The Mentalist: 2×03 – Red Badge

OMG. Seriously, Simon Baker move over because Robin Tunney should totally be the one up for all the award nominations next year.

Favourite episode of television EVER. Or at least of a crime drama.

There are no words. Actually there are plenty of words but trust me, there were no words until I had rewatched the whole thing again and began to process. You see, usually when I’m looking forward to an episode this much it always tends to me a bit of an anti-climax because things don’t tend to be able to live up to way you build them up in my head. But this? Seriously, OMFG.

Even, if you don’t watch the show, you should definitely watch this one episode. It is an out of this world amazingly written exemplar of crime drama.

And although characterisation is usually very gradual and is rarely the focus of procedurals, I feel that every single character had some sort of development even though it was obviously a heavily Lisbon-centric episode. I will ever be in awe of how they managed to cover everything they did, including the never-ending list of possible suspects, and still have time to include such amazing peripheral scenes such as ‘money-in-cup’ and ‘superhero-with-secret-identity’ and the ‘Dancing’.

I think if I didn’t start with the Jane/Lisbon-ness of this episode I would totally be overlooking such a major feature but I have to admit that I think this episode was amazing in spite of the shipperiness. I mean, even if we only had one scene with them in together, I think this episode could still hold its own.

BUT

OMG. Could they squeeze in any more JL moments if they tried? I mean seriously?! You know how when it’s Christmas you try to eat as much turkey as you possibly can because it only comes around once a year and you end up overdosing on turkey? It was like they were literally trying to cram in as many JL moments as they possibly can. Is there a drought coming?!

Anyway, where to start?

Jane knowing that it was “shrink day”.
The whole “reading minds money-in-cup game”. ❤
Jane backing up Lisbon’s cooking show alibi and only calling her on it later. I especially loved this because we finally get to see Jane backing Lisbon unconditionally like she does with him even though he shouldn’t be aiding and abetting her.
The scene out on the balcony. “I don’t want you inside my head.”

JANE IN LISBON’S APARTMENT HYPNOTISING HER. I think I could write for paragraphs about how much I love this scene here but it’ll be superfluous because y’all thinking it anyway. Flail her apartment! Flail Jane inside her apartment!
(“Where are we going to do it? Let’s just do it. Let’s go.” I may have totally been taking those words out of context and had a little giggle to myself there …)
Flail at the not-hypnotising hypnotising! Flail at her head on his shoulder! Flail at the head pat! Flail at the Spice Girls moment of humour in an intense scene! Ditto hot mail room guy! (And in a classic case of over-interpretation I took Jane as being a tiny bit jealous / uncomfortable at pursuing Lisbon’s line of thought with that.) Flail at Rigsby/Van Pelt! Complete and utter FLAIL at Lisbon crying, asking Jane to keep this to himself, Jane wanting to comfort her and her telling him to go. Seriously, WOW.

How much did Robin Tunney ROCK the “Breakdown” scene at CBI! We never get to see Lisbon like that (even though she wasn’t actually freaking out) so that was pretty amazing. She completely nailed it. Ditto apartment scene.

And then the whole “he’s in love with you scene”. Loved how playful and light-hearted it was and how Lisbon was like “Whatever!” and laughing it off.

Also getting more of Lisbon’s background needs some flailing over. <insert flailing here>
And that moment where the victim’s father blames Lisbon for his daughter’s rape. I think that said so so much. I mean not only did it build him up as a possible suspect but you got to get just a glimpse of all the guilt Lisbon carries around. Again with the scene where Lisbon has to give up her badge and gun – you really see how much the job IS her life. So very nicely portrayed. (Basically what I’m saying here is that every scene was perfect and spot on and contributed something to plot/character. Lol). The thing with the whole therapist making Lisbon see him so many times to get her fingerprints and signing Jane off after one session, means that actually neither Lisbon nor Jane actually suffered much fallout from the whole Hardy thing, and I guess I kind of wish that Lisbon was a little bit mentally traumatised at seeing Hardy point a gun at her and then shot so quickly? I reckon that somewhere down the line something is going to happen with Jane and Lisbon and Red John to cause some kind of “trama” so maybe they’re saving that.

How fantastic was all the teamwork in this episode???! I love how they all got behind her. I know we had that scene in the cafe where Rigsby has doubts but he more than makes up for it with the Bosco showdown. That moment was golden.
I adore Cho’s loyalty to Lisbon. He is 100% loyal to her, more than Rigsby and even Jane. They also provided some classic light-hearted scenes ……

Rock/Paper/Scissors for who has to go into the dumpsters.
Van Pelt’s horror that the perv could have a girlfriend.
The “Saint Lisbon/Rock star” scene. 😀 😀 😀
Van Pelt in the sex shop!

And basically how they spent the whole episode going against Bosco and Minelli’s instructions and working the case anyway and not even caring when they’re caught. I adore team+friendshipness.

I have to admit that whilst the Bosco/Jane scenes of the previous episodes did nothing to make me like Bosco, the Bosco/Lisbon scenes in this episode kinda did. When he’s watching her through the window taking the polygraph and then at the end. I kind of felt it between them. I can accept their past, just as long as nothing happens in the present. Speaking of which, after Jane throws the whole “he’s in love with you” out there, exits and then comes back to watch her reaction, in my thinking, if Lisbon actually still liked Bosco that way you’d see some kind of reaction on her face (which is probably what Jane was looking for) but instead they have the focus on Jane looking and Lisbon’s just concentrating on eating the doughnut and unpacking, not thinking about Bosco.

Case-wise…….

I am SO in love with Robin Tunney Lisbon Jane/Lisbon the fact that they threw so many suspects out there that it literally kept you guessing. Was it the perv’s girlfriend? The perv’s prison buddy? The perv’s boss? The grieving father who blamed Lisbon? The suspect Lisbon was testifying against? Lisbon?

Like Jane, I guessed Lisbon was drugged after he couldn’t pull out the memory by hypnosis, but her absolute breakdown in CBI? I thought that was because of the influence of the drug, not her acting. I loved that it had me fooled. There’s been quite a few moments in other episodes where Jane’s set up his plan and I think that he’s doing it without Lisbon’s knowledge or whatever but it turns out it’s all part of the ruse.

The point at which I thought the therapist might be a suspect was when Lisbon went to see him willingly and he said something like “no one can blame you for doing what you did” but then I thought he might just be saying something like that because it is something some people would say regarding killing pervs, but I think it was the fact that he was a therapist and saying that, that jarred. But then somehow I forgot about him and for a brief moment I thought the prosecutor had some involvement. I know? I can’t even remember why that came to me. I think it was because I was processing that it had to be someone that had quite a bit of contact with Lisbon?
Then, as soon as the therapist went to Lisbon’s apartment I knew it was him but I actually bought Lisbon’s act at first. I thought the drinking was still an effect of the drugs but I couldn’t make sense of the pills and then when she started waving around the gun and the whole suicide thing was a bit OTT and I knew Lisbon wouldn’t be THAT messed up. I probably would have got it quicker if I wasn’t too busy sitting there going OMG ROBIN TUNNEY IS SO AMAZING. Which she is. In case that fact passed you by …….

And to sum up. In the words of Agent Grace Van Pelt: “Lisbon Was Like A Rock Star!”

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