While Senior Agent Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney) recovers from her altercation with serial killer Red John, CBI second in command Kimball Cho (Tim Kang) investigates the death of Titus Stone (David H. Lawrence XVII) a scientist whose car exploded while he was driving it. Meanwhile, consultant Patrick Jane investigates a possible lead into Red John with some shocking results.
A surprising interesting case, continuity, references to past episodes, some deep layers, new advances in the RJ case, great acting, what more can a fan want? To quote the victim, doomo arigato gozaimasu! 9.5/10.
Detailed AKA Humugous Review (spoilers galore)
Bertram arrives at the scene
Sacramento police tell CBI director Gale Bertram (Michael Gaston) that they got a call an hour ago from Lisbon requesting backup. Once they responded they found the body of forensics expert Brett Partridge and Lisbon down. A frantic Jane is already at the scene yelling for someone to give him a bottle of water which he immediately uses to wipe off RJ’s trademark smiley, which this time was drawn on Lisbon’s face.
-What I loved about this scene is how Bertram looked into the ambulance to see what Jane was doing. It explains how he later knew that Lisbon had been ambushed by RJ. I mean, it’s easy enough to assume that he’d hear about it from the first responding officers, but it was nice to be shown how he found out.
Also nice was the contrast of how hurriedly Jane procured the water, contrasted with how gently he used said it to clean the blood off Lisbon’s face. The reverence of his removal of the smiley recalls the reverence RJ used to draw it and might help explain the killers gentleness: perhaps, out of respect for his nemesis, RJ he was treating Lisbon the same way he knew Jane would.
Lisbon’s Dream/ Nightmare
In what viewers later find out is a dream, we see a jaunty Lisbon enter the office only to be surprised with Gale Bertram painting an RJ smiley with the blood of her dead team members. Other RJ suspects, FBI Agent Reed Smith and ex-CBI agent turned Visualize employee Ray Haffner (Reed Diamond) are also there covered in their victim’s blood.
-Perhaps this sequence shows the three people Lisbon suspects the most- why else weren’t the other suspects (like McCallister and Kirkland) on the list? Another purpose of the scene is to explain why Lisbon later tells Jane she decided to remove the wire taps off the suspects…out of fear for her beloved subordinates.
Lisbon/Jane in the Hospital
When Lisbon wakes up from her dream, horrified, Jane is right beside her assuring her she is safe and completely unharmed. At her disbelief that RJ didn’t do anything to her Jane confides that the killer left his bloody mark on her face.
-I love how well Lisbon takes Jane’s revelation . Rather than freaking out at the killers gesture cool calm Teresa is more interested in what RJ meant by it. Another thing I love is how honest Jane is with her, here, despite (based on Bakers expressive face) how difficult and painful the topic is to him. In keeping with his promise to Lisbon in Red John’s Rules of sharing more, Jane is being completely open rather than misguidedly attempting to protect Lisbon by concealing the truth. Or is he?
Jane takes a stab at guessing what RJ’s intentions were: “He was being playful, ran out of time. Maybe something spooked him and he couldn’t go with his usual routine”.
-Jane’s explanation is perfectly plausible. But it is sort of undermined by his later telling Lisbon “at least he threw you back” when she states that RJ was able to hook her like a fish due to the wire taps; meaning, at least RJ let her go after catching her. I’ll discuss this more in the conclusion…
Lisbon then tells Jane that Partridge say “Tiger Tiger” before he died, from the poem, like what RJ told Jane and asks him what that means. Jane’s reply is “I don’t know.”
-Wow. Jane’s admitted not knowing things in the past two episodes more times than in the last six seasons (especially when it comes to RJ). Loving this honesty streak.
A doctor interrupts the two and asks for “Carmen Lee”; she leaves when Lisbon tells her she’s in the wrong room.
-Jane seemed suspicious of the doctor by how long he stared at the door after she left, and so was I. But if his later leaving the hospital (and Lisbon) is anything to go by, then he must have decided that she didn’t pose any danger.
Lisbon then explores the possibility that RJ actually is psychic because he’s been ahead of them the whole time. And because when he killed Eileen Turner it was like he was erasing a happy memory from Jane’s mind.
