FBI consultant Patrick Jane is disturbed when he learns that longtime colleague/friend/love-interest Agent Teresa Lisbon is moving to Washington DC with her boyfriend. In what will be their last case together, a series of events culminate which could bring them closer or tear them apart forever.
RB: I was never very happy with the storyline of having Lisbon rush headlong into a relationship with Agent Pike. There just didn’t seem to be enough of a foundation for it. And yet this episode made it worth it. Oh, so worth it. Top kudos go to B. Heller for writing it, Baker and Tunney for acting the heck out of it, and composer Blake Neely for bringing back our favorite musical themes with just enough of a spin on them to make this an extra special episode. It makes me almost sad that it’s not the last one because I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect ending. 10/10.
VIS #1: Jane and Cho investigate the first case
Violet: While it’s not unheard of, it’s still rather rare to see Cho and the unruly consultant paired up at a murder scene. Indeed, as Kim has remarked recently, Jane is usually with Lisbon, but here, not only is the stoic agent assuming her part, he’s also telling him about her departure, which she should have done but couldn’t bring herself to do at the very end of the previous episode.
Jane is amused: he offers a half-smile and replies confidently: « oh, Lisbon is not leaving ». All in all, that self-assured smugness enlightens the reason behind his lack of reaction to the proposal Pike made to Lisbon almost in front of him… He didn’t hear it. Plus, he apparently never took Pike as a real, durable threat: that is why he’s being so “chirpy”. His rival is now leaving and then Lisbon will be all his again… Hence the selfless talk he has been feeding her about doing what makes her happy: he never actually thought she might leave him to follow the other man. She never did it before, she wouldn’t now…
RB: I actually don’t think Jane was so self assured at the time of their talk at her house. He took Pike’s being there at the time quite hard and his emotions at the time were quite genuine. Rather, after that talk, and the more days that went on with Lisbon’s silence, I think he allowed himself to assume that she was staying simply because she hadn’t told him he was leaving.
Violet: Yes, it’s called denial. On the other hand, Lisbon’s reluctance to broach the subject is also telling. Given how little passion he showed about the subject, she’s avoiding both him and the theme as much as she can. There’s a huge lack of communication between them and the physical distance puts emphasis on the fact that she’s already becoming more detached from him.
But, when Cho insists that she’s really going, Jane’s true feelings on the matter come to the surface. He’s shell shocked, speechless and he cannot even process that he’s in front of the victim’s body. In a very funny moment, he interrupts the talk between Cho and the cop who called them: instead of giving precious insight into the case, he just blurts out “did you hear from her or from other people? », then keeps irrationally grasping at his fraying hopes by adding “I’ll believe it when I hear from her”… This hints that it’s not just incredulity on his part. He’s afraid and he’s feeling betrayed both because she’s leaving and because she didn’t tell him. The detail that the victim was stabbed in the back probably symbolizes how he must feel.
RB: I absolutely loved this scene. The fact that Jane seemingly can’t concentrate on the case, his entire demeanor, the fact that he and Cho are having this personal conversation in front of an audience albeit a bewildered one was hilarious. Also, very VERY gratifying. We’ve seen Lisbon many times with less than serene moods due to things Jane had done (both professionally and personally). Its only fair to see him (finally!) experiencing the same thing.
Violet: When he enters the student housing, he immediately observes every single detail and starts interrogating the students. But soon enough, he interrupts his questions by turning to Cho again, asking him when “she” is leaving. He then muses “that’s only ten days”. His brilliant brain is already at work as the shock is slowly receding. Indeed, Jane wants to go back to the bullpen, he craves to take action. In order to get away from the crime scene and to focus fully on Lisbon, he masterfully albeit distractedly solves the case (“oh sorry, that I forgot to say”). He points out that all the students in the house are guilty. They killed the man in a poker brawl that went very wrong.
Obviously the case is a nod to ‘Red Tide’. Back then too a bunch of youngsters killed their friend in a fight and drowned her for good measure, then made a pact to cover up the murder. This is one of the many echoes to previous episodes and the road Jane has been taking. It also reminds viewers of the beginning of his collaboration with Lisbon, which emphasizes how very painful her departure is. But it’s also an amusing overkill and it adds a comedic vibe to the scene as the victim was accused of cheating and stabbed in the back. That exaggeration enlightens again how similar he is to Jane, because Lisbon too thinks he’s a cheater and a manipulative liar. And of course, Jane, feeling betrayed, is about to prove her right…
VIS #2: in the bullpen
“Several days later”, Lisbon is saying goodbye in the bullpen, among hugs and Wiley’s “I’ll miss you”. Nearby, Jane is nonchalantly watching the moment. His calm appearance, teacup in hand, contrasts with the frenzy he showed in front of Cho. He’s feigning normalcy and even goes as far as to ask Lisbon if she’s leaving today. He’s hell bent in hiding his real feelings to Lisbon and his talks of happiness are slowly evolving on a full-fledged con he’s playing on her.
But Lisbon is not completely duped by his fake indifference. She asks him if he’s still mad at her, then insisting that he indeed looks mad when he tries to avoid the question.
RB: At this point I had no idea what Jane was planning. I just figured, like Lisbon that he was giving her the cold shoulder because he was upset she’s leaving, and still trying to figure out a way to get her to stay.
