Booth's girlfriend Hannah in Season 6, however, is done right.
To recap, Booth is terribly hurt by Brennan's rejection in Season 5. Although they have remained friends, he is desperate to move on with his life. He begins dating a woman whom he (wrongly) determines to be totally unlike Brennan (he makes a comment to this effect early in the season). In reality, he is dating a more socially adept, extroverted form of Brennan.
Booth definitely has a "type."
Regarding the Booth-Hannah relationship, the writers make several intelligent moves:
1. Brennan and Hannah become friends.
Brennan and Booth are partners, and their partnership is important to both of them; Booth has no desire to sabotage his prior relationship in favor of his new one. He is touchingly relieved with Brennan and Hannah adjust to the new dynamic. His relationships are about affirmation, not destruction a la Emily in Friends. Hannah is NOT that type of "other"--the awful new wife/girlfriend who insists that her husband sever all connections with his past.
Bones is about real adults, not overgrown adolescents.
2. Brennan gets to see how a relationship with Booth could work.
|End, "The Sum of the Parts in the Whole"|
By watching Hannah with Booth, she is able to see the day-to-day reality (which she probably over-imagined in her head). She can even see how her knowledge of Booth would aid her in such a relationship--especially since she uses that knowledge to aid Hannah on several occasions.
3. Booth doesn't drop Hannah when Brennan tells him of her feelings.
This is so remarkably insightful, I applaud every time I see the scene.
Sure, on the romance side of things, we would all love him to say, "Oh, yes, Brennan, I love you too!"
|Enrico Colantoni isn't relevant to|
|this post: I just like him!|
4. Booth is truly hurt when Hannah refuses his proposal.
I have my own theory about that proposal--for one thing, it is out
of character. I don't mean the writers messed up; I mean, Booth acts out of character within the established parameters of the show (he does a characteristic thing out of a character). For a patient and insightful man, it is out of character for him to jump the gun.
There are some subtle clues that by this point in the season, Booth has realized that he still has feelings for Brennan (even before she confesses her own). He isn't going to act on them, but he has them. There are also several clues that he is as enamored with her as he was before.
Which doesn't mean he doesn't love Hannah, especially since he is not a man to back out of his commitments.
Yet he pushes Hannah on the subject of marriage too fast, too far. And she says, "No."
At some level, it seems that Booth wants something to happen now--either a firm commitment in one direction or freedom in the other.
In other words, Hannah IS the rebound girlfriend.
Which doesn't mean Booth isn't legitimately unhappy. Oftentimes on television, the male lead, when dumped, becomes a comical figure. Booth, however, is allowed to be hurt and to show his hurt. He is near tears when he discusses the breakup with Brennan.
"What is it with women who don't want what I'm offering here?" he asks her, and this isn't mere male petulance or vanity. Booth's question is a valid one. He is stable. He makes a good income. He is trustworthy. He is handsome (if that matters). He likes kids. Why is marriage such a terrible option?
Bones is ultimately a rather conservative show, in the best possible way. It debates the accepted mores of orthodox society (what most people at the "center" seem to more or less accept) without either cynicism or defensiveness. Marriage and family are normal, acceptable things to care about.
So let our characters care.