Mentalist Black Hearts Review


Synopsis

After Cho (Kang) and Abbott (Rockmond Dunbar) find the corpses of three victims whose organs have been harvested, during their investigation on a human traffic ring, Jane (Baker) and Fischer (Emily Swallow) are called to the disturbing crime scene. Meanwhile, Lisbon (Tunney) is still struggling to make a decision concerning following her boyfriend to DC.

Concise Verdict

With ‘Black Hearts’, star writers Ken Woodruff and David Applebaum close the case of missing girls started in ‘Brown-Eyed Girls’, the second arc in TM 2.0 after the case involving Haibach’s revenge on former CBI members. And, like then, Jane also reaches a new -and this time depressing- stage in his murky emotional situation. Indeed, while the maddening man still couldn’t bring himself to actually do something regarding Lisbon’s possible departure, both she and her boyfriend take the initiative of making decisions. Jane keeps being passive regarding Lisbon, whereas Pike comes across as more straightforward than ever and tries again to rush his relationship in the most frustrating way. On the other hand, the case is pretty predicable, but rather carefully crafted and made deeper by a rather intriguing symbolism and some obvious efforts to give their villain more substance. The pleasure of the two leading characters pulling an amusing con together and the team members getting to fill smoothly their designated roles (boss, supportive coworkers and eager rookie) come together to make this episode, which could have been the last one before the ultimate conclusion of Jane’s story, a rather coherent yet odd combo.

Detailed AKA Humungous Review (spoilers galore)

VIS #1: the opening scene

Right away, the title ‘Back Hearts’ is explained both by the harvested organs of the poor girls and the cruelty of what’s been done to them –both points being emphasised by the black little heart drawn on Daniela’s hand, which served to mark her as a unwilling donor too…

Jane’s attitude is respectful and affected by that turn of events. He even mentions a “cup of tea” in passing, which reveals that he needs comforting in front of the horrifying sight. Plus, the bodies were actually discovered at the end of ‘Il Tavolo Bianco’, meaning that the episode starts during the same night. In other words, Jane is still under the defeated influence of his failed attempt at talking to Lisbon while eating cannoli together. Indeed, Lisbon is not here, just like she was late at the crime scene when she started dating Marcus: it again hints at the growing importance of her personal life. Plus, he’s showing vulnerability while glancing at the young woman’s face, like he did when he witnessed the other one dying in ‘Brown-Eyed Girls’: like then, his deep empathy also reflects his powerlessness and his feeling of abandonment in front of Lisbon’s new life (she had accused him of interrupting her date back then).

Either because Abbott remarked Jane’s subdued behaviour and worries about it or because he thought Jane might have a hunch, he starts asking the consultant about the case. Jane gloomily answers that he thinks there are many more dead girls. It’s interesting that, true to his name, Abbott is once again willing to play the part of Jane’s confessor. He tries to get Jane to talk about the case, just like he approached him about Lisbon’s decision to leave Austin –telling him then that conmen’s downfall often involved them starting to believe their own cons- and about the date-like dinner he set up in the previous episode. May it be about Lisbon or about the gruesome case, he’s the one who helps Jane into shedding a bit more light on his feelings to viewers…

VIS #2: Lisbon on a job interview

Back in the office, Lisbon is brought to attend to a webcam job interview with a potential new boss in DC. Abbott is present as her current leader and Pike is here too. Marcus is actually the contact who hunted the job for her, yet his presence in Abbott’s office makes him look omnipresent in her life. She spends her time off with him, he’s taking her to lunch or to late take-out dinner while she works and now he finds a way to get into her job itself too, even when he’s not directly needed on a case…

Moreover, his proposition seems even more pressing since the silver-winged flying time is again alluded to by the hourglass on Abbott’s desk (filmed under different angles during the whole interview)… Lisbon’s answer to the enthusiastic job offer echoes that notion: “that sounds great. I just need some time to think about it”.

Abbott gives her his professional opinion when the meeting has ended: he remarks that it’s a great deal, but obviously he’s far from happy to have one of his agents leave the team –the dark look he discreetly sends to Marcus during the interview is pretty eloquent. In the most recent episodes, he tried to confront both her and Jane about the situation they’re getting themselves in: he asked her if Jane knew that she might leave when she informed him of her possible departure and he kept pushing Jane to get her to stay. Dennis seems to like Jane as a person, given how well they get along in their many undercover gigs, but he’s also probably fully aware that Jane’s efficiency in the field might suffer from her absence. Jane is an investment of sorts: he too made a great deal with the FBI. Abbott, the man who coldly and calmly closed down the CBI before hunting Jane through South America, might want to keep his “golden boy” as happy and useful as possible. Eons ago Jane remarked to Hightower who had the same kind of logic, that if Lisbon was unhappy, he was less happy: the same goes here, because if his moral compass/anchor fails him, he may very well let his life go downhill. After all, when she wasn’t here to tell him to shred off his homeless vibe, he ended up basically a beach bum…

Unfortunately but as expected, Pike is not as understanding. He bluntly tells her « I’ve been patient » as soon as they exited the office. There’s obviously a shifting in his behavior, since until now he’s been putting off the appearance of the supportive boyfriend who would wait for her to decide whether or not she wanted to follow him, all the while attempting to subtly influence her. Now, he’s trying to pressure her more openly, even though he still wants to make himself look good: as always, only his qualities are brought on, may them be his honestly and inability to lie, his willingness to be here for her, or now his supposed patience. He plays on every aspect of her life: he’s half-forced her to perceive their fresh relationship as something serious, before making her watch movies involving love triangles. On the professional aspect, he’s been finding her a job. He’s methodically trying to eliminate every counter-argument she might have against moving to DC with him. Implicitly, he’s controlling her, telling her “it’s a great decision, but it’s a decision you need to make”, a phrasing that hints that he’s already chosen for her, she only needs to say the words.

