And on to a new episode of THE MENTALIST… a show that is slowly robbing me my last nerve. A Show that makes even the wildest theories appear plausible. Must be the Sunday evening slot alongside ONCE UPON A TIME…

One may think that fact that Jane arranges for Lorelei to be freed from prison is the biggest shocker of this episode. At least that is what I thought in the beginning – before I was proven wrong.
The episode starts with a, in my opinion, great scene: Jane running across a street in slow motion. It brings in this new tone of the show that has slowly developed throughout the last year, but especially ever since the new season began. There is more drama, more thrill, more seriousness, more darkness. There is a Patrick Jane asking a man who is supposed to be his opponent – Stiles – for help, and who helps someone escape from prison. Someone who is dangerous, and who is associated with a serial killer.
So Jane actually succeeds in having Lorelei come free – and the whole time, one is wondering how bad his mental condition is, or how much of that is carefully planned. The thought of him freeing Lorelei is, at first, not at all understandable. Because it is wrong. Now, Jane has done many things that weren’t exactly right – or legal, for that matter – but did he ever appear capable of such an action in the first four years of the show? I would say no.
But, as mentioned before, things have changed – as have circumstances. Jane’s desire to get closer to Red John now that he is practically in striking distance – or at least that is what it seems like – is stronger than ever, and it is almost understandable. So of course he’ll take every possible and impossible action to hold on to that opportunity and work with it.
I wouldn’t claim that he is insane; but he does have tendencies to obsessive behavior; a kind of OCD that focuses on Red John. Every step into the seemingly right direction fuels this disorder and makes it worse, causing him to take measures that make you sit in front of the TV and shake your head, all the while you have that strangest feeling of empathy for him and his actions.
Lorelei is a very difficult figure in this whole game. At first look as well as at second, she isn’t a bad person. She actually seems to even care about Patrick, and there is this strange loveliness and gentleness about her, them, and their behavior towards each other. Even if both follow their own objectives, those agree so much with each other that they are more than allies. If Lorelei wasn’t Red John’s mistress, I could even believe that there are true feelings, especially from Lorelei’s side.
But, all this has nothing to do with the beauty of love or anything. This is purely calculation, and while we know where Jane wants all that to head, it is not yet clear with Lorelei. She’s not persistent enough to really work on bringing Jane to Red John. Maybe she has at least a bit lost her faith in her ‘boss’? Maybe she will now look into her sister’s murder, see if it was indeed Red John?
The revelation that is made here through Lorelei’s sister’s story seems to shuffle the cards anew. It brings more insight into her character and presents us with many new questions – among them also the one on whether she’ll stay longer on that show. That could speak against RJ killing her anytime soon; despite it being a logical thing to happen the more time she spends with Jane and has him convince her of Red John’s evilness (yep, been watching too much OUAT).
Now, to become a disciple of someone like Red John one can’t be all that sane a person to start with, and thus is rather unlikely to listen to reason. If Lorelei finds out that RJ indeed raped and killed her sister that still won’t mean that she’ll also abandon RJ and help Jane and the CBI. She may just find a good explanation for what he did, and why he did it. At least an explanation that sounds good to her. It’s nothing else than with people in sects, or holding on to religion and god in general – if you just want to believe and your faith is strong enough, you’ll always find an explanation that will excuse every single action of the subject of your devotion.
In all his madness, his disillusion almost, Jane still seems to understand that. So with him it is just like with Lorelei – we have no idea what goes on in their heads; we have no idea what there next step is or how much of seemingly responsible/right actions is only part of a bigger, but also a wrong plan.
After all, the fact that Jane orchestrated his abduction stands. And for what reason did he do it? Certainly to first and foremost save himself, in more ways than one. If he tells people that he was kidnapped, they’ll sooner believe him than a woman who is following Red John’s orders and a convict who escaped from prison. No one will think that he freed her and then drove her through the state voluntarily. Well, almost no one. So no one will blame him for her escape, for everything that happened afterwards like them worrying and mobilizing personnel and resources to find the couple. And no one will arrest and lock away Jane.
