The Mentalist White Lines Review


Synopsis

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.

Concise Verdict

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.

Image by @Chizuruchibi. Copyright Reviewbrain January, 2014. Not to be used without permission.

Image by Chizuruchibi. Copyright Reviewbrain January, 2014. Not to be used without permission.

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.

Conclusion

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!🙂


21 responses to “The Mentalist White Lines Review

  • Rose UK

    Bonsoir! Once again, many thanks for your review, Violet.🙂 You found far more to explore in this episode than I could: not much sprang to mind as I was watching it. I’m not sure why – possibly because I found it a bit more “meh” than the previous two, which was a shame.

    Anyway, the thoughts that DID spring to mind were:

    – “White Lines”: I thought this title referred to cocaine, as per the drug lord storyline. But I also kept thinking that it sounded a lot like “white *lies*”, which means a little lie that is usually told to be polite or to avoid upset. Like Lisbon claiming not to know what Jane’s type was, maybe. Or Fischer fibbing to Jane about the shrink. I’m not sure; it was just a connection my brain made!

    – I liked the gal-pal bonding bit. It would be so cliched to have Fischer and Lisbon dislike each other (whether over Jane or not). Fischer was very welcoming and friendly, and it softened up her character. And Lisbon was just glowing over her badge, which was sweet.

    – I wondered if Krystal’s (Crystal?) name was meant to reflect the idea that Jane saw right through her from the very outset (as in “crystal clear”.) It could also have been a nod to another drug, crystal meth. Maybe! And you could probably connect the “mirror” plot point to this idea as well. When Jane said that she was his type, I decided that he was telling the truth – albeit with some ruefulness. He knows he’s attracted to the “femme fatale” types, but he also knows that they are terrible for him.😉

    – They’re definitely ramping up the “wifey” thing. Lisbon buying AND choosing his clothes? Come on!

    – I still miss VP and Rigsby. This new team is taking time to warm up on me, but I did chuckle at Cho’s line “You’re a terrible communicator.” Kimball Cho – Voice of the People.😀 I also liked Lisbon’s wry little smile when Cho gave her an order, but now that the previous natural order has gone I’m finding it hard to adjust to Lisbon’s new position in the hierarchy. I liked her in the role of bossy boss/Mother Teresa, and I guess I’m waiting to see what they’ll do with her character now. Anyways. We’ll see.😉

    Great ideas about the theme of communication and distance, Violet. People can totally communicate by not, err, communicating.😉

    Looking forward to rest of the comments!

  • Rose UK

    Oh! Just hit me re: the title – I wonder if you could do something with the idea of “reading between the (white) lines”; reading subtext, interpreting unspoken feelings. Everyone does it in this episode, even the two nerds at the bar! No? Oh well.
    😉

  • KM

    Lovely review, Violet. Thank you.

    I wondered about the title, as it is listed as ‘White Lines’ and ‘White Lies’ on some of the direct download sites like Amazon and iTunes.

    I did wonder if seeing less of Jane and Lisbon paired up is also supposed to represent a shift in their relationship. She is no longer his boss and he is no longer her consultant. Now they will have a more equal footing.

    I thought the conversation with Krystal when compared to the conversation with Kim showed a wee progression for Jane. Evidence of his desire to move on. Baby step.

    I agree that Lisbon is actively moving forward in life. Same with the rest of the CBI team. Jane is still holding back. I suspect this separation to increase. I think we may see Lisbon surrender Jane to being stuck in neutral, after all remaining stuck is a choice all its own, and more aggressively journey forward. Especially, as her interpretation of their history goes, he is a master of giving mixed messages and manipulating feelings for his own purposes. This makes me think of Heller’s comment last August or so about Jane learning he may loose Lisbon permantly and it would motivate him into action. Perhaps, Heller wasn’t just referring to Lisbon being grabbed by Red John in episode one? As we all know there are many ways to loose those we care for. Something to think about.

    As to Jane’s type. I think it is dependent on how he truly feels about himself psychologically. Ever hear the term that an emotionally healthy 4 can only make a relationship work with an emotionally healthy 4 or less? Briefly, think of emotional health as being a sliding scale of 1 – 10, with the 8,9, and 10s (if a 10 can exist) as being truly at peace and emotionally sound. If we arbitrarily think of Jane as a 4 with being at peace with himself and his past, then his attraction will fall to those who are his equals or lesser. He will find them attractive, because they are like him. And, going out on a limb here, should he loose another 4 (anything from getting dumped to death) he won’t shatter. So, if we think of Lisbon as growing emotionally, becoming even more at peace with herself (hello, dating video) than she is sitting above him on that emotionally health scale, in a way she is out of his reach (no matter how desirable he may find her), and her loss (via being dumped or death) would shatter him. The idea is that anyone that fits his description about Angela causes him to consciously or unconsciously push away, because he sees her as being far greater than him, too deserving of better. My work with woman recovering from domestic violence, as shown me that no one is deemed forever stuck on the emotional scale. (I know anecdotal experience is not science, just observation.) Jane should he choose, will rise. First, he’ll have to choose to want to move forward, to gain peace with all that has happened in his life, to decide how to carry Angela and Charlotte into his future, come to the conclusion that he wants and deserves to live his life intimately loving another and being loved back with honest acknowledgement that great loves don’t come with a 40 + year guarantee, and to decide the rewards of a full life far out weigh the risks of loss. That is my quick and dirty musings on Jane’s type.

