Reviews for Public Opinion
AlphaGirl447 chapter 1 . 11/2/2016
I honestly haven't even read the story yet, only your author's "note";) Anyway, I just wanted to quickly say that I'm impressed with your analysis of the characters, I've always held the same ideas of booth and Brennan, and I really look forward to a story based on these philosophies. I'm sure I'll review again once I actually read the story:D
Mary91 chapter 1 . 12/30/2014
This is a very interesting piece of work. It is well written, and in regards to the "voices" of the characters, also in character (although I strongly disagree with your interpretation of the events. I always believed Booth having been aware from the beginning that he loved her - and Brennan unable to classify anything outside of that Booth was very important to her - I always thought of him not pursuing her as him being a good man. She said know, so he respected her boundaries on his romantic overtures. They allude to it as far back as season one when Booth flies out to New Orleans) Anyway, I didn't mean to talk about what I believe, but just wished to let you know that this was an interesting and well written piece of work.
Guest chapter 1 . 8/20/2014
You know the more I think about this I do think you are correct. For all Brennan's emotional difficulties, she is actually the more emotionally mature one of the pair. I don't think Booth is nearly as emotionally aware as people believe.

I think Booth was in love with Brennan he just didn't know what love meant. Having never seen a successful pair bond growing up, Booth had an idealized view of what love, relationships, and family was supposed to look like. We see how hard Booth tries to make everything "look" normal or "right" and that carried over to his relationships to the point of missing the big picture.

It is very telling that we see he realized his love for Brennan only after seeing them in the setting of an idealized family. That's not to say he had an idealized view of her. It just that he thought relationship should work in a certain way- maybe that gave him a sense of control and he was just as afraid of losing control as she was. But he either didn't recognize or want to accept that there was no moving on because he loves her in a way he didn't even understand. But it is that love that tied him to her even just as partners. Like you said, it took Hannah for him to "get" that. As much as people hate Hannah, she was meant to be Booth's ideal candidate. The type of girl he had always imagined himself to be with. What we saw was him trying very hard to make that relationship "right". But I think he realized that no matter how hard he tried it wasn't right. It was "I have a glass slipper and you have to fit it" approach- which isn't love.

If you look at the conversation with Hodgins and Booth in S2 Glowing bones- its very interesting. Hodgins actually says that Booth drove Rebecca away by proposing because if the relationship was "right" then marriage wasn't necessary. Booth hadn't understood that concept at that time. But with Hannah he realized it. The "one you love the most" line is key as is "if you think someone is the one" give them lots of chances. He had recognized his mistake in moving on too quickly. He proposed because he had backed himself into a corner and had no other alternatives despite knowing she would say "no". But it wasn't Hannah's rejection that was painful but the acceptance of the fact that love doesn't work the way he thought it did.

For a guy like Booth that is a big blow to admit you don't know how something works. It forced him to acknowledge who and what was really important in his life and stop forcing women into moulds that weren't made for them. He finally broke the glass slipper of his rigid romantic notions. It was only then he could have a successful relationship with Brennan.
Guest chapter 1 . 8/2/2014
Great story but I think that Booth was in love with Brennan while she was dating Sully. If you look back at those episodes you can see the hurt in Booth's face. Plus he was mad cockblocking during those episodes.
Puppy64 chapter 1 . 6/8/2014
I'm sorry but I have to disagree with you Booth loved Brennan before Brennan loved Booth. She loved him in the end of the 5th season(in my opinion). I believe that when he first met her he felt protective of her. But loved her at the end of the 3th season(in my opinion). :)
bountypeaches chapter 1 . 3/22/2014
Lovely thoughts. I agree with almost everything you say about Brennan but not about Booth. I think Booth realized he was in love with her in S5 but also had a bruised brain which caused him to approach her in his own idealistic vision of love rather than a logical approach that she needed. The writers wanted Brennan to say no, so they had Booth approach her in a way that would never work. Both Booth and Brennan struggle with the idea that they are inherently unlovable and sabotage their relationships. But they hide that vulnerability in different ways. Brennan rationalizes love, saying it doesn't exist and runs away from it and Booth keeps trying to prove he is worthy but sabotages himself by finding women who never commit. In psychology its called self handicapping; if you think you are going to fail an exam then you don't study as hard because then you have an excuse. Ie if the women don't believe in marriage that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with him right? As much as Booth believed that he and Brennan were meant to be his insecurities about being unlovable were much stronger. He struggled with wanting to be with her but he knew she would say no so when Sweets told him to gamble he felt a few seconds of hope that luck would be on his side. For someone as rejection sensitive as Booth to stay as partners tells me he really did love her. But because of his own insecurities and his bruised brain he wasn't able to believe his gut instincts anymore. He did say he needed to move on but that stems from not wanting to confront his fears of not being loveable. They both made a mistakes in the 100th. Neither of them could see past their own insecurities to the other person's. To protect themselves from emotional pain they both retreated into their defence mechanisms. For Brennan that is focussing on rationalization and for Booth that meant falling into a rebound relationship. They both had to come to realize that their ways of protecting themselves from pain was always going to hurt them more something which they both individually faced in DitP and DitM.

