Now that I’ve finally managed to watch the remaining second half of MENTALIST’s fourth season (I know, bit late… but I got, um, distracted…), I’m really beginning to wonder where good Bruno is going with this.
MENTALIST has long lost its lightweight charm, but has become a serious, at times even deeply psychological TV series with a dose of humor. Ever since Patrick murdered the man he believed to be Red John, maybe ever since he met Red John one season earlier, things definitely have changed.
Patrick had been the great pretender from the very beginning on. His schemes and his fooling around, the way he appeared to be at ease and only interested in pranks and tricks, how solving crimes is merely a hobby that amuses him, all that was never real, but only covered a deeply disturbed soul who has lost what is most dear to him – his wife and his daughter.
Now his attitudes of fooling people might still be in place – but he lets it slip ever so often, and more than ever before. Especially when alone with Lisbon.
These two things I noticed to be very prominent by now – his very deep bond to Lisbon which also seems to become deeper with every episode, every season, and his great inner conflict after the encounter with his nemesis and the murder of a man.
Both go somehow hand in hand; not that one is causing the other, at least not the bond the conflict. One might argue that it could be the other way around however. Last season, Jane and Lisbon seemed to drift apart, something I didn’t quite like. Yes, I ship them, but could also live with them remaining just friends… but friends they have to be. Because they have this wonderful and very special friendship. I’m happy to see that it’s coming back in season four.
Most prominent it probably was when Jane was working with the FBI lady and left Lisbon and the team to solve the other case by themselves. It was so incredibly cute how she smiled every time he called, and how they told each other that they’d missed the other when they were finally reunited. I doubt that this was just said; I’m pretty sure it was sincere. It goes on like this – all the little hints – it’s highly interesting to watch.
The season finale was fireworks, just like I would expect them from Bruno Heller. Maybe the best season finale so far. I have to go through this episode step by step.
In the ep before, Jane lost it. Actually I think this was always only a matter of time. Nine years he kept himself together, went on, with the goal of finding Red John – finding justice. And then he cracks when it is just too much and… I guess the little girl RJ sent reminded Jane of his daughter, and it was exactly what RJ wanted. That probably gave Jane the rest.
How he then didn’t let anything hear from him in six months, how he got arrested, how he assaulted people and all that… it’s awful. It’s a path I’d never have expected Mentalist to take, but it is very well done. And it is only logical. With this show, this was always a brewing risk, somewhere beneath the surface; it was never expected be all happy and funny forever. Jane carries way too much emotional baggage for that.
What I found interesting – to come back to the Jane/Lisbon aspect – is that she really was worried about him. Really. And something tells me that she would have done almost anything to help; wouldn’t have been the first time. Her face when she was walking away after she had denied the others’ suggestion to look for him was just heartbreaking.
In some way, I guess, she has strong feelings for him. Maybe she even has fallen for him, but not in that she loves him and will heal him with her love way. It’s a complicated thing, whatever they feel for each other, and if they ever admit to these feelings, it will be very late in the show, maybe only in the end.
Here we see how Lisbon’s suffering because of all that has happened. It’s painfully obvious. She truly misses him, she worries about him, thinks about him a lot. It’s weighing on her so much that you want to punch Jane for putting her through it. The way she takes a walk, especially after using one of Jane’s ‘tricks’… she even admits (to him!) that she hasn’t been sleeping, that she tried to call and contact him countless times.
That it was all just a ruse… I’m not sure. Even though he says so, I think there was a real breakdown somewhere in there. Maybe he also played a big part of it; but there definitely was something true to it.
When he comes to the office and ‘shoots’ Teresa… “Good luck, Teresa… love you.” Those were his words. A hug (she reciprocated for the first time) and those words. And I’m wondering… whom did he say it for? The blinds were closed, and even though it is possible that there are bugs in the office, it isn’t very likely, as Jane wasn’t working for the CBI anymore… so no reason for Red John to listen in, and anyone else would just not make sense. Therefore remains the question why he said it… especially since she wasn’t actually going to die.
She’s even asking him later in the storehouse or wherever they are there, but he denies having said anything, or pretends that he doesn’t remember. That is a very, very important moment and I’m wondering if and when they’re coming back to this. I think I would have had by shipper heart ignore this – hadn’t she asked about it. But since they addressed it…
This FBI woman? I’m really starting to hate her. And I’m not sure that she isn’t the mole in the FBI, the informant. She was shooting at the car… who is to say that she wasn’t trying to get rid of witnesses? And then she probably also knew that Wainwright was sitting in the back of this car… if he wasn’t in on the game himself. To be honest, by now I don’t trust anyone to be not Red John’s mole/minion, except for Lisbon and the team. Also, even though I had doubts before, Jane really doesn’t seem to be associated with RJ. That would be a slap in the face should he be. More like a punch… with a nail glove.
The last five to ten minutes made me hyperventilate. Or maybe stopped my breath at all, I’m not sure anymore. I just had no idea what was coming and it scared me like hell.
And then that (second) last scene… heartbreaking, heartwarming and somehow just… THE MENTALIST. How he took her hand, and how they then sat there… holding hands still, all the time. Not letting go again, but just holding on, in every sense of the word. It spoke volumes of what they are to each other, what they’ve become.
God, I can’t wait for next season and how they develop all this – what schemes RJ comes up next, whether he will start a new attempt to break Jane (and maybe succeed… at least more than this time if not entirely – and Heller said that season five will show Jane’s darker side), whether Jane can just return to the CBI, what happens with Lorelei. And, of course, what happens to Jane & Lisbon; how their relationship will move on.
Jane kissed Erica, and he slept with Lorelei – it’s the first time since the show started we actually saw him as a ‘sexual being’ after he obviously lived like a monk for several years since the death of his family (what is totally understandable). Therefore I think it is in the realm of possibilities that there will be another step towards each other with Jane and Lisbon. And in my opinion, it might just be what they both need.
Until then, however, I’m excited about the new season, and that the sixth has already been confirmed by Ashley Gable additionally to season five. MENTALIST proved again that is absolutely worth to be loved. Thank you, Bruno Heller, and thanks to the complete MENTALIST team.