No, but really, How Do I Get An AGENT???!!


Originally posted on Brian Koppelman:

I remember, with crushing specificity, the week that every single talent agency in Hollywood passed on the chance to represent me. And I remember it felt like absolute fact, like irreversible judgment, from on high, that the screenplay my partner and I wrote was not only unsalable, but wasn’t even strong enough to suggest that we had any promise as screenwriters. I was so shaken up by these rejections that I wrote down what each agent told the person who had submitted us for consideration. One said, “the script is overwritten.” Another that “these characters are underwritten.” A third that “nobody is going to buy a poker script,” and a fourth, I swear, that “there are already three poker spec scripts in the market right now.”
Not one agent asked for a meeting with us or to read any further material.
Less than a month later, Miramax bought the screenplay…

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The Conflict in Palestine and Israel, a History, Explanation and Trajectory.


Originally posted on alatiqi:

(some of the numbers used in this article may and probably have increased)

The Title

To begin with, I chose the title very carefully. It is not a Palestine vs. Israel conflict as there are civilians from both sides that are against it and it is definitely not a Muslim vs. Jewish conflict, it is a conflict between multiple groups of people in these territories. Furthermore, with friends on both sides, pro-Israel and pro-Palestine,  I can claim that I can see two sides of the argument and will try to remain as objective as possible.

An Introduction to the History of the Conflict

Believe it or not, there was not always a conflict between Jewish people in the area and Arabs. I say Jewish and not Zionist because Jews, will naturally get drawn into the conflict and hate directed towards Zionists. This is the same thing that happened when terrorists groups that claimed…

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Mentalist The Blue Bird Review


Synopsis

FBI consultant Patrick Jane is disturbed when he learns that longtime colleague/friend/love-interest Agent Teresa Lisbon is moving to Washington DC with her boyfriend. In what will be their last case together, a series of events culminate which could bring them closer or tear them apart forever.

Concise Verdict

RB: I was never very happy with the storyline of having Lisbon rush headlong into a relationship with Agent Pike. There just didn’t seem to be enough of a foundation for it. And yet this episode made it worth it. Oh, so worth it. Top kudos go to B. Heller for writing it, Baker and Tunney for acting the heck out of it, and composer Blake Neely for bringing back our favorite musical themes with just enough of a spin on them to make this an extra special episode. It makes me almost sad that it’s not the last one because I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect ending. 10/10.

VIS #1: Jane and Cho investigate the first case

Violet: While it’s not unheard of, it’s still rather rare to see Cho and the unruly consultant paired up at a murder scene. Indeed, as Kim has remarked recently, Jane is usually with Lisbon, but here, not only is the stoic agent assuming her part, he’s also telling him about her departure, which she should have done but couldn’t bring herself to do at the very end of the previous episode.

Jane is amused: he offers a half-smile and replies confidently: « oh, Lisbon is not leaving ». All in all, that self-assured smugness enlightens the reason behind his lack of reaction to the proposal Pike made to Lisbon almost in front of him… He didn’t hear it. Plus, he apparently never took Pike as a real, durable threat: that is why he’s being so “chirpy”. His rival is now leaving and then Lisbon will be all his again… Hence the selfless talk he has been feeding her about doing what makes her happy: he never actually thought she might leave him to follow the other man. She never did it before, she wouldn’t now…

RB: I actually don’t think Jane was so self assured at the time of their talk at her house.  He took Pike’s being there at the time quite hard and his emotions at the time were quite genuine. Rather, after that talk, and the more days that went on with Lisbon’s silence, I think he allowed himself to assume that she was staying simply because she hadn’t told him he was leaving.

Violet:  Yes, it’s called denial. On the other hand, Lisbon’s reluctance to broach the subject is also telling. Given how little passion he showed about the subject, she’s avoiding both him and the theme as much as she can. There’s a huge lack of communication between them and the physical distance puts emphasis on the fact that she’s already becoming more detached from him.

But, when Cho insists that she’s really going, Jane’s true feelings on the matter come to the surface. He’s shell shocked, speechless and he cannot even process that he’s in front of the victim’s body. In a very funny moment, he interrupts the talk between Cho and the cop who called them: instead of giving precious insight into the case, he just blurts out “did you hear from her or from other people? », then keeps irrationally grasping at his fraying hopes by adding “I’ll believe it when I hear from her”… This hints that it’s not just incredulity on his part. He’s afraid and he’s feeling betrayed both because she’s leaving and because she didn’t tell him. The detail that the victim was stabbed in the back probably symbolizes how he must feel.

RB: I absolutely loved this scene. The fact that Jane seemingly can’t concentrate on the case, his entire demeanor, the fact that he and Cho are having this personal conversation in front of an audience albeit a bewildered one was hilarious. Also, very VERY gratifying. We’ve seen Lisbon many times with less than serene moods due to things Jane had done (both professionally and personally). Its only fair to see him (finally!) experiencing the same thing.

Violet: When he enters the student housing, he immediately observes every single detail and starts interrogating the students. But soon enough, he interrupts his questions by turning to Cho again, asking him when “she” is leaving. He then muses “that’s only ten days”. His brilliant brain is already at work as the shock is slowly receding. Indeed, Jane wants to go back to the bullpen, he craves to take action. In order to get away from the crime scene and to focus fully on Lisbon, he masterfully albeit distractedly solves the case (“oh sorry, that I forgot to say”). He points out that all the students in the house are guilty. They killed the man in a poker brawl that went very wrong.

Obviously the case is a nod to ‘Red Tide’. Back then too a bunch of youngsters killed their friend in a fight and drowned her for good measure, then made a pact to cover up the murder. This is one of the many echoes to previous episodes and the road Jane has been taking. It also reminds viewers of the beginning of his collaboration with Lisbon, which emphasizes how very painful her departure is. But it’s also an amusing overkill and it adds a comedic vibe to the scene as the victim was accused of cheating and stabbed in the back. That exaggeration enlightens again how similar he is to Jane, because Lisbon too thinks he’s a cheater and a manipulative liar. And of course, Jane, feeling betrayed, is about to prove her right…

VIS #2: in the bullpen

“Several days later”, Lisbon is saying goodbye in the bullpen, among hugs and Wiley’s “I’ll miss you”. Nearby, Jane is nonchalantly watching the moment. His calm appearance, teacup in hand, contrasts with the frenzy he showed in front of Cho. He’s feigning normalcy and even goes as far as to ask Lisbon if she’s leaving today. He’s hell bent in hiding his real feelings to Lisbon and his talks of happiness are slowly evolving on a full-fledged con he’s playing on her.

But Lisbon is not completely duped by his fake indifference. She asks him if he’s still mad at her, then insisting that he indeed looks mad when he tries to avoid the question.

RB: At this point I had no idea what Jane was planning. I just figured, like Lisbon that he was giving her the cold shoulder because he was upset she’s leaving, and still trying to figure out a way to get her to stay.

Violet: Lisbon is well aware that he doesn’t want her to go albeit she certainly doesn’t realize to what extent. This is probably why she chooses the words he previously used on her, asking him to be “happy” for her. Jane’s reply is the closest he came to admitting that he cares since she started dating Pike: “I am happy for you, but I’m also a bit sad for me because you’re leaving”… Of course, the first part of this sentence is an outright lie, but at least he verbalizes that he feels “a little slighted”.

RB: I think this half-truth is what helped Jane pull off the con, both on the Lisbon and viewers alike. The fact that he out rightly admits he’s sad lulls the listener into a false sense of security that he is being completely honest.  I also want to point out, that Lisbon using Jane’s words means that while she may love Jane she is still unaware of how deep his own feelings run. She’s taking his words at face value. Six seasons and Lisbon is still unaware of the magnitude of emotions she can inspire in others; she’s just too modest, and perhaps too scared to ever consider that Jane loves her as anything more than a friend without him coming right out and saying it.

Violet: Obviously, Lisbon is not as sure of her choices as she makes out to be, since she tries to justify again why he shouldn’t be mad at her. Telling him was hard, they worked together a long time. Jane’s answer to that makes her look at him: “so stay, don’t go. Don’t break up the team…” It’s certainly not a coincidence that he chooses the same angle as in ‘Black Hearts’ (“we make a good team sometimes”). Plus, Lisbon herself used for years a similar professional façade to explain why they got along so well: first she used to say that he closed cases, then she started defining what they had as a partnership. Retreating behind such a line may be a shallow move from Jane, but it actually simply resumes the reasoning that used to hide the personal hues of their relation for years. Nevertheless, this is not enough anymore for Lisbon. When he notices her incredulous reaction, he hastily backpedals and adds “I’m kidding, I’m kidding…” After all, she has chosen the personal life Pike is offering to the work relationship Jane has been limiting her to for years.

RB: I don’t blame her. Jane’s revenge was the logical excuse as to why he and Lisbon never got together. Now that RJ is gone and Jane still yet to show any clear cut sign of wanting a romance with Lisbon, she cannot but help think he is uninterested and want to move on with her life.

Violet: He therefore puts on his mask of a good friend after shedding the one of the colleague. He tells her what she wants to hear more than what he really thinks. Pike is a good man, he’s happy for her (that he repeats) and she deserves it. This time, her reaction is more pleased and she thanks him. The whole exchange is pretty interesting because it sums up the miscommunication between them: they are both clinging to their usual personas although they both long for seeing the other reflect another aspect of their relation. Jane wants her to choose him and to stay, while his opinion is so important to her that she needs him to tell her he’s happy for her, even thought he actually told her something similar several times before (“I want you to be happy, it’s the most important thing to me”).

But their separation is suddenly postponed when the team catches a case: a killer has supposedly sent a note to their director (an agent Schultz, probably a nod to Mancini’s and Reede Smith’s boss) concerning the unsolved murder of a woman five years ago. Yet, Jane’s interest is more focused on spending a little more time with Lisbon than on bringing justice to the victim. Whereas he nonchalantly answers Abbott that he hasn’t any read on the code which concludes the letter, he eagerly suggests to Lisbon that, given that is their last case together, they should make it a happy one. Then, after Lisbon prudently remarks that it’s a murder case, he insists that they had had fun on some of those.

His lack of insight in that old new case intrigues Abbott enough to question him in the privacy of his office. He thinks his consultant is “weird”: “you’re acting cool about things I know you can’t be cool about”.

RB: It doesn’t take a genius to figure out Abbott is referring to Lisbon leaving here. He’s talked to Jane about Lisbon before and, and to Lisbon about Jane to the point where its obvious that hes rooting for the two to get it together.

Violet: Still, in spite of his confessor act, Jane keeps his real train of thoughts to himself.

RB: That, along with Abbott’s skepticism serves as foreshadowing that Jane has something up his sleeve.

Lisbon and Jane on their last case

The fun Jane promised to Lisbon starts when they get in Miami to re-open the case: sunny shots of the beach and the city’s wonders and some catchy music show how Jane is sending her off in style. He even rented a Cadillac for that special occasion, which is bound to remind her of his old Citroen and therefore of the moments they shared in it in the past.

RB: It’s also the first in a long list of cliched extravagance that Jane showers Lisbon with in their “case”. The gesture at the time seemed desperate.

Violet: Their investigation begins at the victim’s luxurious house. While they’re standing in front of huge windows, with some touches of blue on the garden chairs outside and on the paintings inside, Jane also starts his not-so-subtle plan to weaken Lisbon’s resolve, by commenting on DC. Lisbon expected no less from him and gently brushes him off. Their preoccupations are interrupted by the case when the widower makes a remarked entrance with his wife number three. He’s standing right on a Medusa mosaic: he’s claiming the spotlight. At the same time, this kind of mosaic used to symbolize protection, under a threatening appearance. Thus, it also indirectly represents Jane’s attitude towards Lisbon and his new family, as he’s been protecting them by keeping them at arms’ length. The husband is soon joined in that meaningful place by his daughter, directing the focus on the remaining family members. Although their places are reversed, that angry spouse and hurt daughter (who calls her father a “jerk” and her stepmother a “witch”) might remind of Jane’s own family, whom he got painfully separated from. Indeed, he keeps clinging to their shadows and that is what weights him down in the process of moving on. In that respect, the victim’s family sends an interesting image to Jane: like the widower in ‘Silver Wings of Time’, he has remarried -after having “hunted” their neightbor whom he suspected. And this case has been brought to the FBI attention because of a letter, just like Jane’s family murder was sealed with a letter too. The case thus sums up Jane’s life: a tragedy stoke, he hunted the responsible down. Now he only has to build a new life for himself too.

