Author Archives: reviewbrain

About reviewbrain

Screenwriter, producer, compulsive critic, editor, artist, language lover, student of life, pacifist, parent.

No, but really, How Do I Get An AGENT???!!


Originally posted on Brian Koppelman:

I remember, with crushing specificity, the week that every single talent agency in Hollywood passed on the chance to represent me. And I remember it felt like absolute fact, like irreversible judgment, from on high, that the screenplay my partner and I wrote was not only unsalable, but wasn’t even strong enough to suggest that we had any promise as screenwriters. I was so shaken up by these rejections that I wrote down what each agent told the person who had submitted us for consideration. One said, “the script is overwritten.” Another that “these characters are underwritten.” A third that “nobody is going to buy a poker script,” and a fourth, I swear, that “there are already three poker spec scripts in the market right now.”
Not one agent asked for a meeting with us or to read any further material.
Less than a month later, Miramax bought the screenplay…

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The Conflict in Palestine and Israel, a History, Explanation and Trajectory.


Originally posted on alatiqi:

(some of the numbers used in this article may and probably have increased)

The Title

To begin with, I chose the title very carefully. It is not a Palestine vs. Israel conflict as there are civilians from both sides that are against it and it is definitely not a Muslim vs. Jewish conflict, it is a conflict between multiple groups of people in these territories. Furthermore, with friends on both sides, pro-Israel and pro-Palestine,  I can claim that I can see two sides of the argument and will try to remain as objective as possible.

An Introduction to the History of the Conflict

Believe it or not, there was not always a conflict between Jewish people in the area and Arabs. I say Jewish and not Zionist because Jews, will naturally get drawn into the conflict and hate directed towards Zionists. This is the same thing that happened when terrorists groups that claimed…

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Mentalist The Blue Bird Review


Synopsis

FBI consultant Patrick Jane is disturbed when he learns that longtime colleague/friend/love-interest Agent Teresa Lisbon is moving to Washington DC with her boyfriend. In what will be their last case together, a series of events culminate which could bring them closer or tear them apart forever.

Concise Verdict

RB: I was never very happy with the storyline of having Lisbon rush headlong into a relationship with Agent Pike. There just didn’t seem to be enough of a foundation for it. And yet this episode made it worth it. Oh, so worth it. Top kudos go to B. Heller for writing it, Baker and Tunney for acting the heck out of it, and composer Blake Neely for bringing back our favorite musical themes with just enough of a spin on them to make this an extra special episode. It makes me almost sad that it’s not the last one because I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect ending. 10/10.

VIS #1: Jane and Cho investigate the first case

Violet: While it’s not unheard of, it’s still rather rare to see Cho and the unruly consultant paired up at a murder scene. Indeed, as Kim has remarked recently, Jane is usually with Lisbon, but here, not only is the stoic agent assuming her part, he’s also telling him about her departure, which she should have done but couldn’t bring herself to do at the very end of the previous episode.

Jane is amused: he offers a half-smile and replies confidently: « oh, Lisbon is not leaving ». All in all, that self-assured smugness enlightens the reason behind his lack of reaction to the proposal Pike made to Lisbon almost in front of him… He didn’t hear it. Plus, he apparently never took Pike as a real, durable threat: that is why he’s being so “chirpy”. His rival is now leaving and then Lisbon will be all his again… Hence the selfless talk he has been feeding her about doing what makes her happy: he never actually thought she might leave him to follow the other man. She never did it before, she wouldn’t now…

RB: I actually don’t think Jane was so self assured at the time of their talk at her house.  He took Pike’s being there at the time quite hard and his emotions at the time were quite genuine. Rather, after that talk, and the more days that went on with Lisbon’s silence, I think he allowed himself to assume that she was staying simply because she hadn’t told him he was leaving.

Violet:  Yes, it’s called denial. On the other hand, Lisbon’s reluctance to broach the subject is also telling. Given how little passion he showed about the subject, she’s avoiding both him and the theme as much as she can. There’s a huge lack of communication between them and the physical distance puts emphasis on the fact that she’s already becoming more detached from him.

But, when Cho insists that she’s really going, Jane’s true feelings on the matter come to the surface. He’s shell shocked, speechless and he cannot even process that he’s in front of the victim’s body. In a very funny moment, he interrupts the talk between Cho and the cop who called them: instead of giving precious insight into the case, he just blurts out “did you hear from her or from other people? », then keeps irrationally grasping at his fraying hopes by adding “I’ll believe it when I hear from her”… This hints that it’s not just incredulity on his part. He’s afraid and he’s feeling betrayed both because she’s leaving and because she didn’t tell him. The detail that the victim was stabbed in the back probably symbolizes how he must feel.

RB: I absolutely loved this scene. The fact that Jane seemingly can’t concentrate on the case, his entire demeanor, the fact that he and Cho are having this personal conversation in front of an audience albeit a bewildered one was hilarious. Also, very VERY gratifying. We’ve seen Lisbon many times with less than serene moods due to things Jane had done (both professionally and personally). Its only fair to see him (finally!) experiencing the same thing.

Violet: When he enters the student housing, he immediately observes every single detail and starts interrogating the students. But soon enough, he interrupts his questions by turning to Cho again, asking him when “she” is leaving. He then muses “that’s only ten days”. His brilliant brain is already at work as the shock is slowly receding. Indeed, Jane wants to go back to the bullpen, he craves to take action. In order to get away from the crime scene and to focus fully on Lisbon, he masterfully albeit distractedly solves the case (“oh sorry, that I forgot to say”). He points out that all the students in the house are guilty. They killed the man in a poker brawl that went very wrong.

Obviously the case is a nod to ‘Red Tide’. Back then too a bunch of youngsters killed their friend in a fight and drowned her for good measure, then made a pact to cover up the murder. This is one of the many echoes to previous episodes and the road Jane has been taking. It also reminds viewers of the beginning of his collaboration with Lisbon, which emphasizes how very painful her departure is. But it’s also an amusing overkill and it adds a comedic vibe to the scene as the victim was accused of cheating and stabbed in the back. That exaggeration enlightens again how similar he is to Jane, because Lisbon too thinks he’s a cheater and a manipulative liar. And of course, Jane, feeling betrayed, is about to prove her right…

VIS #2: in the bullpen

“Several days later”, Lisbon is saying goodbye in the bullpen, among hugs and Wiley’s “I’ll miss you”. Nearby, Jane is nonchalantly watching the moment. His calm appearance, teacup in hand, contrasts with the frenzy he showed in front of Cho. He’s feigning normalcy and even goes as far as to ask Lisbon if she’s leaving today. He’s hell bent in hiding his real feelings to Lisbon and his talks of happiness are slowly evolving on a full-fledged con he’s playing on her.

But Lisbon is not completely duped by his fake indifference. She asks him if he’s still mad at her, then insisting that he indeed looks mad when he tries to avoid the question.

RB: At this point I had no idea what Jane was planning. I just figured, like Lisbon that he was giving her the cold shoulder because he was upset she’s leaving, and still trying to figure out a way to get her to stay.

Violet: Lisbon is well aware that he doesn’t want her to go albeit she certainly doesn’t realize to what extent. This is probably why she chooses the words he previously used on her, asking him to be “happy” for her. Jane’s reply is the closest he came to admitting that he cares since she started dating Pike: “I am happy for you, but I’m also a bit sad for me because you’re leaving”… Of course, the first part of this sentence is an outright lie, but at least he verbalizes that he feels “a little slighted”.

RB: I think this half-truth is what helped Jane pull off the con, both on the Lisbon and viewers alike. The fact that he out rightly admits he’s sad lulls the listener into a false sense of security that he is being completely honest.  I also want to point out, that Lisbon using Jane’s words means that while she may love Jane she is still unaware of how deep his own feelings run. She’s taking his words at face value. Six seasons and Lisbon is still unaware of the magnitude of emotions she can inspire in others; she’s just too modest, and perhaps too scared to ever consider that Jane loves her as anything more than a friend without him coming right out and saying it.

Violet: Obviously, Lisbon is not as sure of her choices as she makes out to be, since she tries to justify again why he shouldn’t be mad at her. Telling him was hard, they worked together a long time. Jane’s answer to that makes her look at him: “so stay, don’t go. Don’t break up the team…” It’s certainly not a coincidence that he chooses the same angle as in ‘Black Hearts’ (“we make a good team sometimes”). Plus, Lisbon herself used for years a similar professional façade to explain why they got along so well: first she used to say that he closed cases, then she started defining what they had as a partnership. Retreating behind such a line may be a shallow move from Jane, but it actually simply resumes the reasoning that used to hide the personal hues of their relation for years. Nevertheless, this is not enough anymore for Lisbon. When he notices her incredulous reaction, he hastily backpedals and adds “I’m kidding, I’m kidding…” After all, she has chosen the personal life Pike is offering to the work relationship Jane has been limiting her to for years.

RB: I don’t blame her. Jane’s revenge was the logical excuse as to why he and Lisbon never got together. Now that RJ is gone and Jane still yet to show any clear cut sign of wanting a romance with Lisbon, she cannot but help think he is uninterested and want to move on with her life.

Violet: He therefore puts on his mask of a good friend after shedding the one of the colleague. He tells her what she wants to hear more than what he really thinks. Pike is a good man, he’s happy for her (that he repeats) and she deserves it. This time, her reaction is more pleased and she thanks him. The whole exchange is pretty interesting because it sums up the miscommunication between them: they are both clinging to their usual personas although they both long for seeing the other reflect another aspect of their relation. Jane wants her to choose him and to stay, while his opinion is so important to her that she needs him to tell her he’s happy for her, even thought he actually told her something similar several times before (“I want you to be happy, it’s the most important thing to me”).

But their separation is suddenly postponed when the team catches a case: a killer has supposedly sent a note to their director (an agent Schultz, probably a nod to Mancini’s and Reede Smith’s boss) concerning the unsolved murder of a woman five years ago. Yet, Jane’s interest is more focused on spending a little more time with Lisbon than on bringing justice to the victim. Whereas he nonchalantly answers Abbott that he hasn’t any read on the code which concludes the letter, he eagerly suggests to Lisbon that, given that is their last case together, they should make it a happy one. Then, after Lisbon prudently remarks that it’s a murder case, he insists that they had had fun on some of those.

His lack of insight in that old new case intrigues Abbott enough to question him in the privacy of his office. He thinks his consultant is “weird”: “you’re acting cool about things I know you can’t be cool about”.

RB: It doesn’t take a genius to figure out Abbott is referring to Lisbon leaving here. He’s talked to Jane about Lisbon before and, and to Lisbon about Jane to the point where its obvious that hes rooting for the two to get it together.

Violet: Still, in spite of his confessor act, Jane keeps his real train of thoughts to himself.

RB: That, along with Abbott’s skepticism serves as foreshadowing that Jane has something up his sleeve.

Lisbon and Jane on their last case

The fun Jane promised to Lisbon starts when they get in Miami to re-open the case: sunny shots of the beach and the city’s wonders and some catchy music show how Jane is sending her off in style. He even rented a Cadillac for that special occasion, which is bound to remind her of his old Citroen and therefore of the moments they shared in it in the past.

RB: It’s also the first in a long list of cliched extravagance that Jane showers Lisbon with in their “case”. The gesture at the time seemed desperate.

Violet: Their investigation begins at the victim’s luxurious house. While they’re standing in front of huge windows, with some touches of blue on the garden chairs outside and on the paintings inside, Jane also starts his not-so-subtle plan to weaken Lisbon’s resolve, by commenting on DC. Lisbon expected no less from him and gently brushes him off. Their preoccupations are interrupted by the case when the widower makes a remarked entrance with his wife number three. He’s standing right on a Medusa mosaic: he’s claiming the spotlight. At the same time, this kind of mosaic used to symbolize protection, under a threatening appearance. Thus, it also indirectly represents Jane’s attitude towards Lisbon and his new family, as he’s been protecting them by keeping them at arms’ length. The husband is soon joined in that meaningful place by his daughter, directing the focus on the remaining family members. Although their places are reversed, that angry spouse and hurt daughter (who calls her father a “jerk” and her stepmother a “witch”) might remind of Jane’s own family, whom he got painfully separated from. Indeed, he keeps clinging to their shadows and that is what weights him down in the process of moving on. In that respect, the victim’s family sends an interesting image to Jane: like the widower in ‘Silver Wings of Time’, he has remarried -after having “hunted” their neightbor whom he suspected. And this case has been brought to the FBI attention because of a letter, just like Jane’s family murder was sealed with a letter too. The case thus sums up Jane’s life: a tragedy stoke, he hunted the responsible down. Now he only has to build a new life for himself too.

When they exit the house, Jane lets slip one of the many jab he’s planning on her future with Pike. Each of them is calculated to press on the sorest points of the relationship. He points out how unhappy the family is: adding hypocritically “I mean no disrespect to your marriage”. In a high-pitched voice –Marcus actually proposed, but she’s distressed by the idea-, Lisbon is quick to correct that she’s not getting married, which Jane refutes, commenting that moving to DC with him basically equals to getting married. He knows perfectly well that she has had deep commitment issues for years –Gregg is a prime example- and he’s planning to use her residual fears to his advantage…  Plus, she barely knows Marcus: they’ve been dating for “weeks”. Lisbon again corrects “a month”… but obviously, Jane has a point. He’s been trying to make her have doubts, not about Pike himself, but about the fragility of what she’s building with him. That’s pretty clever, but problem is Lisbon is not committing to Pike because of what she feels for the man, but because she probably wants to break free from the limbo Jane in condemning her to.

RB: A noble cause :)

Violet: Jane then makes peace by bringing up the code at the end of the mysterious letter. Yet, Lisbon is confident that if he can’t solve it, she can’t either. Here, viewers have a better glimpse at the actual content of the letter and it might ring some warning bells:

To: Chief Agent Schultz

Remember Greta De Jorio? That was me. 

To honor Greta’s memory, I will start killing again very soon and very publicly. 

And you FBI simpletons still won’t catch me. 

Ask yourselves, do you understand 

752 598 H IS M Key o. 

So, killing to honor a memory, arrogantly calling people “simpletons” in order to both insult and gaud them, making a vague but dangerous threat to set up a twisted mindgame… Whom those aspects may remind viewers of, huh?

Meanwhile, Kim and Kimball are brainstorming about the same code too. They arrive at some other suspects’ house –the victim’s partner business- only to discover two things. Firstly, there are many turquoise reminders of the episode title (the gym mat, the nearby pool, the sport clothes the partner is wearing, the sofa and chairs). That and the victim had an affair.

When they call Lisbon to inform her of the new development, she asks Jane to turn the music down. Indeed, the loud beguiling rhythmic tune that introduced Miami comes here from the car radio: it might be a hint that Jane is controlling the perception Lisbon and viewers have of the situation. The man seizes the occasion to slight again her future plans:  « an affair, of course », because relationships always seem to end up in a tragic web of betrayal. Lisbon simply asks him to stop trying to convince her not to leave to which Jane dishonestly replies that he knows that once her “mind is made up, it’s made up. For better or worse. Richer or poorer…” That allusion to marriage makes Lisbon chuckle even though she tells him it’s not funny. Instead of being as annoyed as she claims to be by him undermining her love story, without actually badmouthing Marcus, she seems more pleased and a bit flattered by the attention.

RB: She does, doesn’t she? And why not. While viewers have been privy to all of Jane’s many (romantic?) gestures at protecting Lisbon (making Hightower take it easy on her, for one) Lisbon why has always been unaware of any romantic intonations in such gestures. This is made clear in her complete surprise earlier in the season when Fisher implies that she and Jane were a couple.

Violet: And, interestingly, that’s when the case takes a more romantic road. The suspect they interrogate was supposed to have been stalking the victim, while in fact he was in love with her daughter. His romantic intentions were misunderstood, his life was “destroyed” and he ended up living in a trailer… just like Jane right now. Moreover, the setting of the interrogation, at a table in front of a trailer, and Jane’s benevolence towards the guy are a feint echo of the visit to his carny friends in ‘Red John’s Rules’, the previous season finale. Back then, that talk led them to Sean Barlow and his remark about Lisbon being “a little bit in love” with her “secretive and controlling” consultant. Is that a hint that those personality flaws might rear their ugly head again, along with a love confession?