That’s the moment Jane chooses to intrude on them and the shifting is also perceptible on his part: while he seemed half-apologetic before when he interrupted them (going even as far as asking her to text “Jane says hi” to the other man), he now curtly announces his presence with a rather cold greeting « Hello Lisbon. Pike». The awkward moment sums up the situation perfectly: a hesitant Lisbon is caught up between her pushy boyfriend and Jane who’s always lurking in the background of their relationship. Is this coldness an indication that Jane has decided to take matters into his own hands after his failed attempt at bringing her dessert late at night? Anyway, every member of their little tangled trio is now openly aware of the antagonism between the two males, as Jane has showed his hand by coming to her house –even if he ended up telling her that he wanted her to be happy.

Afterwards, while Lisbon and Jane investigate their prime suspect Ridley –whom viewers already know to be the ringleader since the end of ‘Brown-Eyed Girls’- Jane’s inner tension is still palpable. He keeps poking the suspect, remarking on the soberness of his office and wondering about every answer the other man gives them “What’s so boring about details,” indeed?

VIS #3: Lisbon asks Cho for advice

Confronted to such a lack of answers from her pushy lover and her slippery friend, Lisbon turns to the most immutable person in her life, her blunt former second-in-command Cho. The stoic agent recalls how he almost quitted in the first day in her team… because of Rigsby. But then he saw the way she worked and that convinced him to stay. While the memories are obviously fond ones –made even funnier since Wayne actually become his inseparable buddy- the fact remains that he stayed for her. Just like Jane, actually, who came back for her and, before, who tried to make it up to her after wanting to quit when Bosco took over the case in S2. It shows the influence she had on the people around her, both as a team leader and as a person. Plus, the allusion to Rigsby hints that she should not make an hasty decision either: it reminds the viewer that Cho’s already lost a close friend to work with and therefore would be pretty unwilling to let her go too, even if he points out that it’s a great job offer. Plus, it implicitly indicates that she’s leaving because of Jane –like Cho almost did because of Wayne-, or rather his inability to make a move, while he should be her reason to stay –since Cho’s partnership with the taller agent actually became one of the highlights of working for the CBI. On the other hand, Cho’s respect also reminds viewers that Lisbon used to be his boss: Jane’s revenge cost her a most promising career. Even now that she’s working for the FBI, she’s only a subordinate. Marcus is offering an opportunity to remedy to that loss.

Talking about Wayne, it’s interesting that Lisbon asks advice from Cho, since Rigsby was eager to give advice to Jane about getting together with Lisbon… As he did at the bar in ‘White As The Driven Snow’, Cho is more reserved. He obviously takes sides with Lisbon as the whole team used to do in the most recent years. He concludes: “whatever decision you make, it’s been an honor” before hugging her. While Lisbon is happy that he holds her in such high regard, she obviously never realized the impact she had on her team members… like she probably doesn’t know how deep Jane’s affection for her runs.

Later, it’s Kim’s turn to chime in. She simply asks where Jane is to Lisbon, adding that they always work together. Lisbon’s reply is a dry “not always”. Like when Abbott tried to poke into her complicated relation with the blond consultant, she closes off… Obviously, this choice of topic is painful for her.

VIS #4: Jane and the ringleader

Interestingly, most of Jane’s investigation quickly revolves around Ridley. He tries to create with the man a friendlier bond. That starts by meeting him again in his house. There’s a startling contrast between the very functional office and the carefully decorated luxury house, which already hints that the man has a double life.

Soon, the team locates a witness: the foul Dr Lark, whom they suspect actually killed the girls and removed their organs. After Cho and Kim saved him from the bomb Ridley ordered his henchman Tremmel to put on his car, he starts singing like the bird he’s named after… He admits to killing the women painlessly because he needed the money and Ridley paid well. When asked about the moral aspect of his actions, he just says that it bothered him to kill, but after a while stopped thinking about it. Still, this amorality is somewhat compensated by the fact that he commits suicide in his cell once Tremmel threatened his daughter.

