An agitated man named Dinkler robs his place of employment (a ‘Cash in Motion’ establishment) then pulls over at a gas station where two officers attempt to apprehend him. His trench coat falls open to reveal a bomb attached to a vest he’s wearing. He tells the officers to leave and when they don’t his phone rings triggering the bomb killing him. To CBI Agent Teresa Lisbon (Tunney) the case seems an open and shut robbery gone bad. Consultant Patrick Jane (Baker) shows up on the scene to reveal that the man was actually coerced into robbing the Cash in Motion store. Jane reveals that the amount of money Dinkler took is very little and figures out that whoever put him in the vest was after the Cash in Motion’s CD’s found in Dinkler’s car. The CD’s contain the Cash in Motion client list- a list of all their customers and the addresses they were delivering money too. Dinkler’s killer tries to once again obtain the client list. He plants false evidence and lures Lisbon to an abandoned high school where he puts a bomb vest on her; threatening to blow her up if she doesn’t give him the CD’s that are now stored at CBI as evidence. Jane (who had followed her) figures out who the perp is: Gupta (Ravi Kapoor) an employee at the gas station where Dinkler was killed. He and Lisbon go to the gas station instead of CBI. Lisbon and Jane take Gupta by surprise and manage to detain him without Lisbon getting blown Lisbon up. CBI Head Agent LaRoche (Pruitt Taylor Vince) joins them at the scene to take Gupta into custody. But when LaRoche gets in the car, he shoots Gupta telling Jane and Lisbon that the perp had a gun and tried to escape.
Later, Agent Cho (Tim Kang) tells Lisbon that one of the clients listed on the Cash in Motion CD’s, a Max James, has just been reported dead by an anonymous caller to Sacramento PD. Lisbon, Cho and Jane go to the scene where they discover that the man was tortured before he died of a heart attack about four days ago. A bullet wound in James’s leg is traced back to Gupta’s gun. When Lisbon finds a ‘Cash in Motion’ receipt in James’s home she realizes that Gupta first tried to torture James’s into giving him information and when the man died Gupta concocted the bomb scheme as another way to try to obtain the info he wanted. Cho finds a picture at the crime scene of the victim Max James and Madeline Hightower (Aunjanue Ellis), former CBI head turned fugitive after being accused of killing two people.
Lisbon tells Cho that they’re leaving the scene and letting Sacramento PD handle the case. Cho is startled and exposits that Hightower is a wanted person and wonders at Lisbon walking away from the case. She states that she can’t explain and asks him to trust her.
Jane and Lisbon now know that the information Gupta wanted from James, from the Cash in Motion client CD’s, was Hightower’s location. Jane surmises that Max James is a friend or a relative who was sending her money and therefore must have known where she is. Gupta was a Red John operative and he was looking for Hightower to kill her; to silence her because although Red John successfully framed her for murder she is still a loose end. If she can get someone to believe her then Red John’s operative might be discovered. Lisbon tells Jane they have to warn Hightower but he says that he doesn’t know where she is. Lisbon adds that if Red John can’t get to Hightower then he might come after Jane.
Hightower later visits Jane at his motel telling him that James was her cousin, that he was sending her and her children money to help her out. She states that she’s tired of running and that she’ll turn herself in adding that this way at least her kids will be taken care of and that she’ll fight out her innocence in court.
Jane asks her to give him 48 hours to find RJ’s operative before she does this. He wants to use the advantage he has that RJ doesn’t know that Jane knows Hightower is innocent and that Todd Johnson (one of RJ’s men) was killed by Red John’s real operative in CBI.
What follows is a hunt for Red John’s man with shocking results.
Concise verdict: It’s impossible to be concise with this one so I won’t even try. Below are the main elements I found which made this the heart-stopping satisfying episode it was (at least script-wise; I know there are a lot of different emotions regarding how it all turned out). Ms. Gable and Mr. Heller wrote an epic episode and I’d just like to congratulate every single person that had even the smallest role in making this finale one of the best I’ve ever seen. If any of them are reading this: Mentalist cast and crew, you rock 10/10.
DO NOT READ BEFORE WATCHING EPISODE
DO NOT READ BEFORE WATCHING EPISODE
DO NOT READ BEFORE WATCHING EPISODE
DO NOT READ BEFORE WATCHING EPISODE
DO NOT READ BEFORE WATCHING EPISODE
DO NOT READ BEFORE WATCHING EPISODE
DO NOT READ BEFORE WATCHING EPISODE
DO NOT READ BEFORE WATCHING EPISODE
DO NOT READ BEFORE WATCHING EPISODE
DO NOT READ BEFORE WATCHING EPISODE
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED
I WARNED YOU
Detailed AKA Humungous Analysis (spoilers galore)
Jane killed Red John. Jane killed Red John. Jane killed Red John in Season 3!
This was inconceivable, unprecedented and plain unbelievable; mainly because of the timing. It didn’t happen the way I expected but I’m glad of it. I love surprises (especially good surprises) when they are logical. And while I was very disappointed with Jane’s choice here, I can’t say that it came out of left field or that it was an unfair shock to viewers. The writers have been slyly setting the stage for it all season through several reoccurring themes and issues. It was like hiding something in plain sight:
Jane’s character jading
In the Red Mile I protested against the writers desensitizing Jane by letting him watch Steiner (and therefore assist) Steiner’s suicide. I said that since it is canon that Jane does not handle the macabre very well there better be a good reason for what I saw was an ill-timed character death (Steiner) and unnecessary character jading (Jane). I also objected to what I saw at the time as putting Jane through needless angst so early on in the series especially since the show wasn’t ending any time soon (i.e. Jane wasn’t going to catch Red John any time soon which is when it was rumored that the show would end).
See the irony?
The Speeding Season 3
I’ve repeatedly hoped the writers would SLOW THE SEASON DOWN ALREADY and continuously wondered at the reason behind their rush to A: put Jane through angst hell this season (he’s been kidnapped, tortured, placed in a hostage situation, helped a man die) and B: wrap up plots that seemed quite promising. Namely, Lisbon and Mashburn’s consummation of their attraction seemed premature and like it ultimately killed any possibility for a real relationship. Another was Rigsby’s inability to move on from Van Pelt despite meeting a couple of lovely women.
I also stated:
Perhaps (and I think this is too good to be true) the reason everything is moving too fast is because Mr. Heller wants the Red John arc to be wrapped up so the show (and Jane) can move on without him.
I’m still in shock that this actually happened and am reminded of the old adage be careful what you wish for. Notwithstanding the shocking manner in which it all went down, I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop as no doubt is what will happen in Season four.
And yet, there is every reason to be hopeful and look forward to what will undoubtedly be a fabulous new season.
Before going into the review, a recap of some important issues needs to be made:
Jane vs. Lisbon: on Revenge
In the‘Red Moon’ review I stated that Jane and Lisbon’s revenge conversation will play an important role in the season, if not the entire series. I also pointed out that Jane didn’t mention cutting Red John and said that this could mean he now plans on shooting him with the gun he got from Max Winter.
Jane vs. Lisbon: on the law, rules, etc.
Jane’s annoyance with what he sees as Lisbon’s blind following of the law was a running theme this season. But I only started noticing it in ‘Red Alert’ when Jane got angry with Lisbon for making him pay a speeding ticket. Below are the possible reasons for his umbrage and the results of the relevant poll as voted on by readers at the time:
This issue was discussed in subsequent reviews as well (Blood for Blood, Red Gold, Red Queen, Every Rose Has its Thorn) and I reflected that Jane pushing Lisbon to change seems to stem from be for non-sinister reasons; (i.e. not because he wants to use her in his revenge ploy) but because he likes her and therefore wants her to be more like him; to convert her to his “religion” (as later coined by Violet) out of love and affection for her.
Jane’s Closeted Insecurity
In ‘Bloodhounds’ Jane feeling so threatened by Montague’s presence had commenters and I discussing his insecurity. Then in the Red Queen review I raised the issue that perhaps one of the reason’s Jane doesn’t tell Lisbon things; won’t let her in (figuratively), is that he’s afraid of her reaction once she knows him.
While this was an unpopular possibility in the relevant poll, it became practically canon in ‘Every Rose has its Thorn’ when Jane says in his interview that he’s looking for someone who knows the worst side of him but still loves him . But Jane not wanting to endanger Lisbon is also true because he said so in ‘Redacted’.
Jane: Life after Revenge
Jane going undercover to an AA meeting in ‘Jolly Red Elf’ raised the question of whether he was considering moving on from his Red John addiction. Then ‘Red Alert’ had me wondering if he was staring to see life after Red John. Later episodes ( Blood for Blood, and Every Rose Has its Thorn) supported this theory to be true.
The finale gives further evidence to show exactly where Jane stands regarding most of these issues. There are other themes as well but will be addressed as they come up in the discussion below.
Very Important Scene #1: the teaser
Before Dinkler is blown up, there is a shot of a medallion hanging on the visor in his car.
-This reminds viewers of the St Sebastian medallion Jane was given in ‘Bloodstream’ (it helps people in pain) and serves as foreshadowing for upcoming religious themes, redemption, etc.
When Jane shows up on the crime scene, Lisbon is surprised and states that she didn’t call him.
-A major pet peeve has been addressed here: what Jane’s capacity is exactly at CBI. The fact that he only comes when Lisbon calls him means he’s probably an outsourced consultant rather than an ‘in house’. But then, what’s the explanation for all the times he is at CBI even when there’s no case? Perhaps he’s bored and/or is required to clock in a minimum number of hours even if there is no case.
Jane asks Lisbon why she’s at the scene if the case is so cut and dry. She responds that because of the media Director Bertram wanted CBI presence. Jane asks: “If Director Bertram wanted CBI presence to jump off a cliff, would you and your CBI presence jump off that cliff?” Lisbon replies: “If there’s overtime, sure.” Jane then replies that “That’s very sad.”
-Once more Jane seems genuinely disappointed with what he no doubt perceives as Lisbon’s Lemming complex. I’d just like to point out that while Jane perceives Lisbon’s refusal to stand up to her superiors as weak, the fact that she refuses to bow down to him actually shows strength. It’s a delicious irony. Jane is just as controlling and strong willed as Lisbon and perhaps on a subconscious level this is what truly irks him: not that she won’t stand up to Bertram, but that by not doing so she’s standing up to Jane. Taking into account another aspect of Jane’s personality, his huge ego and conversely his closeted insecurity, maybe what Jane really finds so grating is how completely unaffected Lisbon is by his disapproval of this aspect of her personality. Taking this theory even further, Jane might deem Lisbon’s refusal to follow his ways as a refusal of him.
