A 100th Episode Cop-Out: ‘Bones’ 5X16 — “The Parts of the Sum in the Whole”

“I am not a gambler. I’m a scientist. I can’t change. I don’t know how . . . I don’t know how.”
Temperance Brennan

– – –

I know I promised you guys a full-on recap, but I’m sorry. It’s not gonna happen. Up until that scene, I was fully prepared to do it, but the tears and repeated viewings and the thinking and pulling of hair has left me emotionally exhausted. An hour and twenty minutes after watching (and rewinding), I sent this email to people I knew would appreciate it:

“I AM IN EMOTIONAL TURMOIL. TURMOIL OF THE EMOTIONS. EMOTIONS WITH TURMOIL. TURMOILED. BARFY. I CRIED. I WATCHED IT TEN TIMES IN A ROW AND THEN CRIED AND THEN WATCHED IT AGAIN. THEN I RAN AROUND THE HOUSE AND SCREAMED AND THEN PICKED UP MY CAT AND THEN CRIED INTO HIS STOMACH AND THEN HE HIT ME WITH HIS PAW AND RAN AWAY AND NOBODY LOVES ME AND I’M GOING TO DIE ALONE LIKE BRENNAN AND WHY WON’T SHE JUST STOP BEING SCARED ALREADY WHY WHY WHY WHY ISN’T SHE BUSY HAVING SEX WITH BOOTH RIGHT NOW WHY WOULD YOU NOT EVER DO THAT WHY WHY WHY BECAUSE YOU KNOW WHAT I NEED? I NEED PEOPLE ON MY TV TO BE BETTER THAN ME SOMETIMES SO THAT I CAN HAVE HOPE THAT IT IS POSSIBLE TO BE BETTER THAN ME AND EVEN THOUGH MY BRAIN TOTALLY GETS WHY BRENNAN DID THAT TONIGHT I AM STILL PISSED BECAUSE WHY WHY WHY WHEN SHE COULD BE SEXING UP THE SEXY SEXY GENTLE KIND BEAUTIFUL WONDERFUL PERSON THAT IS BOOTTTTTTHHHH.

I AM LOOOSSSSIIIINNNG MYYYYY MINDDDDD.”

I don’t think I knew just how emotionally invested in these characters I was until the end of the episode came around, and suddenly I knew it was the most important thing that had ever happened to me. Which is exactly why I can’t write about it. At least not for a couple of years, until after Booth and Brennan have the trauma of this episode resting squarely in the “Oh, that was such a long time ago” category, and preferably also after they make out and have lots of sex and babies.

Another reason that I have decided not to write about this momentous occasion in my life is that others have said what I’m feeling already, and said it in a much more clear-headed way. For instance, Mandi Bierly from Entertainment Weekly:

“The first time I watched the scene, I turned on Brennan. Isn’t this exactly what we’ve been building toward for nearly five seasons? Hasn’t she shown amazing progress? Why would she pull that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome” line when she’s never been anywhere as close to anyone as she is Booth? He already is a different outcome. I don’t believe Booth’s White Knight Syndrome is what draws him to Brennan. But I do think fear of abandonment is what’s really keeping her from being with Booth. The fact is, she has a better chance of keeping him in her life if they remain professional partners only, and she knows it. Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. She’s playing it safe — she’s not a gambler willing to go all or nothing. She cares about him too much to risk losing him.

I couldn’t initially understand how Booth was able to walk away with her wrapped around his arm and her head on his shoulder after that. But I think he really does understand how her mind works — that’s the only way. Watching the scene again, you start to realize how brilliant Emily Deschanel was in it. When that tear fell down her cheek as she told him she didn’t know how to change, you believed her. She said it with a certainty and a sadness that meant she’d change it if she could. The two of them ending up with tears in their eyes — definitely enough to make me well up. He told her she was right, and the first thing she wanted to know was if they could still work together. Again, we had no doubt the answer would be yes, but we still felt for her in the long pause as he looked at her while she fought back a tear.”

Annie Stamos of the Huffington Post also had this to say:

“Here’s the thing: do men like that exist? Men who fall in love at first sight? Men who know? Men who declare their love for another person so openly? I mean ignore the heartbreaking part where she essentially turns him down, and I mean, is that not one of the most beautiful things you’ve ever seen? And now do you people get what I’m talking about when I rave about David Boreanaz’s acting abilities? He seriously reminds me of George Clooney in a way – something about the convinction in his performance – the Cary Grant-esque old school movie star vibes…

But what I really want to know here is WHERE IS MY BOOTH?”

So that basically sums up my feelings. And even though I’m much calmer after a good night’s sleep, it still took several frantic emails from Heather Anne (in which she attempted to pull me out of crazy town and/or talk me down from the bridge I was currently occupying), a mug of hot chocolate, and the gloriously mind-numbing properties of Law & Order to calm me down. What did the rest of you think? Did you end up on your knees sobbing (like Heather Anne), pacing around and moaning and screaming (like me), writing in all caps for hours (like me, and like my friend Stephanie), or simply calling up your best friend and sobbing hysterically at 8:30 in the morning (like Lindsay)? Anyway, let me leave you with a quote from one of Heather’s emails, which made me feel better about life:

“Oh, but Ashley! This is the beginning of something deeper and more satisfying than we ever even imagined! This is the VERY BEST THING that could have happened! I just want to hug everyone!”

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12 Responses to “A 100th Episode Cop-Out: ‘Bones’ 5X16 — “The Parts of the Sum in the Whole””
  1. NTE says:

    It made me cry, but, since I was watching it with my mom, who is not invested in the show, I had to keep it under wraps a little. But that scene was heartbreaking. And beautiful. And… everything you said, plus what you showed us other people said. All of that.

  2. heather anne says:

    I was just saying to Amy what you said in that third paragraph: I always loved Brennan and Booth. I always thought they had great chemistry. But I didn’t know how deeply I was invested in them — as individual characters, and as a couple — until last night.

    And the weird thing for me is that I don’t really identify with Booth or Brennan; I don’t see much of myself in either one of them. So usually that means that I can enjoy a story, but it doesn’t resonate and reverberate inside me. But man, last night, I realized how much I care about those two kids. I don’t need them to be happy for me; I want them to be happy for them. That’s a new thing for me. I like it. And I love them. And oh, I cried.

    • Ashley says:

      See, I think I’ve got both going on. I want it for them, but I also want it for me. I do identify with both of them, for various personal reasons that are probably better said over email than in a public comment, and it is personally devastating for me to see them struggling with things that I struggle with (to a much less dramatic degree) as well.

  3. Jen says:

    I had a horrible and frustrating week and I just worked until 10 on FRIDAY NIGHT and came home and FINALLY turned on my favorite TV show that I was really looking forward to watching and DAMN EVERYTHING TO HELL!!!!

    I am so upset right now. Like way too upset about a TV show.

    So I came here, where others would understand.

  4. Stephanie says:

    That was the greatest e-mail I received all week… maybe all year.

  5. Lisa says:

    I want more friends who watch Bones so it wouldn’t seem so awkward when I post angsty Bones facebook statuses. Also, that is a fantastic reaction to the episode, and if I had a cat, I definitely would have been crying into his stomach. Classic.

    But seriously Brennan, seriously?! He’s a gorgeous, sensitive, smart hunk o’ man meat, and you are NOT with him? WHAT THE HELL?!?!?!

    I agree with Jen, I’m way too upset over this TV show. Haha.

  6. Ashley says:

    Hi, new reader! How’d you find us?

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