CBI Agents are called to an abandoned light bulb factory, in Sacramento’s Industrial District. A body was discovered in an enclosed box, with scratches on the cover suggesting the victim was buried alive. Meanwhile, it has been nine years since consultant Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) lost his family. Their murderer Red John commemorates the event by leaving a “Happy Anniversary” card for Jane to find on his car before he goes to work. When Jane visits his families graves, he finds another message for him from Red John, given via a little girl “Do you give up yet?”
Concise Verdict: Wow. Seriously wow. I could rave on and on about what an awesome episode this was. But as words fail me I’m going to leave that up to commenters this time and focus mainly on the analysis. 10/10 ‘Nuff said.
Detailed AKA Humungous Review (spoilers galore)
So, yeah. That was quite an episode. It raised a lot of questions but I’ll mainly be focusing on trying to answer the following one: Were Jane’s actions here part of a long con or a result of the events within? Or were they both?
There were a lot of great details here and I tried to be as inclusive as possible.
Note: I purposely skipped on analyzing the title cause it might be deemed spoiler-ish for the next episode. Will talk about it then, I promise.
Teaser-Graveyard Scene: Jane, Lisbon, and Luther
Lisbon (Robin Tunney) starts the episode impatiently wanting Jane to hurry and join her at the crime scene. RJ’s card derails him and he goes to the cemetery instead where he encounters the child Haley who gives him RJ’s message. Lisbon then arrives at the scene (obviously Jane called her) where CBI head Luther Wainwright (Micheal Rady) says that it’s the anniversary of Jane’s family’s death. Lisbon tells him “I know, nine years”.
-Lisbon obviously was the one to call Wainwright, as I doubt Jane would bother. His arrival before her is probably due to him being closer to the location (Lisbon was at a crime scene elsewhere). Now I think Lisbon’s knowledge coupled with her impatience for Jane to join her hints that she already knew about the anniversary and had been worried about Jane. It’s nice to think of her wanting to look out for him by distracting him via a case.
Unfortunately we don’t get to see Jane and CBI Head Luther Wainwright’s interaction when the latter first arrives at the scene. That would have been interesting and I suspect a revealing scene; probably why it was omitted.
Luther tells Lisbon“Apparently Red John, or someone pretending him lured the girl from a class field trip.”
-I found the fact that Luther is leaving room for the possibility that RJ wasn’t the perp here very interesting. I wonder if he truly believes that or if he’s just being open for all interpretations. And what may those other interpretations be? That there is an RJ copycat, RJ is dead (like Jane insisted)? Or that RJ is alive, but he’d sent one of his lackeys? Does Wainwright believe Jane, that RJ is dead, or does he believe FBI Agent Darcy( Cheap Burgundy), that he’s not. A later scene explains this more. But for now…
Lisbon and Luther find out that Jane brainwashed Haley (the little girl who saw RJ) into forgetting her encounter with the man. Wainwright asks Jane why he’d do that when the girl can identify the serial killer. Jane recites the description he got from the girl: “he’s white, he wore a baseball cap, he had an odd voice.”
-Unfortunately, there’s nothing new here. We already know all of this.
Luther then points out that she might remember more if she were questioned properly, that Jane cost them an important witness. Jane defends “People who can identify Red John end up dead.”
-One can only applaud Jane for fearing for the little girl’s life. I do think, however, that if RJ wanted to harm her he would have already. He could have just killed her then left her body with a note attached for Jane to find. Also, Jane truly wasted a precious opportunity here. He should have hypnotized the girl (with her mom’s permission, of course) to get more information out of her, in the presence of a sketch artist. But it seems like, for once, Jane has decided to err on the side of safety, something I’ve been wishing for since the start of the show, so I’d be a hypocrite if I complained now. Grr..
Luther starts saying that he understands why Jane would be protective, but Jane interrupts to threaten that he’ll hurt Luther badly if he questions Haley or even tries to talk to her. Luther asks Lisbon in disbelief if Jane really just threatens him. She doesn’t answer and takes off after the consultant.
-Jane’s reaction here makes his pain and terror obvious. He fears that an innocent little girl might be harmed by RJ. Again, I don’t think he needed to go to the extreme of hypnotizing her, but, again, I totally understand where he’s coming from. As to Luther, come on man, can’t you recognize an empty threat made out of anger when you see one? Jeez…
At least Lisbon does. She follows Jane and tries to talk him down. She tells him he doesn’t need to apologize to Luther (bless her, she knows a lost cause when she sees one) but adds that Wainwright is right, that they should interview the girl properly. She then tells Jane that RJ is messing with his head and warns “Don’t let him.” She then asks Jane if he’s all right. Jane tells her “I appreciate your concern,” adding “Your phone is ringing,” and takes off while she’s distracted the better to avoid her concern.