VIS #2: Jane, Lisbon, and ‘ghost’ LaRoche at CBI
Jane is drinking tea in the bullpen when Lisbon walks up to him to ask if he has any revelations on the case. Jane states that he can’t put his finger on it and has a hard time describing the case when Lisbon quips that it’s “baroque, mysterious even” citing Jane’s earlier comment on it. Lisbon then adds that she thought Jane likes this sort of thing. Jane concurs but before the two can continue their banter they are interrupted. LaRoche’s surprises them with his presence when he asks Lisbon for an update on the case. After he leaves Lisbon states that she misses Hightower adding (for Rigsby’s benefit) “aside from the murder stuff obviously”. But then annoyed, she negates her comment: “Screw it even with the murder stuff, how does he just appear out of nowhere like that!” Jane replies that LaRoche is a ghost from the fifth dimension.
-This scene is continuity to how disturbing Lisbon finds LaRoche’s showing up out of nowhere (in Bloodstream she told him that they need to get him a bell.)
The whole time Lisbon was talking to LaRoche, Jane was peering at the man from behind her. He also called out “Bye” to LaRoche when the man left.
-Notwithstanding how adorable Jane was here, his attention to LaRoche here plays into my pet theory that, for whatever reason, Jane wants to befriend the man.
Lisbon then asks Jane if he wants to join her in checking out locations that are possibly relevant to the case. He replies, to her dismay, “Come along on a methodical grinding search through Sacramento County or rearrange my sock drawer. I’ll go with the or, thanks.”
-It is no secret that Jane thinks very little of the police’s procedures to solving crime; that they are tedious and a waste of time. But more recently Jane’s been known to follow procedure despite his low personal opinion towards it. Specifically, Jane’s been on his best behavior after Lisbon did something which pleased him (‘Red Gold’ after ‘Blood for Blood’ ‘Rhapsody in Red’ after ‘Redacted’). On the other hand, Jane has acted out when he’s upset or unimpressed with Lisbon (‘Red Alert’).
It’s safe to assume that Jane’s refusal to go along with Lisbon on her search here (especially when coupled with his derisive tone and obnoxious excuse) was done in retaliation to when she disappointed him earlier by saying that she’d do anything Bertram asks.
Lisbon probably knows this as she doesn’t even try to convince him to change his mind. In fact, she doesn’t say anything when she leaves other than a “thank you” when Jane blandly tells her to “have fun with it.”
Jane can be such a brat. But at least he knows it as he’s said before that he’s not a professional (‘Red Sky at Night”). But this only makes his following Lisbon later more effective and endearing.
VIS # 3: Lisbon searching possible relevant locations
While searching Lisbon gets two phone calls.
The first is from Van Pelt who tells her that she, Cho and Rigsby didn’t find anything useful at the locations they searched. She then tells Lisbon that her bridesmaid’s dress is ready and that “the satin bow looks gorgeous”. Lisbon thanks her politely despite her dismay at the reminder.
-Notwithstanding Lisbon’s humorous reaction, the reference to the satin bow of the dress is very important. But more on that later…
The second call Lisbon gets is from Jane. He’s checking up on her and she tells him that she has one more location to check out; an old shut down High School. Jane tells her it’s an “iffy” area and asks her if she has plenty of “harpoons”. Lisbon replies she has a few 9 millimeter ones (guns) and that she’ll call for back up if she needs it. She then bids Jane goodnight and hangs up. Despite her assurance Jane gets up from his couch and follows Lisbon to the high school. He enters and calls out for her, saying that he was “in the neighborhood”.
– Jane following Lisbon is the first of many examples of regard viewers were given in this episode. Now Jane probably called Lisbon because he was bored and/or felt guilty for refusing to go along with her. But his subsequent joining her at the scene was because he was worried about her. This was very satisfying to see. Jane’s distant behavior all season makes it crucial that viewers be reminded that he does care about Lisbon, and not just for what she may or may not do for him when the time to get his revenge comes. Also, if Jane joined Lisbon out of guilt then it could also be a sign of Jane maturing a bit; always a good thing.
VIS #4: Jane finds Lisbon at Windsor High School
Jane finds Lisbon on the floor with a bomb vest strapped to her, just like Dinkler. He tells a frightened Lisbon to let him help her and reassures her that it will be okay. Lisbon shakily tells him to look for a lock on the vest and to check if there are wires attached to it. He affirms that they are and guesses that that’s bad news. Lisbon warns him against trying to pick the lock. Jane agrees that he won’t.
-I’ve been missing caring Jane all season so I just about melted here at his soft voice and obvious concern. The scene also recalls another profoundly intimate moment between these two friends where Jane tried to help Lisbon (when he hypnotizes her in Red Badge; also by Ashley Gable). Seeing explicit proof of worry (Jane) and trust (Lisbon) between these two is a rare and precious treat to viewers. It could be argued that (at least outwardly) it is usually the other way around. Lisbon is usually the one who worries about Jane and he’s usually the one running with her trust. The role reversal is extremely enjoyable. Also, the moment when Lisbon tells Jane not to pick the lock was darkly funny. And his agreeing that he won’t is a nice affirmation of Jane’s care towards Lisbon. Despite his skills Jane is not taking unnecessary chances with Lisbon’s life.
VIS #5: Jane and Lisbon (praying) in the car
A phone in the bomb vest rings and the culprit (who turns out to be Gupta) instructs Lisbon to head to CBI and obtain the cash in motion disks and to keep the line open or he will detonate the bomb vest. Lisbon refuses saying she doesn’t want to endanger people’s lives but Jane states that they will do as asked. Jane drives Lisbon to CBI and she whispers prayers along the way holding her cross. Gupta tells her that her whispering is annoying him and to stop. Jane tells him “She’s just praying, She’s scared and so am I. If I could find someone to pray to then I’d probably do the same”.
-The fact that guarded Lisbon is praying in front of skeptic Jane really underlines the gravity of the situation. As does the fact that Jane doesn’t mock her for doing so. He even goes as far as saying he’d do the same if he could. This statement simply blew me away; as I’m sure it did Lisbon if the shock on her face is any indication. It is not clear at this point whether Jane is starting to believe in a higher power or whether Lisbon’s been rubbing off on him. But that is not the point. What does matter is that he’s gotten close enough to Lisbon to respect her beliefs in spite of his own apparent lack of faith. For a control freak like Jane, this is huge. Unless the reason for his tolerance is that he himself is starting to want to believe. And then we have another chicken-egg scenario. Don’t you love when writers give us those?
Speaking of religion, Gupta tells Jane that he’s deeply religious, but not in a way he would understand. This explains how Red John was able to recruit so many people; they probably consider him their messiah…or something.
VIS #6: Jane and Lisbon capture Gupta
Instead of going to the CBI as Gupta instructs, Jane and Lisbon head to the gas station. As Jane picks the lock to Gupta’s room (which he exposits to the man is the CBI storage facility) he tells Lisbon the following: “Listen uh, if this doesn’t turn out well uh, I, I just, well there’s been something I’ve wanted to tell you for a long time and you know the moment just hasn’t presented itself.” “Lisbon begins “Are you sure this is really..” but is interrupted by Jane who asks rhetorically “If not now, when?” before he and Lisbon barge into a room taking Gupta (who was intently listening in on their conversation) by surprise. Gupta tells them he’ll trigger the bomb unless they let him go. Jane points out to Gupta that if he does, he’ll die with them. Lisbon then demands Jane leave. Jane refuses, saying that he would if he could. Lisbon insists on her order. Jane tells her she’s not the boss of him while simultaneously talking to Gupta. Jane finally gets close enough to snatch the trigger from the perp after which Lisbon takes him down and demands he release her from the vest.
– Now Jane and Lisbon have both used ruses in the past to vent out emotions they never would otherwise (Red John’s Footsteps, Red Badge, Jolly Red Elf). Jane in particular is great at multitasking. Why not confess his feelings towards Lisbon while simultaneously distracting a killer so they can surprise him when they barge in? And despite Jane not saying anything outright, anyone with ears can connect the dots. What a shocker. To have Jane practically tell Lisbon he loves her is so unexpected, and yet totally fitting considering how close they’ve become. There’s been a lot of emphasis on their friendship this season: how long they’ve known each other, Jane’s statement that he’s looking for someone who loves him despite knowing the worst side of him, Lisbon’s rescuing him from himself, his thanking her, etc. But, again, perhaps due to the timing, or perhaps due to how distant Jane’s been all season, it was a huge surprise.
Now despite my misgivings and fear that a romantic relationship between these two is dangerous territory for the show, here’s my confession: this scene made me deliriously happy. Not just because of the almost confession, but because Jane (who isn’t exactly known for his bravery) not only stuck around with Lisbon this whole time, but ended up saving her. Of course he later chalks it up to his ego and vanity saying that he didn’t want to appear a coward. And yes, Jane is egotistical and vain but as far as I can remember neither trait ever got him to risk his life for anyone in the course of the series.
In ‘Red Gold’ I stated that Jane’s flirting with Lisbon at the end of the episode made him seem like a schoolboy with a crush. I’m going further here. With Jane, actions always speak louder than words and I think his actions here are speaking loud and clear as to just how important Lisbon’s become to him. Be it friendship or romance, Jane having someone to love is a beautiful thing.
VIS #7: LaRoche shoots Gupta
Jane and Lisbon apprehend Gupta. LaRoche joins them at the scene, compliments them on a job well done, and orders Gupta to be taken in his car. But then LaRoche dawdles and waits for Jane and Lisbon (who are arguing) to walk away. Only then does LaRoche get in the car. Jane and Lisbon turn around when they hear shots. LaRoche exits the car and tells them he had to shoot Gupta because he tried to escape and had a gun.
-This scene was very cleverly written. Having LaRoche act strangely kept him under suspicion with viewers. Because what explanation could there be for him lingering behind, only to have him happen to kill Gupta and have the reason not be sinister?
There has to be one now that it’s clear LaRoche is innocent of any wrongdoing. The most likely possibility is that he was sticking around to observe Jane and Lisbon (like his showing up at places unannounced) because he likes knowing what makes people tick (not unlike Jane). But then there’s a more fun reason which takes my pet theory into consideration. I’ve previously stated that I think LaRoche likes Lisbon (‘Bloodstream’); that he respects her. Also, we know Jane’s been trying to befriend LaRoche (for his own purposes no doubt). When Jane offered LaRoche a bottle of scotch (Red Queen) LaRoche was visibly moved.
I contend that LaRoche now likes both Jane and Lisbon and wants to befriend them but doesn’t know how. He just seems like such a misunderstood and awkward character that has a hard time having normal interactions with people. His hanging around could be because he simply enjoys being in their presence. Who can blame him? Their banter is always fun.
