Jane (Baker) starts his official career at the FBI as a consultant under the leadership of Fischer (Emily Swallow), along with the recently hired Lisbon (Tunney) and with Cho (Kang). While investigating the brutal murder of five DEA agents, Jane meets the gorgeous Krystal (Brianna Brown) and asks her out.
While amusing and entertaining, ‘White Lines’ is not the game changer ‘My Blue Heaven’ and ‘Green Thumb’ have been. The atmosphere is filled with less tension and the characters are still getting their bearing in a new environment and in new dynamics. After the flamboyant ‘Fire and Brimstone’, writer Ken Woodruff graces us with a enjoyable episode which marks his first contribution to the renewed Mentalist as a wink to his very first episode, ‘The Thin Red Line’, which also involved a drug-lord…
Detailed AKA Humongous Review (Spoilers Galore)
VIS #1: Jane and Fischer argue about the couch
The episode opens with the first steps in the willing collaboration between Jane and his new team-leader Kim Fischer. Indeed, she’s welcoming him by telling she has a desk ready for him… Yet the power play resumes when Jane briskly replies that he doesn’t need one: as Kim goes for humor by asking if he works standing up, he retorts “No, lying down. I need a couch”. He then launches into a passionate defence of the furniture: it “opens the mind, that’s why shrinks have you lie down”. Rather than her mind, this line opens a can of worms for Kim, who denies knowing anything about shrinks and urges that he cannot have a sofa here; unfortunately, this was the tell Jane was waiting for to cold read her further and he pounces on it: “interesting. That’s a lie. We’ll come back to that.” Even his calm and matter of fact tone has a therapist vibe to it… This poking in her private life has her retreating to the safer grounds of rules and she hides behind their immutability. It hints that underneath the better communication between them, both are still trying to control the situation… and Kim thinks she has an iron-clad case here: “only grade three employees and above can have sofas.” Jane is not fooled either by her categorization of the litigated couch nor by her attempt and characteristically looks for a loophole: “sofas, couches. Potatoes, po-tah-toes… What grade I am?” (Valiantly resisting the urge to reply that he at least acts like a third-grader,) Kim is discreetly gleeful when she answers that he’s just a consultant and she’s only grade four; she’s so sure of herself that she mockingly offers to get him an ergonomic chair for back issue if he has medical prescription… Interestingly, she’s making the same mistake she’s been doing in the previous episode: she thinks she has the upper hand because she’s certain she has him all figured out. But Jane has a trump card that she apparently still doesn’t know about: he’s made a deal with Abbot by blackmailing him which is why he can state so confidently “no couch, no me” and strongly disagrees with her when she protests that he doesn’t get to make the rules.
Still, Jane was right and her willingness to hide behind impersonal rules or behind a strict authoritarian persona in the previous episode indicate a more personal issue. She feels guilty because of her role in Abbott’s scheme to get him to come back… She took the bait Jane subtly dropped by alluding to shrinks and, in addition to giving her some character development, it shows that Jane was telling the truth when he said things were ok between them in ‘Green Thumb’. He’s also blurring the line by cold reading her and it plays on the fact that she obviously likes him, may it be as a man or just as a person: when he denies that she deceived him, she protests “great. I’m glad you feel that way. I didn’t intent to get so involved, I was just sent to confirm your identity and keep tabs on you. And then… we started talking and I… er…whatever. I’m sorry. I will attempt to make it up to you by being as honest as possible in the future.” Her professional façade is already crumbling and she systematically wavers between her boss persona and the woman underneath. Still, she shuts down when he pushes his advantage and tries to get further into her head. She states that there is nothing she’s ashamed of in her life, but it’s her life. That she went to a shrink or not is not his business… It oddly reminds of Lisbon chastising him for deciding for her. And, although the therapist angle and the willingness to open up a bit set her aside from Teresa, Kim displays a rather similar mixing of honesty and vulnerability hidden under a controlling nature. Like Jane said once to his partner, Fischer too is made of truth and lies entwined. It certainly adds depth to her character and hints that they can get along in the future, as Jane even cooperates at the crime scene later. Yet, for now he is not about to let go of the juicy topic that riles her up. After her formal attempt at getting back on professional ground, he simply asks as if nothing was said: “what did you see a shrink about?” And like that, she finally understands he won’t let go if she doesn’t step back and she agrees to get him a couch.
