Mentalist Scarlet Ribbons Review


Synopsis

Following the events of the season three finale, CBI consultant Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) is arrested for shooting a Timothy Carter (Bradley Whitford) dead in a mall in front of 500 witnesses. Jane defends his actions saying that the man is his family’s murderer serial killer Red John. He adds that Red John’s gun and the call his cell phone received from Craig O’Laughlin (proven murderer and assumed RJ accomplice) will prove it. But Jane is shocked when he learns that no call was made to Carter’s cell from Craig’s telephone and that there was no gun at the scene.  Things look very bad especially as Senior Agent Lisbon and her team are suspended due to the fiasco.  The rest of the episode is then spent trying to prove that Carter is in fact Red John, with the hope that it will help Jane in his trial and get the team back in the good graces of CBI director Gale Bertram (Michael Gaston)

Concise Verdict

Season three of any television show can be highly pivotal. Depending on how it is handled, it can either make or break the show.  Mentalist’s season three was quite powerful and ended in one of the best finales of all time.  Some say that once a show reaches such high standards, it can only go downhill from there. I’m glad to report that Mentalist doesn’t seem to be facing that problem any time soon. the season premiere conveys many good things to come and has me very excited for the new season:  8.5/10.

Detailed AKA Humongous Review (Spoilers Galore)

Very Important Scene (VIS) #1: Ardiles and Bertram pre-Jane’s bail hearing.

I was so happy to see Assistant District Attorney Osvaldo Ardiles (David Norona) back. Despite his position as a minor antagonist on the show, I really like the character for all the nuances and subtle decency the writing and actor Norona give him. For example, in this scene, Osvaldo rightfully assumes Bertram approached him to ask that he go easy on Jane. When Bertram corrects this assumption, saying that he wants Ardiles to make sure Jane stays locked up for as long as possible, Ardiles replies: “Okay, he’s your man.” At his tone and wording Bertram defends himself quickly with a “Don’t get me wrong.” He states that while he feels bad a “productive employee” like Jane is going down in flames, he’s more concerned about containing the “media crapstorm” Jane’s actions have caused.

This scene reminds viewers of Ardiles’s promise to Cho (Season Two’s Rhapsody in Red) that the DA’s office won’t be doing them more favors. It also recalls Bertram’s umbrage with Jane in the finale when he threatened that there will be consequences to Jane’s actions. But more importantly the scene sets the stage for the two’s next scene at the end of the episode by reminding viewers that Bertram’s main concern is and always will be how things look, not how things really are.

VIS #2: Bertram visits Lisbon at the Hospital

Bertram extends his and the bureau’s sympathy for Lisbon’s injury. He then tells her that she and her team are suspended. Lisbon, shocked, asks why.  Bertram responds: “Really, you have to ask? You allowed a clearly disturbed individual to lead your activities. You allowed him to gun down an innocent man.” Lisbon defends that they don’t know that. Bertram repeats Carter was innocent, adding: “On top of which you perpetrated an elaborate deception on me in order to gather evidence that I your own boss am part of a vast criminal conspiracy. Shall I go on?”

-I really love Bertram’s benign matter of fact tone here. Gaston always manages to come off as being both nice and creepy at the same time. But what is really compelling about this scene is Lisbon’s wonder at being suspended. It’s quite different from her usual willingness to accept punishment (‘Blood Money’, ‘Redacted’). In fact, her disbelief here is quite Jane-like; she’s acting like he does when he feels he’s unreasonably being made to pay for his actions. I’m dying to know whether the medication Lisbon’s on has her missing the magnitude of the protocols she and the team have breached, or, as in the case of people who spend a lot of time together, Jane’s habit of expecting people to cut him slack has rubbed off on her (more on this in the next VIS). Then there’s the less fun possibility that Lisbon’s surprise and Bertram’s explanation could have just been done for expository purposes and I’m reading too much into the scene.

VIS #3: Lisbon’s first visit to Jane in jail (AKA the meeting all viewers were anticipating)

Jane enters the visitor’s room, sees Lisbon, smiles and approaches her. He sits down, gives her a tiny nod and gestures slightly towards her injury before he asks, “So how was your week?” eliciting a startled laugh from Lisbon.

-Of all the ways to handle Jane and Lisbon’s reunion post Carter’s shooting, I honestly believe this was the best choice. I loved how there was very little drama in this scene. This is exactly what made me fall in love with The Mentalist in the first place. Subtle writing + subtle acting=perfection. Heller wisely makes use of Jane and Lisbon’s established friendship and Baker and Tunney’s talents to paint a picture worth a thousand words. Jane and Lisbon stare at each other quite a bit, taking in their respective appearances. Jane’s body language clearly conveys how worried he is about Lisbon, his relief at seeing her okay, and his pure joy that she visited him. Likewise, Lisbon rushing from her hospital bed to meet Jane, her initial moroseness at seeing him in jail coupled with her beautiful laugh at Jane’s ironic quip shows that the feelings are mutual.

And if that doesn’t convey their care clearly, then the rest of the exchange does:

Jane: “You should be in the hospital. What are you doing here?”

Lisbon: “I’m okay. You on the other hand-”

Jane: “I’m okay too.”

The concern they have for each other and disregard for their own plight is beautiful. It gets even better though. In an almost direct role reversal of ‘Red Badge’, Jane is in a situation where his sanity is being questioned. Jane tells Lisbon that he didn’t go nuts, and she answers that she believes him but expresses doubt that a jury will. Jane answers: “Yeah, well, that is a problem and I did what I had to and I will live with the consequences.”

You hear that sound? It’s not a flood. It’s me bawling my eyes out with joy.  Where did the brat who refused to pay his speeding ticket (‘Red Alert’) last season go? Our man is finally growing up!

Now one might claim that Jane’s resignation here is a bit off character, but so was Lisbon’s earlier indignation at being suspended. Together, these two instances of character change don’t seem coincidental; but rather examples which show that Jane and Lisbon’s personalities are developing; becoming more like each other. I find this possibility extremely interesting, not to mention realistic. At seven plus years of knowing one another, it would be strange if that didn’t happen.

This doesn’t mean Jane plans on going down without a fight, as evidenced by his later making bail and working to justify his shooting Carter. But his maturity here was nevertheless a pleasure to see.

Now the cynic in me kept rearing its ugly head to point out that Jane telling Lisbon he’ll accept the consequences of his actions could have been due to his knowing that it would get Lisbon to act on his behalf; that he was in fact being subtly manipulative. But the optimist pointed out that while Jane can hoodwink the worst of criminals, lately, he’s been much less successful at pulling one on Lisbon. Plus, he seemed genuinely sincere.

The scene then ends with Jane asking Lisbon to bring him a blueberry muffin next time she visits. More than continuity on Jane’s love for these muffins, Jane’s wording here shows more growth; this time of his relationship with Lisbon. Unlike when he needed to cajole Lisbon into visiting him in jail (episode Black Gold and Red Blood) Lisbon visited Jane here on her own. And there’s was no question on whether Lisbon will visit Jane again; it’s a given to both of them.  The continuous development in their relationship from season to season is extremely satisfying to see.

VIS #4: Lisbon and Grace

Lisbon and Agent Grace Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti) question Sally (Kate Norby), Timothy Carter’s widow. Grace is unsympathetic when the widow tells them her husband was not Red John; that she knew him very well. Afterwards, sensing Grace is still affected for having to shoot her criminal fiancée, Lisbon tells Grace that she should apply for her psych counseling ASAP. Van Pelt denies needing the sessions. Lisbon disagrees and points out that the sessions are mandatory after a shooting. Van Pelt complains that while everyone says a having a psych counseling sheet on file “doesn’t matter”, it actually does.

-I assume Grace meant career-wise. It’s been established that she is a very driven woman- she initially refused to date Rigsby because she didn’t want to be transferred (as interoffice dating is forbidden). She fought with him when they were dating over the same issue, and she’s always looking to take more responsibilities on the job. But her worry over the psych session recalls an episode where Grace stated that her sister killed herself (Throwing Fire). In that episode, Grace later denied the fact claiming she only said it to stop a suspect from committing suicide, but I always thought her statement had been too intense to have been a lie. This leads me to think that Grace’s refusal to seek counseling in Scarlet Ribbons is more than her not wanting to discuss her latest tragedy of shooting her fiancée. I think Grace fears the can of worms (of her past) which her psych session might open and what that might do to her career.