A more serious possibility is that LaRoche was more interested in what they were saying. Lisbon was admonishing Jane for disobeying her order to leave, saying that it is her responsibility to keep him alive. I have a feeling that Lisbon’s sense of responsibility for Jane will be a huge theme in season four. And the fact that LaRoche heard her struggle with Jane’s insubordination will probably tie into that as well. It might lesson the repercussions Lisbon may or may not face in the aftermath of Jane’s killing Red John.
The simplest explanation could be that LaRoche was merely being nosy (again, not unlike Jan). It’s hard to tell. But what is undeniable is the look of pure interest made obvious because of the forced disinterest on LaRoche’s face as he listens to Jane and Lisbon’s banter. Pruitt Taylor Vince was remarkable in this scene. Initially he makes LaRoche suspicious and then endearing in retrospect. He truly is a joy to watch.
VIS # 8: Lisbon and Grace in the hall (AKA the Bride and the Bridesmaid)
At CBI Lisbon is gently accosted by Grace who gives her a hug, telling her she’s so glad she’s okay.
-I loved the almost panicked look on Lisbon’s face here as she awkwardly returns the hug. Ever since the girls worked a case as equals in episode Bloodstream (when Lisbon was temporarily demoted) I’ve been rooting for them to become friends. Grace asking Lisbon to be a bridesmaid and her hug here shows that she certainly has no problem befriending her boss. I look forward to seeing whether Grace’s hug here will be as effective in breaking the ice as Hightower’s in Red Gold was.
Grace then tells Lisbon that she picked up her dress since it was probably the last thing on her mind. Lisbon says that it’s very thoughtful and thanks her.
-Lisbon’s politeness here is the surest sign of her discomfort. It’s like she’s relying on established social norms to dictate her replies and visible reactions to Grace’s intimacy and kindness. It’s adorable to see; Lisbon is simply not used to getting close to people (continuity from Bloodstream).
VIS # 9: Jane and Lisbon in her office (AKA the angry princess)
Jane opens the door to Lisbon’s to ask her if they gotten any information regarding the cash in motion client list. He is greeted by the sight of Lisbon in a very pink, shiny and somewhat poofy strapless bridesmaid’s dress.
-First of all, kudos to the director for the first shot of Lisbon in said dress being shot only from the back and the top; only her bare shoulders were visible. That and the look of shock on Jane’s face titillated viewers into thinking he was getting an eyeful of Lisbon as she tried on the dress. The next shot clarifies that Lisbon is in fact fully dressed.
Jane proceeds to unabashedly stare at Lisbon with a “Woah. Oh my.”
-It is interesting to see how Jane’s appreciation of Lisbon’s attire has evolved in the course of the series. In season one, there was none whatsoever. Granted her wardrobe at the time wasn’t very conductive to attracting stylistic appreciation. It was (intentionally) very professional, almost manly at times. Then in season two viewers and Jane were privy to Lisbon’s choice of sleepwear AKA “the jersey” (‘Red Badge’). But the situation at the time didn’t allow for much thought or attention to it (she was being accused of murder). Then in ‘A Price above Rubies’ Lisbon was absolutely stunning in a low cut strapless black dress, perfect hair, and gorgeous dark eyebrows which set off her eyes. Interestingly, while the victim’s nephew in that episode could barely keep his eyes off her, Jane seemed unaffected. I posit that his apparent disinterest was actually a cover; his barely looking at Lisbon the entire event was unnatural. This was likely the first time Jane was confronted with the fact that Lisbon is a very desirable female. He was either being a gentleman about it or was uncomfortable with it. What he wasn’t doing, was looking.
Now this season Jane’s gotten a few more reminders that Lisbon is in fact a woman behind her badge. In ‘Red Hot’ she met up and slept with playboy billionaire Walter Mashburn. Then in ‘Red Moon’, when Jane woke Lisbon at her motel room during an investigation, she was wearing another jersey. Unlike in previous instances, Jane had a harder time keeping himself from staring at her and later even tried to peak at her.
Here, Jane is very obviously and unconcernedly staring at Lisbon in her bridesmaid’s dress. Now it could be because despite how pretty she looks, her dress isn’t seductive at all so Jane had no reason to feel uncomfortable (or like a wolf) when he was looking at her. Or, it could be that Jane now wants Lisbon to know he appreciates her beauty as opposed to doing so without her knowledge.
Personally, I think more than whether Lisbon looks alluring or not in said dress, Jane was more taken with how absolutely adorable and ironic she was in this situation. Her stance, her demeanor, that fact that it’s Lisbon wearing pink, how angry she is about it; it all makes her simply irresistible. It’s like, we’ve seen sexy Lisbon (rocking the black dress) now we get to see her all girly and huggable and adorable like a little girl even as she’s saying threatening things like “Van Pelt must die!”
Speaking of death, I’m sure a lot of viewers almost died at how perfect Tunney was in this scene.
Jane says it best. He replies “No, no, no you look good, this is…beautiful. Like a princess, an angry little princess. Someone stole your tiara.”
-Best quote ever. So true! I don’t know how Jane restrained himself from pinching her face. She’s that cute. Probably the knowledge that she would have killed him helped. She was already annoyed at him for telling Van Pelt that Lisbon wanted to be a bridesmaid. Now it’s anyone’s guess whether this was true or not. No doubt Jane also did it to mess with her. But I think Jane was also trying to get Lisbon to open up more to people. We’ve gotten some hints in Bloodstream.
But more important than heartbreaker Lisbon, the dress is very significant. It’s pink with a white bow and is an indirect reference to the episode’s title “Strawberries and Cream”. More on this later.
VIS #10: Lisbon asks Cho to trust her
When Lisbon and Jane realize that Max James died while being tortured for information on Hightower, they decide to let Sacramento PD handle the case. Cho is shocked when Lisbon stops him from calling LaRoche since it was his case. He’s also surprised that she’s handing off the case and asking him to keep quiet about Hightower’s link to it without telling him why: “Hightower’s a fugitive. She killed two people, she nearly killed Jane, what can’t you tell me?
-Cho’s disbelief is in character. He’s Lisbon’s right hand man; her most advanced agent and someone she frequently relies on to crack tough suspects and witnesses. Like he was in’ Bloodstream’, Cho is upset that she won’t confide in him. But unlike in that episode Lisbon here understands Cho’s sentiments. This is evidenced by how she softens the blow when he starts to argue:
“Kimball, I need you to trust me, please.”
Nicely played, Teresa. Not only did she take Cho’s feelings into account but she also left no room for argument. If Cho won’t obey her because he should, he will because it would be just rude not to after she asked him so nicely, appealing to him as a friend. This was smart considering how Cho’s record when it comes to following orders he disagrees with is less than stellar (‘Blood in Blood Out’ and ‘Rhapsody in Red’). Some viewers have even interpreted this behavior as being disrespectful towards Lisbon.
This makes him standing down here somewhat reassuring.
VIS # 11: Jane and Lisbon talk about Red John
Jane and Lisbon discuss how Red John is hunting Hightower. Lisbon tells Jane that they have to warn Hightower. He states they have no way of doing so, that he doesn’t know where she is. Lisbon replies that since Red John failed to get Hightower he might go after Jane, that if she doesn’t believe Jane when he tells her he doesn’t know where Madeline is then RJ won’t either.
-This scene confirms that Jane and Lisbon did in fact have a long talk after the events of ‘Redacted’ in which Jane told Lisbon about his suspicions about a mole in CBI and of Hightower’s innocence. What is interesting is that he doesn’t comment on Lisbon’s statement that she doesn’t totally believe him, nor does her try to assuage her suspicions. Perhaps he doesn’t think anything he says will make a difference to Lisbon. Jane’s apathy also extends to his outlook on John’s threat to himself. He tells Lisbon “If Red John wants me he knows where to find me. I can’t worry about that.”
This resigned statement is perhaps the first insight we’ve ever gotten on Jane copes with Red John’s continued existence. It’s not exactly a bad position to take. Why should he worry about something that is out of his control? It would be nice to think this attitude extends to include his guilt over his family’s death. But viewers know Jane better than that. Besides, his sad demeanor afterwards makes it seem as if he’s not as detached from his grim reality as he’d like to be…or perhaps, he’s too detached…unhealthily so…
VIS# 12: Jane and Hightower at Jane’s ‘home’
Jane leaves Lisbon and his car is next seen driving into Parkway Extended Stay Motel.
-VIEWERS REJOICE! We finally learn where Jane lives! Or at least, where he sleeps when he’s not in the CBI attic.
He finds Hightower waiting for him in his apartment. She asks him if this is where he lives, Jane says “sometimes”. She points out that it’s “nice” but could use some personal touches.
-Hightower has a point. There is not even a book on his nightstand. Jane’s has more stuff in his desk at CBI. He probably only uses his motel room to store his suits and to brood.
Jane says just as much when Hightower first reveals herself, brandishing her gun, asking him if he’s alone. Jane replies “Yes, just me and my demons and they’re not going to hurt you”.
-I find the “you” in Jane’s statement to be very telling. As in Jane knows that they are a danger to him. And yet hasn’t provided himself with any distractions from them.
Jane asks Madeleine to put her gun away adding reproachfully “You people and your guns!”
-This is another reference to Jane’s established dislike of guns (the most recent one was in Red Gold). It had me once more wondering what Jane ever did with the gun Max Winter gave him. Undoubtedly that was the writer’s intention, as well as making viewers think it unlikely that Jane would ever use it. I’d just like to point out that Jane’s use of a gun at the end of this episode does not negate his dislike of guns; it just shows how desperate he was.
VIS #13: Jane asks for the team’s help
After Jane gets Hightower to agree to giving him two days before surrendering herself, Jane tells Lisbon to follow him. He also asks Cho, Rigsby and Van Pelt to join him at O’Malley’s in half an hour.
– The small detail of Jane and Lisbon going off together first before being joined by the others is intriguing. I wonder what they talked about before the others joined them. He wasn’t telling her about Hightower’s deal because later at O’Malley’s we get a shot of her nodding in comprehension when Jane elaborates, as if hearing about it for the first time. So maybe he wanted to ask her first if she was willing to help him before the others. Maybe he took her to ask her permission to involve the others? Perhaps he was giving her a last chance to back out? Jane’s concern for Lisbon along with growing respect and regard make any of these a possibility.
Random note: I love that the team convened at the same bar there were at in the season two finale. Simple details like a regular hangout please me.
