California Bureau of Investigations gets called in when a young woman named Natalie Kobeki (Christine Garver) is found murdered near Bart Station, San Francisco. Jane gets a call from convict Erica Flynn (guest star Morena Baccarin) who tells him Natalie used to be a client at her matchmaking service (Every Rose has its Thorn) and that she can help him find her killer.. Much to Senior Agent Lisbon’s (Tunney) concern, Jane convinces their boss Luther Wainwright (Michael Rady) to spring Erica from jail for a limited time to help solve the case.
I’ll admit I was as confused as Lisbon the first time I saw this episode. I couldn’t understand any of Patrick Jane’s motivations, not even enough to decide if they were as out of character as many fans claimed. Then I realized I was looking at the pieces too closely so I took a step back: a marvelous mosaic was revealed. War of the Roses might be controversial amongst diehard fans but character wise, it contained enough clues to makes sense. Well acted, executed, I can honestly say it’s one of my favorite episodes this season. 9/10
Detailed AKA Humongous Review (spoilers galore)
So this one made me think. A lot. I love when that happens and I reach a (hopefully) reasonable conclusion instead of making a list of pet peeves. As it is, I instead have a list of possibilities as to what exactly had been going on in Jane’s mind during this episode. Not entirely sure which one is right though. Ken Woodruff’s sly writing left room for several possibilities, all character appropriate. I tried to include most and probably imagined a few in the process. It wasn’t easy. Luckily, Windsparrow, an avid reader/commenter on this blog helped me along. She and her Man had quite a few intriguing conclusions, and some pretty funny ones too.
Note: Before you read this post, you might want to read my dear artist’s @chiziruchibi’s Mentalist 4×15 Rant: Self Therapy. She made several good points and I know many fans felt the same way about the episode. One might say this review was written to pacify those concerns.
Windsparrow: Permission to Doblerize the ‘Shippers, Captain!
YOU MUST CHILL! YOU MUST CHILL! (Lloyd Dobler, John Cusak’s character in “Say Anything”)
Reviewbrain: That’s probably something most J/L shippers needed to hear.
Windsparrow: The first time I see a new episode of The Mentalist, I am at work. Small TV on the other side of the room, I’m busy writing up stuff from the shift. So all too often I miss nuances of facial expressions and other subtle details. So I make the Man of the house record it and watch it with me on the weekend. This week, I made him watch it with me as soon as I got home.
Reviewbrain: It was that kind of episode, wasn’t it. So glad you’re here to help me make sense of it all. Between us, the clues Mr. Woodruff dropped us, and readers’ comments, I’m sure we can reach some level of understanding. Let’s take it by topic.
Windsparrow: One thing that seemed jarring on the first viewing is how advanced Sarah’s pregnancy has gotten, especially since Rigsby only told Cho in last week’s episode. It also rather appears that Rigsby has neither told Lisbon about the pregnancy, nor yet made arrangements in advance to make it to childbirth classes. Re-watching with the Man, I complained about the “Soap Opera Aging” syndrome. He told me he thinks it was not so much that as a way to establish the passing of time. In other words, Red John has been quiet for a few months. Possibly this could have been done with a bit more finesse, but it could be very important.
Reviewbrain: The timeline made me dizzy too. Erica claims that Natalie was her client 10 months ago (which, in real time would mean right around the time her first appearance, “Every Rose has it’s thorn” was aired so that kinda makes sense.) But it’s been seven months since Rigsby got Sarah pregnant? I’d try to do the math except I’m so hopeless I needed a tutor for my nine year old.
I do like your man’s theory that the advanced pregnancy was a method used to establish a passage in time in which RJ had been inactive. This helps reassure me that the writers didn’t just fast forward because they wanted Rigsby’s baby to conveniently arrive in time for the season finale. Because if that was true, then I’d be very worried that the writers are going to have the baby and/or Sarah be endangered.
