Mentalist Red Queen Review


Synopsis

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.

Concise verdict

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.

Best Scenes

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.

Pet Peeve

-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.

Best Lines

“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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13 responses to “Mentalist Red Queen Review

  • All-I-need

    First of all: it took me 30 minutes to READ this. Watching the episode took 42 minutes, give or take a few seconds. Wow.
    Second: So much for going to bed earlier tonight. I`ll write this comment first, THEN sleep😉.
    Third: You forgot one scene I found REALLY important:
    When Lisbon comes to visit Jane in the attic after his “car accident” and tells him she`s glad he`s okay and the thanks her for coming to his rescue. Lisbon blushed like a schoolgirl with a crush (probably because she HAS one?!). Also, I wanted to scream at her for not telling him about the poem. On a whim, for example, or to share something funny, like “I never would`ve pecked Bertram to like William Blake”. Just imagine Jane`s reaction to that… wow.

    Okay, on with the rest:
    That scene where Jane threatened Hightower with the shotgun? He scared the shit out of me. It really showed just how much of his personality he is hiding from the team – and to me it proved that he is still as set on revenge as in the beginning, maybe even more so, now that the number of RJ`s victims is continuing to rise. And not all of them are dead, which doesn`t lessen the horror. Rather increases it, actually.

    I was wondering about the biker, too, and my first guess was: Red John, checking in to see if everything is working according to plan. Then I thought: The writers, screwing with us.
    Funnily enough, I also thought the latter when Bertram quoted Blake. FIRST I had a heart attack and my jaw dropped to the floor. Then I had another heart attack when LaRoche (of all people!) confirmed it was Blake.
    And here is where I differ from your opinion:
    While Bertram seems like the obvious choice as RJ`s operative because he quoted blake, I think that was just a ruse by the writers to keep the viewers on their toes (and put some into the emergency room). However, I noticed how Jane asked about LaRoche several times. For example, when it became clear that new evidence would be revealed about the murder, he asked Lisbon if LaRoche knew. Why would he do that? He sounded rather anxious, too. And why come with a bottle of Scotch and such a whimsy excuse to his house? He could`ve gotten Hightower out of that trunk without LaRoche being any wiser.
    I think Jane wanted to check up on LaRoche again, to see if his living situation reveals anything about him. And now, seeing his home and Jane´s VERY surprised reaction, I am wondering if there is more to that. I`ll check something online tomorrow and then come back to that theory later.

    Furthermore, I think Lisbon suspects Hightower`s innocence, too. The way she stubbornly said “and I like Hightower” and expressed her distrust in Jane just screams that she is on to him. He is acting far to relaxed on the “Hightower killed Johnsson” thing for her taste.

    Jane didn`t use his own gun, as you already mentioned. Now, the shotgun was convenient, of course. I also think he really didn´t want to reveal his own gun. After that little trick he and Hightower played on the others, the gun was surely confiscated as evidence. Jane needs that gun (as well as he needs the fact that RJ doesn`t know about it). My guess is he`s keeping it for self-defense purposes as well as for protecting the team. Should there be another shooting at CBI, he will be prepared.

    Oh, and thanks for mentioning Rigsby`s comment on Craig. I completely missed this and it is VERY significant indeed. I`ll come back to that one later as well, in another comment tomorrow or the day after tomorrow about LaRoche. Let`s just say that I almost completely agree with you on that issue.

    You also forgot one of the best lines of the episode:
    Jane: “Your son into dinosaurs?”
    Door guard: “I don`t know but he loves his mother!” (or something like that, I don`t remember the exact words)
    I was laughing SO hard at that one. It was a great scene and a real mood lighter.

    Hightower telling Jane that no one is better off alone. AWWWWWWWWW! But I really do not understand that woman. First she does everything she can to break Rigsby and VanPelt up … and then she gives Jane a giant shove in Lisbon´s direction?! I know it doesn`t necessarily have to bear any romantic meaning, but it sure sounded like it did, especially combined with that kiss on the cheek, as if she was saying “See, you like human contact, you should indulge in some more and Lisbon is perfect for you.”

