♥ Booth & Brennan ♥
What can I even say about them? Probably more than a few words. When I realized their anniversary was right around the corner, I started gushing over the wedding once more. Actually, I had just watched the episode, so this was a continuation of said gushing. As usual, there’s no rhyme or reason to any of this. Just feelings.
It has been exactly four years to the day since we had the pleasure of witnessing the beautiful wedding ceremony of Seeley Booth and Temperance Brennan. And really, in the Bones universe, they’ve been married for a few years more. Just look at Christine’s age for reference. And all the many time jumps.
After all those years of partnership, friendship, baby(ies), and marriage, they are of course, still going strong. Because there is simply no other conceivable outcome for these two. Once they were together, there was no going back. After everything they have been through over the years, there is absolutely nothing that can break them now. They’ve proven that, time after time. Sidenote: In my mind, their story continues on. I think about it daily. So when I say things in the present tense, it’s because their stories continue for me each day.
So, Happy ?th Anniversary to the most incredible couple ever to grace my television screen. Is it wrong for me to say they are just the best couple ever, period? Sorry, to the couples I know outside of this world…
It was a long road. And an extremely long time coming. But Booth and Brennan finally made it to the altar. And so far beyond. It was completely worth the wait. And that is the biggest understatement of the century.
From that fateful day at American University to the moment Brennan made her way down the aisle to Booth, their journey together has been…eventful, to say the least. At times, it was immensely painful. But still, nothing short of spectacular. They are the couple every television show wish they had. Because they got together, and the show thrived. Their relationship only created more and more stories to tell. It was a boost to the show. Not a resolution or a means to an end.
So many television weddings I’ve seen have occurred in the finale of their show. Dictating that a wedding is one of the most important events the show could have. Either that, or a birth. Bones did it all differently. The wedding took place in episode six. SIX. And the season continued on. Just as with Booth and Brennan’s coupling, or the birth of their daughter, their wedding was still a momentous event. But Bones tends not to use those traditional big events for their finales. Sure, season six ended with the pregnancy reveal. However, we picked up five months later as if their lives had just continued while we were gone. We didn’t spend time watching them move from stage to stage in their blossoming relationship. We saw them as a full-fledged couple right off the bat, and business went on as semi-usual. Their romantic pairing has only ever enhanced the show. But it never really altered the “bones” of the show. Booth and Brennan are still essentially the same people we met at the beginning. Naturally, they have just grown up. They have been shaped by so many experiences throughout the show. They have evolved as people, as all of us do in our own lives. But they always remained Booth and Brennan. Their evolution was ever so gradual that when you’re watching the show sequentially, the changes are barely discernible. They are realistic. Brennan didn’t wake up one morning and change her mind about love, marriage, and children. It may be startling to watch the first few episodes and then skip right to 11×18. But when you consider every piece of her journey, and you understand why she held such a firm stance in the first place, you understand how such a change can plausibly occur (I do have a reason/argument why every single “development” was in keeping with the character). Bones has always been brilliant in that respect. Remarkable yet believable evolution for every single one of its characters. Booth’s evolution was even more subtle than Brennan’s. But again, his experiences changed him. His partnership with Brennan did as well. After working one case together with her, he knew. He knew this woman was going to affect his life in innumerable and extraordinary ways. He was right. And then some.
To be honest, I’m not big on weddings in general – in life or on television. There was maybe one other TV wedding I have cared about in the past. And I’ve never liked sitting through them, myself (sorry again to anyone I know). But because this was Booth and Brennan’s day, I knew it would be the exception. I knew it would be absolutely everything and more. I counted down to the (approximate) day as soon as I saw the 2013 SDCC panel. I didn’t care how they structured the episode. I trusted (and always have) the writers implicitly. I knew this couple was in good hands. After all, they are the center. And after everything they had endured, no writer was going to shortchange them on their wedding.
When it came down to it, the wedding was beyond anything I ever could have imagined. It was perfect. Because it was still Bones. The characters were still themselves. It didn’t stray from the formula just because it was an event episode. It had everything a Bones episode should have. It just happened to end with one of the most beautiful scenes in the history of the show. Booth wasn’t the only one who had been ready for years.
