Mentalist Every Rose has its Thorn Review


Agent Teresa Lisbon (Tunney) arrives at South Beach Marina, San Francisco where Agent Grace Van Pelt (Righetti) tells her that U.S. Coast guards found a body in the water. The victim is John Flynn, the CEO of a matchmaking service called Symphony. At CBI Jane meets the victim’s widow Erica (Morena Baccarin) and immediately zeros in on her as her husband’s killer. The rest of the episode is spent with him trying to prove that fact despite Erica’s perfect alibi; she was with a client at the time of the murder. As part of his investigation, Jane makes repeated visits to Symphony and even pretends that he’s looking for a match. Meanwhile, Lisbon and her team follow other leads one of which results in Rigsby also going undercover as a man looking for his potential soul mate.

Concise Verdict

‘Every Rose has its Thorn’ is highly enjoyable with superior performances from all actors involved. It contains both obvious and subtle continuity as well as character interaction. Parallels between the players were cunningly drawn to reveal personalities; contrast was also used to achieve the same as well as provide extra drama. And all this was done naturally in a very unforced manner thanks to the episode’s genius premise: having the victim and suspect work in a matchmaking service. Finally knowing who Jane suspects right off the bat and seeing him spend the rest of the episode in a mental cat and mouse game was fun.  Truly well played: 10/10

Detailed AKA Humongous Analysis (spoilers galore)

 This was a very clever, revealing, and reassuring episode; crucial considering the major and emotional ending of the one prior to it. Not only does ‘Every Rose has its Thorn’ show how Steiner’s suicide at the end of “The Red Mile” was likely an important plot device (it wasn’t angst for the sake of angst), it went as far as to shed light on Jane’s actions in “Blood for Blood” (another episode I had major issues with) and his character in general.

Jane has wanted Lisbon’s trust for a long time now (Season one ‘Carnelian Inc’.). He’s also been making increasing efforts to get closer to her and to help her when he can (Season two’s ‘Red Badge’, ‘Red Mile’, ‘Aangavite Baa’, and ‘Blood Money’ among many others). This season, he seems to upped his efforts to include invading both her personal and emotional space (‘Bloodhounds’ and ‘Red Gold’), pressuring Lisbon into cutting him ever more slack while flaunting his autonomy and asserting the fact that she and he are equals (‘Red Alert’),and finally manipulating her into breaking the law (‘Blood for Blood’).   All of which point to the fact that Jane is trying to change Lisbon, to get her to be more like him. But the motivation behind the attempt has not been clarified.

Obviously, it will benefit Jane if Lisbon (whose told him before that she intends on catching Red John alive and will arrest Jane if he tries to kill him) changes her stance. But the possibility of less sinister intentions has also been explored in past reviews. This episode offers more support for that theory.

It is also important to know that while the episode was very Jane-centric it also focuses on Lisbon by association and her issues.

1st Very Important Scene (VIS): The opener- Jane and Lisbon at the Marina  

– Patrick is basking in the sunlight when Lisbon comes up to him and asks him if he has anything to add before they leave.

“Yeah, the sun and the sea, isn’t wonderful?” he answers, looking at Lisbon expectantly.

Lisbon clarifies that she meant about the victim. Jane respond’s resignedly: “Rich guy, CEO, probably killed over money, way of the world.”

Jane’s demeanor here suggests a lasting affect from Steiner’s suicide, one which surprisingly might actually be positive: Jane almost seems to have a new-found regard for life. While his “way of the world” comment makes him sound more ‘world weary’ than ever, there is no bitterness in him; it’s like he’s reconciled with that fact. He actually looks at peace and his statements to Lisbon seem like he’s trying to share that feeling with her.

She however, is being her usual un-indulging all-business self which probably means that she has no clue what went down between Steiner and Jane. I like to think she’d be nicer to him if she did. On the other hand, I guess it’s possible that Lisbon knows what happened, but that she’s upset over it and is therefore refusing to go along with Jane’s philosophizing.

But I don’t think so.

– When Lisbon is skeptic that Jane has nothing of importance to add about the victim, his answer is once more off topic:

“Did you know in seven years each cell is completely replaced in your body? That means you are literally a different person from when we first met.”


Ahem. What I mean is Jane’s above statement finally answers a question I know most viewers have probably been wondering since the pilot: how long have Jane and Lisbon known/worked together. Answer: 7 years. His family was killed eight years ago so that means Jane started working for the CBI about a year after his family’s death. This also means that the ‘police’ Jane had been helping regarding Red John’s case before his family was killed were probably the local police and that the case was later handed over to the CBI.

So much information in a single statement. But that’s not even the best part of the dialogue.

Jane’s statement that Lisbon is now a completely different person to when they first met has a lot of significance. Firstly, if Lisbon’s a completely different person, then so is Jane. We’ve been given some hints (his looking more vulnerable than ever and his acceptance of Byron’s Saint Sebastian Medallion-‘Bloodstream’). It’s a very intriguing (and hopeful) thought.

Jane’s contention that Lisbon is different also fits his pattern of making statements regarding aspects of Lisbon’s personality which he doesn’t agree with :  “You’re a cop, you have to say that, you don’t really believe it”- ‘Red sky in the Night’, among others.  For anyone else this would be mere wishful thinking. For Jane, it’s more evidence that he’s attempting to invade Lisbon’s conscience to change it. This desire on his part has become more obvious in recent episodes:  (‘Red Moon’ ‘Red Alert’, ‘Blood for Blood). There is of course the obvious conclusion why he want that.

But there is also another theory:

In the ‘Blood for Blood’ review I stated (in relation to Jane manipulating Lisbon into letting Trina get away with killing her father):

…maybe the delight on Jane’s face was due to a less sinister reason… pure. That maybe the prize he feels he won is Lisbon’s understanding; that her letting Trina go somehow brought them closer together; and that all the tension that had build up since their revenge argument in the episode “Red Moon” was lifted off his shoulders.

The problem is that this assumption seems like pure conjecture. It is understandable that a certain amount of mystery will always prevail with regards to Patrick Jane’s intentions. However, I think viewers deserve some clarity third season into the series.

It is safe to say that this episode provides the clarity desired though perhaps not explicitly so (This will be discussed in more depth in VIS #7).

-Lisbon agrees to Jane’s contention that she’s different, “Sadder, but wiser.”

The ‘wiser’ goes without saying but, despite the grief Jane causes Lisbon, it’s doubtful that she really is sadder. She was just joking around. Or, she’s reacting on some level to Jane’s attempts at changing her by being sarcastic; rejecting the insinuation that she’s changed (for the better as is implied in the subtext) since meeting Jane; because of Jane.

Watching their interaction here recalls a similar scene in where Jane tried to have a conversation with Lisbon but got a sarcastic remark in reply. In ‘Throwing Fire’ (Season two) Jane guesses that the reason Cho joined a gang was his way of expressing anger at how his parents crushed his dream to play baseball. Cho denies this and after he leaves Jane and Lisbon have the following exchange:

Jane: “Eh, parents. It’s funny isn’t it. The big regrets in life people keep to themselves.”

Lisbon:  “I don’t know, I tell people about you.”

Jane: “Nice one. Zinger, high and tight.”

Something about that scene never sat right with me. I think it was how monotone Jane’s appreciation for Lisbon’s comeback was. Later in the episode Jane starts remembering his relationship with his father. This implies that perhaps Jane had actually wanted to have an honest conversation with Lisbon about his regrets. It’s a feasible misunderstanding, especially since Jane is prone to prod Lisbon for information.

The same could be true here as well. Jane doesn’t really react to Lisbon’s statement that she’s sadder but wiser since meeting him. But his body language is very telling: the fingers of one hand tap anxiously against the other before he quickly changes the subject back to the case. Jane points out that the victim is “very wet”, that that must mean something then walks away.

The victim is wet because he was in the water. So why’d Jane point out such an obvious fact? He could be preoccupied with thinking about Steiner’s death. It could also be that he wanted to give himself an out; like he’s given up trying to have a meaningful conversation with Lisbon when a.) all she wants is to talk about is the case, and b.) when she finally does respond to what he’s saying, her answer is sarcastic and she’s not taking him seriously. Or, since Jane is a closeted insecure person (Season 3 ‘Bloodhounds’, ‘Red Alert’), he might have been a little miffed at Lisbon’s remark that she’s sadder since meeting him. While Jane usually appreciates Lisbon’s dry humor that does not seem to be the case here.

Jane’s continuous and increasingly stronger attempts at getting closer to Lisbon makes this probable. His  repeated tries to help her and/or get her to open up to him about her problems usually don’t work. It’s very ironic how Jane, poker-faced mentalist Jane, is the more emotionally available person in the Jane/Lisbon dynamic.

To her credit, Lisbon looks confused at Jane’s reaction. Tunney’s face is so expressive it’s almost like Lisbon is thinking: “we know why the victim is wet, he was in the water. Why is Jane being so weird?”

Lisbon’s cluelessness here further supports the fact that she doesn’t know that Jane was present during Steiner’s suicide. But more than that, it’s more evidence that she’s a very detached person who sometimes can’t see/understand things going on around her (Grace/Wayne’s relationship, Season 2, why Laroche and Cho were upset with her Season 3 ‘Bloodstream’).

Also, if it is true that Jane is upset at his inability to communicate effectively with Lisbon, at her unwillingness to talk to him about anything other than work, then it is also continuity to the fact that Lisbon has no idea how much she means to Jane (and others). That she honestly doesn’t realize that they are trying to get closer to her; that her words and actions can affect people. This could count for her at times seeming to not take their feelings into consideration in her interaction with them.  That she doesn’t believe she has the ability to hurt them.

