Mentalist Ring Around the Rosie Review


Synopsis

Lisbon and her team are on standby at a protest rally the mayor is attending when a dead body is found. Lisbon calls Jane to the scene and as he approaches he identifies a man he feels is suspicious. He shares his concerns with Lisbon. She has the man, Henry Tibbs (Christian Camargo) searched and a gun is found on him.  As Tibbs is licensed to carry his piece, the new CBI head Luther Wainwright (Michael Rady) thinks he should be released. Jane asks that Tibbs be kept under watch as he suspects he will ultimately be harmful. Later, a viable suspect is identified for the dead body found at the rally. Willie Shubert (Henry G. Sanders), a homeless man who used to be Lisbon’s favorite musician, confesses to the homicide. But Lisbon refuses to believe his guilt and pursues her own investigation despite Luther telling her he’s taking the case to the DA.

Concise Verdict

Like in ‘Jolly Red Elf’ which introduced J.J. Laroche (Pruitt Taylor Vince), the task of bringing in a new pivotal character to the show once again fell on  Daniel Cerone. This time it’s the new CBI boss Luther Wainwright. But more than personifying memorable new players, Cerone excels in making the most of dialogue and giving characters a fair share of screen time.  The excellent direction by Chris Long also served to make ‘Ring Around the Rosie’ a well rounded and tight episode even as it differs from the usual format. 10/10

Detailed AKA Humungous Analysis (spoilers galore)

I analyzed Very Important Scenes (VIS) where necessary and combined others where convenient. I apologize in advance if I missed anything.

VIS #1: Jane/ Lisbon at the Rally

When Lisbon calls Jane to the scene, he tells her she needs to speak up (he’s drinking tea a place surrounded by protesters).  Lisbon asks if he’s nearby. Jane states that depends on if she and her team are still “crowd-watching”. When she tells him there’s a dead body he affirms his proximity.

-Last season Jane made a habit of arriving late to crime scenes. This season, he’s apparently on standby even during boring police work. Oh joy. It seems we won’t be seeing emotionally/physically distant Jane any time soon. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised since we have yet to see him in the blasted CBI attic. But further reassurance is always welcome. Also, the simple exchange between Jane and Lisbon tacitly hints at what may have happened off screen before the episode started. I can just see Lisbon at CBI earlier asking Jane to come along to help, he refuses, but follows the team anyway. For some reason this makes me think that off-screen, following episode ‘Pretty Red Balloon’, Jane attended the mandatory seminar despite his telling Lisbon that he wouldn’t. It just seems like something he’d do now; riling Lisbon up by saying he won’t go (to tease her and assert his control) only to show up anyway.

Jane tells Lisbon that he saw a suspicious looking man with “haunted eyes, nervous energy, and an overcoat on a hot day”. She tells him his deduction is based on particularly thin hunch. He tells her she’s probably right, but when he points out that “It’s only the mayor’s life at stake” Lisbon sends Cho and Van Pelt to check out the suspect. They find the man is armed with a fully loaded gun and lead him off while Jane watches.

-I adored this. There was something just so classic about the ending of the scene, Jane standing with his hands in his pockets watching the agents cart off the suspect. Also nice was how quickly Lisbon acted on Jane’s observation. You just know tension between the two is bound to show up later this season; no doubt when Red John makes his reappearance. And while I’m admittedly looking forward to what will be great material, I plan on fully enjoying their established congeniality while it lasts here.

VIS #2: New Boss Luther Wainwright shows up

I like how no one realized Wainwright was boss when he first enters the bullpen. He looks as old as Van Pelt. Now the opening scene established Rigsby and Cho’s respective feeling regarding Luther. Rigsby is annoyed that “he barely qualifies” while Cho approach is “you get used to it”; a comment which had me wondering what other bosses or people Cho thinks don’t qualify; was he speaking in general or did he mean heads of other teams?

This scene allows viewers to gauge the rest of the team’s reactions. Lisbon, characteristically professional quickly regroups once she realizes who Luther is by introducing herself and welcoming the man. Sweet Grace smiles nicely at him, seeming pleased with his amiability. As to Jane, he observes Luther shake hands with the rest of the members of the team. Now we’ve seen Jane with Hightower and LaRoche and he’s always careful around new bosses. But he seems to have no problem revealing how vaguely unimpressed he (initially) is with Luther. When the boss tells Jane he’s still working his way through his file. Jane remarks: “Do me a favor, don’t tell me how it ends”. Luther gives him a bemused smile. When Wainwright says he prides himself on trust and transparency, Jane interrupts to ask him how old he is adding that Rigsby’s running a pool.

Perhaps Jane’s slights are his way of testing Wainwright, wanting to see his reactions. Or maybe they are Jane’s way of establishing his being the alpha male of the group. To Wainwright’s credit, he doesn’t react to Jane’s jabs and instead focuses his attention on the case. Luther points out that the victim might have been a photographer based on an observation; Jane’s forte, to which the mentalist replies “Sharp”.

I think Jane maybe initially resented Luther’s presence and couldn’t have been bothered to hide it as he’s going through a rough time (he recently found out that Red John is still alive and that he killed a man in vain). If even respectful Rigsby is smarting from having a kid be his new boss it’s only natural that egomaniac Jane would as well. But after Luther’s keen observation perhaps Jane decided to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Note: I was ecstatic that Wainwright’s age was mentioned so many times as it was the first thing that crossed my mind when I saw him in the promo.

VIS#3: Jane and Lisbon plead their cases to Wainwright

This scene sets the stage for the two major plots of the episode that will be discussed in further detail below:  Jane/Tibbs and Lisbon/Willie plots

Jane:

Jane tells Luther that Tibbs is “a man on autopilot, set to kill”.

I guess it takes one to know one.

Jane adds that Tibbs he adds that he’s about to commit murder , maybe even mass murder, and “Who wouldn’t want to try and stop that kind of nightmare?” When Luther tells Jane that theoretical criminology has no practical value, Jane replies: “No practical value, I guess the same could be said for middle management bureaucrats.”

