The episode starts with Agent Lisbon (Tunney), her team, and Professional Standard’s Unit’s Head J.J. Laroche (guest start Pruitt Vince Taylor) hurrying into the Serious Crimes Unit to ask a woman when she last saw the “suspect”. The woman tells them the “suspect” was seen heading upstairs to the roof. Lisbon remarks that that’s where Jane (Baker) works and asks if anyone has seen him. No one has. They all go upstairs to the attic, guns drawn, to find the door locked. Lisbon yells for Jane, asking if he’s inside. He responds that he’s coming out, and to please lower their weapons. He opens the door, arms up. Behind him is “the suspect”: Special Agent Madeline Hightower (Aunjanue Ellis) with a shotgun in her hand. She has the barrel of her weapon taped to the back of Jane’s neck and her hand taped to the other end, her finger on the trigger. She tells Lisbon and company that if they make a move, she’ll kill Jane.
We are taken back 36 hours in time where the team is investigating a murder at a museum. The victim is Professor Manuel Montero, an archeologist. He uses the museum to show off artifacts he excavated from South America to sell to potential buyers. He was stabbed in the back and one of his pieces, a golden pendent is missing. Meanwhile, Head of the PSU Head Laroche has zoned in on special Agent Hightower as his newest suspect in the Todd Johnson murder. There’s a rumor which states that Hightower had an affair with one of Johnson’s victims, CHP Officer Rance Howard so Laroche suspects her of killing Johnson as revenge for her lover. Madeline refuses to comment on the rumor and tells Laroche that his entire case hinges on something he read on a bathroom wall. Later, Jane notices Hightower is upset. He guesses she’s been “Laroched” and advises her to come clean to Laroche, that he’ll find out the truth eventually.
I’m tempted to give this one a rating into the ground simply for shaving about ten years off my life, and for having Patrick Jane, in one sentence, manage to send me into a fury as well as confuse me. But that wouldn’t be fair. It was an excellent, exciting, well written episode: 9.5/10. (The missing .5 marks are for the confusion and the riling, and hey, ten years from my life is a lot, Mr. Cerone).
Detailed AKA humongous review (spoilers galore)
Wow. First of all, those who’ve read my “Pre-Red Queen” Ramblings know that I managed to build a pretty good case against Hightower. Those who’ve read my Red Queen Preview know I was dreading her being set up only to get killed tragically.
I love it when my fears turn out to be wrong. Hightower is innocent (good thing too, because I like the character) and she doesn’t get killed tragically. She was, in fact set up by Red John’s Agent at CBI to take the fall for Todd Johnson’s murder.
Now like Daniel Cerone’s last episode, Jolly Red Elf, this one has a lot of layers (an onion) and I had fun digging into it (I also have a splitting headache but that’s nothing a little Tylenol and caffeine won’t fix).
VIS (Very Important Scenes)#1: Laroche’s questioning of Hightower in her office.
When Laroche shows Hightower officer Howard’s photo and asks her if she knows him, she nods saying: “CHP officer Rance Howard. Very popular, a lot of our agents were close to him”.
Now the first mention we got of officer Howard was in “Red Moon” when the team makes a connection between the gun used to kill the officers in Vineland, California (the Keeley Farlow case) and officer shootings from two months ago (at the time of the episode). Howard was one of the officers shot and we learn that the San Francisco PD was on the case. Lisbon tells Jane: “Howard used to work here before your time, good guy.”
I would have been very skeptical as to when Madeline had a chance to meet Howard since even Jane doesn’t know him, and he’s been at CBI longer than she has. But I then realized that a lot of emphasis was placed on Howard’s title as a “CHP officer”. The internet tells me it stands for “California Highway Patrol Officer” so I guess due to the nature of his job he must get around a lot. He and Madeline could have gotten together when she came to CBI, maybe while he was visiting his old friends there. Or they could even have met each other when she was she was still in Fresno; Madeline was running intelligence there before she came to CBI ( episode ‘Red Box’, season 2).
So, kudos goes to Mr. Heller for setting this up in “Red Moon” and for writer Daniel Cerone for running with it.
Second VIS: Cho, Lisbon, Van Pelt, and Rigsby at the Bullpen
Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti) looks up Monetero’s blog where she finds out that an anonymous potential buyer had e-mailed him to ask for a private viewing of the pendant which was stolen from the museum. When Lisbon asks if Grace put a trace on the e-mail, Grace answers that the FBI Computer Forensics Lab did. To which Rigsby (Owain Yeoman) responds “one of the perks of having a fiancée with the feds.”
