Mentalist Blinking Red Light Review


The Serious crimes unit of CBI catches a case of a young woman who was kidnapped and bound before having her throat slit. It turns out that hers is only another in a string of deaths caused by a serial killer known as the “San Joaquin Killer”. Special Agent Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney) likes photographer Richard Haibach (guest star William Mapother) for the crime. Meanwhile, investigative reporter Karen Cross (guest star Miss Pyle) gains interest in the case and asks blogger James Panser (David Paymer) for his insight; Panser had devoted his life to documenting the SJK’s criminal career after the first victim, a child of one of his neighbors, was killed. CBI consultant Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) also takes an interest in Panser and secures his aid in the case. The stakes are upped when another girl is killed and FBI Agent Susan Darcy (Catherine Dent) approaches young CBI Head Luther Wainwright Agent (Micheal Rady) to take over the case.

Concise Verdict

I hated this episode, a lot. I think it is safe to say that the amount of hate I have for Blinking Red light is only equal to how brilliant it was. I didn’t like it, but it was perfectly written, acted, directed. The musical score by Blake Neely was phenomenal, it makes you think, leaves you guessing, and shocks you in the end. I hated this episode, but as I don’t grade episodes on whether I like them or not, rather, on how well put together they are, this one’s a 10/10. Congrats Ken Woodruff.














Detailed AKA Humungous Review (spoilers galore)

In my review for Scarlet Ribbons, I stated:

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

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

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

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

Cynic is laughing at me.

 Cynic: Just like I’m laughing at you now. BWAHAHAHAHAHA- Hey, wait, is that a muzzle?! Umph!!

Ahem. Sorry about him.

I also commented in the Blood and Sand Review:

I’m starting to fear the writers are “mentalizing” us, preparing us for something horrible Jane is going to do *_*

I’d be psyched that I was able to accurately interpret the writers hints for this season if I wasn’t so traumatized.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

First, I’m starting this review with the last final scenes since I can’t seem to write anything else before getting them off my chest. It’s also useful to go backward with this one as I plan on exploring the events which led up to Jane doing what he did.

Helping me along I’m happy to once again present my dear friend Little Mender who was kind enough to listen to my rants concerning Jane and managed to sum up in a nutshell my grievances with the situation. She also provided a comprehensive analysis of those crucial last moments. Below you’ll find both her thoughts (and mine), indicated by our respective pen names.  

Very Important Scene (VIS) #1: Title scene: Blinking Red Light

Feeling that newly in charge FBI agent Susan Darcy won’t take his suspicions of James Panser seriously, Jane takes matters into his own hands and accepts Karen Cross’s invitation to guest on her show alongside Panser. On the surface, Jane and Panser are both being interviewed as experts on SJK case. Below, they are facing off as Jane tries to get Panser to reveal himself as the real killer on air. Jane claims that it is only a matter of time before the serial is caught, insulting SJK (hence Panser) on live television.  

During a break James tells Jane that he knows what he is doing and that he will not let him “ruin this” for him. When the show starts again, Karen Cross asks James if he thinks the killer will strike again. Panser goes onto to give the following chilling soliloquy.

“He is growing more bold and more confident every day, more sure of his abilities and his greatness and why shouldn’t he be? He has been able to evade detection so easily he is too good to be caught.”

Panser is completely unaware of the dramatic and murderous affect his words have on Patrick Jane. During this foreboding speech viewers can just see how affected Jane is. No doubt he is stricken not only by Panser’s confidence that he won’t be caught, but also by how true Panser’s words seem of Red John, how he has eluded him all these years, and still does. He stares at a Blinking Red Light on one of the camera’s; almost as if he is hypnotized by it and Panser’s words. It might be that he was…

Karen wakes Jane from his trance when she asks him if he has any comments. Jane looks at Panser for a while and the man looks back; it’s the final stare down in the battle before the secret weapon is brought out. One can almost see Jane making a decision. When Karen calls out his name again, he says “It’s funny, Red John thought exactly the same thing.”   

Panser: “Somehow I don’t think the San Joaquin killer will be quite as easy to kill as Red John.”

Jane’s reply is simply “You’re very much mistaken.”

Panser: “Red John was an accomplished killer no doubt and I applaud you for ridding us of him, but there is no comparison to the San Joaquin. Red John was a common sociopath, lazy, sloppy, delusional…”

At this point, Jane attempts to intercede: “You really have no idea what you’re saying, Red John-” before he is cut off by Panser “Red John is dead, and the fact that he allowed himself to be caught and killed by you just proves my point.”

Less optimistic viewers than I probably figured out Jane’s exact intention in bringing Red John up the moment he did. They probably realized that Jane’s silence at this point, his taking a drink of water as he watches Panser rant over RJ’s weakness, wasn’t him fearfully stepping out of the way of a man intent on hanging himself with his words. Rather, less optimistic viewers probably realized Jane’s subsequent silence was him enjoying watching Panser hang himself with the rope Jane (most likely intentionally) gave him.

Little Mender: I think Jane thought to out Panser on Karen Cross’s show, or at least trick him into giving himself away. But he knew that would never happen (Panser actually was too smart for that), and he didn’t formulate the plan to lure him into a death snare until he was watching the red light. It would have triggered something in his conscious mind–a television talk show, an interview, discussing Red John, evaluating and assessing and dismissing him. I also think he wasn’t trying to get him to stop talking but was subtly egging him on, getting his ire up to keep going and say what Jane knew would incite RJ.

Reviewbrain: I completely agree, though I wish to the ends of the earth that it’s not true Jane was egging Panser on. But the only other realistic possibility which crossed my mind, is that Jane’s half-hearted attempts to stop Panser were so that he can later delude himself by thinking “Hey, I tried to stop him, it was his own fault” and so lessening any feelings of guilt (if any) which might arise (is that even likely?). So yeah, not exactly a better alternative.

Very Important Scene (VIS) #2: Jane and Panser in the Dressing Room

Jane, leaving the TV set, sees Panser in what is either the a bathroom or dressing room. He stops to tell him, in a huskier than usual voice, “You ah, you were very good out there. “  Panser thanks him. Jane leaves the room, closing the door behind him. Panser, looking at himself in the mirror says, “I was good.”

Little Mender: When Jane stops in to compliment Panser on his performance, his expression is serious and weighty as if he’s aware of the heinous import of what he’s done. But just before he exits, there’s that hint of a smile, as if he’s actually congratulating Panser (and himself) for doing exactly what Jane was leading him to do. My first consolation is that the smile MIGHT be Jane’s personal confirmation of what he believes of the worst of himself (reference his talk with Todd Johnson about hiding the darkest part of what’s in your heart so no one suspects what you’re capable of).

Reviewbrain: Again, I agree with Little Mender and I want to point out that the key word here is Jane “believes” the worst of himself; meaning this belief is not necessary true (despite all signs that it is). At this point in the scene, it is clear that Jane knows exactly what he has done and is a bit shaken, as evidenced by his demeanor and throaty tone. And yet, his congratulations to Panser also seemed like a smug, grim “Goodbye, we shouldn’t be seeing each other again.”

VIS #3: Jane in the attic

In the next scene, we see Jane’s mobile ring on one of the crates in the CBI’s godforsaken attic, made even more so by the eerily darkness. Jane sniffs before picking up the phone. 

Little Mender: As for the attic scene, Jane never leaves his phone lying around. I don’t think he can afford to lest someone should pick it up and read or listen to a saved message. It’s logical to deduce that he left the phone behind specifically so no one (especially Lisbon) could get in touch with him or find him, perhaps stopping him or dissuading him from what he thought to do or what he finally decided to do.

Reviewbrain: This is actually a very interesting possibility that never crossed my mind. I don’t know what Jane might have on his phone that he doesn’t want people to read, or if he had the presence of mind to leave his phone in the attic before taking off to Karen Cross’s show, but I suppose it is possible. Though I suppose if Lisbon intended to stop Jane she would have attempted to before he left her (as she does numerous times in Season 3, i.e. The Blood on his Hands). Personally, I had interpreted the phone’s position, along with the fact that there was a teacup nearby, to mean that Jane was lying on his makeshift bed some distance away from his phone after he drank tea. That, along with the Jane’s sniff before picking up the phone leads me to think that he was actually distressed (mind you, even if a little bit) over what he had done.

The fact that Jane is up again in that heinous attic does not bode well. Jane started sleeping/spending time in that attic after he “met” Red John in the season two finale. I always thought he was just working too hard on the case to go home. That and the fact that Jane once said he sleeps better at CBI. Now I’m starting to think Jane has another reason to stay at CBI; perhaps he feels safer there. I wonder if it’s Red John or his own demons that he fears the most…

Note: Jenny Lson brought to my attention that Jane’s tea set in this scene is not his usual turquoise blue cup. Rather, it is more similar to the one we saw Jane drink out of in Rosalind Harker’s home in Red John’s Footsteps, as well as the one Red John himself drank out of in the same episode. I think the heads of this show are too detail oriented to accidentally have Jane drink from the same type of cup as RJ’s. I’ll be saving this detail to discuss later.

VIS# 4: End Scene: Red John Smiley

Jane arrives at an unspecified location to find Lisbon, FBI Agent Susan Darcy, and a third unknown cop staring him down. He asks “What happened?” Lisbon tells him it’s Panser and to go see for himself. He does, approaching the crime scene he is faced with Red John’s smiley, no doubt drawn in Panser’s blood, the man’s dead body nearby.

Little Mender: When he arrives on the scene, Lisbon’s stance is defensive and suggests suspicion. Of course, it’s reasonable to assume that it’s because of the red smiley and all that it signifies. But while she probably doesn’t know where Jane went or what he did yet, there has to be the memory of his cryptic remark just before he left her last. I also think it’s significant that she didn’t accompany him to the scene but only directed him to it with a jerk of the head. She also didn’t reach out to him as she often does, a gesture to comfort or soften the blow, but kept her hands firmly in her trouser pockets.

Reviewbrain: Lisbon’s wary stance her is completely different from the sympathetic caring demeanor we’ve seen from her all this season. I’m glad of it, to be frank. I’d love to believe that she knows what Jane pulled. Alas, I think it more likely that she’s simply upset that she now has unequivocal evidence that Jane was right, Red John is still alive and is upset that this can of worms has opened up again. Mind you, it’s not that I doubt Lisbon’s ability to put two and two together and realize Jane’s role in Panser’s death; rather I don’t think the writers will let her realize it, at least not at this point, to delay the possible confrontation between her and Jane until they deem it timely.

Little Mender: I also noticed the stance and expression of the FBI agent who had taken over the SJK case, squinting at Jane, suspicious, wary and assessing. She seemed intelligent and broad in her thinking in those few minutes we saw her earlier, and she’s got to be thinking on his assertions that Timothy Carter was RJ, wondering if he knew or came to know the truth of that matter and if he knowingly lied to the jury, wondering how far he would go to stop another serial killer, wondering if he had some part in this or at the least wondering what behaviors the current situation might evoke in him. I would love to see something of what’s to happen down the road.

Reviewbrain: So would I. Jane has been wrong plenty of times before and if he continues on this path it’s only a matter of time before he does something else even his arrogant self will have cause to feel guilty for; killing someone innocent perhaps. Someone has to hold Jane accountable for his actions before this happens. And not just for the innocent lives he might take in the future, but for his own sake and Lisbon’s as well. I had hoped this would be Lisbon’s role this season; we’ve gotten clues that it might be and I’m inclined to hope that just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean that it won’t. But if not Lisbon, I’ll happily take Agent Darcy.

Little Mender: My second consolation, if you could call it that, is that as he approached the scene and that little smile appeared (so much like the lightly smug smile he wore after killing Timothy Carter) is that it was directed, not at the dead body, but at the smiley face, as if the big win was flushing out RJ and that Panser being stopped is just a side benefit. Heartbreakingly, it’s just as likely that satisfied expression could be about his playing Red John.

Reviewbrain: Little Mender again manages to find the silver lining in a particularly black cloud. To be honest, I think it’s pitiful we’ve been reduced to consoling ourselves with the merest hints that Jane’s crimes are not deliberately evil, but just a means to an ends, if that were even true. Jane might have just as easily gotten Panser killed as payback for his insulting him as for that fact that he thinks he’s a killer (see how he used Ellis Mars vindictively in Red Moon). Hmm. Someone killing someone as payback for insulting their ego. Who does that remind us of?

Alternatively, Jane’s smile upon seeing the smiley could be interpreted as an excited “Game on”. Ugh.

