Episode starts in CBI Head J.J. LaRoche’s (Pruitt Taylor Vince) house where a burglar is breaking into his safe. The masked man finds a few expensive looking watches, a gold coin, and a taped Tupperware container. Uninterested in these items, he messily searches the rest of the home, including within books stacked in a shelf. LaRoche shows up, catching the burglar in the act. He points a gun at him and tells him not to move. The intruder runs away, escaping LaRoche’s subsequent gunshots and exits the house. He does npt make it very far. Police officers arrive at the scene and apprehend him. A short distance away, clandestine, a vintage blue Citroen drives away. Most viewers will recognize it as Patrick Jane’s (Simon Baker)
He parks near Sterling Electronics where the rest of the CBI’s Serious Crimes Unit is investigating a murder. The store owner was killed in what looks like a robbery gone bad. Inside the store Lisbon (Tunney) notes the strangeness of the fact that the killer took the time ransacking the place even after the alarm went off when the shop was broken into. Jane shows up in time to agree with her that the scene is ‘off’. Based on the thoroughness of the search he adds that the burglar didn’t find what he was looking for. Jane then takes off to the office to talk to the man who broke into LaRoche’s home. His name is Donald Culpepper (David Warshofsky) and he was a suspect in one of the Serious Crime Unit’s past cases (Season 2’s ‘A Price Above Rubies’). Jane hired him to steal something from LaRoche’s home. Not only was Culpepper unable to get the job done, he threatens that if Jane doesn’t get him out of jail, he’ll expose Janeas the person who hired him to break into LaRoche’s him. Culpepper is set to appear before a judge on Monday, and Jane has until them to get him out (it is Friday when the episode starts).
I loved this episode. There I said it. I absolutely loved it. Jane getting into serious trouble due to his bone-headedness with no solution in sight is a rare, realistic treat. It was nice to see him run ragged between working his case with the team and trying to find a solution to his dire, dire situation. I also like how I was able to maintain interest in the case; a remarkable feat considering Jane’s extenuating circumstances. I am also pleasantly surprised to say that I even loved the conclusion. It was however, very rushed and I couldn’t tell whether the lightness of the episode was refreshing or inappropriate considering the circumstances. Then I realized that Mentalist is supposed to be light (I’d almost forgotten) and that was no longer an issue. However there was one not so pet ‘pet peeve’ that wouldn’t let me give it the full grade I’m aching to. But, technically, a 9/10 is still an ‘A’. Bravo.
Detailed AKA Humongous Review (spoilers galore)
One of this episode’s strong points is that it depicts how both Lisbon and Jane have changed throughout the course of the series. This is especially apparent when you compare this episode with the last time Jane committed such a serious offense and was in danger of having to actually pay for it. This was in season 2’s ‘Black Gold and Red Blood’ where he went to jail for eavesdropping on Sam Bosco (Terry Kinney). During that episode Jane’s demeanor was laid back, confident, and completely unapologetic. He also refused to acknowledge the gravity of his situation likely out of sheer stubbornness but also most probably because he was confident that Lisbon would use her influence with Bosco to get him out.
He had no such assurance here. Lisbon has no such sway with LaRoche (that we know of) and neither does Jane. The wayward consultant knew exactly how much trouble and was in and throughout the entire episode was desperately trying to come up with a way to fix his mistake.
This makes the end scene where Lisbon is swiftly able to set Culpepper free (and Jane, by association) all the more impressive.
Very Important Scene #1 : Jane and Lisbon in the attic
After the case is solved Lisbon finds Jane in the attic. She tells him that she waited for him to come along with her to tell the Iraqi family (friends of the victim) that they’ll get their family fortune back (a priceless rug the victim was keeping for them; also the cause of his death).
Jane (who was pacing in a panic drinking tea when Lisbon came in) tells her that he has to arrange his sock drawer. At Lisbon’s bemused look, he admits that he has a huge problem and he doesn’t have a lot of time to solve it in.
Up to this point, Jane had tried hypnotizing officer O’Donnell (Michael Maize)- who is guarding Culpepper- into sleeping so he could break the man out. It didn’t work. Jane then booby trapped the guard’s lunch and when his soft drink exploded, necessitating the man leave to clean up, Jane entered the cell intending to take Culpepper to Mexico. Only the criminal refused saying he wants the charges dropped; that he doesn’t want to live life on the run. At one point in the episode Jane is even reduced to taking notes on a small pad trying to come up with a way to fix his problem only to come up empty.
