Seeley Joseph Booth is a fictional character in the US television series Bones (2005–present), portrayed by David Boreanaz. Agent Booth is a co-protagonist of the series with his wife Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel), whom he affectionately refers to as "Bones".
Booth is from Philadelphia and is a fan of the Philadelphia Flyers Hockey Team; pictures of the team hang on the back wall of his office. However, he grew up in Pittsburgh. During many episodes he is seen drinking from a Pittsburgh Steelers coffee mug, suggesting he is also a fan of that football team; in season 6, episode 16 "The Blackout in the Blizzard" he acquires a row of seats from Veterans Stadium and recounts for Dr. Brennan how he attended game 6 of the 1980 World Series with his father. He was raised and still is a practicing Catholic, having served as an altar boy during his youth. In "A Boy in a Tree" it is implied that he attended public schools. It is not mentioned where or when he attended college but he has stated that he put himself through college teaching dance. He has been an avid athlete and sports fan since his high school days. A signed picture of Bruins player Bobby Orr can be seen in the background behind his desk.
Booth is the older of two boys and has a younger brother Jared (Brendan Fehr). Their father "flew Thuds and Phantoms in Vietnam" and moved to Philadelphia where he worked as a barber and eventually started a family. Their mother Marianne was a dancer and composed jingles for television advertisements.
For the first three seasons, details on Booth's family background were generally sketchy as he rarely mentioned his family members and is still uncomfortable discussing it. When his younger brother Jared is first introduced, it becomes apparent that Booth was estranged from his family. Their father was an abusive alcoholic. Booth used to shield Jared from their father during a beating. It is implied that their mother was also subjected to abuse by their father as she once mentioned to Bones that she was thrown down a flight of stairs by her ex-husband. Eventually she left the family out of desperation; in Season 8, she contacts Booth for the first time in over two decades to invite him to her wedding. The boys were essentially singlehandedly raised by their paternal grandfather Hank (Ralph Waite), whom Booth affectionately calls "Pops". Hank had stumbled upon his son abusing Seeley and drove him out of the house. He calls Booth "Shrimp" as Seeley was a young child then. From then on, he raised his two grandsons as his own. Booth later reveals that he might have killed himself as a teenager had it not been for his grandfather.
Military Service and FBI
It is not stated when Booth enlisted in the United States Army. He is at least a third-generation military man; his grandfather Hank was in the military police and served in the Korean War and his father was a Vietnam War veteran. Based on facts subsequently revealed throughout the show, he would have served during the 1990s, likely prior to joining the FBI. He was a sniper in the 101st Airborne Division, Special Forces and 75th Ranger Regiment and served in the Gulf War, Somalia and Kosovo. For a time, he held the record for the longest shot ("over a kilometer") made in combat. In the Season 5 finale, He is also shown wearing a 101st combat patch, Special Forces and Ranger qualification tabs, and Combat Infantry, HALO, Air Assault and Parachutist badges. Booth also has in his shadow box in his office is a set of pathfinder wings. While in the military he earned a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and the Army Good Conduct Medal. His achievement and service medals can be seen in the shadow boxes mounted on the wall behind his desk in his office. He left the Army with the rank of master sergeant.
In the episode "The Beginning in the End", Booth is approached by a Colonel Pelant, an acquaintance from his time in the Rangers, and handed a letter from the Secretary of Defense requesting him to return to active duty to train Afghan soldiers in "tracking and apprehending insurgents". He is offered a promotion to sergeant major and a position as an adviser to the Afghan National Army. Although initially reluctant, Booth accepts and is deployed to Afghanistan during the time frame between Season 5 and 6 when he, Bones, Angela and Hodgins leave Washington for a year-long sabbatical.
Despite his distinguished service record, Booth is generally reticent about his military service and rarely speaks about it openly, even with Bones. Bones subsequently discovers that he has been tortured while held as a POW in the Middle East, which Booth never elaborated on and has not been addressed since, after looking at his x-rays. In Season 2 he was kidnapped and tortured with a heated screwdriver by a mobster for refusing to give information and later told Bones that he has been "tortured worse". He is still haunted by memories from his time in the Army, having lost friends in combat and watched his own buddy bleed to death in his arms; he is noticeably affected when investigating cases involving veterans and continuously seeks penance for the lives he took while serving as a Special Forces sniper. In the episode "Hero in the Hold" it is revealed that he has blamed himself for the death of his spotter Corporal Edward "Teddy" Parker, whom Booth named his son Parker after, on a sniper mission even though Teddy had unintentionally disobeyed orders to keep his head down and was fatally shot as a result. He sought out Sweets for counseling in Season 6 after he was confronted by his former mentor and ex-military sniper-turned-vigilante Jacob Broadsky. Towards the end of Season 1 he confessed to Bones for the first time about the buried guilt, after much persuasion from a fellow veteran, telling her "It's never just the one person who dies, Bones. [...] With each shot we all die a little bit." He had a gambling problem, which is implied to have developed as a coping mechanism after leaving a stressful, war-time environment. According to flashbacks in "The Parts in the Sum of the Whole", he only started to the kick the habit after meeting (and subsequently asking out) Bones for the first time while working a case together. As of the series pilot he has been clean after attending GA meetings and has been able to resist the urge on several occasions when a case required him to be at a casino or a similar environment. In several episodes he can be seen twirling a poker chip or playing with a dice.
