Mentalist Something Rotten in Redmund Review


Once again, this review was written by my dear friend Violet. I am so glad I was unable to work on it as I doubt I would have done as wonderful as job as she has.-Reviewbrain

Synopsis

Consultant Patrick Jane (Baker) meets CBI Agent Teresa Lisbon (Tunney) at Redmund High School where one of the most popular teachers has been killed. Right away, Jane begins to discover the secrets of the high school, the students’ as well as the teachers’. He soon becomes particularly interested in the school drama club, the members of which are preparing to put on a play: a modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.”

Concise Verdict

The mere idea of Jane roaming freely in a high school plays with an old expectation for many viewers. Season two’s ‘Rose Coloured Glasses’ took place in a high school reunion and we were told Jane never went to high school. His time in Redmund thus gives us a glimpse at what kind of student Jane would have been as a teen and that’s quite satisfying and funny. More continuity is present via many discreet winks to past episodes conveying an impression of coherence and familiarity: the ruse of the girl betraying a guilty conscience by not looking around in a crowd was used in S3 ‘The Red Mile’; Jane helping someone to stop smoking?  Think ‘Blood for Blood’ in season 2. And Jane working his charm on a stage reminds of ‘Rhapsody in Red’. All in all, ‘Something’s Rotten in Redmund’ is a pleasing episode, even if not mind-blowing one. It presents a  rather well done story, with its set of credible red herrings and a surprising final revelation– spectacular, but still realistic-, enhanced by some really amusing moments. The result may not become the best episode of this heart-stopping fourth season, but it surely gives us an endearing one: 8/10.

Detailed AKA Humungous Review (spoilers galore)

An important theme of this episode is how clever Jane is at working on various threads at the same time. The beginning is classic: Jane ticks off the local authority figure at the crime scene, like usual. Then there is a progression, as Jane discovers secrets from the more obvious to the more hidden ones. The investigation thus quickly falls in a pattern of mixing various types of clues, including ones from the crime scene, some hunches/deductions, or searching for some elements he’s sure of finding in Redmund because “every school has them”. All the while he’s switching focus between students and teachers. He seems to be everywhere, investigating every possibility.

VIS #1 Jane and the delinquent

After spending some time searching for the “bad kids”, Jane manages to interrogate their leader Krista. Seeing her about to lighten a cigarette: the consultant tries to convince her, or rather force her, to stop smoking by using suggestion. Jane’s willingness to help the local bad girl, in his own manipulative little way, shows how he is able to be genuinely concerned enough about youngsters’ welfare to try and do something for them. He’s once again on the side of morality, like he was in ‘Pink Champagne on Ice’.

The scene also showed us that he is talented enough to adapt his speech to his audience. Indeed, when he used the same mean to help Trina’s aunt in ‘Blood for Blood’ he called to her disgust and indignation towards businessmen making money with the unhealthy stuff; whereas here, he just tell his “patient” to look at herself in a mirror. Therefore he used young girls’ common weak point, the image they have of themselves, implying that the uneasiness and shame she’ll feel may be the trigger to decide to change. It’s a minor point, but it gives us an indication about how he works with his audience. Always interesting.

VIS #2 Jane in the bathroom – and called in the Principal’s office

– Jane sneaks in the second floor boys’ bathroom while the students are in class and paint a huge “Snyder sucks” in blue on the mirror…

-Our unruly consultant is then called with Lisbon in the principal’s office to be given an earful for his naughtiness. Jane then confirms that Snyder knew he had performed the vandalism act because of authorized security cameras hidden in the bathroom.

This funny and unexpected scene is without any doubt the best of the high school part. And it shows another perspective on how his mind works: he prepares his act, here by baiting Snyder. Then he just has to catch the fish.

In the meantime, Jane reminds very much of a mischievous teenager, playing a prank against authority and being caught red-handed. Baker’s impersonation of a grumpy kid is truly hilarious. It fits with Jane’s usual charming childish behaviour (pulling up his leg while looking into a huge waste bin, giving Lisbon a shadow puppets show and so on). Yet, the twist here makes things even more amusing, since he acts like a teen even though he’s an adult among real teenagers. The scene moreover is well structured and balanced, as all this playfulness serves to uncover that disturbing fact that cameras have been hidden in the boys’ bathroom. There is a subtle gap between this apparent carefree attitude and the serious matter behind and that contrast gives depth to his character.

Another interesting side is Lisbon’s reaction.  She’s had to apologize on his behalf countless times, it’s no wonder her speech rightfully feels more than rehearsed. But, here, not only she acts as her boss, but she also assumes what comes as a parent’s role: after being called by the secretary, she asks him what he’s done and scolds him in front of Snyder. That’s pleasingly emphasised by his petulant child behaviour. She deftly slides over two meanings of being his ‘responsible adult’: from being a superior who is blamed professionally wise, to taking the attitudes of a mother in front of her disobedient child.

Jane playing with Hamlet

 In a perfect counterpoint, the school theatre soon becomes a sort of microcosm in Redmund. The mood behind the stage is faintly different, as is Jane. While he mostly tries to bug the truth out of people at school, he’s far more charming with the young actors and their teacher and manages to get them under his spell… until the end, where we learn that he was trying all along to sneak into their little theatre company for investigative purposes.

VIS # 3 Jane gives a lesson on being an actor – Jane at the play

Again this is a scene in two parts:

Act one: he gets them to think he was an actor by reciting a tirade from “Hamlet” from memory. And, after earning their admiration, he’s asked to give tips and enunciation exercises. That only further establishes his status, he seems a great actor who knows the play inside and out and a reliable person.

Act two: the evening when they are performing, Jane gets rid of one of the kids to have his part. He then founds himself playing the ghost of the dead king supposed to reveal his son Hamlet that he’s been murdered. Of course, Jane-ghost’s revelations about murder are quite different and serve to accuse the drama teacher who’s having an affair with the underage lead actor.

