N.B.: Silver-winged time has been flying for us too, as this review was written in a hurry and is therefore dreadfully unedited. Thank you for you comprehension and sorry for any mistake, inaccuracy or inconsistency.
When a bomb explodes and kills a man, the team is called in to investigate. Jane (Baker) is more worried by another issue, though: his partner Lisbon (Tunney) is late at the crime scene. Soon, his attention focuses again on the crime and he works to save a man about to be executed for a crime he claims he didn’t commit.
Tom Szentgyorgyi and Rebecca Cutter have created an intriguing little number with ‘Silver Wings of Time’. Within their combined talented hands, the show has kept to his traditional procedural format while spicing things up with a good serving of personal (non-)communication between the two leading characters. Side by side thus lay an interesting case and a deep and unresolved questioning of Jane’s jealousy towards Lisbon’s new relationship. That’s undoubtedly enough to give viewers a lot of food for thoughts on how the series will be progressing regarding Lisbon’s love life. After taking her for granted in a ‘Golden’ episode, is Jane going to let her fly from his nest after a ‘Silver’ one?
Detailed AKA Humongous Review (spoilers galore)
VIS #1: Lisbon is late at the crime scene
The very first shot of the episode features in a close succession a wristwatch, the words “countdown to Cruz execution” and a man getting disguised and setting a bomb up. After a couple more of shots of countdowns, he lets the bomb at a bus stop where it kills a man. In a few seconds, we therefore get the main theme of the episode: time. But it’s not any type of time: the one that flies before a disaster, a life-threatening experience.
This puts emphasis on another aspect of time: lateness and especially Lisbon’s lateness at the crime scene. The moment is further dramatized by the absence of sound except for the music when the team is first seen after the cops were called. Abbott and Fischer are busy interrogating and talking on the phone, but Jane is obviously not interested by the victim or the witnesses: he’s standing alone and looking for Lisbon. When she’s coming into view, his eyes focus on her and his first words are “late to a crime scene?” It’s an oddity, obviously, since for years Jane had been late and she’s been the one commenting on it, like after he set Culpepper to break into LaRoche’s house: at the time, he used to concentrate on his personal vendetta, now it enlightens that Lisbon’s attention has also shifted. The woman is no longer married to her job, she’s been wanting a personal life and getting it… Plus, the disguise used by the murderer et the very beginning reminds indirectly of the undercover stunt they pulled in ‘Violets’: even though Lisbon is not wearing the same clothes, her outfit, black pantsuit and white blouse, is quite similar to the one she was wearing when she left with Marcus. It’s implicit she’s been spending the night with him and she left only when she got called to the crime scene, pretty much as she did with Mashburn… Only Jane’s veiled jealousy and questioning hint that things are far more serious with the agent than they had been with the billionaire. He asks her directly how her date with Pike was and she breezily answers it “was ok”, which sets his suspicions flaring: “hum, just ok?” Given Lisbon’s evasiveness, he just mutters “that’s great”… Just like he wished her a fun night when he left with the other man, Jane decides to drop the subject and let his real thoughts stay unsaid. But, whereas before he was only sitting on his couch, lonely and hurt, on a deserted bullpen, it now looks that he’s slowly turning to concealed anger… The rather curt tone he uses to tell that the bombing was no terrorist attack, because “someone just wanted the dead guy dead”, then his explanation when Fischer asks him how would he know that – a brief “because hes’ dead”- hint that he wants things to be over as fast as possible, without mindgame or elaborate reasoning to impress his new team. Even his triumph when he’s proven right on the “dead guy” is cut short when he simply half-smiles and turns to leave: unlike with the stolen art case, he’s not willing to have fun and show off right now.