RB: The element of time also plays a role here. The suspect says he couldn’t confess his feelings because he was eighteen and the victim’s daughter was fifteen. The timing wasn’t right. But now that she is of age nothing should hold him back. Similarly, Jane couldn’t have a relationship with Lisbon before because of the risk RJ would have posed for her. But nothing should hold him back now.

Violet: It’s also pretty touching how Jane might have in mind to play matchmaker by nudging the younger man into reuniting with his lost love. Indeed, he tells the discouraged would-be-lover that his sweetheart defended him, giving him a glimmer of hope. Then gives him the copy of the letter, probably because to try and find the killer would certainly make him look good in her book, in addition of avenging his destroyed life.

RB: It’s quite ironic. Jane keeps telling people to just be honest and tell their loved ones how they feel, but he can never seem to take his own advice.

VIS #3: the walk on the beach

Violet: Then, Jane suggests a walk on the nearby beach to his partner, insisting “come on, live a little”. When she reluctantly agrees, they find themselves walking on the sand as Jane basks in the moment and comments “this is nice. We don’t take enough time to do things like this”. He’s making plans for the future, in order to make Lisbon momentarily forget that she won’t be here anymore very soon. They are the two only people fully dressed, in dark suits at that. Lisbon’s feet are clap in flip-flaps which clash with her professional attire, underlining how awkward she’s feeling… Jane leads the game: when he senses she’s not as content to relax as he is, he brings up the code again. He’s getting her defenses to lower by keeping a professional pretext to cover up for their off work moment.

Indeed, the ocean has always had a healing power for Jane, from ‘Red Tide’ with one of his most carefree moments, to the beginning of closure he got in ‘Blood and Sand’ and finally  his retreat on the Venezuelan island. But this present scene is also a reply to the hug in the sunset in ‘Fire and Brimstone’: then, he was leaving her alone and distraught, now she’s the one planning to depart. And he half vocalized his feelings for her, all the while planning to use her emotional response to trick her to get RJ… now, the situation is reversed: he’s using a case as a façade to convince her to stay for personal reasons. He’s desperately trying to mend his errors without acknowledging them.

RB: I also felt that the walk was a subliminal message to Lisbon; Jane wants her to remember the hug, how he confessed how important she is to him and just have that be enough for her to stay. More desperation.

Violet: Jane reads her the message aloud: he wants her to solve the code. The words “do you” catch her attention: it’s a play on sounds with the “Dewey” system used in libraries to classify books –a subtle nods to the many book references in the course of the series. He helps her with the rest of the message and exclaims “you solved it”. “It’s a date” at the Blue Bird Lodge with the killer, but it gets clear very soon that what he’s planning is a “date” alright, but one of a more amorous nature, between an unaware Teresa and him… Patrick stresses his point when he sees how happy she is to have cracked the case, by making her admit that she wouldn’t be in Washington right now: “you’re kidding, I wouldn’t miss it for the world”.  Their smiles show that this is a little victory for each of them, but what they have in mind right now is very different.

RB: This is where I started getting very, very annoyed. I remembered Lisbon once playfully, yet seriously telling Jane “Don’t patronize me”. That fact that she didn’t realize that is what he was doing here showed how deeply she was taken in by Jane’s act.

Lisbon and Jane at the Blue Bird Lodge

Violet: In the “Islamorada”, the setting is heavily romantic. The Blue Bird Lodge is a luxury hotel with the same turquoise hues that have been scattered in the rest of the episode. Jane is eager to pay for two expensive rooms, very, very close to each other, arguing that “it could be our last… err…”. He also was generous enough to make diner reservations. Evening attire is preferred, so an enchanted Lisbon finds herself with three evening dresses on the bed in her charming flowery room.

RB: More shallowness that had me practically livid. I was literally scowling at the screen the whole time because I couldn’t believe that Jane (and Heller) was simplifying their whole relationship and hoping to bring it to the next level by giving Lisbon a Cinderella moment. Thankfully, just as Lisbon was conned by Jane, I was conned by Heller. The superficial facade was a deliberate choice to highlight the insanely real emotions these two characters have, as shown later on…

Violet: Her happiness at seeing the beautiful dresses contrasts with her dismay in ‘Violets’ when he forced her in skimpy outfits. While the difference can be explained by her getting used to wearing sexy dresses for her dates with Marcus, it’s obvious that what has touched her now is the thoughtfulness of Jane’s grand gesture. She thinks it isn’t part of a scheme or an undercover work; they’re for her pleasure only and he’s left in her hands the ultimate choice of dressing instead of imposing his tastes. The green lacy one reminds of his compliment early in S1 that the color enhanced her eyes. the pink one is a discreet echo to the bridesmaid in ‘Strawberry and Cream’. the white one looks like a classier version of her girlfriend attire in ‘Violets’.

Violet: In the next room, Jane is sitting on the bed by the phone, eagerly expecting her call. He’s delighted to hear her thank him, even though she tells him it’s “too much”. He’s happy that she’s happy. He has engineered every detail to sweep her off her feet. But things start to turn sour when the gets called again: his sultry “helloooo…” is cut short when the receptionist tells him that Abbott and Cho are here. They’re unknowingly interrupting his seduction plans and Cho asks “how is the food here?” meaning that they’ll be imposing on their date as well.

RB: It’s a very funny moment. And those of us who still didn’t realize the extent of Jane’s con might have questioned Jane’s miffed reaction at their appearance.

VIS #4: the diner and its aftermath

Violet: While Jane is visibly disappointed by their interference, he grudgingly takes it in stride and the three men are soon sitting in the dining area. The mood has definitely changed as Cho comments that there are “no hamburgers”, effectively shooting down the romantic vibe their consultant had carefully set up.

Yet, Jane’s spirits are lifted when he sees Lisbon walking down the stairs, clad in the strapless form fitting coral pink dress. Her choice may or not be revealing of her hidden thoughts as well of her cleavage… she’s chosen the dress that echoed the one he more strongly reacted to (he couldn’t take his eyes off her in the ill-fitting bridesmaid dress) and he proved in ‘Violets’ that he was not adverse to outfits with ample plunging necklines…  Is she consciously aiming to knock his socks off?

RB: I think it was just a matter of taste, to be honest. Lisbon chose a similar dress, albeit a black one in episode “More than a Price of Rubies” which might be another reason why she was happy with the dresses. Jane chose a style he knew she liked as she had worn it before. The fact that she also heads to the front desk asking to buy a bathrobe for boyfriend Marcus also shows that despite the romantic surroundings she has in no way forgotten him.

Violet: Anyway, Jane is mesmerized and his goofy smile hints that every amorous intention in him has not been extinguished by his coworkers’ inopportune presence…

Unfortunately, that’s precisely when Lisbon is told by the hotel employee that she gets the bathrobe for free, as part of the package Jane booked for them a week ago! even though the FBI only received the threatening letter that led them to the hotel two days later… Lisbon is understandably livid and confronts him in front of a stoic but disapproving Cho and a very embarrassed Abbott. He admitted that he wrote the letter: the whole case was his big scheme to make her stay. The attempts at gently talk her out of moving were only aimed at distracting her from the real plan… She calls him a “son of a bitch”, throws water to his face and stomps to her room. Left with two speechless male agents, Jane gets up and hurries to go talk to her.

RB: No words can be used to describe how good this scene was. Having the superficial con blow up in Jane’s face was brilliant. It’s a classic “Jane is an idiot” moment but the consequences are worse than anything he has faced before: losing Lisbon. To a casual observer the drink in the face might seem pedantic but regular viewers will remember how Jane himself did the exact same thing to a fellow idiot in love (Crimson Casanova). And even if it didn’t, the acting was something romantic comedies can only dream of pulling off. And while Jane left the table, the other two remain to set the stage for another great scene…

Violet: Back in her room, Lisbon has already changed in her own clothes and called a taxi to the airport. Jane knocks, asking her to “please open the door”. It’s both an echo to the scene at Lisbon’s doorstep two episodes ago, as well as a feint reminder of how Jane’s road through hell to a new life started in front of another bedroom door many years ago. Now, this is Jane’s occasion to tell Lisbon what is in his heart and that he couldn’t get out after Pike opened the front door of her house. At the same time, he wants to open the last door to moving on.

He thus starts “I’m sorry that I’ve tricked you. I just…”, but his strength fails him when she barks from the other side of the closed door “you just what, Jane, what were you doing?” As he explains that he didn’t want her to leave, she replies angrily “you don’t give a damn about what I want or need. I’m just a convenience to you. It’s always about you. You used a woman’s murder, Jane. You basically dug her corpse up for this crap”. She blurts out the more coldly accurate assessment about his character that she ever expressed: he’s so twisted up that he has no idea how to act like a decent human being, no idea. The truth of her words hurt him to the point that Jane is reduced to repeat “I’m sorry, ok. I’m sorry”. She then orders him to go away and leave her alone. Her last words to him, the last goodbye she’s planning to give him is « I know you’re here. I can hear you breathing. Leave me alone”.

This speech enlightens her worst and most secret fears in the years she’s known him: she’s always suspected that he was not only manipulative and controlling, but also that he never cared about her. He just used her, her protective instincts and her growing affection for him to get what he wanted from her, like in the sunset scene. That was already hinted at in the final for the first season, when she called him of his dangerous behavior with Sheriff Hardy: he didn’t realize that people cared for him… then it got worse, since the more obvious her feelings were, the more prone he was to use them… Those doubts probably only grew during his two years absence, to explode in her outburst in the airplane in ‘Green Thumb’; they finally found a way out when Pike started giving her the attention she convinced herself she couldn’t get from Jane. And now, this last attempt at getting her by his side only backfired in comforting her in the idea that he has no feelings for her or for her happiness: he’s only willing to keep her in a deceptively golden cage to his pleasure as an amusing but helpless little bird, singing only when he allows her to.

RB: You’ve analyzed it beautifully, Violet. I just want to add that Lisbon telling Jane she can hear him breathing is another reference to episode Strawberries and Cream where they just remained listening to each other breathing over the phone after Lisbon got shot. Also, possibly to when Jane drowned and stopped breathing in episode Fugue in Red. In both cases it was proof of life. So it’s quite telling to how anguished Lisbon is here that she wants it (Jane) to go away. Also, I think part of the reason why Jane couldn’t say anything here is because, to an extent, what Lisbon has said is absolutely true. Jane has used her in the past, but what he doesn’t realize is that Lisbon would probably gladly be used if she thought Jane also loved her. Some things are worth putting up with for love…which, in all reality is the only proof we’ve ever gotten that Lisbon loves Jane even if she never knew it: she’s been putting up with him all these years.

Violet: In her spite, Lisbon decides on a whim to take drastic measures. She calls Pike and tells him « let’s get married ». Pike’s answer is to yell « Yeees!!! ». How very romantic… No talks about love, feelings or happily ever after:  it shows again his lack of skills in the dreamy area. Plus the guy just keeps talking about her flight, how much she will enjoy DC and restaurants in the area, while she doesn’t listen and his voice fades into background noise. She’s only got further and further again in her relationship with him in reaction to her failures with Jane. It’s fitting, somehow, since she was the one to make the first step towards him in ‘Violets’, after she couldn’t spend time with an asleep Jane in the empty house, when she came to see him in a skimpy nightgown with equivocal intentions… All in all, Pike’s greatest quality is to be willing to give her what Jane doesn’t, commitment, care, love and to be here for her: he likes her as a person, for herself, instead of just using her in a scheme.

RB: In all honesty, how can Lisbon refuse him?  Lisbon is modest to a fault and without proof of how Jane really feels about her, she has no reason to.

Violet: Meanwhile, the talk between Abbott and Cho give us insight in how witnesses analyse the situation the no-longer partners find themselves in. Abbot is irritated that Jane lied to him. Cho is only surprised at the intensity of Lisbon’s reaction: “it’s weird how mad she got…. He buried a man alive and she wasn’t nearly as angry as this.” His boss is in wonder at his obliviousness: “really? You don’t know why?”

Cho alluding to ‘Red Rover, Red Rover’ is interesting, because the burying alive draws an interesting parallel with Lisbon accusing Jane of metaphorically digging the victim’s corpse up. In both cases, the restless consultant used a case in a bigger plan: then it was to make believe he was having a break-down in order to lure RJ in. That led to “giving him his heart’s desire” in ‘The Crimson Hat’ which ended in him blurting a love confession to his friend. Here, he’s taking the same type of action by feigning indifference to make her stay: he’s giving her the appearance of what she wants too. This similarity underlines that a big part of him refuses to progress and clutches to the same deceptive methods. The tragedy which motivated this first course of action still weights him down and the fear of committing his heart again pushes him into avoiding making his feelings known.

Later, Abbott still tries to make Cho see the tender aspect hidden in the depths of their complex relationship. The discared bottle of wine on the nearby table hints that it was a long talk. Cho remains unconvinced: “they are like brother and sister, there’s no way”. It’s funny how his opinion contrasts with Wayne’s take on it in the bar. Cho looks like the only person who never wondered how deep those feelings run, since Abbott, Kim and Wiley admitted to have wondered about them getting involved at some point, while Rigsby and Van Pelt had been cheering for them from afar. Moreover, in all the years they worked together, many have hinted at suspecting something too: Pike, Bosco, Haffner, Stiles, Lorelei, Barlow, RJ among others… Therefore, as surprising as Cho’s lack of insight is, it’s probably more an inside joke than an acknowledgment to his stoic and pragmatic character. Indeed, the sibling comment was used in an interview to describe the relationship between the two characters a few years ago and it is well known for being an argument for the fans who didn’t want them to end up as a couple. Bruno Heller is therefore giving viewers the amused and amusing gift of witnessing an argument between shippers and anti-shippers on screen. He’s easing people into accepting that things are steadily progressing towards this goal: when Cho suggested at first that they should check on them, Abbott firmly refused, maybe for fear of catching them in a compromising situation. As the “sibling” issue is addressed along with the romantic part, an acknowledged more sexual component is too slowly making its way into the picture.

RB: It was a great scene and I liked it’s continuity to Cho previously saying he never thought about them like that because “my head would explode” as well to his saying “Yeah, right” when Rigsby brought up his hopes of a relationship between the two to Jane. Cho’s straight-forwardness and unromantic nature makes him the perfect conveyer of the non-shipper’s perspective.

VIS #5: Jane drinks in his room

But for now, Jane is having a drunken pity party in his room. The TV display a view of the ocean: he’s created himself the same mindless hiding place he had in ‘My Blue Heaven’. Like then, his separation from Lisbon makes him even lonelier; he’s getting intoxicated on self-hatred and the oblivion provided by alcohol while being soothed by the sea. Suddenly, the victim’s husband’s lawyer barges in the room with a gun: he was the secret lover and came kill the murderer in a “so romantic” gesture. Jane only tells him to sit down and have a drink while waiting for the killer to show up, only explaining that he’s here because of a “long and sad story”. Another drinking buddy arrives in the person of the daughter’s admirer. The kid too “came to seek revenge”. Jane provides him with a mini-bottle from the mini-bar too, muttering to himself “shouldn’t have left clues so easy”.

The backstories of both men match his own: those three lonely souls have lost the women they loved. And the victim’s family absence is telling: neither the widower nor the daughter showed up, because their anger was directed towards the living remaining relatives, not towards useless regrets. Hence they didn’t dwell on the fake letter like the others did. Deep down they had moved on with their lives, a thing Jane’s clinging to his feeling of loss has keeping him to do. His new friends share that trait, since the lawyer starts recounting his tragic affair. That love story was the best thing that happened to him but he cowardly put an end to it and by the time he realized his mistake, she was gone. Those words string a chord in Jane’s mind… He probably realizes that as Abbott pointed out, he made the mistake of believing his own con about hiding behind the safe façade of friendship. Like the other man, his fear and self-hatred prevented him from grasping his chance at happiness when it was offered to him.