Indeed, Lark was not strong enough to fight the evil association he was working for. Many details subtly fleshed up its threatening presence through the episode: the words “hunter of the rocky seashore” and “predatory” visible in the background when Cho and Kim went interrogating a suspect at a museum; the reference to Caesar brought in by Tremmel’s tattoo (the famous “veni, vidi, vici”, “I came, I saw, I conquered” that the imperator used to describe one of his military victory. The very brief line puts emphasis on the rapidity of the action, which might be a way to hint again at the flying time theme). This reference to the Roman general is further enlightened by the horses used in decoration, both in Ridley’s house (on a lamp visible when he’s talking on the phone with Tremmel) and on ambassador Moreno’s desk when Cho interrogates him over the phone too (a book end shaped like a horse head). Along with the panther sculpture visible in the same scene, those details reinforce the idea that this new association is very well organized, powerful and predatory. They’re a force to be reckoned with and Lark as a inoffensive bird was bound to die by getting close to them: they only preyed on his weaknesses.

When Jane corners Ridley alone in a parking lot, both men have a very intriguing talk. Ridley remarks that “it’s just business”, adding coldly “personally, I didn’t kill anyone”. He goes as far as explaining to Jane -whom he seems to consider as a kindred spirit- that his traffic serves to “save important leaders”. Jane grudgingly admits “I understand your perspective, very well”. Ridley replies: “come on, it’s just us. If anyone could understand our perspective, it’s you.” Without the shadow of a doubt, the shady businessman is alluding to Jane’s past: he’s aware of Jane’s ambiguity, his determination to achieve his goal no matter what the cost or how many people get hurt or killed in the process… Plus, his assessment sadly echoes Jane’s less than glorious moments, for instance his dismissing of Haibach when Kirkland kidnapped and tortured him because he thought the man’s life wasn’t precious enough. Lisbon disagreed then because she’s a better person than he is: quite disturbingly, Ridley is applying the same careless logic to his criminal activities than Jane has been to his quest for justice and revenge… Still, that was before Jane came to a more peaceful state of mind, because his sympathy in this case lies with the victims; he’s not as cold as he was back then.

Therefore, the whole talk has shades of RJ’s attempts to gain Jane’s attention and friendship: indeed both the serial killer and Ridley are cold-blooded criminals who think they’re superior and that they have the right to choose who is worth living. They’ve been targeting harmless women and Ridley, like McAllister, has been threatening a daughter for her father’s faults. Even the marks they put on their respective victims are quite similar in their innocuous appearance: a smiley face, made gruesome by the fact that it was drawn in blood vs. a little heart-shaped drawing with a horrid meaning… But Jane is no longer like them: he admitted to RJ that he’s “nobody”. He’s gained a humility that the two others lack. That doesn’t stop Jane from replying courteously to Ridley’s wish for him to have a lovely afternoon with a rather pensive “sure, you too”.

Jane and Lisbon (don’t) talk it out

Meanwhile, Jane finds another kind of opponent when the investigation provides Lisbon with a new opportunity to try to clear things out between them, but to not avail. Actually, there are three decisive moments in this silent gentle battle of wills he’s having with his beloved partners.

1) Firstly, when Jane is back in the office, it’s her turn to corner him. She enters the bullpen with a mug of coffee and a cup of tea –Jane is usually the one to bring her her favourite beverage- and her resolve wavers when she realizes that he’s seemingly asleep on the couch. But she calls for him and sits with him. She tries to put him at ease by telling “I always liked this couch”: that brings a touch of familiarity in her action. Also, it might be a coincidence, but that was pretty much what Jane said when he came to the CBI bullpen with his bimbo to bid them goodbye in ‘Fugue in Red’ (something along the lines of “I always wanted a couch like that”). Both times, that old couch has been the symbol of the work they’ve been doing together and the comfort he took in it and both times, reminding of them through it was a way to prepare themselves to depart. But for now, the line only makes Jane smiles, which Lisbon takes as her cue to start interrogating him. He begins hesitantly “Jane… Jane…” when her phone rings. The announcement that Lark committed suicide interrupts their talk.

Obviously, still, Lisbon’s attempt is her answer to Jane’s recent visit at her doorstep. As he couldn’t bring himself to open up to his real feelings, which made her cry, she’s taking upon herself to unlock that dreaded door he wasn’t able to open.

2) The second, more dramatic moment between them happens while the kidnapped girls, along with Daniela’s sister, are shipped to Columbia. That further stresses how time is the issue.

Jane comes up with a plan and tells Lisbon about it over the phone. His description is less than thrilling as it involves breaking “a few laws”… Lisbon is wary and when he presses her, she hopelessly answers “I’m thinking, Jane”. Seriously, what’s with the men in Lisbon’s life asking her to make huge decisions in a snap of a finger?

Of course, Jane plans to use the “understanding” he set up with Ridley. As he fakes a friendly visit in his house, he drugs the other man’s glass and takes him in a dark and worrying secluded place, probably the same Lark used to work on the poor girls’ bodies. While Ridley is still groggy, Jane feeds him a chilling little speech, explaining that so far the man has “been a step ahead” of him -Riddley managed to warn his Nigerian client to fly away before the cops could catch him- but that he finally got him now. Again, the “one step ahead” notion is linked with RJ’s little mind games with Jane, a detail meaning to accredit the thesis of Jane going once more all vigilante on the leader of a criminal organization.

