As if the producers were saying, while we’re at it, let us continue with the heavy stuff now, following the Volker episode last time we have, as another season highlight – probably even a bigger one – a Red John episode.
This episode finds Jane locked in his attic. He’s in there, and he’s not letting anyone else in – or, let’s say, he doesn’t let the only person who ever comes up there inside, Lisbon. This surprised me, as in the course of the season, Jane so far has been shown to trust Lisbon enough to let her in on almost everything regarding his own investigation when it comes to Red John; after all he even told her about the list, which I think is the biggest revelation and most vital information in the case so far.
What also surprised me was that Lisbon accepted his secrecy. She doesn’t demand entry or forces him to tell her what he is doing; she simply lets him. Does she know that sooner or later he’s gonna tell her, and if only her, anyways? Maybe. But it is another proof of how much those two have changed, and how close they’ve grown.
The first case Lisbon picks Jane up to come isn’t a case, as they soon find out. Instead it’s a party for Lisbon’s 10th anniversary – ten years ago she joined the CBI. Which made me wonder – does that mean that she’s been almost as long in the CBI as Jane? Because if I remember right, he has been there for what? Nine years now? He joined the CBI one year after the death of his family; and at the end of season four we learned that they’d been dead for ten years. So the majority of Lisbon’s work at the CBI was accompanied by Jane’s presence.
The celebration gives us a nice and funny moment that shows how similar those two are. The devil’s in the details, or something like that 😀 In any way are the both of them anything but happy about the stripper that has been booked for the party and is now trying to have his fun with Lisbon. Who is not interested. And Jane as well doesn’t look all amused or enthusiastic. This time I really won’t go into the possibility of him sort-of bring jealous or anything, because we and Jane know that he doesn’t have a reason. I just loved how they both showed mostly the same reaction 😉
Okay, so much for the light part of the episode. What follows is, in short, Red John. Or a bit of his history, which is not less interesting. And Red John is not the only old and too-familiar case that is back – once again investigations also lead to the sect Visualize.
It’s clever made. Now that Volker is “gone”, at least from Lisbon’s primary worries and thus also Jane’s, sort of, as his help is now no longer needed by Lisbon, we can have Red John reappear, and immediately we see Jane obsess about him again. In the past episodes his mind seemed “clear” in favor of Lisbon’s problems, but this isn’t needed any longer, so he changes back to his old obsessed self. In the end now we also have to realize that there is another side to Jane; one that cares enough about Lisbon to at least for a while forget about his own nemesis to be there for her. I’m not sure Jane from the beginning of the show would have done that, even though he always showed to put her life above everything else, like when he killed the RJ disciple in season one.
Whereas before there was much speculation about the connection between RJ and Visualize, we get a confirmation in this episode. The events here, though a bit confusing at times, ultimately reveal that back in the 80’s, Red John must have been a member of the self-proclaimed church. And this time they get damn close; so close that I almost expect Red John’s identity to be revealed at the end of the season, even if he won’t be caught yet. And it is possible that it will only be revealed to us, the audience, but not the characters.
Apart from the whole Red John/Visualize story we also have another one, concerning Lisbon. Because she is offered a job by Ray Haffner, the guy who was formerly Jane’s team leader at the beginning of season five, we get a little bit into the dynamic between Jane and Lisbon and what it means when their lives suddenly take directions away from each other. Or would.
Ray wants Lisbon to work with him in the private sector that, for a start, brings a lot more money than what the CBI pays. Even though the sum Haffner shows her (the salary of the entry level) makes her speechless for a moment, she declines. Most interesting then is that Ray immediately assumes the reason behind Lisbon declining is Jane – she doesn’t want to leave the CBI and her work with him.
Judging from Lisbon’s reaction I’d also say that he hit the bull’s eye with that. In addition to that, and contrary to all the moments we’ve seen in the past five years where Lisbon more than once appeared to be willing to kick Jane she now says to Ray that he’s “not that hard to handle” – and I was really wondering where that suddenly came from.
Was it just her defense against Ray and his job offer, or is it really her opinion? It is possible that it has changed over the years and the closer she and Jane have become. That despite all, she now thinks he is much less of a nuisance than he was five years ago; that she knows him much better and can predict what to expect. And that his behavior has changed as well, that he keeps her in the loop now when he’s planning anything. Of course there’s still much work to do, but in general he’s much more open and tells her a lot, and this is definitely only a recent development.
Ray doesn’t give up. First, he tells her that Jane isn’t going around forever; that someday he is going to leave. We all know that this is a possibility that as soon as RJ is caught Jane will leave, will have accomplished his mission and try to start a new life. Unless he has a good reason to stay; something Bruno and his team seem to work on…
But, at least Ray’s words make Lisbon waver enough to make her go to Jane and tell him about the job offer. Whereas before he was locked in his attic, he now opens the door and looks anything but happy; instead, he appears to be very critical about it, desperately looking for a reason why this is not a good thing and idea.