He gets up with the intention of rushing to the airport, but is stopped at the door by the real killers, the business partners Cho and Kim interrogated. In a funny moment, Jane tries to get rid of them, by convincing them to escape, while using his sleight of hand to send a text to his coworkers (a somewhat unhelpful “SOZ” instead of SOS) while distracting them by dropping his FBI ID. When it looks like his messy plan is working, the kid pulls out his gun. Poor Jane is unwillingly caught in this chaotic yet amusing development but is saved by Cho and Abbott. His getting back in touch with his more “decent human” and caring side shows when he reassures the injured parties that they’re fine, “it’s just a flesh wound”. He then convinces Abbott, in whom he might have recognized his more tender-hearted ally in his romantic pursuit, to give him his car keys and speeds to the airport, sirens blazing…

Like he did when Lisbon was taken by RJ after they had a fight, he tries to call her by phone: “please, call me”. The poor man is only leaving her those anxious messages when their relation is falling apart: back then, she was angry at him too and had straightened things up by yelling that she was his boss so he couldn’t give her orders. Now, the issue has gone more personal: the real heart of the matter between them is out in the open.

In that sense, ‘Blue Bird’ is the counterpart to ‘My Blue Heaven’ since in both episodes, Jane has come to a pivotal realization about himself and decided to step out of  his comfort zone in order not to end up alone and loveless. His awareness was provoked by two counter-models foreshadowing the person he could see himself slipping into. In the island it was the lonely and hazy drunkard at the bar, now it’s the heartbrocken lawyer, a character the many attorneys brought to attention recently have prepared viewers for. Jane tries to avoid their fate by reaching out of his comforting limbo for her. Like she has been since that distant past in ‘Red Dawn’, she’s again his saving grace.

Birds are definitely the symbol of hope, like they were when he managed to make Lorelei “sing like a bird” and when he used the pigeon RJ was so afraid of…

RB: And while Lisbon might represent Jane’s salvation, I can’t help but think that the bird here is Jane, finally getting the courage to fly.

VIS #6: on the plane 

That aspect represented by the blue bird is again alluded to by the agents from the TSA dressed in turquoise at the airport. There is also a poster about the Florida, “the Conch Republic’ at the airport as a nod to the gift and the letters Jane has been sending her when he was away (thanks to RoseUK for pointing it out): back then too he loved her and was reaching out for her. But Jane cannot get past the flight attendants and has to sneak to get to the coveted jet where his beloved is sitting. He even hurts his ankle by jumping off a fence but hurriedly limps to the plane. He knocks on its already closed door yelling “let me in”. The semi-circular red security warning on it reminds a tiny little bit of RJ’s trademark smiley (like seconds later the yellow stripped shirt with a tiger on it worn by a passenger is a discreet nod): in the limbo he’s locked himself in, this is the last door standing between him and life

After reassuring the flight attendant that “nothing is wrong, it’s just a routine check”, he joins a very surprised Lisbon and proceeds to make a show of himself in front of the other people who witness his very impassionate speech: “you’re right. I’ve forgotten how to be a normal human being. And I, I play games and I trick people to avoid the truth about how I feel.” The mention of feelings has Lisbon finally looking up at him. That precise moment, with Jane pouring his heart while a speechless Lisbon listens to him comes full circle with the plane scene in ‘Green Thumb’, which placed their interactions under a new light because of her distrust that he’s just controlling her life and her deep-seated fear about him not caring enough not to leave her again. Here, Jane is frantically trying to mend that gap that led them both to heartbreak.

He explains: “if there’s someone close to me, it’s terrifying for obvious reasons. The truth, Teresa is that… I can’t imagine waking up knowing I won’t see you. The truth is… I love you. Wheww! You can’t imagine how good it is to say it out loud…” The former well-known conman keeps stressing out that it’s the truth even if it scares him but for Lisbon it’s “too late”… Jane simply replies that he understands, she deserved to hear it anyway and, while the security agents get him out, he keeps yelling “I love you, Teresa. And it makes me happy to be able to say that to you”, then, as he gets away with his hands raised up as he was being arrested, he repeats “I love you; I love her. That woman on 12b, I love her. You take care of her”.

For once, his selflessness and lack of tricks contrast with Pike’s pushy courting and hurried proposal. Jane talks more about feelings than relationship status. He doesn’t demand anything, he just confesses because she deserves to hear it (and he finally admits he deserves telling her too). What he offers her is therefore implicitly serious, without needing to tell it with words like Marcus did, because his feelings are more binding than anything else.

RB: Yes. Because all the glamor in the world can never top what Lisbon craves to have from Jane: simple, raw honesty. And she finally got it. Nothing can be more powerful than the con-man finally finally! telling the whole complete unblemished truth.

Violet: This freeing admission shows how much people seek and achieve closure in this episode. Lisbon’s underlying fears are put to rest and she gets the attention and love she deserves. The victim’s case is closed and her lover gets to be recognized for her significant other by talking about it. As for Jane, he gets to accept that he wants to move on from his mourning half-existence. Expressing his anguish about losing another loved one and alluding to his family allows him to put that blindingly painful part of him behind. On this path he’s been travelling since the beginning of the show, this final decisive step takes him in the open. He’s in the light, at the center of the attention when he blurts out meaning words that seal his fate, like he did on that TV show when he caught RJ’s attention. He then can resume living again, whatever Lisbon decides about him: he accepted endangering his heart again. He’s ready to want more from life than a couch and a friend he loved from afar.

RB: As is Lisbon. Her decision to move to DC came out of her own growth, her own realization that she deserved more too. It served as a catalyst for Jane to finally confess not just his love for her, but to himself. That, despite all his flaws, he deserves to love and be loved. Despite his apparent ego he’s always doubted his self-worth. Perhaps, without Lisbon’s imminent departure setting these events in motion, they might have never reached this point.

Jane: Taking in the emotional release provided by her former consultant, Lisbon is crying and apologizes to the other passengers, telling them that it was embarrassing. The kind older woman on her right gently tells her “every woman in the plane is green with envy”.

RB: It’s interesting to see Lisbon hiding behind “embarrassment” as the reason for her tears. But then, what else can she say to a complete stranger? There’s just so much history I doubt even she doesn’t know how long she has waited to hear these words from Jane.

VIS #7: the happy ending 

Violet: Later, Abbott and Kim’s talk inform viewers that Jane is held in TSA custody because “they don’t like people messing with their planes. Don’t like it at all”. Indeed, the man himself is seen sitting forlornly in a lonely cell. The setting with the chairs facing each other on either sides of a functional table, with one of the walls of the cell replaced by a huge window reminds of the interrogations room Jane and Lisbon have been using for years.

RB: His injured foot is also resting on a chair, adding more to his awkward and vulnerable state.

Violet: It’s therefore a pretty fitting environment for what the woman has in mind: as Lisbon enters the room, Jane is startled to recognize her. After a tentative chit-chat about him always getting in pickles, he remarks quite uselessly that she’s not left for DC. But she cuts right to the main question: “did you mean what you said?” He answers, “yes I did…  Just to be clear you’re talking about pickles right?” Lisbon corrects him “no, the other thing”: “this is not joking matter” after all.

RB: Tunny was fabulous here. Lisbon is as “cool and calm” as ever despite the earth shattering confession. She has to ask again, she has to make sure.

Violet: And, instead of avoiding answering like he did after his very first confession in ‘The Crimson Hat’, Jane mans up and stands for “every” word he uttered. She soberly enlightens him about her side of the equation: it’s “good because I feel the same way”, to which Jane beams and only comments “that’s lucky”.

RB: And Baker was fantastic here. Despite Lisbon’s so called predictability, Jane wasn’t sure of how she felt. Like her. Which makes the truth ever so beautiful.

Violet: They’re both keeping their emotions in check with minimalist lines, which makes their talk all the more powerful. Behind the light tone and the bantering, they’re actually engaging in a very serious and meaningful life decision. So, when Jane asks “what about Pike”, she simply replies that “he’ll understand”. Ironically, those were the same words Marcus used to reassure her that Jane will let her go. Talk about comeuppance for dismissing a situation he has been trying to ignore…

But Lisbon has not come this far for his half-joking talk. She’s in control of this poignant interrogation and gently orders him to “say it again”. The banter gets flirtier as Jane playfully asks “say what again?” He then gives her an intense look and gets up as the music changes to the tune playing when he made up his mind to get her: he bends over the desk and kisses her… while the guard protests and yells at them to stop that.

As Jane had to take of his shoe because of his ankle, he symbolically assumed his choice too. For years, those old shoes represented the path he was walking on. He was uncomfortable taking them off and they were the very first thing seen of him in the island. They helped him run when he came to turning points, like chasing McAllister or keeping Lisbon from leaving. Which forced him to relinquish them as he came to the end of the road: he willingly chose life and love over death.

RB: Lisbon has come a long way too. For years she’s kept Jane (and everyone else, really) at arms length hiding behind her professionalism. Here, she doesn’t even care that the guard is looking at them, trying to get them to stop. Our babies have finally grown up!

Violet: In insight, the whole scheme set up by Jane was a nice call back to the famous line from season 1 « I’ll never seduce you over a meal. That would be sophomoric”. Indeed, not only was that basically what Jane had planned, but it was also part of a worse project: he wanted to seduce her over a gruesome case, then he managed to get her over the most cliché public confession ever. But it turns out to be rather fitting, because he finally won her over a con, over public embarrassment and over being interrogated in a holding cell. All in all, it sums up their entire work relationship, while the action he finally took –running- contrasts with the limbo of him lying down on his couch or before that in his makeshift bed in his attic.

Which brings the question: to what extent was he willing to go to convince her to stay? We can guess he was aiming for a kind of “empty glamor” manoeuver: a romantic setting, a date like in that Italian restaurant, adding a bit of suggestive spice with the fact that they were staying in the room next door… He was letting her have fun: she would miss him already and the undermining of a blander life with Pike would serve to enlighten the joy she found in spending time with him. He was playinga part, like he did in that dream house he created in ‘Violets’. In that sense, this Blue Bird plan has been his last undercover gig before the truth came out… After all, that was what he did all those years: he kept things professional between them (“don’t break up the team”), while feeding her crumbs of affection to get her to stay. And it worked so far. In an ideal world, they would have been hiding in one of the adjoining rooms for the killer to show up (like they did several times, at the morgue or in empty houses…). But the look on his face when he saw her coming to him in that dress also indicates that he would not have hesitated to up his game to having sex with her if his original plan had not satisfied her romantic needs.

RB: I don’t think it would have gone that far; Lisbon was still thinking about Pike enough to buy him a robe and Jane knows her enough to know she’d never cheat on him. Probably he just wanted to send her tacit messages on what could be between them and hope that would be enough.

Violet: On the other hand, Lisbon was also playing him in a way, albeit she’s been more honest: she had half joked not so long ago that one of these days, she might surprise him and she certainly shook in this episode the predictable comfy image he pretended to love so much. He was shocked by the news that she was leaving, he was left speechless when he saw her in her dress then devastated while hearing her outburst through the closed door. Then he was incredulous and happy when she entered the holding cell. Things have gotten more balanced between them: he was the one who went after her (after leaving her on that cliff in ‘Fire and Brimstone’) and the one who cleaned his own mess. And she finally got to make the final decision.

Last but not least, it’s visible that this episode was written for fans, as a thank-you gift and a conclusion to Jane’s story –the seven season was yet to be confirmed then. That’s why no meaningful moment stayed private, contrary to the usual handling of every other revealing scene between Jane and his (now life) partner. Cho saw how distraught he was when he learnt about her moving to DC; he and Abbott witnessed their failed date and the outburst it caused; Abbott let him borrow his keys because he knew what Jane was going to do. The entire plane watched the very public confession and the guard saw them kiss. Their love is no longer a secret and, like in the scene when Abbott and Cho were debating its very reality, all those characters were incarnations of the audience. As every fan could thus have the impression that they were included in the storyline, it was a very thoughtful present indeed… Thank you, Mr Heller, it was a fun ride. Looking forward to the “encore”.

RB: Amen! Thanks also to the entire cast and crew and the fans! You make this show even more fun to watch and I’m proud to be part of this community. Thanks for sticking with us. See you next season :)

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Mentalist Il Tavolo Bianco Ramblings


Note: Not a traditional review so there are spoilers for the episode everywhere. Unfortunately, unedited. Read at your own risk!

Unorganized thoughts start here….

This was the best episode of the season. I can’t remember the last episode I saw that had so many quotable lines.  If I could’ve have written the review I wanted it would have contained the longest “Best lines” section ever.

A good deal of those lines were part of some of the most meaningful conversations we’ve been privileged to see, ever between Lisbon and Jane.

And what made those scenes so intense, besides the fantastic writing was the acting. Baker and Tunney were fantastic. From his “What did I do” to Tunney’s understated yet scathing “Yes Jane has all our sympathies”, everything out of their mouths was perfectly delivered.

But best of all was the honesty in those lines. Jane flat out tells Lisbon “I love that you’re predictable.”

Of course he does. To control freak Jane, predictable means safe. but the two years they spent apart, and Marcus Pike,  has him feeling like a fish out of the water. He isn’t sure where he stands with Lisbon anymore.

Hence his bringing her coffee at beginning o the episode.  It’s such a classic (i.e. early season) Jane thing to do. He’s like a partner trying to rekindle the flame after a its gone out of a marriage. Or a guy trying to endear himself after a lover’s quarrel.

Ironically Jane’s love of control should make it easier for him to understand how Lisbon, a control freak herself feels insecure about their relationship due to his unpredictability.Alas, show off Jane can’t help but try to surprise (i.e. impress) people. Especially those he cares about. The showman in him is such a deeply ingrained facet of his character I doubt it will ever go away completely.

But is that the only reason he didn’t let Lisbon in on the fake grand jury? Jane’s insistence that the plan was a “sting” and not a con implies he’s trying to change into a more serious law abiding person. As does his stating he was following Abbot’s order not to tell Lisbon about the plan. It’s continuity to his conversation with Cho earlier in the season when the latter seemed surprised at his more mellow personality.

The honesty theme comes again with Lisbon and Marcus. He knows Jane is what is taking up Lisbon’s thoughts and holding up her decision to move with him to DC. It was implied when he states that she doesn’t need to go into her history with him if she doesn’t want to, and it is strongly alluded to when, after he explains the story of a film they were going to watch,  Casablanca to her (a woman choosing between two men) he quickly adds that there is also a baseball game on and on her request switches to that channel.

But the final bit of honesty was Jane coming to see Lisbon in her home. At the beginning of the episode he had seriously told her that he wants her to stay, then undermined that honesty by saying his reason was that DC is boring. But he more than makes up for it at the end of the episode.

Jane shows up at Lisbon’s doorstep with Italian food a grin on his face which disappears when Marcus Pike opens the door. When Lisbon appears he hands her the bag of take out and makes to leave. But she calls him back, saying he had another reason for coming. Jane then tells her that he was thinking about her leaving but that he wants her to be happy. That that’s the most important thing. What’s heartbreaking about this speech is that Jane is being completely honest. He obviously wants Lisbon to stay with him. But more importantly he wants her to be happy. For a somewhat selfish man like Jane, its the ultimate sacrifice.

Thankfully, Lisbon has learned enough from Jane to realize all this. Hence her brushing back tears after he leaves.

Ill bet most viewers brushed theirs back as well.

What I especially liked was the role reversal. Jane is practically wearing his heart on his sleeve while Lisbon is being as reserved as she ever was. From the very beginning when Jane asks her if she decided, she asks, “decided what?” pretending she doesn’t know what he is talking about. Then when Jane flat out asks her “what does a girl want to hear?” obviously referring to her, she replies “I have no idea”.

Perhaps it’s unfair to attribute that particular answer as her being dishonest. Lisbon genuinely seems at a loss on which man to pick. The dependable safe bet who seems to worship the ground she walks on (who wouldn’t?). Or the consultant with a mountain of baggage who enjoys driving her up the wall?

