Mentalist Pretty Red Balloon Review


Synopsis

Consultant Patrick Jane (Simon Baker), Senior Agent Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney) and her team take the case of a missing boy, Conner, on the request of his mother Elizabeth Flynn (Kelli Williams). Beth is an old client from Jane’s psychic days and wants him to use his “powers” to help find her boy. Lisbon asks Jane to step back from the case as the psychic angle is complicating matters. Jane agrees but changes his mind when Beth’s current spiritual adviser Nate
Glass shows up. Jane is then caught between convincing Beth that he was never a psychic, discrediting her current psychic, while trying to find the missing boy before he is killed.

Concise Verdict:

Written by fan-favorite Ashley Gable, Pretty Red Balloon depicts the wondrous marriage of angst, humor, mystery, suspense, and, wait for it…morality, that made me fall in
love with this show. It also comes with the bonus of excellent guest stars, slyly superb direction, and so many references to previous episodes that my continuity radar blew up. Oh, yeah, and the whole cast was awesome especially (surprise surprise) Simon Baker. Do I really need to say it? 10/10.

Detailed AKA Humongous Analysis (spoilers galore)

It’s no secret that (one of the reasons) I love this show is how much it makes me think. But I confess after an entire season of suspense and intrigue I’m really starting to appreciate the more straightforward episodes  That is not to say they are less exciting or compelling. In fact, being kept in the loop of Jane’s schemes has it’s own rush as exemplified by the analysis below.

Very Important Scene (VIS) #1: Episode Opener- Jane/Lisbon/Van Pelt in the Bullpen

Jane tells Lisbon he’s not going to the CBI’s mandatory seminar, setting her on edge since she’d just gotten her job
back. It would have been a perfect opportunity for the more unforgiving fans to go on a “Jane is such a bastard, etc.” rant. But after Lisbon leaves, Grace Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti) and Jane’s exchange of “It’s good to have her back” lets the audience in on the fact that Jane is only teasing Lisbon out of relief at having his beloved boss back at work; his own way of welcoming her back, affirming her presence to himself and viewers.

Clarity is such a beautiful thing. Thanks to this scene I
didn’t have to spend the rest of the episode wanting to strangle the guy.

As to whether Jane will actually go the seminar:

VIS#2: Jane tries to Come Clean to Beth (again)

When Beth tells Jane she wants him and Nate to work together to save her son, Lisbon asks that Nate leave. When the trio
are alone, Jane once again tries to try and convince Beth that he was never a psychic, and that Nate isn’t either.

Jane: “I’m not a psychic, I never was. I was a con artist. I took your money, and I told you lies.”

-Baker’s delivery here was so emphatic, so purely un-apologetically honest. Jane in no way sugar coats what he did. This is very mature of him. Jane’s accepting the consequences of his actions might be one of this
season’s running themes
(‘Scarlett Ribbons‘).

But to no avail. Ironically, Jane was so good at lying, now that he’s telling the truth Beth refuses to believe him. She asks if he’s really not a psychic then why he’s working with the police. Lisbon explains: “Mr. Jane is working with us because he is an excellent investigator. He is going to be very helpful in this I promise.”

-I think this is the first time Lisbon ever gave Jane such a complete compliment. She’s acknowledged his talent before but usually in more reserved, at times even derisive tones: “He’s a pain in the ass but he’s usually right” or simply “He gets results” and “He closes cases”. Can this glowing
praise be that Lisbon is starting to respect Jane more? Or was she being nicer because she felt sorry for his undoubtedly painful predicament at coming clean to a former client? Hmm.

Beth states that she understands. At first Jane and viewers think that’s she’s finally gets it. But then she continues saying that Janes gift is such a burden that of course he has to deny it.

-When I heard this, I thought: it is a burden all right, but not it the way she thinks. I’ve said this before about Jane: genius is such a lonely place. Viewers may recall Jane’s brother in law, Danny from last season (Cackle Bladder Blood) whose unapologetic demeanor at scamming people out of their money was almost like he thought they deserved it. With such power as Jane’s, it’s easy to fall into using it for evil, into gathering money and adoration, rather than for good. Red John being the extreme example.

The scene gets even better. Beth goes on to say: “Even Saint Peter denied who he was three times”

-I went crazy with glee at this line. I can’t help but wonder if Religion skeptic Jane realizes the irony of his being compared to a Saint. Does he find it insulting or hurtful?. He’s obviously disturbed (maybe annoyed? ashamed?) by it as he quickly interrupts Beth, his tone hard as steel, stating that “There are no such things as psychics”.

But to no avail. Beth pleads with him to not deny his gift, no matter how hard it must be. She begs him, reaches out her hands to him, crying out his christian name and all Jane can do is stand there and take this undoubtedly punishing spectacle silently as Lisbon tries to calm down the frantic crying mother.