When they exit the house, Jane lets slip one of the many jab he’s planning on her future with Pike. Each of them is calculated to press on the sorest points of the relationship. He points out how unhappy the family is: adding hypocritically “I mean no disrespect to your marriage”. In a high-pitched voice –Marcus actually proposed, but she’s distressed by the idea-, Lisbon is quick to correct that she’s not getting married, which Jane refutes, commenting that moving to DC with him basically equals to getting married. He knows perfectly well that she has had deep commitment issues for years –Gregg is a prime example- and he’s planning to use her residual fears to his advantage…  Plus, she barely knows Marcus: they’ve been dating for “weeks”. Lisbon again corrects “a month”… but obviously, Jane has a point. He’s been trying to make her have doubts, not about Pike himself, but about the fragility of what she’s building with him. That’s pretty clever, but problem is Lisbon is not committing to Pike because of what she feels for the man, but because she probably wants to break free from the limbo Jane in condemning her to.

RB: A noble cause :)

Violet: Jane then makes peace by bringing up the code at the end of the mysterious letter. Yet, Lisbon is confident that if he can’t solve it, she can’t either. Here, viewers have a better glimpse at the actual content of the letter and it might ring some warning bells:

To: Chief Agent Schultz

Remember Greta De Jorio? That was me. 

To honor Greta’s memory, I will start killing again very soon and very publicly. 

And you FBI simpletons still won’t catch me. 

Ask yourselves, do you understand 

752 598 H IS M Key o. 

So, killing to honor a memory, arrogantly calling people “simpletons” in order to both insult and gaud them, making a vague but dangerous threat to set up a twisted mindgame… Whom those aspects may remind viewers of, huh?

Meanwhile, Kim and Kimball are brainstorming about the same code too. They arrive at some other suspects’ house –the victim’s partner business- only to discover two things. Firstly, there are many turquoise reminders of the episode title (the gym mat, the nearby pool, the sport clothes the partner is wearing, the sofa and chairs). That and the victim had an affair.

When they call Lisbon to inform her of the new development, she asks Jane to turn the music down. Indeed, the loud beguiling rhythmic tune that introduced Miami comes here from the car radio: it might be a hint that Jane is controlling the perception Lisbon and viewers have of the situation. The man seizes the occasion to slight again her future plans:  « an affair, of course », because relationships always seem to end up in a tragic web of betrayal. Lisbon simply asks him to stop trying to convince her not to leave to which Jane dishonestly replies that he knows that once her “mind is made up, it’s made up. For better or worse. Richer or poorer…” That allusion to marriage makes Lisbon chuckle even though she tells him it’s not funny. Instead of being as annoyed as she claims to be by him undermining her love story, without actually badmouthing Marcus, she seems more pleased and a bit flattered by the attention.

RB: She does, doesn’t she? And why not. While viewers have been privy to all of Jane’s many (romantic?) gestures at protecting Lisbon (making Hightower take it easy on her, for one) Lisbon why has always been unaware of any romantic intonations in such gestures. This is made clear in her complete surprise earlier in the season when Fisher implies that she and Jane were a couple.

Violet: And, interestingly, that’s when the case takes a more romantic road. The suspect they interrogate was supposed to have been stalking the victim, while in fact he was in love with her daughter. His romantic intentions were misunderstood, his life was “destroyed” and he ended up living in a trailer… just like Jane right now. Moreover, the setting of the interrogation, at a table in front of a trailer, and Jane’s benevolence towards the guy are a feint echo of the visit to his carny friends in ‘Red John’s Rules’, the previous season finale. Back then, that talk led them to Sean Barlow and his remark about Lisbon being “a little bit in love” with her “secretive and controlling” consultant. Is that a hint that those personality flaws might rear their ugly head again, along with a love confession?

RB: The element of time also plays a role here. The suspect says he couldn’t confess his feelings because he was eighteen and the victim’s daughter was fifteen. The timing wasn’t right. But now that she is of age nothing should hold him back. Similarly, Jane couldn’t have a relationship with Lisbon before because of the risk RJ would have posed for her. But nothing should hold him back now.

Violet: It’s also pretty touching how Jane might have in mind to play matchmaker by nudging the younger man into reuniting with his lost love. Indeed, he tells the discouraged would-be-lover that his sweetheart defended him, giving him a glimmer of hope. Then gives him the copy of the letter, probably because to try and find the killer would certainly make him look good in her book, in addition of avenging his destroyed life.

RB: It’s quite ironic. Jane keeps telling people to just be honest and tell their loved ones how they feel, but he can never seem to take his own advice.

VIS #3: the walk on the beach

Violet: Then, Jane suggests a walk on the nearby beach to his partner, insisting “come on, live a little”. When she reluctantly agrees, they find themselves walking on the sand as Jane basks in the moment and comments “this is nice. We don’t take enough time to do things like this”. He’s making plans for the future, in order to make Lisbon momentarily forget that she won’t be here anymore very soon. They are the two only people fully dressed, in dark suits at that. Lisbon’s feet are clap in flip-flaps which clash with her professional attire, underlining how awkward she’s feeling… Jane leads the game: when he senses she’s not as content to relax as he is, he brings up the code again. He’s getting her defenses to lower by keeping a professional pretext to cover up for their off work moment.

Indeed, the ocean has always had a healing power for Jane, from ‘Red Tide’ with one of his most carefree moments, to the beginning of closure he got in ‘Blood and Sand’ and finally  his retreat on the Venezuelan island. But this present scene is also a reply to the hug in the sunset in ‘Fire and Brimstone’: then, he was leaving her alone and distraught, now she’s the one planning to depart. And he half vocalized his feelings for her, all the while planning to use her emotional response to trick her to get RJ… now, the situation is reversed: he’s using a case as a façade to convince her to stay for personal reasons. He’s desperately trying to mend his errors without acknowledging them.

RB: I also felt that the walk was a subliminal message to Lisbon; Jane wants her to remember the hug, how he confessed how important she is to him and just have that be enough for her to stay. More desperation.

Violet: Jane reads her the message aloud: he wants her to solve the code. The words “do you” catch her attention: it’s a play on sounds with the “Dewey” system used in libraries to classify books –a subtle nods to the many book references in the course of the series. He helps her with the rest of the message and exclaims “you solved it”. “It’s a date” at the Blue Bird Lodge with the killer, but it gets clear very soon that what he’s planning is a “date” alright, but one of a more amorous nature, between an unaware Teresa and him… Patrick stresses his point when he sees how happy she is to have cracked the case, by making her admit that she wouldn’t be in Washington right now: “you’re kidding, I wouldn’t miss it for the world”.  Their smiles show that this is a little victory for each of them, but what they have in mind right now is very different.

RB: This is where I started getting very, very annoyed. I remembered Lisbon once playfully, yet seriously telling Jane “Don’t patronize me”. That fact that she didn’t realize that is what he was doing here showed how deeply she was taken in by Jane’s act.

Lisbon and Jane at the Blue Bird Lodge

Violet: In the “Islamorada”, the setting is heavily romantic. The Blue Bird Lodge is a luxury hotel with the same turquoise hues that have been scattered in the rest of the episode. Jane is eager to pay for two expensive rooms, very, very close to each other, arguing that “it could be our last… err…”. He also was generous enough to make diner reservations. Evening attire is preferred, so an enchanted Lisbon finds herself with three evening dresses on the bed in her charming flowery room.

RB: More shallowness that had me practically livid. I was literally scowling at the screen the whole time because I couldn’t believe that Jane (and Heller) was simplifying their whole relationship and hoping to bring it to the next level by giving Lisbon a Cinderella moment. Thankfully, just as Lisbon was conned by Jane, I was conned by Heller. The superficial facade was a deliberate choice to highlight the insanely real emotions these two characters have, as shown later on…

Violet: Her happiness at seeing the beautiful dresses contrasts with her dismay in ‘Violets’ when he forced her in skimpy outfits. While the difference can be explained by her getting used to wearing sexy dresses for her dates with Marcus, it’s obvious that what has touched her now is the thoughtfulness of Jane’s grand gesture. She thinks it isn’t part of a scheme or an undercover work; they’re for her pleasure only and he’s left in her hands the ultimate choice of dressing instead of imposing his tastes. The green lacy one reminds of his compliment early in S1 that the color enhanced her eyes. the pink one is a discreet echo to the bridesmaid in ‘Strawberry and Cream’. the white one looks like a classier version of her girlfriend attire in ‘Violets’.

Violet: In the next room, Jane is sitting on the bed by the phone, eagerly expecting her call. He’s delighted to hear her thank him, even though she tells him it’s “too much”. He’s happy that she’s happy. He has engineered every detail to sweep her off her feet. But things start to turn sour when the gets called again: his sultry “helloooo…” is cut short when the receptionist tells him that Abbott and Cho are here. They’re unknowingly interrupting his seduction plans and Cho asks “how is the food here?” meaning that they’ll be imposing on their date as well.

RB: It’s a very funny moment. And those of us who still didn’t realize the extent of Jane’s con might have questioned Jane’s miffed reaction at their appearance.

VIS #4: the diner and its aftermath

Violet: While Jane is visibly disappointed by their interference, he grudgingly takes it in stride and the three men are soon sitting in the dining area. The mood has definitely changed as Cho comments that there are “no hamburgers”, effectively shooting down the romantic vibe their consultant had carefully set up.

Yet, Jane’s spirits are lifted when he sees Lisbon walking down the stairs, clad in the strapless form fitting coral pink dress. Her choice may or not be revealing of her hidden thoughts as well of her cleavage… she’s chosen the dress that echoed the one he more strongly reacted to (he couldn’t take his eyes off her in the ill-fitting bridesmaid dress) and he proved in ‘Violets’ that he was not adverse to outfits with ample plunging necklines…  Is she consciously aiming to knock his socks off?

RB: I think it was just a matter of taste, to be honest. Lisbon chose a similar dress, albeit a black one in episode “More than a Price of Rubies” which might be another reason why she was happy with the dresses. Jane chose a style he knew she liked as she had worn it before. The fact that she also heads to the front desk asking to buy a bathrobe for boyfriend Marcus also shows that despite the romantic surroundings she has in no way forgotten him.

Violet: Anyway, Jane is mesmerized and his goofy smile hints that every amorous intention in him has not been extinguished by his coworkers’ inopportune presence…

Unfortunately, that’s precisely when Lisbon is told by the hotel employee that she gets the bathrobe for free, as part of the package Jane booked for them a week ago! even though the FBI only received the threatening letter that led them to the hotel two days later… Lisbon is understandably livid and confronts him in front of a stoic but disapproving Cho and a very embarrassed Abbott. He admitted that he wrote the letter: the whole case was his big scheme to make her stay. The attempts at gently talk her out of moving were only aimed at distracting her from the real plan… She calls him a “son of a bitch”, throws water to his face and stomps to her room. Left with two speechless male agents, Jane gets up and hurries to go talk to her.

RB: No words can be used to describe how good this scene was. Having the superficial con blow up in Jane’s face was brilliant. It’s a classic “Jane is an idiot” moment but the consequences are worse than anything he has faced before: losing Lisbon. To a casual observer the drink in the face might seem pedantic but regular viewers will remember how Jane himself did the exact same thing to a fellow idiot in love (Crimson Casanova). And even if it didn’t, the acting was something romantic comedies can only dream of pulling off. And while Jane left the table, the other two remain to set the stage for another great scene…

Violet: Back in her room, Lisbon has already changed in her own clothes and called a taxi to the airport. Jane knocks, asking her to “please open the door”. It’s both an echo to the scene at Lisbon’s doorstep two episodes ago, as well as a feint reminder of how Jane’s road through hell to a new life started in front of another bedroom door many years ago. Now, this is Jane’s occasion to tell Lisbon what is in his heart and that he couldn’t get out after Pike opened the front door of her house. At the same time, he wants to open the last door to moving on.