I do think Brennan knew Booth loved her in S5. But like you said Brennan did not think she could be enough for Booth and to protect both of them she refused to take that risk. However Hannah made her realize she actually could be a better girlfriend for Booth. She realized she had made a mistake but tried to deny that feeling for as long as possible until the dam burst in DitP. After that you see a Brennan at peace (seashell scene) because she wasn't fighting herself. Brennan also recognizes patterns. She saw Booth stay with her after her rejection and dump Hannah a minute after hers. She also knows Booth doesn't misread people and given that she was friends with Hannah, she probably knew Hannah wasn't the marrying type (I think they all did). After SitS, she knew Booth was referring to her and the pattern in the proposal would only have validated that. Even in the deleted car scene, Angela told her she did have the power to make Hannah go away she just didn't know how to use it, Brennan didn't deny it but felt it wouldn't be appropriate.

Now to Booth, after Brennan left for Maluku and didn't call him Booth had lost the world he had built. Booth needed to believe he could be happy without Brennan to function. He was angry and resentful at Brennan for taking away his world (Booth has anger issues). Enter rebound relationship and snarky behaviour to Brennan in S6. As Sweets said in S4, "need can be confused with love. Fantasy can convince us that what we are feeling is love". Remember when Brennan questioned Booth, how someone could fall in love with something that's not real and Booth had run away from the baby announcement? The writers were spelling out exactly what Booth was doing and he knew that on a deeper level. Booth was in denial and that was the only way for him to function. As he later said he was lying to protect his feelings. Booth was circling the drain trying to keep his house of cards afloat. He didn't want anyone to topple it over because he knew his relationship wasn't real. The relationship with Hannah was shallow and lacked emotional intimacy. He didn't bother following Hannah to a dangerous part of town where she got shot, again out of character behaviour from Booth if he was truly in love. He stalled Hannah and Parker meeting for months despite her having moved in, which if you think about it is weird when he had Parker every other weekend and if he was thinking long term. It was only after Parker said he hated Hannah that Booth's hand was forced because doing so otherwise would admit his relationship wasn't real which he wasn't ready to do. That's why he was always so defensive. Booth wasn't thinking about a future with her, he was just trying to survive day to day.