-Phenomenal acting all around.  Viewers can just see Jane’s agony in Baker’s eyes as the rest of him is very, very still. Meanwhile, Tunney makes Lisbon’s concern and attempts at calming Beth down seem like she’s trying to protect Jane from the pain she knows the woman is unwittingly inflicting on him. Finally, Williams is picture perfect as the desperate mother grasping at straws to save her son.

VIS #3: Grace and Rigsby at CBI

Before questioning witnesses/possible suspects, Van Pelts states sarcastically that they might be better off using Beth’s psychic, Nate Glass. Rigsby, surprised, asks: “I thought you liked that spiritual stuff, what about your cousin Yolanda?” Grace then points out “Yolanda is real, that guys’ a fake.”

-CONTINUITY, PEOPLE!

Ahem. I love this exchange, obviously, for the continuity it provides as well as what it tells us about Van Pelt. Grace has always been a woman of strong convictions. Her psychic cousin was first mentioned in the ‘Pilot’ when she got into a somewhat heated and powerful discussion with Jane over whether real psychics exist or not. It is nice to see that despite everything that happened to her Grace still maintains her beliefs. While some may see her as being gullible, I actually think this shows strength of character. I have always loved Grace’s ability to stand for her beliefs and I’m so glad she didn’t lose that. This scene is also quite clever in that it allows the show to remain objective and respectful to members of its audience who do believe in psychics.

Finally (and I’m not sure if this was intentional or not) but reminding the audience of the pilot sets the stage for another issue discussed there and is readdressed later in this episode (more on that later). Talk about multitasking.

VIS #4:  Jane Confronts Nate Glass; Lisbon and Jane

After Glass pretends that he’s contacted Beth’s son, Jane approaches him, remarking that Glass is “not great, but pretty good”. Glass responds it’s a gift. Jane points out that as he was once a fake psychic himself, he wouldn’t ask Glass to back off, except that a child’s life hangs in the balance. Glass won’t take the hint and says that’s why he’s here to help to which Jane responds: “You don’t want to push me. Back off this woman. Get out of here right now or you’re going to regret it.”

-Yikes! It’s always exciting to see hardball Jane come out to play. It usually happens in matters related to Red John (with Bosco when the Red John case was taken away, and Stiles when the visualize leader brought up Red John to rattle Jane). Another instances was during Jane’s run in with another psychic Ellis Mars (Red Moon). Mars had the misfortune of getting on Jane’s bad side when he tried to cold read him.

While in the above examples Jane’s anger seemed to stem from being affronted personally (he especially enjoyed vindictively putting Ellis Mars in his place) the purpose behind his threats here seems altruistic. Jane cares about Beth and her son. The only possible ulterior motive Jane may have here is his desire to right previous wrongs. He can hardly be blamed for that.

Nate refuses to back down. He tells Jane: “I can understand your frustration. You had the vision and you lost it and I can’t think of anything more horrible.”Jane tells him that he’s got a lot of nerve; and that maybe, more than just a fraud, he’s the kidnapper too. Lisbon joins them to state that she’s already checked out his alibi during the previous abductions.

-Love the easy transition here and how Lisbon took the initiative to have Glass checked out. It’s nice that after working so long together her and Jane’s thought processes are so close they are almost identical at times. Another possible running theme this season; how in sync these two are.

Lisbon, noticing Jane and Glass’s obvious contempt for each other tells Jane that they don’t have time for a feud. She adds “It’s like you’re conscience is battling your old self there’s no upside.” Jane replies “you think that’s why I’m here? That’s intriguing.”

-Yes it is. So is Jane’s reply. Either Lisbon’s comment hit the spot and he’s surprised she read him so well, or Jane himself didn’t realize that’s what he was doing until she pointed it out to him. Or perhaps Jane is intrigued by the fact that Lisbon thinks he has a conscience. Again, It’s a far cry from her usual derisive statements regarding his character. I’ve pointed out in other reviews that despite his seemingly huge ego and strong exterior, Jane has an insecure streak and actually does care what Lisbon thinks of him. CJDavey shared a similar opinion in the “Little Red Book” comments when he stated that Lisbon’s “What does that make you” statement (about how as an honest person she’s a terrible liar) seemed to bother Jane. Perhaps this is why Jane is intrigued. That despite Lisbon’s usual disapproving stance regarding his character, she actually sees the moral dilemma he’s facing now as expressed by him wanting to oust Glass as the fraud he is.

Thoughts?