His description of his dream couch hints again that he wants to build himself up a nest like the one he had back then (“something I can really snuggle into. Just like the one I had in the CBI”). He told Abbott that the FBI was cold: he’s trying to get comfort and familiarity. It’s also visible at his behavior at the crime scene: while he still refuses to conform to the FBI standards Kim tried to impose on him (he’s wandering around the room and holding a beverage –certainly a tribute to the hotdog- while the others are serious), he gets to prove his skills and after Lisbon looks pleased and proud, he beams in her direction. He’s looking for a hint of their old bond and for her approbation.
VIS #2: Jane asks Krystal out
Still, it’s with Kim again that Jane gets to interrogate the victims’ coworkers. They learn that a mysterious ring-leader, Mister X, may be behind the murders. He’s thought to be “an intelligent and disappointed businessman” who Jane remarks may be “hiding in plain sight”. The real interesting clue is that “it’s like he doesn’t have any ego”. When scouring through the photos of the suspects, Jane immediately notices Krystal, the beautiful girlfriend of one dead suspect. It’s amusing that the moniker of the ring-leader reminds once more of the murder mysteries Jane pretended not to love so much when he first saw Fischer reading one: the criminal leader hiding his identity even from most of his employees is a frequent idea that has been largely used in the RJ storyline and that can be found in Christie’s ‘The Secret Adversary’ (“Mister Brown”) or in ‘The Man in The Brown Suit’ (“The Colonel”) for instance. For books lovers, it therefore points out beforehand the apparently harmless and friendly Krystal as a far shadier character. Besides, the fact that Jane singles her out in a photo reminds how he encouraged Lisbon to trust her instincts and chose a suspect for the San Joaquin killer case in ‘Blinking Red Light’ (another of Ken Woodruff’s episode). It contrasts with the investigation at hand then: Jane’s influence has made Lisbon into a better cop, more confident in her skills (that she’s been proving to the FBI), yet right now he is teaming up with Kim to talk to the DEA agents and follow a hot lead, while Lisbon does the legwork with Cho and Wylie stays at headquarters…
When meeting Krystal, still, Jane’s attitude implies that he’s in a more romantic mood: the ‘White Lines’ might refer to the three bands of white fabric crossing on the very flattering neckline of her dress when Jane is checking her out. Viewers are lead to believe that her looks had him interested even though there’s more to it. And their interaction adds to the flirty atmosphere: he asks for her phone number and, after she mistakes his attentions for him wanting to keep tabs on her, he self-deprecatingly tells that he’s out of practice… before coming up with picks up lines after Kim agreed to leave them alone again. When Krystal remarks that she never dated a cop, he answers “nor would you now, I’m not a cop. I’m not a what, I’m a who. And I’ll be happy to tell you which who over dinner.” The charming silver-tongued devil gets her number and further stresses out “I’ll call you”, to which she flirts back “maybe I’ll answer”. She gives off the impression of being charmed.
Fischer has been watching him from a distance and immediately confirms if he asked her out. She adds “good for you! I guess. I’m surprised. I wouldn’t have thought that she is your type”. Obviously the woman is still trying to figure him out and he keeps disconcerting her. She tries to rationalize “you think she knows more than she’s saying, that’s, that’s why you asked her out”; thus she’s assuming that his intentions are professional… just like hers were when herself asked him out actually in ‘My Blue Heaven’. And, again, Jane enjoys keeping her on her toes and guessing: “no. I asked her out because she’s just my type.” She only jabs back that he doesn’t seem like hers before Jane dismisses her comment by telling he convinced his soon-to-be-date he wasn’t a cop and urges her to get a move on with the car.