Time is again alluded to later: Kim is startled when Wylie’s new computer program chirps loudly “it’s nine o’clock”. It’s designed to make him more efficient but it adds a sense of urgency, like an echo to Jane’s situation regarding Lisbon, who is slipping away fast. Like the testing of the fire alarm system that sets off immediately after, her happy date with the dark-haired agent is the signal that Jane might be on the verge of losing her…
But time running out is also related to the case as the motive for the killing appears to be murderer Cruz’ programmed execution: the bomb victim knew him and was determined to prove his innocence. As Cruz himself states to Abbott that he’s been framed, the agent replies “I appreciate your time” but he seems positively impressed by the man’s explanations. Meanwhile, among others time-related lines (“twenty seconds later”), the rest of the team comes to the conclusion that the killer had an accomplice in a young mother who distracted the victim: in fact, the baby was a “cute” doll, as Lisbon put it, furthering once more the undercover vibe of the episode. After bad-ass Little Miss Fierce apprehended her with the help of Kim and Cho, the woman admitted that she helped him in his private investigator job: “I distract the mark, he makes the grab” (basically being the magician’s assistant, a role offered to Lisbon for years in Jane’s schemes)… But they meet a dead end when Kim is told the man was shot to the head…
Abbott then decides to ask a perpetually teacup-holding Jane more directly for his help to save Cruz: he went through the transcript of the man’s trial for murder and he’s convinced he was framed. He was a drug-addict without an alibi, plus, as Jane remarks, the only evidence found against him was easy to plant… Abbott admits that he has “a feeling he can’t shake” that he’s innocent and Jane tends to agree with him. Abbot asks him what they’re gonna do about this and Jane replies with a smile “Oh, I think I can come up with something”… It’s pretty interesting how relatively close and understanding they have become: they’re part of the same team now and it’s obvious they respect the other’s abilities. Jane values Abbott’s opinion and his boss is aware that the consultant is truly an asset. But this is also a feel-good case: by helping a innocent accused of murder, Jane is also somehow redeeming himself of his own crime of killing RJ. Indeed, Sarah Feinberg, Cruz’s supposed victim, was killed by an intruder fourteen years ago, more or less at the time of Angela Jane’s murder, and her body was found by her husband too: “he found his wife’s body when he arrived at home later that night” (just like Jane in the pilot flashback). Cruz was suspected because he had an argument with him, again just like Jane had angered RJ on TV… The mention of drugs was a plot-device often used in the past to refer indirectly to Jane’s addiction/obsession. And his remark to Kim that “a lack of trial helps” hints that there are parallel with his own case: a trial of murder and eventually death row are also the threats hanging over his head and he’s only protected by the deal he made with Abbott… Plus time flies: Wylie’s computer reminds them that “it’s 10 o’clock” – even though one whole day has passed, the last time it was heard, it was only 9 o’clock…
VIS #2: Jane and Lisbon at the remarried widower’s house
As a result, Jane and Lisbon go investigate deeper into the Feinberg murder. It’s been a long time since the both of them were paired on a case –the undercover operation was an exception. But their partnership is marred by a phone call from Lisbon’s brand new boyfriend. As she mutters on the phone “I can’t do anything tonight. This case’s gonna take hours”, Jane silently walks by her, eavesdropping on her plans. His wordless irritation is almost palpable: he straightens his posture, his eyes wander to the side and he very lightly scowls. Lisbon glances at him after ending the call and seeing him sigh, she asks “what?” She’s defensive: she’s giving off mixed signals, suspended somewhere between feeling embarrassed and maybe a touch guilty and watching his reaction. It’s almost as she was trying to get his attention by talking to Pike right in front of him, like she did when she mentioned her “date” with Osvado. Still, the man refuses to take the bait and they both stiffly enter the house.
Of course, the meeting with the widower and his second wife doesn’t go well. Jane looks uncomfortable sitting with Lisbon on the couch and brusquely gets up and wanders in the room. His entire demeanor is rather clipped and his questions very tactless, to the point that Feinberg remarks that « you like to provoke now, don’t you?”, adding that’s a “possible defence mechanism”… With a forced smile, the widower starts recounting how after “a period of deep grieving”, he pulled himself out of it and met his second wife, who happened to be one of his students: “we were fortunate enough to find each other”. Jane curtly replies that “so it was fate, huh? Wonderful »… He asks a couple more of questions to divert their attention then ask if he could use their bathroom. That’s his usual method to get an opportunity to wander off in the house and search for clues: here is no exception, as he sneaks in the office. He’s in a troublemaking mood: he stops to steal some grape on his way. Meanwhile, Lisbon only looks embarrassed by his behavior.
