I both know that Dr. Brennan’s hyper-rationality is really just a cover for a very vulnerable and sensitive core.
BOOTH: Ok, great so we’re talking about Bones’s brain too here.
(SWEETS closes the laptop and picks it up to leave)
SWEETS: So, if you breach those defenses and it turns out you don’t really love her… I left you hard copies.

There we are: two different approaches, but both lead to the same conclusion: he has to be sure he really does love her before he says anything. Now we all know that Booth believes his gut before he believes the factual and  rational. He has also always believed that love transcends science. He also believes in Fate. Who has he met who believes in Fate too?

BOOTH: Look, I don’t know if you’re psychic or not.
AVALON: Then why would I send you to the fountain in the first place?
BOOTH: (crosses arms) Remorse.
(BOOTH sits next to AVALON on the stairs. He takes out papers from an envelope.)
BOOTH: The neurosurgeons tell me right here that this part of my brain shows love. And this… (points to picture)
BOOTH: What?
AVALON: Let the neurosurgeons have your brain. They know about your brain. They don’t know jack about your heart.
And so that is Booth's dilemma: does he trust the science with the pictures and the neural pathways or the heart where he feels love belongs? In which world does he belong? For the moment it is in his own world where he rushes in with his lion heart and saves the damsel in distress. This is when he tells Bones his feelings, though she is in shock and so misses it.
BOOTH: OK, I got it. I got it. Just relax. Just trust me, all right? I’ll take care of you. Shhh. I’ve got you. Breathe. I’ll take care of you. I’m right here. I’m not going anywhere. I got you. (BOOTH kisses BRENNAN’s head) I’ve got you, baby.

Although it worked out OK, Booth is still blaming himself for letting Bones get hurt and for not wrapping up the case. More reassurance comes from another source of common sense.
CAROLINE: That’s a lot of blood.
BOOTH: I’m fine. This is Bones’s blood.
CAROLINE: That supposed to be good?
BOOTH: She’s fine. They fixed her up and uh, she’s in her home. I should’ve been there for her.
CAROLINE: You were there! You killed the bad guy dead. I know you hate that but it always makes me a little glad. Does that make me a bad person?
(BOOTH gives a noncommittal sigh and a half smile.)
CAROLINE: I guess that closes the case.
(BOOTH stands up.)
BOOTH: (pacing the left side of the office) None of the remains have been identified as Fargood.
CAROLINE: You think the bad doctor was working for Fargood.
BOOTH: Yeah. Used to be that my hunches were good enough to keep us working a case. (BOOTH sits.)
CAROLINE: (walking to the door) Cheri they still are. That means our little psychic friend is still a suspect. And change your shirt.

Yet again, Booth feels he is not good enough and he has even lost the skill he used to have to solve the case. Caroline knows better and he is soon back on the job and although the villain is not arrested for murder, he is sure of a very long prison sentence for other crimes.

In the end, he is still not certain of how Brennan will react. He has put on the fancy socks, he has checked out how well they work together when he looks back at newspaper cuttings of their successful cases: he has shown she can count on him like she always could. However, when he is about to tell her he is balked. His reaction and the source, is not what anyone expected, not even himself.

BRENNAN: You all right?
BOOTH: Not really. I just, I have something that I wanna say to you from inside my heart.
BRENNAN: Oh, blood is in your heart. (They cross the street and keep walking.) The idea that the heart is the seat of love and strength of character is ancient, but metaphoric. I mean, in reality these qualities are based in the amygdala, which is part of the brain.
BOOTH: No, I mean, ever since I’ve woke up from my coma I’ve been wanting to say something (he stops BRENNAN with one arm) to you, about you.
BRENNAN: Well why didn’t you say something earlier?
BOOTH: ‘Cuz I just, I just wanted to finish this case. You know, to make sure that I’m back, that, that you know I’m me again.
BRENNAN: Well does the fact that we didn’t close the case give you doubts?
(BRENNAN turns from him and starts walking again. BOOTH follows.)
BOOTH: No, we did the best that we can. Hold on, (he runs in front of her and stops her from walking) you don’t, you don’t think that I’m fully back?
BRENNAN: No, I know you’re fully back.
BOOTH: You do?
BRENNAN: Well, you’re wearing your socks.
BOOTH: Oh, yeah.
(The camera pans to BOOTH’s socks, which are now visible as BOOTH has pulled up his suit pants to show them off. A briefcase lands in front of BOOTH’s socks. It is the clown.)
BRENNAN: Oh no. (The clown sprays BOOTH in the face with water from a plastic flower.) Oh no, (BOOTH is doubled over, covering his eyes) he hates—oh, Booth, do not kill the clown. (She holds up an arm to stop BOOTH as he straightens up.) Oh
(BOOTH squeezes the clown’s plastic nose and laughs. BRENNAN stares at him.)
BOOTH: (still laughing) Come here. (He squeezes the nose again and laughs.)
(The clown packs up the last of his van and turns to leave. BRENNAN keeps staring and BOOTH keeps laughing.)
BRENNAN: Booth, you hate clowns. You do not think they’re funny. (They start walking again.)
BOOTH: Right, oh, before my coma I shot a clown (stops walking) off an ice cream truck.
BRENNAN: Well I’m sure in a few weeks you’ll hate clowns again. Be back to normal.
BOOTH: Yeah, a few weeks.
(BOOTH turns to walk again. BRENNAN stops him.)
BRENNAN: What did you want to tell me?
BOOTH: That I love you.
(BRENNAN stares at BOOTH.)
BOOTH: In a professional you know (hits her arm) atta-girl kinda way.
BRENNAN: Atta-girl kinda way?
(BOOTH looks at BRENNAN then away.)
BRENNAN: Right back at ya Booth. I love you too! (She punches him in the shoulder.) Atta-boy.
He has a joke with a clown, even though he squirted Booth with his plastic flower and suddenly it is enough to fudge the declaration. Of course, Brennan's reaction may have fed into that too. At least he tells her the truth, if not the true truth.