VIS #5: End Scene : progress in the Jane/Lisbon’s friendship

Last season I stated that of the two characters, Jane was the more emotionally invested in their friendship and made more overtures at connecting emotionally (‘Bloodstream‘, ‘Every Rose has its Thorn‘, and ‘Jane/Lisbon moments‘). I’ve also wished that Lisbon would let go of some of her strict professionalism and open up more both to her colleagues and to Jane. I’d gotten my wish somewhat in the Season three finale as well as in this season premiere when Lisbon started addressing her colleagues by their first names and reaching out to them as friends. This scene shows that she’s starting to become more friendly with Jane as well.

It starts when Jane explains to Beth how he was able to trick her stepson Jonathan into thinking Jane knew where he was keeping Conner.  But before Jane starts the explanation he looks briefly at Lisbon (almost as if for guidance) and she gives him an encouraging nod.

I loved Lisbon’s support here. It’s continuity to the idea expressed by Jane’s video interview (in Every Rose) that he needs someone strong, someone better than him. At the time I wished Lisbon would realized what he needed was someone to guide him. It seems this theme will be explored further this season. First, Jane told Bertram explicitly that Lisbon was a good influence on him, and in this episode, they share a nonverbal exchange where Jane takes a cue from Lisbon.

Just as wonderful is how, as Jane gets into his explanation to Beth, Lisbon continues to gaze upon him with something very close to affection and possibly even pride.  Usually it’s Lisbon who’s on the receiving end of such looks from Jane so it’s nice to see the opposite.

Lisbon looks especially pleased by Beth’s contention that although Jane lied to her all those years ago, she is happy because he’d given her hope.

And if looks are not enough to show Lisbon’s growing regard, then her pep talk to Jane is.

When Jane and Lisbon leave the house she tells him: “Cheer up.”

-Lisbon’s direct approach here is a far cry from her awkwardly offering to let Jane drive the car in ‘Red Brick and Ivy’.  In that episode, Jane asks Lisbon if he really looks so sad; unintentionally embarrassing her when he calls her out on her awkward yet sweet attempt to cheer him up (she never lets him drive).

Here, Jane first tries to cover his melancholy, saying he is cheered. Lisbon, unconvinced goes on: “You heard her, you gave her hope.”  Jane’s reply is a (gasp!!!) self-deprecating (GASP!!) admission that he didn’t give Beth hope, he sold her hope; hence acknowledging that he does in fact feel bad. Lisbon tells Jane that she thinks hope is worth it at any price.

-I don’t know what surprises me more. The fact that Lisbon is unabashedly going out of her way to try to make Jane feel better or his admitting being down (as opposed to his telling Lisbon all last season that he’s fine).

I think this is the easiest personal discussion these two have ever had. Even Jane’s subsequent teasing Lisbon, asking her if she’s running for office now, is like his way of establishing equilibrium. It’s almost like he’s saying “thanks for the concern but I honestly feel okay now.” Lisbon takes the hint and easily falls back into their normal banter, telling him “Okay, you know what, you’re a wicked charlatan and  you’re going to hell then.”

Jane’s reply? “That’s more like it I’ll save you a seat by the fire.”

-Remember how I said in VIS #3 that Van Pelt’s reference to her cousin could be an indirect way of reminding viewers of the pilot? This scene here is why I thought that. Because in the pilot Jane said “There is no afterlife.” But he doesn’t say that here. In fact, when Lisbon tells him she’s not going to hell, he jokes that she’s made other arrangements and asks her where she’s going. Lisbon then challenges “Do you really want to have this conversation? Ready for some little theological talk here?” Jane then admits that he doesn’t and Lisbon continues teasing him “I thought you wanted to feel better, not worse”.

Now I’ve previously raised the issue that Jane may no longer be as agnostic as he once seemed. In the Strawberries and Cream finale review, I stated (in relation to the scene where a bomb-strapped Lisbon prays):

The fact that guarded Lisbon is praying in front of skeptic Jane really underlines the gravity of the situation. As does the fact that Jane doesn’t mock her for doing so. He even goes as far as saying he’d do the same if he could. This statement simply blew me away; as I’m sure it did Lisbon if the shock on her face is any indication.  It is not clear at this point whether Jane is starting to believe in a higher power or whether Lisbon’s been rubbing off on him. But that is not the point. What does matter is that he’s gotten close enough to Lisbon to respect her beliefs in spite of his own apparent lack of faith. For a control freak like Jane, this is huge. Unless the reason for his tolerance is that he himself is starting to want to believe. And then we have another chicken-egg scenario. Don’t you love when writers give us those?

I even set up a poll regarding the matter where readers voted:

What’s interesting here is that while Jane told Gupta in Strawberries and Cream that he likes a good theological debate” here he’s shying away from having one with Lisbon.  Perhaps killing a man in cold blood has served to somehow make him reconsider his stance on religion.

