Warning: Due to some technology issues, I couldn’t watch the episode as closely as I would have wanted -special thanks to Rose UK for filling some of the gaps. Hopefully I haven’t made any mistakes, but feel free to correct anything that might seem incorrect. 🙂
When Jane (Baker) and Lisbon (Tunney) meet FBI Agent Reede Smith (Drew Powell) where a body has been dumped, they learn that the victim was one of the killers Jane forced to confess years ago by burying him alive. Jane admits then to Lisbon that he had put his name on a fake list he created to trick the FBI, which he suspected was watching him when he was going over potential RJ suspects. Talking of the devil, suspicious Smith contacts no less mysterious Homeland Security Agent Kirkland (Kevin Corrigan) to share information on Jane.
Rebecca Cutter presented us with yet another thrilling and well-written episode, which offers an interesting measure of variety in the narrowing down of the RJ suspects. This season is proving to be one of the strongest of the show thus far: almost every suspect has been focused on and things are getting really seriously close to a solution, yet viewers still can hold to very little certitude. Plus Mrs Cutter added a very enjoyable note with the return of Hightower: unlike poor Sophie Miller, people from past episodes are not all to turning up dead, fortunately…
Detailed AKA Humongous Review (spoilers galore)
VIS # 1: the opening, Jane, Lisbon and Reede Smith at the crime scene
The very first moments of the show serve as a reminder of the undercurrent between the characters.
Indeed, right from the start the old hostility between the FBI and Jane is discernible: the agent in charge of guarding the crime scene only accepts to let them in because of Reede Smith and the man himself is less than friendly with them. This attitude is justifiable after the debacle with FBI Agent Darcy and Jane’s stubbornness in getting custody of his lover Lorelei, to the extent of pretending Reede’s partner Mancini was a mole.
On the other hand, Lisbon helpfully reminds viewers that he’s a RJ suspect and that she’s been having trouble hiding her defiance. The seriousness of the moment doesn’t deter the dynamic duo from bantering a little: Lisbon states “every time we go to see one of the Red John suspects, I get edgy”. Jane replies with a straight face: “really? I can’t tell…” which Lisbon half-believes (“really? Oh”). That bout of light teasing subtly alludes to the fact that Lisbon is a bad liar, she can’t hide her emotions and reactions because she’s an honest person at heart… which is pretty telling in an episode where liars are about to lie and to be lied to…
First, the body has been very symbolically placed under a bridge: the characters –and viewers- are indeed crossing a bridge in this episode, as some pretty crucial information is about to come up… Besides, Jane immediately identifies the corpse with his ring, a kind of signet or fraternity ring… an intriguing detail since the victim in ‘The Desert Rose’ had one too (and had swallowed it in order to have his body be identified). Therefore it seems that through those fraternity rings, the notion of belonging to a group is brought forward. But more on this later.
As Smith states, the victim is Aaron Marx, the murderer Jane buried alive in ‘Red Rover, Red Rover’, when he faked his breakdown after RJ taunted him on the anniversary of his family’s death. This man was a sociopath who killed an honest and trusting coworker by luring him into a metal coffin where he was left to die slowly; to put it simply, Jane did the same thing to him in order to get a confession, yet Wainwright labeled it as outright torture. Is that really illogical that Smith would try to link that past encounter to Jane’s analysis that he was “tortured for information”? Anyway, it’s obvious the dynamics between Reede and the infuriating consultant are very different from the slightly ironic gauging displayed by Sheriff McAllister: this time, there’s no humorous competition over the corpse about who is the more observant; Jane examines it while Reed watch him, not even trying to hide that the CBI consultant is a suspect… Pretty ironic start of a episode for the lead investigator of the Serious Crime Unit.