Lisbon won’t have any of Grace’s excuses. She states: “Grace, I’m asking you as a friend, get help. See the shrink, talk about what happened. Don’t let this eat away at you.” Grace is quite affected: “I appreciate the concern, really. Thank you.”

-I’ll bet all the Van Pelt/Lisbon friendship shippers are having a field day. Not only is Lisbon consistently calling Grace by her first name as opposed to “Van Pelt”, but she actually asked Grace to seek help “as a friend”. Looks like Jane is not the only one with character growth. Lisbon is finally letting go of her die hard professionalism which stood in the way of her connecting with her colleagues.  This is a great omen for team love.

VIS #5: Lisbon picks Jane up from Jail

Before I discuss this scene I need to point out that at his bail hearing Jane tells the judge that he’s happy to stay in jail because he needs time to think. He only decides to go out on bail after Lisbon tells him that they’re at a dead end in proving that Carter is Red John. Jane had mused that Lisbon must now be starting to doubt his word that he shot an armed man; that she thinks he’s crazy. She denies this initially but at Jane’s stare she relents that the idea crossed her mind. Jane answers “Fair enough,” seeming unconcerned over Lisbon’s admission then adds “Guess I’m gonna have to get out of here to help you with this”.

After Jane raises the bail money, Lisbon comes to pick him up from jail. Jane looks a bit apprehensive as he greets Lisbon. Then in the car, he stares out the window looking preoccupied.

-At first I thought Jane’s demeanor was indicative of him being nervous over the possibility that Lisbon might ream him for shooting RJ; that one of the reasons he might have wanted to stay in jail was his wanting to avoid a confrontation.  This could still be true and yet…

In the car Lisbon asks: “So, what did you do? Honestly.” Jane’s knee jerk response is: “He had a gun.” Lisbon clarifies that she was asking about how Jane got the bail money.

-Again, I thought Jane’s quick defense of his decision to shoot Carter was an indicator of him worrying over how he’ll defend his actions (revenge) to Lisbon (especially in light of Season three’s ‘Red Moon”) but then…

When Jane realizes Lisbon is talking about the bail money he quips: “Oh, that. Murder for hire. Killed a snitch. Stabbed him in the kidneys.” Lisbon blandly responds “You did not.” Jane agrees that he didn’t, that he won it in a card game, before adding: “But I had you for a moment.” At Lisbon’s silence he remarks “You really do fear for my sanity”. Lisbon’s answer is an emphatic “No”.

What’s interesting is that Jane’s “I had you for a moment” doesn’t sound very smug despite how he usually takes pleasure at tricking his colleagues. Instead he seems bemused (maybe even upset) at the thought that he was able to trick Lisbon into thinking, even momentarily, that he is able to kill someone for money. Like he believes she should know him better than that; like its news to him that Lisbon is never really sure what to expect when it comes to him.

I once stated that despite Jane’s annoyance with Lisbon’s spirituality and love of rules, those are the very facets of her character which could represent his salvation. She’s like his moral yard stick. If she likes him despite his flaws then he is able to feel good about himself because she has such high standards/pure beliefs. Conversely if Lisbon starts doubting Jane; then it’s a red flag that he’s gone too far down a dark road. Perhaps this is what worries Jane in this scene.

Of course this is all conjecture. But what isn’t is the fact that in addition to justifying his shooting of Red John, Jane’s response of “He had a gun” also came from his desire to assure Lisbon of his sanity; that despite his earlier “fair enough” he actually is quite bothered by the idea of Lisbon doubting him.  Even the slightest indication that another person’s opinion matters to Jane makes me insanely happy. It normalizes him.

But I must point out that just because Jane thinks Lisbon fears for his sanity doesn’t mean he’s right. This could just be his insecurity talking; fearing that the person he wants to know/trust him most in the world, does not.

VIS #6: Jane is found Not Guilty/Shocking revelation of RJ’s non-demise

Acting as his own lawyer, in his closing argument, Jane convinces the jury that Timothy Carter was Red John. He tells them that he has a right to kill the man who killed his family and asks them what they would have done. Jane earns the jury’s sympathy and they come back with a verdict of not guilty. But Jane does not seem as happy as one would expect.

Lisbon waits for him outside the courthouse with a big smile. Jane on the other hand only manages a tight grin as he waves in greeting, followed by a look of fond regard before he joins her in her car. Lisbon asks Jane if he feels any different, if he feels better now that he killed Red John. Jane replies that he feels guilty. Surprised, Lisbon asks him why. Jane says it’s because he lied to the jury about Timothy Carter being Red John, but adds that he had to as going to jail would have been a victory to RJ. Confused, Lisbon states that RJ is dead. Jane states that he isn’t. Red John is still alive. Timothy Carter was not Red John. Lisbon stares at Jane in shock before he reminds her to keep her eyes on the road.

-First question: How does Jane know Red John is still alive?

I’m guessing the fact that no evidence whatsoever was found in Carter’s home to prove he was RJ was Jane’s first clue. Second, Carter’s MO (kidnapping a woman) is different than RJ’s (cutting them in their homes). Third, the fact that the first officer on the scene ended up dead, and the evidence which was taken from the crime scene makes it seem like someone is still messing with Jane, setting him up to go to jail. Like Jane said, this would have been considered a victory to RJ.

-Second question: How do we feel about RJ still being alive?

Regular readers know that last season I wished the RJ plot would be wrapped up so that the show will go back to more fun (IMO) individual case based episodes. Most readers, however, disagreed with me, according to last year’s poll (taken during the Red Queen Preview ).

But despite my delight in Strawberries and Cream that RJ was finally gone, I feel strangely ambivalent to the knowledge that he’s still alive. Maybe it’s because after believing that he really was dead, and now being told that he’s not, I’m not sure what to believe anymore. What if Jane was just speaking figuratively? What if RJ is dead and Jane was just referring to the fact that RJ still has a lot of accomplices, as evidenced by the dead security guard and missing evidence. What if he lied to the jury because he wasn’t prepared to pay the consequences for his actions like he said and that’s what he feels guilty for?

Time will tell.

But if we go with the idea that RJ really is alive, then there are both pros and cons to the situation.

Pros:

  • Many viewers were concerned that The Mentalist without Red John wouldn’t work; the reasoning being you can’t have Batman without the Joker. If he’s still alive, there’s no need to worry about whom will fill RJ’s shoes as Jane’s new arch nemesis.
  • Story-wise, the decision makes sense. If Mentalist is to have seven seasons, then we’re in the middle of the series; a good time for the story’s climax; which Strawberries and Cream undoubtedly was.
  • Speaking of the season three finale, I don’t think the fact that Timothy Carter was not Red John detracts from the powerfulness of that episode. After all, Jane and the entire CBI team thought he was RJ.
  • Making Jane (and viewers) think that he shot RJ was a like having the ultimate fire drill. An experiment, if you will, for writers to see how best to handle the final showdown. I am very interested to say how Jane acts given a do-over.
  • Lisbon’s absence during the showdown in Strawberries and Cream, while very clever, felt wrong. RJ not being dead provides an opportunity to remedy this.

Cons:

  • Many viewers (including moi) had genuinely fallen for the idea that Red John was dead. We had all summer to get used to it. Now we’re suddenly being told that he’s not. I used to take pride in the fact that Mentalist writers have an honest relationship with their viewers. If it’s our interest they’re trying to keep, they shouldn’t fear, we’ll always keep watching. Really, there’s no need to mislead us. Unless they wanted us to feel the same anticlimax that Jane did. If so, mission accomplished.
  • Crying wolf can get old very quickly. Next time really should be the real deal.
  • Now that Jane’s been acquitted of killing Red John, he can hardly use the same defense for when he actually does kill the murderer.

Suspects (AKA Conspiracy Theories)

This is a new category where I’ll talk about characters which seem suspicious of being RJ spies and/or members of his cult within the show’s episodes. Previously discusses suspects were CBI’s Ron, Bertram, LaRoche, and Partirdge). In this ep we have:

Forensic tech: When Rigsby tells the first tech to respond to Carter’s crime scene that someone took a cell phone and gun from the crime scene, he states: “Not me. There was no gun, not that I saw.” Rigsby asks him to look him in the eye and say it. The tech does and repeats “there was no gun.”