So it really is no surprise that when Lisbon says “I knew something is going on with you. What is it?” Jane pauses, actually considering telling her because she’s bound to find out when Culpepper exposes him in court. Lisbon takes the matter further out of his hands when she threatens: “The absolute truth or I beat it out of you.”
Jane admits that he hired Culpepper to get him something he needs from LaRoche’s house and that Culpepper will tell on Jane if he doesn’t get the charges dropped. At Lisbon’s “Oh, my God,” Jane responds, “Yeah, it’s not good,” before hurriedly pouring himself another cup of tea.
- Jane’s drinking of tea in times of stress is both an endearing and established aspect of his character so it was nice touch here.
Lisbon asks Jane what he needed from LaRoche. Jane reveals that Hightower (Aunjanue Ellis) didn’t kill anybody and that Red John has a friend in the CBI. At his words, Lisbon figures out that Jane wanted LaRoche’s suspect list which contains the names of the possible culprits who could have killed Todd Johnson, the man Hightower was accused of murdering.
-Lisbon’s figuring out of the facts here seemed way too quick; Hightower’s reaction (‘Red Queen’) was more believable when Jane told her. Although, I do like the implication that Lisbon was smart enough to make sense out of the information Jane gave her; especially since she all but stated that didn’t want to believe Hightower was guilty.
Lisbon then asks why Jane didn’t just ask LaRoche for the list. Jane responds that if the other suspects on the list are innocent, then LaRoche is most likely Red John’s man.
-Lisbon’s question here is very important and in character. Despite the hints we have that Lisbon can break the rules from time to time; she still does things by the book for the most part and only veers off being straight edge when she deems it appropriate (‘Red Alert’).
Lisbon finally rightfully demands to know why Jane didn’t share any of this information with her before. Jane replies: “I don’t want to put you in danger.” Lisbon tells him that he’s an idiot and that she’ll fix the problem but that they’ll have a serious talk after.
-It’s nice to have Jane’s idiocy in canon. The fact that he doesn’t defend himself and the way he resignedly accepts Lisbon’s contention shows that he agrees with her statement; at least in this situation. Or, his non-response could be due to disappointment that his chivalry wasn’t better received (this will be discussed in more detail later).
What Jane does argue is Lisbon’s ability to “fix this”. He says he’s been trying to do that all weekend and that he came up with the perfect getaway only to have Culpepper say that he wants the charges dropped.
- The subtext here implies that since Jane couldn’t solve the problem, he doesn’t think it’s possible for Lisbon to be able to either. This is fabulous because…
Lisbon is unconcerned and rather impatiently says, “Yeah, yeah, let’s go.” Jane watches her take off with wide disbelieving and concerned eyes before following her to the holding cell where Culpepper is being held. Lisbon tells Officer O’Donnell to open the door, and he informs them that Culpepper is in with his lawyer. Lisbon says “perfect” and exchanges a look with Jane. The door is opened, and when Culpepper sees Lisbon, he makes a rude remark but before he even finishes what he is saying she punches him out, knocking him to the floor in his chair. Lisbon lets out a happy sigh and leaves amidst Culpepper’s lawyer’s fiercely indignant declaration that she just got the case dismissed. Jane, amazed, follows her out.
-The earlier subtext that Jane doubts Lisbon will be able to save his sorry behind makes the fact that she did, and so easily, even more impressive both to him and to viewers. Awesome. I really have to hand it to writer Eoghan Mahoney for giving Lisbon such excellent problem solving skills. I did not see that one coming.
Next, a short scene shows Jane coming down from his attic to see Culpepper waving goodbye at him from inside the CBI elevator. When the elevator doors close, Jane exhales in relief before he continues walking, presumably to Lisbon’s office as that is where the next scene takes place.
VIS #2 Jane, LaRoche, and Lisbon in her office/Jane Lisbon End Scene
Jane swivels in one of the chairs at Lisbon’s conference table in her office where she is quietly being reamed by LaRoche.
The CBI head asks Lisbon what she was thinking. She apologizes, citing frustrations with the job as the reason behind her actions. LaRoche is unappeased. His voice gets uncharacteristically louder as he states that Culpepper cannot be brought to trial now and that it’s Lisbon’s fault. Here Jane intervenes to point out that nothing got stolen.