Kim’s surprise probably stems from her assumption that Jane has been involved with no-nonsense Lisbon, who seems the total opposite of the fashionable blonde. Yet, Jane correcting her on the fact that Krystal is his type of woman hints to various ideas for the regular viewer: first, Jane might actually be really attracted to the mindless beauty Krystal appears to be, since in his fugue state he was planning to leave with the pretty brunette, Tamara. There’s a possibility that he might chose a harmless and easy prey like her to hone his seduction skills and get a rebound before a more serious and stable relationship. Plus, there’s the fact her flirty wit implies that there is more to her. The second interesting point is that Jane is trying to divert Kim’s implicit questioning. To get her to leave the theme alone, he’s also using a notion a double implication, since Kim herself asked him out in the island… His statement about his type might then actually mean either that Lisbon is not his type (getting Kim off her scent, like the woman herself tried to do) or that he accepted the date on the island because he considered that Kim was as superficial as Krystal… Either way, he obviously doesn’t appreciate that much Kim poking in his private life, just like she didn’t like his shrink allusions. One may also wonder to what extent Kim knows his past: she must have read about Lorelei on his file, that with the FBI wanting the case back then, but does she knows about his lesser involvement with morally ambiguous Kristina and Erica? There’s something dangerous about his character that makes him sensible bad girls and it would be interesting to know if Kim is aware of that part of darkness in him…
Anyway, Jane presses his advantage by leaving a message while the team is about to barge in a warehouse to get a suspect. Of course, his love interest calls him back when he’s staring at the three corpses they’ve found inside and he answers her cheerfully and plans a dinner date as if nothing was amiss. The camera shows Jane talking in the background, with Kim and Lisbon silently reacting in front of the camera. Lisbon is not happy, she’s rolling her eyes, like Kim and even Cho. She’s displeased and incredulous. Later, both women are even more exasperated when lays on it thicker by insisting that he has “some plans”.
His exaggeratedly dismissive lack of respect for the investigation has the side effect of getting the three annoyed agents to work together as a close team for the first time on screen as they interrogate again – but this time together- the DEA agent. Meanwhile, Jane goes on his date.
VIS #3: the date vs. a girls’ night out, two perspectives
The very first moments into the romantic dinner already hint that Jane is far more in control than he was when eating with Kim. This time, he didn’t get his wedding band off but when she refers to his promise to tell her who he is, he smoothly answers: “oh, no; that’s a sell pitch. I never actually tell anybody who I am…” before launching in an explanation of how well matched his secrecy makes them: he tells “there’s a real Krystal that you know that nobody see”, “someone who’s honest and strong and down-to-hearth” and “that’s the Krystal I want to meet”. Krystal seems moved and her answer shows that she’s pretty witty herself: “that’s a pretty good line for someone who is out of practice… so what’s with the wedding ring?” Jane retorts that “that’s a long story”, while the scene shifts to Lisbon…
Indeed, while Jane is wining and dinning his blond sweetheart, the former CBI agent enters a bar. That makes for an interesting parallel. In fact, it’s the same story-telling device used during his date with Kim, as Lisbon was shown at the same time drinking wine and reading his letters… which too alluded to the comparison between Lisbon wandering alone and worrying about Jane and the man himself spending a night in Lorelei’s arms… Each time, Lisbon was left alone and thinking about him, but here a change is discernible as she is no longer passive; there’s been a shifting in her attitude towards him when she claimed she now wanted a real life. Still, as a paradox, the fact that she’s precisely choosing this night to go out herself suggests that it might be a reaction to Jane’s date, after he rubbed it on her face by accepting at the crime scene. She had been surprised and reprobating at the time by she was listening on him all the same… Indeed, she has changed her clothes to a black simple but stylish outfit, so she didn’t end up driving there after leaving the job. She meets Kim and, although they may have planned this up beforehand, their somewhat surprised attitude would rather hint that it may have been a nice coincidence. Thus, Lisbon may have decided to go out on her own to get a drink in order to unwind (like she was drinking wine at her home at night), or more probably she may have been searching for some (possibly male) company.
