Mentalist At First Blush Review


Synopsis

Leaving the courthouse after testifying on a case Agent Teresa Lisbon (Tunney) and her consultant Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) see Eve Mulberry (Bonnie Somerville) before she walks inside for her own trial’s closing arguments. Lisbon tells Jane that Eve, a renowned winemaker, is being prosecuted for killing her dance teacher. Afterward observing Eve in court, Jane tells Assistant District Attorney Osvaldo Ardiles (David Norona) that she is innocent. Ardiles is unimpressed with Jane’s clues, Eve’s body language and responses, and points out the case has already been tried. Jane decides to investigate and prove Eve’s innocence before the jury comes back with what will most likely be a guilty verdict.

Concise verdict

Sigh.

I should probably explain that this is a happy, extremely satisfied sigh. Like one let out after eating a particularly delicious meal. At First Blush was a well written, well executed episode. It had a unique new premise with lovely scenery shown generously by director Roxann Dawson. The casting was impeccable and the episode also brought back a couple of enjoyable guest stars. With continuity and an attention to detail, I was riveted from beginning till end. I even momentarily forgot the events of the episode prior. Forget dessert I’ll take seconds please. 10/10.

Detailed AKA Humungous Review (spoilers galore)

Sighhhhhhhhhhh.

Sorry. Had to let another one out. I think I’m done now. But be forewarned, I’m high on happiness now. Which means I’ll be prone to giving a lots of virtual hugs. Seriously, though, how much did I love this episode? Let me count the ways. This could take a while…

First, I just want to point out that as the episode’s main strength was its format and excellent  characterization for both the main and recurring players. So I’ll be focusing on those for this review.

Format

-The plot set up was very clever; having Jane and Lisbon catch sight of Eve at the courthouse after which Jane bets Ardiles that Eve is innocent. Having the episode end at the same place, again with Jane watching Eve then Ardiles giving him his nickel for winning the bet also gave the episode a nice bookend ending.

-Having the judge at the end refuse to let Jane into her chambers allowed Lisbon to explain how Jane found out that Amy was the killer, vindicating her trust in him. It simultaneously gave her and Ardiles a chance to clear the air between them after he dropped a bomb on her in her office earlier in the episode. On the plus side, it also established continuity on Jane’s courtroom antics as set forth in episode “Blood Money” and mentioned in the beginning of this episode.

-Instead of having an A plot and a B plot, we have Cho’s subplot woven masterfully within. But it was also kept separate enough from the case (Cho and Rigsby run down a lead) in a way that allowed Cho to be a main protagonist in the episode (despite the case being Jane’s) as he dealt with his own issues.

Characterization

Wayne Rigsby (Owain Yeoman)

Yeoman’s character was wonderfully utilized in this episode, for (*gasp*) something other than comic relief. Rigsby runs interference for all his colleagues here. First he settles an argument between Jane and Lisbon by bringing them a lead. He also advises Cho to let up his pain pills. Then he apologizes to a cop Grace angers. Then he points out to Cho that they should use Summer’s help to get suspect Murphy to talk. And when Cho wants to impatiently put a stop to the operation Rigsby tells him to let it play out, allowing Summer to get more information (leverage for them) from the perp.

But what was ironically satisfying is that after being delegated the task of being the only canon lovesick agent for most of this show, Rigsby’s character is now surrounded by people with all kinds of emotional undercurrents. Thankfully, Director Dawson doesn’t waste the opportunity presented here and utilized Yeoman’s great reaction shots.

Note: It’s the details, people!! Not only do we care about the people saying the lines, we also care about how the other characters feel about them. It keeps things interesting by giving us tacit information on their personalities. Jesse Spencer spent most of his career over at House making such reactions; sometimes stealing a scene even when he didn’t have any lines.

Similarly here Yeoman also makes the most of his screen time treating us to some pretty funny and very telling facial expressions. In his scene with Jane and Lisbon, he was the innocent messenger witnessing a fight between his boss and “the missus” (i.e. Jane) where he proves Jane right. The look he gives Jane after an irate Lisbon leaves can have so many meanings, from a rueful “Women” to “Please go put out that fire” to, “Dude, you’re in the doghouse”.  I loved it.

Then there was him watching Cho and Summer together. When Cho tells Summer “I’ll wire you up” you can see practically see Yeoman biting tongue to keep himself from saying anything.  Awesome.

Summer (Samaire Armstrong)

Samaire Armstrong has really grown on me. I found her character (and her portrayal) a bit too dramatic at first. Now that Summer is no longer a working girl, not only has her style become less loud but so has the way she carries herself. It seems more quietly confident as opposed to the overdone sexy vibe she had been sporting. I’m now thinking it had been intentional to show how her career change has affected her. I really like how much she obviously enjoys and takes pride in her job. And if it’s not obvious in how zealously she carries out her surveillance tasks or boasts about being good, it was in how gutted she looked when Cho told her he wouldn’t be using her anymore, and how much she fought Cho to get her job back. Incidentally, she was fighting for more than just her job, she was also fighting for Cho.

I’m not sure if Cho’s assumption that Summer “gets off on danger” is accurate, I actually think that was a bit harsh. But it’s clear that one of the reasons Summer loves her job is the proximity it gives her to Cho, whom she’d flat out said she likes in Pink Tops. Being his confidential informant she gets to hang out with him and impress him, and yes, forget her sad life. There’s nothing wrong with that; it’s why Jane continued on at CBI even after the RJ case was taken away from him in Redemption: “I have nothing else to do.”

