Mentalist Violets Review


N.B.: Unedited stuff! Procede with caution! :)

Synopsis

After an art gallery owner is shot by thieves, Jane (Baker) is intrigued by one of his paintings brought to the FBI building. His willingness to take over the case leads him to meet Agent Marcus Pike (Pedro Pascal), who quickly becomes smitten with Lisbon (Tunney)…

Concise Verdict

At long last Lisbon gets a serious admirer! At long last viewers get an emotional reaction out of Jane regarding his partner’s love life! And, cherry on top, the episode features an undercover operation full of funny moments, eye-catching clothes and harmonious teamwork! Great job, mister Jordan Harper!

Detailed AKA Humongous Review (spoilers galore)

VIS#1: Jane wants the case

Jane’s interest is picked when he sees a painting being brought into the FBI building to another team, so he finds a way to sneak his way into the investigation… mainly by barging in the interrogation room and addressing the widow…

From his first appearance, it’s perceptible that Jane is feeling good. His eagerness to take over the case in front of Abbott even though it doesn’t belong to his team contrasts with his resigned comment that there’s “no rest for the wicked” in ‘Grey Water”… Viewers can infer that he’s come to a form of reconciliation towards his past through the events of ‘White as The Driven Snow’. He’s feeling more confident in relation to the new team (planning an undercover job later) and overall he’s more joyful… Plus, another aspect of Jane’s inner peace concerns grief: it seems that giving an hand to his friends and Rigsby’s successful attempt at saving his wife might have helped to alleviate Jane’s pain regarding his past. He points out to the victim’s widow that her husband is not gone: “he’s alive as long as you remember him”. It’s probably the first time Jane is able to stay positive regarding afterlife, even in this rationalized form… and a rather intriguing detail is that it’s not the widow, AKA the distressed woman who catch Jane’s eye, like in ‘At First Blush’, but only the painting. It means that this progress doesn’t stem from the confrontation with someone whom he finds touching, but from a personal evolution which has freed him. He obviously started to achieve a form of closure: it has given him the capacity to find comforting words.

There are similarities between the case and Jane’s situation: like Angela, John Hennigan died because of his loved one, even if it’s obviously not Sylvia’s fault. Her image only attracted the killer’s attention, just like Jane’s show attracted RJ’s ire. Only the situation is reversed: the wife survived, the husband was killed here… And there’s no guilt involved, only a love memory and regrets. Plus, it may seem farfetched, but “John Hennigan” might indirectly refer both to Red John and to agent Hannigan from ‘Red Dawn’. It enlightens that it’s a new beginning, since Hennigan –and later Lisbon- had given him advice about moving on with his life: “you wanna find the son of a bitch and kill him, right? Yeah, well, what happens, it’ll drive you crazy. My advice you move away, far away, far away somewhere. Forget it, start another family. I know that’s tough, but it’s the best way”.

The interrogation also introduces the character of Marcus Pike, the long awaited potential love interest destined to shake Lisbon’s world. Pike is the peak in the ever growing list of Lisbon’s admirers. His first contact is through Jane, still: he knows Jane’s reputation and rather admires the talented consultant. Jane is very well known in his new workplace and Pike is not territorial with his cases: he tells the widow that “this guy is really good”. He’s open and secure while Jane feels obligated to reassure the woman: “I hate to seem immodest but I rarely fail”… When a zest of Lisbon is added to the mix, insecurity starts to surface, only it’s on Jane’s part. Indeed, when Lisbon and Marcus start to interact, it gets obvious they get along very well and Jane tries to interfere. Firstly, when Pike is briefing the other agents, Jane begins to tell he has a plan (« you can lead a man anywhere as long as he thinks he’s driving »); but when those two are alone and interacting nicely over the stolen paintings Pike is showing them, he interrupts them rather brusquely with “impressive, gorgeous, I love you agent Pike”. He’s acting like a child, wanting to have all of Lisbon’s attention focused on him: when he notices Lisbon is interested by Pike’s briefing, he kept the spotlight on him by mentioning a plan, then he refocuses her on it when she’s straying with the charming agent. It’s almost as if he wanted to prove he’s smarter than the other man (telling “yes, that’s the plan” when Pike remarks that high standard art thieves would know the paintings Jane has chosen had been stolen). By showing off his skills, Jane is betraying his insecurities toward the interest he’s detected in Lisbon, while Marcus who is more able to share, seems more quietly assured by comparison.

