This review was supposed to be co-written, but Violet wrote the bulk of it and was quite comprehensive. All I had left to do was sprinkle my two cents in where ever I could. Everything was written by her, unless otherwise denoted by an “RB” to stand from my thoughts. Love you, Vi!- RB.
The FBI is rushing against time trying to find Grace Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti) after she has been kidnapped by Richard Haibach. Wayne Rigsby (Owain Yeoman) confronts Patrick Jane begging him to do whatever it takes to get his wife safely back.
With all the action that was part of this episode I thought it must have been written by Tom S. Or Daniel Cerone. I mean that as a compliment to Eoghan Mahoney, who gave both Righetti and Yeoman fantastic material to work and enough suspense (and character moments!) to keep viewers attention riveted. For the most part. 9/10.
VIS #1: the guys are at the bar
Picking up right where the previous episode left off, Rigsby’s enters the bar where he is having drinks with Cho and Jane after getting off the phone. The guys comment on how great his wife is. The happily married Rigsby agrees to which Jane tells him “A Price Above Rubies”.
RB: One of the reasons I loved how this scene was just chock full of allusions to previous episodes. One was the quoted phrase, a favourite episode of mine where we got to see the entire CBI team in black tie. Tunney fans will remember the black dress.
Violet: The phrase also underlines that the past is still weighting Jane down, since that episode took place just after Bosco’s death: it reminds how someone close to them was killed because of Jane’s actions (which will happen again here with Grace). Back then, Lisbon feigned being fine, just like she’s been doing with Jane since his return. Also interesting detail: back then the title may have referred both to the victim’s wife and to Lisbon as Jane put a tiara on her head… so even if she’s absent, she’s at the center of the scene.
RB: I agree. The men may be talking about Grace here and what she means to Wayne, but the allusion to that past episode makes and the fact that Jane is one who made the comment makes it easy to infer who he feels is priceless.
Violet: Rigsby then tries to play matchmaker by telling Jane that Grace and him “always” thought that Jane and Lisbon would end up together.
RB: I shouted at the television: FINALLY!! Ahem. I mean, after all these years it’s about time a character brought up the subject. And I don’t think it was a coincidence that another episode alluded to in this scene was Red Handed, the only other time we’ve seen Jane and the men at a bar. That scene four years ago was another time Rigsby might have ventured to ask Jane about his relationship with Lisbon, especially considering how hard Jane had tried to get Lisbon to keep an emerald necklace/earring suite he bought her at the time….but I digress…
Violet: It’s a very heartwarming touch to watch how the man who has been clueless about how to seduce Van Pelt for years is willing to help two friends find happiness. One may wonder if he doesn’t do it for Lisbon mostly, as much as he likes Jane.
RB: I like to think so. Rigsbon is a pairing I’ve always loved. In a strict older sister/younger brother chemistry which was shown on the show on several occasions
Violet: After all, he’s kept in touch with his former boss and listened to her when she claimed she had no regrets anymore about the past before running to Jane once again when the chance arose… Plus, that’s actually the first time someone of the team made a direct reference to the special bond between Jane and Lisbon. It was nice seeing that Wayne and Grace had been shippers all along, not to mention rather funny: the all time “official” couple of the show seems to have passed on the baton to the partners who are starting to send stronger romantic vibes.
RB: It is rather ironic, isn’t it?
Violet: While Jane chuckles to hide his surprise and embarrassment, Cho agrees with his friend.
RB: I also thought he seemed bashful, but in a pleased sort of way…
Violet: After a rather ironic “right”, he mentions the pony, a meaningful special gift he had given her….
RB: This just in case viewers didn’t automatically remember it after the last episode
Violet: …after Jane showered his new team minus Lisbon with childhood reminders. The pony had been given at the beginning of the show, which put emphasis on the “always” in Wayne’s statement: the team watched many interactions between the two leads (“you’re blushing, boss” in S1; Jane touching her face when he was blinded in ‘Bloodshot’;
RB: Note, both incidences Wane was the sole witness. Methinks he was an early shipper…
Violet: Cho telling “Jane, right”, when Lisbon ditched their investigation to help Jane after Darcy stranded him; Jane’s remark about Lisbon being meaner to him at the end of ‘Something’s Rotten in Redmund’… Unlike with Bosco’s feelings for Teresa, they never really commented on it
RB: Probably because no one knew about them. If memory serves me right, even Jane was surprised when he found out about it, whereas Jane’s affections were more obvious to the team.