While leaving and returning to the attic, Lisbon senses that Jane is disconcerted and urges him to open up to her; he ends up admitting that he planted misinformation. He crafted a fake list of suspects during the previous season because he was under the impression that someone (the FBI) was watching him. He was right concerning agent Darcy who genuinely doubted him, O’Laughlin, his boss Alexa Schultz and maybe her other subordinate Mancini… What he doesn’t know yet is that it was Homeland Security Agent Kirkland who sent his men to break into the attic and stole that information… Still, the titbit Lisbon was bound to focus on is that, with his fake list, he “put the life of seven innocents in danger”; even if Jane amends that they are no innocents (he chose criminals as made up suspects), Lisbon refuses to turn a blind eye at his practical grey morality. When he playfully suggests she enjoys her case-free day by getting massage or a “mani pedi” – and that massage is by no way a wink to shippers, of course- she set things right: she wants to go and protect the six remaining people on the list which she insists he’s going to give her… Have no fear, dear viewer, Saint Teresa is on a mission!
VIS # 2: Jane visits Hightower’s aunt
When Lisbon and Jane discussed the possibility that the FBI may have been keeping tabs on him, they evoked their boss Bertram’s possible involvement. His position introduces the news about former CBI Special Agent Madeleine Hightower: Grace tells Jane that she died with her children in an accident in Mexico, during a vacation a few weeks ago.
A bit upset, Jane decides to pay a visit to Madeleine’s aunt, Ruby (which is a red stone, meaning that Jane is still following a lead to RJ). He’s bringing some white and purple flowers – lilies and hydrangea among others, in a sober and elegant bouquet appropriate to the sad circumstances. The detail is interesting, because it immediately and subtly sets him apart from any former coworker willing to show his respects, planting the seeds of the suggestion that he might have been Madeleine’s lover. Indeed, Jane has a plan. He doubts the reality of her death, which timing and conditions are too convenient and which doesn’t match RJ’s M.O., as he reveals to Lisbon afterwards (remember that the serial killer recently severed Sophie Miller’s head and put it in her oven, so a simple accident is a bit odd). He asks the older woman to write a message on the blog created in memory of Hightower and her children: “in death you have found new life, and I want to shout it from the mountain tops. I know in my heart, dearest Madeleine, that when sunset comes, I will find you waiting for me, in the heavenly gardens. Love, Patrick”… Under the powdering of words of love and religion, Patrick found here a very poetic way to basically say that she’s alive and hiding (maybe in the mountains, like she was in the cabin in ‘Strawberry and Cream’), and to ask her to meet him in the evening in the “Heavenly Gardens”, a Chinese restaurant…
Ruby is moved and calls him “you poor lamb”, adding “you were her sweetheart, weren’t you?” The lamb here is the counterpart of the tiger in Blake’s poetry: it symbolizes innocence and purity, in the same way pigeons contrast with birds of prey and hunters…
VIS # 3: Lisbon at Richard Haibach’s house
Meanwhile, Lisbon is still determined to protect the six remaining fake RJ suspects, even if it appears she’s the only one concerned by the security of those hardened criminals. She went as far as telling Cho « we’re not picking shoes » when it remarked those men were charged for rape, drugs and human trafficking: her morality is unwavering, because she believes in her charge to protect any person who might be in danger.
