Review of Episode 5×08: Red Sails in the Sunset
Overall: Wow. Very intense episode. Very different. I was definitely on the edge of my couch cushion the whole time, particularly whenever Lorelei and Jane were together. I love how much Lisbon contributed to the investigation, and how she and Jane worked together long-distance. I love that Jane got some actual, useful info on Red John. I hate that Lisbon was unapologetically put through the wringer yet again, but I like that she at least was smart enough to figure out Jane’s play.
Jane: When it comes to catching Red John, Jane is one crazy dude. Seeing him smash out the window of his beloved car, and later drive himself into a tree at high-speed, made me realize once again (in a very shocking fashion) something that’s easy to forget when Jane is working regular cases: that almost nothing truly matters to him. Not his car, not his health and safety. He will happily risk it all for the chance to get only an inch closer to the man who killed his family.
For the most part, I love how Jane worked with Lorelei – aside from trying to “mentalize” her about her mother (which she quickly called him on), Jane did a lot of little subtle things to gain her trust and build a relationship between them. He deliberately broke the car radio and got a room with a busted TV, just so they’d be more likely to make conversation. He repeatedly left Lorelei alone with the car and the keys, showing her that she was not his prisoner. I was so nervous that she would take off and leave him (and I’m sure he was, too) but it was the only way he had a chance of getting her to open up.
I like how Jane handled her assault – just staying down and speaking calmly, never making an aggressive move toward her or trying to physically restrain her. He played it very smart. The look on his face when Lorelei was walking up behind him on the beach was perfect – you could really sense his unease and the potential danger of the situation: was this lady going to snuggle with him or try to smother him in his sleep? (I’m so glad she chose snuggle!)
At the end, Jane’s decision to let Lorelei go off on her own was also very wise, allowing her find the truth for herself and come back to him when she’s ready. It fit with the way he handled her throughout the episode, and I hope it pays off for him in the end.
When Jane said he was going to “make them believe” he’d been a hostage, I just knew he was going to hurt himself pretty severely. Still, it was shocking to watch him drive himself into a tree at that speed. Very scary, the lengths he will go to. My only question: wouldn’t the investigating officers find the stick in the car and figure out what he’d done?
The ending scene with Lisbon had a very creepy tone. Jane looked like a lunatic, smiling over his latest “victory” with his face all banged up like that. He was practically in traction, but he didn’t care because he’d learned that Red John was a known acquaintance. This wipes a HUGE number of people off the suspect list, and Jane was high on the idea of being so much closer to his goal. He seemed to be almost taunting Lisbon that she’d never have proof that he set the whole escape/kidnapping thing up. I didn’t like that at all, and didn’t know what to make of it, other than he guessed that’s what she wanted to talk about and decided to head her off. Lisbon’s angry response (that she would be putting him in handcuffs if she had proof of what he’d done) was justified, but I’m still confused about the Lorelei chain of custody issues. Why should Jane be in such extreme, life-in-prison trouble for breaking her out of a prison where she was never supposed to be in the first place? (The FBI moved her there secretly, against a judge’s orders, right?)
Lisbon: She was actually very Jane-like, dealing with Lorelei’s mother. “Your daughter is the servant and accomplice of a notorious serial killer and you have no idea how she got that way?” LOL. I think Lisbon’s tough, unforgiving attitude toward the mother was the thing that made the woman want to confess. Lisbon’s disgust at the woman selling a two-year-old girl: palpable. She looked physically ill. No wonder Lorelei’s a head case. It was nice to learn that the sisters were reunited in adulthood. Even though it ended tragically, at least they got to be together for a while.
Lisbon’s reaction to Miranda’s murder scene photo was perfect – you just knew, without even seeing it, that it was Red John. Super creepy. And, as always, Lisbon helped Jane by sending the fax, and later comforted him after the car crash, all the while knowing that this was one of his plays, and she’d just been another chess piece on the board. At least this time, unlike with his fake breakdown last season, Lisbon suspected Jane’s involvement early enough to save herself some unneeded anguish and worry.
Lorelei: She made me so nervous in this one! I never knew what she was going to do – drive away, call Red John, start cutting Jane’s fingers off in his sleep? That was the major tension in this episode – her unpredictable nature. I think her assault on Jane, the first time we’ve really seen her lose her cool, showcased just how damaged and fragile (and easily manipulated) she is. It was like a child’s tantrum – a perfectly believable reaction for someone who’s never had a proper parent.
Lorelei professed that she is stronger and clearer since her sister’s murder – she can’t be hurt by anything, now. How quickly Jane proved her wrong, though, by suggesting that Red John was Miranda’s killer. The person who “saved” Lorelei was the one who made her a victim in the first place – you could tell by her denial, her refusal to believe it, that this possibility did hurt.
This is the second time we’re seeing the idea of Red John as a sculptor, a re-inventor of people. He already credits himself with shattering Jane’s illusions and showing Jane the world as it truly is. And although I don’t believe that was Red John’s intent when killing Jane’s family, it did seem to be a deliberate plan with Lorelei and her sister. I wonder how many other minions he’s gathered through similar means. I wonder how many of them would turn on him if they knew the truth.
I was actually afraid when Jane told Lorelei who killed her sister, that Lorelei was just going to say, “I know.” I’m glad she’s not so batnuts crazy that she would willingly fall in with her sister’s killer. I even have hope that she’ll turn against her master, once the truth sinks in.
Kirkland: Hmmmmmm. Now that they’re making it so obvious, I’m starting to doubt that it’s him. Lorelei mentioned a handshake, and Kirkland’s handshake with Jane was emphasized as a significant/foreboding moment in the previous ep. I do think Lorelei was telling the truth about the handshake, because she was speaking in anger and that’s when little things tend to slip out. However, the way she said it sounded to me like Red John was someone Jane had met a while ago: “I’m surprised you guys weren’t life-long friends from the moment you first shook hands” or something like that. It would be a weird way to reference someone Jane had just met a week or two ago.
So, I’m thinking an older acquaintance. If they want to shock (and horrify us), it’ll be someone we love like Minelli or a team member (nonono). Then again, didn’t Heller say a while back that Red John wasn’t anyone we’d met on the show so far? I think he lies sometimes, though, just to throw people off the scent. In any case, I’m doubting Kirkland is Red John. If he is Red John, then he needs to creep it up a little. He wasn’t giving me any vibes in this ep like he did in the last one. If I’m looking at Red John on my screen, I want to be feeling chills and double meanings with every single line he says. I want to be scared every time he is alone with Lisbon.
Final thoughts: For me, this ep was fascinating to watch on a psychological level, exploring the reasons Lorelei turned out so damaged, what led her to Red John, and how Jane is slowly gaining her trust. I also like that Lisbon played a vital role in the episode, that we had some continuity with the Brett Stiles storyline (I’ve been waiting for Jane to call in that favor!), and that we got forward progress on the Red John case. I do wish the rest of the team had more than a few lines, but it was an atypical episode, and hopefully Cho/VP/Rigs(<-I love it when Lisbon calls him that!) will have more to do next week.
Looking forward to it, and to the rest of the season.