In many ways, Booth is rediscovering who he really is in the episode and he hasn't got all the information he needs. He still has the core strengths, but superficial stuff like phobia of clowns and other constructs have slipped through his grasp. He has been distracted by trying to analyse his feelings and to understand what he really feels in the face of the thoughts of others who have their own views. All agree that he has to be sure, and from the way he tries to tell Brennan here what his feelings are, he isn't. For once, Booth doesn't know what to believe and he ends up deciding things should just go back to the way they were.
BOOTH: This is usually when we go and drink.
AVALON: You two are going to keep doing things as usual.
BOOTH: Sometimes you gotta settle for second best.
Patience, Booth, patience.

Quite a nice day today, but not very warm.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-03-21 11:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] limone1.livejournal.com
You're back with Booth!

In many ways, Booth is rediscovering who he really is in the episode and he hasn't got all the information he needs.

That's a very good summary of this epi.

Maybe a bit cynical (I've been awake for too long) but the exchanges with Cam in the bar, Sweets in his office and Brennan in the street with the clown is a way to address B&B. A way of dealing with this issue and moving forward without any progress... Apologies for half-baked theory but it made sense in my fuzzy head :)

(no subject)

Date: 2012-03-22 10:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-mistletoe.livejournal.com
No I see what you mean. I think they were dancing round the elephant in the room by pretending to focus on it, but actually only looking at it sideways. At least they had Booth admit he had feelings of some sort. We'll have to wait for Gordon-Gordon to reappear before Booth explains why he didn't go further.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-03-21 11:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tempertemper.livejournal.com
I like what you say about him telling her his true feelings when she's in shock and her not hearing it - that's so true!

(no subject)

Date: 2012-03-22 10:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-mistletoe.livejournal.com
Well what he said wouldn't have fit with her world view anyway. She was in denial about what had happened while he was comatose the whole episode. I think he said it because he nearly lost her before he could say anything to her. They are both afraid of losing what they have, so moving forward is not really going to happen. HH wouldn't let it at this stage.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-03-22 08:32 am (UTC)
fourth_rose: (Bones I knew)
From: [personal profile] fourth_rose
I've always wondered what the makers were trying to achieve with making Sweets insist that Booth wasn't in love with Brennan pre-coma. Of course, Sweets could just be messing with Booth again (it's not without precedent, after all), but the brain scan seems to indicate that he has medical facts to back him up, so at least it looks like they wanted the viewers to believe it too (not that many of them did, I guess). Given that we get Booth's "I knew right from the start" half a season later, were they just trying to muddle the waters or did they change their minds later? Given what happened before, it makes sense for Booth to be confused in "Harbingers", but if we believe what he said in episode 100, it doesn't make sense to me that it would be sufficient to make him seriously doubt his feelings for her.

Also, I'm still not sure how Booth's initial reaction to the brain scan ever made it through standards&practises, but I'm very glad that it did ;)

(no subject)

Date: 2012-03-22 11:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-mistletoe.livejournal.com
I put it down to the writers presenting Booth with a dilemma of what to believe at a time when he is off balance. So they give us the heart, the head and the unknown - ex-lover, psychologist and psychic.

What they did not acknowledge was that Sweets always believed B and B were in love (see Mayhem on the Cross with the caveat that Gordon-Gordon thought his conclusions in his book were inaccurate).

Here he is basing his conclusion on the brain scan evidence that Booth is still suffering from brain trauma and shouldn't jump the gun. Pretty ironic when you think of what he does in episode 100. It's another example of how HH and SN make the characters fit the needs of the script.

And I never knew how they got Booth's comment through unless it was sheer luck and the standards people were just reading the script and not seeing the visual. He he.
Edited Date: 2012-03-22 11:03 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2012-03-22 11:14 am (UTC)
fourth_rose: (Bones Cocky)
From: [personal profile] fourth_rose
It's another example of how HH and SN make the characters fit the needs of the script.

Very true - starting with the fact that Booth's re-certification really should have come from a neurologist in "Harbingers"!

the standards people were just reading the script and not seeing the visual

That makes sense - and it could also explain how the censors missed the "4Q" in 6.03 ;-))

(no subject)

Date: 2012-03-22 11:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-mistletoe.livejournal.com
Dear me! You'd think reality would occasionally be addressed. Oh wait, it's television reality. Sweets, just like Angela, can always take up the slack and save the need to hire another actor.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-03-22 10:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] incasink.livejournal.com
I havent seen this episode in ages! I remember the part about his boring ties and socks... I remember thinking that was a massive part of himself missing.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-03-22 11:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-mistletoe.livejournal.com
It's true! Until you find out he only started wearing them after he met Brennan and she suggested he needed to signify he was not part of the hive mind.


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