    I did not vote on your poll this time because I just can`t decide which is the most important drive. I think it is a combination of all three but he must be REALLY afraid of her reaction. If he talks to her about the fact that Todd was a RJ operative, her first thought will be that he`s been witholding information other than that, leading to the revelation of (hopefully) the poem and (worst case) the gun. Lisbon finding out about an unregistered gun hidden in the office attic by a man who is set on killing RJ? SO not good. This will be epic, if it ever happens. Which I`m afraid it will.

    And now I`m off to bed and will comment on anything I did not mention so far tomorrow. Until then =)

  • reviewbrain

    About the Lisbon and Jane attic scene: Lisbon blushes like a schoolgirl whenever anyone praises her. Jane even mentioned it once (season ones “a dozen red roses”) and it happened again after she diffused a bomb in season twos ‘red all over’. The poor woman is just not used to receiving praise. As to why she didn’t mention the poem to Jane, I really didn’t find it that strange, she probably has other things in her mind; like whether Jane is lying to her or not, and feeling bad over the hightower situation. Plus, the writers are probably saving that information for another episode. I do agree that she still doesn’t beleive Hightower is guilty, and probably does think jane Is lying to her.

    About Jane and the shotgun: I love your idea and totally agree that he didn’t want his gun to be confiscated.

    The dinasour mother quote; it was hilarious and I did appreciate it, so thanks for poi ting it out to others since I forgot it.

    Jane and Hightower; hightower broke rigsby and grace apart because it’s against he rules. I think, as a mother ( a strict one) she instinctively wants to look out for her subordinates by keeping them in check. She seems particularly interested in Jane probay because she likes him; she’d pushed him towards asking Kristina out because she thought it would be good for him to move on. But here, I think her i terested has to do with both Jane and Lisbon. Hightower likes Lisbon now too, and she’s worried Jane’s secrets will hurt their friendship in the end. Plus, again, her worry for Jane seems to stem out of a sort of motherly concern. She wants him to be happy and safe, and shes wise enough to know that’s hard to achieve when you’re alone. The kiss: I hink it was done out of gratitude and affection.

    What I did forget to mention was that I’m very interested to see if Jane will take her advice
    like he did last time when he asked Kristina out.
    He seemed to consider her words very seriously at the end here; . I think Jane responds to Hightower because he respects her and knows that she cares about him. So I’m very terested to see if her words got to him this time as well.

    No copping out on the polls! We know the’re probably all true, but which one is most true? Come on, you can do😉 just go with your gut.

    About laroche and why Jane was anxious over whether Lisbon told him about the case or not: jane knows laroche suspects hightower, so he wants a chance to talk to her first; like he says, if she killed Todd, she’s his and he wanted her to lead him to RJ, he wasn’t going to hand her over to laroche.

    this is further supported by the fact that laroches says Jane was wrong about hightower not being able to commit murder; they had talked about it. I’m guessing Jane went to him after hightower told him about the rumor and laroches questioning her.

    I so hope that scenario plays out: Lisbon finding out everything. It’ll be so exciting g whether he tells her or something happens which brings everything out in the open. For his sake, I hope he tells her. It won’t be pretty, but it’ll be much better if it comes from him.

    Thanks for filling in he blanks. Just think, if I had included everything g it would have taken you longer to read.

  • All-I-need

    Well, if you had included everything it wouldn`t have taken me so long to write my comment (that was another half hour!)…

    Now, to that theory about LaRoche:
    I just conducted a little research (meaning I re-watched Jolly Red Elf) and got all the proof I needed.
    When LaRoche was introduced to the CBI-guys, NO ONE knew him. Rigsby didn`t, Grace didn`t and everyone else seemed just as confused as they were.
    Furthermore, he was introduced as the head of that NEW department, meaning that he has subordinates (no head without subordinates) but somehow we have never seen any of them and no one has ever worked with him before on such an investigation.
    He seems to be working alone, no one knows who he is or where he came from … and Jane was REALLY surprised to see his house and dog and hummel figurines.