Violet: Lisbon is well aware that he doesn’t want her to go albeit she certainly doesn’t realize to what extent. This is probably why she chooses the words he previously used on her, asking him to be “happy” for her. Jane’s reply is the closest he came to admitting that he cares since she started dating Pike: “I am happy for you, but I’m also a bit sad for me because you’re leaving”… Of course, the first part of this sentence is an outright lie, but at least he verbalizes that he feels “a little slighted”.
RB: I think this half-truth is what helped Jane pull off the con, both on the Lisbon and viewers alike. The fact that he out rightly admits he’s sad lulls the listener into a false sense of security that he is being completely honest. I also want to point out, that Lisbon using Jane’s words means that while she may love Jane she is still unaware of how deep his own feelings run. She’s taking his words at face value. Six seasons and Lisbon is still unaware of the magnitude of emotions she can inspire in others; she’s just too modest, and perhaps too scared to ever consider that Jane loves her as anything more than a friend without him coming right out and saying it.
Violet: Obviously, Lisbon is not as sure of her choices as she makes out to be, since she tries to justify again why he shouldn’t be mad at her. Telling him was hard, they worked together a long time. Jane’s answer to that makes her look at him: “so stay, don’t go. Don’t break up the team…” It’s certainly not a coincidence that he chooses the same angle as in ‘Black Hearts’ (“we make a good team sometimes”). Plus, Lisbon herself used for years a similar professional façade to explain why they got along so well: first she used to say that he closed cases, then she started defining what they had as a partnership. Retreating behind such a line may be a shallow move from Jane, but it actually simply resumes the reasoning that used to hide the personal hues of their relation for years. Nevertheless, this is not enough anymore for Lisbon. When he notices her incredulous reaction, he hastily backpedals and adds “I’m kidding, I’m kidding…” After all, she has chosen the personal life Pike is offering to the work relationship Jane has been limiting her to for years.
RB: I don’t blame her. Jane’s revenge was the logical excuse as to why he and Lisbon never got together. Now that RJ is gone and Jane still yet to show any clear cut sign of wanting a romance with Lisbon, she cannot but help think he is uninterested and want to move on with her life.
Violet: He therefore puts on his mask of a good friend after shedding the one of the colleague. He tells her what she wants to hear more than what he really thinks. Pike is a good man, he’s happy for her (that he repeats) and she deserves it. This time, her reaction is more pleased and she thanks him. The whole exchange is pretty interesting because it sums up the miscommunication between them: they are both clinging to their usual personas although they both long for seeing the other reflect another aspect of their relation. Jane wants her to choose him and to stay, while his opinion is so important to her that she needs him to tell her he’s happy for her, even thought he actually told her something similar several times before (“I want you to be happy, it’s the most important thing to me”).
But their separation is suddenly postponed when the team catches a case: a killer has supposedly sent a note to their director (an agent Schultz, probably a nod to Mancini’s and Reede Smith’s boss) concerning the unsolved murder of a woman five years ago. Yet, Jane’s interest is more focused on spending a little more time with Lisbon than on bringing justice to the victim. Whereas he nonchalantly answers Abbott that he hasn’t any read on the code which concludes the letter, he eagerly suggests to Lisbon that, given that is their last case together, they should make it a happy one. Then, after Lisbon prudently remarks that it’s a murder case, he insists that they had had fun on some of those.
His lack of insight in that old new case intrigues Abbott enough to question him in the privacy of his office. He thinks his consultant is “weird”: “you’re acting cool about things I know you can’t be cool about”.
RB: It doesn’t take a genius to figure out Abbott is referring to Lisbon leaving here. He’s talked to Jane about Lisbon before and, and to Lisbon about Jane to the point where its obvious that hes rooting for the two to get it together.
Violet: Still, in spite of his confessor act, Jane keeps his real train of thoughts to himself.
RB: That, along with Abbott’s skepticism serves as foreshadowing that Jane has something up his sleeve.
Lisbon and Jane on their last case
The fun Jane promised to Lisbon starts when they get in Miami to re-open the case: sunny shots of the beach and the city’s wonders and some catchy music show how Jane is sending her off in style. He even rented a Cadillac for that special occasion, which is bound to remind her of his old Citroen and therefore of the moments they shared in it in the past.
RB: It’s also the first in a long list of cliched extravagance that Jane showers Lisbon with in their “case”. The gesture at the time seemed desperate.
Violet: Their investigation begins at the victim’s luxurious house. While they’re standing in front of huge windows, with some touches of blue on the garden chairs outside and on the paintings inside, Jane also starts his not-so-subtle plan to weaken Lisbon’s resolve, by commenting on DC. Lisbon expected no less from him and gently brushes him off. Their preoccupations are interrupted by the case when the widower makes a remarked entrance with his wife number three. He’s standing right on a Medusa mosaic: he’s claiming the spotlight. At the same time, this kind of mosaic used to symbolize protection, under a threatening appearance. Thus, it also indirectly represents Jane’s attitude towards Lisbon and his new family, as he’s been protecting them by keeping them at arms’ length. The husband is soon joined in that meaningful place by his daughter, directing the focus on the remaining family members. Although their places are reversed, that angry spouse and hurt daughter (who calls her father a “jerk” and her stepmother a “witch”) might remind of Jane’s own family, whom he got painfully separated from. Indeed, he keeps clinging to their shadows and that is what weights him down in the process of moving on. In that respect, the victim’s family sends an interesting image to Jane: like the widower in ‘Silver Wings of Time’, he has remarried -after having “hunted” their neightbor whom he suspected. And this case has been brought to the FBI attention because of a letter, just like Jane’s family murder was sealed with a letter too. The case thus sums up Jane’s life: a tragedy stoke, he hunted the responsible down. Now he only has to build a new life for himself too.