It’s subtle, but Jane’s passion followed by his annoyance hints at a more personal motivation for wanting to stop Tibbs. I think his zeal here is due to an inner desire for redemption. While this theme is in no way new to the show (it’s been there since the pilot) in season three especially it was personified by Jane’s desire to kill Red John rather than putting his efforts into solving cases/catching other murderers. Not so here. Old Jane is back; the one who completely immerses himself in all his cases and doesn’t treat them as mere distractions from his ultimate goal.

I wonder what brought on this change. Perhaps it’s because now Jane has something new to redeem himself for. Or maybe now that Jane realized that murder isn’t as satisfying as he thought it would be he has a new found reason to prevent it.

Lisbon:

Lisbon tells Wainwright that Tibbs might have actually killed their victim as she doesn’t believe that Willie Shubert is the killer, despite his confession. When Luther asks how she can tell, Lisbon states “You kind of have to hear him play the saxophone.”

Tunney’s reading of this line was awesome. It’s like Lisbon knew her argument wasn’t very logical but was giving it her best shot. Jane is charmed by her efforts as he states: “I love it Lisbon, the beautiful soul defense.”

What I love? Lisbon’s response to this. She tilts her head ironically like she’s saying “Worth a shot”.

Unfortunately Luther is unimpressed. He agrees to give Jane time to trap Tibbs, saying that he likes to reward passion, but tells Lisbon he’s taking Willie’s confession to the DA. Lisbon asks “What about my passion?”

I love this line too because for once, it shows Lisbon fighting back the unfairness of having her worth/skill being questioned by the higher ups (Hightower, Bertram) while Jane gets an automatic carte blanche to do what he wants. In fact, is it me or was Minelli the only boss who ever trusted Lisbon’s instincts over Jane’s? And not because he favors her but because he knew both of the them equally well and knew exactly how Jane gets around Red John cases. Can we please please have him back and out of retirement once Luther is out of the picture? It’s not that I don’t like Luther but it as none of the bosses lasted over two years I’m assuming he’ll eventually be gone as well.

A Plot: Jane and Tibbs

It is hinted at that Jane sees Henry Tibbs as a kindred spirit when he instantly recognizes the man’s desire to kill. But just in case it wasn’t clear enough, the final scene where Tibbs is captured makes it obvious.  Jane anticipates where Tibbs is going; an event where the mayor is at. Having replaced all the bullets in the man’s house with blanks, the Serious Crimes unit members are in place when Tibbs shows up. Jane attempts to talk the man out of his thirst for blood: “You don’t want to pull that trigger. You think you do you think it will switch off that vacancy sign in your soul but the truth is, taking a life is just going to make things a whole lot more complicated. Believe me. “

-Pretty self explanatory, right? Jane is speaking from his own experience killing someone in cold blood. I love clarity.

Tibbs replies: “I don’t expect to live past today.”

-Another similarity between the two men. Previously, Jane didn’t care if he lived after Red John is caught (Season one ‘Red John’s Footsteps’). Thankfully, that is not the case anymore as he told Timothy Carter (whom he thought was RJ) that he’d move on (get married, have a family) once he’s dead.

And like how Lisbon tried to get Jane to see past his desire for revenge in the season one finale, Jane tries to get Tibbs to see past his desire to kill. He tells him “But you haven’t hurt anyone yet. You put that gun away now and we will get you the help that you need.” But to no avail. Tibbs is already over the edge. But at least the team was able to stop him from hurting anyone.

What I’m wondering now is whether Jane would appreciate if someone did the same for him next time he’s trigger-happy.

B Plot: Lisbon and Willie Shubert

Lisbon tells Willie she checked into his history and found out that he lost his wife in a car accident; that he was driving and that’s why he stopped playing. She then asks him to explain his false confession and finds out he wants to stay in jail to stave off the winter cold.

I loved Lisbon’s plot. Her interference on Willie’s behalf makes sense considering her vested interest; Willie was her favorite musician in college. I’m not saying Lisbon is not compassionate, it’s just a side of her we don’t often see. Also, Lisbon is usually by the book (unless circumstance mandate she be otherwise). She probably wouldn’t have looked into Willie’s history if she hadn’t known him, if she wasn’t grateful for the comfort she found in his music when she moved away from her family. I think that along with his downfall being caused by his guilt and grief over his wife’s death was her impetus to help him. Maybe, on some level, Willie is serving as a surrogate for Jane. Personally, seeing Lisbon interact with this man, I felt like I finally understood the depths of Lisbon’s compassion for Jane’s tragedy, even if she rarely ever shows it. If she’s this kind towards I complete stranger, you can only imagine how much she cares for Jane.

After Lisbon tells Willie about the deal she cut with the DA on his behalf, she gives him a saxophone, encouraging him to play again when he gets out of jail. After she leaves the room, Willie start to play and Lisbon stops to listen for a while in obvious pleasure.

Lisbon is so sweet.

VIS #4: Jane/Luther,  Jane/Lisbon end Scene

Jane enters the bullpen with tea to find Luther on his couch. He tells Luther (not disrespectfully) “that’s kind of my spot” and thanks Luther when he gets up. Luther then calls Jane out on setting him up; that he knew Luther would stress Tibbs into committing murder. Jane tells Luther that there’s no way of ever really knowing and adds: “To be honest I was rooting for you. I find your brand of youthful earnestness quite refreshing.”

While Jane was being sarcastic to Lisbon when he told her that Luther might be able to save Tibbs, I don’t think he was being sarcastic here. In fact I think the above statement, while a bit patronizing, was the nicest thing Jane said to Luther throughout the entire case. Perhaps Jane being right about Tibbs and effectively putting Luther in his place; showing him what little experience he ha, put Jane in a magnanimous mood. Or maybe Jane was too preoccupied with brooding over the case to give Luther more thinly (and not so thinly) veiled insults. Or maybe, Jane decided against further mocking his new boss after he’d just used him in a scheme.

Whatever the reason, at this point, I think Jane was trying to smooth things over with Luther, even if he hadn’t really been rooting for him.

Unfortunately, Luther does not realize or does not appreciate Jane’s sentiment.  He tells Jane he did a psychopathy test on him. Jane, amused, states, “Oh, you haven’t.” Luther starts reading off some of the criteria: “Glibness and superficial charm, check.” Jane tells Luther: “You flatter me.”

