Tommy Volker is back. The dangerously charming serial killer who is just too powerful and too clever to be caught by the police reappears in this episode and has Lisbon literally on edge. And it is obvious that she will do a lot to catch him…
Whereas last time I asked whether Lisbon will become obsessed with Volker, it now is very clear that she long since is just that with the business whale. She knows he is highly influential; the judge she talks to even says that he’s friends with the governor. Unsurprisingly thought Lisbon doesn’t care; she goes through with her plan to catch him and tries everything to get people to help her.
So ultimately, we indeed have now Lisbon’s very own “Red John”; a nemesis she obsesses over just like Jane does with the man himself.
The difference between her and Jane is that she doesn’t have personal reasons to pursue Volker. Yes, she promised his assistant to keep her save and sort of failed when she was killed, by other than that there is nothing personal between Volker and Lisbon. Red John killed Jane’s family – this is completely different from Lisbon’s vendetta against Volker, who, to add to that, also is extremely powerful and out in the open.
Even though there are parallels between Jane’s and Lisbon’s obsession, in the end they are very far apart. And yet is it almost the same for our favorite Mentalist characters. And this is exactly what brings them even closer. Where before we saw that Jane more and more confides in Lisbon, if no one else, we now have it the other way around. The moment Lisbon recognizes that she has a problem – sort of – she asks Jane for help. Not her team in general, something I also would have thought possible. Not Cho with whom she has some close relationship (I mentioned it before, I really like their friendship based on a huge amount of respect). Just Jane. So what she says in the end is “Jane, I need your help.” No “I think”, no “I could” or anything. Clear words, clear declaration.
For their relationship it means a lot. I think for the very first time she’s taking a step towards him herself. We had moment before when she did need help, but Jane had to force her, more or less, to accept his help. This time, she asks for it. He may have offered it before, and he was clearly concerned for her, no doubt. But he mostly stayed back and let her do whatever she felt she needed to do.
Lisbon is fighting very hard to get the warrant for someone associated with Volker, someone she believes can get them information that will bring them closer to finally finding valid and provable accusations/charges against the business man.
Volker is, as expected, very sure of himself. He visits her in her office, he calls her; he mocks her. Not openly, but with his presence, with his “We both know that you’re right, but it doesn’t matter because you can’t catch me.” attitude. And I think especially his visit shows that Lisbon is also… well, scared of him. She looks seriously disturbed after he’s left again; and this is what makes him even more dangerous, because he does have some power over her, and I think he knows it.
I guess this is also why she finally asks Jane for help – after Volker has called her right before she gets news that the man she wanted to question, the one who had worked for Volker, is dead. May police claim that it was a gang BS; Jane, who also appears at the scene, Lisbon and of course the audience knows that this is Volker’s doing.
I don’t know if that doesn’t make Volker even more dangerous than Red John, because to Volker’s killings, there’s no ritual, no careful planning. It’s just getting rid of people who could prove dangerous to him.
Which ultimately has me also worried for Lisbon and/or the others. It is, again, the same situation as with Red John; only with reversed roles. And where I said before that it could help Lisbon understand how Jane feels, I now think that this also works the other way around. Now Jane must understand where all the worry and the attempts to stop Jane from following his path to vengeance comes from – from being worried about the person who is completely losing focus because of this obsession. Somehow it even feels as if Jane already has recognized this, a bit at least. When he talks to Lisbon, he sounds so different from what we know of him, all reasonable, and almost as if he’s saying – we’re both in the same position here, I see that now, and we need to find a way out together also.
Other than those few moments that had Lisbon even a bit distracted from the case of the week, there was not much mythology-wise.
What I wondered about was Lisbon calling Rigsby “Rigs” – since when does she do that? I mean, I like it; it hints at the team also getting closer in general, something I still think they’ll need the closer they get to Red John, which may just prove to be the ultimate case, the absolute climax of the show – and something that will test loyalty to no end.
And there’s the other Jane/Lisbon moments – for one the thing I noticed last time already, that Jane seems to be very comfortable in Lisbon’s office. I think only in this season it started that he is a regular guest in the room, sitting on the couch even when she is working; he even seems to neglect his couch in the bullpen. And never before, at least not that I can remember, have we seen him sitting in there when she wasn’t there. Now he was playing chess and obviously waiting for her. There is a subtle development to those two that is hard to analyze, and yet so obvious.
And then there is this little scene in the beginning after Lisbon had a small victory concerning Volker and the warrant – she comes along all smirky, something Jane of course notices immediately. When he asks her about it, one of the two possibilities he guesses is that she could be in love. This is sort of cute in itself; but then also interesting. The team and especially Jane/Lisbon are so close, spend so much time together, that I’m pretty sure Jane would know very well if Lisbon was seeing someone, anyone. He wouldn’t need to speculate and ask the question; he’d just be sure and declare it this way.
Here he instead asks, probably knowing the answer already, and still reacting to her giving him the heads-up about the warrant that he was “hoping it was love, you deserve happiness.” And I was like – oh?! Where does this come from? This is, IMO, a rather unusual thing for him to say. If we remember, when Lisbon had her… fling (unfortunately not more, still like them together) with Mashburn, Jane appeared to be everything but happy. And no, back then he didn’t know that one day Mashburn would be on his Red John list, and also do I doubt that Jane every really thought Mashburn could be a bad person. It always made an impression of Jane simply disliking the fact that Mashburn flirted so openly with Lisbon.
So now he suddenly should want Lisbon have happiness? Love? I have all sorts of thoughts on that, and many of them are very far off I think, but still it leaves me worried; as if Jane was trying to tie up loose ends, see the people that matter to him – and here Lisbon is on top of the list, without a shadow of a doubt – be happy and look into a bright future… for when he isn’t there anymore. And with the Red John case heading towards above mentioned climax, it is possible that now more than ever he believes that he just may not survive it when they catch the killer.
My shipper heart of course wants Jane’s words to be a clumsy attempt to give their relationship another push, but I’m afraid that’s not what happens here.
Anyways, for now I guess we’ll see a bit more of Volker and Lisbon’s obsession, and hopefully a helpful Jane who’ll prove to be someone Lisbon needs. Period. After all, there is still this spoiler from last August that said that Lisbon will discover feelings for Jane; and him helping her is a great starting point – or mark of (further) development…

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Tags: Jane/Lisbon, Patrick Jane, Red John, Teresa Lisbon, The Mentalist, Tommy Volker