When surfer Jay Banner (Matt Flanagan) goes missing in Santa Marta his roommate Tark (Preston Jones) calls his congressman father to get the CBI on the case. Senior Agent Lisbon (Tunney) and CBI consultant Patrick Jane (Baker) arrive at the scene where Jane quickly discovers Jay’s body buried on the shore. The two go to talk to the victim’s boss and Lisbon is surprised to discover that the marine salvage yard where Jay worked is owned by her old flame Greg Tayback (Kenny Johnson) and his wife Greta Marshall (Claire Rankin).
Ashley Gable’s last episode on The Mentalist flaunts many of the reasons why she is so beloved and shall be sorely missed by Mentalist fans: she’s one of the few writers to consistently and expertly bring light to Lisbon’s character. Teresa’s encounter with ex-fiancé Greg makes for a lot of awkwardness; very entertaining. The episode is also perfectly cast, directed, and scored and has a hefty dose of continuity, allusions, and foreshadowing. Best of all, “So Long and Thanks for all the Red Snapper” doesn’t fall into the category of being “just another character episode”. That is, the spotlight isn’t just limited to our favorite Serious Crimes head. The other team members (and actors) get a fair share of attention as well in this wonderfully balanced and perfectly entertaining stand alone: 9.5/10
Detailed AKA Humongous Review (spoilers galore)
Proud Poppa Rigsby
It comes as no surprise that despite the nerves expressed in previous episodes (War of the Roses, Ruddy Cheeks) Rigsby is embracing his role as a father. Wayne takes a day off because his son is sick while his girlfriend has to go to court. And when Rigsby comes in the next day, he has spit-up on his suit jacket (a condition parents of babies have). But instead of being embarrassed at the stain, Rigsby wears it proudly like a badge of honor, happy to tell anyone who asks that it’s vomit. He doesn’t bother washing it off even after his boss comments on it, telling her “You know what, he’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”
A comment that might be a bit untimely considering the case Lisbon has, but more on that later…
I especially loved Grace’s reaction when Rigsby tells her “It’s just vomit”. You can just see her thinking, “Well, wash it off.”
Speaking of Van Pelt…
Van Pelt had two very important scenes. The first was when the police chief Anson (Brett Rice) patted her shoulder, condescendingly turning down her offer to help his cops search for the victim’s boat.
-Righetti’s expression of veiled disdain was awesome here. It reminds me of Lisbon’s reaction when she suffered similar, though much more disgusting insult in episode Red Tide. I love both the allusion to one of my all time favorite episodes, as well as the indication that Grace is back to her strong self assured, in control, self; not unlike Lisbon.
Another indication is in her next scene when she overhears Cho call Summer “babe” on the phone after asking her to check up on a drug dealer the victim was in contact with. Grace asks him what’s up with the two of them. Unlike how Cho willfully told Rigsby of his relationship with Summer (Pink Champagne on Ice) Cho clams up at Grace’s question and tells her Summer is his CI. When she tells him Agents aren’t allowed to date CIs, Cho tells her “You’re giving me relationship advice?”
-Cho of course has a point, but it might have been nicer if he’d pointed out that Grace herself dated a co-worker, instead of making the broader jab at Grace’s dating history (which includes her more painful and tragic experiences too).
Grace bites down on her hurt to tell Cho, as a friend, that perhaps it’s not wise for him to be around someone like Summer. Cho doesn’t respond.
-Grace’s bravery here in the face of Cho’s hard stares is completely in character; prior to Craig, that is. Her readiness to voice her opinions was always one of my all-time favorite aspects of her personality and I’m glad to see it again.
But there is another issue at hand here. Grace considers Cho a friend while he obviously doesn’t. At least, not the way he does Rigsby. We’ve had a few moments of Van Pelt trying to engage the stoic agent in conversation about himself to which he usually shoots her down (Something’s Rotten in Redmund). It might be her advice to him here, “as a friend” is the reason why he didn’t attack her again and simply let the matter drop. I’ll be watching out for more Cho/Grace scenes in the future to see if their dynamic shifts any.