I love Rigsby with Sarah. I love how she told him they weren’t ready to get married. I love how she babbles when she’s nervous. And I love how nice she is to him, how mindful and gentle she is of his insecurity. I want them to have the baby, realize they are madly in love, get married (not necessarily in that order), and live happily ever after.
Windsparrow: After seeing the previews last week, knowing that Erika Flynn would be putting the moves on our Patrick Jane, I reminded myself that in her last appearance, there did not seem to be all that much true attraction between them. Back then she kept telling him he was attracted to her. But it looked to me as though she was trying to work the power of suggestion mojo. On Patrick Jane. ::snirk::
Reviewbrain: She tries it here as well. When Erica calls Jane at the beginning of the episode, Jane is at first bemused, then gets annoyed when she tells him that she and Natalie grew close during their sessions, adding “but you know how that is”. Her power of suggestion MO hadn’t changed a bit, and like in the previous episode Jane was able to see right through it. At least at first…
Windsparrow: What is different this time around? A few episodes ago, Jane’s sexuality was let off the trauma leash. It ran around the yard digging up old bones and scaring the neighbor’s cat. And in a few instances throughout this season we have seen hints that he might be emotionally ready to be something other than all grieving, all the time. And now this gorgeous, smart, seductive woman comes back and tells Jane he is attracted to her. Again. Is he attracted to her? If he is, is it just a physical reaction to physical stimuli? No blame there, if he is. A more important question is, is there any emotional attraction? That would have a heck of a lot of meaning for Jane’s character. But if there is, I flat-out do not see it. Maybe I just do not recognize what is there. The Mentalist is the only thing I have seen more than clips of Baker. I have seen Baccarin in other things; I have seen her playing a character that has chemistry with other characters. I know what it looks like. This ain’t it.
And that is what I needed the Man’s opinion on. Either he really does not see it either, or he is afraid of having to clean bits of my grey matter off the walls of our living room when my brain explodes if he gives the wrong answer.
Reviewbrain: You gave me a lot to think about, and well, I don’t want to make your head explode…but…here’s the thing: We’ve agreed that Jane wasn’t attracted to Erica in the past. And there’s been plenty of proof. In “Every Rose has its’ Thorn”, after she insists he has feelings for, Jane says “You’re wrong, I feel nothing like that towards you for one simple reason. You killed your husband.” And we all know how derisively Jane feels towards spouses who are unappreciative of their significant others; goes without saying he’d feel even worse towards those who kill them. Jane reiterates his disgust twice when catching Erica he tells her “that body, that was your husband” and again in his final interview with her at CBI when he says that she shot her husband in cold blood.
Something was different in this episode and while Jane’s unleashed libido from a few episodes back (Fugue in Red) does help explain it, I do think the reason is a bit more complicated than that. Erica masterfully, genuinely managed to get under his skin. First she calls him and tells him to come see her for information on the case. Jane, obsessive person that he is, couldn’t help but take the bait. And it all spiraled out of control from there…
VIS #1: Jane visits Erica in Prison
Jane quickly calls Erica out on her having an ulterior motive for wanting to help out on Natalie’s case. She tells him that she wants out of the prison temporarily. “You have no idea now what this is like, Patrick. Living in a cage. Knowing I’ll be here for years.”
-First of all, Jane does know what it feels like to be in prison; he did some time himself after shooting Carter. And his trial gained enough media that it’s been referenced by other people. No way Erica didn’t know this. She needed him to get her out of jail and would have researched him carefully. And she can because we know she has the guards at prison wrapped around her finger (she used one of their cell phones to call Jane and said “helpful as always” to the guard).
So I posit by telling Jane that he doesn’t know what it’s like to be in her position, Erica was actually indirectly reminding him of his own time in prison, how boring it was, manipulating him and gaining his sympathy by covertly pointing out that he could have just as easily been in prison himself.
And when Jane asks Erica “What if you’re lying”, that her motive wasn’t a reprieve from jail but a chance to escape from it, Erica states that he once said he could see right through her “Transparent as glass I believe? So tell me. Am I lying now?”