-It’s nice to see Jane speak up here as it is his fault that Lisbon’s in trouble. And yet, once more, Lisbon is unappreciative of his gesture as evidenced by her shaking her head at him when LaRoche isn’t looking. Either she want Jane to shut up because she thinks his words will rile LaRoche up further, or she’s afraid his interference might blow their cover. Again, we have an example of Jane’s continued efforts to help Lisbon and her continued dismissal of those efforts.
At Jane’s indirect statement of ‘no harm no foul’ LaRoche takes a deep breath, then cites that Lisbon has to be given a mandatory one week suspension, then adds that she is also to undergo six months of anger management classes. Jane reacts to by making an “Oh, looks who is in trouble” sound. Lisbon ignores him and accepts her punishment gracefully and LaRoche exits her office.
-I don’t care what anyone says. I am positive that LaRoche likes Lisbon (as a colleague at least). Else why would the writers have bothered clarifying that Lisbon’s one week suspension is mandatory? Why would LaRoche have clarified it? And the 6 months anger management classes, while undoubtedly tedious, could just as easily have been ordered out of concern for Lisbon as much as out of anger with her. I am positive that if not for LaRoche’s respect for Lisbon, her punishment could have been much worse. Especially considering how much LaRoche was looking forward to making Culpepper “very sorry” for breaking into his home as he stated earlier on in the episode.
Jane seems to agree. When LaRoche leaves, Jane states “Thought that went well”.
-Of course it is Jane, so we have to take what he says with a grain of salt. Still.
Lisbon then confidently tells him “You are going to owe me big time.” Jane response? “Uh, for what exactly?” to which Lisbon raises one of her bean bag paper weights as if to throw at him. Jane warns: “Ah, two words: anger management” as he leaves her office. Lisbon rather smugly drops the paper weight back on her desk when Jane pops his head back in. He calls out a soft “Hey” to get Lisbon’s attention. When she looks up, Jane gives her a heartfelt “thank you” with a tiny sincere smile. Embarrassed, Lisbon averts her eyes, only to have Jane furrow his brows in what seems like mock displeasure at her inability to accept his gratitude.
- First I’d like to thank director David M. Barrett for the close up on Tunney’s lovely face. Her eyes are not only gorgeous, they are beautifully expressive and in this scene they are speaking loud and clear:
Jane’s gratitude embarrasses Lisbon. But it also pleases her in spite of herself which is why she shies away from it here.
Before I go into their reactions here, I’d like to discuss other issues raised in the first VIS.
Lisbon’s non-reaction at Jane’s contention that he didn’t want to put her in danger.
At first I was disappointed that Jane’s admission didn’t garner a bigger reaction from Lisbon other than “you’re an idiot.” Then I remembered other similar situations between these two:
-In ‘Paint it Red’ (season one) Jane tells Lisbon that he didn’t include her in his plan to give her “deniability” implying he didn’t want to get her in trouble. She ignores him.
-In ‘Aaingavite Baa’ (season two) he apologizes that he went on the Native American reservation behind her back, but states he did so because he knew that he would stir things up. He explains “I was trying to protect you” (from Hightower) to which Lisbon snaps that she doesn’t need his protection from Hightower or anyone else.
-In ‘Blood Money’ when Lisbon calls Jane out on trying to help her after he’d gotten her in trouble, he states “I’m always going to save you Lisbon whether you like it or not” to which she replies that she doesn’t need to be saved; that she knows one day she’ll get fired because of him.
-And, the one that started it all: in Carnelian Inc. Jane states, to Lisbon’s puzzlement: “No matter what happens I will be there for you.” Lisbon’s reaction was to simply nod, probably because she’s was too surprised at the vow.
Now they’re not all worded the same but we have several instances which convey Jane’s almost old fashioned chivalrous desire to protect Lisbon.
Lisbon, for her part, never seemed overly affected by Jane’s efforts to look after her her, probably because she knows she can take care of herself and/or doesn’t realize the depth of Jane’s feelings for her. So I suppose it really isn’t that strange for her reaction in this episode to be any different. In fact, her “You’re an idiot” seems to convey her frustration that Jane would keep something so important from her in a misguided attempt to protect her.
Either that, or she didn’t believe him but didn’t want to push the issue. I don’t think so though.
