CBI Consultant Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) abandons working on the Red John case when he learns that Agent Lisbon’s (Tunney) newest case involves fellow Agent J.J. LaRoche’s (Pruitt Taylor Vince). LaRoche asks for Jane personally and he quickly finds out why: a tupperware box in LaRoche’s safe, whom only Jane knows can ruin the man, was stolen from his safe. The culprit is using the box’s contents to blackmail LaRoche (Pruitt Taylor Vince) into giving up a leak he is investigating in CBI. Jane’s help to find the culprit and retrieve his box before the 24 hours he was given to end his investigation is over.
Leading up to the finale, Red and Itchy is an episode with sublime writing and acting, intriguing recurring guest stars, a fan favorite mystery revealed, continuity, stirring character moments, beautiful music, fantastic direction, nice Jane…it’s winning attributes are quite endless. Plenty of episodes this season moved me beyond belief but two in a row, ones that were so good it hurts…..sigh. I love this show. 10/10.
Detailed (AKA HUMUNGOUS) Review (spoilers galore)
PRUITT TAYLOR VINCE. PRUITT TAYLOR VINCE!!!!!
This really was an all around perfect episode, but I won’t pretend that much of my elation was due to the fact of seeing one of my favorite actors and characters on the show depicted in a way that portrayed him to be what I always believed him to be. Unless I am being horribly led on, Red and Itchy completely vindicated my soft-spot for LaRoche and all the conclusions I ever made about him as well as Jane’s opinion regarding his character.
Speaking of vindication, it was also nice to see compassionate Jane make yet another appearance, to vindicate him from always being labelled as a jerk. Everyone knows Jane is a kind person in theory, but seeing him in action is always a wonderful experience. It truly is a joy to see him help people with minimum dosage of pain (since his love is usually of the “tough” variety).
Also, Jane’s often times misunderstood/miss received “help” is at times motivated by mixed purposes. But unequivocally altruistic intentions are not so often the drive behind his exertions. And if they are, then his implementation of them can at times leave much to be desired. Thankfully, not a single of these drawback’s exists here. I’ll always find Jane’s softer more compassionate side the most irresistible aspect of his character.
LaRoche, Jane and Lisbon; Friends? a Recap
In the Bloodstream episode review, I’d stated:
Jane’s proximity to J.J is probably part of a conscious strategic decision. If the man is guilty, then Jane has a better opportunity to find out. And if he is innocent, then it can only be beneficial for Jane to be close to someone as smart (and now, as powerful) as LaRoche…..Finally, perhaps Jane is spends time with LaRoche because he sees him as an actual friend. I liked when in the previous episode Jane told him “are we kids or what?” Obviously, he just said it to get the man’s guard down, but you also get a feeling of mutual respect there.
in the Redacted Review…
I don’t care what anyone says. I am positive that LaRoche likes Lisbon (as a colleague at least). Else why would the writers have bothered clarifying that Lisbon’s one week suspension is mandatory? Why would LaRoche have clarified it? And the 6 months anger management classes, while undoubtedly tedious, could just as easily have been ordered out of concern for Lisbon as much as out of anger with her. I am positive that if not for LaRoche’s respect for Lisbon, her punishment could have been much worse. Especially considering how much LaRoche was looking forward to making Culpepper “very sorry” for breaking into his home as he stated earlier on in the episode.
In the Strawberries and Cream Review…
LaRoche dawdles and waits for Jane and Lisbon (who are arguing) to walk away. Only then does LaRoche get in the car. This scene was very cleverly written. Having LaRoche act strangely kept him under suspicion with viewers. Because what explanation could there be for him lingering behind, only to have him happen to kill Gupta and have the reason not be sinister?
.I’ve previously stated that I think LaRoche likes Lisbon (‘Bloodstream’); that he respects her. Also, we know Jane’s been trying to befriend LaRoche. When Jane offered LaRoche a bottle of scotch (Red Queen) LaRoche was visibly moved…I contend that LaRoche now likes both Jane and Lisbon and wants to befriend them but doesn’t know how. He just seems like such a misunderstood and awkward character that has a hard time having normal interactions with people. His hanging around could be because he simply enjoys being in their presence. Who can blame him? Their banter is always fun….A more serious possibility is that LaRoche was more interested in what they were saying. Lisbon was admonishing Jane for disobeying her order to leave, saying that it is her responsibility to keep him alive. I have a feeling that Lisbon’s sense of responsibility for Jane will be a huge theme in season four. And the fact that LaRoche heard her struggle with Jane’s insubordination will probably tie into that as well… what is undeniable is the look of pure interest made obvious because of the forced disinterest on LaRoche’s face as he listens to Jane and Lisbon’s banter. Pruitt Taylor Vince was remarkable in this scene. Initially he makes LaRoche suspicious and then endearing in retrospect. He truly is a joy to watch.