-I love how seriously Jane listens to Lisbon’s concern here as opposed to feigning bravado and giving her false reassurances; which was many times his knee-jerk reaction. It’s just more proof of how seriously he’s taking his promise of being more honest and open with her. A good thing because Lisbon’s query leads Jane to search for an answer to her “good question” by calling Sophie Miller, whom regulars will recall was Jane’s psychiatrist after his family got killed (as revealed in Red Brick and Ivy, one of the best episodes EVER ). It’s not hard to imagine his thought process: RJ must have learned about his childhood from her, either by reading Jane’s records or by seeing her in person.
One last point about this scene: Lisbon when saying she’ll tell Grace to remove the wire taps, mentions that they’re completely illegal aside from everything else.
-Lisbon willingly breaking the law without being prompted by Jane shows that when it comes to RJ, she’s not as concerned about being by the book as she used to. Also, seeing Jane with his hands tied made her feel desperate. It’s an interesting role reversal as usually Jane’s the one acting rashly and she’s the one reigning him in.
Jane goes back to Work
At CBI, Grace asks Jane how the boss is, and he answers: “awake and cranky”
I love this response because the way Jane said “cranky” just painted a whole picture for me of Lisbon literally kicking him out of her hospital room. That could explain why he’d willingly leave her side after such a close call. And the word “awake” gave me another image of the team having already had visited Lisbon in the hospital, but that she had been asleep at the time (before she woke up from the aforementioned dream sequence) and after being assured that she was okay, they went back home.
For skeptics, this assumption isn’t just a result of my over-active imagination. First evidence to support the theory is the timeline: The scene of Lisbon being carried off by the paramedics happened right after the victim of the week left the restaurant (we’re later told was around 11:00 p.m). And when Lisbon wakes up Jane tells her it’s “morning sometime”. So there is plenty of time for the team to have come over to the hospital, made sure Lisbon was okay, and be shooed away by Jane when it didn’t seem like she was going to wake up any time soon.
More evidence? The flowers on the bedside table in Lisbon’s hospital room. I doubt Jane would have left her side, risking her waking up without him being there to comfort her, just to buy flowers. On the other hand, the gesture has Van Pelt’s name all over it. She probably got them en route to the hospital. Props are used for a reason, people, and here it’s to show that Lisbon’s had some visitors.
This off-screen visit also explains Cho’s assumption that Lisbon’s going to be released that same day; he knows she’s fine because he saw her.
Finally, we already know that the team loves Lisbon to bits (episode Little Red Book is just one example, there are many others). I’d have to be told that they hadn’t visited her in the hospital before I can believe it as opposed to the other way around.
Gale’s Relief (?)
Gale comes in and gives the team their new case. After they leave to work he asks Jane what he’s doing to which the consultant responds “I’m busy”. Bertram answers “No doubt” before commenting that Lisbon was extraordinarily lucky to have Red John spare her.
-Gale’s Bertram comment and tone here reminded me of his surprise at another one of Lisbon’s close calls: when she had a bomb strapped to her (Strawberries and Cream). In that episode’s review I stated:
Lisbon and LaRoche go to explain the resolution of the bomb case to Bertram, he tells Lisbon: “Well you seem no worse for wear. And I didn’t think it would work out that way to be candid.” Referring to Lisbon being strapped to a bomb vest.
-I am all over this line. First of all, there is no way Bertram could have known about Lisbon’s situation until after it was all over and I assume she then called LaRoche who probably would have called Bertram. But at that point it would have been clear that she was safe. So why did he say “I didn’t think” as if he knew about the situation as it was happening? I guess it could be a blooper. Or it could be that he really did know what was going on; i.e. is another RJ spy.
-Perhaps Bertram’s surprise is that RJ continues to let Lisbon live despite knowing how much she means to his archenemy Jane. Even during her bomb threat, Lisbon wasn’t intended to be killed. She was simply being used to acquire a CD which contained information RJ wanted. Bertram’s continued surprise at Lisbon’s safety hints that he doesn’t know anything about RJ’s plans (if he has any) for her (and/or Jane). This could mean that he’s not close to RJ, but is still involved with him, or that he’s completely innocent of any association with him.