-Same pattern than with Principal Snyder: he prepares things beforehand but we can only understand in retrospect what it meant. Many elements are in common in both schemes:

1) in both cases the trick is for Jane to perform an act and above all to be seen by his mark while performing it, whereas it is acting as a delinquent or posing as an actor.

2) There is some emphasis on the notion of watching (the camera/ the play taking place on the scene).

3) Lisbon’s role is similar to what it was in the office, as she comes to see him perform like a mother would do, sitting with the students’ parents, even if she didn’t know that he would be on stage.

4) In both occurrences, Jane is again the champion of justice and morality, since he calls Snyder creepy and a pervy, and is not afraid to qualify the corruption of a minor as “an unnatural lust between a woman and a boy”.

Now, the choice of “Hamlet” as the play they are performing is extremely revealing. References to Shakespeare have been a connecting thread during the second half of this season. In ‘Fugue in Red’, Jane told Lisbon part of his memory palace consisted in naming Shakespeare’s plays in the chronological order. In ‘Cheap Burgundy’ he was able to catch the killer, a fan of the Bard, by purposely misquoting a passage from ‘Macbeth’. Here, his precise knowledge is even more obvious since he’s able to quote lines from at least two characters, Hamlet and his father.

‘Macbeth’ and ‘Hamlet’ are certainly famous classic plays about murder. Jane also shares interesting traits with Shakespearian characters. Like many of them, he’s witty and has a knack for saying serious things with a joyous air and lightness, being able to discuss death matters with Lisbon before sharing an ice cream. This mixing of various moods also masks a tragic streak. Like Lady Macbeth, Jane is obsessed with guilt; he hides with Hamlet behind the mask of a fool, the prince feigning craziness while Jane plays a jester. In truth both men seek revenge over a dead relative’s assassination above all things, even when others may have to suffer collateral damage. Both plays end in loneliness, madness and death and that’s what Jane himself risks, between the mess of Panzer’s murder, his struggling with Red John, Darcy’s accusations and the claims that he may be a psychopath. That definitely conveys an anguished and tragic undertone to this so to say “full of sound and fury” season.

 Rigsby is a Father

VIS #4 the ending: Rigsby sends a photo of his baby boy

On a brighter side, the shortest pregnancy of history has come to an end. Rigsby’s stress and the cute haste he showed in leaving the bullpen, keeping his phone between his teeth, already hint that he’ll be a loving father. This is even further illustrated when he sends a picture of his newborn son Benjamin to every member of the team: it proves how proud he feels and the team reactions are all the more endearing as they are gushing over the baby. That’s a very sweet moment.

We finally get to see a reaction to the news from Lisbon and Jane. Lisbon has obviously a soft spot for babies and in true mother bear mode defends the newly born against Jane’s teasing remarks. He then leaves and the mask begins to slip revealing a soul deep sadness, while Lisbon’s knowing look follows him. A poignant ending that probably explains why the writers didn’t touch on the matter before.

 And that leads us to the big question…

What is Lisbon’s role? 

Many aspect of Lisbon’s relationship with Jane appear in this episode. They skim between personal and professional.

1/ She is Jane’s partner: they are together in the most important moments of the investigation, when Jane finds their first suspect, in Snyder’s office, during the play. Their partnership opens and closes the investigation, since both at the beginning and at the end, he finds their prey and she catches her.

2/ They share again moments of deep complicity, like when they banter before Snyder enters the office. They also communicate with their eyes when Jane sticks his head in the curtain to make her understand everything is ok. And she seems to be the only one in the team who understands him enough to guess how he must feel in front of the baby picture. She’s the closest thing he has to a confident.

3/ Jane has also influence on her: he brings out the mischievousness in her. She brags about not having been a good girl at school but not to have ever been caught. That’s just a way to encourage him to be more discreet the next time. Shouldn’t she instead keep trying to tame his antics? And at the theatre, she just flashes her badge to take a seat and watch the play. Abuse of authority, anyone?

4/ She acts as his responsible adult, almost his mother. That was the case when she was watching him on stage among parents and school staff, or when she was apologizing in his behalf to the principal. This part almost seems to be an image they give in public. In the office, they were teasing each other even though she acted as if she resented he got in trouble, then Snyder entered and both easily slipped back into their part of serious Agent and disobedient consultant. Somehow, that authority she shows over him feels sometimes like a façade: when they are alone, they act more as equals.

All those elements are already part of her character. Obviously, the warmth of their friendship generously displayed here has the same goal than his cleverness in the field, that’s to say to contrast with the end of season events. Nevertheless, Jane brings on the scene another point and that’s more than a little intriguing:

5/ he draws indeed a parallel between Lisbon and the perp in love with one of her students and suggests that she’s “smitten” with him. In the past some people accused Lisbon of having a soft spot for her consultant, for instance Bosco back in season 2, or more recently Osvaldo. But no one has ever defined the nature of this inclination before. That’s the first time Jane himself addresses the complexity of the bond they share. As a fact, there are objective similarities in both situations: Jane is Lisbon’s subordinate and, as it’s heavily implied in this episode, he’s under her responsibility, thus a hypothetical relationship would leave a forbidden taste, albeit to a far lesser extent of course. Plus, Lisbon has indeed admiration for Jane, she’s lenient and willing to go to great extents for him, like Ms Austin did. But, by comparing Lisbon’s feelings for him to what Ms Austin called love and what himself designated as “lust in the woods”, he adds a new potentially romantic and sexual component to the mix. A new component to which Lisbon just replies with a loud “Shut up!” in a semi-amused voice. Is that a hint that things are slowly and consciously growing into something more, on her part at least? What do you think?