Of course, control also plays a major role here. While Lisbon is fiercely protective of her team, she is even more protective of her privacy and upholds the decree that “we don’t talk about our personal lives in this unit, it’s not useful and it’s unprofessional” (Season 1, ‘Red Tide’). She has also turned down drinks with the team (‘Bloodstream‘). To be fair, her stance is very understandable considering her background: her mother died, and her father lost himself in an alcoholic stupor and abused her and her brothers before finally committing suicide (Season 1 ‘Red Tide’, Season 2 ‘Red Badge’). It is no wonder she doubts people’s regard for her; her own father couldn’t care enough about her to stay alive for her sake.

This could also be why she has never displayed anything other than familial concern for Jane; why she’s only ever interacted with him on a superficial level; not going further than an (almost cursory at times) “are you ok?”  Her reticence is probably due to a desire for control (of her emotions) not a lack of emotion. She was insanely worried about Jane was he was recently kidnapped in “Ball of Fire”, but when Jane asks her about her big smile (after he’s rescued) she brushes off her relief. She starts,  “Of course, I’m glad your back” then goes to cite the fact that they solved a case without Jane as being the main reason for her happiness. She does not want Jane (and others) to know how much they effect her. Probably because she doubts she can affect on them.

Lisbon can only be commended for her cool personality as it is probably what allowed her to move on from her troubled upbringing; to be able to live what is probably as satisfying and productive life as she ever imagined for herself. The fact that she stops herself from getting emotionally involved with people is also most likely the main reason she is able to put up with Jane and his antics.

But while that aspect of her personality may have served her well in the past, it is now getting in the way of any real friendship she and Jane might have.

To a man of Jane’s talents and abilities it must be a huge blow that after 7 years of working with her, he’s still no closer to breaching Lisbon’s emotional walls. In fact, this might be the reason Jane isn’t sharing more information with her. He’s insecure when it comes to her feelings towards him. ( VIS #7  makes this scenario seems especially likely so it will be discussed in more detail there.)

For now there is enough information to establish that Jane has been making repetitive (mostly failed) attempts to get closer to Lisbon; and that she is either: a.) completely unaware of those attempts, or b.) is suspicious of the intention behind those attempts and is therefore purposely thwarting them, or c.) has a general fear of letting people in and not even Jane can help her overcome that.

Or looking at it from a different perspective, Jane’s presence in her life could have actually worsened Lisbon’s tendency to emotionally distance herself (especially since learning of his goal for revenge- Season one ‘Red Flame’, and since he told her he didn’t care if he lived or died provided Red John was caught-Season one ‘Red John’s Footstep’s).  It’s almost a chicken-egg scenario; which came first?

VIS #2 Jane and Erica’s first meeting at CBI

 – In the office, Jane observes the victim’s widow Erica Flynn (Morena Baccarin) with Agent Cho (Tim Kang) who actually smiles at her. Jane is intrigued and talks to Erica. When she asks him what he’s discovered about her, Jane points out her warmth and ability to get people to trust her and open up to her “enough to charm the stoic agent Cho which is no small feat”. He then asks if she uses her talent to help people or manipulate them. Erica answers that she uses it for both as she’s a matchmaker and needs to do so to help people find true love. When Jane scoffs she asks him if he finds the idea of true love silly. Jane immediately answers “No” (that he doesn’t think it is). Erica responds “that explains it”; that she now understands the “utter sadness” she sees in Jane.

This scene reminded me of Hardly Loquacious’s comment regarding this season’s pattern of strangers being able to pick up on Jane’s profound sadness and pain. This phenomenon has not been present in the previous seasons and (among other factors) could be indicative that Jane may be thinking of moving on and/or imagining a life after revenge (‘Jolly Red Elf’, ‘Red Alert’). (Again, VIS #7 deals explicitly with this idea so it will be discussed in more detail there).

What is different in this episode is that while other people are usually able to sense Jane’s pain out of empathy (fellow bereaved people), Erica here is able to read him because she’s just as good a mentalist as he is. Likewise, Jane is immediately able to figure out Erica’s true (cold) nature most likely because it takes one to know one. Although it is becoming increasingly apparent that Jane is nowhere near as heartless as he thinks he is, especially when compared to Erica (more on this in VIS #6)

 VIS#3 Jane and Lisbon in the CBI kitchen.

– Jane is trying to convince Lisbon that Erica (Morena Baccarin) killed her husband. She tells him that while spouse’s are usually the perps Erica has an alibi: she was with a client at the time of the murder. While discussing the possibility of other suspects Jane states how the fact that the victim gave half a million dollars to charity out of the blue is a sign of a guilty conscience. He goes on to cite that only Wall Street executives, crooked politicians, and troubled celebrities give that sort of money “all in the name of clearing their conscience.”

Jane is obviously drawing from his own experience here as he himself has given away lots of money to charity (‘Red Handed’) no doubt to help ease his own guilty conscience. Again, it takes one to know one.

VIS #4 Rigsby’s interview with Sarah Harridan (Jillian Bach)

Rigsby is interviewing Erica’s alibi, the client she was with at the time of the murder. She states that they were together the whole time and that Erica never left. She also gives Rigsby a DVD of the interview stating that Symphony gives their clients a copy. But more than establishing Erica’s alibi (and building suspense that Jane might actually be wrong) this scene introduces the adorably guileless Sarah as a potential romantic interest to Rigsby. A litigator, Sarah is obviously smitten with Rigsby. She is quick to assure him that she is not “a social leper” and asks him to not show her DVD to too many people because “it’s kind of embarrassing and they haven’t edited out my silly faces and dumb comments yet” only to add nervously “Oh my God, okay you can watch it, I mean for investigative purposes obviously” before immediately clarifying “not that if you wanted to watch it for other reason’s you couldn’t.” Rigsby thankfully puts her out of her misery at that point and ends the meeting. She thanks him and before she leaves: “Um, alright, I, I have, I have a question. I will just…are you in a relationship?” she asks, hopefully. Rigsby somewhat bashfully answers that he isn’t and she responds that that’s “Good to know” before firmly shaking his hand. Rigsby smiles to himself after she leaves.

One word: Adorable. This whole scene was adorable.

VIS #4 Jane and Erica at Symphony

 Jane arrives at symphony to observe Erica whom he suspects. She asks him if he has anymore questions for her, he says no. When he doesn’t explain his presence she surmises that he wants her to help him find a match. Jane states that’s not why he’s here to which she answers that it’s nothing to be ashamed of; that she’s helped plenty of people in his situation. Jane states that he’s not in a situation, that “there’s no situation”. Erica insists that she knows what he’s feeling, that she’s been there. “Yeah, I don’t think you have” Jane tells here.

Erica answers with the following speech:

“You were in a relationship once, you were in love but it ended badly and you were deeply hurt as a result. You shut yourself off from the world and you avoid meeting new people because you don’t ever want to feel that loss again. But now you’re ready to move on with your life. I can see it in you. You can find happiness again even true love but you have to be willing to let me help you.”

Jane’s reply? “That was spooky. It’s like you read my mind.”

I love Jane.

It may (hopefully) be perfectly true that Jane is in fact ready to move on, but the only reason he shared that information with Erica is because he wants an in to find out how Erica could have faked her alibi.

Erica takes Jane to where she conducts her client interviews, taping them on DVD to show to potential soul mates. When Erica asks him what kind of woman he’s looking for, Jane answer’s “Rich quiet blondes. No snoring, that is a deal breaker.” However, he doesn’t waste the opportunity the interview gives him to vent a little (as he does in the AA group in ‘Jolly Red Elf’). When she asks him what he wants from his life he first cheerfully answers a pet dragon, then turns serious and states that he wants his life to be free from his past.

Erica takes this opportunity to attempt to seduce Jane. She tells him that there’s a spark between the two of them, and that she’s telling him this to show him that he is capable of moving on. Jane calls out Erica on trying to manipulate him. She replies that she’s only pointing out his feelings towards her. Fed up with the charade Jane tells her he doesn’t feel anything towards her because he knows she killed her husband. She then accuses him of wanting a reason to push her away, that his accusation is a response to feeling guilty over his wife’s death. Jane admits to pushing people away and to feeling guilty but restates his firm belief that Erica killed her husband.

VIS#5 Rigsby at the Singles Mixer

 – One of the possible suspects is a woman called Naomi who targets rich single men, sleeps with them, then blackmails them with a video of their night together. The team has no definite ID for her other than the fact that she’s blonde and has tattoo of a rose on her hip. Lisbon instructs Rigsby to go undercover to a singles mixer which Naomi is expected to attend.

Now aside from the obvious comic factor of having single, self-conscious Rigsby go undercover as a rich bachelor this scene also served to highlight the difference in character between Jane and Rigsby (i.e. normal men). When Naomi invites Rigsby up to her hotel room Rigsby is able to ID her as the suspect by her tattoo almost immediately (she takes off her dress and tries to seduce him). But despite the fact that she’s a suspect Rigsby is unable to stop himself from making out with the her until Lisbon and Grace enter the room.

Wayne’s weakness here is in stark contrast to Jane’s ability to resist Erica’s efforts to seduce him; especially given that all evidence supports Erica’s innocence. It’s continuity that Jane is very ‘mind over matter’. It also shows that he takes lovemaking very seriously; another man may have given in to Erica’s advances just for the pleasure of it; not caring whether she was a killer or not.

I’m not saying that this makes Jane less (or more) of a man than Rigsby, just that the difference was nice to see. It was obviously intentionally done especially considering how, later Rigsby calls Sarah to ask her out for a date and a scene is spared to show the would-be couple happily heading out for their date. The fact that Rigsby might finally be able to move on from Van Pelt makes Jane’s persistent mourning for his wife more even more tragic by comparison.

