The Serious crimes unit of CBI catches a case of a young woman who was kidnapped and bound before having her throat slit. It turns out that hers is only another in a string of deaths caused by a serial killer known as the “San Joaquin Killer”. Special Agent Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney) likes photographer Richard Haibach (guest star William Mapother) for the crime. Meanwhile, investigative reporter Karen Cross (guest star Miss Pyle) gains interest in the case and asks blogger James Panser (David Paymer) for his insight; Panser had devoted his life to documenting the SJK’s criminal career after the first victim, a child of one of his neighbors, was killed. CBI consultant Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) also takes an interest in Panser and secures his aid in the case. The stakes are upped when another girl is killed and FBI Agent Susan Darcy (Catherine Dent) approaches young CBI Head Luther Wainwright Agent (Micheal Rady) to take over the case.
I hated this episode, a lot. I think it is safe to say that the amount of hate I have for Blinking Red light is only equal to how brilliant it was. I didn’t like it, but it was perfectly written, acted, directed. The musical score by Blake Neely was phenomenal, it makes you think, leaves you guessing, and shocks you in the end. I hated this episode, but as I don’t grade episodes on whether I like them or not, rather, on how well put together they are, this one’s a 10/10. Congrats Ken Woodruff.
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Detailed AKA Humungous Review (spoilers galore)
In my review for Scarlet Ribbons, I stated:
Personally, I wanted season four to give Jane a chance for character growth and resolution; something which only seemed possible with Red John’s death. But Scarlet Ribbons suggests that this could still happen, even with RJ alive. How guilty Jane felt over lying to the jury, and how easily he came clean to Lisbon about this fact has me feeling very optimistic. Jane, being Jane, of course justifies his actions as being a means to an end. But his simple admission that he feels bad is a huge step forward.
My inner cynic however, thought that Jane sharing this information with Lisbon was largely due to Jane’s selfish desire to have someone share the burden of the truth with him. Cynic also stated that Jane needs Lisbon to know the truth so that she’ll continue investigating Red John cases with him. I pointed out that there’s nothing wrong with needing to confess your sins to a friend; that’s part of what friends are for. Also, that Jane had been investigating the RJ case on his own all last season; he hardly needs Lisbon’s help. Cynic countered that if it wasn’t for Lisbon’s help then Jane wouldn’t have been able to reveal Craig as RJ’s spy in the season three finale. I conceded that point but proceeded to lock Cynic up and stuff him in the darkest dungeon in my memory palace as I refuse to let my mind use Lisbon’s awesomeness in an argument as evidence that Jane is manipulating her.
Speaking of Lisbon, I’m dying to see her reaction to Jane’s revelation that RJ is alive. It’s one thing for her to accept Jane’s killing RJ; he’s said he’d do it for years. It’s a whole other ball game knowing that he shot some random criminal. She took a risk with the reward being Red John’s capture. Now that she knows it’s not Red John, she might not be as docile towards the whole situation.
By the way, Cynic (screaming from his dungeon) wants the record to show that he mentioned the fact that while Jane is upset over lying to the jury, he’s not upset that he killed a man. Cynic adds that this is the second time Jane killed someone, and that he once stated “good riddance” when a suspect (Gorman from Blood for Blood) was killed during his arrest. I agree that Jane’s disregard for human life he deems unworthy plus his unapologetic demeanor is worrisome. It’s something I’ve been concerned about since he jaded himself by watching Steiner’s suicide. It seems a legitimate issue and I’ll be watching for future developments. Perhaps Jane telling Lisbon that he shanked a guy for money in prison was his subconscious expressing his own concern for his sanity (humanity), but Jane was projecting this concern onto Lisbon.
Cynic is laughing at me.
Cynic: Just like I’m laughing at you now. BWAHAHAHAHAHA- Hey, wait, is that a muzzle?! Umph!!
Ahem. Sorry about him.