-The tech seemed honest about there being no gun (that he saw) but his non-remark about the existence of a cell phone, coupled with his “Not me” makes me think that he might have seen someone else pocket the phone.

Jessica the waitress: She states she didn’t see a gun or notice the newspaper that Carter was carrying, that she went to his side to comfort him as he was dying, that he was still alive when she got to him, and that Carter told her: “Give my love to Sally and Charlene” before the security guard chased her away, ordering her to get away from the body and evidence. She adds that the guard was a jerk about it and had “crazy eyes”.

-In the season three finale, we saw this woman run off after Jane killed Carter. We also saw Carter (at least I think we did) die immediately after he was shot.  Methinks this woman is very suspicious. That she set up the security guard to make it seem like he took the missing evidence. The guard was then killed so that he won’t be able to exonerate himself from suspicion hence distracting the cops from this woman’s culpability.

But why would she do that? Was she’s another of RJ’s men, as Timothy Carter no doubt was? Is she herself Red John? (How cool would that be, if Red John was a woman?)

Best Scenes:

The winner: VIS #3: Lisbon’s first visit to Jane in jail (AKA the meeting all viewers were anticipating)

I was so worried about how and Lisbon and Jane’s first scene together after he shot RJ (Carter) would play out. IMHO it was perfect. Not only did it not break my heart, it reinforced the strength of Jane and Lisbon’s precious bond.

1st runner up: Jane and Lisbon visit to Carter’s widow.

Jane’s visit to Sally Carter  made for a very emotional scene. Simon Baker and Kate Norby did very well, having their respective characters firmly stand their ground. Jane states that if he did make a mistake in killing Sally’s husband then he would spend the rest of his life making it up to her. This was a very stirring declaration.  As someone who lost his own spouse; Jane would never want to inflict that pain on anyone else. Sally insists that her husband was a good man. Jane’s reaction to this (asking for tea) comes across as not only to buy himself time to investigate the woman further, but also to take a moment to emotionally collect himself. Lovely.

2nd runner up: VIS #4: Lisbon and Grace

Besides the reasons I stated above, Robin Tunney and Amanda Righetti were very good in this scene. The former expressed heartfelt empathy and compassion. The latter, denial followed by contained (yet genuine) gratitude.

Icings on the Cake

-There was a lot of continuity in this episode regarding Jane’s favorite foods: tea, eggs, blueberry muffins. Jane requested tea “hug in a cup” at least twice. Love the subtle indication to his agitated state.

-The scene where Lisbon and Jane find out about the responding officers death, they have the same reaction of “That’s good” followed by a guilty conscience. More support that they’re thinking more alike.

-I appreciated the straightforwardness of this episode as well as the reference to time. Scarlet Ribbons starts immediately where Strawberries and Cream left off, then picks up two days later. This gives viewers an idea of where the characters are physically as well as emotionally. But while this was an icing on the cake, it indirectly led to a….

Pet Peeves

1-Why, oh why, couldn’t there have been a caption at Jane’s trial stating “one week” or “1 month” or any realistic time frame “later”? It would have given the trial much more credibility via passage of time. It’s one of those tiny details which I feel would have given the illusion of realistically paced events. As it was, I almost got whiplash from the supersonic speed of the episode’s conclusion.

2-When we were promised a trial, I expected, well, a trial; possibly one which would take place mid-season until which Jane would continue consulting for the bureau. Jane’s trial would have been the perfect opportunity to answer the many, many questions raised in season three (did Jane ever register his gun being one of them). I was so disappointed to see everything wrapped up so quickly. On the other hand, I’m still smarting over the embarrassment of ranting over Steiner’s ill timed death (sorry again Mr. S), only to discover that it needed to happen so that Jane can bring himself to shoot RJ in the finale. So I’m keeping my mouth shut for now in case Jane’s speedy trial is also part of a bigger strategic plan for the show and not a cop out. Otherwise, couldn’t the premiere have been a two hour episode? A two parter? Anything that would have given Jane’s trial the magnitude it deserved?

Conclusion (aka random ramblings)

Personally, I wanted season four to give Jane a chance for character growth and resolution; something which only seemed possible with Red John’s death. But Scarlet Ribbons suggests that this could still happen, even with RJ alive. How guilty Jane felt over lying to the jury, and how easily he came clean to Lisbon about this fact has me feeling very optimistic. Jane, being Jane, of course justifies his actions as being a means to an end. But his simple admission that he feels bad is a huge step forward.

My inner cynic however, thought that Jane sharing this information with Lisbon was largely due to Jane’s selfish desire to have someone share the burden of the truth with him. Cynic also stated that Jane needs Lisbon to know the truth so that she’ll continue investigating Red John cases with him. I pointed out that there’s nothing wrong with needing to confess your sins to a friend; that’s part of what friends are for. Also, that Jane had been investigating the RJ case on his own all last season; he hardly needs Lisbon’s help. Cynic countered that if it wasn’t for Lisbon’s help then Jane wouldn’t have been able to reveal Craig as RJ’s spy in the season three finale. I conceded that point but proceeded to lock Cynic up and stuff him in the darkest dungeon in my memory palace as I refuse to let my mind use Lisbon’s awesomeness in an argument as evidence that Jane is manipulating her.

Speaking of Lisbon, I’m dying to see her reaction to Jane’s revelation that RJ is alive. It’s one thing for her to accept Jane’s killing RJ; he’s said he’d do it for years. It’s a whole other ball game knowing that he shot some random criminal. She took a risk with the reward being Red John’s capture. Now that she knows it’s not Red John, she might not be as docile towards the whole situation.

By the way, Cynic (screaming from his dungeon) wants the record to show that he mentioned the fact that while Jane is upset over lying to the jury, he’s not upset that he killed a man. Cynic adds that this is the second time Jane killed someone, and that he once stated “good riddance” when a suspect (Gorman from Blood for Blood) was killed during his arrest. I agree that Jane’s disregard for human life he deems unworthy plus his unapologetic demeanor is worrisome. It’s something I’ve been concerned about since he jaded himself by watching Steiner’s suicide. It seems a legitimate issue and I’ll be watching for future developments. Perhaps Jane telling Lisbon that he shanked a guy for money in prison was his subconscious expressing his own concern for his sanity (humanity), but Jane was projecting this concern onto Lisbon.

Cynic is laughing at me.

You guys don’t think I’m crazy right?

I didn’t include a Best Lines in the review. There were many good ones and I thought it’d be more fun for readers to share their favorites 🙂  Please don’t forget to rate the post and feel free to share your own views on the episode by commenting on this post. If you want instant alerts whenever a new post is added to the blog, you can register.

Finally, here are a couple of promo’s for the next episode titled Little Red Book airing September 29th. Looks fabulous!

CBS’s promo

CTV’s promo

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38 responses to “Mentalist Scarlet Ribbons Review

  • All-I-need

    Ahaa, there we are!
    First of all: wow! That was fast. I wasn`t expecting this review for another few days, so you really got me there.

    I actually don`t have all that much to say (or at least I think so, we`ll see how long this thing turns out in the end), apart from a few comments.

    It looks to me like no one else noticed that Jane asking for a Blueberry Muffin sounded a lot like a hidden message, telling Lisbon “Don`t worry, I`ll get out of here.” He did last time, after she brought him a muffin, right? Also, I love how he referred back to that one later.
    Lisbon: “This doesn`t look good.”
    Jane: “Yeah, I was hoping for that muffin.” Sometimes, he`s just ridiculously CUTE. (or is that just me and my rose-colored glasses where he`s concerned?) Ahem.

    So, you asked about quotes we liked. Please keep in mind that I`m quoting from memory here. Apart from the whole muffin-thing, which was hilarious, I also almost died from laughter because of those:

    Lisbon: “I don`t think his wife wants to talk to you.”
    Jane: “Why not?”
    Lisbon: “Because you KILLED her HUSBAND!” (actually, this is also the only time she acknowledes what he`s done while they`re alone…)
    Jane: “See? The ice is broken. We`ve got something to talk about.”
    U-hu…right…that`s exactly the way everyone will see it…^^

    And, of course, Cho, who really made me crack up:
    “There is no warrant. We`ve all been suspended because of the killing and because we killed two other people this week.”
    Guard: “Erm…I guess I could give you a copy…”
    (I would`ve done so, too, after that VERY subtle threat…Cho rocks!)