Jane’s Character “development”

In reply to my comment (mentioned above) that the writers are mentalizing us for something horrible Jane might do, commentor All-I-Need stated:

He already killed someone, what could he possibly do that´s MORE horrible? Kill someone in a really really gruesome way? Not likely with the way he`s behaving nowadays…not to mention the fact that Lisbon stays closer to him now, to give him less opportunities to slip away and “do something stupid”.

Jane did manage to slip away from Lisbon, and now I think we have our answer on what could be more horrible than Jane killing a man: Jane becoming a serial killer.

My friend takes the idea even further…

Little Mender: All of this makes me wonder, does Jane realize that he is now, by loosest definition, a Red John accomplice? Does he realize the danger and implications of killing or luring someone to their death if he considers it to be “for the greater good” (an assertion made by RJ’s comrades about his ways)? Does he realize the definition of a serial killer? Perhaps two isn’t enough to make him meet that, but surely if he does it again (and I would think it increasingly easy) he would qualify. Surely three “victims” who meet certain descriptive killed over a period of time would suffice. And if that definition makes Jane a serial murderer, Lisbon (by loosest definition) fits the bill as well. Of course, she’s exempted from retribution by Jane’s standards as judge, jury and a law and god unto himself.

So true. For someone who acts like he doesn’t believe in a higher power, Jane certainly acts as if he himself is one. I only hope that Lisbon’s only religion is enough to save them both. And I contend that Jane has already established a pattern of a serial killer:  Hardy (Red John’s Footsteps) Stiener (The Red Mile) Timothy Carter (Strawberries and Cream) and now, James Panser.  

Note: Hardy’s kill was a rightous one, Jane did it to save Lisbon’s life. But it was his first “kill”. Interestingly, it was the most horrified we’ve seen Jane despite the act being completely justified. A cop once told me the first time is the hardest. Little Mender is right, it is becoming increasingly easy for Jane to kill.  In the case of Steiner, Jane may or may not have done (or not done) enough to qualify for the crime of “assisted suicide”, but for the sake of this argument, he comes pretty close. Especially when you consider that his main reason for staying was not out of compassion, rather, to desensitize himself so that he’ll be able to kill Red John.

Little Mender: I read an interview at the end of S3 in which Bruno H said that Jane wants to go in a different direction now and be more open, make changes and move on with his life, implying a desire to be in a more positive psychological and personal place. Obviously that wasn’t true. There have been a spate of interviews and a few twitter messages from people connected with the show, and I don’t think any of them are to be believed, following the previous pattern of misleading viewers to keep us guessing. Jane’s behavior toward Lisbon and privately with the flower in the ocean thing is so confusing that I have to believe they are–rather clumsily–building toward something as they started to do about mid-season in S3. I find myself hoping that Jane is heading for a major fall. I just wonder who else will have to pay.

Reviewbrain: I feel for Little Mender; the reason I (try) to avoid all spoilers and teasers (even trailers) is because they tend to be misleading; their function is to market the product to viewers not to necessarily be honest with them; and while I used to think this show was the exception to the rule it is clear that that is no longer the case.

However…I don’t think Heller was being deliberately misleading in this case. The apparent contradiction between Jane’s peaceful demeanor earlier in this season and his vigilantism here has actually been set up very well, which is why the episode got the  full grade it did despite how much it depressed me.  

VIS #5: Jane and Panser visit Molly Meir’s family

We’ve often seen Jane relate to bereaved husbands, but rarely do we see him relate to grieving parents. I think the last time I remember was in season one. In Blinking Red Light, the case seemed to greatly effect Jane particularly after he visits the first victim Molly Meir’s parents. When Molly was killed, she was the same age Jane’s daughter would have been had she lived. Seeing her enraged mother screaming her disbelief that this “monster” was still out there killing more girls, her father’s quieter yet just as grieving demeanor…

What if Jane, by putting a flower in the ocean, really had intended to move on, to forget revenge? This possibility becomes especially likely if Jane believed that Red John really did want to retire (based on what RJ told Carter to say, his attempts to make Jane think he really was dead, and the fact that he has all but disappeared after Jane shot Carter).

Then, Molly’s mother’s frustration remind Patrick of his own. Seeing her suffering helpless family clearly pushed him to work the case harder, and finally pushed him to sign Panser’s death warrant when he couldn’t catch him.  Jane felt compelled to act to stop “this monster”, as the mother called him, to make up for his inability to stop RJ? If true, I wonder how many other surrogates Jane will have for RJ before he realizes what he is doing…

Little Mender: That could be it, I guess. Also, after reading your comments, I thought of him walking out of the first victim’s room, leaving her father staring at the screen, watching her dance and Panser saying more than once that the SJK would never be caught. And those two things made me wonder if Jane did what he did because he couldn’t bear another serial killer continuing. I guess there is some merit in what he did–he just seemed to at ease with it. And I don’t like Lisbon’s growing tendency to just let things go. I’m still bothered that she didn’t even seem to flinch when Jane told her he had purposely lied to the jury in his case. Or, maybe she just accepted that as part of how the system works, with all of its flaws. I’m getting a little tired of wondering and contemplating.

Reviewbrain: I guess the biggest question now would be how Lisbon will react now that Red John is back. I know since last season I’ve been advocating more than anyone for Lisbon to start letting Jane connect with her emotionally, blah, blah, blah, but at the same time I also stated that it shouldn’t be to the point where she completely loses wariness of him. I was as happy when Lisbon visited Jane in jail as I was when she told him she doesn’t trust him %100 (Scarlet Ribbons); as happy that she apparently kept the stone he gave her as I was when she insisted on remaining to ask her own questions after Jane told her they should go (‘Blood and Sand’). I took these as signs of the perfect balance Lisbon needs to have to deal with Jane: be intimate enough with him so that he’ll open up to her, while at the same time retain enough of her professionalism to be the voice of reason; a grounding force for when Jane goes too far. Jane’s statement that Lisbon is a “healthy moderating influence” (Little Red Book) along with his newfound tolerance towards spiritualism, and the flower he set into the sea (Blood and Sand) also had me overjoyed that perhaps Lisbon was changing him as much as he was her. This episode, however, the team dynamic shifted in a way that had my inner Cynic (y’all might remember him from the Scarlet Ribbon’s Review) screaming like a harpy.

Jane takes Lisbon under his wing

In the episode opener, Jane who has a flat tire has Lisbon talk him through their latest case. Lisbon notes the clean way the girls throat was slit, the carefully knotted wire binding the girls wrists and feet and the pebbles from the crime scene placed on the victim’s eyes. Jane tells Lisbon that she’s right in thinking that the suspect is a serial killer; Lisbon argues that she can’t assume that when Cho reveals that the profile fits four other victims. Jane congratulates her on calling it.

Later Jane has Lisbon use her intuition to narrow a list of eight suspects down to one. And while she tells Jane that she simply can’t dismiss the others based on her hunch he points out that her hunch is as good a place to start as any, adding “Well done Lisbon”.

Cynic: Witness the master grooming the student for his own nefarious use later.

Reviewbrain: Jane is just helping Lisbon hone skills she already has; and that’s a big step considering his ego and need to be the smartest in the room.

Cynic: He’s doing it because he needs her as his sidekick.

Reviewbrain: No, it’s just more proof of his burgeoning affection.

Cynic: Affection you say? And that makes you happy? Weren’t you the one who said (in the Blood for Blood Review)

Gaining Jane’s affection comes with the price (or gift) of him trying to convert you to his religion; that religion being, that he’s always right and Red John is the devil.

Reviewbrain: Uh, Little Mender, a little help here?

Little Mender: I’ve thought his watching her more was about his heightened sense of protectiveness, but now I have to wonder if he’s been gauging how much further he can stretch her, how far he can make her willing to go. I’ve got to hope she’s not so far gone that if she realizes what he did she won’t just absorb it and go on. But, if she can’t do that, their relationship will be left in tatters, nearly all hope for Jane’s “redemption” gone, and Jane won’t have the desire to repair it because I fear that, drawing the line at her life (and knowing Lisbon would draw the line at her family’s and team’s lives), Jane doesn’t care what Lisbon might have to sacrifice for him. She’s already let him know she expects to lose her job. What more can there be? And if he continues on this track, if she gets in his way, how safe can she hope to remain?

Reviewbrain: I guess I’m outnumbered. Let the record show that despite all my defense of Jane, even I am unhappy that Lisbon didn’t even try to find out what Jane was going to do when he told her that while her hands were tied, his weren’t. It’s a contrast to when last season she wanted to know where he was at all times; it’ll be interesting to see which MO she’ll be operating under in the future after this episode. Also, even I couldn’t help the feeling of foreboding watching Jane instruct Lisbon and congratulate her so happily. I had to remind myself that Jane telling Lisbon to go with her instincts could be a good thing.

Perhaps this is where the answer lies: We know that Jane needs someone better than him to guide him. Could this be what he is (perhaps subconsciously) doing? Jane encouraging Lisbon to rely on her instincts gives the implicit meaning that he trusts them as well. Could this mean that when and if she reaches a point where she does not agree with him, where she tries to stop him, Jane will listen to her?

Cynic is laughing at me. Again.


In the Blood and Sand review, I commented:

All I want, whatever new plotline is developed, is for Jane to be able to retain his newfound peace. I’d hate for it all to be built up only to have an event occur which makes him regress. That would completely depress me.

I suppose it was too much to hope for Jane achieving his peace at this point in the series . But I must reiterate my concern from episode The Red Mile; using such dramatic plots with so much time left on the show is not the wisest move. I’ve had so many people telling me that I’ve been over grading this season’s episodes; that they didn’t feel many of the tens’ I gave were deserved, until after they read the reviews. I can only imagine this is because the show has had so many dramatic plots; mostly RJ centered, that it has desensitized the audience to the point where many of them can no longer appreciate the show’s subtleties. If the ratings are down from last year, I’m certain this is the only reason.

The show needs to slowly wean the audience off its adrenaline fix. Otherwise, in trying to outdo itself, it risks losing what made it special to begin with. You’ve got three + seasons left. SLOW THE HECK DOWN ALREADY!!

Unless they have all the season plots planned up to season seven (which, with these writers isn’t unlikely), in which case, God speed. I wish I could fast forward to happier times, finish the series, then rewatch knowing all will be well in the end.

I also stated, in the Blood and Sand Review:

Some issues raised, and I hope will continue being explored include: what people have to do to survive, where the line between victim stops and that of perpetrator begins, as well as how close the serious crimes unit has become and how far these people will go to help each other.

In my review of Strawberries and Cream I said that I while I was unhappy Jane killed “Red John”, I didn’t think he’d be able to live with letting him go. In “Blinking Red Light” we see Jane feeling compelled to commit yet another murder (Jane may not have killed Panser himself; but he may as well have). We also have him skewing the line between victim (having lost his family so viciously) into becoming a perpetrator.

It remains to be seen how far Lisbon will go to protect him. I just want to point out the there are different forms of protection.

There is an Arabic saying which loosely translated states: “Help your fellow man whether he is the criminal or the victim. If he is the victim, you help by fighting for him. If he is the criminal, you help by stopping him.”

What this statement means, is that by stopping a friend from doing harm unto himself or others, you are literally helping him; even if it may not seem like it to that person.

I want Lisbon to help Jane. Not by going along with everything he say/does, but by stopping him from becoming what he pretty much has already become: a killer.

My desire for her to remain the loyal, strong and ethical person that she is greater than ever. It’s the only hope I see for Jane’s character. Some may find watching Jane become a serial killer exciting. I don’t. Because while so far all his ‘victims’ have been criminals (and in the case of Panser, we have no proof of that whatsoever) it’s only a matter of time before he kills someone innocent on a hunch. Jane is not infallible, no one is. I just hope Lisbon’s (not %100) trust for Jane, and her own sense of the law remains intact enough to prevent Jane from giving himself more acts to feel guilty for.

Image by Chizuru-chibi. Copyright Reviewbrain October, 2011. Not to be used without permission.

I suppose it is possible that all the psychological references here were to prepare us for the fact that this is the new face of the show: Jane the serial avenger. I have to say I’m not interested in that show; if I was I’d watch Dexter, not the Mentalist. I can appreciate the irony of Jane turning into the very man he despises (a major hint was his using the same tea set RJ does). I can even appreciate him not being aware of it. But having Lisbon stand by and do nothing to stop it would probably be more than I can stomach. Having her be completely unaware of it is worse because it’s simply not realistic. This show’s hook was supposed to be Jane seeking redemption by solving crimes and getting his archenemy. Killing, even a righteous killing, is hardly the right path to redemption, in my humble opinion.

