Mentalist Grey Water Review


Synopsis

Lisbon gets the case of J.J. LaRoche’s murder transferred from SF PD to the FBI, only to discover that the culprit is now targeting ex-CBI Agents Wayne and Grace Rigsby. The two join Lisbon, Cho and Jane in Austin, Texas as consultants and run down a list of possible suspects. Meanwhile Agent Kim Fischer investigates a murder of an anti-fracker in which the prime suspect is an anti-corporate group.

Concise Verdict

This episode was a bit of a roller coaster. It started off as a thriller and ended as one as well but was a bit slow in between.  There were plenty of nice moments, a couple of not so good ones, and a major peeves too.

Detailed Review

I’m slowly easing myself into writing again and took a more straightforward approach to this review. It consists of three main parts.

1- The Good (AKA what really worked in the episode)

I like the role-reversal at the beginning shoot out scene, having Wayne hide with the baby and Grace come in with the gun saving the day.

I enjoyed seeing the team work together again, narrowing down their list of suspects as suggested by Jane.

While I was never convinced that John Hutten was a realistic suspect I nonetheless enjoyed his storyline and scenes. Paul Schulze was quite engaging and having him escape from the feds to carry on an affair was a

Another thing I enjoyed was having the team back together again. Commenter Laura commented in the previous review that she missed the old bromance between Cho and Rigsby, rightly so as it has always been a great asset to the show. It was nice to see them working together again. There were a couple of nice moments whether it was Cho giving Rigsby a man hug or teasing him that he can’t drive while they run down suspects together.

I never realized how much I missed Wayne the investigator till I saw him in action. And it looks like he misses it too as he tell in seamlessly back into the role with Cho.

The burning water (due to the methane content) scene was a neat attention grabber.

Lisbon apologizing to Richard Haibach.

Grace and Wiley bonding over hacking software.

6x14

Image by Chiziruchibi. Copyright Reviewbrain April, 2014. Not to be used without permission.

There were also some nice character insights: how trusting Wiley is (he just took Jane at his word that he had a court order), Abbott’s participation in catching the killer (the man can certainly act in a ruse), Wayne being more confident and self-assured than we’ve ever known him to be.

Speaking of Abbott, I like seeing how he had Lisbon’s back trusting her instincts on Haibach, despite his telling the man’s attorney that the investigation was closed, and having her make the aforementioned apology.

Guys’ night out. What I would give to be a fly on the wall wherever they were.

The end with the dark figure hovering above Grace was all sorts of spooky. Blake Neely might want to look into scoring a horror flick; tune at the end was really scary.

2- The Bad (AKA what didn’t work)

Somehow I just wasn’t really interested in the “cooperative” hacking group; don’t know why.

Acting of guy who played the victim was a bit over the top, as was the scuffle scene that resulted in his death.

After reuniting with his former colleagues after two years, all Jane can manage by way of greeting is a “good to see you, guys”? Really? Even Robo-cop Cho and formerly detached boss Lisbon managed to give both Wayne and Grace a hug when they arrived, but touchy feely Jane couldn’t? I mean, yes, he was drinking his tea at the time but that really is no excuse.

3- And the Ugly (AKA what sucked)

*I would’ve liked to see a reaction from Jane or Lisbon regarding LaRoche’s death. We know the man liked them both and it felt really wrong not to have them acknowledge his passing in a meaningful way. It’s a huge waste considering how fantastically developed the character was and how he and Jane had bonded. Couldn’t we at least have known whatever happened to his dog?

*When Lisbon updates Rigsby on the case, at the very beginning of the episode, she tells him that SF PD agrees whoever murdered Ardiles, LaRoche, and bugged the CBI team’s phones is someone that was once arrested by CBI and/or is holding a grudge.

Now Lisbon and the ex-CBI team know there is a number of RJ allies/lackey’s (members of the Blake association) still at large. And Jane knows this. Heck, one woman had tried to kill Jane during his face off with McCallister.  Now I could be wrong but wouldn’t THEY have a grudge on CBI and company? The fact that this didn’t occur to anyone, Jane especially, really bugs me. The team should be looking for their suspects in the encrypted list of Blake members.

One could argue that Ardiles had no connection to the RJ case. I’d counter-argue that the perp might blame him for RJ’s death. How so? Well, Ardiles was the one who prosecuted Jane’s case when he was charged with Timothy Carter’s murder. If Ardiles had won the case, Jane would be in prison and wouldn’t have been able to catch/kill RJ. It’s a bit of a stretch but INMO not as big as having to believe that NOT A SINGLE AGENT likes a Blake member (or even the entire association) for wire-tapping the CBI and targeting its past members.

Best Quotes

“In my day, if you had a problem with someone, you would just tell them. None of this computer hacking nonsense.” –Samuel. Cool line. Also reflects the teams’ current predicament with their unknown perp.