I hate to keep comparing other shows to Bones, but I feel that I must right now. And if for some reason you find yourself reading this, I imagine you have some warm feelings towards the show and would agree with me. Anyway, I find that when it comes to vows, so many television weddings have these awkward, generic, and out-of-character vows, in the hopes that it ups the romance factor. I will admit I’ve cringed many a time at these types of episodes. Wondering why a character would stray so far from his or her normal way of communicating. But again, Booth’s and Brennan’s vows felt so unique and special. They were customized to fit these two perfectly. The vows suited their characters, and their relationship. This is the way they speak to each other on any other day. Unlike those other shows, their vows were so genuine, so heartfelt, and so Booth and Brennan.
All right. Okay…um…You know, I worked really, really hard on my vows. But, you know, now that we’re here…Look, hey, do you remember the last time that we were here? Standing right around this spot. It was right in the beginning before we really knew each other. I was trying to get away from you because, um, you were irritating me. And you chased me down and you caught up to me. I said to you, ‘Listen, I just have to get all my ducks in a row, right?’ And then you said to me,
‘I can be a duck!’ ♥
Yeah. You know, we have been chasing each other for a long time. We’ve been chasing each other through wars and serial killers and ghosts and snakes and…You know, chasing you has been the smartest thing that I have ever done in my life. And being chased by you has been my greatest joy. But now, we uh don’t have to chase each other because we caught each other.
I think all of us love to talk about how involved David was with these vows. How he really considered what Booth would realistically say in this situation. And how he wanted to go back to the beginning, to a scene from the pilot which incidentally took place in the same setting as their impending wedding. What he and the writers and producers came up with was absolutely flawless. It is exactly what Booth should have and would have said. Well, he did say them. There was no superfluous fluff. Nothing terribly mushy. But his words were so incredibly infused with love for this woman and what they’ve shared together over the years. Booth has a way of taking the simplest sentence and making it the most romantic thing I’ve ever heard. “We caught each other.” It may not mean very much to most. But with these two, it brings me to tears. His face, as he’s going off the cuff with his vows, projects everything he’s feeling in this moment, and everything he feels for this woman. As usual, it’s entrancing. Brennan’s reactions were priceless, and her joy here was undeniable.
And then it was Brennan’s turn. Now, Booth is a hard act to follow. But her vows were just as beautiful, just as personal, and just as emotional. Same level as Booth’s, just with a Brennan spin.
When Hodgins and I were buried alive, we each wrote a message to someone we loved, in case our bodies were ever found. Hodgins wrote to Angela, and I wrote to you, Booth. ‘Dear Agent Booth, you are a confusing man. You are irrational and impulsive, superstitious and exasperating. You believe in ghosts and angels, and maybe even Santa Claus. And because of you I’ve started to see the universe differently. How is it possible that simply looking into your fine face gives me so much joy? Why does it make me so happy that every time I try to sneak a peek at you, you’re already looking at me. Like you it makes no sense. And like you, it feels right. If I ever get out of here, I will find a time and a place to tell you that you make my life messy and confusing and unfocused and irrational and wonderful.’ This is that time. This is that place.
I have to admit, I had no idea what to expect from Brennan’s vows. We did learn early on that it would probably have something to do with a callback to Aliens in a Spaceship. And then I believe the logical assumption was that it would be a reveal of the letter she wrote. Now, I know this wasn’t the grand plan all along. But it worked seamlessly. Hart’s initial idea of what the note said all those years ago wasn’t really anything noteworthy. But the way they wrote it into the wedding was genius. First off, I know production wouldn’t have missed this detail, but I was happy to see the page from her book so obviously shown to us as she pulled it out of her dress. The second Brennan began reading, Booth’s realization of what she was doing was so raw. And as she continued on, I couldn’t stop thinking about how perfect this all was. Forgive me for the gross overuse of that word. But there’s just no other way for me to express that sentiment. The best part is, this letter sounded like Brennan did at that time. She obviously felt something for Booth, though she would never would have admitted it then. However, she didn’t want to die without somehow letting Booth know what he meant to her. This is season two Brennan bearing her “soul” (though she doesn’t believe in souls). Something else that jumps out at you right away, is what Brennan says before actually reading the page. “We each wrote a message to someone we loved.” She wouldn’t have said it so plainly then. But in hindsight, she can now recognize that what she felt for Booth at that time can be classified as love. I’ve never watched 2×09 in the same way since.
