Mentalist Little Red Corvette Review


Note: This review was co-written by the fabulous Violet. Thank you so much for your invaluable help. She wrote the entire review, I just added my own bits and pieces to it. Basically, everything smart, she wrote. Everything else was me. I indicated our names where necessary to lessen confusion.

UPDATE: I had accidentally copied an earlier addition of the review; so people who’ve already read it might notice changes.

Synopsis

When Lisbon (Tunney), Jane (Baker) and Cho (Kang) are called to a warehouse where a two months old corpse has been found, they quickly come to the conclusion that the victim was supposed to testify in a trial against criminal billionaire Tommy Volker (Henry Ian Cusick). Jane’s discovery of a red toy car has them guess the murder has been witnessed by a little boy, Marvin Pettigrew (Emjay Anthony), who has been missing since then.

Concise Verdict

It’s rather hard to have a definitive opinion on ‘Little Red Corvette’ as many questions are raised yet we get too little answers and, while the overall writing is rather good and enjoyable, a few pet peeves temperate that good impression: at the very best, a lot is left to the viewers to deduce on their own. Nevertheless, this nuanced and intriguing Lisbon version of ‘Blinking Red Light’, where she too has to make a choice between justice and law, certainly marks a step stone.

Reviewbrain: Personally the episode was much better than I had hoped (considering my dark expectations), but it was simultaneously not as good as I expected (especially from the genius of Woodruff). There were a few scenes that left me wanting to bang my head repeatedly against a wall which I’ll get into below. 7.5/10

Detailed AKA Humongous Review (spoilers galore)

VIS # 1 Lisbon and Jane at the crime scene

When the victim’s identity is revealed, Lisbon and Jane explain together that he was a missing witness in Volker’s case. Although it is never clearly stated, it appears that both have been talking about Lisbon’s most sensible case; she knows every detail of the file, but Jane too, as expected since he accepted to help her get Volker. But it seems that Jane has an interesting way of doing so and the following exchange between Jane and Lisbon about Volker’s presence during the murder is quite revealing:  

Jane: “But you think he was here.                                                                                                        

Lisbon: “He gets off on watching his victims die. I need Volker’s DNA.”

Jane: Just go and ask for it.   

Lisbon: You think he’ll give it to me?                                                                                                     

Jane: Yes, Volker’s arrogant, he likes to pretend he has nothing to hide.”

First, how does Lisbon actually knows about Volker’s penchant for watching people suffer and die? I think she made an educated guess. She was able to watch and analyze his behavior with her. He came to purposely watch her distress and revel in it right in front of the crime scene where Amanda’s body was being collected, and he did the same thing when he came to her office in ‘Days of Wine and Roses: he could have gloated and taunted her on the phone, but he bothered to came in her den to watch first hand how uneasy and upset she was. She’s certainly clever enough to figure that he really wanted to watch her. Moreover, both Amanda and this victim have been strangulated: in almost every cop show, they precise that this manner to kill implies a sexual aspect (because of the physical proximity and touch): this is common TV knowledge. This method was justified for Amanda, as they tried to pass her death as suicide, while it wasn’t justified here since the body was hidden and left to rot. They could have simply shot him… hence the conclusion: that particularly painful method for murder must have been requested, then Volker must have been here to enjoy the show… This rapid and confident analysis from Lisbon reminds of Jane’s own about tech Brett Partridge in the pilot: he told him he was a “ghoul” who got off on gore, just because Partridge was gleeful on a presumed RJ crime scene.

Second point, how does Jane know that “Volker’s arrogant, that he likes to pretend he has nothing to hide? Those last words were what Volker told Lisbon in the previous episode. Conclusion: Lisbon told Jane about Volker’s visit in her office and that he has threatened/harassed her. Since Lisbon is someone very private and doesn’t like to appear weak, this is pretty interesting as she could have let him on the case without sharing that humiliating tidbit. And that might explain his deception when she refused to let him come with her to confront Volker. Last point, Jane doesn’t tell her what he can deduce or what to do. He systematically asks her what she thinks and helps her to fill the blanks.

Reviewbrain: I really like your analysis as Lisbon’s statement regarding Volker’s sociopathic ritual, which came really out of the blue for me and totally took me out of the episode before it barely began. But even if you are right, I must say I still have two problems with the scene. First, if we are to believe that Lisbon made a leap and deduced that Volker enjoys watching his victim’s get killed, wouldn’t she also be able to figure out the easier question of how to acquire his DNA? That he’s egotistical enough to give it to her? Especially considering how it was only in the previous episode that Volker flat out told Lisbon to just ask him if she wants anything?

It seems like the point of the scene (and the episode, in fact, as Violet later explains) was to establish that Lisbon has benefited a lot from Jane’s expertise; that she is able to make her own deductions, but that she still needs his help. Therefore, it was important to have her make a good call, then have Jane help her along with another one. Which is fine. But her making a smart conclusion, only to have Jane clue her in on an issue she should already know is actually counter-intuitive. It might have been better if their roles had been reversed; Jane calls Volker out on having been on scene; then she elaborates and adds based on what she knows of the man that she’ll just ask him for his DNA. This way, Lisbon’s train of thought would have been much more obvious (to viewers) and the scene might have been more logical instead of having Lisbon turn mentalist (without Jane ever remarking on it!) only to have that prowess be contradicted by having Jane point something out to her which she should already know.

To be fair, I guess it’s safe to assume that Lisbon might have though Volker was lying with his “transparency talk”; but she could have said so. The lack of continuity to her and Volker’s conversation from the previous episode seemed like a waste of that powerful scene.

I also noticed Jane’s annoyance when Lisbon said she didn’t need him to come with her. And I think Violet, you’re right, it is what later spurred his own visit to the man; along with needing to find his lackey, of course. Glad you discussed it more in VIS 4 & 5 below…

VIS # 2 and VIS # 3: Jane gives advice to Lisbon

Jane eagerly asks Lisbon her visit to Volker has gone; she answers him and he adds ‘But?”. Lisbon then explains that she’s convinced that the file contains an important document but has been sealed, so she can’t have access because “that’s the law.” Jane’s answer? “But if you want Volker, you can’t let that stop you.” At Lisbon’s request, he suggests to ask Ardiles and, after she remarks that he’s not going to give her access, adds “Of course not! But he’s a smart lawyer.” You need to get something on him to make him help you”. Lisbon’s voice drops at that and she almost whispers conspiratorially that it’s blackmail, then she lowers her voice even more and asks him how she can get tips on doing that. Jane: “Ask yourself this: who makes it their business to know what no one knows.” Lisbon then goes to Brenda Shettrick from Public Relations and gets her information.

During the whole conversation, once more, Jane gives Lisbon advice, but he doesn’t impose his views: there is a difference between advices asked for and his usual manipulation, even if the results are basically the same (not following the law). He doesn’t tell her what she has to do or how, he just helps her to think.

Reviewbrain: I agree. Jane here is the major reason why I liked this scene too.  I also loved seeing Ardiles again; although I wish it would be under better circumstances. In episode Rhapsody in Red, which introduced the ADA; I had felt from their familiarity that they liked and respected each other. Despite his falling out with the team in the episode, Ardiles and the Serious Crimes Unit has subsequently mended their fences (At First Blush). This is why I would have thought he and Lisbon might have been able to just talk where he agrees to give her the files without her needing to blackmail him (as opposed to a complete straight arrow, like Sarah). Instead, we have Lisbon expositing to Jane that Osvaldo won’t help her; and the man proves her right in a later scene. I hope I am wrong and there is another point to the scene (new plot with Ferland case?) other than Lisbon’s character development. Cause otherwise it would have been sad to have their professional relationship once again be strained. Did I mention I like Ardiles?

Violet: Later, Jane finds her working in her office after returning from interrogating Marvin’s mother. A few moments earlier, we had a glimpse of her when Risgby found her hunched over the file Ardiles provided her with, in front of a mug of coffee. During Jane’s visit, we can see that a few things have been added, such as scattered documents and take-out leftovers. Somehow, the whole setting reminds of Jane’s attic: the consultant is the one who usually spends the nightly hours working on his notes on the RJ case and sitting in front of a teapot and a cup. Jane even assumes Lisbon’s customary role as he tacitly tries to convince her to go home (“What about you ? Burning the midnight oil, I see”). In response to his unspoken concern, Lisbon gives him basically the same speech she gave Judge Davis in the previous episode: “Jane, Amanda Shaw was my witness, I gave her my word that I’d protect her and Volker had her killed.”