But I think Jane’s expression at the end of the episode will make the choice easier for her. Even modest Lisbon can’t deny the love in his eyes then. If the difficulty in the decision was that she wasn’t aware of the extent of Jane’s affection, then that is definitely no longer an issue. He can say he wants her to be happy, and mean it, even if it means being with Marcus, away from him. But like she told Abbott, she spent enough time with Jane to learn from him. She can read clearly that he wants her to be happy in Texas.

The only question is can she be?

I’ll be honest. There were times this season when I wondered if it wouldn’t be better for the show to get axed. I loved the reboot (new actors/characters are wonderful). But some of the cases were getting stale and it hadn’t felt like the show I fell in love with in a while; their was just something lacking, sorry to be blunt, in the writing. Then this episode happened and changed all of that. I had to watch the opening scene twice to read who wrote it: it felt like one of the best Heller scripted episodes ever. If the writers are going to churn out episodes like these then I’m going to enjoy season seven immensely. And I’m not just talking about the J/L angst. The fake grand jury was cool. The fact that the sex trafficking ring turned out to be a cover for live organ donors was also a nice surprise. In fact, the only thing I disliked about the episode was the character Daniella, and I think that’s mostly because I didn’t enjoy the actress who played her: she came off more bratty than sympathetic, unfortunately.

Finally, I apologize for the tardiness of the review. It almost didn’t get written since the new episode had already aired before I got a chance to even start. But then I remembered fans outside of the US still haven’t seen it (and they make up a good number of my readers) so here it is for better or worse for whoever is interested.

Also, I loved this episode too much to not dedicate even a meager review for it. Writing, acting, music (the end ;_;) , direction, editing (court scene, especially)- everything was absolutely perfect. Here’s to more episodes like this.

Image by Chizuruchibi. Copyright Reviewbrain May, 2014. Not to be used without permission.

Image by Chizuruchibi. Copyright Reviewbrain May, 2014. Not to be used without permission.

 

CONGRATULATIONS EVERYONE ON THE SHOW GETTING RENEWED!!!!!!!

Extras:

1- If this episode had a theme song it would be Passenger’s “Let her Go”:

2- My roller coaster week led me to the following articles which I thought I’d share for humanity’s sake.

3- Anyone know if the title of the episode has significance besides the name of the restaurant and perhaps the table Jane and Lisbon sat at and reconciled their differences?

That’s it for now. I’m off to watch the new episode now. See you in the next review!

*All material posted in this blog is the intellectual property of reviewbrain (unless otherwise stated). Readers are free to make use of the information provided they cite the source (this blog) either by name (reviewbrain’s blog) or by linking to it. Please extend the same courtesy to the authors of the comments as well (by mentioning their names) to ensure that credit is given where credit is due.

 


Mentalist Brown Eyed Girls Mini-Review


Greetings fellow fans. I was supposed to write the review this week but due to uncontrollable circumstances (i.e. 3 1/2 screaming kids) I was unable to make it as detailed as I wanted. Instead I’m going to post a few main topics for discussion. With all the fantastic commenters here I’m sure we can start a great discussion and I can’t wait to read all your opinions.

Case of the Week

Human trafficking is a plot that has been used in every crime show I’ve ever seen in my entire life. It’s so old that unless it’s handled in a very fresh way it’s doomed to be boring. Now the introduction was interesting enough but the rest…let’s just say I groaned out loud when Daniela said that “Jesse” told her and her sister that she would be a model in “Europe” without even telling her where. I mean, sorry I’m sure there are girls that naive but in this day and age with the help of computers and internet who would willingly travel with a complete stranger without knowing their last name and where they were going? I mean, did Daniela not see the film Taken? And if so, then she is not a Liam Neeson fan and therefore deserves whatever happens to her.

*Note: This a joke. I apologize if it was inappropriate. It’s been a tough week.

Anyway, my skepticism was such that I couldn’t remain interested in the rest of episode; besides watching out for the J/L side plot. Unfortunately, the rest only got worst. The whole scene with the Kasimi brothers telling the FBI that they were “amateurs” and talking about their big bad boss was just…it’s been done. So many times before. Not even the fact that it turns out that the great Titus Welliver (whom The Good Wife fans know as Glenn Childs) is playing the boss saved that scene. But it might save future episodes as he hasn’t been caught yet. He’s a fantastic actor and I’m interested to see the material he’ll be given to work with on this show.

Lisbon and Pike

I refuse to believe that Lisbon is seeing Pike simply to make Jane jealous. It’s not like her to play around with people’s feelings. Also, she seems genuinely interested in him. When Lisbon first started seeing Pike I thought that maybe she finally saw a shrink (or took the advice of someone who cared about her) and decided to live her life without worrying about how Jane feels (or doesn’t) about her.  That said, she does seem quite interested in knowing what he thinks of her new relationship- and assumes he wants to sabotage it: an unfair accusation. Jane is trying so hard not to interfere with her life he even seems surprised when she tells him she was on a date (beginning of the episode).

Even more surprising is the fact that Jane doesn’t know about Pike’s offer to Lisbon: that she move with him to Washington D.C. At first, I (like Lisbon) was skeptical when Abbott told her that Jane didn’t know (especially since Abbott knows). But I think this shows just how estranged the two have become since Pike came into the picture. Or, how much room Jane is giving her to live her life. Or, it might be that Jane isn’t able to read Lisbon as well as he used to; his emotions might be in the way.

When she tells Jane at the end of the episode,  he is obviously gutted at the news. But he doesn’t make a big deal about it and tells Lisbon he’s happy for her if she is happy. He is trying to be supportive, but like Violet previously said, by not telling Lisbon how he feels about her he is still being manipulative and controlling; albeit unselfishly so. So many times before I’ve ached to have Jane not be pushy towards Lisbon, but this is certainly not one of those times. It seems like Lisbon might feel the same way too, at least that is what I understood from her wistful look at the end.

Jane thinks he is being unselfish and wants Lisbon to make her own decision. But it has to be an informed decision and how can she do that if she isn’t aware of his feelings? They might be obvious to us viewers but I think Jane forgets how little Lisbon thinks of herself: she’s always been unaware of her affect on others. She might see his lack of reaction here as him not caring about her romantically. Now that she finally seems to be aware of her own emotions towards him, it’s frustrating that she can’t identify his towards her (which I’m definite have existed far longer than hers have)

Now, I must say I’m extremely annoyed at this plot “twist”. For several reasons. Obviously, Lisbon isn’t going to D.C. There’s not even the semblance of anticipation where that’s concerned. It would have been much more interesting and messy (not to mention realistic) without Pike’s promotion to push things along. Secondly, while Lisbon was quick to reassure Jane that Ardiles isn’t interested in her romantically; (like a girlfriend would a jealous boyfriend) she is now dating with no consideration of Jane’s feelings (like an ex-girlfriend would). I don’t get it. It’s not like she’s being intentionally cruel but I don’t get the sudden personality change. It would have made much more sense if that happened the previous season after the whole Lorelie debacle. Or even this season when Jane first came back to the US. But now? What was the trigger?

The only reason I can come up with is that the season (and possibly the show) is almost over and the writers wanted an impetus to finally address the Jane/Lisbon issue.

Yes, I’m extremely annoyed. Someone please point out something that missed/forgot so I can go back to loving the writers unconditionally.

Best Lines

“Sorry, scanning long-range frequencies is like…..I don’t have a metaphor, it’s hard” -Wily, to Jane.

“That was incredible” -Jane, to Cho on his voice acting.

Best Scene

I think everyone would agree it was the ending. Baker and Tunney’s expressions spoke the angst their respective characters were going through so clearly it’s almost impossible to believe said characters are clueless about how they feel about each other. Another reason for my annoyance. Get it together, would ya!

6x19

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

 

*All material posted in this blog is the intellectual property of reviewbrain (unless otherwise stated). Readers are free to make use of the information provided they cite the source (this blog) either by name (reviewbrain’s blog) or by linking to it. Please extend the same courtesy to the authors of the comments as well (by mentioning their names) to ensure that credit is given where credit is due.

 


Mentalist White as the Driven Snow Review


This review was supposed to be co-written, but Violet wrote the bulk of it and was quite comprehensive. All I had left to do was sprinkle my two cents in where ever I could. Everything was written by her, unless otherwise denoted by an “RB” to stand from my thoughts. Love you, Vi!- RB.

Synopsis
The FBI is rushing against time trying to find Grace Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti) after she has been kidnapped by Richard Haibach. Wayne Rigsby (Owain Yeoman) confronts Patrick Jane begging him to do whatever it takes to get his wife safely back.

Concise Verdict
With all the action that was part of this episode I thought it must have been written by Tom S. Or Daniel Cerone. I mean that as a compliment to Eoghan Mahoney, who gave both Righetti and Yeoman fantastic material to work and enough suspense (and character moments!) to keep viewers attention riveted. For the most part. 9/10.

VIS #1: the guys are at the bar
Picking up right where the previous episode left off, Rigsby’s enters the bar where he is having drinks with Cho and Jane after getting off the phone. The guys comment on how great his wife is. The happily married Rigsby agrees to which Jane tells him “A Price Above Rubies”.

RB: One of the reasons I loved how this scene was just chock full of allusions to previous episodes. One was the quoted phrase, a favourite episode of mine where we got to see the entire CBI team in black tie. Tunney fans will remember the black dress.

Violet: The phrase also underlines that the past is still weighting Jane down, since that episode took place just after Bosco’s death: it reminds how someone close to them was killed because of Jane’s actions (which will happen again here with Grace). Back then, Lisbon feigned being fine, just like she’s been doing with Jane since his return. Also interesting detail: back then the title may have referred both to the victim’s wife and to Lisbon as Jane put a tiara on her head… so even if she’s absent, she’s at the center of the scene.

RB: I agree. The men may be talking about Grace here and what she means to Wayne, but the allusion to that past episode makes and the fact that Jane is one who made the comment makes it easy to infer who he feels is priceless.

Violet: Rigsby then tries to play matchmaker by telling Jane that Grace and him “always” thought that Jane and Lisbon would end up together.

RB: I shouted at the television: FINALLY!! Ahem. I mean, after all these years it’s about time a character brought up the subject. And I don’t think it was a coincidence that another episode alluded to in this scene was Red Handed, the only other time we’ve seen Jane and the men at a bar. That scene four years ago was another time Rigsby might have ventured to ask Jane about his relationship with Lisbon, especially considering how hard Jane had tried to get Lisbon to keep an emerald necklace/earring suite he bought her at the time….but I digress…

Violet: It’s a very heartwarming touch to watch how the man who has been clueless about how to seduce Van Pelt for years is willing to help two friends find happiness. One may wonder if he doesn’t do it for Lisbon mostly, as much as he likes Jane.

RB: I like to think so. Rigsbon is a pairing I’ve always loved. In a strict older sister/younger brother chemistry which was shown on the show on several occasions

Violet: After all, he’s kept in touch with his former boss and listened to her when she claimed she had no regrets anymore about the past before running to Jane once again when the chance arose… Plus, that’s actually the first time someone of the team made a direct reference to the special bond between Jane and Lisbon. It was nice seeing that Wayne and Grace had been shippers all along, not to mention rather funny: the all time “official” couple of the show seems to have passed on the baton to the partners who are starting to send stronger romantic vibes.

RB: It is rather ironic, isn’t it?

Violet: While Jane chuckles to hide his surprise and embarrassment, Cho agrees with his friend.

RB: I also thought he seemed bashful, but in a pleased sort of way…

Violet: After a rather ironic “right”, he mentions the pony, a meaningful special gift he had given her….

RB: This just in case viewers didn’t automatically remember it after the last episode 

Violet: …after Jane showered his new team minus Lisbon with childhood reminders. The pony had been given at the beginning of the show, which put emphasis on the “always” in Wayne’s statement: the team watched many interactions between the two leads (“you’re blushing, boss” in S1; Jane touching her face when he was blinded in ‘Bloodshot’;

RB: Note, both incidences Wane was the sole witness. Methinks he was an early shipper…

Violet: Cho telling “Jane, right”, when Lisbon ditched their investigation to help Jane after Darcy stranded him; Jane’s remark about Lisbon being meaner to him at the end of ‘Something’s Rotten in Redmund’… Unlike with Bosco’s feelings for Teresa, they never really commented on it

RB: Probably because no one knew about them. If memory serves me right, even Jane was surprised when he found out about it, whereas Jane’s affections were more obvious to the team.

Violet: They observed and drew their own conclusion… It enlightens again how people tended to consider them as a possible couple, just like Abbott and Kim did at first.
Jane deflects the allusion to the past by wondering aloud where the pony may be now: things are not right between Lisbon and him and he’s way to secretive to pour his heart to the guys, obviously. That’s probably why he gratefully uses the pretext offered by the barmaid to leave them.

RB: Actually, I found it telling that he didn’t leave right away and instead told the barmaid that he was busy with his friends. I remember wondering if, in fact, Jane, given the opportunity, actually wanted to discuss his relationship with Lisbon with the two guys. I find the idea fascinating.

Violet: The friendly atmosphere at the bar compensates the mild coldness of ‘Grey Water’.

RB: Alternatively, Jane’s warmth towards Rigsby in this episode just makes the aloofness of his greeting to him in the previous one more bizarre.

Violet: Again, the encounter is also placed under the shadow of a darker past as alluded to subtly by the name of the hotel where Grace and Wayne are staying and where she’s taken from. As a threatening counterpoint of the bar ‘El Lazo’ –which the double meaning pointed out by Reviewbrain in the previous review-, the hotel is called ‘Rose Mountain Inn’, a color frequently used in title as a reference to RJ. Still, viewers are reminded that many things have changed. When Cho drives Wayne back to the inn, he tells him the FBI is offering both him and Grace a job. The other man is hesitant, because he and Grace have now kids. Their priority has shifted from being in the team (the reason for their break up) to protecting their family life.

RB: I like the reference here to how much their characters have grown up. The reminder is timely…

VIS #2: Jane confronts creepy Haibach

The parallels with the past events and particularly with RJ are even more visible when Jane and Lisbon start interrogating their main suspect, Haibach, who was unwittingly involved in Jane’s quest to get the serial killer. Firstly, the glimpses we got of Grace in a cellar, just like the one Hardy used to keep a young girl prisoner in the S1 finale and the one where RJ’s presumably first victims’ skeletons were found in ‘The Red Barn’; still, it may be also interesting to compare the choice of this place with Jane’s own kidnapping in ‘Ball of Fire’: that episode had the team worried for his life, as they are now for Grace, and its resolution ultimately led to an increased closeness with Lisbon…

Speaking about her, Haibach is pretty resentful towards the former CBI team leader and snarls “oh, you apologized. But that didn’t stop your planning, did it?” It draws an implicit comparison with her own attitude towards Jane: he apologized for his actions -in his last letter from the island, he mentioned being sorry for leaving her on the roadside- and he tried to make it up to her by getting her a new job, but she doesn’t seem to be able to completely trust his intentions anymore.
Plus, even though Haibach claims there is “no game” on his part –another allusion to RJ-, he obviously enjoy mocking them: when Jane asks if he knows where Van Pelt is, he replies “no, I don’t, how could I?” in a sing song voice… just before he “guesses” exactly her situation. Later, when an angry Rigsby launches at him, yelling that he’s an animal, the man yells back “you people are the animals”, because back then he did nothing and was still targeted because of them…
He’s right. Jane dismissed his kidnapping when Kirkland tortured him and Lisbon even chided her consultant for his indifference. But Haibach easily forgets his own crimes: he’s a paedophile and this was hinted at by the secret child bedroom he created in his house. He planned to kidnap a little girl when Kirkland targeted him, which foreshadowed Grace’s situation. He shows therefore the same logic as RJ, who took revenge on Jane’s family because the fake psychic had “slandered” him in the medias…

Haibach’s plan progressively takes form: he enjoys himself by playing his two enemies face to face -Jane ,who deliberately put his name on his fake list, and Lisbon, who came after him repeatedly- while revealing the vengeful motive behind his acts when stressed out. His meticulous planning is showed later when Abbott and Kim interrogate him as he’s able to provide a suspiciously detailed alibi (a video of him on the bus/his bus ticket/several witnesses): he’s obviously mocking them. Playing cat and mouse with his victim and hiding in plain sight were two of RJ’s favorite mind games too.