VIS # 6 Jane and Erica Final Scene

 Jane is finally able to prove Erica’s guilt after conning her into admitting that she doesn’t care about her accomplice and receptionist Peter (Jonathan Baron). The hurt young man admits to conducting Erica’s interview with her client via tape recorder to give her an alibi. Jane’s glee at being able to catch Erica is undeniable, as is his disgust with her that she murdered her husband “in cold blood”. Also obvious? His dread when she tells him that it’s not over, that a jury still has to believe Peter’s testimony against her and that “not everyone’s as smart as you.”

While Jane and Erica are very similar in terms of mental cunning, I like to think that his disdain and tension here shows that he is not as cold as he thinks he is.

The next scene further shows that.

VIS #7 Lisbon watching Jane’s interview video

 Lisbon enters the attic to look for Jane. He’s not there but she finds her laptop which Jane had borrowed earlier while investigating Erica’s alibi- Jane needed it to compare the background noise of his interview with Sarah’s on Lisbon’s computer. As Lisbon retrieves her laptop she sees Jane’s face on the monitor of his computer and turns on the video. Jane is heard to say the following in a halting voice:

“I, I’m looking for someone who uh, someone I can trust. Someone strong someone at peace with themselves. Someone better than me. Someone who knows the worst side of me and still loves me.”

Erica is then heard to say: “Sounds like an amazing woman” to which Jane answers: “she was”.

In accordance to the compare and contrast method used throughout the episode I think this scene was done to show the difference between Lisbon and Angela. But first, here’s a brief translation of what I think Jane’s words, his definition of someone he can trust, actually mean:

 Someone strong = someone who can handle/put up/ not be intimidated by him.

Someone at peace with themselves= someone confident/secure enough to believe Jane when he is actually being honest; to believe his heartfelt attempts at intimacy and being nice.

Someone better than me= someone he can depend on to guide him when he goes astray which Jane probably knows he is perfectly capable of doing.

 Someone who knows the worst part of me and still loves me= someone who loves him unconditionally; whom Jane can believe truly has his best interests at heart and in mind when they give him advice.

 I hate to break it to fans of the Lisbon/Jane paring (myself included) but unfortunately, at this point, at least, Lisbon is not that person. She’s got her share of issues which (as far as we can tell) has kept her from forming any kind of meaningful relationship in her life. She’s also either unaware or perfectly content to deny whatever chance comes along for any real interaction between Jane and herself. She also hasn’t been strong enough to resist Jane’s manipulation into getting her to break the law. Which in itself is a paradox because while Jane wants her to go along with him, what he actually needs is someone to guide him. I’m not sure Lisbon can or even wants to be that person.

And yet, perhaps Jane thinks she can be.

In my Blood for Blood review, I stated:

Speaking of religion, to me, (and I suspect to Jane, on some level) Lisbon represents Jane’s salvation. I’m guessing that Jane thinks if he can get Lisbon, perfect pure Lisbon to agree with him, then that makes him a good person; makes him feel better about himself. In that sense, she’s like his moral yardstick; his conscience. Because, I suspect that deep down Jane does respect her, her opinion does count, even when he acts like it doesn’t. Jane my not believe in the afterlife, but he does believe in Lisbon.

Let’s just hope that Lisbon believes in herself enough to be able to continue keeping Jane out of trouble.

It’s really ironic. All season viewers have been shown how Jane seems to have the upper hand in the Jane/Lisbon dynamic, shown how he’s managed to manipulate and change Lisbon. But it now seems that his mere efforts to do so are proof that Lisbon is in fact the one in control.

After all, she hardly seems overly concerned with changing Jane. To him, that must translate into her simply not caring as much about him; that she isn’t as emotionally invested as he is.

I guess it also could be that Lisbon doesn’t think she can change Jane, so why try. And yet, Lisbon is the one who once stated that people can change, and Jane is the one who insisted that instincts never do (Season 2 ‘Rose-colored glasses’).  Still, he is desperately trying to do just that.

So for the last time, why? (other than the fact that he’s getting ever closer to catching Red John and needs Lisbon’s support to achieve his revenge; because really where’s the fun in that conclusion)…

 I posit the reason Jane wants to change Lisbon is the same reason he won’t open up to her.

In the Red Queen Review I had lamented Jane telling Hightower that he’s better off alone after she expresses her opinion that he should at least tell Lisbon what’s going on:

I… 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.

I also stated…

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 her safety…


looking at it from a more general perspective: what if Jane is not intentionally being secretive? What if it’s just a habit?


…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.

And theorized…

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 won’t 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. 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.

‘Every Rose has its Thorn’ makes the last conclusion the most likely one at this point:

 Jane wants Lisbon to be a different person not because he doesn’t respect her as she is, but because he doesn’t believe, as she is now, she can accept him for who he is. And yes, it is unfair of him to expect Lisbon to change but maybe Jane doesn’t think he can change (even if he wants to).

And because Jane does think Lisbon is better than him, he might think she may be able to accommodate him better than he can accommodate her; to make the friendship work.

But all this is probably on a very subconscious level. Jane’s tone here when he states that his wife was an amazing woman suggests that he doesn’t think he’ll ever find love again. And who can blame him?

In a previous review I stated:

…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.

I think Jane believes he is an acquired taste; he probably doubts he is easy to love and that is why eight years after his wife’s death he is still mourning her.

He’s probably right. He is a very unique personality. He can be perfectly pleasant when he wants to be but then he doesn’t always bother with that. I doubt many people can put up with the real him. The fact that seven years after they’ve met, Jane still hasn’t made a lot of progress with Lisbon can only enforce that idea further in his brain. He has been getting increasingly familiar and comfortable with her but she on the other hand is as wary of him as ever. Again, this is understandable considering his telling her that he wants to commit vengeance and how her job compels her to stop him. But Jane may perceive this as getting punished for being honest with Lisbon. I’m starting to think it really is no wonder that he’s not sharing more information with her.

Because while her actions this season show that (perhaps despite herself) she is starting to trust Jane, her words are as unyielding as ever: “whenever something involves you I have reason to doubt” (‘Red Queen’)

Perhaps this, more than anything, is the part of Lisbon that Jane truly wishes would change: the fact that she takes everything which relates to him with a grain of salt. After knowing each other so long, Lisbon does not trust his intentions, or actions and that gets in the way whenever he tries to open up to her. Trust is a two way street. He’s been much more forthcoming than Lisbon who stated explicitly that she doesn’t trust him. Not only that, perhaps Lisbon doesn’t want Jane to open up to her; perhaps she is also afraid that she won’t like him anymore once she gets to know him.

Jane being the sensitive person that he is probably senses this. The same way he knows that sharing too much of himself with Lisbon too soon is dangerous. He might lose her. He took a huge chance when he brought Lisbon along with him to Trina deGorge’s house; a decision I thought could have been made as a test of how far Jane could take Lisbon’s trust.

And while she went along with his plan and let Trina escape, he had cut it very close; Lisbon only changed her mind at the last minute and I doubt was happy with him afterwards.

In conclusion: Jane wants to get closer to Lisbon but fears the backlash. Jane doesn’t think Lisbon is ready to know him, maybe doesn’t think she even wants to, as evidenced by how she never pushes him for information, just lets him know that she doesn’t believe him. So he figures, why put her in a situation she’s not ready for, which will only end with her hating him.

Ugh. These two…move over Romeo and Juliet. Jane and Lisbon are the new definition of star-crossed. I’m starting to doubt their ability to have an honest friendship let alone a romantic relationship.

But, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I never, ever expected that Lisbon would be given such valuable information about Jane, be purview to what he needs. She now has leverage; is in a position where she knows what it takes to be in a relationship with Patrick Jane, should she desire one (which to be fair, there has been no indication on her part of that whatsoever). I do however, hope this new-found knowledge will at least serve to show Lisbon that Jane can be honest when it comes to emotions; that he is not as thick-skinned as he appears. Maybe now Lisbon won’t be as quick with her snappy comebacks. While I enjoy them (and her) they are getting in the way of real interaction.

On a deeper level, she might even realize that she can (positively) affect those (Jane) around her. Hopefully the knowledge will empower her enough to allow their friendship to move forward a bit; have the intimacy which Jane clearly desires. She might even ponder the idea that killing Red John could simply be a reason for Jane to live and that, given a better incentive, it may not be as important a goal to him (optimism is free ; p).

The fact that this knowledge comes just a few weeks before the finale is certainly foreshadowing to something huge that’s going to happen. A confrontation of sorts which will either bring these two closer together or threaten to break them apart.

At this point the result isn’t what’s important, rather, the fact that now Lisbon knows how truly vulnerable and insecure Jane is. She can make an informed decision on how close (or how far) she wants the friendship to be. The ball is in her court, and I can’t wait to see the decision she makes.

Whatever it is, Lisbon will be loved because she’s just as damaged and blameless as Jane is, if not more.

Best scenes

The winner: VIS #7 Lisbon watching Jane’s interview video because we get honest Jane and enlightened Lisbon.

1st runner up: I’m going to be lazy and say all Simon Baker’s scenes with Morena Baccarin. They were marvelous together depicting two equally cunning people trying to outsmart one another. Adding the addition complexity of seduction into the mix and there is no way you cannot be impressed by how Jane was able to withstand Erica’s advances, or by how she was able to keep up her act in the face of his unyielding belief that she is a murderess.

 2nd runner up: team scene in the bullpen

Rigsby walks into the office after going home and putting on a nice suit as instructed by Lisbon to go undercover in search of Naomi. He’s a bit nervous about going undercover and asks both Grace and Cho what they think. Grace assures him that he looks great but Cho states “I’m not answering that question.” After Rigsby pleads Cho gives a blunt, “you look alright.” Risby is still nervous, saying that if he doesn’t look rich Naomi won’t go for him. Grace tells him that she will and that Wayne just needs to be himself. Cho states “that’s a terrible idea.” Rigsby then wonders if he should do an accent to better his chances of attracting the suspect.  Van Pelt doesn’t think he needs one but he tries for British: “Hello, Rigsby, Wayne Risbgy from Sussex. Cheerio.” Cho looks up from whatever he’s doing to share a look with Grace, both shocked at how terrible Rigsby’s accent is. Wayne asks Cho how it was, he replies: “Yeah don’t do the accent.” Wayne glances at Grace who shakes her head no.