I also commented in the Blood and Sand Review:
I’m starting to fear the writers are “mentalizing” us, preparing us for something horrible Jane is going to do *_*
I’d be psyched that I was able to accurately interpret the writers hints for this season if I wasn’t so traumatized.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
First, I’m starting this review with the last final scenes since I can’t seem to write anything else before getting them off my chest. It’s also useful to go backward with this one as I plan on exploring the events which led up to Jane doing what he did.
Helping me along I’m happy to once again present my dear friend Little Mender who was kind enough to listen to my rants concerning Jane and managed to sum up in a nutshell my grievances with the situation. She also provided a comprehensive analysis of those crucial last moments. Below you’ll find both her thoughts (and mine), indicated by our respective pen names.
Very Important Scene (VIS) #1: Title scene: Blinking Red Light
Feeling that newly in charge FBI agent Susan Darcy won’t take his suspicions of James Panser seriously, Jane takes matters into his own hands and accepts Karen Cross’s invitation to guest on her show alongside Panser. On the surface, Jane and Panser are both being interviewed as experts on SJK case. Below, they are facing off as Jane tries to get Panser to reveal himself as the real killer on air. Jane claims that it is only a matter of time before the serial is caught, insulting SJK (hence Panser) on live television.
During a break James tells Jane that he knows what he is doing and that he will not let him “ruin this” for him. When the show starts again, Karen Cross asks James if he thinks the killer will strike again. Panser goes onto to give the following chilling soliloquy.
“He is growing more bold and more confident every day, more sure of his abilities and his greatness and why shouldn’t he be? He has been able to evade detection so easily he is too good to be caught.”
Panser is completely unaware of the dramatic and murderous affect his words have on Patrick Jane. During this foreboding speech viewers can just see how affected Jane is. No doubt he is stricken not only by Panser’s confidence that he won’t be caught, but also by how true Panser’s words seem of Red John, how he has eluded him all these years, and still does. He stares at a Blinking Red Light on one of the camera’s; almost as if he is hypnotized by it and Panser’s words. It might be that he was…
Karen wakes Jane from his trance when she asks him if he has any comments. Jane looks at Panser for a while and the man looks back; it’s the final stare down in the battle before the secret weapon is brought out. One can almost see Jane making a decision. When Karen calls out his name again, he says “It’s funny, Red John thought exactly the same thing.”
Panser: “Somehow I don’t think the San Joaquin killer will be quite as easy to kill as Red John.”
Jane’s reply is simply “You’re very much mistaken.”
Panser: “Red John was an accomplished killer no doubt and I applaud you for ridding us of him, but there is no comparison to the San Joaquin. Red John was a common sociopath, lazy, sloppy, delusional…”
At this point, Jane attempts to intercede: “You really have no idea what you’re saying, Red John-” before he is cut off by Panser “Red John is dead, and the fact that he allowed himself to be caught and killed by you just proves my point.”
Less optimistic viewers than I probably figured out Jane’s exact intention in bringing Red John up the moment he did. They probably realized that Jane’s silence at this point, his taking a drink of water as he watches Panser rant over RJ’s weakness, wasn’t him fearfully stepping out of the way of a man intent on hanging himself with his words. Rather, less optimistic viewers probably realized Jane’s subsequent silence was him enjoying watching Panser hang himself with the rope Jane (most likely intentionally) gave him.
Little Mender: I think Jane thought to out Panser on Karen Cross’s show, or at least trick him into giving himself away. But he knew that would never happen (Panser actually was too smart for that), and he didn’t formulate the plan to lure him into a death snare until he was watching the red light. It would have triggered something in his conscious mind–a television talk show, an interview, discussing Red John, evaluating and assessing and dismissing him. I also think he wasn’t trying to get him to stop talking but was subtly egging him on, getting his ire up to keep going and say what Jane knew would incite RJ.
Reviewbrain: I completely agree, though I wish to the ends of the earth that it’s not true Jane was egging Panser on. But the only other realistic possibility which crossed my mind, is that Jane’s half-hearted attempts to stop Panser were so that he can later delude himself by thinking “Hey, I tried to stop him, it was his own fault” and so lessening any feelings of guilt (if any) which might arise (is that even likely?). So yeah, not exactly a better alternative.