As to Jane, I remember thinking, in each of the above instances, that he would be better off protecting Lisbon from himself; that his desire to protect Lisbon seems unrealistic considering his desire for revenge. This brings me to the next issue…
The conflict between Jane’s two strong desires: to protect Lisbon and to kill Red John.
I dare say this is the main theme of season three. In ‘Jolly Red Elf’ Jane told Minelli that the reason he won’t tell Lisbon what’s going on is that it’ll put her at risk. Yet his statement to Hightower that he’s better off on his own (Red Queen) raised the possibility that he may have other more self-serving motives to keep things from Lisbon. I’ve discussed ad infinitum what those motives may be: Jane wanting RJ for himself, his fear Lisbon will get in his way, his fear that Lisbon will no longer like him once she gets to really know him, Jane simply not being used to sharing information, etc, etc.)
But Jane’s statement in the previous episode that he’s looking for someone who knows the worst side of him, yet still loves him, makes the fact that he’s afraid of Lisbon’s reaction once he shares himself with her a pretty likely possibility.
Also, we know that Jane, like Lisbon, is a control freak. But his statements in the previous episode suggest that it’s not just because he thinks he’s smarter than everyone else. It’s also because he doesn’t trust anyone else to love him enough to do right by him (an issue I raised in the previous review and am even more certain of now).
And yet, Lisbon has always stood by Jane. And she’s seen plenty of his bad side. She saw how he tried to disconnect Bosco off his morphine drip (‘His Right Red Hand’) to which she called him a “cold bastard”. He’s told her of his intentions to torture Red John (‘Red Flame’, ‘Red Moon’). He’s also manipulated her into needlessly breaking the law (‘Blood for Blood’).
In fact, when you think about it, Lisbon is probably more familiar with Jane’s failings than she is with his virtues. It has been discussed before that Jane specifically hides his good deeds because he does no want to take credit for them; that he does not think he deserves praise (with regards to his character not his brains which he thrives on). Watching this episode, a very strange yet intriguing new possibility presented itself: Perhaps, until now, Jane has been deliberately showing Lisbon his bad side, to (subconsciously) test how far her regard for him goes while simultaneously keeping her at arm’s length. While this possibility has been raised before, I am now confident, for the first time, that his reasons for doing so do not (or no longer) have anything to do with revenge, or with Red John.
Proof? At the end of this episode, Jane honestly, sincerely, thanks Lisbon.
Why is this a big deal? Because…
Jane and Lisbon: another development in their trust vs. control saga
In “Black Gold, Red Blood” (BGRB), after Lisbon gets Bosco to drop his charges against Jane (who was in jail at the time), she first pretends that she didn’t have anything to do with it. Jane catches her in her lie and patronizingly (albeit sincerely) tells her that he’s touched that she risked her career over him. Lisbon responds:
“If you’re right, and I’m not saying you are, it would mean I broke the trust of someone I respect and admire for your sake. If it is true I would hope in the future you’d be a little bit more mature and responsible in your behavior.”
“I’m grateful and all, but let’s not go crazy here.”
The above conversation perfectly captures Jane and Lisbon’s push and pull relationship and their whole trust vs. control dilemma. In BGRB Lisbon didn’t want Jane to know she helped him probably because she feared he will start taking her help for granted. Jane on the other hand, while grateful, doesn’t want Lisbon to think that her saving him now means she has any control or sway over him.
It’s interesting that while each wants to be there for the other, neither wants to feel beholden to the other. Again, this is because of control. Neither want to feel like the other has control over his and her respective actions.
In this episode, that no longer seems to be an issue. After Jane is forced to tell Lisbon what is going on, she immediately saves him. She’s saved him before but this is the first time Lisbon flat out tells Jane that he owes her big time. Jane’s reaction is to deny this and he starts to leave (like he did in BGRB). But, he immediately pops back in to thank her sincerely. By doing this, Jane is indirectly admitting and agreeing that he owes Lisbon. This is huge! By doing this, Jane has relinquished a lot of control. After all, he doesn’t know how or when Lisbon might decide to collect on his debt. This shows that he trusts her enough to express his gratitude, his appreciation for her, without fearing that she will use his gratitude to manipulate him.
Similarly, the way Lisbon confidently states that Jane owes her here (entailing that she’s confident in her relationship with him to make such a statement) is very different than in BGRB when she tentatively asked Jane to modify his behavior, only to have him mock her request.