When he returns, he accuses the man of having an affair with his student when his wife was still alive: “you were so careful to mention your long deep grieving period”. He also points out that it’s not really the house of someone who grieved the loss of a loved one: the grand luxury house certainly contrasts with Jane’s lack of self-indulgence in his man-caves (bulking up on the bullpen couch or on the mattress on the floor of the bedroom where his family had died; then progressing to the attic, a non-descript motel room and now the Airstream)… Contrary to Feinberg, he’s obviously lost his home and cannot settle down again. Therefore, it emphasises the difference between thi man who was very eager to move on and Jane, who’s been stuck in the past for a long time, still wears his wedding ring… and is aware he’s about to lose a woman he deeply cares about because he couldn’t set up his mind soon enough. The parallel is further deepened when Edward Feinberg admits that Jane is very observant and that he does “protest too” much: that’s a probably a veiled allusion to one of Jane’s beloved Shakespeare’s plays. Indeed, in ‘Hamlet’, the prince makes his cheating and criminal mother watch a play in which a widow solemnly vows never to remarry in order to confront her. The queen’s reaction is that “the lady doth protest too much”: in spite of her words, she’s about to marry again, exactly like she did herself after killing her husband. This obviously indicates Jane’s thoughts about Feinberg –that he too killed his wife to marry his younger lover- but it also enlightens Jane’s own situation: he’s so stiff and borderline judgemental regarding the other widower’s status that it reveals his regrets and anger about Lisbon. Like Queen Gertrude, he’s watching a play unfold in front of him, presenting him what could have been had he not been that hell-bent on making revenge his priority: he could have started a new life along the way, presumably even with Lisbon (given that the second Mrs Feinberg married her lover eleven years ago, a little less than he’s known his former CBI boss now). Like the other man, Jane is very defensive and his apparent indifference regarding Lisbon’s new situation only reveals further his real feelings on the matter: he insists that he does understand, adding that he understand that Feinberg killed his wife and he’s going to prove it.
The intricacy of the circumstances involving Jane and Lisbon has been noticed by their coworkers: as Kim and Cho discover some clues, Kim asks Kimball if Lisbon dated on the work at CBI. He tells that he doesn’t know, he didn’t ask. She insist that it’s weird to see her dating Pike and tests the waters by asking if he happens to know what Jane thinks about it: Cho’s funny answer is that he doesn’t know, otherwise his brain would explode. It enlightens how ambiguous things are from on outsider’s point of view: everyone commented now on how they thought there were some romantic issues between Jane and Lisbon and they’re thus sensing the tension they’re both giving off. Before, it emanated mostly from Lisbon whose trust issues had been reawakened, but now they’re clearly expecting Jane’s jealousy. Even guarded Cho with his apparent lack of curiosity implicitly commented on it: he doesn’t really understand the older man’s complicated and layered (lack of) actions here…
VIS #3: the trick with the timer
The Feinberg are finally convoked at the FBI headquarters for further interrogation on bogus drugs charges. The countdown for the execution keeps stressing things out along with the sudden outburst of the fire alarm testing. In this oppressing atmosphere, the spouses are separated and Mae Feinberg in brought into a waiting room: it’s indeed a matter of waiting until either time runs out or her husband gives in to pressure. He’s interrogated by Jane and fights back as much as he can by telling the consultant that it must be very difficult for the people around him since he’ll never admit to be wrong.
It gets even clearer that the former widower and Jane have been in the same situation, but with a very different reaction: when the interrogation starts, the posture of each of them mimics the other’s over the table, like a reflection in a mirror. The man seems deceptively calm, stating that he knows Jane thinks he’s doing the right thing, because “it’s always the husband, right? But in this case, it’s not.” Jane explains how things must have gone, how he killed his wife, then how he paid the private detective to watch the only man who believed Cruz was innocent and kill him because he was taking diving lessons to retrieve the gun in a lake. Finally, he killed the detective. Feinberg is nervous but composed until his lawyer arrives and states that his client won’t talk to Jane. As the consultant is evinced, Cho takes his place: Kim, Lisbon then Abbott are ready to go too as the night progresses. The timer on the screen monitoring the interrogation continues the time theme. When it’s up to Abbott, Kim brings him a pillow and a blanket, telling him “Dennis, you need to rest” in front of their suspect. They’re obviously playing on suggestion here, like in the undercover operation: their teamwork is making Feinberg feel even more tired and disoriented. Jane does the same for Mae Feinberg, which hints that his suspicions lay on this side: the night-long interrogation is only a distraction. It’s pretty interesting too that blond women seem to have replaced redheads in the storyline: Mae is blond, just like Krystal, the killer in the spy episode and the widow in ‘Violets’…
Still, the plan works: interrupting his sleep with fire alarms and interrogation sessions makes Feinberg lose control. When they tell him time has run out to save Cruz, he pours his heart: he’s thought he’d feel relieved, but he’s only sad. His death doesn’t bring his wife back. His reaction echoes a long-running theme in TM: the consequences of revenge… Jane knows now what it feels like to see the murderer of a loved one die. This hardly relieved sadness indeed must match his thoughts since he doesn’t want to talk about RJ anymore. He wants to focus on his life instead. Still, he’s running out of time on that aspect too, because Lisbon is slowly slipping away… And then, Jane goes for the kill: he reveals to his fellow widower that he knows he’s not having the reaction of a guilty man. The real killer is his second wife, “your student, your lover”; she idealized him, was obsessed with him: “you enjoyed the devotion, it fed your ego, so you didn’t allow yourself to look too closely”. Of course the timer had been several hours fast all along and they can arrest Mae after she confesses to her horrified husband.