Either way, she seems rather pleased to end up chatting with Kim, who has also changed clothes. Once they’re seated, Lisbon directly asks her what’s up with Jane and the girlfriend. She’s been thinking about it and, when Fischer remarks that he certainly seems to be enjoying himself, she agrees that “he usually does”. Very soon, the two attractive women are offered a drink by “two gentlemen at the bar”. Lisbon mutters “oh boy” and Kim concurs (“oh, those gentlemen…”). As the two very ordinary and eager men tried to pick them up, they answer nicely but they take the first opportunity to precise that they’re cops. When the men chuckle and tell they’re kidding, Kim adds “no. actually we’re FBI…”, which gets the wannabe suitors turning tail: two empowered lady cops are too much to handle… Lisbon even comments “it never fails”: in addition to their status as leader and former boss, she and Kim share some understanding because they’re in the same kind of situation and have used the same subterfuge to get men to back off. They’re getting along and Kim goes even further in acknowledging her by handing her good-naturedly her new badge… Lisbon is now officially part of the FBI. As Kim comments on her staring at the badge: “you look surprised”, Lisbon explains “no. I guess it didn’t feel real… now it feels real. I’m in the FBI”. Kim welcomes her and Lisbon thanks her heartily: there’s a growing respect and appreciation for each other between them and Kim obviously treats her more and more as an equal instead of a subaltern, and even as a possible friend since they’re grinning at each other over the badge. Those two are rather similar to a point so it doesn’t come as a surprise that they end up bonding.
Plus, Lisbon seems pretty excited by her new work: before, when she was talking with Cho and Wylie, she was impressed by the greater technical means offered by the federal agency and she commented on it with her former second-in-command who enjoyed her enthusiasm. As she told Jane, she’s really trying to get on with her life with a new job and new acquaintances –along with having gotten closer with Wayne and Grace during Jane’s absence. She has changed her perspective since the very beginning of the show: then, Jane accused her of keeping people (even potential female friends) at arm’s length. Her new attitude echoes Jane’s words to seduce Krystal into letting her guard down: everybody moves on at some point of their life. This is further hinted in Lisbon’s case by the detail that it was her entering the bar which caught the men’s attention and one even insisted “Teresa, beautiful name”. Kim is certainly pretty and attractive, but Teresa got a special treatment and that’s very telling… Yet, Jane’s shadow has been looming over her; in addition of being their first subject of conversation –as usual-, there’s an implicit comparison with Jane’s date since the two simultaneous nights out share some traits: Krystal has needed convincing to accept to date Jane because she was a cop, whereas the two men show a similar reluctance; the “type” idea is also played with since one of the men was obviously attracted to Lisbon, while neither women felt inclined to accept their attentions…
Meanwhile, Jane’s date is still going fine: he’s told Krystal about his sordid past and she took it well, stating simply “oh my god, that’s the craziest story I’ve ever heard. Did you kill him?” This new easiness to talk about the events involving what he went through has been revealed by his meeting with Kim in the island, but here he’s curiously more explicit and focuses on the man he killed and the closure he got rather than on his dead spouse. Back then, he told Kim that it was still difficult to take off his wedding ring, because he was still not ready to move on; he also took of his ring and the morning after he wasn’t sure at first if he had slept with Kim. His greater openness now clashes with keeping his ring on: he probably knows that things won’t go very far with Krystal on this night… He’s much more in control. Of course, that change underlines a progression, but, mostly it reminds that he used the same tactic with Lorelei. On their first supposed heartfelt conversation, he told her openly that he had killed a man, like now, focusing both times to some extent on the dark aspect of his personality right from the start. It’s like a kind of morality test, since a more naïve and innocent woman wouldn’t probably take the news so easily, even more on a first date… Anyway, once again the often-used moniker of “Red John” has not been mentioned on screen: most of Jane’s recounting takes place while the show focuses on the interlude in the bar. Even so and despite the romantic atmosphere, it’s interesting that the lights behind the both of them are red, just like in the Chinese restaurant where Jane had been meeting Hightower in ‘Red Listed’. RJ is dead, but he had a lasting impact and influence on Jane’s life.
Like he’s been doing at the beginning of the evening by talking about their real selves hidden behind smiles, he tries again to use a tidbit about him to get her to open up. It fits the personal side of a date; plus it serves him in convincing her that he’s buying her persona. As a paradox, by admitting that he killed someone, he’s proving her that he’s harmless to her, because he’s trusting. And his confession of murder offers him a golden opportunity to begin on the “moving on” notion –a favorite theme in TM 2.0. He gets her to talk about her feelings for her friend, how hurt she was when he was killed and as a consequence convinces her to make a deposition.