This was such a hilarious scene, made even funnier by the fact that Owain Yeoman is actually British. But more than that, such team scenes have become a novelty and it’s a treat to get such a nice one. Cho dreadfully blunt, Grace trying to soften the blows. Is it me or has Van Pelt become a nicer person since she and Rigsby broke up? I like to think that his niceness rubbed off a bit on her when they were together as she wasn’t always a very warm person. Or maybe Craig O’Lauglin helped her with that. As if.

 Honorable Mentions:

-Simon Baker: need I explain more?

-Owain Yeoman: fabulously funny. He was almost giving off a Chandler-like vibe here; awkwardly lovable.

– Morena Baccarin as the black widow Erica. Her scenes with Jane (before she knew he suspected her) were a fascinating character study. Seeing her seemingly warm demeanor through Jane’s experienced eyes was fun. She was excellent in her portrayal of Erica and held her own against Simon Baker till the end.

Jillian Bach as Rigsby’s new romantic interest Sarah Harridan. I love this woman. She is cute and adorable and she and Rigsby go really well together.

Icing’s on the Cake

It’s the little touches that really make an episode fabulous. Touches like Cho mentioning Erica signed a pre-nup before the marriage. And a dog repeatedly interrupting Grace’s interview with a suspect before she finally shuts him up. And Lisbon calling Rigsby “Wayne” because their sibling-like relationship tickles me. Tiny things like that can make even the most boring scenes come to life. This whole episode was fabulously engaging.

Best Line

“It’s not that I’m some social leaper or anything I mean I can meet people, I meet people all the time.” –Sarah to Rigsby.

“I didn’t’ kill John if that’s what you’re thinking. Oh my God that’s what you’re thinking!” the victim’s ex-wife Kim Cartright (Kim Johnston Ulrich) to Grace.

“I think she wants another bit off the old Cliff bar.” Henry Cliff (Brad Greenquist) to Cho and Rigsby about Naomi. The look between the two agents at his comment was hilarious.

“Because she doesn’t think I’m smart enough to catch her.” –Jane to Lisbon on why he’s obsessed with Erica.

“Oh, Oh that’s a good reason. Healthy. Professional.” Lisbon to Jane, in answer to the above.

“Nope. Not at all, not one little tiny bit.” Jane to Erica, on changing her mind about her killing her husband.

Pet Peeves

-“And here I thought you hated talking to widows.” Lisbon to Jane.

Does he? I specifically remember Jane talking with a widow in season one. But she was also a killer too…

– Later on in the episode Rigsby starts asking Cho what he thinks of dating services to which the latter answers that he never used one and that Rigsby should. Rigsby asks if it’s because Cho is “cool” and he’s not. Cho answers “anything to stop you dating your coworkers.”

Okay, first of all Cho shouldn’t be too judgmental; Rigsby’s the one who gave him Elise’s phone number. And speaking of which whatever happened to Elise? We got a lot of mention of her in season 2, was that just used to set-up episode Blood in Blood out? Continuity on Elise please!
Update (April 20th): Some stories have been written in relation to this episode (tags). These are two great ones: 

The Eye’s Have It

Episode Tag: The Red Mile, 3×18

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17 responses to “Mentalist Every Rose has its Thorn Review

  • C

    Ah i liked this episode and i waited for your review XD and i’m happy with it.
    A thought did occur to me though, to me Lisbon distanced herself more from him midway in season 2. Initially she was more open to him but i think she realises that she’s getting too close and in some ways even though we the viewers can see that Jane does have come genuine concerns for her, if he spent years tricking her and manipulating her…it’s safe to say she’ll not view him as serious. She has to force that emotional bond thing down because, in some ways, his manipulations and lies must be hurtful because she IS more willing to believe in him earlier on. But to not let it hurt her too much, she may pull away. (yep u’re right about the romeo-Juliette dynamic).
    Also his declaration of intent to kill Red John does put them on different sides of the fence. Jane, i’m sad to admit, largely wants her to change because he wants an accomplice.

    Also something else interesting to note: BOTH of them seem to retract from the bond they share. Lisbon, doesn’t like when Jane is distant but tries to make it about being a family, however she does get very bothered when Jane’s not around. Which she shouldn’t. Lisbon tries to be the rock so even if she knows something about Steiner’s death,(i suspect she may but Jane may not know this) then she’ll try to act as though nothing has changed. I suppose she becomes a comfort in this sense. (or she tries to be? )
    As for Jane, he wants her to Jane into something more and have a better bond with her. BUT he also knows they don’t agree and so they’re on two different sides of the coin of justice. Apart from that he knows that if he does get close to her Red John will DEFINITELY hunt her down and kill her.

    I feel these two are playing hokey-pokey: “you put your left foot in, you take your left foot you. You put your left foot in and you shake it all about…” XD

  • All-I-need

    Oh god, I loved this episode!

    Your review is great, as always. There`s just one thing that I`d like to add:
    You mention that Jane might not be sharing information with Lisbon because he`s scared she`ll hate him for it. That is definitely plausible. Now, considering her reaction when she saw that video (I swear she was crying or close to doing so), I think there might be another reason, though.
    Maybe Lisbon doesn`t want to let Jane in, get closer to him, because she`s afraid she might like him too much. Maybe he knows that and it`s the reason he`s trying so hard – he WANTS her to like him.

    I do agree with you that Lisbon has some serious issues when it comes to trusting people or even believing the fact that she has any influence on them. That people care about her and want her to care about them. Therefore, if she does let Jane get closer, maybe she can`t find a balance between them being so far apart and being TOO close.
    Jane is emotionally unavailable, as evidenced again by his video. The realization/reminder of that fact might have something to do with her uncharacteristically emotional reaction to seeing the video and hearing him talk about his wife.
    That doesn`t necessarily mean that Lisbon is in love with him (or afraid that she might fall for him if he gets too close) but even a close friendship is something she views as scary.

    It´s like Jane and Lisbon are talking to each other all the time but not really listening to what the other says, and when they do listen for a change, they misunderstand what they hear. That`s really frustrating – for them AND us viewers.

    By the way, you forgot one very important pro of this episode: It was not rushed in any way. I truly enjoyed that. A lot.

    Also: Rigsby and Sarah in the elevator on the way to their date. I laughed SO hard. He must be about a meter taller than she is. Hilarious, but they make an oddly cute couple. I`d really like it if they`d get together. And I`m rooting for more Cho/Elise, too. Maybe they won`t even mention anything anymore but Cho`s suddenly got a ring on his finger. I`m kind of waiting for that to happen and I frequently catch myself staring at his hands.

    I need to comment on the end of the episode again (can`t help myself).
    The look on Jane`s face and especially that incredibly sad smile he flashed for about half a second … I have to admit it almost made me cry. It`s only about the second time ever he`s talked about his wife (not counting all the times he mentioned that she`s dead) and his grief is still very noticeable. I feel so sorry for him and I`m oddly glad that Lisbon finally got a chance to look behind his happy, charming facade behind which he`s always hiding. I agree with you on that point and I desperately hope it`ll make Lisbon reconsider some of her actions.

    I think this has to be one of the shortest first comments to a new episode review I ever wrote, but I really got nothing else to say. Great review, as always (and long, too!).

  • reviewbrain

    So true. I had a paragraph written about how these two have a whole push-pull thing going on. But never towards each other at the same time. I think it got lost the 5th time I edited this *_*

  • reviewbrain

    Nice. One thing though, I don’t think Lisbon was emotional (tearful) at hearing Jane speak about his wife, rather quietly shocked. Like she’s trying to reconcile the Jane on camera with the Jane she knows or thinks she knows.

  • All-I-need

    That could be possible. I`ll have to watch it again later and check. The ep is definitely worth rewatching =)

  • violet

    Great review! Very interesting and well-thought! Nevertheless, I must say my humble views slightly differ with yours in a few points, so my comment may be pretty long! Sorry for that…

    First of all, I’ll just add a minor side remark… I really liked how well you pointed out the contrast between Rigsby and Jane in front of guilty temptation (in more ways than one). It’s very probable that Jane takes sex more seriously than “normal” men would do; after all, he’s still celibate eight years after becoming a widower. It certainly explains why he resisted so strongly to Erica’s advances. But, even it that may indeed be true, there is also a heart-felt disgust in his attitude: Erica’s a woman who proclaims believing in true love, then she flirts just after her husband’s death and has in fact murdered him for financial reasons (he wanted to dissolve Symphony, so she needed his money). There is a gap between her hypocrite sweetness and Jane’s sarcastic behavior masking that he’s still mourning. That speaks a little more in Rigsby’s favor, since he didn’t have such an incentive to resist! 😉

    Even so, there was as probably really a spark between the two of them: Jane’s eye was caught since the beginning, he may have been attracted by her (cf. what he told Lisbon when flirting with the first widow in season 1 Ladies in Red that he was as the others men, soft on her because she was an attractive grieving widow). But he realized very fast that she was the killer (it could be when she was coolly redoing her makeup after faking being emotional, when she tried to manipulate him by talking about his sadness for encouraging him open up in the interrogation room, or when she told him she could help him to find a partner, by the elevator). Still, he didn’t have the same reaction he normally has when understanding that the person he’s speaking with is the culprit. He usually stays natural and we can’t tell what he knows.

