Mentalist Review: Episode 5×06 Cherry Picked

Review of Episode 5×06: Cherry Picked
by castiello

Overall: When the episode starts more than a half-hour late (thanks a lot, CBS), and I’m still not getting sleepy by the end of it, then I know it’s a good one. I’m happy to say that 5×06 fell into that category. The episodes that involve kidnapping always have an intensity about them that the regular murder investigations usually lack. Add Jane’s questionable negotiation tactics into the mix, and we’ve got a real nail-gnawing situation on our hands. But the case wasn’t the only thing that grabbed me. I know some people don’t like it when the show works two different storylines in the same ep, but here I thought it was the right move. Having Jane investigate Lorelei’s disappearance while helping the team with the kidnapping gave the episode great continuity with the rest of the season. If three eps went by without a mention of Lorelei, then that would just be weird. The Red John case will always be front and center where Jane is concerned, and it’s good that the show is giving us some forward momentum on that storyline.

Jane: Okay, seeing him negotiate with kidnappers is just plain scary. I know he knows what he’s doing, but still. He’s not always right, and sometimes he just seems so reckless. Plus, in this ep, he was distracted by the Lorelei investigation, which made it even more likely that he might goof up. I was relieved at the end when everyone came back whole and alive. I couldn’t relax until I knew everything would turn out okay.

Jane’s intensity when interviewing the drivers was right on the money. His breaking and entering into the guilty driver’s home was not unexpected, nor was his decision to use blackmail. I really thought Jane was going to let this man off the hook for rape, just to get the info on Lorelei. I hated the thought, but Jane seems willing to let almost anything slide, if it means getting closer to Red John. It surprised me – in a very good way – to see that Jane had police waiting outside to arrest the driver. I don’t know what evidence they could have on the guy that isn’t fruit of the poisonous tree (Jane’s illegal search), but I don’t care. I figure: Jane’s smart, he came up with something. Maybe found the inmate who was victimized and convinced her to come forward.

Interestingly enough, it seems that the FBI are the ones who stole Lorelei. I had assumed this was an act of Red John himself, but I’m guessing he just orchestrated the whole thing through his mole in the FBI.

Other Jane thoughts: Jane plus dog always equals a win, no matter how brief the scene is. I actually thought the dog/open gate situation was going to play a bigger role in solving the case. It seemed to indicate that the kidnapper was unfamiliar with the property (which is true of the guy who actually carried out the plan), but other than that it didn’t seem to go anywhere. Maybe I just missed something. Also missed how Jane got the homeowner’s phone number so quickly after arriving on the scene. I guess you could say he had the brother’s last name, and was able to use that to quickly search for the number on his cell phone, but it’s a stretch. It was a funny scene, though – cruel, but funny. “Are you alone? What are you wearing?” LOL.

Jane refusing Lisbon’s help in handling the driver was sad. It’s like he was saying “thank you” and “I’m sorry” at the same time. Sorry that he didn’t trust a legitimate, official investigation to get him what he needed. Sorry that he was letting her down by going outside the law (once again), but unwilling to take the chance of another lead slipping away. At least when Jane goes illegal, he does (usually) try to keep Lisbon and the others out of it, for their own protection.

Lisbon: Poor Lisbon, having to deal with bureaucratic public relations crap once again. Not only did she have to deal with a double-kidnapping, a murder, and a difficult victim-family-member, but she had to do it all with Brenda and Bertram breathing down her neck. Nice. I loved her standing outside the locked door, trying to mend fences with the guy who’d shut himself inside. “I feel bad that you’re in there…” Such great, long-suffering line-delivery.

I liked that Lisbon was sensitive to Jane’s other case (the driver interviews) and their importance. She did not hesitate to let him leave when he said he needed to. I also love that she offered to help Jane once he figured out who the guilty driver was. She is sweet and good-hearted, even if she isn’t the best “actress.” You could just see the hurt on her face when Jane implied she didn’t do a great job pretending to be shot, and when Brenda gently declined to have Lisbon make an on-camera appearance. I think Lisbon tries so hard not to suck on camera, that she just ends up being totally awkward. The fact that she gets flustered and screws up makes me love her ten times more. She is awesome at her job. She stinks at interviews. She is a believably-flawed, utterly endearing human being. 🙂

Cho/Rigs/Van Pelt: Not a huge amount of screen time for these three, which is okay – just as long as it doesn’t become a regular thing. I did love the little scene with Rigsby tossing popcorn (?), acting like a seal, and Cho actually laughing a little at Rigsby’s antics. I felt like Cho was happy to see his partner back in good spirits after what he’d just been through. Another thing I liked about this episode – although we only found out about it after the fact – is that it sounded like the team solved the case together. Jane might have started the ball rolling, but after that, everyone participated in figuring out who the kidnapper’s accomplice was and what the next move should be. They worked together to trick the female “victim” (I like that actress, btw – she did a great job) into fleeing with the money. It’s nice when Jane’s not the man with the plan, while everyone else is just sitting around clueless. Go team! 🙂

Brenda: Was it just me, or did she seem nastier in this ep? Always before, I felt like she was sympathetic to Lisbon, even when they had to work at cross-purposes. In this one, Ms. Public Relations just seemed like a b***h, threatening to call Bertram if Lisbon didn’t “behave.” I dunno, I usually kinda like her, but not in this episode.

Final thoughts: Progress on the Lorelei front – yay! Team working together – yay! Jane not letting a rapist get away for the sake of his obsession – double yay! Holiday Wish List: A Lisbon-centric ep in the near future. A Cho-centric ep in the near future. Another Minelli return. And a partridge in a pear tree (because Jane needs another animal to play with). Looking forward to 5×07!

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