That starts to sound as a blanket line to explain her motivations without delving on her emotions, like how “He closes cases” was her standard reason to explain why she kept Jane around. That way, she can convey her sense of responsibility while conveniently sweeping under the rug the other emotional implications she’s not prepared to acknowledge let alone voice: her guilt for endangering someone and not being able to save her ; her obsession for being everyone’s savior (indicated by the golden halo the peep hole gave her when she went to see Amanda in ‘If It Bleeds, It Leads’), her self-doubts, her anger (she smacks a vase against a wall later) and maybe her underlying fear of not being able to save Jane, like she failed Amanda. And, once more, Jane’s attitude is oddly quiet, he doesn’t call her on her half-truth, he just takes a sheet of paper, sits down next to her and digs in what is left of her food while helping her get through the file… He’s silently supportive. Here’s the difference with all the attic scenes we got so far, as in those Lisbon tries to get a brooding Jane out of his misery. Here, Lisbon is actively trying to make some progress and he doesn’t try to dissuade her, on the contrary, he helps her and keeps her company.

Reviewbrain: Violet, you mentioned everything I loved about the scene. I personally found Jane’s demeanor wonderfully in character; he is always quietly supportive of Lisbon whenever it is something truly serious (Red Tide; Red Badge).

Alternatively, this is also the scene that had me groan out loud. At this point in the show, I expect more than to just have Lisbon recite the exact same motivation to Jane that she did to Judge Davis in the previous episode, even if it does fit her personality to do so. I am also less than happy with Lisbon blaming herself for Amanda Shaw’s death, to Jane, who we all know feels guilty for his family’s death. The circumstances aren’t the same; but the feelings are. Could this be a relapse of Lisbon being a bit out of touch, emotionally, with the people around her (Throwing Fire, Bloodstream). What is interesting is, as always Jane here knows her enough to not take offense or react at her apparent lack of empathy; he knows she is distracted and has other things to worry about. And, like you said, he’s giving her the space she needs as opposed to confronting her on her need to save people. An interesting thing Windsparrow mentioned in a comment a while back is, while Jane only feels compelled to protect those he cares about, Lisbon feels for all people. Perhaps his understanding of this is another reason for his restrained and compassionate silence here.

But I will always be annoyed at the untapped opportunity for a discussion here. It is a great scene, beautiful even, but it’s such a tame one too, considering how big and important this case is. Time must have been an issue (see Pet Peeves below) but if so then I think I would have preferred Lisbon not say anything at all. Jane, just looking at her hard at work, joining her to help would have been powerful enough. It’s not like regulars needed a reminder why the case is important to Lisbon. Nor was Amanda’s death the only reason Volker needs to be caught. The man has people marked for hits like he’s taking out flies; for crying out loud. But moving on…

Violet: Jane further supports Lisbon later when she tries to get a warrant: during their phone conversation, he insufflates enough confidence that she goes back to Davis’ office and convinces her with a impassioned and pressing speech. As a consequence, we can see that Jane’s been helping her out by:

1) getting her to follow her own ideas to their logical conclusion. He’s not implanted a suggestion in her mind, just answered her questions with other of his own to get her to elaborate her plan of actions. Lisbon has showed an instinct as a manipulator (forcing Bertram to give her free reign on her case in ‘Red Alert’) and her expression when Ardiles left her was pretty revealing: she’s thoughtful then her face relaxes in an almost smile.

2) giving her more self-confidence. Like he did in ‘Blinking Red Light’ when he got her to trust her instincts on a shady suspect.

3) making her better at reasoning and elaborating schemes. She understood on her own that Volker enjoyed watching his victims die and that he must have been present during the murder. And she thought immediately that Volker would be aware of her intentions when she spotted the camera on the reception area of the company she was visiting with Cho: just like in ‘Blinking Red Light’ again, she saw the camera and the idea unraveled in her head…

4) breaking the law: he made her agree that justice isn’t necessarily lawful… so here she does things because, as she told Brenda, it’s “worth it”, a dangerous logic that Jane amply shares… But more on this later.

This episode therefore showed that Jane’s progressive grooming of his partner is getting results; but, oddly, he doesn’t bring out the notion that he wouldn’t always be around as he did before his escape with Lorelei. On the contrary, he’s discreetly supportive and even quite respective instead of patronizing like he usually is.

VIS # 4 and VIS # 5: Jane confronts Volker

But this rather passive way to help her out isn’t the only one Jane uses. Even though their role reversal leaves him with the minor leg work while the unlawful, manipulative aspects are at Lisbon’s charge, he doesn’t take too well to being left behind when she visits Volker alone. Jane engineers his own face to face with Lisbon’s enemy: he goes at a school Volker is visiting and pressures him. He presents himself as Lisbon’s friend and tells him that he took the chance to meet him since he wouldn’t have the occasion to introduce himself after they arrest him… before grabbing his arm when the man starts walking away. Volker’s glance in reaction to his taunting reveals the identity of his second hired killer, thus Jane’s little mind game is justified to some extend, but it still appears as a pretext to assert himself on Lisbon’s side: after all, following Volker for a while would have been enough to spot the second killer… Instead, the meeting gave Jane to occasion to defend Lisbon’s position: there is no use for Volker to keep pressuring her because she is not alone in this, and they will succeed. The personal element (“friend”, not colleague or consultant) is reinforced by the power gesture of touching him rather forcefully: by coming in Volker’s comfort zone, spatially (the school where he’s loved), physically (grabbing his arm) and mentally (affirming that they will arrest him), Jane basically puts the equal amount of pressure on Volker that he’s been putting on Teresa’s by harassing her in her office; he shows that he’s not afraid and that he’s a powerful ally to Lisbon.

Later, Jane’s protectiveness shows again when Volker comes to gloat after he managed to sabotage once more her plans and subtly threatens her in the bullpen. The scene is public: everybody in the open space seems aware of who he is and what has happened –Lisbon asked for back-up to search the company their victim had been working at. Everyone freezes and watches the scene unfold; even Cho is as nonchalant and stoic as ever but stays watchful. Volker’s willingness to humiliate her publicly in front of her men and colleagues is patent and Lisbon reacts the same way she usually did with him, she tells him to leave. While Volker pretends to be transparent and have nothing to hide, Lisbon is the one showing her emotions in spite of her calm façade: contempt, anger and frustration towards injustice but also determination. And Cho shows his solidarity by acquiescing in escorting Volker to the exit. But this power play is changed when Jane decides to intervene by detaining Volker for the second time; it’s again an action of domination: he stays quietly on his couch, but loudly begins cold-reading their suspect, in front of everyone. He states that his gloating is just an act and that he’s afraid because they were closer than he expected. He then adds confidently that he should be afraid. Jane’s attitude is interesting: he’s witty, but not outright provocative or sarcastic even though the man obviously ticks him off. His veiled threats are always in defense of Lisbon: he doesn’t say “me” but “us”, in opposition to what he felt towards Erica, who he though was insulting his intelligence. Here, he is protective of his partner and her authority, but in a respectful manner, he doesn’t go all alpha-male. He leaves the responsibility of the case to Lisbon… Hence her grateful smile after Volker leaves.

As a conclusion, Jane seems to have indicated a more powerful emotional reaction to Lisbon’s situation than he usually lets on: he feels bereft when she lets him at the crime scene to see Volker; he understands her feelings when she’s working alone; he tries to help her by being supportive and protective of her, betraying the concern he stated in ‘Days of Wine and Roses’: she may be on a not “good road to go down. Bad neighborhood” indeed, but he decided not to let her travel alone and make that trip as short as he can…

Reviewbrain: Love this metaphor. I just want to add that perhaps Jane here is supporting Lisbon the way he wants her to support his quest; indeed the way she always has. With understanding and respect. Up to a point anyway…

VIS # 6: Brenda gives information to Volker

This scene was prepared both by the victim’s girlfriend’s snitching to Volker and by Lisbon and Brenda Shettrick’s altercation in ‘Cherry Picked’ where she ordered Lisbon to be easy on a witness because he had connections: we have been warned that the evil billionaire has got eyes and ears everywhere, CBI included, and that Brenda is a pragmatist. Here, it’s revealed she has stricken a deal with powerful and connected Volker. That means that she wasn’t pressured like Davis or threatened like the girlfriend: she has to get some advantage from selling the information on Marvin’s presence during the crime, either financially or otherwise, which makes her betrayal even more inexcusable.

