Beware: This contains spoilers for the upcoming season of THE MENTALIST.

I never dared to hope. Really, who would have anyways? It would have been presumptuous. Some things are made to torture fans, and some things are said to drive us crazy. After almost one and half a decade of having watched and watching numerous TV shows, I’ve learned that much.
So when someone in a show says “Love you” to another character, and it’s a scene between the show’s two most suitable characters for a romance, you tend to ignore it – at least when you know that one certain showrunner has said that those two won’t have a romance. And the actors have said the same. Your little shipper heart rejoices for a moment, indulges in the sweet offer for a very short time, before returning to reality.
That kind of happened to me when I saw the season finale of THE MENTALIST’s latest season 4.
Remember – Jane came to Lisbon’s office (an office with closed blinds, no less) hugged her, told her “Good luck, Teresa. Love you.” and presumably shot her. The latter was only a fake as we found out shortly after – a scheme to fool everyone and thus also Red John. Everything else… not so much, it seems. At least Lisbon asked Jane about it – only to have him pretend that he doesn’t remember, that he doesn’t know what she’s talking about (she never repeated his words, just referenced to ‘earlier in her office’).
Now, Bruno Heller has always said that those two won’t find a romantic partner in each other; and should they nevertheless, then it will be at the very end of the show.
Season five won’t be the end of the show – THE MENTALIST is still highly successful and Simon Baker signed a contract for not only one, but two (5+6) seasons earlier this year. It’s pretty safe to assume that we’ll have at least seven seasons; and certainly I wouldn’t mind more.
Still, it is actually Heller himself, the one who always said that those two are more like brother and sister, or maybe even mother and annoying son, who declared what have to be the biggest news for every Jane/Lisbon shipper since the show and our ship began:

Jane’s declaration of love to Lisbon will play a big part in the year ahead, when she’ll run into “complications in her feelings for Jane as the season rolls on,” says executive producer Bruno Heller. “Lisbon is not so much revealing feelings for Jane, but she’s discovering feelings for Jane.”

Yes, I squeed. Oh, and how I squeed. And jumped around. And… well. Proved that I am a fan and shipper. 😉
Okay, back to the important things. There are so incredibly many questions in my head right now.

How deep will Lisbon’s feelings go?

How much of it will she admit to (to herself)?

Will Jane recognize (something of) it, as he’s the one who was always able to read her like a book?

How will he react if he realizes that she’s developed feelings for him that maybe go beyond what is normal for colleagues and friends?

What impact will it have on the friendship, and their relationship in general?

Or, as another possibility, will he be blind to her feelings, just this once, because it’s about him, and because it’s too closely related to him so he could still see it?

These news are totally awesome. If only it was already next May and the season was over, so we’d have some answers. Waiting will now be made even harder.
The biggest problem will be Lorelei. Because it is also said that Lisbon’s discovering her feelings for Jane while he’s busy ‘seducing’ Red John’s disciple so she’ll join the good side, his side. Lorelei knows things, and thus she’s the most important person to Jane right now – because she would lead him to Red John. She could be essential to him finally ending all this, all these years of psychological pain.
So Heller also says,

“It’s not exactly a love triangle… but it does make office life complicated. How much of that attraction [between Jane and Lorelei] is real and how much of that is Jane being manipulative?”

Depending on what feelings exactly Lisbon will develop/discover, it might still be kind of a love triangle, even though Heller might be right not wanting to call it that. Of course it is none, and somehow I doubt so far that Jane had real romantic interest in Lorelei. The question here, however, is: Can she be convinced that RJ is a monster, that she should join the good guys? Will she be able to understand it, and how effective was RJ’s brain-washing on her? And – can she be trusted, no matter how much she claims to not work for RJ anymore, should it come to this?
Jane was never one to trust easily. I think if the question arose, there’d actually be only one person he’d have real and doubtless faith in, and that is Lisbon. He does trust the rest of the team, yes, but my guess would be that Lisbon is the only one he literally trusts blind.
Therefore I don’t believe that he’ll ever again enter into any kind of personal/romantic relationship with Lorelei, unless she succeeds in luring him into her web of lies by offering what he desires most – Red John. It’s his weak point, and by now almost everyone who knows Jane also knows about that fact. It won’t be a secret to Lorelei, so it is possible that she’ll find a way to use it to her advantage in a way that will make Jane careless.
Here’s to hope that Lisbon will be there to be his consciousness as she’s always been, to stop him and remind him who are the good and who are the bad guys. And with the feelings she now has (and hopefully admits to – to herself), she might just be able to give him what he’s been seeking with Lorelei – not the physical kind of love (well, I’d lie if I said I’d mind that…), but the care and understanding, that different kind only someone who loves another can come up with. It would make kind of a love triangle of the whole thing, when Lisbon, with her love, fights for Jane against Lorelei, against her tricks and schemes and falsely-soft words; against her pretended interest that was most likely only ‘implanted’ into her mind by Red John.
Personally, I’d wish for Lisbon to acknowledge her own feelings, and I’d like to see Jane recognize and realize what kind of feelings Lisbon has discovered for him. I want them to deal with it, to face the possibility that after so much time, so many years, they’ve made a friend in the other that could be more, one day. Not in season five, not even in season six. But if they start here, now, in this season, to show that after about ten years there indeed have to be feelings beyond friendship, I trust Bruno Heller to develop it as it has to be; even though it will be in small steps, which is absolutely okay with this couple.
No matter what comes, I know now for sure that my love for this show is back. I had my problems bringing myself to true enthusiasm when it came to MENTALIST in the past months, mostly because of some other shows, and my return to the Star Trek fandom.
But after watching the second half of season four I felt that I was strongly reminded what appealed to me of this show, and after reading these news, and really, really excited about the new season, and what is to come. Bruno Heller and his team are still making a remarkable show; that hasn’t changed. In the past four years, they’ve always come up with great story lines, lots of fun, but also seriousness and much to touch a viewer, a fan. And now they’re choosing a way they know many fans hope for, and they probably have understood is necessary to keep a realistic approach to the characters and the plot.
One month. Then THE MENTALIST will finally be back – with season five premiering on Sept. 30th.

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