    Also, I would like to mention that it gave me the creeps to hear Jane talk about just how Red John kills his victims. How he wakes them up because he likes to hear them beg …and I can`t help but think that Jane knew that all along, which of course brings me right back to your recent blog post about Kristina Frye and how she told him the exact opposite – that his daughter slept through all of it. He is clearly very aware of just how much they had to suffer, and though he MAY be able to bear that knowledge about his wife, I can´t see how on earth he managed not to break down at the thought that his little girl went through that. I`ve recently thought that – though we (as well as the team) are constantly reminded of his wife through his wedding band – people seem to forget that he had a daughter, too. At least I sometimes get that impression from the characters. There`s no real scene to indicate that, just a feeling on my part, because since his mourning for his wife is very obvious, we almost never have any indication of him missing his daughter like crazy.
    End of this rant.

    About Red John (honestly, you didn`t think I could stay away from that topic, right?), I figure Jane realized he killed the wrong guy the second he learnt that there was no gun at the scene and the cell phone had been switched. Timothy Carter – or whoever the hell he was – definitely KNEW lots of details about the murder of his family. Therefore, there are only three possibilities left:

    1. as suggested by Calladragon on ff.net: He was some kind of apprentice of RJ and really did kill Jane`s family but is not, in fact, the real Red John, who is still out there.
    Personally, I don´t really believe that he was involved in the killing as some kind of apprentice or even a bystander because RJ clearly operates alone and would never allow anyone to copy his style – we`ve already seen how he reacts to that and it is NOT nice.

    2. He was one of RJ`s little followers and was ordered to (forced to, maybe) pretend he was RJ, having been given all the necessary information. Maybe it was some kind of punishment for some kind of failure on his part and Red John actually wanted Jane to kill the guy or maybe RJ wanted to see if Jane would a) figure out that his was “RJ” and b) actually make good on his threat and kill him. Maybe RJ wanted to see if Jane could really go through with it. Guess he`s proven that.
    Or maybe he was only meant to watch Jane, having been given the details as some kind of emergency plan in case something goes wrong, and RJ never expected his minion to get killed.

    3. He was exactly who he was shown to be – a make-believe loving husband and father with a liking for abducting girls and keeping them prisoner. Since Red John seems to be able to find out about pretty much anything, it is not unlikely that he found out about Debbie (who had been missing for weeks already) and then simply gave Carter a choice: either go to that mall and do what RJ wants him to do, or watch his wife, little girl and the kidnapped girl all get killed slowly before being either murdered, too, or ratted out to the police as their killer/abducter. I`m pretty sure Timothy Carter did NOT for even a second think he`d die in that shopping mall.

    Well, those are my theories, and the fact that someone very obviously messed with the case AFTER “Red John” was killed, the real RJ still has to be out there somewhere.

    I can`t help but laugh when I imagine the face of the judge when Jane happens to stand in front of him AGAIN, claiming he killed Red John. Maybe he`ll be disregarded as a nutcase if he does…
    Also, he was only declared “not guilty” on accounts of having killed Timothy Carter. So if he kills another guy later (and he will definitely try, now that he knows he has the guts to do so) his RJ argument still holds some value and he can then tell the truth about Carter. He can`t get convicted for the same crime, twice, right?

    Guess this did turn out longer than I thought it would…huh.

    Anyways, great review on your part, I totally agree with you on the whole Lisbon/VanPelt angle. I hope Lisbon starts loosening up a little, now that she and the team did some bonding in the finale by secretly working on a case and then AGAIN by working on helping Jane against orders. If that doesn`t make them bond more, I don`t know what will.

    Glad you think that Lisbon was definitely on pain medication and therefore did not fully realize the implications of what Jane did (or she simply didn`t care). I`ve had exactly the same theory.

  • Connor Davey (@CJDavey)

    Brilliant review as always, my friend! I’m quite busy so I’ll just address a few important points.

    Bertram – Oh, how sad I am that Gaston will not be appearing much this season. He really is a great actor and Bertram an intriguing character. Following the finale I cleared him of any suspicion on my part after seeming genuinely bemused at Janes accusations in the mall (after suspecting him all season, mostly due to his quoting of Blake in Red Queen.) But after this? I really don’t know what to think of the man, once again. Don’t ger me wrong, Bertrams actions in this episode are completely in character and true to what the man has always been like all along. You put it perfectly when you said he cares mainly about ‘main concern is and always will be how things look, not how things really are.’ However, it cannot be denied that Bertram came across as very creepy in this episode, something which was surely deliberate on the writers/Gaston’s part. I mean, c’mon, just go back to the scene with him visiting Lisbon in the hospital again and listen to how he speaks…I know i’m not alone in still suspecting Bertram of some sort of involvement with Red John. It certainly wouldn’t surprise me anyway.

    Jane/Lisbon – In total agreement over how perfect the first Jane + Lisbon visit was, and how brilliant it is to see their ever complex but brilliant friendship/relationship continue to grow. I still maintain that, whilst the show certainly doesn’t NEED it, Jane and Lisbon could well end up being more than friends in the end, and I’m game for that – as long as it feels natural, something which, in terms of the growth of J/L’s relationship so far, has definitely been achieved. Only time will tell, but like I said I’m certainly not dependent on the idea.

    Lisbon/Grace – All I can say is that I love that these two finally seem to be getting closer. Grace in particular impressed me in the premiere. It may be under tragic circumstances and probably only temporary, but her bitterness and utter lack of naivety (something she’s been guilty of in the past) was rather refreshing and genuinely excites me for whats to come with her character this season.

    Jane/Red John – As you well know, Jane is my favourite character. The best of a special bunch is what I’ve said in the past. I for one do not see the continuation of the RJ storyline stilting Janes character growth in any way. In fact, this whole ordeal makes the character even deeper and richer, at least for me anyway. Sure, I may not agree with what Jane has done and his complete lack of guilt, remorse or any sort of feeling whatsoever after shooting a man dead DOES worry me, but it doesn’t surprise me and it’s all in a good way. I’ve always maintained that Jane is a VERY dark character, beneath all his (admittedly endearing) playfulness and bravado, a man capable of murder in fact. To me this just adds further layering to an already messed up, intriguing and complex character. I’m sure the consequences of this ordeal, whatever they may be, will become more apparent as the seasons go on. As for Red John being alive, I am very happy with this for a couple of reasons:

    1st: I have always loved the Red John arc and still do. I dont find myself tiring of it at all. I love the mystery and how it presents the opportunity for the show to be much darker every once in a while (and I mean once in a while, I love it’s balance of light heartedness along with this as much as you!.) Fair enough Season 3 was a lot darker and more serialized than ever, but as you’ve said – they were building to that finale moment all season, and it ultimately made for a very powerful season. Don’t get me wrong, I too cannot wait to see how the characters grow AFTER the RJ arc is finished, but I feel the story has a lot more to give yet. For the record, I don’t want RJ dragged to the very last episode, maybe midseason during the final season, or maybe even the finale of the penultimate season in order to give the show and it’s characters (particularly Jane and Lisbon) time to grow AFTER Red John, for better or worse (or both.)

    2nd: I for one, do not fear that Red John still being around will stunt Janes growth as a character THIS season. As you said yourself, there were already plenty of examples in this episode of him growing as a character and as I said earlier in this message, getting more complicated at the same time. It’s true that Jane will not be able to be truly happy or have peace until Red John is dead – but I’m happy with that for now, he still manages to be the fun loving, incredibly endearing character we all know and love most of the time anyway – and besides, his darker moments are utterly compelling.

    3rd: I do not feel lead astray for one simple reason: I, having been a viewer from the Pilot, know that all is not quite as it seems a lot of the time with The Mentalist. As a result of this, my attitude to the question of whether or not it was Red John was ‘maybe’, much like my answer to the question of whether Deckard is a replicant in my favourite film ‘Blade Runner.’ As a result of adopting this approach in the case of The Mentalist, I did not feel dissapointed or lead astray. I still felt surprised, especially after all that went down in court, but not cheated or manipulated. Also, I know what the mentalist writers are like – they often have a very good reason for what they do, especially when it comes to Jane and Red John.