Personally, I always thought the Jane’s refusal to believe in the afterlife is due to a masochistic desire to deny himself any ease which may come from thinking that his wife and daughter have “gone on to a better place”. I also think he fears, on some level, that his family was taken away from him as divine retribution for all the people he conned. But that’s just a pet theory and I readily admit it has no basis whatsoever other than Jane’s ego and my feeling that he doth protest too much.

So what do you guys think now?

Best Scenes:

This whole episode was a best scene. It’s ridiculous to ask me to choose one. But this is me trying:

Best Scene: Jane comes clean to Beth

See VIS#1 for details.

1st Runner Up: Jane’s psychic read

Before Beth leaves the CBI Jane goes to bid her farewell. He grabs her hand to shake it, and then proceeds  to fake one of the best psychic reads of all time, all in the presence of Beth’s current psychic Nate.

-There are no words for how awesome this scene was. Jane’s performance, Lisbon artfully joining him in the act; his holding her hands, saying in a shaky voice “Lisbon, I don’t like this, I don’t like this”; I was smiling the whole time especially when he falls on the ground (a cue to Lisbon no doubt) which she follows, giving him a slap to come to his sense. Jane does and afterwards begs Beth to not touch him again; feigning fear that she’ll trigger another episode.  Lisbon then does her part of ordering everyone to search the area Jane’s vision described. When everyone leaves, Jane stands up and tells Nate with a poop-eating grin “That’s how you do I psychic read”.

I just burst out laughing.

Jane then walks into Lisbon’s office (leaving Nate silently seething behind) and shuts the double office doors behind him. Fantastic. The master, the magician, Patrick Jane has left the building😀

So good!!

And this is why Simon Baker deserves an award. Not because he can do drama (though he’s fabulous at that too, see 1st best scene); many actors do drama. But how many can do all that other stuff in between. You know, acting like a fake psychic, who doesn’t believe in psychics then puts on such a fabulous show isn’t “just another workday” for actors. I’m just saying.

2nd Runner Up: Jane Lisbon End Scene

See VIS #6 for details.

Icings on the Cake:

Master Cho: Once the team starts suspecting a serial kidnapper, Agent Kimball Cho (Tim Kang) gives Grace and Rigsby the low down on how the case is going to be worked now. Love the assertion that this man has seniority over the rest of the team. Also really like how Rigsby and Van Pelt just followed his orders without question. This team is a well oiled machine and I’m so glad they’re back. Chemistry between Kang, Yeoman and Righetti is really fun.

Cop Lingo:

The point 1, 2, and 3, 4 corners or whatever jargon Lisbon used when giving the team their locations was such a sweet touch of realism.

Wayne and Grace

Love how Grace and Wayne are interacting so naturally together. He asks her if she’s okay after shooting a suspect and she jokes that she’s starting to enjoy killing people. I wonder if Wayne is waiting for cues that Grace is over her fiancee to make a move. Or if he’s finally moved on to the point where he can be her friend despite his saying last season (‘Like a Red-Headed Stepchild’) that he can’t.

Honorable Mentions:

The casting of the Mentalist is usually superb and quite a few big guns were brought in this episode. Todd Grinnell as the unlikely perp was quite effective and even manages to be somewhat sympathetic. The first suspect Gary (David Bowe) was also very good; relatively benign at first then freakily violent later ( is it just me or did he remind anyone else of Steve Buscemi?)  and Brain McNamara was excellent as Beth’s protective and unyielding older brother. As to Kelli Williams; to this day the memory of Lindsay’s (William’s) impassioned defense of the nun-killer in The Practice, and her subsequent agony and tears when she won the case; setting the killer free gives me goosebumps. She can now add Beth’s desperate pleas for her son’s life in this episode to her list of moving roles.

Simon Baker: Really? You need to ask? Read the previous 7 pages worth. Better yet, watch the episode. But amongst the things I didn’t mention was the scene where Nate Glass talks about how Beth’s son made contact with him. Baker was fabulous showing Jane’s barely restrained annoyance. Honestly he was so angry I half expected that for the first time we might see Jane actually get violent.

Robin Tunney: Tunney really broke my heart in the opening scene where Lisbon first orders Jane, then pleads with him to go to the  seminar. Her glare is always a joy too. But she really shone in this episode while questioning Beth. Ms. Tunney is the only one actress I’ve ever seen who can make accusing a mother of killing her son to inherit his money seem not cruel and insulting. Then there’s her comforting Jane and all the concerned looks she throws him that show that maybe Lisbon is becoming as attached to Jane as he is to her.