At O’Malley’s Jane fills the team in on the situation: that he has 48 hours to find Red John’s friend in CBI and have him lead them to Red John. He adds that in the meantime the team has to protect Hightower before she surrenders to the authorities. Lisbon tells Jane “we are the authorities.” Jane replies “yeah, well, you’re not the man” to which Lisbon states that, in fact, they are; that they are required to arrest Hightower if they see her. Jane tells Lisbon “So arrest her, just don’t tell anybody”.
-Lisbon’s insistence on following protocol, whether she did, and to what extent during this case will likely play a huge role in saving Jane and her team from the plan’s expected ramifications in season four.
Needless to say, the whole team readily agrees to help. Jane’s simple thank you shows how much he’s come to rely on (and expect from) his team; his friends.
VIS #14: Jane asks J.J LaRoche for his suspect list
This scene had me riveted. Did I mention how much I love LaRoche and Pruitt Taylor Vince’s portrayal of him? This was where my defense of the character was put to the test…
Jane stands at LaRoche’s door. LaRoche asks if he can help Jane. Jane confirms, closes the door and sits across of LaRoche, silently for a while.
Jane: “I need the names of the four other suspects you identified in the Todd Johnson murder.”
– Talk about not beating around the bush. Either Jane was playing it by ear or he knew the direct approach would be unexpected considering how both he and LaRoche are master manipulators. Whatever it was, Jane straight out tells LaRoche that Hightower contacted him, that she claims she’s innocent and that this means someone else killed Todd Johnson. LaRoche asks where Hightower is. Jane says it’s not important as she’ll turn herself in soon. LaRoche then asks why Jane cares about this; that LaRoche will investigate the other suspects if the case is reopened. Jane falls back on one of his established character traits (flaws): “You know me. I’m inquisitive; nosy.” LaRoche refuses to give Jane the list. He cites policy and rules as his deterrents when Jane demands to know why. Jane then states “that’s a shame” before adding “How about I make sure Hightower surrenders to you personally; I tell you where she’s hiding out”. LaRoche doesn’t go for it and says “You should do that anyway. It’s your duty as a citizen.”
Jane is amused at LaRoche appealing to his (questionable at best) sense of responsibility. He laughs and says “I love you.”
-BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was right! Jane likes LaRoche!
Ahem. Never mind Jane probably just appreciates how simple LaRoche’s black and white ethics are (no doubt they make him easier to read) I genuinely believe he likes the guy. LaRoche’s reaction to Jane’s statement that he loves him is priceless. Like he doesn’t know whether to be pleased or scared; if Jane’s mocking him or if he’s being sincere. Welcome to Lisbon’s world LaRoche. Like with most things Jane, it’s probably a combination of both.
Jane, seeing that he can’t manipulate LaRoche using ambition, goes for something else: fear. Jane tells LaRoche that if he gives him the list, Jane will not only tell him where Hightower is, but will also keep LaRoche’s secret. He tells LaRoche that he’s the one who hired Culpepper to break into his home a few weeks ago; to steal the list. Jane adds that while the thief failed in his mission he did get a look at what LaRoche kept in his safe; in a Tupperware box. LaRoche tells Jane he could arrest him. But Jane says he won’t or he’ll reveal what’s in the box. LaRoche seems shaken and tells Jane “That is private” Jane responds that “it” should be, bluffing since he doesn’t really know what’s inside, adding that he’d love to help LaRoche keep his secret. The man finally yields under the threat and writes down the name of the suspects. But before he gives it to Jane he tells him, not unkindly, “You’re a fascinating man, Patrick. Who knows what you might have achieved in this world were you not quite so damaged.”
-J.J’s statement here can only reflect positively on his character. There he is being blackmailed by Jane into doing something against his moral character and work ethic. And instead of being furious with Jane he only seems to feel sympathy, maybe even pity for him.
Jane later tells the team that for his bluff to have worked so well, LaRoche must be hiding something horrible.
-I think, given how melancholy LaRoche’s demeanor and his statement to Jane, what LaRoche is hiding is something very sad. And that his statement that Jane is “damaged” means that he can’t believe Jane would threaten him with something so sad. Because while LaRoche may not know Jane very well, he should know Jane has no problem using people’s faults (mistakes) against them. I think he’d only be so affected (almost disappointed?) if what Jane threatened him with was something he thought Jane could understand. A keepsake maybe, of a lover or a family member?
VIS # 15: Jane shares the suspects with the team
Bureau director Gale Bertram (Michael Gaston), FBI Agent Craig O’Laughlin (Eric Winter), CBI Media Relations Brenda Shettrick (Rebecca Wisocky), and ADA Osvaldo Ardiles (David Norana) were the four other people LaRoche suspected of killing Todd Johnson. Jane reminds the team that if those four are innocent then LaRoche himself is the culprit and therefore RJ’s mole. Grace understandably balks at the idea of her fiancée Craig being a killer. Lisbon consoles her that Craig is just a suspect but that she should avoid him. She instructs Grace to guard Hightower until Red John’s man is identified. Seeing Van Pelt’s sad face Jane tells her: “Grace, it’s a good thing. A little coolness keeps men on their toes.”
– Jane giving Van Pelt advice isn’t anything new, but I found the kindness behind his words in this situation to be very telling. Given that it’s Red John’s capture and Hightower’s safety at stake, it wouldn’t have been surprising if he’d taken a more combative stance. So it was a nice surprise to see him be understanding and try to help Grace find a silver lining in her dilemma. It shows that Jane is truly thankful for the team’s help and what they are putting on the line for him. Having Jane act appreciative instead of entitled is serious character growth on his part. It’s also further proof that Jane really does care for the team, they are not (or are no longer) just a means to an end.
Jane then tells his plan to the others; that each of the suspects will be told where Hightower is but each suspect will be given a different room in a single hotel. That way when an assassin comes in to kill Hightower Jane the team will be able to tell which suspect sent him based on the room he enters.
VIS # 16: The suspects are set up
-I must say that as much as I adore both Heller’s and Gable’s episodes sometimes it feels like I’m playing ‘find the missing scene’ when I’m watching them (Red Hot, Red Moon). There’s a lot of mystery in them. This is great as it gives viewers a chance to exercise their own detecting skills. But sometimes it’s nice to just be shown how and when Jane figured things out rather than be told after the culprit is caught. I was so happy that in this episode, like the rest of the team, we were privy to Jane’s thought process. I’ve recapped the set up because some important details (and a couple of amusing ones) were given during these scenes.
Jane tells LaRoche that Hightower is in Pacific Palms hotel room 705. LaRoche thanks him sincerely.
-LaRoche seemed relieved here, as if he was worried that Jane lied to him and wouldn’t tell him where Hightower is. It’s not an unreasonable assumption on his part since Jane threatened him to get the list.
Jane reiterates his request that LaRoche give Hightower a few days to make arrangements for her kids. LaRoche states “that was our deal”.
-LaRoche’s emphasis here entails that he’s telling Jane that he’s a man of his word. This will be discussed in more detail later…
Lisbon goes to Shettrick’s office and to the woman’s pleasure gives her file with ideas for community outreach. When Brenda opens the file she instead finds an expense requisition form for the cost of a hotel room for witness Hightower with the room number 405. Brenda shuts the file quickly and places it away.
-It will be very interesting to see whether Lisbon will actually file a requisition form for Jane’s plan or not. I expect that if she does it will make the operation more legit and its results more forgivable by the higher-ups.
Later Lisbon comes back to retrieve the file telling Brenda that she gave it to her by mistake. Lisbon nervously asks Brenda if she read the file to which Brenda assures her she didn’t. Lisbon then asks her to not tell anyone about this, that she’d feel like a fool if anyone knew about her mistake. Brenda reassures her she won’t.
-Lisbon acted her role perfectly. The only thing that gave her away was when Brenda later asks her “what about the community outreach?”. Here, Lisbon gets adorably flustered and tells Brenda she’ll get back to her on that. I can just imagine Lisbon later grousing over having to come up with ideas to give to Brenda.
Lisbon tells Bertram that Jane’s in contact with Hightower and that he’s trying to make her give herself up. Gale asks if Lisbon thinks Hightower will and Lisbon says that she does.
Bertram complains: “Hell, just what we need that damn situation back in the news.” Lisbon tells him Hightower insists that she’s innocent, that she was framed to which Bertram replies “if that’s true that’s even worse.”
Lisbon adds that they have Hightower’s exact location, room 605 at Pacific palms hotel but that she’s giving Jane 48 hours to get Madeleine to give herself up adding “God forbid someone get hurt” playing on Bertram’s fear of public recoil.
Bertram says as long as Lisbon has control of the situation then its her call adding: “I wish Hightower and this whole mess would just vanish, frankly.”
-The importance Bertram places on politics and the media was another running theme this season. Again, this will be discussed in more detail later…
Cho and Rigsby go for coffee where ADA Osvaldo Ardiles is getting his coffee as well. There Rigsby intentionally lets it slip that Hightower is in room 305 Pacific Palms hotel, making sure that Ardiles overhears him.
-Ardiles reaction was that of mild curiosity but I was actually more interested watching Cho’s expression at Rigsby’s bad acting. At one I could swear Cho’s face had a “you’ve got to be kidding me” look on it as he looked firmly away from Rigsby as if embarrassed by his performance. I would have loved to hear their conversation after Osvaldo leaves. I imagine it would have been similar to an exchange they had after a similar bad act in episode ‘Red Hair, Silver Tape’ in which Cho hilariously deadpan’s “smooth work” to Rigsby to which Rigsby responds with a firm “Don’t.”
But here Cho must have told him to up his game because Rigsby fared much better when he set the trap for Craig O’Laughlin…
Craig comes to CBI looking for Van Pelt whom he tells Rigsby is not answering her phone. Rigsby explains that she’s “super busy”. When O’Laughlin asks what’s up Rigsby confides that Hightower showed up and that Grace is guarding her. Craig surmises that Grace will then be busy for a while then adding “that’s too bad.” Rigsby teases him about not being able to live without her. O’Laughlin replies he’s man enough to admit that he misses her. Rigsby then tells him where the women are hiding out in room 505. O’Laughlin thanks him but adds “I’ll probably tough it out. I don’t want to be too clingy, women hate that.”
-Both Owain Yeoman and Eric Winter were great in this scene. Rigsby was effortless when he laid the trap for his beloved’s fiancé. Winter was very believable as well. The scene truly did seem like two guys joking around and confiding in each other rather than two adversaries sizing each other up.
The team then convenes to the hotel to wait for the assassin to show up. Like Jane says the plan is “simple, elegant foolproof.”
