Mentalist Black Cherry Review

This review is brought to you by P, a commenter of this blog who agreed to write the post since neither Violet or I were able to. I must say I’m feeling quite humbled by my guest reviewers; first Violet, now P 🙂 Be sure to rate to express how fantastic the review is. -Reviewbrain


Lem McVie (Brandon Claybon), a young real estate agent, is found beaten to death on a country club golf course.   The team discovers that he is an ex-gang member who had turned his life around and reinvented himself two years earlier to set a better example for his younger siblings.  Was his death the result of his old gang ties, or somehow related to his new, seemingly respectable life?  Meanwhile, Jane continues his search for Red John based on his new belief that they have met.

Concise Verdict

I found this episode a welcome break after the very intense episodes we have been given recently.  Jane seemed the happiest and most engaged he’s been in quite a while, the classic Lisbon-Jane banter that has been absent lately was back in full force, and we even got a few Cho centric scenes thrown in for good measure.   The case itself was interesting and well developed, and the writers managed to slip in references to the larger Red John arc without distracting from the current investigation. There were even nods to some recurring themes, such as the conflict between the law and justice.  What else can you really ask for?  9/10

Detailed AKA Humungous Review (spoilers galore)

I loved this episode.  Banter, Cho, clever lines, and continuity.  We were given playful, involved, nice and sane Jane instead of the secretive, dark, moody and disturbed Jane we have seen so much of this season.  It seems that he truly believes that his new lead has gotten him closer than ever before to Red John.  I don’t really agree with him that the information is that surprising or valuable, but I’ll remain silent and allow him his optimism for now.

He let Lisbon and the entire team in on his plan to catch the killer, and I love how seamlessly they all worked together.  The scene where Rigsby interviewed Wintergrove employees after Jane left Lem’s car with the blackmail note illustrates this. After Rigsby gives Dilmer the false impression that the CBI has no idea where Lem was killed, Rigsby reports in and says: “OK, the hook has been baited.”  Jane and Lisbon wait at the murder scene to catch the killer, and Cho, Rigsby and Van Pelt all participate in the interrogations.  The entire team worked together like a well-oiled crime solving machine.

While Jane seemed to give the case the attention it deserved, it is clear Red John is never far from his mind.  When Jane meets Nathan Dilmer and shakes his hand, Jane gets an odd look on his face as he glances down at their linked hands.  You can almost see him thinking of Lorelei’s assertion that he and Red John met and shook hands at some point.

And that brings us to…

VIS #1: The teaser:  Lisbon and Jane and “The List”

As Lisbon and Jane arrive at the crime scene, Lisbon comments on Jane’s preoccupation with the little book in which he is recording the names of the people he has shaken hands with.   After helping him remember the name of the redhead from the bio facility, Dean Harken, she points out something that I hope Jane at least considered:

“I hate to be a buzzkill, Jane, but even if you could remember everybody you’ve ever met, what if Lorelei Martins is lying?  What if you’ve never actually met Red John?”

This is a valid question, but Jane is adamant when he states that:

“I haven’t just met him I’ve shaken hands with him.  And she wasn’t lying.  She didn’t realize what she told me.”

I suspect Jane is right, and Lorelei wasn’t lying.  She seemed genuinely enraged at the time and my best guess is that she was being honest.  Jane is taking her words as absolute gospel, including taking her literally when she said they shook hands.  I hope for everybody’s sake this isn’t a case of him seeing what he wants to see, like he believed Red John would in the Crimson Hat.  Presumably, the answer to this question will be revealed as the season progresses and we learn more.  For now, Lisbon doesn’t seem nearly as confident as Jane that Lorelei isn’t playing him.

Lisbon’s “Am I in that book?” was absolutely adorable and said with just the right combination of curiosity and uncertainty.   Jane in turn seemed absolutely genuine when he replied:

“She said it’s a wonder Red John and I didn’t become friends.  Now what we have I consider a friendship, so my friend, you are free and clear.”

Lisbon was relieved, and frankly, so was I.  At least we can confirm that Jane hasn’t become so dark and paranoid that he even suspects Lisbon.  I would be shocked if he did doubt her, but it’s nice to have the verbal reassurance since his continued secrecy does make me wonder at times.   I must admit I am much less certain and more curious about whether Cho, Rigsby and Van Pelt are also given the friend exemption.

After starting out with a short but serious Red John conversation, they switched gears and lightened it up with some cute Jane antics.  Jane pretending to be the agent in charge and doing his best Lisbon imitation as he says “Rigsby, what have we got?” seemed to amuse even Lisbon.  She is barely able to hold back her smile when Jane asks the obviously well-heeled country club member who found the body if he is a member of a street gang.

Lisbon finally says:  “You know what?  You can write my name down in that book” and the two continue to bicker.  This dynamic is a big part of why I love the show, and I didn’t realize how much I missed it the past couple of weeks until I saw it back again.

VIS #2:  Lisbon and Jane with Juliana and Noah

I thought the way this scene was filmed very effectively drew a number of parallels between Jane and Lisbon.  Their shared sense of empathy and compassion for others (which Jane often hides), their own tragic losses, and even their fine investigative skills.  We’ve seen many times how Jane has influenced Lisbon’s behavior (more on that later), but this scene highlights some of the more positive effects that Lisbon has had on Jane, such as giving him a way to use his skills to help people instead of con them.  I like to think she has been a good influence on him, even if it doesn’t always show and is often overwhelmed by his obsession with vengeance.

