This episode could not have come at a better time. Not because it taught us about the rivalry between death metal and black metal bands. (Apparently, it’s over who can use the word “legendary” in the most annoying manner.) But because there’s been mixed feelings on the characters of Brennan and Sweets as of late: Why has she emotionally and socially regressed? Why is he being integrated so heavily into the investigations? Regardless of whether you saw the final scene in Sweets’ office as Brennan’s redemption for her recent blunt blunders or an example of the reasoning and empathy she’s actually capable of, you have to admit it was effing fantastic.
So Gordon Gordon (guest star Stephen Fry) returned to tell Booth that he was retiring and to chat with Sweets, who’d asked him to read the manuscript of the book he’s writing on Booth and Brennan. Being the brilliant, cryptic man that he is, he informed Sweets that his premise was completely wrong: Booth and Brennan are not opposites and they aren’t sublimating the attraction they feel for one another because it would threaten their professional relationship. One of them is acutely aware of it and struggles with it daily. He wouldn’t say which one. Did he mean Booth or Brennan? I say the answer is clearly Booth. Brennan knows that she respects, trusts, and cares for Booth (and that he has sexy symmetrical features) but I don’t think her mind is ready to acknowledge her romantic feelings for him. In order for her to feel Big Love, she has to believe it exists first. That’s what she’s focused on: The idea of it instead of the idea that HE is it. Booth, on the other hand, has been dealing with his feelings since at least “The Baby in the Bough,” when he let the “we” and “our” slip. (Probably before. Remember how he reacted when Brennan kissed him on the cheek when he let Russ visit his sick stepdaughter in the hospital before arresting him? That little foot stomp. Swoon. There are so many moments I could point to here…) And let’s talk about that final scene last night (embedded above.) He wouldn’t have revealed that information about his past — if it hadn’t been for his grandfather, he probably would’ve killed himself as a kid (presumably to get away from his violent, alcoholic father) — for anyone but her. And did you see the way he looked down at the pocket over his heart when she put his handkerchief back in it? Yes, her hand might’ve lingered, but he reached his up to touch where hers had been and gave that look that David Boreanaz gives so well. The kind you rewind to see again. He knows how he feels. And he knows he can’t rush her. And that’s the struggle.
I could go into the case — the bassist for the death metal band Spew was killed by a bandmate because he was going to quit and go mainstream, which would NOT have been “legendary” — but why? All it did was: give Brennan the chance to correct everyone’s Norwegian pronunciation of “skull,” put down psychology some more in front of Sweets, and get intern Clark on all fours, and allow Booth to fire his weapon at another inanimate object so that our beloved Gordon Gordon would have to stick around and clear him to return from desk duty. (I didn’t realize how much I’ve missed Gordon Gordon until I saw him again. I wish he and Sweets could tag-team all the time. The Institute of Culinary Arts can wait!)
This episode was all about building to that final scene. Gordon Gordon had sent them to metaphorically compare scars on their backs with Sweets, who has real ones from before age six, when he was adopted by the kind older couple who’d passed away right before he started working with the FBI. Brennan saw the wounds when Sweets went undercover at a show (is there anything Sweets doesn’t have a history with?), and she had to rip off his shirt to save the singer who’d unknowingly or knowingly slit his own throat. Gordon Gordon (god, he’s good) knew that Sweets was using the book to find a new family. That’s why he was so frustrated that Booth and Brennan wouldn’t open up about their childhoods. When Brennan did in his office — she shared the story of her foster family locking her in the trunk of a car for two days because she broke a dish — Sweets said it was out of character. But I think we can all agree that it wasn’t, right? She’s always known how to behave when the situation involves an orphan. Abandonment is the one thing she understands. After seeing the handkerchief moment, Sweets said he saw what Gordon Gordon had. I think that’s always been the true purpose of the Sweets character — he’s there to talk about their relationship because Booth and Brennan can’t. (I feel like we’re hearded toward a great Sweets-Booth scene in which Booth finally breaks. Heaven.)
Before the Brennan-led bonding, Sweets had already changed the title of his book from Opposites Attract: Yin and Yang in the Workplace to Bones — The Heart of the Matter. I love how many different ways that can be read. She’s the center of the operation. She’s the one who’ll keep Sweets in the family now that they’ve found common ground. (But she still hates psychology!) And, my favorite, she’ll decide the future of that partnership with Booth. It all comes down to how much she’s willing to open her heart and trust what she feels instead of what she knows. Will Dr. Burn in Hell have faith?
Now, to recap the recap: Is it Booth or Brennan that is acutely aware of their attraction and struggling with it daily? (Team Booth!) Knowing what you now know about Sweets’ past, why he’s a baby duck who’s imprinted on Booth and Brennan, and why he’s a psychologist (he believes people can help people, ah), are you willing to let him be a large part of the show? (I’m way more interested in him than I am in Angela or Cam at this point, so I’m fully onboard. Though I do still hope that Cam gets the story and screentime she deserves.) And how much do we love Gordon Gordon? (Not only for his brain and his totally random Noddy Comet glam-rock past, but also for the relationship he’s forged with Booth and even Brennan.)