Once again, the situation is reversed with Jane: he’s been grieving for years, feeling guilty because he angered RJ, whereas Feinberg was unfaithful. Feinberg moved on and forgave himself by marrying his lover, while Jane is still unable to move on fully. Jane is also ready to let Lisbon go to make her happy, contrary to Mae who killed to get Edward: she’s insane, obsessed and selfish… Symbolically, Jane therefore is going through a shorter version of his grieving process: in the previous episode, he faced loss through the widow whose husband just died to save a reminder of their love. Now, with another widower, he’s confronted to the aftermath of revenge and the possibility of moving on. Indirectly, he may be working on taking the next step on the path to a new life… But that revenge thing also reminds closely of RJ: being in death row is the threat still hanging over Jane’s head. Plus there are many details reminding of the scene of his own crime: a gun and a pond, Cruz meaning “cross”, like the ones in a church: every of those things were present when he cornered McAllister…
VIS #4: Lisbon goes to her date with Marcus
After Abbott tells Cruz about how they found the gun, he comes to see Jane. The innocent man has taken the news with gravity, probably affected about the price he had to pay and what he had to lose to get free again and like him Jane seems strangely subdued. No case closed pizza this time: Jane is in the deserted bullpen, lying down on his couch and reading. He’s rather glad about Cruz, but gets annoyed when Abbott tells him that the bomb victim had the idea to look into a pond because psychic told him the gun was close to a piece of water. He blurts his old motto: “there are not such things as psychics”. It’s again a reminder of his past.
When he’s alone, Jane drops the book on his chest and closes his eyes. That’s the moment Lisbon chooses to dash to her desk to retrieve something before her date. She’s all dressed up in a fitting black dress and he tells her she looks beautiful. She’s a little embarrassed and distant: she tells him “don’t start” and comments that Pike is taking her somewhere nice with “cloth napkins and everything”. When he wishes her a great time, she only pushes her chin up and answers “good night Jane” in a mixing of defensiveness, challenge and disappointment. As she leaves, both seem closed up in their own form of loneliness: she half-turns her head when walking away, while he tells “night, Teresa” and stays on his couch.
They’re coming full circle, both regarding the start of the episode, when she’d obviously just left Marcus’ arms, and regarding the end of ‘Violets’: then too, she was leaving for a date and Jane was alone on his couch at the end of a case. Both times, he wished her well and she told him goodbye in a particular voice (low in ‘Violets’, more layered now). But it also brings to the viewers’ attention a detail: why would Lisbon need to pass by Jane every time? It was realistic that she had to get her things when Pike unexpectedly asked her out, but here she was ready to go, she only had a small thing to take on her desk (keys or her FBI pass or whatever). Couldn’t she get this before if she wanted to be discreet and avoid the ever-observant Jane? The thing is Lisbon is awfully obvious about her relationship with Pike, particularly for someone who used to value her privacy so much: not only did he take off openly for a date twice, right in front of her nosy consultant, but she also managed to tip him off on her night with her new lover and to answer a private phone call right beside him. It’s like she’s trying to get his attention… And is that’s the case, can’t the man take a hint, seriously? Twice in a row, she stopped by him before going on a date and both times, the best he could do was wish her fun? What will she need to do next time, drop by the Airstream to ask for some spare change for popcorn before going to the movies with her boyfriend?
Anyway, Lisbon’s ambivalence is visible: she definitively likes Pike and enjoys spending time with him, but she’s also watching closely how Jane is going to react. She’s trying so hard that one may think she’s basically asking her former best friend to stop her from moving on from him… On the other hand, Jane may have many reasons to hide his real thoughts on the matter: one possibility is that he believes the affair with Marcus is harmless and he’s letting her have a bit of empty glamor like she had with Mashburn… so he sucks it up like a good friend. Or he may be really obtuse when it comes to his/her emotions… Or more probably, he’s really convinced that Marcus is better for her. This fits with Reviewbrain’s theory in the comments for the previous review: Jane is maybe a very shy and insecure person deep down and he’s not sure of how he should proceed to take the first step with her, nor if it would be welcome. This explanation would certainly resonate with the self-esteem issues that have been brought up on Jane’s part through the course of the show.
That doesn’t make him any less secretive and controlling, in an unselfish way this time: by hiding his hurt feelings and jealousy, he’s still making decisions for her. He’s chosen to keep his mouth shut and let her go. For now at least…