Best Scenes

The winner: the final scene. The team’s reactions to the baby were moving and Jane’s particularly was pretty deep. That was a true epilogue, giving us answers to some questions and asking others.

Update (by Reviewbrain): Lisbon’s gaze following Jane as he walks out of the bullpen is very telling. She knows Rigsby’s baby picture must have stirred melancholy emotions within him. This awareness, their friendship and closeness this season makes the following strip possible…

 

Image by Chizuru-chibi. Copyright Reviewbrain May, 2012. Not to be used without permission.

 

One can hope, anyway. Jane certainly looked like he needed a hug after that last scene…

-Reviewbrain

1st runner up: Jane in the Principal’s office. Adorable and hilarious.

2nd runner up: Jane playing the ghost. That scene was very well done. Jane is older than the young Hamlet, so he fits completely as a fatherly figure. His three-piece suit matches the old-fashioned black suit and string necktie that was chosen for the original actor. He takes delight in playing with the original lines. Every detail is just perfect. And the major aspects of his character are reunited: showmanship, creativity, sense of justice, charm and charisma.

Best Lines

“Well, I did a little stage work”- Jane, when asked if he is an actor. Yeah. Understatement of the year.

“Patrick Jane, please report to the Principal’s office immediately. I repeat: Patrick Jane, Principal’s office.”- Naughty Jane is summoned for his crimes. Made me crack a smile, especially given his delighted expression.

“Eleven years in Catholic school and I never been called in the principal’s office once.”- Lisbon reprimanding Jane.

“That’s because you were a boring goody two shoes.”- Jane, to the above. Because attack is the best form of defense.

“I never said I didn’t do something bad, just that I never got called”- Lisbon, to the above. Naughty Teresa rocks!

Honorable Mentions

At long last, we get an episode where the actual murder investigation is at the center of the story. Thanks for that!

How the heck did they come up with the idea of Jane interrogating a witness while sparring? It was particularly original and funny.

They made a rather good job at giving us the impression of a crowd and of the multitude of problems typical for a high school (drugs, teachers’ problems, awkward teens or rebellious ones). Since many thematic episodes were lacking in atmosphere (the undercover cops for example), that’s really great!

It’s also a nice change to have a victim who was truly and completely a good person: every grudge he had encountered was because he tried to protect his students. Now I don’t know if I’m biased, but I kept wondering all along if this love-worthy man who “probably felt guilty for something” and tried to right the wrongs by rescuing everyone wasn’t supposed to somehow announce the fall of another character who shares the same traits… that may refer to caring Lisbon or guilt-ridden Jane. Or I may very well be reading too much into it.

Pet Peeves

Ok, I realize that teenagers on TV are generally played by young adults -or sometimes not so young- but some scenes suffer from this here, as really, a number of their high school students seem well on their twenties… Albeit charming and full of youth, Sophie Kargman (the letter maker) and Augie Duke (our smoky-eyed smoker of a bad girl), give a distinctive grown up vibe, but the worst moment is the teenager hooker’s interrogation: Kristina Apgar seems as old as Van Pelt. That’s a bit confusing and disconcerting…

Conclusion

Jane’s talents are perfectly showcased here. He is able to set in motion different plans; as if every idea provides him with a new bit of information and gives him an occasion to show his skills and the extent of his arsenal of mind tricks. He works as a perfectly well-oiled machine. It somehow reminds of the bubble of efficacy, calm and tranquility that Reviewbrain defined for the beginning of the season and which was just waiting to blow up. He’s so completely a mastermind, just so in control of the situation that you know he’s about to slip up.

MILD SPOILER ALERT

—-Not to mention it was certainly intentional that this episode featuring Jane on the top of his game was aired when infamous spoilers began to be leaked: it is probably meant to contrast with the epic fail already programmed and announced.

Note: art will be posted as soon as it’s ready. Please check back later 🙂

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34 responses to “Mentalist Something Rotten in Redmund Review

  • All-I-need

    Oh god, I LOVED this episode!

    It was so hilarious and I enjoyed every single moment.

    I`d also like out that we were treated to one of the rare Jane/team scenes. In fact, it was a Jane/VanPelt scene, which is even more rare. The way they were lounging on his couch (again: ON HIS COUCH!) watching the security videos made me say “awwwwwwwwww” just because of how comfortable they seemed around one another. I`d have loved to see the same scene with Jane and Lisbon…*coughs*

    Also, I was beginning to feel slightly depressed. Is there anything this man can NOT do? Isn`t it enough that he reads people`s minds like books? Does he have to know all of Shakespeare`s works by heart AND how to fence? I swear, I loved this! Makes me feel like I can´t do a thing, but maybe I should just try more …

    Anyways, this is definitely one of my all-time favorite episodes. I had so much fun watching it.

    One of my favorite lines is from Jane helping that poor boy to “calm down” before he has to go on stage. Once the boy hyperventilates and faints, Jane gently lowers him to the ground, saying: “See? How calm you are now…” That was hilarious! It also showed that Jane is actually a lot stronger than he wants people to believe, because slowly lowering someone to the ground who has gone completely limp is NOT easy. And the kid wasn`t exactly thin, either.

    Jane in the principal`s office was definitely one of the best scenes ever. He actually looked like a naughty schoolboy who got caught, all sullen and sulky and slightly stubborn. In a word, he was adorable. I don`t know how Lisbon managed not to laugh at him. Or kiss him. Or both.

    Speaking of Lisbon … she was amazing!
    Principal Snyder: “May I ask you to keep this silent…?”
    Lisbon: “NO.”
    I loved the snippy way she said that, as well as her “Frankly, I don`t care what you think!”
    It`s just another aspect of her mother bear nature. Once it became clear that Jane was being reprimaded for something he had done on purpose to solve their case, Lisbon`s defensiveness of him climed to new heights and she used this new developement (aka the security cameras) to turn the tables on Snyder and make HIM the culprit in the room. Especially hilarious was the way Jane eagerly chimed in with several strings of letters “…and all the other acronyms”.

