Note: Not a traditional review so there are spoilers for the episode everywhere. Unfortunately, unedited. Read at your own risk!
Unorganized thoughts start here….
This was the best episode of the season. I can’t remember the last episode I saw that had so many quotable lines. If I could’ve have written the review I wanted it would have contained the longest “Best lines” section ever.
A good deal of those lines were part of some of the most meaningful conversations we’ve been privileged to see, ever between Lisbon and Jane.
And what made those scenes so intense, besides the fantastic writing was the acting. Baker and Tunney were fantastic. From his “What did I do” to Tunney’s understated yet scathing “Yes Jane has all our sympathies”, everything out of their mouths was perfectly delivered.
But best of all was the honesty in those lines. Jane flat out tells Lisbon “I love that you’re predictable.”
Of course he does. To control freak Jane, predictable means safe. but the two years they spent apart, and Marcus Pike, has him feeling like a fish out of the water. He isn’t sure where he stands with Lisbon anymore.
Hence his bringing her coffee at beginning o the episode. It’s such a classic (i.e. early season) Jane thing to do. He’s like a partner trying to rekindle the flame after a its gone out of a marriage. Or a guy trying to endear himself after a lover’s quarrel.
Ironically Jane’s love of control should make it easier for him to understand how Lisbon, a control freak herself feels insecure about their relationship due to his unpredictability.Alas, show off Jane can’t help but try to surprise (i.e. impress) people. Especially those he cares about. The showman in him is such a deeply ingrained facet of his character I doubt it will ever go away completely.
But is that the only reason he didn’t let Lisbon in on the fake grand jury? Jane’s insistence that the plan was a “sting” and not a con implies he’s trying to change into a more serious law abiding person. As does his stating he was following Abbot’s order not to tell Lisbon about the plan. It’s continuity to his conversation with Cho earlier in the season when the latter seemed surprised at his more mellow personality.
The honesty theme comes again with Lisbon and Marcus. He knows Jane is what is taking up Lisbon’s thoughts and holding up her decision to move with him to DC. It was implied when he states that she doesn’t need to go into her history with him if she doesn’t want to, and it is strongly alluded to when, after he explains the story of a film they were going to watch, Casablanca to her (a woman choosing between two men) he quickly adds that there is also a baseball game on and on her request switches to that channel.
But the final bit of honesty was Jane coming to see Lisbon in her home. At the beginning of the episode he had seriously told her that he wants her to stay, then undermined that honesty by saying his reason was that DC is boring. But he more than makes up for it at the end of the episode.
Jane shows up at Lisbon’s doorstep with Italian food a grin on his face which disappears when Marcus Pike opens the door. When Lisbon appears he hands her the bag of take out and makes to leave. But she calls him back, saying he had another reason for coming. Jane then tells her that he was thinking about her leaving but that he wants her to be happy. That that’s the most important thing. What’s heartbreaking about this speech is that Jane is being completely honest. He obviously wants Lisbon to stay with him. But more importantly he wants her to be happy. For a somewhat selfish man like Jane, its the ultimate sacrifice.
Thankfully, Lisbon has learned enough from Jane to realize all this. Hence her brushing back tears after he leaves.
Ill bet most viewers brushed theirs back as well.
What I especially liked was the role reversal. Jane is practically wearing his heart on his sleeve while Lisbon is being as reserved as she ever was. From the very beginning when Jane asks her if she decided, she asks, “decided what?” pretending she doesn’t know what he is talking about. Then when Jane flat out asks her “what does a girl want to hear?” obviously referring to her, she replies “I have no idea”.
Perhaps it’s unfair to attribute that particular answer as her being dishonest. Lisbon genuinely seems at a loss on which man to pick. The dependable safe bet who seems to worship the ground she walks on (who wouldn’t?). Or the consultant with a mountain of baggage who enjoys driving her up the wall?
But I think Jane’s expression at the end of the episode will make the choice easier for her. Even modest Lisbon can’t deny the love in his eyes then. If the difficulty in the decision was that she wasn’t aware of the extent of Jane’s affection, then that is definitely no longer an issue. He can say he wants her to be happy, and mean it, even if it means being with Marcus, away from him. But like she told Abbott, she spent enough time with Jane to learn from him. She can read clearly that he wants her to be happy in Texas.
The only question is can she be?
I’ll be honest. There were times this season when I wondered if it wouldn’t be better for the show to get axed. I loved the reboot (new actors/characters are wonderful). But some of the cases were getting stale and it hadn’t felt like the show I fell in love with in a while; their was just something lacking, sorry to be blunt, in the writing. Then this episode happened and changed all of that. I had to watch the opening scene twice to read who wrote it: it felt like one of the best Heller scripted episodes ever. If the writers are going to churn out episodes like these then I’m going to enjoy season seven immensely. And I’m not just talking about the J/L angst. The fake grand jury was cool. The fact that the sex trafficking ring turned out to be a cover for live organ donors was also a nice surprise. In fact, the only thing I disliked about the episode was the character Daniella, and I think that’s mostly because I didn’t enjoy the actress who played her: she came off more bratty than sympathetic, unfortunately.
Finally, I apologize for the tardiness of the review. It almost didn’t get written since the new episode had already aired before I got a chance to even start. But then I remembered fans outside of the US still haven’t seen it (and they make up a good number of my readers) so here it is for better or worse for whoever is interested.
Also, I loved this episode too much to not dedicate even a meager review for it. Writing, acting, music (the end ;_;) , direction, editing (court scene, especially)- everything was absolutely perfect. Here’s to more episodes like this.
CONGRATULATIONS EVERYONE ON THE SHOW GETTING RENEWED!!!!!!!
1- If this episode had a theme song it would be Passenger’s “Let her Go”:
3- Anyone know if the title of the episode has significance besides the name of the restaurant and perhaps the table Jane and Lisbon sat at and reconciled their differences?
That’s it for now. I’m off to watch the new episode now. See you in the next review!
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