In Season 4, it is stated that Booth has been in the FBI for twelve years, which implies that he would have joined the Bureau around 1996. However, this contradicts his statements in Season 6 about going AWOL to be present at the birth of his son Parker as Parker was four when the show premiered in 2005. A possible realistic explanation would be that Booth remained in the Army as a reservist.
John Kubicke of BuddyTV described Booth as "charming, funny, a tad brutish but ultimately warm and caring". He is worldly wise, socially at ease with people, very athletic, and apparently sexually confident with women. He often refers to himself as a jock, having played football and several other sports in high school and college. Bones has often described him as an "alpha male" from an anthropological standpoint.
Booth is portrayed as a patriot and has a strong sense of duty to his country and job. In "Soldier on the Grave", Angela described him as "someone who wants to keep honor and responsibility alive". For much of Season 1, this often led to friction between him and Jack Hodgins, who held anti-government views. According to Cam, Booth relies on his faith in the government to keep his sanity intact having killed nearly fifty people on government orders as an Army sniper. He holds himself to an equally high standard; he is especially disgusted whenever a corrupt law enforcement officer is involved and refuses to participate in cover-ups. Booth is also loyal to his colleagues and protective of his family to the point where he will not hesitate to physically threaten and intimidate anyone who attempts to harm them.
Due in part to his Catholic upbringing, Booth sees the world and morality in black and white, which contrasts Bones' objective view of such abstract concepts. This conflicting view is often a source of friction and, later, banter between them. Booth draws the line between the "good guys" and "bad guys" and stated that "life is about taking sides", when asked about how he is able to reconcile his past as a sniper while hunting down his former mentor-turned-vigilante Jacob Broadsky. Booth once told Sweets that while he has killed (because he was following orders), he has never murdered. It is stated that Booth will not pull the trigger unless he is absolutely certain of the identity and guilt of the "target" he is about to kill. Booth views justice a similarly subjective way and believes that committing a crime is never justifiable regardless of the circumstances. This, coupled by his "follow the book" approach, is apparent when he arrests Bones' father Max, for killing the Deputy Director of the FBI (who was revealed to be part of a cover-up), in her own office without hesitation in the Season 2 finale "Stargazer in a Puddle", although he does apologize to Bones before leading Max out in handcuffs.
Despite his warm personality, Booth tends to shy away from the limelight when it comes to taking credit for solving a case. He often plays down his own intelligence to let Bones take the credit to make her feel good, although most of the team eventually saw through his ruse.
Booth's past as a sniper still haunts him emotionally and Bones surmised that his choice to become an FBI agent and his dedication for seeking justice for victims was his way of paying penance. In the episode "The Man in the S.U.V.", after shooting and killing a terrorist about to detonate a bomb at a crowded convention center, he refused to accept credit and explains to Bones that he finds "no pleasure in taking someone's life". When he shot a mechanical clown on an ice cream truck for seemingly no reason, he was ordered to see Dr. Gordon Wyatt for counseling in order to get his badge and gun back. In subsequent episodes Dr. Wyatt uncovers the guilt and anger Booth has been harboring for so long. In Season 6 Booth's FBI colleague Dr. Lance Sweets noted that the reason why Booth was able to live through the guilt was his ability to channel it into his career in the FBI and responsibility to his son.
When investigating a crime, Booth leans toward intuition and his ability to connect and read people, a quantity unknown to an empiricist like Bones. His interpersonal approach is especially effective in the interrogation room – "[his] domain". Despite lacking the professional training of Bones and Sweets, he is able to read and detect behavioral cues and accurately establish motive. Initially Bones rebuffs Booth's intuition as she (at first) rejects anything that cannot be measured with numbers, research and scientific evidence but he soon earns hers and the team's respect for his ability to interpret evidence. In Season 4 she tries to interrogate a suspect for the first time and concedes that the interpersonal aspects of the job and interrogations are still exclusively Booth's area of expertise. Angela observed that his ability to "[pretend] to be stupider than he actually is most of the time" to lure the suspect into a false sense of security was what made him such a skilled interrogator, as opposed to Bones, whose bluntness often gives a poor first impression and puts people off. Booth is often frustrated by the scientific jargon Bones and the other scientists, and sometimes Sweets, tend to use, as shown when he abruptly cuts Bones and Hodgins off in the middle of a sentence and tells them to "translate" into layman's terms. Although lacking the squints' "book smarts", he compensates with his instincts honed from from his experience in the FBI, as shown by the fact that he is able to accurately guess Bones' top three password choices.
Booth tends to keep his personal and professional life as separate as possible. This is exhibited by the fact that he displays his military medals and memorabilia in his office rather than in his home. When asked more personal questions, such as about his emotional problems, especially by Sweets or Bones, his first reaction is to change the subject, deflect them with jokes or become defensive. He is also reluctant to discuss his past. Even when confronted privately "out of office", he usually refuses to talk outright. He begins to open up more to Bones with hers and Sweets's help over the seasons. He is also known to be territorial, especially in regards to his private life and personal space.
Booth has temperament issues and shoots inanimate objects on repeated occasions. He shoots the clown head on an ice cream truck in season 2 episode "The Girl in the Gator" due to coulrophobia, and a black metal band's guitar amplifier after the guitarist spits on his badge in the season 4 episode "Mayhem on the Cross." There is a running gag in the show where Booth often mockingly threatens to shoot a squint in exasperation when they start "rambling" or occasionally an uncooperative suspect in the interrogation room. After the ice cream truck shooting, Booth's gun is temporarily confiscated and he is ordered to see forensic psychologist Dr Gordon Wyatt (Stephen Fry). Despite his ability to emotionally detach himself from a case and compartmentalize, there were instances where he has "snapped", such as when he physically hit a suspect after the latter hit his wife while both were being questioned. Having grown up in an abusive home, he has admitted to Sweets and Bones of his fears that he would become like his father.