And while I appreciate how nicely the writers set up this plot line, no amount of build up will allow me to forgive them turning my favorite character into a serial killer. Jane is not amoral; he’s worked long enough at CBI to be aware of the law. He just chooses to ignore it.

If I could sit in a room with Patrick Jane it would probably be a parody of his scene with Panser at Karen Cross’s show. I (the blogger) would probably be playing his role in that scene, telling him how he needs to stop killing people and it’s only a matter of time before he makes a mistake and is caught. Jane (the killer) would be Panser, lost in his own ego and grandiose defending his genius; him being too good to be caught.


Best Scenes

The winner: The scene where Lisbon and Grace search Haibach’s home. I loved the intensity, the music, the build up, the direction, everything was phenomenal.

First Runner up: Jane and Panser’s Karen Cross interview; the title scene.

Third Runner up: The scene where Jane and Lisbon go to the warehouse. The direction was superb, and David Paymer was phenomenal. His performance truly has me doubting Jane was right about him being the killer.

Best Lines:

“Working on a computer, what’s next? Rayguns? Teleporters?” Lisbon to Jane.

“He’s become wrapped up in his own mythology, drank his own Kool aid, so to speak.” Jane on SJK. Takes one to know one Jane.

“He’s a sad little man, living in his own fantasy of power and prestige. I’ts only a matter of time before he makes a mistake.”-Jane on Panser. Jane, see the above comment.  

“What did they do, hold your shoes hostage?” Jane to Karen Cross. Awesome comment especially since she swapped her sexy killer heals for comfy sneakers.

“That kind of duplicity, leading a double life, I don’t know how you do that.” Panser to Jane.

“This is a man to be feared, not pitied.”- Panser on SJK. I’m starting to think the same might be true for Jane. But even the fear I feal is for him.

“We’ll think of something.” Lisbon, to Haibach, on why he was being arrested.

Icing’s on the cake

Our beloved foodie is back! Kudo’s to Woodruff for having Rigsby wolf down a hot dog in this episode. And Cho’s look of distaste at all the ketchup on his face was priceless as well.

Lisbon’s curdling glare at Haibach and her fighting with his lawyer: I’ve missed pissed off Lisbon. Her hardness here reminded me of her distaste of  Kurdich in episode Red Tide. Tough Lisbon we love you!

Jane looked a bit terrified at the new victims gouged out eyes. It’s nice to see that there are things which still get to him. We should enjoy this while it lasts…

Honorable Mention

Simon Baker (as director and actor). He really goes all out with the directing and makes some very interesting shots using surprising angles. Robin Tunney was as delightful as ever; pissed off, cohorting, taking charge. David Paymer; again, I’m not so sure he’s not innocent, Missi Pyle; love her smiling at Jane, apologizing for last time. Blake Neely (composer) I think his music speaks for itself. Finally William Mapother as Haibach; his scenes were Lisbon were very good, especially when he started crying at being caught.

 Pet Peeves

If the truest motive of a serial killer does lie within the first victim, how come we never got to know why Panser fixated on Molly Meir?

Did Karen Cross’s accent disappear along with her heels?

Did Lisbon really need to arrest Haibach? Couldn’t she just have said that they have a suspect in custody without risking being sued by his lawyer?

Jane’s been wrong before. Just because he says Panser is the SJK doesn’t make it so. Even Panser’s statements “I’m not going to let you ruin this for me”, and his statement “I did good” could simply be referring to the fact that he didn’t let Jane steal his spotlight, didn’t let Jane set him up for a murder he didn’t commit, and that he’s pleased with himself that he stuck by his own analysis of SJK instead of allowing Jane to bully him into submission.

That would be totally awesome. If Jane had RJ kill Panser because he thought he was a serial killer, only for Panser to turn out to be completely innocent; his only crime having a too neat medicine cabinet, liking the same song as one of the victim’s did, and being unfortunate enough to cross the almighty Jane. What a wakeup call that would be.


About reviewbrain

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

64 responses to “Mentalist Blinking Red Light Review

  • All-I-need

    Woah. What a review. I`ve been waiting for that one all week!

    Okay, so first of all, before I forget to mention it again, I need to comment on the polls: Go back and read over them, then tell me how I`m supposed to pick something when the possible answers sound like an internal monologue and some don`t appear to mean anything at all if read on their own, while others seem exactly the same, though for different reasons (see sniff, Simon Baker and tea). It´s getting really hard to choose anything that reflects my opinion here 😉

    Now that that`s out of the way, I can focus on the episode and I need to point out something that you either missed or didn`t think was important or maybe left out because there was really one helluva lot to deal with here:
    The beginning. That very first scene made me squeal. I mean, seriously, look at it: The first thing we see is a house. Looks great, located in a nice neighborhood, calm and friendly. The camera swings around and we see Jane`s car parked on the other side of the street, where a very relaxed Jane is changing his tire, looking right AT HOME. Also: the whole neighborhood dit NOT look like an area Jane would happen to drive through – especially since he only heard about the murder when Lisbon called and thus obviously didn`t even know he had somewhere to be. Apart from that, the way his car was parked simply looked too neat. Less like he noticed he had a flat tire and then pulled off the street, but more like he went to his car, parked in that parking spot, and then noticed the tire. Now add that to all his other signs of moving on and I`m guessing Jane finally moved out of that Extended Stay Hotel.
    Any thoughts?

    Now, on with the episode:
    My god was that creepy!!! I swear, I kept looking over my shoulder all the time – and that`s even though I was watching in broad daylight! The music, the gloomy atmosphere, those creepy suspects…woah.

    Now, I don`t think that Lisbon`s favorite suspect #1 was crying because he got caught. I think he was crying because he had to burn some of his treasured pictures and because he knew the others would be taken away from him, too. He was definitely a quite disturbed personality, though I don`t think he really was the killer.

    Actually, there is one more piece of evidence we got for Panser being the SJK: when Jane called him to arrange that meeting with the parents, Panser was in an unspecified place with a VERY distinct mark on the wall right behind him. Later, it turned out to be the hall where Jane and Lisbon found him and Karen Cross. Panser then claimed that he`d never been there before, something that was obviously a lie, since we`ve actually seen him there earlier.

    And even though I may sound like a maniac now, I was laughing at Panser while he was on the show. I laughed like a maniac. First, he just can`t get a word in because Karen keeps interrupting him “Hold that thougth…” and then he signs his own death warrant… I guess he really regretted his congratuations to Jane on the bench when RJ cut him open.

    I get that you`re worried about Lisbon`s behavior, but she really had no chance to actually do anything, had she? He disappeared with that cryptic remark before she could open her mouth to say anything and the next thing she knows RJ kills Panser. Since Jane told her about it, she already knew that RJ wasn`t dead, so at the crime scene she had three important things on her mind: 1. Try and appear surprised about Red John being alive, 2. Wonder how this turn of events is going to affect Jane – he was proclaimed innocent because everyone thought he killed Red John, after all, what`s going to happen now that people know he actually DIDN`T?, and 3. Pretend she doesn`t know that Jane had some plan or other to stop Panser. Lisbon isnt stupid, so she probably figured out the connection between Jane disappearing, Panser showing up killed by Red John and Karen Cross being involved in the case. Therefore, she still had to keep her suspicions to herself in front of that FBI-lady.

    Speaking of the FBI-Lady: I am a little worried the FBI is going to try and get their hands on the Red John case. However, since he killed Bosco and his team I guess they`re keeping their distance for now. I wouldn`t bet on that forever, though, because obviously the FBI-people would consider themselves prepared to deal with RJ.

    To turn the focus back on Lisbon:

    You wrote that:
    >>even I am unhappy that Lisbon didn’t even try to find out what Jane was going to do when he told her that while her hands were tied, his weren’t. It’s a contrast to when last season she wanted to know where he was at all times<<

    Apart from what I already mentioned (Jane disappearing before she got a chance to ask) there are two more points to consider:
    1. as LittleMender already suggested, maybe Jane didn`t have his phone with him or at least turned it off while he was at the studio, probably so Lisbon wouldn`t be able to stop him if she tried, which she probably did. If I had money, I`d bet a great deal of it on the fact that Lisbon tried to call him. Multiple times probably.

    2. It was pretty clear that Panser was the killer – but also that they wouldn`t be able to get their hands on him. The fact that Lisbon went along with Jane`s plan to arrest someone else for the murders proves that she too thought Panser was the real culprit. Now, we know that Lisbon always sticks to the law. We also know (and Lisbon knows that, too) that Jane doesn´t. So now here Lisbon is, with a serial killer walking around, knowing who he is, unable to arrest him for his crimes. And there is Jane, who obviously has a plan. Maybe, JUST MAYBE, Lisbon decided to let Jane do whatever he wants to do for the sake of getting that killer off the streets. Obviously, she had no way of knownig just how he`d accomplish that.

    Which leads me to my theory:
    I highly doubt that Jane planned to get Panser killed – at least at first. I`m pretty sure his plan was to rile Panser up in the interview and get him to confess live on air, in front of what`s likely millions of witnesses. So when Panser kept evading and refused to just give up like that, Jane started thinking about how to up the ante, wondering what would make Panser confess. At that point, Jane ended up staring at the blinking red light and it hit him that this was an interview about serial killers, live on air, and that Red John was quite possibly watching. He is obsessed with Jane, after all. Now of course Jane was a surprise guest, but there must`ve been at least one of RJ`s minions watching, if the serial killer topic wasn`t already enough to pick RJ`s interest. He could`ve easily been alerted to the fact that Jane was going to appear on TV, then tuned in to see for himself.

    Jane realized that while staring at the light and he probably also realized that Panser would not confess to anything. Which is why Jane then set him up to sign his own death warrant.

    Looking at it objectively, it was quite a brilliant move on Jane`s part. He accomplished three things in one:
    1. he made sure Panser would never kill again
    2. Red John was forced to prove that he was in fact still alive after all his attempts to prove the opposite
    3. Jane managed to manipulate two killers at once to get what HE wanted (namely points 1 and 2).

    I agree with you that his little smile at the sight of the smiley was most likely a "Let the games continue" smile, or maybe even a: "I won this round" smile.

    Let`s not forget that Jane`s main objective is still to find Red John. He can`t really do that if Red John pretends to be dead and just lays low, right? So Jane not only lured him out again, but also did it without any planning at all, in an absolutely unexpected moment. So whatever Red John had been doing all the time since he presumably "died", he was suddenly interrupted by Panser`s insults and had to act. Red John had to act completely spontaneously and he didn`t only end up telling all the world that he`s still very much alive, but he also made himself prone to make mistakes. A spontaneous killing without any planning, leaves a higher possibility of making a mistake. And Jane needs Red John to make a mistake in order to get closer to him.

    As I said, it`s quite brilliant if you look at it from that angle.

    Now, I really don`t think Jane wanted to do that. It was definitely not his plan to set Panser up like that, and there are so many things that prove that: his hoarse voice when he congratulated Panser (why did he feel the need to talk to him at all?) and his hiding out in the attic again, complete with the sniff … I`m beginning to think that this was just a very desperate measure he took as his last way out.

    I guess we`ll see the repercussions (if there will be any) in tonight`s episode when he and Lisbon get a chance to talk alone, without any FBI present.

    All in all, I totally loved this episode and I so hope that I`m right about the house thing. It would be great and I bet it would lighten your mood considerably, too 😉

    Oh, and one more thing: I loved, loved, LOVED the scene in Molly`s room. When her father spoke about how she was just like her mother, how there was no stopping her when she wanted something, you can see the left corner of Jane`s mouth twist upwards for just a split second in the most beautiful, saddest smile. I wanted to hug him right then and there because he could obviously relate to that statement perfectly. And he fled only seconds after, when it got too much to take.

    (and you asked about what got Panser fixated on Molly: he saw her at the bus stop several times – is what he claimed. I bet he stalked her for a while, probably intrigued, and watched her dancing to that song, which is why he has it on his own ipod)

    As always, thanks for this amazing episode review and please tell chizuru-chibi that I checked out all her pictures on deviantArt and I just LOVE them. Sadly, I can`t leave a comment there. Special points for the amazing way she draws Jane`s hair. My hair fetisch is totally getting a kick out of that!

    And now I`m effectively shutting up. This comment got way too long already.

  • Jenny Ison (@Jenny_Ison)

    Hi All-I-Need, I just watched the first scene again, so excited at the possibility of seeing Jane’s house. But I’m afraid I must disagree with you. Jane is parked in a No Parking zone that is clearly marked with a sign and red paint on the curb. Jane’s car has it’s emergency lights blinking as well. While I wouldn’t put it past Jane to park in a No Parking zone, I really don’t think he would park there if he lived in the house across from it.

