As a reaction to the S6 finale, someone posted a Jisbon collage and beneath it Jane’s quote from 6×06, said right before he hugged her and left her at the beach to go after RJ:

There is something I wanna tell you, Lisbon. Something I should have said a long time ago…

Tumblr user suzjazz replied to my reblog of the post:

Jane also says “There’s something I always wanted to tell you” in the ep with the bomb strapped to Lisbon, as he’s picking the lock to the room where the killer is. I have always believed that he was going to tell her he loved her in case things didn’t go as planned. He didn’t get the chance to say it, but he refused adamantly to leave her when she ordered him to, which means he was ready to die with her, Red John be damned.
Other people, including my BF, maintain that he was just playing for time by talking, but why would he do that? The non-shippers always had some rationalization for it too. (BF would have been thrown out on his ass had he not admitted early on that Jane loves Lisbon. But he was never a Jisbon shipper, and still teases me about having a girl crush on Robin. 😀

To which I had to add some meta. Naturally *g*

Actually – and I don’t need to tell you how much of a Jisbon shipper I am – I also thought that he was playing for time. Still do.
Thing is, if he had wanted to, he could have found a way to let the authorities know what’s up without the perp knowing, but he didn’t. Still he also didn’t follow the guy’s orders, and he got away with it. So I assume that if he had felt there was a need to get help because he didn’t have the situation under control he would have gotten it – he wouldn’t have endangered Lisbon like that. Instead he went to where he assumed the guy was, and I highly doubt he was doing it for kicks or to prove something, not with Lisbon’s life on the line like this (and his own also, where his death would have had the consequence of RJ possibly walking free).
To be honest – but that’s just my headcanon – I don’t believe he was quite there in S3; he may have had the feelings, but he was still far from being ready to admit them. I think the first time he was able to voice it – honestly say it, unlike when he pretended to be Lisbon’s husband who wants to put her in a clinic for her drinking (we all remember that scene ;)) – was when he did so in the S4 finale. And even then he claimed that he didn’t remember what he had said, that it had just been part of the scheme.
There is a notable difference between seasons 1-4 and seasons 5/6. In the past two seasons it became more and more obvious that these feelings slowly fight their way to the surface – like in Devil’s Cherry, when Charlotte was the voice of his subconscious that more or less outright stated Jane’s attraction to Lisbon. And even then he shushed her (himself O.o) because he needed more time to come to terms with that.
I don’t doubt that Jane was in love with Lisbon since almost the beginning, though I assume it started out as infatuation with someone who apparently cared for him and accepted his ways (as much as she ever complained) before it slowly grew into more. This is what I love so much about this ship, you can actually not only watch them fall in love, but also hold themselves back until their feelings are so strong that they can’t keep them from bubbling up and making decisions for them anymore.
Jisbon in S1-4 is much different from Jisbon in S5 and 6, and even more so in S6.2/the post-RJ era, when they don’t have to hold back anymore (or Jane, in particular, who would have never admitted his feelings in a truthful way and pursued a romantic relationship before RJ was out of the picture – that’s why I never really expected anything to happen, or any of his statements and actions meant to be taken serious (or taken serious by himself) before RJ was dead.
So, in conclusion, I do believe that he was playing for time, and that he used this what sounded very much like an upcoming love confession to distract the guy, since especially these last minute love confessions always find their audience as people love a good drama (unless the “audience” is a psychopath, which I guess Jane had already found the guy not to be, bomb notwithstanding).

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Tags: Jane/Lisbon, Jisbon, Patrick Jane, Teresa Lisbon, The Mentalist