On the job, Booth is characterized as a "man of action" and once claimed that he would "rot behind a desk". Early in season 8, he was given an opportunity to earn a promotion to an administrative position but passed up the chance in order to help Sweets and rookie agent Olivia Sparling with an emergency situation involving a potential assassin armed with an explosive. Bones herself commented that Booth being assigned to a desk job was akin to "caging an animal" and that he was "meant to run free". He does not hesitate to get physical when a situation requires it, such as chasing down a suspect through a crowd on foot or leading a SWAT mission himself.
Booth is a fan of classic rock and arena rock music. He has expressed great affection for the group Foreigner and poked fun at Bones for her interest in world, rap, and hip hop music. He also likes the band Poco. In the season three finale, he listens to the hardcore punk/punkabilly band Social Distortion. In the Season 4 episode "Mayhem on the Cross" he mentions that his father thought that Black Flag and the Dead Kennedys sounded the same. Given the relatively underground nature of the California hardcore punk scene, of which Social Distortion, Black Flag and the Dead Kennedys were all seminal members, it is most likely that Booth's father would have heard these bands only if Booth himself had played their records.
Booth shows a preference for the old school. He despises new age innovations, feeling that technology dehumanizes everything. He hates cappuccinos, referring to it as "foamy crap" and not actual coffee, only drinking his coffee black. He also dislikes reading news on a tablet, preferring to hold the newspaper in his hand. Bones told Hannah that Booth has always wanted an old-fashioned rotary telephone, as he believes that it is what a phone should be; sturdy and heavy enough to knock someone out. He also believes that the mechanics of it make it human.
It is revealed in the season three episode "The Mummy in The Maze" that Booth suffers from coulrophobia. When traveling through a haunted house, Booth is frightened of an evil clown mannequin; Brennan is bewildered by his behavior and Booth feels ashamed when he purposely avoids walking by the mannequin. In season two ("The Girl in the Gator") when he shot a large plastic clown head on an ice cream truck, annoyed with the music. Booth wears a "COCKY" belt buckle in episodes following "The Boneless Bride in the River", which is absent in the first episode of season five after recovery from surgery. While not as noticeable as the red "Cocky" buckle, Booth wears a stylized eagle buckle throughout season one and the first part of season two. He also likes to wear colorful socks.
Toward the end of season 4, Booth suffers from a brain tumor that leads him to hallucinate conversations with Stewie Griffin. The tumor is successfully removed, but it leaves him with residual memory loss and a lack of confidence in the field.
In the series pilot, Booth was introduced as an FBI special agent in the homicide unit who seeks the professional opinion of Dr. Temperance Brennan at the Jeffersonian Institute. He was eventually made the liaison between the Jeffersonian and the FBI, much to his chagrin, but he soon develops a close working relationship with the Jeffersonian team. Caroline Julian, a federal prosecutor who frequently works with them, has commented that aside from him "there isn't a single normal law enforcement officer who could work with these people", the "squints" — the nickname as Bones and her team of scientists are called by Booth and his fellow FBI agents — at the Jeffersonian; Bones herself often immediately objects when another agent (other than Booth) is assigned to work with her. Although not as "book smart" as the other "squints", he is quick to link evidence with and often uses his "street smarts" and intuition to assist the case. He is based at the J. Edgar Hoover Building along with his colleague Dr. Lance Sweets but frequents the Jeffersonian lab for updates on the evidence and has his own access card. The fact that he has his own office and is called "sir" by younger agents denotes some seniority or supervisory status. It has been implied through interactions with other characters that Booth is generally well regarded and respected within the Bureau for his skill, even if his distaste for the politics that entails his job has put him at odds with his boss and other federal law enforcement agencies. Little is known about his work history in the FBI except for the fact that he spent a period of time in Japan as part of an exchange program with the Tokyo Police.
Because of his training as a FBI agent and military background, he adheres to protocol and the chain of command. As such, he often has to keep the "squints" in line when a case emotionally affects them so that they abide by the rules and not jeopardize the case. However, he has no qualms about stretching the rules to its limit or using underhand tactics (without breaking protocol outright) and will go through great lengths to obtain a confession, especially when the situation is urgent or desperate (e.g. a hostage situation). His military training and experience has proven useful in establishing the murder weapon or the perpetrator's modus operandi, especially cases involving firearms or terrorists, and most notably when he is kidnapped by "The Grave Digger" and has to find his way out of a decommissioned ship rigged with explosives.
A skilled marksman, Booth is well-known within the Bureau as a "legendary shot". While in the Army he achieved the "Expert" Marksmanship Badge and is still proficient with a sniper rifle. It is indirectly stated in "Fire in the Ice" that he is equally capable of using his weapon with his "wrong hand" (his left hand). Booth states in "The Girl in the Gator" that Howard Epps was his fiftieth kill. However, Booth is not technically responsible for Epps' death, so as of "The Man in the Cell" his official kill count is at 49. However, as of "The Mastodon in the Room", Booth's official kill count is at least 54, as he killed the serial killer dressed as a clown (50), Gormogon (51), a corrupt sheriff(52), a doctor (53) and a terrorist (54). He is also a skilled knife thrower.