    Thank you, again! Sorry for the essay-ish length.

  • KM

    @ Rose,

    So very sorry, but my fat finger accidentally gave your comment a thumb down when I was aiming for the thumbs up. Very sorry.

  • Rose UK

    @ KM – haha! Don’t worry – I would have remained stoic in the face of a thumbs-down either way. Thanks for the sweet message, though.😉

    Loved your very interesting comment on emotional health and fear of loss there. After all, there is an exchange in which Krystal asks (paraphrasing), “How did you know?” and he replies, “Because you were interested in me” – as if only the criminals or people with ulterior motives could like him for himself. (Perhaps the date with Kim only reinforced this idea once he found out she was a Fed.) The thing is, I can’t help thinking that Jane is fully aware that women find him charming and attractive but he pushes this element out of mind to concentrate on the negative. Or because it’s too superficial; he knows it’s not ‘real’. Or both. I got the impression that Krystal agreed to date him partly out of ego and partly to play him (she was smart enough never to date a cop), but that she also quite liked him too. (Well, who wouldn’t). Same sort of thing with Kim, probably. I wonder if he realises that. Lisbon is also aware of his charm and attractiveness, but she’s too no-nonsense to play that game so she bats all (or most of) that superficial stuff away and goes straight to the heart of matters instead. Which means, like you say, that he considers her a cut above the rest because she doesn’t seem to be interested in him “that way” (in addition to all the many, many other reasons he thinks she’s out of his league!). But he must also know that that just means it’s real, or deeper. Which he pushes away, as mentioned. What a muppet he is.😉

    Oh, another reason why “Krystal” was a good name for the drug boss – it is derived from the Greek word for ‘ice’, and she was most definitely cold! (In contrast to someone else highlighting what a lovely name “Teresa” is. Because it’s a nice warm name, naturally. ;)) And then there’s Jane freezing in the water contrasted with those lovely woolly socks from last week. And the “cold” FBI building with the “warm” couch. Hm, I wonder if we can feel a theme coming on?!

  • Rose UK

    Darn it, I’m in moderation!

  • bloomingviolet2013

    @ Rose: thank you so much!😀 And I was really looking forward to your comment: you made some very interesting points, so thanks for that too, Rose!😉

    Great idea about the “White Lines” alluding to cocaine and/ or the numerous white lies told in the episode. It really like it! Honestly, I believed the “Lines” were a way to allude to ‘The Thin Red Line’ (as a kind of inside joke) and that they chose the dress afterwards to justify it in a more visible manner. But your explanation works as well!🙂

    Also, you may be right about Krystal (her involvement must have been “crystal clear” for a number of viewers too, considering how suddenly Jane decided to jump into the dating pool and the possible allusion to drugs might have been another hint). Still, I liked how her original name added to the sophisticated vibe she was giving off… plus, it reminded a bit of Kristina Frye, the first woman he dated onscreen in his old life: it might be a way to enlighten again that he’s taking a new start Actually, it’s rather amusing that the women he dated/had dinner with (therefore excluding Lorelei) had rather similar sounding names: Erica, Kristina, Krystal and even Kim to some extent too… she shares the /k/ and the /i/, yet the /a/ is missing; it might allude to the fact that she’s a good person, so that might set her apart (Kristina was an ally too, but she was more moraly ambiguous). Or it could just be a funny coincidence.

    “They’re definitely ramping up the “wifey” thing. Lisbon buying AND choosing his clothes? Come on! ”

    LOL! I just thought the sme thing!😄

    Lastly, I too miss VP/ Rigsby, the old dynamics, the teacup in the bullpen, Jane sneaking into Lisbon’s office and the vest… People who said it is like watching a new show are right: I like it and the new dynamics between Lisbon and Jane are pretty interesting and intriguing, but yes, I also miss the old version too… In a way, I feel like how KM described the emotional state of the characters: I’m looking forward to moving on brighter grounds like Lisbon, yet part of me is still stuck in the past like poor Jane, lol…😉

  • Rose UK

    @ Violet: “I’m looking forward to moving on brighter grounds like Lisbon, yet part of me is still stuck in the past like poor Jane” ~ Oh yes, I hear you loud and clear! And thanks for your nice comments! I think it’s great how this title can have so many meanings/allusions, regardless of whether any of them were actually intended.😉 Another possible idea you could draw from it is the idea of “blurred lines”, especially between Fischer and Jane. She was supposed to remain professional on the island, failed, and then tried to compensate for it at the FBI by being overly stern. But by coming clean about it (her failure to complete her admission “I, err, whatever” was quite telling), she has further blurred the lines between them. Which is obviously to Jane’s advantage. Then we’ve got the lines between Jane and Lisbon (ever-changing; no idea what they are at present, lol!) and the professional lines between Cho and Lisbon, etc. Though obviously I’m not quite sure how the colour ‘white’ applies in this case.😉

    Also crystals are pretty and shiny and expensive (?), and Krystal struck me as a rich, pretty woman… And good idea about the hard-sounding phonemes to give cohesion to all of Jane’s previous lady friends!!