Jane said the same to LaRoche when he did his own mini-analysis of him in ‘Jolly Red Elf‘. But while LaRoche’s analysis was flattering, Luther’s is anything but. So I’m inclined to think, more than a reply to Luther’s statement, Jane’s “you flatter me here” is referring to the fact that Luther felt he needed to evaluate Jane’s personality.  Wainwright continues naming facets he feels apply to Jane’s character: a grandiose sense of self-worth, cunning, manipulating, poor behavioral control, failure to accept responsibility for own actions. Jane just continues smiling and drinking his tea. While he shakes his head at one point, it’s doesn’t necessarily mean that he disagrees with the traits being ascribed to him.

Luther then tells Jane: “I cross referenced all my observations with your history as a thief and con-artist. And uh, congratulations Jane. According to the score, you are a clinical psychopath.”

Jane’s reaction: “Wow. Well, certainly explains a lot.”

Despite Jane’s flippant demeanor, he was actually waiting to hear Luther’s verdict. And despite his glib remark, Luther’s conclusion seemed to disturb him. I don’t think it’s because Jane cares about what Luther thinks of him; rather because Jane himself seems to be questioning his own character and trying to redeem it (as shown in this season’s premiere, and Pretty Red Balloon). So Luther’s psychoanalysis came while Jane is in a particular vulnerable state; though Luther doesn’t know that.

The new boss then tells Jane that now that he knows what he’s dealing with, he’ll adjust accordingly.” Jane replies: “as you should”.

It’s very in character for Jane to not bother defending himself. He could easily point out that by applying the test now Luther is contradicting himself. Wainwright said it himself: such tests only give accurate results when one has spent enough time with the subject. Wainwright doesn’t know Jane, not the way Lisbon or the audience of the show does. Luther hasn’t seen Jane’s kindness and his empathy, he hasn’t seen Jane purposely shy away from gratitude; no doubt because he feels himself unworthy of it. He hasn’t witnessed Jane’s deep disturbed breaths as he saw Timothy Carter’s body on a slab in the morgue, or his remaining by Lisbon’s side when she had a bomb strapped to her, or heard him tell Lisbon that he’ll take the consequences of shooting Red John.

What Wainwright sees is the Jane that manipulates people (usually Lisbon) into breaking the rules; the pied piper, the puppet master who loves to make people dangle on his strings. But the bitter irony is that this Jane is no longer as predominant as he used to be. In fact, he barely even exists.

I hope Luther’s psychoanalysis does not cause Jane to regress. Jane’s dejected manner seems like he thinks he agrees with Wainwright’s need to “adjust” if his telling Lisbon that he likes the new boss is any indication. It’s almost like Jane is relieved he finally has a boss who sees him for what he once was; like he deserves to be abhorred.

And yet…

Jane asks Lisbon if she’d like some tea. She tells him she’s tired and is going home. Jane tells her that he made a pot. Lisbon agrees to take one to go. As they walk to the break room Jane asks her if she thinks he’s an antisocial personality. Lisbon answers, “Yeah sure, who isn’t?”

Am I the only one who sees Jane’s earnest desire to connect with Lisbon? It’s been there since season one, and she’s been fighting him every step of the way (see Jane/Lisbon moments). But in spite of that Jane is comfortable enough with Lisbon to ask her opinion on his character. I think it’s very brave and shows the amount of trust he has in Lisbon; especially considering how he knows that she doesn’t approve of many aspects of his personality. It’s like he knows she’ll make him feel better. I was also overjoyed that Lisbon, for once, refrained from giving him a flippant answer or a snappy comeback as was her norm whenever Jane attempts a personal discussion. I don’t know if she understood his need for comfort or if her increased regard towards him prevented her from being her usual aloof self.

Either way I hope her frank reply goes towards making Jane feel better about himself. Whether she knows it or not, her opinion is one of the few which actually matters to Jane. It’s nice that she’s allowing him to vent to her, even if she doesn’t realize that’s what he’s doing.

Finally, now that Luther analyzed Jane, I am very interested to know where he thinks Lisbon fits in all this. He refused to accept her hand up after he falls to the ground when Tibbs fired his rounds. That along with his terse “Lisbon” before he left the bullpen makes it seem that perhaps (like Hightower before him) the obvious friendship between the two irritates him. Or maybe he was just annoyed that she didn’t fill him in on her and Jane’s plan. Maybe he thinks she’s as fooled by Jane as his psychic clients were. Maybe he thinks less of her for working so well with Jane. I have no idea, but I’m dying to find out.

Best Scenes:

End Scene. It was nice to see Jane and Lisbon spend time together at the end of the day, his congratulating her on catching her man and vice versa. Plus future conflict between Jane/Lisbon/Luther was also nicely set up. See VIS #4 for details.

1st runner up: Jane and Lisbon plead their cases to Wainwright

In keeping with the role reversal we’ve been shown of Jane and Lisbon this season, her arguing out of instinct is something rare and more like something Jane would do. But what makes this scene truly great is how Jane and Lisbon were perfectly supportive of each other. Usually in the boss’s office, they are at odds. It’s more continuity to how in tune they are this season. Despite Jane telling Lisbon that his and her minds’ are in sync, I think this is the first season we’ve seen this truly be the case. See VIS #3 for details.

2nd runner up:  All Lisbon’s scenes with Willie

Everyone knows Lisbon has a heart of gold. It’s so great to see it from time to time. And Tunney was so warm and empathetic here. I’m so glad her character is starting to get some more focus.

Icings on the Cake

– It’s truly rare when we get an episode where all the characters seem to get a fair amount of screen time. In this episode, Cho gets to be all awesome showing off his perfect shooting skills. Rigsby gets to keep Van Pelt from rashly shooting Tibbs, and Grace gets to bond with Tibbs’s wife. And while the format of the episode was a bit different, it was also perfectly balanced and ended full circle on our favorite crime-fighting duo, Jane and Lisbon.