And if anything, it shows that Jane needs Lisbon; and the other way around. Why else would she have told him? She could have kept to herself, but she obviously wants him to give her a reason to stay. And at the same time she wants him to be reminded that he needs her just as much, and probably not only for the RJ case.
But, as said before, Ray won’t give up. He comes to the office and again tries to convince her to take his job offer. Only that now he gives himself and his little secret away – and Lisbon finds out that he is a member of Visualize. Has been since he was a child/teenager. He defends himself, but it becomes clear that Lisbon is now suspicious. And this is only supported by what they find out later, some developments and links between facts that lead her to believe that Ray must have met and known (and still do?) Red John. That he could tell her his name. Ray, however seems to think that Lisbon accuses him of being the murderer here. Which is interesting, as he’s trying to defend himself against accusations never made. The only thing he answers to her question if he was on that Visualize farm is “We’re still friends, right? Why would you ask me that?”. Why does he never think that maybe she only wants names? Why is he immediately assuming the worst? It has this air of, if the shoe fits… If Lisbon really thought that Ray is Red John, I doubt she would directly approach him with that suspicion.
Now, knowing that Ray is a member of Visualize and could even know Red John – or be him?! – his whole reaction to Lisbon declining his job offer gets a whole new face. What if his “accusation” of Lisbon staying only because of Jane was more than just coming from Ray’s own perceptiveness? Let’s say the man is not Red John – then he could at least still be associated and in contact with him, and have first-hand knowledge about Jane and Lisbon. Or in another words – this once again would show that Red John only knows too well how close J/L are.
In any way don’t I think that Ray is Red John. It’s again too obvious. Jane may have shaken hands with RJ, but I don’t think that he’d be that present as, for example, Ray is. I can see Ray being one of RJ disciples, but nothing more.
And speaking of disciples. What’s up with Van Pelt?! She definitely is sympathizing with Visualize, and I wonder where this is heading. Could she, in the end, change sides and become another one of those people working for Red John? Is she a risk factor in this game? It would only make sense to have such a person even within the team; it would definitely make things even more thrilling and dangerous. And if Van Pelt should once show that she is on the wrong side – as one of the four people Jane believes he can trust – then what could it mean for the rest? That Jane will again retreat and shut everyone off? That he and Lisbon will work together and don’t let anyone else in?
Another step into that direction – one that assures that Jane and Lisbon will stick together, no matter what – is made at the end of the episode. When Lisbon’s patience reaches its end, after all, she finally demands Jane to confide in her, concerning his secret he stores in the attic. “Are we partners or what?!” she wants to know, and after only the tiniest moment of hesitation, he grabs her hand (?) and pulls her inside, whispering, “Come here, partner”. It’s that particular way of how he does it that gives another feel of an intimate friendship (we also saw it before when they talk in previous episodes and stand very close), a big secret that only the two of them know and can know.
And now not only Lisbon, but also we see what Jane has been working on – a detailed deduction board about Red John’s crimes. And even thought Lisbon has now to tell him that they can’t expect help in form of a list of names from Visualize, Jane is quite positive – he’s recalled 2164 people he’s shaken hands with since the murder of his family, and he’s sure that he’s missed only a few, at most. After excluding a good number now 408 are left – and the information about the Visualize farm and membership will help him to limit this list even more. He’s getting close, as he says – he’s getting very close. Not closer, but close.
And he indeed seems to. The problem is – the closer the gets, the more I see him, and especially the person closest to him, Lisbon, in danger. I’m pretty sure that with all the influence Red John obviously has, and all the power, he also will be very sure of himself. I don’t think he’ll panic, like Volker did, and make mistakes. Not for now. RJ will have faith in himself and the people working for him much longer, plus Jane and Lisbon don’t know RJ’s identity, so the killer could, if he wanted to, just vanish. Not he would do that. Anyways, last season Jane wanted to keep his distance to Lisbon, fearing that the closer they got, the more probable it was that RJ would target Lisbon. Something he indeed did, indirectly, in the season finale. So as a result this can only mean that Jane now believes that it will be easier for him to save Lisbon as long as she is close to him. But who knows. I hope that will still be revealed.
Then, about the little things. Again we find Jane sitting in Lisbon’s office before she’s in (according to the conversation they have when she enters it is clear that they haven’t yet seen each other that day). He then asks her again about the “ten years”, to which she replies that it’s been more, actually – every year with him counts as two. This is the sweet banter and teasing those two are so perfect at, and it’s those moments I adore about the show.
What I also loved were Lisbon’s clothes. She looked so fantastic with that white jacket/coat. Very elegant and stylish; a big change compared to her rather grey mouse style she sported in the past years. It is as if Jane’s style is having some influence on her.
Lisbon wants to know some of the names on that list Jane has – and it is how the episode ends. She asks for the names, but before he can tell her, the screen goes black. Which I guess is as close to a cliffhanger as THE MENTALIST has gotten in the past five years… and I can’t wait to hear the names – and see Lisbon’s reaction…!