…also in Strawberries and Cream
Jane is amused at LaRoche appealing to his (questionable at best) sense of responsibility. He laughs and says “I love you.”
-BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was right! Jane likes LaRoche!
Ahem. Never mind Jane probably just appreciates how simple LaRoche’s black and white ethics are (no doubt they make him easier to read) I genuinely believe he likes the guy. LaRoche’s reaction to Jane’s statement that he loves him is priceless. Like he doesn’t know whether to be pleased or scared; if Jane’s mocking him or if he’s being sincere.
Jane, seeing that he can’t manipulate LaRoche using ambition, goes for something else: fear. Jane tells LaRoche that if he gives him the list, Jane will not only tell him where Hightower is, but will also keep LaRoche’s secret. LaRoche tells Jane he could arrest him. But Jane says he won’t or he’ll reveal what’s in the box. LaRoche seems shaken and tells Jane “That is private” Jane responds that “it” should be, bluffing since he doesn’t really know what’s inside, adding that he’d love to help LaRoche keep his secret. The man finally yields under the threat and writes down the name of the suspects. But before he gives it to Jane he tells him, not unkindly, “You’re a fascinating man, Patrick. Who knows what you might have achieved in this world were you not quite so damaged.”
J.J’s statement here can only reflect positively on his character. There he is being blackmailed by Jane into doing something against his moral character and work ethic. And instead of being furious with Jane he only seems to feel sympathy, maybe even pity for him.
In the Blood-Feud Review, I stated:
LaRoche is no dummy. He probably knew perfectly well that Jane called Rigsby and Lisbon is just protecting him by claiming she did. I see his refusal to acknowledge this truth is his way of succumbing to her wishes to protect her team. I’m just not sure why. Perhaps, like Hightower before him, he hopes Jane will behave better if he realizes that Lisbon will be held responsible for his actions.
LaRoche: Agent Lisbon, your instincts to protect your team are admirable, and your biggest flaw.
We have it in canon that this guy loves Lisbon (who doesn’t?). He got upset when she insulted him (Bloodstream) and he gave her a hug (Little Red Book). His statement here truly seemed like he was trying to look after her, protect her from herself. I find his behavior admirable, and not just because it annoyed Jane…
Jane: Yes, well we all have our flaws. Don’t we agent LaRoche?
Jane’s statement here is a not so subtle reminder to LaRoche that he knows a horrible secret LaRoche has (Strawberries and Cream) and his way of telling LaRoche his advice is not wanted. Jane does not want anyone influencing Lisbon and/or his relationship with her. It makes me wonder how he’d react if she ever gets a boyfriend.
Perhaps this threat is the reason why we never saw LaRoche make more attempts to befriend Lisbon…or Jane, for that matter. But it felt like Jane wanted to make amends since (later in this season) he enlisted LaRoche’s help on a case (Behind the Red Curtain). Unfortunately that pure emotion might have gone over J.J’s head since Jane had to bring up his blackmail material once more to get J.J. to cooperate. It sort of nullified his statements of “Trust me, you’ll have fun.” And “J.J. You have to live a little. You spend your days chasing paper clip fees. When do you ever get the chance to nail a killer?”
But despite the successful cooperation in that episode, Itchy and Red shows that J.J. still felt/feels ill-used by Jane, despite Jane’s honest attempts to disabuse him of that (not quite unreasonable) notion.
Let’s take it from the top….
Teaser: Jane Willingly Leaves the Attic
Lisbon knocks on Jane’s door. He yells out “I’m busy!” Lisbon says she’s been trying to get him on the phone and demands he opens the door. Jane does so quite unwillingly. We learn why when Lisbon asks if his RJ suspect board has him any closer to getting to Red John. Jane replies: “I don’t know I keep getting interrupted. What I need is radio silence for a week Lisbon, if you can.”
-I was struck with how irritated Jane sounded here. It’s a stark contrast from the last episode when he tells Lisbon “Anything for you.” Methinks perhaps Lisbon has been calling Jane out on cases because she worries about him up there alone in the attic. And Jane’s irritation might stem from the fact that this (unnecessary, in his opinion) worry is getting in his way of making real progress.
Lisbon tells Jane: “The dead body in LaRoche’s house won’t wait that long.” Jane replies in surprise “J.J’s?” Lisbon concurs when she tells him that he asked for him specifically. Jane quickly follows her out the door.
-The difference between Lisbon and Jane’s reference to the Head of Professional Standard’s Unit is quite telling and in character. We’ve heard Lisbon refer to many of her colleagues by first name (Osvaldo, Bob, Madeline) but unless my memory fails she never called LaRoche by his first name. It goes to show that despite my (and probably Jane’s) suspicions that LaRoche likes Teresa, she still hasn’t warmed up to him completely. Mores the pity. I was hoping the hug the man had given her ( Little Red Book) would have clued her into the man’s regard. But it looks like it might have just weirded her out. Poor man.