As to Armstrong’s performance when she went off on Cho, all I can say is wow. That slap had me literally picking my jaw off the floor. But just as affective was Summer’s palpable relief when she realized that Cho actually admitted that he did in fact, like her. It was as if she couldn’t quite believe what she was hearing, like it was too good to be true. Good stuff. Her utter happiness was shown in the fierceness of her kiss to Cho.

Kimball Cho (Tim Kang)

Speaking of the reluctant lover, having Cho’s interest in Summer increase subtly over the course of the season, only to have it virtually explode on screen was a clever move. While an elevator make out session isn’t something new to TV (in fact, one could argue it’s highly overused) it was very surprising to see in this show, done by its most stoic character. It was so unbelievable, that it is believable (if that makes any sense). Mostly though, it makes sense because something had to give. Cho has been so tightly wound this season, by his growing attraction to Summer, no doubt, but also by the lingering back pain from his accident. Despite Rigsby’s gentle hint that Cho should let up on the pain pills, it may be that Cho still doesn’t realize he’s becoming addicted to them. Now with regards to Summer, no offense to Cho but he’s not exactly by the book himself; he’s gone rogue a few times (Blood in Blood Out, Rhapsody in Red”. The fact he made such a big deal out of Summer doing so just shows how much he was worried about her. Now that his attraction has been consummated I’m interested to see how he deals with his other problem.

Kang gets to bring out his characters deep intensity out for the world to see. First he raises his voice at Summer when he justifies his reasons for firing her. But when she calls him out on liking her, demanding he own up to liking her, Cho reverts back to his stoic self. He admits that he does so quietly Summer only realizes it after she slaps him. He then asks “Can I go now?” Awesome.

If the effect of Summer’s violence on Cho is anything to by, then it’s pretty safe to assume that Summer’s not the only one who gets high on excitement. It may not be the worst thing for Cho if he replaces one addiction for another. Drugs, for love…

Grace Van Pelt (Amanda Rightetti)

Grace didn’t have a lot of scenes but I really liked the one she did have. She and Rigsby go to ask a detective Silva who had worked Mulberry’s case on if he had run down a particular lead. First, he tries to sneak his way out of admitting he hadn’t. She calls him out on the oversight and he does the same on why they’re interested in the case; that it is because of their psychic “Janet, Jane” before adding that Jane is showboating “again” and that “I feel sorry for you guys you’re like stooges in a comedy act.”

Rigsby is quick to utter Jane’s mantra in his stead, that he is not a psychic while Grace sticks to asking about the case. Silva is unhelpful and as they leave Grace trips him, showing that she was upset by Silva’s demeaning demeanor of their team.

Not only does this scene show how protective she is of her friends but it also shows how others in law enforcement may view CBI and Lisbon’s team in particular. Which brings me to…

Osvaldo Ardiles (David Norona), Jane, and Lisbon

We first met this character in episode Rhapsody in Red when he butted heads with Agent Cho for getting involved in one of his cases. At the time guest commenter Violet stated:

Ardiles asks Lisbon if he needs to “take this upstairs” to which she answers no. In a rare occurrence, she stands against her team member and tells Cho that they shouldn’t get involved since it’s not their case. The scene hints that they know Ardiles quite well. They probably are used to such meetings about Jane. That’s suggested by how hastily the consultant left when the ADA came. It’s also shown by how Lisbon called the him by his first name.

Then in the Strawberries and Cream review I had stated:

The fact that Assistant District Attorney Ardiles was introduced at the end of season three makes me wonder if he will be the prosecuting attorney at Jane’s trial. I hope so. For some reason, and despite his telling Cho in Rhapsody in Red (RIR) that the team won’t be getting any more help from him at the DA’s office, I really like this character. I have no concrete explanation for why other than the fact that when he, Lisbon and Cho were talking together in RIR, he didn’t lose his patience with Cho’s attitude as quickly as other people might have. He also seems to be (or at least was) on good terms both with Lisbon and with Jane. When he first came to talk to Lisbon, Jane was in her office and gestured for him to wait. After Jane was finished he tells Ardiles “she’s all yours”…. It all just seems to hint that he’s a good guy. Plus there’s the fact that David Norona manages to makes him likable in spite of going head to head with Cho (a very popular main character).

In this episode I was just as overjoyed to see Ardiles as I was when he appeared in Scarlett Ribbons; perhaps even more so here because my fear that the only reason he’d been created was to have him prosecute Jane’s trial turned out to be wrong.

Ardiles/Jane at the courthouse-teaser

When Jane approaches Osvaldo and asks him if he has a minute, the ADA says, “For you Jane, I got two.”

-Perfectly nice and civil. Like real professional adults in real life would act. I think Jane’s humble demeanor here was him being practical. He knows Osvaldo has no reason to listen to him so he’ll have to be polite and on point. Jane even goes to the trouble of explaining to Osvaldo his methods in an effort to convince him that Eve is innocent. But it still makes no impression on the ADA. When he asks Jane if “that’s it” Jane replies, “Well of course there’s my gut too but I didn’t think you’d take that very seriously.”