Bertram then asks Jane what she was doing at the house; that when the call came in about the house there was no mention of RJ and or Partridge and wonders at Lisbon going there. Jane tells him she was probably following a hunch. Bertram doesn’t buy Jane’s explanation, iterates his willingness to let Jane’s secrecy slide but reminds him that he has to be there when they catch RJ.
-Again, Bertram’s stance here can either be taken as proof of his being both guilty or innocent. He may want to be kept in the loop to warn RJ (guilty) or he wants to be there to cash in on the good publicity the catch will bring him (innocent).
Cho and Rigsby discuss the RJ suspects
This was a fantastic scene because the two friends say out loud everything the audience must be thinking:
Rigsby: “I think it’s Bertram, we know Red John’s got major juice, he has to given what he’s pulled off. Bertram has more juice than anyone on Jane’s list.”
Cho: “No, Brett Stiles runs a world-wide cult with thousands of followers and billions of dollars of assets.”
Rigsby: “Okay, other than stiles. But Bertram’s on the inside. He can keep an eye on the investigation, hide his tracks. Okay, tell me I’m wrong, go ahead, bring it on.”
Cho: “I don’t think you’re wrong.”
Cho: “It could definitely about Bertram. There’s something creepy about that guy.
Rigsby: “There is something creepy about him.”
Awesome. And to add humor, we have Rigsby mimic a noise of a crowd going wild, cheering because the Cho-man agrees with him. Yeoman is adorkable in this scene while Kang’s subsequent deadpan is just hilarious. On a more serious note, how excited Rigsby is that Cho agrees with him shows how much he respects his colleagues opinion. Nice continuity.
Grace and Wayne : Hotter than Ever?
Grace calls Wayne with an update on the case but before she gets into the details the two share how much they enjoyed each other the night before.
-This isn’t exactly appropriate given the circumstances, but after being reassured that Lisbon is okay, I can imagine these two physically reaffirming their love for each other in the face of the very real danger their knowledge of the RJ suspects has placed them in. More than that, the scene serves as foreshadowing to what (if the spoilers I inadvertently ran into are to be believed) might happen in future episodes. Rigsby getting flustered when some officers walk by and his switching to professional mode also reminds viewers of the “no-dating between co-workers” policy at CBI. I wonder how the two plan on getting around it if they intend on getting more serious about each other.
Ray Haffner visits Lisbon
Ex-CBI agent Ray Haffner visits Lisbon in the hospital. He gets in her personal space by sitting on her bed and whispers conspiratorially “So what happened” trying to cajole her into talking. Lisbon laughs and tells him “Nothing. I scraped my knee.”
-Don’t you just love her?
Ray tells her “I hear you were this close with Red John. That’s some scary stuff, you okay?”
-Okay, what I assume should come across as genuine concern is just setting off my creep-o-meter on fire. I want to physically push him back and yell “Back off, she’s not interested”.
Lisbon is quite composed when she tells Haffner she’s fine, adding “turns out Red John is not so tough he barely laid a hand on me.”
-Oh, crap. I know she’s just trying to get rid of him but don’t jinx yourself Lisbon!
Haffner tells her “good for you” and when she tries to end the visit he asks if he’s making her nervous. Lisbon denies this before asking him why he is here. He responds by asking about how close she and Jane are to catching RJ. Lisbon refuses to answer and asks why he cares. When he says he doesn’t, but that his clients do, Lisbon demands to know why “Visualize” (Brett Stiles’ cult and Haffner’s client) cares. Haffner acts disappointed that he’s not able to get what he wants from Lisbon, saying that he knew she’d act this way but that he came anyway because “I like you Teresa. I really do. And one of these days you and me, we’ll have a time.”
-Again, back off Ray. She’s not interested!
Now, if we are to believe that Haffner’s interest in Lisbon is genuine as opposed to his just wanting to glean information from her, then his attachment opens up some pretty sick possibilities. After all, RJ uses people, gets them to do his bidding by giving them what they want . And some times, what they want are other people (he gave Maya to Sherriff Hardy in Red John’s footsteps).