When they exit the house, Jane lets slip one of the many jab he’s planning on her future with Pike. Each of them is calculated to press on the sorest points of the relationship. He points out how unhappy the family is: adding hypocritically “I mean no disrespect to your marriage”. In a high-pitched voice –Marcus actually proposed, but she’s distressed by the idea-, Lisbon is quick to correct that she’s not getting married, which Jane refutes, commenting that moving to DC with him basically equals to getting married. He knows perfectly well that she has had deep commitment issues for years –Gregg is a prime example- and he’s planning to use her residual fears to his advantage… Plus, she barely knows Marcus: they’ve been dating for “weeks”. Lisbon again corrects “a month”… but obviously, Jane has a point. He’s been trying to make her have doubts, not about Pike himself, but about the fragility of what she’s building with him. That’s pretty clever, but problem is Lisbon is not committing to Pike because of what she feels for the man, but because she probably wants to break free from the limbo Jane in condemning her to.
RB: A noble cause
Violet: Jane then makes peace by bringing up the code at the end of the mysterious letter. Yet, Lisbon is confident that if he can’t solve it, she can’t either. Here, viewers have a better glimpse at the actual content of the letter and it might ring some warning bells:
To: Chief Agent Schultz
Remember Greta De Jorio? That was me.
To honor Greta’s memory, I will start killing again very soon and very publicly.
And you FBI simpletons still won’t catch me.
Ask yourselves, do you understand
752 598 H IS M Key o.
So, killing to honor a memory, arrogantly calling people “simpletons” in order to both insult and gaud them, making a vague but dangerous threat to set up a twisted mindgame… Whom those aspects may remind viewers of, huh?
Meanwhile, Kim and Kimball are brainstorming about the same code too. They arrive at some other suspects’ house –the victim’s partner business- only to discover two things. Firstly, there are many turquoise reminders of the episode title (the gym mat, the nearby pool, the sport clothes the partner is wearing, the sofa and chairs). That and the victim had an affair.
When they call Lisbon to inform her of the new development, she asks Jane to turn the music down. Indeed, the loud beguiling rhythmic tune that introduced Miami comes here from the car radio: it might be a hint that Jane is controlling the perception Lisbon and viewers have of the situation. The man seizes the occasion to slight again her future plans: « an affair, of course », because relationships always seem to end up in a tragic web of betrayal. Lisbon simply asks him to stop trying to convince her not to leave to which Jane dishonestly replies that he knows that once her “mind is made up, it’s made up. For better or worse. Richer or poorer…” That allusion to marriage makes Lisbon chuckle even though she tells him it’s not funny. Instead of being as annoyed as she claims to be by him undermining her love story, without actually badmouthing Marcus, she seems more pleased and a bit flattered by the attention.
RB: She does, doesn’t she? And why not. While viewers have been privy to all of Jane’s many (romantic?) gestures at protecting Lisbon (making Hightower take it easy on her, for one) Lisbon why has always been unaware of any romantic intonations in such gestures. This is made clear in her complete surprise earlier in the season when Fisher implies that she and Jane were a couple.
Violet: And, interestingly, that’s when the case takes a more romantic road. The suspect they interrogate was supposed to have been stalking the victim, while in fact he was in love with her daughter. His romantic intentions were misunderstood, his life was “destroyed” and he ended up living in a trailer… just like Jane right now. Moreover, the setting of the interrogation, at a table in front of a trailer, and Jane’s benevolence towards the guy are a feint echo of the visit to his carny friends in ‘Red John’s Rules’, the previous season finale. Back then, that talk led them to Sean Barlow and his remark about Lisbon being “a little bit in love” with her “secretive and controlling” consultant. Is that a hint that those personality flaws might rear their ugly head again, along with a love confession?
RB: The element of time also plays a role here. The suspect says he couldn’t confess his feelings because he was eighteen and the victim’s daughter was fifteen. The timing wasn’t right. But now that she is of age nothing should hold him back. Similarly, Jane couldn’t have a relationship with Lisbon before because of the risk RJ would have posed for her. But nothing should hold him back now.
Violet: It’s also pretty touching how Jane might have in mind to play matchmaker by nudging the younger man into reuniting with his lost love. Indeed, he tells the discouraged would-be-lover that his sweetheart defended him, giving him a glimmer of hope. Then gives him the copy of the letter, probably because to try and find the killer would certainly make him look good in her book, in addition of avenging his destroyed life.
RB: It’s quite ironic. Jane keeps telling people to just be honest and tell their loved ones how they feel, but he can never seem to take his own advice.
VIS #3: the walk on the beach
Violet: Then, Jane suggests a walk on the nearby beach to his partner, insisting “come on, live a little”. When she reluctantly agrees, they find themselves walking on the sand as Jane basks in the moment and comments “this is nice. We don’t take enough time to do things like this”. He’s making plans for the future, in order to make Lisbon momentarily forget that she won’t be here anymore very soon. They are the two only people fully dressed, in dark suits at that. Lisbon’s feet are clap in flip-flaps which clash with her professional attire, underlining how awkward she’s feeling… Jane leads the game: when he senses she’s not as content to relax as he is, he brings up the code again. He’s getting her defenses to lower by keeping a professional pretext to cover up for their off work moment.