Her double crossing the team may also raise a few nasty implications. First, a fall out may have to be expected when she’ll collect from Lisbon that favor the agent promised in exchange of information on Ardiles; there is a fair chance of Lisbon discovering the truth about Brenda and taking measures. Moreover, one can wonder if Shettrick has only one shady employer: couldn’t she be playing a triple game instead of simply being a double agent for one isolated criminal mastermind? In that case, is there a possibility that Volker is connected to RJ? Or was he working alone, and since everyone has heard of Lisbon’s implication, even at the poker game, has RJ seen an opportunity to take Teresa down in a circumvallated way? One way or another there will certainly be more to learn from Brenda’s betrayal…

From another perspective, it’s pretty interesting that the writers make a visible effort not to rule out any suspects who were implicated in ‘Strawberries and Cream’ as possible moles. Brenda is shown as a calculating and dishonest traitor, while Osvaldo has something to hide, since it’s implied either he’s done something or he let something pass in another case. In previous episodes, we were reminded that LaRoche has a dark secret worth being blackmailed with (‘Blood Feud’), and Bertram’s ambiguous attitude has been discreetly underlined by details such as his picture in the background when Jane shook mysterious Kirkland’s hand…. To some extent, the possibility that one of them was working for RJ at the same time than O’Laughlin makes sense: it would explain why the killer played with the rooms numbers and why Carter was sent in lieu of his master. It may have been a mind game all along if RJ was aware that Jane was setting a trap.

Reviewbrain: Speaking of Kirkland, I wonder what his reaction will be now that Lisbon arrested Volker. We were introduced to him in episode Red Dawn where it seemed that he asked FBI agent Alexa to ask Minelli to keep her appraised of the RJ case; for his behalf it was implied. Then, he shows up in Lisbon’s office telling her that she should leave Volker alone; that it’s being handled; presumably by Homeland Security where he works. I wonder if his words were true or was he, like Brenda, was protecting Volker.

VIS # 7: Volker’s demise

When Volker’s last enforcer bails out on him by refusing to hurt a kid, Volker is forced to take the matter in his own hands and tracks the boy down in a zoo. Lisbon and Jane rush to Marvin’s rescue and Lisbon warns Volker to put his gun down before shooting him in the shoulder. She doesn’t kill him, even though she could have done so without raising suspicions since he was threatening to kill Marvin who was running away, and anyway a shooting isn’t always well aimed (as reminded by Hightower shooting the perp in the leg while she was aiming for his head in ‘Red Gold’). But no, Saint Teresa professionally takes him down by inflicting minimum damage and, after handcuffing him, expresses her anger by punching the man. In spite of her emotional reaction, she doesn’t choose revenge or murder like Jane is prone to do. While he affirmed that he wanted to kill his own nemesis, effectively shooting Carter and choosing the same kind of closure for Rigsby, Lisbon just did her job, she arrested him and made saving the boy her priority. She’s way more mature about her own brand of justice.

Reviewbrain: This was actually very impressive and reassuring to me since I love her character and wouldn’t want her to change too much. Just for that, I need to send Mr. Woodruff a basket of flowers, so terrified was I for dear Teresa. I do wonder what Jane’s reaction will be to her decision; he’s always been derisive of her views…

Honorable Mentions: Tunney was great and she played her character with subtle nuances. Special mention to Henry Ian Cusick for giving life to a chilling but not so unattainable criminal, it was a delicate combination. And it’s a detail but I enjoyed the line writer Ken Woodruff put in Marvin’s mouth when Volker founded him as well as Emjay Anthony’s reading, “I’ve been told my mother is dead”: in a nutshell, we have the lie that convinced Marvin to stay with his kidnappers as well as the boy’s doubts about it and his defiance towards Volker who he seemed to recognize. This little thing is revealing of both the defects of the episode –a thrilling writing that tends swat some details under the carpet- as well as its qualities: a lot of subtext and intensity in a few words.

Reviewbrain: I also really appreciated the fact that the school kids were all wearing blue making it easier for Volker to find Marvin. Baker’s wonderful face was at it’s subtle best as well; he doesn’t have much to say as usual in this episode but his concerned expressions (to Lisbon) and lack of expression (to Volker) spoke loud and clear.

Pet Peeves

Violet’s

– The DNA sample. I don’t know, but shouldn’t she have a tech with her? Does she have a supply of those sticks in her car? And, more importantly, doesn’t it take a bit more than just sticking the stuff into his mouth for what, two seconds?

– I guess they had Marvin go to school under a false name, but that should have been explained.

– What happens afterwards to the woman who took care of the little boy?

Reviewbrain’s

Like Violet mentioned, this was a thriller of an episode so obviously much effort was spent to ensure a proper level of adrenaline is achieved. And while there is certainly no flaw where that’s concerned, I found myself asking (more) questions regarding other aspects…

-Why would Lisbon approach Judge Davies when only in the previous episode the woman refused to give her a warrant? Wouldn’t Lisbon have been more likely to go back to judge Manchester whom she had more luck and empathy with regarding Volker? Most likely it was done to show Lisbon’s character development via her willingness to lie to get Davies to sign the warrant. But her having had a plan B makes it feel like this growth was a bit forced, and I don’t think it needed to be. Couldn’t we have been told that Davies was the only current available judge?

– Volker’s Man, Clyde: Jane, when he and Lisbon interview Done Clyde, says that he doesn’t enjoy his work, rather he turned mercenary because he didn’t have any other options. When Jane then asks him where Marvin is Clyde responds, “If I talk, I’m a dead man.” But his only reason disappears Volker suspects him and says he’s dead. So why didn’t he go back to Lisbon to help her after that instead of committing suicide by bus? I suppose he could have just been walking in a daze of fear and gotten hit. But the scene wasn’t clear enough for me, a pity since Clyde was an interesting character.

The pacing of the episode (although thrilling) could have been distributed a lot better. I think this episode had the most rushed ending in the history of the show. As Jane’s car flew by taking the boy back to his home, I could just imagine someone from the show holding a stopwatch counting the seconds, hoping Jane’s final wistful look would make it on screen in time before the episode had to end. Precious seconds could have have been spared from the beginning of the episode-the opening scene was unnecessarily lengthy. The seconds spared there could have given viewers just a bit more time to catch their breath at the end, and enjoy Jane’s relief. His attachment to the the case was less obviously expressed than Lisbon’s, but his emotional involvement was just as important, especially where Marvin’s life was concerned.

Conclusion

Since the very beginning, with the flashback, we could guess that ‘Little Red Corvette’ is meant to be a pivotal episode. Indeed, the investigation starts with a decayed corpse hidden in an abandoned warehouse, like it did in ‘Red Rover, Red Rover’, which was characterized by Jane’s anger and vigilantism. That hints that the big underlying question in this episode is Lisbon’s own reaction in front of revenge and obsession. Hence the implicit reference to ‘Blinking Red Light’: in both cases; the main character has exhausted in vain every possible legal way…

Reviewbrain: Arguably! Excuse the interruption I just wanted to point out that Jane not believing Darcy was capable of catching Panzer (and that she didn’t take his concern seriously) was what led him to take Panzer’s fate in his own hands. Later events have proved her to be much smarter and more vigilant than Jane gave her credit for. But moving on…

Violet: It is clear that in Lisbon’s case anyway the authorities are recalcitrant to help them (Davis); the bad guy avoided every plan to catch him (Panzer turning tables on Jane/ Volker making every proof disappear with Geotech company). Also, to both men Jane insisted on each criminal’s hidden fears: for Panzer his doubts about being bested either by RJ or by Jane; for Volker his anxiety that Lisbon may be closing on him. And both show an interesting reference to cameras. Still, the outcome is very different in both episodes, since Lisbon’s desperate measures are limited to enlisting Jane’s help: she is above killing the man. That shows the difference between her perspective and Jane’s.