VIS#2: Wylie tells the others about Jane’s plans AKA teamwork in action

Again, the contrast between Jane and Pike is blatant when the consultant puts his plan into motion: he urges his team members to attend his briefing, just like the other man did at the beginning of the case. But Jane’s not here: instead he sends Wylie with a bunch of notes handwritten on yellow paper… Where Marcus showed professionalism and straightforwardness, leaving the jokes and charming manners to more private occurrences, Jane is devious, secretive and controlling since he didn’t even tell the whole plan to Wylie: the younger’s man explanation for the detail of the scheme is « and the fun really starts. That’s a direct quote”. Plus, sending the youngest and newest team member to give instructions to their superiors illustrates his irreverence toward Abbott’s and Kim’s authority; Wylie’s schoolboy attitude contrasts with Jan’s showman words… He wants to have fun with his new team and at their expense… and he implicitly may want to impress them too. And as much as he obviously enjoyed Marcus’ respect for his abilities, he took care not to invite him to the meeting…

On the other hand, in spite of his secrets, Jane has never been so open with his new team before. Among the many undercover jobs he took in the reboot, this is the most open he’s been with his coworkers. He wants to have fun and he probably wants the others to enjoy it too. He has Wylie hand Abbott some clothes and give him an assignment based on his knowledge of boxing –which an amused Abbott points out he never told him about. Cho unenthusiastically accepts his role. Wylie then comes to Lisbon, who’ll be playing “the inside man… err woman with Jane”, adding “he wants you to wear this”. Cue to Lisbon to look warily at a sexy short white dress. Kim makes fun of her but she gets a worse leopard-skin dress: she’s “the face” in Jane’s plan, the one who will lead their mark in the bedroom… It’s interesting that Jane probably handpicked those dresses and as sexy as they are, they might reflect something for him: Kim is the temptation who will lure their man to take the bait, just like she had been for him on the island. Giving her a dress which contrast with her usual style is a way to gently mock her… But it’s also somewhat intriguing that he chose such a dress for Lisbon too, as she doesn’t necessarily have to be so sexy to back up his cover… It’s a deliberate choice from Jane, who knows she’d be very uncomfortable, and it shows a mixing of seduction and innocence (the color white): it’s the same combo Krystal used to try to seduce him with her damsel in distress persona. Given that he’s showed that he finds Lisbon attractive, there’s no doubt there was an ulterior and more selfish motive for choosing this short and low-cut dress…

Still, the team follows Jane’s instructions to the letter. Wylie and Pike observe from behind the scenes as the plan unfolds. Jane’s influence is perceptible as Wylie explains to Pike that he tells that “if you wants someone to trust you, you don’t give them something, you get them to give you something”. The young man also decrypts body language based on his mentor’s tips. The plan goes seamlessly and Abbott and Cho show the same acting skills they displayed in ‘Grey Water’ and ‘Ring around the Rosie’: “the mark has been roped”…

VIS#3: the party

Abbott leads Pulaski to “his boss’ ” house. Jane has probably taken a lot of fun in subverting their usual roles: Abbott had to punched his subaltern Cho and is supposed to work for him (“Dennis, you old rascal!”); the composed Cho is the one who initiated a bar brawl; and modest Lisbon is displaying a lot of cleavage and a rather promiscuous attitude –which has her making a face and muttering when she’s alone… Plus, she’s playing his girlfriend and their complicity reluctantly shows when he gives her –again- some acting tips. The whole situation reminds of the past –forcing her in a dress by convincing Grace to choose her as her bridesmaid; putting her gleefully in an uncomfortable situation; bantering and teasing her acting skills… Yet, at the same time, it takes it a step further: they’re playing a couple and it’s so convincing to Pike that he feels like asking Wylie about them: “are they in a relationship? A couple?” Wylie answers: “no. I used to think so, but no. I don’t think…” The fact that Wylie wondered (and still does) suggests that, just like Jane’s abilities have apparently been discussed among the bureau, his relationship with his former boss is also observed by their new colleagues… Obviously, it’s a major question in the reboot: Abbott used to think they were together, Kim too. Grace, Cho and Rigsby know better but think they should give it a try… Everybody noticed that there was more than meet the eye between them. Plus, the detail that Pike asked just after Jane reacted to her fake interest to another man (“down girl”) hints that they’re heading to a love triangle. Pike is aware he has a rival in Jane, like Jane felt threatened enough to interfere with the man’s alone time with her. Only Lisbon seems rather in denial, but her behavior is still pretty ambiguous. But more on this later.