-Having Jane and Lisbon work separate cases allowed Jane to lead the group (butt heads with Wainwright) without Lisbon being caught in the middle. This is nice as it gives her a break from having to pay for Jane’s decisions. It also made me ridiculously happy as it is a pet peeve of mine when Jane acts as the boss of Lisbon. Her not being around during this case made that unnecessary.

-Lisbon solving her case on her personal time allows her to assert her herself without breaking the rules. I love how, unlike Jane, she is able to do what she wants without ruffling feathers.

-I’m always tickled when we get recurring extras (usually CBI Ron or CBI Karl) on the set. It gives a touch of realism to the show as back-up officers are a necessary requirement.  In this episode, Karl (from Strawberries and Cream) helps the team clear a building. Played by the show’s technical advisor Karl Sonnenberg, he certainly has the build and gait of a cop. I look forward to seeing him again.

Honorable mention

Whoever is in charge of wardrobe. Everyone was looking sharp in this episode. I especially I like Lisbon’s hair. The serviceable bun hints that she was going for a more professional look now that there’s a new boss. Nice detail. Also, Tunney’s make-up artist deserves kudos as well. I think her freckles were actually visible at one point in the episode. I miss Lisbon’s freckles.

Best Lines

You two want me to believe that a man who confessed to murder did nothing and a man who did nothing is a murderer. “-Luther Wainwright to Jane and Lisbon.

“You may even be smarter than you look.”-Jane in response to the above.

“You’ll be fine, just don’t be yourself.”-Jane to Rigsby.

“Yeah, my dad liked his westerns”-Rigsby to Tibbs in response to his namesake. It’s great to have some back-story on the characters even if it is just the origin of their names.

“Observe Agent Rigsby, as neurotic as a border collie, he can’t stop touching his face.”-poor Rigsby!

“See, you’re normal. That man has the conscience of a mollusk.” –Jane to Luther on Tibbs.

“Nice”-Lisbon on Tibbs’s home.

“Well, it’s a choice. Lacks a woman’s touch.”-Jane on Tibb’s home.

“Well, at least you didn’t shoot this one.” –Rigsby to Grace. Could this line suggest that Wayne is uncomfortable with Grace’s speedy recovery over shooting Craig? Or was he concerned that she was so quick to draw her weapon in their current situation? Hmm.

“Or he could save Tibbs”-Jane’s sarcastic reply to Lisbon’s musing that the boss might be in over his head, that Tibbs could kill him.

“We are with the government. We’ve been watching you.” LOL!!!!!! Luther couldn’t have added to Tibbs’s anxiety more if he had been trying.

“Hey, how’re you doing. You’re under arrest for the attempted murder of…everybody”-Cho to Tibbs.

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19 responses to “Mentalist Ring Around the Rosie Review

  • windsparrow

    Excellent, interesting review of the episode, as usual, reviewbrain.

    1. I am so not voting in the poll about whether or not Jane wants to be stopped from killing Red John. At this point, his character is so complex I really do not think I have enough information to speculate. (I know, I know, who am I, and what have I done with the real windsparrow?)

    2. In a minute, it is going to sound rather like I don’t, but I like Wainwright. For an inexperienced, over-educated young boss, he seems to be a cut above the stereotype. He has good qualities. I expect I would like working with him. I might have to kill him and take his diploma, but right up to that point, I would have respected him. Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology, my tight buns! But maybe no one really wants to have the conversation about Jane’s position on the Antisocial Personality Disorder spectrum with someone who used to keep the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (3rd Edition, revised) on her nightstand for a little light bedtime reading. It’s probably easier to have this conversation with someone who Googled it and read a couple of articles.

    Do we really want me to go into an extended rant on the topic of how to use and interpret psychometric tools? I can, just say the word.

    3. Cho’s comment about getting used to it, probably came from his military experience. Soldiers on the ground with actual combat experience often have to deal with young, inexperienced officers fresh out of college, military academies, etc. who may or may not know their butts from a whole in the ground.

    4. I love Lisbon working in the background, following her own line of investigation for something that is important to her, while Jane takes the lead and the rest of the team cover for her.

    5. Love, love, love the final exchange with those two – Jane reaching out for reassurance from Lisbon, and getting that connection reinforced.

  • All-I-need

    Oh god, I loved this episode! It was hilarious and amazing.

    And the new boss is great!

    Actually, he reminds me a lot of Sweets from “Bones”. Degree in psychology, looks incredibly young, people make fun of his age, highly intelligent and always VERY interested in watching other people. His fascination with Jane and his methods was almost endearing.

    I laughed out loud at the end. “Congratulations, you`re a clinical psychopath!” My very first thought was: “Well, finally someone says what everyone knows!” and I laughed so hard. It takes some goods to look someone in the face and tell them they`re psychopaths. Especially if you know that that someone recently shot a man in a shopping hall. Maybe Luther hasn`t gotten that far in his reading of Jane`s file …?

    Of course, that does not mean that I actually THINK Jane is a psychopath. Good god, no. Your listing of all of his good traits was very accurate. However, I guess it is okay to say that he WAS a psychopath at the beginning of the show and probably in the years before. The long list of great personality traits actually shows just how much growth Jane has gone through in the past 3+ seasons.

    About Lisbon:
    Wow, I can`t believe you missed that! Or maybe it was just me?
    Anyways, Willie lost his wife in a car accident and ended up without a job, drinking and homeless, feeling guilty and overwhelmed with grief. The very first thing that came to mind was Lisbon`s father. Her mother died in a car accident, too, remember? And then Lisbon went on and told Willie that she always thought (still thinks?) of her family back in Chicago when listening to his CD. I found THAT very interesting and it`s a really deep insight into her character.
    Also, this could possibly hint at the one question Jane still hasn`t found an answer for (that we know of): What instrument did Lisbon play?
    My best guess now would be the saxophone, for obvious reasons.

    Cho – obviously – rocked. Showing off his shooting skills, arresting Tibbs for “attempted murder of …. everyone” and of course the following scene that had me laughing:
    Cho, Luther and Karl at Tibbs`s house – and who kicks in the door? Cho, the smallest of the group! That was ingenious! There`s no business like Cho-business!!!