  • bloomingviolet2013

    @ KM: what a great comment, thank you very much! You have definitely given me food for thoughts!🙂

    “I did wonder if seeing less of Jane and Lisbon paired up is also supposed to represent a shift in their relationship. She is no longer his boss and he is no longer her consultant. Now they will have a more equal footing. »

    Interesting. It’s definitely a possibility, yet they could have spent some time together outside of work even if they’re in a more equal footing now. I mean, in ‘Green Thumbs’, even though Jane was technically in a cell or watched, he found a way to sit next to her on the plane and she too sat very close to him on his bed in his cell. Here, her desk is the closest to his couch –so they could realistically have some opportunity to talk- yet they do not spend a moment alone. If I’m not mistaken, they are not filmed together alone even once: each time, in every shot, Kim is filmed with them. It feels as if they were avoiding each other –or at least one of them might have. Both may have had reasons to do so (Lisbon in order to get some breathing space and Jane to give some to her).

    I really, really *love* your interpretation of Jane’s level on the emotional scale. Very interesting and realistic (and I like how it ties to Heller and company commenting on their willingness to give them an “adult” and “realistic” progression in their relation). Yes, Jane’s still stuck in neutral and clinking to his emotional blanket (getting his old familiar life back, with the more comforting elements he’s been missing: Lisbon and a couch). His happiness at being offered a present from her (and a “warm” and rather “wifey”/motherly one at that) and his insistence about the comfy couch hint too that he’s rather childishly looking for reassurance… a feeling Lisbon seems not to want to give him anymore, at least to the extent she had before. Some time ago we discussed (after another of your awesome remarks) about how their relationship had started as an equilateral triangle of parental protectiveness/flirting/ sibling teasing. As time passed, the parental aspect has taken progressively a back seat since Jane had taken to play his hand more openly with Lisbon and they started acting more as partners and best friends. Now, Jane seems to resume their relation at the point they left: a zest of bantering, a hint of ambiguous affection and mostly him wreaking havoc and Lisbon being her usual non-nonsense self (i.e. staying behind with Fischer when Jane jokingly runs away). Problem is: Lisbon is not his boss anymore and she does no longer feels responsible for him, so the parenting aspect is no longer an option, really, at least under that form. Plus, the sisterly/partner part has taken a blow when he ran away from her thrice in a row (in the sunset scene/ after killing RJ/ in his stunt against Abbott and Fischer): she’s proven in the plane that leaving her for a “greater” purpose is starting to feel very personal. So, honestly, it would seem that Jane’s best opportunity to gain back her trust would be to concentrate on the more emotional aspect of their relationship: both the flirting and the best friend thing –after all, she seemed receptive enough to that part, since she kept his letters devotedly and she was here to welcome him when he came back from South America. But by trying to force her to follow his lead, he’s shown that either he didn’t realize it or that he doesn’t feel ready to take that step fully yet…

    Beside, Jane has proven is inability to let go by obsessing for years about getting revenge instead of mourning his family properly. Again, his eagerness to recreate his CBI cocoon shows that personality flaw of his: getting closure for his sins towards his family and running away means that up to a point he’s simply replaced his idealization of his family life with craving for the CBI routine. The good thing is that the things he liked most in it are not out of reach yet… Also, the emotional immaturity you pointed out compared to Lisbon is related to the fact that he’s been stuck farther in the past for years, so he’s moving forward, but at a slower rhythm than the others. His journey is longer because he’s coming from pretty far behind: he has to mourn his family and finish making peace with his loss (=accepting to get another woman in his life and letting go of his wedding ring) and accept to leave the harmless neutral zone he’s been staying in for his two years in Venezuela to get into a more emotionally risky territory. It’s a process he’s been delaying for more than twelve years now. And yes, Lisbon is way ahead of him emotionally: while she seemed to have been stuck in neutral too in Washington (telling Rigsby she didn’t miss the past anymore, while clinging to Jane’s letters secretly), she has probably come to peace with what happened and Jane’s return may have given her a little push farther in the right direction for building a new life. Having him safely back and protected from the consequences of his actions must have calmed her worries and realizing that he hadn’t changed his dismissive manipulation of her might have made her more aware that she didn’t want to get back in that kind of relation where she had to pay the price of his choices. For her, this past is over. Moreover, the opportunity to get recognized by working for the FBI gave her new opportunities: nevertheless, while her enthusiasm at widening her horizons is visible, for Jane, this work is only a means to an end.

