The Mentalist: No Love Triangles Here…yet

Despite the post title, this discussion is not about love triangles relating to the shows canon romantic couple, Agents Grace Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti) and  Wayne Rigsby (Owain Yeoman). Rather it explores the relationships of Teresa Lisbon and Patrick Jane. This post was inspired by All-I-Need (whom I’ve owed a ‘Red Sky in the Morning’ review for almost a year now-I hope this makes up for it), by SamJMarquez (via a twitter discussion) and by all hopelessly romantic fans wanting/needing some perspective.

A large part of what makes the Mentalist so compelling is the wonderful camaraderie between its lead characters consultant Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) and Special Agent Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney). Despite the as of yet strictly platonic relationship between these two,a number of fans worldwide have mixed feelings ranging from bitter disappointment to actual rage whenever a character of the opposite sex approaches either of these friends.

The characters Kristina Frye (Leslie Hope) and Walter Mashburn (Currie Graham) in particular have gotten some hate for precisely this reason. And while Currie Graham’s charm quickly won over even the most die-hard Jane/Lisbon shippers, Kristina remains a mostly disliked character. As the Jane-Lisbon-Mashburn dynamic has already been discussed in the Red Hot review, it’s only fair to discuss the Kristina-Jane-Lisbon dynamic too . This will be done chronologically in an objective manner.

Episode ‘Seeing Red’: Summary

Kristina Frye was first introduced in season one as a victim’s psychic’. Jane “ex-fake psychic” is of course highly irritated with her insistence that she’s the real deal  and can “communicate with departed souls”. She also rubs him the wrong way when she does a reading of him.  When she starts making accurate predictions relating to the case Jane tells Lisbon that they should arrest her; that she’s probably the killer. Lisbon soothes him somewhat by saying that Kristina is just a good guesser. She then calls Jane out on how his real annoyance with the woman stems from the fact that she’s just as good a mentalist as he is, maybe better. Jane admits this somewhat: “Mind you, not better than me, but she is good. And it’s the good ones that are most dangerous.”

Jane later uses Kristina in his plot to catch the killer. At the end of the episode she walks up to a satisfied Jane in the bullpen and asks Jane if they can speak in private. He resignedly takes her to one of the interrogation rooms. She makes him promise that he won’t interrupt her before she talks. He does, and Kristina starts out by saying that his wife contacted her.  Jane is understandably peeved.

“Oh,hang on,” he starts to interrupt, but she raises a finger to silence him before continuing.

“Ever since Red John killed your family there’s been something about that night’s events that’s been haunting you, yes? Yes?”

Jane agrees. Kristina then tells him that his wife said to tell him that his daughter never woke up, that she didn’t feel any pain or fear. Jane’s face subtly changes from bemusement to quiet fury as she continues to speak.

“You done channeling? That’s it?”

When she affirms, he thanks her tersely and looks firmly away from her. Krisitina leaves, saying her goodbye at the door.

Once alone, Jane’s face crumbles in pain and he starts to weep in small contained gasps. It is a heartbreaking moment.

Analysis:  I find Kristina’s words to be very unlikely, if not impossible. Red John tortures his victims. As Jane elaborated in Flame Red, RJ cut his family open and had them die slowly. I doubt anyone can remain asleep through that.

So why’d Kristina say something that’s obviously a lie?

I can only imagine she wanted to get to Jane, either out of: a) misguided kindness or b) to stick it to him for his blatant derision of her and what she does.

The first theory is supported by the fact that Kristina seemed attracted to Jane.  At one point in the case when she was questioned for having a connection to another suspect she explained that they “had sex on more than one occasion,” adding “We had fun. He’s a good time,” shifting her eyes to look at Jane.

Poker face Jane doesn’t react to her statement but the look in his eye hints that he understood her not so subtle offer. There’s no way to be sure, but considering how annoyed he was by her throughout the episode, it wouldn’t be farfetched to say that he found the offer unappealing. In retrospect and given Jane’s almost asexual nature, this becomes even more likely.