The scene cuts back and forth repeatedly between Lisbon and Juliana and Jane and Noah.  Both Lisbon and Jane clearly reflect on their own tragic backgrounds as they talk with Juliana and Noah.  Lisbon realizes that with their parents and Lem gone and a younger brother to care for, Juliana is now in a position similar to her own when her father died.  She tells Juliana: “I knows what it’s like to be the one to keep the family together.  It’s a tough job.  Don’t make it tougher.  If you know who did this, tell me.” Juliana claims no knowledge.

Jane draws on his own personal history of loss, telling Noah: “It’s tough when you lose somebody but you still carry them with you.  I mean your memories and the choices you make in life.”  Clearly Jane is still dealing with his guilt over his role in his family’s deaths.  You can’t help but wonder if Jane is also questioning any of the choices he’s made since his family was killed.

VIS #3: Cho and Tamsin Wade

It was love at first sight.  Cho took one look at the CornerShot assault rifle in Tamsin Wade’s office and was drawn to it like a man lost in the desert is drawn to an oasis.  After watching him play for a few minutes, Tamsin teases Cho, saying:  “Better put that thing down before you shoot someone, doggy.” Cho actually almost smiled! Tamsin reveals that Lem has had no contact with the Ghouls in the past few years, so there doesn’t seem to be a gang related motive for his murder.  But it wasn’t a wasted visit on Cho’s part.  Turns out the CBI is creating a new Rapid Response team which will be the CBI’s version of a SWAT team.

I really like the dynamic between the two ex-military types and the badass attitude that Tamsin demonstrates (I could imagine she and Lisbon being friends, hanging out, cleaning their guns.)  Later, after Cho works with Tamsin’s team to enter the Ghouls stash house and bring in Shade, he accepts a spot on the Rapid Response team.  She invites Cho out to the shooting range after work to meet the team.  I loved the chemistry between Cho and Tamsin.   I hope we see more of her as the season progresses.

This brings me to a small, or maybe not so small, concern of mine.  The show has introduced several new recurring characters:  Tamsin, Mancini, Kirkland, Alexa.  I find all of them fascinating and compelling, but I wonder how frequently they will really appear.  We haven’t seen Mancini in weeks and we were just left hanging after that poker game.  I realize there is only so much screen time available, but I really wish they would find a way to work more of these characters in even a bit more often.  They did a great job this week doing that with Sarah.  Even a quick verbal mention of them, such as they frequently do with Lorelei, would really help keep these storylines in mind.

VIS #4:  Jane asks Lisbon to let Juliana go

Before Lisbon can explain to Noah that he will be going with child services, Jane drags her out saying he has a brilliant idea.  He then admits that he has no brilliant idea, he just doesn’t want her to send Noah to a foster home.  Jane tells her that there are always choices.  She can just let them go home, she doesn’t have to charge his sister.  When Lisbon responds that she broke the law, Jane draws in a breath and glances away as if he is frustrated by Lisbon’s insistence on the letter of the law.  He just replies “Just let them go home” and watches Lisbon walk away.

A bit later when Lisbon asks where Jane is going, he says “Back to Wintergrove.  I have an appointment to take a look at a model home.  Do you wanna come with, or do you wanna stick around and do the right thing?”

Lisbon, exasperated, just replies “Jane” before he says “I trust you’ll make the right choice Lisbon.”

Considering Jane’s history of caring for children, I don’t doubt that he was eager to keep Noah out of foster care.  However, as I watched this scene there was a nagging voice inside my head insisting that Jane was testing Lisbon to see how easily she would set aside the law in favor Jane’s version of justice.   This isn’t the first time he has convinced her to let a guilty party go.  Now that he believes he is closer than ever to finding his nemesis, he might be trying to gage where Lisbon stands after years of Jane’s influenced.  Have her views changed enough for his purposes? Will she let Jane get away with murder, or will she try to stop him or arrest him when the final showdown comes?  Will his evaluation of where she now stands influence how much or how little he tells her of his discoveries and plans going forward?

VIS #5:  Lisbon and Sarah

Both Lisbon / Sarah scenes were compelling.  They demonstrated Lisbon’s growing ambivalence toward always obeying the letter of the law, Jane’s influence on her, and the ongoing theme of the law versus justice.  When Lisbon tells Sarah they’d like to hold off on charging Juliana McVie because they would like to have leverage to try to use her to catch bigger fish, Sarah readily agrees but tells Lisbon she read the file and it’s a slam dunk.  She goes on to say:

“Don’t give her a pass because she is sympathetic.  She broke the law.  You have statutory duties.”

Thank you, Sarah!  I’m glad somebody reminded Lisbon of this.  Her guilty “I hear you” to me sounded like she is very conscious of all the things she has let Jane get away with, or convince her to let other people get away with.  Not that I disagree with her decision in this particular case.  The police and DA do have broad discretion on whether or not to press charges and Juliana is clearly not a threat to society.  At least Lisbon did it the right way in this case, getting agreement from the DA, and not hiding or fabricating evidence or letting a dangerous criminal escape *cough* Jane *cough*.