    So, my theory: LaRoche is RJ`s secret operative. Or maybe not so secret. There are so many things factoring into this:
    – as already mentioned: No one knew who he was. So maybe they hired LaRoche and RJ heard about it through his OTHER operative at CBI (it only makes sense that he has several, in case one of them is caught). RJ then killed the real LaRoche and hid his body and the guy we know as LaRoche moved into the real one`s house and took his identity and started out on the investigation. That would explain why Jane was so surprised at the house. Jane read the LaRoche WE know who lives in the house of a stranger, meaning his personality doesn`t fit his environment.
    – Someone obviously manipulated the investigation and made it look like Hightower did it. Who`d be better for the job than the leading (and seemingly ONLY) investigator?
    – You mentioned that FBI Agent Craig is very high up your suspect list. I agree with you on this, since his behavior IS very strange. You suggested that maybe Craig was working for LaRoche and Red John simultaniously because he is keeping an eye on CBI and Visualize for RJ. They needed to blame someone for the murder and Hightower was the perfect victim. She had an affair with one of Todd`s victims AND they wanted her gone because she was doing a dangerously amazing job at CBI. That`s what I call killing two birds with one stone.
    So, LaRoche and Craig might BOTH be operatives for RJ, working together to frame Hightower and keep an eye on Jane and everything going on at the CBI.
    – now, I know that Bertram was the one to quote the poem – but it was LaRoche who recognized it as Blake and even said so, further fuelling my believe that Bertram saying it was a coincidence to distract everyone from noticing it was LaRoche. A viewer, still shocked by Bertam quoting poetry, might easily miss the fact that LaRoche was the one to confirm it was indeed by Blake.
    – To top that all of, Jane seemed really anxious about LaRoches whereabouts during the whole episode of Red Queen. Maybe he really just wanted a chance to get to Hightower before she was arrested so he could ask (threaten) her about Red John and Johnsson.
    — Epiphany while writing: Red John and JOHNsson. Sounding like JOHN`S SON. And he SAID he had a secret. Maybe THAT was it? And yes, I am being VERY conspirational right now. Epiphany END. —
    However, I don`t think that was all there was to Jane`s anxiousness. He asked about LaRoche and his whereabouts and what he knew several times during the episode, almost as if he wanted to keep him on the radar, keep an eye on him just in case. This leads me to think that Jane might suspect LaRoche, too, which would also be another reason for knocking on his door at night to give him a bottle of scotch and sneak a peek into his house to find out more about him. He could`ve gotten Hightower out of the car without LaRoche ever knowing about it, but he choose to knock and talk to him. He seemed really focused on LaRoche the whole time.
    — While watching Jolly Red Elf I also noticed the following: After Jane deliberately calls LaRoche “LaRouge” to test his reaction, LaRoche compliments him on his speculative mind or something along those lines. In the end, what it SOUNDS like he wants to say is: “I caught on to what you just did and I`m amazed you can still pry while being drunk out of your mind.” To which Jane reacts by looking down and to the side, seemingly embarrassed. But that could also mean that he`s just angry at himself for being caught, which makes this whole scene so much more difficult to interpret.

    So, this is the conclusion I came to: LaRoche AND Craig are both working for RJ and Bertram is just a guy with really poor luck when it comes to chosing his favorite writers.

    So looking forward to the next episode. According to the synopsis, Cho is named new head of the team, which makes me believe that Lisbon was promoted and got Hightower`s now vacant position. She won`t like that. All the paperwork and less time in the field. Just what Lisbon loves… poor her.

  • reviewbrain

    I’m sure you’ll forgive me if i dont feel sorry for you. While you may have spent a few hours reading and writing, I’ve spent days working on this😉 I try to be as comprehensive as possible, but obviously I might miss some things here and there; that’s why comments are so important🙂

    Now regrding your theory, it may very well turn out to be true. I just need to point a few things out:

    -The professional standards unit is not a new department. It was
    mentioned in season 2 (episode ‘blood money’) when Lisbon was suspended.

    -No one knew laroche becasue he was the new head of that department, as hightower said.

    -We have seen one of his subordinates; the woman who accompanied him to collect graces urine sample in episode ‘blood for blood’

    Actually, the fact that laroche confirmed Blake is what made me
    Not suspect him. Why would he do that if he was an RJ operative? Now Bertram could have mentioned it to see lisbons reaction. And if he isnt RJ’s operative and laroche was then there was no need for
    laroche to confirm it to Lisbon, why would he do that and possibly bring attention to himself? It doesn’t make sense to me.

