Agent Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney) and her team are checking out a body dumped at a salvage yard. When consultant Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) frees the keepers dog, he uncovers a second body. FBI decision science consultant Dr. Montague (Linda Park) is brought on to help with the case. Using her statistical analysis program, she concludes that the perpetrator is serial killer called Caveman. He bludgeons his victims who are females, brunettes and are strangers to each other, always one week apart. This matches the current case. Lisbon points out that the caveman also sends the police messages in rhyme, which hasn’t happened yet. Montague states that he will. Jane disagrees that it’s the work of the caveman, saying that the two women knew each other. His evidence is the fact that they’re wearing similar knitted acessories. Montague sticks to her theory and she and Jane make a wager on who’ll end up being right. When a message does arrive at CBI from the caveman, it seems that Jane has lost.
This episode was like a breath of fresh air. It was light, interesting, fun, and had continuity. There’s also playful Jane/Lisbon banter; a vital ingredient to any episode. But it missed a couple opportunities (discussed further below) so I’m giving it 9/10.
Detailed (aka humongous) Review (spoilers galore):
Writer Erika Green Swafford seems to have succeeded in reclaiming the balance I have been pining for that was in the first two seasons and sorely missed in season three.
In this episode, Jane comes up with a clever ruse that isn’t obvious to the viewers until he explains it to Lisbon. I’m starting to really appreciate what a difficult feat this is for writers to accomplish. Like Lisbon, viewers know Jane quite well now, so it’s not as easy to pull one off on them. It’s harder still to do so as smoothly as was done in this episode: Jane sent the letters pretending to be the Caveman so that a public announcement will be made misleading the real killers. He then plays on their fear of the killer to get them to confess.
Cho pretending to be the caveman is the icing on the cake. It was a beautifully executed plan.
Jane even takes it upon himself to minimize the damage his ruse caused; he apologizes to Montague for misleading her. The doctor is more than gracious: “it was bracing to have ones operating principles challenged so robustly.”
It was fun seeing Montague interact with Jane; each found the other’s approach to crime solving to be alien. Linda Park did a great job with the character. Montague comes off as amusingly quirky rather than a boring scientist. She justifies both Jane and Rigsby’s liking her character, though Rigsby’s interest is more romantically inclined. Which brings me to the first missed opportunity.
Why, oh why, couldn’t Ms. Swafford have let Rigsby move on from his break up with Van Pelt?
Jane sets up the agent on a date with Montague, which both clearly enjoyed. But when Rigsby asks her for another, she declines saying that statistically, they only have a 20% shot at succeeding as a couple because he’s clearly in love with someone else.
Now, it’s been established in the episode that Jane is the people person and Montague is the one who works with numbers. So how could she have known that Rigsby is in love with someone else? I doubt it would have come up in conversation on their date; although Wayne does seem like the kind who wears his heart on his sleeve. I guess he could have told her. But honestly, unless writers are planning on getting Rigsby and Van Pelt back together (which so far seems unlikely) then this was such a wasted opportunity. Rigsby clearly liked Montague. She could have just as easily liked him.
Alas, it was not to be. Montague seems to have gotten a little crush on Jane; almost asks him out too but stops herself. One can only imagine she did the math in her head and realized that a man who wore his wedding ring 7+ years after his family was brutally murdered is even worse boyfriend material than one whose hung up on a recent relationship.
I do hope the writers consider bringing her back. Grace is with O’Laughlin now. Rigsby deserves some love too. And unlike his past dates which obviously haven’t worked out, this pairing might actually have a future.
More in the continuity department, when Lisbon asks Cho to help Rigsby the two friends share an uncomfortable silence. They dismiss anything as being wrong when Lisbon asks, but Rigsby later apologizes to Cho for putting him in a position of having to lie for him (previous episode, Bloodsport) and asks if they can move on. Cho agrees tersely leaving Rigsby and viewers unsure as to his sincerity.
Later however, as a disappointed Rigsby watches Montague leave, Cho brings him a soda and they drink together (I’m going to say to Rigsby’s broken heart because that’s what it looked like to me.)
Onto the second wasted opportunity. Jane buys Lisbon a new couch for her office, much to her dismay. When he tries to convince her the new one is better, she says they’ll discuss it later. They never do; at least not on screen.
Personally, I take the CBI couches as a telling symbol of Jane’s psyche, and/or the status of his friendship with Lisbon. When he’s good he’s on her couch. When he’s normal, he’s on his couch. When things are bad and he’s being furtive and distant, he’s in the attic.
Now I’m going with the obvious (and fun) conclusion that Jane got the couch for himself. He’s been spending more time on Lisbon’s couch, but it’s much smaller than his couch in the bullpen and he never looked as comfortable in it. So naturally he buys a new one that can accommodate him better. And this one’s ridiculously huge, it looks like it barely fit in her office. I can only imagine that he’ll be spending more time there. Hopefully this means Jane is over trying to pull away from Lisbon and the team.
The winner: Lisbon and Jane in her office talking about the case. At first, Lisbon is complaining about the case to Jane, “Dammit it to hell!” To which he replies, “Oh, language, please,” pretending to be scandalized at her outburst.
This was so funny, considering sweet Lisbon normally uses “sheepdip” and “bite me” as cuss words. It’s adorable that she’s so frustrated here she actually uses normal (yet still reletively clean) expletives.
Then when Jane admits that he faked evidence to make it look like a serial killer is the perpetrator:
Lisbon: “What did you just say?”
Jane: ” I wrote the letters from the Caveman.”
“Yeah, I heard you the first time!”
“Then why did you ask me to say it again?”
“It was a rhetorical question!”
Oh the irony. Jane made fun of Montague for not understanding sarcasm but he still can’t tell when Lisbon’s asking an honest question or when she’s just freaking out over something he did.
1st runner up: Cho giving Rigsby the soda. So happy their back to normal. Their friendship is one of the best things about the show.
2nd runner up: Lisbon secretly trying out her new couch, then getting up quickly, embarrassed, when Van Pelt walks in. Tunney, you are an adorable riot.
Jane: “Yes I confess I ditched you, but look on the bright side. I left you the car this time.”
Rigsby’s love dilemma got me thinking: what I would give to know if Cho and his girlfriend (Elise Chay introduced in season two’s ‘Blood In, Blood Out’) are still together. I hope so. And kudos to Mr.Heller if they eventually get married. It’s a natural progression, and then we’d have at least one member of the team in a happy, (hopefully permanent relationship). I just think it would be a nice touch of realism that would enhance the show.
Feel free to post a comment if you have an opinion not included in the poll.