Has-been couture designer Wyck Theissens (Andrew Pifko) is found killed in his loft in Oakland on the eve of making his comeback to the fashion world. While Senior Agent Teresa Lisbon (Tunney) and her consultant Patrick Jane (Baker) investigate his murder, FBI Agent Susan Darcy (Catherine Dent) continues her investigation into the death of James Panzer. She asks CBI Supervising agent Luther Wainwright (Michael Rady) for all of CBI’s Red John files as part of her investigation. The information leads her to ask Jane more awkward questions.
Despite a few minor annoyances relating to the direction and styling, this was an enjoyable episode featuring an interesting new venue for this show (fashion) and wondrous continuity. The ending and Alicia Witt’s powerful performance also made for a surprising twist. 8.5/10.
Detailed AKA Humungous Review (spoilers galore)
Red is the New Black picks up on Darcy’s thread of suspicion as introduced in episode “Always Bet on Red”. In that episode’s review I’d stated:
… it occurred to me that Jane may not realize how suspicious he might seem. First he tells Darcy that finding Panzer’s killer isn’t important as Panzer himself was a killer. Then he tries to set Susan on a wild goose chase looking for who else might have known Panzer was guilty; other than Jane that is. Then he shows her a video of someone stalking her and asks her to drop the case, warning her that it’s dangerous. If I was Darcy, Jane would be my number one suspect at this point. Like she said, either Panzer’s killer is Red John, or someone who studied Red John obsessively (i.e. Jane). Since Jane testified that he killed Red John, it wouldn’t be strange for Darcy to think that he’d once again gone vigilante on another serial killer.
Now by the end of the episode Jane uses a convenient scapegoat, the suicide of Tom Maier, and sets him up as Panzer’s murderer. Jane fabricated evidence and forged Maier’s signature on a suicide note, making it look like he killed Panzer as revenge for his daughter then took his own life. At the time it seemed like Darcy might have bought into the story, except for one thing she asked Jane.
“Did it change you? Hunting monsters?”
I posited at the time that this statement might convey that she still mistrusts Jane and it seems that this is true. But first…
Note: I’ve been quite ill for the past two weeks so I wasn’t able to devote my usual attention to this episode. I did, however, analyze most of the important aspects of it thanks to cues I’ve gotten from fans on twitter on what they wanted discussed. Personally, I enjoyed the change of pace and I hope readers will too. Thank you everyone who contacted me. Without you this post wouldn’t have been possible.
Rigsby’s Impending Fatherhood
Rigsby hangs up the phone from Sarah. Cho sensing Rigsby’s preoccupation, asks him if everything is okay? Rigsby states that it is complicated before revealing that his girlfriend is pregnant. Cho congratulates him.
-I guess the fact that Rigsby for once didn’t bother offering Cho any information on his own tipped Cho off that something serious was going on, hence his reaching out to Rigsby here. Love Chigsby 🙂
Speaking of Sarah’s pregnancy, @AWirtala asked: “I wonder how Van Pelt feels about the Rigsby/Harrigan pregnancy..”
Based solely on this episode Grace seems pretty ambivalent. I liked her reaction to the news. Well, most of it anyway. Her knee jerk response of “Oh my God, yikes” could have been better but it seemed like an honest reaction, not a spiteful one like how she bitterly congratulated Rigsby on dating Sarah in “Blood and Sand”. Here, Grace quickly apologizes, then asks Wayne if he is okay. She sweetly listens to him nervously express that “babies are good” and that he always wanted kids, and how he won’t marry Sarah as he doesn’t want to rush into anything. Grace then tells Wayne that his kid is lucky and that he is going to make a great dad.
I loved this moment as it showed Grace to be the warm and caring person we know she is capable of being. This side of her wasn’t always visible when she and Wayne were dating. At times she was quite impatient with the easily flummoxed man; the main reason why I prefer her and Wayne as friends. She seemed a much nicer friend than she was a girlfriend to him (i.e. Every Rose has its Thorn).
But since Grace’s trauma with Craig, her understanding self seemed to have gotten into hibernation as she got more and more lost in her own cynicism. But thanks to the previous episode, Grace seems to have moved on, both from her PTSD and from Wayne. She has reached the point where she can have normal reactions to the events around her. More importantly, she has gone back to being the good friend that she is and does not seem to be jealous or resentful of Rigsby’s situation at all.