    -I mentioned Jane’s calling laroche ‘la rouge’ in my jolly red elf review and how Jane was looking to see a reaction. In my opinion,
    There was none. His mentioning Jane’s speculative mind was, in my opinion, just an introduction to the line of questioning which followed it.

    I think the reason Jane was surprised by laroches home, is that until that point he might have still considered laroches as a suspect, but like you said, its different than what he expected. maybe he still
    does, who knows?  

    Now, of course, none of this information is evidence. The writers are really good at mixing red herrings with actual suspects. sometimes all we get are red herrings and the actual truth only shows up at the
    end.

    I just sift through what we are presented in the episodes and try to come up with as many reasonable possibilites as i can. Readers can
    then form their own conclusions, or come up with new ones.
    The whole purpose of the blog is just to help the process of uderstanding what’s going on and have fun with it. it’s always nice to get help in the form of comments, even if they are conspiracy theories ;D

    Like I said, any of your theories may turn out to be true. Personally,
    The only thing I’m pretty sure about is Craig’s involvement (again,
    I could be wrong). As to the other, I think the writers actually want Bertram and laroche to be equally suspicious. They might both turn out to be innocent.

    The information i found out regarding the next episode may actually support your theory that JJ is an RJ operative but it contains spoilers so I’m saving it for the next post; the bloodstream preview.

  • All-I-need

    – I guess LaRoche said it was Blake because he couldn`t be sure that Lisbon would recognize the poem. You can`t expect her to know every Blake poem there is. So while Bertram might have said it by chance, maybe LaRoche wanted to see Lisbon`s reaction and when he got none he decided to up the ante and mentioned William Blake, hoping she´d at least react to that name.

    – Even if he`s only the new head of the unit that still leaves him just as unknown. He came out of nowhere and suddenly he`s leading an internal investigation? That doesn`t make any sense. And what happened to the former head of the unit? Tragic “accident”? Retirement? Disappeared? (Framed with) a crime? Who knows?

    I`m going to wait and see how it turns out.

    Right, there was a woman. I remember her, now that you mentioned her. However, if he only called her to collect a urine sample, that doesn`t make her look like a very high-ranked or even important person and she was never shown again, so I guess he`s working alone, only asking for help if he needs it – like a woman to accompany Grace to get that urine sample.

    – I am beginning to doubt that LaRoche is even able to react or show any facial movement at all – except for blinking and moving his mouth when talking. Maybe he got a botox treatment as to not show any signs of surprise or anything else that might tip Jane off?

    I am having a lot of fun on this blog, I can assure you of that. *laugh* It´s always great to read your reviews and then come up with new ideas as to what this and that could possibly mean.

    In the end, it`s up to the writers what will happen, but I think we`re doing a pretty good job at trying to look into their heads (maybe because we`re trying to cover EVERY possibility, so one of them HAS to be right).

  • LittleMender

    I didn’t vote on the poll because you didn’t offer “All of the above” as an choice; although, I do think option #4 is the closest. I think it’s Jane’s habit (out of a mixture of arrogance and insecurity) to not open up to people, share his secrets and let people in. The few times he’s done so with Lisbon have seemed to almost cause him physical pain. I don’t think he knows HOW to trust anyone even though he has said (and I think sincerely) that he trusts Lisbon. “I want to trust you and think I could if I knew how” would be closer to the truth.

    Also, I believe he chose a single action repeater from the armory because 1) as previously stated, he didn’t want anybody to know about the gun from Winters, 2) they’re more stable and less likely to go off by accident if he inadvertently puts too much pressure on the trigger, and 3) they are WAY more intimidating than a handgun–a feature a very frightened, frantic, adrenaline-pumped Jane would appreciate.

    Your review (very thorough and as concise as could be expected with such a complicated episode) is indicative of how I feel about the last few episodes of this season: This show is driving my insane, and I can’t seem to look away.

