Mentalist Review: Episode 5×03 Not One Red Cent

Review of Episode 5×03: Not One Red Cent
by castiello

Sometimes, the stand-alone/“filler” eps are not that interesting to me, because there’s just not enough character stuff to keep me engaged. This time around, though, there were so many little things happening on the side that I found myself thoroughly entertained.

Jane: How cute was he, with those horrible loaner shoes? I loved watching everyone’s reactions to what he was wearing. They looked like shoes for someone in a nursing home…or a mental ward. The distaste was palpable!

One of the bright spots of this ep was seeing Jane interact with the cobbler. Jane had obviously been there many times before, and yet the man asked him his name. “Still Jane.” LOL! And then Jane was just standing there in his socks, with no idea when he’d get his shoes back! Great stuff. I liked seeing his sweeter side when he helped the cobbler lie down after the shooting, and also at the end, when Jane was paying the man for fixing the shoes—I got the feeling Jane gave the guy more money than was owed. I remember this Jane from earlier seasons—the Jane who gave his lottery winnings to someone who couldn’t afford an organ transplant, and bought gifts for the team just to see them smile. We barely saw this Jane last year…I’ve missed him.

The other awesome thing about this episode: Jane and Van Pelt had some interaction! These two have such a nifty relationship—I always love their interactions. I love that Van Pelt was willing to play with him—that element made the episode really fun for me—seeing Jane all gloating and telling her what food he wanted. And then at the end, when he told her how he cheated, and Van Pelt was all, “**** you, Jane!” Too funny.

Other goodies: Jane can “read” pens! How cool—I wish I could do that! We got to see sleepy Jane, and napping Jane, which are always adorable, plus we had a nice little wake-up scene with Lisbon. Cuteness. I like how Lisbon and Jane worked together so smoothly as a team to identify the correct safety deposit box—Lisbon is getting very used to how he runs his cons by now, making her a perfect accomplice. Which brings us to:

Lisbon: Yay, she’s already got her own storyline this season! Awesomeness. The only complaint I have about her initial interaction with Mr. FBI (sorry, I don’t remember his name) in Bertram’s office, is that the way it was written/directed, the scene did not come off as flirtatious. Considering what happened directly after they left the office, I think I needed to see more sparks IN the office, when they were fighting over the case. I wanted to see some playfulness under the argument, some idea that they were trying to get a rise out of each other for less-than-professional reasons. The way it came across, I don’t know…It seemed like they wanted about as much to do with each other as pissed off cat and a mean dog. So I was taken off-guard at their friendliness outside: Mr. FBI invited Lisbon to a poker game, and she said yes. Interesting.

I liked Lisbon’s reaction to the high-profile players at the game, too. And Bertram! He had a great reaction to her presence, as well! Fun stuff. I feel like Lisbon is starting on a very interesting path: possible romantic interest, plus lots of potential connections with important, influential people. My main question: What will Jane think about all this? Can’t wait to find out!

Van Pelt: She rocked this episode with her facial expressions and reactions to Jane’s gloating. She and Rigsby did some great research together, figuring out who the head robber was. I like it when other team members contribute important leads that help to crack the case – sometimes it’s too much of “the Jane show,” where he single-handedly solves everything, while the rest of the team’s investigative skills are marginalized. Not in this ep, though, and it made me happy.

Other Van Pelt notes: She seems happier. I think she’s doing better, letting go some of her anger from last year. She was willing to play with Jane, and they had fun together. Also, when she wrote Rigsby’s name…**sigh** So sweet. I have hope for the two of them, yet.

Rigsby/Cho: Not a huge amount of screen time for them, but Rigsby did some nice investigative stuff, identifying the robber guy by looking at the various video footage. Also, Cho had some great scenes in the split-screen interrogation part of the episode. I don’t know if the show has ever done that before, but I loved it! Cho’s facial (non-)reactions to witnesses and suspects are always pure gold. To see those expressions in real-time with what the witnesses were doing—priceless. It’s still very early in the season, and I’m getting a good vibe, so here’s hoping our boys get the storylines and screen time they deserve this year!

Bertram: Aren’t you a smiley thing, lately? It was weird to see him in a non-professional setting. I am curious to see how all this develops, with him and the FBI and Lisbon. The dynamics are shifting, and it’s kinda cool.

Mr. FBI: I don’t know what to make of him, yet. Not sure he’s worthy of Lisbon. The last time one of our agents got involved with an FBI guy, it ended badly. REALLY badly. I’ll be keeping a close eye on this dude…

Overall: Looking forward to seeing more little friendship scenes between Jane and co. If the writers could make every filler ep like this one, I would be, like, the happiest girl ever! Can’t wait to find out what happens next with Lisbon and Mr. FBI. Hope Rigsby and Cho get some screen time, soon – a balanced show equals happy fans!


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