    And it appears Lisbon was really sick of everyone trying to stop her from doing her job. First Snyder doesn`t tell her about the cameras, then this woman in the audience doesn`t want her to sit there – so she bluntly uses her badge to do exactly as she pleases. I love Lisbon. Badass-Lisbon rocks!

    And may I just say that the whole exchange of looks from Jane behind the curtain and Lisbon in the audience was just adorable? I loved it!

    Also, I tip my hat to the stylists – I absolutely LOVE the blouse Tunney wears when Jane comes into her office to take her to the theater. It looked amazing on her and she should definitely wear it more often.

    The end was … wow. The way Cho and Jane made teasing comments about the baby, both trying to hide just how cute they found it – and in Cho`s case probably trying to preserve their manliness while Jane was simply hiding his pain – was great, as was Lisbon`s admonishing of the two of them.

    The pain on Jane`s face as the mask cracked….woah. Really, Simon Baker deserves awards for his facial expressions if nothing else. All the things he manages to convey with one expression … it makes me want to cry for Jane and I hope Lisbon went after him as soon as she got the chance.

    Thank you for another great review, Violet, you`re doing an amazing job here!

    Reviewbrain, I hope you`ll be able to return to your reviews, soon =)

  • julienic73gmail

    Another great job violet. I loved this episode, it was old school (no pun intended) a delightful jane with a poignant ending. Such wonderful acting from simon on that last scene, he always gets the right beat. This is the second consecutive episode where jane was left to investigate on his own and they always show what a great character he his.
    I agree with all you have said and with the order of best scenes. Lisbon and jane get closer and closer and it makes the coming episode very intriguing. In the UK the darcy eoisode was shown and although my son laughed at Lisbon/jane banter he said that he preferred it when she was always on his case. Thanks violet for stepping in and doing such a fantastic job.

  • violet

    Thanks for your great comment! 🙂 I confess I can’t wait either to read more reviews from Reviewbrain! (writing them is not the same… ;))

    “I`d also like out that we were treated to one of the rare Jane/team scenes. In fact, it was a Jane/VanPelt scene, which is even more rare. The way they were lounging on his couch (again: ON HIS COUCH!) watching the security videos made me say “awwwwwwwwww” just because of how comfortable they seemed around one another.”

    Indeed, the scene was sweet. And you’re right, it’s the first time I think Jane has allowed somebody other than Lisbon on his couch. Talk about possessive… In fact, there was a real complicity between coworkers in this ep. As for me, I found very moving that Rigsby took care of sending a picture to everyone (probably to Jane too), instead of just one for all to see. Much more personal.
    I didn’t mention either how much nicer Grace was in this ep. She was genuinely willing to help that teen hooker. She seemed to be closer to the Van Pelt we used to know before last finale debacle. Good to see that she’s healing at long last!

    Also, good point about Jane being stronger than he seems. Didn’t see it that way. Come to think of it, some time ago, when he put another key in the middle of Carter’s ones to trick his widow, wasn’t it the one for his CBI gym locker? Are we to understand that the guy gets more exercise than just walking from his couch to his teapot then to his couch again? Another dark mystery of the show…

    “Jane in the principal`s office was definitely one of the best scenes ever. He actually looked like a naughty schoolboy who got caught, all sullen and sulky and slightly stubborn. In a word, he was adorable. I don`t know how Lisbon managed not to laugh at him. Or kiss him. Or both.”
    No way. She would have hit him: she seems more prone of expressing emotions like gratitude, admiration or endearment that way, with a slap on the arm or a snarky remark. Remember Jane’s smug “now you don’t know if you want to hug me or hit me”? Well, she knew. 😉

    And I agree with you, the blouse we quite lovely. Yet, I prefer some of the more form-hugging tee-shirts she used to wear in S2. They enhanced more her figure, she looks a bit too thin with clothes with a large vertical band. I reminded me of the one she wore in the first part of ‘Strawberries”, but far more stylish and feminine (the other was rather androgenic, it seemed to have been picked only to contrast with the girly pink dress).

  • violet

    Thanks for your lovely comment!
    I’m very intrigued too by the coming episode(s): such moments make you really wonder how they plan to deal with the bond between them. And I must say that I agree with your son: I prefer when she’s on the field too. Many more occasions for banter! 😉

  • windsparrow

    Great job, Violet. You have a talent for getting to the heart of the matter as well as covering all the bases.

    So Jane counters Red John’s Blake obsession with a Shakespeare fascination? The thing about Shakespeare’s plays is the difference between the comedies and the tragedies. At the end of a comedy, everybody ends up married; at the end of a tragedy, everybody ends up dead. Me? I’m rather hoping for wedding bells here. If I want a slew of dead beloved characters, I’ll go watch Serenity again.

    I did pick an answer in the poll – but as usual the issue is more complex than a poll can manage to reflect. I know Lisbon and Jane are good friends and work spouses. Increasing trust and intimacy between them lead to moments like Jane giving Lisbon a bit of sea glass and the two of them sharing an ice cream sundae as well as more serious ones as they discuss the implications of Red John still being alive and Lisbon being all too aware of Jane’s bittersweet feelings about Rigsby’s new baby. We have evidence that Lisbon has long been attracted to Jane and Jane knows it (seduction over a meal discussion; circle in a triangle mind trick). And “Fugue in Red” gave a hint or three that Jane is not entirely unaffected by Lisbon’s physical attractiveness; Lisbon herself can hardly have ignored his hand on her ass. So there they are, two highly attractive people who care deeply for each other (certainly in a friendly way, possibly in a deeper way), who find each other attractive. But their situations make it highly inadvisable for either of them to explore that attraction. So, are they both enjoying the intimacy and trust that they have as partners on the job plus the sweet little zing of attraction while knowing – whether they ever will in the future – they cannot take it any further right now? A romantic relationship between them is in the “Don’t go there, don’t even think about it” zone. Or is one or the other, or both, of them already fallen in love, and secretly pining away, aching for the day that this forbidden love can be out in the open? Me, I’m leaning toward them enjoying their partnership and the zing of attraction, not terribly burdened by keeping it in the background for now. And who knows what the distant future will bring? I know what I am hoping for.