That is, of course, as long as Lisbon actually keeps to herself whatever accusations and suspicions she has.
As was promised before the new season started, there is a lot going on regarding the Jane/Lisbon relationship. I can only emphasize this anew with every new episode, as it becomes clearer from week to week what a special and complex relationship those two have by now.
Here it is for Lisbon to be worried about him again – which must have become sort of a permanent condition to her ever since they took those big steps towards Red John – and also to show again how much Jane means to her. Her shocked reaction when they find his car – the one he demolished himself to make it look like a kidnapping – speaks for itself; it goes way beyond the reaction of a friend and co-worker. There is panic and anxiety all over her face where one would usually expect her to remain calm and composed because she has a job to do. Instead, she lets her feelings show clearly for everyone who cares to look just a bit longer and a bit more closely.
Same goes for when they find Jane in the car he caused this crash with by himself. He’s hurt, and she’s worried, and she has that amount of gentleness in her attitude and her voice we wouldn’t have heard only two or three years back. Now she looks like she wants to hug and kiss him just because he’s alive and more or less well.
It made me think what would happen if Lisbon found out that he only orchestrated the whole thing, and that he thus also misused her trust. Turns out, I can scratch that worry. It was surprising and at the same time it wasn’t when in the end, Lisbon revealed that she suspects him to have lied about the whole thing, that it was all his doing, his plan. Actually, it would have rather surprised me hadn’t she known; she’s become too familiar with Jane and his games and plans and schemes to not ask twice what is really behind all this. But, instead of ranting and doing everything in her power to have him punished, she keeps quiet, reasoning that she has no proof. I guess they both know that she wouldn’t need it; not for now.
But Lisbon has always been supporting Jane, as much as she ever disapproved of what he did and does. And that is also why he trusts her so much. It is she whom he tells that Lorelei – and this was the real shocker of this episode – introduced him to the fact that “he and Red John are very much alike” and that she wonders why “they weren’t best friends from the moment they shook hands”. It is again Lisbon whom he shares his secrets and the newest developments with; something he wouldn’t do if he wasn’t sure that she has nothing to do with RJ whereas else he can’t be sure of that with anyone out there, as there are obviously many people involved with the killer.
Now, the handshaking comment is something one can go into – but it is safe to assume that there is something very twisted about all that and it won’t be so easy as to go back, watch the episodes again and point a finger of whoever Jane shakes hands with. This would be too easy.
There only one person who is questionable, but who would also be the easy answer to a to THE MENTALIST universal question – who is Red John – and even he is far too obvious: Bob Kirkland, the Homeland Security agent. He confuses me a bit; and even more does Lisbon’s behavior when she, in the beginning of the episode arranges her hair upon seeing him in her office, and then gives herself very friendly, if not even the tiniest bit flirty. I don’t know yet what to think of that; and if she only wants to distract him so that Jane can follow through with his plans. Possibly she’s just protecting him from anyone, also knowing that Red John has his moles everywhere, but still… I found it a bit irritating.
And then there is this one little fact that Lorelei never denied that Red John’s real name is “Roy”. We had this in season one – the team found out that RJ is most likely a man called “Roy Tagliaferro”. We can assume that if Jane shook hands with the man, he either never learned his name, or the man didn’t tell his real name.
Well. This all builds up to a very mean midseason finale, and I can’t wait to see where this is heading, and if Lisbon will reach a point where she won’t help Jane anymore – which could mean a dramatic turning point in everything, because one thing is for sure – as much as he ever keeps her in the dark about what he does and plans, in the end, he needs her support. And he may just jeopardize it now…

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Tags: Bob Kirkland, Jane/Lisbon, Lorelei Martins, Patrick Jane, Red John, Teresa Lisbon, The Mentalist
March 2020
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