Finally back again. There isn’t too much left (of this episode, at least) now. Since I’ve gone a bit out-of-order here due to my inability to properly write about the scene in Booth’s office, the most recent scene actually took place two posts ago. Brennan was adorably entertaining her children in Booth’s office while Booth was on the phone with Cam and Hodgins. Based on the DNA evidence they discovered back at the Jeffersonian, Booth was able to deduce that Jeannine was actually Kovac’s sister- not wife. A complete shock- if this was your first viewing.
The episode picks up with Booth and Brennan walking swiftly to the interrogation room. Brennan bursts in screaming “It was you!,” while nearly lunging at Jeannine. Booth has to physically hold Brennan back. After all, he knows what she’s capable of. At first, Jeannine looks stunned. She attempts to appear confused about the scene unfolding in front of her. But Booth tells her to sit down and lose the act. When Jeannine explains once more that she has no idea where her husband is, Booth asks her about her brother. Again, she attempts to deflect. But no one is buying it. “Stop lying! We know Mark Kovac is your biological sibling.” Jeannine calls the pair sick for implying she is guilty of incest. “No, we’re accusing you of murder, and that’s just for starters. We found your DNA on the explosive. The whole marriage thing, that was a cover– almost worked, but it didn’t.” Brennan is absolutely enraged. “You’ve been working with him this whole time! You plotted to kill me and my children! You murdered my father!” And then Jeannine finally disposes of her cover.
“Your father’s blood is on your husband’s hands. So now you know how it feels to have your father murdered right in front of you.” Brennan doesn’t even hesitate before she yells that Booth was doing his duty. When I first saw this scene, I cringed when that line was spoken. Because Booth had still not absolved himself of his perceived responsibility for Max’s death. So to have Brennan speak so resolutely in such a heated moment provided me a bit of comfort. I don’t know precisely what Booth was thinking in this moment. But I have to assume he was continuing to place the blame on himself. We’ll come back to that, as the upcoming car scene is more focused on the resolution of Booth’s guilt relative to this entire ordeal. The partners demand that Jeannine tell them where Kovac is so no one else has to die. It’s not surprising that Jeannine doesn’t flinch. It’s not exactly an enticing reason to destroy the siblings’ carefully constructed plan.
Back at the lab, the squinterns share what they have found thus far with Hodgins. Some of the bones feel noticeably lighter than normal, and they happen to be the same bones Brennan had on her mysterious list. A little discouraged, Hodgins asks if they are hoping that Brennan will see the evidence and immediately recall her discovery. He explains to them that it won’t work. “Brennan isn’t Brennan anymore, all right? And we just we have to accept it. I mean, maybe someday.” This attitude seems a little too defeatist for my taste. It’s barely been a day since the explosion. Her brain is bruised, give it a chance to heal. I know Hodgins is equally as devastated by Brennan’s current state, but his word choice was nothing short of interesting. Moments earlier, we had just witnessed a scene where Booth so lovingly and earnestly told Brennan all the reasons why she was still Brennan, and why he would love her forever. But I assume what Hodgins intended to say was that she’s not the exact same Brennan. Right now, Brennan is unable to assist with the case in the same way she always had. Daisy, of course, refuses to give up on her mentor. The others are in agreement. Brennan obviously saw something vital in the remains. Something important enough to risk her life. Hodgins tells them it’s up to them to uncover what that evidence could be. “Look, Brennan trained you for this exact moment. She’s counting on you. So am I.”
They all begin working as one cohesive unit. Using everything Brennan taught them over the years. They ultimately deduce that Brennan was going to have a histological analysis performed on a tooth to find out where this victim grew up as a child. Since it was determined that the victim was not a mastermind in Kovac’s plan, he must have provided something Kovac needed. It couldn’t be a random murder. What Kovac needed was a place to hide. He escaped from prison with this victim, found out where he grew up, and killed him for his home. All they had to do was find out where the victim grew up. Find that, and they would finally find Kovac.