Sarah reminding Lisbon of her responsibilities wasn’t the only thing I liked about this scene.  I thought this was a great way to bring Sarah back and remind us she’s still out there and still in Ben’s life without building an entire episode around her. Please refer to my earlier comment about more continuity with recurring characters.  This is a great example of the right way to do it.

The second Sarah / Lisbon scene was even more interesting.  Lisbon introducing her to Juliana and Noah and explaining, in front of them, how Lem was a hero who died because he wanted to do the right thing, and then suggesting that perhaps the DA’s office would consider dropping the charges against Juliana “because it’s the right thing to do” was extremely manipulative.  Sarah’s “nicely played, Theresa.  You owe me one” was spot on.

Not even Jane could have played this situation better. Lisbon manipulated Sarah in much the same way Jane manipulated Lisbon. Lisbon has been learning at the knee of the master.   Maybe Jane should put Lisbon in his book after all. 😉

I love the very end when Lisbon gives Juliana and Noah Lem’s keys and cufflinks. Juliana understood how Lisbon managed the situation, and was very appreciative.  The big hug Noah gives her was very sweet.   We are once again reminded how awesome Lisbon is.

VIS #6:  Jane and Lisbon catch the bad guys

There was a lot to like here.  Humor, Jane and Lisbon working flawlessly together to get the guilty to incriminate themselves, and a mysterious murmur as Lisbon talks in her sleep.

When Jane and Lisbon go back to the crime scene, Jane jumps over fence assuming that it is locked.  Lisbon calmly opens the gate and walks through.  Jane is obviously surprised and a bit defensive as he explains “that was locked this morning”.  Seeing the normally self-assured and in control Jane feeling a little foolish was amusing.

Jane knows it’s a Wintergrove employee, but not which one.  They sit out of sight on the kitchen floor and wait to see who walks through the door.  Lisbon eventually falls asleep and we hear her voice saying something just about unintelligible.  Jane hesitates before reaching out to wake her.  He tells her she was talking in her sleep and drooling (what a gentleman!) She asks what she said, but before he can answer her, the door opens.  I had a hard time hearing what she said.  My best guess is “lies, I know”, but I realize this is probably wrong.  However, I suspect this is a bit of a Rorschach test.  Is it meant to be anything significant, or is it just a cute moment letting us know that Lisbon talks in her sleep?  Hard to tell, but the look on Jane’s face, instead of being amused as I would expect if she was babbling nonsense, seemed rather serious.

When Bosh, Phipps and Dilmer enter the house, Jane and Lisbon eventually make themselves known.  I love how Jane turned them against each other by pretending that Bosh had been cooperating with them and sold the other two out.  Lisbon played right along when she realized what Jane was doing (so maybe her acting skills are a little better than Jane gives her credit for.)  Lisbon can improvise along with Jane, demonstrating how well she now understands his methods.

VIS #7: Jane in his attic

Once again we are reminded that the hunt for Red John is Jane’s top priority and favorite pastime.  The episode ends with Jane in his attic looking through his book.  We were given a clear view of the final page he looks at.  The names shown were Brett Partridge, Ellis Mars, Dean Harken, Jason Cooper (Stiles’ second in command at Visualize), Walter Mashburn, Vint Molinari (FBI Missing Persons, led Kristina Frye search), Dr. Linus Wagner, Virgil Minelli, Dr. Towlen Morning (who is deceased), and Osvaldo Ardiles.  I’m not sure why Morning would even make the list.  Not only is he dead, but Jane never met him while he was alive or shook his hand.  Sadly, there was no love shown for Laroche, Bertram, Kirkland or CBI Ron.  L  Either they are on pages we weren’t shown (most likely the case), or Jane doesn’t consider them suspects.

It’s like the writers threw in every pet theory of every Mentalist fan anywhere.  While Red John could conceivably be on the page we were shown (although I would not bet on it), you cannot conclude that he must be.  I think of it as a way for the writers to play with the fans and keep the interest level, and the conspiracy theory generation, running high.   And just so you don’t put too much faith in “The List”, keep in mind that four other names are briefly visible as Jane looks through the pages.  They are:  Sammy Corrado, Anthony Astrino, Jannie Penvari, and Briana Morini.  All four are staffers on The Mentalist, writers production assistants and the like.  It’s good to see that the writers have a sense of humor, but unless you truly think one of The Mentalist staffers is Red John, you might want to take Jane’s list with a grain of salt.

Best Scenes

The winner: When Lisbon manipulates Sarah into letting Juliana go.  It demonstrated not only how much Jane’s influence has impacted Lisbon thinking, but also how well Lisbon has learned and can now apply Jane’s techniques.  Bonus for the sweet interaction with Noah at the end.

First Runner up: Jane asking Lisbon to let Juliana go.  The tension could be cut with a knife, and I do believe it was a very obvious test.

Second Runner up:   The opening scene when Jane expresses his confidence that Red John is someone he knows.  It is obvious he now views it as a simple matter of going through all the names in his book.  And it’s a bonus to see him clearly acknowledge his friendship with and trust of Lisbon.

Best lines

“Hey, you found our victim’s car.  Well done” – Cho to Shade as he cuffs Shade after tackling him next to Lem’s car.

“You know what?  You can write my name down in that book.”- Lisbon to Jane.

“I’m pretty handy with a kettle.  You should trust me.” – Jane to Noah.

“He wrote the letter you idiot.” – Phipps to Bosh when Bosh doesn’t realize Jane had set them up.