I am all over this line, first, because it gives us continuity regarding Grace’s engagement and how Rigsby’s holding up about it. Second, and most important reason, this increases my suspicions towards Craig (Eric Winters), Grace’s fiancé. I am now almost certain that he’s involved with Red John and/or Visualize. We first met this guy when, according to him, the FBI was conducting an investigation into Visualize. He had been following Wayne and Grace claiming that his boss suspected people in law enforcement of their involvement in the cult. Then, he starts dating Grace. A couple of episodes ago, he encourages her to spy on her team mates. Now he’s engaged to her and he’s kindly helping out in the investigation which eventually leads to Hightower taking the blame for Todd Johnson’s murder. Coincidence? I think not.
At the time of episode “Blood For Blood” I considered that Craig might be working together with Laroche when he advised Grace to accept Laroche’s offer of helping him search for Todd’s killer. Now that we know Hightower was whom Laroche suspected, and that she’s been set up, I’m starting to think if maybe Craig, as a RJ operative, wanted Grace to work with Laroche so that Hightower will be suspected quicker.
Also, we know that Red John is somehow involved in Visualize. How else would Brett Stiles ( episode ‘Blood on His Hands’) know so much about him? He’s either a member, or one of his lackey’s is. How ingenious would it be for Craig to be Red John’s operative whose simultaneously keeping an eye on both Visualize and Jane’s team for him?
We’ll find out if he’s innocent or not when and if the subject of that e-mail trace ever comes up again. I suspect, that due to the hard evidence against Hightower (the pendent being found in her), that Craig will conveniently forget the trace the FBI lab was supposed to run on that e-mail. If, however, Craig does bring it up in the future, and points out that the trace led to someone other than Hightower, then, that will clear him of suspicion. Until then, he’s high on my suspect list of people working with Red John.
Also high on my suspect list? Director Bertram. Why?
VIS#3: Last scene with Bertram, Laroche, and Lisbon
Director Gale Bertram ( Michael Gaston) states that while the turn of events is “tragic” there are “worse things that could happen” that they have “an open and shut case”, that “it’s a blemish, to be sure, but at least we can close the book on this ugly chapter at CBI”. He then goes on to quote a poem which Laroche informs Lisbon is by William Blake. Now, this could be a red herring, but I don’t think it is. Because this is in fact only one of the many clues we have been given. The first:
In the season premier, Jane takes an instant dislike to Bertram. Now at the time I though Jane was just being sulky, but then in this episode, we find out from J.J Laroche that Bertram is the one who told him about Hightower’s affair with Howard. Why would he do that? More importantly, how did he know? I doubt Hightower is the type to flaunt her personal life, especially with how powerfully she defended her right to privacy in this episode. So he, or someone he knows, must have been watching her very closely. And when he found out, the only reason to tell Laroche is to cast a shadow of suspicion on her.
For her part, Lisbon really seems to resent Bertram’s behavior in this episode. First, when she learns that he’s the one who told Laroche (and probably spread the rumor) about Hightower’s affair with Howard: “Now you’re into her sex life? Wow when you boys decide to destroy a woman’s reputation you really go all out!” Then, she seemed a bit suspicious of how eager was to brush off the matter.
Personally, Bertram’s “we can now put this behind us” speech reminded me of another big shot who turned out to be a criminal; the CEO of a major conglomerate in season one (episode ‘Carenlian Inc.) who was also overly eager to erase suspicious deaths in his company; one of the facts which tipped Jane off that he was in fact the killer.
I know, as they say, this is all circumstantial evidence, but I’m actually starting to think the writers want us to know as opposed to think that Bertram is the RJ mole. Why? To keep us in suspense regarding the vital clue Lisbon now unknowingly has against him; his love of William Blake.
VIS #4: End scene
I’m going to split it into two parts:
Jane with Laroche
Jane goes to visit Laroche under the guise of wanting to thank him for allowing him and Hightower to walk out of the building instead of risking shooting her, and killing Jane in the process. Laroche greets him at the door holding his dog. Jane, who peeks into Laroche’s home is also able to see that J.J. has a collection of Hummel figurines. Jane gives Laroche a bottle of scotch as a thank you, and the two have a discussion regarding the likelihood of Hightower ever being caught. Laroche insists they will, Jane says he knows they won’t to which Laroche replies: “Just like you knew I was wrong about Hightower’s capacity for murder?”
Now Jane and Laroche were not shown to be discussing Hightower as a suspect in this episode. But the above quote tips us off that they had. This is the only clue we’ve ever gotten that Laroche took up Jane’s offer from “Jolly Red Elf” to discuss the Todd Johnson case with him. This is huge. If Laroche really is consulting with Jane on the Todd Johnson murder, then maybe he doesn’t have anything to hide. I guess he could be deceiving Jane, making him think he has nothing to hide. But the fact that Jane encouraged Hightower to come clean to Laroche makes me think that Jane no longer suspects him. It could also be why Jane himself ended up suspecting Hightower, because Laroche did.