VIS #17: The assassin arrives/dies/revelation of Bertram as the spy
The assassin shows up and goes into the room Bertram was told Hightwower was at after trying taking the precaution of stopping at another floor first. Cho and Rigsby storm inside room just as she opens the window. They tell her to stop, that they won’t hurt her but she commences to jump over the balcony effectively killing herself and taking any information she might have with her.
-The fact that the spy killed herself hints that this is what is expected of Red John’s recruits once they are caught. They either off themselves or someone will do it for them. Perhaps this is why Todd Johnson seemed scared and like he wanted to confide in Jane; he knew he’d be killed.
Jane and Lisbon join Rigsby and Cho and see that the spy is dead. Undeterred, Jane tells Lisbon to call in the body if she must but that he and she must leave before the hotel security arrives or they’ll be stuck answering questions. He adds that they have a lot to do. Lisbon demands to know what.
Jane: “We have to find a good spot for a trap to lure Bertram, a trap that Red John will follow him into.
Lisbon sarcastically replies that that’s simple before adding “You’re getting that crazy look in your eye, calm down.”
-Lisbon can’t be blamed for being nervous over Jane’s demeanor. He’s always seems over-eager whenever Red John is involved.
Jane contends that he’s perfectly calm but his supplemental gesturing shows that he’s trying too hard to convince Lisbon of his rational state. Plus, his voice is barely steady when he emphatically states: “Red John is one step behind me but he thinks he’s one step ahead so in effect he’s two steps behind and he doesn’t know it. He’s going to be overconfident when he walks into my trap.”
-It doesn’t help Jane’s cause that his argument, while making logical sense, sounds like the ravings of a desperate man.
Another aspect which makes this scene so great is Rigsby and Cho’s reactions to the argument taking place. I cannot stress how much I enjoy watching how characters handle what is going on around them. I find their facial expressions to be very interesting when done by such good actors. In this scene, for example, the anxious look on Rigsby’s face and Cho’s impassiveness at Lisbon and Jane’s arguments is really in character. As per usual, Rigsby’s emotions are on par with the viewers while Cho’s serves as the proverbial immovable rock. It’s almost like siblings watching their parents fight where the more sensitive one is worrying about the outcome while the other takes it in stride.
VIS # 18: Grace/Craig
Once Bertram has been identified as RJ’s mole, Grace catches up with Craig and explains to him what’s been going on. She then tells him that she’s on her way to where Hightower is to relieve Lisbon and asks Craig to join her as it’s a long drive. Craig tells her it’s all kind of sketchy but Van Pelt insists and he agrees.
-Van Pelt probably didn’t think twice before inviting Craig along because he’s worked with their team before. But it will be interesting to see whether she will be reprimanded for this decision as its consequences are dire indeed.
Now regular readers will know that O’Laughlin has been # 1 on my personal suspect list of people involved with RJ since episode Blood for Blood. But him playing hard to get with Grace in this scene had me doubting myself . Very clever writing here.
VIS # 19: Bertram/Jane in his office
Jane tells Bertram that someone tried to kill Hightower which proves that she’s innocent. Bertram begins to say “maybe” when Jane interrupts him, saying that Hightower will still come in peacefully but only if she talks to Bertram first because she trusts him. Bertram plays right into Jane’s trap telling him that Hightower “should” trust him (implied since he’s the director) but that he’s not ready to promise a deal. Jane ups the ante. He goes for Bertram’s Achilles heel saying that unless Bertram agrees to meet Hightower she’ll go to the media. As expected, this gets Bertram to agree to meeting the woman. As soon as Jane leaves Bertram makes a call.
-This was obviously done to further establish Bertram’s guilt and deceive viewers (clever!) but I’m very interested to know who Bertram called. My guess is it was probably Lisbon as I doubt Bertram would have went along with Jane’s plan without confirming that someone else sanctioned it. He could have called LaRoche but unless LaRoche pretended that he knew what was going on, I doubt Bertram would have gone onto the mall with Jane. I guess it could just be that Bertram was just telling his secretary to cancel a previous engagement that would have taken place at the same time.
VIS # 20: Lisbon & company at Hightower’s Ranch/ Jane & company at Pinewood Shopping Mall.
Lisbon parks outside Canyon Ranch where Hightower is staying. She’s presumably been there for a while (as Grace is coming to relieve her) but left for pizza for Hightower’s kids. She’s carrying two boxes and gives one of them to two officers from the sheriff’s department who are guarding the ranch from the outside.
-The presence of other police officers could turn out to be a double edged sword. I’m inclined to think that the fact Lisbon made an official request of assistance from the local police might play in her favor; making Jane’s plan more legit. Or, the fact that two members of the local police were killed while working with her in a clandestine operation could place her in even more hot water with the higher ups.
Meanwhile Jane takes Bertram to a coffee place inside Pinewood shopping mall. When Bertram asks about the location Jane tells him that Hightower figured she wouldn’t get killed in a public place.
-If Jane is to be believed then we can assume that he chose the location thinking that it will put Red John at ease; that Red John will think it easy to blend in with all the people there without being spotted. But why did Jane think Red John will show up? I sincerely have no idea. I guess it was just a Jane hunch. That the similarities between him and Red John somehow made it possible for him to know that Red John wouldn’t be able to help not coming. A gut instinct maybe?
Here’s the reasoning as best as I was able to make of it:
Jane thinks Bertram is RJ’s mole but that RJ doesn’t know he knows.
Jane tells Bertram that Hightower will meet him at the mall thinking that Bertram will deliver this information to RJ.
Does Jane thinks RJ will come to see Jane’s reaction when Hightower shows up and Bertram kills her? But why would that happen? According to Jane’s, RJ’s spy is a valuable ally; he wouldn’t risk Jane finding out who he is. So maybe Jane thought RJ will come to ensure Hightower gets killed by another operative in Bertram’s presence to ensure Bertram remains unsuspicious?
Or, RJ comes because he’s fascinated with Jane and therefore just wants to see him?
It’s not like Bertram (if he had been RJ’s mole) could have done anything or killed Hightower in that location. Therefore I contend that rather than use Bertram as bait, Jane, in fact, was using himself as bait; like he did in Red John’s footsteps. Jane’s just using Bertram to keep Red John interested in what Jane is thinking; a second bait if you will. Red John might’ve gotten worried over what his inside man (as Jane thinks Bertram is) may or may not tell Jane.
But if this is true then I seriously doubt that Jane shared this part of the plan with Lisbon. It seems strange that Lisbon would have condoned it without being present. And this, Lisbon’s non-presence at the mall is what I am seriously staggered at Jane being able to pull off.
Lisbon has been practically stuck to him like glue all season. And we’ve had several moments where she almost visibly had to force herself to stay away from him (‘Blood on His Hands’ when she asks him about Red John’s plan concerning Kristina, ‘Red Moon’ when she leaves him at Todd Johnson’s bedside).
So why wasn’t Lisbon standing guard at the ledge overlooking Jane instead of Cho? Why was she guarding Hightower instead?
The answer is in the short and sweet scene of Lisbon having dinner with Hightower and her kids.
Hightower says grace before they start to eat: “Dear lord we thank you for this great food we are about to eat. We thank you for our friends (looking at Lisbon) We thank you for our many blessings. Amen.”
-Like the church bells at the beginning of episode ‘Redacted’, this scene sets the stage for the storm that’s about to hit. It’s also further continuity to the spiritual theme of this season. But more than that, it serves as a platform for Lisbon to have the following exchange with Hightower:
Lisbon: They should be at the mall now.
Hightower: Think it’ll work?
Lisbon: Frankly, no. Trying to be hopeful.
This tiny conversation explains why Lisbon wasn’t at the mall. She didn’t think that Jane’s plan would work, that Red John would come. She therefore prioritized guarding Hightower over being present at the Mall.
This is where Jane would say “Woman, will you ever stop doubting me?” The answer is obviously, no.
Now while Cho also seemed a bit doubtful that Jane’s plan would work, one could argue it’s because he’s a natural cynic. Lisbon however, seems to be the only person who doubts Jane because she knows him enough to know that he’s not infallible. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Jane needs someone to keep him grounded.
But I am reminded once more of episode Red Hair and Silver tape. In that episode Lisbon was with Jane during a stakeout but left after it seemed that Jane’s plan failed. The perps then came and almost killed Jane before Lisbon arrived to save him (Jane had called her phone). Lisbon then stares at Jane for quite a while with a look of horror on her face. Later, just before the episode ends, Jane places a comforting hand on a disturbed Lisbon’s shoulder as they walk away from the victim’s funeral.
Now based on how sad the victim’s family was, the first conclusion is that Lisbon was affected by their grief and that’s why Jane was comforting her. But I thought she was just as likely to be disturbed by the fact that Jane was almost killed because she hadn’t believed him. As boss, as Lisbon, it just seems like she’d be quick to blame herself for that situation. Now it was never specified if that in fact was the case. However in this finale Lisbon telling Jane “It’s my job to keep you alive” during her bomb threat makes it seem a very likely possibility. I’m really looking forward to the ramifications Lisbon’s conscience may or may not present her with. The fact that her doubting Jane is what led to him being alone with Red John, to him killing Red John, will most likely have an effect on Lisbon.
But there is another possibility for Lisbon’s absence at the mall. In ‘Red Sky in the Morning’ when Jane insists on staying with Kristina Frye, Lisbon tries to talk him out of it. She tells him that if Red John is coming for Kristina there are officers to guard her. When Jane refuses Lisbon tells him “Fine, go wait for Red John. It’s not a good idea though” before she walks off.
I can see a similar scenario playing out here as well. Lisbon, for whatever reason doesn’t think Jane’s plan is “a good idea” and prefers staying out of it. I’m not saying that she’s running away, just that she prefers not being part of something she disagrees with and has no control over the results. And we know control is a huge issue for Lisbon.
Something which may back up this theory is a deleted scene in season one. Jane asks Lisbon to drop him at the airport during a case. Lisbon is at first angry then realizes Jane just said that because he wants her to ask him to stay. She proceeds to go off on him and says “One day you’re going to create one mother of a tragedy for yourself and everyone around you. I don’t want to be there when that happens. So we’ll drive you to the airport, it’s fine.”
I know it’s a deleted scene but I never thought it was axed because it wasn’t good. It was very powerful and perfectly written. No, I always thought it was deleted because it gave away too much too early about the characters.
So if we consider this scene to be canon (for the sake of argument) then it would be safe to say that Lisbon’s fight vs. flight response was kicking in and in this instance she went with flight; that she didn’t want to be caught in a situation which might turn ugly.
Or maybe it was the crazy look in Jane’s eyes. It is not easy being around someone hell bent on doing something you truly disapprove of. Most people tend to distance themselves. It’s a natural response.