Cho and Summer’s Angst
Like Violet predicted in the previous review, Cho and Summer’s relationship ends in this episode. But not due to her clinginess; rather due to her addiction to danger which Cho called and tried to fire her (At First Blush). At the time I thought he was being unfair and just looking for an excuse to get rid of her (and his attraction to her), especially if, as I thought might have been the case, she had just been trying to impress him. But it turns out Kimball was right.
While following up on a lead for Cho, Summer steals drugs from Tookie (Keram Malicki-Sanches), an old acquaintance of hers. The drug dealer realizes what she did and instead of giving the cocaine back Summer accepts a beating. Worse, she lies about the cause of the bruises on her face to Cho; he only finds out the truth behind the incident after beating it out of Tookie. When Cho later calls Summer out on her lie, she tells him “I’ve been beaten far worse for a lot less,” Adding “I know I’ve been bad but I’ve been so bored and this was such a rush.”
-So much information in two sentences. They explain how damaged Summer is and why, for now at least, she and Cho can’t be together.
Cho is understandably enraged at Summer’s disregard for her own safety and probably also over the fact that he was barely able to contain himself from beat Tookie to a pulp, risking his career. And to make a bad situation worse, it appears Summer is no stranger to drugs (as had been hinted at when she takes Cho’s pain pill in Ruddy Cheeks) and wanted to keep the cocaine. The two have a heated altercation in when Cho grabs the bags and shouts out at her “I’m a cop, what did you expect!”
-One could ask Cho the same question. In fact, it almost seemed like Cho was talking to himself. What did he expect ? Sadly, while Summer was only too eager to stop being a prostitute, her addiction to danger is still an issue. Both she and Cho recognize this and at the end of the episode part ways. She leaves for her sister’s in Seattle and he bids her a sad goodbye at the train station.
-This was a lovely bittersweet ending, especially when contrasted with Lisbon and Greg’s happy parting. Armstrong and Kang were wonderful in this tear-jerker moment, made even more so by Neely’s phenomenally moving tunes.
VIS #1 The Reunion
Jane watches Lisbon and Greg’s interaction like a hawk from the moment it becomes apparent that they know each other. Then Greg introduces Lisbon to his wife Greta, and she balks, repeating “This is Teresa Lisbon? The Teresa Lisbon?”
-Jane’s face probably reflects most viewers here: it’s like a child’s at Christmas, knowing some juicy back story will be given regarding our closed-mouth agent.
Jane happily states “The one and only,” barely containing himself as Lisbon explains that she and Greg used to date. Greg qualifies that they were actually engaged to which Jane guesses that she called the relationship off and broke his heart. Lisbon and Greg both awkwardly dodge the issue but his wife reveals that Jane’s assumption is correct “Yeah, you did. Because Greg was still talking about you when we met.” Jane is absolutely tickled at this information, he has a good laugh before calling Lisobn “Heartbreaker” .
-Jane delight here seems to stem partly from how surprised he is at learning something unexpected about Lisbon (i.e. his smile when Lisbon hinted she wasn’t a goody two shoes like he thinks in Something’s Rotten in Redmund).
If Lisbon and Greg were seeing each since they were kids, then Jane was wrong in his guess that Lisbon never got to dance with the boy she worshipped from afar in high school (Rose Colored Glasses). In this scene Lisbon states that she was way too young (to get married). In a later scene Lisbon later tells Greg that ever since she was seventeen she could tell when he was lying to her. So it seems that they were high-school sweethearts.
Unless, it’s also possible that Lisbon and Greg were friends first, before they dated. I can imagine that scenario as well. I don’t think Lisbon would have left Greg if she loved him as much as he loved her. It might have been a friendship turned romance from his side.
VIS #2 Lisbon “seriously!” doesn’t discuss Greg with Jane
Jane tells Lisbon that “Greg seems very nice.” To which Lisbon says “I am not discussing it with you.”
Jane continues, undeterred “Nice, solid, dependable, I can see why you dumped him.”
-For some reason my thoughts went immediately to episode “A Dozen Red Roses” where Jane asked rhetorically “Why do girls like bad boys so much?” I wonder if this is true for Lisbon as well since the subtext here is that Jane thinks she’s not into good guys like Greg is.