Following that logic, she finds herself at the door of a sex offender she suspected of being the San Joaquin killer in ‘Blinking Red Light’. One glimpse into his home proves that the man is still a delinquent, since he’s seen preparing a room for a little girl and, in case Blake Neely’s creepy melody doesn’t tip viewers off, the secret door he closes upon it indicates that he’s probably planning to kidnap a little girl and keep her here. The man is a pedophile about to act on his urges… It’s even worse than the darkened room Lisbon and Grace found in his house back then, which was full of suggestive photos of women taken in public places…
Again, that second confrontation between Lisbon and Haibach enlightens the ambiguity of the situation, which was already discernible when Cho and Rigsby almost arrested the man they were supposed to protect. Lisbon and Haibach in the same positions they were in during their very first meeting. Lisbon is at the door whereas Haibach refuses to let her in. It’s pretty ironic that in ‘Blinking Red Light’, Jane was coaching Lisbon into trusting her instincts in order to narrow down the list of suspects they had for the San Joaquin killer; now, he’s again on a list they’re trying to go through… which could have motivated Jane to chose him as a potential fake suspect. Plus the presence of that man on the phony list adds some credibility – the real San Joaquin killer, Panzer, was murdered by RJ. And the fact that he was the suspect Lisbon was focusing on may be relevant too: it looks like Jane was aiming for a form of justice when he chose the pretended suspects, as hinted with Marx, a sociopath so cold-hearted Jane called him “evil”, “vicious and heartless” and who he didn’t hesitate to use as the victim of his supposed breakdown… Besides, Marx too was linked to RJ, since he entered Jane’s life when he received RJ’s message on the anniversary of his family’s death. Therefore is that possible that, in addition of the fact they weren’t protected by the team, those two may have been more believable RJ suspects? In the same logic that RJ chose the meaningful name of Tagliaferro, it seems that those names might also relate to his persona. Beside the connection to Panzer, Haibach’s name alludes to Bach, RJ’s favourite composer. On the other hand, Marx may be a reference to Karl Marx, the theoretician of communism (associated with the color red). It may be a coincidence, but Miranda’s murder, investigated by Lisbon and Kirkland, also reminds a bit of both fake suspects’ crimes: she was raped (Haibach was planning to commit a sexual crime too) before she was left to die very slowly in an abandoned warehouse (Marx locked a man in a metallic casket and let him die).
Anyway, the ambiguity is even more evident when Lisbon talks to Jane over the phone. When she tells him she couldn’t convince the man, Jane retorts « would the world really miss him if something happens? » Lisbon answers that that is the difference between them: she does what she has to do selflessly without questioning it. Then when something happens and their would-be kidnapper is kidnapped, Lisbon is worried: “this is bad.” Jane is much more pragmatic: “Not really. It confirms that someone is going through my list to find RJ.” He refuses to divulge to Smith that the cases are connected and counters Lisbon’s protests that they can’t lie with a curt “we do it all the time.” Finally, he relents only asking her not to tell a word about the list, which reminds a bit of when he asked her not to tell the team about the real suspects. Again, those two are arguing about their different point of view over transparency and lies, following rules or following Jane’s cunning plans, and protecting people vs. protecting only those who deserve it.
VIS # 4: Smith and Kirkland meet up
On the other end of the investigation, Reede had called Kirkland to inform him that the case he’s working on is related to Jane (honestly, in this show the feds are very willing to share information with fellow big shots agencies. This is actually quite refreshing, lol… It’s also funny that RJ suspects are talking to each other all the time, yet they don’t tell Jane much…) What’s interesting is that Bob is walking out of a cabin in the woods – like the one Jane commented was the actual crime scene-, which makes him unsurprisingly the prime suspect for the murder. It’s not the first time Kirkland has been showing proclivities towards violence (offing Lennon in ‘Behind The Red Curtain’) and he’s showed interested in Jane in pretty much every one of his appearances. Smith’s reasons for contacting him are rather flimsy reason in retrospect even more given that he spent more time talking to Kirkland about the case than to Jane, his supposed suspect…
When they meet, their interaction shows that they only know each other professionally, and not all that well: Bob brought him a coffee but as he didn’t know his tastes, he took more than one. He explains « I like to cover all my bases », which makes him appear not only socially awkward but also calculating. Under the apparent professional respect, they’re both testing the waters, as Smith asks “what’s the deal with you and Jane?”, only to have Bob answer a vague “long story”. Now we know Smith is working for Alexa Schultz, it’s then possible that he knows about the surveillance on Jane.