    I agree 100% that the S3 finale loses NONE of its power, and I don’t understand those who have claimed this at all, some even saying it was a ‘waste’ of a finale and performance by Brad Whitford. Ridiculous! As you said, all that emotion was real and sitll is when you watch it, as Jane believed it to be Red John at the time. Also, learning he wasn’t playing RJ doesn’t completely rid Brad’s performance of any significance. For me, he still will go down in The Mentalists history and mythology as his own, unique and brilliantly crafted character known as Timothy Carter. Much like fans don’t forget about Dumar or Rebecca, and still refer back to them – only even more important and brilliant.

    I’d like to commend the writers also for continuity in their references to previous episodes with Janes love for Blueberry Muffins (seemingly whenever he’s in prison) and eggs. Of course Tea, but that is so ingrained in the character and mentioned so often, that it wasn’t a ‘pleasant surprise’ as such. Go, writers! 🙂

    Also, IMMENSE credit to the cast again for brilliant performances accross the board. On this occasion, special credit must go to Amanda Righetti and Simon Baker. As I mentioned earlier, GVP seems to be going in an exciting direction this season, and Amanda played it to perfection. The scene in which she told Lisbon she ‘can’t go home’ and needs to ‘be around people’ was particularly heartbreaking. As for Simon, well what can you say that hasn’t already been said? If this man never wins an emmy for is portrayal of Patrick Jane, then the world of TV should be ashamed of itself. Not only did he handle all Janes darker moments with conviction (Janes speech to the jury was my favourite scene in the episode, hands down) but he still managed to put a massive grin on my face on more than a few occasions. Something which, of course, we should also thank the writers for. I’m thinking Jane jumping to see whats over the fence, his head bobbing up and down – hiarious! He also delivered two of my favourite lines in the episode in the form of “Yeah, I was really looking forward to a muffin!” and “Murder for hire. Killed a snitch, stabbed him in the kidneys.”

    One last note (I SWEAR!) How badass were Cho + Rigsby in this ep? Particularly Cho. The scene in which they pretended to hear the noise in the appartment before they broke in without a warrant was, simply put, epic. Also, it’s nice to see that – despite there obviously being some self preservation in it – Cho, Rigsby and the rest of the team were once again willing to put their necks on the line and bend the rules to help Jane out, something which I’m sure Jane will show his appreciation for. In fact, Im willing to be he does just that in the next episode when he gets the team back together. You heard it here first!

    For the record, Heller has said numerous times in the build up to this season that it will be more case driven, week by week stand alone episodes. Obviously there will be an overarching plot (and rightly so) but he states that it will be less ‘intricate’ which I interpret as ‘less serialized and prominant as S3.’ So I’m guessing 2 Red John episodes will crop up this season (much ike S1 and 2) or maybe 3 at the most, whilst the rest of it will be case-a-week, fun loving mentalist! As i’ve said, the shows always found this balance perfectly to me, so I have no fears here. He also stated that Jane will be more playful this season, which may seem odd considering the circumstances. But Heller describes it as Jane attempting to ‘step back from this obsessive chase because its that which has gotten him into trouble in the first place.’ So in other words, it looks like you will be getting your wish in terms of a more light hearted, less ‘break neck speed’ season! Looks like next weeks ep, whilst still having some RJ elemtns with the return of Rosalind Harker (presumably to ID or not ID TC’s body), will in fact be a return to Jane being Jane – and boy does it look fun!

    I’ve rambled for too long after initially promising I would only make a few points, for this I apologise. I’ve also inevitably made a series of spelling errors and my post has zero structure – but it’s from the Hear of a fan who really does love this show, much like you do. It’s really refreshing to read the views of someone else who shares this passion. Thanks!

    ROLL ON AMAZING SEASON 4. BR I LOVE YOU. BRUNO HELLER I LOVE YOU. THE MENTALIST I LOVE YOU.

  • Connor Davey (@CJDavey)

    One thing I forgot to add.

    I believe Jane realised it wasn’t Red John the moment he learnt about the gun and phone. Not only can you see the realisation on his face, but from this point onwards in the episode, at no point to his flat out claim that ‘Timothy Carter was Red John.’ The closest he comes to saying it after this is in court (understandably, he’s trying to decieve them and get off a murder charge) but even then he doesn’t come right out and say it. The entire episode from the opening theme onwards is essentially Jane digging up dirt on Carter (knowing that he MUST have something dark hidden) in order to have a good case to take to court in the hope that he could present the jury not only with reasonable doubt as to whether it was RJ or not, but also that Jane – whether it was RJ in their eyes or not – had killed someone who was essentially evil.

    Watch the whole episode again with this perspective, and you’ll see what I mean.

    Of course, It’s entirely possible that Im wrong. It could’ve been the girl chained ot the bed that did it, as that certainly isn’t Red Johns MO. But In my opinion, this just confirmed Janes suspicions.

  • Connor Davey (@CJDavey)

    Sorry, that should say “at no point does he” NOT “to his.”

    *sigh*

    😀

  • reviewbrain

    Thanks for your comment. Don’t worry, you can share to your heart’s content. That’s what the blog is for 🙂 I was hoping someone would give a suggestion as to when Jane realized Carter was not RJ. In fact I was just discussing with my kid brother a possible alternate reaction for Jane’s knee jerk “He had a gun” when Lisbon asks him “What did you do? Honestly?”: it could be a possible pre-emptive strike to justifying him killing a man who *isn’t* Red John; he honestly thought he was. Love you too 🙂 High five to an amazing season four!

  • reviewbrain

    Hi! So glad you brought up the “blueberry muffin of escape” theory. It actually did cross my mind but then I doubted the same trick would work in a maximum security prison; which Jane has to be in as he’s being charged with murder. As to your Red John theories, my opinion is closest to the second one. That Carter is an RJ recruit as he seemed delighted in his role as RJ. I too doubt he thought Jane would kill him 😉

  • All-I-need

    I didn`t actually mean that Jane would attempt to break out with the muffin (I`m sure they`re keeping a very close eye on him after last time and there are no mice to be seen). I simply meant that the muffin served as a reminder for Lisbon that Jane got out of jail last time and is therefore sure he will do so again – by being declared “not guilty” for example.

    He did seem oddly delighted. Probably loves psychological torture, which also explains why he kidnapped that girl and left her alive so she`d spend a lot of time being scared out of her mind. Poor girl. Also, every recruit seems to just LOVE RJ, so what higher reward can there be than being allowed to impersonate him?

  • Mary_N (@RobinTunneyBlog)

    Enjoyed your review as always!
    You said it all, really! 🙂

    I have to say that I liked this premiere, I agree on the fact that it seemed a bit rushed. Maybe it’s because we had a S3 finale of two hours that was very detailed, so this one hour premiere had a lot to tell in less time. I didn’t expect to see Jane out of jail so fast, and neither to see the trial over so fast. That’s the only point I didn’t enjoy that much. But I’m sure that we have to see still a lot, and we are just at the first episode 🙂

    What I absolutely loved in this episode was seeing the single characters, each on their own face the concequences of what Jane did. I saw some comments about Lisbon acting too soft towards Jane. My theory is that Lisbon knew since S1 that given the chance, Jane would have done what he finally did. She could have done something about it, like telling this to her superiors. But hey, it’s Lisbon we’re talking about! She always thought that she would have been there to stop Jane. Problem is, she was busy somewhere else. So I don’t see why Lisbon should have been shocked about what Jane did. She knew that since years. So instead of acting angry with him, she decided to be a friend, a true friend, and stand up for him once again. Jane is really lucky. And ofc the team too, did show that they are by his side no matter what. The team being there at the trial was very telling.
    That doesen’t mean that she will just let that go, and never address that with Jane, I’m quite sure the two will have to have another serious talk after.
    I loved the first scene between J&L. Subtle and amazingly acted. With every year, Simon and Robin just need to look at each other to convey all the feelings their characters have for one another, they are great!
    Loved too the reference of muffins, and eggs!
    I think eggs are for Jane like spinach are for Popeye LOL energy, while tea is for when he feels nervous, or needs to think/relax… muffins, well muffins are for the pleasure 😉

    Lisbon&Grace, how much I love those two I can’t say! I think those two have so much potential in their friendship’s bond! I loved how Lisbon used the word friend, for the first time with her. I’m sure Grace understood that, even if her answer wasn’t really showing that. At least she knows that her boss is there first as a friend and then also as a boss. I really hope we’ll have more of them during the season!