Such as it is, there are many hints that Jane and Lisbon are at a crossroad. It looks like Jane is not wearing his ring –it’s the first time in front of Lisbon- and she calls him “Patrick”. Plus, Jane remarks “that’s my bed” when Kim and Pulaski are about to kiss in the master bedroom –the same bed Lisbon will sleep on later- and, when they find Pulaski’s boss McKaye looking at the stolen painting, he adds “I keep finding strangers in my bedroom”… is that a way to foreshadow that a third party is about to barge in his ambivalent relationship with his partner? Anyway, possessiveness in again alluded to when McKaye tells Jane that he doesn’t want “competition” on his “territory”. Jane mocks him “are you telling me that town is not big enough for both of us?” The western reference echoes Kim calling Pulaski “cowboy”: like the boxing on TV when Abbott baited him, there’s the implicit idea of a fight between two men running through the episode: Jane is the one who has shown tendencies to be territorial with Lisbon and both he and Pike might end up fighting over her one way or another. Moreover, the same metaphor was used with Bertram in ‘Red John’: there was a western playing when he called Jane in order to meet up: back then too, the confrontation was the last step to a new stage of his life…

Indeed, Jane introduced himself to Pulaski by asking him if he’s “Pisces” (the other answers (“no Sagittarius”), which echoes the coincidence that a “pike” is also a fish. It’s probably only pure chance, but it’s amusing that the same symbolism used with Lorelei: now that there’s a new quest for Jane, to build a new life for himself, and Pike may pose a threat to this new goal… still, just like murderous brunette was the key to finding RJ, Pike’s interference might provoke them to clear the air. Same with the line “never take your work home with you. It’s the key to an happy life”: given what happened to his family when he took his “work home”, one can only infer from this casual remark once again that Jane’s taken a new step in the grieving process… Between the lines, he may have started to contemplate leading a happy life.

VIS#4: Lisbon’s night… busy or not enough?

When they’re alone in the house, supposedly late at night, Lisbon is going down to the living area, clad only in a rather short satin red nightie… only to find Jane sound asleep on the couch. Her outfit is oddly intimate to visit a coworker and we can also deduce that Jane may have handpicked her bedclothes too (it’s short like the jerseys in ‘Red Badge’ and in ‘Red Moon’, both seen by him). On the contrary, Jane is completely dressed, scarf included. Lisbon tenderly looks at him and lays a cover over his body.
When she’s back in bed, she calls Pike. She’s completely surrounded by the color red: her nightie, the linens, the painting over her head… which might or not mean that the moment is a threat to Jane. Either way, she starts flirting with Marcus under the pretence of talking about the case and they play with the idea of a date to eat pancakes, since she’s hungry. There’s an implicit comparison with Jane here: firstly, she called him because Jane was asleep when she went to him; symbolically, he takes his place. Plus, he tells her McKaye’s men are close, but adds: “you’re safe. I wouldn’t lie to you.” She answers “that’s a nice change of pace. It’s like everything I’ve done today is a lie”. That’s a very loaded thing to say: obviously, Jane’s lies to her are still a sore point. It goes further yet when she explains that she’s starving and there’s nothing to eat in the house: she’s been playing pretend with Jane, posing as his girlfriend but it left her emotionally empty and “starving”. Since the beginning of the reboot, Lisbon’s intentions to cater to her love life have been more pronounced: she was getting a drink at a bar alone when she met Kim in ‘White Lines’; she checked with Ardiles if their date was personal… Her previous attempts at getting Jane’s attention (mentioning the “date” with Osvaldo) failed: she’s feeling lonely deep down and Pike is offering to feed her feelings and acknowledgement.

Still, a very intriguing point is in which order the two moments are shown: she went to Jane, then called Pike. But what if it was the other way around? Writer Jordan Harper has hinted on Twitter that the order was changed… whatever the reason, Lisbon’s intentions regarding Jane could be easier to read then, if she was aware that there were no “prying eyes” –as Marcus put it- to witness her encounter with Jane. Being alone with him and half-naked suggest seduction plans… The final version plays more on ambiguity and wistfulness.

On the other hand, on Jane’s part, while he’s not been actively making a move on her, he’s come closer to it than ever… He doesn’t seem to wear his ring, he chose a couple of revealing dresses for her, he’s playing house with her, posing as her boyfriend and having her call him by his first name –something he deeply wants as it has been indicated in ‘Devil’s Cherry’… This investigation is the more elaborate undercover job he ever set and it revolves around his partner and him pretending to be lovers/accomplices. And as far away of Pike as he could get them.

Plus, later, when they talk with McKaye about stealing Manet’s Violets (the painting ‘Bouquet of violets’), Jane comments that it’s the symbol of a forbidden love: Manet painted it in reference to another painting representing his brother’s wife, ‘Berthe Morisot with a bouquet of violets’. He adds he expressed his feelings “in a different way, by painting”… Somehow, it’s what Jane has been doing with Lisbon: he’s expressed his attachment for her through his job, by getting her hired and doing his own art of solving crimes. In ‘The Golden Hammer’, he admitted that he used to be cheerful when they were together at a stake-out because he enjoyed spending time with her… in that episode, he acted and opened up because Lisbon had dangled the threat of a date with another man over his head.Still, it’s not strictly a “forbidden love”: he’s the main obstacle to his moving on, he’s the one who can’t allow himself to start again. In ‘Violets’, he started accepting the loss of his family, but the actual work of reconstruction is yet to come. At the same time, unbeknown to him, Lisbon is contemplating the possibility of dating Pike: Jane’s interest may thus be truly shunned away and he’ll only care for her from afar then. The whole subtext is deeply related to the undercover theme running through the last episodes: a thin layer of apparent normalcy hides latent tensions between the characters. Also, interesting choice of theme and flower here regarding Jane’s situation: violets are the flowers of modesty and faithfulness, but also of the symbol for tender love from someone too shy to confess.

