In season 3, the FBI assigned Dr. Lance Sweets to determine whether or not the Booth-Brennan FBI-Jeffersonian arrangement should continue. It wasn’t until later that Brennan and Booth agreed to allow young Sweets to study the dynamics of their partnership in exchange for his profiling expertise. While his psychological profiling was usually spot-on and his personal feedback was usually helpful, some of his most memorable advice remains in the forefront of our minds because of their disastrous results. Regardless, God bless the broken road that brought Brennan and Booth together, of which Sweets was an integral part, as Brennan said in her eulogy of him in “The Lance to the Heart.” Of the many, many examples available, we’ve chosen our top 13 of Sweets’ best and worse advice throughout his 141 episode tenure as psychologist, field agent, and friend. What other ones do you remember most?
#14 “You’d be a lousy father if you didn’t torture yourself about [sending Parker to private school]”
Booth: “You don’t think I’m a lousy dad for not sending my kid to a private school?”
Sweets: “No. But you’d be a lousy father if you didn’t torture yourself about it.”
Booth: “Thanks” In “The Bones that Blew”
Booth investigates a death involving a private grade school and he may not be providing a good enough education for Parker by sending him to public school. Very good observation, Sweets.
#13 “Your feelings are not real and will fade away, like every other symptom of your coma.”
Sweets: “Before your operation, you were not in love. After your operation, you were. Conclusion: Your feelings are not real and will fade away, like every other symptom of your coma. Now, I think you and I both know Dr. Brennan’s hyper rationality is really just a cover for her vulnerable and sensitive core.”
Booth: “Oh great. So we’re talking about Bones’ brains too here.”
Sweets: “So if you breach those defenses and you don’t really love her… Left you hard copies.”
In “Harbingers in a Fountain,” Booth has recently been released from leave from having brain surgery after which he had the ‘married to Brennan’ coma dream. Sweets presents Booth’s brain scans as ‘proof’ that Booth is not really in love with Brennan, but simply experiencing some emotional surges as a result of the surgery. This, of course, was utter horse puckies.
#12 “If you really want to help Booth, you should let him teach you about plumbing … for once, it would be beneficial if you were the student.”
Sweets: “You want my advice?”
Sweets: “Okay, if you really want to help Booth, you should let him teach you about plumbing.”
Brennan: “I’m a wealthy, accomplished woman. Why would I want to learn a menial skill?”
Sweets: “Well, for Booth, so he can regain whatever he feels he’s lost. I think, for once, it would be beneficial if you were the student.”
After Booth’s brain surgery he’s plagued by doubts that he’s still the same capable guy he was before they discovered his brain tumor. To bolster Booth’s confidence, Sweets recommends Brennan allow Booth to teach her something. Excellent advice, Sweets, and it led to one of the sweetest scenes in Bones history!
#11 “Sometimes you don’t save the world, Dr. Brennan. Sometimes you just make your friend happy.”
Brennan: “Saving one pig is an irrational act. Are you suggesting that I point that out to Angela more clearly? Because that would make this conversation very much like a professional consultation.”
Sweets: “No, I’m suggesting, in a very friendly, conversational way, that you help her save that one pig.”
Brennan: “But we agreed that that’s a meaningless act.”
Sweets: “Meaningless by your definition, not by Angela’s.”
Brennan: “My definition is correct.”
Sweets: “Yes, and if life were simply a debate, you would win, hands down, but we know that it isn’t a debate. It’s something much tougher. You know, our very work shows us that, that those people that call the world an abattoir- a slaughterhouse- they have a point. Now, you handle that knowledge by imposing this gossamer web of rationality over the ugliness. Angela has a very different way of handling. Sometimes you don’t save the world, Dr. Brennan. Sometimes you just make your friend happy.”
Brennan: “But even when it’s irrational?”
Brennan doesn’t understand Angela’s rationale of saving one little pig when it doesn’t save all the other pigs from their unfortunate demises. Sweets explains that it’s not about a pig; it’s about supporting your friend.