-This hints that guest reviewer Violet was right. Jane knew Ardiles, has probably testified on his cases prior to Ardiles’s introduction in episode Rhapsody in Red. But Ardiles does not yet know Jane well enough to trust his instincts. This is proven both by Jane’s above statement and the ADA’s reply of “That’s the first correct statement you’ve made”.  Ardiles also adds  “Unlike you Eve Mulberry won’t get away with murder” before telling Jane not ruin his case. The psychic cheerfully replies that he’s just going to fix it.

- It seems that while Ardiles has forgiven Jane having gotten away with murder, he hadn’t forgotten. To be honest, I like him even more for this statement. It makes him human. Another thing that makes him human and therefore a more interesting/ likable character was the bomb he dropped on Teresa Lisbon when he visited her office.

Ardiles Complains to Lisbon

Unlike in Rhapsody in Red when Ardiles’s visit had been professionally courteous, like one between two work friends, this one was laced with umbrage. It is not unjustified. Ardiles is not vindictive, he doesn’t have an agenda against Lisbon’s team. He’s just trying to do his job and the SCU has a history of making that difficult for him.

This is clear by the first thing he tells Lisbon when she enters and finds him sitting in her office:

“Do you realize every single time I deal with your people things go to hell?”

Lisbon dryly tells him “Osvaldo. Come in, sit down.”

-Again, the first name basis hints that Lisbon and Ardiles have known each for quite a while. Probably they’ve worked together on many cases. As head of the SCU I expect he’d had more contact with her than he has with any other member of her team, including Jane.

Ardiles asks Lisbon: “Is there something in the water here?  I need to know why your team is interfering with a state murder trial.”

When Lisbon defends the SCU’s interest in the case, citing that Eve shouldn’t even be facing a trial if she was innocent the ADA tells her “You know I thought that there was something in the water here but I can see the problem now. It’s you.”

Snap!

I absolutely adored this line. Simply because sooner or later someone had to call Lisbon out on the way she manages her team (i.e.Jane). It just had to happen because Jane is Jane. He ticks people off and Lisbon is left dealing with that. Usually it’s her boss who calls her to task but as that no longer seems an option the show needed someone else to pick up the slack. In the last review I wondered if Craig’s visit to Grace might have been foreshadowing that Grace will be the one to tell Lisbon that her judgment was getting compromised; that she’d gotten too close to Jane.

But I think Ardiles is a much better alternative. Notwithstanding whether her judgment is compromised or not (see Red is the New Black for analysis and comments on this topic) I found it interesting that while Lisbon was at least a little upset by Osvaldo’s words, she didn’t let them affect the way she did her job in any way. Perhaps this is because, at this point, Lisbon truly believed Eve might be innocent; that Jane was right. I wonder what her reaction would have been if Ardiles had dished out this abuse on an issue she were less certain about, like Red John. Is it too much to hope for that future episodes answer this question?

Jane/Lisbon-sibling banter, flirting, or competitiveness?

Robin Tunney and Simon Baker owe me a cuteness radar seeing as they broke my old one in this episode. Seriously these two are more adorable than an Anne Geddes photo, especially Tunney. From the “Ooh,” she let out before filling Jane in on Eve’s case, (two of them gossiping like teenage girls) to her “Give it!” sprint when Jane stole her sandwich. Then there was their whole argument over whether to keep working the case and her petulant (always a favorite) behavior after they get a suspect which means Jane might be right about Eve being innocent:

Lisbon: “You’re the boss on this one.”

Jane: “Okay, don’t be like that.”

“Like what?! It’s what you want.”

“What I want is a little smile.”

“Well you can’t have everything!”

No words for how much I love this woman.

Image by Chizuru-chibi. Copyright Reviewbrain January, 2012. Not to be used without permission.

Then there was Lisbon asking Jane to fill her in on what’s going on, and her saying “No” ruefully to herself when he doesn’t, eyes wide in disbelief. Absolutely adorable.

It could be that Lisbon’s annoyance is a reaction to Jane’s increasingly obvious need to be in charge (as opposed to Lisbon’s decreasing compulsion to be a control freak).  Or she might just have been angry that she was wrong. Then there’s Windsparrow’s interpretation of a similar scene in the last episode’s review when she said that Jane and Lisbon arguments are like the pointless ones old married couples have. For the sake of objectivity I’ll add that it could be interpreted as a fight between competing siblings and/or best friends.

I wonder what readers think…

Icings on the Cake

-I love how nice Jane was in this episode: his gentle questioning of Eve, his courteousness to Ardiles, his asking Lisbon for a smile. I’ve missed this Jane so much. We’ve seen negative aspects of his character plenty of times. We know he’s an arrogant jerk, a control freak, careless with people’s lives, callous, etc.  But he also has a lot of good in him and can be very caring and compassionate. More scripts need to focus on his positive attributes. They keep him from turning into Hugh Laurie’s Gregory House and are vital to his intriguing multi-faceted personality; this show’s greatest asset.

-Jane and Lisbon seem to both be quite the wine connoisseurs. It’s nice to learn more about them.

-Seeing how satisfied Jane was at looking at the happy ending for the couple Eve and Peter. It’s nice continuity that Jane is actually quite the romantic and likes bringing people together.

Best Lines

“Think about what you wanna eat.” Lisbon to Jane. How much do I love David Appelbaum for this line? I think it’s pretty self-explanatory why.