He thus starts “I’m sorry that I’ve tricked you. I just…”, but his strength fails him when she barks from the other side of the closed door “you just what, Jane, what were you doing?” As he explains that he didn’t want her to leave, she replies angrily “you don’t give a damn about what I want or need. I’m just a convenience to you. It’s always about you. You used a woman’s murder, Jane. You basically dug her corpse up for this crap”. She blurts out the more coldly accurate assessment about his character that she ever expressed: he’s so twisted up that he has no idea how to act like a decent human being, no idea. The truth of her words hurt him to the point that Jane is reduced to repeat “I’m sorry, ok. I’m sorry”. She then orders him to go away and leave her alone. Her last words to him, the last goodbye she’s planning to give him is « I know you’re here. I can hear you breathing. Leave me alone”.

This speech enlightens her worst and most secret fears in the years she’s known him: she’s always suspected that he was not only manipulative and controlling, but also that he never cared about her. He just used her, her protective instincts and her growing affection for him to get what he wanted from her, like in the sunset scene. That was already hinted at in the final for the first season, when she called him of his dangerous behavior with Sheriff Hardy: he didn’t realize that people cared for him… then it got worse, since the more obvious her feelings were, the more prone he was to use them… Those doubts probably only grew during his two years absence, to explode in her outburst in the airplane in ‘Green Thumb’; they finally found a way out when Pike started giving her the attention she convinced herself she couldn’t get from Jane. And now, this last attempt at getting her by his side only backfired in comforting her in the idea that he has no feelings for her or for her happiness: he’s only willing to keep her in a deceptively golden cage to his pleasure as an amusing but helpless little bird, singing only when he allows her to.

RB: You’ve analyzed it beautifully, Violet. I just want to add that Lisbon telling Jane she can hear him breathing is another reference to episode Strawberries and Cream where they just remained listening to each other breathing over the phone after Lisbon got shot. Also, possibly to when Jane drowned and stopped breathing in episode Fugue in Red. In both cases it was proof of life. So it’s quite telling to how anguished Lisbon is here that she wants it (Jane) to go away. Also, I think part of the reason why Jane couldn’t say anything here is because, to an extent, what Lisbon has said is absolutely true. Jane has used her in the past, but what he doesn’t realize is that Lisbon would probably gladly be used if she thought Jane also loved her. Some things are worth putting up with for love…which, in all reality is the only proof we’ve ever gotten that Lisbon loves Jane even if she never knew it: she’s been putting up with him all these years.

Violet: In her spite, Lisbon decides on a whim to take drastic measures. She calls Pike and tells him « let’s get married ». Pike’s answer is to yell « Yeees!!! ». How very romantic… No talks about love, feelings or happily ever after:  it shows again his lack of skills in the dreamy area. Plus the guy just keeps talking about her flight, how much she will enjoy DC and restaurants in the area, while she doesn’t listen and his voice fades into background noise. She’s only got further and further again in her relationship with him in reaction to her failures with Jane. It’s fitting, somehow, since she was the one to make the first step towards him in ‘Violets’, after she couldn’t spend time with an asleep Jane in the empty house, when she came to see him in a skimpy nightgown with equivocal intentions… All in all, Pike’s greatest quality is to be willing to give her what Jane doesn’t, commitment, care, love and to be here for her: he likes her as a person, for herself, instead of just using her in a scheme.

RB: In all honesty, how can Lisbon refuse him?  Lisbon is modest to a fault and without proof of how Jane really feels about her, she has no reason to.

Violet: Meanwhile, the talk between Abbott and Cho give us insight in how witnesses analyse the situation the no-longer partners find themselves in. Abbot is irritated that Jane lied to him. Cho is only surprised at the intensity of Lisbon’s reaction: “it’s weird how mad she got…. He buried a man alive and she wasn’t nearly as angry as this.” His boss is in wonder at his obliviousness: “really? You don’t know why?”

Cho alluding to ‘Red Rover, Red Rover’ is interesting, because the burying alive draws an interesting parallel with Lisbon accusing Jane of metaphorically digging the victim’s corpse up. In both cases, the restless consultant used a case in a bigger plan: then it was to make believe he was having a break-down in order to lure RJ in. That led to “giving him his heart’s desire” in ‘The Crimson Hat’ which ended in him blurting a love confession to his friend. Here, he’s taking the same type of action by feigning indifference to make her stay: he’s giving her the appearance of what she wants too. This similarity underlines that a big part of him refuses to progress and clutches to the same deceptive methods. The tragedy which motivated this first course of action still weights him down and the fear of committing his heart again pushes him into avoiding making his feelings known.

Later, Abbott still tries to make Cho see the tender aspect hidden in the depths of their complex relationship. The discared bottle of wine on the nearby table hints that it was a long talk. Cho remains unconvinced: “they are like brother and sister, there’s no way”. It’s funny how his opinion contrasts with Wayne’s take on it in the bar. Cho looks like the only person who never wondered how deep those feelings run, since Abbott, Kim and Wiley admitted to have wondered about them getting involved at some point, while Rigsby and Van Pelt had been cheering for them from afar. Moreover, in all the years they worked together, many have hinted at suspecting something too: Pike, Bosco, Haffner, Stiles, Lorelei, Barlow, RJ among others… Therefore, as surprising as Cho’s lack of insight is, it’s probably more an inside joke than an acknowledgment to his stoic and pragmatic character. Indeed, the sibling comment was used in an interview to describe the relationship between the two characters a few years ago and it is well known for being an argument for the fans who didn’t want them to end up as a couple. Bruno Heller is therefore giving viewers the amused and amusing gift of witnessing an argument between shippers and anti-shippers on screen. He’s easing people into accepting that things are steadily progressing towards this goal: when Cho suggested at first that they should check on them, Abbott firmly refused, maybe for fear of catching them in a compromising situation. As the “sibling” issue is addressed along with the romantic part, an acknowledged more sexual component is too slowly making its way into the picture.

RB: It was a great scene and I liked it’s continuity to Cho previously saying he never thought about them like that because “my head would explode” as well to his saying “Yeah, right” when Rigsby brought up his hopes of a relationship between the two to Jane. Cho’s straight-forwardness and unromantic nature makes him the perfect conveyer of the non-shipper’s perspective.

VIS #5: Jane drinks in his room

But for now, Jane is having a drunken pity party in his room. The TV display a view of the ocean: he’s created himself the same mindless hiding place he had in ‘My Blue Heaven’. Like then, his separation from Lisbon makes him even lonelier; he’s getting intoxicated on self-hatred and the oblivion provided by alcohol while being soothed by the sea. Suddenly, the victim’s husband’s lawyer barges in the room with a gun: he was the secret lover and came kill the murderer in a “so romantic” gesture. Jane only tells him to sit down and have a drink while waiting for the killer to show up, only explaining that he’s here because of a “long and sad story”. Another drinking buddy arrives in the person of the daughter’s admirer. The kid too “came to seek revenge”. Jane provides him with a mini-bottle from the mini-bar too, muttering to himself “shouldn’t have left clues so easy”.

The backstories of both men match his own: those three lonely souls have lost the women they loved. And the victim’s family absence is telling: neither the widower nor the daughter showed up, because their anger was directed towards the living remaining relatives, not towards useless regrets. Hence they didn’t dwell on the fake letter like the others did. Deep down they had moved on with their lives, a thing Jane’s clinging to his feeling of loss has keeping him to do. His new friends share that trait, since the lawyer starts recounting his tragic affair. That love story was the best thing that happened to him but he cowardly put an end to it and by the time he realized his mistake, she was gone. Those words string a chord in Jane’s mind… He probably realizes that as Abbott pointed out, he made the mistake of believing his own con about hiding behind the safe façade of friendship. Like the other man, his fear and self-hatred prevented him from grasping his chance at happiness when it was offered to him.

He gets up with the intention of rushing to the airport, but is stopped at the door by the real killers, the business partners Cho and Kim interrogated. In a funny moment, Jane tries to get rid of them, by convincing them to escape, while using his sleight of hand to send a text to his coworkers (a somewhat unhelpful “SOZ” instead of SOS) while distracting them by dropping his FBI ID. When it looks like his messy plan is working, the kid pulls out his gun. Poor Jane is unwillingly caught in this chaotic yet amusing development but is saved by Cho and Abbott. His getting back in touch with his more “decent human” and caring side shows when he reassures the injured parties that they’re fine, “it’s just a flesh wound”. He then convinces Abbott, in whom he might have recognized his more tender-hearted ally in his romantic pursuit, to give him his car keys and speeds to the airport, sirens blazing…

Like he did when Lisbon was taken by RJ after they had a fight, he tries to call her by phone: “please, call me”. The poor man is only leaving her those anxious messages when their relation is falling apart: back then, she was angry at him too and had straightened things up by yelling that she was his boss so he couldn’t give her orders. Now, the issue has gone more personal: the real heart of the matter between them is out in the open.

In that sense, ‘Blue Bird’ is the counterpart to ‘My Blue Heaven’ since in both episodes, Jane has come to a pivotal realization about himself and decided to step out of  his comfort zone in order not to end up alone and loveless. His awareness was provoked by two counter-models foreshadowing the person he could see himself slipping into. In the island it was the lonely and hazy drunkard at the bar, now it’s the heartbrocken lawyer, a character the many attorneys brought to attention recently have prepared viewers for. Jane tries to avoid their fate by reaching out of his comforting limbo for her. Like she has been since that distant past in ‘Red Dawn’, she’s again his saving grace.

Birds are definitely the symbol of hope, like they were when he managed to make Lorelei “sing like a bird” and when he used the pigeon RJ was so afraid of…

RB: And while Lisbon might represent Jane’s salvation, I can’t help but think that the bird here is Jane, finally getting the courage to fly.

VIS #6: on the plane 

That aspect represented by the blue bird is again alluded to by the agents from the TSA dressed in turquoise at the airport. There is also a poster about the Florida, “the Conch Republic’ at the airport as a nod to the gift and the letters Jane has been sending her when he was away (thanks to RoseUK for pointing it out): back then too he loved her and was reaching out for her. But Jane cannot get past the flight attendants and has to sneak to get to the coveted jet where his beloved is sitting. He even hurts his ankle by jumping off a fence but hurriedly limps to the plane. He knocks on its already closed door yelling “let me in”. The semi-circular red security warning on it reminds a tiny little bit of RJ’s trademark smiley (like seconds later the yellow stripped shirt with a tiger on it worn by a passenger is a discreet nod): in the limbo he’s locked himself in, this is the last door standing between him and life

After reassuring the flight attendant that “nothing is wrong, it’s just a routine check”, he joins a very surprised Lisbon and proceeds to make a show of himself in front of the other people who witness his very impassionate speech: “you’re right. I’ve forgotten how to be a normal human being. And I, I play games and I trick people to avoid the truth about how I feel.” The mention of feelings has Lisbon finally looking up at him. That precise moment, with Jane pouring his heart while a speechless Lisbon listens to him comes full circle with the plane scene in ‘Green Thumb’, which placed their interactions under a new light because of her distrust that he’s just controlling her life and her deep-seated fear about him not caring enough not to leave her again. Here, Jane is frantically trying to mend that gap that led them both to heartbreak.

He explains: “if there’s someone close to me, it’s terrifying for obvious reasons. The truth, Teresa is that… I can’t imagine waking up knowing I won’t see you. The truth is… I love you. Wheww! You can’t imagine how good it is to say it out loud…” The former well-known conman keeps stressing out that it’s the truth even if it scares him but for Lisbon it’s “too late”… Jane simply replies that he understands, she deserved to hear it anyway and, while the security agents get him out, he keeps yelling “I love you, Teresa. And it makes me happy to be able to say that to you”, then, as he gets away with his hands raised up as he was being arrested, he repeats “I love you; I love her. That woman on 12b, I love her. You take care of her”.