#10 “It’s easier for us to accept loneliness, as long as the person we were once with is also alone.”
Hodgins: “You were right, Sweets. Everything is not fine. It’s not fine at all. Don’t know if I want to crawl into a hole and die or run over Wendell and Angela with a truck.”
Sweets: “You know, it’s natural to have those feelings.”
Hodgins: “But I’m a better man than this. I mean, I–I want to be happy for them. You know, I really do.”
Sweets: “Well, it’s easier for us to accept loneliness, as long as the person we were once with is also alone. When she finds happiness with someone else, oh, man, it’s like being stabbed in the heart. It’s the human condition. You know, it’s why there are so many movies and plays and songs and poems.”
In “The X in the File,” Hodgins struggles with the reality that Angela and Wendell have begun seeing each other romantically. That was excellent advice for Hodgins.
#9 “One of you has to have the courage to break this stalemate.”
“If you’re not in love, then how come you haven’t been in any serious relationships since you first met, huh? One of you has to have the courage to break this stalemate. You. It’s got to be you, because you’re the gambler. For once, make that work for you.” -Sweets to Booth
In “The Parts in the Sum of the Whole,” after Brennan and Booth reveal that they had kissed once during their first case together, Sweets tries to get Booth to act upon his feels for Brennan and take a chance on romance. This advice resulted in a hot mess which sent the two running in opposite directions at the end of the season.
#8 “You want to guarantee the outcome. That assumes a just world, I’m afraid.”
Cam: “I’m, I’m worried, Dr. Sweets. I-I this case is taking its toll on everyone.”
Sweets: “Including you?”
Cam: “Including me, yes.” Sweets: “It’s a very stressful situation. I mean, you’re not immune to that.”
Cam: “I feel like everything’s fraying around the edges. We’re all searching for some piece of evidence that can put Taffet away. But we keep coming up empty.”
Sweets: “Everyone feels manipulated by her.” Cam: “And I-I should be able to pull everyone together– keep them on track.”
Sweets: “You want to guarantee the outcome. I wish that were possible. But you know, we knew this was going to be an uphill battle.”
Cam: “But did we really believe that? We all knew she was guilty. So someplace, we assumed that in a just world she’d pay for what she did.”
Sweets: “That assumes a just world, I’m afraid.”
In “The Boy with the Answer,” the team is frazzled over the possibility of the Grave-Digger winning her case and getting away with burying many innocent people alive, including Brennan, Hodgins, and Booth. Camille seeks Sweets’ advice about how to keep the team together and functioning so they can prove Heather Taffet’s guilt.
#7 “If we don’t face and overcome unsettling events in our lives, we are ruled by them.”
Booth: [Sweets is eating a chocolate bar] “Do you have to eat that? I just imagine you chomping down on her cheek or something. Just put it away.”
Sweets: “If we don’t face and overcome unsettling events in our lives, we are ruled by them. I’m not gonna let some ruthless killer destroy my enjoyment of chocolate. It’s not gonna happen. I love chocolate too much.”
In “The Babe in the Bar,” a woman is found drowned in a life-size bar of chocolate. During a meeting with Sweets, Booth is disgusted by Sweets eating a chocolate bar.
#6 “Perhaps [telling Hannah about Brennan’s continued feelings] is difficult because you still have feelings for Dr. Brennan.”
Sweets: “Well, you know, if this is on your mind then you should tell Hannah.”
Booth: “Bones and Hannah are friends now. I mean, isn’t that what secrets are for? Hey, maybe you could just give me something to make me stop feeling guilty.”
Sweets: “Well, perhaps this is difficult because you still have feelings for Dr. Brennan.”
Booth: “What? No. No. You know what? This was a bad idea. I’ll talk to Hannah myself, okay?”
In “The Body in the Bag,” Booth feels guilty for not having told Hannah that Brennan said she still has feelings for him. When he seeks Sweets’ advice, Sweets nails the issue on the head, but Booth blows it off and denies his continued feelings for Brennan.