Very Important Scene (VIS) #2: Jane and Panser in the Dressing Room
Jane, leaving the TV set, sees Panser in what is either the a bathroom or dressing room. He stops to tell him, in a huskier than usual voice, “You ah, you were very good out there. “ Panser thanks him. Jane leaves the room, closing the door behind him. Panser, looking at himself in the mirror says, “I was good.”
Little Mender: When Jane stops in to compliment Panser on his performance, his expression is serious and weighty as if he’s aware of the heinous import of what he’s done. But just before he exits, there’s that hint of a smile, as if he’s actually congratulating Panser (and himself) for doing exactly what Jane was leading him to do. My first consolation is that the smile MIGHT be Jane’s personal confirmation of what he believes of the worst of himself (reference his talk with Todd Johnson about hiding the darkest part of what’s in your heart so no one suspects what you’re capable of).
Reviewbrain: Again, I agree with Little Mender and I want to point out that the key word here is Jane “believes” the worst of himself; meaning this belief is not necessary true (despite all signs that it is). At this point in the scene, it is clear that Jane knows exactly what he has done and is a bit shaken, as evidenced by his demeanor and throaty tone. And yet, his congratulations to Panser also seemed like a smug, grim “Goodbye, we shouldn’t be seeing each other again.”
VIS #3: Jane in the attic
In the next scene, we see Jane’s mobile ring on one of the crates in the CBI’s godforsaken attic, made even more so by the eerily darkness. Jane sniffs before picking up the phone.
Little Mender: As for the attic scene, Jane never leaves his phone lying around. I don’t think he can afford to lest someone should pick it up and read or listen to a saved message. It’s logical to deduce that he left the phone behind specifically so no one (especially Lisbon) could get in touch with him or find him, perhaps stopping him or dissuading him from what he thought to do or what he finally decided to do.
Reviewbrain: This is actually a very interesting possibility that never crossed my mind. I don’t know what Jane might have on his phone that he doesn’t want people to read, or if he had the presence of mind to leave his phone in the attic before taking off to Karen Cross’s show, but I suppose it is possible. Though I suppose if Lisbon intended to stop Jane she would have attempted to before he left her (as she does numerous times in Season 3, i.e. The Blood on his Hands). Personally, I had interpreted the phone’s position, along with the fact that there was a teacup nearby, to mean that Jane was lying on his makeshift bed some distance away from his phone after he drank tea. That, along with the Jane’s sniff before picking up the phone leads me to think that he was actually distressed (mind you, even if a little bit) over what he had done.
The fact that Jane is up again in that heinous attic does not bode well. Jane started sleeping/spending time in that attic after he “met” Red John in the season two finale. I always thought he was just working too hard on the case to go home. That and the fact that Jane once said he sleeps better at CBI. Now I’m starting to think Jane has another reason to stay at CBI; perhaps he feels safer there. I wonder if it’s Red John or his own demons that he fears the most…
Note: Jenny Lson brought to my attention that Jane’s tea set in this scene is not his usual turquoise blue cup. Rather, it is more similar to the one we saw Jane drink out of in Rosalind Harker’s home in Red John’s Footsteps, as well as the one Red John himself drank out of in the same episode. I think the heads of this show are too detail oriented to accidentally have Jane drink from the same type of cup as RJ’s. I’ll be saving this detail to discuss later.
VIS# 4: End Scene: Red John Smiley
Jane arrives at an unspecified location to find Lisbon, FBI Agent Susan Darcy, and a third unknown cop staring him down. He asks “What happened?” Lisbon tells him it’s Panser and to go see for himself. He does, approaching the crime scene he is faced with Red John’s smiley, no doubt drawn in Panser’s blood, the man’s dead body nearby.