These two have come a long way.
It is safe to say that Lisbon coming through for Jane here is enough to assure him on his whole “trust” issue. Perhaps now that Jane can trust Lisbon, maybe he’ll start sharing more of his secrets with her.
But more than that, Lisbon’s saving Jane here makes a romance between the two more possible. Why?
Jane needs someone to look out for him.
When Jane admits he hired Culpepper he reminded me of a child who only told because he was going to be found out anyway. And Lisbon’s reaction reminded me of a mom’s. This dynamic of their relationship has been hinted at before, but it is even more promising now in light of the previous episode.
In ‘Every Rose has its Thorn’ Jane stated he’s looking for someone “better” than him. In that episode review I analyzed this as meaning that Jane probably knows that he needs someone to guide him. He just doesn’t have a lot of common sense. He needs a mother and Lisbon is just the person to raise him so to speak, especially when we consider how tough she was with Hightower’s kids and the fact that she raised her brothers.
Now some may say that by punching Culpepper Lisbon broke the law and that by saving Jane Lisbon is essentially enabling him.
The fact is the reason Jane broke into LaRoches home was because he might be RJ’s accomplice. This does not excuse his actions (or stupidity) but it makes Lisbon’s understanding of them acceptable. This isn’t like when Lisbon needlessly allowed Jane to manipulate her into letting Trina deGorg go in ‘Blood for Blood’ (something which I’m afraid I will never get over).
Her actions here are much more understandable and in character. After all, Lisbon is fiercely protective of her team, Jane is no exception. Still, she doesn’t let him off easily, telling him firmly that they’ll have a serious talk after (I seriously hope they do. Even if viewers don’t get to see it, we still need a hint that it happened).
I cannot express how much I appreciate the direction writers are taking with Lisbon’s character, especially after the last episode. When Lisbon was privy to Jane’s more vulnerable side via his interview, I worried that this information will be used as an excuse to make Lisbon more susceptible to Jane; to make her weak.
I had stated that Lisbon needs to realize being strong means standing up for Jane by standing up to him. That she needs to know when to go along with him (within the law) to eventually make him see that there is an upside to sharing information with her and to following the law.
In Redacted, Lisbon did this perfectly, because, essentially, it is the law that got Jane off after she punched out Culpepper.
Again, I am beyond ecstatic with the direction the writers are apparently taking with her character, keeping her strong enough to keep Jane in check, but lenient enough to make him want to follow the rules rather than resisting them. Maybe now Jane will share more of his ruse’s with her before he actually carries them out giving her a chance to temper them. Speaking of which…
Lisbon’s graceful acceptance of her punishment
Lisbon’s benign acceptance of her punishment here is in keeping with how she always accepts ramifications of either her or Jane’s actions. This is in stark contrast to Jane who is always trying to get off paying the consequences of his actions.
We’ve had hints that Lisbon’s a more of a big picture person, (especially this season) and I’ve raised the question before on whether she’s always been like this or if it was due to Jane’s influence (either intentional or unintentional).
But Lisbon’s motherly “we’re going to have a serious talk after” to Jane reminded me that she raised her brothers while keeping her father’s physical abuse a secret. This isn’t exactly within the bounds of the law. And yet, Lisbon respects the law at least enough to become an officer; that has to mean a lot.
Perhaps Lisbon does have her own code of ethics like Jane. But unlike him she understands that society needs to have rules and as a member she is expected to follow them. She seems to have no problem following rules and in fact almost thrives on them, maybe because they make her life easier and/or perhaps because they keep her own inner vigilante at bay (if she does in fact have one). It doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that she accepts her punishment when she breaks rules. She takes calculated risks, and doesn’t whine or complain when those risks don’t pay off (the biggest risk of all: hiring Jane). This doesn’t make her a hypocrite, it makes her responsible, pragmatic and practical; a perfect foil for Jane.
Says Little Mender:
While I’ve been all knotted up over Jane keeping secrets from Lisbon and am ecstatic that for whatever reason and however clumsily he finally spilled to her, I’ve got to tell you the punch thrilled me. If nothing else, finally, FINALLY, Lisbon is taking charge and NOT running around after Jane like a puppy yapping for attention. And I like that even though it all happened very quickly, she thought it through and counted the cost and was willing to pay it, which is definitely very UN-Jane-ish (this episode, case in point).