“Take a break. Get something to eat.” Aww! Grace knows how to make Wayne feel better.

Conclusion

I don’t speak Spanish, but couldn’t help notice the name of the bar Rigsby and the guys were meeting at: El Lazo. An online search tells me it means either link (as in bond) or lasso. I find both definitions interesting: while Rigsby and company are bonding at the bar, Grace is being lassoed in her motel room. Wonder if this irony was the intent behind the choice of the bar name. I like to think it was as that would be really cool.

Finally, GRACE BETTER NOT DIE!

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6 responses to “Mentalist Grey Water Review

  • Elizabeth Haysmont

    I thought Abbott making Lisbon apologize was wrong. As a manager he should support his team. Another thing I thought really SUCKED was the list of 12 suspects. Seriously? Buddy Henning? He was never arrested for anything! Nor was Jason Cooper! Why would Cooper (and Visualize) go after Ardiles? That list was just dumb. I was a little insulted. And I’m seriously doubtful it’s Haibach behind all this. It requires a clever mind, and Haibach is a self-centered whiner.

  • mosquitoinuk

    Hi Reviewbrain, thank you very much for this! I have little to add to your review, I wholeheartedly agree with the good/bad/ugly categories. Just to reiterate your point: I was *hugely* disappointed at the way they treated La Roche’s death. This is bad writing and patchy editing. It makes no sense at all.

    This isn’t a first on TM though: we surely remember how Haffner’s death was completely glossed over (barely mentioned…!) or even Ardiles, just to cite two examples.

    But as you said, La Roche was such a huge, compelling, well defined character that I have no other possibility but to blame TPTB for what they did.

    Also, it seems entirely ridiculous to me to bring him on just to kill him off. Seriously? we have seen The Mentalist writers to be at the top of their game…but this episode isn’t really showing that.

    Sorry for the rant, I’m just annoyed at the poor/choppy writing lately. After having a brilliant MBH and an excellent and hugely entertaining, well constructed GT, the writing has gone a bit downhill in my opinion.

  • mosquitoinuk

    Sorry, another comment: what is it with Lisbon? are we ever going to get to the bottom as to why she’s actively avoiding any personal interactions with Jane? I have made my theories clear but the writing has been so off lately (in my humble opinion) that it is difficult to understand her motivations here (some could attribute her attitude to sloppy writing, I don’t think so, but I can understand where they are coming from!).

  • bloomingviolet2013

    Thank you so much, Reviewbrain for this thought-provoking and to the point review! I’m always impressed by your great work! 🙂

    Firstly, I completely agree with your remark about the lack of reaction to LaRoche’s demise. As you and Mosquitoinuk pointed out, it could have been handled *much* better. Still, it fits with the overall lack of emotional reaction both from Lisbon and from Jane since his return. After his enthusiasm at seeing Cho again and his heartfelt hug to Lisbon, it looks like the only moments he lets his guard down and really shows how he feels is when Lisbon is jabbing at their past camaraderie. He was hurt when she called him off on his behavior in the plane, then surprised and upset again when they were in the “aquarium” room and angry when she told him about the date. That’s all… And it’s even worse with Lisbon: she seems almost completely closed off. Therefore, it might have seemed unfitted to have them pour their hearts to each other (it’s unlikely they would have done it with Cho and they don’t know Kim enough). It might explain why LaRoche’s death when he was trying to help them wasn’t commented further. Doesn’t quell the disappointment much, though…