-Jane’s little avoidance tactic here is repeated throughout the entire episode. If only he’d taken one of Lisbon’s attempts then the blow up at the end probably wouldn’t have happened But more on that later…
Dazed Jane at CBI/goes to victim’s workplace with Lisbon
At CBI, Jane drinks his tea in a daze, not really listening to Lisbon and the team as they discuss the case. She notices this, and brings him out of his reverie to go talk to the victim’s boss and co-workers. There, Jane makes a mistake regarding the dynamics of the victim’s acquaintances.
-Jane’s face here when it turned out he was wrong was full of confusion (which he didn’t quite succeed in hiding). Seeing the normally confident Jane miss one so badly was quite sad and disturbing.
Lisbon feels so too as she asks Jane what’s going on when they leave. Jane says “nothing” before admitting to being a little “out of sorts” but that it’s nothing serious. Lisbon then asks if he wants something to eat. Jane declines, and says he’s taking the rest of the day off.
-Oh bittersweet irony. I never thought I’d see the day when Lisbon is the one asking about food and Jane is the one who turns it down.
Lisbon is disappointed that she didn’t get Jane to have lunch with her (where I don’t doubt she would have attempted to draw him into a healthy conversation). She gazes at his departing figure worry written all over her face.
Jane/Alone in the Restaurant
Patrick goes to a restaurant where he is greeted by name and told that his order will be up shortly. A waiter comes over to his table and serves Jane what appear to be a type of vegetable (carrot?) juice. He does this consecutively until Jane has had a little from three separate glasses.
-The waitress knowing Jane, the fact that Patrick didn’t need to place his order, and that it was brought to him almost immediately hints that his presence was expected. It might be that Jane’s visit to this place was a ritual he’d practiced for years now, possibly every year on the anniversary of his family’s death. Hear that sound? It’s not glass, but my old heart breaking.
As to the drinks, one can only guess at Jane’s choice. Personally, I think the juice was a poor substitute for Jane sharing a meal with his family. And as I doubt he can put away three meals, three drinks it is. Or he might have had three orders, but only ate some of each like how he didn’t finish the three juices.
Jane Burns his RJ Files
The next scene has him back at the CBI at night. He goes up to his perch in the CBI attic with what seems to be a bottle of whiskey and matches. Jane pulls out a box from under his makeshift bed full of files on Red John.
-In the previous review I stated that Jane hasn’t been investigating RJ based on the fact that we don’t ever see him in his attic anymore, and on the fact that it seems he is unaware of CBI official files on RJ had been handed over to the FBI Agent Susan Darcy. The fact that Jane has his own copies explains why he may be unaware that the RJ files are no longer at CBI; he doesn’t need to study them as he has his own. It also raises the possibility that Jane might have been, in fact, still investigating RJ, only off-screen.
Jane pulls a file out from the box, with the label of James Panzer. Inside the file, there is a line which states “Subject is a victim of Red John serial killer.”
-So Panzer’s death has been officially attributed to Red John. I’m assuming after Jane admitted to Darcy that RJ is alive (Cheap Burgundy) she wrapped up her investigation (into Panzer’s murder) and forwarded the results to the CBI, putting the fact that RJ is still alive on the record. This explains Luther’s lack of surprise by RJ being back at the beginning of the episode. But RJ’s known existence also has deeper implications for Jane…
Jane burns his files on RJ, hastening the process with the whiskey he brought with him, but drinking up most of it.
-….I think the sight of the little girl with a smiley on her hand pushed Jane to finally, ultimately, give up on RJ, not wanting to lose any more victims to the man. Jane says just as much in the next scene…
Lisbon’s office: Jane/Lisbon/Luther:
The next scene (the next day) shows Jane sleeping on the couch in Lisbon’s office. Wainwright and Lisbon stand outside her office where the boss tells her that security says Jane’s fire could have burned the building down.