Here, she’s preying on his ego. If he can truly see right through her then she poses no threat to him.
I’m not sure if Jane realized what Erica was doing. But if he did, I suspect it probably would’ve only fueled his desire to prove her wrong, to show her he couldn’t be manipulated. And so he agrees to let her out, pretending to believe her, the same way he did when they first met. He wanted her to think he was doing her bidding, only to catch her when she tries to make her escape and come out victorious.
At least that was the plan. And this, Jane’s ego, his competitiveness, is exactly what Erica counted on to get her out of jail.
So until now, how far do you think Erica played Jane?
VIS #2: Jane/Erica’s kiss (es)
The manipulative duo’s intimate hotel room scene was almost a direct replay of the one at Erica’s matchmaking service at the time of episode “Every Rose”. In both instances Erica tries to seduce Jane, and he calls her out on it. In Every Rose, when Jane accuses her of killing her husband, Erica tells him he doesn’t believe it, that: “You’re simply doing what you’ve been doing ever since your wife died. Intentionally sabotaging any relationship by pushing away anyone who makes you feel something. It’s a tragic but natural response for the guilt you feel over your wife’s death.”
Her mind game hadn’t worked. Undeterred, Jane had told her “I do push people away. And I do feel guilt over my wife’s death. But that does not change the fact that you murdered your husband I am more certain of it now than ever.”
Likewise, in this episode, when Jane tells Erica she’s seducing him to hide the fact that she wants to escape, she again counterattacks that he doesn’t really believe that; that he’s just using it as an excuse to avoid his feelings for her: “Those agents outside the door, aren’t to keep me from escaping. They’re to keep you and I apart.” When Jane says he is in fact afraid she’ll escape Erica asks him what he’d do if they were alone. This time, Jane doesn’t put a stop to the game. Instead, he kisses Erica.
-I have to say the way Jane gazed at Erica right before they locked lips seemed very calculating to me. You can practically see the wheels turning in his head as he made his decision. Why’d he kiss her? I think Jane decided he’d beat Erica at her own game of seduction; prove to her that he wasn’t affected by her, and instead try to seduce her. I also think he was multi-tasking; that he wanted to test himself to see if in fact, he could kiss a woman, if he was capable of moving on. And who better than to experiment on than an inmate who was going back to prison? No emotional attachments right?
Yeah, that plan didn’t exactly work very well (if, in fact, that had been his plan).
If Jane’s horrified reaction after the kiss was just part of a bigger ruse, part of the impromptu seduction he’d decided to pull on Erica to get her off her game, letting her think that she had affected him, then it didn’t work. She still managed to escape.
And if Jane’s utterly fearful expression was genuine, wasn’t an act, then the kiss wasn’t quite as harmless as I suspect he expected. He got caught in the moment despite himself; lost control; hence the vulnerable, traumatized look Windsparrow pointed out. Even Erica was shocked by how affected Jane was; like she couldn’t believe her seduction actually worked. I’m even wondering if Jane’s reaction managed to move something within her cold self-serving heart. But again, even if it had, it wasn’t enough to weaken her.
I’m not sure. Not at the beginning of the episode, of that I’m positive. But after their first kiss it certainly is possible.
Jane seemed very troubled the next day. I found it interesting that we didn’t see him guiltily playing with his ring the way he did when he went out with Kristina. Perhaps Jane doesn’t feel like the kiss was significant enough to count as a betrayal to her memory. It certainly wasn’t the first time he’d kissed a woman without feeling guilty over it (Sophie Miller, Madeline Hightower). The only time we truly saw signs of unease was during Jane’s date with Kristina, because that had been a big deal; he’d been trying to move on. Conversely, Jane’s dinner with Erica (and the subsequent kiss) were just part of his grander plan to prove his mental prowess over hers. This is supported by his telling Erica firmly at the end of the episode “It wasn’t a date.”