Little Mender: When he arrives on the scene, Lisbon’s stance is defensive and suggests suspicion. Of course, it’s reasonable to assume that it’s because of the red smiley and all that it signifies. But while she probably doesn’t know where Jane went or what he did yet, there has to be the memory of his cryptic remark just before he left her last. I also think it’s significant that she didn’t accompany him to the scene but only directed him to it with a jerk of the head. She also didn’t reach out to him as she often does, a gesture to comfort or soften the blow, but kept her hands firmly in her trouser pockets.
Reviewbrain: Lisbon’s wary stance her is completely different from the sympathetic caring demeanor we’ve seen from her all this season. I’m glad of it, to be frank. I’d love to believe that she knows what Jane pulled. Alas, I think it more likely that she’s simply upset that she now has unequivocal evidence that Jane was right, Red John is still alive and is upset that this can of worms has opened up again. Mind you, it’s not that I doubt Lisbon’s ability to put two and two together and realize Jane’s role in Panser’s death; rather I don’t think the writers will let her realize it, at least not at this point, to delay the possible confrontation between her and Jane until they deem it timely.
Little Mender: I also noticed the stance and expression of the FBI agent who had taken over the SJK case, squinting at Jane, suspicious, wary and assessing. She seemed intelligent and broad in her thinking in those few minutes we saw her earlier, and she’s got to be thinking on his assertions that Timothy Carter was RJ, wondering if he knew or came to know the truth of that matter and if he knowingly lied to the jury, wondering how far he would go to stop another serial killer, wondering if he had some part in this or at the least wondering what behaviors the current situation might evoke in him. I would love to see something of what’s to happen down the road.
Reviewbrain: So would I. Jane has been wrong plenty of times before and if he continues on this path it’s only a matter of time before he does something else even his arrogant self will have cause to feel guilty for; killing someone innocent perhaps. Someone has to hold Jane accountable for his actions before this happens. And not just for the innocent lives he might take in the future, but for his own sake and Lisbon’s as well. I had hoped this would be Lisbon’s role this season; we’ve gotten clues that it might be and I’m inclined to hope that just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean that it won’t. But if not Lisbon, I’ll happily take Agent Darcy.
Little Mender: My second consolation, if you could call it that, is that as he approached the scene and that little smile appeared (so much like the lightly smug smile he wore after killing Timothy Carter) is that it was directed, not at the dead body, but at the smiley face, as if the big win was flushing out RJ and that Panser being stopped is just a side benefit. Heartbreakingly, it’s just as likely that satisfied expression could be about his playing Red John.
Reviewbrain: Little Mender again manages to find the silver lining in a particularly black cloud. To be honest, I think it’s pitiful we’ve been reduced to consoling ourselves with the merest hints that Jane’s crimes are not deliberately evil, but just a means to an ends, if that were even true. Jane might have just as easily gotten Panser killed as payback for his insulting him as for that fact that he thinks he’s a killer (see how he used Ellis Mars vindictively in Red Moon). Hmm. Someone killing someone as payback for insulting their ego. Who does that remind us of?
Alternatively, Jane’s smile upon seeing the smiley could be interpreted as an excited “Game on”. Ugh.
Jane’s Character “development”
In reply to my comment (mentioned above) that the writers are mentalizing us for something horrible Jane might do, commentor All-I-Need stated:
He already killed someone, what could he possibly do that´s MORE horrible? Kill someone in a really really gruesome way? Not likely with the way he`s behaving nowadays…not to mention the fact that Lisbon stays closer to him now, to give him less opportunities to slip away and “do something stupid”.
Jane did manage to slip away from Lisbon, and now I think we have our answer on what could be more horrible than Jane killing a man: Jane becoming a serial killer.