Lisbon replies “I mean it, Jane!” she is “seriously” not discussing this. But at his “suit yourself” feels compelled to self consciously explain “I did not dump him we both decided to take a break.”
-Can I just say that Tunney was so adorable in this scene that it hurt. Utterly gorgeous and cute and….yagkkgiej!!!
Ahem. Moving on…
Jane then replies “The old let’s take a break,” showing that he has no question whatsoever in his mind on how the relationship ended. Lisbon then repeats “I did not dump him!”
VIS #3 Lisbon Interrogates Greg
When Lisbon and Jane find Greg on the victim’s boat with cleaning supplies (to wipe off prints), she launches into cop mode and interrogates him.
-Lisbon was quite tough in this scene. It’s quite impressive to see her not letting her past relationship with Greg get in the way of her job. But then (besides in Ring Around the Rosie), does it ever?
Instead of answering Lisbon’s questions, Greg tells her, “It took me a long time to get over you, Teresa. A long time. But I finally did.”
-At first, I thought he was trying to derail Lisbon by getting personal. Lisbon probably thought the same as she ignores his statement. But in hindsight, I think Greg was partly musing to himself on how unaffected he is by Lisbon here. Or perhaps, on a some level, he was hinting to Lisbon about what was really going on. That he was sticking up for the woman he now loves.
Greg finally tells Lisbon that people who look guilty can have an innocent explanation for their actions. However, he refuses to tell Lisbon what his is, saying that she won’t believe him, even after she says that she can help him.
-I think it’s only natural that Lisbon’s good cop routine didn’t work after she’d already played bad cop. But I found Greg’s refusal to confide in Lisbon very telling, especially considering their history. He knew her enough to know that she wouldn’t believe him. And he wasn’t wrong either, as becomes apparent in the next scene.
VIS#4 Lisbon talks to Greta
When Rigsby tells Lisbon that salvage equipment was found on the victim’s boat, she goes to Greta to check if any of it was from their company. Since none of Greg’s equipment was missing, Lisbon concludes that Greg isn’t Jay’s treasure-hunting partner; their possible suspect. But then she figures out that Greg was keeping silent to protect his wife, who was having an affair with the victim. Greta tells her that she and her husband had a rough patch and that “Jay was just fun. He has no responsibilities just fun.”
-Yeah, I don’t think Lisbon can relate to that. Poor woman’s had to be responsible her whole life. First mothering her brothers, and now mothering Jane.
Greta goes on to say: “I wanted to imagine a different life. Just for a while. I mean haven’t you ever wanted to do that?”
-Lisbon can probably sympathize with that line. Especially considering the wistful expression she got on her life after Rigsby left her office, radiating happiness at his newborn. It was nice seeing these two women, who live completely different lives, wanting something they can’t have. But it was so subtle, not in your face cliché grass is always greener. Good writing, good acting.
Lisbon she tells Greta that her affair gives Greg motive to kill Jay. Greta tells her: “You know him. You really think he could kill someone?”
-Greta’s question reminded me of another time Lisbon was quick to believe the worst of people she knows (Walter Mashburn in Red Hot). Given her trust issues one can hardly blame her. On the other hand, it’s perhaps unfair to attribute her behavior to personal reasons. After all, part of her job to examine all suspects. Or could it be that, as a female cop she feels she needs to push harder?
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Lisbon is by far the most mysterious character on this show. Personally, I think she is uncharacteristically driven by passion when a case involves people she knows and/or cares about (see Where in the World is Carmine O’Brien). Perhaps it’s this (damaged) intensity that Jane was talking about when he said that Greg wasn’t right for her; that not everyone can handle that. But more on that later.
VIS #5 Lisbon and Greg Catch Up
Lisbon tells Greg that he won’t be charged with breaking into the boat. He thanks her ironically then admits that he incriminated himself to keep the cops from suspecting his wife in Jay’s death. Lisbon tells him, sincerely: “You’re a good man. She’s lucky to have you.” Jay responds “You’re strong now, you know that, you didn’t used to be so strong.”
-Jay’s statement here makes me think that perhaps he was there for Lisbon when all the agony in her teen years was going down (dad’s alcoholism, his suicide).