    Jane’s immaturity is also shown by his selfishness, especially regarding Teresa’s wishes. While she’s still thinking about his wellbeing (the socks; disapproving that Kim has been trying to use him to solve cases at the beginning of ‘Green Thumbs’), he’s only eager to get what *he* wants. Same with Kim: while he obviously appreciates her, he’s manipulating her into giving information about her –the shrink-, while Lisbon is genuinely befriending her. Where Jane still chooses so far manipulation and therefore distance, Lisbon is making the effort to get to know the woman, even if she’s not willing to open up on more private topics.

    Lastly, your interpretation also explains perfectly how Jane was able to idealize Lisbon, and especially those qualities that he lacks (in his opinion) but admires, such as her honesty and her compassion. It also explains how he came to see her as a tutelary figure à la “Glinda”, set on helping him and protecting from the start (in ‘Red Dawn’)… and yes, indeed, no wonder then that he would be attracted to manipulative and/or damaged women like himself. That’s probably why he was emotionally involved with Lorelei too: she was grieving, manipulative, set on violence and her death wasn’t a great loss. Just like him, in his opinion (i.e. hesitating with the gun after killing McAllister).

    Those are only random thoughts provoked by your comment, sorry. I still need to process this “emotional scale” idea… (meaning that I may write an even looooonger comment sometime in the future, lol!)🙂

  • anomalycommenter

    Hello everybody after a long time and let me say that I’m posting this just to say that I’m in awe of how Violet managed to extract this much meaning out of an episode that I thought except from some peculiar hints to certain elements common to the RJ storyline as she herself mentioned before did not contain much material worth talking about. But her review and all of your comments Rose UK and KM & Violet have really proved me wrong! Thank you all very much!🙂

  • phoenixx

    Long time no see, just dropoing by to say again what an amazing Review this is, thanks again Violet. I really hated this Episode but with this review and all your comments it gets up on the scale though it still won’t be come Close to any fave’s.

    I absolutely agree with Anomaly.

    And also agree with everyone who says Jane doesn’t think he deserves better (women), think we’ve all been saying this all along but this Episode now actually cemented it and brought the fact up while before we could only speculate. It’s sad that he thinks so and he should begin to see that Lisbon is the one that liked him and stayed by his side in spite of all of the things he’s done.

    On a side note I love the more happy Lisbon but my problem with the writing is that I can’t see a Person who’s been in a leading Position for over a decade just be ok with being a normal foot-soldier and accepting orders like she’s done it all her life. Yes Lisbon is a professional but this I believe is a psychological effect that doesn’t just go away – not with someone who is practically a born leader (just remember the books about leadership she read)I would like that to be addressed at some Point.

    Also still don’t see the purpose of Fischer and still don’t like her, for me she becomes more and more a bad Lisbon-copy that so far has brought absolutely nothing to the table and is on top of that a horrible Boss. And another thing I never liked about any Show is when such a character is making friends with an established one. It’s forced, to make the Viewers like the character too – and I just couldn’t care less.
    Sorry for the ranting but I just…meh

  • rita

    Great review Violet, as always

    While this wasn’t my favourite episode, I enjoyed it.

    The way I see Jane is that he is lost at the moment, he doesn’t really know where his place is, the CBI and all that is familiar is gone, and I think he holds all of his ‘possessions’ (strange as he has given up most of them) and people and little routines very dear…..in My Blue Heaven, he points out to Lisbon in his letter that he has his routines. He lived his life at the CBI along very ridgid lines for such a free spirit….he liked his couch in JUST such a position, he liked his tea JUST so, he ALWAYS dressed the same, and he THOUGHT he knew his team mates completely…..Now, all of that has gone, and there is no constant for him, Lisbon has changed a little, no longer quite as close, not always anticipating his thoughts, the work place is cold and unwelcoming, and even Cho didn’t appear that happy to see him on his return. When he was talking about his couch (and I do think it is the one from the CBI) he was describing the warmth he seeks, he wants comfort….and when he saw that it had been returned, it was like the meeting of two old friends….there was no one to see, so he didn’t need to put on an act, and yet he stroked it and looked so happy…I think he is off balance, and will be until he feels at home with the FBI.

    With Lisbon, I think she knew that Jane was dating Krystal for more than a romantic reason, but is out of practice in Jane-speak to really know what he had in mind (hence the ‘almost disaster’ with the timing of his announcement to Krystal on the boat, and the need to jump overboard)

    I feel that he does want to move on, but doesn’t really have a clue how to go about it, he thought that he and Lisbon would just slot back into their old groove, but of course she has had a life while he was suck in a prison of his own making, albeit a beautiful island prison.

    I like that Lisbon & Kim seem to be getting on OK, it could have been a bit difficult (two women in a kitchen so to speak….never a good idea) At the moment there are a lot of sharp edges, but I think that as the season progresses these will become less apparent, and the various pairings will sort themselves out, there seems less hierarchy in the FBI, each of the main characters (Jane excluded) seemed to get the chance to take charge in part of the investigation….it was good to see Cho showing what he could do, and I also noticed the little wry smile that Lisbon gave as she went to do his bidding.

