Apr 24 2012 2:39pm

Bones Father and Child Reunion: Too Safe?

Seeley and Parker Booth


The Bones baby is here, but how will her big brother handle their first meeting? Read a special reaction piece from H&H blogger Anna Bowling on last night’s memorable Bones Season 7, episode 10, “The Warrior in the Wuss”:

Anthropologically speaking, women in many societies choose their mates with an eye toward which males will make attentive, protective fathers toward their offspring. Which makes Bones’s choice of Booth a sound one. From the start, we’ve seen Booth established as a loving, devoted single-but-not-by-choice father, though that’s been largely swept under the rug in recent months as his parenting focus has been on Bones’ pregnancy and now baby Christine.

Bones viewers can now safely take Parker’s face off the milk cartons: Parker is fine. He’s been living in the U.K. with his mother all this time, and thus has not been around to share in the formation of this branch of the family tree. (Even so, a mention here or there would have been nice, and can we really believe a devoted father, no matter how delighted over the imminent arrival of baby number two, won’t even mention his eleven-year-old?)

Booth and Bones go to great lengths to ensure Parker feels at home in the new house. He has his own room, exactly like his old one, Booth points out as father and son sit on the end of Parker’s bed with baby Christine. Booth even has the remote control car he and Parker built, complete with new batteries he and Christine put in together. Once Parker is settled, Booth enthuses, he, Booth and Christine can all make dinner together.

Booth, Brennan, and ChristineParker tells his dad that Christine can’t really do those things, since she’s only a baby and asks if Booth likes Christine. Doting dad Booth affirms that he loves his daughter, and that’s Parker’s cue to ask if they can put off activities until after a nap.

Though Booth hasn’t been too concerned about sibling rivalry, this wasn’t the reception he’d expected and consults Bones for possible solutions. Bones suggests a fun family outing. They can search the woods for carrion and rearticulate the skeletons. Booth thinks a restaurant with bottomless breadsticks might be a better solution.

They both begin to suspect it might take more than breadsticks to solve Parker’s problems. He’s lying to Booth. He objects to having a babysitter because he isn’t a baby; Christine is the baby. Most disturbingly, Bones finds a startling stash in Parker’s closet. The remote control car has been smashed, family photos cut to pieces, including Booth’s favorite photo of Bones and Christine, the frame destroyed. Bones’s lab coat is in there as well, and she races off to find Booth. She’s seen these danger signs before, and considering her line of work, stashes like this are never a good thing.

Booth doesn’t want bones to talk about his son like a suspect, but Bones insists they have to protect their whole family. It’s normal for Parker to want to assert his position within the family structure, but they can’t ignore these warning signs.

In the end, all is well. Parker’s antics are easily explained by the mobile he’s been making for Christine, in secret. It has pictures of Booth, Bones, and Christine, it’s powered by the motor from the remote control car, and there’s a picture of Parker in the middle so that Christine can recognize her big brother the next time he visits.

Very sweet and nicely played, but also a little too safe for viewers invested in the Booth/Bones relationship. The opportunities were there—Bones’ instinct to protect her child even at the expense of her relationship with the man she loves; Booth being torn between wanting to protect both of his children and wanting to assuage his beloved’s concerns; Parker actually questioning both his place in the newly formed family and its structure.

A kid Parker’s age can ask questions an adult probably wouldn’t. Are Booth and Bones going to get married? Since their outlooks on life are so different, how are they going to find common ground on the big issues? There’s a whole new world of challenges awaiting this family, writers, and viewers want a front row seat.


Anna C. Bowling considers writing historical romance the best way to travel through time and make the voices in her head pay rent. She welcomes visitors to her blog, Typing with Wet Nails and to follow her at Twitter.

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Heather Waters
1. HeatherWaters
The other day at the gym the episode where Booth, Brennan, and Parker have breakfast at the diner was on, and it reminded me of how well Bones did little scenes like that (I haven't been watching the last couple years). It was so cute when it turned out that Parker had been pestering Booth about getting a girlfriend because his friend's dad had moved in with a girlfriend and gotten a pool.

Anyway, I'm sad it's taken this long for Parker to factor into the story again and that he was never so much as mentioned before, but glad that he hasn't been written out entirely, I guess? Oh, Bones, what happened to you? Like you said, Anna, fans want a front-row seat to the big issues, not just cute little moments that come out of left field.

/rant :)
Anna Bowling
3. AnnaBowling
@redline_, I was thinking about that episode while watching this one, and the contrast is too sharp for my liking. There were a lot of opportunities for Parker to be involved in the Booth/Bones baby arc. Where was the scene of Booth explaining that Dad was going to have another baby, and with Bones, whom Parker knows as his dad's friend and colleague, but not his girlfriend? Imagine Booth trying to give nice answers or put them off. Imagine Bones giving the straight answers. Even imagine Booth and Bones trying to agree on how to break the news and explain things. We didn't get to see any of that, and, piled on top of how the writers denied us the actual deciding to be in a relationship part, viewers who are here for the romance are going to get itchy. They can do romance right on this show; look at Angela and Hodgins. I think it wouldn't bother me so much if I didn't already know they can do better.
Cristina P
4. krissapl
Noooo.. once my favorite show, Bones is now on a downward spiral. Such great characters, but they keep screwing up...
Anna Bowling
5. AnnaBowling
@krissapl, I feel your pain. I'm still holding out hope that they can turn things around. With all the great romance beats this show has had in the past, there has to be something in there still.
Catherine Cabanela
6. MoxieGirl44
Allison - Me again. Just discovered your site today and love it! I DEFINITELY want a front row seat to see how this Booth-Bones family evolves. Booth expressions at the end of the episode were priceless. His face said all he did not have the airtime to vocalize: "Whoa, my kid is as wonderful and loving as we always believed he was. What a relief the evidence was misleading, and Parker is adjusting much better than he appeared to be. How is it that I have this amazing family that I always dreamed of but never believed was possible for a guy like me? I am astounded, blessed, and humbled by the grace God has seen fit to grant me with this wonderful life."

That being said, some viewers across the internet were disgruntled over the lack of further reprimand for the way Parker went about making his delightful surprise. As we parents know, the end does not always justify the means - especially when the means included taking and destroying others' belongings, dismantling a favored toy, cutting apart family photos, and lying to parents.

The struggle this and every show has is the limited amount of time they have to tell a complete story. This season Bones has had so much content to pack into each of the episodes, I am sure it is a monumental exercise in creativity and editing to decide what gets included and what gets left on the cutting room floor. I do believe that B&B would further discuss with Parker how what he did, and how he went about it, left something to be desired - especially considering the professions of his father and Bones. They would have, that is, if they had the time!
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