  • violet

    Thanks, Windsparrow! I really appreciate! 🙂 And your comment was particularly interesting.

    “We have evidence that Lisbon has long been attracted to Jane and Jane knows it (seduction over a meal discussion; circle in a triangle mind trick).”

    I’m not sure the situation was so straightforward back then either. I mean, I still have doubts that she was indeed really that attracted to him: it gave the impression that he did tease her and made her blush simply because he could. He’s conscious of being an attractive man (his charm and smile are part of his showmanship after all). Since we are in a high school ep, I’d said he was acting the same way the popular quarterback would be flashing a smile to a nice-looking but a bit self-conscious girl at school. It may mean something or it may not, either way no big deal. I’m not making myself very clear: I think Lisbon was indeed attracted to his easy charm, but it wasn’t something deep. No real feelings involved. But she was so obsessed with that “we don’t do personal on the job” thing that it was too tempting for him not to go there and take her off guard. Still, there was already chemistry and I’m sure he felt the potential between them: he wouldn’t have allowed himself to get closer otherwise.

    “And “Fugue in Red” gave a hint or three that Jane is not entirely unaffected by Lisbon’s physical attractiveness; Lisbon herself can hardly have ignored his hand on her ass.”

    Same thing here. I still wonder if she realizes that he’s attracted to her: she denied that “Paddy” and Jane were the same when he was doing something that disturbed her (the “that’s not him’” she told Van Pelt when the man was acting as a fake psychic of all times. Like he didn’t trick people to get what he wanted in a daily basis!), and she tried her best to ignore his passes at her. Now, she knows he cares for her, but I’m not sure she can imagine that he’s interested enough to try to peep while she’s changing for example…

    “So there they are, two highly attractive people who care deeply for each other (certainly in a friendly way, possibly in a deeper way), who find each other attractive. But their situations make it highly inadvisable for either of them to explore that attraction. So, are they both enjoying the intimacy and trust that they have as partners on the job plus the sweet little zing of attraction while knowing – whether they ever will in the future – they cannot take it any further right now?”

    I agree with you about the potential highly inadvisable turn in their friendship and the “don’t go there” part. Yet, the problem is that recently Jane seemed definitively eager to try to get something more: nothing concrete, but he seems willing to enlighten the undertones of their friendship, hence his glee when she showed she was hurt and maybe jealous of Erica, or the comparison here. He’s enjoying playing with it, even he does nothing more. There is a hint of a spark that wasn’t as obvious in the beginning of the season.
    Still I completely agree with you about them “enjoying their partnership and the zing of attraction, not terribly burdened by keeping it in the background for now”. And that’s certainly why the writers plan to shake things up…

    (I’m not sure that was very clear… )

  • john scott

    Violet,

    Great “REDMIND” review – I’m GREEN with envy! RB better be careful because her understudy may soon take her review show on the road. (Vi, ever think about branching out to review other shows such as Justified and Mad Men?)

    This episode was an eye opener for me watching Lisbon’s interaction with Jane. Lisbon’s sincere concern for Jane takes her off my list of RJ candidates; The only killer aspect of Lisbon is the way she fills out her jeans – “The devil has powers to assume a pleasing shape.” 🙂

    The moral of the story – “the play is the sting” or is it all an act?

    Not to spoil the coming attractions, I will wait for “Ruby Slippers” to reveal my thoughts about the wizard behind the curtain.

  • Julie

    I forgot to mention that I had also noticed how Shakespeare had become a theme this second half of the season, also Jane doing psychic readings,there has been a few of those this season too. I do wonder if the other mentions of Shakespeare was to set up this episode. I also love the scene with Jane and Van Pelt on the couch, being on the couch is probably how they got Jane to watch so much of the video – not a part of the investigative work that Jane would normally have the patience for.

  • windsparrow

    “Isn`t it enough that he reads people`s minds like books? Does he have to know all of Shakespeare`s works by heart AND how to fence?”

    I can still recite the bits of Shakespeare that I had to learn in school – and I have a big mud puddle where my memory palace should be. So I can certainly imagine Jane being able to hold considerably more than I can. And there is a certain kind of mind that can easily simulate complex physical actions simply by observing – the Man is one of them (and his mind works a lot like Jane’s in some ways, except for the reading of non-verbal communication). So whether Jane has ever taken a single fencing lesson, I’m not surprised. Me? I’d end up poking my own eye out or something.

    “It also showed that Jane is actually a lot stronger than he wants people to believe, because slowly lowering someone to the ground who has gone completely limp is NOT easy. And the kid wasn`t exactly thin, either.”

    I do that sort of thing for a living. You are not wrong. But even before I saw pictures of Simon Baker not in Jane’s three piece suit, it seemed to me he’s quite fit. I would certainly only challenge him to an arm wrestling match to see how slowly I can lose.

    “it makes me want to cry for Jane and I hope Lisbon went after him as soon as she got the chance.”

    Yeah. In the fic-writing part of my brain, this is what happens. She goes to him in the attic, not saying a word, just sits next to him. They don’t hug or hold hands, or anything overt, but as he becomes aware of her comforting presence he sort of leans into her.