On the other hand, as a counterpoint to those allusions to the serial killer, there are several parallels with Jane’s situation regarding him. He understands what Wayne is going through as a father, and he tries to comfort and calm him by telling “you have children you need to see grow up”. Indeed, even through the younger man is in danger of losing his wife, he’s graced with the chance of knowing his kids are safe. Jane wasn’t as lucky and his imagining an adolescent Charlotte in ‘Devil’s Cherry’ showed how much he regretted it. Later, as Rigsby talks to his son Ben, the kid asks where Grace is… In addition of enlightening that the Rigsby’s form a harmonious family, since she’s only his stepmother, but obviously a loving one.

Rigsby goes and finds the clever consultant, begging for his help, “whatever it takes”. As a consequence, Jane barges in the interrogation room and threatens Haibach. He yells “you know me” and promises to track him down, alluding to his past quest to avenge his family and to the fact that he killed three men in the process. He shows again his uncaring and obsessive side: “I have nothing to lose. I have played with the house money for years. If I go to prison for what I’ll do to you, I don’t care”…

While it looks like he’s stuck in the same position than with RJ, it’s still interesting that he’s painted the almost exact image his co-workers must have had of him for years: a vengeful obsessed man with no string attached and willing to use them for all what they were worth… But this “been there, done that” vibe doesn’t really match the reality anymore : his “I have nothing to lose” contrasts with his loneliness and his letters to Lisbon, when he was writing that her absence was what made his situation awkward. Same with his willingness to recreate his nest at the CBI: that speaks of his fondness for his friends and the memories he shared with them. Therefore, this coldness hides a fiery defence of people he cares about. And he explains to a bewildered Abbot that he’s trying to work Haibach out of his comfort zone: again, he’s using the same strategy than with RJ. He’s trying to get the other to make mistakes, without caring for the consequences of his own actions. This dangerous game Jane is playing contrasts with Kim’s tentative approach to get Haibach’s lawyer to step back and help them: the insensitive woman accuses her of feeding her a « sob story » in an « unprofessional, disrespectful » manner. Like her client, she enjoys the power she has over the agents (telling them “ok kids, time’s up. Put your pens down” when she barges into Abbott’s office). This indicates that the legit route would take them nowhere to save Van Pelt.

VIS #3: Grace proves that she’s resourceful

Meanwhile, the redhead is making the best of the situation and manages to escape the cellar she’s locked in: she’s smart and determined. Soon, she’s alone in the wild and her isolation is further emphasized by the snow. Her dangerous situation reminds of her predicament in ‘My Bloody Valentine’. When a car stops by her, viewers may get a hint that the danger is getting closer: the driver, an inoffensive-looking woman, is listening to rather loud music, echoing ‘Redwood’ (the playlist the victims were listening to when a cruel killer attacked them) and ‘Red Gold’ (the killer changed the radio station in his victim’s car).

Van Pelt’s suspicions flare when she enters the woman’s cabin: she understands that there’s no electricity because there’s a fireplace, thus the woman was lying when she told there was a phone. Her observation skills hint at Jane’s influence, just like her resourcefulness… She also uses his technique to get the other to let her guard down: she tries to make friends by telling her to call her Grace; when it fails, she still manages to make her talk in order to buy time to try to escape. Her efforts are in vain, but it shows that she learned many things with the master of lies.

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.

 

Jane’s shadow can also be detected in the woman’s character: she’s Haibach’s sister and she feels anger and guilt because she couldn’t protect him… She’s seeking to rectify a past error to the extent of not caring if she hurts or kills people in the process.

VIS #4: Rigsby and Jane kidnap Haibach AKA saving Grace

Jane and Rigsby decide to take action and kidnap Haibach: while he’s leaving the FBI headquarters in a car with his lawyer. While Haibach is ranting to her bout making Patrick Jane suffer, Jane has disguised himself as their driver stops the car to let Rigsby get in. Jane’s grin and adorable driver hat is thus the sixth time in as almost as many episodes that an undercover job is featured –Kim playing a part in the island; Abbott asking Jane to pose as a psychic in ‘Green Thumb’; the dates with Krystal in ‘White Lines’; Lisbon wearing another black hat in spy fashion in ‘The Golden Hammer’; Jane sleeping in the community in ‘Black Helicopters’. One could even argue that, given his impassioned reaction to Grace’s kidnapping, his mildly indifferent greeting in the previous episode plays with false appearances as well.

Abbott realizes what the two men have been up to and wants to get some information out of Lisbon and Cho. Lisbon knows nothing (Jane’s good old “deniability”) and Cho adds “we have nothing to do with it, but we’d do it if they’d asked”. Again, it echoes their confrontation with Abbott in ‘Red John’, when Cho led the way to confront the man into letting Jane go. Their boss remembers: he is aware that they find Wayne and Jane “brave”, but that doesn’t stop him from threatening their jobs… That’s a curious reversal for Dennis: before, he was the one threatening the CBI, now it’s Haibach’s lawyer supported by an unfair law that protects a kidnapper who poses a threat for his new team.

Jane playfully leaves the lawyer stranded on the roadside, after exchanging his driver uniform with her phone and teasingly putting his hat on her head. It comes full circle with him leaving Lisbon without phone on that cliff, which was alluded to when he left Kim and drove away his Airstream at the market. This time, instead of being a hurtful gesture which probably caused her present mistrust, it proves that he cares: he won’t stop at anything to save Grace.

And the role reversal is even more obvious as Rigsby acts crazy and Jane is the one trying to calm him down (“talk to me, I have a plan, there’s another way”)… The usually untameable consultant seems very reasonable for once: he’s assuming Lisbon’s role when Wayne is channelling his inner Jane…his brutal streak.

Plus there’s a multiplication of references to RJ: Rigsby tries to set Haibach on fire (like Todd Johnson and echo to the bombing in ‘Fire and Brimstone’: fire is a recurrent image of RJ’s power); after the man took Wayne’s discarded gun and made them drive to the abandoned cabin, then to his sister’s house, he discovers that the guys used a trick on him: all along the gun had no ammunition and he’s the mercy of an armed Rigsby (it reminds of Jane’s trick with the pigeon, Lisbon’s gun and the other gun hidden in the church); Haibach threatening them from the back of the car, then being threatened by Rigsby ridding shotgun is a wink to the limo scene in ‘The Crimson Hat’ (RJ was talking from the back of the car using a phone attached to Luther, Jane was sitting shotgun and it was the first time Jane had been able to talk to him directly). In a way, this moment in the car with Haibach almost sums up Jane’s history with the serial killer because while it looked like RJ was more powerful, Jane overpowered him too with a clever trick… But Haibach and his sister get the upper hand again and are about to take revenge for his missing thumb by shooting Rigsby and deciding to chop Jane’s fingers too, in a double allusion to Lorelei who was ordered to cut off Jane’s fingers in the limo. The RJ vibe is even furthered by Haibach giddily telling that he wants to “play a little game” (again) with a terrified Jane. Fortunately, Rigsby proved more resistant and determined than the killers took him for: even gravely injured, he walks outside the house to shoot them. He was able to protect his wife and saved the day, what Jane always regretted not doing for his family… The implied glimpse into the past is closed when Jane lying in the snow sees the black helicopter sent to rescue them. It was what he asked to Lisbon over the phone in ‘Black Helicopters’: symbolically the nightmarish window on the past is closed and they’re back to the present situation. Wayne can start to recover physically, just like Jane may start to heal mentally from the loss of his family that he couldn’t yet overcome, since he still can’t allow himself to take his ring off for good.

VIS #5: at the hospital

When Wayne is resting on his hospital bed with his beloved Grace the atmosphere is much more cheerful: Lisbon hugs Grace while telling her how worried she was, then Jane hugs her too. The both of them are making a beeline for the door together –at long last!- when they’re interrupted by Abbott and Kim. Abbott compliments Rigsby (“you impressed all of us”), but both husband and his wife refuse heartily the job they are offered. Kim hands some flowers to the redhead and, last but not least, Cho, Wayne’s dear friend, pats Grace’s leg before leaving them alone too.

For the first time in what feels like forever, Jane and Lisbon are shown leaving the hospital while bickering. Lisbon reproaches that it was a “stupid idea”, Jane protests that it was “not stupid, simple but not stupid…” When she admits that she’s still angry for not telling her and she was really scared, he tells “I’m sorry.” She replies “no, you’re not. I can tell when you’re no being sincere », which refers both to their old friendship and to her past assumption that she could tell when he was lying in ‘Red Sky in The Morning’: both times, like in many others, the two partners are seen walking away bickering as the episode ends. It hints that at least part of their friendship is back: while those are pretty much the same things Lisbon reproached to Jane recently –taking decisions on his own, scaring her by running away and dismissing her as if she was his inferior- it’s very apparent that the intention behind her words is different. Jane has proven his affection for them taking huge risks for his friends: like before, even if his methods are questionable, he’s mostly trustworthy at heart.

That’s the most heartwarming aspect of the episode: Jane has paid his debt to the team for standing for him. Like in ‘Red Alert’, which featured Lisbon’s silent grief over Bosco’s death, and in ‘My Bloody Valentine’, when Grace refused to acknowledge the loss of her love, the conclusion of Haibach’s wrongdoings ended being a life-affirming experience. Jane’s decisions here showed that he cares about them: he hadn’t just using them for his quest. He made it up to them for his actions, which is probably why Haibach’s character was chosen to be the culprit: he had happened to be a casualty in Jane’s quest, just like the team and Lisbon had become at the end, as they had to deal with the consequences… Hence the catharsis: Jane considers them as his friends and he wants to protect them. In spite of not being truthful with his words or his motives, he was sincere in his affection for them. Sacrificing their careers at the CBI for him had been worth it.

Honorable Mentions

Writer Eoghan Mahony provided a touching homage to two great characters (Grace’s cleverness and Rigsby’s impressive determination were a last hint at character development since it enlightens how efficient they have become) At the same time, he masterfully used this goodbye to set things right in the new setting: Jane and Lisbon acting like friends again; Wiley takes a more prominent part in the investigation; Abbott is a by the book boss but he admits he’s impressed by Wayne. He doesn’t play a double game like Bertram, nor is emotional like Luther; he isn’t as unfair with Lisbon as Hightower used to be at first… If he keeps being this measured, he might even compare one day with Minelli… Same with Kim: like in the market when she interrogated the “peanut butter people” some time ago, she’s still pretty awkward in her role as a boss, but that doesn’t undermines her friendliness (talking to the lawyer, bringing flowers). And the old team is reunited no more as colleagues but as a family: it’s the first time they’re all together at the hospital at the same time… They weren’t together at Jane’s bedside (when he was in a fugue state/ drugged/ blinded by a bomb), neither at Lisbon’s (when she was shot by Craig/attacked by RJ even if there were flowers), neither at Grace’s (when she was shot in the earlier seasons) nor when Rigsby’s father was dying. But now, they are, because their closeness is caused by affection and devotion. It’s a rather beautiful conclusion to their story and a solid beginning for the new Mentalist.

rb: Owain Yeoman and Amanda Righetti were fantastic in the episode as well. I loved how physical their roles were, especially Wayne’s. considering his build it would have been a crime to have him leave the show without making use of his physical prowess (which, is rarely brought up : Russett Potatoes, Like a Red-Headed Stepchild). I can see both Righetti and Yeoman moving on to action films now.

Icings on the Cake

The beautiful, beautiful snow white setting of the episode denoting perhaps that the show was starting a new clean slate.

Pet Peeves

Violet: When Jane, Haibach and Rigsby get off the car to enter the cabin, there’s snow, but they don’t seem to mind the cold, even though they’re wearing light clothes and there’s no steam coming from their mouths. I may be overly picky, but this destroyed the illusion a bit for me…

RB: For me, the first was Grace getting duped by Hazel. After showing how awesome Grace is at managing to escape we’re supposed to believe that she’s careless enough to flag down the first approaching car without thinking that it might be the perp looking for her? Grr.

Then there is Hazel. I don’t know if it was the writing or the acting, but she felt like such a flat two dimensional character. Whether it was her telling Grace that she’ll tell on her to her brother (about how she tried to escape) or boasting how she knew Grace escaped, most of her scenes made me cringe.

Conclusion

RB: After being so happy that the RJ plot is finally over, I can’t stop thinking about the left over lackeys in the encrypted file. I still don’t get why no one (either in the original CBI team or in the FBI) thought an RJ fan might have been after the wire taps. Now they proved to have nothing to do with Grace’s kidnapping, I’m probably just being obsessive. But I will say this: while Haibach might have been the perp in this episode, there is still no proof that he is the one who put a trace on Ardiles and the CBI members. Haibach’s revenge might be red herring to deflect from the fact that (possibly vengeful) Blake association members still exist.

Finally, I am ecstatic at the surprise ending of this episode. I honestly thought Rigsby had been killed for a while and did not look forward to the result. I would have hated to see Jane set off on another guilty streak, this time for having his actions inadvertently cause the death of Wayne and Grace. I also loved how Rigsby was the ultimate hero, in every sense of the word. In this episode, he saved more than just his and Grace’s life. He saved Jane’s newly peaceful existence from shattering again. A worthy ending to a worthy character. Righetti, Yeoman, you will be missed.

*All material posted in this blog is the intellectual property of reviewbrain (unless otherwise stated). Readers are free to make use of the information provided they cite the source (this blog) either by name (reviewbrain’s blog) or by linking to it. Please extend the same courtesy to the authors of the comments as well (by mentioning their names) to ensure that credit is given where credit is due.

 

 


The Good Wife “Dramatics, Your Honor” Reaction


MAJOR SPOILERS. TURN BACK NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE EPISODE.

MAJOR SPOILERS. TURN BACK NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE EPISODE.

MAJOR SPOILERS. TURN BACK NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE EPISODE.

I have been watching The Good Wife ever since it first started airing. I have been in love with the show all this time and have watched with equal parts awe and trepidation.

The awe was at the sheer intelligence of a show that keeps giving me material to think about and the writers’ ability to consistently make me laugh. The trepidation was a result of the sad belief that eventually, like so many other shows, it will one day finally fail to do so.

But that day still seemed far off. When Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) left the firm to start her own with Cary Agos (Matt Czuchry), I was ecstatic. We’ve already seen her and Will have their romance. Having her remain at the firm was just risking the affair starting up again (the main incentive, viewers were led to believe, why the character left).

The fact is, the show is called “The Good Wife”. Having her run off into the sunset with Will Gardner (much as we might have enjoyed it) was just plainly never going to happen. A new direction had to be set for the series and having them become enemies seemed as good a plan as any.

Then another “uh, oh” moment came to me when they started reconciling. Were the writers really going to ruin the new-found status quo by reverting back to an old plot? I was so ready to be disappointed and comforted myself with the fact that there were other so many interesting characters with new relationships (finally!) coming together that will keep the show interesting (i.e. Eli/Natalie, Kalinda/Cary).

I feel so humbled now that I had underestimated The Good Wife writers so. I always knew they were good. Fabulous, even. But I never knew how good they were.

Just when I started worrying that Will and Alicia’s romance will start up again, they went and killed off Will’s character.

Will Gardner is dead.

This decision, which stemmed after Josh Charles informed the show runners he was leaving the series, was pure genius. In fact, I’ll go as far as to thank Mr. Charles for inciting it.

No words can express how utterly excited I am to see the affect his character’s death will have on the other players. When faced with a decision to get rid of the character, Robert and Michelle King went with the one that most made sense. Simply put, it’s the most interesting. Also, it conveniently solves Peter Florrick’s legal problem while creating a perhaps much bigger, more personal one for him.

How will Alicia react? How will Diane, Kalinda, and every other character who loved and respected Will Gardner?