Plus, it’s not the first time that paintings have been used in the show to convey Jane’s state of mind –the Rubens in ‘Bloodstream’, the symbolic marines and painted flowers in season 5… Here, the Violets and the victim’s red portrait of his wife form a curious diptych: the latter, which Jane takes special care to give back to the widow, represents a love interrupted by a violent death, like the one Jane shared with Angela. The Violets, with their different color, involve Lisbon, who’s at the center of the episode: she’s Jane meaningful relationship now, and the alluded secrecy reflects the lack of acknowledgement between them.

But Jane is slowly opening up, like he opens the safe in the bedroom, a past symbol of his obsession. As everybody around him has been commenting, his feelings are more visible: even McKaye remarks that he has a soft spot for his partner by the way he looks at her… And his mocking “au revoir” to the killer when he revealed everything was a trap, even the marching band playing ‘The Yellow Rose of Texas’, took a particular meaning when he mentioned he had “someplace fabulous to go”. It was the word Lisbon used in front of Pulaski, which implies Jane plans to find her and spend some time with her after giving back the portrait. But, as Jane’s teasing McKaye about losing the game because he lost control, the situation Jane insisted he had a firm grip on is about to get out of control for him too…

VIS#5 closed case pizza

It’s official: the new team has definitely taken the place of the SCU, its spirit and its traditions. After working all together seamlessly as the combined elements of the bigger undercover picture, they celebrate together. The limbo Jane has been in with his new friends has come to an end and so has Lisbon when Pike make his move.
Indeed, the agent tells her he likes her and that he’d like to know her better. He invites her to pancakes, just as they talked of over the phone. He seems the perfect match for her: he’s a team leader (or at least an agent in charge of important investigations), just like she used to be. He’s seems honest and secure. He’s a coffee drinker. He’s seductive: his “dinner is the best time for breakfast” might discreetly imply that spending the night between those two meals together may come somewhere along the way. He’s offering a straightforward relationship, while Jane looks unsure of what he wants, is manipulative and wrap everything in lies: things with him are complicated.

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

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

Pike’s offer is tempting and Lisbon leaves with him… but stops at her desk to get her things just in time to meet Jane. He doesn’t immediately understand the situation and asks cheerfully “where are we going?”, then he immediately understands his mistake and backpedals, telling them “kids” to have fun. When he’s alone, he sits on his couch, his confident posture deflates and he drops both the act and his scarf while the music gets sadder. It’s a heartbreaking moment because such a depressing episode endings were usually related to his family, for instance at the birth of Ben Rigsby. Now, his sadness and loneliness are caused by Lisbon leaving him and he brought this on himself, he introduced Pike in her life. He screwed up big time. No doubt she’s aware of it given her timid voice when she told him goodbye…

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12 responses to “Mentalist Violets Review

  • KM

    Great review! Thank you very much.

    Poor Jane his assumption that he and Lisbon would grow old together, he married to his family/grief and she married to her career/him has crumbled. It doesn’t seem that he considered that Lisbon could heal from her own heartache and decide that she wants more out of life, that she’d find the courage to offer her mended heart to love and be loved again. I feel for Jane, to have love again he will need to risk having his heart shattered again. It may not have occurred to him that a solo heart locked away in armor could still be shattered. Once again he is discovering that another man can take his life partner away. He’re is hoping that he can find the desire to want more, and see that there is no sure way to avoid a broken heart. Better just to take the risk, because in the risking there is hope for change.

    I hope all you fans are well and happy. I’m knee deep in origami frog folding and tea ordering these days. Cheers!

  • mosquitoinuk

    Thank you ever so much for your review Violet! So thorough that I have little to add…

    I would just like to say that it was interesting that the core aspect of the FBI job was control: Jane was in control every single moment whilst McKaye thought he was in control, just to find out he was outsmarted by Jane in the end. However, things with Lisbon were getting out of control: she’s breaking free and he truly didn’t see it coming, as he was genuinely surprised in the end. Jane tried to direct things to go his was, sidelining Pike and he was truly convinced he did, but Pike managed to outsmart Jane (possibly without even knowing) by presenting to Lisbon the sunnier and more direct side of his personality.