But if that was true, that Jane didn’t feel like he was betraying his dead wife, and provided his reaction wasn’t just an act for Erica’s benefit, then why the trauma after the kiss?
I don’t know, maybe he suddenly remembered that THIS WOMAN IS A KILLER!
Sorry, had to let it out.
Like I was saying, Jane could have suddenly realized he was kissing someone who murdered her husband and it occurred to him that besting her wasn’t worth him getting intimate with her. Or maybe it happened like Windsparrow said. Jane, for all his asexuality, found himself responding to Erica’s seduction and that’s what scared him: the realization that he was ready to move on from grieving for his wife, as hinted when he placed that flower in the ocean (Blood and Sand). That epiphany certainly would have been major enough to warrant his shell-shocked face.
It’s also just as likely that Jane himself had no idea what he was feeling. His plan to counter-seduce Erica didn’t work and instead he was left pondering whether he feels as attracted to her as she insists and what the ramifications of that will be. Realizing that he was letting himself get too close to his “mark”, and that’s dangerous given that his initial goal was to con her, Jane then threw himself into the case and wrapped it up quickly.
I just want to point out that while Jane/Erica had wonderful chemistry together, it’s not necessarily sexual. There was another dynamic that seemed to lace their interludes together. A few instances which highlighted the idea that Erica and Jane were kindred spirits.
1. At her hotel room when Jane asks Erica what her question was, she said that she lied because “these days I don’t get to spend time alone with charming men”. Jane replies “there’s a reason for that, so that you don’t kill them.” Erica replies “We all have our baggage.”
At this statement, Jane gives her a look that says touché; recognizing the insinuation that he’s not different from her. Even though the circumstances were vastly different, they’ve both killed people.
2. When Erica tells Jane she’s been thinking about him a lot, about what would have happened if they’d met under different circumstances. Jane answers “Thinking about what might have been will drive you crazy.”
Jane’s tone here was almost like he was giving Erica advice based on his personal experience; experience he thinks she might benefit from.
3. After Erica plays her part in Jane’s ruse to catch Natalie’s killer, she tells him “You didn’t have to leave the other night.” To which Jane responds “We can’t have everything we want”.
Again, Jane’s tone here, coupled with the “we” was almost like he was imparting words of wisdom to a fellow mentalist. Of course, it could also have been his way of gently hinting to her that the game was over, as only a few moments later he reveals that he’d caught her lawyer whom she’d planned to use to escape.
So it might be that, more than lust, Jane felt sympathy towards Erica, friendship. It certainly explains how nice he was to her after she’s caught. He seemed to feel (gag) guilty/sorry for putting her back in prison. Then there was the way he let her down easily when he revealed that her escape plan failed. There was also his response of “Me too” to Erica’s statement that she had a lovely time. Finally, Jane allowed Erica to kiss him again right before she got in the car to leave. To me, all this felt like he was giving her a consolation prize. Like Jane, having won his match with Erica, was magnanimously allowing her to take comfort from him before going back to prison. Ironically, her kissing him was probably to distract him from making sure the men who picked her up were legit cops.
But what do I know. Maybe Jane truly was attracted to Erica and his final interactions with her were his way of bidding her a bittersweet goodbye for what could never have been between them.
I just honestly don’t think so. And not because of any secret J/L shipping I might have (shh!) but also because of their last conversation together.
VIS #3 Jane Promises to Catch Erica
After fleeing successfully, Erica calls Patrick to thank him for their “date”. He tersely tells her it wasn’t a date and answers sarcastically “something like that” when she asks if he misses her. He then tells her that he will catch her. Erica tells him she’s almost looking forward to it and hangs up. Jane looks troubled.
-If Jane was truly attracted to Erica, then her escaping, beating him, wouldn’t have bothered him as much as it obviously was. Rather he would have remained as impressed as he initially was when he found out she’d escaped and possibly even been attracted to her more because of it.
