Mentalist Strawberries and Cream Review


Synopsis

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

LAST WARNING

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.

LaRoche: “Yes?”

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.

 LaRoche

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…

Brenda Shettrick

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.

Gale Bertram

 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…

Osvaldo Ardiles

 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 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.

Then what?

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.

Conclusion

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.

Best Scenes

I went crazy trying to decide which were the best scenes. So I’m letting the readers decide. Have at it in the comments.

Honorable Mentions

Ashley Gable, Bruno Heller, Simon Baker, Robin Tunney, Bradley Whitford, Pruitt Taylor Vince.

Best Lines

“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.

Pet Peeves

-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.

Gathering Storm

a Road lEss traveleD

Red Omen

Miss Communication

Restraints

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About reviewbrain

Screenwriter, independent producer, compulsive critic, editor, artist, language lover, student of life, pacifist, parent. View all posts by reviewbrain

37 responses to “Mentalist Strawberries and Cream Review

  • Julie

    First the best scenes:

    The ultimate best scene of the entire series is the meeting with Red John. I still watch it now and it still is powerful and suspenseful. The acting of Bradley Whitford and Simon Baker was flawless. The look on Simon Bakers face after Red John talks about working with children, and as he crumbles as Red John describes the scent of his wife and child, especially when the camera turns to him after red John starts describing his wife and you can see the change in his face as he realises what he is listening too. Incredible!

    My favourite scene after that is Jane at the Cash in Motion place. Jane at his impish best. He just doesn’t like it when people are not nice without reason.

    I also enjoyed the bickering between Jane and Lisbon after defusing the bomb and when Jane ducked upon hearing the shot immediately after stating how he had to stay because of his ego.

  • Julie

    How did Gupta get a gun? – my assumption as always been that he took the gun from the officer sitting next to him in the car.

  • All-I-need

    Woah. Okay, so I just spent the better part of an hour reading this post and I am blown away. I am really, really glad I just recently re-watched the finale.

    Okay, first, to get that one out of the way, you asked for our favorite moments. Mine:
    1. Definitely the whole Jane-RJ-face-off. WOAH. Seriously. I was literally SCREAMING at my laptop. I wanted to punch RJ in the face. “I`d like to apologize for ANY PAIN I MIGHT HAVE CAUSED you”. What the f&*%?! Brownie points to Jane for not shooting RJ right then and there, for not losing it. That was just plain mean. Really. Not to mention the whole “time to quit, help the children” crap. Seriously, I wanted to pour his damn tea/coffee(?) right into his face when he said that.
    And why this was the best scene? Easy: Those last 10 minutes or so can be seen on youtube. I showed that video to my best friend who doesn`t really care for the show. She watched it 5 times and then said she now wants to see every single episode. Enough said.

    2. Jane, Lisbon and the bomb. Oh my god, that was amazing! I almost dropped dead when he all but told her he loves her. And damn him for managing to pick the lock at just the right moment to avoid actually having to say the words. Argh! Loved it, the whole thing, starting with Jane deciding to follow her (note that he had a blanket wrapped around himself and was obviously going to sleep on his couch again. Not the attic, not the hotel room, but the couch) right up to their banter on their way to the car.

    3. Bridesmaid dress. Hilarious. Lisbon`s lack of enthusiasm, coupled with Jane`s obvious gobsmacked reaction when he saw her in that dress had me simultaniously laughing out loud and melting into a puddle on the floor. This was so awwwwwwww!

    On with the episode. Next on the list: Red John.

    First, I need to say that this was probably the most intense episode I`ve ever seen. Of any show out there. I know I was literally shaking with tension throughout the whole double episode. When I re-watched it two weeks ago, I was shaking AGAIN even though I already knew what was going to happen, which further proves that this was simply amazing.

    So, Red John.

    The guy gave me the creeps, literally. I loved every second of the conversation between him and Jane, I loved the way RJ answered his phone (and I just have to say, it looked hilarious how he studied his phone like a strange insect before answering Lisbon`s call) and how walked towards him in kind of a trance only to stare at him for a while as if he couldn´t wrap his mind around the fact that this was Red John. The whole scene was brilliant, their conversation had me grinding my teeth and clenching my fists and I wanted to shoot RJ myself, which says a lot.

    The viewers have all been wondering (or are still wondering) whether this actually WAS the real Red John or not. I`ve been giving this a lot of thought and first I thought: it must`ve been him. Then I decided it can`t have been him because RJ wouldn`t be that stupid and everything the guy said he could`ve been told by the real RJ.
    However, I am now back to my original opinion. This was RJ. The real one. The killer of Jane`s family, the guy who laughed about Jane and Lisbon in Mexico and also the guy who appeared in the season 2 finale. And the best proof I have is that Bruno Heller promised Jane would come “face to face with Red John”. Obviously, if this guy only was an imposter, Jane wouldn`t have come face to face with RJ but only with an RJ-imposter.

    Having killed RJ, however, doesn`t necessarily mean that it`s all over now. There is the whole trial (which has been confirmed) and the repercussions of Jane`s and Lisbon`s actions, as well as LaRoche`s secret (maybe he`s gay? That would certainly explain his comment on how private it is and how “horrible” some people would consider this to be, especially for someone working in law enforcement), then of course Visualize and other RJ-associates. I guess he`s got a lot more of them than we already know.

    Most importantly, there was something about the finale that irked me, which is why I re-watched it recently and I can finally put my finger on it:
    Red John (again).

    Seriously, has no one ever wondered how the hell he knew that Jane would be at the mall? Now, there are several possible explanations:
    1. O`Laughlin told him. That`s highly unlikely because there has been NO indication whatsoever that O`Laughlin knew anything about Jane`s plan to lure RJ into the mall.

    2. RJ has eyes and ears everywhere and therefore somehow found out about it. – That´s also unlikely because O`Laughlin was his eyes and ears and he didn`t know.

    3. RJ has been watching Jane anyways and simply followed him and Bertram to the mall. – That is a possibility, but I`ve got another suspicion:

    4. Bertram is a Red John mole, TOO. This is indicated by the fact that he wants “the whole Hightower-business to just disappear”, his overall behaviour and the fact that he made a phone call as soon as Jane left the room after having told him he`d take him to meet Hightower. All Bertram had to do was call RJ, tell him that Jane would take him to meet Hightower and thereby ensure that RJ would follow them to the mall. I don`t think I saw RJ sitting at the coffee stand when Bertram and Jane arrived, which indicates that he followed them.

    Now, Red John doesn`t want his mole at CBI to be revealed. I always thought he must have at least two moles at all times, in case one of them is discovered (as was the case with Rebecca in season 2). Therefore, it would only make sense to have Bertram monitor CBI while Craig is simultaneously monitoring Visualize, CBI and FBI.

    Red John must`ve known that Jane was coming close to discovering one of his moles, which would explain why he followed him to the mall to keep an eye on Bertram and Jane while waiting for a call from O`Laughlin. The very fact that his phone was lying on the table instead of in his jacket pocket tells me he was actually waiting for a call or text message.

    Then, Bertram used Jane`s little monologue to throw a fit, get all riled up and threaten to leave, which he then did, just as Jane realized that O`Laughlin was the real mole. Maybe Red John even told Bertram to mention a rope sometime, so Jane would draw the conclusion that Craig was the mole, thereby making Bertram look innocent. Maybe Red John planned to have Jane realize his mistake about the rope only to call Lisbon to warn her and find out that it was already too late, that Hightower (and possibly Lisbon, too) were already dead.