Ridley tries again to justify his choices by the same reasoning: “some lives are more valuable than others” but, whereas Jane “couldn’t agree more”, it becomes obvious that it’s Riddley’s life and his accomplice’s that he finds unworthy. Indeed, he and Lisbon as wearing scrubs as if they were about to perform surgery. The woman protests that she’s not convinced that Jane’s doing the right thing, but she nonetheless goes along with his actions. Again, she’s playing the assistant to Jane’s magic show: they turn their back to Riddley and start presumably removing Tremmel’s organs while he’s still alive and kicking –and the tattoo on his arm makes Riddley sure that it’s his henchman lying there. Yet their concentrated albeit grimacing faces contrast funnily with the dramatics they’re pulling off for Riddley’s benefit. Lisbon reluctantly following Jane’s silent request to splatter more of that fake blood she’s so obviously disgusted with on his scrubs makes it all the more amusing. Riddley is not aware that he’s played and he starts panicking once he realized that he’s the next target… even more since he’s just witnessed them murdering someone… His only hope is Lisbon’s scruples: “you’re a cop. You cannot do that. This is wrong.” But her answer is even more distressing than Jane’s ‘crazy scientist’ act: “not after what you’ve done. This is poetic justice”. Again, the “justice” killing is a reminder of RJ’s fate, which makes the whole ordeal even more convincing to Riddley. The only difference is that Lisbon is supposed to be Jane’s willing and active accomplice this time…

3) That fact isn’t without consequences. After a terrified Riddley gives them all the information they want, they bring him back to more lawful grounds. When he’s in the bullpen, he starts accusing Jane and Lisbon of murder and they defend themselves by showing that Tremmel is actually in a cell. He wasn’t killed (it was Wiley playing his part with a fake tattoo on his arm. The undercover job of the week…).

Still, even though Riddley has been neatly trapped, his accusations don’t settle well with Abbott. Even more since Jane’s reply to Riddley’s lawyer that he’s been using psychological torture on him is “your client is a monster”. He’s not pleased either that Lisbon takes Jane’s side, just like she did in front of the jury when she pleaded the fifth to protect him… Abbott convokes them in his office and scolds them, adding that those are serious claims against them both. They keep denying that they did anything Riddley affirms they did to him. After dismissing Jane, Abbott focuses on Lisbon: “Jane is a liar… but you’re an honest, good person with a long career ahead of you”. The moment eerily reminds of his assumption when they met at the CBI: back then, he told her that she had been a good cop… before getting under Jane’s spell.

That doesn’t deter Lisbon who keeps standing for her partner: she lies through her teeth to her boss, stating firmly that “everything Jane said was true”. If it does come to it, between a career opportunity and her loyalty to Jane, she’s made a choice. On a professional level, she thus knows where she stands and her determination to have Jane’s back contrasts with her overall recent wavering… Too bad that doesn’t help with the personal problem at hand, right?

VIS #5: Pike’s proposal

Paralleling the touching reunion between Daniela and her sister saved in extremis from her captors, Lisbon meets with much relief her ever-present boyfriend. She’s happy and relieved to see him as the day as been emotionally draining, between the revolting case, Jane’s dreadful plan and Abbott’s threats. Yet, Pike uses her vulnerability to once again pressure her into making a decision, arguing as the devoted boyfriend he pretends to be that “it’s your life and like to be part of it”. Still, the care he displays tips the balance on his side: he’s here for her and he values her. With Jane, she’s come to the realisation that, in spite of their shared affection and connivance, he ought to always demand that she always protect him. He’ll always decide to take justice into his own hands when the law won’t reach the monsters they’re chasing. Her career will always take a backseat to their partnership, whereas he’s still unable to take a step in her direction on a personal level. Hence the decision she suddenly makes: she accepts Pike’s offer.

Unfortunately, Marcus considers this as an opening to push his luck further. He knows that it’s not “romantic, but the hell with that”: he asks out of the blue “will you marry me” to a flabbergasted Lisbon. Poor Lisbon who’s already made a huge effort to fight her doubts sees her commitment issues rattled again. Distraught, she only manages to answer “it’s a big decision. It’s huge”… Pushy Marcus generously gives her a “no pressure”, even though he cannot be unaware that he’s kept pressuring her. He’s been pushing her along with every decision he makes for them, starting by labelling their liaison as serious, to finding her a new job, until that overkill proposal. Just like she accused Jane of, Pike is making decisions for her and he subtly blames her when she’s unsure of them by making her feel guilty when compared with his qualities as the self-proclaimed man of her dreams. That’s how he went from a heartfelt « I’ll be here » to an edgy« I’ve been patient » in a matter of hours, after all…

His admitted lack of romantic skills is also pretty telling. Since he started dating Teresa, he’s shown a rather unsettling interest in labels more than in the essence of things between Lisbon and him: that what the granola bar “breakfast” hinted at. All the while, he’s been imposing his tastes and decisions, choosing movies with a hidden meaning, planning life decisions way ahead of her. It’s becoming more and more visible that there’s a discreetly controlling and manipulative streak in his apparently harmless and open personality. Why would he have asked her to marry him when she was showing vulnerability, otherwise? A marriage would bind her to him more effectively… In a sense, he’s looking forward to make Lisbon a trophy wife of sorts, gently controlling her life in a rather perverse fashion…

Pike gives her the coup de grâce by asking her “have you told Jane?”, adding “he’ll understand…” The man wants to push his advantage to the bitter end.