    For me a building block of an episode.

  • mosquitoinuk

    Hello everyone, a bit later to the party, but I just love this blog. Analyses and comments are so clever🙂 Thank you very much Violet for this. We often looks at things from a different perspective but I must say that in this occasion I can perfectly understand and wholeheartedly agree with your review🙂

    There was a lot of noise on the Internet about this episode and lots of people were disappointed and even angry. I was away so I could only catch up later and I was preparing myself for the worst…but in fact, I quite liked it.

    Apart from all that’s been said (I honestly think the title refers to drugs/cocaine and Krystal was a quite clear pointer to crystal meth) I would just like to mention that although I think Jane was enjoying the flirting with Krystal he *knew* she was no good almost from the start. They were playing each other. He was setting up a honey trap for her and she was doing the same with him. Both were trying to get what they wanted from the other by using a mix of ‘truths entwined with lies’ to paraphrase something that Jane said. The best way to tell a lie is to mix it with some truths…a trick often used by politicians. So, for me, although Jane was enjoying the situation up to a point, it wasn’t real.

    The comment from Fischer “you are not her type” is very telling and it is *exactly* what gave Krystal away. Jane knew it. He tested her (Krystal) several times: the story of his murder or RJ, trying to ‘walk her in’ (that she couldn’t possibly accept because she had the other drug cartel guy at her place), the fact that she willingly went for an interrogation (he was present) so that he could observe her. He, a human lie detector, was watching Krystal and confirmed at that point that she was no good. In my opinion, he knew at that point that she was the ring leader.

    About his relationship with Lisbon: Lisbon is the more emotionally detached of the two right now. He was trying to get her attention all the time, she didn’t take the bait. He was making a meal out of him going on a date, choosing a shirt in front of her, talking to Krystal in her presence. As far as I remember, he was the one who actually initiated the few interactions they had. The date annoyed Lisbon but that was that. Of course, their relationship is complicated and there is love, no doubt…but she just isn’t ready to be doormat Lisbon anymore and I can just give a round of applause. He desperately wants to reconnect with her but she’s actually moving on. She has taken charge of her life, which I really like. I’ve always thought that Jane came back just to find that Lisbon had almost moved on. It is unsettling for both. She told him as much in GT. He’ll need to work hard on himself for her to come back to the place they were when they were after RJ. Right now, she’s somewhere else and things are…I wouldn’t really say frosty but weird. That he was ready to almost get shot so that he’d get a heightened emotional response from her (coming back to old territory… him putting himself in danger, Lisbon worried about him and saving him…) is very telling in my opinion. Is just like a problematic child that will misbehave so that he can get the attention he craves. Even if it is just a reprimand.

    OK, long comment again…that you ever so much Violet and RB for keeping up the blog!

    P.S: I really like that Lisbon and Fischer are getting along. A bit annoying that Jane always creeps up in their conversations (the two female leads interested in the leading man…it’s been used many times and it feels rather old, seriously writers…please let’s move on) but I hope that their relationship develops and they can find support in one another. It isn’t easy to be a female in a male (testosterone) dominated world. I can vouch for that.

  • bloomingviolet2013

    @ Rose: regarding Jane’s reluctance to admit that people other than “the criminals or people with ulterior motives could like him for himself” and therefore that he may consider Lisbon “a cut above the rest”, the idea is pretty interesting. Those criminal women manifest their interest in a rather sexual way (Lorelei in his motel room; Erica kissing him; Krystal hinting that she may sleep with him if she invites him into her house). On the other hand, there are “normal”/”kinder” women who simply find him attractive, like Kim probably, Grace –who did a double-take when she first saw him and was flattered when she learnt he was attracted to her in his fugue state-, Dr Montague or Dr Hill who both almost asked him out. They seem inclined to date, whereas the criminals go straight for seduction… Which might be why Jane allowed himself to be lead forward by some of them in his path to build a new life. Even though he had an ulterior motive, Kristina, Erica, Lorelei and now Krystal marked the first steps he took to enter the dating pool, probably both because they were often a bit pushy and because he could read them and therefore knew he was emotionally safe with them since nothing would come out of it. This is why Lisbon indeed stands out. Firstly, she rejected the possibility of dating him very early –the “seducing-you-over-a-meal-would-be-sophomoric” scene in ‘Red Hair and Silver Tape’. Then, she simply ignored the allusions he made to her assets (suggesting that she cut her hair to put emphasize on her features), her impact on other men (Bosco, Mashburn), or anything remotely sexual. In addition of her own commitment issues, it’s not that much that she really doesn’t seem to be interested in him “that way”, than that she’s known all along that he wasn’t ready or serious in his flirting. Because in spite of her more distant attitude, she is the only one who stuck up with him no matter what and who really knows him. She went straight to the deep stuff instead of trying to charm him/let him charm her… In a way it’s like he knew she considers his attractiveness as part of the package of the consultant/former conman persona, just as, for instance, his way with words. And Jane doesn’t put much consideration in his appearance (rumpled clothes, old shoes), so it may imply that he knows he’s charming, but that he also realizes it’s only superficial like you said. His looks are one more asset in his arsenal. It doesn’t reflect on his real self, hidden behind the smiles and the appeal. So yes, this deprecating way to consider his appearance and by extension women might hint at another deep self-esteem issue.
    (Or it might be even only a little bit that he’d become intrigued by Lisbon because she pretended she wasn’t interested and denied any connection between them until recently. She might have looked like a puzzle or a challenge to some extent. I wonder if there weren’t a bit of both aspects at the very beginning of the show, before they chose to put forward her influence on his life in ‘Red Dawn’.)