“For you Jane, I got two.” Ardiles to Jane. And how much do I love him for this line? I loved Ardiles’s not holding a grudge against losing his prosecution of Jane.

“I’d bet you a million dollars she’s innocent.”-Jane to Ardiles. I know it’s probably just a figure of speech but I I’ll bet that Jane does have a lot of money. He’s got that seaside mansion and a vintage car, he probably has a few millions left over from his psychic days.

“Justice isn’t our problem?” -Jane to Lisbon. It’s nice to be reminded that while Jane has his own views on justice, they don’t necessarily have to be different than the laws. Not all the time anyway.

“Jury has heard arguments for three months they are perfectly equipped to determining the truth.” Lisbon’s initial refusal to get involved in Eve’s case was great. It shows that old habits die hard (her sticking with protocol) and created tension between her and Jane. Also, it’s nice to see her relent on an issue that’s actually comprehensible as opposed to Jane’s more outrageous schemes.

“What if they don’t? An innocent woman gets punished before you were too busy eating.”-Jane to Lisbon on jury being able to determine the truth.

-Nice role reversal here. Since when does Jane push Lisbon to work while she’s the one eating? Also, it makes sense that Jane doesn’t trust the justice system. Notwithstanding how long Red John has eluded it (and him) Patrick himself was able to convince a jury to find him innocent despite knowing full well that he was guilty of murder. He’s seen the evidence against Eve and probably sensed how easily justice can go wrong with her. The scene also recalls one from episode 18-5-4 where Jane insisted he and Lisbon go the extra mile on a case to find a code-breaking device and destroy it to keep it from falling into the wrong hands.

“Let’s just say to whom much is given much is expected.” –Jane’s explanation to Eve on why he wants to help her.

“I know you feel guilt and shame. I know what this might do to your marriage. But the way I see it we’re your last hope. You have to trust us. You weren’t hanging out with your sexy dance teacher for the stimulating chit-chat. You were attracted to him. I mean you danced tango with the man for God’s sake.”

-Jane to Eve-I love Baker’s reading of these lines.  Again, I’ve so missed seeing “nice” Jane in action that I almost forgot he existed. Is it really so hard to bring out this side of him?

“It’s like a band aid Eve. Best is to tear it off quickly.”-Jane. See above comment.

“I thought you said these people were here to help.” Amy to Gretchen after Jane says he suspects her. I love Dianne Far and her reading here was great.

“What are you still doing here? Besides brooding?” Jane to Eve’s husband.

“I know this isn’t an official case so thank you.”-Lisbon to team.

“No I wasn’t.”Gloria flat out lying to Jane when he asked if she was watching him.

“Step away from the door, blondie.” –Gloria to Jane. This had me in stitches.

“What makes you think I want a consultant in my house?”-Gloria to Jane

“How about a real cop, I got a real cop across the street.”-Jane, in response to the above. Then whistling before calling Lisbon over to Gloria’s home.

“Is it just me or do you look impressed?”-Summer, to Cho.

“No, it’s just you.”-Cho in response to the above.

“Your shoes are wrong, you don’t see me complaining about it.” Gretchen to Amy.

“Oh come on we know you have all sorts of hidden talents.”-Jane trying to cajole Cho into faking an Irish accent.

“My name is Wayne Rigsby. Why I’m talking with an Irish accent I don’t really know.” Rigsby is such a trooper. I love the continuity that he’s usually willing, if not eager, to play along with Jane, provided no law are broken, that is.

“Testing, testing one two. Kimball Cho is a wallaby.”-Summer speaking into her wire.

Honorable Mentions

-Baker, Tunney, Kang, Armstrong, Yeoman. See above for why.

-Director Roxann Dawson did a wonderful job with the direction. The scene where Lisbon and Jane visit Eve’s home was particularly lovely; showing off the land and the grand mansion during the interview and continuing to do so while getting both Gretchen and Amy into the shot. Very smooth work.

-Kathrynn Joosten who plays the nosy neighbor Gloria was absolutely delightful. She had awesome lines and read them all perfectly. Hers was perhaps the funniest scenes in this lighthearted episode.

-I really enjoyed Carrie Wiita performance as Eve’s sister Gretchen.

-David Norona is as likable and believable as ADA Ardiles as ever.

-Special kudos to David Appelbaum. The care he took writing this episode is obvious, from the research to the clever format, and how every single line was vital to this episode.

 

Teach me please

This is a category I’d recently come up to take care of the interesting facts the show provides us as we are impressed with Jane’s knowledge. This episode gave us a few. When someone is looking to the left they are tapping into their visual memories, to the right means they’re using the creative side of the brain; most likely lying. Now I first  learned this fact first from CSI’s Catherine Willows. Seeing as how this shows main character makes his living using such observations it was nice seeing them mentioned here. Another was that truth tellers usually use contractions.

Best Scenes

This was so hard. Really the entire episode was fantastic from beginning to end so I’m letting readers choose their favorite scenes. Please share in the comments.

Conclusion

Despite him being at odds with Lisbon and a bit unnecessarily rude to both her and Jane, I still really, really like Ardiles. I think this is simply because how realistically he’s been written and Norona’s great portrayal of him. I definitely hope to see him again.