In contrast, Jane calling LaRoche by his first name, suggests more friendly feelings on his part, as does the fact that he instantly left what he was doing to help out on the case, despite just demanding to be left alone.
More clues to the friendship are found when they reach La-Roche’s house. To my delight, Jane says “Oh, they hit the Hummels” commenting on the figurines he knows LaRoche loves to collect (Red Queen) before asking with genuine concern “Is LaRoche okay?”
Sigh. I totally ship JaRoche friendship.
Jane later makes his way to the ambulance where J.J. is waiting to talk to him before he goes to the hospital. Jane greets him by his first name commenting that he noticed the man bought a new safe, but that it wasn’t safe enough. J.J. asks the paramedic to leave them before telling “Mr. Jane” that he’ll cut to the chase.
-The fact that J.J. addresses Jane so formally clues us in to his idea of the relationship’s status: purely professional. Also, the cordiality hints of timidness and humbleness. Perhaps it’s due to the favor he’s going to ask Jane, or it might be due to being under Jane’s control for so long…
LaRoche tells Jane that he wasn’t honest with Rigsby. While he told him the thieves he surprised didn’t take anything, they in fact stole the tupperware box from his safe. Jane says he figured.
-Probably, when Jane didn’t see the box in the safe, he concluded that it was the target of the burglary. Perhaps he’d even guessed it was the reason for the crime the instant he heard the man’s house was broken into again.
LaRoche tells Jane he thought he was the only one who knew of its existence, but that after the remaining thief left he found a note in the box’s place “drop the case, you have until tonight”. He then explains to Jane that he’s being blackmailed into forgoing an investigation he’s working into a security leak at CBI. LaRoche then adds “you know what will happen if they unseal that box.” Jane replies “I do.”
-Of course regular viewers will be amazed at Jane’s ability to lie since we know he has no idea what’s inside, just that such a box exists and that he himself once blackmailed LaRoche, bluffing to reveal its contents.
LaRoche replies “of course” with a knowing tone. Here Jane is compelled to say “I didn’t take that box.” LaRoche then states “I know that, Patrick. It’s your favorite blackmail device” and attempts to win Jane to his cause by saying “Your puppet mastery of me ends if its contents become public knowledge.” Here, again, Jane clarifies “I never thought of you as a puppet,” to which LaRoche sadly replies “You ever thought of me as a friend?”
Aw! PTV totally broke my heart here. And probably Jane’s as well. Baker’s concerned empathetic face is a beautiful, beautiful sight to behold. But he doesn’t reply to LaRoche’s question. Perhaps it’s because, while he does like LaRoche (I do not doubt that for a second) his motives in getting to know him were not quite so altruistic in the beginning (he suspected him of being an RJ mole). Or maybe Jane is simply shocked that despite LaRoche butting heads with Jane, the man is tacitly admitting that Jane’s friendship was something LaRoche would have sincerely valued, had he felt confident he had it.
And just to make things more heartbreakingly awkward, J.J., barely able to keep his composure, tells Jane “this is difficult to ask”. At Jane’s (encouraging) expectant silence, LaRoche adds “I need your help. Please.”
Sniff. I think it was Mary who once coined LaRoche as being “creepy but fluffy” on this blog. But now he’s just plain fluffy. He looks like a poor sick mutt.
Jane is quite stricken. It’s so wonderful to see him so touched, even more because it’s completely in character. We know that nothing moves Jane like honesty. And trust. So how can he remain unaffected by the man’s request here? He can’t. He isn’t, and is quick to reassure LaRoche that he’ll find his box.
-Baker’s tone here was so irresistibly kind that millions of fans melted into the floor.
LaRoche tells him, “I would appreciate that. As would my mother.” Before telling the paramedics that they can take him to the hospital now. Jane quickly takes the hint and leaves the poor afflicted man to try to collect himself in private.
-And any fans who managed to remain solid after hearing Jane’s husky voice had no chance against seeing PTV barely suppressed tears of pain and gratitude.
Lisbon then joins Jane as the ambulance takes off to ask Jane “So what’s in the tupperware box?” Jane honestly replies “I don’t know.”
Lisbon’s question is continuity to the fact that Jane had told her about the box’s existence when he used it to blackmail LaRoche into giving him his suspect list (strawberries and cream). But her question here lets us know that she noticed no such box was in LaRoche’s safe and was insightful enough to figure out why the PCU head asked for Jane personally on the case.
