When TV doesn’t let you breath. Well, THE MENTALIST recently does a good job with that.
Be aware that this includes MAJOR SPOILERS!

I couldn’t write something last week, because it would have meant too much speculation for something we’d learn a week later anyways. As mentioned before, there’s been much speculation already before, because it was virtually impossible to see what is coming – and I was right. There’s more twists than I would ever have expected.
Let me get right down to business. I didn’t expect that. I really didn’t expect that twist. Yes, I expected a twist, but not THAT.
All right. Sorry. When Bruno Heller said that Red John is one of the seven remaining suspects at the beginning of the season, I believed him. And then, slowly but surely, started to doubt him. I didn’t know why, I just sort of expected the biggest twist of all to be that it is yet another person we haven’t seen yet. I didn’t know why until the actual Red John was revealed.
By now I assume that having one of the persons, the faces, we’ve been well associated over a longer period of time as the killer the show, the team and the audience have been looking and waiting for six years is a let-down. Which is not to criticize how Bruno & Co. have solved it all, because it is genius. But still it’s this tension that suddenly is gone, and the knowledge that Red John is just a human being, after all. And while we always knew that, it is still strange to face the fact now.
Red John is a normal man, alas powerful. And he is dead.
To be honest, McAllister would have been my last choice. Well, one of my last choices anyways. He’s not exactly serial killer material to me, which I guess should have told me right from the beginning that it can be him. Nevertheless, and here we have what I mentioned above, he is part of that let-down-feeling. When I’m honest though, I don’t know who else it should have been. Red John is big, so extremely big, that every human being would have been wrong I guess.
It’s funny when you compare it to Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes, especially the BBC version – Moriarty is not any less a criminal mastermind, and yet, maybe because of his early-on introduction, is his presence much more believable. Ah well.
The Blake Association. The explanation of what it is and how it came to be is perfectly sound and so simple in its cleverness that I feel the need to bang my head on the desk. An organization to cover everything up anyone in law enforcement needs covered up. Lots and lots of dirty cops getting away because of the association. A terrible thought, actually, especially because it doesn’t seem all that improbable.
Speaking of, I was very relieved that our team actually managed to save Smith and then interrogate him. Once again proof that Bruno knows what he is doing, because there’s a thin line between solving things too quick and letting it wait for too long. Here, it was the right moment to allow the CBI to win the upper hand, to win this race. The strongest scene in 6×07 certainly was Jane’s cup breaking. The ending was perfect as well, with the goodbye between Jane and Lisbon, and of course was the episode in general great, but this… this marked the end of so much. Of this easy-going life (sort of) they had until now, of traditions that hadn’t changed in many years, and of course of Jane’s work for the CBI, just as much as the CBI itself. It showed us that at this point it all ends; it will all change. There’s no going back anymore.
And then there is Jane saying goodbye to Lisbon, telling her that this is letting go and not giving up (as if…), and apologizing to her. “I’m sorry. For everything.” And you wonder if it is about what’s in the past, or about what’s yet to come. What is Jane going to do? What consequences will it have on Lisbon especially, because she is a focal point in his life – as he is one in hers? I assume that of course he apologized for the past, for every moment when he made her life and work harder than necessary, and though I believe that she’s already forgiven him for that – that she was never really angry about it in the first place – it’s also nice to see him make that move, because his words are genuine. And Jane speaking an honest apology is not really a common, everyday thing.
Then 6×08 starts, and it starts with a heartbreaking scene. The CBI – the bullpen where Lisbon’s team sat, solved cases, worked, got to know each other – is empty. When Lisbon sees that, she has tears in her eyes, and oh God, that was so painful to watch. It’s the end of an era. I don’t know how often one can emphasize this fact within two episodes without overdoing it, but apparently Bruno knows exactly how often and managing the right amount perfectly. Well, as perfect as something stabbing your heart can be, anyways.

Abbott: I think your boyfriend […]
Lisbon: […] and he’s not my boyfriend.