Violet: They observed and drew their own conclusion… It enlightens again how people tended to consider them as a possible couple, just like Abbott and Kim did at first.
Jane deflects the allusion to the past by wondering aloud where the pony may be now: things are not right between Lisbon and him and he’s way to secretive to pour his heart to the guys, obviously. That’s probably why he gratefully uses the pretext offered by the barmaid to leave them.
RB: Actually, I found it telling that he didn’t leave right away and instead told the barmaid that he was busy with his friends. I remember wondering if, in fact, Jane, given the opportunity, actually wanted to discuss his relationship with Lisbon with the two guys. I find the idea fascinating.
Violet: The friendly atmosphere at the bar compensates the mild coldness of ‘Grey Water’.
RB: Alternatively, Jane’s warmth towards Rigsby in this episode just makes the aloofness of his greeting to him in the previous one more bizarre.
Violet: Again, the encounter is also placed under the shadow of a darker past as alluded to subtly by the name of the hotel where Grace and Wayne are staying and where she’s taken from. As a threatening counterpoint of the bar ‘El Lazo’ –which the double meaning pointed out by Reviewbrain in the previous review-, the hotel is called ‘Rose Mountain Inn’, a color frequently used in title as a reference to RJ. Still, viewers are reminded that many things have changed. When Cho drives Wayne back to the inn, he tells him the FBI is offering both him and Grace a job. The other man is hesitant, because he and Grace have now kids. Their priority has shifted from being in the team (the reason for their break up) to protecting their family life.
RB: I like the reference here to how much their characters have grown up. The reminder is timely…
VIS #2: Jane confronts creepy Haibach
The parallels with the past events and particularly with RJ are even more visible when Jane and Lisbon start interrogating their main suspect, Haibach, who was unwittingly involved in Jane’s quest to get the serial killer. Firstly, the glimpses we got of Grace in a cellar, just like the one Hardy used to keep a young girl prisoner in the S1 finale and the one where RJ’s presumably first victims’ skeletons were found in ‘The Red Barn’; still, it may be also interesting to compare the choice of this place with Jane’s own kidnapping in ‘Ball of Fire’: that episode had the team worried for his life, as they are now for Grace, and its resolution ultimately led to an increased closeness with Lisbon…
Speaking about her, Haibach is pretty resentful towards the former CBI team leader and snarls “oh, you apologized. But that didn’t stop your planning, did it?” It draws an implicit comparison with her own attitude towards Jane: he apologized for his actions -in his last letter from the island, he mentioned being sorry for leaving her on the roadside- and he tried to make it up to her by getting her a new job, but she doesn’t seem to be able to completely trust his intentions anymore.
Plus, even though Haibach claims there is “no game” on his part –another allusion to RJ-, he obviously enjoy mocking them: when Jane asks if he knows where Van Pelt is, he replies “no, I don’t, how could I?” in a sing song voice… just before he “guesses” exactly her situation. Later, when an angry Rigsby launches at him, yelling that he’s an animal, the man yells back “you people are the animals”, because back then he did nothing and was still targeted because of them…
He’s right. Jane dismissed his kidnapping when Kirkland tortured him and Lisbon even chided her consultant for his indifference. But Haibach easily forgets his own crimes: he’s a paedophile and this was hinted at by the secret child bedroom he created in his house. He planned to kidnap a little girl when Kirkland targeted him, which foreshadowed Grace’s situation. He shows therefore the same logic as RJ, who took revenge on Jane’s family because the fake psychic had “slandered” him in the medias…
Haibach’s plan progressively takes form: he enjoys himself by playing his two enemies face to face -Jane ,who deliberately put his name on his fake list, and Lisbon, who came after him repeatedly- while revealing the vengeful motive behind his acts when stressed out. His meticulous planning is showed later when Abbott and Kim interrogate him as he’s able to provide a suspiciously detailed alibi (a video of him on the bus/his bus ticket/several witnesses): he’s obviously mocking them. Playing cat and mouse with his victim and hiding in plain sight were two of RJ’s favorite mind games too.