  • violet

    That was a really interesting and well-made review, girls! Great work! :)Although I think you may see this ep a little bit darker than me.
    Jane’s luring Panser into RJ’s bloody claws was indeed a shocker, and an unpleasant one. But was it so unjustifiable? There’s a nasty progression in the whole ep concerning Panser’s character:

    -Jane first notices him during the interview with Wainwright and Karen. We may think he was already finding the guy suspicious as he very quickly approaches him to talk with the blogger as an expert in the case. Panzer’s words about the reasons of his interest seemed off, as if he was merely repeating the same prepared speech again and again. As Jane put it later, the guy seeks attention.

    -Jane’s next move shows us Panzer’s attitude with the grieving parents: the man is a complete and abject hypocrite. He fakes consoling the upset mother, telling her the monster who killed her daughter would be caught, accepting that she thanks him for being kind enough to keep them in the loop, all the while knowing that he’s the one who is responsible for their pain. The look on Jane’s face is very telling: he’s carefully observing and analyzing the interaction between Panzer and the mother. Panzer is enjoying the mother’s distress.

    -That point is also probably implicit with the song: while Jane relates to the father’s pain, Panzer kept the song on his iPod. He certainly has watched the video in the girl’s room, probably with her father too, meaning that he’s basking in the other man’s grief and his own success and superiority. And he is without a doubt used to listen to this song as a reminder of the murder: he probably trying to live the killing again and again. Each scene increases in horror.
    At the same time, Panzer’s behavior appears less and less justifiable. His willingness to remain close to the investigation, as well as his blog to some point, could be explained by a need to be informed of the new discoveries. His visits to the parents? It might have been a form of guilt, to compensate for their loss and try to alleviate their grief. But the song shows that it’s not the case: there is no justification for what he does, he just takes a perverse pleasure out of it. The episode progression makes his character all the more despicable.

    Now, let’s take a look in Jane’s investigation: at first, no scheme, he keeps observing the man. When he’s sure, he tells Lisbon and Wainwright, only to have the case taken by the FBI. His attempt to capture Panzer with Lisbon fails epically, when they’re played by the man. Unexpectedly by-the-book Jane tries then to convince the FBI agent of Panzer’s culpability. He fails again. Next move, still pretty tame for Jane: he goes on TV to provoke him into confessing or, at least, betraying himself. I totally second All-I need on that theory, I think his goal here is made quite clear by the scene: he acts all smug and patronizing around the man. He uses his charisma and Karen’s admiration to attract the spotlight, leaving attention seeking Panzer frustrated and angry, on the verge of making a fatal mistake. Watch the characters’ positions: Jane at first sits just beside Panzer, pretty close to him. He seems to take his place, outrunning him physically. A little while after, the camera shows Jane and Karen almost face to face, while Panzer is left not quite in the middle, traducing how off balance he’s feeling during the exchange. Bu this last attempt fails again. From Jane’s point of view, stopping the man has become even more urgent than it was: he has pointed out the increasing violence of the murders, since the killer has begun to mutilate his victims, taking out the eyes. He’s grown bolder, he not longer principally enjoys the attention, his pleasure in killing and his cruelty are also increasing, as well as his feeling of impunity. And now, the murderer is telling him loud and clear that he’s going to continue… Jane certainly felt that he needed to stop him, yet everything legal/moral has failed. Hence the desperate tentative.

    In the same interpretation, I found it very revealing that he choose to wait afterwards in the attic: the phone let on the table meaning for me that he was expecting the call and trying to put some distance with what he’s done. After all, he first began to hide in the attic after his traumatic encounter with RJ, that’s right, but also to distance himself from the team. Reverting in this habit of his could then also mean the he’s trying to put some distance again between himself and the situation he has set. Because I cannot believe he’s happy with it, he seemed more somber than he would be if that was the case.

    Now about Jane becoming a serial killer, I’m a bit uneasy with that theory. Based on Jane’s words to Ellis Mars when he set him up, I think Jane’s believes in one’s responsibility towards his actions and decisions. Like he told Mars, he didn’t force him to take the bait. He just made a bet on the man’s probable behavior and won. Same here: he was the first to evoke RJ on TV, ok, but Panzer asked him before about his nemesis, when they were sitting on the bench. Even at the time, there was an unspoken rivalry with RJ and with Jane. Jane bet on that, and mentioned RJ: he let Panzer chose to insult him, he didn’t force him. Like Jane himself did, like Kristina, Panzer acted out of his free will by addressing the serial killer. After all, to expand All-I-need remark, it must been common knowledge that RJ has many accomplices and followers (Hardy, Bosco’s murder and Minnelli’s comments about it to the reporters): Panzer should have realized he may very well be attacked by one of them, shouldn’t he?

    What’s more, is there really a series in Jane’s killings? Hardy’s was made out of reflex; the man’s death didn’t serve Jane’s purposes at all. And did he really kill Steiner? We didn’t watch it, but it was probably Steiner himself who put the lethal medicine in his own cup. Jane didn’t have any medicine with him; he only gave Steiner the opportunity to kill himself while he was here, he was merely accompanying his last moments. It might be a paradox, but I think he did it as an act of humanity. Now, about Carter’s murder, it was meant to be RJ’s one, and as so was the only goal discernibly left in Jane’s life. And did he seem coldly alright after it? He seemed in shock, attempting normalcy by finishing his tea, sitting without reaction in the cops car. At last, he was more resigned than anything in jail. That wasn’t the reaction of a cold-blooded killer, serial or not.

    At last, Jane encouraging Lisbon’s abilities. You stated sometime ago, Reviewbrain, (I think it was after the scene where it was said how sad it was that nobody claimed Carter’s body) that the thoughtful look on Jane’s face could mean that he was wondering about his own mortality and what he would left behind. In a darker side than just Jane liking Lisbon, if that was his way to try to let her something of him is things turn ugly? Offering her a little of his gifts, of himself?

    I hope my ramblings made sense (and that the mistakes and mispellings aren’t too outrageous…). I really liked that review and enjoyed (perhaps in a perverse way too 😉 ) the controversial aspect of the ep! I keeps us on our toes after all. Also I didn’t comment earlier on them but the pictures by Chizuru-Chibi are really nice, they’re a great addition! 🙂

  • mpatko

    Wow that was some review. I like reading them, cause it feels like a study guide to each episode. I liked the dual points of view with you and Little Mender. There were so many valid points and ideas. I hope that Jane does not became a serial killer to. Lisbon must put her fist in Jane’s face to get him back on track. Red John is still out there and they both in due time get him.

  • violet

    In my hurry, I forgot to mention that Jane already pull that trick of indirect murdering once before, with the member of the motorcycle gang. I found at the time the incident very disturbing, because Jane had planned this outcome all along (implanting in the minds of the gang members the idea of a traitor among them), and for somewhat bad reasons since, despite the man being a acknowledged psychopath, Jane did it more out of revenge, for the sake of one victim’s sister. Jane’s acts were very morally questionable then, more than in ‘Blinking Red Light’, because here he really tried to stop Panzer in a legal way… In spite of Wainwright previous statement about Jane being a psychopath, his behavior lately has been far more righteous than it once was.

    That being said, the most traumatic part of his new scheme is that it involves RJ, that’s to say that Jane was willing to inflict to someone what his family went through… But, once again, it was a bet: when he was impersonating RJ, Carter told Jane he was about to retire from killing and indeed the serial killer has been officially dead ever since. If RJ was really willing to exit the scene by hiding behind Carter’s death, there was a chance that he would keep down in spite of Panzer’s taunting. So yeah, All-I-need is right, Jane managed to take care of Panzer and to verify that RJ is still playing with him… but I can’t help but think that at the same time, he also lost his advantage of secretly knowing that his nemesis was still alive. Like Carter said, win some, lose some, huh?

  • reviewbrain

    I’m only going to comment on What you said about Jane and Ellis Mars:
    With all do respect, Jane telling Mars that he came there of his own free will is pure crap. When you set a trap for someone, it’s entrapment whether they fall for it or not. You are the one who set the trap, you take responsibility for it. When Janes traps work, he takes the full credit for them does he not? He gets the glory does not? Why should he not net the blame as well?

    Despite what Jane says to get himself off the hook, he *does* get the blame. His playing God here tells us why he was so traumatized when his family was killed. His reaction is not that of normal people who lost someone they loved. He also had his entire world, one where he sees himself as smarter and better than everyone, turned topsy turvy. Because in his mind, if he was so smart, he wouldn’t have gotten his family killed. He couldn’t handle that. He went crazy. I’d like to believe at some point that he realized he was only human; at the start of the show perhaps. But as Red John killed more, got more obsessive, we see Jane begin to lose his way again. I want someone to catch on to save him.

    I enjoyed all the points you made about Jane’s feelings of guilt. Like I said, the writers set up the plot nicely so as to coincide with his new character development; but the reason I didn’t focus on it is because while everything was so “justifiable” here (and I use that term very loosely) the fact remains this this is not the first person Jane has killed, justifiably or not ( I’m sure Red John thinks his acts are justifiable as well.) And unless he is stopped won’t be his last. I refuse to get caught up in all the “brilliance” of Jane’s plan and not see this issue.

  • reviewbrain

    Oi, you’ve been a member of this blog long enough to have gotten used to the polls by now. The answers usually have to be read in order to make sense and can get a little weird depending on my mood. That’s probably not going to change any time soon. Either choose the answer you like most or don’t.

    Was Jane’s goal still catching Red John? If so wouldn’t we have seen more initiative from him to do so before now? I stick by my statement that Jane was actually thinking of moving on, but this case, faced with another serial killer is what had him change his mind. Yes, it’s all very brilliant especially since he thought about it on the spot. That doesn’t make it less ethically wrong. Again, Jane had no legal proof whatsoever that Panser was the culprit. Those laws exist for a reason. Just like they don’t always work, Jane won’t always be right (if he was here). And you’re right, Jane’s scene with the family was beautiful. I might even add it to the best scenes. But more than that, it was important as their grief is probably what triggered his desperation to catch SJK. Perhaps he’s suffering from residual PTSD relating to his familiy’s death.

    He needs *help*. Not necessarily a shrink but HE NEEDS HELP!! Can I shout it any louder?

    I’ll go back and look for those owls image. I saw it the second time but not the first. If your right, then we the audience may know that Panswr was guilty but it doesn’t change the fact that Jane had no proof he was. It’s his job to catch guilty people without resorting to killing them.
    Unless of course that’s his new hobby.

  • windsparrow

    “Later Jane has Lisbon use her intuition to narrow a list of eight suspects down to one. And while she tells Jane that she simply can’t dismiss the others based on her hunch he points out that her hunch is as good a place to start as any, adding “Well done Lisbon”.

    “Cynic: Witness the master grooming the student for his own nefarious use later.”

    I don’t have a lot to say about this episode – just a couple of thoughts. First is, I agree with your Inner Cynic, there. When I was watching that scene, I noticed Jane sort of pointing out Haibach then going through the rigamarole of having Lisbon narrow down the field of suspects – and I wondered what in blue bloody blazes he was trying to do to her. It sure did not feel to me as though he was encouraging her “cop’s intuition” so much as manipulating her to send her off in one direction while he went his own way.

    The other thing I want to say about this episode is that on a second viewing, Jane was creepier than Panser. Sure Jane’s an antihero’s antihero, but I can’t make myself stick with prolonged creepy, so I hope that whatever dark path Jane is on, it twists back from that.

  • violet

    Of course, it’s a crappy logic, but it’s Jane’s. Remember what we were told in ‘Ball of Fire’ he did to catch his kidnapper’s father: he forged a fake suicide letter from her. That time, he used the fact that his suspect was a good father and justified himself by a “it’s my job to catch the bad guys and I do what need to be done” kind of logic too. Do you really think there was a glory in doing so? Jane’s method always goes too far, he treats others without pity and doesn’t hesitate to use their weaknesses, may them be qualities or flaws. He’s cruel. So, although I wouldn’t agree with what he does in a daily basis, and especially this time with Panzer, I understand that the lines between right and wrong may begin to blurry even more than usual…
    Added to the fact that he tend to try to right the wrong in his life by punishing others (for Mars, he was punishing the greedy attention seeking fake psychic; Rachel’s father was certainly the father who chose selfishness above his family; Panzer here is so much a substitute for RJ that it hurts), then I agree with you, he needs help. Always had.
    Now what is really bothering in this episode? The fact that Jane blindly followed his guts? Or rather he used RJ of all means to get to Panzer? Because Jane always follows his hunches: he did so with the potential mass murderer recently and was approved by Wainwright. It’s quite dangerous that everyone confides so much in his ability, Lisbon being the worst in that case, since she so readily agreed with him about Panzer, despite that she obviously didn’t know Jane was suspecting him in the first place. But did you doubt him about Tibbs? And do you really think that Panzer was innocent?
    For me, the part that shows how much he could indeed edge towards a rupture point is not really that he played God, because he tends to always do so. It’s that he choose RJ as a mundane way to punish Panzer. That he latched his worst nightmare on him, almost using it as power he has. That was indeed creepy, dangerous, insane, etc… That’s why the interpretation of him retreating to the attic is crucial: was it made to show us how borderline psychopath Jane has become? Or to show us his unease and his unspoken inability to cope with the only mean he found to stop Panzer? The tea could be interpreted both ways: the tea set resembling RJ’s, or the comforting beverage Jane drunk after killing Carter, when it was made clear afterwards that he wasn’t copping so well with it.