He then adds that he bets Lisbon is good at her job. Lisbon replies modestly, “Yeah, yeah, I’m okay, I think.”
-Once again, Lisbon is blushing like a schoolgirl at a compliment related to her job. The woman loves what she does. And just to prove it…
Jay adds “You seem happy.” Lisbon tells him she is. Greg tells her he’s glad they met again. Lisbon then tells him: “I’m sorry for running off the way I did.”
-Wow. Lisbon didn’t just dump Greg, she totally took off without telling him! No wonder she wouldn’t tell Jane anything, poor woman was ashamed. Can you imagine what he’d do with that information?
Seriously though, how bad was Lisbon’s situation back then for her to just decide to run away from it all? Greg seems to know as he responds “Hey, no biggie.”
Lisbon gratefully kisses him on the cheek and leaves.
-SWEET! This was such a sweet scene. Kenny Johnson and Tunney had wonderful chemistry. They conveyed a deep regard and affection and I really enjoyed them together.
VIS #6 Jane and Lisbon Catch Up
After Jane returns Arkhan’s coin, he tells Lisbon not t be wistful, that Greg was never the right man for her. Lisbon denies any wistfulness, but agrees with Jane’s latter statement.
-I’m not sure how seriously we can take Lisbon agreeing with Jane that Greg wasn’t the right man for her. She might have just done so to close the subject; she’s been known to let him draw his own conclusions on topics she’d rather not talk about. Not to mention she’s got all kinds of emotional baggage and trust issues which will make it hard for her to be in any relationship. It’s probably why she’d rather focus on her professional rather than her personal life.
Hmm. What if Jane knows this, and his comment was just his way of trying to make Lisbon feel better? On the other hand, there’s a whole lot of shipper-teasing going on…
Jane adds that Lisbon is “Far too intense and particular for a man like that.” At Lisbon’s dismay, Jane says they are “good things”. When Lisbon demands proof, Jane asks “Whatever happened with that guy from narcotics.” Lisbon tells him “Jeff” bit his nails, which Jane says is particular of her. Lisbon then defends that “it’s a disgusting habit!” and get a “there’s intense” from Jane.
-First of all *gasp* Lisbon goes on dates! Though obviously not much, since Jane only came up with one example.
As to the teasing I mentioned, is it coincidence that Lisbon’s ex happens to be sun-baked golden and blonde like her consultant? Or that Jane’s statements flaunting how well he knows Lisbon are just begging for a snarky reply of “What, are you saying *you* are my type?”
Sigh. This is like the time the idea popped in my head (Pink Champagne on Ice) that these two have been secretly dating off-camera. Madness, really, but it’s not my fault writers insist on making J/L’s obviously platonic friendship exude such sentimental undertones. Or are they? I can’t even tell anymore…
Honestly, this whole episode was so awesome it was impossible for me to decide. Readers, please help me out and share your favorites in the comments.
Kenny Johnson was really wonderfully cast. He and Tunney were fabulous together.
I enjoyed Keram Malicki-Sanchez’s scenes very much. Great acting.
Tim Kang and Samaire Armstrong were once again fantastic together. His quiet restraint was a great foil to her dramatic character; makes the impact when she gets Cho to lose it even greater.
Ashley Gable creates wonderfully individual and memorable characters. She also weaves an exquisite yarn giving consistent clues, like Greta mentioning the storm ( and repeated subtle allusions to it) to the landlord opening the window in the victim’s apartment. Finally, how can anyone go wrong with a treasure hunt?
Blake Neely. No surprise here.
Note: these set my foreshadowing radar off.
“Why do people quit. They just quit.” Greta.
“Use them and toss em.”-Greg, on how Jay used women.
“I’m a peaceful man. I can’t explain it. I don’t know what came over me.”-perp, on killing Jay.
And these were just awesome…
“Oh, look at the little Crabbie!” Jane +nature= love. But just to be accurate, that’s not “little” Jane!
“Ah, dude, that’s seriously uncool.”-Lance Gladstone Brendan McCarthey’s reading of this line was so awesome.