I agree. I’d also like to point out that, if anything, it is starting look that Lisbon is changing Jane more than he is changing her (a possibility I had raised in the previous review which seemed way too good to be true.)
On the other hand, DonnaMarie1969 over at ff.net posited another theory which seems based on the definition of the word Redact:
RE·DACT [ri dákt]
To obscure or remove (text) from a document prior to publication or release
I seem to have a totally different take on an episode than everyone else (according to blogs and message boards I’ve read). Jane already had LaRoche’s list, and on that list there were surely the five that Jane mentions to Lisbon. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that LaRoche had already interviewed five suspects already (Jane, Cho, Rigsby, Van Pelt, and Hightower). And if LaRoche has no knowledge that Johnson was attached to Red John, he would consider the case to be closed, since Hightower had apparently kidnapped Jane and made her escape. Why would he then hide this list? What would be the point if they all knew it was Hightower? For LaRoche, the case is closed. And if LaRoche is with RJ, why would he need a list in the first place? He would know who the mole was, or he would be the mole himself, just as Jane suggested to Lisbon. No, I contend that Jane had sent Culpepper to retrieve something else that we don’t know about yet.
Very interesting theory.
Personally, I think Jane was being honest when he verified Lisbon’s assumption that he sent Culpepper to look for LaRoche’s suspect list. LaRoche’s list which Minelli gave Jane in Jolly Red Elf had to have been created almost immediately after Todd’s death, meaning it was only a preliminary list. On the other hand, the project board LaRoche showed Hightower with the five circles (Red Queen) was only completed after weeks of painstaking research and interviews. This is why I think it is this more accurate updated list that Jane was after when he told Culpepper to break into LaRoche’s home. Hightower probably told Jane that LaRoche had updated his suspect list.
That being said, we have no proof.
There is also that Tupperware container in LaRoche’s safe. In my humble opinion, it is just a red herring to keep both Jane and viewers from eliminating LaRoche as a suspect in Todd Johnson’s murder. But again, there really is no way to be sure.
Personally, I like the idea of Jane and Lisbon as friends. A romance is way too scary because it might ruin their whole dynamic if not done very, very, carefully. I’m not sure the risk is worth it.
Let’s not forget that the writers are evil genius’s who love to keep us guessing.
Speaking of which, there are other possible reasons for why Jane and Lisbon’s scenes at the end was rushed. One is that both Jane and Lisbon were in denial of the enormity of Jane’s admission that he didn’t want to endanger her. We have it in canon that Lisbon prefers setting aside certain issues, so perhaps this is just one of them. To be fair, Jane seemed much more affected in his admission; his voice low in its sincerity.
Most likely though? The writers want to save all the drama for what everyone knows will be a fantastic season finale. I’ll bet Lisbon ends up in danger and/or gets hurt. Like serious danger and Jane falls to pieces because now that they are finally, finally getting comfortable with each other, getting over the stress of their revenge discussion in Red Moon, he is faced with the possibility that he might lose her.
We still don’t know why Todd Johnson was killing cops. There is also Brett Stiles’s chilling contention that Red John wants to take away everything dear to Jane (The Blood on His Hands). If Rachel (Ball of Fire) wanted to kill Lisbon to hurt Jane, we can bet that Red John knows how much Lisbon means to Jane as well.
The winner: Jane/Lisbon end scene.
-Read the previous 9 pages worth of writing for details.
First runner up: Lisbon, Rigsby, Jane, and LaRoche in the hallway.
Lisbon and Rigsby (Owain Yeoman) are discussing the case when LaRoche asks to speak to her. She waits for him to catch up with them. They then walk together as he lets her know that they had investigated the man who broke into his house last year in a murder and tells her that his name is Donny Culpepper. Jane silently falls in stride behind them and surprises Lisbon and LaRoche when he chimes in “Donny Culpepper, I remember him he tried to kill me.” Lisbon tells Jane he’ll have to narrow it a bit more than that. Rigsby responds it was the jewelry store robbery, and they’d found him in a hot tub when they went to pick him up.
-This was an expository scene to remind regular viewers and clue new ones in on who Culpepper is. Such scenes can be boring but director David M. Barrett shot this one so cleverly that he maintains the viewer’s interest; at one point the group is even seen through the blinds in one of the offices as they are walking down the hallway. The clever script doesn’t hurt either, nor does Jane’s discomfort.