As to Kristina, this exchange suggests that she found Jane attractive and was interested in him on a personal level. If that were true, then it could be another reason for why she wanted to reassure him of his fears regarding his family’s death. Maybe she thought if she told him what she thought he wanted to hear, he’d start to move on.

On the other hand, she could have been using her sexuality in an attempt to manipulate Jane. This supports the theory that her comments on his family’s death could have been intentionally cruel; she wanted to rub salt in an obvious wound to show Jane that he’s not as impenetrable to her talents as he thinks he is.

Perhaps this is what Jane meant when he said she was dangerous…

To be fair, however, there’s seems to be no motive to support the possibility that she was being deliberately malicious.

As to Lisbon, for her part she seemed amused by Jane’s reaction to Kristina. Both she and Van Pelt hid smiles when the psychic read Jane. At this point nothing suggests she was affected in any way by Kristina’s presence in Jane’s life. This remains true during the team’s next encounter with Kristina as well…

Episode ‘Red Letter’: Summary

The second time Jane runs into Kristina is when she works with him as a fellow consultant on a case. Jane and Lisbon arrive at a crime scene to learn that the local Sherriff is used to relying on psychic Kristina’s help.

Considering how their last encounter ended Jane is understandably dismayed when he learns of Kristina’s presence. But despite his wariness, the two immediately start to banter when Jane reads the Sheriff who sulkily states “I thought you said you weren’t psychic.” To which Kristina states: “Oh he is, he’s just afraid to admit it”. Jane in turn points out the clues he used to learn about the Sherriff, all the while mocking Kristina’s communication with spirits. Lisbon finally tells the Sherriff “Let’s give them time to catch up shall we?”

-Again, there is nothing in this episode to suggest Lisbon was jealous or affected in any way by the banter between Jane and Kristina. I found that wonderfully refreshing. The role of the pining woman does not seem to suit her.

Jane and Kristina work somewhat harmoniously on the case. Jane, again, manipulates Kristina and uses her to solve the case. But she insists that rather than playing along with him, she was just doing what the spirits told her. Jane is as skeptical as ever.

Sometime during the case, Jane is walking the hall at CBI with Hightower and stops to look into Lisbon’s office where she’s talking to Kristina. Hightower follows his gaze and the two have the following exchange:

Hightower: “She likes you, that one.”

Jane: “Which one?”

Hightower (firmly) : “The blond one.”

Jane (double takes): “What?!”

Hightower: “And you like her.”

Jane then says he’s not sure where Hightower is going with this conversation, to which she replies he knows exactly where she’s going, and asks him straight out of he considers dating again. “Do you?” she repeats the question when he doesn’t answer.  Jane, surprised at being put on the spot, asks “How did we get to this point so quickly?” Hightower states that she just thinks “It would be a good thing” before changing the subject when Lisbon and Kristina join them.

At the end of the episode, Jane asks Kristina out for coffee, which she declines saying that she has to meets someone, adding “maybe next time”. At Jane’s rejected posture Kristina hastily adds “Sorry, not maybe, definitely next time. Some time soon. Call me” before leaving with a big grin on her face.  Jane’s own smile disappears as he watches her walking away, and is replaced by a look that seems equal parts disbelief and fear at the step he just took.


Hightower demeanor suggests that she’d wanted to give Jane this advice for a while now and the chemistry between him and Kristina gave her the chance to do so.

But to Jane, the question was random. He was understandably surprised at having his celibacy being put on the spot. He also seemed very self conscious. It’s like he knows his lack of personal life is not normal and was embarrassed by the fact.  This seems especially true when we consider what he told Lisbon in season two’s earlier episode, ‘Redline’: “I feel that way too sometimes (jealous, resentful). Why does everyone else get to have a normal life?”

So Jane asking out Kristina could have been an attempt at normalcy. She represents a good opportunity to do so, since the two had enjoyed each other’s company. Her attraction to Jane was much more obvious in their second meeting and Jane seemed more intrigued than annoyed by her this time. Perhaps he was enjoying the game of trying to figure out how Kristina came about her accurate predictions, perhaps he was attracted to her as well. It’s hard to tell.