Jane asks Lisbon to help LaRoche
Jane recaps to viewers how he originally came to find out about the box’s existence, and how Lisbon had to endure 6 months of anger management classes to keep LaRoche from finding out Jane had hired a man to break into the man’s apartment. He then tells her that the box’s contents might end J.J’s career and asks her to have Rigsby and Van Pelt to try to find out what’s inside it to help him. Lisbon replies: “Our job is to catch the criminal that got away, not protect some CBI agent who might be dirty.”
Poor LaRoche. If readers weren’t convinced by her refusing to use the man’s first name basis in the teaser that she didn’t care for him, then her being so unconcerned about his plight here is more than enough evidence. Perhaps her lack of empathy comes from the fact that the man had previously tried to warn her from protecting her team; something her motherly instinct must resent. Then there’s also the fact that J.J. had been the one to assign Lisbon the detested anger management classes. Although, in retrospect, I can’t but help wondering if they are what had her handle Jane’s Vegas stint/Lorelie affair as well as she did. Anyone else probably would have flown off the handle…
Jane seems disappointed with Lisbon’s stance, as hinted by his “so much for the anger management training” comment. He then tries something else; he tells her that if they find out LaRoche’s secret it will lead them to the missing criminal. Lisbon, always the voice of reason asks Jane why he just doesn’t ask LaRoche. Jane explains “It’s embarrassing and deeply personal”. Lisbon then asks “and it’s in tupperware?”to which Jane replies “Yes, how can you not want to investigate?”
How not indeed?!
In the Strawberries and cream Review, I had said:
Jane later tells the team that for his bluff to have worked so well, LaRoche must be hiding something horrible. I think, given how melancholy LaRoche’s demeanor and his statement to Jane, what LaRoche is hiding is something very sad. And that his statement that Jane is “damaged” means that he can’t believe Jane would threaten him with something so sad. Because while LaRoche may not know Jane very well, he should know Jane has no problem using people’s faults (mistakes) against them. I think he’d only be so affected (almost disappointed?) if what Jane threatened him with was something he thought Jane could understand. A keepsake maybe, of a lover or a family member?
When LaRoche mentioned that he and “his mother” appreciated Jane’s help, my mind instantly surmised that the contents might have been her ashes, or something similar. We later find out that the item in the box was kept around the same time as a tragic event in his life: his mother was assaulted and raped, and later took her own life due to the trauma. But that wouldn’t explain why he would have a fear of the contents discovered. Also, in a later scene, something he says to Jane establishes the idea that the contents must be truly horrible, as Jane said in the season three finale…
LaRoche explains the Leak
LaRoche tells Jane that he’s suspected a mole for months now because too many high profile suspects were evading arrests. When Jane tells LaRoche that he hadn’t noticed anything, the latter replies: “That’s because you stop at nothing to close cases for your team.” Jane, pleased, replies “Why thank you,” LaRoche then continues “Other CBI Agents, they have principles.”
-Snap! LOVE LOVE LOVE LaRoche. I also love how the banter recalls the “are we kids or what” statement (Red Queen). We know these two like to verbally spar together. But in this case Jane didn’t seem to derive as much pleasure from it. He replies to LaRoche’s jab into his work ethic, by telling him: “I leaned into that one”. Could it be, just like LaRoche cares about Jane’s friendship, Jane actually cares about what LaRoche’s opinion of him. I honestly think so. Despite differences of opinion, there was always a mutual respect between these two.
In case regulars didn’t guess who the leak was from the fact that Rebecca Wisosky, the actress that portrays Brenda was guest starring in this episode, LaRoche soon tips us off. He explains to Jane that CBI was going to bust into the warehouse of a drug lord, Miguel Leva, only to find the incriminating cocaine disappear before their arrival. Another rich suspect, Tommy Vokler (Little Red Corvette) was always ahead of Jane and Lisbon. Once he was caught LaRoche discovered that he had a secret cell phone and had gotten calls from CBI. Hence, LaRoche’s belief that a CBI employee is on the take.
-Regulars will no doubt remember that Brenda, the CBI’s head of PR was the one who kept providing Vokler with info on the case.
Jane tells LaRoche that at least he has a suspect; whoever is blackmailing him is the leak and once they find hi he’ll be safe. When LaRoche expresses doubt that it can be done before the deadline he was given to stop his investigation, Jane then reassures LaRoche: “Like you said I’ll stop at nothing.”
The two then have the following conversation:
LaRoche: ”You know what’s in that box, Patrick. What do you think of me?”
Jane: You’re going to have to be more specific.
LaRoche: Am I a monstrosity to you?
Jane: “A monstrosity? No. I mean, you’re interesting and complex.
“ And obviously creative. Tupperware.”
LaRoche: “Well, I suppose that’s true. I’ve been afraid to ask that until now.”