#5 “I don’t want to be your age and wind up like you.”
Sweets: “I don’t want to be your age and wind up like you.”
Booth: “What’d you say?”
Sweets: “I don’t. You’ve never been married. And that, that’s sad to me. I don’t want that to be where my life is headed, you know? But I’m, I’m gonna propose to Daisy. I’m gonna do it. Yeah, I’m gonna do it.”
Booth: “Yeah. Well, you know what? I’m gonna propose to Hannah.”
Sweets: “What?!” Booth: “Yeah! I-I’ve been planning it for a while now.”
Sweets: “Really? Really. Oh, my God! “
Booth: “You know, till death do us part. I’m picking out the ring tomorrow.”
Sweets: “Dude! That’s great! Congratulations!”
Sweets: “We should, we should buy our rings together.”
Booth: “That’s a good idea.”
Sweets: “Okay, yeah.”
Booth: “Just don’t go telling the world. I don’t want to hear everyone’s opinion.”
Sweets: “No, no. It’s, it’s stuck in my shrink vault. My-My drunk shrink vault.”
In “The Daredevil in the Mold,” Sweets and Booth get inebriated. Even though Sweets is drunk, Booth takes his words to heart and decides to propose to Hannah. This ends very, very badly. In Sweets’ defense, he was drunk off his ass and off the clock. Can he be blamed for Booth’s impulsive behavior? Probably not, but he should have seen through Booth once sober and confronted him about proposing tone woman while in love with another one, because surely he know that, right?
#4 “The two of you getting engaged with Pelant active– he needs to feel he’s the most important.”
Booth: “Bones just asked me to marry her.”
Sweets: “What?! Really?!”
Booth: “Yeah. Yes, and she did it with jerky.”
Sweets: “I’m not gonna ask.”
Booth: “No, beef jerky. Come on. Who does that? She’s amazing.”
Sweets: “I don’t know what that means still, but congratulations.”
Booth: “I-I know.”
Sweets: “That’s Oh, man. One thing to keep in mind.”
Sweets: “The two of you getting engaged with Pelant active– he needs to feel he’s the most important.”
In “The Secret in the Siege,” Sweets is spot on. Pelant does indeed use Brennan and Booth’s engagement to wreak nasty putrid havoc on their lives.
#3 “I believe he’s trying to seduce Dr. Brennan.”
Sweets: “I’m here about Pelant.”
Sweets: “I believe he’s trying to seduce Dr. Brennan.”
Booth: “What? With this whole nonexistent serial killer thing?”
Sweets: “No. Yes, but mostly no. I’m saying in a more profound way. Pelant is using my research against you and Dr. Brennan. And the lesson that he’s taken from that is that Dr. Brennan changes her mind about people … Pelant truly believes that he can make Dr. Brennan see him in a new light. The-the same way that you did.”
Booth: “You got to be kidding me. That’s crazy.” Sweets: “Pelant’s crazy.”
Booth: “Wh-what does this all mean, Sweet? Spell it out.”
Sweets: “Well, Dr. Brennan is Pelant’s endgame. He’s trying to replace you. Has he done anything to prevent the two of you from getting together that we don’t know about.”
Sweets: “I’ll take that as a “yes.”
In “The Sense in the Sacrifice,” Sweets explains Pelant’s strategy behind keeping Booth and Brennan for getting married, even though Sweets is unaware that Pelant is behind Booth’s jilting of Brennan’s proposal.
#2 “The world is a better place than you think it is.”
Booth: “You’re gonna be fine.”
Sweets: “You, too. The world is a lot better than you think it is.”
While on the verge of death in “The Conspiracy in the Corpse,” Sweets gives his final piece counsel to Booth, who he knows is struggling with seeing the good in the world in view of the harm he’s experienced because of the FBI conspiracy.
#1 More Sweets Love
7 Reasons Why Sweets was Good for ‘Bones’ (and Why We’ll Miss Him)