    I know this is all speculation but it does seem plausible (to me, at least) and would indicate quite a lot of chaos for the next season.
    Lisbon is injured, Grace is shattered by Craig`s betrayal, the whole team is in shambles because of what Jane did, and Jane himself is in jail (at least at the beginning of the season). Meanwhile, Red John is dead and his remaining faithful mole just happens to be the boss of CBI. Now THAT would make for some pretty explosive plot lines, including the possibility that Bertram might want to avenge RJ by either killing Lisbon as a means to hurt Jane, or by having someone try and kill Jane in jail before he figures it all out – and people get killed in jail all the time, after all, right?

    Anyways, this was definitely the best episode I`ve ever seen and will remain so until further notice.

    I can`t wait for Season 4 and I do think that now there actually is a chance for Jane and Lisbon, if they ever manage to get over the events of the finale.

    I`d like to point out that it is also possible that Jane might not want to stay alive, now that he has reached his goal. However, consindering the fact that Simon Baker renewed his contract for four more seasons (I am in heaven!) this option doesn´t seem very likely. Still, there is a personal fall-out on the horizon. Jane will have to come to terms with what he did, with the fact that he`s free now and the harsh reality that his family is still dead. He`s got grief to work through and a trial to survive, not to mention making things right with Lisbon and the team.

    I can´t wait to see how it will all work out in the end.

    Oh, and I`d like to thank you for this amazing analysis of a great episode. It´s always a joy to read your blog posts and you managed to capture all the important things in this amazing finale and wrap them up in your analysis. This is fantastic work!

  • Julie

    Just watched the whole two hours again and another favourite scene is the one between LaRoache and Jane. I have loved all their interactions and feel that Jane likes LaRoache.

    I think that Red John was at the Mall because O’Laughlin told him about it. There is every chance that Grace would tell him who they suspect the mole is and about the plan. Red John says that O’laughlin told him about Jane’s little trap and that it gave him an opportunity to give him one LAST lesson in humiliy. I feel that Red John thought that Jane losing this one would break him, after all it would lead to the death of everyone at the house, and he wanted to witness his triumph.

    I am sooo looking forward to next season and see what happens. I’m hoping that there are only small spoilers that are leaked out. I almost don’t want to guess where the show is going to go as I am usually wrong anyway, I only got two things correct last season, both from the same episode. I had predicted that we would see ‘James’ from the Guardian in an episode during the season and that Jane would have to tell Lisbon about Hightower to get himself out of the Culpepper situation.

  • reviewbrain

    Just one hour? Darn, I’ll have to make the next one longer 😉 Thank you so much for your kind words and comments. I think you’re right that RJ could very well have another spy and that it might be Bertram. But for some reason, I don’t think he is; don’t ask me why. As to how RJ knew about Jane’s plan, no doubt O’Laughlin told him. After Craig was cleared Grace would have told him everything and he had plenty of time to tell RJ about the plan during his drive out to Hightower’s location (by text, for example). I think you got the best three scenes perfectly. But honestly the whole episode was off the charts amazing.

  • reviewbrain

    I didn’t think about that. That sounds reasonable 🙂

  • reviewbrain

    You’re absolutely right. The casting of RJ was simply genius; Whitford and Simon were phenomenal together and it was the perfect end to such an exciting season. But I also loved Baker’s scenes with Tunney. I’m so glad you pointed out the cash in motion scene too. It was a favorite as well. I hadn’t seen the humor of Jane’s knee jerk reaction to the shot. Thanks for pointing that out 🙂

  • All-I-need

    Actually, I thought the trap O`Laughlin told RJ about was the whole thing at the hotel, which is what RJ praised Jane for figuring out just in time to warn Lisbon about O`Laughlin. If RJ knew that Jane was setting a trap for HIM at the shopping mall, he wouldn`t have come – or at least he wouldn`t have revealed himself. He may have been crazy but not an idiot.

    I also loved how Jane locked up that guy at the Cash and Motion, thanks for reminding me of that scene!
    And I also loved how Jane called RJ a “delusional little jerk”. I LOVE it when he insults people, as he sometimes does in a ruse. He`s always so well-mannered that those insults are incredibly entertaining to me.

    Oh, and about the whole gun-thing: I think maybe Jane used a gun to kill Red John for two reasons: #1, as you already mentioned, Reviewbrain, Jane might have been afraid that he wouldn`t manage to kill RJ when it came to it. Guns are less personal than knives and therefore it was probably easier to just pull the trigger instead of literally getting blood on his hands.
    #2 when Bosco died in Season 2 he asked Jane to “shoot the bastard” and Jane replied that “that is the plan”. This way, he fulfilled Bosco`s dying wish AND got his revenge, all in one go.

    It took me one hour to read the post and another to compose my reply 😉

  • All-I-need

    Reviewbrain, I just found this and thought you might like it:

    NOT OFFICIALLY CONFIRMED!

    There was at least one person who wasn’t thrilled by Bradley Whitford’s surprising turn as Red John in the Season 3 finale: Malcolm McDowell. “I always thought maybe I was Red John, but I guess I’m not,” says the British actor, who’s appeared on the show twice as cult leader Bret Stiles. The good news for McDowell (and us): Stiles may be back! “I think I’m going back to do another one or two [episodes],” McDowell says. “I love the show.”

    So much for that, I guess 😉

  • Liv

    Okay, so this comment has turned out to be almost as long as a review!
    Anyway, these are just some (a lot of) scattered thoughts that occurred to me as I read the review (I created a .txt file and wrote on it whenever thoughts came to me. lol)

    First of all, I am one who has been complaining all season, about this and about that, but if you think about it, looking at S3 from a distance, now, and as a whole, most things really did make sense

    with what was happening in the finale. Sometimes I get the impression that the writing is sometimes ‘sloppy’ in that writers don’t seem to communicate with each other, the way episodes don’t pick up

    where the last one left off, things like that… But S3 proves this wrong; you can see many elements in the previous episodes pointing to what was going to happen in this finale and even to what

    might happen in S4.

    I think you’re the first person who said this and I had never thought about this before reading your reviews; about Jane’s insecurity, about his fear of having people really know who he is and what he

    thinks. And I think “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” proved you right, with his confession that his wife was the only person who knew the worst side of him and still loved him, and that this is what he would

    hope for – but doesn’t quite believe it is possible (hence the comment “she was”). So maybe he doesn’t really believe he might find someone who can love him like that, and that makes him insecure.

    I love your statement that with Jane, actions speak louder than words. I’ve always found it so frustrating how Jane is always in control of his emotions and his words, and how much I, as a viewer,

    have always felt like I ‘couldn’t trust’ anything he says because everything he says is meticulously calculated. There are, though, these rare moments when he has to do something that gives him

    away a little bit, or a lot, but then, already having done the deed, he is obviously not going to talk about it, or at least not going to tell the truth about it! I think Lisbon has come to know him very

    well and sort of read his games, especially his games with words, which she even tells him on the very first episode of the season “I can tell when you’re lying now” and I think this has shown in other

    moments of the season; how much she is not so easily deceived by him, how much she reads his intentions and, to his surprise, she rarely uses that information against him; mostly, she tries to help

    him, which has surprised him, like in Redacted. So maybe she can know the worst side of him and still love him – and maybe the show is telling us that.