The Homeland agent admits then that he’s been doing research on Reede too because there is another business he wants to discuss. And he takes the plunge: “Tyger, tyger.” Reed only looks baffled: “huh?” then he adds “I’m totally in the dark, here, would you fill me in?” Kirkland opens the lid of what should have been a major professional discovery: “Homeland Security began to suspect the existence of a powerful secret organization within California law enforcement”. Its members “protect each other with major cover up”, which allows them to “get away with murder”. He reveals that “tyger, tyger” not only a quote from Blake RJ seems to like, but a password between members of that organization. What many viewers have been suspecting for some time is therefore apparently confirmed: RJ is at the head of a vast criminal network, in a Moriarty-esque fashion, and we can guess he has a major role in it since it fits his Blake inspired philosophy, a conclusion Bob prudently refuses to out rightly draw in front of Reede… For it is obvious Kirkland has only been hiding behind his charge. Whatever he really wants from Smith, he is not willing to share to what extent he’s involved.
VIS #5: Hightower comes to see Jane
At night, at the Heavenly Gardens, Jane offers tea to a newly arrived disgruntled Hightower. It reminds of the coffee Bob and Reed had been sharing before in their own secret meeting: the game is afoot and each side is trying to gather information… Hightower is hiding and fears for her life, like she did when she too came to visit him discreetly in his motel room in ‘Strawberry and Cream’: indeed, she might again be targeted by RJ, as the red lights in the restaurant and red furniture suggest. Besides, there is a golden Chinese dragon that seems to be holding them in his clutches when she sits down (more on this later).
She explains that she knew the serial killer would be cleaning house after Lorelei –which is basically true, the psychic stunt only served to let Jane know he knew about the list and to try and hide the real reason behind Sophie’s death. She then quite reasonably feared she would be next.
Jane chooses this moment to ask for her help. She’s dubious, since she’s been out of law enforcement for years, but admits she’d been passing information to the FBI, like Minelli had done. She also discovered that her reports were passed to Kirkland in Homeland Security. This may be what Bertram had been doing too in ‘Red in Tooth and Claw’, minus the FBI help, when he let Bob spy on his meeting with Lisbon.
Last, Hightower asks Jane not to tell anyone that she’s alive, even Lisbon. This is pretty different from what she advised him to do in ‘Red Queen’ but that need for secrecy fits for Jane’s recommendations to Lisbon not to tell the team about the list, as well as it contrasts with Kirkland sharing information with Smith. Secrecy seems the essence of every carefully calculated move now…
VIS #6: Kirkland shows his true colors
While Jane connects the dots, Kirkland has been interrogating his prisoner. He has asked him the same thing than he asked to Lennon: “do you recognize me, have you seen me before?” He even asks him if he is RJ, hinting that he’s on a personal quest. Therefore, he was keeping tabs on a rival when he first asked information on Jane.
As a result of his talk with Hightower, Jane confronts Kirkland in the Homeland Security building. The man admits he has been watching him but despite still having the Lorelei/RJ case, he won’t confess to breaking in the attic. But Bob has suddenly grown impatient and decides to the chase: he kidnaps Jane when he is alone and vulnerable in the parking lot. Which is pretty amusing since earlier he had been investigating Jane’s fake kidnapping when the consultant helped her out of jail… Talk about karma… He even introduces Haibach to him by telling he wanted him to see
«the face of the man who got [him] into this mess ». Kirkland then proceeds to fill Jane in his “pet project”, while the scene is interspersed with how Hightower decided to take the matters into her own hands by calling Lisbon after realizing Jane may have done “something very dumb”…
Jane then tries to get Bob’s sympathy by playing on his emotions: he says that he’s hunting RJ just like him. Still, Kirkland remarks that it’s not the same as he points out: “I’m willing to kill seven people to get to RJ”, and when Jane tries to win some time by offering to work together, the other cuts him off by telling “only one will get his revenge”. But he starts telling his story: he had a twin bother named Michael and their father was “a sadistic drunk” who beat them and their mother out. Their mother left and Bob got out of there as soon as he could, but Michael stayed at home and watched their father drink himself to death, which lead him to drink too; Bob tried to help his addiction, but poor Michael fell prey to RJ who pretended to help him… Bob’s brother started drifting apart and he never saw him again. He’s sure the serial killer ended up murdering him (“in my heart, I know”)…
This story is very close to Lorelei’s (abandoning mother/ beloved sibling killed by RJ) and to Lisbon’s (alcoholic violent father, plus Michael took care of him like she did). Bob turned to the dark side – cold-blooded murder- like Lorelei, which deeply contrasts with Lisbon’s lawfulness and moral strength, particularly in this episode.