  • reviewbrain

    I didn’t offer that option because I expect that most people will agree it’s all the above. But you can still vote even if you feel that way because the title says ‘main’ reason😉 So nice to get your input here. Feel free to share and vent at will. I’m going to roughly borrow a phrase from one of your fics to describe how I feel about this season: its’t like watching a train collision. You know it’s coming but that doesn’t make the impact hurt less. And despite how worried I am about how bad the wreckage will be, like you said, I just can’t seem to look away.

  • reviewbrain

    Forgot to mention, love your ammendment of Jane’s “I trust you” statement, although I think he’s just now starting to realize that fact. It’s interesting that Lisbon, in that aspect at least, knows him better than he knows himself (when she told him that he doesn’t trust her) At least she did. He did a pretty good job at the time of convincing her otherwise (I want you to know that you can trust me). Which is why i’m worried it’s going to hurt more when she realizes (when he realizes) that he’s unable to put his money where his mouth is.

  • ortforshort

    If you take LaRoche at his word, there were only five people who could be Red John’s operative based on his diagram. One was Jane. The other Rigsby, who I dismiss as a possibility. A third was Hightower. Therefore, we’re down to two. LaRoche wasn’t around then. I don’t remember if Bertram was. I don’t think Craig was either. Jane got the short list of suspects on the Ocean pier from the previous department head who Hightower had replaced. Therefore, Jane knows who the two possibilities in the department are. His advantage is that this person and Red John don’t know that Jane knows any of this. The problem is that you know that this person is somehow going to get killed before Jane is able to find out anything more about Red John. This whole trail will all be for naught.

  • violet

    I agree with Ortforshort, it’s frustrating how much the writers are messing with our heads… But my analysis of the situation is slightly different. I mean we know there are four people, excepting Hightower, who were near the interrogation room where Johnson was set on fire. Hightower seemed to make a believable culprit, but she was innocent.
    Then, who could be our others players in that little CBI game of whodunit? We know that Laroche first suspected Jane, but Lisbon had had to go and get him in the attic: he hadn’t been near Todd so he can’t be one of them. Laroche has probably finished his shorter list progressively, so it was after interrogating Lisbon and Jane. They’re out of it (or so I hope for Lisbon, since she was the last to seen Todd alive).
    Rigsby? He was the first of the team who was suspected, because he lied about his father’s alibi some years before. In fact he was the only one truly who seemed really suspected by Laroche, because he has been dishonest at least once and has far enough knowledge for setting a fire…. The question is, was the second list already done when Rigsby was interrogated?
    Laroche didn’t seem to really suspect Grace: his questions were about her personality (like he pointed out about what his lie to Rigbsy), if she was a good cop and, implicitly, to prove it by spying for him. Her answer, whatever it was, could be revealing (accepting to spy to protect her career meaning she was selfish, whereas refusing could show she cares more about personal bonds than rules and law). He didn’t ask her circumstantial questions concerning the Johnson case like he did with Hightower and Rigsby.
    However, if he asked her to spy on her coworkers, that could only mean that one of them was one of the four. It may be Hightower. Or it may be the only one who wasn’t suspected yet, Cho, who will be in a peculiar situation very soon…
    On the other hand, putting Hightower, the team’s boss, under the spotlight leads us to guess about high ranked people: the idea that one of the heads of the CBI was implicated has been implanted in our minds, just like Jane does with suspects… Until now, RJ’s pawns were minor characters in the police (Rebecca a secretary, Sheriff Hardy a local cop), so our eyes were focused on subalterns: the team principally and O’Laughin. So, now, we suspect Bertram, Hightower’s own boss, and Laroche, who’s taking her job, and both of them are made even more suspect because of that quote! They’re definitely messing with us!
    However, I find that Bertram particularly fits for the part of the villain’s accomplice: he has an ideal position for knowing details about people and cases and, as you said, Jane has taken a spontaneous dislike to him. But I must confess that I would be tempted to see Bertram as the most credible as a traitor of both because, basically, Jane doesn’t suspect him yet, since he doesn’t know about the quote… It will add more suspense.