Gold. Gold. Gold. Gold. LaRoche’s question, Jane’s clever answer to hide his ignorance, and how quick he was to quell LaRoche’s fears in spite of that ignorance was so very intriguing.
First, LaRoche’s acknowledgment that he feared what Jane might think of him, is evermore proof that he actually cares about Jane. What other proof of regard is needed other than caring about what a person thinks about you?
Second, this fear might be another reason why, after the events of Strawberries and Cream, LaRoche (apparently) kept away from Jane. If he thought Jane knew what was in the box, he could only assume Jane would have researched his past to connect the dots. And if Jane was blackmailing him over revenge of such a tragic event as had happened to his mother, then that would certainly explained the “damaged” comment LaRoche had said to Jane in S&C. It would also explain LaRoche’s later keeping Jane at arm’s. He was afraid of him, both revealing his secret and his possible ill opinion of J.J. After finding out about that secret. PTV was fantastic here, portraying this new (insecure!) side of LaRoche.
As was Baker. Jane’s reactions and tone were phenomenal. As were his facial expressions. At LaRaoche’s queary, the actor’s expressive expression gave insight into the mentalist’s thought process: he sensed inherently the man’s need for compassion and didn’t hesitate one second in reassuring him, despite not knowing what horror, what “monstrosity” might lie in that plastic box, that he didn’t think he was a monster.
I think, for the first time, Jane realized that he may have more in common in this man than sharp intellect and the ability to get under people’s skin.
LaRoche Start to Panic
Once Jane finds out where the plastic box was left for J.J.’s blackmailer to find, he immediately calls LaRoche to find it. To their disappointment, they find that the box was already taken from the park which was the drop-off point. Then LaRoche sees a man with a plastic container and threatens him at gun-point into giving it up. Jane tells the (as it turns out later) innoncent man “He’s usually very calm I’d do what he says” and checks the box to find out it only has a young kid’s lunch. LaRoche is appropriately apologetic, tells Jane his time is running out, and thanks him for his help.
-The moment was important to see just how desperate LaRoche was to get his box back. It also explains why Jane is helping LaRoche: he says he’s like a puppy that’s rolled onto its back: “You have to rub its belly.” LaRoche accuses Jane of mocking him to which Jane replies: No, no, I’m happy to rub your belly.” Here, LaRoche responds, “That won’t be necessary,” much to Jane’s relief.
I love these two together😄. Also, J.J. looking at his belly as he said the words made me laugh loud.
LaRoche Feels Betrayed by Jane
When Jane figures out that Brenda is his blackmailer and hence the CBI leak, he takes his suspicions to LaRoche. The man concurs that she’s a likely suspect as most information in CBI passes through her. But he adds that it will take him time to build a case against her; time he doesn’t have before she reveals his secret. Jane tells LaRoche he can take her down before then but he needs Lisbon and the team’s help. LaRoche immediately balks at this idea, saying nobody can know about his box. To his dismay, Jane admits that they already do, that he had to tell Lisbon a very valuable container was stolen from LaRoche’s safe. He assures the man, swearing that that he never mentioned it’s contents, but LaRoche is nonetheless upset: “You had no right to reveal its existence at all.” Jane replies simply: “Lisbon is my partner.” The statement only makes LaRoche feel worse: “Allegiances, loyalties. Yes. Of course. What…what was I thinking?”
Awwwww! Poor LaRoche! It’s like he felt, hoped, that Jane would be loyal to him as well, but now feels like a sad idiot for entertaining such thoughts. Despite his awkward attempts, he’ll never be a friend to Jane and/or Lisbon. Jane seems to understands the man’s dejected feelings based on how bad he looks for the man. I can’t remember the last time I saw him so compassionate to someone other than Lisbon.
LaRoche goes on to break my (and Jane’s heart) a little further: “I understand. You and Lisbon, you’re trusted friends. You do what you will, Mr. Jane. It’s what you’ll do anyway,” before walking off like a puppy who’d been kicked in his gut.
Jane feels really, really bad. He goes as far as to say “J.J. Come on, don’t be like that!” but to no avail. The poor, awkward man goes to lick his wounds in private, much to Jane’s consternation, especially since, he truly is trying to help him.
This scene was so, utterly devastatingly beautiful. It made me cry, not just because I felt bad for LaRoche, but in disbelief that I was witnessing such a fantastic character moment. I LOVE character moments. And by two such unbelievably talented people, by two such profoundly deep characters…. Happy tears were shed all throughout this episode. Then as if that wasn’t enough, Neely’s music was there just egging all the emotions on, taking them so much further than on-screen relationships between two adult men usually go.