Nevertheless, part of her character’s development is Jane’s growing influence on her and the progress she made under his supervision, especially in regards of the law. They also seem to have mended part of the holes left in their relation by Lorelei. They have come to a mutual understanding, they offer support and take comfort in each other, they are partners: for a while, they didn’t have anymore a consultant/boss relation, or even a child/caretaker one, they are equals. There is progress, as before in the beginning of season four, their affection protected them from the world in a shinny cute bubble: here, they have forged a real working partnership, even though I’m not sure how long it would last. Therefore, this deeper understanding opens new doors: while she can understand better his motivations for catching RJ, she surpasses the darker parts of obsession with her sense of justice. She’s achieved what was dimmed as impossible and arrested her nemesis and that may give some hope for the ending of Jane’s quest…

Reviewbrain: Beautifully stated, Violet. I think, perhaps more than Lisbon, we found out more about Jane’s character in this arc.  In the previous episode, he gently asked her to be careful. He sees her becoming more and more obsessed. But he doesn’t judge her, nor call her out on her double standard and how she’s always asking him to be less obsessed. He seems to understand that, just as Lisbon might see it her duty to save him, she sees it as her duty to bring Volker to justice. In this episode, her win, seemed to have been his as well. He doesn’t want her to suffer through guilt the way he does. So this episode might count as another of Jane’s many attempts to “save” Lisbon. It just happened to be one of his most successful- along with the bomb vest in Strawberries and Cream, of course 🙂

And I do agree with Violet, it does give hope regarding Jane’s ultimate decision where Red John is concerned.

Violet: But that happy ending is bound to have some repercussions on Lisbon’s career: either she will gain a new credibility by closing such a big case, or, more probably, she will have to confront the fallout of her not so legal actions if Volker or his lawyers decide to call her on them.

Reviewbrain: And  because I already spotted a few spoilers floating about twitter, can I just please remind viewers to include a spoiler warning in the comments? Even trailers are considered spoilers to some; I personally try not to watch them as I love to be completely surprised by the episodes. But I have a feeling it’ll be just as eventful as this one was…

Image by Chizuruchibi. Copyright Reviewbrain, January, 2013. Not to be used without permission.

Image by Chizuruchibi. Copyright Reviewbrain, January, 2013. Not to be used without permission.

Extra:

Express love to the writers via twitter @mentalistwriter.

Speaking of twitter, today is mentalist fans’ : @windi_sparrow, @golightlyholly2, and @klcarr892 birthdays. Feel free to give them a shout out 🙂

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48 responses to “Mentalist Little Red Corvette Review

  • jennyison

    Hi ReviewBrain & Violet. I really enjoy the excitement you display for my favorite show. Thank you for giving me more to ponder on; more to think out 🙂

    While I LOVE all things Mentalist, I believe Lisbon knowing that Volker liked to watch his victims being killed is a bit far-reaching. My initial reaction to Lisbon suddenly having this information to which the audience was only privy, was that an important scene MUST have been cut. The story did not flow as a result and left viewers like me feeling very awkward. I like how you and Violet explained it, but I still cannot make myself go there; it’s just not believable to me.

  • C Hill

    very good review. you hit most of my points. calling this the most rushed episode is a very good way to put it. the interplay between jane and lisbon, though, i think, was very good indeed.

  • Victor

    Great insightful review! Funny artwork too 😀
    Drat that Brenda! I’m very interested in what her storyline will reveal, whether she was lured by money or if Volker managed to blackmail her. I’m also wondering if she could have a third employer, but then again Red John isn’t really known for luring people over with money, but has followers that are ‘deeply religious’ to quote Gupta from ‘Strawberries and Cream’

    I was actually disappointed to see that Brenda was the person who would have compromising info on Ardiles, I was really hoping to see LaRoche again xD as soon as Jane asked Lisbon who makes it their business to know everything about everybody he popped into my mind. Thinking about it now, it makes sense to have Brenda provide Lisbon with the information since we know less about her whereas LaRoche we know to have a strong sense of duty and will no doubt report anyone who’s done anything wrong.

    My personal pet peeve was that Volker ended up making such a big blunder at the end taking the matter into his own hands, and his enforcer walking away, shouldn’t Volker have made sure his enforcer was ok with the task beforehand? I guess the writers had to find a way to make Volkers get arrested for something very serious, and they did it in a way that I don’t mind too much but still wish they could have done it another way

    Can’t wait for the next episode and review

  • P

    Great review! As always, you both have great insights and catch things I miss. I wish I liked the episode as much as I like the review, but I didn’t. I was absolutely loving the Volker arc- the first 2 episodes and the first half of this one were outstanding. But that ending (I agree Reviewbrain- it was the most rushed ending in the show’s history) completely ruined it for me. I thought it was not only rushed, but bad. Very disappointed in the writing at the end of this one. I felt like the writer lost all inspiration or was up against a deadline and wrote anything to finish.

    First, I hated the scene where Jane cold reads Volker. It seemed very contrived. The sole purpose of Volker being there was to give Jane a chance to make that speech. They already did the “Volker goes to Lisbon’s office to intimidate her” scene in the prior episode. It was interesting the first time, the second time not so much.

    I loved the Brenda scenes, but the set up bothered me. When Jane said “who makes it their business to know what no one knows” I immediately thought Jane or Red John, but not Brenda. I don’t remember seeing evidence of her knowing secret information in the past. She is a PR person – they know what management tells them. They deal with issues that are public. They are not usually privy to confidential information , and I haven’t seen evidence that Brenda has higher than normal nosiness.

    Lisbon throwing the vase was such a cliche, and also contrived. The office was cleaned out…not even a paper clip in sight, but the vase was conveniently sitting there. There were flowers in it in the previous scene, but I guess somebody took the flowers and left the vase.

    I agree with Reviewbrain that it was strange that Lisbon went to Judge Davies instead of Manchester. She was afraid/refused to give a warrant last time, even with evidence, so what changed?

  • P

    Victor, i completely agree about Volker’s blunder at the end. This is a man responsible for killing many people, some of which he witnessed. He would never freak out like that just because his initial plan didn’t work. He would have hired a different hit man and killed the kid later. Even if the CBI hid him or gave protection, I suspect he could be gotten to with enough money (not to mention Brenda in his pocket.) Plus, children make notoriously unreliable witnesses. And this one had been missing from home for 2 months. Any good lawyer could have discredited him. Not only that, but he leaves his fingerprints all over the kid’s apartment and tries to kidnap him in a zoo full of witnesses. None of it makes sense. I don’t buy panic as an excuse. Volker is no amateur when it comes to murder.

  • P

    Violet, I thought that was Governor Jerry Brown’s picture on the wall when Jane shook Kirkland’s hand.(Brown and Bertram look very much alike.) I noticed a couple of episodes earlier in Red Dawn that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s picture was in the same spot since he was governor at the time.

  • JustMe

    Excellent review by both Reviewbrain and Violet.

    Yeah I think that favour that Lisbon owes Brenda is going to bite someone in the ass hard. I hope Brenda doesn’t use it to drive Jane away from the RJ case or in any way have Lisbon betray him. That would hurt especially since the favour was asked for when Jane was at his most supportive of Lisbon. That would be irony at its worst.

    I love the scene where Jane just sat down to help Lisbon and I found it sweet (being married) that he just dug into her leftovers. Now the only person that would do that, is a “partner” and not the cop kind. It was a very intimate act and I do wonder if people in relationships are the only ones that will see it that way.

    I don’t care how contrived it was but I love PROTECTIVE SUPPORTIVE JANE OH SO MUCH! And the best part about that was how ADULT he was. He didn’t pander to her or try to ride in on the white horse but it was the act of an emotionally grownup male. WHO’D HAVE THUNK IT!!???
    I guess if we get one thing out of this, is that Jane can do relationships on an adult level without the games and tricks. I really responded to the mature Jane. And I adored Lisbon’s little grin at Jane after his speech to Volker. All we needed was the lightbulb above her head to turn on to be more obvious that she is starting to see him in a different light.