    Just one little comment to add to your description and comments about the angry little princess scene: did anybody notice how Jane simply gravitates to her when Cho arrives?

    Your comment on Jane’s “I love you” statement to LaRoche, with the addition of your comment “welcome to Lisbon’s world” just set off an interesting and shippy train of thought in my head: it made

    me think about how much Jane uses things like that to surprise or shock or manipulate people; for example saying this to LaRoche or all the hugging and kissing on the cheek towards Hightower when

    he was still trying to het on her good side – and how much he never uses such strategies with Lisbon; he would never say something like “I love you” to her, or kiss her on the cheek to try to get on

    her good side. And it makes me wonder why; why does he need to look for other strategies to get what he wants from her? It’s almost as if he won’t say or do something like that because he would

    actually mean them, or might be scared to even playfuly say or do something like that… Does anybody agree??

    Now, the writers only know what LaRoche is hiding… (or they don’t either!) and I wonder if we’ll find out next season…

    “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.”
    I hadn’t considered that specifically, but I do agree with you. Being who she is, I would certaily expect her to blame herself. To blame Jane too, but to think that she could have stopped all of this

    from happening.
    As for the deleted scene, I love it and I like to consider it canon. lol But I think the explanation is the first one you gave – she doesn’t believe it’s going to work – because even in that deleted scene, I

    think she was telling that to Jane and to herself, that she didn’t want to be around. I think she already cared enough to want to be around, but knew she shouldn’t, so she was trying to convince him

    and herself.

    “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. ”
    I like this observation very much, and I agree with it. I’ve always doubted that Jane would have the guts to actually do it, so your explanation as to why he needed RJ to tease him makes perfect

    sense to me.

    As for my comment which you reproduced, it was written right after the finale, and I guess I was seeing things too much really in black and white! Of course I still want the answers for those

    questions and I think the discussion is still valid, but as bothered as I was with Jane killing RJ (and I was VERY bothered), I can see now how positive it can be, whereas then, I couldn’t. Let’s say I

    can see the grey side now.

    I’ve seen many shows I loved make the mistake of letting the big things happen only at the very ending – which you never know when it will be, right? Let me give an example: The X-Files, my favorite

    show still to this date, has made that mistake, has let questions unanswered for too long, and only answered most of them when it became clear the show was ending. With RJ dying now, we have

    plenty of time to watch the repercussions of it on everyone’s lives, especially Jane’s, and what he chooses to do after this, when, had RJ only died on the very last episode of the very last season, we

    would get a few minutes or a flash forward into the future, at best. Like you said, they have awesome material to work with on S4, let’s just hope they make the best use of it!

    Don’t get me wrong – I’m still not entirely okay with Jane killing RJ, but I have to agree with you when you say he wouldn’t be able to get anything done in his life knowing this guy was still alive. It’s

    not just an addiction, or just guilt, it’s also fear, and obsession, and as much as he might have been somehow affected by it in his mental state, it’s also very human, we have to admit. It would be

    just as insane to be completely able to forget all the tragedy and move on. There had to be something to hint to his mind “okay, you can start to move on now” (which will not be easy, I hope!). I

    always wanted this not to be Jane killing RJ, but since it happened, now I can only hope the afterwards is satisfying. Now thinking about it, if the show made us wait for a conclusion on the RJ arc

    only at the very last season, and ended up having Jane kill him – then it would be a demonstration that the show is turned towards one of those sides which I mentioned. So, having it be done this

    season, the way it was done, shows that the writers might be more inclined to grey, really, to something in between. Jane was expecting RJ, but he didn’t really have a plan. Not a cold, clearly cut

    plan. At that point when RJ stood up to leave, the idea of seeing him walk away just like that seemed unbearable, to him and to all of us, I’m sure. This is not the way Jane wanted to kill Red John,

    and I think it’s not just a detail. And like you said and I’ve already commented on above, he was almost out of courage to do it, he needed RJ to give him a reason to act impulsively and shoot him.

    Anyway, I’m not even sure I’m making sense anymore. I think these were my comments, at least so far, and I would also like to congratulate you on an awesome job with this review – as always. Now I want to rewatch!! lol
    Incredible job, congrats!

  • reviewbrain

    “he was almost out of courage to do it”

    I love that line and it’s exactly what I was trying to say. And don’t worry, it’s clear that you like the grey as I’m sure most readers would. Personally I’m one of those people who like to lean towards the positive extreme because even then, I don’t think it’ll balance out the negatives in life. But for the sake of television, grey is definitely more interesting. I must confess I am however worried about Jane not getting enough of a fallout from this…it’s going to be really hard coming up with a balance that doesn’t make him seem like he’s getting rewarded for murder. On the other hand, you don’t want him to be punished for getting a killer off the streets either. What a conundrum…

  • Liv

    Exactly, I have to agree a hundred percent with your words… I’m really worried about S4; they could make it the best season yet or the worst. And that scares me!
    I guess the punishment Jane receives will give us a hint at “what side the show is on”…

  • windsparrow

    The finale was one gut-punch after another. I absolutely loved Jane refusing to leave Lisbon while she had the bomb vest on especially after they found Gupta with the detonation device. Sure that was 85% “Jane is sure he has a better chance of getting the device than she does”, but there’s at least 15% “Can’t bear to lose Lisbon; if she dies, I’m going out, too.” Which screams a lot of things, but “platonic friendship” isn’t one of them. Well, at least not for men in the Western Hemisphere in the post-modern era. If either of them is Samwise Gamgee in that relationship, it ain’t Jane. He’s no Frodo Baggins either. The way he reacted to her getting shot, at least until all his attention got turned back to Red John, was also compelling, to say the least.

    I’ve often wondered why Culpepper had to break into LaRoche’s home while the man was at home – why not go in during the day, or at some time when he is at the office or in the field, when Jane can alert Culpepper it was time to move? Plot device, I know, but that’s a lot of hand-waving to do. Adjacent to that thought is, how screwed is Lisbon over that? Tell me now that Jane revealed he was behind the break-in, that LaRoche isn’t going to do the math and realize that Lisbon deliberately hit Culpepper to force the charges to be dropped. Even if LaRoche doesn’t outright get rid of her, he will always see her as under Jane’s thumb. Short of arranging for LaRoche to be removed from the CBI post-haste, Jane can’t do a thing to protect her from severe consequences in her career. If Hightower gets her old job back now that she has been cleared, will LaRoche end up back in the PSU? If so, he can still make things mighty miserable for Lisbon. Hightower would likely be willing to stick her neck out for Lisbon, but I think there would be a limit to how well she could protect her.

    As for Jane shooting Red John – I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. While I am all for the RJ story arc to be done, I have zero faith that it really is. The speculation that the clue “Red John is man….” from the first season is meant to be “Red John is many” plays into my feeling that the resolution for this storyline is nowhere near as simple as it seems.

