As we all remember – because how could you forget that – we ended last week’s episode with Lisbon in Red John’s hands. Now, we all knew that nothing would happen to Lisbon – that she would survive the encounter with the serial killer – but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a reason to be nervous. Or curious how it goes on.
The first thing I noticed – impatiently waiting to see Lisbon or Jane (or both) – was Bertram’s reaction to Partridge’s death. For one – how does Bertram know him? I mean, Partridge is just one little employee (I think), Bertram is the Big Boss. His reaction was also almost too surprised. Or was it just surprised because in the back of his mind he thought, if Partridge is dead, then who’ll be next? Because they are all working for Red John?
And this is the thing that gets more and more confirmation, in my opinion. The Seven are not one guilty and six innocent. They are all part of the game, of Red John’s organization/network/whatever. I think this becomes more clear with every new episode, even though there’ve been only two of the new season so far.
This also means that no one of them is safe, or feels safe. Obviously they are all “ruled” by whoever is the Big Boss – Red John – and this RJ can kill whoever he likes. And they all know it. It doesn’t look like they can do something against it, or else Bertram wouldn’t have appeared to be so surprised and maybe the tiniest bit scared. On the other hand it is possible that it came as a total surprise indeed, because this had never happened before, and now they are afraid RJ is leashing out, and they can’t control and/or understand it.
Whatever it is – there is something out of control, has to be, and it is possible that it comes from Jane closing in.
Speaking of Jane, though. He is already at the house where Lisbon was attacked, and now we see her being wheeled out on a stretcher, to be brought to the hospital. She is fine, just unconscious. What’s interesting is Jane’s behavior. Jane so far has always been composed and calm. He may have had moments of emotional outbreak – but never like this, and never in a situation where all is “fine” again already. Lisbon is not in danger anymore; nevertheless he yells at people, frantically, almost aggressively asking for a bottle of water. And what does he need it for? To clean Lisbon’s face of the blood RJ pained his smiley with. He’s as hectic as if someone’s life depends on it; only when he has the water and puts some of it on a tissue, there suddenly is another Jane beneath all the frantic, hectic, panic-induced behavior – one who very gently and carefully cleans Lisbon’s face.
It seems as if later on Lisbon never learns who cleaned her face, which is a shame actually. But then, the scene in the hospital makes up for everything 😉 A nightmare in which she faces three Red John suspects – Haffner, Smith and Bertram – who have just killed her entire team and also want to kill her has her jerk awake. To Jane sitting at her bedside, one hand on her arm, the other lovingly stroking her hair and talking to her to calm her. I don’t know how often I have watched this scene already, but it is so sweet and heartwarming. Also, there is this slight insecurity, this hesitancy, in Jane’s movements and touch that makes it all the more beautiful. This scene and the one before with the face cleaning have something incredibly intimate, in an emotional way.
Now Lisbon admits that the bugs were a mistake, and that she’ll ask Grace to get them off. We’ll later see that she keeps her word, even though said bugs once again get them an advantage (or at least we have to hope it is one). For now though I love how they talk to each other, completely open and honest, and caring on Jane’s side, like a husband/lover who’s just glad his love is safe for now, and who couldn’t care less about anything else. His face speaks volumes when it comes to this.
The “happy” moment (and I’m 100% into it now that I know it’s not just my shipper heart imaging things ;)) ends too soon when Jane comes up with an idea: If there is someone, anyone, to know about these memories (especially the one from the season finale) and certain other things in Jane’s past life, it’s Sophie Miller, his former psychiatrist. Good Sophie we have last seen in season 1 and I always wondered if and when she would reappear. I didn’t really hope for her to be dead when she does. I’m actually a bit sad she is dead. It is as if characters that were once introduces as important to our leads in any way are now slowly being killed off, one by one. Wonder if we’ll see Kristina Frye again…
In any way, there is this one thing that is really disturbing me right now. Just yesterday I was watching SHERLOCK’s “The Reichenbach Fall” again and the way Moriarty used information gathered from Mycroft to deface Sherlock gave me an idea – what if someone with a close connection to Jane is the Mycroft to THE MENTALIST’s Moriarty, Red John?