“I think I need to be alone with the house for a moment.  Just to check out its aura.  Well I’m not gonna buy a house unless we have compatible auras.” – Jane to Bosh.

“But next time you come across a dead body, Chip, show a little respect.  Thank you” – Jane to Chip McGavin.

“Better put that thing down before you shoot someone, doggy.” –  Tamsin Wade to Cho.

Honorable Mentions

Bryce Clyde Jenkins did an excellent job as Noah McVie.  I’m always impressed when child actors give a strong and believable performance.

Jillian Bach was perfect as Sarah, as always.  Sarah is such an unusual mixture of cute and hard.  I’m glad she was back, if only for a couple of scenes.

Monique Gabriela Curnen is a great addition as Agent Tamsin Wade.  I really like how she manages to be tough and playful at the same time.

Pet Peeves

If some elements of the plot seemed a little familiar to you, that’s because you’ve seen it before. Multiple perpetrators killing the victim together to ensure they all share blame in order to prevent the victim from revealing their role in an accidental death – was done before in Red Tide way back in season one.   In that case it was four teenagers drowning their friend on the beach to keep her from telling the police about the accidental death of a security guard.   Despite the obvious recycling, this episode was well done and I didn’t guess that the three men were in on it together until the very end.

Is it really realistic that Cho’s Rapid Response duties would not interfere with his full time Serious Crimes duties?  I suppose if the unit was very infrequently used it might be, but I would think that type of unit would see frequent action.


Overall Black Cherry was well done and both a very good standalone episode and an effective vehicle for slowly moving forward other ongoing storylines.  It harkened back to simpler times before Jane became quite so dark, and really highlighted the excellent chemistry Jane and Lisbon as well as the rest of the team share.  After spending most of this season watching Jane become a less and less likable character, we got to see him, at least temporarily, redeem himself by being responsive to his team, showing compassion, and being less of the creepy obsessed loner that he seemed to be turning into.

Image by Chizuruchibi. Copyright Reviewbrain December, 2012. Not to be used without permission.

Image by Chizuruchibi. Copyright Reviewbrain, December, 2012. Not to be used without permission.


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31 responses to “Mentalist Black Cherry Review

  • windsparrow

    Excellent review, P!

    I chose the Kirkland line in the poll, mostly because I could not get any sense out of what Lisbon said, but the couple of vowels and a consonant or two that I did get sound nothing like it. Speaking as a huge J/L shipper, I refuse to pretend I heard any words of love or of accusation of lies in that. Until and unless TPTB at The Mentalist give us a definitive statement of what Lisbon was meant to be murmuring, I will remain steadfast in believing she was murmuring indistinctly.

    As for duties on the Rapid Response team eating into Cho’s SCU duties, there has always been a certain flexibility in their hours and ability to peal out for personal stuff in the middle of the day. One assumes that is compensation for the agents not demanding to leave every day at 5 PM, and getting called in at all hours. An advantage for the whole team is that the SCU will likely make as much use of the RR team as any other, and it will be very useful to have one of their own coordinating with it. Eh, I may be exaggerating the ease and usefulness of Cho’s being in on it. We shall see.

  • reviewbrain

    > “I may be exaggerating the ease and usefulness of Cho’s being in on it. We shall see.”

    No, I think you’re right. They wouldn’t have included Cho unless there’s a specific plot point to be had.

    As to the poll, that was the only thing I added in the review, but it was mainly for fun and the answers aren’t to be taken *too* seriously 😉

  • GraceS

    ” And just so you don’t put too much faith in “The List”, keep in mind that four other names are briefly visible as Jane looks through the pages. They are: Sammy Corrado, Anthony Astrino, Jannie Penvari, and Briana Morini. All four are staffers on The Mentalist, writers production assistants and the like. It’s good to see that the writers have a sense of humor, but unless you truly think one of The Mentalist staffers is Red John, you might want to take Jane’s list with a grain of salt. ”

    I like this. HAHA!!! Very good eye!

  • julie nicholas (@juleuk)

    Well done P an excellent job. I enjoyed the episode. It was good to have Jane back to his old self now that he is not worrying over Lorelei. It was good to have Sarah back in and it will be interesting to see where the response team fits in and I also think that they will take a prominent part later on in the season. This is turning out to be a strong season.

  • rita

    Great review P, well thought out.

    I enjoyed this episode too, it felt like a welcome respite from the recent heavy episodes, a place to draw breath and pull some of the strands together.

    I liked the continuity of a) the list….reminding us of some of the characters that have come before, and b) having Sarah return, it would be just too unrealistic to never have her appear or be mentioned….she IS Rigsby’s ex after aall and Ben’s Mom after all.

    I also wondered about Jane’s thoughts on the rest of the team after he had told Lisbon that as he considers her a friend, that she couldn’t be RJ, as Lorelei stated that they DIDN’T become friends……I think he uses the word friend to mean someone VERY close. After all he has Minelli on the list, and I would have said that he trusted Minelli to a degree…he felt comfortable enough asking for a favour (LaRoche’s list)

    I loved the banter, and like you I hadn’t realised just how much I had missed it, it feels so comfortable and real, just how friends DO talk, sort of in shorthand, they finish each others thoughts and don’t always need it to be spelled out..example when they separated the siblings, Jane to go with Noah, and Lisbon with Juliana…each to their strengths.