    The romantic idealist in me wants Lisbon to have a heavy dose of “hate the sin but love the sinner” with Jane – I can picture her waiting for him while he pays his debt to society. I doubt that’s how it will play out on screen, but that is what I wish for. I have a slightly different perspective on this show than many viewers, because I only started watching it regularly about two-thirds of the way through this third season. I caught up on what had gone before by, of all things, reading a ton of fan fiction. As I’ve quite happily done the same with shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the past, I had a fair idea of how to filter the sometimes terribly skewed ideas of fic-writers to come up with a reasonable take on the show itself. One thing that became apparent to me early on, well before I managed to obtain and watch seasons one and two, is that the main conflict of this show isn’t so much Jane vs. Red John, but Jane vs. Lisbon – unless one is inclined to use a Freudian interpretation, in which case the main conflict is Jane’s thanatos vs. his libido (in the broadest sense for sure, but we J/L shippers also see plenty of reason to consider the narrower meaning as well) as embodied by Red John and Lisbon. With Red John, as we suppose, dead and the show not remotely done telling its tale, I expect season four to prove me right (or desperately wrong).

  • windsparrow

    P.S. This is MerriWyllow from FFN – I meant to mention that in the above comment.

  • T

    Just wanted to drop a note and let you know how much I enjoyed reading your lengthy review. As to where the show stands on revenge, Heller just did an interview with TVGuide that you can read on their website regarding this very issue and season 4.

  • reviewbrain

    Thanks, I’ll check it out.

  • violet

    First of all, that was the greatest review ever! Very detailed, complete and a mighty fine analyze of a captivating double episode! Good work!

    I really agree that there are some hints that this finale has been carefully prepared for some time… I’ll add three more examples… Lisbon and Jane on the phone, listening to each other breathing hard (my favorite scene, by the way!): that’s the third time Jane is on the phone with her when she’s in mortal danger. In S1 ‘Redwood’ before he helps her to escape the killer by distracting him; in s2 ‘Red All Over’, he tries to help her with a bomb and almost believes she has died when she stops speaking (“you’re a bad girl”). In fact, we had one each season, with an increasingly worried Jane. Those scenes alone are revealing of the progress of his affection for her. Less interesting points for the preparation of the finale: Jane’s impersonal “home” reminds of Lisbon’s apartment with the paintings left by the previous tenants; Lisbon’s line “Please don’t say that, nothing is foolproof” to Jane hints again at her superstition, just like with Rigsby at the beginning of ‘Red Alert’. This accumulation of reminders of previous little moments gives us continuity and coherence, it also further conveys the impression that the whole season (and show) has been slowly progressing to this climax, almost as if it was ineluctable.

    Now about good old RJ and his network: congratulations for O’Laughlin! 🙂 I’ll just add that there probably was an afterthought when he has first refused to accompany Van Pelt to see Hightower, beside feigning innocence. In theory, if he came with Grace, everybody at the place would know that he was a traitor (Grace and Lisbon), he would need to kill them all. If Grace hadn’t insisted, he could have gone on his own and could have only shot Hightower (and if the need would have arose her children and Lisbon). Meaning he could have let Grace live and, therefore, could have kept his position as a spy near Jane and the team investigating RJ’s cases. But refusing her too strongly would have seemed suspect even for her from her supposed caring fiancé who misses his beloved even for a few hours. Too dangerous. In his mind, by insisting Grace had probably sealed her fate.

    I must also confess I didn’t actually connect the mention of Gupta’s deep religious feelings with RJ’s influence until I read your review… Very telling indeed! As well as your mention of his pawns being expected to kill themselves if they are caught! There seems to really be a religion of RJ and this notion, coupled with the theory brought again by Windsparrow that “Red John is man(y)” lead us to suppose that the reality behind Red John is perhaps more complex. Is it too far-stretched to think “Red John” is in fact an organization? the man Jane killed could have been “his” RJ (he said “some people call me Red John », not simply I’m Red John), but it could be that other people are assuming this identity as well. RJ’s known accomplices were sometimes weak-willed people manipulated into being fascinated by him and shed blood in his name, but the majority included assumed murderers, from true psychopaths (Todd Johnson, Hardy) to professionals (Gupta, Craig)… What if there was a criminal association with a “spiritual” vocation instead of one single man surrounded by fascinated followers? If RJ was in fact an organized group? Just like Visualize for example… I can’t help but notice only Rebecca and Hardy spoke of him as one man (comparing him with Jane, Hardy’s father being a friend of him…). No one of the other accomplices told a think about him… Rebecca was presumably the first to enter the CBI, she was proud of herself and of her bond with RJ; Hardy too was showing off and he knew that they had found a (blind) witness of his interacting with his master… so telling them it was one single man could have been a red herring. Moreover that man mentioned by them could be the founder of their group, so both ideas could be less contradictory than they seem to be… There are previous examples of collective crimes that weren’t imputable to anybody because there were many accomplices blurring the scene (“The Killer Lives at No. 21” by Steeman, “Murder on the Orient Express” by Christie)… I don’t know, I rather like the idea…

    And I must say I’m not so convinced of Laroche’s innocence… He was acting really suspicious when Gupta was arrested, even with him being curious and longing to befriend Lisbon and Jane… I still think it is possible there remains another mole in the CBI (after all, in the spoilerish interview of Heller you linked on your second review, I guess he is hinting at that) and Laroche would make a very decent suspect, I think… Now if that’s the case, he would have kept to himself about Hightower because of Jane’s blackmail. Or we could assume that every mole isn’t told about the whole plan: after all, Johnson didn’t know about O’Laughlin or at least the part of his plan that concerned him; he would have named Craig then instead of quoting Blake, wouldn’t he?
    And if Laroche’s Tupperware contained only a memory of a beloved person, why does he keep him in a safe? I think it’s something far more sinister…

    Now, Jane: the endearing scene with the pink dress… First, I completely agree with your comment about the evolution of Lisbon’s attire and his appreciation of it. It was also revealing of her connection with him and of the way we view her. In S1, her « (intentionally) very professional, almost manly at times” wardrobe was hinting that they were somewhat close, like brother and sister, to quote Baker: in almost matching outfits, she was wearing a shirt and a blazer reminding of his three-piece suit. In some scenes, the colors of their clothes are practically the same! They are shown as siblings, joking and arguing with the other, similar and contrasting. Appearance was used just like with Kristina at first : with her curly redish blond hair shortened in a bun and her blue-green eyes, she was a feminine version of Jane, a reminder of what he was before.
    In season two, Lisbon was more shown as a person than just Jane’s amusing and rule-loving counterpart: Bosco was a good example of her increased feminity, along with Steiner and Mashburn’s attention or the kiss stolen by a drunkard at the promo. She was clearly more womanly: apart from the jersey and the black gown, she started wearing more often sexier clothes, like tight tee-shirt under her jackets.
    And, now, indeed, she’s even more feminine: those two times she was running, in sync with a racing horse and in the hospital hallway probably add an aesthetic dimension to her character.

    I also totally agree with you about Jane’s reaction to her cuteness in that dress, he was openly staring at her. Maybe, as you said, it was because of that dress’ complete lack of seductiveness. Or it could be because he was taken by surprise: just like at the motel, he had no time to compose himself. He is also more trusting with her, he doesn’t seem to feel the need to hide everything from her like he used to. And there is an inoffensive aspect to this scene as the door is open, they are in the office, the dress was chosen by Van Pelt, he talls her that the idea of making her a bridesmaid came from him… he must understand that she would certainly not take his comments as an indication of a more personal interest, rather as a teasing and familiar beauty advice like the ones about a new hairstyle. Thus, it’s a rather safe situation…
    Either way, his attitude towards her seems indeed to have shifted: this moment shows how less guarded he has become with her. And you’re right, even between the scene when he tries to peek and this one, there is an evolution: it looks like he has shifted from caring for her and being attracted to something more, an added value: he’s been flirting with her when they’re alone, he’s complimenting her… The turning point was without a doubt her actions at the end of “Blood For Blood”, that “beautiful thing” that led to him being more trusting.