Jane Presses Lisbon Into Cornering Shettrick
Jane, more motivated than ever to help LaRoche urges Lisbon that they need to move against Shettrick. She’s reluctant due to the lack of concrete evidence against her. She also tells Jane “Have you ever thought that maybe LaRoche’s secret should be known?” Jane’s reply is very intriguing “Endlessly. But I’ve come to the conclusion that whatever happened he had punished himself enough.”
-Jane here was probably debating whether he himself wants to know what’s in the box, since I don’t think the idea of exposing LaRoche ever actually crossed his mind. As to LaRoche having punished himself enough, I think Jane came to that conclusion based on a new understanding as to why LaRoche now is such a die-hard stickler to the rules: trying to make up for his past mistake, he overcompensates by sticking to the rules no matter what. It is probably the reason he is such a misunderstood person and alienated by so many people. Even Saint Teresa doesn’t like him…
Jane then goes on to tell Lisbon that she knows in her gut that Brenda sold her out to Volker. That she almost got an eight year old witness killed (Little Red Corvette) and finishes off his speech saying: “For once in your life Lisbon, don’t be the voice of reason, be the voice of wrath.”
It’s a powerful, powerful statement. It’s followed up nicely by little miss fierce saying: “All right. How do we get the bitch?”
I can’t for the life of me find any reason to fault Lisbon’s stance here. The trap that subsequently ended up capturing Brenda wouldn’t have worked, wouldn’t have had any harm (that I could find) if she had been innocent (unlike some of Jane’s other ideas). It was therefore very satisfying to see her sufficiently lured.
LaRoche regains his Box
When Cho and Rigsby find the tupperware in Brenda’s office, Jane arrives just in time to stop the younger agent from sneaking a peak. He asks Rigsby “Is that yours to open?” The caught agent puts lowers the box.
Jane then returns it to LaRoche, who thanks him for keeping his secret. When the grateful man surmises that Brenda can still bring him down, Jane says that she won’t since she cut a deal with the DA to give up drug lord Leva, and that she won’t talk of the tupperware if LaRoche drops the blackmail charges. At LaRoche’s query on how Shettrick knew of the box to begin with, Jane assumes that she must have asked Culpepper, the thief Jane hired to break into LaRoche’s safe, to give her dirt on the man she wanted to blackmail.
-I liked that an explanation was given for this since this question really would have bothered me.
LaRoche tells Jane that this “concludes our business together” Jane pointedly replies “I certainly hope not.”
I want to hug Jane, so sweet was he here!! Hopefully LaRoche now won’t doubt Jane’s genuine desire for his friendship. We certainly got plenty of hints of their passing time together in Season three. They both could probably use the friendship.
LaRoche then tells Jane that while he appreciates his never asking him why he kept the box, he must have wondered. Jane agrees that he does.
LaRoche then tells him: “I hold this box as a warning. It reminds me to the depths to which a man can sink if he lets himself. And it reminds me of my mother.
-I can’t help but wonder if LaRoche’s interest, warning to Jane is a result of wanting to protect him from sinking to those depths he’s only too aware of.
Jane bids LaRoche farewell.
Jane asks Lisbon to Leave him Alone
As Jane heads into his attic, Lisbon asks if he looked into the box. Jane replies: “And violate the man’s privacy?”
-Okay, since when does Jane care about people’s privacy? We’ve only seen him so discrete when it is someone he truly cares about (i.e. Lisbon in Red Badge).
Aw, crap. J.J. is gonna die in the finale, isn’t he? Why else would he have been so in focus this season. Note to self, prepare tissues.
Jane then goes on to tell Lisbon “What’s inside the box is of far less significance for me than what the box represents.”
Lisbon won’t leave it alone asking: “I just want to know why you bent over backwards for that man.” Jane, enters his attic, then turns back at the threshold and tells her the following:
“What’s important to know is that a man will go to extreme lengths to find peace. As I must do now.” Lisbon, unaware of the new empathy between J.J. and Jane is understandably confused: “What are you talking about?” Jane replies “Until I come out of this room, I need to be alone, Lisbon alone. No interruptions. No distractions.” Lisbon reluctantly agrees and tells Jane to do what he has to do.
-The difference between Jane’s demeanor at the beginning and at the end of the episode is striking. Here, he is much nicer when asking Lisbon for space. I think perhaps, spending time with LaRoche, who doesn’t appear to have anyone in the world, Jane felt that even Lisbon’s interference in his work is a blessing. I’ve no doubt she does it because she’s worried about him, and he probably appreciates that more now. Not that I doubt he ever did, but the day’s events might have served as a reminder.
The secret is revealed…or is it?
Grace tells Lisbon that she found the address of LaRoche’s mom’s rapist. Lisbon tells her to forget it since Jane is busy and the case is over, but when she learns that the perp, Scott Saynay, lives with his mom, Lisbon is intrigued and pays them a visit. The mother is shocked when Lisbon tells her she wants to ask her son some questions: she reveals that her son is mute: a man broke into Scott’s apartment nine years ago, gave him a sedative and cut out his tongue. She tells Lisbon that the police never caught the man or ever discovered why the crime was committed, nor did they ever find his tongue.