And then, suddenly, it is basically what is implied in the episode they show that night. Now, of course can’t Sophie be compared to Mycroft, but from her knowledge concerning Jane it may at least be the closest he has to this kind of person who knows so much about him. And we need to remember that THE MENTALIST was pitched as a Sherlock Holmes-like idea, so this isn’t all that far-fetched.
Meanwhile Lisbon gets another visitor at the hospital. Until now, I believed that Ray can’t be one of the bad guys (I especially thought that when I still believed only one of the Seven is RJ), because I really like(d) him. This was the first time he creeped me out. Seriously. I was even expecting him to attack or at least threaten Lisbon, although of course that wouldn’t happen, as he’d then given himself away.
And then there is Jane who interrupts a meeting between Bertram, Smith and McAllister – a strange combination to start with, if you ask me. After Jane tells them that RJ has made a terrible mistake, but he can’t say what because the room could be bugged (I grinned at that – clever :D), you could practically see the three get very nervous.
Which once again makes me wonder whether one of them is RJ, or if they are all only minions, and now afraid that RJ will punish them for mistakes they may have made. We see what has happened to Partridge. No one is safe, obviously.
In the end it is once again Jane and Lisbon, in Jane’s attic behind a closed door, who listen to Sophie’s audio notes about the man they believe is Red John and was Sophie’s patient, or pretended to be one to get information on Jane. I emphasize it because Lisbon is still in, he still includes her. I just love seeing that, how they’ve become such a unity and even though it might mean danger for Lisbon, in the end Jane doesn’t want to exclude her, and she also wouldn’t let him. They’ve become so close, and it’s so perfect.
Last on this: Once again THE MENTALIST manages a fun moment or two amongst all the thrill – here with Rigsby and Cho in the car, where they talk about suspects and how is most likely Red John (and Rigsby gleefully realizing that Cho agrees with him :D), and of course Rigsby and Van Pelt on the phone, in a conversation that seems so completely out of place in this episode, and yet fits so perfectly.
And then there is something I noticed. It doesn’t really belong into this review, but then it does, because it shows what a great, well-made show THE MENTALIST is, and why Bruno and his team are geniuses.
When CASTLE’s season premiere left Castle’s life in danger by poisoning, it was never really a cliffhanger. We knew he would survive. In addition to that, this whole plot had not use for the show’s mythology. It’s not like Castle’s suddenly making a U-turn, saying, no, it’s become too dangerous, I can’t work like this anymore, I quit the crime solving job/hobby and become a full-time writer again. It’s not like there are big changes because of what happens. It’s also not important for his relationship with Beckett in regards to any development between those two. They already *are* together, even engaged, so there never was a question of, “will they” now that Castle has been on the verge of death.
In comparison to that – and the reason I chose CASTLE is that the situation is similar, since we’re left with a life-threatening cliffhanger that isn’t really life-threatening because we know the main/lead character will survive – there’s a big difference in how THE MENTALIST did it.
As I said, the situation is similar – we’re left with the knowledge that Lisbon is in the hands of Jane’s nemesis, who happens to be an insane serial killer. Of course do we know that nothing will happen to Lisbon, that she will survive. But contrary to Castle’s situation is Lisbon’s very important for the series mythology. Because what is it about? It is about Red John showing Jane: I’m in charge. I’m more powerful. If I want to take away anyone, I can do it. If I want to take away the person who matters most to you – and it has become clear in the past two years that RJ very well knows how much Lisbon means to Jane and vice versa – I can and I will do it. RJ has Lisbon and it is his decision to let her go, or leave her unharmed. But it’s still him who has the upper hand in this game. Consequently is that for Jane the moment where he realizes that he’s come this close to losing Lisbon; and this is what will affect him very much. Or already does, as we see here. It is extremely important for the dynamics of the show and the upcoming plot; as well as for Jane’s and Lisbon’s relationship. It weighs on the show and its characters.
And that’s how you do it.