- Could it be that the fire spread to the rest of the attic and that’s why Jane spent the night in his couch in Lisbon’s office instead of in his perch? I don’t thinks so. There would have been soot on Jane’s clothes (there isn’t any) and Luther would have probably made a bigger fuss. Most likely, the fire set off the building’s fire alarm system and had security come running. As to Jane being on Lisbon’s couch, it hints at two things: a.) he really is over RJ, otherwise he probably would have slept in the attic. b.) Jane feels safe in Lisbon’s office, or he probably would have slept in his comfy brown couch in the bullpen. It was either privacy he wanted, or being in his best friend’s comfort zone that motivated this decision.
Say it with me: aw!
Luther tells Lisbon he could suspend Jane, but that he thinks his actions are a cry for help. He just needs to know what the issue is.
-You mean, other than the 9th anniversary of his family’s death and the note RJ left him? Honestly, Luther…To be fair, Lisbon concurs, saying “me too”, meaning she’s also confused on what’s happening with him. This is where I had to remind myself that Lisbon’s probably been around Jane on more than one sad anniversary, and that he’s also been teased by RJ before, so she probably thinks that he would have gotten used to it by now. Also, that Luther and Lisbon are just tv characters, so they can’t read my reviews, otherwise, they’d know that Jane has probably long since decided to give up on RJ (Blood and Sand) and is now coming to terms with doing so officially.
Lisbon asks Wainwright to let her do the talking. They both enter her office and she wakes Jane up, asking him what’s going on, why he burnt his RJ files.
Jane tells her that he’s hung over, but at her prodding says that RJ is right, it’s time to give up. “Nothing’s working. Nothing. It’s just a game and he keeps winning. The only way to stop him is if I stop playing.”
-Jane’s conclusion here is remarkably reasonable…which makes me doubt if he’s being sincere XD. Another reason is that right before Jane talks, he glances at Wainwright. He is aware of the younger man’s presence and watchful gaze. So it could be that Jane’s words were being said for Wainwright’s benefit. But who knows why. He could have done so to save himself from getting a lecture from Luther on safety, or because he thinks Luther is an RJ agent and wants him to deliver the message that he’d given up to his boss. I think both are legit possibilities.
-Personally though, I think Jane was being completely sincere, here. He just seemed very downtrodden. He seemed to barely be able to get his words out, perhaps because of Luther’s presence; he didn’t want to admit that he’s given up, moving on because he can’t win in front of his boss. I think that’s the most likely case, especially when you factor in the little swallow, bile, Jane has to trample down right before he says that he’s moved on.
-But there’s simply no way to know for sure. Seriously, Baker was phenomenal here. You can just see the despair wafting from him. If Jane was acting, he deserves an Oscar for his performance. This reminds me of the scene where Jane kisses Erica in her hotel room, and the absolutely traumatized look he had on afterwards. Act or sincere emotions? I doubt we’ll ever find out…
Lisbon seemed to believe him anyway…
She tells him “That it’s a big change, Jane,” to which he responds “Well change is good, isn’t it?”
-Teresa’s concerned reaction at the bomb Jane dropped is very realistic. It’s also foreshadowing. The man had been practically living for revenge all these years. It doesn’t seem like he’ll be able to give that up easily…that much becomes apparent by the end of this episode…
Lisbon then demands to know if it means that Jane is leaving the CBI. Jane quickly replies “No, of course not. What will I do for amusement?”
-I love this. Lisbon is so used to Jane’s presence that she immediately needs to know if he plans on leaving. I’m willing to bet that she was freaking out internally. Just like I’m willing to bet that Jane knows she was, which is why he immediately reassured her that he’s staying put.
Jane Questions Marcy, the Victim’s Fiancée
I felt this scene to be very important because, one again, a comparison seemed to be made between the victim and Jane. See the following quotes:
“He was a great soul. He was wise and kind.” “He had a strong sense of morality. He believed in right and wrong and would tell you which was which. I loved him for that, but not everyone did.”
-Sound like anyone we know?
Jane tells Lisbon that he’s feeling woozy and so he’ll move things along. He verbally attacks Marcy, asking: “What are you guilty about? The tears, all the talk of how great he is, he’s been gone a year, and you’ve been behaving like he disappeared this morning. That’s guilt.”
- Says the man who’s still grieving for his family nine years after their deaths. Although, I guess he could be speaking from personal experience here. Jane’s guilt for his family’s death is no doubt part of the reason for his grief. His next statement reveals more…
“Were you cheating on him? Not while he was alive, but now, yes. That’s it. You’ve been sleeping around on the sainted dead fiancée.”
