The Hannah Dilemma

Hannah Burley has an interesting place in the world of Bones. When she was introduced during the season six premiere, I instantly hated her. Booth and Bones had just spent seven months apart and were supposed to come back and finally get together. But no, Booth had to fall in love with Hannah in Afghanistan. Therefore, I and most Bones fans hated her. And I wanted to keep hating her, but the show kept making it more and more difficult.

I have always thought Hannah is an interesting character and I have wanted to write a post about her for a while. I started re-watching season six in preparation for this post and a deleted scene in “The Daredevil in the Mold” (Hannah’s last episode) proved that the show had the same feelings about Hannah that I do. I have no idea why this scene was deleted; it was amazing. Angela has two lines that sum-up everything the audience feels about Hannah. Line number one: “I hate her, even though she is delightful and fun.” Then Angela says she wishes Hannah would just go away. Bones says, “I don’t have the power to do that.” Angela replies, “You probably do, honey. You just don’t know how to use it.”

Pretty often Angela acts as the audience. Her reaction to something tells us how we are supposed to react to something. And she summed it up perfectly. We hate Hannah, even though she is delightful. The show does an excellent job of keeping the audience in a constant battle of hating and trying not to like Hannah.

At first we hate everything about Hannah, because she destroyed Bones’ chances to be with Booth. These initial feelings stem from a cell phone picture and Booth telling us how great she is. Then she arrives. We start to see that she is nice. She fits in with the other female characters. She also does little nice things like when she gives Bones the credit for Booth’s housewarming gift. She gets shot. She becomes friends with Bones. She has Parker’s approval.  She is not overly bothered by Booth’s feelings for Bones “in the past” as he puts it or Bones’ current feelings. Through all this we struggle to remain hating her.

But the show does small, simple things to remind us that Hannah doesn’t belong. One thing that I think stands out is that she calls Booth and Bones, Seeley and Temperance. Nobody in the main cast calls them Seeley and Temperance. The only people who call Booth Seeley are his brother Jared and his grandfather, but he usually calls him Shrimp. Nobody calls Bones Temperance. Her father, brother and Jared (the only people who don’t call her Bones or Brennan) call her Tempe. This is a small thing that isolates Hannah from the rest of the case.

While we are on names, Hannah is also the only season six main character, excluding the squinterns, that goes by his or her full first name. Seeley is Booth. Temperance is Bones/Brennan. Camille is Cam. Jack is Hodgins. Lance is Sweets. Angela is a bit of a stretch but her real name isn’t Angela Montenegro. It’s just another way Hannah seems to be separate from the rest of the cast.

During her entire time on the show I hated her, but in her last episode my mind kind of changed. I trace is back to Angela’s second quote from the deleted scene, Bones has the power to make Hannah go away. Booth decides to propose to Hannah, but obviously it is not what he truly wants. I think Sweets knew that, Booth kind of knew it and Hannah knew it. She tells Booth, twice, that she “isn’t the marrying kind.” I’m sure she was telling the truth, but I like to believe that wasn’t her only reason.

She was really good friends with Bones by this point and knew about her feelings for Booth. Possibly she was buying into Booth’s idea that you can only love one person the most. I think Hannah knew she was driving a wedge between Booth and the person he loved the most and Bones and the person she loved the most. The main thing that drove me to not totally hating Hannah was her final action on the show. Booth is drinking at the Founding Fathers depressed from the rejection, Bones walks in, sits beside him and says, “Hannah called me.”  Hannah was nice enough to call the person she knew Booth really wanted, even though she wasn’t over him.

It was not until my third time watching season six, that I decided I didn’t hate Hannah 100 percent. I still don’t like her. I hate her, even though she is delightful and fun. Hannah is also a great testament to the shows character development abilities. Hannah creates a lot of debate in the Bones fandom. Pretty good for a character that was only in seven episodes.

Also, Booth and Hannah are one of 21 relationships that have occurred on Bones over the years. did an awesome slideshow.


2 Comments on “The Hannah Dilemma”

  1. Tami Menzed says:

    I think hannah called booth seeley cos they were boyfriend and girlfriend, it’d be weird she calling him by his last name, you know
    and I think she called temperance instead bones cos they weren’t close friends to call her by her pet name “bones” LOL


  2. I liked Hannah but I will always doubt Booth’s feelings for Brennan after the arc. How can you claim to have known from the beginning and then just claim your love didn’t last a year later? Especially knowing that one of the reasons that Brennan said no is her belief that love doesn’t last. Booth has always proved Brennan’s view about love are correct. Fleeting ephemeral feelings where people are only focussed on their own happiness even if it comes at the expense of hurting someone you say you love.


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