For once, his selflessness and lack of tricks contrast with Pike’s pushy courting and hurried proposal. Jane talks more about feelings than relationship status. He doesn’t demand anything, he just confesses because she deserves to hear it (and he finally admits he deserves telling her too). What he offers her is therefore implicitly serious, without needing to tell it with words like Marcus did, because his feelings are more binding than anything else.

RB: Yes. Because all the glamor in the world can never top what Lisbon craves to have from Jane: simple, raw honesty. And she finally got it. Nothing can be more powerful than the con-man finally finally! telling the whole complete unblemished truth.

Violet: This freeing admission shows how much people seek and achieve closure in this episode. Lisbon’s underlying fears are put to rest and she gets the attention and love she deserves. The victim’s case is closed and her lover gets to be recognized for her significant other by talking about it. As for Jane, he gets to accept that he wants to move on from his mourning half-existence. Expressing his anguish about losing another loved one and alluding to his family allows him to put that blindingly painful part of him behind. On this path he’s been travelling since the beginning of the show, this final decisive step takes him in the open. He’s in the light, at the center of the attention when he blurts out meaning words that seal his fate, like he did on that TV show when he caught RJ’s attention. He then can resume living again, whatever Lisbon decides about him: he accepted endangering his heart again. He’s ready to want more from life than a couch and a friend he loved from afar.

RB: As is Lisbon. Her decision to move to DC came out of her own growth, her own realization that she deserved more too. It served as a catalyst for Jane to finally confess not just his love for her, but to himself. That, despite all his flaws, he deserves to love and be loved. Despite his apparent ego he’s always doubted his self-worth. Perhaps, without Lisbon’s imminent departure setting these events in motion, they might have never reached this point.

Jane: Taking in the emotional release provided by her former consultant, Lisbon is crying and apologizes to the other passengers, telling them that it was embarrassing. The kind older woman on her right gently tells her “every woman in the plane is green with envy”.

RB: It’s interesting to see Lisbon hiding behind “embarrassment” as the reason for her tears. But then, what else can she say to a complete stranger? There’s just so much history I doubt even she doesn’t know how long she has waited to hear these words from Jane.

VIS #7: the happy ending 

Violet: Later, Abbott and Kim’s talk inform viewers that Jane is held in TSA custody because “they don’t like people messing with their planes. Don’t like it at all”. Indeed, the man himself is seen sitting forlornly in a lonely cell. The setting with the chairs facing each other on either sides of a functional table, with one of the walls of the cell replaced by a huge window reminds of the interrogations room Jane and Lisbon have been using for years.

RB: His injured foot is also resting on a chair, adding more to his awkward and vulnerable state.

Violet: It’s therefore a pretty fitting environment for what the woman has in mind: as Lisbon enters the room, Jane is startled to recognize her. After a tentative chit-chat about him always getting in pickles, he remarks quite uselessly that she’s not left for DC. But she cuts right to the main question: “did you mean what you said?” He answers, “yes I did…  Just to be clear you’re talking about pickles right?” Lisbon corrects him “no, the other thing”: “this is not joking matter” after all.

RB: Tunny was fabulous here. Lisbon is as “cool and calm” as ever despite the earth shattering confession. She has to ask again, she has to make sure.

Violet: And, instead of avoiding answering like he did after his very first confession in ‘The Crimson Hat’, Jane mans up and stands for “every” word he uttered. She soberly enlightens him about her side of the equation: it’s “good because I feel the same way”, to which Jane beams and only comments “that’s lucky”.

RB: And Baker was fantastic here. Despite Lisbon’s so called predictability, Jane wasn’t sure of how she felt. Like her. Which makes the truth ever so beautiful.

Violet: They’re both keeping their emotions in check with minimalist lines, which makes their talk all the more powerful. Behind the light tone and the bantering, they’re actually engaging in a very serious and meaningful life decision. So, when Jane asks “what about Pike”, she simply replies that “he’ll understand”. Ironically, those were the same words Marcus used to reassure her that Jane will let her go. Talk about comeuppance for dismissing a situation he has been trying to ignore…

But Lisbon has not come this far for his half-joking talk. She’s in control of this poignant interrogation and gently orders him to “say it again”. The banter gets flirtier as Jane playfully asks “say what again?” He then gives her an intense look and gets up as the music changes to the tune playing when he made up his mind to get her: he bends over the desk and kisses her… while the guard protests and yells at them to stop that.

As Jane had to take of his shoe because of his ankle, he symbolically assumed his choice too. For years, those old shoes represented the path he was walking on. He was uncomfortable taking them off and they were the very first thing seen of him in the island. They helped him run when he came to turning points, like chasing McAllister or keeping Lisbon from leaving. Which forced him to relinquish them as he came to the end of the road: he willingly chose life and love over death.

RB: Lisbon has come a long way too. For years she’s kept Jane (and everyone else, really) at arms length hiding behind her professionalism. Here, she doesn’t even care that the guard is looking at them, trying to get them to stop. Our babies have finally grown up!

Violet: In insight, the whole scheme set up by Jane was a nice call back to the famous line from season 1 « I’ll never seduce you over a meal. That would be sophomoric”. Indeed, not only was that basically what Jane had planned, but it was also part of a worse project: he wanted to seduce her over a gruesome case, then he managed to get her over the most cliché public confession ever. But it turns out to be rather fitting, because he finally won her over a con, over public embarrassment and over being interrogated in a holding cell. All in all, it sums up their entire work relationship, while the action he finally took –running- contrasts with the limbo of him lying down on his couch or before that in his makeshift bed in his attic.

Which brings the question: to what extent was he willing to go to convince her to stay? We can guess he was aiming for a kind of “empty glamor” manoeuver: a romantic setting, a date like in that Italian restaurant, adding a bit of suggestive spice with the fact that they were staying in the room next door… He was letting her have fun: she would miss him already and the undermining of a blander life with Pike would serve to enlighten the joy she found in spending time with him. He was playinga part, like he did in that dream house he created in ‘Violets’. In that sense, this Blue Bird plan has been his last undercover gig before the truth came out… After all, that was what he did all those years: he kept things professional between them (“don’t break up the team”), while feeding her crumbs of affection to get her to stay. And it worked so far. In an ideal world, they would have been hiding in one of the adjoining rooms for the killer to show up (like they did several times, at the morgue or in empty houses…). But the look on his face when he saw her coming to him in that dress also indicates that he would not have hesitated to up his game to having sex with her if his original plan had not satisfied her romantic needs.

RB: I don’t think it would have gone that far; Lisbon was still thinking about Pike enough to buy him a robe and Jane knows her enough to know she’d never cheat on him. Probably he just wanted to send her tacit messages on what could be between them and hope that would be enough.

Violet: On the other hand, Lisbon was also playing him in a way, albeit she’s been more honest: she had half joked not so long ago that one of these days, she might surprise him and she certainly shook in this episode the predictable comfy image he pretended to love so much. He was shocked by the news that she was leaving, he was left speechless when he saw her in her dress then devastated while hearing her outburst through the closed door. Then he was incredulous and happy when she entered the holding cell. Things have gotten more balanced between them: he was the one who went after her (after leaving her on that cliff in ‘Fire and Brimstone’) and the one who cleaned his own mess. And she finally got to make the final decision.

Last but not least, it’s visible that this episode was written for fans, as a thank-you gift and a conclusion to Jane’s story –the seven season was yet to be confirmed then. That’s why no meaningful moment stayed private, contrary to the usual handling of every other revealing scene between Jane and his (now life) partner. Cho saw how distraught he was when he learnt about her moving to DC; he and Abbott witnessed their failed date and the outburst it caused; Abbott let him borrow his keys because he knew what Jane was going to do. The entire plane watched the very public confession and the guard saw them kiss. Their love is no longer a secret and, like in the scene when Abbott and Cho were debating its very reality, all those characters were incarnations of the audience. As every fan could thus have the impression that they were included in the storyline, it was a very thoughtful present indeed… Thank you, Mr Heller, it was a fun ride. Looking forward to the “encore”.

RB: Amen! Thanks also to the entire cast and crew and the fans! You make this show even more fun to watch and I’m proud to be part of this community. Thanks for sticking with us. See you next season :)

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Mentalist Black Hearts Review


Synopsis

After Cho (Kang) and Abbott (Rockmond Dunbar) find the corpses of three victims whose organs have been harvested, during their investigation on a human traffic ring, Jane (Baker) and Fischer (Emily Swallow) are called to the disturbing crime scene. Meanwhile, Lisbon (Tunney) is still struggling to make a decision concerning following her boyfriend to DC.

Concise Verdict

With ‘Black Hearts’, star writers Ken Woodruff and David Applebaum close the case of missing girls started in ‘Brown-Eyed Girls’, the second arc in TM 2.0 after the case involving Haibach’s revenge on former CBI members. And, like then, Jane also reaches a new -and this time depressing- stage in his murky emotional situation. Indeed, while the maddening man still couldn’t bring himself to actually do something regarding Lisbon’s possible departure, both she and her boyfriend take the initiative of making decisions. Jane keeps being passive regarding Lisbon, whereas Pike comes across as more straightforward than ever and tries again to rush his relationship in the most frustrating way. On the other hand, the case is pretty predicable, but rather carefully crafted and made deeper by a rather intriguing symbolism and some obvious efforts to give their villain more substance. The pleasure of the two leading characters pulling an amusing con together and the team members getting to fill smoothly their designated roles (boss, supportive coworkers and eager rookie) come together to make this episode, which could have been the last one before the ultimate conclusion of Jane’s story, a rather coherent yet odd combo.

Detailed AKA Humungous Review (spoilers galore)

VIS #1: the opening scene

Right away, the title ‘Back Hearts’ is explained both by the harvested organs of the poor girls and the cruelty of what’s been done to them –both points being emphasised by the black little heart drawn on Daniela’s hand, which served to mark her as a unwilling donor too…

Jane’s attitude is respectful and affected by that turn of events. He even mentions a “cup of tea” in passing, which reveals that he needs comforting in front of the horrifying sight. Plus, the bodies were actually discovered at the end of ‘Il Tavolo Bianco’, meaning that the episode starts during the same night. In other words, Jane is still under the defeated influence of his failed attempt at talking to Lisbon while eating cannoli together. Indeed, Lisbon is not here, just like she was late at the crime scene when she started dating Marcus: it again hints at the growing importance of her personal life. Plus, he’s showing vulnerability while glancing at the young woman’s face, like he did when he witnessed the other one dying in ‘Brown-Eyed Girls’: like then, his deep empathy also reflects his powerlessness and his feeling of abandonment in front of Lisbon’s new life (she had accused him of interrupting her date back then).

Either because Abbott remarked Jane’s subdued behaviour and worries about it or because he thought Jane might have a hunch, he starts asking the consultant about the case. Jane gloomily answers that he thinks there are many more dead girls. It’s interesting that, true to his name, Abbott is once again willing to play the part of Jane’s confessor. He tries to get Jane to talk about the case, just like he approached him about Lisbon’s decision to leave Austin –telling him then that conmen’s downfall often involved them starting to believe their own cons- and about the date-like dinner he set up in the previous episode. May it be about Lisbon or about the gruesome case, he’s the one who helps Jane into shedding a bit more light on his feelings to viewers…

VIS #2: Lisbon on a job interview

Back in the office, Lisbon is brought to attend to a webcam job interview with a potential new boss in DC. Abbott is present as her current leader and Pike is here too. Marcus is actually the contact who hunted the job for her, yet his presence in Abbott’s office makes him look omnipresent in her life. She spends her time off with him, he’s taking her to lunch or to late take-out dinner while she works and now he finds a way to get into her job itself too, even when he’s not directly needed on a case…

Moreover, his proposition seems even more pressing since the silver-winged flying time is again alluded to by the hourglass on Abbott’s desk (filmed under different angles during the whole interview)… Lisbon’s answer to the enthusiastic job offer echoes that notion: “that sounds great. I just need some time to think about it”.

