Mentalist Review: Episode 5×07 If It Bleeds, It Leads

Review of Episode 5×07: If It Bleeds, It Leads
by castiello

Overall: What a strange episode! And a way more important one than I would have guessed from the previews. Maybe it was just the fact that I was really sleep-deprived when I watched it, but there were a couple of things that didn’t make sense. Generally speaking, though, I was intrigued, and definitely enjoyed that Lisbon had such a prominent role in the story.

Lisbon: Looking lovely with her hair wavy and bangs pushed off to the side (yay!), our favorite boss lady took on the dual tasks of getting Jane to stop obsessing (good luck with that…) and trying to build a case against a well-connected billionaire. Neither effort was successful, but I gotta give her credit for trying. I love that she is doing her best to look after Jane, even when he makes it impossible. I like that she was able to pick up on the secretary/assistant’s distress, but why the heck didn’t Lisbon get that girl some protection after the girl agreed to cooperate? The poor thing was obviously scared. Lisbon promised her she would be safe, and then didn’t post any guards on her or move her to a different location or anything…I mean, Volker arranged for the mass murder of an entire tribe of people. Lisbon knew how dangerous he was. I’m sure he still could have gotten to the girl anyway, even despite protective measures, and the ending of the ep would’ve been the same, but at least it would look like Lisbon did everything possible to prevent the murder. I could certainly feel her heartbreak at the end, but at the same time, I was like “What did you expect? You didn’t protect her!” Maybe there were guards and I just zoned out for that part (I told you I was sleep-deprived), but I don’t remember anything about that.

Another strange thing – the ending itself. They didn’t catch the bad guy! It just sort of ended on this sad, defeated note. Lisbon vowed to get Volker (and I’m sure she will), but it will have to be in another episode. In a way this is cool, because it means Lisbon’s got multiple arcs this year: she’s got the poker games with “really important CBI/FBI people,” she’s got a relationship with Kirkland (who may or may not be Red John), and now she’s got a vendetta against a super-creepy psychopath billionaire. I’m so excited to see where all this goes.

Jane: He seemed to be preparing Lisbon to “go on” without him, which makes sense, because he was also working on ways to bust Lorelei out of prison. If successful, he would be off somewhere trying to get her to give up Red John, and not around to help the CBI investigate cases. Why Lorelei is in a maximum security prison in the first place is completely baffling to me, but that whole arc has been baffling since early in the season. I guess Red John and his FBI mole did not bust Lorelei out, after all. They just moved her to another prison. Why? And why does Jane have to break in to get to her? A judge already ruled that CBI should have custody of Lorelei. The FBI was acting illegally when they stole her. So, now that Jane has found her, shouldn’t there be a legal course of action he can take to get her back into CBI custody? Maybe he’s afraid the FBI would just take her away again as soon as they got wind of what he was trying to do? Just the fact that she is still in any kind of government custody is completely perplexing to me. Does the official FBI have her in custody because they’re trying to get the glory for bringing down Red John, or does just a small, Red John-controlled “section” of the FBI have Lorelei in custody to keep her away from Jane? Somebody else is going to have to figure this out, because my brain just imploded.

Moving on, I don’t like when Jane acts as though Lisbon needs lessons from him on how to do an investigation. I mean, it’s definitely in character – he’s always thought the team was kind of helpless without him – but I guess I just wish the show wouldn’t continue to back him up on that point. When Jane was away for six months last season, the team’s case resolution rate dropped into the toilet. Here, again, when Jane was less involved in the case and Lisbon was working it mostly on her own, the bad guy got away. It’s like the show is saying the team really can’t do it without him, and I disagree. Jane may close cases fast, but he also does it dirty – half the tricks he uses would get the evidence/confession thrown out in court.

Jane trying to get into the prison (and asking Cho about it!) was pretty darn funny. Jane was also funny with the weather girl (*smack* Lisbon: I hope that hurt), and on the news show: “We’ll be right back after a short commercial break.” LOL.

Cho/Rigsby/Van Pelt: If I have to group them together, then they didn’t get enough to do! Still, I did ask for a Lisbon episode, and this one gave her lots of opportunities to shine, so I guess I can’t complain. I did love Cho’s reaction to Jane’s maximum security prison question. Cho even told Lisbon about it, which is interesting. Are Cho’s loyalties shifting away from Jane a bit? Maybe a sign of the betrayal the team felt when Jane left them last season? Or maybe Cho just doesn’t want Jane to do something monumentally stupid. Again.

Kirkland: What’s up with this guy? They are certainly making a huge deal out of him – particularly his very brief interaction with Jane. I couldn’t help but think, OMG, Jane is shaking hands with Red John right now and doesn’t even know it! And he works for Homeland Security – yikes. Then again, this show does tend to throw out red herrings a lot – remember Bertram quoting that Blake poem? Would the show really let us meet the REAL Red John this way? Or is Kirkland just another minion? Either way, it seems that he’s trying to protect Volker, and Volker is just the type of person who’d be a member of Red John’s “club.” Did you see him sitting there, just watching that girl get strangled? Creepy as all heck.

All in all: I did really enjoy the episode, even though it ended on a strange sort of “To Be Continued” note that is usually reserved for hardcore Red John episodes. Maybe this was a hardcore Red John ep. Whatever it was, it took me by surprise. I had no idea until about two-thirds of the way through that we were diving into such deep waters. I wish the Lorelei/FBI thing was a little bit more understandable, but I love that Lisbon’s got a villain of her own to go after and the fact that we may have gotten some very important info about the Big Bad himself. Definitely and very eagerly looking forward to next week and the rest of the season. Let the mind-blowing conspiracies continue!

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