So, what do you think happened here?
Back to Jane and Gale Bertram. It’s fifteen minutes passed the time Hightower was supposed to show up. Gale is getting impatient for her while Jane is on the watch out for Red John. He tells Gale that “She’ll” be here when in fact it’s Red John Jane’s waiting for. When Bertram asks who exactly Hightower thinks is trying to kill her Jane tries to draw him into guessing. Bertram states that he doesn’t read case files. Jane tells him he thinks Red John want to kill Hightower, watching Bertram’s reaction closely the whole time. Bertram is flustered at the revelation, even more so when Jane states that he thinks RJ has powerful friends both in the CBI and all over the state. Bertram scoffs. Jane insists that he’s serious. Bertram then begs Patrick to seek help. Jane smiles and tells Bertram “I sound crazy don’t I? Maybe I am. Maybe I’m not.”
-I think Jane’s musings over his sanity here are actually quite serious. Perhaps Lisbon’s earlier remark that he has a crazy look in his eye coupled with her disbelief that his plan will work has him doubting himself. It’s almost like he wants Bertram’s assurance that he’s not crazy; the assurance coming in the form of Bertram reacting to Jane’s statement in such a way that Jane can be positive he was right about suspecting the man, that his plan was working.
As it is, Bertram does assure Jane that he’s not crazy, but literally, not in a way that implicates him as RJ’s man. He states: “No, you don’t sound crazy, you sound like a man whose pushed himself too hard; whose reached the end of his rope.” He continues adding that Jane should take a break, and consult a therapist but his advice falls on deaf ears as Jane has suddenly realized something. The assassin that was going to kill Hightower had brought rope with her in the room. At the time Jane and the team thought it was to tie up Hightower, but at Bertram’s mentioning of the rope (and perhaps his innocent demeanor) Jane realizes that the rope was to be used to climb into the room below via the hotel balcony. Jane asks Bertram in a rush if he killed Todd Johnson. Bertram is outraged and says no and demands to know what is wrong with Jane. Panicked Jane tells Cho and Rigsby that the assassin was not targeting the room number given to Bertram, but the room below; room 505 which was the number given to Craig O’Laughlin. Cho and Rigsby speed off to the Ranch where Hightower is being guarded. Bertram is understandably outraged and confused but Jane is too busy trying to salvage the situation at hand and calls Lisbon. Bertram demands an explanation or he’s walking away. Jane tells Bertram to do so. The latter leaves but not before telling Jane that there will be consequences to his actions. Jane hardly hears him as he’s waits for Lisbon to pick up saying “answer you damn phone.”
-Jane swearing and the way he simply dismisses Bertram’s threat was very indicative of his panicked state. But more than that, Bertram’s comments that Jane should seek help could be setting the stage for an insanity plea. There have been several other references to Jane’s mental state this season: Hightower asking Lisbon if he’s in danger of cracking up (Red Sky at Night), Minelli telling him he sounds crazy (‘Jolly Red Elf’). Perhaps all that Jane’s been through since last season’s finale was purposely set up for this reason too (i.e. maybe this is why the writers have been torturing him all season).
Meanwhile Craig and Grace have arrived at the Ranch where Hightower is being kept. Grace introduces Craig to the cops guarding out front. Craig then tells Grace that he forgot his phone in the car, goes back and takes them out swiftly. He quickly joins Van Pelt and proceeds to kiss her when they’re interrupted by a call on her phone. It’ s Rigsby, no doubt calling to warn her but he never gets the chance as O’Laughlin presses decline on her phone so that he and Grace can continue kissing.
-Now I know many fans were furious with Grace over a later event in this episode but I was actually angrier at her here. Her team is working on a very important secret mission. She damn well should have answered that call. But I can’t complain because it’s a plot device and was done as smoothly as possible. Let’s chalk it up to pre-wedding bliss clouding her judgment.
Lisbon picks up her phone but tells Jane to wait while she opens the door for Grace and Craig.
-The fact that Lisbon takes in Craig’s presence without much of reaction shows how well he’s insinuated himself into their unit as Grace’s fiancé.
The phone frequency isn’t best and Jane has to yell so that Lisbon can hear him say O’Laughlin is RJ’s man. Unfortunately Craig hears as well and shoots Lisbon as soon as she rounds on him before she can reach for her gun. He gets her somewhere below her left shoulder and she goes down.
Hightower cries out Lisbon’s name while Grace exclaims in shock. Jane presumably overhears them starts calling out Lisbon’s name in a panic. Meanwhile Craig is about to shoot Grace and Hightower when Lisbon hauls herself up and throws something at him, giving Grace and Hightower enough time to take him out. Hightower’s daughter comes out of her room to see what’s going on and Hightower goes to her. Meanwhile Grace goes to her fallen fiancé in distress. He proceeds to remove a necklace he’d given her before he dies.
Jane’s panicked voice continues to be heard through Lisbon’s phone and she drags herself back up again to answer him and to quickly catch him up on the situation: “O’Laughlin’s dead. I’m wounded, but I’m okay.” Lisbon then orders Grace to call the paramedics from the landline. Jane asks Lisbon if she’s going to be all right. And she answers that she thinks she will be.
-A lot of fans commented on Hightower and Grace’s seemingly being unconcerned with Lisbon’s injury. Be that as it may, their absence was a necessary plot device and was justified as a somewhat natural response. Hightower’s motherly instincts compelled her to leave when her daughter showed up to protect her from seeing a dead man and an injured friend. Grace was in shock over her fiancé being a killer and over her having shot him. I’d actually go as far as saying that Grace running to Craig endeared her to me. She was in shock and her being unable to register the event quickly shows that she’s not as cold as she sometimes appears to be. But most importantly, having the two women be preoccupied gives the moment between Lisbon and Jane the privacy it deserved (at least mentally; not physically since Jane’s in a mall surrounded by people). It makes the fact that Jane and Lisbon are hanging on each others’ every breath (Jane assuring himself that Lisbon’s okay while she takes comfort from his presence) an even more sacred moment.
But like all good things it had to end. Once Jane knows Lisbon is safe he goes back to business and asks her to get to O’Laughlin’s phone, press redial, and to tell whoever answers that O’Laughlin is dead. Lisbon, always a trooper, complies but with difficulty. Jane then notices that a phone belonging to one of the patrons at the coffee place rings and watches to see what he says. Lisbon introduces herself and tells him that O’Laughlin is dead. The man answers “That’s too bad. Oh well, you win some you lose some” then hangs up. Lisbon tells Jane what the man said and Jane is able to ID the man as Red John. He hangs up telling Lisbon he’ll call her back.
-Jane’s panic over Lisbon’s safety, his continuously calling out her name, the time he needed to take to listen to her breathe to assure himself that she’s okay, and the fact that he only continued with his plan after he was assured that Lisbon was safe makes his behavior (until this point at least) reasonable.
VIS # 21: Jane and Red John
Hand’s firmly in his pockets, Jane approaches the man he suspects is Red John (Bradley Whitford) and stares at him until the man asks him what he needs. Jane demands to know whom he was speaking to. RJ feigns innocence and disturbance, threatening Jane that he’ll call security before he laughs and tells Jane “I’m just messing with you. You know who I am.”
Jane asks him to tell him anyway. The man says that he has many names but that some people call him Red John. He then gestures to Jane to join him at his table. Jane does so sitting at the edge of the seat, hands still in his pockets.
Red John proceeds to show Jane a gun’s he has hidden in a newspaper with his hand firmly on it, finger ready at the trigger. But he tells Jane that he won’t hurt him unless he has to, adding “It’s great to meet you, face to face so to speak. I mean the last time I saw you everything was hyper, so un-relaxed. It’s hard to talk in that type of environment.”
-Here RJ is referring to when Jane was kidnapped by RJ fans Dylan and Ruth and was almost killed in a snuff film they were making as a tribute to Red John (Red Sky in the Morning). Red John showed up and killed the two saving Jane.
Jane asks Red John: “How do I know you are who you say you are.” RJ replies “That’s a deep question. How does anyone know who anyone is, who’re you?”
-This actor is phenomenal. He just exudes such carelessness, such lack of remorse and glibness that I for one was not left with a single doubt as to who he is.
Jane then asks RJ what he wants. RJ tells him that when he heard about Jane’s plan from O’Laughlin he was happy, that it was the perfect opportunity to teach Jane one last lesson in humility.
-Based on this it’s safe to say that RJ was at the mall because he wanted to see Jane’s face when he realized that Bertram was in fact innocent and that Hightower was being killed by the real mole. Worse, at that point, Jane would probably have no way of ever finding out whom the real mole is; Craig wouldn’t have left any witnesses.
RJ then tells Jane that for once he prevailed. He congratulates Jane then tells him that it’s a good thing because it confirms what RJ’s been thinking, that it’s time to quit. That he’s tired of killing “been there, done that” and that he’s getting a new face, new identity. He adds that he has skills and resources to make positive changes for others “for children”. Also: “I’ve been pursuing my own dreams for so long that I just lost sense of what’s truly important in this world. I think that happens to a lot of people, don’t’ you?”
-Uh, yes Red John. Many people waste years away before deciding on what they want from life. But most people don’t spend those years killing other people.
Jane isn’t amused either. The two have the following exchange:
Jane: “Am I supposed to laugh? Why are you telling me all this?”
RJ: “Well, I think we have a connection that needs to be honored, I want to say goodbye, I want to apologize for any pain I might have caused you and I want to release you from this curse you’ve been under.”
Jane: “I’m not under a curse.”
-Jane almost defensive denial that he’s cursed is intriguing. It’s like he’s tacitly denying the hold RJ has on him.
RJ: “Doomed to an endless angry search for a vengeance you will never have. I would call that a curse, wouldn’t you?”
Jane: “I look at it as more of a hobby and I will have that vengeance.”
RJ: “Vengeance, on what? Look me! I’m just a regular guy! You thought I’d have horns, right? I’m not a monster. I’m not a devil. I’m just another human being with flaws and vices and problems just like anybody else.”
-Yes, Red John. All humans have flaws, vices, and problems. That doesn’t make it okay for them to kill people.
But perhaps what is most galling about RJ is the caring tone he uses when he offers Jane the following piece of advice: “Forget about me. I’m not worth ruining your life over.”
Jane is understandably unappreciative: “Wherever you go, You delusional freak, I will find you and I will kill you. And then, then I will forget about you”.