    Second point is the relationship between our two lovely protagonists. C and All-I-need as well as yourself have accurately pointed out how theirs is based on an alternate impulse to pull/push. As he tries recently to get closer to her, she doesn’t acknowledge it, you’re right, and she most likely doesn’t know how much she means for others. Yet, I disagree with you about Lisbon showing only some familial concern with Jane, and even more that she showed it less than him. She’s an honest person, but she lied for him repeatedly, covered his own lies without blinking (about Todd in front of Hightower); she told him she cared about him even before realizing he could be nice to her (her surprise in understanding that he tried to help her when she was suspended)… In Ball of Fire, she offered herself to the kidnapper to save him… her concern for him is more than evident, she just tries to hide it.
    And I may be too much of an optimist, but even the fact that her concern is purely familial or not is a little dubious (she’s never shown as much when others members of her team, also family, were in in trouble): the only indication that she considers him “family” is in Ball of Fire, and she talked in name of the team; the fact is that we don’t know what she really thinks, if she only feels that way or she’s more interested in him than in her other coworkers (either just friendship or more).

    In fact, the two of them seem to be in the same situation: they think they aren’t important enough for the other. Jane thinks that she doesn’t trust him and that she might no longer accept him if she knows how dark he truly is. On the other hand, she thinks HE doesn’t trust her (he doesn’t talk to her seriously, tried to distance himself, she knows that he’s keeping things from her) and, thus, she can’t trust him. She isn’t aware of Jane’s affection: she already told him he doesn’t understand that people care about him, after he he had proved her right by not giving a damn about his life as long as he got his revenge; she wasn’t here when his kidnapper Rachel told him she’s seeking revenge because he is responsible of her most important person’s death, so here’s a high possibility that she didn’t fully understand the correlation with threatening her life. She isn’t here when he told Hightower that, as her partner, he isn’t happy if she isn’t. She feels that she can’t trust him because, for her, HE doesn’t care enough about her to be trustworthy…

    Now, brace yourself, here comes the part about the last scene! 🙂
    First, the (not) so obvious conclusion that Jane is still grieving, induced by his speech about his wife. The first sincere answer Erica managed to receive from him was that he wants to be free from his past. His past includes Angela and Charlotte, so if he was still as devastated as he was when the story begun, he would rather have said something in the lines of “ I want my old life back” or “I want to be free from the guilt”, or even “I want to set scores with my past (Red John)” . Because, it’s true, killing RJ could allow him to be free… but if you want to be free, it certainly is implicitly to do something with that freedom. Therefore, he does start to think about another life after RJ, he’s very slowly beginning to move on (even if not necessarily romantically speaking).

    Moreover, he’s more and more separating the figures of his wife and his daughter. At the very beginning of the show, both were systematically reunited when mentioned, they were his lost family. Now, there are moments alluding to his daughter and others to his wife (when Lisbon manipulates him to take part of an investigation with a teenager the same age than Charlotte; here, the episode gives details of his relationship with his wife; even the encounter with Danny gave more insight in Angela’s personality than her daughter’s). That’s revealing, it could hint that he’s starting to analyze more his pain, to assimilate it, rather than just suffering. And here, he talks about his wife to a stranger, that’s a first: the only other time he gave details about Angela was to Lisbon, when he was forced to confront his old life. That he has the capacity to exteriorize his affection and the pain of the loss is already a first step in coming to term with it. The fact that, at this point, his antagonist, a manipulative but really perceptive woman, senses that he’s ready to move on, even if he fakes it, could also mean that there’s a part of truth in it: Jane speaking of his wife in the interview was indeed a bit suspicious, I wonder if, maybe, he wasn’t trying to convince himself that he was still incapable of moving on. I mean, it rather could have deserved his interest to display how much he still missed her, if he was trying to convince Erica that he was a client ready to find love, and it wasn’t like him to show sincere emotion in front of someone he didn’t trust (unlike in the AA, where nobody was involved in the murder)… I’m still not completely sure about my conclusions, but I find the whole thing very ambiguous.

    About Jane’s speech of his type in women: indeed, it was done to show the difference between Angela and Lisbon, but also their similarities. I mean, we can’t know at first he’s talking about his wife. We are expected to think the talk is about a living woman, since he mentioned “the woman I’m looking for”, he was speaking in present tense and his speech was too constructed and precise not to allude to someone real (about her personnality at first: “strong”, then “at peace”, then expressing her feelings towards him: “better than me”, becoming “knowing me and still loving me”). I wants to feel admiration and reassurance, those feelings he arbors for Lisbon precisely… And we realize at second sight only that he’s not speaking about Lisbon and there are indeed differences between that ideal portrait and our lady cop.

    Let’s study it more closely:

    1) Her personality: someone strong = “someone who can handle/put up/ not be intimidated by him”, you said. Yes, you’re right Lisbon isn’t strong enough to resist his influence and his schemes. She can’t control nor guide him the way he would need. Still, he was impressed that she could handle so well the perspective of imminent death in Red Code and he had that affectionate look on his face when she took bravely the loss of her leadership. She’s strong, not enough maybe, but certainly more than him.

    – Someone at peace with themselves= “someone confident/secure enough to believe Jane when he is actually being honest; to believe his heartfelt attempts at intimacy and being nice.” Not so sure about your definition here: I don’t think it refers to trust (he didn’t have trust issues with Angela), rather to someone who doesn’t feel the need to prove themselves like he needs to do (to his father, seeking fame as a psychic) someone who doesn’t seek reassurance in him, because he feels too insecure himself… Well, in that case, Lisbon is a quite particular position, because, even though she’s plagued with trust issues, can’t value herself enough for accepting that people care about her and can’t believe Jane when he chose to be honest, she has reached a kind of peace on her own. A control induced peace, based in distancing herself, a somewhat illusory peace, but a peace nevertheless. She succeeded in moving from her past (while Jane couldn’t and is still overwhelmed by regrets and guilt): in spite of all she still believes in something, following the law and doing the right thing.

    2) Her attitude towards him : someone better than me= “someone he can depend on to guide him when he goes astray which Jane probably knows he is perfectly capable of doing.” He thinks she is better than him, he values her more than him.

    – Someone who knows the worst part of me and still loves me= “someone who loves him unconditionally; whom Jane can believe truly has his best interests at heart and in mind when they give him advice”. Lisbon fits: she knows him the best in the show (even though she doesn’t know all his doings…) and, until now, sticks by his side even when she doesn’t agree with his behavior(when he’s in jail, she talks Bosco into giving charges up)

    So, you’re perfectly right, Lisbon isn’t completely like Angela. But I think she comes close enough: Jane doesn’t need a replacement for his wife, either as friend, or as something more, so that’s alright. He can think that she fits enough the part to try to get closer and give her his trust. Now, it’s up to him, because if he wants to get anything from her, even mere sincere friendship, he needs to prove her that he can be trusted. To spill at long last his guts and tell her the truth about all those secrets he’s been hiding!

    Besides, I found it remarkable that his description of his dream woman puts the accent on someone stable, who wouldn’t have the same doubts about him that he has. He really wants to be comforted by a woman and seeks redemption in her (Angela/ angel, protecting him and Danny, and her brother imagining her watching them from above and calling them dummies; Saint Teresa). Angela was probably saving him from his insecurities by sticking by his side although he was a fraud, they begun a new life together, she gave him another chance in life. Now, he feels guilty that she died because of his sins, of his hubris. There is a very biblical perspective in that. And, as you said some time ago, Lisbon represents another form of redemption, because she believes he is capable of making the right choice.

    Now, if we get another perspective in the scene, another question pops up… Why did Lisbon watch the video? She’s all bent on keeping professional matters as such and doesn’t want to discuss private lives with coworkers. Here, she discovers an interview from him, that he probably kept secret (he stole her laptop and hided in the attic for comparing). She is invading his privacy. It could be mere curiosity, but usually Jane is the insanely curious one. I rather believe she’s personally interested by it, for two possible reasons: because she wants him to move on with his life, or because she indeed more or less desires something more with him, and watching him talking about his hopes in love is a good way of knowing more about him. Either way, she can’t help herself and doesn’t resist her first impulse.

    If I may use the correlation you made with Rigsby’s performance, I’ll compare that scene with the moment Rigsby watched Sarah’s interview and it caught his interest even more. I really think the two scenes refer to each other. Indeed, I must say that I had the same feeling than All-I-Need (even after rewatching the scene) when Lisbon watched the video: she really seemed moved, almost tearful, she seemed alright shocked but there was a hint of something more, a spark, a marveling, I don’t know. So much that, I admit I thought that she assumed Jane was talking about her, that she believed she was hearing an almost confession. After all, she couldn’t guess he was talking about his wife. Now, I’m not sure if she really though he was talking about herself or if she was only shocked and in an awe that he could finally be moving on, because we didn’t see her reaction at the end of his speech… Maybe Jane’s declaration and her reaction were meant to contrast with the happy ending of Rigsby’s scene.