Indeed, the ocean has always had a healing power for Jane, from ‘Red Tide’ with one of his most carefree moments, to the beginning of closure he got in ‘Blood and Sand’ and finally his retreat on the Venezuelan island. But this present scene is also a reply to the hug in the sunset in ‘Fire and Brimstone’: then, he was leaving her alone and distraught, now she’s the one planning to depart. And he half vocalized his feelings for her, all the while planning to use her emotional response to trick her to get RJ… now, the situation is reversed: he’s using a case as a façade to convince her to stay for personal reasons. He’s desperately trying to mend his errors without acknowledging them.
RB: I also felt that the walk was a subliminal message to Lisbon; Jane wants her to remember the hug, how he confessed how important she is to him and just have that be enough for her to stay. More desperation.
Violet: Jane reads her the message aloud: he wants her to solve the code. The words “do you” catch her attention: it’s a play on sounds with the “Dewey” system used in libraries to classify books –a subtle nods to the many book references in the course of the series. He helps her with the rest of the message and exclaims “you solved it”. “It’s a date” at the Blue Bird Lodge with the killer, but it gets clear very soon that what he’s planning is a “date” alright, but one of a more amorous nature, between an unaware Teresa and him… Patrick stresses his point when he sees how happy she is to have cracked the case, by making her admit that she wouldn’t be in Washington right now: “you’re kidding, I wouldn’t miss it for the world”. Their smiles show that this is a little victory for each of them, but what they have in mind right now is very different.
RB: This is where I started getting very, very annoyed. I remembered Lisbon once playfully, yet seriously telling Jane “Don’t patronize me”. That fact that she didn’t realize that is what he was doing here showed how deeply she was taken in by Jane’s act.
Lisbon and Jane at the Blue Bird Lodge
Violet: In the “Islamorada”, the setting is heavily romantic. The Blue Bird Lodge is a luxury hotel with the same turquoise hues that have been scattered in the rest of the episode. Jane is eager to pay for two expensive rooms, very, very close to each other, arguing that “it could be our last… err…”. He also was generous enough to make diner reservations. Evening attire is preferred, so an enchanted Lisbon finds herself with three evening dresses on the bed in her charming flowery room.
RB: More shallowness that had me practically livid. I was literally scowling at the screen the whole time because I couldn’t believe that Jane (and Heller) was simplifying their whole relationship and hoping to bring it to the next level by giving Lisbon a Cinderella moment. Thankfully, just as Lisbon was conned by Jane, I was conned by Heller. The superficial facade was a deliberate choice to highlight the insanely real emotions these two characters have, as shown later on…
Violet: Her happiness at seeing the beautiful dresses contrasts with her dismay in ‘Violets’ when he forced her in skimpy outfits. While the difference can be explained by her getting used to wearing sexy dresses for her dates with Marcus, it’s obvious that what has touched her now is the thoughtfulness of Jane’s grand gesture. She thinks it isn’t part of a scheme or an undercover work; they’re for her pleasure only and he’s left in her hands the ultimate choice of dressing instead of imposing his tastes. The green lacy one reminds of his compliment early in S1 that the color enhanced her eyes. the pink one is a discreet echo to the bridesmaid in ‘Strawberry and Cream’. the white one looks like a classier version of her girlfriend attire in ‘Violets’.
Violet: In the next room, Jane is sitting on the bed by the phone, eagerly expecting her call. He’s delighted to hear her thank him, even though she tells him it’s “too much”. He’s happy that she’s happy. He has engineered every detail to sweep her off her feet. But things start to turn sour when the gets called again: his sultry “helloooo…” is cut short when the receptionist tells him that Abbott and Cho are here. They’re unknowingly interrupting his seduction plans and Cho asks “how is the food here?” meaning that they’ll be imposing on their date as well.
RB: It’s a very funny moment. And those of us who still didn’t realize the extent of Jane’s con might have questioned Jane’s miffed reaction at their appearance.
VIS #4: the diner and its aftermath
Violet: While Jane is visibly disappointed by their interference, he grudgingly takes it in stride and the three men are soon sitting in the dining area. The mood has definitely changed as Cho comments that there are “no hamburgers”, effectively shooting down the romantic vibe their consultant had carefully set up.
Yet, Jane’s spirits are lifted when he sees Lisbon walking down the stairs, clad in the strapless form fitting coral pink dress. Her choice may or not be revealing of her hidden thoughts as well of her cleavage… she’s chosen the dress that echoed the one he more strongly reacted to (he couldn’t take his eyes off her in the ill-fitting bridesmaid dress) and he proved in ‘Violets’ that he was not adverse to outfits with ample plunging necklines… Is she consciously aiming to knock his socks off?
RB: I think it was just a matter of taste, to be honest. Lisbon chose a similar dress, albeit a black one in episode “More than a Price of Rubies” which might be another reason why she was happy with the dresses. Jane chose a style he knew she liked as she had worn it before. The fact that she also heads to the front desk asking to buy a bathrobe for boyfriend Marcus also shows that despite the romantic surroundings she has in no way forgotten him.