All in all, he’s manipulated her into thinking he had what he was after, may it be a date or information; all bases are covered up. Later, after she’s talked about another of the Mister X suspects to the FBI, he resorts to intimacy, telling her to trust him, driving her to her house afterwards and asking if he can walk her in; she plays along and replies «If you walk me in and I invite you in, I don’t know where it would lead… » She adds that he’s trouble and Jane affirms again that he’s “harmless as a fly”. She promises to call him the next day and kiss him on the lips, displaying a mixing of seduction and vulnerability. The same traits are expressed by her carefully chosen outfit, fully visible when she gets into the house; she’s wearing a black dress (she’s mourning her friend) but it’s pretty short and its sexiness is enlightened by the golden stilettos. She’s impersonating both a damsel in distress and a seductress, like the charming widow from S1 ‘Ladies in Red’ who was trying to fool Jane. Indeed, her true personality is revealed when she meets in her house Paco, the same suspect she’s trying to frame. She’s much more assertive than she has been when she let Jane dictate her who she might be: “I run this town. I’m the boss, show some respect”. It’s the same trick which was used in S2 ‘Blood Money’ with the gang leader being the fragile-looking and supposedly disorientated old lady. Krystal coldly admits that she’s framing him for the murder and therefore that she’s playing a game with the FBI through Jane. She’s been trying to use her charm on him to get her way, like Erica both in ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn’ and in ‘War of the Roses’, two episodes written by none other than Ken Woodruff again…
This cruel manipulative aspect is further illustrated when Jane calls her while lying down on his new brown couch –or is it his old one? The two seem pretty similar anyway. The contrast between her sensual sweet voice and the man being tied up behind her is striking.
VIS #4: Jane asks advice to Lisbon and Kim in the bullpen
The morning after, it becomes clear that Lisbon’s desk is interestingly the closest to the couch when Jane barges on the two women with two shirts for his date and asks for their advice. The scene is pretty funny– even more since the shirts are both pretty similar to the each other and even to he’s wearing except for the slightly different pattern; clearly they’re part of the wardrobe the enthusiastic tailor made for him. Jane’s eagerness hints that his relationship with Krystal might become more serious since he’s making an effort to make a good impression. After all, he’s been grinning after getting a kiss and he later is seen buying her flowers –red, white and blue hydrangea-looking flowers which in an amusing coincidence match the colors in the titles of the more recent episodes: red, blue, a green garden-themed one and now white- and ironically, that’s the moment Krystal will choose for shooting Paco… He nevertheless templates this enthusiasm by insisting to Lisbon that he’s helping, which has her scoffing that he’s helping by going on a date. The women give him advice and Jane follows Lisbon’s forcefully expressed opinion: she asks “where did you find that one?!”, unknowingly condemning Kim’s choice, since her boss is standing behind her. It’s pretty intriguing, since he never asked for advice on a outfit and he’s been complimented on his stylish taste in clothes, even though he’s always been mindful of her critics (on his ugly white shoes in ‘Not One Red Cent’ and on his “homeless vibe” in ‘Red Dawn’). Moreover, one might wonder where he came from holding his shirts on hangers; we can only hope he’s gotten his trailer already and that it’s parked nearby, otherwise it might mean that he’s still living in his cosy detention cell, just like he holed up in the attic…
After he leaves, Lisbon comments that he must know something that he’s not telling, since he did it a “thousand times”. Just like Kim did, Lisbon states that Krystal is not his type and tries to change the subject when the other woman agrees and asks her what his type is. She just answers “I don’t know”, turns toward the computer and resumes concentrating on the footage video. So far, every talk they shared involved questions about Jane and this time again, Kim seems curious about Lisbon’s knowledge of him… and implicitly about her relation with him. Yet, it’s visible that the two women are getting along better and they have been following the same logic: Jane suspects something and he’s dating the blonde for an ulterior motive. Because she’s so not his type, obviously. Lisbon also seems a bit moody, which may be related to his frustrating habit of keeping things close to his (missing) vest or might perhaps be motivated by a more