Can it be true? Wayne and Grace are officially, amicably over? That would make me so happy. Rigsby and Sarah get to develop their relationship while Grace can start over with someone new. It’s a win-win situation all around.
@Flickster77 on twitter wondered:
“Why so much focus on Jane’s steps … Carter wasn’t RJ but Jane is not a bad person. ..”
As far as Darcy is concerned, I don’t think she allows her own judgment (i.e. whether Jane is a bad person or not) affect the way she does her job. She had been given a case: finding out who killed Panzer and she wants to solve that case. Initially, she came to the obvious, reasonable, and correct conclusion: Red John killed Panzer. But as Jane rejected this opinion, it made her look elsewhere. Then the video Jane showed her just made her even more motivated to catch the killer now that she’s seemingly been targeted due to the investigation. But even after the case is solved, Darcy can’t seem to let it go. She points out to Wainwright how awfully strange Maier’s note and the evidence is, revealing himself to be the killer after going through the trouble of making Panzer’s murder look like it was done by Red John.
And so Darcy reverts to her original hypothesis. Red John killed Panzer. To make sure, she requests all the Red John files from the CBI to study them. Which leads her to retracing Jane’s steps and the only “witness” to Red John: Rosalind Harker.
What I find intriguing is that Darcy seems to trust Jane enough to not suspect him for the murder despite how suspiciously one might say he’s been acting. I suppose she’s chalking his insistence that Red John didn’t kill Panzer to denial; that Jane doesn’t want to admit that he shot the wrong man (Carter) and that Red John is still alive. It will be interesting to see how far this trust Darcy has of Jane’s innocence (of Panzer’s murder, anyway) will go. Now that Darcy thinks she has proof that RJ is still alive, perhaps she’ll assume that RJ was the one who fabricated the evidence to blame Molly Maier’s father. Jane might just get off the hook on that, assuming Darcy doesn’t bother asking why RJ would frame someone else for a murder he committed. In which case I’m sure Jane will come up with a ready lie for that as well. I wonder if she’ll believe him next time…if she ever did.
Luther Wainwright’s complicity with the FBI
@CJDavey asked: “Mention these 2 please: Wainwright’s behaviour regarding RJ and how unbelievably awesome the ep was. Especially the end.”
With regards to Luther Wainwright, writer Eaoghan Mahoney gave us a very important clue that we need to focus on: Luther’s meeting with Susan Darcy took place at the FBI (a super on the screen stated: FBI Regional Office, Sacramento). The fact that the meeting took place on Darcy’s turf shows that she has the home advantage on Wainwright; is in a stronger position, at least metaphorically speaking. And if that’s not obvious, Darcy makes it so. She starts out diplomatically enough, telling Luther that she wanted him to know “as a professional courtesy” that she is still investigating Panzer’s murder. But then Susan reveals the real reason she asked him to meet her. She wants all the Red John files. And Darcy is speech is sneakily authoritative: “I’m gonna need all the Red John files” leaving very little room for argument. Wainwright is clearly out of his league as shown by him instantly succumbing to her demand. His semantics is quite revealing as well. “Of course, whatever the bureau needs we are always happy to be of assistance.”
It could be that after losing the San Joaquin killer case to the FBI Luther feels that he is in no position to make their job any harder. That being said I find no reason to be suspicious or leery of his actions, at least not up to that point.
Another decision, he makes, however, is much more intriguing and not as innocent.
Wainwright asks a JD (I assume he works in evidence storage) to not disclose that all evidence regarding RJ cases, “four boxes of physical evidence. Plus two hard drives containing all photographic and documentary evidence” will be taken to the FBI offices.
What’s interesting is that Luther made this decision before Darcy asked him to keep the matter confidential between them stating that he “saw no need” to share the information with his people.
The question is why. Why wouldn’t Luther tell Lisbon of this?
Perhaps Luther was (understandably) worried about what Jane’s reaction would be if he knows that the FBI was gaining access to the RJ case. Luther saw firsthand how mad Jane was when he lost the SJK case to Darcy so maybe he was avoiding a replay of that.