As he said, he was just looking for a good time but it was only after Brennan's confession that he felt the need to make it more. All of a sudden the woman he really wanted was available and Booth who is a good guy had to prove he wasn't just using Hannah (the car scene came across very defensive to me). At first I think he was deny his feelings for Brennan to avoid facing that pain that he never got over and used his relationship with Hannah as a wall. But once his feelings started coming back he felt cognitive dissonance (as Sweets brought up in Bullet). People like to believe they make good choices and someone like Booth can never admit he made such a huge mistake by moving on even if that was what he was feeling. After he had rejected Brennan and hurt her he couldn't just come out and dump Hannah because otherwise why did he hurt Brennan in the first place? So he *had* to stay in the relationship. But he was struggling. He wanted an out he just couldn't consciously admit he wanted an out. After Sweet's goading he had to do something. The choices were either break up with her and admit the last few months, Brennan's hurt, his hurt were all for naught and that he had used Hannah or propose and get rejected because he knew Hannah would say no (she told him plenty of times, he reads people as a living and his brain wasn't bruised anymore). Now I am not saying he consciously thought any of this through. I think he just reacted on impulse and did the thing that he thought would give him the most peace. But its not coincidence that the 100th and DitM are mirror events. As Sweets said in S6, if you don't face and overcome unsettling events you are always ruled by them. Hannah's rejection had finally forced him to admit he made a mistake but it also brought back his insecurities in a flash. Booth had avoided dealing with all his pain from the 100th and it all came rushing back. Everything he had done to avoid it was a waste and he had no more defence mechanisms left. That's why he was so angry at everything but I think he was mostly angry at himself. Booth had made impulsive decision after impulsive decision without thinking things through (like the victim in daredevil).

That's why he needed time. He had to stop acting on impulse and relying on luck. He admitted his own role in the mess when he said he wanted things to be about "more than luck". He knew he had to be patient and fight through his own insecurities. That's why he was able to use the words "you and me, and love, happiness, life and fate". He knew he and Brennan were fate but it was also going to take work. I think he was waiting for Brennan to make the move after Truth in the Myth. That's why in his vows he said "chasing you has been the smartest thing". He knew it was his active role that made the relationship work and it didn't just happen by magic.
mychakk chapter 1 . 2/17/2013
so I've check if the whole review went, and like I feared it didn't, so here is the rest:

Now about Bren, I mostly agree with you. It fits that Bren struggled aware of her feelings for Booth from the very beginning. But she also struggled with what they really were too. And while she did, she pushed Booth away, then felt reject by his thing with Cam and the infamous line. So she started pursuing other options believing there is only a friendship for her and Booth, Bren went for the next best thing that was interested in her - Sully - a clear substitute for Booth (although in the end she might have really grow to like him and enjoy him), because the real thing - Booth - has rejected her

When she realized she loved Booth? I'm not sure. After he took the bullet for her I think everything started changing. Before I go into this deeper, I want to make one side note: I always found the Man in the Outhouse episode very unlikable. Brennan's behavior of seeing two men at the same time was very off-putting and appalling. But now, while typing this I realized that maybe she was conducting an experiment, because she finally recognized her feelings for Booth as love that is not reciprocated (in her mind). So she wanted to see if she's able to see more than one uy at the same time, while having feelings for THE ONE. I think by this point Bren actually started to see Booth as her THE ONE. And maybe that's why she asked Booth all the time why everyone assumed they had feelings for each other, because she might have been afraid that hers were really showing.

Anyway in season 4 she really started putting Booth's desire before her own (f. e. with Ian Wexler in England). She also realized how respectable, kind hearted Booth really is (the thing with Jared), what a good father he is (Bones that Blew), and all the same she saw her own flaws. And just like earlier she might have pursued a relationship with him, now she finally saw the gap between them (in her mind of course). He deserved so much better then her. And it was easier for her to dream of them together than give it a chance in the real world. I think by that point she did named her feelings as love. But she was also terrified, Booth's confusion terrified her. So she run to Guatemala. And she dreaded the moment he will confess demanding more, because he made the choice to protect him by rejecting him.

She loved Booth for a long, long time, and put his well being, his happiness before her own. And this explains her behavior toward Hannah. She was able to become her true friend because of her love for Booth. This is something amazing. But, you know what? As much as Booth needed Hannah, Bren needed her too. To finally admit to herself that not only she wants to be THE WOMAN for Booth and his happiness, but also that she has always been that woman, and by her own choices she has thrown it away. The Doctor in the Photo was not about realizing Bren's feelings for Booth, but for her to realize her place in his life and his place in hers.