Lisbon obediently goes to meet Jane in the bullpen, only a few steps from where Pike’s unromantic romancing took place. Here, the lack of communication culminates in a painful moment as Jane seems peacefully engrossed in a book, sitting alone on his couch in a deserted bullpen, just like he was at the end of ‘Violets’ after Pike took Lisbon on their first date and afterwards in ‘Silver Wings of Time’… Plus it echoes Lisbon’s tentative talk earlier. Before Lisbon could explain the new situation to him, he interjects “we make a good team sometimes”. It’s an affectionate and wilful thing to say, yet ironically it’s exactly this conception of their partnership that pushed her into Marcus’ waiting arms. Lisbon cannot bring herself to tell him what she planned to. She simply says “I’ll see you tomorrow” –a loaded sentence, since she plans on leaving soon… He replies calmly “I’ll be here. Goodnight.”

Has Jane heard what they were saying? Did he avoid the painful talk just like he feigned ignorance when she first came to talk to him? Is he blissfully unaware of what happened or is he protecting himself by evading the truth? Or is he keeping things close to his vest because he’s looking for a way to finally fight for his happiness? So many questions, so little time left…

This review was written in a hurry, so feel free to comment on any pet peeves you may have on the episode. Also could someone make out the title of the white book Jane’s reading in the finale scene? I’ve been asked about it but I couldn’t see it clearly… And, of course, thanks for reading! :)

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13 responses to “Mentalist Black Hearts Review

  • All-I-need

    Wow, it’s been quite a while since I last commented here!
    Your reviews continue to be wonderful and I’m always astonished at all the details I never noticed in the episodes. This time, it’s the “time flies” theme and the “predator” theme. Well spotted!
    I think Jane is blissfully unaware of the huge decision Lisbon just got manipulated into making – not to mention the proposal. I bet the very idea of her walking down the aisle to marry anyone who isn’t him hasn’t even occured to Jane before. I don’t think he actually sees the relationship as very serious – certainly not serious enough for her to actually go to DC. He’s in for quite the surprise next episode, then, because she certainly seems to plan on going.
    In other news, I liked how much time Lisbon and Jane spent together in this episode – pulling off his crazy scheme together, all their (non-)talks and their constant closeness. Lisbon bringing him tea and sharing his couch reminded me of Red Hot (was it that one?) where she does the same after he got tortured with a cattle prod. I liked being reminded of Lisbon’s caring side – now that she doesn’t have Rigsby around as a substitute little brother anymore, she has to focus her caring on someone else and I’m happy to see that this time it was Jane.
    My favourite scene this time was definitely the Cho/Lisbon interaction. I actually squealed at that. It was downright emotional for Cho’s standards and who can blame him, faced with losing another friend so soon after Rigsby and Grace?
    Also, I’m incredibly happy there will be another season – to think that tomorrow could very well have been the last episode ever is just unthinkable and I can’t wait to see what the finale and next season will bring.
    Thank you again for your wonderful review!

  • reviewbrain

    All-i-Need! Welcome back :)
    Violet I am astounded at what you’ve gleaned from the episode. It did have a Red John vibe to it didn’t it? I balf expected the encrypted “list” of organ recipients to be the same encrypted list of Blake Organization members. That would have been exciting.
    Anyway, yes, I think Jane’s scheme helped Lisbon decide what she was going to do. She never say no to Jane’s schemes, even when she wants to. But she’s tired of suffering for it. She obviously didn’t enjoy Abbotts questioning. She doesn’t enjoy lying. And the move is giving her the opportunity to live a life uncomplicated by situations Jane puts her in.
    Adored the Cho/Lisbon scene. Had me flailing actually :)
    Pike…I think his actions are a result of how he was written (and the time constraint to fix J/L before season/show ends) as opposed to what his character is supposed to be.
    At least I hope so. I don’t like the image of him being manipulative or controlling any more than a healthy normal jealous boyfriend would be -Jane isn’t , btw ;)The marriage proposal did take me by surprise and I so hope he doesn’t turn out to be a psycho whom Jane has to rescue Lisbon from. That would really REALLY suck. The mere possibility has me furious so I’ll stop thinking about it.
    I’d rather think he’s a bit too over-exited and so in love with Lisbon that he’s not thinking rationally. Now I feel much better :)
    I honestly can’t say who I’d rather Lisbon be with now. I’ve always been rooting for Jane and I’m a hopeless romantic but men like Jane are very high maintenance. On the other hand Lisbon raised her brothers plus she’s used to Jane so she’s used to it. On the *other* other hand she seems tired of dealing with his antics.
    This reminds me of Hunt’s character in the film “As Good As It Gets” : All I want is a normal boyfriend!! Or something like that; I’m paraphrasing. In the film her character’s mother replied they don’t exist. If that’s true then maybe Lisbon should stick with Jane. At leadt she knows all of Jane’s faults. Who knows what Pike’s will be…

  • reviewbrain

    Oh, I forgot to mention two things: Of course! Jane saw the proposal and knows exactly what happened. That’s why his tone was sad when he told Lisbon “We make a good team sometimes.” its him telling her he knows there have been some bad moments but he wants her to remember the good times as well. His diverting her is the first direct resistance to her relationship with Pike. If he is letting her go he’s not going to do so willingly. I look forward to seeing how much of a fight he’ll put up. Might get messy…
    Also, the way Jane looks at Lisbon while their drinking their respective beverages on the couch. Just…kill me.