Abbott gives her his professional opinion when the meeting has ended: he remarks that it’s a great deal, but obviously he’s far from happy to have one of his agents leave the team –the dark look he discreetly sends to Marcus during the interview is pretty eloquent. In the most recent episodes, he tried to confront both her and Jane about the situation they’re getting themselves in: he asked her if Jane knew that she might leave when she informed him of her possible departure and he kept pushing Jane to get her to stay. Dennis seems to like Jane as a person, given how well they get along in their many undercover gigs, but he’s also probably fully aware that Jane’s efficiency in the field might suffer from her absence. Jane is an investment of sorts: he too made a great deal with the FBI. Abbott, the man who coldly and calmly closed down the CBI before hunting Jane through South America, might want to keep his “golden boy” as happy and useful as possible. Eons ago Jane remarked to Hightower who had the same kind of logic, that if Lisbon was unhappy, he was less happy: the same goes here, because if his moral compass/anchor fails him, he may very well let his life go downhill. After all, when she wasn’t here to tell him to shred off his homeless vibe, he ended up basically a beach bum…

Unfortunately but as expected, Pike is not as understanding. He bluntly tells her « I’ve been patient » as soon as they exited the office. There’s obviously a shifting in his behavior, since until now he’s been putting off the appearance of the supportive boyfriend who would wait for her to decide whether or not she wanted to follow him, all the while attempting to subtly influence her. Now, he’s trying to pressure her more openly, even though he still wants to make himself look good: as always, only his qualities are brought on, may them be his honestly and inability to lie, his willingness to be here for her, or now his supposed patience. He plays on every aspect of her life: he’s half-forced her to perceive their fresh relationship as something serious, before making her watch movies involving love triangles. On the professional aspect, he’s been finding her a job. He’s methodically trying to eliminate every counter-argument she might have against moving to DC with him. Implicitly, he’s controlling her, telling her “it’s a great decision, but it’s a decision you need to make”, a phrasing that hints that he’s already chosen for her, she only needs to say the words.

That’s the moment Jane chooses to intrude on them and the shifting is also perceptible on his part: while he seemed half-apologetic before when he interrupted them (going even as far as asking her to text “Jane says hi” to the other man), he now curtly announces his presence with a rather cold greeting « Hello Lisbon. Pike». The awkward moment sums up the situation perfectly: a hesitant Lisbon is caught up between her pushy boyfriend and Jane who’s always lurking in the background of their relationship. Is this coldness an indication that Jane has decided to take matters into his own hands after his failed attempt at bringing her dessert late at night? Anyway, every member of their little tangled trio is now openly aware of the antagonism between the two males, as Jane has showed his hand by coming to her house –even if he ended up telling her that he wanted her to be happy.

Afterwards, while Lisbon and Jane investigate their prime suspect Ridley –whom viewers already know to be the ringleader since the end of ‘Brown-Eyed Girls’- Jane’s inner tension is still palpable. He keeps poking the suspect, remarking on the soberness of his office and wondering about every answer the other man gives them “What’s so boring about details,” indeed?

VIS #3: Lisbon asks Cho for advice

Confronted to such a lack of answers from her pushy lover and her slippery friend, Lisbon turns to the most immutable person in her life, her blunt former second-in-command Cho. The stoic agent recalls how he almost quitted in the first day in her team… because of Rigsby. But then he saw the way she worked and that convinced him to stay. While the memories are obviously fond ones –made even funnier since Wayne actually become his inseparable buddy- the fact remains that he stayed for her. Just like Jane, actually, who came back for her and, before, who tried to make it up to her after wanting to quit when Bosco took over the case in S2. It shows the influence she had on the people around her, both as a team leader and as a person. Plus, the allusion to Rigsby hints that she should not make an hasty decision either: it reminds the viewer that Cho’s already lost a close friend to work with and therefore would be pretty unwilling to let her go too, even if he points out that it’s a great job offer. Plus, it implicitly indicates that she’s leaving because of Jane –like Cho almost did because of Wayne-, or rather his inability to make a move, while he should be her reason to stay –since Cho’s partnership with the taller agent actually became one of the highlights of working for the CBI. On the other hand, Cho’s respect also reminds viewers that Lisbon used to be his boss: Jane’s revenge cost her a most promising career. Even now that she’s working for the FBI, she’s only a subordinate. Marcus is offering an opportunity to remedy to that loss.

Talking about Wayne, it’s interesting that Lisbon asks advice from Cho, since Rigsby was eager to give advice to Jane about getting together with Lisbon… As he did at the bar in ‘White As The Driven Snow’, Cho is more reserved. He obviously takes sides with Lisbon as the whole team used to do in the most recent years. He concludes: “whatever decision you make, it’s been an honor” before hugging her. While Lisbon is happy that he holds her in such high regard, she obviously never realized the impact she had on her team members… like she probably doesn’t know how deep Jane’s affection for her runs.

Later, it’s Kim’s turn to chime in. She simply asks where Jane is to Lisbon, adding that they always work together. Lisbon’s reply is a dry “not always”. Like when Abbott tried to poke into her complicated relation with the blond consultant, she closes off… Obviously, this choice of topic is painful for her.

VIS #4: Jane and the ringleader

Interestingly, most of Jane’s investigation quickly revolves around Ridley. He tries to create with the man a friendlier bond. That starts by meeting him again in his house. There’s a startling contrast between the very functional office and the carefully decorated luxury house, which already hints that the man has a double life.

Soon, the team locates a witness: the foul Dr Lark, whom they suspect actually killed the girls and removed their organs. After Cho and Kim saved him from the bomb Ridley ordered his henchman Tremmel to put on his car, he starts singing like the bird he’s named after… He admits to killing the women painlessly because he needed the money and Ridley paid well. When asked about the moral aspect of his actions, he just says that it bothered him to kill, but after a while stopped thinking about it. Still, this amorality is somewhat compensated by the fact that he commits suicide in his cell once Tremmel threatened his daughter.

Indeed, Lark was not strong enough to fight the evil association he was working for. Many details subtly fleshed up its threatening presence through the episode: the words “hunter of the rocky seashore” and “predatory” visible in the background when Cho and Kim went interrogating a suspect at a museum; the reference to Caesar brought in by Tremmel’s tattoo (the famous “veni, vidi, vici”, “I came, I saw, I conquered” that the imperator used to describe one of his military victory. The very brief line puts emphasis on the rapidity of the action, which might be a way to hint again at the flying time theme). This reference to the Roman general is further enlightened by the horses used in decoration, both in Ridley’s house (on a lamp visible when he’s talking on the phone with Tremmel) and on ambassador Moreno’s desk when Cho interrogates him over the phone too (a book end shaped like a horse head). Along with the panther sculpture visible in the same scene, those details reinforce the idea that this new association is very well organized, powerful and predatory. They’re a force to be reckoned with and Lark as a inoffensive bird was bound to die by getting close to them: they only preyed on his weaknesses.

When Jane corners Ridley alone in a parking lot, both men have a very intriguing talk. Ridley remarks that “it’s just business”, adding coldly “personally, I didn’t kill anyone”. He goes as far as explaining to Jane -whom he seems to consider as a kindred spirit- that his traffic serves to “save important leaders”. Jane grudgingly admits “I understand your perspective, very well”. Ridley replies: “come on, it’s just us. If anyone could understand our perspective, it’s you.” Without the shadow of a doubt, the shady businessman is alluding to Jane’s past: he’s aware of Jane’s ambiguity, his determination to achieve his goal no matter what the cost or how many people get hurt or killed in the process… Plus, his assessment sadly echoes Jane’s less than glorious moments, for instance his dismissing of Haibach when Kirkland kidnapped and tortured him because he thought the man’s life wasn’t precious enough. Lisbon disagreed then because she’s a better person than he is: quite disturbingly, Ridley is applying the same careless logic to his criminal activities than Jane has been to his quest for justice and revenge… Still, that was before Jane came to a more peaceful state of mind, because his sympathy in this case lies with the victims; he’s not as cold as he was back then.

Therefore, the whole talk has shades of RJ’s attempts to gain Jane’s attention and friendship: indeed both the serial killer and Ridley are cold-blooded criminals who think they’re superior and that they have the right to choose who is worth living. They’ve been targeting harmless women and Ridley, like McAllister, has been threatening a daughter for her father’s faults. Even the marks they put on their respective victims are quite similar in their innocuous appearance: a smiley face, made gruesome by the fact that it was drawn in blood vs. a little heart-shaped drawing with a horrid meaning… But Jane is no longer like them: he admitted to RJ that he’s “nobody”. He’s gained a humility that the two others lack. That doesn’t stop Jane from replying courteously to Ridley’s wish for him to have a lovely afternoon with a rather pensive “sure, you too”.

Jane and Lisbon (don’t) talk it out

Meanwhile, Jane finds another kind of opponent when the investigation provides Lisbon with a new opportunity to try to clear things out between them, but to not avail. Actually, there are three decisive moments in this silent gentle battle of wills he’s having with his beloved partners.

1) Firstly, when Jane is back in the office, it’s her turn to corner him. She enters the bullpen with a mug of coffee and a cup of tea –Jane is usually the one to bring her her favourite beverage- and her resolve wavers when she realizes that he’s seemingly asleep on the couch. But she calls for him and sits with him. She tries to put him at ease by telling “I always liked this couch”: that brings a touch of familiarity in her action. Also, it might be a coincidence, but that was pretty much what Jane said when he came to the CBI bullpen with his bimbo to bid them goodbye in ‘Fugue in Red’ (something along the lines of “I always wanted a couch like that”). Both times, that old couch has been the symbol of the work they’ve been doing together and the comfort he took in it and both times, reminding of them through it was a way to prepare themselves to depart. But for now, the line only makes Jane smiles, which Lisbon takes as her cue to start interrogating him. He begins hesitantly “Jane… Jane…” when her phone rings. The announcement that Lark committed suicide interrupts their talk.

Obviously, still, Lisbon’s attempt is her answer to Jane’s recent visit at her doorstep. As he couldn’t bring himself to open up to his real feelings, which made her cry, she’s taking upon herself to unlock that dreaded door he wasn’t able to open.

2) The second, more dramatic moment between them happens while the kidnapped girls, along with Daniela’s sister, are shipped to Columbia. That further stresses how time is the issue.

Jane comes up with a plan and tells Lisbon about it over the phone. His description is less than thrilling as it involves breaking “a few laws”… Lisbon is wary and when he presses her, she hopelessly answers “I’m thinking, Jane”. Seriously, what’s with the men in Lisbon’s life asking her to make huge decisions in a snap of a finger?

Of course, Jane plans to use the “understanding” he set up with Ridley. As he fakes a friendly visit in his house, he drugs the other man’s glass and takes him in a dark and worrying secluded place, probably the same Lark used to work on the poor girls’ bodies. While Ridley is still groggy, Jane feeds him a chilling little speech, explaining that so far the man has “been a step ahead” of him -Riddley managed to warn his Nigerian client to fly away before the cops could catch him- but that he finally got him now. Again, the “one step ahead” notion is linked with RJ’s little mind games with Jane, a detail meaning to accredit the thesis of Jane going once more all vigilante on the leader of a criminal organization.

Ridley tries again to justify his choices by the same reasoning: “some lives are more valuable than others” but, whereas Jane “couldn’t agree more”, it becomes obvious that it’s Riddley’s life and his accomplice’s that he finds unworthy. Indeed, he and Lisbon as wearing scrubs as if they were about to perform surgery. The woman protests that she’s not convinced that Jane’s doing the right thing, but she nonetheless goes along with his actions. Again, she’s playing the assistant to Jane’s magic show: they turn their back to Riddley and start presumably removing Tremmel’s organs while he’s still alive and kicking –and the tattoo on his arm makes Riddley sure that it’s his henchman lying there. Yet their concentrated albeit grimacing faces contrast funnily with the dramatics they’re pulling off for Riddley’s benefit. Lisbon reluctantly following Jane’s silent request to splatter more of that fake blood she’s so obviously disgusted with on his scrubs makes it all the more amusing. Riddley is not aware that he’s played and he starts panicking once he realized that he’s the next target… even more since he’s just witnessed them murdering someone… His only hope is Lisbon’s scruples: “you’re a cop. You cannot do that. This is wrong.” But her answer is even more distressing than Jane’s ‘crazy scientist’ act: “not after what you’ve done. This is poetic justice”. Again, the “justice” killing is a reminder of RJ’s fate, which makes the whole ordeal even more convincing to Riddley. The only difference is that Lisbon is supposed to be Jane’s willing and active accomplice this time…

3) That fact isn’t without consequences. After a terrified Riddley gives them all the information they want, they bring him back to more lawful grounds. When he’s in the bullpen, he starts accusing Jane and Lisbon of murder and they defend themselves by showing that Tremmel is actually in a cell. He wasn’t killed (it was Wiley playing his part with a fake tattoo on his arm. The undercover job of the week…).