    This ‘control’ aspect is one of the things Lisbon reproaches to Jane by the way, so the fact that she mentioned to Pike ‘that’s a nice change…’ Etc., also shows she was not necessarily amused by playing house with Jane. She’s wearing a dress she didn’t want to wear, playing a role she isn’t comfortable with. I can only imagine that she felt awkward and uneasy and she couldn’t wait to get out of her fake persona. The fact that they were pretending to be so close when they are not really talking to each other probably just highlights the chasm between them, which could be why Lisbon sought some solace by talking to Pike over the phone as her situation must feel quite confusing and sad.

    My two cents…can’t wait to watch the next episide!

  • Rose

    Great job, Violet, thank you very much! :) Many interesting details that I totally missed (Pisces, Hannigan/Hennigan, emotional response to painting not person, etc.), which as usual has enhanced my appreciation of episode. :)

    I liked this episode – it worked so much better, maybe because all the characters were working as a team, there was lots of banter, it felt fun and warmer, etc. For the first time, I thought I could like the FBI team and stop comparing them to the CBI all the time. Cho obviously decided the cold and austere FBI people could use a bit of CBI warmth too!! Plus it was amusing to watch Jane establish an “alternate dimension” with his new coworkers, subtly revealing what he thinks about them or what he wants from them (as you say!!).

    Also, is it me, or is there something afoot as regards all the dropped hints about “control” and the “illusion of control”? First we get Jane confidently stating that Abbott is “my guy”, not the other way around, but can he really be sure of that? Abbott was tough on him at first, but now appears to be giving him quite a long leash and acceding to his demands… Hence Jane’s comment. Does he simply genuinely like Jane/enjoy his unique approach? Is it so he can get his hands on the names of the Blake Association list? Then we have the illusion of control in the Jane/Lisbon relationship. This whole episode, Jane is in charge. He’s telling everybody what to do, he’s master of the game, he puts Lisbon in prime position beside him, etc., etc. Pike essentially hands the case over to him, and lets him get on with it. Jane thought he had everything and everyone where he wanted them. He planned the con like a chess game; he placed every piece perfectly (marching band, taxi…). But in the end, the rug was swept out from under him and we see that ultimately it’s Lisbon who’s in control, albeit not deliberately so. She stepped out of the parameters he had drawn for her, if you like, and did something that he really wasn’t expecting. Also the engulfing sense of loneliness, as you said. And not just because of Lisbon, but the rest of the team too – who are off somewhere else.

    Interesting the “kids” things, by the way – like an instinctive expression of verbal control – by casting them in the role of ‘juniors’, so to speak, Jane could retain a sense of superiority or control to mask his sudden insecurity… He was really quite kind about their date – he wasn’t overtly bitterly jealous, more deflated (so saaaaaaad!), and it was bitter-sweet that he only takes his new fancy scarf off right at the end, like it meant he was finally forced to put away his character (the one with Lisbon as his girlfriend) – because the whole thing was really only an illusion after all… :( I guess the only bit that was “real” was that he slept on yet another couch – like he doesn’t quite know how to sleep in a bed anymore (I’m sure that big house had more rooms!!). He’s still giving off a somewhat homeless vibe… Like a stray cat. Bless ‘im.

    I’m so glad you got an episode with your name in it, by the way, Violet!! ;)

  • reviewbrain

    Thank you so much for this Violet. Fantastic comments everyone! I literally agree with everything in them.
    I just wanted to add a few things:

    -How much this episode felt like a genuine Mentalist episode; as in the show I fell in love with. It’s fun, but a big sad too. And case closed pizza! Who else completely forgot about that tradition? Nice to have Cho bring it back.
    -Also, episode has a bit of mentalism in it cleverly included by having Wiley read the perp’s body language based on what Jane told him to look out for.

    -I’ve always thought Jane’s interest in Lisbon was more obvious than the other way around (see Jane/Lisbon moments). It was nice to see a stranger, a criminal at that figure this out so quickly.

    -This is the first time in the history if the show that we’ve ever seen Lisbon take an initial interest in a man. Lisbon has been intrigued by Pike from the moment she laid eyes on him. Even her comment about being in the wrong line of work, said during his briefing seemed aimed at getting his attention (as if her beauty wasn’t enough). I don’t know if this was Tunney’s decision or written in the script. But it seemed like Lisbon woke up that morning thinking she’s finally tired of waiting for Jane and would pursue her own happiness with the first viable man available. And a fine one happined to be there. Or maybe she just really liked Pike. Either way, good for her.

    Except…

    Here’s the thing. It’s my pet theory that Jane is a really shy person when it comes to relationships. Jane has always come across as painfully insecure, despite his big personality. I’m not sure Lisbon understands that. Lisbon might have been expecting him to make a move, and decided to move on herself because he didn’t. But I think it’s not that he doesn’t want to; rather he doesn’t know how. And not even because of his family’s death. But because it’s his personality. If true, that’s very sad.