    Also, is that me, or is Jane having a kind of “princess complex” (for lack of a better name)? 😉 Obviously, the stolen tiara was a reference to the diamond tiara he put on her head while she was interrogating the victim’s family in a gown (when the diamonds were stolen). He was trying to cheer her up after Bosco’s death, but he wouldn’t have thought to transform her in a princess if she wasn’t so breathtaking in that dress…More importantly, he seems to like women having a superior position than his: his wife was a sort of carnie royalty, Sophie was his shrink, Lisbon is his boss, even if he doesn’t admit it, or at least a woman in charge. But, in those three cases, he has established a deep trust with them. That point is in contrast with his more superficial interests, based on solely attraction, for the grieving widow he bet he was able to seduce (he lied to her about not having a child), for Kristina (he liked her enough to take her on a date, but they didn’t really get along, their perception of the word was too opposed). Thus, it’s not impossible that that higher position for the women he is fond of is a way to compensate symbolically his low self-esteem: indeed, they are in that way “better” than him, like he said in his interview with Erica… Pretty women in a high position -socially speaking (his wife) or empowered (Sophie, Lisbon)- idealized (his dead wife, but Sophie too, that’s shown in his deception with her when he realized she was using him), but also vulnerable (Sophie in a mentally abusive relationship, damaged Lisbon in a pink dress)… they are indeed princesses and it’s no wonder Jane’s interest was at his most when Lisbon was dressed as one.

    At last, I also liked your comments about Jane needing to be goaded into killing RJ. It’s a very interesting interpretation that gives him a very deep human side… And Lisbon’s conscience in the next season: you’re right, there is no way she could simply dismiss his action, she would certainly blame it on her as a personal failure.
    As always, it’s a real pleasure to read you! Sorry for my rushed comment… Keep up the good work! 🙂

  • reviewbrain

    I’ve been waiting to hear from you 🙂 thank you *so* much for pointing out the previous two ‘lisbon in danger overvthe phone” instances! it was one of the things I meant to mention but totally forgot. You’re absolutely right as we can really see the development of his feelings by comparing his increasing concern for her. And I love how you detailed Jane’s need for strong women he values over himself in his life.

    I also agree completely that RJ is an organization based on a certain cult, perhaps started by the original RJ ( mentioned by Hardg and Rebecca). But I must say I still think LaRoche is innocent. I rewatches the finale many times and if I must suspect someone then it’ll be as all-I-need pointed out: Bertram. His reaction when Jane told him he suspected Red John of wanting to kill Hightower was very suspicious.

    But it could just be more Red Herrings 😉

    Thank you so much for your continued support and encouragement; and, as always, your comment.
    It’s as enlightening as ever.

  • reviewbrain

    First of all, welcome to the blog.

    I think you’re definitely right; the show has been Jane vs. Lisbon from the get go and we’ve had so many refences as to how they’re both control freaks but with very different perspectives on justice ( at least outwardly; Lisbon’s still too much of a mystery to me to say that diffinitively).

    I love the phrase “hate the sin, love the sinner”
    as I think it represents Lisvon totally.

    As opposed to Jane whose been trying to change Lisbon. (I suspect out of equal parts of affection and ego but also because he doesn’t think shell accept him unless she *thinks* like him and/or agrees with him.

    Lisbon on the other hand seems patient enough, forgiving enough that she’d be able to love Jane despite not agreeing with him. Perhaps the theme of forgiveness was set up (via religious symbolism) to pave the way for Lisbon to forgive Jane.

    About LaRoche figuring out Lisbon got Cullpepper off to save Jane’s behind.., your totally right and this just makes me look forward to see LaRoche’s reaction to everything in season four even more. Though I think it would be too good to be true that the writers would address the topic. On the other hand, they’ve been so good with continuity this season….

    About the other shoe dropping; I think I found it. Check out the newest post. Great comments! Please don’t be a stranger 😉

  • Julie

    I have watched the finale again and Laroache says when explaining why he shot Gupta that Gupta went for a gun.

    Also the thought dawned on me that Craig didn’t know that the Hightower/hotel set up was a trap when it was happening as all he had been told at that point was the his assigned hotel room. It wasn’t until it was all over that he would have known about the trap, So Red John must have been talking about the second trap.

    Violets ideas about Red John are very close to mine.

  • violet

    Your comment was really interesting, Windsparrow ! Of course, so much devotion in someone as selfish and detached as Jane is very telling, there is more than mere friendship on his side (imagine the same situation with Cho or Rigsby in Lisbon’s shoes… that scene would definitely have played differently!) As for Culpepper, I’m not sure he broke in LaRoche’s house while he was at home, I think LaRoche just returned unexpectedly and Culpepper didn’t realize on time to hide or run… But your supposition about LaRoche realizing Lisbon’s participation is very interesting, to say the least! She would probably have to endure an added pressure for this… And “hate the sin but love the sinner”? that was great! 🙂 Loved your analyse of the eros/thanatos hidden dynamic in the show!

  • windsparrow

    Thanks for the welcome, Rb! I have certainly enjoyed reading this entry, and look forward to catching up on the back issues, so to speak.

    Violet, what you say here, “…so much devotion in someone as selfish and detached as Jane is very telling, there is more than mere friendship on his side…” brings me to a couple of my favorite pet ideas about Jane’s character. First, to oppose the notion that he might be a bit of a sociopath himself, I see evidence that he does have a form of morality and conscience. It is the crude, basic morality of “Jane takes care of his own”; to some extent, what he considers his own may be expanding somewhat from what it had been before he lost his family; but he for darn’ sure considers Lisbon his own. Second, I tend to think that he is by nature a “pair bonder”. Several years out from losing his wife, that essential part of him needs to form another bond, and has latched onto LIsbon, more or less subconsciously. I think he either does not realize it, or has only recently figured it out about himself. Looking at his body language around her over the course of the series, he frequently positions himself between her and any other man (with the possible exceptions of Cho, Rigsby, Minelli, and LaRoche – Mashburn being a special case, insofar as Jane very clearly gave him permission). The clearest example of this is that briefing on the joint operation with Bosco’s team, where Bosco held the head of the table, Jane sat next to Bosco between him and Lisbon, and everyone else was at the further end of the table. Now, that could be simply an Alpha Male ploy to control access to the highest ranking female in the room. But considering other ways he stakes a claim on Lisbon from the first season onward (grabbing her wrist to check the time on her watch, pulling out a strand of her hair, decking her out with expensive jewelry – emerald necklace and tiara – even if only temporarily, buying a couch for himself to stretch out on in her office, promising to save her, etc.) I just strongly feel he has bonded with her, which is why such devotion towards her (yet no one else) makes sense to me.

  • reviewbrain

    Thanks for sharing. This gives furthe. Credence tonthinkinf that Brett Stiles will be important in season four.

