Episode of the Week - 10x01: The Conspiracy in the Corpse
This scene. It’s nothing short of devastating. But to me, it’s also beautiful. Sweets’ death was a complete and utter shock to all. And for Booth, it was nearly the straw the broke the camel’s back. The last three months had been a living hell for this man. He was attacked in his own home, and nearly succumbed to some gruesome injuries. He was wrongfully accused of murdering men who were ordered to kill him. He was sent to prison, where those involved with the FBI conspiracy hoped he would be killed. He was separated from his child for the second time in her short life. And through all of this, he couldn’t seek comfort in his wife’s embrace. Booth has always been proud to be an FBI agent. To him, working to make his country a better and safer place to live gives him a sense of purpose and fulfillment. In his mind, it also allows him to make up for the lives he took during his time as a sniper. As Brennan mentioned earlier in the episode, Booth has suffered a great deal of trauma in his life, starting at a very young age. The physical injuries are similar to the ones he has sustained during these past few months. But this is different. Booth is different. There is emotional scarring lurking beneath the surface. Because Booth truly trusted the FBI. He put his faith in this organization, time and time again. They are supposed to be the good guys. And they betrayed him. How could he ever trust his government again? Trust and faith are essential to Booth. And without trust and faith, he has nothing to grab hold of. It’s like Booth died. Sweets believed that Booth lost his anchor. But to me, looking at this small but immensely meaningful moment, his anchor is standing right beside him. Like always. Like she always will. Brennan is his anchor. Brennan is his lifeline. And really, so is this team- if nothing else, he could always trust this team. But he would still need time before he could understand this.
Something I love about Booth and Brennan (part 1 of infinity) is how they are able speak with no words. They can easily convey a message with just a glance or a simple touch. As the team is in the autopsy room preparing themselves for what they are about to do, Booth walks up right beside Brennan and grabs hold of her hand. It’s quick. Mere seconds. But in that moment, so much is said. I cannot speak to their precise feelings here. But to me, it’s a number of things. Booth has essentially just lost a brother. He was family. He takes Brennan’s hand as a way to comfort himself. He has lost so much, but he hasn’t lost her. And he hasn’t lost their family. Booth can also reassure Brennan as well. He is home. He’s not alone in a cold jail cell anymore. He takes her hand because he finally can. And because he needs it. And she needs it too. Brennan provided him with love and comfort the previous evening. She made him feel safe. He was finally home. Now he can share a quick moment to communicate to her that he’s there. Together, they will prevail. Like always. As Brennan is about to walk away, she looks at Booth. He gives her a nod, assuring her that she can do this. She has to do this. She needs to be the one with the cool head here. Time is of the essence, and the team will require all the evidence possible to solve this conspiracy and bring Sweets’ killer to justice. In some instances, Brennan’s ability to compartmentalize is quite beneficial. She’s never going to completely block out those emotions anymore, as she used to. But she can lead the way here. There is time to mourn after they end this. Looking at Brennan’s face as she walks away, she knows exactly what she must do. And Booth gives a nod of support and encouragement. She can briefly lock her feelings in a box for the time being. She knows how to open it back up later on. Clearly the emotions are there. She has tears pooling in her eyes. But she can do this. They can do this. They have to- for Sweets. And they do. Booth stays there. But he has to look away.
It would still take time and a wake-up call from Brennan for Booth to regain all that he had lost. And with the help of Brennan, the squints, and even Aubrey, he eventually finds his way back. He knows who he can and should trust. And he gets his faith back. Faith in something bigger than himself. Booth and his people. Really, that’s all he’s ever needed.
The sun will come up, and tomorrow’s a new day.