Now Jane obviously went to Laroche’s to get Hightower out of the trunk of the man’s car where he had hidden her, but Jane is very good at multitasking. He uses the opportunity to observe Laroche in his ‘natural habitat’ as it. Jane is very surprised (and amused) with what he sees.
Pruitt Taylor Vince’s reading of his lines here was done in such a normal, un-menacing tone. From a writer’s perspective, the purpose of the scene was obviously to humanize Laroche to Jane and the viewers. that I dare say it worked on Jane, and it did on this viewer at least.
The fact that Laroche owns one of the cutest dogs ever (and I hate dogs-don’t judge, they scare me), the Hummel figurines, and Jane’s back and forth with him over whether they’ll find Hightower or not, well, somehow, I just don’t find Laroche as intimidating as I did.
I guess this could just be a clever plan to lull viewers into a false sense of security regarding the man, but I don’t think it is.
Jane with Hightower
Jane tells Hightower that she has to disappear or Red John will come after her. She tells him she and her family will hide out in her sister’s cabin in Saratoga. This pleases Jane who says that will make Red John feel like he won this round, and make whoever his operative is in CBI careless. He then stresses that no one can know about this; it has to stay between the two of them. Hightower states that he should at least tell Lisbon to which Jane replies: “Nobody. He’s too smart that way he’ll sense a trap. I’m better off alone.” Hightower, disturbed, replies: “Nobody is better off alone.”
Someone needs to tell Jane that the phrase ‘Knowledge is Power’ is a popular misconception. Yes, some information is too sensitive to share. Most times, however, information only gains more value once it is shared. It can be built on, becomes richer, better, and more useful.
For example, if Jane had shared RJ’s propensity for Blake with Lisbon, than Bertram quoting the poet would have had special significance to Lisbon. She would have told Jane that Bertram was a suspect. And yes, I know that Jane suspects everyone, and that many people love Blake, but it would have been an additional clue.
I guess our boy still hasn’t grown up after all. I suspected, when Jane fished out Montague’s report from the trash in ‘Bloodhounds’ that he was starting to let go of his ego enough to consider other people’s views; that he started realizing that other people’s insight might be just as important as his own.
I also thought that given Jane’s recent efforts to let Lisbon let go of her hang ups with the law (Red Alert’, ‘Blood for Blood’), and his recent invasion of her personal space (the couch in ‘Bloodhounds’, the flirting in ‘Red Gold’) that he might be gearing towards opening up to her more, sharing some of his findings with her.
Unfortunately, neither expectations have been fulfilled, nor does it look like they will. Despite the fact that Lisbon is the one who found the connection between their victim in this case and Todd Johnson; she’s the one who cracked the case, Jane still can’t be bothered to share information with her.
It’s like all the positive possibilities that have been raised in the previous episodes regarding Jane’s manipulative behavior were thrown out and we have to go back to the plain likelihood of him being a selfish SOB looking out for number one; or in this case, number one’s number one goal; revenge, without any consideration for the people who care about him. I don’t mean to be cruel or a pessimist but really, we are given so little to work with here. The assumption that Jane truly fears for Lisbon’s safety seems unrealistically optimistic. On the other hand, the idea that his deception is because he doesn’t want Lisbon to get in the way of his efforts to catch Red John also seems unlikely; especially after all they’ve been through now.
The truth is probably somewhere between the two extremes.
Now Jane’s caution might, might be justified. Here’s how: perhaps the reason Bertram quoted Blake was to see Lisbon’s reaction to it; to see how much, if anything, Jane has told her. If Lisbon had known that Red John quoted Blake to Jane, she might have read up on the poet; she might have recognized the poem Bertram quoted and therefore might have revealed a reaction on her face (lizard brain and all that) when she realized that Bertram is actually a suspect.
Hmm. I love it when I manage to talk myself into Jane’s irrational behavior seeming very rational. But, and I must stress this, this remains complete conjecture until I’m given proof positive that Jane is hiding from Lisbon because he truly fears for her, not for self-serving reasons.
Writers, feel free to get right on that. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m not looking for a romance (though I certainly wouldn’t mind one if done right) I’m looking for proof that Jane sees Lisbon as more than just a means to an end. Is that too much to ask?