    Moreover, I really like your theory about the reasons behind Jane’s behavior. It’s very likely that he fears Lisbon’s reaction. In his mind, she’s bound to react badly to his little secrets, his apparent mistrusting and, more generally, the way it enlightens his dark side (cf. the shame he showed in revealing her his breakdown). So this is an added reason to his ambivalent attitude towards her. I can’t help thinking that Jane, being a complex character, has an obvious tendency to have complex relationship with others: using everyone without seeming to care, caring for some people and hiding it, trusting but not sharing himself nor his secrets… He never gives himself totally, even to Lisbon. I also wonder for some time now how he acted with his wife, since I believe that a reason for some kind of defiant people not to give their complete trust is because they fear that trust would become unconditional. I suppose he was pretty close to Angela; she knew him for long, knew who and what he was and shared a special bond with him, they were an item (they left their previous world together after all and kept living together). The way he’s isolating himself from women also hints that their relationship was possibly quite exclusive, or so I think. Am I too optimistic to see similarities with Lisbon? He insisted that he could read her mind, that they were in sync (twice, with the geometrical figures and with the “Saint Teresa” thing), he has a habit of trying to read her and pointing it out (she’s “translucent”), he “needs” her trust and he’s unsettled when she tells his lies (in the season premiere). It’s obvious he wants her unconditional trust. So, am I a fool to believe he’s afraid that he could give her his as completely?

    Anyway, I totally agree with you, I hope he would follow Hightower’s (and Minelli’s) advice. It was nice that you pointed out Hightower was trying to give him a push in the “right” direction, like she tried to do with Kristina. If only this time that could have better consequences…

    I also liked very much how you showed that his addiction could be referring to his need to always be under the spotlight. We implicitly interpreted his words the way Bosco meant them… Very well-though. But, in that logic, that would mean that some part of him could be somewhat enjoying to have Red John’s attention and to be at the centre of the investigation, and I don’t think so. Was his showing off in his previous life only a proof of his vanity or more a mean to an end, to way to fuel his greed for power? What is he more, a vain man, or a control freak? Both are working to cover up his insecurity…

    About the shotgun, I think he choose it for two reasons: first of all, because he already planned to leave the CBI in his car, if Hightower wasn’t guilty. They could have left the building if she was simply holding him at gunpoint(even if it was more difficult and dangerous for her, with all those armed cops around), but in no way he could have set up the scene in the car afterwards with a simple gun. He needed to demonstrate convincingly that she was still threatening him in the car. Otherwise they would have searched her in the building or in the cars… and, more importantly, he needed to leave no doubt in the real traitor’s mind that Hightower had panicked and taken him as a hostage. He/she knows that she’s innocent, so it’s decisive that Jane appears to have absolutely nothing to do with her disappearance. He isn’t supposed to know that Hightower isn’t guilty, nor that the second murder has been set up for making her appear as the killer (the golden object hidden in her room) to cover up Todd’s real murderer, because of the Red John connection. Therefore, he couldn’t afford to let anyone doubt that it couldn’t be a scheme: he needed to protect his secrets. Hence the shotgun… Second possible reason, I suppose he knew that Hightower was perfectly able to disarm him (as she did), so if she was really hostile, he would have a second gun to defend himself.

    Moreover, I may be wrong, but I had a feeling when watching the scene in the attic, when Jane began laughing in that scary way, that he seemed almost (crazily) relieved to have for once a possible concrete mean to reach Red John. As if all the tension he’s usually masking was suddenly bursting out… He was far more calm in the Hardy case, if I remember correctly, so I guess you were completely right sometime ago (in the Jolly Red Elf review) that the tension must tend to become overwhelming even though he hides it. Totally understandable.

    Keep up the good work! Your review was great and it really made my day!🙂

  • reviewbrain

    Wow. Thank YOU for such detailed comments. Yountaise many good points but my favorite is the one regarding Jane’s fear that he will trust Lisbon unconditionally. I think he already loves her that way; his desire for her to trust him, his repetitive statemts that he will always protect her are proofs of that. Actually I think that prettyuch sums up
    both their feelings; they love each other (whether platonically or romantically) but theain issue is trust. As control
    freaks, neither wants to trusts the other unconditionally because that means fiving up control.

  • Darrel Anos

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