    About RJ: For some reason, I’m not disappointed that he’s still around. He is like a constant shadow, who really needs to change is Jane,and his way to face this shadow. So far he acted on an impulse, almost alone apart for the last part of the season, and what did he get? He killed the wrong guy. This guy wasn’t a saint, but neither is Jane. I really hope this did teach him a lesson, and who knows, sharing that information with Lisbon since the beginning might be already a sign that he wants to face things in a different way now. I really hope so.

    Well, my two cents. 🙂

  • Sassano

    RJ is dead people! What Jane meant when he said that RJ is not dead is that there is no evidence to prove that RJ is dead. Until he proves it himself, he can’t say RJ is dead (although he is). About the muffin.. he just asked for a muffin to suggest sarcastically that she gets him a muffin so he can escape. It was a joke.
    Those are all just my opinions, I could very well be wrong, but I’m sticking with these opinions until the episodes prove me wrong! XD

  • reviewbrain

    Interesting theory! Guess well find out on Thursday if RJ really is dead or not. Nice suggestion about the muffin. It woukd be very likelg he was joking especially if Lisbon knew its how he escaped last time. Thanks for commenting and welcome to the blog 🙂

  • reviewbrain

    I wasn’t either. I couldn’t understand fhy until I read your explanation; I don’t care about RJ. I care about Jane’s need to grow and develop. You explained it beautifully and I love your theory that Jane will realize his desire for revenge is only getting him in trouble. Thanks for sharing!

  • Sassano

    thanks! awesome review i should add!

  • windsparrow

    “-In the season three finale, we saw this woman run off after Jane killed Carter. We also saw Carter (at least I think we did) die immediately after he was shot.”

    We did see the woman run off. She is suspicious. As for Carter, we saw him collapse. I had the impression Jane shot him in the gut. Gut wounds tend to take a bit of time to bleed out.  

    “1-Why, oh why, couldn’t there have been a caption at Jane’s trial stating “one week” or “1 month” or any realistic time frame “later”? It would have given the trial much more credibility via passage of time.”

    The realistic time frame for the trial would be likely sometime in 2012. So the time frame was going to get screwed up anyway. Plus, we viewers who are inclined to think this way, can think that somehow the DA’s office were railroading Jane – possibly for more reasons than Ardile’s personal spite against the SCU, and Bertram’s stated desire to make it look better for the CBI. Have I mentioned lately that I think Red John isn’t so much a single killer as a whole cult or network of killers? I lean toward thinking that Tim Carter was the one who killed Jane’s family, but that Jane knows he did not truly take down Red John because so much of the cult is still out there, especially whatever mastermind is at the head of it. We should find out soon enough – at least I sure hope Lisbon drags the explanation out of Jane on screen in the near future.

    “Jane’s trial would have been the perfect opportunity to answer the many, many questions raised in season three (did Jane ever register his gun being one of them). I was so disappointed to see everything wrapped up so quickly.”

    I think the trial scenes were not fleshed out enough. Jane seemed to be attempting to do something rather like what that Erica person planned to do in “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” – be pretty and charming at the jury so they can’t bring themselves to send ’em to death row. The problem with that, is that Jane really did not seem like he was on his game – not his most charming. He would have done well (and maybe I’m giving him too much credit, but I really think the character should know this) to have emphasized in his address to the jury, “You have only my word on this, that the person I shot had a cell phone and a gun on him and that if they were not logged into evidence after the scene was processed, that those items were deliberately removed. One of the main witnesses who was first on the scene is dead, suicide – why kill himself? Guilt for tampering with evidence? Or was he actually killed to prevent him from verifying that part of my defense? The prosecution has not cooperated in investigating the possibility of tampering – is that because they are so truly upright that there is no question about it, or is that because they cannot bear to be exposed? Any case where evidence has been tampered with is a case with too much reasonable doubt. I’m not sure how possible it would be to show it in the time allotted on screen, but I think to do so, would require the writing skills of a Joss Whedon or other Mutant Enemy alumni – someone who can make every word count, and every phrase address multiple levels of meaning at once.

    I’m not even going to touch that conversation you had with your Inner Cynic 😉

    Anybody else notice the echo from “Red Hair and Silver Tape”:

    Grace Van Pelt: I don’t get it. She actually enjoyed helping him kill. One crazy, evil person I understand, but two? Husband and wife? Marriage is supposed to be a sacred, loving thing.

    Patrick Jane: Yeah, they were soul-mates in their own strange way.

    Sounds a bit like Tim Carter and his wife, dontcha think?

  • reviewbrain

    Great comments!

    I suppose an expedited trial was possible considering Bertram’s concerns to have everything wrapped up quickly. It’s pretty safe to say that most fans think RJ’s a cult. And Jane being railroaded due to forces within RJ’s group makes sense as well. Very good point. But even an expedited trial would have taken place later. I mean, like you pointed out, there was no time for any evidence exploration (that we saw).

    Jane not being on top of his game during the trial: A lot of fans thought this was the best scene in the episode; for some reason, I didn’t. Something about Jane’s delivery
    didn’t sit well with me. Jane sounded a bit weak. My cynic
    thought he was putting on a show, faking resignation to his
    fate to make the jury feel sorry for him. But that didn’t
    sound right; Jane seemed strangely unconcerned with his
    fate. Reading your comment that he was off his game
    describes him perfectly! It made me realize that Jane’s
    demeanor; his weak delivery could be because he’s lying to the jury! He *couldn’t* bring himself to be on top of his game! Either that or he was so depressed over losing RJ again that he was depressed (like in the season one finale). As to evidence, I wish to God the dialogue could have
    been as you said; full of evidence and pointing towards the cover up. And I always thought this show could use watching some CSI (and for this ep the Good Wife). But reading your comment, I remembered: Jane’s always been bad with evidence.
    He’d be even worse after the realization that he failed to
    capture RJ (either his family’s killer or the mastermind). So I think he stuck with the mantra/argument he’d prepared
    for himself so many years ago when he decided to shoot Red John; that he has a right to; because he was feeling either too guilty or too drained and depressed to come up with anything else. Red John is still out there, he’d set Jane up for murder. Jane lost.

    At least this is the frame of mind I think Jane was in which led to his half-hearted attempt at defending himself. He
    didn’t even look happy when he was exonerated; like he didn’t care any more. Only when Jane joined Lisbon at the car did he perk up a bit; like seeing her reminded him he
    needs to go on. Perhaps he recalled Lisbon’s season one
    scolding of him; her statement that people care about him.

    I have no idea if you agree with any of this, but thank you so much for your comment and the conclusion it led me too 😀

    As to the soul mate couple; you’re right. Does sound like
    the S1 ep. Here’s an idea: what if the reason Sally and
    Timothy are soul mates is because they met through Red John’s network?

    As to my cynic, just be thankful you don’t live with the jerk 😉

  • Rach

    Okay that was a satisfying review! Yay! I think the writers are feeding into the theory that Red John is more than one person or rather a collective. That’s just my thought (I had a flash back to Red John’s Friends).

    Liked the list of suspicious people. I’m suspicious of EVERYONE. Anytime anyone says anything I immediately think ‘Liar!’ I’m disturbed, I know. I also know someone on the jury is in cahoots with “Red John.” Or even perhaps the DA. I mean there were four people on Laroche’s list of suspects who killed Todd Johnson. Even though O’Laughlin was working with RJ, doesn’t mean the other three weren’t either. Plus O’Laughlin never explicitly say he killed Johnson.

    Ahhh, the theories!!!

  • Mary_N (@RobinTunneyBlog)

    One more thing that bugged me during the premiere: did I miss something or O’Laughlin wasn’t almost mentioned at all? I mean, they mentioned him cause they said no call was found to Carter. But, the fact that he shot Lisbon,and wanted to kill her and VP,HT,her kids? And what about his phone? Lisbon did a phone call from his phone, so unless it disapparead too, can’t they trace it? Check his contacts? FBI must check his life now or something like that. Or am I missing something? lol

  • windsparrow

    “But even an expedited trial would have taken place later. I mean, like you pointed out, there was no time for any evidence exploration (that we saw).”

    You are so right. I had so much to say, that I completely forgot to complete the thought there – Heller, et al., probably figured they might as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb – if they were going to make the viewers burn up some handwavium over the trial’s speed, it might as well be a short enough time period to include putting a lot of pressure on the SCU while they were suspended. As you pointed out, realistically speaking, even an expedited trial would require a couple months to get together.