    Again, I’m waiting on the director’s cut so we can get the full ending and not the truncated version….

    I thought the look on Jane’s face at the end was bittersweet. He acknowledged to himself he won’t get to hold his daughter again but that doesn’t stop him from helping others get to hold theirs. It was like he felt a purpose and is OK with it. He has found that his tragedy doesn’t have to repeat itself and he can help others to some degree.

  • windsparrow

    “I agree with Reviewbrain that it was strange that Lisbon went to Judge Davies instead of Manchester. She was afraid/refused to give a warrant last time, even with evidence, so what changed?”

    Someone pointed out elsewhere (Twitter, Paint It Red??) that if Lisbon suspected she was going to have to lie to get this warrant, she may have gone to Davies because she has less respect for her, making it easier for Lisbon to lie to her. It makes sense to me.

  • windsparrow

    Excellent review and adorable art, ladies!

    Here are my random thoughts about “Little Red Corvette”:

    First thing is, I had to be reminded of Marvin’s toy car in order to realize that is what the name of the episode came from. The thing looked like a Riviera to me (Ray Vecchio’s car on Due South). I can just imagine Jane talking to Marvin about his situation, no, your mom’s not dead, etc. Then when things got too overwhelming for the boy, diverting attention to their common interest in classic cars, and promising a ride in the DS. Yup, kid, imagine going home in style, riding in a Goddess. You’re going to be alright, and your mom is going to be so happy. And the whole thing will break my heart, glad that I can give this gift to your mother, and dying inside because no one, not even Lisbon who loves me best in this world, can give me the same gift.

    That little break in Jane’s voice when he was pointing out to Lisbon the toy car, the possibility that there was a kid dead or separated from family, that was so heartbreaking.

    That grin in Jane’s face when he suggested Lisbon blackmail Ardilles into letting her see that deposition… positively devilish. I’m amazed Lisbon’s pants did not simply evaporate from the heat.

    I wonder how Fixer-With-a-Conscience-Guy got the papers to put the kid in school? Oakland can be a rough place, but are they really so caught up in their own drama there that they would not notice the new kid looks like the one splashed all over the news for being missing? Amber alerts make that more difficult. I suppose they could have kept him out of school for a time, give him a chance to grieve his mom, and acclimate his new situation. And why on earth was that abandoned warehouse not searched better when the kid came up missing? Is there something I don’t know about official search procedures? Abandoned warehouse that the kid walks past every day on the way to school, and no one looks there? No tracking dogs? Nothing? Ok, I get it, plot killer. But still, it needs to be said.

    While I know some shippers were hoping for more overt shippiness, I was quite pleased that Jane was simply being the best partner for Lisbon that he could be. In the end, that is what makes the show. And based on Lisbon’s favorite song, “More than Words”, in the long run that is what will make them. It may not have much to do with any potential romantic relationship, but it simply is their relationship as it is now, at its best. Jane sitting down with Lisbon to look through the depositions, that was a moment of pure partnership.

    I loved seeing Lisbon take Volker down, physically. Legally speaking, she would have been in the right to make that a kill shot, or fire a couple more times. Practically speaking, killing Volker then would have its advantages. For one thing, dead men cannot sue for damages. Volker can weasel out of this yet. I hope he does not. I hope that for all his resources and abilities to make things and people go his way that he does serve lots of time in prison. This would show that Red John could quite possibly be contained by the justice system. There would still be some doubt, but it would make it possible. On the other hand, if Volker is shown to be able to continue to pervert the system for his own advantage, then it would be proof to Jane (and even more, to Lisbon) that there is no room for arresting and bringing Red John to trial.

    Brenda. Ah, Brenda. That you are so easily corrupted makes you less likely to be a Red John Disciple. The Man thinks RJ would see you as weak, fit to be used as a tool but not to be converted. I can see you being fed or bled of information by a true disciple, but you are not one of his own. I wonder how long it will take Lisbon and Jane to put their fingers on you. And I wonder if Volker gave you surveillance equipment to track the doings of things like Van Pelt’s computer.

    Where is Kirkland in all of this? While we know he has a longstanding interest in Jane and RJ, it was over Volker that he introduced himself to Lisbon. Which makes it easy to suspect some kind of connection between RJ and Volker.

  • zee

    Hello Violet and Reviewbrain,

    You guys, your thoughts and review did some justice to this weeks’ turbo speed ending. Overall, I liked it , but not without suspending disbelief wee bit further this week.

    I guess now it’s Volker’s turn standing in line of the ever increasing non-remorseful perps, but he kinda shares the cake with RJ for attempted child slaughter. In a way, it was refreshing to see the villain perspective of handling the desperation of keeping his Pandora’s box closed and how there’s blurred shades of “codes of honour among hit men”. I would say if the writers didn’t make Volker panic, it would be another RJ arc. I believe they will put him to trial and repatriate Anabelle back to testify.

    Jane helping Lisbon
    I loved your analysis of Jane’s quiet support akin to Lisbon’s. Also, to his chagrin that Lisbon didn’t want him to come along for Volker’s DNA might just make Jane realise how it feels to be Lisbon wanting to help him in the RJ case.

    Judge Manchester vs Judge Davies
    Probably the writers could emphasize the availability of Davies because of location proximity and being that late in the night for Lisbon to accelerate her case. I think partly it’s because Lisbon is quite familiar with her, rather than Manchester. The half-assed attempt of mentioning her kids (just like Sarah’s manipulation in Black Cherry) was sadly not working.

    There were some pet peeves for me too, some mentioned above, like the vase. But I felt it was to show Lisbon’s restrains cracking. She is almost never seen losing her cool, (not accounting Red Badge anw) nevertheless it was cliche. I might be nit picking, but I was mainly tickled when the camera pans out to the monkey watching Jane and Lisbon running. I know its a zoo, but what the heck was that for?

    I loved Blake Neely’s soundtrack for Volker’s theme it was spine-chilling with them church bells(?) clanging.

    Thank You Violet and Reviewbrain 😉

  • rita

    Loved the Review, and the art work…..great!!

    I have to say that I have really enjoyed this episode, I agree that the end was a bit rushed, but I could see that Volker, after witnessing the murders of a few people, and finding that the hired help couldn’t be relied upon ( You really can’t get the staff these days!!) would see this a s an even bigger thrill, and on the plus side, if it worked….no loose ends to tie up!! The trouble is, he bungled it….making himself visible to too many people and panicking in the attempt to find the boy (He know that the CBI couldn’t bee too far behind)

    As for Lisbon not thinking to just ask Volker for his DNA…my read of this situation was that as a cop, and for all these years (Pre Jane) following rules and regulations, it just didn’t occur to her that he would give it….Oh yess Volker WAS being very ‘transparent’ but usually that sort of thing is only obtained with quite a fight…if you are always used to following rules….it can be quite difficult not to.

    I thought that Simon Baker and Robin Tunney acted their collective socks off in this episode, so much was said with just a facial expression and a lift of the eyebrow, that a whole BOOK of dialogue couldn’t have said half as well.

    I have never seen Jane’s ‘manipulation’ (for want of a better word) of Lisbon as anything other than, showing her that she is more than just a rules person ( Yes I know that these rules are the law) I have always felt that he is teaching her that she has a good mind and that she can use it to catch the bad guys if only she learns to think outside the box, and that the ‘right’ thing isn’t always the ‘correct’ thing…..if you see what I mean.

    Any way….that’s my two penn’orth again Great Review Ladies.

  • estatica

    Much as it pains me to say it, after watching this episode and reading this wonderful review, I couldn’t help wondering if Woodruff spent less time writing it than you guys did reviewing it. He wrote some of the best Mentalist episodes, but this one is perhaps, my least favourite so far.

    Aside Jane/Lisbon scenes which were already mentioned in detail in this blog, I did like Clyde’s death scene. I thought it was a very powerful moment in this episode. Cho and Rigsby’s expressions as it all happened were wonderful and Clyde’s disorientation and despair after that phone call made me believe Volker is a worthy opponent for Lisbon.