On the other hand, as a counterpoint to those allusions to the serial killer, there are several parallels with Jane’s situation regarding him. He understands what Wayne is going through as a father, and he tries to comfort and calm him by telling “you have children you need to see grow up”. Indeed, even through the younger man is in danger of losing his wife, he’s graced with the chance of knowing his kids are safe. Jane wasn’t as lucky and his imagining an adolescent Charlotte in ‘Devil’s Cherry’ showed how much he regretted it. Later, as Rigsby talks to his son Ben, the kid asks where Grace is… In addition of enlightening that the Rigsby’s form a harmonious family, since she’s only his stepmother, but obviously a loving one.
Rigsby goes and finds the clever consultant, begging for his help, “whatever it takes”. As a consequence, Jane barges in the interrogation room and threatens Haibach. He yells “you know me” and promises to track him down, alluding to his past quest to avenge his family and to the fact that he killed three men in the process. He shows again his uncaring and obsessive side: “I have nothing to lose. I have played with the house money for years. If I go to prison for what I’ll do to you, I don’t care”…
While it looks like he’s stuck in the same position than with RJ, it’s still interesting that he’s painted the almost exact image his co-workers must have had of him for years: a vengeful obsessed man with no string attached and willing to use them for all what they were worth… But this “been there, done that” vibe doesn’t really match the reality anymore : his “I have nothing to lose” contrasts with his loneliness and his letters to Lisbon, when he was writing that her absence was what made his situation awkward. Same with his willingness to recreate his nest at the CBI: that speaks of his fondness for his friends and the memories he shared with them. Therefore, this coldness hides a fiery defence of people he cares about. And he explains to a bewildered Abbot that he’s trying to work Haibach out of his comfort zone: again, he’s using the same strategy than with RJ. He’s trying to get the other to make mistakes, without caring for the consequences of his own actions. This dangerous game Jane is playing contrasts with Kim’s tentative approach to get Haibach’s lawyer to step back and help them: the insensitive woman accuses her of feeding her a « sob story » in an « unprofessional, disrespectful » manner. Like her client, she enjoys the power she has over the agents (telling them “ok kids, time’s up. Put your pens down” when she barges into Abbott’s office). This indicates that the legit route would take them nowhere to save Van Pelt.
VIS #3: Grace proves that she’s resourceful
Meanwhile, the redhead is making the best of the situation and manages to escape the cellar she’s locked in: she’s smart and determined. Soon, she’s alone in the wild and her isolation is further emphasized by the snow. Her dangerous situation reminds of her predicament in ‘My Bloody Valentine’. When a car stops by her, viewers may get a hint that the danger is getting closer: the driver, an inoffensive-looking woman, is listening to rather loud music, echoing ‘Redwood’ (the playlist the victims were listening to when a cruel killer attacked them) and ‘Red Gold’ (the killer changed the radio station in his victim’s car).
Van Pelt’s suspicions flare when she enters the woman’s cabin: she understands that there’s no electricity because there’s a fireplace, thus the woman was lying when she told there was a phone. Her observation skills hint at Jane’s influence, just like her resourcefulness… She also uses his technique to get the other to let her guard down: she tries to make friends by telling her to call her Grace; when it fails, she still manages to make her talk in order to buy time to try to escape. Her efforts are in vain, but it shows that she learned many things with the master of lies.
Jane’s shadow can also be detected in the woman’s character: she’s Haibach’s sister and she feels anger and guilt because she couldn’t protect him… She’s seeking to rectify a past error to the extent of not caring if she hurts or kills people in the process.
VIS #4: Rigsby and Jane kidnap Haibach AKA saving Grace
Jane and Rigsby decide to take action and kidnap Haibach: while he’s leaving the FBI headquarters in a car with his lawyer. While Haibach is ranting to her bout making Patrick Jane suffer, Jane has disguised himself as their driver stops the car to let Rigsby get in. Jane’s grin and adorable driver hat is thus the sixth time in as almost as many episodes that an undercover job is featured –Kim playing a part in the island; Abbott asking Jane to pose as a psychic in ‘Green Thumb’; the dates with Krystal in ‘White Lines’; Lisbon wearing another black hat in spy fashion in ‘The Golden Hammer’; Jane sleeping in the community in ‘Black Helicopters’. One could even argue that, given his impassioned reaction to Grace’s kidnapping, his mildly indifferent greeting in the previous episode plays with false appearances as well.