Booth generally tries to keep his personal and professional life separate. He dislikes bringing his work back home and tries to avoid discussing a case after hours. Despite this, there were several occasions where his past has caught up with him. During the sixth season, while dealing with his complicated relationship with Brennan and his new girlfriend Hannah Burley, Booth faces his former mentor Jacob Broadsky, a former Army sniper who has apparently gone rogue. Broadsky kills the Gravedigger, a serial kidnapper and killer who threatened both Booth and Brennan, destroys identifying evidence, and escapes. Broadsky points out that Booth has no definite proof that would allow him to feel comfortable shooting his old teacher. Booth is comforted by the news that Brennan does not see him and Broadsky as identical and later successfully arrests him without having to kill him. At the end of Season 8, Booth was forced to call off his wedding to Bones when serial killer Christopher Pelant threatened to murder five innocent people if Booth told Bones about it. Booth later kills Pelant with a single gunshot to the head and reveals to Bones the real reason why he called the wedding off.
Abused by his father and abandoned by his mother, Booth has a difficult and troubled relationship with most of his immediate family members. He and Jared had a strained relationship, especially after Jared, a Navy lieutenant commander based at the Pentagon, asked Bones out on a date while visiting the Jeffersonian with Seeley. Jared Booth is a recurring character in the series, and his arrivals are often met with tension by Booth. Bones has commented that the two brothers "can barely be in a room together". Booth tended to be "over-protective" of Jared, which the latter resented, when they were growing up and it added to the animosity. When they were young, Booth would protect Jared from their father by shielding him during a beating. In Season 4, Booth sacrificed credit for a major crime bust and potential promotion to keep Jared from getting arrested after he was caught drink-driving as another DUI would cost him his Navy career. Their relationship improved dramatically after Jared sacrifices his naval career to save Booth from "The Grave Digger". In "The Dentist in the Ditch", he introduces his fiancée to Seeley and asks him to be his best man at their wedding.
Booth is close to his grandfather Hank. Prior to the character's introduction, Hank was rarely mentioned, at least by name, but it is apparent that he is fond of Booth and Booth cares deeply for him. Hank once told Bones during a visit that he was "more proud of [Booth] than anybody in the world".
For many years, Booth was unable to forgive his parents for their past mistakes. He detested his father for physically abusing him and Jared when they were young. In Season 7 he showed little emotion when he learns of his father's death, much to Hank and Bones' concern. After much persuasion from Bones, Booth reluctantly opens the box his father had left to him and sifts through the contents, which included a Purple Heart medal, the 1980 World Series tickets and old photos of father and son. It was one of the rare moments when Booth shed tears.
In Season 8, when his mother Marianne reappears after 24 years to ask Booth to give her away at her wedding to her fiancee, he was reluctant to do so as he was still angry with her for abandoning the family. After realizing that Marianne was genuinely trying to repair their relationship and seeing how well she got along with Bones and their daughter Christine, Booth decides to go to his mother's wedding. She, along with Hank and Parker, were both present at Booth and Bones' wedding in Season 9.
Booth has a son named Parker (Ty Panitz) with his ex-girlfriend, Rebecca, who refused to marry him. Rebecca is at first hostile, and denied him visitation out of spite, but relations between them later dramatically improve. Initially Booth had mistakenly thought that she turned him down because the precarious nature of his job and irregular work hours would prevent him from being a good father but she later confronts him and assures him that he was a "wonderful father" and that Parker was a "lucky kid". Parker is named after a friend of Booth's from the Army Rangers, Corporal Edward "Teddy" Parker, who was fatally shot while spotting for Booth on a sniper mission. Booth is characterized as a doting and occasionally over-protective father. He coached Parker's tee ball team.
In "The Twisted Bones in the Melted Truck", Booth mentions an eccentric aunt of his, who "spent every last dime on old-fashioned cookie jars".
On multiple occasions in the series, characters have stated that Booth is a direct descendant of infamous assassin John Wilkes Booth. However, this is historically inaccurate, as the assassin died childless at the age of 26 just days after killing Abraham Lincoln. More feasible is that he is in fact a descendant of the same family but not John Wilkes himself. In either case, this relation is a particular sore-spot for Booth who does not like having it brought up.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (July 2012)|
Rebecca Stinson, portrayed by Jessica Capshaw, is Booth's ex-girlfriend. When she became pregnant, Booth proposed but Stinson did not accept. They named their son Parker Matthew Booth, the first name "Parker" after Booth's friend who died in the army. They occasionally engage in a liaison, but are mostly just friends. Booth resolves to end their liaisons after Rebecca assuages his doubts that he was a good father to Parker.
Hannah Burley, portrayed by Katheryn Winnick, is Booth's ex-girlfriend whom he met while training soldiers in Afghanistan. She was originally in Afghanistan as a journalist. She moved to Washington D.C. to be with Booth and they eventually moved in together in Booth's apartment. However, they soon break up when Hannah rejects Booth when he proposes and she moves out of his apartment.
Booth's appointment to the Jeffersonian was met with mixed reaction from Bones' team members. In the first few episodes, it was apparent that Booth did not fit in with the "squints" and was immediately put-off by the scientific jargon they use when discussing a case. He gradually develops a close working relationship and becomes friends with them outside of work. This was evidenced in the Season 2 episode "Judas on a Pole", when Booth was "suspended without pay" by the Deputy Director for pursuing a thirty-year-old cover-up in order to solve the more recent murder of a fellow FBI agent, Bones and the rest of the team, realizing that it meant that Booth can no longer work with them, all volunteer to continue the investigation so that Booth will be reinstated. At the end of the episode Booth was reinstated and Bones invites him to join the rest of the team in celebrating Zack Addy's appointment at the Jeffersonian, telling him that "we are, all of us, your squints". The rest of the team have since accepted Booth, as shown in several episodes where Booth's life was threatened and the "squints" all go the extra mile to ensure his safety. Likewise he vows to protect them at all costs when they were threatened by rogue sniper Jacob Broadsky in Season 6 and serial killer Christopher Pelant in Season 8. Whenever one of them encounters a traumatic event (e.g. watching someone die) he shows concern and tries to help them deal with the trauma, such as when co-worker and intern Vincent Nigel-Murray was killed in their own lab.