-Again, I suspect this might reflect Jane’s own situation. His vocabulary, the word “cheating” suggests that he equates starting a new relationship, moving on from his dead wife, as cheating on her. But then he contradicts himself…
When Marcy says, “It’s complicated.” Jane tells her “It’s simple. You’ve moved on. It happens. You just don’t want to admit it because you think it looks bad.”
-More projection? Mind you, I don’t think Jane cares much about what others think, but I do think he doesn’t want to look bad to himself; fail his own standards, as it is. The fact that he’s remained single all these years hints that he feels compelled to remain grieving until he finds his family’s killer. But if that were true, then his giving up now has serious implications. To show RJ that he’s truly moved on, Jane needs to be willing to enter in a new relationship.
Jane Loses it
Just in case Marcy’s description of her fiancée wasn’t enough to depict how similar he is to Jane, the scene where Jane catches the Marx, the perp, is.
Jane tell him that he is: “Viscous and heartless. You gave Castro the most terrifying death possible. You’re evil.”
Jane then goes on to hit the man on the head with a shovel, and keep him locked in a coffin in a graveyard, until he confesses to his crime. He keeps him overnight and next morning calls Lisbon to where he’s at and tells her what he’d done. Lisbon is understandably shocked at his actions and begs him to tell him where Marx is buried. Jane only does so after the killer confesses his crime, through the baby monitor Jane kept with him in the coffin.
When Wainwright finds out, he blows a mild gasket, telling Jane that he tortured the man and that the case will never hold up in court because the confession was obtained via torture. Jane’s answer is a bland “let the lawyers sort it out”. Lisbon tries to diffuse the situation telling Wainwright that accountants found financial evidence that Marx stole the firm’s money and that the DA will charge him with theft and security fraud, and that Lisbon will try to build a murder case from that as well to show his motive for killing the victim.
Luther doesn’t care. He tells Jane SAC PD wants to arrest him, elaborating: “You tortured the guy, for Christ sakes. Jane, you tortured him. Do you have any notion how that makes the CBI looks?”
Jane answers: “I gave an evil psychopath justice.”
Good old verbose Grace stands up for Jane but politically correct Cho and Rigsby keep their mouths shut.
Lisbon tries to get Jane to understand that what he did was wrong, no doubt, again, in an attempt to diffuse the situation. But Jane won’t have any of it: “Yes, of course I did, I crossed the line. I had to, to get Marx. It was the only way to get Marx.” He brushes off Lisbon’s comment that he’s been under a lot of stress and continues to unapologetically defend his actions. When Lisbon finally tells him that maybe he needs a break, Luther pounces on the idea and suspends Jane. He tells him he’ll have a hearing in 30 days to review whether he’ll remain at CBI. Luther goes further to tell Jane that he’ll personally ask that Jane’s services be no longer retained, adding “I understand that you are under some distress, Jane, but you shamed us today. And I’m not gonna let that happen again.”
-Boom! Remember when I said that I don’t think Jane cares much about what other people think? This is an example of an instant where he obviously does care. You can just see Luther’s words cutting him to the very core, and his breathing became increasingly shallow here.
Unfortunately, Jane’s always been vindictive (unless he feels he got what he deserved) and he retaliates at Wainwright by digging for himself an even bigger hole. Like Luther shamed Jane, Jane utterly humiliates him by calling him a baby and a momma’s boy. He doesn’t stop even when Lisbon tells him to and points to his mouth, saying Luther still has her milk on his face.
Here Luther blows a major gasket, he goes crazy and tries to attack Jane and has to be held off by Rigsby and Cho. When he calms down, Jane continues the humiliation by wiping off the corner of his mouth. Luther tells him, he’s not suspended, he’s fired and tells him to get out.
-Damn. I don’t care what anyone says. Until I see proof of a long con, Jane here was acting completely on impulse, the stress of RJ coupled with the shame he felt at Luther suspending him causing him to lose his head and cause himself to get fired.
Lisbon obviously thinks so as well. She tells Jane not do anything rash, adding “We can work this out, we’ll fix it.”
Jane tells her, “I doubt that.”
Lisbon: “I’ll come by your place tonight, we’ll talk it out, okay?” and asks him to let her help him.
Jane’s reply? “You’re sweet.”
Yes she is. Also, Jane is an idiot.
But he’s been through a lot and we can’t help but love him.
The winner: End scene. Need I explain why? Everyone was fantastic here. Lisbon worried, trying to stop the impending explosion, Grace’s utter shock when it happens, Lisbon’s helpless expression, Rigsby and Cho watching the scene in despair, the music (god, the music!!). Baker, Tunney, Rady, Righetti, Kang, Yeoman, Blake, everyone was in top form here.