But one thing I have no doubt of is that Jane would never have asked Kristina out if not for Hightower’s prompt.

Jane’s relationship with Hightower is fascinating. Perhaps he enjoys the challenge she represents as suggested by his “She’s good” comment when Hightower first came to CBI. The fact that Hightower was obviously impressed with him is probably what allowed Jane to concede to her own abilities- Jane’s ego seems unable to resist people who appreciate his talent (i.e. Mashburn). Even when Hightower punished Jane by suspending Lisbon in Blood Money, Jane seemed more surprised than angry with Hightower. Perhaps because she had already told him she would do so, Jane couldn’t blame her. In that sense, Hightower was like a mother trying to find creative ways to control her wayward son.

Perhaps it was this motherly instinct which had Hightower interfere in Jane’s personal life and encourage him to date again. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the possibility that Hightower pushing Jane to date Kristina could also be due to wanting to create distance between him and Lisbon. She seemed to find their closeness grating and had tried to create friction/set boundaries between them in the past.  Maybe she wanted to avoid another Rigsby/Van Pelt scenario.

But she also seems to genuinely care about Jane. Probably, as a mother she senses his need for guidance hence her encouragement.

Whether Hightower’s motives for encouraging Jane were motherly or managerial, Jane took her advice. I think this, more than anything, suggests that she had his best intentions in mind. I doubt Jane would have listened to her if he didn’t sense that.

But if Jane’s look at the end of the episode is anything to go by, then he was most certainly not ready to date again. But perhaps he thought it was like dreading to jump into a pool. You know it’ll be cold at first, but that fun afterwards will be worth it. Sadly it was not to be.

Episode ‘Red Sky in the Morning’: Summary + Analysis

Jane does not take Kristina out for coffee, like he offered. Instead they go to an Italian Restaurant. Jane compliments her on her appearance. Kristina states that he looked the same as always, causing Jane to laugh nervously and joke “This is my dating outfit.” Kristina then asks him if this is his first date after his wife died. Jane’s reply is mildly defensive and bemused “Do I seem out of practice?” but before Kristina can answer they are interrupted by the waiter. Kristina then channels the waiter’s mother, to Jane’s great annoyance.

– Jane/Lisbon fans were all over the fact that Jane took Kristina out to a restaurant when he’d stated in season one that he would never seduce Lisbon over a meal; that he thought it was very sophomoric.  Personally I see no reason to read into the fact that Jane took Kristina to a restaurant with his harboring a secret passion for Lisbon. I do however, find the choice interesting.  In the previous episode Jane asked Kristina out for coffee (casual). I wonder how that got turned into a dinner date (by comparison, more serious). Did Kristina suggest it when he called her? Could that be how she was later able to read the waiter; she’d made a previous arrangement with him? Or was it Jane’s idea? If so, what was the reason behind the choice? The Italian restaurant was a bit sophomoric and seems too cliché for someone like Jane. Was Jane so out of his element that he fell back on the traditional idea of a date; he chose the restaurant and Kristina later scoped out the waiter?

Or is the restaurant choice of no consequence and Kristina really is a psychic?

Either way, Jane was nervous. But clairvoyant Kristina is enjoying herself too much to notice.  In the midst of a Jane telling her the story of the time he spent in jail (Season 2 ‘Black Gold, Red Blood’) she starts laughing unstoppably. Jane excuses himself to go to the bathroom.  Once there, he locks the door, paces, then washes his hands and twists his wedding ring before heading back out. He starts to end the date when he is interrupted by a phone call from Van Pelt with a possible Red John case.

-If it wasn’t clear from Jane’s earlier demeanor how uncomfortable he was, his bathroom break certainly proved it. Washing his hands and the twisting of his ring is also symbolic of guilt; he still feels married.

Jane returns to Kristina and starts to end the date when he is interrupted by a phone call from Van Pelt with a possible Red John case.  Kristina tags along to CBI and starts “channel” her way into the case. Jane seethes quietly at her attempt to insinuate herself and finally asks to speak to Hightower alone. He tells her that if she allows Kristina to consult, he will quit.