    At last, I wonder what the scene could be meaning. For me, it’s obviously a way to tease the shippers. But even so, something felt a little… off, for lake of a better term. Both laptops were left in the attic, unused, for some time; Jane didn’t use them since the first part of his investigation, when he discovered Erica’s questions were recorded, he didn’t need them for understanding the blinding light spot trick. And we can suppose some time has passed between the conclusion of his investigation and the moment Lisbon came for him, for she wouldn’t have gone to the attic if she knew he was still tricking Erica. So was it a set up? Did he let his laptop open with his face on screen on purpose for catching Lisbon’s attention? What for? Or was it one of your infamous pet peeves, since the screen didn’t turn black in the meantime?
    Besides, once more, why didn’t he lie to Erica? He did so with the previous black widow he played before accusing her of murder (allusion by the mention of a “grieving widow” for Erica): he told her he hadn’t any child when asked, for not confiding in her. And he didn’t need to tell Erica the truth, since he wouldn’t be using the video for love purpose. He even accused her just after doing it, when she tried to seduce him: he obviously had no qualms in telling her what he thought about her…

    In fact, this scene is the second strange moment of the season. It mirrors the one where Jane was trying to peek on Lisbon while she was changing. Both seem almost out of character: chaste Jane peeping; distant Lisbon sneaking a peek on emotional and private revelations. Both scenes involve watching an unexpected minute of intimacy from the other: without being witnessed, they show their most genuine and impulsive reaction to the other, with no risk of him/her discovering. And both involve a form of frustration: he doesn’t manage to see anything, while she only discovers than he’s still thinking about his wife (he’s not blatantly moving on, and, maybe, she realizes he wasn’t talking about her). In any case, both scenes somewhat reveal an interest for the other: sexual for Jane, personal (or maybe even amorous) for Lisbon. Still, those moments remain very ambiguous, as many questions are unanswered: did Jane try to watch her only because the occasion presented itself? Was his interest only physical? Was Lisbon just curious? Did she only want to know if he was making progress? Was it another reason behind her indiscretion?

    I’m not stating here that they are romantically attracted to each other, I simply point out that the show continuously give them scenes where nothing big seems to happen, but enough ambiguous not to crush (nor rise too much) hopes. Their relationship is as unclear and indefinite as ever.

    Anyway, I really enjoyed your review (and I hope I haven’t bothered you too much)! Keep up the good work!!!!

  • reviewbrain

    No bother! I’m loving all the comments!

    About Lisbon having Jane’s best interests at heart: that is perfectly true because I believe part of the reason she wants to keep him from murdering red John is to keep him out of jail. But Jane wouldn’t see it that way. He’d want her to help him get away with his revenge which so far she explicitly states that she will not do. So no, I don’t think he knows/thinks that she loves him unconditionally. And like you said, he’s a very needy person. Lisbon, emotionally detached as she is probably cannot provide him the comort he needs, not unless she makes a conscious  decision to do so. Which is what I’m hoping will happen now after she’s watched his video; even if it’s just in the capacity of a friend.

    About family; Lisbon told Jane “we’re a family” in the season 3 premiere. Contrast that with what Jane says about her: “good friend and colleague”. 
    Perhaps she thinks, like herself, Jane is incapable of romance and has designated him as her “work family”. But Jane hasn’t made the same designation which I find very amusing 😉

    I do think Jane wants to move on which is why he was being honest with Erica. Like when he went to the AA meeting, he takes the opportunity to express his real emotions. But now that he wants to move on, to be free from the past, he is faced with the likelihood that he will never find someone as compatible with him as his wife. I think that may be the reason for his depression here, for the pain when he agrees that his wife was a wonderful woman.

    Like I said, I do think that maybe Jane wants Lisbon to be ‘that’ woman, that like you said, she’s close enough to what he needs. But, there has been no indiation from her to him that she wants that.

    I love the biblical references in reference to Jane and his salvation. But while Lisbon says she believes Jane will make the right choice, she still doubts him, or at least says she does. So that can’t make him feel too good about himself, especially if, like we agreed he percieves her as his moral compass. In fact I’m starting to think one of the reasons Jane wants to change Lisbon is because she makes him feel even more insecure. Jane only wants to be around someone better than him if that person can make him feel good about himself. But Lisbon is always putting him down. “you’re horrible, very healthy, very professional, sadder but wiser” and that’s just in this episode. It could just be how they are, always joking around, but like you said, she hasn’t been privy to Jane’s good qualities, doesn’t know what he’s done for her. Which is why she was so surprised when he tried to help her in Blood Money. Because she doesn’t seem to think he’s a capable of selfless acts of kindness. 

    Neither knows how much the other truly cares, because they’re both hell bent on not expressing that emotion. Probably because they think that might be used against them; again this is due to lack of trust (over the revenge). This is also why, as you pointed out, they only express interest when the other is
    unaware (Jane peeking, Lisbon watching the video)

    Rigsby’s happy ending was definitely meant to contrast with Jane’s sad video. It makes him even sadder by comparison. 

    I did think about why there was no screensaver on Jane’s monitor, then decided that he turned off that option in the computer settings 🙂 also, if the screen was black then no way Lisbon would have been able to watch the video. Her curiosity got the better of her when she saw his face on the monitor (natually I think) but she’s not nosy enough to invade his privacy by messing with a black screen.

    Thank you for your encouragemt. These reviews are getting harder than ever to write. The episodes have so much meat in them, and I’m getting busier than ever. I almost gave up on this one and was actually physically exhausted when it was finally done. But these discussions make it worthwhile 🙂


  • ortforshort

    The episode was entertaining, as usual. The characters are so well drawn that it’s fun to go guessing about all this stuff. I don’t think that the writers put nearly as much thought into the nuances as we do. Speaking of the writers, I didn’t find it as tight as it normally is. It was mentioned that Flynn gave $ to charity due to a guilty conscience, but that line of thought was dropped and never pursued. It couldn’t have been because of Naomi – and, if it was, that was kind of lame. Also, not enough was given to support Patrick’s unflinching conviction, right off the bat, that Erica was the murderer. He could have at least verbalized why he so strongly suspected her for all of us non-mentalists our there. Part of the fascination with the show is that there is usually a very good explanation for Patrick’s suspicions. The excellent writing on the show is punctuated by his clever observations of seemingly minor details that we miss – and he subsequently explains. None of that happened on this episode – to it’s detriment

  • reviewbrain

    Actually it isn’t always true that Jane explains why he suspects someone But you’re right, when he does it makes for a better episode. Here I assumed he didn’t want to tell Lisbon “There’s nothing which suggests it, but I feel it” because she might have teased him about being psychic.” when what he really sees is a kindred spirit. A fellow manipulator. Interestingly, the other example which comes to mind about someone Jane was never shown to explain his suspicions of is Todd Johnson, another sociopath.

    Another issue that was brought up and forgotten was the lawsuit the victims ex-wife brought on her husband. I forgive these things easily when it is apparant that they are unimportant to the actual case. The donated money was only brought up to show that the victim may have had enemies/done something to feel guilty for. I assume it is for divorcing his wife after falling in love with Erica since that happened immiately after. Speaking of which, there’s an issue I would have wanted to know more about: Jane said Erica killed her husband because he was going to divorce her and she would have lost everything shed worked for. But it wasn’t her company to start with. I would have liked it to be stated more explicitly that she was the one who made it successful, something like that. But again. I didn’t think this was important because i was able to draw the conclusion quite easily my own. Jane did say she was ambitious.

  • LittleMender

    Hey Reviewbrain–
    You asked me to cut and paste my reply to your review of my tag for this episode here. I don’t know why–you covered the episode beautifully, but here goes:

    . . .I have to give credit to the all-over production of this episode. Everything, including the use of the camera, the placement of actors (At least twice, Lisbon almost immediately replaced Erica in Jane’s line of vision, a subtle device contrasting the cunning of the one with the integrity(purity?) of the other.) and use of body language (Jane leaned toward Lisbon repeatedly while it looked like he was doing everything he could to fight the urge to lean AWAY from Erica’s attempts at forcing intimacy.), the costuming and make-up (Lisbon was the most beautiful she’s ever been, and they dressed her in gray to rich olive green to vibrant red, like they were increasing her dynamic as the show progressed.), to lighting (diffused for Erica and more direct for Lisbon, picking up the natural sparkle of her eyes)–it REEKED of subtext!

    As for Jane, I especially liked the way he tolerated Erica’s closeness and attempts at seduction. It was all so delightfully patronizing of him. The contrast to his openness with Lisbon and what looked like sheer enjoyment at being in her company was such a breath of fresh air for me. And when he tells Erica how he deduced the identity of her accomplice, he refers to advice given to him by “a–a friend” (Lisbon, emphasis on the word friend and a stammer as if he’s not quite sure that’s the best way to describe her but lacks a better word) with a slight shift of his eyes downward and to the left, a tell (according to “Lie to Me”) of sincere, truthful thought and intention.

    Can you tell I loved this episode? Imagine if so much thought and artistic use of subtlety and nuance went into every episode.

    End quote. Loved this review, especially your indepth insights to the opening scene. Wow! I have GOT to watch this show more closely.

  • hardly_loquacious

    Okay, to start, I loved this ep. I thought it was great. I disagree on motivations, part of that is my ship bias though.

    Also, you will never convince me that Jane’s motivations at the end of Blood for Blood are altruistic. I will concede that there is a possibility that they are not completely sinister, BUT that was too deliberately done to be completely altruistic. It was too pointed. (But then, like Lisbon, I am distrustful of Jane.)

    I would also say that Jane has always been philosophical and taken an almost childlike pleasure in life. Take for example, at the end of 3.10 when he randomly chases gulls on the beach, or in S1 when he builds a sandcastle. If you really want to *look,* for it, then yes you could say it’s the effect of Steiner. But when I watched this ep I didn’t see any notable effects of watching Steiner die on Jane. Also, we have no idea how far apart the two eps are in the universe of the show, which would affect both Jane and Lisbon’s reactions.

    Lisbon’s reaction (or lack thereof) to Jane’s off-the-cuff comment at the start, honestly I didn’t see as having anything to do with Steiner. Sill don’t. It’s just her reacting to one of his random statements. I feel like if you worked with Jane you’d have to just let a lot of it roll off your back. If he *is* reacting to Steiner, I think she’s just oblivious, and not necessarily because she doesn’t know and/or is angry with him/doesn’t care, but because I think it’s a bit of a stretch.