Violet: Anyway, Jane is mesmerized and his goofy smile hints that every amorous intention in him has not been extinguished by his coworkers’ inopportune presence…
Unfortunately, that’s precisely when Lisbon is told by the hotel employee that she gets the bathrobe for free, as part of the package Jane booked for them a week ago! even though the FBI only received the threatening letter that led them to the hotel two days later… Lisbon is understandably livid and confronts him in front of a stoic but disapproving Cho and a very embarrassed Abbott. He admitted that he wrote the letter: the whole case was his big scheme to make her stay. The attempts at gently talk her out of moving were only aimed at distracting her from the real plan… She calls him a “son of a bitch”, throws water to his face and stomps to her room. Left with two speechless male agents, Jane gets up and hurries to go talk to her.
RB: No words can be used to describe how good this scene was. Having the superficial con blow up in Jane’s face was brilliant. It’s a classic “Jane is an idiot” moment but the consequences are worse than anything he has faced before: losing Lisbon. To a casual observer the drink in the face might seem pedantic but regular viewers will remember how Jane himself did the exact same thing to a fellow idiot in love (Crimson Casanova). And even if it didn’t, the acting was something romantic comedies can only dream of pulling off. And while Jane left the table, the other two remain to set the stage for another great scene…
Violet: Back in her room, Lisbon has already changed in her own clothes and called a taxi to the airport. Jane knocks, asking her to “please open the door”. It’s both an echo to the scene at Lisbon’s doorstep two episodes ago, as well as a feint reminder of how Jane’s road through hell to a new life started in front of another bedroom door many years ago. Now, this is Jane’s occasion to tell Lisbon what is in his heart and that he couldn’t get out after Pike opened the front door of her house. At the same time, he wants to open the last door to moving on.
He thus starts “I’m sorry that I’ve tricked you. I just…”, but his strength fails him when she barks from the other side of the closed door “you just what, Jane, what were you doing?” As he explains that he didn’t want her to leave, she replies angrily “you don’t give a damn about what I want or need. I’m just a convenience to you. It’s always about you. You used a woman’s murder, Jane. You basically dug her corpse up for this crap”. She blurts out the more coldly accurate assessment about his character that she ever expressed: he’s so twisted up that he has no idea how to act like a decent human being, no idea. The truth of her words hurt him to the point that Jane is reduced to repeat “I’m sorry, ok. I’m sorry”. She then orders him to go away and leave her alone. Her last words to him, the last goodbye she’s planning to give him is « I know you’re here. I can hear you breathing. Leave me alone”.
This speech enlightens her worst and most secret fears in the years she’s known him: she’s always suspected that he was not only manipulative and controlling, but also that he never cared about her. He just used her, her protective instincts and her growing affection for him to get what he wanted from her, like in the sunset scene. That was already hinted at in the final for the first season, when she called him of his dangerous behavior with Sheriff Hardy: he didn’t realize that people cared for him… then it got worse, since the more obvious her feelings were, the more prone he was to use them… Those doubts probably only grew during his two years absence, to explode in her outburst in the airplane in ‘Green Thumb’; they finally found a way out when Pike started giving her the attention she convinced herself she couldn’t get from Jane. And now, this last attempt at getting her by his side only backfired in comforting her in the idea that he has no feelings for her or for her happiness: he’s only willing to keep her in a deceptively golden cage to his pleasure as an amusing but helpless little bird, singing only when he allows her to.
RB: You’ve analyzed it beautifully, Violet. I just want to add that Lisbon telling Jane she can hear him breathing is another reference to episode Strawberries and Cream where they just remained listening to each other breathing over the phone after Lisbon got shot. Also, possibly to when Jane drowned and stopped breathing in episode Fugue in Red. In both cases it was proof of life. So it’s quite telling to how anguished Lisbon is here that she wants it (Jane) to go away. Also, I think part of the reason why Jane couldn’t say anything here is because, to an extent, what Lisbon has said is absolutely true. Jane has used her in the past, but what he doesn’t realize is that Lisbon would probably gladly be used if she thought Jane also loved her. Some things are worth putting up with for love…which, in all reality is the only proof we’ve ever gotten that Lisbon loves Jane even if she never knew it: she’s been putting up with him all these years.
Violet: In her spite, Lisbon decides on a whim to take drastic measures. She calls Pike and tells him « let’s get married ». Pike’s answer is to yell « Yeees!!! ». How very romantic… No talks about love, feelings or happily ever after: it shows again his lack of skills in the dreamy area. Plus the guy just keeps talking about her flight, how much she will enjoy DC and restaurants in the area, while she doesn’t listen and his voice fades into background noise. She’s only got further and further again in her relationship with him in reaction to her failures with Jane. It’s fitting, somehow, since she was the one to make the first step towards him in ‘Violets’, after she couldn’t spend time with an asleep Jane in the empty house, when she came to see him in a skimpy nightgown with equivocal intentions… All in all, Pike’s greatest quality is to be willing to give her what Jane doesn’t, commitment, care, love and to be here for her: he likes her as a person, for herself, instead of just using her in a scheme.
RB: In all honesty, how can Lisbon refuse him? Lisbon is modest to a fault and without proof of how Jane really feels about her, she has no reason to.
Violet: Meanwhile, the talk between Abbott and Cho give us insight in how witnesses analyse the situation the no-longer partners find themselves in. Abbot is irritated that Jane lied to him. Cho is only surprised at the intensity of Lisbon’s reaction: “it’s weird how mad she got…. He buried a man alive and she wasn’t nearly as angry as this.” His boss is in wonder at his obliviousness: “really? You don’t know why?”