Abbott realizes what the two men have been up to and wants to get some information out of Lisbon and Cho. Lisbon knows nothing (Jane’s good old “deniability”) and Cho adds “we have nothing to do with it, but we’d do it if they’d asked”. Again, it echoes their confrontation with Abbott in ‘Red John’, when Cho led the way to confront the man into letting Jane go. Their boss remembers: he is aware that they find Wayne and Jane “brave”, but that doesn’t stop him from threatening their jobs… That’s a curious reversal for Dennis: before, he was the one threatening the CBI, now it’s Haibach’s lawyer supported by an unfair law that protects a kidnapper who poses a threat for his new team.
Jane playfully leaves the lawyer stranded on the roadside, after exchanging his driver uniform with her phone and teasingly putting his hat on her head. It comes full circle with him leaving Lisbon without phone on that cliff, which was alluded to when he left Kim and drove away his Airstream at the market. This time, instead of being a hurtful gesture which probably caused her present mistrust, it proves that he cares: he won’t stop at anything to save Grace.
And the role reversal is even more obvious as Rigsby acts crazy and Jane is the one trying to calm him down (“talk to me, I have a plan, there’s another way”)… The usually untameable consultant seems very reasonable for once: he’s assuming Lisbon’s role when Wayne is channelling his inner Jane…his brutal streak.
Plus there’s a multiplication of references to RJ: Rigsby tries to set Haibach on fire (like Todd Johnson and echo to the bombing in ‘Fire and Brimstone’: fire is a recurrent image of RJ’s power); after the man took Wayne’s discarded gun and made them drive to the abandoned cabin, then to his sister’s house, he discovers that the guys used a trick on him: all along the gun had no ammunition and he’s the mercy of an armed Rigsby (it reminds of Jane’s trick with the pigeon, Lisbon’s gun and the other gun hidden in the church); Haibach threatening them from the back of the car, then being threatened by Rigsby ridding shotgun is a wink to the limo scene in ‘The Crimson Hat’ (RJ was talking from the back of the car using a phone attached to Luther, Jane was sitting shotgun and it was the first time Jane had been able to talk to him directly). In a way, this moment in the car with Haibach almost sums up Jane’s history with the serial killer because while it looked like RJ was more powerful, Jane overpowered him too with a clever trick… But Haibach and his sister get the upper hand again and are about to take revenge for his missing thumb by shooting Rigsby and deciding to chop Jane’s fingers too, in a double allusion to Lorelei who was ordered to cut off Jane’s fingers in the limo. The RJ vibe is even furthered by Haibach giddily telling that he wants to “play a little game” (again) with a terrified Jane. Fortunately, Rigsby proved more resistant and determined than the killers took him for: even gravely injured, he walks outside the house to shoot them. He was able to protect his wife and saved the day, what Jane always regretted not doing for his family… The implied glimpse into the past is closed when Jane lying in the snow sees the black helicopter sent to rescue them. It was what he asked to Lisbon over the phone in ‘Black Helicopters’: symbolically the nightmarish window on the past is closed and they’re back to the present situation. Wayne can start to recover physically, just like Jane may start to heal mentally from the loss of his family that he couldn’t yet overcome, since he still can’t allow himself to take his ring off for good.
VIS #5: at the hospital
When Wayne is resting on his hospital bed with his beloved Grace the atmosphere is much more cheerful: Lisbon hugs Grace while telling her how worried she was, then Jane hugs her too. The both of them are making a beeline for the door together –at long last!- when they’re interrupted by Abbott and Kim. Abbott compliments Rigsby (“you impressed all of us”), but both husband and his wife refuse heartily the job they are offered. Kim hands some flowers to the redhead and, last but not least, Cho, Wayne’s dear friend, pats Grace’s leg before leaving them alone too.
For the first time in what feels like forever, Jane and Lisbon are shown leaving the hospital while bickering. Lisbon reproaches that it was a “stupid idea”, Jane protests that it was “not stupid, simple but not stupid…” When she admits that she’s still angry for not telling her and she was really scared, he tells “I’m sorry.” She replies “no, you’re not. I can tell when you’re no being sincere », which refers both to their old friendship and to her past assumption that she could tell when he was lying in ‘Red Sky in The Morning’: both times, like in many others, the two partners are seen walking away bickering as the episode ends. It hints that at least part of their friendship is back: while those are pretty much the same things Lisbon reproached to Jane recently –taking decisions on his own, scaring her by running away and dismissing her as if she was his inferior- it’s very apparent that the intention behind her words is different. Jane has proven his affection for them taking huge risks for his friends: like before, even if his methods are questionable, he’s mostly trustworthy at heart.