My friend takes the idea even further…
Little Mender: All of this makes me wonder, does Jane realize that he is now, by loosest definition, a Red John accomplice? Does he realize the danger and implications of killing or luring someone to their death if he considers it to be “for the greater good” (an assertion made by RJ’s comrades about his ways)? Does he realize the definition of a serial killer? Perhaps two isn’t enough to make him meet that, but surely if he does it again (and I would think it increasingly easy) he would qualify. Surely three “victims” who meet certain descriptive killed over a period of time would suffice. And if that definition makes Jane a serial murderer, Lisbon (by loosest definition) fits the bill as well. Of course, she’s exempted from retribution by Jane’s standards as judge, jury and a law and god unto himself.
Reviewbrain: So true. For someone who acts like he doesn’t believe in a higher power, Jane certainly acts as if he himself is one. I only hope that Lisbon’s only religion is enough to save them both. And I contend that Jane has already established a pattern of a serial killer: Hardy (Red John’s Footsteps) Stiener (The Red Mile) Timothy Carter (Strawberries and Cream) and now, James Panser.
Note: Hardy’s kill was a rightous one, Jane did it to save Lisbon’s life. But it was his first “kill”. Interestingly, it was the most horrified we’ve seen Jane despite the act being completely justified. A cop once told me the first time is the hardest. Little Mender is right, it is becoming increasingly easy for Jane to kill. In the case of Steiner, Jane may or may not have done (or not done) enough to qualify for the crime of “assisted suicide”, but for the sake of this argument, he comes pretty close. Especially when you consider that his main reason for staying was not out of compassion, rather, to desensitize himself so that he’ll be able to kill Red John.
Little Mender: I read an interview at the end of S3 in which Bruno H said that Jane wants to go in a different direction now and be more open, make changes and move on with his life, implying a desire to be in a more positive psychological and personal place. Obviously that wasn’t true. There have been a spate of interviews and a few twitter messages from people connected with the show, and I don’t think any of them are to be believed, following the previous pattern of misleading viewers to keep us guessing. Jane’s behavior toward Lisbon and privately with the flower in the ocean thing is so confusing that I have to believe they are–rather clumsily–building toward something as they started to do about mid-season in S3. I find myself hoping that Jane is heading for a major fall. I just wonder who else will have to pay.
Reviewbrain: I feel for Little Mender; the reason I (try) to avoid all spoilers and teasers (even trailers) is because they tend to be misleading; their function is to market the product to viewers not to necessarily be honest with them; and while I used to think this show was the exception to the rule it is clear that that is no longer the case.
However…I don’t think Heller was being deliberately misleading in this case. The apparent contradiction between Jane’s peaceful demeanor earlier in this season and his vigilantism here has actually been set up very well, which is why the episode got the full grade it did despite how much it depressed me.
VIS #5: Jane and Panser visit Molly Meir’s family
We’ve often seen Jane relate to bereaved husbands, but rarely do we see him relate to grieving parents. I think the last time I remember was in season one. In Blinking Red Light, the case seemed to greatly effect Jane particularly after he visits the first victim Molly Meir’s parents. When Molly was killed, she was the same age Jane’s daughter would have been had she lived. Seeing her enraged mother screaming her disbelief that this “monster” was still out there killing more girls, her father’s quieter yet just as grieving demeanor…
What if Jane, by putting a flower in the ocean, really had intended to move on, to forget revenge? This possibility becomes especially likely if Jane believed that Red John really did want to retire (based on what RJ told Carter to say, his attempts to make Jane think he really was dead, and the fact that he has all but disappeared after Jane shot Carter).
Then, Molly’s mother’s frustration remind Patrick of his own. Seeing her suffering helpless family clearly pushed him to work the case harder, and finally pushed him to sign Panser’s death warrant when he couldn’t catch him. Jane felt compelled to act to stop “this monster”, as the mother called him, to make up for his inability to stop RJ? If true, I wonder how many other surrogates Jane will have for RJ before he realizes what he is doing…
Little Mender: That could be it, I guess. Also, after reading your comments, I thought of him walking out of the first victim’s room, leaving her father staring at the screen, watching her dance and Panser saying more than once that the SJK would never be caught. And those two things made me wonder if Jane did what he did because he couldn’t bear another serial killer continuing. I guess there is some merit in what he did–he just seemed to at ease with it. And I don’t like Lisbon’s growing tendency to just let things go. I’m still bothered that she didn’t even seem to flinch when Jane told her he had purposely lied to the jury in his case. Or, maybe she just accepted that as part of how the system works, with all of its flaws. I’m getting a little tired of wondering and contemplating.