  • reviewbrain

    Well, you just gave me more reason to hate this episode.
    (Update) I just want to add I hope the tea means he’s disturbed with the means he had to go through, I think it does as I stated above.

    Something else, I forgot to mention: thanks for your pointing out all of Simon Baker’s hard work directing the interview scene. I admit I was not in the ideal frame of mind writing this review (too angry) to notice them; and even if I weren’t I doubt I would be as detailed.

    That, and your efforts to show that Jane is attempting to be more by the book. I understand them, I see them, unfortunately they don’t change the bottom line. I doubt he even chose to “follow the law” consciously, most likely it became a reflex after all his years of working with Lisbon, he picked up on her work ethic as she picked up on his (her arresting Haibach only as part of a ruse). But the decision he did make consciously, killing another man, and as you say, using Red John for it…no amount of rule following will change that..

    For the record, I so hope I am wrong about him. I took no pleasure whatsoever in the fact that I was right about him doing something horrible here, and I won’t if he does become a serial killer. I’m just preparing myself for the worst.

  • violet

    I don’t think Jane manipulated Lisbon to send her on a red herring. I mean, he encouraged her the first time on the phone! I think he was orientating her on who he thought could be a good choice to boost her confidence, almost like you would when teaching a child to read. The key of this whole part is for me in what he told her in the very beginning, that she doesn’t need him to solve a case : she can go on without him. Hence that he’s preparing her in case the worst happens with him.

  • reviewbrain

    I would say I agree, except at that point did Jane have any reason to think the worst will happen to him? Especially in light of his demeanour this season which suggests that he might have been thinking of forgetting revenge (before this episode that is).

    Also, we’ve never seen Jane concerned about his own mortality or well being, he’s far to self assured to ever think anything will happen to him; that and the fact that he usually rubs from danger.

    I do like the theory, I wish it was true.

  • Lena

    I’m sorry but your view of ethics and morality do not involve ethics and morality as such, this is just your conception of ethics and morality. Always join the morality and legality are two different things. This concept of morality is extremely conservative if not the extreme right. For you, kill in a war must be as moral as the law protects it, to me represents the greatest immoralities. I think your lens is extremely distorted by your own opinions and therefore see things in the series do not exist: Jane a serial murderer? Then, Batman, Superman … are also mass murderers. Jane is dark but he is not He is dark but not a murderer.

    After you justify your own opinion saying that Jane may have been wrong and PANSER is innocent. But in this show are telling us that Panser is guilty, that has seen it all over the world, however you want to see a supposed innocence of Panser ¿why?

    I thought you understood the show, but you do not understand anything. It was a great disappointment to me. Sorry to be so hard but your review seems to me cruel. And people who have encouraged you in this too. I too angry

  • reviewbrain

    About the biker, we don’t have any evidence that he got killed. I always assumed he would just get beat up on until he managed to explain himself.

    I think Jane, being so similar to RJ, knew his ego wouldn’t be able to handle being mocked on television. That it would force him out of “retriement” ; I do think its a fair possibilty that RJ truly did want to retire.
    You are right, he did lose advantage. Unless RJ wasn’t just lying in late to play with Jane. If he really wanted to retire, then there’s no advantage to be lost. I think I’m going to set up a new poll based on this. Thanks!

  • reviewbrain

    I respect your opinion, but I have to point out that the show also told us that Jane killed Red John, that was seen all over the world as well. I believed them at the time but it turned out to be untrue. This is why I am reluctant to believe that Panser is guilty just because “the show told us.”

    Going by your examples of Batman and Superman, to my knowledge, they never killed anyone in cold blood the way Jane did. And while I completely defended and understood his actions in killing Timothy Carter (despite not agreeing with them) my anger here is out of fear of what this repeated act might turn Jane into. I try to be as unbiased as possible and base my critiques on the the laws of the universe Jane and Lisbon reside in whether I agree with them or not. In any case, I never claimed that the views expressed here were anything other than my own.

    As a pacifict, I do resent your assumption I must be okay with war. In the future, I ask you to please keep the discussion on the review and not let it become personal.

    You’ll be happy to know that based on the comments most people don’t agree with me. Again, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

    Thank you for sharing yours.

  • Julie

    Great review you work so hard. First thanks for pointing out Lisbon’s reactions in the last scene I hadn’t really thought about it. I have a couple of things to say, well three. I do think that the show was definitely saying that Panzer was guilty and that there will be no fear of that changing. They showed him in the killing room when Jane was arranging to meet him. The shaking while the music was playing was another hint for us too. Plus his reactions to Jane thinking him a guilty man – never convincing enough.

    Did Jane have a hand in killing Panzer yes, but I will be surprised if it happens again. I appreciated the Violets remarks about Jane’s behavior in the investigation. I feel Jane was left with deciding which guilt he could live with more, causing the death of Panzer by giving him enough rope to hang himself with, or causing the death of one or more young women by not doing anything.
    I think at the beginning of the investigation he thought he had some time to weave a web as the killer took his time between killings but the Panzer killed again very quickly and more gruesome. Jane’s whole demeanor changed after seeing the body of the second girl, which is also when he spoke openly of his conclusion as he didn’t want them wasting time. Hard to judge I think without seeing what they see. I seem to remember Lisbon covering for Boscoe who took the law into his own hands.

    Finally Jane getting Lisbon to trust her instincts can only be a good thing as then she will trust them about Jane too, be them good or bad.

  • Mary_N (@RobinTunneyBlog)

    “I thought you understood the show, but you do not understand anything. It was a great disappointment to me. Sorry to be so hard but your review seems to me cruel. And people who have encouraged you in this too. I too angry”
    uhmmm, just because you don’t read your opinion written in the review, it means that other people don’t understand a thing? Interesting view, I must say.
    Sorry to sound sarcastic, but I’ve crossed path with people who think that others are silly just because they don’t have their same idea, so I tend to get a little “amused” when I read such comments.
    I respect everyone’s opinions, and I deserve to see my opinion respected.
    Plus a review (unless it is done by a robot) is always someone’s opinion. As much as you can try to be objective, we’re humans and in everything we do, say and write there’s our personal touch. And what’s the problem? Comments are made to discuss and share ideas.

    This said, this episode as usually happens begins in a funny/easy way to end in complete WTH??…

    First of all, Jane encouraging Lisbon. The scene itself was kind of nice.
    I don’t think it was to send Lisbon in another direction, it was at the beginning of the episode, so Jane didn’t know many details himself. He was kind of right between. They had 8 valid suspects, starting from one instead of another made no difference. Plus, the real killer wasn’t among those 8, still Lisbon picked a real creep. I loved to see pissed off Lisbon, and Lisbon fighting to keep her suspect locked in. The scene in which VP searches the house and she just stands there glaring at the photographer was just great. Many, many kudos to all the actors involed, and Simon.

    I have different feelings for this episode. I absolutely appreciated the directing, acting, etc.
    I was happy that Jane shared his idea of Panser being the serial killer, and trying to stop him in a legal way. At least he tried.
    And if I have to be honest, I don’t have a problem with Panser being killed. He was an evil man, who surely was going to kill other innocent girls. I would have been more happy to see him arrested, and in jail for the rest of his life, but if I have to choose between him and some innocent girls, I choose him all the time.
    This said, what really shocked me was seeing Jane using RJ to kill another man. He used a serial killer (who killed his own family) to get rid of another serial killer. That’s the ultimate shade of creepy.
    This way now everyone knows that RJ is still very much alive, but I really doubt we saw Jane winning over RJ here. Jane now probably thinks he did a smart move, now RJ is not “dead” anymore. But RJ would have never revealed himself if he wasn’t sure that he’s still in a safe place. Ergo, Jane loses again. Cause RJ is always a step ahead of him. Now we are basically starting everything all over again. We don’t have a clue about who RJ is. The case will be handled by the FBI, who had a RJ accomplice among them. I don’t really know how they are going to develop this, unless the FBI manages to find some clues…

    I also think that Jane went to Karen’s show with the intention of revealing Panser as the serial killer on tv, but in the moment he realized Panser wasn’t going to fall, in that moment in which he saw that red light, something must have clicked inside his head.
    Remember Kristina, that woman who interviewed Kristina, his family… the moment Panser started to talk about RJ, I was like: dead man talking…

    It scares me that Jane decided to do that, but his desire to stop Panser probably obscured everything else.
    I don’t like that he’s involved again in a homicide, and I don’t know what to expect at this point.
    I always have a hope that at the very end, RJ will be arrested instead of killed, but I have to admit the way this episode ended doesen’t give much hope, but that’s the intention, to create shock.
    well, I guess I just have to wait and hope…

  • Lena

    Batman, Spiderman, Superman and all the righteous heroes do not kill in self defense, since they are virtually invincible, they do it in cold blood, and with malice aforethought. Go find the culprit and kill a beating, in my world is premeditation. Everything depends on the approach you will want to give. But if you’ve decided in advance that Jane carries a scythe, and Lisbon has wings …

  • reviewbrain

    My dear, that drawing is symbolic; not meant to be taken literally. But Jane has taken it upon himself to be an angel of death out of a misguided motivation to save people. I don’t want that for him. I want him to be happy. If you look at their facial expressions in that drawing, it says it all; he is confused and sad. I do believe Jane is a good person, I always will. But I also think he is desperate. And he is on the show as well; his setting up Panser was done spur of the moment; he hadn’t planned on it. And Jane is simply not a violent person, he never was. He never set out to become a superhero (one that kills anyway). This is all very new and we’ve seen him affected by it. Taking a life, even an evil one, does not necessarily bring happiness even if it is the right thing to do (debatable). Jane himself said that killing “just makes things more complicated” (episode ring around the Rosie).

    The wings on Lisbon represent her ability to save Jane. This isn’t a new idea. I’ve stated since last year that I think she represents his salvation, and I still do. It’s only logical that his closest friend be the one to help him, save him, whether it’s from Red John, or from himself.

    Ill be the happiest person in the world if it turns out that I’m making a big deal out of nothing and that I am wrong. But at the moment, I fear for his humanity.

    I am sorry if that upsets you, but that’s just me.

    P.S. None of the superheroes I grew up watching ever killed anyone. They always handed the criminals over to the police. I guess it was a different version than yours. And even if that were true, I think it’s common knowledge that Jane is far from invincible. He’s only human, just like everyone else, he needs to know that too. It’s the only way hell forgive himself for his family’s death; if he realizes that he’s as capable of making mistakes as everyone else.

  • windsparrow

    “The key of this whole part is for me in what he told her in the very beginning, that she doesn’t need him to solve a case : she can go on without him.”

    The scene in the beginning when they are on the phone, that felt to me like another one of those moments where the two of them are in sync, working together seamlessly. But the scene at the white board felt different to me. As for Jane preparing Lisbon to go on without him – well, I’m going to disagree (I love that this show is complex enough to admit of so many different interpretations). It is usually Lisbon who maintains that her own brand of policework is effective even without Jane. I don’t think he would feel the need to prepare her, professionally. With their increasing closeness, he might want to prepare her on a personal level, if he thought he would no longer be available either by death or imprisonment. But that sort of seems like the kind of thing that might happen off-screen (like all those times they make out in the elevator after heated discussions – oh, wait, that’s just in my head 😉

  • windsparrow

    “Batman, Spiderman, Superman and all the righteous heroes do not kill in self defense, since they are virtually invincible, they do it in cold blood, and with malice aforethought.”

    Batman and Spiderman are not invincible. Spiderman and Superman both avoid violence as much as possible and put their efforts into bringing criminals to justice (i.e. the police). Batman isn’t squeamish about violence but if he preferred killing to turning criminals over to the police, Arkham Asylum would be an empty, lonely place.