    Also, I think your timeline is probably approximately correct, BUT the nitpicker in me has to point out that all we really know is that J/L have known each other AT LEAST 7 years. That’s the minimum, for complete cell replacement. Could be longer. I think it is probably about 7 years though.

    But yeah, as for why Jane is trying to change Lisbon’s worldview, I suspect this is a case of the obvious answer being the right one, or at least the MAIN one. There might be other elements coming into play, but mainly it’s the Red John thing.

    I also think, Jane probably does want to have serious conversations with Lisbon sometimes, but given his manner, I have no idea how she could know when that would be. His voice is often relatively similar in tone and inflection, and often deceptively light regardless of what he’s saying. The issue preventing them from communicating effectively (which yeah, they don’t), isn’t just her reticence.

    Love the idea that Jane is the more emotionally open of the two. However, I would say that it is possible that Jane only *appears* to be the more emotionally open. After all, given how much control Jane apparently has on his biofeedback loops (as per 3.10), and his advice to Todd Johnson that to peruse revenge you have to be cold and not let people see what’s in your heart (3.09), I don’t know that you can entirely trust his emotional openness simply because he is A) almost certainly not showing you everything, and B) you have no way of knowing if any given thing is genuine. I don’t think he’s as good at controlling his emotions as he thinks he is, but I do think he deliberately puts on a front to show Lisbon, to a certain extent.

    Which also makes his annoyance that she doesn’t trust him a bit laughable. I mean, I feel for him, but dude, your own fault. Although, I also think he’s more open with her than she thinks he is, but she doesn’t believe him (nor should she, at this point IMO; he’s still too untrustworthy).

    I really disagree with your assessment of Lisbon not seeing/understanding the things going on around her. Personally I think she did know about Grace/Rigsby dating, but was pretending she didn’t because then she’d have to deal with it, but then they were idiots and told her about it, forcing her to acknowledge it, hence her repeatedly trying to get Rigsby to shut up in that conversation, and telling him they weren’t in a relationship. She didn’t officially want to know. And nothing will convince me otherwise. Because Lisbon is relatively perceptive most of the time. Bloodstream, she was under siege, and in self-protection mode. She wasn’t necessarily misreading Cho, so much as refusing to deal with it (though there may have been elements of both), and we disagree about LaRoche’s motivations there somewhat. I do definitely agree that Lisbon doesn’t seem to recognize what she means to people, but I don’t think she’s unperceptive in general. Detached, yes, unperceptive, no. You can perceive how people want to interact with you, but choose not to respond, which could be what she’s doing with Jane, but I’m not sure. He’s not sending overwhelming signals certainly, if he is sending signals at all (something I’m not convinced he is in the beginning scene).

    I think Jane does want to be closer to Lisbon, but the issue is that he doesn’t seem to realize that there is a connection between his continuous lying to her and her reluctance to open up to him. Also, I disagree that Lisbon displays little more than familial concern for Jane (see S1 finale, for a start). Her concern is just not overt, and it’s all in her eyes (because yeah, RT’s face is expressive). As another example, 3.08 “Well, that’s a big smile.” She is emotionally involved with Jane, and I think she does express that to a certain extent, something that Jane, for all that he is doing *better* this season, is not always consistent at either. She’s not SO reticent that she can’t have a friendship with Jane.

    I would say that she does open herself up to him slightly more than she did. He is making progress, albeit slow progress. For example, you see him in her office far more than you used to. But I doubt she goes much farther until Jane is honest/stops manipulating her for one. Her distrust of him makes perfect sense. Love the idea that he’s insecure about his relationship with her. If only that would make him make a change too. Because as he is, I think he is causing her to shut him out a little, with all the lying.

    It’s why I love their relationship really, they *both* need to change for it to work.

    Now onto the actual case. (Yes, sometimes I’m interested in those too.)

    Agree that Morena Baccarin’s character reading Jane’s pain made actual sense as opposed to just being a random dude Jane meets. I was a FAN. It was actually explained, and she was a great adversary. I would not be opposed to her getting off on the murder charge and coming back, because she and SB have great non-romantic chemistry.

    Can Rigsby and Sarah be a thing now? I like them WAY more than Rigsby and VP. It just seems more natural, as opposed to shoved down our throats by the writers (which RSVP felt like to me after a while). And I love adorable Rigsby. I like both Rigsby and VP better when they’re apart.

    And loved Rigsby seducing the girl, awkwardly repeating the room number so Lisbon and VP knew it, and Lisbon walking in going, “Rigsby, your collar.” At which point he checks his own collar for lipstick. I love awkward Rigsby. I want more Lisbon/Rigsby snark moments like that. There have been a few this season.

    Unsurprisingly I also disagree with your assessment of Jane’s description of an ideal woman. Apart from maybe being at peace with herself, I thought he *was* describing Lisbon unintentionally, or maybe coincidentally. When I first heard the description I thought of Lisbon right away. I thought the description was too similar not to be deliberate. I think the parallels between Angela and Lisbon, from what we’ve heard already (here and in 3.02), are striking. I am biased, but I think Lisbon and Angela are strong in different ways. I have extensive thoughts on this. Very extensive thoughts, which I will not go into here. I don’t think the two of them are anywhere near being able to make a relationship work, but I think they could get there, which is why I love them.

    I also disagree that Lisbon isn’t trying to change Jane. I think she doesn’t quite know how to do it effectively. But I think she is hoping to have an effect on his decisions. After all, she told him after she got him out of prison that she’d hoped he’d change his ways a little in thanks (as the first example that comes to mind) and he shot her down as a joke (which by the way, they both do, it’s not just her). So I think she’s stopped being as obvious about what she’s doing.

    Oh, and I would point out, that Jane having previously considered telling Lisbon stuff (evidenced by his telling HTW that he can’t), is rather telling. I think he’s doing it for a variety of reasons, to stop her from getting in the way, both for her own protection and to stop her from influencing him, because part of her knows she could/is.

    I disagree about why they’re both sarcastic and what it means. But as a very sarcastic person, I disagree that flippant comments will always stand in the way of a genuine relationship. I tend to get along better with people who also sarcastic than people who aren’t. And I genuinely feel like the J/L banter feels natural, there’s a rhythm to it. It’s just another way of communicating. I wouldn’t take a lot of what they say as an attempt to either start a genuine conversation, or shut each other down.

    For example, I love Lisbon and Jane’s conversation about why he wants to catch MB’s character so much. Loved her “Oh good, very professional.” And his acknowledgement that she kinda has a point.

    Which, BTW, Lisbon’s face in that last scene broke my heart, because I think she does wish she could help him, if she could.

    And yeah, Jane isn’t nearly as heartless and detached as he thinks he is, which I love. I love this season.

  • reviewbrain

    Thank you so much for sharing! As to why, I’d completely forgotten to analyze the direction of this episode. To be honest, it’s not usually something I point out unless it’s very good (or very bad). I usually stick to the writing and the acting and even that gets overwhelming at times. But reading your comments, I realized that the direction was exemplary here and credit needed to be given. And you had done such a great job of it I couldn’t bear to let it go to waste 🙂 So for the record, way to go Director Charles Beeson and all involved in making this episode a joy to watch.

  • reviewbrain

    For someone who wrote “disagree” so many times we sure do agree on a
    lot :)I guess for this pairing even the slightest variances in meaning matters.

    I never said Jane’s motives in Blood for Blood were altruistic, in fact, I had ranted enough on that review over the fact that they most likely weren’t, and wrote an episode tag to vent off my frustrations over that fact (it’s called Bloody Trust if you’re interested).

    The obvious reason is, as I stated, him wanting her to break the law for his own purposes. I’m merely pointing out the evidence that was given in subsequent episodes, including this one, which suggests that another important reason could be his wanting to change her could be because he wants to get closer to her. I believe that Jane can get to Red John on his own if he had to. But the fact that he wants to change suggests that he has a more personal (perhaps romantic) reason to want her to change her stance with the law. Which isn’t an altruistic reason either, in fact some may argue it makes him even more selfish.

    And yes, Lisbon wants Jane to change as well, she’s explicitly said she hopes he will. But she’s not actively trying to achieve that. She’s more subtle about it, enough to make me think that she’s in fact fighting that urge to protect herself. And even if she is being intentionally subtle about it (which I would love to be true, but unfortunately I doubt the writers will go there) I doubt Jane realizes what’s she’s doing.

    But these are points we’ve already agreed on 

    The following are the only items I think we really might not agree upon:

    Sarcasm: Yes being sarcastic and joking around is a huge part of the relationship. But because Lisbon’s so used to it I don’t think she realizes when Jane is being serious. I come from a very sarcastic household (it’s all in good fun) so I know, while rarely, this can happen.
    Part of it is also, as you accurately pointed out, that Jane’s tone is always so similar. It makes him ambiguous which I think on some level he does intentionally. It gives him the chance to tell himself “I was only joking anyway” should the conversation not play out as he wants it to.

    That may or may not be the case here, but I think given how Jane wants to change Lisbon, he was being serious.

    You said that you disagree with Lisbon not understanding or seeing things going around her. But you yourself support the argument by saying that if Jane was reacting to Steiner’s death, then she’s probably oblivious to it.

    About Grace/Wayne’s relationship: I’d always thought that Lisbon knew about it too. In fact, Hightower’s telling Lisbon “you’re too good a cop to not have noticed” (Aingavite Baa) supports this argument. But episode Bloodstream really made me think about this point. I don’t think she is unperceptive in general. But I do think her tendency to detach herself from others sometimes makes her clueless regarding their emotions. You can’t notice something happening to a coworker if you won’t allow yourself to get close to that coworker. I honestly think that’s what’s happening here. And I think this is a pattern the writers are firmly trying to establish because I remembered one other very important example: Sam Bosco. Everyone told Lisbon that he cared about her, she always denied it. Again, at the time I thought that she knew, but denied it because it was embarrassing for her. Especially when at the end of episode “Red Bulls” Sam and she drink in her office, and after he leaves she gazes at him for a while. I always thought it was nostalgia and/or friendly affection. Retrospect tells me that she was probably realizing, for the first time perhaps, that what everyone told her is true; that he is in fact in love with her.