And after the breakup with Hannah, both of them knew that they loved each other. They finally knew that their feelings are reciprocated. And although Booth needed time, he was actually scared of the feelings he saw in Bren's eyes when she found him after the break-up. He was too raw to risk it all. So while he drew a line again, I think deep down Bren knew that it's not done. And it was not done. Finally they healed together, they paid attention to each other, becoming close again until the night of Vincent's death. And they were ready then.

I think their main problem was a great deal of miscommunication and ill done assumption about the other's feelings through the years they knew each other. And while it helped them develop this amazing friendship that became the solid ground for their relationship now, it caused them a lot of pain too. I'm marveled at the awesomeness of their love story. The show, despite being a procedural, was always a love story of those two hurt, lonely souls learning to trust and love and give themselves to the other. And I hardly ever moved, but it makes me cry.

Thanks for reading these rambles of a new obsessed fan ;) I know you've written this piece before season 7&8 and now I'm very curious how you see this. Do you still support your thesis? did change your mind on some stuff?

PS. I'm going to save your story and this review in a personal file as there is a lot of thoughts in both pieces, that it's need to be preserved.
mychakk chapter 1 . 2/17/2013

I'm fairly new to Bones (watched my first episode ever on the last Sunday of November) and since there is seven and a half seasons of data and so little time to analyze it all, I'm still struggling with what exactly happened (in regards to the shipping of course). This one shot put a new light on some of the thinking I've been doing since I caught up, so firstly, THANK YOU!

It's pretty long, and while typing it, I was able to sort some stuff. Hope you don't mind I'll share this with you :)

Now, I do agree with a lot of the points you made. I never thought about coma-fantasy as being Brennan's dream in Booth's mind, but I see now that's exactly what it is. Yesterday I re-watched the episode (because I enjoy it so much), and I thought that it's interesting to see how Booth perceive the people around him, yet there is something off about it all. Now I know the off thing was because it's Bren view not his. It does makes sense. So thank you for this brilliance!

But! I also think the dream we saw was not only Bren's, I think it was influenced by Booth and his deeply hidden long denied feelings for Bren. The dream actually helped those feelings resurface, and came into focus, and be named by Booth for what they really were. Love. Yes, I think Booth was in love with Bren way before to coma, just he was not allowing himself to experience it, to even acknowledge it. Thus I don't think he lied to Bren when he said he knew. From the beginning. I think he did know. Not that he was in love with her (I agree with you that he fell in love with her over the time), but he knew that she was THE ONE. He knew. He always knew it, but he fought against it so long, that he finally believed his denial, I think.

You see, I believe Booth was deeply affected by Bren during their first meeting. He was not ready for something serious then (even if he would tell that he was, he still needed a lot of character growth to be able to have a life long lasting relationship, I think). And because of that he screwed up. Royally. And when the one year gap happened, and Bren (via Zack) denied him meetings and second chances, he buried his feelings of affection and possibilities and potential for more and decided it was over before it even began, so he needs to move on (thus Tessa happened). And because after their permanent partnership started he was still scoffed at and rebuffed by Bren, he only nodded in confirmation at his assessment that Bren simply doesn't feel anything for him and never will. I think that by the season one he truly believed there was no future for them, so any feelings of the romantic nature he might have had for her were deeply buried. Because he's that kind of guy, I think. Because he was rejected enough in his life by his father, Rebecca, Tessa (and who knows who too), to want to prevent himself from hurting again. (That's another thing Bren and Booth share, I think, and what Gordon Gordon pointed to Sweets in season 4 Mayhem on the Cross).

That's why the fling with Rebecca and Cam happened in season two. He didn't get Bren's open coming onto him with other possibilities for sexual relationship. He assumed since it's Brennan she can't mean what she meant (that she was offering herself to him). So, thinking he actually does what she wants, he did the opposite, showing her that he doesn't want her in that way. And she was hurt - I always puzzled how could she have been so hurt then if she had no feelings for him yet, but now I see she had (was she aware of them being love? I'm not sure, but I do think she wanted something more with Booth). And after the hook-up and break-up with Cam, Booth only reaffirmed to Bren that there was no future for them - the infamous line. That's why she settled for Booth-impersonate: Sully. If she couldn't get the one she wanted, she'll get the closer one to the ideal. She always did it: Sully, Jared, Hacker - all of them share a lot of Booth's traits.