Jane wonders out loud if there’s a connection between Culpepper’s presence in LaRoche’s home and Lisbon answers that he’s a criminal, they do wrong things. Jane quite readily agrees saying that it’s probably just a coincidence. His remark earns him a ‘look’ from both Rigsby and LaRoche and a raised eyebrow from Lisbon. As soon as LaRoche leaves, Lisbon asks Jane if there is in fact a connection. He says no. Both she and Rigsby tilt their heads incredulously at Jane. This time Jane firmly says, “absolutely not” before ushering them into the elevator, then takes off telling Lisbon he forget something. When she asks him what he mumbles something incoherently as the elevator door closes.
-Lisbon and Rigsby’s suspicion of Jane is not only funny, it’s also nice continuity since Rigsby once said that if Jane taught him something, it is that there’s no such thing as coincidence (Season 1 ‘Red John’s Footsteps’ . So it makes sense that they find Jane’s statement of Culpepper’s presence being a coincidence strange. Also, another reason Barret must be commended on his direction: being able to keep Rigsby and Lisbon in the same frame for most of the scene is impressive considering their remarkable difference in height.
Second Runner Up: Jane trying (and failing) to hypnotize Officer O’Donnel (Michael Maize).
This was simply too much fun. The unsuspecting officer taking the quarter Jane tried to hypnotize him with and telling him the story of how his uncle lost a Buffalo coin in a poker gain was so good. Jane’s disappointed face and the way he left with his tail between his legs was priceless.
- Devon Sorvari as Heather Blue, the victim’s girlfriend and killer. She was really good in her role, especially at the end when she goes psycho on Jane.
- David Warshofsky as Donny Culpepper: his reading of his lines was hilarious. Says Little Mender:
I almost ended up liking the guy and thought it was a hoot when he wouldn’t escape (a plan that was a true indicator of Jane’s desperation–another facet that I thought got lost in the rush). “MEXICO!? Who wants to go to Mexico?”
Also, his bruised face at the end and the way he waves goodbye at Jane had me in stitches.
- Pruitt Taylor Vince as J.J. Laroche. Here’s the thing. I was upset when Minelli (I love Gregory Itzin and his character) retired. I was angry when Hightower was framed (Aunjanue Ellis is a fine actress and her character had grown on me tremendously). Now I’m wondering if the fact that I’m crazy about Vince’s endearingly awkward, eerily observant, and by the book character means I have to get ready to say goodbye to him too. I hope not. Writers, please feel free to keep him around (as in, not killing him off, and not having him turn out to be RJ’s man).
-Simon Baker: Jane desperate and frantic (for a reason other than Red John) is not something we see every day. I’ve really missed his fun (as apposed to infuriating) antics and the way he ran around all episode trying to keep Lisbon from finding out what’s up with him and resorting to one half baked scheme after another was really funny.
Robin Tunney: Her acting was as superb as always, but I really want to point out is how utterly gorgeous she looked in this episode. Seriously, she’s so pretty it hurts. I think the reason I noticed it more here (other than the styling) is how much director Barrett focused on her face; a pleasure viewers don’t always have. With eyes like hers, she should be given as many close ups as possible.
Icing(s) on the cake:
1. LaRoche holding his dog as he shoots at Culpepper.
2. When Culpepper searches LaRoche’s bookshelf, there was a Norton Anthology Literature textbook amongst the texts.
- This could account for LaRoche’s knowledge of Blake. He studied literature.
3. Cho (Tim Kang) bringing Rigsby a drink at the crime scene.
- It’s the little details that make me happy.
4. LaRoche wanting Lisbon to be at court to see him destroy Culpepper.
- For some reason this tickled me. Why would he want Lisbon there? My ‘not so secret now’ pet theory is that he likes her, maybe even wants to befriend her. I know. I’m weird.
5. CBI Officer Ron (John Troy Donovan) is in this episode. For those who don’t know, he’s the handsome plain-clothes officer with a goatee who once got beat up by a suspect in Season’s two’s ‘the Red Box’. Usually, Ron just serves to occupy space at the Serious Crimes Unit (which he does very well). But in this episode he brings Officer O’Donnell his lunch.
-Again, it’s the small things that make me happy; like having regular CBI staff within the show. It just adds a touch of realism. Plus, I like Ron
5. Lisbon and Rigsby investigating most of the case together.
- I adore their sibling like chemistry. There wasn’t much in this episode (not like in ‘Red Gold’) but it was enough to keep me looking very closely.