  • KM

    Great review! Thank you.

    As to Pike. I won’t deny that he is coming across needy, and less interested in Lisbon’s happiness than his vision of what he believes his life should look like. The phrase ‘no pressure’ has become an annoyance. But, I don’t think him evil and tend to think this is the way he is written. Perhaps his previous marriage failed because he was more interested in being married than knowing his ex-wife?

    Part of me thinks that Jane has no real clue, that his pride does not entertain the idea that Lisbon would leave him. Heller has been saying that Jane’s pride has not finished being shortened. Lisbon’s impending departure may be just that. I’m not saying Jane is full of himself, I actually see him as very insecure, but that he is being very human in ignoring the contravening evidence before him. Shorter, he has indeed fallen victim to his own con. And, Lisbon, the personification of faith, has lost the will to hope. Thus, Jane may have heard or read the proposal (he is reported to be outstanding at lip reading), but denial is the first stage of grief.

    I am not a shipper, but I am an optimistist for healing. I do very much want to see both Jane and Lisbon heal from the wounds they carry. Thus, Pike in a blessings of sort. For Lisbon, who devoted so much of herself to wounded men (father & Jane) and always found herself second place to their demons, he is a voice that shows her that she is desirable first choice. And, for Jane he is the nudge to stop nursing his grief, and using RJ as a crutch to remain stagnant or stuck in neutral, the means to see that walled away hearts can still suffer loss and break. So, as annoying as I find Pike (personally find him too desperate), I am glad for his arrival and his pressure to reshape the equilateral triangle Heller started with. And, I should mention I am happy to see Jane and Lisbon happy with each other. A perk of being a shipper of happiness, instead of characters.

    Sorry for any typos.

    Cheers!

  • Lugenia

    Thanks for the review, RB.
    This episode puzzled me as well. One repeated reference is to “beds.” In the conversation between Jane and Lisbon this is literal. I may be over reading this, but the reference played on two levels. One, it suggests that unlike his state in BH, Jane is no longer “sleeping like a baby.” At least subconsciously he knows he is losing Lisbon. However, his complaint that his bed has “lumps” in it makes me think of Angela and Charlotte. This recalls that for all his high functioning on a professional level, Jane is not now nor will he ever really be “normal.” He is a deeply traumatized person, and there is no way a person can really “fix” that. It is sort of like his comment to Grace on the death of Craig O’–you can either try to forget your past or learn to live w/ it. Jane is beginning to live w/ his reality–but the fact of the matter is that he is will always be vulnerable to his ghosts popping up at the most inopportune times. Mr. Memory Palace who never forgets recalls a line from the novelist Toni Morrison in reference to a character who would “bump into a re-memory” that paralyzes her. She did not willfully summon these thoughts–they were the bidding of her subconscious.
    Secondly, the bed is a highly sexualized image, and I felt a bit uncomfortable w/ the conversation because I could imagine that Jane for one could envision L in bed w/ Pike. Nonetheless, sex and sexuality is an issue that literalizes the problem between J and L. She reached out to Pike initially in a very sexual way. So the resolution between J and L will possibly play out in a sexual way.
    On a similar vein, I saw the fake murder as L being metaphorically “in bed” w/ Jane. Even her facial expressions seemed somewhat erotic?? And the smearing of the fake blood seemed to have a sexual sub-text as well. It reminds me of a similar scene in the movie Fried Green Tomotoes in which the main characters smear food all over each other in a humorous scene that is a stand-in for the sex that is forbidden between them.
    Thus when Abbott confronts Lisbon in his office, the implicit threat does not have to do w/ just her career in the FBI. He says to her that she is good and honest and has a long career ahead of her, yes, but he also adds that he would not want her to risk this new opportunity in DC. Not possibly lose her job w/ the FBI-he doesn’t mention her position as it stands in Austin.
    DC is not just about the homicide division job. It is about her relationship w/ Pike–who unfairly and obnoxiously pressured her because he “stuck out his neck” for her. He thinks she is an honest, upright paragon of virtue like himself. But the fact of the matter is she is not as honest as she would hold Jane to be. When she backs him up to A she basically says that she would risk everything to protect him–Pike, his respect among his peers, his happiness. His heart.
    This woman is not in love w/ that man. And that she would agree w/ his request to move away from him tells me that she is in deep denial or outright fear of her own nature. She is not “at peace w/ herself.”
    The fact of the matter is the law is the law. I personally did not feel comfortable w/ the extent of the con, but in a way I fault either the writing (again) or the editing of the episode. But the 30 women in that trailer could care less that the bad guy’s rights were trampled on. The families that were awaiting word of them could care less. The dead women in the medical refrigerator could care less, as could the girl who died in Jane’s arms at the beginning of this arc.
    Abbot knew who Jane was when he recruited him; he knew who he was when he met him at the CBI. He got to study his files pretty well during the two-year manhunt. While A is a deeply moral man, his challenge to Jane about the con was similar to the inspector in Casablanca who feigns shock that gambling is taking place at Rick’s. Jane would lie and pull every trick in the book to capture a possible mass murderer and a human trafficker? “I’m shocked!”?? Really?
    Just a “this ticked me off” moment: How inconsistent can the characterization of L be that when Pike once again went behind her back to pressure her into doing something he wanted her to do, she not only assented to the pressure but smilingly acknowledged it?? How far from hr true self must she be at this point? She would have punched Jane in the nose.