    I also love the idea of “blurred lines”, even though I don’t really think it was the notion behind the title. But indeed, every line traced before seems to be blurred: many things need to come undone, before the threads are woven together stronger in a slightly different pattern. Many lines need to be blurred in order to be defined again. Hence the many allusions to the earlier seasons of the show… Every character is still uncertain, like you pointed out: Kim keeps trying to figure out both Jane and Lisbon; Cho is now giving instructions to Lisbon and guiding her through her new job; even Rigsby and Grace keep calling her “boss” even though they’re friends now. And, of course, Jane and Lisbon are the worst case of uncertainty: it’s not only their way of interacting that needs redefining, but even the very nature of their relation underneath…

    And I agree about the possible “cold” theme: it’s the second episode in a row that Jane has been complaining about the cold at the end of the case, indeed!😉

    @ Anomaly! Thank you (again) for your very kind words and for taking the time to comment. I can’t say how much I appreciate the support.😉

    (Sorry, everyone: I know it takes me long to reply to all those awesome comments. I try to be as fast as I can but it’s a bit hard to concentrate these days. Anyway, thank you so much for commenting! I really appreciate!😉 )

  • Lou Ann

    thank you, everyone, for your amazingly insightful looks into the exploration of human nature that is the Mentalist. If anyone can see into the character’s minds, it’s you guys. The show encourages the Mentalist is all of us.

    I’m not sure what to think about the idea that Lisbon is disengaged or detached; probably she is less emotionally close to Jane, despite the socks, which he is sporting throughout, by the way. She seems like more the old buddy from back in the day, as they say, throwing in her side comments about his behavior to clue in his new colleagues. “That’s Jane.” “I’ve seen this a thousand times.” Of course, that could also say to the new people, “I was here a long time before you. I go way back. We have history, Jane and I.” It’s kind of a way to mark her territory. Despite the exasperated look, I don’t think she was jealous listening to Jane talk to Krystal about their date. I think Fischer was. I can’t put my finger on why I saw it that way, though.

    I also noticed the new dynamic between Lisbon and Cho. I am happy to see him get his advancement and a chance to move forward in his workplace. Lisbon always stood in his way when they were in the CBI. She had the seniority and the position. The new situation give both of them the chance to use their abilities without one standing in the way of the other; bigger pond for all the fish.

    I don’t know why, but I thought of the title as referring to staying between the white lines on the road. Wandering across the white line can get you into trouble. What that actually has to do with the episode, I”m not sure!

  • KM

    Greetings everyone. Thank you for the kind words,@Rose, @Violet, @ Anomaly! I greatly appreciate hearing back. Sorry, for taking so long to reply. (I have a kid sick with pneumonia at the moment.)

    I agree with @rita that this episode is building block. And, I agree with @mosquitoinuk that Lisbon is more emotionally detached than Jane. More than Jane may ever seen her before. Putting more emphasis on his falling back to his habits as emotional ways to engage her.

    Thank you all again. I must run. I hope to catch those of you on Twitter. Cheers!

  • bloomingviolet2013

    @ KM: Sorry to hear that: I hope your kid recovers quickly! And thanks again for your kind words!🙂 I’m trying desperately to catch up with everyone’s analyses but I can’t seem to figure out how to compose short replies… I can’t help myself, I just have to ramble, lol…😛

    @ Rita: you’re completely right about Jane’s tendency to need routines at the CBI and on the island. Very accurate, really! Indeed, when he was chasing RJ, this need was expressed by his willingness to stick to self-imposed rules such as the predictability he created in his surroundings, along with the iron-clad control over other aspects of his life (keeping his distances with others, celibacy, his advices to Todd Johnson about needing to hide his true intentions behind constant lies). It served his purpose –he was creating his restless but seemingly-harmless consultant persona (who would have imagined that a guy who named a stain “Elvis” was able to strangulate a man with his bare hands?)- while helping him concentrate on his real goal by cutting off any unpredictable variable in his life. Plus, it also enlightened his vulnerability: he was seeking reassurance in trying to control what was left of his life. After all, he had been able to get back on tracks after his breakdown by gaining a new purpose instead of wallowing in self-pity and grief: no doubt his holding on little controllable things was a way for him to get a grip on reality too to some extent… As a damaged man, it was a way to cope with the guilt and the other terrible emotions directed at RJ.