Hightower asks him what his problem is. Jane replies that all Kristina does is clever guesswork. Madeline responds with one of my favorite quotes in the episode: “Then essentially she has the same skills as you, without all the drama.” She softens the blow by asking “What’s the deal?” Jane answers simply: “Red John is mine.” Here, Madeline relents. “I hear you.” Jane relieved, thanks her.

-Jane and Hightower’s conversation is refreshingly candid and once again shows that Jane is not as indifferently confident as he pretends (of course Jane’s insecurity has pretty much become canon in season 3). Here he was obviously feeling threatened by Kristina (as in episode ‘Seeing Red’) and when Hightower relents to his request to not let the psychic on the case, he looks and sounds extremely relieved, like he wasn’t sure she would pick him. Poor guy.  As to Lisbon, again (to my delight) there was no indication whatsoever to show that she feels one way or another towards Jane’s date nor his relationship with Kristina; at least not until that point in the episode.

Kristina manages to set Red John’s sights on her when she appeals to him on television to get help. Jane is understandably furious with her as is Hightower. Kristina tries to appease their worry and anger, putting up a strong front stating that Red John won’t come after her.  Jane tells Hightower that Kristina needs to be protected. Lisbon states that he team will supervise the officers who will bodyguard Kristina. She and Jane take the first shift. While there at her home/office/spa, Jane remarks “Nice place, huh? Tasteful. ”

-This comment is a far cry from Jane’s derision of Frye’s old temple (episode ‘Seeing Red’). The change could indicate a change in his opinion of Kristina. Or he could have just been impressed with her new place (which admittedly is nicer), or he was just making conversation.  Or maybe Jane’s comment on Kristina’s house and his request for Lisbon’s opinion on it was an indirect request for Lisbon’s opinion on the woman who currently piqued Jane’s interest.

Lisbon’s response? “To me it looks like we’re about to pay way too much money to get our legs waxed.”

-I adored this quote; Lisbon could have been talking to one of girlfriends here (if she has any). Since it’s Jane though, her response almost sounded like a girl indirectly telling her (male) best friend that she disapproved of his girlfriend. Personally I think Lisbon’s catty response here is less indicative of jealousy (there had been none at all) and more indicative of how annoyed she was with Kristina for the mess she made.

Kristina walks in behind Lisbon as she makes her “too much money for a leg wax” comment. Jane too late tries to alert Lisbon that she’s being overheard, but Kristina surprises Lisbon when she offers them lunch. Lisbon accepts. Jane declines.

-Lisbon is always the one declining food while Jane’s main source of nourishment seems to be the food he eats at suspects/victims homes. Lisbon accepting food shows how embarrassed she was at being overheard. Foodie Jane giving up a meal shows how upset he is. Kristina realizes this as she apologizes for putting herself in danger hence making Jane feel compelled to protect. Jane agrees to eat if she stops “making a fuss.” Satisfied, Kristina leaves.  Note: watch Lisbon’s annoyed face in the background, suggesting her residual annoyance with the woman, again, presumably, for her indifferent attitude when she was putting them through the trouble of having to protect her and causing Jane so much grief.

Kristina’s façade finally crumbles when Red John kills the woman who interviewed her.  Jane and Lisbon go to check the crime scene scene. After Jane confirms that RJ is in fact the culprit he wants to hurry back to stay with Kristina. Lisbon tries to reassure him that RJ won’t go after her, and if he does she has many cops protecting her. “You really wanna wait around Kristina’s house waiting for Red John to show up?” She tries to get Jane to return with her to CBI and work their current case. Jane refuses saying that there’s nothing useful he can do there.  Lisbon finally gives up: “Fine, go wait for Red John. It’s not a good idea though.”

-Lisbon’s stance here is a sure sign of her worry over Jane over the predicament Kristina caused.


