Mentalist Review: Episode 5×01 The Crimson Ticket

Review of Episode 5×01: The Crimson Ticket
by castiello

Interesting episode. There was a lot going on in this one, between the battle for Lorelei and the regular case they were working at the same time. I didn’t completely love it while I was watching it, like I did with the season three premiere, but I feel like it’s one of those eps that I’ll enjoy more on a second or third viewing.

Jane: Considering his blatantly criminal actions in last season’s finale, I was very surprised to see him drive up and start working a case, all business-as-usual (I was also pretty shocked to see him hand over his car keys to some random cop, but that’s another matter. I think he was just in a hurry to get the regular case over with so he could focus on Lorelei, and even his precious car doesn’t hold a candle to a potential Red John lead).

The initial explanation of Jane’s reinstatement—“the brass cut a deal, made the charges go away”—had me scowling, because it reminded me of last year’s “let’s just gloss over everything quickly and get back to normal” premiere. However, since they did not just leave it at that, since they actually went into detail showing Bertram (Yay! He’s back!) dealing with the FBI, etc., I was able to buy the premise that Jane coming back was part of an expansive cover-up for an incredibly, unredeemably botched (<- is that even a strong enough word?) operation.

I felt in tune with Jane emotionally during this episode (Which is cool, because last year I felt very distant from him, like I had almost no idea what he was feeling or thinking most of the time). In this ep, his emotional rollercoaster was very relatable: His desperation not to lose the one lead he’d worked so hard for (Hey, faking a breakdown for six months can’t be easy…), his compassion for the murder victim’s sister (We don’t see the softer side of Jane too often these days, do we?), and his weird, twisted bond with Lorelei (And yes, I do think he has feelings for her, despite his claims…what those feelings are remains to be seen, but I felt like his anguish over her being unexpectedly taken into custody was not entirely Red John-related. She seemed genuinely frightened when she was calling out to him, and he seemed genuinely upset on more than one level).

Lisbon: I liked her a lot in this episode! She seemed right on pitch, perfectly in character, concerned for Jane yet responsible and professional at the same time. Loved her little crack-down on Cho and Rigs for their anti-FBI attitude—a great “boss” moment, and well-deserved (They definitely needed someone to knock them back in line!). Lisbon’s scenes with Jane in this episode were probably my favorite scenes. I couldn’t believe she actually brought up the fact that Lorelei is “practically the first” for Jane since his wife! I was super-surprised, and I think Jane was caught slightly off guard, too, that she came right out and said it like that. Loved his reaction, also—that little “oooh.” I actually think it’s really cool that she can talk to him so openly, and that he lets her. It shows how close they are—I can’t imagine anyone else having the guts to mention something like that to Jane. I have a feeling Lisbon’s going to be the anchor this season, and Jane’s going to need her to be—this Lorelei thing is going to be WAY more complicated for him than he realizes, and who better to keep him grounded than Lisbon?

Cho/Rigsby/Van Pelt: I don’t like grouping them all together like this, but they weren’t in the episode that much. Van Pelt was hardly a factor at all, and it’s always disappointing when that happens. If there’s one thing season four did well, it was utilizing these three and giving them their own storylines. I hope it was just a case of not having enough screen time for everything in a jam-packed premiere, and that Cho, Rigsby and Van Pelt all have good arcs coming up this season. As for their appearances in this one, I have to say that Cho and Rigsby brawling with the FBI was sort of unbelievable to me. I didn’t think state or federal agents would behave that way in the middle of a public street. Having the FBI agent make an aggressive move toward Lisbon to start the action helped the believability a little, but not enough. Cho and Rigsby’s continuing anti-FBI attitude throughout the rest of the episode did feel in character, though. Definitely not mature, but when are boys ever fully mature? =)

One of the things I expected to see in this ep—and didn’t—was some fallout from the season finale in terms of the team’s relationship with Jane. Last time we saw them, Cho, Rigsby and even Van Pelt were exhibiting some definite coldness toward Jane (for leaving them, for faking a breakdown, etc.). I would have liked to see some resolution of that before everybody was all buddy-buddy again, but right now I’m thinking it’s not going to happen. Oh, well—moving on!

Bertram: Glad he’s back, in all his icky-sticky politically motivated glory. (Was that a little joke in there about his other show getting cancelled, when he said he was not happy to be back? If so, that was cute writing.) Actually, Gale wasn’t quite as icky in this episode as he has been previously. He seemed more emotional (and therefore more human) and I actually found myself relating to him a bit. Looking forward to seeing more of him this season!

The FBI: Agent Darcy had a breakdown of some type? Interesting. I’ve had my eye on her as Red John’s FBI mole for a few months, now. Something about her doesn’t quite jive. Plus, she DID kill Wainwright—maybe it wasn’t an accident? Will have to wait and see. In the meantime, we have some other FBI goons to keep us entertained. I was wondering how Jane would convince the judge to hand over Lorelei, and when Jane started up with the bead thing, I was like, “Oh, no…” I didn’t like that a planted bead was going to be the difference in the judge’s decision, but as it turned out, the bead wasn’t the deciding factor after all—the agent’s violent, out-of-control behavior towards Jane, in reaction to the bead-planting, was what swayed the judge, and I liked that scenario much better. Good writing. That thing with the water bottle and Jane fleeing from the attack was funny to watch, too. Great physical stuff.

Lorelei: I like her! She’s super-cute, and somehow different from Red John’s other minions. I feel like her connection to him is on a different level (familial maybe?), and I’m sure we’ll see her again at some point. She seems to have some genuine feelings for Jane, which were evident even in the finale—she looked truly sorry when she was about to cut off his fingers. Still, the fact remains that she WAS going to cut off his fingers. This girl is WAY under Red John’s control, and I’m intrigued as to how she got that way, and whether she really could be the one that Jane manages to turn. This storyline has all kinds of emotional, physical and downright twisted possibilities (What if Red John sleeps with her, too, as a way of like “sharing” her with Jane? ICK!) and I’m excited to see it all play out.

Overall, it was a solid episode that left me looking forward to the rest of the season. Romance and entanglements and FBI moles, oh my! =)

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