The thrilling highlight of the season so far that had me on the edge of my seat for its better part – and THE MENTALIST’s return episode after the midseason break. And back with the show is also Lisbon’s personal nemesis: Tommy Volker.
Since the last episode one week has passed. So it’s been also one week since Lisbon asked for Jane’s help. And we see him doing just that, however in his very own ways. For one, he gives her directions. Not the best or most legal ones, mind you. His first suggestion is to get dirt on a DA so he will sign a warrant that will help with the Volker case. CBI media liaison Brenda Shettrick is Lisbon’s way to get said dirt.
So, to be honest I never really knew what to make of Brenda. She appeared one episode and since then came back every now and then. For some reason I never entirely trusted her, even though there is no real reason not to trust her. Maybe it comes from me thinking that someone responsible for press contacts in an institution that does work on a need-to-know basis for the public is somehow wrong (unless the person is part of the investigative team, like JJ in CRIMINAL MINDS). Plus, she always made that not-entirely-trustworthy impression.
Now the big secret is revealed: Brenda is working for Volker. To say that I was shocked is an understatement, because I definitely didn’t see that coming. At least it finally gives me a reason why I don’t like her. The question now is if and when Lisbon will find out. I’m sure Volker will be back for his trial, and I’m also sure that even in prison, he is still able to command his people. So I can see him ordering a hit on Brenda so she won’t talk, because as we saw is he indeed everything but self-assured; otherwise he wouldn’t have made mistakes that finally led to his arrest. If he, only for a second, thinks that Brenda could prove to be a danger to him, he will have her killed – and then the others will know that Brenda worked for/with him. Which ultimately can shake her trust in the whole CBI when Lisbon realizes that, just like with Red John, even among their own people there are traitors working for the money, not the goal of making the city a safer place.
To be honest I’m still waiting for the moment where Lisbon and her team – or even less – are only but a small group meeting outside work to deal with those more personal cases like the Volker or, of course, the Red John one, because they don’t know who to yet trust, and who’ll give them and their progress away. And I also see then a development that will decimate even that small group until only Jane and Lisbon are left, because I think those two are the only ones the respective other has reason to implicitly trust, and follow through with plans, no matter what they entail.
And speaking of Jane/Lisbon. Apart from his tips I never would have expected Lisbon to follow because of them including doing things that her police/agent’s honor should forbid her – blackmailing, also lying to the judge to get a signature – he shows to be there for her. When she goes over a big package of files at night, he sits with her and helps her, something I wouldn’t have see him doing two or three years back. Furthermore he goes to Volker himself and has a little chat to be able to see who that guy really is, and to get a few vital information, like who his right hand/bodyguard is – an information that in the end sort of helps them solve the case and arrest Volker.
And then there is this moment where Volker comes to the CBI to talk to Lisbon – in the bullpen. For everyone to hear, including Jane, who is lying on his couch, saying nothing. That is until Volker indirectly humiliates Lisbon as Cho is about to throw the man out – suddenly Jane speaks up and accuses Volker of being frightened, that he knows that the team is close to getting him. I think the timing is notable here, as Jane more or less defends Lisbon; I’m not sure if he had said anything wouldn’t it have been necessary to “help” Lisbon.
The ending reveals very clearly what kind of a person Volker is. Most people stop before certain groups of people, like children or pregnant women. Even the hitman Volker has hired refuses to kill the boy who is the only witness still left to be a nail on Volker’s casket. The nail. Volker himself, however, actually goes to find the kid with the intention to really kill him. Not to intimidate him, as it could also work with a boy of around ten years. No, he definitely wants to kill the child.
And this, if nothing else, shows that Volker is indeed nothing but a monster. It is also what breaks him his neck when he has to finish the job himself and thus comes out into the open whereas before he was always able to hide and have his people do the dirty work for him. I loved how Lisbon punched him in the face when she arrests him, even though it wouldn’t have been necessary, technically 😉
So Lisbon has her closure, partly, now that Volker is behind bars. But as I said above, I doubt that this is the end of his influence and power, and right now I’m looking towards Brenda and what her death at the hand of Volker could be followed by…