RJ then tells Jane to do his worst. Jane replies that he would if RJ puts his gun away. RJ laughs and tells Jane:
“See how we sound? We’re like kids on the playground. Don’t you see that I’m, I’m trying to do you a favor. Seeking revenge is a waste of your precious time. Your life is precious Patrick. Get on with that precious life. Find yourself a woman to love, start a family.”
Red John’s use of semantics is eerily similar to Jane’s. In ‘Red Queen’ Jane tells LaRoche after a short banter “Are we kids or what?” to which LaRoche agrees “We are kids.”
RJ’s advice to Jane here is also very similar to the advice Jane gave to his brother in law Danny in this season’s second episode.
In ‘Cackle Bladder Blood’ when Danny Ruskin (Kevin Rankin) tells Jane that it’s his fault his sister is dead, Jane concurs and adds “I hope one day you’ll forgive me. Maybe one day I’ll forgive myself.” When Danny replies incredulously “Forgive you?” Jane clarifies: “Not for my sake for yours. Because hating me is just a waste of your energy, it’s pointless. Just move on, drop it, find something to love.”
The wording can’t be a coincidence. Perhaps this was done to show the similarities between Red John and Jane. Or maybe it’s also been done to illustrate the similarity between Jane and Danny’s situations; being told by someone they deem responsible for the deaths of their loved ones to move on. The obvious difference is Jane’s culpability is only perceived by him and Danny, while Red John’s is unquestionable. Also, while Jane’s intentions towards Danny were pure, there is no way of knowing what Red John’s intentions towards Patrick are.
Jane must feel as much. He tells Red John that he will move on “When you’re dead.”
It seems to me that this statement means Jane will not risk loving anyone and/or moving on until he is assured that Red John won’t take everything away from him again. Now Jane is far from naive. Accidents happen, people get sick and die. It’s a fact of life. But he’s not about to risk moving on with a serial killer fixated on him on the loose.
Red John sighs at Jane’s stubbornness and says “I tried”, then gets up to walk away, taking his gun with him. Jane gets up as well and tells him that he can’t just walk away. Red John points out that Jane’s colleagues are gone. He asks Jane what he can do to stop him. Jane once more states he doesn’t in fact know this man is Red John.
-The implication here is that if Jane has proof he’ll then act. Jane was setting RJ up, knowing he wouldn’t be able to resist humiliating him one more time.
RJ rises to the occasion, giving Jane the proof he wants: “Fair enough. Your wife was very clean. She smelled like coal tar soap and lavender. You daughter smelled like sweat, and strawberries and cream. I expect it was some kind of kid’s shampoo.”
-Jane is visibly shaken at Red John’s words. Faced with the undeniable proof that this man is indeed the person who killed his wife and child, his breathing gets ragged. It is striking how young Simon Baker looks in this scene. I don’t know if this was done intentionally or not, but it makes Jane seem so vulnerable, so broken in comparison with Red John’s older, superior, smug, pitying smile.
Red John walks away once more. Jane calls out in a broken voice “Please, wait.” Red John turns around Jane walks up to him. They stand face to face then three gunshots go off and Red John falls dead to the ground. Jane continues to breathe heavily as he removes the gun he used to shoot Red John from his jacket pocket and places is on the table. He sits down to finish his tea and asks the waitress in a less than steady voice if he can get the check. She bolts in fear. Jane calms his breathing down and lets out a deep sigh as he finishes his tea. He then puts the cup down and raises his arms over his head when the mall security arrive pointing their guns at him.
The Aftermath and Expectations for Season Four
In the ‘Redacted’ review, commentors had me wondering:
What are Jane’s instincts? Is he the opportunistic deceitful psychic or the boy who cried when his dad pressured him into lying to a dying girl for money? T also pointed out that Jane is not a violent man by nature, so if that is also his instinct, does that mean he won’t be able to go against it even for revenge? For Jane’s sake (and the show’s) I know what I *want* the answers to be so I’ll be sending all my positive energy towards them.
This finale also reminded me of what Jane told Todd Johnson in ‘Red Moon’: “If you truly want revenge you have to be hard, you have to be dishonest, and devious and cold. You can’t let people see what’s in your heart.”
At the time I thought Jane was drawing from his own experience as a cold person. But later I wondered if Jane was simply describing what he knows he has to become to be able to carry out his vengeance.
Now viewers may think that the fact that Jane killed Red John practically in cold blood means that he is in fact a cold person; the deceitful psychic. I disagree. While I’m in no way happy over what happened, I do see a silver lining.
Yes, Jane killed Red John. But I very much doubt it was easy for him to carry out the murder.
Jane knew he’d found Red John the instant he hung up from his call with Lisbon. Jane is hardly a man who ever worries about proof once he’s positive about something. It’s what he and Lisbon are always arguing about in their cases: his decisiveness over whom the perp is without concrete evidence. He knew that the man sitting a few tables away was Red John. He knew!
So why did he ask him to prove he killed his family?
Now there’s the obvious reason that Jane didn’t want to kill the wrong man and had to be sure to satisfy himself that his family’s killer really is gone. But it seems to me that the reason Jane wanted proof, needed details, is because he wanted Red John to goad him into doing what he’d already set out on doing, to give him that final nudge, because otherwise, Jane might not have been able to kill him.
Because, again, Jane does not handle the macabre well! He is not a violent man, and that is why he watched Steiner kill himself in ‘The Red Mile’. Jane felt that he was getting close to catching Red John; that the time for revenge was approaching. If he couldn’t handle watching a man die, then how was he to kill Red John?
I had stated that if Jane watching Steiner die proved to be an important plot device then I would humbly beg Mr. Szentgyorgyi’s forgiveness for me mistakenly assuming he just used the event simply to shock viewers. And while I doubt Mr. S ever read any of these posts, this is me, humbling begging for his forgiveness.
Now I suspect another reason Jane asked for proof is because he knows it will be important in his trial (as is rumored one will take place). The fact that Jane surrenders so easily, coupled with his previously telling Ronald Crosswhite in ‘Red Alert’ that taking people hostage (and therefore ending up in jail) was a stupid thing to do, suggests that Jane does not plan on going to jail. I think he fully intends on fighting out his sentence in court and I dare say he has a very good chance of getting an acquittal as he’s already set a couple of people free from that fate (Eric Winter and Sean Meyers in Red Carpet Treatment).
More support to this theory is Jane telling Red John that he’ll move on with his life (find love, start a family) after Red John is dead. After this episode, there is no doubt in my mind as to who exactly Jane had in mind when he said that.
But life is not that simple. While RJ’s death might give Jane relief, I doubt it will give him peace. Just because RJ is dead, doesn’t mean that Jane’s guilt over killing his family will disappear. I really, really hope we get to see some sort of personal fall out after this. I don’t expect Jane to feel guilty for killing RJ, but I do want some serious reflection to be going on in his head. This event has to show some character growth for Jane. The fact that there are still a few years before the series ends (I think Baker renegotiated his contact to last four more seasons) hints that maybe, Jane’s quest for redemption has only just started.
I so hope this is true. We’ve had some hints, mostly spiritual symbolism which suggests it may be.
The writers have a fantastic set up for a season four. The only question is what they will do with it.
Now there are a few characters I suspect which will play a vital role next season, particularly when it comes to Jane’s fate. I’ve discussed them and their respective important scenes below:
J.J. LaRoche (Pruitt Taylor Vince)
LaRoche’s last scene in the finale is very critical:
Jane is walking the CBI hall, on route to setting up Bertram when LaRoche calls him from his office. Jane asks him what he wants, that he’s busy. Laroche: “Oh I can imagine. Busy boy.” He proceeds to ask about Hightower and if she’s still at the hotel room. Jane says yes and asks why LaRoche is asking. He says no reason but stares at Jane for a while after he’s left.
-LaRoche’s suspicious demeanor suggests that he somehow knows Hightower is not in the room. Now he either checked himself and didn’t find her, or he’s been talking to Bertram about the topic and realized that the room numbers he and Bertram were given are different. Either way, LaRoche knows at this point that Jane is up to something but is waiting to see how it will all play out. I wonder why he’d do that. Either he’s waiting for Jane to hang himself, or he’s curious to see what Jane will do with the information (suspects) he has. Or, J.J. wants more information before he decides on how to act. Whatever the case is, I think LaRoche will prove to be wild card in Jane’s trial. Before Jane threatened him, I would have been able to say that I believe he’ll end up helping Jane get an acquittal. Now, I’m not so sure.
Gale Bertram (Michael Gaston)
Bertram’s obsession with everything appearing publicly acceptable is a far cry from LaRoche’s hardnosed desire for the truth. I think Jane’s acquittal lies somewhere between a balance between their two extremes.
Bertram’s first important scene in the finale is when he’s looking at footage of Dinkler being blown up. J.J. Laroche (Pruitt Taylor Vince) and Lisbon apprise Director Bertram (Michael Gaston) of the crime and let him know that Dinkler was the victim; forced into the bomb vest. Bertram is more concerned with how the media will react to the incident and the public relations officer Brenda Shettrick (Rebecca Wisosky) concurs that the reporters are waiting for a statement.
-The purpose of this scene was two-fold: to introduce some of the main players (suspects) in this episode.
But a more implicit reason is to reinforce the idea that Bertram’s main concern (as always) is how the media will react to a situation, not necessarily the truth behind a given situation.
Later, Lisbon and LaRoche go to explain the resolution of the bomb case to Bertram, he tells Lisbon: “Well you seem no worse for wear. And I didn’t think it would work out that way to be candid.” Referring to Lisbon being strapped to a bomb vest.
-I am all over this line. First of all, there is no way Bertram could have known about Lisbon’s situation until after it was all over and I assume she then called LaRoche who probably would have called Bertram. But at that point it would have been clear that she was safe. So why did he say “I didn’t think” as if he knew about the situation as it was happening? I guess it could be a blooper. Or it could be that he really did know what was going on; i.e. is another RJ spy. But I don’t think so; the finale seems to have cleared him from suspicion. Most probably the tense discrepancy was done intentionally to keep Bertram under suspicion for the rest of the episode; since he is later a strong Red Herring.
Bertram then asks what was so important the Cash in Motion client lists. When Lisbon answers they’re still trying to figure it out he says never mind and that the case is closed.
Again Bertram’s careless stance here is probably another method to throw suspicion on his character. But now that we know he’s in the clear it’s continuity to his lack of attention to details. All-i-need once asked why LaRoche didn’t follow up on the other leads to Todd Johnson’s murderer once Hightower was suspected. It was a valid question since LaRoche seems very detail oriented. Probably, Bertram told him not to. He seems like he only acts when it’s absolutely necessary and doesn’t like wasting resources (or worrying) over details.
Considering Jane’s current situation, Bertram’s pragmatism could very well work in his favor.