Still, even though Riddley has been neatly trapped, his accusations don’t settle well with Abbott. Even more since Jane’s reply to Riddley’s lawyer that he’s been using psychological torture on him is “your client is a monster”. He’s not pleased either that Lisbon takes Jane’s side, just like she did in front of the jury when she pleaded the fifth to protect him… Abbott convokes them in his office and scolds them, adding that those are serious claims against them both. They keep denying that they did anything Riddley affirms they did to him. After dismissing Jane, Abbott focuses on Lisbon: “Jane is a liar… but you’re an honest, good person with a long career ahead of you”. The moment eerily reminds of his assumption when they met at the CBI: back then, he told her that she had been a good cop… before getting under Jane’s spell.

That doesn’t deter Lisbon who keeps standing for her partner: she lies through her teeth to her boss, stating firmly that “everything Jane said was true”. If it does come to it, between a career opportunity and her loyalty to Jane, she’s made a choice. On a professional level, she thus knows where she stands and her determination to have Jane’s back contrasts with her overall recent wavering… Too bad that doesn’t help with the personal problem at hand, right?

VIS #5: Pike’s proposal

Paralleling the touching reunion between Daniela and her sister saved in extremis from her captors, Lisbon meets with much relief her ever-present boyfriend. She’s happy and relieved to see him as the day as been emotionally draining, between the revolting case, Jane’s dreadful plan and Abbott’s threats. Yet, Pike uses her vulnerability to once again pressure her into making a decision, arguing as the devoted boyfriend he pretends to be that “it’s your life and like to be part of it”. Still, the care he displays tips the balance on his side: he’s here for her and he values her. With Jane, she’s come to the realisation that, in spite of their shared affection and connivance, he ought to always demand that she always protect him. He’ll always decide to take justice into his own hands when the law won’t reach the monsters they’re chasing. Her career will always take a backseat to their partnership, whereas he’s still unable to take a step in her direction on a personal level. Hence the decision she suddenly makes: she accepts Pike’s offer.

Unfortunately, Marcus considers this as an opening to push his luck further. He knows that it’s not “romantic, but the hell with that”: he asks out of the blue “will you marry me” to a flabbergasted Lisbon. Poor Lisbon who’s already made a huge effort to fight her doubts sees her commitment issues rattled again. Distraught, she only manages to answer “it’s a big decision. It’s huge”… Pushy Marcus generously gives her a “no pressure”, even though he cannot be unaware that he’s kept pressuring her. He’s been pushing her along with every decision he makes for them, starting by labelling their liaison as serious, to finding her a new job, until that overkill proposal. Just like she accused Jane of, Pike is making decisions for her and he subtly blames her when she’s unsure of them by making her feel guilty when compared with his qualities as the self-proclaimed man of her dreams. That’s how he went from a heartfelt « I’ll be here » to an edgy« I’ve been patient » in a matter of hours, after all…

His admitted lack of romantic skills is also pretty telling. Since he started dating Teresa, he’s shown a rather unsettling interest in labels more than in the essence of things between Lisbon and him: that what the granola bar “breakfast” hinted at. All the while, he’s been imposing his tastes and decisions, choosing movies with a hidden meaning, planning life decisions way ahead of her. It’s becoming more and more visible that there’s a discreetly controlling and manipulative streak in his apparently harmless and open personality. Why would he have asked her to marry him when she was showing vulnerability, otherwise? A marriage would bind her to him more effectively… In a sense, he’s looking forward to make Lisbon a trophy wife of sorts, gently controlling her life in a rather perverse fashion…

Pike gives her the coup de grâce by asking her “have you told Jane?”, adding “he’ll understand…” The man wants to push his advantage to the bitter end.

Lisbon obediently goes to meet Jane in the bullpen, only a few steps from where Pike’s unromantic romancing took place. Here, the lack of communication culminates in a painful moment as Jane seems peacefully engrossed in a book, sitting alone on his couch in a deserted bullpen, just like he was at the end of ‘Violets’ after Pike took Lisbon on their first date and afterwards in ‘Silver Wings of Time’… Plus it echoes Lisbon’s tentative talk earlier. Before Lisbon could explain the new situation to him, he interjects “we make a good team sometimes”. It’s an affectionate and wilful thing to say, yet ironically it’s exactly this conception of their partnership that pushed her into Marcus’ waiting arms. Lisbon cannot bring herself to tell him what she planned to. She simply says “I’ll see you tomorrow” –a loaded sentence, since she plans on leaving soon… He replies calmly “I’ll be here. Goodnight.”

Has Jane heard what they were saying? Did he avoid the painful talk just like he feigned ignorance when she first came to talk to him? Is he blissfully unaware of what happened or is he protecting himself by evading the truth? Or is he keeping things close to his vest because he’s looking for a way to finally fight for his happiness? So many questions, so little time left…

This review was written in a hurry, so feel free to comment on any pet peeves you may have on the episode. Also could someone make out the title of the white book Jane’s reading in the finale scene? I’ve been asked about it but I couldn’t see it clearly… And, of course, thanks for reading! :)


Mentalist Il Tavolo Bianco Ramblings


Note: Not a traditional review so there are spoilers for the episode everywhere. Unfortunately, unedited. Read at your own risk!

Unorganized thoughts start here….

This was the best episode of the season. I can’t remember the last episode I saw that had so many quotable lines.  If I could’ve have written the review I wanted it would have contained the longest “Best lines” section ever.

A good deal of those lines were part of some of the most meaningful conversations we’ve been privileged to see, ever between Lisbon and Jane.

And what made those scenes so intense, besides the fantastic writing was the acting. Baker and Tunney were fantastic. From his “What did I do” to Tunney’s understated yet scathing “Yes Jane has all our sympathies”, everything out of their mouths was perfectly delivered.

But best of all was the honesty in those lines. Jane flat out tells Lisbon “I love that you’re predictable.”

Of course he does. To control freak Jane, predictable means safe. but the two years they spent apart, and Marcus Pike,  has him feeling like a fish out of the water. He isn’t sure where he stands with Lisbon anymore.

Hence his bringing her coffee at beginning o the episode.  It’s such a classic (i.e. early season) Jane thing to do. He’s like a partner trying to rekindle the flame after a its gone out of a marriage. Or a guy trying to endear himself after a lover’s quarrel.

Ironically Jane’s love of control should make it easier for him to understand how Lisbon, a control freak herself feels insecure about their relationship due to his unpredictability.Alas, show off Jane can’t help but try to surprise (i.e. impress) people. Especially those he cares about. The showman in him is such a deeply ingrained facet of his character I doubt it will ever go away completely.

But is that the only reason he didn’t let Lisbon in on the fake grand jury? Jane’s insistence that the plan was a “sting” and not a con implies he’s trying to change into a more serious law abiding person. As does his stating he was following Abbot’s order not to tell Lisbon about the plan. It’s continuity to his conversation with Cho earlier in the season when the latter seemed surprised at his more mellow personality.

The honesty theme comes again with Lisbon and Marcus. He knows Jane is what is taking up Lisbon’s thoughts and holding up her decision to move with him to DC. It was implied when he states that she doesn’t need to go into her history with him if she doesn’t want to, and it is strongly alluded to when, after he explains the story of a film they were going to watch,  Casablanca to her (a woman choosing between two men) he quickly adds that there is also a baseball game on and on her request switches to that channel.

But the final bit of honesty was Jane coming to see Lisbon in her home. At the beginning of the episode he had seriously told her that he wants her to stay, then undermined that honesty by saying his reason was that DC is boring. But he more than makes up for it at the end of the episode.

Jane shows up at Lisbon’s doorstep with Italian food a grin on his face which disappears when Marcus Pike opens the door. When Lisbon appears he hands her the bag of take out and makes to leave. But she calls him back, saying he had another reason for coming. Jane then tells her that he was thinking about her leaving but that he wants her to be happy. That that’s the most important thing. What’s heartbreaking about this speech is that Jane is being completely honest. He obviously wants Lisbon to stay with him. But more importantly he wants her to be happy. For a somewhat selfish man like Jane, its the ultimate sacrifice.

Thankfully, Lisbon has learned enough from Jane to realize all this. Hence her brushing back tears after he leaves.

Ill bet most viewers brushed theirs back as well.

What I especially liked was the role reversal. Jane is practically wearing his heart on his sleeve while Lisbon is being as reserved as she ever was. From the very beginning when Jane asks her if she decided, she asks, “decided what?” pretending she doesn’t know what he is talking about. Then when Jane flat out asks her “what does a girl want to hear?” obviously referring to her, she replies “I have no idea”.

Perhaps it’s unfair to attribute that particular answer as her being dishonest. Lisbon genuinely seems at a loss on which man to pick. The dependable safe bet who seems to worship the ground she walks on (who wouldn’t?). Or the consultant with a mountain of baggage who enjoys driving her up the wall?

But I think Jane’s expression at the end of the episode will make the choice easier for her. Even modest Lisbon can’t deny the love in his eyes then. If the difficulty in the decision was that she wasn’t aware of the extent of Jane’s affection, then that is definitely no longer an issue. He can say he wants her to be happy, and mean it, even if it means being with Marcus, away from him. But like she told Abbott, she spent enough time with Jane to learn from him. She can read clearly that he wants her to be happy in Texas.

The only question is can she be?

I’ll be honest. There were times this season when I wondered if it wouldn’t be better for the show to get axed. I loved the reboot (new actors/characters are wonderful). But some of the cases were getting stale and it hadn’t felt like the show I fell in love with in a while; their was just something lacking, sorry to be blunt, in the writing. Then this episode happened and changed all of that. I had to watch the opening scene twice to read who wrote it: it felt like one of the best Heller scripted episodes ever. If the writers are going to churn out episodes like these then I’m going to enjoy season seven immensely. And I’m not just talking about the J/L angst. The fake grand jury was cool. The fact that the sex trafficking ring turned out to be a cover for live organ donors was also a nice surprise. In fact, the only thing I disliked about the episode was the character Daniella, and I think that’s mostly because I didn’t enjoy the actress who played her: she came off more bratty than sympathetic, unfortunately.

Finally, I apologize for the tardiness of the review. It almost didn’t get written since the new episode had already aired before I got a chance to even start. But then I remembered fans outside of the US still haven’t seen it (and they make up a good number of my readers) so here it is for better or worse for whoever is interested.

Also, I loved this episode too much to not dedicate even a meager review for it. Writing, acting, music (the end ;_;) , direction, editing (court scene, especially)- everything was absolutely perfect. Here’s to more episodes like this.

Image by Chizuruchibi. Copyright Reviewbrain May, 2014. Not to be used without permission.

Image by Chizuruchibi. Copyright Reviewbrain May, 2014. Not to be used without permission.

 

CONGRATULATIONS EVERYONE ON THE SHOW GETTING RENEWED!!!!!!!

Extras:

1- If this episode had a theme song it would be Passenger’s “Let her Go”:

2- My roller coaster week led me to the following articles which I thought I’d share for humanity’s sake.

3- Anyone know if the title of the episode has significance besides the name of the restaurant and perhaps the table Jane and Lisbon sat at and reconciled their differences?

That’s it for now. I’m off to watch the new episode now. See you in the next review!

*All material posted in this blog is the intellectual property of reviewbrain (unless otherwise stated). Readers are free to make use of the information provided they cite the source (this blog) either by name (reviewbrain’s blog) or by linking to it. Please extend the same courtesy to the authors of the comments as well (by mentioning their names) to ensure that credit is given where credit is due.