Cho alluding to ‘Red Rover, Red Rover’ is interesting, because the burying alive draws an interesting parallel with Lisbon accusing Jane of metaphorically digging the victim’s corpse up. In both cases, the restless consultant used a case in a bigger plan: then it was to make believe he was having a break-down in order to lure RJ in. That led to “giving him his heart’s desire” in ‘The Crimson Hat’ which ended in him blurting a love confession to his friend. Here, he’s taking the same type of action by feigning indifference to make her stay: he’s giving her the appearance of what she wants too. This similarity underlines that a big part of him refuses to progress and clutches to the same deceptive methods. The tragedy which motivated this first course of action still weights him down and the fear of committing his heart again pushes him into avoiding making his feelings known.
Later, Abbott still tries to make Cho see the tender aspect hidden in the depths of their complex relationship. The discared bottle of wine on the nearby table hints that it was a long talk. Cho remains unconvinced: “they are like brother and sister, there’s no way”. It’s funny how his opinion contrasts with Wayne’s take on it in the bar. Cho looks like the only person who never wondered how deep those feelings run, since Abbott, Kim and Wiley admitted to have wondered about them getting involved at some point, while Rigsby and Van Pelt had been cheering for them from afar. Moreover, in all the years they worked together, many have hinted at suspecting something too: Pike, Bosco, Haffner, Stiles, Lorelei, Barlow, RJ among others… Therefore, as surprising as Cho’s lack of insight is, it’s probably more an inside joke than an acknowledgment to his stoic and pragmatic character. Indeed, the sibling comment was used in an interview to describe the relationship between the two characters a few years ago and it is well known for being an argument for the fans who didn’t want them to end up as a couple. Bruno Heller is therefore giving viewers the amused and amusing gift of witnessing an argument between shippers and anti-shippers on screen. He’s easing people into accepting that things are steadily progressing towards this goal: when Cho suggested at first that they should check on them, Abbott firmly refused, maybe for fear of catching them in a compromising situation. As the “sibling” issue is addressed along with the romantic part, an acknowledged more sexual component is too slowly making its way into the picture.
RB: It was a great scene and I liked it’s continuity to Cho previously saying he never thought about them like that because “my head would explode” as well to his saying “Yeah, right” when Rigsby brought up his hopes of a relationship between the two to Jane. Cho’s straight-forwardness and unromantic nature makes him the perfect conveyer of the non-shipper’s perspective.
VIS #5: Jane drinks in his room
But for now, Jane is having a drunken pity party in his room. The TV display a view of the ocean: he’s created himself the same mindless hiding place he had in ‘My Blue Heaven’. Like then, his separation from Lisbon makes him even lonelier; he’s getting intoxicated on self-hatred and the oblivion provided by alcohol while being soothed by the sea. Suddenly, the victim’s husband’s lawyer barges in the room with a gun: he was the secret lover and came kill the murderer in a “so romantic” gesture. Jane only tells him to sit down and have a drink while waiting for the killer to show up, only explaining that he’s here because of a “long and sad story”. Another drinking buddy arrives in the person of the daughter’s admirer. The kid too “came to seek revenge”. Jane provides him with a mini-bottle from the mini-bar too, muttering to himself “shouldn’t have left clues so easy”.
The backstories of both men match his own: those three lonely souls have lost the women they loved. And the victim’s family absence is telling: neither the widower nor the daughter showed up, because their anger was directed towards the living remaining relatives, not towards useless regrets. Hence they didn’t dwell on the fake letter like the others did. Deep down they had moved on with their lives, a thing Jane’s clinging to his feeling of loss has keeping him to do. His new friends share that trait, since the lawyer starts recounting his tragic affair. That love story was the best thing that happened to him but he cowardly put an end to it and by the time he realized his mistake, she was gone. Those words string a chord in Jane’s mind… He probably realizes that as Abbott pointed out, he made the mistake of believing his own con about hiding behind the safe façade of friendship. Like the other man, his fear and self-hatred prevented him from grasping his chance at happiness when it was offered to him.
He gets up with the intention of rushing to the airport, but is stopped at the door by the real killers, the business partners Cho and Kim interrogated. In a funny moment, Jane tries to get rid of them, by convincing them to escape, while using his sleight of hand to send a text to his coworkers (a somewhat unhelpful “SOZ” instead of SOS) while distracting them by dropping his FBI ID. When it looks like his messy plan is working, the kid pulls out his gun. Poor Jane is unwillingly caught in this chaotic yet amusing development but is saved by Cho and Abbott. His getting back in touch with his more “decent human” and caring side shows when he reassures the injured parties that they’re fine, “it’s just a flesh wound”. He then convinces Abbott, in whom he might have recognized his more tender-hearted ally in his romantic pursuit, to give him his car keys and speeds to the airport, sirens blazing…
Like he did when Lisbon was taken by RJ after they had a fight, he tries to call her by phone: “please, call me”. The poor man is only leaving her those anxious messages when their relation is falling apart: back then, she was angry at him too and had straightened things up by yelling that she was his boss so he couldn’t give her orders. Now, the issue has gone more personal: the real heart of the matter between them is out in the open.
In that sense, ‘Blue Bird’ is the counterpart to ‘My Blue Heaven’ since in both episodes, Jane has come to a pivotal realization about himself and decided to step out of his comfort zone in order not to end up alone and loveless. His awareness was provoked by two counter-models foreshadowing the person he could see himself slipping into. In the island it was the lonely and hazy drunkard at the bar, now it’s the heartbrocken lawyer, a character the many attorneys brought to attention recently have prepared viewers for. Jane tries to avoid their fate by reaching out of his comforting limbo for her. Like she has been since that distant past in ‘Red Dawn’, she’s again his saving grace.