I don’t know. But I sure as heck can’t wait to find out. Rest in peace, Will Gardner. You were a freaking awesome lawyer, passionate lover, and loyal friend. And no one can ever have as beautifully brooding eyes as you can. But you died defending a client you liked, whom you believed to be innocent, and whose mental capacities finally went to pieces during his trial. Like a soldier who wishes to die in battle, you died in the courtroom. In the arms of an opposing lawyer, no less, who tried to save your life (the wonderful Matthew Goode as Finn Polmar).

Can there be a better, more honorable, or original  ending for a major character?

I doubt it.

Click here to read Robert and Michelle King’s letter to The Good Wife fans regarding their decision. I agree with absolutely everything they said. More than that, I respect their utter transparency and loyalty to fans in sharing their thoughts. This is class, people.

*All material posted in this blog is the intellectual property of reviewbrain (unless otherwise stated). Readers are free to make use of the information provided they cite the source (this blog) either by name (reviewbrain’s blog) or by linking to it. Please extend the same courtesy to the authors of the comments as well (by mentioning their names) to ensure that credit is given where credit is due.

 


Mentalist Grey Water Review


Synopsis

Lisbon gets the case of J.J. LaRoche’s murder transferred from SF PD to the FBI, only to discover that the culprit is now targeting ex-CBI Agents Wayne and Grace Rigsby. The two join Lisbon, Cho and Jane in Austin, Texas as consultants and run down a list of possible suspects. Meanwhile Agent Kim Fischer investigates a murder of an anti-fracker in which the prime suspect is an anti-corporate group.

Concise Verdict

This episode was a bit of a roller coaster. It started off as a thriller and ended as one as well but was a bit slow in between.  There were plenty of nice moments, a couple of not so good ones, and a major peeves too.

Detailed Review

I’m slowly easing myself into writing again and took a more straightforward approach to this review. It consists of three main parts.

1- The Good (AKA what really worked in the episode)

I like the role-reversal at the beginning shoot out scene, having Wayne hide with the baby and Grace come in with the gun saving the day.

I enjoyed seeing the team work together again, narrowing down their list of suspects as suggested by Jane.

While I was never convinced that John Hutten was a realistic suspect I nonetheless enjoyed his storyline and scenes. Paul Schulze was quite engaging and having him escape from the feds to carry on an affair was a

Another thing I enjoyed was having the team back together again. Commenter Laura commented in the previous review that she missed the old bromance between Cho and Rigsby, rightly so as it has always been a great asset to the show. It was nice to see them working together again. There were a couple of nice moments whether it was Cho giving Rigsby a man hug or teasing him that he can’t drive while they run down suspects together.

I never realized how much I missed Wayne the investigator till I saw him in action. And it looks like he misses it too as he tell in seamlessly back into the role with Cho.

The burning water (due to the methane content) scene was a neat attention grabber.

Lisbon apologizing to Richard Haibach.

Grace and Wiley bonding over hacking software.

6x14

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

There were also some nice character insights: how trusting Wiley is (he just took Jane at his word that he had a court order), Abbott’s participation in catching the killer (the man can certainly act in a ruse), Wayne being more confident and self-assured than we’ve ever known him to be.

Speaking of Abbott, I like seeing how he had Lisbon’s back trusting her instincts on Haibach, despite his telling the man’s attorney that the investigation was closed, and having her make the aforementioned apology.

Guys’ night out. What I would give to be a fly on the wall wherever they were.

The end with the dark figure hovering above Grace was all sorts of spooky. Blake Neely might want to look into scoring a horror flick; tune at the end was really scary.

2- The Bad (AKA what didn’t work)

Somehow I just wasn’t really interested in the “cooperative” hacking group; don’t know why.

Acting of guy who played the victim was a bit over the top, as was the scuffle scene that resulted in his death.

After reuniting with his former colleagues after two years, all Jane can manage by way of greeting is a “good to see you, guys”? Really? Even Robo-cop Cho and formerly detached boss Lisbon managed to give both Wayne and Grace a hug when they arrived, but touchy feely Jane couldn’t? I mean, yes, he was drinking his tea at the time but that really is no excuse.

3- And the Ugly (AKA what sucked)

*I would’ve liked to see a reaction from Jane or Lisbon regarding LaRoche’s death. We know the man liked them both and it felt really wrong not to have them acknowledge his passing in a meaningful way. It’s a huge waste considering how fantastically developed the character was and how he and Jane had bonded. Couldn’t we at least have known whatever happened to his dog?

*When Lisbon updates Rigsby on the case, at the very beginning of the episode, she tells him that SF PD agrees whoever murdered Ardiles, LaRoche, and bugged the CBI team’s phones is someone that was once arrested by CBI and/or is holding a grudge.

Now Lisbon and the ex-CBI team know there is a number of RJ allies/lackey’s (members of the Blake association) still at large. And Jane knows this. Heck, one woman had tried to kill Jane during his face off with McCallister.  Now I could be wrong but wouldn’t THEY have a grudge on CBI and company? The fact that this didn’t occur to anyone, Jane especially, really bugs me. The team should be looking for their suspects in the encrypted list of Blake members.

One could argue that Ardiles had no connection to the RJ case. I’d counter-argue that the perp might blame him for RJ’s death. How so? Well, Ardiles was the one who prosecuted Jane’s case when he was charged with Timothy Carter’s murder. If Ardiles had won the case, Jane would be in prison and wouldn’t have been able to catch/kill RJ. It’s a bit of a stretch but INMO not as big as having to believe that NOT A SINGLE AGENT likes a Blake member (or even the entire association) for wire-tapping the CBI and targeting its past members.

Best Quotes

“In my day, if you had a problem with someone, you would just tell them. None of this computer hacking nonsense.” –Samuel. Cool line. Also reflects the teams’ current predicament with their unknown perp.

“Take a break. Get something to eat.” Aww! Grace knows how to make Wayne feel better.

Conclusion

I don’t speak Spanish, but couldn’t help notice the name of the bar Rigsby and the guys were meeting at: El Lazo. An online search tells me it means either link (as in bond) or lasso. I find both definitions interesting: while Rigsby and company are bonding at the bar, Grace is being lassoed in her motel room. Wonder if this irony was the intent behind the choice of the bar name. I like to think it was as that would be really cool.

Finally, GRACE BETTER NOT DIE!

*All material posted in this blog is the intellectual property of reviewbrain (unless otherwise stated). Readers are free to make use of the information provided they cite the source (this blog) either by name (reviewbrain’s blog) or by linking to it. Please extend the same courtesy to the authors of the comments as well (by mentioning their names) to ensure that credit is given where credit is due.

 


Mentalist Black Helicopter’s Review


Synopsis

The FBI are sent to Juarez, Mexico where a US Attorney is found dead. The investigation leads consultant Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) to a free citizen’s farm in Gentry, Texas. Meanwhile, Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney) enlists the help of ex-colleagues Grace (Amanda Righetti) and Wayne Rigsby (Owain Yeoman) to investigate the death of Osvaldo Ardiles.

Not so Humungous Review

(In which writer is under the residual influence of anesthesia and can’t be trusted to give a grade)

I can always count on Erika Green to bring a smile to my face. I enjoyed Jane’s interactions with his new team members and appreciated how we were cleverly given a chance to get to know them through Jane’s gifts to them: Jason Wylie (Joe Adler) got a Tamagotchi (electronic pets that were quite popular about ten years ago).  Dennis Abbott got a Voltron toy (based on the cartoon/anime series) while Agent Kim Fischer received a magic wand. Even Jane’s old comrade Kimball Cho received a gift in the form of jumping beans. One might wonder why Lisbon didn’t get anything. I’d just like to point out that way back in season one (Red Sauce) we were already shown what her secret desire was: the surprise pony Jane gave her for her birthday.. Also, it seems like the significance of the gifts was, as Abbott pointed out, was Jane attempting to fit into his team. Even Cho had expressed concern with that regards to Jane, hence his getting  a gift too despite having worked with Jane in the past. Lisbon has no such concerns.

The new dynamic between Jane and Lisbon, personified by the fact that she is no longer his boss continues to be a theme this season. In this episode it means that she will sometimes be delegated to tasks that exclude him. In this episode, Lisbon was stuck going through the victim’s files. Jane, when Cho and Fischer arrive at the crime scene without her, immediately asks where she is. Then back at HQ, he looks for her and we finally see him deposited on his new couch, with Lisbon working on her computer nearby. It’s a familiar scene, albeit less private than viewers are used to in Lisbon’s CBI office. Later Jane invites Lisbon to join him for a drive to Gentry, and when she refuses to ride his “silver bucket” Jane says “Fischer it is then”. Whether Jane’s intention was romantic or not, he was obviously trying to get a rise out of Lisbon. It was nice to see that she didn’t take the bait, calmly informing him that she was still working on a lead into Ardiles murder-waiting for a warrant from a judge. Jane then helpfully suggests she enlists LaRoche’s help whom we are told now works for internal affairs.

Pet Peeves

It’s no secret I adore LaRoche. I not only love the actor, but have found his character to be a major asset to the show ever since Daniel Cerone introduced him in Jolly Red Elf. That said, I don’t mind having him killed off (at least, not as much as I thought I would). But having it happen the way it did, with him leaving a nonsensical dying message was a real disappointment. As far as I could tell, LaRoche was killed by gunshot after he set off a trap rigged to shoot anyone who walked into it. So why the heck-how in the heck did he come to the conclusion that he was shot by Red John? Was there an RJ smiley that I somehow missed (all too possible since I’m not operating at full capacity at the moment). Or am I wrong in my original assumption that LaRoche said “Red John” right before he died? It just makes no sense. If I am wrong and LaRoche had in fact been saying something else, then the scene is just confusing, which is just as aggravating.

Fischer’s statement to Jane that he’s “sleeping on the job” was a bit grating. I mean, the man had been driving for five hours straight, Kim, during which you were sleeping (at least part of that time). Cut him some slack.

Best Scenes

The Winner: Dunbar and Swallow stole this one. When Fischer complains that Jane ditched her, Abbott seriously tells her that Jane is trying to fit in, brandishing Jane’s gift as proof. His boyish delight at Voltron “Not just a robot” was very funny…

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.

 

…as was Fischer reiterating “Dennis, he ditched me. Seeing how annoyed she was, Abbott tells Fischer “that’s not cool” to which she responds “No! No, that is far,  far from cool!”. These two are growing on me :)

 

First Runner Up: Grace and Wayne’s visit to LaRoche. His calling Wayne “young Rigsby” and the respectful manner in which he greeted Van Pelt charmed me, as did the couple’s clandestine smiles to each other at his plight of a new job. Like Lisbon said, he lost his job because of her team and despite his amusing wariness towards them, there was no real malice in their interaction. I’m glad he remained a likeable character until the end. Did I mention I’ve always loved LaRoche?

Second Runner Up: Kim getting grilled at the market and Jane’s rueful expressions at her rookie mistake dealing with the mistrustful locals. Really well written, well acted scene by all involved including guest stars Kevin Daniels and Cindy Pickett.

Icings on the Cake

Tim Kang’s smile when Jane gave Cho the jumping beans. Who doesn’t love jumping beans?

Kim’s statement that she thought she could “change so many things” when she was little if she just had a magic wand. This statement just screamed “divorced parents” to me. Now whether my assumption on what the subtext meant is true or not doesn’t matter. Each viewer is free to draw their own conclusion and that’s what makes the scene so clever, I think. Lisbon’s discerning look at Kim also made for a nice little moment between the two.

 Best Lines

“Bad as this job is, it’s drama free.”- LaRoche to Wayne and Rigsby. Poor LaRoche L

“Been there” –Jane, to Alex, regarding his alcoholism. It’s an interesting statement; we’ve had no reason to think Jane was ever an alcoholic and while it could have been a convenient lie to get close to him, I think Jane here was referring to addiction in general.

“With the peanut butter people?” Lisbon, to Jane.

“Are you ever coming back?” Lisbon, to Jane. This seems like an innocent question but it subtly recalls Jane leaving Lisbon. Twice. Methinks someone might have abandonment issues now.

“I’m gonna need a black helicopter and a tank”.

“You can’t be on the road forever Patrick you gotta let it take you someplace.” Alex, to Jane. Now that Jane’s killed RJ (we think?) where is his next journey?

*All material posted in this blog is the intellectual property of reviewbrain (unless otherwise stated). Readers are free to make use of the information provided they cite the source (this blog) either by name (reviewbrain’s blog) or by linking to it. Please extend the same courtesy to the authors of the comments as well (by mentioning their names) to ensure that credit is given where credit is due.


Mentalist Green Thumb Review


*This review was originally posted Dec. 20, 2013. Due to technical difficulties it has been deleted and re-uploaded.

Synopsis

Three months after his plan to get a deal with the FBI went down, Jane (Baker) is confined in a cell and Lisbon (Tunney) has gone back home to Washington. She is visited in her small office at Cannon River by FBI Agent Kim Fischer (Emilie Swallow) who wants her help to convince Jane to work a case on the field with the FBI.

Concise Verdict

This second episode of The Mentalist 2.0 is a bit less hopeful and soulful than ‘My Blue Heaven’, yet it starts the much needed adjustment phase in a pretty funny manner both regarding the status Jane will be getting in his new life and the character’s emotional adaptation. Jane is at his most mischievous and his antics as he struggles against the new authority Abbott and Fischer are trying to force upon him add a welcome lighter tone after the darkness that threatened to engulf him at the end of his quest. Also there’s some continuity with the RJ storyline, without getting back on the obsessive side: rather the show tends to focus on new possibilities and it happens that the serial killer’s fate gives the agents a mean to threatens Jane, while a the same time offering him a solution to defeat their attempts. All in all, writer Daniel Cerone graced us with a quite enjoyable and interesting little number.

Detailed AKA Humungous Review (spoilers galore)

VIS #1: Fischer comes to Lisbon’s office

The episode opens with Fischer coming to ask for Lisbon’s help in convincing Jane to work with them. Like in ‘My Blue Heaven’ then, the very first news we got from Jane come from Lisbon and, again, the contrast with her old life is blatant. Before, Chief Lisbon was talking to kids about her job instead of fighting crime; now she’s searching for her missing stapler instead of investigating murder cases… Yet the contrast is even cruder after the glimpse we got of the modern and busy FBI building and Kim indirectly remarks on it by telling her that it is “adorable” while entering Teresa’s office.

Also, like Abbott did, Kim wants to use Lisbon to get to Jane and Lisbon is clearly aware of the woman’s intentions. Under Teresa’s polite façade, it’s obvious that she isn’t very pleased by the idea that her friend and former consultant is in their hands: they wouldn’t even have her letters delivered. When Fischer remarks that Jane has been in solitary confinement for three months “by desire”, Lisbon retorts that Kim only wants to use him. Indeed, viewers know that the agent is using against him what she learnt about his state of mind on the island: then, he was enjoying the feeling of freedom the ocean provided him with and he was suffering from loneliness –he even thanked her for talking with him because he “needed the company”; now, he’s been deprived both of his free will and of the comfort writing letters offered him…

Kim explains her motives to try to get Jane on her team: the man is a real opportunity for the FBI. His quest to stop “the reign” of the mass murderer uncovered the corrupted Blake conspiracy reaching half-way across the country and, in the meanwhile, he also managed to close every case he got his hands to. Such impressive achievements would sure look good for the FBI… and for her and Abbott’s careers. After all, that was what appealed to his former bosses, may them be Hightower and her special status for her golden boy, or Luther who suggested helping him out in Vegas – having kicked him out – because their closed cases rate was dropping… Yet, the power struggle between Jane and Kim seems to be shifting: while Jane kept stubbornly refusing Abbott’s deal, Kim is already backing down a bit by trying to find a solution and asking Lisbon for her help. It enlightens that, as a paradox, Jane is the one who has actually the upper hand, even if he has been incarcerated: they want him, so they just cannot use the only tangible threat they have over him. If they indeed send him to a real jail for his crimes, they will lose every possibility to make him work for them… They are at an impasse. That is why Fischer turns to Lisbon; she’s aware that the other woman is both one of Jane’s demands and his former boss. There’s a double interest in using Teresa: she knows him very well and can help her learn how to handle him, while at the same time, her mere presence can convince him to get to work. She represents a temporary concession which both makes her the proverbial carrot –he obviously misses Lisbon even now, since he cannot see or write to her – and may provide Kim with a precious useful insight into his psyche. This manoeuvre gives viewers the first real glimpse into agent Fischer’s mind: she’s smart and a professional who doesn’t hesitate to make good use of what she knows. It’s blatant that she’s thought about how best to move her pawns: she even set the ground for a future girl talk with Lisbon to learn more about the history she shares with her former consultant. Her phrasing indeed hints that, like Abbott, she suspects that there is something of a more intimate nature between the two ex-coworkers: she remarks to Lisbon that “one of his demands is you”. She realized that what he really wants is to have Lisbon back, working with her is more a mean to an end than a real demand.