The way she says it is interesting. It’s at the end of the sentence, like a side note, like, oh and by the way, not that it matters, but… – and does it matter? I think even Lisbon by now is comfortable with the thought of Jane being her boyfriend. Not exactly in a sexual way, but aren’t those two, through years and years of friendship, and through an unbelievable amount of trust and faith, by now linked romantically? A platonic love, yet, but still romantic in ways. So there’s no need to make “He’s not my boyfriend” her first reaction to Abbott’s words, as she might have done a few years back. Granted, the other accusations thrown at her are also slightly more important, but still, it is significant how she reacts. And how calm she is.
It all bears the question if Lisbon knows where Jane is. I believe it when she says she doesn’t; Jane probably wouldn’t allow it anyways, to protect her. The less she knows, the better it is for her. And if he doesn’t want her to know, she won’t. He’s that good. But I believe that she has ways of contacting him if necessary, because he wouldn’t leave her back without means of contacting him should she need him.
I absolutely loved the team scene in the garage; they are still a team, they still want to work with each other and help. They’ve come so far and now they feel like they are the only ones they can trust – each other – and they stick together. It is so heartwarming where those four (five) have come in all these years.
And then there is the park and oh my God, what it comes down to. Just the two of them, just Jane and Lisbon – just Jane and the one person he trusts most in the world. There is such honesty to this scene and conversation, and it is what I said before – Jane doesn’t want Lisbon involved, but not because he doesn’t trust her, but because he needs to protect her. He doesn’t even need to say it to make it clear. Yes, Lisbon is involved, she always has been, but Jane is still in control, and he’ll put an end to it when it gets too dangerous for her. Also, we know that she would stop him from killing Red John, but apparently she is now okay with the thought that he will – she’s not fiercely trying to stop him anymore. I like to believe that it also is because she has understood how important all that is to him and that he needs this confrontation, needs to decide how it ends, for his own peace of mind. And if nothing else, Lisbon wants him to have peace of mind.
What really killed me though was this intense look they shared when she gave him her weapon. Oh, and by the way – she gave him her weapon. Talk about trust. But while she did so, and while he tugged it away, they looked at each other and whole tales were told. There was so much truth in their eyes, and so much longing, of whatever kind.
Jane and Lisbon. The team. And how they all stood behind Jane and helped him when the FBI wanted to arrest him. It was gorgeous. Fantastic. This is what it has come to after six years – they all risk career and reputation to defend him and allow him to get to Red John. The most powerful scene for 6×08, and probably the whole show, and I LOVED it. Suddenly it was just the five of them against the rest of the world, just the four of them for Jane, no matter the consequences.
In the end, Jane kills Red John – of course he does. And he does so with his bare hands, which also, I guess, had to be. What is more meaningful and intimate than killing someone with your bare hands, with the strength of your hands? Jane is not a fighter, he’d probably always lose in hand to hand combat, but all his anger and hate and grief have measured up to so much power that he can kill this man – this incredibly influential man who hurt so many people, who took so many lives.

Lisbon. It’s over. It’s done. I just want you to know I’m okay. I’m gonna miss you.

This is how he says goodbye to Lisbon. I really hope she gets the message, seeing that her phone was in an evidence bag. Because she needs to hear it, and she needs to know that the last person he wanted to talk to, he tried to contact, before he vanished was her. The only person that matters to him.
So where do we go from here? Trailers revealed that Jane’s in South America; spoilers revealed that two years have passed. They also inform about where everyone is now – and that Jane misses Lisbon. Which is, of course the most important information for me. Because now we get to the point where there could be an actual development. Red John is out of the picture; they are now free to deal with their feelings for each other we all know are there; even TPTB and actors acknowledge.
But what will happen? Can those two really be together? Is there a chance for them, especially seeing that he’d been away now for so long? We don’t know whether they had contact in that time; it’s possible they haven’t heard from each other once in those two years because Jane had to stay in hiding. And now, if he returns? How will she react? And what will it mean for their relationship?

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Tags: Grace Van Pelt, Jane/Lisbon, Kimball Cho, Patrick Jane, Red John, Teresa Lisbon, The Mentalist, Wayne Rigsby