personal reason. She seems more unsure than she lets on, since she doesn’t really confront him on her suspicions: instead, she waits for him to leave her alone with her new friend to pour her heart out a bit. Moreover, if Kim has been assuming that Lisbon is his type, there’s a possibility that Lisbon has been too… After all, Lisbon should know which kind of women Jane likes: she saw that in his fugue-state he was attracted to harmless arm-candy bimbos and that he has shown more than once interest for more or less cunning women (Kristina) or even to more dangerous ones (Erica, Lorelei). He has expressed interest in brunettes and blondish to red-headed beauties (Kristina looks like a strawberry blonde or a red-head, while Grace, whom he tried to flirt with in ‘Fugue in Red’ is an outright red-head). There are plenty of reasons for her to discuss the choice of Krystal as being in-character or not, may it be physically or personality-wise. And viewers know for a fact that she knows what his type might be since she’s been privy to rather intimate tidbits: she knows that 1) Jane usually likes intelligent, challenging women – a criteria that Krystal doesn’t seem to fit, except that Jane’s attention should hint to them that she obviously has hidden depths and 2) through the matchmaking video, he told that he wanted someone better than him… and that wouldn’t correspond to the girlfriend of a possible drug lord. Neither Lorelei, by the way, which didn’t deter Lisbon from being angry when Jane got close to her… But here, her hasty refusal to answer Kim’s question implies that she may have though too that she matched Jane’s type herself. She’s still in denial publicly, but it’s obvious she’s been thinking about the situation and about Jane’s marks of affection towards her before running away (the emotional moment in the sunset), when he was in South America (writing letters to tell that he missed her) and even now (cofronting Abbott to keep her close).
VIS #5: Jane and Krystal go on a second date on her yatch
Even though he’s set on wooing Krystal, Jane’s influence is still discernible in the team’s way of investigating. Indeed, Cho spots the trick with the open window Krystal’s man has shot through to disguise Paco’s murder as the result of the shooting from the cops, just like Jane understood that the camera was hidden behind the mirror. Beside, Lisbon watches the video and spots Krystal looking at herself in said mirror too, hence she understands that she knew where the camera was and that she planned Paco’s death: she’s the ring leader and Jane’s alone with her at the marina.
The setting of the second date is more intimate, which is fitting for people eager to get to know each other better, but also alludes to the ocean. It has been previously linked to Jane’s double attitude, hesitating between obsession – Moby Dick- and the temptation of moving on (a duality visible in the sunset scene in ‘Fire and Brimstone’); since ‘My Blue Heaven’ and its beach, it’s the liberty aspect that has been insisted upon. Therefore, the fact that Jane gets a date on a boat further develops this idea. When a very worried Lisbon calls his phone, Jane doesn’t answer her. It’s characteristic of their lack of communication through the episode… Krystal jokes that she might get jealous and Jane states that it’s nothing important. Still, their conversation takes a far less romantic turn when he points out that they’ve been chasing “a man completely devoid of ego”. Those were the words that the DEA agent said before Jane started focusing o Krystal’s photography: he’s known all along and he’s been trying to trick a confession out of her. He adds: “in my life, I’ve never saw that”, concluding that every man seeks attention, so the ring-leader is a woman. Krystal admits that she killed the framed suspect herself, instead of ordering someone else to do the job (she’s take-charge ring leader, like former team-leader Lisbon and new boss Fischer). Jane then reveals that actually she confessed while he had Lisbon on the phone on mute… unfortunately, the effect is ruined when nobody comes to his help and he’s left at Krystal’s mercy while repeating comically that the FBI will be here “now” in a increasingly loud and worried voice… When Krystal tries to shoot him, he jumps on the water and swims out of reach. Amusingly he’s been making the jump with her in more ways than one: she’s his first case as a team member, his first casual relationship since coming back and now he’s not-so-metaphorically jumping on the water to escape her.
Later, he’s seen sitting while waiting for the others. He’s pitiful, soaking wet, wrapped in his blanket and his former date is ignoring him when cops take her to jail. It enlightens his loneliness when Lisbon runs to him a few steps ahead of the others.