RJ Kills Sophie Miller
Just in case viewers have forgotten who Sophie Miller is, we are treated to a flashback of Season one episode Red Brick and Ivy where Jane and her were reunited for the first time. And when Lisbon calls Jane as he’s about to go visit her, he asks: “Lisbon, you’re wondering who Sophie Miller is?” to which she responds “She was your psychiatrist after your wife died.”
-Of course Lisbon remembers who Sophie Miller is. I doubt she’d forget Jane confiding in her that he had a nervous breakdown and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital after the loss of his family. It’s one of the earliest expressions of his trust. And I seriously doubt Lisbon would forget seeing Jane kiss Sophie “on the cheek”, a goodbye after they helped exonerate Sophie from a crime she was being accused of. It was a very sweet moment that Lisbon teased him about…
Lisbon figures out Jane thinks RJ found out about Eileen Turner from Sophie. She tells him to call her after he finishes talking with her. Jane explores the woman’s empty house and finds a harmless looking note saying “dinner is in the oven” with a smile under it. Once he checks to see what’s for dinner, he finds poor Sophie’s severed head placed in her own oven.
-This was a big shock and a major bummer. I was really looking forward to meeting Sophie again. I loved the character (and the actress) and found her relationship with Jane very intriguing as it contained some really bittersweet undertones; perhaps she fell in love with her patient or vice versa during their sessions? It would have been so cool to see them together now that any romantic feelings Jane might have are apparently directed towards Lisbon (some may even argue that had always been the case). Alas, we’ll never know. Nor will Lisbon though a later scene shows that she might have had her suspicions…
Meeting Between Sheriff McCallister, Reed Smith, and Bertram
Lisbon calls Jane away from Sophie’s crime scene (one wonders why she didn’t join him, maybe she eventually did?) when she reveals that the monitors Grace had on his RJ suspects, which she had been about to remove, showed three of them convening. Jane doesn’t waste this opportunity and interrupts Gale Bertram’s “joint investigation” meeting with Sherriff McAllister (Xander Berkley) and Reed Smith (Drew Powell) to give him an “update” on the Red John case: his ex-psychiatrist was killed by RJ; his second victim in two days: proof that Jane is closing in on him. Also, RJ made a mistake which Jane found. Agent Smith asks what the mistake was, and Jane says he’d tell him but he always felt that Bertram’s office was bugged. After he leaves, McAllister asks “What the hell was that about” Reed also demands “Exactly how much does Jane know?” Bertram answers “Well that is the question” to what Smith bites “Yes, and it’s your job to know the answer.” Bertram quietly states “I’m doing my best”.
-What’s a mere agent, FBI or not, doing talking to Director Gale Bertram like that? Sorry to disappoint readers, but all I have are questions not answers. But if the scene explains one thing it is Bertram’s “I’m a lot of things to a lot of people” remark to Jane and Lisbon in the previous episode. I feel sorry for the guy. We’ve seen him answer to Homeland security’s Kirkland asking what Lisbon (and Jane?) know, is now being talked down to by Reede (perhaps acting in FBI Head Alexa Shultz stead, but still…), and on top of all that, he’s got Jane’s antics to deal with. If he’s innocent (and I hope he is, I like the guy) then he truly is a man with many headaches indeed; as many as the roles he’s being forced to play.
Jane and Lisbon Reconvene
Lisbon and Jane sit on a bench. She gives him tea, and asks him if he saw any reaction from the three aforementioned suspects that hinted towards any of them being RJ. Jane says no. Lisbon then tells him that she’s sorry about Sophie, that she knows that woman helped him. When a dazed off Jane doesn’t answer, Lisbon (gasp) asks Jane (GASP!) if wants to be alone.
-Lisbon’s awkwardness and willingness to let Jane be, to me, is evidence that she’s not sure what Sophie was to him and how deeply he is grieving for her. I find that terribly endearing.
She needn’t have worried. When she says she’s going back to her office Jane immediately stays her and shares what’s on his mind: “Red John killed Sophie because she could identify him. Now he could have stolen my records without ever seeing her. He must have wanted to meet her to talk to her.”
-So glad Jane brought this up, or it would have been a major peeve of mine.