    Unfortunately, the subsequent scenes almost made me forget that one. This supposedly powerful, cold blooded nemesis, not only didn’t kill Annabelle, a grown woman who has lots of information to share with the police, but he thought it was a good idea to let her escape and try to kill a kid instead (an unreliable witness) in a zoo, of all places. Entering his house and leaving finger prints and that leaving that leaflet on the fridge was bad enough, but running around waving a weapon in a place full of cameras and touching children’s heads so they would turn to see him was just painful to watch.

    I admit I was expecting many things that never happened and that is perhaps one of the reasons why I feel disappointed in the end: Volker never actually took the time to try and throw Lisbon off the CBI as he had threatened to do in the first episode. He never even attempted to kill her. Not even when she was chasing him in the end, he still thought it was best to just aim his gun at the kid instead. Wouldn’t have been wonderful if for one split second he had aimed at Lisbon as Jane was running towards her? Ok, maybe that’s cheesy too, but the shipper in my had to say it, sorry!

    The good things I take from this episode are mostly Jane and Lisbon development as characters, as you guys have said. I expect that the way they showed themselves in this episode may have a huge impact in future episodes. At least I hope so.

  • Arco

    estatica–

    Thanks for bringing up the point that Volker never carried through with his threats to Lisbon’s career. And certainly, killing her was an option although that might have attracted unwanted attention to him. Killing a law-enforcement official would normally be the last, most desperate, option for a criminal.

  • windsparrow

    “This supposedly powerful, cold blooded nemesis, not only didn’t kill Annabelle, a grown woman who has lots of information to share with the police.”

    Really all Annabelle could do is give confirmation of what they already knew. It was her friend (can’t remember the name) worked for VNX and … what? What did he tell her? That he suspected Volker ordered that tribe to be slaughtered? That he had evidence? He most certainly did not give Annabelle the evidence, and Volker has already cleaned up any proof outside of that sealed Grand Jury deposition. Annabelle’s testimony against Volker is all hearsay (i.e., non-admissible). She could be useful during the investigation, to point the detectives in the right direction, but not during a trial. So Volker is money ahead to send her out of the country, even if he buys her plane ticket himself. The higher the body count, the more chances of something going wrong, of genuine evidence being out there to connect him to the murders. Of course, at the time he let Annabelle leave the country, he had not realized that his body count had already gotten too high.

  • windsparrow

    i do not think it is so much a matter of Volker not following up on his threat, but that destroying someone’s career takes a bit of time and planning. Note how he talked about Lisbon’s crusade against him, calling it persecution… that was part of laying the groundwork. When Volker calls his buddy the Governor and says, “one of your agents has been unjustly hounding me over these false charges for ______, will you please do something about her?” would it be more effective to fill in that blank with “two whole days” or “several months, and really, if there WERE evidence, wouldn’t they have arrested me by now?”

  • bloomingviolet2013

    You may very well be right and it’s entirely possible that I’m rationalizing Lisbon’s leap in logic. If so, I’d love to watch that missing scene… A scene where Volker would threaten Lisbon more specifically or where Lisbon and Jane would analyse in detail Volker’s behavior would have been pretty interesting. Actually, one of those would have been great either way, had it been cut off or not, lol!
    Thanks for your comment, Jennyison! 🙂

  • Arco

    Did Volker ever kill anyone on his own? We saw evidence of proxy killings–his underlings killed the victims while Volker watched, & presumably, one of his teams wiped out the Amazonian tribe. He was used to others carrying out his dastardly schemes & not getting his own hands dirty. I still didn’t buy Volker’s sudden panic at the end so agree that the ending was very rushed.

    How creepy was it to see Volker read to the schoolchildren. And how far gone was Volker to later plot the murder of a child.

    I was mostly relieved in the way that the Volker arc was handled. I did not want Lisbon to become another obsessed Jane. I think that she was shown as more determined than obsessed as exhibited by her shooting Volker in the shoulder rather than killing him, which contrasts with Jane’s desire to kill Red John himself although I haven’t heard the part about chopping him into itty bitty pieces with a knife for a while. Maybe Jane shooting Red John, as he did Timothy Carter, will suffice if we ever get to that point.

    I grew up in a city where the corruption ran all the way up to the state government. I later moved to Illinois where governors–of both parties–often finish out their terms in prison. Lisbon broke the rules because there was no legitimate recourse for her–the system was stacked against her with both the judge & Brenda Shettrick, & possibly others as well, allied with Volker.

    Let me just say that Brenda was a good choice to find out info–as Volker had already determined. A PR person is around powerful people who may let things slip that they shouldn’t. A good PR person also has exceptional people instincts so can pick up on info that others wouldn’t–& put the pieces together. PR people not only put out information to the public, but they also have to minimize the fallout from bad situations–another avenue for Brenda to find out the dirt on officials. Her job also means that she has developed contacts from which she could obtain damaging info–obviously a two-way street as Lisbon felt comfortable going to Brenda to find out something to hold over Ardiles. (I have had several PR jobs although it would be for others to judge whether I was good at it–tact, not my middle name. P.S. I did not emulate Brenda’s behavior in taking bribes.)

    In the first episode of the Volker arc, Volker touches Lisbon, on the leg, as I recall, which must have been repulsive to her. I took Jane’s grabbing of Volker’s arm in this episode to be something of a callback to that earlier episode.

    Volker expects to be the one doing the pushing. He isn’t experienced with people, like Lisbon & Jane, who are willing to confront him.

    I was expecting something a bit more perceptive when Jane reads Volker (perhaps in the vein of “Your mommy wouldn’t let you read books about the Amazon when you were a child …”). It seemed pretty superficial to me.

    Thanks for the astute comments, violet & reviewbrain. I enjoyed the artwork too, as always. Jane doesn’t often run–unless it’s away from the danger!

    I hope that part of the point of the arc, as you all have indicated, is that Jane has learned that Lisbon can be more of an asset in his Red John quest.

  • bloomingviolet2013

    Thanks for trusting me, Reviewbrain even though our views of this ep were quite different! (and I must say I prefer your parts than mine, lol! 🙂 )

    “First, if we are to believe that Lisbon made a leap and deduced that Volker enjoys watching his victim’s get killed, wouldn’t she also be able to figure out the easier question of how to acquire his DNA? That he’s egotistical enough to give it to her? Especially considering how it was only in the previous episode that Volker flat out told Lisbon to just ask him if she wants anything?”

    Honestly, I didn’t think of it. I guess I was so convinced that Volker was lying when he told her she just had to ask (or if not lying flat out, that he was planning to cut out carefully everything potentially useful before giving her anything) that I found it logic that she doubted his word too. But yes, now that you point that out, it’s rather illogical.

    About Ardiles, they have indeed “mended their fences” in ‘At First Blush’ (mostly with Jane and his methods), and more recently in ‘Panama Red’ it was apparent that the working relationship with the team as a whole has improved. But it’s a far cry from a simple “talk where he agrees to give her the files without her needing the blackmail him”: she didn’t ask him a simple favor in a case, she was demanding that he would go against someone very powerful and endanger his career by doing something illegal. If it were something less risky, he would probably have helped her, or so I think. Beside, he also told her before that Jane wasn’t the real problem: she was (‘At First Blush’). Even if things have truly improved between them, it’s hard to think he wouldn’t have just laughed at her and brushed off her request. Anyway, I don’t think things would ever be simple between Ardiles and Lisbon, because 1) he truly believes Lisbon is too lenient with Jane and that this is the root of everything evil that had happened and 2) I believe deep down mother hen Lisbon would never forget that Osvaldo was hell bent in sending her helpless Jane in jail: she wouldn’t have resorted so fast to blackmail with someone whose integrity she respected at least a bit. Otherwise she would have tried it with Davis too.