  • Rose UK

    @ KM: Interesting perspective; I hadn’t thought of it quite like that. So true! Also: good luck with the frogs. ;)

    @ Mosquito: So sorry, my post sounded as if I had totally ignored your comment. I think we must all have been in moderation at the same time, as I didn’t see yours before writing. Goes without saying that I agree, lol.

    @ RB: I like your shyness theory. I think it fits in well with Jane’s actions to date, but most of all goes hand-in-hand with the psychology of performers. How many actors for example say that they are shy in real life; that they prefer to put on someone else’s clothes for a while? Lots! Jane hardly ever reveals anything personal about himself; in that respect he is extremely reserved. Reticent. I think there is an innate caution linked to putting yourself “out there”. It is a very instinctive, unconscious thing. I can’t explain what I mean very well, but I feel that perhaps it is a little to do with self-sufficiency. You rely on yourself, almost entirely. Other people are a little dangerous, somehow, because they are unknown quantities (at least until you let them in). Reserved and shy people often have very deep affections, which I think makes it actually harder to be open about them. The idea or act of surrendering your deepest thoughts/feelings – which are so private to you, so part of you, so incredibly precious – to someone else is the hard part for a shy person (mixed in with the general fear of rejection or embarrassment, of course. ;) ), because they are so used to being “one”, not “two”. (My take, anyway!!!) So yes, RB, in essence, he needs a push! (The fear of losing Lisbon greater than the fear of vulnerability?)

    We need a psychologist to give us a lesson on personality types, really. ;) Anyone out there?!

  • Lugenia

    Hi Everyone-

    To add to the shyness theory, I do sometimes wonder at the timeline of Jane’s relationship with Angela. I try to backdate–so Jane is 42 now (SB is about that age). Angela and Charlotte were killed 12 years ago when he was 30. Charlotte was, what, seven at the time? That makes him maybe 23 when he and Angela married. Who knows how long they dated? The brother-in-law accused Jane of “stealing” Angela away in CBB, whereas Jane retorted that they “ran away together.’ To me, running away together is not something mature adults do. It suggests teenagers or at least people in their very early 20s. Even when Mashburn first showed interest in Lisbon, the only sense I got of any romantic feelings on Jane’s side was that he flew a paper airplane in her direction–sorta juvenile yet sweet in its way, but hardly a bold declaration. Aside from LM, we have no hard data that Jane has had sex with anyone other than Angela–Lisbon confronts him with this very observation when LM is first captured.And in that exchange LM was the aggressor–quite literally so, as it turns out. In Red of Tooth and Claw he rebuffs the lady scientists’s attention, but in a more bashful than firm way. And in MBH he seems astonished that Fischer invites him to dinner. Yet in White Lines, he seems a very polished seducer with Crystal. But how much of that was a very calculated performance? And on top of all this, I get the sense that during his time on the island Jane was not jumping into bed with many, if any really, women. We have no evidence of this , of course, but his deportment was more like that of a monk. I found his clothing and aspect quite sexy on the island, frankly, but the man was not flaunting his sexuality in any way–even his arms and legs were covered. On a tropical island. In Venezuela.

    Jane has been out of the game a long time. Lisbon, however, has not. I think if the ice is going to be broken in that department, it will be on her to take the initiative, just as she did w/ Pike (I can barely write that line w/out shuddering). I think this reality might complicate things even further for them, but if they were to work around it the doing so would make for a deep, emotional, and spiritual bond that neither could get with some random or intentionally selected sex partner–no matter how “ideal” that person might seem on paper.

    To add, here is a theory that I hope bears out but at the least is interesting. In Violets when L is on the phone w/ that art detective and he compliments her performance, she tells him that “she learned from the best.”
    I hold out the hope that just as Jane said of the safe cracker in Red and Itchy that the man “taught everything he knew to the woman closest to him,’ that Lisbon is pulling a “long con” on Jane w/ Pike. She knows him better than anyone. She knows his sexual past as much as we do. That he still has the ring on suggests that he hasn’t moved on fully–thus that he probably was not overtly sexual during the two year gap. T M is to me a love story about two people thrown together under terrible circumstance who grow to love each other more than they love themselves. Lisbon’s aloofness–how many problems could have been solved during the 10-hour Airstream ride to Peanutland and back?–is part of her “con” to draw the lover out of Jane, a last-ditch effort for them to be something so much more.
    Oh, well, I am an old-fashioned romantic at heart. And for me sex means something, so I am not so Ok with sex without love or loving one person but having sex with another, even if I love the characters engaging in the actions anyway. So this scenario helps me cope.