And the line - it was something Booth needed to do to protect himself, too. He almost lost Bren to the Gravedigger, and I think it gave him enough scare to keep her at arms length since then. Believing his feelings are coming to surface, he needed to reassure himself he and Bren are only friends, that she doesn't have feelings for him. And again he went about it all wrong. He was forceful in his version of reality, that he missed the clues that were under his nose. For being so good at reading other people, he failed to read the most important in his life. Again. And because of that he brought the Sully issue on himself.

But returning to Bren. Yes, I agree with you that Bren was the one Gordon Gordon meant when he said one of them struggled on daily basis. But it was not about love, it was about mutual attraction (I even checked the quote). And while Booth managed to do the denial thing, Bren actually learned to live with it, aware of it, struggling with it. And it always showed in her actions (because it was a fact of her life, she acted because that's how it was she didn't analyze it). But what she was aware of was always the strong attraction between them. Only over the time the strong feelings (affection, friendship and eventually real love) grew. On both sides. And while Bren might have been aware of what was really happening, Booth was not.

And here the coma-dream comes. A turning point for both of them. Like I said I agree with you it's Bren's dream, but I also think it helped Booth to finally acknowledge consciously his feelings for her. And the more Booth realized what they can have together, the more insecure Bren became, because like you said, she started to see herself as unworthy of Booth more and more (maybe after she wrongly saw him as looser with Jared? I think she felt she wronged him a lot of time...). And when Sweets pushed Booth, Bren could not bring herself to be the woman he wanted. Or more like the woman she thought he wanted/needed. Because to Bren there is no one that matters most than Booth. And his happiness. And she saw herself as unable to give him the happiness he deserves. Which is so wrong on so many levels. She's been the reason of his happiness for the last five years, but she could not see it...

Anyway, while Bren felt inadequate, Booth finally caught up to his real feelings. But he still felt unsure about hers. He always thought she will never love him, but everyone pushed him toward her (Pops, Max, Angela, Gordon Gordon, and eventually Sweets). So he started hoping that maybe they were right, but at the same time he was probably so convinced she'll reject him, that when she did, he just accepted it. Because he was expecting it, even if he was hoping for a different out come. Illogical, but I think true. That's why I think he did not fight for her. He just accepted what he thought was true, what us inevitable. She could never love him.

And that's why Hannah happened.

Booth wanted only one thing in life: being loved for who he is. His father rejected him, Rebecca too, Tessa, too, and now Bren too. I think in his mind he felt no one could love him. He was at a really low point in his life. And when Hannah openly pursued him, he felt exhilarated in the feeling of finally being wanted (after so long and so much pain). She was a happy, beautiful distraction and pick-me-up. He needed to feel loved, appreciated as a man, wanted as a man. And Hannah gave it to him. So he embraced this with open arms, despite his feelings for Bren. Because he believed they would never be reciprocated. When Bren broke his heart in front of the Hoover (she did broke it, he was in love with her), he simply lost ALL his hope. So he did what was the only thing he could, he - like Bren tried earlier - settled for the second best.

I think he was truly in love then, in season 6. Just not exactly with Hannah, but in what she represented and how she made him feel. He was in love with being loved. That's why he clung to her so much. He was happy with her, genuinely at the beginning, but the more he started working with Bren again, the more he realized "there is only one person you love the most in the world and that person is not going anywhere no matter what". But she already rejected him, and although she regretted it, he was already with Hannah. And like he said in season one, he never has cheated on a woman he was with, so he would never hurt Hannah like that. He cared for her a lot after all.