I don’t think a love triangle ever existed between Lisbon, Jane and Kristina. Any negativity Lisbon may or may not harbor towards Kristina is a direct result of the psychic’s actions which led to a lot of grief for Jane. This is a natural response any close friend or family member would have for the sake of someone they care about. As to Jane, he no doubt cared about Kristina as shown by how frantic he was when she disappeared, but he was never in love with her. At the time of their date he was still in love with his wife.

Season three saw a dramatic shift between Jane and Lisbon. First with Jane distancing himself from Lisbon, out of fear that Red John will once again hurt someone he’s close to. Perhaps this fear is what led Jane to cheer on Mashburn’s courting of Lisbon. He wanted Lisbon to be preoccupied with another man to deter RJ from thinking that Jane harbored any special feelings (either friendship or romance) towards her. But their joint hostage situation in ‘Ball of Fire’ brought them back closer than ever only to have their friendship put to the test once more in Red Moon (via different revenge views).  Jane himself tested their friendship in ‘Blood for Blood’ perhaps to gauge the limits of Lisbon’s character, patience and feelings towards him, preparing her for the day he killed Red John. Now that he has, it remains to be seen if their friendship will remain intact. In the finale, Jane used a ruse to begin to express the depth of his emotions towards Lisbon; like he did in Code Red. The fact that Jane never articulated those emotions outright does not mean they are not there.  Jane loves Lisbon, as she loves him. I do not doubt this whatsoever. Whether his feelings are romantically inclined doesn’t matter in the least. She is currently the most important person in his life.

Jane also seems more emotionally attached to Lisbon than vice-versa. This phenomenon started back in season two since ‘Red Badge’, and increased in intensity after Bosco asked Jane to take care of Lisbon before he died (if, in fact that was what he said)- see Jane/Lisbon moments for all the instances Jane tried to help Lisbon.) Even Jane pushing her towards Mashburn in Red Hot could be defined as taking care of her; he wanted her to be happy. It will be interesting to see how Jane will react in the future if a man approaches Lisbon romantically, now that Red John is out of the picture.

As to Lisbon, I think she’ll be more than willing to continue holding Jane at arm’s length despite her increased understanding of Jane’s personality (see how she shied away from his gratitude in Redacted). She has yet to display any romantic inclination towards him (embarrassment doesn’t count) for oh so many reasons.


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11 responses to “The Mentalist: No Love Triangles Here…yet

  • All-I-need

    Awww, thank you!

    Thanks for writing this! You picked a really interesting topic there and once again you manage to sound very convincing in all your theories and conclusions. Are you absolutely sure you`re not one of the writers of this show? Yes? Too bad.

    The Jane-Hightower dynamic is something you should definitely put in the spotlight sometime, too. Those two have a really interesting thing going and though it is difficult to label I do have to agree with your assumptions concerning Hightower`s possible motives for interfering.

    You`re completely right about Jane not being ready to date again. Good lord, the poor guy looked downright anxious, even paniced, in the restaurant bathroom. It was very obvious that he was going to end their date – and Kristina clearly didn`t suspect a thing, which further proves that Jane definitely is the better mentalist of the two of them.

    Funny how he once again tried to warn Lisbon of himself. He stated that Kristina was good, but that he was better and then went right one to tell her that the good ones are dangerous, leading to the conclusion that HE, by default, is dangerous, too. Even more so than Kristina (and putting three bullets into RJ definitely proves that).

    I`d like to point out that Lisbon has shown the depth of her feelings for Jane a number of times already and she`s definitely not always succeding at holding him at arm`s length. For example, take the Season 1 finale where it is pretty obvious that she`s not so much talking about the team caring for him, but rather herself. She also seemed really comfortable dancing with him (despite her initial hesitation), looking completely relaxed with her head on his shoulder. And of course Ball of Fire, which really drove the point home that she cares deeply for him.

    Whether those feelings are romantic or not, I do not know. I love their dynamic for what it is and I am rather suspicious that maybe neither Jane nor Lisbon realize that they`re having romantic feelings for each other. That is possible, after all, and since both of them don`t seem very interested in romantic relationships, they might not recognize their feelings for what they are (assuming there are romantic feelings hidden somewhere).