    I can’t think of anyone that Spiderman deliberately killed – are you really blaming him for the deaths of the Green Goblin, George Stacy and Gwen Stacy? Those deaths are not in the same category as any of Jane’s kills.

    As for Superman, didn’t he take a vow to never (again) take a human life sometime in the early 1940s? Sure before that he was tossing villains around like a gorilla with a suitcase, but his reform into a highly ethical justice-seeker happened so long ago that the only reason I am aware of the change is that my boyfriend is a comic book geek of long, and obsessive standing.

  • windsparrow

    “I also think that Jane went to Karen’s show with the intention of revealing Panser as the serial killer on tv, but in the moment he realized Panser wasn’t going to fall, in that moment in which he saw that red light, something must have clicked inside his head.”

    Your last two paragraphs say exactly what I think, feel, and hope. Brava, Mary_N.

  • reviewbrain

    I do hope you are right (that Panswr was guilty and that Jane wont kill again). My fear is that killing perps will eventually become the easier way for Jane to take them down.
    Thanks for pointing out Jane’s increased hurry to catch the perp after the second more violent death. As to Lisbon trusting Jane, I only want that so long as her instincts about him are accurate enough to keep them both out of trouble. A tall order, no doubt…

  • Julie

    ‘As to Lisbon trusting Jane,’ I wasn’t meaning about Lisbon trusting Jane but that Lisbon learning to trust her instincts about Jane and what he is up to.

    Also I don’t believe that Jane in the end will kill Red John, it’s kind of ‘been there. done that’ now. I think the Heller has something different in mind which is why he had him ‘kill’ him last season.

    Last thing I believe it was mentioned about Jane lying to the court in the opener (if not I apologize for bringing it up). But Jane did a very clever closing argument where he never actually lied to the court. He did create smoke screens. Plus every defendant has the right not to say anything incriminating for himself in court.

  • windsparrow

    “Also I don’t believe that Jane in the end will kill Red John, it’s kind of ‘been there. done that’ now. I think the Heller has something different in mind which is why he had him ‘kill’ him last season.”

    I don’t know whether to be hopeful about this idea, or terrified. It would be lovely if Jane repents of the vengeance killing, and traps Red John in such a way as to send him to prison. But what if Jane’s ‘And now for something completely different’ with Red John is Jane actually getting the chance to, and carrying out, his original threat – which is to cut him up.

  • All-I-need

    I just caught up with all the comments and I started to wonder whether we`re maybe worrying a little too much about Jane.

    Let`s say, for the sake of argument, that Jane`s desire to solve this case and get Panser was triggered by the parents` grief and that Jane really wanted to move on and forget about vengeance.

    Who says that has to change? And I also doubt he lost any advantage over Red John. The only time Jane mentioned Red John on TV was when he said “Red John used to think the same thing about himself”. That sounds a lot like RJ is dead, right? Actually, there is nothing there to indicate that Jane might think RJ is still very much alive. Even if RJ watched this, he`d still have no idea Jane was on to him.

    So, Jane used Red John`s and Panser`s egos to get Panser off the streets and achieve some form of justice for Molly`s parents, even though it is not the kind of justice we`d have liked to see.

    However, that does not necessarily mean that Jane will just lose all the progress he made and revert back to his vengeance. Maybe he is still trying to get over his desire for revenge. The opportunity to use Red John presented itself and he took it. That doesn´t mean he`s now going to start hunting him again.

    On the other hand, you mentioned that he didn`t seem to be actively searching for Red John, Reviewbrain. He didn`t really have anything to go on, did he now? I mean, Carter is dead, his wife is dead, all Jane knows is that RJ is still out there and apparently doesn`t want to be found, maybe even wants to retire. That´s not exactly something he can use to hunt him down. It`s like a game of chess and he has to wait for RJ to make a move before he himself can decide on a course of action.

    Still, I really think he was, and still is, trying to get over his revenge, to finally move on with his life. There have been so many indications of this and I highly doubt that the writers would spend so much time on putting those scenes in only to have it all been for naught now. They could`ve simply let Jane be the same way he was before the whole Carter incident. His apparent progress should not be taken lightly or written off, just because his recent actions make his motives seem questionable.

    And damn, why wasn`t there a new episode last night? I was so counting on that! Now we`ve got to wait another week to find out what`s going to happen now *sigh*.

  • reviewbrain

    You know what All-I-Need, you may just be right about this one, except for the fact that Jane flushing out Red John, and killing someone else in the process makes it seem unlikely that when he gets RJ he’ll just hand him over to the cops and not kill him as well given the opportunity.

    Unless, perhaps, that by the time he gets RJ he’ll have gotten fed up of killing people; mayhaps, as Violet pointed out, that his more righteous attitude this season will kick in; that when faced with the possibility of actually being able to bring RJ in as opposed to killing him, he’ll do so.

    About Jane not having leads to go on; I think they were more leads in this instance than after RJ kidnapped Kristina. And we saw how feverishly he worked that case in season three.

    I think Jane was satisfied to let RJ think he had him fooled; RJ retiring andJane getting out of jail would have put them on somewhat equal grounds. They could both let the feud go their individual egos intact; each thinking he had duped the other. By getting RJ to kill Panser, I’m sorry to say, Jane’s motivation, more than just getting Panser off the street, seems to be that he “wants to play again”.

    Apparently revenge seeking is an addictive hobby. (as Jane called it once).

    I’d like to state again that my grim outlook is on no way what I want for the show. I’m sorry to afflict it on the readers but I go where the muses take me.

  • Mary_N (@RobinTunneyBlog)

    Thank you, ◦windsparrow 🙂

  • All-I-need

    Well, I`ll always be the optimistic one, no matter what, so you can bet on the fact that I`ll keep seeing the good things and the good possibilities – and (try to) inflict them on you.

    I know you don`t want the grim outlook to actually happen, so maybe you should just go with the nicer one. See it as some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. You were so scared that Jane might do something horrible – and he does! Try and twist it around for a change 😉

    Of course it could mean that Jane wants to play again – but does RJ know that? As I said, the only time Jane mentioned RJ, it sounded like he, too, believed his enemy to be dead – so maybe RJ didn`t even notice that Jane used him to get rid of Panser. It could`ve been a coincidence that Jane would mention Red John and compare his mindset to that of the SJK. And it wouldn´t even be that far fetched. If there`s a serial killer on the streets, odds are he is going to be compared to others. It would only be natural to mention RJ and I have a feeling that maybe Karen Cross would have asked a question to that effect if Jane hadn`t brought the topic up before she got the chance.

  • violet

    “By getting RJ to kill Panser, I’m sorry to say, Jane’s motivation, more than just getting Panser off the street, seems to be that he “wants to play again”.”

    Mhm, I’m not so sure about that. Ok, Jane seems to have a one-tracked mind when it gets to revenge and RJ, but he was so thoughtful when he had his epiphany in front of the camera that I doubt the main goal was to manipulate RJ into making a move. It was as if he was weighting the gravity of the decision he was about to make, as if he was hesitating before going there. He didn’t seem as triumphant as he would have been if his principal motivation was RJ (lets face it, he could have been far more ironic and cruel with the soon-to-be-dead Panzer than that simple “you were good”, like he did with the fake psychic not so long ago). Flushing out his nemesis was just an added bonus, so to speak, a positive consequence: for me, he didn’t use Panzer to get to RJ, he used RJ to get Panzer. Of course, that’s just a personal interpretation, but I believe that, if it’s right, it may give us a little hope, in a way, because Jane’s principal obsession was what was weighting him down: even if the result here is very dark and if he did indeed reinitialize the game with RJ, it also shows us that Jane is capable of focalizing his interest in something other than revenge or personal benefit. He didn’t do it for a selfish reason or because the perp pissed him off, he simply wanted to stop a killer. So, his priorities are changing.

    Both interpretations could be applied also to his answer to Panzer about killing RJ: “not as satisfying as you’d thought” (or something along those lines). The obvious interpretation: Jane knows he hasn’t killed the right man. On second thought he may be speaking also on the fact that he didn’t seem relieved by it, even before knowing the truth; he was only taking responsibility for a fulfilled duty. The eerily calm in the following episodes showed indeed that he was willing to reevaluate his choices.

    About that whole heated discussion about superheroes, I believe Jane’s main attractiveness resides in the fact that he’s not a smooth character, he’s made of some light and a great part of darkness, far more that classic comic superheroes are (even Batman, who has already chosen his way). That is why the show is subtle, and open to different interpretations. While comic mainly focus on situations, the great question here isn’t if he’s right in killing people, if his acts are moral or not, or even how he will ultimately deal with RJ, it’s simply how Jane will deal with himself. Jane’s basically searching for himself and his quest will end either in light (we can only hope), or in darkness (that he certainly fears). The drawing by Chizuru-Chibi here was very accurate, because more than interpreting the episode, it enlightens the vision Jane certainly has of himself (he said so to Lisbon, everyone close to him is bout to dead and he obviously feels more than responsible for it).

  • Jenny Ison (@Jenny_Ison)

    Wow! Where to begin?

    *Panzer–I believe Panzer to be the SJK. I believe the writers wanted the audience to believe this as well. Further, I believe Jane knew Panzer was the SJK. The whole show gave Jane clues (as we watched) that pointed to Panzer as the SJK. 1) The fact that Panzer wanted to be included in the investigation with his handy dandy blog and his own research; 2) Panzer’s need to stay in contact with the parents of the victims; 3) The music on the iPod and his startled expression at the sound of the music. 4) The medicine cabinet via Jane; and 5) Panzer’s own admission….”Do you think I’m stupid?” “I know what you’re trying to do.” and “You won’t ruin this for me.” Finally, the audience knew Panzer was the SJK from the scene in which Jane called Panzer to set up a meeting. As others duly noted, Panzer was in the kill room at this point, as marked by the weird owl painting. It was at this scene I knew Panzer to be the killer. While I didn’t necessarily notice the owls, I did notice the very different wall behind him. It stuck out like a sore thumb, and I was greatly pleased when we saw Panzer lead Karen Cross to that room toward the end of the episode, which sealed the deal for me.

    *Jane, the Serial Killer–I just about fell out of my seat when I read Reviewbrain’s idea of Jane being a serial killer. But the more I read, the more parallels I could draw between Jane and Red John. 1) Both RJ and Jane have killed people (RJ directly, Jane indirectly & mistakenly); 2) Both are crafty in the killings (RJ is the artist, Jane is theatrical); and 3) Both have followers who believe in their leader (RJ–all those tools willing to die for him, Jane–the team who does what they do for him due to their deep friendship)

    But just because Red John is a serial killer and he and Jane have some things in common, does that make Jane a serial killer as well? I don’t think so. The intent of the killings are totally different. Red John kills for…well who knows why, but he deliberately tries to be gruesome and he deliberately tries to harm people with putting their lives to an end as the goal. He is deliberate in his creepiness and evilness.

    Jane, on the other hand, is trying to solve the case or get rid of the bad guy. There is a good intent, albeit twisted, as he takes the law into his own hands or “helps out” the law.

    I just can’t wrap my brain around Jane being a serial killer and until he begins doing things in a more traditional “serial killer” fashion, intent and all, I cannot call him a serial killer. Now, is that where the writers are taking us with Jane? Maybe. Only time and episodes will tell. But I think your theory goes along with what I believe the writers are hoping we believe of Jane, still dark and sinister.

    *My opinion about what I think the writers are doing–Well, here goes. This show is about Jane vs. Red John. Without Red John there is no show. That said, this is season 4 of a proposed 7 seasons. Logically, we’ve been made to believe several different characters could be Red John during the shows progression. I believe the writers are taking up time by trying to make us consider Jane to be Red John. Please keep in mind that I find this absurd and utterly ridiculous. We’ve seen Jane with children..he’s wonderful. We’ve seen the high regard in which he held his wife as well. Jane simply could not have killed them. Period.

    However, this is direction the writers are taking us…that Jane is Red John. Here is my reasoning for thinking this: 1) In 324 Strawberries and Cream, Bertram mentioned to Jane that he should seek help, take a break and consult a therapist when Jane told him that RJ was who was out to kill Hightower; 2) Timothy Carter (pretending to be RJ) implies Jane is crazy when he tells him he’s wasting his live away seeking revenge that he will never have; 3) we are told that Lisbon and Jane will question Jane’s sanity in 401 Scarlet Ribbons and they both do to some extent. 4) In 404 Ring Around the Rosie, new boss Wainwright, comes right out and tells Jane he believes him to be a psychopath!!; and 5) the Rosalind Harker/Red John teacup in the reflection of the CBI window….isn’t that one a bit eerie!?!?! (Thank you to Reviewbrain for the mention re: the teacup!) The writers want us to question Jane’s sanity enough that we would think that Jane could be Red John, working both sides at the same time.