Reviewbrain: I guess the biggest question now would be how Lisbon will react now that Red John is back. I know since last season I’ve been advocating more than anyone for Lisbon to start letting Jane connect with her emotionally, blah, blah, blah, but at the same time I also stated that it shouldn’t be to the point where she completely loses wariness of him. I was as happy when Lisbon visited Jane in jail as I was when she told him she doesn’t trust him %100 (Scarlet Ribbons); as happy that she apparently kept the stone he gave her as I was when she insisted on remaining to ask her own questions after Jane told her they should go (‘Blood and Sand’). I took these as signs of the perfect balance Lisbon needs to have to deal with Jane: be intimate enough with him so that he’ll open up to her, while at the same time retain enough of her professionalism to be the voice of reason; a grounding force for when Jane goes too far. Jane’s statement that Lisbon is a “healthy moderating influence” (Little Red Book) along with his newfound tolerance towards spiritualism, and the flower he set into the sea (Blood and Sand) also had me overjoyed that perhaps Lisbon was changing him as much as he was her. This episode, however, the team dynamic shifted in a way that had my inner Cynic (y’all might remember him from the Scarlet Ribbon’s Review) screaming like a harpy.
Jane takes Lisbon under his wing
In the episode opener, Jane who has a flat tire has Lisbon talk him through their latest case. Lisbon notes the clean way the girls throat was slit, the carefully knotted wire binding the girls wrists and feet and the pebbles from the crime scene placed on the victim’s eyes. Jane tells Lisbon that she’s right in thinking that the suspect is a serial killer; Lisbon argues that she can’t assume that when Cho reveals that the profile fits four other victims. Jane congratulates her on calling it.
Later Jane has Lisbon use her intuition to narrow a list of eight suspects down to one. And while she tells Jane that she simply can’t dismiss the others based on her hunch he points out that her hunch is as good a place to start as any, adding “Well done Lisbon”.
Cynic: Witness the master grooming the student for his own nefarious use later.
Reviewbrain: Jane is just helping Lisbon hone skills she already has; and that’s a big step considering his ego and need to be the smartest in the room.
Cynic: He’s doing it because he needs her as his sidekick.
Reviewbrain: No, it’s just more proof of his burgeoning affection.
Cynic: Affection you say? And that makes you happy? Weren’t you the one who said (in the Blood for Blood Review)
Gaining Jane’s affection comes with the price (or gift) of him trying to convert you to his religion; that religion being, that he’s always right and Red John is the devil.
Reviewbrain: Uh, Little Mender, a little help here?
Little Mender: I’ve thought his watching her more was about his heightened sense of protectiveness, but now I have to wonder if he’s been gauging how much further he can stretch her, how far he can make her willing to go. I’ve got to hope she’s not so far gone that if she realizes what he did she won’t just absorb it and go on. But, if she can’t do that, their relationship will be left in tatters, nearly all hope for Jane’s “redemption” gone, and Jane won’t have the desire to repair it because I fear that, drawing the line at her life (and knowing Lisbon would draw the line at her family’s and team’s lives), Jane doesn’t care what Lisbon might have to sacrifice for him. She’s already let him know she expects to lose her job. What more can there be? And if he continues on this track, if she gets in his way, how safe can she hope to remain?
Reviewbrain: I guess I’m outnumbered. Let the record show that despite all my defense of Jane, even I am unhappy that Lisbon didn’t even try to find out what Jane was going to do when he told her that while her hands were tied, his weren’t. It’s a contrast to when last season she wanted to know where he was at all times; it’ll be interesting to see which MO she’ll be operating under in the future after this episode. Also, even I couldn’t help the feeling of foreboding watching Jane instruct Lisbon and congratulate her so happily. I had to remind myself that Jane telling Lisbon to go with her instincts could be a good thing.