Perhaps, mind you perhaps, the look on Jane’s face at the end of the episode was meant to be the proof I’m looking for. When Hightower tells Jane that no one is better off alone and kisses him on the cheek, Jane’s expression is a mixture of sorrow, regret, and wistfulness. Almost like he actually wishes he could tell Lisbon; that he wants to tell Lisbon, but that something is holding him back; something other than his fear for his safety, because if that were the case then he would have told Hightower as such. So what is it that’s stopping him?
I’m going to borrow some lyrics from Matchbox 20’s song Push, which I think fits the Lisbon/Jane dynamic in so many ways. But for the sake of this review:
She said “I don’t know why you ever would lie to me.”
“Like, I’m a little untrusting when I think the truth is gonna hurt ya, and I don’t know why couldn’t just stay with me, you couldn’t stand to be near me when my face don’t seem to wanna shine, cause it’s a little bit dirty.”
Great song; but that’s not the point. Going by these lyrics, perhaps the reason Jane lies to Lisbon/won’t open up to her, is that he fears she won’t like/respect him anymore if he does. This theory seems true especially when we consider Jane’s dark side which he wont’ allow anyone to see (‘Red Moon‘).
Personally, this is my favorite theory because it takes into account so many aspects of Jane’s personality, namely his insecurity, and his secretive nature when it comes to Lisbon.
Yes, maybe Jane fears she’ll get in his way, yes, he probably also fears some for her safety, but I think what he fears the most is her reaction; how the knowledge he shares with her will affect their partnership and friendship.
Or, looking at it from a more general perspective: what if Jane is not intentionally being secretive? What if it’s just a habit?
This brings me to an issue I’ve been contemplating for a while now:
In episode Jolly Red Elf when Jane goes undercover to the AA group and talks about his addiction, he states that it destroyed his family.
Now since in that episode Minelli tells him that Red John turned him into a paranoid conspiracy freak, I assumed that the addiction Jane was referring to was Red John.
But more recently, I’ve been thinking about Jane’s need to be the smartest person in the room (‘Bloodhounds’), to know more than everyone else.
That’s when I was struck with an epiphany: maybe the addiction Jane was referring to wasn’t Red John; he was talking about his vanity. Perhaps Jane meant his showing off is what destroyed his family- that is his addiction.
Now Jane’s obsession with being in the spotlight is probably a result of him making a living by pretending to be psychic; he had to always seem like he knows what he’s talking about. And living in a carnival, you’re probably only as important as your act is. I also think Jane was an insecure person long before his family ever got killed. From what we saw in episode Shooting Fire (season 2), his father only cared about him as a money making tool. Also, genius is a very lonely place. I suspect the only reason his wife ever got close to him was because they (probably) grew up together. He didn’t need to open up to her; she already knew all there was to know.
Now if we go with the theory that the reason Jane isn’t sharing information with Lisbon because he’s just not used to doing so, then the positive explanations/ conclusions regarding Jane’s behavior from the previous episodes might still be true: Jane does want Lisbon to change a bit, he has been trying (either consciously or subconsciously) to bring her views a bit closer to his; to bring her to that place where she could understand him better. He does want to share things with her.
He just can’t.
I do think, however, that the writers are setting Jane up for a wake- up call; the fact that both Minelli and Hightower told him to tell Lisbon seem to hint at that. I just hope it’s not too ugly. More importantly, I hope that it doesn’t end up with him having more to feel guilty about. On second thought, I hope it is a little ugly (nothing that will get anyone killed, mind you) if that will help Jane learn that he has to trust people.
The winner: Hightower and Jane’s face off in the attic.
I loved, loved, LOVED, this scene. The dialogue was off the charts amazing and Baker and Ellis rocked it out of this world.
Jane was perfect blend of crazily motivated/scared out of his pants:
“Are you a killer? Not that I’m judging. Seeking revenge on men that are responsible for the deaths of someone you love it’s a hobby I like to dabble in myself,” all said in a low, somewhat shaky voice filled with adrenaline.
Aujanue Ellis takes her character through a myriad of emotions: First, she’s in disbelief regarding Jane’ suspicion of her. Then she’s indignant and threatening:
“If you don’t point that shotgun away from me, I swear I will use it to beat you like a rented mule.”
Then she’s downright terrified and pleading:
“You know what I am Jane, I’m a single mom with two innocent children at home. There is nothing in the world I would do to compromise their safety or their future.”
Then when Jane lowers his weapon and she snaps it from him, she’s horrifyingly calm and cold. She had me going from believing he innocent to believing her guilty in a matter of seconds. Can the woman act or what?