Brennan describes Booth in a way I would have expected her to in early season two. Irrational, impulsive, superstitious, and exasperating. Sounds about right. But something about him began to change the way she saw the world. And really, her world in particular. She couldn’t put her finger on it. It wasn’t something that could be easily explained by science. But Brennan clearly recognized that he was making her feel things that she had never felt before. Or perhaps, he made her feel a bit like she did before she was abandoned by her family. She wouldn’t go beyond that and actually try to classify those feelings. Not then. But to Brennan, Booth was always an enigma for sure. And that final line is so very Brennan “You make my life messy and confusing and unfocused and irrational and wonderful.” It was a seemingly nonsensical hybrid of feelings to which she was not quite accustomed. But feelings that obviously felt right to her. And good. And wonderful.
It brings me such joy to think about Brennan deciding what to say in her vows. She is an author. She could have written something special, I’m sure. I can’t speak to her exact intentions in revealing the letter, but I like to think it was a few things. Booth, as we know, “knew, right from the beginning.” The letter reveals that in her own Brennan way, she knew as well. Though, I think that first kiss between them did initially shake to her core. She could get over that if she never worked with him again. But we saw how that turned out. As they grew closer, Brennan began to realize just how important this man was to her. And how much she wanted him around. And now, so many years later and so much between them, she can finally share that with him. That she “knew” too.
The last line always incites even more sobs because Brennan describes everything we ever heard her say about Booth back in the beginning. Booth’s style was quite the opposite of the way she preferred to approach her life. She always likes things to be orderly, and exact, and focused, and rational. So those opposite feelings should have led her to conclude that Booth was a distraction to her work. But instead, she admitted that despite everything, he only made her life wonderful. Her rational scientific world didn’t matter as much with him by her side (except as it pertained to her work and solving cases, of course). It’s not as though he changed that about her, as she’s still very much all those things. But it wasn’t everything anymore.
When Brennan finishes reading from the page, she folds it up and tucks it away once more. She seems a bit nervous. What would the reaction to this letter be? She looks Booth in the face, and maybe doesn’t quite understand what she’s seeing. She’s always been a bit insecure when it comes to comprehending social norms. She whispers to him so earnestly “Did I do that wrong?” Maybe she made a mistake her. Maybe she was supposed to say something else. But with nothing but love and admiration in his eyes, Booth just responds with “No.” And like a million times before, he puts Brennan at ease immediately. Booth honestly wouldn’t have cared if she uttered some tribal chant as her vows. As long as it was her standing across from him. But this was probably unexpected. Listening to her words from a lifetime ago, still learning things about this woman, he was simply stunned. And the fact that she chose to share it with him and all of their friends and family on their wedding day, it meant the world to him. And I would bet he fell even more in love with her…if that’s possible.
The ceremony wraps up and they become “official.” Though, neither of them ever really needed a marriage certificate to prove their love for each other. They shared a life, and that was already more than enough. Then comes the line that I always go back to when I talk about how this show successfully conquered that god-awful Moonlighting curse.
So what do you think happens now?
Everything that happens next?
Yes, this wedding was truly an event. But it wasn’t an ending of anything. It wasn’t even a pause. It was part of an already-in-progress season. And the characters dove right back into their “normal” lives. Everything that happens next happened. They shared good times and bad. They continued on as partners. Continued solving crimes together. Continued raising their child, and later, children together. Bones never stopped being Bones. A marriage or a baby does not kill a show. With marriage comes new challenges. And because these characters are so rich and dynamic, there has never been a shortage of stories to tell. They could have conceivably continued with this entire cast of characters until they were all in their 90s. Give me one milestone you’ve reached in your own life where all the rest of life’s conflicts ceased to exist for eternity. It’s not about keeping characters apart for as long as possible. It’s about developing them to a place where you can continue to tell a compelling story once they do finally get together. We see some of Booth and Brennan’s domestic life as a couple. But we also still see them out there solving crime and facing many of life’s challenges. Just as they always have.
Booth and Brennan got married. At last. I still have to pinch myself sometimes. They are imperfectly perfect characters with imperfectly perfect and fascinating lives. And most importantly, they’ve always been perfect to me.
I’m not entirely sure what this was. I just wanted to mark this day in some way. So this mess of nothing is dedicated to my favorite couple to ever exist. Period.
Happy Anniversary B&B. I will forever celebrate you.