6. Lisbon believing Jane about Todd Johnson’s connection to RJ and the mole instead of going into the auto-setting of arguing (this one’s Little Mender’s).
“Well that’s just snitching, isn’t that against your…code of honor?” Jane to Culpepper.
“No.”-Culpepper to Jane.
“Yeah, you really blew this. I thought you were a professional.”-Jane to Culpepper on failing to steal from LaRoche and getting caught.
“Mexico? Who the hell wants to go to Mexico? You get me out free and legal or I start talking. I’m pretty sure the dirt I got on you will be worth a ‘get out of jail free’ card.”-Culpepper to Jane
“You’ve very annoying.”-Jane, to Culpepper, in response to the above quote.
“Are you pointing a gun at me Heather?”- Baker’s face as he read this line is so priceless, you can almost see Jane bemoaning: “can my day get any worse?”
“I’m sorry, I have to kill you. But I’m doing it from a place of love.”- Heather to Jane.
“The absolute truth or I beat it out of you”- Lisbon to Jane.
1-When Jane arrives at the crime scene and tells Lisbon that the killer probably didn’t find what he was looking for, Lisbon asks him how he knows and Jane responds the whole place is torn apart. To which Grace replies that maybe the killer found what he was looking for in the last place he searched and Jane points out how unlikely that would be.
-This dialogue is almost exactly the same as in the crime scene of Season two’s premiere ‘Redemption’; same people, same observation, same question. But what’s really annoying is the fact that while viewers remember what a ransacked room means, CBI Serious Crimes Unit Head Senior Agent Lisbon doesn’t, nor does Grace whom Jane patiently explained the concept to before. Couldn’t one of the CSI techs have asked the question? Tsk.
2-When the team finds an angry message on the victims voice mail, the speaker speaks with a heavy accent. Cho tells Lisbon he’ll get a certain “Pete in Forensics” to identify it and that he’s a “genius” in accents. Later, Cho tells Lisbon that Pete identified the accent as Iraqi, and probably from Baghdad.
- I studied linguistics. I’m also multilingual. As far as I know, while it is possible to identify a person’s native language by their accent, I am pretty sure it is near impossible to narrow it down to a specific geographic location when they are speaking in English. Now, if the caller had spoken in Arabic, and a linguistic expert was brought in, it would have been much more feasible because Arabic dialect and pronunciation does differs from country to country, and yes even from city to city in some large countries. But those differences are usually specific to the language itself and are lost once that person speaks in another. Meaning, a person from Saudi Arabia speaking in English will sound very much like an Iraqi speaking in English. It’s the same in French. You can quite easily identify a person as a native speaker of French when you hear them speak English based on their pronunciation of certain letters (“h”, and “r” especially). But, listening to a native French speaker, speaking in English, and being able to tell if that person is from Lyon or Paris? I doubt even an expert in French dialects will be able to do it.
But, it has been a while since my bachelor’s degree, so maybe readers can offer their two cents? I know I have at least one fellow linguist and at least one reader from France
Update: I found a person who is in fact able to distinguish geographic location of foreigners based on their English accent. So this is no longer a pet peeve and is instead a “Wow. How much research did Eoghan Mahoney do for this ep?” exaltation.
3. When Jane denies accompanying Lisbon to give the Hassan family the good news of getting their fortune back, Lisbon finds his refusal strange.
-Is it strange? Jane has always shied away from the gratefulness of victim’s families and other people he helps. Lisbon knows this. She even teased him once about playing the “lone ranger” (Season one, ‘Scarlett Letter’). I found it strange that she found his un-enthusiasm strange. Am I missing something here?
For those who like reading Mentalist fiction, here are a couple of Episode Tags (fiction based on the episode):
Note: This may very well be the last review I write this season. I’m going to be very busy in the upcoming weeks (I’m in my last month in grad school) and have a lot of deadlines. I’m going to try to finish them ASAP so that I’ll be able to at least review the season finale. But to do that, I’ll have to really dedicate all my current free time to finishing my coursework. I will, however, write short posts for the upcoming episodes so that readers can continue to comment and discuss the episodes. I guess what I’m saying is, I’ll be depending on readers in the upcoming weeks to be more detailed in their comments. Thank God so far I have had no shortage of dedicated fans.
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