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Why Bones Fans Think The Show Failed Lance Sweets

Fox dramedy "Bones," based on the life of forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs, followed a team of scientific experts and an FBI agent as they solve gruesome murders by studying decomposing remains of the dead. While this team starts out building their cases on hard evidence and irrefutable stories, the addition of Dr. Lance Sweets (John Francis Daley) adds a cherry on top of things, as he is a psychologist who can provide his profiling expertise.

Sweets, as he is referred to during his tenure on the show, is a lovable, dorky, and mild-mannered individual who first appears in Season 4 as a FBI psychologist counseling Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) and Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan (Emily Deschanel), the team's leaders.

Slowly, Sweets becomes an integral part of the team — a member who proves vital not just to the group's work but also to the overall team dynamics. Among singularly focused scientists, Sweets brings perspective and much needed subjectivity. But despite his skills and amiable nature, it can be argued that he didn't get his due on the show.

The most guilty here are Booth and Brennan. Brennan calls psychology a soft science and uses cold rationality to discredit Sweets' observations. Meanwhile, Booth shows sheer disdain for their sessions with Sweets and his initial contribution to the cases. Despite all that, in the ensuing tragedies big and small, each team member seeks Sweets' counsel. But the appreciation for the psychologist, both personal and professional, remains unsaid at best. Unfortunately, it only shows after he is killed in Season 10.

Fans are not happy with the way Sweets was treated on Bones

While it might take some time for a new guy joining a tight-knit group to be accepted, Sweets' work goes uncredited in his initial days. And fans expressed displeasure with the same on a Reddit thread. u/Amphibious_Fire, who had just begun watching the show, hated how the team treated their resident shrink. "Sure he's young and perhaps inexperienced in certain things but that doesn't justify everyone treating him like s***. Like how Booth and Brennan always leave his sessions without saying bye- 'my phone rang someone got murdered' slams the door," they wrote.

Other fans chimed in to reassure u/Amphibious_Fire that Sweets was eventually given better treatment while also noting that even then, he never got the respect he deserved. Expressing this sentiment, u/Stannette12 wrote, "It gets better, they give him more credit later on. But yeah they still bug me a lot when it comes to how they treat Sweets." Agreeing with other Redditors, u/mntucker10 wrote, "It changes some but I think there are a lot of ways things don't change. They give Sweets more props for his skills but still judge him for who he is."

But some fans understand Booth and Brennan's behavior. Fans on a Reddit thread noted that Booth and Brennan's initial relationship with Sweets as their shrink made them naturally unaccepting of him. And Daley might agree.

Daley thinks Booth treated Sweets as a brother

Early into his days playing Sweets, John Francis Daley felt his character had been brought in with a comic angle. "I think that there's a comic element to my character — the fact that he's so new to it, the fact that he's a 22-year-old with these highly trained professionals and basically telling them what's wrong," Daley told The Morning Call.

In Season 4, it should be noted that Booth and Brennan's feelings toward each other are unsaid. The psychologist treads dangerous territory diving into sensitive topics about Booth and Brennan's relationship and confronting them with questions they aren't yet ready to answer. Daley wasn't sure but he believed that his character was to play a part in the duo's changing dynamics.

"I know that he wants them to get along and I think maybe he wants to help unleash suppressed chemistry that a lot of people at this point are noticing," Daley said, noting that the crime-solving duo's sessions with the psychologist were "couples' therapy sessions." As a result, it seems natural that Booth and Brennan shared slight hostility toward their shrink. And this was in the beginning.

In an interview with USA Today after his exit in Season 10, Daley said, "There was a brotherly relationship that Sweets had with Booth, a real bond, a real friendship." He also described the emotional reaction David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel had while filming Sweets' fateful death scene, making it quite unlikely that Daley had any issues with his character's treatment.