    All things aside, Lisbon simply doesn`t strike me as being overly emotional. While it is most of the time easy to at least guess at Jane`s emotions (there`s always something to give him away) and he tends to act rather impulsively at times, Lisbon is much more cool-headed and therefore it is harder to guess at her feelings. However, she sometimes just can`t seem to help herself when it comes to Jane, despite her best efforts. I wouldn`t necessarily say she`s less emotionally attached to him than he is to her.

    Some speculation on whether their friendship will hold or not after him killing RJ: since promo pictures show her visiting him in jail, I`d say she`s at least willing to listen to what he has to say. Also, if you look at their body language in said picture, you`ll see that they`re mirroring each other, sitting in exactly the same position, leaning toward each other. That definitely and very clearly points to them being in tune and not at odds with each other. Even if she does give him a piece of her mind in that scene (which is pure speculation on my part), she`s definitely willing to forgive him, if she hasn`t already done so.

    I`m incredibly excited for Season 4. Less than one week to go! Yay! Also, did you see the spoiler for an episode scheduled to air in late October? I was hoping we`d get to see something like that! (if you have no clue what I`m talking about, PM me or I can simply elaborate in another comment here)

    Thank you once again for posting this!

  • windsparrow

    Darn it, now I have to be all sane and stuff.

    I’ve said some of this stuff before, and I’ll say it again. First, there is no doubt that Lisbon and Jane are work spouses. The fact that neither of them has a romantic partner waiting for them at home means that they are each the most important contact with a member of the opposite sex for the other. This tends to add a layer of complexity to the work relationship, no matter how dedicated people are to professional boundaries. In my experience, it also means that it would not take too terribly much to push the relationship off the professional cliff into personal territory. So it is not far fetched that they could develop significant romantic feelings for one another. So yeah, some of us think those feelings ARE there (or at least that it would be a lot of fun to watch if they were).

    Bother. I just started thinking about how even as a rabid ‘shipper, I don’t let things like other potential romantic partners for Lisbon and Jane bug me. It’s not like Heller can kill Wash (Obligatory Firefly reference). And now I have forgotten the other couple of points I had wanted to make.

    I happen to like having the opportunity for imagination to run with ideas and fill in some gaps in the story for myself.

  • reviewbrain

    🙂 me too. And to be honest I think Heller et al do it intentionally so we can let our imagination do all the work. But I felt the post was needed at this point so we can compare the “before” with “after” as I think season four will bring a big change in the dynamic.
    And I totally agree it would take very little for a relationship to be consummated (once all the RJ baggage and Jane’s grief is properly dealt with). This more than anything is probably what’s keeping Lisbon far, far away…she knows how little it will take.
    But I’ve been thinking also about something I’ve noticed amongst some of the widowers I know. The first relationship they attempt after the loss of their wives tends to end in failure. It’s like they need someone in between to help them transition to a new partnership. Kristina could have been it, or her presence could have been too brief to be effective. I’m not sure. But I certainly don’t want Jane experimenting with Lisbon; unless he absolutely knows what he wants, and that happens to be her…we’ll have to wait and see.

    Thanks for the comment 🙂

  • Mary_N (@RobinTunneyBlog)

    Lovely post, enjoyed this too as the previous ones!

    I agree with you that there wasn’t any sign of jealousy from Lisbon, rather annoiance cause Kristina brought trouble, especially to Jane. I agree on what you said about the comments she made about Kristina’s place.

