Mentalist Review: Episode 5×02 Devil’s Cherry

Review of Episode 5×02: Devil’s Cherry
by castiello

Wow, what an emotional ride! Some of those scenes were just plain gut-wrenching, while other parts were hilarious. Lots of ups and downs in this powerhouse episode that has definitely earned a spot on my favorites list.

Jane: I felt kinda bad for him, walking in on that bloody crime scene. I know he’s used to it by now, but that was a particularly nasty one. Made my stomach turn. I love that Jane just makes himself at home, preparing tea right in the victim’s kitchen. If this were any other character, this storyline would not have worked, but with Jane, it was a perfect fit. He has been helping himself to food (and drinks) at other people’s houses, completely without permission, since the very first episode. Now, will this little experience make Jane hesitate before he fires up the stove at the next crime scene? I’d like to say yes, but I have a feeling he’ll be back to old habits before too long…

When he first started drinking and looking at the butterfly, I didn’t know anything was wrong. The rattling in the pot was downright scary—I couldn’t even imagine what was in there. My guess was a lobster. At this point, I still didn’t know he was hallucinating. By the time he started following the rabbit off the property, though, then I knew he was tripping. Jane makes a cute Alice. 🙂 I didn’t know what to make of the dude with the pointy hat and his wife—I said out loud that they looked like gnomes, but it never occurred to me they were actual garden gnomes, so that little reveal was fun later on.

I liked the girl who played Charlotte and the way she and Jane bantered with each other. There was a great chemistry between them, and I could believe this was how his daughter might have turned out. I love what she said to him to convince him of her identity—something like: “You are wise. You are safe. You are loved.” That is so breath-takingly beautiful, and so true to what I would imagine Jane saying every night to his young daughter as he tucked her in. Very touching. Also, I love that in Jane’s imagination, a diamond-cutter’s workshop looks like the inside of a treasure-chest. There were strings of jewels hanging from the ceiling, even. Gotta love that man…

I thought it was neat how Jane finally interpreted his hallucinations in a way that helped them solve the case. It worked for me because the evidence he needed was all in his brain before he collapsed—he looked up and saw the neighbor’s bedroom, saw that she could see into the victim’s kitchen, though she claimed she could not. Cool stuff.

One of the most interesting things about this episode, for me, was that everything Charlotte said actually came from Jane’s mind—She called his obsession with Red John “creepy.” She said nothing he does can help her and her mom now—they’re dead. Jane catching Red John does not matter to them. Charlotte told him to get a life. So, on some level, Jane has an awareness of all of these things. Though he may not agree with Charlotte’s opinions, he at least recognizes that there’s a valid argument to be made for moving on, giving up the hunt, etc. Which means Jane is more self-aware than I thought he was…and that there might be hope for him, yet.

Jane’s face, when Charlotte told him these things, was devastating to watch. His expression as he watched her swimming in the pool was reverent and beautiful. His sadness when she left was downright unbearable. “Wait…” My heart shattered for him multiple times in this episode, including at the end, when he was going to dangerous lengths to try and recreate the experience. As the episode progressed, I knew Charlotte would leave at some point, and I started getting afraid of what Jane might do to bring her back. And now, I’m wondering if Jane was trying the Devil’s Cherry tea as a one-time thing, or if it will become an addiction that rears its ugly head later in the season. The scene just reminded me so much of another attic scene, with Jane holding the gun that Max Winter gave him, and you just knew we were going to see that thing again. So, hopefully this drug will not become a regular habit for Jane—but if it does, Cho might need to have a little talk with him about substance abuse…

Lisbon: Her reactions to Jane-on-drugs ran a perfect gamut from freaked-out (“Jane, you’re scaring me”) to exasperated (“Oh, so now you’re a ‘great mind?’”) to kind understanding (“Maybe the path of the hallucinogens wasn’t meant to bring you to the killer—maybe it was meant to bring you to your daughter”). So sweet. She totally had Jane’s back in this episode, as always. And I love that when Charlotte asked Jane, “Does anyone really know you?” Jane’s answer was “Lisbon.” Speaks volumes about their relationship. I could practically hear the shippers purring up a storm at that part. I myself, as a “friend”-shipper, was pretty darn happy, too. I once read a review that said Cho is the closest thing Jane has to a real friend, but I don’t agree with that assessment. I have always thought it was Lisbon. Cho might understand Jane’s need for vengeance a little bit more than Lisbon, but Jane spends more time with Lisbon—like, time outside of work. He confides in Lisbon and seems to trust her more than anyone else. That is true friendship.

Van Pelt: Yay! She got more screen time this ep. Not a lot more, but still, she did the heavy lifting on the suspect interviews. I always like watching her facial expressions as she reacts to the different people she’s interviewing. She was a pro, getting that rival diamond-cutter all worked up, just so the Neighbor Lady could hear his voice at a shout. A totally Jane-like stunt. Van Pelt has learned a lot from him, and I love it when they show this. Also, Van Pelt’s reaction to the killer’s motive and method (and the woman’s giggly attitude about the whole thing) was perfect revulsion. That is one of the scariest killers they’ve had on the show in a while—just no humanity whatsoever, and Van Pelt’s face mirrored my emotional reaction to the woman laughing about how she got the victim to eviscerate himself. CREEPY.

Cho/Rigsby: They considered inviting Jane for a guys’ night out. Cho: “You ask him.” Too funny. I have to wonder how often the team goes out together after hours. We’ve seen Jane go have dinner with Lisbon, and we’ve heard Van Pelt mention going out with Rigsby and Cho to celebrate Cho’s return to the team (after he was temporarily their boss in the episode Bloodstream (I think…)). Other than that, we don’t get much reference to their out-of-office friendships, so it was cool to have that mentioned here. I’d like to see Jane, Rigsby and Cho on a guys’ night out. Something tells me it would end with one of them in jail…

Point of interest–Cho used to work in Narcotics! This may have been mentioned before, but I didn’t remember it, so it was new to me! Also, at the beginning of the ep, Rigsby said, “Does Jane seem a little off ever since the feds took Lorelei?” This line just confused the heck out of me, because I thought Red John took Lorelei right after the judge ruled in favor of CBI questioning her. The feds don’t have her, do they? I think I missed something here, and hopefully someone can explain it to me.

Overall, aside from that little bit of Lorelei confusion and a very fake-looking CGI butterfly (Couldn’t they have used a real one just for the up-close shot?), this was a darn near perfect episode. Lovely to see such an emotional, character-driven story so early in the season. I hope it’s an indication of things to come. Looking forward to episode three!

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