  • violet

    I’ve been waiting for some time for a certain matter in your (great) review to be addressed in the comments: I’ve been wondering since the beginning if Jane’s interrupted almost confession in front of Gupta’s door was a real one (Jane’s using the opportunity to vent a little, as you put it) or if it was more of a simple teaser for the fans (like the undercover moments when he tells they’re married or even when they are mistaken for a couple).
    Because, if the almost confession means something about his real feelings towards Lisbon, does she know about them? what does she think of them? And more importantly, what does she feels for him? One way or another, we have only a few hints, for me that’s too little to be sure of anything concerning her:

    – She didn’t ask him to finish his little speech after Gupta has been taken care of, either because she simply dismissed it as a diversion, or because she didn’t want to know (she didn’t let him finish his line then).

    – as you pointed out, she always tries to maintain him at arm length… she doesn’t confide in him, even though he continuously tries to cheer her up or to get her to talk.

    – On the other hand, she was embarrassed enough to get (comically) violent when he flirted with her with the “going out with another woman” in ‘Red Gold’…

    – … and she was interested enough to watch his interview with Erica, when she knew it was supposedly to find a new soul mate… Even though she knew it was a fake interview, why did she watch it? Lisbon is always insisting on privacy with the team… was it mere curiosity? Just friendly hope that he was getting better? Or something more? By the way, have your conclusions about “Every Rose Has Its Thorns” changed since the finale? Do you still think Jane wasn’t talking at all about her and that she wasn’t moved by his words?

    – Finally, the whole stuff with Mashburn… It let me doubting: I read somewhere that Heller wanted to show that Lisbon wasn’t a sentimental woman, and, indeed, she takes the opportunity to enjoy herself with a man attracted to her and just let him go the morning after. No useless attachment here. Nevertheless, it was also very revealing because 1) she did hide her interest during the time they were professionally involved; 2) she felt insecure when she knew Mashburn’s been going out with models and when she’s been insulted by one… She seemed more a vulnerable and realistic woman: she wasn’t really confident in her seduction and the depths of his interest and, therefore, we can also think that she didn’t ask for something she thought Walter couldn’t give her. More than her lake of sentimentality, her attitude here seemed more enlightening of a potential reaction to Jane: she doesn’t think she can trust him either and so doesn’t push her luck…(By the way, is that me or wasn’t Jane exactly acting naturally either? For a good matchmaker he claims to be, he was pushing too far in both episodes with Mashburn: in the first episode, he teased Lisbon the most when she wasn’t in Mashburn’s presence… and he made Walter’s car jump off a cliff! In s3, his complete lake of discretion during the whole episode was in dire contrast with the way he tactfully left the room after seeing the two glasses of champagne. So, interesting reaction too…)

    So what do you think about it? Do you believe she’s interested in him too? or will she probably try to discourage him, in case that he comes again with a confession?

  • windsparrow

    Violet, I think Lisbon does have feelings for Jane. I also think that in general she would try to discourage him from expressing his feelings. Not only is he utterly inappropriate for her to have a relationship with due to their working relationship as well as his unresolved grief and quest for revenge (which is, apparently, resolved but the resolution creates another set of problems which make him untouchable for her), but also her trust issues would get in the way. While she has developed the ability to read him better over the years, he is still the master manipulator and at any time could be wearing reactions and feelings like a mask to create an effect. She could be willing to trust her professional instincts to guide her in playing the odds of when to trust Jane with regard to investigations, while refusing to trust her instincts about matters of the heart to be accurate enough to allow her to take any signs of personal, emotional connection from him seriously. In short, she is willing to take the chance on him with her job; but, she is not willing to take the chance on him with her heart.

    Lisbon has allowed Jane to mark her as his territory with subtle and sometimes blatant body language rather consistently over the years – as she has very little social life outside work, she has effectively let him control her love life. As witness, the only physical relationship she has been shown to have in the course of three seasons is with a man Jane not only overtly “approved” but also pushed on her. I suspect the reason Lisbon would go along with Jane’s manipulations to have a night with Mashburn, rather than breaking free of his influence to have more flings or a longer lasting relationship, is that she is afraid of risking her heart in the way that many people who grew up in abusive homes can be. Instead of repeating the dysfunctional patterns of her family of origin, she’s just staying the heck out of relationships altogether. As her work husband, Jane provides her with some of the human connection that she needs, without making all the demands or creating the risks of genuine relationship. And then Jane provides her with sexual gratification by having Mashburn stand in as his proxy. So her social and physical needs are being met with a minimum of risk. To allow Jane to express any deeper feelings would shake things up, and leave her open to even more risk than a relationship with an ordinary guy would do.

    About Lisbon watching Jane’s interview with Erica, I never wondered. At the time, I took for granted that she would be curious to hear what Jane would have to say about what he was looking for in a relationship. Believing that Jane does not leave something like that laying around in a careless fashion for anyone to see, it seemed plain to me that he wanted Lisbon to see the interview. The only question for me, then, is why. It does not seem likely that he was exposing his soft underbelly and sharing with Lisbon what he had admired in his wife – if that was all his message was, why not simply mention it sometime? No, he was either telling Lisbon that he really is still deeply stuck on his wife and there will be no moving on; or he was suggesting to her that she has some of the same qualities, and can meet some of the same needs for him. His action in leaving that video for her to find could either be a warning that he has nothing for her, or it could be a subtle calling to open up for him. Logically, the next question is, whatever the intended effect, was this out of genuine feeling, or was it simply for effect. I have no solid answers to either question. I know what I want the answers to be, but I also know how unlikely it is that it will play out that way in the show.

  • reviewbrain

    Wow. Your first paragraph was like a summary of everything I’ve been trying to say about Lisbon since I started this blog; only more
    eloquent.
    Your second paragraph blew me away. At the time of Red Hot I didn’t consider Lisbon and mashburn’s fling as being set up by Jane to gratify her needs; but it does make sense. But I can’t ignore his somewhat disturbed look when he tried to find lisbon in mashburn’s hotel room so I also think, despite himself, he wasn’t as happy with the success of his plan as he thought he would be.
    As to the third paragraph. I honestly think Lisbon seeing the video
    was pure coincidence as there was no indication of Jane intending Lisbon to see it; nor do I think he’d want her too as it seems way too personal.I think he was just lamenting the fact that he doesn’t think he’ll ever meet a woman as compatible with him as his wife, despite wishing that Lisbon would be. But like you said, there’s no way to be sure and I’ll doubt we’ll ever know.

    hotel room either

  • windsparrow

    “But I can’t ignore his somewhat disturbed look when he tried to find lisbon in mashburn’s hotel room so I also think, despite himself, he wasn’t as happy with the success of his plan as he thought he would be.”

    Well, no. But then, he wouldn’t be. If Jane simply wanted Lisbon to have a little fun and thought she needed a bit of encouragement to find it, having had no investment himself in where she got that fun, it wouldn’t bother him. I can’t say I’m sure if that discomfort was entirely possessiveness and jealousy or if there was a component of disappointment that Lisbon had not resisted his machinations (and/or saved herself for him – gag!). In any case, Jane’s expression there can best be summed up with a thing my father used to say: “Well, it seemed like a good idear at the time.” (For best effect, imagine this in a Larry The Cable Guy voice – the only time I ever heard the old man lapse into his native Floridian accent was to say that.)