Best Lines

“Amen.”- Jane reply to Glass’s fake “Halleluiah”

“You should have gone to jail you miserable sleazebag.” Deke (victim’s uncle) to Jane. Love the reference to Jane’s killing Timothy Carter and his trial. Lovely, realistic continuity.

“Well, nice to meet you too. Not sure I’m a sleazebag, miserable–” Jane, in response to above. Jane is usually happy enough to concede to insults he thinks he deserves. Interesting he chose not to comment on the “should have gone to jail” (ambivalence? Guilt?) and chose instead to comment on the “sleazebag” accusation (really doesn’t fit him, does it?) before starting to comment (and possibly agree) to the “miserable”.

“Oh you should have seen me ten years ago.”-Jane to victim’s uncle when he asks him what’s wrong with him that he treats people so horribly. This reinforces the idea that Jane has changed (as he’d stated in Cackle Bladder Blood) and also shows that Jane sees his brutal honesty as being nicer than fake kindness.

“There’s no need to be cranky”-Jane to Lisbon. Whenever Jane calls Lisbon grumpy, or cranky I get all warm inside.

“I was thinking love is strange. And I was thinking about a sandwich.

“Mr. Glass. Nice to finally meet you. And you got no action, you’re a disgrace to the profession. That contact you made with Connor? Weak, weak.” –I love when Jane turns his taunting onto someone who actually deserves it 🙂

If you liked this review, please rate it, and leave a comment to share your own thoughts .

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19 responses to “Mentalist Pretty Red Balloon Review

  • wn

    Nice review. Thanks for giving me some new points to think about.

    I knew there was a very good reason I watched this episode twice, and enjoyed it both times. You mention the acting, and yes, it has been phenomenal this year. It’s as if the entire cast has upped their game. Even the Rigsby VanPelt interactions seem real to me and are enjoyable. I never liked them in the past, because they seemed fake somehow.

  • All-I-need

    You covered everything I would`ve liked to say in that review of yours, except for one tiny little thing:

    The look on Jane`s face when Beth simply refused to believe him. I know, you mentioned it, but to me he looked like he really wished he could bang his head against the wall/table/whatever. Poor guy, there he spent so much time trying to make Beth believe he was a psychic, only to have his own efforts come back to bite him in the ass. Loved the way he bluntly kept telling her the truth.

    That psychic reading? INGENIOUS! By the end of it I was laughing SO hard. “That`s how you do a real psychic reading” Hahaha!

    I was actually hoping we`d get to hear something about Jane`s family, since Beth knew him from back then and it`s been established that Jane had (some of) his clients visit him at his home. I thought maybe Beth actually met his family and might comment on them, apart from the “I heard they were murdered, I`m sorry.” She obviously didn`t even knew he had a family until she read about the murder.

    Oh, and I just remembered another reason why Jane might not want to believe in the afterlife: Maybe he is afraid that his family will end up in heaven while he himself is condemned to hell, thus making a reunion entirely impossible for (literally) ever. I guess he`d rather believe there is no such thing as an afterlife than face the thought of never ever seing them again. If he`s “gone” after his death, then at least he won`t feel the pain anymore.

    Apart from that: I simply loved this episode. Hilarious, brilliantly acted and simply amazing.

    Thanks for your great review!

  • Fiona Henderson (@ginger_ninja24)

    Ashley Gable’s episodes are among some of my favourite episodes in the series (Red Badge, Russet Potatoes, Strawberries and Cream Pt1 ) because they provide the right mix of all the elements you alluded to in the start of the review.

    One thing that really caught my eye in this episode was the direction. I loved the transition between Jane sitting in Conner’s room in the present and that same room ten years ago. (Honourable mention for Simon’s “ten years younger hair” in that scene :P) Also in the scene where Rigsby and Van Pelt were questioning that guy, the scene seamlessly changed between the two of them and it just added to the overall polish of the episode.

    I felt another important scene of the episode was the one in which the team went to capture Walton. Mostly because of the awesome moment where Van Pelt saved Lisbon by shooting Walton. I actually cheered a little bit! It was so nice to see Van Pelt actually out in the field, proving she’s more than just someone who answers the phones and stays at her desk. More importantly from a character point of view, it allowed for the brilliant exchange between her and Rigsby when she teased him. I loved that scene because we saw a little bit of fiesty, funny Van Pelt🙂 I’m not sure whether this is purely a ‘calm before the storm’ thing or if Van Pelt is going to come out of her shell in the coming episodes. Thought the reference to her cousin Yolande was perfect, i really appreciate continuity on shows like this!!