    There’s just too much evidence here for me to ignore. Cho and La Roche in Bloodstream, Van Pelt and Rigsby, Sam Bosco…we can fanwank it all we want. The fact is, Robin Tunney plays her as being genuinely unaware throughout all these instances. And that’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a good thing. Nobody’s perfect, and if that’s Lisbon’s flaw, then she’s still a better character than all the others. More importantly, it makes the revelation she gets regarding Jane at the end of the episode all the more significant. And it allows room for her character to grow which is usually a good thing (unless that growth is her cutting Jane needless slack: writers please don’t go there. That would be detrimental to the show. Jane needs a guide, not an accomplice).

    About Lisbon’s familial feelings towards Jane: familial feelings are not necessarily less or more than romantic feelings. It’s like saying you love your husband more than your mother. They are different. I got that from how she’s stated on more than one occasion that they are a family. Jane on the other hand specifically states they are friends. And any flirtation which happens is always started by him; never her. This leads me to believe if there are in fact any romantic feelings present, he’s the one feeling them. This doesn’t mean that Lisbon isn’t attracted to him, but perhaps the fact that he wears his wedding ring stopped her from ever thinking about him that way. Another thing which could definitely change now that she’s seen his video 

    Jane is untrustworthy when it comes to keeping secrets from Lisbon about Red John. She should definitely be on her guard from him. She is an incredibly strong woman, no one can say or suggest otherwise. But according to the writers, at this time, she is not strong enough to stand up to Jane, not always anyway. I do hope that this will change. Yes Jane is the hero here, but even he can’t always be right. And yes, Lisbon is somewhat at peace with herself, but not enough to realize that there are times when she needs to stand up to Jane, and others she needs to just let him in. It’s not easy to differentiate the two, which is why I stated that Jane isn’t an easy person to deal with/love. Probably only someone who loves him unconditionally would bother with that.

    And here is the main difference between Lisbon and Angela. His wife knew him so well it was probably easy for her to tell when Jane is being honest, and when he isn’t. Or, he was so comfortable, so secure with her love for him that he never needed to keep anything from her.

    For this pairing to work, however, either Lisbon or Jane will have to change. Either she lets go of her principles (which I would so hate to happen, perhaps enough to turn me off the show completely) or Jane needs to get some. Honestly, the latter would more interesting simply because it’s unexpected.

    Have I ever mentioned that I love your comments? Cause I do 🙂

  • hardly_loquacious

    I feel like this pairing is all about the subtle (at least for me). Also, I tend to have a bad habit of debating really, really minor details.

    Okay, maybe saying Jane’s motivations in Blood for Blood was altruistic was a bit of a stretch. I don’t think his motivations were at all pure. I think it was mainly a Red John test, and maybe a test to see how much he could influence her. I was annoyed at the end of that episode.

    Also, how is Lisbon not actively trying to change Jane her fighting the urge to protect herself. I would think that changing Jane’s mind to be slightly less murderous (possibly) would be a form of protecting herself, because it would mean that she doesn’t end up in some sort of horrible position. I sometimes wonder if the writers are actually having Lisbon subtly (or occasionally not so subtly) trying to change Jane.

    Oh, I doubt Lisbon does realize when Jane is being serious, all the time. But I still say, how would she? Which I don’t think makes her unperceptive. There has to be something to perceive. And since I’m far from convinced that Jane was actually being genuinely serious at the start of the ep (the specific instance that originally started the conversation), I don’t think that Lisbon not picking up on that is her being unperceptive. Jane’s general level of ambiguity makes it hard to say. She reads him generally well, and picks up on enough, that I think she is relatively perceptive where Jane is concerned. But, if Jane is intentionally showing as little as possible then I don’t know that that’s the best measure of Lisbon’s perceptiveness.

    But then, I think I’m just assuming that Lisbon knows about Steiner’s death. I would have thought that would just come up, and as Jane’s supervisor she’d be informed, since Jane needed to be there as a witness/law enforcement professional. But then, I just assumed.

    Okay, but there’s an issue with your assessment of Lisbon not seeing Grace/Wayne’s relationship. Hightower basically glanced at the pair of them and new, so obviously they were being *ridiculously* obvious about it. That being the case, I’m forced to assume Lisbon knew. Because she did in my head. She just did. I also think she knew about Bosco. The way they were together generally (although this wasn’t always consistent because that plotline wasn’t developed properly and is slightly inconsistent IMO, so this is debatable), I just feel like she knew he was in love with her, but they didn’t talk about it. He was married, they both knew it was a bad idea, IDK. It just works in my head, based on what I think of both of them. Plus the way they were in Lisbon’s office at the end of 2.03, and their goodbye. IF she’d only just realized he was in love with her, I doubt her reaction would have been something that resembled pleasure/nostalgia on her face. I would have thought shock.

    I will agree that she’s not *always* perceptive (Bloodstream would be an example), but when it comes to Rigsby/VP, Bosco, and some of the time Jane, I don’t agree. But then, in my world, where Lisbon needs to grow isn’t in perception, but in demonstrativeness or openness. They can’t have Lisbon grow towards cutting Jane needless slack. That would be horrible. I think that was what the writers were trying to have happen at the start of S2 (partly because of Jane saving her life) and it was weird, not well done, and irritating (this is my leftover S2-related issues popping up).

    I don’t know that I’d say either Jane OR Lisbon is flirting with each other, for the most part. I think here’s maybe some sort of attraction/caring there that both of them (though particularly Lisbon) are trying to play down or ignore. Because I doubt either of them would be willing to acknowledge romantic feelings. I’m a bit of an odd shipper in a way. My position on them is rather complicated. Even if Red John was hit by a bus tomorrow they’d still have a heck of a lot of issues.

    Regarding Jane, not always being right, I am praying that they have an ep where Jane is shown as being wrong. Seriously, they’re LONG overdue for one.

    Also, I wouldn’t say that Lisbon *needs* to le Jane in anytime soon. He tends to run rampant through people’s psyches. I think in a way she does accept him/understand him (how else could she have possibly worked with him this long otherwise?), and FOR NOW, that’s good enough.

    I feel, the main reason for our disagreement is the time scale we’re operating on. It sounds to me like you’re looking at this from a long-term perspective, and at the moment I’m not.

    I also feel that Jane was more open with Angela. It would have been pre-murders, pre-Red John trauma, so there would have been that. There would have been less to hide from his wife as well as less reason to hide it. Also, I imagine the guilt Jane feels because of Red John also makes him less secure in his own worth, and whether or not he’s even deserving of anyone’s love, let alone Lisbon’s.

    I also say that it’s not *either* Lisbon or Jane that needs to change, but both of them. I think also that it’s not so much that Jane needs to get some principles, so much as he has to realize he has some. Because he’s no quite as much of a jerk as he thinks he is sometimes. If Lisbon lets go of hers that’s a kind of a terrible story, unless it’s done REALLY well, something I don’t have that much confidence in the writers to do.

    Glad you like the comments, since they’re certainly long enough.

  • reviewbrain

    Not just for you dear. The subtlety of the pairing is what makes it unique and why we spend so much time analyzing all their little nuances.

    “Jane needs to realize that he has principles.”

    Great thought. We’ve already agreed that he’s not as cold as he thinks he is but this takes the idea a step further. It also opens up another possibility. What if Jane *does* know that his principles aren’t that different from society’s but he’s fighting that be able to carry out his revenge. This gives Jane’s whole revenge speech in “Red Moon” a whole new meaning. He wasn’t saying that stuff to Todd because that’s what he is (cold, hard, etc.) he was saying it because he knows that’s how he *has* to be. This entails that Jane’s cold side is not (or no longer is) an ingrained part of him. It’s something he has to consciously invoke. Either he’s always been that way, or Lisbon has changed him. I like both possibilities. Now Jane’s always seemed (to me at least) like a naturally warm person (‘Throwing Fire’, the episode where he remembers his childhood was very telling). His coldness could have been adapted later (to be a psychic, to detach himself from the people
    he was conning) and now (to be able to kill Red John). But his being around Lisbon is making it hard for him to be the cold person he thinks he needs to be. The fact that *she’s* such a good person could inadvertently be making *him* want to be better. Maybe Jane realizes this and he’s fighting it because he thinks it’ll get in his way of getting revenge. Maybe *that’s* why he desperately wants her to change. Because she’s changing him without even trying and that’s not conductive to his revenge.

    Wow. It’s official. I’m a hopeless optimist 😀

  • hardly_loquacious

    I think we may be about equally optimistic, just about slightly different things. Because Jane does have principles (he says so in the one where he gets kidnapped. He won’t apologize to Rachel for catching her father since her father was murderer and catching murderers is what Jane does). His principles are just a bit different then some people’s. I’m not sure Jane knows quite what they are. He’s so blinded by guilt where his own motivations are concerned it’s hard to say.

    And, I agree 100% with your assessment of Jane’s conversation with Todd Johnson. Honestly, I’ve been assuming that the coldness is an act/self-defence mechanism that Lisbon is getting in the way of. Basically, that whole paragraph is where I’m at with their relationship. It’s a kind of a fun place. I enjoy it.

  • Flickster77

    Hi there,

    I am relatively new to the Mentalist since season 3.I am hooked on this show:) I really enjoy watching it every week. I find Jane fascinating and I love when he uses his reading skills to help solve the cases.I have to say that I find this site very insightful as I enjoy talking about the show.I like to discuss my thoughts about the episodes. I will be back with some more comments.

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