 


Mentalist Brown Eyed Girls Mini-Review


Greetings fellow fans. I was supposed to write the review this week but due to uncontrollable circumstances (i.e. 3 1/2 screaming kids) I was unable to make it as detailed as I wanted. Instead I’m going to post a few main topics for discussion. With all the fantastic commenters here I’m sure we can start a great discussion and I can’t wait to read all your opinions.

Case of the Week

Human trafficking is a plot that has been used in every crime show I’ve ever seen in my entire life. It’s so old that unless it’s handled in a very fresh way it’s doomed to be boring. Now the introduction was interesting enough but the rest…let’s just say I groaned out loud when Daniela said that “Jesse” told her and her sister that she would be a model in “Europe” without even telling her where. I mean, sorry I’m sure there are girls that naive but in this day and age with the help of computers and internet who would willingly travel with a complete stranger without knowing their last name and where they were going? I mean, did Daniela not see the film Taken? And if so, then she is not a Liam Neeson fan and therefore deserves whatever happens to her.

*Note: This a joke. I apologize if it was inappropriate. It’s been a tough week.

Anyway, my skepticism was such that I couldn’t remain interested in the rest of episode; besides watching out for the J/L side plot. Unfortunately, the rest only got worst. The whole scene with the Kasimi brothers telling the FBI that they were “amateurs” and talking about their big bad boss was just…it’s been done. So many times before. Not even the fact that it turns out that the great Titus Welliver (whom The Good Wife fans know as Glenn Childs) is playing the boss saved that scene. But it might save future episodes as he hasn’t been caught yet. He’s a fantastic actor and I’m interested to see the material he’ll be given to work with on this show.

Lisbon and Pike

I refuse to believe that Lisbon is seeing Pike simply to make Jane jealous. It’s not like her to play around with people’s feelings. Also, she seems genuinely interested in him. When Lisbon first started seeing Pike I thought that maybe she finally saw a shrink (or took the advice of someone who cared about her) and decided to live her life without worrying about how Jane feels (or doesn’t) about her.  That said, she does seem quite interested in knowing what he thinks of her new relationship- and assumes he wants to sabotage it: an unfair accusation. Jane is trying so hard not to interfere with her life he even seems surprised when she tells him she was on a date (beginning of the episode).

Even more surprising is the fact that Jane doesn’t know about Pike’s offer to Lisbon: that she move with him to Washington D.C. At first, I (like Lisbon) was skeptical when Abbott told her that Jane didn’t know (especially since Abbott knows). But I think this shows just how estranged the two have become since Pike came into the picture. Or, how much room Jane is giving her to live her life. Or, it might be that Jane isn’t able to read Lisbon as well as he used to; his emotions might be in the way.

When she tells Jane at the end of the episode,  he is obviously gutted at the news. But he doesn’t make a big deal about it and tells Lisbon he’s happy for her if she is happy. He is trying to be supportive, but like Violet previously said, by not telling Lisbon how he feels about her he is still being manipulative and controlling; albeit unselfishly so. So many times before I’ve ached to have Jane not be pushy towards Lisbon, but this is certainly not one of those times. It seems like Lisbon might feel the same way too, at least that is what I understood from her wistful look at the end.

Jane thinks he is being unselfish and wants Lisbon to make her own decision. But it has to be an informed decision and how can she do that if she isn’t aware of his feelings? They might be obvious to us viewers but I think Jane forgets how little Lisbon thinks of herself: she’s always been unaware of her affect on others. She might see his lack of reaction here as him not caring about her romantically. Now that she finally seems to be aware of her own emotions towards him, it’s frustrating that she can’t identify his towards her (which I’m definite have existed far longer than hers have)

Now, I must say I’m extremely annoyed at this plot “twist”. For several reasons. Obviously, Lisbon isn’t going to D.C. There’s not even the semblance of anticipation where that’s concerned. It would have been much more interesting and messy (not to mention realistic) without Pike’s promotion to push things along. Secondly, while Lisbon was quick to reassure Jane that Ardiles isn’t interested in her romantically; (like a girlfriend would a jealous boyfriend) she is now dating with no consideration of Jane’s feelings (like an ex-girlfriend would). I don’t get it. It’s not like she’s being intentionally cruel but I don’t get the sudden personality change. It would have made much more sense if that happened the previous season after the whole Lorelie debacle. Or even this season when Jane first came back to the US. But now? What was the trigger?

The only reason I can come up with is that the season (and possibly the show) is almost over and the writers wanted an impetus to finally address the Jane/Lisbon issue.

Yes, I’m extremely annoyed. Someone please point out something that missed/forgot so I can go back to loving the writers unconditionally.

Best Lines

“Sorry, scanning long-range frequencies is like…..I don’t have a metaphor, it’s hard” -Wily, to Jane.

“That was incredible” -Jane, to Cho on his voice acting.

Best Scene

I think everyone would agree it was the ending. Baker and Tunney’s expressions spoke the angst their respective characters were going through so clearly it’s almost impossible to believe said characters are clueless about how they feel about each other. Another reason for my annoyance. Get it together, would ya!

6x19

Image by Chizuruchibi. Copyright Reviewbrain, 2014. Not to be used without permission.

 

*All material posted in this blog is the intellectual property of reviewbrain (unless otherwise stated). Readers are free to make use of the information provided they cite the source (this blog) either by name (reviewbrain’s blog) or by linking to it. Please extend the same courtesy to the authors of the comments as well (by mentioning their names) to ensure that credit is given where credit is due.

 


Mentalist Forest Green Review


N.B.: Reviewbrain and I have been on a tight schedule this week, so we’re presenting you with another unedited review. Sorry for the inconvenience. I also wanted to sincerely apologize for not replying to the comments recently: what little free time and attention that work and struggling with huge computer issues leave me is mostly used for writing the next review… Rest assured that I read every comment, am deeply thankful for them and even want to comment back on many, many points… Unfortunately time is the issue here! ;)

Synopsis

After Teresa Lisbon (Tunney) spent the night with her shinning new boyfriend Marcus Pike (Pedro Pascal), she’s sent in Sam Houston National Forrest to investigate a murder with no other than her consultant Patrick Jane (Baker). Before the mood gets awkward, they’re led to force their way into a nearby and very private men-only club.

Concise Verdict
For his first time writing for TM, Jeffrey Hatcher did a great job of rendering the usual mixing of light humor and subtle subtext which characterizes the show. Plus, there are a lot of information packed in very short scenes: it mistakenly conveys the impression that ‘Forest Green’ is a rather classic episode, while in fact it progressives steadily toward a surprise ending. All in all, Mr Hatcher proves to be a great addition to the writing team and makes Jane and Lisbon take a decisive step further in the emotional maze they’ve entered since Pike’s arrival.

Detailed AKA Humungous Analysis (spoilers galore)

VIS #1: Lisbon and Pike, the morning after

The episode starts with a pretty domestic moment between Lisbon and her new boyfriend: he’s sitting on his living room while she finishes showering. When she joins him, he hands her a coffee-filled mug and a granola bar. They’re at ease and when he apologizes for making a fuss, Lisbon says tenderly “I like the fuss you make”. Indeed, Marcus seems very eager to please her: he’s waiting for her on her couch, wants to feed her and asks her out on another date, before wondering if she wouldn’t find freak out at having two date nights in a row… Implicitly, it means two things: Pike is not sure of Lisbon’s feelings and her moving in is not on the table yet. Their relationship is still fresh, even thought it contrasts with her dismissal of Mashburn after their night together years ago: like she did in Washington, she’s been trying to create a comfortable nest for herself and Marcus’s humor and caring attitude definitely fit in.

Yet, the impression that their romance is still squishing new is deepened by the fact that Pike on the sofa reminds of Jane at the ending of the previous episode: he was lying on his couch while Lisbon was leaving for her date. Time seems to fly and each date gives the appearance of following directly the other, a feeling further stressed by Lisbon’s never-ending stream of white blouses. In spite of them being different and even though there’s probably a time gap between episodes, it’s like she’s always wearing the same clothes than she did the evening before…

VIS #2: Jane plays fairy godmother to get Lisbon to her date in time

Speaking of Jane, one might think he may be hovering over her since he’s the first person he meets when getting off the elevator at work. He’s again holding (on) his comforting cup of tea and his greetings is far more relaxed than in ‘Silver Wings of Time’. He too is eager to make her happy: when she makes a face because Fischer is sending them out of town to solve a murder, he steps in, claims that she’s worried she won’t make it to her date and suggests they take one of the FBI helicopters. He’s reading her and, again, making decisions for her. Still, this well-intentioned meddling after his concealed anger in the previous episode hints that he’s trying too hard to be supportive: he’s not completely sincere… And his ability to read her implies how much of a nightmare Lisbon’s affair must be for her observant friend. He can guess everything without even meaning to pry… Plus, it’s interesting that he tells her that Pike owns him a favor, not Lisbon herself: Jane tacitly acknowledges that he’s doing Pike a favor by allowing him to spend time with Lisbon, not the other way around. She’s the valued part of the equation in his mind.

Lisbon is very moderately happy with this invasion of her privacy: she can’t get a word in during the whole exchange and her expression when he leaves shows irritation, uneasiness and maybe, just maybe a hint of regret. Is she aware that he’s putting up a front by making this unwanted grand gesture in front of Kim? Either way, Fischer, who’s already shown curiosity by interrogating Cho about them, is once again attributed the role of audience to their unfolding drama.

The dynamic duo investigates

One may wonder if that request for an helicopter is a mere coincidence or if it has a deeper meaning: indeed, in ‘Black Helicopters’, Jane asked one from Lisbon when he shared his plan with her openly for the first time in ages. One of those also came to rescue him and the Rigsbys after the debacle with Haibach… Is that a way to subtly imply that he’s still trying to reach for her, but by catering to what he thinks are her desires this time, instead of asking her to adapt to his needs?

Anyway, the crime scene is full of half-hearted winks: Jane deduces that the victim wasn’t hiking nor that she fell off the cliff to her death, because she has no socks and no blisters. Coincidentally or not, socks were the make-up gift Lisbon used to welcome him back into her life… Plus, he smells the victim’s expensive “ginger and citrus” shampoo: citrus was used as a symbol for RJ’s interferences with his life for a long time. He deduces that the victim wanted to look good for someone and spent the night with them… again, an allusion to Lisbon, who was all dolled up for her date last time.

There’s a shifting in Jane’s attitude: he’s trying very hard to hide his real feelings. First he insists they fly to the crime scene, then he’s full of (fake) cheerfulness, saluting the pilot when leaving, complimenting officer Green (whose name is a nice touch) on her hunch… Everything contrasts with his grumpiness during the last case. It’s almost as if he realized he was lucky to get to in the field with Lisbon again and he didn’t want to waste it…
Yet, when they decide to further investigate the girl’s whereabouts by entering the very exclusive men-only Foragers’ Club, Jane’s exuberance starts rearing his embarrassing head again as he introduces them with a smile and “one of your members murdered somebody: we’d like to talk about that”… We can guess he finds the snotty old-fashioned secluded gentlemen club pretty amusing, just like the place obviously grates on Lisbon’s nerves. Firstly, neither of them puts on the “Guest” tag director Russell has handled them –after the man greets “Mister Jane” before the lady and agent in charge, that is… Then, when he explains to them that it’s a brotherhood whose goal it to help rich gentlemen relax with no internet, no phones, no “distractions”, she perks up: “women are distractions?” The poor man back-pedals fast “no, of course not”, sensing the growing menace emanating from the petite agent. Jane is nonchalantly standing behind her and is enjoying himself: “I can’t promise you that she won’t hurt anyone. I’m trying to restrain her, but I cannot promise.”