Birds are definitely the symbol of hope, like they were when he managed to make Lorelei “sing like a bird” and when he used the pigeon RJ was so afraid of…
RB: And while Lisbon might represent Jane’s salvation, I can’t help but think that the bird here is Jane, finally getting the courage to fly.
VIS #6: on the plane
That aspect represented by the blue bird is again alluded to by the agents from the TSA dressed in turquoise at the airport. There is also a poster about the Florida, “the Conch Republic’ at the airport as a nod to the gift and the letters Jane has been sending her when he was away (thanks to RoseUK for pointing it out): back then too he loved her and was reaching out for her. But Jane cannot get past the flight attendants and has to sneak to get to the coveted jet where his beloved is sitting. He even hurts his ankle by jumping off a fence but hurriedly limps to the plane. He knocks on its already closed door yelling “let me in”. The semi-circular red security warning on it reminds a tiny little bit of RJ’s trademark smiley (like seconds later the yellow stripped shirt with a tiger on it worn by a passenger is a discreet nod): in the limbo he’s locked himself in, this is the last door standing between him and life
After reassuring the flight attendant that “nothing is wrong, it’s just a routine check”, he joins a very surprised Lisbon and proceeds to make a show of himself in front of the other people who witness his very impassionate speech: “you’re right. I’ve forgotten how to be a normal human being. And I, I play games and I trick people to avoid the truth about how I feel.” The mention of feelings has Lisbon finally looking up at him. That precise moment, with Jane pouring his heart while a speechless Lisbon listens to him comes full circle with the plane scene in ‘Green Thumb’, which placed their interactions under a new light because of her distrust that he’s just controlling her life and her deep-seated fear about him not caring enough not to leave her again. Here, Jane is frantically trying to mend that gap that led them both to heartbreak.
He explains: “if there’s someone close to me, it’s terrifying for obvious reasons. The truth, Teresa is that… I can’t imagine waking up knowing I won’t see you. The truth is… I love you. Wheww! You can’t imagine how good it is to say it out loud…” The former well-known conman keeps stressing out that it’s the truth even if it scares him but for Lisbon it’s “too late”… Jane simply replies that he understands, she deserved to hear it anyway and, while the security agents get him out, he keeps yelling “I love you, Teresa. And it makes me happy to be able to say that to you”, then, as he gets away with his hands raised up as he was being arrested, he repeats “I love you; I love her. That woman on 12b, I love her. You take care of her”.
For once, his selflessness and lack of tricks contrast with Pike’s pushy courting and hurried proposal. Jane talks more about feelings than relationship status. He doesn’t demand anything, he just confesses because she deserves to hear it (and he finally admits he deserves telling her too). What he offers her is therefore implicitly serious, without needing to tell it with words like Marcus did, because his feelings are more binding than anything else.
RB: Yes. Because all the glamor in the world can never top what Lisbon craves to have from Jane: simple, raw honesty. And she finally got it. Nothing can be more powerful than the con-man finally finally! telling the whole complete unblemished truth.
Violet: This freeing admission shows how much people seek and achieve closure in this episode. Lisbon’s underlying fears are put to rest and she gets the attention and love she deserves. The victim’s case is closed and her lover gets to be recognized for her significant other by talking about it. As for Jane, he gets to accept that he wants to move on from his mourning half-existence. Expressing his anguish about losing another loved one and alluding to his family allows him to put that blindingly painful part of him behind. On this path he’s been travelling since the beginning of the show, this final decisive step takes him in the open. He’s in the light, at the center of the attention when he blurts out meaning words that seal his fate, like he did on that TV show when he caught RJ’s attention. He then can resume living again, whatever Lisbon decides about him: he accepted endangering his heart again. He’s ready to want more from life than a couch and a friend he loved from afar.
RB: As is Lisbon. Her decision to move to DC came out of her own growth, her own realization that she deserved more too. It served as a catalyst for Jane to finally confess not just his love for her, but to himself. That, despite all his flaws, he deserves to love and be loved. Despite his apparent ego he’s always doubted his self-worth. Perhaps, without Lisbon’s imminent departure setting these events in motion, they might have never reached this point.
Jane: Taking in the emotional release provided by her former consultant, Lisbon is crying and apologizes to the other passengers, telling them that it was embarrassing. The kind older woman on her right gently tells her “every woman in the plane is green with envy”.
RB: It’s interesting to see Lisbon hiding behind “embarrassment” as the reason for her tears. But then, what else can she say to a complete stranger? There’s just so much history I doubt even she doesn’t know how long she has waited to hear these words from Jane.
VIS #7: the happy ending
Violet: Later, Abbott and Kim’s talk inform viewers that Jane is held in TSA custody because “they don’t like people messing with their planes. Don’t like it at all”. Indeed, the man himself is seen sitting forlornly in a lonely cell. The setting with the chairs facing each other on either sides of a functional table, with one of the walls of the cell replaced by a huge window reminds of the interrogations room Jane and Lisbon have been using for years.
RB: His injured foot is also resting on a chair, adding more to his awkward and vulnerable state.