Also I think Booth found himself at a very hard crossroad after Bren confession. He needed to make a choice: risking it all again for Bren or settling for the "happiness" (that was actually rapidly sipping away) with Hannah. I think he lost all hope for him and Bren and was tired of being hurt and of her being hurt and of them hurting each other. In desperation he tried to keep the "happiness" and to do so he proposed, because then at least Hannah'd stay with him and he'll be able to have at least the sense of happiness he craved so much. He was so desperate to make everything right, to keep it all, that he ignored a lot of what was really going on around him then. He was really screwed up then. But it was all a result of a lot of that has happened before with Bren.

I wonder if on top of that mess Booth wasn't trying to subconsciously cope with PTSD as well then. He focused on Hannah like he might have been focused on gambling earlier. But for this, I need to re-watch the season 6 and I don't have that much time for this now ;)

Now about Bren, I mostly agree with you. It fits that Bren struggled aware of her feelings for Booth from the very beginning. But she also struggled with what they really were too. And while she did, she pushed Booth away, then felt reject by his thing with Cam and the infamous line. So she started pursuing other options believing there is only a friendship for her and Booth, Bren went for the next best thing that was interested in her - Sully - a clear substitute for Booth (although in the end she mig
julianne chapter 1 . 1/3/2013
Its nice to find a proBrennan fan out there, however I'm not one of them necessarily. I started watching Bones because of DB and I love the Booth character. Brennan's character is not as consistent probably because the writers aren't sure how to keep her character cold on the outside but warming up more all the time on the inside. I also dislike the fact that they like to characterize all American scientists as atheists, and they have Emily always espousing this trait of her character to the point that she is hateful to Booth and Arastoo upon occasion. Yet in the first season she defended voodoo as a religion on par with catholicism. She pays for illegal immigrants funerals yet was not willing to show her emotions when she thought Booth had died. She had to be forced to go to his funeral. Some might say that she was afraid to show how much she cared but a person still has to be respectful to practically her best friend and attend his funeral. In addition to that she has always held Booth up to much higher standards than others and is unwilling to compliment him.
When he saved Zack's life in season two she praised Zack for finding the powder, but when Booth threw him back and away from the explosion thus saving his life she acted like it was nothing and Booth felt foolish because she shot him down for throwing Zack down too hard and hurting him.
10Bluebird11 chapter 1 . 12/29/2011
i honestly loved reading your a/n's. i've never read a fanfic that beautifly written. all the insight and thought put into it made it so easy understand the messages you wanted portayed. you are a truly gifted author.
toffeeeclairs chapter 1 . 10/2/2011
Wow, very interesting arguments! A couple I agree with emphatically and a couple I don't agree with completely, but this was a great story and presentation on your case. Very much enjoyed the story, regardless, but it also gives a few new thoughts for me to consider/watch out for in the new season.
Lazuli73 chapter 1 . 9/14/2011
What an interesting collection of thoughts - both the A/N and the story! I agree with most of what you wrote, especially that Brennan cared for Booth long before she admits to it. I think you can see that in her in the ending to the 100th, the flare of hope in her eyes when he says he wants to give us a shot, which she then quickly tamps down, because she's already made a logical choice that she can't be with him for all the reasons she mentions. And then Booth doesn't fight for her because he respects her decision and because he realizes she's already chosen her course, that nothing he says will alter that (until we get the changes in perspective that Hannah causes). (Shameless plug, I'm working on a fic that explores some of these themes, particularly the question of regrets, which is no doubt leaking into my review. :P )
kessilover chapter 1 . 9/5/2011
it was amazing ...

what you wrote in the author note made sense. i never looked at their relationship from that angle and i believe you're right .

GCatsPjs chapter 1 . 8/30/2011
stephaniew chapter 1 . 8/15/2011
Sorry it took me so long to read this! I'm so glad I did tho! Amazing! Loved the idea of having all of them approach him...and hearing what they thought about this long evolving relationship. I find your thesis quite compelling as well. I'll have to think on it further! I adore Booth, but he most certainly has his faults. I'm glad you decided to explore them here. I'm sure suggesting that there was a real, legit reason for having Hannah in the story was a tough pill to swallow, but I'm glad you decided to follow that thought through to it's conclusion! Wonderful wonderful story!
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