She looks worried and calls his name before asking if he’s ok. Jane reproaches that he nearly ended up « here in the marina, like a… dead duck”, which has Kim state that she hopes he’s learned his lesson: “if you had actually told us about your plan in advance, we would have had time to get you”. Lisbon concurs “I’ve been trying to tell him that for years”… even Cho doesn’t give him any support: “you’re a terrible communicator”. He reluctantly admits that maybe he needs to work on his communication skills. They leave him behind and he gets up and follows them while muttering what he would have wanted to hear from them instead: “thanks for solving the case”. The camera follows the length of his blanket covered body down to his shoes: he’s wearing the socks Lisbon has given him. They’re barely discernible but they’re here. That’s the final shot of the episode.
One may indeed wonder: why did Jane refuse to share his plan? Lisbon has told Kim twice that he’s usually secretive of what he knows and that’s true to an extent. In the last months of their collaboration, he’s made an effort to be more open with her, especially concerning his investigation on his nemesis and treated her like a partner (remember that “it’s good to be needed” line). Are we to understand that his ultimate secret about McAllister being alive has been the nail on the coffin of Lisbon’s professional trust in him? She has chastised him for not telling her beforehand of his plans for Abbott and, even though they seemed to make peace at the end of the previous episode when he told her about his new fake list, it may explain their distance now. It’s indeed understandable that Kim wants to keep an eye on him, but here they never were together alone in the course of the episode even once, which is very unusual. It seems furthermore that he’s been counting on Lisbon to understand implicitly what he’s been doing all along, since 1) he dropped some hints (that he was helping indeed by going on a date), 2) he must know that she knows him well enough to have guessed that he was hiding something and she’s skilled in following his logic. That’s why he was waiting for her call on the boat.
It thus seems credible that Jane might have very precise reasons to keep his scheme to himself: first, he wanted to prove again to Kim that he was one step ahead. He showed that she has no control over his actions, which he implied during the couch incident. Toward Lisbon, it looks like his motivations are more complex: as he told Krystal, men have ego and that’s probably why he was seeking Lisbon’s attention. By keeping her out of his plan until the very last moment, he was answering the need for distance she expressed in the plane in ‘Green Thumbs’: he was letting her have some breathing space, since she told him that working with him was difficult. He stopped being controlling, needy, but at the same time, his actions scream for her attention. It’s a form of reverse psychology: he tried to get her to react by gloating about his date in front of her –he had to know that Krystal would call him at some moments in front of Lisbon in the warehouse, since he called her only minutes before entering. Since he already guessed she was the culprit, his enthusiasm was for show and he was broadcasting the news to Kim and Teresa. Hence his pushing further by asking them to choose his shirt. He’s been riling her up by rubbing in that he’s seeing someone else, in a pretty harmless and inconsequential way in hindsight since she’s a criminal… because if he wanted to use a real threat, he would have brought up his date with Kim instead… Jane has changed tactics to gain back her support: instead of being too pushy, he’s trying to manipulate her into getting closer on her own. After all, having an ulterior motive has always been part of his strategy with women: with Erica, it was a battle of wits; with Lorelei, he wanted to flush out RJ; with Kim, he was trying to overcome his loneliness… Is that then that implausible that he was counting on Lisbon to understand his plan and to rush in to save the day? Making her save him and getting an emotional reaction out of her would have been a sure way to get her to open up again. And that it failed to some point may explain his disappointment at the end…
Indeed, communication is at the center of the episode: Jane and Krystal call each other many times and she even ask her henchman to text her when he’s done. He only pushed her to confess after Lisbon called him too. And of course, there’s that ironic mention of his poor communication skills at the end. It’s been a central theme, just like the notion of moving on… In fact, both notions are linked to Lisbon in a curious way while Jane is interacting with Krystal: her presence in his life is suggested twice. When he told that he never tells anyone who he really is, he’s lying because he has let Lisbon in: it’s an indication that he’s playing the blonde, but also that Lisbon’s role sets her apart in his life and it’s interesting that she’s been implicitly alluded to for viewers in the very first seconds of the date scene; same with him falsely dismissing Lisbon’s call as nothing important while actually counting on her to save his life. Last, the focus on the socks in telling in hindsight: he’s been wearing them during the date. He was then in fact wearing two set of clothes that she choose for him: the shirt and the socks.
No extra categories this time, sorry: the review is already awfully long as it is. Please, feel free to share what you liked about the episode, your favourite scenes and your personal pet peeves on the comments! Thanks for reading! 🙂