Early in Season 1 Jack Hodgins was particularly hostile to him due to his disdain for the government and bureaucracy in general. Booth's patriotism, position as a federal agent and military background and Hodgins' argumentative nature further added to the friction. Booth soon earns his respect when he lets Hodgins accompany him to rescue Bones, who was being held captive, and Hodgins witnesses Booth shooting the perpetrator as the latter was about to kill Bones. While they still maintain their respective opposing views, they are on friendly terms and Booth often calls him "bug boy". At the end of the second season, he agrees to be Hodgin's best man in his wedding to Angela Montenegro (albeit as the second choice after Zack Addy turned the position down). Hodgins also asks for Booth's advice about proposing to Angela, and later asks Booth to be his best man. Booth has the tendency to cut Hodgins off in the middle of a conversation whenever the latter starts using scientific jargon, although Hodgins generally tolerates it. In season 4, when Booth's FBI colleague Special Agent Perotta takes over an investigation in which Booth is a suspect, Hodgins and intern Wendell Bray immediately declare to Agent Perotta that they are "Booth's people" rather than Perotta's. Booth also intentionally ignores Hodgins' "insane conspiracist ravings" and uses Hodgins' knowledge to his advantage, usually when the case involves cults or secret societies.
Of the "squints", Booth gets along best with Angela Montenegro due to her ability to relate to him in layman's terms and knowledge of pop culture. Angela was initially attracted to Booth. When she realizes that Booth and Bones were "meant for each other", she repeatedly attempts to match-make them. She often gave both of them tips on how to get along with and appease the other.
Booth had a difficult relationship with Brennan's assistant Zack Addy, as he finds Addy's cold naïveté and social awkwardness disconcerting and, later, irritating. After failing to woo a colleague, "Naomi from paleontology", whom he was attracted to, Addy approached Booth for "advice" in the episode "A Boy in a Tree", much to Booth's annoyance and did so ever since. Booth has threatened to shoot Addy on several occasions out of exasperation. Addy admires Booth as a man of experience, and repeatedly asks him for advice on various issues, including sexual relationships. Booth convinces Addy that ignoring one another is a form of male bonding in order to deter Addy from continuously asking him anymore awkward questions. In Season 2 Addy receives a letter from the White House requesting his services in Iraq and Addy asks Booth if "it hurt to get shot", as Booth was the only one of the group who had any first-hand combat experience in a war zone. When Booth asks him why, he shows Booth the letter, explaining that he chose to ask Booth as the latter "[knows] more about duty and honor than anyone else I know". Before Addy goes to Iraq, Booth gives him a harmonica as a parting gift.
When fellow FBI agent Dr. Lance Sweets first joined the team, Booth treated him in a condescending manner, due to his youth and boyish looks. Booth was one of the few who acknowledged the importance of psychological insight into an investigation and would bring Sweets along to investigations, albeit grudgingly — he disliked Sweets' habit of repeatedly questioning him when he was in a bad mood or confronting him with details of his private life when in the car en route to the crime scene despite Sweets' good intentions. Whenever Sweets made him feel uncomfortable in that manner, he would interrupt and cut him off with a sarcastic comment or directly tell him to be quiet. Booth became less sarcastic and more understanding with Sweets when he learns about the latter's abusive childhood and subsequent yearning for a family after the death of his adoptive parents as he himself was abused as a child. Despite his tendency to pull rank on Sweets by making him do undesirable tasks such as paperwork or frequently light-heartedly mock him, he cares deeply for the younger agent and the two have an underlying mutual respect. He also consults Sweets on a number of issues, including his feelings for Bones. When Booth was suspended from the field, he consulted with Dr. Gordon Wyatt instead of Sweets, who is the department's designated psychologist, to avoid having to put Sweets in a difficult position of having to choose between their friendship and his professional responsibility. In Season 8 he invites Sweets to stay at his and Bones' home while Sweets deals with second break-up with Daisy.
Booth rekindles an old relationship with Dr. Camille Saroyan when she joins the Jeffersonian team. However, Booth ends the relationship for the second time after an intense case nearly costs Saroyan her life. Booth asserts that on-the-job romantic relationships endanger the team in high-pressure situations. Booth has known Saroyan for some length of time; in Season 4, it is stated that she has known Booth and his brother Jared for some 15 years. She was one of the few characters who already knew about the brothers' abusive childhood and calls Booth by his first name, at least in private. Despite the breakup, Saroyan and Booth remain close friends, working together on cases and giving each other advice on numerous occasions.