    After saying all that, I must reverberate that I absolutely do not believe this to be true. Jane is not Red John!! This is just a ploy to make the series a bit longer.

    *A Note from Simon Baker–I read all of the transcript from the live Twitter Chat of this episode. Simon, who directed this episode, told us that the theory behind the episode is, “SMART bad people are SCARIER bad people.” This is evidenced in Panzer. His crimes were just freaky and he was too smart to get caught, even by Jane. Red John is the same way…his crimes are horrendous and he has eluded being caught for many, many years One thing I hadn’t considered when I thought of this theory is that of Jane…he’s super smart and definitely what he did in using RJ to kill Panzer is super scary to most people. I believe this to be another reason.

    *What I really thought–Brilliant episode is what I thought! I loved the whole thing. I feel that how Jane took care of Panzer was one of the most clever things I’ve ever seen him do. Maybe I’m a terrible person, but I think Jane did the best he could at getting Panzer according to the law and when that would not work, he did what would work. I am loving that Jane has finally mentalized Red John, and I count this as a win in Jane’s column. And I must say that it’s about time!!

    *Why I love The Mentalist–This is no ordinary television show. It really makes me think. It makes us all think. Personally, I love reading everyone’s theories, even when they don’t match up with mine 100%. I get ideas from them that often help my own theories. This show is a mystery and I simply adore trying to figure out that mystery! It is so much fun to me!

    Thank you Reviewbrain for your awesome reviews…you have me thinking again, and, as said above, I really like that 🙂

    Again, I feel like I owe everyone the disclaimer that I am not the writer many of you are, so please overlook all of my mistakes.

  • reviewbrain

    Thank you Jenny for your comments; please don’t feel the need to apologize for grammar; mine’s usually atrocious in the comments.

    Jane being RJ…
    That notion never crossed my mind before I heard it from you but it certainly explains the need to make Jane darker (and his new choice of china).

    As to Jane being a serial killer. I’m going by the loosest definition of the term regardless of the intentions involved because I believe even the purest intentions can in time fade and all that’s left is merely the act. At the time of the review is only seen the episode once (very hurriedly) so I hadn’t noticed the wall behind Panser (which I content is the only real “will stand up on court” proof we have of his guilt). But what worries me is how quickly Jane acted on his desire to put this man down and the method he used. Yes it’s genius, yes his intentions are in the right place, but what if he had been wrong? He’s been wrong before and feeling content that he was justified to kill the people he can only make it easier for him to do so again. 
    Hint: I might have loved the movie Apocalypse Now.

    But if as you say this is what the writers want, then I’m determined to thwart them. Cynic is going back in his closet and I’m assuming the (barely there) signs of Jane’s distress (sniffs can mean a lot) mean he realizes the gravity of what he’s done and  prefers not going through the experience again. One can always wish…

    Thanks for your comment. BTW having a different opinion does not constitute being a terrible person 😉 one could argue I’d fit the bill more in all my gloom..

  • Jess

    I absolutely love this review and I gotta agree with most of it. The winning scene was right on the money…I knew Lisbon was tough but somehow, I underestimated her intensity to shake down suspects. i thought Cho was the only person who knew how to make suspects extremely uncomfortable. I love that scene so much that I replayed it at least 3 times.

    At the end, however, I was creeped out by SJK’s statement “I was good”. I love how Patrick’s phone vibrated with a blinking red light…nice touch. Somehow, Patrick knew that RJ would strike immediately. I know RJ hardly kills men but why did his M.O. change with his killing of SJK? It seemed too much of an overkill for RJ with the way he attacked SJK’s guts. I can’t wait for the next RJ episode.

    P.S. I don’t like the FBI lady either.

  • The Presidentrix

    This is my first time commenting here; I’ve been enjoying the level of detail in all the reviews.

    Just to say: Violet’s instinct about the scene where Jane ‘grooms’ Lisbon was mine, as well. The scene made me feel sad and wary, but not because I felt that Jane was trying to make Lisbon into an investigating partner more and more like himself, so that manipulating her, etc., would be easier for him in future. My immediate reaction was, ‘Oh no, what if he’s starting to say ‘goodbye’? What if he’s trying to show her that she can be Jane when there is no Jane, in case something should happen to him soon. I’m not sure what end I think Jane may be anticipating, but I got a chill of finality from him in that scene.

  • Diana

    Hi, I really enjoy your reviews, as I find them very in depth and interesting. I didn’t like this episode at all, I found it too dark and depressing. In all honesty the whole of season 4 so far has been very dark and just a tad gloomy in my opinion. I miss the lighter episodes like ‘Red Gold’, ‘Rose Coloured Glasses’ and even ‘Red Sky at Night’. I don’t know, perhaps I’m not used to it being this dark and I suppose it’s no suprise considering how season 3 ended, but this thing with the Panser guy just confirms that Jane needs help before he does something really foolish.

  • Stephanie

    I think the analogies being used are mistaken. The ultimate inspiration for this series was Sherlock Holmes. If we are going to project into the future then let’s use the source that provided most of the storyline. Jane, Lisbon, and Red John fall into the roles of Holmes, Watson, and Moriarty respectively. In fact, the Mentalist characters almost perfectly align with the public perception of Doyle’s characters. Holmes just like Jane has a deep hatred and obsession with an adversary who is virtually his reflection. The murder of Jane’s family functions as a plot point to give viewers a reason to empathize with Jane’s goals and methods.
    In fact, this particular episode has a nearly direct reference to The Speckled Band. Holmes has already discerned the nature of the mystery but allows the criminal to carry his plan out anyway. The suspect sends an adder through the ventilation and Holmes directs that Adder directly back. In doing so Holmes, admits he is indirectly responsible for the criminal’s death but probably won’t feel any guilt about it.
    Based on this precedent, I seriously doubt that Jane will ever become a serial murderer. Fundamentally Holmes is a decent if arrogant and severely flawed individual and Jane is as well. However, Jane’s death or apparent death could be in the works.

    As far as the Jane’s morality, I will side with Holmes. Is he indirectly responsible? Yes. Should he feel guilty? Not really. The episode made it quite clear that Panzer was the serial killer. The only way to legally catch him would be another brutal torture and murder. This was a certainty. A sacrifice would have to be made that day, Panzer or an innocent girl. Furthermore, Panzer’s own vice was what truly did him in. True. Jane baited the trap, but Panzer sprang right into it even though he knew how that turned out for Jane.

  • windsparrow

    While Jane, like Dr. House, does indeed have many qualities in common with their illustrious literary forebear, I do not see that their motivations and methods in “Blinking Red Light” and “The Speckled Band” are quite the same. The verbal trap Jane set for Panser set the journalist/killer up to attract the ire of another killer and therefore get killed himself. At the moment I believe Jane went on that show with the primary motivation of getting Panser to reveal himself publicly as a killer and therefore allow the law to deal with him then when that did not work fell back on having him killed by the agency of Red John. Jane did deliberately have Panser killed. Holmes did not set a trap for the killer. Having been unsuccessful in gathering the kind of evidence with which he could stop Dr. Roylott, he had no choice but to allow the killer the freedom to continue carrying out his own plan. Holmes did remove Miss Stoner from danger, and he kept watch, to witness the events of Roylott’s plot. The impression I have of Holmes beating at the snake is of pure defense – he did not specifically intend for the snake to return to its master and kill Roylott.

    “It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy” may apply to both Panser and Roylott but there are both functional and moral differences in waiting to catch a criminal in the act then acting in self-defense and failing to provoke a criminal into confessing then provoking the criminal into baiting yet another criminal into killing him – especially since there is the possibility, however slim, that a mentally disturbed, but otherwise innocent, person with an unhealthy level of obsession with the criminal could fall into the same trap and get killed.

  • violet

    I totally agree with Windsparrow : there is a huge difference in motivation and responsibility between these two cases, since Holmes didn’t intent to kill Roylott. His death was just a (not so) unfortunate consequence while Jane’s decision, albeit a spur of the moment, was weighted by the full consciousness of what he was doing…
    Either way, it’s very obvious that Jane’s character is a direct reference to Holme’s (like a lot of fictional detectives, House included): both don’t really belong with the rest of humanity, they stand out by their odd behaviour and strong personality; same with Jane’s cold reading, his amazing analytical mind and his weird habit of sniffling corpses… And don’t forget RJ’s smileys on the wall reminding of the bloody “Rache” in A Study In Scarlett. There are tones of examples of references to Holmes (and generally to classical detective stories from the Whodunit genre, by the way). Nevertheless, there are still quite significant differences between them: Jane, despite being most of the time an arrogant jerk, is far more human than Holmes, he isn’t just a solving cases machine. In spite of showing just a façade to most people, he is still capable to creating strong affective bonds with others (Angela, their daughter, Lisbon, the team,…). He can relate to people. And he is also far more conflicted about his choices and his character than Holmes ever was and that opens a myriad of possibilities of character developpement Holmes never truly had. So it seems a little far-stretched to make too strong and many assumptions about Jane based on Holmes: they are alike in many ways and Jane is indeed inspired by him, but the outcome of their stories could be quite different… 😉

  • hardly_loquacious

    Alright, yeah, we agree more on this ep. I agree, it was well done, but I don’t like the implications.
    1) If Jane goes down the path of becoming a serial killer (which I don’t think he’s on yet) then I’m done. I also don’t count either Steiner or the deputy from the S1 finale as being part of a serial killer pathology because, well, I wouldn’t call either of those murder. You could certainly argue the other two though, and if Jane becomes Dexter, I’m done.
    2) Really hate the possibility of Jane grooming Lisbon. And it did look like that. I haven’t made up my mind 100% on that one. I think it was just an attempt to make her a little more intuitive at this point, but the potential to take it further is definitely there.
    3) You place far, far more trust in the writers abilities at continuity than I do. Part of the reason there are conflicts in motivations and reactions over the course of the season, both Jane’s and Lisbon’s, I attribute to poor planning and continuity. I feel that these writers are really good at getting continuity details right, but can be terrible at over-arching long term plot points. Things are dropped all the time that really shouldn’t be. In fact, I think Lisbon and Jane need to have some sort of conflict before the end of the season, or I will seriously be reconsidering whether or not to continue wtih this show. Darcy is absolutely not an acceptable substitute from my perspective. Especially since we’ve had some confirmation that Lisbon knows what Jane was doing with Panzer. I’m becoming less confident that we’ll get one though, since the writers seem to enjoy having the show be all Jane all the time.
    4) I do think that Jane manipulating Red John into killing Panzer/Panzer into goading Red John wasn’t premeditated. I think it occurred to him looking into the blinking red light, as you said. Which makes it slightly better. Not much, but slightly. This is me grasping at straws.

    This ep has the potential to lead to something interesting, but the way things have been going on this show, I doubt the writers go there. But then, based on some of Bruno Heller’s comments about Jane and the Jane/Lisbon relationship and such, I often wonder if we’re watching different shows, so, yeah.

  • Sid

    I have a lot of issues with this review. Jane is hardly a serial killer.

    “And I contend that Jane has already established a pattern of a serial killer: Hardy (Red John’s Footsteps) Stiener (The Red Mile) Timothy Carter (Strawberries and Cream) and now, James Panser. ”

    This is ludicrous. Steiner killed himself. Jane did him a favor because Steiner wanted a witness. That hardly is a murder, let alone evidence of a pattern of a serial killer. Jane had nothing to do with Steiner’s death.

    James Panser? Jane didn’t murder him. Panser was a fool. Jane merely provided him with rope to hang himself with. If you give an adult access to a weapon, that means you’re a murderer if they kill themself/others?

    Hardy was self-defense. He was trying to kill Lisbon. It was not premeditated and completely justified.

    So we have one murder. Timothy Carter. That’s evidence of Jane being a serial killer? Because he killed one man in revenge?

    That was irksome enough, but then you started saying we had no evidence of Panser being the guy.

    OK, aside from the fact that he admitted it (yes, those scenes with Jane are him admitting it, I don’t see why it has to be spelled out in precise words), we have a guy who had an odd fixation with the first victim, was neighbors with the first victim (which explains why she was the first target), and devoted his life to the aggrandizement of the SJK. His goals were to make the SJK more famous and to convince the world how amazing and talented the SJK was. So either the SJK hired an “agent” to represent him who just so happens to be a creepy dude who lives on the same block as the first victim, or Panser is the SJK.

    So yes, I’m convinced Panser was the SJK. It’s hard to come to any other conclusion.