  • windsparrow

    I think I get what you are saying, that maybe their mutual attraction isn’t so clear as I have made it out to be. It can be tough to figure out the differences in meaning behind the nuances of scripted actions – while certain things have certain meanings in real life, those same actions may be symbolic of something else in the writer’s (or actor’s) intention. As well, the interpretation we viewers make can differ wildly from authorial intent.

  • violet

    Well, that’s true and indeed their attraction isn’t all that clear. Still, what I wanted to say was more something along the lines of the situation may be less well-defined and stationary as you made it. In a way, there is something more and something less than the “we know the attraction is mutual but we won’t go there”.
    On the plus side, things are slowly progressing toward unchartered territory because:

    1) she’s more aware of him, she isn’t anymore awkward and blushing just because an attractive coworker caught her off guard by an inappropriate comment or because she’s pleased by something he did/said. Now there is something more personal, not just the protectiveness and vague friendship she can feel for someone under her responsibility.

    2) recently he tried to get a reaction from her, a more meaningful one than back then. He doesn’t just try to make her blush, he tries to make her show what she feels. That she’s hurt or jealous when he is investigating with another woman (the ‘I was going out with another woman’ thing with Hightower was pretty mild compared with the “I need her” he threw at her face with Erica, or the “I missed you” after being cornered by Darcy). That she’s soft on him and he knows it. It’s almost as if he doesn’t want to touch the matter in a direct way, but can’t help poking at it.

    Nevertheless, I still don’t think she’s aware of the extent of what he may feel for her, at least on a physical side. It’s impossible she didn’t notice that they drew closer, but that doesn’t mean that she’s ready to face the fact that that great friend of her may very well be attracted to her physically. When amnesic Jane asked her if they were lovers, her first reaction was to jump away from his bed. Afterwards, she didn’t answer once to any of his suggestive comments. She didn’t even turn her head when he tried to feel her up, she just shook his hand away, as if telling “not that, period”. Even Van Pelt’s reaction to his flirty self was stronger. There may be two explanations: either you’re right and she’s bent on denying that possibility because it’s dangerous and makes her uncomfortable, or she simply isn’t aware of the depth of what she’s getting herself into, at least consciously.

    (And my comment is still pretty messy and unclear. Sorry. Sigh.)

  • reviewbrain

    First of all, I have to just say I am very grateful to have someone as knowledgable as Violet to pick up my slack. She always makes incredible points that leave me thinking. For example, while I enjoyed all the nudges here to past episodes, I originally thought Jane’s interference to help the girl stop smoking too similar to the one in Blood for Blood. But her pointing out the difference in methods made the scene interesting for me.

    Then there’s Jane’s nudge to Lisbon’s “special treatment of him”. I thought it was just friendly banter. Now we have an entire discussion on how close the two are. And I enjoyed voting on a poll for a change 🙂

    Now regarding the aforementioned scene, I think it huge that Jane feels comfortable enough in his and Lisbon’s friendship to casually say such a thing. Can you imagine him calling her out on her tolerence a couple seasons ago? Of course not. There *was* no special treatment. In fact, Jane would actually be surprised when she’d go along with his ruses. And her annoyance with him was always real, never feigned. Now? I love Violet’s description of Jane being a well oiled machine her, and how in tandem he and Lisbon are. They *do* pretend to be boss subordinate and subordinate. So different from season three where Lisbon was asked to “control your man” and Jane blithley replied “Oh believe me, she tried”.

    *They* are a well oiled machine. But working so well together has left them, left Lisbon rather careless as to all that could go wrong. I should just get a recorder and hit play; I’ve repeated myself so many times: Jane needs someone to look out for him, to reign him in from his more outrageous (idiotic) schemes. Now that Lisbon trusts him enough to go along with most everything he does, he now needs to trust *her* to let her in on his ideas so she can filter out the more dangerous ones.

    I’ve no idea what the writers have planned for us. I love how they’re so keen on developing the characters (almost to a fault, really, as the cases no longer seem center stage in this show), but I think it a pretty good guess that Season five will be about Lisbon redefining herself and what she wants her role to be in Jane’s life (friend?) versus what it needs to be (boss). Here’s hoping anyway 🙂

    As to what her role is now, the writers have been slyly, perfectly, on the fence this season. For all we know, these two might be in a relationship off screen (so intimate are they). On the other hand, there is absolutely nothing to suggest they are more than friends. Smart writing/acting which keeps us guessing 🙂

  • windsparrow

    I am seeing the matter of their mutual attraction as more cut and dried than you are, no doubt about that. (I am not sure how much is my true position and how much is the position I am taking for the purpose of discussion.) It is all too likely that you are right, that more of what is between them is not only unspoken but subconscious, especially on Lisbon’s part. And we really do not know how self-aware Jane is. Is he so busy cold reading everyone else around him that he takes no time to examine himself? Or is he constantly running self-diagnostics on the grounds that it is the most efficient way to overcome his own biases so he can be more objective with others? The mutual attraction may well be buried deeply in his subconscious as well.

    “It’s almost as if he doesn’t want to touch the matter in a direct way, but can’t help poking at it.”

    This is definitely spot on. Anytime there is something to poke at, Jane’s got a big stick to do it with. Freudian phallic imagery aside (yes, I am giggling like a 12 year old, why do you ask?) I have thought since before I managed to watch the first two seasons that the the conflict between Jane and Lisbon is as important if not more so than the conflict between Jane and Red John. And since I have already traipsed into the Freudian territory, I see both of those conflicts as not merely Jane vs. those individuals but Jane vs. the sides of his inner life that they represent. The conflict with Lisbon, of course, represents Libido – not just the urge to pleasure, sexual or otherwise, but the urge to live and create. The conflict with Red John represents Thanatos, the urge to death, darkness, destruction, decay, even nothingness.