    Now, it’s interesting indeed that he kept creating a predictable daily life on the island, because it hints at a deeper issue. Because, then, he was really starting to heal and he wouldn’t need that much an emotional blanket… yet he couldn’t let go. He created new patterns and linked them to his old life by sharing them with Lisbon in his letters. He was dealing with the guilt after avenging his family, with the mourning by accepting to talk about his wife… why couldn’t he just let go of his patterns instead of building himself another self-imposed jail? Plus, he’s recreating the familiarity of his old CBI environment at the FBI, both in his relation with people (Lisbon, but also by trying part of his old tricks on Fischer) and in objects. He’s “off balance” as you pointed out, so familiarity keeps him grounded, but it is also definitely a sign of emotional immaturity like KM said… And there is a continuing mixing in his favourite hanging spots between large impersonal and rather empty spaces without privacy (the beach; the two bullpens with his couch) and small and pretty stuffy rooms (the attic; his room on the island; the cosy detention cell; the trailer he asked for…): it might hint that in spite of his progress, he still has issues with privacy and therefore with building a full on normal life. This is where my opinion might differ a little bit from you then: you said that you “feel that he does want to move on, but doesn’t really have a clue how to go about it, he thought that he and Lisbon would just slot back into their old groove, but of course she has had a life while he was suck in a prison of his own making, albeit a beautiful island prison.” Personally I wonder if he had not assumed the “moving on” part he pushed at the back of his mind for years would come automatically to him after he had set the score with RJ: problem is things don’t work that way… Hence the baby steps: he is able to change where he lives, to accept exterior changes, but he is not ready yet to make the changes in his mind, at least not really and with the things/people that count. And someone (Lisbon) would probably have to force him into progressing.

    (I hope this makes at least some sense: I’m on a hurry, sorry… :p)

  • rita

    Thank you for the reply violet, and yes, it made perfect sense….a lot more than my ramblings!

    In the episode where he ends up in jail for evesdropping on Bosco (Sorry can’t remember the title….old age!!) I remember him saying to Lisbon, in reply to her comment about him being in a real prison, with real walls…..’only in your mind Lisbon, only in your mind’….as I see it, he feels like a murderer (ok…he IS, but…..) and so he has effectively put himself out of bounds to ‘good’ people and he is in a prison of his own making in his mind….to hnim, he only deserves the attentions of ‘bad’ people.

    Thanks for taking the time out to consider my idea.

    @KM I hope that all goes well for you and yours

  • bloomingviolet2013

    You’re welcome, Rita, and thanks to you for your kind words!🙂 I agree: I’ve always thought this line of his had many layers… He was hinting that he was planning to escape, obviously (mocking her because she was bringing him the blueberry muffin at the center of his plan) and indirectly it certainly also applied to his own position. He perceives himself as a free spirit, while Lisbon is bound by her obedience to rules, such as laws and protocols, but also more societal ones, like being politically correct and basically respectful of others. That’s why he teases her later, telling her that she’s a good Catholic girl and a goodie-two-shoes: unlike her, he doesn’t fee obligated to respect people or rules if he doesn’t deem them worthy. Yet, you’re right, that line also alludes to the self-imposed confinement he’s been living in while chasing RJ: like the many boxes, closed doors and safes have been indicating, he was limited by the walls created by his obsession and keeping him from getting a real life. Those have been the walls he kept in his mind for years too … and now, while some have crumbled and he’s feeling alleviated and craves for freedom, there are still some limitations in his mind which keep him from enjoying his liberty fully. He escaped RJ’s rules, the threat of murder charges and the FBI’s attempts at controlling him, but now he has to find it into himself to lift the walls of his own self-imposed jail. Back then, his triumph in getting away from spying on Bosco and in getting one over him further hinted that he was imprisoned by his obsession and how far he was willing to go to achieve his goal. Now, while he’s technically free, he has still to allow himself to take the last steps towards a new life.

  • bloomingviolet2013

    @Mosquitoinuk: thank you very much for your comment!😀 I agree that Jane spotted Krystal almost from the start. In fact, I think he had a strong hunch when he saw her picture: the other agent was telling them that the ring-leader had no ego, which led Jane to guess it was a woman, and Krystal was the only female on the photos. And yes, he kept testing her afterwards: asking for her phone numbers without even trying to introduce him further (Kim only told her their names) or without even talking to her even a little bit. He was a bit pushy when she refused, still she acted as if she was charmed by it, which was also suspicious. I mean, an innocent woman could have accepted, but in this case, it was quite easy… At least the widow in S1 and Erica had the decency to act as if they were hesitant to engage in flirting with him after losing a loved one. Then, as you said, the fact that he told her about murdering RJ and his offer to take her home –therefore hinting at sex, just after she supposedly went through a hard time and just admitted to loving her dead friend… He was testing her every time he talked to her. Since she was trying to seduce him into trusting her, she took in stride everything he threw at her and that was a dead give-away.