    About Rigsby`s comment to VanPelt (“At least you didn`t shoot him”). I actually think it was meant as a joke, some dark cop humor. Since VanPelt herself used pretty dark humor with Rigsby in the last episode (“I think I`m starting to enjoy shooting people.”) he probably decided to throw some of that humor back at her. I liked it.

    The end scene with Jane and Lisbon was fantastic. I really loved that one. His obvious attempt to stall her, spend some time with her, and her subsequent decision to have some tea with him (to go, yeah, right, how much do you bet they sat together for hours?) were simply cute.
    I love that he`s now very openly seeking her company, trying to connect with her and spend time with her. She obviously picked up on that, too, since she was clearly encouraging him here, easily giving in without putting up her usual fight (and since when does LISBON enjoy drinking a cup of tea when there`s coffee around?!).

    Anyways, I`m absolutely looking forward to the next episode and I can`t wait to learn more about Luther and his thoughts on the team. Also, I feel I should point out that there are some great Episode Tags for that episode already, one of which includes Luther`s analysis of the team (and I really really like it). I noticed you didn`t post any links here this time, so I thought I should mention it.

    Thanks for another awesome review. I`m always looking forward to your blog entries.

  • ♥Tania (@moon0xygen)

    I said I was going to comment, so here I am!

    Of course another five stars for you, my dear. Your review is a real treat to read, as always!

    Ring Around the Rosie was a very good episode, in my opinion. I was (and still am) a little worried about this new boss. Like I mentioned before on SpoilerTV (I think), he comes across to me as a little boy on his first day of school, so excited to meet his new classmates. I can’t really put my finger on what’s bothering me about him yet, but something irks me. Throughout the episode, I got the impression he held something back. A little hidden magic up his sleeves and that he wasn’t the by-the-textbook kind of guy they tried to make us believe he was. I was let down when he brought Rigsby and Cho to see Tibbs at his house and went all X-Files-government-spooky on the guy. It was funny but at the same time it wasn’t. You may not have experience in the field, but come on, you must have a way of talking to people! “We’re with the goverment and we’ve been watching you? You need help?” Heck, I’d freak if someone came to my door to tell me that. He needs a few extra skills on handling people. I remember when Lisbon was people-awkward in the beginning🙂 But that’s another story we won’t get into right now xD

    Also, Wainwright seems to take a special interest in Jane. I don’t know how to interpret that, whether it be a good or bad interest. At the end, when he tells Jane his test result as a clinical psychopath, it made me wonder if he saw Jane as a mere test subject more than actually be fascinated by his ‘gift’. I haven’t watched the episode since last week, so maybe I’m mixing my memories and feelings here. I wonder if he’ll try to analyse or understand how he is and what made him the way he is, instead of being fascinated by what he does. I’m not entirely certain now that Wainwright adores Jane all that much. I think he sees in him a potential learning experience and will poke around, test him, to see how far he can mess with Jane. Luther isn’t a field experienced kind of guy, but he’s quick-witted. Somehow, at some point, there will be sparks between him and Jane (definitely not THOSE kind of sparks!!) but a mental dispute will likely happen.

    Lisbon’s storyline was an absolute joy to watch. She wouldn’t step down even after her plea to pursue her investigation got rejected by Wainwright. She pushed her case but she was rejected. She seemed upset but far less than I imagined. I think she was also happy that Jane had the green-light to pursue his theory that Tibbs was a ticking bomb. It was also very nice that Jane and Lisbon barely worked on the case together, yet we found out at the end of the episode that they had replaced all the bullets with blanks. Lisbon’s time was invested on helping Willie, yet she put her trust in Jane’s insight and had the bullets removed from Tibbs’ weapons and changed for blanks. All without Wainwright knowing. Of course it was the right and obvious thing to do, I just thought it was great that she lended a hand to Jane when he needed help with the case, but stepped aside afterward to let Jane carry on with his plan. She also seems to like it when Jane gets congratulated for his good work.🙂

    It was also very nice to get a little insight on Lisbon’s past. I can imagine we’ll be falling off our couches during 4.06, but this was great! I liked how they inserted a little of her past in a random episode. I wish they’d do that more often (and with the others, too).

    Jane taking control of the investigation was awesome to watch! While Lisbon was unavailable, he knew she was never very far if he needed her help. He was calm but very passionate about what he was doing. It was great watching him organize everything, instead of messing with the investigation we all know he’s good at doing! He knew what he was doing, where he was going, and the rest of the team had no problem following his instructions. Awesome teamwork!

    Must take a second to point out how awesome Cho was in this episode. His scene with Jane on going undercover had me laughing for minutes. Cho may be stoic, but this man can make a simple Tshirt and baseball cap look extremely hot! His shooting skills are amazing and very impressive. The more I see of him, the more I truly believe he’s worthy of having his own team one day. He’s respected, serious, gets the job done, is dependable and trustworthy. I wonder how long it’ll take before someone puts an offer on the table. I don’t think he’d leave the team to lead one of his own any time soon, but it would be interesting to see him struggle with the possibility at some point. Lisbon would back him a 100% if the chances of that ever arises. She’s that much of a darling🙂

    The tidbits between Risgby and Van Pelt were interesting. I think Rigsby knows Grace enough to know she isn’t okay and is not dealing with Craig’s death as she should be. He’s keeping a close eye on her, but she’s a lose canon. Too spontaneous and careless, she won’t think before acting. She seemed pretty quick at drawing out her gun at the suspect in the diner scene. I could almost feel sorry for Rigsby, though. I feel like he has to split his attention in two. He needed to keep an eye on the suspect, but also knew he had to look out for Grace in case she’d do anything stupid. And she almost did. I think this will become a burden and will strain his friendship with Grace. She is psychologically unstable and anything can set her off. Rigsby obviously still cares for her but he won’t be able to keep her contained for very long.

