It was the episode we’ve been waiting for – the episode that told us how Jane came to work with the CBI. Among some other things.
THE MENTALIST’s 100th episode – congratulations on that, btw 🙂 – brought us back “several years”. Now, from what we’ve seen and heard in the past five years, this “several” can be defined as nine. In last season’s finale it was said that Jane’s family was murdered ten years ago, so in 2002. This episode gave us a Jane one year after his family’s death.
The Jane we see there is, as Lisbon put it so, um, bluntly, “a mess” with the “vibe of a homeless person”. But itself this is sadly true; knowing what will follow in the years after, it’s still kinda funny. Jane is here the man who has just been released from the mental asylum, and he is indeed a mess. He’s weak and quiet and looks incredibly tired – of life. It’s a Jane we’ve seen a few times in the past five years, but never as bad as he appears here. He’s a sad excuse of… well, anyone.
Naturally, Lisbon’s reaction to him is clearly with a healthy dose of pity. That guy irritates her and confuses her, and it is obvious that all she sees in him is a pitiful man who’s lost his family – and then himself. It’s fascinating when one considers how far they’ve come until today.
Same applies of course to Cho and Rigsby. Cho’s “Okay” after Jane told him to pretend that he’s not there (at the crime scene) had me laugh out loud. Cho’s not the overly emotional one to start with, but I’d never have thought that he’s come that long a way to where he stands today with Jane. On the other hand can’t he still be considered Jane’s best friend, even if they’ve grown closer, in some way. Rigsby isn’t the best buddy type either – not for Jane anyways, but it was hilarious to see that even back then, he was already prone to fall for Jane’s mind games 😀
Other fun moments: Schwarzenegger’s portrait in the CBI building. Lol. It seemed to be so totally out of place there 😉 Then of course Jane getting punched. Right on the first day, more or less. And I couldn’t help but wonder whether he’s luring these guys by unintentionally… or intentionally maybe.
Minelli was… surprising. I couldn’t really be happy to see him again since I knew he wouldn’t stay past this episode. I only started to like Minelli when he was about to leave, and it would be great to have him back. After seeing the episode, I want that even more, because he obviously is the only person who can understand Jane and his ways as he knew him from day one on. But of course that would things way too easy for Jane and the team, with someone having their back who actually has their back then (I know I know… he didn’t really when he was still on the job, but, still…)
Nevertheless was it amusing how Minelli tried everything to keep Jane from filing a complaint against the other agent whose name I have ignored (Steve something?), something he wouldn’t have done anyways. Even more amusing it was to see Lisbon slightly baffled when she was told to take Jane along. It’s a shame they didn’t show the car ride; but then they also weren’t alone.
Jane’s insistence on telling everyone he’s no psychic and that there are no psychic was a higher level to what we’d seen before, during the past four years. Here the wound is still fresh, and clearly he’s conscious about what led Red John to kill his daughter and wife. Still, he keeps playing his mind games and cold-reads people – like Lisbon, which unfortunately was a bit short and quick to be really meaningful.
Jane’s elaborate trick in the end of find the killer was great. I caught myself watching the scene in awe, despite knowing what he can do 😀 Still, it was fascinating. No idea how he did it – and yes, I’d totally fall for him and his tricks, I admit. Psychic or not, he does have a gift, just as Lisbon said (oh?!), and that has nothing to do with his father training him when he was younger. It’s something you may deepen, but never develop just like that.
Jane and Lisbon. Of course I have to say something about them. Now, their first encounter, as already mentioned, had Lisbon clearly pity him, and nothing more. She just wanted to get rid of him. But, after the punching incident, and after Minelli forced her to let him ride along, I couldn’t shake the feeling that she rather quickly got used to him. I think despite his appearance and his “homeless vibe” (still lol), he nevertheless intrigued her in some way. Perhaps it was still only pity, but… maybe that turned into real sympathy at some point. Her behavior changed throughout the episode, and case, in my opinion.
And then came the almost-ending and my jaw dropped. Not because of the hug – though that was so sweet, and something tells me also a wink at all shippers out there. No, it was the sparkle in his eyes. This liveliness, happiness; the vibrant demeanor that was so different from the broken man before. And he showed it while he looked at Lisbon. Almost as if, whether he was conscious of it or not, he saw in her his savior. This was more than happiness about his new job and the opportunity to help catching Red John; to get into the case as deep as he needs with his obsession. I think this showed us that this special connection and relationship Patrick and Teresa share started right then, even though it progressed only slowly afterwards.
The only thing I now wonder about is why, after Jane told her to call him Patrick, she didn’t keep it. Because he became a colleague? Sounds implausible to me. I know this is not really a question, neither a problem, but only me and the shipper in me wanted them on a first name basis. 🙂
Trust Bruno and his team to not indulge us with the episode’s lightness completely. Of course the punch had to come, and it came, right at the end.
The FBI director (Alex?) who called Minelli was not at all likeable, from the moment she first appeared on screen. And after she was done, nothing had changed that impression; quite the contrary. Here’s the MENTALIST geniuses, throwing us a bone that may satisfy the immediate need, but then has us starve again.
Where the FBI is now in full interference mode in recent season five, it’s definitely news that there was something – whatever it is – between them and the CBI, or Minelli, right from the beginning Jane started to work as a consultant. This brought my mind to double over, because it opens up all kinds of new possibilities and opportunities. It was indicated before that Red John’s mole may also be in the FBI; probably some high position guy (or gal) who’s pulling strings. My first intention was to claim the man who sat with the FBI woman in the car to be Red John, but I guess that would have been far too easy. Plus, I think Bruno has said before that we’ve already seen Red John somewhere – before that episode. And I can’t remember to have seen that guy before.
This is also the only explanation why the FBI suddenly, now that Jane works with the CBI, should be interested in the Red John case – after all had the investigation been going on (more or less…) for one year before they called Minelli. So unless this is a whole big X-Files worthy conspiracy, it can only be Red John who of course has an interest in Jane and his development. That’s nothing new; we’ve seen that often throughout the years.
Slowly but surely Red John seems to become so much more than just your average serial killer. The power that person has is shocking and the thought of the reach of his influence by no means a calming one. Something tells me that one day Red John might turn out as something government based after all; with Red John being merely a name, or having been an actual killer before he was removed from the scene.
The episode gave a great insight into how it all start. Nevertheless I’m glad that it wasn’t the pilot, because the actual pilot worked much better as such, in my opinion. Seeing Jane acquainted and used to working with the team allowed the writers to better show how THE MENTALIST should and would work in the upcoming episodes – and years – something that would have been lost in this episode.
The 100 as pilot would have left you wondering if this show can actually work – and if it is worth watching the next episodes, since there’s still so much work to do to get Jane acclimated, which may not or may have been an interesting process.
When you don’t have to start from scratch, though, you have a lot more possibilities; possibilities Bruno Heller and his team used to full extent. Which ultimately made and makes this show so great.
Therefore: Congratulations to 100 episodes. Here’s to hope that there’ll be a hundred more. Keep on writing and shooting as long as you have ideas, because THE MENTALIST is one of the best shows on television at the moment!
On next week: The promo indicated that Lisbon will get shot; probably because of Jane’s schemes. If she really is wounded, it will be interesting to see how he reacts in comparison to her when he was brought to the hospital in 5×02… in other words: I sense a Jane/Lisbon relevant episode coming up!