Perhaps this is where the answer lies: We know that Jane needs someone better than him to guide him. Could this be what he is (perhaps subconsciously) doing? Jane encouraging Lisbon to rely on her instincts gives the implicit meaning that he trusts them as well. Could this mean that when and if she reaches a point where she does not agree with him, where she tries to stop him, Jane will listen to her?
Cynic is laughing at me. Again.
In the Blood and Sand review, I commented:
All I want, whatever new plotline is developed, is for Jane to be able to retain his newfound peace. I’d hate for it all to be built up only to have an event occur which makes him regress. That would completely depress me.
I suppose it was too much to hope for Jane achieving his peace at this point in the series . But I must reiterate my concern from episode The Red Mile; using such dramatic plots with so much time left on the show is not the wisest move. I’ve had so many people telling me that I’ve been over grading this season’s episodes; that they didn’t feel many of the tens’ I gave were deserved, until after they read the reviews. I can only imagine this is because the show has had so many dramatic plots; mostly RJ centered, that it has desensitized the audience to the point where many of them can no longer appreciate the show’s subtleties. If the ratings are down from last year, I’m certain this is the only reason.
The show needs to slowly wean the audience off its adrenaline fix. Otherwise, in trying to outdo itself, it risks losing what made it special to begin with. You’ve got three + seasons left. SLOW THE HECK DOWN ALREADY!!
Unless they have all the season plots planned up to season seven (which, with these writers isn’t unlikely), in which case, God speed. I wish I could fast forward to happier times, finish the series, then rewatch knowing all will be well in the end.
I also stated, in the Blood and Sand Review:
Some issues raised, and I hope will continue being explored include: what people have to do to survive, where the line between victim stops and that of perpetrator begins, as well as how close the serious crimes unit has become and how far these people will go to help each other.
In my review of Strawberries and Cream I said that I while I was unhappy Jane killed “Red John”, I didn’t think he’d be able to live with letting him go. In “Blinking Red Light” we see Jane feeling compelled to commit yet another murder (Jane may not have killed Panser himself; but he may as well have). We also have him skewing the line between victim (having lost his family so viciously) into becoming a perpetrator.
It remains to be seen how far Lisbon will go to protect him. I just want to point out the there are different forms of protection.
There is an Arabic saying which loosely translated states: “Help your fellow man whether he is the criminal or the victim. If he is the victim, you help by fighting for him. If he is the criminal, you help by stopping him.”
What this statement means, is that by stopping a friend from doing harm unto himself or others, you are literally helping him; even if it may not seem like it to that person.
I want Lisbon to help Jane. Not by going along with everything he say/does, but by stopping him from becoming what he pretty much has already become: a killer.
My desire for her to remain the loyal, strong and ethical person that she is greater than ever. It’s the only hope I see for Jane’s character. Some may find watching Jane become a serial killer exciting. I don’t. Because while so far all his ‘victims’ have been criminals (and in the case of Panser, we have no proof of that whatsoever) it’s only a matter of time before he kills someone innocent on a hunch. Jane is not infallible, no one is. I just hope Lisbon’s (not %100) trust for Jane, and her own sense of the law remains intact enough to prevent Jane from giving himself more acts to feel guilty for.
I suppose it is possible that all the psychological references here were to prepare us for the fact that this is the new face of the show: Jane the serial avenger. I have to say I’m not interested in that show; if I was I’d watch Dexter, not the Mentalist. I can appreciate the irony of Jane turning into the very man he despises (a major hint was his using the same tea set RJ does). I can even appreciate him not being aware of it. But having Lisbon stand by and do nothing to stop it would probably be more than I can stomach. Having her be completely unaware of it is worse because it’s simply not realistic. This show’s hook was supposed to be Jane seeking redemption by solving crimes and getting his archenemy. Killing, even a righteous killing, is hardly the right path to redemption, in my humble opinion.