  • Rose

    Good morning, mentalistas. :) Thank you very much, Violet – that was absolutely great. :D Need to go back and watch for all the little details I missed, like the hour glass (love that stuff!!!!).

    I think my main problem this week is that I didn’t really “get” this episode. I’m totally befuddled by what Jane was playing at in the last scene. Initially, I thought it might be that his old arrogance has come back: Lisbon went along with him fairly uncomplainingly in what I thought was quite an extreme con, then lied for him, so I wondered if he assumes this means she has ‘chosen’ him and is now content to let things play out. Last week, he called her predictable – perhaps he predicted she would play magician’s assistant, as she always has, and now he thinks she always will. Perhaps he didn’t realise that she hated what the con turned her into, and unbeknownst to him, this is precisely what made her accept Pike’s offer. But, that said, that would have been the ‘old’ Jane – and we have been seeing a ‘new’ Jane since the reboot, one who is slowly being “restored to life” (as in the Tale of Two Cities theme from last season) and becoming more compassionate to victims (or at least, more visibly so) and receptive to people’s needs. So is there a plan afoot? Colour me confused. ;)

    @ Lugenia: I agree Lisbon would have called Jane out on the same thing, but it’s hard when you expect it from one person, and not from another. Maybe she can’t draw the parallel between him and Pike. Plus she’s floundering, and that makes it difficult to stay true to oneself. Although that said, the one constant is that she will never, ever give Jane up – she is loyal to the end (a personal ‘betrayal’ is one thing, but shopping him to Abbot or to the authorities or anyone else would be the absolute end.)

    Oh, little point: a ‘blackheart’ is also a type of cherry. I know the episode title alluded to something different, but this might also be a nice, accidental link back to all the ‘cherry’ symbolism from last season (see Violet’s comments on one of the reviews…) ;)

    Brilliant comments, everyone. Really enjoyed reading you all this fine sunny morning!

  • Rose

    P.S. I would like to adopt Cho as my best friend, please.

  • Lou Ann

    Wow, what a fantastic review. I agree with so many replies that you opened up this episode in so many ways that i missed.

    Just a few thoughts in response to the Pike/Lisbon discussion. I don’t want her to eventually end up with Pike, but I can totally understand why she has, at least thus far, been attracted to him and enjoying their relationship, and why she will go to the other side of the country to continue it.

    Not only is he an attractive man, but he seems to treat her like a beautiful, desirous woman with a sensual side. He shares her non-professional life with her. He wants to experience her whole self, spend time in intimate connection, as a man to a woman. I am going on faith that his intentions are honorable and sincere. It’s crossed my mind that he does seem too good to be true and that he is rushing the relationship, but I justified that by the writers’ not knowing if the series was ending or not.

    What the relationship with Pike offers is so totally lacking in her relationship with Jane, who can’t or won’t let his soul awaken to her sensuality or sexuality. Jane relates to her, appreciates her, and depends on her, as a crime-fighting partner. A work spouse, if you will. Though I believe he does love her deep to his marrow, he’s starving her of a full life.

    Furthermore, with Jane, there will Always Be Blood. With Pike, whose job entails saving beautiful art and restoring it to its rightful owners, there is no blood. There is right and justice, which is what she wants to devote her life to. Jane *says* he’s all about justice and putting things right, but really, I think he’s more about retribution, trying to rid the world of evil people in the hopes that he can somehow make it safe again like it seemed to be before the destruction of his family.

    Maybe that’s the con that he has conned himself into believing: that he can make the world right again through his own effort. But no one can. And he cannot move forward until he can give that up.

    With Jane, there will always be the blood of Angela, Charlotte, and McAllister as a stain in their lives. Her job brings her in constant contact with the horrors of the worst of humanity. The scam scene in which Jane and Lisbon cover themselves with fake blood is emblematic of what their lives entail. Who wouldn’t want something honest and safe to go home to every night from that?

    Nevertheless, my deep hope is that Jane can reawaken his inner man, find his soul, and release himself from the grip of fear and distrust in providence. He doesn’t ever want to lose someone dear to him again, but until he realizes that within *every* relationship is the risk of pain and loss, he’s never going to live fully again. And I believe Lisbon is the only one who can lead him into that realization and fullness. And then, the only way for their relationship to be healthy for her is for him to give up the business of retribution, and leave law enforcement, and focus his professional life in another direction, and become a haven for her.