Now while there was no obvious reference in this episode to the events in the one prior to it, I realized that there might be a very small clue. It seems that Darcy’s suspicions that RJ is still alive have not yet become public. If they have I suspect Ardiles would have had more to say to Jane than just tell him that he’d gotten away with murder.

Perhaps this is why it was important for Ardiles to witness Jane’s talents in this episode? Could it be to set him up as a future ally to Jane should things get hairy with Darcy? Maybe. He and Jane are certainly on better terms now. We’ll see..

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34 responses to “Mentalist At First Blush Review

  • Julie

    Wonderful review as always. I enjoyed this episode, I thought it was one of the strongest stand alone eps this year. It made me think of Season 1 Jane I loved that he wanted to help this woman so strongly, in a way it was the opposite of the episode where he was convinced that the guy was a killer (sorry for not looking up the name).

    More good Lisbon banter and loved him taking her sandwich and running off. Also loved the whistle.

    This seemed almost a calm before the storm episode as Jane was really nice and didn’t really irritate anyone this ep. I loved the kind but insistent way he got the wife to confess about her relationship with the dancer. I found it interesting that Jane was nice to the D.A. as this was the first time we had seen them together since the trial. But I thought Jane worked the scene wonderfully to not irk the man about delving into his case. I was interested in your thoughts about the relationship between the D.A. and Jane as I didn’t see it in quite the same light but can see where you are coming from. I felt there was some tension there. I did like the fact that Jane had been in trouble again.

    I agree with you with my favourite scene. I love Kathrynn Joosten and was a fan of her work in the West Wing and Desperate Housewives.

    I was interested in the fact that there was two scenes that brought up the question of how the team is viewed as they have not approached this at all for a while and it makes me wonder if they are setting something up, or it is a favourite theme of the writer.

    I feel that even though we are not seeing the distraught and harassed Jane that we had in Season 3 that the quieter Jane is the way we are seeing that not all is well with him and that he is feeling the pressure of what is going on in his life.

    I do have a gripe about this season and that it how they are keeping Jane out of what is going on with the team. We did eventually see him interact with Grace so hopefully we will see him make some comments about what is going on, even if it is just in passing. When Grace and Rigsby got together he was all over that. The writers let us in on that he knew straight away.

    Cho and Summer getting together was predictable but I approve, maybe she will prove his way back from the addiction. It was good to see Rigsby mention it. They do like a slow build this show. But it has always been the same. It drives us nuts but they deliver.

  • windsparrow

    “It had a unique new premise with lovely scenery shown generously by director Roxann Dawson.”

    I thought it might be, and a quick check at IMDb confirms, that this is the Roxann Dawson I remember from Star Trek: Voyager. Trekkie that I am, I’m thoroughly chuffed to see her involved in other shows I like.

    “He also advises Cho to let up his pain pills.”

    Dear People in Charge of Deciding Mentalist Character Arcs:

    Subverting tropes is a good thing. Please to make Cho’s prescription for Flexeril or Orphenadrine.

    Thanks ever so much,
    me

    “The look he gives Jane after an irate Lisbon leaves can have so many meanings, from a rueful “Women” to “Please go put out that fire” to, “Dude, you’re in the doghouse”.  I loved it.

    I like my interpretation better: “That reminds me, I never did get a thank you card for that wedding present I sent you two.”

    “Then there was him watching Cho and Summer together. When Cho tells Summer “I’ll wire you up” you can see practically see Yeoman biting tongue to keep himself from saying anything.  Awesome.”

    It was such a companion look to the one he gave Jane, it would be tempting to call it, “By the way, you guys set a date yet?” but it’s not quite there yet.

    “I’m not sure if Cho’s assumption that Summer “gets off on danger” is accurate, I actually think that was a bit harsh.”

    Methinks he was projecting a bit. Heaven only knows what wacky things that impassive exterior hides. The fact that he’s ex-military for darn sure does not exclude him from this character flaw. But he really hates it when somebody puts a person he cares for in danger. So there would certainly be some mixed feelings about what Summer did. While he never disrespects the women on his team, we have zero evidence one way or the other that he is enlightened enough as a man to be completely comfortable with letting the woman in his life run her own risks. And most guys have to work at that.

    “If the effect of Summer’s violence on Cho is anything to by, then it’s pretty safe to assume that Summer’s not the only one who gets high on excitement. It may not be the worst thing for Cho if he replaces one addiction for another. Drugs, for love…”

    Also, she will be very, um, handy for back rubs and other endorphin releasing activities.

    “In the last review I wondered if Craig’s visit to Grace might have been foreshadowing that Grace will be the one to tell Lisbon that her judgment was getting compromised; that she’d gotten too close to Jane.
    But I think Ardiles is a much better alternative.”
    The problem with getting one’s judgment called into question on an instance in which one is right, is that when one is wrong it’s so much easier to blow it off, at least emotionally. As law enforcement investigators it is the job of Lisbon and her team to dig up facts and evidence. Ardilles is whining about them doing their frickin’ jobs. The way he called Lisbon out makes it look like he is ticked off because he is more concerned about getting his conviction rather than getting the right person. This is precisely the kind of abuse of power that Jane likes to challenge. If Ardilles isn’t careful, Jane may start gunning for him, to take him down because of it. Of course, Ardilles is likely to not be humbled into a more ethical stance by it so much as view it as Jane’s sour grapes from his own trial. On the other hand, Ardilles’ being relatively good-natured about losing the bet to Jane at the end may be a sign that his own error in judgment isn’t so much the desire to put another notch in his belt regardless of who actually commits a crime, as getting entrenched in his position in each case – as an error, I think it is more understandable. It is a fault, a flaw, but not an outright evil.