-Woah. I guess we finally know what’s in LaRoche’s box: the tongue of his mother’s attacker. And yet, something doesn’t sit right with me.
The choice of taking out Saynay’s tongue, as opposed to other body parts seems strange and I scoured the episode in search of an answer. Here are some possible clues I found:
-Earlier in the episode Rigsby said that Saynay was on anti-depressants the night he attached LaRoche’s mom.
-We were also told that the only evidence found that Saynay was the perp is LaRoche’s mother’s blood on his clothes. Again, there seemed to be a specific reason for giving us this knowledge.
Could it be that LaRoche took revenge in his own hands because he feared Saynay might plead instanity/lie on the stand and therefore successfully withstand the trial? Did he not want to risk the man getting an “innocent” verdict?
What if Saynay is innocent and his tongue was cut out, as opposed to any other body part, to prevent him from ably defending himself in court?
Could it be that the blood evidence was planted?
I know I’m veering into conspiracy territory here and I’m loathe to suspect LaRoche of more than what we’re being asked to conclude here, I just can’t shake off the weird vibe I got at the end. I blame the look/demeanor of the actor that was chosen for the role of Saynay. He doesn’t look like a sick or evil rapist. He looks like a broken boy. I guess that might be a natural result of incurring LaRoche’s vengeance; he has to live mute forever as payment for his terrible crime. But what if his demeanor is actually that of an innocent man who suffered unfairly? I know what I should think: the obvious conclusion which, based on Lisbon’s smile of comprehension she came too as well. But something just feels off somehow.
Speaking of Lisbon, under the disturbing circumstances, I might have been a bit surprised (disturbed?) by her amusement, except I am positive it was mostly ironic due to finding out something Jane doesn’t know (thought he probably guessed as much) and at the fact that Robo-cop LaRoche, whom is even more by the book than she is, had veered off the law so terribly in the past.
“You know we can have someone handle the dog.” Lisbon, to Rigsby, on his holding LaRoche’s dog.
“Oh yeah, I know,” Rigsby in reply to the above, holding on more tightly to the gorgeous white fluffy animal. Of course Rigsby loves dogs.
“I hope you learned something.” Jane, to Lisbon, when she recalled the anger management classes. Lisbon’s light smack, coupled with a beautiful smile to let Jane know she was only kidding, is the closest thing we’ve ever gotten to her flirting with Jane. Not that I’m saying she is, here. Pity Jane was too intent on LaRoche’s case to notice. He reaction might have been telling.
“Tupperware is never handy, it’s always in the wrong drawer.” Rigsby, to Lisbon.
“And when you do find it the lid’s always missing.” Grace, in reply to the above.
“Right? I hate that.” Rigsby, again, in reply to the above. I love how this short exchange hints at Grace and Wayne’s newly on relationship. They’re just so in tune, which shows how much they’ve matured as opposed to their bickering spats when they had a relationship before.
“Since when do we attend autopsies?” Lisbon, to Jane. Since the pilot, dear Lisbon.
“I’ll take your word for it.” Lisbon, to the coroner, declining to see something in the body. It’s intriguing to see how Lisbon here isn’t shy about showing her disgust, as opposed to professional Lisbon in the pilot, all professionalism in front of Jane (more of a colleague, less of a friend at the time). I’m more inclined to think it shows that she’s less uptight around Jane than to think it a lack of continuity.
“You’re father was losing the use of his hands he needed help so he taught everything he knew to the woman he trusted most.” Jane, to the victim’s daughter, on how her mom knows how to open safes. The line seems like a pretty good explanation for Jane constantly wanting to teach Lisbon his methods as well.
“Oh, Lisbon it doesn’t matter what was inside. The exciting part is the mystery of not knowing. It’s what makes the journey memorable.” For a nosy man like Jane this entire line seems like a load of crap. I’m thinking he said it to prepare Lisbon for the fact that she’ll never find out (not from him anyway) about what is in LaRoche’s box.
“Sacramento’s most eligible singles? Or should I say sexy spinsters of Sacramento. –Jane’s inquiry on what Lisbon is being interviewed for. I guess it could be possible that it was Brenda Jane was flirting with, but I don’t think so. especially considering the previous episode. I think his statement here is continuity on how Jane is making increasingly suggestive remarks regarding Lisbon, and how, while not encouraging him, she isn’t exactly shying away from him either. I remember asking this before (and being outvoted), but I can’t help wondering, again, if the writers want to prepare us for the fact that a Jane/Lisbon romance will (has already been) established off screen…
“Let me do what I do. You do what you do. Whatever that is.” Brenda, to Jane, when he challenges the point of Lisbon’s interview. Baker and Tunney’s shared amused glance at the jab was great fun.