Jane here was being a sore loser. The reason Jane he is bothered is because the whole time he thought had the upper hand on Erica when in fact she was the one with the upper hand. She succeeded in seducing him and he allowed his judgment be compromised by her. But there are even greater ramifications to Jane’s loss here which I’ll come back to later below.
Speaking of Lisbon, she was a bit absent from this episode. But what scenes she did have, especially the ones with Jane were very interesting…
Lisbon’s Umbrage with Jane
Last year I wrote a pre-season four article titled “Mentalist, No Love Triangles Here” the purpose of which was basically to prove that Jane and Lisbon have never shown any signs of being jealous of each other’s possible romantic interests. Up until this episode that hasn’t changed (Lisbon didn’t even react to Jane’s statement that Darcy had “great legs”; though that might have been because she knew he had been trying to distract her from a conversation he did not want to have).
In this episode, a lot of fans have jumped on the fact that Lisbon was totally jealous of Erica. If this is true, then it’s important to consider why rather than just assume her jealously is a byproduct of her being secretly in love with Jane. While it is obvious that Jane’s proximity to Erica annoyed Lisbon, I don’t think jealousy was the initial cause here. Lisbon had plenty more to be ticked off about, and I’m not just talking about how both Jane and Luther dismissed her valid warnings that Erica is dangerous and a flight risk. While it must have stung, poor Lisbon has gotten used to having her opinions dismissed in favor of Jane’s. There was something deeper gnawing on her.
Let’s examine the evidence:
1. Waiting to meet with the warden, Jane tells Lisbon there’s no need to be glum; that she won’t be held at fault if anything goes wrong. Lisbon mocks him for attributing that as the cause of her worry. Jane casually confirms Lisbon’s’ suspicions that Erica’s motive in helping out with the case is likely to try to escape. Lisbon is understandably frustrated. Fed up with his nonchalance, she flat out asks Jane if he’s letting Erica out because he needs her help or because he wants it.
-And there we have it. Lisbon’s was upset because she couldn’t understand Jane’s motives. She was worried that Jane wanted Erica’s help; wants her and no, not because Lisbon herself wants Jane. Though that might also be true, there is much more at stake here. Like Windsparrow said above, an emotional attraction would have “a heck of a lot of meaning for Jane’s character”. And I’m %100 sure this is the the bulk of what’s bothering Lisbon. Considering all the lines Jane has crossed (and gotten away with) since he killed Carter (Blinking Red Light, Always Bet on Red), it makes complete sense that Lisbon would want to stop him from breaking another law, making another mistake. Allowing Erica, (a woman who killed her innocent husband!) to seduce Jane into letting her escape…. I think this, Lisbon’s recognition of the danger Erica posed to Jane’s ever diminishing ethics, was the main reason Lisbon was so “glum” and why she didn’t want Jane to be alone with Erica. Hence her joining them later in the Limo.
2- Seeing CBI’s attractive Ron fawn all over Ms. Flynn, Lisbon tells Grace “What is it with this woman? She can get men to do whatever she wants and I can’t for the life of me figure out why.”
Grace explains the phenomenon to Lisbon with an awesome “Really? I get it. I mean, if I were a guy”.
This does nothing to appease our favorite green eyed monster. And yes, my using this phrase means I think she was jealous here, no way around it really; although green eyed fairy might be more accurate. Honestly, the face Lisbon had on after Grace leaves…. Ms. Tunney has no right to be so freaking adorable. It’s unfair to women (and babies) everywhere. I’ve wanted to hug Lisbon so many times during this episode that I lost count.
So Lisbon was jealous here, but again this does not necessarily mean because she in love with Jane (or Ron), though I doubt anyone would blame her for either. So why the jealousy?
Come on people, we’ve all been there. We’ve all known a person so attractive and/or charismatic that they seem to effortlessly have people wrapped around their fingers…unless, of course, you are one such person (in which case I congratulate you and advise you use your powers wisely). Readers who can’t think of anyone need look no further than Jane. He’s totally charming and can usually get people to do what he wants. Lisbon is actually (or at least used to be) one of the few immune to his spell. So now I’m wondering if Lisbon truly was confused about Erica when she asked Grace about her secret to men-whispering, or if she was just pretending to be cause it gave her a chance to vent.