Lisbon’s attitude is also pretty interesting: she’s slightly less reluctant with Kim than with Abbott, who she obviously dislikes. She accepts to help her by giving her advice: Jane “is hardly federal agent material”, so Kim is losing her time by trying to bend him. Even when the other woman asks if he was state agent material instead, she retorts that no, but “he wanted to be”, enlightening the difference in their methods and her underlying disapprobation: if Jane were a butterfly, one could say that Kim would be trying to catch him with vinegar, while Lisbon understood pretty quickly that she would have more effective result choosing honey… She cared about his well-being from the start (‘Red Dawn’), whereas Kim perceived him as a tool until now. Yet Lisbon finally relents and accepts to use her experience in the risky Jane-field, may it be because she’s deeply conscious that she doesn’t look very good with her urgent stapler issues, or because Kim’s reasons for wanting to solve a national security issue at play got to her as another law enforcement officer or because she simply wanted deep down to see Jane again. After all, that’s probably why she went to Austin the first time…

VIS #2: Lisbon visits Jane in his cell

Jane is openly delighted to see his partner but immediately notices that she’s here unwillingly… In response, she mimics enthusiasm by puffing her chest: after the emotional hug from the previous episode, their old camaraderie based on humor and teasing is coming to the surface as soon as they start interacting. Still, under that lightness, they’re both aware that the situation is quite serious. Jane indeed says that they’re in the same predicament; Lisbon disagrees, telling him that she’s lives in Washington, while he’s in a cell… she’s pretending to distance herself from his situation both spatially and emotionally, but Jane is not fooled. He knows that they’re both trapped in a condition they don’t like. Lisbon is as much in denial as she was when telling to Wayne that she liked the quiet and didn’t miss her past life anymore, even though she pounced on her letters once alone. On the other hand, Jane insists that he won’t settle for anything less than the demands he presented to Abbott: “if I can’t live on my terms, I’ll be in prison anyway. I may as well live in this cosy little detention suite”… This rejection of entrapment is very interesting: it puts emphasis on the evolution of Jane’s character, after spending a decade trapped in his obsessive hunting orchestrated by a serial killer. Here, he refuses both to let others dictate him how he should live and he wants to be free and no longer under the spell of obsession. The ocean around the island and the trailer he asked of Abbott echo this need. Therefore, the notions of freedom and moving on are central in the start of this new direction and respond to the past themes regarding his quest of RJ.

Lisbon’s response is as straightforward as it used to be: “get your ass off the chair”. That had Jane grinning ad sauntering behind her. No doubt he’s been enjoying that flash of her old familiar bossiness, even more since he admitted that he liked when she got all authoritarian on him in ‘Not One Red Cent’… Getting on familiar ground is their way to re-establish their former relationship, based on enjoying the other’s company and teasing and bickering (Jane shouting to the guard at his door « federal officers coming thought! »). It only enlightens the difference in their status now, particularly as we’ve been told they’re in the « Federal Bureau of Investigation » in Austin (not just the simpler “FBI”), reminding viewers that they’re not longer working for the California Bureau of Investigation… Different place, different agency. Furthermore they’re filmed from above standing on the middle of the FBI circular logo and the new credits only enhances the novelty of their situation.

Same with the briefing: it’s apparent that the kind of investigations they’ll be dealing with is meant to be of a larger scale than in the old SCU (namely the kidnapping of a computer programmer protecting the federal banking system); they don’t do the legwork at crime scenes, they work on photos on a big screen, they have a bigger team, more modern material… Also, as they’re coming in the new bullpen, it’s obvious Jane is perfectly aware of what’s going on and that Abbott wants to use him. When the other man calls him their “asset’, he retorts that “it’s so touching”; when he’s asked to sit down because Abbott wants to go on with the meeting, he answers that he’s fine, keeps standing and immediately dismisses him by greeting Cho. The stoic agent chuckles and answers “we’re in the middle of a meeting, we’ll catch up later”, hinting that they didn’t see each other during his detention, then… Jane is assessing the situation, evaluating people in the room as much as the photos on-screen: he’s looking intently at Kim while she avoids his stare, then he comments “I knew you saw me, huh huh”, before finding a clue on the victim’s wife background by looking on the photos.

He keeps studying her when they’re going to Brooklyn by plane: « you know, you can relax, everything is good». Kim is still pretty cold towards him, arguing that he’s a detainee under her charge and urging « you do as I tell you, you understand? ». Jane takes this opportunity to test her reactions: “oh, I understand. I understand you very well, better than you do yourself”… which leads to them revealing to Lisbon why things are tense between Fischer and Jane; Lisbon is rightly surprised to learn that she was on the island and Kim hurries to explain the situation: “I was undercover. I was using a false persona”; her insistence on the fact that she was there under false pretends is a bit suspicious and Jane pounces on it: he claims that she was sincere back then and that her persona as a FBI agent is the mask. Jane is trying to destabilize her while at the same time probably seeking a personal bond with Kim: his assumption about her hiding her true thoughts behind a professional façade is backed up by her touching his hair when he was unconscious on his bed in the island, yet despite suspecting as much he’s still hell-bent on undermining her. He did the same thing with Hightower; actually Jane seems to enjoy strong women in charge, at least when they’re not trying to control him. Hence the mixing of rebelliousness towards her authority and sympathy for the woman beneath the mask… which of course contrasts with the way he gleefully obeyed to Lisbon’s order before.

Another aspect showing adjustment is the way the first steps in the investigation subtly echo the past. The hot dog Jane craves alludes at the years he spent out of the U.S…. and it reminds of his work dynamic with Lisbon, since she used to lend him money and it was usual for him to eat on a case (tacos in ‘Red, White and Blue’ or an ice cream in ‘The Red Box’ for instance). But here, Kim keeps him from taking the food, enhancing the change in rules and that he has a new boss. Besides, the victim’s wife is called Defiance –which announces accurately his behavior towards the FBI and, to some extent, Lisbon’s attitude towards his controlling tendencies – and Jane talks to her in her apartment, in front of a large window… which oddly reminds of the setting of his attic (so much that it was probably the same set). The shot of Jane’s face with the window as a background is oddly familiar, even though the view behind it is meant to be Brooklyn instead of the CBI rooftop. Moreover, Jane isn’t embarrassed to talk about his past, he has made peace with it: he mentions his father, which he avoided doing before (telling Defiance that he came from the carnie circuit. “My dad was a showman”) and responding to her assumption that he’s psychic with a calm “so I’m told” instead of his previous abrasive “there is no such thing as psychics”. Before, when he was to assume this particular role for the team he was more reluctant. These changes are also hinted at by Lisbon and Fischer following him around as they are respectively his former boss and his new one. And, of course the notion of being trapped that Jane brought forward when meeting Lisbon comes back in the case: the husband felt trapped in a cold computer world made of rules and numbers. He turned his mind towards the wife he loved and his precious garden to escape this world: the title “Green Thumbs” is an allusion to this aspect of freedom. It’s not a surprise then that Jane uses both the garden and the wife to escape his own cold world of new rules.

VIS #3: Teresa in Kim’s office

After Jane pulled his stunt and ran away, Lisbon followed Kim back in Austin and she assisted to the briefing of the other woman. Yet Fischer’s attitude towards her employees irritates her: as Kim is stressing out her authority on the poor agent who had the misfortune not to spot Jane, Lisbon exchanges a glance with Cho. He intervenes by telling his boss that the man wasn’t the only one misreading the situation. After he called her on her own mistake, Lisbon adds that she wants to go home since Jane is no longer with them: she explains that they’re “only going to find him if he wants to be found, which he doesn’t or he wouldn’t have left in the first place”. The fact that Lisbon dismisses so easily the other woman in front of her team hints that Lisbon disagrees with her, as a former team leader herself. She used to cover up for every one of her men and not only for Jane and she takes that opportunity to get her revenge for the slightly patronizing attitude Fischer had in Cannon River… Not that Kim is necessarily a bad person at heart, she’s just not as giving as Teresa who accepted to work with an irate Hannigan and who took a helpless Jane under her wing.

When Fischer gets Lisbon to talk more privately in her office, it becomes obvious that the slight mistrust is reciprocated as she asks Lisbon if she helped Jane escape. The reason she gives for suspecting as much is that Lisbon is “his… friend”… Without any doubt, like Abbott, she doesn’t label Jane and Lisbon’s relationship as simple and platonic friendship, at least out of earshot from any of them… Whereas Lisbon chooses or not to understand the implications of that pause, she defends her position by saying that she’s both his friend and an officer of the law, implying that one doesn’t necessarily exclude the other… Interestingly, when she eavesdropped on Lorelei accusing him of having feelings for her, Lisbon yelled to him “I’m not your girlfriend, I’m an officer of the law”… similar words, yet different inference. Both then and now, Lisbon tries to preserve her position against a woman coming between her and her best friend… to some extent, it may perhaps suggest that there might be a sliver of ambiguity between the professional and personal level from Kim’s part, as there was with Lorelei. Either way, during the investigation, Lisbon seems relatively eager to prove her skills, coming up with theories and suggestions. After being brushed off by Abbott, it comes as natural that she may want to prove her professionalism and her self-worth, particularly after the case of the missing stapler… There is no doubt that she was forced to reconsider her ability since she probably didn’t get much career opportunities after the McAllister debacle…

Kim then chooses another tactic and lowers her defences, admitting that she needs her help again: “I was so sure I had him figured out”. It seems Kim is still following her leash, stick and carrot logic and, as such, she cannot understand why Jane fled, since they had Lisbon… Chief Lisbon simply answers “welcome to my life”. It doesn’t really come up as a surprise then that Kim takes that opportunity to resume the line of questioning she started earlier. It’s cop-girls talk time. She asks Lisbon with genuine curiosity “how did you make it work for so long?” Lisbon replies that se thought about it during the last two years, but she still has no idea… Is that a stretch to make a parallel with Jane’s line on the sunset scene in ‘Fire and Brimstone’ “you have no idea what you meant to me all those years… what you mean to me”? Since ‘Red Dawn’, we know that what links Jane to her is a mixing of layered affection and gratefulness because she saved him and gave him a chance to build a new life for himself; she gave him the roots he was lacking. Nevertheless, Lisbon probably doesn’t realize the extent of his feelings: she’s still unsure of his motives and the nature of what they had. Anyway, Kim comes to the most logical explanation: that they might have been involved at some point. It’s a pretty normal question, after all as Jane has been writing her letters for years and sending her seashells. Abbott assumed that they were lovers based on their behavior – she was protective of him while Jane was relatively behaved with her. It’s also not the first time he manipulated people to get her back on his team; he did as much with Haffner, except that now he cannot have another reason than affection and making it up to her. Not to mention that assuming they’re involved s pretty legit in hindsight: the point has been alluded to by Bertram who tried to use Lisbon’s jealousy about Lorelei, and by Bosco who questioned her reasons to keep him on her team… Even Jane’s subconscious wondered at the fact that there had been nothing between them, both in his fugue state and through Charlotte. Nonetheless, Lisbon’s reaction is to deflect the question and her smile falters: she remarks “it’s a strange question, why would you ask me that?” She questions then the motivation behind this line of interrogation with the result of embarrassing Kim (“no reason… I just… never, never mind…”) The thing is that Kim might indeed find Jane endearing (the hair touching in the island held no necessity for her job): so did she ask that because she was just curious and wanted to find a way to get leverage on him? Or is she interested by him on another level? The more the two women talk, the more the subtext seems to take a personal aspect… It might explain Lisbon’s underlying caution around Kim: she realizes the agent is basically taking her former place in Jane’s life (hence the “welcome to my life”). Either way, she takes pleasure on showing off her knowledge of Jane’s antics when she declares « that’s Jane » in a sing-song voice when he finally reappears.

And Jane makes unknowingly a special effort to accredit the thesis that a personal bond is what kept him somewhat in line with Lisbon. He’s positively uncontrollable:

1) he writes a letter to Abbott. It’s an allusion to the fact that the agent found him because of his letters to Lisbon. And he handwrites “top secret” on it: it’s childish as is the yellow big “JANE” he paints on the street. Plus the –e ends with an arrow pointing to the place he would be sitting waiting for them to pick him up; that arrow reminds a bit of the tail of a devil in cartoon, a wink to his mischievous nature…

2) He goes against a direct order by eating his hotdog: by doing so he mocks Kim’s authority and her controlling tendencies. Funnily, Jane parodies what the agents are doing: he mock runs like Kim and Lisbon; he knows the FBI has access to satellite videos, so he writes his name on the ground; he makes fun of their obsession for secrecy with his “top secret” mention… He’s perfectly in control of the situation, unlike in the island.

Still, even if he shows that he can run anytime and that he’s actually free of his choices he’s also willing to prove that he wants to stay and that he can be useful. When Kim visits him in prison, he’s dismissive of her anger and tells that he’s ready to discuss the deal now. He’s proven his point, that they cannot get anything from him if he doesn’t want to. Kim seems ready to wash her hands of him: she says that next week he will be prosecuted for the murder of Thomas McAllister, among other charges: interestingly, RJ is named by his legal name, hinting that his reign has indeed come to an end. He died as a human not as an omnipotent shadow. Jane is playing with her, proving his superiority: he’s lying on the bed with his eyes closed, he asks them is they caught on the body yet and explains his reasoning by asking rhetorical questions. He knows he’s played his cards right and that Kim’s interest is picked, although she’s reluctant and really doesn’t get him. She’s afraid that he’s lying and that it’s his “idea of a joke”. For fear of getting ridiculed again, she goes check on his theory with her boss alone. As Abbott remarks, “if there’s something this job kills inside, it’s a sense of trust”…

VIS #4: Cho on the job

Meanwhile, Cho meets his probable future partner in the person of Jason Wiley, who managed to spot Jane’s yellow message and to localize the missing consultant. The younger agent’s nickname of Coyote, like the cartoonish “Will E.” Coyote, seems strangely fitting given that he caught on their own mischievous Road Runner. The guy comes across as a naïve geek, a mixing between the rookie technology-oriented Van Pelt and the funny Ribsby, who was also nicknamed in reference to a kid show (“Bert and Bernie” because of his friendship with Cho). His interaction with Cho is obviously meant to create a sense of a team, adding comic relief and fresh younger blood to the show.

Later, after actually finding the body, Kim turns to Cho to get advice on Jane, since she couldn’t get much from Lisbon. She explains the situation to her agent and that he made fools of them. A smiling Kimball adds that it won’t be the last time. He explains to his boss that she won’t get him under control: “Jane is what he is.” She needs to lean to use him to her advantage. This explains how practical Cho was able to work with Jane himself: he didn’t try to enforce his point of view on him, but rather adapted to his methods. He took whatever results the wayward consultant was able to provide them with while letting the consequences aside. He’s saying in a colder way what Lisbon has been repeating for years to defend his position in the team: « he closes cases»… At the same time, this logical reasoning occults the very real friendship Cho felt for Jane: he smiles when he sees him in the FBI and was the most vocal of the team when they barged in Abbott arresting him in ‘Red John’. It seems that Cho has a perfect understanding of the FBI: he keeps things close to his vest to give least opportunity to being questioned, while staying as straightforward as he used to be, particularly with his boss.