Temperance is Booth's wife and professional partner throughout the series. While Booth and Brennan maintain a professional relationship and friendship for six years, there is a deep emotional attachment and hints of romantic and sexual tension. Minor characters constantly mistake Booth and Brennan for a romantic couple, an accusation which they consistently and vehemently deny, although they spend more and more time together outside of work and a sexual attraction between them develops. Booth has admitted to Brennan and her father that he finds her "well-structured" and "beautiful," and has once reassured her that she has "her looks and a whole lot more." In "Two Bodies in the Lab", in season 1, and in "The Rocker in the Rinse Cycle", in season 5, Brennan and Booth's mutual love for Foreigner's "Hot Blooded" is mentioned; Booth even refers to it as "their song" in "The Rocker in the Rinse Cycle", and it is the first song on the mix tape he makes for her in "The Ghost in the Machine".
Booth's grandfather Hank and Bones' father Max expressed approval of their relationship early on, even before Booth and Bones openly admitted that they were more than just professional partners, and Hank and Max incredulously asked Booth if he was gay when he denied that he was romantically involved with Bones. Max, in particular, strongly believed that Booth was the right man for his daughter despite the fact that Booth has had to arrest him a number of times for trying to take the law into his hands to protect Bones.
Booth often takes Bones along to his investigations and interrogations, despite his superiors' and Caroline's initial reservations about a "squint" being in the field. Initially he was irritated by the scientific jargon she frequently used but over time comes to enjoy her company. He also taught her some investigative techniques and "black ops stuff", such as using a credit card to break open a locked door. In Season 4, at Sweets' persuasion, he allows her to interrogate suspects and since then, she has co-interrogated suspects with Booth in Sweets' absence. In the field, he sometimes takes advantage of her status as a civilian to obtain information which he, as a federal agent, would otherwise be unable to obtain without going through the time-consuming bureaucratic process. They often go undercover together as a couple whenever a case requires so.
Booth shows an apparent jealousy of Brennan's romantic relationships, particularly in the episodes "Two Bodies in the Lab", "The Woman in Limbo", "The Headless Witch in the Woods", "The Man in the Mansion", "The Boneless Bride in the River", "The Con Man in the Meth Lab", and "A Night at the Bones Museum". In Season 2 his FBI colleague Special Agent Tim "Sully" Sullivan asks him for "advice" on how to woo Bones, Booth tells him simply that he will not "help [him] get my partner into bed". Booth has a habit of intimidating, confronting or competing with anyone he believes to have a sexual interest in Brennan. He is extremely protective of her, and is often defensive of her to the point of physically assaulting those who pose a threat to her safety. Likewise, Bones has defended him whenever his ability is called into question and repeatedly made known that Booth is the only FBI agent she (and her team) tolerate working with. Booth has saved Brennan's life in several episodes, such as "Aliens in a Spaceship", "The Wannabe in the Weeds" and "The Woman in the Garden". In the third season, their relationship takes on a new component when they are forced to undergo partners therapy with Sweets, who observes that they are very close and there is emotional and sexual tension between them. Partners therapy is extended indefinitely. The partners share their first (in a flashback) and third kisses in "The Parts in the Sum of the Whole"; the second occurs in "The Santa in the Slush" when Booth and Brennan agree to kiss in front of a prosecuting attorney. Nearly every episode after season three ends with a scene of Booth and Brennan bonding, which become increasingly romantic over time, reflecting the ever-growing affection Booth and Brennan have for each other. This comes to a head in "The Critic in the Cabernet," in which Brennan asks Booth to donate sperm to father her child. He is startled but eventually agrees. The two begin making plans for her insemination, but before she can go through with it, Booth is diagnosed with a brain tumor.
In Season five, Booth realizes his love for Brennan as he recovers from his tumor. However, he is cautioned by both Dr. Saroyan and Dr. Sweets to be sure of his feelings before confessing his love to Brennan. Afraid that his feelings for her are related solely to his tumor and coma, Booth is conflicted about whether or not to tell Brennan. Afterwards, their relationship remains fraught with sexual tension. Although she shares his feelings, Brennan rejects his advance and states her uncertainty about the possible outcomes of such a relationship given their seemingly conflicting personalities. Booth agrees to respect her wishes and attempts to move on as they continue to work together. In the episode "The Boy with the Answer", Booth is confronted with the possibility that Brennan, claiming she is "tired of dealing with murders and victims and sadness and pain", might leave the Jeffersonian permanently. In the final scene of this episode, Booth watches as Brennan turns to face him while riding away in a taxi. Brennan departs for a year-long anthropological expedition to the Maluku Islands, while Booth agrees to spend a year in Afghanistan, training soldiers to apprehend terrorists. They say goodbye at the airport, agreeing to meet one year later. Their relationship takes a downturn after their return to DC due to Booth's relationship with journalist Hannah Burley; Brennan is apparently disappointed after learning that Hannah gets along with Parker. When Brennan admits that she still has feelings for Booth, he turns her down and says that he loves Hannah. Hannah departs after she turns down Booth's rather half-hearted proposal. Brennan and Booth begin to rekindle their relationship.
In episode 22 of season 6, "The Hole in the Heart", in which Vincent Nigel-Murray dies, Booth has Brennan stay at his apartment for her safety. Later that night, Brennan is still overcome with grief over Vincent's death and she turns to Booth for comfort. The two fall into his bed together in a seemingly intimate but non-sexual embrace. The next day, she tells Angela Montenegro that she "got into bed with Booth". In the following episode, she tells Booth that she is pregnant with his child. At the start of season seven, a very pregnant Brennan and Booth are in a relationship and going back and forth between apartments. Booth suggests that they should have their own place; Brennan wants Booth to move into her apartment. It causes a minor rift between them. At the end of the episode they are in bed looking at houses on the internet. Booth also tells Brennan he loves her and left it to her to decide when she wants to get married. In the sixth episode of season seven ("The Crack in the Code"), Booth and Brennan buy a home together. In the following episode, Booth delivers their daughter in a small stable off the road when Brennan cannot make it to the hospital to give birth. They name their baby Christine Angela. Throughout the rest of the season, Booth is very protective and devoted to both Temperance and Christine. In the season finale Bones is framed by Pelant, who is released when the jury finds him "not guilty". Bones, with help from Max, is forced to go on the run with Christine in order to avoid being arrested and buy Booth and the team enough time to clear her.