    “For the sake of objectivity I’ll add that it could be interpreted as a fight between competing siblings and/or best friends.”
    I’ve said it before; I’ll say it again. If one of *my* brothers looked at me the way Jane looks at Lisbon, I would need at least one more time zone between me and the rest of my family. On the other hand, the Man gave me a look like that as we were discussing how best to install the smoke detectors he bought on Valentines’s Day. (And yes, I was quite pleased. Our love may be smokin’ but our house should not be.)

    “It could be that Lisbon’s annoyance is a reaction to Jane’s increasingly obvious need to be in charge (as opposed to Lisbon’s decreasing compulsion to be a control freak). ”
    I want to emphasize that it is the obviousness that is increasing about Jane’s need to be in charge, not the need itself. He is just as happy as puppet master as he is in front of the orchestra. Lisbon is letting go a bit. But her control issues have never been as deep as his. Over and over in the recent past it has been shown to her that no matter how hard she tries to control things, there really is only so much she can do, so why not save the mental energy for that stuff, and trust Jane, or the team, or God for the rest?

    “They keep him from turning into Hugh Laurie’s Gregory House and are vital to his intriguing multi-faceted personality; this show’s greatest asset.”
    For a while when I first started watching The Mentalist, imagining Jane and House stuck in an elevator together was my happy place. Contemplating it even now is thoroughly amusing.

    “He’s got that seaside mansion and a vintage car, he probably has a few millions left over from his psychic days.”
    Even the best well-known psychics really aren’t that all that rich – millionaires, sure, but not with such deep pockets that they can financially coast if the income stops. That’s why they end up going into television and/or writing books. Even if he paid cash which he would have had to manage with more than one high-stakes poker game, or paid off the mortgage with life insurance money from his wife’s death for the house in Malibu, the property taxes would be a drain. Then again, that $15,000ish court fine he had a couple seasons ago, his response to it seemed more like, “well, crud, I’m going to have to call my business manager and explain why I need to dip into or liquidate ____,” than “crap, I wonder if I can set up a payment plan.” And I suppose his supply of ready cash would be bolstered by getting his bail money refunded since he did show up for his trial. That’s only $100,000, though.

  • Agnes

    I did not think Jane was all that well off either, because he said did not have the $1M bail money and had to win it. But see Windsparrow – did he only have to put up 10%?

    I wondered why Jane did not mention the ladder in Eve’s tights and the missing button from her jacket that attracted his attention.

    Love these reviews and all the comments that follow. Thank you.

    I do love kind Jane.

  • windsparrow

    Putting 10% down is the figure that I remember from high school civics class. However, that was more decades ago than I care to say, so might be outdated. Also, it might be the sort of thing that is specific to each state – and therefore might not be accurate for California. I know that the fee bail bondsmen require is 10%, but they take payments. They also don’t refund it.

    Whether there were a million dollars, or simply a hundred thousand, in the sack that Lisbon picked up from the mobster’s lackey, it’s still a big chunk of change. I do suspect that having to win it wasn’t so much a matter of Jane not being able to lay hands on the money any other way but due to the inconvenience of trying to liquidate his assets. I mean, if he *really* needed to, he could sell the house in Malibu. But that’s not the fastest way, and then he would not have the house anymore. And the same might be said of any other investments he has.

  • ortforshort

    Jane has his million dollars bail money that he won in the poker game

  • Julie

    I think it was getting the bail money which was the problem, I think he probably had enough to cover it – although if he does he must keep it secret because in ‘Balls of fire’ Lisbon said he didn’t have any. One question about money, do you think he didn’t have any money on ‘Fugue in Red’ because he didn’t know his pin number, or the bank he used in Sacramento, or his card was damaged in the attack?

  • reviewbrain

    “we have zero evidence one way or the other that he is enlightened enough as a man to be completely comfortable with letting the woman in his life run her own risks. And most guys have to work at that.”

    I’m inclined to agree given his overreaction to Summer’s injury.

    “The problem with getting one’s judgment called into question on an instance in which one is right, is that when one is wrong it’s so much easier to blow it off, at least emotionally.”

    Exactly. If I had to add a peeve to this episode it would be that Lisbon was getting her judgement called in an instance when she didn’t really need that to happen. It would have been much braver if it had been in an instance where she actually needed it.

    “Ardilles is whining about them doing their frickin’ jobs. The way he called Lisbon out makes it look like he is ticked off because he is more concerned about getting his conviction rather than getting the right person. This is precisely the kind of abuse of power that Jane likes to challenge. If Ardilles isn’t careful, Jane may start gunning for him, to take him down because of it.”

    To be fair, even Lisbon didn’t want to take the case at first because she pointed out to Jane that it “wasn’t our problem”. It wasn’t their case to begin so technically it wasn’t their job to investigate. As to Ardiles, he’s an ADA who wouldn’t have agreed to prosecute Eve unless he believed that she was guilty. He couldn’t have known that the cops who handled it initially missed evidence. I honestly don’t see any abuse of power, he was just doing his job and he thought they were getting in the way of that.