    The scene between Jane and Wainwright and his test result: I liked and disliked. Here he is, newbie boss taking over Hightower and LaRoche’s place, and already he’s got the tests out and probes the team (Jane, in particular)? They barely know each other! Yes, he read Jane’s file, but is he that much of a textbook worm that he’ll judge a person by his file instead of getting to know the person first? Calling someone you barely even know a clinical psychopath? Yes, Jane is special and unique, but here’s Luther again with the awkward people skills. You don’t go up at the end of the day, to someone you just met that morning and whose files you’re still reading, and admit you’ve been cross-checking him in a test to discover he’s categorised as a clinical psychopath! I didn’t like that at all. If it had happened in a future episode, I would have believed it more, would have been okay with it. Now, on his first day, I considered this too soon. I felt like his visit to see Jane at the end of the episode was a confrontation in disguise, to make it clear to Jane who had the upper hand. Was it because he hadn’t been debriefed on Jane’s plan to change the bullets for blanks earlier? I have no idea. I just thought the whole scene happened too early and created just a smidge of tension. Jane love challenges, so I think he’s happy to engage in a fair fight and a quick-witted man like Luther.

    Tea scene, my looove!! ♥ Stunning! I loved every second of it. How casual these two are together now, compared to last season. Pheww! The difference is flagrant. And the fact Jane made a whole pot of tea for Lisbon (come on, he didn’t offer any to Luther! So he must have had Lisbon in mind when he did it). After refusing, she noticed the insistence on his part and agreed to take one to go, despite being tired. For some reason, I actually doubt she even took one to go. When he asked her if she thought he was an antisocial personality, I have the feeling the conversation didn’t end there. Plus, Jane made a whole pot! Surely he had the idea of having a conversation with Lisbon on his mind at the time, or else would have made her a single cup. They really seem to connect this season too. A barrier has lifted between them and they’re more aware of each other’s emotions. I won’t get into the whole Jane/Lisbon Season 4 chemistry, because this is about Ring Around the Rosie and I believe I’ve been going on long enough already, but just quickly I think killing someone made them both realise certain things. I also noticed on several occasions the silent communication they have going on. Usually Jane is a closed book and I’m not saying he isn’t anymore, I’m just saying Lisbon has been successfully able to read him on several occasions.

    As a quick note, I probably came off as a Luther-hater, but that’s wrong. He’s had his good sides too and if well played, could be beneficial to the team. It could be refreshing. But I agree with you, I wish Minelli would come back. He was the best! Although Luther is refreshing, funny and different from the others, I can’t see the series ending with him still rocking the throne. Heck, if not Minelli, I’m casting my vote on to LaRoche. He was the second best, in my opinion.🙂 Spooky and fluffy, he shall be missed!😦

    I should probably wrap this up xD That’s why I seldom write anything in the comments section. Once lit, it takes forever to burn my candle. I start writing and I don’t realize just how much I’ve written until I post my comment.

    Hope I didn’t bore anyone to death! I apologise for any possible mistakes. I’ve had a mere 3 hours of sleep last night and started typing this up the second I got home from work. Hope all this makes actually sense🙂

    Thank you for your reviews! Have a good day ♥
    Tania

  • Julie

    Just a quickie so I can get notified of future comments until I can post. Loved the review and some very interesting points in the comments, especially the cho/army connection, hadn’t thought of that at all.

  • Mary_N (@RobinTunneyBlog)

    Hello there! As usually, insightful review, I like to watch the episode after your review so I can notice stuff I hadn’t before🙂

    I pretty much agree with what you said, so here’s just my two cents:

    – about Jane and revenge, and your question if we wants to be stopped. I didn’t answer it, cause I still can’t figure that out. Jane’s a mistery. Everytime you seem to guess his feelings, then her does something that completely lets you speechless. He’s like that. I really would like that scenario tho. Following his own feelings didn’t work that well, so who knows that he might have finally learnt a lesson… but as I said, it’s Jane we’re talking about…

    – the new boss, I’m not sure what to think about him. It’s not that I didn’t like him, I thought his interaction with Jane was really good, hopefully the one with the team will improve as well, and hopefully we’ll learn more about him and how he managed to get to that position. I didn’t like the final scene with Jane tho. Really, he did his homework right? But he still doesen’t know Jane the way Lisbon and the team know him, so he should have totally waited to do that. And I’m kind of tired of the ‘Jane is a psychopath’ thing, or the ‘Jane is crazy’ thing. Surely his behaviour doesen’t belong to any ‘normal’ classification, but what if Jane is “just” a man who’s suffering immensely for what happened to his family? Sometimes I remember the episode in S1 where we could see Charlotte playing the piano, how beautiful she was, and I think I would probably “go crazy” too if I lost my daughter that way. That doesen’t mean that I’m insane.

    – I loved the two separate cases! It was refreshing seeing the team following a path, and Lisbon following another. Lisbon, that woman will never stop to make me smile. I loved that we learned something new about her past. I think that the conncection with Willie was mainly a gratitude because with his music he helped her going through difficult time. Music is a powerful magic.
    The fact that his story can be compared both to her dad and to Jane only reinforce that. It was sweet that she brought the CD with her, I was almost expecting her to ask him for an autograph hehe😉
    And the final scene when she stops to listen to the music is priceless, I love when we get to see Lisbon letting herself go a little.

    – Finale scene: Jane was adorable! “I made a pot”, sometimes Jane is just so huggable. I liked that he asked her her opinion, and I think that they had a nice converstion after🙂
    I fear the moment when those two will have discuss RJ, ’cause I really like their relationship right now. Can we procrastinate that conversation to, let’s say… Season 120? LOL😉

  • violet

    Loved your review, as always! Your analysis was very accurate and detailed (especially loved the part about the team reactions to Wainwright and the “honourable mention” about Lisbon’s wardrobe and her attempt to make a good impression on the new boss) The episode was so funny! Cho and Jane at a stake-out then undercover? Irresistible!🙂

    Of course, you’re right! Jane isn’t a psychopath: the previous episode about his past and the next scene with Lisbon shows it: he would have tried to spend time with her or spoken to her about his doubts if he was. Wainwright’s speech seems almost sandwiched between those two moments proving that he is in fact very sensible.