Interestingly the new team appears clearly for the same time when Jane steps out of the elevator back to Austin. Abbott is their supervising agent, who delivers the news that, whereas it appears Jane was right, the kidnappers actually asked for a ransom so the missing computer programmer isn’t hiding after committing a murder. Lisbon is the feminine presence asking the right logical questions (“what class of kidnapper uses snail mail”, reminding viewers that Jane’s letter to Abbott is one its way); Wiley comes with technical stuff (answering to Lisbon that “it’s smart, really, old school, not electronic or prints”…). Kim is the control-freak leader replacing Lisbon; indeed, Teresa is now to some extent emotionally involved with a team member while avoiding the topic, like Grace used to be, while Cho is his old self. Last, not least, Jane is useful but challenging –he insists in going back to Brooklyn right when he just arrived from there… The team dynamics are already visible.

VIS #5: Lisbon gives Jane a piece of her mind

On their way back to Brooklyn, Jane is sitting next to Lisbon in the plane, whereas Cho and Kim, the two actual FBI agents in charge of watching him are sitting farther and separately. Obviously Jane has chosen to sit here to be closer to Lisbon. This moment replaces the usual talks in the car they used to have before RJ’s demise. Indeed, when Jane asks her what is wrong, she accuses him of running away not just from the FBI but from her too. After defending himself (« but I ran back »), Jane is forced to reluctantly admit that he was not thinking about her. Lisbon is hurt because he treated her as is she was disposable… when he retorts that he made her one of his conditions, Lisbon tells him “that’s my point. What makes you think I want to work with you again?” Here lies part of the problem: as her reaction in front of Abbott at the end of ‘My Blue Heaven’ hinted at, she’s not happy that he didn’t think that she could in fact refuse the offer and choose the new lie she’s gotten herself. He selfishly took her for granted and tried to decide in her place what he thought was best for her, because it simply was what he wanted her to do. He did it for years and she didn’t really complain that he had “taken over her life” as Bret Stiles put it once. Now, she decides to give him a well-deserved reality check: « you were difficult and exhausting and maybe I don’t want to put the rest of my life on hold to be your sidekick»… It’s apparent that she has finally managed to weight down Jane’s influence in her life as well as she has questioned her role and her choices during those two lonely years she spent without him. During the decade she worked in the shadow of her brilliant consultant, she progressively lost all the consideration her bosses were supposed to have for her: se went from being the agent in charge helped by an unstable consultant under Minelli to being Jane’s disposable handler from Hightower’s point of view, since the woman at first threatened to make her take the brush of the golden boy’s misbehaviour. Then she was discarded by Bertram who tried to give her job to Haffner. Lastly, her opinions were ignored by Luther (particularly flagrant in ‘Ring Around the Rosie’) and Kirkland tried to use her to pry information about Jane. It seems that the closer she got to him and the more she started becoming a trusted partner instead of an authoritarian figure, the less others and particularly her bosses considered her as a capable agent instead of Jane’s assistant… hence her being demoted when Jane’s position in the CBI went down with the agency. It’s telling for instance that Kim told her that Jane uncovered the Blake association, whereas she had been working with him all he time: the had been here at every step of the last part of the RJ investigation, she talked about the list with Jane and she wasn’t present for the showdown only because Jane managed to sneak alone twice – once from her, the second time from Abbott. The man saw that they formed a team but, even so, the FBI consider that Jane is the only valuable asset. Deep down the whole thing must seem really unfair for Lisbon. To some point, it seems that she feels she can only considered for herself out of his influence.

Here then Lisbon gets off her chest part of her resentment directed at him: she’s at least a little bit angry to have been left behind in Brooklyn as an echo of her sorrow when he left after murdering McAllister. Back then, she suffered but she managed to go on with her life to some extent and Jane’s selfishness must feel like he despises what she has built: “you think you know what is best for my life, but you weren’t part of my life for two years. Let’s get this case wrapped so I can go home.” It’s contradictory to some extent because actually Jane at least tried to still be a part of her life by writing to her –she certainly was a big part of his, given that he seemed to think about her a lot – and she never stopped reading those letters and keeping his seashell close to her. Conclusion: she was hurt when she feared he might have left her behind again and she tries to hurt him too to some extent by forcing him to face reality. Thus, what she said to Kim is true: she really has no idea of the extent of Jane’s affection and of his reasons for making her the very first of his demands. His reaction is pretty emotional: he’s affected, saddened and ashamed by her reproaches; this is enhanced by the detail that he’s slapped by the wife immediately afterwards… his “defiance” literally slapped him in the face. Yet, Lisbon keeps sending mixed signals: when Kim asks how she came up with a clever theory, she puffs her chest and says “I’m a police chief’… before amending “I’ve got a lot of reading time on my hands” when the others just stare at her. She tries to take pride in her status, but she’s bored out of her mind with her job and she still tries to impress the others.

VIS #6 and #7: Jane gets what he wants

After solving the case in which he showed that appearances can be tricky, Jane meets again with Abbott who is impressed by his work. He implicitly offers him a position in his team, telling him that he has a sharp mind and that he «can see this arrangement working on a permanent basis». Jane is oddly complacent, adding: “I can see working with you in the future, but only on my terms and you know that”. It’s a battle of wills which resumes the talk they had in ‘My Blue Heaven’, only calmer because each of them is sure that he has better cards in his hand. Abbott stresses out that he’s on the side of the law: there is no deal, “we are offering you a career, a clean slate and a chance to make a difference”. When Jane playfully relents, Abbott shows his hand a little more: “I’m sure some people find this side of you endearing. But I’m not one of them”… this reminds viewers that Abbott is the first of his bosses after Minelli who is not fawning over Jane. He doesn’t trust him: truth be told, he represents the law and has been a threat for Jane’s team since his very first appearance. He’s the first serious adversary Jane got in his life post-RJ and this transition has been enlightened in the island after the date with Kim. As Reviewbrain pointed out, she reminded very much of Lorelei, who was sent by RJ like Fischer was sent by Abbott to convince Jane to join forces with him too… Until they find an arrangement which would get Jane a legal status again and a chance to build a new life –one that goes somewhere at least-, Abbott is the enemy who trapped Jane again: he’s the one now standing between him and his chance to fully move on.

Jane has also learnt his lesson concerning Teresa: he asks Abbott for a job offer for her. She wouldn’t just be “dragged here” to please him like she put it earlier, but she would get a real job, with career perspectives and a form of acknowledgement of her own merits. Yet, Jane is still trying to recreate his nest: like his room in Venezuela reminded of the attic (large window giving him a great view near his desk; narrow bed), here he asks for what made his daily routine at the CBI and that he had to lose and/or leave when Abbott closed it off. A couch, tea and Lisbon, to get a sense of home: “I need a couch because everything is cold and hard around here”…
When Abbott flat out refuses and says that he’ll be following his murder trial on TV, Jane uses the same tactics as with Kim: he feigns letting him the advantage, before forcing him to come back to negotiate. Some moments before, the detail that the kidnapper had a tattoo on his arm symbolizing that he belonged to the BTK street gang reminded indirectly of the three-dotted tattooed men of the Blake organization. And the list of its members is precisely what Jane mailed to Abbott when he was out of sight of the FBI. The agent runs after him and catches him outside of the building. To say that Abbott is destabilized is an understatement: he asks him where he did get the list, to which Jane answers that it came from Bertram’s hideout (in ‘The Great Red Dragon’). Jane presses home its advantage, insisting that he knows the other man arrested most of the members mentioned on the list, but that a few of them whom he couldn’t identify are still free. Their names are blackened on the list, but Jane says that they’re “big names, all of them » and threatens to leak the list to the press. Devilish Jane has “the power to create misery”, stressing out the word “power”. And when Abbott relents and accepts his terms, Jane demands that they are written on the contract: “if I gave you the names, you’ll break the contract. You’ve already did it once”. He’ll only give him the names only afterwards. Jane is now able to dictate his conditions and did it in a way that would have Abbott at his mercy: he’ll get what he wants and his boss will know that he cannot use anything against him. Jane’s definitely won the power play.

The second of Jane’s victory comes from Lisbon: after the professional success, Jane gets to win on the personal board too. Lisbon is giddy about Jane bringing the FBI to its knees. It’s a very intimate moment: they’re both happy and she’s familiarly sitting on the bed he’s lying onto. He then sits up to get even closer to her while they’re beaming at each other. And there’s a great deal of trust: when she asks him how he did it, he answers truthfully and let her on the trick he uses with Abbott –he doesn’t know the names of the corrupted cops, he just lied. Lisbon is “impressed” and understands his reasons for escaping were “to create a bogus list with the names”. There’s no doubt she’ll help him to figure them out: the two partners are about to get involved in a new secret investigation once again. Indeed, Lisbon admits that she’s accepted the job offer from Abbott, not because the idea came from Jane but because she wanted to: “it’s my life and I decide what to do with it”. And to seal their deal, she has brought him a gift: a pair of thick woollen beige marled socks.

Image by Chizuruchibi. Copyright Reviewbrain January, 2014. Not to be used without permission.

Image by Chizuruchibi. Copyright Reviewbrain January, 2014. Not to be used without permission.

Jane’s bare ankles have been shown at least twice during the episode and in the previous one Cho asked him where his socks were, so this useful gift fits sensible Lisbon. Plus, it’s at the same time a way to tease him (they’re “hand made in Washington”. Not to mention not exactly his usual classic socks) and a mean to symbolize that he can now get his normalcy in a –literally- warmer environment (Jane commented that the FBI was “cold” which is why he wanted a homey couch). And Jane is unusually touched and pleased by her present: it’s the kind of slightly absurd yet meaningful gift he would enjoy (he gave her a pony and a couch after all), besides it proves that she thought of his wellbeing. She’s affectionate and happy, so she didn’t accept the job only because she was bored… Lastly, the setting is so intimate, really, that it seems like the writers are again teasing the shippers: the mood is so warm that the two of them could have ended up kissing without breaking the atmosphere….

Honorable mentions

Daniel Cerone did a good job in reinventing the investigating line of the show: he storyline and Jane’s stunts felt familiar, yet the whole thing had a refreshing flavour and a sense of novelty. As always, the cast was great and the new additions fit in rather smoothly. Special kudos to Blake Neely for coming up with two new playful credits in a row! :)

Pet Peeves

- Cutting a body to pieces must have resulted in a lot of blood, not just rather clean hands and legs like those showed onscreen…

- The sight of Brooklyn from the roof was a little too obviously a photo pasted on a blue screen. I found it so distracting I almost couldn’t concentrate on the dialogue…

- Is that me, or is the new list of former Blake associates a bit confusing? I mean, did Jane make it out from scratch as Lisbon implied? Did Van Pelt manage to decipher part of Bertram’s list two years before and did Jane use it from creating a fake list? Or did he take it from Abbott’s hotel room in the island with the help of his young friend who whispered something in his ear before he left? Honestly, that should have been explained a little better in my humble opinion…

- Last point which isn’t really a pet peeve but more a personal slight disappointment: it was great that Lisbon got to finally stand for herself a bit in front of Jane, but wouldn’t it have been deeper if she also expressed at the same time what she felt about the murder Jane committed? I so hope this point will be cleared out later in some way. Even some “I forgive you” or “I don’t really mind” would be fine…

Conclusion

This was definitely a transitory episode on more ways than one: firstly, the former obsession theme is indirectly addressed since, while adjusting to his new position, Jane is using RJ’s network to get back in a reasonably close substitute of the best parts of his old life. I don’t know if it was a deliberate subtext or just a coincidence, but it’s interesting that Lisbon defined his reasons for refusing Abbott’s deal as stemming from his “pride”. Indeed, Jane spent the episode undermining his and Kim’s authority, as a payback for their stunt in the island, while proving that he’s still cleverer than them. This pride used to be at the basis of his relation with RJ: Jane’s ego drove him to show off on TV and McAllister’s need for admiration motivated him to punish the fake psychic then to play with him afterwards; in the church, this theme was again subjacent and Jane twisted it by showing humility while RJ’s ego knew no bounds. Now, Jane still wants to be recognized as the smartest in the room, yet the difference in his situation is very telling: it’s necessary for him to get considered as an asset to get his autonomy back. This time, his motivation is no longer obsession, but freedom. He’s come a long way. And the fact that he’s starting a new page in life is emphasized by the name of the supposed victim: Abel Scheiderman is involved in the first murder case after Jane left his ‘Blue Heaven’, (as the victim, then as the murderer), like the Biblical Abel was the first murder victim after Adam and Eve were chased from the garden of Eden. It’s definitely a new beginning.

But the change that is more prominently featured concerns Lisbon: there’s a more visible affection and a new openness between them as each answers very easily the other’s questions, which leads to some disagreements from Lisbon. In a way, it reminds of Reviewbrain’s analysis of ‘Jane/Lisbon’s Moments’: for years, Jane has been trying to get closer, while she tried to keep him at arms lengths. Back then, she was the agent in charge and he was a kind of pet who accepted to let her tame him little by little. Also, as a paradox, he was the one giving her occasional marks of his affection (giving her a couch and sleeping on it, buying her red delicious apples; sharing an ice cream with her and tea after Luther insulted him; playing with her with the wooden box and at poker). Here, there’s the first time Teresa actually offered him something; plus she was sitting very close to him. It is certainly not alluded to in this scene, but the first time she sat with him like that was in ‘Ball of Fire’ when she thought he was lost to her: that time marked a shifting in their relationship too. Nevertheless, Jane was the one who kept sending her mixed signals at the same time… Now, it seems that Lisbon has taken over this particular role.

1) Professionally, she insisted on what she wanted from life: a home and her job at Washington where she existed without being catalogued as his sidekick. She wants to be considered ad valorized for herself, not her ability to work with her former wayward consultant. She admitted to Fischer that she had thought back about her old CBI life and about her work relation with him. She accepted becoming his colleague again only after receiving a proper job offer. And she let Jane know only after let her in the confidence… It’s an interesting new side of Lisbon; she doesn’t just go with the flow like she used to, we can now feel a backbone resisting to Jane’s overwhelming influence. Before, she started as a control freak with little to no private life, then she let this controlling and secretive man take over her life, which lead her to lose everything and to build back a life from scrap away from him. Even though this new life seemed to have involved a lot of thinking about the past, she certainly also enjoyed the freedom it gave her. It was time she needed to get back some measure of control against Jane…

2) She also tried to distance herself from him to same extent on a more personal level. Her reluctance showed when she visited him unwillingly and Jane later remarked that she told she wasn’t interested in the case. The shifting is again noticeable here: before, she refused to let him corner her on certain private topics because it was inappropriate (like in ‘Red Velvet Cupcakes’); now, we can sense a measure of wariness in her behaviour towards him. In a way, she has lost part of her trust in him: the familiarity and caring are still here, but she couldn’t tell if he wanted to run away or to run back. She probably isn’t really aware of why he came back to the States, only that he was lured by Kim and the promise of a deal; she certainly doesn’t realize how lonely he was or how much he really missed her. Thus she sees him again as controlling, but she may not discern that he’s needier towards her right now than dismissive and manipulative. She needs time to rebuilt her trust in him as well as her self-confidence: he’s left her too many times – Vegas; the sunset scene that Jane apologized for in his last letter; after killing McAllister he wasn’t here for two years… each time, she had no guaranty that she would see him ever again. Is that really surprising that she’s wary to let him in again? It’s only self-preservation. Even though she’s genuinely happy to get him back, she’s still in an emotional limbo, like Jane was before he took the plunge and decided he wanted to get back. She’s emotionally involved but doesn’t want to touch the subject, either with Fischer or with Jane himself. For instance, she never actually asked him why he wanted her to work with him, she only reproached him to decide for her. Like when she met him again in ‘My Blue Heaven’, she formally thanked him for letting her know that he was alright and she only admitted to have missed him after he did. So, it’s plausible that she distanced herself because she didn’t actually now how to deal with her emotions or what she wants deep down: they need to redefine their relation and, given her mixed signals, the ball may be in his court. In the meantime, she might keep refusing to build her life on him again… this emotional issue will certainly be explored further soon and probably in a not so straightforward manner. They’re both stubborn individuals and Don’t-Do-Personal Lisbon seems to be back for at least a little while…

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