3- When Lisbon tells Jane that enough is enough, Erica needs to go back to prison, Jane refuses and tells Lisbon “I need her.”
Reviewbrain: There’s no way around Lisbon’s reaction here, either. She seemed genuinely hurt; stung even. You can almost hear her wondering “What can Erica do that I can’t?”
Windsparrow: I kind of love that little smirk Jane gives after Lisbon walks away upset and a bit jealous after he tells her he “needs” Erica. I am not entirely certain what it means, but it did not look malicious as though Lisbon has only been a mark. And it was not a tight, awkward grin as though he worried about her having inconvenient emotions. He looked as though he kind of likes that Lisbon feels enough for him to be jealous.
Reviewbrain: I totally agree with your take on Jane here. He hadn’t meant to mess with Lisbon or hurt her here. He was too busy thinking about the case. You’ve phrased his emotions perfectly. Not just with regards to this instance. I love your description of other emotions Jane has had regarding Lisbon in the past. I felt a few of them are relevant for the best scene listed below.
The winner: Jane and Lisbon in the attic/Jane and Erica’s last conversation
Note: I chose this scene as the best because of I felt it a perfect (somewhat explanatory) ending to an episode that had filled me with confusion and trepidation. Also, there was a subtext party going on here. If there’s one thing I love more than continuity, it’s subtext. And when you add moodiness via rain, Erica being on an island somewhere and the phenomenal acting of all involved… I was taken. As I’ve already discussed the Jane/Erica aspects of the scene above, I’ll only be concentrating on Jane/Lisbon here.
Jane is sitting in his perch drinking tea when Lisbon comes in to tell him that US Marshalls have joined in the search for Erica. Jane tells Lisbon they’re wasting their time. She answers “Thanks for your optimism”.
-Reading between the lines one can see a hint of accusation in her tone, like this was Jane’s fault (which admittedly it was). They then have the following dialogue:
Lisbon: “I have to ask, Jane. Did you know Erica was going do this?”
Jane “Try to escape. Of course. Who wouldn’t.”
Lisbon: You didn’t answer my question.
Jane: No, I didn’t…..answer your question.
Here’s the thing. Jane did answer Lisbon’s question. She asked if he knew Erica would escape and he said he did. So that’s not the question Lisbon was referring to when she said Jane didn’t answer her question. What she wants is for Jane to reassure with regards to her underlying concern: That Jane knew Erica would escape, and could have stopped her, but didn’t. Jane knows this, but didn’t want to responds, hence the initial offhanded “Of course” followed by a blatant refusal to answer Lisbon when she tries to get an honest answer.
Windsparrow: During the final scene, when Lisbon asks Jane if he knew Erika was going to escape and she walks away from him, frustrated and unsatisfied with his answer, seeing the look on Jane’s face caused the Man to exclaim, “Bastard!” in a particular tone of voice – exactly the same one he uses when the cat jumps up on the dining table and filches a piece of meat off his plate. The tone is equal parts frustration and amusement at the cat getting the better of him. “No, I don’t see any chemistry between Jane and Erika. He’s too busy messing with Lisbon.” More seriously, he said, “It looks like Jane is playing a long game with Erica. He needs her for something and when he is ready, he will reel her back in.”
A little while ago, I asked him why he thought Jane looked so devastated after that first kiss. He said, “He felt terrible because he realized he wanted to be kissing Lisbon.” Of course, as he said this, he had a little Jane-messing-with-Lisbon grin on his face. Bastard!