  • bloomingviolet2013

    Firstly, thank you so much to everyone who took the time to comment, KM, Mosquitoinuk, Rose, Lugenia and of course Reviewbrain. I greatly appreciate the support even if I hardly have time to reply these days… I’m deeply sorry it’s taking me this long, guys!

    About the shyness theory, I agree with Reviewbrain that Jane is much more insecure that he wants to let on: that much is becoming more and more obvious as he’s letting his guard down. Now, it’s hard to know whether it’s linked to the “psychology of performers” as Rose put it, or if it’s related to a relative inexperience with women given that he may have started dating Angela when he was pretty young… Honestly, Lugenia’s point is interesting, but I’m not sure he’s that green regarding women hitting on him: in ‘Fugue in Red’, he was pretty sure of his effect on women… We could argue that Paddy was not his true self, but rather a frightened and libido-induced distorted version of him, but the fact remains that it shows that he *knows* women like him and he’s been playing on that for years. Therefore, I think his very real shyness regarding relationships stems from the lack of affection in his current life: his (presumably) only lasting relationship ended in chaos; he’s been alone for years and he’s still not convinced he has the right to move on from his wife (wearing the ring… and yes, his relative lack of female company on the island). Plus, the only woman he deeply cares about practically rejected him by telling him that she may not want to work with him again… Who knows how things would have worked out had Lisbon not been as cutting, even if he *did* deserve it? He would have built up his CBI nest again and resumed the flirting maybe with the added emotion he let her see through his letters… I may be mistaken, but I wonder if the plane argument didn’t have roughly the same effect on him as the sunset scene on Lisbon: he understands where it comes from, but that must have affected him when he was at his most open with her, emotionally speaking, brimming with happiness at having her back. Thus I think Jane is more hurt right now than really jealous: seeing Lisbon happily and easily spend time with another man when she’s been half-avoiding him for months must have hurt twice more.

    And I don’t think Lisbon is pulling a long-con, at least not consciously. She’s far too honest for leading two men on like that… I think she really likes Pike and thinks he might be good for her… all the while still waiting for Jane to show his hand. Still, she must have noticed how distant the consultant has become recently (in reaction to her own distance), which may have fuelled her own desire to move on… In a way, she may be advancing on the same path as Jane: she’s starting to learn how to let go of a relationship that defined her life, like Jane with Angela, in order to grab a bit of happiness for herself. It’s a matter of reason vs. feelings in my opinion: she’s resigned to the idea that Jane doesn’t want more, so she’s convinced herself to stop pinning. But she’s still undecided. The irony is that I really believe he might have tried to get closer had she not kept him at arm lengths… Conclusion: those two idiots really need to talk!

    (Sorry for the ranting and the mistakes! I should really stop writing when I’m half-asleep… And thanks again everyone for the support! :) )

  • mosquitoinuk

    Hello everyone, thank you all for your very insightful comments!

    I can’t shake off this feeling that shy or not shy, controlling or not, PJ’s story can very possibly unfold as a cautionary tale. Hannigan said to him in ‘Red Dawn’ (first time he met Lisbon; the beginning of their relationship): move on or it’ll destroy you.

    If it so happens that we come full circle, it will end up being a terribly bitter ending for Jane: losing the woman he loves by his own doing (again). RJ would have won in the end: he took away his past but he also took away his future. It is after all the consequences of Jane’s actions that brought him to this point; his obsession won over love, friendship and anything else that could point towards a happier life. He decided to impose a distance between him and Lisbon when leaving the US and living as a fugitive in Venezuela and when he came back, life as it so happens, had taken over and people had moved on. It would be so incredibly depressing to see this but also very logical, I think.

    From what I read, Lugenia, Rose, KM, RB and Violet would be broken hearted! (Me too, by the way) but I just don’t see how they would get out of this mess in beauty in the few episodes there are left.

  • Rose

    Yes. Yes, I would. ;) (Be broken-hearted, that is.) I once stated that I didn’t need to see a post-RJ epilogue; that I’d be happy with a well-constructed and satisfying resolution whether they gave us J/L or not. But that was when I was still hoping that Jane would choose differently – because by choosing differently, he would in essence have been choosing Lisbon over RJ (my personal interpretation). That would have been all I needed, because to me personally this would have represented some kind of growth or development, or simply that she was more important to him. I agree with Mosquito: I feel like his choice is a stumbling block in the reboot (maybe intentionally so – maybe Heller did this on purpose to ensure that the story would continue). Even though in the end Lisbon understood and was supportive, and Jane gave sincere words of affection and gratitude to her, he chose personal revenge & its consequences over what she might have wished for. He put her second, in a way. How do you get over that? However, as I mentioned last week, in the first couple of reboot eps, Lisbon seemed very receptive to him in some ways (maybe in the joy of reunion), but this soon cooled off. Mosquito, you put it beautifully: “RJ would have won in the end: he took away his past but he also took away his future”. Jane is really going to have to learn fast how to move on now.