Lisbon doesn’t drop the ball either asking “why?” to which Jane responds he might have been curious about someone who was close to him. He then adds that RJ had been planning this for weeks, for months. And that he didn’t kill Sophie before now because her death would have tipped Jane off on how RJ knew about Eilleen Turner. Instead, RJ waited until after he issued his ultimatum of “I’m going to kill more and often” to Jane so that he’d just chalk up her death to a random victim in RJ’s newest killing spree. Between the two of them, Jane and Lisbon figure out that RJ must have gone to see Sophie pretending to be a new patient. Lisbon then sends Rigsby over to investigate her files, under the cover of investigating her death.
-I wonder at Lisbon asking Rigsby to do this. My guess is that Cho is busy running the case of the week (he was talking with a witness) and that time is of the essence. Not that there is anything wrong with sending Rigsby. He’s perfectly capable and is more than worthy of Lisbon’s trust.
Sophie’s Description of RJ
Unfortunately, RJ seems to have stolen the file Sophie had on him; Rigsby doesn’t find anything. But before viewers can groan at yet another false lead, we learn that Sophie dictated her notes and Jane already has the recording with him.
Jane and Lisbon listen to the tape together. Sophie describes “J Roth” (RJ’s newest alias) as being:
-A middle aged man in good health with a fear of heights.
-He has no living family but many friends whom he relies on for company and support.
-He is well spoken with a good posture and is self-possessed.
-An excellent whistler.
-Has pleasant self presentation, but with hints of a damaged and narcissistic personality.
-He tells Sophie that he deals well with conflict and adversity easily, but she suspects he is lying.
-She also senses darkness and deception in him but suspects that he truly does suffer some type of phobia.
So we’ve gotten some hints. All I can say is that based on the above description, I doubt Reed Smith is the man in question; he doesn’t exactly fit the “self-possessed” criteria. Also Haffner and McCallister were both shown to be whistlers in this episode. What do you all think?
The winner: Jane and Lisbon at the hospital
This was just such a beautifully quiet intimate scene. Baker and Tunney are both experts of understated acting; they convey great poignancy with very little effort. As well, Blake Neely’s beautifully soft unobtrusive score was, as always, quite perfect.
First runner up: Jane solves the case of the week
First, the revelation that Titus actually killed himself was unexpected, though it was set up quite well. Second, the team work between Jane and Lisbon to entrap Kris was contrasted nicely by how her “partner” abandoned her when he found out that she encouraged their employee’s death to cover up a flaw in their company’s designs. Wonderful writing, wonderful acting by all.
What was your favorite scene?
“I gotta get out of here”. Lisbon, after Haffner leaves, running off before more unwanted visitors ambush her in the hospital.
“How is that progress?” Bertram in response to Jane revealing RJ’s latest homicide. Love Gaston’s wry reading of this line. So funny.
Icings on the Cake
-Rigsby identifying the source of the bomb recalls that he’s an arson expert while Cho figuring out that a drone is the cause reminds viewers that he was in the military. Nice continuity.
-Was that a miniature figure of Kenshin (AKA Samurai X) on the victim’s desk? Seriously? SERIOUSLY? If so this show just reached a new level of cool.
This was a beautifully written episode. Besides everything else I already mentioned, I also liked the message/clue subtly conveyed by the case of the week regarding the RJ plot. But to explain it I have to first talk about the players involved:
Kris Makkena, the victim’s crush and boss. When we first met her she seemed genuinely distraught at Titus’s death. The fact that she later turned out to be the cause, and how completely careless she is of that fact was a complete shock. Of course, credit also goes to the beautiful and talented Paula Marshall who skillfully depicted both the character’s fake and true personalities.
Similarly, the head of the company Elliot’s initial outrage and insistence that Titus was a victim of terrorism seemed to hint that he was a cold person more interested in protecting himself and the company than in the dead scientist. But he turned out to be the more humane of the two as he was completely horrified by the part Kris played in Elliot’s death and wanted nothing to do with her as soon as he found out.
So what’s the message? Things are not always what they seem.
Could it be that, rather than the fact that Bertram, and the men around him are all RJ followers/suspects/minions, they are all in fact working together in a covert operation attempting to capture him? Might they, like Darcy, even actually suspect Jane of working with him?