    “Kristina’s calm façade finally crumbles when Red John kills the woman who interviewed her. Jane and Lisbon go to check the crime scene scene. After Jane confirms that RJ is in fact the culprit he wants to hurry back to stay with Kristina. Lisbon tries to reassure him that RJ won’t go after her, and if he does she has many cops protecting her. “You really wanna wait around Kristina’s house waiting for Red John to show up?” She tries to get Jane to return with her to CBI and work their current case. Jane refuses saying that there’s nothing useful he can do there. Lisbon finally gives up: “Fine, go wait for Red John. It’s not a good idea though.” ”

    Even if, after Jane is back at the CBI, Lisbon tells Jane to call at Kristina’s place to check if she’s fine. And when Jane tries to hide his concern, Lisbon says: “Like I’m not a detective too”, as to say: “I know you’re worried, don’t try to hide that from me, I can read you as well. Just go and call her”. I found that scene very interesting. In fact, then Jane calls VP, only to find out that Kristina disappeared…

    I never liked Kristina since the beginning. But not cause I was jealous of her and Jane. I thought and still think she wasn’t right for Jane. Episode Red Letter was a pain for me to watch actually. xD Kristina’s attitude was just annoying.

    Difference between Walter Mashburn and Kristina Frye is that the first (in my opinon!) is an enjoyable character, he’s fun and did show real feelings. Kristina was totally the opposite for me.

    I am a total supporter of J/L relationship as friends, and I would like to see more moments in which they are outspoken about their mutual feelings. There is no doubt that Lisbon is Jane’s most important person in his life right now, and viceversa. But they rather prefer to show mutual affection with gestures, and we saw lot of them during S3. Rather than say: I care about you, they would rather punch other people, or disarm a bomb. Well, that’s a rather odd way to show affection, but it’s Jane and Lisbon we’re talking about! 😉
    If this should become something romantic, I’d like to quote something that Simon Baker and Robin Tunney said in interviews: once it becomes romantic and sexual, where do they go from there? So either they are going to leave that for the very end of the series, or I don’t know. For now, this complicated kind of relationship they have is far more interesting than a romantic one could be.

    My two cents 🙂

  • SamMarquez (@SamJMarquez)

    Thank you so much, reviewbrain for posting this up. It clears so many questions I had about these three. Also, I am glad you mentioned the relationship between Hightower and Jane.

    After I discussed with you about Red Letter on twitter, I re-watched the episode and found the interesting, subtle points you made. This post also helped clarify my other doubts. I completely agree with you that Lisbon was totally unaffected by Jane’s interest in Frye, if anything I think it gave her sense of hope that Jane sees something beyond Red John.
    In Season 3, Lisbon and Jane did get much closer, especially after Redacted, after the unseen conversation that took place where Jane told Lisbon everything. I also agree with All-I-Need, of that Jane and Lisbon are not aware of the romantic/not-so-friendship feelings they have towards each other.

    I also want to point out that even though Lisbon who remains unaffected by other woman piquing Jane’s interest, Jane on the other hand seems to be affected Lisbon’s interest in other men. This could be because he generally likes to pry or because he is somewhat jealous of anyone else who grabs Lisbon’s attention. He is like a child and very possessive of Lisbon. Even though he is the one who encourages Mashburn’s interest in Lisbon, he still wants to be involved or have control between the relationship of Lisbon and Mashburn.
    Another example of Jane trying to come between Lisbon and another male, is in the ending scene of Red Badge where Jane practically chased Bosco out of the office.
    Jane’s continuos invasion of Lisbon’s love life could be because he likes look out for her and/or to make sure no other men can have more control over Lisbon than he does.

    All in all, I happy with their current relationship as it is. Maybe toward the ending of the series a romantic relationship between them would be nice, but in order for that to happen Jane and Lisbon still have so much to work on, together and individually.

    Thanks again, reviewbrain!

  • reviewbrain

    I’m inclined to agree 🙂

  • T

    Interesting article. I’ve always thought that Lisbon gives Jane his space, knows he’s not ready for a relationship, and Jane coversely, knows he’s damaged goods and he would not think to make a move on Lisbon in that way. He seemed quite amused over her relationship with Mashburn and he does want her to have fun. As we know from the season one finale, Jane doesn’t find much worth in his own life. By the end of season two Jane is starting to think about life after Red John hence Kristina. He took her to a nice restaurant because she turned him down for coffee, but he was as you say so not ready yet. Since Red John did not kill Kristina and placed her in a state where she thinks she’s dead and can only speak in that matter, that demonstrated a couple of things. Red John has a wicked sense of humor about psychics and didn’t kill her because she was, unlike Patrick, a true believer in her psychic skills. I also agree, Patrick will have to have other relationships before he ever gets to Lisbon, not that it matters, they have a deep friendship and would die for each other. How many couples would kill just for that?