    Agree with your comments re Lisbon and Jane’s non-verbal communication and general interaction with each other in this episode. It was most prounced in the second to last scene(as you pointed out) where Jane is constantly glancing to Lisbon, almost looking for encouragement. The direction in this scene was also clever as we only got to see Lisbon’s face when Elizabeth said “you gave me hope” and when she hugged Jane, which were arguably the most important parts of the scene.

    Another nice ‘non-verbal’ moment was the scene just before the main titles when Jane re-enters the house solely with the intention of messing with Glass. Robin played this scene to perfection with her almost robotic turn and rigid walk up the stairs. The resigned look on her face was also priceless and a nice little reinforcement of the constant struggle she faces to keep Jane in line. It also ties into the first scene where Jane is trying to get out of going to the seminar.

    Did you see the tweet from @mentalistwriter which said that Simon and Robin improvised some of the final scene? Rewatching the scene with that knowledge is fascinating because i’m trying to guess where they go off script! Admittedly the accent slip from Simon does kind of give the game away but i’m so glad we got to see this take. The chemistry between the two in this scene really was on fire.

    What was interesting for me on the first viewing was when Lisbon mentioned having a ‘theological debate’ that immediately made me think back to the scene with Gupta in Strawberries and Cream. Ashley Gable also wrote that episode so if that was in the original, unimprovised script it can’t be a mere coincidence!

    I’m looking forward to the introduction of the new boss next week, although i’m still mourning the loss of Hightower so he may take some getting used to!

  • Anne

    I just found your blog and I love it! It´s so refreshing to read such detailed thoughts on the show I love. Keep up the wonderful work!

    My favorite moment of the episode was the exchange between Rigsby and Van Pelt. It was so touching to see the care and concern he has for her and she was able to tease right back. I was surprised though that they gave her the biggest gun in the shootout. It seemed a bit strange, seeing that she shot her fiancé that she´d be the one handling the biggest weapon but she did handle herself well (and kudos to Righetti for a nice performance). And the scene where Cho and Van Pelt save the little kid is wonderful. So nice to see them get action (generally Lisbon is the one running around) and it felt like a redemption for Van Pelt to save a life, not destroy (which she obviously did out of self-defense).

    Thanks for your wonderful reviews!

  • windsparrow

    I’m going to lead off with something that I have said before, in a discussion elsewhere regarding whether Jane himself is a sociopath. Probably said it here too, after all why not reuse good material?

    Jane is, unlike his father, in possession of a rudimentary sense of morality. It is pretty much based upon “Jane takes care of his own”. Having lost his family, and getting plugged into a different kind of family with the Serious Crimes Unit and their mission to bring wrongdoers to justice, Jane’s definition of “his own” has been expanding – somewhat to his chagrin, I believe. This episode highlights how someone he once used in order to take care of the old, narrower definition has now been folded into the new, expanded definition of those he feels compelled to protect. I do wonder how much of this is because of his bond with Lisbon, and how much of it is due to the more general circumstances of his life, his more recent career path, and the maturity that he has gained.

    What I see in the final banter between Lisbon and Jane, is that he fully accepts her faith as something above what his former clients had for his psychic gifts. It is a faith that he can respect – whether or no he ever develops any of his own. His “I’ll save you a seat by the fire” comment was adorable – and (to the delight of this shipper’s heart) indicates that he sees some permanence in their friendship (Ok, yeah, honestly I get that it was not in the least romantic or flirty – just fun and very cute.)

  • reviewbrain

    Wow. Thank you for your comment. Really interesting take on why Jane doesn’t want to believe in afterlife. Of course he’d assume that he’s going to hell (despite all appearances, he doesn’t think much of himself) while its easy to assume wherw his wife and daughter would be in his mind considering how much (i assume) he idolozea them.
    Really interesting theory that the thought he won’t see them in the afterlife is what is spurning his disbelief!

  • reviewbrain

    Thank you for sharing all the points you liked about the episode. I’m glad mentioned Tunney’s acting in the opener as well as your elaboration on the direction. You reminded me about a scene I forgot to mention; when grace enters the bullpen with news that Gary is one of the users of the website users she suspected, the camera is on Lisbon’s face as he looks at photos but if you look behind her, you can see Jane slipping the note in Rigsby’s pocket. This was what I meant by “sly direction”😉
    I only noticed it th second time I saw the episode!

  • reviewbrain

    Welcome to the blog! Thank you for elaborating on Rigsby and Van Pelt. Also, you’re right, it is refreshing to see the heroics being spread around, especially to Grace who could use a dose of self-satisfaction after what she’s been through. Having her save Lisbon’s life and finding the child will help her move on feomnher tragedy, I think.