The Man’s idea of Jane playing the long game is one I am beginning to love for two reasons. One, it leaves plenty of room for my precious ‘ship. Two, it means Jane has not been stuck merely reacting to Red John over the last several months. I have been suspecting Jane of simply not being enough to best RJ – not smart enough, not devious enough. And Jane’s chief weapon is his smarts and deviousness. Well, his two chief weapons are his smarts, his deviousness, and Lisbon’s fanatical devotion. No wait, Jane’s three chief weapons are smarts, deviousness, Lisbon’s fanatical devotion, and the rest of the SCU’s loyalty. Jane’s four… no, amongst Jane’s weaponry against Red John are such elements as his smarts, his deviousness, Lisbon’s devotion, the SCU’s loyalty, and… Let me come in again…. (My apologies to Monty Python for this horrible parody. I would apologize *for* it, but I am not sorry.)
My point is that, on the surface, it was beginning to look like Jane’s only hope for taking Red John down would be for RJ to fall into that serial killer error of making mistakes either through arrogance or a subconscious desire to be stopped. But if Jane really has the Jane-scheme to end all Jane-schemes going on under the surface and has been working on it for months, then this is vastly more important to the show and to the character than who ends up sailing off into the sunset together at the end of the show.
I am going to reserve judgment on whether or not I love or loathe this one until we see where it really fits in the overall story arc.
Reviewbrain: While I also love the Man’s theory, I just think it too good to be true. If Jane was playing a long game, well, a longer one than the span of this episode anyway, I doubt he would have been so surprised when Erica escaped, or as morose as he was after she ended their call.
So it seems your other more depressing conclusion is true: Jane is just stuck reacting to RJ. Jane may think he got one over on RJ by manipulating him to kill Panzer. But in reality, if Jane couldn’t even win in his game against Erica, then he is nowhere near capable yet of beating Red John. At least that’s what I think Jane’s reasoning would be. Hence him sipping tea, licking his wounds alone in his godforsaken attic.
And this, Jane’s bad mood could have been the reason why he refused to answer Lisbon’s question. Borrowing from Windsparrow’s above description, he had no time to bother with her inconvenient emotions (her jealousy, if that’s all he thought she was feeling). After all, he has much bigger things to worry about. If he couldn’t beat Erica, what are the chances that he can get Red John?
But neither Jane messing with Lisbon, nor his being in a bad mood seemed to be good enough reason for Jane’s demeanor here. The first time I saw this episode, I had a replay of my reaction to episode “Red Queen” where, after Hightower tells Jane he should clue Lisbon in on what’s going on, he replies “I’m better off on my own”. I’d ranted at the time and was full well and ready to do so her and launch into a “WHY THE HECK WOULDN’T HE JUST TELL HER THE TRUTH” spiel.
But then I realized, why the heck would he? Telling Lisbon the truth would mean admitting to her that this whole case had been a game to him, that he wanted to see if he could best Erica, that he thought he could, but he lost.
Just a few episode’s ago Jane was defending himself when Lisbon told him he was losing his touch. And ever since the Panzer incident and Darcy’s inquiry in it Lisbon had been telling Jane that he was wrong in how he was handling things. If Jane admitted to a mistake here, it would be admitting that he was human and capable of error, and god forbid that happen. He would be risking Lisbon rethinking her trust, blind devotion, and the free reign she gives him.
The thing is, Lisbon knows Jane is not infallible. She’s called him an idiot plenty of times. It still hasn’t stopped her from going along with his ruses (to my utter disappointment). Jane and Lisbon’s season four closeness seems to have given her some blind spots when it comes to his flaws.
But I suppose Jane fears his recent errors in judgment might be the last straw to make her reclaim her (seemingly blind) devotion. Because like Windsparrow pointed out, Jane sees Lisbon’s loyalty as one of his biggest assets. So it’s only natural he wouldn’t want to lose that by losing her faith in his abilities. And as it seems Lisbon and Jane’s new motto is “No harm, no foul”, he wouldn’t want to let her in on his plan until after he cleverly thwarted Erica. But he didn’t win, so he couldn’t tell her.
The thing is, by holding out on Lisbon, Jane is in fact, risking losing Lisbon’s hard-earned trust. By not being up front with her Jane risks pushing Lisbon away.