    I was glad that Lisbon didn’t charge Juliana, and was glad that she was able to do it within the law, it showed Jane that it CAN be done properly, I didn’t see that he was testing her for the future, I felt that he just genuinely DIDN’T want the little family to separated…I will watch again to see if I can catch what you saw….and as for Lisbon’s manipulation of Sarah….perfect……!!

    And,as for Cho…..he smiled more at that rifle than he did at Summer….I hope that they will be happy together…….!

    Once again thank you for a thought provoking review…I’m off to watch it again now to see if I can pick up on some of your points.

  • Tringo

    So many good reviewers out there! Now I know three (Reviewbrain, Violet and P 🙂
    I liked this ep too, that it where more like the ‘old’ ones. A break…(and I also realised that a lot of the ‘Jane-humour’ has been absent in the latest ep, but back in this one)

    I also notised the gaze after Jane shook hands in the office and thought it was funny – almost as he thought ‘-and here I do it again!’ (would had been lot easier if he didn’t shook hands that often)

    I laughed out loud when Jane talked about auras and did that dancing handmovement-thing.

    Oh, so Lisbon did say something in her sleep. I thought Jane was making fun of her suggesting she said some mans name out loud (like Wa-lter) before the door opens. My non-english ears didn’t caught that 🙂

    I react everytime Cho smiles, thinking its a blooper that they forgott to remove 🙂 How many (few) times has the character smiled over the ‘years’….six, seven?

    About Red John, I don’t know much about writers or Bruno Heller but I would really give him a lot of curdos (is this a word or am I making it up mixing Swe-Eng ? ) if Red John has been on the show ‘on screen’ in a big role, and was decided to be Red John at that moment. It a bit disapointing when things are made up afterwards and you need flashbacks to things ‘off screen’.
    Well since the names in the book was shown that clear to the audience….it probably isn’t one of them anyway 🙂
    I always thought that Stiles and Jane were a lot alike-maybe Jane should start his own cult when he gets older ‘Mentalize’ 🙂

  • Tringo

    Sorry about the smileys-didn’t know they would automatic turn into those horribly-yellow-things. They hurt my eyes.

  • windsparrow

    “About Red John, I don’t know much about writers or Bruno Heller but I would really give him a lot of curdos (is this a word or am I making it up mixing Swe-Eng ? )”

    I think the word you are looking for is “kudos”. ::insert smiley that is not horrible yellow or creepy blood red here::

  • All-I-need

    Great job on the review, P! It’s good to see that Reviewbrain has such great helpers like you and Violet!

    The episode was great and I was very glad for all the light-heartedness.

    Several things stood out to me:
    – Jane openly acknowledging that what he and Lisbon have is a friendship. Awwww!

    – Lisbon, falling asleep while waiting for a murderer. That shows not only that she was tired but also that she trusts Jane quite a lot. It takes trust to sleep with another person in the room, not to mention while waiting for a killer.

    – The look on Jane’s face at whatever it was Lisbon said (going to rewatch this scene at top volume until I can decipher it) and the way he hesitated with his hand above her leg before touching her arm. That guy has it bad.

    – Tiny, but it made me smile: the photograph of Ben on Rigsby’s desk.

    Now, something you mentioned in your review:
    >> However, as I watched this scene there was a nagging voice inside my head insisting that Jane was testing Lisbon to see how easily she would set aside the law in favor Jane’s version of justice. This isn’t the first time he has convinced her to let a guilty party go. Now that he believes he is closer than ever to finding his nemesis, he might be trying to gage where Lisbon stands after years of Jane’s influenced. Have her views changed enough for his purposes? Will she let Jane get away with murder, or will she try to stop him or arrest him when the final showdown comes? Will his evaluation of where she now stands influence how much or how little he tells her of his discoveries and plans going forward?<<

    I don't think we can actually compare the two. It is one thing to let a young woman go who did not actually hurt anyone in her attempt to find out the truth about her brother's death, and a completely different thing to let Jane go after he kills Red John (if it ever comes to that, and the Rapid Response Team makes me think that maybe Cho and his new toy will eventually have something to do with RJ's death).
    However, Lisbon's dislike of the system has been well established on the show and was proven before when she brought that girl (who's name I forgot) to Child Services, then turned right around and took her to her aunt instead. The following episode, Jane was in a VERY elated mood. I wonder if her actions will have the same effect on him this time? I certainly hope so, I like light-hearted Jane.

    My theory is that Jane knows how much Lisbon hates the idea of Noah going into the system and also how much it would have depressed her, so he pointed out that she could simply let Juliana go. No one gets hurt, no one suffers, an already broken family is not broken further … I can see why Lisbon decided to manipulate Sarah like that.

    Also, am I the only one who thought Sarah was awfully short with Lisbon when she asked her about Ben? It was almost like Sarah disliked the mention of him (or maybe the fact that Lisbon cares, I don't know).

    Again, thank you for the great review!

  • C Hill

    nicely done. good touch on the handshake and the “extra” names. i checked those out, too. 🙂

    a couple of things quickly (cooking this AM):

    1) in the “murmur” scene (which i have to listen to again — i couldn’t hear anything), jane first goes to wake lisbon up by touching her knee, then stops and goes for the arm…

    2) i think the end was a pretty strong statement that dr. morning is alive. and isn’t the first name of the drug team lead, tamsin, a bit similar to the good dr’s first name, towlen? that’s probably just me on the latter.

    also, i don’t think it’s too out of bounds to think morning may be alive or that jane might have met him — he’s in the book. i don’t think we have information to exclude that possibility.