After proving Brennan's innocence and reuniting with her and their daughter, Booth attempts to act as though he isn't bothered by her decision to run away with Christine, as she had very good reasons for doing so at the time. It soon becomes clear in the following episode, however, that he is still resentful. They manage to resolve their dispute by the episode's end.
At the end of Season 8, Brennan finally decides to marry Booth, who is overjoyed. However, their plans are ruined when a vengeful Christopher Pelant blackmails Booth, threatening to kill five random people if Booth marries Brennan. Booth calls off the wedding, but does not explain the real reason to Brennan. For the first several episodes of the season, despite their efforts to mask the frustration and resentment, there was much tension between the two of them and between Booth and the other squints, who accused Booth of being unfaithful and getting "cold feet" at the last minute. In the Season 9 premiere, Booth confided in his friend Aldo, a former Army chaplain turned bartender, about Pelant's threat against him and he was having trouble mending his relationship with Brennan. At the end of the episode, Brennan decides to stay with Booth, much to his relief, and tell him that she is willing to trust him. In episode 4, "The Sense in the Sacrifice", Booth vows to take Pelant out once and for all, especially after Pelant murdered his colleague FBI Special Agent Flynn and manipulated evidence to frame Flynn. After killing Pelant, Booth reveals to Bones Pelant's threats and why he called the wedding off. He then asks her to marry him, which she agrees.
In the Season 9 episode "The Woman in White", Booth and Bones prepare for their wedding. Bones agreed to a church wedding out of respect for Booth's religious beliefs. However, their plans are ruined by a cold case and a fire in the church they were to be married at. With Angela's help, they hold a last-minute simple garden ceremony outside the Jeffersonian. Booth's Army friend and former priest Aldo Clemens presided over the ceremony in the presence of Booth's mother Marianne, grandfather Hank and son Parker, Bones' father Max and their close friends from the Jeffersonian. They spent their honeymoon in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
|This section requires expansion. (June 2012)|
John Kubicek of BuddyTV placed him on his list of the "15 Hottest TV Dads", describing the occasional moments he shares with his son as "tender and real". He was included in TV Guide's list of "TV's Sexiest Crime Fighters". His relationship with Temperance Brennan was listed in Entertainment Weekly's "30 Best 'Will They/Won't They?' TV Couples" and TV Tango's "Top 10 Romantically Challenged TV Couples".
Booth's background and personal tastes loosely mirrors that of actor David Boreanaz, who portrays the character. Boreanaz was raised in Pennsylvania, supports the Flyers and was an avid athlete in school.
- "Harbingers In The Fountain". Bones. Season 5. Episode 1. September 17, 2009. Fox.
- "The Crank in the Shaft". Bones. Season 4. Episode 6. October 1, 2008. Fox.
- "The Man in the Mansion". Bones. Season 2. Episode 14. February 14, 2007. Fox.
- "The Blackout in the Blizzard". Bones. Season 6. Episode 16. March 7, 2011. Fox.
- "The Man in the Morgue". Bones. Season 1. Episode 19. April 19, 2006. Fox.
- "The Diamond in the Rough". Bones. Season 8. Episode 10. January 14, 2013. Fox.
- "The Foot in the Foreclosure". Bones. Season 5. Episode 8. November 19, 2009. Fox.
- "Fire in the Ice". Bones. Season 4. Episode 13. January 22, 2009. Fox.
- "The Woman in Limbo". Bones. Season 1. Episode 22. May 17, 2006. Fox.
- "The Don't in the Do". Bones. Season 7. Episode 9. April 16, 2012. Fox.
- "The Party in the Pants". Bones. Season 8. Episode 22. April 15, 2013. Fox.
- Gim, Esther (April 15, 2013). "'Bones' Recap: Booth Confronts His Mommy Issues". BuddyTV. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- "Mayhem on a Cross". Bones. Season 4. Episode 21. April 16, 2009. Fox.
- "Two Bodies in the Lab". Bones. Season 1. Episode 15. March 15, 2006. Fox.
- "The Woman in the Car". Bones. Season 1. Episode 11. February 1, 2006. 17:16 minutes in. Fox.
- "Soldier On the Grave". Bones. Season 1. Episode 21. May 10, 2006. Fox.
- "The Bullet in the Brain". Bones. Season 6. Episode 11. January 27, 2011. Fox.
- "The Mastodon in the Room". Bones. Season 6. Episode 1. September 23, 2010. Fox.
- "The Patriot in Purgatory". Bones. Season 8. Episode 6. November 12, 2012. 37:50 minutes in. Fox.
- "The Goop on the Girl". Bones. Season 5. Episode 10. December 10, 2009. 26:20 minutes in. Fox.
- "The Beginning in the End". Bones. Season 5. Episode 22. May 20, 2010. Fox.
- "The Killer in the Concrete". Bones. Season 2. Episode 18. April 4, 2007. Fox.
- "The Hero in the Hold". Bones. Season 4. Episode 14. February 5, 2009. Fox.