Violet: It’s therefore a pretty fitting environment for what the woman has in mind: as Lisbon enters the room, Jane is startled to recognize her. After a tentative chit-chat about him always getting in pickles, he remarks quite uselessly that she’s not left for DC. But she cuts right to the main question: “did you mean what you said?” He answers, “yes I did… Just to be clear you’re talking about pickles right?” Lisbon corrects him “no, the other thing”: “this is not joking matter” after all.
RB: Tunny was fabulous here. Lisbon is as “cool and calm” as ever despite the earth shattering confession. She has to ask again, she has to make sure.
Violet: And, instead of avoiding answering like he did after his very first confession in ‘The Crimson Hat’, Jane mans up and stands for “every” word he uttered. She soberly enlightens him about her side of the equation: it’s “good because I feel the same way”, to which Jane beams and only comments “that’s lucky”.
RB: And Baker was fantastic here. Despite Lisbon’s so called predictability, Jane wasn’t sure of how she felt. Like her. Which makes the truth ever so beautiful.
Violet: They’re both keeping their emotions in check with minimalist lines, which makes their talk all the more powerful. Behind the light tone and the bantering, they’re actually engaging in a very serious and meaningful life decision. So, when Jane asks “what about Pike”, she simply replies that “he’ll understand”. Ironically, those were the same words Marcus used to reassure her that Jane will let her go. Talk about comeuppance for dismissing a situation he has been trying to ignore…
But Lisbon has not come this far for his half-joking talk. She’s in control of this poignant interrogation and gently orders him to “say it again”. The banter gets flirtier as Jane playfully asks “say what again?” He then gives her an intense look and gets up as the music changes to the tune playing when he made up his mind to get her: he bends over the desk and kisses her… while the guard protests and yells at them to stop that.
As Jane had to take of his shoe because of his ankle, he symbolically assumed his choice too. For years, those old shoes represented the path he was walking on. He was uncomfortable taking them off and they were the very first thing seen of him in the island. They helped him run when he came to turning points, like chasing McAllister or keeping Lisbon from leaving. Which forced him to relinquish them as he came to the end of the road: he willingly chose life and love over death.
RB: Lisbon has come a long way too. For years she’s kept Jane (and everyone else, really) at arms length hiding behind her professionalism. Here, she doesn’t even care that the guard is looking at them, trying to get them to stop. Our babies have finally grown up!
Violet: In insight, the whole scheme set up by Jane was a nice call back to the famous line from season 1 « I’ll never seduce you over a meal. That would be sophomoric”. Indeed, not only was that basically what Jane had planned, but it was also part of a worse project: he wanted to seduce her over a gruesome case, then he managed to get her over the most cliché public confession ever. But it turns out to be rather fitting, because he finally won her over a con, over public embarrassment and over being interrogated in a holding cell. All in all, it sums up their entire work relationship, while the action he finally took –running- contrasts with the limbo of him lying down on his couch or before that in his makeshift bed in his attic.
Which brings the question: to what extent was he willing to go to convince her to stay? We can guess he was aiming for a kind of “empty glamor” manoeuver: a romantic setting, a date like in that Italian restaurant, adding a bit of suggestive spice with the fact that they were staying in the room next door… He was letting her have fun: she would miss him already and the undermining of a blander life with Pike would serve to enlighten the joy she found in spending time with him. He was playinga part, like he did in that dream house he created in ‘Violets’. In that sense, this Blue Bird plan has been his last undercover gig before the truth came out… After all, that was what he did all those years: he kept things professional between them (“don’t break up the team”), while feeding her crumbs of affection to get her to stay. And it worked so far. In an ideal world, they would have been hiding in one of the adjoining rooms for the killer to show up (like they did several times, at the morgue or in empty houses…). But the look on his face when he saw her coming to him in that dress also indicates that he would not have hesitated to up his game to having sex with her if his original plan had not satisfied her romantic needs.
RB: I don’t think it would have gone that far; Lisbon was still thinking about Pike enough to buy him a robe and Jane knows her enough to know she’d never cheat on him. Probably he just wanted to send her tacit messages on what could be between them and hope that would be enough.
Violet: On the other hand, Lisbon was also playing him in a way, albeit she’s been more honest: she had half joked not so long ago that one of these days, she might surprise him and she certainly shook in this episode the predictable comfy image he pretended to love so much. He was shocked by the news that she was leaving, he was left speechless when he saw her in her dress then devastated while hearing her outburst through the closed door. Then he was incredulous and happy when she entered the holding cell. Things have gotten more balanced between them: he was the one who went after her (after leaving her on that cliff in ‘Fire and Brimstone’) and the one who cleaned his own mess. And she finally got to make the final decision.
Last but not least, it’s visible that this episode was written for fans, as a thank-you gift and a conclusion to Jane’s story –the seven season was yet to be confirmed then. That’s why no meaningful moment stayed private, contrary to the usual handling of every other revealing scene between Jane and his (now life) partner. Cho saw how distraught he was when he learnt about her moving to DC; he and Abbott witnessed their failed date and the outburst it caused; Abbott let him borrow his keys because he knew what Jane was going to do. The entire plane watched the very public confession and the guard saw them kiss. Their love is no longer a secret and, like in the scene when Abbott and Cho were debating its very reality, all those characters were incarnations of the audience. As every fan could thus have the impression that they were included in the storyline, it was a very thoughtful present indeed… Thank you, Mr Heller, it was a fun ride. Looking forward to the “encore”.
RB: Amen! Thanks also to the entire cast and crew and the fans! You make this show even more fun to watch and I’m proud to be part of this community. Thanks for sticking with us. See you next season
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