  • P

    You guys are probably right on Cho’s ability to handle both teams. It’s almost impossible to make out what Lisbon says. That was just a guess trying to fit the little I could make out to actual words. Maybe it was actually “Rigsby ate all the pizza again”. I fear it may be one of those things, like what Bosco told Jane before he died, that we never get a real answer to.

  • P

    I agree that Jane knew Lisbon didn’t really want Noah in the system. And he didn’t either. I’m just saying that I suspect he was so interested in what she decided for more than purely altruistic reasons. Letting Jane commit murder, or letting him go after he. does, is much different, a bigger deal than letting Juliana go- you are completely right on that. But I’m sure Jane is thinking that each time she bends or breaks the rules makes it that much easier to do the next time.

  • P

    Thanks! I couldn’t make sense of the Dr. Morning thing. If I recall, Jane never saw him alive in that episode and never indicated that he had met him before. Unless Jane thinks that wasn’t really Dr. Morning’s body. But we have no evidence to suggest that either other than the ? Jane put after deceased). I’m not going to think about the book and its names too much. It will just drive me crazy (like Jane?) and get me no where.

  • P

    Thanks, Tringo. I agree with you and hope we don’t need lots of flashbacks at the end. I like your Mentalize idea. I recently read someplace else (don’t remember where. I have no idea who came up with this and really wish I did so I could give them credit, but it was not me) that after Jane kills Red John, he will find God and become a FundaMentalist! I thought it was very funny.

  • Arco


    I believe that you are referring to the television tropes site on “The Mentalist.”

  • GraceSteph

    Not that I take the list with too much grain of salt, but does anyone ever thought of Dr Royston Daniel (Russet Potatoes)? In fact he do has Jane’s abilities.

  • zee

    Hello P and Reviewbrain,

    A job well done P!

    Just few things I would like to share:

    1) When Cho was asked to be part of the Gangs Unit in CBI, was there a flash of concern or slight envy across Rigsby’s face? He looked like he foresees Cho might be too absorbed into the Gangs Unit and would join the unit for good, thus losing a part of the ‘family’. Well. that’s what I thought at least. Rigsby’s line of vision did linger on Cho for a while after Wade left the office… I feel some badassery-this-way-comes for Cho!

    2) About what Lisbon murmured, it looks like it would be filed together with Bosco’s last words under “Swept Under Carpet” file, so I think anyone can make a guess at it.
    I don’t think it was remotely romantic, although it can be a possibility, hence Jane’s serious expression. Another pet theory I have is, Lisbon is probably reliving her days abused by her dad and Jane was just helping her snap out of it.
    I know Jane and Lisbon are comfortable with each other, but she didn’t even flinch to wipe that drool when Jane mentions it (don’t know if the drool was true or not) instead Lisbon asks what she said. Now, any girl would be self-conscious about drool wouldn’t she? But then again, It might be telling how much more reserved Lisbon is than we were let on…

    Thank You P, enjoyed reading this as much as Violet’s or Reviewbrain’s review writing styles.

  • Domenic Pugliano (@FLICKSTER77)

    Hi there !! =D

    Great job on reviewing this episode! I REALLY liked this episode. Jane was working side by side with Lisbon like in the past. It was great to see Jane being funny at the beginning as he was bugging the man telling him he was the prime suspect. There were quite a few good Jisbon moments.
    he was very involved with the current case. I am hoping we see more episodes with similar Jisbon moments.

  • violet

    That is a great review, P! You did a fine work with this episode! 🙂

    I found your interpretation of what Lisbon was mumbling while sleeping –the “Rorschach test”- pretty interesting (and the poll was hilarious!). Indeed, if Lisbon was accusing Jane of lying, that would explain why he did something as unusual for him as waking her up. I mean, she’s serving him in a plate a glimpse of her most secret inner thoughts and he chooses to interrupt her? Unlikely! What he understood of her mumbling must have made him uneasy enough that he stopped her and tried to distract her by telling that she was drooling. Because, if I’m not mistaken, she wasn’t drooling…