“Wow. Breeder.” –Jane to Greg on having three kids. I love how spontaneous the comment was and how awkward everyone looked afterwards. Then there’s the awesome subtext. Lisbon, by dumping Greg either deprived herself from motherhood, or dodged a bullet…
“There’s no tyranny like petty tyranny.”-Jane to Chief Anson (Burt Rice).
“Look sometimes stuff looks bad and there’s an innocent explanation.” Greg to Lisbon.
“I’ve been beaten far worse for a lot less.”-Summer to Cho.
I know I’ve been bad. But I’ve been so bored and this was such a rush.” Summer.
“I’m a cop. How’d you think this was gonna go?” Cho, to Summer.
“Oh my God.” Lisbon looking heavenward after Jane derails her questions and insists she get in the tow truck.
“I’m never too busy to solve a murder.” –Lisbon. Tell us something we don’t know…
“You were very busy with Greg.”- Jane on why he didn’t tell Lisbon his plan.
Speaking of which, has anyone else noticed a pattern that whenever Lisbon has personal stuff going on now, Jane always takes off?
I wonder why that is…
-The treasure! I’m dying to find out, is what will happen to the treasure now? After it’s released from evidence, that is.
-As heartbreaking and lovely as the end scene was, I think the conclusion was a bit too sudden. I mean, we don’t get an explanation as to why Summer is going to her sister’s in Seattle. It felt very awkward. Why not just end the relationship with the powerful scene between Cho and Summer, at an impasse? It would have kept viewers in suspense for the duration of the summer and given writers the opportunity to revisit the relationship should they choose to do so. And if not, I think most viewers would have been able to draw the conclusion that the relationship ended.
On the other hand, we wouldn’t have had the gorgeously bittersweet goodbye scene. Guess that answers that question…
A major theme in this episode was that of what could have been and goodbyes (Pink Champagne on Ice, War of the Roses). I would have assumed that the episode was a reflection of Ashley Gable’s own decision to leave the show if it wasn’t for the fact that dreams, what could have been, goodbye’s and new beginnings have been established subjects of this season, as far back as the Season three finale. But while Jane is the obvious target of these topics, Lisbon is as well. Her friendship with Jane has reached epic levels and she’s continued to stand by him one idiocy after another. Thankfully (for her character’s sake), she was kept in the dark for the duration of most of his schemes and only found out about the rest when it was too late to prevent them. The writers were very clever about this but I wonder how long they can keep it up.
As Jane, it seems like he’s taken Red John’s advice (via Timothy Carter) to forget about revenge and move on with his life. We’ve gotten plenty of clues. He bade a symbolic goodbye to his wife and child by placing a flower in the ocean (Blood and Sand). Even when he lost his identity in Fugue in Red, Jane wanted to start a new life. In War of the Roses Jane talks to Erica about not being able to have whatever he wants, but he is able to kiss her twice, showing that he is not as physically dead as he seemed before.
But the most obvious clue was Jane’s steadfast refusal to let anyone know that RJ was still alive. This, to me, was proof that Jane was willing to let sleeping dogs lie. Why else would he go through so much trouble to pin Panzer’s murder on someone else? And if that’s not enough, there’s also the fact that, apparently, Jane has no idea all the RJ evidence is missing from CBI, and has been since episode “Red is the New Black”. This was ten episodes ago, and in terms of the show’s time, Sarah’s pregnancy was only revealed the prior episode. So we’ve got RJ evidence, not in the CBI for months but not a peep out of Jane. And this was way before Darcy reveals that she suspects him in episode Cheap Burgundy so no, we don’t even have that as a justification either. So Jane, for months now, hasn’t been using RJ files/evidence to investigate RJ. Which, considering that RJ killed Panzer, he would do if he were interested in catching him. It seems that Jane has accepted RJ’s trail running cold.
Speaking of Darcy, until now Jane has been confident that Darcy will be unable to prove anything regarding his involvement with RJ. We’re sure to find out in the next two episodes. Looks like my blood pressure will spike once again.
Whatever. I lived through the season three finale, I can live through this season’s final eps. Bring it on, Heller!
Now, can anyone steer me to a physician who readily prescribes Valium?
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