  • Sid

    “I highly doubt that Jane planned to get Panser killed – at least at first. I`m pretty sure his plan was to rile Panser up in the interview and get him to confess live on air, in front of what`s likely millions of witnesses.”

    Exactly. It was not premeditated and in any event, was not a murder. Jane just gave a fool rope to hang himself with.

  • Sid

    the biker was not murder! It was just him getting beaten up. Jane likes to ‘right wrongs’ and there he punished a man to right a wrong. He didn’t kill him!

  • Sid

    “As a pacifict, I do resent your assumption I must be okay with war.”

    I do not think Lena was referring specifically to you, as in that you in particular advocate for war or something. She doesn’t know English very well. I think what she was trying to say was that a soldier killing in a war is generally considered justified, and you would not call a soldier a serial killer or whatever.

  • Sid

    re: Holmes

    Beating the adder back was self-defense? He knew the adder was coming! He knew how Roylott killed. If he didn’t want Roylott dead, he could’ve handled it differently.

    Holmes more directly killed Roylott then Jane killed Panzer (or Panser, however it’s spelled).

    It’s hardly logical to go nuts on Jane and let Holmes off the hook.

  • violet

    Hum, hard to say. We never had an explanation about what happened later, after Jane tricked the biker. He left and we saw the victim’s sister grinning at him. So in my humble opinion, both conclusions are possible: either they have beaten him up and expulsed him of the gang. Or they ended killing him, for betraying them as well as by fear of him seeking revenge on them afterwards, given that he was admittedly a dangerous, psychopathic cold-blood murderer, who certainly wouldn’t like being tricked. So, sorry, but both theories stand. Even more if you think that the sister was asking for justice for a murder: would she have been so happy with Jane if the guy received only some blows for his crime?

  • violet

    Wow, you sure take things to heart, Sid! While I also disagree on the “serial killer’ appellation, it seems to me that RB is right on one point: Panzer’s death certainly showed how much distance Jane is taking in being responsible for others’ death. Because he *is* responsible for Panzer’s demise, he set the scene for it and manipulate him into falling into his trap. He didn’t kill him himself, but he is still morally responsible. Now compare what he did here with he’s subdued reaction after killing Hardy: he was shocked by what he did out of reflex. After shooting Carter, he was also quite quiet, even if he was calmer (drinking his tea right after): he also showed shock and emotion, but was more controlled. Here? He hesitated before tricking Panzer, but he didn’t appear as shocked as before. I think he was (the scene with him drinking his tea alone in the attic), but he was also waiting for the call confirming him that his plan has worked. It’s hard to deny that he was colder. RB’s fears are indeed justified to a extend.

  • windsparrow

    Yes, Holmes beating the adder back was indeed self-defence. As for knowing that Roylott was using a venomous snake as a weapon, it was quite plain that as a method for killing it was hardly precise in its timing. The mere act of sending into its owner’s bedroom was not done with the intent to kill. Roylott had to send it to Julia’s room more than once to get the job done. She told her sister that she had heard the low whistle which was Roylott’s signal to the snake to return through the ventilator “the last few nights” before she died. We know from Helen’s account that she heard the whistle the night before calling upon Holmes for his assistence. It may be that there were several attempts before either of the sisters heard the whistle as well. In any case an adder is hardly a precision weapon. Roylott, as the snake’s handler, knowledgeable enough about such animals to successfully train it to come and go on on command, had a much more sporting chance of surviving the snake’s return than either of his intended victims. If anyone could safely handle an agitated adder, it would be he. Therefore it is easy to conclude that Holmes had no reason to believe that his actions in fending off the snake would result in Roylott’s certain (or even probable) death.

    While I do not believe that Jane set up that television interview for the purpose of getting Panser killed, once he did decide to goad Panser into badmouthing Red John, that decision was taken with the intent to kill. While there might be a legal line between that act and murder, the ethical line is slim to none.

    I still love Jane, and so apparently does Lisbon. But let us not pretend he is less a sinner than he is.

  • windsparrow

    I may disagree with the body count, but I agree with the principle that Jane is becoming more calloused about killing. I am not sure I agree with calling him a serial killer; he does not kill for the pleasure, not that we have seen. But he is quite comfortable with causing deaths he sees as justified. Hardy? Not murder. Biker guy? Might have a sporting chance of surviving the beating that Jane intentionally set up, but I wouldn’t bet folding money on it, so yeah, morally this is murder. Steiner? I do not believe it was murder (not everyone agrees about preventing suicide or assisted suicide so I leave room for other opinions on this). Carter? Well, yes, Jane got away with murder in this case – though Red John bears the same responsibility as Jane with Panser.

  • Sid

    yes more calloused about killing, but if you’re going to call Jane a serial killer (or that he has established the pattern of a serial killer), then call Van Pelt a serial killer as well. To me, it’s just as logical.

    I took the comments to heart because I’m a big fan of the show, I’ve watched all of the episodes (save for the last few) at least twice, and saying that Jane is a serial killer and claiming he killed Steiner and Panzer is absolutely ludicrous.

    He killed two people during the entire four seasons, and one of them (Hardy), he had no choice.

    With Steiner, the guy was essentially begging Jane to help him because he had no one else to turn to. Jane did not kill him, nor did Steiner ask Jane to kill him. Steiner took pills and Jane just tried to make it easier for him. I have no problem with what Jane did. Would I help someone like that? Probably not, but I can hardly criticize someone else.

    With Panzer, we had a serial killer (yes, the SJK, the episode was pretty damn convincing) who had a lust for attention and was going to kill more innocents if not stopped. Jane tried to trap him into publicly admitting what he’d done, but when he couldn’t do that, he gave Panzer the rope to hang himself. If Panzer was as clever as he claimed to be, he would’ve realized that going on the air and insulting Red John is a very stupid thing to do. Jane didn’t force him to do that. Panzer caused his own death, with Red John as the weapon.

  • Sid

    So again, I am not challenging that Jane became more calloused as the show progressed, but I am challenging the other conclusions drawn.

    There’s a big leap between them.

    When he killed Hardy there was a profound reaction but it’s always the first exposure to death/killing that elicits the most profound response.

  • Sid

    “Biker guy? Might have a sporting chance of surviving the beating that Jane intentionally set up, but I wouldn’t bet folding money on it, so yeah, morally this is murder.”

    Morally not murder. Not even close. The odds of the biker guy actually being beaten to death were extremely slim. They weren’t beating him to death. It was just a beating. That’s what they do in gangs.

  • Sid

    “While there might be a legal line between that act and murder, the ethical line is slim to none. ”

    There’s no “might”. This does not even approach murder.

    As for the ethical line, I disagree on that one as well. Providing someone with rope to hang themselves with is not ethically the same as murdering someone.

  • julienic73gmail

    I don`t think of jane as a serial killer. But the difference between jane and panzer during the interview is that panzer thought red john was dead, whereas jane knew he wasn’t.

  • reviewbrain

    Murder is also what they do in gangs, and they’d certainly have no qualms with killing a rat. There’s no way of knowing what happened after the episode ended so it’s useless to argue the point.

  • reviewbrain

    While *we* had proof that Panzer is the killer based on his being at the scene of the crime, Jane had nothing to go on but his own hunches and conclusions. He simply had no proof that would hold up in court. With regards to Steiner, whether we agree or disagree with what Jane did doesn’t matter. In some places, he could be charged with assisted suicide. The difference between Jane and Van Pelt, is while her actions were clearly done in self defense, some of his were pre-meditated. Because Jane is extremely intelligent, because he tends to know exactly what the result of his actions will be, I hold him more responsible for those results than I would normal people. And because I love the character so much, I fear the fact that the show is progressively desensitizing him, changing him.
    I applaud you for being such a huge fan of the show and for watching each episode at least twice.

  • Sid

    I find it hard to believe they were showing a guy getting murdered. They ended the episode on a lighthearted note, not “here’s Jane getting someone killed.”

    I’m sure you could ask any of the writers/directors/actors and they’d tell you the same thing.

    I never even thought twice about it because it was run of the mill. Jane has often started physical fights during the show.

  • Sid

    “So, sorry, but both theories stand.”

    I disagree, because I am positive that the vast majority of viewers did not view the scene that way and I am equally positive that the people behind the episode did not intend for such a conclusion to be drawn. You can believe what you want, just as I can say Jane is the real serial killer, not Red John. But I wouldn’t expect anyone else to go along with it.

    “would she have been so happy with Jane if the guy received only some blows for his crime?”

    Yes, that was the whole idea behind the scene. Jane often achieves some measure of ‘justice’ for the victims (this is a recurring theme throughout the show) and not once does he murder someone to achieve that end.

  • violet

    “I disagree, because I am positive that the vast majority of viewers did not view the scene that way and I am equally positive that the people behind the episode did not intend for such a conclusion to be drawn. You can believe what you want, just as I can say Jane is the real serial killer, not Red John. But I wouldn’t expect anyone else to go along with it.”

    Sid, I wouldn’t assume to know what « the vast majority of viewers » may or may not think, as I only speak for myself. So *I* saw it that way ever since the first time I watched that episode. And I think the scene was voluntarily left ambiguous, because the biker was afraid, because his former men were slowly and menacingly cornering him, because his enemy looked way too happy and because Jane’s attire evoked old movies with a dark atmosphere (the fedora, like detectives and gangsters). Now that’s indeed my personal take on what happened. Now, if you have no better argument than your own personal gut feeling, let’s call it a tie and leave it at that.

  • Sid

    I do have a better argument. We have precedent. Four seasons of the show. I already stated this. It’s clear. If you somehow still cannot believe me, then I invite you to ask anyone involved with the show.

  • reviewbrain

    Sid. Violet is entitled to her opinion, as are you. Please stop harassing my readers. If you care so much about the issue then you’re welcome to ask the creators yourself. You have no right to demand it of her nor to talk as if you are some sort of authority on this show. We’re all fans here. I am tempted to disable comments on this post. Arguing the point further is pointless as everyone’s has stated their position quite clearly. It almost seems like you’re just looking to stir up trouble and I won’t allow that. If in fact you just feel strongly about the issue, then I apologize, but know that no matter how passionate we are about the show, being respectful of other people goes without saying on this blog. I myself never saw the biker scene the way Violet did but I acknowledge that it certainly could’ve have gone the way she concluded. Even if the writers hadn’t intended it that way, they simply might not have realized the effect they would have. To quote what Jordan Harper (one of the writers) once told me “We sometimes do things without realizing it.” Now, so that we can all continue to enjoy this site I urge you to know when it is time to agree to disagree. I won’t be disabling comments on this post at this moment because then newcomers to the show and/or blog such as yourself wont get to express their opinions. I am, however giving you a warning to be courteous in your discussions. Otherwise I’ll have to screen (and possibly block) your comments before they are posted.

  • Lz

    Cause jane killed panzer it’s obvious

  • Lou Ann

    I think he did mention his possible demise in the last episode of season 1. In the basement, just after saving the hostage twin, he berates Lisbon for not waiting to take down hardy till after RJ reveals himself. He indicates that his own death, as long as it would lead to RJ’s capture/death, would be an acceptable trade off for him. She argues against that logic: “I think you choose life..”

  • Vishal Balali

    I see that you are very upset with Jane’s Behavior, but I feel it is coming from a very idealized view of what is murder. Let me give you an example

    Van Pelt has been shown killing 2 people on screen until now – A US marshal in Blood for Blood, and her fiance. Now both of them were about to kill her, but she did kill them. You can call this self defence. Now Jane has killed two people, Timothy Carter and SJK, one directly the other indirectly.

    The first he does because at the moment TC was RJ to Jane, and he took his life because he knew he had to do that to move on. He was willing to do that and face the consequences. I postulate that the only reason he does fight his case in court (and mind you he does so by saying only the truth, that at the time of killing, the person himself confirmed himself as RJ), is so he believes that RJ did not actually die and he is still out there.

    The second he does in the defence of SJK’s future victims. Would you rather he let the killer go and have more SJK kills on his head?? He did try everything in his power to bring him to justice. If he had more time on the case, If the case was not handed over to the FBI he would not have been so desperate (He only takes this desperate measure when the FBI Take over). So the SJK killing was not self defence, but in defence of the future victims. Police do so many times, when that is what is looming over their heads.

    Do you fear for Van Pelt as much as you fear for Jane?? True Van Pelt has become more violent, so I am not saying killing has had no effect but it is justified, and comes from a place of justice right? It is not just self serving.

  • Vishal Balali

    Correction: I had not read all the comments on the article, but it seems someone has already raised the points that I had. Sorry for the repetition

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