But Bob abruptly stops sharing about his past: “you’re not my therapist, I didn’t bring you here to talk”… He the starts threatening Jane with bodily harm and cut off Haibach’s thumb to convince Jane to now do his part of the sharing concerning his list… When hearing Haibach howling in pain, Jane relents: “this is hard for me, emotionally. I never said these names out loud to anyone.” Well, this is technically true, yet it’s obvious Jane was determined to protect Lisbon. It may explain why he did go talk to Kirkland alone: he wanted to keep potential information on RJ from her, but mostly he was probably trying to keep her safe from the man he suspected was a sadistic killer. Bob had gone out for coffee with her and taken part in one of her investigations: he knows that she’s close to Jane and he already had tried to test the waters with her…
Also, cutting thumbs reminds of the time Lorelei was told to cut off two of Jane’s fingers. For Bob, it’s a way to torture people in order to make them confess while it was meant as a punishment for Jane, yet the similarity in methods is telling: RJ and Bob are monsters, as the latter has become the monster he was hunting, a theme which was introduced in the Darcy arc some time ago.
Fortunately, Lisbon and Hightower save the day, thanks to Madeleine’s personal arsenal. As she’s freeing Jane, he teases her, telling she’s taking pleasure in this. She answers that he’s a pain in the ass but that she doesn’t want to be responsible for his demise. Then, she urges him to kill RJ, telling that next time she heard from him, it has to be to tell her RJ is dead… Jane thanks her with a kiss on the cheek. There are subtle flirting undertones between them (playing her “sweetheart” with her aunt, her warning him in the restaurant that she has a gun aimed at “something important under the table”, while sitting in front of him); it reminds of how familiar they’ve become after working together, especially the kiss, the second one he gave her. Madeleine’s complicity with Lisbon is visible too, since she doesn’t hesitate to contact Teresa by phone (she trusts her) and she teams up with her in a badass duo to save their wayward consultant. Those two could be easily imagined bonding over Madeleine’s children and scary huge military-looking firearms…
VIS #7: Kirkland’s demise
After Kirkland is arrested, Smith seems surprised that Homeland Security could be involved in such violent crimes. He doesn’t tell Jane about Bob’s revelations, but tries to makes up with Jane and shakes his hand. With McAllister, this is actually the second time knowingly touched the hand of one of his suspects after knowing that he had shaken hands with RJ before. Kirkland also parts with Jane after asking him to come visit him sometime: he’s confident Jane will finish his job. That makes him the second person suffering from collateral damage from RJ and who urged him to kill the man.
Later, as Bob is driven to jail, Smith stops the van to have a second secret meeting with him. This time, the positions are reversed, as Reede has clearly more authority. He resumes their talk about the secret organization Bob told him about and admits to being part of it. He obviously relied in his relatively unimportant position in the FBI and his ability to lie to hide this from Bob and then it’s no wonder he shows some pride when telling him that even he could get into it. He offers to a doubtful Kirkland the address of a safe house where another member would contact him, only to shoot him in the back once he started running. In case viewers hadn’t guessed he was on RJ’s side, he tells the password “tyger, tyger” to the guard who’s been quietly watching the scene. The other man replies with the same words. It’s becoming pretty obvious that whoever Smith is, he’s not small fish in RJ’s network, as it was hinted when he curtly asked Bertram what Jane really knew during their reunion in his office. And Bertram and McAllister may be on his team too.