    Wait, how the heck did I get going on this? Oh, right. The conflict between Jane and Lisbon – that they are flirting with more than simple friendship – it has a deeper meaning in my interpretation of the themes of the show. It may or may not make a good excuse for me. That there is plenty of room for viewers to see different shades and nuances is says something about the depth of the writing on this show.

  • Mary_N (@RobinTunneyBlog)

    Great review, congrats!

    I really enjoyed this episode, it made me feel a S1 vibe! Here in Italy they are airing S1 on tv, so I get to watch it every week and lot of times I find myself thinking “How I miss S1!”. It had a light shade that was so enjoyable, and while I understand that as Show progresses, characters and situations change, this episode made me feel back in S1.

    I loved everything! Team, banter, Jane showing just how great of an actor he is… 😉
    I loved Rigsby and his reaction to the phone call, hilarious and sooo sweet! I hope we’ll see a lot of scenes with baby Benjy, I’m looking forward to see Rigs as a dad, since we know that usually his reactions to kids is kind of awkward…
    I also loved as reported in the review, that we had the final scene with the team’s reactions to Rigs’ text and photo of the baby he sent. It was a beautiful scene, sweet and bittersweet… Not so much dialogue between the characters, but a lot was said with the eyes…

    And as it often happens, there are little details about characters’ past that come out in some scenes, you’d almost miss them if you don’t pay attention! 🙂

    As to the poll, I think their relationship can be seen under different points of view.
    The way I see it, this season was entirely built to show Jane and Lisbon developing their connection isolated from the rest of the “world”.
    While in past seasons, their relationship evolved around other characters (the rest of the team in Season 1, Bosco in Season 2, Mashburn/Erica in Season 3/and partly this season), I felt this season was almost entirely about them.
    What happened with RJ and the secrets only Jane and Lisbon knew/know led them to isolate themselves from that point of view. That surely brought them closer, but I’m not sure this is entirely a good thing. And I think this will be addressed in the Season Finale and in Season 5. We saw the progression of their relationhip, from a working one at the beginning of S1 till now.
    But what they really are? Co-workers who developed a closer form of relationship? Friends? Best friends? Friends who feel something different inside but they keep it buried for many reasons? Or maybe just a mix of all this.
    I’m sure at the end of this season we’ll have a lot of discussion to keep us busy until Season 5 😉

  • windsparrow

    I really want to spend some time dredging up Shakespearean themes and holding them up to Blake’s ideas and themes, to see what can be teased out about our anti-hero protagonist and his mostly-off-screen antagonist.

    For the “Pink Champagne on Ice” review, there was a fair bit of discussion about the themes of the song “Hotel California” from which the episode name came. I wonder what we will come up with about the Shakespeare.

  • windsparrow

    “Now that Lisbon trusts him enough to go along with most everything he does, he now needs to trust *her* to let her in on his ideas so she can filter out the more dangerous ones.”

    I really wish he would trust Lisbon and yield to her judgment. Of course, if he did, then Wainwright wouldn’t end up over-ruling her when Jane drags those discussions out to the bossman. And I wouldn’t be able to fuss and fume over how Lisbon takes a lot of grief about not reining Jane in – most noticeably when he is on the right track – then when she tries, it does not even slow him down.

  • windsparrow

    “This is the second consecutive episode where jane was left to investigate on his own and they always show what a great character he his.”

    This got me thinking, how often does Jane wander off alone to poke his nose into mysteries?

  • windsparrow

    “I loved Rigsby and his reaction to the phone call, hilarious and sooo sweet! I hope we’ll see a lot of scenes with baby Benjy, I’m looking forward to see Rigs as a dad, since we know that usually his reactions to kids is kind of awkward…”

    That would be lovely, but I doubt we will get enough of those moments to satisfy our craving – a lot – too much – will be left to the imagination.

  • windsparrow

    “Lisbon’s sincere concern for Jane takes her off my list of RJ candidates;”

    XD

    Yes, Come to the dark side of believing in Lisbon’s innocence (of being Red John, at any rate); we have cookies. Or, you know, fanfic. Same sugary sweetness.

  • reviewbrain

    Thanks a lot, Windsparrow. Now I have people looking at me all funny cause I laughed so loud at this comment. ROFL!!!!

  • violet

    That’s a brilliant idea! I’m really looking forward to such a comparison! Didn’t have much time to really compose a deep analysis on Shakespeare’s reference, I’m sure there is a lot more to be said about them… 😉
    (I need to read more about Blake now… Again great idea, Windsparrow!!! 🙂 )

  • violet

    My dear, you’re making me blush… 🙂
    Indeed, you’re right, there is still a lot in store for her and her relationship with that consultant of hers. In fact, theirs seems a path towards balance, almost a tug-o-war. At first, Jane was stronger and his manipulative streak was often taking her off guard, still Lisbon was stubbornly holding her side. Now, things seem to have shifted too much towards an absolute but quite blind and all too forgiving trust: she’s stumbling. They really need to balance things better, get an equal amount of control and trust. For that, only one solution: she needs to get a firmer grip on the rope and on him. That man needs far more a gentle control than damage control only…
    It’s rather strange now that, even if Jane is the brilliant mind of the show, shadowed only by his obscure schemes and his dark past, Lisbon is the really mysterious character of this show. We don’t know what she thinks of wants. But I guess we’ll get more on it very soon.

  • violet

    “While in past seasons, their relationship evolved around other characters (the rest of the team in Season 1, Bosco in Season 2, Mashburn/Erica in Season 3/and partly this season), I felt this season was almost entirely about them.”