    In the same order of ideas, my take on Jane’s rather cold greeting of the Rigsbys is that it was very deliberate from the writers. I mean, it contrasted rather obviously with Kim’s introduction to them only moments later: Grace and Wayne seemed more welcoming with her too… In a way, I think that was meant to give us a glimpse into Jane’s feelings. When he came back from his two years absence, Cho wouldn’t hug him. Lisbon admitted that she missed him and gave him some socks, but she rebuffed him in any other way. Hence his reluctance towards the rest of the team: I guess he felt nobody was really happy to work with him again. Which is why he accepted so readily to head off with Kim on a new case, in which he didn’t seem to enjoy himself that much –he pulled a practical joke on Kim in the library but it’s a far cry from his gleeful shenanigans in the previous episode… I’d say that he’s still wearing a mask with the old team, but while back then it was a friendly mask, it was a façade of indifference when Grace and Rigsby showed up. I may be reading too much into this, but it reminded me of his sneaking on their wedding: he’s still trying to distance himself, but for different reasons now.
    What’s comforting me in this interpretation is the many hints at the past: when the couple come to the FBI, Lisbon is wearing what’s look like one of her old outfits (black blazer and button up white shirt if I’m not mistaken). When Jane comes into view, we can see he’s wearing a black suit too and his shirt isn’t as flashy as the ones he’s usually wearing at the FBI. Their clothes seem to match, just like they had many times in S1. Plus, Jane’s drinking tea in a rounded white teacup, fairly reminiscent of his old CBI teacup, but with the wrong color. Those details remind of their old life, but they also put emphasis on the differences with their new status: Jane and Lisbon may match, they don’t spend time together; Cho is the one in charge of briefing the other agents; later Grace gives some tips to Wiley, but under her professionalism and sympathy, there’s a hint of wistfulness… It further indicates that things cannot go back to the way they were. Hence the many flashbacks coursing through the different cases in the recent episodes: the past is still at the back of Jane’s mind, but this looking behind is now focused on current cases.
    Same with the way they handled the investigation on the CBI killer: Jane urging the guys to trust their instincts to identify their suspect reminds of ‘Blinking Red Light’. Still, back then, Jane used this trick in order to concentrate on his quest to find RJ (by using Panzer) and to avoid getting tangled in a normal case (like later, when he told Lisbon rather patronizingly that she could manage without him, because he needed to focus on his list of RJ suspects). This is underlined by the fact that the suspects were featured in some of the most recent cases they had to deal with at the CBI (hence the rather lack of credibility as killers for some of them, as Elizabeth pointed out) and by the details of the “little black book of names” hidden in the safe, a direct hint at Jane’s list of RJ suspect in his notebook (plus the “safe” has been an allusion to Jane’s obsession for years). Yet, once again, the familiar pattern is reversed: Jane isn’t ditching a normal boring case to get on with his secret investigation, he’s abandoning the investigation on the direct threat to his team to work on a routine FBI case… Is that me, or his insistence that the guys should trust their instinct suggests that he may think they basically don’t need him anymore?
    The only spark of affection appeared at the end, when the guys decided to “grab” Jane (not “invite” him) and go get a drink somewhere. But, once again, Lisbon declines when she hears he will be present. It’s another reversal, since in addition of being an incomplete closed-case pizza (the case is not closed; the whole team is not reunited; there is no pizza) and even though the three male team members got along well, the only “guys night out” we’ve heard of was in ‘Devil’s Cherry’ when Wayne wanted to cheer Jane’s up after Lorelei had been taken from him. And what was Cho’s answer then? Pulling a uncertain face then stating “fine, but you ask him”… Lisbon and Jane were the ones who used to spend time together after hours in her office.

    (Sorry for the long and boring rant. Thanks again for the review!!! 🙂 )

  • Rose UK

    Morning, everyone. 🙂

    Well, all I have to say is “grey waters” indeed. Everything is so murky and unclear at the moment, nobody seems to know what’s going on or where they stand (characters and viewers included!).

    I agree with everything that has been said on the lack of reaction to JJ’s death. I suppose we are to assume that the “upset Jane” scene happened off screen – because otherwise he’s just getting colder and colder, which I would hate to see. As for the muted reunion between Jane, Grace and Rigsby, I found it a bit sad to watch. 😦 I thought that maybe VP and R were just too stressed out at the attack to be happy to see Jane, but I did think that Jane was quite distant with them – and I was really disappointed that he didn’t seem all that interested in helping them, especially after LaRoche… (So I REALLY want Violet’s interpretation to be right!! Although you could argue that even if he’s feeling rejected, unwanted and unhappy, he should sort of get over himself when it comes to the people he’s fond of and have supported him!)

    Funny that you mentioned the episode Blinking Red Light, Violet, because there actually was one on the fracking site. 😉 Like RB, I also noticed the name of the bar and wondered if it had some symbolic relevance – and I had to chuckle when Grace and Rigsby enter the FBI through a door which has a bright red “EXIT” sign above it. 😉

    I thought Violet’s take on the echoes of past cases was really interesting, especially in conjunction with all those finer details like the cup and Lisbon’s choice of clothing. I guess that would reflect, again, the “grey water” of the title. There has been an emphasis on instinct recently (in “The Golden Hammer” too) – this time Abbot says, “There’s something off about that man” (regarding Haibach), and Rigsby’s hunch about the burglar proves to be semi-correct.

    And finally, I loved seeing Cho and Rigs back together. It made me smile, then reminded me of what is no more and made me melancholy. Lol. Also liked the Grace & Wylie scene – it underlined Grace’s progression from rookie to master teacher.

  • Sara C

    Just watched this as a rerun and agree with most of the comments made here. I have to add though that this episode was really ruined for me by the fact that they decided to perpetuate the myth about fracking. The idea that fracking causes water that is so toxic that it can be lit on fire is environmental propaganda that has been proven to be false and people have been able to light their water on fire since the 18th century, many years before hydraulic fracturing.
    I just love Simon Baker. I really hope they stop injecting political agenda and false information into an otherwise entertaining show.

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