  • reviewbrain

    Actually, you have a point in that Jane even joking about being with Lisbon in the afterlife says something about how close they’ve become. or maybe, as I think he idolizes her on some level (and I do think she represents his salvation) he wants her to offer *him* a seat in heaven. Now who’se being being all fanciful😉

    Great thoughts about Jane and his dad. I do think Jane views “his people” with a different lens than others. If it were someone other than Lisbon for example talking about the afterlife insult he would have been as indulging in his commments. And by association, Beth a s a former client is also his. Really lovely theory that completely fits his character.

  • Mary_N (@RobinTunneyBlog)

    Awesome review!
    And awesome episode, that’s why I always said that Ashley Gable is my favourite writer, ’cause I think that she writes the best Jane/Lisbon.

    I don’t have much to add to what you said, since you summarized very well my thoughts as well.

    I read around that some people weren’t happy with the general lighter note of the episode. I found it refreshing instead. I don’t want to have 23 just dark episodes. I know that Jane and Lisbon will probably have to face issues about RJ later the season, so I just want to enjoy their funny moments together for now, thank you very much. xD
    And The Mentalist is also fun and humor, so I loved the initial scene, with VP enjoying J/L banter, she was really having fun lol But those two are just adorable when they banter. More adorable are also her “I could kill you with my bare hands” glares.
    Knowing also that the final scene was an idea of Simon & Robin makes it even more special in a way. Those two inhabit their characters so well now, that their characters’ banters come out so natural.
    It’s sweet that Jane would save a seat in hell for Lisbon, how romantic lol xD

    One on my favourite moments was also the whole team in action (more of that please!), and just want also to mention that I find Lisbon calling Rigsby “Rigs” just adorable🙂
    VP shooting the man was a bit “scary”, her look was so cold, but also very determined, not to mention that she saved Lisbon for the second time. I also found Lisbon very nervous during the whole team in action scene. Sure, a crazy guy was shooting at her team, but I found her really nervous. Probably memories of Craig’s shooting are still vivid.

    Well, I really don’t have anything more to add, I should probably quote your entire review, but better not to make this post too long😉
    Looking forward to this week’s episode!

  • violet

    Excellent review! I love how well you enlightened the running themes in this new season (to take responsibility, how they’re in sync, Lisbon’s influence in guiding Jane). Very well done!🙂 And yes, Jane seems to become used to admitting that he feels bad: he already told her felt guilty after the trial. What a contrast with the previous season beginning!!!
    Just a minor addition: the conclusion where they leave chatting is an exact inversion of the opening; in both scenes they banter, he irritated her/ she’s comforting him, he read her feelings (she’s under pressure from the highters)/ she reads his. Just to further point out how well thought this episode was!😉

    About Van Pelt’s heroic moment, she seems to begin to come to terms with killing her fiancé: she didn’t hesitate before shooting the guy. She became more independent too: she didn’t answer when Lisbon was asking her if she was in place, probably because the bad guy too would have heard her voice. Instead, she takes upon herself to come behind him. It may show that she’s beginning to play the lone ranger (her joke about beginning to enjoy shooting people could be a hint), but, more probably, she’s become stronger and more mature.

    I’m not totally convinced that Jane’s stance on religion has shifted. Sure, his guilt certainly hints that he considers the loss of his loved ones as a retribution for his sins: that’s a definite possibility. However, I think this guilt and his “masochistic desire to deny himself any ease which may come from thinking that his wife and daughter have ‘gone on to a better place’”, as you said, only support his skepticism. He used to work in the after-life business, after all: he knows all too well the tricks used by many makers of belief, just like an actor knows what’s happening behind the scene. I think he cannot therefore admit there is any kind of belief that isn’t based on some deception (psychics, including Kristina who he dated, Visualize, religion,…). Moreover, it’s rather hard not to notice that Jane has a problem with authority, he cannot even recognize Lisbon as his boss… now him admitting there is a power above him? Jane, the genius, the control-freak, admitting that there is a power beyond his control, that he in fact controls nothing? Hum, maybe still a little far-stretched, I think, even after spending so much time with Saint Teresa… His atheism is part of him, it comes from his personality as much as his experience.
    Still, there is undeniably an important theme opened since his visit at the cemetery with Danny: you’re right, it’s like he’s now searching more for redemption than revenge. And his reaction when he heard that it was sad that Carter’s body has not been claimed was powerful, it was a far cry from his usual disrespect with corpses; something has shifted, that’s obvious, he seems to realize that there is something beyond his goal, and that is a price to pay (ending up in jail or dying alone, since it could very well have been him in that drawer). He has gained more depth. So I think he’s becoming more… humble, for lake of a better term, he has realized that he cannot have an absolute control on events and that he too can be played. After what happened, with Lisbon’s support, he has reached a form of peace of mind now that he’s no more so blindly bent on revenge. Hence the respect for honest Lisbon, the growing (but relative) tolerance. He can accept religious feelings from her, but that doesn’t mean he would with someone else. So, more than saying that his opinion about religion has changed, I’d say he’s more peaceful about it, he doesn’t use it anymore to vent his anger with himself, his grief and his guilt… (I hope that makes sense)

    keep up the good work!🙂

  • All-I-need

    While reading your comment a thought just came to me: What if the comment on how sad it was that no one claimed Carter`s body made Jane wonder if anyone would claim HIS body if/when he dies?