    Glad you enjoyed the review! 🙂
    You made a very good point about this season. Indeed, it was most centred on isolating our dynamic duo in their own world, their “bubble” as Reviewbrain has called it at the beginning of S4. Guess it makes sense: S1 was about the team, that’s to say the way Jane planned to trick his way towards vengeance. S2 starred Bosco indeed, and with him a questioning of Jane’s ultimate goal. S3: Mashburn/ Erica, but also Jane trying to distance himself from others; in other words, what he’s willing to do/ lose for revenge. Hence the theme in this season: Lisbon/ Jane, or his personal life rising back to life. Now, following that logic, that new side of him is about to be put to the test.

  • violet

    @ John Scott: Wow! That’s a compliment! Lol! But do not worry, there is no danger of that ever happening to our dear Reviewbrain, her reviews are far too enjoyable!
    I’d say “at long last, you saw the light”, but that would make too much of a lighting metaphor after Windsparrow hilarious “dark side” reference (this one really made me laugh!). Still can’t believe all it took after all was one single glance from Lisbon at the very end of an episode…
    Now, I confess I may be a little worried about your new pet theory… 😉

  • violet

    @ Windsparrow: what do you mean about “Lisbon’s innocence (of being Red John, at any rate)”. Jane already lured her into sharing an ice cream and playing with an elephant and puppet shadows. How much more innocent can she get? 😉

  • windsparrow

    *Innocent grin* I’m just trying to be a blessing.

  • windsparrow

    She could frolic in a field of white daisies. That would be more innocent. 😀

  • windsparrow

    The more I ponder the Shakespeare, the more I think about how so often the conflict in his plays – both tragedies and comedies alike – hinge on rash decisions made as a result of believing lies. Some of the most important – tragic, painful – lies are those the characters tell themselves. Loyal, loving women, faithful friends, and honest servants are harmed by men in authority who find it easier to believe the worst of them than to see through venomous schemes and toxic flattery of their enemies or their self-delusions.

    As Jane is usually the one creating the schemes (yet he rarely indulges in flattery), will he be his own worst enemy? The delusions he has attempted to create in others cause unintended consequences such as Agent Darcy’s supposition that he is in league with Red John. Is he Leontes to Lisbon’s Hermione or Othello to her Desdemona? (Not saying anything beyond their work relationship here – the metaphor is useful for pondering the presence of a self-delusion or an Iago.)

  • violet

    I liked the way you interpreted things, even most since Hamlet also fits the description of a character following a self-delusion (or rather an obsession) until ending in a tragic situation. And that was the case with Macbeth too, who followed his wife’s awful advices of murder until his own demise. I also like the idea of Jane being “his own worst enemy”. That’s the case in the mess he put himself in with Darcy indeed, but even before that he was lead to believe in flattery and lies alright, first by his father and then by himself. Jane was lead to believe his life as a fake psychic was the real thing, that his brilliant mind and cleverness gave him the right to lie and manipulate people to get what he wanted, money and glory. Until one of his “victims”, someone he planned to use as another step in his career, reacted very badly… and that caused the death of his beloved wife. Thus we have the same kind of setting: a man who has power over others, who got a distorted point of view on things/people and lost sight of right and wrong until his acts cost him all. The most tragic element in his case is that he didn’t really do something to his poor family: he didn’t deserve such a punition, it was totally disproportionate.

    On another hand, what I found interesting in the comparison with Hamlet staged by this ep was that the situation is very close to Jane, chronologically wise. At the beginning of the show, the tragedy has already stroke: both Jane and Hamlet were left to collect the pieces and to seek revenge. That’s why I’d wonder if Lisbon is not meant to be rather compared to a potential Ophelia than to a Hermione or a Desdemona. Someone who cares about him and would offer him a possible new beginning (romantically or as a friend), but risks being swept away by the madness that has become his life.

    (Anyway, since you refer to their spouse work relationship only, is that a coincidence that you mention two plays based on the ravages of jealousy? Why adding a hint of jealousy into the mix of their professional partnership? Huh huh! 😉 just kidding of course!)

  • windsparrow

    At the moment I’m just glad it’s all Shakespeare – could you imagine if Jane’s references were Gilbert & Sullivan? He and Lisbon would finally get together, then she would be arrested for statutory rape because Jane was born on Leap Day and has only had 10 birthdays.

  • windsparrow

    One thing about Cho and Summer – they are showing her making a transformation away from the dress and persona of hooker – just exactly how long will she be useful as a CI? If she is not out there hooking, where is she getting new information? Or is she skating by on old stuff?

  • violet

    I guess she’s just changing her style outside of « work » -to fit more her new lawful life (and Cho’s tastes maybe)-, since she doesn’t need to have bleached hair to pass as a hooker. Just a few skimpy outfits on the job would suffice, she already has the wit and attitude. As for getting information, she can still be in contact with her past friends, no need to keep them in the loop about her new occupation. In fact; she may still pretend to be a hooker every time she needs, she could even leave with a client in front of people, she just need not to do anything with him, that’s all. She can keep up the charade for some time if she’s clever… That’s plausible enough for the show purpose, at least. They did need her as an informant to dramatize her relationship with the cop she’s working for, yet they couldn’t keep her a hooker at the same time, it would mess with the show image. Tough choice! Guess that as credible things get…

  • violet

    Lol! I would look even worse for her if they gave the guy an ice cream cone during interrogation. Or an Indian headband. Or a gold nugget. Or anything that shines for that matter. He would *act* as a ten years old and she would get in real trouble. Poor little thing, doomed from the start… 🙂

  • kamimimi

    I think its like Violet said and going by old stuff.
    He needs to change from the hooker character to sustain her relationship with Cho, but if she is not going to ‘hooker’ anymore, a time will come when she doesn’t work as a CI anymore ;/ Then what? She seems to really like her job as a CI, like a rope that is keeping her from hitting the bottom that is her past.
    Maybe —-MINOR SPOILER ALERT———

    is that why they relationship is going to be questioned in the next episodes. Maybe she finds the wall that not being a hooker puts in her job, and don’t know what to do. 😦

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