For the record, my favorite theory comes from the “RJ is mar” or “RJ is man” theory; that is the message left in blood by RJ’s friend/victim Jared Renfrew (Red John’s Friends) who presumably died before he finished writing his dying message. Guessing what he meant to write we have two options depending on if the last letter was an “r” or an incomplete “n”:
1- RJ is married: this fits in with Violet’s theory that RJ is two people. It is also supported by episodes written by Bruno Heller in which the perp was actually a homicidal couple (Red Hair and Silver Tape, Scarlett Ribbons).
2- RJ is many: this supports what we’re being shown: Bertram, Kirkland, Mcallister, and Smith all knowing each other, having private meetings and wondering if Jane (or Lisbon) know anything.
-I loved episode Red Brick and Ivy. The obvious warmth between Sophie and Jane in that episode was really touching to see and I’m sorry that she had to die this way. I’m also sorry that we didn’t get more of a reaction from Jane besides his telling Bertram that she was “a good woman”. On the other hand, Sophie’s office yielded a new clue for Jane so it’s easy to see how his pragmatism would lead him to focus on getting the killer rather than mourn the loss of an old doctor/friend (crush?)
-Despite my explaining away the limited expressions of team love/concern towards Lisbon using all the clues of it having happened off-camera, I still would have appreciated seeing something on the screen. Grace hugging Lisbon after she got out of the hospital (like she did after her bomb scare in S& C) would have been great continuity and a beautiful character moment. I was disappointed we didn’t get that here and there really isn’t any excuse for it. For god’s sake, Lisbon ran into RJ! Unless….could it be that the team doesn’t know that? I mean I assume that they do but it wasn’t mentioned by any of them. Yes Cho and Rigsby discussed Jane’s list of suspects but that was revealed last episode. What they didn’t discuss was why RJ left Lisbon alive. Isn’t that strange? Was it something else that happened off-camera or does the team simply not know? And if they don’t, did both Lisbon and Jane decide to keep this from them for their own safety?
I guess it could be possible. When Bertram talked about Lisbon’s scrape with Jane none of the other team members were in the room. And Haffner probably heard it from Bertram or his RJ knowledgeable associates (i.e. Visualize). Now for the life of me I can’t remember if an RJ smiley was drawn anywhere else in the house where Partridge was killed. If the only obvious clue that RJ killed Partridge was the smiley drawn on Lisbon’s face, which Jane immediately wiped off, then maybe the fact that RJ was the perp might actually have been kept confidential. But then that would mean that the first responding officers were asked to keep quiet about it…
Okay, I’ve managed to confuse myself. Thoughts anyone?
I really hope future episodes clear this up…
Jane told Lisbon “at least he threw you back” when she said that RJ was able to hook her like a fish.
To me this line says that, rather than RJ not having had time to finish killing Lisbon, his letting her go was an intentional choice. I think, on some level, Jane acknowledges the fact that RJ never intended to harm Lisbon; his attack was just a threat and a further display of his powers to put Jane in his place.
Now in the previous review Violet stated:
His motive for targeting Lisbon from the very start is pretty clear: she was trying to think rationally and to help her partner, thus she was bringing him small amount of comfort. She was his true “desert rose”, the blooming flower in the desert of despair, his ray of hope.
I agree and I want to add that despite Jane’s resilience, I don’t doubt losing Lisbon would be what finally sends him over the edge. I think RJ knows this and wants to keep Lisbon as his final trump card which he’ll only use as a last resort. It’s probably why he never targeted Lisbon until now. After all, a broken Jane is one that won’t be able to “play” with RJ. And since he already knows Jane would never go over to his side (The Crimson Hat) he at least wants to keep the game going as long as he can.
Whether Jane knows this consciously or subconsciously, I doubt he’ll share it with Lisbon. Doing so means admitting how attached he is to her, and further admitting how in control RJ is. And Lisbon sensing Jane’s lack of control is what spurred her into taking her own action and is what ended up endangering her in the first place. This danger is probably another reason which had Jane leave her side and take action to explore how RJ was able to act like a psychic, killing one of his fondest memories (Red John’s Rules). That, and the knowledge that, if RJ wanted to harm her, he would have already. The only question now is exactly how long is RJ willing to wait?
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