  • reviewbrain

    It didn’t occur tonne that Jane saying the good psychics are most dangerous was a warning to Lisbon about himself, especially since episode seeing Red came before his revenge was discussed. It’s an interesting theory though I took it to be ironic “good” psychics dangerous. Bad ones are harmless. But you could be right. His statement could have been a subconscious warning.
    About Lisbon. You’re right in that she’s not always sucessfulnin distancing herself, but the fact that Jane is always the one make overtures is what suggests to me a firmer attatment on his part. But it could definately be a personally thing. Jane generlly likes connecting with people, he has to to be ae to figure
    Them out. Lisbon is the opposite, she detaches herself (see bloodstream review). I suspect this has been her survival mode for so long that it’s hard for her to turn it off. And Jane’s intrusive personality would just make her doubly vigilant. She has gotten better about it though and it’ll be interesting to see whether his shooting RJ will cause her to regress, at least for a while.
    Yes, I did hear about the spoiler, it made me deliriously happy but I’m trying not to think about it for now as the anticipation is already pretty bad..;)

  • reviewbrain

    Good points as usual. But I must add that Lisbon not being interested in relationships in general seems another reason for her giving Jane his space. Liked your Red John observations. I always thought he just wanted to show off his strength to Jane via Kristina..more of putting him in his place. Your suggesting puts RJ in a more favourable light. As to Jane and Lisbon, you’re right. Who needs romance when they’ve got such love between them-irony 😉

  • Liv (@liv_einziger)

    Awesome post as always! Well, as you know, I’m not a fan of Kristina’s, but I acknowledge the attraction that Jane felt towards her. He wasn’t ready, though, and, like you said, he was about to finish the date when he received a call from CBI.

    I do agree though when you said he wasn’t in love. He was actually very annoyed by her and they didn’t agree in basically anything. A relationship between them wouldn’t have worked, seeing as she didn’t seem like she was ever going to admit that she’s not a psychic, and he was completely against that. (Even if she really was psychic, he would never have believed that she was and that conflict would probably not ever get solved.)

    So, in my opinion, Jane knew from the start what the nature of his feelings for her was – physical attraction, only. He wasn’t ready to give up his celibacy yet though, because of the guilt he still feels for the death of his family, and because he still feels married and still feels like he owes his late wife faithfulness… so he was simply going to cancel everything.

    Maybe Jane was also worried about what his colleagues (his “family”?) would think of his initiative of going out with another woman seeing as his sole objective was to avenge his wife and daughter; maybe he made a rushed decision to ask her out and now, having the team know about it, he feels suddenly self conscious about it; that might be a reason, maybe even an unconscious one, for making the comment about Kristina’s place; maybe he wants to make it clear for everyone (Lisbon especially?) that he hasn’t been to her place before, that they’re not that close, that they haven’t slept together…

    “Jane loves Lisbon, as she loves him. I do not doubt this whatsoever. Whether his feelings are romantically inclined doesn’t matter in the least. She is currently the most important person in his life.” -perfect. No best way to put it!

    I sort of disagree when it comes to him being more attached to her than the contrary though!


    A good example is what happened on 4×01, for those who have already seen it! Again, SPOILER ALERT!!!
    Okay, you’ve been warned!!!

    Well, on “Scarlett Ribbons”, we see a desperate Lisbon. She just needs to get Jane out of jail. And here she’s not afraid to demonstrate that; thus the two times when she picks him up, first in prison, second after the trial. Like she’ll always be there waiting for him, always ready to help him when he needs, whatever he’s done… When Bertram told her to “forget about Jane”, she had an expression on her face meaning clearly “I can’t”. She’s probably just realized how much she needs him to be all right – and to be around…

  • Sid

    I never understood how Hightower saw Kristina as “blond”

    She had obviously red hair.

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