    Or, I suppose there are those (non-shippers) who would say that look of discomfort was more indicative of, “OMG, you’re actually doing my sister? Dude, not cool! I did NOT need to know that.” But that doesn’t quite mesh with the little do-si-do of Jane trying to get past the entryway, and Mashburn blocking him – after all, if he didn’t want to know, he should have left it alone. Jane being so discombobulated by another male person controlling access to Lisbon is something I find weirdly amusing.

  • violet

    I also think she has feelings for him (almost impossible not to, after watching the way she was worried about him in ‘Ball of Fire’ and her great relief when he was safe back at on his couch): she deeply cares about him and is certainly interested in him as a man, at some point (blushing, watching his video with Erica).
    The thing is I’m not so sure she’s really as conscious of them as he is. It difficult to explain and a purely subjective conjecture, so my reasoning may be a little far-stretched but: she doesn’t show any guilt in seeing Walter. Every time Jane is around a woman who is interested in him as a man, he seems to feel guilty: the best example is during his date with Kristina, where he needs to hide in the bathroom because of his anxiety. The date wasn’t going so well and he felt guilt towards his wife; that was to be expected. But in others occurrences, he did seem to feel guilty towards Lisbon: when he was at a club with her, if I remember correctly, at the end of season 2, he was invited to have a drink by a gorgeous woman and he declined with an embarrassed smile; then Lisbon rather impatiently came in and he said something along the lines of “it’s nothing, I’m coming”… Same in the hospital in Blood for Blood, with the flirting nurses: he needed to make a comment to Lisbon about the “great facilities” provided. Same with Kristina at some point: he dragged Lisbon in an undercover moment as his wife pretending to search for a girl for a threesome just after bidding goodbye to Kristina… Well, Reviewbrain wasn’t very convinced by my argument, but it did seem to me that he was more or less trying to somewhat represent the situation he was in with Lisbon and Kristina, he was symbolically trying to tell that he was inviting another woman in the professional couple he had formed with Lisbon. The undercover trick here wasn’t really useful after all: Lisbon almost at once told she was a cop and the bartender wasn’t impressed by it. What I’m very clumsily trying to say is that I totally agree with your definition of their relation as a “work husband and wife” one; Jane is generally treating her in that way but Lisbon isn’t so much recognizing it I think…

    The other point in the fling with Walter now: I agree with both of you about his “disturbed look” at the end of ‘Red Hot’: if he were just happy for them, why didn’t he tell anything in the hotel room? Feigning to ignore the situation after seeing the two glasses wasn’t in character: normally he would have gloated or would have tried to further embarrass them… There was definitely something fishy in his apparent lack of reaction.
    In fact, I’m not so sure that Jane was trying to “provide her with sexual gratification” by using good old Walter; he was overly pushing it! I mean, ok, telling her that Mashburn was interested was fine to get her to open up (old trick, cf. Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing), but telling it in front of them both? Calling her “his new girlfriend” in front of everybody? Seriously? My guess is that he was smart enough to try and sabotage whatever attraction she could feel for Walter by embarrassing her: he kept the front of the “great matchmaker” but in fact his remarks were meant to be so overwhelming that she would just let Walter go. When dealing with someone as untrusting and private than Lisbon, exposing every detail of Walter’s thoughts would normally have one logical result: making her run away… Just compare with him helping Rigsby: he only plainly told Grace that Rigsby was attracted at their very first meeting, when he wanted to embarrass her for being too pushy with the psychic stuff. After that, his advices to Rigsby were given in private. For a simple reason obviously: he sincerely wanted their relationship to work.
    Same with the first episode with Walter: he claimed he wanted her to have a little “empty glamour” so 1) he explained in detail to the team that Lisbon has an admirer and counseled her, again in front of the team; 2) he spent all *his* time with said admirer. That was after Bosco’s death, so my guess is that he was truly trying to distract her: Walter’s interest was flattering and gave him the opportunity to tease her. Truly *empty* glamour then.
    Now, I’m not very sure about my remarks here: the thing is that Jane’s behavior at the time seemed a little too much pushy to be efficient, it was a little ambiguous, I don’t know… It’s always the same problem with the show: nothing personal is openly told, so you need to pay special attention to details and the risk is always to read too much into them…

    About the interview with Erica, I was almost sure at the time Jane was trying to let her a message by letting his laptop open: she was bound to come and get hers. Since he did the interview and since he looks like more and more ready to move on (“Strawberries and Cream”), the guess that he was showing her that she was his type of woman is very plausible; the other guess (he wanted to tell her he was still thinking about his wife) is not completely to be discarded through. Either way, the way the episode ended with Jane’s words “she was” and the fact we didn’t get to see Lisbon’s reaction afterwards makes me think she has interpreted his gesture as a way to prove her he was still emotionally unavailable. And I’m almost certain that’s the main reason she’s keeping whatever feelings she has for him to herself, more than his untrustworthiness, her trust issues or her desire to keep at bay from dangerously long-lasting relationships… And that’s lead me to my original question: does she *really* know what she truly mean to him? Does she live in denial for staying in an ambiguous and secure friendship, or is she in a situation where she doesn’t have all and every element to analyze his behavior properly?

    And I completely agree with you: if he confessed, she would discourage him (in fact, I rather think she would put her hands on her ears and run away very, very fast! 😉 )

    (I hope my very confuse thoughts make some sense… errr…)

  • windsparrow

    “What I’m very clumsily trying to say is that I totally agree with your definition of their relation as a “work husband and wife” one; Jane is generally treating her in that way but Lisbon isn’t so much recognizing it I think…”

    There may be a subtle difference in how you and I interpret the concept of work spouse. In my experience and from observation, there need not, in fact should not, be any discomfort or guilt or awkwardness for the partners in pursuing romantic relationships. In this way, Lisbon’s attitude in guiltlessly having a night with Mashburn is the more normal one, in spite of her attraction (as well as other, deeper feelings) to Jane. On the contrary, it is Jane’s discomfort in conversing, flirting, or otherwise dealing with other women around Lisbon (as opposed to the guilt he feels with regard to his wife) that is exceptional. It speaks to a fundamental difference between Jane and Lisbon – not in the depth or quality of their feelings for each other, but in their instincts inside relationships. I believe I have noted in comments above that Jane appears to be a pair-bonder by nature, adn that for whatever reason, having lost the bond with his wife, he has now latched onto Lisbon (I’m not sure he would necessarily be terribly worried about sexual fidelity, he might be capable of “yeah I cheated, but it didn’t mean anything” maintaining the bond, but we don’t really have enough evidence to say.) Once the bond is made for him, it takes something big, like death, to break it. He might “go out with another woman” but until that big, breaking event, will hold to the bond with Lisbon. On the other hand, Lisbon is not a natural pair-bonder. It takes a lot for her to choose to make a commitment to a relationship. It is a much more conscious choice for her than for Jane. She would have to think it through very carefully. But once she makes that commitment, is more likely to confine herself to strict sexual fidelity. She certainly has not made that commitment to Jane. Having placed Jane in the “don’t go there” category for potential relationships, it really does not touch her sense of guilt to have relationships with other men.

    There may have been more I wanted to say, but I have to click post now, or be late for work. Lovely discussion, y’all!