Or it could be that Luther understood tacitly that Darcy suspects his team of wrongdoing and by cooperating with her is covering his own back.
Another interesting possibility is that Luther, tired of being kept out of the loop with regards to Lisbon and Jane’s schemes (Ring Around the Rosie, The Red Shirt) has decided to give them a taste of their own medicine. This theory might be supported by the fact that Luther did not acknowledge the video Darcy showed him. If it was just another thing Jane and Lisbon kept from him, it might be enough for him to decide to throw them to the wolves. If that is the case then I honestly can’t say I blame him. The man has had an open door policy from day one that neither Jane nor Lisbon bothered to use. He’d been nothing but courteous and understanding, especially to Jane (save for his whole “you are a psychopath” speech, anyway).
Perhaps therein lies the answer? Could it be that Wainwright himself suspects Jane of killing Panzer, seeing how sure Jane was that Panzer was the murderer and how upset he was when Darcy took the case? If so, it again makes sense that Luther would hide Darcy’s new investigation from Jane, and by extension, Lisbon. He’s a suspect, and she’s his loyal boss.
Then of course there is the obligatory conspiracy theory…that Luther is an RJ ally. But I find this far-fetched as I can’t think of anything RJ has to gain from having his files seen by the FBI.
Jane/Lisbon’s Deception and Collusion
@juluk stated: “I am thinking, I presume you will deal with RJ issues and baby issues. How about who brought in the FBI, Jane or Lisbon?”
At the end of the episode blind Rosalind Harker calls Jane and tells him that Roy Tagliaferro (her one-time lover whom Jane suspected was RJ) has come to see her. She states that he asked for Jane and Darcy’s presence so that he’ll clear up all the misunderstanding between himself and the law. Jane’s immediate concern is Rosalind’s safety, but after that is established he tells her that he is on his way. In the next scene we see Jane, Lisbon, Darcy and FBI officers enter Rosalind’s home.
-I suspect, that after Jane shut the phone from Rosalind, he called Darcy immediately to make sure that she was safe. After that he would have had to explain his concern to her and reveal what Rosalind told him. Seeing as Jane was at CBI, he would have probably filled in Lisbon at the same time by having her listen to his conversation with Darcy.
One might ask why Darcy entered Harker’s home with her troops, accompanied by Jane and Lisbon, as opposed to Darcy accompanying Lisbon and her troops. I think, seeing as how RJ requested Darcy’s presence, it’s only natural that she would want to go in with her own people as back up. Another possibility could be that Darcy, gaining access to the RJ files, means that she has covertly taken over the RJ case. Time will tell.
I do want to discuss Lisbon a bit. We all know that she’s been going along with practically all Jane’s schemes, barely any questions asked this season. But there were two instances that struck me in this episode. The first was when Jane cancels her meeting with Wainwright. Lisbon tells Jane that he shouldn’t have done it on principle, because while he was right and that she hadn’t wanted to attend, she might have. Jane widens his eyes at her back, one of his tell-tale sarcastic gestures.
So we do Lisbon fighting, however shallowly over Jane exerting his control over her, as opposed to the other way around a la season three (I’m sure Windsparrow will have a lot to say about this). But is a token objection from Lisbon enough? I’ve been saying all along that she needs to remain strong to keep both Jane and herself out of trouble. It might be that Jane himself agrees with me…
Cue instance number two:
After Jane meets with Darcy, Lisbon asks him how it went. Jane tells her it’s not important but when she says he has a “bad news” look on his face Jane admits that Darcy saw Rosalind Harker. Lisbon realizes that Darcy now knows RJ is alive, Jane amends that she “suspects” and Lisbon once again presses him to tell Darcy the truth. Jane throws her off with a “Why stir up trouble” before changing the subject onto the case. Lisbon allows this and while she gathers her things Jane looks at her with a pensive look.
Viewers may recall a poll I had posted in the Blinking Red Light Review questioning why Jane might be teaching (grooming) Lisbon on his mentalist techniques. I had included six different options within the poll including the possibility that Jane is doing so so that Lisbon would be more likely to take his lead. However, a staggering 47.89 % (at the time of this review) of voters chose the following possibility:
Not necessarily. He wants her to trust herself, maybe enough to stand up to him if need be.