That’s the most heartwarming aspect of the episode: Jane has paid his debt to the team for standing for him. Like in ‘Red Alert’, which featured Lisbon’s silent grief over Bosco’s death, and in ‘My Bloody Valentine’, when Grace refused to acknowledge the loss of her love, the conclusion of Haibach’s wrongdoings ended being a life-affirming experience. Jane’s decisions here showed that he cares about them: he hadn’t just using them for his quest. He made it up to them for his actions, which is probably why Haibach’s character was chosen to be the culprit: he had happened to be a casualty in Jane’s quest, just like the team and Lisbon had become at the end, as they had to deal with the consequences… Hence the catharsis: Jane considers them as his friends and he wants to protect them. In spite of not being truthful with his words or his motives, he was sincere in his affection for them. Sacrificing their careers at the CBI for him had been worth it.
Writer Eoghan Mahony provided a touching homage to two great characters (Grace’s cleverness and Rigsby’s impressive determination were a last hint at character development since it enlightens how efficient they have become) At the same time, he masterfully used this goodbye to set things right in the new setting: Jane and Lisbon acting like friends again; Wiley takes a more prominent part in the investigation; Abbott is a by the book boss but he admits he’s impressed by Wayne. He doesn’t play a double game like Bertram, nor is emotional like Luther; he isn’t as unfair with Lisbon as Hightower used to be at first… If he keeps being this measured, he might even compare one day with Minelli… Same with Kim: like in the market when she interrogated the “peanut butter people” some time ago, she’s still pretty awkward in her role as a boss, but that doesn’t undermines her friendliness (talking to the lawyer, bringing flowers). And the old team is reunited no more as colleagues but as a family: it’s the first time they’re all together at the hospital at the same time… They weren’t together at Jane’s bedside (when he was in a fugue state/ drugged/ blinded by a bomb), neither at Lisbon’s (when she was shot by Craig/attacked by RJ even if there were flowers), neither at Grace’s (when she was shot in the earlier seasons) nor when Rigsby’s father was dying. But now, they are, because their closeness is caused by affection and devotion. It’s a rather beautiful conclusion to their story and a solid beginning for the new Mentalist.
rb: Owain Yeoman and Amanda Righetti were fantastic in the episode as well. I loved how physical their roles were, especially Wayne’s. considering his build it would have been a crime to have him leave the show without making use of his physical prowess (which, is rarely brought up : Russett Potatoes, Like a Red-Headed Stepchild). I can see both Righetti and Yeoman moving on to action films now.
Icings on the Cake
The beautiful, beautiful snow white setting of the episode denoting perhaps that the show was starting a new clean slate.
Violet: When Jane, Haibach and Rigsby get off the car to enter the cabin, there’s snow, but they don’t seem to mind the cold, even though they’re wearing light clothes and there’s no steam coming from their mouths. I may be overly picky, but this destroyed the illusion a bit for me…
RB: For me, the first was Grace getting duped by Hazel. After showing how awesome Grace is at managing to escape we’re supposed to believe that she’s careless enough to flag down the first approaching car without thinking that it might be the perp looking for her? Grr.
Then there is Hazel. I don’t know if it was the writing or the acting, but she felt like such a flat two dimensional character. Whether it was her telling Grace that she’ll tell on her to her brother (about how she tried to escape) or boasting how she knew Grace escaped, most of her scenes made me cringe.
RB: After being so happy that the RJ plot is finally over, I can’t stop thinking about the left over lackeys in the encrypted file. I still don’t get why no one (either in the original CBI team or in the FBI) thought an RJ fan might have been after the wire taps. Now they proved to have nothing to do with Grace’s kidnapping, I’m probably just being obsessive. But I will say this: while Haibach might have been the perp in this episode, there is still no proof that he is the one who put a trace on Ardiles and the CBI members. Haibach’s revenge might be red herring to deflect from the fact that (possibly vengeful) Blake association members still exist.
Finally, I am ecstatic at the surprise ending of this episode. I honestly thought Rigsby had been killed for a while and did not look forward to the result. I would have hated to see Jane set off on another guilty streak, this time for having his actions inadvertently cause the death of Wayne and Grace. I also loved how Rigsby was the ultimate hero, in every sense of the word. In this episode, he saved more than just his and Grace’s life. He saved Jane’s newly peaceful existence from shattering again. A worthy ending to a worthy character. Righetti, Yeoman, you will be missed.
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