1st runner up: The team discusses Jane. Rigsby asks Cho and Grace if they know that Jane told Lisbon he was giving up on RJ. They concur and Cho says it’s hard to believe.
-I love this because it makes me imagine that mommy Lisbon talked to her kids one by one and asked them to take it easy on their older brother, he’s going through a hard time.
Then, Grace asks Cho and Rigsby if they think Jane is cracking up. They’re quick to reassure her no, their concern written all over their faces.
2nd runner up: Jane drinks his three meals alone. This was such a heartbreaking scene.
“Jane seem off to you?” -Grace
“Always.”-Cho, in response to the above.
So, were Jane’s actions here part of a long con or a result of the events within? Or were they both?
I guess it depends on whether you believe him when he says he’s given up the chase. Also might depend on who fans think is smarter: Jane or RJ.
If we think about it from the beginning, RJ was what set this entire episode in motion. After finding the card from RJ on his car, Jane visits his family’s graves; this despite Lisbon’s call earlier to hurry and meet her at a crime scene.
-Now Red John had obviously placed the card on Jane’s car, knowing Patrick would feel compelled to visit his family graves. The question here is, had Jane, likewise, read RJ’s mind, sort to speak, and known the killer had another message to give him, hence his going to the graveyard? Or had he simply gone there to brood?
Then we have Jane’s blow-out with Luther at the end.
Here’s the thing: Jane has a pattern of acting out outrageously after RJ slips from his hand. In Season two’s premiere, Redemption, Minelli tells him “Ever since the Tanner incident, you’ve been going way too hot.” To recap, that was after he shot an important RJ lead to save Lisbon’s life. Then there was Jane insufferably acting out most of season three after his run in with RJ in the Season two finale.
In this season, however, Jane shooting Carter seemed to have lifted a huge weight off his shoulders. With the world thinking that RJ was dead, Jane seemed to be content to move on with his life. He even placed a flower in the ocean, as a message to his family. At the time I stated that it was a symbol that he wants to get over their deaths and his revenge, and that was why Jane refused to admit RJ was still alive. Another reason, undoubtedly was letting RJ retire, kept him from killing again.
But it seemed RJ’s shadow, Jane’s failure to catch him, continued to haunt him. In Blinking Red Light, Jane felt compelled to catch Panzer at all costs. It was almost as if he couldn’t bear to let another killer walk free. So he brought RJ back from the dead to kill Panzer.
But, again, Jane then tried to go back to the new status quo; public knowledge being that RJ was dead.
Darcy’s investigation made that impossible. So in this episode, Jane had to admit to himself, and the world, that he can’t catch RJ and that he’s officially moved on.
But his failure continues to haunt him. Once again, Jane runs into an evil killer whom he can’t bear to not catch, and goes to evermore needlessly extreme methods to do so.
I say needlessly because I believe the accountants would have eventually figured out what was going on, as they did here, and Lisbon and co. would have gotten a warrant to search Marx house and probably found the keychain that belonged to the victim.
Despite Jane’s statement “what’s the point if you don’t catch the bad guys” that wasn’t what he was after. What he was after was revenge, he said it himself. He wanted to give Marx a taste of his own medicine. Unfortunately, that’s not how society works.
It appears that the title of the previous episode, “Farewell and Thanks for All the Red Snapper” was actually foreshadowing for the events of this episode, Cho and Summer’s break up was just a decoy. Like their doomed relationship, Jane’s time at CBI, his friendship with Lisbon seems to be impossible. He’s a man with his own code of ethics and he’s been increasingly unable to restrain himself from them in favor of the CBI’s, and his country’s laws. And no matter how much Lisbon’s been bending the rules for him, she knows better than to out rightly flaunt them, even the ones she disagrees with. They’ve been able to work together for eight years, but seem to now be at an impasse.
As to Luther, he lacks the experience and the emotional capacity to comprehend all that Jane is going through. No one can blame him for loosing his cool, but it’s so tragic that, had Lisbon’s boss been Minelli or Hightower, this situation probably would never have occurred. Even LaRoche recognized how damaged Jane was and said just as much when Jane threatened him.
Now what? No idea. Can’t wait to see the finale. Thank god the show’s been renewed or I’d be a whole lotta worried.
Meanwhile, here’s an awesome Mentalist video that might depress you (totally worth it though).
And here’s the episode’s fantastic art by Chizuru-chibi to make up for it ;)
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