I was equally shocked and impressed with this percentage. I can only assume that those who chose this option recalled Jane saying that he needs someone strong, someone better than him, which in all honesty was what had been running in my mind when I created the option. It seemed too optimistic however and I never thought it would end up being such a popular choice. It was a nice surprise.
But this optimism coupled with Jane’s worried look at Lisbon in the aforementioned scene gave birth to a new idea. Could it be that Jane is disappointed in Lisbon for letting the matter go, for not pushing him further to tell Darcy the truth? Could it be that Jane knows what he is doing is wrong and actually wants Lisbon to fight him on this decision, and seeing her being so complicit actually has him worried?
And if that is true, then what is it that’s troubling him? The fact that he can no longer trust her to be his moral compass, or what her cutting him so much slack entails; that she has gotten too close to Jane? After craving Lisbon’s friendship and intimacy, could Jane now be starting to fear it?
And down the rabbit hole I go. Help me get out people.
Rosalind, Rosalind. Such a lovely character played beautifully by the gorgeous Alicia Witt.
@RobinTunneyBlog asked: Why didn’t Rosalind ask Darcy for her badge, like she did when Lisbon & Jane came to visit her the first time in S1 Finale? Maybe it’s nothing, but it did strike me as strange the moment I watched the episode…
It could have just been omitted to save time, or it might have been intentional to show that she has now become used to law enforcement officers visiting her home.
@everrinn stated: “my biggest question is did Rosalind know at the end? Was her traumatized look cuz she knows now Roy is RJ?”
I think future episodes will reveal what if anything new Rosalind now knows about Red John. But I’m going to borrow some of Jane’s words to describe what she might have felt at the end. When Darcy asks Jane why he still believes RJ is dead despite Rosalind’s contention that Timothy Carter is not Roy Tagliaferro, Jane says:
“She’s hardly a rock solid witness. There’d been many years since her last contact with Tagliaferro. She’s kind of a lonely soul. I think she’d rather believe he was still alive out there somewhere.”
The same concept can certainly be applied to why Rosalind finds it hard to believe that Roy is a murderer. She’d once mentioned that he was “cruel” for leaving her so suddenly without word and the look of utter delight on her face when she was talking to Jane on the telephone, telling him that Roy was here and that he was innocent, it was all a big misunderstanding, was heartbreaking to see. Especially when compared with what everrinn accurately called her traumatized look at the end of the episode.
So it may be that Rosalind now knows Roy is a killer. Or the look of despair and disillusionment on her face could simply be bitter disappointment that the man she loves had once again left her as hinted by her bitterly sorrowful statement “Roy couldn’t stay,” as she plays the piano, almost compulsively.
Being blind I doubt Rosalind she would have seen RJ carry the body of the morgue attendant into her house (the saran wrapping shows that he was obviously killed elsewhere).
I hope future episodes will clarify what her current emotional state on RJ is. I just want to add, as CJDavey stated, her playing mournfully on the piano, a tune that regular viewers have now come to associate with RJ related deaths, was an eerie and fantastic way to end the episode.
-Not sure it’s a good thing when Grace has more make up on than the models in the episode. Amanda Righetti is an extremely naturally beautiful woman. But all the make up (and the ever thinning brows) is making her look much older than she is. Let’s not forget that she is playing a cop. Yes Tunney and Righetti are both looking better than ever this year but I miss the serviceable (and more realistic) buns and ponytails they sported in the earlier seasons. And both are gorgeous enough that having their hair off their face would just give us more to drool at.
-Is it me or has Lisbon become a pushover? It’s not just Jane anymore. When she asks to see Duvall and the model is all “he’s not available” she resignedly tells her to have him call her back without even trying to exert her authority (or flash her badge) as she usually does. I’m starting to think windsparrow is right, Lisbon is exhibiting signs of being burned out by the job (or perhaps by Jane might be a more accurate statement). She’s just lacking her usual spark, spunk, and bite.