    Still, Wainwright is sharp indeed: he used something Jane gave him (analyzing someone’s character to prove that he’s a psychopath) to get to him for manipulating him. He didn’t do that test out of the blue, he purposely copied Jane to reverse the situation and affirm himself. So I think Jane is really able to appreciate the method, even though he was obviously perturbed by the conclusion… That one would certainly hurt, since his sanity has been questioned recently, even by Lisbon -she chose to believe him though (when the gun vanished after he shot Carter).

    The statement about Jane being a psychopath was moreover founded on almost nothing: charm, coldness, manipulation? Irresponsibleness? Is that all? Even coupled with a past as a con-artist, if every person who matched this superficial description was a psychopath, the world would be a really scary place to live (even more than it already is)… Without playing the armchair psychologist (others are far more capable in real psychology than little me😉 ) shouldn’t he have questioned his sense of morality? A potential inability to bond with others? That’s to say at least get a little insight in his inner self rather than only his behaviour? (Just like Jane demonstrated that his suspect had no conscience.) What’s more, it would have made more sense if he mentioned the more obvious element, the fact that Jane killed a man just a few months before. But no, he pointedly said his “history as a thief and con-artist”…Why? Did he want to avoid messing with his hierarchy, who has hired Jane again? Was it implicit? If it’s an unspoken reference to him walking free from his trial, Wainwright would be the second one to tell him he should be in jail… Things will certainly get interesting because, despite his cordial demeanour, Wainwright is the first boss to harbour veiled hostility to Jane AND to Lisbon…

    I agree with All-I-need: Willie reminded Lisbon of her own family history. I must say that when I saw her pausing to listen the music, I thought about that “someone at peace with herself” line Jane used to describe his ideal woman in ‘Every Rose Has its Thorns’. Of course, there isn’t any romantic connotation in this scene, but here, for the first time, Lisbon seemed indeed at peace with herself, with her past, her parent’s tragedy represented by Willie and parting with her brothers. And yes, I guess it won’t last, since it was also a way to open the door about her past… but it was nice.🙂

  • Jenny Ison

    Love, love, love this episode. It has moved it’s way onto my list of favorites for many of the reasons listed in the review, which was great as usual.

    Here are my initial thoughts about Luther Wainwright. Now, maybe I’m being a little far-reaching here, but I just can’t help but see the conversation to Jane from Bertram and Timothy Carter continued with Wainwright. Remember that Bertram told Jane in 324 how he needed to “seek help, take a break and consult a therapist?” Then Timothy Carter told him to move on with his life instead of seeking vengence he would never have. Then we were told that in 401 Scarlet Ribbons, Lisbon and Jane, himself, would question Jane’s sanity.

    Could Luther Wainwright be Red John’s attempt to further use suggestion to cause Jane to question his sanity and mental status? Just maybe! For some reason I want to like Luther Wainwright, but I am very suspicious of him as well.
    Why would this highly educated agent do an analysis on Jane after knowing him such a short period of time? He, himself, said that the results of such tests can be flawed if the person being studied isn’t known by the interviewer. Also, why would Wainwright just come right out and tell Jane he thinks he is a sociopath? It just isn’t very professional or tactful. I know, I know…Jane isn’t very tactful in many situations either, but this is the boss. He should be held to a higher standard. Things just aren’t right with Luther, in my opinion. I may be proved wrong in future episodes, but this is my first impression. I am anxious to see if there is a continued use of such suggestion in future episodes.

    If this scenerio is true, then Bertram and Wainwright are working for RJ. This would be the closest any RJ operative has been to Jane….and in such an authoritative position at that! (Of course, we know there is not really anyone in a position of authority over Jane and Jane showed that full well in this epi!!)

    I hope I’m not laughed right out of this comment section. I always look for the Red John connections…can’t help it. It’s one of the reasons I love this show. 🙂

  • reviewbrain

    I love your “at peace with herself” comment. It’s true isn’t it? She looked almost happy. Maybe that’s why she was able to give Jane the reassurance he needed. And yes, this episode nicely sets up a Lisbon storyline by giving us some information about her past. As to Luther, you make a very good point about him mimicking Jane, using his methods against him. He did tell Jane earlier in the episode “Just embracing the spirit of the con” which Jane didn’t seem very pleased about. A lot has been said about Luther’s unprofessionalism in telling Jane he’s a psychopath. I honestly think he wanted to get to Jane after being used. Being so young, he can take Jane’s abuse, but he can dish out his own as well. Let’s not forget Hightower threatening to get rid of Lisbon if he messes up. It’s always interesting to
    me to see how new bosses try to work with Jane. Like you said it’s mostly about control, and Luther was wrong twice in this episode, so, yeah, his psychoanalysis could have been his own brand of punishment to Jane.

  • reviewbrain

    😀 love your comments! Thanks for suggesting the military angle, makes perfect sense.

  • reviewbrain

    I don’t think Jane ever was a psychopath. In episode “throwing Fire” we see him cry after his dad forces him to lie to a dying girl for money. He was always a good person but being raised in an environment where he was applauded for scamming people turned him vain and selfish; not good qualities but not criminal or crazy. He’s just incredibly self aware of his flaws, even as he denies them, and probably lived in denial of them until RJ made him pay for them dearly. I think he’s still struggling with himself to reach the point where he’s happy with who he is.

  • Julie

    Wainwright seemed naive to me, I say this because his door approach was very very naive and he was easily dupped by Jane into being the stress trigger. But even more telling was him allowing the sting to take place at all. Jane pointed it out to him when he said something along the lines of ‘the objective as agreed by you was to catch him in the act….” It was as if Jane was saying that Wainwright had made a mistake in how much rope he had given Jane. I think Jane likes Wainwright though – he tends to like his bosses, and I do wonder if Jane didn’t already know that he was being tested.

  • reviewbrain

    I don’t think you’re far-reaching at all. Its a possiblity as good as any other😉 there us a definite theme this season on sanity and inner peace. Not just for Jane but for Lisbon, Grace, and possibly the all the others as well. None of them had easy lives and I suspect we’ll learn a lot about how they were able to survive, and how they’ll continue to survive (emotionally).