    We already know he does not actually have anyone except the team, but given his insecurity maybe he`s afraid that he`s not important enough to them and thus they (especially Lisbon) wouldn`t claim his body. That must be a pretty scary thought. I`m sure he`d like to be burried next to his family.

  • violet

    Yes, he probably wondered then if someone would have claimed his own body if it were him who died after that fateful encounter. I’m not so sure that he would absolutely want to be buried next to his family (he didn’t seem until now very keen on visiting their graves), Jane was never very respectful of the dead, that not the important point. I think it’s more about what would be left of his memory: Carter’s body wasn’t claimed not because no one cared about him, since his wife seemed to love him in her own wicked way, but because she was arrested and died. His daughter is too young, she won’t even remember him after a few years. Nobody among his friends and the members of his community (priest included) though he would be worth claiming: Carter lived loved and respected, but he died as an abject criminal. That would give some thinking to do for someone like Jane, who spends his life deceiving people, lying, and, even now, pissing off everybody who crosses his path. Even more since Carter’s family resembled so much his own from the outside, a wife who was very close to him and a young daughter: so just like Carter, he would depend exclusively on his friends to be buried and remembered. Hence the look of realisation on his face in front of the corpse and maybe his tolerance for Lisbon when she claims that he has a “conscience” and jokes about him ending up in hell: if she believes that he has a conscience, that he isn’t completely bad, she would do what need to be done after his death. She would stick by his side, should he be alive or not.

  • Julie

    Excellent review and love all the comments. Not sure I can add anything else. I also admire how he steadfastly owned up to his past although I think he also found it uncomfortable as he quickly agreed to leave. I can’t believe he thought it was for the best as no matter the obstacles he would know the boy would be found quicker with him there.
    I’m loving all his ‘I’m going to cause trouble’ smiles, they were in very short supply last season, my son is going to be so happy.
    Also I bet it was some improv by Simon the way he through himself onto the couch after the pysch reading.
    Finally what a joy it is to witness Simon’s acting every week.

  • reviewbrain

    The “Rigs” was adorable! And I too am very pleased to have the lighter episodes. Last season was awesome but dark compared with the shows usual formula; humorous episodes intercut with darker ones. I, like you, plan on enjoying these happy episodes while they last.🙂 Love your joke of the romance of him saving her a seat in hell. Also, thanks for pointing out how scared Lisbon seemed when the team was moving in on Gary’s home and how that fear might be a result of her getting shot recently. 🙂

  • reviewbrain

    I agree Jane leaving quickly was odd; as you said most likely due to his being uncomfortable. Though i think he still would have helped; just from the sidelines this time. I love those smiles too-your son seems like he has a great sense of humor😉 Also, just plain missed
    Jane’s smiles in general from last season it’s so nice to see him happy; him *and* Lisbon. Though we know its bound to be shortlived as soon as RJ pops up his ugly head once more…

  • reviewbrain

    Actually, all the statements you use to argue why he won’t believe are exactly why I think he actually might, especially coupled with the fact that, as you said, he’s becoming more humble. Yes he’s arrogant, but that just shows why he wouldn’t *want* to believe not that he actually doesn’t. The knowledge that he may be someday judged has to be terrifying for him. What I find interesting is that Jane ne’er outright stated that he doesn’t believe in God, just the afterlife. I don’t really care one way or another, unless Jane’s increased tolerance towards religion is symbolic of him achieving peace, which I think it is; as shown by the increased allusion to the topic and related elements.

  • PJaneLoke

    I agree with you on this one! This is how I feel too… that Jane is worry he will be separated with his loved one even in after life.

  • hprox92

    I LOVE this blog. You write the most insightful and wonderfully detailed reviews about these episodes and I’m usually nodding and cheering at alot of the things you point out. You’ve basically made points on everything I loved about this episode so theres not much to add.

    One thing I can’t help cheering at is the fact that Jane is back to using his couch all the time! No more dusty, old roof isolated from the team and Lisbon. Yay! And it reminds me of Jane’s adorable little stretch right after his fake psychic reading and the way he just closes the double doors to Lisbon’s office and plops himself on her couch for nap. Haha! It just added a cherry on top for that scene🙂

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