- "The Woman in the Tunnel". Bones. Season 1. Episode 16. March 22, 2006. Fox.
- "The Killer in the Crosshairs". Bones. Season 6. Episode 15. March 10, 2011. Fox.
- "The Memories in the Shallow Grave". Bones. Season 7. Episode 1. November 3, 2011. 37:35 minutes in. Fox.
- "The Woman in the Sand". Bones. Season 2. Episode 8. November 8, 2006. Fox.
- "The Finder". Bones. Season 6. Episode 19. April 21, 2011. Fox.
- Kubicek, John (June 12, 2008). "15 Hottest TV Dads: #5 - Seeley Booth, Bones". BuddyTV. Retrieved September 16, 2012.
- "Player Under Pressure". Bones. Season 3. Episode 11. April 21, 2008. Fox.
- "The Boy in the Time Capsule". Bones. Season 3. Episode 7. November 13, 2007. Fox.
- "The Con Man in the Meth Lab". Bones. Season 4. Episode 9. November 12, 2008. Fox.
- "The Proof in the Pudding". Bones. Season 5. Episode 12. January 21, 2010. Fox.
- "Judas on a Pole". Bones. Season 2. Episode 11. December 13, 2006. Fox.
- "The Blood from the Stones". Bones. Season 8. Episode 20. March 25, 2013. Fox.
- "The Man in the S.U.V.". Bones. Season 1. Episode 2. September 20, 2005. Fox.
- "The Bones That Foam". Bones. Season 4. Episode 16. March 12, 2009. Fox.
- "The Girl in the Gator". Bones. Season 2. Episode 13. February 7, 2007. Fox.
- "The Friend in Need". Bones. Season 8. Episode 16. February 18, 2013. Fox.
- "The Boy in the Shroud". Bones. Season 2. Episode 3. September 13, 2006. Fox.
- "The Survivor in the Soap". Bones. Season 8. Episode 18. March 4, 2013. Fox.
- "The Maiden in the Mushroom". Bones. Season 8. Episode 21. April 1, 2013. Fox.
- "The Intern in the Incinerator". Bones. Season 3. Episode 6. November 6, 2007. Fox.
- "The Signs in the Silence". Bones. Season 6. Episode 21. May 5, 2011. Fox.
- "The Gunk in the Garage". Bones. Season 8. Episode 3. October 1, 2012. Fox.
- "The Prisoner in the Pipe". Bones. Season 7. Episode 7. April 2, 2012. Fox.
- "Dude in the Dam". Bones. Season 9. Episode 8. November 11, 2013. Fox.
- "The Predator in the Pool". Bones. Season 5. Episode 18. April 22, 2010. Fox.
- "The Girl in the Mask". Bones. Season 4. Episode 23. April 23, 2009. Fox.
- "Mummy in the Maze". Bones. Season 3. Episode 5. October 30, 2007. Fox.
- "The Man with the Bone". Bones. Season 1. Episode 18. April 5, 2006. Fox.
- "The Corpse in the Canopy". Bones. Season 8. Episode 12. January 21, 2013. Fox.
- "The Truth in the Lye". Bones. Season 2. Episode 5. September 27, 2006. Fox.
- "Bones on the Blue Line". Bones. Season 5. Episode 15. April 1, 2010. Fox.
- "The Dwarf in the Dirt". Bones. Season 5. Episode 7. November 12, 2009. Fox.
- "The Pain in the Heart". Bones. Season 3. Episode 15. May 19, 2008. Fox.
- "Double Trouble in the Panhandle". Bones. Season 4. Episode 12. January 22, 2009. Fox.
- "The Male in the Mail". Bones. Season 7. Episode 4. December 1, 2011. Fox.
- "The Finger in the Nest". Bones (TV series). Season 4. Episode 4. 2008-09-17. Fox.
- Turner, Thomas R. (1999). The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Malabar, Fla.: Krieger. ISBN 1-57524-003-3.
- "The Hole in the Heart". Bones. Season 6. Episode 22. May 12, 2011. Fox.
- "Spaceman in a Crater". Bones. Season 2. Episode 19. May 2, 2007. Fox.
- "A Boy in a Tree". Bones. Season 1. Episode 3. September 27, 2005. Fox.
- "Stargazer in a Puddle". Bones. Season 2. Episode 21. May 16, 2007. Fox.
- "The Titan on the Tracks". Bones. Season 2. Episode 1. August 30, 2006. Fox.
- Pastorek, W. (August 30, 2006). "Bones". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 7, 2007.
- "The Girl With the Curl". Bones. Season 2. Episode 7. November 1, 2006. Fox.
- "The Bone That Blew". Bones. Season 4. Episode 11. November 26, 2008. Fox.
- "The Critic in the Cabernet". Bones. Season 4. Episode 25. May 7, 2009. Fox.
- Gonzalez, Sandra (April 30, 2013). "'Bones' season finale shocker: Boss says Booth 'will make this right'". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- Ryan, Maureen (April 30, 2013). "'Bones' Finale: Pelant Returns And Leaves A Devastated Brennan In His Wake (VIDEO)". Huffington Post. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
- "TV's Sexiest Crime Fighters". TV Guide. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
- Bierly, Mandi; Fog, Henning (May 13, 2012). "30 Best 'Will They/Won't They?' TV Couples | Photo 6 of 30". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- Vicic, Mike (April 19, 2010). "Top 10 Romantically Challenged TV Couples". TV Tango. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- "Emily Deschanel Sits Down with David Boreanaz". Philadelphia Style.