    I also completely agree that Jane was trying to reconnect with Lisbon and I loved how you explained that she was done being his doormat. As KM pointed out, the emotional level he’s in incited him to get back to his old tricks to “reconnect”: he was being secretive, controlling and put himself in danger with an over the board scheme in order to get “an heightened emotional response out of her”, like he did in ‘Code Red’ because he couldn’t think of any other method to get her to get over Bosco’s death. Like his scheme back then was meant to be life-affirming, this one with Krystal was aimed to get them out of the limbo they’re currently in by making Lisbon express her caring for him. And that’s pretty immature and childish indeed, because it equals to forcing her to take the first step instead of simply talking to her and expressing his worries just like she did in the plane. He has to process the changes in her way of thinking about their relation and change his method to get her to open up again. That’s why I wonder if they’ll ever “come back to the place they were when they were after RJ”: for me, given how Lisbon has changed her perspective and aspirations, either they would never get to share the same bond they had or, hopefully, Jane will have to take things further with her and tell her what she really means to him, instead of insisting that she doesn’t know as he did in the sunset scene.

    Lastly, regarding Kim and Lisbon, I think it’s understandable for now that Jane “ always creeps up in their conversations”. After all, he’s the one thing that links them until they get to know each other better. And Kim seems pretty curious about the relation between those two, so it’s credible that she’s interested in talking about him to Lisbon: among the tidbits she would give away, there might be a tip to handle him better or a hint to better understand what really has happened between the two of them…😉

  • bloomingviolet2013

    Lou Ann and Phoenixx: so sorry for my very, very belated reply. Things got in the way and I sincerely apologize… Any way, I wanted to thank you again for your delightfully interesting comments!

    @ Lou Ann: as always, you brought up some very interesting points. I think you’re right about Lisbon: it seems that Lisbon’s attitude is taking two rather contradictory directions. She’s acting like “the old buddy from back in the day” in more ways like one: for one, she’s indeed marking her territory by putting forward her expertise on his behaviour and, therefore, the fact that she is still the closest person to him. And she’s acting like the “buddy” she affected being once: then, she was trying to keep her distances with him, while getting him to open up to her. She was a little wary of him and of whatever power he could get over her… which led him to force her defences down with life or death situations (telling him “people” cared for him in the cellar before he shot Hardy to save her; getting her out of her grief over Bosco’s murder; her getting closer after almost losing him in ‘Ball of Fire’ and so on).

    As to Lisbon being or not jealous, I found it interesting that she didn’t ask Jane about his date. I mean, she asked about the widow he admitted to like in season 1, she seemed to rather dislike Kristina when they went to her house, she asked about his motivations behind his interest for Lorelei and Erica… the interesting thing is not that she liked or not those women, but rather that she acknowledged them, while she ignored the Krystal issue at least in front of him. Kim asked him straight-forwardly what he was looking for, but Lisbon did not. Nevertheless, she was definitely listening on his phone talk when he was setting the date. Now, she didn’t ask about Kim either after their rather brusque introduction, yet she was annoyed when he first called her by her first name and she was definitely interested when she had the opportunity to learn how the other woman met her consultant. As usual, Lisbon is undoubtedly the most mysterious character in the show: there are so many things left unsaid about her that viewers have often to guess what she may be thinking…

    @Phoenixx: the fact that Lisbon accepted not to be in a leading position anymore struck me as being quite realistic: she doesn’t have to like it, but after having her hopes for a successful career crushed by losing her job at the CBI and probably any credibility as an agent as well, it was a very real opportunity. It makes little doubt for me that she took most of the blame for what happened, like she did take the brunt of the bad publicity following Carter’s murder, when Bertram was looking for a scapegoat. And McAllister’s death was a far worse situation: not only did her consultant kill someone again, but her boss ended up being a criminal too… Therefore I think she considered her new job not so much as a setback than at a new door opening on her career perspectives. Plus, there is a strong possibility that she’ll manage to make a name for herself as soon as her skills and professionalism will be recognized. That may be why she’s so eager to prove herself: once she’ll be acknowledged for herself, she’ll certainly only have to bide her time in order to get a higher position. And Lou Ann is right: hierarchy seems to be a little less restrictive at the FBI, so she’ll have more leeway in the meantime.

    Lastly, about Fischer: I think there might be more to her than just the similarities with Lisbon. She has the potential to become what I’ll call a “reflective character”: she may start pushing Jane and Lisbon to think about their relation, because she tried to befriend both of them and she’s curious about what is going on between them. it’s a role that Cho cannot fully assume because he’s too private (he couldn’t give much advice to his pal Rigsby when he was pinning for Van Pelt for instance). If that’s the case, her presence might prove useful and interesting, because there never has been anyone whom Lisbon could confide in about her complicated bond with her partner…

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