“LaRoche is pressed for time, we’re doing fine,” Lisbon, in reply to Jane’s statement that they’re pressed for time. Again, it’s interesting to see how more vested Jane was to help LaRoche than Lisbon is.
“Trading favors and inside information to anyone who’d have you…Just another political phony on the take. Baa.” Jane’s powerful soliloquy explaining Brenda’s motives, making the noise of a sheep at the end, mocking her earlier statement of suspects being sheep taken to the slaughter by showing her that she’d turned into one long ago. Baker showing his characters merciless derision here was a fantastic contrast to the empathy Jane had shown for J.J. throughout the rest of the episode.
Icings on the Cake
J.J’s dog doesn’t like Lisbon. Maybe she’s jealous of her?
Karl Sonnenberg looks very imposing and photogeneic. Truly loving all the screen time he’s been given.
Lisbon telling Brenda that she didn’t read blogs, and Shettrick telling her that she should made me smile.
David Paymer (AKA the San Joaquin Killer) directed this episode. And what a marvelous job he did of it. I loved all the focus he had on the player’s faces. Viewers didn’t miss a single facial expression. Then there was the angle he used to show us Lisbon on camera. I know it turned out that Shettrick was the one watching her, but at first I could swear angle suggests RJ was watching the interview as well.
I’ve already flailed plenty about Simon Baker and Pruitt Taylor Vince. But Rebecca Wisosky was fabulous as well. Especially at the end. Her portrayal of Brenda’s mortification and shame during interrogation, as Jane painted a pitiful picture of her decline into becoming corrupt, was extremely well done.
Tunney was marvelous as well, especially at the end in portraying how hard it was for Lisbon to succumb to Jane’s wishes of being left alone. Worry doesn’t seem to be her main (only) difficulty here of letting go. You can tell that she’s going to miss him as well.
Blake Neely’s music as as emotionally manipulative as ever. What would the show be without it?
I CAN’T CHOOSE THIS IS TOO HARD YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!
Readers, please share your own favorite scenes.
In the comments to the last episode’s review, Pheonixx said something which I not only completely agree with, but saw some evidence of in this episode:
Also wouldn’t it be harder on everyone -when you know you can’t be with someone- to push the person away and not act on your feelings but then you realize this person reciprocates your feelings. If you knew that other person only sees you as a friend that’s one thing but if the possibility of a relationship presents itself, I personally think it’s becoming harder for Jane to stay away therefore he might act even worse.
This theory is supported by Jane’s behavior in this episode. There was a sense of urgency at the beginning when Lisbon interrupted him. His (yelling!) telling her that he’s busy, her not wanting him to be alone, his urging her once more at the end, her relenting (though not easily) to let him to what he has to do….it all seems like the writers are laying a foundation for something. Could it be that now that Jane has real reason to believe Lisbon might actually be returning the depth of his emotions for her, he feels more anxious than ever to catch RJ? Or could it be his fear for her safety is increasing, maybe as a result of their increasing regard?
Then there’s the fact that Lisbon appeared on camera to say the following, as a comment on the break in to LaRoche’s home:
“It’s stark evidence that no law officer is ever truly off duty. We’re all targets. But J.J. chose to be a CBI Agent which is a life of serving other people…”
I wonder if RJ saw Lisbon’s interview. If so, will he be tempted at all to prove to her just how true her statement is.
Then there’s the fact that the reason Lisbon gave the interview is because, as she and Shettrick told Jane: “Bertram wants to put a public face on the LaRoche break in, to assure the public that we are not rattled by criminal attacks on our people.”
Now Shettrick might have been lying. Bertram might never have ordered the interview, she just arranged it because of the access such an interview would give her to LaRoche’s case, without Lisbon ever suspecting her.
But what if the interview really was Bertram’s idea? The idea kept nagging me especially as I researching the past reviews for previous analysis on LaRoche’s character. I ran into previous suspicions raised into Bertram’s character in season three when he, LaRoche, and O’Loughlin were all introduced. I’d always found him and Craig to be more suspicious than LaRoche.
-He quoted a William Blake poem in front of Lisbon (perhaps to ascertain how much info on RJ Jane shared with her).
-He’s the one who told LaRoche about Hightower’s affair with the CHP officer, thus implicating her in the murder of Todd Johnson (Red Queen).
There were other things as well, but those were the main points I remembered. And now, we have Bertram wanting Lisbon (not J.J, who was most involved) go live on air saying that she’s not afraid of attacks. What is going on?
I. SO. CAN’T. WAIT. FOR. THE. FINALE.
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