    I really like your analysis about Kirkland. I also wonder if he was telling the truth about Homeland Security handling Volker’s case. Actually I’ve been wondering since his visit in Lisbon’s office…

    I absolutely love the artwork: I could say it’s one of my favorites but there are so much of those favorites of mine that it wouldn’t mean much anymore… 🙂 I especially liked that Chizuru Chibi drew Lisbon slightly ahead of her partner: the fact that Lisbon was indeed faster than Jane was hilarious! After all, the only moment we saw him take some exercise recently was when he jumped over that fence in ‘Black Cherry”, lol! (Now that I think about it, I also wonder if some of the “thriller”/action packed aspect of the episode wasn’t somehow a tribute to action-cop Lisbon too: can’t imagine them running that desperately to get one of Jane’s bad guys. No, Jane’s enemies hide in limos, that way he doesn’t have to run, just ride a bike during some minutes… 😉 )

  • bloomingviolet2013

    I guess you may be right, Victor and P, but Volker’s panicking at the end didn’t really strike me as utterly unbelievable. I think if we are to follow the episode logic (whereas said logic is as smooth as it could have been or not is another problem), then we can see that the power he seems to use to threaten others, physically or otherwise, has been pretty compromised all along in a steady progression: 1) Volker has been trying for weeks to pressure Lisbon and his power display obviously didn’t work as well as he expected and 2) he has his own insecurity towards this woman thrown at him by Jane, who acts even more unaffected than his boss, in what is basically a humiliating moment in public. Then 3) new loose ends keep appearing and he has to deal with them in urgency ; 4) cherry on top, Brenda comes and tells him there is a witness he never heard about. Meaning that he was played by one of his subalterns during two whole months… Moreover, even if this witness might happen to be potentially unreliable, he’s still a kid a man who worked for him (and who was linked to a murder) had kidnapped. Even if Marvin couldn’t have identified Volker, the emotional impact of his story in a trial would have been a problem and would have raised some pretty uncomfortable questions about Volker’s own involvement, or so I think… 5) Then, after learning that his second killer had hidden this unexpected and potentially dangerous witness from him, this power he revels in so much is once again shattered when the last of his henchmen refuses to do what he’s ordering for what must appear to him as a petty reason. To me that looks like a last straw and that may explain his erratic behavior at the end, at least to some extent.

    And no, Volker is “amateur when it comes to murder”, but only when there are others to do the actual killing. If he was so careful about not letting any proof of his presence at a crime scene, he wouldn’t be here staring when his henchmen execute someone. There could have been traces of his DNA in that warehouse, it was quite inconsequential too… 😉

  • bloomingviolet2013

    I *love* your comment, Arco! 🙂 I had the exact same thoughts about Volker not killing anyone himself.
    Also, I agree about Brenda being in a position where she is bound to learn some secrets about people: I recall her reaction in ‘Strawberry and Cream’ to be pretty telling. When the team tried to lure out the mole by feeding every suspect with false information about Madeline’s location, her silence and the lie to cover up that she read the file Lisbon had “inadvertently” given her were interesting, since Osvaldo only showed curiosity. She could have just said to Lisbon: “I opened the file, but don’t worry, my lips are sealed” or something like that. Instead, she covered it up and filed the information away: at the very last, she was secretive… And yes, it depends on what Ardiles has actually done, but since he works closely with the CBI, if he has done something reprehensible it’s quite normal someone (Bertram) would have told her in case potential damage control with the media would be needed.

    (Jane telling Volker something like that would have been awesome, lol! Guess they didn’t want to discredit too much Lisbon’s villain until the very end. That and Jane was being especially respectful not only with Lisbon but with everyone else in this episode.)

  • bloomingviolet2013

    Ooops, sorry! 😛 thanks for pointing that out… (I guess my mistake made it quite obvious that I suspect Betram… along with LaRoche, Ardiles, Alexa, Mancini, Kirkland… 😉 )

  • bloomingviolet2013

    Thanks, Windsparrow! Great comment (as always)! And I hope your birthday was fine! 🙂

    “Brenda. Ah, Brenda. That you are so easily corrupted makes you less likely to be a Red John Disciple. The Man thinks RJ would see you as weak, fit to be used as a tool but not to be converted. I can see you being fed or bled of information by a true disciple, but you are not one of his own.”

    Hum, ever though of a third option? That Brenda may be a true disciple, but that this “deal” she had with Volker was as a representative for her master? Something along the lines of selling Volker inside information in exchange of something that Volker could do for RJ (like using his influence for something, or even taking Lisbon down in a circumvallated plan to test her strength, or something)? Not that I’m sure that she works for RJ, but let’s face it, RJ seems at the center of every bit of influential big conspiracy in the show so far, even Visualize. Moreover, as you pointed out, since Kirkland has showed interest in both, there might be a link. And the idea that there are different moles working for different bad guys running free in the CBI/FBI is quite messy. They would be in dire need of some good rat extermination…

    “That grin in Jane’s face when he suggested Lisbon blackmail Ardilles into letting her see that deposition… positively devilish. I’m amazed Lisbon’s pants did not simply evaporate from the heat.”

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • windsparrow

    Thank you! I had an especially wonderful birthday!

    “Hum, ever though of a third option? That Brenda may be a true disciple, but that this “deal” she had with Volker was as a representative for her master?”

    I had not thought about that as a possibility. If that that were true, though, I would have a hard time imagining Brenda complaining about setting even a child up for Volker to kill. The devotion Red John commands from his followers does not seem to lend itself to that kind of distaste. It is more like “Master wants it, so it must be right.”

  • bloomingviolet2013

    Oh, but she did set him up at the end. Think about Lorelei telling Jane “I’m sorry” before trying to cut off his fingers: kind of a “Master wants it, so it must be right, but the path towards His illumination is a hard one”… Being brainwashed doesn’t mean those followers are all completely heartless, just that they have been properly convinced. Some of those minions weren’t actual psychopaths without conscience after all, just weak people trained to kill in name of a so-called greater good (Rebecca, Lorelei, Gupta).
    Now, I’m not saying that Brenda is one of them, just that it may be a possibility. 😉

  • C Hill

    i think there was a lot of “too much for 43 minutes” here. this felt like a 60 minute ep.not a bad effort but lacks a little given the excellent writing so far this season.

    i also think so far we’ve seen characters set up like chess pieces. there was a touch of a force with this in this epi with rebecca and ardiles. as noted by others, everyone from jane’s list is being kept in play.

  • C Hill

    brenda…not rebecca….

  • P

    I don’t know if the lying was premeditated though- it seemed more a desperation move. But I could be wrong. if it was planned, then I could buy this theory that Lisbon would prefer lying to someone she doesn’t respect. However, why would she think that even a lie would get her the warrant? The judge, even with good evidence, refused her last time. Clearly she was warned off. Why would Lisbon think she would now be willing to ignore that warning? The whole thing just bothers me.

  • bloomingviolet2013

    “And the best part about that was how ADULT he was. He didn’t pander to her or try to ride in on the white horse but it was the act of an emotionally grownup male. WHO’D HAVE THUNK IT!!???”

    That’s *exactly* why I loved this episode so much, in spite of all the pet peeves! I couldn’t get past the “Woah, who is this Jane?” lol But for me, the best part is that Lisbon didn’t seem really surprised: guess that is what she saw in him all along, behind the childlike façade….

    I also agree about the married vibe of digging in Lisbon’s leftovers. Poor Jane was hungry after coming back from the interview with the mother and we know he isn’t especially picky with leftovers and hygiene (helping himself with belladonna tea left on a plate in the sink for instance), but he doesn’t actually share food with anybody else… It’s interesting that when they were coming closer last season he invited her to share ice-cream in a date-like moment the writers also sneaked in, while this time, once they more or less mended fences after the debacle with Lorelei, the corresponding scene is more low-key, casual and definitely homey. I don’t know if it was deliberate, but it seemed more intimate indeed.

    (Thanks for sharing that great comment, JustMe!)

  • windsparrow

    Only one way to find out, and that is to keep watching…. 🙂

  • zee

    Just Me and Violet,

    Jane matured this episode alright! I can’t remember in which season or episode but Jane seems to the type of person messing with Lisbon’s food.

    1.There’s the dunking of her tea to “craft” an evidence to look aged ..

    2. and there’s (At First Blush), where he pounced on Lisbon’s sandwich.

    For him to politely ask if she’s done with her meal this time, now that’s progress 😀 !