Unless….could that be Jane’s intention? I raised the possibility that Jane might want Lisbon to stop blindly going along with him, to stand up to him. Could him pushing her away here be the reason for that?
Aw, crap. All my optimism brought Cynic out of his basement. He’s laughing at me again.
Whatever. I tried to list all the possibilities here in the poll. Please choose the one you think is most accurate.
The other Best Scenes:
1st runner up: Jane/Erica in the hotel room.
2nd runner up: Rigsby, Sarah, and Madam Atusa. This scene was so hilarious, I even forgave the unlikeliness that Sarah wouldn’t have known by this point whether Rigsby had other children or not.
Simon Baker, Robin Tunney, Morena Baccarin, Jillian Bach, Owain Yeoman.
Writer Ken Woodruff
Pet Peeves (?)
The question mark here is because I am not sure if this was intended or not..
Erica’s Flynn planned and killed her husband. It was not manslaughter. So I’m guessing the short time period, ten months, coupled with her and Jane’s statements regarding the witness against her in “Every Rose” were intended to make us fill in the gaps: that Erica cut a deal with the DA; a confession for a lighter sentence. But I’m just wondering if I’m assuming too much…
Personally, I don’t think RJ is smarter than Jane, but Jane’s just got too much going against him: mainly himself. I think the changes Jane has been going through this season (après Panzer) have been detrimental to him. He’s becoming ever more egotistical and that’s causing him to make mistakes. In this episode, for example, the second he got Erica out of jail then her escape was just a matter of time. Even if Jane thought he could control his own reactions to her (which turned out to be untrue) he had no way of ensuring, controlling the effect she had on others.
And despite Jane knowing Erica’s methods, despite his knowing her MO and seeing her attack a mile away, Jane still wasn’t able to dodge it. Because she used his ego against him…wait, that reminds me of someone…
Anyway, we have Jane ignoring Erica’s crime and the threat she poses in favor of indulging in a cat and mouse game with her. Wait, that also sounds familiar…
Cynic: Red John?
Cynic: Duh. It’s kind of a given the reason Red John is obsessed with Jane is because of how smart he is. We have the same thing going on here. In Every Rose has its Thorn, when Lisbon asks Jane why he’s obsessed with Erica, Jane tells here “Because she doesn’t think I’m smart enough to catch her.”
Reviewbrain:So it’s the mental exercise that Jane craved at the time, even more so here. The same reason why RJ is so obsessed with Jane. I wonder how long it will take Jane to notice these similarities. Without rules, order, faith, his wife’s memory, something anything for Jane to believe in besides his own ego and arbitrary/selective code of ethics, Jane has no way of beating Red John.
Cynic: I thought I was supposed to be the pessimist..
Reviewbrain: On the other hand, Minelli once said (after Jane lost Hardy, an important lead to RJ) that he had been going way to hot on cases. I guess boredom and restlessness could account for Jane’s behavior too, especially if its’ true that RJ has been quiet all this time (the four months of Sarah’s pregnancy).
I just don’t know if it excuses it.
As to Jane’s refusal to confide in Lisbon, it creates good realistic drama between them. For now, I’m totally on board with the tension. In fact, I welcome it. One of the reason’s I love this episode is because it gives us Jane/Lisbon conflict. Don’t get me wrong I like that they’ve been all happy/cute/BFF this season. But frankly that can get boring. I’ve particularly found myself wishing Lisbon would revert to her season one persona that got along well with Jane but was mistrustful enough of him to doubt everything she says. I’ve also been wondering where the rest of the “not %100 trust” for Jane was hiding when it was needed the most (Red John, Darcy, Panzer, etc.).
It’s nice to know it’s still alive.
And using Erica to reawaken it was a stroke of genius.
And I am now official brain fried. Help me out woulja? What were your favorite lines in this episode?
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No new drawings this time, my dear artist has been travelling but I’ll add them as soon as she’s done. Meanwhile, check out this awesome video