    “Reading your comment that he was off his game describes him perfectly! It made me realize that Jane’s
    demeanor; his weak delivery is because he’s lying to the jury! He *couldn’t* bring himself to be on top of his game!”

    Okay, who was that character, and what did he do with our Patrick Jane? Historically speaking the man lies like a rug – an expensive antique Persian rug – with style and grace. It’s when he’s flat out telling the truth that he gets discombobulated. Ages ago, the man said he was out for justice, contrasted with Lisbon’s aim for the law. If I recall correctly that was not even in the context of his quest for Red John, rather it was for some other case. I refuse to believe he holds the ideal of trial by jury as so sacred that it would bother him in the slightest to work a jury to get a desired result. Sure, he appreciated Lisbon working the system in his favor by getting Culpepper’s case dismissed, but that would hardly cause him to suddenly revere the legal system such that he would feel guilty for sullying it himself. I really do not have a handle on why Jane was not On during the trial. Everything I do not like about that trial, I am chalking up to the fact that they only had three and a half (or however few) minutes to get the job done, so it just was not going to be satisfying any way they cooked it. Seriously, a time frame like that leaves me wishing for a Mentalist/Doctor Who crossover – either Ten or Eleven can talk fast enough and hard enough to manage to get away with that speedy of a trial.

    “As to my cynic, just be thankful you don’t live with the jerk’

    Your Inner Cynic seems kind of restful compared to all the Inner Voices I have going. Although lately they seem to have been joined by an Inner Patrick Jane – who mostly comes out when I’m making tea (or watching the Man of the House stew his tea, ugh) – which is kind of nice, actually.

  • reviewbrain

    Okay, to be fair Jane’s brother in law and Jane did say that he changed.

    But if you don’t buy that, what about the other possibility i mentioned that he was off his game because he was too depressed to put on his show? That he’s so crestfallen RJ escaped one again he can’t be on his game? I totally agree that 3+ whatever minutes is too short and that its impossible for any conclusion we come up with to be “right” because of that. but I honestly think Jane being sad is the reason for that scene now.

  • reviewbrain

    This is exactly why I wished the episode would be a two parter; so we’d have time for those questions to be answered. But I think they might be deliberately holding them back for later 😉

  • Connor Davey (@CJDavey)

    I felt they addressed O’Laughlin as much as they needed too in this episode. They did address the situation with his phone and the call off Lisbon – it was swapped at the scene whilst the gun was taken. Jane was old this by the detectives after he told them of O’Laughlin working for Red John. Also, he is indirectly addressed through Graces apparent grief and bitterness, along with Lisbon urging her to go to councelling and also Chos very blunt ‘you shot and killed your fiance 2 days ago, you can’t be fine.’ In terms of him shooting Lisbon I don’t see why they need to address that beyond seeing how Lisbon is (she’s recovering well.) What else could they do with that, he shot her, but he’s dead now. I think he will come up at points throughout the season, particularly in Grace’s therapy sessions.

  • reviewbrain

    True about Craig, but I think Mary has a point regarding tracing the call lisbon made from his phone, Hightower’s fate, and most importantly the gun. I wanna know if Jane ever registered his gun. I’m sure this stuff will come up later 🙂

  • windsparrow

    “But if you don’t buy that, what about the other possibility i mentioned that he was off his game because he was too depressed to put on his show?”

    Now, that seems more plausible to me. It almost seems like a post-holiday let-down. You know – it isn’t half as exciting to clean up and put everything away as it was to put the decorations up, cook all those favorite foods, pick out gifts. Especially if there was some particular present you were hoping to receive but did not, after the whole thing is over, you might feel like crap. And I suppose the whole quest for revenge must be getting kind of old for him. Being that angry takes a lot of energy. Eventually a body just runs out.

    On a side note, having just watched Princess Bride with my honey, I have decided that I shall henceforth refer to Red John as the Dread Pirate John.

  • violet

    Darn, only a few days out and you already managed to concoct such a fast, wonderful and clever review as well as to set an interesting discussion… I’m late! so let’s jump in! 🙂

    You wrote: “First question: How does Jane know Red John is still alive? I’m guessing the fact that no evidence whatsoever was found in Carter’s home to prove he was RJ was Jane’s first clue. Second, Carter’s MO (kidnapping a woman) is different than RJ’s (cutting them in their homes). Third, the fact that the first officer on the scene ended up dead, and the evidence which was taken from the crime scene makes it seem like someone is still messing with Jane, setting him up to go to jail. Like Jane, said, it would have been considered a victory to RJ.”

    I think Jane realized that the situation wasn’t right when he was “thinking” in jail: if it was the real Red John that he killed, why would RJ have had an accomplice at the mall? To watch his back? possible, but unlikely, since he had a gun. But if you suppose RJ has tricked Jane into shooting a double, it would explain that he needed someone to prepare the crime scene after the shooting. Jane was confident in his plan, he thought that he was “two steps ahead”, and at the end he finds himself in the situation that he can’t prove he didn’t killed an innocent neither than he’s not crazy; that’s so ironic that it must have been planned beforehand. Triple punishment for Jane: he would be in jail waiting for a probable death sentence, everybody who cared for him would think he’s insane, and, cherry on the top, he would guess that he had been played and that his archenemy is still free… Jane’d know it all and can’t prove it: that’s a too perfect ending of the game for RJ to be a coincidence. Hence the conclusion: the puppet master is still alive and scheming.

    Moreover how would RJ know that Jane was setting a trap precisely in the mall? Because if the guard (or even the waitress) worked for him, he needed to know that the scene would be taking place in the mall to be sure he had someone inside. And the only people beside the team knowing that Jane had an appointment with Bertram there were O’Laughlin (considering that Grace had certainly told him that detail along with the rest of the story) and… Bertram himself. Connor Davey is right, the man is still suspicious. After all, he could have testified that he thought Jane was “at the end of the rope” and help him get a better sentence instead of encouraging Oswald. What is worst for CBI image, an instable consultant who was pushed too far but who would attract some pity or a cold and crazy man, obsessed with revenge, who manipulated everybody and killed an innocent bystander? And don’t forget Jane helped to clear Hightower, that’s already bad for publicity, it would have been cleverer from Bertram to go easy on him at this point.

    Windsparrow said: “ Heller, et al., probably figured they might as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb – if they were going to make the viewers burn up some handwavium over the trial’s speed, it might as well be a short enough time period to include putting a lot of pressure on the SCU while they were suspended. As you pointed out, realistically speaking, even an expedited trial would require a couple months to get together.”

    Yes, although we don’t know for sure how much time passed between the discovery of the girl in the secret room and the trial, things certainly felt rushed. I wonder if it wasn’t made to deflect the tension that has been building up during the previous season and has culminated in the finale. If they want to lighten the atmosphere, they needed to be done with the trial, they couldn’t afford to have this Damocles’ sword hovering over his head. And no trial means no big revelation about the game with Red John still going on. Now that the scene has been somewhat cleared, we are ready for a change of mood and more funny moments. The quite abrupt conclusion of this chapter let us wanting for more, it’s the same rhytme than in the beginning of s2 and s3: a shocker ending and a fast return to (only apparent) normalcy; only apparent because in s2 Bosco took RJ case from them, in s3 Jane began distancing himself and now the team is threatened.

    About the phone: if Carter’s phone was taken, there is no way to prove that the last call made by Lisbon was directed to him. Moreover, there is a possibility that Carter’s phone had not been swapped: he could have had two phones in his possession, one reserved to RJ’s conversations with O’Laughlin, one for a normal use.

    Finally, nobody commented on the fact that Carter probably rapped the girl (she was handcuffed to the bed/ the wife was jealous of their so called relationship). So, he may have not been convinced of actual murder, but it was quite obvious he was going to kill her: he kidnapped a girl from his community, who knew him, sequestrated her in a place specifically hidden and furnished for this use (it had a bedroom), with his wife’s complicity, all the time pretending to search for her. No way was he going to let her go. The confortable rooms, his wife’s willingness and coldness and the organization of this crime also claims that it was premeditated and certainly too well-thought to be the first one. Everybody can guess they were doing it for a long time.