And while I appreciate how nicely the writers set up this plot line, no amount of build up will allow me to forgive them turning my favorite character into a serial killer. Jane is not amoral; he’s worked long enough at CBI to be aware of the law. He just chooses to ignore it.
If I could sit in a room with Patrick Jane it would probably be a parody of his scene with Panser at Karen Cross’s show. I (the blogger) would probably be playing his role in that scene, telling him how he needs to stop killing people and it’s only a matter of time before he makes a mistake and is caught. Jane (the killer) would be Panser, lost in his own ego and grandiose defending his genius; him being too good to be caught.
The winner: The scene where Lisbon and Grace search Haibach’s home. I loved the intensity, the music, the build up, the direction, everything was phenomenal.
First Runner up: Jane and Panser’s Karen Cross interview; the title scene.
Third Runner up: The scene where Jane and Lisbon go to the warehouse. The direction was superb, and David Paymer was phenomenal. His performance truly has me doubting Jane was right about him being the killer.
“Working on a computer, what’s next? Rayguns? Teleporters?” Lisbon to Jane.
“He’s become wrapped up in his own mythology, drank his own Kool aid, so to speak.” Jane on SJK. Takes one to know one Jane.
“He’s a sad little man, living in his own fantasy of power and prestige. I’ts only a matter of time before he makes a mistake.”-Jane on Panser. Jane, see the above comment.
“What did they do, hold your shoes hostage?” Jane to Karen Cross. Awesome comment especially since she swapped her sexy killer heals for comfy sneakers.
“That kind of duplicity, leading a double life, I don’t know how you do that.” Panser to Jane.
“This is a man to be feared, not pitied.”- Panser on SJK. I’m starting to think the same might be true for Jane. But even the fear I feal is for him.
“We’ll think of something.” Lisbon, to Haibach, on why he was being arrested.
Icing’s on the cake
Our beloved foodie is back! Kudo’s to Woodruff for having Rigsby wolf down a hot dog in this episode. And Cho’s look of distaste at all the ketchup on his face was priceless as well.
Lisbon’s curdling glare at Haibach and her fighting with his lawyer: I’ve missed pissed off Lisbon. Her hardness here reminded me of her distaste of Kurdich in episode Red Tide. Tough Lisbon we love you!
Jane looked a bit terrified at the new victims gouged out eyes. It’s nice to see that there are things which still get to him. We should enjoy this while it lasts…
Simon Baker (as director and actor). He really goes all out with the directing and makes some very interesting shots using surprising angles. Robin Tunney was as delightful as ever; pissed off, cohorting, taking charge. David Paymer; again, I’m not so sure he’s not innocent, Missi Pyle; love her smiling at Jane, apologizing for last time. Blake Neely (composer) I think his music speaks for itself. Finally William Mapother as Haibach; his scenes were Lisbon were very good, especially when he started crying at being caught.
If the truest motive of a serial killer does lie within the first victim, how come we never got to know why Panser fixated on Molly Meir?
Did Karen Cross’s accent disappear along with her heels?
Did Lisbon really need to arrest Haibach? Couldn’t she just have said that they have a suspect in custody without risking being sued by his lawyer?
Jane’s been wrong before. Just because he says Panser is the SJK doesn’t make it so. Even Panser’s statements “I’m not going to let you ruin this for me”, and his statement “I did good” could simply be referring to the fact that he didn’t let Jane steal his spotlight, didn’t let Jane set him up for a murder he didn’t commit, and that he’s pleased with himself that he stuck by his own analysis of SJK instead of allowing Jane to bully him into submission.
That would be totally awesome. If Jane had RJ kill Panser because he thought he was a serial killer, only for Panser to turn out to be completely innocent; his only crime having a too neat medicine cabinet, liking the same song as one of the victim’s did, and being unfortunate enough to cross the almighty Jane. What a wakeup call that would be.