The writing was pretty good, Blake Neely’s music added a valuable creepy touch and the cast was as awesome as always. Kudos to everyone and a special mention to Kevin Corrigan, whose character held the right balance between chilling and unexpectedly reasonable, and to Drew Powell who was pretty convincing as a villain. Those RJ suspects are doing a fine job at getting more credible than we may have first thought…
Icings on the Cake
First, I’m glad Hightower got more than a simple mention and a body part stuffed into a kitchen appliance, blender, dishwasher or something. So glad…
It was also pretty enjoyable to track the various references to previous episodes, may it be about the two kidnapped criminals or subtler details like the stilettos Grace wore to seduce newly-wed Wayne, an allusion to the foot fetish and the heels she got from Jane in ‘Red Velvet Cupcakes’… it’s a nice way to flesh out a bit their intimacy.
Last, Jane asked an older woman to help him with a computer, because she was more knowledgeable than him. Obviously, it was a plot device to get him to say his message aloud for viewers to hear –and maybe to gauge Ruby’s reaction- but it was still amusing and refreshing to see that they played with the cliché of older people fearing technology.
– Is that normal that Kirkland got arrested like a normal criminal? He was a Homeland Security agent, so shouldn’t they have at least tried to handle this?
– Smith should have interrogated Jane more consistently, for he claimed to everyone that the man was a suspect. Of course, he knew he had nothing to do with the murder and only used the idea as a pretext to contact Kirkland in order to learn how much he knew about them, yet it was a bit too obvious. Not asking Jane more questions while he pretended to be investigating the case was rather suspicious.
– When she was told there was a fake list, Lisbon assumed there were seven names on it. The list was based on the crime board in his “office” before ‘Behind The Red Curtain’… How would Jane know he would end up with seven names in the real list so early in the season? Plus, if Kirkland was really after RJ, it was a rather stupid move to kill Lennon so soon without interrogating him further, even if he was trying to keep Jane from learning to much…
1) As Jane pointed out, they now have a very manageable list of five names.
– Two (Haffner and Bret) are Visualize members, a sect with many followers in law enforcement, just like that secret organization Kirkland talked about.
– The remaining three were having a more or less secret meeting recently and two of them had been relying information to Kirkland (who happened to be a threat for RJ). Plus, those are involved in the ominous poker games from last season: Reede was Mancini’s partner (who introduced Lisbon to those poker nights) and Bertram was a player. Not to mention McAllister’s wording of his taste for hunting anything with a face because “game’s game, right?”…
Yet, we can wonder how Jane is planning to deal with his more manageable suspects now… is he about to do something reckless ? Also, why does he not visit Darcy? That other vanished law enforcement officer may have some information on Reede, may she not?
2) A few characters have been comforting Jane in his project to kill RJ, like Bosco in his death bed for instance; but here two people in a row have told him to. There seems to be a shifting around him: RJ is beginning to seem so powerful that getting rid of him is starting to look like the only solution, which is a bit worrying for Jane’s morality. Even more Lisbon appeared as a very moral person in this episode. I hope that their differences in the conception of justice won’t end up breaking their bond…
To that matter, Kirkland’s similarity with Jane may be telling: both are driven by an obsessive revenge, yet Kirkland is much more determined and cold-hearted. As I said, we have a situation that reminds a bit of the difference with Lorelei: both she and Bob were emotionally crippled by their past and grief. After Lorelei lost the illusion RJ provided her with, both ended up alone, not daring to trust anyone completely: thus, they became monsters too by losing any sense of justice in order to gain revenge. The loss of their family made them victims, but they accepted to kill too, which kept them from seeking help even from someone like them (even though Jane would have used them, obviously); as a result, both were murdered when they were on the lam –ironically since Kirkland worked on Lorelei’s escape- that is to say when they were alone and no longer under the protection of the law. Jane has shown shades of the same darkness, nevertheless what makes a significant difference is the presence of affection in his life: his moral compass/partner Lisbon and the team to a lesser extent are here for him, both to care about him and to help him, whereas Kirkland had no ally nor friend. The only man he chose to trust murdered him in a traitorous manner. The contrast is even more tangible since Bob had been partnered with Lisbon too once, but he only saw it as an occasion to get information.