    That leads to a fleeting impression I had during the ep. I’m not completely sure, but I wonder if there wasn’t an underlying tension between Jane and Lisbon. Their dynamic and their banter seemed back indeed, and she seemed pleased when he told her that he considered her a friend. Nevertheless, if you look closely, Jane was the one telling pleasantries: he seemed at ease, he even used his charm to convince the real estate woman who took a liking to him to show him around. Meanwhile, Lisbon acted natural with him, but she came back to the official side of the law, she asked him if she was a suspect in his notebook. She seemed angry when Jane asked her to simply let the kids go: she didn’t even answer him and took off. And when he played on her guilt about it, she muttered “Damnit, Jane !” Is that me, or is she subtly taking distance?
    Moreover, as All-I-Need pointed out, there are differences between the situation Noah and his sister were in and the case in ‘Blood for Blood’. The more I think about it, the more I believe that the main difference was in Jane’s attitude towards Lisbon’s reluctance to follow his lead: back then he was trying to convince her and there was indeed a test behind his goodwill. Here, you’re right and he may still be testing her lenience; but, more importantly he seemed almost surprised and disappointed that she wasn’t sharing his logic by herself. He seemed a little startled to realize that her agreement wasn’t as systematic and automatic as he thought. He tends to taken her for granted.
    In a way, their situation was close to the case at hand: all the people at the real estate agency were former criminals who were seeking a new life, a second chance. Still, three of them tried to cover up an accident by murdering a close colleague, while the only one willing to do the “right thing” (like Lisbon) ended up killed. There is a certain parallel with Jane: he too has a new life to start and a past to redeem, but he’s about to do it by killing RJ. The “right thing” here is taken care of by Lisbon, who usually takes risks for him. I really wonder if it isn’t an indirect way to point out that she’s starting to question her relationship with him, what it is costing her and to which point he’s being sincere with her. What is more, the “I trust you’ll do the right thing” (or along those lines) he told her about Noah and Juliana is almost exactly what she told him during their very first talk about his revenge (or was it in that cellar with Hardy?): that she always trusted him to make the right choice at the end. RJ is at the center of the episode as always: the very first thing we watched at the beginning? “Redwind Country Club”…

    Speaking of the devil: that’s the third episode with a “Cherry”. ‘Devil’s Cherry’, ‘Cherry Picked’ and now ‘Black Cherry’ all draw an arc about Jane’s conflict/questions/attitude towards RJ and Lorelei. At first, it was despair as he had lost Lorelei and, through an imaginary Charlotte, he was contemplating stopping. Then, he investigated Lorelei’s whereabouts but ended up telling Lisbon about it. Same here: after pulling another of his crazy plans out, he told her the truth and is now examining the results. The Cherry, beside the direct meaning in each ep (the belladonna, the car) seemed to symbolise by his colour his obsession with RJ, of course, but a new facet of it: there seems to be a new questioning of it (with Charlotte) and of its implications on his relation with Lisbon. If we adopt this perspective then he started questioning his quest (the Devil’s Cherry, aka the quest propped by his personal devil, RJ), he made a choice (the “Cherry” was symbolically “Picked”) and, as you pointed out, he evoked again with Noah his grief and his choices (both about his family and about RJ): “It’s tough when you lose somebody but you still carry them with you. I mean your memories and the choices you make in life.” Hence the “Black Cherry”: black is the colour of his notebook, his new tool against his nemesis.

    On a side note, they seem to be rather fond of lists of potential suspects: LaRoche’s, the ‘Little Red Book’… 🙂 And glad you pointed out the similarities with ‘Red Tide’. The storyline was indeed an odd but rather well done mix of it with ‘Carnelian, Inc.’ from S1 too (the “company retreat” theme).

    Sorry if I’m not very clear or/and if I made mistakes: I’m pretty tired but I wanted to post it… Again, congratulation on a work well done, P ! 🙂

  • Lyn

    I’m pretty sure Lisbon didn’t mumble anything significant but you can bet your bottom dollar that if Jane ever felt the urge to tell her what he heard her say it would be whatever his whim at the time suited him to tell her …….I can just picture the scene now !

  • Lyn

    I imagine that Sarah is pretty unhappy with the whole team, especially Jane and Lisbon, after all in Blood Feud when his father asked about Ben’s mother Rigsby explained that the breakup was sparked by having faked his own death on a case ! Only natural she’d resent him and the team for his not having forwarned her about that little incident!

  • Lyn

    Great review P and some interesting follow up comments!

    I just want to throw in something that tickled me when watching Red Dawn again today. When Jane shook hands with Minelli he had an ice pack in his hand, which Minelli ended up very deliberately, and with a slightly confused look, placing on the desk in front of him. Does the fact that skin to skin contact was probably never made mean we can delete the lovely Virgil from the little black book ?

  • Arco


    Thanks for the review–and not just because I agree with a lot of your points.

    I have complained previously about the introduction of several new characters just for them to be dropped after an episode or two & no sign of their return anytime soon so I’m glad that you mentioned your concern about this. Tamsin Wade is supposed to be back for “Panama Red,” the upcoming episode. Ardiles & Summer, recurring characters although not new ones, are also supposed to be in the next episode too so there is at least some continuity. You’re right, P, that bringing back Sarah in this episode was a good thing.

    Reviewbrain has persuaded me that Jane has been creating a chain of behavior from Lisbon so that she is being set up to let Jane off the hook for one of his future schemes. This case with the older sister (who was going to kill the drug dealer–the wrong person–as Jane killed the wrong Red John) left with custody of her younger brother is similar to the episode in which Jane manipulated Lisbon to not turn in the girl who killed her father (“Blood for Blood”) so that the aunt could take custody. I’m glad that you called attention to his testing of Lisbon. Jane as anyone’s moral arbiter is questionable. As Lorelei Martins said about Jane: “Nobody ever accused you of good judgment.” (I’m feeling more warm & fuzzy about Lorelei since she beat the crap out of Jane.) Why can’t Jane just leave it up to Lisbon? That’s the quarrel I have–not the decision itself but Jane’s pressuring Lisbon. The case I think of is the one from “Redline” in which Lisbon let the distraught guy, whose girlfriend had been murdered, go although he had been waving a sword around (attempting to provoke a suicide by cop). I have a lot more confidence in Lisbon’s morals than in Jane’s–let her make her own decisions; I also criticize Lisbon for coercing Sarah. If Jane wants to get involved in the decision-making part of the legal system, then he can go to the human resources department & apply to become an official member of the CBI or go to law school. But no, he’d rather meddle in someone else’s business. Jane is attempting to subvert a process that has been in place since the Code of Hammurabi. He is imposing a system of justice based on his personal whims instead of adhering to an objective standard of time-tested laws & regulations with probably the desired end state being his evading a charge of murder.