    If you’ll recall episode Rhapsody in Red, the reason Ardiles got into it with Cho was because he was trying to get to major drug players through Terrence Rome. Cho, having personal gang knowledge knew it wouldn’t happen, but Ardiles wasn’t not going to do his job based on Cho’s word.

    I guess that’s what it all boils down too. Ardiles doesn’t (didn’t) know the team enough to trust their instincts. Hopefully now that those instincts have proven trustworthy, he’ll be able to work better with them in the future.

    I love how you pointed out that Jane didn’t seem all that concerned with fine he had to pay in Blood Money. I’d gotten the same impression too.

    Maybe I should clarify. I think Jane has at least a couple of million dollars. Which, like you said can run out if one isn’t frugal. I suspect Jane doesn’t spend money (other than on his suits) because he’s saving it in case he needs it in the future. That, and losing his family makes him indifferent to worldly pleasures.

    Oh, and wasn’t his bail a million?

  • reviewbrain

    Good question. Probably because he couldn’t remember his pin number.

  • reviewbrain

    I’m going to agree that Jane does have money, but that it was more convenient to him to win the bail money in poker. It doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t have it in his bank account, or other assets. I do think another reason is, as Julie stated, Jane prefers to keep knowledge of his wealth secret. Paying off his bail out of a poker win allows him to do that. Plus, as windsparrow pointed out, it’s just more convenient than liquidating his assets. I also think that he doesn’t spend any of the money he earned in his past life; preferring instead to live on his salary at the CBI; hence Lisbon’s “enough to live on” statement on if he has any money. It hints that he’s not a big spender, and that people don’t know of the collection of vintage cars he mentioned in Scarlett Ribbons…if he has one anyway :P

  • ortforshort

    It looks to me like he doesn’t really care about money because he knows he can make a bunch of it any time he needs to. The question would be – he probably had a lot, what did he do with it all?

  • Mary_N (@RobinTunneyBlog)

    This was such a nice episode!
    Loved the beginning, Jane observing the woman almost in the same way he did in the Pilot, while he was observing the mother of the girl who was killed. I like when we can see the details through his eyes, and this is the Jane I like.

    David Appelbaum wrote this episode, so I noticed a similarity with the episode he wrote (Blood for Blood I think it was, in S3), where Jane manages to convince Lisbon to go along with his plan. In that case, let the girl go, in this one, take the case because he believed that woman didn’t deserve what she was facing. Interesting.

    Jane was right, Eve was innocent, but Ardilles still has a point with Lisbon. And her banter with Jane about the smile was I think her way to tell him that, ok Eve might be innocent, but every time I have to be responsible for your actions. So no, I won’t be your doll and smile when you want me to. That’s the Lisbon I like! ;)

    Loved the scene with the old lady, it was hilarious :)

    I don’t have much else to say, except that I love Cho/Summer even more, they are simply adorable!

    Great review, as always! :)

  • windsparrow

    “It hints that he’s not a big spender, and that people don’t know of the collection of vintage cars he mentioned in Scarlett Ribbons…if he has one anyway :P”

    I think the vintage car collection was a bluff. In the off chance he would have had to cough up the collateral, he would have ended up saying something like, “What, I said I have a vintage car collection, I didn’t say it was a big collection.” And then some mobster would have driven that pretty pale blue vintage car collection over his pretty face.

  • Julie

    I’m just writing this because I am not getting notifications despite ticking the box both times so trying again – third time lucky.

  • Kami

    Just passing by for the money discussion. I dont know. If he has that much money, he doesnt spend it at all. Remember that he lives in a motel room for what we know, pretty much playable with his salary, and the house in Malibu just have a mattress and a bicycle. Even his suits seems the same since first season ahaahaha. (Really) I thought he would give the money for charity, because its a reminder of his life style that got his family killed. But in the casino episode, he gaving what he earned for charity seemed a “first time” for me.

    ““My name is Wayne Rigsby. Why I’m talking with an Irish accent I don’t really know.” Rigsby is such a trooper. I love the continuity that he’s usually willing, if not eager, to play along with Jane, provided no law are broken, that is.”
    I saw one behind the scenes video and I’m almost certain that that accent is Owain really accent, really funny.

    That’s it. I just finished seeing War of The Roses and I really really really want to read your review and know what you think now about the sibling-flirting-competiveness.

  • rhostog

    Owain’s real accent is Welsh (though not strong). To me, his Irish accent sounded more realistic than the Irish crook (who must have been living in the US for a while!)

    Thank you for another superb review, and excellent comments. I would have posted sooner, but am still laughing at windsparrow’s Jane/House/elevator scenario – thank you windsparrow:-)

    The downside of growing up in the UK in the 1980s with brothers: Osvaldo Ardiles will always be a footballer, played for Tottenham Hotspur, can’t take him seriously as a DA…

    I thought it was odd but kind of nice that they didn’t spell out what Jane deduced at the beginning from Eve’s laddered stocking, scuffed shoes, missing button, messed hair: do you think the writers now trust us to follow his thinking, or was it just cut in the edit?

  • ortforshort

    Cho had a gorgeous Asian girlfriend in an earlier episode. I’d like to know if he’s still with her and his reluctance to be with Summer was because he would be cheating or if his reluctance was because she was a Lady of the Night. Cho is not like Rigsby and wouldn’t play games. If he liked her, he would have gone after her long ago.