Angela walks in (what I believe to be her old office) to find Hodgins and Cam working on functional equipment. She jokingly asks which exhibit they stole it from. But Cam informs her that the bio-chem department at Georgetown offered it up to them the moment they heard there was an explosion. “Squints of the world unite, baby.” That’s right.
Hodgins has now performed the analysis on the tooth. And he can match the results to the evidence he had already gathered. They pinpoint the location of the victim’s home to a farm in West Virginia. And the search for Kovac begins.
The team contacts Booth and Brennan right away, and the next scene shows the partners in the car on the way to the farm where Kovac should be hiding. Booth explains that Aubrey and some SWAT guys are meeting them there, and that he wants Brennan to stay in the car. Now, if you’re pretty well-versed with this show, you already know Brennan’s answer to that. It’s the same as almost all of her responses to that very “demand” over the years. “No.” One of the only times she ever listened to Booth when he told her to stay (or go), was during the season 9 finale. And that was only because they had Christine. Though, that didn’t stop Brennan from returning to Booth’s side once their daughter was in safe hands. After all, she’s standing right beside him. Like always. Like she always will. And this time is no different. Brennan simply tells him, “Where you go, I go.” And naturally, that line destroyed me. Because it’s always been true. And it will always be true.
Booth obviously acquiesces because, honestly, he knows he cannot stop her. He reminds her to be careful. And then proceeds to get something off his chest while it’s still an option. I had almost forgotten that they were headed into a dangerous situation, even though they were literally on their way to apprehend a murderer. But like so many perilous situations they’ve been in, there is no certainty that he will be able to say any of this to Brennan later on. He begins to apologize for everything, and Brennan immediately tells him that she doesn’t want any apologies.
But what you said to Jeannine about me doing my duty, it was, uh, still my choice. It always is– every time I take a shot, I-I take responsibility for that.
I know. And that’s why I stand beside you. Always.
Always beside him. Since the beginning. This wasn’t a terribly lengthy conversation. But actually, it’s been a very prominent theme throughout this entire season. Hell, this entire series. We know Booth feels the weight of every life he’s ever taken. It’s a huge burden. One he used to force himself bear alone. We’ve seen this come back, time and time again. Booth always has to reconcile his duty to with his conscience. Sure, he’s only killed those individuals who posed a serious threat to his country or his family. He’s never murdered a soul. But this isn’t a black and white issue. This isn’t something where absolutes apply. And you can be sure Booth wrestles with this far more than he lets on.
This season has been especially trying. Something we learned during the pilot finally came back into play after over a decade. I absolutely loved the connection to 1×01. But it was, of course, exceedingly difficult to watch. Because we had to watch Booth suffer once again. Watch him wrestle with his conscience. Did he do the right thing all those years ago? That one shot had such grave implications 20 years later. Aldo lost his life. Another Army friend of Booth’s lost his life. Max was collateral damage. And his wife, children, and friends were at risk. All because of a single shot. A single life taken. Does it matter that he was doing it for his country? In the line of duty? Does it matter that many more could have died if this man stayed alive? It’s hard to say. I could see where Booth would venture into the realm of “no one should play God.” Who really has authority to make decisions about the lives of others? But at the end of the day, he is a good man. He constantly tries to do the right thing with minimal damage. Those lives lost this season were not his fault. There was a conversation in 10×02 regarding the difference between revenge and justice. Booth has always been about justice. Never revenge (though sometimes the two are not mutually exclusive). This man Kovac, he may have thought he was seeking justice for his father. But it was revenge. Taking innocent lives will never truly avenge his father’s death. Taking Booth’s family away from him will not bring his father back. Maybe Kovac is the type of person who would never feel guilt for such things. But the fact remains that there is still no justice in that.