But, again, now that Jane’s managed to insult Bertram into stating that he will be facing consequences, viewers are far less assured as to the role he will play.
On the other hand, in Red Alert, Bertram didn’t fire or suspend Lisbon after she forced him into giving her authority over a hostage situation. In that episode’s review I pointed out that it was nice to have Hightower’s claim in the premier that “Bertram’s all bottom line, he won’t let personal issues intrude” be reinforced. I also stated that his stance made me appreciate the character because it shows that he’s not vindictive.
Let’s hope, for Jane’s sake, that this will remain true in season four. If the cards are played right, then Bertram will perhaps be all too happy to help Jane out of jail depending on how good he can spin the circumstances of Red John’s death to work in his favor with the media.
Other characters I expect/hope to see in season four include Osvaldo Ardiles, Walter Mashburn, Brett Stiles, and Dr. Linus Wagner.
The fact that Assistant District Attorney Ardiles was introduced at the end of season three makes me wonder if he will be the prosecuting attorney at Jane’s trial. I hope so. For some reason, and despite his telling Cho in Rhapsody in Red (RIR) that the team won’t be getting any more help from him at the DA’s office, I really like this character. I have no concrete explanation for why other than the fact that when he, Lisbon and Cho were talking together in RIR, he didn’t lose his patience with Cho’s attitude as quickly as other people might have. He also seems to be (or at least was) on good terms both with Lisbon and with Jane. When he first came to talk to Lisbon, Jane was in her office and gestured for him to wait. After Jane was finished he tells Ardiles “she’s all yours”. Lisbon also calls him by his first name. It all just seems to hint that he’s a good guy. Plus there’s the fact that David Norona manages to makes him likable in spite of going head to head with Cho (a very popular main character). I think he’d be a worthy adversary and I hope he’ll be able to take Jane to task on his actions as well as knock him down a peg or two.
Walter Mashburn is an obvious pick simply because of how awesome Currie Graham played him and how quickly he became a favorite among fans. Mashburn and Jane hit it off ever since their first case together in Season 2 ‘Redline’. Walter’s playfulness and admiration for Jane (and Lisbon) only increased in season three’s ‘Red Hot’. The friendship coupled with Mashburn’s status as a powerful billionaire with ties and friends in the “Sherriff’s department and Mayor’s office” (as stated by him in Redline”) makes him the most likely ally Jane can have.
As to Brett Stiles (Malcolm McDowell) I previously raised the question on why episode ‘Blood on his Hands’ had him saying that he liked Jane when their previous meeting was anything but friendly. I also objected to his coming off so powerful and omnipresent that he seemed 2D and that we already have Red John as Jane’s archenemy and wondered if he would become important to the story. I think the finale gave me my answer. Stiles will play an important role in season four; either as Jane’s ally (which writers have set up when he told Jane he liked him) or as a new antagonist who actually likes sparring with Jane (not unlike Red John).
Stiles’s knowledge of Red John also raised the possibility that RJ was an ex-visualize member who went rogue and started his own cult. I stated that if that were the case then having FBI member Craig O’Laughlin simultaneously investigate Visualize and get closer to Jane’s team made a lot of sense.
It makes even more sense now. If RJ truly was ex-visualize, then it’s no surprise that he’d like to bring them down. It also explains why Stiles doesn’t like him and helped Jane find Kristina Frye.
Whatever the case is, the situation makes for very interesting possibilities. I look forward to seeing more of Stiles and what part he will take in season four.
As to Dr. Linus Wagner (Zeljko Ivanek), I’ve been dying to see him psychoanalyze Patrick Jane ever since he mentioned having written an article on trauma and its affect on the psyche in which he mentioned Jane (‘Ball of Fire’). Lisbon had also promised to testify on Wagner’s behalf at his sentencing if he helped her locate Jane alive. Wagner’s information did end up saving Jane so we can assume he’s been sentenced to life in prison as opposed to death row. Is it too much to hope for that Jane is placed in the same prison as Wagner pending his trial? I so enjoyed Wagner convincing Lisbon to testify for him and would love to see him and Jane converse. Zeljko Ivanek and Simon Baker would rock it.
I, like Lisbon, wanted Jane to see that violence is not the answer. But somehow I don’t think he could have lived with not killing Red John, not when he blames himself for his family’s murder and certainly not when it’s been his only reason for living for so long. I don’t like it. I hate it. But I understand it.
BUT. Now that he did it, I really, really hope he realizes that it doesn’t make anything better. He didn’t bring them back, and now that their killer is presumably dead, Jane may or may not be able to get over his guilt for causing their deaths, but he’s left with the fact that they are still dead. As to Lisbon. I can’t even imagine what her reaction would be.
But maybe all the religious aspects were foreshadowing the role she will play in all this. Just like the title was indirectly. I’ve stated several times this year that I think Lisbon will prove to be Jane’s salvation and I’m only more sure of it now…the episode’s title is not only a reference to the smell of Jane’s daughter. It’s also an indirect reference to Lisbon. Strawberries and cream: Lisbon’s pink dress with a white ribbon vs. the smell of Jane’s daughter. Present vs. past. Salvation versus destruction…
One thing I know for sure: all the references to Jane and Lisbon’s friendship, and all the evidence we’ve seen in this episode has me assured that Jane and Lisbon will somehow overcome this. I just don’t know how.
Finally, the timing of the finale happened to coincide with a major event this year; the death of what many consider a real life super villain Osama bin Ladin. I was going to write an entire essay titled “Life imitates Art” regarding this coincidence but Liv Einziger e-mailed me with her thoughts before-hand and summed up what would have been my exact musings had I been coherent enough to put them in writing. A good thing too as they would probably constituted pages of nonsensical drivel. Instead, readers get a few paragraphs of artfully expressed and concise thoughts:
I was just asking myself, what side is the show on?
Concerning The Mentalist’s main theme – Jane’s quest to find revenge against Red John – we were always presented with a battle between two points of view: Jane’s, that revenge is in a way fair and he has a right to it, considering what RJ did to his family and to him; and Lisbon’s, that he should be arrested and tried and that Jane shouldn’t become a murderer.
Well, I think both are valid points of view (on Jane’s side, maybe RJ could get away or walk away and he might continue harming people if he isn’t killed; on Lisbon’s, they represent the law and if Jane kills RJ, he’s no less a murderer than he is). Still, I think there is a matter of right and wrong here.
Well, my opinion now: I have always agreed with Lisbon and with the fact that, if Jane kills someone, he is just bringing more blood into his life, and more darkness, and I always thought that the idea of the show was to have him find redemption and give up the idea of murdering a man; that he needed to find a way to go on living his life even after what happened to him. But I always considered the possibility – which I’m not really okay with – that the show’s idea was the opposite; that the show was about him finding RJ and killing RJ, yes, and that’s it.
And now that the show has decided to have Jane kill Red John (assuming, of course, that that was RJ – but for all intents and purposes then, he was), I think it’s possibly some kind of alternative way to those two choices, black and white; maybe the show chose grey. And if that’s the case, I hope this is interesting and satisfying and that Jane can still find redemption somehow.
But I still think that maybe the show (and maybe even a part or most of the audience) considers it right that Jane killed RJ. And then I can’t avoid thinking of Bin Laden’s story. The American Government and many, many people from other countries considered it right that he was chased and murdered, after all, look at all the horrible things that he did. So that gives the US the right to take revenge by killing him.
Do you think that this might be the point of view of the show and of most of the audience? That Jane does have the right to kill RJ because of all the horrible things he did? Did you agree with Jane or Lisbon before all this?
Talk about food for thought.
I’m going to sum up by stating that I agree that Heller chose the road less travelled. Life is neither black nor white. Not being with something doesn’t necessarily mean you’re against it. Likewise the fallout from Jane’s choice should not be simply his going to jail (unlikely, or they’d be no show) or getting away scott free (if literally then not figuratively). Every good story has a moral. And I’m very much interested in seeing what the moral of the Mentalist is.
September 22 cannot come fast enough for me.
I went crazy trying to decide which were the best scenes. So I’m letting the readers decide. Have at it in the comments.
Ashley Gable, Bruno Heller, Simon Baker, Robin Tunney, Bradley Whitford, Pruitt Taylor Vince.
“Frankly, this is less thrilling than you advertised and possibly wrong.”-Lisbon to Jane.
“Maybe he just needed to go the bathroom. Stress will do that to you.” Jane to Lisbon on why Dinkler would come to the bathroom.
“Please don’t say that, nothing is foolproof.” Lisbon to Jane about his plan being foolproof.
“Who has the key to the minibar?” Jane to Lisbon during the stake-out.
“I do and I’m keeping it, we’re on the job.”-Lisbon in response to the above.
“You’re on the job, I’m an amateur. Besides all I want is those expensive peanuts.”-Jane to Lisbon.
“Madeleine says hey.” Grace to Lisbon over the phone. LOVE the fact that Grace called Hightower by her first name. Makes me all warm and fuzzy.
“Stop being so confident, it makes me nervous.” Lisbon to Jane after he asks her to tell Hightower she’ll soon be exonerated. It’s interesting that while Jane’s over-confidence makes Lisbon nervous, his demeanor is probably a result of his own nervousness.
“Whenever you say that success is just around the corner.” –Jane to Lisbon on their stake out being a huge waste of time. This was fabulous because Jane’s statement is backed up by a previous similar stake-out Jane set up in episode “Crimson Casanova”.
“Can we move, please, because I can answer all your questions in motion. I’m clever like that. Thank you.”- Jane to Lisbon. Love how Baker read this line, softening Jane’s impatience with Lisbon with a joke and a thank you at the end. Small things make me happy.
-How did Gupta get a gun? Is it possible that Lisbon didn’t search him properly when she cuffed him? I doubt it. Could it be that one of the officers on the scene is another RJ mole and gave him the gun? Hmm. Interesting trivia: the officer who led Gupta into the car is played by Karl Sonnenberg; technical advisor to the show. If he is an RJ mole it could mean that we’ll be seeing more of him on screen. I’d ask if I thought he’d be allowed to answer. There was another officer too; the one who shut the door once Gupta was inside the vehicle and was sitting in the driver’s seat. I don’t know who that actor is.
Of course I completely understand if the gun was just a plot device to necessitate the shooting of Gupta and throw suspicion on LaRoche, but it would still be cool to see it addressed.
*Note: There are of course, more topics to be discussed. But frankly, I need to recover from this novel first. Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to comment and rate the post.
And for those who like fanfiction, I found a few excellent ones. They’re not all complete, but the ones that aren’t are being updated regularly. Enjoy.