  • reviewbrain

    I think Jane likes the challenge of having new people to study. Having them be his bosses makes it more challenging. You’re right, Jane does tend to like his bosses but i think this time is different. He didn’t seem to enjoy the challenge as much and i can only assume it’s due to his current ( preoccupied) state if mind. My take on the “as approved by you” is that he was
    telling Wainwright that he had no right to feel duped. I dong think Jane knew he was being tested as he seemed
    genuinely surprised when Luther told him what he’d been doing. I think while he respected Luther’s attempt to assert himself, he was hurt by the method, maybe despite himself. Which us why he reached out for Lisbon’s reassurance.

  • reviewbrain

    Lovely long comment! You raise very valid points concerning both Grace and Wainwright. As to Grace I think they’re setting her up for an emotional storyline. it’s been hinted that she has a dark past and I think maybe with what happened with her fiancee will push her to a breaking point, and reveal why that past is. I agree that Rigsby is watching her, and is trying to subtly hint to her that she’s acting rashly.
    As to the boss, very interesting points as well, but it remains to be seen if he’s just inexperienced or something
    more suspicious as Jenny_lson thinks below😉 He might just very young. Also, I think Jane knows that his being so blunt with people sets him up to have them treat him likewise. Luther, as boss, should be more professional, but his being so young makes him more likely to treat Jane as he’s treating him. I must say I’m looking forward to those
    “sparks” you mentioned even as Im nervous about them😉 for his part, I think Jane accepted Luther’s reading for what it was: it started out out of genuine interest and fascination, but Luther told Jane about it (and quite cruelly) as payback
    for being used. Jane may have won the battle, but the war may have just started.

    As to the tea, Jane was looking for someone when he entered the bullpen (probably Lisbon) so I’m with you on his wanting to chat with her from the start.

    Creepy and fluffy! Lol!!! Love laroche🙂

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Jenny Ison

    I agree with everything you said about Jane here. You are right on with this analysis.

  • Sameh Haggag

    Very Nice, I was simply searching for a quote that I couldn’t hear clearly and then I found your intense article……I never knew that such a review would exist, that someone would be such a passionate fan and at the same time a meticulous observer and analyst, and then get all that out in such a nifty style. Well done, and I think I will drop by again.
    Sameh

  • reviewbrain

    Very kind words. So glad you enjoyed it and please do visit again🙂

  • Sid

    “I wonder what brought on this change. Perhaps it’s because now Jane has something new to redeem himself for. Or maybe now that Jane realized that murder isn’t as satisfying as he thought it would be he has a new found reason to prevent it.”

    This case differed from most cases. What brought on the change was the simple fact that Jane had the chance to prevent a mass disaster. The scumbag Wainwright of course was not interested, but Jane was.

    “Jane tells Luther that Tibbs is “a man on autopilot, set to kill”.

    I guess it takes one to know one.”

    That’s cruel and wrong. Jane is not some kind of serial killer set to kill. He’s a kind man who helps people while searching for the man who murdered his family.

    “Jane said the same to LaRoche when he did his own mini-analysis of him in ‘Jolly Red Elf‘. But while LaRoche’s analysis was flattering, Luther’s is anything but. So I’m inclined to think, more than a reply to Luther’s statement, Jane’s “you flatter me here” is referring to the fact that Luther felt he needed to evaluate Jane’s personality.”

    This is inaccurate. He said “you flatter me” when Wainwright had just started. Glibness and charm would be compliments. It was only after that that Wainwright turned to insults.Wainwright is an immature child who never had any business running the CBI

  • Ashley

    Okay, so I’m a couple years behind, but I just started watching The Mentalist recently (I remembered watching it once and really enjoying it, so I finally started it up) and I just love your reviews. For me, reading each of your reviews (which I feel has a combination of in-depth analysis and occasional ravings over details only a fan would notice) is the perfect way to transition between each episodes… (I watched two season in three days, and I’ve yet to even think of stopping).

    Anyways, I just wanted to say that this episode probably has one of my favourite Jane/Lisbon scenes yet. I mean, they’ve ended an episode with Jane and Lisbon talking after the case before, but the fact that they weren’t together the whole day made it SO much more special. It felt like they were a couple (or family, at the very least), coming home after a long day, exchanging “Hi honey, I’m home!”s and “How was your day?”s….
    I know they’re still a long way from being in a real relationship and that it’s likely they won’t ever officially be in one (which, really, I don’t mind as long as they end it at a place where it’s an eventual possibility for their characters), but it made me downright giddy to think that just talking and being with each other is a natural way to end the day for them.

    Also, I don’t trust Wainwright one bit. Call it residual trust issues from other shows (namely Supernatural), but having four bosses in a row that I like? And a boss that, for the most part, doesn’t mind Jane’s shenanigans? No, I just don’t buy it. And it’s just made worse by the fact that he’s charming. Because he’s not adorable-charming. or damaged-charming (like Jane).

    And with every new boss, the writers brought them in as potential antagonists. Hightower got on our bad side with the way she treated Lisbon and the whole Rigsby/Van Pelt ordeal. And heaven knows with LaRoche upsetting everyone from our favourite team, it took a while to warm up to him (I swear, once we saw his house, I was immediately in love. He’s so awkwardly adorable).

    What I mean is that I tend to be more accepting of characters that seem bad from the get-go. Because at worst, they really are that bad. And at best, you learn about them and they just grow on you. Basically, there’s no where to go but up.

    But with characters that are brought in as supposed good ones, it’s just a huge gamble. Either they get better, do nothing, or are revealed to be a lot worse (which always feels like a betrayal). And with Wainwright, I don’t see him getting better because he’s not a part of the team, so he won’t be a part of the emotional struggles it takes to shape someone into a better person (perfect example: the entire team. Cho’s actually letting his team in far enough to form bonds, Rigsby finally took action with Grace, Van Pelt’s currently gaining that world-weariness that’s making her a bolder and better detective, Lisbon’s finally learning to accept that the people around her care for her and that it’s okay for her to care for them, and Jane was really more of the bad character so there was nowhere but up for him anyways)

    Anyways, I’m looking forward to having your reviews with me as I get through the rest of the episodes! So far I’ve managed to avoid any and all spoilers (which means I haven’t been able to see ANYTHING fandom-wise) so I can only hope that nothing I say now is too foolish… ;D

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