Also, continuity!? Why did Jane choose a shotgun in threatening Madeline? It could be because he had it worked better in his plan to have it duct taped to himself and Hightower, but I’d like to think it’s because he only ever fired a shotgun (when he killed Hardy); that it’s the only weapon he knows how to use and that he wouldn’t risk using the gun. Most likely, it’s the former reason, and, or that Jane doesn’t want anyone to know about the gun that he has, even if he’s learned how to use it.
1st runner up: Laroche with Hightower and the project board.
Laroche approaches Madeline and shows her his visual reconstruction of CBI which accounts for everyone’s whereabouts at the time of Todd Johnson’s murder. Hightower admires the project board, and jokes that Laroche must have won a few science fairs. He responds with a smile, then turns deadly serious and states in a terrifyingly menacing voice: “I won all of them!”
Watching Pruitt Taylor Vince in this scene is like watching a horror movie. You’re scared out of your wits, but fans of the genre enjoy the feeling. I don’t like horror movies, but I do love Mr. Vince here. Hightower’s fear is also very real in this scene. Again, Ms. Ellis is beyond amazing. Her depiction of Hightower’s strong façade crumbling in the face of the staggering evidence was phenomenal.
Aside from the acting, this scene is also significant because it lets us know that Laroche’s has narrowed the suspects to 5 people. Now we know Hightower is innocent so that leaves 4. Perhaps the reason why Red John set Hightower up is because Laroche came very close to uncovering the real killer. The only question is: was Hightower chosen because she was most convenient (her affair with Howard simply bad luck on her part which Red John used)? Or, was Howard killed intentionally as part of the plan to set Hightower up?
I’m not sure, but I’m very interested to see who replaces her.
2nd runner up:
Rigsby’s (Owain Yeoman) questioning Professor Papadakis (Dakin Matthews) was hilarious. The professor’s accent gave Rigsby a hard time (and me, to be honest; I was as confused as he was at first). On the run apparently means always traveling, his career was in ruins means, literally, in ruins as in ancient ruins, not that his career was in trouble:
Rigsby: “So Monetero was a trader, he traded antiquities excavated from South American ruins.”
Poor Rigsby just wants to make sure he’s got everything right, and this is what he gets for his trouble:
Papadakis: “Are you really professional police officer?”
I love Rigsby.
-Who the heck was that biker in the basement parking lot?! A blooper or a suspect?! Did he/she see Jane hide Hightower in Laroche’s car?!
-Enough with the thrillers! If I wanted thrilling I’d watch 24, or break out some Prison Break DVD’s! (see what I did there J).
Icing (s) on the cake:
-It’s been so long since we’ve seen Jane’s interest piqued. His decision to stay at the museum is a nice continuity from season one when he remained behind to play at the beach and when he stayed at a high school reunion to people watch.
-Also nice? Jane giving the Guard Jim a replica of a tooth for his son; it’s always a treat to see Jane being nice and interacting with people.
-Jane got a haircut. And a shave. What could this mean? (Joke. Kinda.)
Honorable Mentions (as if readers can’t guess in this episode)
Simon Baker, Aunjanue Ellis, Pruitt Taylor Vince.
“Well if you can read it on my face, then you’re mentalizing me, so you stop. Oh, on second thought, keep going, what am I thinking?” – Jane to Hightower, when she tells him to stop reading her.
“You’re the one thinking it.”- Hightower to Jane, in response to his surprise to the rumor of her affair with Howard.
“I feel naked.”-Jane to Hightower. Jane loves flirting with Hightower, and the look on her face when he says this line is fabulous, she like; don’t be cute with me.
“There’s only one person who has this singular effect on people. You’ve been Laroched haven’t you?”-Jane to Hightower.
“Someone should stay up researching yours”-Jane to Lisbon, about her personal life.
“Don’t beat yourself up Teresa, there’s nothing you could have done to prevent this.” Hightower to Lisbon, as she held the rifle to Jane; this was a great line because it refers to the closeness the two women developed the previous episode.
“I honestly don’t know what to believe but whenever you’re in the middle of something I have reason to doubt. And I like Hightower.” I love how Lisbon added that last bit, almost with a pout. I like how she admits that, other than the fact that she doubts Jane, she’d rather believe he’s lying to her if it means that Hightower’s innocent; poor Lisbon.
“Laroche. You have a fluffy white dog, an entire house… are those Hummel Figurines?” –Jane to Laroche.
“I just didn’t picture you living in an actual house.”-Jane to Laroche. Why yes, Jane. Normal people live in houses, not attics. You might want to think about getting one of your own. Or the writers might want to show us that you do have a place other than your “perch”.
“Where did you think I lived?” Laroche to Jane. Good question.
“In a borough in a river bank. Somewhere like that.”- Jane to Laroche, in response to the above.
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