In Booth’s mind, this would not have happened if it were not for his actions. Max would be alive. No one would be in danger. But who’s to say that events would have unfolded in the same way? Chaos Theory and all. Brennan never blamed Booth. She grieved for her father, and put distance between herself and her husband. Because grief is unpredictable. And it makes people do and act in ways that they wouldn’t normally. She needed time and space from Booth for whatever reason. Because he’s too close to her. Too close to the situation. Sometimes when everything falls apart the only people we can talk to are those on the outside. It’s difficult to articulate. But it’s true. However, that does not mean she actually Booth for Max’s death because of a man he killed in the Army decades earlier. She’s rational. She knows who to blame. And she definitely gives it to Kovac’s sister. Brennan never says anything she doesn’t mean. And she flat-out says she blames Kovac for the death of her father. She truly believes Booth was doing his duty. It was not his fault. She never believed that for a moment. But she knows that Booth needs to hear these things said aloud. That’s why she continues to tell him that he’s a good man over the course of the series. I know people laugh at the frequency that line pops up during the show. But I’ve always said I’ll support every single instance in which she tells him. Because he absolutely needs to hear it. Or else he will never believe it. Coming from Brennan, it must be true. He wants her to know that he still makes the choice every time he takes a spot. And that he takes responsibility for those choices. She knows that. She’s always known that. And she will stand beside her husband and partner, and his choices.
They arrive at the location, where Aubrey and the SWAT team are waiting. Booth will lead one team, and Aubrey will lead the other. Booth explains the plan, and warns everyone to be careful. And then Booth and Brennan exchange “I love you’s.” It’s quick, it’s simple, but it was important enough for both of them to say before they head off into the unknown. They’ve been in this position before. Thinking back to when Booth couldn’t let Brennan leave having the last words spoken between them be “I hate you for telling me to walk away.” So he tells her he loves her, and they share a kiss. This time, it was instinctual. And I wish I could dwell on it all day. Because these two love each other. Really love each other. It’s so pure. They are in love with each other. And they have been for years. Since almost the beginning. Even if they never realized it. And here we are now- Episode 246. 12 seasons with these two beautiful people. And these moments still mean everything.
Then, the action sequence ensues. Once the FBI helicopter arrives overhead, there are a few decoys with guns running around the property. And finally they spot Kovac in a jeep shooting at them. He’s trying to escape. Booth and Brennan fall to the ground to avoid any ricochet, and Booth injures his hand. Without the use of his extremity, he cannot shoot with his usual accuracy. Brennan attempts to get him out-of-the-way, as Kovac is approaching again. She pulls Booth with her as he continues to scream about his hand and his gun. They finally roll down into a little valley where Booth tells Brennan that he can’t move his hand. It hurts. It’s immobile. Brennan takes a look at it. And if this were a cartoon, a lightbulb would have popped up above her head. SHE KNOWS WHAT’S WRONG WITH HIM. And because of that, she also knows how to quickly fix it.
Booth, I know what’s wrong with you.
You have isolated volar distal ulna dislocation, which means all I need to do is (loud crack)
Aah! Bones! You did it. You did it.
She did it. I’m not a medical professional. And I know very little about the brain. But I’ve watched enough television to be able to assume that if a traumatic situation causes a memory issue with the brain, another stressful issue can trigger those memories once more. This is based on years of watching amnesia storylines. Is there really some truth to that? Or is it just a lot of coincidence. Who knows. If anyone wants to explain it to me, I’d be interested. But either way, we can assume the bruising on her brain is subsiding. And I cannot tell you how relieved I was in that moment. Going through this brief journey with Brennan during this episode was traumatic for me as well. Because I would rather experience my own pain than watch her endure painful situations. But knowing what we know now, that she makes a full recovery, perhaps this was actually a beneficial scenario. While she once thought that her entire identity was entwined solely within her job and her ability to process complex information, she now knows she’s so much more than that. It’s kind of a beautiful resolution in that sense.
That is the end of this particular act. I would say that this is going by too quickly, but this episode aired 8 months ago. So maybe it’s all in my head. I will say I have proven the phrase “time heals everything” to be a lie. Time does not and will never heal this void. There is such an emptiness in my life now. Nothing to anticipate. Nothing keeping me going. But as I constantly say, I have 246 glorious beautiful amazing episodes to distract me from all that. Thankfully.
Up next, Part 6. The last act. But it’s not my last act. Not by a long-shot. So, when this “last” post is complete, I’ll just move on to something else within the Bones universe. Haven’t quite solidified my plan. But there are plenty of ideas. Stay tuned.