  • reviewbrain

    Violet my dear, while I may disagree on his intentions for bringing Lisbon along To the bar (the Kristina ep) I am now sold on the reason you gave for him pushing mashburn onto Lisbon in Red Hot. In fact, I think both your *and* windsparrow’s reading are right. Jane *was* trying too hard and it may very well be his trying to sabotage her relationship
    with mashburn. *But* I think this was done subconsciously. Also subconscious was his intentionally wanting tonsatisfy Lisbon’s needs as windsparrow’s pointed out. Mashburn is a man he knew and
    liked and Jane, control freak that he is, probably thought it would be easier to see Lisbon with a man he considers a friend.
    found it easier. But if those two intentions were subconscious then what was the conscious reason? I pose a new theory; Jane pushing Lisbon onto Mashburn was another one of his efforts to create distance between them (as he started doing early season three for
    fear of her safety). Interestingly, though, one of the earliest times we found him back on Lisbon’s couch is in Red Hot *after* he finds out that she and
    mashburn almost kissed at the party. Methinks someone was feeling threatened. Coincidence?
    Probably 🙂 we’re reading way too much into this. For the record, this discussion is why I gave red hot 8.5 only. It was fabulous, but we for nothing in canon as to what Jane was thinking. Fabulous ideas my fellow fans; you’re really making up or that oversight- or intentional torture: as may be the case 🙂

  • violet

    Yeah, I totally agree about your conception of partnership at work: no need to be worried in pursuing a romantic relationship in their private life… but aren’t we precisely speaking about more than friendly feelings between coworkers? 😉 Lisbon doesn’t feel guilty for her night with Mashburn and that’s perfectly normal for a coworker indeed, but the point is that element hints that she probably isn’t conscious that there might be something more in her work relationship with Jane. Him, on the other hand…
    I really like your vision of the natural bonder in Jane: very interesting and deep; it certainly explains the way he has treated her differently since the beginning, although in the light of his behaviour in the finale we can think more romantic reasons recently added to this instinct to find a partner. Nevertheless I’m not convinced about him not worrying about fidelity. He kept being celibate for years and, in ‘Code Red’ that look he exchanged with Lisbon when hearing about a very open-minded couple: they were both clearly taken aback.
    (Hope to hear more of you after work! 🙂 )

  • reviewbrain

    I agree 100% here 🙂 Lisbon is not very aware of Jane’s emotions ( though she may bs now after that confession) but like you said shed probably run in the opposite direction with her fingers in her ears 😉 the reasons being as stated by windsparrow why a relationship with him would be inappropriate. I do however think both if them are pair binders; Lisbon just hasn’t found- is too afraid to bond with anyone so she keeps relationships superficial because once she falls; shell fall hard. She strikes me as a woman of deep passion; she just needs someone she can trust to be able to embrace it. And violet you’re absolutely fight; Jane dies seem to be very concerned with fidelity; it’s apoarant in code red, like you mentioned but also in the subtext of red
    tide when he’s shocked by how normal the teens treated sleeping around with multiple parteners. As go Lisbon I think her faith ( and general code of ethics) would not allow her to be unfaithful.

  • violet

    I totally agree! He was certainly trying to keep her at a distance; and Mashburn is certainly someone he would consider a good enough friend to entrust Lisbon to.

    (My bets on “intentional torture” without a doubt! They seem to enjoy teasing the shippers too much for being otherwise! 🙂 )

  • windsparrow

    violet wrote, “Yeah, I totally agree about your conception of partnership at work: no need to be worried in pursuing a romantic relationship in their private life… but aren’t we precisely speaking about more than friendly feelings between coworkers?”

    My thinking is that Lisbon has Jane so solidly planted in the “Don’t Go There” category, that any romantic love she has for him is something she pays very little mind to. It’s there. She knows it’s there, but she isn’t going to fan its flames by taking it seriously enough to feel any qualms about intimate contact with other men. It’s a bit like having an allergy to a food you like, but can live without. “Oh, yeah, I like oranges, but they give me hives that last for a week, so I don’t eat them, and it has been so long since I had one, I don’t really think about it much any more.” It does break free through her subconscious and it does make ripples in her behavior and thinking – hence her allowing him to mark her as his to the men around her, for example.

    reviewbrain wrote, “I do however think both if them are pair binders; Lisbon just hasn’t found- is too afraid to bond with anyone so she keeps relationships superficial because once she falls; shell fall hard.”

    I’ve got a what-if. What if I’m wrong, and not only is Lisbon a natural pair-bonder, but also has already bonded to Jane so closely (and subconsciously) that the real reason she exhibits no guilt over contact with other men is that transgressing that bond is so out of the question and so far from her mind that it never occurs to her that there could be an issue. (Let’s leave the Mashburn interlude out of this, at least for the moment.)

    violet again, “I really like your vision of the natural bonder in Jane: very interesting and deep; it certainly explains the way he has treated her differently since the beginning…. Nevertheless I’m not convinced about him not worrying about fidelity. He kept being celibate for years….”

    Now that you and rb have pointed out instances of his disdain for infidelity, I’m inclined to agree with you. Do you think, if he were not a pair-bonder, would he care at all about fidelity for anyone (other than as a weakness that might provide places for him to get his hooks in)? Given his father’s generally amoral character, Patrick Jane would hardly have learned to generally value and respect women or to value and respect any commitment made to a woman from him. So that would emanate from his instincts as a pair-bonder.

  • violet

    I agree about Lisbon: you put it very concisely and completely… Jane=don’t go there=don’t even lost time thinking about it. Thus another conclusion: she doesn’t (or didn’t?) realize that her interest is reciprocated, hence the lack of guilt towards him, while he does realize that he needs somehow to deal with her reactions when he’s with other women. So to answer your second point: Lisbon as a natural pair-bonder? Possible. But the main reason why transgressing that bond with another man could never be an issue for her is because, she’s (or at least was) convinced Jane only sees her as a friend. Their relationship is purely professional and friendly: he may care for her, but she still thinks he’s not moving on, so there isn’t really any need to spare his non existing insecurity about her. Following this logic, whatever happens in her private life, their work partnership wouldn’t be affected by it. That bond would still be here.

    And yeah, his fidelity could come from his instinct to bond with someone: that’s a definite possibility! Or it could come from something in his mother’s education (we don’t know a thing about his situation with her, remember. Ok, sexual moral for a boy is generally rather taught by the father, but he did seem far more decent as a kid than his own father, that must come from someone, right?). Or far, far more probably, it could also be a consequence of his early proximity with Angela (did he grow up with her? Was she his childhood friend, his perpetual accomplice as a kid?). That’s frustrating, but even though your theory is convincing, we still don’t have enough elements to tell…

  • windsparrow

    I have this picture in my head of him meeting Angela at a young age, and quickly figuring out that what he had learned of manners from his father was not going to cut it if he wanted to be successfully carry off a princess like her – so taught himself how to treat a lady by rather studiously watching old movies from the 30s and 40s to polish up his social graces.

  • violet

    Lovely picture! 🙂 it would indeed explain his rather old fashioned style, vocabulary, mannerism and diction… and the suits of course! Reminds me of that time when he went to give an envelope full of money to a that bicker in ‘Red Menace’: in the shadows, with the dark coat and the gray hat, so totally from an old gangster movie from the 40’s! 😉

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