    I hear you P about the familiar plot elements, & that’s one of the reasons why, along with Jane’s manipulation of Lisbon, I didn’t particularly like this episode. I had forgotten about the “Red Tide” episode, but I had thought about the Max Winter case in which he shot his wife’s killer shortly after someone else killed the dirtbag victim–so neither was brought to justice because the killer couldn’t be proven (& Jane was the one who pressed Gale Bertram to let Winter & the other suspect off). We’ve also done corporate retreat gone bad before. Then there is similarity to “Blood for Blood” that I mentioned previously.

    On the lighter side, I always get a kick out of seeing Lisbon & Cho outrun & take down suspects, who are invariably larger than themselves–so loved Cho’s tackling the gangster, which also led to finding Lem’s car, so we got a two-fer. Then we have Cho’s new love interest, the assault rifle.

  • reviewbrain

    Arco wrote:

    “Reviewbrain has persuaded me that Jane has been creating a chain of behavior from Lisbon so that she is being set up to let Jane off the hook for one of his future schemes.”

    Just to be clear, this was one of the many possibilities I mentioned in the Blood for Blood review. Others include him wanting Lisbon to start thinking like him to lessen the chasm between their different ideologies; so that he can get closer to her.

    To this day, I still don’t know which is the likelier reason; I suspect both could be true.

    Arco also wrote:
    “I hear you P about the familiar plot elements, & that’s one of the reasons why, along with Jane’s manipulation of Lisbon, I didn’t particularly like this episode”.

    And I hear you both. My personal pet peeve was, Lisbon had already let a girl get away with manslaughter because she didn’t want her to go into foster care (in an unrealistically set up situation in Blood For Blood). Why would Lisbon have a hard time letting Juliana go here if it would prevent her brother from going into foster care? She’s already made a much harder choice before. It just doesn’t make sense. Perhaps they wanted to show that while Lisbon blindly followed Jane in Blood For Blood, she’s grown into doing “the right thing” but within the boundaries of the law? That point is what redeemed the situation for me. Some.

    P wrote: “But I’m sure Jane is thinking that each time she bends or breaks the rules makes it that much easier to do the next time.”

    I’m afraid I agree >_<

  • P

    Arco, thanks, that may be where I saw it.

  • P

    Thanks, Violet! You may be right about Lisbon trying to put a little distance between herself and Jane. I actually hope she is, for her sake. His friendship comes at a very high cost. And I completely agree that he takes her for granted, He really did look surprised and disappointed she gave him some push back.

    I totally missed the Carnelian similarities. Another reason I love this blog. No matter how carefully I think I’ve watched, the review and comments always point out things that I’ve missed.

  • P

    Reviewbrain and Arco, I actually think both of those theories are true to some extent (conditioning Lisbon so she’ll let Jane off the hook, and trying to get her to think more like him so he can get closer to her.) Maybe I’m a pessimist, but I think the conditioning is the bigger factor. Jane’s whole purpose for being for the past decade has been to get revenge. He’s willing to die or go to prison if necessary, but he would much rather get away with it (again!) if he can.

    I think this is another thing that he has in common with Red John. RJ doesn’t just manipulate his disciples (although he clearly does do that). He conditions them. He actually gets them to buy into his belief system 100%. They view right and wrong the same way RJ does. And he gets them to be personally loyal to him so that when they are fully indoctrinated he can have them do his bidding. That’s very similar to what Jane has been trying to do with Lisbon, albeit for less nefarious (at least slightly) purposes and with more mixed results.

  • C Hill

    a couple of things.

    one, lisbon’s conditioning i think will lead to whatever the resolution is to volker.

    two, to go completely dark, there’s also groundwork being laid for jane sacrificing himself to take RJ down. i don’t think that’s what’s going to happen but it does fit.

    just a really well done start to season 5 i think, though.

  • Rose UK

    @Grace: well, I guess the ‘Roy’ part would fit (namewise!)… I remember him largely because he’s a fellow Brit and you know we always get cast as the baddies in films. 😉 The other Brit it’s fun to consider for RJ is Detective Slocombe in The Red Box. He is the only person I can think of to whom Patrick gives the red teacup. Plus he’s Scotland Yard, so you could also link it back to the British tradition of murder mysteries; Jane as the Sherlock Holmes figure, etc. etc.

    Personally, I don’t believe either to be RJ, but TM is clever enough to leave a ‘could be’ clue for pretty much everyone! 🙂

  • Manda

    Well written review, i liked it, and this episode 🙂

    And to the part where Lisbon was babbling in her sleep, i dear “…i’ll always love you” or something that way. Or then i just heard what i wanted to hear ^^(Go Jisbon!)

  • Manda

    Woops, i commented that in a reply to you :3 Sorry! Btw, “Swe – Eng” that must meen you speak swedish? 😀 If that’s so: Hej! 😀

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