-The casting of the sewing trio was very well done but the model…while I appreciate this show going against the stereotypes of the unfairness of the modelling world, the actress they chose to be the murdering model was simply too beautifully curvaceous to pass for a top realistic model.
-The clothes! We never got to see that flashy gold dress close up! The director kept moving the camera on to the kids sewing them. We totally needed more close ups on the clothes, at least the ones the victim designed.
“It came from his mouth.” –Cho’s deadpan to Jane, on importance of finding where a feather came from.
“Yes, before it was in his mouth.” –Jane, in reply to the above.
“Fashion. Really?”-Cho to Rigsby
“Beautiful women in nice clothes, what’s not to like?”-Rigsby, in response to the above.
“Did it ever occur to you that I might actually want to go to the meeting?” Lisbon to Jane.
“No it didn’t. Do you?”-Jane.
“No. But it’s the principle.”-Lisbon, in response to the above.
“You’re not coming? Lisbon this could be your ticket out of this dead end job.”-I wonder what Jane meant her. Maybe that Lisbon going with him to a top designer will give her a shot at becoming a model? Aww!
“More managing, I mean what-someone gotta do it.” –again, I wonder why Jane’s so insistence Lisbon accompanies him. It’s kinda cute anyhow.
“You?!” Jane to the murderer. Love the surprised tone here.
“You’re losing your touch.”-Lisbon gleefully to Jane.
“Don’t be ridiculous the trick worked exactly as I intended. It didn’t matter which one I thought it was, that’s how a good trick works.” Aw, Jane.
“You would say that wouldn’t you.”-Love Lisbon’s big smile here.
“So am I gonna be out of here soon. I have a show in a couple of hours and I need to be there early for make up and fitting.”-Becky O Danahue’s reading of this line was great. So matter of fact, as if unaware that she just committed a major crime.
“No. You’re not going to be in the show. No more shows.”-Grace’s reading was great.
If we take Carter’s statement as fact that RJ wanted to retire, then probably most of those who knew who he really was are dead. Jane once asked why Todd Johnson started killing cops, and I posited that all the cops that had been killed might have been loose ends RJ wanted to silence; his followers in disguise since so many people tied in with Red John were members of law enforcement; Sherriff Hardy, Craig O’Laughlin, Rebecca, etc.
Now obviously Red John left a few of his members out of necessity; Craig O’Laughlin as an insider to reveal what the CBI knows about RJ, and then used Timothy Carter to relay a message to Jane that he was retiring.
But then Jane inadvertently set RJ on again when he used him to kill Panzer. Jane then sent RJ the message that he in fact did not want to restart their cat and mouse game, not overtly anyway, by going to extreme lengths of framing someone else for Panzer’s murder. I assumed that RJ had gotten the message. But now that Darcy is still investigating, RJ goes and does something else. He kills the morgue attendant that witnessed Jane bringing in Rosalind to ID Carter as RJ.
The question is why? Is it another deterrent to Darcy to stop her from investigating RJ?
Or could the mortician’s death have been RJ’s way to help Jane establish that RJ is indeed, dead, and that he and Roy Tagliaferro are two separate entities? After all, there was no smiley where the body was found. The only reason which comes to mind is that RJ did not in fact kill the morgue attendant. Perhaps, like Bosco’s team, another of his mend did. (Viewers may recall only one smiley was found at one of the Bosco’s team’s crime scenes, the detective who was cut open at a doctor’s office. The others, simply shot by Rebecca, had no smiley).
Or, it might be that there is a smiley, just somewhere else, where the mortician was killed; the actual crime scene.
It’s quite a confusing situation and I’m not surprised that Jane didn’t answer Darcy’s “Are you still going to tell me that RJ is dead.” He’s going to need to think about what’s going on here before he can understand the truth, the better to lie about it later. As Julie pointed out in one of her comments, RJ hasn’t been killing people for pleasure for quite a while now. It’s either been to manipulate Jane or prevent people from talking.
So, again, what was RJ’s point in killing the mortician? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
Finally, don’t miss tonight’s episode! Minor spoilers below and promo links below…
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At First Blush SPOILERS:
ADA Osvaldo Ardiles is back! Also Diane Farr guest stars! (I adore her).
Here’s the CBS promo