Take charge Lisbon is back and Russell’s advice is this time directed to her and her authoritative ways: “exercise discretion, for your own sake. Our members are powerful people”. Her stance as the agent leading the investigation echoes her former position at the CBI, when Jane used to introduce her as the agent in charge, while he played the amusing “insulting/consulting” clown she had to “restrain” too… Plus, Lisbon being nearly the only woman in the club pretty much sums up her current life between Jane and Pike. This is emphasized when her beauty grabs the attention of one of the newer members, Marvin Griska, who was scowled because he used a cell  phone in complete contradiction with the club rules… Jane then leave her to take a walk to do “men stuff”. Good to see the teasing back after the awkwardness of ‘Silver Wings of Time’…

Of course, the grinning consultant rushes to Griska… who is again using his phone to call his lawyer. Clearly, he’s a rule-breaker too who isn’t afraid of being “spanked” by the authority figure… The cause of his frenzy is that the FBI are threatening him with a handful of fraud charges: hence the grudge he’s holding against those badge-wielding “vultures”. Fortunately, Jane sees that as a chance to pass for a kindred spirit: after all, he’s “with the FBI, not of” them. And the FBI had him too, but he beat them… which catches Griska’s interest: “which charges?” Jane wields his most winning smile to answer “murder” but he refuses to explain how he did that. Again, there’s a visible insistence of his criminal past, just like there was in the previous episode with the implicit comparison with the man in death row.

VIS #3: Jane and Lisbon have lunch at the club

Later, as both partners are having lunch together in the dinning room, Jane is again hell bent on making her relax with him. It’s a rare enough occurrence that he may want to enjoy it fully, after all. He asks a passing waitress “could you pour my friend some coffee please?” Apparently, the men in her life know that the way of her heart is through coffee… This caring friend front echoes the doting boyfriend in Pike and it contrasts hugely with his previous annoyance with her love life: he goes as far as asking her to tell Pike he says hi. When Lisbon asks how he knows it’s Pike, he only elaborates that the dark-haired agent seems like a good person and that she deserves to be with a good man…

Obviously, Jane wants Lisbon to be happy and while he’s been passively supportive but hurt since she started dating Marcus, he has now decided to up his game and take a more active part in her life again. He’s trying very hard to be a good friend to her again, to gain back her trust in him. Has he been slowly easing himself into accepting that she’s been snatched away? Or more probably did he understand that she was expecting mockery when he told her she was beautiful in the bullpen at the end of ‘Silver Wings of Time’ and decided to show her he’s still by her side? Either way, he’s openly supporting her happiness: not Pike personally mind you just her, because she the one deserving of a rewarding love life and Marcus is only lucky to be the one who provides it. He tries his best to look joyful around her. He’s been trying to get closer physically too: while he couldn’t bring himself to stay with her on the couch while interrogating a suspect in the previous episode, he’s now leaning in when he talks to her, in the bullpen or when he’s teasing her about “men stuff”… He’s trying to react in a mature way and be a good person too.

Yet, Lisbon’s reaction is not exactly the one expected for a woman fawning over her new boyfriend: her replies to Jane’s nice lines are rather curt. She only says pointedly “Jane says hi” while texting to Marcus, then a short and slightly annoyed “thanks” while looking away to his compliment about her deserved happiness. It’s in contrast with her surprise at noticing that Jane is constantly finding pretexts to get the waitresses to come close and leaning in them… She asks “okay, what’s going on?” and Jane very openly explains that he’s smelling their hair in order to single out Madison’s mistress who used the same shampoo. The man definitely understands that the safer way to make Lisbon comfortable is to keep working on the case while poking on her private life… Plus, it’s amusing that the smell of shampoo had also been the first clue to tip him about Wayne and Grace sleeping together… which might also remind viewers how he understood immediately what was going on when Lisbon came late to the crime scene recently. The heartbroken waitress soon explains that Madison was an escort and “didn’t take men too seriously”. They weren’t a couple: their relationship wasn’t serious, they « just liked each other ». And Madison was receiving her clients in the fishing camp… a detail that may or not be meant to echo Pike’s name or the symbolism around Jane’s past quest to catch RJ.

VIS #4: the magic show and its outcome

Once again, it’s visible that for his coworkers Jane is the reference in people knowledge: even Cho gets surprised when he discovers that the club director has been lying to him about knowing the victim. He comments that he must be a very good liar, because not many people can pass a lie like that past Jane. This confidence in his skills may explain how willing they are to enter in his schemes without questioning them. After Abbott is approached by Griska who’s every eager to cut a deal with the agent like he presumes that Jane did -another allusion to his dark past- the agent refuses a bribe for unfreezing Griska’s assets. But later, Abbott and Lisbon find the body of one of their suspects (seriously, why even Kilgalen had to ditch his vest? and before dying, really?). The team seems then very eager to follow Jane’s instructions: Cho asks Wylie to help in a DNS hijack “for Jane” and the younger agent accepts cheerfully; back at the fishing camp Abbott uses it to make Griska believe he’s helped with his frozen assets in exchange of 30%… Teamwork is as smooth as in ‘Violets’ and the now expected undercover job is again pulled off by Abbott, who each time seems to love impersonating people. Going back and forth between the bullpen and the club also puts emphasis on the contrast between the cold colors in the FBi building and the deceptively warm tones of the cabins…

When the foundation of his trap is thus set, Jane does his part by convincing Russell to let him set up a magic show. He calls Lisbon, meets her and Abbott -again at the fishing camp- and tells them how he plans to trick the murderer by using Madison’s broken cellphone as a bait during the magic show. Indeed, Jane uses his showman skills to impress the audience, with the help of his trusted assistant, the “irreplaceable special agent Teresa Lisbon”, who joins him while smiling among catcalls… She blindfolds him and helps him stumble his way to his chair, while he mutters encouragements (“you’re doing great, just stay calm, let your beauty show”), which is a far more flattering way of giving her confidence than the teasing acting tips during the art robbery stunt. He is then able to guess various objects a grinning Lisbon is holding. Obviously, this updated Boy Wonder act is based on the nuances Lisbon uses to utter each time the line “what am I holding in my hand?” but the show wouldn’t work so well if they hadn’t been so in synch for years. Also, it’s very probably only a coincidence, but it’s pretty funny that Jane guessed three objects summing up his issues with Lisbon: a watch (time is tickling), a pen (the letters he wrote to her to express how much he missed her when he left) and a broken phone (failed communication now).

Still, the whole magic show, entertaining as it was, was just a double bluff: it’s again Abbott’s turn to shine. he blackmail the killer into turning him in. The man knew not to take the gun in the abandoned box because he had a camera hidden in a clock (again the time theme) in the cabin where they’d been talking. And it’s a rather intriguing detail that the murderer ended up being the attorney of one of Madison’s client: it’s the third time that a lawyer is worthy of attention. First, it was Haibach’s vindicative lawyer, then the cutting attorney in ‘Silver Wings of Time’ and now Dyer.

VIS #5: Pike’s offer

When Lisbon and Pike are finally getting their date, the atmosphere is very relaxed: Pike jokes about having taken another woman to dinner since she couldn’t make it night before and Lisbon retorts pleasantly
“you’re trying to make me jealous?” and that he’s a terrible liar, adding “I like that in a man”. Obviously, both the “jealous” part and the ‘I-like-guys-who-don’t-lie” allusion are more or less direct references to Jane. in fact, the mention of Marcus’s honesty is the second of the sort and is in contrast with the “very good liar” of a suspect the team got their hands on this time… Jane’s constant lies must have gotten to Lisbon but one would say that the agent “doth protest too much”, to quote the widower in the previous episode. Pike chooses this romantic and light-hearted atmosphere to drop the bomb: he’s been offered a new position as the head of a new taskforce based in D.C. and when Lisbon comments seriously “it’s a great job, you can’t turn it down”, he launches into a proposition she hadn’t expected. He’s been married and divorced and he can feel that what they have is real and has the potential to get serious… “I feel that way about us. Do you feel that way?” There’s a beat as Lisbon hesitates and looks on the left (which according to commenter KM means she’s recalling memories). The music reminds of a pulse, dramatizing the moment. At long least she answers “yes”. She elaborates that she really doesn’t want him to leave, but it’s “not ok to turn it down”. Unfortunately, Marcus has another alternative in mind: he wants the job and the girl, so he asks her to come with him. Lisbon’s answer ends the episode on a note of incertitude: “what?” The poor woman is forcefully pushed out of her honeymoon period which explains the time theme : she and Jane have unknowingly been running out of time regarding their unresolved personal issues…
Plus Lisbon’s probably avoided long-term affairs for years after she broke up with her ex-fiancé Gregg: she may not be ready to jump into “serious” just after an handful of dates. she reminds a bit of the victim of the case -minus the escort thing: she’s content to spend time with someone just because they like each other, without considering herself in a couple. Pike is visibly ahead of her and pushing her on his path… Plus, of course, her hesitation and reluctance when interacting with Jane also indicate that she’s not completely renounced to him yet.

Basically, Lisbon is faced by the same type of man now than she was with Jane when he came back from South America: they’re going away and they need her to come with them because they know she cares. But the situation is slightly different now: Jane used a professional pretext (a new job) to keep her close because she was the reason of his return (he missed her even more after meeting Kim). Meanwhile, Pike is using a personal reason (they’re getting serious) to convince her to follow him because he got a new job. It’s a little selfish: even if she resented Jane’s methods, Lisbon gained something in joining him, while now she’d have to adapt to Pike’s careers plans. Plus, Pike is very straightforward: he asked her directly, while Jane only assumed she was willing, yet, quite ironically, Marcus is the one who’s really pushy. He went straight from asking her if having two dates in a row is weird to affirming they’re on the verge of a ” serious” relationship, whereas Lisbon is still on the phase where she’s trying to impress him, as shown by the fact that she’s once again dressed up. Like when he asked her out, Marcus is cornering her during a post-case meal, when she’s relieved and eager to have fun. He’s obviously good for her, but he seems more atuned to his own desires. On the contrary, Jane made it up to her (getting her a job), he listened to her wishes (backed away after the plane and now with Pike)… Plus, Jane acknowledges her feelings for Pike, while the latter doesn’t mention those for Jane, even though he’s asked Wylie about them. Lisbon is therefore at a crossroad : what she reproached to Jane is happening right now under a more romantic appearance: someone else is making decisions for her, but this time he’s easing her into them by being subtly bossy… Maybe the men in her life aren’t that different after all, as hinted by the similar settings involving them: Pike is on the couch when she showers/ Jane too when she left for her date; she was calling “Patrick” while taking up the stairs in ‘Violets’ when she was posing as a couple with Jane/ her first onscreen interaction in the flesh with her boyfriend involves her coming down the stairs too…

Yet, Jane’s best qualities as a partner shone during the case: he was childish but with a goal. He was resorting to teamwork instead of manipulation and selfishness. He was thus funny and dedicated on the case and on a personal level he made an effort to be a teasing and devoted friend… And last, but not least, their complicity as the dynamic duo made working with him very enjoyable… Implicitly, following Marcus would mean losing such moments painted in the brightest colors. It’s not just the possibility of something more intimate with her dear friend that she’d be mourning, but also the simple and meaningful things that have been already existing between them for years. Those are certainly what both missed most when they were apart. Lisbon is asked to choose between two options: a brand new « serious » love story and a years-long understanding with relatively unacknowledged undertones. One of the two men is ready to let her go for her sake, the other wants her to go with him. Jane is no longer the unavailable closed-off vengeful widower; it’s now Lisbon who’s focused on someone else. Will she leave him metaphorically stranded alone on the roadside too?

On the other hand, it’s quite surprising that Marcus never mentioned feelings, only that they had something real and possibly serious. The man seems more set on relationship status (“married/”divorced”) than in true love. His words remind a bit of the breakfast he offered her: only a granola bar and coffee; then too, the label on the jar seemed more important than the actual content. It looks like he’s offering a dependable, but not life-altering love, yet he’s pushy enough to want to alter her life for it anyway. Marcus should pay more attention and realize that his rival is at the back of her mind even while she’s complimenting him by contrast (“liar”): Jane is still the reference she uses to gauge men and the fact that she “like[s]” Pike’s honesty and the “fuss” he makes instead of ‘loving’ him can’t be a very good sign for planning a future together in the long term…

Image by Chiziruchibi. Copyright Reviewbrain April, 2014. Not to be used without permission.

Image by Chiziruchibi. Copyright Reviewbrain April, 2014. Not to be used without permission.


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