    I confess I have more thoughts about what you pointed out about Jane and Lisbon’s behavior and bond but it’s quite late and I need to organize them a little before summiting them to your penetrating eye. I guess I’ll leave it for next time! 😉 sorry for any typos/mistakes/idiotic comments… thanks for sharing!

  • windsparrow

    What if Jane did not really feel guilty for lying to the jury so much as for lying by omission to Lisbon (and by extension the whole team) but couldn’t bring himself to outright apologize to her?

  • Julie

    Okay I haven’t had time but to whip through the comments but I don’t think this idea has been mentioned.
    Jane didn’t seem upset by the fact that it wasn’t red john and I think this was for two reasons.

    First, once again he was able to foil red john’s plans. He hadn’t had much success since the first season finale on that score and now he is two for two. He was able to figure out O’loughlin just in time and then he was able to get out from under the red john’s back up plan by being set free.

    Second through out the series Jane as asked those who have sought revenge if it made any difference and he has received mixed replies but now he knows. He knows how if felt to kill red john and now it will determine whether the hunt continues to consume him or if the knowledge frees him.

  • reviewbrain

    Hi 🙂

    As to your first point, you’re absolutely right. But I doubt this victory will be much consolation to Jane. thwarting RJ doesn’t carry the same weight as thinking he’d killed him. Windsparrow’s comment and our subsequent discussion contain thoughts regarding this based on how apathetic Jane seemed during his closing argument.

    As to the second, wow. I never thought of that! I mean Jane always does ask perps if revenge is worth it. The answers were mostly varied but in season three, the idea that revenge sets you free was reinforced more often. Now that he got a taste of it, he has his own answer.

    Now that you brought my attention to it, isn’t it interesting that he didn’t answer Lisbon’s question on if he feels better? Even if RJ isn’t dead Jane had to have gotten his answer during the time he thought he’d finally gotten his revenge. So looking forward to discovering his answer. Though I have a hunch that if he had felt better he would have stated as such before telling Lisbon that it wasn’t over yet…

    Thanks for the great comments!

  • Mary_N (@RobinTunneyBlog)

    Re. about Craig:
    My point on O’Laughlin is different. I know he was mentioned by the officers who interrogated Jane, by Grace, and I know Lisbon is recovering well.
    My point is, that they didn’t tell anything about the fact that O’Laughlin, an FBI agent, shot two police officers (the two outside HT’s refuge), and almost killed other 5 people. They suspended Lisbon and her team for what they did, but no mention of the FBI investigating O’Laughlin’s life? Or even Bertram mentioning that? All he did was taking care that Lisbon was suspended, and Jane kept in prison for as long as possible. But he didn’t even mention the fact than one of his agents was almost killed by an FBI agent. Yes, he did visit Lisbon at hospital, but that wasn’t really a nice visit to make sure she was ok, wasn’t it?
    I’m just wondering why they seem to have forgotten to investigate Craig’s life, that’s all. Unless they will address this later in the series.
    And my point about his phone was that he must have phone numbers, contacts there, so they might still find something useful. Unless, of course, someone made it disappear.

  • reviewbrain

    I understand your concern. I fear some of these questions may be never answered or will take place “off screen” as there may not be time to delve that deeply into them. My hope, however, is that they are being held back to be addressed later. It would be so cool (and realistic) if there was a mention that the FBI is investigating Craig. It’s quite possible too; after all, the writers set him up there so nicely. Laroche probably sent the lighter to the FBI lab because he feared he couldn’t trust the CBI lab. Whatever happened to the evidence collected from it? Either Craig tampered with it (being in the FBI) or he was too good to leave any behind.

    It would be awesome continuity if he was investigated. And knowing Jane I’m sure he will 🙂

  • Mary_N (@RobinTunneyBlog)

    Exaclty! It’s not that I care that much about Craig, in fact I coudln’t stand him the minute he apparead on screen LOL (and I mean the character, not the actor!) but it would be as you say, way more realistic, given the fact that there’s always the murder of Todd.
    It would be good indeed for the continuity. 😉

  • Julie

    Some great comments but mainly writing here so I can check the notification boxes as I forgot when I commented.

  • reviewbrain

    Missed your comments! Welcome back 🙂
    I love your explanation of RJ’s plan. Perfect vindicative and cruel, just like him!
    You’re explanation of Bertram as still being a suspect makes total sense too; as does your theory on the pattern of the season openers Heller is using; giving very little information coupled with an anticlimax to have everything revealed later 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  • All-I-need

    I just came up with the thought that maybe Jane didn`t mention all the evidence missing, not because he is bad with evidence, but because he doesn`t WANT anyone else to figure out that he knows that RJ is still alive.

    From what we`ve seen on the show, only Jane and Lisbon know that, so of course he tried to not point out the fact that someone tampered with the evidence – such a thing could lead the jury (and everyone else in the room) to wonder WHY someone would do so … and who. The possible conclusion could be Red John. Jane is at an advantage right now, because RJ does most likely not know that Jane knows he`s still out there. God, this is confusing…

  • All-I-need

    From the way Jane looked like during his arrest and the drive in the cruiser, I figure he was still in shock after all that happend – so by the time he finally started to really realize what he had done (namely killing “Red John”) he was being informed that the gun had vanished and the phone had no call on it, thus making him realize RJ was still very much alive. Maybe he still doesn`t know what getting revenge feels like because all he had a chance to feel was the shock and numbness afterwards. Just a thought.

  • violet

    To All-I-need : you sure about the timing? 🙂 Jane was indeed in shock after the shooting and the news that the gun was missing was without a doubt another great blow. But he preferred to stay in jail, he told so in front on the judge (that he wanted to think things over. He didn’t even get a lawyer to defend himself) and to Lisbon (that he would take responsibility). He was obviously quite confused: the vanished gun was proof that someone has been messing with the crime scene, but I don’t think he already realized all the implications. In fact, he choose to get out of jail only after Lisbon told him that they were getting nowhere, after the team started to investigate. Suddenly, he seemed to realize they needed his help and managed to earn the money to get out. His attitude changed between the two discussions with Lisbon, from resignation to decision. I think he had his epiphany in-between, when he was already in jail, maybe in that scene when we see him from above, with Lisbon’s voice telling her guys that he was not crazy. But, once more with this show, it’s just a theory… 😉

    I also think he didn’t answer Lisbon about how he was feeling regarding revenge because he wasn’t nearly as relieved as he hoped he would be. You’re right all of you, at first he was numbed, but then for the first time in the show history, he mentioned consequences to deal with: as if he realized too late that this feeling was not so worth the cost. Because, he seemed resigned, not elated and victorious like Max Winter made it appear. And to realize he had moreover been tricked by RJ could only have added salt to injury.

  • Liv (@liv_einziger)

    I liked their exchange when Lisbon visited Jane in prison, I was really looking forward to it and I wasn’t disappointed. His smile when he sees her….
    His comment about living with the consequences also has to do with him still thinking he killed Red John, in my opinion. I agree that maybe they are becoming more like each other, but I also think that, while he still believes he has killed RJ, he is willing to accept the punishment. However, once he has already noticed that he killed the wrong man, he feels like he needs to get out, because the real Red John is still out there.

    I liked this episode’s portrayal of VP and how affected she was by all that happened. It was subtle, but was there. I like the change in her, how she’s not so naive anymore, “how do you know? A secret is, by definition, something you don’t know.” I also like the friendship between her and Lisbon.
    I agree with what you said about Grace’s sister; I don’t think she made that up at all, and maybe she avoided seeking help about that just so she wouldn’t have a psych sheet in her file.

    I also totally agree with all your pros and cons about RJ being alive!!!

    We are in perfect sync about this episode, I think. I also hated the trial and its incredibly surreal timeline… And also about Jane not being the tiniest bit upset that he killed a man. But it’s like you said; he had killed a man before and that was never addressed, so I wasn’t surprised this time. I don’t think there could be an explanation later for why this trial was so quick and easy, but I hope I’m wrong!

    Awesome review as usual! 😉

  • Sid

    The waitress seemed to me to be a RJ operative.

    Did anyone notice that she didn’t run away immediately like everyone else? After Jane shot Carter, she stood there until Jane called for the check, and that finally cued her that she wasn’t supposed to be there.

  • Bruce Messer

    Nobody has written about why the woman was being held prisoner in the cellar? I realise the woman had been kidnapped but for what purpose?

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