  • Lou Ann

    My comment has been awaiting moderation for 12 hours?

    Also…so can’t wait for the review for the finale.

  • mosquitoinuk

    Hi Violet, thank you for this review.

    Apart from all the clever comments & ideas that others have posted here and to which I have nothing substantial to add, my little contribution will be on the book Jane is reading. After a fair amount of zooming in and guesswork I think I can read something like “The Politics of Therapy”. A book with that title can be found on Amazon online. Judging by the title, it is something Jane could find interesting to read.

  • Bopper

    Where has this blog been all my life? :-)
    I tend to think of Pike as a guy who looks good on paper, as opposed to Jane. The “pressuring” is because he is moving to Washington DC and he knows if she doesn’t actively make a decision to move with him, the default is to stay. I do like that he has enough self(couple)-awareness to realize that watching Casablanca and its love triangleis a bad idea…I don’t think he wants her to think about that! I don’t know the details of Casablanca…who does the girl pick in the end?

  • bloomingviolet2013

    Firstly, I am very sorry it took me this long to answer to everyone’s kind comment! Many, many things got in the way and I’m only making a quick dash here, because there are many points I’d like to discuss further…

    @ All-I-need : welcome back !!!  Always a joy to read you! “I don’t think he actually sees the relationship as very serious – certainly not serious enough for her to actually go to DC. He’s in for quite the surprise next episode, then, because she certainly seems to plan on going.” Just spot on!

    @ Reviewbrain : hehe, thank you!!! Excellent points about Jane’s outrageous (and hilarious) scheme helping her decide to follow the safer Pike. And I couldn’t agree more than Jane is very high maintenance: he’s quite selfish and in a way he wants the others to gravitate around him because he knows he can manipulate and control them. Hard for Lisbon to realize that deep down he cares far, far more for her than he dares to let on…

    @KM: thank you!! :)Yes, I see your point about Pike and I (reluctantly) agree… The writers had to set up a fully blossomed romance in just a handful of episode, it was bound to feel rushed at some point… I’d even say that putting the blame of it on Pike by making him needy –but nevertheless nice and caring- was quite clever…
    Also, I LOVE your point about Jane’s pride! Really accurate!

    @ Lugenia: thank you for your comment! :)
    Very interesting points about the beds. I may need to think about it more, but I really like the idea… Thank you for sharing! Also, the reference to Green Fried Tomatoes is pretty intriguing too… ;)

    @ Rose: Thank you for your kind words! :)
    “But, that said, that would have been the ‘old’ Jane – and we have been seeing a ‘new’ Jane since the reboot, one who is slowly being “restored to life” (as in the Tale of Two Cities theme from last season) and becoming more compassionate to victims (or at least, more visibly so) and receptive to people’s needs.” I think Jane is still progressing and in that perspective, the old Jane is yet to completely get erased by his new hopeful take on things… After all, Jane was seen clinging to his old self and Lisbon is undoubtedly the most prominent element of his old life. He’d make the most outrageous things to keep her by his side… and making her his willing accomplice (outright telling her his plan instead of tricking her) is a way to try to bind her to him, I guess…

    @ Lou Ann: thank you! Very interesting comment!!
    “Maybe that’s the con that he has conned himself into believing: that he can make the world right again through his own effort. But no one can. And he cannot move forward until he can give that up.” I really love your take on Jane’s behavior. He’s always taken himself for a “super-hero” after all, as Lisbon playfully called him once.

    @ Mosquitoinuk: thank you so much, for your kind words as well as the reference! I *really* appreciate!!! :)

    @ Bopper: welcome to the blog!!! :D
    Well, truth be told, he did pressure her a bit into coming to that first date, but that was understandable… And in ‘Casablanca’, she woman chooses the safer husband instead of the exciting other man. If I recall correctly, they say goodbye when she’s about to get in a plane… ;)

  • mosquitoinuk

    @Bopper: Sorry it took me a while to reply, welcome to the blog! we also have a party on Twitter Thu-Sun every week watching all The Mentalist episodes starting from S1. I make it only every now and then but it is great fun.

    I wanted use your comment to say something about Pike because there is huge antagonism towards the guy all over the internet and to be quite frank, I just feel a tiny bit sorry for him (and the actor). Why people transfer their emotions onto the actor is beyond me, but there you go. I think he was written (my interpretation) as earnest and genuinely interested in Lisbon but due to all the writing being a bit rushed (in my opinion) he came across as a bit pushy. Now, would I be pushy if I saw someone I fancied/really cared about and I knew there was a possibility to be together? absolutely! I never liked the boyfriend story arc because I thought it was soooo unnecessary but all in all, since we can’t change the fact that there is a boyfriend story arc, I think it is good for Lisbon to have a genuine and normal kind of guy who is interested in her. He’s used as a foil for Jane of course and he helps us to see what Lisbon wants. GOT IT JANE?

    Anyway, *eagerly* awaiting for the ‘Blue Bird’ review. More on Pike after the new review. Can’t say more or I’ll blow it! ;-)

    @Bopper: ‘see you on the other side’ when we can comment about ‘blue bird’.

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