I also wonder who was the mysterious FBI Agent Nemo who took Lorelei to a high security prison: was it Kirkland or someone else?
3) Another intriguing titbit is that the Rigsbys’ married life –ok, their sex life- is a bit disturbed by their job. Rigsby even feels compelled to comment on it to Cho. While it is an interesting follow-up, I wonder if that slight annoyance isn’t foreshadowing for a later career development for the couple.
4) Lastly, the dragon at the Chinese restaurant may be an allusion to the Great Red Dragon from the Bible, featured in a four watercolour paintings from Blake. The dragon is mentioned in Book of Revelation (aka the Apocalypse) 12 and 13. The text is pretty telling, as commenter A.Anggraeni mentioned in the comments for ‘The Desert Rose’ review:
“A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne […].
Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Messiah.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.
11 They triumphed over him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.
12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens
and you who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury,
because he knows that his time is short.
When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. […]” (Rev. 12, 1-14)
Here, we have:
– the seven-headed red dragon (seven suspects initially) coming from the sea, an important theme for RJ;
– he’s eager to murder in order to “rule all the nations”, cf. RJ’s thirst for power.
– he’s defeated in a war and he and his “angels’ lost their place in Heaven (may that be meaning that RJ and his minions will be defeated and law enforcement agencies will be purged from their accomplices?)
-Bob Kirkland was fighting RJ’s evilness in his own way and his twin brother was named after God’s Archangel Michael.
– The dragon retreated to earth after being defeated and losing the woman to God and he’s angry because “he knows that his time is short”… which may or not be referred to by the fact that RJ felt threatened and defeated to some extent when he lost his influence on Lorelei and had to kill her. He reacted out of anger by sending that DVD to Jane because he feels his adversary is coming close…
– He’s defeated “by the blood of the Lamb”… Since Ruby called Jane “lamb”, I hope it doesn’t bode too ill for him… Too bad that would-be angel doesn’t “have wings” as he told to the killer in ‘Wedding in Red’… I’m also hoping that sentence “they did not love their lives so much/ as to shrink from death” won’t foreshadow a fatal issue for anyone in the SCU.
– Also, it’s probably a stretch, yet it’s intriguing that the women was given eagle wings to flee from the dragon at the end, given that birds are pretty present these last two seasons…
The Bible also tells (Rev. 13, 1-8):
“The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast. People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?” The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.”
And (Rev, 13, 11-18):
“Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people. Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.”
Again, there seem to be many allusions to those passages in the show:
– RJ accused Jane of “slandering” his name in the media. He placed himself as God.
– The cult-like philosophy used by RJ may be an allusion to the worshipping;
– in the empty house where Lisbon was targeted, there was the number 666 and she “received” RJ’s mark on her “forehead” (the smiley).
– Like commenter Rose UK remarked there are two beasts under the dragon’s influence. The leopard-like one, who blasphemies the name of God, and the second one, lamb-like, who deceived people by getting them to worship the first one. I don’t know if that’s relevant for the show storyline, but I wonder if some characters couldn’t fill those roles: the red dragon could be either the secret organisation (provided that RJ is only one of his powerful members and not its master) or a charismatic leader hiding behind the scenes (like Bret Stiles or even the sect Visualize as a whole, which might control said organisation). Then, the leopard-beast, or tiger in our case, might be RJ, or at least the serial killer(s) who impersonates him… leaving the role of the more inoffensive looking beast to some person who could recruit new members. Or those functions might be held by one man alone and then it could referred by Betram’s “I’m many things to many people”… Funny thing too that there were three suspects in that little meeting in Bertram’s office, by the way. 😉
And now, I’m left wondering if Jane wanting a pet dragon when doing the matchmaking video in ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorns’ could have been foreshadowing…
No best quotes this time as this review is already pretty long… Feel free to share your personal favorite in the comments! Thanks for reading! 🙂