  • reviewbrain

    I think they trust us now :) Also, they focused quite closely on her clothes so having him mention those things risks being redundant and boring.

  • reviewbrain

    Tim Kang talks about Elise here. Thanks to Julie for providing the link.
    http://www.tvequals.com/2012/02/16/tim-kang-interview/

  • ortforshort

    Nice link, thanks

  • zee

    Hello Reviewbrain,

    This week’s episode probably would prompt Lisbon to tightened the reigns she has on Jane. She does seemed perturbed by what Osvaldo said and I believe it’s a strong indication of foreshadowing in episodes to come.

    Overall, it was a lighthearted episode of Jane doing a good deed for an innocent person and Lisbon is annoyed being bossed around by Jane. That means, she WAS secretly annoyed when Cho was in-charge in Season 3’s episode. She was pretending to be cool with it because it was her own doing. When she said to Jane he was the boss on this, Jane picked up on her annoyance and called her out. Hence, her prickly remark and demeanor.

    Windsparrow’s remark about elevator Jane/House is amusing. But I think House would just stab him with a syringe full of sedation drug.

    But at least, in House’s defence, when House does nice things (you can count them on one hand) he does it sincerely. Whereas Jane, most of the time when he does nice things, there is an ulterior motive.

    Great Review, you’ve got here!

    p/s: I didn’t mention this before,it’s just a thought. In Red is the New Black, I think Lisbon’s hot mailroom guy is J.D, the guy sending the Red John case files.

  • windsparrow

    ortforshort, “The question would be – he probably had a lot, what did he do with it all?”

    Likely has it socked away in investments that generate enough money to pay for property tax and upkeep on the beach house, quite likely more. I’m imaging an accountant or business manager taking care of mundane details like that for him.

  • renisanz

    Loved your indepth review. I loved the Cho/Summer scene. I didn’t think it was gonna happen and when it did, I sat there staring slack-jawed at the television screen. And then I made gifs of it. :)

  • Mon

    Thanks for a great review again, I’m looking forward to your take on War of the Roses, I suspect you’ll have plenty to say on that ep!
    I was also waiting to see your reaction to Ardiles’ complaint to Lisbon in At First Blush, and just as I suspected, you saw it as the beginning of a wake up call for her. Surely all the unresolved issues between Jane and Lisbon, as well as Lisbon’s lack of control recently will come to a head soon. And yes I’m also beginning to think that Lisbon has just become far too close to Jane to be able to see things objectively anymore. A good title episode for her might be Rose Tinted Glasses.

  • Flickster77

    I liked the review on ” At first Blush ” It was great to read!! I loved see Nice Jane again as you mentioned. I also like the part of best lines, and I do agree that Jane must have a lot of money probably at least a miliion from his adventures as a psychic. However, there were a couple of little points that i did not particularly agree with. I really enjoyed watching this episode!! Jane was amazing at analyzing Eve.

  • DOMENIC PUGLIANO (@FLICKSTER77)

    I really liked ” at first blush”. This episode was great!! I enjoyed reading this review. It had some very insightful points of view, It was great the way that Jane helped out the Model. it was nice seeing the great moment with Cho and Summer. That kiss was waiting to happen =D =D. Although there were a couple of opinions which i didnt agree with. I didnt like the comment that Ardiles through at Lisbon :(

  • reviewbrain

    Welcome to the blog :) actually there was one episode called rose colored glasses so unfortunately I don’t think they’ll be as to use that title again. But I agree it would be very fitting for such an episode.

  • reviewbrain

    Hope Lisbon does; it’s long overdue. As to hot mail room guy, I think it’s quite unfair for him to have been mentioned and never let us see him. So yes, hopefully jD is him :)

  • reviewbrain

    It was very surprising :) and welcome to the blog!

  • reviewbrain

    Just a quick thought here. Cho actually is reluctant when it. Ones to women. Remember, Rigsby is the one who gave him Elise’s phone number and pushed him to call her. And I think it’s unfair to judge Rigsby based on his relationship with Van pelt. He certainly wasn’t playing games with her, but the no-dating between coworkers had him reluctant to start a relationship. Afterwards and for thei heat time he was getting over her and had some rebound girlfriends (off screen and on screen). It could be argued he dates more than Cho, especially seeing how clumsily Cho handled his feelings for Summer, and his reluctance to start dating Elise.

  • reviewbrain

    Welcome. Looks like Elise is gone for good. Too bad. I liked her.

  • DOMENIC PUGLIANO (@FLICKSTER77)

    Hello there it`s me again. I wanted to correct a spelling error I had made yesterday. In the last sentence I meant to write “threw” not “through” my apologies.

    I also wanted to add that I liked the section on Best lines. Yes iI do agree that Jane probably does have at least one million dollars somewhere from his previous adventures as a psychic.

  • DOMENIC PUGLIANO (@FLICKSTER77)

    I must say that i love that cartoon drawing of Jane tickling Lisbon to get her to Smile !!!! BEAUTIFUL !!! =D =D

  • windsparrow

    It IS adorable! I agree.

  • Mon

    I should have known! I agree that the cartoon of Jane tickling Lisbon is v cute..as are all those drawings :)

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