    So this leaves me to wonder… I don’t think Heller would give us a depressing ending. (OR WOULD HE?!) Right from the start, I thought TM was going to be a story about redemption. Originally I thought that this would come with the choice not to kill RJ, but perhaps that was just too easy. Perhaps the real redemption lies in hitting absolute rock bottom (committing a real murder, the traumatic fall-out thereof) and *then* resurfacing…

  • Lugenia

    Hi All-
    I truly hope Heller doesn’t go there. That is depressing and pointless in that such as ending would discount the “how the charlatan becomes a hero” mythology of the show. Because Patrick is a good man, despite his flaws. And the buildup w/ RJ showed such a “scorched earth” approach. In the real world, PJ would be locked up in an insane asylum/prison at worst or at the least in intense therapy. But the one person whom he would trust to help him w/ that –Sophie Miller–had her head cut off and placed in her oven by RJ!! And RJ’s minions reached into the thousands! I may be sentimental but I am not that sentimental–the man deserved to die. In that RJ scenario PJ would never have made it out of California alive , IMHO.
    But who knows? One thing that gives me hope that Heller won’t go for the sucker punch ending is the reference to Pisarro that the gallery owner made. He said that Pisarro was “dean of the impressionists” and had “abandoned precision for expression. Look at how alive [the painting] is.”
    That reminds me of PJ in this episode. Unlike FBI guy, PJ was not precise–he did not come out and say what he felt. Rather , he chose expression–through touch, through fashion, through song, through selection of art. And that sting was alive–everyone was involved and playing at the top of their game–even Lisbon, though she said she felt it was all a lie. Notice, though, that Pike was drawn in in part by her performance. At what was most telling is that Cho–of all people, the one who seemed the most reserved with PJ initially–brought back the closed case pizza tradition. Not Jane. And that Jane took the time personally to return the painting to the woman who said–in a direct contradiction to Lisbon, by the way–that everything PJ had said has been “true.” Notice the word choice–not “right” in terms of facts and data and exactitude, but in meaning, intent, conviction.

  • Lugenia

    Hi All-
    I truly hope Heller doesn’t go there. That is depressing and pointless in that such as ending would discount the “how the charlatan becomes a hero” mythology of the show. Because Patrick is a good man, despite his flaws. And the buildup w/ RJ showed such a “scorched earth” approach. In the real world, PJ would be locked up in an insane asylum/prison at worst or at the least in intense therapy. But the one person whom he would trust to help him w/ that –Sophie Miller–had her head cut off and placed in her oven by RJ!! And RJ’s minions reached into the thousands! I may be sentimental but I am not that sentimental–the man deserved to die. In that RJ scenario PJ would never have made it out of California alive , IMHO.
    But who knows? One thing that gives me hope that Heller won’t go for the sucker punch ending is the reference to Pisarro that the gallery owner made. He said that Pisarro was “dean of the impressionists” and had “abandoned precision for expression. Look at how alive [the painting] is.”
    That reminds me of PJ in this episode. Unlike FBI guy, PJ was not precise–he did not come out and say what he felt. Rather , he chose expression–through touch, through fashion, through song, through selection of art. And that sting was alive–everyone was involved and playing at the top of their game–even Lisbon, though she said she felt it was all a lie. Notice, though, that Pike was drawn in in part by her performance. At what was most telling is that Cho–of all people, the one who seemed the most reserved with PJ initially–brought back the closed case pizza tradition. Not Jane. And that Jane took the time personally to return the painting to the woman who said–in a direct contradiction to Lisbon, by the way–that everything PJ had said has been “true.” Notice the word choice–not “right” in terms of facts and data and exactitude, but in meaning, intent, conviction.

  • mosquitoinuk

    @Rose & Lugenia: yes, let’s live in hope. It is true that perhaps this is about hitting rock bottom and rebounding or the story of the charlatan who became a hero. In both cases, there is a redemption story. It isn’t the way I’d chosen to tell PJ’s story but of course, this us Heller’s story to tell.

    I didn’t realise (as Lugenia pointed out) that the widow told Jane that everything he said was true, in contraposition to Lisbon, who thought everything she did, felt like a lie. Very nice catch! So, it must be that good old chestnut of ‘trust’ that will bring these two together or it’ll keep them apart. It must be hell for Lisbon to love a man that she is dead convinced is telling lies all the time, she can’t understand that he’s telling her the truth about himself. No wonder she’s going out with Pike; seeing Jane every day must be very akin to physical torture.

    Let’s hope for the best but I’m weary of Heller like you wouldn’t believe.

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