  • bloomingviolet2013

    “First, I hated the scene where Jane cold reads Volker. It seemed very contrived. The sole purpose of Volker being there was to give Jane a chance to make that speech. They already did the “Volker goes to Lisbon’s office to intimidate her” scene in the prior episode. It was interesting the first time, the second time not so much.”

    There was a nuance in that scene that added to the character in my opinion: Volker made it a public scene this time. He didn’t “respectfully” wait in her office nor uttered a more “personal” threat like last time. No, he did it in a public place, in front of her team and her coworkers. It was public humiliation alright: he wanted to add shame to her professional failure and undermine her position as well as her authority over her team (little did he know that was useless…). Actually, I may be reading too much into it, but it seems that his eagerness indeed betrayed him. He couldn’t hide as well as last time behind the confident creepy suaveness and the fake affability: he showed his hand in coming into the bullpen, that’s why Jane’s cold reading could work. He wouldn’t have been so eager to assert more forcefully his power over Lisbon by pretending to gloat if he wasn’t covering up for a very real fear of her.

    (And thanks for your kind words, P, they’re very much appreciated! 🙂 )

  • JustMe

    But he actually asked this time…:D

    Actually he was adult with everything, his interactons with Lisbon were really adult. The reason I liked the scene where he was going through the depositions with her was because he was being supportive of her. He didn’t try to stop her or irritate her into quitting, he just sat down to help and didn’t pull any games. The food was an afterthought but again how it was done was “intimate” for lack of a better word. He wasn’t using it to goad her into doing what he wanted as was the past experience. He was genuine and mature.

    Obviously my Skills with language are desserting me at present as whatever I wish to say seems to be unable to convey the appropriate feeling I saw.

    And yes, Jane is a “grazer”… LOL 😉

  • bloomingviolet2013

    Thanks, Zee! 🙂
    I think the vase was meant to show how the place was vacated in a hurry as well as providing Lisbon with an opportunity to crash something. But yeah, it was a bit too much, you’re right! 🙂 Guess they could have conveyed it with one or two white paper sheet scattered on the floor, but Lisbon repeatedly stomping her foot over them in anger would have been a little less… poignant, lol!

    About the monkey, I’d have to watch it again, I confess the moment was lost on me! I also don’t know about Anabelle, I wonder if they aren’t planning to just drop the matter as they are prone to do when a case is closed at the end of an ep: the rest is up to the viewers’ deductions.

  • zee

    Hahah, don’t let the monkey coerce into watching again! ;D

  • bloomingviolet2013

    Thanks for this interesting comment and your kind words, Rita! I agree with everything: Jane’s “manipulation” is surely based on that kind of intention, albeit with someone like him it’s still always a bit difficult to be certain that there is only one motivation when he does something … Also, your take on Lisbon’s reservations about getting Volker’s DNA is rather plausible and would fit with that theory too (Lisbon not used enough to think outside the box without a little incentive). And glad to have someone who enjoyed the ep too! 😉

  • bloomingviolet2013

    Lol!
    Monkeys are just too hard to resist: must… watch… again… must… watch… 😉

  • bloomingviolet2013

    Very interesting discussion: to be fair about Volker not killing Annabelle nor Lisbon, it seems that our bad guy only killed people when he couldn’t overpower them. Otherwise he would have killed Amanda ever since he sensed she was suspecting what truly happened at the village and was uncomfortable with it; it would have been a more careful way to handle things instead of letting her meet Lisbon while keeping an eye on her (what he obviously did). So I may be reading too much into it, but I wonder if threatening those women (Amanda, Annabelle and Lisbon) wasn’t part of the fun, like he enjoyed frigtening his henchman on the phone before killing him too. If we are to follow that logic then, Annabelle knew things indeed, she might even have some proof (I vaguely recall a tape mentioned or something like that, am I wrong? Didn’t check it…), but she was obviously afraid of him, so he thought she was a safe bet and he could still revel on the power he had over her. With Lisbon, I don’t know: he threatened her career indeed, but I don’t know if he really planned to go through with those threats or if he planned to play with fire a bit more before organizing another accident like he did with the journalist. One way or another, Windsparrow is right and both things may have taken some time to still be credible and not to attract (too much) suspicion.
    (And I mention this in passing since that aspect hasn’t been really dwelled in on screen, but following the parallel with RJ and Jane, and given how Volker seemed attracted to Lisbon when they first met, I wonder if he didn’t spare her too because she played a special part in his plans: that “nemesis” thing can work both ways; it’s possible in my humble opinion that the “kind of love” RJ feels for Jane might have a corresponding element in the way Volker made it personal with Lisbon, coming to her in her personal space/office to assert his domination instead of doing it in his own office. That may explain why he didn’t killed her too, just like RJ has been waiting and experimenting with Jane, revelling in the way he’s still always one step ahead on him. And yes, I may be over reading into all this… ;))

    Anyway, thanks a lot for that thought provoking comment, Estatica!

  • zee

    No worries JustMe, your language skills was crystal in the first comment. I was just adding on how the writers extended “Adult Jane” into his “grazing” habits as well 🙂

  • jennyison

    Brenda…when we first saw Brenda this season, she looked much more put together than in previous seasons. Her hair was stunningly beautiful, as opposed to earlier seasons as well as her clothing; much more well-dressed & put together. And she had a directness and purpose to her dealings/threats to Lisbon as of late; not the much more timid personality we’ve seen previously with the feel of a subordinate. Something in her has changed…I believe she is working for and following Red John. I’ll go ahead & put it out there that my latest theory is that Kirkland is Red John. I was wondering, have any of you noticed Brenda’s change in disposition & appearance?

  • JustMe

    No worries Zee. I guess I would be more worried if he didn’t randomly eat… 🙂

  • thebeatboy

    Hi there !!1 =DD Another great review. A job well done !!! One of my favorite scenes was when Jane took the piece of paper and sat down to brainstorm with Lisbon. Another was when Jane warned Volker not to be sure of himself and that he should indeed be afraid of them.

    I cant wait to see what happens next.

    I also wanted to mention the great job that was done on the art work by Chibi!!! It was Awesome!!!!

    XDD

  • C Hill

    “I hope that part of the point of the arc, as you all have indicated, is that Jane has learned that Lisbon can be more of an asset in his Red John quest.”

    and jane has helped build that asset.

    i love these reviews but hate the time it takes to create each one! 🙂 let’s just say i’m eagerly anticipating the next.

  • bloomingviolet2013

    Thanks for your kind comment, Thebeatboy! Those were my favorites too! 😉

  • thebeatboy

    It`s my Pleasure !!!! ;- ) 😉

  • Joseph Bloggs

    Are they really going to try and squeeze out a sixth season of The Mentalist? If so, will they stick with the new-found direction they have had in season five? Or will they slip back into providing us with cheesy, Scooby-Doo-like story lines?

  • bloomingviolet2013

    Yes, there will hopefully be a sixth season: I don’t think Jane will manage to figure out who RJ is, outsmart, trick and catch his nemesis and his FBI(/CBI?) mole(s) and dismantle the whole network, all in the less than half season that’s left. As to what it will be made of, we can only guess. I suppose there will be a bit of both, as usual: maybe a stronger RJ flavor overall but the “Scooby-doo-ey” stand alone episodes may probably still be here, I guess (I hope).
    Why worry about it the show seems to be doing fine and the storyline isn’t even rushed? 😉

  • C Hill

    “I especially liked that Chizuru Chibi drew Lisbon slightly ahead of her partner: the fact that Lisbon was indeed faster than Jane was hilarious! After all, the only moment we saw him take some exercise recently was when he jumped over that fence in ‘Black Cherry”, lol! (Now that I think about it, I also wonder if some of the “thriller”/action packed aspect of the episode wasn’t somehow a tribute to action-cop Lisbon too: can’t imagine them running that desperately to get one of Jane’s bad guys. No, Jane’s enemies hide in limos, that way he doesn’t have to run, just ride a bike during some minutes… 😉 )”

    remember in the beginning of “ruddy cheeks”? nice lookback here perhaps? there jane got the jump on libson in running from the “tiger”.

  • Manda

    Loved the review, Violet and Reviewbrain! Also, the comments had some really good points 🙂

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